|Into Their Cups|
|Summary:||A family gathering at the Fortress of the Sevens.|
|Related Logs:||Danae/Riordan saga, courting Rosanna Groves|
|The Grand Hall is furnished as one may expect for a family that has funneled their treasury towards more practical uses, though the room is certainly deserving of the name. This massive hall is large enough to host a feast for more than one hundred people and still seats the Lord's throne at the head of the room upon a dais. Black iron hangers hold a pair of silver, candle-lit chandeliers in a line from the main doors to the throne. Two doors lead off near the throne, one on each side of the head of the room while a spiral staircase has been built into the wall on one side by an armored door.|
|Wed May 02, 289|
Laughter can be heard from the grand hall, luckily with it being the evening much of the business and busyness that usually occupies the Sevens has slowed down, allowing for some time of mirth. Two boys ages of eight and six are too busy giggling, as their father, lays out on the ground- one hand to his side as a grotesque face as been comically down. "Father's wounds my sons. You hath felled me. The Baratheon should quake in his boots!" Rutger explains from his prone position.
More squeals before he is sitting up. "To bed both of you. I'll not have your septa waggling her tongue and finger at me, because you heathens were too wound up tonight. Go!" he commands, and he does soften if only to pass kisses and hugs, before the young boys move for the stair case. Rutger- for his part moves up to his knees and then to get himself a glass of beer.
Having found their father to be busy earlier when he first arrived at the Sevens this morning with his sister, grandmother, and Ser Kittridge Groves, Riordan has taken a little time to bath, and rest. Now, as he follows the sounds of laughter with his sister in tow, the two obviously on a mission… he greets the sight of his laughing nephews with a smile. "Well, if this is not a sight. The mighty Naylands of the Mire, picking on a helpless old man."
Much acquainted with her young nephews with living together at the Sevens, Roslyn catches them with a look, one of a curved brow that raises in dramatic imperiousness. She leans forward to allow each to kiss her cheek before she allows them past her. "Do we have any sweet wine?" she questions at catching sight of her brother's beer.
"What fell legion has invaded my hall?" A jovially bombastic voice demands at the peals of childish laughter, as Rickart Nayland descends the stairs, affecting a transparent look of displeasure. "What's this? Are these two knights of the Kingsguard? No, of course not- they're too short! Why it must be my grandsons." A ready chuckle stirs his throat as the Lord of the Mire musses the hair of Rutger's boys in passing, and likely exciting them again, rather then seeing them settled for bed, before he regards the rest of the hall. "Ah, what a stroke of luck. Sit, everyone." A look aside to the nearby retainer is given with the word, "Drink!"
Rutger snorts in Riordan's direction. "I am still old enough to kill you, Ser." jovial tone before he is moving to pour his brother a beverage as well. As the boys scurry along, Rutger turns his head to look to Roslyn, a smile blossoming on his visage. "Sister, I think we do-somewhere. I do know we brought back loads of the stuff the Ironmen drink. Fine honeyed pi-wine that is. I'd drink it any night." he states before he is raising a glass of his own beer. A sip there. "But nothing beats the finest."
And given the highest shreak of young Aronn, it seems that their father has found them. A grin shows before he is bowing as his father comes down-however with given the order to sit, Rutger's head plants right into the table in one of his less graceful moves.
And yes some beer is spilled.
Rubbing his head, Rutger eases back with a flush on his cheeks. "Father." he finally intones.
The sound of laughter echoing in these familiar halls, the sight of beloved family, and most of all the comforting presence of their Lord Father has all other cares melting away from Riordan for the moment. Between all this, and the recent rest and bath he has been afforded, he actually looks like the old Riordan for once. Even so, though Rutger's first words have the Nayland Regent smiling broadly, it lessens a bit when he speeks to their sister of honeywine. "Mire beer is better," he states, in simple agreement with his brother, moving to grab a tankard of his own and suck down a long draught. "Father," he greets, then, in simple Riordan fashion.
"Any watered wine will do," Roslyn adds, though it is to a servant with a polite, dismissive smile before she's turning towards her father at the noise he makes upon entering. She drops into a gesture of a curtsy, sweeped gracefully before she rises. She waits until Riordan chooses his seat first, taking the chair next to him.
Lord Rickart's sweeping entrance into the hall is punctuated by a sharp, barked peal of laughter as Rutger thuds his forehead into the tabletop. "How deep into your cups are you, my boy?" the grey lord prompts past a broad smile and shake of his head. "Riordan, Roslyn, it is good to have you both back," is bid as he settles into his chosen chair, shoulders still shaking with silent chuckles at Rutger's misstep.
"I am deep into something, my Lord." Rutger muses before he is drinking down more beer, as if to cover his own shame. Still there is a smile given back to the Lord Nayland. "Isn't it grand that Ser Tordane, lies moldering in a tent- and true justice has prevailed?" Apparently, Rutger's man left before any other juicy gossip could be gleaned. Still he smiles to his father, and raises his cup in salute. "May the Stranger take his corpse." and down it goes. "Also" a change of the victory over another's death. "I have spoken with Lord Kittridge Groves today." He'll dangle that carrot.
Though Riordan certainly found a smile at Rutger's antics, he was apparently content not to make comment. Instead, he finds a seat, offering a smile to his sister as she sits at his side, and then turns to address their father. "It is good to be home, as always father. I fear I cannot tarry overlong, once I have occassion to speak with you on some matters, but I will enjoy any chance to drink Mire beer and sit at your table." At Rutger's words regarding Ser Gedeon, Riordan's eyebrows rise a bit, and he shares a telling glance with Roslyn. But for now, he holds his tongue.
"May the gods care for his soul," Roslyn adds in soft steel tones to Rutger's salute, her fingers folding over one another across the bare grain of their table. She adds, quieter and much humbler in the direction of Lord Rickart, "Thank you, father. I am well pleased to have accompanied my lady grandmother to Stonebridge, and I am grateful you allowed it."
"I was sorry to inflict the old hag upon you," Rickart smiles to Roslyn's thanks. "But it is gracious of you to say so, my dear." The lord of the Mire brandishes a cup and proffers in toast, "To Stonebridge, still the newest pinion in the harpy's wing." The state of Gedeon's soul goes uncommented upon. Quaffing a good gulp of his own beer, he motions for his children to speak on.
Rutger nods back towards Rickart. "As it stands, We may have found a fine offer for the Groves. One that Lord Campbell will be too eager to jump on. It is quite a bit of coin." he notes to his father. "But, not too much more than we discussed when on the Isles." he states before, there is a sniff of his beer before the cup is set down. "I've also set in motion my courtship of Rosanna Groves, which, the seven willing will end in a marriage that shall align us with the breadbasket of the cape." So yes, Rutger's been busy.
"To Stonebridge," Riordan echoes, if a less boisterously then one might expect. After lifting his glass in salute to his father, he takes another long draught. For now, he contents himself to be otherwise silent, listening to his brother's words. Still, there seems a moment's relief on his face when talk moves away from Stonebridge. Another moment to collect his thoughts.
"I do think such a courtship will need to be a delicate thing, my lord brother. I have talked on it with her brother, the Lord Kittridge, and have reason to believe he thinks she can do better," Roslyn replies in careful tones, gaze sliding to her father quickly before returning to Rutger. "I do believe the Lady Rosanna may like the idea of your suite, but it is not her we need to convince."
"Very good," Rickart commends the talk of a trade bargain with a nod. "Thanks to Rogr Harlaw's sense and Martyn Mallister's lack thereof, we are not hurting for coin. Any stock we can get of Kingsgrove will turn us a tidy profit as well. A man must spend coin to make coin, as Roland is so fond of saying." Or if not Roland, someone else speaking of economics and other ..complicated matters. A deep breath drawn and let out. At Roslyn's caution, he wonders, "Will it be a problem?"
"It is his father, we will need to convince. I am sure if we must we can press for some things that will make this seem well for them, as it is for us." Rutger replies. "She is a fine lady, though I will say this, Ser Kittridge is smart. And so if we are to deal for this, which would be a boon to us..Then we must pull out all the stops." A glance to Roslyn. "How do you think, sister we might make this seem as if he could not do better? After all If we keep them from the Mallisters or the Terricks-that is the better course."
"We will need them to give them something the Terricks and Mallisters and any of the other thrice-damned eagles can not," Riordan comments, finally, into the conversation. "For all that they are a small house, Groves is valuable right now, and more's the pity, they know it. Our one hope is to move faster then the rest, and better. They can hardly do better then the Heir to the Mire for the Terricks, so unless they believe they can stand a suit with the Mallister boy, it should not be that hard."
"If we can ensure Rutger will inherit the Mire despite whatever child our goodsister will bear, perhaps. But, they will not agree to a suite while the Lady Isolde still can give our late brother an heir," Roslyn murmurs quietly, looking to her father as if seeking—something. Not approval, but perhaps not reprisal, simply. "They certainly won't let her marry someone who doesn't stand to inherit if they can gamble on the Mallister suite."
Rickart frowns with Roslyn's musing. "Hrm. You know, I'd managed to forget that if Ryker whelped a boy on the Tordane girl, the infant would have claim." Leaning his weight on the left arm of his elaborately carved chair, the grey lord itches at his jaw and muses on. "Do you imagine the prospects will keep for the.. three months?" a glance aside for confirmation. "Three months until Isolde's child is born or lost?"
Eyes flick back towards Roslyn. "I'd rather not take the chance. If we're going to gamble as we are now, we might as well make use of all the pieces on our cyvasse board." but that is Rutger's opinion. "If Isolde whelps a boy, let him keep his father's seat at Stonebridge, With both the Bridge and Mire in play and separately. It gives us more maneuverability." A glance to his sister and he waits for her opinion. "But, I would trust Roslyn more in this situation."
"Whatever is done, I'd recommend not setting aside the child in favor of Rutger simply to please the Groves' suit," Riordan says, quietly. "Having fought so hard to keep Stonebridge, I'd not want to see it lost just to find favor with a House that may go to our enemies on a whim." Taking a breath, Riordan glances aside to his sister, and under the cover of the table will reach for her hand, squeezing it as he gathers his words for what comes next. "And we will need Lady Valda to support us and reaffirm Isolde's ties to us, now more then ever, Father. The Tordane Bastard managed to take a final blow at us from beyond the grave. He married in secret. With the possability that she is with child, our claim is still challanged." His tone as he says all this is careful and concise, letting absolutely no emotion bleed through. Perhaps strange, as normally Riordan might say something like this with a great deal of anger.
"One could drag out a true, romantic courtship easily for three months, I would think, and my lord brother especially," Roslyn replies with a simple warmth to her words where she offers Rutger a quick smile at his glance. "Better to see whether the child is boy or girl before we do anything that is not necessary." Her fingers twine through her brother's in a measure of support, falling silent where Riordan puts forth the other matter at hand.
"What." That is Rickart's first word, following a visible process of consideration as he hears out the virtues of his progeny's thoughts. Ire flashing visibly, Rickart draws up a hand, prepared to slam it onto the tabletop, and quivering in the air for a moment before aged fingers close into a fist and he draws a breath in through the nose- mouth too occupied with a muter snarl- before giving an explosive oath. "FUCK!" His assent to a three month courtship being managable alas goes uncommented upon (no compliment for Rutger, too bad!) as this fresh complication drives him to his feet. The grey lord stalks about the chamber, even as he prompts aloud, "It's verified? A true marriage? With a damned septon? FUCK! There's no bloody way-" A breath sucked in. "We can contest it. We can damned well contest it!"
A glance is given Roslyn, and a wave of his hand. "I can do so, however-I'd prefer not to give the 'lady' of the tower who is known to have such sympathetic leanings towards the Terricks, a chance to fuck with our holdings, Sister." And there is a pause as he looks back towards Riordan. A brow raising up before he is tilts his head, as his father simply says what everyone is thinking. Still Rutger keeps composed. "I am sure such a marriage can be annulled. Who performed the ceremony? Stonebridge holds no sept and therefore no septon."
"As for Lady Isolde." he finally comes back to it. "Do the right thing Riordan, and shore up that hole. By all means do not play Jaremy Terrick and let her go under your nose." A small help- "And who did he marry?"
"We are still looking into it, but I've little doubt it is true," Riordan says, calm in the face of his father's ire. Having so recently gone through a storm of rage himself, he can weather this out. "There is good news, however. The timeframe for when it is likely that they married means they had but a single night to… consumate." Even now, the word comes out more bitter then he intends. But the Regent does not linger on it. "But more then that, Father, is we need not contest the marriage itself, only any… issue that comes from her." Again, there is bitterness tinging some of his words. The ones that matter. But he soldiers on. "Even if the Lady Danae is pregnant… there is only a half chance that the child is legitimate, and Gedeon's." His hand squeezes Roslyn's more, not to the point of hurting, but certainly more firmly, as he pauses for a breath. "I took her maidenhead two days before the duel."
With that news hanging in the wind, Riordan takes the time to calmly look to Rutger, and simply nod. "The Lady Valda has made it plainer then previous that she wishes to reaffirm ties, and with me besides. She insists that the Lady Isolde and I will be good for eachother. I have been exchanging letters with the lady since I arrived back in Stonebridge, and I will continue to do my duty in all these matters, brother. Have no fear. If Father agrees to the union, I will pursue it, and see it done at the earliest moment." After everything else, talk of marriage to one other then Danae actually seems… commonplace. As if he were talking about the weather.
"Father, we need not contest her marriage. Riordan—," Roslyn starts in a calming tone, the murmur of her words meant to be soothing until she cuts herself off to let Riordan explain. She waits a moment, long enough to squeeze at her brother's hand, before she adds, "They cannot consider any child born to be legitimate, because there will be no proof it is Gedeon's. But we shall have to make such known immediately, if anyone is to believe us." She pauses. "It is better if we swear to it before the gods and all than try to spread intangible rumors, given the Lady Valda's previous treatments of Ser Gedeon."
"Annul the damned match now, find whatever Septon performed the rites, and find an older Septon to say it was done wrong- there couldnt have been a betrothal, was there even a dowry?- is the girl even noble?" Rickart turns around and pounds one fist into the palm of his other hand as he stalks back toward the cluster of seated Naylands. "Annul it anyway! Shame her, spread the word, name her a fucking harlot, but annul the marriage anyhow. Any chance that the babe might be the bastard's will be enough to give the jealous eagles a claim. End the marriage, now." A huffed exhale, and he waves a hand dismissively to aside, "Yes, yes, as soon as the Tordane girl survives the birthing bed, we'll see her betrothed and wed, that can wait."
"Your Danae Westerling? The one you have crowed about since I can remember?" That is Rutger's first response, not necessarily comforting or anything like that. Instead Rutger is content to simply stare at his younger brother. "Ser." a beat "You're a gods damned moron." And now whatever is left in his cups is being chugged down. The cup slammed down on the table, as a tightness comes over the elder of the Nayland brothers. "Despite how this can be played at the moment, you would jeopardize the relationship we have with the currently tenuous Tordane's by FUCKING some poor wester girl? I am sure we could have found you a blonde whore if you wanted to stem the godsdamned rose."
The last bit snarled out, before he is relaxing there. A shake of his head. "Maiden fuck us thrice. This might be the first time your cock has given us something we can go with, Riordan, despite what a horrid mistake it was." A glance to Rickart and then back over to Riordan. "Please tell me, you've done the sensible thing and have already started seeding these rumors?" a beat. "Please.."
"Rutger," Roslyn hisses sharply in censur at her brother's words, her fingers squeezing all the harder on Riordan's. But as her family bursts out into further tempers, she falls quieter.
Riordan's eyes blaze as his brother speaks to him. "More fault me, for not seeing her killed once I was done with her, you mean!?!" he asks, his voice rising, and he halfs pulls himself out of the chair. Thankfully, the grip Roslyn has on his hand pulls him back to himself, and he sits back down with a thump. "I'm sorry, brother. I spoke in anger." Of course, the anger is still in his voice, but he moves on. "No, I have not yet. But I've the Lady Valda poised to do so. I wanted Father's opinion in this before I did anything. I felt too close to the matter to make a rational choice." Taking a breath, he nods to his father. "My bags are already packed. I can send a raven ahead of me, to get the rumors started. And I will swear on all the oaths known to man to the Tully representative of what transpire between me and the Lady Danae. As for the rest, I will do what I can. It would be best if we can come up with a bribe for the High Septon, and send someone to King's Landing to turn his head in our favor. That way, noone can overrule the decision. And whatever else the Bastard left his… wife, she has not the money to counter a bribe. Nor do the Terricks." Riordan man be one of the few Naylands to take religion seriously, but it does not mean he does not know about the corruption of those in power.
"If you say you were previously betrothed, promised to each other and the bethrothal was consumated by your lying together—. That would make any marriage she claims to have with him invalid, would it not?" Roslyn replies quietly, quietly. No yelling for this proper lady. She adds, "But, we should not put all of our plans into one basket. I am sure our lord brother will look into whatever measures can be done, with the help of Ser Rygar and the Lady Valda."
Eyes narrow down at Riordan. "Was that slight?" His voice a tinge cooler, but it appears he is not going to press his younger brother on something so obviously foolish, as to that. "I fault you. Ser, for thinking with your cock, and not your mind." And there one hand reaches up to tap his forehead. As for their Father's opinion, he snorts. "Use initiative. Don't sit back and let life fuck you." And there he looks over towards Roslyn "Pardons for my use of such language." And then he leans back. "I doubt bribing the High septon will come to it. Perhaps we need to have someone get into the ear of the lady's father. Also, find whichever Fucking septon was in Stonebridge and force them to tell the truth." A beat. "I have been to King's Landing before. I am sure if it comes to that I could go again. If all else fails." And now he is looking back towards his Father's son. "What are you willing to do, to ensure this does not go further?"
"All of you, keep your fucking teeth together for a moment!" Rickart shouts as his sons bicker. Still stalking about the great hall with slipped temper, the Lord of the Mire growls out, "We have coin enough to buy the Groves harvest, or to buy the High Septon a new fucking scepter, not both. Turn this harvest business about as quickly as we can, and prepare a damnable letter to the fucking Crag."
"Well, as the God's would have it, my cock is the only thing that stands between us and-" His temper starting to rise, it stops as soon as their father speaks. As always, Riordan obeys. Litterly clamping his teeth together in an audible sound. He simply nods his head to the Lord of the Mire, and remains silent for the moment.
"Utter ruin? Yes I am quite well versed on the subject. Thank you." Rutger plays back, before he is looking to his father. As the order to clamp teeth comes, he is reaching for the beer and pouring himself another glass. There's a faint look over to Roslyn as he waggles the flagon to see if she would have some.
Roslyn, already quiet, has no further need to shut her teeth. But she waits on her father to finish talking, watching him patiently as he explains. And then she seeks confirmation as she questions neutrally, "I am sorry, I do not understand. You would like us to undo what we have done today, lord father, or you would like us to secure their harvest as soon as possible?" She makes a gesture of a subtle shake of her head at the offer, turning aside the alcohol easily.
"Secure the fucking harvest!" Rickart answers, rather more cross than he seems to have intended, as after barking at his daughter, the Lord of the Mire wrestles a measure of restaint onto himself again. "Write to the Crag, see if the Westerlings will set forward an annulment and verify whether they give formal assent and support to the marriage, or not. Damnation! Just once I wish all the loose ends could be tied up and cut off."
"We can couch the letter to the Crag, as concern about their daughter throwing herself into madness and such. I am sure it can be worded where we don't come off as fucking needy." Rutger states, before he is looking back to his Father, and then to Roslyn. One hand reaches out over the table as if that would comfort her. "This should have been taken care of, once she said she married Gedeon."
"We came as soon as we could," Roslyn demures, though her free fingers find Rutger's without hesitation, making an odd little chain between herself and her snippy brothers. "It will be taken care of, lord father. The Groves will accept our offer, I have every reason to believe." She glances towards Riordan briefly before she volunteers him with a continued, "And Riordan will return at once to Stonebridge to deal with the Lady Tordane."
"Good!" Rickart exclaims to Roslyn's assurances. A nod aside to Rutger, "See it done." Huffing out a measure of his ire in another long exhale, the grey lord adds, "There is a good chance this will all come to naught. Still, I want to see nothing left to chance. Tully will betray me at any opportunity."
"He will betray us, any chance he gets. Old dying fish." Rutger adds, before nodding to his father. 'I will. I plan to take Lord Kittridge hunting. I will press our case subtly. And I shall prepare to court." A glance is given to Roslyn. "Would purple gloves be appropriate?- or perhaps boning for her corset, that will go over the heart? If I am going to romance this fucking deal on both ends, I will do it well." he states. Apparently he is not pressing on Danae, that is Riordan's problem.
"Give her gloves, something that she can see and also show," Roslyn replies thoughtfully, her smile returning in a brief flash. "And do send the frog. A lady does appreciate some humor in a perspective husband." Though, honestly, why she is giving the advice on romance is not exactly clear, so take it with a grain of salt.
Rutger slowly rises with a squeeze to his sister's fingers. There is a look back to his father and Rutger offers a bow. "I must ready for the hunt." A glance to Riordan. "Brother." he states before he is excusing himself.
"What's this? A frog?" Rickart shoots a stern eye about the gathering, visibly not enjoying being left out of a joke. "Bah! See it all done, I need time to shout properly." With that, he joins the egress from the great hall.
"Lord father," Roslyn starts in farewell, but she does not rise. Instead, as Rutger and Rickart leave for other rooms, she remains seated quietly as she pulls Riordan's hand into her lap. They will remain for a bit longer, before each seeing to their own things.