|No Place for Pride|
|Summary:||Prior to departing for Stonebridge, Ser Rygar delivers a lesson in the difference between honor and pride.|
|Related Logs:||Melee at the Roost|
|Recovery Room — Sept of the Seven — Terrick's Roost|
|Neat and tidy beds, white sheets, cabinets, and a window overlooking the garden.|
|28th Tenthmonth, 288 AL|
Perhaps two days after the melee, as the various wedding guests are going their various ways, and the new bride and groom are being given a tour of the Terrick family's new war galley, a visitor arrives at the Sept, ushered into rowan's presence, with a junior Septon trailing behind.
"Cousin," is Rygar's cool greeting, the lean kngiht's hawkish expression composed into his familiar stern regard as he takes note of Rowan's state.
The lad's looking paler and more frail than usual, propped up in one of the narrow beds — though he has a view of the gardens, enjoying the best spot as the sole current occupant of the recovery ward. He's watching the daylight dwindle, a bowl of soup — at which he's had an attempt, but not eaten all — cradled in his lap. When Rygar enters, the squire looks a bit surprised, putting the bowl aside and pushing at the mattress to sit up straighter. He grimaces and goes a shade paler for the effort, though the only complaint at the pain is a muted grunt. "Cousin," he greets in return, voice faintly raspy. "Good afternoon."
Rygar does not scold Rowan for the effort at sitting straighter, nor does he make any comment on the boy's color or state. He draws his steps to a stop, and does not glance aside as the junior septon who had showed him in chooses to remain in the room, taking a place against the wall while the Naylands converse. It's almost as if they donl;t trust him for some reason. "I and mine return to Stonebridge, within the hour.I wish to have word of your condition to share with the family, before departing. Also, to ask of you a question." His hands are composed at the kngiht's back, standing straight backed, even when 'at ease', as he is now.
"My condition improves daily. I am receiving the best possible care. Septon Josse is the most talented healer in the Roost," reports Rowan. The facts, just the facts. "Thank you, cousin, for relaying the message." Dark eyebrows lift, curious. "What is your question, Ser?"
"Tell me for what you were fighting in the melee, Squire," Rygar instructs in his common cool cadence. Although a question, it is voiced as a command.
The boy is taken aback by the question, clearly, flushing and looking away. His brow furrows as he gives the matter serious consideration — searching for the truth and the words to convey it. Nothing pat, nothing glib. "I — " he takes a shallow breath, ribs preventing any deep ones, raising his eyes to the senior Nayland. "I promised Ser Gedeon I would give the fight everything I had," he says, finally. "And he… has believed, in days past, that he's had reason to question my honesty. My honor. That I still have affection and loyalty for my erstwhile foster family — he finds it difficult to trust me. So when I promised I would fight to my utmost in the melee… I knew I wouldn't win, but I also knew I couldn't yield." He looks down a moment, shrugging. "I will never be the strongest man on the field, Ser… but I can be the most unyielding."
"There is an element of pragmatism that has been sorely lacking in your education, squire," Rygar observes after a long moment's consideration following Rowan's answer. "While life without honor is cheap, you must be very cautious not to confuse wounded pride with personal honor, in the future. A man should take no pride in being the most unyielding man upon the most irrelevent field. That is simple stubbornness." The severe knight draws a long breath. "You do neither your family nor your sworn liege any benefit by a wasted or broken life. Reserve your truest determination for the fields which truly matter. Breaking yourself upon a sporting green is no fit end for a Nayland."
The squire blushes again, lashes lowering once more — this time in humility. He nods. "I… might have yielded to another opponent, that far into the fight. I knew Ser Gedeon was… a fair enough man to see that I'd truly given my all without… needing to see me half dead. I — " he sighs. "There was certainly stubbornness and pride involved, as well. You're right… it was a foolish risk. If I'd been maimed or — or worse, in battle it might have meant something. For this… it would have been a waste."
Rygar nods shortly once, to Rowan's assent. "You have grown short-sighted, squire. A knight must take a broader view of his surroundings, in order to be a worthy vassal. It is an easy thing to become caught up in the hot blooded moment. Yet always remember: compromise is a noble virtue. It permits the greatest good to become achieved, for the greatest number. So long as honor may be kept intact by compromise, it is willful folly to cleave upon the prideful road." His stern oration concluded for the moment, Rygar bids Rowan, "Learn from this, cousin."
Rowan lifts his eyes to meet those of his kinsman, nodding solemnly. "I will, cousin. I promise." He hesitates, then says, simply, "Thank you."
"Thank me with action, cousin," Rygar returns plainly. "Words are wind." A short nod offered in parting, and the lean knight turns on a spurred heel, and starts back out the door he had entered, minutes prior. the junior septon who had remained in the chamber, offers a quiet gesture of respect to the seated Rowan, before following the Nayland knight out of the recovery ward.