|Letters for the Lady|
|Summary:||Rygar brings Isolde the testament her mother has kept from her for years.|
|Date:||11 Nov 2011|
|Related Logs:||All of the letter logs.|
|Isolde's Chambers - Riverrun|
|Nov 11 288|
Other unexpected meetings have kept her stowed away, enjoying the solitude of her rooms while Ryker continues to catch up with old acquaintances. Isolde still feels a little unwell, rubbing at the back of her neck a moment with a cool cloth that her hand maid has given her. A sigh escapes her lips and the cloth is left to sit at her neck, holding her hair up to keep it free of her. She looks out her small window, seated next to it. The door is partly open as is the window to help the air move through the room.
Even bootfalls can be heard to approach, preceding a sharp knock upon the door, and an all-too-familiar voice addressing her retainer outside. "Inform the Lady Isolde that I wish to speak with her.
Perhaps the Mire had not been -all- that bad considering. Hearing him, Isolde nods and hands the cloth to Asha to refresh for her, moving her hair to rest over her shoulder. "You may enter, Lord Rygar. Do come in." She lifts her voice in that request and remains seated where she is, looking a little pale.
Rygar steps into the chamber with his habitual stiff manner. "Lady Isolde," he greets with a sharp, proper bow to the still seated lady. "If you have recovered from your travels sufficiently, I would speak with you on the subject of your father's Testament." A token mention of her ill health, before the stern knight gets to the point.
"I am well enough, if you would sit with me, my Lord." Asha returns and places the cool cloth to the back of Isolde's neck and then moves to bring her a cup of water as well. "I heard murmurings of such a thing….though I must say my mind was elsewhere…" She admits and then looks up to the tall knight. "Please, tell me of it."
Rygar inclines his head sharply, reaching into his doublet to draw out a paper reduced by two folds, before seating himself as requested. "The Lord Paramount holds the original, yet I thought it only fit that you review such prior to entering his presence, Lady." The two-page copy is handed to the pale Lady of Stonebridge.
Reaching for the folded paper, she lets the cloth drape at the back of her neck. Isolde unfolds it and begins to look it over, reading through her father's own script. She pauses before continuing. "Why has this only surfaced now?" She checks for the seal and stamp to make certain, but reads on through the letter, a hand lifting to place a finger to her lips.
As a copy, the letter Isolde holds carries no seal or stamp, nor is it in her father's handwriting. The true document remains under the close scrutiny of Hoster Tully's scribes. "I should imagine that the embarassment it might cause your Lady mother is outweighed by merits of proving Gedeon Rivers' letter to be ablatant forgery. Lady Valda were unable to follow your father's wishes in the days after his death, and that could reflect poorly upon the tordane name, if necessity did not demand otherwise, Lady."
With the proof of her father's wishes before her, Isolde reads again who he wished her to wed. "So much could have been spared.." She whispers and then tilts her head, reading over the last bit again and she can not help but smile faintly. "This sounds more of my father…just reading it makes me think of him." There is a furrow of her brows and it is obvious that perhaps some of the letter and what was never done in its contents bothers her but she is too unwell to linger on it, though she falls to silence and looks out the window. Finally she says without looking at the Lord, "Why would my father ever think Gedeon would live…why would he hand those letters to Gedeon and not someone to leave with them right away? He had no more chance than my brother or father.." A hand presses to her lips and she looks down at the letter that is a copy of what their host has. "Why did father also carry old letters with him into battle? Letters that my mother would have kept..since they were to her?" Her brows furrow further and she shakes her head. "It would seem prudent to get any important letter out of the battle fields and not in the hands of one fighting or near the action.."
"The clear answer, my Lady, is that Gedeon Rivers' slanders are empty counterfeit," Rygar opines evenly. "I have taken pains to allow in the initial declarations before the Lord Paramount that your accusers may have been deceived, as openly naming them liars could provoke a challenge which it would be to Your Ladyship's advantage to defer. I recommend that in your words with Lord Tully, you avoid casting blame directly onto any of your accusers. But this document ends any possibility of hoster Tully supporting the bastard's claim over your own." A slowly drawn breath. "It is only proper that expect a public apology for the slanders done to your name, of course."
There is a faint nod to some of his words and Isolde finally returns her attention to the Lord. "It seems you did not find favor with Lord Tully and you are deciding to leave, is this true?" Not being about for the first council, the Lady Nayland is learning of things second hand. "Are you able to leave this copy with me if that is so. I would like to read it over several times to gather my thoughts." Ill-timed in consideration to how she feels, but it can not change the proceedings. "An apology may or may not be given, depending on how they feel if the Lord Hoster Tully expresses himself in my favor. What matters is ending this."
"I did not expect to find favor in Tully eyes, Lady," Rygar returns with his habitual cold cadence. "Hoster Tully has never recovered from the wound taken in the war, and will never forget that the only Nayland upon the field that ended him as a warrior stood under the Royal banner. I leave Riverrun not for his scorn, but to return to Stonebridge and secure Your Ladyship's domain against banditry. I expect to muster two dozen pikes, and call out half of the House Guard, reinforced by a number of knights." The request of leaving the copy with her is answered by a short nod of assent.
"I wish as well, after all of this is taken care of, Lord Rygar, to finally return to Stonebridge." Isolde intones. "The people were my father's and this change does them no good. I would also wish to speak with you daily of the happenings there to gain a better understanding of the reasoning behind all these changes." Her gaze closesa moment and she pulls at the cloth, motioning Asha to refresh it again as she brushes a hand to her forehead. The paper upon her lap crinkles as a hand presses it in place.
"Returning your Ladyship to stonebridge has always been the intention," Rygar answers initially. "As fond as you are of your good father, Lady, you must acknowledge that, while an exemplary knight, and honest man, he was not the best of Lords. Your holding's finances had flagged, your populace were undisciplined, disobedient, and helpless to defend themselves, and river smugglers made mockery of his tax. It is our intention that you rule over a healthier Stonebridge, and a more vibrant and loyal populace."
"I understand, but my father was well loved and I am hearing that the people are not taking well to many of the changes." Isolde says for a moment and then regards the knight a long moment. "If Stonebridge is to go through these changes, I would like to be about for them and knowledgeable rather than handed a land modified in my absence. I am sure you understand." Asha returns and with the cloth and offers the water. Looking a little more drawn than before, the Lady cools her neck again with the cloth.
"Your Ladyship, has it not occurred to you that these unpopular changes- and any imposed discipline is unpopular, when smallfolk have been permitted to enjoy idleness- are undertaken in your absence specifically so that you are able to remain well loved by the populace? When you return, it will be as a merciful figure made more fond in their memory by the discomfort of your absence." A freshly drawn breath. "As for what you have heard, know this: apart from the expected few malcontents, the populace of Stonebridge grow increasingly accustomed to their feudal duties, and continue to grow more capable. the river is a richer vein to your treasuries than ever before, and the only cost has come at the popular reputation of your Castellan and myself. A small sacrifice to make."
Frowning some, Isolde listens yet seems to like none of it but keeps her words to herself. "I understand the sentiments, yet I can not help but worry." There is a sigh from her and the letter is lifted to look at, a breeze from her window doing well to give her some ease as she sits back in her chair. "I am sure we can speak of this later. There is this matter at hand to address and I am not all that well at the present moment." She nods her head to him. "I thank you for bringing this letter to me, Lord Rygar."
"Let the Lady occupy herself with the present matter," Rygar advises as he rises to his feet, and offers a short, sharp bow to the nominal Lady of Stonebridge. "May your health recover soon, Lady. Good day," the stern knight bids in standing again to his full height, and turning crisply on a heel to start out the door, to his own waiting matters.