|Summary:||Jarod catches Anton on his way out of The Roost.|
|Related Logs:||The Courier, Apology #1, Apology #2, Apology #3|
|Four Eagles Tower - Courtyard|
|On the way from the stables to the exit.|
|27 August 288|
Jarod has perhaps received word that Lord Ser Anton intends to depart the Roost post-haste, for he's waiting in the courtyard. Leaning against a convenient bit of wall, posture comfortably slouched, watching the stables for out-going horse traffic.
Anton exits the stables riding, though as he's still within the castle, his mount moves only at a walk. He rides the gigantic black destrier he rode in the tilts at Stonebridge, the roan he won in the melee there led behind.
"Lord Ser Valentin." Jarod jogs to approach the riding lord, though he slows his pace before he overtakes him, so as not to spook the horse. He drops a quick bow. "I had hoped to speak with you beforey you took leave of my lord father's house, Ser, but I understand that you've been…uh…occupied. What with the aftermath of the grievous insult my lord brother dealt you and all. I would have words with you on that, Ser, so we did not part in enmity. Do you mind if I walk out with you?"
Anton looks down as Jarod jogs along, though he does not slow his pace at first. It takes a sentence or two, but then he does, the horse's walk slowed further still and he nods. "As you like, Ser Jarod. Though your time might be better spent explaining to your brother the Young Lord Jaremy that a grievous insult was done at all. He seems somewhat confused on that point."
"Lord Ser, I swear to you, on my honor as a knight - which I pray I still have in your eyes as you leave this house - that I knew nothing of my brother's query to King's Landing, or I'd have pushed him to do much, much…much differently," Jarod says, jogging to keep pace until Anton slows some. "I will speak with him on it, m'lord. Anyhow. For my part, I do understand it was a grave blow to your honor, to be called not only a liar and an imposter but to have the honors won by your father disrespected and diminished. I did not know your father Ser Cyric, but I recall a little of him from my time with the Mallisters, and he was a loyal knight of good conduct, and those titles he received after the rebellion were I doubt not hard-won and well-deserved, and should be no less respected than my father or brother's simply because he was raised to the lordship so recently."
Anton continues his progress out of the castle, though he listens to Jarod speak as they go. "I begin to wonder if your family has discussed this with Young Lord Jaremy at all. Or perhaps you all hope that I will call him to account?" He shakes his head, "I had not expected his apology to much move me. But I also certainly had not expected him to actually give further insult." He glances down to Jarod then and replies, "Your half-brother's mistakes do not reflect on your honor as a knight, Ser Jarod. But how this house makes its amends, that reflects on all its members and all who serve it. You all say you are sorry, and most of you say you understand the grave mistreatment I have received at your hands, but then you make offers of recompense that make me think you hold either the mistreatment not so grave or my honor awfully cheap or both. If you mean what you say to me now, Ser Jarod, then speak with your brothers and father. If you value your eldest brother's life, make them understand as you do and act accordingly. I would have preferred friendship with this house, Ser Jarod. I told Lord Jaremy as much and unlike him, I did not lie. But you all make it very difficult to see why I should bother."
"What do you want of us, Ser?" Jarod asks. "I shall speak with my father and brother, rest assured. What would begin to make amends? My brother Lord Jacsen has already put forward some offers to assistance in building your Oldstones, though he and I and my lord father all understand this is not an insult that can be bought away through mere trade. My dear sister Lucienne…well, I understand you have spoken and it is not my place to imagine what the outcome of that was, but I hope you won't hold her in ill-favor because of what my brother Jaremy has done. Would you have us make a personal apology for this before Lord Tully, or our own lieges, the Mallisters? I am given to believe my brother Lord Jacsen already prepares to do so. What can we do for you, Lord Ser?" Mention of the value of Jaremy's life makes him gulp, and gets him slightly wide-eyed.
"Lord Jacsen has made that offer, but he confuses trade with friendship," Anton replies, "His offer is not the insult Lord Jaremy's was, but it misses the point. If I am to believe that House Terrick earnestly seeks ties to my house, and wishes to prove that they truly hold me in the regard I deserve, which is to say the same regard in which they hold every other house of the Riverlands, then they must prove it. They would not seek a tie with another house by offering craftsmen and materials. They would offer to tie themselves to their new friend with blood, as they do with House Banefort, as they had with House Tordane. That is how lordly houses forge ties, Ser Jarod. But they will not, because despite their apologies and their assurances, they believe House Valentin beneath them. My house is newer, yes, and poorer, but we are not beneath them. And I will not be looked down upon. House Terrick is not the only house in the Riverlands."
"I…do not believe my lord father and lady sister so unwilling in that as you suggest, Lord Ser. But it's not my place to speak for them," Jarod says. "Though I will say…I think all our family would worry, were such a deal brokered now, that you would still hold us in poor feeling and your anger - your very justified anger - would carry over to my sweet sister. Or, rather, I'll just speak for myself, I'd be concerned for that, Lord Ser. Repairs must be made, I'll not argue it, and perhaps that's the road for it eventually. But, call it brotherly concern, I'd want to make us better friends again before I saw little Luci's hand go to you. She is very dear, Lord Ser, and it'd grieve us all if her future was decided while feelings were still so raw."
Anton is quiet as Jarod speaks, and for a moment or two afterwards, though at the last, he finally nods. "I suppose I can understand your concern on that point, Ser Jarod. I believe I made clear to your sister that I do not hold her responsible for this, and her own apologies I have accepted. Were House Terrick to be joined to House Valentin in that fashion, I would have no reason to be angry or to think poorly of them any longer, because I would know in my heart and it would be clear to all that they respect me as I deserve." He is silent a moment, more a pause than an ending, and he goes on, "I do value your sister, Ser Jarod. It is clear to me that she is a young lady of much quality, and I would be honored by her hand, no matter the circumstances."
"She has one of the greatest hearts of any I know, Lord Ser, and I'd do just about anything in the world to keep her from harm. Not to suggest you'd do her any but…" Jarod shrugs. "I'm her older brother, Lord Ser, you'll forgive me. Anyhow. I'll not keep you. Will Ser Gedeon be going with you, or is he staying at the Roost?"
"I would have more concern for your older brother, Ser Jarod," Anton replies dryly, "It is he who is in danger from me, not your sister. Though he seems to know it not. Ser Gedeon will stay. This does not concern him, and I would not prevent him from pursuing his birthright. He still has hope you and your kin will aid him in that, though he's almost as little to show for his time at The Roost so far as I have."
"We have given Ser Gedeon shelter while those in Stonebridge - it's clear to me - plotted for his life," Jarod says. "And our protection. What else he needs, my father has already pledged his support of the claim if it comes ot that. It's a difficult situation, but this you've heard from my kinsman who actually make such decisions, I know, so I'll not repeat those points. Anyhow. For my last, I will only again swear that my lord fatehr had no idea what Jaremy did, and the lord of the Roost would never have carried out so grievous an insult to a knight and lord. I am sorry you go from this place with a worse opinion than you came with, Lord Ser. I wish you safe roads, in any case." He drops a quick bow, and seems ready to take his leave of Anton.
"You have done that," Anton acknowledges with a dip of his head, "And for that we are both grateful. I hope that at some point, that pledge of support will involve somewhat more, but only time will tell. So far I have seen only the extremes from House Terrick: paralyzing caution or incredible rashness. I pray to the Seven you all find a middle ground soon. In any case," he echoes Jarod's words, "I am sorry for it as well, Ser Jarod. I will return in time, when I have decided whether a challenge is the only thing that can satisfy my honor or not. Ser Gedeon will know how to reach me, should there be any need to in the meantime. Good day, ser."
Jarod gulps as the word 'challenge' is voiced again. "Lord Ser…one more thing. You have only seen the poorer side of Jaremy, so I can't call you wrong in your estimation of his nature. But he has been a fast friend and beloved brother to me all my life, and a good part of the place I hold in my father's house is due him. His actions were motivated by suspicion and pride and a misplaced need to prove himself, mixed with manipulation by one he should not have trusted nearly so much as he did. But I do not believe there was malice in it. He has pledged to be better, for whatever that is worth. Good day, Lord Ser."
"Had he managed an actual apology rather than yet more insult by claiming I had no greivance with him," Anton replies, "I might be more inclined to believe you. As it stands…" he shakes his head, and then again. "It is a matter I must consider. I am endeavouring not to make this decision in the heat of anger alone, that is the best I can promise you, Ser Jarod. Safe roads to you, as well."