|Conversations at Broadmoor|
|Summary:||Ilaria and Einar take a walk and catch up. Various things are discussed.|
|Related Logs:||None really|
|The Gardens, Broadmoor Keep|
|Hedges, flowers, grass etc|
|Mon May 27 , 289|
It's mid-morning in the grounds of Broadmoor and elsewhere in Westeros too one assumes. The sun is up and there's a distinct possibility that there may be birds singing any minute now. Having comfortablely breakfasted, Einar has decided to take a stroll round the grounds to refamiliarise himself with the layout, much of it is as he remembers, but time has both changed it and dimmed his memories somewhat. The gardens are easy enough to find and it's there that he's exploring anew now, the leasurly passtime a pleasant change from the journey north and back again.
Ilaria, too, has sought solace in the out-of-doors. After breaking her fast with a simple, small meal, she has come to pay visit to the gardens with both her handmaiden, the tawny and bubbly Heolla, and Septa Shiella. The young girl's thin arm curves into the grasp of the Septa's as they walk side-by-side - stroll casually, even - discussing events aloud that young ladies perhaps should not be discussing.
"No doubt someone will likely slip her some moon tea," Ilaria offers to her Septa, and her lips curve down in a disappointed frown. "Like so many women with great ambition and little foresight, she over-reached, and it will ruin her. Do you think she means to follow through with this picnic idea she established? I mean—after all of this scandal?" In her free hand, Ilaria turns over a small sheaf of parchment and shows it to the Septa. The old woman clicks her tongue disapprovingly. "If I were her, I would have heeded the warning of the men. She disregarded her brother entirely, foolishly. Let this be a lesson to you, girl, to always listen to Lord Belmore and Lord Ian."
Ilaria looks away, making an annoyed face at the idea of disobedience, and catching sight of her cousin she detaches herself from Septa Shiella and hurries toward Einar. "I hadn't thought to see you out of your quarters so early, cousin," she greets breathlessly, coming up from behind with a great deal of noise (rustling skirts, you know).
It's not the rustling of skirts that first make Einar's aware of the presence of others near-by but the voices. Far enough away and unfaimialr enough that he can't immediately place them, but audible none the less. He refrains from turning though, so as not to intrude upon their conversation, nor indeed, inply he might have been evesdropping. He does infact, try simply to tune them out so as not to casually overhear anything meant for other ears. It is the rustling skirts though indicate that maybe he should be paying attention after all. Catching sight of Ilaria as he turns his smile broadens and he dips his head in greeting, "Cousin." Then adds by way of explaination, "I must confess that I have been an early riser for years now." Possibly something to do with squiring for Lord Anders and all that.
The handmaid and Septa are then greeted as protocol dictates befire he turns his attention back to Ilaria herself. "After such a time in the saddle I thought it might be pleasant to stretch my legs for a while. I remembered my Lady Mother enjoying these gardens so decided to take a stroll" He takes a brief moment to glance round and admire the view before adding a little bashfully, almost as if he'd forgotten, "I have passed on her regards to Lord Leslyn, but she also wishes to be remembered to you Father as well."
Ilaria dips into an automatic curtsey once Einar has turned to greet her, and both Heolla and Septa Shiella do the same. Once the formal pleasantries have been exchanged, she peels herself away from her entourage to continue with her cousin. Gesturing for him to walk with her, she turns to follow the graveled path slowly and clasps her hands behind her back. Septa Shiella watches Einar intently for a moment, but as he is family she is willing to fall back with Heolla and follow at a distance to allow for privacy.
While listening, Ilaria nods appropriately and offers her cousin a warm smile. "Then it is something I share in kind with my dear aunt, I suppose; I love these gardens as well." She stops long enough to crouch down and pluck up a white flower, rolling the thin stem between her fingertips and sniffing at the delicate bloom. "Oh! Oh, of course she does. Father will be delighted to hear from his sister, I think. I take it, then, that your family is faring well? I regret that I do not keep up communication with any Flints, truly. You are my window into the North, dear cousin. What picture do I see?"
Einar also slips his hands behind his back, it not really seeming like a hands tucked into belt sort of moment. The Septa need have no fear for he keeps and entirely appropriate distance between himself and his cousin as they turn and walk. "They are fairing well tes, thank you," he replies before adding the actually informative bit, "and all so much the better for having their men returned from the fighting and the news of Lady Cordelya's condition reaching them." There may even have been a feast at that news which he may have been forced to attend in Anders' absence. The hardship of it. "Beyond that life continues as normal. I swear that my sister has grown at least a foot while I've been down here in the Riverlands, she claims it is not so." A few more paces and he asks, "I have ben gone now for the best part of a month and the word on the road is all still talk of the duel at Stonebridge. That the day was won by Ser Rygar is clear, but there are many wild tales also circulating. Is it truely so that Ser Gedeon" no surname mentioned, "was wed before his death and that his lady is claiming to be with child?"
Ilaria's cheeks dimple as she offers Einar a smile, and her skirts swish with her striding steps through the garden. Wordlessly, she leads her cousin around a turn in a hedge and back down a parallel path running in the opposite direction. "Your sister is healthy and hearty of mind and constitution, my lord. Such growth is promising in women." The compliment is given effortlessly, and her tone is more or less genuine. She falls silent as they walk slowly and the talk turns to the dastardly duel of Stonebridge. The topic is enough to make her wince, although she turns her head away until she can school her expression into something marginally more neutral.
"Well," the girl begins slowly, drawing out the pause while she attempts to collect her thoughts into the most appropriate and polite wording. "It is /rumored/ that Ser Gedeon was hastily married prior to the duel, and it is also /rumored/ that the lady in question is carrying his child, but" She stops, turning to face Einar completely. Her gaze darts around to be sure no one is lingering near enough to overhear her, but the garden looks empty of other people. "But those are simply rumors, my lord. It is advisable to take all of this with a grain of salt. Some people speak of desperate ploys while others are eager for it to be true. In either case, we will not know for quite some time whether or not the lady is with child. Even then, there is nowell. Let us just say there are /other rumors/ that the child is not Ser Gedeon's. I cannot qualify any of these comments. I was not even present for the duel; my brother forbade it."
"If she keeps up at this rate she'll be taller than me soon enough," Einar answers with a relaxed smile, "and your sister? She is well?" He has the good grace to wince as well though, when he spots the effect his question has on Ilaria. He's momentarilly caught in the quandary of wheather he can withdraw said question or not but as she starts to answer he decides that it would probably be ruder to interrupt. Keeping his peace until she's finish, he bows his head slightly in contrition and replies, "I am sorry. This is neither the time nor the place for such conversations and it was wrong of me to mention it. I think perhaps I should have spent less time listening to the conversations in the inns along the road, otherwise I might not have forgotten myslf so."
As the turn is made he takes a quick glance so as not to lose his bearings amonst the hedges before turning back to the conversation before the pause becomes awkward. "Tell me Cousin, it has been a while since I was here, where might I find the Sept? I forgot to enquire when I arrived and I feel I should correct that sooner rather than later."
Ilaria inhales the flower's scent, twirling the delicate white bloom in her fingers as she watches Einar. The inquiry after her sister causes her to smile, although the expression does not quite reach her eyes. "My sister is as well as can be, my Lord. She busies herself assisting our brother, Lord Ian, with business - although in private company I would just like to say I think it rather /unladylike/ to put so much stock into men's work. She is less focused on her duty and more on finding a way to become a political scion. Well." She stops, exhaling through her lips, and her expression lightens. "I spoke out of turn. I apologize for letting my frustration show." The flower slips from her fingers and drops to the ground, and she passes on as the walk continues.
"The sept? There is one within the keep on the floor above the main hall along the north wing," the girl answers quickly enough, and perhaps asking after a sept was just the right question to generate more conversation. "There is one in town, of course, if you would prefer. It is west off the main road. The septon there is said to be very knowledgeable in his field." She pauses, lips pursed, as if hesitant to continue with her query. Still, curiosity wins and she looks sideways at Einar: "I thought the old gods still held sway in the North. I am afraid you will not find a godswood at Broadmoor."
"It seems to be quite the conversation for apologising," Einar remarks, certainly not holding her words against his cousin. "I suppose I can say that it is good that Lord Ian is receiving help, especially if he is kept as busy as Lord Anders is, but perhaps you are right. Besides, if you can not express your concernts to family, who can you?" His mind immediately conjures up a memory of Rowan Nayland, or Ser Rowenna as now, but he's not about to turn to Ilaria and offer that as a more extreem example.
It does not, in all honestly, look like Einar is particularly surpised by the query posed and he starts his reply with a soft smile. "They do, the Old Gods that is, and I seem to recall that the nearest Godswood to these parts would have been that at Tall Oaks." He doesn't add to that, seeing that just about everyone knows what happened to that, instead he gets back to the actual point. "I'm afraid though that my Lady Mother may have passed on a few of her Southern habits to one at least of her Northern brood and so it is to The Seven that I turn." It seems that their slow yet steady progress has managed to upset a small bird amongst the hedgerow which quickly takes to wing and darts off away form the house and grounds. It's movement is enough to distract him briefly but after it disappears from view he turns back and picks up his train of thought again. "I had only meant the one within the house, but if you recommend the town Septon so then I may have to find the time to pay him a visit. Do you happen to know if he follows any of the aspects in particular? I must admit to a habit of seeking out the wisdom of the Crone myself but I met a couple of quite interesting Septons who favoured the Warrior when with the army." He skips the exact nature of the introductions, this is not the time for tales of battle after all. "I must confess that I had not thought that the faith might be present on those Isles, but there seems to be quite a following in one area at least. I wish I had had more time to talk to their Septon in truth, a fascinating man. I have been half tempted to write to him but I am not entirely sure what Lord Anders woud think if I started correspondance with those we had been facing." It seems too that this may be a topic he can talk a lot on, he stops himself though, aware that he's probably rambling again. "I'm afraid that it seems that once again apologise," he finishes with, dipping his head again, "it is a bad habit of mine that I sometimes get carried away with conversation."
Ilaria listens quietly to her cousin's rambling about this Septon and that, smiling all the while to have met an enthusiast who can match her pace in discussing religion and its people. "The Septon in town favors the Mother, I think. At least it appears his talks tend to take him in that direction, and he is of a more nurturing nature than most would expect from a stalwart male." She pauses, offering her cousin an apologetic smile for generalizing about his sex. "But the Septon in the Keep is more private, I admit; he seems to talk upon all the faces of the Seven, paying no particular favor to any that I can think of… Perhaps his is more of an inclination to the underlying beliefs rather than paying homage to only one aspect. Septa Vivan was the same…" Talk of her previous Septa, however, is enough to send her spirits sinking.
Instead of allowing herself to dwell, however, the young girl shakes her head and brightens, picking up the conversation and pushing on to a new subject. Perhaps it is a breech of propriety, but with family one must grow comfortable at some point. With a sudden laugh, she nudges her cousin gently with an elbow. "Do you seek a Septon to speak at your future wedding, coz?"
Einar listens to the descriptions of the local holy men, nodding at the politely appropriate points. "I shall try and make time to speak tom them both 'ere I leave," he answers. Not that he has much that might get in the way, but they might be busy after all. As for the difference between favouring on aspect or keeping all seven equally he ponders for a moment and then states thoughfully, "I would imagine that it's a mixture of person preference of the Septon and the situation they find themselves in. The Ironborn Septon I spoke to for instance, he is one of those who follows the Warrior, which makes a certain degree of sense given the way of life there. Your town Septon, I might speculate, is required for more pastoral work so the more caring aspect of the Mother would, on teh surface at least fit better." He shrugs once, as if to reinforce that he's not speaking with any degree of insider knowledge, just running things through to a logical solution in his head.
The momentary downswing almost attracts a concerned look but it's gone as soon as he spots it so he lets it pass. The question about his wedding though catches him slightly off guard and he just shakes his head, caught in a quandry about just how to answer that. "No," is the truthful answer, if somewhat short so he then adds, "I just find it interesting to discuss the faith and such. As you know, there are not so many follows in the North so it can be interesting to come across new interpretations and viewpoints." To finish he adds, with a glance forward to the gardens again, "besides, I have to earn my knighthood first," although his tone is not perhaps as happy at the thought as it might be.
"Your knightood, of course," Ilaria replies, her amused tone belying the serious look she attempts to assemble upon her face. She clasps her hands behind her back and follows a curve in the path that is now leading them back toward the keep itself; they have a bit of ground to cover yet before they reach home, however. "You are squired to—Ser Anders Flint, correct?" She blushes at knowing this and glances away, offering a shrug and a pre-emptive explanation of: "I have learned as much as I can about the movements of families. It makes memorizing heraldry a good deal less boring to know where the ties of blood and honor lie. And you are family; I am always curious about family. How long have you been his squire?"
Einar raises a faint eyebrow at that, as if to enquire if the idea of him being knighted is funny to her, but the complete failure on his part to cease smiling should show that he's taken no offence. He takes a quick glance towards the keep and then nods in answer to her question. "Yes, Ser Anders is the Young Lord of the House and my cousin. On my Lord Father's side." All the cousins. It's an easy answer, and so is the query about timescale. "Six years now, or there abouts anyway. Since he returned from King Robert's War." He breaks off their for a moment and glances back to the keep, and then to the path ahead before continuing, a little more solomnly. "You'll know my brother fell at the Trident. My Lord Father decided that the best way for me to learn to take his place as heir would be to learn from Anders." A slight slip with forgetting any titles but he doesn't seem to care overly as he finishes, by way of additional explaination, "I'd rather let such studies go you see, in favour of learning those things required for entry into holy orders. Second son and all that, and I don't have the stomach of a soldier."
Ilaria listens intently to Einar's explanation, and her eyebrows arch upward in surprise. "Six years? Since the King's war?" she echoes, nearly disbelieving, but she squints at her cousin suddenly as if to size him up from head to toe. There is nothing lascivious in her study; she seems wholly intent upon trying to picture him six years ago as a strapping, eager squire. "Our lot in life falls to us whether we wish for it or no. You will make a good knight because you have to, cousin." She offers the faintest of smiles, and touches his arm lightly in an apologetic gesture.
"Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires but according to our powers," Einar replies with a faint smile, "or so my Lord Father is oft to say. I do think though that he made a good decision. I have learnt a lot these past years and it has ensured that both myself and Ser Anders know how to work with each other which can only strengthen our House into the future." If he notices her surprise at the timescale involved he doesn't mention it, keeping instead to the second part of her reply. "When, or if," it doesn't do to presume after all, "Anders feels I am ready then I will be the best knight I can for both House and smallfolk, for that truely is our duty." Not counting war, he'd be quite happy not to have to do that again. Sensing perhaps the the conversation is focusing entirely on one topic he then asks, "do you enjoy the study of heraldry? I agree that it can be useful but must admit that I am no great master of it."
"Your father is a very wise man, as is Ser Anders. I think you have the blessing of ancestry to guide you, too," Ilaria murmurs in response, glancing up to Einar periodically while he speaks. The abrupt shift in subject, however, surprises her, and she blinks rapidly at him. "Oh, heraldry? Well, at first I admit it was very boring, but when you learn of the history behind House symbols, when you study the patterns of names, when you trace particular traits passed down through family lines—it starts to get easier. Of course, that is more detail than necessary, but I still consider it essential. It is not my favorite subject, of course, but it is an important one. What do you study with Ser Anders? Warfare? Battle strategies?"
Einar nods a couple of times in confirmation then expands on his answer, "Yes, in part. All of those things as well as bladework itself and so on. SOme of that has been with Master Fenrir as well, our Master at Arms. I will never be able to claim to be a natural swordsman as I have a tendency to be all elbows at times, but between them they have ensured I at least know which end to hold." An exaggeration certainly, but one made in jest as is evident by his grin. "There is a lot of administration as well though, the sort of thing that I am sure keps your Lord Brother busy from day to day. Lists and so on. THe sort of thing that is not terribly exciting but is vital to making sure that enough food is stored and such."
Ilaria's amusement bubbles up to the surface and escapes as a quiet laugh, and she pushes Einar playfully at his joking tone. "I am quite sure that after all this time you have learned a little more than just which end is pointy," she teases, shaking her head. Flicking stray locks back behind her ears, she nods in understanding as Einar continues speaking. "Yes, yes, my brother is always busy; always. I wonder if he has time for anything other than work - for mingling, and dancing, and women. Don't look at me that way, either; I am not stupid. I know what men like. In any case, I think for the next tourney I will drag my brother from his desk and send him out to have fun. Will you help me?"
Einar feigns innocence for a moment or two and then shrugs lightly. "You are right Cousin of course, but I think I will always be stronger witht he bow. Hopefully though, with the Greyjoy business finished, it is not something that will need to be tested again." He declines to return the push but it does elicit a quiet laugh and broad grin. "I promised to aid you in anyway I can," he moves onto. "I have not yet had chance to talk much with Lord Ian and would like well to catch up these past years. I fear though that if you want to get him dancing and mingling with ladies then I may not be your best option in terms of help. My two left feet generally keep me around the edges of such events. I can happily take him out to sample the local ales though if that would suit your plans."
"Anything to drag him away from his business. He is too serious-minded, I think; a mand needs a little bit of frivolity in his life or he begins to take himself much too seriously." Ilaria smiles cheerfully at Einar before scooping up her skirts and hastening forward along the path. She stops abruptly beside a patch of flowers and leans down to examine them. "Maybe if he had an admirer he would learn to relax. Gods know that he will not listen to his sisters. Women know nothing, hmm? But I am sure you would be a good influence upon him, if only to remind him that he is still young."
"Consider it done then," Einar answers with a smile, "the ale part that is, not the sending flowers." Quickening his pace a little to close the distance between them once again he glances down to see what has attracted her attention then takes a moment to glance around this new stretch of garden. "If he spends his whole day over his ledgers then he may struggle to find a Lady so once again you are correct, getting him out and about may be benefitial to him." He's an eldest son after all and they need ladies.
Rising up with a single flower in hand, Ilaria twirls it between two fingers. Shielding her gaze, she glances up to the sky and smiles. "Would you like to have some tea, coz? All this walking has made me thirsty, and perhaps we can find my sister and coax her into joining us. She could tell you more about Ian; she spends the most time with him."
"Tea would be lovely," is Einar's reply, and it's not as if hehas any plans that might conflict on his time. "If we can coax Lady Katrin then maybe we could also coax Lord Ian as well, I have no issue with my presence here being used as a pretext to draw him away from his work for a time." They've got to start somewhere after all. "Will you lead the way? I am still only vaguely familiar with the halls."