|Good News, However Small|
|Summary:||Ser Rivers of Terrick returns to the Roost, and is welcomed by the Young Lord and his lady.|
|Related Logs:||The war logs in general, nothing specifically.|
|Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|Sat Feb 04, 289|
The sun's been up for several hours, though it's still early enough that it's properly morning rather than afternoon. It's at this time that Ser Jarod Rivers rides back into the Roost, from which he's so long been departed. He dismounts, leaving the settle his horse to his squire and whatever handy pages are about. For a moment he just stands, taking some time to look around the courtyard, which even the recent with the decimation of the town is still a bustling place.
The Roost is indeed a bustling place, with people coming to and from to ask their questions about the rebuilding, or bring in updates. Since Lord Jerold has been away with the forces, Anais and Jacsen have done their best to take over what responsibilities they can. Which explains why Anais is speaking with a woodworker by the gates regarding their repair. Jarod's arrival, though, certainly draws her attention, and she quickly finishes up with the woodworker to hurry after the knight. "Jarod!" she calls, shuffling a few steps before switching back to a normal walk.
"Hullo, Anais." Jarod strides over to meet her, making to catch her in a quick, brotherly sort of hug. He must have stopped somewhere the previous night, as he's plainly shaved this morning and smells as if he's bathed semi-recently. Which is probably better for those he'll be hugging all around.
"You're back," Anais smiles warmly as she returns the hug, then leans back to give him a more thorough inspection. "And whole and hale, no less. I'm starting to think you might know what you're doing with this fighting stuff. Rowan?" she asks, turning to look over her shoulder in case the squire is somewhere in the yard.
"I try to avoid getting skewered unnecessarily," Jarod says with an easy grin. "Rowan's all right. Took a hurt in the initial rush into the city, when we were fighting with the infantry, but he's healed well, thank the Seven." He sounds quite fervent about that. He's close to his skinny squire. "Hale and whole enough to take part in the final assault on Seagard castle, where we both came through without serious injury, as did Lord Jerold. The other Terrick knights on the field fared well also. Ser Hardwicke and Ser Hollister, and I suppose Ser Kell counts as one of us now as much as any of them. It was ugly in places, but our own casualties were not bad. How did the Roost fare while we were gone?"
"Unassaulted, which is progress," Anais smiles crookedly back at Jarod, turning to look around the courtyard. "We're working on the rebuilding. Making repairs. Things are…" She pauses, sobering. "Things are going to be tight, unless we can bring in more coin or more raw materials. But Jacsen wants to have a meeting about all that soon, I think, which is soon enough to talk about it."
"I know, Anais. I was talking a bit with Luci when I stopped on the Darant estate last night. We've some thoughts, and will be making some efforts to get the refugees in Stonebridge more settled, which we should talk on with Jace and the rest." It's later on in the morning and Jarod's just arrived back at Four Eagles Tower. He's meeting up with Anais in the courtyard. "But how're you? And Jace? And Cayt. And Lady Evangeline. I should stop in on the lady of the house now that I'm back. Lord Jerold gave me a letter of his to deliver to her."
Jacsen appears out of the mouth of the tower, making his way out onto the steps with a labored gait, one that has deteriorated since last Jarod lay eyes on his lordly brother. He draws a hand up to shield his eyes from the light of the sun, and his smile emerges when when he catches sight of his brother and wife conversing, and heads in that direction.
"Lady Evangeline is Lady Evangeline," Anais says with a low laugh and a rueful smile. "And Cayt is Cayt. Jacsen is…" She hesitates a moment, considering her words. "I'm afraid this is all wearing on him more than I'd like," she admits, not seeing his approach. "His leg. He's bearing it well, though."
Jarod chuckles some at Anais' comment about the lady of the Roost, though it's not a particularly rueful sound. "Same could be said for us all. I'm hoping, actually, she might be up to taking a trip to Seagard to see Lord Jerold. I worry for my lord father. Lord Patrek is leaning on him hard, with Lord Jason Mallister's death, and he and Lord Jason were close as well. Given that and the state of the Roost…well. He could use someone to lean on who won't just expect something out of him, I was thinking." He notes the way she speaks of Jacsen with a soft, "Huh." But he doesn't really press further. Jacsen is approaching, after all, and he's at an angle to spot him. "Hullo there, little brother." And he strides forward to meet the trueborn Terrick and hug him, on that note. Not too hard. He does try to mind the leg.
"Gods, but it's good to see you," Jacsen says to his brother as he returns the man's embrace much as he might with mostly just the one arm to use, the other involved in holding to his cane. "Even knowing you came out of things alright, it's…" He squeezes his brother firm, before he pulls back enough to repeat, "It's good to see you." Whatever truth there might've been to Anais' words, it's not reflected in the man's features just now.
Anais quirks a brow at Jarod's talk of sending Evangeline to Seagard, though he's off greeting Jacsen before she can say anything. Whatever thoughts she has about her goodmother, her smile eases a bit to see the brothers together. She doesn't interrupt just yet, letting them get their greetings in.
Jarod claps Jacsen on the shoulder warmly before breaking the hug, beaming broad at his brother. "Take more than a few more Ironborn to do me in, Jace. Anyhow, be good hosts! If you've the time for it, I'd love to take a glass of wine with you both, talk proper on how things've been around here. Or on less weighty matters, if you prefer. Just good to be home for a bit."
"Hosts?" Jacsen laughs as he puts his arm around Jarod's shoulders and gestures to Four Eagles Tower. "I seem to recall you growing up here alongside me, brother," he reminds, before he sends a look Anais' way. "Would you mind sending for a little something? Perhaps we can all take a seat in the throne room…"
"Don't you live here, Jarod?" Anais smiles crookedly at his talk of hosts. "I suspect you've a better idea than I do of where the good wines are." She passes by Jacsen on the way into the keep, though, a hand brushing his arm as she leans up to press a quick kiss to his cheek. "I'll bring something out," she promises.
"I do recall that," Jarod says with a warm chuckle to Jacsen, as to growing up in the tower. "We should have some stock from the Darant vineyards in the stores. Lady Isemay's lands weren't touched too much by the Ironborn. It's one of the few trade goods we've left that could be of value, come to it, though they're likely better times to talk on such things. At that meeting we'll have and such. But, aye, anywhere I can sit would agree with me. Been too long standing or in the saddle, wouldn't mind a change."
Though he's not spent long in a saddle, or even on his feet, Jacsen seems quite content to sink into a comfortable chair in the relatively quiet throne room, not waiting on any sort of ceremony in such familiar company. "So, you said you wanted to hear of home?" he recalls, glancing over at his brother as Anais busies herself with preparing some wine for the small gathering to partake in. "I'll have some questions for you, no doubt."
There's wine, yes, and a tray of hard cheeses with some thin slices of apple. Paltry fare, but something that may be a luxury soon. The wine, at least, is rather nice, and Anais has a glass for everyone in short order. One for Jacsen first, then one for Jarod, before she settles on the arm of Jacsen's chair. "You said…Do you think Lord Jerold really wants his pregnant wife to join him so close to the conflict, Jarod?" she asks, brows furrowing slightly.
Jarod flops unceremoniously into the first chair he comes to, starting to take off his boots before he gets to the wine. "Aye, anything and everything. We had a chance to do something resembling a patrol of the Cape on the ride back. Didn't come across any Ironborn, though I've no doubt there're still some out there. They mostly fled to the seas when we retook Seagard, but a small number took the countryside. They'll be scattered, fortunately, but still a danger to any of our folk still out there." Boots off, he does take the wine glass. Though he doesn't actually get a chance to drink before Anais' question. "Seagard is secure, Anais. Safe as any coastal city, at any rate, and with a higher military presence than the Roost at present. I don't think it's a question of proximity to the Ironborn. All of us who inhabit the coast will be more…proximate to them than we'd like for some time."
"If she's inclined to go…" Jacsen begins, his free hand reaching out to settle on his wife's knee lightly. "Let her go after we've held our council, and with her endorsement, she can bring our plans to Lord Jerold. Knowing our father…" He glances up at Anais. "It'll do him well, and she might be refreshed by seeing him. I'm certain it is difficult to be apart, knowing he might need her." He tips his head back and swallows a measure of the wine. "Things have been quiet here, nothing to be seen or heard of the Ironborn. We seem to be a stopping off point for those nobles attached to the host that were not fit to travel with it during the campaign, but… things have been quiet. Which we need, just now. Without significant coin or supply, it's a slow rebuilding."
"You might want to write the plans down," Anais murmurs at the rim of her glass. "If you want them to be faithfully represented, at least." Not that she's really objecting to the idea of Evangeline going elsewhere. "But far be it from me to keep a wife from her husband," she adds with a small smile, reaching out to set her hand over Jacsen's. "Grateful as I am to be with mine."
Jarod nods to Jacsen. "That was my thought. Would do him good to see his wife. He took Lord Jason's death hard, though he tries not to show it, and Lord Patrek is just a boy. He's relying on Lord Jerold heavily, and there's no one there our father can really turn to for himself. But, aye, up to her, not either of us. If you're up to making a trip, Jace, might not be a poor notion for you to go as well, when I head back down that way. I was thinking. We'll need aid to rebuild, and you're more familiar with the Mallister resources and what they might be able to offer than the rest of us." He takes a quick gulp from his wine cup. "I'm always for having something in writing."
Jacsen's eyes cut towards his wife at her commentary, gently chiding with a faint, "Anais…" But talk of Lord Jason's death, and how hard their father has taken it does not fail to shadow his features, the news of his father's troubles and thoughts of that loss too hollowing out much of the cheer in him upon receiving his brother back home. "It's a deep loss, one that cuts to the bone…" He glances into the depths of his cup, taking another sip, this one drawn out and slow, as he gathers his thoughts. "I'll consider the travel, though I'm…" He sighs. "Avinashi is gone, Jarod, and I cannot say for certain if she is dead or alive. Our Maester is well meaning, but he's constrained by supplies and a lack of familiarity with my leg. I've not traveled father than the Green since we received the army after Alderbrook."
"I know, I know, I'm sorry," Anais murmurs as Jacsen's chiding, leaning over to brush a kiss to his temple. She stays close as he explains his problem to Jarod, even slipping a comforting arm around his shoulders.
Jarod nods in understanding to that, bowing his head at mention of Avinashi. "I'd prayed she might turn up among the refugees. Or even that I might see her in Seagard. I'm sorry, Jace. She was…" He trails off a moment, then just raises his glass to say simply, "…she's a remarkable woman, and very resourceful. I still pray she's made it out somewhere, somehow." As for the word about Jacsen's leg, he nods gravely. "I understand. Wish there was something I could do to help. There may be supplies in Stonebridge. There's much trade in herbs, with the wounded coming in. If you could give our maester a list I can escort him down, take him around the market, see what we can find. Lady Isolde may even have something at Tordane Tower. She's always been interested in medicinal matters."
"Too much loss, more for some than others, but it's keen all the same. I hope the same, but…" Jacsen heaves a bit of a sigh that threatens to overwhelm, and might well have if not for the distraction of a cup of wine to lift and slowly drain. "Tell me some good news, brother," he requests of Jarod just then, his thumb trailing over his wife's knee as he does. "However small. Something we can both smile over, or cheer."
Anais is a silent support to Jacsen through the topic of Avinashi's disappearance, rubbing gently at his shoulder and staying close. "I received word that Quentyn is all right," she offers. "He saw the ships on the horizon and beached his own escaping, but made it safely to the Golden Horn." A faint smile touches one corner of her lips as she laughs. "I suppose that's why sea eyes run in the family. Useful."
Jarod looks as if he might say something more to Jacsen on the topic of Avinashi, but he doesn't. He's keen to speak of happier things. "Well, we're winning, if that's not enough to cheer over. Seagard's retaken, the Ironborn retreated to the seas, and we hear tell Lord Stannis Baratheon's fleet has scored even victories perhaps more important on the seas." Mention of word from Banefort brings a grin to his face. "Warrior be praised. Has he any word on the rest of Banefort? The Crown Fleet has broken the worst of the Ironborn from the Westerlands, if reports are accurate, though at Seagard we only gathered to the broadest tidings of what they're calling the Battle of Fair Isle."
Jacsen's eyes lift up to his wife at that bit of sharing, breathing a touch easier in the aftermath of less pleasant things. "We've been awaiting word on the Banefort," he shares with Jarod, but leaves the rest of it up to his wife to address save for noting, "I've promised to send word to Seagard for Lady Danae Westerling, and I hope in exchange she might be able to find out more for us of the Banefort's state."
"Nothing of the Banefort itself, save that it was under siege," Anais shakes her head to Jarod. "Ser Aeric said that the whole Western coast had been ravaged, but honestly, I can't imagine that they got much out of the Banefort. Father knows better than to keep things where they're easily accessible to reavers."
"I'd heard Lady Westerling was here." That brings a slight grin to Jarod's face. And seems to remind him of something. "We should expect a visit from Ser Gedeon Rivers within the week. Probably. Maybe. We'll see. He said he'd come after he'd concluded some business escorting traders back to Oldstones." He takes a drink of wine. "From what they tell, Anais, Lord Stannis' fleet broke the Ironborn siege of the Westerlands hard. From all reports, the squids are routed on Westeros. The talk we hear in the army now is plans for invasion. Though I've not heard firmly where we'll be sent first. We've some liberty before that happens, and I intend to use it."
"I've not seen hide nor hair of Gedeon since before the siege. It will be good to catch up with him," Jacsen observes, finally setting his cup down and reaching to push the cheese and apple slice spread towards Jarod. "Eat, brother, I'll not be called an ill host," he warns, warm. "And what of Rowan, Hardwicke, and the rest of our Roost men? How did they fare?"
"That's promising news, then," Anais smiles to Jarod, taking a sip of her wine. "Hopefully the siege passed over them easier than it did us. It would be nice if we could get some help from Papa." When Jacsen pushes the food forward, she leans over to take a slice of apple as well, nibbling at it. "And," she adds to Jarod, "You must tell me your plans for your liberty."
"Rowan took a hurt that had me worried when we first were with the infantry pushing into the city, but he mended well, thank the Seven. Well enough to be hale and whole for the last of it. We came through the final push on Seagard castle very well, for our own forces," Jarod says. "Took a few hits, but Rowan, Ser Hardwicke, Ser Hollister, and Ser Kell who's nearly one of ours at present, all came through without doing themselves lasting harm. Our own casualties, in the final tally, were not so bad as many. We've good men." He takes some apple slices, chuckling at Anais' questions. "Nothing too interesting. Spend time here. Try and get some work done in Stonebridge. Settling the refugees elsewhere is my particular concern, though we'll speak on that later. Enjoying the company of those near and dear." He raises his wine glass in something of a 'toast' to the pair of them. "Try to attend to a few personal matters now that I'm home. If you expect entertainment from me, Anais, you'll be sorely disappointed."
"Well, whatever we can do to help, let us know, Jar…" Jacsen suggests, snatching up his own cup to answer that toast. "Keep them fighting and alive, and we'll have a far easier time of making those changes you suggested we push Father to consider," he points out, pleased that the men have done so well. "I'll have to see about paying Rowan a visit, before you all are off again."
"Not even a bit of pleasant distraction?" Anais smiles ruefully to Jarod, laughing softly. "Don't worry, Jarod," she says, slipping from the arm of the chair. "I'm afraid I'm too busy to be entertained lately anyhow." She leans over to brush a kiss to Jacsen's brow once more, then straightens. "I've an appointment to keep, speaking of which."
"I'm hoping we might bargain some better arms for our volunteers from Lord Patrek," Jarod says. "From our own supplies…well, I understand we're making due with what we can. We've taken quite a bit of useable arms off the Ironborn we've slain and captured, which is helping. Anyhow, I'll leave you to your sleep, Anais. I should go…look in on my horse." His wine finished, he sets his glass aside and works on putting his boots back on. "See if Rowan settled him proper."
Jacsen's hand is firm on his wife's knee, giving her a gentle squeeze before he lets her go, and he chuckles just a touch when his brother, too, announces his departure. "Well. I think I'll just… sit here a little while longer, then," he says, as much to the cup of wine he lifts to his mouth than to either of them. "Don't be a stranger between now and whenever it is you're to war again, Jar," he requests, and just that.
"I shouldn't be long. I'm just meeting with some of the trappers about filling the rabbit coops," Anais explains, finishing her own glass before she goes. "Hopefully once we have a few, they'll breed like rabbits and we'll have meat. Welcome home, Jarod," she adds with a small smile, then disappears out the doors.