|Summary:||The knights of Oldstones discuss how things have progressed at Riverrun.|
|Related Logs:||Riverrun logs|
|Alek's Room — Riverrun|
|A very small room with a bed, a chair, a chest and that's about it.|
|20 November 288|
Never let it be said that Alek is without wine, even as he rises late from a hangover last night as their lord comes a-calling at the room that is sized as a roomy cupboard. There may be better places to hold such a meeting, but his has the advantage of being the furthest away from prying ears and having the thickest, encumbering, cold walls with no decorative tapestries to hide any spies. At least there is no visible whores infesting the place (unless there is one stashed in his bed, idk), and the merchant knight has on pants if not a shirt. "And what is the latest news of the snail's paced proceedings?" he questions dryly, sprawled out on his bed without leaving much room for the others to sit. There is a chair, shoved into a tight corner and a chest in another. Or someone can come lay down with him, I'm sure he wouldn't object.
It's well enough Alek's taken the bed as, knowing the other knight's predilections, Gedeon would have abstained from sitting on it, even were it free. As it is, Alek can have his indolent sprawl and Gedeon will have the little chest in the corner, leaving the chair for Anton. The slim, blond knight has his legs stretched out, hands tapping on his knees. "Things may have swayed in our favor after the last meeting with the Lord Paramount," Gedeon says. "Now I'm to find a man that can verify seeing Lord Geoffrey alive after he was first wounded. I expect someone among the Mallister contingent may recall. They were near us in formation at the Trident."
Anton takes the chair without a second thought, filling up the last of the remaining space in Alek's tiny room. He hooks one arm over the laddered back of the chair, and nods to Gedeon, replying, "I doubt that will be so difficult. A Mallister would be better than a Terrick, or perhaps there is some other knight here in the household that would recall, there are plenty in the city that were there that day." He does not seem much concerned about it, saying, "Have you gotten any better sense, Gedeon, of how precisely he will rule should he rule in your favor?"
"I suppose he'd take it ill if I were to recall such a detail, but if you have need—," Alek offers with a lazy flick of his fingers, words trailing off without the needed addition of 'i am a great liar'. He just smirks, a crooked, easy thing upon his lips.
"No, my lord. After I left, Jacsen was kept to speak with Lord Tully further. To take my measure, perhaps, or to speak on something unrelated, though that seems unlikely." Gedeon glances over at Alek and smirks faintly. "Thank you, ser, but I think it would go better if the recollection was a real one and from a source less likely to be accused as partial."
"Gedeon, would you stop calling me 'my lord' when it's just us?" Anton says, sounding a bit exasperated, "You don't have to be in character in this closet, I don't think even Alek could manage to hide another person in here." He rakes a hand through his hair and nods, "If we must, we can find someone easily enough, I'm sure, but there's no reason yet to think we won't find someone with a true memory. My real concern is what Tully will rule when he rules. 'In our favor' is so vague. Will he just depose Isolde? Just end the marriage? Give Stonebridge to you? Demand a marriage to Isolde or a Nayland or… some relative of his own? Assign vassalage back to the Terricks, or not? There are so many variables."
There is a lazy cast to Alek's words where they slip out in a murmur, head pillowed against his hands as he flashes a rare, true smile towards Anton, "Variables that are not really in our control to worry about, though, Anton. Unless you'd like me to slit the lady's throat or the Lord Paramounts. That will certainly simplify some of it." He glances to Gedeon and then back to Lord Valentin. Anyone, anyone?
Gedeon smirks faintly. "It's easier not to forget, if I don't ever forget," he says to Anton with a small shrug. "I don't see how he could give me Stonebridge directly, when I'm yet a Rivers, though perhaps he could rule such allowing that a petition to the king be accepted and I be allowed to take the name Tordane. I don't know. Whatever comes, even if I am shut out, the Terricks will owe Oldstones a boon if we're responsible for restoring Stonebridge to them." At the idea of marrying Isolde, there is a faint wrinkling of his nose. "I hope not. We grew up sister and brother. I would do it if I must, but I cannot say it would be an outcome either of us should like." For Alek's suggestion, the blond knight only groans. "Gods, Alek, truly?"
Anton snorts at Alek, and shakes his head. "Too messy," is his reply, though he sounds a bit like he regrets that it is true. "No, not much we can do," he admits, "But it would be good to have some better idea. I dislike not being able to plan ahead. We have been waiting on this business to be sorted out far too long. I realize the delays don't actually harm us at all, but they're frustrating all the same."
"One could put pressure on the Tully to make a decision. No one would notice if I were to slip away and gather a handful of Terrick's swords, attack Stonebridge without crest or warning," Alek muses outloud, mind sharp for all that he looks lazily comfortable and sips at a wine flask. Why do all his suggestions contain violence? Well, knight.
Gedeon only blinks slowly at Alek before glancing over to Anton with a quirked brow. "Have you had your own audience with Lord Tully? You may be able to learn a bit more of his leanings when the two of you speak. And I can talk with Jacsen again, hear his thoughts of the Lord Paramount's mind. I'd like to know if he's had any further word about the raised levies, as well. Something must be stirring there."
"I have not," Anton replies, with a shake of his head, "I hope to soon. And I believe Ser Jarod rode off in some haste," he says, "So either he has stolen your idea before you had it, Alek, or else something has happened with those levies. I suspect either way we will have word soon. Sooner, perhaps, if Lord Jacsen deigns to share with you, Ged."
"All of my best ideas are always taken from me," is drawled with a warm humor, grey-green eyes flicking to Gedeon with an echo of it as he smiles affectionately at the man. What? His ideas are great. As the lord and the would-be lord talk of meetings with other lords, the commoner knight falls silent, however. He's not going to have such fancypants meetings, after all.
Gedeon nods thoughtfully. "I'll see if I can lead him around to it," he pauses, lips quirking, "my lord." He shakes his head at Alek, eyes rolling though that bemused smile lingers still. "And what of our good Ser Alek, here? How shall we make him useful, now we've dashed all his fine suggestions against the wall?"
"And what of our good Ser Alek," Anton says with a twist of amusement, looking down at the other knight. "How are you finding Riverrun, Ser? Made any interesting new acquaintances? There must be women among the Nayland party you could use your wiles to get info out of. Or those in Tully's household, here? You are usually good at convincing them to pass things along they should not."
"Now, now, not that I would kiss and tell normally," read, for anyone that isn't Anton, "but I do know a certain guard of the Tully's that would be more than willing to help, and a woman tied to the Naylands by the name of Senna." An affectionate smile touches Alek's lips even as he takes another long draw from his flask. "What do you need? What way Lord Tully is leaning? What the Naylands are planning? Those may be out of my reach, but—."
"Is that what he's convincing them to do?" Gedeon teases, leaning back against the wall and clasping his hands behind his head. "Perhaps, then, who else Lord Tully has been meeting with, beyond the obvious players of this game. Or where the Naylands have focused their time, outside of meetings."
Anton tilts back in his chair and nods. "Any sense of what the Naylands may do if the ruling doesn't go their way," he says, "Whether Tully has had any correspondence with Seagard, the Twins, or King's Landing since we arrived." He shrugs, "Anything that might give us a sense of who is leaning where. I trust you to keep your ears open and know something of interest when you hear it."
"I will save the choicest tidbits that I hear for you," Alek assures with a breath of wry humor, nodding overly-solemn at Anton (and then Gedeon).
"Well, then I suppose we each have our tasks set before us," Gedeon replies, sitting up a bit straighter and letting his hands settle back on his knees.
"You might also see what you can learn of these Nayland brothers," Anton says, "Rutger and… was it Rafferdy?" He shrugs off the uncertainty, and says, "Gedeon and I might chance to run into them as well, but you have the least invested, Alek, you might more easily play indifference to the outcome and see what you can make of them."
Look, Alek is an asshole, and so it really should not be much of a surprise where he drawls an easy, "Am I not already indifferent to the outcome? I wasn't aware." He quirks a crooked smile over at Gedeon, however, and moves to sit up with a ripple of muscle as the meeting seems to draw to a close.
"There's only one outcome I've noted that you don't seem to be indifferent towards, often as you seek it," Gedeon answers as he pushes to his feet. "I'll tell you when I've learned something useful. Alek." A small nod. And then another to, "Anton."
"What," Anton drawls in dry return, "You don't want to see Gedeon Lord of Stonebridge, with control over most of the region's trade? Who do you think sets the tariffs on wine, Alek?" He swipes a shirt (probably a shirt?) off the small table at his elbow and tosses it at the knight's chest.
Alek catches it, pulling it over his head and running an idle hand through his own blonde hair. "Well, when put to me that way, if him winning Stonebridge will get my mouth and cock wet," he muses even as he raises a two-fingered, careless salute towards Gedeon. "Gedeon."
"Refrain from sticking your cock in my wine, and I'll see what I can do about the tariffs," Gedeon says, lifting his hand in a wave as he walks the few steps needed to reach the door.
Anton nods to Gedeon as he exits, snorting at the younger man's joke, and then rolling his eyes. "I'm sure we can all find a mutually-beneficial arrangement."
Alek also laughs, a warm slip of sound from his throat that brings a flash of white-teeth in a grin. Where the younger man leaves, he comments to Anton, "Say what you will about how much better winning Stonebridge will be for us, I shall still miss the boy if he goes."
Anton smirks faintly and nods. "So will I, but it will be worth it, I think. A friend in Stonebridge would be a powerful advantage, and trade and business are where we need the most help. We will see how things play out. At worst, Gedeon stays with us and we go on as we have been, I doubt very much Lord Tully will call the letters false even if he should rule against us now." He glances after Gedeon and then back to Alek, asking, "You've cleared up that business about his squire, right?"
"In that I have been staying away from the lad and leaving Gedeon to his own business, yes. If he's going to be so fucking sensitive over the runt, I am not going to get my nose broken over it," Alek replies, carelessly idle as he offers out the wine to Anton in a waggle of the skin. "And, I would hate to have to beat him uglier if he decided to sucker punch me again."
Anton nods, leaning against the door frame. "Rowan is his squire, not yours. Best to leave the teaching to Gedeon, unless you want to actually teach something and not just through a beating. I won't say I think Nayland's an ideal squire, but I'd like to give Ged a chance to get some use for us out of the arrangement. If he fails at that, well. Then we'll reconsider. But for now, let's try to give Rowan a chance to be part of the house, aye? It's unlikely to be worthwhile, but you never know. We may be surprised yet."
Alek's grey-green eyes draw over Anton sharply, despite hangover and wine, though he murmurs only an agreeable, dismissive, "Whatever you say, my lord. It is your household."
"A Nayland could be useful to have around," Anton says, explaining even though he was not asked, "And the close ties to the Terricks, too. If Gedeon can turn Rowan to slipping us information, and passing on to others what we wish them to hear…it could be very useful. I have my doubts that it will happen, and even more that Rowan could ever be trusted to keep our secrets, but. We have the opportunity, so we might as well attempt to make something of it. So you don't have to be nice," he grins, "But try not to make the little idiot vengeful against us, right?"
"I will stay out of the kid's way, and I will greet him if he passes by, Anton," Alek answers slowly, his gaze narrowing briefly in a fan of lashes as he lifts the flask back to his lips. "I am not an idiot myself, for all that I have my faults. I won't harm the /cause/." The emphasis on the word is bone-dry, some amount of snark slipping through.
"I didn't explain it because I think you're an idiot, Alek, I explained it because I thought you deserved to know why I'm bothering to ask," Anton replies. He lifts a brow, "Still not convinced by the cause? The more coin and power we have, the more we can spend, I thought that was reason enough for you to support it."
"If I wanted more coin or power, I'd have sworn my sword to any of the more powerful lords who would have been willing to take it, Anton. It is your lot to worry about Oldstones and your position, not mine," Alek says dismissively, pushing to his feet with a restless energy that overtakes him in the moment. Finally, he unbends enough to relent, "I think you think too much, old friend. Come out to visit the town with me, tonight, and stop worrying about games of power and position."
"And you do not benefit from my position?" Anton returns, frowning faintly, "My fate affects yours, Alek. You and Gedeon and I are bound too closely now for it not to. And forgive me for thinking you might care whether I prosper or fail. I forget sometimes what a fickle friend you are." He clearly does not really mean this, reaching over to cuff Alek on the shoulder in the absence of something else to throw at him. He stretches, catching fingers on the top of the door frame, and considers the suggestion, finally nodding, "Alright."
Where Anton cuffs, Alek attacks back, a throw-back to boyhood wrestling moves as he attempts to hook his arm over the man's shoulder and displace him from the door. "Good," he says as he ruffles a hand roughly through Anton's curls, "because you need it. Maybe your fickle friend will even find you a nice, clean girl for the night."
Anton laughs, and drops back onto his heels, wrestling Alek away after his hair is ruffled, swinging a leg around to try to pull his knight's feet out from under him. "I suppose we should take advantage of Riverrun while we're here," he agrees, "Closest thing to a real city we're like to see anytime soon."
"Since Braavos, at least," Alek agrees as he catches himself in the tight space between bed and walls and decides not to press his luck further in the confines of the room. "I've found a good place, already, but mayhap we can find ourselves a good fight, as well."
"Maybe we'll invent a reason to go see King's Landing one of these days," Anton suggests, "Though Fairmarket's not so bad, and it's a good deal closer. But aye, nothing like Braavos." He seems faintly wistful for the East, and straightens up as Alek submits, nodding, "Let's. It's a big enough town, I'm sure we can find somewhere to discreetly bloody a few faces."