|Summary:||Anais welcomes Rutger to the Roost, and they both go fishing for information.|
|Related Logs:||Yeah, there are. But not directly.|
|Reading Room — Four Eagles Tower|
|It is a room full of books! And stuff!|
|June 11, 289|
When Rutger first arrived, he was shown to guest rooms in the keep. They're nice rooms, well-appointed, although it seems a fair portion of those appointed to care for them originate from the Banefort, rather than the Roost. Not that it particularly matters, as everything is taken care of promptly. A spare meal was served in the throne room - soups, bread, and hard cheese - and as evening fell, an invitation arrived for Lord Rutger Nayland, inviting him to a meeting in the reading room of the tower with the Lady Anais. Upon his arrival, there is tea laid out, along with a pitcher of watered wine and a bottle of a clear liquor. The lady herself sits at the window, looking out over the drizzle that still falls over the water at the coast, while a guard and a handmaid play at cards in the corner.
Being shown a room is always better than playing hang about the throne room. Besides this is more of his sister's trip than his own. He is merely here to cement a few things, and hopefully speaking with Lord Jerold, before leaving. However when the invitation came, he changed from his riding clothes and came down. As it was, the Lady Anais and her handmaiden would find Lord Rutger easily. Dressed in blacks and greens, he doesn't stand out too much, but enough perhaps to get a nod from a few, and bows from others.
Anais looks up as the Nayland lord arrives, a small, friendly smile curving. "Lord Rutger," she greets, giving her skirts a swish that probably passes for a curtsey as a lady in her own home. "I missed your arrival, but I wanted to take a chance to welcome you to the Roost. Something to drink?" she offers, moving toward the sideboard where the drinks wait. "Lady Roslyn assured me that your trip here was uneventful, which was pleasant news."
A raise of a brow, which lowers as a smile breaks on Rutger's face. And there he bows his head back over towards the Terrick Lady, before he stands up. "Lady Anais." he replies as hands move to clasp behind his back, in usual repose. "Yes, I would have wine if you have it. If not, tea shall serve fine." the Nayland knight states before he is looking on towards the fare laid out. "Hmm?" And then a blink as Rutger looks back towards Anais. "Oh Yes, quite uneventful, but we are hoping our stay is indeed-eventful and successful." A smile there. "How have you fared? I feel as if it has been some time, since we have seen you in the Sevens?"
"Oh, well, you know. There was that little bandit episode," Anais chuckles, pouring a glass of wine for Rutger and passing it over before a cup of tea for herself. And then she pours a little bit of that clear liquor into it. "But Jacsen is feeling better now, which is a weight lifted from my shoulders. I…" She pauses, glancing to the window before turning back to the lord. "I apologize for any awkwardness that came of my visit. I truly didn't expect that everything would snowball the way it did, and I'm sorry that it's dragged you away from your home now."
Rutger stares at Anais before he is shaking his head, as a dry chuckle slips out. "Of course, my apologies in not being more straight with my question. But-beyond being absconded by bandits, how have you been?" And there he looks over to the clear liqour that is poured for him. The glass when taken is sniffed before he drinks. A glance to Anais. "Ah yes, your Lord Husband. I've not met him yet, but I do look forward to it." he adds "Well not met with him truly. We have spared words before, but I do not thing that entirely counts." the Nayland states before he is moving to sit. A glance given and he chuckles. "Lady, I cannot help rumors, nor how they look."
"I'm…all right," Anais smiles faintly to the lord, moving to take a seat across from him. "Though I'm afraid this is not exactly what I imagined when I set out from the Banefort. I think I was expecting more tournaments and glory and less war and starvation. As for Jacsen, I'm sure he'll meet with you soon." She reaches up to flick her bangs away from her eyes, then takes a sip from her cup. "I wanted to thank you for the time in the Mire, rumors or no, though. It was a pleasant place. In some ways, it reminded me of the Banefort. And I'd imagine you'll be glad to return."
"Good." Rutger says with a faint smile. As she sits he simply drinks and eyes the sparse dinner for a moment, before he is looking back towards Anais. "Well, sometimes, the sun sets, and then it rises. Right now, some houses are in decline, and it is a sad thing." A sigh there as his glass is set down. "Oh no need to thank me Lady Anais, it is a pleasure to serve my house and to come and visit." he adds with a cheeful enough smile. "I'll be glad to return? Perhaps. I can't say I dislike this place, or your Lord goodfather. I imagine that this time is hard on him, as it is your Lord Husband, Jarod's brother." a faint smile there at that quip. 'Truly, how are things here?" Rutger asks.
Anais can't help but groan at the quip, giving Rutger a chiding sort of look. "I swear, if I hear that one more time…" She doesn't finish the threat, though, instead lifting a shoulder at his question. "Not so well as they are for you," she answers noncommittally. "But you rode through to get here, I'm sure. And if I said any more than that, I suspect my family would be rather displeased with me." Quiet, she brushes a thumb over her lower lip as she considers the Nayland lord. "Do you know," she muses. "I think that either the Terricks are blinded by some ancient hatred, or else you Naylands are some of the most spectacular actors and politicians in the kingdom."
"Then you will know the seriousness of the rumor and hopefully understand why I was sent." Rutger tacts on to her threat. "And pray your husband has not heard of such rumors." Rutger adds on before looking back to the Lady Terrick. "Your family would be displeased? Why is that if I might ask, my lady?" A pause there "Have you incurred their wrath somehow?" At least the Nayland asks. He could simply just sit awkwardly and drink. Eyes watch her thumb, before he is looking back. "I believe we might have a cousin in a troupe down in King's Landing." Rutger quips. "But yes, some things are hard to kill." And with that he is motioning for more drink.
"Nina," Anais murmurs, and the handmaid leaves her cards to refill the lord's glass, as the lady watches with a sharper edge to her smile. "I'm not a puppy, to need my nose rubbed in a mess, Lord Rutger," she notes quietly. "I know well why you were sent. As for what my husband does and does not know, I think you need not worry. I'm less concerned about what he doesn't know than what I don't." She waits until the maid has returned to her own table before speaking again, head tilting slightly. "Of course, I imagine Lord Riordan is rather busy in Stonebridge at the moment as it is. Charltons, Charltons everywhere. You'd think they'd learn from Gedeon's and his father's mistakes. I know I'm not interested in watching my sons play out this pageant again in twenty years."
"You may not be Anais, but my brother is, and you acted the pup with him. Please note, I am not trying to be rude." but he totally is being rude there. "But, I speak out of this harsh truth, because I do care." Which is likely true. "As are we. We'd rather it all be nipped in the bud, so to speak." Rutger states before he is taking another good long sip. "And if the Charltons feel the need to continue pressing the issue, then so we will. Hopefully this was enough of a wake up call to contain such emotions on both ends." A glance though and Rutger is studying Anais for a moment. " Tell me." Rutger begins. "Why are you worried about what you don't know? Is something amiss here?"
"I acted-" But Anais cuts herself off, pressing her fingers to her brow for a moment before shaking her head. "I am finished having this argument," she declares, taking a swallow of her tea and setting the cup aside. "Though I can't help but wonder if everyone would be so atwitter about it if my husband were a more…active man. But people see what they expect to see. I know that, and I should have known better." Closing the topic on that note, she draws a breath and then shakes her head to his question. "It's only natural to be concerned about what one does not know, my lord. It's rarely the things you know that cause you to fail. It's the things you didn't see."
"Lady, I think people see it, because you are a Terrick and my brother is a Nayland. You are married and my brother fucks anything he can win." Rutger notes with a wry grin. And with that he sets his glass down. "And you are married. That is why people watch and whisper." he finishes. And there to the other he raises a hand and tilts it back and forth. "Are you afraid of something unseen now, beyond failure, of course?"
"Exactly. I'm married. And your brother is charming, but I'm under no illusions that he loves me." Anais pushes out of her chair, moving to claim that bottle of clear liquor once more and tipping a small measure of it into her teacup. "Just as I am under no illusions that you genuinely wish to help me with the things that concern me," she adds as she returns to her chair, a faint smile touching one corner of her lips. "I see where being friendly with one Nayland has gotten me. I do try not to make the same mistakes twice." She sips at the tea - though it must be more liquor than anything else at this point - as she watches him. "What do you think of Justin and Roslyn?"
"Should the rumors of my brother bedding Danae be true, then Lady you would have more to worry about him being helpful, than myself." Rutger states over the rim of his cup. "I am geinuinely concerned, as I would like to know what state your House is in. If I am to be effiecient when speaking to Lord Jerold, or Lord Jacsen, I would like to know if I was walking into a bear's den, or a harmonious home." Done. A glance back as he tilts his head to Anais. "I think, if they care for one another, they would make a fine match. Justin is not yet a knight, and my sister is smart and canny. She would do him well. I don't know of any better match our houses could do together-that Lord Jerold would allow."
"I rather like your sister," Anais admits. "Though I fear she might hold a grudge against me over this nonsense with your brother. And I think Justin could do with a more…steadying hand than otherwise. He seems to at least be trying to woo her." And if there's some wistfulness in her voice, it's hardly a secret that neither Jaremy nor Jacsen spent much time wooing her. "I'd like to think that Roslyn and I could work together," she adds. "That would be nice." Another sip of her tea, before she sets it aside once more. "So far as Lord Jerold goes, I doubt he'll show any reaction to the state of his household. The Terricks pride themselves on proper behavior, after all. I'm sure he'll be thrilled to hear you're disappointed in your brother, though he'll want reassurances that the Charltons are being treated well."
"Well that makes two of us." Rutger announces with a faint chuckle. As to Anais next worry, the Nayland shakes his head. "I doubt that she would hold a grudge over you, over Riordan's foolishness. She is his sister, not his lover." he quips before drinking down some more of Lord Jerold's kindness. "This is good." he remarks. "Any woman, great or small should be wooed if you do plan on wedding them." At least, that is Rutger's philosophy. "Oh I know he might be a stone wall when I face him, but I would know if he is displeased about something." A grin there "Mainly because I would like to see this match take-" and that next bit brings a raise of a brow. "Why would he care for a Frey vassal's woes with another?" Curious-that.
"Because it's gods-damned Stonebridge," Anais replies with some exasperation. "Because Geoffrey Tordane was his friend, and because a fair bulk of our trade must pass through that town. So we are somewhat interested in what becomes of it. As I said, my interest in mainly that my own children don't have to do this all over again. And that, I hope, is why we are building this alliance. Personally?" She arches a brow, settling back in her chair. "I'm impressed by the Naylands. You build a levy, you train it, thereby not only protecting the town, but cementing your leadership of it in the minds of the smallfolk without any unnecessary measures. When you see a threat, you eliminate it. And though your public image could use some polish, no one questions that you can hold what you have."
A raise of a brow is given back towards Anais as if to state, really "That aside, I was probing to see if he had more of an interest in anyone of House Charlton in particular." Rutger states before he is finishing whatever is in his glass, but he does not look for more. "Impressed?" a chuckle there. "Lady, that is what any Lord worth his salt should do, if he wishes to keep his people and his land. To simply stand aloof with your knights in a tower will not make the people love you, nor will it give them ownership or a sense of it, to their land. At least with our levy, there is pride and honor in serving. It's less about doing our bidding, as it is, defending their land."
"I know that, and you know that. Not everyone does." By which Anais means she hasn't gotten much traction on the idea in Terrick's Roost, at least. "As for Lord Jerold's concern for the Charltons, I don't think he has a particular care for any of them. Rather, he's likely to have some preconceived notion of how Naylands treat their prisoners, and I imagine it doesn't live up to his standards of honor. But I'm speculating. You wished to have some idea what he might be like, and that's all I can offer at the moment."
Rutger nods. "Of course." Rtuger replies before placing both hands on the table. Fingers interlock and he watches the lady a little bit further. "Well, at least I know what I am going into. Has your Lord good Father spoken on the match between our houses at all? Anything I should keep an eye for?"
"He hasn't spoken to me of it," Anais shakes her head, a flicker of irritation in her features at the answer. "Though I expect he'll be…prickly. But that's more a general description of Lord Jerold dealing with Naylands than anything to do with the match." She draws a breath, looking away to pick up her cup again, though she spins it rather than drink from it, looking into the cloudy liquid. "Lord Jerold has been…difficult to reach since his wife's death, Lord Rutger. It's led to a bit of disorder in his house."
For the words Rutger nods, as if he expected as much, but then he probably has some pre concieved notion on how Jerold Terrick is, at least in his mind. "Ah." Rutger says with a faint smile "That, I do understand, and thus can help with." At least Rutger has lost a wife and knows that pain all too well. "Well thank you Lady Anais. For welcoming me here. I hope I do get to see you more while I am here, but I am still worn from the ride here. I hope I do not offend you by retiring early?"
"Not at all," Anais assures, rising as well with a small smile. "I should get back to Jacsen as well." But first, she'll drain the last of what remains in her cup. "Thank you for coming, Lord Rutger. I…have done what I can to ensure that this is a peaceful visit. I hope if you have any trouble, you'll let me know?"
Rutger smiles back towards Anais. "Of course, I will let you know, Lady. I have no reason to not let you know of trouble. Thank you immensely for the talk. I hope it aids in so much that it brings our Houses together and ends the strife between them." bowing his head Rutger turns to depart, but he does look back over his shoulder towards Anais. "Bid your Husband my thanks for his hospitality here as well."
"I certainly will, Lord Rutger," Anais promises with a dip of her chin and a small smile. "Sleep well." Once the lord has departed, she sighs softly, turning to the guard and the handmaid at their table. "Deal me in?" she asks of the pair, settling in for just a little longer.