|End of an Era|
|Summary:||Ser Justin Terrick is granted a meeting with his father, uncle, goodsister, and cousin to discuss the recent predicament of Lucienne which leads to some serious decisions regarding the future of House Terrick.|
|Related Logs:||A Missing Seal, Cousins Conjecture, Such Sinister Secrets, Last To Fall|
|Reading Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|The room has a large glass window and seat that looks out partially over the cove, in daylight hours the sun provides illumination to the room. Other stools and chairs linger in small groups as shelves along the walls are littered with scrolls, books, letters and documents. The contents are a modest collection of local records, histories, and literature offered to both the family and guests of Four Eagles Tower.|
|Monday, October 8, 289|
Evening falls upon the Roost with a heavy weight. It's been a few days since the return of the Terrick contingency and tensions overall have been high. Petitions for audience have been sent and received - and it is perhaps now why Jerold is even receiving visitors. Then again, the fact the Lord of the Roost has emerged might also have a lot to do with the rather oppressing presence of his younger brother as well.
Bolland paces slowly back and forth from one chair to the next, a small glass of amber liquid in his hand, as he looks back to his brother before offering him the glass, "Drink up."
The events of the past several months have certainly begun to take their toll on Jerold, with more grey taking it's place in his hair and lines now maring the features of his face and from the looks of things, it seems as if the man hasn't had a decent nights sleep in some time. Even still, he manages to keep his posture straight, one hand settled behind his back, while the other rests on the back of a chair that he stands behind.
Bolland's pacing, though, draws his attention to that of his younger brother and when the drink comes to be offered, there's a faint sigh and a shake of his head, "Now is not the time, Bolland." But, his hand lifts from the chair, to claim the offered glass, though he makes no move to raise it to his lips. Instead, he's looking to the shelves that line the wall and then over in the direction of the door.
Anais is a quiet presence, but a constant one as well, sitting at the larger desk by the window that she's claimed as her own in the last few months. There are more papers on the desk than one might expect; apparently, everything is duplicated, written first in a neat but sprawling hand that's large enough to her to read, then recopied by a scribe into something that takes up less space on the shelves. She's been there since early afternoon, checking the records of the disbursement of the last shipment from the Charltons against the requests for the next one to decide who gets what. As the elder Terricks speak, she glances up, but soon returns her attention to the books, quill scratching against parchment.
Once summoned, the door to the reading room opens after a time to admit Justin. He's washed up and changed into fresh clothes, another of his muted purple surcoats emblazoned with a House Terrick shield over his heart. The rest of his attire is in off white shirt, dark grey pants and his usual black boots with polished silver spurs. His sword and knife are worn as usual. Claw marks mar the left side of his face below his eye, now faded to narrow dark brown scabs. He closes the door quietly behind himself before he steps clear of it to study both older men. Jerold Terrick's youngest son's face is closed, guarded and Justin does not evade either man's gaze but meets it firmly.
A slight bow then, "Lord Father, Uncle, good evening." The Sheriff glances aside to his goodsister with a faint nod, then lightly clasps his hands behind his back in an unconcious pose his father has often taken. Justin awaits Ozric to join them.
When hailed, the one eyed knight comes. Though he does seem to have at least washed up some, as his hair appears damp-if unkempt. His sword belt in the process of being passed off to his squire as the two part ways in the hallway, before Ozric pauses for a moment. A rub of his jaw, and he smooths a hand through his hair. Nodding he slips in quietly, closing the door behind him. At first his pale blue eye lights upon his father-which brings a grin to his eldest son's face. But that crooked affair does not last long. It drops into respectful neutrality as he spots Jerold- who is rather close.
A curt bow of his head "My Lord Uncle.." he intones before he is moving to find a place not too close to his cousins- nor to his father and their lord. "I apologize, for my tardiness." no explanation or anything that follows. Just silence.
"No, it's not the time, but it will dull the pain better than any fist to the jaw," Bolland counters as he finally slows to a stop with the arrival of his nephew. Turning to face the young Sheriff, he gives a curt nod, hazel eyes taking note of the Banefort bride as he instructs simply, "The books can wait, Lady Anais, I have a feeling this is going to be more important." He does not wait for his brother's permission nor seemingly cares if he is out of line, instead looking back to his nephew followed by a glance to his son, "Nephew, son…" each is duly recognized before the man draws to stand near Jerold, hands slowly folding over his chest in wait.
"Perhaps you are right," is all that Jerold offers before the glass is lifted to his lips, the amber liquid sampled for a moment before he's lowering the glass and shifting enough to settle it upon the table, before the chair that he stood behind. As Justin comes to make his entry, there's a slight incline of his head, followed by, "Son," and when Ozric makes his entry, that same incline of his head is offered, "Nephew." Nothing comes to be said about the tardiness, though, for his attention is shifting to Anais and then to Bolland, a slight frown touching the Lord's lips before he's looking back to the group and then to Justin. For a moment, he simply regards his son before before finally speaking, "You were given leave to search for your brother, Justin, and have returned with your sister. Only to lock her in a room as if she were some prisoner." Now, both hands come to settle on the back of the chair, though Jerold doesn't lean forward. Nor does his gaze waver from that of his son, "And my command to have her released has been ignored. In my own house. I .. trust that you can explain this to me."
Anais glances up as Bolland addresses her, marking the arrival of Ozric and Justin alike with a press of her lips and a dip of her chin. Quietly, she closes the ledger, setting the quill into its stand and stacking the papers neatly before moving all of it into a pair of drawers, locking them with the key that hangs around her neck. The elder lords have their drinks already, but she looks to the younger as she moves to the sideboard. "Something to drink?" she asks, gaze flicking between them. "There's whiskey, wine, and tea here, or I can send Nina for something else." There's a look to Jerold at his demand for explanation, followed by a more sympathetic one for Justin, but she doesn't
"No, thank you, Anais." Justin returns quietly. He shifts his stance to lean a shoulder against the bookcase behind him and cross his arms over his chest to wait until things are settled. And then his father is speaking. "Aye, she's under house arrest, Father. You yourself sent her away to give her what she seemed to want - a betrothal to Young Lord Stafford Groves only for her to be sent back in disgrace from their House. I'm certain you have already heard … that she is with /child/, Father. Several months advanced enough that her attempts to hide it from Lady Groves failed. /Not/ Ser Stafford's issue, Father, but another man's." Justin's baritone firmly lays that out for his father, not speaking loudly. "When Jacsen disappeared and Lucienne did not arrive here, I knew he had gone to meet her. I met Ser Stafford at the border and we searched the road together. When we found nothing, I took our men to MiddleMarch where we found Lucienne in residence. We also found Jacsen's horse secured to a tree upon the road not far from the manor house with a ransom note."
The folded piece of calfskin is removed from Justin's belt. Jerold's son opens it up and tosses it onto the table so that both his father and his uncle can read it. "Lucienne said Jacsen had come, alone, without escort or guard to meet her. Then she claims he left again after to return to the Roost. Yet his saddlebags were found in her stable with a flimsy story by the stableman that he 'found' them by the road." A story Justin doesn't seem much inclined to believe.
Ozric glances to his Father and offers a smile again, though it does not last long. Already the knight can tell that something is different with his meeting in the reading room. A kiss of his teeth and the older knight glances between his father and uncle, arching a brow to Bolland in silent question-before Jerold opens up with the initial salvo.
A glance to Anais, and Ozric shakes his head politely, before adding in. "Not right now, thank you." Apparently the knight wishes to be of some sober mind during this particular conversation. The one eyed knight keeps his gaze on Anais for a moment before he is looking back to Justin as he speaks his peace. Only when Justin is finished there is a clearing of his throat, as Ozric interrupts.
"As to why she has not been released, My Lord Uncle, I counseled the Sheriff, that she should not be allowed to talk to anyone." a pause there. "Lest her state be seen and scandal break out." Well, any further than it broke out. As to Jacsen-he has no news there.
The news regarding the condition of his niece comes as little surprise to the younger of the two elder Terricks, his demeanor calm and evenly measured, "Wise advice, son, though a bit late giving the gossip spreading through the Roost as to her current state." It is a mild chastisement at best as Bolland leans closer to take note of the calfskin, his hands pressing upon it before looking back to his nephew, "If not Ser Stafford, then whom sired upon the bitch?" Bolland inquires rather bluntly, "I gather you at least got that bit of information?"
Claiming his glass from the table, Jerold is lifting it to his lips, to take a sip of the amber liquid and this time, when the glass lowers, it's to rest atop the back of the chair, his hand holding it in place. His eyes remain firmly upon that of Justin, though they narrow just a touch as his son begins to detail things. Things that he can hardly believe. Things that he most certainly won't believe. The first of his response comes in the form of his knuckles whitening against his glass to the point that it eventually shatters within his grasp, amber beginning to spill forth upon the chair, only to mingle a moment later with crimson that begins to hint between his fingers. But he doesn't seem to notice.
"Why must you lie, Justin. With all that our family has endured .. why must you drag my Luci into it" comes to be whispered almost softly, a look of sadness touching within the green of his eyes. It's gone a moment later, though, replaced with an unbridled fury as his gaze snaps to Ozric and then to Bolland, his body half turning towards his younger brother as he all but snaps out, "How dare you speak of my daughter that way!"
Well, the boys don't want a drink, but Anais is going to take one. Especially as Bolland asks that question. Silent, she pours herself a glass of whiskey, then promptly drinks about half of it down in one swallow. "Lord Jerold," she says with quiet firmness as the man protests, setting her glass down and stepping forward when his drops. "Why would Justin lie about something like that?" She draws a handkerchief from her sleeve, reaching out to try to take his hand and take a look at his fingers. "It's easy enough for you to visit with her and see for yourself." If he'll allow, she'll dab carefully at the cuts on his hand.
Justin glances to Bolland, not knowing how much Ozric has filled his father in on so far. His attention is then drawn to Ozric himself, briefly, though most of his study is reserved to watch his father's face. This is not a son pleased to heap such misery upon his already worn down father. "She's already been seen. There's nothing we could do about keeping her pregnancy quiet. However, there's far more to it that is graver by far that must not … be known outside of the family." Justin has only laid the groundwork thus far.
And then his father breaks his glass and speaks of lies, then snaps. Arms dropping, Justin at once moves to step closer to his father, "It is not lies, father. Would you have me bring Lucienne here right now? To see for yourself? Aye, we know who she /claims/ is the father. She's proud of it, father. You ask her. She claims … Jacsen himself is the father of her child. /Lucienne/ wants a pure Terrick heir, not Anais's issue. She is not of sound mind, father."
Ah, and then there's Anais stepping up to try and see to his father's hand. If anything, Justin shifts his body to partly shield her, standing ready lest his father turn upon her. He gives his goodsister a cautionary glance, mouth a hard line.
"He does not lie, Lord." comes Ozric's voice, though unlike Justin there is no weariness in his firm rebuke of his uncle. "And why should he? There are three of us that can vouch to what we heard and saw that night alone, not counting the other knights with us." And there Ozric glances back to Justin.
"I would suspect, my Lord." Ozric begins "That it is her brother." A glance is given to his uncle for a moment, but still, like father like son-Ozric prefers bluntness. "She did not say Lord Jacsen's name, but she did a rather grand job of implying that it would be Lord Jacsen." A shrug before he is looking to Anais. "I am sorry, Lady." though no real warmth or comfort can be found in Ozric's voice. A glance to his father. "We cannot help that the Groves already know of her state, but we can easily silence any rumors as to the husband may be. We can paint it in such a way that it was some hedge knight or another conquest. As to whatever the truth is, it dies in this room." But, that is Ozric's advice-and like it or not, more is coming. "And I say she cannot be seen outside of this Tower, or that child be allowed to breathe more than one day."
When Jerold however looks to his father Ozric just takes one step towards the older Terrick, but makes no move-not yet. Though if violence is to happen..
Glancing towards his son as he speaks and takes a step closer, Bolland gives a faint raise of his hand to stay his eldest before turning back to his brother, voice entirely too calm, "You're correct. Calling her a bitch is an insult to bitches." The younger of the two elder lords seethes beneath the surface, spying his nephew with a loft of his brow, "Her own brother? What are we now, fucking Tagaryens? Was it not enough we bled the fields to expunge those incestuous bastards from the lands only so she can somehow bring back their twisted practices!?!" His voice begins to rise, booming loudly before turning to look upon Jerold as he points his finger right at his brother, "This is all on /you/! Poisoned apples don't fall far from the fucking tree. I /warned/ you not to marry that whore of a wife. I /told/ you she would bring ruin to our house. Damned bitch in heat spreading her legs for every damned man with a sword behind your back. And now her daughter is plowed by her own brother." Any thought of Jacsen and the ransom note is momentarily forgotten in light of the current news.
The months have not been kind to Jerold and the tragedies that have befallen his people have weighed heavily upon it. Coupled with the actions of some of his children and it's as if pieces of the Lord have withered and faded away, leaving the Lord to be a shell of his former self. And today, it's as if the last of it is stolen away. That straightened posture slumps just a bit, but there's no denying the fury in his eyes. The set of his jaw, nor the flex of his fingers. He even shies from the touch of Anais', but that's so that his eyes and body can turn in the direction of Justin. "QUIET!" is what comes to be bellowed and it's followed then by, "Luci would never disgrace us in this fashion. She is not like Jaremy or Jarod. She is the good daughter. My little girl. /She can do no wrong/." He whirls towards Ozric, his lips curving into a slight snarl as he snaps out, "Enough! You will not address your Lord in that fashion!" And then, he's turning to his brother. To advance a step towards him so that the hand coated in crimson and amber can curve into a fist, without thought of pain registering. "How /dare you/," booms in return and it's followed a mere moment later by the lift of his arm and the swing of his fist, "This is your doing!"
Anais presses her lips together as Justin, Ozric, and Bolland each take their turn repeating her husband's preferences, color flashing high in her cheeks. It's probably for the best that she doesn't have a grip on Jerold's injured hand by the time it's all said, though her eyes widen as the previously gentle lord goes after his brother. Her reaction isn't exactly well thought out, but it's fast, and she reaches to try to grab his arm before he can turn the fight completely physical. "Lord Jerold, no! Please!" Dismayed, it's all she can do to try to stop things from devolving any further.
He was ready to shield Anais, but it isn't her that Jerold goes for. Justin shouts, "FATHER, NO!" even as he moves to interceed. A son can love his father even if he doesn't agree with him. Jerold's youngest makes a grab for his sire to get his arms around Jerold from behind. Justin grits his teeth, intent to try and pin his father's arms down - everything happens so fast there isn't time for him to try and do more than that as everything starts to break loose!
"But, my Lord some truths need to be said. No matter how hard to stomach." Ozric replies. And with Jerold on the verge of cracking the one eyed Terrick let's out a huff of a laugh. Though it might as well be a spirit expelled from his throat as there is nothing humorous in the current situation. However as Jerold raises his hand to his father, Ozric looks as Justin begins to move-and the knight does the only sensible thing he can think of. He reaches out for his cousin and moves to pull him back forcibly. Which will likely mean his hand going for his cousin's back, and his arm for his cousin's chest. "Stay back, Ser!" comes the elder's bark, as he comes in to help subdue the subduer. "Let them sort this out." panted in the action. We'll see how successful this ridiculous fight becomes."
Bolland does little to retreat from his brother as Jerold draws closer, perhaps having intended it to come to this all along. Despite the drawing back of the arm - the blow never seems to land upon the younger of the two elders, thanks in large part due to the intervention of his nephew. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, a gruff reply is offered from the man, "Thanks, boy," his own fist drawing back in a near flash before surging forward in a powerful thrust right for Jerold's jaw. The sheer motion nudges the Sheriff out of the line of fire, coupled with the draw of his own son. Anais' pleas are met with a solid reply, "Let him, someone needs to knock the sense into him.,, might as well be me."
This isn't exactly how Jerold envisioned things .. but then again, the past year has been nothing like he ever imagined. When Justin manages to stop him from trying to slug his brother, there's a quick roar of anguish and a sharp, "Get. Off. Me." Struggling in the grasp of his son leaves him entirely exposed to Bolland the the younger brother's punch lands with a resounding crack that see's Jerold's head snapping to the side. It's a moment before he's looking back to his brother and when he does, it's clear that his lip has been split and blood lingers upon them. Any fight flees the man then and he sags a bit in Justin's arms before trying to simply shrug off his son once more, even as he answers, "Leave us. Everyone leave us!"
There are four large men struggling in a very small place, and Anais is not exactly a trained fighter. It doesn't take more than one good jostle to toss her back against one of the shelves, crying out more in surprise than in pain. There's a flash of pure rage in her eyes as she leans back against the wood, breathing hard and struggling to school that anger back, gaze fixed on the floor in an attempt to hide it. "Why?" she asks quietly at Jerold's words, looking up only once she can keep her features composed. "So that you can brawl uninterrupted? That is enough, my lords." Drawing a deep breath, she straightens to level a hard, steady gaze on each of the men in turn. "Sit down. All of you. And not one word of snark out of you, Lord Bolland," she warns, chin rising stubbornly.
"Breaking his body isn't going to heal his heart - or his mind!" What a sickening feeling in his stomach. Justin bares his teeth at his older cousin's attempt to drag him off, his heart beating hard with the jolt of adrenline Ah fuck! There's Ser Bolland drawing his arm back to slug his father in the jaw while Justin's got Jerold's arm's pinned. That's not what he intended at all, "Damn you, Uncle!" He is knocked back, stumbling against the desk and chair where Anais had been. Justin has released his father when thrown off, "How /very/ knightly of you, to beat on an old man with his arms pinned!"
It takes him a second to unentangle himself from the chair and stand erect. Justin eyes them both sharply, Uncle and Father, "No. We are /not/ finished here, Father. BOTH of you stuff it and sort it out later if you must." He draws a deep breath, "There will be no paying of the ransom for my brother. So we must plan, not fight among ourselves."
In that moment of quiet when his father seems to have given up, his son looks to Anais. Justin steps nearer to her to take her hand and squeeze her fingers if she does not evade him, so she not leave. Before he might say anything else, Anais speaks up for herself!
"Ser, keep your damned mouth Shut!" Ozric barks at Justin, already he's standing there at his father's flank. Though as he starts to order the other the two noblemen around, and Anais raises her voice, Ozric for his part says nothing contrary to the Lord's wishes. Instead he looks between the other two. "They have their own squabbles to sort. And I agree." a look back towards Jerold. "That brawling over a failed idea or notion will get us no where." And so the other knight lowers his arms. "However these are the undeniable facts. Lady Lucienne is pregnant-likely with her brother's seed. The state of this family is in ruins and there has been one Lord-who has not done his duty-BUT-" and there he raises his voice. "We as family have failed in allowing this all to continue and not speak. Which, my father intends to do." though likely with his fists. Still. "And I suspect our Lord will hear things better from him. So I will suggest we listen to our Lord and Step outside, but the moment we hear fighting we will come back in." A warning to the two older knights. "And when this is all sorted the fuck out we will all be in agreement." A cough. "So, let's go-everyone. OUT." and that includes himself.
Punch landed solidly, the larger of the two elders flexes his fist to work out the stiffness once seeing that his action has elicited the desired complacency, hazel eyes move to settle upon the Banefort bride, "Why is it you women never understand the power of stern negotiations when needed?" He gruffs a bit more in dismissal of her words, "You've got spine, but don't think to order me about Lady Anais. I don't take orders from women." Of course Tressa might have something different to say about that, but she is thankfully not present. Eyes roll visibly when Justin finally chimes on in to chastise him as well, Bolland clearly smirking at the words, "It was a fucking slap. I've stubbed my toe and done more damage. Give your father some credit, being Lord of the Roost has not made him so soft that he can't weather a hit when needed."
Giving his son an approving nod as Ozric re-iterates Jerold's command, the younger of the two elders looks back to his nephew and niece before raising a hand in a solemn oath, "I vow not to break my brother's pretty little mug while you're gone. Give us a few moments, we will send for you after to continue the discussion."
Anger rages in place of fury and for a moment, Jerold regains that straightened posture; regaining a measure of the man that he once was and it's Justin and Anais that he looks to and when he speaks, it's with a firm tone, "I am still Lord of Terrick's Roost, my children, and you will respect that and heed my command." A flit of his eyes to Ozric has him regarding his nephew for a moment, a simple nod coming to pass before he's looking back to level Bolland with his gaze, "My brother is right. Leave us. We must discuss matters and will summon you in short order."
Justin looks as though he's quite ready to put his own fist into Ozric's mouth. Yes. Somehow he keeps his place and looks coldly at the other men as he stands by Anais. He's certainly making no move to depart. It is his father he studies then, assessing the man. Bolland's calmer words at the end probably help also, but Jerold's not longer acting like a half mad lunatic does it. Justin draws a slow breath, then nods, "All right." He turns to open the door for Anais, not looking pleased before he steps out himself.
"My lord, believe me, women are familiar with all sorts of negotiations," Anais replies dryly to Bolland, casting a wary look between him and Jerold before slipping her hand from Justin's. It's all she says, before stalking toward the door, her spine very much in evidence in the stiffness of her shoulders.
"Try it, and I will break you pup." Ozric warns of Justin, apparently, it's the look Justin seemed to convey to the other knight. However with his cousin standing down, Ser Ozric relaxes, but a moment before he is looking to Anais and the other one. He will wait for them to walk out, before following shortly himself. A glance is given to his father and Uncle-to which he curtly bows before leaving.
Young ones finally gone, Bolland eventually turns back to his brother with a stern set of his jaw, "We will need to send her away to the Motherhouse. I can have Tressa make the arrangements to spare you the pain." He pauses for a moment, almost awkwardly as he looks more than a little uncomfortable with the onset of emotion, "We do what we can to teach our sons and daughters to be better than we were, but sometimes that's not enough. The Roost is dying, Jer. Even from the grave, Evangeline reaches up to strangle us still. Let her die, for the sake of what little we have left, do what's right for the house."
"She is of my blood, Bolland," is the murmered reply from Jerold, even as his eyes shift from his brother and down to his hand, to look upon the blood that lingers on his palm and fingers, "And I have already sent one of my blood away." His gaze does lift. To settle upon the younger Terrick. To regard the man for a moment. "All that I am. All that I was .. it's become undone, brother. First Jaremy, then Jarod. Now Jacsen and Lucienne." A languid sigh passes by his lips and his shoulders once more slump forward, "I have one child left. One child who not yet disappointed."
"You can't pin the future of our entire house on one child, Jer. It is the reason we have many, so that the line does not have to eventually fall to our last born," Bolland leans agains the desk previously occupied by Anais, reaching to poor a fresh glass of whiskey as he offers it to his brother, continuing, "As good as my boys are, Lothar would be crushed under a burden… no differently than Revyn would have been had your mantle fallen to him. Justin seems a good boy, but he's got just as much of his mother in him as the rest." Should Jerold accept the glass, he will then begin preparing an equal one of his own, "We can't pick our daughters, but I know if it were one of my girls that did this? I'd send her to the Motherhouse. It's the best place for her. They will tend her until the child arrives and perhaps she can find peace in their ranks. She would do well with a few lessons in humility. Maybe moved from the temptation of power, she might find redemption and something of her father within her. Sevens be damned, I don't know, Jer, but the girl can't stay here and if the baby's Jacsen's… it can't be allowed to live past birth."
That glass does come to be accepted, though it's with his other hand that Jerold does so, but he doesn't yet offer any words in return. Instead, he looks to the amber liquid, listening to what his brother has to say before he's finally giving a nod of his head, "Then I have failed my people. And my children." The glass is lifted to his lips, the contents half drained and when it lowers, he's casting his eyes to his brother once more, "Make the arrangements for her, brother. See that she is sent away. See that the child is dealt with. Do what I can not. Have not." Again, that glass comes to his lips and this time, the whiskey is simply drained from within. When it lowers, the empty glass is set aside and he's turning to regard one of the shelves. When he speaks again, it's in muted tones, a measure of defeat barely contained within, "It would seem that I have lost my grasp on all that I have held dear to me for so long."
Nodding once solemnly, the younger replies, "It will be done. There is a secure and quiet house near Tressa's house in the Vale. She can be sent there discretely and allowed a new chance at life. They are well equipped to handle the issue and can be trusted to see to her safely." Bolland takes his own glass, swirling the liquid within it idly as he lifts it to perch near his lips, "You are Lord of the Roost and your command is law upon these lands. Yes, you have failed your people, but we can rebuild. It will take hard work, discipline, and a lot of managing - might even require breaking a few jaws in the process, but the Roost will rise again. Give me time and I will make it so."
All but the last of Jerold's legacy is crumbling before him and he's doing all that he can to keep things in check, so Bolland is given a simple nod of his head; one that is followed by a measure of silence before he's finally turning back towards his brother, "And what legacy can I rebuild upon, Bolland? I have on child that remains. One that has /yet/ to disappoint." Judging by the trend that has developed, it's little wonder that he focused on the word yet. "One son sent to the wall. A bastard son who I took in that betrayed both family and his Knightly oaths. Another that is all but dead and a daughter that is .. gone." A wry, defeated smirk dances to the Lord's lips, even as he moves to claim one of the chairs at the table, to settle himself down into it, to settle hands in his lap, beneath the surface, "Then make it so, Bolland. Bring back what the Roost once was."
"It will be done," Bolland vows simply, taking a final sip of his drink as he rises slightly from his lean against the desk, "I will see to it your son is properly cared for, perhaps awarded the dowry and land that was to be Luci's upon his own marriage day. We will rebuild and expand, restoring the glory that was once Father's own." He reaches to set his glass upon the desk, those hazel eyes studying his brother, "You should sleep on the decision to make sure it is what you wish to do. If so, we can officialize it in the morning." His words are spoken in a serious manner as he looks back to the door, "We have kept the children out there a while. Your son and gooddaughter are likely wearing a path in the flooring."
A chuckle escapes past Jerold's lips, though it's a ghost of what it once was, "He has not yet failed, yet. Of all my children, he is the one that has remained steadfast and strong. Do not forget him, Bolland. Do not let him fade and wither as I have." When his hands return from beneath the table, the cut one is void of blood and amber liquid, no doubt wiped lightly upon the dark fabric of his trousers, "Sleep is a fleeting thing for me, brother. My mind is set and the choice is made." A pause comes to pass and then he's lifting his voice, enough so that it can carry into the hall, "Children. You may join us once again."
Meanwhile, in the hall…
Ozric gets an unfriendly 'fuck off' kind of look from Justin but he goes on out the door without saying anything more for now. Once outside the door, he keeps on walking. Down the hall to get some distances to himself. Almost Justin takes the stairs to simply say the hell with it and depart the tower. Yet, he does not. Instead he stops at the end of the hall to look out the thin windowslit, listening to the muted sound of the sea and feeling her breath.
Justin walks down the hall one way and Anais walks down the other, reaching up to drag both hands through her hair with a heavy breath. "Justin, your father…" She stops, catching her lower lip between her teeth and turning to look back toward the younger Terrick. "That was- He was- He's always been blind about Luci, but never like that."
For his part the elder knight merely brushes his shoulders off and straightens his coate. There is a glance down towards Justin and a faint frown is given before he is looking to the lady Anais. "Fighting in there would not serve anything. And you coming in on your father's side-or even to stop him makes him look weak." Ozric intones. "Whether or not that is the truth, he is the Lord of this House and thus cannot appear weak."
He looks back towards Anais, and then there's a soft laugh on his part. "Well, I doubt anyone would think their daughter would fuck their son. I suspect his blindness is due more to shock-of a greater nature, combined with that."
There is no reply from Justin. His back is to them, his thoughts kept to himself. Except to say low, half to himself without turning, "He is weak and has been sick."
"Justin." Casting a brief look toward Ozric, Anais moves to join her goodbrother, reaching up to set her hands to his shoulders in a careful touch. "No one is blaming him. But if he's been sick, it's been a sickness of the mind or the heart. And if you ignore it, if you only insist it's otherwise, you're doing no different than he is about Luci. Sometimes…" She takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly as she gives his shoulders a squeeze. "Sometimes the truth hurts. But we can't change it. Just like I can't change the fact that my husband finds his sister and every maid in reach more attractive than he finds me."
Ozric glances to Anais for a moment as she deals with her good brother and he merely chuckles. "Lady, I doubt it has anything to do with you, or your looks." the knight starts. "It probably has to do more with those women aren't." a pause there. "You." a glance given to Anais. "I do not know what has transpired in your marriage beyond gross infidelity and incest-however, I do know that you come off as a strong woman." A nod there. "Perhaps one that could be considered stronger than him. I do not know." a half shrug. "I doubt though lady, it is your looks."
Anais gains no further reply from Justin either. He's angry, looking out at the night and focused on letting that anger seep away. To calm, quiet. Tired. He frowns, many things upon his mind including a demented father, an incestrous insane sister, a crippled missing poppy-addict brother, a traitorous exiled Jaremy. What's next? A muscle in his jaw tightens as he leans against the cool stone.
After Ozric speaks, Justin moves an arm to put it around Anais's shoulders and try to give her some comfort. Little as it is. "Ozric is right in that, Anais. Jacsen is no fault of yours. You have tried."
"It's not exactly reassuring to think that I'm pretty enough, he just genuinely doesn't care for me," Anais drawls to Ozric, though she manages the faintest curve of a smile, at least able to find some humor in the suggestion. Moving to lean against the wall next to Justin, she rests her temple against his shoulder. "My mother is a strong woman," she tells both of the Terricks. "But it's never been an issue for my father. I suppose it never really occurred to me that a man would genuinely want a wife who couldn't stand beside him."
A glance is given down to the two before he is shifting in his position along the corridor's wall. A faint look given the two. "Though-if you wish my opinion-one cannot be sorry with these consequences, despite how dire they all are. You." a point to Justin. "Are the Sheriff, and thus you did your job. You are not to blame that your sister did what she did, nor what your brother did. You are your own man. Their legacy is not your own. Pick yourself up by your straps lad-and remember you are a Terrick. That is what your father did not do." after all he remained here in mourning while his sons went out and fought. A glance is given to Anais. "And you were something before you were a Terrick, nor are you to blame for some man's wandering eye."
A pause and Ozric chuckles slightly. "A man who doesn't, is a fool. But, I have my own theories on marriage, Lady. I will not sing your praises or try to make you feel better for something you could not fix." such as a supposed incestuous affair.
Lothar comes up into the angled corridor humming a baudy song that he may or may not have heard down at the tavern while consuming the ale that may or may not be causing his cheeks to be a slightly rosey hue… He glances at those assembled in the hall waiting to enter the principles office and shrugs as he heads towards the reading room.
Justin turns his head to look at Ozric, "I know what I am and I already pull my own boot straps. Don't call me lad." Yes, some definate unfriendliness developing between them tonight. Which hopefully will sort itself out in time. Justin gives Anais's shoulder a pat, then he's turning to leave the window. "I'm going to quarters. Have a drink and maybe get some sleep. They are likly to argue for hours." And he's not going to wait around in the hall. There's much work to do and he'll be up and out of the tower before first light, as is his habit.
Without glancing back, Justin goes to his chambers and closes the door.
"Sleep well, Justin," Anais says quietly to her goodbrother, watching him go for a moment. "They're…prickly," she notes to Ozric once he's out of range. "The whole branch. Proud." Catching sight of Lothar, she clears her throat. "I wouldn't go in there, Lothar," she calls over softly. "Lords Bolland and Jerold are having a discussion in there."
Lothar's hand is reaching for the handle and then he freezes like a deer in the headlights… "Oh." And slowly and quietly he starts to back up from the doorway, "Be very careful, they can smell fear, and their vision is based on movement."
"They've been babied." he replies evenly once Justin has stalked out of range. "And they have pride, but they've done nothing to earn it. You heard him." a gesture in his cousin's departure. "He says he is pulling on his own bootstraps-yet what does he do, when his father calls him a liar? He sulks." A shake of his head. "Bloody proud brats without a means as to why." A turn and he looks over his shoulder towards Lothar and there is a shake of his head. "Father punched Uncle Jerold." he notes. "It was a good hit."
Anais' lips quirk at Lothar's reply. "Something like that," she agrees, rueful. Pushing away from the wall, she moves closer to Ozric, the better to keep her voice low. "For the record, I was a Banefort," she notes, chin tilting upward with a touch of her own pride. "I still am," she adds, softer, as she looks around the hall. "Whatever name I carry."
There is a brief smile given towards Anais. "A pity, I never met you as Banefort, lady." he replies softer, before he is turning his head back towards the door, as Jerold seems to be calling for them. A glance is given to his brother as he moves to open the door. "If you wish to wait, I will fill you in later. Your knight's pride has been wounded. Fair warning.." Ozric states before he is nodding for Anais to head in before him. He of course will follow suit.
Lothar blinks, "My knight?" Then a shrug and a nod, "And I'll wait brother… Up the hall a little bit in case axes instead of fists go flying next."
"Wish us luck," Anais murmurs to Lothar, smile flickering before she steps back into the reading room.
Anais and Ozric return from the hallway.
Bolland stands near the desk once upon a time occupied by Anais, reaching for his own tumbler of whiskey as he holds it by the top between his fingers. As the children return, he gives them both a solemn nod. Jerold is seated at the table, hands above the table as both men seem considerably calm. Whatever transpired in their brief discussion, it seems to have lifted some of the oppressive weight within the room as the younger of the two elders looks to his son, "Where's your cousin?"
Anais steps quietly into the reading room once more, though her first act is to scan the room for damages, followed by looking to make sure both men are intact and no one has a blade to anyone else's throat. Once those two things are established, she nods once to herself. "He was called away," she answers Bolland's question. "More information about the stabbing incident."
Ozric on the other hand does not answer at first, given Anais' quick response. A nod is all though he does allow to his father in order to account to Anais' words. "It's been a lively time here and down in the Roost, Father." the knight allows with a faint grin-which shortly leaves, after he's secured the door behind him.
As only Ozric and Anais make their return to the room, Jerold is allowing a frown to hint across his lips, though it's wiped away with a slight shake of his head, "In time, things will grow quiet as they once were." A pause is taken and then he's looking to the two children; daughter and nephew, so that he can offer, "My brother and I have spoke and decision has been made." He flits his attention to Bolland, to offer a simple nod before falling silent as he looks back to the children, clearly going to let the younger elder explain.
A faint smirk touches Bolland's lips as his brother pulls the delegation card, leaving him to deliver the news as he looks back towards the Banefort bride and his son. The smirk is short lived, however, as one again the younger of the elder Terricks adopts the stern demeanor, "In light of the recent shitstorm and given the recent news regarding Jacsen and Lucienne both, Jerold will be stepping down as head of the Terrick family and passing the seal to me. With that passing, too, comes the passing of the line of succession." He pauses for only a moment to let the words sink on in before continuing, "We cannot pin the future of our house entirely upon the shoulders of one son, especially not one who has not been accorded the proper attention and training for such a responsibility. We will need to rebuild, better and stronger than before, and it's going to be a bitch of a job. Lucienne will be sent to a motherhouse outside of the Riverlands to live out the remainder of her days and hopefully find some measure of decency left within her." Bolland looks from his brother before letting his attentions sway to his son, "You are going to need to be mindful of your brothers and cousins during the transition. This is not going to be easy, but it is a necessity." Finally, his gaze falls to the current Young Lady as he continues, "You will remain with us, Lady Anais. You are one of us now."
The color bleeds from Anais' features as Bolland spells out the agreement, and as much as she might be able to control her expression, she can't entirely control the panic that tries to take hold. Her breath speeds, though she goes very still as she looks between the Terricks. It takes her a moment to find her voice, though when she speaks, it's at least steady. "In what capacity do you envision I remain here?" she asks.
Ozric raises a brow towards Jerold's words, but that look is also in turn directed to his father. He doesn't pry as to what the decision is, or concerns. Likely it has to do with Jacsen and Lucienne, and what is to be done about both of them. And so the knight merely shifts his weight, and waits for the explanation.
Which is not at all what he expected. "What?" Ozric offers at first, before he falls silent. A grim line in his jaw set, but then, the one eyed knight nods, when his father's words come out. A glance is passed to Anais for a moment, before he is clearing his throat. "Will we need to re affirm our faith with Lord Tully and Mallister?"-those are his main concerns, however as Anais voices her own he falls silent for a moment. Clearing his throat, Ozric goes on. "I do not know my father's mind. But, I do believe it means you're to be my wife." or they're marrying her off to someone else.
Jerold listens to all that Bolland says and he confirms such things with a slight nod of his head. A silent acceptance of what will come to pass, though it's voiced a moment later as he offers, "This is what needs to happen. I can no longer lead the people of Terrick's Roost and with only a single son, I risk more then I could gain by trying to hold what little power I have left." Now, he looks to Anais, his features softening a bit as he gives a shake of his head, "You have done more for the Roost, Lady Anais, then my own children have. I can not thank you for holding things together in my stead. And with only the aide of my son, Justin." A pause comes and his attention shifts to Bolland, then to Ozric before returning back to Anais, "My brother will see that you and he are not forgotten, nor cast aside."
"That will remain to be seen, milady. Right now, you have the matter of a missing husband we must contend with," Bolland replies honestly, the words of his son earning a narrowing of his eyes, "Should something happen to Jacsen, then yes, the Banefort bride will become your own with a stipulation. But it is a bit too premature to discuss that matter. Until we either have Jacsen back breathing or his body to lay to rest, she remains his bride." He falls quiet for a moment at his brother's words before again addressing his son, "A raven will be sent to Lord Seagard regarding the issue for his seal of approval, though I do not expect he will resist. The passing of a lineage and seal always remains the sole discretion of the one holding it. Given the consistent downfalls of the house as of late, I believe Lord Seagard will endorse the chance to see the Roost restored to its glory. Both Lady Anais and Ser Justin will be taken care of and treated as if they were our own. I will be looking towards you to ensure your brothers follow suit. I don't expect your sisters to give any issue, but Brogan can be willful at times." Finally taking a solid swig of his whiskey from the tumbler, he looks back towards Anais, "Until we deal with the matter of your husband, I can't give you anything more other than my word you will be taken care of."
"I see." Anais clasps her hands in front of herself, shoulders tight. "If you'll excuse me, my lords," she says quietly. "I think I should-" She pauses, swallowing. "Please excuse me," she says instead, unable to formulate an excuse.
Despite the narrowing of eyes, Ozric remains stoic, and simply nods. "Of course, Father- I did not mean to assume." A glance is given towards Anais and there is a faint nod. "If you like, Ser." this said to his father. "I can escort the Lady out of here, and see that she is in fact seen to." A lick of his lips before he looks back to his father, bowing his head. "My Lord Terrick." official, at least in his eye-the new heir turns and looks to the door. "Is there anything else?"
There is little else that Jerold can say, but his gaze does shift back to Anais, to watch her reaction with a touch of sadness within the green of his eyes. He does offer her a slight nod and a murmered, "Of course," before he's looking back to Ozric and then to Bolland, "I have nothing else, Brother, that can not wait until morning. I should leave you to your devices and return to my room for the night, as well."
Glancing from his brother back to the younger generation, Bolland shakes his head and waves them on out with his glass, "No. Go on and see to it the Lady is escorted to wherever she wishes to go. And then enjoy your last night of freedom, for tomorrow your life belongs to House Terrick - however long that might be." He does move to place a firm hand upon Jerold's shoulder, perhaps in the best offering of support the otherwise gruff Terrick is able to give. Downing another swig of the amber liquid, he gives both children a nod of dismissal and then withdraws from his brother and moves to return to the whiskey… clearly having decided how he will spend the rest of his own night of freedom.
Anais doesn't so much wait for Ozric's escort as turn and make her way for the door somewhat more quickly than might be strictly proper. She doesn't seem to be looking where she's going, though, moving as much on a need to be active as with any actual purpose. Aside, perhaps, from staving off shock.
Ozric watches as Anais slides out and there is a brief nod given to his father. "My life has ever belonged to House Terrick, My Lord." he states, before he bows his had, and then turns without another look given to his uncle.