|Prelude to a Disaster|
|Summary:||Just before the royal courier arrives, life in the Roost is just about normal. Jaremy and Rowan chat, Lucienne arrives and the talk turns spicy.|
|Related Logs:||Immediately precedes The Courier|
|Courtyard, Four Eagles Tower, Terrick's Roost|
|The Courtyard of Four Eagles Tower is floored with a fine grey stone that match the color and tone of the interior structure of the castle's yard. Plants have been potted and placed around the entrances to add some color, the greenery accompanied by several trellises of flowers that climb the support columns. The most prominent structure in the area is the set of large slab steps that lead up to the great oak doors of the Great Hall. Several hallways and accesses lead off into different sections of Four Eagles which makes this the hub of noble activity when court is not being held.|
|26th Eighthmonth, 288 AL|
The evening at Four Eagles Tower was quiet save for the sound of returning riders in the night. Far too little commotion to wake many, it's left the stablehands and the typical courtyard workers to have a lazy afternoon due to lost sleep. The courtyard is sparsely populated, save for the occasional cat and the stableboy who chases them. A door to the side wall of the Tower opens and Jaremy Terrick steps through. Alone with a cup of water in hand, he steps over to the training yard and places the cup on a closed barrel. Waiting for someone, it seems, he plants one of his booted feet on one of the horizontal planks that fences off the training yard and rests his elbows on a higher plank…settling into a quiet moment.
Sweat-damp and panting a bit, Rowan Nayland comes through the portcullis, greeting the men on duty there, bearing bits of armor and practice blades — and lugging a large stuffed dummy — back from the green. He heads toward the armory off the inner yard, lifting a hand to Jaremy when he spots the Young Lord. "Oi!" That's about all the lad has breath for, at the moment.
"Hoy back at you, Rowan." Jaremy replies, quieting as he watches the once squire of his brother carry the heavy equipment. Allowing him the first few steps towards the yard, Jaremy pushes his boot off of the plank and turns to intercept the young man. Forming up at Rowan's side, he reaches in to try to steal the practice dummy away. "You look like you're about to fall over and die, Rowan…here, let me take this. Were you out there with all of this yourself or is Ser Gedeon training you with it?"
"Bit of one, bit of the other," says Rowan, keeping a good headlock on the dummy as Jaremy tries to nick it. He flashes a cheeky grin. "Now, there, m'lord, you wouldn't shame me by implying I can't pull the same weight as all the other lads, would you?" He kicks open one of the armory double-doors. "I've got it, never fear. S'just a bit of a hike from the green, aye?" Once inside the doors, he drops everything with a clatter. "Whew! Anymatter, Ser Gedeon and me train twice a day, morning and eve — but I put in extra time before and after."
Smirking, Jaremy pulls his arms back and slides them into a clasp behind him. "Fair enough, suit yourself, Rowan." Jaremy replies, following him towards the Armory's doors. His eyes lower to the pile of equipment as it's dumped to the floor, flashing a quieted look towards Rowan from his position against the door's frame. "When I was a squire my uncle Revyn made me do the same thing. There were some days he made me do it all in full gear. Torturous madman he was…" He shakes his head, tsking. "…so how is your new arrangement faring, Row? Are you learning what you need to from Gedeon?"
"Hah! You're uncle's a hard man, no mistake," agrees the squire, resting against a crate for a moment, catching his breath before moving onto the tasks of cleaning, mending, oiling, and putting away. "I like him. He's always been kind to me — and hard on me, all at once." He looks away briefly when asked about his new situation, shrugging. "Miss this place like mad when I go," he says, quietly. "Half miss it already. But," he rallies and puts on a fresh smile, "nothing to be done about it, so you won't hear me complain. Ser Gedeon's a fine teacher. I'm learning a great deal."
Like his father, Jaremy does his best to not reply, always coming around from a side angles on matters of saying goodbye. The young lord takes in a slow breath, eyebrow cocked as he nods off, seemingly satisfied with Rowan's answer. "Well, I've not spoken to Jarod on the matter as to why you were released from service, Rowan, but you should know that you will be missed. I was a bit hard on you myself." There. He said it. "But even with that, if you ever find yourself in the need of anything, you can come here."
The lad shrugs again, also not replying directly to most of that. "That's good of you, m'lord. I appreciate the spirit in which it's meant." He takes up a buckets and brushes, rags and oils, seating himself to begin the long and tedious task of cleaning metal. "I'm sure I'll be fine at Oldstones — and even if I'm not, I'll defend it as I've sworn to do. So I wouldn't expect to see me back, unless Lord Anton makes another visit."
Jaremy nods his head sharply, the sound of his spurs rolling against the stone beneath his feet evident as he watches Rowan settle in to clean. Clearing his throat, Jaremy folds his arms across his chest, diverting his gaze to the courtyard. "Which may be a while." Jaremy refrains from saying why, surely, because if rumor is enough the answer is obvious. "Likely Rowan, it's more probable with this mess with the Tordanes and Ser Gedeon's letters we'll all meet in Tall Oaks long before we meet back here. That or the tourney. Shame you won't be wearing Terrick purple and gold. My squire will have to throttle you now…"
Rowan snorts. "I'll be handing Cayt his ass," he informs the young lord, taking a brisk brush to one of the breastplates he hauled in. "Why Tall Oaks?" he asks curiously.
"Oh you won't be handing Cayt his ass. He's a bit slower than you, but he hits like a mule. Just count yourself lucky I haven't yet asked Jarod to fight him so that he knows your little tricks." Jaremy smirks, turning his gaze back down to Rowan. "Nothing serious. I've yet to fuck up relations with Tall Oaks…" Jaremy muses. "…they're rather neutral and have offered their table as a neutral meeting place, should the Tordanes and the Naylands take issue with Ser Gedeon's claims. That's all. Should this matter require a place for all to meet to discuss, they've offered it."
"Crakehall boy hit like a mule, too," notes Rowan, not looking up from his work. And they both know how that ended. "And you can have him fight Jarod til they both drop. That's not who I'm learning my tricks from, anymore." As for Tall Oaks, "Ah." Then, dryly, "I'll make a note to bring some books. Catch up on my reading."
"It's only a possibility, your Lord Anton's brought it up as he's approached all of us about it. Though, Seven, Row, I imagine that trip would take you far longer than it would we." Jaremy replies, awkwardly gazing down his feet towards a small rock that he rolls over with the toe of his boot. From his lean against the doorframe of the Armory, he continues to watch Rowan scrub at the metal of the training gear. "Rowan?" He pauses. "I've not yet breached the subject with my brother, but I will ask soon but we've been caught in so many things. I know you and I have never been close, but why did Jarod terminate your squiring with him? You two were insepparable. What reason did he give you?"
The Nayland boy answers the question readily enough, scrubbing the breastplate he's cleaning all the harder. Really putting some shoulder into that, he is. "Makes more sense, at this point in my training," he says, tonelessly. "I'm small and slender and quick — so's Gedeon. Well, not small, aye but — we're built more alike. He's got Braavosi tricks up his sleeve that will be of enormous benefit to me as a warrior." He goes on scrubbing, dark curls falling into his eyes. "And Jarod didn't want me to have to face my kin in battle, if it comes to that. The tensions are high. So he's done me a kindness."
The armory is probably the last place anyone would think to look for the lady Lucienne, and judging by the way she's urging on her handmaiden, probably why she's scurrying for the inner yard. Her hands are buried in her skirts to keep them just clear of the ground, her steps quick and quiet, even on the stone underfoot. The further from the great hall she gets, the more relieved the lady looks, and as she notes the open doors and her brother's back, she slows - not wanting to interrupt, perhaps.
"That he has." Jaremy replies darkly, eyes turning back to the courtyard behind them. "That he has. It'll be interesting to see what you've learned come the next squire's melee, to see if any of that famed Braavosi swordsman work translates down to honest swords or if it still works best with those slender dinner knives they cut people to ribbons with." He shakes his head, and perhaps by sixth sense or fate itself he turns to see Lucienne closing in. "Just watch your head, Rowan. Whatever this comes to."
"Lu…" Jaremy says a bit more loudly, offering a smile to his sister that fades when he notices her urgency. "…sister, is everything well?"
Rowan glances up at that vague, somewhat dire warning, lofting an eyebrow. Seeing the lady approach, however, the boy is quick to mind his manners, putting aside his work and standing to deliver a respectful bow. "Lady Lucienne…" Her apparent haste also piques his curiosity, and he studies both lady and maid, cocking his head. "If you need someone smote, my lady, you need only point the way." Because Rowan's a thug like that.
Caught out, Lucienne's lips curve a smile that she hides primly behind a hand. "So valiant, dear Rowan, but no," she says, bobbing a shallow curtsy in return. She brings herself beside her brother, and sets a hand gently to his arm. "The cook… someone continues to mess with her salt shaker. Forgive me for being so bold in saying, but I'm rather tired of hearing her ranting about it - I thought perhaps if she couldn't find me, Lady Liliana might have the pleasure for once." The way her hand continues to hover in front of her lips speaks her rather inappropriate amusement at the whole 'salt shaker affair'.
"The salt shaker?" Jaremy blinks, instantly relieved, though a second later a look of utter confusion crosses over to his face. "How the fuck can someone mess with a salt shaker?" He laughs, running a hand through his hair. "Seriously, Lu, with the speed you were heading over I thought there may be a fire. What is happening with the salt shaker? Is it just being moved from where it's supposed to be or something?"
"Language, m'lord, please!" Rowan whispers, blushing for Lucienne's sake at Jaremy's earthy verbiage. He does look rather bemused by the seasoning scandal, adding with a faint smirk, "Yes, my lady, please do fill us in… lest our curiosity overcome us and we are compelled to pepper Cook with questions."
"Jaremy!" Curses, indeed. "There are plenty of mundane problems of the salt-shaker variety that we ladies have the pleasure of overseeing," replies Lucienne very seriously, a laugh threatening to crack her voice. It's Rowan who tips her over the edge, with that clever pepper quip. Her shoulders start first, and then her head begins to shake, a tinkling laugh not oft heard taking her over. "Pepper… oh, Rowan! Someone took the plug out the bottom of the thing today, and the other day - with the funny tasting pies for lunch - it was sugar in there instead of salt. Someone's having a great deal of fun with cookie, they are."
"I'm sorry. I just can't fathom what in the Seven could be…" Jaremy grunts, shaking his head and hanging it a bit low. His hands come up in a surrendering pose, knowing well he shouldn't have cursed. "Oh, cmon, Lu you're telling me you don't have a clue who would be doing that? I remember doing stuff like that when I was a kid. Are you sure it isn't you?" He grins broadly. Suddenly he blinks. "Pepper, Coo—" He scoffs, giving Rowan a disappointed look. "…how dare you, Rowan."
Rowan grins, looking entirely unrepentant. "What, my lord? Do you find my pun unsavory?" The cheeky bugger winks at Lucienne continues blithely, "I admit, I am not always sage enough to hold my tongue at bay, especially when trying to curry a lady's favor. Perhaps in thyme…" he shrugs, sighing. "Until then, I will be more ginger with my words."
Lucienne pretends offense, her mouth forming a small, shocked 'o' as Jaremy accuses her. "Of /course/ it's not me! Why, perhaps it's…" She never finishes the sentence, too busy giggling like a child at Rowan's cleverness. "Oh, by the Seven's sweet grace," she breathes on the tail of a titter, "How glad am I to have escaped out here. I hope my kitchen conundrums didn't interrupt anything important, gentlemen?"
"I'm going to have Caytiv ground you into something indeed at the tourney, Rowan." Jaremy murmurs into his hand, pinching the space at the bridge of his nose as he weathers the puns. "So says I, Jaremy Terragon." He scowls, almost hating himself for saying it. Deep breath in…deep breath out… "No, nothing's been interrupted we were just talking about the day when Row here leaves the Roost and takes for Oldstones, and how likely it is we'll see each other again." He scratches the back of his neck, starting to pull away from them. "I'll you'll excuse me for a moment…"
"No, no! Mercy my lord! Not Caytiv!" Rowan faux-cowers, laughing. "Why I'll — I'll be clove in twain!" He falls to his knees, pleading, "My poor jests may not always cut the mustard — " he calls after the departing knight, " — but I'm only CUMIN!"
Lucienne continues to giggle and sniggle and… why, yes, there's a snort in there too. A high pitched little piggy snort; the very reason our dear lady prefers to keep her composure in social situations! She's blushing furiously behind both hands, a combination of both the laughter and embarrassment. "Only… cumin… oh! Stop, goodness, my sides can't take anymore!"
Laughing breathlessly as well, Rowan climbs to his feet. "Ah, lady, I can refuse you nothing, of course." He snort-giggles as well — a slightly more mannish giggling, but not by a lot — and looks well-pleased with himself. "I believe I have vanquished your brother for the moment, but I am certain he will recover quickly."
Lu sucks in some deep breaths, trying to catch her breath again properly. "I didn't know you were such a… wise… cracker," she admits, with a last few merry chortles. One hand sets upon her chest, the other waves through the air a few times, and she shakes her head. "Dear Jaremy's not been in the best of spirits lately, that I've seen. A lot on his mind. Still - you'll be missed, when Oldstones departs, Row. Sorely, by some of us."
"Oh, my lady, no!" Rowan cautions merrily, dusting off a stool with his tabard so she has a suitable-ish place to take her ease. "If you open the rest of the pantry, we'll never be finished." His smiles turns a touch melancholy, when she speaks of his leave-taking. "Aye. I will miss you, my lady. And your brothers. Your father. All of the Roost." He sighs wistfully. "But I had hoped… I had hoped you might be coming with us. To see the place. I… know it won't be at all what you're used to. Nor I, for that matter but…" He tilts his head slightly to the side. "Sometimes… there is as much beauty in potential, perhaps more, as in a finished thing."
How thoughtful, preparing her a spot to sit; Lucienne takes up the stool with a soft, "Thankyou." The mood seems to have shifted, her own smile growing thoughtful. "Well," she begins, with a touch of a nod. "Your hopes may or may not be in vain, Rowan. I've heard tell of Oldstones, of what it is and what it isn't, but in the end… it isn't for me to decide, is it? I'd be honored to accompany you, just as I'd be honored to stay behind." And really, there's no telling which she'd prefer by her inflection or her expression. She shrugs.
"I think it's more for you to decide than you may credit, my lady — if you'll forgive my contradiction," Rowan says gently, taking a seat nearby. "You are much beloved — positively adored — by your parents and your brothers. You are not a commodity to be traded for gain. Certainly, your match must be advantageous within reason… but I think there is wide leeway for you to follow your heart."