|Summary:||Ceinlys summons Freya to a meeting.|
|Offices - Broadmoor Keep|
|Well-appointed and comfortable, these offices are provided for the Lords ambassadors and counsellors, such as his Maester. Windows line the walls on each side, looking down upon both Courtyards of the Keep and affording plentiful illumination and a spacious, airy feel to the chambers. Bookshelves line the walls and a large table rests at the center of the floor, polished to a glossy shine and surrounded by high-backed chairs. A narrow staircase in the farthest corner of the offices leads upward.|
|November 19th, 289 A.L.|
“Better to have one woman on your side than ten men.” ~ Robert Jordan
Sometime the previous evening, a convoy of moderate size arrived at Broadmoor. Several horses, including a heavy golden palfrey, along with numerous carts and persons of all manner of station. It would seem the Lady Ceinlys has returned, though for what purpose remains unknown to most outside of the immediate family. And now, after only a few hours sleep and the aranging of her household and belongings, the young woman is already within the offices of the expansive Keep; as at ease as if she had never left and certainly not lacking in authority.
Handing a freshly-signed sheaf of parchment back to a waiting courier, she dismisses him with a distracted wave, her voice cool and even as she responds to a previous enquiry from one of a half-dozen attendants. "..yes, I am quite aware. Do inform my mother that, while I understand and acquiesce to her.. 'request'.." That tone implies it was anything but a polite suggestion, from the Lady Perriane. "..I have a few matters of greater import to attend to first. I will do as she asks later this evening." With a curtsey, another servant, this one a young maid, is similarly dispatched. All in all, it's a flurry of activity along this elegant hall and the official-looking chambers that serve as the hub.
Freya Caul is admitted wearing a gown that Alric had bought for her and looking quite absurdly regal. Hardly the girl in rags and chains Ceinlys would have seen in the Roost. And if she was striking before Freya has become even more confrontingly beautiful after a certain meddling Septa tossed her into a bath. All in all between Alric and Perrin a good job has been done renovating and refining the former criminal into a respectable looking retainer.
Freya curtseys deeply upon entry, "Mi'Lady you called for me," confused at the activity - foremost in the young girl's mind is how generous a customer Ceinlys had been back in the Roost. So as immaterial as Freya's opinion may be to Ceinlys the girls warm and very genuine smile suggests that the noblelady was in Freya's good books. And it might be hard to get out of them.
Having strolled back toward a desk that she seems to have claimed as her own, if only for the time being, tucking a wayward length of dark hair behind her ear as her head bows over the ever-growing pile of parchments, Ceinlys takes a moment to note the new voice, amid the general hubbub she's surrounded by. Glancing up, vivid blue eyes absently scan the crowd before falling upon Freya. Those who remain seem largely in discussion with one another, perhaps in the wake of the noblewoman's already given answers. Only one is silent and watchful; Ceinlys' own handmaid and chaperone, Brigid. Dour-faced old cow. She's content to sit primly in an armchair to one side, unobtrusively studying this newcomer.
"Ah, Mistress Freya. Yes, I did." The ebon-maned Haigh waves the girl forward, appreciatively noting her improved appearance but not embarassing her with remark upon it. "I had heard tell that you were travelling here and that you might be well suited for a position within the household." Folding her arms and leaning a hip to the edge of the desk, Ceinlys arches a slender brow. "Is that the case?"
Freya smiles, "Lord Perrin has already put me to use as escort and guide for Lady Jocelyn and allowed me to lead the guards in tracking down some poachers on your lands. I don't know the protocols Mi'Lady but I was hoping that might prove my usefulness." Sighing, "I am aware that there are questions concerning my somewhat dubious past but I am willing to discuss any and all details that you might wish with perfect candor." Freya has been working already it seems. "And I guess detail my capabilities if you wish to note them," Freya is still smiling almost churlishly at Ceinlys cutting through the Lady's officious manner in a distracting way.
The mention of the Nayland elicits the shadow of a frown across Ceinlys' brow, an unaccustomed expression that is swiftly banished. Seeming to promptly tire of any lingering matters of business, for now, she shoos the loitering handful of people from the office with little more than a gesture and a look. Amid bows and curtseys - and more than one curious look over Freya, who is obviously permitted to remain - the chamber is eventually left empty save for the trio of noblewoman, chaperone and thief. Former.
"I am quite certain we can find better ways to make use of your time, rather than playing escort to a guest who doubtless has her own staff. No, if you are to stay here, Freya, it is because that very 'dubious' past is what has attracted my interest in the first place. Please." She waves invitingly to a tall-backed chair, gliding around the end of the desk to take the one opposite for herself. "Do tell me of your exploits. I assure you, you will face no punishment or judgement from me, unless you act directly against myself or my kin."
Freya frowns and sits, "I've rarely been able to speak of them Mi'Lady. In truth much of the loathing directed at myself in the Roost is because of my family who were a bundle of minor criminals and poachers is a little unfair. I left them too young and was fostered to my father Mern the Mummer when I was about six. Never did get his last name my Da' - my mother Alicia thought it would be a better life for me outside the Roost. And it was more affluent I suppose. But Mern was a crook - a thief - darn good one. Top of the game - spent alot of time training me. I'd like to think I became quite good at the craft. His front was a troop of mummers - a carnivale. So I learnt their tricks as well. You'd be amazed at how much overlap there is between sleight of hand style magic and thievery." Continuing, "Anyway Mern was no petty operator - I think he had his finger in alot of pies I didn't know about. I did some stuff for him. Mostly sneaking in and casing places. I think despite his hero status amongst some of the dregs of society he was a manchild. He'd go after difficult to steal baubles just to prove how good he was - but he couldn't off load the things. So naturally when he finally got caught it wasn't on the job it was just with a whole bundle of expensive keepsakes no fence was fool enough to buy. Whole carnivale got arrested most've them hung. I was out hunting when it happened so I fled back here to the Cape just in time for the bleeding Ironborn invasions. I was a thrall for exactly two hours thanks to my Da's training bless him. Picked the lock and vanished as he'd taught me."
Canting her head, "Never really did do that much crime Mern was disappointed that mostly I used what he'd taught me to get in and out of my romantic entanglements. Can tell a few bawdy tales that would waste your time. But I did pick up a lover who was a Summer Islands courtesan - and that was pretty educational. Never used any of the tricks she taught me to turn a profit. Not that I look down on whores being the spawn of thieves and liars myself. It's just not for me."
Next chapter, "When I came back to the Roost after the Ironborn invasions I took up with some poachers who helped me refine alot of my outdoors stuff tracking hunting and the like. I must've been out of sorts because the filthy Ironborn had tortured and murdered my family in front of me not too long back. So when the stupid fools turned bandit I stuck around even though they treated me like dirt on the count of my not really cooperating with their violent theft. Long story short Ser Kell wiped them out and after some very impressive grovelling and begging for my life Ser Justin whacked me in manacles rather than cut off my hand or kill me."
For her part, Ceinlys listens through the asked-for explanation in silence; her brows arching at certain moments but no interruption offered and an air of interest lingering about her countenance. Absently, she picks up a quill from the desk and twirls it within her fingertips, leaning back more comfortably in her chair to emphasise the less formal nature of the meeting. "Well, well." she begins, when the tale comes to an end. "You do have quite the fascinating story, thus far, don't you? And an apparent knack for landing on your feet, when all is said and done."
Laying down the plume once more, the noblewoman clasps her hands on the polished wooden surface, briefly examining her own unblemished knuckles and clean nails. "My question and concern, Mistress Freya, is that of loyalty. What reason would you have to be steadfast in service to our House, beyond the profit and security I could offer you?" Tilting her head a little askance, the young woman flits her blue eyes back upward to study those opposite in evident contemplation, despite her neutral expression. "I know perfectly well the uses I could make of you. Who is to say your allegiance does not already lie elsewhere, and that you seek roots here only to further the gain of an enemy, hmm?" Suspicious by nature. But the enquiry seems a genuine one, all the same.
"What the House, indeed what I require, is someone of certain talents who can be relied upon, without hesitation, to see to the tasks she might be set. What I offer in return is the opportunity to secure your own future and enhance your prospects." A vague gesture implies the girl's change in attire. "Is that something that appeals to you..?"
Freya listens to Ceinlys diatribe. Perhaps venturing a modest response to the loyalty question, "I guess I can only demonstrate that in the field Mi'Lady," she leaves the question as to what she is supposed to do and to whom she is loyal if members of Ceinlys own family are at cross purposes. Her motives she elaborates on, "It's hard to explain why I want to enter into the service of House Haigh and true that you offer rewards. it's more about growing up and not remaining a child like my father - supporting something worth supporting. I have that interesting past but I think I've outgrown it. And I truly appreciate your offer which is why I can say that I accept it and it does appeal to me."
The noblewoman never does voice aloud her approval of the response Freya gives. All she does is nod, her features musing as her gaze wanders to the window. "If my brother has already assigned you a task, you will see it through. But I ask something of you. Consider it a test of ability, if you wish." Wetting her lower lip fleetingly with a dab of her tongue, Ceinlys returns her focus fully to the blonde. "While the Lady Jocelyn is here, and you are attending upon her.. I want to know how she fills her days. Where she goes, who she speaks with, where her interests lie." A faint smirk twitches her lips. "..beyond Ser Perrin, of course. Because even a blind fool could see that particular line of intent. In the meantime.." Raking a hand back through her raven locks, the woman sighs softly, casting her eyes ceilingward. "..I will speak to my brother. Once we reach an accord, I will likely take you into my own service, in some capacity. I'm afraid that may mean attending more than a few rather dull meetings and the like. Just until you are established as a member of the household. Then we can see about more.. 'interesting' assignments." A glance aside to Brigid has the older woman rising stiffly and padding toward the door. It would appear this little interview is drawing to a close, having satisfied the Steward's curiosity. "Continue in the tasks you have been set, Mistress Freya.. and I will summon you again when I have made arrangement for you."
Freya stands and curtseys, "I appreciate the opportunity Mi'Lady and will endeavor to serve you well." A bit fatuous really. "Lady Jocelyn should be easy to watch as she spends most of her time with Lord Perrin and I with he." Zero order task really - she didn't add that Jocelyn and her were relatively congenial. That might cast unmerited suspicion on her. Smiling Freya proceeds off to the task at hand.