|Men and Their War Games|
|Summary:||Hot topics are discussed and finally they end on the Trident.|
|Date:||22 Aug 2011|
|Foyer — Fortress of the Sevens|
|The foyer to the fortress is a functional room to the castle with its own heavy portcullis and massive oak doors at the entrance. The interior is done in the same heavy wood construction that reinforces the stone walls at several points as well as serving as the flooring away from the stone entrance. There is a reception area with comfortable couch seating for up to a dozen people, as well. The room extends farther back with stairs up to the Great Hall in addition to a heavy iron door that is bolted securely into the stone.|
|Mon August 22, 288|
The foyer to the fortress is a functional room to the castle with its own heavy portcullis and massive oak doors at the entrance. The interior is done in the same heavy wood construction that reinforces the stone walls at several points as well as serving as the flooring away from the stone entrance. There is a reception area with comfortable couch seating for up to a dozen people, as well. The room extends farther back with stairs up to the Great Hall in addition to a heavy iron door that is bolted securely into the stone.
Few people linger in the Fortress of the Sevens. Idle hands aren't terribly welcome, after all. Some people, however, have a gift for not quite loitering. Senna, for her part, is not-loitering by speaking quietly with one of the guards near the entry. Hand gestures here and there suggest it's a matter of some logistics or the other, though when the guard seems about to be frustrated, a swift smile from the young woman and a slight shift in posture - arms crossed beneath her breasts - seems sufficient to divert whatever the problem was.
Ryker steps through that entry looking not altogether clean from what was probably a long day riding around the lands and finding what he could find. Maybe even around town. One never knows with this man. He swipes at the dirt on his forhead and smears a bit away with some of the sweat as the heat (and humidity) of the day fades. His eyes settle on the woman with her endowments being used to pillow the concerns of the guard and he smirks, entertained obviously.
That blue dress that hangs from her shoulders has been chosen today, her hair drawn back only in so much as to keep it from her face. Isolde is carrying her needlework with her and followed by Milicent with whom she is chatting. The Lady Nayland dips her head and laughs softly pausing near the foyer exit from the grand hall. She tilts her head and then smirks a bit as the old servant says something that obviously amuses the Lady.
Whatever the discussion was, Senna ends it with a promising smile for the guard, stepping back and offering another over her shoulder before taking not of the latest arrival. "Lord Ryker," she greets, a note of surprise in her voice as she curtsies. "Welcome home." A quick glance notes Isolde's approach, and her smile curves. "Shall I fetch some drinks for m'lord and m'lady?" she offers.
Ryker watches the discussion until the flash of blue catches his eye and he looks up to her. The man's tired stature and expression suddenly lift at seeing her. There's no missing the effect Isolde's new dress and look has on him. The smile broadens. He seems about to speak up to her when Senna approaches and he tears his eyes away to see the younger woman. "Home?" He chuckles. "I am of regret to correct that this is not my home. Yet. But I hold no regret that I hail from Stonebridge these days. I would enjoy some wine, though. …Who are you again? I am sorry, I have not had a chance to meet everyone in Rickart's employ."
The conversation not far off draws Isolde's gaze and she quiets. "Milicent, please take my needlework and go attend a platter." The elder woman tilts her head and gives a long look at Senna before she tutters off with the Lady's needlwork. Slippered feet draw her towards the two and she smiles as she catches the last. "Husband, this is Miss Senna. She is the one that does wonders with hair." She winks to Senna and then looks back to Ryker as she moves to offer her hand to him.
"Senna Delacourt, m'lord," Senna answers Ryker in a low tone, curtseying even as Isolde approaches. The lady's mention of hair brings the briefest quirk of a dark brow and a grin, swiftly moderated to something more appropriate. "I'll just go and fetch some wine, m'lady. M'lord." She bobs another curtsey, then sets off after Milicent, apparently oblivious or impervious to the older woman's look.
Ryker lofts his brow at the mention of the hair, his heand reaching to take that of his wife's. "Is that so? So I have Miss Senna to thank for my wife stealing my breath last night." He grins and looks to the other woman. "Perhaps I should be the one addressing you with honors, Mistress Delacourt. My most humble thanks. For the wine as well.." he bids as she drifts off to fetch the liquid nom.
Curling her fingers around his, Isolde moves to stand closer to Ryker, dipping her head to Senna. "She is…" The Lady confirms, "It seems that Hag's Mire has afforded me some talented people." She smiles all the more and then looks to Ryker when Senna departs. "How was the ride? No drowning women to save, I hope." She jests with a warm smile and then looks to the guards.
"Perhaps we should take the time to stock up on worthwhile individuals that we might invite back.. or steal.. to return to Stonebridge with." Ryker smirks. "Ser Bruce is bringing his wife and son up. We are unsure as to where they will stay but his son is nearly three. You might melt over him, I should warn. He's quite the ladykiller." The man chuckles, but the last makes him laugh. "Sadly, no distressed future wives to save. Though I am sure something could be arranged if you're like to go riding with me tomorrow? There is a wonderfully flooded plain about an hour the other side of town.."
"A ladykiller..he sounds ferocious." Isolde jests and then smiles a bit. "It would be nice to have some of your friends in Stonebridge, I am glad he is making the change." There is a squeeze of her hand offered and she smirks a some. "Well I wonder if you mean to truly have to save me or if you would just like my company. I would so like to get out of the fortress, but it seems I am not allowed to truly leave so to speak." She moves to face him directly now, standing before him with her hand in his. "YOu don't like it in Hag's Mire any more than I do…do you?" She says very softly.
Senna glances over her shoulder at the couple as she follows Milicent toward the kitchens. She's not gone for too long, apparently familiar enough with the runnings of the fortress to know not only where the wine is kept, but what sort of wine the lord and lady prefer. When she brings it out, it's already been poured, and the liquid seems not to move when she walks. Which may have something to do with the sway of her hips, much to the guard's pleasure. "M'lord, m'lady," she murmurs as she approaches, offering out the drinks without interrupting conversation.
"He's adorable. You'll love him. If you've not had much time to spend around children, he may drive you nuts until at least one of your own is around." Ryker smirks, but shrugs going forward. "Well I would be happy to have either. I'll certainly take your company in either respect. Though have you been told why you are not permitted to leave other than such a lame excuse that has been given?" The quiet question brings a more serious look to his eyes and an almost imperceptible shake of his head. "No," he whispers. But the approach of the drinks has him move off towards the deliver, hand still clasped to Isolde's. "Excellent. So will you be joining us for wine, Miss Senna? Or will you be running off to steal conversation from more of Rickart's men?"
A brow lifts as Ryker keeps on about the child. "I think you are ready to have children, Ryker.." She ways in amusement as she can't get over his use of 'adorable'. "Just a nice ride together would be fine and as to why I can not leave. It appears your father thinks my mother has everything in hand along with your cousin. I am to stay here until he says otherwise." A promise he had given her on one of their first days is somewhat broken but not his doing. As he agrees with her on Hag's Mire she turns with him and offers a soft smile to Senna. She reaches out with her free hand to take the wine. "I should not be drinking this early…wines does things to me." She says softly and then drinks of it.
"I can water it, if m'lady would like," Senna offers with a small smile, nodding toward the small pitcher on the tray. To Ryker's invitation, she smiles faintly. "Conversation is not the strong point of most of the guards, m'lord," she assures, and though she doesn't laugh, the sound of it is in her voice. "If m'lord and m'lady wish, I'd be glad to stay."
Ryker snorts, laughing. "Please. Me? Have children? Surely you jest, m'Lady. Nayland men are not supposed to have children. Then only produce spiteful little beings that appear grown and ready to say hateful things without cause. Did you not know this?" He winks. "Ah. So my father intends to either divide us or ceede control of Tordane Tower to Rygar and your mother." He narrows his eyes. "Do not play games or turn the question around: Would you rather me stay here or try and work from our position at Stonebridge?" She knows the promises made. But he takes a glass of wine and moves for a seat. "Most of Rickart's men are probably more interested in three things. Only one of them involves their job. So what of yourself? What do you do for Lord Ricky?"
Isolde can not help but smile at his words of Nayland children. "Ahhhh but with a Tordane mother perhaps they will be more neutral than full of venom." She muses that last and then regards him as he asks of her where he should be. Her brows furrow and she says faintly, even with Senna there. "I would wish you to stay, husband." Another long pull of the wine, waving off the offer to water it down. "But to foul plans would be for you to return to Stonebridge without me. I do not think your cousin expects it. Or my mother." She adds the last under her breath before she looks to Senna. "If you do not mind idle banter, then by all means stay."
"I am a lady of many talents, m'lord," Senna smiles easily, lips quirking a bit deeper at the mention of the guards. "I cook, I clean, I mend, I serve. When we're lucky enough to have visiting ladies, I'm lucky enough to attend upon them," she adds with a look and a smile to Isolde. "And when we're not, I sometimes carry messages, and see to injuries not worthy of the Maester's attentions."
"Nayland children not filled with venom? Your words twist lies, fairest Tordane. These ill things you speak are simply impossible dreams that no man of House Nayland could tolerate." He looks almost incredulous with his faux-aghast mocking. But the topic of Stonebridge has him turn more serious. "I may return there. Though again, I may also have my own designs on those people." He grumps before looking back to Senna and lofting his brow. "You sound like quite an interesting woman. Tell me, what sort of messages do you deal in? Private? Personal? Official? Does Rickart consider you titled in anyway or sworn to the house?"
"Then let Nayland cast them out for I will not stand to raise my child to be another Valda.." Isolde says that with her own cast of disgust before she draws heavily on the wine and downs well past half the glass. A release of her breath and she listens to Ryker, a brow lifting but she says nothing on the matters of his designs. She smiles for Senna no matter how dismal the topics are otherwise turning. The Lady bides her time in silence and turns her attentions to learning more of the Miss.
Senna quirks a brow at Ryker, shifting to set the tray aside on a nearby table. "Messages I'm told to carry, Lord Ryker," she answers simply, wiping her hands on a napkin at the edge of the tray with a crooked smile. "As for titles, my mother was a Smallwood, but my father was a tourney knight. But my mother died when I was small, and my father was taken at the Trident. I followed the Naylands home from there, caring for a wounded knight, and was lucky enough to be taken in by them." There's another small smile for Isolde, and for Ryker as well. "It isn't all venom."
"Consider it a personal request that any daughters you might have? Please do not allow them to end up as Valda. I'd have to have to smother my own." he sips at the wine, shaking his head and looking back to Senna. But something she says seems to bring up his hackles. The man holds his eyes on her. "You followed the Naylands? Or a particular Nayland? Becuase I remember pointing my sword in the face of one in particular Nayland at the Trident." His brow is quirked quite high.
"It need not even be a request or a concern." Isolde says and then tilts her head to Senna. She knows nothing of Ryker's time at the trident nor has she asked so when he reacts the way he does, her hand lifts to brush at his arm gently. She studies him for a long moment and then looks back to the Miss. "Ryker?" She asks questioningly.
"My father fought for the Targaryens." Senna is comfortable with it, apparently. "But it was Ser Hardin I was caring for when we rode back to Hag's Mire," she explains, naming a man only just knighted before the battle, and actually injured in a riding accident on the way to the field - with the main Nayland force under the Freys. To his suspicion, she only smiles, a rueful thing. "My mother was long gone, and my father dead on the wrong side of the battle. I had need to find a place where I might be safe."
Ryker glances to Isolde and nods. "When the Freys finally decided they would allow their bannerhomes to get into the battle, on the winning side, I was released from Riverrun. I led a small force of this house to the Trident just as it was coming to a close. I took Rygar's surrender. It was the only time I had seen someone from this family, but for my wedding, in fifteen years." He grumps, not even noticing the mention of his first wedding, as his arm falls over the seat behind Isolde. Eyes settle on Senna. "Ah, understandable. Well at least you've got the gumption to be honest about that. Too few do." There's no hate there. Just observation. "So you decided to settle here with this home. Interesting turn. I would not think a woman born of a father like that would have opted. Though I can hardly judge the options available. Those were hectic times and very difficult. Especially on all the widows."
The Trident is only a painful reminder of a father and brother she lost. Isolde could on about how foolish and wasteful it all was, but she lets it rest. Leaning in against Ryker some, she holds her wine, turning it in her hand before she finds herself speaking up at the last bit about widows. "Brothers fighting brothers, it is not a seemly way to go about such things. So much waste, so much lost." She shakes her head and presses her lips into a thin line before she shakes it off and then offers a faint smile, "It is well you were not harmed, Miss Senna."
"It was a mess," Senna informs Isolde with a slight shake of her head. "M'lord will remember. Chaos follows battle, and a woman alone has no place on the field. I attached myself to the first reasonably orderly force I could find. And if m'lord was in command, then I suppose I have you to thank," she adds with a small smile for Ryker. "After that, it was a matter of practicality so much as anything else. I had little to my name, and no prospects elsewhere. Leaving Hag's Mire would be dangerous, and staying here caused me no harm."
"No, its not Iz. But that is the way of things. It is good that war is so horrible lest it become more sport and common. People learned their lessons, though. Hopefully." Ryker looks pointedly to Senna. "And I do not mean in support of any particular side." To the rest of Senna's words he just nods, wipping at the glass of wine. "No thanks are required. I am simply glad you were able to come out of it with something other than your life. Interesting it brought you here, though. And yes, that is one thing about the Riverlands.. unless one wants to make the long trek south.. there is not much safety in some parts. Too many men of poor character."
"There is a reason men like violence. There is something that is unchallenged in them and seeks thrill. Lessons are never learned when it comes to greed or power. Someone will always lead the rest into a battle." Isolde sounds somewhat spiteful but she hides it quickly with the finishing of her wine. Her gaze shifts and she lets the glass fall to her side as she taps her finger to it. "Not so much poor character as allowed to act without reproach."
"M'lady has the truth of it," Senna murmurs, noting her glass and turning toward the tray once more. "Another glass, m'lady?" she offers. "This is not such a horrible place, though," she adds with a wry smile for the both of them. "It's hard to dislike the place that offers you sanctuary. And if nothing else, it is /safe/ here. Perhaps I might show m'lady a few of the high points of Hag's Mire while you're here."
"There is glory to be had. There is a proving of quality and training that also holds us to a calling of war sometimes. Other times? It is just the way of things that particular people need to die." Ryker finishes his own wine glass and drums his fingers on his wife's shoulder with her last. "Care to expand on that, Lady Iz?" he offers easily, almost game for a lively discussion. But he looks back to Senna and smirks. "Live here with Rickart as your father for fifteen years. You may think otherwise. But I can understand loyalties of sheltered hearts. I valued the Haighes much the same."
"Yes, please.." Isolde says and offers over her glass to Senna. "Thank you…and yes. Perhaps that would be a good change from just sitting about." She smiles and then as Ryker pokes at her views, the Lady nods. "The Lords of these lands are mostly too concerned with their own well being that when something ill does happen and has not effect on them, it often goes missed. The Law is taken for granted here and not used. It is set aside unless the men charged with keeping it deem it necessary. Many smallfolk still suffer."
Senna pours another cup of wine for Isolde, smoothly down the bowl of the glass without so much as a splash. There's a small smile at Ryker's words, one shoulder lifted ever so slightly. "I couldn't speak to that, m'lord. No doubt you know better than I. I'll be glad to show m'lady around, though. I heard you've a bit of an interest in herbs and the like yourself?"
"Perhaps. Then again, Lords and Ladies also have a selection of individuals to take care of problems or to direct the proper people to do just that. It would not do to have us get involved in every matter before us." The man shakes his head, but lofts his brow at the woman leaning to his side. "Do you see yourself as someone to take up the cause of the inidividual, Iz? When we have our thrones, will that be your main concern? To right the injustices?" But to Senna the man shrugs. "Each person's experience is tempered by their own experiences that came before it. We see our lives through the eyes of our own mind and nobody else's. I might know what Rickart was like, but I also do not know exactly how poor your prospects were. Women face different dangers men do."
"I shall endeavor to always help my people. In any way I can. But being so far from Stonebridge now as my concerned. Those drills the men are under, some are too old and I was not able to give full pardon after an accurate assessment." Isolde takes the glass back and she blinks, her thoughts distant for the moment before they return as Senna speaks to her. "Yes, A septon and my Lady Mother taught me some and that is another precious thing that I have lost. The book Josse game me of his travels north, of herbs and descriptions. That is yet in Stonebridge." Much is yet in Stonebridge.
"Well. Perhaps if m'lady is unable to travel, I might be able to go back and fetch it for you," Senna offers Isolde. "Or I'd be happy to share the things I know, as well. Perhaps you could start another book. Put down what you remember and build on it. Practice makes perfect, after all." On the matter of drills and desperation, though, she says nothing.
"The drills are necessary for many reasons. House Terrick is not a House on solid ground anymore. We are not preparing to go to war with them, but should certain things happen, we may have others to defend against if the Terricks cannot hold themselves upright." Ryker does not comment further on the topics of such things like herbs and spices. He's so far out of his element there, they might as well be talking about sailing.
It seems Isolde is the bridge at the moment. "I do believe it would be nice to start another book, though that one was a gift. My journals though, I do hope those go untouched. They can remain. I would appreciate any and all things you want to teach me, Miss Senna." THere is a soft sigh from the Lady and she lifts a hand to draw the wine to her lips before she answers her husband. Once her throat has been wet, she considers him. "I did not say the drills were unnecessary, my Lord." She says rather formally. "I merely stated that of all things, there are some men unfit to practice. Some too old or lame or not right in the head to be handling a weapon. I think it does them well to know how to defend themselves."
Senna makes no comment on the matter of drills or who's taking part in them. None of her business. She does pause to check the level of wine in Ryker's glass, though. Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor, and so she stays silent to let the couple work out this particular issue themselves.
Ryker grunts once in response to Isolde and looks to his wine glass. He taps a finger to it a few times, listening to the conversation. When Senna falls silent he just looks up between them. "What?" he asks expectantly, chuckling.
A brow raises as they both fall to silence. "What have I said? What do you men what?" Isolde suddenly looks lost and a little bit out of place as she shifts. She glances back and forth between the two and furrows her brows. A finger taps against her cup and she takes a step to the side giving herself a little room. "Grunting is not a proper choice of response, at least in my book. Was that agreement or an notion to agree to disagree?"
Senna's lips twitch at Isolde's response to Ryker's grunt, though her amusement is tempered swiftly enough. At the tap to his wineglass, she moves to add a bit more. Everything in her body language denies that that 'what' could possibly have been directed at her.
Ryker shrugs. "I have no idea. There was discussion of herbs and books and then suddenly.. nothing. I just.. made an observation?" He chuckles and thanks Senna for the wine. "Grunting is always a choice of response. The grunt, in particular, just meant, more or less, 'that a grunt was deserved and further consideration may be devoted to the matter in due course however considering the wine there is almost no chance of my being able to do anything about it right now so I'll just grunt and enjoy my wine and company'."
Where Senna tempers her humor, Isolde smirks and laughs, "Gifted with a smart husband, Seven be blessed. You should do well to grunt more often, dear." The Lady intones with a crook of a smile. She considers him with a gleam in her eye. "In any case, I have sent a letter to your cousin so that I might be appraised of how the drills are ongoing and so forth. We shall see how he takes my …request." She lifts her own wine and drinks of it. "I would say we could sit up on the parapet, but you know how I am with heights."
Senna quirks a brow at Isolde's mention of heights, a glimmer of curiosity in her eyes. "Men are full of expressive grunts, m'lady," she observes instead, humor in her voice. "Somtimes it means they're losing the argument. Sometimes that they don't want to talk about it anymore. Or they aren't listening at all. Check the eyes for the last," she adds with a pointed glance toward the guard she was speaking with earlier.
"You may live to regret telling me to grunt more, love." Ryker chuckles and slowly leans forward to rise. "As for sending a letter to my cousin, good. I'm glad to see you taking an active role in the interest of what we are going to be doing more of." To the mention of the parapet, he nods. "Probably even less of a good idea here. But I need to bathe if we are going to drink so please, excuse me. Men need to find the meaning of clean."
"Some grunts I understand, yet others remain a mystery.." There is a smirk there upon her lips with that and she dips her head to Ryker as he speaks to take his leave. "Best do so if you wish to rest in my chamber this evening. Would not do to have you with mud near me." SHe says to him, edging away as if to keep him from soiling her now. She looks to Senna. "Men are as easy to read is pigs. Feed them and all is well."
"More or less," Senna agrees with Isolde, dropping a polite curtsey as Ryker moves to depart. "A pleasure speaking with you, m'lord," she murmurs. Only once Ryker's gone does she flash a swift smile toward Isolde. "There are a few other tricks, too. But wouldn't do to let them know about them."
Watching her husband go in silence, Isolde then looks to Senna with a brow lifted. "I do think this converstion needs to go to my suite. Will you join me and bring the wine. Find a cup for yourself as well." Says the Lady. "I would like to compare tricks." There is a slow smirk and a glint in her eye as she makes a motion towards the stares with a dip of her head.
"As m'lady wishes," Senna agrees cheerfully, gathering up the tray and heading for the stairs. If there's a last glance over her shoulder toward the guard, and a small smile, who can tell? And once more, when she walks, there's that extra sway to her step. All the better to keep the drinks from spilling, of course.