|Peace In My House|
|Summary:||Jerold and Jacsen discuss recent and future business.|
|Related Logs:||Kathryn/Evangeline and Jaremy are referenced.|
|Reading Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|The room has a large glass window and seat that looks out partially over the cove, in daylight hours the sun provides illumination to the room. Other stools and chairs linger in small groups as shelves along the walls are littered with scrolls, books, letters and documents. The contents are a modest collection of local records, histories, and literature offered to both the family and guests of Four Eagles Tower.|
|21 December, 288 A.L.|
The Reading Room is lit with the ample illumination of a lantern, with two unlit tapers nearby. Ever frugal, Lord Jerold Terrick sees no need for lighting the whole chamber, when he himself only occupies a single chair of it's space. It is at his favorite place beside the lead-paned window that the Lord of the Roost presently sits, paper, ink and quill for writing all set before him.
The soft tapping, over and over, of Jacsen's cane on the carpeted floor announces his arrival into his father's company, doubtless coming as he is bidden. He seems improved over the state that claimed him, in those first days returned from Stonebridge, though there is a seriousness to his mien that has not abated. When the Young Lord nears his father, he does offer a small bow. "Lord Father."
Lord Jerold looks up from his writing, to dip his chin ingreeting to his son. "Jacsen, come in," he bids, with a motion of one hand indicating Jace should rise from the bow and take a seat. His right hand sets the quill atop a rag, while the thumb and forefinger of his left rubs at weary eyes. "I am preparing the letter of introduction for our diplomat at Stonebridge. I would hear your mind on the subject."
"Of whom to send, or something else about it?" Jacsen inquires, as he takes advantage of his father's beneficence in offering a seat. His eyes fall shut a moment as he settles down, letting his leg rest a moment before he gathers the breath to continue. "As to people, I think we've only a few choices that would suit well…" His gaze, curious turns to his father's features. "Might I ask what thoughts you've had on the matter, my lord?"
"As to whom we ought send," Jerold clarifies with a short exhale, settling back in his own seat, and drawing a short sip of a nearby cup. "Lord Tully has bade us send a representative to Stonebridge to continue diologue and reduce tensions between our House and that of the Harpy. Which are the few choices you see, Jacsen?"
The Young Lord considers his father a moment, before he says, "I suppose it is worth asking first what you wish out of any representative we were to send," Jacsen observes, "As the Lord Tully did not bade us find any certain resolution, only that we send someone with the willingness to speak."
Jerold nods. "Whomever represents us must do so with courtesy and good grace in the face of Nayland spite. I shall send none of my household alone, and our chief diplomat in Stonebridge must make good use of the council of those trustworthy folk about him." That answer given, he regards Jacsen, awaiting a reply to his prior query.
"I'd consider Lucienne, then, if you are not inclined to send me. I know my Lady Mother has some interest in serving you in such a capacity, though it's been a time since she mentioned it, so I do not know how strongly the fire for such still burns," Jacsen remarks, silently drumming the fingers of his right hand upon the chair's arm. "I, to, could go. Though I suspect there might be more you'd have me do here, and I'll surely be part of that council of trustworthy folk no matter the individual you send."
"I will not send you, Jacsen," Jerold begins evenly. "Both for wariness of Nayland intentions, and for your conduct in the matter of this Harlaw woman, I think your duties here are too pressing." He draws a steady breath through the nose as the lord considers further. "At present, I chiefly consider Lucienne and Jarod."
His jaw sets a touch at the mention of the Harlaw woman, and his conduct with such. "As my lord wills," Jacsen replies evenly, though his voice might carry in it a faint tightness. "Send them both, I would say, she as your Ambassador, and he as the head of her guard. Reason to attend any and all meetings, to offer his opinion, and weigh in on such matters deemed worthy." He pauses, as if to consider his own words. "Having said that… Were you to ask Jarod to do this for you, as your representative, it might go a long way to quelling some of the shadow over his heart of late."
Jerold does not miss the tightness in his son's voice, or manner, a knowing look touching his own expression at the sight. His words, hoever, are upon the question of the diplomat. "Jarod has been restless of late, I am sure he has spoken of it with you as well. He is possessed of a pleasing demeanor, and has been able to stomach dealing with Nayland creatures previously. I am inclined to send him, with Lucienne as advisor. Do you see any folly in this?"
"Only in those that might balk at you sending a bastard-born, in lieu of someone born to the nobility… But it's not a grave concern, to my mind," Jacsen shares, offering a mild shrug. "If the King can be served by the baseborn, surely Stonebridge can accept as much in an envoy."
"As you say," Jerold notes with a nod to that last. "As well, Jarod will be quite receptive to the advice of his kin. Lucienne, yourself, and any others who attend him." He draws a fresh breath, nodding once, before noting, "Now I would hear your mind on the subject of the Harlaw woman."
His tapping fingers still for a moment, as his father asks, without quite asking, that he explain himself. "Of the Harlaw woman I know not much, not yet, but what I've seen, what I've heard…" Jacsen lets out a slow breath. "I'm of a mixed opinion. It's not for her quality that I acted as I did, however, but for the notion of diplomacy in the broader sense."
Jerold hears out the answer with a slow nod. "Jacsen, you bear my seal and speak with my voice. But answer me this: how often have you known me to make decrees without consulting the others of my household? That you had the authority to gainsay your mother I do not dispute, but I must wonder why you chose to do so without first speaking with her or with me."
"It was a matter of timing, my lord. In such a matter of reputation, as I believe this to have been, most rested on the perception of our turned out guest and those whom cared to pay attention, most notably Lord Sarojyn Camden's brother," he remarks, shifting slightly in his seat as he answers his father so. "The matter had already come to me late, and I felt it could not go much longer before we lost our chance at undoing it." He lets out a breath, and adds, "Did she prove herself to be so deserving of being cast out, she'd be given the chance to prove it, and we the opportunity to request her leave in a manner that did us, and our guest, as little shame as we might. Or, at the very least, carefully choose how much shame we'd heap upon her."
"Jacsen, you cannot try to bear the whole weight of our family's reputation," Jerold begins after a weary breath drawn and let out. "Such a weight was what drove Jaremy to err as he did. However long it had waited, the Terrick name would not suffer so greatly from another day of time, than it does by the appearance of dissent." Another breath drawn and let out. "Which is the more shameful? To cast her out, bring her back, and cast her out again, or to take a day in consideration, Jacsen? Though one day you will be Lord of the Roost, by the time that day dawns, I trust you will better learn to share the council of your mother and kin, my son."
Jacsen's eyes turn away in quiet shame, lingering in the absence of his father's visage. "I was quick to judge the situation, and it is clear now, to quick to act." He lets out a breath, and despite the desire to do else wise, he does look to his father's features again. "I've been discontent about things with my Lady Mother for some time now, and perhaps that had a hand in my decisions. I do not believe that either of us have quite figured out how to relate to the other, now that I am not the young boy eager to be off to squire, but instead the bearer of your seal, and a man grown. Forgive me, my lord."
"Waiting for the Naylands to take Jaremy's head has frayed my Lady wife's nerves as much as it has my own and yours," Jerold begins. "It is only natural that she wish not to be deprived of the dignity and respect due her rank as well. Pardon is given, Jacsen," the Lord of ther Roost answers Jacsen's apology, "But I will have peace in my house. Speak with your Lady mother, and make clear your continued love and respect."
The son nods his assent to the instruction after only a moment, his manner amenable. "I will do what I might to express such, my lord," Jacsen assures Jerold. "It is easy to express that much is true in my heart."
Lord Jerold dips his head again. "I know, Jacsen." The aging knight leans forward in his chair, to settle his hand atop Jacsen's own on the arm of his chair, giving a brief clasp, "Patience. We will endure, and justice will prevail."
He lets out a slow breath at that reassuring gesture from his lord and father. "There is another matter I'd wish brought to your attention, my lord," Jacsen adds after a moment, after Jerold's words have had their time to sink into both men.
Jerold sits back in his chair, and reaches again for the goblet on the desk beside him. "Then I would hear it, Jacsen," he invites his son to carry on.
"When I spoke last with Ser Gedeon, we discussed the matter of his inheritance at King's Landing," Jacsen explains. "I think it would be impertinent for us to send a representative unbidden to speak on the matter with His Grace… but the conversation Gedeon and I shared left me wondering if we might do well to send someone to be on hand, should the King or his advisors seek to ask questions, or vet pertinent facts."
Jerold frowns mildly in thought, as he tastes a measure of the summerwine, before nodding again. "It is a significant trip and only slightly less significant an expense. I see the wisdom of such, although.." He goes silent musing further.
Nodding slightly at the mention of the cost, the Young Lord's attention does not much waver from the Lord of the Roost. "Although, my lord?" Jacsen asks, after a moment, desiring insight to his father's thinking.
"I do not doubt that Hoster Tully's messengers will be fully able to voice the Lord Paramount's insight into the question," Jerold begins, silent while he draws a slow breath. "I would not wish to offer slight to Lord Tully should he be given cause to think we lack trust in his own word and messenger."
Jacsen's brows rise a fraction, and he nods with quick agreement, though no less thoughtful for the swift response. "The concern is, of course, that the Lord Paramount's desires are not identical, merely walking a very close path…" He frowns a touch. "Still. It's a worthy concern, that we do not offend our Lord Tully." He leans back in his seat. "Do you think the Naylands will send anyone to King's Landing?"
Jerold nods once slightly, as Jacsen voices the concern that Lord Tully's aims are not those of House Terrick. "We must trust in the word of our Lord Paramount, my son. The day when a man's word can not be trusted is a black one, thanks be to the Seven that Hoster Tully has ever been a faithful friend and overlord to our House." That said, he goes on, "I imagine the Naylands shall. They stand to lose much should His Majesty accede to Lord Tully's recommendation."
"Do you see much worth in the King deciding against the recommendation of his own Lord Paramount?" Jacsen wonders, weighing his father's words on such matters, and the character of men that rule over them. "Especially when it would favor the advancement of Houses that neglected to answer his call during the Rebellion?"
Jerold shakes his head once. "No. The only risk I can imagine- knowing full well that I have but little insight into the mind of a King- is that he might be less inclined than Lord Tully to accept Sers Rivers and Valentin at their word that Geoffrey's letter was given to Gedeon with seal intact. Though I can find no ready cause for him to reverse Lord Hoster's judgement." Another sip drawn of the sweet wine. "I expect that he shall rule in Ser Gedeon's favor, and blood shall be the only balm to wounded Nayland pride."
Jacsen settles back into his seat, a hand coming to rest on his chin, thoughtful. "You suspect it will come to blood at Stonebridge, before all of this is over, then?" he asks, brow raised.
Jerold nods once, grave in manner. "Indeed it will. I do not think that they will risk the King's Peace, nor will Rickart Nayland find his courage sufficient to raise the banners. But make no mistake, it is for pride and pride alone that Jaremy will die."
His brows draw together some at that. "But, my lord… was there not an accord reached, to spare my brother's life?" Jacsen asks, looking a touch confused. "I thought… perhaps you'd reasons not to share it with us, but Jarod heard it from Ser Hardwicke. The exact words escape me, but he said something to the effect that if the Naylands could be trusted to keep their end of things, Jaremy would be sent to the Wall." He frowns. "When Jarod asked for more, he wouldn't say, and said Jarod should ask the Lady of the Roost…"
Jerold does not conceal his surprise. Composure intact, but brown knit in a curious expression, the Lord of the Roost voices, "I had been told Jarod's appeal were rejected. I have heard naught else of it, nor do I expect that the Naylands will spare Jaremy. I would be truly thankful to be wrong in this, though I do not expect it."
Jacsen shakes his head slightly. "I thought the same, my lord, Jarod told me flat that Ser Rygar had turned him down, but Jarod shared this with me just two days past… we thought something might have changed," he says. "Why would Ser Hardwicke say such a thing if it weren't true? And then point Jarod towards my Lady Mother?"
"I know not what Ser Hardwicke has said, or his reasons. The Ser is an honest man, and I shall not dwell overlong on hearsay," Lord Jerold begins, deliberately changing the subject soon after, "As well, you ought know: Lord Sarojyn Camden will be sending his son and heir to Four Eagles Tower as a courtier. The Lord Camden feels he has much to learn of us."
Jacsen dips his chin. "I've made a better acquaintance of the Lord Sarojyn of late. He wished to talk about his intention to ask Lord Banefort for permission to court his daughter Elinor, and invited the Lady, as well as myself and Anais, to visit Tall Oaks. I've accepted, though with no specific date of yet. He mentioned that his son would be coming, I do look forward to meeting him. It sounds as if we might share some predilections, he and I."
Jerold nods once at the word. "See to it that an appropriate escort is assembled, when you do choose to visit Tall Oaks," the Lord of the Roost bids his son. "Friendship with our neighbors- great and small alike- is the means through which stability will conquer Nayland ambition."
"I will, of course," Jacsen agrees with his father's instructions. "And this matter of Ser Hardwicke and what he had to say…? If there is a chance that my brother might be spared…" He seems hopeful, when he asks that.
"Direct questions and honest answers are the means to find truth," Jerold half-answers. "Not hearsay. Make apology to your Lady mother, and if there is any news as to Jaremy's lot it shall be found out. I will continue to offer prayer to the Seven for your errant brother, and for the future of our House."
Jacsen nods at that, and offers assurances that he will do the same. "By your leave, my lord?"