|Night Ride Out|
|Summary:||Lord Jacsen and Ser Jarod review some correspondence about their wayward brother. The Half-Eagle takes his leave of Riverrun.|
|Related Logs:||A Study in Peace|
|Riverrun — Stables|
|Horses, dead of night.|
|Sat Nov 19, 288|
It's technically morning when the guardsman comes to wake Lord Jacsen from his bed. Or at least, it's gone from midnight to what's the next 'day.' It's still dark outside and most in Riverrun will still be asleep for several hours. But it's at this time that Jacsen is informed his half-brother needs to see him. In the stables. Now. It's all quite cryptic and strange.
Jacsen does not wait too long before making his way down to the stables, still rubbing some of the sleep from his eyes. His clothing is mostly put together, though one might think him interrupted in some amorous moment, were it not for how he yawns. "Jarod?" he calls, in a voice just above a whisper, as he comes into the stables.
Jarod is there in the torchlight at the end of the stable, along with a pair of other Terrick guardsman. They're all in the process of readying their mounts for travel. Ser Rivers has got his spurs on, a green traveling cloak thrown over his shoulders, and the rest of what he might need on the road stuff into a bundle he can carry light with him on his courser. "Jace," he greets his brother in turn. He's not bothering to whisper, but he does briefly leave his men and stride closer to the other man as he enters. "Didn't want to waste any time. I've got to be off, but we should talk first." He's holding what looks like a folded letter in one hand.
His brows crumple together. "Got to be off? Where in the hells…" Jacsen doesn't bother to whisper once it seems like this clandestine meeting is not quite so clandestine. He gives his brother a wary look, and takes the letter from him, reading its contents.
To the Captain of the Four Eagles Guard, Ser Jarod Rivers, Ser Rygar Nayland writes.
The knights and men of Stonebridge entered into an engagment with a number of armed peasantry, under the leadership of a rogue knight and pair of sellswords in the fields north of that town. At the cost of one Stonebridge levyman killed, and another taking a minor wound, nine of the enemy foot were slain, including two mercenaries, with six wounded and the remainining ten captured whole.
The survivors of this action are presently prisoners of the Lady Valda Tordane at Stonebridge.
By my hand on this, the 17th of November, in the 288th year since the Landing,
Ser Rygar Nayland
Jarod hands over the letter, though he starts talking as Jacsen starts to read it. "It's Jaremy it pertains to. I'm sure of it, or Ser Rygar'd not have sent it. When I met him in Stonebridge, I asked him to give me his word, as a knight, that he'd contact me if he found Jaremy." He shrugs. "It's looking to me like he kept that word." His tone is grim.
"Seven," Jacsen exhales, after reading it a second time, his features quite set to match his half-brother's tone. "Lord Rutger gave me word of Jaremy, though he put him near the Twins, not…" He shakes his head, and lets out a slow, considering breath. His eyes, heavy with the news, are closed. "What is it you propose to do, Jarod? Tell me. All of it."
"If this is true, if Jaremy tried to raise…a fucking peasant rebellion…" Jarod just boggles at the very notion. As if it's both too silly and too terrible to contemplate. "…then they will want to execute him and they will have all legal cause to do so, and I will not call them wrong. I go not to save him, Jace, though I hope I can perhaps present another path that doesn't end in his head cut off. Still…" He takes a deep breath, releasing it slow. He looks like he's winding himself up to say something he very much doesn't want to say. "…Jaremy can't be left to wander free in the world. I told myself he might find himself out there, become a better man, but it's plain he is what he is."
"He might call for a trial by combat, might he not? Though I don't doubt Ser Rygar would take great pleasure in answering that call," Jacsen surmises, as his blue eyes open again to take in the sight of Jarod, suddenly the harder of the two. "What path would you offer them, Jarod?'
"I suppose he might," Jarod says with a shrug. "For my part, I think there's a better way." He meets his brother's eyes. "I am going to ask, as well as I can, that Jaremy be allowed to take the black and join the Night's Watch. Go the Wall. There's honor in that, and in its way it's just a black cloak rather than a white one. It'd be good use of a knight for the realm. Ser Rygar might think that important enough to put aside the satisfaction of seeing our brother's head on a pike. And it…it'd solve your problems as well, I figure. Our problems." He pauses, again to wind himself up. "Jaremy's a danger to you while he lives, Jace. I didn't want to admit it before, but this makes it real clear. I don't think he'd raise a hand against you on his own steam. He has a good heart." It's said with a snort, like he doesn't view 'good' as a compliment so much anymore. "But our brother is weak. And he is easily-led by those who stroke his vanity. And he would be a fine instrument - the first-born true Terrick son and knight as well - to use to rise against you if someone wanted to turn him so. He is a danger to our family, though he means not to be, and it is well that ends here. One way or another. In the Watch he'd give up all inheritance, so I figure it's the only real way to keep him breathing and satisfy both justice and our own security."
Jacsen listens carefully as his brother outlines his plan, and speaks with no little passion as to the reasons why it must be done. Were the circumstances different, there is no doubt there might even be pride there in his eyes, for he knows all too well how difficult those words would be for Jarod to speak of any man, let alone one he loved so well. "It… is a good plan, I think. And one only you would have the respect to win from Ser Rygar. Though you must not forget Lady Valda, surely she will have some hand in what is to come…"
Grimness suits Jarod uncomfortably. He can rarely manage to say even a half-critical thing of those he loves. Though he seems to be forcing himself to do it now. And it plainly is painful, much as he'd like to hide it. He has no skill at hiding anything he's feeling. "Surely she will. We'll see how it plays. I am no boy anymore trying to avoid getting under her nose at Tordane Tower, and I fear not 'Lady' Valda nee Frey." He spits after saying the woman's name. "Thanks for that. I figure it's the only real way we can hope to save his life. He's still our brother, Jace. I love him, whatever he's done. Be simpler if you could just turn something like that off, but I don't suppose you can."
His hand favors Jarod's shoulder and Jacsen is all of a sudden drawing him close, for a firm, if short embrace. "Then go, damn you, and go with my blessing, and my prayers. But I swear, you'd best come back to us whole, Jarod. I know, whatever happens, I've already lost one brother. Please don't make me mourn another."
The hug surprises Jarod, but it's welcome. He really needed a hug, for so many reasons. As ever, he returns such physical gestures of affection warmly and firmly, clapping Jacsen's shoulder before he breaks from him. "Might be best to wait until…well, late as you think prudent to tell Luci and your lady mother. They won't…there's no way this is going to end pleasantly for Jaremy, he's put himself far past a point where it could, and we'll only do our family dishonor by trying to save him from it entirely. Keep the letter, might help explain things, if they have questions, when you think you'd be able to answer them."
Jacsen keeps hold of the letter, and nods his head once, grave. "It will wound them, but… there could be no other way now, this is what my brother has chosen for himself." He lets out a long breath. "If you see him, Jarod, please, tell him…" That he is proud? That he forgives him? That he loves him? His pause is too long, then. "Tell him something that he needs to hear, that he does not go to either end with his head bowed."
Jarod goes to mount up on that note, motioning the men he's taking with him to follow. "I'll send word as soon as there's word to send, though I likely won't see you until you're back at the Roost. I find myself tired of Riverrun, and I can't make myself give a fuck about who gains or loses Stonebridge. I can do little good for you, or myself, here. Might as well make myself useful. I'm good at that." Bitterness is also a thing Jarod wears awkwardly, but it's the note he leaves on.