|Father And Son|
|Summary:||Rickart happens upon Rafferdy in the Roost.|
|Related Logs:||Battle of Alderbrook|
|Armory - Four Eagles Tower|
|Behind a bolted door lies the Tower's Armory. Stacks of armor line the walls, each placed carefully upon shelves with their helmets. Spears, pikes, axes, and bows line one wall while on the other and also kept on racks in the center are dozens and dozens of swords of all kinds. These are all mostly identical with few variations among them except for design and size as the armory is simply a repository for defense arms. At the front near the door the Guards have their own personal storage space for their more customized gear.|
|18 January, 289 A.L.|
Rafferdy has been hiding from his father, trying to stay low profile while at the Roost. This evening, he's spending time in the armoury, tightening the bow strings and checking arrow supplies. He's at a table, several crossbows in front of him under repair, in a few pieces. He's dressed in his noble outfit, just in case - A red and gold outfit with a matching doublet that leaves his archery-honed arms exposed.
The tower armory isnt the sort of place that the Terricks want certain sorts wandering unsupervised. Thus, when Rickart Nayland requested to inspect Terrick military stores, he was not left alone. The Lord of the Mire can be heard before he is seen, a bombastic laugh booming out at some unheard comment, moments before steps can be heard approaching the portal. A scant instant later, Rickart's distinct voice can be heard observing, "-of course any weapon can only be so good as the hand that holds it, eh?" as the grey patriarch of the Nayland family steps into the doorframe.
Rafferdy hears his father, and his eyes widen. He looks around. There's nowhere to go. Nowhere to hide. He swallows, and looks at the door just in time to see his father appear. He's been sending the man intelligence and spy reports for a very long time, but hasn't actually seen him in 9 years. He freezes, just… staring.
There is a moment before recognition sets in. A moment in which Rickart simply sees a gentleman in the armory attending to several of the weapons. The wrinkles in Rickart's face are more pronounced than Rafferdy would recall, all the moreso as he is smiling broadly upon first sight. "Good day to you!" he declares, before something in Rafferdy's tentative manner strikes the spark of familiarity in the Grey Lord's eyes.
Rafferdy swallows, a rather dry, nervous smile. Very slowly, he pushes himself up to a stand (which isn't that high, given he received his height from his father's side of the family). His brow lifts just slightly, and then he lowers his eyes, and gives an appropriate bow.
One of Rickart's men, alongside a Terrick retainer, can be seen in the doorway behind the Lord of the Mire, who comments aloud, "Now there is a face I havn't seen in a long, long time. Who'd have thought it'd be in Old Jerold's house, eh?" he jests, bone-dry in tone. The smile hasn;t wholly slipped from his face, but the expression is one of musing.
Rafferdy purses his lips a little, and he tries to hold back a smile, though a bit of a smirk does escape. "I um…" He clears his throat, "Father." He exhales slowly. "I didn't expect to see you here."
"Always expected to have a stroll through the Roost one day. Just not quite like this," Rickart quips in return, giving his Terrick attendant a knowing grin and wink, before looking back to Rafferdy. "So this is one more surprise among many, my boy." The grey lord walks unhurriedly into the room, inspecting the work his son was about before interruption. He reaches down to heft the crossbow winch, and idly tests the mechanism. "Needs oil," he comments, glancing to where Rafferdy had prepared a pot for just such a repair. "Which I see you already noticed." The winch is set down, and he glances up again to Raff. "I didn't recognize you at Alderbrook. Didn't know you were with the army."
Rafferdy nods a little, "They needed an archer. Someone to train the peasants." He shrugs just a little, "I didn't know you were going to be there, sir." He swallows again, still standing almost at attention.
"It was a battle to protect what's ours, my boy," Rickart observes with a wry chuckle warming his throat. "Would that the lot of pirates had dared such a thing twenty years ago, I'd have been leading the vanguard myself. That would have been a glorious thing, eh?"
Rafferdy slowly smirks, "It would have." He smiles, turning a bit to watch his father. "Not that things weren't glorious." He pauses, as if waiting for something.
"Ah, it was though," Rickart grins at talk of glory. "A Nayland in command, a Nayland knight leading half the horse, and a Nayland leading the Line. Small wonder that the pirates' blood turned to salt water and they fled, eh? Ha!" He regards Rafferdy a moment longer. "It's good that you were among us, my boy."
Rafferdy smiles a bit more fully, "It was?" He laughs a bit, "I mean… Of course it was. Thank you. Father." He continues to smile.
"Of course it was, boy!" Rickart declares with a light chuckle stirring his throat. "I only wish that you did it as a knight. You know-" he recalls fondly, "I used to dream of such a thing: all my boys as knights, riding with me into glorious battle to claim our family's rightful place in the sun.." He shakes his head ruefully. "But Ryker loves nothing so well as spiting me. Rupert was taken from me all too young, and Rutger- Well, you and Rutger caused me no small measure of shame in how you ended your squirings. Lord Frey still resents me for that, did you know?"
Rafferdy's smile fades at that last, his chin dropping a bit as he sighs. "I um…" He furrows his brow, "I didn't know. I'm sorry." He shakes his head a bit, an unspoken thought clearly suddenly occurring to him. "Damn."
"First Rutger, then you. So help me, if Rowan makes a ruin of this Frey betrothal, I'll-" Rickart shakes his head, jaw briefly tightening. "There is only so much slight a man can swallow." Rafferdy's visibile occurance of a thought catches the grey lord's eye but he lets the other Nayland share it unprompted.
Rafferdy furrows his brow, and looks at his father, "Rowan is betrothed?" He seems a bit surprised by that, but also maybe disappointed, and he sighs.
"He is. To Igara Frey," Rickart relays, before huffing a breath and adding, "Though the boy seems keen to throw it away chasing after the damned pipe dream of the Kingsguard, rather than work toward the betterment of his own blood. Another thing I have the Terricks to thank for, that." Rickart's eyes narrow and he exclaims, "Well damnation, boy, don't start moping and sighing like some maiden, what it is?"
Rafferdy furrows his brow again, licking his lips a bit, and staring at the table. "Having a Nayland in the Kingsguard would be a tremendous boon and betterment of our family, Father." He looks then at his father, shrugging a little. "He's so far removed from inheritance and such a runt, we should be proud of his aim, not chastising him for his dream." He straightens a bit, "Be disappointed in me, not him. I'm the screwup, Father."
"And if I thought for a moment he could achieve it, I'd be pleased as a crooked Septon in a nunnery," Rickart returns sharply. "You've seen the boy! Too short, too skinny, and too damned young." A shake of his head. "I'll never understand why so many of my sons are so bloody keen to forget obedience. What do you think Walder Frey will do when two of my sons insult his kin as squires, only for a third to cast off one of his daughters? A man doesn't suffer such things lightly!" The Lord of the Mire grouses. "He'll think Rickart Nayland is a man who is too weak to even command his own damn sons, and that the Naylands can't be trusted, that's what he'll think."
Rafferdy's shoulders slouch just a hair, and he looks downward, nodding a little. He purses his lips, in thought, and then asks, more quietly, a little hesitant, "What if you were to arrange my betrothal to his daughter Lorna?"
"What?" Rickart prompts, frowning in surprise at the swerve in conversation (such as it is). "His daughter Lorna?" the grey lord echoes. "Isolde's lady in waiting? What, are you sweet on the girl? Bah," is muttered as one aged hand is raised to itch at his jaw. "You havn't much in the way of prospects, do you, boy? Heirs, knights and heroes make for better matches, my boy." Still, his voice has the tone of musing rather than pure scorn.
Rafferdy chews his lip, suddenly feeling like a kid again, and he shuffles his feet once, exhaling slowly, before he nods. "You're right. You're right, of course you're right." He swallows, and shakes his head a bit, "I'm none of those things." He looks over at the crossbow on the table and picks it up, beginning to make an adjustment.
"You're the heir to nothing, and you made a ruin of your chance to be a knight," Rickart mutters, with a short exhale. "Still. It does no one any good for you to linger about unmarried, does it?"
Rafferdy glances at his father, "It wasn't like that. I was trying to do what was right. To be more than what the Frey's wanted to sit idly by and be…" He watches his hands once more, finishing the adjustment to the crossbow, and sitting it down. Turning to look at his father then, he says, "I've been sending you information no one else has for years. I serve you more faithfully than any of my brothers have. Just because I don't have a Ser in front of my name or want the whole world to know of my service doesn't mean I don't deserve anything!" And then he realizes what he said, and immediately, his eyes drop, and he takes a half-step back, "…I'm sorry, Father…"
"And how the fuck is Walder Frey to know you're less than an oathbreaker?" Rickart barks back, face carrying the frustration of belatedly wishing he'd put it another way. "I've done damned well by my boys, and pestilence take the man that says otherwise. Good marriages, good opportunity. Squired to prominent knights, not some hedge rider.. And what I get in return is insolence and ingratitude. We'll talk again later, boy. When you've stopped sulking and I've stopped being pissed."
A bit of surprise at his father's words washes over rafferdy's face. It's clear that it upsets him enough that he'd probably yell back if he just simply weren't such a slave to pining for his father's approval. His agape mouth is slowly closed, and he looks downward, then to the table and crossbow. He fingers the weapon, and nods in silence.