|Summary:||Ser Jarod gets a wife, fired, de-spurred, and a new name all at once.|
|Related Logs:||The Jarod/Rowan logs. Links later, blah, blah|
|Reading Room — Four Eagles Tower|
|Books and a very sad lord.|
|Fri Apr 20, 289|
Ser Jarod Rivers - if he can truly call himself that anymore - comes as bidden before Lord Jerold. Quickly. He was probably lurking nearby, eavesdropping for yelling that never really came. The quiet may have been worse. He's a shade paler than usual, downcast and sad. But he does manage to meet his father's eyes before bowing and offering him a sober, "M'Lord." That's all that comes at first. "My lord I…" He has to stop, and start again. "…I'm sorry I wasn't the one to tell you, but she wanted to face up to you herself. Though she owed it to you. And I…" He stops again, and this time he doesn't seem to know where to pick back up.
"You allowed a woman to undertake the courageous act of confession in your stead," Jerold concludes his son;s hanging line. "What is your name, now?" he wonders quietly. "Though I look upon you and see my son, I cannot help but see you as Jarod Nayland, who has lied to me and betrayed my trust. How in the Gods' names could you have kept this from me?" the Lord of the Roost asks, with a slow shake of his head.
Jarod shakes his head, flinching when he's called 'Jarod Nayland.' "I wont be, father. I…she's disowned. She can't call herself Nayland anymore. Like Jaremy. Lord Rickart won't let her keep her family's name once he knows what she's done. Who she is." He takes another breath. "She'll likely become Rowenna Asterholm, just as Jaremy's Jaremy Middleton. Or…" He's sort of flailing on this subject. "Perhaps I can take my mother's name. I mean, if that's possible. I…I don't really know, my lord. But…" He composes himself, at least a little. "I have tried to follow my conscience in my dealings with her this last year. And my heart. And though the world will see it as dishonor for me, the one thing I truly regret is that I broke your trust, father, and for that I am very sorry. But you would have sent her back to her family. You know you would've. And you know what they would've done to her."
"I would have sent her back, Jarod," Jerold confirms, "Because Rowan Nayland was entrusted to my care as a ward, and I gave my word of honor that I would protect Rowan Nayland as one of my own blood. Not only have you broken my trust, Jarod.. you have forsworn me," those last two words crack. "What do you think this will do, when rickart Nayland learns of it? He sends his son to me, and for five years it is instead a daughter. Who, to add further to my infamy, has married my son, without his consent. Do you realize, even now, what you have done to this House?"
"I…" Jarod's voice chokes. All he can do is nod. "…I will go to Seagard, my lord. When I am dismissed from you House." He seems to have no doubt that is how this conversation will end. "And I will tell Lord Patrek you knew not of this. That the disgrace was mine, and mine alone. And I, and she, will throw ourselves upon our liege's mercy. I'm not your true son, my lord, just your bastard, I don't…I'm not a Terrick in name, and so I was praying what I did would not fall so hard on you as if I were."
"If I thought the girl capable of it, I should wonder whether Rowenna were sent here to achieve such infamy, but no," Jerold voices, with the wooden composure slumping out of his shoulders. "You are my son, Jarod. Though not a Terrick, you are as much my son as was Jaremy. And your infamies are mine just as were his. I gave my oath that I would look after Rickart's child, and my failure in that is mine, just as your betrayal of trust is your own." A slow breath is drawn. "Though I am forsworn, I will not be unfaithful, as well." He drags his eye up to fix upon his natural son. "I will write to Rickart with this shameful word, immediately. If I am five years forsworn, I will not let it be five years and a fortnight."
"No, my lord, no!" This seems to put some steel back in the deflated Half-Eagle, if only to defend she who called herself Rowan Nayland. "She loves you. She's loved this house. And she's served it as well as anyone who's squired for the Terricks. She bled for you on the Iron Islands. At more risk than any man there was under if she was caught by the reavers, you know that. The knighthood was everything pure and good and noble to her, as it was here especially." As for the letter. A terse nod. "I will be gone in the morning, then. If we linger it shall only be to speak with Lord Martyn or Lord Kamron, so they know you knew not of this. Tell Lord Rickart we shall…" He swallows hard. "…we shall return be dealt with by him in turn, when that is done."
"You will remain here, until I have given you leave, Jarod," Jerold counters promptly. "Knighthood is built upon leal service, Jarod. You have broken that trust and though you are still my son, you must be punished for that act." Though pained beneath his gravity, the Lord of the Roost rises to his feet- with more difficulty than he had needed in months past- "Ser Jarod, son of Jerold Terrick, Lord of the Roost, I your liege Lord strip you of the trappings of your rank which I have given you. You will keep your rank as a knight, and your sword, for only the Seven can strip what a vow to the Seven has granted. You remain my son, and while you and those of your household," a tacit inclusion of Rowenna, "Will always be afforded a place in my hall, it shall not be as a knight in my service."
Jarod kneels as it's done. Part in ceremony, part because his legs just seem to give. He doesn't bow his head, though, doing his best to keep his green eyes upon his father's. Their eyes are so alike. He does not look a bit surprised. Save by part at the end. "I will…" He trails off again, detouring to what he seems to deem a safer thing to say first. "You can perhaps sell my gear for decent coin as its make goes, my lord, it is well-maintained. Though I would ask you see Symeon goes to a good man-at-arms. He is a fine charger, and has always been a good and sturdy companion to me."
"It is no longer your concern, my son," Jerold states quietly as Jarod begins to make suggestion on the disposition of his horse and harness. The last words be offers before dismissing Jarod are, "I had always hoped to see your wedding, Jarod. Go now. Attend your wife, and await my word."
"I had always wished you to, my lord." And Jarod does sound truly sorry for it, as he stands. "But you would not have let me have her, if you know who she was. I almost think more because she's Lord Rickart's daughter than because of all she did. All we did." He does half-turn, but he doesn't quite go yet. Instead his head whips back around and he asks, "What in seven hells was I supposed to do, father? Tell me. Please. Because I've no bloody clue. I tried. You know. When she told me of her true self, no long after the tourney in Stonebridge, I did dismiss her. Even though I couldn't bring myself to name her openly, and have her sent back to the Mire to be used in whatever ill way her father would have done for her. I thought that might make things less…I tried, my lord, for you, I really did. I just…couldn't. I couldn't bring myself to be rid of her. Whatever you think of her, father, she has been confidante. And my best friend. And I love her, and I fucked it up in so many ways but I am trying as best I know how to honor her. As much as I can, with whatever I've got left. Because I owe her that, and even if it comes to ruin, even if none of it was worth it, I…what was I supposed to do?"
Despite his dismissal being defied, Jerold cannot muster any ire. As Jarod goes on and on, his father simply retakes his favorite chair by the window through which sunlight has long since ceased to shine, and turns his green eyes up at Jarod. "Love is a difficult thing, my son. It can make faithful men compromise and see vile men redeemed. There are events in all men's lives which are beyond their control, and mistakes that are made which can never be taken back. All any man can do, after such days in our lives.. is behave with as much faith as we can." He holds his son's eye. "You chose keeping faith with Rowenna over keeping your faith with me. Over your oath as a knight to his lord, and as a son to his father. You chose her over the good of the House in which I raised you." Again he exhales, with difficulty and offers, "You have made your choice, and I pray to the Seven with all my heart that it will bring you happiness."
"There was never a way to do right by both of you, father. I looked for it but it just made everything worse and it made me someone I didn't like very much. I'm not sure what I am now, but at least I'm not that anymore. Aye. Is a difficult thing indeed." As for the last, Jarod swallows again. "I hope it might. I know what I chose and all I can hope is that I can build a life on it that you might one day not look too poorly on. I will try my best, and I think so will she." He clears his throat. "I promise you I won't leave the Roost until Lord Rickart…does what he'll do. But we should not stay beneath your roof, my lord, it will seem you condone what we did. We can afford a room at the Rockcliff for a little while after that…I don't know, father, I'll figure something out."
"What goes on within a Lord's House is upon the Lord's honor, Jarod. You know that," Jerold voices wearily. "If you are married in the eyes of the Seven, there is nothing you can do that shall stain my name further. But if it is your wish, you have my leave to go into town, to seek your lodging."
"By your leave, father," Jarod says, simply and low. And with that he takes his leave.