Page 119: Ink and Candor
Ink and Candor
Summary: Isolde meets with Hoster Tully and speaks truthfully.
Date: 11 Nov 2011
Related Logs: Anything to do with the letters.
Hoster Isolde 
Riverrun - Sitting Room
Stone room with tables and chairs.
Nov 11 288

Hoster Tully, the Lord of Riverrun awaits in his sitting room. Out a window, the Sept and expansive gardens surrounding it can be seen, while within, the ever-present cloud of retainers, scribes, and servants continue their orbit around the aging red haired Lord who sits behind a desk, with an array of weighty letters spread before him.

With the time to nearly commit the letter to memory, Isolde arrives with that of handmaid, motioning for her to stay at the door as she enters the sitting room and waits near the door. "Lord Tully." She dips a graceful curtsey to him, taking the side of her skirts to lift them as she does. She slowly rises, "I hope all is well with you and your children." She offers as a courtesy, a smile settling to her lips.

"If Edmure ever manages to return to the keep, I shall be sure to ask him so," Hoster answers with a long-suffering smile, and warmth to his reedy voice. A motion of one hand and word bids Isolde to "Rise, and seat yourself, Lady." A slowly drawn breath causes his shoulders and belly to rise where he sits, before the Lord Paramount speaks on, "I must ask of you several questions, Lady Isolde. I trust you will not think me a poor host?"

"I think you only a poor host becuase you are beset with these letters, my Lord." Isolde rises and she moves to take a seat where she might share words with the Lord Tully. Pressing her hands to her lap, she looks recovered to a degree. "Ask what you will and I will answer to the best of my ability, my Lord."

Hoster Tully makes a wordless sound along with his nod at Isolde's response, before prompting, "Are you familiar with these documents?" making a motion of one pale hand over the assembled letters, sealed and unsealed alike. The same seven Isolde had taken from Gedeon and surrendered to Rygar, plus the elusive eighth: her father's supposed last Testament.

Looking them over, Isolde gives a nod. "The last document…the one of my fathers testament is newest to me. I have learned about it only today." She admits to him. "But I have read and looked over the others that were my half-brothers that contest my legitimacy." She gives a faint nod of her head to them.

Hoster Tully's cloudy blue eyes shift in a curious frown. "I find that surprising, Lady Isolde. But we shall come to that, in time." A fresh breath and he speaks on, "What think you of these letters before me, and what they tell of your late father's wishes?"

"I have often asked myself that since seeing them, at least the first from the hands of Ser Gedeon." Isolde says and then gazes down to them. "But it has made me curious on several accounts…why my father was carrying past letters addressed to my mother to a battlefield for one…why he may have thought Ser Gedeon had any chance of surviving over he and his son as to give him such sensitive documents..also knowing that my mother bore my half-brother. If my father had wanted such claims to be given to my mother…than placing this document with a secure courier would have been better, to get it away from the battlefield."

"You mean to say that you doubt their legitimacy, Lady?" Hoster Tully clarifies. "I have heard tell that you personally put no small amount of stock in their contents, and that an honest Septon gave his word that he judged them authentic. What say you to that, my Lady Isolde?" to the unlikelihood of the letters, Hoster smiles wanly and notes, "As dear as your father was to me, Geoffrey Tordane never was the most.. orderly of men. This supposed second Testament was only written on the eve of battle itself, after all. Could that not account for it?"

"My father was very dear to me as well, my Lord." Isolde says and she looks to the letters again. "I do not truly believe them, I think this new testament has me questioning a great many things. His wish was for me to marry the Terrick's heir. I wonder as to what is real…we are defined by our families, raised by them and I count myself his daughter." She lets out a long breath, her green eyes lifting to look to the Lord Tully. "I can not hide the fact I am not happy by the fact my mother kept the testament from my sight, or denied it's wishes. But that is not what is at question here. If he worried about an heir to his household, he should have Geonis back."

Hoster Tully lets out a slow breath, with a visible wince as he shifts his weight. "This places me in a difficult position, Lady Isolde. If this second Testament is proved to be legitimate- which I must emphasize, it has not been found genuine, as of yet- I must believe that your Lady mother, in order to prove her faithfulness to your father, has revealed that she was unfaithful to his final wishes." He exhales once and shakes his head. "This is a difficult and double edged thing. How may I trust such a thing?"

"This matter was brought to you to resolve, my Lord. I do not envy you." Isolde can not help but smile wanly and tilt her head to thought. "I do not suspect that if the letters my half-brother have are false, that he knows of it. I do not blame him." She says evenly and then adds, "My mother has always been a woman of strong opinion. She did what she felt was right for me, for Stonebridge." She intones, though the emotion there is lax. "What is said of this Testament my mother brought? Is there anything to be said of it?"

The Lord of Riverrun motions toward the Testament where it rests on his desk. "It is there. My scribes inspect it closely, seeking the truth of it, and as I have said, nothing sure has yet been discovered. So no, my young Lady: nothing is to be said of it, just yet, save that it's arrival of a sudden after so many years is an odd thing." The aged lord exhales with what Isolde might guess to be relief when she declares no blame for her half-brother. One potential crisis averted. "If there is aught else you would have me consider, Lady Isolde, I invite you to state it."

"I do not blame the Terricks either, though it pains me that we must sit on opposite sides for this." Isolde adds as well, "But of the Valentins, I know nothing. I am sorry if I can not feel any endearment to them." She seems somewhat pale again and lifts a hand to smooth back her hair. "It is odd that both letters took so long to arise, but I can understand my mother's hesitation." Swallowing a moment, she looks to each letters. "From reading them both, the one that my mother brought sounds more of my Lord father in it."

Hoster hears out Isolde's comments, musing a moment, before he wonders pointedly, "I would ask, Lady Isolde: should my judgement in this go against your family, do you judge that the Naylands would break the peace, before surrendering Stonebridge to the Terricks?"

Hesitating a moment, Isolde looks to him and dips her head. "They might very well. We all no the Nayland's are fierce in their pride. My husband in his own way. But Lords by far have too much pride for themselves. I do not think it will be down peaceably." She nods her head and smooths her hands to her skirts.

"I appreciate your honesty in this, Lady Isolde," Hoster exhales at her answer. "I am inclined to agree with you." His belly rises with another deep breath, and Lord Hoster adds, "I have bade Rutger Nayland to seek some compromise with Jacsen Terrick. If they are unable to reach an agreement, then it will come to my decision. And you may tell your husband and tardy kin, my Lady: I expect my decisions to be obeyed."

"My Lord Tully, I would have just a moment alone with you to share something. I do not think Rutger Nayland will find peace with the Terricks even if he tries." Isolde shakes her head, "There is more work there that will need to be done than I think the Naylands will be willing to make."

"I spoke with Jacsen Terrick and he asked me to come with him and seek safety with his mother and bend knee to the Terricks again." Isolde hesitates as her voice remains soft. "The tariffs that are set upon the people are heavy and he says his worry of them, that if I bend knee, Stonebridge would once more be Terrick governed." She catches her breath and gives a tilt of her head. "I will not do so against my own Lord Husband who has been good to me. I may love the Terricks as my father did, but there is loyalty in vows given before the seven. I wished for you to know, for this matter has not be easy for me. It concerned me though…that if I went with him, this matter would suddenly be dropped." She hesitates and then continues. "This brings me to believe the letters are also false that my half-brother brought.."

The Lord Paramount frowns mildly as Isolde speaks on, nodding twice at one point to assure her that his full attention is on the Lady's words. "This is a difficult labyrinth, we find ourselves in, Lady Isolde. You may return to your husband, and know that I am grateful for your candor."

"Thank you, my Lord. I have let my brother know my feelings on this." Isolde rises slowly and dips her head. "Everyday is a new maze, one that must be taken slowly. If there is any light I can shed, I shall. I want the truth as much as you do." The Lady nods her head and takes a step back from the chair. "I wish you well." She tells the Lord and then takes her leave quietly.