|Summary:||Jaremy meets with the Lords of Camden for some rather crucial conversation, mainly some of Camden's first diplomatic relations with Terrick in years.|
|Sitting Room — Four Eagles Tower|
|One of the Terrick's small, comfortable sitting rooms with a tray of small food on a center table surrounded by comfortable chairs.|
Dinner has not yet quite arrived, but the Terrick household has done its best to entertain guests from not one but three noble households, not counting their own. More servants have arrived from the lower, laying town of Terrick's Roost, and Four Eagles Tower has come to life with servants passing through corridors as its life's blood.
The arrangement has been made now that Jaremy is out of bed to meet with Lord Camden in one of the sitting rooms for some wine and a small bit of food before the feast. Already present, the guarded door has been left open while Jaremy stands, looking out one of the windows as he waits for his guests.
The Young Lord needn't wait too long, for as soon as Sarojyn had received word that Jaremy was available to meet with him, he'd made sure to notify his younger brother, Dafydd, and from there he moved to follow the servant towards the sitting area. Once the doorway is reached, there's a slight bow of his head, followed by a murmered thanks and then he's slipping into the room.
Eyes play briefly around the room and the arrangements and when they come to settle upon the form of Jaremy by the window, the hint of a smile begins to creep upon Sarojyn's lips. Footfalls begin to take him in that direction and as he begins to draw nearer, he's offering, "Lord Jaremy. It pleases me to see that your health is recovering and you are now longer bed ridden."
There is no way he'd admit it, but the bread and cheese here is.. different. Enjoyable. Doesn't have that musky, underlying cow flavour that he gets so often in the various Inns that have cropped up between home and here. Dafydd holds a crust, having eaten the insides, and as he enters with his brother, twists around, looking for a cur used specifically for the purpose of handing uneaten crusts.
Not finding one, Camden's Captain of the Guard holds the piece somewhat awkwardly before searching for a spot to drop it for whatever vermin, then, may play within the rooms when no one sees.
Following his brother in, Dafydd pauses just after entering, the crust no longer in hand, and wiping his fingers against each other, inclines his head in greeting upon full entrance to the room. "Young Lord."
Turning at their arrival, the Young Lord of Terrick's Roost unclasps his arms from behind his back and offers them a bright smile. "Seven days in and out of sleep in one room, I've found, has resulted in an absolute desire for travel, Lord Camden. In fact, one of my first thoughts was that when things calm I can't wait to vest your invitation to Tall Oaks." His greeting, immediately plunging into the conversation, is accompanied by an offered forarm to Sarojyn. It will next be offered to Dafydd.
"Please, come in and make yourselves comfortable. The wine is chilled and I've had some cheese brought up. I've been waiting long for this conversation, and I don't intend to miss another moment of it."
There's a slight dip of Sarojyn's head to Jaremy as he speaks, followed by a pleasant smile at the mention of his previous invitation, "You would be most welcome in Tall Oaks and I think you would find the atmosphere to be a pleasant change from that of Terrick's Roost." That offered forearm is accepted for the 'handshake', his hand moving to grasp the forearm as his own is offered. "I must admit I was worried when I arrived and heard you had drawn ill. But, I can see that everyone's prayers were answered."
When the 'handshake' ends, he's lifting a hand to motion towards Dafydd, "My youngest brother and Captain of my Guard, Lord Dafydd." With that introduction done, he's turning and moving towards one the seats, drawing his cloak to one side of his body as he lowers down into it. "I think my brother would agree that I've kept to our lands for far too long and have been avoiding conversing with those that border our lands. For that, I do apologize."
When the more informal greeting is made, Dafydd steps forward to grasp the man's arm in a show of friendship before stepping back once more with the words, "Well met," and follwed quickly with, "Send word as to when you arrive so I can have an escort meet you." Not that Camden's roads are bad, or that the Trees hide those who would do harm. All for show…
Drawing his hands behind his back now in a more casual stance, the Camden Captain shifts his weight on his feet, looking around again for a place to alight that will put him within reasonable reach of the cheese and wine. After the other two have taken their rests, of course. Nothing like protocol.
"You have some fine bakers." A quick glance is given to his brother, a ghost of a smile offered and gone; who knows where his crust is now! "And I enjoyed the cheese. What is that.. with the lines of blue winding through…?"
Dafydd drops the question, however, as his brother makes apologies for his absence. Far be it for him to say such a thing in front of allies, potential allies, or.. anyone outside the family (or outside yelling range), but given such free rein for the moment, he smiles tightly, inclining his head in his brother's direction, "It is good for him to get out. Travel is good for the spirit."
"Pleased to meet you as well, Lord Dafydd. I'm glad to see the two of you have been enjoying your stay so far. One of the things that I definitely do enjoy about the Roost is the food. With the bays to the west and a good bit of land for farm to the east and some forest, we tend to have a wide variety, including the blue cheese you mention, Dafydd. I shall send to have some prepared for your ride home."
Stepping across the floor to the center table, he stirs the chilled strawberry summerwine and pours each of them a glass. Though proper manners would see to his guests first, there is a strange, subtle manner to the way Jaremy fills his own goblet first. He feeds himself from the same pitcher, a sign he can be trusted indeed.
Taking up his mug, Jaremy lowers himself into one of the comfortable, reclined seats to rest with the two. "I've always seen Tall Oaks' isolation as a welcome one, to be quite honest. You've never sent for aid to Terrick's Roost, but you've never encroached. As far as my perceptions stretch, you're good neighbors and the lumber you've allowed us to purchase recently from you will be spoken well of at our new docks. So please, no apologies. I'm merely glad we've finally a chance to meet."
Eyes play in the direction of Dafydd as he speaks and for a moment, Sarojyn can only offer the hints of a smirk. Then, it's gone, shifting back to that pleasant smile as he looks back towards Jaremy at the mention of preparing food for the right home. The fact that Jaremy pours wine for himself, from the same pitcher, draws a faint nod of his head and when his own glass has been poured, he's reaching forward to take it, though he doesn't yet lift it to his lips.
"I will admit, Jaremy, that our isolation has been to ensure the safety of our people. We are not numerous like that of our neighbors." No doubt referring to the Roost and Mire. "And I'm sure that your father would have different words surrounding the nature of our isolation and the cause of it, but I do appreciate the sentinment." Now, his mug is lifted slightly, a silent salute before it's raised to his lips and a small sip is taken. When it lowers, the smile returns. "The lumber was the least I could do, considering. By that token, allow me to extend my congratulations. When I arrived, Lady Banefort was one who initially greeted us."
Strawberry summer wine?
Bright blue eyes watch the pouring, understanding immediately the message being sent, and when offered a drink, rises once more to take the drinks and seat himself once more. A glance, again, is given to his brother before the same 'silent salute' is offered, and a sip is taken before another, longer sip.. and it's all he can do to refrain from draining the glass in the next couple of seconds. Pushing it away from him, but still in hand, he watches the two men, Lord and Young Lord.. sizing both of them.
Granted, he knows his brother.. but in conversation like this, even this casual, things can be said, or not said.. that have implications for generations. (Not that he's great at this sort of thing himself. That's why he's more than happy to let the brothers deal with the political issues…)
Dafydd remains silent regarding the trade, the sales, and their reasons for their lack of involvement. Good, claim it for the safety rather than some overblown ideology that got our parents killed... He approves, and a nod comes, ever so slightly, in agreement.
"Thankfully, because of our lack of involvement, our population grows rather than the problem of stagnation with the death of young men to work the fields and such." Dafydd inclines his head once again, remembering and adding, "Though you don't seem to have suffered any the worse in the goods of your fields. I'd be honoured to accept anything you may send with us on our journey home.. in the form of cheese.. and perhaps a chat with your vintners…?"
"One does what they must to protect their lands and their smallfolk. In fact, if the least you can provide your family and smallfolk is a period of quiet, relative peace without difficulties from elements outside of your borders, I would consider your mission a success, Lord Camden." Jaremy retorts, tilting his goblet to the two of them in a salute. It allows him to sidestep the mention of his father's ideologies. "Peace is something that everyone benefits from, and as a knight I've sworn to protect the realm. To secure enough time for the smallfolk to perfect their blue cheese and their strawberried summer wines is…in itself a byproduct of said protection."
The young lord brings the goblet to his lips, sipping slightly, and then he reaches out towards the table to pull a few grapes from a sprig, picking at what is clearly some form of appetizer for the upcoming dinner. The small cuts of grape and cheese are small, designed to tide one over in small doses.
"By all means, Dafydd, if a word with our vintners results in requested trade of the vintage you're drinking, perhaps in the end we could both benefit by a bit more conversation, or at the very least a trade of our culture. I will arrange a meeting, though this wine itself comes from the farmland a league to the east of here. If you'd care to, we could ride there and I could introduce you to the vintners personally? It would give me the opportunity to show you our lands."
A soft chuckle begins to escape Sarojyn's lips at Jaremy's words, though the Lord of Tall Oaks does offer a slight dip of his head towards the Young Lord, "My brother would disagree with my sentiment on peace, I'm afraid. The Camden's have long felt that avoid conflicting and remaining neutral has been the way to ensure the survival of our people." People. Never his smallfolk. "But years of maintaining that peace have long since cost us relations with our neighbours and with House Tully." It is well known that Saro refused to commit the archers of Tall Oaks to the Rebellion. "It was my hope that by coming here, we could begin to work towards a better relationship between our two Houses."
The mention of wines and the like has his attention flitting between Dafydd and Jaremy, the smile remaining upon the older Camden's lips as he gives a slight nod of his head. "Please, brother, feel free to accept such an offer. I have nothing to fear within their walls and you need not refuse such a thing on my behalf."
"Peace with honour."
Not that Dafydd is correcting the young Lord, but in his mind, there is definitely a difference between them. "Peace to simply keep your people 'safe' while selling off your dignity and honour won't last. Bit by bit, it will eat away at your lands." Thus ends his particular feelings on the matter. At Saro's expression of a topic of their disagreement, he says nothing. Perhaps his words of advice, or his musings have been heard echoing in the halls of Tall Oaks?
Once he's said his piece, it's back to the 'trade goods' (that's his story and he's sticking to it!), and giving his brother a long look, he shakes his head slowly but definitively, the decision set in his mind.
A deep breath is given, and his attention returns to the heir, "Perhaps before we depart." Dafydd believes in duty, even when it interferes with food and drink. Sadly, he's old enough to understand and take what he sees as the proper roads. "Forgive me if we don't go sooner."
"No, by all means, you're our guests here and there is no rush. We're honored to have you. Truly. While in truth diplomacy has suffered as of late in the region, Tall Oaks has always maintained a sort of neutrality. If I were a lesser man I'd probably try to woo you away from such neutrality, though clearly it seems the both of you know the costs of it."
The young lord bears many of his father's features, including the discerning, stony eyes that have become his father's most identifying feature. However, the young man's views of keeping the peace are a shade different. His father, while not the most ambitious lord, is known for his support of Robert's Rebellion alongside the Mallisters. His son, however, has mutated into something strangely different.
"Trade or no, I agree that our Houses should know each other better. So let's dispense talk of trade and of the news of the realm unless you have any specific interests or concerns. Liliana has told me about your famed archers, I would also hope to be able to see some of their skill at the tourney that will take place just before my wedding to Lady Anais Banefort."
There's a look towards Dafydd and a slight nod of Saro's head, perhaps an unspoken thanks for not venturing into the conversation of peace. Then, there's an offered, "Perhaps, then, we will arrange a time to which we can all go." Eyes then play to Jaremy, "I do know that the Lady Banefort is quite intruiged by the fact that many of us know Hawking and that I brought along our Falconer. She wishes to make a trip of it. Perhaps the two can be combined."
The wine, largely untouched since his initial sip, is now brought to his lips so that another small sip can be taken and when it lowers down to rest upon his leg, his fingers tap idly against it. "I fear my neice speaks highly of our people. Most who reside within Tall Oaks are skilled in archery, for it's a natural part of our life. We are hunters, for the most part, and that skill translates well to archery. We would be pleased and honored to show you that ability at the tourney that is to come."
There is a slight pause, one of politeness before he's then offering, "But, before we dispense with talks of region and trade, there is one matter that I would like to discuss and I apologize for having to bring it up. I know the loss of Stonebridge and House Tordane is a great one and I simply seek to know that peace will be upheld."
Tipping his glass to his lips once again, Dafydd takes another sip, stopping to actually taste the flavours and smell the bouquet. He's not the master trader by any measure, nor is he a true connoisseur of fine wines (burning going down, good!), but this one he'll have to pass on to a few people back home as a definite potential for importing.
Brows rise and the glass lowers at the news of Liliana's support of their archers here, in her new 'home'. Another glance is given to Saro before he exhales softly, his shoulders lowering slightly in the expression. Thank the Seven that his brother addressed that rather than he. In private, their niece may yet still receive something of a tongue lashing for discussing their defense, and how good their archers are, or aren't. (Granted, it could be explained away as a warning, but still! Not for women to decide such.)
Not having to remark upon it, as Saro has given a proper enough answer, Dafydd digs up that congratulatory feeling for the young groom and bride to be. Not having been married at an early age, now into his 30s, he's almost forgotten the spell that can be cast. Or, barring that, the duty that is dredged up in marriage.
That, too, is tossed by the wayside with the broaching of the subject.. and the wine is put aside, the glass almost empty anyway, in anticipation of a response.
Jaremy's first few seconds after the question is asked are vital, and he doesn't waste them. He spends those seconds watching the two of them, idly swirling the wine in his goblet as he does so. The question is a grave one, and rather than shy away from it, instead he digs into the breach and gives them his face.
The goblet rises to his lips and he takes a slow pull from it, and as he swallows he turns at the waist and sets the lofty cup onto a stone-topped table at his side.
"Lady Valda Tordane broke a promise between my Lord Father and her departed Lord husband, resulting in the loss of a marriage, a holding, and a once allied bannerhouse to a noble house that has been well documented to be Terrick rivals for generations." His words come easy as he settles back into place, fingers steepled together as his elbows rest propped on the arms of his chair. "They have insulted our house and changed the course of history in the region for what could be more generations to follow."
His eyes turn from Sarojyn, to Dafydd, and then back to Sarojyn.
"But what they have done is within their right. It's rude and ambitious, yes, but as long as they keep the peace at the border I've no intention to see a single Nayland or Tordane harmed, smallfolk and noble alike."
Though, of course, his words are chosen rather carefully. Jaremy is well to speak in the first person tense. HE seeks to uphold the peace.
"This region has become tense, and I fear in the days coming it may become tested with tempers and more unfriendly politics. Like you, I have an interest in seeing this peace upheld. It's a peace I've sworn to uphold."
It's in those first few seconds that Saro's attention remains firmly fixated on Jaremy, watching the man's expression to the question and perhaps gauging just how he responds. Then, when the answer is forthcoming, there is a nod of his head and his eyes flash in the direction of his brother before looking back. "I know well of the promise that was broken. Word of such a thing spread to Tall Oaks after the tourney in Stonebridge. While words can change nothing in this respect, you have my sympathies .. and my thanks for your honesty in how such a thing is viewed by your family."
Another pause is given there, long enough for the mug to be lifted to his lips and a somewhat longer sip claimed from within before he begins to lower it back down. "I do hope that your Lord Father heeds the words that you speak and while I know that you can not promise peace with certainty, your words speak of what you will become." No doubt referring to when Jaremy finally inherits the rulership. "That is the question that weighed heavily upon my thoughts and the thoughts of those that I seek my counsel from. Is there anything that you need ask of me?"
And as far as Dafydd is concerned, he can hear the drums in the far distance within the understatement of 'more unfriendly politics'. He listens, taking it all in while at the same time, counts the head of man and woman within their land that can bend a bow, set a pike.. or ride.
He's no war-monger, however. He's simply more hawkish than his brother, more willing to fight than negotiate. While losses doing things 'his way' may be more detrimental, that is, loss of life, there is something to show for it as well.. after a fashion.
As Jaremy stated, 'within their right'.. and now, everyone must decide exactly how they will respond. Truly, including Tall Oaks.
"Tense is a powder-keg waiting for a light."
The Captain rises to his feet once more, the action slow and deliberate so as not to alarm anyone— particularly after the observation by the Young Lord. The accurate observation.
Leaning forward, he looks to Jaremy a moment before leaning to whisper in his brother's ear. He straightens soon after, something of an apologetic smile forming on his face. "If you will excuse me. I need to step out for a few moments.. but I assure you, I will return." Nature calls, apparently? "My Lord.. Young Lord.."
Dafydd leaves, heading towards the TP Rooms [Out].
As Dafydd speaks of powder kegs, Jaremy can't help but tilt his head and twitch an eyebrow in a look of the affirmative. While he intends to keep the peace, it's an immediate view into his assesment of the situation. At the very least, the young man is in a difficult spot, pitting his own ideologies against the situation. "Good evening, Dafydd, I hope to see you at supper."
Allowing Lord Camden's brother to depart, Jaremy's eyes tilt towards the door, waiting to speak until he can hear the heavy, oak door finally slide the last bit shut.
"By all means, Lord Camden…" Jaremy starts, his eyes turning to the man across from him. "…your sympathies are welcome, though the truth of the matter is that it was the amount of time I waited before arranging the marriage to Tordane that caused this. At least…it allowed a light shove that started the pebble down the hill. For that, I take responsibility in this."
He once again reaches for his goblet, bringing it to his lips. Swallowing, he keeps the cup in hand, looking to his conversational partner from across the table.
"I would suggest preparation on the cautious side, and while you are outside of the Oaks expect houses to woo you. Your neutrality and perhaps increased conversation with House Tully may be all of that you need to keep these things from your forest." Jaremy frowns, shaking his head. "Communication between my house and the Tordanes and Naylands is near nonexistent. At the current it's my intention to try to open these channels. Any help you could provide would be…appreciated."
To Dafydd, Saro gives a slight dip of his head and a quick, "Of course, brother." Then, eyes follow the movements of his youngest sibling from the room and when he's cleared the door and it's closed behind him, his attention is returning to Jaremy. Then, his free hand lifts, giving a slight wave as a soft chuckle escapes his lips. "Please, withing these halls and away from those that you serve, call me Sarojyn or Saro."
"Perhaps, this has happened for a reason. Perhaps the Old Gods or the Seven deemed it appropriate." There is a slight quirk of his lips at that and he's quickly following up with, "But that is all I shall say on religion, for I know there are differing views." The wine is once more returned to his lips and as the contents of that mug are finally drained, he's settling it back on the table. "I am afraid, though, that my help would be rather limited in nature. I can not recall the last time a Camden has spoken to a Nayland in an offical capacity and I'm afraid that House Tully still does not view us in the most favorable of light, though I do wish to speak with the Naylands. If only to gauge what their intentions are to be." Hands come to clasp in his lap, fingers lacing together. "Our 'keep' was built to support meetings and long ago, such a thing saw use. It has been some time since anyone shy of my counsel has met within its hall, but we would be honored to host a meeting of the Lords, if only to help foster communication. If not, then I shall do what I can to see that communication flows once more through any means."
"That, Saro, is the exact suggestion that needs to be made. Such a neutral place would at least force this communication to exist. It…" Jaremy tilts his head, tsking quietly as he considers the possibility. "…could work. Don't get me wrong. The situation is far from dire, but it could definitely be better."
The young lord stops himself, suddenly remembering his place and just how careful he should be. He is not the lord of the house, and these lands are not his to govern just yet. Perhaps that would come in time, but for now, his father is the place to take these Camden concerns.
"There are other difficulties involving these houses that I am not at liberty to discuss, nor could I in good conscience draw you into this, Saro. Just understand that what you must know is that Terrick and Nayland communication remains poor, as expected, and I will take word of your suggestion of your lands as a neutral ground to my father. I favor this idea. My Lord Father has a keen eye for detail and is very wise, and although his hatred for Rickart Nayland runs deep I doubt he would take ill to you raising these very same concerns in your audiences with him." A small smile tugs at the side of Jaremy's lip. "And know that while I draw breath I will keep to my oaths to serve the realm and my family's motto. I will be vigilant and just. It's the armor I take with me everywhere."
"Tall Oaks would be pleased to host such a thing, Jaremy, and know that you have an open invitation should a situation arise and a neutral place be needed. If word can not be sent prior to an arrival, because it might delay a meeting and cause it to falter and fail, then simply come. The hall remains ready for just such an occassion." With that said, there's a slight bow of Sarojyn's head towards Jaremy, perhaps for the simple fact that such a thing is even considered.
"I understand the need for keeping House matters as just that and would never ask for such things to be explained. You have already listened to what I had to say and I believe in your words, Jaremy, for how you speak them gives insight into who you are." His hands unclaps, the smile still resting upon his lips. "Your Lord Father and I do not see eye to eye on many things, but know that I have come to respect your House. The hospitality that has been shown to me and mine was more then what I expected. And my neice seems to have flourished under your care."
"Your neice is a good lady, Saro, though perhaps we shouldn't let her know that I referred to her as such or I'm likely to draw her ire." Jaremy replies, unable to conceal his grin. Passing the conversation away from more grave matters and over to more local ones, he finds it time to reach out for another small handful of grapes. "It's only been a few years, but in that short time she's come to love the region, or at least her stay at the Roost. In fact, it was just yesterday that she was able to help me with some sore muscles left over from my sickness in the form of a salve. Brilliant, really."
Reaching out, he sets his cup down and then gathers the pitcher, pouring another half glass.
"I won't dare to ask what her report to you on life at the Roost is like, but I will admit I do hope she enjoys it. We don't speak often, but when we do her own particular view on matters is refreshing. She can be fairly pragmatic."
There's an ever so slightly shift of Saro's posture as things shift from matters of 'state' to ones of friendly conversation and with a slight bob of his head, that grin is somewhat returned, "I'm afraid I've yet to see her ire, but if it is anything like her mothers, then I think it wise that no mention of that be made." Then, a soft chuckle escapes his lips as another nod comes to bare, "I'm pleased to know that she was able to help. Due to our location and the fact that our people don't number that of yours or the Naylands, we tend to have to rely on each other for things. It's not uncommon for the ladies of Tall Oaks to be trained in such things. Much like most of them know how to wield a bow for the purpose of hunting."
It's only now that Saro moves to claim a couple of those grapes, rolling them in his hand as a laugh begins to sound. "I'm afraid to admit that she hasn't had a chance to report on anything. She has had her duties to attend to and I would not have her shy from them to speak with me. When she is free and I am as well, we will meet, and from the brief conversation we have had, I can't imagine her saying anything negative about her time here. As for her being pragmatic .." There's another quirk of his lips to a slight grin. ".. I know well of what you speak. It is a trait well known to the ladies of House Camden."
"Then be it the Old Gods or the Seven, Saro, if Liliana is the going standard of the Ladies of your House…" Jaremy shakes his head, allowing another smirk to cross his features. "…perhaps it's the outside that's been lucky to have not bothered Tall Oaks' peace in quite some time."
Finishing the small bit of wine left over, Jaremy rises from his seat and clasps his arms behind his back.
"Saro, please, call me Jaremy, and know that I've quite enjoyed this conversation. When you do speak with Liliana, please give her my regards and my word of esteem, and although we are quite crowded, take the time to enjoy our comforts. If there is anything you find interest in, even if it's a visit to our coastline, you've but to ask. Likewise, I look forward to the day that I visit your lands."
To the first, Saro can not help but offer a heart felt laugh and when it ends, he's dipping his head in the direction of Jaremy, "Well said, my friend, well said. Perhaps we should be thanked for keeping them secure within our borders." Those words end in a smile and the humor behind it is clear within his features. Then, as Jaremy begins to rise, Saro does as well, his hands seeking the edge of his cloak to pull it back around him. There's a dip of his head once more and a warm smile as he offers, "I shall be sure to do so, Jaremy. For now, I think I will simply take a walk around your town and see how it is. I fear when I rode in, I did not have much of a chance to look around. Thank you for meeting with me and do enjoy the rest of your evening."
Grinning out of the side of his face, Jaremy turns towards the door and opens it for Lord Camden, motioning his way through. "We've a market in town as well as a few good places to find drink. The vintners that Dafydd made mention of sometimes have someone with cases near the markets, and it's probably more likely now that there are so many guests here at Four Eagles. The Cape of Eagles is also to the northwest from our gates. I will send word for my men to be at your disposal to show you the way, though I'm sure Liliana would be able to tell you more hearthen details if you take interest in the makeup of our foliage. At the very least, ranging towards the sea, you will see where your lumber will go to use as our new docks." Jaremy nods his head sharply, bidding Sarojyn good day. "Agreed. I will see you hopefully at supper. Be well, Saro. Be well."