|Summary:||Lady Katrin Haigh crosses the stone bridge to sate some of her curiosity.|
|Related Logs:||Answered As A Knight|
|East Bank — Stonebridge|
|The east bank of the stone bridge, where a pavilion has been set up while Ser Gedeon remains exiled from Stonebridge.|
|24 April 289|
The hour is late, so it might seem a bit unusual to find one Katrin Haigh moving along the outskirts of town and crossing back over the iconic stone bridge toward the square. She travels with a disgruntled Septa and maid but their steps slowly bring them from one side of the bridge to the other.
Gedeon Tordane (or Rivers, depending on who you ask) has nowhere particularly to go, and so he sits outside his recently constructed pavilion, a small fire snapping and crackling, casting a yellow light and dark shadows across his face. He's studying the flames in quiet contemplation, though as the guards on the bridge shift a little to note Katrin and her retinue passing, the (not quite) bastard knight lifts his head and watches the trio as they approach.
The Septa accompanying her charge shifts a bit closer to Katrin as they walk, a protective gesture. The noblewoman is not nearly so cautious. Instead she offers a curious look and bow. "Good evening," she greets politely to Gedeon. "I do hope this lovely night finds you well, sir."
As Katrin and septa reach the other side of the bridge, Gedeon stands politely and offers a bow. "Good evening, my lady. The night treats me very kindly, I thank you."
"Have you found yourself stationed on guard duty this night?" Katrin asks curiously as she looks about her. "I find myself curious why Lord Nayland has posted guards here. Does he fear the possibility of attack in the near future?"
"Only from me, my lady," Gedeon chuckles, "but please, you must forgive me. I don't believe we've been properly introduced, yet. Ser Gedeon Tordane. And who might I have the pleasure of speaking with, tonight?"
Katrin's eyes widen just a scant bit. "/You/ are the one they are talking about all over town," she says. Curiosity buzzes through her eyes but after a jab from her Septa, manages to choke back the questions that are already forming. Instead, she settles down into a curtsey. "Lady Katrin Haigh," she introduces.
"I am," Gedeon agrees with a small, somber nod and then a proper bow as Katrin offers her name. "A pleasure, Lady Haigh. I am afraid I have little to offer by means of comfort, but if you're chilled, the fire is yours, and if you've a thirst, I've some water and wine in the tent."
"I would not wish to trespass upon your solitude," Katrin replies. "But if you would not mind the company, I would be pleased to sit by your fire for a short while." She exchanges looks with both Septa and maid but steps in closer to the fire, her arms wrapping about her loosely.
Gedeon steps politely aside so that the Lady Haigh might have the collapsable chair he was using as a seat. He settles on the opposite side of the fire. Te septa is offered a small nod: nothing too unseemly can go on with live flames between the knight and the lady. "If you've questions, you may ask them, my lady."
Katrin offers a sheepish smile. "There are so many questions but it would seem rude to pry into your private affairs," she replies. "After all, we have but just met and it truly is none of my business. But the mystery and intrigue still remains and I find myself quite fascinated with everything. The rumors do nothing but make me grow more curious to find the truth."
"Well, you'd hardly be the first, my lady, if you'll forgive my saying," Gedeon points out gently. "I shall not take offense, and if there are questions I cannot or will not answer, I shall simply tell you so."
Katrin considers as she takes a seat, her lips slowly pressing together. "If you are truly a Tordane, why would you conceal your identity for so long?" she asks. "Which I suppose would be the question everyone would wish to ask you."
"The king has legitimized me, my lady. I have always been Geoffrey Tordane's son, but I'm his bastard," Gedeon replies, "I had no legal right to the name 'Tordane' before now."
A small crease forms across Katrin's forehead. "If you win this duel, you will become Lord of Stonebridge?" she asks. "Would you not fear a violent from both the Terricks and the Naylands for such a thing?"
"Technically, the duel has no bearing on whether or not I become Lord of Stonebridge, save that should I lose, I shall be dead," Gedeon murmurs with a faint huff of a laugh, "So in that respect, of course, it has everything to do with it. I expect, if I win, the Naylands shall leave Stonebridge and strip any and all assets they can carry along with them. But, your pardon, my lady, why should the Terricks be angered?"
"Do the Terricks not seek to hold Stonebridge as their own?" Katrin asks. "Perhaps I have misunderstood the house politics but was there not a shift in allegiance from House Terrick to House Nayland when Lady Isolde married? But I suppose with a legitimate male heir, everything could change."
"Yes, my lady, that's so, but Stonebridge has, up until recently, always been held by House Tordane who swore vassalage to the Terricks," Gedeon explains gently. "The Naylands lay claim to it after Lord Ryker wed Lady Isolde. When Stonebridge is returned to me, I shall swear vassalage to the Terricks, which is much of what has the Naylands behaving thus." He lifts a hand to gesture vaguely towards the guards on the bridge.
Katrin looks about her and then toward the guards. "Do you not worry that they will just send an assassin to you in the middle of the night and have you disappeared before the next morning came?" she asks. "For such a town as Stonebridge seems to be quite the prize for any who is able to hold it."
"It is possible, of course, my lady, but I've a sworn man with me whom I trust," he nods towards the tent, "and with Ser Rygar having challenged me, he would be greatly dishonored if I were to die before then. That shields me, somewhat. Unless, of course," his lips lift up into a gentle, teasing smile, "You're the assassin they sent?"
"I would be a poor assassin," Katrin replies with a chuckle. "My skills do not lie in taking another's life." There's a pause. "If you are to win this duel, what would you do then? House Tordane is small by all accounts and would you not be the only male heir still breathing? It seems to be a great deal of responsibility and weight to put upon one man."
"Certainly, if they did, it would be unwise to confess it, but I believe the best assassins must also be the best dissemblers. One must never see it coming, after all." Gedeon's smile grows a little and he taps the tip of his nose. "If I win the duel, my lady, then I shall be obliged to take a wife and see about making some male heirs of my own."
"But is that not the duty of all noblemen, whether they come from a dying House or not?" Katrin points out. "To take a wife and create a legacy that will last for years to come, even after they themselves are gone?"
"I think it is," Gedeon agrees with a chuckle. "You will have to forgive my rustiness on the subject, I was but recently made a nobleman."
"I shall forgive your rustiness if you will forgive my prying into your personal affairs," Katrin says with a smile. "I do thank you for your patience in answering my questions. My father has always scolded me for being far too curious for my own good."
"Fathers are for protection and wisdom, my lady," Gedeon opines, studying Katrin from across the fire, "Whereas near-noble bastards are for sating curiosity. I'm happy to have helped."
"Fathers of sons are for protection and wisdom," Katrin corrects quietly. "Fathers of daughters are for finding the imperfections and bearing delusions of grandeur. There is a difference that a daughter never forgets."
"Ah, I see," Gedeon murmurs, dipping his head in a nod for the correction. "And are your delusions being corroded, my lady, now your father has loosed you on the wider world?"
"My father's delusions saw me marrying a lord of a House that would bring prestige and money to my family," Katrin muses with a grim smile. "My delusion would be to marry a lord for the sole purpose of my love for him and his for me."
"Your pardon, my lady, but you do not yet seem old enough to be giving up hopes on either," the blond knight points out with lifted brows.
"I was taught from a young age to serve my House," Katrin says, her gaze toward the fire, voice distant. "Marrying for love seems to go against that. It puts my personal wants and desires before those of my House." She seems to snap out of it and looks back to Gedeon. "I am uncertain whether I should welcome you to your nobility or urge you to run fast in the opposite direction and return to your previous distinction as a part of the smallfolk so you might have the chance at happiness."
"Oh, I'm not sure the smallfolk have any greater or lesser chance at happiness than nobility. I've seen joy and suffering in both in equal shares, my lady. Perhaps…" Gedeon's brows lift playfully, "You might oblige to fall in love with someone very wealthy?"
A delighted laugh passes Katrin's lips. "If you find such a Lord, of both sound character and fat purse, I would hope you would send a raven as swiftly as possible," she teases. "In the darkness of night, it seems almost possible to find such a man. But during the lightened hours, I will remain the dutiful daughter."
"In darkness of night is where most women find the men they prefer," Gedeon agrees with a perfectly straight face. "We all have our duty, my lady. I hope yours is more pleasing to you than you expect."
"Perhaps they find the men they prefer because they cannot see so many flaws as during day," Katrin muses but smiles. "My thanks, my lord. I pray to the gods that they might send what I hope for so that I might please both my House and myself."
"I hope they hear you, my lady," Gedeon replies with another small bow, "and I thank you for your visit and your curiosity. It was good to have met you, Lady Haigh."
Katrin slowly rises to her feet and offers Gedeon a bow of her own. "It was a pleasure to have met you, Lord Tordane," she says with a smile. "I will pray that you come through your duel in one piece and are able to claim your rightful spot." She smiles. "I do hope that we will be able to speak again one day."
"If I survive, I expect we shall," Gedeon replies, moving around to his seat once the lady departs from it. "A good evening to you, Lady. And good luck."