|Summary:||Rutger and Isolde speak of the letters and more.|
|Date:||12 Nov 2011|
|Related Logs:||All Riverrun logs.|
|Water Tower Sitting Room|
|Nov 12, 288|
There is a roaring fire going in the sitting room's stone fireplace, keeping the chamber warm and lit. The long table is ringed by eight chairs, but currently only one is occupied: Rutger Nayland is reviewing copies of the letters already presented to Lord Tully. As he is wont to do while he works, Rutger has a dagger in one hand, that he idly but deftly twists and flips while he reads…
Walking helps at the very least and her own chambers are becoming something of a prison. Isolde thus finds her way to about Riverrun, seeking some solace away from the chamber that gives her rest. Still pale and inwardly a bit tired, she moves to press the door to the sitting room open. The flickering light of the fireplace stops her and she slows, catching her figure in the doorway as she looks up to see who is within. "Evening, milord.." Intones the Lady of Stonebridge, hesitating, "I do not mean to disturb, I just thought to find someplace to think over the testament."
Rutger glances up as the door creaks open, his eerie yellow eyes almost glowing when the fire reflects in them. "My Lady goodsister." He greets, the letter in hand put down, and the dagger jabbed on to the table surface, point-first. A hand is lifted and gestured at the empty chairs. "Come, sit. You must be wary after your travels."
"I am wary after many things..wary and weary.." The dagger is given a long look and those eyes make her hesitate still. Of the brothers, she finds Rutger all the more unnerving. Isolde shakes off her wariness of one thing enough to step forward and take the seat that is motioned to. "Lord Rygar, your cousin, told me you would be remaining in his stead to deal with this matter on behalf of the Naylands." She observes and then slowly settles herself to the seat, a faint sheen of sweat on her brow and a few quick shallow breaths taken. The firelight helps to scare away some of her palor.
"That I am." Rutger nods once as he sits back against the chair, his fierce eyes resting on Isolde as she sits, as if scrutinizing his new good sister. "But now that my brother, the Lord of Stonebridge is here, perhaps he will have words with the Lord Paramount himself." There is a short pause. "You seem unwell. Should you not be resting in your chambers?"
A nod is given in regards to his place in all this and Isolde smooths the paper of her copy of the testament with a faint crinkle in it's sounding. "I am well enough..this has plagued me even before leaving the Mire. I grow restless in my chambers…too many thoughts..too many people close by that wish for Stonebridge in one way or another." Her green gaze flits up from the parchment back to those eerie eyes that she tries so hard to remain focused on and can not in the end. Her eyes travel to the flickering flames. "I find keeping my mind busy - actively so, keeps some of my discomforts at bay." She shifts in her seat, sitting a bit more upright. "And in your hours with the documents, have you found ought that should be noted?"
Rutger shakes his head, reaching for some of the letter copies on the table, picking them up and tossing them dismissively. "I had no opportunity to see these before I arrived here. Ser Rygar thought it best to keep these in secrecy till we arrived in Riverrun." He pauses to breathe long and sharp. "I have met with Lord Hoster. I regret to say he seems reluctant to put faith in the final letter Lady Valda produced."
"I have met with him as well…I think perhaps he may be more worried as to the timing of such proof coming to light." Isolde brushes a hand up through her hair, to keep it from her face even as a few strangs cling. "Though, he did tell me the scribes had not taken enough time yet to look at it. Faith or not, he has been placed in a position of judgement based on old records and claims that would tear some of his Lords apart…" There is a sigh and she furrows her brows. "One thing that came to my mind …after I thought on the testament. Why did my Lord Father decide to leave those letters and Gedeon's claim with my half-brother? He was also in the war…he could very well have lost his life too…"
"My Lady," Rutger reaches up to stroke at his chin. "Surely you do not believe Gedeon Rivers' claims are genuine. Regardless of whether his letters are merely forgeries of quality, it seems perfectly clear to me this is but a ploy to profit from the rivalry between House Nayland and House Terrick. He is stirring a kindle in hopes of starting a fire, so that he can reap the rewards regardless of who it burns." He shakes his head slowly. "He is forcing Lord Tully into making a difficult choice, one that will doubtless anger /someone/."
"Believe, my lord?" She looks up to him and lifts a brow. Isolde shifts as if to but make her position a little more clear. "I don't think there is a bit of my father in those letters. That testament is my father..foolish, loving and sincere all in one." She motions to what is before her, a copy but still his words as she would see them. "What I meant to say was…if he wanted to make certain that such things were heard…it would have come as this testament did to my mother." She brushes a hand to her neck, curling fingers around the simple locket that rests here. "I have come to the conclusion that it is possible my half-brother genuinely believes what he carried is real…I think perhaps he is but another piece, as I myself seem to be."
Rutger quirks a brow at Isolde's words. "Who, pray tell, do you expect the master puppeteer is, milady, if not your half-brother?" The way he asks it, there is a distinct tone of sketpicism in his voice. "I must wonder, have you had an opportunity to discuss your thoughts with Lord Jacsen of the Terricks?"
There is a faint, strained laugh and then what wan smile was once upon her lips has all but fled. Isolde meets his gaze again, as unsettling as it is. "I spoke my concerns to one son of the Terricks and he went too far with it..and now is no longer a Terrick. I do not think my suspicions will take hold enough..not when the Terricks have put in with whom I do believe to be the cause. In either case, there is even less way to prove that than my legitmacy." She waves it off, looking down at the copy of her father's testament before her. "I have grown too far apart for my words to hinder any meaning any longer with the Lords of the Roost. It matters not who pulls the strings at this point, does it?"
"Not at all." Rutger leans forward and retrieves his dagger, which he idly toys with and examines with both hands. "You see, Lord Hoster bade me to reach out to House Terrick, to reach some sort of accord between our houses, which I fully intend to do." His yellow gaze moves back to meet Isolde's, and the dagger resumes being twirled and flipped in one hand. "Jerold Terrick is blinded by his hatred for us to even consider the possibility that he is being used and played by an opportunist, and from what I understand, Jacsen Terrick, cunning as he is, may be just as blinded by his association with Gedeon Rivers. If you have suspicions of a master puppeteer other than your half-brother, perhaps they will be more willing to listen."
A long breath is drawn inward and Isolde sets a hand to taming her hair gack from her face once more. "I do not think it will matter how much I do not trust House Valentin. Several reasons, but it matters mostly that Ser Gedeon arrived with them. Reasons, but perhaps no proof enough to convince anyone of my suspicions." She looks to the spinning dagger, though perhaps threatening to some - it is less unnerving than Rutger's gaze. "Or perhaps I am blind and it is my half-brother, but his actions and words towards my person leave me to believe that he does not think himself false in this. In either case, you can bid with the Terricks, but I do not think telling them they are being fooled is going to result to anything." Her lips press together firmly and she closes her eyes, looking a little more pale.
"You would be wise, milady, not to put faith in your half-brother's innocence in the matter." Rutger states flatly. A Nayland-born paranoia, or something more? "You may think it a loyal hound that you allow to dine at your feet, but a wolf will never reveal itself until it is ready to kill." The dagger-twirling doesn't stop, nor slow. "I must ask, what are your plans should this end against you?"
"Plans?" Isolde draws a breath. "How can I prepare for something such as that. I am certain that I will have need to find my own way." There is a lift of her chin and her gaze meets his again, willing herself to keep her gaze matched to his. "I do not know what I should be expecting. He Naylands would find no use for me any longer and my Lord Husband will more than certain annul our marriage. I can not be certain what /I/ will do if such a thing comes to pass. Should I expect something as I have said?" She asks of him.
"Have you heard the tale of the Banesfort woman who lost her family to the Ironmen?" Rutger inclines his head. "They burnt her house, murdered her husband and sons, and raped her. She was left a broken woman, with no future to speak of. She chose to follow her tormentors, even willingly served their leader as wife." The dagger twirling comes to an aburpt end, the blade held in one hand. "So she could take revenge on them. She slit their throats while they slept, she did."
Green eyes narrow as he tells his story and Isolde lets her hand fall from her neck to the table. Resting it there, she lifts a brow, "Foolish of her tormentors.." She murmurs and than a faint frown takes up a position on her lips, though a thoughtful expression passes over her. Eyes settle to the flickering fire in her silence. Finally she stirs and she regards him again. "I think my attentions are better turned towards securing my place instead of considering revenge.." The parchment before her taken between fingers.
Rutger nods slowly. "Indeed, milady. I merely dislike not having a plan in place, whatever the eventuality." He flips the dagger around in his hand, and slowly draws the sharp point along the table top. "Should you speak to my brother before I do, please kindly remind him to keep to facts and evidence, when he is summoned to Lord Hoster's presence. He does have a tendency to speak… with his heart."
Following the path of the knife, Isolde considers his words and than dips her head. "I think the Lord Tully is of heart as well. Sometimes it is well to speak that way, sometimes not." But the intrigue of a plan in such instances. "I am curious, as to what you would plan then…for the eventuality?" A breath drawn, "As this will effect the Naylands as well as myself." Everyone for themselves.
"The difficulty of my position," Rutger notes without stopping his carving of the table. "Is that I may attempt to negotiate accord with Jacsen Terrick, or speak on the House's behalf, but I have little authority to enforce any such agreements I make. That authority rests in my father, to a lesser extent my Lord Brother, and in practice my cousin Ser Rygar." His tone turns flat and unreadable at that. "Such is the position of a second son, I fear. I do what I can, with the limitations imposed on me."
A brow lofts some at his words and Isolde tilts her head to listen. "It seems, goodbrother, you are faring quite well for yourself despite the limitations that are so imposed. To be left to handle this task on behalf of your House speaks to the regard in which you are held." She folds the copy of her testament, creasing it against the table as she then pauses, "We all have limitations…it's all we navigate them. Though I think my Lord husband sets his own limitations.." There is a faint smirk there as she says it, tapping a finger to the side of her mouth.
"My Lord Brother, your Lord Husband," Rutger finally stops his table-carving. "For all his faults in decisions, he is a passionate man. I worshipped him when we were both children, and I will see him succeed. Despite the circumstances of your marriage to him, I believe he genuinely cares for you, milady. It would not entirely surprise me if he were to maintain the marriage, even if Lord Tully rules against you." He pauses to train those fierce yellow eyes on Isolde. "Do you regret being my brother's bride?"
It is not the question that worries her, it is his gaze and Isolde meets it despite her discomfort. "I think he does…care for me. I did not expect compassion from him nor was I thinking I would find a comfort in him. But I see him here now, the way he is more alive and at home in this place..and I regret being his bride only in that it took him from this place. I am loyal to my husband. I gave my vows before the seven and that is how it stands." She does not comment on whether he will maintan the marriage.
Rutger nods without shifting his gaze from her. "Yet I thank you for that. Ryker is the heir to House Nayland; it is time for him to live up to his birthright, not shirk his duties." A thoughtful pause. "Before this matter is resolved, you are still Lady of Stonebridge. When I speak with Jacsen Terrick, do I have your leave to negotiate on Stonebridge's behalf?"
"Negotiate as you will with the Young Lord, goodbrother only in so far that the lands of Stonebridge remain intact and the people are not harmed in the terms." Isolde pauses and shifts to sit forward to the table to engage him more closely. "I will give you this. Lord Jacsen is most taken witht he tariffs and how they are harming his smallfolk and trade. He will seek to end that in some way if you negotiate so if there is a way to appease him in this, you may be well armed enough to come out in a positive stance." She advises.
"If only all this could be resolved by agreements on taxes and tariffs." Rutger takes a deep breath, sounding almost wistful. "Your advice is noted and appreciated, goodsister. I have some small past dealings with Lord Jacsen, and I have known him to possess less of the mindless vitriol Lord Jerold has for our family. I pray to the Seven he has not changed over this matter."
"I hope for the sake of peace that he has not as well." Isolde does not look covinced though and moves to push herself up from her seat. "I tire and I am sure you have time you wish to devote to the documents. If there is anything more I can help you with, please do not hesitate to ask." Her own parchment in hand, she takes a moment to steady herself. "Time changes us all, goodbrother, even the Young Lord. He is not much the same as I recall."
"You seem unsteady on your feet." Rutger lowers the dagger and inclines his head to Isolde, finally rising to his feet. "Shall I escort you to your chambers? My Lord Brother will not forgive me to allow his wife to collapse in Lord Tully's keep." He muses.
"His wife would not forgive you either…I think I shall accept your offer.." Isolde smiles some but her brows furrow, now turning from the fire to await his help her skin looks all the more flushed. "Is it a bit warm in here?" She asks, glad to forget business despite her earlier words. Wetting her lips, she draws a deep breath, parchment crinkling her hand as she keeps it close to her.
There is a narrowing of those yellow eyes, but he doesn't slow in his approach to help Isolde. "Perhaps a little warm, but better than the cold outside." Rutger comes up beside Isolde, but does not actually reach out to hold her - that would be improper. "Perhaps you have taken ill, goodsister? If that is so, I shall summon a chiurgeon and send him along after I escort you to your chambers."
"Ill? I took ill weeks ago…" Isolde intones and furrows her brow. "It is a matter of..moments I suppose. Fresh air will help and than rest. No need to bother with summoning anyone." She draws a shakey long breath and takes up a slow pace for the door. "You will do what you can then, to help my husband?" She asks of him as she exits, finding a measure of serenity in being released from the warmth. A hand lifts again, wiping at her brow.
"Whatever it is that my Lord Ryker requires, to fulfill his destiny as House Nayland's heir." Rutger replies, reaching up to push open the door for Isolde before following her out. "Your presence here is critical in the next few days. We can ill-afford you falling ill now. Let me know if you feel you need assistance with your health."
"I will not fail to be where I am needed. I will remain abed I think unless I am summoned. If there are matters I need attend to within the House, I ask that you bring them to my chambers." Isolde intones. "May I please take your arm, goodbrother? I am not far from this room but I do not feel steady enough.." She lifts her hand to if he so allows her to lean upon his strength. "I think I may not only be fighting for my husband and I in this.."
"It will be my pleasure." Rutger nods, and indeed takes Isolde's hand and arm to give her the support she needs. "I will bring matters to your chambers as you need, milady. Accept no visitors from your half-brother or his master. I fear what measures they may take against your person should Lord Tully rules for you."
"I have spoke with them already, I do not think I will have need to again." Isolde remakes softly. "I have faith in the Lord Tully, but then I am sure you think me weak for such hopes." The Lady intones with a bit of wryness to her voice. "In either case, it will be his decision and all we can do is plead our case." Her case. Her footing is a little uncertain but they arrive nearly in one peace with Asha to answer her chamber door. The maid blinks, surprised perhaps at seeing Rutger as she backs up a step or two. "Asha, cool cloth again..and the ginger as well." The girl is quick to her business, sneaking a quick, uncertain look at the yellow eyed Lord.
The maid doesn't quite get the same consideration her lady does, and the creepy yellow eyes rivet on Asha like a predator on prey for an uncomfortable moment. Nonetheless, Rutger helps Isolde along into her chamber, crossing the threshold only because the lady seems to need his support, and letting her off once beside her bed. "Rest well, goodsister. I will have someone see to you in the morning." Turning, Rutger addresses the maid. "Watch over your lady with your life, or I will have yours. Let me know if her condition worsens." He adds, before bowing his head to Isolde in silent farewell.
Asha nearly shrinks under that gaze but somehow manages now to spill the water she is pouring for Isolde. The Lady takes to the edge of her bed and lifts her head to nod to Rutger. "I thank you, goodbrother, I shall be well I am certain.." Though poor Asha again is not spared and she draws up short from passing him to the lady's side. Nervously she nods, "Yes, of course my Lord. I will let you know." She dips a deep bow, her gaze anywhere but his eyes as she waits for him to leave. To the silent farewell, Isolde dips her head faintly in reply, reaching for the cloth that Asha finally brings to her.