|Father and Daughter|
|Summary:||Jerold summons his daughter for her opinions.|
|Related Logs:||Anything Anton.|
|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.|
|30 August 288|
One of Lord Jerold's pages had been sent to fetch Lucienne, with word that her father desired her attendance in the reading room at the lady's earliest convenience. Not the phrasing or urgency of an official summons and at so late an hour, the Reading Room would make a curious locale. Yet still, it is within that small room, lit only by a lantern and pair of tapers that the Lord of the Roost is found, hours after dark, when many other denizens of the castle have turned abed, searching through stacks of books.
A curious locale indeed, yet still - Lucienne isn't to keep her beloved lord father waiting long, be it as she is only coming from her chambers down the hall. She has slipped into a lighter, yet more proper dress, though it's the more comfortable design of a mass of fabric pinned to her frame with just a few well-placed stitches, the sleeves long and slit from shoulder to wrist, held closed at intervals with buttons. She brings her own candle in cup-handled holder, and as she slips into the room her curious brown eyes scan until they come to rest upon her father. "My lord," she announces herself, phrased as a question.
Lord Jerold glances up with a wan smile, the scant light within the room painting the lines of his face into deeper shadows. "Lucienne, my dear, come in." A last glance back to the most recent stack of books he had been inspecting. "I will be the first to confess that the state of my reading room were rather neglected, but since granting that Septon- Seven bless him- permission to organize the place, I find that I can no longer locate anything. And I am told this is progress." He sets the lantern down and moves toward his favorite chair, by the dark window. "Be seated, my child."
Lucienne takes her cue from her father, smiling as he does, and in the same measure. Further into the room she ventures with her candle, held up high so as to paint her in its flickering yellow light rather than cast a strobe of shadows upon her own features. She knows well which chair not to claim, and instead moves toward one opposite it as bid. "Perhaps it will be better to judge the task ill or well done, when it is done, my good lord father?" She settles into her chosen seat and places her candle down between them on a convenient perch.
"When my house is out of order, I find it terribly difficult to content myself with such sage patience, my dear," Jerold voices with a second weary smile, which fades at his long exhale upon settling into the seat. "I have always tried to instill in my children a respect for good order, have I not?"
"That you have, my dear lord father," returns Lucienne promptly, and with an obedient nod. "I should take great pleasure in assisting the Septon to see the task done sooner, if it would please you?" She has folded her hands in her lap, and crossed her ankles primly, sitting 'to attention' despite the ease of the pose.
"You have always been possessed of a keen insight, my dear daughter," Jerold notes with weary fondness. "I am sure you know already that it is the disarray of my household, and not that of my reading room which truly weighs upon my mind. The Septon will achieve his task when he is able, I am sure." A deeper breath is drawn as the Lord of the Roost orders his next thoughts, looking across as Lucienne in her chosen chair, facing him. "I would hear your mind, Lucienne."
Lucienne smiles inwardly down at her lap, the sentiment tugging on the corners of her mouth only slightly in the physical sense. When she raises her face to her father, all trace of it is gone and she draws a deep, abiding breath. "I have thought long on these matters, my dear father," she admits with a pensive frown. There is a long pause in which much of her breath escapes and is drawn back in before she has the words to speak again. "I can understand the reason for my brother's suspicion regarding the Knight of Oldstones. But I fear he is wrong, dear father, and simply misjudging the actions of a poor House seeking to rise instead of to fall. The Lord Ser Valentin is considering asking for a duel, my lord, and having spoken with him I believe the only path forward is to offer him what he has sought here all along."
"I wonder oftentimes whether sending Jaremy away to squire would have given my son and heir the gift of better perspective, to have served in a place where he was not the next Lord- nothing more than any other around him- or whether this would have simply left him dead on one field or another, five years past," Jerold muses aloud. A short exhale precedes his next, "I suppose we can all be slow to see our mistakes, in our own ways." His eyes lift to regard Lucienne. "If the Knight of Oldstones asks for a duel, he shall be answered. But it is not this matter on which I would hold words with you, Lucienne. I know that you are prepared to do your duty by this house, and by me. But what I do not know, my darling little girl, is what you wish."
Jerold's darling little girl has no opinion to offer on her inheriting brother, for none would make any difference at this point in time. Her wishes, however, are clear in some ways, and not in others: "I do not wish to bid my brother, or any champion of his goodbye for the very last time. I only worry, dear father, on the cost of such a union would you expect the Lord Ser to swear to you in return. And then I worry, of course, where I would end up placed should you not. The more I think upon it, the less it is the man who inspires fear in me."
"Do not concern yourself with death and duels, Lucienne," Jerold instructs his daughter with a quiet strength underlying the words, as if such things are already under his control as he reaches across to give his daughter's hand a light squeeze, before sitting back in his chair. "Of what in this matter do you find cause for fear?"
Trusting in that strength conveyed, Lucienne manages a small smile, gone just as quickly as it was summoned forth. "The Naylands build a road to Oldstones already," she begins the explanation of her fear. "They do so knowing well that the Lord is here and courting your daughter. They have sent Ser Rygar, who commands obedience like no other, and then in his wake the Young Lord Ryker to us, father. If Oldstones is as Jaremy's rider finds it, no more than a timber hall and twenty men, should Lord Valentin incur the ire of the Mire by bending knee to you it would be nothing for them to seige and take my new home." She stops for a breath. "And if the Knight finds more benefit in the Nayland cause… my father, I would be beside myself to find us on opposite sides of the battlefield - be it peacetime or no."
"It is more than twenty men. Perhaps by as much as tenfold," Jerold notes on the guessed population of Oldstones. But mention of the Naylands draws a scowl to the face of Jerold Terrick. "Remember this always, my dear: the Naylands are a treacherous and godless race. Whichever hand they offer in friendship, you may be assured the other clutches a dagger. There is neither humility nor faith to found in any creature which takes pride in that name." A slowly drawn breath precedes the relaxing of his scowl, and his further advice, "As to your worries.. whomever it is you shall marry, on the day of your wedding, in the eyes of the Seven and the Realm, you shall depart my family, and join that of your husband. Although you shall never fade from my heart or thoughts, Lucienne.. your duty will be to your husband. Not to your father."
Lucienne is momentarily buoyed by the increase in Oldstones' population in her mind; it fades just as soon as that scowl crosses her father's features. She is no Terrick man with a Terrick stare, but the echo of it on her features carries much disgust, depsite what respect she might hold for the enemy. "I do not mistake their intentions for friendship, father. They mean to grow. Unfortunately, they've done well so far on that measure; I mean only to inspire caution as far as Oldstones. Do you wish to gain a bannerman, father? Or is it Jaremy's life you would protect? I would go to that meagre hold, I would trade Terrick for Valentin, be that your will for whatever reason, and you know this. What is it that you seek? Only in that knowledge can I advise you my true feelings."
"You need not fear for Jaremy's sake- no, nor Jarod's, I have heard the whispers that the great-hearted boy had thought to stand in for his elder- you are yet unmarried, and therefore may take solace in the promise that your father shall sort out this matter before blood is spilled or honor stained," Jerold assures her again. "In considering your dutiful words at council, I weigh the slight my family has offered Ser Anton, the risk to our liege Lord Jason should the Naylands gain another bannerlord, and the good that might be done by placing a Lady of peerless quality at the root of so young a tree as the Valentin sapling. Yet above all of this, I seek to know that my dear Lucienne will be wed to a man who is worthy of her. Is Ser Anton a man you would be proud to call your husband?"
"Jaremy nor Jarod hold the Lord Valentin in the regard that I do," presumes Lucienne with her opinion, and a thoughtful lift to her chin. "One commends him too far to suspicion, and the other not far enough. Given such, I think he to be a man of great quality, to inspire distrust and confidence within the bounds of two close brothers. He has seen what he desires, and he has chased it within striking distance, father. I would not trade such privilege for such poverty lightly, especially considering the potential costs to yourself and our dearly held Lord Jason, as you say. But…" Only brief hesitation. "From what I have seen of him, dear father so obliging, if I were to leave the Terrick name and the Terrick family… I would be proud to call such a warrior and such a courtier my husband."
"If this comes to pass, Lucienne," Jerold begins, still not speaking in certain terms, "Then Jaremy will one day recieve my throne, Jarod will take up my sword, and Jacsen will carry my signet.. yet my greatest treasure would go to Anton Valentin." Another wan smile tugs at his solemn mien. "I will consider all of this, my dear. And when I have decided, I shall summon you again."
Lucienne blushes fiercely at being described so, ducking her head again. "Daddy," says she, whilst her eyes are averted to her lap, the term of endearment not having been uttered for many a year now. She lifts just her eyes, borne of his own and similar in colour and depth, to continue: "You have raised me a good and true woman, instilled in me a healthy respect for the way of the world, and passed on to me an innate knowledge of how to operate within it. I know you will understand that the giving of your treasure will not got unrewarded, for you are he who have moulded her. Even in service to my own family, I will be vigilant and just, as my heart commands. I may yet become a Valentin, but I will bear unto them Terrick virtues, come what may." And having been all but dismissed, she reaches first for her father's knee to squeeze, and then to take up her burned-down candle.