|Summary:||Jarod speaks with Isolde of the depth of her power.|
|Stables - Stonebridge|
|The public stables of Stonebridge are quite large and even have a distinct area for visiting nobility to store their steeds while visiting Crane's Crossing. Saddles are stored within an interior building and out of the elements where services are offered for everything from repair to shining. Feed is supplied as well to make sure that the charges are well cared-for.|
|Wed July 27, 2011|
The rustle of fresh hay being spread is heard from one of the corner stalls, a soft exclamation made as the door is propped open only just a little. A cough and a sneeze to follow and the woman rising brushes at her face, dark hair bound back quickly and a rather simple work dress on in tans and browns. Sneezing again, the foal Tourmaline side steps and watches the woman. She smirks some and reaches out to scratch at the little one's neck. "Easy…you are quite the work.." Isolde grins.
She moves for the door, letting the foal return to eating the corn mash that she brought for him.She slips out the small opening, covered in bits of hay and dust, sneezing again into the back of her wrist. The occasional odd piece sticks out from her dark hair.
Jarod makes his way into the stables. He's absent armor at present, and has been for most of the tourney so far, as he apparently feels no inclination to ride in the joust. He is wearing a lock of very dark brown hair at his wrist, tied with a golden ribbon. And is sporting several days growth of stubble that, it seems, he's attempting to cultivate into a beard. Early results on that front are rather unfortunate-looking. He's alone, somewhat of a rarity, no tagging along with a Terrick family member or a Mallister drinking buddy, or even his trust squire-ling, Rowand. He takes a look about the place, idly scratching at his beard-lite in a thoughtful sort of gesture. After a bit of that, he heads farther in. Toward Tourmaline's stall. Spotting, Isolde, he clears his throat. "M'Lady?"
She is bound for the pile of hay newly brought in and she starts to reach out with arms, hugging a good grasp of it to her body when she hears the call. Isolde turns slightly, looking over her shoulder and not able to see who it is for what is all in her face. "Yes?" She asks faintly, shifting to turn and hoist it towards her left shoulder. Turning, the leaves a few falling from her grasp. But green eyes settle on Jarod and she smiles brightly. "Oh, Jarod, you had me thinking you were someone else, what with the title and all. Please, need I ask you again?" There is a sworn standing near the opening to the outside arena, but does not move to forestall any conversation. She looks him over faintly and then lugs the hay towards the stall. "How are you today?"
"Well enough," Jarod replies. Cracking a boyish grin at the sight of her. "You've got a bit…" He gestures to her hair, signifying the hay. "You need a hand with that?" He moves forward to give her one with the hay. "The foal's coming along well. Rowan did a good hand with her. Said he had to reach in and turn her himself so she'd come out proper, but she seems strong enough even for it."
Releasing the load and pausing as he helps, Isolde can not help but smile. "Thank you…" Once free, her hands lift to pull at pieces of hay from her hair. She gives up soon enough and follows him to the stall, pushing the door open enough and leaning against it as she watches him. Her back rubs against the edge of the door and she tilts her head, gazing towards the aforementioned Tourmaline. "A lovely foal…I only hope I can do Rowan justice by taking good care of her." Her smile is warm and she brushes at the work dress, the action meaningless wth how dusty and dirty she has become.
"You will, I have no doubt. I'm glad you like her. I thought you might." Jarod gets rather dusty and hay-covered as well as he mucks around, but he doesn't seem to mind. "I was actually hoping you might have time to talk for a moment. I'm sure you're time's rather pressed right now, things being what they are…" He shrugs. "…but I did want to have words while we still had a chance to. I've been thinking a lot on that matter with the whore, Amelia of Seagard."
"My time is yours for the moment, Jarod." She smiles a bit and tilts her head, a brow raising. "I would hope that..well we would still speak…" Isolde stops at the mention of Amelia and her cheeks flush some. She lowers her gaze and pushes away from the stall door a little. Gazing back out, she steps within and closes the door slowly, her back to him. "Go on…" Her voice has quieted and she looks through the grated upper window of the stall outward before turning to look at him.
"I just wanted to say that I hope you know we meant the Tordanes no insult by refusing the writ for her arrest," Jarod says. "I still don't understand the whole of that affair, myself, nor can I say I care to. That's business for my father and brother to sort out. But I took no pleasure in refusing to aid the Tordanes in exercising their laws. Ser Rygar Nayland's presence made it another sort of matter altogether. Had it just been Tordane men - your men - I'd like to think it would've gone different."
"Me? I am not insulted. The move made was my mother's and perhaps it was to show our turning allegiances." Our. Isolde frowns some, "I am sorry for what trouble it has caused. But Jaremy can be rather…fool hardy at times and though I love him for it, I fear one day it will bring harm to him. I know he loves the commonfolk but ..there is a level of the King's Law we must hold to. Or it is seem as weakness. He is not weak." She says, not wishing to elaborate on the matter of Amelia. She takes a step closer to Jarod, a soft smile on her lips. "Things after this tourney will grow more difficult. I will be Tordane no longer in name. But I will be the same woman. You and your family must remember this." Her green eyes try to jold his gaze. "But the land will be Nayland and there will be need to work with them. I will do what I can to make that easier. Though I think it will be a while before things are accepted."
"The King's Law exists to protect the commonfolk," Jarod says. "Harsh as it may be at times, relying on the whims of a lord would be far worse for everyone, and it's for the commons we should strive to keep the letter of it. Jaremy's kind, perhaps too much at times, and my father's fair. The same can't be said for all. And no. Only a fool would think my brother weak. But he follows his heart too easily and may be hurt for it. Well. I'll do what I can to defend him from it." If he wants to know anything more of the whole Amelia affair, he doesn't press her for it. As for her last, on no longer being a Tordane, he shakes his head. "You've the wrong of it there, I think. And I wanted to speak on that with you, too, if I may do it plainly."
There is a nod in tandem with the comment of Jaremy being too kind of heart from Isolde. But a brow lofts at his expression of her having the wrong of it. Her lips part and she looks about to say something but stops herself. A motion of her hand is given to him and she nods her head again. "You have always had the right to speak plainly with me. This time is no different. Please." Tourmaline shifts, nearly finishing the mash as the foal hooves through the fresh bedding of its staw to bump it's head into the Lady's upper arm and shoulder.
"Heh. Not in some things," Jarod says with a boyish grin. Which makes his attempt-at-beard look even more unfortunate. "But anyway. I've been seeing the way Lady Valda throws her weight about here these last days, and I can't say I care for it. She doesn't rule here, Issie. You know that, don't you? Not in truth. Look. She may have a post and title, but the men here follow her for precisely two reasons. The oaths they swore to her husband and the love they bear your family. She's a Frey to her toenails and all her schemes are for her family's coffers, and that's plain to anyone who has eyes to look. She's no Tordane. And your Lord Ryker won't be, either, though he'll rule here in name after he's wed to you." He speaks of it like it's inevitable.
"But the knights and sworn men of Stonebridge…they're yours. If you've a will to command them. You tell them not to listen to a word from your lady mother without your leave, and they'll do it. And when you've wed Lord Ryker they'll still look to you, though they'll give your lord all the respect required. But it's not his blood they'll be sworn to. It'll still be yours. You're the Lady of Stonebridge, the last Tordane, and it's your blood they've pledged to shed theirs for. That's powerful, Iz. Those ties…there may be not much stronger in this world, when it comes down to it."
His words score something inside of her and Isolde lowers her gaze, drawing a slow long breath. "Many of my father's men left after his death. But many loyal stayed to make sure that his family was yet protected. Frey sent sworn to substitute and so many look to my mother over me. Yet…" She pauses, lifting her chin to regard Jarod, lifting a hand to pluck a piece of hay that she can see dangling from her hair. There is still quite a bit more. "When I am wed..they can only answer to me and my Lord. But as you say, they will look to me. I //will/ make certain that some semblance of a buffer remains between Terrick and Nayland. While I live." That last is said as almost a stipulation and she offers him a smile, weak as it is, the spirit is still behind it. "I have always enjoyed your bluntness, I do hope you realize. I have always admired you your strength as well."
"I think you'd be surprised how faithfully they'll look to you, and not your lord, whatever lands and rights his marriage gives him," Jarod says. "I sometimes don't think you and Jaremy truly get it. What you are. Even raised to it as you were. You are the trueborn daughter and heir of Lord Geoffrey Tordane, and that's a thing that'll move men. Anyhow. You've more strength yourself than you think you are, is all I wanted to say. Your mother and Lord Ryker and Ser Rygar - and perhaps even my lord father, given what we stand to lose in this - may not want you to see it, but that doesn't make it untrue." That last makes him blush. He shrugs. "Blunt? I've heard it put less-kindly, but I thank you anyhow."
"My strength and use of that status has never been tested more so than now, Jarod…" She says and the woman draws a breath. Isolde gives a shake of her head. "When I am pressed, I will use what is within my reach. I am my father's daughter…that is true." She can not help the grin that touches her lips. "Perhaps Jaremy and I see the power the common people have. To underestimate them…means to fall. I think it is not only his kindess but his will to win his people that makes him who he is.." Issie lifts a hand to pet tourmaline as the foal presses into her side and moves, knocking her closer and she laughs. A tumbling of eet and she catches herself. Tilting her head up, that smile softens and she shakes her head. "Jarod Rivers…you have as much noble blood as any of us do. You are a credit to it as well." She steps forward, extending her hand to him. "I am going to miss speaking with you as we do."
"Only half so much as you, my Lady Tordane," Jarod says with a light shrug, as to blood. He allows himself to sound, just for a moment, a little sad about it. "And never the name, but that's all right. I'd make a poor lordling. I try to make an all right knight, though, and serve my lord father as well in that as any son that does." He watches her a beat, then reaches out to take her hand. "No you won't. Miss it, that is. Terrick's Roost isn't so far as well that, and I'll be about. No matter what passes between our Houses, Iz, or you and my fair lord brother, I'll always be your friend. I'd not know how to be anything else."
"Jarod, you are a fool…" She smirks, and Isolde grips his hand firmly. "I am glad you are that. And will remain so.." The Lady lingers and then with quiet hesitation steps in towards him to wrap her arms around in a gentle hug if she is allowed. "You and your family will always be my family. No matter what is to come." Swallowing past the tightness of her throat, she smiles and lets out a long breath, releasing him. "Stonebridge is never so far away. If the Roost ever has need of Tordane sworn…you call on me and I will do anything to see that oath kept. I promised Jaremy that and I promise you that too. And as for an 'all right' knight…I think you shall be one of glory and strength."
Jarod is a little surprised by the hug, but he certainly returns it. His hands linger, gently, around on her arms once she's done. Eyes regarding hers for a beat. Then he flushes and clears his throat again, dropping his hands to his side. "Well. We'll see about that. But if you ever find yourself terribly in need of a knight and it's not a thing that goes against my family, just send a raven and I'll go and do for you as I can." He suddenly grins again. "If your mother hits you again, I could hit her back for you. If you ask. I'm not quite sure how that'd square with those knightly vows to protect women and the like, but I figure if you're ordered to it by a lady you like better, then there's some wiggle room." He's joking, of course. Well, mostly. It's at least eighty-percent joke.
Isolde can not help but smile at his flushed features and then his words make her laugh a little. "Goodness if someone did…I can't imagine her response. But I am sure I would enjoy seeing it." The Lady smirks a little and it gives her gaze a mischevious glint. Her head dips as the foal edges towards them, the nose bumped in at their sides, seeking attention. Her slender fingers lift to rest on the soft brow and itches up into Tourmaline's mane. Her gaze wanders down to her work before lifting her head. "I do not think I would ever ask something so…bold of you as to strike my mother. Her days of power grow numbered, trust me." She says with some certainty. "I have to get ready for the day, Jarod. Or I will be missed by my new shadow of Frey make.." Her Lady cousin. Hesitaton and then a memory rebounds and she leans in, a gentle kiss offered to his cheek.
Jarod doesn't move when Isolde kisses him. His eyes do follow back to hers once she's done, and he holds her gaze again. And, for a beat, it seems like he's considering doing something more. But eventually he just exhales, and nods to her. "Well, I'll not keep you from your Frey phantoms, m'Lady. Pleasure speaking with you again, as ever." And with that, he turns on his heel and heads out of the stables.
Tourmaline is taken to her side and her hand passes over the long delicate neck. Isolde is quiet, watching him as he does her. Her head dips when he gives his parting and she presses the foal closer to her side. "The pleasure is mine, Jarod. Fight well at the tourney." She bids him, turning her had to follow his passing before she lets out a breath and shakes her head, looking down at the beauitful gift. "Come now….time to let you strengthen those legs.." With a gentle guiding hand, she leads the foal out of the stall and torwards the riding arena, her gaze distant and lost to thought.