|No Place For Disobedience|
|Summary:||Rygar returns to the Mire, and speaks with Riordan.|
|Related Logs:||Riverrun plot, more to follow|
|Foyer - Fortress of the Sevens|
|The foyer to the fortress is a functional room to the castle with its own heavy portcullis and massive oak doors at the entrance. The interior is done in the same heavy wood construction that reinforces the stone walls at several points as well as serving as the flooring away from the stone entrance. There is a reception area with comfortable couch seating for up to a dozen people, as well. The room extends farther back with stairs up to the Great Hall in addition to a heavy iron door that is bolted securely into the stone.|
|12 November, 288 A.L.|
For the past week, a delegation of Naylands has been away at Riverrun, the capital of the Riverlands, debating the question of Stonebridge. Today, Rygar Nayland has returned, with a pair of retainers for company. Stern faced as ever, Ser Rygar enters his uncle's hall with a swift, purposeful stride.
Not amongst the delegation sent to Riverrun, it would appear, is Riordan Nayland. He has been kept behind. For what reason? Well, he would give a few, no doubt. Having just eaten, he appears in the hall, coming from the opposite direction of Rygar, making his way in the general direction of the main entrance.
Rygar recognizes his emerging cousin with a curt nod, and crisp word of greeting: "Ser." A look aside and a dismissive motion to the pair of retainers who followed him, and the thin, eleder Nayland returns his cold blue eye to riordan. "I bring word. From Riverrun and Stonebridge. Is His Lordship Rickart within?"
"Ser Rygar. How good it is to see you." Riordan offers a slight bow of the head in return. He slows his pace as the gap finally closes between himself and his cousin. "I believe that Lord Rickart is otherwise predisposed at the moment. If you'd like, you can pass the news onto myself, and I can make sure that it will be passed on to him."
"It is just as well you hear, cousin: if your Lord Father assents, I would have you ride west with me on the morrow, Ser." Gesturing toward the great hall, apparently intent on walking as they talk, Rygar begins. "Lord Tully is displeased, but without recourse. Matters at Riverrun continue to proceed favorably for our House, but it is word from Stonebridge that is most pressing: our woodsmen have located an armed peasant camp, some distance from town. I intend to muster a number of militia from Stonebridge tomorrow, march with half the Tower Guard, and eradicate them." A look aside at his cousin accompanies the words.
Turning himself and matching his own strides to that of his cousin's, Riordan sighs. "Well, I suppose that is unfortunate for Lord Tully." He glances at his cousin as the situation of which his services are required. "What is the size of this peasant camp?" He places his left hand gently on the pommel of his sheathed sword. "Lord Rickart will wish to know." He pauses for a moment. "I've no doubt that he'll permit me to join you in getting rid of this camp."
"At least one score smallfolk, poorly armed. But there is more: my scouts tracked horses, long of gait and castle-shod." Rygar seems to place great weight on those details. "What I suspect must remain quiet for now cousin: none beyond yourself and His Lordship. I suspect that this is the nest of that renegade eagle, Ser Jaremy Terrick."
"One score…at least." It is not this, however, that surprises Riordan as much as the next little tidbit. "Well, that is a concern for us all if that is the case. I'm sure my Lord Father would very much like to find out if that is the case. And, should it be what you suspect, we will want to be careful, while at the same time extinguishing it as quickly as possible."
"We will want to be swift, and decisive, Ser," Rygar opines with a sharp nod to Riordan's comment. "I intend to send a rider ahead to Stonebridge, in order that the levy might be gathered promptly in the morning, and stand ready to march upon our arrival at midday. I wonder, cousin: has the good Ser Andrey trained you at all in the art of the Outrider?" That last questions draws Rygar's keen blue eye back upon Riordan.
Riordan says, "Indeed Ser, swift and decisive." Riordan agrees, saying the words almost as if they're an afterthought. "That is a good idea. We will want to be as prepared as possible before proceeding." He looks curiously at his cousin at the mention of Outriding. "I am familiar with the practice of the Outrider, yes.""
"Good. Then, with His Lordship's consent, you have charge of the scouts in this engagement, Ser," Rygar states, his voice- while deferent to Rickart Nayland as having the final word- carrying every confidence that assent will be forthcoming. "It is well past time that the knights of House Nayland honed in earnest the skills we have long practiced. Once this has been brought before Lord Rickart, we will speak at greater length of the engagement to come."
Riordan nods firmly. "I will get back to you as soon as I have spoken to my Lord Father. I will attempt to make this a priority for him this day." He bows his head slightly. "I am sure that my Lord Father's current activity won't take him too long." He shakes his head. "Our motto has always been 'Reach Beyond Thy Grasp'. Unfortunately, that may mean what we do learn in the process goes untested. But, not in the morrow, I suppose."
Rygar nods curtly once. "Until His Lordship is prepared to receive you, then: your presence was missed at the Roost tournament. Had you been present, not a single Terrick champion should have survived the day without being overthrown. Ser Andrey sends his regards and best wishes, by the by."
"I had wished that I'd been able to make it to the Roost tournament. It was a disappointment that I wasn't able to make it." He shakes his head in dissatisfaction. "That is most unfortunate that any of the the Terrick's made it through. But what is a Lord to do?" He scratches the pommel of his sword lightly. "I admit, it would have been nice to see Ser Andrey."
"A nobleman will do what he must," Rygar answers the rhetorical question with a short sniff following the words. "Has aught changed with you since last I were present here, Ser?"
"Indeed. He does what he must." Riordan's words are firm. "I must admit, there is not much new to report. I have been in the same routine for quite some time. The only real news to speak of is that which you already know. So there's not much to say, I'm afraid."
Rygar acknowledges the answer with another curt nod. "Then perhaps, when the coming engagement is resolved, you might be amenable to joining the court at Stonebridge for a time, cousin. The chambers and accomodations are not so expansive as those of His Lordship's halls," a look passes around the Fortress of the Sevens about them both. "But there is much to be done, there. Consider it," the stern knight advises simply.
Riordan bows his head. "Stonebridge. It is a thought. I haven't spent too much time there. Perhaps a bit of a break from Hag's Mire might not be a terrible idea. Besides, perhaps I shall be able to get more responsibility. And, as you say, no doubt there is much to do there." He looks lackadaisically about the room. "And how about with you? Any new matters in your life outside of the most pertinent of concerns?"
Rygar considers the question for a clinical moment. "Enforcing law and discipline in Stonebridge has occupied me for some months," is his first answer. "My eldest son nears the age when he shall begin a page's duties. Oh, Jerold Terrick's ransom was well spent," he adds with a brief and rare twist to his lip, rather like a smile. "It paid for a dozen crossbows for the Tordane Tower Guard. I drill and I prepare, cousin."
"Well, you do have a most important task at Stonebridge, of course. Law and discipline are most important in any location." Riordan responds. "You must be happy about your son's impending duties. I'm sure he'll make you proud." He tilts his head ever so slightly. "A dozen crossbows? Well, that will boost the turnaround in the tower by a fair little bit, won't it?"
"Quite," Rygar notes cooly, nodding first to pride in his son, and second to the 'boost' in the Tower Guard. "They will be properly equipped to defend the fortification, or support the pike line, now. I tell you truly, cousin: I know not how the Lady Valda kept Stonebridge functioning for so long before our arrival. It was a soft and undisciplined populace."
"It is unfortunate, but not all families have the training that our family has been so fortunate in receiving." Riordan tilts his head. "But luckily for them, there are those in our family, like yourself, able to bring their defences and populace up to an acceptable level. Although I hope it wasn't too difficult to train them. I know some people can be quite difficult."
"There is no more useless or self-indulgent creature upon this world than a lazy peasant, cousin," Rygar states with a disdainful sniff, and shake of his head. "The smallfolk had grown accustomed to such little responsibility that they bridle against their feudal duties. They have learned, albeit slowly. It will be some time yet before they are fully accustomed to their role, but every week the callouses grow thicker, and their nature grows more obedient. We will soon give them a victory, and they shall learn pride in their service." Rygar speaks it all as though the events have already happened.
"Hmmm. Well, that much we know to be true. It often seems that many do not know what true responsibility is. They cringe at the thought of real work." Riordan shakes his head and makes a disapproving clucking sound. "We need sturdy, strong people in charge to make sure that their workload is not slackened. Which, I am sure, you are useful at."
"I have been ably assisted," Rygar notes with a short nod to Riordan's last. "The town runs with fresh wealth. Each month sees more trade than had the month prior. There is resentment among some few malcontents who maintain loyalty to the Terricks, but they shall learn obedience or they shall suffer the traitor's fate, and their heads will warn all others of the costs of treason."
"Ah, yes. Wealth. Important to anywhere." Riordan takes a deep breath in and lets it out slowly. "There always do seem to be malcontents wherever one might go. They are such a bother. If they'd learn to keep their mouths shut and do the work expected of them, they'd never find themselves in any bit of trouble. Of course they cause most of the trouble for themselves."
"Within days there shall be a good number less malcontents, cousin," Rygar voices evenly. "And the Realm shall be all the better for it. No place exists for those who cannot learn obedience."
"We can only hope this to be true." Riordan speaks firmly, with assurance. "We shall see what the future holds for everyone. And, with good fortune, those who do not wish to serve will not need to any longer."