|Returns and Reunions|
|Summary:||Einar makes it back to Stonebridge after his trip north. Meets Tia.|
|Related Logs:||None specifically|
|The trails are worn and well tended here and the fields on either side are lush and full of wildflowers amidst the lightly scattered trees of the central Cape of Eagles. A few packed dirt trails converge with the main road from outlying hamlets around Stonebridge.|
|Thu May 31, 289|
The sky is clouding over but it's not raining at the moment. Likely as not it'll rain over night. For now, it's warm, humid, and Tia's seated on her favourite rock, playing harp. She has a new guard, this one of Anders' men with a scowl on his face as he keeps a serious watch over his charge. Tia is ignoring him, as she is also ignoring her maid Bethy, though they are here. The harp music rings out clearly in the quiet field, the song she's playing somewhat cheeky, all stately and sedate, except for the mischievous trill through the undertones.
It's been a longish month all told. Lots of riding, first up to the Finger, then to Broadmoor for a brief stopover and now, finally, back to Stonebridge. Although, to be fair, that last leg pales in comparison to the other two really. And so it is that Einar arrives back to Stonebridge looking relatively fresh and clean from the road. He has a couple of men at arms with him, what with the reports of bandits and so on, but the levee he took home has not returned with him (unsurprisingly). The pace of his horse could best be described as a sedate walk, given he is fully aware he has no need to rush. As such, it's not great hardship to hear the sound of the harp for a way off and change course slightly from the direct route into town to one that would bring him closer to his goodsister.
It's been an interesting time since Tia last saw Einar. Quite interesting indeed. She still hasn't noticed Einar, though her guard is watching suspiciously. Tia continues to play the song, enjoying the challenge of the two hands playing so separately. Strong, sedate and stately, with the pitter patter of fluttery light music on the upbeat. Though as Einar approaches, she does catch sight of the movement, and glances up. And as she sees who it is, her expression brightens, and the music stops all of a sudden. "Einar!"
No doubt, once he'd ridden close enough, then Tia's guard would have recognised him, or maybe his armsmen, but still his name being called out probably helps too, just incase. Reining his horse in, the young Flint dismounts with ease, no sign that the injury he sustained on Harlaw is bothering him still. Handing the reins over he moves to cover the remaining distance between himself and his goodsister, smiling as he does so.
Well, being as Jacob and Levy both have been removed from guarding Tia, this third guard has reason to be nervous that Anders might send him to The Wall if he screws up. Still, he does relax a bit as he realizes this incoming fellow is in fact a Flint. Whew. Far better than a Charlton, in his books.
Tia sets the harp down and gets to her feet, moving over closer to Einar and still ignoring the guard. "It's good to see you. Welcome back!" she says, sounding quite happy. "Anders will be thrilled you're back to look after his horse for him," she adds, a half smile on her face.
Einar scoffs a little at that last comment, although he's still smiling through. "I would imagine that my Lord Cousin has managed to look after his own horse just fine while I've been gone," he answers, hints of amusement evident in his tone, "or of course, he's found someone else to do it for him. How is he anyway? And Corrie, is she faring any better yet?" Faint concern at the end there as he remembers the Young Lady's condition when he left.
Tia grins, as she reaches the horse and Einar. She reaches a hand out to the horse, since she can. "Of course he has, but he'll still be glad to have you back to take it off his hands," she says, impishly. And then she sobers a bit. "Aye, Corrie is eating better, and looking much better," she says. "You can tell she's with child now." No question about it, that's for sure. She pets the horse's neck. "So how are things back at the Finger? Any news we should know?"
"I'm sure he will," Einar retorts with a grin, "but I'm equally sure it'll have done him good." As for the Finger? He thinks for a moment and then shrugs slightly, "nothing unexpected. Everyone was of course delighted at the news of Corrie's condition and I was forced, forced I tell you, to endure a feast to celebrate. It was hard I must admit, but somehow I struggled through, once I'd managed to convince the kitchens not to do a fish course."
Tia grins at that, not so worried about Anders as all that. "No fish course, shocking," she says with a laugh. "And everyone over there is good? Your sister and parents? And - well, everyone." She can't help but be curious - she did send a message after all. Though she and Einar's dad never did really get along very well. "I'm glad they were pleased to hear about Corrie though. Are you bringing back a saddlebag of letters for Corrie and Anders all saying, 'it's about time!'?"
"No fish course again, ever. Possibly." Einar replies, faking a shudder at the thought. "I have some correspondences," he admits, "although they're packed away safely, so I'll sort them when I get a chance to unpack. But yes, since you so carefully didn't ask, there's one for you from Elissa, who is well and sends her best regards." As for the other letters, yes, he imagines that probably the jist of what they say.
Tia beams even more brightly, at that. "Excellent, I am glad to hear it. I assume your father was less than pleased to hear I was still around?" she asks lightly. Though she doesn't wait for that answer, instead moving back to sit down. "The tourney at the Twins was quite exciting," she says next. "The joust and the melee both, though the archery got rained out." She curls up so that her legs and feet are all nicely hidden. No scandalous flashing of an ankle or any such thing. She'll save that for those who will appreciate it.
"I will be honest with you and say that I spent very little time with my Lord Father," Einar admits, although he has his own reasons for that, entirely unrelated to Tia. But what's that? A change of topic? "Who carried the field in the end?" he asks, almost hoping for some huge upset just for something to talk about, "I heard a goodly crowd was going." Not that tournaments are one of those parts of knighthood that he's overly keen about, but still, they can be fun to watch.
That gets a chuckle from Tia, and a nod. "Probably all to the better, if you didn't speak with him," she says, and then goes on to let Einar know, "Lord Riordan Nayland won the joust. The best joust though was between Lord Riordan and Ser Kell as they went a full seven tilts before Ser Riordan beat him. And Lord Rutger Nayland won the melee, carrying I might add Lady Rosanna Groves' favour. She was quick to tell us all. There was a lovely dance afterwards too. I danced my feet off and made my knee sore again." She pauses to breathe there, having imparted quite a bit of information all at once.
Einar raises an eyebrow faintly "A Nayland cleansweep then, they must be pleased with that." He reaches up to scratch his horse's nose a moment then continues. "I'm glad you enjoyed yourself," well, he's assuming she did from that description of the dance, even with the comment about her knee. "I trust my cousin managed not to disgrace himself? Or did he take pity on Corrie's nerves and not get involved?" Not that the northerners are known for their tourney fighting, but he could see Anders blowing off steam in a melee.
Tia shakes her head. "Anders didn't compete at all," she says simply. "I think he wasn't too pleased with the pretend war, truthfully, though he did go to the event with me and Corrie." She pauses a moment, and then she says, "And the Naylands also won the award for rudest guests at the dance, since they managed to throw punches at each other, well some of them did, and get kicked out." She doesn't name names, but does add that event since it so thoroughly detracted from the fighting wins.
Punches? At a dance? The surprise is no doubt clear as day on Einar's face. "They publicly fell out to that extent?" he asks, just to make sure he hasn't misheard, or misunderstood what Tia said. Blowing air out from between his cheeks he shakes his head slowly, it's certainly news he would never have expected. "Well, I must say I'm surprised," he manages after another moment, "I take it Lord Frey did not take kindly?"
Tia nods her head. "They did, I believe it was started by Lady Rowenna, for some reason. I don't know for sure why though." She shrugs, as she considers. "Wait, did you hear that Ser Jarod's squire was apparently his sister in disguise?" That was another shocker, that was. And she's not sure if Einar had heard that or not. "I seem to have lost track of time. But no, Lord Frey did not take it kindly and he asked them to leave. I think in the end only Lady Roslyn and Lord Rutger, both of whom were nowhere around the fisticuffs, were there to represent the Naylands."
"I had heard that Ser Jarod's squire was one of the Nayland's women," Einar answers, expression questioning, "not that she was a Terrick. Ser Rowenna, his now wife I believe." He thinks he's got that right anyway. Moving on though, he just nods to the rest. "It seems like it was quite a weekend at the Twins," he surmises, then asks, "has there been any developments in the saga of the control of Stonebridge? I believe Lord Frey's representative was due?"
"Sorry, not Ser Jarod's sister! Lord Rutger's." Tia chuckles softly, shaking her head. "My apologies for that mix up." She didn't quite say what she intended to, all oddly. "Lord Blackwood arrived, and talked to any number of folks, but so far as I know, no decision has been made. I think now everyone is waiting to see if Lady Danae is with child or not. Since if she is, the game plays on, but if she is not, then she has no claim, as I understand it."
Well, with that cleared up EInar lets it lie and moves onto the politics. Urgh. "As I understand it yes, although then, if she is with child, I recall hearing at Broadmoor that there were rumours as to the paternity, so there's another twist that will need ironing out." He shakes his head again, slightly sadly this time. What a mess. "I was right though," he adds, not sounding overly pleased at the concept, "the duel didn’t solve the issue at all."
Tia has to agree there. "Yes, you were right. And there are rumours, but you know, there's also rumours that that rumour is a baldfaced lie and that Lord Riordan actually hit Lady Danae when she refused something he wanted after - the duel. I don't know about that, but I do know that after the duel, after Lord Riordan visited her according to the rumours, when I went to see her, she had a big bruise on her face. So I think someone hit her, and the only rumour I've heard is that it was Lord Riordan, though I certainly didn't see that."
"I must admit," Einar starts, "I would have said, until a few minutes ago, that I didn't think any of the Naylands would be foolish enough to do such a thing." He ponders for a few seconds then shrugs, "and this goodsister, is a prime example of why I hate politics." He reaches up to scratch his horse's nose again, wondering silently what Anders' take is, and making a mental note to remember to check.
"Indeed. We are at Tordane Tower, though I am not so sure it is wise. I am quite glad the Naylands appear to have gone elsewhere prior to returning to Stonebridge. It has been a quite quiet place the last few days. Though you'll never guess - I ran into Ser Garett today. He's not dead, but nearly so, to look at him. And he doesn't recall any of the prior events. It's quite a shame." Tia is content to talk about anything and everything, other than herself, it seems. She grins at Einar petting the horse's nose.
"They are not in residence? I would suspect the Mire then," is Einar's easy reply, it's the obvious place after all, especially if they need to get things sorted out between them. Something else Tia says though catches his interest and he asks, "Ser Garrett? I had not heard he had been thought dead?" It seems that much has indeed happened while he's been away.
"Oh! Yes. He was on a ship to … I think to his family's house, and the ship was sunk. All aboard were thought dead. He has a horrible looking scar on his head - it must pain him horribly still. And a cane, with a sore knee, though I do not know how badly injured it was. It was strange to talk to him. He was making jokes and smiling - very much different from the Ser Garett who was always cloudfaced."
"I must admit that I didn't really know him," comes EInar's reply, "although I spoke to his squire a couple of times. Still, it is good to hear that not all perished on the voyage. He is Lady Danae's brother? Or is it cousin? I can not see him having been too pleased with the events after the duel. I wonder how he feels now?"
Tia thinks for a moment. "I think he's Danae's brother, yes. And I don't know really. I didn't get a chance to speak with him before he left, and I only met him very briefly today, in the inn in town. You might run into him yourself, I suppose." She picks her harp up, starting to play again, idly. "I can't think what else there is by way of news, really."
Einar nods once more to the summary, glad to at least have an idea of what’s going on before he talks to Anders. "I thank you for the run down then, but I suppose I should probably go find my cousin and let him know I've arrived. You'll be alright here on your own?" Okay, she seemed fine when he rode up, and there's still the guard and maid, but still, they don't really count. "I could leave you my two travel companions if you wish."
Tia blinks and then she laughs. "Einar, what would I do with /three/ guards? Bad enough I have one, and there's no sign of Lord Charlton." Oops, she probably shouldn't have let that last bit slip, but it came out accidentally. A little dryly. It gets a snort from the guard in fact. The maid just hides her face, so her laughter isn't seen.
"Be thrice as safe," Einar answer with a smile, "there's still talk of bandits after all, and what kind of goodbrother would I be if I let a few braver ones do you harm?" He's smiling though, not expecting any trouble this close to town, he's still tempted to leave the armsmen though, even if just so he can manage some time alone, however brief. AT the mention of a Charlton he pauses for an instant, then figures that Ser Quellyan must be on the move again and adds that to the list of things to talk to Anders about. The Young Lord had promised to talk to Aleister and get the rundown on him after all.
Tia nods her head. "Well, leave them if you must," she says, as she turns her attention back to her harp playing. "And do enjoy your trip in to Tordane Tower, Goodbrother." There's affection in her words, though she's not going to hold him up any further.