|Lord Paramount's Castle|
|Summary:||Lord Tully hears the case of the Tordane letters.|
|Related Logs:||All the Tordane letters stuff.|
|Tables. Documents. Serious business.|
|Sat Nov 05, 288|
Thus far, the Terrick/Mallister/Valentin contingent has been hosted at Riverrun without crossing paths with the Naylands. Yet, as Lord Hoster's pages run about the great sandstone keep of the Tullys, summoning all parties to the great hall, such delicacies are lost. Hoster Tully has aged hard since the Trident, years prior, more grey marking his ruddy-brown hair, and more weight hanging upon his frame as the Lord of Riverrun sits awaiting his bannermen. Long tables have been carried into the room, lined by cushioned chairs. Retainers in red and blue Tully livery guide the various parties to their designated seats upon arrival.
Jarod is decked out in the livery of a Terrick retainer for the occasion. He enters with those representatives present of his house, sweeping a low bow to Lord Tully and waiting to be directed to…wherever he's to lurk during this meeting of his betters. His eyes sweep the room for the Valentin continent, trying to spot Ser Gedeon.
Josse has accompanied the Terrick family as a retainer of sorts, wearing his cleanest set of formal gray robes. A seven-pointed crystal dangles from the black braid on his belt, sending a subdued dabbling pattern of colored light onto the floor as he walks behind the group of nobles, near the very back of the party. He too will wait to be shown where to go, assuming nothing in an unfamiliar court.
Ser Gedeon has yet to arrive, but shortly after Jarod steps into the room, the other Rivers appears, clean and freshly dressed and wearing the sash of Oldstone's colors around his waist. He bows to Hoster Tully and, spotting Jarod, offers the other bastard a small nod and a faint smile.
The ladies attend, though Lucienne very much doubts she'll be called upon for counsel or anything like at a meeting such as this, despite what the Terrick daughter is used to at home. She offers the Lord Paramount a deep curtsy and a deferent bow of her head, her handmaiden imitating her a step behind, and waits for direction.
Rowan Nayland arrives with his knight, slightly behind and to Gedeon's left. He's clean and neat, wearing an embroidered tabard over his shirt and breeches, the crest of Oldstones prominently blazoned on the front. He makes a low and somber bow in concert with Gedeon, displaying none of the flourish and camp with which the boy typically executes such gestures. He is crisp, correct, and sober as a septon.
On his throne, Lord Hoster inclines his head to each of the bows the host is given, but the Lord Paramount does not speak just yet, giving his guests more time to find their places before formally beginning the council.
Rygar Nayland enters the hall with a single retainer trailing him. The stern knight offers the appropriate sharp bow to the throne, expression unsmilling, and met with a similar lack of warmth from Lord Hoster in return. Rygar turns sharply on his heel and walks, straight backed and stiff necked, to his designated seat facing the Terrick table. Beside his father, the Young Lord Edmure Tully frowns after whispering something to his father.
Jarod crooks a quick grin to Gedeon when he catches the eye of the other Rivers. Though, when his attention moves back to Lord Tully and the rest of the assemblage, he tries to smooth his expression to something more neutral. Which isn't entirely successful. Ser Jarod wears his feelings on his face for all occasions, try as he might not to. The placement of the Naylands is noted with great attention, and his posture straightens a notch as he seems to pay special to which of the Mire folk have come for this show.
Arriving in Rygar's wake, Rutger Nayland bucks the trend by arriving on his own: no retainers, no servants, no pets. He marches up Lord Houser's seat, takes a bow to the aged Lord Paramount, followed by a dip of his head towards young Lord Edmure. With it delivered, Rutger heads for his own seat at the Nayland table, where he allows his eerie yellow eyes to scan those present at the opposite Terrick one.
Eckhardt happens to be that retainer trailing Rygar, wearing a very used looking sword and a tabard marking his allegiance to the Stonesbridge Naylands in addition to his clothing. He makes the necessary bows and gestures required of proper etiquette before finding a quiet position flanking his lord.
It's Rutger and his creepy coloured eyes that draws Lucienne's attention once she's seated in the proper spot, her handmaiden hovering diligently behind her seat. There's the faintest narrowing of her lashes as she struggles to place him, but she shifts her gaze before a slight might be called. She sweeps a look over the Oldstones contingent instead, offering a small, approving smile to Rowan.
"Holy fuck, it's Rutger," mutters Rowan, so softly that certainly only Gedeon can hear. The lad glances nervously at his strange-eyed elder sibling. "Row and me always thought he was going to eat us." He flashes Lucienne a debonair smile, all the same, despite his childhood misgivings.
Anton is, naturally, with the Oldstones contingent, being Oldstones, and all. He leads them towards the table alloted his house, bowing respectfully to Lord Hoster and politely to Young Lord Edmure. The representatives of the other house receive polite nods, gaze lingering briefly on the unfamiliar Rutger and on the more familiar Lucienne, the latter, it seems, given the opportunity to notice his extra moment of regard.
Gedeon gets settled at the Valentin table, glancing over at his squire and then blinking towards the Nayland table. "Did he splash something in his eyes?" he murmurs quietly.
Jarod also can't help but note Rutger among the Naylands. He doesn't bother to hide the curiosity with which he eyes the man. Like he's sizing him up. He takes his place at the Terrick table with the other retainers.
Josse settles in what could be considered the most neutral position at the Terrick table, near the end. He has a thick roll of parchment with him to be filled with records, for the sept's own vault of Other People's Problems as much as for the Terricks. His blue eyes flicker to Rutger as the others mutter about the man and his nose twitches almost imperceptibly. His chair is one of the last to move at the table, waiting until those higher ranked have settled before he does.
Rutger is most definitely less stern and stiff than Ser Rygar. In fact, as he takes his seat he appears entirely at ease with the surroundings, one hand lifting to idly stroke at his chin while he scans those present - each, and every single one of them in turn receives a momentary study. But it is Rowan that his attention lingers on more than any other, possibly with good reason.
The Lord Paramount looks aside and motions to his herald. A solid staff is rapped three times against the floor to call attention, filling the chamber with the sound. Lord Hoster draws in a deep breath, and raises his voice- left a bit reedy in his advancing years- to intone, "My lords and ladies. Bannermen to Riverrun, all." Another breath drawn, "News most troubling has reached this seat: that the noble inheritance of Stonebridge has been called into question by oath and seal." Another moment of quiet follows as Hoster draws a fresh breath. "Who brings this question before this seat?" His eye passes over the Terricks and Mallisters to the Valentins.
Having drawn the (hopefully well and recently fed) attention of his brother, Rowan coughs into his fist and mutters behind it, "Born that way. Gah, I swear he's deciding how I'd boil up in a stew." He sits up straight and pays attention as the Lord Paramount begins speaking, however.
Jacsen is one of the last to make his way through and into the chambers, though his is perhaps the most notable arrival. Not for the sake of being impressive, or any of that sort, but for the precise and steady rap of his cane's tip on the floor as he walks. It is no secret that the Heir to the Roost, the second of such in this generation, is the same son that has been called by some a Lame Eagle. For all that, the Terrick Lord stands as straight as his ignominy will allow, making his way to his seat before the Lord Paramount sees fit to have his herald call the room to attention.
Jacsen turns his eyes towards Ser Gedeon Rivers, at the Valentin end of the table. There is a look of encouragement, and some pride in his friend who is finally to have his matter heard.
It's not so far to stretch her eyes from Rowan to Anton; Lucienne's demure smile lights briefly in her eyes before she ducks them away from his to the table, and her hands folded primly atop it. She waits in that pose as Lord Hoster addresses the room, before stealing another glance at the Knight of Oldstones.
Gedeon stands a bit straighter, lifting his chin and drawing in a soft breath. He speak out, calmly and clearly, in answer to the Tully's question. "I do, my lord."
Jarod's eyes go between Rowan and Rutger when he notes the elder (at least of those in view) Nayland son paying such attention to the younger one. His frown deepens. And it's with some effort that he stops Nayland-watching and pays his attention to the Terricks around him. Jacsen is offered a look and nod that's probably meant to be encouraging, though he can't quite summon up his usual grin in this company.
Rowan's dark eyes turn up toward his knight as Gedeon stands, all other concerns forgotten. The boy has the look of a loyal hound, gazing up at the Oldstones knight that way. If the petitioner appears calm, the squire is visibly anxious, and for an instant shuts his eyes, as though in prayer.
Josse's blue eyes track Gedeon, his chin tilted slightly down so that his face remains angled towards his parchment rather than anyone in particular.
Rutger's visual examination of Rowan may relate to his culinary tastes, but the narrowing of those yellow eyes seems to hint at something… more. Curiosity, perhaps. There will be time for that later, as like all in the hall, his attention now rests on Gedeon.
Anton remains silent as Lord Tully calls for Gedeon, looking across at his retainer, and then back at the Lord Paramount. Lucienne's look catches his eye at the last second, and he glances her way again, smiling faintly before refocusing on the proceedings.
There's but a long blink from Lucienne at Anton's faint smile, and then she turns her attention to Ser Gedeon, the man of the moment.
The Tully herald speaks aloud as Gedeon rises and addresses his Lord. "Before the seat of Riverrun comes Ser Gedeon Rivers, sworn to Ser Anton Valentin, the Knight of Oldstones."
Hoster Tully nods once as Gedeon is named for the record, voicing further, "And what, Ser Knight, is the claim you bring before me, as your Lord Paramount and the representetive of our King, Robert Baratheon?"
Gedeon waits until he is properly announced and again addressed before he speaks further. "My lord, I bring forth the claim that the Lady Isolde Nayland is not, in truth, the daughter of the late Lord Geoffrey Tordane, and that being so, cannot maintain her claim to the seat of the Tordanes," Gedeon answers, his hands resting lightly on the table before him.
Anais has taken her place beside Jacsen, quiet and subdued at this important event. She's chosen one of her finest, yet modest gown, and even wears her hair properly dressed for a young married woman. All of which does very little to hide the sharp interest in her gaze on the brief occasions when she forgets to veil her eyes behind her lashes.
Jacsen's attention is rather square upon Gedeon as he speaks, and while interest surely turns back towards the Lord Hoster at the highest seat, his eyes do linger across the Nayland contingent he's yet to cross at Riverrun.
Jarod takes a deep breath and lets it out slow, making an effort to do so as quietly as possible. He nods a little at Gedeon's pronouncement, though his expression is anything but glad or satisfied. Another visual sweep on the Naylands present, then attention back to the Rivers of Tordane make.
"And whom, Ser Knight," Lord Hoster queries of Gedeon, "Supports your claim, by their own oath and honor?" The Lord of Riverrun's eye- a more pale blue than those who remember him from years prior might remember- holds upon the young son of Geoffrey Tordane.
Rygar sits straight backed in his chair, composure unflinching as the stern faced Nayland observes the declaration, and the formal start of the assault on his family's claim to Stonebridge. There is nothing in his manner to suggest the matter is anything out of the ordinary, as he regards Gedeon's words.
Careful not to hold her chin too high, or let her gaze linger anywhere too long, Lucienne shifts a look toward Rygar Nayland for a moment, assessing the knight briefly before other speakers lure her attention away.
"House Terrick stands to support this claim," Jacsen affirms, as he rises from his seat in a manner as graceful as his condition might permit him. "Lord Jerold Terrick, who is traditional liege to the holdings of House Tordane and it's late Lord, the honorable Ser Geoffrey, and good brother to Lord Geoffrey Tordane's beloved sister, has carefully considered the evidence brought forth and would stand to see the matter rightfully resolved. In his absence, Lord Jason Mallister, whom all here know as a wise, honorable, and shrewd Lord, has bid me convey that in his eyes too, this question is worthy of my Lord Tully's consideration."
Anais looks up as Jacsen stands, a faint smile finding one corner of her lips for her husband. It's an expression schooled quietly away after just a moment, in favor of something more serious and focused, gaze veiled beneath her lashes once more.
For the first time since Gedeon stood to speak, Rowan's attention is called elsewhere. He looks upon the young lord and heir with visible affection, pride, and gratitude. And for just a moment, Anais, too, receives the squire's attention. His lips lift at the corners and his eyes are warm, then his gaze shifts to take stock of the other participants in this drama.
Anton is not the first to stand, waiting until Jacsen has spoken for Houses Terrick and Mallister before rising to his feet. "And I can attest, my lord, that I have seen the letters which you have no doubt heard about already, and that to the best of my knowledge, they bore the hand and seal of the late Lord Geoffrey Tordane."
"The Lords Mallister and Terrick are well loved in these halls," Hoster Tully voices with a nod, pausing to draw another breath as he smiles briefly at Jacsen's oration. "Whose judgement I have always had good cause to honor. As well, we recall Ser Cyric Valentin, and welcome his son and heir to Riverrun," he adds as blue eyes pass to Anton upon that nobleman's words. The smile fades back into diplomatic neutrality as he turns to his left, in regard of the Nayland table. "And how does House Nayland answer this charge?"
Jarod does manage a grin to Jacsen for all that. He takes another breath when witness of the letters are mentioned, but does not speak for his own part yet. There's Nayland answers to hear, and he's all ears for what those might be.
Without warning, Rutger rises from his seat - not Rygar. "House Nayland supports any claim that is just, truthful, honorable and legally recognized under the King's Law." He announces in a gentle, soothing voice, yet strangely far-reaching as it echoes in the hall. He pauses to glance at Jacsen, to Anton, then Gedeon. "But no less, milord. Not when a noble lady's good name and honor is at stake here. House Nayland is nevertheless here to hear the claim made, and evidence revealed, to help determine whether this claim is indeed just, truthful, honorable and legal."
Indeed, who died and made him the representative for House Nayland?
Anais leans a little closer to Jacsen, her lips hardly moving with whatever she whispers to him.
The Nayland answer visibly surprises Edmure Tully, who turns a puzzled look to his father. Hoster, if he is surprised, shows no sign of it. The Lord Paramount of the Riverlands nods once, and passes his eye back to Gedeon, and the assembled Terricks, Mallisters, and Valentins. "My Lords, I will begin to review all proof of these allegations you have to present."
Lucienne continues to watch the speakers in turn, her expression never faltering from politely neutral - except upon landing her gaze on her brother, the heir; her lips quirk approvingly, and then in turn to Lord Anton. Rutger's announcement draws one of her brows slightly higher than the other, but there is of course no comment from the lady.
With the Lord Paramount's words, Jacsen bows his head and slowly lowers to resume his seat. A mild dip of his chin is paid to his wife, acknowledgment to whatever she quietly says to him. A glance then is shot towards a Mallister page, whom steps towards Jacsen and waits upon the Lord's pleasure.
Rutger bows his head to Lord Hoster just so, and retakes his seat once the announcement to proceed is made.
Rygar gives his cousin a short, curt nod as the other Nayland retakes his seat. The severe knight turns his chill regard from the Tullys to Jacsen as the most current Young Terrick is given Hoster's leave to proceed.
Gedeon takes his turn speaking again, when the question of proof is called. "There are letters, three from Lord Geoffrey to his wife, the Lady Valda, written to her when he was away at a tourney at the Crag. The time he was departed matched the same time when Lady Isolde would have been conceived. And, there is a fourth letter, from Lord Geoffrey to myself, stating more plainly that Isolde was not his daughter by blood or birth. These letters have since passed from me into the keeping of House Nayland." The blond Rivers glances towards the table holding the representatives of that house with a small nod. "As they spoke as men also here to seek truth, and as they were bid by your own hand to bring these letters for your study, my lord, I have faith they may be presented, now."
Anton retakes his seat after speaking, and remains in it, and silent, looking now to the Naylands, and Ser Rygar in particular, for their response.
Steepling his fingers, Rutger turns a sidelong, expectant glance at his cousin. Evidently, the letters in question are not in the former's possession, but the latter's.
A brow curves archly over Jacsen's features as he looks across the table at the Nayland contingent. "I am prepared to offer what evidence has compelled us to this table, my Lord Tully, however before I do, we are most curious to know if at long last, having long ignored the legitimate request, one amongst the Lords Nayland will return Ser Gedeon Rivers' letters, his very /rightful/ property, that they might be admitted for the sake of your consideration."
Rygar draws a slow breath as the request for letters is spoken. "My Lord," his words are turned to Hoster Tully even as he answers Jacsen. "The letters surrendered by Gedeon Rivers are here. Any talk of them as rightful property is faulty, however, as the only letters bearing legal seals are those between Geoffrey Tordane and his wife, being the legal property of Lady Valda Tordane. As for the others-" A hand reaches into the breast of his doublet to draw out a leather document folder. "They carry no seal and therefore in the eyes of the law, carry no weight." As Hoster Tully's page steps forward to carry the case to the Lord Paramount, Rygar speaks on, "Before addressing that particular false slander which names the Lady Isolde illegitimate, I would offer those lords assembled befure me the opportunity to amend their accusations, lest their honor be tarnished." His cold eye turns from Hoster to Jacsen, before resting finally on Anton.
Jarod sits up straighter as the letters seem like they might actually make an appearance. He looks more puzzedly gratified than anything else. Good news! …right? He blinks toward the document folder.
Lucienne draws an interested look between Ser Rygar, Lord Jacsen and Lord Ser Anton. She may or may not be holding her breath.
Anton lifts a brow at Rygar, and lifts a shoulder as well, addressing Lord Hoster though his words are clearly more for the Nayland, "I do not think any have come here today to make accusations, my lords. We are all here to be sure that truth is known and that justice prevails, are we not? Let us examine the evidence and determine what that truth is and what justice must be done as a result of it. If we do this, none of us should be troubled about our honor."
Gedeon glances around the room to see if, perhaps, anyone might wish to speak further or, as Rygar Nayland suggests, withdraw their support. He offers Anton a small nod. "I second Lord Valentin's words, my lord, and would again ask that if the letters mentioned are indeed present, that they be offered for your Lordship's inspection."
"So safe and legally as they were in the care of Lady Valda Tordane and Ser Rygar Nayland, my Lord, we are pleased to see the documents produced," Jacsen affirms for the sake of his representative interest. "Would only that their latest caretakers, so assured of the invalidity of the letters claims, had but presented them for the sake of satisfying this matter with the honorable and just Lords of Seaguard and Terrick's Roost, whom only rightly exercised their purview as Geoffrey Tordane's liege lords. Our Lord Paramount might have been spared the tumult of the matter. Alas." A crisp nod is paid Anton and Gedeon's words.
"As the Young Lord says," the Lord Paramount echoes Jacsen's words. "Ser Nayland is called upon to answer the charges, as a loyal subject," Hoster Tully voices sharply, displeased by Rygar's appeal to Terrick and Valentin honor. "If you can muster the obedience, Ser, speak your piece plainly." The barb draws a grin from Edmure. The page to whom Rygar had passed the manuscript folder approaches and hands it to Hoster.
Rygar's cold eye goes evenly to the Tully on the throne. "My obedience is freely given and without reserve, Lord Tully. No pair of marriages will sway it." Those sharp-edged words spoken, he speaks on, "Within the folder my Lord now holds are the two letters of Geoffrey Tordane, the five unsealed forgeries, and a seventh." A drawn breath as he looks to the Terricks. "The sealed and signed last testament of Ser Geoffrey Tordane."
Rutger's hands rise to form a triangle in front of his face, thoughtful as his yellow eyes darken at Rygar's reply to Hoster Tully. His jaw clench, but otherwise keeps his peace… for now.
Anais traces a finger on the arm of her chair as accusations fly, offering no visible response to any of them. Still, she watches.
Jarod's hands are folded in front of him, perhaps to keep him from doing any finger-tracing or other gesturing. The documents Rygar produces are met with another surprised blink, followed by narrow-eyed suspicion. Though he does not seem quite sure what he's suspicious of just yet.
Lucienne shifts a look at Rutger, noting that clenching of the Nayland's jaw. Her brows rise fractionally at the explanation of the documents that Rygar hands over, but she remains still and straight otherwise.
Gedeon, too, is silent as the documents are passed over. His brows lift slightly as some are called forgeries and a new, unrequested one has been included, but he only waits, attention on the Tullys, expression calm and mildly curious.
"I hope that Ser Rygar will not take offense to the suggestion, but I believe someone might be looking to make a jape at his expense," Jacsen remarks from his seat as the Nayland makes his final, and boldest claim. "It is well known that no such document existed at the time of Ser Geoffrey's tragic death at the Trident. Never produced by his grieving widow, nor so much as mentioned even to his dear friend and liege lord as he left Stonebridge to take up my Lord Tully's call of the Banners." He does spare a single glance towards Rygar and adds, "I only wish, did Ser Rygar believe this to be the last testament of Ser Geoffrey, he had submitted this document at a much earlier stage as would befit such a document. Lord Terrick might have spared him the effort."
Edmure Tully looks fit to burst at the words Rygar directs to his father, his face going a most unattractive shade of red. Hoster ensures his son's silence with a sidelong look and gesture, as the talk continues on the floor before him.
"What is 'well known' does not begin and end with the knowledge of House Terrick, young Lord," Rygar replies evenly to Jacsen. "As convenient as it may be to ignore whichever facts are inconvenient, His Lordship's inspection of the testament will find that it is genuine, stamped and sealed. I will do the Lords Terrick and Valentin the courtesy of presuming they have been deceived, and not knowingly perpetrated slander and falsehood upon the Lady of Stonebridge."
"Interesting he should use the word 'convenient,'" Anais murmurs to Jacsen, though softly enough to likely only be audible to the people directly near the young couple.
Jarod's jaw tenses at that bit from Rygar, but he still remains silent among the lordships.
Anton says nothing, just watching those assembled, the Tullys, of course, having the majority of his attention as Rygar offers the unexpected document.
Rutger's gaze falls on Rygar's back as the tall knight stands, looking every bit as surprised by this turn of events as the rest of the gathered nobility. "Lords." He interjects amidst the accusations and counter-accusations, leaning forward in his seat. "We agreed that we have gathered here to discover and determine the truth and legality of Ser Gedeon Rivers' claim. Let us focus our attention on facts and evidence, no more, no less." And his attention falls on Lord Hoster Tully, awaiting the Lord Paramount to disclose what he sees.
A faint curve is seen to Jacsen's lips, though the timing of it leaves a fair question as to whether it were his wife's commentary or something else to make it so. "Simply questions, my lord, aimed at the uncovering of fact," he assures the more expressive of the two Naylands to take to speaking at this meeting. "If we are all to take Ser Rygar and his evidence as it stands, he is at the very least guilty of a malfeasance, wasting the time of a greater portion of the Lords of the western Riverlands, and the Lord Paramount himself. So we must all wonder, as to the great delay Lady Tordane and her… champion indulged upon."
A second gesture from Hoster Tully to his herald cuts off further discussion amongst his bannermen with a three-fold rap of staff to the sandstone underfoot. "I will review the evidence presented, and seek further words from you all. And Lord Nayland?" the Lord Paramount's eye and address goes not to Rygar, but to Rutger. "My words hereafter will be with you. Ser Rygar, get out." Looking from his nobles to the letters in his hand, and then back up, Hoster waves his hand in general dismissal. "All of you, my lords. Leave me awhile. I shall speak further on the morrow. Go," he bids, with a wearied wave to his herald, who intones, "Now ends the court of Lord Hoster Tully, Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Riverlands!"
When addressed so, Rutger rises from his seat and bows his head to Lord Hoster. "I shall endeavor to assist you in unraveling the truth of this matter, milord." As for Lord Tully's pointblank dismissal of Rygar, well, it draws a vague frown in the wiley knight's direction.