|Beasts and Burdens|
|Summary:||Roslyn questions Tommas, Rutger passes on news to Roslyn. Rosanna is not a burden|
|Related Logs:||Treason to the House and Where To Aim.|
|The wooden stairs are worn and smooth by many years of use and are anchored with heavy planks held tightly within the stone wall. Along the walls occasonally span a few tapestries, mostly in the colors of House Tordane.|
|Tue May 08, 289|
The sun is just setting on the day, the reddish hues seeping through to light the interior of the corridor in a wash of soft rays. Tucked into a natural nook in the curved stairwell, Lady Roslyn is seated quietly on a padded bench that has been fitted away from the traffic of the stairs. Clad in a light dress of pinks, her hair is carefully pinned and her skirts just as precisely arranged, even though her attention has been stolen by the book in her lap that she reads religiously.
Heavy footsteps sound on the stair, echoing up the curve, as Tommas ascends from the the Tower Hall with his hammer hanging heavily in his belt. The large man carefully angles his body near the far wall, gently stepping to the side as a serving ducks by him shyly. He flashes her a quick grin, ducking his head in a respectful nod before continuing upwards with a whistle on his lips.
Roslyn's gaze tears from her book as the large man's shadow falls over the pages, a polite smile touching her own lips in turn for his. She continues watching him for another moment, finally calling out when he moves away a hesitant, "Ser Tommas?"
Pausing mid-step, Tommas ducks his head in a brief, deferential nod to the noblewoman. After a respectful moment, he continues to move further — only to be stopped at the call of her voice. "My Lady Nayland?"
"If you have important business—I am sorry, I had only thought to ask you something, but I suppose it is a rather silly question, anyways," Roslyn replies with a soft smile, an apology written in the curve of her lips as her fingers brush lightly, reassuringly against the paper beneath them.
"No fears, my lady. I was returning from duty, not heading towards it," Tommas reassures with an easy smile. He folds his arms behind his back, adopting a more formal stance and keeping those limbs out of the way of anyone who needs to use the stair. "I'd be more than delight to answer whatever you ask, minding I can that is."
Roslyn's hesitation is even more clear as her lips press together for a moment, words slow in forming as she says, "I had only hoped that perhaps you would know if your lord were upset with me. I spoke unwisely and he assured me that he was not before he had taken leave of me, but…" She pauses, brows drawing briefly together in a wince before she asks instead, "You are close to Lord Kittridge?"
"Only as proper, my Lady. I've been with the Groves for a long time, practically a lifetime," Tommas replies in a warm tone, dipping his head in a short nod. "The Lord Kittridge doesn't take much offense, I doubt a lady such as yourself incurred it."
"Long enough to grow as tall as a grove yourself, hm?" Roslyn teases lightly, though her words are warm with kindness and the weight of her gaze is friendly despite the difference of their positions. "Please, sit, if you do not mind. It hurts my neck to look up at you." She shifts on the bench, folding her book closed. "He is a… much finer lord than I am a lady. I only would hate to give him reason to find offense with our house."
"Oh, I'm not a whole grove, my lady. Maybe a wee tree or two," Tommas refutes with a wide grin that briefly crinkles the corners of his eyes. He ducks his chin in such a way that if he was wearing a hat, it indicates that he'd be removing it in her ladyship's presence. "Certainly, my lady. My apologies, I didn't mean to strain you so." After waiting her to shift, he gently settles his large frame on the edge of the bench. "Nae. I am sure your ladyship is as fine as they come, your house has been nothing but kind and respectful to our own. You had our littlest lady in quite a stir over a visit to that lovely Mire of yours."
Smile slight as Roslyn shifts her book to hide somewhat within her skirt, she replies politely, "It is only a shame that she shall have to wait, but there will be little changed between such a time." A pause. "And how did you find my home, Ser Tommas?"
Tommas watches the shift of the book with a curious flit of his gaze, but lets it slip aside without comment. "I can assure you, your ladyship, that she'll be all the more eager to see it when it is time," he says. "And I found it lovely. All manner of beast and bird I wish I had more time to see. It must have been a right good time growing up there."
"My brothers were much more adventurous than I. There were times where Rutger or Riordan would have to drag me to explore the marsh, or to collect any manner of insects or reptiles that had caught their interest," Roslyn says with a soft smile, shaking her head in slow denial of—something. "Will you return when the Lady Rosanna visits, do you believe? Whenever that may be."
"Did they ever see one of those alli-dials or sommat? I hear they live in marsh like yours, big old scaley beasts that are like lizards but too large?" Tommas inquires eagerly, blue eyes bright with interest at the thought. He makes a gesture with a hand to indicate the shape of a lizard, all thick bodied and slim tail. He sombers a bit at her question, lifting a brow shoulder in a shrug. "It depends on what my Lord and Lady need of me, my Lady Nayland. I'd happily see it again if they are so inclined."
Smile twisting all the brighter, Roslyn leans slightly closer for a moment as her voice drops in low, conspiratorial tones, "Rutger insisted that he saw one when he was a child. I still do not know if he was trying to trick me or if he really did, but you should have your Lady Rosanna ask it of him. Surely he will tell her the truth of it." She nods to the last, smoothing fingers over her skirt with a sudden interest that colors her cheeks slightly. "Then I shall be sure to extend the invitation to both, and hope that we receive Lady Rosanna and Lord Kittridge both within the Mire. Surely you will come, then, as well."
The big knight ducks his head a little, listening to the lady with wide eyes and genuine interest, hanving on her every word. "He just might at that," Tommas agrees wryly. "I'd like to see one for myself someday. It's no Sea Dragon, but I bet it'd be quite a sight." His hand strokes briefly over the head of the large hammer that hangs in his belt, brusing down its side. Watching her flush of colour, the Groves knight offers a reassuring smile in return. "I am certain they'd like that well, my Lady. It is gracious of you to extend it."
"And you too, I hope? Then you may spend more than a night stalking the marsh in an attempt to see an alligator," Roslyn offers with a smile, her worse firm as she redirects the sentence as if that were the most important part of inviting both.
"Alligator," Tommas repeats with delight, getting his mouth around the word to get to sound just right. Alligator. :D The knight offers her a warm smile, dipping his head in a gentle nod. "I'd be well more than delighted, my lady. Thank you for the consideration."
"I've heard their meat is rather good to eat," Roslyn adds in a simple tease, hazel eyes brightening at the delight of the knight beside her. She takes a moment before she adds, "Please, Ser Tommas. I would not ask you to lie to your lord, but if you would refrain… from telling him that I was asking after his mood? I doubt he will be pleased at me for doing such."
"It is." chimes in another voice followed by the steps, thus leading another Nayland down the curved stairs. One hand braced against the pillar that keeps the trellis on it's way. Rutger offers a slight smile towards his Sister, whom he can barely see over the shoulders of one tall. "Ahh, Ser Belte." A grin there given to the giant of a man's head. "You could support the whole of the tower on your shoulders. I always marvel at your size." And somewhere in Rutger's head he ponders if that is what the ladies say. Still a shake of his head and he tries to peer around to Roslyn. "I am glad I found you, Lyn." Rutger calls from behind Tommas.
"I dont' want to eat 'em." Gasp. "And, don't you worry, Lady Nayland. Lord Kittridge'd think nothing of it, but if he doesn't ask — I won't mention it." The big knight offers her a kind smile, then rises to his feet to greet the Lord. "My Lord Nayland," Ser Belte returns, vacating his seat to offer the man a short, solid bow and steps to the side. "I am not so large as that, just large enought," Tommas assures. He gestures towards the seat next to Lady Roslyn, indicating that the Lord might sit.
Seated with a book half buried within her skirts, Lady Roslyn looks up at her brother's voice with the barest of mischievous glints in her gaze. Whatever her previous conversation that may have mentioned him, she does not immediately say and ruin the surprise. "Thank you, Ser Tommas," she only says quietly, nodding her head to him before turning her attention back to her brother. "Are you, Rutger?"
"Please, Ser Tommas, call me Rutger." yes, someone is trying to get in better with the Groves here in the tower. "I was looking for you today, actually Ser. I needed your help with something." And Rutger draws silent for a moment, so as to keep that tidbit back. You never know what ears are aboot. "Pray, I hope I did not interrupt something private- I merely heard voices after seeing to a message.." And then he nods. "Indeed. I need to ask you a question-It will only take a little of your time, I shant prize you away from a fine man of Groves for long." he states, before coming down to join the three and full block passage. "You were with Riordan the other night, yes?"
"As you wish, Lord Rutger," Tommas agrees, folding his hands back behind his back and nodding briefly at the Nayland. "I am at your disposal, my lord." He stands to the side as the Nayland nobles speak, waiting to see what the Lord has to say to him and flashing the Lady Roslyn a brief smile for her thanks.
"We speak often, when we have the chance. Which night was this?" Roslyn questions curiously, looking only briefly towards the large knight as her brother speaks on needing him for something.
Coming down the stairs at a pace perhaps a touch quicker than is strictly appropriate for a lady — she still has moments of youthful enthusiasm, okay? — is one Rosanna Groves, trailed by a young, beleaguered handmaiden. "Oh, Tommas," she says cheerfully upon spotting the giant, coming to a halt at the nook. "There you are. Oh—" Coloring just a touch, she dips in a curtsy. "Lady Roslyn, Lord Rutger. I apologize." Her eyes linger far longer on the latter than the former.
The pace leaves a lot to be desired for the lady's handmaiden, face flushed already. Unfortunately, Laurel is a slightly chubby young girl, all round cheeks and round curves. She almost runs into Rosanna's back, but catches herself, looking relieved not to bowl over a noblewoman and to have a moment's rest.
"I am sorry, Ser Tommas. My need for you is getting a package from the square tomorrow.. I need your expertise on some things, as you know..People better than I do at the moment, and I would like your opinion." As cryptic as that may be. Only then does Rutger look back towards Roslyn. "The night in question involves Ser Westerling, and our brother. I was told some things by a lady who..well would see me in our brother's role." Trying to remain slightly cryptic while speaking to his sister in front of the giant man. "An apparently us kicking him out?" A brow raised before he is looking up the stairs And there he spies Rosanna. A smile comes quick to his lips as he returns the look. "Lady Groves." said as his tone and voice softens. "I hope there's no fire behind you. I suspect we are blocking the way quite thuroughly."
"Certainly, my Lord. Provided that my own Lord and Lady do not require me," Tommas agress graciously, like this is a completely normal request that is in no way so cryptic. The large knight remains standing to the said, flashing his small lady a bright grin at her arrival. "Lady Rosanna. I was just heading your way."
"Kicking him out? I asked my guard to follow him, yes, but nothing further. I was under the impression that the knight was leaving of his own free will, to visit Broadmoor," Roslyn replies carefully, a furrow of her brows and a slight frown that is likely more to do with ladies scheming to replace one brother with another than her own actions. "If my guard misinterpreted my order, I shall certainly speak to the man."
"Oh — no, my lord," Rosanna says to Rutger, flushing a bit brighter, but with an irrepressible smile tugging at her lips. "I'm sorry. It was terribly unladylike. I'm just — well. Seventeen. And all that. Please don't tell Septa Day, or I'll never hear the end of it." She turns her look most emphatically to Tommas, and makes good use of those big brown eyes to earn his agreement.
Laurel glances in a quick flicker towards Lord Rutger as he speaks, but she is not nearly as dedicated a guard as Septa Day and her gaze soon fixes on the edge of a tapestry with intent interest. My, look at the thread they used.
"I highly doubt your guard misheard anything. We have fine men, Roslyn. It's more or less the idea that someone would see our family as their pieces in all this. As so, I think you should let father know, and push our issue." That done he nods. "I'll be sure to let Riordan know as well. I had thought that the story I was being fed was crock and bull." And with that Rutger is letting the matter lie
A grin is passed back to Rosanna. "Ten and seven." he repeats. "You wear it fine my lady." A slight bow. "And you did nothing wrong- As for your Septa knowing- I will keep it close to my heart." He won't vouch for Tommas though, Tommas can handle himself.
"I did nae see nothing, my lady," the large knight offers faithfully with a short shake of his head. Tommas's brows quirk conspiratorially, gaze shifting towards where Lyn stands. It shifts to Rutger a moment later, smile sharp. "Aye, Ten and Seven. It's a good year, long past for some of us, isn't it, my Lord? Your lady sister was telling me you used to hunt alligators" — that word has a sound of reverence — "in the Mire?"
"I had spoken of the time you claimed to see an alligator in the marsh," Roslyn adds with a hint of a warm smile, glancing towards Rosanna to include her where she continues, "But, Riordan nor I ever saw it. I think he was just trying to scare us, since we were younger than he."
"Did you really?" Rosanna says, smile widening with bright interest in Rutger's alligator-wrestling habits. She looks a bit humorously disappointed to hear Roslyn contradict them. "That seems rather an unkind way to treat your younger siblings, Lord Rutger." Says a youngest sibling.
"Oh that time.." Rutger starts, before he is laughing. "Yes, well I will still contest that log was an alligator. And I will do so till the day I die" a grin there before he is looking back towards Rosanna and Tommas. "To answer your question though, Ser Tommas. I have hunted alligator once-beyond claiming I saw one with my younger siblings." A glance given back to Tommas. "It was with my father, and another knight. I was still young then, so I did not get to wrestle it as I hoped. I had to stick it with a boar spear should it turn ugly." A grin is given back to Roslyn. "What made you think of that?"
"I imagine it is quite the thing, my Lord," Tommas replies lightly, dipping his head in a brief nod. "I've hunted boar often enough to know how ugly that can go — and they don't have the advantage of water." He lifts a hand, rubbing at the memory of a wound on his chest, eying Rosanna with a slight grin. "I think it a rightly enough thing, my lady."
"Ser Tommas had spoken on them, as we were discussing the wildlife of the Mire. Perhaps you must volunteer to take him hunting alligators as well, when the Lady Rosanna can come for an official visit," Roslyn replies easily, her smile light where it is flashed towards Tommas and then her brother.
"You are only saying that because you enjoyed terrorizing your poor sisters," Rosanna sniffs at Tommas, "just like Kittridge and Nico—" She quiets rather abruptly, catching her bottom lip between her teeth, and draws her gaze back to Rutger and Roslyn with a rather forcible change of topic. "I hope it will be soon, Lady Roslyn. As soon as Kittridge allows."
"I would see to it again, but I don't know any man brave enough to do it." Or stupid, on the flip side of that dangerous coin. There's a nod though from Rutger as he speaks. "Aye, I've yet to go boar hunting, but I would love to. We do not get many boar through the sevens. Plenty of fish and many water fowl. Those are games of skill in and of themselves." the Nayland admits.
At Rosanna's words though there is a pause-eyes watching the Lady's facial expression before a small questioning look is given to the Groves' knight.
"Aye, as do I, Lady Rosanna. I do earnestly want you to see my home and what all it has to offer." in terms of inheritance and everything else he has spoken on. "And to take your brother hunting or fishing with me again."
Tommas smiles widely. "I like beasts just fine, my Lord." Whether stupidity or just preference, the big man doesn't seem perturbed by the thought of chaning the mysterious alligator through the swamps. Of course, at his size…he may have little enough to fear. "I never did, my Lady." He looks at Rosanan with a gentle smile, "I'll remain until you recall what you wished to seek me for." He moves up the stairs a few stepss, positioning himself behind the Groves lady and removing himself from the active conversation of the nobility. Waiting.
"Some day soon," Roslyn murmurs, "Your brother only cares deeply for you, and does what is best." She glances towards Tommas as he withdraws with a slight smile for the man, though she soon turns her attention back to her own brother and the Lady Rosanna.
"I'm sure he is," Rosanna agrees with Roslyn in a dutiful manner. "I'm sure it will be soon. There's no reason it shouldn't be, right?" RIGHT.
Rutger grins. "I do hope so." Rutger says before bowing slightly to Rosanna. "Happy nameday, my dear Lady.." his voice soft, before he looks to Roslyn. "I need to find our brother, please write of this gaming with us to our father-so he knows what our true friends thing." A shake of his head, and he is heading down the stairs.
"Of course. I would hate to bother him over so little a thing, but since you asked," Roslyn replies, a hint of a warm smile playing at her lips that she shoots towards Rutger as he leaves. She moves to only touch Rosanna briefly on the shoulder where she adds, "Happy nameday, Lady Rosanna. I must see to what my brother asked, but we shall celebrate soon."
Rosanna's excitement is palpable, even as she stays appropriately still: it's a buzz of self-centered energy that seems to hum from her. Still, she manages to keep her cool enough to curtsy gracefully to Roslyn. "Thank you, Lady Roslyn. You're so kind to be so generous with me. And good day, Lord Rutger." Her eyes linger on the man as he climbs down the stairs.
"You make it easy to allow the people around you to feel generous." It is an easy, polite response, paired with a simple smile as Roslyn manages as graceful a curtsy as she can on the stairs. And then, where her brother descends, she draws up the stairs and back to her own rooms.
WELL ROSANNA WILL GO — somewhere. The end.