|More Flints in Stonebridge|
|Summary:||Einar arrives in stonebridge and walks in on a discussion on the alternative properties of roses.|
|Related Logs:||None that I am aware of|
|Gardens, Tordane Tower|
|The rose garden of House Tordane is about three hundred square feet and hemmed in by walls about eye level to keep out the attention of wildlife. Bees hum about the area and around the stone archway which has seen the flowers grow up over and nearly encase in solid vine. The scent is sweet, mixing with the air coming off the water to produce an atmosphere some might find extremely calming. Stone benches have been chiseled out and placed along the path for visitors to relax on.|
|Wed Oct 31, 289|
It's a warm evening, mild to men and women, delightful to insects; a gentle summer blessing with its own cloudy lining of bites. Quite a cloudy figure himself, the young Maester at Tordane Tower, Taleryth, forms a nimbus of uneasy grey, leaning back against that equally silvery stone grey archway, lost in some abstraction. But it's not a calm of body and agitation of mind long destined to last. Footsteps, light but definite, approach, and Taleryth straightens up, his glance bright with expectant proffered service, whoever might emerge to demand it.
Those very footsteps belong to none other than the Witch of Tordane Tower herself. Whispers are abound about the Lady Wife of the Steward, and only about half of them concern the woman's strangeness. Anathema Nayland has proven to be more unforgiving than Valda Tordane herself, which might be a bit of an overstatement for those that worked under the former Castellan; however, as some have quietly pointed out, there are very few House retainers left that were part of the previous household. Even the head cook was excused just days before, though a replacement was found before dinner the very same day. She enters the gardens speaking to a brand new gardener, and both are talking about how to integrate the new herb and vegetable garden that Anathema has in mind. Out of the corner of her eye, she spies Taleryth, and she offers the Maester a nod of her head.
Maester Taleryth is (as, he often thinks, he always seems to be) - in an invidious situation - left over from the old regime, but only just, probably endeared to neither the old mistress of the Tower nor the new. If anything his best hope of advancement went to the the bottom of some stream with the Westerling widow, and his most admired colleague, the Master at Arms, is now half way back to Raventree Hall, or something. There's a lot of sycophancy left to do. So Maester Taleryth smiles, and bows low with an anticlimactic eight-link tinkle. "My lady! Might you seek any unguent or herb or vegetable or flower in particular, that I might help you towards?"
Anathema looks up from her conversation with the gardener to cast a wider smile toward the Maester. She nods her head toward the other man, letting the gardener go off to check the soils around the roses. There is a moment's pause from the witch woman before she casts a glance toward Taleryth once more. "Maester, perhaps you can indeed help us. With the state of the coffers, I am needing to make due with our gardens and hunting expeditions." Her smile gains a slightly thin expression. "Unfortunately, habits have been made in the Household concerning the amount of coin that goes into the kitchens, and they are habits I am having to break. Have you any suggestions on how to… remedy this?"
The maester bows again a little; though he's a tallish youth, his habits of obedience are beginning to put him in peril of a stoop. "Ah, my lady," he replies with a nervous lightness of touch, "no leave is harder to cultivate than that of gold…" A tentative laugh is rapidly suppressed, and Taleryth glides into step with the Lady, looking as sober and serious as he may.
"I have been giving our treasury very much attention, my lady, before and after the late…" revolution? "war. But by comparison, I fear I have considered the kitchens…but rarely. Tariffs on the river are one thing but," … the basic element of statecraft - answer the question you're asked, not the one you want, unless your position is very strong. His isn't. "…but anyway, quite as you say, m'lady, the kitchens. Plain honest fare sustains itself; lean bodies need much less feeding," he assures her in a sage tone. "Perhaps the Lord Steward might forgo meat at his table every seventh day? Or sixth. Or, ah, whatever. From economy, you understand," he hastens to conclude as he recalls he is talking to a tree-worshipper, "not, of course, mere piety!"
Einar hasn't been on the road for long, Highfield is not so far from Stonebridge after all. Having left his horse with the stablehands he'd enquired after his various relatives and been pointed in the direction of the gardens, so here he is. A little dust on him maybe, but he's brushed the worst of and it's hard to tell now that he's been riding at all. Turning the corner from the stonewalk he takes a moment to take in the view before making his way towards the Maester and the Lady who he recognises as his father's cousin.
"We are in agreement on the plain and honest fare, Maester," Anathema agrees with a nod of her head. "Unfortunately the cook could not bring herself to lighten our meals. Our new cook should be far better at such a request." She offers another calm, at-ease smile to the man. Then she quirks up a dark brow at the man before she shakes her head a bit. "Certainly… from an economical stand point." There is a hint of an amused smile on her lips. With a tilt of her head, she turns her gaze toward Einar — and she brightens honestly at the familiar sight of a Flint in the gardens. "Please Gods, is that Einar Flint I see?"
Winter may not have come, but Taleryth draws his rough grey hempen robe tighter about him anyway - things seem to be getting more Northern by the minute. He returns his mistress's smile with a cautious flash of tentative grinning - as if he contemplates jokingly enquiring if Lady Anathema has perhaps turned the cook into a quail, but thinks better of it. Perhaps it is the second Flint who saves him from himself, his tongu at ease as his head nods dreamily in that practised bow…
Even with his renowned hear, Einar is too far away to pick up on the details of the conversation between the pair infront of him. His name though, that he does catch, and the words surrounding it, which brings a bright smile to his features. Nothing quite lika a warm welcome after all. When he's close enough he gives Taleryth a respectful nod and greets him with a simple "Maester," before turning to give his attention to Anathema. Still smiling he offers her a very northern bow before a warm and fine natured "Cousin! I had not looked to find you so soon upon arrival. I trust you are well here in the south?"
"Better every day, as every day brings me more good Northerners," Anathema responds warmly as she steps forward to embrace her cousin. It is not unknown that she has a special love for her Flint kin. In fact, she's perhaps loves her Flint kin more than her Nayland. "Maester Taleryth, have you met my father's cousin, Lord Einar Flint? Einar, this is our Maester. Sharp fellow," she says, offering Taleryth a smile. "We were just discussing what to do about the garden. I'm told I cannot get rid of the roses for more… useful things, but there is an old herb garden off the kitchens that had been left to it's own volition that may find its purpose renewed."
Northerners might not be quite so bad as Ironmen, but Taleryth has still heard, and even read, that quite a few of them don't much like maesters. This one would appear, though, to have perfectly sensible views on the subject, and Taleryth accordingly gives him an open, slightly relieved smile. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, my lord," he rolls out with a somewhat automatic grace. But the Lady's next words make one of his eyebrows just about noticeably dance upwards. "With respect, my lady, I think this garden does have its uses, actually. Perhaps you'll trust a man of my cloth, when I say there are other functions for flora besides the medicinal!" He chuckles for a second or two, as if he's made an extremely witty and clear point.
Einar returns the hug, and not just because it'd be rude not to. Breaking the embrace he takes a step backwards to give the pair of them a little room once again and and turns briefly say "the pleasure is mind Master Taleryth, I am sure." The man though is obviosuly occupying less of the young Flint's mind than his cousin is, for he's soon facing her again. "What is it now, a year? No, it must be closer to eighteeen months since the wedding. You know that Corrie is laying-in at Highfield?" There's alwys time for a qucik catch up after all. As for the gardens, he glances round and shrugs, "If they are prepared to humour you with the herb patch then i'd start there Cousin, and then just use it as a base to start taking over the beds here while they aren't looking."
That does bring an amused smile on her lips, and she regards the Maester with a quirked brow. "Now, I must know what use a rose has, Maester. Perhaps I will find them redeemed if I know they serve a purpose." Anathema then regards her cousin with another smile. "Yes. Sweet Nerys was kind to tell me. I have already prepared a gift to send along in case I am unable to get away to see her and the new babe." She then glances back toward Taleryth. "I don't suppose you have ever been to the North, Maester?"
"Well, my lady," the maester replies carefully, with a meander over to a rose-bush that may look absent-minded but is actually wholly present-minded, "as I'm sure you know, the medicinal virtue of the rose is but very slight. However," and he smiles - he has a pleasant smile, as dashing and cleanly as some foppish squire - "if we consider them in another way…as an image, a shadow, of power…these roses are as fitting as they are beauteous. They remind us of our limits…"
One of his hands has been toying with a rose bough, and he now raises it aloft - it's indeed bloodily pricked, "as well as of our glories. And these roses have survived a lot, my lady, my lord. They are…the tower, made manifest. They illustrate what it means, to keep this town prosperous and involate; the cost and the reward…"
His voice has grown increasingly impersonal in its abstracted flourishes, and the Lady's specific question appears to jerk him out of that reverie. "The North? No, my lady. Just, just Fairmarket, and Riverrun, once, and Oldtown, and now here, my lady. I would…I would love to look upon one of your winter roses, the blue ones, some day. But…I am interrupting your privacy with your kinsman, m'lady! Forgive me. I shall be on my way." His bow is indisputably humble, but he doesn't wait to be given permission to melt through that archway back towerwards at the double…
Ah yes, of course, Nerys is already here, and Emrys, unless he changed his mind and went north directly. "I am sure she will take it as a kindness," he remarks, refering to the gift, then asks, "Will you be able to attend the wedding this weekend do you know?" Tia may not have been born a Flint, but she bares the name for now after all. He watches and listens dutifully to the Maester's words on teh rose, then waits for the mn to depart before turning to the lady of the tower one more, eyebrow faintly raised. Southerners. Really.
Anathema looks after Taleryth as he departs with a slightly amused look. "That Maester needs to be put in a glass display case somewhere." She tilts her head a bit, casting a glance toward Einar. "Now that we are well educated on the rose, Cousin… tell me more about how this Southern life is treating you. Nerys has told me that Anders is settling in quite well down here." Then she releases a sigh at the news of the wedding. "I would love to see fair Tiaryn married once more, but… As a Flint, I would be there in a heartbeat, but I am uncertain if Naylands are on the guest list."
DUMP: Aleister has stolen the database for himself.
"It treats me well enough Cousin," Einar replies, eyebrow lowering back into i's more usual position. "I think it helps of course that we are not so far south as that we can not return to the Finger, I was there only a few months ago in fact. I must confess that I do miss our fellow northerners though, these southerners are just so.. I don't even know how to put it." He takes a pause to breathe then adds, "I have been able to catch up with a few of my cousins on my mother's side though, which has been pleasant." He doesn't expand on that though, prefering instead to move on to the other issue. "I am fiarly certain that should Ser Saetheyr try and suggest that you were not welcome then my good-sister would quickly put him in hiz place." The answer is given with a smile. A whole host of armoured Naylands pitching up might present an issue, but since Aleister has apparently agreed to host the event then he's just going to have to put up with the bride's family. However far removed.
"Ah, the Haighs," Anathema says as she hardly misses a step in recalling her family's lineage. She does then offer a laugh at his attempt at assessing the Southerons. "Oh, sweet Cousin… I still have not found a way to understand them. My Lord Husband has helped make sense of them sometimes, but their behaivors still confuse me. Poor Nerys was saying just the very same thing to me about these Southeron girls." She shakes her head a bit, but then she offers Einar a softer smile. "Perhaps I can get my baby brother to escort me," Ana says with a wry smile, especially since Emrys is far from being a baby.
"Aye," Einar answers easily, confirming the family tree with a nod, "Lord Ian and his Lady sisters have been travelling the Riverlands since the liberation and I have had the pleasure of their company from time to time since returning from teh isles. Ah, the war, that brings a momentary recallection of less happy times, so he moves on quickly. "When I last saw your Lord Brother he did speak of wishing to attend, and I myself am here to provide escort for Nerys. I see no reason why we could not all travel as one party on the road. It is not such a long ride after all." He pauses for a moment, quite obviously thinking something through carefully before he asks, "could we walk a while, I find myself still a little stiff from the saddle."
"Let me speak with both Ser Tyroan and Emrys… if Em does not mind escorting his old sister around, I'm certain I can join as part of the Flint guests. I do not wish to cause an upset on Tiaryn's wedding day." Anathema then gestures for her cousin to join her in a walk about the gardens. "Come along now, we can walk and talk." She offers him a warmer smile, tilting her head. "I had been thinking of perhaps even taking some time to visit the Finger, though there has been some conversation with Nerys about bringing her up to the Mountain kin. She is a curious girl."
Einar nods to that plan, he can't really see it not happening, but then strnager things have happened before. Slipping his hands behind his back he matches pace with Anathema, still looking thoughtful. The mention of the Mountains though catches his attention and he says with a smile, "The Terrick's master hunter was talking about visiting the mountains one day. He said he'd never hunted in snow and wants to try himself again our northern beasts. He has his duties for now though and he can not get the time, but I told him that if he ever did he should just say. He's a good man."
"He wouldn't know what to do with himself in those wintry days," Anathema says, perhaps with a hint of prejudice toward the coping abilities of the South. "Though, I suppose he could come during the summer snows." She slips her hands behind her back as they walk. "When next I am in the Roost, I will speak with him." She is thoughtful for a moment as she walks along the path winding through the roses. "I miss the North. Perhaps I should journey up that way soon. I have furs gathering dust unless its Winter."
"Given time I think he could aclimatise to anywhere, but yes, definately the summer snows for first introduction," Einar answers in agreement. "I think we all miss the north, although I suppose it likely that it's something we're going to have to get used to. Still, at least Anders now has his port started so that'll be another link to the Finger." And the rest of the north of course, or the west coast of it anyway.
"Port?" Anathema says curiously with a tilt of her head. "I think I've heard something about this… where is he establishing it?" She pauses a moment on the path as she spies one of her rather flighty little maids starting to approach, but she quickly looks back to Einar before she makes eye contact with the mousey little thing.
"It's why we did not return north with the levees after the war," Einar explains, "we've been working towards getting the land and craftsmen for the constuction." He also spots the maid, but he figures she's far more likely to be trying to attract Anathema's attention than his. "It in the lands that were oncw House Camdens. I am not sure of the exact deal struck with Lord Aleister but I do not beleive that he will be taking a part in the running of it." He turns to his cousin and offers her a smile then, "I suppose, if you're interested in the details then you could always grill Anders for them at the weekend."
"I will do so," Anathema says with a widening grin. Then she sighs as the maid starts to wave her down, and she releases her breath. "Yes, wave at me like I'm your common friend." She offers Einar a grim smile before she bows her head. "Cousin, please enjoy the gardens and I will see you soon. I should… see to this." And she waves toward the girl before she offers him a wane smile.