|Road to Riverrun|
|Summary:||The Terrick/Valentin party takes some leisure on the journey to Riverrun.|
|Related Logs:||Riverrun logs in general, none specifically|
|The Road on the way to Riverrun|
|River-y. Could be muddy under some circumstances.|
|Fri Nov 04, 288|
The trip from Terrick's Roost to Riverrun is a long one, and it's made no shorter by the inclusion of a carriage or two for those of the members of the party who are less inclined to spend all day in the saddle. And so, the party is obliged to stop every now and then, to release the prisoners of the carriages, give the riders a chance to dismount, and allow everyone a chance to stretch their legs. And besides, it's lunch time. Lunch is a rather simple affair on the road, with cheeses, cold meat, bread, and cider to pass around, but it's early enough in the trip that such things are more an adventure than a boring necessity.
The carriage is still rolling when Anais steps down out of it, drawing in a deep breath of the river-damp air and turning a circle once she's a safe distance from the enclosed space. "It smells different here," she observes to no one in particular. "Still wet, but…Richer. Softer." Another deep breath, and she smiles faintly. "Like it rains at night."
Jarod is riding, his brown courser Symeon occasionally ranging ahead from the slower carriages to scout the road. And to indulge the opportunity for a bit of a run. So he's actually riding *back* to join them now, dismounting and handing his mount off to his squire for watering and other roadside horse maintenance. For his part, he'll have some lunch with the folk.
Needless to say, when the lead carriage stops for lunch, it is Alise who jumps out first as soon as the coachman opens the door. The dirt road is well-travelled enough that the ground is fairly even, but either way it doesn't bother the lowborn handmaiden much; if anything, it's the new fancy gown that she's still unaccustomed to. Still, once she's found her footing, Alise offers up her hands to help with her Mistress and Lady, Evangeline the Terrible.
We mean, Evangeline the GREAT.
Jacsen seems to alternate betwixt the confines of the carriage and the less gentle ride on the back of his grey mount, and at this juncture he is quite ready to be off horseback. He follows alongside his brother Jarod, sharing a few idle words before he draws on his reins lightly to signal a halt. While Jarod goes on, he lingers to undo the meticulous binding that holds his right leg in place against the side of the horse, a more onerous task than it might be, had he a squire of his own.
More inclined to take her time about things unlike the eager youth surrounding her, it is a moment before Evangeline exits from the carriage with skirts already shaken out from the ride's wrinkles to take that helping hand. She steps down with a graceful twist of her form, again rearranging her skirts as her gaze squints against the midday sun to find Jarod and Jacsen where they approach. Aside to her lady's maid, she allows a polite, "Thank you. Let us have something to eat, shall we, Alise?" She turns to survey the table, gaze sharp and judgey before she takes a seat at it.
Her glance around the party catches sight of Jacsen, and Anais hesitates only a moment before weaving her way through the people to join him. Unobtrusive, she reaches over to help with the buckles on that contraption. Perhaps surprisingly - as she's only really seen it once or twice - her fingers are nimble with buckles, and she seems to have an intuitive understanding of how it works. She doesn't /say/ anything, though, and she doesn't actually look up at her husband.
The carriage is still rolling when Anais steps down out of it, drawing in a deep breath of the river-damp air and turning a circle once she's a safe distance from the enclosed space. "It smells different here," she observes to no one in particular. "Still wet, but…Richer. Softer." Another deep breath, and she smiles faintly. "Like it rains at night."'
Jarod gets a chuckle out of whatever words he exchanges with Jacsen, offering a grin to the other man before he deals with his squire. He leaves Jacsen to his own devices with the saddle, though he'll busy himself with tasks that don't involve sitting down to lunch until his half-brother's done.
Ensuring her lady isn't going to trip and fall face-first on the ground, Alise steps ahead of Evangeline to wipe the seat with her everpresent cleaning rag, before presenting it to the lady to take. "Of course, milady. You must be thirsty. Let me bring you a drink." With that she hurries over to help with bringing out the food, but most importantly grabbing a jar and some goblets to the table, where she can pour one for Evangeline first, then several more for the other members of the retinue.
Taking wine, Evangeline sips at it slowly as the rest of the party busies itself with tasks, though her gaze seems to be everywhere, taking in the bustle as she waits for her family to join her.
It would be fair to say that Jacsen's eyes set upon his wife's hands more than his wife proper, when she comes to his side and begins to help at the leather contraption about his leg. It is a subtle thing for all that it takes to unwind, a design that if ever remarked upon is credited to a man at Seaguard. "Thank you," he says, when it is done, and draws up his leg so that he can slide off the saddle. He spends a moment leaning on his faithful and very steady steed, and draws his cane from its saddle slot.
Gedeon has a fairly easy time of it. All he has to do is bring his horse to a stop, tether it and leave it to graze. He gives his legs and then his back a long stretch before drifting over to help unload and hand out the food that was packed for lunch.
"You're welcome." It's a small exchange of words between husband and wife, and still cautious on Anais' side. She stays by the horse a moment longer once he's dismounted, silent, then summons up a small smile. "Was there anything particular you wanted with lunch?" she asks, a hand on his mount's shoulder. "Thea managed to find some sugared almonds with cinnamon before we left, and I packed a few away."
"Fair time to travel," Jarod comments, to no one and everyone, as leisurely finishes settling things with his horse. Once watered, his squire also leads it over to graze with Gedeon's. "The roads ahead look clear, and there's enough daylight left that we should reach Riverrun before night falls today."
One of the various attendants with the Terrick party comes over to relieve Anais of Jacsen's horse, while the Lord himself stretches his leg a bit while leaning on the cane. He straightens, and glances over his shoulder at the woman. "Whatever's being served, I'll likely not eat much," he remarks, and it is well and true that he rarely does eat much at all. "Though I should like something to drink."
He must take after his mother, who is not making much effort to bestir herself beyond a piece of bread spread with a soft cheese and her glass of wine. "Ser Gedeon," Evangeline greets politely as the man comes near the table.
Said drinks are being poured, see? All laid out along the table as each goblet is filled. Since Gedeon is the first to approach, Alise takes one of the goblets and offers it to the knight. "Wine to quench your thrist, Ser knight?"
"Wine, or cider?" Anais asks Jacsen, suddenly made more awkward by the removal of the horse. With nothing else to occupy her hands, she clasps them uncomfortably in front of herself, a small twist of her skirt caught between them.
"My lady," Gedeon replies to Evangeline, offering her a gentle bow. "I hope the trip has been comfortable for you, so far." To Alise, he smiles, reaching up a hand to accept the offered goblet. "My thanks, Miss…?"
"I'll take some wine, for my part, Miss Alise," Jarod says as he strides up near Gedeon. Waiting until the other Rivers gets served before trying to snag a goblet of his own. Evangeline is offered a bow that mirrors the one Gedeon gave, though it has a bit more sweep to it.
"The ride has been gentle, though there are times I do envy you your horses," Evangeline answers with a small, small smile that graces her lips for a moment, gone after another. "Ser Jarod never did have the patience for the carriage even when he was young." That, by way of greeting towards the other Rivers, the lady inclining her chin in a welcoming nod.
Alise is about to answer Gedeon's inquiry, but Jarod apparently answers it for her. Affecting a smile, the blonde maid adds for Gedeon's benefit. "Newly appointed handmaid of Lady Evangeline. At your service, Ser knight." Jarod's request is quickly fulfilled by the offering of another goblet. "Wine, Ser Jarod." The smile is just a little wider, a bit warmer for Jarod, but that's probably because of the role he played in securing her employment.
"Wine," Jacsen tells his wife, offering her a wan sort of smile. And then, with a nod towards Evangeline and the small court growing about her, "Come. The others wait on us." He begins towards the rest of the group, a polite expression for his mother's maid, and a nod towards Gedeon. "How's the ride treating you, Ged?"
Evangeline is the last place Anais wants to go, though it doesn't show in more than the slight lagging of her steps behind her husband. At least fetching a drink gives her another moment to avoid the inevitable joining, for as Jacsen moves toward the group, she breaks off to pour a glass of wine and a glass of cider, taking /great/ care in both.
"My thanks," Jarod says to a grin to Alise in return as he takes his wine. He then gets some food, and settles in. Unlike his brother and the elder Lady Terrick, he has no qualms about getting his fair share of the roadside foodstuffs. Evangeline's comment prompts a chuckle, and makes his grin widen a notch. "I take up valuable space, m'Lady. Gives somebody else a chance to stretch their legs, I figure. Besides, I've not been to this part of the Riverlands, really, save perhaps marching through it back during our time with the Mallisters. And we hadn't time to linger then. I like a chance to explore new country."
"I must admits, I do not envy a Lady her carriage. I, too, preferred riding on a horse in the open air, even as a boy," Gedeon replies. For Alise's name and her position, he nods. "A pleasure to meet you, then, Miss Alise. Congratulation on your new position." Shifting a bit to the side as Jacsen approaches, so the young lord has a bit of space before the serving table for himself, Gedeon says, "It treats me well, so far. And you, my lord? It's been fine weather, so far, for such travel."
"So far, so far," Jacsen repeats Gedeon's twice used statement and grins. "Hedging bets already?" It's a rhetorical jest, of course, and the lame-legged Terrick is pleased to sit down on something a bit more comfortable than the saddle. "My lady?" he asks, glancing towards his mother, "I hope the carriage ride is not too uncomfortable for you?"
"Alise, please prepare a plate for my son," Evangeline requests as Jacsen takes his seat, her own wine lifting to her lips for a slow sip before she resettles it on the table. "The carriage is well-outfitted for such a journey, thank you, my lord. But, I am not as young as the rest of you." She pauses, her gaze sliding towards Anais before returning to her son. "Your wife is still young enough to appreciate the freedom of a horse. Perhaps you may take her riding with you this afternoon?"
Alise bows her head gratefully at Gedeon, but as the others arrive, the maid inclines her head at the newlywed couple. "Milord Jacsen, milady Anais." Alise greets, and though she hasn't been introduced to Jacsen yet, but she definitely doesn't need one to know who he is. "Yes, milady. One for yourself as well?" The maid nods to Evangeline's command, immediately busying herself with setting out two plates. Picking up a fork and knife, she goes about placing slices of bread, cheese and meats on each.
Anais can only make the act of pouring drinks last so long, and when she's stretched it out as far as she can, she takes the glass of wine to Jacsen's side, offering it over quietly. "The land is different here," she observes, mostly to Gedeon. She hasn't yelled at him lately. "Further from the sea. The air, the plants, the dirt. I've heard it only gets more so the closer you get to Riverrun?"
"Better a hedged bet than a lost one," Gedeon replies to Jacsen's tease with a mild one of his own. He has a sip of wine as Alise shifts her focus to the others in need of food and drink, and looks, instead, to Anais as she speaks. "I have heard it said that the salt of the sea changes the land that lies close to it. Perhaps now that we are further from the shore, those effects have lessened and those differences are the ones you're describing, my lady."
Jarod is content to wolf largely in quiet for the moment, interspersed with drinks from his wine goblet. Time in the saddle does his appetite well, at least. "Is Banefort very different from this country, m'Lady?" he asks Anais. "Or from the coast of the Roost, for that matter. Young Caytiv Hill's spoken a good deal of the mountains where your folk are from, though I'm not sure how close those are to Banefort proper."
"Mayhap," is all that Jacsen rejoinders on the topic of his wife and a horse, though he does nod gratefully at the plate put together for him by Alise. "You know… I'd forgotten how the land changed," he admits, to those speaking of the world beyond the coast where they've all spent the majority of their lives. "In all the excitement of riding out with the banners to join King Robert's Rebellion, I think I lost it." He draws a slow breath of the air. "There is certainly a richness to it."
"No, thank you, Alise. But be sure to have a plate yourself and take a seat once you are done," Evangeline answers politely, nodding towards a chair near at hand for the handmaiden. She again sips at her wine, not joining into the conversation but watching it.
"Thank you." Alise notes to Evangeline. Though she has not been so ordered, Alise starts putting together a third plate after sparing a sidelong glance at Evangeline - and if the Lady doesn't explicitly stop her. Never say the maid is a mindless peon, because clearly she is taking note of who's who and who should get what. Now with two more plates prepared, Alise takes one over to Anais. "Lady Anais? A bite for the journey?"
"There are many more rocks," Anais answers Jarod, a ghost of her usual smile flickering across her features. "In Banefort, that is. High cliffs. The soil is less generous, until you get into the lower hills further inland. It's all wind and stone and sea. Which has its own appeal, of course," she adds quickly, then turns to look out at the land once more. "This is the sort of land that gets mud," she observes, as if this is something significant. There's a small smile for Alise - genuine - when the girl brings over a plate. "Thank you, Alise," she murmurs. "I appreciate that."
"I didn't pay much attention to it back in those days either, m'lord," Jarod says to Jacsen. Titling his half-brother comes a bit more awkwardly than the other Terrick-inclined nobles, but he does it in front of the Lady Evangeline. "The travel all seems like a blur of horses and men in armor. Only real impression I had of the rivers was having to cross them, which always seemed to take an age and a half and involve a lot of muddy work for the squires. Much prettier journey this time. Less mud too, so far." The last said with a nod to Anais.
The rocks mentioned cause Gedeon to chuckle. "Suitable for chucking at Ironmen, I imagine," he muses around a faint smile. "Handy, that."
"Thank the Seven for that," Jacsen remarks at the mention of the lack of mud, for that is a memory that is as etched into his mind as it is his lower born half-brother. "The mud felt endless, back then. But I suppose we all came out of it with legs strong as mountains…" His voice trails off a bit as he turns to the meal in front of him, picking lightly at its component bits.
Alise gives Anais a big smile, but chooses no verbal response. Nope, she's not going to interrupt when the nobles are conversing. The big strong knights, she evidently decides, can get their own food. So she heads back to the chair Evangeline picked out for her, takes the third plate of food, and settles down to eating. Nom nom nom.
"Excellent for chucking at Ironmen," Anais agrees with Gedeon, laughing briefly. "But also for things like building docks," she adds with a small smile for Jacsen. "And castles." She takes a few bites of her lunch then, eyes half closing. "These things always taste so much better outside than they do at home," she muses.
Jarod offers his half-brother a wry half-smile, and chuckles. "I mostly came out of it with an appreciation for being dry. Anyhow, I don't figure any of us will spend much time in the mud around Riverrun, though I'd not be sorry to see the Nayland retinue slog through a bit of it." He's emptied his plate and goes in for seconds. Blinking when Alise is not at hand to wait on him, but he does indeed seem capable of getting his own bread and cheese. He's nursing his wine rather than guzzling it, so he's not in need of a second cup of that.
Jacsen snorts a bit of laughter at Jarod's comment. "Well, by my count, since they couldn't be bothered to march for Good King Robert despite Lord Hoster's call, I suspect they're owed a slog through the mud yet." A glance is spared over at the Terrick matriarch, whom is so quiet as the rest eat. "And what of you, Mistress Alise? Have you come through Riverrun or this land before?" he wonders, inviting his mother's maid into the conversation. It's after clearing his throat with a sip of wine that Jacsen glances at his wife and asks, "Is that so?"
Alise looks up with wide eyes and a mouthful of bread when Jacsen unexpectedly asks her a question, she's caught looking awkward and *gasp* improper. Choking and coughing, the blonde maid pats herself on the chest a few times to dislodge the piece of bread in her throat. Drink, hurry! Wash it down! Hurriedly swallowing the food, Alise is /finally/ able to reply to Jacsen. "N-no, m'lord. Not this way." *Cough*cough*cough*. "I grew up around Tall Oaks. Never been down this far south before."
"If you will excuse me, I have need to relieve myself," Evangeline murmurs with the delicate topic, rising to her feet with a slight dip of a curtsy to those assembled before she gathers her skirts precisely to travel over the terrain and away from the picnic.
Anais relaxes at least a little bit when Evangeline excuses herself. Or, at least she manages to take more than a few nibbles of food. In fact, she seems to eat more quickly once the older woman is gone. She's still quiet, though, listening to the others.
"Maybe you should mention that to Lord Hoster," Jarod replies to Jacsen with another laugh. "I can't figure the Tullys have any great love for Frey lick-spittles. Maybe he'll figure it's fitting payment for their lack of service to him back then, to house them by one of the 'Runs three rivers. Let them get a taste of sleeping in mud for their lordship." The image makes him grin, at least. To Alise he adds, "Do you keep with the Old Gods, Miss Alise? Or the Seven? Lady Liliana tells me many in Talls Oaks still worship the Old Gods. There's a weirwood at Riverrun, or so I understand. I'd like to take a look at a real one myself, though my prayers'll be in the Sept proper." The coughing earns a puzzled head-tilt from him. Perhaps the question was to try and prompt more comfortable conversation. When Evangeline stands he stands as well, offering the elder Lady Terrick a bow as she goes off to find a bush that'll serve her modesty. "M'Lady."
"M'lady," Jacsen echoes, though he only half-rises from his seat when Evangeline makes her departure from the temporary camp, seating himself again swiftly. "I might just mention it, though I doubt he's had a chance to forget. Seems, to my mind, the sort of thing you hold on to. If only to know the worth of a man you might need call on again, some day." He nods at Alise's answer, only smiling at the time it takes her to ready to give it. "Have you had a chance to meet Lady Liliana just yet, Mistress Alise? She's a Camden from Tall Oaks, and my Lord father's ward. Perhaps the both of you might enjoy a chance to reminisce about home…"
When the question of religion comes up, Alise has to think for a moment, her gaze shifting from person to person to person. "The worship of the Seven is just as welcome as the Old Gods in Tall Oaks, Ser Jarod. I, uhm, keep with the Seven." Maybe it's what she thinks the Terricks want to hear? "No I have not met Lady Lilliana yet, m'lord…" Alise may have yet more to say, but when Evangeline stands and excuses herself, she practically jumps up from her seat. "Excuse me, lords and ladies." She bows quickly, and turns to follow in Evangeline's wake. OF COURSE she has to attend to the Lady for something like this!
"Go with the Seven, Miss," Jarod bids Alise, smirking with mock-salute to the maid as she goes to attend Evangeline. Was that some sort of joke? Probably, not that he indulges in enough humor to chuckle at his own wit. He'll enjoy what time they have left on the side of the road lounging with his food and drink. It'll be time to un-lounge and get back in the saddle soon enough.
And soon enough it is. It isn't long before the guards are looking anxious to be moving forward, and even Anais is taking a glance at the maps, estimating what time it's likely to be before they can make camp for the evening. When they regroup, she skips the carriage in favor of riding, even if she does so in relative silence. And in short order, the column is once more moving toward Riverrun and all that awaits there.