Page 023: Play to the High Ground
Play to the High Ground
Summary: Almost fully recovered from having been poisoned, Gedeon speaks with Anton about his upcoming meeting with the Terricks.
Date: 4 August 2011
Related Logs: Secret Admirer of Your Corpse
Anton Gedeon 
Four Eagles Tower - Guest Room
It's a room for guests, in a castle.
04 August 288

This morning was the first that Ser Gedeon Rivers has been able to walk, completely on his own, since the incident three days before. He's still pale and still recovering from three days where he could keep no food down, but his face and features are regaining color and vigor. The early morning found him training in the courtyard, albeit for a truncated amount of time. Now, he's retired to his temporary room with a light breakfast, a large cup of water and a nice view of the grounds from the window.

Anton begins his own training earlier and finishes later, and afterwards takes himself to Gedeon's accommodations, knocking on the door and announcing himself, awaiting reply before letting himself in. "You're looking better," he says, pulling out a chair with a foot and taking a seat. He glances out the window, and then back to the younger knight. "Lucky the squire was greedy," he says, "Did you know you were so sensitive to pennyroyal?"

"Come in," Gedeon calls, glancing over as Anton enters the room. He sets down the piece of bread he was chewing on, brushing the crumbs off onto his knees. He's more watchful, less cheerful than he presents around the others, and he observes in silence as Anton sits. "I'm feeling better, now. It's just a matter of regaining strength, at this point. I wasn't entirely sure, but I suppose it was worth it. Jaremy would speak with you, and it looks promising. I think he's going to ask his father to support my claim."

Anton nods. "It certainly seems to have been worth it so far. No ill has come of it, anyway, if you make a full recovery." He rises again, pouring himself a glass of water and returning to sit once more, snorting faintly. "From all I hear of Jaremy Terrick, I would not expect him to do anything so definite, nor would I expect his father to be much swayed by his son's request in any event. You have met him, now. What do you make of him? And the others?"

"I will," Gedeon insists calmly for his recovery. He's thoughtful as he considers the question, reaching for his own cup of water and taking a small swallow. "They're both so -honorable-," he muses with a faint smile, "I can see why Lord Geoffrey was fond of them. Jaremy seems loathe to do anything against his conscience, so it's wiser to play towards the moral high ground than towards an advantage to his House. Jarod is a bit more pragmatic, and he's swayed by the fact that I'm a bastard. If Tordane's bastard might one day be Lord of Stonebridge, it gives him validation for his own life and choices. He is his brother's counsel. Convince Jarod something needs to be done, he will sway Jaremy. Lucienne, well…" he smirks, "you will have to tell me your thoughts on her. She seems clever, more pensive. She and Anais Banefort, more than the others, be cautious around them. They will be quickest to notice a mistake. And then there's Jarod's pet, the little Nayland. I like him, actually, spirited, wide-eyed. Pleasant company. It's good he recovered well."

Anton listens, sipping at his water and turning the cup between long fingers as he does, at times watching Gedeon's expression as he speaks and examining the room at others. "Yes, better to stick to the high ground as far as it will take us," he agrees, "We have it, at present, and it should not be too difficult to maintain it at present, it seems. It may prove to be to our advantage that the Lady Isolde decided to keep the letters after all." He taps the edge of his cup thoughtfully against his lip, and nods once more, "The squire fought well in the melee, better than one would expect, given his size." He glances to Gedeon then, and smiles faintly, lips hooking into a curve, "In that respect, if not in others, he rather resembles you." He drinks again and then asks, "How stands their opinion toward said Lady Isolde, at this point, do you think?" he wonders, "I'm told they were all very close; will they still trust her above others, do you think, or has their faith been shaken yet?"

"If they're destroyed, there's no proof, but there would also be no one to call them false," Gedeon agrees. "It was a mistake, but perhaps it was for the best." For Rowan and Gedeon's likeness to him, he huffs a faint laugh. "Perhaps I was spirited and wide-eyed, once, but it died quickly. I think their faith in Isolde is shaken, they see her as a member of the Naylands, now. But that was a long friendship, and it may not take much effort on Isolde's part to rekindle it. Their distrust is yet a delicate thing."

"And by preventing others from seeing them, they make it seem they have something to fear from them," Anton adds, "It was a mistake, it would have been good to be able to take them to Lord Terrick or Mallister, but…" he shrugs, "As they were never legally binding in any case, we do not really lose much without them." He scratches at his jaw and listens, nodding again, "She may yet still win them back, yes. It would be nice to drive a wider wedge between them, but I do not have in mind an easy way to do it, and I would hesitate to risk making any real moves just yet. Better to see how the Terrick cards settle out, at least at first."

There is a small nod from the blond knight. "We'll see what Lord Jerold says when his sons speak with him. He may not be as easily swayed, but he has no love of a Nayland-ruled Stonebridge. Even if he only sees an excuse to reclaim what was his, that could work to our advantage. If we're to go any further with this, I will have to be made legitimate. That is the direction we should press our efforts, next."

Anton nods. "Aye, Lord Jerold is something of a mystery still, and I don't know what to make of him from his children. We will see." Another sip of water wets his lips and he goes on, "To legitimize you is the goal, certainly. It ought to appeal. This business with Isolde destablizes her, and if her claim grows too tenuous, Lady Valda could simply admit it and claim the land for herself. Or have her killed and blame us and take the land for herself. You legitimate is the only thing that prevents that possibility."

"I would rather not see Isolde dead," Gedeon muses as he slowly turns his own mug of water. "She did her best to be kind to me when we were children. For now, as you said, a little waiting might be wise. If there is an opportunity to spread or build rumors, anything to further convince the Terricks would be helpful. It must be their idea to bring my case to the Tully."

Anton nods, waving fingers in a dismissive flick of his wrist, "The fewer dead the better, overall. Less mess. I wasn't suggesting that we make that happen, simply that the Naylands and Lady Valda may find it expedient at some point. But yes, a little waiting, at least. See where Lord Jarod comes down on things and then work from there." He spins his water glass on the table-top and nods, "Yes. Best if you do not ask them to legitimize you, though it would be foolish to try to pretend you have not thought of it. They must be the first ones to speak of it aloud."

"It's already been mentioned, at least in passing, though right now their commitment only extends to keeping me protected." Gedeon smiles faintly at this. "For now, I say we wait for them to bring the idea to me. I'm not the most clever fellow on the training field, after all. A bit of guidance is always useful."

Anton nods. "Good," he says, "It's a good start. And yes, we'll let them bring it up. You're sweet and biddable," he grins, "And I am just concerned for my friend and trying to carefully navigate relations between the two houses so neither attack me."

"Friend and pupil," Gedeon corrects, his own smile growing for a moment. "You are a very caring sort, underneath all that barbarism. Courteous enough to bring flowers to a Lady after defeating her family on the tourney field."

"I am the soul of courtesy," Anton replies with a vague flourish, "Though naturally my manners are a bit unpolished, I do my best. It seemed a good opening," he replies, "Demonstrate my superiority and then my interest. It slipped beneath their notice in the wake of the betrothal announcement a bit more than I had perhaps intended," he says, "But I think it was well done, all the same. We will see on that as well when we meet the Lord Jerold. Though she may more likely be yours, in the end," he points out, "Should you succeed in being legitimized, I expect the Terricks will wish to cement their tie."

"If we make it that far, it is certainly something to consider. For now, press your suit. The most memorable interaction I have with the Lady is vomiting on her skirts, so I'm afraid it may take more than flowers to give her cause to smile at me. Still…" Gedeon stretches a little, looking around at the room they sit in, "to get even this far… a game well played, my Lord. Let us see how much further our wits and the Seven will take us."

"If we make it that far," Anton nods, and then chuckles, "Oh, I would not count yourself out so easily. It may have warmed her heart towards you, to see you so vulnerable." He grins and then nods, stretching out a bit, "It is going well," he agrees, "I think the best we can do at present is not strain our wits too much trying to shove it along. If things continue as they're going now, I think our noble friends will take us there on their own."

"We will travel on the wake of their righteous indignation, then," Gedeon agrees before finishing his water, "and enjoy their hospitality and keep our ears very, very open. The next step will reveal itself in due time, if we watch and wait for it."

Anton lifts his cup to Gedeon, smiling, "I'll drink to that, my friend. Clear eyes, open ears… we can't lose." He grins, and drinks.

There's another soft huff of a smile as Gedeon lifts his own (empty) cup. "Clear eyes and open ears," he agrees. "And, just at the moment, I think I will add 'a soft bed' to the list of the things I need."

Anton nods, "Yes, you should rest. Though don't sleep too well," he advises with a smirk, "We want you looking the wan and helpless victim when we see Lord Jerold later." He rises, and claps Gedeon on the shoulder, "But sleep well enough, at least. I will see you later."

Gedeon leans back in his chair, lifting his chin a little and widening drowsy eyes. The very picture of a man still recovering from sickness and doing his best to hide it. Then he smirks and pushes up into a stand so he can walk over to the bed. "Until then, my Lord. Have a good morning."