|Summary:||Everyone finds out that they're related to everyone else.|
|The surrounding terrain has several small gullies and streams that feed into the waterfront area just adjacent to the town square, the sails of the boats visible over the tops of the buildings. The square is floored in the same heavy stone that the east docks and castle are constructed of while the buildings are a mix of the stone, wood, and mortar. There are quite a few fish vendors with their fragrant catches for sale among groups of tables which tend to be busy most of the time.|
|Thu Apr 26, 289|
As Katrin steps out into the square, she tightens the shawl about her shoulders and begins her walk through the bustling area. At her side is an elderly Septa and her personal maid. The latter walks alongside the Lady Haigh, both younger women's heads bent together as they speak in hushed tones. No matter the class difference, it seems as though gossip will always be gossip.
Given the, for want of a better word, excitement of the previous day, Einar is keeping his eyes about him as he traverses the town square. Having successfully completed a minor errand he's now heading back in the direction of the Tower to deliver the goods to Lady Cordelya, still herself too ill to easily manage the trip herself. The inn is tempting, especially as he's ahead of schedule, but he can't quite bring himself to, not with his task as of yet incomplete. It's as he turns his eyes away from the door though that he spots the small Haigh delegation approaching. Bunking of for beer is one thing, but for a brief family reunion entirely another. "Good day Cousin," he greets with a smile, desperately trying to remember a) her name and b) exactly how they're related. Still, on that side of his family, cousin really is a solid opening bet, there are so many of them after all.
Katrin looks up from her walking and talking, coming to a halt at a reasonable distance from Einar and returning the favor of scrutinizing the man before her closely. Something seems to click. "Good day," she greets with a smile. "It has been such an incredibly long time since we last met," she says, offering a bow. "Is your family well?" Thank the gods for vagueness as the young Haigh seems to be struggling to come up with a name herself.
There is a discreet look back toward her Septa, a fixture in Katrin's life from a young age, with a faint crossing of desperation. With a heaving sigh, the older woman bows. "My Lord Einar Flint, it has been far too long since you have made the trek to Broadmoor," the Septa greets. "My Lady Katrin Haigh would have been barely more than child the last you two would have met."
Einar has always had a soft spot for Septons and Septas, even though he grew up in a household that almost exclusively worshiped the Old Gods. This particular Septa gets a smile, followed by a nod that is meant both in greeting and in thanks as she solves the immediate problem for the pair of them. To Katrin he answers, still with a smile, "They are indeed well, thank you. The Lady Cordelya, wife to my cousin on my father's side, the Young Lord, has announced that she is with child and we have brought a goodly proportion of our men back from the Iron Isles." And he'd survived the war which was a bonus he really hadn’t been expecting. "And how fairs it down here? I'm sure my Mother would welcome any news I can convey."
Relief and thanks pass through Katrin's gaze towards her Septa before she turns back to Einar with a more confident presence now that she knows who she is addressing. "There is nothing quite so joyous as the announcement of being with child," she says warmly. "I do hope that you will pass my good wishes and prayers to the Lady Cordelya. It is so pleasant to see you again, My Lord. My Septa speaks the truth. It must have been quite some time since we were last able to see each other." She considers as she looks about her. "With the return of men from the Iron Isles, it has brightened Broadmoor, by what my father sends me. But our House seems in good health, though we grieve for those who were lost in the fighting."
Given the stress Corrie had worked herself into over not being pregnant, the announcement was indeed joyous, but such details are not for open conversation in public spaces. "I will pass on your regards presently," he promises, " for am I bound that way now." He would have to confess to not being entirely sure exactly when it was that they would have last met, but he'd recognised her, however vaguely, so figures it can't have been when they were too small. "I fear I can not recall precisely when I was last at Broadmoor, but maybe if Lord Anders decides to stay down here for a while then I could persuade him to allow me visit. I am however due to ride north again in the next few days, to escort our wounded home," the Flint forces having taken a hammering at Seagard, "maybe, if good time is made there is even a chance then."
"I do not believe I have seen you since before the announcement of my betrothal some years ago," Katrin muses, tapping a finger to her chin. "So I would have been but fourteen. In short, I would say it has been far too long since you were last there." A smile curves her lips. "I do hope that you will have a safe journey home and find yourself back in this region again soon. There is very little outside of family that we can hold close and cherish."
"Unless Lord Anders changes his plans in the meantime I should not be gone for more than a few weeks, a month maybe," he answers, "he currently intends to stay for so long as the Lady Cordelya requires, and to then travel to the Roost for some negotiations." Yes he does know what about, no he's not going to say in the middle of the square where anyone could be listening. "Whether he likes it or not, he's stuck with me for a while longer," he continues with an easy grin, " and that means the Riverlands are too I suppose. Should the time be granted though, I shall endeavour to send word ahead, or it'd be just my luck to ride in at the gates an hour after the family has set of for some engagement somewhere else." He's still smiling as a thought crosses his mind and he furrows his brows slightly, almost apologetically, "I'm not keeping you from anything am I?" After all, he may have had time to spare before he's due back, but it has occurred to him that he did not check his cousin was in the same situation before taking up her time.
Katrin chuckles softly, "I am sure that you are invaluable to the Lord Anders," she says with a smile. "And he would be entirely lost without your continued presence." She smooths back a loose strand of hair and considers. "I have never ventured to Terrick's Roost," she admits. "I must say that I find myself intrigued to see it one day, though perhaps it would be best to wait until it is rebuilt. Or maybe best to see it before then, so I may witness for myself the truth of the conflict and the many people that were harmed because of it." She pauses then shakes her head. "No, there are no pressing engagements that I must away to just yet. I find myself far happier to speak with a long lost cousin."
Einar looks faintly relieved at that confirmation, he'd hate to have to feel guilty about keeping her from anything. As for the Roost? He thinks back for a moment to how it had seemed when the army had marched in and then shakes his head slightly. "I truth that by now there will have been some of the clearing up done and rebuilding started, but I would not be too hasty to go and see the devastation for it's own sake." That said, he hasn't seen it in a couple of months at least, but the memories are still not pleasant ones. "Once it is rebuilt, or at least, has had chance to get back on it's feet, I would think it worth the visit though." Pushing the images back he changes the topic to something happier, "If I might ask, how are my magnitude of cousins? So very little news seems to be shared." He's assuming at this point that they'll be aware of his brother's death in Robert's rebellion, but since he's trying to avoid talk of war and death at the Roost he doesn't particularly feel like checking on that point.
"Perhaps once the reconstruction is safely underway, I will petition my Lord Brother to escort both myself and my sister, Ilaria, to see the Roost," Katrin considers with a nod, as if deciding it within her own head. She smiles, "There are several cousins that do quite well. Lady Briallyn is to be married quite soon," she muses. "To a Lord Westerling. They are an unusual House, to be sure."
"I am sure your Lord Brother would be most amenable to the suggestion," Einar offers, considering the idea a good one, even if I can't remeber if it's his cousin Ian or his cousin Gryffith that's been referred to. As for the Westerlings, he can't claim to know them at all bar scant reputation, but Katrin's turn of phrase amuses him, and he shares. "I imagine they said a smiliar thing when my Lady Mother went north and that union remains as strong as ever."
"I suppose our marrying to different Houses not only expands the influence of House Haigh, but also ensures that our bloodlines will remain strong," Katrin muses with a wry grin. "There is so much to consider as we enter into the marrying age, would you not agree?" She shakes her head. "So much to consider."
Einar has been, in generally, and once or twice, very specifically, doing his best to not be in a position where people might be considering him and the subject of marriage. As such, he answers with a simple, wry grin and then nods once, "I suppose there is, although I must admit to not generally allowing it to concern me too deeply." Although he might admit, if forced, that he is faintly worried that the subject might be brought up once more when he rides north again.
"You needn't look so worried, dear cousin," Katrin assures with a laugh. "A squire to a noble Lord should be able to keep such frightening things as marriage at bay for some time," she says. "Or at least until you yourself find it to be desirable."
No talk of marriage surrounds Ilaria Haigh as she rounds a corner with her retinue in tow. Rather, with her handmaiden Heolla in tow; Septa Shiella is linked arm-in-arm with her, and the two seem to be carrying on a lively and humorous conversation. "…and I told him if he tried, he'd see /this/ maid turn warrior before he could scream out 'by the Seven'!" Ilaria dissolves into giggles, hiding them behind her hand and shaking her head, sending locks of brown hair dancing. The Septa chuckles quietly, reaching over to pat Ilaria on the hand. Their walk slows a bit as they reach the busy square, and for a moment the young Haigh lady is craning her neck to look for familiar faces in the evening bustle.
You have met my father yes?" Einar replies quickly, relaxing into the jest. It occurs to him then that it would have been so long ago that she might not remember, and indeed would have been before the demise of his older brother and thus her uncle's renewed concern for securing his succession for as many generations as possible. Still, it doesn't dampen his mood as it might do in other situations and instead he asks, "forgive me, for I know I should be aware, but what with all the comings and goings of late, but when are the aforementioned nuptials planned for?"
"It has been some time since I met your lord father," Katrin admits. "So long that I have but a vague recollection of him." She shakes her head, eyes narrowed slightly. "But I have heard only the most positive of words regarding him." She flashes a cheerful grin. "Of course, even if I had heard otherwise, it would be quite rude to speak of them here." The question of her marriage causes her expression to immediately fall, skin paling. "My… my own lord to whom I was betrothed was killed in a hunting accident some time ago," she says, voice soft.
"I seeee yoooou," Ilaria murmurs to herself, glancing to the Septa at her elbow. The elder woman backs away a few steps, clasping her hands in front of her and donning a more stern expression. They are in public, after all. Heolla remains behind, quiet as a mouse but silently 'making eyes' with a young lad leading two packhorses along the edge of the square heading for a side street. This particular detail is lost on Ilaria as she seems rather intently focused on her sister whom she has just spied. She pulls a light purple handkerchief from her sleeve and dabs away at a few beads of perspiration on her forehead as she approaches quickly from the left of Katrin and Einar. One minute she is several yards back, and the next she is standing right at Katrin's elbow, silent, unwilling to butt right into their conversation.
Well, bother. Foot meet mouth. "I'm sorry," he offers immediately, "I… my condolences. I suppose this just goes to illustrate how long it has been." It's not a particularly convincing answer, but he's struggling to think of anything better right now. Fortunately though he's saved, or at least, potentially saved, by the arrival of Ilaria. He turns slightly and gives her a polite bow in greeting. "My Lady Cousin." He's not sure which one though, so Katrin's Speta, who'd been of such use before get another questioning glance. Briallyn or Ilaria he's guessing, certainly not Ceinlys.
"You needn't trouble yourself over it," Katrin murmurs, shaking her head. "It was an honest mistake." Looking behind her, affection immediately appears on her face. "Cousin Einar, may I introduce my younger sister, Lady Ilaria Haigh," she says, grasping at her sister's elbow to draw her forward. "May I offer her as a replacement in company for me as I just realized there /is/ something I must attend to." She dips down into a polite bow before extracting herself to depart with more haste than is appropriate. Her Septa and maid follow after with concern.
The introduction is quick - very quick. Ilaria has enough time for her eyes to widen before she dips into a graceful curtsy for Einar. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, cousin, Lord Einar," she greets with a warm smile as she straightens. Her mouth opens as if to address Katrin, but only has time to squeak out a "Goodbye, sister!" before the girl is swept away in the crowd to tend to business. The hasty departure leaves Ilaria breathless, and she turns flushed cheeks and glittering hazel eyes upon her cousin. "How long have you been in Stonebridge, my lord? I hope you are finding the town much to your liking; it is perhaps a trifle too crowded for my taste." Curling up her handkerchief in her fist, she inserts it into her sleeve. Her chaperons hover about behind her, Heolla bobbing a curtsy and the Septa merely studying Einar with a neutral expression; the laughter lines about her eyes, however, belie Septa Shiella's otherwise stern appearance.
The speed of Katrin's departure catches Einar somewhat by surprise as well and he's left blinking a couple of times as she disappears off, before he turns to Ilaria. Quite the family reunion it seems. "Cousin," he offers with a bow, "about three weeks now I think, maybe four." It can be hard to keep track sometimes. "Although if plans remain as they are then I'll be returning north in a few days." Possibly even before the fun and games scheduled for the bridge itself. "And yourself? I suppose Broadmoor is not too distant from here?"
Ilaria's brow wrinkles at Einar's admission, and the corners of her mouth turn down in a slight frown. "Gone so soon? Oh, but of course it isn't soon for /you/. I will be sad to see you go, and having only just been introduced…" With a sigh, the young Haigh reaches up to brush a lock of hair back from her cheek before smiling at Einar. "Broadmoor is not too far at all, no, but I have been here some, oh, a month now? It seems longer than that, but we have been kept busy. I believe father intends for us to stay with our brother for at least another month, if not more." She need not state aloud the other caveat of 'marriage'. "Surely you will stay until after the—what are they calling it? The /Eschaton/? The duel. Will you attend?"
"The exact timing is still uncertain," Einar admits freely, "there is much to be organised and I have business of my own I need to attend to first as well. I truly can not say yet if I shall be around to witness the duel or not yet. My cousin, on my Lord Father's side that is, will still be in town though, along with his wife, and I should rejoin them here in only a matter of weeks." Assuming plans don't change again that is. "I have already promised your Lady Sister though that should I be passing and with the time to spare then I shall call in at Broadmoor, it has been many years since I was last there."
Aren't relationships fun? Tiaryn, along with maid and guard, is making her way across the square, for once without a harp in hand. She appears to be thinking, as she's not entirely watching where she's going, just meandering in the general direction of the inn. Her hair is almost all in it's proper confines, though as always some tendrils escape to provide a softening of the austere look that does suit Tia well. The grey she is wearing could be mistaken for Flint colours alone, rather than half-mourning, but the black armband she still wears keeps that fresh in mind.
Ilaria's smile widens at the mention of Einar visiting Broadmoor, and she clasps her hands together underneath her chin in a girlish gesture of excitement. "It would be lovely to have family visiting. I will write to father today to inform him that you may be calling on him in the future. I'll be vague about the date lest he scold you for your schedule." The last is murmured in a low, conspiratorial tone before she rocks forward on her toes sending her skirts swishing about her ankles. The young are ever moving, and Ilaria is no exception to this; she turns her head to look about her once more, and in a momentary parting of the crowd catches glimpse of Tiaryn's fair hair. "I daresay, cousin, that I have spied your sister approaching."
"It seems a shame not to now that I am down this far South," Einar answers with a smile, "besides, I am sure my Lady Mother would appreciate what news I could convey to her." He's smiling freely now, although Ilaria's last comment does cause some evident surprise, and then confusion. "My sister?" he asks, almost incredulously, turning to follow her gaze. It's then of course, that realisation hits. "Ah yes, my good-sister." That makes a lot more sense after all, and he gives Tia a nod in greeting as she draws near. In case clarification is needed though he leans a little close to Ilaria and supplies, "my brother's widow."
Tia's path takes her near enough that she can catch Einar's voice, not to mention see him there with Ilaria, so it's not very difficult to adjust her steps to take her right over to where they are at. "Good day to you both," she says with a polite curtsy. "Though it had not occurred to me that you two know each other? Are you introducing yourselves?" She tilts her head a little, blue eyes showing her curiosity and her expression one of polite interest.
"A sister is a sister is a sister, my lord, by blood or by law," Ilaria replies equally as quietly to Einar, and her nose wrinkles with amusement. Her mirth dissipates quickly, however, and she casts her eyes down toward the ground as her cheeks flush a delightful pink of shame. "Lady Flint," she greets warmly despite her embarrassment at the implied unconventional behavior, dipping into a polite curtsy for Tiaryn. "Septa Shiella would not allow such behavior. My sister, Lady Katrin, did the honor of introducing me to your good-brother, our cousin Lord Einar, hasty though it may have been. His mother is sister to our father, Lord Belmor." Once the air is cleared of any misconceptions, however, she looks up to Tiaryn and offers a genuine smile. "It is a pleasure to see you again, my lady."
Hasty is certainly one word for it, although Einar isn't going to elaborate on that. He does though, nod at the recital of the family tree, confirming what Ilaria had said. "I am also hoping to stop at Broadmoor either on my way north in a few days, or when I return south again. It seems a shame not to given how close we are now." That last bit is for Tia's benefit, having already mentioned it to both Katrin and Ilaria previously. The passage of time is ever pressing though and, reluctantly, he moves to take his leave of the pair of them. "I fear I may have dallied too long, I have herbs from the market that Lady Cordelya is expecting and I had best be on my way back to the tower." Still at least they seem to know each other, so he's not abandoning them as soon as they first meet. Tia gets a nod in parting and Ilaria a "I hope we get the chance to talk more before I leave. Both yourself and your sister." That said though and he's off, weaving his way back towards where Corrie will no doubt be waiting.
Tia has to chuckle a bit as she inadvertently suggested something unlikely for a young unmarried woman to do - introduce herself. She merely inclines her head to Ilaria though, not fussing over it at all. "It is nice to see you again as well, Lady Ilaria. Have you stopped by to see Lady Cherise and the little baby Aerick as yet?" She isn't sure who might do so, or who has, other than those there when she arrived. Einar gets a blink and a nod. "You should get those to Lady Cordelya, indeed. Please do not let us keep you. But - perhaps we might have a chance to speak before you leave to go back north?" she suggests lightly. "If you've time, I would much appreciate that." She curtsys though, politely letting Einar head off, and then turns to Ilaria, once more. "I had not even realized that you are related to my goodbrother," she says. "There are times when it seems Westeros is a small place, no matter how long it takes us to travel."
"Of course, Lord Einar. Once again, well met cousin. Travel safely, and the Seven keep you," Ilaria bids farewell to Einar, curtseying to him once more. As she rises, her attention turns to Tiaryn fully. "I have not paid visit to Lady Cherise, but as we have met only briefly, I feel it is not my place to intrude on tender family moments. Perhaps if Lady Briallyn were to pay a visit, I would use the excuse to accompany her. But II am notI have not previously—ah, been acquainted with an infant…" An odd turn of phrase, to be sure, and it causes the girl to blush. At her elbow, Septa Shiella clears her throat to add, "It would only be right to pay our respects to the Lord and Lady Charlton."
Ilaria bobs her head quickly in agreement with her Septa, and her shoulders settle down as she shakes away the sudden tension. "I am in agreement, Lady Tiaryn. Marriage sends siblings to all reaches of Westeros, guaranteeing that we meet family wherever we may roam. It makes an intimidatingly large world seem smaller, more familiar." She blushes at her own sentiment, although only briefly. "Might I inquire as to where you were headed? I do not see your harp with you. Did something happen?" Instantly her eyebrows knit together in concern over the many ill fates that may have befallen the beloved instrument.
Tia watches Einar head out briefly and then she glances back to Ilaria. "I'm certain that Lady Briallyn will return to visit Lady Cherise once more," she says easily. "She was there when I stopped in to see the cute little boy. He looks very much like Lord Aleister - I am persuaded he has the same nose as his father," she says. "And perhaps his demanding temperament as well." She takes a breath though and then looks down as if the harp might be there, only of course it is not. "Oh, I was visiting with Lady Cordelya and I had left the harp in my room at the inn, as I was not wanting to disturb the Tower by playing, and if I bring it, tis far too much temptation. Thus, it is hopefully safe and sound where I left it. I was in fact heading back to the inn. Were you heading somewhere when you ran into Lady Katrin and my goodbrother?"
"Ah, well, at least it is safe." Ilaria crosses her arms in front of her, slipping her hands into the opposite sleeves while listening quietly to Tiaryn. Behind her Heolla shifts back a few paces, turning her blonde head to watch the blacksmith's boy pass by bearing a heavy burlap sack over his shoulder. The young handmaiden does not seem to hide her obvious interest in the more muscled physiques of the young bachelors working around the town square. Septa Shiella tugs a small book from the pouch on her left hip and uses it to smack Heolla gently on the back of the head. "Eyes on m'lady, girl; she's your watch, not them lads." Properly chagrined, the handmaiden returns her attention to her toes, perhaps to hide her mortified expression.
Ilaria has the good grace to ignore the goings-on behind her. Instead she squints at Tiaryn's query and glances toward the inn. "Supper at the inn. Lord Ian was invited out for the evening for business, my sister seems to have entirely disappeared, Lady Briallyn has ventured to the Roost, and I am left behind by all. I dislike dining alone, and so I am here. If—if I am interrupting you, my lady, I beg pardon and wish you well…"
"Certainly not, you are far from interrupting me," Tia says first. Her smile is kind and bright, as she gestures towards the inn. "And it seems to me that we are going to the same place for the same reason, not so? Would you mind joining me for dinner? I am not all that fond of eating alone either, and seem to have done so far too often of late. I would be glad of your company, if you are willing." Of course she has no septa with her, not ever, just the maid and the guard. She does watch the little byplay behind Ilaria with a bit of a smile, not the least bit worried about it. But she doesn't add to the impropriety of it all, merely turns her attention to Ilaria, as though she never noticed a thing.
Ilaria's smile brightens to a degree that it seems as if her whole day has been made better. "I would be more than happy to join you, Lady Tiaryn, and I thank you for the offer." Once this is said, Septa Shiella and Heolla detach from the young Haigh and proceed toward the inn, and the handmaiden pushes open the door and holds it, waiting patiently for the ladies to enter. Flashing Heolla a grateful glance, Ilaria gestures for Tiaryn to precede her into Crane's Crossing. "I had not thought to ask what the fare for the evening was to be, so it shall be a surprise. A pleasant one, I hope. I am utterly famished."
"I cannot say that I asked, but I believe I heard something about fish, which would explain Einar's going elsewhere. I am quite certain he'd prefer to avoid fish, perhaps for some time. Along with many others it seems." She moves through the door that is held open with a smile and a thank you, and then her maid goes to see about the arrangements for dinner, either helping Ilaria's folks or ordering for everyone. Tia steps in, lets her eyes adjust to the change in the light as she steps out of the doorway and then she gestures towards a table towards the middle of the room. "There is a table over that way, will it suit?" Tia asks. (repose_
Tia and Ilaria, along with septa, maids and guard have just come into the inn. They head for a table pointed out by Tia, while one of the maids goes to see about having dinner served up for the two ladies.
Another late visitor to the Inn this evening is Katrin Haigh accompanied by her maid and Septa. "Lady, the hour grows late, you should return to your brother's home," the Septa is encouraging. "Even the finest establishments revert into the dingiest of places after a certain hour of night." Katrin just waves her off. "I just want a few moments away from there," she replies. She gives a wry smile. "This is hardly the worst place we have walked late in the evening," she points out and moves towards a table.
With the two ladies now sitting, it's not long before the wait staff is bringing out a meal for them, including tea. Tia settles easily into her seat, glancing around, as she waits. It's not long before the maid is back, and the tea is set up to steep. "Thank you," she says to the serving girl, and then she gives a glance to Ilaria. "If it is fish, do you think it will keep all the knights away from us for the night?" she teases. "Since I understand they do not wish to see fish for another hand of years."
"A good evening to you, dear sister," Katrin greets as she comes upon the table with Tiaryn and Ilaria. She tilts her head to the side and regards the other woman for a moment. "I do apologize for interrupting but I had not seen my sister just yet." She dips a polite bow. "I am Lady Katrin Haigh - elder sister to Lady Ilaria."
Tia tilts her head, though if they've not met before she's certainly seen Katrin. "Good evening to you as well," she says, with a smile. "I am Tiaryn Flint, a pleasure to meet you. We were just about to enjoy dinner. Would you care to join us?" Seems a good thought to her, at any rate, so hopefully Ilaria won't argue. She doesn't think so, at any rate. "Were you not at the celebration party that Lord Nayland threw, not so long ago?" Before all the kerfuffle over who is the rightful lord of Stonebridge that is. "I believe I might have seen you there?"
Katrin considers and then nods, "Yes, it would be a pleasure to join the both of you, Lady Flint," she says with a smile. Taking a seat and gesturing her Septa and maid to a nearby table she nods once again. "I was at the celebration though I was not familiar with many of those present so I kept mostly to myself."
"I was there as well, obviously, but I did not have the opportunity to speak too much with Ilaria or anyone in your party. It was quite a good party; I think everyone who was able attended." Tia smiles, and gestures briefly. The serving girl sets the first dishes down on the table and then runs off for another cup for tea, and a bowl for Katrin as well. "Did you get to dance? I got a chance to play harp a bit, but I did not dance. It wouldn't have been proper, though perhaps next time I will."
Katrin shakes her head, "No, I did not dance," she replies. "The hour was growing late and my sister's Septa had grown weary so I offered to see her home to allow Ilaria the chance to stay later and mingle with the variety of people." She smiles to her sister and then back to Tiaryn. "But perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to hear you play, My Lady."
Tia inclines her head, as she hears that. "So very kind of you to look after the septa in such a fashion," she says. "If you have the time, my harp is just upstairs in my room. I could perhaps fetch it after we eat, if we've the inclination." She leaves that there, willing to play, should there be an audience. For now though, she reaches for the tea, pouring for all three Ladies so that they all have something to drink with their meals. The serving girl returns with the additional items for Lady Katrin, and once served, she departs again. Tia smiles, as she sips at her tea. "Very nice," she says. "So, what do you think of this sleepy little town? I find it has excitement where I least expect to find it, myself."
Katrin settles in to her meal, smiling. "I found myself surprised when I came here to Stonebridge," she admits. "It has been quite the center of attention of late, between the return of the men from the islands and this fuss about who is the rightful lord of Stonebridge." She shakes her head, looking fondly to her silent sister. "There is so much happening that I barely know what to think or say."
Tia nods to that, easily enough. "Indeed, there is. It's hard to keep up," she agrees. "But I hear that we are almost related," she adds, after a moment. "Through my goodbrother, Einar." She glances over to see how Katrin takes that comment, though she then does add, "It had not even occurred to me, I confess, before Lady Ilaria and Einar said as much." She begins to eat now, taking tiny lady like bites so as to be able to politely continue conversation, even while sating her hunger.
Katrin tilts her head to the side, but gives her own affirmation. "Yes, Lord Einar is a cousin through his mother and our father. Though it has been several years since we have seen each other. Ilaria would have been but a child last his steps brought him to Broadmoor. It was pleasant and warming to see him again after so much time has passed."
"Did you know his older brother, Connell too? He was my husband," Tia adds, after a bit. Since he died in Robert's Rebellion, it's been some years that Tia's been a widow, of course. "I am quite fond of Einar. He, Anders and Cordelya have saved my life." That's said softly, but quite sincerely. "I can imagine it would be nice to meet up with relatives after not seeing them for awhile. It was for me as well, when I had that opportunity upon my return to this area."
"I knew him, but not very well," Katrin admits. "It grieved me to hear of his death. I wept for the loss of the good men in the Rebellion." When she speaks again, her voice is soft, edged with her own sadness. "Einar seems to be a good man. I look forward to the possibility of knowing him better, should the Gods see it within their reach to allow us the chance."
Roric does, eventually, indeed walk in through the door, trailed by his usual guardsman. Roric takes a look around the room and takes notice of two familiar noblewomen - somehow - in the inn's common room. Putting on his best friendly smile, Roric moseys on over to their table and gives a wave over to them to let them know he's approaching.
Tia inclines her head. "There were many men to weep for, then. It - does it seem to you that we have fewer to weep for this time?" she asks, sounding somewhat doubtful. And yet … "Perhaps we are only lucky, and should be thanking the gods for their blessing. I am quite glad that so many have made it back. I do not know if I will ever understand this honour that they feel so strongly about. It doesn't help that my parents did not entirely agree with it," she adds slowly, "so it was not as such part of my lessons and growing up." She pauses, as there is a wave, glancing over to see who it might be, and returning it.
"I understand the honor behind it," Katrin says slowly. "What are any of us without our honor? But do I see the necessity for the bloodshed? To see so many become widows in the name of this honor?" She shakes her head, "In that, Lady Flint, I could not say that I understand any of it." She clears her throat. "But we digress to dark thoughts that none of us need linger on." The Haigh noblewoman smiles towards Roric. "Perhaps the Lord Westerling may offer happier diversions."
"Ah, Greetings Lady Haigh, Lady Flint. I'm afraid if you're talking about honor, I'm not much to add. All I know is coin and the road," Roric greets, bowing to the two woman as he gestures to a chair, "Do you mind if I take a seat? I just got back from Terrick's Roost."
"Not at all, please do join us," Tia says promptly. "I believe we have more than enough that you might also enjoy some dinner, if you are so inclined." Or at least a snack. Tia moves her chair, so there is enough room at the table for the new arrival. "How are things at Terrick's Roost? Did you see Lady Anais there? Or my neice Liliana?" she asks, curiously. There, happier thoughts already!
"I was just speaking with Lord Einar about the Roost earlier," Katrin admits. "And how I had wished to one day see it, if my Lord Brother would permit myself and Ilaria to make the journey." She smiles, "Is the town as lovely as they claim it to be? Have they begun reconstruction?"
"I did in fact meet Lady Anais, she was…digging for clams on the beach, I believe?" replies Roric, taking the seat when offered and folding his hands on the table as he settles in, looking over to Katrin as he responds to her, "Ah, yes, it is quite nice. I haven't been to the shore in some time, and the reconstruction appears to be going as swiftly as it ever will."
Tiaryn blinks and then she chuckles briefly. "Clams on the beach? That will no doubt make for a better meal for whoever gains their haul," she says. "I like the Roost, it is a lovely place, and those who live there as hospitable and friendly as those who live here," she observes lightly. "I have not been to the Roost as much as perhaps I ought, but - " she pauses, and then she says, " - well, I spent several weeks there, before going to Seagard, but once we returned, and after Lady Evangeline, I could not bring myself to go there, even with as much sympathy as I am feeling for them."
Katrin nods slowly, "I believe once the matters at hand here in Stonebridge have been concluded, I would wish to go to the Roost and see what it is like for myself," she admits quietly. "But as I have made this place my home, I would prefer to wait until after the matters of lordship are resolved." She looks to Tiaryn. "Do you have any idea as to how this will end?"
"Unfortunately, badly," Tia says softly. "Though to be fair, that is only speculation on my part. I do not know for sure how it will end. But - if this is a duel to the death as I have heard, then to begin, we will lose one of our fine warriors who survived the battles on the iron Isles, only to come home and fight each other." She takes a breath, turning back to her tea. "I hope that I am wrong and that things turn out well."
"I can't say much about the Roost, only that, in time, it will either perish or persevere. It doesn't seem to doing much worse than us, at least," adds Roric with a faint grin, leaning back into his chair. "If we have a chance to recover, I'm sure they'll do just fine."
Katrin frowns slowly, "I had the pleasure of meeting the Lord Tordane recently. He seemed like a good, honorable man. Must it always end in bloodshed? Are there no other ways of resolving disputes?" She just sighs, looking wearied.
Tia sets her cup down, and pushes her food away, no longer hungry. "Alas, it seems not, Lady Katrin. My parents believed in other ways - negotiation for instance, but look where that got Tall Oaks." There is a flash of pain in her eyes, her shoulders hunching briefly before she forces herself to control, her back straightening and her expression soothing to neutrality. "It does appear that one must be prepared to defend one's honour, beliefs and virtues with one's life."
"A tragedy, but negotiation was the only option. Obviously fighting wouldn't have worked," answers Roric with a shrug, smiling faintly over to Katrin as she speaks. "Sometimes it is, for certain kinds of people. Easier to bash another man's skull in than admit your faults."
"Though I suppose as we speak from the outside and it is not our Houses in question, it is far easier to look toward the peaceful route," Katrin muses absently. She plays with her mostly untouched meal, expression pale. "Perhaps I have lost my appetite," she says quietly. "If you would excuse me, Lady Flint, Lord Westerling. I believe I should retire for the night."
"The choice was not mine to make, but rather my brothers. It is safe to say though, that they did not feel that there was any negotiating with the ironborn. Looking at the destruction that has been wrought, I am not so sure that negotiating would have done anything." She sighs, glancing to Ilaria. "I'm sorry, I don't think I'm going to be playing - Oh. In that case, do have a good night, may the gods keep you safe," she says. There's a hint of humour, but she is on her feet in a moment as well. "My apologies, Lord Westerling. I believe I should also retire as I am no longer fit company for anyone of breeding." She curtseys briefly but politely.
"Oh. Alright, then, evening to you ladies," Roric replies with a slight shrug and a bow of his head toward the two women as they begin to leave. He then decides to settle in, sending his guard off to fetch some food and drink.