|Percentages and Happiness|
|Summary:||In that order, preferrably. Jacsen and Anais discuss the potential for a betrothal between Justin and Roslyn with Rutger, only to have the couple come in mid-discussion.|
|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.|
|Fri Jun 15, 289|
It's mid-afternoon in the Roost, with bright light pouring in through the large glass window into the Reading Room, where Jacsen is seated waiting for his guest. He looks idly out the window, handle of the cane tapping against the table arrhythmically - it's not the fidgeting of an impatient man, but a distraction from the pain in his leg which causes him to occasionally clench his jaw when it flares up. Willem, the young page, stands by the door at the ready.
Hopefully, the knight is not late. In fact when he is finally shown to the reading room, Ser Rutger does pause long enough to look towards the Lord, as if studying the level of agitation, or lack there of on Jacsen. "Lord Terrick." finally spoken, as if that might break the cripple out of his tapping monotony. "It is good to see you-" And there eyes slide over to Willem for a moment, as he begins to cross over.
Rutger's voice does snap him out of his thoughts, or lack thereof, and Jacsen's eyes snap over to the Nayland. "Ser Rutger," he greets, half-rising from his seat. "Welcome." A nod is given before he sits down again, moving his chair out a bit to leave him tangential to the table facing the man. "Please." He gestures to a seat, then gives a look to Willem, who departs the room, probably to go grab some refreshments. "The Roost is treating you well, I hope."
DON'T GET UP. That is what Rutger would say if he was a complete asshole. However, it seems the Nayland is not here to be one. Instead he smiles, and nods to the offered seat, his hand smoothing over the back before he is pulling it out to take a seat. "Quite well, My Lord." Rutger intones. "I have been treated quite since coming here, and find my accommodations to be quite accommodating. " A chuckle. "I am glad we are able to meet. Your wife welcomed me the other night, but I can understand your being indisposed. Being a Lord of a manor such as this keeps one ever busy."
"It's been a busy and difficult few weeks," Jacsen acknowledges with a slow nod. "But, here we are." Willem returns in record speed with some wine and food, setting it on the table between them before bowing himself out. "I'm glad you're finding it well here. Ser Riordan was a hospitable host to me in Stonebridge." He reaches out to pour the wine for his guest and then himself.
"I believe it has been a difficult few months, has it not?" Rutger says with a nod. "Indeed here we are." Ageed, and there as the wine and food are brought out, he looks over and nods to Jacsen, reaching first for a piece of a bread to bite into. Though at mention of his brother Rutger's brow furrows for a moment before a chuckle eases out. "I am glad he was, my Lord. I have heard some are tiring of their stay with him." a faint smirk there, that drops. "I know your Lord Father has been busy of late- and with the Tournament approaching for Lord Patrek's Birthday, I thought you and I should meet and begin at least paving the roads of the future of our two houses. "
Well, it's only been a couple weeks for Jacsen, what with him only having come out of his fevered sleep when the ladies were captured by the bandits, but he nods gravely nonetheless. "I imagine many were being overcome by exhaustion by the time I arrived," he allows, content to let his wine sit before him for the time being. "And yes, there is much yet to be done and discussed. Which is why I imagine you have have come." Nodding again, he hangs the cane on the arm of his chair and sits farther back. "What's foremost on your mind?"
Rutger nods quietly, taking time to watch the Terrick Lord, before he is reaching for his wine. "Indeed it has. I know my sister and your brother Justin, seem to fancy one another- and too long have we been at each other throats." And now with the stealing of the Groves surplus-well proverbial nails in coffins and such. "And I feel it is time we put that behind us." There. A glance is given back towards Jacsen. "Foremost on my mind, I would like to see a formal betrothal worked out, if we can. Something that does well for both houses and thus can be taken as a step in the right direction." A raise of his brow before finally taking a sip. "What would you see, Lord Jacsen?"
Jacsen gives those words careful consideration before he answers, picking up his wine to mull it over. "I am not my father, Ser Rutger," he says with a shrug. "I look to what is sensible - and practical. Senseless grudges do not factor into that equation." Though him holding one against the Naylands may not be quite so senseless, given everything. "Some measure of respite between our Houses would give us both the time and space we need to… recuperate." He takes a sip of the wine - not exactly a choice vintage. "Lady Roslyn, yes? You'd see her married to my brother, Ser Justin."
"I would, as I believe it would make both of them happy." Rutger states as he begins to prepare more of a meal from the food that has been left, rather than the usual eat bread with your wine practice. "Nor am I Lord Rickart." he replies. "Indeed, and I believe respite would benefit both our houses." As to the whys behind that, he does not even begin to go into. A glance to his cup before he is taking another sip. "So, it should be set before us to handle this particular task." A grin there. "I am sure we can come to some agreement and at least see a contract metted out." he adds. "But I understand if we need to let these talks linger as well."
"Happiness," Jacsen echoes, pointing a finger to Rutger from his wineglass hand. "Yes, happiness." He seems like he has some thoughts on that matter, but they're left unspoken, masked by a simple 'hm'. "I'm a practical man, Ser Rutger," he says with a pensive frown as he looks to his wine. "I'm left with much time to think, you see, with my condition. I move at a slower pace than the rest of the world by necessity." He taps the cane with his elbow, looking up at the man. "It gives me time to refine my thoughts and reflect upon situations. But it also leaves me with a certain impatience." Setting the wine down, he gives the Nayland an open look accompanied with a shrug. "So let us do away with unnecessary lingering. My brother is newly knighted, and an honorable man besides. He would do well to take a wife."
Rutger looks up to Jacsen from his food for a moment, as he waits to see what comes with it. An amused look coming upon the Nayland knight's face. "Just because a man, may be slow of gait, My Lord. It does not mean there are other parts of him that are not sharp as a blade or quicker than a hare." A compliment to the man's mind. Hopefully. "But, you my lord. Do strike me as a man who considers his options and plans quite carefully." At the bit of impatience there is a nod. With that he sits up a bit straighter. "My sister Roslyn, is a fine woman of high morals. She is intelligent and canny. She would be boon to any household- and would do well as a knight's bride." There all laid out. "I believe, that her wisdom would be a boon to Ser Justin, and his station fits her."
"I suppose you may be right in that, Ser Rutger," Jacsen responds to the maybe-compliment with a small smile. "She sounds a fine lady, your sister," he says once Rutger's finished describing her. "And, as you say, they may be… happy together." The words don't carry any obvious irony to them, but whether he counts that in the 'pros' column is up for debate. Marriage is supposed to bring happiness? "So. Let us speak on the practicalities, then." Cutting right to the chase.
Perhaps Roslyn has a keen sense when someone may be speaking of her, or perhaps she simply wants to borrow a book from the Terrick's library given her habits. Whichever it is, she sweeps into that reading room quietly, her gown a sapphire bright blue that catches and reflects in hazel eyes that show more blue than green today. They alight softly on the men seated at the table, her fingers catching up her skirts for a curtsy. "My lord, my lord brother," she greets, a subtle look shot to the later in a silent question.
Anais has a small journal of sorts in her hands as she steps into the reading room, checking things off a list as she goes. She doesn't actually look at Jacsen as she moves to a desk in one corner, using a key from a chain around her neck to open a locked drawer. As she makes a few notes, she glances up toward those already in residence, offering a faint smile. "Good day, Lady Roslyn, Lord Rutger. Jacsen, I'm making sure everything is ready for the trip to Seagard. Did you want the feast day doublet in the purple with the gold, or the gold with the purple?"
There is a brief nod given over to Roslyn, as he beckons her closer. "Just so." And with that Rutger Nayland sets aside his plate and stares head on towards Jacsen, even as Anais comes in, to speak of clothes. "Then let us get down to the nails." A sniff before he is looking back. " My sister, beyond her good qualities can bring a dowry that is adequate-though if we are serious about this. Then let us speak practically, and honestly. I would know your mind on this, before I say any more on the subject. We can beat around the bush and tell of our qualities-but in the end This marriage is to mend our fences and finally seeing peace between us. A peace we both wish to see, and by which I am authorized to work out." he states. "Happiness aside, what is it that house Terrick wants?"
"Lady Roslyn," Jacsen greets, half-rising out of his seat and inclining his head. Anais enters before he's reseated, though, so she gets a nod as well. "Gold with purple will suit," he says simply to his wife - brief and curt, though there's no edge to his voice. His focus is elsewhere. "If the Lady wouldn't mind," he says gently, politely inviting her to GO AWAY since they're discussing her. "The intricate details of a potential arrangement would take some time to be worked out amongst our House," he says, giving the safe answer. "But were I a speculative man, Ser Rutger, I would put reduced tariffs at the top of that list."
Roslyn isn't that kind of lady, Jacsen, and given that she is a lot older than most potential brides, she merely draws closer at her brother's beckon and presses a kiss to his cheek. To the other lord, she answers politely, "Do not mind me, Young Lord Terrick, but you may imagine that I have a vested interest in this matter and would wish to help however I can." With that, she folds gracefully into a chair of her own, a simple smile allowed to Jacsen as she smoothes a dark lock of hair back in place. "Does your House have time, my lord?" It is a quiet question, murmured with no offense at least intended as she watches the Young Lord.
"Gold with purple it is," Anais nods to Jacsen, taking a note in her journal to that effect. She may not be invited to the conference, but she settles in at the desk not so far away, starting to transfer information between the journal and the ledger from the drawer in silence so far.
"I am sure it is fine that my sister is here, after all it concerns her." Rutger says back towards Jacsen. So, no he will not be having Roslyn slink off. SHE STAYS WITH HIM. "We are not saying anything secretive, or unkind." the knight states. "Just so." Rutger concedes before he is raising a brow to the request. "As part of the dowry-Yes I could see perhaps some shifting of tariffs." Not much, but. "Your house would start to become part of our family-and with that comes perks." Rutger states. "We will see that things are fair." in these negotiations. A glance is given to his sister.
Someone has been pushing some of the household to keep their eyes and ears open and to let him know if certain people are seen, or even suspected, of coming together within the tower. It often doesn't work, but this time someone has informed Justin that he might wish to stop by the reading room at this time.
He does so now, lightly knocking, then opening the door. Justin glances around the room and if he is annoyed to not have been sent for, he is careful not to show it. He closes the door quietly behind himself before he inclines himself to half bow, "Lord Rutger, Lady Roslyn, Lord Brother, Goodsister." He says nothing about interrupting.
A frown crosses Jacsen's brow as Roslyn sits, the opposite of what he requested. The open show of displeasure remains for a few moments before he picks up his wineglass with a look to Rutger, letting a long and uncomfortable silence sit at the table as he sips at it slowly. "Anais, if you would join us," he says at last once the glass is empty. After all, it wouldn't do for the Young Lady to be sitting at a nearby table during all this. "Brother," he greets neutrally, though he obviously can't be pleased about Justin also coming into the middle of all this. Then he pours himself another glass. "I'm sure you'll need time to discuss specifics amongst your family before discussing proper dowries," he says at last, leaving the sense that the stated 'perhaps shifting' leaves something to be desired.
"As you may imagine, my brother, the Lord Regent, has every desire to see me wed and happily so. He will agree to whatever terms are appropriate that you suggest, Lord Jacsen," Roslyn suggests lightly, her own smile lingering to make up for the frown. "But, as Rutger says, we shall keep things fair." Her fingers fold into her lap, though her gaze slides to Justin at his entrance. Her eyes brighten, the curve of her lips widening in the flicker of pleasure that passes through her expression. She greets warmly, "Lord Justin."
"Certainly," Anais replies to Jacsen, slipping a marker into the ledger before closing it and bringing it with her to the table. She moves to refill everyone's glasses first, offering a small smile to Justin. "Wine or tea, Justin?" she asks, setting the ledger at Jacsen's elbow and opening it back to the marked page. She leans over to brush a kiss to his cheek, murmuring something as she does.
The look brings a smirk to Rutger's face before he is glancing as Justin comes in. "I can get specifics soon, my Lord. The question is.." And after all now with Justin here and Roslyn, there's a brief pause for a moment from the Nayland Lord. Fingers move over the table and he takes a bite, of a bit of meat from his plate. "How soon do we wish this to happen? That will determine how I know my family will answer."
And then Roslyn is speaking up again and he is looking back towards her for a second. "Perhaps, Lord Jacsen-you and I should take this discussion elsewhere." Maybe it was the thought of Riordan being brought into the conversation, or else. "A bit more private." Okay, now the order is NOW GO AWAY. strange how that changed.
Anais whispers: Thirty percent reduction in the tariff, with an additional ten percent reduction when the first child is born. No tariff on trade between the families. And seventy percent of the Groves harvest. That should get us to the next harvest of our own.
Justin doesn't look as though he wishes to interrupt. He returns Lady Roslyn's faint smile, then says very low to Anais, "Wine, thank you." Then he simply takes a seat to listen. He knows he probably shouldn't even be here but then again, he doesn't really know his brother well nor have they had chance to speak upon this matter previous. His eyes do half lid, unamused, when Rutger suggests talking elsewhere. He frowns, then moves to stand, "No, you needn't go. I had hoped to speak with my brother ere you discussed things further but I see I am too late. Do carry on." Justin looks to see if Roslyn will come out as well.
"He must love you well, Lady Roslyn," Jacsen acknowledges with a smile. Whatever Anais murmurs to him is taken in without reaction in his visage, though he does hold up a hand at her offer to Justin, bidding her wait. "I wonder if my good brother has had the chance to show you some of the more interesting and historic sights of the Roost, Lady Roslyn," he says amicably, the upheld hand extending to indicate Justin, who has just taken a seat as well. "Today is a beautiful day for a walk about the grounds, after all." And indeed, bright sunlight is pouring through the large window. The offer of a more private discussion from Rutger is left on the table, giving a chance for Justin and Roslyn to excuse themselves should they wish to take his not-so-subtle suggestion.
A look is cast to Rutger at his words, no real show of temper in the look unless one were familiar with her enough to tell that slight lingering is a sign of displeasure. She inclines her head, murmuring politely, "Surely another day, I shall be glad to see them. However, I feel an ache of my head coming on, and must retire." She pushes to her feet, offering a quiet smile to Justin though she moves for her own room rather than to see the sights.
Rutger requests privacy, but it's to her husband that Anais looks, standing patiently at his shoulder.
Justin gives a slight nod to Lady Roslyn, then a pointed look to this brother he's been trying to get to speak with all week. He steps over to open the door for Roslyn to let her out, leaves Anais to stay or go as the others prefer, and goes on out without saying anything more.
Rutger stares back towards Roslyn, for a moment, and then he is looking back over towards Jacsen with a faint chuckle. He of course will wait for the room to empty a little, before continuing on in the discussions. A sip of wine, and more food. Anais is given a glance, before he's back to sipping at his wine again. "So." said finally as others have vacated the area. "Where were we?"
Jacsen lets out a sigh as Justin and Roslyn depart. "I'll deal with my good brother, Ser Rutger. Please make my apology to Lady Roslyn, but since we're being open and honest, it's not proper for either of them to be present for this discussion." That out of the way, his upheld hand gestures to a seat, presumably directed to Anais, before it returns to his wineglass. "We were discussing specifics," he says, clearing his throat. "Specifically, tariffs at Stonebridge. To the tune of a forty-percent reduction, a further decrease to take place upon the birth of a child. And open trade between our Houses." That delivered, he cocks his head and regards the Nayland with an even look. "So much on the matter of tariffs. I'm sure House Nayland has many other things in mind to offer for dowry. Your lady sister is, as you say, a bright and lovely woman. But her prospects are soon diminishing." That's one way to put it.
"I believe my sister is still in her prime for having a child. My Lord. AS for tariffs, they can be considered with the Dowry. I am going to say we start at thirty- forty is a bit high, and not even our fair friends the Erenfords got Forty on their first dealings with us." he states before he is looking back. "We do have something you need and will need in the coming year." Rutger notes as he eats again. "As for her dowry we will give a fair portion of our Harvest and some of our other gains in order to help feed your people." It's not wealth, but it is survivability. "As for trade discussions-I will agree that they can be broached once a child has been born and both Houses are indeed happy with the couple. I feel then, we can also set the tariffs at an even more comfortable place." There. And with that Rutger looks back to Jacsen. "What assurances can we get, that our dear Roslyn will not be set aside, if married to your Justin?"
Anais settles into a seat, smoothing a hand over her skirts and pouring a cup of tea for herself as well. "I am," she adds with a small smile for Rutger, "Looking forward to enjoying more of your lady sister's company, for what that is worth." She takes a sip of her tea, then reaches a hand for Jacsen's. "The Terricks are an honorable house, Lord Rutger. If you doubt your sister's security here, please allow me to vouch for how the Terricks have treated me. When Jaremy left, Lord Jerold made certain I was still taken care of. And despite the fact that the gods have not yet blessed our marriage…" She looks to Jacsen with a small, apologetic sort of smile. "They have been nothing but supportive."
Jacsen nods noncommittally at thirty percent. "Thirty," he affirms. "As for the harvest, fairness is not a standard of measurement I prefer to deal in, Ser Rutger." It's said as a joke, not a rebuke - there's no sharpness to the words. "Shall we say, the equivalent of seventy-five percent of the Groves' surplus, if we are to put a value on it?" It being the dowry offer, not the Lady Roslyn. That last bit earns a slight frown from the Young Lord, though he doesn't immediately speak as Anais fields that question. The touch of her hand makes him turn toward her. Although her smile doesn't beget one from him in return, he does give her a slow nod as he turns back to the Nayland. "You say your sister is still in her prime for having a child, and that she is of high moral standing. Therefore she shall be faithful and loyal to Ser Justin, and bear him sons, yes? Then I see not any reason to wonder upon her being set aside." A questioning brow is raised in Rutger's direction. "Unless you mean to cast doubt upon those previous statements, Ser Rutger."
"I mean to be realistic my Lord. My father will want assurances, as much as you want food." He states, as for Seventy five percent of the Harvest, there is a faint smile given over from Rutger, as he picks up a bit of cheese. "We have money still and money set aside for her, my Lord. I am sure we can come up with the right percentage of both. But, I believe of the surplus other uses have been made for them amongst our own in the Mire and in Stonebridge. But" and Rutger holds a hand up. "We can set some aside to be part of the dowry. After all if we are to go into this together, we cannot have the people my sister will be serving over as a lady, go hungry, can we?" Seventy five is too high, it goes to say without really saying it. "As for casting doubt, I do not see it as thus, as much as insurance. This peace is a serious thing to us, as I know it is to you. If we make it hurt to break it-then it will last all the longer." Rutger adds.
"Make it hurt to break it," Anais echoes, arching a brow with a faint smile. "Goodness, Lord Rutger. I didn't realize that one set aside a wife so often that it needed to be prepared for so…vigilantly. Still. I believe the customary response to such things is to return the dowry, usually with some interest. But let us be honest. Look at the two of them." She looks toward the door, smile quirking. "It's my understanding that they've been quite friendly already. I may not have known Justin for long, but he's a caring and genuine man, and your sister is clever, composed, and a true lady. What possible reason could they have to break such a mutually beneficial arrangement?"
Jacsen smiles easily. He's obtusely bargaining high and making no real effort to conceal it. "We need not dance about the finer points, Ser Rutger," he assures. "After all, we are negotiating a potential betrothal, not a peace treaty. If you feel the equivalent of seventy-five percent of the surplus - in value, not the high sum your House offered - is too high, you can freely say so." He shrugs, sipping his wine. "But as you can see, I prefer to deal in practicalities and solid figures. After all, I cannot compare vague and nebulous abstracts when considering the various offers from different Houses." The once-again emptied glass is set aside as Anais speaks.
Anais moves to refill Jacsen's glass, ever the attentive and obedient wife. "Lord Rutger, I hope you'll forgive me, but I'm curious. It's my understanding that Hag's Mire and Stonebridge were both relatively untouched by the invasion. Stonebridge in particular seems to be thriving. So I'm not sure I understand the attachment to the Groves surplus you purchased. We'd never ask for the Mire's own stores, of course," she assures, smile warm. "But the additional surplus seems like it would be easier to part with. In fact, if you took a tariff out of it when it passed from the Groveses hands to yours, then returned a portion of it to us as part of Lady Roslyn's dowry or even at a reduced tariff, you'd actually be recouping some of your own costs in buying it, wouldn't you?"
A slow grin lights Jacsen's face as he gives Rutger a 'there you go' gesture. "See? Isn't this easier, Ser Rutger? Thirty percent reduction of tariff, with further reduction to be discussed prior to the birth of the first child, and twenty percent of the Nayland harvest and twenty percent of the Groves' surplus." He clasps his hands together, a quiet clap issuing with the gesture. After Anais finishes, he adds, "As much as we are working beyond our fathers' long feud, Ser Rutger, we still serve at their will. And I can assure you that a request to have the marriage 'locked in chain', as you say, will not be met well by my family." It would, after all, be a matter of honor and pride. "But I welcome you to name your terms, as we are only speaking. I will also tell you straight that the tariff reduction is appealing, but as my lady wife points out, the harvest percentages offered will be viewed as… low." Perhaps not completely insultingly so, but still low. "While Lady Roslyn may yet be able to bear sons, she is not as suited as others - " Meaning, she's not getting any younger, " - and my good lord brother is of good position." Second in line after the cripple.
"We can surely work on the figures, but despite being untouched by the Ironborn, as your lady says, our people need the Surplus, due to other reasons, I am yet unable to fully disclose. I wish I could, but I would need to check with my Lord before I could." he adds. "As for our number, these are preliminaries. We can iron out the hard details to be approved by both men without ruining one's honor, or hurting another's need." Rutger states A glance is given to Anais. "Lady, we are not going to tax you on a dowry- even if goods are exchanged in part of it. We may have a talent for earning coin and pissing people off for it. But we will not cheat our family-nor will we cheat anyone in the dowry." said with a brief pause. There's a glance towards Jacsen. 'Just so. my Lord." STUPID CRIPPLE. "You still have years yet to place a child with your wife- and I do not doubt, the ability to do so. But, rest assured we can iron at these terms. As so long as we are agreed it shall happen."
Anais smiles faintly. "My mother and father took two years before Quentyn was conceived. And a few years between the rest of us as well. But she was safely delivered of eight children eventually, and not one lost in childbirth or the early years. Given time, I'm sure Roslyn and I will have the Roost crawling with little Terricks," she laughs softly, turning a fond look on Jacsen.
Jacsen browraises at the secrecy. "Color me intrigued, Ser Rutger. But, you have your reasons. We will wait for you to have all the proper discussions before we continue on that front." He doesn't touch the refilled glass still, leaving his glass full on the table before him. "And we didn't mean the dowry might be taxed - rather, that per this agreement, you may be willing to sell us some at the reduced tariff." He purses his lips and considers for a moment, which gives him subterfuge to not notice Anais' look. "With that offer, I'm not ready to make a promise to move forward, Ser Rutger," he says honestly with an apologetic look. "If we start at forty percent of the surplus and thirty of the Naylands' - or forty percent of the surplus and the equivalent in coin - we can begin discussions in earnest." Pause. Ignore comment about his virility. "I understand if you wish to speak with your Lord Father before committing to such, as you stated."
"You ask for much, and these things I can take back to Lord Rickart." Rutger offers. "As for selling you more on a reduced tariff? If you had the gold we would talk about that then. "Rutger states. "After all If the marriage goes through I could see us being favorable to you for such a venture. As it would be in our interest to do so." the Nayland knight offers. A raise of his brows. "I would see us come to some agreement. I could be willing to go to thirty percent of our own Harvest, but I am also prepared to be rebuffed." there is a brief pause. "Do you wish to see this succeed, My Lord?" Marriage any of it, of course.
"Lord Rutger, in one breath you tell us these are just preliminaries, and in the next you say that you would like to come to some agreement," Anais points out with a crooked smile, topping off her tea. "I'm sure you understand that we must look to the immediate future, but we're also looking to improve the more distant future." She takes a sip, then settles back in her chair a bit. "I understand you seem to be having a bit of a problem with the Charltons regarding the entire Stonebridge issue?"
"I wish many things, Ser Rutger," Jacsen says, holding his hands open. "Food for my people. Peace between warring Houses. Even happiness for Justin, were I so bold. We have the potential to make all of these a reality between us, yes, and build toward a more… productive partnership." It's not a definite yes, but it's a positive note, at least. As Anais brings up the Charltons, he purses his lips - possibly in consternation, though it could just as easily be a suppressed smile. Either way, he takes hold of his wine again, his thumb tracing along the lip of the glass as he awaits an answer.
"Lady Anais. I believe I have had many breaths since then." A faint grin given back before he is looking towards Jacsen. "I am sure you do wish for many different things." And there eyes slide towards Jacsen's cane, before he is looking back. "I can state my own wishes, I believe though, despite my orders on the matter." A raise of his brow towards Anais, but still Rutger's face belies nothing. "I wouldn't say we are having trouble with the Charltons, as much as their Lord marched two dozen fully armed men into town and did not expect us to do anything about it. Right now I believe the words from one camp are bluster, meant to fluster our good Regent at Stonebridge." Rutger says. "I am sure if we had camped as many Nayland knights and Armsmen in the Rockcliff when all strength was out, you would have done the same, my Lord." a rub of his face. "I expect my brother will lay out a formal charge soon and we shall see justice done." Or people go free, one way or the other.
"Oh, I wasn't complaining," Anais laughs to Rutger, smile flashing. "Merely noting that something unpleasant has been going on. Which I imagine has something to do with the Lady Danae. I have no interest in watching this drama play out with my own children, of course. And I'm sure you feel the same way about Lady Roslyn's children." She looks to Jacsen, arching a brow as though searching out his opinion on a thought. "Perhaps if we were to offer some support in that matter, you might be able to part with a bit more of the harvest or the surplus?"
"Yes, much goings-on in Stonebridge," Jacsen agrees distractedly, his mind clearly elsewhere at the moment as he continues to thumbrub idly at the glass. "I'm sure the tournament will sufficiently distract us all should anything less than pleasant occur between your House and the Charltons." The comment is offered offhand, as though thoughtlessly spoken. As for Anais' question of support, it is not directly answered, though he does offer a tangential, "Do speak to your Lord Father regarding these matters, Ser Rutger, and the rest of your House also. I shall with mine. After the tournament, we'll meet again to see if our interests and commitments align. You know where my thoughts are on the matter, and it shall be a simple enough question for you to answer."
"If it does, my lord, it will not be my House you need worry for." Rutger says with a half grin before he is looking back towards Anais for something a faint furrowing of brows, before he is moving on and looking at Jacsen. There is a nod given. "Good, I will come here as soon as I am able and we will continue then." And with that he rises and slightly bows to both of them. "A good day to you both, and thank you for your time." A brief pause as he looks towards Lady Terrick, as if he was to say something. instead-he smiles, and sees himself out.