Page 149: New Friends
New Friends
Summary: Anais introduces Muirenn to the Roost, and Muirenn makes several kind offers.
Date: 11/12/2011
Related Logs: Arrivals, Departures, and Introductions
Anais Muirenn 
Entrance Hall — Four Eagles Tower
The Entrance Hall is more than two dozen feet high with ornate columns hefting the fresco ceiling above all. Plush seating is arranged around one side for visiting nobility while the other has less comfortable slab stone or wood benches for the peasantry. Alcoves dot the walls for more private discussions and sworn Guards patrol this hall at all times and especially during court. Several hallways and doorways lead off to different areas of the castle with a spiral staircase carved neatly into one corner that winds its way up.
December 11, 288

Continued from: Arrivals, Departures, and Introductions

With another warm smile, Muirenn relaxes and says "Please, call me Muirenn. It is my hope that we will become friends. I am glad to find someone with similar interests." Strolling towards the hall she nods, "I had one of our men check the stables when we arrived, he told me that they were very satisfactory." She hmms and murmers, "I am sure it must be a complex issue, I cannot imagine Lord Terrik doing something that would annoy my Uncle so very much as beginning to have regular dealings with those of the Iron Isles." Grinning she adds, completely off the subject, "Do you all have gardens here? I have not had much time to explore yet. I very much loved my herb garden at home, that is what I miss most to be truthful."

"I'm afraid no gardens," Anais shakes her head. "Not that I've managed to find, at least. I believe Stonebridge does. Here, though, it's more about the sea." She pauses, lips quirking as they pass by a closed in space. "There's the lichyard. But it isn't exactly a pretty place. I'm sure there are kitchen gardens, though, now that you mention it." At the talk of being friends, she looks over, a slow smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "I'd like that. Friends, that is. I seem not to…mesh well with most of the ladies already in residence here."

With a shrug of her shoulders, Muirenn's nostrils flare delicately and she comments "New people are always looked at akanse, especially new wives coming in to an established Household. It is a painful process I am told and not one that I look forward to. But we are both new, so perhaps that will relieve some of the pressure upon you." The girl gives a friendly pat to Anais' arm as she adds, "If they do not have a garden, than perhaps I will create one. I adore the sea but gardens are important as well. Come, lets see what has been set out for breakfast and you can catch me up on the inhabitants of the House and this complex situation."

Something indescribable eases in Anais at those words, a glimmer of laughter in her eyes. "One can only hope," she murmurs, leading the way to the hall and pausing to murmur a request to a servant. "A garden would be a nice project," she muses afterwards. "Useful, with the right components. And sufficiently ladylike, I'd think. Before I tell you about the Roost, though, you must tell me about yourself. Otherwise I'll have no idea what you'll find interesting."

Looking around, Muirenn hmms "A small spread to be brought…" she gestures to a far alcove, "…there would be lovely I think. More intimate a meal than the throne room and yet not the kitchens." A movement of her finger and a flash of a smile, "Septa Waldsteinia, could you please see that something is provided for the three of us…unless you mind Lady Anais?" Curiously she smiles at Anais, "I am not sure of the family's dining habits, so perhaps such is not done"

"I've actually just sent Stella to have some things brought here," Anais smiles swiftly, nodding toward the servant. "We often take meals out here in one of the alcoves, unless there's something important to be discussed. It's more comfortable than the throne room, and more intimate as well. Come, sit," she invites, moving toward a small grouping of chairs with a low table between them. There's another group nearby, just right for attendants to amuse themselves without interfering in the conversation. "You must tell me about Seagard," she urges, smile crooked. "It's such a very important part of Jacsen's life, and I know hardly anything about it."

"It is said that great minds think alike." Muiren smiles as she settles herself and skirts into the seat. "Seagard is…home. I am homesick, but not so dreadfully as I would be if I had been shuttled off to Riverrun or somewhere further inland." The girl hmmms, "I spent most of my time kept at my parents keep and only got to see Lord Jacsen once when I was much younger. I was…well I was a sickly child and it terrified my Mother that the fevers would come back even after I had fully healed so I didn't get to spend overly much time at Seagard until fairly recently." Gesturing the Septa to the other table she smiles, "Unlike Banefort, Seagard is at the foothills of the mountains and guards the western points. Tall towers keep watch over Ironman's Bay, even though my Uncle was not given the title of Warden of the West still he is still Defender of the Western Shore and we keep watch for we remember our duty when other Houses may forget." As food arrives, she smiles "I love my family very much. My Uncle is a serious man, but an honorable and wise one as well. The family likes your husband very much. He served my Uncle well as his squire."

"It's nice to be able to visit the shore, isn't it?" Anais agrees, glancing in that direction like a compass to a lodestone. "Seagard sounds very much like Banefort. Though larger, I'm sure," she adds with a rueful smile. "I wish Jacsen and I had the liberty to spend some time there. I think I'd enjoy it as well." In short order, tea is brought out, laid out neatly on the table and served to specification. By the time Anais is done with hers, there's more lemon, cream, and honey than there is tea, but to each their own. "Well, what would you like to know about the Roost?" she asks. "I'll give you the caveat that I've only been here a few months myself, and I think things have been rather irregular in that period."

A bit of honey is all it appears the Muirenn takes in her tea. Lifting her cup she takes a noisless sip before sitting the cup down in its saucer. "It is much larger with several smaller keeps." she replies honestly. Another quiet sip is taken before she helps herself to some bread, cheese, and strawberries with cream. It seems that the silence is not so much a waiting silence but a thoughtful one, "Well, perhaps lets just start with your family? I know what my Uncle has told me….and of course what the servants say but tell me what they are like? I have a feeling my Uncle will make me stay here till he determines which House he wishes to strengthen his ties to."

"Ah, well. There are many of us," Anais laughs softly, smile crooked. "Though we're not all here. Elinor's the eldest of us here. She's a very sweet, very proper girl. Well-behaved, though sometimes a little delicate," she admits, wiggling her hand from side to side. "Too kind to object to much, though. Our eldest sister, Shayla, went home after the wedding. She was widowed during the Rebellion, and wasn't terribly pressed about finding another husband. After that there's me. And then my younger sister, Gwendolyn, is here as well. She's a bit more active than Elinor, enjoys music and dancing. My younger brother, baseborn, is here as well, squiring for Jarod. His name is Caytiv, and if you're wise, you'll stay well away from him," she laughs, grin flashing. "He's not very couth, but he's terribly charming. I've four trueborn brothers as well, but none of them are here, I'm afraid. And then there are the Terricks, my new family."

"I have an elder brother, but he is several years older than I and left when I was small but he and I exchange letters often." Smiling she spreads a thick layer of jam upon her bread, "So about the Terricks? It sounds that I will like those from the House Banefort quite well." A bite is taken, chewed, and swallowed before she continues, "Tell me about your new family? I know the details and basics for Lord Ser Jerold is my Uncle's bannerman but as to the personalities, I am unsure." The young woman dimples a bit as she smiles and says fondly, "Though I do know my Cousin Aeric serves as Captain of the War Galley. It has been many years since I have seen him."

"I met Lord Aeric," Anais smiles swiftly, taking a sip of her tea. "I rather liked him. But as for the Terricks. Lord Jerold is a solid man, respectable and serious. Polite. But there's a deep love for his family underneath it all. Lady Evangeline…" She pauses, chewing on her lower lip as she considers her words. "I'm not sure Lady Evangeline cares much for me, honestly. She's a very proper woman, not…very approachable. But she cares fiercely for her children and for the way people view the Roost. Jacsen, of course, you've heard of. Very serious. Very smart. And he wears the unexpected responsibility he carries with a good deal of care. Jarod, on the other hand…" She laughs, smile flickering across her features. "Jarod is their baseborn brother, and the captain of the guard. He's a very agreeable sort. He's made his place here by being whatever is required of him, I think. He's kind, and funny. But sometimes inconstant, because he's trying to make everyone happy. I do think he's working through that now, though. Lucienne is a gentle soul. I believe she spent some time at Seagard as well. Very sweet, though I suspect she's…sharper than that underneath it all. She, too, is a proper young lady. And Lord Valentin of Oldstones has been seeking her hand. It makes her a lucky woman, though I'm not sure if Oldstones, rough as it is, is the best place for her."

"Oh yes, Lady Lucienne is well thought of at home." Muirenn smiles as she takes another sip of her tea. "Lord Valentin of Oldstones…really? Oh she is a lucky woman. My Uncle thinks highly of that family, though many feel it was perhaps a bit too generous to raise them up some quickly. Be that as it may, if Lord Valentin is seeking her hand then I am sure he will ensure that she is comfortable. I think the Keep probably needs a woman's touch. Perhaps Lucienne is the lighter presence it needs. Dark and rather dreary sort of musty place I have heard." Pouring another cup of tea, the young woman adds a bit more honey. "Your characterization of your new Mother is very diplomatic." With a smile, Muirenn adds "I have heard she is quite a unique character. Even so, I must needs approach her some." There is a pause and then she asks, "Do you know the Maester here? I had hoped to perhaps continue some of my lessons."

"Oh, I'm sure Oldstones could use a woman's touch," Anais agrees, rueful. "I'm just not sure if Luci will be happy away from her family and the comforts to which she's accustomed. But I could be wrong," she allows with a comfortable shrug. "And gods know, Lord Valentin is handsome enough to make up for all sorts of lacks." She avoids any further comment on Lady Evangeline, smile crooked, as a servant brings out a tray with strawberries and cream on it, as well as several strawberry tarts. "I'm not very familiar with the family maester, I'm afraid. What sort of lessons had you been taking?" she asks, curious.

"Strawberries and cream are my favorite!" Muirenn's eyes dance in amusement as she helps herself to a bowl. Looking up "Oh, I have been studying herbalism and Chiurgeonry mainly. Though our Maester at Seagard also tutored me some in law, assisted my mother with instruction in heraldry, and accounting. My mother made sure I knew how to cipher, but the accounting the Maester helped me with." Taking a spoonfully of the berry-sweet goodness, the young lady closes her eyes and savors the explosion of texture and flavor before swallowing and opening her eyes to smile at her new friend. Her voice lowers and she bends forward slightly, "As my Mother repeatedly told me, men may think that women do not hold power when in fact we hold a significant amount and that while we rarely have choice to who we are given we do have a choice of how we will run and oversee our households." Silk-clad shoulders lift in a shrug as she takes another bite, "There is some truth to what she says I think."

"There is," Anais agrees with a faint smile. "Though it helps if one's goodmother is amenable to the help." She gathers a few tarts for herself, adding them to a small plate for her lap. "I enjoy numbers, myself, though I've not had much instruction in herbalism or chirurgeonry. Just enough to know that stopping the bleeding is usually a good first step," she laughs, smile rueful. "And dancing. We were lucky enough to have an excellent dancing master during the Rebellion."

"Yes…but.." Muirenn takes another bite of the strawberries and then says softly, "Goodmother's do not live forever. You will have charge when your husband is Lord." She gives a faint smile, "I dance some, do embroidery…discovered the fun of tapestry. It is telling stories but with sewing. I hope to have a loom set up in my chambers or perhaps in the solar if they have one here." The young woman hmms, "What else, oh…I am an avid rider…I have gone hawking a time or two…shot a bow and arrow on a few occasions and I play the dulcimer." A wry smile twists her rosebud lips, "All excellent accomplishments for one of my sation I am told. I do enjoy gardening and am quite fond of animals. I always wanted a pet, but my Mother said they were dirty and animals belonged outside."

"I've started learning weaving recently," Anais smiles uncertainly. "I've never been much for sewing, I'm afraid. I can see well at a distance, but embroidery in my lap just looks like a great blurry mess. Weaving smaller ribbons and the like, though, doesn't require me to see quite as well. And Lady Evangeline…" She sighs, smile slipping crooked. "Well, she was most disappointed in my skills in the womanly arts. It makes her feel better if it at least looks as though I'm trying. Perhaps we might convince her that planting a garden would be suitable activity for a pair of young ladies, though."

"Weaving is excellent as is ribbon making." Muirenn gives a faint smile, "If you wish, I can teach you some of the dulicmer. It is a beautiful instrument and is quite travel worthy so it is easy for a lady to take with her. If you also so wish, you can join me as I practice my calligraphy. While it isn't something that will win a war, it is a thing of beauty." The young woman freely invites her new friend to share in some of her pursuits. "I bet you could make some lovely ribbon for your goodmother, add some pearls and the like.." The strawberries are gone and another cup of tea is poured. "This is fun, I have not had another woman my age to talk to for a very long time."

"No?" Anais' smile twists with rueful amusement as she laughs. "I've been surrounded, I'm afraid. Three sisters, and then there were cousins, and all the attendant handmaids and wards and whatnots. To be honest, I found myself wanting to escape half the time. And doing so." She takes a sip of her tea, then sets the cup down gently. "I should warn you, you'll probably hear any number of things about how inappropriate I am. And, to be fair, I am not the most demure of women. Personally, though, I think I'm /fun/, and that should count for something."

"You have a friendly spirit and a sweet nature. That counts for more than fun." Muirenn gives a faint smile over the rim of her teacup. "And there is a power to be gained in doing what is expected of you more times than not. If you choose the times carefully when you wish to take a stand you will be paid more attention to than if you rebel all of the time. That is a lesson Septa Waldsteinia taught me. I have not had much cause to truly make a stand so far though. I will let you know how it goes." She gives a wink and nods.

"Your septa's a wise woman," Anais nods, nibbling at one of her tarts. "I imagine the lesson will stand you in good stead here. If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to watch some of your weaving the next time you're at it. So far it's been mostly…adapted knotwork for ribbons, but I'd like to see some of the more complex patterns executed on a larger scale."

"Of course I would not mind. I am not all that good at it yet, but I enjoy the intricasies of it." Muirenn mmms, "This has been wonderful Lady Anais, but if you will excuse me. I need to go make sure my maid has unpacked all of the trunks properly. She is fairly new and still needs a bit of guidence."

"Of course," Anais says quickly, an easy smile curving as she stands. "It's been a pleasure speaking with you Muirenn. Perhaps we'll meet in the afternoon for a ride, yes? I'm sure by then you'll be tired of unpacking and ready for something to break the monotony," she grins. "And once again, welcome to the Roost. It will be good to have you here, I think."

"I am happy to be here and happy to have found a friend. I look forward to a ride this afternoon and to see some of the countryside. I am curious how the east coast differs from our western one." Muirenn rises in a rustle of silk and grins warmly at the other woman, "I will meet you after luncheon then."

With a wave and another friendly smile to the Lady Anais, Muirenn makes her way up stairs talking all the while with the worthy Septa Waldsteinia as to the merits of the new maid who has been sent with them from Seagard.