|New Meetings in Stonebridge|
|Summary:||Rosanna meets both Igara and Gedeon at the Stonebridge market.|
|Date:||February 4, 2012|
|Related Logs:||Aahm. The Ironborn invasion, but not really.|
|Town Square — Stonebridge|
|The surrounding terrain has several small gullies and streams that feed into the waterfront area just adjacent to the town square, the sails of the boats visible over the tops of the buildings. The square is floored in the same heavy stone that the east docks and castle are constructed of while the buildings are a mix of the stone, wood, and mortar. There are quite a few fish vendors with their fragrant catches for sale among groups of tables which tend to be busy most of the time.|
|February 5, 289|
The Lady Rosanna Groves is quite an enthusiastic creature at times: newly-arrived to Stonebridge with Lady Lucienne's train, the young noblewoman is taking advantage of having guards and handmaidens to explore the area both inside Tordane Tower and out. She is admiring the wares in the market presently, her gaze currently caught by some fine fabric. Spirits are high, what with the news going about of the successful reclaiming of Seagard and eminent breaking of the Ironborn at their home, and the merchant is happy to show off some silks for a potential customer.
The market is bustling, higher spirits loosen coins, and Gedeon RIvers is standing by a wagon set up by a man of Oldstones near the finer silks and cottons. He has furs, plush and soft, to sell, as well as some tanned leather and a selection of modest goods made from the stuff. He and his companion (a younger man, a son, perhaps?) are selling. Gedeon is talking quietly with the older trader during lulls.
Igara has even come out of her shell a little bit, safe in her cadre of young ladies and handmaids, her hair literally and metaphorically let down, auburn locks hanging in short waves down to her chin to either side of her face. She doesn't usually come out of the tower with her hair visible, much less without a veil on, but it's a merry time and most of the menfolk are still out of the city, and so the little slip of a Frey is enjoying a trip to the market. She looks at the fineries, of course, but seems only to actually purchase the most practical of staples for the household.
Rosanna's eye is keen enough to note Gedeon nearby and Igara as she joins her at the stall, though her arrival is new enough to not yet recognize either of them. Igara, however, seems to safely be a noblewoman, and she smiles warmly at her, if not without a certain amount of gnawing on her lip trying to figure out the delicacies of introducing oneself at a market. Where is her governess when she needs her?
"You're here with Luci's train, aren't you?" Igara does Rosanna the favor of breaking the ice, just so. All the girls came out of the tower together, more than likely, with the guards guiding the flock from strategic positions and keeping them moving while keeping an eye peel for wolves. "I don't think I've heard your name, yet. My name is Igara, I'm Isolde's cousin," she introduces herself easily enough.
As Rosanna and her guards and handmaids move a bit closer, Gedeon clasps arms with the trader before moving away and towards the finer and more imported cloth, pausing to peer at the stand with its silks and lace. With a lady and her retinue so close, courtesy obliges the blond bastard to greet the girl with a bow and a courteous "my lady". If he does not know what house claims her, it's clear enough somebody's does. And to Igara and her entourage, there is another bow and a "My Lady Frey." Her name, he knows.
"Yes!" Rosanna says a bit overeagerly, happy for the opening. "Rosanna Groves. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lady Igara." She dips in a precise, graceful curtsy, looking rather pleased with herself at how well she manages it. Her gaze slides curiously to Gedeon, looking him over being deciding upon, "Ser."
Igara smiles for Rosanna, a delicate expression on the frail girl's face, but one heartfelt enough, "Please, do call me Igara, we are both ladies, here," she reminds Rosanna, "And need not stand on ceremony between us," she adds with an impish sparkle to her eye, which is quickly stifled as she spots Gedeon on the approach, and she composes herself, lowering her gaze and joining Rosanna in lowering herself in a curtsey for the knight. "Ser Rivers," she replies, polite but reserved, as always. "What fine news we have had, have we not?"
"Ser Gedeon Rivers," the knight introduces himself to the curtsying Rosanna. "A pleasure to meet you, my lady. And how fine to see you again, Lady Frey, and in the peak of health, no less." Igara's words cause the gentleman to smile, dipping his head in a courteous nod. "Indeed we have. It is a pleasure to know he Riverlands are wholly ours once again."
Rosanna considers Igara with a warm spark of a smile. "Indeed we are." Gedeon is a source of greater interest, if only briefly, when she learns of his identity. "Ser Rivers," she greets him formally, considering him with an attentive eye. "You come from Seagard then, Ser? Perhaps you had chance to meet my brother there?"
Igara does not, for her part, go so far as to smile. She rises from her curtsey as the gentleman acknowledges her greeting, and remains with her eyes downcast, or from time to time looking aside to Rosanna when she speaks. "It is kind of you to notice, Ser Rivers," she replies. "I was too long under the Maesters' care in the Mire. I came as soon as I was healthsome enough, and I think the climate here is better for me. It is good to see the Maesters here have done well by you, as well. And, yes, we are blessed to have been delivered from so great a terror at last." It's probably more than he's ever heard her say aloud at one time, but it's voiced meekly and mildly, in evenly spaced syllables, as proper as if she were reciting memorized orations for her tutor, with points to be taken off for the slightest lapse in propriety and elocution.
"Indeed, I am much restored, Lady Frey, thank you," Gedeon assures for the maester's care. If she will not smile, he can smile warmly enough for them both. To Rosanna he says, "I have come from Seagard, lady Groves, but I regret I had not the pleasure of speaking greatly with any Groves there, though I believe your brother Kittridge Groves and his young squire were positioned near me when our forces reclaimed the castle."
"Well, I hope they fought valiantly, even if nobody noticed," Rosanna says with a light laugh. Her gaze flicks back to Igara with a hint of awkwardness as she speaks of her health, the young Groves' weight shifting just slightly between her feet before she stills herself.
Igara hesitates, but only for a beat, and then goes on to question Gedeon further, as there are plenty of ladies and handmaidens about to make certain there's no impropriety in the question, "And Ser Jarod Rivers, and his squire? They are both returned safe from Seagard, I hope?" she asks him, not even mentioning her fiance by name, much less making reference to their proposed match, as that's certainly not an appropriate topic for mixed company.
"From what I could see, beyond my own sliver of the battle, Lady Groves, they did, indeed," Gedeon replies to Rosanna. His attention shifting back to Igara, he adds, "Ser Jarod Rivers and Lord Nayland are safely returned, my lady. I believe young Rowan took a wound to his side in the first attack that pushed the Ironmen back into the city, but he was well enough to fight with the host when we sent them to the seas."
Rosanna's smile is a touch wry as Gedeon replies to her, though she stays observantly quiet as the other two discuss Jarod and Rowan.
"Ah—" an uncertain noise for Igara at the news of Rowan's injury, but, then, uttering another, less emotive, "Ah. Well. It is good to know he is recovered of it," she confines herself to saying.
"He's tenacious for all he's a slight thing," Gedeon says. "I know a bit about being the leaner man on the field, myself. I think he shall do his family proudly." Looking towards Rosanna, he asks, "How are you finding Stonebridge, my lady? Have you visited here, before now?"
"Very well, Ser," Rosanna says, her smile warming for Gedeon's question. "It's — different than Kingsgrove. But I suppose most places are different from each other."
Igara looks up from the ground and to Rosanna when she speaks, taking a moment to try to parse out the meaning behind the statement. When she's done, she looks toward Gedeon, just a flash of her elusive witch-hazel eyes, reminding herself of what he looks like before she lets her gaze go downcast once more. "Yes, Ser Rivers. I am no stranger to slightness. And we who are slight of frame must need cultivate a certain tenacity of purpose, if we mean to see our designs through to the end, must we not?"
"Most place are, Lady Groves, else the world should be far more dull and far less beautiful. I have yet to visit Kingsgrove myself, though I understand it's situated on the Cape of Eagles. What is your home like?" Gedeon inquires politely. With a twitch of a smile, he says to Igara, "Indeed we must, Lady Frey. Our wits must be that much keener for the mass we lack."
"One of my father's sworn swords is about the size of a house," Rosanna says with a warm crinkle of amusement in her eyes. "Must be terribly different." She tips her head to Gedeon's question, smile widening. "It's a very lush land, my lord. Thankfully, we escaped Ironborn attention."
"Of course, it's advisable for people of all sizes to keep their respective wits about them," Igara generalizes politely. "But, yes, precisely so." She regards Rosanna again, "A boon of fortune," she remarks gently.
"It is," Gedeon agrees, "It's good news that will be of interest to a great many who were not as fortunate. That may prove… interesting, for your family, my lady."
"I'm sure my family will be honored to be able to aid so many of our friends," Rosanna says in an airily smug sort of way, like hah-hah we have all the food, except she knows well enough not to say /that/.
"That is a generous sentiment, Lady Rosanna," Igara seems to approve, or else is simply being polite on the topic. "Especially with prices being what they are. My gentle cous did act with similar generosity to the refugees from the Roost— oh, but, of course, there was no real choice to be made, was there? When people turn up on your threshold cold and scared and hungry, what else is there to do but to give them clothes and shelter and food— and whatever sense of security you are able? To act otherwise would surely be inhuman."
"I am sure it shall be," Gedeon agrees, his expression appropriately somber. Igara gets another smile and a soft nod. "What a large heart you have, my lady. It speaks highly of your nature."
Rosanna smiles in a pleased sort of manner at Igara's compliment. She forces it down into something more appropriately sober as the lady continues. "Of course," she agrees. "Very generous of your cousin, but still necessary."
"No larger than anyone with a heart does have, Ser Rivers," Igara shies away from the compliment as a good girl should, deferent and demure. "To turn away a person in need is terribly cruel, isn't it?"
"I suppose it is at that, but the world can, sadly, be filled with cruelty. The ironmen have taught us that much, at least," Gedeon replies. with a small sigh.
"What if the need at your door outstrips your supplies?" Rosanna wonders.
"Well, I won't say it didn't try its best," Igara tells Rosanna. "There isn't much to do, then, but to share as well as we can, and to live in thrift and sparingness all together."
"That would be the most virtuous way," Gedeon is obliged to agree, "Help in however way you can, and keep for yourself what you need to see modestly to you and yours."
Rosanna makes a quiet, considering noise, chin tipped in an acknowledgment of their agreed answer. "That seems realistic," she agrees in turn.
They don't call Igara "The Virtuous" 'cause she's good at cyvasse. Indeed, even now, since she's not appearing at an event or going in attendance on her gentle cous, her garments, though of fine enough material, are simply cut and puritanically styled, and if it weren't for the handmaidens and guards all about her one might mistake her for a decently financed commoner. "Exactly so, Ser Rivers. When prosperity comes upon the land again, all will recover as one, and the people, common and noble, will be of one heart for having suffered together rather than separately."
"A veritable land of harmony," the blond knight replies, his gaze sliding from the women for a moment as he studies the silks beyond them. "I wonder, my lady, if you suppose the Lord Frey has as goodly a heart as you do. He is another of the Riverlands with the capacity to help many in these trying times."
Rosanna's slim, auburn brows lift curiously at Gedeon's question, and her gaze slides to settle on Igara as she waits to hear he reply.
"I know so, Ser Rivers," Igara answers, "Daddy is as good-hearted a man as ever walked in the light of the sun." It sounds a little defensive, as though her heart stung with bad things said about her father in her hearing in years past. "And beyond that, a keen mind and sound business sense. But where his funds are presently tied up— that I cannot, being so far from his court for so long, hope to say. Daddy shares out his money not only in times of need, but even in times of prosperity, investing in projects that better the land as a whole. You know as well as I how prices have been shaken by the invasion. I fully expect that daddy is already looking into where best to deploy funds to help speed a recovery."
"I am sure that is the case, my lady Frey, and the seven bless him for his compassion," Gedeon replies, offering Igara another small bow. To Rosanna he adds, somberly, "Would that we all might be so goodly as Lord Frey."
Rosanna bites down on her bottom lip, her gaze flickering rapidly between Igara and Gedeon. She curtsies a bit suddenly when Gedeon draws her back into the conversation. "Oh, yes," she agrees. "I'm sure we all do our best to act as generously as we are able."
Igara lowers herself into a short bob of a curtsey, mollified, at least outwardly, by the praise, such as it is, for her father. "I apologize. I did not mean to raise my voice." If that could have been considered a raised voice. "People say things about d—- about my Lord Father. Gross distortions as well as outright falsehoods." And a keen eye might catch a sparkle of sunlight through a tear before it falls to land on her day dress, which, being in a dark and oh-so-practical grey, does not show the mark.
"There is nothing to apologize for, Lady Frey. To see you speak passionately is… heartening. It illustrates your restored good health," Gedeon answers, the fingers of his hand flicking as if he might gently dismiss Igara's concerns. "And now, I fear I had best be on my way or my day's duties shall never be completed. Lady Frey, your company was as delightful as ever." He offers the woman in grey a bow. "Lady Groves, a pleasure to meet you. Should the ladies Isolde and Igara find themselves indisposed, I should be honored to offer you and your chaperones a tour of Stonebridge, sometime."
Rosanna catches her lip again before she says something unseemly, and is saved by the distraction of Gedeon's offer. "That is very generous of you, Ser," she says, dipping in another curtsy. "A pleasure to meet you as well."
"Good day, Ser Rivers," Igara lowers herself into a deeper curtsey than before, nor does she rise as she continues to speak, "I pray you do, should you see them, give my respectful greeting to Ser Jarod Rivers and his squire." All very formulaic and faintly dispassionate, but the fact that she's asking it of him at all is quite remarkable. She will stay bent thus until he takes his leave of them.
"I shall do so, my lady," Gedeon promises Igara. Rosanna gets a parting smile. "Until next we meet, Lady Groves." His courtly manners exercised and his farewells made, the blond bastard moves further into the marketplace, letting the crowd swallow him up.
Rosanna watches the blond knight leave with a curious, if not exactly interested, expression. Finally, she looks back to Igara with a flickered smile on her lips. "Your manner is very genteel, Lady Igara," she compliments.
Igara rises from her curtsey once Gedeon has cleared the area, and she looks to Rosanna with a smile. "It's important to be so, especially when there are men about," she lowers her voice, glancing toward the guards as though one of them might happen to hear. "Less so when you are married, but at our age, it is still important to think about your reputation. I may be promised to Lord Rowan, but we are not yet wed, and if it does fall through I must need have recourse to an unsullied chastity to offer a new prospect," she points out, matter-of-fact as you please.
"Naturally," Rosanna agrees in a curious murmur as she studies the woman. "Do you care very much for Lord Rowan, then?"
Igara lifts her shoulders in a non-committal motion. "He is fair to look upon, and we were friends when we were small. I think I would be happy in the marriage, but he does not seem to agree. Still, we are promised, and there's not much for me to do about it now."
"Of course," Rosanna murmurs. She looks upon her peer in a moment's further study then drops the subject with the flash of a smile. "It has been a great pleasure to meet you, Lady Igara. I'm sure we will see much of each other during my stay, but I think I must needs return for now." She dips in a curtsy to the woman.
"Good-day, Rosanna," Igara bids the other Lady, "Be careful as you go and I will see you soon," she adds, and dips into a little curtsey before she goes along on her shopping trip.