|And They All Fall Down|
|Summary:||The lines are finally drawn between Tordane and Terrick.|
|Related Logs:||Assumed Threat|
|Terrick Pavilion Green|
|The white tent of the Lord Jerold|
|IWed July 27, 288|
The low hillocks ringing the tournament field are covered with the vibrant hues of all the noble houses in attendance, from banners and livery, to the pavilions themselves. Sending a page to inquire returns the answer that Lord Ser Jerold Terrick has but recently returned to the Terrick camp, and thus the procession turns in that direction. The tall pavilion, yellow with purple trim, and the quartered pennants of the Terricks draping from the tent ropes sits at the center of the camp, amongst tethered horses, tables where cooks labor at the looming dinner, and smaller tents for retainers.
On foot Isolde traverses the grounds towards those House colors that designate Terrick. The Lady slows, watching the outskirts of the men and women of the House itself and then picks up her pace. Hands grasp at her clean and freshened dress, her hair redone to avoid the frizzing of the heat of the day, her cheeks still red with the gathering of heat from the air and the layers of cloth she wears. Gazing up to Ryker, she lifts her hand. "Stay close, but do not enter. I know you do not wish to and …we both agree it is best I do this." A soft smile touches her lips and then her green eyes land on Igara, "And off we go.." She finds that determination she had on the hillside camp and enters into the opening fo the main tent, slowing and releasing her skirts to grasp her hands before her, head lifting as the gleam of her gold circlet lessens in the shade that is offered.
The expected pair of retainers in Terrick livery standing outside His Lordship's pavilion come to attention as the noble procession draws near, in lieu of bowing. Only proper for men on guard duty. "Lady Tordane," the guardsman to the left voices in greeting.
A nod is offered to the guard in his livery, "Is your Lord busy..?" Isolde's brow lofts. "I wish to speak with him." Her folded hands lift, one parting to make a motion forward to the further depths. "If he is available, please announce myself and my cousinm Lady Igara Frey." She directs him with that air of authority. Patient. She waits but what she needs to talk of begins to itch at the back of her throat.
The Lady of Stonebridge's shadow stays by her side, the white hemmed gown replaced by something green and black to the ground, the better to walk across the grounds in without fear of lifting said hem unseemly high from fear of the dust. She settles with her hands folded before her and dips in a courtsey when her cousin mentions her name, identifying herself as the same.
"I shall inquire, m'lady," the retainer answers, ducking inside the pavilion, and leaving his fellow outside to continue watch. Voices within are muffled, but in short order the guard returns. "His Lorship will see you m'lady. enter, and be welcome, M'Lord Terrick will attend you in a moment."
Within the pavilion, warmer, despite the shade, a camp table has been set up with various cuts of fruit an meat on pewter platters, along with goblets and a corked bottle. In a mere matter of moments, Lord Jerold emerges from behind a cloth partition, no doubt having taken a moment to compose his attire in a manner suitable to recieve guests of quality. "M'lady Isolde Tordane and m'lady Igara Frey, Lord," the guard announces, before backing away to stand against one cloth wall.
Watching the retainer head in, Isolde's green gaze drifts to her cousin. "I thank you again. To be dragging you all over on a day such as this.." A kindly smile is offered before the man returns, bidding them enter. Nothing more is said to him before she steps inside the main portion of the pavilion, the back divider watched as she moves forward, slowly. The green dress brushes the floor as she lets her gaze take in the entirety of the decorated interior. Her study is quickly ended as Lord Jerold enters from the back and she dips a deep and proper curtsey, hand still clasped together before her stomach as she does, "My Lord…" She holds there for a few seconds before slowly rising. "My cousin, Lady Igara Frey…" She motions to the smaller noblewoman.
Igara gives her gentle cous a supportive press with hand upon her hand, a girlish smile of affection and a twinkling of witch-hazel eyes, the usual green come all mottled brown in her. She says nothing— but beyond such a smile, what need be said? She lowers her eyes once more and lets go her cousin's hand, but follows close to her side, aspect deferent and demure. She makes her courtsey in unison with her cousin, but only rises from it after she is introduced, and echoes in her light, young voice, "My Lord."
Jerold Terrick offers the short bow from the shoulders appropriate to a lord of higher station greeting a pair of noble ladies. "Lady Isolde. Lady Igara." Not even the hint of a glower touches his composed mein as the Lord of the Roost's eye turns to the Frey girl. "Will you and your lady cousin sit?" he invites, looking back to Isolde.
"As you wish it." Isolde says and with a squeeze of her hand, releases Igara's from her hold to move and find a seat before the Lord. She moves, grasping at her skirts to allow for her to lower and smooth them into place. She shifts once or twice before gracing the table with some formalities first. "I do hope his Lordship is enjoying the events of the tourney and those no within?" That last is meant to hint at something as her keen green gaze lifts to meet Jerold's gaze unerringly.
"I thank you, my Lord," Igara answers the call to be seated, keeping her eyes veiled with her long lashes while with practiced care coming 'round a chair and settling upon it with pristine poise and a careful management of her gown. She, for her part, does not look at the gentleman— ah, she would blush so to do, the child!
"I must confess a degree of disappointment in the events of the tournament thus far, my Lady," Jerold voices in answer to Isolde. "This journey has been less pleasant than those I and mine have made prior to this region. Not the least cause for which being that I have gone so long without word from the daughter of my dear friend, Geoffrey. Seeing you now does my heart good, my Lady."
There is a measure of relief that spreads through her and Isolde can not help but smile at the warmth that the House Terrick usually affords her. The Lady dips her head again, "I am sorry, but that which would have been my father's to see to has become mine in his absence. I am sorry to have been so long in visiting your tent…and I fear I do not bring good tidings." On with it, Stonebridge could be under a dire threat and it need be discussed now - pleasantries held off on. "A Knight, once of your sworn is said to have dueled one of the Ironborn for the sake of a commoner? Is this not true?"
Igara tightens the grip of her hands with one another slightly in her lap as the Lady of Stonebridges issues apology. But for the rest she remains at peace, only registering an abashed countenance at the implications that lie within the Lady's charge.
Her answer has the subtle effect of Jerold Terrick drawing back slightly in his seat as sorrow is smilingly expressed and talk turns toward discussion of the duel. "Ser Kevan Tierney did fight in the contest, yes. He were released from my service when he insisted on carrying through the duel in defense of your smallfolk. While I applaud the man's motive, it could not take place beneath my banner."
"It was the best move for your House, to be sure." Isolde chances a look to her cousin, those green hues returning to regard her father's liege-lord. "My Lord, I come not to throw accusations, but I think it best to warn you and see what might be done to ensure safety." She pauses and shifts, sitting more upright. "The Greyjoys have left. Swiftly and most likely in the night. I need not tell you that this bodes ill for all here. I have Tordane sworn moving to ascertain if they actually set sail or if there is worry to be had." The Lady smooths her dress. "They left nothing and their camp is clean. But…in reflection of this matter. I have come to call on you to discuss matters of …safety. Stonebridge could very well be at risk because of this duel and I see need to bring in added patrols. Do you not agree?"
A small breath is released from the Frey in relief that the action has been condemned, and an unassuming smile alights upon her child-like features. How fine a thing when all are in assent over a matter.
"Lady Isolde," the Lord of the Roost voices, as his expression turns subtly but steadily closer to a frown. "I know not how many times this must be said, but so long as you are vassals of mine, you need fear no danger. The Greyjoys and their ilk have gone," he notes, accepting Isolde's report as fact, "And you are well rid of them. What matters of …safety," he mimics her pause perfectly, "Do you wish to discuss?"
The mention of Tordane still as his vassals forces a faint smile to her lips, "My father spoke of you as a fair and honorable man and I say much the same thing as he." Isolde watches him carefully, finding her resolve weakening some. "There are more than myself at stake here should such a threat become revealed as truth.." Greyjoys that is. "I need more than my own sworn to make certain that this tourney is safe. We may have only seen a small portiom of the Greyjoy forces. There may have been more for all we know. Again, I need to ascertain this." She smooths her skirt in that practiced motion. "I wish to discuss the option of allowing Nayland sworn to pair with my own to patrol the outskirts of the countryside."
Igara has, of course, no opinion one way or the other. She bay be Frey, but she is only here to wait upon her dear cousin, not, certainly, to become involved in things of this nature. She looks for all the world as though the conversation for the most part were going straight through her. One might be forgiven for forgetting she's there at all.
As Isolde speaks to his fairness and honor in making her argument, Jerold Terrick answers, eyes flashing, "Then my Lady may be assured I am in true earnest when I tell you this: should even one of those fifty Naylands march into what is still the domain of my family to protect, I shall raise twice their number and throw them back as invaders myself, until every Nayland crouches on the far side of that stone bridge." A hand is raised to point eastward. "On that you have my oath as a fair and honest man, Lady."
"My Lord.." Isolde starts in soft protest. "I understand your feelings on this matter. I do." She is sincere. "But I have great concern for the welfare of everyone here. I have Houses from all over the region." The Lady continues and she moves her hands some, to keep her thoughts moving. "If there were to be an invasion and our borders were not prepared…it disheartens me to think of what could occur." She then continues without stilling, "My father called you a man of his people. To be so is to protect them. Let Terrick sworn march than as well. It is only through the work of the three houses that we can be sure that this tourney remains a celebration."
Igara slides a glance across toward her cousin, watching her profile as she makes the offer to match forces with forces, scanning her eyes and shoulder and arm on the way back to their demurely lowered position.
"There my lady is wrong," Jerold returns at Isolde's last. "Stonebridge has needed protection from the Naylands, never protection by them. At the mouth of the river your bridge spans sits Seagard, the castle of Jason Mallister. To the west are Terrick lands. What- shall the Ironborn invade from upriver?" he prompts, dismissively. Upriver sit the Twins. "Though as my lady of Stonebridge asks protection, I will be quite willing to call up troops from the Roost to see you and your guests safe."
There is a bold move here to be played and Isolde stays silent. A tick enters her jaw. "My Lord is very gracious…" But the upriver comment earns Igara a reassuring smile before that defined face of the Lady turns back to the Terrick Lord once more. "I realize that you have great distaste of the Nayland and their people." She pauses, giving him that due before she continues, "But my Lord, soon they are to be my family and to be at your borders. I ask of you, as the daughter of your loyal man and brother in all but blood…this is a motion of good faith. Let us bring some semblance of peace to this region. I will never turn my eye from Terrick but if even the Ironborn can not bring us together in the protection of all our people. Than what will?" She cautions. "This would show your Lordship's favor and grace in accepting help, not domination."
"I will do all in my power to see my Lady safe," Jerold states in reply. "I could only do more for a daughter." that said, he shakes his head. "I will not allow any phantom threat of Ironmen to grant Nayland the precedent it needs to march onto Terrick land in the future, Lady Isolde." there is no compromise in the man when it comes to the Naylands. "If you feel unsafe, you have only ever need look to Four Eagles Tower for protection. How many men do you wish brought up to protect Stonebridge?"
Igara nearly goes as far as to lift a hand to her heart as Nayland, along with whose children she was brought up almost as if siblings themselves, is disparaged by the man across the table, a moisture called to her eye to sit like morning dew upon her lashes, heart stung by the insult. But, true to form, she says nothing of it, but keeps her eyes lowered and head bowed deferently to the man who is extending her and her cousin hospitality.
He seems to forget that soon Nayland will ride into these lands. Isolde meets Jerold's gaze, holding it with all the strength she can muster but his failing to hear all her words is something that makes her bolder. "My Lord Terrick. These lands will be Nayland lands." SHe says simply, "You can no more stop the sun from rising than for that to be so. It has been made so by the law." She loses some comfort in her tone. He knows what oath and promise as given and Valda had undone that. "They will not go further than the borders of Stonebridge, you have my word. But as the future Lady of these lands…all to the east of your own. I bid you, remember that I seek only peace and continued communication with you and yours. It is not just I who I am concerned for. I am concered for Frey, Mallister, Terrick, Tordane, and Nayland alike. And all others who traveled to these lands. We can not make this about two houses these next days. It has to be in concern for all. I came to you in good faith..to show this was not an act of aggression to you."
"I honor your word, lady Isolde. Once your marriage takes Stonebridge into other loyalties, I will continue to honor your word that our borders shall be respected," Jerold returns after drawing a steady breath. "But until the Crane banner of your father is brought down, and the Harpy is raised in its place, Nayland troops will not be suffered to cross into the Terrick protectorate. I tell you again: if you fear for your guests, they shall suffer no aggression."
Igara lowers her hand to her lap again and folds it with the other more tightly than before, suppressing the tears as best she can with her head bowed at a more severe angle as though to try to hide the dampness— though actually managing to call more attention to it in the doing.
Unsettled still, Isolde stares at Jerold a long moment. She realizes then how he had used her words and her face flushes. Silence. Cursing herself inwardly, she dips her head. Painting herself into a corner but yet she finds her voice once more. "My lord..should the Ironborn return as a threat while this tourney remains and before my wedding, the Nayland sworn will be allowed to aid." There is a colder way she speaks to him and Isolde seems genuiney disappointed in something. "My Lord, then it is to be as this. Time will tell than who we will deal with each other." She hesitates and rises slowly. "At your leave?" She asks of him, grasping at her skirts with one hand and waits for his word before offering her hand to Igara.
Isolde is not alone in her apparent disappointment as Jerold rises when the ladies does, as it only proper. "I mourn the choices that have brought us to this, my Lady," the Lord returns, regret mixed with resolve on his face. "You have my leave, Lady Nayland."
Igara somehow spots the hand offered to her in the periphery of her vision, and she lifts her own to take it, and to stand, properly but with an air of unsteadiness about her. Still, she does not leave in silence, but makes her way through a courtsey, still pointed vaguely at Jerold though she holds fast to Isolde's hand. "I thank you for your hospitality on this day my Lord," she intones softly— it is proper to say, after all.
There might be said to be a slight flinch at his naming of her. But Isolde lifts her chin and watches Jerold a moment longer. "I am yet my father's daughter, my Lord. Always remember that." Her green eyes study him. "May you and yours find luck in the tourney." She mirrors Igara's courtsey, but less respectful than before. Now it is a mere motion and she nods to her cousin. Her face is rather stoney and she turns, fluidly her movements carry her with the younger Lady towards the exit. Her posture is as straight as ever and she passes by the retainers without a word, leaving the lord to mull over her request. The air outside seems less stifling and she keeps her face schooled as she steers them towards Ryker.
Jerold Terrick looks a good measure older than he had seemed mere minutes before, as he offers an incline of his head to "Lady Frey," in parting, before turning away as his guests take their leave, resting the closed knuckles of both hands on the tabletop.
Igara turns and goes, keeping her head bowed and her hand in her cousin's, though the corner of her mouth pulls upward in a gesture that just might bespeak satisfaction. If anyone should see it.
Ryker has been waiting at the far edge of the Terrick encampment, his hands clasped on the saddle's pommel. The horse does not look like it has even moved an inch. Neither does. Ser Ryker. The man just sits there with a stone face, watching Isolde on the approach. "Were things to have gone well I trust you would look more proud. Perhaps smiling. I see none of that."
She slows as he speaks and she stops next to his horse, looking up at him with Igara's hand still in her's. Her grip has tightened some and the poor cousin has become the physical outlet for her disappointment. Isolde lets out a breath,"Keen observation. Nayland sworn stay outside of Stonebridge unless there is a direct threat." She strikes her gaze away from him, pain held within her gaze. "I will no longer be visiting the Terrick tent. More so because I am certain I am not welcome there anymore." She knew it was going to happen, but it is obvious now that the moment has come it bothers her. "Did you wish to see the Frey Lord?" She asks of Igara, hastily moving on.
Ryker shakes his head. "So be it. If Lord Jerold wants to play the part of the child, that is his right. I will not tell you I regret that you have run out of welcome from House Terrick. However, I will tell you that I understand it can be tough when you are forced to take sides. I believe my trust is well-placed. I will inform Ser Rygar about the troops and ensure these men stay out of Stonebridge for now. Do you have any other wishes right now, m'Lady?"
Igara's eyes wince upward to her hand when it's clutched so tightly, and, "Gentle cous," she begins to whisper, but stifles herself to allow the Lady to talk to Ser Ryker in peace, knowing better than to interrupt their conversation, but letting her hand suffer for it as she looks to the skies, then to her cousin, then across for a brief glance over Ryker's features while he's occupied, sweeping past them and then looking away across the yards before she's addressed. "If there is time, Isolde," she answers. "If not, but let me leave there the gift which I have brought for him in hopes that he shall take good heart in recovery."
Her grip on Igara's hand eases some and Isolde is given to look up at Ryker. "None else…I will be at the feast tonight and I would like it if you would sit with me." She must accept all that comes with the Nayland occupancy of Stonebridge. "A statement must be made." She say softly, lifting her chin before she manages a smile. "I will go with my cousin to see to our relatives." She dips her head to Ryker and then turns to Igara. "Let us go…we can stay and I did bring the roses.." To that she moves towards her gelding and pulls them from her pouch, they are wrapped in ribbons and arranged just so. "Shall we?" She asks of Igara, trying to find some heart.
Ryker dips his head to his betrothed and says quietly, "It would be my honor, m'Lady. I will be there at the appointed time." He rises and takes a breath. "Isolde?" he offers softly. "That took courage. I think deep down you knew it would be that hard. I'm proud of you. But more importantly, and I know you may hate the idea right now, but you should be proud of yourself." There is no smile. He knows its a dour moment for her. So he slips the reigns to the right and the horse moves. "I need to speak with Rygar, though. Enjoy your time with your cousin, Lady Fray."
Ryker may have no smiles, but as he turns to address her, while her cousin is extracting the roses and ribbons, there's one there for him from the slip of a Frey. No eye contact, but the smile could not be for anybody else, fresh and girlish and somehow, subtly, knowing. "I never fail so to do, Ser Ryker," she tells him, dipping into a courtsey before she stands and turns to go and help Isolde to carry the favors.
Even if Ryker meant the words to be an encouragement, it sours in her mood, turned more into hurt than naught else. Isolde looks from Igara back up to Ryker and has no reply for him at first. Finally she speaks, "I will so desperately try to see it as you do…" Her mood is cold and even that forced smile has fled. The Lady of Stonebridge turns and led by her cousin for all that she is distantly accompanying her. Looking outward over the fields of different house colors, she feels numb.