|Obligations of Fealty|
|Summary:||Kell has a donation for the Roost, and Anais has an opportunity for Kell.|
|Related Logs:||Continued from Post-Tea Thoughts|
|Entrance Hall — Four Eagles Tower|
|The Entrance Hall is more than two dozen feet high with ornate columns hefting the fresco ceiling above all. Plush seating is arranged around one side for visiting nobility while the other has less comfortable slab stone or wood benches for the peasantry. Alcoves dot the walls for more private discussions and sworn Guards patrol this hall at all times and especially during court. Several hallways and doorways lead off to different areas of the castle with a spiral staircase carved neatly into one corner that winds its way up.|
|June 8, 289|
Anais leads the way into the keep, quiet for a few moments as she sends a servant to get the ledger from the reading room. "Forgive me, Ser Kell," she says with a small smile. "The strain of…I sometimes think I've almost forgotten how to accept help."
"There is nothing to forgive, M'Lady, one can easily see how hard you work for this House. I can't begin to imagine what you are going through." Kell says with a nod of understanding, certainly not envying her and her position. "If there is anything else I can assist with that I am capable of, please do ask."
Anais opens her mouth, then pauses, tilting her head in consideration. "Do you think you might like to bear our letter to the Erenfords along with Ser Brennart?" she asks, settling into one of the chairs in a quieter corner of the hall. "I was thinking we should at least send a representative, but with Lords Inigo and Dmitry in Kingsgrove and Lord Justin busy being Sheriff here, I wasn't sure whom we could send."
The question and task offered to Kell seems to have surprised the knight as his eyes widen slightly. "If you feel that I would be an appropriate representative for this house, I would be honored to bear the letter to the Erenfords." He just wasn't expecting it since he was common born and not exactly well versed in nobility politics. Anais did have a good point though, the Roost is stretched thin right now, not only in food.
"I think I've met few people as genuine and genuinely concerned for the people here as you, Ser Kell," Anais points out with a small smile. "You're unfailingly polite, and unlike some, you don't let pride get in the way of being respectful to those around you. Those are traits that would serve us well in bearing word to potential allies, don't you think?" That smile deepens, reassuring, as she laughs softly. "Of course I'll need to approve it with Jacsen, but it seems like a good idea to me."
It's easy to see that Kell certainly didn't think of it that way until Anais pointed that out. Then again, politics with nobles usually requires more intelligent maneuvering but the knight is more than willing to take her word for it. "I would be glad to serve, M'Lady, if Lord Jacsen approves." A possible trip to Heronhurst could prove to be fun.
"Excellent," Anais approves, nodding once as the servant returns with the ledger and a quill. "Now. You mentioned you'd sold your winnings from the tournament. I want you to know that I'm going to consider this a loan," she says firmly, though it's softened by a smile. "One which this house will be glad to repay as soon as we're able."
Now Kell is grinning as he shakes his head, "Returning this House to strength is repayment enough, Lady Anais. Now, if I were still a Hedge Knight like I was before the Ironborn came, it may be different, but I wear the colors now and swore the oath." He also reaches down to the leather pouch that certainly looks heavy in coin, untying the cord that kept it secured to his belt. "Should be two hundred silver stags in here, was able to sell the barrel of brandy a little bit over that amount. I know it isn't much, certainly not anywhere close to cover what is needed."
"Two hundred-" Anais sets down ledger and quill alike, then draws a breath before standing to catch the knight in an impetuous hug. "Thank you," she says when she pulls back, cheeks slightly flushed but smile far less tired than it was just a few moments ago. "Ser Kell, that's- That's amazing."
The hug was another surprise that catches Kell but he does bring an arm around her shoulder to give the Lady a reassure squeeze, perhaps one of hope that better times are coming. "Thank the Warrior, who made my sword arm strong and armor thick during that paired melee."
"I do. But I also thank whatever made your heart so open to us," Anais murmurs, warm. "I can't tell you what this means." She pauses, reaching for the ledger with a slight arch of her brows. "Well. Actually, I can tell you exactly what it means, to the copper penny, at the current market rate of everything," she admits, rueful. "And while it may not get us through the next few months on its own, it should certainly help us rebuild some of our stock of livestock, I think. Goats and sheep, at least. Which will mean milk, wool, and the occasional bite of meat. And both are prone to twins, so they'll multiply more quickly. /That/, at least, I think we can buy from the Banefort."
Kell certainly didn't think that far ahead, atleast in terms of logistics, on what the silver could possibly buy. He assumed the money would buy them food, with food being the main term he focused on, but as livestock and what they could produced is explained to him, the knight looks as if he is learning a whole new language. "Livestock and all that stuff, it didn't even occur to me that we could help sustain ourselves and our people like that. I am glad I have the simpler task of just being a knight, M'Lady." He says with a wry grin at the end.
"Well, the arrangement with the Groves and potentially the Erenfords may help with seed and with food," Anais agrees, marking down the information in the ledger. "But there are things we can do in the meantime with this amount. Mostly I've been trying to focus on things that will continue to produce, and last longer than a single use. Crops are important, but once you've threshed the wheat and baked the bread, nothing more comes of it."
It is definitely much clearer to Kell now how this is more of an investment for continual production, "Then I am glad that the silver will help us for the future and not just for our current problems." There is a pause before the knight asks a question on what they spoke of earlier, "M'Lady, is there a time table on when the representative will leave to meet with the Erenfords?" Something that would be good for Kell to know if Jacsen approves.
"Soon," Anais answers, nodding once. "Within the next few days, I believe. If you don't mind, I'll get a letter from Jacsen, and you can carry that with you to the Erenfords, as a sign of goodwill. And while you're there, you can get to know them better, see how things are in their lands, and find out what they have to offer us."
Nodding, now Kell knows that he will have to do some packing soon and also make sure to wrap up any tasks he has at hand within a day or two. "I will do my best to make friends with the Erenfords and see what help they can give us and our people." The knight is looking forward to seeing what kind of people the Erenfords are, another House in the Riverlands. "I do not wish to keep you from your more important tasks, M'Lady, and thank you for this opportunity."
"Thank /you/, Ser Kell," Anais says with a sober dip of her chin, closing up the ledger and taking up the pouch once more. "You've done the people of the Roost a great service with this. I can't thank you enough. But I hope that the least I can do is make certain you have good opportunities while you're with the house."
In turn, Kell bows his head to Anais and smiles, "I am here to help, Lady Anais, with what I am capable of."