|As My Goodfather Wills|
|Summary:||Isolde seeks words with her host, Lord Rickart|
|Related Logs:||Welcome To The Mire|
|Sevens Island - Hag's Mire|
|The Fortress of the Sevens looms high on its island, the structure holding a commanding view over the surround waters and terrain. The outside of the castle is pockmarked with strikes from siege weapons but nary a crack can be seen in its structure. The island is only half an acre larger than the castle but holds a small grove of trees and bushes, the edges around most of the island dropping at steep banks into the water but for the ferry access.|
|~16 August, 288|
As Rickart had promised, Isolde was only allowed out with guards to follow her. The fortress is something to see, but the air is what she longs for. Gloved hands rub together and the Lady leads the way around the marsh encompassed island, gaze studying over the rather -wet- landscape. Her brows furrow and she lets out a long breath, a sigh that lingers as she lifts her head head to the cloudy sky, the air still humid. Lifting a hand to her dark hair, she pushes it back frm her shoulder, letting it fall free from the soft beige dress so wears to help cut the heat, yet the bottom hem is becoming soiled with her walk.
The expanses of still, shallow waters are marred by the ripple of the Tower ferry crossing the waters from the mainland. Aboard it are several horses, and several men, of who two are armored, their maile glittering in the midday light. In short order, the ferry is moored and the noble party steps off onto Sevens. The presence of the armed guards is clearly explained by the foremost of the disembarking men: Rickart Nayland.
The ripples catch her attention first and Isolde lifts her gaze, following them to the source of the approaching ferry. The Lady shifts on her feet and turns to inspect those incoming only to ascertain that one of the men is in fact Rickart. Her own guards move up towards the young Lady befores he begins to move to greet her Goodfather. As she nears, she leaves the path open to the Fortress but dips a curtsey, her hands taking to her skirts. "My Lord." She intones before rising and smoothing her hands to her skirts. "I trust your journey found you well?"
"Ah, Isolde!" the aged Lord greets in a great voice. "It hardly warrants being called a journey, my young Lady, but yes, it was quite productive." Bootfalls pause as he motions for Isolde to rise from her curtsey. "We've had word from Stonebridge: the wretch who was responsible for some murder a few wekk back has confessed and been executed. I thought you'd be pleased to hear."
That catches her offguard and Isolde lifts a brow. "The killer has been found…I am curious as to the name and station of this killer, if you would enlighten me." The Lady says, moving a step closer as she looks to those guards with Rickart and then back up to him. "Not that it doesn't please me, Goodfather." She then offers her hand to him, "I will be glad to walk with you back inside."
"Some river man. A smuggler, called-" Rickart pauses in thought, before looking aside to one of his men and motioning for them to supply the name 'Grafton Porter. "Yes, Grafton Porter. I'm told the man confessed that he thought to profit better under Nayland rule than under Gedeon Rivers, in admitting his crimes. More the fool, he." Rickart nods once, and motions for Isolde to walk along with him.
The news is odd to her but she merely nods, taking up a step next to Rickart. "I see…" She says and furrows her brows. "I guess I am confused as to why he killed the boy? Perhaps I am misunderstanding this link." She says to him. "You must forgive me. Are you saying that this Grafton Porter also admitted to poisoning the wine that Ser Gedeon received as a gift?" She asks him, her steps slow and measureed to meet with his, their heights basically the same make this an easy feat.
Rickart nod. "He has. Killing the boy who delivered the wine was his effort at tying off a loose end. Were the villain less inept a poisoner, he might have succeeded," the Lord admits with a grimace of disdain. "Although we ought be thankful: if so low a scoundrel as a common smuggler could lay hands on a more mortal tincture, the dangers would be all too great for such as we, my girl."
"That is a puzzlement in itself…" Isolde says and makes no comment as to what she had learned herself. "It is good he was caught, I am sure that you are seeing to the apothecaries and putting restrictions on what can be purchased. It is a rather costly thing to purchase, but in either case." She admits and then tilts her head, looking forward once more. "Such occurences are not a common thing. But I am to wonder, my Goodfather. Why you asked me to come visit with you. I am dismayed by the fact we have little time to speak thus far."
Rickart gives Isolde a bemused sidelong look as he echoes, "Restrictions on what can be purchased. Ha!" the Lord barks out a short laugh. "And the western folk whisper that MY laws are too strict. Pennyroyal is no more illegal than a knife, Lady. It is the hand that wields either that deserves punishment." A short sniff and shake of his head as he regards the path ahead to answer her last, "I wished to speak with you on the future of Stonebridge. You find marriage to my son agreeable, I trust?"
A faint smile curls the edges of her lips and Isolde keeps her thoughts to herself. But when his question of Ryker is said, she tilts her head and then gives a slow nod. "My Lord Husband is an agreeable man in many ways. He is a good man and I thank the Seven he can be gentle with me. It is most likely not easy as I am adjusting to such a change in my life." She is half honest. "I only hope I can be just as agreeable for him, Goodfather."
"I only hope you will soon make me a Grandfather, girl. My brother has grandsons and I despise being outdone," Rickart jokes with a 'not-really-joking' sort of smile. "My nephew tells me that the town is being put into good order, and that your lady mother has been a great boon in carrying out the effective governance of the place. When you do return, be sure to give her my thanks, my girl."
Flushing a little in color, it is only a little that she shows in embarassment. "I intend to do my duty, Goodfather." Isolde says and then lifts her chin a bit. "Lord Rygar has been a great help, I will not deny that, but in truth, my Lord.." Isolde starts and then begins to slow her walk, trying to keep her opinions as an observation. "It would best, if the Young Lord and I were to take on full responsibility of Stonebridge before your passing. In this we can observe and govern in strength before the time comes…Seven keep that far off, my Lord." She says, her head tilting to let her green eyes rest on him. "To be an idle mind is to never foster strength in character or wisdom. One must gain wisdom by their own hands. My Lady Mother knows Stonebridge like the back of her hand and it is why she is Castellon, but if I am to step into her place when the time comes, it is better prepared than unprepared, my Lord."
"Well then, it will please us both to give you many, many years to prepare for that, my girl!" Rickart answers with a short laugh. "I mean to be the oldest man alive before I die, the Seven know Ryker will need to make up those decades he spent hiding at Riverrun." A drawn breath as he muses. "I shall see about getting you and your new husband something to practice your skills upon. But first, the line of succession must be secure, my dear. We live in uncertain times."
Lips part and Isolde slows in her walk to look upon Rickart. "Goodfather.." She studies him to weigh her options. "Succession will not be secure for several months..at the very least." Braving the front. "And it is best to start now in learning such things as the care of Stonebridge and its people. They yet have trust in me and I would like to prove the people right in their belief in me. Though your hospitality is appreciated, for that I am grateful, my place is in Stonebridge beside your son, overseeing the daily nuances and problems."
"My son has fucked off to Terrick's Roost if reports are to be believed," Rickart states with a sniff of disdain. "He knows little of rule and you know less. Your people loved Geoffrey Tordane, but from all accounts your Lord father was an exemplary man and a fine knight, but a poor lord. One cannot be soft with the smallfolk, my girl. The sooner you learn that, the sooner I'll think you ready to govern on your own."
"Lord Ryker's actions are his own, hey may very well have a good reason for going as he did." Isolde says and then looks upon Rickart. "Goodfather. If I am to learn to rule as you see fit, then show me and not keep me hidden away here. If I am to learn, teach me, my Lord." It is said with an even decorum, her green eyes locking with his as she stands beside him. Words would flow in regards to her father, but the Lady holds her tongue. "I am not a soft fragile thing and the sooner others realize this…the sooner Stonebridge can find peace in one rule. My mother is Castellan but I am still Lady of Stonebridge and despite my enjoyment of your home, I will take my leave and return to be just that."
"You will return to Stonebridge when you are dismissed, my young lady," Rickart returns. "Lady of Stonebridge or no, I am your liege lord as well as goodfather, and you will remain where I wish you to remain. Once your husband has returned to where he belongs, we shall see about where you can be of best use to me. So!" he punctuates, clapping his hands and rubbing them together for warmth, "Continue enjoying my home, and should anything from Stonebridge require your attentions, you will be informed."
Isolde stiffens at his words and she does her best to try to swallow her words. The suffers for a moment as they catch and nearly express themselves, her green eyes stolen upon him in those quiet instances. She bites the side of her tongue and then finally speaks, "As my Goodfather wills it.." It is not said smoothly, though she tries. "I will endeavor to learn as much as I can of Hag's Mire during my stay." Frustration boils but she keeps it within, dipping a low curtsey. "At your leave." She bids of him.
"Be sure that you do," Rickart answers with a nod punctuating his dismissal. Lord Rickart's own strides into the tower draw him ahead of Isolde, as he gestures for one of his attendants- the one who had supplied Grafton Porter's name- to approach closer and hear his instructions.