|Immovable and Unstoppable|
|Summary:||An immovable object meets an unstoppable force as Garett and Ceinlys clash.|
|Related Logs:||For the love of Briallyn|
|Guest Room — Crane's Crossing, Stonebridge|
|The rooms at Crane's Crossing are of the finest quality to be found at any guest quarters among the Riverlands, though not as finely done as those in the castles — by far. The rooms are spacious with plenty of room for not just a noble but a small entourage to gather in. The sprawling beds are finished with fine sheets and goosedown-stuffed pillows. Rugs are lain about except nearest the door with a few couches placed to one corner for guests of the room holder. Chambermaidens are on call at all hours to clean and refill the wash basins or provide new washclothes - or to even take sullied clothing for cleaning. The windows are set out a bit from the wall to provide bench seating that overlooks the sprawling green of meadows, distant forests, and bubbling creeks.|
|April 4th 289 A.L.|
A cheerful, sunlit morning in Stonebridge. Well, sunlit, anyway. Already the marketplace is bustling with activity, the clamour of traders and children, peasants and nobility alike filtering through the walls and windows of the Crane's Crossing. Rather the finer inn of choice in the town, the establishment is currently playing host to the Lady Ceinlys and her retinue, while business is seen to. Considering the constant comings and goings from her suite, even since dawn, hours before, it might seem odd to those in the know that she finds pause to send one of her handmaidens to seek out Ser Garett. But then, it's rare that anyone succeeds in guessing what goes on, in the noblewoman's head.
Sending off a squire with a bundle of rolled parchments stacked in his arms, Ceinlys turns to the next man who approaches her, accepting a sheaf of vellum from him with a nod and a murmured thanks, crystalline blue eyes already scanning the etchings. Non-stop, isn't it? The handmaiden returns, finally having located the requested knight, and hurries in to make her mistress aware of such. It barely warrants a flicker of dark lashes from the Castellan, who remains engrossed in reading for a moment longer. Eventually, she sets the writ aside and shifts her gaze toward the doorway. Several men-at-arms are still present, some going over maps, others merely enjoying a brief respite and chatting amiably amongst themselves. But it's very much apparent that everyone in this room answers to the raven-haired woman in ice-blue velvet. What in the name of the Seven could she want, summoning a knight she has never bothered with before?
…odds are Garett knows.
Garett, quickly becoming known as the Ice Man of Stonebridge does knows. And while his annoyance is lidded behind a wall of stoicism, he has arrived as requested. If there is anything that defines the man, is is one simple word; cold. The handmaiden that has brought the Knight here more than hasitly announces his arrival before getting as far away from the man as qiuckly as possible. If there was a slight breeze there could even be the suggestion that he gives off an aura of frost. A man with a lifetime of experience of nothing but battlefields. From defeinding the Crag in his youth, to his participation in Robeter's Rebellion, all the way to the recent fighting in the Iron Islands, the only constant this man knows is war and a life of constant strife. He wears that like a badge.
These claims are, of course, just that. Garett has no ability to turn flowers to frost as he walks by. Arriving in the doorway after being called inside, he gives the handmaiden one simple look, and she makes her exit. One hand he hold and apple, apparently he was in the process of eating his midday meal. "Castellan." he greets with incline of the head. His tone, like everything else about is cold. There's no inflection in the word. There's no inflection of insult nor is there of respect. There's nothing behind it. Which suggests one thing about him right off the bad. He is not the kind of man who plays games.
Unperturbed by the icy demeanour of the man she has summoned, the young lady - she is, after all, ten years his junior - greets him with a charismatic smile to curve her lips and a gentle nod of acknowledgement. "Ser Garett. Do come in." Taking in his appearance, she quirks a slender brow at the apple yet waiting in his hand. Oops. "..I shall try not to keep you overlong, I assure you." Her own glacial eyes wander in vague amusement after the rapidly retreating handmaiden. Girls are so easily spooked, at times, when a man behaves without the lavish courtesy they are accustomed to. Ceinlys? Not so much. Anyone who ever met her brothers would understand why.
"Lord Bastien, if you would do me the courtesy of remaining." This she addresses to the handsome knight nearby, the one clad in Charlton colors and exquisitely wrought armor. At a glance, he looks rather like Aleister himself. Perhaps a touch less formidable. Looking up from his quiet conversation with one of the lady's guards, he inclines his head in silent assent, with a momentary glance toward Garett. "The rest of you.. an early lunch has been prepared in the common room. I bid you all go and enjoy it, while you can." Presumably the company will not be lingering in Stonebridge much longer. Everyone shuffles out, with respectful murmurs and bows to the Lady and her newly arrived guest alike, until eventually the door is drawn closed. And then there were three.
Remaining at the far side of her grand table, which is currently scattered with all manner of documents, the Castellan gestures her visitor closer with a polite wave of a hand. "It is a pleasure to meet you, at last, Ser. I have heard much, of course." Well, that could be taken however he likes. But she's watching him, still with a vague smile.
Like a man who counts every single peice of artillery on a field, Garett's eyes flicker one by one over the people that leave, leaving only the man clad in armor. There's a type of gauging he does. It's rather done unconciously, some well-trained habits die horribly hard and even in a place where he has yet to life a weapon to done a peice of armor, it's not something that he can just stop doing. Only the barest looks he gives those who leve, the matter of his focus set squarely on Ceinlys. The Westerling Knight is silent waiting for those to leave the room, standing as still as a statue. Another old habit. Nothing can be discerned from him. At least overtly.
A small is sheathed to his belt. It's just a flick of the fingers before it's in his hand. An innoculous little thing. Might be an odd thing to do, but he did need something to carve his apple with. "I just bet that you have, my Lady." he replies, tone still neutral. "Likewise." The blade cute into the peice of fruit, his thumb pressing against it and guiding it. "I know why I have been requested here. It is about the Lady Briallyn and our recent…" A grunt. "…relationship. I can see that you are busy woman, so I will hope that we can speak plainly with exact reason I'm being here." No, it's clear that Garett has little time or patience for talking to people he doesn't know when it comes to his personal life. "As much as I try to avoid the idiotic political climate here, it seems I cannot escape matters between Houses, now can I? Let us speak of what needs to be said, shall we?" Again, there's no disrespect in his words, just a simplicity and practicality that comes naturally with being a lifelong soldier. Yet, there is no single inflection or hint of emtion in his words, there is nothing. It simply what it is.
"When the topic is such a straightforward one, there is no need to speak in any manner other than plain, Ser Garett. And yes, I am busy. But when it comes to the honor of not only my family, but also the one I serve, I assure you.." Her warm smile turns wolfish, for a fleeting moment. "..I will always find the time to deal with it." Rounding the end of the long table, Ceinlys folds her arms comfortably across her midsection and sets a sedate stroll across the floor. She's not directly approaching him, though. Simply wandering. For now. "The reason I wished to speak with you, Ser, was merely to offer a suggestion - one I am quite certain has already been resident in your thoughts - as to how best you might smooth over this little.. misstep. You see.."
The Castellan extends a hand, trailing her fingertips absently along the carved back of a chair as she strolls calmly by it. "..it is in all of our interests that the truth of what has happened does not come to light. Not only would you shame the Lady Briallyn - who I understand you have considerable affection for.." Not that you'd believe it to look at the stony faced man. "..but also your own honor, and that of your House. And speaking frankly, Ser?" Now, the ebon-tressed noblewoman slows, circling that same chair as she levels her cerulean eyes upon him, then easing down to seat herself. "..your cousin is wed to my Lord. Do you begin to see how far these ripples may spread, from a mere tiny drop? Oh, call these politics idiotic if you prefer, by all means. It does not change that this is the way of the world. Regardless." Clasping her hands comfortably over her abdomen, the young woman reclines comfortably in her chair, casting a softer smile to the surly knight. Never far away, Bastien has likewise come to the near side of the table, hands properly folded before him and features impassive as he observes the exchange. "The solution is both a simple and, I would hope, a pleasant one. Briallyn loves you, I believe. And she is of good standing. Seek to court her, and I shall lend my weight to the notion, with my uncle and father. A union between the two of you would be a fortunate one, I think."
"A misstep that I am more than willing to accept my punishment for." Garett replies, the ever apex of neutrality. "I will tell you this," he replies, slowly carving a peice of apple from the fruit. There's no effort in that, no thought to how his hands use a blade, even a small one and for a moment it might even look like he's carving small designs into the meaty flesh. "I have no aspirations to involve myself to whatever machinations you are concoting. Simply put, it's not my buisness and I thank the Sever every day that it will, for the forseeable future remain that way." The peice is eaten, giving him pause to collect his thoughts.
"You dislike my House, my Lady. Even someone as myself, a Knight who gives little to no care of House affairs, even my own, knows this. Nevermind I have already heard of your opinions of me and my squire in reguards to martial prowess. And that's fine, I'm not out to change your mind about Westerlings or myself or Lord Desmond. Your feud or whatever it is dealing with my consion is inconsequencial me. Simply put; I do not care and will continue to do so until I am given a reason otherwise. Which I sincerly doubt. My purpose in Stonebridge is a simply one; I watch over my sister while she makes trade talks and train my squire before he thrown in the very fires of wat that will no doubt be caused by whatever backroom dealing and doublt-talking in created within the Houses. I have no time for it and it is waste of my personal time and attention." He doesn't move, he doesn't take his eyes of Ceinlys, a pair of stormy blue eyes unblinking, the part of him that moves are his lips and occasionally, the hand tweaks another peice of apple.
"Is there a reason for my saying this? Yes, because if I am to be wed to the Lady Briallyn you are going to know exactly how I feel on the entirety of this matter. I do not take lightly to those who try to interfere in my life, my own family, my own House, or otherwise. I may be called a simple-minded for thinking such things, that this is 'the way things are' like you say. However, I can choose to have nothing to do with it if I should so choose. And that is what I have always. I know the Lady Briallyn fancies me, she has said as much, though I would not be so bold she loves me. I have already told her that I would marry her, but that I am doing it for her. Not for you, your House's integrity or my own for that matter. But that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. You are still getting the result you desire, so what truly does it matter to you how my opinion of it is?" Pause. "I agree. Is that acceptable to you?"
In spite of herself, following this lengthy speech from the previously rather non-communicative knight, Ceinlys first grins broadly, then laughs aloud, throaty and genuine in humor. "..you are newly arrived to Stonebridge, Ser, and freely admit to having no time for politics. So I shall quite happily ignore the misinformation it would seem you do pay heed to. Play the game, or do not.. but don't profess to be one or the other if you remain undecided. It guarantees confusion on your own part. That said.." In a businesslike manner, the Castellan gently bops the heels of both hands on the arms of her chair, before letting them settle and aid in pushing her back to a stand. "I am glad that I was correct in my assumption of your honorable intent toward my cousin, Ser. I am not disappointed by your answer."
Having drawn to her full height - which remains considerably less that the man she addresses, the Castellan smoothes her skirts and offers him another smile.. a different one, this time. "That is all I wanted from you, Ser Garett. Your word that you would not abandon her. I doubt I could care much less whether you are interested in politics or not.. it truly makes little difference to me. But if that is your choice, then I should thank you not to make assumptions upon matters you know nothing of. Especially those regarding my honorable and -unblemished- duty to House Charlton." There's no arguing that - the woman has worked dilligently and unwaveringly, both for Lady Cherise and her husband. Even the rumor mill doesn't dispute that.
Clearly she's uninterested in the qualms surrounding his martial ability, either, waving that off dismissively as she turns to stroll back toward the table. "I have drafted the necessary letters already, on Briallyn's behalf. I trust you are more than capable of making your own arrangements, Ser." Something else seems to occur to the dark-haired young lady, as those vivid eyes return to him. Bastien remains, stoic and solid, by her shoulder. "..it actually heartens me to hear you would choose to wed outside the influence of our Houses, Ser Garett.." she remarks, in a softer tone than before. Ceinlys Erenford may not be a woman it is wise to tarry with, but it's blatantly obvious she would do anything for those of her own blood. "I will have no misgivings about offering my voice in support to the two of you. So!" Folding her hands together, she returns to her usual diffident facade. "I have your answer. And you have my gratitude. I expect now you should like to finish your apple in peace." She nods toward the door beyond him, her eyes glittering in good natured amusement. "Do so. May all the Gods watch over you, Ser."
"Misinformation?" Garett is stone-faced. "Let me make some perfectly crystal clear." He takes one step forward. "I play -no- games. I kill for a living. I have no time for games, and your assumption that I do waste my time in such trivial affairs an easy way to insult my honor. You assume far too much about me. But, there has never been a time in my life where I have acutally cared what people have thought of me. And I see no real point in starting now. Your work with your House is your own. It is of no concern to me. I would rather keep it that way. Again, I make it a point to not interfere with them."
There is something very dark about the man. Maybe it's just uncaring, unflinching attitude of man who has slaughtered countless lives, the stone visage of someone who looks at the woman with about as much apathy as he does for the next person who name isn't Desmond, Briallyn or Danae. The dagger in his hand, it flickers and spinds between each finger knuckler, as if it were rolling down, edge over edge to his pinky, before it's deftly slid into it's sheathe in one fluid motion. That was the first bodily motion in some time. "I am not in Stonebridge to appease anyone, so no, I am not here to wed simply to placate people delicate sensibilities." But Ceinlyns attempt to smooth things over has marginal success and it's clear the Knight has zero interest in continuing the bantering. To him, actions will always speak longer than words. "Then I thank you for that." One leg is behind the other, the soldier doing a perfectly executed about-face, heading for the door. When his hand touches the doorknob, he stops, and glances only just barely over his shoulder. "One more thing." he notes. "You may not like me, few do. However, rest assured that your cousin will never worry for her saftey so long as I am with her. And I can promise you this; do not expect me to interfere with your affairs. Publically or otherwise. Whatever we do behind closed door is our own. I would hope you show the same courtsey. Simply put, I wish to be left alone." The door is opened, and the Knight makes his exit.