|His Last Work|
|Summary:||Arabella brings Tiaryn Einar's last work.|
|Related Logs:||Flint Encampment illness, Einar's death.|
|Library and Study, Tanglewood Manor|
|Floor to ceiling windows line the walls either side of this chamber; overlooking the courtyard on one side and the Keep's paddocks and stables on the other, were one to gaze through the wavery, leaded glass. Almost every other spare inch of wall is crammed with books on every conceivable topic, save an expanse of wall above the hearth - perhaps awaiting a family portrait, or a scenic portrayal of Highfield itself. Past dusk, illumination is provided by candelabras rather than sconces, even some stubby and well-used candles set by themselves on the mantel, dried wax creating odd patterns around their rims. At the far end of the long room, a grand table serves as reading and writing desk as well as a place to spread maps, when the need arises; overlooked by a few carved, high-backed chairs with plush cushions and thick padding for comfort during longer meetings.|
|February 3 290|
Tia is dressed all in black, including a cover over her blonde hair. She's curled up in a comfy chair, her slippers on the floor beside her, a book in hand, as she reads - or at least pretends to read. Some candles have been lit, against the coming sunset, but at the moment, Tia's got enough light to see by. Her husband appears to have gone elsewhere, at least for a short time.
Bella has rarely been inside the keep in Highfield, even with her extended stays. So when she had happened across Lord Robben in the courtyard and asked directions, he had offered to lead her to where she would find lady Tiaryn. With flutters in her stomach, the young Fenster follows along and when they come to the library, she has to take a deep breath before coming inside. Once she catches sight of the lady, she offers a curtsy, "My lady." The words spoken in a soft and unassuming voice.
Stepping in as he leads Lady Arabella to the Library, Robben looks around, pausing for a few moments as he spots Tiaryn. "Lady Tiaryn," he offers a bit softly. "Seems you have a visitor here." Looking between the two ladies for now, a bit quietly.
Tia glances up as the door opens, and as she spies both Robben and Arabella, she inclines her head. "Lady Arabella, it's good to see you. Brave Ser Robben." She smiles at her good cousin with that comment, lightly spoken as it is. "Please do come in and have a seat." She sets her book aside, not even bothering to mark her page.
Bella had finally gained the courage to come see Lady Tia, it had taken since she had left the camp until now to gather her thoughts enough to do so. At the offer, Bella straightens, giving her a warm smile. "Thank you, my lady." With a glance at Robben she smiles kindly, "And you as well my lord, for the escort." Only after a few moments does she finally sit, and it is with a straight posture, hands folded neatly in her lap, on the edge of her seat.
"Glad to be able to help, my lady," Robben offers to Bella, before he offers a smile to Tia. "How are you doing today?" he asks her, a bit quietly. There's a hint of a smile at the nickname, too. For the moment, he remains where he is, unsure if he should find a place to sit, or if he should leave.
Tia waits as Bella sits down, and then glances over at Robben. "I'm doing as well as can be expected," she replies, calmly. "And you?" She then moves to set her feet down, putting her slippers back on. "Lady Arabella, is it acceptable if Lord Robben stays?" she asks. There's a maid and a guard around too, but they're not really near enough to stir up any trouble.
Perhaps Robben would be just the buffer between two sad ladies that would be needed. "I do hope he stays, yes." Her own maid had been with her, Serah. Her guard Talbot as well. Both sort of fade into the background. Watching the former Flint lady, she keeps her silence just a moment before taking a deep breath. "I am sure this must be difficult.. Thank you for seeing me."
"Quite well, thank you," Robben replies, offering Tia a bit of a smile now. Nodding a bit at what both the ladies says, he moves to find himself a seat as well, placing himself so he can be quite comfortable as he listens now. A brief nod to the maids and guards around.
Tia takes a deep breath, her hands folding atop her lap beneath the table. Whiteknuckled where they rest, but not visible to the others. "I am sure it is just as difficult for anyone else who knew Einar," she says softly. Her gaze goes to Arabella now, not exactly ignoring Robben, but needing to survive this conversation. "But - if you don't mind, my self control is being stretched, Lady Arabella. If you would please say what it is that you are wanting to?"
"Until I went to the Flint camp, I had never met lord Einar." Bella stops a moment, eyes slightly unfocused as she looks away, as if looking into the past. Remembering. "He was so strong, so hale. The healer there, Ragny.. She knew things were grim. I did too when I heard the symptoms. It was the bloody flux. There was no cure. Everything was hopeless and I knew it the day I arrived. I mentioned it to Lord Einar.. he scolded me," smiling just then at the reminder. "From that point on, I knew I would not give up, for if he can live there for weeks on end, can see so much sickness and still have hope, then who was I to do any different?" She pauses then, taking a breath, there was more, but she did not want to overwhelm the lady.
Robben looks between the two ladies now, offering them a bit of a smile for the moment. Staying quiet as he tries to be a comfort for both of them, it would seem. Listening rather quietly now.
Tia listens to Arabella, almost thinking that Bella needs to talk more than Tia needs to hear. She waits for the pause, before she says, "That sounds like Einar. He was ever hopeful, and ever brave," she says. "He helped me - when nobody else knew what to do." She takes a breath, her fingers digging into her palms, but she does not start to cry. "It was very brave of you to stay and help out, my Lady. I am sure he appreciated it."
Bella looks between Robben then Tia before continuing, speeding things up a little, skipping the horrific things they had seen.. the deaths that were so graphic she would never forget. So bad they haunt dreams.
"When we were all allowed to leave, he remained behind, with his people. I regret I was not brave at all. I left.. I had to go back when I discovered he stayed behind. When I got back he was sick. Lord Einar, Ragny, everyone. He was adaman about keeping notes, knowing somehow it was important." As if on cue, Serah brings a basket over. Bella brings out a leather folder filled with carefully scripted notes in that begin with Einar's writing, then Ragny, finally ending with Bella's. She offers it to Tia. "It was his daily work, from beginning to the end." Taking a deep breath, she forges on. "He got sick and finally.. When he could no longer leave his tent, Mistress Dania and I took turns tending him. The night.. The night he died, Dania was delivering a baby, I was with Einar. I wanted to let you know when he passed on, he was not.." Tears begin falling, remember compassion, remembered pain. "He was not alone and he was not in pain. The moment his life left him, across the camp came the sound of the newborn infant, taking his first breath as Lord Einar took his last. I prayed, I begged and pleaded, I did everything I could and nothing was ever enough. I failed him, you.. And I wanted to apologize to you, and bring you his last work."
Robben listens a bit quietly, gaze slipping downwards to the floor for now. He seems to be listening carefully for now, although some might suspect he's trying to rest as well.
Tia listens to Arabella, not interrupting her, though as the other woman starts to cry, Tia's hand reaches out to offer comfort, a touch, a hug, a hand to hold onto, whatever is needed. "Thank you," she says, after a moment of silence. "It's - don't blame yourself, Lady Arabella. I am sure you did all that you could, and if the Gods had need of Einar, there is nothing you could do." She takes a breath, and then says, "There is no need to apologize. I am very glad that he was not alone, that you were there with him. Thank you for that. You have no idea how much it means, since I could not - " she takes a breath, and her own tears start to fall, encouraged by Arabella's. "Mistress Dorsey mentioned the baby. I think she was going to take the child? Or is he being sent north to the Finger, when there is a chance?"
Bella falls silent as Tia begins reassuring her, she smiles sadly, not bothering to stop her tears, just as she had not the last day at the camp. "Thank you, my lady. It means a lot to me that you think so.." Now to convince herself. "If there is anything you would like to ask, or know. I will try to answer." Bella gently offers a reassuring squeeze in return. "He was a wonderful person. I want to offer condolences to you and your family." Glancing back to Robben she gives him a smile of thanks, for being here before looking back at Tiaryn. "I believe a healer and his wife took the baby, they have one of their own so she is able to care for him like he needs, be a wet nurse. I am not sure if he will be sent north with the Flints when he is older."
"It's good to hear that he was not in pain," Robben offers a bit quietly from where he's seated, offering a bit of a smile to both of the ladies now. "They say that only the good die young, don't they?" It's said after a few moments of pause, as he offers the women a quiet nod.
Tia pauses, and looks over at Robben a bit oddly. Then to Arabella, she says, "I might have misunderstood then. Admittedly I was quite distraught when Mistress Dorsey stopped by, so I might not have clearly understood what she said about the baby." She takes a breath and then says to Arabella, "This journal, what would it be helpful for? Should it go to the Maesters to aid them in their dealings with the bloody flux? Or would it not be of use to them, do you know?"
Bella looks at Robben, only nodding a moment at his words. "The milk of poppy aided his pain. Unfortunately there was a limited supply so only he and the other healer got it." As for the question about the notes, the Fenster smiles. "I think it may be good to give it to the Maesters, it has treatments, lists everyone of those who lost the battle of living, dates of death, circumstances. It is a record of everything." After a moment she offers a shaky smile. "I know I have offered little comfort, but I also had a need to talk with someone who knew and loved him, to share the last days of his life. It was important to me."
Robben looks down towards the floor again as he listens to what's being said for the moment. Expression a bit blank for the moment as he listens, taking a few deep breaths.
Tia knows how important milk of the poppy is and how expensive, so she doesn't say too much about that. Though there is an internal wince for the pain and suffering everyone else must have gone through. "I think that I would like to think it will help out others, if there's a chance," she says, slowly. "And I think that Einar would like that too. He - wanted to be a septon, you know, at least, I believe that was where he was intending to go, before his brother died." At least that death was years ago, and doesn't bring fresh grief. "Lady Arabella, is there anything I might tell you, about Einar? Or his family? That might bring you some comfort?" She takes a breath, and then says, "I know - I think you and I will need to talk again later, as well, if you don't mind. I know that Einar sent his horse for my Lord Husband, and he sent me a letter, which I have received. That he was dedicated enough to stay and work with the sick until he himself succumbed speaks volumes of his strength of character. I - you may tell me what you feel you wish to say."
There is a moment of silence before Bella smiles, a gentle one for the lady and the lord. "I knew of his intention to join the Sept. I would like to meet you again and speak should you wish. I could remain here in town for a longer time." There is a brief pause before she continues. "He wished to be knighted. I wish he could now, for his work with the Flints, bravery and courage that eventually cost him his life. That is what I wish for. A knighthood for lord Einar. He earned that at the very least. If I could arrange it, I would. Could you?"
Still looking down, Robben has a smiliar expression now as during the entire week after the death of his own brother, which is a stoic, neutral one. Seems like the conversation, while he isn't saying much, at least has reached him quite a bit.
Tia takes a moment, her own cheeks wet with her tears, and then she shakes her head. "No, I don't want to hold you up, Lady Arabella. You have family, and you should go back and reassure them that you are alright." A pause, and then it starts to dawn on her. "Oh, gods. Lady Ilaria and the rest of Einar's cousins. Do they know?" She covers her mouth, the horror more than a little bit startling her. "Though if you wish to stay, you are of course welcome and - Really? I had the thought earlier that he was not wanting to be knighted, during the war against the Ironborn." She pauses, thinking. "I don't know if that is possible. Certainly, I am not able to - " Tia now glances over at Robben, curiously. "Ser Robben, does it not take just a knight to give a knighthood to a squire?"
"I have nowhere to be anytime soon, I enjoy Highfield and would not mind remaining for a longer time. I will send a message to my brother so he will not worry for me, he is rather busy with his new bride." At the mention if lady Ilaria, Bella does frown. "Perhaps a message could be sent, I think no one has told her. It was my understanding they were quite close." Biting her lip, she squeezes Tia's hand again, "I should go for now. If you have need of me, I am staying in the Inn."
Hmm, was he spoken to? Robben looks up, shaking his head a little bit. "I wouldn't know, Lady Tiaryn. After all, I'm no knight myself," he offers after a few moments of pause, looking between the ladies for now. Nodding a little bit as he hears Bella speak of her brother, he offers her a bit of a smile. "I hope your brother is adjusting to married life quite well, Lady Arabella. He's an old friend of mine, after all."
Tia blinks at Robben, and then her cheeks go pink. "Oops, I'm sorry," she says, a little embarrassed. "Hrm, what about Daryl?" she asks. "And Bastien?" Then she frowns. "The sherriff is a knight, but I'm not going to ask him for anything with Einar. That would not be appropriate, given his earlier comments and behaviour." She looks over at Arabella. "I think we should definitely let Lady Ilaria know, and the rest of Einar's relatives. And if you are staying - is this the sort of thing we are okay to send with a message in writing, rather than in person?" She pauses, and then she moves to place a hand on Arabella's shoulder, unless stopped. "Of course, if you must. Thank you for coming to talk with me. It is good to know that I am not the only one to know his worth and to see the shining honour and loyalty he always showed."
"I know Lord Daryl is not a knight, though Lord Bastien is. Ser Erik.. What has he said about Lord Einar?" Bella has concern on her normally open features. "I could never think if anything bad to say about him, he truly put his people first." Though she does wonder at the wisdom of a message. "Perhaps a personal visit to give the news would be best." Rising now, another smile is offered. "Let me know if you need anything no matter the time of day. Just send a message to the inn they will ensure I get it."
"Daryl's not a knight either, but Basti…" Robben trails off as he hears Bella answer as well now. "I would suspect a personal visit would be best. It's the kind of news that probably should not be given by message." Even if he had to write a similar letter a while back. Looking between the two ladies for the moment now.
Tia inclines her head. "I do not think my lord husband would be well pleased with my desire to travel at the moment. Lady Arabella, I think it will fall upon you to deliver this message," she says softly. "And if you would, convey my regrets, but I am unable to travel at this time." She nods her head to Robben, as she now gets the clarification she perhaps should have gotten some time ago, about her good cousins. "My lord husband is a knight," she adds after a moment.
Bella had never thought about that.. Going back to Broadmoor so soon.. "Perhaps I could ask my brother to do so?" It is only an idea.. "Unless you would prefer me to. Alric knew him well."
Robben nods a little as he hears what's being said for the moment, unable to hold back a brief smile at Tia's words about her husband. "So he is, my lady," he offers, a bit lightly now.
Tia blinks and then she says, "True, but - " A pause, "Does Lord Alric know?" she asks. "Or will it be as much a surprise to him to hear of it, as it would for Lady Ilaria?" She shrugs a bit, thinking. "I should think it would be fine for Lord Alric to tell Lady Ilaria, but would not wish for him to faint from the shock of hearing about Einar at an inopportune time."
"He knows. I spoke with him a little as soon as we were free to leave the camp." Bella reassures. "I will have a message sent to him immediately. Who better to tell her than her husband?" After another moment, she nods her approval. "If your husband were able to knight him that would be wonderful my lady."
"He knows, but he didn't let her know?" Robben asks, sounding a bit surprised now. Looking between the two ladies at the moment now.
Tia sort of blinks at Arabella now as well. "Wait, he - what Robben said," she says, sounding flummoxed. "I don't - yes, you should write a note to your brother indeed. If he knows and didn't tell her? I fear he may have a very rocky marriage." She shakes her head, and then settles back into her chair. "And thank you again for stopping by, My Lady. If you should need me, you also know where to find me."