Page 026: House Divided
House Divided
Summary: Isolde calls on her mother to bid her give proof of her legitimacy.
Date: 07/08/2011
Related Logs: More Promises, and anything to do with the letters and poisoning.
Isolde Valda 
Lord and Lady's Chamber — Tordane Tower
The door opens to show the bed to the left, further from the entrance and the foot settled with a heavy locked chest with a few woven blankets draped over it. The carved posters of the bed hold wrappings of green cloth held by golden tassels, a heavy woolen blanket settled atop the stuffed mattress. On either side of the bed are removeable steps. A thick circular rug has faded over time and with foot traffic and takes up most of the wooden floor. A hearth at the corner of the room directly inward from the door is soot covered and crackling with embers. A heavy oak chest of drawers is fitted into a corner to hold the clothes and blankets of the Lord and Lady. Two chairs are set near the slitted double windows between the hearth and bed.
Sun August 7, 288

The Lady of Stonebridge now sits in her room with her husband, awaiting the arrival of of her mother who had been sent for. Rising from her seat in anxiousness, she shifts over towards the hearth, making sure to have her needlework in hand to help hide the wrap about her right fingers. She looks to Ryker a moment and Isolde smiles, glad of his presence in this. She turns then, watching the door before moving towards th window - idle wandering as she repeats her thoughts to herself.

Valda Tordane is punctual at least, one of the harsh lady's more meritous qualities. Returning to the room that until a week prior had been her own, Valda pauses in reaching her hand for the latch, only barely recalling to knock sharply twice before turning the latch.

The nock draws Isolde about and she chances another glance to Ryker before she lifts her voice, "Come in.." It is said with a bit of command to it but her green eyes focus on her mother who steps within. She shifts and dips her head, "My Lady Mother, thank you for coming so soon." Formalities and all and with Valda, they can mean the difference between life and pain.

"Daughter," Valda voices with cool composure to the greeting, inclining her head to the respectful dip Isolde gives her. The dowager lady's gaze goes aside to Ryker whom she acknolwedges with chilly courtesy. "Lord Ryker." The piercing green regard of the Tordane drifts across Isolde's right hand, before fixing anew on her daughter's face. "You have need of something."

Isolde attempts to make no note of her mother looking to her hand and nods her head, "I do, mother. It is about Gedeon and these letters." She holds up her good hand to forestall any comment, "But before you tell me to ignore them, I am about to tell you I can not. WIth the poisoning recently and the dead boy, and the fact we held on to them, we are giving them support this matter as well as the events pointing directly to us." She pauses. "In case this matter is pursued, Lady Mother..I need proof."

"I believe what you intended to say is that you will not ignore the matter," Valda corrects pointedly, before echoing with a haughty air, "Proof. What manner of proof does my daughter in her great experience seek?"

Keeping her gaze upon Valda, Isolde makes no comment on the correction but rather nods her head, "I need proof that I am legimate, for if anyone is to move upon this…Gedeon may not receive Stonebridge, but I may be turned away." She draws a breath, "I need more than your word, mother. I need witnesses, something, anything to prove that you could not have done such a thing….as I know you did not. I need these truths on my side should this come to a trial."

"Witnesses?" Valda echoes with an indigant edge sharpening her words. "Ought I have kept a servant or one of Geoffrey's squires in the chamber every night we lay together, should one day my daughter decide she doubts her heritage? Witnesses?" Valda is angered, but makes at least a token effort to restrain her indignity. "The truth is on your side, Isolde, I know not why such doubt is so rooted in you."

"Mother." Isolde says firmly, "It is not my doubt but others. If this is taken further and perhaps to the Tully's what will you offer up if Lord Jerold Terrick supports it along with Ser Gedeon and perhaps even his Lord he swears to? Gedeon was poisoned. That means someone wanted him dead and who better than us?" She narrows her gaze a moment and lets out a breath, focusing. "I need this. Mother, was there any way to prove that you did not sleep with another while father was at tourney?" She presses again. "Put aside your pride and think of anything that would strengthen our position."

"Gedeon," Valda nearly spits the name, "is the one who must have proof, and there is none. Such wild allegations mean nothing, even the Tullys are not so fool as the undercut noble inheritance. The letters are worthless, Isolde," Valda repeats, putting heavy emphasis on the last sentence, to the point of raising her voice, briefly. "The best proof is in the word of nobles, rather than those base born. There are some few retainers of my household still serving, yet what will their oaths prove? Unless it is not the law, and purely your conscience you wish to salve, daughter?"

"What if it is both?" Isolde says with no shame, her green eyes locking upon her mother. "I am preparing for the worst, if you wish to be so blind as to what may come, so be it." Her voice grows a bit more, finding a strength as she grows frustrated. "You speak to me as if I do not know the weight of a noble's word and this is why I come to you now. Because Gedeon sits with the Terricks. They hold great sway and have good reason to support this as foolish as it is. I am looking ahead, not lifting my nose. And if it helps soothe my conscience so be it, but it is not for that alone. Were you away, did you have family about? Tell me of that first month while father was gone. As Lady of Stonebrige, I bid you to tell me."

"It is your hand you ought salve, rather than your conscience, daughter," Valda begins her answer, gaze fixed on Isolde's. "It looks scalded." As for the rest, "Clearly you do not know the weight of a noble's word. The Terricks can swear to nothing, this indignity is for naught but your own bruised feelings." She draws in a sharp breath before voicing, "And clearly you still know nothing of ordering a household, daughter. When your father was away- in trith, even when he was present- the great buffoon was more fond of his tilts and his friends than matters of rank and station. Even had I wished to leave while he were away, I could not. Because I cared for this town. I kept it running, I kept it in good order. That you have risen to a prosperous seat is because the mother you so insult knew her duty."

Expelling a long breath, Isolde lets her mother speak but ignores the comment of her hand. Isolde dips her head, "So if you tended to this town, someone can vouch for you. Whether or not the worst comes to pass, shall be seen." She intones. She takes a step closer to her mother, crossing that distance, "You were always cold and distant, never affectionate. I never hated you for it, I came to …accept it. But I am your daughter, of that is no doubt, but a man can very well not claim a progeny his. We are women, we are kept quiet and subdued for the most part and are easily forgotten in the workings of these lands. I do not attempt to insult you, I attempt to assure that what you worked so har for, will remain so. Again, set aside your pride mother. I need something more than what you have given me." Her voice does not raise, it is pressed and plain, but determined.

Valda's iron grip on her dignity doesn't crack or falter as Isolde speaks and steps nearer. "Pride is all I have been left, my Lady of Stonebridge," she voices with quiet iron in her voice. "If I have been distant, it is because you are more Geoffrey's daughter than mine.. There is so much of him in you, child." A small shake of her head. "You want more than I have given you, daughter. You need nothing. Ser Rygar assures me that even the Terricks are divided on the question. Gedeon's accusations will come to nothing."

"There is more of you in me than you think mother and I want nothing more than I have, I just want to be assured that there is proof other than just your words. Though that may be all I need in essence." Isolde intones, watching her mother starkly. "The letters mean nothing, by King's Law yes. But with support they mean something." She sighs and shakes her head, "So I will assume you have nothing further than your word? No occurence, no other witness to your loyalty to my father. I don't ask for the Seven to stand before me, I merely ask for proof to solidify myself in place. Is that such a foolish thing to ask for?"

"Yes," Valda answers, head held high as she meets her daughter's eye. "It is a foolish thing you ask. As Your Ladyship is finished, shall I leave?" The words are nearly icy. Though insult may not have been intended, it appears to have been taken.

Quiet. Isolde stands still and she stares at the Lady. "I pray to the Seven this goes as smoothly as you say. For if you had a bit of anything to offer me and did not…." The Lady stills her tongue, watching her cold mother carefully. "While you plotted and secured position…you did not do one thing to prepare me for any of this." Her eyes study Valda before she exhales. "I have nothing more for you. Go as you wish my Lady Mother." There looked to be something in the softened green gaze of Isolde but she turns instead, stepping away from Valda.