|Summary:||Some work harder at it than others. The trip to Riverrun and Anais' embroidery skills are both hot button issues for the Lady of the Roost.|
|Related Logs:||Ladies of the Roost; Trip to Riverrun prep stuff|
|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.|
|Wed Nov 02, 288|
The soft lift of afternoon filters through the windows of the entrance hall, falling in long rays along the smooth stone of the floor. One such bathes Evangeline where she stands to the side with a male servant, giving commands as to the cleaning of something or another, catching at dark curls and warming pale skin. Her eyes are restless, sweeping again and again to guests and inspecting the corners of the hall as if something may be out of place if she simply looks away. "And tell the chambermaids that they should be cleaning the seats in here /daily/," she emphasis, though it is conspiritorial rather than accusatory, the man agreeing with a nod and an "Of course." (Big plots, these ones.)
Jarod strides into the entrance hall alongside another of the house guardsmen. They're both in low conversation about some household security matter or another. Duty assignment schedules, from the sound of it. They come to a stop when they spot Lady Evangeline, offering the lady of the house bows of acknowledgement before they properly cross her path. "Lady Evangeline. A good day," Jarod says, as he comes out of his own flourishy bow. He must practice it in the mirror, that bow. He's gotten it down to wear it causes the purple-and-gold sash at his swordbelt to flair just so.
Alise ? She's taking to her duties diligently these past few days. Even if she isn't right at the Lady's side, she's not far behind. While Lady Evangeline gives the manservant orders, Alise grabs hold of a passing chambermaid by the arm, and silently admonishes her for her poorly adjusted skirt. She may be new to her position, but Alise is clearly not afraid to immediately start throwing her weight around.
The brush of Evangeline's skirts to the guardsmen does as a curtsy, brief and shallow as befits her own position within the house. She dismisses the manservant with a nod before turning her attention fully to the knight, greeting, "Ser Jarod, a good day to you as well. You seem rather well rested today."
Jarod sends the guard he was talking with on his way, though he sticks around to chat with Evangeline. For now. "Do I, m'Lady? I am, I suppose. I did not rest poorly, at least. You look well…as well." Alise earns a nod of acknowledgement, though he doesn't interrupt her bossing of the chambermaid. It makes him crook a boyish grin, in fact.
Alise sends the chambermaid off after shaking her down, then flits noiselessly to stand unintrusively behind and to one side of Evangeline. Hands clasped together, the blonde maid bows her head to Jarod without a word. She's not here to engage in conversation, but to stand ready for her Lady's needs.
There is a sharpness to Evangeline's notice of Jarod's grin directed in towards her lady's maid, calling his attention back instead with a murmur of "Would you sit with me a moment, Ser Jarod?" She gestures towards a favored window seat with slim fingers, graceful before she gathers her skirts to take a seat first.
Jarod doesn't spend an overlong time noticing Alise, attention turning swiftly back to Evangeline when she recalls it. He nods, following her toward the window seat, waiting until she's settled before sitting down at the other end. "Of course, m'Lady. What do you need of me?" Whether he noticed the sharpness of Evangeline's notice or not is unclear, but he's careful not to do anymore grinning at her handmaid.
Alise hurries over to the window seat when Evangeline announces her intention, quickly wiping the seat with a cleaning rag she keeps on her person at all times. /Now/ it's cleaned for the Lady, and Alise resumes her vigilant guard over her mistress.
"This business with Stonebridge. What do you know of it?" Evangeline questions, mild in her curiosity as she arranges her skirts /just so/ about her petite frame. She does spare an approving look towards Alise, nodding at the young woman. Then that dark gaze is back on Jarod, watching him without wavering.
"Are you referring to Ser Gedeon Rivers' claim toward Stonebridge, m'Lady?" Jarod asks. "Lord Jacsen knows more, assuredly. But I shall tell you of it so far as I'm aware. Will you be traveling to Riverrun with us?" He still avoids looking at Alise again. All eyes on Evangeline, totally on his best behavior. He even tries not to slouch.
"Do you think I should not? Is such a trip too beyond a mother? Too dangerous for an older woman?" Evangeline questions simply, her tone giving little away as she folds her hands into her lap. She glances towards her maid, questioning, "What say you, Miss Alise? Should I sit at home and sew instead?"
Alise perks up from her silent vigil. "My Lady is the very foundation of the keep." The blonde maid replies quickly. "But if she desires to offer her wisdom at noble courts, only fools would object."
Jarod frowns, a little wide-eyed, shaking his head quickly. "That was not what I meant, m'Lady. I apologize if I caused offense." He does truly seem rather mortified by the idea. He takes a breath and goes on, "We'll be taking only a small contingency of guards along to Riverrun, since we'll have Mallister men with us as well. One for each lord and lady going. If you've a particular sword you prefer, if you'll be along, let me know, and I'll see they're assigned to see to the safety of yourself and your…" Now he does look back at Alise, inclining his head. "…persons." He makes sure not to smile again, however. Serious knight is serious. He's seated on a window seat, Evangeline opposite him, and the two are talking. Alise stands near the Lady Terrick.
"To Riverrun?" Anais walks into the entrance hall at just the right time, tucking a pair of riding gloves into her belt and flashing a swift smile toward those gathered. "I'll have to speak with Jacsen, but I was hoping I might come. A chance to see one of the great keeps. How often to those come around?"
"Lady Anais," Evangeline greets with a soft smile tucked into the corners of her lips for her gooddaughter. "Come from riding, I see." Aside to Jarod, she adds, "I will be joining my lord husband on this trip to Riverrun, Ser Jarod. I will tell you later what arrangements will be necessary."
Alise's attention shifts over to Anais' arrival, and bows her head to the young lady. "Milady." She greets quietly, but makes no further effort to make herself known.
Jarod stands as Anais strolls in, offering her one of those flourishing bows he likes to perform, when he has occasion to bow. "M'Lady Anais." Ser Jarod is minding all his courtesies just now. "Let me know as soon as you and Lord Jacsen've decided on it, but I'll see a man is prepared to go along for your security." He doesn't sit again, and likely won't until bid to do so, but he nods to Evangeline. "Certainly, m'Lady. I'm trying to get the duty assignments sorted by the end of this day, so the men have time to prepare, but if you need until the morrow it won't be any trouble."
"I'd like to bring Kincaid, if you don't mind," Anais nods to Jarod in regards to the duty assignments. "Lady Terrick," she smiles politely to the older woman, pausing when she catches sight of Alise. "Hello," she greets the girl, smile warming slightly. "I don't believe we've met yet."
"Perhaps such a decision should wait until your husband gives you leave to accompany him, Lady Anais. May I ask of your progress on your needlework, daughter? I am sure you must have completed a great portion, with so much time to ride," Evangeline comments conversationally, warm affection making her words gentle though the gaze that she levels on Anais is unwavering as always.
Alise looks uncertain whether to offer up an introduction, since Evangeline did not. After a quick glance at the Lady of the Roost, Alise keeps her head bowed to Anais. "I am Alise Callystan, newly appointed handmaiden to Lady Evangeline, milady." She offers quickly, so it's done and out of the way so the nobility can talk amongst themselves.
"If you're to go along, m'Lady, you certainly can," Jarod says, with a nod to Anais, so it's clear who he's 'm'ladying' at. "As I was just saying to Lady Evangeline, we won't need to take more than one for each lord or lady along from the Terrick guard, as we'll have men from the Mallisters along to support us. You had some questions about the manner of Ser Gedeon's claim to Stonebridge, m'Lady?" Nod to Evangeline, this time. "What do you know the matter? So I can be sure I'm not repeating what you've been told already." The question about needlework makes him exchange a look between the Ladies Terrick. It's a look he keeps carefully blank, though, and it finally settles on Alise while Evangelie is unwavering at Anais. He's not sorry to have the attention off him for a minute. He keeps standing.
"A pleasure to meet you, Alise," Anais says cheerfully. "I'm Anais. Once Banefort, and now recently Terrick. Welcome to the household. I expect Jacsen should be all right if I come along," she adds, turning another smile on Jarod and Evangeline alike, even if there's something of two strange cats in the latter. "Some of the pertinent information came from my father's records, and his answer came through our letters. As for needlework, I'm afraid I couldn't find you for instruction, goodmother," she adds, saccharine sweet. "So I thought I would occupy myself as best I could."
"That is quite odd, as I have been in the solar most of the afternoon, Lady Anais. Where did you look for me?" Her fingers drum briefly against the back of her other pale hand in her lap as Evangeline finally looks thoughtfully from Anais to Alise and back again. "In the future, if it is not possible to find me, be assured you can look for Miss Alise here and she will be happy to instruct you. If you cannot find either of us, I am not sure how you expect to run a household of servants." She draws straighter in her seat, if such were possible with the steel rod permanently infused to her spine (figuratively). "I know little and less, but I will speak with Lord Jerold before we leave about the matter."
Alise purses her lips at Lady Evangeline's verbal jab, and turns quickly towards Anais. "I will make myself available at your request, Lady Anais, when Lady Evangeline has no need of me. I will be happy to assist you in finding whoever it is you need."
Jarod shifts Anais a little look, accompanied by a little shake of his head, at her saccharine-sweet reply to Evangeline. Bad move, good-half-sister. Appease it. Quickly. When he's addressed again, his attention returns promptly to Evangeline, expression all of polite regard. "I shall tell you the matter as I understand it, m'Lady, though Lord Jerold and Lord Jacsen would know the household's position on it better than I. It starts in Stonebridge, at the tourney which celebrated the marriage of Lord Ryker Nayland to Lady Isolde." And lost Stonebridge from Terrick control, thoug of course he doesn't add that part. "Ser Gedeon had not returned to Tordane land since the Trident, in which his lord father Lord Geoffrey and lord brother, Ser Geonis, died upon the field. Seven rest their souls. But he returned for the tourney, and with several letters in his possession, which is the matter that drives us to Riverrun."
"I'm afraid I was looking for you first thing in the morning, goodmother," Anais replies, unfazed by the response, smile firmly in place. "I didn't want to keep you waiting. After all, since it is the foremost of the things in which you'd like to instruct me, it must be vital to the upkeep of the Roost, and I would hate to miss out on those things. Thank you, Alise," she adds to the younger woman, smile just a little more genuine.
"Tell me, Lady Anais, how do you imagine we have the tapestries that cover our walls?" Lady Evangeline questions mildly, though she gestures towards Jarod to sit again briefly. "Or the cloths that cover our altars? Or the bedlinens we use? Do you imagine that throwing gold at any situation will solve your every problem, the way you handled the grand melee?" She rises, drawing herself to her full 5'1 but managing the impression of taller. "Understand this, gooddaughter. While you ride and play, I work every day to improve the Roost. Do you not wish to do the same?"
Alise immediately takes a step back to Evangeline's side, briefly and carefully smoothing out the lady's flowing sleeve before melding into her shadow after ensuring the Lady of the Roost is resplendent!
Jarod half-opens his mouth to continue his Tale of Stonebridge, which he's plainly only beginning, sitting down again when Evangeline bids. Though his half-open mouth snaps shut when the elder Lady Terrick addresses the younger one. He settles back against the wall, like he's taking some care to get out of the line of fire, and studiously eyes one of those tapestries on the wall. He suddenly finds it extra-fascinating.
"I believe that the tapestries, bedsheets, and altar cloths are woven, my lady, rather than embroidered," Anais replies cooly. "As for the grand melee, it was one of those situations wherein delicate handling and /appearance/ were paramount. I did my best to preserve the resources and the reputation of the Roost by drawing from my own belongings. How would you have suggested I handle it, my lady?"
"You are wrong, Lady Anais. I embroidered the altar cloth by my own hand, as well as many of the tapestries that currently warms the walls of the Roost. Perhaps you are in more need of instruction than I realized," Evangeline answers, her eyes hardening on Anais. "See yourself from my presence at once and to the sept to inspect the cloth, my lady." There is a certain—expectation that the order will be followed, unused to not being obeyed. She turns to gesture to Alise, stepping aside and half-turning her back to Anais to murmur something lowly to the younger girl.
Alise obediently dips her head to listen to Evangeline; the blonde maid is certainly not tall, but she still needs to duck somewhat for the Lady of the Roost to reach her ear. Attentive, Alise, attentive!
Jarod directs a half-sympathetic look at Anais when Evangeline goes to mutter to Alise. Though it's meaning is clear. 'Do what the scary lady tells you. It's easier.'
Anais's eyes narrow slightly at Evangeline, a long breath drawn in. "Thank you, my lady, but I think I will not," she replies in steady, even tones. Poor Jarod. Anais just isn't taking hints today. "I understand that your expectations here at Terrick's Roost may be different than they were at the Banefort. However, I am not some hayseed bumpkin from the backside of nowhere, and I will not be treated as though I do not have the education befitting my bloodline simply because my education focused on things other than knitting, embroidering, and weaving while sitting on my ever-expanding a- rear end." At least she caught that one. "You will see me working on my needlework in the solar, Lady Terrick, as soon as I hear one kind word from you as to the things that I /do/ do well. Jarod, please excuse me." And with that, she turns on a heel, straight back out to the courtyard.
Where Anais escapes, Evangeline's gaze follows her steadily, fingers lifted to touch at Alise's shoulder in a gesture to hold. With the other lady gone, her gaze slides to Jarod and she says politely but firmly, "It is not proper that she should address you so, Ser Jard. Be certain that she knows that, will you not? Such familiarity expressed to a man that is not family nor her husband will only give others reason to talk." Her nod following her words allows Jarod an excuse to escape as well, a simple gesture that could be taken as dismissal.
"M'Lady," Jarod mutters to departing Anais. Politely, but as low as he can. He's rather sorry she said his name and called attention to his existence. Though Evangeline seems to have remembered it. There's a moment, when she says 'not family nor husband,' when he looks half on-point of correcting the elder Lady Terrick. But he just clears his throat awkwardly, and does not. "I shall speak with her on it, m'Lady. It won't happen again, I assure you. Did you…did you want me to continue talking on the matter of Stonebridge?"
Proper maid she may be, but Alise is as baseborn as one can get, so this sort of noble family confrontation makes her rightfully nervous. For her part, Alise is just glad she's not in the middle of it, and when Evangeline bids her to hold, she does exactly that!
"Yes, please, sir," Lady Evangeline answers, her fingers gathering in her skirts as she turns back to Jarod. She even apologizes briefly, "I am quite sorry for the distraction of my attention. You made mention of letters?" Pause. "If you have your own questions, do not feel you need to stay silent for my sake, Miss Alise."
"It's a curious tale, Miss Alise, and any questions put to it might be of use of figuring new things out of it," Jarod adds to the maid with a respectful little nod. Then, on he goes. "As I said, Ser Gedeon returned to the Stonebridge tourney with several letters. One written to him by his lord father, the other an exchange of…" He pauses. "…personal letters, I suppose you could call them, between Lord Tordane and his lady wife, Lady Valda. Ser Gedeon said that old Lord Geoffrey had brought these letters with him when he left Stonebridge to march to war under the banner of Good King Robert. Perhaps thinking this matter more pressing with both himself and Geonis, his proper heir, taken to arms. I can only guess at the mind of Lord Tordane. But anyhow, as I said, the letters between Lord Tordane and Lady Valda were…sweet nothings, I guess, between an absent husband and wife waiting at home, written while Lord Geoffrey was supposedly in the Westerlands for tournaments and the like." He pauses. "They were dated, m'Lady, during the time which the Lady Isolde should've been…" Pause. He blushes. Discussing illegitimacy with his noble not-mother is twitch-worthy. "…the dates suggested that Lady Isolde may not be Lord Geoffrey's trueborn daughter, is the point of it, m'Lady. And the letter from Lord Geoffrey to Ser Gedeon said this outright. It said…it said that Lady Isolde was not of Tordane blood and that, should he and Ser Geonis fall on the field, that Lord Tordane wished Gedeon legitimized. And given rulership of Stonebridge. As he'd be the last living child of Tordane blood."
Alise shakes her head to Evangeline's words, one hand squeezing the other. "Thank you, milady. But these things are beyond my limited knowledge to understand. It's best that I keep my ignorance to myself." She bows her head, glance shifting from Evangeline to Jarod and back.
"Did the letters state such, Ser Jarod? Or merely has this Ser Gedeon Rivers said that that is what his father wished?" Evangeline questions quietly, again focused steadily on the man in her presence. "Perhaps there is proof that Lady Isolde is illegitimate, but that does not make Ser Gedeon any more legitimate. Are there no cousins that could stand to inherit with a proper claim?"
"The letter to Ser Gedeon written by Lord Tordane stated such, m'Lady," Jarod says firmly. "I saw it myself. Ser Gedeon showed the letters to me in Stonebridge, after the tourney. Before he took them to Lady Isolde herself. I think he expected…" He shrugs. Not going on with what Gedeon might've expected. "Anyhow. Lady Isolde took the letters from him and they are with the Naylands now. If they still exist. As to the matter of Stonebridge, m'Lady, as I understand it Lady Isolde is the last of her line. The only other Tordane is Lord Revyn's lady wife, and they have no children. She would be next in line, if Lady Valda herself does not inherit as Lord Geoffrey's widow, but there's none of her or Lord Revyn's blood to follow." With such a long marriage and no children, Lady Terrick nee Tordane appears quite barren. Not that he'll state such a rude thing outright. "Ser Gedeon's legitimacy is a matter for Good King Robert, depending on how things go at Riverrun. It's the question of Lady Isolde's that's paramount, and which we undertake this errand for. To see what Lord Tully makes of the situation."
"And who is to say that the Lady Tordane did not seek out her husband during such a time as he was away? The dates on the letters do little and less to prove the Lady Isolde's parentage, though it certainly does cast suspicions," Evangeline murmurs musingly, her fingers smoothing along the line of her skirt. She questions of Jarod, "And what do you think, Ser Jarod? Would you believe her illegitimate?"
Alise clears her throat a bit, and goes back on her promise to keep her ignorance. "Pardon my lack of understanding, Ser Jarod, but…" She turns a quick glance at Evangeline, seeking permission to speak so. "…This all seems rather convenient, does it not? I recall a case in Tall Oaks where an old farmer passed on and left his old cottage to his sons. Neither one desired it and left it to ruin, until it came to light that the farmer had left a handful of silver inside a wall; at that point both sons produced 'proof' that they were the lawful owner." She pauses for a moment. "It was widely seen as a farce by folks."
"That's a good question, m'Lady, and one I can't answer," Jarod says to Evangeline, as to the possibly of Valda 'seeking out' Lord Geoffrey. "The only one who could say for certain is Lady Valda and…" A shrug. He certainly won't cast doubt on the truthfulness of a noblewoman in front of Lady Evangeline, but his tone suggests he hasn't much faith in it. "Or perhaps the lords of the Crag and Banefort, where Lord Geoffrey supposedly was during this time. That will give better answers, if anything will." He nods slight to Alise. "It's very convenient, Miss Alise, and the question rises why Ser Gedeon waited this long to put the matter forward. Still, what investigation we've done confirms at least that Lord Geoffrey was in the Westerlands during the…time in question. And Lady Isolde supposedly took the letters to a septon for examination, and I'm told by Septon Josse that the handwriting was confirmed as Lord Tordane's. Still, the matter's murky. Better it's going to the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands, where the full law of the matter can be considered." As to Evangeline's last question, his brow furrows as he thinks on it. But he can only shake his head. "I think it's possible, m'Lady. But a good many things in this world are possible. In truth, I know not, nor is it for me to say."
"Nothing is for us to say or decide, Ser Jarod. I merely asked what you privately thought of the matter," Evangeline replies patiently, though her gaze slides away to Alise briefly before returning. "If such comment would make you uncomfortable, however, I would understand."
Alise notices the sidelong glance Evangeline shoots her way, and promptly wilts back into the background. Run along, don't look, there's nothing here to see.
Jarod shakes his head to Evangeline. "Not uncomfortable, m'Lady, though your consideration does me kindly," he says. And this is one thing that actually doesn't seem to make him uncomfortable. "If you'll allow me to speak plainly? There's just no way I could tell. Lady Isolde was raised Lord Geoffrey's daughter, though Lord Geoffrey's letter claims that was only to spare her and Lady Valda dishonor. She was given all considerations of a trueborn lady and knew no other life, nor thought of herself as anything else. So that is what she seems, as any of us seem what we believe ourselves to be. The truth of it is for far wiser heads than mine to figure."
"Do you think we would do justice by stripping such a life from her? Perhaps we shall let her be lady's maid to whoever Ser Gedeon Rivers takes as a wife?" Evangeline questions, though she lifts her fingers in a gesture as Alise gets the wrong idea from that glance, summoning her back silently. "That hardly seems any better, but I doubt any resolution to this matter will have a pleasant outcome."
Background or not, Alise is definitely listening. Once or twice the maid seems to want to speak up, but ultimately doesn't and keep her peace.
"It's not for me to say what justice is, m'Lady," Jarod says simply. And, if he has any specific sympathies on the matter of Lady Isolde and Ser Gedeon, he'll not voice them to Lady Evangeline. "Ser Gedeon has said to Lord Jerold that he'll swear vassalage to the Terricks again if Stonebridge ever comes to him. And Lord Revyn's wife is, of course, a Terrick herself. Those are matters yourself and Lord Jerold - and Young Lord Jacsen - would have more opinion on than I. But that is the matter of Stonebridge so far as I know it." Jarod is sitting on a widowseat in the entrance hall, Evangeline on the other, in conversation with the Lady of the Roost. Alise listens attentively at Evangeline's shoulder, for whatever said Lady of the Roost might order her to at a give moment.
There is a moment of silence, thoughtful where Evangeline's gaze slides away. Eventually, she offers with neutral formality, politely, "And yet you have been part of Terrick's Roost for as long as my son, Ser Jarod. I would not discount your opinions on the matter. You are, after all, our Captain of the Guard."
It's from the kitchens that Lucienne comes, her skirts swishing about her as she glides into the entrance hall. A cursory glance reveals her darling mother, and her dear Buttons who must certainly be glad for any kind of intervention she can provide. Thus, she makes her way over to the windowseat, a smile as easily summonsed for her kin as is her curtsy. "My lady mother, Ser Jarod."
That's what Alise is expected to do, and that's what the maid is doing. Attentive, ready to jump at Evangeline's command. Lucienne's arrival is immediately addressed with a bow of her head, low enough that her head is never higher than Lucienne's even when she curtsies.
"And as such I shall serve Lord Jerold and yourself as well as I can, m'Lady. And Lord Jacsen and Lady Anais after you," Jarod says. "However I am ordered to it. In this matter as in any other." Dear Buttons is indeed very, very glad when Lucienne joins them. He stands, offering his sister and flourishy bow. "Lady Lucienne." Not as familiar a greeting as she'd get were the Elder Lady Terrick not present, but it's warm and accompanied by a big smile nonetheless.
"My dearest Lucienne," Evangeline greets, earlier warmth faded by the bright burn of her smile where it slowly transforms her lips. Her fingers reach out to pat the seat next to her, taking in the younger woman with an approving look for the curtsy, for her appearance. "We were discussing the trip to Riverrun. Perhaps you would like to accompany your lord father and myself, my dear?"
Lucienne's own smile brightens at the bow from her half-brother and the invitation from her mother, and she dips gracefully into that offered seat and folding her hands primly in her lap. "I would be honoured," is her first, honest response. "Might I enquire as to who else will be accompanying you, my good lady mother?" She cuts a look to Jarod, obviously assuming he will be in the party.
Alise goes back to her fly-on-a-wall position at Lady Evangeline's side, hands folded together and listens attentively.
"Lord Jacsen's requested I go along," Jarod says with a nod to Lucienne, in case Evangeline isn't supplying the information about him personally. "A few others from the guard as well, one for each lord and lady of our person. As I was telling Lady Evangeline, I should have them sorted by the end of today, and the patrol schedule arranged so the men headed to Riverrun don't leave any gaps in duties around the castle. Will you be taking your staff along as well, m'Lady?" he asks Evangeline. It's probably a vague reference to Alise, but he's still studiously avoiding looking at/smiling at/paying undo attention to the lady's maid again.
"Alise should certainly accompany me. Have you ever been to Riverrun, Alise? You will enjoy the castle, I believe," Evangeline offers to the woman lingering nearby, nodding to her before returning to answering Lucienne's question. "Your brother, of course, and likely his lady wife. I would imagine Lord Revyn shall come as well, correct, Ser Jarod?"
"I can't think of better company to travel in," says Lucienne with a pleased smile first to Jarod, then up to Mommy. "Hattie should accompany me, as well. Will we be travelling with Ser Gedeon and his party?"
"No milady, I have not." Alise glances down at the sitting Evangeline. "I trust it will be quite an experience. I certainly look forward to it." She agrees gently, and noticing the hem of her lady's dress folded in not quite the right way, she crouches down to quickly adjust it before standing back up. She's definitely taking her new role as handmaiden seriously!
"I'd imagine so, m'Lady, if Lord Jerold doesn't mind having both myself and Lord Revyn gone from the castle at once," Jarod replies to Evangeline. "He may go along with his lady wife due to her interest in what becomes of things Tordane, though it's not reached me what their plans are yet."
"Of course she should, my dear," Evangeline allows, ever indulgent. "For the rest, I am sure Ser Jarod will know more of the logistics of travelling with Ser Gedeon's party than I." She nods to Jarod, indication and allowance as she rises to her feet. "Alise, you may stay. I find myself in need of a moment alone." She turns to go with an elegant swish of skirts, her hands holding them precisely.
"Perfect," says Lucienne, excessively pleased to be allowed her preferred handmaiden. Of course, as Evangeline rises, so does her daughter, just for that moment to see her off. That done, she drops back to her seat and turns a wry look upon Jarod. "If anyone can see to propriety in Jarod Rivers…"
"As you wish." Alise steps aside to make room for Lady Evangeline, bowing her head as the lady departs. Free for the moment, the blonde maid glances back briefly at those remaining before repeating the gesture at both Lucienne and Jarod. "If you will both excuse me, milady, Ser knight, I should be making sure the kitchen is aware of Lady Evangeline's requests for tonight's supper."
"For his own protection, aye, Lady Lucienne, I figure that'd be for the best," Jarod replies to Lucienne, as to the matter of Ser Gedeon and the Valentins. "Someone tried to poison him at Stonebridge, so I don't think anyone's eager to leave him exposed when the Naylands'll be so near. I figure it'll be us, some of Lord Jason Mallister's men, and the Valentin party. Should make a good showing to whoever the Naylands send. Good day, m'Lady Evangeline." He rises to offer her a parting bow. Waiting until she's long gone before visibly relaxing. "Pffew." His lady sister's words make him laugh. "I'm mostly house-broken, Little Luci. Good practice for Riverrun, at least." To Alise, he inclines his head. "Of course. I'm glad things worked out well for you and the Lady Evangeline, Miss Alise. She's a good woman to serve, and I hope you're happier in your duties than in the kitchens." Which he actually means, about Evangeline, for all his tense propriety around the Lady of the Roost.
"You're excused," is the first and last acknowledgment Lucienne pays poor Alise, her brown eyes sliding to the blonde maid only briefly. "Good practice for Riverrun," she agrees with Jarod, her smile tightening amusedly at the corners. "Despite the tense circumstances, I'm rather excited to pay a visit there. How grand it must be, the great castle of the Lord Paramount." There's something of that excitement in her posture, too, all tense and straight.
"Lady Evangeline is strict because she wants the best for her House." Alise allows a genuine, rosey-cheeked smile to Jarod's reassurance. "I am extremely grateful to her for this opportunity, and to you as well, Ser Jarod." And since Lucienne has dismissed her, Alise packs up her smile and dips her head, before turning to head in the direction of the kitchens.
Jarod is plainly excited about going to Riverrun too, although his takes the near-bouncing-on-his-heels and grinning like an idiot form rather than tension. "I'm looking forward to seeing how Lord Tully arranges his house guard, and meet the knights sworn to him, and Jace's said he'll speak with him and Lord Mallister about coastal defenses when they have the opportunity. It'll be grand, Luci. And something to build us up some in the eyes of the Riverlands. That letter to Good King Robert knocked us down some, but I think we'll put in a good showing. And the way the Naylands have dealt with this business with Ser Gedeon's letters only comes off poor for them."
Lucienne's smile grows, infected by that raw enthusiasm of Jarod's. She even lets out a breath of laughter. "It's nice to have something to look forward to. I think you're right - this will be good for us, Buttons. Seven know we could do with some good for us, lately."
"Perhaps the Seven are smiling a little brighter on us, Little Luci," Jarod says. "But they like those who help themselves, so I should see that the guards're in order before we leave. M'Lady." It's wry and accompanied by an extra-sweeping bow, and then he pivots and bounces out of the entrance hall.