|Cadets and Courtesy|
|Summary:||The ever-swelling Frey contingent finds a lukewarm-to-chilly reception at Highfield.|
|Related Logs:||Who Would Weep For Thee? The Startled Stoats|
|Grand Hall, Highfield Keep|
|Grand Hall it truly is, in the back right-hand corner a stairway leads to the second floor Promenade; the area only serves to make the space seem larger with its rail lined balcony taking half the room. This design leaves most of the second floor open; adding height to the space and its oak rafter ceilings. The high dais and its high-backed chairs are set under an alcove caused by the second floor. Made of heavy oak and wrought with ornate carvings of this new house's sigil, crowned wolves seem to dance and chase each other through fields of wheat along its legs and sides. Sigils of the great Riverland houses line the wall behind the dais, House's Charlton of Highfield, Tully, Frey and Charlton, in the center of these banners and slightly larger, the crowned Stag of Robert Baratheon, King of the Seven Kingdoms. Long feasting tables and benches line the planks of this fine Hall. On the wall to the right of the entrance is a door that leads to a modest reading room, to the left a door leading to the Keep's Kitchens. Iron torches line these newly placed walls, and candle laden iron chandeliers drape from its ceiling, casting off a warm orange glow in the evenings, where the leaded glass windows and their heavy curtains send sunshine through its length during the day. A hearth along the left wall is more oft than not alight and crackling with every fresh log that is tossed into its embers.|
|5th August, 289|
With the hosts from Charlton and Haigh stationed outside Highfield, things are certainly not quiet. While the smallfolk and common knights have been regulated to the fields and the occassional visit to the township, the nobles from each house have been afforded the luxury of visiting the keep when they so desire it. Today, a few of them have seemingly taken up such an offer and are seated at one of the long feasting tables, along with Aleister and Quellyan. There's quiet conversation transpiring, along with the sound of laughter that escapes from the gaggle of men. Platters of meats, bread and cheese have been laid out before the men, along with pitchers of wine and ale.
"I find I am better with my sword when drunk." Quellyan adds with a chuckle, "Though some poor rock wife might disagree. Kindly, I was given no complaints." he adds before he is nodding. Eyes slide back over towards Aleister as Danae's name is brought up. "Ahh, the little bird. I sent her a package upon my return from Harlaw-Sad about her husband." Though the way the knight speaks, one might not think it so. A grin there before he is nodding ever so slightly. As the reason for his being summoned comes around, there is a pause before he is nodding ever so slightly. "I see." added before taking a sip of his drink. "Those are fine honors, Coz." and quietly he chews, before nodding. " I see no reason why I shouldn't. I think I would make a fine and fair Sheriff-after all with war looming, I can imagine there are some out seeking to harm us and our dear family?" a wink there before he rubs his hand over his lips, and then with a grimace, wipes his hand on the back of the Haigh next to him. "Yes. Of course you have me."
"I know well the skill of your blade while drunk, Coz," is the initial reply from Aleister, the hint of a smirk dancing upon his lips as he ends the words with a nod of his head. Then, there's another nod of his head at the mention of Danae and her husband and it's only when Quell accepts his request that he's offering a slight incline, "You honor me, Coz, and yes, there are several who would see us harmed if they could. Our Uncle's foray into the Erenfords lands have angered them with us adn I would not be surprised to see them side with the Naylands. And let us not discount the Naylands themselves. By now, word of the armies movements have no doubt reached them and while we have not yet marched outside of Highfield, I imagine well that they will try and end this war before it can begin."
A chaos of bridles intimate the arrival in the courtyard of new riders, more than a couple, too, the sound swelling and bouncing and generally disrupting the strategical musings of the Knight of Highfield and his kinsman. For a moment the ominous report may even seem as if his last guess has sprung to life, and the Naylands are upon them already, Ser Rygar pulling off another daring raid of doubtful legality and impeccable timing.
And yet, this is not so. Voices, raised and querulous, now ring out over the hoofs and the stirrups and the jingling hauberk… "I told you it was this way," comes the shrill declaration of some masterful female, to be followed by a grunt, and a remonstration from a second woman, and a shout of frustration from the man as he tries to dismount while defending his orienteering…
When a tramping of boots and a swishing of long gowns, and loudest of all a rushing about of Charlton retainers, vigilant and helpful, has channelled the source of the commotion towards the Hall, the threshold reveals the newly arrived trio under the banner of House Frey, accompanied by a white pennant and a small oriflamme denoting allegiance to Baratheon and Tully. This ceremonious standard is upheld by a particularly sullen looking mailed knight, not *quite* in Frey colours - their reversals stamps him as some bastard.
"The Ladies Jaimera and Firth Frey," the baseborn calls in a carrying but woebegone tone, and contents himself with that. The said Frey scionesses - one a freshish creature in the remains of her youth, the other past it by decades but curiously compelling by the stern gaze of her glance - seem to have only barely stopped squabbling with their guardian - or each other.
"I would, if I had a mind to it." Quellyan says with a snort. "We've allied ourselves with our fine friends here." A nod to the poor Haigh next to him, who had grease swiped down his back. "We are already formidable, but now our numbers should be enough to match what they can summon in a levy. A well trained one-We will need to lure them out in order to make use of our strengths." he adds before he is looking up. A pause there as eyes slide to the chaos that comes lumbering in. A brow raised from the Blackrood and he leans back on the bench, but by no means exluding Aleister from view. "Oh look, some bastard has arrived." denoted almost cheerfully, before he is moving to rise, with his wine glass in hand. Eyes sliding over towards Jaimera and Firth. A clicking of his tongue against his teeth, before he merely nods. No greeting forthcoming. He will allow the Lord of the Hearth to handle that.
With the hosts from Charlton and Haigh stationed outside Highfield, things are certainly not quiet. While the smallfolk and common knights have been regulated to the fields and the occassional visit to the township, the nobles from each house have been afforded the luxury of visiting the keep when they so desire it. Today, a few of them have seemingly taken up such an offer and are seated at one of the long feasting tables, along with Aleister and Quellyn. There's quiet conversation transpiring, along with the sound of laughter that escapes from the gaggle of men. Platters of meats, bread and cheese have been laid out before the men, along with pitchers of wine and ale.
"Indeed, Coz. We certainly do match the numbers to which they can summon and we even exceed them just a touch, but that simply eases the fact that they are better trained then that of our own. We also have more Knights and Men at Arms then they can muster, but it still is not a certain victory. Not without proper planning." That's offered from Aleister to Quellyn before the sudden sound of commotion is heard from outside and is only then realized by a trio of Frey's making their appearance in the Grand Hall and being promptly announced by a …. bastard. Which causes Aleister's brow to loft upwards as he murmers, "I wonder to which line this one belongs." Rising from his seat now, he takes a step away from the feasting table and then turns so that he can face the trio of Frey's and offer a bow at the waist. When he speaks, it's to the two Ladies of Frey, rather then that of Maldred, "Welcome Lady Jaimera and Lady Firth to Highfield. I am Lord Ser Aleister Charlton and this is .." A hand lifts to idly wave in the direction of Quellyan, "Ser Quellyan Charlton, Sheriff of these lands."
The woman known outside the Riverlands as the erstwhile Lady Trant of Gallowsgrey, but within the bounds of those mighty watercourses always and forever as Jaimera Frey, favoured (because most useful) daughter of Lord Walder, stands imperiously in the midst of individuals all as travel-stained as she, and all much taller. These circumstances do nothing to dent her confidence.
"Lord Charlton," she declares, with a nod toward the most important person in the hall, whom of course she has noticed first. "I offer you the salutations of my lord father, Walder Frey, and beg the hospitality of your handsome keep, that my men and my…" She eyes her sullen bastard nephew, and her some-sort-of-sister… "Relations," she says carefully, "might rest from a journey which became unexpectedly prolonged."
Ramsey makes his way into the hall somewhere amidst the chaos, the nobleman wearing plainer attire today with leathers, a simple brown cloak, and his slender braavosi blade at his side. He's also wearing an ugly, swollen, black and blue and purple shiner on his left eye. He must have been slugged something fierce recently. It definitely detracts from any visual appeal he otherwise might share with the world. While Aleister is greeting the newcomers, Ramsey helps himself to a cup of wine.
Firth is dressed in grey velvet that is covered with the dust of the road. She does not curtsy but she does give a regale bow of her head once she is at a proper distance. Her hair is covered with white veil and she is the younger of the two women. She leans on a cane as she watches the Lords. A light soft smile touches the corners of her mouth. Softening her features and creating pleasant but neutral expression. Her eyes though moss green are hard to read at this moment it is as if she put a mask on her emotions as she entered into the hall. She is also tall and stands well above five feet. She is two steps behind her sister as is proper. She is quiet for know but there is a sense is watching and making a study out of them.
Alric soon enough makes his way into the hall as well. Eyes looking around as he tries to scan each person. A small smirk upon his face. Seeing Ramsey but not moving over, instead moving to see what Aleister is up to in the middle of all of this. Nodding to whomever might look his way.
Leaning against the ceremonious standard of peace, friendship, and liege-loyalty, Ser Maldred Rivers narrows his eyes and pales in an entirely visible spasm of loathing, as the notorious Blackrood dismisses him in a word. When that infamous pillager's cousin, the newly minted lordling, speaks, the bastard stands straighter and looks coldly composed, waiting for the prudent reproach the lord of this hall will give out to his no doubt sottish kinsman, who has just insulted the son of their liege lord. When it does not come - when Ser Aleister, indeed, more soberly but firmly confirms its pithy judgment - Maldred still does not speak, though he is assuredly biting down his lips; he just gives the elder of his two highborn charges an enquiring and brisk look.
Striding into the Grand Hall from the kitchens in a gown of sunny-yellow silk is Alys Charlton, mistletoe berries are embroidered around the hems and a soft red velvet lines the insides of the drop sleeves. Her fiery hip length curly hair bounces as she walks with a plate of grapes, bread and cheese. Her maid at her heel carries a cup and a flagon of wine. The girl takes a seat at one of the long tables, paying no mind to the others that congregate near her cousin Aleister, instead she is contented to enjoy her midday feast.
Ser Farrell Keane makes his way in after the Freys, dressed completely in his battle-tested but well-kept suit of full maile. Over the maile he wears a surcoat of livery, similar to that of House Charlton but notably different in the black and yellow colors bore there - those worn by those in the service of Ser Harold Charlton, to those who'd be aware of it. Important things going on and whatnot, he takes a post with one of the other guardsmen in the Hall and waits patiently, what can be seen of his expression being that of simple patience.
for his part, Quellyan keeps his smirk, firmly in place as eyes dance over the Frey Bastard, as to his cousin's quip, there is a raise of his brow and a faint shrug. "I suspect the youngers.." though which Younger is all entirely left up in the air. Thankfully the notion of parentage is settled by Lady Jaimera. Oh THOSE Freys both eyebrows seem to denote when they shoot up, and fall back down into their usual hang. As such, keeping an eye on the Freys, means the newly minted Sheriff does not notice his cousins soaking in from the woodwork-as it were. Even Ser Farrell longlist is missed. A pity-this is indeed turning into a real party.
Once more, Aleister is offering an incline of his head in the direction of Jaimera as a pleasant smile begins to play upon his lips, "Lady Jaimera, you and yours will of course be afforded the hospitality of Highfield. Chambers will be provided and you need only ask a servant if there is something you require." Eyes flit in the direction of Maldred before returning back to Jaimera, "We will also see beds provided within the barracks for your guard." At that, a flash of a smirk returns to his lips and if he notices the arrival of the others, he doesn't yet acknowledge their presence, "Might I inquire, though, Lady Jaimera, what it is that brought you to Highfield?"
Ramsey slides into a seat beside Alys, flashing her a grin that is substantially less charming with the ugly black eye bruising up his face. He leans over and murmurs something softly into her ear. She may detect the scent of lavender clinging to his clothes.
The elder Frey lady steadfastly ignores the metaphysical sufferings of her bastard kin; stripping off her dark leather riding gloves, finger by finger, and smiling thinly (for, constituted as she is, and driven as she has been today to her wit's end, she cannot smile in any other way), she answers her host: "You are most gracious, but I had no intention to trespass so long upon your goodwill, Lord Charlton, especially in these trying times, when you must have so many calls upon you. An hour or two to rest, and perhaps something in the way of refreshments, would suffice for our needs. Most of all, I had hoped to find… news."
News of what, it is difficult to be specific, with the air so thick with the feeling that anything at all might transpire. She tilts her head, letting her gaze travel over the assembled Charltons and their friends. "My lord father, you understand," she adds, to make sure this young lord *does* understand she is upon Lord Frey's business, "is interested to know how things stand here at Highfield. How things stand generally, in this part of the world."
Firth's moss green eyes seem to weigh heavily on all who are gathered in the room and are not her kin. It is as if she is memorizing their faces and names. Watching them and seeing if she can see any subtle nuances they may reveal. She remains quiet for the time and that neutral pleasant expression on her face. A quick gaze is cast at her sister and then Aleister.
"Then rest and refreshments you shall have, Lady Jaimera," is Aleister's initial reply, followed by a snap of his fingers which sets the servants to scurrying, no doubt to set one of the other tables, to which Knights and Nobles do not occupy. With the smile remaining upon his lips, there's another incline of his head and a quick, "Now that the lands and the keep have been completed, my Lady, things are well in Highfield." Eyes play about those gathered, though they linger more upon the trio of Frey's before resting upon Jaimera once more, "And all is as well as to be expected in this portion of the Riverlands, Lady Jaimera. Lord Frey will be most pleased in the coming weeks and months, I do believe."
There is a quirk of his lips in Aleister's direction, as the Blackrood, as rude as indeed he may be-or even difficult at times, does know when to keep his mouth shut, and his face a mask of amusement. Which he is clearly doing right now. A shift in his stance and eyes slide back to the blonde hair'd bastard under the banner. A sip of his wine, as his free hand moves and perches behind his back. Only then does he let eyes dance between the Freys, notably the one talking and the Lady Meredith. Another slow sip of wine is taken. After all these are ladies…and a bastard, of their liege lord. Roasted meat can bloody well wait-though wine cannot.
As it goes Quellyan breaks eye contact long enough to motion with his cup towards a nearby retainer to refill it. Wetting his lips, only now does he spy the erstwhile Alys Charlton, and Ramsey Charlton. Apparently someone earned themselves a black eye.
The bastard, lacking the Blackrood's immaculate circumspection, leans nonchalantly across from the standard pole to mutter something in the general direction of his younger sister, something about disordered hollyhock and stray wolves.
Ramsey just gives Alys a nod, his grin widening at the blush he's coaxed to her cheeks. The man doesn't offer further whispered response and sips his wine with a smug sort of satisfaction on his face. His attention shifts back to Aleister and the Freys.
Then, aloud, Ser Maldred utters something clipped to his elder sister about seeing to the horses, and, for the nonce, stalks out of the hall - before asking leave - and lets his betters be.