Page 035: Misdirection
Summary: Jacsen heads to Jaremy's room to make well on a long chat about just exactly -what- it is Jaremy's up to.
Date: 16/08/2011
Related Logs: Well Met By Moonlight
Jaremy Jacsen 
Lord Jaremy's Chambers — Four Eagles Tower
Lord Jeremy Terrick's room is a blend of mature, lordly styles and visions of his childhood. The stone floors are covered in woven carpets in shades of yellows, grays, and violets, and the walls are a mix of old shields, tapestries, and woven patterns vaguely depicting dragons and other mytical creatures. The square room has one large window and four thin arrow-slits, a large fireplace, a table with four chairs, and enough sitting furniture near the fire to make his room every bit a social room. A small bookshelf rests beside his large bed, which is draped in comfortable blankets, silk sheets, and furs at the foot.

Dinner has passed, and Jaremy has retreated to the sanctity of his private chambers. His sword has been hung from the corner of his bed and his boots have been removed. A slow burning fire churns at the edge of his room as he settles himself into a chair with one of the small collection of books he's been allowed to himself. Feet up on a rest, he carefully turns one of the large pages, eyes intend on the words written within.

The gentle rap on the door is followed by that selfsame door's swinging open but a few moments later. There is no hand upon it, but rather the end of what is now becoming a familiar cane, and a breath later is accompanied by features long since familiar, though less unexpected now than they might have been. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything /too/ important," Jacsen says, wearing something of a smirk as he steps inside, not particularly waiting to be invited. After all, it's his brother.

"Nothing that can't be started up again on another quiet night…" Jaremy replies from his chair, closing the heavy book. Rising from his chair, he steps over to a small shelf and slides the book into an empty space. Wiggling it a few times to make sure it's not too tightly forced, he turns on his heel and heads towards a small side table where some cups and a pitcher of mulled wine rests. "…besides, brother, you and I have a lot to catch up on. I wouldn't miss this for anything. Care for a mug while we sit? I've just put a fire on."

The younger of the two Terricks present turns to close the door to Jaremy's chambers, and makes his way to a nearby surface he might sit upon. "So I keep hearing," Jacsen agrees, nodding slightly as he settles, holding onto the shaft of his cane. "I'd love a mug, thank you Remy," he belatedly answers, recalling the nickname he always called his eldest brother by.

Pouring two, Jaremy drains half of the pitcher's contents. Walking the mugs over to a small table between the chairs that overlook the fire, he sets them down and turns once again back towards the serving table. Two chunks of apple-sweet bread are grabbed, and as he rounds his chair to sit, he takes a heavy bite from the gnarled loaf. "Make yourself comfortable, I was needing to take a night away from all of the guests, and even that damned ride I took to escort Ryker back to Stonebridge wasn't exactly away." He smirks, talking with his mouth full as he chews. "What's the news, Jace?"

He's not quick to seize upon the mug, letting it sit on the table before him, one hand still idly wrapped about the middle of his cane's long shaft, the other resting near the mug. "I have never known Terrick's Roost to be so busy with visitors," Jacsen admits, shaking his head with a rueful sort of expression. "And I'm sure most will be glad to see the backside of most, headed back to their own homes." His smile fades some, and he reaches for his mug. "But news? I don't know, Remy, I think maybe I should be asking you. It seems there is much swirling about our home, and swirling about you, of late. I'm sorry it's taken this long for me to do what a right and proper brother should, and come to you."

"Nonsense…" Jaremy replies with a shake of his head, pausing to swallow down the chunk of bread. "…we can't lose a strand of hair around this place right now and not have it hit one of our guests. There's few places to hide and there's always people about. I've had little time to actually meet with anyone, let alone you, so it's better that we've done this later than never." Reaching for his mug, he watches his brother over the rim as he starts to tip it towards his lips. "What have you heard about me? Don't be polite to me either, brother. Just rip the leech away."

"About you? Not so much, but I have heard /of/ you. And rightfully so," Jacsen points out, taking a slow sip from his mug. "First this business with Isolde… then a new betrothal to a daughter of the Westerlands… and now this matter of Ser Gedeon's right to what was not long ago meant to be yours…" He sets down the mug, his hands curling around it. "I'm quite interested in hearing what /you/ make of everything going on of late."

Jaremy chuckles, nearly coughing down some of the mulled wine as his brother asks for his take on things. "I really, really hope you have a few minutes of time, then…" He muses, setting the mug down again. He glances back to the door, making sure its closed and that they are completely alone. "A lot has happened, yes, and there are a few of us that feel that with an increasing pace that tensions are rising. Ser Gedeon has left letters with the Naylands claiming that Isolde is illegitimate and that he, as his father's dying wish, is to be ennobled and made the true heir of Stonebridge."

"I've heard about these letters… ones that Isolde took with the promise of returning, and now has done no such thing," Jacsen remarks, watching his brother for signs of the veracity of his information. "And now, while the only scrap of real evidence remains in Nayland hands, along with Stonebridge that by rights should be ours… you've the Knight of Oldstones quite interested in your friendship. Is that about right?"

"Oldstones, Nayland, all of them. They've all converged on this one spot. We've Oldstones telling us the letters are real. We've the Naylands and Tordane's claiming them forgeries. We've dead Nayland sworn with their throats slit at the Rockcliff and a dead child pulled from the river at Stonebridge." Jaremy flattens his lips, shaking his head ruefully. "It goes far deeper, there are some of us that are looking into the possibility of these being forgeries, specifically because no one actually knows these Valentins."

"And because you've word from Isolde through an intermediary that there is more to the Valentin cause than we yet see. That the stink of the Ironborn clings a bit too heavy to Ser Anton," Jacsen furthers, his brow rising archly as he watches upon his brother. He lifts his mug, and takes a long sip. "But what trust can be put in the word of a woman who has betrayed our family, and you, so?"

Jaremy tilts his head, taking his mug up again. This time he keeps it in hand, letting the drink breathe as he turns his gaze to the fire. "A fair point. There are just…things that sit wrong with me, Jacsen. I'll fully admit perhaps my paranoia is born from not seeing Lady Valda's treachery coming, only to suddenly find Isolde married off to a Nayland, but that doesn't add up a few elements. Like…how could Lord Tordane see his son ennobled and Stonebridge handed over? He had to have known the letter would not hold weight. Why would Lady Valda or the Naylands poison Ser Gedeon and kill the child in their own river? Valda's too smart for that. Now I've received a tip from a reliable source that Ser Cyric, Anton's father, may have actually been a commoner. He's eyes for Lu, you know, that Anton."

He set down his own mug, busying himself a moment with straightening out his right leg, both hands needed in the delicate motion. While it is clear that the leg and its movement are uncomfortable at best, it shows little beyond a faint grimace on Jacsen's face. "I think your paranoia, as you call it, is a healthy thing. We are circled on all sides by those seeking their own ambitions, all of them encouraged by the new realities of Robert's rule," he begins, as he busies himself with the mundane business of his leg. "But what conclusions to draw, and more importantly, what actions to take? You speak true when you say that the claim Lord Geoffrey supposedly gave Gedeon was a piss-poor one, though perhaps in the midst of war not much else was possible." He leans back into his seat then, reclining and leaving his newly positioned leg alone. "I wonder too, brother, at the relationship betwixt Valentin and Nayland. It is not beyond my imagination to see their subterfuge at work here, seeking to push us too close to the Valentins, who might well take what they want of us when we are made vulnerable."

That Jacsen thinks little of Anton's pursuit of Lucienne is quite obvious, given the cant of his look when Jaremy mentions it.

You say, "It's an awful lot of bodies piling up for my tastes, and if Lord Geoffrey had wanted his son ennobled he need to turn no further than father, who was at the war with him and Geonis. Now we've bodies in Terrick's Roost and enough whispering to draw even Tall Oaks out of their isolation to come take a look at what is really going on." Jaremy takes another sip, pointing to his brother. "Something is at work here, and as much as I'd like to cuff Ser Ryker, he dared to speak with me to ask me to find the truth in this…" He sighs, bringing a knee up to wrap his arm around. "…what I'm seeing is an awful lot of kindling and an awful lot of oil, and they are all here with us. I want this to end, peacefully if need be, but I would be a fool to not watch this and see the pieces in play. Something is happening here."

"Something is afoot, brother, and whatever it is most certainly seeks to engulf the Roost," Jacsen confirms, taking another long pull from the mug in his hand. "That is undeniable. While we ask one right question, in seeking to discern the truth, I wonder… have we asked the other?" He taps on the table's surface with his index finger. "Have we asked ourselves what /we/ are going to do? What /we/ want out of all this? From all I hear, it sounds like we dance to another's tune, whereas we must begin to influence the music by which our steps are determined."

Jaremy sniffs, eyebrows lowering as his eyes narrow at the heat from the fire before them. Locked in the trance, Jaremy absent-mindedly brings his mug to his lips for another pull. "Ser Ryker seeks to protect Isolde. Swears to me Valda claims this is all a lie. Lady Isolde has sent a raven to King's Landing to receive proof of Valentin's noble status from the log of the King's grand maester. Though I've seen any response could likely be suspect, tying up the process for weeks. I've heard word Oldstones is a ruins, yet Ser Anton claims it is growing." His head tilts towards his brother, eyes finally peeling from the flames. "I've sent riders to each. If we learn anything that puts us in the initiative, then we can sharpen our claws and wait for the perfect strike. Have you heard that I'm aloof, brother? Gods…I could have barked at Ryker for clapping my arm in esteem in front of Ser Anton, but…" He clears his throat, adjusting his seating in his chair. "…look. If Anton is genuine? We'll know. Outside of this region we may find our answers, like Banefort, the Crag, and King's Landing. You should remain seeming the level-headed one. The smarter of us two."

"Seeming?" Jacsen teases, reaching across the small table to touch his brother's shoulder. "No matter the truth of these matters, Remy, it is true that the Naylands and the Valentins both will seek to work matters to their benefit. We are courted by both sides because they know our reputation well. Once we are convinced of the rightness of one side or the other, we will act. Be it blade or deed or word, they know we will not suffer usurpers or charlatans in our midst. To be drawn too deeply," he insists, still holding to Jaremy's shoulder, "Is to ensure we are the first to shed blood for a cause that does not champion us."

"And I've no interest to break that good reputation by being the first to shed blood for a cause. I am going to take no direct action, save for gather information. I support Lord Camden's interest to use Tall Oaks as a neutral table for settling these difficulties, and remember, despite the number of friends we have this is father's house. I'm not going to make decisions for him, but I will keep my eyes open." He sighs, turning a bit more to frown and meet his brother on even terms. His chair creaks softly as he does so. "I was a fool, Jacsen, I should have married Isolde before you left. I won't be a fool again."

Jacsen shakes his head slightly when his brother says that. "Would that any of us could go back and do things different, my brother," he affirms, eyes drifting from Jaremy to his own ruined leg. "We cannot lament what we might have done, or what might have been." He lets that settle in the air a moment before he turns to his brother and continues, "That this is father's house, and his hand behind our moves, I could not mistake. I would advise him as well as I advise you. And truth be told, he has made you more and more the face of his rule, it would seem. While the decision will rest with him, much of the work will rest with you. And I am here to offer you my aid, in whatever manner you might need it."

"Then for the time being, disagree with me politely. Find small points, perhaps to point out where you would not be so bold. By all means, don't make me seem a fool, but…that you would cut the apple to the core in a different way. We wouldn't be divided, but perhaps we will see more. I've little talent for treachery but you're better than I am in social situations…you could do this, yes?" Jaremy's brows raise with the question, rising from his seat to stand before his brother. "It was told to me to protect my family, and with this movement, it's clear perhaps even Lu is at risk. Behind these doors, please, give me every thought you have, but out there…they must see me as malleable. My willingness to negotiate and be just should be seen as my weakness."

Jacsen reaches for his cane, and uses it to help propel him up to a mostly standing position. He turns to look back at his brother, blue eyes full of thoughtful contemplation. "I've already begun much the same, I suspect it will be no trouble to carry on as I have," he assures. "We shall see if I am able to draw partners of ours both concerned and scorned to my side, that we might have a better idea of what is to come." He lets out a slow breath then, summoning a small smile for Jaremy. "But it grows late, Remy, and I find myself keen for bed. Will you excuse me?"

Jaremy offers his strong arm to Jacsen, offering to help his brother from the chair, though as his brother pushes himself to his feet without aid, the older brother relinquishes his offer. "And if I am being a fool, Jacsen, please…gods I may wish I were Ser Barristan but that doesn't mean I'm willing to assume that I am. This is a learning process and right now we're playing for keeps. I will need you, and Lu, and Jarod, and Anais…it will take our combined strength to protect us all I fear." He sighs loudly, faking a smile. "Now, on that ultimately pleasant note, please have a good night's sleep. I'll see you at breakfast."