|No Damn Sense|
|Summary:||Ser Jarod and Lord Rafferdy meet up in Stonebridge and talk on brothers and Rebellions and knighthoods and things on the long march to meet Ser Bruce near Tordane Tower.|
|Related Logs:||A Study in Peace; Night Ride Out; Black or Death|
|Outskirts of Stonebridge — Stonebridge|
|The trails are worn and well tended here and the fields on either side are lush and full of wildflowers amidst the lightly scattered trees of the central Cape of Eagles. A few packed dirt trails converge with the main road from outlying hamlets around Stonebridge.|
|Sun Nov 20, 288|
Those who watch the borders of Stonebridge could not miss the approach of Ser Jarod Rivers, riding with a pair of fellow guards in Terrick livery. They're making very little secret of their approach to Nayland nee Tordane lands. He reins in his sturdy brown courser before crossing into town, however, just waiting on the outskirts with his men. He has some feeling a Terrick in the area just now will eventually attract interest. He and his men are dressed for traveling but not armored beyond leather jerkins.
About fifteen minutes passes before there's noise up the path, the sound of an approaching horse. Another minute goes by before Rafferdy rounds the bend, coming into view atop a large brown horse. He's dressed in rather un-noble clothing, a simple brown leather pants with a matching brown leather doublet. A crossbow is mounted in a holster on the saddle, and a quiver of bolts hangs on his back. He comes to a halt about ten yards from the Terrick men, sizing them up, before looking at Jarod. "Rowan?" he asks.
Jarod moves not when he hears another horse approach, and motions for his men to likewise keep still. He just waits. Rafferdy is recognized, and he nods a little to himself. Not as bad as he was maybe figuring he'd get. Until Rafferdy greets him in that fashion. Then he frowns in a very tight-jawed manner and mutters, "Fuck me to seven hells…" under his breath. He clears his throat. Attempting to moderate his expression somewhat. "M'Lord Rafferdy. It really has been a lifetime since you've seen your younger brother, if you can mistake me for him.. I'm called Ser Jarod Rivers, in case you've forgotten. I parted company with Lord Rowan at Riverrun. I am here on quite different business." The crossbow is eyed, though he doesn't seem to be precisely surprised the business end of something is pointed at him.
Rafferdy smiles, "I didn't mistake you for him, Jarod. I was wondering why you'd come here without him." His eyes move from Jarod to each of the ser's men, before returning to Jarod. He lowers the crossbow, but still holds it ready enough to use quickly if it comes to it. "What brings you here?"
"Is Rowan sewn to my hip? I think not," is Jarod's somewhat snarky reply to that. "He is no longer even my squire. He keeps service to Ser Gedeon Rivers and the Oldstones now, and I leave him to it." He doesn't relax much when the crossbow is lowered, but he nods again to himself. Reaching slowly into his cloak and plucking out an envelope, when he extends his arm to offer toward Rafferdy. "I received this from Ser Rygar and have reason to believe it pertains to Ser Jaremy Middleton. Who is my half-brother. As I suspect Ser Rygar knew I would suspect when I received it."
Rafferdy tilts his head a little, "I was not aware he was now with Ser Gedeon." He looks at the letter, and then moves his horse closer so that he can reach out and take it. Giving it a quick once over, he returns it to Jarod. "I'm not interested in trouble, Ser Jarod." He lifts his eyes to Jarod's. "Nor do I bear interest in the animosity of our noble bloods. You seem an alright man, and my brother thinks fondly of you." He holsters the crossbow. "I trust you are seeking escort into Stonebridge, then?"
"Has been for some months now," Jarod answers in a mutter that's rather unhappy. Not that this would've been in any way obvious the way he and Rowan were paling around at Riverrun when they met Rafferdy. "It's a long story and Ser Rygar knows it if you're curious. I tire of telling it." He meets Rafferdy's eyes, expression moderating somewhat at the last of that. "I come here seeking no quarrel, nor bring one from my family. Jaremy is no longer a Terrick and, if what Ser Rygar writes of him has any speck of truth in it, my lord father shall not argue the justice of…whatever needs be done with him. But, aye. Escort is what I need. I would learn more of what my brother did here, and speak with Ser Rygar as a knight on what his fate will be."
Rafferdy studies Jarod for a long moment, and then he nods. He backs his horse a few steps, turning it, and then begins to lead them up the road at a casual pace. Assuming Jarod and his men follow, he moves his horse to ride beside Jarod. "You and Rowan seem very close, Ser Jarod," he observes, glancing at the other man, perhaps trying to make some form of friendly conversation as they head on.
"Do we seem that?" is Jarod's somewhat terse reply as he nudges his horse forward. He and his men will follow where Rafferdy leads. "Habit, I suppose. He served me for four years. I shall always bear the lad much fondness, but he found Ser Gedeon a better match for what he wanted. Out of the knighthood. I'll not argue." He strives to turn the conversation to any other subject. "You seem a curious man for a lordling. Or at least, a lordling who's passing found of commoner garb and bottom-shelf taverns."
Rafferdy furrows his brow a bit at Jarod's response. "You don't like me, do you?" he asks, kind of flatly, looking over at Jarod.
Jarod sighs at that, looking rather like he's biting his tongue. "I hold no dislike for you, m'lord," he replies, far less tersely than when he was going on about matters Rowan. "In truth, I like you better than any other Nayland I've met save your younger brother. From what little I know. At least, I'm not sorry to have fought the same bloke as you back in that tavern. It's just…been a long ride. Long week. And I half-worry I'll get to Tordane Tower and find my brother's head already mounted on a pike." It's humor, if a very black sort.
Rafferdy watches Jarod, and slowly nods. That seems to make a great deal of sense, and he looks up the road. "Truth be told, Ser Jarod… I'm…" He smirks, it's a little nervous as he admits this, "I'm actually jealous of you. With Rowan, I mean."
"Jealous, m'lord?" This earns a blank blink from Jarod. "I can pretty well assure you you've no reason to be. But what makes you say that?"
Rafferdy shrugs, "I hardly know him. I left home when I was young, he was even younger." He glances at Jarod, "In the bar, I didn't even recognize him until he told me who he was." He looks back up the road. "It seems I share little in common with most of my family, save Rutger." Offering a little chuckle, he shrugs once more, "I wish I could say I knew him as you seem to."
Jarod shrugs. "He's a good lad, and worth knowing, if you desire to be closer to him. I think he would like that. He seems to have little contact with his kin save his sister, Rowenna. The disowned one." He says the name quickly and dwells not on it. "I mean to speak no ill of your kinfolk, m'lord, but I gather Rowan was not well-done by in his lord father's house. I hope he found some measure of happiness with me and mine, though we no longer suit each other it seems."
Rafferdy sighs, "We all yearn for Father's approval. To be fair, Rowan was always a bit odd. I recall that even from what little I remember of our childhood. Sometimes not being done right by family is brought on ourselves as much as by them," he offers. "I'm sorry he's felt the need to leave your training. I hope the departure was amiable for you both."
"I thought it necessary at the time. Looking back, I'd have handled it different. But it's done now," Jarod says, as to Rowan's leaving his service. "I understand why he did it. And everyone yearns for their father's approval." He says it rather ruefully. "Though I imagine gaining that of my lord father is a different matter than gaining that of Lord Rickart. What sort of man is he, if I may ask? Rowan speaks of him little. I do not think he cares to."
Rafferdy shakes his head a little, "I could tell you how I imagine him to be, but… To be honest, I've not been in a room with him in 9 years." He shrugs, "He was stern. Loving, but kind of distant in that nobility way so many of us all are." He laughs a little, perhaps because this last hurts most, "Impossible to make proud of you." He looks at Jarod, "There are probably better Naylands to ask this question, Ser."
Jarod listens to that, though what he makes of it is unclear. He nods. "It was just an idle question anyhow, and none of my business. What'd he make of you going off to join Good King Robert's forces during the Rebellion? For us, it was family duty. I was squired to the Mallisters at the time, and my lord father marched our banners to war himself to join the host. The Naylands held back with the Freys. And even those others I've met who chose to go on their own, like Ser Rygar, took up arms for the Mad King."
Rafferdy inhales slowly, then rolls his head a little before he answers. "Well… I was squired to a Frey knight at the time. I was a… difficult boy. Father arranged me to squire hoping it would straighten me out, give me direction. But, to fight in the rebellion, I had to abandon that. The Frey dismissed my service, obviously. I thought he would be proud I was doing what I believed in. He was more disappointed by my dismissal. That was really the last time I saw him." He shrugs, "I was young. I thought I'd do some fantastic act of bravery and be knighted in the field of battle." He smirks, "That wasn't to be."
"Aye, it wasn't to be," Jarod concurs grimly. "I had the same thoughts. I was all of pride when Lord Tully called the banners. Thought it'd be like in the songs. I'd be some great hero, slay Aerys and his Kingsguard myself, that sort of rot. And I got to go while my elder fair lord brother was held back at home. Can't say I didn't take some enjoyment in that." He smirks, snorting. "Up close it was all just a bloody mess, and I was a stupid boy who was lucky he didn't impale himself on his own sword. Anyone ever ask you what it was like to see Robert Baratheon kill Prince Rhaegar at the Trident." Another snort. "That's what all who weren't there seem to ask me. I didn't see a bit of it. All blurs together in my head like a nightmare. Didn't know we'd won until my knight, Ser Vernon, was shaking me by the shoulder and telling me Prince Rhaegar was dead. Heard it like it was a story already, even though it'd happened near enough for me to go and touch his corpse if I would've had a mind to."
Rafferdy laughs, "That question could drive a man insane, given how often I've heard it, too." He smiles, "I ended up with the peasants, leading a division of archers." He shakes his head, "I wasn't even IN any close combat." With a sigh, he adds, "Not that we didn't contribute, or do well in the fight. Just… There wasn't anything going to get me knighted at that distance."
The smile is returned, an easy grin on Jarod's part, albeit one that doesn't quite touch his green eyes. "I took an arrow from one of Rhaegar's men in the shoulder. I can attest for the value of the bow. But, aye. It seems…there was less sense to all that than I'd thought there'd be, when I was a boy and squiring." The half-Terrick is in an introspective mood now. "You know? It seems like this big…thing. Being knighted. Like it's going to change you somehow, make you better somehow. To this day I can't think of what the fuck I did to deserve it. They were knighting every rebel squire even close to of age with all his limbs attached who'd held a sword that day. I led nothing, not sure I even killed any of the Royalists. The fighting was so thick in the center you couldn't tell if you were doing more than just getting men off you. And that's what makes you a knight. No damn sense."
Bruce arrives from the Town Square.
Rafferdy nods, "I was in the Center as well." He shrugs, "I only wanted to be knighted to make Father proud." He glances at Jarod, "I like to think, that had I been, he would be, and maybe it WOULD have been that big thing, and maybe changed something." He looks back up the road as they approach the outskirts of Stonebridge. "But who knows."
Jarod snorts a laugh at that, aimed mostly at himself. "So did I," he admits. "Only wanted to be knighted to make my father proud, that is. And prove I was as good as my half-brothers. I didn't feel any different after, for my part. But, aye, who knows? We both seem to have survived in the world with and without it." Rafferdy is leading Jarod, and a pair of other guards in Terrick livery, into Stonebridge. The Terricks are dressed for travel in leather jerkins, but not armored apart from that. They're headed toward Tordane Tower.
Bruce generally doesn't travel, or go on duty, without being armoured. Today is no exception - as the Stonebridge Captain of the Guard and two of the town's Guardsmen come into view, they're kitted up. Bruce's helmet hangs slung at his belt, and he's got a wooden mug filled with something steaming.
When Bruce comes into view, Rafferdy gives Jarod a nod, and rides a few yards ahead to meet Bruce and his men. "Captain," Rafferdy greets. "Ser Jarod Rivers," he announces, "is seeking audience with Ser Rygar concerning a letter sent between them." He rides then to the side, to allow Bruce to address Jarod.
"Ser Bruce. We have got to stop meeting like this," is Jarod's dry greeting to the Stonebridge Captain of the Guard. "Aye. When I was last in Stonebridge, after my brother Ser Jaremy Middleton…" Not Terrick. "…fled the Roost, I asked Ser Rygar to give me his word as a knight he'd inform me if Jaremy turned up. I received this a couple of days ago." He removes a letter, opened but with the broken seal of orange wax still intact, and bearing the harpy stamp. "I figure the rogue knight mentioned in it…well. I figure Ser Jaremy's turned up."
Bruce's eyebrow arches upwards curiously at Rafferdy, and he nods tiredly at the young Nayland. Then he glances over to the his Terrick counterpart with a slight smile. "Ser Jarod, well met. Aye." He glances down at the short letter, skimming it with an apparent familiarity to letters. He offers it back to Jarod. "Aye. It's him we captured. I tied his hands up myself, after he was torn from his horse."
Rafferdy remains silent, these affairs not really his own. He simply remains there, to ensure nothing goes wrong.
Jarod takes the letter back and tucks it carefully in the inner folds of his traveling cloak. "First things first, Ser. I would hear a clear account of my brother's actions, but if they are even near to what's described here, he must be dealt with under the law in sternest fashion. I have this from the Young Lord Jacsen himself. I come not to bargain for his freedom or even mercy, save one thought I have that might be to the better of both our parties than his head on a spike. I do swear upon my honor that nothing Jaremy has done since he left has had the sanction of my family. He has acted alone, and in a manner that contains no honor if this is even a word true."
"I hardly think your father would have gone to the lengths of disowning him if he were acting on the orders of House Terrick, so I don't think there's anything to miscontrue in that sense. Simple enough - there were rumours since he disappeared that he'd been raising troops. In truth, he had been raising something. I think troops is a poor word for it. Most were rabble, smallfolk with nothing to lose. Two sellswords. And himself. We confronted them on Nayland land, surrounded them and moved in. We asked for them to yield. Some did. Ser Jaremy did not. In truth, we weren't absolutely sure who it was until Ser Riordan pulled his helmet off." Bruce explains, with a shrug. "But Ser Jaremy's actions caused the death of one of Stonebridge's smallfolk, and the wounding of a levy Serjeant and a tanner in town. As well as, very possibly, crimes of banditry.
Rafferdy watches Jarod for any reaction, but again, remains silent.
Ser Jarod and Rafferdy are ahorse, along with two Terrick Guardsmen. Ser Bruce and his two Guardsmen are afoot. There is conversation,.
"Shit, Jaremy, what in seven hells have you done?" is Jarod's primary reaction, muttered under his breath as the tale unfolds. Showing more shock than he perhaps figured he would, after absorbing that letter all this time. Deep breath, which he lets out slow. "So…he tried to mount a peasant insurrection against Stonebridge and got a bunch of folk who weren't himself slaughtered or hurt." He seems to need to put the terrible absurdity of it in boiled-down terms, just so he can boggle at it more. "Mother have mercy on him. Can't figure anyone else is terribly keen to."
"Yes, he did, it seems." Bruce shrugs, looking little concerned with things now. "Those folk acted on their own concert. If they hadn't wanted to follow him, they wouldn't have. It's their own fault they were killed, they could have yielded like their friends. In any case, Ser Rygar holds Ser Jaremy captive now, as I've said."
Rafferdy continues to sit on his horse quietly.
"Fuck." Jarod takes a moment just to absorb things. Even with that, this is all going to take awhile to settle itself in his brain. He clears his throat. "As I said, my family will understand he must be dealt with as justice dictates. This…this cannot happen if there's to be any law upheld in the land. I have but two requests to make to Ser Rygar, and Lady Valda I suppose it'll have to be as well. One as a brother, one as a knight."
From the direction of Tordane Tower, one of Bruce's guardsmen approaches. Moving at a good clip, but not in such haste that he cannot slow to a more polite pace before offering a salute to his Captain. "Ser Longbough. Word from the castellan: Ser Jarod and his entourage are to be given an audience at the Tower."
"Well, I guess that answers that." Bruce mumbles to himself as the entourage moves towards Tordane Tower.