|Summary:||Terrick's Roost welcomes a Nayland. Again.|
|Town Square - Terrick's Roost|
|The town square of Terrick's Roost could be considered well-kept by the standards of the surrounding area. The stone streets run right up to the building fronts around the edge and the locals have kept the spaces between free of grass and weeds that might otherwise upstart between them. There are several homes and nicer shops located here which incline their business or residents towards those not of the peasantry. The Sept of the town can also be seen from here with its ornate stone front rising above the surrounding structures just down the cobblestone road.|
|5 August, 288|
Several hours before, a rider in Terrick puprle and gold livery had come through town in a hurry, en route to Four Eagles Tower. But then, a great quiet spell had ensued, and life as usual carried on, with naught but the odd rumor of what the message might have been to briefly occupy the attentions of the smallfolk. The highest heat of the afternoon is upon the Roost.
After a morning visit to the dungeons, Anais availed herself of a bath and a change of clothes. With that taken care of, she's made her way to the village, all the better to avoid thinking about events at the tower. The problem with a trip based on avoidance, though, is that it leaves one without any particular goals. And so now she wanders rather aimlessly through the town square, her guards trailing patiently behind her.
Jarod spoke to the said rider at said Tower, and whatever it was they exchanged prompted him to make the trip into town. With a small contingent of guards with him. He's presently sitting in as much shade as he can manage to find, talking idly with them and watching the road. In search of avoidance or not, Anais is spotted as she passes and he gets to his feet with a grunt. "Lady Anais. Warm day for a venture out."
Raffton is one of that contingent of guards, standing about with Jarod as he sits in the shade. Leaning about, more accurately, most of them resting at least part of their weight against the tree as their commander lounges. The blond man keeps one eye on the road as well, though it is less expectant than Jarod's watch, perhaps. He looks to Anais as she approaches, and remains silent.
And with Jarod comes Squire Rowan — it's a package deal, you see — a maille shirt and some oddments of armor thrown on over his clothing, the sword he won at the squire's melee worn proudly on his hip. He scritches at his temple, bobbling his helmet back and forth with the motion. "This feels like it's happened before," he comments dryly. "What do they call it in Braavos? De ja vu?" He rights his helmet and bows to Anais, smiling. "Lady. Good day."
Caytiv had been worked like a horse since before the dawn, under Jaremy's watchful eye demonstrating the far edge of his skills and generally being put through his paces. But the Banefort bastard is used to long hours of rough toil, and so with a splash of water and an hour's time passed out in the stables he's back on his feet and having his time exploring the town, hair still caked in rough spikes with dried sweat, a trickle of blood down the back of his neck indicating that whatever he'd had by way of a wash-up was obviously inadequate. But for a one-time shepherd lad even the smell of barn that clings to him doesn't keep him from hitting the streets with his rustic, easy swagger.
Those who keep an eye on the eastern track will catch sight of the trio first: three horsemen moving at an unhurried pace (at that rate, they likely set out from Stonebridge that morning). The riders sit the saddle with straight backed good form, as if on parade. None wear armor, though all carry broadswords. The figure in front is familiar to many present as Rygar Nayland. The pennant held aloft in the warm, unmoving air, appears to be the quartered standard of Stonebridge.
Ser Kevan is back in Terrick's Roost, though he serves a different master than he had the last time he was here. Having traded his nondescript leathers for a hauberk of mail, over which he wears a cloak and the livery of the Banefort, he's currently part of Anais' quiet coterie of guards, trailing slightly behind the rest. As such, his identity might not be immediately apparent, and he doesn't call out to Jarod or Rowan on his own when the pair approaches Anais. After all, it would surely be unseemly, or some such.
Liliana arrives from the Worn Road.
Josse has nothing to do with the gathering on the road, making his way across the town square towards the cobbled road — and likely the sept beyond. The clot of Terrick faces slows him down, his hand closing around something small that he's holding and both hands sliding into his large sleeves in front of him. Coming to a stop in a little bit of shade, he catches sight to Jarod and Rowan but says nothing for the time being, a brow just slightly raised.
"Ah, well. I took a bit of a chill this morning, Ser Jarod," Anais smiles faintly, tucking a piece of hair behind her ear and moving toward the other group from the Roost. "Rowan," she nods to the squire. "What's brought your crowd out to the city?" she asks, looking over the group of guards, squires, and knights with a wry smile. And then there's the sound of hoofbeats, and she arches a brow. "Ah," she muses. "Never mind."
"I'd say you might find town less-than-entertaining today, my lady, but I'm not sure I'll be able to recommend the castle too soon, either," Jarod says to Anais. "Got word a few hours ago from some of our border riders that Ser Rygar Nayland was headed our way." Though he's not in armor either, for his part. Just the dark green tunics he favored, and sword belt tied with a Terrick sash. His men, likewise, are armed by not armored. He catches Kevan's eye, offering the man a quick smile-and-nod. Though he has little time for pleasantries. "And speak of phantoms and they appear. Not so similar to before, Rowan. We're minus whores this time, at least, which for once I won't complain about."
And out he strides to meet Rygar Nayland and his men. "Ser Rygar." He half-bows, albeit still stiffly. "We heard you might pay us a visit. Hope the roads didn't trouble you. Many strange rumors in the land these days, gets people on edge."
Caytiv spots his sister and picks up his pace, leaning to to go and meet up with her group from and angle, his Banefort colors, if slightly rumpled, recommending him to those guards who don't know him right off of the bat. "Annie," he greets his sister, but doesn't say anything else, drawing up near her to watch the confrontation of colors in the square.
Rowan blinks and grins broadly at Kevan, seeming to welcome the sight of the hedge knight — if a little surprised by it. He forestalls his greeting, however, opening his mouth to first address the lady — but Jarod's got that. He coughs — Jarod not complain of a whore-lackage? What's this? "Who are you and what have you done with my knight?" he mutters, dryly.
The riders arrive, then, and the squire straightens up, lifting his chin and behaving like a good lad. He nods in greeting to his cousin, hand idly at rest on the hilt of his blade. Now that he has a sword to adopt that position with, it's something of a novelty — one it seems he rather enjoys.
Raffton straightens up as Rygar and his companions arrive, he and the other guards standing up behind Jarod. One snickers at Jarod's comment about the whores, and starts to whisper something to another, who elbows him and then they all fall silent.
Rygar reins his horse to a stop as the trio of mounted men are approached in the town square by the welcoming party. "Ser Jarod," the severe Nayland knight returns in his own measured tone, offering a short bow from the saddle to the Rivers knight. "I wish you luck in calming your people, Ser. For our part, I and mine found your roads well ordered." A keen blue eye is turned over Jarod's guards, Rowan, and the cluster of Baneforts in turn, before he notes aloud, "I find quite the august gathering assembled in greeting, today. Lady," a short, stiff bow to Anais. "Cousin." A nod to Rowan.
Josse stays where he is, watching these proceedings from the sidelines — a slightly safer place to be for unarmed commoners. His eyes are sharp and observant, the top of hood shading them from the sun.
Kevan starts in surprise as Caytiv approaches, seemingly out of nowhere; he hadn't noticed the younger man before, his attention focused on the arriving group of Naylands. He steps forward, a hand falling to the hilt of his own blade, but he relaxes when seeing Caytiv's Banefort colors. Calmed slightly, he offers a surreptitious nod to Jarod and a thin smile to Rowan, murmuring greetings to them both as he moves forward to stand beside his lady, still with a wary expression on his face. Let no one say he doesn't take his work seriously.
Quiet, observant, close at hand. Just as a good lady-in-waiting should be. Far enough from Anais to give her some small amount f privacy, close enough to the guard to keep an eye on her. The Terrick contingency receives a polite greeting, if only in the nod of her head, before her attention turns to the incoming party, and the Lord's approach. Not that there's much she can do in that regard, but she does step away from the guards and move closer to Anais. "My Lady." Softly spoken, for her ears and the lady Banefort's, but clear. She's here, if she's needed.
Anais shifts her position as Jarod and Rowan head out to meet the Nayland lord, stepping out to the edge of the sunlight to watch. "Cayt," she greets her half-brother softly, looking up with a distracted smile. She keeps her voice low as she nods toward where Rygar approaches. "Ser Rygar Nayland, a relative of our neighbors." As the man offers greeting, she gives her brother's arm a brief squeeze, stepping forward with an easy smile. "Ser Rygar," she greets. "An unexpected pleasure on my part. I hope the ride was not too wearing on you and your men?"
"You are bound for the Tower, Ser?" Jarod asks of Rygar. His manner is not pointedly unpleasant, wary an eye as he keeps on the Nayland and his men. "I can have my men escort you the rest of the way. You know. Troubled roads. And I wouldn't want you to get lost. Town can be most confusing at times." A pause, and he glances from Rowan to Rygar. "Perhaps you would like to inquire as to your cousin's health, Ser?"
Rygar dismounts smoothly, before speaking at length to a lady afoot. Handing off the reins to one of his two retainers, a steadying hand kept on the pommel of his broadsword until boots are planted on the ground of the Roost, he answers Anais, "Not at all, Lady Banefort. I found the travel to be swift and pleasant. I look forward to repeating it." Then his cold eye is turned toward Jarod who speaks on. "I am bound for the Tower, Ser. However, as my cousin is attendant upon you- as a good squire ought be- I find that a measure of my business may be dealt with presently. Squire," he notes, regard passing from Jarod to Rowan. "I bear missives for you."
Caytiv gives his sister a quick clasp about the shoulders as she brings him up on the personages in question, looking to Rygar with a subtle loft of his chin in consideration as his sister goes forward to greet him. Then, likely as not bored with the formalities, he looks aside to Kevan, his sister's obviously dutiful guard, and gives him a silent slice of a smile by way of approval.
"For me, cousin?" Rowan echoes, a little stupidly. He flashes a quick, uneasy smile. "Poison and unexpected missives… Suddenly I feel a great deal more important than I used to." He bows his head to Rygar. "I am most humbly thankful for your trouble in bearing these to me, cousin. Might I inquire who has been so thoughtful to send them?"
"Ser Jarod, perhaps we might join you in escorting Ser Rygar?" Anais asks Jarod with an easy smile, glancing over her shoulder toward her own little retinue. "I'd truly appreciate a chance to get to know my future neighbors better. And I can't imagine anyone would dare cause difficulty to an even larger group of men."
Josse tilts his head slightly as Rygar talks of missives, continuing to watch with muted interest. His hands shift in his sleeves, keeping whatever he was carrying shielded from the sunlight.
"I've some matters to settle in town before I depart myself, my lady, but Master Howell…" A nod to Raffton. "…and Rowan along with the rest can see you both with Ser Rygar and his men. Your own men can add to the honored escort." Brief flicker of a grin. He flits another of those curious looks between Rowan and Rygar, but if he wants to know what's in Rowan's mail he doesn't ask just now.
Rygar gives a sharp sniff at Rowan's uneasy quip, expression unsoftened. "The first, from His Lordship, your father. Transcribed by mine own hand." A plain and sturdy brass letter tube is drawn forth from his belt, where keen eyes might note another letter tube resides. "The second," a folded parchement, sealed with a blue button of wax is drawn out of his doublet. "And the third," a wrap of thin muslin, within which will be found a coiled length of long woven ribbon, perhaps an inch wide. In hue it is a muted grey-blue base with a pattern of yellow equal-armed crosses and a narrow silver border on one side. A rich and artfully made piece of the weaver's craft.
The offered escorts draw Rygar's answer of, "I do not believe I or mine have aught to fear, here. Yet I would not refuse such distinguished company," he notes, beginning his words to Jarod and ending with Anais.
Leaving the Knight (Kevan) to keep close to Anais, Liliana turns back, moving towards the group of House guards standing just in her wake, soft words offered, likely some discussion about how they'll fit thmeselves into the larger group if Anais selects to ride with the entourage. A glance back, given to the Lady Banefort and her knight, but little enough attention to the letters passed from Lord knight to squire. With the preparations settled, she steps back to Anais. Again, that soft word, "The men are prepared to take you back to the Tower." She does have to add in 'and keep you under guard.' But then, she doesn't really have to.
Raffton nods to Jarod in reply and glances to Rowan as well, he and the other guards with him preparing to provide the aforementioned escort. He looks to Rygar and then back around at the others assembled, gaze landing on Anais and Caytiv for a moment and narrowing slightly before returning to a neutral, watchful scan of the square.
Rowan blinks again with each package he's handed, but it's the first his attention returns to when the delivery is complete. "Is all well in the Mire?" he asks, and there's no mistaking the concern in the boy's voice. He immediately opens the letter tube, however unseemly dividing his attention so may appear. "Our family remains in good health, I trust." He unrolls the parchment within.
"Thank you, Liliana," Anais nods to the other woman, then again to Jarod. "Then I will be happy to see Ser Rygar to Four Eagles on your behalf, Ser Jarod. Though I do apologize," she adds with a rueful smile to Rygar. "It may be slow. I was in no hurry to reach the town, and so left my mount behind." As family news is exchanged, she steps back, hands clasped lightly at her waist in a patient posture.
Kevan's only reaction to Caytiv is to hold the man's gaze for a moment, though he's not able to stay quite so impassive at Rowan's comment to Rygar. A strangled sound of laughter dies in the man's throat, his lips twitching almost imperceptibly. Then, his eyes are focused on Rygar as he starts handing out mail; if anything, he seems to be paying more attention to the letter that Rygar didn't hand to anyone. His alert gaze flicks around the square every few moments, but his eyes are focused largely on the Naylands. A slightly sour expression crosses his face when Anais mentions not having mounts along with them.
<FS3> Rygar rolls Heraldry: Good Success.
Caytiv narrows his own eyes, not toward Raffton, but toward Rygar and Jarod as they talk travel arrangements, perhaps as though thinking it an inordinate amount of talk when a commensurate amount of just going would do. Is this some kind of code? What could it mean? City folk have ways of saying one thing and meaning another that are as yet strange to the mountain-raised lad. "Hell, need yeh a mount, Annie, I'll put yeh up on my back and have a run," he tells his half-sister.
At first, dark eyes scanning the letter from his father, Rowan only looks more confused. Utterly uncomprehending, like the things written in Dornish. Slowly, his eyes widen. And widen. And reach roughly the size of saucers before a high-pitched, slightly hysterical giggle bursts from his lips. "Ha!" He claps a hand over his mouth, apparently re-reading this one. From the top. Once more with feeling. "Ha-hah! Ah… I…" He looks a bit pale, suddenly. THe heat must have gotten to the boy. "I… should sit." He staggers over to a nearby bench, and does that.
"All is well, with word of your recovery, cousin," Rygar answers Rowan with his characteristic stiff manner. As the younger Nayland opens the brass tube and reads, the elder turns his stern eye again to Anais. Crisp and chill words follow: "I will not ride when a lady goes afoot. As I see there are two ladies of quality present," he had not failed to notice Liliana. "Terien-" with the name spoken, one of the retainers ahorse answers with a prompt 'Yes, Ser'. "Yield your horse as well."
It's to Rowan that the septon's attention turns for a few moments, while the squire reads one of these mysterious missives. Josse raises an eyebrow slightly, pushing the edge of his hood up higher on his head.
Anais quirks a brow at Rygar's offer. "That is very chivalrous of you, Ser," she dips her chin graciously, only to have her cheeks practically burst into flame at Caytiv's comment. A deep breath serves to recenter her, and Rowan provides the /perfect/ distraction in turn. "Though perhaps your cousin…" She trails off, brows furrowing in concern as she moves toward the squire. "Are you feeling all right, Rowan?"
"Naught to fear, Ser, simple courtesy," Jarod says to Rygar with a shrug. "And I'm sure my lord father and brother Jaremy are looking very much forward to speaking with you much as you are them, so I want to make sure you get to them promptly." Another look to Raffton, leaving Rowan to his correspondence just now. "See that Ser Rygar and his men have their mounts attended to when you're back at the Tower, and receive wine and water and food if they wish it. Day's been hot. Keep them to the courtyard and the entrance hall until Lord Jerold or Jaremy have a moment to see them. Castle's such a dreadful mess in places, Ser, wouldn't want to trouble you if you wandered into some unsightly part of it." Caytiv's comment prompts a smirk, and a near laugh, though he manages not to indulge in that. "If you'll be walking, Ser, perhaps I'll go with you after all. It's not a long road, and my business can wait another day."
Rowan swallows audibly, looking up and blinking at Anais. "Lady," he says hoarsely, then clears his throat. He manages a weak smile. "I am… entirely well, I assure you. I am but… overwhelmed. At… this unexpected news." He glances at Rygar, then down at the letter again "And, of course, stunned by my good fortune," he says, in a monotone of hollow shock.
For all Anais' blushing, Cayt's offer was made in earnest, and her blush calls from the young man one to match, eyes moving to Jarod as he gets himself sniggered at, unable to quite look as if he was sharing in the joke.
"It is only proper," Rygar answers Anais' gracious compliment. If he heard the cause for her flush, the stern kngiht gives no clue and makes no comment, his blue regard shifting sharply to the Rivers, "As you choose, Ser Jarod," he assents with a short nod. Rowan's shock holds Rygar's attention for a moment. "The second correspondance will be of interest to you then, cousin."
A graceful bow of her head, as the visiting Lord offers one of the mounts of his retinue for her use, "I thank you for your graciousness, Lord Ser." An equally graceful acknowledgement to the retainer who will now, likely as not have to walk, "And to you, as well." It isn't that the exchange happening with the letters is going unnoticed, simply that Liliana seems to be putting more focus on watching each member of the gathered group, and the small collection of commoners, Septon included, around them, then in looking indecently curious as to the goings-on. Watch and be still, the Camden way.
"Are you sure?" Anais crouches near the squire, looking him over more carefully. "If you're having a relapse…" She's just going to focus on Rowan for the moment, at least until her cheeks can return to a slightly more natural color.
The squire shakes his head. "No. No, my lady. I am quite well, I assure you." He takes a deep breath. Rygar's words about the second letter elicit another little yip of laughter, though the lad doesn't look up. No, he goes on looking at that unopened missive, as though it might suddenly spring to life and tear out his throat. "Delightful," he croaks. "I can hardly wait."
For his part, Kevan says nothing to Caytiv's offer to Anais, looking at the lady's half-brother with a look of reserved amusement, rather than the surprise or shock that might have been shown by someone more gently born. A hand continues to rest on the hilt of his shortsword, but it's a loose grip, not one of a man about to draw his weapon. A curious glance goes over to Rowan — definitely a strange one, that boy — before Kevan turns his attention back to the group of new arrivals.
Jarod shifts a look of some concern to Rowan, but he leaves the squire for Anais to attend to. His focus is on the Naylands. If he's curious about all that correspondence, he doesn't ask about it here.
Liliana, hearing the squire's assurances, despite the fact that he looks not at all well, moves back towards the Anais, her voice again low, carrying not far from where she's standing, her tone gentle, rather than instructive. "Lady Banefort, if the young squire is indeed suffering a relapse, he is better served being seen to the Tower, where he can be ministered to. As well, it does not do to keep our guests waiting out on the road. It is unseemly to keep the Lord Ser waiting so long to be about his business."
Anais arches a brow at Rowan, unconvinced, but slowly rises once more. "If you say so," she nods, smoothing a hand over her skirts as she turns back to the others. Any color remaining in her cheeks at this point can thankfully be passed off as heat and sun. "Yes, of course," she smiles briefly to Liliana, drawing a breath. "Ser Kevan? Might I have your assistance in mounting?" she asks, moving toward the horses. "We really should be getting back to the tower."
Rowan lifts the blue-sealed letter gingerly, flinching slightly as he breaks the seal, unfolding the parchment with exquisite care. He begins reading, his expression tragic, a hand lifting to cover his heart. After a few moments of silence, perhaps enough to read thrice the single page, he whispers, "Yours… Igara Frey." He closes his eyes and sighs. "Mine," he whispers. "Oh, you poor, sweet girl."
"Of course, m'lady." The once and future hedge knight nods to Anais, and with a last look at Rygar, moves over to the lord's vacated steed. After only the slightest hesitation, he hunches over, offering his cupped hands to serve as a step up for the young lady of Banefort. Perhaps it isn't quite the work he had in mind when he signed on, but he doesn't seem to be complaining.
Caytiv drifts backward with nary more than a shifting of weight and an occasional repositioning of a foot, not calling attention to his retreat but gradually making his way to the periphery, lest he embarrass his sister further in the midst of polite company.
Rygar keeps his silence while the two ladies are taking the saddle, his keen blue stare passing over those assembled, beginning with Rowan and settling at last on Jarod. "I trust yourself and your uncle have recovered well from the contest of sport, Ser?"
Liliana, seeing Anais comfortably settled on her horse, moves towards the one that has been set aside by Rygar for her use. Rather than call one of the guards to assist her, she chooses, instead, to enlist the assistance of the retainer himself, as if she would make no attempt to accent the divide between Terrick, Banefort and Nayland, "If you would be so kind, Master Terien." With a nod of assent, the Camden lady is soon enough seated, sidesaddle, as she seems to have decided against riding skirts today, though she leans down to stroke the horse's neck, speaking softly to him, as though attempting to calm him, or to accustom him to this new, strange rider. A few moments only, before she straightens, hands holding light the reins.
For as much /use/ as Anais makes of Kevan's hands, she likely had no real need of a hand into the saddle. It's just what ladies do, says the brief, conspiratorial smile she turns on the knight once she's settled. From her new vantage point, she does see her brother backing away, and tries to add another small smile in his direction, reassuring. Someone's going to end up his etiquette instructor by the end of the day though, Seven save them both.
Jarod squints at Rowan. They will so talk later. Not now, however. "Ready when you are, Ser Rygar. Ladies." To Rygar he replies, "It will take more than that to knock me down for any duration, Ser. Was a good little fight, though." He cracks as quick, boyish grin. A short nod to the Terrick guardsmen milling about, and they'll head tower-wards as the rest of the party does.
Liliana pages: Welcome I try to be polite as I can in RP.
Raffton nods to Jarod, the Terrick guardsmen indeed ready to begin moving tower-wards whenever the rest of the party is.
Josse leaves, heading towards the Cobbled Road.
Very carefully, so carefully that only the very, very keen of eye would note his hands shaking, Rowan stows the letters on his person. He stands, still very pale. "I think… I might very well be experiencing some ill effects yet. I should probably return to the Sept. Let Josse have a look…" He steps backwards, bowing as he does. "Forgive me."
Rygar nods once sharply when his preparedly is inquired after. Rowan's excusing of himself draws his cousin's eye for a long moment. "Compose yourself, cousin. We shall speak on this later to secure your assent." A sharp nod of parting is given to his kinsman. Once the assent of the ladies is had, the Nayland knight will step to keep a comfortable pace on the gradual uphill climb toward Four Eagles Tower, head held high.
The look from Anais isn't lost on Kevan. Still, though, he finds hard to dredge up much in the way of annoyance at the irrepressible young woman, hiding a knowing smirk of his own as he walks alongside his lady's horse. "And of yourself, Ser? Recovered from your tilt with the Young Lord Terrick, I trust?" Kevan can't help but chime in at the end of Rygar and Jarod's conversation. "It looked a painful fall, from where I was sitting," he adds, his smirk becoming not quite so hidden as before.
"Ah, so there are witnesses to Jaremy's purported skill?" Anais asks at Kevan's question, swift smile crossing her features as she guides her mount toward where Rygar is walking. "I am informed at every turn that I am betrothed to a great knight, but I never get a chance to witness it for myself. Though I think Caytiv was to train with him this morning," she adds, twisting in her saddle to search for her brother.
"Lady Banefort, I will see to the needs of our guests once we return to the Tower. I am certain we will be able to find food and drink enough to refresh them after their journey, and I will speak to the steward to see after accommodations, so that they will not feel as if have left their own home." Clearly, she's one with the desire to make guests, regardless of their colours, at home. That being said, she's happy enough to continue in silence, until the party arrives at the Tower and she can dismount and be about her business.
Caytiv has neither met his sisters eye, and then he's taken the opportunity of people distracted in getting the ladies on horseback to pop off discreetly down a street separate from the one the nobly born are like to process down on their way to the tower.
"A bump taken in sport, Ser, nothing more," Rygar voices evenly to Kevan's inquiry. "The joust is a fair game, but a game none the less. It is no gauge of a warrior, Ser." As Anais speaks up bemused, Rygar's eye shifts to the lady. "Congratulations upon your betrothal, Lady. Ser Jaremy and I met in the tilt, just over a week past, in which he were the victor. Although there are none who can witness to any earnest deeds of your Young Lord Terrick, no doubt his accomplishments are still ahead."
Anais tsks softly. "Will you dash a maiden's dreams so, Ser Rygar?" she chides with a small smile of her own. "Since Jaime Lannister joined the Kingsguard, we ladies of the Westerlands have had to adjust our sights. I for one am grateful to find myself in a place where there's been no need for the heir to find himself blooded at fourteen defending against Ironborn raids."
"Perhaps not, ser, but even a game can at times be as… illuminating as the real thing, I have noticed," Kevan replies dryly. "In any case, you both handled yourselves well. Unfortunately, I cannot speak as to the subject of the melee itself." And that's where Kevan cuts himself off, his face darkening as he once again remembers his own exit from the same. He looks up to Anais. "I wouldn't be so sure of that, m'lady. I can tell you from experience, the Ironborn do occasionally find themselves this far northward. It is perhaps a less yielding hunting ground than the shores of the Westerlands, but it's also not as well defended." He gives a pained grimace. "The Riverlands have seen no small share of their depredations, I'm sorry to say."
The Terrick guards accompany the party as they move along the road, keeping to a loose formation. As talk turns to the Ironborn and their raids, Raffton glances sidelong at those speaking, taking in their faces as subtly as he can, and then looking away rapidly once more, looking as if he might try to remain even more silent than he already is, were that possible.
"Then my Lady has chosen her betrothed well," Rygar replies with rigid composure to Anais' voiced gratitude. that said, the stern-faced Nayland passes his regard over the Tower that looms ahead, past a broad green meadow.
Anais glances to Kevan at his words, thoughtful a moment. "Then it is well that Ser Jaremy should ally with a family familiar with fending off their depredations. Though choice has little to do with such things, as I'm sure you're aware," Anais smiles ruefully to Rygar. "But I am glad all the same. Have you a lady wife, Ser Rygar?" she asks, apparently content to make small talk as they ride.
"I'll not argue with that, m'lady. They're naught but a pestilence to everyone this side of the Trident." Kevan's voice is quiet as he responds, but no less fervent for its softness. With that, though, he disentangles himself from the conversation for a moment, continuing to walk along in silence next to Anais' borrowed horse and allowing the pair of nobles to talk. At least, if Rygar is even capable of such a thing as small talk.
Rygar nods once to Anais' query, eye still on the Tower ahead. "I have. With two fine sons: Ryon and Derrik." His eye turns aside to Anais as he addresses the lady, as is polite, before retuning his intent study to the looming bulk of four Eagles Tower.
"Then you are a lucky man, Ser Rygar. Are they yet of squiring age?" Anais, too, raises her chin to look toward the tower. If the Terricks planned a delaying tactic, they could have done little better than saddling Rygar with the young Banefort lady.
You head towards The Green
You head towards Eagles Way
You head towards Portcullis
"Ryon, the elder, is nine years of age," Rygar answers, his family being something the severe soldier seems willing to discuss freely. "Derrik is aged seven. At ten they shall be pages, and squires at fourteen." A long breath drawn in and let out through the nose.
"I wish them well of it, and you luck in finding appropriate families," Anais replies politely, looking down with a small smile. "Rowan seems to be doing well here. His brief illness aside, he seems to have taken to the craft of knightlihood quite admirably. He's a gentle hand with a horse as well," she adds.
Rygar nods curtly to the well wishes, but offers answer on the subject of his cousin. "Rowan's skill at arms has grown well. I trust that he has learned the less tangible elements of knighthood with the same vigor. Should the heart match the skill, he will doubtless soon be a knight, more the fortunate, he."
Eventually, the group approaches the portcullis, and Anais raises a hand to the guards on duty. "His heart is good," she nods to Rygar. "Though I think we both know it isn't always the heart that makes the knight. My father always said the heart was important, but a handy target for a blade. Best to use one's brains instead."
"A wise maxim," Rygar opines evenly to the Banefort saying. "He is yet a boy, and the hearts of boys are often prone to indiscipline. If there is one thing I have utter confidence in the Terricks to teach young Rowan, it is how to build the very best of intentions, Lady Banefort."
Anais's lips twitch as she leads the way into the courtyard. "Fair enough," she allows, waiting for a groom to hold her horse before dismounting smoothly. "It's a fine mount you have," she adds, giving the horse's shoulder a pat in thanks for the ride. "Might I ask where you got it?"
You head towards Courtyard
"This courser was born of the stables at the Fortress of the Sevens, Lady," Rygar replies when asked after the horse. "Foaled of an Andalus stallion and a Reach Brown mare. A suitable beast, of good pedigree and training. My Lady is fond of riding?"
"More than I ought, likely," Anais answers Rygar with a rueful smile, pausing to keep an eye on things as Liliana goes to prepare a reception. "It's good exercise, though. And I've been hoping for a chance to enjoy the countryside here more. The land around the Banefort is rarely suited to comfortable riding. Skilled, perhaps," she laughs. "But mountains were not made for horses. The hall should be ready shortly, I think. I hadn't realized Hag's Mire bred such fine mounts, though. There are ever surprises here."
"The House which relies upon another for seed, sword, or steed shall one day find it's grasp empty, Lady," Rygar opines in his own offered truism. "I will not claim that the Mire chargers are the match of a Reachlands destrier, for they are not. Yet they are swift and enduring beasts, they take well to training, and they are raised within our own power, indebting us to none. For that, I call the breed the finest chargers a Nayland could mount."
Anais considers Rygar for a long moment, speculative. "Such independence has its costs and benefits," she observes. "Freedom, of course. But the man with no allies stands alone on the field." She smiles then, a sunny thing. "Which I suppose is why you've made the match with Stonebridge and Tordane. Congratulations, by the way," she offers warmly. "I'm afraid I had no chance to see anyone after the announcement was made. Would you pass my well wishes on to Lady Isolde and Lord Ryker?"
"My Lady is new to this region, so I ask her patience in offering correction," Rygar returns cool in manner and crisp in tone, "Nayland does not stand alone. Nayland stands in the front line of the greatest host in the Riverlands, bannermen to House Frey, and boon ally of Houses Charlton, Erenford, and Haigh. Minding our own needs has not set us apart, Lady Banefort." After another moment, he nods once to her offered well wishes. "Your sentiments shall be passed, by word or by letter, as the Lady prefers."
"And there are so very many Freys, of course," Anais agrees with Rygar with a laugh, the correction rolling off her shoulders like water off a duck's back. "Ah, there we are," she nods toward the entrance hall. "It looks as though things are at least ready enough for presentation. Walk with me?" she invites with an easy smile. "I fear it might be taken amiss if I wrote a letter to Lady Isolde. Given the circumstances…" She trails off, sighing softly. "I would hate to come across as…smug. Women are always sensitive to such things. I think it might come easier from you, where there would be little for her to read into it."
Rygar assents to the walk with a curt nod, motioning for one of his men- Terien, if Anais remembers, to follow in order that the knight and Lady are not ever alone. "As the lady chooses, then," he answers stiffly. As they step toward the entrance hall, he notes while observing the stones of the keep, "You have come upon an honorable house in decline, Lady. I wish you luck in returning both vigor and sense to the Terrick name."
Anais glances up at the walls as she leads the way into the entrance hall, pensive. "Thank you," she replies simply, letting her fingers brush against the stones as she passes them. "It is my intention to see this house thrive. Not all houses once in decline remain so. The Lannisters themselves have seen quite the rebirth since Lord Tywin came to the seat."
You head towards the Entrance Hall.
"Your betrothed would not thank you for that comparision, I suspect," Rygar notes with a short sniff, glancing aside to Anais as the two (plus one) step inside. "But Jaremy Terrick is no Tywin Lannister. Perhaps that lot shall fall to your sons."
Anais laughs at Rygar's sniff, true humor in the sound. "No, I doubt he would," she agrees. Inside, there are maids with bowls of water and cloths for washing hands, one of whom Anais moves toward. "But he is young still. All things change with time. And if such things fall to my sons, then I will be a very happy mother to have such fine sons."
"You would also be the grandmother of new Royalty," Rygar comments on the heels of this theoretical lineage of hers. Despite Anais' jovial mood, the Nayland's manner- especially in those last words- is quite cold. "It is a poor child which fails to exceed their parent. And it is a poor parent who fails to leave thier child a finer world than the one they were born to. May fortune and quality make you a good mother, Lady."
"If it meant another bloody rebellion, I could do without that part," Anais admits, carefully cleaning the dirt of the ride from her hands and fingernails. She glances toward Rygar at that change in tone, noting it without drawing attention to it. "Thank you, though. It is certainly something to hope for. I'm sorry to keep you waiting," she adds, a flicker of irritation in her eyes as she searches the hall for the people who /live/ here. "But perhaps you'll take a drink with me?"
Revyn arrives from the Throne Room.
"The first were too much," Rygar opines evenly on the horrors of bloody rebellion. "I imagine that if our hosts were so inclined to recieve me at present, the Lady Banefort would not continue to be set-upon to provide conversation," the lean Nayland states crisply. The offered drink is met with a short shake of the head. "I shall not partake until my business is met, Lady. Do so yourself at will," he adds.
Word of a Nayland's arrival had no doubt spread throughout the Roost and perhaps it's for that reason that Revyn makes his appearance by descending down the curved stairs that lead to the upper levels of the tower. He's clad in a simple tunic and pants of browns and greens, his sword strapped to his waist as is typically custom for him. Hands rest behind his back, the left clasped within the right and as he makes his way down the stairs and steps off of them, one might hear the faint whistling that escapes his lips.
"Not even a glass of water?" Anais arches a brow to Rygar, starting toward the seating area. "As far as conversation goes, Ser Rygar, I am a young woman. I am told we are endlessly full of such things. No doubt to your chagrin," she adds with a wry smile of her own. "I could stop at any time, if it would make you more comfortable, though." It appears Anais has seen to bringing Ser Rygar to the entry hall, and Liliana has made certain there are maids and servants with bowls for washing hands and drinks near the seating area.
Rygar sniffs sharply at the 'not even water' query. "Water is life, not drink, Lady. I will not cease to partake of life, no doubt to the chagrin of some," he returns, echoing Anais' phrasing of moments before. Stern eye turned aside from the Banefort Lady at the approaching whistle, he notes the approach of, "Ser Revyn," with cool courtesy.
The whistling ceases only when Revyn's eyes come to rest upon Anais and Rygar and when he's addressed, there's a slight bow of his head towards the Knight of Nayland, followed by a simple, "Ser Rygar. I hope all is well?" Then, he's shifting his attention towards Anais, offering her a bow of his head and a flash of a smile, "Lady Banefort."
"Ser Revyn." Despite her best efforts, the faintest note of relief comes through in Anais' voice when she sees the Terrick knight, a smile swiftly breaking over her features. "How good to see you again. We've a visitor," she adds, turning toward Ser Rygar. "Ser Rygar has come from Stonebridge. I would say with messages, but that would be unfair to a knight. He's business here, though, it would seem."
"With word that my good cousin recovers, all is indeed well, Ser," Rygar returns to the Terrick Master-at-Arms, returning the slight bow of the head. "I carry letters for several of those presently at council, within," he restates Anais' introduction. "How fare you and yours, Ser?"
It's to Anais that Revyn allows his attention to remain upon for a moment, the smile remaing upon his lips as he gives a nod of his head, "I am surprised to see you keeping our guest company, Lady Banefort. Has my nephew abandoned you to such a task?" Then, he's looking to Rygar, the smile shifting to a touch of a grin as he nods his head, "We are all pleased by his recovery. As for I? Well enough, though my wife might speak otherwise to you if she crossed your path." Hands unclasp from behind his back as he motions towards the seating area, "Is your the result of my brother or nephew?"
"Abandoned implies that it was unpleasant," Anais smiles easily to Revyn, dipping her chin as she takes a step back. "Ser Rygar has been the perfect gentleman, and put up with my girlish prattling with admirable composure. I do hope you will be comfortable here, Ser Rygar," she adds with a nod for the knight. "But I suspect your business is none of mine. If you'll both excuse me?"
"I await the patience of the brother before bearing word to the nephew," Rygar responds in his habitually stern manner. "As well, I would have word with Ser Gedeon Rivers and his liege, the Knight of Oldstones. I am told that both reside for the moment in your family's hall, Ser." As Anais gives her words and moves to take her leave, the Nayland knight offers another curt bow, and the singe word, "Lady," in parting.
Anais words draw Revyn's attention back to her so that he can offer her a nod a bow of his head, "I would imply no such thing, for I know better of Ser Rygar. Please, enjoy yourself, Lady." Looking back to Rygar, there is a nod of understanding before he's offering, "Give me but a moment's time, Ser, and I shall venture in to see when your business can be heard and settled."
Anais draws a deep breath, dropping a curtsey toward the pair of men, then makes her way out of the hall, her duty performed.
"You have it, Ser," Rygar returns to Revyn's request of 'a moment's time'. The tall, thin Nayland maintains the straight-back, stiff necked bearing that so often marks the severe nobleman's stance.
Anais leaves, heading towards the Courtyard.
With politeness and protocol done, Revyn offers another slight bow of his head to Rygar before turning towards the door that leads into the council chambers, moving towards it and then slipping inside.