|Summary:||Rutger and Rafferdy Nayland discuss the upcoming trip to Riverrun.|
|Armoury — Tordane Tower|
|The back curve of the wall is set up with the various suits of armor including leather, maile, and plate. The people of Stonebridge are known for their pike and bowman, long bows settle against one corner itself and pikes next to them. Spanning the middle of the room is a low rack of other weapons. Axes, swords, broadswords all range along, taken care of and cleaned by the those dedicated to the house. Only a trusted few are allowed into the secure room.|
|3rd of Eleventhmonth, 288 AL|
With the shipment of crossbows and bolts being transported to the Armory, Rutger has insisted to oversee the new stock being inventoried. While the men work to move the new weapons into storage, Rutger is less interested in watching them work, and more in the existing arms and armor stored within. He can be seen examining a broadsword, weighing the blade in his hands before taking a practice swing of the weapon.
Rafferdy wanders into the Armory, his doublet unbuttoned, showing a bit more chest and abdomen than befitting a noble. He moves over to the crossbows that are already on their racks, and he picks one up. Glancing at Rutger, he teases with a smirk, "You aren't playing stickball with it. Stop swinging it like a girl." He looks back at the crossbow, quickly disengaging the safeties, locking the firing mechanism, and then clicking it to fire empty, checking it's tension.
Rutger lofts a brow at his brother's jab, looking his way when he enters. "I have half a mind to swing it and turn you into a girl." He taunts in turn, with barely a smirk on his lips. The sword is lifted up and the sharpness of the blade examined closely, then smoothly resheathed in its scabbard. "Ryker and Isolde will be attending court at Riverrun, as will Rygar and Ser Longbough. I expect you and I should not miss all the excitement either."
Rafferdy sighs, clearly not crazy about a noble shindig. "Yeah… I know." He looks at the crossbow once more, then sits it back in it's rack. He leans against one of the racks of staves, and furrows his brow a little. "Is father going?" he asks, flatly.
"No." Rutger turns to Rafferdy properly once the sword is properly sheathed and set aside. "It is unwise for House Nayland to be seen as having a vested interest in this matter, so as I understand it, father will not be present." He lifts a hand and points a finger meaningfully. "The Terricks will be there in force, perhaps even the Mallisters. You will behave while in Riverrun, yes?"
Rafferdy smirks, and looks indignant. "Hey! It's me." He then smiles fully, and doesn't really agree to anything, walking around the armory to look at a rather fancy longbow. "It'll be a good place for me to slum. All those nobles' accompaniments hanging around in taverns…" He shrugs, picking the bow up and messing with it. "Might learn some good things."
Rutger's infamous yellow eyes sharpen just so. "Raff." He breathes, that single word full of meaning. "Slum as you wish, but never forget it will be Riverrun, House Tully's seat. If you indiscretions bring scandal to our liege's eyes, father will be displeased."
Rafferdy looks up to Rutger when he say's his name. He purses his lips a moment, then sighs, and nods just a little. "I know."
Rutger nods, seemingly satisfied with the reply he receives. "Still, learn as much as you can without instigating an incident. It is your strength, brother." He lifts a hand to stroke thoughtfully at his chin. "I hear Rowan is either in Terrick's Roost or Oldstones, and may yet make an appearance in Riverrun. It would be… interesting to see how he has gotten on."
Rafferdy nods, "I guess…" He sounds hesitant, and looks back at the bow. "We were so young when I left for the Frey's…" He shakes his head, "I don't know that I'd even recognize him. Or he me."
"He was always such a sickly, frail runt." Rutger's commentary on their little brother is laced with a hint of sadness, and perhaps some small amount of disdain. "If those Terricks are worth their salt, they would have given him some skills with a weapon. Speaking of the Terricks, what do you make of this matter with Isolde's heritage?"
Rafferdy shakes his head, and actually rolls his eyes, "People make too much of it. Who cares?" He shrugs, "Assuming he loves her, and they're happy, does it matter? I mean, REALLY?"
Rutger crosses his arms over his chest. "You are missing the larger picture. If Isolde were to be proven illegitimate, her claim to Stonebridge would be forfeit, and with it our hold over this very tower we stand in. Worse, we risk all this reverting to the hands of the Terricks."
Rafferdy smirks, "So, I guess, the answer is yes. It matters." He laughs, and sits the bow back down, walking over to Rutger. "I would say there's little we can do about it. She is or she isn't. Short of us secretly finding out the answer and then faking documents if she's not, it will be whatever it is."
"Precisely." Rutger nods decisively, a thin smile curling his lips now. "The proof being presented is suspect, at best, so the truth and answer likely matter little. The question is who can make a more compelling case." He inclines his head but lowers his voice. "When you are slumming, find out what you can about the Terrick's case. Ears and eyes open, Raff."
Rafferdy nods, "Will do." He leans against a table, "I heard some interesting things last night. Apparently, there's some guy named Jaremy Middleton. Word is he's gathering sellswords near the Twins. Nobody of any worth is answering, mostly peasants abandoning their feifs… Still," he shakes his head, folding his arms over his chest, "A strange thing to be going on."
Rutger's yellow eyes narrow at the piece of information. "Where did you come of this news?" The subtle tension in his tall frame hints at his interest, but Rutger does not allow more reaction than that.
Rafferdy shrugs, "Same way I always do. People talk. No one of note. No one who knew more than that." He furrows his brow a little, "Mean something to you?"
Rutger hollows his cheeks, silently thoughtful, before he nods slowly. "It does." He turns bodily, pacing slowly to the weapons rack to watch the workers unload the last of the crossbows. "Leave us." Rutger commands, and the men bow and quickly vacate the room, leaving the Nayland brothers alone. "Jaremy Middleton was Jaremy Terrick, heir to House Terrick until a month ago." He turns back to Rafferdy and continues with a shrug. "Disowned, of course, but word is House Terrick has been searching for him. He was betrothed to Isolde until Ryker took her as wife, so I can only imagine why he is gathering sellswords."
Rafferdy purses his lips, "Damn." He furrows his brow, and looks at Rutger, concerned, but when he speaks, he's apparently not concerned for the obvious reason. "How did that get by me?" He unfolds his arms, "I should have known that. I must be getting old." He sighs, and then rolls his head, "I'll keep an ear out on that one too, then. Will you send word to Ryker?"
"Of course." Rutger nods to that, firmly. "We are all getting older. But not a word of this to the Terricks. This information could work to our advantage at the right time." Once again, he lifts his head, this time reaching out to clasp a hand on Rafferdy's shoulder. "Good work, brother."
Rafferdy just nods, and slaps Rutger's shoulder back in brotherhood. He stands up, "I should get some rest. It sounds like I have a lot of drinking and merriment to prepare for." He smiles, "You got things under control here?"
"I have." Rutger gives Rafferdy's shoulder a firm squeeze. "Go, get rested." He releases his brother. "It will be another long ride to Riverrun. You will need your strength."
Rafferdy laughs as he turns to go, "Hey, I'm not Rowan." He heads to the door, stopping at the breach. "Keep the sword. It brought out the color in your eyes." He smiles playfully, and turns to go.