Page 313: Learning From The Past
Learning From The Past
Summary: Riordan welcomes Alys to the Sevens, and the two exchange history lessons.
Date: 28/05/2012
Related Logs: Lots, probably
Alys Riordan 
The Fortress of the Sevens
The ancestral seat of House Nayland
Mon May 28, 289

When word comes out that a party from House Charlton has arrived, Riordan comes into the foyer eagerly. After all, he had given the invitation to his friend, Ser Andrey, to visit him and attend whatever nameday celebrations his sister Roslyn has planned. However, as Andrey had not given him a definate answer, Riordan is all the more eager now that he has, or so he things, arrived. "Where is he?" he asks those gathered in the foyer, a big smile on his face as he looks around for his squire-mate and boyhood companion.

Perhaps to the Regents of Stonebridge's dismay, or not, it is not Ser Andrey that shows but his little sister. Alys is dressed in a sunny yellow gown, and her long blazing red curls cascade and bounce along her back as she walks. Alabaster skin in a sea of Charlton green, and liveried guards come before and after her as a two of the girl's maidservants follow along as well. "He?" She looks about herself, "I should say Ser Riordan, I am not a he, lest you meant my guards." She quirks a sly grin, "If it is my brother you look for, I am sorry. He could not come, father has him at Hollyholt doing some form of business or another. But I have come in his stead." Alys flashes a bright smile, albeit awkward as she doesn't know Riordan all that well.

Recognition flashes across Riordan's face as he spots Alys, for though she like as not has grown since last they met, that red hair, along with her Charlton escort, is a dead giveaway. "Lady Alys!" he exclaims, and though there is a slight flash of disappointment across his face, judging by the warm smile he gives her next, it is not at her presence but simply the lack of her brother's. "Alas, I had hoped he might be able to get away, but I understand. But I am pleased to have you in my family's home. You are most welcome here." His words, like his expression, are warm and welcoming. All in all, he is the type of man who can put most anyone at ease, simply because of his forthright mannerisms and easygoing attitude.

It is almost as if the girl exhales as her whole demeanor relaxes and an easy smile slides across her face. She pushes forward through the guards with her maids and curtsies. "It has been long since we have been under the same roof, no?" She nods, "Aye, I can hold no doubt that he would be here if he were allowed." She quirks of the corner of her mouth in a half smile, "At the very least, one of us is here. Happiest of namedays ser."

One of Alys' maidservants holds a oaken box in her hands and a half scowl on her face, she has likely heard the rumors and did not like them. If Alys has, she does not show it, instead she sweeps her hand from her maid to Riordan. "Give the Regent his gift." She smiles and looks to her maid and gives her a tilt of her head. The girl slides over and opens the box, a hunting dagger lies in the box. Jewled in the colors of House Nayland. "I hope you enjoy it. I wasn't sure if you liked to hunt, but still. It is nice to look at."

Riordan's eyebrows raise at the present, and he opens his mouth to say something - but the box is opened before he can. Closing his mouth as he studies it, his smile grows, and he gives Alys a deep bow. "My lady, you and your brother honor me. It is a great present. Indeed, I do hunt on occassion, though I fear it has been some time I've done anything besides hunting frogs. Perhaps when I return to Stonebridge, I can organize a proper boar hunt." As ever, his words and tone are not simple courtesy, but said with true and genuine feeling.

"Very good, I am glad it will be of some use to you. I had worried that it wouldn't serve for any other use than a mantle." Alys chuckles and looks around the Room her guards set themselves at post near the walls and her maids take a few steps back so as not to suffocate their lady. "I had heard you went to the dance at the Twins. I fear I was far to exhausted to go. I also heard you had made quite the commotion. My brother always said you were the one getting a clout upside the ear. Perhaps not enough."

She chuckles goodheartedly, "I shant hold such actions against you, I promise, Andrey was more than likely no better, even to this day." Alys grins at this and turns her icy blue doe-eyes back to Riordan. "So this is your home then? I cannot say I have ever been. Sure I have passed by, but never inside." She smiles, "Any good stories of the place you can regale me with someday?" She waves her hand to dismiss her last, "Listen to me, this is your day and I am chittering along like a gossipmonger. Pray tell, how are you Ser Riordan." she smiles, clearly interested in his response.

"See, and as I remember it, it was mostly Andrey's ideas that earned me the clout," Riordan says with a laugh, warm and inviting. "Though yes, sadly, my family did not make as great a showing at the dance as we did at the rest of the Tournament." After all, Riordan was one of the five champions of the joust, and his elder brother Rutger took the Melee. "And yes, this is the Fortress of the Sevens, though we call it simply the Sevens. It is not as large as Harranhal, where myself and your brother were paged and squired, nor as warm as I remember Hollyholt being… but it is home, and there is no other place quite like it." Riordan offers Alys his arm, and should she accept, he will lead her further into the castle after gesturing to a servant, saying, "See that Lady Alys' things are brought to a room befitting her station." Once that is taken care of, he will turn back to Alys, saying, "To be fair, my lady, my name day was actually two days ago, and I spent the majority of it traveling. Indeed, today is actually the nameday of Lady Anais Terrick, who is also a guest of ours at the moment." He doesn't make mention of the rumors, which supposedly link Anais to Riordan in some manner. Nor does he comment on the oddity of a Terrick staying in the heart of the Nayland holdings.

Without a thought and a laugh Alys takes the knight and regents arm. He is supposed to be thought a gentleman at least. Maids following behind she smlies. "I hold no doubts, ser." Alys softly shakes her head at her brothers instigating and the rumors she has already heard. "Never you worry about what I think. I am just a woman, and not the kind to run about clucking like a chicken either. Well not on purpose. You are in luck, I know few and less to cluck to." She grins at this and raises a brow to it not being his nameday but Anais' instead. "Oh? Well I had not seen you two days from now, but I had heard you had a nameday soon a sevenday ago so I had to guess. If I have the pleasure of seeing the lady, I should grant her the same well wishes. Is her husband here for such an occasion?" Alys looks about the room, expecting to find someone who -doesn't look like a Nayland and finds none. She shrugs and smiles, "My thanks for keeping me under your roof, it would be nice to share bread and salt with you and yours sometime." She looks up to Riordan and readjusts her hold on his elbow.

"Bread and salt are yours, of course, my lady" Riordan says formally, as he leads her to the great hall, where there is some food and drink waiting, as there often is when travelers are known to arrive. After all, the guest right should be observed. "Though I should note, I am not sure there is a thing as just a woman. But I appreciate the sentiment all the same." He grins broadly to her, and will wait for Alys to take a little bit of food and drink, or alot should she be hungry. "And no, the young Lord Terrick is still at the Roost," he answers, simply.

Alys nods and takes a seat, she partakes in the traditional salt and bread. "It is kind of you to entreat me so late. I had thought to proceed on to Stonebridge, but I could not let the opportunity of seeing The Sevens to pass me by. And by the best guide nonetheless." She takes a sip of wine and rises keeping the glass. "I have also heard of your horses. I should like to see them sometime. If it pleases you of course, I have heard they are of the wildest bunch. I train horses myself so I can appreciate a nice palfrey."

"Not at all, Lady Alys. I have oft called Ser Andrey brother, for indeed, he is a brother in arms and more. We spent seven of our most formative years together. Thus, that makes us near kin, for all we know eachother little. You are gladly welcomed here." Riordan either seems unaware of the politics that might make such a welcome unfortitous - or simply doesn't care. Regardless, he continues to smile warmly as he takes a seat across from her. He pours himself a tankard of bitter Mire beer, and will sip from it idly while they converse. "Ah, is that so? Well then, indeed, we shall have to visit the stables together, perhaps on the morrow. And yes, it is true, I have always liked that challange - my destrier is the wildest of the current bunch - I claimed him on the Iron Isles, and he was near mad from all the slaughter. Whoever trained him the first time did a piss poor job, but he's since adapted well to my hand."

Alys runs through her studies in her head of the Iron Islands. "Ah, well that makes perfect sense ser." Alys takes her seat again setting her glass down and straightening her skirts, shifting until she was comfortable. Retaining her glass she continues, "Of course a horse surrounded by ocean and knowing it is going to go mad with fear." She laughs at the comment on the Iron Born's horse handling skills. "Well, they are certainly better at their reaving than their horse training, that is the truth." She calms herself and speaks on her brother, "My brother speaks fondly of you, it is true. At times it would seem he sees you more a brother than a once comrade in cause." Alys nods and smiles, "Though more kin to him than I, I should suspect. For all I hear of yours and my brothers exploits together, and seperate. I still know you less. Though I will not argue if you wish to treat me like a sister." Alys chuckles at the thought, "I guess I should say I wasn't the most attentive of sisters I suppose. But I suspect better than most." she runs her milky white fingers through her riotous, red curls, it looks as if they could burn her fingers they are so bright, but how silly is that thought?

"Oh, he was one of ours… I think. Either that, or he was taken by one of the Reavings, most like. He didn't have enough tack on him for me to identify where he came from, originally. Whatever his origin, he's a strong beast, and surprisingly quick to respond to the subtle movements of knee and weight. He just needed the right attentions, and to have a rider who could earn his trust." Riordan explains all this between sips of his beer, smile warming even further at talk of horses, which are so clearly a passion of his. "Well, when he spoke of you, I never heard anything but good. Though in truth, we did not always speak of home. We were kept rather busy, as you might be able to imagine. Lord Whent, being lord of a prominent seat like Harranhal, and a lover of tourneys, always made good use of us, and kept us sore and tired for nearly all the years we were assigned to him. Besides, I, at least, was often homesick. I missed my own sister, my dearest friend in all the world. Even the lack of the sounds of the Mire at night often left me sleepless in those early years. Keeping focused on our duties, and talk of what great knights and jousters we would one day be… it was easier, most times, then turning thoughts to family left behind." Clearly, family is very important to the Regent of Stonebridge, though likely Andrey had mentioned that fact about him, as well. "Your brother mentioned you were sent to stay at Stonebridge, I believe?" he then asks, peering over his tankard at the fire-haired lady.

"Sometimes all a horse, a good horse that is, needs is a bit of love, attention, and trust. No matter their origin or breed. It is a rare find, the Seven smiled upon you in truth." Alys sips her wine and nods, as ge talks of his time in Harrenhal. "The cursed Harrenhal, it is fortunate that you had a lord to squire under ser. It would seem that place holds nothing but ill will to it's masters." She smiles, "But those are just tales my old Septa used to tell me. Though it is odd the deaths of the heads of house." She shrugs and then smiles, "My brother told me you missed home sometimes. But you did not belly ache about it." She chuckles, "One must love Andrey for his sense of humor." she sets the glass down and rests her head on her chin. "It is also good to hold family so highly. It is an honorable thing, and I hold honor first and foremost, ser." She bobs her head to his last. "Yes, I am actually. At the Inn in town." She smiles brightly almost proud of herself.

Riordan inclines his head to Alys as regards his horse, easily agreeing with her before the talk of Harranhal draws a laugh from him. "You know, all those stories were in my head when I first set sights on the place. Mind you, I was only eleven at the time, sent to page for Lord Whent. But Seven be good, I felt even younger at that. It's…" He shakes his head, momentarily at a loss for words. "All the stories we hear, of the magic that once existed… the Children of the Forest, giants, snarks and grumpkins… When you see Harranhal, you know that they are true. That once, this land held great wonders and horrors. For what but dragonfire could render such a structure to that state?" He shakes his head a secondtime, before letting out another sharp laugh at himself. "As for a curse, though, I think that is simply in the minds of children, put there by the singers and the mummers. Seven years me and your brother spent in that place, as pages and squires both, and never so much as a hint of a curse, or anything curse-like, did we find in all that time." And then, after a long draw of beer, he turns to the matter of Alys' living conditions. "That will not do, Lady Alys. When I return to Stonebridge, I will speak to the Castellan, Lady Valda. I am sure we can find you quarters within Tordane Tower."

Again, searching through the library that is her brain, Alys smiles from her chin's place atop her hand. "The first lord to die after Aegon's landing was Harren the black. He dreamed of the highest towers in all of the Seven Kingdoms, it took him forty years to gain his dream. But still he had five towers to show for it, massive things too." She ponders that a bit. "Forty years and a weirwoods for rafters." She looks to Riordan, "Can you imagine, that long to build a dream to watch it gone and melted in the fiery breath of Aegon's dragon? I could not." She shakes her head affirming her words and then laughs good heartedly at Riordan's remark on curses. "Granted, ser. I say curse because every house that has ever held the infamous seat of King Harren the Black has met some great misfuortune. Which you would think with such rich and fertile lands they would not. Just so, if you do not believe in curses, ser. Anyone will tell you there are shades in Harrenhal at the very least." Alys nods with unmovable surety.

When the Regent of Stonebridge continues telling her of his experience of Harrenhal she replies nodding along with his and her words. "I can only imagine, just the sight of it would make one believe in the unbelievable. I bet you were shocked when you passed through the main gates." She half chuckles, "Here you are riding up to it's battlements and all you can see from the outside of this massive wall are the tops of five towers and a wall. And I have heard Andrey tell it that if one would squint, perhaps they would see scorpions the line them, as small as the creatures they are named after with how high it all is." Alys smiles, "I am sure I bore you with all this." she half chuckles. "Pray tell, do you remember the names of the Towers my lord?" She grins at her little 'quiz' of sorts and ponders his last. "I bet my cousin Aleister will not be pleased with that idea. But it is not him I worry about. My Lord-father, now he would be one I would care if I upset. Though seeing how he did not object to me coming here from HollyHolt, I cannot see him having issue with me staying at Tordane Towers. I will be safe, no?"

Alys looks to Riordan and sips her wine finishing her glass and refilling it promptly even as her maid goes to grab the flaggon. "Lady Valda, I much rather like her." Alys smiles, "I had met her at the joust, see seems kindly enough." Alys nods, "Yes, that should do quite nicely, and I should think please her as well." She sits back in the chair a little further and thinks on it a moment seemingly pleased with the proposition Riordan gave her.

"Harrenhal's Maester would be sorely disappointed if I did not," Riordan says, smiling his lopsided, boyish grin. "The Dread, Widow's, Wailing, Ghosts, and Kingspyre," he names them, by rote. He raises an eyebrow, noting, "I remember you liked books, but I don't think I ever realized just how much knowledge you must have absorbed. You should meet my sister, Roslyn. I think you two would get along famously." He pauses, taking a long draught of beer, before asking, "Did your books, or your brother, ever mention the bathhouse at Harrenhal? Seven, but I miss that. It's after the design of such from the Free Cities. Mind you, it takes getting used to, taking a bath with others, instead of the privacy of one's quarters. But there's something to be said for being able to relax in hot water and hold a pleasant conversation with dear friends." Riordan smiles, a bit wistfully, and then nods to Alys, as to her living situation. "You will have Guest Right, Lady Alys. And even if you did not, you are Andrey's sister. Your safety is assured."

Alys shrugs, "I like history Ser Riordan, it is as much of a passion to me as horses are. I did not shirk my ettiquet training with my septa if that is what you think. She was not fond of my fondness for the library. But when Father sent off for professors from Oldtown she could argue with me no further." she chuckles. "Oh yes, I have heard of the bathhouses of Lys," she blushes as it is not something a maiden should know, nor mention when the place you speak of is in your name.

Though again with a shrug, if he was to talk about it, why shouldn't she. "Though the Bathhouses of Lys and Pentos are not just for friendly conversations. Nor are Lyseni whorehouses, called such. Tyrosh alike though more so Lys it would be Courtesans. Some so beautiful that men would give up their fortunes just to be seen with them. It reminds me of Brynden Rivers, the legitimized bastard of Aegon the fifth, or well, Aegon the unworthy, and his sister Sheira. She had two different colored eyes and was said to be one of the most beautiful ladies in the realm, if not the most."

She smiles, "Though, as old tales may be told, not all are found to be true, as most are shrouded in glory. Look to the book about the Dornish Conquering if you wish to see an example of that." Alys shakes her head and sips her wine. She smiles at Riordan's last. "How lovely, then I see no issue raised besides the eyebrows from both our family members. It would please me if you would speak to Lady Valda on my behalf." She dips her head respectively to the Nayland Knight.

"You should meet my grandmother too, while you are here," Riordan says, after taking in Alys' history and cultural lesson. His eyebrows raised a bit of the young noblewoman's frank discussion of Lyseni pleasurehouses, and though he doesn't pursue that line of conversation, there is laughter and amusement held deep within his eyes. And something akin to approval, as well. "Though perhaps not - she may try to convince you to try to be a Maester, as she once did. Or at the very least, she'll tell you the story." And, as he seems to realize that this might encourage Alys to seek out his grandmother even more, he adds, mock-pleadingly, "Forget I said that." He winks to her, takes a last sip of his beer, and sets down the tankard for now. "As for Lady Valda, I am sure she will not object - and even if she does, she will not try and override me." He smiles almost smirkingly, at something Alys says, and adds, "Lately, I seem to be the master of getting raised eyebrows from others. Why stop now?"

An eyebrow he mentions and an eyebrow he gets. "A maester? Well that sounds like a very interesting tale. But I am sure it is not the place for me. It is only history and heraldry for me. I do not read much on the healing arts, nor songs or poetry. Though when I was a young girl I used to love the tomes and stories from my Septa about brave knights and noble proper ladies. I suppose that was not the plan my father had for me, and I thank him for that. I know much and many about warfare and even more about politics and histories." She grins, "You seem surprised, am I speaking off turn? I know it is not very proper, but I speak from a scholarly point of view only. I did not go looking for such information, trust." Alys chuckles, "Well, I suppose no one can claim me to be naive. Though somehow I doubt you are a chicken who would cluck of such things." She grins. "I forget everything, and pretend to hear nothing." She nods at the mention of Lady Valda, "She has asked me where I was staying once already. I suspect she had thought to ask me to join her at the towers." Alys shrugs. "Either way, I find her delightful, and she seems to find me at the very least tolerable." She sips her wine and adjusts in her chair a little.

"I am just not sure if your brother would appreciate me discussing Lyseni pleasurehouses with his little sister. Even if she is the one who brought it up," Riordan murmurs, though his eyes sparkle with that same amusement. "But no, I do not think I shall 'cluck' at you, my lady. I have enough of that myself to want to inflict that on another." Likely not surprising, given some of the rumors recently surrounding him. Which are likely odd, since he never had such when Andrey knew him well. Elsewise he likely would never have brought Riordan home, or introduced him to Alys in the first place. "Delightful, really?" Riordan then asks, as regards the Lady Valda, raising an eyebrow. "Well, then I am sure it will be pleasant to have you around."

A riotous, yet somehow singsongy, laugh comes from Alys. "Andrey said the same thing. Though instead of himself he worried about father!" Alys calms herself to a light chuckle. "I am glad you do not like Chickens for anything but the feasting table, Ser Riordan." The blazoned haired girl smiles to the Nayland knight. "Yes delightful, she was nothing but kind and matronly to me. Not a single rude remark. Why? Should I have been expecting differently?" Alys mirrors Riordan's lifted brow with one of her own.

"Oh, no, I am sure she will get on with you well enough," Riordan says, after a moment's consideration. "Indeed, she has mostly been nothing but polite and correct with me, either, in truth. Her and I just have a tendancy to butt heads on some issues… but in the end, we have mostly always worked for the same goals, and her advice tends to be nothing but sound." There is perhaps something to Riordan's tone, a cautious edge, as he speaks of the Lady Valda, but otherwise it remains mostly neutral - which in itself is probably telling. "She is the one who facilitated me wearing her daughter's favor, since the Lady Isolde could not attend due to her position. For that, I am grateful."

"Ah, and I had thought it was her favor you wore, not the Lady Isolde's. I had spoken to her about the babe. She told me it was close now. She is proud of her daughter, being Lady Tordane, I have respect for that as most would, it is an honorable thing to have pride for your family members highest points." Alys smiles, "Do you not agree, ser?'

"Of course. Pride in one's family, duty to one's family, are the highest points of honor for me. Without one's House, and the ties of blood, we have nothing." Riordan considers Alys, as he holds out his tankard to the side, and waits while a servant refills it with more Mire beer. "In truth, that is the one thing that Lady Valda and I tend to hold as our common ground. She is, after a fashion, family to me, as Isolde, her daughter, is my late brother's widow, and her grandchild is my niece or nephew." He shakes his head, quirking a wry smile. "It is unfair that so much rests on a single child, still unborn, don't you think? People often think it is a curse to be born a lesser son, but I thank the Seven for having been born with that freedom I grew up with, even as I know have given up much of it for duty to my Lord Father and family."

"If we do not have family, what can we say we have. It is our house that gives us our name, but it is our family that gives us meaning. It is good to have common ground with her. She seems reasonable enough." Alys nods, "Consider, that child is the future of Stonebridge. It might be a small holding, but, it is not meaningless by any means. So much wight for such a small child." Alys sighs lightly, "I suppose I have a little of that, but I am not a lady of a house, I can not deem to even fathom what that child will go through. I pray to the mother for their health at the sept whenever I can get to it. And quietly to myself nightly. A mother with child and the child within should never go without prayer. Poor dears."

"A small holding perhaps, but made large by so much contention circulating it, this last year," Riordan agrees, idly, taking a draw of beer from his tankard once it is refilled. "But yes, you are right, both Lady Isolde and her child have great weight on them. But they are not alone. My whole house supports them. I support them.." He gives a small smile, adding, "I do what I can. I was not born a courtier, but my father has seen fit to give me his trust with the position of Regent, and so I manage, with the wisdom of true advisors. Hopefully, I can provide at least some relief to her, and thusly, to her child."

Alys finishes her glass of wine and holds it out for a refill when he mentions contention. "Lady Valda never mentioned any sort of issue, I hope it is not too serious." she says with a look of mild concern. "Children, especially unborn children and their mothers should not be through such stressors, you do her a great kindness trying to shield her from that. Perhaps you have a bit of chivalry left in you after all Ser Riordan. I am sure you give her some form of relief, at the least you give her one less thing to do." Alys smiles and pats the man on the arm and smiles. "I am sure you are doing just fine."

Once more, Riordan apparently finds cause to raise his eyebrow and study Alys - althought the pat on his arm maintains the smile on his face, even as he does so. Finally, whatever he finds in her expression, or doesn't find, leads him to ask, "How aware are you of the politics and the events that surround Stonebridge this past year, since my House's hold over the place?"

"Not enough apparently. It does not help when you find yourself unawares. The Seven bless my father for being kind enough to shield me from it all. But as you can see, it did me no good and even makes me look more the fool." Alys' cheeks pinken a touch in a sort of blush.

"Not a fool, no, never that, my lady," Riordan says, giving her a soft and easy smile. "Especially not with so much history in your head, and the wisdom, I think, to learn from it. However…" And here he pauses, considering her for a long moment, before finally continuing. "If you are to live in Stonebridge, in Tordane Tower no less, you should know what has passed before. And you should know why our families might raise their eyebrows at you being a guest, either here or at the Tower." He lets her take this in while taking a single sip from his tankard, before asking, "Shall I tell you what has come to pass, as best I know?"

Alys smiles warmly, "You are to kind Ser Riordan." the young Charlton girl pays attention as he continues. When he finishes she nods, "Of course ser, if you believe it is something that I should know. By all means regale me in the tale." She sets down the empty glass of wine and gives Riordan her full attention, "Proceed ser, I want to hear what you have to say." Concern strikes her brow as it furrows with question.

Riordan gestures for a servant to refill Alys' glass with wine, while he then sets about giving the Lady a history lesson of his own. He starts with the groundwork - the Tordane family tree, and how Isolde came to be, six years past, Lady of Stonebridge, with her mother, the Lady Valda, her keeper. He explains how, over the years, after the Terrick's heir at the time, the young Lord Jaremy, failed to make a formal betrothal and marriage alliance with Isolde, Lady Valda arranged an alliance with House Nayland to Riordan's late brother, the young Lord Ryker. Thus giving rise to the Cadet House which Riordan rules over as Regent, House Nayland of Stonebridge. From there, he explains the recent contentions - how Isolde's father's bastard, Gedeon Rivers, came back from the Free Cities, bearing a supposed letter from the late Lord Tordane, stating that Gedeon was legitimized and Isolde was a bastard. He goes on to account for the political manueverings that saw Isolde reaffirmed as legitimate by Lord Tully, but how the Lord Paramount sent the claim on to the King himself, who only recently declared that Gedeon was indeed Gedeon Tordane, and the true heir to that until then deceased House.

As the story catches up with the most recent events, Riordan slows a bit in the telling, as if leading up to something unpleasant. Even when he explains the Duel at the Bridge, the formal Trial by Combat that saw Gedeon's claim undone, there is still the sense of something waiting, something that Riordan seems reluctant to speak of. Finally, it is realized as he says the words, "And then Lady Danae Westerling stepped forward from the crowd, and claimed Gedeon's sword, saying that he was her husband, and the sword would go to her son…" And it is there he stops, clearing leaving quite a bit out, but pausing to take a long swig from his tankard, and to allow Alys to take in what has been said so far. And, even though Riordan was not there for all of the events that happened, especially the earlier ones, he says it all with utter conviction, the tone of a man who, when not speaking of things learned first hand, speaks of things learned from a source or sources that he trusts beyond repute. The last, though, the words about Danae… those seem to speak to something deeper.

Unlady like it must have been but Alys sits back in her chair, nearly slouching. Nodding to bits here and raising a brow there as Riordan recants his claiming of events. The beginning bits are no more than vaguely familiar, but the last bits gives her pause. "I had know the Westerling mines are long since dried up, but I did not think that her family would allow her to have fallen to lies." Not once did she question him, nor claim his words to be falsehoods. "I believe you, Ser Riordan. How could I not, the brother of my brother." She quirks a solemn smile at her jest. "I am just sorry you seem to be thrust in the middle of it all." Alys heaves a small sigh and takes in whatever else he may have to say.

Riordan gives Alys a smile, but it is muted and bittersweet, and he only nods distractedly to her assurances before speaking again. "Lady Danae… it was not all lies with her. Once there was only truth, in fact. Now… lies are all she has left." And that is where the story gets interesting, at least from an outside perspective. And also personal. In tones of genuine conflict but overall, truth and utter frankness, Riordan tells Alys about he and Danae. He gives the full tale of their courtship and love, telling of the affair between the two of them, and of Gedeon and Danae. That last is spoken with apparent pain, for all that he has largely accepted it by this point, and tries to hide the rest. He even speaks of the suppositions that Danae might be fitted for puppet strings soon - quite possibly, given recent sightings and rumors surrounding Aleister Charlton and Alys' father, with House Charlton being that very puppeteer. He continues to remain honest with Alys throughout it all, giving her the tale in full truth as he knows it himself. And, when he is done, he will let that history lesson sink in, and soon enough will quietly excuse himself, letting Alys find her room and rest from her travels.