|Summary:||Rutger and Kittridge make some negotiations between them. Riordan and Roslyn are there as witnesses?|
|Related Logs:||Much Ado About Harpies|
|The Grand Hall is furnished as one may expect for a family that has funneled their treasury towards more practical uses, though the room is certainly deserving of the name. This massive hall is large enough to host a feast for more than one hundred people and still seats the Lord's throne at the head of the room upon a dais. Black iron hangers hold a pair of silver, candle-lit chandeliers in a line from the main doors to the throne. Two doors lead off near the throne, one on each side of the head of the room while a spiral staircase has been built into the wall on one side by an armored door.|
|Wed May 02, 289|
The Nayland party that left Stonebridge last night as arrived this morning at the Fortress of Sevens. While servants tend to the Lady Dowager's needs, the Hag having deigned to travel with her grandchildren, the other noble Naylands make their way into the Great Hall, with their guest. As Riordan had the forethought to send a rider with word of their impending arrival, a modest meal awaits them of bread, cheese, and meats. Plus, the ever favorite (at least to those who grew up with it) bitter Mire beer is also in abundance.
"And this is the Sevens," Riordan is saying to Kittridge, as he and his Lady Sister show him about their childhood home, all the while heading to the head table where their meal awaits. Travel ever has a way to work up one's appetite. Glancing to his sister, he asks, with a small yet mirthful grin, "I never asked, sister. After spending the carriage ride with our beloved Grandmother, do you think I might convince you to make the return journey on horseback?" He is teasing, of course.
"Are you tired of holding yourself to the pace of the carriage, Riordan? Or are you just so eager to outrace me?" Roslyn teases back lightly, her fingers lifting to smooth back curls that have been mussed by a long night's ride. She glances from her brother to Lord Kittridge with a shape of a smile on her lips, before politely inquiring, "Is there anything you would wish after the ride, my lord? If you'd rather retire directly to a suite or to a bath, I can have either arranged."
Word did indeed come, and despite Lord Rickart's absence in the room, there is indeed, One Nayland lord waiting. Ser Rutger, seemingly melts out thin air-or rather from his place standing off close to the stair case's doorway. Arms open as the party comes further in the Grand Hall. "Siblings, Welcome." the eldest Nayland starts, before a sweeping bow is given in Lord Kittridge's direction. "My Lord." he intones, before straightening up. "I am glad to see that you have come at last. Hopefully, I can take you Frog hunting, during your stay here. It is a night time sport, and one can get wet- But, I do hope you are up for such a fun outdoor activity." And like the gracious host, there is a turn, as a hand outstretches and directs back towards the main table. "But, you have been riding. By all means, eat and drink."
"You are all very kind," Kittridge replies to all three Naylands at once, "Thank you. I think something to eat will do me just fine. Ser Rutger, I can't say I've been frog hunting for some years, but I imagine I could hazard a go at it." He smiles, and heads with them towards the tables where the meal is laid out. "I have been here before," he tells them, "Actually. But not for a long time. But I remember taking the ferry once as a boy, I realized on the way over. It's certainly a unique setting for a castle."
Riordan grins broadly at Roslyn's return quip. If anything, the six hour ride has done much to restore the Regent back to some of his former self. And though the lack of sleep is still rather telling, his grins come easier to him, and hide the effects somewhat. "It is not everyday I get a chance to be better at something then you, sweet sister. I must take every advantage that I can get," he says, seeming to have no problem being at ease around their guest, even as his brother comes and formally welcomes then. "Good morning, brother. I hope we did not wake you unnecessarily early for you to greet our arrival." He seems genuine in his comment. Everyone should get sleep! Even if Riordan hasn't been, lately. And then, the younger of the two present Nayland males glances at Kittridge, eyebrows raised in curiousity. "Truly, Ser Kittridge? When was this, do you remember?"
"Rutger, brother," greets Roslyn quietly, the familiar, affectionate smile that is reserved for her brothers offered to him at his sweeping bow. She inclines her own chin in a tip at his hand gesture, brushing past to the table to take a seat, though she adds wryly, "Be sure to capture a frog alive if you do take him, lord brother, so he can bring the Lady Rosanna one."
"Indeed it is." Rutger is quick to agree with the Groves Lord. "But, it is also a fine measure of safety. The Sevens, is nigh impregnable by assault. And believe me Ser, some have tried." A nod of his head, as he is quick to move to pour a glass of beer for Kittridge, as opposed to seeing to his younger siblings. "I am sorry, that we are only being able to talk about things now, but business has kept me here, as opposed to the Bridge." A sniff and a cup is extended out to Kittridge. "A shame, that you did not come with your sister.." Rutger notes " But, I understand these things. Hopefully another time, and as we come to know each other better." this more or less to Kitt, before he is looking to Riordan.
"I am surprised that you came down so soon brother. I would think that you would wish to attend to your holding." A raised brow there before he chuckles. "No, no-you did not wake me early. You forget Ser, I do help in maintaining here, as well as I have two sons. Sleeping in is not a luxury for me, I am afraid." And to his sister a smile is given. "It has been some time, sweet sister. I had thought King's Landing would make me forget all about here." As for the Frog there is a raised brow. "Are we sure that is something, she would like?"
Kittridge shakes his head at Riordan, "No, I don't recall more than that when it was. But to be honest, ser, I'm surprised to think I haven't been here more often. After all, we are not so distant as all that." Roslyn's suggestion of a frog pushes his brows up, and he laughs, and then grins, "Oh, I will have to do that, Lady Roslyn. I will tell her Ser Rutger sent it, with his regards." He grins widely, and then laughs again, before taking a drink from the glass of beer offered to him. "I cannot stay long, ser," he adds to Rutger, "But I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter of business you proposed."
Rutger chuckles. "Somehow, from that laugh-Ser. I believe you are pulling my leg." The elder Nayland muses back to Kittridge, before he is nodding. Another glass poured, and he is offering the beer to Roslyn. After all ladies, before one's self. "Perhaps, you could tell me, her favorite colour? And maybe I could send something to make amends for the frog." A grin, and like that he nods once more. A lot of nodding today.
"Well, Ser. My proposal, as I would like for you to convey back to Lord Campbell is this. We of House Nayland, desire to purchase your surplus grains and foods. I know many here in the cape were hit hard with the recent invasion, and we would like to be prepared for the coming lean times. Mainly so we can support our healthy populous at the Bridge." And of course fuck the Terricks, but that is not said. "In addition to that- we are prepared not only to pay a good fine price, but also work in trade incentives for the Groves with Stonebridge."
"Well, I was not allowed a long visit, though unfortunately this does not promise to be one either," Riordan says, in easy response to his brother's observation of his presence. "I needed to speak to father personally on some matters, and as our sister and grandmother were traveling here, it seemed as good a time as any to do it. I expect I will be returning to Stonebridge come the nightfall, though, if not sooner." He too seats himself, taking a place at his sister's side. He will pour a glass for her and one for himself, before he pulls up a platter of food for them to take from. Looking to Kittridge as he places a hunk of bread and some meat on his plate, he says, "Indeed, that is true," he says, not at all hesitantly. For others, it might be an awkward matter of association. But Riordan doesn't seem to consider the need for such delicacy. "In truth, I wonder if perhaps I have been to Kingsgrove in the past, now that you make mention of it. I do not recall it, but if it was when I was young, I suppose it is not surprising." He pauses in thought, idly taking a sip of his beloved Mire beer before inquiring, "Has Kingsgrove ever hosted a tourney?"
Riordan also nods his head at his brother's words about trade, when it comes to Stonebridge, but for now does not interject, rather content to simply break his fast for now.
Approval is a subtle spark in Roslyn's glance as Rutger asks after the lady's favorite color, but she does not intrude further on the men's conversation for the moment where she transfers food to her own plate. Notably, she does not take a cup of that beer. She does, however, listen intently at the talk of trade.
"Not in my memory, Ser Riordan," says Ser Kittridge, "My father is not much for tourneys, and there has been too much actual battle to spare much thought for the play kind since m— I was knighted. I believe there was one held for my parents' wedding, though I doubt that is one you would recall." He takes a few bites of bread and cheese, meat layered between, and washes it down with beer as he listens to Rutger. "I would need more specifics, ser," he says after a few moments' contemplation, "I am sure you will not be surprised to learn you are not the only house interested in purchasing our surplus, and I would need a firm offer to bring to my father, if he is to be able to evaluate it fairly."
"Of course I am not." Rutger admits as now he takes a drink of his own beer. "And those I can give. We acquired a good number of coin from the Crown in our service during the recent invasion. As it stands, we are poised to offer you, the majority of our conquer's gift. In addition to the tariff breaks we will give all Groves goods that come through Stonebridge. " And there he looks back towards Kittridge "If your good Lord Father does not find it fitting, we are welcome to negotiate a price to his liking."
As for Rosie's favorite colour, Rutger will wait for that question to be answered.
"Ah, I see. I only asked because if you had, there is a chance I attended," Riordan says with an inclination of his head to Kittridge. He falls silent at that, listening to the negotiations, but for now not adding to them. He offers his sister a small smile, then contents himself to continuing to eat and drink while the talk continues to fall on business.
Roslyn's smile back is a soft thing, offered when it seems the other men are looking at each other. But then her gaze drags, wide and interested, back to Kittridge and Rutger. "Have you been approached by other houses, Ser Lord Kittridge?" she inquires politely, mildly. "The Terricks have spoken to you? Or the Erenfords?"
"I hear you are an excellent jouster, Ser Riordan," Kittridge nods, "Perhaps we will have a tourney one of these days and we can try a few passes." He smiles, and then turns back to Rutger to nod, pausing for a drink before Roslyn questions. "We have," he replies, and he turns his head slightly to include the others, Rutger in particular, in the response, "I know you are all aware how desperately the Terricks are in need of these supplies. And that for my house to sell them to you, or any other vassal of the Twins is likely to incure the ire not only of our nearest neighbors but of our lords at Seagard, as well. I will not dissemble with you: it will take quite an offer to sway my father to risk such a thing. But," he says, with a crooked smile, and a lift of us cup, "You are ever reaching beyond your grasp, are you not? I would not neglect to discuss it with you just because it seemed not to be the likeliest of possibilities."
"I would like to hear what you would like. I will not lie to you and say that it was not thought out what ire may be directed at you. Perhaps then what we could do is buy a good number of your surplus, and put a strain upon what might and could be offered to the Terricks. There fore, it could greatly benefit your House. Then you are not seen as betraying your over lord's in the least. After all, we want nothing but friendship with House Groves- and we would hate to put you in a dliemma that you have no support or an upper hand in." And Rutger, after all that takes a sip of beer. "So- I would like to give you a good price and I am authorized by our Lord Nayland to do just that." A grin there. "Indeed, we ever do. But consider this a reach out, in friendship and in a way that can mutually benefit each other." And with that the Nayland knight watches the Groves' knight quietly. "I would have another prospect to bring to your Lord, but I would rather speak to you on that in private- as it does not pertain to business, but other matters more close to my own person."
"Perhaps reaching beyond it, but we do have a care for what position we would put you in," Roslyn replies in quiet support of her brother, gaze flicking from Rutger to Kittridge with a brief smile. She adds, at Rutger's words, "If you would like, my lord brother Riordan and I can seek out our father with out own business, anyways. To allow you such privacy." A pause, and to Kittridge alone, "I hope you enjoy however long your stay in the Sevens is, lord ser."
"I would enjoy that, Ser Kittridge," Riordan says with a larger smile, talks of jousts and tourneys a sure way to get his interest. "Though I shall let you judge my skills for yourself, when we are afforded the chance." He pauses, and adds with a grin, "And if you agree to my brother's proposal, I will even allow you a fair price for when you ransom back your armor and steed." His eyes sparkle at the challenging jest, before he glances to his brother at his last words, and nods in agreement with his sister. "Indeed," he agrees.
"Perhaps something like that, Ser Rutger," Kittridge inclines his head in a nod, "I must speak with them and my father, and see what we believe will be best in the long term. And I confess that I am wary to accept favorable tariffs at Stonebridge as a means of payment," he adds, "Should your family hold it, that would be valuable, but — and I intend you no offense, and I don't mean to express any particular leaning in the matter — that is not a sure thing." He pauses to chuckle at Riordan, "How gracious of you, and not at all at the same time," he jokes back. To Roslyn and Rutger, he shrugs, "I suspect we all know, ser, what matter you mean there. Whether you wish your siblings to stay and hear it or not is up to you, I've no preference."
Rutger nods. "It would indeed be valuable. And we do intend to keep it." he replies evenly enough, before he is offering a smile back. "But, I do not take any offense. We are ready to put up considerable amount of coin, Ser. If I may show my cyvasse moves.." he says with a hand out. " I only hope to say the Tariff breaks would be the cream of our solid offer." Solid as in coinage, "Not at all final offer." A grin there before he is looking to his siblings, and then a slight shrug is given. "Very well, Ser." Rutger begins. "I would seek to Court , the good Lady Rosanna, for an appropriate length of time- so that our Houses do indeed get to know one another better and then hopefully can become something of lasting friends." hopefully the meaning is not lost.
Roslyn has already risen to rise even as Kittridge gives permission to stay, her fingertips splaying in the lightest touch against the grain of the table. She doesn't speak, nor make noise to draw attention to herself, but her gaze does fall over the dashing knight at her brother's question, a weighted study in hazel eyes.
"I am nothing if not contradictory," Riordan quips to Kittridge, raising his tankard in salute to the Groves knight with an easy grin, before falling silent as the talk progresses. He does not seem terribly surprised by the way the conversation turns, and he merely meets his brother's glance with a nod of his head. For his own part, he remains seated for now, though he does cast a glance to his sister beside him before following hers to study their guest.
"If I could tell my father you would offer such a sum as," he names some amount of coin rather higher than the current (already quite high) going rate, high enough to probably be the opening rather than a final bid in a negotiation, though not so high as to be insulting or laughable, "We may be able to make things work, Ser," Kittridge says, "And perhaps, should it ever come to pass that your family's hold on Stonebridge is confirmed by the king, we might convert some portion of that to tariff forgiveness, instead." He takes a long slow sip as Rutger goes on, seeming partial to the bitter Mire brew, or at least the pause it provides. "My sister is young yet," he says when he finally begins, "And lovely, and accomplished, and intelligent, as no doubt you have noted. I would hesitate — and I know my father would as well — to rush into any arrangement on her behalf. Particularly with one with whom we are so little acquainted." He pauses, and sips again, and goes on, "That said, I believe that if you wish to court her, understanding that no formal betrothal or arrangement or promise of such a thing in the future is being made, then we would be honored by the opportunity to know both you and your house better."
Rutger is quiet as he chews on what Lord Kittridge offers. There's a brief pause before he simply nods. "I think that would be acceptable to us." As to the number named. There is a look given back towards Riordan at the gamble the eldest just made, before he is looking back to Kittridge, and to that he offers a bow of his head. "That would be readily welcomed. I understand that we cannot set anything down formally. But, it is my hope that by this relationship would allow for perhaps something more permanent. In time." So yes agreement all around. With that A hand is out. "Thank you, Ser Kittridge.." And once that is done he looks back towards the others "If you will excuse me, there are some other duties I need to see to. Hopefully I will catch you tonight Ser, for frog hunting.." And the elder Nayland is off to find the Patriarch.
"Our house would be honored as well to know yours, especially if we are to do business together," Roslyn adds for her own part, however polite and neutral her part may be. She glances towards Riordan as Rutger moves off to find their father, a silent question in her look.
Riordan raises a single eyebrow at Kittridge's offer, and his brother's response. He meets Rutger's gaze without reproach, however, simply offering the elder a slight shrug of his shoulders. Turning his eyes towards his sister, he meets her look with a considering look of his own, before giving her a minute nod. Turning to Ser Kittridge, as he sets aside his tankard and rises from his seat, "I fear that my sister and I have some duties to attend to as well, Ser Kittridge. I hope you will forgive us for abandoning you, but be assured that all your needs will be seen to while you are here. Please, take your ease, and I will hope to see you again for a more liesurely conversation before I leave."
If Kittridge is surprised by Rutger's acceptance of that gambit, he manages not to show it, just nodding. "I will be pleased to convey that to my father, Ser Rutger," he says, "And will return you his answer as soon as I am able. And naturally," he nods at the next, "The courtship will be with an eye towards a formal arrangement in time, should the match be found to suit. I just didn't wish you to think I was authorized to agree to a betrothal here today, as I am not. But a courtship, yes." He takes the hand offered, and gives it a firm shake. "Thank you for your time, Ser Rutger. I look forward to the frog hunt. Oh, and Ser Rutger— My sister's favorite color is purple." He grins, and gives a polite bow of his head as he makes his exit, before rising as Roslyn and Riordan make to depart as well. "Of course, Ser, I know you have more business here than mine, and I would not keep you. If someone could be tasked to show me to a guest room I will trouble you no further for the moment, but I do hope to speak with you both again before I leave. Or you do," he tacks on for Riordan. He smiles easily, and bows to Roslyn, "Until later, then."
"I shall make sure someone attends on you, Lord Ser Kittridge," Roslyn assures him easily, almost warmly, as she smooths her skirts before offering a curtsy of her own. She looks to her brother before she moves to retreat, likely only delaying seeking out their lord father to find that servant to take care of Kittridge.