|Summary:||Otto and Muirenn spend time together after having been separated since their betrothal.|
|Related Logs:||All the logs related to Muirenn and Otto's courtship|
|Outside Heronhurst, East Bank|
|Gentle rolling hills and broad fields tilled to crops and pasture land are easily within a three hour ride of the city. The forks of the river between which Heronhurst is nestled give rise to smaller streams and rivelets that feed the countless farms and small ponds that dot the landscape. Narrow stands of trees are often glimpsed along the main water lines, edging around one property or another and clustered in thicker stands of dense woodland. The edge of a dense forest is found within that three hour ride, the forest rich with abundant wild life that provides fresh game and much more to the people of Heronhurst. There are many homes to be found within a few marks of the city, small manor homes surrounded by farmland and smaller still the homes of those who work the land.|
|September 28, 289|
Otto had only been back at Heronhurst since the night before, and it was his first opportunity to see Lady Muirenn and took this time to lead her on a pleasant ride outside of Heronhurst. Of course, there were accommodations for Muirenn's entourage to come along as well. "I know it's a bit of a ride, my lady, but I thought you might enjoy it. While Heronhurst proper is nice, I believe you'll find the lands amongst the east bank pleasant." He was obviously hiding something, trying to keep it a surprise for now. Oddly enough, Otto's squire had been missing upon the large knight's return from ranging. "After being away for so long, I simply wanted to have some time with you amongst the outside world out of my parents' home or the city itself."
"It is so good to see you my Lord." Muirenn's clear grey eyes remain focused upon her tall betrothed nearly to the exclusion of all else, much to the amusement of her retinue. "I have missed you greatly." Nudging Pryderi with her knees, she rides up to his side and extends her hand out towards him, "I find these lands beautiful, I only wish that my arrival didn't time with such sadness." Dressed in mourning black in sympathy and respect for her new House to be. Scanning his face she gives a little giggle, "Another surprise Otto? Sweetest Ser, when did you find time to put together a surprise? You just got back!" Prominent against the softness of her throat and chest is the beautiful betrothal necklace that the tall girl proudly wears regularly.
"Since our betrothal, things have been put into motion," Otto says with a broad smile as he takes the woman's hand, steering his courser with his knees, the well-trained mount being used to that anyway. "While I spent last night at the house in Heronhurst, I sent Squeek ahead here," he says, keeping to the road that parallels the river, upstream of Heronhurst itself. "I mentioned in a letter a while back but wanted to give you the chance to see for yourself." It's around that time that a newly fabricated stone wall can be seen, made of river rock and stretching for quite a ways. "Lady Muirenn, it is not much yet but it will be soon enough," he adds, still smiling. While the death of Lord Marvish had been a tragedy, he was not going to let it ruin this moment. He leads the horses along the wall until they come to an opening. Inside is a large garden, or the beginnings of one at least and in the center is a great deal of building materials for what was going to be a decent-sized home. Beside that, Squeek and Otto's two youngest sisters were there with a large blanket laid down and a picnic meal prepared. Nothing as fancy as the surprise one in the forest, but elegant nonetheless. "My lady, welcome home, or what will be home," Otto says, giving Muirenn's hand a gentle squeeze.
Her breath catches in her chest as Muirenn takes in Otto's words and sees the stone wall, "Oh Otto.." Tears well up in her eyes and her dainty hand squeezes his calloused one fiercely, "I am certain that I have the best noble in all Westros for my betrothed." As they ride through the opening in the wall, her gaze finally leaves his face and she looks around eagerly and one can almost see her planning and laying out the garden and courtyard. At the sight of his sisters, she lifts her other hand and waves to them cheerfully, "I am the happiest girl alive, I am sure." Lowering her voice, she murmers, "I wish I could thank you as enthusiastically as I want to."
As the small group rides through the gap in the wall, the handmaiden and Septa look around…Miniella wide-eyed and impressed, the elderly Septa more skeptical but giving an approving sniff now and again.
Otto can't help but smile broadly. "I know it is not next to the ocean, or has some grand cliff but I do hope you will truly make this home," he says with a broad smile. "I have saved quite a bit from tourneys and such I have competed in, and while we aren't the wealthiest house in Westros, we are by far not the poorest. Two story home, I was thinking. Four, maybe five bedrooms for guests and hopefully children in the future," he says as he leads them through the opening in the fence and to where the blankets are laid out with the picnic. Otto's sisters giggle a bit and Squeek was holding a bottle of fine wine and a few earthen mugs, ready to pour for those gathered.
As she dismounts, Muirenn walks towards the blankets. Squeek is given a radiantly fond smile, "Squire Sam! It is a delight to see you again and see you safe." The Mallister maiden beams at the other girls delightedly, "It is so good to see you both again." Followed by her handmaiden, Septa, and pair of guards, the girl settles herself on the blankets her attention again focused on Otto as she holds a hand up towards him.
Otto smiles and takes the offered hand, taking a seat beside Lady Muirenn. As he does, his squire and his sisters begin serving bread, wine, and some fresh picked vegetables and fruits, first to Otto and Muir and then to the Septa and guards. Squeek blushes as Muirenn calls him Sam, as few people do. "M'lady," the baseborn squire says with a broad smile and a bit of a blush. Otto can't keep his eyes off of Muirenn, and is all smiles. "We have the river on one side, woodlands on the other. There is a small village less than a league away who swear fealty to Heronhurst. We can get grain there, and this land is quite fertile so fresh vegetables and fruits will be in abundance. The forests are abundant with deer and the river is teaming with fish. We shan't go hungry, my beautiful lady."
"I know that with you as our provider we will never lack my lord." Muirenn's cheeks grow rosey with a blush as she adds softly, "Five rooms so that we have plenty of room for guests in addition to the large family I hope that we have." Taking a piece of fruit she nibbles at it, graciously smiling her thanks to her soon to be goodsisters before her attention quickly returns to the taller man at her side. Under the intent eye of her Septa, the maiden keeps a couple sword widths between herself and Otto, but it does not stop her from lifting a bite of juicy fruit to his lips with a soft laugh, "And we must have a workroom for me to make my potions and salves. I am sure that all of my herbs will grow here quite well and a kitchen garden would be lovely. I know that Heurtebise, Minnie, and Septa will be some of our retainers. I am unsure if my cousin will be sending any guards with me or not. I imagine one or two."
Otto smiles and takes a bite from the offered fruit. "I was thinking a servant's house slightly down the hill, but still inside the walls, along with a stable and housing for the birds. We have three acres inside the stone and more outside if we need to expand. You will have your workroom and I will have a cellar for wines and a small portion of area to put up a training list for the horses and to stay ready for future tourneys, along with training Squeek to be the proper knight I know that he can be."
"Oh that will be lovely! It will be a good place for the children to learn to ride also." Muirenn mmms, "I have some tapestries, and my books…but we will need furniture." Her grey eyes dance in excitement as she thinks of having a keep of her own to decorate, "My lady mother and Aunt will be quite thrilled when I tell them. I cannot wait to introduce you. My family will love you." Shyly she takes a sip of her wine, "I ride to Seagard in a couple of days to start planning the wedding. Is there anything you want to have or include? Something for the ceremony or the feast?"
The large man chuckles a bit, wiping a bit of fruit juice from his chin with the back of his hand. "Furniture can be acquired, and should be the least of our concerns until the house is finished. My father's masons and carpenters assure me that it should be done within a couple of months as long as they have fitting weather and helpers. Even my mother has called in some of her cousins, and the Wodes are known to be some of the best carpenters in the lands," he says. As to her inquiry of the wedding, he smiles once more, "My lady, as long as you are there, I will be perfectly content, though weather permitting, I would love for it to be outdoors so that those servants of my family that watched me as a child and those who have helped tend my family for generations may at least see," Otto says, letting his bit of humbleness and earthy feelings show. He could have had any number of squires, yet he chose a poor, baseborn orphan instead of the child of a noble or a nephew or cousin. "My lady, it doesn't have to be a grand affair unless that is what you desire. I am but a simple man, smitten with a woman whom he gladly desires to spend the rest of his life with. Anything beyond that is simply decoration."
"My dearest, you are marrying a maiden of one of the great Houses of the Riverlands. While it will not be quite as extravagant as my cousin Lord Patrek's affair promises to be, our wedding will be rather large and attended by most noble Houses. I am unsure if my cousin will wish a small tournament to be held, but simplicity likely is not an option." There is a pause as she reaches and shyly brushes her fingers across the rough hairs on the back of his hand, "But I will make sure that our retainers can all celebrate with us. It is likely the Sept will be filled with nobility, but we will arrange for something where you and I can mingle with our smallfolk. I had thought, since the wedding is likely to be during cooler months when the weather is more precarious, that I turn the great hall into an indoor forest for the delight of our guests. You and I both love being out of doors, so we just bring it inside. What do you think?"
Otto smiles broadly. "That sounds lovely, my lady," he says. "Granted, I don't know how cool it will be but I am sure that we can arrange something." The thoughts of bringing the outdoors to the indoors does seem to amuse him greatly, the gears and cogs were spinning as he gave a moment of silence, sipping at the mug of wine. "The feast should be a mix of what Heronhurst and Seagard have to offer. Fish and boar, venison and greens. Peaches and lentils and wine and mead," he says, saving the best of the feast for last. "I do ask though, that we wait a while," he begins a bit somberly. "The death of Marvish still weighs heavy upon my family, and I want to give them their time to grieve, but a wedding will be good to boost their moral I do hope. Did you hear that my cousin, Ser Brennart is now betrothed to Lady Bryliesa Frey? I have heard rumor that my cousin wishes it to be an almost rushed affair, but I remain confident that there is no foul play involved in that. She has been with us as a ward for quite some time now, and they have grown quite close without even realizing it over that time. Well, I think it was more Ser Brennart who was oblivious." For some reason, Otto has not spent much time talking of Marvish, and often changes the subject.
"That was my thought…to combine the the best of both our lands into a delicious feast." Another sip of her wine is taken as she tears off a piece of bread, nibbling at it as she listens to him. "Dearest…I know that our wedding will have to wait a few months. It wouldn't be proper or appropriate to celebrate without at least some period of mourning. I had heard about Ser Brennart and Lady…" she clears her throat and ahems, "Frey…" It has truly been a challenge for the young Mallister to realize that she will, by marriage, be related to a Frey. It does not appear that Muirenn is yet warmed to the idea, but she says nothing only twining her fingers through his own asking, "Do you wish to talk about your cousin? I have learned a lot about death this last year and have learned that sometimes talking can help with the grieving process."
"No," Otto says, almost too abruptly. He pauses a brief moment, then takes a deep breath. "Marvish and I were never what you would call close. He took to being the heir of the house to mean that he was the boss of all of us growing up, especially me." He pauses a moment. "When I was old enough to become a page, I was happiest not only because it would lead to my dream but to being away. Marvish and I have not spoken since I was a child, and while he was blood, and I mourn his passing, there was little love lost between us. He was truly his father's son and I will leave it at that. I do thank you for your sincerity and the offer to speak of it, but that is all I have to say."
Squeezing her betrothed's hand, Muirenn whispers "I understand. Then I will rejoice that our House now has an Heir that is worthy and will lead well when it is his turn. So instead of dwelling in the tragedy, while it is just us and we don't have to put on our public faces we can be happy because we have only a few more months to wait." Her lips curve upwards and she gives a soft laugh, "I am so happy to be with you my betrothed. I cannot begin to describe how much I missed you and how much I worried."
"I have missed you as well, my lady. Not a day went by when we were ranging that I did not think of you. Even when I lay in a Maester's cell, my mind was not on the wound but upon you, hoping that it did not take my leg from me so that I may walk beside you and stand with you at the altar." He smiles broadly, squeezing her hand in turn. "For the past months, you have forever been upon my mind. The feast in the woods, the walk along the green at the Roost, all of those are memories I cherish. Even my men commented upon it, as whenever I saw a flower growing in the wild, I smiled, thinking only of how it would look in your garden." There's a long pause and the large man blushes lightly. "Lady Muirenn, my heart is now yours and forever will be yours. Our wedding day cannot come soon enough, but when it comes I do hope that our time together will be forever as wonderful as it has been in the past."
OOC: Eventually there may be more to the log, but for now we can assume that Otto and Muirenn finished their picnic in the shadow of the lumber that will one day be their new home. :)