|Summary:||Rutger returns to Hag's Mire to report the events at Riverrun to Lord Rickart.|
|Related Logs:||Riverrun logs|
|Grand Hall — Fortress of the Sevens|
|The Grand Hall is furnished as one may expect for a family that has funneled their treasury towards more practical uses, though the room is certainly deserving of the name. This massive hall is large enough to host a feast for more than one hundred people and still seats the Lord's throne at the head of the room upon a dais. Black iron hangers hold a pair of silver, candle-lit chandeliers in a line from the main doors to the throne. Two doors lead off near the throne, one on each side of the head of the room while a spiral staircase has been built into the wall on one side by an armored door.|
|November 25, 288|
The ride back to Hag's Mire has been uneventful, though Rutger appears marginally more solemn than usual. For whatever purpose, he's also taken Senna along in his entourage. Once back in the Fortress of the Sevens, Rutger only waits long enough for Senna to catch up, before striding up the steps to the foyer, through the main gates into the Grand Hall itself.
"Father!" He calls aloud in his distinctive voice, the sound echoing across the halls. Despite his composure, there is now a hint of agitation in his voice. "Father!"
Senna follows closely right up until they enter the Great Hall. In that moment, it's as though everything about her changes. She goes from striking and self-assured to silent and unassuming, just another serving woman about her business in the keep. As Rutger calls for his father, Senna moves to acquire a tray, drinks, and glasses for them, picking out the usual favorites without pause.
"I am to many! Which calls now?" comes Lord Rickart's bull voiced call comes back as he descends the steps, a genial note warming the shout. "Rutger," he notes upon approaching his taller son. "What word?" For all his iron-grey hair, the Lord of the Mire's movements still carry the vibrance of restrained energy as he stalks across the castle floor.
Rutger has already taken to impatient pacing when Rickart doesn't make an immediate appearance, but it stops the instant the elder Nayland appears. "My Lord." He takes a quick bow to the Lord of the castle. "Hoster Tully has decreed that Isolde's legitimacy is recognized." Rutger starts, seeing no reason to make the old man wait. "Yet he supports a petition to the King for Geoffrey's bastard to be legitimized. If it is successful, the bastard can inherit Stonebridge."
Senna is making her way toward the pair when Rutger delivers the news. Though she intended to deliver the drinks immediately, she does take pause for a moment after Rutger speaks. Just long enough to make certain any violent reactions are out of the way before the glass and liquid are within reach. Not to mention herself.
Rickart's narrow-eyed smile as Rutger begins would typically be the prelude to a thunderous 'Good!' and clap on the arm, but Rutger's manner manages to carry on before his good mood can fully develop. "What? If the girl is legitimate, there's no need for the bastard! Damnation, and with the girl still legitimate, we can't even annul the damned marriage!" Teeth clenching, Rickart half turns to fix his glare on someone or something that won't be answering his question.
"Our reprieve is that we yet have some time to ponder this, father." Rutger adds. When Rickart stops, he resumes pacing, from left to right and back again. "And I believe we do have several options." He stops when he reaches Senna, yellow eyes noticing the drinks before lifting to her face. "You remember Senna Delacourt, father. She has rendered her services well in Riverrun."
Senna arches a brow ever so slightly when Rutger draws attention to her, offering him a glass before moving toward Rickart. She curtsies to the lord before offering him a glass of his favored drink, gaze appropriately downcast. Ignorant of Rutger's plan, she stays to her usual for now.
"Our reprieve?" Rickart echoes tersely. "Well then, ponder away, boy!" he invites with a gesture that would be inviting, if not given in so harsh a mood. His narrowed eye passes to Senna, to whom he nods twice. "Yes, yes. Very good." The half hearted acknowledgement promptly gives way to his ill temper. "For all his pious bleating about justice, its all too clear that Hoster Tully will cheat whoever he wants," the Lord of the Mire snarls, derision thick in his words.
Rutger takes the offered drink from Senna, knocking it back in agitation. "Cousin Rygar publicly denounced Tully by calling him an opportunist during Robert's Rebellion." He points out. "Perhaps unwise, but it was satisfying." He would smile at that, but Rutger isn't in good humor at the moment. "We should call a council to discuss what steps to take, father. These next ones will make the difference between success and failure." Of course he meant Rygar, but what about the others? Rykker and Rickart's bane, the Hag herself?
Senna curtsies once more to Rickart at his scknowledgement, keeping her eyes downcast. As she passes Rutger, refilling his drink, she pauses near the younger lord, her back to Rickart.
You whisper, "Less cheat than choose not to choose. He steps carefully by ruling in favor of neither family. I've heard King Robert has many bastards of his own. Do you think he'll risk his trueborn children by setting a precedent of legitimizing bastards?" to Rutger.
"Rygar," Rickart repeats with a glower. "That drawn-out fool swore the testament was legal and unassailable, and yet here we are." A terse exhale, and he nods, "Yes, yes. Bring the Tordane girl-" Isolde, "And see if Ryker can be pried away from whatever Riverrun hole he has tucked himself up within. Three days, no later. See to it."
Rutger's yellow gaze falls on Senna as she refills his drink. "Perhaps not, Senna, but we can ill-afford to leave so much to chance." He says quietly, before turning his attention back to Rickart. "It will be done, father. Three days." A brief pause. "I hear news that Rygar and Riordan have broken a peasant mob and captured Jaremy of the Terricks. Perhaps we ought all travel to Stonebridge in three days and convene there, better to decide the matter on this rebel scum as well."
With Rutger's glass refilled, Senna retreats to a corner of the hall with the tray and drinks. Quiet, she watches and listens with eyes downcast, veiled by dark lashes. If Jaremy's capture was news to her, she doesn't show any reaction to its revelation. Nor does she seem concerned about the young lord.
"Yes, yes, I had word of that little skirmish days ago, they're planning a public execution for several of the ringleaders," Rickart nods to Rutger's better news. "Well, one benefit of Stonebridge is that the trip will be too much for the Hag," he quips with a short chuckle. Rubbing his palms together to warm the hands, Rickart exhales shortly, and nods again. "Yes, that will send a good message: I'm not giving up on Stonebridge yet, and Jerold Terrick can bugger himself sideways with a broadsword before King Robert forgets the disaster Jaremy brought down on his family."
"While it may be satisfying," Rutger notes. "Jaremy Terrick's execution will do little to the Terricks' name, I fear. He is, after all, disowned. Cast out." He doesn't agree nor disagree on the man's fate, however. Nor does he reveal his negotiations with Jacsen Terrick, a vain exercise that it was. "I will arrange for a ride for us all to Stonebridge within three days then. Until then, I ought see how Arik and Aronn are with their training." He offers by way of taking his leave. "Senna, if you will come with me."
"Yes, my lord," Senna murmurs, turning to cork the bottle on the tray and slip it back into its accustomed place. Efficient motions see the task done neatly and swiftly, and she falls in half a step behind Rutger, awaiting Rickart's dismissal.
"Hmm? No, no, you misunderstand-" Rickart comments, because clearly, the fault in communication wasn't his. "The peasantry. Four or five of them, lined up and heads lopped off. There's something special planned for the Terrick boy, from what I understand." As Rutger starts to leave, Rickart makes clear that the point has not been forgotten, "Do not lose me Stonebridge, my boy. Until later," he concludes in parting, belatedly regarding Senna again as the woman is summoned away.
"We will do whatever is required, Lord father." Rutger nods firmly to the elder Nayland. Indeed, /whatever/ is required. "By your leave." He bows his head to Rickart, allowing him to depart first before leaving himself, leading Senna to another part of the Keep.
Senna bobs a curtsey to Rickart, never one to forget the important courtesies, then follows Rutger from the room, still under the guise of an unassuming servant.