|Concerns Old and New|
|Summary:||The Terricks and their retainers discuss the news of the day.|
|Date:||April 30, 2012|
|Related Logs:||A ton.|
|Throne Room — Four Eagles Tower|
|Great pillars rise above the occupants of the room, the ceiling arching across the structural supports in a lovely feat of construction. The north and south walls have expansive windows that filter in sunshine during the day while ornately designed torches provide light at night. The room is large enough to host a great feast for quite a number of people but the tables are typically kept elsewhere. The Lord's Throne is at the west end of the room on a dais with a high, circular window that brings in the setting sun with the late afternoons.|
|April 30, 289|
As the sun sets in the western sea, fading sunlight pours through the circular window behind the Lord's seat, bathing the throne room in hues of gold and red. It is in this majectic setting that Jerold Terrick, the Lord of the Roost, has gathered those of his household. "My Lords and Ladies, good gentles all. We gather to judge the future of these lands, and how best this house might protect our people with honor intact." Those seated at the long table before him are greeted with a dip of the Lord's head and a spread of his hands to either side in welcome.
As Captain of the Guard, Hardwicke certainly has a place at the table to give counsel, if not as high a place as the gathered nobles. He is, as is his wont, quiet for the moment, watching the gathering of Terricks with a critical eye. As Jerold begins the address, his gaze turns to the Terrick Lord to listen.
Anais sits just to Jacsen's right, looking more weary than usual in the wake of the previous day's events. Still, her back is straight, and there are a few pieces of paper in front of her, along with quill and ink to take whatever notes she may need. For the moment, she waits for others to speak, glancing down the table at those gathered in Lord Jerold's name.
Dmitry is seated in a chair as befitting his own station, dark eyes narrowed thoughtfully and fingers curling in a light brush against his mouth as he listens. Tongue held at least for the moment (though one might not wish to lay odds on how long this may last), he sits in head-cocked stillness.
Mortimer is sat near the far end of the table, below the nobles and the knights and mostly taking his queues fro them, this being his first time in such a counsel. He is however, less nervous about it than his wife had been as she'd fussed around making sure he was 'presentable'. As the Lord Terrick starts to speak he turns his attention up to the head of the table and listens.
Justin is seated at the long table in some of his best clothes, his hands clasped loosely on the table before himself. He's recently shaved and about as presentable looking as he's likely to get with his hair still too long. He listens to one thing or another murmured at the table and says something low to Anais when she joins them, up until Jerold speaks. Justin turns his head, silenced to listen and see how the protocol of this meeting will go since this is his first with the family as a grown man. He has likewise brought a writing kit, the leather which he now unrolls to set up his quill. His gaze slips to Anais and Jascen, then to his father, to see who will speak first or whether he'll be asked to since he asked for the meeting.
Ever since getting back from Stonebridge earlier in the day, Martyn has been in a bit of a distracted state. He managed to get himself inside and find a seat at the table, but looks a bit distracted as he seats himself. As he hears Jerold's words, he seems to focus a bit more, though. Looking between the others gathered here for a few moments, then back to the Lord of the house himself.
Artur usually hates these events, all this due process and etiquette and the pretending to care what other people think. Regardless, when he came home, Jerold had specifically made sure to mention that Artur was going to be involved in the rebuilding. That's Jerold for 'You better show up.' While Artur is likely under only a small obligation due to age, he still shows up, because it's Jerold and this is his home.
That being said, expecting him to sit near the top of the table due to age and station, along with looking more presentable than usual, was a bit too much. Maybe it's not, but it's Artur and he's a grumpy old man who hates these kind of meetings. Regardless, the grumpy uncle is here, quietly sitting in the spot that was set out for him, chin resting on hands as Jerold begins the meeting.
Lord Jerold draws a fresh breath and regards all of those present in a slow pass of his eyes, before settling upon Mortimer. "Sheriff Trevelyan," he prompts, "What is the state of law in my domain?"
As the subject of law is the first to be addressed, Hardwicke squares up his shoulders in his seat and draws his gaze to Mortimer.
Justin relaxes a little, not having to start anything right off. He looks down the table to where Mortimer is seated, idly fingering his feather quill discreetly.
Well there's nothing quite like starting at the deep end is there. "Mixed m'Lord," Mortimer answers first off, a little surprised to have been called upon so early in the proceedings. "All being what it is the town is holding up well enough. Frustrations boiling up into petty squabbles occasionally but nothing serious thankfully. The roads however are still an issue as we haven't really the time or men to spare to clear them properly." He then glances up to where the Mallisters are sitting and adds, "the Sers Mallister have however been kind enough to offer their support in the matter and I believe have been riding their own patrols."
Martyn looks over to Mortimer as the man starts giving his report, nodding a little as he listens. Keeping quiet for the moment, as his gaze is on Mortimer for now.
"I've spared what men I can, my lord, but it's not many," Hardwicke adds in his low voice. "Mostly scouts for the Mallisters, who've offered us arms for the task."
It is hard to tell from the focus of Dmitry's dark eyes whether he is listening intently or just deeply fascinated by his own cuticles.
"For which I and my House offer our great thanks, Sers," Lord Jerold intones with a solemn dip of his head in short deference to Martyn and Kamron at the talk of volunteered patrols. "After what our folk have endured, to see further depredations visited upon these lands is a prospect most grim. I ask of those assembled: how we may best proceed?" The question of banditry open to the floor.
Artur has moved to simply resting his head against one hand, eyes closed.
"My brother Torsten has also offered to help in training some of the townsfolk," Anais chimes in quietly when Jerold asks for input. "I've heard the Stonebridge levies performed well during the war. Training our own men should keep them unified and help them feel more empowered as to their own protection. I know there are many in the town who are still suffering from the aftereffects of the occupation in more than just an economical sense. And if these bandits are some of our own people, turning to banditry to feed their families, then having them in a place where we can keep better track of them should reduce their chances to take to the roads."
"How do you tell the difference between the needy peasant of secret worth who has turned to thievery in despair, and the scummy cutpurse run amok to rape and loot?" Dmitry muses with the careless air that suits him best. "Thinking to train and arm him is all well, unless of course you've simply manufactured a better class of bandit."
Justin looks around and waits for a pause in the discussion, then a little uncertain, he moves to stand and give Jerold a respectful bow, "Lord Father, as to the bandit issue, I believe we have only one confirmed wagon that has gone missing so far?" Justin pauses to look at the others incase they know of other reports that have come in that he does not, before he continues, "The Sers Mallisters, Master Mortimer, Master huntsman Kain, and Ser Hardwicke and I discussed several options. Obviously our most pressing needs have been to see to the people of tower and Roost first and foremost, but huntsman Master Kain and I went out to start scouting to the east between Terrick's Roost and Stonebridge. We came across several places where there had been hunting, though with folk hungry with lean times it could well be general poaching and not necessarily bandit related. We also came across men felling a huge oak." Here Justin's baritone pauses as he frowns, "However, as I have not been privy yet to ledgers nor knew if permits were issued upon paper or whom they would be signed by, we were unable to determine if the folk we came across were legally logging upon Terrick lands. We did make note of the location to return, and should do more scouting to familiarize ourselves with the people living out there." Justin looks to the others and adds, "There was also the proposal of sending a wagon for bait to try and set a trap to lure any such bandits out that we might confront them more directly."
"A sure way to draw out a man hungry for gold is to put it in front of him," Hardwicke says in a dry sort of agreement with that last idea floated.
"I fear m'Lord," Mortimer starts, "that the only way to be rid of them is a concerted effort to root them out from where they are basing themselves. Some may be in your lands, but I liken that some ay also be using the woods of the Oaks for shelter." As Anais speaks he nods in agreement. "Even with the aid of the garrison," a brief nod is given to Hardwicke, "and the Mallisters, I'm not sure we yet have the man power to spare though. Patrolling the roads will keep them safer and until we can find where they are," a nod to justin, "I'm not sure there's much else we can do."
"Levies will be greatly unpopular," Jerold worries with a frown to Anais' suggestion. "With so much work yet to be done in rebuilding, I will give permission and thanks to the Lady's good brother to offer instruction to those among the populace who volunteer, but I cannot presently issue a dictum compelling such." As Dmitry and Justin speak up in turn, the greying Lord of the Roost exhales slowly. "Being seen by the peasantry shall do much to restore lost confidence in this House's ability to protect our smallfolk. Yet, if any device can deliver a more palpable proof-" in oblique reference to a lure, "-Such would be greatly desired."
None of the others are going through the formality of standing or bowing respectfully to his father so Justin has retaken his own seat to listen, or until he might be asked questions. Hearing Jerold, Justin looks to Hardwicke with a barely there nod as plan gains approval. Then back to his father he asks, "Those who are given permission to hunt and log, are they issued permits that we might check?" It doesn't matter if they can't read them.
Bowing his head a little bit as he hears Jerold's words, Martyn listens to the others for the moment as well. Pausing at the mention of the woods of the Oaks, he nods a little bit. Staying silent for a moment longer, he nods a bit at the mention of that plan.
Anais catches her lip between her teeth at Jerold's response, biding a moment before she speaks again. "My lord, until we have the materials to rebuild, we might as well keep them busy. I've a list," she adds to Justin. "Though, to be honest, we've been generous with permission to hunt. Anything that brings in food right now until the rabbits can start producing and the crab pots can start collecting crabs is a blessing."
"If someone copies our ledgers for whoever is scouting, the smallfolk should at least be able to remember their own names," Hardwicke says in that same dry way. "Bandits will look like anyone else, and the sound of arms and armor will only drive them away. Drawing them out is our most likely option."
Jerold exhales and affects a weary frown at the question of logging and hunting. "The names of those granted leave to hunt and log may be reviewed, it must be as Lady Anais says: I will not see our peasantry arrested as poachers when they risk starving. We have supply for some months, yet, but every animal taken in the field is another ten measures of grain we retain another week." He draws a slow, deliberate breath, nodding once to Hardwicke's words, in silent assent.
Artur remains apparently uninterested in much, although after the last statements are made and Jerold says his piece, the old man finally speaks up, "The people are not unfamiliar with the fact that we lost much in terms of resources by participating in the siege as ordered by the King. They see what is happening and understand, treating them as peasantry who are unaware of the challenges that face the current ruling famiy will be our downfall. That being said, asking for volunteers from the general populace to take care of a banditry problem is essentially an admission of inability and at this point, we don't have much left in terms of expendable influence." There's a pause as he snorts, "In other words, asking for volunteers for an army to deter a bandit problem would spell disaster at this moment and would shatter any illusion of order we're still grasping. I would advise against that at this impasse."
Then he continues, another loud sigh, "As for the best way to deal with the banditry problems, a trap would be ineffectual. You would catch a few of them and hopefully, you get one that is a scared kid and tells you everything you want to know about their locations and bases. Soon after you capture him however, the word returns to their bandit camps and everyone packs up and moves on. You arrive to an empty camp and still have no end to your bandit problem. The only true end to the banditry would be an all out extermination without prior warning. We do not have the men for this as has been previously stated."
Another sigh, "As to the subject of illegal hunting and logging, at this point, it occurs to me that we have much bigger problems to deal with. Granted these hunters and loggers, if they aren't bringing the materials back to us, are putting us in a kind of pinch position, that would require more men and patrols to control. I'm sure that the few you saw are not the only ones."
Then another beat and this time no sigh, "The banditry problem however does need a temporary solution. I don't think we should be concerned with immediately taking them out, instead, establish a separate force within the ranks of the garrison. Then ask the populace to apply to it. This is not an indication of weakness, we are expanding our garrison to cover new duties, that is instead a sign of confidence." Then he pauses, "Do with those words what you will."
Justin smiles thinly, "But informed bandits can easily give a name that is not theirs to give." He nods to the others about the food needed, "I'm not interested in poachers anyway. I was hoping it would be a means to help identify men who don't belong." He stops speaking when Artur speaks up.
Artur gains an unreadable look from Justin though he doesn't look like he entirely agrees with his Great Uncle, at least on some points. His mouth thins a bit but for the moment, he holds his tongue to see what the others have to comment.
"I can see copies of the lists made," Anais nods to Hardwicke. "Or I'm sure I can find something to offer as a seal for them to carry. Though then that brings up questions of copies, so perhaps the simplest answer is the best in this case." She falls silent to listen to Artur, though her brows furrow slightly at his words. "What's weak about making your people strong? Is that not what we're meant to do?"
To a military man, it's clear that Kamron has just gotten out of his armor, and to just about anyone, it's clear that he's just dunked his head into a bucket of water and done his best to dry off. He's late, and he knows it. Then again, his ears have been burning, due to the talk about patrols, patrols like the one he just returned from. He bows his head as he enters the room, a bow as he moves toward the table, "My apologies, Lord Terrick, Lords, Ladies, Sers, and Masters. I certainly did not intend to be late." A hint of a grin touches his lips at that, but it's a sheepish one.
"I propose that we create a deterrent by requiring any man caught robbing the roads to dine with the Master at Arms," Dmitry remarks, leaning back in his seat and tipping his head back to turn an arched-browed look at no one in particular. His smile is beatific, his air otherwise solemn. Of course. "He might change their lives forevermore through the imparting of wisdom."
Lord Jerold looks aside to his uncle Artur with a terse look that escapes his composure for a brief instant, before propriety again masks his face. "My Lord Uncle. With what are we to pay such a fresh body of men? No, there can be no fresh retainers. As for the training, we seek no army as well you ought know, my lord. As for these irrelevant few brigands you dismiss, I say that any measure of justice is worthwhile." Looking from Artur to the knights and ladies before him. "Carry on, Sers."
Hardwicke gives Dmitry a look, but it's unclear if he's angry or amused at the young Terrick cousin. "No group of bandits sends one man to take a load of valuable cargo. There's nothing to mark them apart even if we find them in the woods. The only sure way to take them is to find them attacking."
Justin waits for his father's reply before he says low, "I think … capturing some of them may also give us better information as to /who/ really is behind the problem. Aye, some of them may be our own folk gone hungry. But Master Mortimer has heard rumors of Ironborn who may be in the Tall Oaks wood, and then again … we can not entirely discount the possibility of men in the Nayland's pay. It would be wise to have a sample of who we are really dealing with because at this point, we don't know."
Justin adds, "The wagon that was taken had armed guards. So I am hesitant to pin this on hungry small folk."
Martyn nods a bit at as he listens, offering a momentary grin to Kamron as he joins the rest, then looks to the rest of the group. "Catching them while attacking sounds like one of the best options," he offers, before he adds, "But it would seem that if we were to do that through traps, we will have to plan different traps every so often, since trying the same thing too often won't work." He nods a bit in Justin's direction as well, before he adds, "And I agree that we need information. Finding out what kind of people we are dealing with would enable us to plan more efficiently for how to deal with this problem."
Lord Jerold speaks further, "As I recall, the wagon taken carried food, among other sundries. I would see it investigated whether there is a black market preying upon our smallfolk in their difficulties. This, I think, shall lead us more surely to the cutthroats." A drawn breath and brief frown mar his face at the talk of Nayland involvement. "Upon that. Justin, for those present who are not yet aware, recount for us the results of the challenge in Stonebridge."
Having said his bit, and with no particular new ideas of his own, Mortimer sits quietly, listening to each of the others in turn and mulling their suggestions in his head. If truth be told he is still feeling a tad out of his depth and would have been happy to just listen and learn had Justin not dropped is name into the conversation again. "There have been rumours that there might be a few Ironmen stragglers left m'Lord, although I ain't no hard evidence of it yet."
Miraculously unquelled, Dmitry remarks airily, "Guards can be bought. Or tempted, themselves; there you have an armed man with people he knows are otherwise helpless, and with what do you spice a sellsword's honor?" He sprinkles additional variables like a fountain of helpfulness.
Ehm, all right. A muscle in Justin's jaw tightens at his father's request but he inclines his head and moves to stand. "Well, most of us were there. Lord Ser Rygar met Ser Gedeon in combat upon the stone bridge. It was a hard fight and Ser Gedeon did fight well, though alas not well enough. Ser Rygar outmatched the Lord Tordane and did fell him." He frowns, drawing a slow breath, "Afterwards when most moved to depart and ere Lord Ser Anton could carry away the slain Tordane Lord, Lady Danae Westerling came forth to claim her husband's sword. She claimed to have been wed to Ser Gedeon, though she did not say for how long. Further, she claimed to carry his child."
With a brief pause, Justin looks to Anais, then to his father, "Unofficially I quietly bid the Lady Danae to come and speak of her claims to us here. She said she would come once Ser Gedeon was buried." The third youngest Terrick son looks as though he might add more, but for now Justin thins his mouth and retakes his seat.
"Do seek to maintain a modicum of respect for the men who have fought and bled to enable you to sit hale and whole in this hall, nephew," Jerold notes pointedly to Dmitry's flippance. "The Armsmen of this House have proven themselves a hundred-fold, Ser." He then goes silent as Justin recounts the judicial duel.
"It's nonsense," Anais sighs to the matter of Danae, though there's a note of regret in her voice. "The men haven't been back here long enough for her to know if she's pregnant yet." And Anais would know about how long it takes to know.
Artur shrugs silently, "It might be nonsense, but do we want to make it believable nonsense and use her son or leave it be and let her be crazy?" Then another pause, "If you want the banditry problems seen to, I will go scouting and see what I find." And Artur is a good scout, a really good scout, despite his appearance.
Justin does have to nod his silent agreement to Anais even if he knows far less of such things.
Martyn's expression becomes a bit more distant at the mention of the duel, one hand going to his neck a bit absently. He listens, nodding a little bit at what's being said now. Keeping quiet since he doesn't know much about such matters. Looking to Artur at the mention of the scouting, he makes a mental note to speak with the man later on.
Kamron glances around the group, slipping into the conversation with a little frown. "If there is a black market for goods headed to Terrick's Roost, I would bet it's in Stonebridge or the Mire, Lord Terrick." He stills as Justin speaks up, nodding his head. He nods at Anais' words, "Hopeful wishes, I would guess, Lord Terrick. But if true… the child is the heir to Stonebridge. If not…" His shoulders rise and fall in a shrug, but he doesn't voice the obvious other option.
"Better Ser Gedeon's child heir than a Nayland," Hardwicke points out quietly.
Mortimer nods once to Anais' comment. The exact details he doesn't know, but with kids of his own his at least has a vague idea. As the talk turns to politics though he keeps quiet. That's really not his field at all.
"We just discussed how we don't have the manpower to pursue bandits," Anais counters Hardwicke, though she doesn't seem happy about it. "How would we support the claim of Ser Gedeon's unborn heir in Nayland-occupied Stonebridge?"
Justin looks up from a notation he was making upon his parchment, "-If- what she says is true and she has conceived his heir, I think we would have years to prepare, would we not? -If- we could keep the child safe?" His pale eyes look to his father in that matter, but it's a lot of ifs between now and then in any event.
Lord Jerold nods once aside to Artur's offer to scout. The greying eagle comments briefly to Kamron, "Our smallfolk cannot travel to Stonebridge or the Mire, Ser. If any are profitting by their difficulty, they must come here," before his words also turn to the results of the duel. "Time shall tell whether the late Ser Gedeon's widow will prove fertile. This is a river we may navigate once our more immediate trials are addressed, my lords, ladies and goodfolk."
Artur silently waits for whatever the next order of business is.
"No one will wait years," Hardwicke replies to Justin. "Either Lady Tordane will be installed in Stonebridge or not." But when Jerold calls a close to the topic, he falls silent.
"Why?" Dmitry wonders, apparently because he has not learned his lesson about keeping his mouth shut. "Is it really so difficult to ensure a lady is with child? If one were to act quickly, I should think it would be easy enough."
The feather quill writes upon the paper infront of Justin, making notes about looking into blackmarket trafficking as a means to possibly backtrack to the bandit issue. He also makes a few other short notes, his writing neat and practical but far from pretty calligraphic script. Justin pauses at what Hardwicke says, then gives Dmirty a funny look that clearly says 'What?'
"I've half a mind that the lady already /was/ pregnant, and she and Ser Gedeon thought to make something useful out of his death if he should fall," Anais grimaces to Dmitry's question. "But yes, as a matter of fact, it can be difficult to ensure a lady is with child." The last has a bit of a bite to it, her cheeks flaring red for just a moment.
Kamron nods to the Lord of the house, "But the stolen goods could be taken to a place where they would be less noticed, Lord Terrick." Still, he waves off the words, letting them fall by the wayside. He nods at the greying eagle's words, "Rebuilding and ensuring the safety of your people."
"Lady Tordane has no claim upon Stonebridge," Jerold relates, with regret. "Should she prove to be with Ser Gedeon's son, a male child's claim upon that holding could be advanced, although even the Lord Paramount would be hard pressed to evict the Naylands in favor of an infant. Time shall tell, as this word may soon become moot." As Kamron speaks on, the Lord answers, "I look forward to learning what truth of such matters is uncovered, Ser Mallister. Seek that truth as you see most fit."
Poor Anais. Justin sighs, "It did cross my mind that if Lady Danae is so certain she has conceived … that what you suggest could be true, Lady Anais." Yes, let's keep that part to Danae, shall we? He does glance to his elder brother before Justin falls silent to hear his father, setting his quill down upon the table.
"Perhaps not for a noblewoman, Ser," Hardwicke says in rather clipped tones to Dmitry.
Martyn listens in quiet again now, frowning a bit as he listens. Looking a bit lost in thought as he listens, glancing between Hardwicke and Dmitry for a few moments, then back to whoever is doing the speaking at any given time.
Artur snorts loudly as they all respond to Dmitry. He snorts loudly again just to make it clear that he's giving them a message. "Focus on the topics at hand and useful input there in." Short, terse.
Anais draws a breath, composing herself for a long moment before drawing one of the sheets of parchment from the bottom of her stack. "I've some information about the current state of supplies, my lord, if that's where we've come," she offers, tone carefully modulated to politeness.
Lifting his hands in dismissal, Dmitry subsides with a flicker of his gaze up toward the ceiling. "If we're to let the heirdom ride on an if-maybe, I don't see how it isn't useful to think on a little surety," he says.
Jerold Terrick inclines his head to Anais, "This is indeed a fit time for such, good=daughter." Sitting back in the high backed throne of Four Eagles Tower, he awaits the next chapter of bad news.
Kamron smiles a little crookedly at Jerold's words to him, "I would love to investigate such, Lord Terrick. Perhaps Ser Martyn and I might have better luck together, however. He's not quite so disliked by the Naylands as I am." As the conversation shifts, he quiets down, looking over to Anais as she brings up the next topic.
Hardwicke seems out of topics at the present moment. He falls silent, arms folded in front of him, and waits for anything further.
"There's probably very few left alive that's more disliked by the Naylands than you, cousin," Martyn comments a bit lightly to Kamron, before he adds, "But it's true, I am on speaking terms with a few of them." He looks like he's about to say something more, but pauses instead, listening to the others now.
Anais dips her chin to Jerold's permission, keeping her eyes on her parchment as she reports. "We've made several adjustments to our supplies since the siege was broken," she explains. "We've built some rabbit hutches both here at the keep and in town, and worked on snaring rabbits rather than actively hunting them. Some have begun to reproduce, though not all have. Luckily, they're rabbits," she says, the cheer only a little forced. There's even a faint smirk for Dmitry. "Very little need be done to ensure they procreate. We've also started setting out crab pots in the waters off the coast. The small ships that remain to us are able to empty them and bring the produce here. Lady Muirenn and the Mallisters have sent us a few refreshers on grain, as well as some hunters to help bring in food. She's also helping to set up an herb garden for both medicinal and kitchen herbs. I've been told that no damage was done to the fields, and we should be able to plant as soon as we have seeds to plant and the right sort of rain. The seeds are the hard part. Right now…"
Anais pauses, tapping a finger on the table as she tries to choose her words. "We have very little in the way of coin to replace lost building materials or seed. And without that, we will have trouble. The Darants have offered some help. The Groves suffered but little and should be able to help, but seem to be courting the Naylands. We're going to have to act there soon. Lady Briallyn Haigh sought me out about possibly trading land to a /Westerling/ in exchange for coin or food in the short term. I was called away, so I'm afraid I didn't get more information about her terms than that it seemed ludicrous. I believe she actually wanted the lands in perpetuity, themselves, rather than the income from them for a set time period. And independently held, no less," she snorts softly. "It seems to me, we might be better served trying to borrow from those a bit further afield, who would have less to personally gain from a potential default."
Justin does screw his mouth up and furrow his dark brows at the Lady Briallyn's very odd suggestion, the land being so much more valuable. "As for timber, we've been cutting some and hauling it in. If we determine there aren't Ironborn nesting in Tall Oaks we can get all the wood we need there. Stone is another matter. We need to build some fishing boats and get them out onto the water. They don't need to be large to start out, surely?" He looks around but alas, Captain Solomon isn't here to consult.
Martyn smiles a little, although there's also some worry in his expression at the mention of his sister, before he blinks a few times at the suggestion mentioned about the land. "Hmmm…" is all he says about that, listening further to what's being said. "Always easier to get better terms when borrowing money, when those you borrow from doesn't know too much about how urgent the need is," he offers.
Kamron snorts good-naturedly at Martyn, "Two words, coz. 'King. Robert.'" He sobers down again as Anais starts talking. The mention of selling land draws a grimace again, "It's possible she meant Lady Danae, but I think it more likely that she meant her betrothed. Either way, I think it's a dangerous precedent to set." He gestures vaguely to the southwest, "I can try to speak with Ser Kittridge if Ser Martyn is willing to undertake investigations into the black market. We fought alongside him, and may be able to get some seed from him for the Terrick holdings."
Tapping his feather quill against his other hand, Justin asks Anais low, "But who might we seek to borrow from? Your father, or Lord Tully?" Obviously that would be a decision for Jacsen and his father to ultimately make. He does look over at the Mallister Knights though they too are rebuilding. He quiets as the others speak.
"My father's lands were hit hard, I fear," Anais shakes her head to Justin. "He'll need to recuperate somewhat, though I suspect he'll take less time at it than we will. Lannisters always have money, though. And Lord Tywin values my father. Aren't there other houses in the Riverlands with whom we're close?" she asks, looking around the table at the question.
Jerold listens to the report Anais offers, and the comments from Justin and the Mallisters, and nods solemnly. "The rebuilding continues at what pace we can manage for the time being," he says, "My chief concern is our food stores. The risk of bad weather delaying a harvest is too great to leave to chance. Ser Kamron, good-daughter, if you have connections with the Groves, I would deal with them before others, and before the Harpies may get their hands on their surplus." He shakes his head to Anais, "Lord Tywin has a navy and a city to rebuild. We may check, but I am not sure we will find help there." The Lord of the Roost looks around the assembled members of his household and adds, "Find out what this lady Haigh meant to propose. I am loathe to sell off even the smallest fiefs except as last resort, but I would we knew our options."
If Justin might venture any opinion's to Anais's question, he checks himself as his father speaks . He looks to Kamron when the Groves are mentioned, then picks up his quill to make a fresh entry to his notes.
Hardwicke — continues to listen. In that quiet way of his.
Martyn nods a bit as he listens now, keeping quiet as he looks around at the others for the moment. Looking a bit thoughtful as well.
Justin speaks up, "Did I hear something about progress with rebuilding the Sept?"
Artur actually opens his eyes for a second, a couple of blinks coming on, "You're actually considering selling our land? I mean, actually considering the proposition?" He opens his mouth to say something else and then closes it, it opens again and closes. This happens a few more times before he snorts, "Ridiculous. Alband just rolled over in his grave."
Apparently out of wisecracks, Dmitry rolls a shoulder in a partial shrug as he settles back in his chair.
Kamron grimaces slightly at Jerold's mention of actually checking into selling land, nodding almost imperceptibly at Artur's words. "I would love for House Mallister to be able to help monetarily, and I bet that Lord Mallister would as well. But we," he gestures to himself, Martyn, and the rest of the Mallister contingent, "are sadly all the house can spare."
Jerold turns to gaze down at his uncle for a moment, and when he speaks, he sounds weary. "I am. I will not sell any part of our land unless I must, but I will not see our people starve, and it may come to pass that we have no other choice but to sell some parcels of land. I pray that it may not come to pass, but we must be guided by the Seven, and not our pride." He turns away then, to Justin, to nod, "We must see the Sept rebuilt as soon as we can. I would not have our people deprived of the comfort of the Seven in such a time."
"Better that we should lease the land, or offer its proceeds for a time," Anais replies to Artur. "Frankly, better that we find some rich merchant in want of a title who'll be glad to pay for it and give us fealty in return. But sale of the land to someone from outside, with no intention of giving fealty? That I think might be…unwise," she offers cautiously.
"It's in the process, my lord," Hardwicke says of the destroyed sept. "I believe I've heard mention that it should be functional enough in the coming weeks, if less than it was."
"I'm very certain Lord Patrek wishes we could help monetarily," Martyn offers, nodding at Kamron's words. "He's very fond of this place…" Noding a little bit as he listens to the rest, nodding a bit in agreement with Anais at her words about the land. "Wise words," he offers a bit quietly.
Justin gives a nod to his father and Hardwicke concerning the rebuilding of the Sept, making a note about it as well. He says nothing at all about the land issue though it looks to leave a bitter taste in his mouth.
"As I said, good-daughter, uncle," replies Lord Jerold, "The sale of land is a measure of last resort, and not a thing I would see done lightly. I trust the Seven to keep us from that eventuality. In the meantime, I thank you all for your counsel," he says, "There is little more important in such trying times as these." He nods once, and rises, the words a polite, if definite dismissal.