|All That I Have Is A Rivers|
|Summary:||Rebecca explains to Samphire why she must continue to pose as some nobleman's bastard - but gives her a chance to earn back her name.|
|Related Logs:||Rebecca/Samphire logs; Jacsen/Lucienne scandal logs|
|Guest Suite, Four Eagles Tower|
|17th October, 289|
The lady Rebecca will be found draped across the ample stone window ledge, staring intensely through the half-ajar casement out into the courtyard beyond, almost as if watching or listening for something, though it is as likely that she has just decided that posing as vigilant suits her for the moment. From the bed further within groans poor bone-ached old Septa Bridwayne, while the latest member of the would-be heiress to the Mire's curious menage, Rebecca's new handmaid Samphire, is imminently expected back from a complicated errand involving a new dress, a washing well, and a cracked cask of cyder.
It is evening; where Lady Rebecca is concerned, it often is.
The task seems to have been even more complicated, than one might have expected, for the smallest of an hour might have passed in between her diligent fulfilment of her duties. A tiny hour of the afternoon, hardly worth mentioning it…
As usually, she is wearing her sea-washed dress of maroon linnen, though it seems to look more …trim the last days. A few stitches set in the evening light, a ribbon changed and mostly the fact that she hasn't been out on the dusty streets half as often, as she is used to make her look proper and clean. Her flaxen hair lies in a shiny braid around her head,
The door to the chamber opens, the newly hired handmaiden enters the room with a small curtsy. In one of her hands she carries a casc -empty for now, for a her other hand, that one with the ring of pale metal, that announces her new position, is assembles with a closed bottle of cider. Over her elbow a piece of soft, linden-green fabric lays lazily, white embroideries adorning the colour, maybe a piece a seamstress gave her to show her lady. ."M'lady.", she greets skilfully balancing the goods (as well as her own cloak over her other elbow) ."Septa.."
"Maiden bless yer, child," Bridwayne rasps out, crawling forward in her carapace of bed-linen and robes in a none too subtle inclination towards the reinforcing bottle. The highborn lady, on the other hand, does not seem quite able or perhaps willing to breach her rapt, if non-specific surveillance for a little.
But at last she swings half way down to earth, one long leg spooling down to brush the floor-rushes. If a man was present its disposition would be scandalous, bare and white as the rest of her gown (green, of course) remains hitched up on the ledge. It is almost, but not quite, like a display for the handmaid's benefit. The words that accompany it are characteristically dreamy and distracted.
"Ah, the seaweed maid blows back to us…what news has she garnered from the brisk air, I wonder?", Rebecca rhetorically asks of the casement-pane.
Samphire blinks, for the glimpse of alabaster isn't easy to overlook, while she hands the septa the desiderated bottle, still chilly from the cellars. "News, m'lady? Well, word is down at the Green… ", she moves over to adjust the ladies gown " the lush colour of the grass is a bit holey." Shaking her head slightly she adds with a smirk, putting the cask at a table "And word is, m'lady a knight came out of a hedge he entered as a lanky squire. He got himself a fake beard from the mummers, even. He calls himself 'Undyl' and doesn't know the sea-weed is to be found in the rivers now. He may have even witnessed it's decent birth, which is a decent birth indeed, m'lady."
After a quivering pause comes Lady Rebecca's laugh, quiet but as long as it's low, and her verdict on the maid's riddle: "Really, my dear Mistress Rivers, what silliness you speak. And they say I'm the mad one! How absurd."
Still smiling as she shakes her head in mock-despair, she swings down her right leg too to land in an elegant posture leaning against the wall, her gown cataracting back into its usual comprehensive flow, whose long drape would be demure, if it weren't so extravagant.
"And this young knight of the hedgerows," she teases now, "is he very gallant? Has he been chivalrous enough to pay his kinswoman compliments and congratulations on her *admirable* new situation?"
In the background, the septa's glugging sounds as agreeable and silvery as a spring in a pleasure garden…
As so often, Samphire eyes the enigmatic woman closely to search for… something that would explain at least a hint of her conduct but as it seems today ar least this riddle is not to be completely solved. The cloak wanders over a seat, the green cloth at a table and inobtrusively a cup into the reach of the septa.
"He is… ", the maid chews on her lip while hardly pondering if it was the truth to speak of gallantry… "A charming knight.", she closes, satisfied about that description. "And he did congratulate me", she adds with the hint of that pondering again. "But there was a lot to speak of, mostly about the path, which brought me up here, Stonebridge and it's shadows… M'lady, you would like him, I'm sure. But… tell me again, what brought me into this rivers again. Surely not my birth, I must repeat since the seven witnessed my mother and my father being both of honour."
Rebecca has yet to interrogate or even idly enquire after her new attendant's past, and as a shadow perilously similar to boredom appears to blur her brilliant glance at the mention of Stonebridge past, it might appear evident that she has no interest in so doing. But a consideration seems to resolve her suddenly in favour of this topic after all.
"Stonebridge," she muses vaguely. "So you were born under House Tordane…the Lord of this very Roost and the Mallisters as higher lords still…and only came to know the lordship of my family's false branch. What a horrid cause for regret. No doubt, with your help, my dear, I shall redress all that some day soon."
Rebecca slides and sidles over from wall to bed, throws her sinuous length down beside the complacently bibulous Bridwayne, and requisitions her cup with sudden imperiousness.
"As for you, little miss. I had my reasons and they were many. Samphire Rivers sounds well, like to watery like, and I enjoy such wit and elegance. Undyl, well, you may have a sort of knight as a runagate brother, but it's hardly a name to conjure with, my dear. And then…it was just a little test of love…a second trial, after the ring…and finally…it pleases me much to let it be known a bastard waits on me. It sends a message, sweet Samphire, and reminds the bastards who usurp my father's affections of their proper station. Do you understand, now?" As Rebecca tosses back a large gulp of cyder, it seems that she is expecting a submissive affirmative.
It is no surprise the speech lingers around Stonebridge, that town on which words cling like oily ashes these days. Samphire distorts her mouth to a thin line. "Redress it, m'lady? Well our hands might be experienced but I didn't know of your ambition to be a builder, m'lady… but wherever your wisdom will lead us and wherever my help might be of use, there are days and moons to pass before one could even consider to patch the holes, the moths of shattered swords might have bitten into town." Or years, or decades if it was her to decide where this path will lead.
"M'lady as much as I can…" a heartbeat long she hesitates, but as far as she has already got to know this lady of hers, time has taught her words might be allowed to grow and surmount the moment at some times "assure you from all of my heart, this test of yours shouldn't have been there. To count the love and loyalty in the coin of names! M'lady, I fear it sends a message indeed. Many men out there haven't heard about those lurid bastards to usurp your family, but many men heard bawdy songs about a bastard-girls honour. Many things float down the rivers, but I think my honour at least, shouldn't."
"Anyone can see you were born in a common cradle!" Rebecca exclaims with almost kindly condescension. "You are riven by the most touching concern about that garment women high and low can toss on and off without consequences…a mere name! And did you but know it, this riverine garb suits you much the best. Should you wish someday to crown your service to me with a good marriage, you will get no better patent of nobility than the name Rivers; which brands you a bastard, yes, but a nobleman's get too. The Lord Mallister himself has rivery kin. People will talk, yes, but to speculate, not to condemn. Rivers you remain while you serve me, and that is that."
She takes another jovial slug at the cidrous vessel…and then offers it to Samphire with a long, slender extension of her left arm, showing its pale boniness through green gause. "Besides, my dear, I want you to help find something out for me, something for which having a teensy bit of a colourful repute…may be of use…"
A bastard's name. Samphire accepts the vessel, for at least the opportunity to flush down the emphasis of Lady Rebecca's words might lay in her small hands. Maybe the opportunity to flush down the apprehension of a hedge's lecture, where the core of a knight waits under leaves and thornes, and kin, who hasn't floated down the river yet. And then one sip for her old grandmother's wisdom not to disagree with nobles.
The trinity isn't performed at all for now, the other hand wanders up to her chin the spark of green curiousity returning into her murky grey eyes.
"Where a colourful repute may be of help, m'lady? Oh, a bird can wear birght feathers when the season has come… what is it you're searching for?"
The lady is quite wreathed now in tender smiles. "Much quicker this time, my sweet shoreling. The matter is this…" She leans back in luxuriance across the pallet's full length, even the septa functioning more as a supplementary bolster than a person.
"You're a sharp girl, don't think I haven't noticed…I suppose you must have heard about our hosts' errant daughter, Lucienne Terrick? She was betrothed to my cous the Young Lord Stafford, you know, and then they found her with child, and now she's to go and become a Silent Sister, or something equally frightful…"
Rebecca yawns majestically, and perhaps indeed the cider has made her drowsy, yet her glance is all the brighter. "Suspicious, that silence. A secret hidden, it takes no powers of prophecy to ponder…so, my colourful rivulet, I would have you, when you next tarry overlong upon an errand in town," she cuts in with a sudden disarming flight of observation, "ask questions. Of everyone, anyone, no one in particular. Bring me back what everyone's saying about the father of Lucienne's child. You understand, you needn't struggle after the truth…I'm just…concerned for my family's good name! We aren't so very different after all, in that. Tell me what wild words they're all saying, and if your report pleases me…why, I might turn you back into an Undyl again if you still insist."
Samphire throws a little glimpse down the cup, a sniff and the cup is raised. "Ah, that might be a song I could learn m'lady and I will." The bit about the times she takes to fly around meanwhile stays uncommented. "To my lady's beauty, wisdom and the honour to serve her" ,now said golden trinity runs down the maids throat in tiny sips. " …wherever she might have picked the sea-weed from." , she adds with a smirk.