Page 133: Hand-and-Halfer
Summary: Lady Kathryna Harlaw spars at swordplay with Ser Jarod Rivers and verbally with Lady Anais Terrick.
Date: 25/11/2011
Related Logs: Ladies and Ladies for Kathryna's arrival; the ongoing Jarod-gets-dumped-by-swordmaiden saga for the subtext he's whining about throughout.
Anais Jarod Kathryna 
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.
Fri Nov 25, 288

The halls of Four Eagles Tower have been rather empty of Terricks these past weeks, but they're filling up again now. With both the entourage back from Riverrun and, a little earlier in the day, Ser Jarod Rivers riding home again from down Stonebridge way. The Captain of the Guard has just finished washing most of the road grime off himself, and changing into a half-way presentable tunic and dark trousers, with a leather jerkin worn over it. He's just exiting the castle now, in conversation with another guardsman in Terrick livery.

Anais returned the previous day with the rest of the Terrick entourage. Yet despite all of the travel, it didn't take long for her to be outside the walls once more. She made a trip to the shore this morning, lingering there with a few of those who came with her from Banefort, and only now returns to the Roost proper, the hem of her skirt still damp from the waves. She doesn't call out to Jarod, not wishing to interrupt his conversation, but she does raise a hand, waving across the courtyard.

As they both approach, they might see another form they don't quite recognize in the courtyard, far off to the side, sparring against a wooden post, since most of the men in the Roost are too 'chilvarous' to fight a woman. Or perhaps too nervous. Either way, Kate doesn't let such propriety get in the way of actually keeping her form as honed as her blade, so she's tearing up that wood like she's got a grudge against it, all fast, sharp cuts and smooth motions with the hand and a half sword she always keeps. She's still in her long leather coat, the one with the Harlaw crest on the back, and her white blonde hair has been drawn up off her neck to keep it out of her eyes while she works. At this distance, and with her activities, it might not be immediately clear that she's even a woman.

Jarod notes Anais on his periphery, raising a hand to wave back at her. Though a verbal greeting is stowed for the moment. The woman, and her post-abuse, command his attention once he's spotted them. For a moment, he just stares. His expression is not so much shocked as bemused. And very, very rueful. "The Seven hate me," he concludes, to himself, under his breath. "That's the only explanation. They just hate me." Though there's a half-smirk on his lips as he strides in the direction of Kate and her beaten post.

Anais slips from her horse, not noticing Kathryna until Jarod starts in the woman's direction. When she does see her, it's not so much that she's a woman that catches her eye as the crest on the back of her coat. Though the guards with her wear Terrick colors, two of them stiffen far more than the other two, hands moving toward their swords. Anais passes the reins of her horse to one, falling in beside the others as she starts only slowly toward that side of the courtyard, watching every move Kathryna makes very closely.

It's more Jarod's muttering that draws Kate's pale eyes, though the faint sound of steel being moved behind her, even if not fully unsheathed, also catches her ear. Kate pauses in her practice, not really taking a moment to catch her breath, but she sheaths her own long sword and turns her toned, strong frame towards those who are approaching. A smile dances on her generally pale features, currently flushed from exhertion. Her ice pale eyes study both of them, doing her best to gauge rank for a quickened heartbeat, but then she settles in for ladies first. "…Lady. Lord." She greets them half breathless, bowing her head respectfully. "Good to finally see the Roost occupied again. I've been waiting a whale's age." Her voice is husky with years of shouting at men across decks, but there is a good humor behind it.

"I am no lord, my…what are you, exactly?" The question from Jarod isn't mocking, but rather very curious. "Sorry to interrupt." The woman is eyed, as is the blade she was making use of, the second in a professional study sort of way. By way of introduction for himself, he flourishes a deep bow that makes his purple-and-gold sash on his swordbelt swish to one side as he straightens. He must practice that thing in the mirror. "I am Ser Jarod Rivers. Captain of the Guard of Four Eagles Tower. This…" A gesture to Anais. "…is a lady, however. "Lady Anais Terrick, to be more precise. Wife of the Young Lord Jacsen. And, aye. Good to occupy it again, for my part."

"That," Anais informs Jarod as she moves closer to the pair, her eyes sharp on the other woman and her voice crisp. "Is a Harlawe." She keeps a wary distance from both Kathryna and her sword, head tilting ever so slightly as she considers her. The guards, on the other hand, move a little closer, somewhere between Anais and Kathryna. "Less prone to raiding than others, but denizens of the Iron Isles all the same." She casts a sidelong glance toward Jarod, testing her next words in her mind before deciding on them. "May I inquire as to what has brought you here, my lady?" she asks with chilly politeness.

Kathryna isn't really one to curtsey, but as she is informed that Anais is -indeed- nobility, and one of those to whom she should be speaking, she gives a formal sort of bow in the woman's directon before she allows her smile to flash back towards Jarod. "Aye, the Lady Terrick is right. Lady Kathryna Harlaw… of the Iron Isles indeed, though here to open… Peaceful negotiations. I suppose you might call me a -diplomat-." She confesses to both of them, though she doesn't sound thrilled with the word, her husky voice is getting more used to saying it.

"I know House Harlaw's name and sigil, though little else about it. Save that its heir Ser Harras Harlaw is one of the very few sworn knights in the land of the Drowned God," Jarod replies, with a small nod to Anais. He's not particularly chilly himself. Just very curious, and perhaps oddly thoughtful as he eyes Kathryna. "I saw Ser Harras joust at the tourney in Stonebridge, upon the wedding of Lady Isolde Tordane to the Lord Ryker Nayland. He unhorsed Lord Ser Anton Valentin, who I know first-hand to be no easy opponent." A pause and he asks, "Big blade for a diplomat. I see you favor a bastard sword." Said with just a hint of a grin. Though he adds quickly, "Hand-and-halfer, that is."

Anais arches a pale brow at Kathryna's explanation for her presence, stalking a slow semi-circle around her and Jarod. "Or to scout our defenses," she suggests. "Or demand some absurd recompense for the loss of the Pyke at Stonebridge." The guards glance from Anais to Jarod, as though seeking some sort of direction. Clearly Terricks' Roost is not the Banefort, after all.

Kathryna clears her throat faintly at the last thing that Anais' states, "…In truth, the lady has hit upon it… slightly. I am here to discuss reparations for the unfortunate loss of our man and, hopefully, to see that such errors do not happen again. If we can manage to talk this out, then there might be hope for the future between our people." She gives a cool but unwavering smile, clearly doing her best to be the better woman here. See? Innocent! Friendly! Kate then looksb ack towards Jarod, her nose wrinkling just a touch at the comment of Ser Harras. "Ser Harras is… a good man. Quite excellent with a weapon, yes. I will admit I do not quite understand his love of the Seven, but he is a good man. My cousin."

Jarod holds up a hand, for his part, at Anais' semi-circling. "That'll do, m'lady, if you'll forgive me, but I assure you I shall mind the security of this castle without forsaking our courtesies. If you've an official mission here, Lady Harlaw, I'm certain the Young Lord Jacsen and Lord Jerold will want to speak with you prompt. As the Lady Anais kindly speaks for me, there are certain areas of the castle you should not be allowed access to, though I think the outer courtyard and the entry hall shall not give away too much of ourselves, and they are well-patrolled. You will forgive some unease. The Cape of Eagles stands as the first line of defense against raids from the Iron Islands, and though not frequent I have fought a pirate raider or two in my day. Though none in the last months, I've noticed." As for the Seven, he shrugs. "The knight's way is not the way for all, though it's done me well enough. Do many women carry blades in the Iron Islands?"

Anais snorts softly at Jarod's caution, crossing her arms over her chest. Hardly any taller than the other woman, and certainly less deadly in aspect, she nonetheless manages to seem at least a little imposing. The guards, at Jarod's order, take a step and a half back. Anais, on the other hand, stays exactly where she is, watching the other woman closely.

Kate gives a hint of a full mouthed smirk at Jarod's commentary about the Lords of the house being eager to meet her. "I hope so. I have waited nigh unto a fortnight now. None of us are getting any younger." She deadpans quietly, but then bows her head to him as he mentions places where she should not be. "The young Lady Liliana set me up with quite nice accommodations, and I've kept to those and the fields. I understand lacking ease. I am not hear to make anyone nervous, but to prove that we are better than the barbarians you think all of us." That last comment might be thrown a bit more towards the silent Anais than it is Jarod. "And yes… most women carry blades and know how to use them. Some better than others, but that is as with anything. I've determined to keep in practice even on a mission of words. It does no good to let blade or body rust." She looks down at her weapon with a proud smile. "I am no fool to think I would have height on any man I fight. The bastard sword gives me a bit more reach to stay out of harm's way."

"Do all the women warriors of the Iron Islands favor bastard swords?" Jarod asks, seeming to find some obscure humor in the question that only he gets. "Seems a commonality among the blade-bearing women I've known. Though there are few in the Riverlands." He shrugs, his questioning returning to the professional rather than whatever he's on about in his own head with that. "I know what you mean about reach. Part of the reason I prefer to fight with a two-hander, though it robs you of the use of a shield. And you can defend near as well with the blade itself if you practice at it." There's a glint in his green eyes. Ser Rivers is forming an idea. "The lord and young lord are occupied for the moment, though they shall be told you are ready to be received by them. In the meantime, you ever practice against something other than a block of wood?"

Anais quirks a brow at Jarod. "Perhaps you might switch to practice blades first," she suggests, a dry note in her voice. Still profoundly wary, the young Lady Terrick steps away to find herself a seat nearby, arms still crossed over her chest. Everything in her posture says that if Jarod wishes to kill himself, she's at least going to witness it and make sure there's someone to call for the maester afterward.

Kathryna chuckles huskily to herself at Jarod's comment about favouring bastard swords. "I suspect the shorter section of fighters does favour a bastard sword, so… Perhaps? It seems logic to me. You've -known- many other blade bearing women?" She asks with a wider, more curious grin. Then that idea comes, and Kate tilts her head a touch to the side. She looks him over, up and down, considering the offer. "Many a time. In fact, I just bested young Lord Riordan on a brief stop I took in Stonebridge. But he was an enjoyable spar, at least. You wish a try, Rivers?" She asks with an arch of her brow. Then Anais' comment comes and she waves it off. "Practice blades make one soft. I shall swear not to make a mortal wound if he does the same!" She offers him with a small waggle of her blonde brows.

"One or two. Got the scars to prove it, too," is Jarod's glib reply to Kathryna's question about the other sword-women he's known. Though, glib or not, he doesn't really seem to be joking. "Aye. I think I'll give this a go. I generally do prefer to practice with blunted blades. No sense risking life and limb in the practice yard each day. But…what the hell? Special occasion. I'll give it a go." Maybe he actually does want to kill himself. "Some ground rules, then. We should both be properly armored, contest goes to first blood, disarming or yielding, whichever comes first and…let's stay from the face, yes? I like my face."

"No maiming either, please," Anais calls over from her perch on a low wall, legs crossed as she balances on the edge. "Or injuries that require more than three weeks to heal. I'd prefer to keep our guard captain intact." There's a pause, and then she reluctantly continues: "And I don't imagine your keepers on the Iron Isles would be thrilled to hear that we'd broken the ambassador who came to chide us for breaking their other…fellow."

Kathryna nods in approval to Jarod, especially at his comment about scars from women, "It's good to see a man that has learned a lesson or two in his life." Kate's husky laugh echoes again behind those words. She then looks down to herself, motioning to the leather she normally wears. "This is, in generally, my preferred armor. If you have other mail you wish to lend, lead the way and we shall change. Leather has always served me well." She admits simply, ready to draw her own sword and go now, truth be told. She then looks back to Anais and grins a bit, "Aye, aye… a good point, Lady. We shall be careful."

"I assure you, Anais, I'm far from intact already," Jarod says with a wink to the Westerlands lady. "Just getting the measure of our guest. For security purposes. You understand." He's all of confidence. "We've not much that'd do for your size, though we've got some leather jerkins you can make use of that I don't think'll be too awkward. We'll be evenly protected in that." He sends a page to scurry for one, which won't take too much time at all. He's wearing one of his own at present, and will be ready to rumble once the Iron Islands lady has her leather. Anais is offered a broad, rather cheeky grin. He probably doesn't mean it to be ominous, but it might be.

Anais gives Jarod a decidedly flat look in return. The guards with her look a little trepidatious as well, though they don't speak against his decision, either. Instead, they move to flank Anais, one of them - the youthful, red-haired Kincaid - leaning against the wall next to her.

Kathryna looks down, considering the leather bodice she wears. It's probably not -quite- so good as a jerkin, so she nods towards the page that runs off to get something a bit more protective. "I am rather accustomed to fighting in -this-, Rivers… Just so you know." She chuckles faintly, "If you will be more comfortable with my wearing a jerkin, though, that will be fine." And then she looks back towards the somewhat worried looking lady. She shakes her head quietly, "Are you always this tense, Lady Terrick?"

"What can I say? My chivalry must be appeased," Jarod quips as to the IRonwoman fighting in a jerkin, taking a place in the yard and drawing his sword, which he takes a few idle practice swipes at the air with. The page manages to find her one that's not a bad fit, and unlike the full metal suits knights typically wear it's easy enough to shrug into. The page even offers to help her with the straps. Anais is shot another smile. "Aye, m'lady, worry not. This'll be fun."

"I was born a Banefort, Lady Harlaw," Anais answers Kathryna, at least uncrossing her arms when she replies to the other woman. "I was taught always to keep guard against those who would harm us. I'm afraid that has often included your people." Jarod once more gets a dry look, even a slight roll of her eyes. "Don't think that just because she's a woman she's going to be an easy fight, Jarod," she calls to the guard captain.

Kathryna slips off her long leather jacket, exposing her bare, toned arms and compact, muscled frame. She's not exactly a womanly woman, little in the way of hips or breasts. She's been honed just as well as her weapons have been. She then nods a thanks to the page and slips into the jerkin, not really needing any help. Her mostly bare arms are covered in scars from years of fighting, matching the long one down her cheek. They compliment the callouses on her hands. Once that is done, she draws her bastard sword and nods towards him, stepping back into the slightly more open area. "Aye, Lady Banefort. I had heard rumors a Banefort married into the Roost. I should have realized it was you. Mayhaps I can soothe your worries with time. For now, say what you need to be at ease and I shall do it. Well, anything other than go home." She flashes one more smile to the woman then looks over to Jarod…"When you are ready, Ser."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Jarod=Blades Vs Kathryna=Blades
< Jarod: Good Success Kathryna: Success
< Net Result: Jarod wins - Solid Victory

"None have cut me deeper than a woman with a blade, Anais. I assure you, I've a healthy appreciation," Jarod replies to Anais. And this time it isn't really a joke, even if it is remarked glibly. He does the courtesy of offering Kathryna a warrior's salute, and then gets down to business. He doesn't, at least at first, seem to be pulling his punches. Ser Rivers likes to go into fights hard and fast. Which means he bothers little with defense, but his offense is considerable. He meets Kathryna's blade with a hard opening blow designed more to jar her grip than do her body any damage.

"You could leave your weapons behind," Anais suggests, though she watches the beginning of the bout with sharp eyes. With Kathryna's blade well-distracted, she's suddenly more talkative. "I'd ask an oath, but I think we both know that would do little to reassure me. Watch your grip," she adds absently, chattering away. "Jarod's a bit of a stone wall, I've been told."

Perhaps she wasn't -quite- ready to start, or his masculine strength is most certainly being used to his advantage, because Kate manages to just barely block his blow, and not in a way that it slides off her sword, but it strongly jars her grip and nearly sends her blade free as her wrist momentarily goes numb. However, she manages to keep that grip, stumbling back just a touch and attempting a quick slice downwards, meant to knock his blade into the ground or at least out of attack range. The initial pass seems to have well gone to Rivers, though. "Women adept with a blade often wound hearts as much as bodies, I have found, Ser Rivers." Kate murmurs with a hint of teasing amusement in her eyes. She grunts a touch in Anais' direction, "God, stone wall indeed. Break my wrist, he will! And I would give an oath, if it would help at all!" Apparently, Kate can do the business of diplomacy and fighting almost at the same time. Almost.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Kathryna=Blades Vs Jarod=Blades
< Kathryna: Great Success Jarod: Good Success
< Net Result: Kathryna wins - Marginal Victory

"My Lord Uncle Revyn's the stone wall of House Terrick," Jarod replies to Anais, though the attention of his eyes and body remain fixed on his opponent. "I'm but a simple bastard sword. And aye. I have found the same of women with blades, Lady Harlaw, to my peril." He's certainly motivated, that must be said. "I'll take your oath just to wound me bodily." He keeps pressing the attack now that he feels he has the early advantage. It's still a lot of heavy, hard thrusts and not a lot of parrying or dodging. He's trying to put this away quick, though it leaves him more open than is strictly wise.

"Information, as well," Anais calls to the fighters, her voice carrying across the distance and the din of the swords. It may lack the huskiness of long habit in Kathryna's voice, but she's inherited the knack of making it carry from her father. "What it is your people hope to gain from this. The way I heard it, your man picked the fight and chose the hard road that could lead to his death. I can't see much need for apology in that situation."

Kathryna apparently needed a bit of warming up, as he did get the early advantage, but he doesn't keep it long. Now that Kate has figured his style of fighting, all power and hard thrusts, she's adjusted her own style to lots of parries and using his weight and power against him. As he makes a particularly solid thrust in her direction, her sword comes up to almost swat at his sword, driving it past and -around- her so his heavy thrusting over shoots rather too far. Since he is past her, she swats at his buttocks with the flat of her sword with a quick motion and a little laugh. "You're quite good at thrusting, Ser Jarod! Do you often find it puts you atop your partner?" Oh yes, there was all sorts of lewdness in those words. Kate then hears Anais' comment, though she doesn't dare cast her pale eyes in the woman's direction, she half smirks. "The full story and the truth of it, to start. Perhaps an apology… though some minor payment would do well to help heal old wounds. On both sides."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Kathryna=Blades Vs Jarod=Blades
< Kathryna: Good Success Jarod: Great Success
< Net Result: Jarod wins - Marginal Victory

"Seven hells, woman!" Such is Jarod's startled exclamation as her sword blunts against his posterior. It doesn't draw blood, but it definitely puts him off balance and he has to pivot to recover. "What is it about Ironborn women and my ass?" That does not sound like a rhetorical question. He starts employing more than brute force now. The knight, when pressed, isn't just a blunt instrument. He's plainly studied his footwork, his swings are turned to make full use of the two-hander's length, and he keeps his guard high. "And aye! I am told that's one of my better talents. May not be good at much, but I can manage…that!" Perhaps to try and throw her off, he half-ducks and swings low, at her knees. An attempt to trip her, or at least put her off balance.

"You've had repeated experience with Ironborn women and your ass?" Anais calls over to Jarod, arching a pale brow in question and flickering a glance toward Kathryna. "Getting payment for the loss of a man due to a fight that that man started will be like to getting blood from a stone," she adds to Kathryna. "Especially right now. And the event took place in Stonebridge, not here. And the knight in question was dismissed from Terrick service. You've come to the wrong people if you're looking for reparations and apology."

He doesn't manage the trip, but he certainly does manage to put her off balance. Kate has to stumble back a few feet in a poor retreat, something she hates to do, lest she -actually- tumble over onto her own posterior. She cocks a single brow at him, growing just a hint breathless with the heat of the fight, especially as he no longer falls to just brute force, but actually shows he knows his way around a blade. "And I was beginning to wonder if all you knew how to do was thrust. I am glad to see you have better uses for your long piece and shoving it at a woman repeatedly!" Her smile still lingers on her breathless lips as she swings her blade up to keep herself on the defensive even as she recovers her footing. Yes, he is gaining ground on her, but he's not doing it easily. She manages to parry almost every blow he's giving. "You still have some of the story. Once that is done being told, perhaps I shall move on indeed, especially if you have no interest in relations with your costal neighbors!" Kate calls back to the woman.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Kathryna=Blades Vs Jarod=Blades
< Kathryna: Good Success Jarod: Amazing Success
< Net Result: Jarod wins - Crushing Victory

Jarod is rather red-faced and sweating himself, and not just from Anais' question about Ironborn girls and his backside. Which he so doesn't respond to. Maybe he's concentrating too hard to reply. "What can I say? I am nothing if not attentive to my partner. And I'm told I finish strong." And on that note, with her a little off balance, he tries to do just that. He doesn't try to undercut her parry, but rather bulls full force into it, slamming his sword to meet hers and allowing the momentum of his body to carry him right along with it. He's counting on the force to knock her down. And it'll probably take him right along with her, but he stands a fair chance of ending up on top.

"I've had relations with my coastal neighbors in the past," Anais replies to Kathryna. "Usually they involved volleys of sharp objects. I would prefer not to repeat those sorts of relationships." She watches Jarod charge the woman, then sighs. "Which is apparently more than can be said for Ser Jarod."

Kathryna was just getting comfortable with him NOT fighting like a bull during rutting season, which is probably why his charge does almost seem to come out of no where. She cries out a brief and -quite- unlady like curse, but it's too late and his body and blade has drive her well onto her back, to the hard ground below. But, dammit, if she's going down, she's going to take him with her, foot reaching out to attempt and ensure he does end up on the ground. Of course, the way he was driving, it means he's completely atop her. She gives a little groaning laugh, down and disarmed, pinned beneath his young, fit frame. "Well, hullo, Ser Jarod. I do believe this is your match. And you do have a thrust to knock a lady off her feet." She arches one brow, not quite getting up yet. That hurt. "And aye, Lady Terrick, though I suspect he planned this finale!"

Jarod goes down hard, but he at least does come out on top. Literally. For a second he just balances himself there, breathing hard. Looking down at Kathryn but not seeming to really see her. He's in his own little world there for a second. Finally, he gives his head a shake, still flushed, and rolls off and back to his feet. "Guess it is mine at that. Huh." He sounds almost bemused. Though he at least remembers himself enough to extend a hand down, to offer her some help up. "I assure you, m'ladies, if I'd planned this it would've failed far more miserably. Good little fight, though." He cracks a grin.

"Do you?" Anais replies to Kathryna, amusement teasing a small smile to one corner of her lips. "I'm afraid I doubt that. Any broken bones over there?" she asks, tipping her chin up for a better look. "I didn't hear anything crack like it was broken." And isn't that a ladylike thing to say, too?

Kathryna tilts her head, staring curiously up into his eyes as she sees him somewhat fade out a few moments. Now that was interesting. She doesn't comment on it, but she waits for him to roll off and stand. She herself sits up, almost scoffing at the offered hand but she knows how to be a decent sport. She slips her calloused hands into his palm and allows herself to be pulled up smoothly to her leather booted feet. "Aye, it was… It has been a long time since I have been bested, in truth. I would be most interested to continue to practice at your side, Ser. I'd be honoured, in truth." Kate leans over to scoop up her sword and then sheaths it smoothly, fight over with just a few bruises to show for it. She shakes her head to the woman with a somewhat exhillerated smile. "No, no… nothing broken except my pride. I must work on that."

Jarod's own palms are covered in swordsman's callouses as he helps her up. He does not appear to be broken. "I figure most men underestimate you. I'm not such a fool as that, at least." He lets go of her hand, retrieving his sword and sheathing it. "You're welcome to have use of the practice grounds, and the green. They're open and rarely empty. By rule, my guardsman practice with blunted blades against each other. As I said, I usually do as well but…" He shrugs. "…kind of needed the real thing today. Anyway. We've a good supply of blunted hand-and-halfers you're welcome to make use of. While you're within the castle, save the entry hall which you're welcome to walk as you wish and your own rooms, you'll be escorted by one of my guards. Not for your own safety." He snorts. "But to assuage any concerns the Lady Anais - and my lord father - might have concerning security. And…aye. I wouldn't mind another go sometime, if you're free between negotiations."

Anais rolls her eyes at Jarod, slipping down from the wall with surprising grace. "Aye, of course," she drawls. "To assauge the half-mad, untrusting harridan, Lady Anais. You're so kind to my delicate constitution, Ser Jarod. Tell me, Lady Harlaw." She turns to the other woman, arching a brow with an upward tilt of her chin. "Are the men of the Iron Isles as dismissive of sense as the men here? I'm trying to decide if it's regional or gender-specific."

Kathryna looks less than thrilled at the thought of using a blunted blade. "I do not know if, in truth, I have ever used a blunted blade in my life. It takes some… passion from it all. But, aye, if that is the custom, I shall keep that in mind. And whenever you are free, Ser Rivers, you can find me." There is something both teasing in her eyes, and challenging. Oh, they will have a rematch of swords, if nothing else! Then he mentions the commentary of having a guard, and her expression darkens, just a touch. She bites back whatever words she was going to say and slowly breathes out. "If you truly find so little trust in me, then fine. I shall not make this stay any less comfortable than it already is. I am here to prove to you my good intensions, not the ill ones of any precedessors I might have had." See? She can even stay her temper! She then looks back to Anais and a single brow arches, a moment of understanding and almost amused warmth. She gives a half harried sigh in agreement. "Just as much, if not more so. I think the diversion of blood into a man's cock takes away some of his mental capacity."

"I'll…keep that in mind," Jarod replies to Kathryna, as to being able to find her. All that red in his cheeks can't just be from the exertion of swordplay, though he crooks a half-smile as well. Though the interplay between her and Anais about men just makes him huff. "Honestly. I do not understand why women are always cross at me. I do not get it. It is not my fault." He straightens his posture and sweeps another of those mummer's show bows he traffics in. "I take my leave of you, m'ladies."

"Jarod, if you spent /less/ time making women cross, you might be able to pick out what it is you're doing that's setting it off," Anais informs the guard captain with a sigh, hands on her hips as he takes his leave. "Though to be fair, you're getting a share of Jacsen's leftover irritation, so it isn't entirely you," she allows, a half-hearted effort at apology. "Take care, Jarod."

Kathryna keeps one brow cocked as Anais somewhat ignores her theory, and it had been her attempt to reach out through humor! Ah well. Kate turns her body fully to Jarod one more time and bows almost formally back. "Be safe, Ser Jarod. It was… an honour. We must spar again." And with those warm, almost promising words, she then turns back to Anais and actually takes a few steps in the woman's direction. Tentatively, she offers her free right hand in the motion of a shake. A motion of peace. "Lady Banefort." She uses the old name, as well, with respect and acknowledgment of all that it means.

Anais watches Kathryna closely when she extends that hand, then sighs and reaches forward to take it. For a young noblewoman, her hands aren't entirely soft. There are an archer's calluses along her first three fingers, smooth as they may be from creams and lotions. "Don't let anyone around here hear you call me that," she cautions in a soft voice, a faint smile finding her lips. "I'm afraid there are some people who already think I'm not dedicated enough to being a Lady of the Roost."

Kathryna gives a firm double shake to the woman's hand, business like and respectful, before her fingertips release and fall back to her side. Her whole hand is calloused from the sword grip, at least two of her fingertips slightly bent from having been broken once upon a time. Other than its size, there is little lady like about the woman near to Anais. "I would not use it in front of your lord or your court, but your house has been the strongest fight most of us Ironborn have ever seen. Both us and you fight for your homes, for the things in which you believe. I respect that, and I will show respect to that name as we stand here, even if I have hopes of a somewhat new era."

"It's something I intend to bring to this home," Anais informs Kathryna, a note of caution for the other woman in her voice. "For too long, the Terricks have been content to let justice decide things. They didn't fight for Stonebridge until it was gone. I intend to see them fighting /before/ they lose again. Whether the enemy be Naylands or Ironborn. But…" She trails off, head tilting slightly. "I know as well that it's best to keep a fight to a single front."

Kathryna tilts her head a touch to the side, both brows arching now. She doesn't stray from Anais' eyes, even though she could do to take off that jerkin and shrug back into her leather coat that bears her house arms. "Aye, it is. And you have little but hate and worries from the Naylands, from what I can tell, where your sea faring neighbors might actually be stepping up to the plate of peace for once. Perhaps we have grown… we see the… Profit to be had in good relations, not just in war." Kate cracks a bit of a smile, a hint of teasing in her eye, "Or mayhaps we heard a Banefort married into the Terricks and we thought it best to tuck our tails between our legs."

Anais laughs with surprise, the sound unexpectedly bright from someone who was only moments ago glaring icy daggers. "I doubt that," she says afterwards, shaking her head with a wry smile. "And even if I believed it, I don't think I would go so far as to lower the guard. But you knew that already." She looks the other woman over more carefully this time, taking in the armor as well with a rueful twist of her lips. "You'll want to steer clear of Lady Evangeline, I think," she advises. "As upset as she was by my lack of sewing prowess, you might very well give her a conniption." She pauses. "On second thought, you should absolutely make her acquaintance."

Kate shrugs with a small laugh, eyes finally dropping away as she turns to slip out of htat jerkin and pick up her long coat instead. "Aye, that might be a touch of an exaggeration… And no, I would not ask you to drop the guards. Do what you must. Trust will not be earned over night. All I ask is permission to start." She allows a brief, somewhat softer smile to flicker over her shoulder, the expression mostly genuine but also a bit exhausted by this all. "Lady Evangeline is it? The eldest lady of the house? I shall… Keep that in mind. Though I fear your husband might take it ill if I stop his mother's heart, even if it is just by my appearance alone."

"Probably," Anais agrees with a sigh. "But it's a comforting thought when she gives me that look, at least." She eyes the other woman's jacket, thoughtful. "Doesn't that get rather warm here?" she asks, half-turning to move back toward the low wall where she sat before. The guards there are still wary, though the younger, red-haired guard seems to have a better hold on not showing it.

Kathryna follows after the woman, mostly content to sit. Kate nods in affirmation to the question of getting rather warm. "Aye… and your damned sun burns. It's bloody hot all around here, truth be told. But, I'd rather have my armor close and sweat a touch than to go without it. I've mostly gotten used to this summer land… " She looks around at the beauty and green everywhere, her expression less than thrilled for these beautiful days. "It is remarkably what a difference being on this side of the water can make."

Kathryna says, "And, alas, the Lady of the house will have to deal with me as I am. I doubt we will manage to go without ever crossing paths, and I did not pack a dress or anything a lady might consider proper, in these lands at least."

"Mmm," Anais agrees softly. "Even the difference between here and Banefort is considerable. And further inland…" She draws a deep breath, remembering. "You can /smell/ things growing. You can smell /green/. It's a bit strange. And quiet, away from the sea." She laughs at Kathryna's laugh words, a wicked grin flashing across her features. "Oh, my dear woman. I assure you, if it's only that you /lack/ a dress, I am quite certain you will find one in your rooms the next morning. You couldn't possibly wear one, as you brought no guards and must defend yourself? Surely we can provide guards to assure you of your safety."

Kathryna comes to perch upon a stone or a rail, somewhere that isn't really a bench for the sheer fact that she's simply used to -perching-. Body straight and stiff, a bit higher than most of the other terrain. It's like she's used to keeping watch on the prow of a ship. She keeps those watchful ice eyes upon the woman, however. The commentary about the dress and the guards makes her wince just a bit…"Is the lady -that- bad? God… this might go… Poorly. I do not wear a dress because I do not. I have spent most of my damned life proving myself just as good as a man in most every way, battlefield included. I have heard my damned pants."

"How quaint," Anais smiles sweetly, reaching out to pat the other woman's hand. "And no one is trying to /take/ them from you, of course. We're merely trying to help you fit in here, make you more comfortable. You've no need to prove anything here, as an esteemed ambassador!" The smile disappears with a roll of her eyes. "It's like trying to fight a current. Slips right out of your hand and pushes you the way it wants anyhow. Avoid engagement at all costs. Or, as most here seem to advise, simply surrender to the current and hope it sweeps you to kinder shores." There's a pause as she leans down to finger the hem of her dress, wincing slightly at the line of salt that remains there. "I'm not terribly good at the latter, personally."

Kathryna tilts her head, an earnest, brief look of almost worry crossing her eyes. She's been in Anais' shoes. She's felt people try to shove her in that metaphorical current. She just studies the noble woman quietly, searching for some words to encompass the fact that she actually does get it. "…You shouldn't have to be good at the latter. Push your husband. Your family. Push those boundries. You will make them all stronger for it… and yourself. I know it is harder here, in these soft lands… Shouldn't that make the fight all the more worth fighting?"

Anais' lips quirk as she looks to the other woman. "It is harder here," she agrees. "But it's more because they don't have the same need to fight. On the Iron Isles, you fight to survive. In Banefort, we fight you. Here…Here, the battles are not always so clear or simple. Here they fight in other ways, for other reasons. Even this whole issue of Stonebridge is…messy. Underhanded. Complicated by law, by strategy, by marriage, by manuevering. It doesn't make them weak," she adds, looking up to meet the other woman's eyes. "But it is a different fight."

"It doesn't make -them- weak… but what of you?" Kate reaches down, taking Anais' fingertips quickly, though the woman could squirm out of that hold. She opens the palm, exposing those callouses from a bow to the light. "You know how to fight yourself. Even if from a distance. I hear women weild a bow in these lands to hunt… to get food for their family." Kate half smiles, "I suspect you have other reasons." Then Kate lets go, slipping down off of her perch and standing straight. "I suppose I should go find these guards of mine, and my accommodations. I… I look forward to getting to know you. Naught have I ever had the chance to stare a Banefort in the eye and not find my blade in their gut. It shall be a singularly interesting experience."

Anais laughs softly, shaking her head. "It will take more than Lady Evangeline Terrick to make me weak," she assures, watching the other woman step away. "I can't say I've ever met a /woman/ from the Iron Isles," she admits. "Not to speak with, at least. Interesting it shall be," she agrees with a dip of her chin. "Take care, Lady Kathryna. I should hate to scandalize my new family by showing them how I know to use a bow."

Kathryna scoffs slightly, shaking her head as she moves back inside, "Scandal isn't such a bad thing. You already have a husband, a castle, a name. A little scandal just keeps the rest of life interesting." Kate tosses those words over her shoulder with one last flashing, pale grin, and then she disappears into the interior hallways.