|Non-Hags and Half-Terricks|
|Summary:||Two of one discuss the other, and some other odds and ends.|
|Related Logs:||Toast of the Lands|
|Jarod's Chamber — Four Eagles Tower|
|Ser Jarod Rivers occupies one of the smaller private chambers in Four Eagles Tower. Nevertheless, it's comfortable and private, and has a homey feeling to it. Its occupant is not a tidy soul, having little appreciation for picking up after himself or keeping things in drawers, but the castle servants manage to keep it from degenerating into filth. Dark woven rugs cover the stone floor, though the one stretched in front of the hearth is made of brown buckskin. Other hunting trophies hang on the walls, including a set of boar's tusks. Two more artistic items hang over the hearth. One tapestry depicts a knight in armor with a lance riding a dragon toward the sun. The other is a black banner with the crest of a single golden eagle's wing: Ser Rivers' bastard heraldry. The bed is large and covered in good sheets and blankets, with dark furs at the base that can be pulled up on particularly cold nights. There are no books visible, but there is a writing desk equipped with parchment and ink, and drawers for personal correspondence or paperwork. A weapon's rack, close enough to the bed to be within easy reach, holds his sword, bow and shield. There's also a trunk for his other personal belongings, and a wardrobe that's devoted to what might be a surprising amount of clothing. None of its flashy, but he's devoted a lot of his pocket money to good tunics, doublets and cloaks in shades of green, blue and other dark but bold colors, most with subtle but fashionable embroidery.|
|Sat Sep 03, 288|
"So what in seven hells is going on?" Jarod demands, though the demanding is of a rather bouncy, jolly fashion, as he hustles Jacsen into his chambers. He makes a broad motion to the bed, inviting his lordling brother to sit there if he prefers. There are chairs available if not. There's a flagon on his writing desk, of course, and the first thing he does is pour them some wine. The bar rarely closes in Ser Rivers' chamber. "Was that the same girl we met at Rockcliff the other night? The Mire maiden? The girl from the swamplands? The Hag's non-hag? Whichever you prefer. I can think up more. What was her proper name again? Something…Delacourt?"
There is a particular scent in the air that follows Jacsen, smelling like some concoction of herbs and the like that would not be entirely unfamiliar to one who sports his fair share of bruises, sprains, and cuts. "Yes, Senna Delacourt," Jacsen confirms as he steps over towards his brother's bed, his leg seeming a bit more mobile as he moves, though he does not tarry in taking his seat. "Come to share her cream for my leg, and, doubtless take a moment so spy on House Terrick for the sake of the Mire." He does not sound in an ill-mood about it, and takes the cup of wine with a grateful nod. "I do not know for certain, but I think her loyalty only runs so deep as her coinpurse. If so, she might be turned…" He swallows a sip, looking up at Jarod to gauge his expression.
Jarod probably recognizes the scent, but he doesn't really comment on it until Jacsen brings it up. He grins. "You're looking well today. So at least the woman knows her trade. Herbalism, I mean. Not spying. Though I figure you figure she probably knows that, too. That's bold, right there. No sooner does Fair Amelia Millen get herself caught than they try and put another in our beds. If she is a spy. Seems prudent to assume she is, whatever the case." He shrugs.
"Prudent indeed, since she's invited me to her bed," Jacsen points out somewhat dryly as he agrees with his brother's assertion. "I have not exactly accepted or denied it, though she makes her way for her room at the Rockcliff even now, hoping I will show." He takes a slow sip of wine, considering his brother's reaction to that bit of news.
"Has she now? Haha!" Jarod reaches out to clap his brother on the shoulder, in a very bro-y, 'go get'em' fashion. His grin doesn't waver. "Well, I figure you'll be smarter about what you tell her than Jaremy was with Fair Amelia. Smarter about thinking she's fallen in love with you and is your devoted and true lady as well, I figure?" It's sort of a question. "I mean…I don't think Jaremy's the sort who can go with a girl and not turn her into a lovely damsel who's loving love is true in his brain. Some men can't. It's not actually a bad trait."
He laughs at that, and shakes his head some. "I've no misconceptions, though a misgiving or two, mayhap. But I think…" Jacsen says, his voice sobering some as he takes a long sip of wine, "That she might yet be turned to our service. She seems less the desperate, unthinking girl Amelia was, and more aware of the choices she's made, and what they will mean for her in time to come." He smirks. "I see you think I should go."
Jarod shrugs. "I don't know, Jace. I mean, she's a pretty one. Won't deny that, and interesting to talk to for a few hours. I'd not be sorry to take a turn with her myself. It might…I don't know. It might be fun, if you both have clear heads about what you are. Though bringing her into the castle might get problematic. At least, you'll have to keep a sharp eye on where you let her go, and who you let her talk to. Guess you might even be able to tell her things, or show her things, that aren't exactly true but we want Lord Rickart to hear."
Jacsen smirks over the rim of his cup. "I'm not about to bring her here, not unless we've something we'd like her to see and take back to her Nayland masters," he assures his brother. "But if there is worth to us, besides her visible qualities that is, in this…" He tips his head back for another long swallow. "The things I do for love." He laughs. "Of House Terrick, I mean."
"Just be careful. And I don't mean just physically, though I do think if you go and do this, you should pat her down for knives before you get between the sheets with her," Jarod says, raising his cup and 'toasting' that bit about the things done for love. "Keep her well-supplied with moon tea, in case she thinks one way to get herself in good with us is to get you a Rivers all of your own. And…I don't know. Just be careful of…how much you like her, I guess. Jaremy got real wrapped up with Amelia Millen. Whether he loves her or not…" And Jarod still sounds unsure on that score, despite their elder brother's denials. "…I'd not see you hurt by one of ilk like that. It's not something you're obligated to, you know. Father'd like as not approve, if he knew you were fooling around with someone you thought to be a spy."
There is a quiet smile that favors Jacsen's mouth. "Dear Jarod… sometimes I think you take me for more of an innocent than anything else," he tells him, setting down his wine and reaching for his cane. "I am no stranger to doing unpleasant things for the sake of my cause… the Trident was my last battle, remember, not my first." He stands, and puts a hand on his brother's shoulder. "I am not Jaremy, and she is not Amelia. I know what she is, and if I might, I will twist her to our use. And if not…" He shrugs, lightly. "If I'm not back before the dawn, well, then you might have warrant to be concerned."
"I just don't want anyone to hurt my little brother," Jarod says with a slight smile in return. "Or I'd have to hurt them. And hitting women doesn't sit right with me, though for you I'd make the exception. Anyhow. You're a grown-up man, she's a fine-looking woman, go have some fun." He stands as well. "Though that does bring me around to something, before you go. You will *have* to tell me the story of how Mistress Avinashi came to your service one of these days. Meeting her makes me figure you've been holding out on me about your days in Seagard. I want stories, Jace. Colorful, exaggerated stories."
He cannot help but laugh at that, and nods. "I suppose it's all well and good to share it, she won't mind I think," Jacsen assures his brother, on the topic of Avinashi. "Next time we get together, we shall." He seems set to turn but stops, and looks back at his brother. "You and Jaremy talk things over yet?"
"We talked," Jarod replies with a shrug. "Kissed and made up and all that. I'm not cross at him for anything he said to me…" No surprise, as it usually takes Jarod all of five minutes to stop being angry, and he forgives extremely easily. "…and he seems to agree the best way to deal with Lord Ser Anton is just laying low and letting him cool his head for the moment. I'm not sure what else can be done for it, really. Oh. And he agreed to come to Rockcliff and sing the Lord Jerold's Lament with us." That does make him grin.
Jacsen nods, satisfied with the answer, his rueful smile only coming at the last. "We've not," he admits, "Something I have not failed to notice. I think…" His lips twist slightly, in a distressed sort of fashion. "I think our lord brother does not remember me so fondly as you and Lucienne. It makes my heart harder towards him than I want it to be, less ready to forgive, and understand." He lets out a breath, and summons back that smile. "But enough of that. I should be off to see Mistress Senna."
"He doesn't know you, Jace," Jarod says. "And you don't know him, either, really. You've not spent any time together since we were boys of fourteen, before we left to do service for Lord Jason and his men. Neither of you are the same man you were then. I'm not, even. I'm not sure what either of you would make of me, if you hadn't seen me since I was a page here, and then I suddenly appeared on your doorstep as I am. And I…" He actually laughs. "…I think he's jealous of us."
That causes his brother's brow to climb like few other things. "Jealous?" Jacsen repeats.
"I think so." Jarod snorts a laugh again. "Pretty daft, if you think about it, given all he has. Without even trying to have it. Meanwhile, takes the pair of us halves added together to make a full Terrick." His tone is warm as he says it, and it's decidedly self-deprecating. "So the world figures, at least. But…I don't know. He wishes he'd gone to the war. Which he shouldn't, but nobody can know how lucky they are to have missed it save those who saw what a horror it was. And…I don't know. We've all of us had to stand on our own in the world. Even Lucienne has. And I think we're all the better for it. You can stand in the Mallister court as Lord Jacsen, not just Lord Jerold's son, and be held in respect. I'd like to think I can do the same in a camp of knights as Ser Jarod. We've had to prove ourselves, at least a bit, so we've done it. Jaremy hasn't. And I figure he feels the world still only sees him as Lord Jerold's shadow. And not too grand a shadow right now, the way Stonebridge and all the messes that follow have gone."
Jacsen lets out a slow breath, and nods to that. "I can see it, I can… but this was his crucible, here. Isolde, Stonebridge… that was his to handle, and to handle rightly," he tells his brother, "And failing that, binding Oldstones to us. If he thinks he's missed out because of what we've done, and seen, then he is spending too much time watching us and not enough watching himself." He begins his way across the floor, towards the door. "Jealous of a bastard son who can never wear his father's name, and a lame-legged man who wishes nothing more than to…" Too many thoughts cross his features then to make one out, or judge its impact. "Be whole. We must disabuse our good brother of this notion. And sing the damn song."
Jarod watches Jacsen as he struggles with all his thoughts on what he wishes to be. Jarod's own expression grows thoughtful. There's much he'd like to be able to say, none that he's eloquent enough to put into words, if there even are any for something like that. So in the end he just reaches out to clasp Jacsen's shoulder again, very firmly. There's a stretch of silence before he actually says anything, and it's glib and entirely off the serious point of all that when he does. "Damn right. Sing the damn song, get drunk as lords and bastards, and be brothers for a night. I don't think that's a thing we've *ever* done together. We were too young to make real fools of ourselves before the pair of us left for Seagard." He grins.
He reaches up and claps a hand over Jarod's. "Wouldn't miss it," Jacsen promises his brother. "And remember, come find me if I don't make my way back home before the dawn. You can at least put my body in some less undignified pose, right?"
"Count on it," Jarod says with a laugh, offering Jacsen a parting bro-y shoulder clap. "Now. Have some fun. Don't let her stab you in the neck."