|Summary:||The Lord and Lady of Stonebridge count the sworn.|
|Stone Walk — Stonebridge|
|Open walk to the Tower|
|Tue August 2, 288|
The day is late, erring near the evening meal. The Lady of Stonebridge has gathered the sworn of Nayland and Tordan together along the stone walk leading to the tower itself. She stands, her dress in a green done with russet orange trim, hastily made so as to portray her new house. The banners of both houses stand together in a quartet along the stone of the walls. Standing beside Ryker at the fore, near the entrance to the tower, she looks out over her father's men, studying them and their resolve. Her head turns to look up at her husband. "Shall I speak first, my Lord or would you liek to address them of what is to come as their Lord?" She asks him, shifting in her place as her near black hair is wound down in an intricate plating.
Ryker stands beside his wife, hands behind his back as his eyes turn over first his own guard, and then the Tordane sworn. Whatever the man is thinking is carefully guarded behind a marble expression and cold eyes. At Isolde's question he dips his head. "By all means. Please. Address them, m'Lady." He's never stopped calling her that.
A slow nod is given and the Lady lifts her hands to draw the attention of those whispering amongst themselves. Isolde offers a gentle smile before her voice lifts, "Good sworn of Nayland.." She dips her head, "Good sworn of Tordane….with the union of myself to the Lord Ryker Nayland, Stonebridge has found new blood and purpose. You have been gathered today to see to the final turnover of old to new. You have a new Lord and Lady, some sworn to one, some sworn to the other. It is the Sworn of Tordane I address in this. You are bid to swear your oaths to your Lord and Lady once more, you will fight beneath the Nayland colors and continue to defend Stonebridge as you always have." She pauses, letting that sink in as there is shifting but no talk. A few of the Tordane look to the Nayland sworn, but there is no movement there as most of the attention is set on the Lady.
Ryker finally speaks up, his voice nearly barking with the first words into the evening air. "You will defend this tower as you have for years before. You will defend this town and its people.. just as you have before. You will swear an oath defend the lives of the family here, the same family that honors the memory and service of the Tordanes to their people." He pauses. "Guard! Run the colors." While it happens, he speaks up once more. "Any man who wishes to leave the service of the house may do so now by stepping aside. There will be no retribution or malice held."
Isolde looks to Ryker as he speaks and then slowly outward to read the faces of the men that once served her father's family. Fingers press together and she watches. There is a shift at the Lord's last but no one yet steps free to leave service. But finally one steps forward. It is a creak of leather armor that sounds and he looks from Ryker to Isolde. He dips his head, "By my Lord and Lady's leave.." Expecting and yet hoping against such things, Isolde gives her nod, "The Lady so pardons.." She gives it with all the graciousness she can offer. Another rises to do just the same, bidding his leave as well. But as for the two, the others stand strong, unmoving even as new colors wave in the breeze. Isolde bids the second pardon as well and then looks to her Lord husband for his leave to the men.
Ryker watches first the one man and then the second. There's no hatred or surprise. There are always at least one or two by his experience. Coupled with the unpopular Nayland name? No surprise. "The Lord pardons. Thank you for your services, gentlemen." He nods his head to them.
Rising once given leave by the nobles, they stand and turn, some watching them with understanding but more than a few give them disapproving looks. Once they have left, Isolde looks to those that remain. "Would those that yet remain face to the east along the path, we will call for your oaths." She reaches her hand out to Ryker for him to take so that they may move to each sworn and speak the oaths for them to accept.
They walk forth together, slowly and the Maester follows to give names, but Isolde knows them and she calls on them by name, the oath asked is as follows to each. "Will you swear to serve the Lord and Lady of Stonebridge, Isolde and Ryker Nayland in duty and honor? Will you lift your blade to protect us and do the justice we seek? Will you defend the people of Stonebridge and see to our word?"
Ryker takes his wife's hand and moves down the steps with her. They take turns administering the oath to each of the men standing before them while the Nayland sworn look on to their new brothers in arms. It does not take too long but eventually they finish and come back up towards the stairs and turn back to face thr group.
With ease she sees to them all and Isolde, once finished smiles truely as they walk back up to the fore. Once there, the Lady turns, nodding her head and looking to her husband. "My Lord, it is you to dismiss them." She keeps her hand rested atop his, smile forming her lips as she waits for him to take the charge of his new guard for Stonebridge, once Tordane and now Nayland alike. Her fingers curl around his hand as she takes note of the number who stayed. Familiar faces all and she finds her spirits rising to such things.
Ryker feels the fingers curl. She doesn't have to. But she does it anyhow. Its for them. "Men, your oathes and have been spoken and accepted. As your Lord, I stand before you proud to see your faces. I hope that in the coming weeks we will become to know and trust each other far more than the last few weeks have allowed. But for now? Embrace the night. You are dismissed." He squeezes her hand back and smiles.
Isolde dips her head to them as they all give their bows in varying depths before turning, some moving to duty, others to retire. The Lady lets her smile remain for the time before she shifts and gazes up at the orange and green that many of the banners now hold. Strange to see it. She bows her head, "My Lord, if you would see me to the Hall, I would like to dine and then retire for the evening. I ask that you join me if it please you." Her green eyes lift to look at him, a very ghost of a smile on her lips.
Ryker stands with his wife, still holding to her hand while the men disperse to their lives. When her voice lifts, though, his eyes turn to her and wait until her own rise to meet. He dips his head to her. "It would be my pleasure, Iz. You need not ask, only lead me to where you wish me to go for tonight." He leaves that open to interpretation and bows at the waist a touch, his free hand extending in gesture for her to take the first steps.
The use of her name touches a smile to her lips and Isolde dips her head. "To supper and then to rest…I bid you join me for both, Ryker. And all the conversation to be had between." It is a peculiar study, the rough tumbles that have strengthened their bond. But there it is, two weeks worth and probably the most well worn and tried first days of a union anyone has ever seen. Yet while the tempest roars at their backs, they stand yet and not apart. Given heart and now with sworn to support them, she takes the first step to re-enter the Hall, the smells of the evening meal rising.