|Summary:||Rygar gives a lesson in discretion to Isolde.|
|Related Logs:||Sibling Rivalry, Sticks and Stones|
|Tues August 2, 288|
Rygar Nayland answers the summons in reasonable time. While he did not come running upon recieving word that the Lady of the House wished words with him, in short order the lean knight's long, purposeful strides carry him into Isolde's presence. "Lady Isolde," he greets, offering the by-now familiar short, clipped bow.
In the main room by herself, Isolde pours over some letters from her family's records. Fingers brush over them and she reads with a cup of summer wine in hand. She stands, bent over them with her eyes flitting in her frustrated scanning. She straightens and draws deeply of the wine, her hair unbound and dress somewhat loosened in the early evening, as if she readies to retire. Fingers tap against the goblet before she leans back over, pulling a piece of parchment from the piles to stand at the fore of her attention. Looking up as Rygar enters, the faint candlight throwing his face to soft shadows, she nods her head and dips a faint blemish of a curtsey. "My Lord Rygar, thank you for coming.." She gives the records another look before she asks of him, "Wine, my Lord?"
"None," Rugar returns to the offered wine. "The Lady has business of the Household to discuss, I am told," the stern knight intones evenly as he 'relaxes' into a proper courtier's stance: heels close together, elbows at his sides, with one hand behind his back, and the other composed across his stomach.
Setting her own goblet down, she sighs and gives a nod, "You heard correctly, my Lord." Isolde studies his face before turning to the hearth and making a motion with her hand to her lips in thought. Letting it fall back, she looks at him from the length of her shoulder. "Tell me how are the Nayland sworn finding their stay? I am curious to see if Stonebridge is agreeable to them and if we have had any notes of distaste from the smallfolk. I would like to make certain that things are unfolding smoothly for all in attendance."
"The Nayland levied troops have found the town agreeable," Rygar returns. "The libations distributed to the townsfolk in your husband's name have smoothed their arrival, but they will soon be disbanded and returned to their homes. In their place, I advise your Ladyship together with your Lord Husband to pass an edict ordering two hours of every Sunday be set aside for able bodied men within this domain to train at arms and formation, save for those whose trade in some way supports martial pursuits." A breath drawn. "Those of the Nayland name are becoming acquainted with Stonebridge, though I will not speak to how they find it, Lady."
A slow nod of her head as he speaks of the training, "We can see to the training being set into place. I would agree with this wise decision if not only for the fact we had the Greyjoys at our door not long ago." Isolde makes a thin line of her lips and shifts, turning back about as she smooths a hand to her skirt. "If you can not speak for them, then they shall speak for themselves. I would like to see them assembled on the morrow beside those of Tordane that will be pledging to Lord Ryker. They need to know ally to enemy, allegiances have changed and I wish to see how tey take to it. Though they may not speak it, body language will prevail in the truth of the matter." She expels a breath, tired. "Do you think it wise to double the blacksmith and see to it that all swords and armaments of both sworn are repaired and sharpened. It will take a toll on the coffers, but I feel it is necesarry considering."
"A populace under arms learns discipline and self respect, Lady," Rygar notes crisply to her assent, due to the cited Greyjoy threat. "While drill costs nothing, preparation is priceless. Even if neither Ironborn nor Terrick were to set foot within Stonebridge in anger, training of the populace to its own defense is worth any volume of complaints from the smallfolk." As for the swearing, he nods once. "All those who are to serve at your court shall do so. Do the former Tordane sworn lack for loyalty, Lady? Be assured we of Nayland recognize our friends." A breath drawn before he answers the last. "No. Commissioning smiths will send a belligerant signal to the west, while any sworn worth his sword will keep his harness at war readiness, even in peace."
Her arms fold before her and Isolde allows herself the counsel offered. Her brows furrow deeply and she rubs at her neck a moment. "The Tordane sworn…there are a few that talk but I am going to make it apparent tomorrow, that those that do not show their loyalty and step forward to swear, will be let go. I will not have our safety undermined by those that are disastified." Green eyes lift to look at the Lord. "It is better to look for swords who come willingly than those that hesitate. If they are loyal we will know tomorrow." She falls silent in regards to the smiths and then reaches for her wine, drinking of it slowly. "It would be best as the new Lord and Lady of Stonebridge that my Lord husband and myself make a trip to Terrick's Roost to speak of the changes that are going to come and seek their table to speak of understandings. They will grow restless to find Nayland at their borders."
"An exchange of letters prior to such a visit would be more wise, Lady," Rygar voices in his familiar stern manner. "So recently wed, it would damage the unity of your rule by so quickly vacating Tordane Tower. I say remain a week in Stonebridge before considering any such trip. A month would be more fitting," he opines, afterward. Belatedly addressing the former point, he nods, sharply, once. "Any who cannot continue to serve your interests do not deserve the Lady's trust. I am in assent."
THe time span he offers to wait draws a deep furrow again and she hmphs to herself in thought. Green eyes flit to the pile of scattered recrods she ahd been looking at to nod to him once more. "We will thin out the ranks to those loyal tomorrow, any man that wish it, can leave without retribution for abandoning his oath. He will be washed clean and sent on his way. Yet, there must be a missive sent to Terrick's Roost. A gesture of good will in these times of change." She presses. "I do not wish our borders to the west to become something contested so quickly. I am certain Terrick men already ride it's borders to watch and gather intel. Better to put to ease the fears of Lord Jerold than to make his thoughts stew to become a larger mess."
"Nothing will put Jerold Terrick at ease more surely than the reports of his own men, Lady," Rygar states plainly. "Let his men ride. Let them spend their every vigilance searching for some breach of trust. They shall not find it. Lady, we are winning the peace. There is no need to tempt war. Especially in light of the recent allegations against your good name, it would ill become the Lord and Lady of Stonebridge to be seen as so quickly abandoning your rightful inheritance. If you wish to send peaceful overtures to the Terricks, you may do so, but do it not in person."
Her chin lifts at the mention of her legimacy to her position and Isolde's gaze darkens. "My Lord Rygar, I appreciate your counsel, I understand you concern of not abandoning Stonebridge so quickly. I merely meant we should send a letter to the Terrick Household, nothing more. I do not have deaf ears when I ask for aid in such matters. I will not be riding from Stonebridge as you have suggested…" Her goblet empty, is once more set aside. "So my mother spoke with you then, I think you would care to hear the results of having the script analyzed.."
"The script analysis matters naught, Lady," Rygar returns simply. "Were there any truth to the rumors, your Lady Mother would rule Stonebridge. The slanders are false, and you do. It is a transparent effort to destablize the legitimate rule of yourself and your husband, nothing more." The words are spoken as simply as when he had recounted the training schedule desired for the Stonebridge levies. "I would wish to examine such letters, given the opportunity, so as to best determine who it is that agitates against us, but the slanders themselves are of no account."
"Well if Gedeon believes in them…it means he was give them by either my father or someone who spoke for my father. This would mean, if they are forgeries, it would be from one of great skill and upon having no knowledgeof Oldstones, I am inclined to start there." Isolde tells him. "Tell me Lord Rygar…what do you know of House Valentin nobles and retainers. Their skills? Their goals. If anything, minor things will aid in my understanding of them. Gedeon could not reproduce such affects…at least to my knowledge of his skills five years prior. But how long a he been in the care of the Lord Anton. That is what gives me pause."
"Oldstones is a tanner's camp pitched atop an ancient ruin, Lady. That is not the place where masters of counterfeit are to be had," the severe knight states with a sniff. "What the usurper wishes or believes is of little account. Gedeon Rivers has no legitimate claim upon Stonebridge. He is either a liar or a fool to believe otherwise." He makes no statement as to what he thinks of others who might believe these letters. "It is my intention to gain a better understanding of the Knight of Oldstones and his retinue, but at present, I expect them to become bannermen to Hag's Mire within the year."
"You think they will with the open courting the Lord Anton was doing to the Lady Lucienne Terrick?" Isolde pointedly asks Rygar. "He sought her for a dance and gave her a rose and I have it under word that he may possibly have traveled to Terrick's Roost." She falls silent, letting that set for a moment before she sighs. "I have the letters.." She intones, lifting her chin. "I am thinking of giving them back, to destroy them gives them legitmacy to this false claim." She does her best to set her expression.
"Then the lord is wise," Rygar states non plussed to Anton's supposed courtship. "Oldstones has nothing to lose by courting Terrick friendship. I wish the Lord Valentin well in his attentions. But unless he is a fool, he will not risk Nayland ire. And nothing I have heard of seen of the man paints him a fool." Then, as Isolde speaks further on the subject of being in possession of the letters, the stern knight states, "As noted before, I should like to review these letters, so as to determine who may stand behind these shallow slanders, Lady."
"Nothing to lose but Nayland. I was only questioning your certainty of his ..allegiance to our House." Our. Isolde shifts and moves to walk the length of the room. "If ou wish to see them, they will be only seen in my presence, do we have an accord?" She questions him, regarding him for a long moment. "I will be glad to retrieve them for my Lord, but they are to stay in my possession for the time." Her hands press together before her as she waits for his answer.
Rygar simply nods to the conditions, caring not enough to contest the stipulations. "Ser Valentin may not yet be aware of how certain his allegiance to our House shall become, but I expect a conversation shall be enough to determine this. He and his retinue travelled west to Terrick's Roost, yesterday. I intend to call upon our neighbors, and would be pleased to deliver a letter in your Ladyship's name, with all due courtesy."
At the comment of swaying Valentin with word, Isolde merely nods, leaving him to that for the moment, worrying over the letters more. "I would be glad to have something written for you to take by the morrow." Shifting over to the pile of records, she lifts the edge of a heavy book to withdraw the four folded letters, drawing away the top one that calls her 'cricket' and is the one carrying the most weight. "The seal is broken it means the letter is forfeit…" She hesitantly extends it to him to look at.
"The seal is so smashed as to be unrecognizable," Rygar states with a further sniff as a keen blue eye inspects the aged wax. He reads down the letter, before folding it ansew and pronouncing, "There are no grounds for this to be aught but an endorsement of the wrongful usurpation of Stonebridge, Lady. I care not whether this is said to be your father's hand, the letter is lacking in understanding of the King's Law, and carries no weight. I would advise against burning it only because its destruction would prevent others from arriving at the same conclusion. When there are no more important matters at hand, I should like a look at the remaining missives, Lady."
"I agree, to destroy such a letter would lend support to whoever created it to despose of me." Isolde intones and the extends her hand for it. "The other missives are dated at the time of my conception, my Lord. But in the matter of birthing; which I am familiar to, we know that children can be born early and late. I am seeking the answers to this in my case. I am looking to find out more. I am inquiring to the maesters and with septs to find dates and approximations. Even if these three letters are real…the mother has ways of delaying a birth, my Lord. It is not uncommon." She offers the letters to him. "My main concern are these letters and the sworn for now. I thought to return these letters and let Ser Gedeon proceed a he wishes. Let them see the broken seal and more. Or do we seek higher justice and give these Lord Hoster to study and ascertain?"
"My own sons were born at thirty-seven, and thirty-four weeks," Rygar states curtly. "Your Ladyship pays an unseemly degree of mind to such clear slanders. As the latter statement, the knight frowns. "Returning? Lady Isolde, that would be pure folly. One does not disarm a would-be usurper only to hand him back the knife and bid him improve his aim." A derisive snort. "Hoster Tully need not become involved in a matter of groundless slander. There is no higher justice needed, as there is no injustice present. To my knowledge, the usurper's own Lord has not spoken in support of Rivers' claim, it would be a mistake to treat this as aught but base insult."
A brow raises and she looks to him, "It is obvious my Lord, that though I will claim my right to my position, it is bet to cement it with pure fact as well." Isolde says. "If it should come to the question of it. I would like to take care that I have something to lay to rest the doubt of those that question." Her tone sharpens some. "The letters are in my care, Lord Rygar and not Gedeons. That is what matters. I do not intend to release Stonebridge on the truth these letters claim to represent. But it does not stop others from speaking of it. Base insult it may be, it is a damaging one."
"Do not release the letters, Lady," Rygar re-emphasizes, with a stern frown drawing his brows together. "What then does your Ladyship propose?" he prompts as Isolde speaks to 'cementing with pure fact'.
"The letters remain in the Hall and will not go." Isolde compromises with him before she lets out a breath. "I need you to deliver word to my Aunt, Arianna Terrick, sister to my late father what she knows the dates of his leave to the Crag and to my onception." She stops and the nods her head, "I have sent a raven to the Crag already to have the dates of the tourney confirmed on the year of my birth. And if they have record of his attendance or participation. Lastly are my birth records. That is all I have besides my mother's word." She dips her head. "If my Lord has any other suggestion, I am open."
"Your Ladyship shows unseeming public concern for such allegations," Rygar states crisply. "Your attentions lend undue credence to what otherwise would be dismissed as a common letter from an uncertain hand. "I would that your Ladyship had taken council before sending ravens to foreign houses," is added, with an edge of displeasure beneath his cold formality. "A bastard son with an unsupported letter is no threat to a trueborn heir. To treat it as anything otherwise publicly invites speculation." To the offered compromise: "They shall remain here, then? In this hall?"
Isolde's cheeks flush with color at his words and she stares hard at the Lord. A slow breath drawn and then released, she makes no further comment of the matter of Ravens. "A bastard son with a letter so expertly forged as to fool a Septon of great skill, might I remind you." Her gaze remains a moment before she turns and then collects all the letters to herself, brushing a finger to them in thought. Her downward gaze rises and she asks smoothly, "Where else are they to be held?"
"Where stands this Septon in line to the Throne?" Rygar answers curtly. "For unless he is like to become King, his word means nothing in this matter. Gedeon is now a bastard with a letter supported by a septon, where before you sent this inquiry, he was a bastard with a letter wholly unsupported. Do you see, yet?" he demands, stern of voice. "Pay it no more mind. Send no more Ravens. Has it not occurred to you that this usurper could do no more damage to you with so flimsy a weapon, apart from giving it you to wield against yourself?" A short snort of disdain. "In your keeping seems the least safe place for these letters to lie, Lady. I imagine your Lord Husband did not react calmly to thier existance?" he hazards, with a dry edge to the words.
"As you seem so intent on pointing out my faults in this matter," Isolde steps forward and stands closer to the Lord, her head tilting to look up at him. "I have done as my conscience bid me, as perhaps young and foolish as these moves might have been, it is perhaps more for me than for others." Her gaze narrows and she lifts the letters between them. "He was not happy to learn of them but he has given his full support in fighting this claim that has risen in the form of this letter…so then tell me. If not burn them and not in my care, not be returned or given to a higher lord for inspection; where shall they be kept?"
"Safe, Lady Isolde," Rygar returns unflinching, his stare unsoftened. "Keep them with one whose sole interest in them is the stability of your trueborn rule. Keep them where they shall remain quietly intact toward your defense should they be needed, and where they shall bring you no further emberassment. The Lady acknowledges that her judgement in this is .. colored by emotion. Give them to me, and it shall be as I have said: safe, intact, and silent."
Never one to expect a kindness from the icy man, Isolde is not disappointed. Hesitation takes her and then slowly the letters are extended to him. "Keep them safe then and let this matter rest until it arises again. Since you have spoken that they should not be destroyed, I trust in your word, Lord Rygar." There is distrust still in her gaze, but she releases them all to his hold.
Rygar's stiff fingers close around the offered documents, even as his cold blue eye remains fixed on Isolde's green. That matter settled, he moves cleanly on with business. "Regarding the matter of the Terricks, I intend to send a rider with word of my visit tomorrow. I expect to follow myself before week's end. Whatever missives you wish to prepare ought be writ, signed, and sealed by then, Lady."
The weight of the letters is gone from her presence and amidst her relief is a twinge of uncertainty. Isolde nods slowly, "I will have the letter of good will by that time for you, my Lord." Isolde steps back, turning to begin gathering the records and sheefs of parchment. "If that is all we have to discuss, we will see to the sworn on the morrow then. For now, I must see to my Lord Husband and you have your own things to attend to." She looks to the letters in her hands, "Lest you have something else to speak of?"
Rygar shakes his head to the negative. "Speak with your Lord Husband on the subject of drill for the smallfolk, and my business with your Ladyship is complete for the nonce. Lady," he notes, offering the same short, sharp bow.