|Conversations by the Hearth|
|Summary:||Perrin and Visenya have a chance to finally meet and talk.|
|The entrance to the tower opens into a larger common room for receiving guests. Effort has been made to bring warmth and light to the interior, as well. Rugs have been hung from the stone walls as well as placed on the floor to bring at a welcoming ambiance. There is a large table with several chairs off to the left of the door, a cooking hearth against the back wall, and a wooden staircase that leads up. An antechamber behind the stairs is where the servants live and bed down.|
|December 23, 289|
Most have already vacated the Hall for the evening, leaving it the perfect place for Visenya to sit all by herself, staring into the dying flames of the cooking hearth. She is a young woman shrouded entirely in black, face grim with the premature grief that one so young should not know. Her long hair has been left loose with curls snapping and curving their way down to the small of her back. In a corner dozes her maid, the poor middle-aged woman already exhausted.
It has been a long day for Perrin. Much of it has spent at the docks and then a good long ride. Sometimes one needs a ride like that to clear one's head and just be. And so he makes his way into the Tower of the Naylands. Guards that are about are already used to and know that he is supposed to be there. As he passes the doorway he rubs his arms to break the chill of th evening off of him, for the day was hot and the evening has cooled considerably. At first he doesn't see the Lady sitting there by the hearth that seems to be his next destination. Not till he closes and then her silhouette is framed by the dance of the yellow flames. "Oh," he says fairly softly "I didn't know anyone was here."
Visenya looks from her silent contemplation, offering Perrin a friendly smile in greeting. "The hearth is plenty large enough for more than one guest," she offers, tilting her head toward one of the many open seats. "Any guest of Jocey is welcome by my estimation." She adjusts, rewrapping the black shawl about her shoulders and taking the moment to study the Haigh curiously.
"My thanks, My Lady. But if I am intruding," he lets the rest of his words go unsaid as he moves from behind her to where he can see her more clearly. "Lady Visenya, isn't it?" He asks with a bow of his head. Perhaps already sure of the answer. He still moves a bit closer to the fire and rubs again at his arms "It's not really that cold, just seems that I have gotten a chill," he explains. "I am glad I ran into you, My Lady. I had spoken with Ser Karel while we were in Terrick's Roost that I wanted to see you and offer my condolences. But with all that was going on it never seemed to happen." Again he bows his head "If there is anything, anything at all, I can assist you with you have but to ask." He tells her with a serious look.
Visenya inclines her head to acknowledge the correct name, though there is a flicker of amusement to her gaze. Perhaps an understanding of the formalities that must sometimes be observed, even if the answer is clear. "The chill comes off of the river in the evenings and then you cannot seem to pull it from your bones, no matter how close to sit to the fire, or how scalding hot the tea." The mention of condolences does make her face tighten slightly but another smile appears. "You are far too kind, Ser Perrin."
"Ahh," Perrin says with raised brows and a nod of his head "I didn't think of the river being the cause. But you are correct. It just doesn't seem to want to leave me, the chill that is." He stands closer to the dying embers rubbing his hands a bit by the warmth. He shakes his head a bit, which doesn't help the wayward locks of his any at all "I do mean it, My Lady. One so young and so pretty as your self should not have to go through what you are. So if there is anything I may do to help in anyway," He holds out his hands to her but doesn't finish the words that he had already spoken. Instead he watches the light dance off her features for a moment "How did you find Terrick's Roost, My Lady?"
"If you truly wished to do something that puts my mind at ease, Ser Perrin, you will be careful of Lady Jocelyn's heart," Visenya replies gently. "She is a cousin most dear, and I would be pained to see her hurt. As for my own pains… there is little that can be done. My Lord husband took his duties very seriously, and let them be his end." She considers, brushing the dark curls from her pale face. "Terrick's Roost has seen so much suffering from the last time I visited. Even though we Naylands have always held a strong rivalry with the Terricks, I grieve to see what has befallen them. I would not wish to succeed based solely on their misfortunes."
A half smile of his comes to Perrin as he listens to the words spoken by Visenya. He doesn't respond at first, instead he goes to one of the offered chairs and sits, crossing one leg over the other, he leans forward a bit closing the distance, even if slightly, between them. "I must say you put it very plain and to the point, My Lady." He says at last. The wrinkles on his forehead deepen a bit as he thinks for a time "Lady Jocelyn is a very special Lady, I couldn't agree with you more. So tell me, since you have opened this door, what advice would you have for me on the matter?" His head tilts slightly as she speaks of her late husband and for once he has no words to offer. Instead he just nods his head in agreement.
"The people of Terrick's Roost are most proud and you are correct that they have been most unfortunate. But something tells me that they will come back and be as strong as ever." There is a slight pause "Much as the Naylands of Stonebridge will. For in truth that is why I am here. I am to speak with Ser Tyroan about opening up more trade with Broadmoor. Which should benefit both Stonebridge as well as my home."
A twinkle appears in Visenya's eyes. "Straight forward and to the point is oft the best way to approach things, Ser Perrin," she muses. "Something that you should keep in mind as you spend more time with Jocey. She is a kind-heaerted, wonderful person. Be honest with her and she will likely return it in kind." Her hands fold neatly together in her lap as the Goodbrook studies the Haigh before her. "Father may be willing to listen to you regarding such a road, however the main question that should be on your mind is who is going to be footing the bill." Her smile grows more predatory. "After all, if you plan to open trade with Stonebridge, which in truth has more value to you than to us, House Haigh should be the one to put forward the initial costs. Upkeep, you may convince him to split between the Houses. Stonebridge is, after all, one of the trading focal points of the Riverlands." She tucks back an errant curl, eying Perrin. "And such an endeavor together might help erase the bad blood formed from the inappropriate actions of members from each of our Houses."
Perrin chuckles and nods "Straight forward and to the point. Something that is hard to find yet sorely missed," he says in his way of agreement. Still with a smile he nods "I shall take your advice to heart, My Lady, for it is sound and I would have it no other way." He falls silent as he listens to talk of the trade. The smile never leaves even as she finishes "Again sound advice, My Lady. I shall not lie, it would benefit my House to have such an agreement. But I also think it would bring benefits to Stonebridge as well. But what ever we can do to help mend fences of the past and move forward as partners would serve us both well, no? For there is enough bad blood between to many houses where each is just looking to cut the other's out. To gain an advantage."
Visenya inclines her head. "Sadly, I cannot fault my cousin too badly for his rash actions. He was always the… well, more romantic of all of us. He is as headstrong as any Nayland but does not necessarily possess the same sense that he should. Marriages are not for love, but for political alliance. It is mere chance whether a person will be happy or love their spouse. But it is our duty to follow through with it no matter the cost."
"I couldn't agree with you more, My Lady. Some times I envy the commoners that marry for love, not what one will gain by such marriage. I wonder how that would be, to marry the one that has captured your heart." Perrin muses a bit. He gives a shrug as he sits back in the chair "Fault or no fault was determined by the Trial, was it not? The Seven spoke and so that ends it, or so I thought."
"It ended his part in the conflict, but did not end the conflict itself," Visenya says with a sigh. "Nayland still carries the stigma from his foolish actions, just as surely as your House will bear the scars from your kin's reckless behavior. It will take much work to heal those wounds." A pause. "I would not even dwell on it, Ser Perrin. I speak from experience. I barely knew my husband when we wed, but I grew to care very much for him. We shared a home, a life and a child. I could not ask for more than that. He was my best friend."
Again Perrin finds himself nodding to the words spoken to him. And again he doesn't speak on them, not about the Naylands nor the possible scars on his own hose. But he listens intently to all that is said. As Visenya speaks of her late husband he does smile at first "It sounds like he was indeed your friend, My Lady. For that you are most fortunate. There are many who can not claim the same. But to hear your words only deepens my own pain for you. I find myself wishing that there was more than I could do for you than offer the same words that I am sure you have heard from many others, yet that is what I do and do it with every fiber of my heart." His words ring true and the pained look on his face reflects them as well. Not something practiced or put on as some can do, but truth in features and words.
Visenya's smile is sad. "I wish that a true love had formed between us but it is not something that we are always granted. I wish for my cousin and younger sister what I was not fortunate enough to have. I wish for myself the chance to truly experience love one day. But my duty will always first be to my House and my family. And it is in that where I fear I will suffer. Duty against the heart." She looks back towards the flames, sighing. "I wish that Derik were still here. If there were but one thing you could accomplish, I would wish it to be that. To bring my Lord Husband back to me."
"My Lady, if it were in my power to bring your husband to you know that nothing could stand in my way to do so. For that would be a worth quest to set upon for one such as your self. It would bring gladness to me to see you reunited with him." Perrin says then sighs. "But I believe that the Seven must have had other needs for him than what he could do here." He looks at her for a good long while. The fading firelight casts shadows across her features that move this way and that. "Duty to house is a noble endeavor My Lady and I see before me a truly Noble Lady." Yes, to Perrin it is high praise. "Yet something tells me that you shall not suffer in your duties. Enough you have had of that. The Seven will only close one door when they mean to open another. We just have to keep our eyes open for that opening."
Visenya looks to Perrin with warmth growing in her gaze. "You are far too kind, Ser Perrin," she says quietly. "I do understand that the gods had some reason for taking him from me, but it does not lessen my longing for his return. But I know that I must look forward, else…" Her eyes flicker down into her hands. "Else there would be little reason for me to have not died with him. But I could not deprive our little girl of both her parents." She smiles, bright and warm. "Analyse is reason enough to look to the future. It is for her that I will never falter in my duty. So that she might one day have the opportunity to marry for love over the needs of a desperate House."
Shaking his head "No My Lady. It's not that I am to kind. To do that service is the right thing to do." It is what a Knight would do. He takes in a deep breath "It shouldn't lessen your grief Lady Visenya. All it can do for you is to know he now serves the Seven which can give you is some comfort that he is doing what is right for the Gods." He leans forward again "Live for your daughter, yes. But live for yourself as well. Your daughter will need you. You are her guiding light. Let the love for her fill you till once again you shall find another for yourself to come to love as well."
Visenya's shawl tightens around her. "Perhaps one day, Ser Perrin," she murmurs softly as she slowly climbs to her feet. "But you must excuse me for now. "The hour grows late and I must rise early for I promised Analyse that I would take her to the bridge before her lessons." With silent steps, she moves to her maid, gently shaking the woman awake. "It was a pleasure to have made your acquaintance."
Standing as Visenya does, Perrin bows deeply "The pleasure was all mine, My Lady. I bid you a good night and hopefully we shall meet once again before I depart Stonebridge."