|Coming and Going|
|Summary:||A new noble arrives at the Roost and a resident one threatens to leave. Yelling matches included.|
|Related Logs:||None specifically|
|Courtyard, Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|Fri Feb 08, 290|
It's about lunch time, the kitchens are busy and there are people dashing back and forth across the courtyard in all directions, trying to get last minute things done before they pause for their meal. Although today, some of the dashing may well also be because of the rain. It's not a downpour, but nor is a light spring shower but it's heavy enough to be a nuisance for those without cloaks. Or those with cloaks who have a longer journey to make than simply to the stables or such. Falling into the latter category is Mortimer. Loitering in the entranceway to the tower itself he has his cloak wrapped around him but he's giving it a couple more minutes, just in case it eases off. His destination is the town itself, not a great distance but long enough in inclement weather so for now he simply waits, watching the comings and goings as he does so.
The sound of horseshoes striking cobbles can be heard clearly, even over the rain. The source of the sound, two drenched figures on horseback, slowly canter into view of those in the courtyard, only slowing as they near the shelter of the gates. Both men wear grey riding cloaks and leather jerkins, a sword hanging conspicuously from the hip of the smaller of the two men. The shorter man draws his hood back to reveal his dark, birdlike features to the Terrick guards, offering the faintest of smiles as water drips from his long nose. "Good Morning." he says, addressing the guards with only a hint of sarcasm, brushing some soaked hair from his face with a hand. The man's accent is slightly unusual for a riverlander, a hint of the westerlands in it. He turns to his still hooded companion and hands the reigns to him, dismounting with some discomfort.
Mortimer would normally leave it to the Captain of the Guard, or a passing noble to greet newcomers, but it would seem that they have all picked this very moment to be elsewhere. Probably inside, in front of a fire and eating hot stew. From where he stands at the top of the steps though he notes the sword, a definite sign of status, and the discomfort, a sign of having travelled a fair way. Putting two and two together with the fact that he seems to be the senior man about at the moment he shifts his cloak a little on his shoulders to keep it tighter about him and then steps out into the rain to meet the arrivals. "Good morning," he offers as he gets closer, eyeing the man in front of him for a moment before opting for "Ser," as the honourific. He's not certain on the noble or not but the sword is usually a good indication making the assumption of knight a relatively safe one to make. Adding a brief but respectful bow he adds, "Welcome to Terrick's Roost, I'm Mortimer Trevelyan, Deputy Sheriff, may I enquire as to the nature of your visit?"
Turning his attention from the guards at the gate, the smile gracing the man's features spreads slightly as he is greeted by the deputy sheriff. "Well met, Master Trevelyan." he says with a faint nod of greeting. The figure takes an awkward step forward, slightly bow-legged, and rubs his inner thigh. After a moment of awkwardness as he recovers from his ride, the jet haired man composes himself and clears his throat. "Ser Dorian de Mabrey of Seaguard." he declares, another slight nod is offered as if the knight is not exactly sure of the etiquette. "I seek an audience with Lord Bolland Terrick to discuss… matters."
<FS3> Mortimer rolls Heraldry: Good Success.
"M'Lord," Mortimer acknowledges, recognising the family name it seems. "You've arrived in time for lunch if you're wanting to partake," he starts in reply before nodding briefly to the stables, "and there's plenty of room for your horses to rest. I'm afraid though Lord Bolland is not here, he is summoned to Riverrun by Lord Tully. Young Lord Ozric Terrick is in charge in his absence though." Glancing back towards the main tower though offers, "if you'd like to get in out of the weather then the grooms can see the horses."
With the dreary day, most of the Keep had kept in doors. That is, if they could. Lady Gaelena Terrick was one that was allowed to remain indoors and so the sound of hooves that could be heard inside the entryway as she passed, was an unexpected and yet intriguing sound. Coming to the entry way, she pauses and peers out, then takes a step forward to see the guest that had arrived. The name is heard and she glances over the new comer, hearing Mortimers words of greeting, "Ser De Mabrey." a curtsey is given to the Noble Knight, "Good day to you. Welcome to the Roost." agreeing for once with Mortimer, Gaelena nods, "Yes, please do come inside, My Lord. Out of this dreary wet weather."
His smile fading at the news of Lord Bolland's absence, the knight glances over his shoulder at the man accompanying him. "Roderick, take the horses to the stables and head to the inn." he says simply, the taller man nodding. As the other man dismounts, the knight's smile returns and he nods in acceptance. The Knight then pauses and bows to the young lady who had greeted him moments ago, remembering his etiquette. "Good day my Lady." he says gently, "It would be rude not to accept such hospitality. Perhaps the Young Lord will be able to shed some light on the matters I've come to discuss."
Kamron has been out for a walk. More importantly, Saffron has been out for a walk, and Kamron has been along for the ride to ensure she doesn't overdo things. That means walking around the courtyard, and so the pair stroll out from behind the keep, where the training grounds are, the very pregnant wife on the arm of the average-height knight. "…and then Percy's helmet hit the weapon rack, and it tipped over, and that would have been bad enough, but then he tried to help…"
Mortimer glances behind at the sound of Gaelena's voice and turns to offer a bow and a "m'Lady." With her seemingly taking over the offering the official greetings he turns to the other man, now identified as Roderick and offers him directions to the Rockcliff before pointing him in the direction of the stables where a pair of grooms are already waiting in the shelter of the doorway. Moving back towards the keep entrance he makes to get the door for the pair heading inwards, leaving Gaelena's guard free to actually guard.
Saffron Mallister has been looking tired since the Broadmoor wedding. That hasn't limited her dimpled smiles, but it has made them appear just a slight more worn. She has her arm linked with her husband's, being trailed by the pair of guards that are ever-so-faithful to the nee Banefort. She does offer a laugh as Kamron tells his story. "And you allowed him to dare help, Kam?" She gives him a dubious look. "I think you enjoy laughing at the poor boy. You just wait until he's knighted, he will be twice your size and graceful to boot."
"I'll make inquiry of my Lord Brother, Lord Ozric, can join us." Gaelena replies, "He may be able to join us in a little while. But for now… Refreshments." the additional figures that enter the courtyard cause her eyes to lift, seeing the Mallisters arrive within earshot of the group. "Some you might know, My Lord, if you say you are from the Mallister lands." her head moves in the direction of Kamron and Saffron. "My Lord and My Lady Mallister." though she doesn’t show it in her features, she speaks her concern. "My Lady Mallister, please take care in the wet weather. I would not like to see you ill so close to your expected date." Glancing at Mortimer she says, "Do you know where my Brother might be found?"
Raking his fingers through his tangle of wet hair, the knight turns his attention to the Mallisters as they are announced. Nodding in greeting to the couple, the man's expression becomes taciturn. "My Lord and Lady." he says quietly, his eyes moving to the redhead's belly for a moment before returning to meet the eyes of the knight accompanying her. He studies the man for a moment with a faint look of recognition in his eyes. Shaking his head, he turns back toward his host and begins to move out of the rain.
Mortimer had seemingly entirely missed the arrival of Kamron and Saffron and so Gaelena's greeting catches him slightly by surprise. Turning he offers the pair a brief bow, such as he can and still keep station at the tower door, "M'Lord, m'Lady," he offers in turn before turning back as he is addressed directly. "I'm afraid not m'Lady. I heard word that he might have ridden out before the rain started so he may be taking his lunch in shelter elsewhere. I've not been into the stable though, so can not if his horse is present or not." With the new arrival heading in he completes the introductions for Kamron and Saffron, "Ser Dorian de Mabrey of Seaguard, here to speak with Lord Ozric in Lord Bolland's absence.”
Saffron warms with a smile at her concern, and she waves off her hand a bit. "I'm quite alright, Lady Gaelena, but I will make sure not to stay out too long." She gives her husband's arm a squeeze before she grins toward the rest of the gathering. Her gaze moves over Dorian, and for a moment, she feels as though she may know him. She tilts her head a bit before she offers him a smile. Then she glances toward Mortimer. "Master Mortimer, good to see you again." Then she looks back toward Dorian at his introduction, and her expression brightens with memory. "Ser Dorian! I remember you… you were at the Banefort. My father, Ser Bernard… he is the Master of Arms…?"
Gaelena nods once at Mortimers explanation of where her brother might be. "Very well, You are most welcome to wait with refreshment though, My Lord." the being said to the new Knight. "I'm Lady Gaelena Terrick. The Lord Ozric's oldest sister." the name finally being spoke for introduction. "Perhaps the Deputy would be…so kind, as to send word in the direction of my Lord brother, hm?" her eyebrows raise as the command is issued in the nicest way she knows how. There was a guest in their midst and so she was trying. Oddly. "Do be sure to take care, Lady Mallister. I would feel much better if you came in for refreshments for us and…" she pauses as the woman seems to know the Knight. Looking between the two, ah! So they did know him?
"Ser Kamron, it is a pleasure, I have hear-…" the man pauses, taken aback for a moment by the young lady addressing him. "You… Lady Saffron?" A light chuckle lightens the man's features somewhat. "Aye, I remember Ser Bernard… I remember his daughter as well, 'though you were but a child when I saw you last. Now, it seems you have one of your own on the way." The smile fades again quickly as the knight remembers himself. Turning to Lady Terrick he nods his head slightly, droplets still falling from his long hair with every movement. "I think you're the wisest of us all, Lady Gaelena, here we are standing in the rain when a warm hearth waits for us inside. Come, I can rest from my journey and we can worry about business with Lord Ozric later."
Kamron tilts his head up at Mortimer's introduction of the newcomer, "Ser Dorian. Of Seagard, you say? I'm sure we passed in the night at some point." He chuckles softly as he looks between Saffron and Dorian, "And she probably tried to hit you with a blank," a dulled practice sword, "at some point as a child. And it would be two more on the way, actually, Ser." That's stated proudly, "Lady Saffron is on her way to giving me twins."
Saffron looks more than thrilled to have a familiar face from the Banefort amongst them. "Two, yes," she agrees with her husband, though she blushes as he brings up her childhood antics. "I think I recall accidentally thwaping Ser Dorian with one, but Papa must have pulled me aside before you could retaliate, Ser." She rests her hand on the top of her belly, rubbing at it softly and comfortingly. "Welcome to the Cape." Her eyes glimmer. "What brings you to the Roost? A meeting with Ser Ozric?"
Mortimer recognises a dismissal when he hears one and replies quickly to Gaelena, "Of course m'Lady, I shall see what I can do." He offers her a nod in acknowledgement as well before turning to the others and bowing briefly, "M'Lord, m'Lady, if you'll excuse me," then back to Gaelena for a final "I'll send word when I have any." Obediences done he heads first down the steps and starts to make for the stables to see if said horse is indeed gone or not.
Anais stalks through the portcullis, trailing her usual quartet of guards and a handmaid behind her. All of them, however, seem to be keeping a safe distance from the lady, who might as well be carved from stone and limned in ice as thick as the Wall as she makes her way toward the keep, shoulders straight and head high.
Out of the corner of her pale eyes, Saffron catches sight of her cousin. Immediately, her smile falters. News had come and gone, and certainly Anais had heard by now… She breathes out a sigh, sinking into her swollen ankles and flattening feet. "Kamron, I…" And she glances back toward her cousin before she offers a smile toward the others. "Excuse me." And she turns toward her cousin, starting to waddle toward her. She glances over her cousin's shoulder toward her escorts, wondering if Kincaide will give her any hint that this approach is a bad idea.
"Thank you, Deputy." Gaelena even offers Mortimier a small tiny, itty bitty grin in appreciation for is quick reply in the matter she asked him to attend to. Allowing the others to catch up the entrance, she pauses to say. "I'll arrange refreshments to be brought out. Please, come in and make yourself comfortable." with that she moves into the house in order to make the arrangements that need to be done.
Laughing lightly, the rough looking Knight gives Kamron a wink before returning Saffron's smile. "I wouldn't be surprised if you did, Lady, I hope for Ser Kamron's sake you've grown out of it." he says, his voice trailing off as the young lady begins to waddle over to greet the newcomer. With a slight shrug he turns his attention back to the Lady of the house, barely aknowledging the deputy's departure. "Thank you, my Lady, that would be much appreciated." he says politely, hand gripping the sword at his hip so it does not hit the edge of the door as he follows her inside.
Kamron nods to Mortimer as he departs, following Saffron's gaze over to Anais. He offers the other Banefort a smile and a nod from across the courtyard, although his expression shifts to wary as he catches her expression. "Uh…." Still, he nods to Saffron, murmuring quietly, "Be careful…" Turning his attention back to Gaelena for a nod of farewell and then to Dorian, he shrugs helplessly, "She's been a little preoccupied recently, Ser." Reaching down to pat his own belly, he shrugs, "I'll be in shortly, Ser." And he nods over toward the pair of nee Baneforts in explanation.
Mortimer spots new arrivals as he makes for the stables and starts to turn to greet them before the familiar forms become clear. He, for one it seems, has not yet heard for her manner and bearing cause him to pause. Remembering himself he bows as her path brings her closer and offers a cautious "M'Lady?" He might ask more but as it seems that Saffron is moving to intercept he figures that someone at least knows what this concerns and he'll wait and see if he's wanted to assist in dealing with it.
Kincaid shakes his head, giving as much warning as he can. Even he's giving Anais wide berth right now. Anais, for her part, doesn't actually look at Saffron when her cousin approaches. The only indication of recognition is the muscle that twitches in her jaw. "Unless you're about to tell me you have word from Father about the marriage he's arranged for me with Jaime Lannister, I don't want to hear it," she says icily, continuing toward the door. She does pause by Dorian, leveling a steady look on the man. "I do hope you'll forgive the Terricks if they've failed in their hospitality, Ser," she says with knife's edge politeness. "It isn't their best skill."
Pausing in the doorway, the knight raises an eyebrow as he is addressed. His expression quickly becomes passive again and he seems about to say something but thinks better of it when he catches the lady's expression. "My Lady." he says simply, offering a bow before moving inside.
"Annie," Saffron begins, and she grasps at her belly as she tries to keep up with her cousin. "Anais, stop…" The woman waddles as fast as she can, but it is a rather pathetic attempt to catch up with a woman that she could previously match step-for-step before she started carrying around these twins of hers. She has to stop after a moment, huffing and puffing softly. "I can't chase you! Will you please stop?"
Kamron frowns as Anais blows past Saffron, his lips tightening in a frown. One foot shifts slightly as if he were going to step out in front of Anais, but instead he merely nods his head, moving past to offer Saffron a hand up the stairs to the doorway. Looking between the nee Baneforts, he lets out a soft sigh, shaking his head but keeping his peace for now.
"Why?" Anais turns at the doorway, and if looks could kill, the one she levels on Saffron and Kamron alike would leave corpses behind. "You certainly didn't have any desire to talk to me before your new family decided to toss me out with the night soil. What exactly do you think you have to say right now that's going to change that?" She takes a single step toward her cousin, more to excuse lowering her voice than anything else. "I stood by this place and this family through one foolhardy heir, an invasion of Ironborn, near starvation, and Jacsen's betrayal. The only reason this lordship still exists is the accord I worked with Highfield. And now what?"
Mortimer watches Anais' progress towards the tower in silence, giving no care to the rain which finally seems to be easing off. Not good, he doesn't know what it is but whatever it is it is not good and that concern is readily evident on his face. He's rooted to the spot for the moment, knowing he should be continuing to make enquiries at the stable but not wanting to leave while there's even the faintest chance that he might be able to do something of use. He shoots a questioning glance to Kincaid as well although he's not really expecting a telling response from the man, now is most definitely not the time. Making a decision, one that's somewhat easier with Gaelena out of sight, he turns back towards the tower and up the steps towards Kamron, figuring the knight the safer option right now. Arriving in time for Anais' reply to Saffron he just halts in his tracks, trying not to look quite as lost as he feels.
"That is not true!" Saffron says immediately. "You didn't want to talk to me. You were upset… about… I had no desire for us to go silent around each other. And worst yet, I haven't even had the courage to talk to Shayla about… what I could do." She shakes her head a bit, using Kamron's hand to step up after her. Her pale eyes remain locked on her cousin's, and she reaches out toward her as if to take her hand. "You must know that I would have opposed this every step of the way, but… Annie…"
Kamron presses his lips together at Anais' words, he lets Saffron respond first, reaching out to offer a clap on the shoulder for Mortimer, a gesture intended to be reassuring. Backing up Saffron's words, he adds, "I only heard about it when the banns were read, Lady Anais. I agree that you've done great things for Terrick's Roost and Four Eagles alike. You know that Saffron and I have always supported you in that. I am certain that Lord Bolland recognizes what you've done for his House. If he doesn't, I will be sure to remind him and Ser Ozric alike."
"Don't touch me," Anais hisses, taking a step back. "But. But nothing, Saffron. But you've got everything you want, and to all seven hells with me when I don't fit into it. I'm certain Lord Bolland recognizes a dowry he hasn't already sold when he sees one," she adds sharply to Kamron. Mortimer, at least, gets some small pity. Enough that she draws a deep breath before she looks to the deputy. "It seems Lady Nedra is to take my place here, Deputy," she explains. "Banns of betrothal were just read."
The harshness of Anais's reaction has Saffron staggering back a step, her eyes wide with the threat of possible tears. Those tears though are the only threats of sorrowful reaction as she raises her own voice when Anais gets sharp and angry. "Don't you dare, Anais Banefort, don't you dare! I've apologized… I have apologized every godsdamned step of the way… when I got betrothed, and then married, and then pregnant, and when Jacsen went missing, when he came up dead, when Lucienne…" She steps forward toward her cousin. "I apologized for everything that was never my fault." She points a finger at Annie. "I would have seen you marry Ozric, not Nedra!"
Mortimer is mostly keeping his mouth shut and his ears open for now as he tries to piece things together. He'd been along the right lines when Kamron's use of the word banns confirms his suspicions and he gives the knight a quick sideways glance and a shallow nod in both thanks and understanding. Oh course, he's still not sure on exactly who is getting married, but he doesn't have to wait long before Anais herself fills that in for him. It takes him a moment to collect his thoughts, during which his jaw clenches and he reaches up to rub his forehead before he squares his shoulders a little and replies quietly, "I see m'Lady." He stops there though as Saffron speaks once more, anything else he might have said being swiftly bitten back as he moves to try and get a quick word with Kincaid now the progress inside has halted.
Kamron does step forward at the hiss from Anais, "You can be angry, Lady Anais, but I would appreciate it if you did not take it out on my wife." He taps his chest lightly, "If you want a Mallister to scourge, you can direct your attention to me." He keeps his voice low, controlled, "You know how this goes, Lady Anais. While I do think that Lord Terrick could have done seven hells better for you and Justin, he hasn't done anything strictly wrong. The match is a good one for both houses." There, that should get Anais' anger redirected toward him.
"You would think so, when it's your sister taking the place I've earned here," Anais snaps at Kamron. "And if any of you think I'm going to stay here and do the things she's too clueless to do properly, you have a very unpleasant surprise coming your way. I stared down Ironborn who thought they'd take this keep from me. Do you think I'm afraid of a few eagles?" Her jaw sets, eyes cold as she looks between Saffron and Kamron. "You can stand with me, or against me."
Mortimer has no intention of getting involved in the war of words between the cousins, although he can not help but glance around the courtyard and wave one a few of the household staff who seem to have found time to start idling within earshot now the rain has stopped. Kamron's interjection though cause him to draw a deep breath, dreading the possibility of an escalation right at all, but especially one right here in the open. Shit. He glances between Kincaid and the Mallister knight a moment before deciding that if this does get to the point that it needs breaking up then he'll be asking Kamron to on behalf of his wife and the babe's she carries, rather than Anais for the sake of, well, for the sake of Lord Bolland's House. While it's still just talk though he leaves the nobles too it, leaning instead close to the chief of Anais' guards to mutter a few words in the man's ear.
Mortimer whispers to Kincaid: "anything I can help with?"
Kincaid shake’ his head and whispers "Not unless you want to cut Lady Nedra's saddle girth before she makes me do it."
Saffron does not try again to take her cousin's hand, and her anger cannot seem to be soothed despite Anais's words. In fact, it only seems to drive them stronger. "What would you have me do, Annie?" Her hand tightens over the surface of her swollen belly. "Tell me what you would have me do… you would have me, what? Write a letter to Patrek, beg him to reconsider? Chase down Lord Bolland on his way to Riverrun, demand him to change his mind? What fucking power do you think I even have?" There is a hint of distress in her voice, ebbing around the edges of the anger as she continues to grip at her belly.
Kamron continues to keep his scarred features still and calm in the face of Anais' ultimatum. He glances back to Saffron briefly, a flash of concern touching his lips, but he's turning back to Anais again then, "Not even during the War," that would be Robert's Rebellion, not the Ironborn Rebellion, "were battle lines so strictly drawn, Lady Anais." Frowning a touch at Mortimer's movement and murmuring, he gestures toward the big door to the tower, "Perhaps we should go inside."
"Nothing, Saffron. I wouldn't ask you to betray your husband's sister. After all, she's apparently better than I am in every possible way." Anais turns a cold look on Kamron, drawing a slow breath. "It was ill done, Lord Kamron. I would think well on how the Terricks might treat your sister, having seen how they've treated me." She looks to the keep doors, pressing her lips together for a long moment. "I don't think I'll go inside after all. Deputy, was there something you were seeing to in the stables?"
Mortimer eyes Kincaid a moment as man replies, then shakes his head slightly before muttering back once more, the odd word escaping loud enough for any as might be paying attention, "pretend", "hear", "think", and "here." Returning his eyes back to the noble trio he notes Saffron's seeming increasing physical discomfort, but as Kamron seems to have it covered he simply offers the other man a faint nod, agreeing wholeheartedly with the idea of taking this elsewhere. Anais' question brings his gaze back to her though and he nods once before answering honestly, even if that does mean mentioning a Young Lord. "Aye m'Lady. Lady Gaelena was wanting me to have word sent to her Lord Brother. We have a DeMabrey knight arrived wishing counsel."
Mortimer whispers to Kincaid:'I'll pretend I didn’t hear that. I think for now though that the Lady is not here.''
Saffron stares at her cousin, at a complete loss for words. She looks over at her husband, and then back to her cousin. She nods her head softly as her husband suggests they go inside, and she looks over toward Mortimer almost helplessly. Then she starts to step into the entrance hall, though she takes very careful steps as she is lead by her husband. She casts a glance toward Anais as they go.
Kamron nods once at Anais' response to him, "Indeed, and I mean to speak with Ser Ozric about both how his family has treated you and Justin, Lady Anais. He and I have not been on… friendly terms in the past. Both of us said some impolite words to one another. I bet that will be repeated." he offers out his arm to Saffron again, starting inside. The increasingly careful steps draw a deeper frown onto his lips, and he glances over his shoulder, then murmurs, "Are you alright, my dear?"
"I think perhaps I should go and speak with Lord Ozric myself," Anais replies to Mortimer with a knife's edge smile. "Why don't I come with you and maybe I can carry the message myself?" It seems she has some unfriendly things to say to Ozric as well.
Mortimer does his best to offer what he hopes is a reassuring look to Saffron, although he's not exactly feeling overly in control of things himself all told. With Kamron being perfectly capable of seeing to his wife he simply watches a moment to ensure them safely over the threshold before turning his full attention to Anais. "Word has it that he rode out before the rain m'Lady," he informs her, "but I'm not sure if thats the case, or indeed if so if he's returned since or not. I was heading to check and see if his horse was missing or not." And ask the grooms if he'd mentioned where he was off to should it be of course. With the Lady fully caught up with what scarce information he has he turns back towards the stables once more, offering a silent prayer in the hope Gaelena doesn't walk out now and demand to know why her command hasn’t been done yet. That really would be all he needs right now.
"Inside," Saffron asks quietly as she tries to guide them back inside. "I need to sit down." She glances over toward her cousin once more before she steps into the entrance hall with Kamron.
"Let's go and look, then," Anais says with forced cheer, turning her steps toward the stables. That muscle in her jaw twitches again, though, and she has to take a moment to square her shoulders once more. There's a distinct air of turmoil beneath the surface, and tension, warning of the force of emotions roiling through her.
"Aye m'Lady, lets," Mortimer answers as he matches Anais' pace, a fraction of a pace behind her to give her the precedence as the noble. He's not entirely sure where this current idea of confronting Ozric is going, but it isn't exploding into violent rage in the middle of the courtyard so he'll take it. Who knows, if the horse is gone then maybe a ride in search of the Young Lord will provide opportunities to more safely vent some of that tension. It seems though that the grooms are their usual alert selves though and there's one waiting at the stable entrance to check and see if beasts need to be saddled.
Anais moves to her own horse's stall, not waiting for a groom. Instead, she goes about brushing the horse herself, jaw set against the tears that well in her eyes. "Tell me the truth, Mortimer," she says quietly as she brushes. "Would you stay if you were me? Watch someone else who's patently unqualified take over everything that you sacrificed everything for?"
With Ozric's horse indeed gone and Anais making straight for her own, Mortimer concludes that perhaps he isn't going to be heading home for his lunch any time soon. A quick word with one of the grooms confirms that the steed he usually borrows is available and ellicits a promise to send a lad down to town with the message not to wait for him. Moving to start prepping said horse he thinks carefully a while before he answers, "I can't honestly say m'Lady." He pauses a moment, trying to work out how best to explain why he can't answer. "If someone were given my job, someone who couldn't do it, or who didn't care too, it'd hurt. I'd do what I could to stop it, but I can't just leave." He pauses again, the words not flowing in any way. "I mean, everything I know is here but it's not just that. I'm just an old soldier and everything I have relies on the goodwill of the House." House Terrick that is, and he gives the briefest of nods towards the tower just in case that clarification is needed, "there is no where else for me to go, so I couldn't leave, even if such things happened."
"I don't care if there's nowhere else to go." Anais brushes with quiet intensity, gaze fixed on the horse. "I won't stay here and be made a fool of and pitied. I am Anais Banefort. I am beautiful, I am brave, and I am skilled in everything a lady should be able to do in order to run a keep in peace or in war. I survived Ironborn. I survived kidnappers. I survived being abandoned by one Terrick and betrayed by another. I will not sit here quietly and be replaced by an idiot."
"It'd be a brave man who suggested you a fool m'Lady," he answers as he works. It's tempting to stop and keep his whole attention on the conversation, but that'd lead to the whole thing being played out in front of the grooms and if there's soul searching a difficult questions to come then the less ears around the better. "I've no doubt you'll survive this an' all," he starts after she lists her accomplishments, "nor that we'll be worse off without you. I'm sorry m'Lady.” Taking a deep breath he lets it out slowly and takes a moment to rub his hand across his face as he does so. "I'm sorry I have no answers to give you, no words of wisdom that'll solve your ills. You've shown you can find your own way before though, so you can do it again, all I can offer is take time to think it through."
"We'll see." Anais covers a sniffle as she brushes, then goes for the saddle, starting to saddle her mount. "After I speak with Lord Ozric. I've done all I can to make sure the Roost can stand on its own. Now it may be up to its people to maintain what I've set up." Once the horse is ready, she leads him out, accepting a leg up from Kincaid.