|Black or Death|
|Summary:||Ser Jarod comes to Tordane Tower to beg the Naylands to allow wayward Ser Jaremy Middleton/Terrick to take the black rather than face execution. Ser Rygar hears him.|
|Related Logs:||A Study in Peace; Night Ride Out; No Damn Sense|
|Tower Hall — Tordane Tower|
|The entrance to the tower opens into a larger common room for receiving guests. Effort has been made to bring warmth and light to the interior, as well. Rugs have been hung from the stone walls as well as placed on the floor to bring at a welcoming ambiance. There is a large table with several chairs off to the left of the door, a cooking hearth against the back wall, and a wooden staircase that leads up. An antechamber behind the stairs is where the servants live and bed down.|
|Sun Nov 20, 288|
As the noble, the knight, and the ignoble knight arrive at the tower common room, Ser Rygar has just set boot to flagstone, stepping off of the tower stair, and passing a short look over the entrants. A short nod each to Bruce and Rafferdy, before greeting flatly, "Ser Rivers. I bid you welcome to Stonebridge in the name of Lord and Lady Nayland." A motion to the table. "Sit, if you wish. Captain, cousin, will you join us?"
Rafferdy gives a slight bow to Rygar, and then follows the man to the table. He takes a seat.
Jarod walks in in company with Bruce and Rafferdy, posture straight, manner serious, and with a grimness that the generally jovial man wears uncomfortably but that he certainly can't lift at the moment. "Ser Rygar. I thank you for granting me the audience." Short bow, without the flourish he usually employs, and then he goes to sit.
"Aye, Ser Rygar." Comes Bruce's short, businesslike answer. He's not got much to say, though the man removes his shield from his back and hands it off to one of the Guardsmen he entered with before continuing on.
For Rygar, a grim manner and stiff posture are as familiar as a comfortable pair of boots. The thin knight moves to his chosen chair, as a retainer places a clay pitcher and several cups out on the table to slake the thirst of any present (or to extend formal hospitality to any Terrick-aligned knights who might fear for their own safety). "I shall pass your thanks to the Lady Castellan, Ser," he returns to Jarod's offered thanks for the audience.
Rafferdy pours himself a drink. It gives him something to do so he doesnt have to be noble-like in this preceding. He takes a long, slow drink, so he doesn't have to speak, too.
"Ser, I have heard what Ser Jaremy has done, and I come not to beg or bargain him out of proper justice," Jarod begins. He fixes his green eyes on Rygar. Not even blinking toward Rafferdy's drink, though he might well note the sound of pouring. But. Time enough for that later. "I have from Young Lord Jacsen himself, the sentence given here will result in no challenge or retribution from the Terricks. Ser Jaremy is not a Terrick anymore." He pauses a beat. "But he remains a knight, Ser. Perhaps not one who ever deserved to be dubbed, nor who earned it. He was a highlord's son whose title assured him a good squire's post, his arms and armor paid for out of my lord father's treasury rather than by either his own labor or battle. He has proven himself to be truly lacking in honor, duty or any respect for the rightness of law." So begins his 'defense' of Jaremy. Maybe he's working himself up to it. "But he is still a knight, Ser. And that's still something."
Bruce almost seems inclined to hang back amongst the other retainers for a moment, hesitating, but evidently decides against it when he takes a seat. His expression remains muted.
"If you suggest that his knighthood entitles him to trial by combat, the captive Ser has already called for such," Rygar notes plainly, a frown twisting his stern neutrality. He draws a breath to go on, but a moment exists for correction.
Rafferdy simply watches, curious as to what the Terricks want here.
"Of course he fucking has," is Jarod's very tired response, before he can censor himself. He folds his hands on the table, so he can irritably tighten his knuckles without being too obvious about it. He clears his throat. "I would request to speak with him before…that goes forward, Ser. As I think it folly, and I think there is a better way for justice to be served. My suggestion is, Ser Jaremy has not earned his knighthood, and a great honor has been wasted upon him. But there is a place, Ser, where he could still be made use of. Where he might manage, even after all he's done, to be of some better use to the realm. And it would still serve justice, just as well as his death, either with his head on a spike or your blade through his chest. I ask you to consider, Ser, that Ser Jaremy be sent to the Night's Watch, or at least that he be given that option before any…err…trial. That he be allowed to take the black, and live in both service and exile on the Wall for the remainder of his days."
Bruce is silent the entire time that the Terrick and Nayland are talking, but he interjects after Jarod is done. "What Ser Jarod suggests is not without precident, Ser Rygar. King Robert pardoned a number of his most staunch opponents in that way. Those who weren't willing to bend the knee."
Rygar hears out the suggestion of Jarod without a flicker to his expression. He is silent a moment, turning his eye aside to Bruce as the Captain of the Guard makes mention of precedent. A slow exhale precedes his words, "That there is precedent I do not doubt, Ser. Even those guilty of High Treason have been exiled to the Black in lieu of deserved death." He draws another slow breath through flared nostrils, ordering his thoughts before giving them voice. "I will be plain, Ser: your half-brother is still seen by the smallfolk, rightly or not it matters none, as a Terrick and as your Father's son. He sought to raise an insurrection against the lawful rule of this land, and it looks to uneducated eyes as though House Terrick will go to any extent, legal and otherwise to regain Stonebridge. This is a perception we cannot suffer to allow." He muses further. "Should your house offer some gesture of public good faith to assuage such perceptions, I would not be averse to allowing Ser Jaremy the dignity of the Black."
Rafferdy opens his mouth to say something, but then thinks better of it, and simply remains a quiet observer.
"If that is true, Ser, than in death Ser Jaremy would be a martyr. A romantic hero to be sung of by your smallfolk, which I suspect is what the fool had in mind, and not an idiot who led other fools to be butchered for a worthless vanity cause. I see not how this betters the perception of the smallfolk. If anything it is perhaps to your worse," Jarod says, green eyes hardening. "Anyhow. I came here not to make deals or trade favors for my brother's life, and if you think I shall allow Ser Jaremy's follies to further beggar my family, then you mistake me. If your ruling is that he dies by this, than he dies by this. None will say it wasn't earned. But you granted me the courtesy of one knight to another when you sent me that letter. I came here in similar spirit. That is all I ask, Ser, that is all I offer. If you seek restitution, you have his fine arms and armor, which are already a fairer ransom than most anything you could bargain from me at this table. I can also convince him to make a public apology to the people of Stonebridge before going into exile. But my brother has nothing more to offer from the family he forsook, and I have no more to offer for him by my own request given by my own honor. Such as you may judge it to be."
Bruce nods approvingly twince, once at Rygar and once at Jarod, though he remains an observer.
"There is yet enough mystique clinging to the black rags of the Night's Watch that he could remain an absent gallant, Ser," Rygar opines. "A dead man can muster no hopes of return. It takes more than execution to make a martyr, Ser Jarod: it takes sympathy, and Jaremy Terrick were fool enough to see the flower of his good will dead in the field." That said, Rygar regards Jarod another moment. "I imagine you will wish words with the prisoner, to sate the suspicions of your kin as to his identity, Ser?"
Rafferdy follows the conversation with his eyes, and takes another drink.
Jarod went a shade or so paler as he went through that bit, knuckles now clasped very tight on the table. He keeps his jaw set, though. And he nods short at the last from Rygar. "I would wish that, Ser. Thank you."
Bruce leans back in the seat, keeping his mouth shut.
Rygar inclines his head once. "The Castellan has given permission for you to do so," he relays to Jarod. "Your thanks will be relayed, appropriately." Leaving his own cup untouched on the table, the stern knight rises. "At your leisure, Ser."
"I will require some time before I see him, Ser," Jarod says, still managing to keep his eyes on Rygar. "I will…umm…" He clears his throat. "I shall need to compose two letters, to be sent off with the men that accompanied me. One to Lord Jerold Terrick at the Roost, the other to Riverrun to the Young Lord Jacsen, Lady Evangeline and Lady Lucienne. May I have space to write them, Ser?"
Rygar nods curtly to the request. "Parchement, ink, and quill will be provided, should you lack them." A look aside to one of the retainers who wait against the walls makes the answer and order. Then his eye goes back to Bruce and Raff. "Captain, cousin. My thanks for the escort you have offered this knight."
Rafferdy stands as Rygar does, and he nods at Rygar. "It was my pleasure, Ser." He looks at Jarod, "It was good to get to know you, Ser Jarod."
"Aye, Ser Rygar." Bruce gets up and does an about face, to assumedly attend to things outside of this room.
"Good on me as well, Lord Rafferdy. Give your brother my best. Ser Bruce." Jarod offers both parting men a nod, then another to Rygar at the offer of parchment, quill and ink.
Rafferdy waits as everyone leaves the room. He lingers however, turning to watch Rygar, laying his hands behind his back.