|Summary:||Tenysa and Rygar oversee the entry of Nayland troops into Stonebridge.|
|East Walk - Stonebridge|
|This crossroads at the edge of town is where the docks intersect with the road heading towards Hag's Mire in one direction and a few blocks to the town square in the other. The activity in the area is usually cart traffic with moving goods from port to retail and most of it passes by the Common House. This one story structure on the corner is known as the town's nicer inn as well as a brothel for the lonely visitor.|
|01 August, 288|
The wedding of Isolde Tordane to Ryker Nayland has occurred. It is an impoosible event to overlook, as tordane Tower- visible even from the stone bridge that gives the town its name, has drawn down its traditional banner, and run up in it's place the bright quartered banner displaying the Nayland harpy. Across the stony span of the bridge itself, long even ranks of pikemen are marching across from the east, two abreast. Each of them wears the orange and green sash of Nayland levies, and overlooking the entrance of Hag's Mire footmen into formerly Terrick land is the tall, stern figure of Rygar Nayland.
Dispatched from the south just barely in time to show this particular Nayland branch's face at the ceremonies, Lady Tenysa Nayland spent most of the sliver of time before the wedding exceedingly cranky. There was no time to even meet with her cousins, a brusque hello having to do before it was time to sit through festivities. But now, things having calmed — on the outside, at least — the unusually tall Nayland woman is out for a short walk and some air to clear her head. Her voice matches her figure, a rich alto that would never in her lifetime sing the part of ingenue. "Lord Rygar?"
Rygar turns his cold blue eye toward the greeting, posture straight backed and held held high as he looks from the troops being reviewed to the kin who has so recently come. "Lady Tenysa," he acknowledges, in return as he faces away from the marching pikes and toward the named lady. "Welcome to Stonebridge, cousin. How do you find the newest prize under the Nayland banner?"
"So far it lives up to its name," Tenysa replies mildly, tapping one foot on the stones beneath her heel. "I hope the letters of congratulation made it here from my father in due time. Goodness knows my own horses were slow enough."
"It is a bridge of stone, to be sure," Rygar returns dryly, before answering the latter half of Tenysa's commentary. "The letters did. They were read before the bride and groom following the ceremony. Tomorrow has been declared a day of festival, I trust the town will seem more agreeable, then."
"I'm certain that's why father had me come here to you. To learn to have fun." A half-smile, half-smirk twitches Tenysa's lips, her eyes down on the marching below rather than scanning the area for signs of festival preparedness. "I was told you fought well in a melee not long before, cousin."
Rygar sniffs sharply once, in something family might recognize as humor, but to others seems more like annoyance. "Tournament is naught but sport, cousin. Games and pageantry. I will rise from being overthrown in a thousand tilts with pleasure so long as I never stride from another battlefield in defeat." A moment's pause, before he admits, "Perhaps not with pleasure, but certainly without complaint."
Tenysa smiles down at the rows of marching men. It would be a nice expression on her if it ever came anywhere near her eyes. "But still there is value in it, is there not? In the absence of war men still seek out strength. It may be a poor imitation but it is what it is." She gently rolls her shoulders, settling her heavy sleeves on her elbows.
Rygar muses a moment before conceding, "It is. For as long as war is absent." A look passes over the straight, even lines of pikes as they pass. "It seems we must content ourselves with such poor imitations awhile longer, so roundly have we triumphed in the peace, cousin. I nearly regret that the Terricks let us take Stonebridge so easily."
Tenysa looks at the side of her cousin's face. "From what I have heard, I would wager right now that they are thinking the same thing." A thin eyebrow makes a tiny little loft. "Tell me a little about the Terricks, cousin. What sort of rule have they in their Roost?"
"That they think it, I am certain," Rygar returns. "That they wish we had given them cause to, I do not doubt. But that they should ever sully their hands with starting a war?" A slow shake of his head. "The Terricks are overproud and arrogant fools. They are weak and fading as a power, but still they are honest. As honest and honorable a house as any I have seen. It is easy to respect the Terricks, Tenysa, but nigh impossible to fear them." He draws a breath, "They are unwilling to compromise, even for the greater good. They act from the heat of their hearts, not the cold calculation of their minds."
Tenysa smiles again, this time showing a tiny flash of teeth. "If they speak of us the opposite, I should be quite pleased." She sniffs quietly, turning her eyes back to the incessant movement of the Nayland sashes below. "A fading house can be dangerous. Stones falling cause chaos on the way down."
"As would I," Rygar voices in answer to Tenysa's first. A slow incline of his head assents to her second, "This is true. Particularly when others kick at the foundations," he notes with crisp distaste. "It is good that you have come, cousin. Too many in this place have forgotten the guiding light of loyalty, that virtue without which all else falls into dust and disorder."
"Too many in this place have never known it in the first place," Tenysa says, her low voice allowed an edge only briefly. "But my family I trust. My father's stories of the Rebellion…he spoke of you sometimes. Perhaps you would honor me with your own accounts in these coming days."
Rygar draws a slow breath through the nose as the topic shifts. His countenance shows nothing but the same aloof severity he has worn since Tenysa first spotted him. "If you wish."
Tenysa glances at Rygar's profile again, no apology in her blue eyes. Her slight nod seems satisfied, and her own change of topic is as smooth as if nothing had happened. "How is Lord Ryker faring in all this?"
"Lord Ryker is like unto a horse locked in the most luxurious of stalls. He snorts and bridles and kicks at his door, but remains where he must." A slowly drawn breath. "He is wed to a woman held by all accounts to be fair and wealthy, yet he finds cause to rail against His Lordship, our uncle." A short look aside to Tenysa. "If during your stay you come upon aught that requires attention, bring it to me. Ryker's concerns are centered upon his new wife."
"Of course, cousin." Tenysa nods readily to that. "I shall meet Lord Ryker in proper time, I am sure, once he has got more used to sharing his toys." The corner of her lip twitches. "Lady Isolde…you say she has a good head?"
Rygar sniffs sharply again at Tenysa's quip about shared toys. "Isolde is the Lady of Stonebridge in name, and in her own mind. Nowhere else." A steady breath drawn in as the last of the fifty pikemen complete their march over the town's namesake bridge. "She knows naught of governance, nor statecraft. She is held in place by the wit of those around her, which- to the profound benefit of her domain- has increased greatly since our family took interest in Stonebridge."
Tenysa also watches the last gasp of orange and green in motion, blue eyes tracking them as they go. "Some women," she says under her breath, "Grow up with an image of themselves on a pillar, desired from all sides. The true demands of a Lady are much harder to learn." She takes her long-fingered hands off the parapet wall. "Well, my cousin, it has been good speaking to you. I believe I shall retire for the evening, but no doubt I will see you on the morrow. Try not to sniff too hard at all the sport." She flashes him a tilted grin in that way she has, that's far more like a smirk than a smile.
"It is good to hear I understand women so well," Rygar returns, crisply. "Until the morrow, cousin." He bends his stiff neck to offer a short bow to the departing Nayland, before turning to stride toward the square and the pikemen awaiting within it.