|Summary:||Jarod brings news of Gedeon's claim to Jaremy. Jaremy decides on a course of action.|
|Related Logs:||Many Rivers To Cross|
|Lord Jeremy Terrick's tent. Stonebridge Tourney Grounds.|
|Lord Jeremy Terrick's tent. Stonebridge Tourney Grounds.|
Jarod was later in returning to the Terrick camp than some of the main party, if only by a few hours. His healer's told him to stay off horse-back for two weeks while his rib mends from his adventures with the Oldstones knight in the tourney. He's arrived just minutes ago and headed up to the young lord's tent as fast as his legs could carry him. He knocks, but it's more a warning than a request for invitation. He doesn't wait until it's answered before he opens the curtain. "Fuck, road's going to seem longer than I figure it is on a charger."
"The ride back always does that, doesn't it? It always seems easier getting to Stonebridge than it does coming back down this way." Jaremy replies, standing near his bed. His room has is been cleaned and struck down for him by their house servants, but he's in the process of packing on his own terms, making sure the room is ready for him to get comfortable in. Looking towards the door, he waves Jarod in as he hangs his swordbelt from the post of his bed. "So what's this all about, brother? Is this about that Lady Anonymous?"
"Oh I fucked the whole Lady Anonymous thing up pretty good, my fair lord brother, but we'll talk about that later," Jarod says, undoing some of his brother's tidiness but kicking off his boots and tossing his cloak on the floor before collapsing in a chair. With a grimace. He can walk around all right, but sudden changes in position (particularly at the 'crashing' speed he tends to before) are wince-worthy. "You'll need a good laugh after I get done with this. You got anything to drink?" A pause. "You'll need drink, too." He watches his brother carefully, hesitating a moment rather than just launching into the whatever-it-is. And he opens with a cryptic, "You speak to Ser Gedeon Rivers when you were in Stonebridge?"
"Not once, though I did see him from afar in the melee. Why, was he Lady Anonymous?" Jaremy is not taking this conversation seriously just yet. Instead, he steps past Jarod to a pitcher at his table, motioning for his brother to sit. Two mugs of some of the strawberry summerwine is poured, and Jaremy promptly lowers himself into his own chair, reclining against it. Letting his goblet hang from his fingers, he taps the table twice. "Alright, drinks poured. Get it out." He brings the mug to his lips.
"Yes, Jaremy, Gedeon Rivers is Lady Anonymous," Jarod deadpans with a roll of his eyes. He'll take any opportunity for a joke, and he's not sorry for the distraction from whatever he's getting at. "We're running away to Highgarden and are deeply in bugger-bastard-love. Would you like to attend our wedding? I think we'll need some help getting the septon drunk enough to do it, but I trust you can oblige." The wine he takes, though he just sips it for now. "I wish it were that easy. Fuck, I really don't want to be the one who has to tell people this. He said he'd take it to you before father, or Lord Mallister, but I don't know how far he's got with it yet." There's a pause before he actually starts storytelling.
"After the melee, Gedeon came to see me in my tent. I barely recognized him. Well. It's been five years, and he was still a squire when he left the Trident. Anyhow…we talked a bit. And then he showed me…he had these letters. One from his father, Lord Geoffrey. The others were…old love letters. From between Lord Geoffrey and Lady Valda…" He pauses for another drink, a deeper one this time.
"Well, I've extended an invitation to the Baneforts, sisters one and all, to the Roost. If this doesn't yield a wedding father's likely to send us both off to Highgarden or worse, to the Wall." Jaremy murmurs into his mug, causing a slight echoed effect on his words. Taking another quick sip of the wine, he sets the mug down and plants his spurred boot to the cross-beam beneath the table, watching his brother closely. "Why the fuck would Gideon have his father's love letters?" Jaremy smirks, eyebrow raising before he motions the 'wheeling arm' "Anyway, yessss? Come on, man, what's the meat of it?"
"Escaping to Highgarden has some appeal right now," Jarod mutters. "Fuck, not sure I'd mind the Wall at this point. Cold doesn't bother me and I look fine in black, though I don't think I'd do well with a celibacy vow." But despite the quip, he's all serious now. "He says Lord Geoffrey gave them to him. As…proof, I guess. They're the part that really sticks in my head, when I try to see some trick in what he told me. They were written between the pair of them when Lord Geoffrey was staying at the Crag. For a tourney, and maybe just to get out of the castle his bitch of a wife was haunting, couldn't say I'd blame him. Anyhow the dates…they were written a bit more than twenty years ago. A little more. About nine months from Lady Isolde Tordane's birthday." Another drink. "The other…it was from Lord Geoffrey to Gedeon. Gedeon claimed his father wrote it, gave it to him, when they went off to war. It said…it said that if anything should happen to him and Geonis, that he wanted Gedeon to return to Stonebridge and become its heir and lord. As he'd be the last of Tordane blood." He doesn't say what he's implying with all that. He lets Jaremy put it together for himself.
The smirk wipes off of Jaremy's face, and instead of responding he merely stares across the table at his bastard brother. His eyebrows rise and fall sharply, giving away insight into Jaremy's internal thought process as he mulls over the accusations, and rolls the possible future chain of events around in his head. He slowly breaths in, and with an audible sigh, he lets the cleansing breath escape his lungs.
"That is…" The side of Jaremy's mouth tugs, baring his teeth as he turns his head. "…a rather destructive allegation." He straightens in his chair, swallowing. "Do you think there's any validity to this claim?"
"Drink," Jarod says, making a hand gesture toward Jaremy's cup. "Drinking helps, trust me. Gives you a cushion to absorb it. As to that…fuck, Jaremy, I don't know. I'm no cipher, and I've no idea what Lord Geoffrey's hand looks like to call it real or false. But, like I said, the letters between Lord Tordane and Lady Valda…well, that's easy enough to prove or disprove, isn't it? From those others who were at the Crag. And given the dates…you can't make a child with a woman from miles away, can you? That seems a dangerous thing to make up if you're going to play a game like this, when so many men could easily spot it a lie if it were false. What I think is…I couldn't call it invalid. And it'd explain why he disappeared like he did all those years ago, after the war. Said it frightened him. The idea of taking it. And that he wanted to spare his sister what it meant. He claimed he might never have come home at all, if you and Isolde had wed like his lord father wanted." He takes another drink of wine. "Instead he came home to a batch of Naylands in his father's house, put their by Valda herself."
"Though this claim makes Isolde as much of a bastard as he, no offense." Jaremy replies with a sharp tilt of his head as he reaches for his mug of wine. Drinking heavily, he downs the last of the contents and reaches out for the pitcher. Pouring another round, he chews the side of his lip and scowls. "Fuck…that's…fucking disturbing altogether." He leans back against the padding of his chair once more, holding his goblet to hang from his wrist like some bored country knight. "Though…it seems like folly, and let me tell you why. There's far too many coincidences. Gedeon, after all of these years and passed tourneys, rides to Stonebridge for that tourney bearing documents that allegedly hand Stonebridge over to him should something befall Geoffrey and Geonis, and he waits until an unexpected announcement to suddenly pull these letters out of his ass?" Jaremy's eyebrow lifts, and he starts to shake his head, frowning. "Has anyone talked to Valda or Isolde about this? This could put them on the street and suddenly a Oldstones would sit at two seats."
"Bastard with no blood of Lord Tordane in her, aye," Jarod says. He's never flinched at the term and doesn't now. "Which is the pointy end of it. If there was even a scrap of Tordane blood left - cousins, nieces, what have you - he couldn't have any of it in the eyes of the law, whatever his lord father wanted. But there isn't, except Isolde. And if his father wanted him legitimized…well, it's a case he could take to Lord Hoster Tully and make, at least. There's rumors the Baratheons were got from a bastard of the Targaryens, even if history's lost any proof of it." Jarod holds King Robert in high regard for any number of reasons, and he likely gets a kick of this one as well. "Gedeon brought it to Isolde. Seems to me she had a right to know before anything else came of it. Everybody's got a right to face up to what they are before they've got to put it out there in the world. If she is…anyway. What she's done with this I can't say. I spoke to her a bit, before we left Stonebridge, but she didn't seem sure what she was to do with it. She's ruined if there's any truth to it." He nods to that. "It's convenient, I don't dispute it. But…it's not Oldstones who'd gain the most by this, brother. Gedeon's just a sworn sword, worked for his lord as a mercenary in the East, he told me. What Stonebridge would be, if he managed to become lord there, was ruled by a Tordane who had no particular wish to switch allegiances…who'd still be a Terrick vassal…"
"Right, if he were legitimized we would still have Stonebridge and the Tordanes as a vassal, but that's also an assumption as well. The moment this play goes into place, or if we supported this, it would have to be on the belief that Gedeon would be a better neighbor than the Naylands." Jaremy rises from his chair and walks slowly around it, one arm behind his back and his goblet in the other, working it all out in his head. "Though we have to consider, sworn sword or not, that he has some allegiance to Oldstones. That is if these claims are true or not."
For a long moment, all that sounds in the room are the soft footfalls of Jaremy's boots against the carpet that covers the stone floor as he rounds the table. The mug is brought to his lips, and again he sips. "There could be a penalty for being too hasty in this situation, brother. As much as I'd hate to say it, we have some to gain by giving the Tordanes their room to validate these claims prior to them being addressed to Lord Tully. In the end…if these are false claims and we jump at the opportunity for a still Terrick-loyal Stonebridge, we may yet again enflame this situation."
"He's Lord Geoffrey's blood," Jarod says. "The Naylands have no right to that land, under any law or any bit of honor, without Isolde's hand. Fuck, Jaremy, I think sometimes you don't get the way the world works. Whether Gedeon's our friend or Lord Ryker's Nayland's an asshole…it's blood and the will to honor it in law that's all that holds the land together. It's what makes father what he is, makes you what you are, and you've both made good by it. But fair men or not, Four Eagles Tower would mean nothing if you weren't Terricks, and it'd be down to whose swordarm was the strongest, which is no just land for anyone to liv ein." 'You weren't Terricks, not 'we,' though again it's a point he doesn't flinch from. "But you're right on the last. I don't know what in seven hells this is, except it's deadly business for Gedeon and Isolde both, and sets everything we know about the status of Stonebridge up for question. That's why I'm telling this to you before father. Fuck, Jaremy, I don't know what to do. Save that now that Gedeon Rivers is back in the Riverlands, it's not a thing that'll likely stay quiet for long. He didn't bring those home just to play storyteller to me over a cup of wine."
"Jarod, damn it, I know how this world works, I'm just thinking out loud…." Jaremy scoffs, taking another sip from his goblet. Reaching for the chair beside his brother, he pulls it out from beneath the table with a soft scraping sound and sits. "I don't want the Naylands as neighbors any more than the next man, but Lord Geoffrey's blood or not there is simply so much to gain on many different points that we've a need to tread carefully."
Jaremy turns to find his brother's face, trying to get down to the stones of it all. "We are honor and duty bound, should these documents be made public, to side on the will of truth. Father has many copies of correspondence with Lord Geoffrey, and was quite close to the man. These facts could be instrumental in finding the truth that lies at the bottom of this."
Jarod nods to that, meeting his brother's darker gaze with his green eyes. Which are not, this evening, nearly as merry as they usually are. "Aye. That's the truth of it, at least. This could set the Naylands to swords against Gedeon - and whatever allies he manages to gain - if it comes out and there's any doubt. They'd try and defend their claim and he'd try and defend his. Isolde had the letters when I saw her last. She said she was going to give them back to Gedeon eventually, that she'd just wanted to read them in full. Well, that's her life. Fair enough. If she's smart - and strong enough to face the truth of it whatever they are - she's had them gone over by someone who *is* a cipher by now. Truth, I'm surprised Gedeon let them off his person to her. Part of me figures, if they were all a pack of forgery, he'd not have taken the risk. But I don't know. The truth in any of this, to my mind, is still at the Crag, and how much time Lord Geoffrey spent there when Isolde was being conceived. There might be something of that in father's letters, aye."
"And there very well might be. Though in truth if Gedeon's claim is honored the Naylands are likely to either fight the claim or have Gedeon killed outright. He should be careful, though if you do speak with him it's probably best you leave out my skepticism. Father and Lord Geoffrey were like brothers, though I worry that with the Nayland slight that father might also act quickly on this. Though…that's why you came to me, isn't it?"
Jaremy nods off into the distance, drumming his fingertips on the table's top. His eyes unfocus, rolling a few past conversatiosn around in his head. If Terrick's Roost needs a leader, then he'll do just that. "Our maester is in service to Terrick's Roost and not the lords that reside there. He'll have history of correspondence, Jarod. I need you to speak with our good maester and get copies of these, focusing on anything received from father or anything Tordane while Geoffrey was at the Crag. Have him access his logs. For all we know Lady Valda was at Terrick's Roost then. Anything we can offer to provide validity or falsehood to these claims has got to be collected as soon as possible." Jaremy rises from his seat, moving to get his sword. "The sooner we do everything we can to know what's at play, the sooner we can position ourselves."
Jarod visibly relaxes when Jaremy comes out with a plan. It was, more than anything else likely as, carrying around this all on his own that had him so freaked out. He nods. "My skills at library-sifting haven't been tested in a few years, Jaremy, but I think I can manage to give the maester the dates and see if he can dig up anything from or to Lord Geoffrey." He's still wearing his sword, but he does put his boots back on now.
"And that's all I ask, just ask him to look through the logs and give you what he can. If I do it then father will start to ask questions, and if there's anything we can do to keep this exploding…we should. At least give it a day. In the meantime, if you see Gedeon, you tell him to watch his ass." Jaremy replies, strapping on his swordbelt. "Though I'm infinitely grateful to hear that Nayland and Valda are suffering some kind of setback to their plotting, I'm not willing to risk this blind nonsense any longer. We learn what we can so that we have our knowledge, and then move forward from there." He offers a hand to his brother to help him from his chair. "Now…we go and be good hosts to the Baneforts. They should have arrived by now. We'll meet again tomorrow."
"I might also try and figure if any of our sworn who're still with us were at the Crag at that time," Jarod says. "It was a tourney, glory to be won and all that, and Terrick men would've known where Lord Tordane was and wasn't." Jarmey's first statement gets a laugh from him. It's as much a release of nervous energy as anything else. "I think father might ask a few questions if he sees me doing scholarly research. But, he keeps a less close watch on me than you, my fair lord brother, so I take you're point. We'll see what we can see." He finishes off his wine before standing. He never leaves a drink just laying around. Terrible waste. "Aye, to the lovely sisters Banefort. That, at least, will be a pleasant distraction before I get myself dusty. From books, that is."