|Back in Town|
|Summary:||Anton Valentin returns to the Roost, to talk about letters and other important topics. Face-breaking may or may not be mentioned.|
|Related Logs:||Scandal in the Making|
|Entrance Hall — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Entrance Hall is more than two dozen feet high with ornate columns hefting the fresco ceiling above all. Plush seating is arranged around one side for visiting nobility while the other has less comfortable slab stone or wood benches for the peasantry. Alcoves dot the walls for more private discussions and sworn Guards patrol this hall at all times and especially during court. Several hallways and doorways lead off to different areas of the castle with a spiral staircase carved neatly into one corner that winds its way up.|
|Wed Sep 21, 288|
Afternoon in Four Eagles Tower. The place is much as it ever is. Lord Jerold is attending to business elsewhere rather than holding court, so the crowd in the entry hall is relatively light. Patrols of guards move through it, and a few castle residents hold private conversations in the alcoves. Ser Jarod Rivers, for his part, is just making his way in from the down the spiral staircase. His footfalls are heavy, and he hops the last two stairs to land with a solid 'Thump!' on the stone floor, so his entrance isn't exactly stealthy. Green eyes flit about the place, taking in the faces present, scanning with perhaps more attention than he'd usually pay to the place during such a calm time.
Jarod likely would have gotten word from border scouts and sentries and that sort that the Knight of Oldstones and a couple of retainers were riding in from Stonebridge, but it probably didn't come much ahead of the man himself. And he has only just arrived, within the last twenty or thirty minutes, maybe. From the stables he has come directly but in no great rush to the entrance hall, striding in where he spots Jarod right off. He nods, "Ser Rivers."
"M'Lord Valentin." Jarod drops into a quick, sweeping bow that seems a natural end to his stride as he comes to a stop in front of Anton. Straightening up, he regards the man. "Your rooms are likely still being prepared. If we'd had word you were returning we'd have done you better honors, but such was not to be, apparently." His tone's quite polite, but it's not precisely warm and friendly.
Anton nods. "As I mentioned to the lady Lucienne just now, unlike certain other unexpected guests, I have no expectation that you and your staff will drop everything to accomodate me, Ser Jarod," he replies, "When I have not written ahead to give you sufficient time to do so. My people and I will stay in town tonight. I have heard enough of the Rockcliff by this point to be curious anyway."
"The Rockcliff has its charms, m'Lord," Jarod says, nodding to that. "I'm sure they'll give you good lodging. And that much courtesy is appreciated, at least. My lord father will want to receive you, though he's occupied at the moment. As is the Young Lord Jaremy, I fear, or he'd do you proper honors as well. He's much buried in preparing for his upcoming wedding to the Lady Banefort. And I think he might be coming down with another bout of that illness he had a couple months back. Hasn't been in the best of spirits of late."
"I am sure they will," Anton agrees, and then nods again, "I am sure Lord Ser Jerold and I will speak as soon as he is able," he says, "And I am sorry to hear that your brother may be unwell. Too much stress, perhaps," he suggests blandly. After a moment he says, "I ought to apologize, Ser Jarod, for the manner of my arrival. It was something of a spur of the moment decision. I owe both your lady sister and your father letters, and upon sitting down once again to attempt replies, decided both would be better addressed in person."
Jarod nods to that. "My brother the Lord Jacsen mentioned some matter of business he and our lord father were waiting on reply about. They'll both be pleased to get it settled, I'm sure. As for my lady sister…" Jarod's manner is still not precisely jolly. "The retainer who told me you were here mentioned you had words with her in the stables. Alone."
Anton nods. "I look forward to speaking with them on it, and settling things as well," he says. A brow ticks upwards at the last, and he nods, "We did speak briefly, yes. She happened to be seeing to her mount when I arrived. Alone might be a bit of a stretch, her maid and several guards were nearby, I recall."
"I'm sure they were. My lady sister is a woman of the utmost virtue and good character. And if someone was careless enough to damage that…well, I'd have to break their face. Brotherly duty, you understand. So…just saying." Jarod crooks a grin and there's a certain amount of humor in the statement, but he's not precisely joking. "Or try to, at least. Not sure how that'd go but…I'd give it a shot."
"She most certainly is," Anton replies, nodding, "And so perhaps I paid less attention than I should have to the matter, trusting in your sister's good sense. I do not believe there should have been any damage done, but if you feel the need to mention it… I will take better care in the future." He cracks a bit of a smile in return, "I would hate to force you into attempting to break my face."
"I've no great ambition to try it, Lord Valentin, but I'll do my duty in face-breaking as I must," Jarod says. Manner getting a little friendlier after that. "Still, I'm in no hurry. Though that reminds me." Face-breaking apparently brings something into his head. Though he pauses a beat before going on. "You mentioned business with my lord father and lady sister. Will you be…umm…settling anything with my fair lord brother while you're here? Jaremy, I mean."
Anton lifts a brow as Jarod's memory is piqued, and then his expression sobers at the question. He is silent for a long moment or two, and then finally replies, "I cannot say that I found the Young Lord's attempt at apology to be in any way sufficient, and indeed it betrayed a lack of care and understanding of the insult done me that I find almost as offensive as the original act. But it is my belief that the rest of House Terrick more fully understands why my anger is justified and sincerely wishes to make proper amends. So I will endeavor to trust in that, and work towards a different sort of resolution."
Jarod deflates a little as he releases a breath, along with several notches of tension he didn't seem entirely aware of he was holding onto. He nods. "That's…I'm most glad to hear that, m'Lord. I hope in time, if you are to know my sister better, you'll grow to know my brother the young lord better as well, and think better of him. He is a very good man, though he is occasionally too trusting in the wrong sort of folk, and this leads him to lapses in…sense. Anyway. I'll speak no more on it if you won't, as you've already heard my thoughts on the matter."
"I have ever before been prepared to think well of the young lord Jaremy, Ser Jarod," Anton replies, "The problem is that it seems he has at no point been prepared to think well of me. Perhaps as I know your sister better, which I should very much like to do, he will eventually grow to learn that being a good man is not something on which the Terrick family holds a monopoly."
"I don't think…" But if Jarod has any want to further argue what Jaremy's opinions are, he seems to think the better of it. "Perhaps, m'Lord. I just hope your visit here ends on better terms than your last one did. Have you seen Ser Gedeon yet? He'll be most glad of your return, I'm sure. Perhaps he has word from those Camden lords which he sent to see about his letters, though he's not spoken on it to us if he's received it."
"As do I, Ser Jarod." Anton shakes his head, "Not yet. I was intending to go find him shortly. I hope he might have had word by now from them, it has been quite some time since they set off to inquire about the letters. I don't suppose you know whether your father has yet written Lord Mallister about the matter?"
Jarod nods to that. "Word's been sent to Lord Mallister on the matter, aye. We're still awaiting a reply, though I don't figure that's too surprising. There's no small distance between here and Seagard, and it's the sort of thing Lord Jason might have to chew on, as to what he wants to reply. Still, it's a matter of justice and lawful holdings of land and title, which the Lord of Seagard holds in very high importance."
"Has it?" Anton seems faintly surprised, "Well, that is good news. Progress of a sort, though yes, I imagine it will be some time before any reply is had." He nods once more, "I will be interested to hear his opinion on the matter."
"As will I. Lord Jason's support would give Gedeon some hope of getting his claim heard at least at Riverrun," Jarod says. "The Tullys hold Seagard in good favor, as I recall from my years in their household. In more love than they have for the Twins, at least, which is still Lady Valda Tordane nee Frey's House, whatever poor lord she managed to marry."
"Indeed, it would seem essential," Anton agrees of Seagard's support. He nods once more as the knight goes on, saying, "Naturally. We will see what comes of it. I would hope for some progress toward a resolution of the matter soon; whatever it may be, some movement on the issue would be an improvement. It has been months already, and the current lord and lady grow only more entrenched."
"The Tordanes wouldn't have been easily moved however it was settled, and Lady Isolde is thought of as a Tordane, whatever the truth of it," Jarod says. "Lord Geoffrey, Seven keep his soul, was well-loved, and she's inherited much of that. Did Ser Gedeon speak of his father often, m'lord? I don't mean to pry, but I know not what he told you of the situation when the pair of you were in the East. Or what he expected to find when he returned himself, in truth."
"She is a Nayland now, whatever else she might have been thought," says Anton with a shrug, "And her mother's daughter for certain." At the question about Gedeon, he shakes his head. "No, he did not. He spoke little of such things. I think even now it must call up unpleasant memories to do so. How often do you speak of things that remind you of the war, Ser Jarod?"
Jarod looks for a moment like he's going to argue with the characterization of Lady Isolde. But he does not. He just mutters, "Aye" in a fashion where it's unclear what he's agreeing with. The question about the war earns a nod of agreement, coupled with a shrug. "Rarely if I can help it, I'll admit. Though for me it is just a matter of unpleasant memories. And not a lordship that might - or might not - be mine."
Anton watches Jarod as he answers, and then shrugs in return. "No, Ser Gedeon's situation is somewhat different, that is true. But for all there is a lordship in the offing, it is balanced by memories several times more unpleasant than yours, if you'll forgive me for saying so. It was not a pretty time for anyone, but you did not see your father and brother cut down before your eyes, powerless to stop it. I do not think anyone who has not experienced the same can truly understand what that does to a person, but I do not imagine as a boy of fifteen I should have handled such a thing much better than he did."
"I'm aware Ser Gedeon's lot in Lady Valda's house was quite different than mine in Lady Terrick's, m'Lord," Jarod replies, tone rather low. "And I thank the Seven I was spared that sort of life. As for Trident…" He once again looks like he's going to say something, but detours into something else. "No, m'Lord, that is not a thing I carry. Though I carry others. We all of us do. Anyway. It's not so much that I wonder on. Everyone was a little mad after all that, and Ser Gedeon had better reason to be than most. Would've been simpler had this come out earlier, before the marriage to the Naylands, but it is what it is now."
"It happened very quickly, that marriage," Anton replies with a nod, "Had word of it reached Oldstones sooner, I think he would have come forward sooner. But whispers only reached us on the road to the tourney and it was not announced officially until the day before it took place." After a beat he asks, "Do you have any idea why, Ser Jarod? I have wondered. Lady Valda seems securely inclined towards the Naylands, and clearly there was no binding agreement for Lord Ser Jerold to bring forth in protest or he would have done so. So why the rush?"
Anais arrives from the Curved Stairs.
Jarod is standing not far from the stairs, talking with Anton. Who's back in the Roost, apparently. It's mid-afternoon and Ser Rivers has spent most of his days devoted to duties in-doors, judging from his non-dusty and non-sweaty appearance. For the moment. At Anton's question, he shrugs. "I guess the Naylands and Lady Valda both wanted it secured as soon as possible, though I can't say for certain. Still, there's wisdom in it. The loss of Stonebridge, agreement or no, was due to the time Jaremy and Isolde spent waiting to get married. Lesson learned, apparently."
"Apparently," Anton agrees, "It was certainly the best move, in hindsight. Good luck for them, I suppose." He shrugs a little and shakes his head.
"Lesson learned, indeed," Anais calls from the stairs, arriving just in time to hear Jarod's last words. A smile flickers across her features, broadening as she approaches the men. "Lord Anton," she greets their latest guest, extending her hands toward the man. "What a very pleasant surprise. I'm /so/ glad you've come back. I hardly even had the chance to speak with you last time, and in all of the ruckus, I never even got to say farewell. Welcome back."
"Indeed, my future goodsister." Jarod offers Anais a rather cheeky grin. He's standing not far from the staircase, talking with Anton. And Anais, who's just descended. "And aye. It appears Lord Ser Valentin has returned to our halls again. I wish it had come with more notice, but his lordship and I have already made our peace on that matter. If you don't see Ser Gedeon before you head to the Rockcliff, I'll make sure to let him know you're back."
"Thank you, Lady Anais," Anton replies, inclining his head in a polite little bow as the lady arrives, "I am pleased to have a second chance to make your acquaintance as well." He nods to Jarod's words, smile faintly apologetic as he confirms, "Yes, I do apologize for not sending word ahead, but I intend to stay in town this evening, so hopefully it will not be too much trouble.
Lucienne arrives from the courtyard, making her way across the hall toward the stairs with one Hattie trailing her very closely indeed. If she notes the trio standing not far from where she's headed, she doesn't make it obvious - no duck of her head nor nod to acknowledge them.
"Of course you're no trouble," Anais assures Anton as her usual escort of guard and handmaid make their way down the stairs as well. "And given that we're not overrun with guests just yet, I'm sure we could find you a room here, if you like." Her smile is easy, as if she knows nothing of any problems between Anton and the Terricks. The 'I'm a Banefort' act should be good for a few more weeks, at least.
"Rooms shall be prepared, though I think his lordship has the right of staying at the inn tonight," Jarod says. "Since he came unannounced, it's only a courtesy, and one my lord father and Lady Terrick will appreciate. Besides, would do to give Jaremy some warning of his return before he's walking the halls and all that." His cheeky grin half-crooks into a smirk. Lucienne is spotted on his periphery. He's not about to just let his sister ghost by. "Luci! Look who's back in the Roost." As if she doesn't know.
"Arrangements have already been made in town," Anton informs Anais, "But that is kind of you, lady. Perhaps tomorrow." He nods faintly at Jarod's words and then turns as he addresses Lucienne, bowing his head politely to her as well. "The lady Lucienne and I crossed paths already this morning," he says.
Aaaaaaand… Lucienne continues several more paces after Jarod calls her name before drawing to a halt. She takes but a second to compose a smile and turn to her dear half-brother, tilting her head gently to one side as she replies, "Buttons." Ah, yes, one good turn deserves another! Nevertheless, she curtsies to the visiting lord, as does her handmaiden behind her. "As the good lord Anton says, we've already had the pleasure of greeting one another. Lady Anais." The lady Banefort earns a more genuine smile.
"Evening, Luci," Anais greets the other woman with another smile, stepping back a bit. "Well. You really must make some time to speak with me while you're here, Lord Anton," she insists. "I'm quickly reaching the point in preparing the wedding where I'm grateful for any possible distraction. So everyone must contribute to my delinquency," she declares cheerfully.
Jarod gets a short "Ha" of a chuckle out of Lucienne's use of the nick-name in front of people. "My sweet little sister." His tone is wry. "I'm sure Lord Valentin won't be contributing to any lady's delinquency while he's here." He turns that cheeky grin to Anton. "He and I've talked on that, aye?"
"If only for the sake of saving your hands, Ser Jarod, I will not," Anton replies, flashing the younger knight an answering grin. He smiles to Anais, "But distraction perhaps I can provide, at least. I hope we may speak soon. At present, I really ought to catch up with Ser Gedeon. But I am sure I will see you all again soon enough. Good afternoon ladies, Ser Jarod."
Lucienne blushes, just faintly, tilting her chin down and shifting her eyes to the ground. "How very vigilant of you, my dear brother," she murmurs softly. Then she clears her throat, as though clearing that thought away, and lifts her face again to farewell Anton and turn more properly to Anais. "Good afternoon, my lord. Did you see another reply came in via courier this morning, Anais?"
"Excellent. Do have a good night, Lord Anton," Anais bobs a graceful curtsey to Anton before arching a brow at Lucienne's question. "Courier?" she echoes, looking to Jarod as well. "No, I hadn't seen one. This morning was…" She trails off, rolling her eyes with a sigh. "It was quite full, thanks to the seamstress who came to take measurements for my /sisters'/ dresses."
Jarod examines his nails - which are, of course, short with a good deal of dirty under them - then looks back up at Anton. Still smirking. "I'd be much obliged, m'Lord Ser." He drops a quick bow to the parting Valentin. "See you later." Straightening up, his attention turns back to the ladies. "Courier? You girls waiting on word of something-or-other?"
"Possibly from the Erenfords? I didn't look too closely, sorry," admits Lucienne apologetically. "Acceptance of wedding invitations, Jarod," she explains, sending the quickest of glances after the retreating Anton. "Doesn't word travel quickly around here," she muses, not talking about wedding invites.
"Ah." Anais seems relieved by Lucienne's answer, smile easing across her features. "Well, that's good then. I think we know where their tents should go." She looks distracted for a moment, trying to work through that, then nods to herself. "Yes. Yes, we have a place for them." She looks after Anton a moment, then back to Jarod and Lucienne. "So…Jaremy's been warned?"
"I should go warn him, come to it," Jarod says. "Along with Ser Gedeon. And Lord Jerold. Jace as well, if I can find him. Lots of warning to be about. He says he's back to discuss a letter from my lord father, so it seems amicable enough. And a letter from you, my sweet lady sister." He tilts his chin at Lucienne. Though he does ask, "When will your family be arriving for the wedding, Lady Anais? I recall your sisters being rather enjoyable company, from briefly meeting them at the tourney."
"I'll warn our father," volunteers Lucienne rather quickly, chasing it up with a smile for her half-brother. "I had wanted to speak with him anyway, and… I'm sure the sentiment will be returned." Her teeth clamp down on just the innermost part of her lower lip, only releasing so that she might reassure Anais before Jarod gets his question in: "He's not here to challenge Jaremy."
"My sisters have been here since the tournament," Anais notes to Jarod, a wry curve to her lips. "They're just…Well. It's all sensitive, you know. They're hoping that the wedding will allow them to meet a few other eligible young men, though. As for the rest of the family, my father said that Quenten would be coming for certain. If my father can't make it, I know my mother will. But they'll all likely arrive the week before the wedding, or later. Must remain vigilant on the coast, after all. And I'm not really worried about that," she adds with a laugh for Lucienne's words. "Just more that Jaremy might try to fix what happened last time and…Well, you know."
"No, he's not, and he says he won't at all," Jarod concurs with Lucienne. "We spoke on that matter some. He still doesn't think Jaremy understands the gravity of the insult done him, but he says the rest of our House has seemed eager enough to make amends that he'll not take it further than it's already been taken." To Anais, he shrugs. "Time seems to have fixed it much as it can be fixed. It'll help once he gets to know Jaremy when he's not being…influenced by mad nonsense. We've had some unpleasantness, but I hope that's over now."
Lucienne's eyes flicker from Anais to Jarod as they both talk, herself just taking in the replies - possibly even a little distractedly. "I… well. I think we need to have a little faith in our dear lord Jaremy," she supposes in a light and airy sort of tone, her shoulders hinting at a shrug. She fixes her eyes to Jarod, then, and asks, "What else did you speak about?"
"I hope it's over as well," Anais agrees quietly, dipping her chin to Jarod. "All the same, I think I'd like to make a very good friend of Lord Anton myself if I can," she adds, smile quirking briefly. At Lucienne's question, she quirks a brow to the other woman, curious. "You seem…unsettled, Luci. Is everything all right?"
Jarod shrugs to Lucienne. "Oh, odds and ends. A bit on the matter of Ser Gedeon's letters. He seems pleased Jace's gotten a letter off to Lord Mallister on the matter. The rest was just, you know, knight stuff." He flashes his sister the most innocent of smiles. "Nothing you'd be interested in, Lu."
"Hmm? Oh, yes, no - everything's fine. I just…" Lucienne's gaze shifts uncomfortably from Jarod to Anais. "Feel a little light-headed, is all." And then back to her brother. "Knight stuff," she repeats with a frown, unconvinced. "Well, I suppose it's well that he's pleased, isn't it? What kind of… knight stuff?"
"Mmm," Anais hums to Lucienne, watching her suspiciously for another moment. "Well, I should be getting on," she smiles faintly, gesturing to her guard and handmaid. "Ever more preparations to be made. I'll see you two in the morning for breakfast?" she asks, already backing away.
"Aye, that's what I said," Jarod replies to Lucienne, grinning even more as she frowns at him. "You know, lances, swords, various ways you can break a man's face. That sort of thing. It's all rather technical, sweet sister. I won't bore you." To Anais, he nods. Also seeming eager to escape right now. "I should go find Ser Gedeon. Then Jaremy. Then…other people in need of warning. I'll see both you fine ladies later."
Lucienne narrows her eyes at Jarod, her arms by her side twitching as she threatens to cross them. "Various ways you can break a man's face," is what she chooses to repeat this time. "Well, I do hope that you promised to show him, should the Knight of Oldstones ever whisk your dear sister away from her unsuspecting handmaiden again." There. Her smile returns, all sweetness and light, coupled with a few innocent blinks. "Breakfast, Annie, yes," she agrees. "I should go find Lord Jerold."
Anais arches a brow at Jarod and Lucienne, but knows better than to get in the middle of that discussion. Instead, she takes the better part of valor and heads away with his own retinue, glancing over her shoulder a few times to make sure Lucienne and Jarod haven't broken into a catfight.
Jarod examines his nails again at that comment from Lucienne, but he does not seem the sort for catfighting. Instead he just shrugs, not seemingly particularly abashed. "I might've mentioned my prowess in the area of chivalrous face-breaking, should such events arise. Aye. Anyhow. Ladies." And with that he pivots on his heel and heads off.