Page 186: Introductions
Summary: Rosanna introduces herself to the younger Lady of the Roost.
Date: January 20, 289
Related Logs: Not really.
Anais Rosanna 
Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower
The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.
January 19, 289

There is an air of tension in Four Eagles tower. It's the thick, heavy kind, the waiting for the other shoe to fall. Perhaps it has something to do with the army assembled outside the town, or the siege that was just lifted. Or the near-empty stores. Whatever the cause, Anais is doing her best to prevent that tension from wearing down too hard on anyone. She's moving through the courtyard, stopping to chat with a stablehand here, a cook's assistant there. At the moment, she's stepping away from a guard in the process of repairing some of his armor, laughing st something he's said.

The Groves are newly-arrived, and it's probably easy for them to have not quite made it to formal introductions with Anais, considering the number of lords and ladies about. But Rosanna is determined to make good, and with a confirmation that yes, that lady is indeed the heir's wife, she approaches her with a brisk, bold step. She has a guard and handmaiden trailing behind. "Lady Terrick?"

Anais turns at the title, smile already in place. The flicker of worry - that it might be more bad news - disappears in the face of a new arrival, brows rising with surprise. "One of them, at least," she replies to the question, looking the other woman over for some sign of who she might be. "Lady Anais Terrick. Though I'm afraid you have the advantage of me, my lady. Did you come with one of the lords in the host?"

Though Rosanna may have a tendency to favor hour colors in her wardrobe — her current dress is a deep, hunter green — there is no /obvious/ sign upon her person. "With my brother and some of our men, my lady," she says. Then, chin lifting just slightly, she introduces herself as: "Lady Rosanna Groves. It's an honor to make your acquaintance." She dips in a rather graceful curtsy.

"Groves," Anais echoes, chin tipping upward ever so slightly in thought. "Ah! Of course. Another Lord Mallister's vassals, yes? Welcome," she smiles warmly. "Forgive me, but it's been something of a hurried education in the houses of the Riverlands lately. Still, it's nice to find others who look to Seagard rather than the Twins."

"Don't trouble yourself, my lady," Rosanna says with a slip of a smile. "We look to the Mallisters, yes. Kingsgrove is hardly a day's ride southwest. Not much of a temptation for the Ironborn, but we were left behind their lines nonetheless until the siege was broken."

Anais considers that for a moment, thoughtful. "I'm glad that your family was safe," she finally says, smile faint. "Though I imagine the waiting was…a strain. Are you traveling with the army-" She stops herself, pressing a hand to her chest with a rueful smile. "I'm sorry, look at me standing here interrogating you in the courtyard. Would you like to come inside?" she offers, turning toward the keep. "Some tea, maybe?"

"Oh, no, my lady—" But Rosanna falls quiet when Anais interrupts herself, and her smile warms and widens. "That would be lovely. I'd be honored."

"Perfect." Anais starts toward the keep, letting out a small, contented sigh. "Tea, at least, goes a long way. So, you said you weren't traveling with the army? Can I ask what your plans are?" Her smile quirks as she turns a sidelong glance on the other woman. "I'm hungry for news of the world beyond our walls, I'm afraid."

Rosanna falls in step easily, a somewhat conspiratorial smile answering Anais's glance. "Well, I don't know how much I'll have to give, having been stuck behind my own." She tips her head. "My father would never in a thousand years dream of me traveling with the army. He'd had plans to send me to Stonebridge before the invasion. I'm hoping that still is in my future."

Anais sighs, maybe just a little bit dramatic about it. "Everyone wants to go to Stonebridge," she muses. "Luci was even there during the siege. I'll be here, of course. Whatever happens." There's a rueful smile to soften those words as she leads the way inside, gesturing to a servant and murmuring a request for tea. "What's the attraction of Stonebridge?"

"It is — quite the center of a lot of activity," Rosanna says with a brightening smile. "Commerce. Society. It is a good place to advance the interests of my family."

"Duly noted," Anais laughs softly, glancing in the direction of the shore. "We'd hoped to be able to build some docks and try to develop things here after the wedding. But it seems the gods had other plans for us." She settles into a chair - where once there were small groups of seating, now there are fewer, the siege taking its toll even on the furniture. "The interests of your family," she echoes, then grins. "Anything interesting?"

Rosanna walks in with Anais and seats herself where directed with a precise ruffle of fabric. "Not yet," she says, smoothing her skirts, "but we hope that having a presence outside of Kingsgrove will help us become more — visible. Kit was supposed to come, too, although now he'll be marching off to Stonebridge—" She pauses very briefly and then continues in her previous manner of cheer. "That's Ser Kittridge Groves, my elder brother."

"Ser Kittridge Groves," Anais repeats, as though committing the name to memory. "I wish him luck, then," she murmurs, all too well aware of the fears that come with family. "I've a half-brother who was in Stonebridge when the reavers came, squiring with Ser Jarod. And my other brothers…" She trails off, catching her lower lip between her teeth. "Well, I'm not entirely sure right now. But I'm sure they're doing their best."

Rosanna offers a fluttering smile to Anais' wish of luck, though she doesn't say anything in reply to it. She listens to the other woman's worries with a keenness to her dark eyes. "I'm sure they've been fighting bravely, Lady Anais," she tells her.

"It is what we do," Anais agrees with a small smile as the tea arrives, then pauses to pour, treat, and pass over a cup. "I think there are a few others who are planning to go to Stonebridge when the host departs," she says after a sip of her own, well-doused with milk, lemon, /and/ honey. "If you've a mind to go there, perhaps we can at least arrange an escort."

Rosanna takes hers with just a touch of honey and lemon, though passes on the milk. "That would be very kind, Lady Anais," she says, taking the teacup with a rather willful precision. (She will hold it /just so/, yes.) "If others are traveling, I would be very happy for the company."

"I'll look into it," Anais promises. "I think Luci had been thinking of going back, but I don't know how she'll feel right now. In the mean time…" Her smile flickers as she looks to the other woman. "Welcome to the Roost. Usually I'd try to have some more interesting entertainment available, but. Well."

"An understandable tragedy," Rosanna says, her smile spreading with a hint of cheek. "Although it feels like I haven't had a dance in years. I hear I just missed an opportunity, though."

Anais laughs, smile flashing broad across her features. It's like a different person, younger and much more carefree. "We had a wedding," she admits. "The captain of the guard, after /decades/ of very appropriate and dutiful service, managed to find someone he cared for deeply in the midst of the siege. They wanted to marry before he rode to Seagard, and so we had a wedding. We needed it. And there was dancing." Laughing again, she shakes her head. "I can't say there was a great deal of skill involved in the music or most of the dancing, but there was happiness. And that was good. Do you enjoy dancing, then?" she asks, wistful.

"I love weddings," Rosanna declares with the surety of youth. "There are never enough of them." She sips her tea, and then her smile brightens. "I /love/ dancing. It's my favorite, without a doubt."

"You and me both," Anais sighs, setting her cup aside and clasping her hands in her lap. "When I was younger, during the Rebellion, we even had a dancing master from King's Landing at the Banefort. I loved those lessons so much. I thought," her smile slips crooked, sheepish, "That there would be more dancing in the Riverlands. You know, more people passing through, more reasons for dancing."

"Deirdra teaches me dancing," Rosanna says. "One of our retainers." She tsks lightly with her tongue. "The Terricks must be giving you a poor showing of the Riverlands, if that's been your experience."

"It's been…" Anais pauses, holding back a laugh. "Busy." Understatement of the year. "I danced with Jaremy at Stonebridge. I danced at my wedding. I even danced the other night at the wedding. I can't complain much." She tilts her head, thoughtful, then laughs once more. "I suspect it would be considered inappropriate to have dances on a regular basis right now."

"I suppose." Rosanna puckers her lips thoughtfully as if considering any way around that particular truth. "Well. We'll have something to celebrate when it's over, hm?"

"We will," Anais agrees, a quiet fierceness beneath the words. "And we'll find ways to do it when we can," she adds, looking over with a conspiratorial smile. "Wartime weddings. Children. I learned to dance while my father was away fighting with Lord Lannister in the Rebellion. It made people smile. And that's the sort of thing that people need in these times, don't you think?"

"Absolutely," Rosanna agrees with cheery conviction. "I think it's wonderful that you put together a party for a wedding right before the men march off. It must have been difficult to throw together."

"Not so difficult," Anais rolls one shoulder, flushing slightly. "Not after the siege, at least. "Besides, it was short notice, so we got to skip all the ridiculousness of sending out invitations, and arranging who would stay where, and setting up tournaments, and…Gods, after arranging mine and Jacsen's, this was a relief. For the most part, we told people there would be food, and that was that."

"Did you have to arrange your own, then?" Rosanna wonders curiously. "When you got married?"

"I did what I could to help," Anais nods, reaching for her cup to take another sip of tea. "It was…Things were complicated. The betrothal itself was only two months long, right after the whole Stonebridge debacle, and there was that mess with the Millen girl in the middle of it, and then just a few weeks before the wedding Jaremy disappeared and we had to trade out the groom, and then there was the fact that it was the Riverlands /and/ the Westerlands, and frankly, I don't know how we managed it at all," she laughs.

"It must have been beautiful, though," Rosanna says, warming to the subject. "All those people from different areas. Even with all the — complications." She sips at her tea with a restless sort of delicacy, and then asks, "Do you enjoy it, my lady? The Roost?"

Anais presses a hand to her cheek with a bemused smile. "I'd certainly like a chance to do so properly," she chuckles, sparing a look around the hall. "But barring the recent instability, I've found it quite charming. There are things I miss about home, of course," she admits. "The sound of the sea from my bedroom. The docks, and the array of people that come with them. Swimming holes in the foothills."

"Not water enough for you here, Lady Anais?" Rosanna wonders with a bit of a crooked grin.

"That sounds silly, doesn't it?" Anais grins crookedly. "These are the Riverlands, after all. I think I came to the conclusion recently, though, that it isn't so much the details of home that I miss so much as the comfort of what I've always known. And childhood." She sips at her tea, thoughtful. "I miss knowing that my parents would make everything all right, and my brothers would knock the sense into anyone who gave me trouble, you know?"

"Only a little," Rosanna replies with a close-lipped smile, her eyes bright. "But the rest sounds less silly. Missing home. I've never gotten away from Kingsgrove for any length of time."

"I hadn't left Banefort, either. Well. Outside of some short sailing trips along the coast, of course, but it's not the same. I was so excited when Father sent us here," Anais laughs at the memory, the corners of her eyes crinkling with humor. "I was in such a hurry to find a husband and be a woman grown…Be careful what you wish for, Lady Rosanna. I suppose it's what I get, running headlong into things, though."

Rosanna crosses her ankles delicately under her skirts, one finger tapping lightly but restlessly on the edge of her saucer. "I'll — try to keep that in mind, my lady."

Anais looks around at the Roost, and her chin tilts with a quiet pride. "I wouldn't trade it, though," she adds, softer. "I think it's something in fighting for a place that makes it mean so much more."

"Then I'm happy for you," Rosanna decides with a warm smile. "To be settled so."

"Tell me of Kingsgrove, though," Anais urges, smile easing. "I'm disappointed that I've not had a chance to visit it yet, given that we're such close neighbors."

"It's a very lovely place, Lady Anais," Rosanna tells her with a warm smile. "The orchards are beautiful, and thankfully untouched. All of it, really — I suppose we were not enough of a temptation for the Ironborn."

"I could wish to have been less of a temptation," Anais murmurs ruefully. "But it's reassuring to hear that there are some lands that are untouched. I suspect you'll find a good deal of trade coming your way in the coming months."

Rosanna's smile widens, and for the briefest moment, there's a hint of something sly in it before it smooths away. "We hope, my lady. I'm only happy that we have goods left to supply the lands in their need."

Anais grew up owing fealty to the Lannisters. She knows that look. She also knows there's no sense in fighting it when there's nothing else to do about it. And so she smiles faintly in return, taking another sip of her tea. "Well. If I happen to have another dance of some sort, you will be the first person I send word to, Lady Rosanna."

"That's very kind of you, Lady Anais," the younger woman replies, smoothing away any hint of impropriety in her expression as she had smoothed her skirts just earlier.

"It's terribly selfish of me," Anais winks, hiding a broader smile behind a sip of her tea. "If there's a neighboring lady who enjoys dances, who happens to have valuable resources, then certainly a dance would just be a nice way to be friendly with her, wouldn't it? Nevermind how much I'll enjoy it myself." She doesn't quite stifle a laugh, though she tries. "So there."

Leaning forward in a conspiratorial spirit, Rosanna says, "Very diplomatically done, Lady Anais." She straightens back up, smiling primly, as if no secret was passed.

Anais taps a playful finger to her nose, then sets her cup down. "Well, if you happen to find your way back to the Roost, Lady Rosanna, I will do my very best to arrange something. It will give me something to look forward to," she admits, smile flickering.

"Well, if putting together dances for me manages to give other people pleasure, there's no reason in the world for me not to let them know," Rosanna says, her eyes crinkling with her smile.

"Precisely," Anais agrees, then looks up as a servant approaches. Her smile slips crooked with a soft sigh. "It seems duty calls once more, I'm afraid. Lady Rosanna, it has been a pleasure. I hope we have a chance to meet again."

"A pleasure to meet you, Lady Anais," Rosanna tells her, all eager warmth. "I hope you are blessed with bountiful rest and peace as soon as the gods are able. This must be quite a stress."

"Bountiful rest and peace sounds wonderful," Anais laughs as she stands, smoothing a hand over her skirts to make certain everything is in place. "Gods grant it so. If there's anything you need while you're here, please just let me know. I'll be glad to see to it." And with that and a smile, she's turning back to the servant and drawn off for something that is no doubt some sort of crisis.