|Letter of Resignation|
|Summary:||Bruce has a suggestion and a request of Tyroan. Hoekenn has a few words too.|
|Related Logs:||None directly|
|Map Room, Tordane Tower|
|Described in first pose.|
|17 October, 289|
The Map Room used to be the Tower's smallest guest room, but the old furniture has been removed, and new replacements have been laid out to Tyroan Nayland's specifications, with a high table designed to be stood around in the center, and high chairs around it. A side-table holds a pitcher of Mire beer and a half-dozen tankards, and several ledgers and maps are scattered around the main table. The Steward of Stonebridge stands behind the table, pouring over a particularly thick ledger. A tankard of beer rests alongside his arm, condensation beading on the outside of the bottom half.
Bruce enters the map room with his hands rubbing together anxiously. He wears a dark, troubled look on his face, one which the stocky, sleepy eyed Master at Arms tries to disguise immediately upon crossing the threshold of the door. He succeeds, but only partially. However, he must think that he's all sorted out and dips his head to Tyroan. "Ser Tyroan. Good eve." He nod at the ledger, in silent question.
Tyroan looks up at the entrance of his Master at Arms-slash-Captain of the Guard, "Ser Bruce. Come on in." The glance at his ledger draws a snort, "Fucking history of trade agreements through Stonebridge." There's a pained groan from the Steward, and he quaffs a swallow of his beer, "It's a fucking pain in the ass, the neck, and the head." He gestures toward the pitcher with his tankard, "Get a drink if you want one. What can I do for you?"
"A pain, but important. I've been led to understand that the Maester's got a knack for this kind of thing, Ser Tyroan." There's a lag in between the words crossing Bruce's lips and the continuation of the conversation. He clears his throat. "I've come to talk to you in regards to filling the Captain of the Guard billet."
Hoekenn is walking by as he sees Bruce going into the map room, seeing if he wants to have his squire present. If so then he moves in. Being silent and letting his eyes look back and forth between the two who might be considered the most powerful men of Stonebridge right now.
Tyroan glances over at the squire who fills the doorway a moment, then looks back to Bruce, "No shit." Amusement filters over his hard features at his off-the-cuff response to the importance of trade agreements. He shakes off the comment though, chuckling a little and taking another swig of beer. "I've been listening to the Maester's suggestions. Running thoughts by him. I'm not trying to cut him the fuck out of the loop." There's no anger in the words, just assurance. "You think we need a separate Captain of the Guard? You can't handle the duties of both positions? Not like there are a fuck-ton of boys to teach around here."
Bruce's sleepy eyes snap over as he spots movement, a short lived smile popping on his face when he notices who it is, just to have it evaporate once he's patted his squire on the shoulder. "Chain of command is important. It's not that I can't handle it, it's that it puts somebody in the position to take over should I catch an arrow to the throat or something else. He can concentrate on sorting out Guard duties and administration, and he'll be under my mentoring for at least a month or two. I can concentrate on organising the levy and Guard drills both. It's my policy, and it has been the policy of those I've worked with before to have a second in command to handle those kinds of issues. The person in command focuses the group and gives its overall shape and direction and the second handles administration and the daily grind. It simplifies everybody's jobs and insulates against ill fortune."
Hoekenn listens to the conversation and sseems to follow, for once. Raising a brow as he listens. Looking back and forth. Making sure not to interupt anyone though. A smile is given to Bruce at the pat on his shoulder. Though then he finds himself standing near the wall and looking back and forth. Trying not to space out.
Tyroan grunts softly, "You've a second in the Guard, don't you?" There's a moment's thought, and then he comes up with, "Ser Amos, isn't it?" Waving off that question, he sets down his tankard, resting his palms on the edge of the table, "Master at Arms runs the Captain of the Guard here?" He grunts again, "That's fucking odd." Looking up again, he focuses his attention squarely on the man currently holding both of those roles, "I'm interested. Why's it run that way here? Then you can tell me who you think I should name to the Captain of the Guard spot."
"Ser Amos is not my second. He's the signaller for the Guards when we're on our own, and for the Stonebridge men when it's called. Nor would I suggest Ser Amos as a Captain - he is far too young and inexperienced a knight, though a good fighter." Bruce says, his voice cold and factual. "It's run like that because day to day, the Steward or Lord doesn't need to have any particular interest in the running of either the Guard or the drilling of the levy. It creates a full time leader of both corps, one who can be relied on to be a member of the Lord's staff in war or field commander in more minor actions both. The men are intimately aware and familiar with his method and way of doing things. It regularises things. It makes the organisations run far more smoothly than I've seen elsewhere in similarly sized fiefs. I was extremely concerned at working for such a small fief when I came here, having been with the Blackwoods and then the Tullies. They're big enough to have full time commanders of their full time forces and so on. However, this is the best system I've encountered for this size. Ser Rygar used to fill out, unofficially, the position I am billetted in now. And I suggest Ser Karel for it. He already acts as my second and is experienced, dedicated and professional."
Hoekenn has no clue about how things are usually done or how they should be done. So he keeps out of things and just tries to understand what is actually going on. Eyes darting back and forth between steward and master at arms. Tilting his head just a bit to the side as he tries to think about something. Though perhaps he is just trying to think about the things that the other two offered to one another.
Tyroan presses his lips together, "If Ser Amos isn't the second of the Guard, he shouldn't be in the fucking Guard, Ser Bruce. The Guard is made up of men-at-arms, not knights." It seems that in some ways, the aged Steward is a traditionalist. "And I don't plan to stick my nose in the damned running of the Guard or the militia day-to-day. That's what the Captain of the Guard is fucking for. Same way I don't plan to stick my fucking nose in the training of the squires and young nobles, if we ever get any, except my own squire. That's what the Master at Arms is for." He blows out a breath, looking at the younger Stenhammer, then back to Bruce, "I'll talk to Ser Karel, if you don't want both positions. I've only talked to him a few times. I want to get a feel for a man before I put him in a position." Even if he hasn't had much time to feel out the men he's left in positions they already held, including Bruce himself, Rygar, and others.
"He isn't in the Guard. He's a household knight who fulfills a purpose. Like other knights, he does what duties are needed of him in the Household and beyond. He helps train squires and pages, a duty that I expect all the knights to contribute. You learn all from one man, you inherit his weakness." Ser Bruce's features darken at what he perceives to be Tyroan's castigation of him. "He also holds the Standard for the Guards and has taken tasks for them before. He squired with me while I was Captain here and fought with them at war - he has much familiarity. If you are not going to stick your nose into the running of the Guards or militia, Ser, then I'd appreciate you leave these kind of decisions up to me. If you want direct control, Ser, then please let me know now and I will adjust accordingly. Am I to understand, then, that in your household the Captain of the Guard will be the one handling training of the militia completely?"
Hoekenn is standing and looking expressionless. Offering an uncertain nod to Tyroan as he is looked at. Feeling a bit uncomfortable perhaps. Though he does speak up. As usual at the time when perhaps he should be quiet. "Ser Karel is skilled enough to lead the guards if that is needed." He offers. For once addressing his father by name.
Tyroan listens to the response, nodding his head at Bruce's riposte to his interference, "Hah. Hoist by my own fucking petard." He drains off the last of his beer, then moves over to the side-table, refilling his tankard and hefting the pitcher in question, "Fine. If you want to assign Ser Amos to the Guard as Master at Arms, that's your affair." He looks over to Hoekenn, nodding his head, "I'm sure he is, lad. And I take Ser Bruce's recommendation seriously. But I'm going to talk to the man before I put him in charge of the guard and the whole of the militia." Looking back to Bruce, he nods, "And yeah. Captain of the Guard will run the militia and the men-at-arms, just like at the Mire. Master at Arms will run the knights and training."
There is not so much as a pause to think between the final words crossing Tyroan's lips and a reply coming from Bruce's. "Then I fear, Ser, that the situation will not resolve itself. I was promised a completely free hand to organise Stonebridge's forces as I saw fit. You are an experienced Captain of men and a much better soldier than I, I suspect, and should I stay on I will only chafe. My oath swore me to Stonebridge's Lord, Lord Ryker Nayland. I stayed on beyond that when Ser Riordan was regent for Lady Isolde, but that time is past and done. I offer you my resignation of oath's, Ser Tyroan, with a heavy heart. There is more." Now Bruce lets the disturbed frown that he'd so badly hid upon entering the room re-occupy a place on his lips. "My wife is at Raventree Hall, where I sent her with my sons under the threat of the Charlton host. She is ill. Very, very ill. What I and Ser Rygar had, she must have gotten. I know not how it took so long to show itself, but she… it's not good."
Hoekenn nods again as he is addressed. Though keeping silent. Though he raises a brow as he looks over to Bruce. Blinking a bit and looking in between the two men. A bit lost at the moment perhaps.
Tyroan frowns at Bruce's words, but he nods, "If that's what you want to do, Ser Bruce." He sets down the pitcher and moves back to the table, resting his forearms on the edge of the table and wrapping both hands around his tankard, "Fucking sorry to see a man of your talents go, but a man's got to take care of his wife. If you want time off to see to your wife and then to come back, you're welcome to either the Master at Arms or Captain of the Guard slot when you get back." He releases the tankard, straightening up again, "If you tell me now you want one of the spots when you get back. But if you want out, I'll fucking release you from your oaths so far as I can. Stop by the Twins to do the same with Lady Isolde on your way."
"I don't know where this is going to take me, Ser Tyroan, and I thank you for your words. I know you're not a man to use them lightly. I also don't want you to reserve any slots that can go to otherwise able men who can do well for this Household. Please, then, I ask, please release me from the oaths. If and when my wife recovers… well, I've shed many pints of my own blood for Stonebridge." Bruce smiles wryly, only the second time he's even showed a hint of positivity this entire conversation. "I'd like to come back. But I don't know if that'll be feasable, ser. I'll stay on here for a week or so to tie up loose ends, it it please." A nod at Hoekenn as he mentions loose ends, though it's likely he intended other things as well.
Tyroan nods at Bruce's words once more, "You're one of the few fucking reasons the Naylands still hold Stonebridge, Ser Bruce." He holds out his gnarled right hand, and when or if the other man takes it, he adds, "In my position as Steward of Stonebridge, acting on behalf of Lady Isolde Nayland, I release you, Ser Bruce Longbough, from your oaths after the course of one week."
Hoekenn nods in return to his knight and then looking over to Tyroan as well. Sinking in a bit into himself again. Trying to figure this all out as well. Hearing the words spoken from Tyroan to Bruce.
Bruce takes Tyroan's hand and shakes it with the firm, strong grip of a thick wristed swordsman. He smiles and upon releasing it, falls to a knee. "Ser Tyroan, it has been an honour to serve House Nayland." Then he rises, nodding. "Thank you for understanding. If my wife doesn't make it, my boys will need me and… well, I'm offering and praying to the Gods that I don't see that." He asides to Hoekenn, "We'll sort out who you're going to squire for tomorrow, lad."
Tyroan clasps Bruce's hand, nodding his bald head sharply at the other knight's words, then he leans back to help haul him up to his feet. Looking over to Hoekenn, he nods once, "Keep the lad near his father?" He nods again, "Let me know if there's anything you need for your trip, Ser Bruce."
Hoekenn nods to Bruce's words. Then looking over to Tyroan, "I was a page for my father." He offers, perhaps trying to explain that new experiences could be good for him. Perhaps the reason his father has had him in the care of other knights up to this point.
"Aye, I shall. But I think it crass for a knight to have his son for a squire, so I'll find one who'll do him right - a page is one thing, lad, but a squire another. Thank you, again. By your leave." Bruce twitches his head at the door.
"Agreed." Tyroan picks up his tankard again, taking another sip of his Mire beer, "Go on about your business, Ser Bruce. We'll get you out of here as quick as we can so you can see to your wife."
Hoekenn is still keeping silent against the wall. Though after Bruce leaves he looks to Tyroan. Ready to leave, unless the man wishes for him to stay.
Tyroan shifts his attention over to Hoekenn, setting down his tankard and popping the knuckles of his right hand against his left palm, "Go on, lad. We'll get you a new squire, or put you under the charge of the new fucking Master at Arms I've got to find."
Hoekenn nods to the man, "I understand." He offers before tilting his head. "Your son?" He suggests. Clearly not knowing a lot about him. Or any of them. But if their father is worthy of being the steward then the eldest son, at least, should be able to to a good job as any with the position of master-at-arms.
Tyroan frowns in thought, "Maybe. He's a fighter though. Not a leader. Not yet." He smirks tightly, "He's got time. Barristan the Bold, the Blackfish, and me… were just just fucking swordsmen when we were young too." He shrugs one shoulder, "Maybe your father. Maybe Ser Rygar. I'll figure it out."
Hoekenn nods, but won't speak more of such. He's only a commoner squire after all. Or rather, he shouldn't speak more of such. "An Erenford?" He suggests. Remembering that they were allied. He isn't sure how it all goes.
Tyroan groans at the suggestion, "Fuck. I'll take a bird as a dockmaster, but hells if I want one as a Master at Arms." Grunting softly, he nods, "Good thought though. Be good to keep it in the family. Suppose it'll probably end up being Ren." Eying the boy for a long moment, he nods again, "You've got a damned good head on your shoulders, lad."
Hoekenn bows, "Thank you, my lord." He offers before he will be leaving. Since he got his leave already, and will do so now to let the lord think on the things on his own for now. While he wanders off. Disappearing into his own world as he does.