|Eagles of the Cape|
|Summary:||Lord Jacsen and Ser Jarod head out for a seaside ride, and talk on Ironmen and coastal defense things. And drink, of course, as the Terrick-and-a-half are wont to do.|
|Related Logs:||None yet, probably some to come|
|Coast — Terrick's Roost|
|Shoreline. There are watchtowers.|
|31 October 288|
The day's been blessedly quiet around Four Eagles Tower, the hubbub from both wedding and tourney having settled some. Most of the guests either having left or preparing to take their leave of the Roost. So there's finally time for Ser Jarod Rivers to lure his half-brother away from Four Eagles for a ride. Out along the shore, ostensibly to check the nearest coastal watchtowers. The Captain of the Guard's mind does seem to be on defensive matters, but he also seems to be looking for the opportunity to get out and just ride for the day.
Jacsen was not as hard to lure out as his brother might have expected; after all, the riding could be especially hard on the lame-legged Terrick, whom requires a special strap attached to his saddle just to keep his leg from thrashing about uselessly on horseback. Still, for whatever reason, he's willing and almost eager to come out on the trek towards the nearest towers, for the company of his half-brother and the learning of defensive capabilities the Roost possesses both.
Jarod's brown courser, Symeon, sets an easy pace down the trails to the coast. It's unclear if he's making a conscious effort to make the ride as unpunishing as possible, or if the leisurely speed just fits Jarod's mood. "What do you make of that new war galley Lord Banefort gifted us with?" he asks, his eyes going out toward the sea. "Haven't had a chance to go aboard myself, though I'd like to soon as I can."
"It's a fine gift, for certain, though it's of limited use just yet," Jacsen points out to his brother as he glances over towards the coast, where if they looked back far enough they might well make out that galley they speak of. "We've no crew to man it, though Lord Mallister has promised to send some experienced men to train our own, and we've little worry about seafaring troubles yet. It's a symbol of status, and something with which to project our strength, but we've little coin to maintain it, and few places with harbors that we need threaten." He looks back to his brother. "A mixed blessing for us, but nothing short of a grand gesture from Lord Banefort, I think."
Jarod nods to that. "We should start training some of the retainers to man it, I was figuring. I'll look into seeing if any of the men have sailing experience. As you say, though, limited use for now. In a year or so it may make patrolling the coast a good deal easier. The Cape of Eagles spreads far, stretched us thin even before the loss of Stonebridge from our lord father's coffers."
"The harbor will help with that," Jacsen points out to his brother, "Though the lack of coin hurts us, without a doubt. Father's need to ransom with Ser Rygar after the joust still smarts." He draws a careful breath, and adds, "The matter might begin to turn in different directions soon enough, though. I spoke with our Lord Father and our liege, Lord Mallister, on the topic of Stonebridge, Gedeon's letters, and Lady Isolde's legitimacy. We should expect a call to Riverrun sooner, rather than later." His brow climbs. "You will be joining me."
Jarod turns to offer his half-brother a broad, boyish grin at that. Green eyes bright. "Damn right I will." The watchtower isn't too distant, the closest one only a mile up the shore from the Roost, so they're fast approaching it. "I'll be ready to go as soon as you get the call. How many men are you figuring on taking with us?"
"Something I'd like your thoughts on. Lord Mallister is to send escort with us as well, and we might well end up riding together with the Oldstones contingent, whom will be represented as well," Jacsen explains. "We are going to bring everyone in our ability whom has put eyes to those letters, or can corroborate them."
"Septon Josse's seen them, I think, or can at least give some account of where they were last in the Nayland household. Apart from myself I know of no one else still breathing," Jarod replies to Jacsen. "With the Mallister escort we like won't need many extra swords of our own. I'd trust Lord Jason's men near as well as any from the Roost. What do you figure Lord Tully will make of it all?"
"No one still breathing," Jacsen echoes, with a heavy breath of a sigh. "Like as not the Naylands saw to that, but even so. We must refrain from any such accusations when before Hoster Tully, though I imagine they will bait us to the best of their abilities. An emissary will be sent to collect the letters, and much of their quality might still be ascertained from comparison and the eyes of those skilled in such matters. Should the letters be 'gone', it will not look well on the Nayland case at all." Jacsen reaches to his side and produces a wine skin, popping the stopper out for a small sip, before he offers it at Jarod. "It is undoubted that the matter decided will be Isolde's legitimacy, and there will be little to no talk of Gedeon's potential rights. If Isolde is deemed illegitimate, at the worst the holding should fall to Lady Valda, whom will have naught but our lord uncle's wife for an heir. Not until this is settled will there be much talk of Gedeon's right to the Tordane name."
Jarod takes the wineskin, though continued talk of the letters has moderated his grin into a more serious expression. He drinks quick, then passes it back. "Doesn't set my mind easy, the idea this all might just hand Stonebridge to Lady Valda nee Frey. Not that she doesn't seem to half-rule there now, with Iz…Lady Isolde and her lord husband packed off into the Mire for seven knows what strange Nayland reason."
"Is it not obvious? I don't know much of Lord Ryker, but his wife is sympathetic to the Terrick cause, for all that she did not comport herself in a manner I would ask of any ally," Jacsen notes, with no little disdain for the woman that his siblings seem so fond of, "So in these times of uncertainty, the less reliable sorts have been sent off to the Mire to better acquaint and align themselves with their new liege, while Lady Valda and Ser Rygar handle matters of Stonebridge." He shrugs a shoulder and says, "In any case, the heir to Stonebridge would be a Terrick, and there are many ways in which to encourage Lady Valda's interest in stepping aside, I think."
"She had little choice in it, the way things went," Jarod says, as to Lady Isolde. His defense isn't a particularly forceful one, but he makes an attempt at it. "Her life's been tied up in being traded and moved about for the rule of Stonebridge since Lord Geoffrey and Geonis died." There is sympathy in his tone, and a degree of frustration. "What do you figure would happen, given that? If Lady Valda stepped aside. Do you think our lord uncle would agree to cede the rule of Stonebridge to Ser Gedeon?"
Jacsen draws in one cheek as he listens to his brother, and shakes his head. "All she had to do was send word, Jarod. Appeal to those at Stonebridge whom did not favor that a bloody Frey was ruling the place," he insists. "But let's not belabor the point. It's done, it's over, and I'm not like to be convinced otherwise in this." He lifts the wineskin and takes a long sip. "As to our Lord Uncle? I do not know. I suspect he might not, and there is some wisdom in that… it would be his wife's rightful seat, and having a branch of our family there is more secure even than a grateful Gedeon Tordane would be. Still, were Gedeon to be recognized as per his father's request, then, it should fall to him. It's complicated, however you examine it, but it must be done in this manner. The legitimacy of the current Lady of Stonebridge is of paramount import."
"Some wisdom, perhaps, though I couldn't call it the right course, if Ser Gedeon's legitimacy is upheld," Jarod says. "And it'd make us an enemy of Oldstones besides, like as not. Besides…it was what the old Lord Tordane wanted, if those letters are true." And Jarod clearly has some strong feelings toward Gedeon's claim, bastard as the Tordane Rivers is, though he leaves that part unspoken. And he attempts no further defense of Isolde. His brother's words just draw a nod of sad agreement. "Aye. She could've. Don't know why she didn't, really. But there's no changing it now. Coasts've been quiet of late." It's both an observation meant to change the topic, and one that his tone suggests holds more importance to him than might immediately be apparent. "Have you noticed?"
"I am not my brother, Jarod. I do not quite so greatly fear the wrath of three fine sword arms and a hall of timber," Jacsen remarks with a slight edge. "If Lord Tully sees fit to recognize the illegitimacy of Lady Isolde, that is one matter, and as things stand, it could not go to Gedeon. To make him a true Tordane is the King's business, and until then, only our uncle and his wife could inherit. If Oldstones decides to take issue with the laws of inheritance and blood rights, they are in the wrong." He draws a breath and lets it out through his nose, clearing the air as his brother's words turn towards another conversation. It's a matter he must give some thought, though he looks out upon the waters. "Was it much more active, in the years I was gone?"
"I've no fear of Oldstones if they seek a quarrel with us, my brother," Jarod replies. "Only saying it might go that way. And I'll admit, in my heart I want the lands to be Ser Gedeon's, as a Tordane." There, he said it. "But aye. That's for Good King Robert to sort, and I shall follow my lord father's command whatever he makes of it. We'll have to see how it all plays." To the query about the coast, he nods. "The Cape of Eagles is no Banefort, but we'd get raids not infrequently on the little villages and holds close to the shore. The gongs haven't sounded in a long while, however. Not for many months now." His eyes go to the watchtower, which they're not properly close to. It looks as it should, with a gong at the top that can be sounded by the first to see it should an Ironman ship be spotted. "Quiet so long it's getting unusual."
"And like as not…" Jacsen opines as he follows his brother's gaze towards the distant tower, "Few if any have paid much attention to that than you." He amends that with, "Well. Jaremy too, I suppose, but in a manner far less constructive." He reaches for the wineskin at his side and takes another pull, before leaning to offer it towards Jarod. "Have you shared such thoughts with our Lord Father, of late?"
"I asked the Mallister men about it, as the Ironmen are a paramount concern at Seagard. And the ships around the busier port are at times more harried by pirates than our more rustic coast," Jarod says. "They've also seen nothing, for months. They said there've been 'quiet' periods like this before. They usually mean the Ironmen are fighting with each other in some fashion, struggling for power, so don't have time to trouble the seas." To the last, he shakes his head, reaching over to take the wineskin. "Not yet, but I intend to now, given what the Mallister men've said. Though I'm not sure precisely what it means for us." He frowns out at the sea, taking a long plug of wine.
"Well. Forgive my ignorance in such things, brother," Jacsen requests of the half-Terrick, huffing out a faint breath. "Are there no means of gathering information on the goings on there?"
Jarod grins some at Jacsen. "You'd know better than I would, my wise lord brother. I see an Ironman raider, I deal with it by the sword. Simple man that I am. But Lord Tully may have agents in the Iron Islands." Spies. "Or Lord Mallister, though his folk didn't seem to know anymore than I when we talked on it. Still. Perhaps it might be worth asking the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands about, if you and our Lord Father have time when we're at Riverrun."
"I do not know that Father will accompany us, but I shall make it a point to speak with Lord Hoster on the subject if he wil permit me," Jacsen assures his brother. "I've little desire to let some cunning on the Ironmen's part catch us unawares, though neither do I wish to worry overmuch if there is little that warrants it."
Jarod nods to that. "Do not trouble trouble until trouble troubles you, a man smarter than I once told me. Still, if there's strangeness brewing in the Iron Islands it'll hit the Cape of Eagles before the rest of the Riverlands, likely. Or places like Banefort, if it strikes the West. Perhaps Anais' kin might've seen or heard something we haven't, from Lord Lannister if not from their own lands."
"I could have her write home to ask Lord Quentyn, and her own father," Jacsen supposes, holding out a hand and indicating the wine skin that he wishes returned. "We've spent so much of our time focused eastward, with Stonebridge and the Mire… we mustn't lose sight of the sea. Though the saying you heard serves well enough."
Jarod smirks and takes another sip from the skin before returning it to Jacsen. There's still a good bit left. He hasn't been hogging it too much. "Aye. Time to celebrate now, not court more troubles. Even the trip to Riverrun is well for us, I figure. Any attention to the matter of Stonebridge doesn't make the Naylands look too well in Lord Tully's eyes." A glance over his shoulder and, somewhat reluctantly, he says, "You figure we should be getting back soon? We should make our appearances back at the castle before dark."
He nods once, after he's taken a healthy sip from the skin and wiped off his mouth with the back of his hand. "I suppose we should," Jacsen agrees with a succinct nod. "Let's make a habit of this, Jar? I'd like to learn better how the Roost is defended, and how our duties of defense of the coast are discharged as well. If I am to rule one day, Seven hold that it is a distant day, I should like to know somewhat about these things. More than I would learn on my own, certainly."
"Aye. We should. Fun to ride with you and get away from the walls for a time, and if it's worthy for you in other ways so much the better," Jarod says, grinning broadly. With a cluck of his tongue he urges his horse back into motion, and into a u-turn that'll taken them back toward the trail castle-wards, the way they came.