|Questions and Answers|
|Summary:||Anton, Anais, and three Terricks ride out to the coast. Jaremy and Anton talk while the others get bored and head off to explore.|
|Related Logs:||Leading With Your...Something precedes; Girls Gone Wild picks up with Lucienne, Anais, and Jacsen after they leave for the cove.|
|There's some coast.|
|August 13, 288|
Anais's mount is a well-behaved one, well-suited to a young noblewoman. A gray mare who seems to have at least a touch of Dornish blood, the animal moves lightly over the ground, responding to even the slightest touch from her rider. There is no dancing, no prancing, no rushing the bit from her, thanks, no doubt, as much to regular exercise as good training. Anais herself seems a comfortable rider, at ease in the saddle.
"Cayt was telling me," she says as she reaches the shore, "That there is some sort of swimming hold around here. I don't recall having seen it, though." It's a fine summer day, with blue skies and sun, the heat cut by the breeze off the water.
Riding next to Anais on his large, speckled gray destrier, Jaremy sits high in his saddle with his sword checked at his hip. As always, he scans up and down the coastline to the large warning posts, and then back to the clutch of sworn swords that have ridden along the Terrick/Valentin retinue to provide security. Reigns in his gloved hand, he whips his head about to nod in the direction just sound of their location. "Caytiv found it already?" He asks, letting out a quiet chuckle. "I'm going to have to keep him more busy. Yes it's down the way a bit, there's a small rock-covered cove that we've preserved for swimming. It's not very large, but the tide isn't so strong there."
Anton joins the party on the roan destrier he won at Stonebridge, reins held absently wrapped around his fist on the pommel as they go. "It is very pretty," he remarks of the coastline, "I am glad not to have missed it during my stay." He turns a bit in the saddle, taking in the sweep of the countryside.
Despite what one might expect of a man with his peculiar considerations, Jacsen seems ever at home in the saddle atop his brown speckled mount, no sign save the cane holstered at his side and the odd strap that supports his right leg. Amicable conversation, though quiet, has passed back and forth between him and his sister, whom rides to his left. When the coast comes in clear sight, he draws on his reins in a gentle motion to slow the equine beneath him. "Seven," he murmurs, as he looks out over the water, a small smile worn plain on his face. "I haven't seen this view in so long…" That last bit is not so murmured, audible by any caring to hear the lord wax wistful.
Lucienne's horse is a deep brown gelding, and they seem to have quite the rapport. He slows in time with Jacsen's mount, needing barely a gesture. Lu smiles to herself at her brother's murmurings, twisting a look out over the coastline. "Welcome home again, Jace," says she in a soft, happy tone.
"If there is a place where one can tumble a pretty maid, I assure you, Cayt has found it," Anais laughs ruefully to Jaremy, shaking her head. "If it's true that bastard-born are randy, Cayt is the perfect example. But he means nothing by it, and I've never heard a complaint as to his conduct, so it seems he's at least a little respect." She looks over her shoulder at Jacsen's words, a small smile touching one corner of her lips. "How long were you away, Lord Jacsen?" she calls back, slowing her mount to grow close enough to hear the answer.
"I haven't heard exactly a complaint, though by the time he's earned his knighthood I'm sure he'll be ready to cause a scandal or two. I'll do my best to try to head that off at the pass, but if he and Jarod start to drink together I'll probably have to dispatch riders to get everyone to board up their windows." Jaremy chuckles dryly, coming to a stop. Breathing in deeply, he takes in the smell of the sea and turns his head to Anton, extending his arm before him. "Ser Anton, I present to you the Cape of Eagles that stretches out to the western sea."
"It is as advertised, Ser Jaremy," Anton replies, "And I thank you for the tour." He takes another moment to survey the coastline, nodding, "The hills to the west of Oldstones are likely better protection from the Ironborn, but they have nothing on this for the view, that is for certain." He breathes in a bit more deeply as well, and then glances back at the Young Lord and asks, "So, Ser, not to turn a pleasant outing to business, exactly, but it did seem you had things you wished to discuss. I would very much like to hear them, if you are still willing."
Jacsen turns his warm expression on Lucienne, seeming well pleased at his sister's words. "It is not something I am apt to get used to so swiftly, each corner turned being filled with memories I'd not paused to consider in a great while." The question Anais puts to him is answered swift enough, the lord shifting in his saddle enough to keep most of the party in his view. "Too long. I rode out with Jarod, he the squire to a hedge knight in the service of Lord Mallister, and I squire to the Lord of Seaguard himself, to answer Robert's call." His expression sobers some, and he adds, "Far longer than I would have thought back then, my lady." The more frank conversation Anton offers Jacsen's eldest brother is not missed, his blue eyes shifting in that direction.
Dragging her eyes reluctantly away from the view, Lucienne settles them back upon Anais for a moment. There is a rise of a blush in her cheeks for the frank speaking about Caytiv Hill and his antics - she turns her horse round from that conversation with a gentle tug on the reins, his hooves clip-clopping as though they itch to take off again at speed. She faces Jacsen now, her own expression hints at wistful as he recounts the memory of his leaving, but it doesn't catch her for long; Anton's address of Jaremy earns her interest, as well. Is it eavesdropping if you're all in the same riding party?
"That's a long time away from home indeed," Anais smiles crookedly to Jacsen, drawing in a deep breath. "Though at least you were still not far from the sea. It's the one thing I can understand about the Ironblooded, I think. They'll not travel far from the water." As Anton brings up more serious topics, she brings her mount closer to Jacsen, granting the others a touch more privacy in the topic. Or perhaps to make room for Lucienne to ride next to the Oldstones knight, judging by the brief, mischievous smile she turns on the other lady.
Jaremy watches Anais' horse pull away, and in response he leads his reigns so that his destrier falls into place alongside Anton's horse. "Of course, this place is as good as any." Jaremy starts, cutting himself off from their previous conversation to move to matters of state. "It just occurred to me recently that aside from the tourney, which we didn't speak at, and the meeting discussing the letters with my Lord Father, that you and I had not had a chance to speak. Seeing as how the issue of these letters have become pressing business, I wanted to know the man that Ser Gedeon has bent the knee to." His eyes fall onto the horizon, watching the waves roll out in the distance that reaches towards Pyke. "In truth, I worry that Rickart Nayland will fight Ser Gedeon's claims and this could lead to bloodshed. What are your throughts on this?"
Anton nods to Jaremy, "Between your illness and wedding preparations and the number of guests in your home, I am not surprised we have not yet found time," he says, "But I am pleased that we have now." He falls silent to listen, not seeming overly concerned by the proximity of the other Terricks and soon-to-be-Terricks. At Jaremy's question, he is initially silent, but after a brief pause for reflection, replies, "I very much doubt that it will come to that," he replies, "At least in the way that I think you mean. No one involved in this is suggesting that Ser Gedeon take Stonebridge by force. What he seeks, and I on his behalf, and what we hope you will aid him in, is uncovering the truth of the matter as far as something that happened twenty years ago may be proved, and seeing it put before the eyes of those that ought to know it - the Mallisters, the Tullys, even the king, if we might. Make clear the truth, which I believe to be that Gedeon Rivers is the only living child of Geoffrey Tordane, and let those with the authority to make these decisions make them. I cannot imagine the Naylands would raise arms to oppose a decree from their overlords."
While the Knight of Oldstones and the heir of Terrick's Roost exchange words, Jacsen's gaze seems to flit about from here to there, thoughtful enough when he ponders first the face of his brother's betrothed and then his own sister. Yet the keen observer can tell that his attention rarely strays from the two men at the heart of the conversation, and likely no word between them is lost on him.
To satisfy her horse's quest for movement, Lucienne rounds him a bit closer to Jacsen's, ignoring the space created by Anais and her mount. That smile from the other lady only serves to prolong her blush, and she ducks her head to hide a rare smirk under the guise of… well, not under the guise of anything save for ducking her head. "He's been missed," she says, of her brother's long stint away, still trying to school her expression back. Her eyes lift first, to Anais, and then the rest of her face, still smiling. "It's rather a magnificent view, isn't it? And the way the water cures the heat of a hot summer's breeze."
"Ah, you're cruel, Lady Lucienne," Anais sighs when the other woman speaks of the cool water. "We used to go swimming all the time at the Banefort. Our own little cove. My sisters and I would go, and some of Mother's ladies as well. Every day, when things were peaceful and we were younger." As the breeze blows over the water, she turns her face to the sea, eyes drifting closed as the wind pulls fine strands of hair from her braid, the sun making a halo of them. "But we could hardly go now," she sighs after a moment, smile rueful as she looks to the other woman.
There is some quirk of mirth and interest that favors Jacsen as he watches his sister move her horse and duck her features to hide an expression that might otherwise betray her to both Anais and himself. It's followed up with a glance in Anais' direction that says nothing else so clearly as it does 'you'll have to explain that to me later'. "The both of you are cruel. A dip in cool water sounds as close to the Seven as we could get on an afternoon like we've had of late…" He shakes his head, his shoulders heaving up and down in tune to a chuckle.
"Hardly," agrees Lucienne in a tone with hints of an impish undercurrent, a downturn at the corners of her smile. She affects a sigh of her own, loosening her grip on the reins of her horse and reaching down to caress his shoulder affectionately. Ticker, as he's named, twitches his mane and snorts into the soft breeze. "We could ride for a look at the cove, though," she supposes, brows lofting the statement into a question.
"You'll find, Ser Anton, that I like to try to think three steps ahead, and these letters clearly have caused the Naylands some stress as they've risked an unwelcome visitation to be here for the dramatics." Jaremy replies, eyes scanning the sky to come to a stop on a soaring gull in the distance. "Though in truth you are probably right, with enough to the claim if House Tully themselves stand behind the letters, The Naylands would be fools to dig their heels in. Though I suppose we should do what it takes to make sure that should any transitions happen they are done calmly and peacefully. The discussion at my father's table was heated, but you should know that this is my wish. I aim to remain just as always, though, the keeping of the peace is my secondary goal."
"That would be nice," Anais agrees with Lucienne, smile easy. "That way perhaps we could return another time. So long as our lords here don't mind being left behind." At Jacsen's look, her smile slips crooked, and she tips her head just slightly toward Anton and then to Lucienne. Luci's got a cruuuuuuush. Girls are good at giving that look.
The wordless conversation that is masked by talk of the cove continues when Jacsen turns a raised brow upon his sister, as if seeking either confirmation or denial of the equally wordless claims Anais has made. Through all this, his mount remains still save for the occasional shift or shuffle. "Well, I should not want to be the one to deny you both the chance to see the cove," he remarks, one shoulder rising and falling in a shrug. "I think the others…" he gestures at Jaremy and Anton, "… will like as not miss your absence. For a short while at least."
Anton listens as Jaremy speaks without interruption. "Naturally the Naylands would prefer the matter not be pursued," he replies, "They come now, I suspect, to try to persuade its abandonment, through various means. That is the only reasoning I can see behind their insistence that it cannot hurt them. They hope that by claiming strength you will hesitate to test them. It's a bluff. That or a delusion, but I credit Ser Rygar with more foresight than that." He scratches at his jaw, and then goes on, "Forgive me if I seem dense, Young Lord, but what is your wish, precisely? If your secondary goal is the keeping of the peace? I did not quite follow you, I'm afraid."
Lucienne artfully avoids looking at Jacsen, her eyes fixed firmly on Anais. They're wide, and easily convey her lighthearted annoyance at being betrayed so. Still, if they're going… "Last one there's a Nayland bastard then," she challenges with a grin, swiftly taking up the reins again and spurring her horse into action. He's a fast mount, likely to lead the way, especially given his headstart.
Anais' wickedly innocent grin in response to Lucienne's accusation turns into a laugh and a shout when the other woman takes off down the beach. "Lucienne!" she exclaims, grabbing up loose reins and setting her heels to her mare in a bid to catch up. It truly is a well-trained mount, and one that seems to have little trouble with the sandy shore. Anais herself leans forward, braid streaming out behind her as she tries to catch up with Lucienne.
"As of current the Naylands have the papers, and we are looking into receiving those papers so that my Lord Father can take a look at them, as well as the signatures. Claiming strength will not allow the Naylands much, especially if word of this matter stretches as far as Riverrun. You're right, Ser Anton, when it comes to decree from the overlords, there isn't much that can be done, and I do believe they're hoping to stop this before it gets to that point as well…" Turning his head, Jaremy looks to Jacsen, Lucienne, and Anais, sensing at their distance that they're up to no good. His eyes narrow at Anais, blaming her with a look of utter, mock accusation. "I apologize, Ser Anton. I tend to become vague when I speak while deep in thought. My wish, precisely, is to see the justice of these letters served. There is the matter of these seals being broken, however you and Ser Gedeon have also sworn your honor that the information in the letters is absolute. However this pans out, Anton…" He looks to the man. "…I wish for this to disrupt the realm as little as possible, and I suspect the ruling on what is to be done with these letters may be taken as far as Riverrun or King's Landing."
"Yes, unfortunately they continue to hold them, no doubt to prevent us demonstrating them to be genuine," Anton replies, "Perhaps if an appeal were made for the letters to be given into the care of the Lord of Tall Oaks, as a neutral third party, they might see fit to comply. Assuming they have not been destroyed already." He turns to look as the ladies speed off, and then back, nodding. "I see," he replies as Jaremy clarifies. "That is my wish as well," he replies, "Though as to my own oath, I should be clear - I very much believe the information in the letters to be true, but I cannot on my honor as a knight guarantee it. Not because I have any doubts, but simply because I haven't the expertise or knowledge to say with absolute certainty. That is a matter for a maester, not a knight." He glances after those headed to the cove once more, and then asks, "Tell me, Ser Jaremy, if the Naylands refuse to return the letters, or if they have been destroyed. What will you do then?"
Blue eyes follow the pair of racing horses as they streak across the sand, and the ladies that ride atop them. Jacsen's dappled brown remains more or less still beneath the calm hand of his rider, nudged a few steps forward to save it the boredom of standing still, in the direction of Jaremy and Anton. The second-eldest of the Terrick brood remains about but outside the words betwixt brother and guest, though he surely misses nary a thought spoken aloud.
"Lord Camden is interested in allowing his table as a neutral place to make deal, and I believe that his lands would serve as a neutral ground. If the Naylands don't wish for whatever reason to release the documents, then yes, I do believe they would be of the mind to meet at Tall Oaks. If the documents are destroyed or they still refuse to allow them to be inspected by my father…" Jaremy tilts his head, tsking as he watches Anais and Lucienne rush off, pursued by both Banefort and Terrick sworn swords. "…Damn. They're trouble." He chuckles, nudging his horse to start after them. "My father will know Lord Geoffrey's hand, as will our maester. To not allow the matter to be inspected will be an obstruction of justice, and a sign of treachery. They cannot afford to not allow this course to be seen. If that happens, Ser Anton, then my father's table will have an interesting conversation indeed, likely with our Lords Mallister and Tully involved."
Anton glances after Anais and Lucienne and the guards trailing after and chuckles faintly, but his expression returns rapidly to seriousness over the matter at hand. He listens to Jaremy's answer and nods. "Very interesting, I imagine," he replies. He nods again, "Very well. Perhaps, while Lord Ryker is here, you might put this to him, the matter of Tall Oaks and having the letters verified," he suggests, "If he were to be asked in front of Lord Camden, I cannot think how he could in all honor refuse without looking very bad indeed, or having to admit if the letters have been burnt." After a moment's pause, he goes on, "I wished to apologize for speaking ill of Lord Ryker earlier on," he says, "That was impolite of me, and I regret my lapse in manners. I understand that my house is a new one, and that it has been many years since I was here in the Riverlands, and that I am at this point unknown personally to your family or his. That trust takes time to develop and be earned, I understand. But I grew up at Seagard, you know. I squired for a Mallister. And my father served both Lord Mallister and Lord Tully before Lord Hoster himself honored us with nobility. To be treated as if Rowan entering my service is akin to him being handed off to reavers… I did not appreciate it. But I should more readily hold my tongue, and I apologize for not being more observant of the duty I owe as a guest in your home."
“While I may seem untrusting at times, Ser Anton, understand that it is not meant to be an insult. Your house is a new one in the region and time will tell how we work together. Though your service to our Lord Mallister and to our overlords is indeed something that speaks well to your name. Lord Mallister and my father fought alongside each other at the Rebellion as well. There is much that I admire about Lord Jason Mallister and his honor.” Adjusting his grip on the reigns, he corrects his horse so that he can continue on the slow gait alongside Anton’s horse. Veering away from the coast, he turns to watch the path ahead as they speak. “Between you and I, the Naylands served us a good deal of disrespect at the tourney, and were quite vocal about what they appear to have felt was a victory struck against our house that week. Lord Ryker would do well to remember that if he wants my father’s ear, he would better do so with a bit of respect and humility, especially to our guests. At least now you see why my father has little interest to keep the Naylands as neighbors. They have a habit of stretching too far for their own good.”
"Your family, at least, Ser Jaremy, has been continuously polite, if perhaps wary. That I cannot begrudge them," Anton replies. "Naturally I would prefer to be trusted - who would not? - but at the very least, I believe I deserve the basic respect and courtesy due to any man of our station. Your family has shown me that and more, while Lord Ryker could not even force himself to speak the 'lord' or even the 'ser' in front of my name when he spat accusations earlier." His horse's path is kept steady with knees and instinct alone, it seems, the hand on the reins idle and near to slack. "I should admit, however," he goes on after a moment, "That Ser Rygar was scrupulously polite, but then, he came courting my vassalage. Strange that Lord Ryker seemed to have no notion that his family is interested in my allegiance. I can hardly guess which of them it is that is ill-informed, but it must be one. That or it is some bizarre tactic which has failed them utterly, as far as I can tell." He shakes his head a bit and then glances back to Jaremy to nod, "They do seem a family to take what they wish to have. At the moment, of course, they also seem quite successful at it. And I mean that as no slight to you or yours, Ser Jaremy, it is simply fact. Right now, the Naylands have the upper hand and the momentum, and your house allows them to keep it."
"Make no mistake, Ser, that I feel the time that the Naylands contain this momentum is coming to an end. I've always stated that due to the treachery of the Tordanes that the Naylands captured the initiative, but this very issue is slowing their ambitions to a crawl. Their house is not in order and at current they are tripping over their own heels. At least that is how I have seen this played out, knowing full well that my father intends to demand of those documents. That day is coming soon, and they will have no recourse but to lower their heads and retreat to Hag's Mire." Jaremy smirks, leaning back against his saddle to correct his posture. It seems the last of his joint pain from his sickness is fading. "They are arrogant and cowardly and play their hand under the assumption of brilliance. Please, do not mistake our hesitation as weakness…" He looks to Anton "…you will find I am very observant and patient. There is still some road to travel, I feel, before this comes to a head. When the time comes, there will be justice. I only find it a shame this may displace Ser Gedeon's lady sister. Tell me, do you know what Ser Gedeon intends to do about her should Lord Geoffrey's dying wish be granted?"
Anton listens, and nods, "Of course, I didn't mean to suggest weakness or inaction. I understand caution and patience. I cannot say that I necessarily see as you do that the Naylands are already fading, but you have more experience with them and this region than I do. It is certainly my hope that you are correct. And when the time comes that
the truth of these letters may be more directly pursued, then, certainly, they will find themselves backpedaling, I expect." His horse shifts and stamps and he strokes its neck, and listens further before replying, "Ser Gedeon remembers the Lady Isolde fondly from his childhood - it was that connection which led him to foolishly allow her the chance to steal the letters. Even aside from their personal connection, he is a man of honor, and feeling. Should he find himself in posession of Stonebridge, I know that he has sworn to shelter and support her and, should the Naylands turn her out, see that she has sufficient dowry to wed well."
Jaremy quiets, his light brown eyes lowering onto the horizon as he again finds himself lost in thought. After a long minute passes, the young lord nods his head sharply, as if reaching a silent decision. "Good to hear this. My father and I disagree on the issue of whether it was Valda or Isolde who chose to end their fealty. I turn my eyes to Lady Valda on this. It was she who turned to the Naylands, she told me so herself." He pauses once more, pulling the reigns in the direction of Four Eagles Tower. "If this comes to arms, Ser Anton, are you prepared to commit to see this through?"
"Of that I know only what I've heard since my arrival, and it a mess of confusing tales," Anton replies, shaking his head, "I've met neither Lady, truth be told." At the question, brows rise, and he asks, "Could you be more clear, Ser Jaremy? I think we had just agreed that the chance of this matter coming to arms is unlikely in the extreme. No one is interested in pressing the case unless Riverrun or King's Landing make it legal, and no one expects the Naylands to stand against such a command. I'm not sure what you're asking me now, in light of that."
Jaremy smiles quietly in response to Anton's question. He rides in silence beside the older man, without a word, for more than a few minutes. He doesn't look back to Anton as he speaks. "I believe that recent events have taught me to expect the unexpected and I believe we will find ourselves yelling across a table with the Naylands before this is through. That is all. My father has taught me to know the playing field, and you are a new piece. Don't let that give you the opinion that I believe this all to be a game of pawns, but Oldstones is a wild card." Jaremy grins, baring a friendly look towards Anton. "But we agreed this coming to arms is extreme. Extreme, but possible. If this leads to combat, will Oldstones ride beside the Roost? Between men, you and I, with the possibility of the Naylands having burned the letters and your man poisoned you must still see that dark corner of the table that holds this as a possibility. We must always consider these extremes lest we stumble into them."
Anton returns Jaremy's smile faintly, but otherwise appears a shade more serious at the question. He is silent for a moment in consideration, but afterwards nods. "Should combat become necessary," he says, "Then yes, the forces of Oldstones, such as they are, will ride beside those from the Roost to see this done."
Jaremy nods in answer to his response, as if the matter is settled. "Very well then. Very well. Now, I heard Oldstones is a ruins, or at the very least needs to have some work done to it. I've heard little of this place in the years passed." Jaremy abruptly changes subjects with great ease, as if their previous matter was of little import. "I've not seen the place with my own eyes. Do you have smallfolk or many men? Do you have any current plans for your lands that o could help you with? A builder perhaps or maester?"
"It was ruins," Anton replies, "Five years ago after the Trident when it was given to my father. There was a fair bit of the ancient curtain wall left, but the rest all long tumbled down and much grown over. My father spent most of his time and coin seeing the wall restored and shored up, so that it's now in a fit state to be defended. We've built a hall, of course, but the reconstruction of the actual keep goes slowly. There is a great deal of stone still about, but turning it back into a castle will take some years more, I expect. As for smallfolk," he goes on, "The village at Oldstones is small, but growing. We deal primarily in hides and leatherworks, goods made of bone and antler, that sort of thing. Just upstream of Fairmarket as we are it is my hope to begin expanding trade on the Blue Fork. As for assistance, that's very generous of you, Ser Jaremy. At present I would say that perhaps our greatest weakness is communications. Obviously no raven has been trained to fly to Oldstones for centuries, so we're reliant on riders and the like, which are obviously much slower and less reliable. I had word from my steward this morning that Ser Rygar was kind enough to gift us several ravens and a junior maester to go with them, but naturally," he smiles crookedly, "They fly only to and from the Mire. If House Terrick might be able to spare a bird of their own, that would be greatly appreciated? I don't much care for the idea of getting all my news from one source only."
"That…is something that I will have to speak with our maester of, though I am quite interested in keeping our channels open. I apologize, I know little of how a maester trains the birds, but I am sure a mere ridden letter between our maester and your junior one will seal the matter. We couldn't communicate solely by rider when we've a better medium. Seven, that would take weeks." With a guffaw, Jaremy slows his deserter to a creeping walk that even the horse seems immediately bored with, but obeys nonetheless. "My betrothed comes from a region with many a stone. If you've a need for more stone, let me know. I am sure we could find a solution. Seven…" His words slow, another thought coming to mind. "…it occurs to me I don't know which gods you pray to, old or new. Which, Ser Anton? Will there be a Sept at Oldstones or a Heart Tree?"
"I can't say that I have much knowledge of how it works either," Anton replies, "But I am sure your maester would. If we were able to work something out, that would be preferable. Until we've managed to acquire a boat or three, riding is the only option available and that does take quite some time, like you say. My father was content to keep to himself, and so never bothered to rectify the matter, but I think it wiser to have the means to stay in touch with our neighbors if we can." As for stone, he nods, "Aye, the mountains around the Banefort reach their fingers up even to Oldstones, almost. It's not a lack of stone that holds us back, in truth. These things just take time and manpower and money." He smiles briefly and says, "I think everyone else in the Riverlands has had their fortresses so long, they've forgotten how long it must have taken when they were first built." The question about the gods lifts his brows and he replies, chuckling, "I am a man of the Riverlands, Ser Jaremy, as much as I may not have spent the whole of my years here like most of you. There is a very small sept at present. When we've the lumber to spare, there are plans for a true one that might, we hope, house a Septon in time."
"Good. I would very much like to visit Oldstones when you are ready to receive guests. Sept or not, but before you leave let us attend blessings at the sept here. Perhaps seeking the wisdom of the Father will bring me to think of new ways to view this region. I cannot commit to any assistance just yet but am of the mind to So far our river traffic coming through Stonebridge has been normal and the taxes have not change. I suspect the Naylands and the Frey may raise taxes…" He points a finger at Anton. "…from lord it lord, watch for that. The Freys do pay close attention to their taxes on said traffic, and I suspect the Naylands would as well."
"We would be honored to host any member of your family who wished to visit and see the place," Anton replies with a nod, and then another at the suggestion that they attend a service at the sept, "A good idea. Your septon, Josse, was it? He seemed young for a septon, but wise enough for the post." His horse shifts and he glances at the pointing finger and nods. "I will listen for such a thing, of course. Oldstones' business will be little effected, I would think, at least directly. With the Blue Fork and the seven streams so near, there is little reason to port goods all the way to the Green Fork to do business. At present, anyway. One can never be sure what might prove necessary in time."
"Right, but should the need come one day if the Naylands lose Stonebridge, I would bring a few extra coin to the battering table. If you thought the Lannister were famous for repaying their debts…" Jaremy's head tints quickly, making a -tsk- with his tongue against his upper teeth. "So…I offer you all of these intricacies with the region, though you've asked little. We are alone and your questions will stay between us. Do you have any for me?"
"I'll keep that in mind," Anton replies with a nod. He lifts a gloved hand to scratch at his jaw, lips pursing faintly at the question as he considers. "I'd be interested to hear more of the economy of Terrick's Roost," he says after a moment, "I don't know much about what your land deals in, but I would like to. Perhaps there are ways we might see to do business with one another in the future."
"Perhaps we will, even more so in trade. Terrick's Roost has fish from the sea, farming, some woodcutting to the north, but if I had to put my finger on our main export it would be from our breadbasket. Our fields to the southeast have always been prime for grains, herding, and textiles due to the way the wetlands mix with the rains that get stopped prior to the mountains. With so many rocky settlements…there is a good deal of trade in foods they cannot produce." Jaremy replies, displaying his knowledge of his lands with pride. "Your lands will likely have hides we do not. At the least it is a start." He chuckles. "And how agreeable you are compared to our eastern neighbors should make it a pleasant experience."
Anton listens and nods. "Valuable industries from a self-sufficiency standpoint," he says, "If perhaps not the most profitable. Or so my steward informed me when I was lamenting our lack of farmland," he says, smiling faintly. "But subsistence is something to be desired, certainly. Best to be able to see to your own needs yourself and then worry about what you have to sell off elsewhere. Perhaps in the future we'll be able to find some sort of arrangement to both our benefit." As for his agreeableness, he chuckles, and shrugs. "I have no reason not to be agreeable, have I? Should Oldstones ever grow it will be through connections to other houses and bonds of commerce and good will."
Jaremy returns Anton's smile. "Which is precisely why I am avoiding courting your allegiance outside of the issue of Stonebridge. You are a new lord of a new land and you've a new future to forge. I will admit I am jealous. I am to inherit these lands, but to be the designer from the ground up is a rare honor. Time will show you the intricacies of the rulers of these lands and their distinct differences in styles of rule. You will find your own, and as those years pass I would hope to come to know you as a friend, Ser Anton. Business can come and go as needed."
"I admit I would prefer to wait and see this issue with Stonebridge resolved one way or another before committing to any particular course of action," Anton replies, "We will see how things shake out and where we all stand then, and as you say, it takes time to see the true styles of rule and the qualities of those doing the ruling. I'd like to make sure I know truly what I'm getting into before I pledge my house to another. So we will see how things go. In any case, Ser Jaremy, again as you say, I hope to come to know you and your father and family as friends as well. Best to have as many friends as one can, it seems to me."
"Best an idea indeed. At the very least it is nice to have people worth drinking with come time for tourney. When you have made your decision on which events you will be attending in the next, please, send a raven or a message. I hope to see you there in any capacity, as you and yours are invited to it and my wedding." The whinnying of his horse draws his attention, forcing him to lean down and pat the horse's mane. "Seems Orvus here wants to move on…shall we head back and get some lunch, Anton?"
"Very true," Anton agrees, "The more people you have to drink with at a tourney, the better. And I will let you know, yes. I will certainly attend the wedding, and likely the tournament as well, though whether I will compete… we'll see." He glances over at Jaremy's horse and then nods. "Yes, let's," he agrees, turning his mount to ride back as well.