Page 184: Raised Suspicions
Raised Suspicions
Summary: Cherise and Erik have a light discussion evolving into the Terrick's playing host to an Ironborn.
Date: 17/1/2012
Related Logs: None
Cherise Erik 
Crane's Crossing - Stonebridge
While Crane's Crossing is technically an Inn, it caters to the traveling nobility almost exclusively. The floors around the hearth are finely crafted stonework, as are the slate blocks that the firepit is constructed of. The rest of the floor is done in stained oak that matches the few long tables and the chairs. The rest of the main room is furnished with plush couches and seating to entice visitors to delay their leave. A full service kitchen provides food of all kinds as well as high quality ales and wines. Also available are several women to provide hospitality to the lonely or those in need, the quality of them to be beaten by but a few in the Riverlands. A hallway near the kitchen leads off to the rear of the building and several up-scale rooms.
Tue Jan 17, 289

It is late morning and Erik Jast can be found in the common room, seated at a table with his squire as both seem to be breaking fast. Earlier, the innkeeper had informed Joseph, the young lord's squire that a message was witing for him and after reading it, plans have changed. Now Erik is awake and eating the first meal while giving the squire a list of tasks to see to, "Make sure our items are moved out of the room and secured to the spare horse, then gather the supplies we will need for the travels." There is a pause as a drink is taken from the mug and then a bite of honeyed bread enjoyed, then the bread is pointed at squire, "Do it fast because I want to make it to the Roost by sun's set today. If we're late because of your dawdling, I'll clout you."

Dawning a green taffeta gown that accentuates her pregnancy rather than conceal the rounded belly, Cherise is drawing closer to the common area for eating within the Inn after leaving the Charlton's rented chambers. Two of her handmaids had accompanied the woman all of which were dawning their cloaks for a venture beyond these walls. Close on the noblewoman's heels, the maids maintain a neutral mien while Cherise pauses just before Erik's table. "Lord Ser Jast?"

Erik quickly puts down the remaining portion of honeyed bread in his hand upon Cherise's arrival and wipes his hands clean with the cloth given for it. Then, he risesto his feet and gives the Lady Charlton smile, "Good Morning to you, Lady Charlton." He also looks at the handmaids, dipping his head respectfully to them in greeting as well. He then shoots the Squire a glance who also scrambles to his feet, bowing to the ladies as well. The young lord then nods his head to the entrance of the Inn, "Start with the tasks I've given you, I will check on you when I finish eating." There may be an added clouting as well for the squire's delay at greeting too.

Pale blue eyes sweep from Erik's features, to the table where his breakfast remained and then the squire scrambling to keep up with the mental demands from his knight. She hardly gave acknowledgement to the young man in training, her smile was worn on the inside. "I am not disturbing you am I?" She asks in considering his breakfast and the most recent words Erik had delivered to his squire.

If Erik was a good teacher, then the young squire would be in training, but being who he is, the young lord is using the boy more like a manservant than a proper squire. "No, no M'Lady. I was just having some breakfast with my squire, going over what needs to be done before we make for the road today. Seven help me if I let him figure out what needs to be done himself." There is a pause as the squire leaves before Erik gestures to the table, "Would you and your maidens care to join me for breakfast? It is surprisingly good." Or he is just hungry this morning. The table is large enough for a party of five, maybe even six and the breakfast this morning seems to be fresh eggs, links of sausage, and some bacon. There is also a pitcher of juice that he had been drinking as well.

In the earlier hours of the morning she had already taken in a breakfast with another. However at the way she turned her nose towards the aroma of recently cooked meats, the woman nodded slowly. "They've already had their morning meal Lord Ser, however .." She gives a small pat to her stomach. "This young lord favors the pork." So she'll be eating for the baby's sake and not her own. All three women would join the man's table, both handmaidens assisting where they may for Cherise to sit and have a plate set before her. "Ah to Seagard." The new destination for many men skilled and born of noble birth. "My lord husband will be soon departing as well. From what I know his men are already camped at the Roost. Have you become familiar with any of the other House lords while here?"

Usually Erik would be the one to pull the chairs out to assist the noblewoman with seating but Cherise is with child and that would be uncharted territory as he is viewing her as delicate as a porcelain doll. The young lord does motion to the innkeeper, signaling that a server is needed to take the orders of what Cherise and her handmaid may want, whether it be pork for the baby in the womb or drinks.

As for where Erik and his squire will be heading off to, the young lord can only nod, "Most likely. I had ridden and fought with Lord Flint at the Battle of Alderbrook, so he has sent me a message letting me know that we are to muster at the Roost." As for getting to know any of the other Lords, Erik shakes his head, "Did not have much chance except for Lord Flint. I may have spoken to a couple of others in passing when I arrived at Alderbrook that morning but not at length." There is a pause before Erik asks, "Will you be staying here in Stonebridge?" Probably alluding to her current condition and all.

"My husband is more familiar with Lord Flint than I, however we have made passable acquaintances with them. His wife included. She comes from those swamp lands." She relays after one of her maidens speak with the Innkeeper and wholly content with tea. "My maidens and I may visit the Roost. Perhaps. While the men carry forth to Seagard. Though from what I know the Roost's Inns were ravished by the barbarians so I may very well remain here. Where accommodations are at least somewhat decent." Since he offered to share his breakfast the woman reached for one of the sausages that had been taunting her all this while. "Had you recently departed from the Westerlands?"

Erik can't help but wrinkle his nose at the throught of the Flint's wife coming from the swamp and bogs, though he does catch himself doing it and stops. "A crannoglady, interesting." He muses before listening to the plans of Lady Charlton, nodding as that does make sense, "Indeed, I did ride with the army to the Roost but after seeing the state of the town, I returned here to Stonebridge with my squire once the meeting with the Roost's nobles was completed. But, I am sure the Roost will make accomodations for you within the Keep, M'Lady."

Nudging the plate across more towards Cherise than himself, Erik seems to have more or less finished eating so he is more than willing to share his plate with her, "I left home a few months ago, before this invasion had occurred. So not too recent, otherwise I may still be there right now, most likely with the knights and armsmen that are no doubt being mustered to respond to this threat."

Graciously accepting the offer to eat, she does so without procrastination. "Indeed… one of them." She muses, lips pressed together momentarily once witnessing the distaste wrinkle his nose. Taking another sausage the woman breaks it in half, "I am sure they would as well. If need be however I weigh the decision based upon… nothing truthfully. I think for some time I should wish to remain planted. Though forging new friendships cannot be all that bad either." One of the pieces is slipped into her mouth. "Then you've heard that the Lannister fleet has been bested?"

"Well, with your delicate condition, M'Lady, you know best and I am sure your Lord Husband would gladly defer to your wishes." Erik says with a smile as he picks up his mug to take another drink from it. As for the status of the Lannister Fleet, the young lord can only nod, "Yes, I have. When I first heard, I thought it was just wild rumors that always end up sprouting like wildfire before facts comes to light. Sadly, it seems like the decimation of the Golden Fleet was no myth but I am sure House Lannister will be able to rebuild in no time."

"I am not comforted by how they may be able to rebuild. It was how it came to pass in the first place Lord Ser." Cherise replies, adding another meat to her plate for baby nourishment. "I have heard they welcomed an Ironborn within their walls. Hosted them. Befriended them. And then to have the shores of the Riverlands and the Westerlands assaulted? It is no coincidence my lord I believe those in the Roost were aware of such impending devastation." She practically snorts the last of her words, disgusted while at the same time attempting to remain her graceful poise. "I simply do not feel safe there not with a House that welcomed the barbarians."

Erik remains silent as Cherise begins to spin her tale of possibilities, delaying any response he would have to her words by taking another long sip from his mug, "That would be… an interesting point of view, M'Lady. But after seeing the Roost in the state it is in, it is hard to believe they would go so far as to do so. What would they gain from such an attack? Most of the town was burned and they lost quite a number of their smallfolk." There is a pause before the young lord shakes his head, "I believe the Ironborn invasion is bigger than that, though certainly foolish as we will be crushing them under our steel boots."

After finishing a strip of hog roasted flesh the woman then reached for her glass of tea. The other hand gestured to all about her. "This.. all this. You. My husband. All the noble houses." Cherise was about to sample a drink from the glass until she felt inclined to expand. "Resources and support. They wish a fleet do they not?"

"I do not know House Terrick well enough to make such judgements, M'Lady, but from what I have heard, this mustered army could have easily moved south to Seagard and not the Roost." Erik answers in turn as he listens to Cherise's words as she tries to make the connections, "So if the Ironborn this far north hasn't been broken by our charge at Alderbrook, they would no doubt have taken over the Roost and perhaps even Stonebridge here as well. The Oaks have already fallen so they would have pushed deeper into our land."

"I know no more of House Terrick than you Lord Ser simply indisputable information. All the lands from the Cape of Eagles on southward. The Westerlands and my former home the Crag…" The woman sighs softly, laying a comforting hand upon her stomach. "They would have. However more formidable houses would have stopped them no doubt. House Charlton would not fall." She relays quite proudly. "Is my concern for their involvement ungrounded Lord Ser? If they are not accountable then surely their actions prior to this invasion is suspicious at best." Cherise then drinks slowly from her tea cup, cool pale blue eyes latched intently upon Erik's features, expecting some retort.

Shaking his head, Erik doesn't seem to know what to decide, "I would not say unfounded, M'Lady, and their actions could be deemed more than suspicious if they had welcomed the Ironborn with open arms, but we do not know the circumstances. So I would not want to jump to conclusions, but if proof is found of their collaboration though, I am sure judgement will come swiftly like it did with the invaders at Alderbrook."

"One could only hope Lord Ser." She says while looking down at her tea cup, her maid servants follow their discussion in quiet. Keeping their thoughts to themselves. "Perhaps with your own eyes and inquiries you may be able provide some insight hmm? Since I have no intention of visiting the Roost and you would have a voice where I do not." Cherise's smile is small, well suited for her thin lips lightly painted with the color red.

Erik is silent for a moment as he considers the Lady's question and request, unsure if he wants to be involved or not. However, he is considering the Lady Charlton's words, as improbable as they may be. "If I have time, M'Lady, I will make the inquiries on the circumstances surrounding the Ironborns' visit to the Roost precluding to the invasion. But I do have more important concerns at the moment, Lady Charlton, with the army moving south to Seagard." Which then reminds him as he glances to the exit of the inn, "And I should be checking in on my squire to make sure he is not making a mess of things."

The lady nods slowly, "Of course Lord Ser, liberating Seagard is foremost. You will survive as many others will. A small request from a woman in need of her thoughts to become settled." Her eyes hardly leave his even as Erik glances to the door. "I will pray that you are able walk from the fields unmarred."

"I will pray that the Warrior will help me do so, M'Lady. And when I do return from Seagard, I will see what I can do sooth your worries." Erik says as he turns his attention back to Cherise while rising from his seat. He then dips his head respectfully to the Lady and then her handmaids, "Good day to you, Lady Charlton. Till we speak again, after our victory at Seagard."