|Summary:||Promises are offered from Ryker in case the worst comes to pass.|
|Related Logs:||Everything containing the letters and poisoning.|
|Lord and Lady's Chamber - Tordane Tower|
|The door opens to show the bed to the left, further from the entrance and the foot settled with a heavy locked chest with a few woven blankets draped over it. The carved posters of the bed hold wrappings of green cloth held by golden tassels, a heavy woolen blanket settled atop the stuffed mattress. On either side of the bed are removeable steps. A thick circular rug has faded over time and with foot traffic and takes up most of the wooden floor. A hearth at the corner of the room directly inward from the door is soot covered and crackling with embers. A heavy oak chest of drawers is fitted into a corner to hold the clothes and blankets of the Lord and Lady. Two chairs are set near the slitted double windows between the hearth and bed.|
|Sun August 7, 288|
That arnica had been boiled down and a poultice created over the few hours after her outting with Wayland, but Isolde is needing to reapply the mess to her hand. Asha had been sent to find the Lord and ask him to the chambers to speak with his wife, the Lady tending to her work with quiet diligence. The red blotches and sores from the wolfsbane makes her grimac as she uses a clean cloth to wipe away the old poultice, hand resting to her lap and atop a towel. A sigh escapes her lips and she flexes her fingers, hand swollen some. The basin of water is dunked into with the cloth before she continues to clean away the last application.
Ryker, as usual, can be heard stepping down the corridor before he can be seen. When he wants to be heard, it is never a problem. Coming into the chambers, the man flickers a smile to his wife as he shuts the door behind him. But when he moves closer to Isolde, his face turns down at seeing her arm. Eyes then lift to her face as if waiting for an explanation.
Smiling softly in return, Isolde watches his eyes focus on her hand and she doesn't stop her work or hide it. "Wolfsbane." She says in way of explanation. "A rather pure dose of it." Not a wild brush with the plant, but the oil itself. The Lady continues to clean away her skin, which has improved since the last application of Arnica. "I wanted to see if I could determine whether my Lady Mother had poisoned the wineskin with pennyroyal that the Squire and Knight drank." She lets out a slow breath, her manner even. "She had a nice little reminder that I should be careful when going through her things, but…I have turned up that my mother could very well have been the one to poison the wineskin from her private stores."
That was a lot at once. Ryker processes it slowly, his focus staying on the woman's face as she delivers it. There's no outward reaction at first until he lifts a hand and a single finger. "One thing at a time. Your mother, Lady Valda, keeps things hidden and protected with Wolfsbane. In this house? And she expects heirs? …How is your arm? Do you need anything?"
"I went and found what I needed with the sworn yesterday. I did not wish to draw too much attention." But then he has not commented on the poisoning. Isolde slows her work and looks up at him, "It is just throbs, it is nothing that won't clear up, but it was rather concentrated." She lets out a breath and looks back down to her hand. "I need an ear, my husband. I need you to hear my concerns without telling me that I should be strong and ignore them. Because chances are…someone will strike." She levels her green eyes upon him and nods her head to the chair beside her. "If it pleases you, sit.
Ryker listens to the point of her gathering what she needs and he nods once. "Wolfsbane can be lethal if the concentration is high enough. I have used it on arrows when hunting larger game." He deadpans it. Nothing about this conversation seems to please him or lighten the darkening mood hitting his features. The rest has him clenching his jaw as he sits beside her, hands resting on the arm of the chair as he looks to her arm. The man is obviously concerned about his wife.. but he is listening.
The old poultice now cleaned off, Isolde begins to draw the other side of the cloth, still clean to spread it over the blistering wounds. "I know, but I will be okay." She offers him a smile to reassure him, her gaze lifting to look over at him. "Whether or not these letters are true, it stands that by keeping them. I have made them more true than they could ever be." She expels a breath and looks back down to the care of her hand, turning it slowly. "The boy in the river, with the stags. It seems all too well thought out. The poison seems perfect but wasn't. All of these continue to spell out that Ser Gedeon has truth on his side, and I have nought by lies. My father would not so easily forget King's Law to transcribe a letter stating my brotherw as to inheret. Only the King can make a bastard a noble. My father had no power to do so. He knew it too." She presses her lips to a thin line. "The only proof I have thus far to my favor is that I was born late by the records. Ryker, I need to start looking at this as if I was not his daughter. I need to prepare myself for the worst that may come."
Ryker listens and flicks his eyes up at Isolde when she mentions the boy. Obviously his mind had been along the same track as hers when they spoke to Rygar. He listens in silence, eyes fixed on her though his tension seems to release. "Fair enough. You wish to start thinking that you may be removed and retroactively deposed." He only pauses a moment to give her a chance to steel herself. "You understand that the marriage would be defaulted and annulled. You would be cast out without the favor of anything that you have come to know as your own property in this life. You would be shunned by all, from noble down to whore. The ownership of this town and the protection of the people would be transferred back to your mother who could then do whatever she liked with it. It could end up in the hands of the Terricks, my father, the Freys, or myself. She would be shamed quite badly so I imagine her desperation would provide her equal opportunity to do any of those things." He cross an ankle over the other knee. "I imagine this town would turn into one of the most hotly contested regions in the Riverlands. …That is the likely scenario if you are going to be considered a bastard by the Tullys and nobility. Are you abandoning hope that you will be able to keep this position that, by my estimation, is yours? Or do you simply wish to prepare for potential outcomes?"
Isolde falls into silence, listening as she applies the poultice. "I am not about to throw this land into turmoil and give up." Her voice is firm in that. "But I must not deny myself that the possibility I will be deposed is real. I need to speak with my mother, not as one who suspects her of lies, but as one who thinks she tells the truth and needs proof for it. If Terrick supports the letters and others claim them true, this will come down to a trial. I need witnesses, I need credits to my mother's name other than her word alone. So far, I have very little to go off of. And I, would like to know for sure as well. The fact the letter shows a complete lack of understanding of King's Law. That alone tells me something is not right. Peraps others will notice it but they will focus on the fact the writing looks perfect to my own father's hand and it denounces me as his true heir. That is what I need to focus on." 'I' keeps getting pointedly said, the Lady wincing as she hits some tender areas, mostly near her fingertips.
Ryker listens in silence, watching his wife walk through her plans. At the end he nods once to her. "I agree with everything. I think it is important to have everything arrayed on your side as evenly as possible. The evidence against you is pointed enough, but I believe it to be patently horseshit." He's not often vulgar with her, but the word probably speaks to how much stock he puts in the letters. "Regretably, I will likely have to distance myself from you steadily if this goes to trial. If you're deposed because of this nonsense, I need to stand ready to accept the throne again should Valda choose to transfer it back. Despite how ill it makes me, I am going to have to remain in place and put off a strong front to uphold the law. But it does not change any promises I have made to you, wife."
A nod is offered as he agrees with her and then another slower nod as he speaks of distancing himself. Isolde finishes applying the poultice before she reaches for the clean linen strips to begin to wrap it. "I understand the need, though I am not certain what I expect my mother to do.." Her head lifts and she meets his gaze, offering him a soft smile. "Ryker..I need something to trust in here. I have very little anymore I am sure of so I have given my trust to you." Her gaze lingers before she looks back to her wrapping and then adds, "I need to speak with my mother..and I would prefer if you were there. But if you think distancing yourself would be wise..I will understand."
"Your trust is well-placed, Iz. I made that promise to you in the garden and I am not about to abandon you. We've had to deal with too much and I adore your presence. I refuse to admit that I will have to Lord over this town without you by my side." There is hard-cut determination in his voice, a sound that is close to anger. "I will go with you to speak to your mother if you want but you remember that you are my wife now. I am not going to let some cock fondler tickle his way into getting my wife removed from what she loves. You remember that no matter what happens."
Her smile grows a little more and Isolde dips her head. "I worry more of what will happen to the people..and Milicent should I be forced to leave. Promise that if it does happen, that you will see to Milicent and Kiel. That they will be taken care of and sent on their way if need be." She draws a long breath and twines the linen into the next piece as she continues to wrap. "Though my mother has a chance behind this poisoning…I do not believe her to have done such a thing. I can not question her directly, but I can ask her for evidence to support my legitamcy.." Maybe. A long breath is let go and she smiles. "Your certainty does well to give me strength in this matter, thank you."
"I have said that Milicent will stay on. If I must keep her as my personal servant, I will. She will be taken care of regardless of what happens. Kiel, I will do my best to ensure is properly seen to." Ryker dips his head, his words as sure as ever. "I believe that if you have discovered a possibility that your mother did it, that she likely had a hand in it. Lack of proof does not prove anything, though. It simply presents possibility. That applies to both the idea of legitimacy as well as the poisoning." He tilts his head towards her. "Recall the reason we cannot purue children for three months. Not due to a man, but rather due to the absolute certainty that any heir will be my own. An heir must be, without question, that of their father and mother. That is the law."
There is a faint flush to her cheek as he speaks of heirs and certainty. Isolde tightens the end of her linen bandages and tucks them beneath. Finished. She smooths her hand over her work and then folds the used cleaning cloth to set it on the table over the remaining poultice. "I am glad you will keep her on." She nods and then moves to stand, pushing herself up and cradling her hand to her stomach. "Then I must start right away, to offer no doubt to what will contested." Wetting her lips she tilts her head to look back at him. "My mother can chill even the warmest blood, but she is the only way to answer to this, if there is any at all."
"Possibly. But if she had a hand in the poisoning of Gedeon and my brother, then she loses all credibility. She also will lose her rights to this house. After that, it is anyone's guess who it may go to. The Tullys may decide it will, in the end, go to Gedeon and they could sponsor him as nobility to be brought in. If he is friendly with the Terricks, they and the Mallisters may also support it. And then? A man whom has been gone for five years will run this town and do whatever he likes without the benefit of a true Tordane to keep him honest."
"That is exactly why I do not believe my mother was a part of this poisoning. It is too convient..and she would not be so …dim witted to cause such a thing. My suspicions still rest with Ser Gedeon's sworn house. Valentin is so unknown and they may have had the means in all that time to aid him in a farce, or put him up to it." Her brows furrow and she shakes her head. "I am trying to learn more. I have enquired with the local apothecaries and during the last three weeks, no one has bought a large amount of pennyroyal..and I am looking to Hag's Mire next. But still..that amount of pennyroyal is expensive, not just anyone can afford it. We did just have a large amount of nobles on our land and that pennyroyal could have come from them. I may not get any answers at all. This does not bode well."
Ryker grumps. The man averts his eyes from her and looks to the floor with pursed lips. "Mm." Its more grunted than heard or said. "I suspect Hag's Mire will be a waste of time. Whoever did this, if it were not Valda, would have been smart enough ot purchase it elsewhere. As well?" He quirks a brow and looks up to her. "This assassin would have had to have known about the documents prior to when he or she told you if he obtained the pennyroyal during the tournament. No, I believe that there is suspicion to be had elsewhere. I would not put it past Valda, but this does not feel right. At all. There are too many pieces that do not add up. I suspect your bastard brother may have been the culprit. Or his House, proper."
"I would have to agree. I am given to think it is the House he gives his loyalty to, for it would make sense he would inform them of the letters. It is either that, or Gedeon has such a want to destroy me or my mother that he would poison himself in an amount that would not kill him." Isolde appears not ready to accept that yet. Gedeon. Her eyes close, squeezing shut as she turns to look at him fully. "Ryker, those letters are now in Rygar's care. I should not have given them to him. I should have handed them over and given them back." Her lips press together. "I have made the matter so much more worse now."
Ryker shakes his head. "You have made a mistake in giving them to Rygar, potentially, but giving them back to Gedeon would have been a certain mistake right away. While I may have been inclined to return them after we confirmed the fact that they were invalid, I think it was wise to hold on to them. We know what we will do with them — nothing. We do not know what the Valentin's, his leige lords, or the Terricks would have done with them. Those people may have been like family to you once, but do not stop for a second to think that they would not trade you for control of this town. They know what they have lost. Jaremy may still be an ally of yours, but do not count on the rest. Ever."
At his mention of not trusting the rest of the Terricks, Isolde frowns some and turns away from him as she moves to take up the bowl with what is left with the poultice. Cradling it in her left hand, she is silent, thinking on it well and long. "We can talk about all our assumptions but what must be done is to secure proof that I am my faher's daughter. Which means approaching my Lady Mother…whether I wish to or not." She shakes her head and then moves to stow the bowl away from sight. "If you wish to distance yourself, I recommend you not come, but if you wish to lend me support….than I would have, Ryker."
Ryker shakes his head. "I have no cause to distance myself from you unless," not 'until' "-it goes to a trial or judgment. I have no intention of leaving your side until there is overt reason for some arrogant ass to think that you might not be something that you are." He's firm about that last word and he rises. "I will stay by your side while you ask of your mother questions and make requests. You are my wife. You are my other half in this and will be instrumental when I take my father's throne. I am not going to sit by and let another woman be taken from me. Period. I fought for Lydia and if you think I am going to quit on your because of a godsdamned piece of paper you have, without a doubt, hit dimentia."
A wry smile patterns her lips and Isolde laughs a little, soft and short as it is. "Sometimes I wonder if that is not so. So many problems have arisen, so many obstacles. My mother was protecting me but she did not prepare me for any of this. I am only glad that you are willing to take those steps with me and not leave me alone behind you in the dark." She turns to look up at him and the Lady studies the Lord. "Then for now, we fight for this together unless it comes to be of greater concern. Then I will stand alone." She sounds committed if not a little nervous. "I will find this proof…no matter the cost." She promises.
"Attacks like this are not common, but they happen. Part of being a Lord and Lady is protecting your domain. That is why some are more authoriarian than others. They have a stronger hand because they must in order to protect what is rightfully theirs. Hold your resolve, Lady Iz. After this has passed, we will likely face more challenges and we may have to forge a stronger hand." Ryker keeps his eyes on his wife. "You may have to stand alone on the outside, but you will not be alone. If Gedeon gets his wishes and there proves to be a darker force at work behind him, it will be in the best interest of both the Terrick and Nayland homes to see you returned to your rightful place of honor and leadership."
Swallowing, Isolde nods her head and considers her words carefully. "And say there is no proof…and I am stripped of my nobility. It will be in your hands and my mother's to see to Stonebridge." Her gaze sparks to life and she takes a step towards him. "I will not give up..but when that time comes that I no longer have a hand…it is up to you. Promise me you fight for this in my stead. I know you want to go back to Riverrun, but if you say you care for me. Give me your word you will try to keep the peace."
"I give you my word that I will do my best to see this town kept safe and that your father would be proud to see what is done with it. I cannot promise what my own father will force on me, but I will fight for you to be proud." Ryker keeps his eyes on her. "I will make my stand here, Iz. But I will not stand to see you simply cast away like refuse. Should it look like the situation is headed that way, I will speak more with you on what can be done. But for now, let us focus our energies on dismissing these baseless claims."
The Lady is relieved by his words, that much is true as her head bows and she offers another nod. "Very well, I will do all I can to prove my legitmacy. I will need it if this goes further." She takes a step closer to him and offers her good hand. Isolde lifts her gaze and the set of her face is one of determination. All that is said, can be said and more promises made. Ryker is binding himself further to Stonebridge by his word to her. "Then it is past time to start this search. I will seek my mother."
"I am unconcerned with this 'proof', Iz. Know that. I am fully aware of who should be in this home. It is not me, it is you.. with a man of your choosing. But as we are here now, I will uphold the law and its spirit. You, my Lady of Stonebridge, are the spirit of this land and its people.. and its law. Know that." Ryker reaches to take her hand and let her lead on.