|Summary:||Lord Hoster Tully makes his decision on the case of Stonebridge.|
|Related Logs:||Everything Riverrun|
|Tully Throne Room — Riverrun|
|A big room with tables situated into three sides to face the Tully throne.|
|24 November 288|
What had been planned as a one-week summit to determine the fate of Geoffrey Tordane's legacy had stretched to two weeks, and then three. At long last, Hoster Tully has reconvened the assembled Terricks, Naylands, and one particular Rivers, the same arrangement of facing tables arrayed before the Riverrun throne. Hoster Tully sits, with his son and heir managing not to look bored beside him.
The time at Riverrun has been pleasant for at least one of those present: Lord Ryker Nayland enters among several of the local courtiers, in the midst of laughing at some half-heard joke, en route to his seat.
Ryker may very well feel at home here, but Isolde has already been seated, dressed in a simple dress of soft green to match her eyes. Dark hair is held back in an elegant twist, up and away from her face - to bare her neck. The simple gold circlet rests to keep the hair back from her face and she looks across the table towards the others gathered as well. It is only when her husband gets close that the Lady lifts her head to look at him and offer a soft smile.
A hand moves to smooth her dress meaninglessly beneath the table, a trained gesture more than anything.
With his wife upon one arm, and the other occupied in holding him aloft with his cane, Jacsen Terrick makes his way into the chambers. He shares a few quiet words with Anais, before the pair come to a halt so that they might offer Lord Hoster Tully the proper obeisances due his station. The couple make their way towards their seats and take them, while Jacsen's gaze sweeps over those few gathered at this later hour, Isolde and Ryker most notably.
The one, particular Rivers comes next, well-dressed in his finest for this long-awaited meeting. He offer the Lord and his son each a courteous and solemn bow before moving to the table he stood at several weeks before. His blue regard moves calmly around the room, taking note of who has arrived and if any have yet to do so.
Anais has done her best to behave appropriately for the Riverlands during her tenure at Riverrun, and she upholds that pattern for this final council. Dressed in deep Terrick purple, the only flaw in her careful appearance is the ever-escaping tendrils of fine, fair hair drawn out by the humidity of the rivers. She keeps pace effortlessly with Jacsen's steps, her curtsey graceful as a dance.
In the back of the entering Terrick contingent is Lucienne, paying appropriate courtesies to the Lord Paramount and his son, though carefully avoiding making eye contact with the latter, and floating elegantly toward her seat. She spares a look for Isolde and Gedeon in turn.
Ryker has a ready smile for Isolde as he seats himself beside her with an audible exhale, a hand taking hers and touching a token kiss to the Lady's fingers. His comment that she 'should have joined he and his friends' is cut off by the telltale sthreefold striking of the court Herald's staff against the flagstones underfoot. "Pray attend! Here begins the court of Hoster Tully, Lord of Riverrun and Lord Paramount of the Riverlands!"
There is a knowing smile to her lips as Isolde is offered that invitation. But her reply is never given a chance to be heard, though she does keep his hand if he allows. Her head turns forth towards the Lord, keeping her quiet as she had been as the others entered, looks given to Jacsen and Anais, but a long one to Gedeon. There is a soft smile for Lucienne though, hidden beneath her composure. Green eyes slip back then towards the Lord once more, waiting patiently.
So, for a moment, blue eyes and green eyes meet, though Gedeon's expression is carefully blank as he and Isolde regard one another. Then, there are three raps and the call to order, and the blond knight's attention snaps up to the place where Lord Tull and his son are seated.
A smile is spared Lucienne as she joins the Terrick contingent, though the sound of the Herald draws Jacsen back to the throne upon which the Lord Paramount sits. His expression is a restrained one, not yet given to much cue one way or the other.
The Lord Paramount shifts his weight to sit forward in his throne, passing a steady look among those nobles (and Gedeon) assembled before him. "My bannerlords and ladies," he begins, his voice remaining strong for the first breath, before tapering back into his more typical reedy cadence. "I thank you all for the indulgence of your patience over the past weeks. You all can understand, I trust, that the decision before me could not be taken lightly."
The Young Lord Edmure is more intent on searching for faces among the crowd than paying heed to his father's words, at the moment.
Anais is quiet and attentive when the council is called to order, fingers lingering light on Jacsen's arm even after they're in place on their side of the table. Lashes lowered, she watches those gathered as she can.
The smile that the dark-haired Terrick girl returns to the Lady Nayland is a private affair, borne mostly in her eyes and partly in her brow; her lips barely move, just the tiniest of tugs at their corners, though it is hard to for onlookers to discern whether up or down. Up, most would say, as her attention flickers briefly to her brother before shifting to Lord Tully as his herald commands it. Lucienne's smile remains prim, barely a smile at all, as she listens.
Hoster Tully draws another ponderous breath, to speak on, "I cannot in good faith ignore a Lord's stamp and seal," he concedes, with his cloudy blue eye on Lady Isolde. "But neither can I disregard the oaths of well respected knights, atop the conclusions of my own scribes that account both documents as Ser Geoffrey's own hand. My decision was made only with great difficulty, I assure all of you."
It is with a sort of narrowed, accepting gaze that she listens to the Lord Tully's words, Isoldes attention given over. But there are distant thoughts of her own as she meets his gaze, staying comfortably at the edge of her seat and sitting upright with her slender fngers curled slightly about Ryker's hand. There is no smile any longer as she waits for the this 'difficult' decision. Ankles fold and unfold slowly, a motion that is unseen but gives the woman some ease.
A moment's glance is spared at the others about the tables, in the space between Hoster Tully's words, but Jacsen's surest attention is for the Lord himself. With one hand still occupied upon his cane, the other settles upon the table's surface, otherwise yet motionless.
It's likely he's still breathing, or otherwise Gedeon should have passed out. But for all the stillness in which the Rivers holds himself, as he listens to Hoster Tully speak, he could as well be statue as skin.
To look at him, it is for sheer weight of his office rather than any shred of showmanship that Hoster Tully exhales wearily, and draws another breath before announcing, "I do not judge that Ser Geoffrey wished his daughter disinherited, or stripped of her name. Thus, her legitimacy- which I add, is the King's and not mine to strip- will not be challenged. However, it is my further judgement that a formal request be sent under my hand and seal unto His Majesty, King Robert, the First of his name, advising that Ser Gedeon Rivers be acknowledged as the legitimate son of Ser Geoffrey Tordane, and thus the primary heir to the holding of Stonebridge, its lands, peoples, and waters."
Still, as her legitmacy remains her own, Isolde feels the weight of what is to come because there is that feeling of heaviness. Fingers curl about Ryker's hand a little tighter for but an instant, waiting for the rest of the breath to drop. When the word of Gedeon's possible claim to the lands comes, her green eyes turn from Hoster Tully to that of her half-brother. She looks to him a long moment, there is nothing truly to her gaze but a matter of watching him. No reaction is given, she keeps a slow breath in and out, composed as she had been before save for that slight movement beneath the table and her hand holding to Ryker's.
Anais's fingers tighten on Jacsen's arm, the crinkle in the fabric the only betrayal of reaction. The faintest smile curves at one corner of her lips, though it's a rueful thing, before she turns to look to Gedeon, dipping her chin in a congratulatory nod.
Gedeon's gaze remains on the Tully, blue eyes wide as if they dare not quite blink. His lips part only so that they can suck in a soft, sharp breath at this news which, it seems, has not quite managed to sink down beneath the surface, yet.
Ryker's hand on Isolde's returns the squeeze automatically, but his brows draw together in a small but telltale frown. His expression hardens visibly at Lord Tully's verdict. He draws and releases a slow, silent breath.
Lucienne looks exactly the same before and after the announcment, only her attention has shifted from Lord Tully. Her gaze traces briefly over Isolde, before shifting to the man of the moment; Gedeon.
A slow, short breath is Jacsen's first reaction to the news that Lord Hoster puts before his assembled banner men and women, the second is a glance across the table at Isolde and Ryker. His gaze remains there a long, hard moment, more upon the Lady than her Lord, before he finds Gedeon with the barest whisper of a smile.
"Until such a time as His Majesty's sanction of Ser Gedeon's legitimacy arrives, Lady and Lord Nayland will continue to govern as Ser Geoffrey's only recognized heirs," Hoster Tully ennumerates. "Furthermore, it is my decree that diplomatic diologue resume between my opposed bannermen. I command Lord Jerold Terrick to dispatch an ambassador to the Nayland court at Stonebridge, immediately upon receipt of this decree. Whatever the verdict of His Majesty, Terrick and Nayland will continue this diplomacy at that seat."
It is an ill at ease quiet from the Lady for a moment before she breaks her gaze from Gedeon and looks forward towards the Lord Tully as he continues. Isolde remains ever composed, that odd coolness so much like her mothers serving her well at the moment. Though for those that may know her well, there is something there in the edge of her gaze as she does her best to keep face. A dip of her head is made to the idea of relations being continued between the two Houses. She looks to Ryker than, to see his own reaction.
Noble etiquette would state that if any of those assembled have words to say upon the Lord Paramount's decree, it ought be said before Lord Hoster's herald raps his staff again. The Lord of Riverrun is courteous enough to allow a moment of silence for such, before looking aside to his herald for just such a signal.
Jacsen uses the hand upon the table, and the other on his cane, to push himself up to his feet. "Put to Good King Robert's wisdom, we view the duty of Lords Mallister and Terrick satisfied in this matter," he declares, before casting a glance towards the Nayland contingent. "Though there is one item of import that we seek the Lord Paramount's guidance upon, for the benefit and success of the diplomacy he rightfully urges us to take," he offers. "As we are all doubtless aware, Stonebridge has rightfully taken into custody Ser Jaremy Middleton, disowned son to Lord Jerold and Lady Evangeline Terrick. We ask that my lord consider the value of sending such a skilled sword arm to take the Black that he might serve upon the Wall, as certain a death as any steel that could be meted. In such, we might avoid the spilling of blood that might well foster enmity to dash any hope of diplomacy."
Hoster hears out the request of Jacsen, but answers promptly, "I will not tell any of my bannermen how they can or cannot punish traitors to the realm, Young Lord Jacsen. Speak not to me of this, but rather speak with the Naylands who hold him. This seat will take no hand in the matter." With that, he looks aside and bids his herald sound the conclusion.
Out of all those present, it is to her brother's wife that Lucienne glances after Jacsen's request of Lord Tully. She raises her brows at her goodsister, as though in question, but then the herald sounds the conclusion of council. Time to go.
Out of all that is said, something in what Jacsen says makes Isolde's gaze catch. A faint furrowing of her brows and another glance then towards her Lord husband at her side. There is a question in her gaze but she keeps her silence. Green eyes fall to study the table, taken with thought. Though her eyes do wander up at the Lord Tully's reproach. She draws a breath and waits for the strikes to the ground before nodding her head to that of Hoster and keeping close to Ryker.
Ryker waits only until the first of the three raps of staff to stone to sound before rising to his feet, offering a quick bow to the Riverlands throne before turning toward the door. "I want some air," he voices quietly to Isolde. Not intending to linger and socialize is the uncertain Lord of Stonebridge.
Slowly, a beat too long after that third rap, Gedeon stands, pressing his hands flat onto the table and rising with care and precision. He watches as Ryker and Isolde move to depart before turning a little to study, instead, the Terrick contingent. It there then that he dares offer a faint, small smile for the verdict given and the judgement passed.
"Of course, my lord," is Jacsen's smooth reply to the swift response from Hoster Tully, bowing his head in acceptance of the great lord's dismissal of the request. His expression is strained when he looks back to his sister and to his wife, eyes searching.
Anais shakes her head slightly to Jacsen; though there is sympathy in her features, there is also a lack of surprise for the lord's answer. "Gedeon," she smiles faintly as the young knight approaches. "It seems all is not finished just yet, but there is hope still."
With no response from Anais, Lucienne's eyes switch to her beloved brother, meeting his. She offers an expression that should honestly be accompanied by a shrug, but her shoulders are unmoving. Her tongue peeks out to wet her lips, and she dips her chin, at the very least acknowledging the request made and dismissed by Lord Tully. She dips a curtsy to excuse herself then, and makes for the door.
Gedeon glances towards Jacsen for a moment, offering his regard to the young lord before returning his attention to Anais and breathing out a soft, relieved sigh. "Just so, my lady, just so. We are one step closer, and now with the Lord Paramount of the Riverlands in support of us. I begin to truly hope, indeed."