Page 254: Future Prospects
Future Prospects
Summary: Jarod and Gedeon muse on what they'll do when they're done waiting and seeing, and kiss and make up, kind of. (No, not like that, it's a real log this time.)
Date: 29/03/289
Related Logs: Conquerer's Coin; Civility
Gedeon Jarod 
Harlaw Isle
Rocks. Tents. Fires.
Thu Mar 29, 289

Evening has long fallen over the Grey Garden. Ser Jarod Rivers spent most of the afternoon tucked away in the keep but he emerges from it now, making his way out of the winding stone alleyways of the city and back toward the outer encampment. He's been largely keeping the Terrick forces there, even with the Garden fallen. There's a pensive look about him, though it's balanced by a mellowness that suggests pleasant drinking took place during his time in the castle.

That's one of the nice things about winning a town. Their alcohol becomes your alcohol. Not that Gedeon Rivers has tasted any such, yet. He's settled near one of the fires back at the outer encampment, warming his hands and fighting off a cough that refuses to shake. He glances over as the taller Rivers appears, though he only offers a nod and glances back to the fire again, perhaps presuming Jarod means to simply walk past him.

Jarod is mostly absorbed in his own thoughts, brow knitted in that Serious Ser Rivers Thinking sort of way it occasionally does. It always looks like so much effort. He does glimpse the fire on his periphery, though, and spots Gedeon sitting by it. For a beat it seems like he is just going to walk past, but instead he eventually detours. Coming to flop down in front of it heavily. "There any tea on?" he asks, rather than bothering with a proper greeting.

"No," Gedeon replies as Jarod flops. "Did somebody find tea?" He pauses a beat to cup his hands, coughing into them before they drop again and he adds, "You look pensive to the point of a headache."

"They likely did. There's stuff left in the stores, I'm told, although hardly a king's feast." Despite the lack of tea, Jarod lingers by the fire. "Just got out of a meet with Lord Rickart. Discussing the sharing of spoils among the army. Has Lord Ser Anton seen to that for the Valentins yet? If he's not, he'll want to soon. Before the Freylings finish stuffing all the Ironborn riches they can find up their bums or…" He smirks. "…wherever it is they intend to put it."

"Anywhere it'll fit, I'd imagine," Gedeon muses with a wry curl of his lips. "I don't think they've spoken yet, but I'll ask him. Perhaps a coin or two will be yet available for modest Oldstones."

"Lord Rickart'll be dividing them, so the coin'll way in the Twins' favor, however it's cut among the rest of us," Jarod says, idly rubbing the bridge of his nose and blinking. "They're sharing the honeywine they found inside, at least. Mead made from honey. Not bad, for squid drink. Gets to the brain a bit, though." Not that he seems drunk. Perhaps he was making some effort to sip sparingly while in with the Lord of the Mire. "Just thinking over the offer I for the Terrick allotment. Seems better than I figured we'd manage, which makes me trust it little."

"Generous of them," Gedeon says wryly for the honeywine, "to let everyone else taste a little. Well, what is it you asked for and what is it you got?"

"I asked for stone. From the castle, for the rebuilding of the Roost," Jarod replies. "For our sept, mainly. Maybe the other town buildings as well. Not to mention our castle fortifications, though I didn't mention that bit." He cracks a half-grin. "Also what remains of the foodstuffs in the stores. He said we could have it, too. And even offered cart, ships, and oxen for its transport. In exchange for the Terrick's share of the conquerer's coin from the taking of the Garden." His brow remains furrowed.

"Well, Terricks could likely use the coin too, though I'll grant you mostly to buy what you've bartered for," Gedeon replies, clearing his throat and scratching at his jaw. "But, really it hardly seems a deal Lord Nayland would pass up. He has no need for foodstuff or stone. He would have left it behind. From his perspective, to give it to you is simply free coins for him."

"The coin'll be short of what we're truly owed anyhow, with the Lord Rickart and the Freylings at the lead of the Army of the Cape now," Jarod says with a shrug. From his tone, that's so expected he can barely bother to be offended. "I want to run it over with Ser Hardwicke, and my lord cousin, who seems to have a better head for figures than me. But I can't see how, especially with the shipping, and the oxen we can keep from it, we'd do better taking the money." Another shrug. "Which is what makes me fear some sort of trap in the offer."

"I can't say I know much about shipping stonework over the sea. Are you certain it's possible with the men and ships available? I'd presume so, but…" it's Gedeon's turn to shrug, "as I said, I wouldn't really know. Otherwise, I'd say less a trap, more good business for Rickart."

"Possible, and far easier with the Nayland help with it," Jarod says. "I was thinking on it before I met with him. Hoping I could just get what we wanted and…figure out how to cart it out of here later. My cousin, Lord Dmitry, squired for Lord Piper, thought maybe I could get a favor from him. Still would've been difficult, though. This'd make matters simpler. Good business, eh?" He does some more brow-furrowed thinking on that. He might pop a vein doing that. "Maybe. I can't figure him, the Lord of the Mire. You ever met him?"

"Once," Gedeon says with a faint smirk. "I think I liked him. Well, I liked his cleverness, I can't say I know much of the man behind it, yet, except the majority of his children seem to hate him. Probably, that means something." He stops speaking to cough again and hold his hands a little closer to the fire. "What are you trying to figure, exactly?"

"He's pleasant enough, quick with a joke. I can't get out of my head how much my lord father seems to hate him. Or how Rowan seems still afraid of the hold he might have over his life. Or how Lord Rickart used Amelia Millen," Jarod says to Gedeon. "You ever hear the full story of that one? As for me…just trying not to fall into some Nayland trap that'll end up costing my family more in the end than they can pay. I wish Lord Jerold were here, or Jace or Luci. Someone…I don't know."

"Well," Gedeon considers, "your father looks more on deeds than words, I would say, when he considers the measure of a man, so there must be some deeds belonging to Rickart Nayland of which he cannot approve, even before the debacle with Stonebridge. He's an opportunist, certainly, just have to look at the banners to see that. And I heard, when Ser Martyn was made general of the siege, Lord Rickart looked ready to spit daggers. So, he grabs opportunity when he finds it and he resents when it is lost. Whatever his dealings with Amelia Millen, it resulted in the death of one man and her hanging, so, if you believe he was entangled with her, then he's a man who will use unsavory means when he feels he must, which ties in nicely with why your father so dislikes him. But, that doesn't mean he can't be cheerful or tell good jokes. It doesn't mean he doesn't think he's right in what he does and the choices he makes. Talk to Ser Blayne and your cousin, but, from what I've heard of it, I shouldn't think 'trap'. Though I don't doubt that the tale of the Terricks being so poor they had to rob stones from the Iron Islands will spread across the Riverlands as soon as Ricckart's back in them to tell it."

There's a flicker of surprise across Jarod's face when Gedeon speaks of Lord Rickart's dealings with Amelia Millen. "Huh…" he mutters to himself. For a moment it looks like he's about to ask something else along that line, but he just shrugs. And snorts at that last. "And without any part to the tale of how the Freys and their ilk took far more than that from these halls. Such is the world, deeds matter little to most. At least we'll leave less poor than we came, perhaps." He straightens, like he's preparing to stand, though he doesn't entirely. He regards Gedeon a beat and, after a long pause, says, "Thanks."

Gedeon shrugs, reaching for a stick to poke at the logs in the fire. "Just thoughts," he replies. "Deeds matter a great deal, Ser Rivers. Most especially the ones nobody notices." He sniffs, clearing his throat again. "Have a counter-barb ready, should the Naylands drop that one. Never hurts to have a bit of a plan."

Jarod makes snorting sound, as to deeds mattering. "To some, perhaps. Most lords, I've come to think, just do what they please, trusting their coin to buy them power and all of that to turn whatever shit they do into honor." He shrugs again. "Sorry. That sounded…more bitter than I meant it to. Didn't go so badly with Lord Rickart as to put my head to all that. May turn out the better for us, whatever the Nayland lord thinks he's making of it. I'll try and prepare something, though. He asked me something else I didn't expect. Said he figured our forces'd be fighting near one another on the Pyke, so he could see how Rowan did upon the field. Makes me rather edgy, I'll admit. Can't hurt, though. He's good with a sword, and I figure he'll be due for his knighthood after we subdue the squids. His father seeing him do it'll make a lot of things…easier. Or less easy to dismiss, at least."

"If nothing's popped out by now, I doubt it will on Pyke," Gedeon opines for Rowan fighting near Rickart. "Besides, with armor and helms, I'd be surprised if he could pick Rowan out at all in the middle of a battle, it should be fine." His brows lift and he blinks, turning to peer at Jarod as the other Rivers speaks on knighting his squire. "How many of his secrets does he plan to keep, when that happens?"

"What?" Jarod notes Gedeon peering at him. He peers back through narrowed, slightly puzzled, eyes. "After the Pyke seems like the time to do it, to me. Though I'd like to wait until we're back on River soil. War won, all deeds proven upon the field of battle, nobody can say somebody didn't earn it after all that. When did you figure we'd have it done?" As for secrets. More shrugging. "Doesn't plan to keep any. Never intended to after he was knighted, in all the talks I've had with him. Surely the pair of you talked on this when he was squired to you."

"Things change," is all Gedeon supplies for his own talks with Rowan. "That should… well, it should be interesting, if nothing else. I hope he finds what he wishes, once he's gotten what he's been after all this time. I'm not sure, once Pyke's reclaimed, it'd be any better to wait to sail home than to do it at the end of the fight. Actually…" he scratches his jaw, "actually, if you see an opportunity to do it when the King might be watching, if all the armies come together, I'd do it, then."

"It won't be what he wishes. We both know that. Changes little in the eyes of the world," Jarod says. "But, it's what he wants but didn't figure he could ever have, and I can give it to him. Not sure what I'd be if I didn't. But, aye. It'll be interesting. Would you now?" He makes a "Huh" sound at the prospect of doing it in front of the king. "I thought it might be…I don't know. Safer to do it when he can get some distance from the army quick. So if it does go entirely to shit, he won't be surrounded by men eager to be his enemy. It won't be just a spectacle. He'll have to live with this after it's done, whatever it is."

"Maybe," Gedeon allows thoughtfully. "But done in full view makes him just as likely to be shouted a hero as a villain, and if the King were to offer some sort of approval, it might tie Lord Rickart's hands a little, if he was thinking vengeance for the deception. I don't know. It's a gamble, really, no matter how it's done."

Jarod snorts. "You've more faith in the world than I, Ser Rivers. That's a fairytale. I'll be a disgrace, and he'll be someone who stepped outside of what the world's supposed to let him be. And the world is very eager to tear down those who try that. I don't figure I can count on Good King Robert save either of us from anything when it comes to it. After the mess Jaremy made with that personal note of his to King's Landing, it'd probably just be another sign of madness in the Terrick line. Well. Might be." He chuckles. He seems fairly calm about it, pessimism of inevitable disgrace aside. "But, we'll see how it plays. No sense fretting over it too much, won't change what'll be."

"You seem surprisingly at peace for a man who's convinced he's walking into his own humiliation," Gedeon points out, canting his head a little. "Been chewing on this a while, I suppose?"

"Since I took him back," Jarod says, head tilting at Gedeon. "I knew what it'd mean. Knights take on squires to make them knights. What'd you think I was on about all this time? I want to do this…right."

"I don't know. I confess, I rarely know what you're on about," Gedeon replies with a small shrug. "Anyhow, I hope it goes… as well as it might, I suppose."

"That so? I don't exactly make a point of being difficult to figure," Jarod says. "Anyhow. Thanks." He's quiet a stretch before adding, brow furrowing in a puzzled sort of way again, "Were you serious when we talked the other nights? About wanting me to serve Stonebridge?"

Bending the stick he used to jab at the fire until it snaps in half, Gedeon gently tosses the newly-made par of kindling into the flames. His answer to Jarod's question is a silent shrug. "You made it clear enough what you thought of the offer, doesn't seem a thing that needs mentioning again."

"I thought you were having me on. You don't seem to respect me very much most of the time, couldn't figure why you'd put something like that forward serious." Jarod does look half-abashed as he speaks on this, though. "Anyhow, that wasn't any call for me to be as much as an ass as I was over the whole matter. Sorry."

"Well, I wasn't, and I'd say we respect each other pretty equally, so far as I can measure it." Glancing at Jarod again, Gedeon's silent for another short stretch before he nods. "Well, thanks then."

"I still don't think we know each other all that well. Not what we've grown to, at least," Jarod says. "You seem to go out of your way to remind me the world can't be trusted, don't figure you can complain when I actually practice a bit of that. So you were serious, then? What did you imagine me…doing? Not sure what my life'll be after the war's done, and everything with Rowan is what it is, though I suppose if Good King Robert gives you Stonebridge I'd still be serving my lord father there, in some fashion. Since you'll be sworn to the Terricks."

"Castellan?" That suggestion surprises Jarod. It takes him a moment to reply with anything. He looks down at his hands, letting out a soft, short laugh. It's not a sound of amusement, really, save perhaps a rueful kind. "Huh…"

"I didn't mean to insult, it always seemed an admirable post to me," Gedeon replies, lifting his hands in a show of proverbial retreat. "What sort of position would appeal?"

"No." Jarod shakes his head, looking up from his palms. "No, that's not what I meant…just struck me as a little funny. I don't mean funny like a joke, I mean…" He stops trying to define funny with a shrug. "That was the sort of work my mother's family did. My mother's father - my grandfather, I suppose - was steward for the old Lord Terrick. My Lord Grandfather Tomas. I think my mother assisted Lord Jerold in that fashion as well, a bit. I mean she wasn't just his…from what he's told me. He's told me little, and I've always done little asking."

"Oh," Gedeon murmurs, clearing his throat. "Oh, I see. Well, I apologize, then. I hadn't realized. I wouldn't have offered that, if I had."

"Why not?" Jarod asks. He doesn't offended by the offer, funny-but-not-like-a-joke though it seems to strike him.

"Because I wasn't trying to imply that you should take the position because your grandfather did or because your mother did," Gedeon replies with a faint shrug.

"I'd not have been insulted by that," Jarod says with a shrug of his own. "It's a good, respectable post. With some measure of power in a lordship's house. Much as one can have when they aren't a lordship themselves, that is. It's just…not the sort of thing I ever pictured myself as suited for. Jace or Luci'd seem more the sort, or my cousin Lord Dmitry or…those who use more than just their swordarm to make their way in the world."

"You'd be honest with me," Gedeon says, "I can't say that about many others. There's more politics involved to be sure, but you're playing politics now. Or you were, before the war, serving as ambassador for the Terricks. You know when you're in over your head and when you're not, and you'd aim to do your best for the household and the people of Stonebridge. The rest can be taught."

"Never been called to that sort of work, save by Lord Jerold. He seemed to think I could manage the post in Stonebridge," Jarod says, not without a touch of pride. "Not sure how well I did with it. Or how I've done with the army. But…I liked doing it, more than I figured I would. Wouldn't be a bad way to make your life. It'd be a good lot to have when a man was more…settled. Perhaps when I'm one-and-thirty, and've been taught a bit more." He smiles some, though there's a wistful quality to his expression. "Just being a household knight is all right with me for now, if I do end up staying in the Roost, or Stonebridge, these next years. I do it well enough, and it's needed. Before the squids…everything seemed easier when I was planning on leaving tthis part of the Riverlands for awhile. Can't desert Lord Jerold during the rebuilding. For so long as he'll have me, at any rate."

"You keep saying that. Do you think he won't, once Rowan's knighted?" Gedeon asks, brows lifting a little, "or is there some other reason you think Lord Jerold' going to come around to removing you from his service?"

"Might not," Jarod says with a shrug, more resigned than anything else. This is plainly something he's spent a lot of time thinking about. "He has a different sense of propriety than your Lord Ser Valentin. Would've likely kept her as my squire all along, wasn't for that. Not that I think he'd toss me, precisely, but…I hope there's a place to make the life I want in my lord father's house, but whatever you think of me I'm not…naive enough to count on it."

"I should be surprised if he turned you away, but I suppose it's possible. People have a way of surprising for good or ill, no matter what you think you expect," Gedeon answers, watching as the flames pop loudly around a bit of damp wood.

"It's not me I think he might turn away," Jarod says. "We'll see how it plays, though. Little sense in trying to figure it, not like I'll know until it's done. Sat easier with me before the Greyjoys ravaged the Roost. And before Lady Evangeline died. He's been hurt so much so quick…"

"Ah, but if he turned Rowan away, of course you'd go with him," Gedeon muses with a small nod. "Well. Perhaps he'll have better sense or some compromised can be reached. As you say, there's little to do before it all plays itself out. Only live long enough to do it at all."

"Compromise." Something about that makes Jarod laugh, a little sadly. "He'd be willing, I think. She…well. Said to me once compromise wasn't really something in her on some matters. Maybe things are different now. Don't know. But, aye, little I can do about it but see it all done, see what I'm left with at the end of it." He sounds almost curious.

"Funny enough, I feel like I'm in a similar boat," Gedeon says with a laugh, "this war stirring up before the King could consider the issue we brought before him. Nothing to do but wait and see."

"Aye, we'll see how it plays," Jarod says, standing. "Again, sorry I was an ass about your offer on Stonebridge before. Was well-meant, I suppose. Just don't know if that's where my life'll take me. May end up just being a hedge knight for a few years after all this. Knock around King's Landing, the Reach." He grins. "Dorne. Who the fuck knows? We could all still die horribly on the Pyke, anyhow."

"One can always hope," Gedeon replies dryly. Well, a little wetly, actually, because he pauses to cough again. "If you do find your life leading you to Stonebridge, and I'm there, let me know. Otherwise, well, good luck to you, wherever you set yourself."

"Good luck to you, too," Jarod offers, before he heads back to the Terrick area of the encampment.