|Rumor Has It|
|Summary:||Inigo and Sofya trade the high and low gossip of the Roost.|
|Roof Terrace — Four Eagles Tower|
|This is open to the air except for the rookery at the opposite end of the open walkway. Parapets and crenellations are about.|
|Mon May 14, 289|
It's a nice enough day for even the delicate sorts to be outside with a mild sun and cloud cover that comes and goes. Although up high on the roof, the winds pick up considerably and cut through thin clothing. What's more than nice is the view, buildings and lands spread out below all the way to the distant horizon. Leaning on a crenelation, Inigo surveys this view with a serious and thoughtful expression to his features, his cloak billowing occasionally as a sharp gust of wind catches the fabric now and again.
Quick steps sing out lightly as Sofya climbs the stair to Terrace at a surefooted pace, dark skirts gathered up in one hand to keep them from tripping her up as she moves. A Lady might be ashamed of the flash of booted ankle displayed by her movements, but the Mistress Dale is no Lady to concern herself with such. One such sharp gust of wind whistles its way across the terrace as she reaches the landing, tugging dark hair from her messy bun and pulling it into her eyes. Chuckling softly, her skirts flare as she moves towards her Lord with a smile. "Now, don't you look like something out of a song up here, alone," she chides warmly in a resonant alto. "I hope you're not planning to see if you can fly."
The sound of feet on the stairs doesn't catch his attention, but a comment from one very familiar voice finally does. Inigo turns to look at his retainer with slightly raised brows. "Were it truly from a song, I imagine the situation would be rather more dramatic than a lone man standing atop the roofs," he comments, then smirks slightly and adds, "No matter how grand a picture he may make." Humility is for lesser people. "But no…I shall refrain from trying to join the birds today."
"That's how a number of them start, isn't it?" Sofya notes with a bright gin, catching her flaring skirts back between her fingers as she moves towards her Lord. Slate coloured eyes shift past him to glimpse the landscape below, its buildings still bearing the markers of a war so recently fought. "I think this place has seen enough dramatics for quite some time, the scars are still healing." Lifting a hand, she sweeps some of her dark hair from her face and looks back to Inigo.
"As I am hardly about to dash off to war with the favor of my lady love to keep me strongonly to die and never returnthat's also where this songs ends," Inigo remarks, drumming his fingers against the stone. "A fact I can only find myself feeling relieved about." This is said looking out at the buildings below again. "In some ways, the damage looks less bad from here, but you do see more of it at once."
There's a subtle quirk of mischief to Sofya's brows as she steps forward to lean against a crennallation of her own at Inigo's side. "Would that be the lady love in King's Landing, my Lord? Or the one in the Vale?" She wonders lightly; there are so many to keep track of that it makes it difficult. Her expression sobers after a moment and she nods. "Yes, I am as well."
Brows drawn together, Inigo points a long finger at his retainer in a scolding fashion. You… Only there is really no one else to hear, so he drops his hand to rest on the stone again and instead says, "I suppose that would depend where I'm riding off from. It wouldn't do to ride off from the Roost here with some far-flung favor. Unless one is aiming to entice some local Lady to jealousy." Not that he would ever do such a thing…ahem. "At least if it were war, you would stay safely behind."
Tucking a lock of hair back behind her ear, Sofya just smiles back at her Lord ever so sweetly. Yes? There isn't anyone else to hear, therefor she can tease him at least a little. "I don't think even you have been here long enough to need to arouse such jealousy," she replies with a dry note of humor. Then pauses, lifting a brow. "Have you? You know that is not why you were sent." It wouldn't be the first time. Her mouth draws flat in displeasure at that thought. "Perhaps. Although your Lady Mother would still want you seen to."
"No, not quite long enough yet," Inigo agrees with a bit of dryness to his own tone and a brief arch of brow. "Although I would say that such tasks are not necessarily mutually exclusive." There's truth in that, though he's mostly teasing. "What my Lady Mother wouldn't know couldn't hurt her. I do not think there is great chance of that here, however, with everyone healing from what has just passed."
His "Yet," is repeated with a light click of Sofya's tongue. "No, my Ser. I think that would fall under bettering relationships and offering a certain kind of relief," she agrees mildly, her amusement showing no hint in her voice but dancing in her eyes. "I would see you well kept as well." Loyal, regardless of his lady mother's wishes. "No, I don't think there is quite the same danger. Although I have heard gossip of bandits in area. Raiding following the original raiders and war, it seems."
Inigo opens his mouth to say something, then reconsiders and closes it again with a click of teeth. "I have not been strict enough with you," he says on a sigh, not really meaning it. 'Bettering relationships and offering a certain kind of relief', indeed. He glances at his retainer and nods in appreciation of her loyalty. "This does not surprise me in the least. Sell-swords without work, bits of the invading force left behind and desperate men, no doubt," he remarks grimly and with personal knowledge.
Sofya allows his observation on strictness pass without comment. Lifting her gaze to meet his, she unleans to darts in a short curtsey that a passerby would likely take for apology for whatever she has done, although the twinkle in her eyes displays nothing of the sort. Yes, my Lord. No, my Lord. Her mouth tips in a slight smile for his appreciation. "Desperation'll lead a man to do a great many things and many have that hungry look in their eyes," she comments, settling back into her lean. "Did you see much of it?"
Since there isn't really anyone around, and passerbys wouldn't tend to linger near them if they are on the way to the rookery, Inigo rolls his eyes at that curtsey. "Not /nearly/ strict enough," he murmurs, affecting a pout. "Yes. Everyone here has been struck by this war, one way or another. That there is struggling even here means that those who had the least before may have nothing now…and people don't often lay down to die without making a fight of it, no matter the laws." There is understanding there, but little sympathy. To her question, he merely raises a brow. Hm?
"I could curtsey again, if it pleases your Lordship," Sofya offers, lacking any real remorse. She flashes him a warm smile to his pout, rolling a shoulder comfortably as she turns back towards the countryside. The wind whispers over the pair of them as she stands silent, simply listening. "Much of the like, bandits and all, with the last war." The one he fought in.
"Fine," Inigo says, raising his brows and looking at Sofya. Go ahead. Curtsey. As to the war he was in… "Yes." For a moment, he doesn't say anything more, then he offers up, "I was in the Trident even after that all important battle. The area was a mess for some time after that, still."
That has the sound of a challenge. Sofya's dark brows arch in quiet surprise at the notion of her Lord's pleasure, as it were. In a light footed move that speaks more of dance than of steps, the dark hair miss smooths her skirts and unfurls from her lean against the parapets. Meeting his gaze as she does, she folds herself into a near-perfect courtly curtsey with her dark skirts in a puddle against the stones. Dark lashes flutter in a blink as she waits for permission to rise, holding his gaze all the while.
Once she is bid to do so, she replies, "I can only imagine. Those are the bits that never make it into the songs."
"Well, at least you seem lady-like enough when you do that." He is so full of compliments, isn't he? Such a nice lord. He does, however, bid her to rise without keeping her waiting like he could (and has) before. "Oh, those parts sometimes make it into song, but with great poetic license. Great, great license."
Laughing softly, Sofya sweeps her hair back out of her hair as she rises, tousled anew by the wind. It is a common enough occurrence that in the past has likely met with some rebuttal from his spirited retainer, law as his word stands. "You don't normally complain about my airs and graces. Something have you in a stir, my Ser?" She tips head up at him in query. "Not so barren and bloody as they are in truth, then? A song is song to soften it so."
At least she knows to keep her spirit to relatively private moments, or at least not around less forgiving nobles. "No, no," Inigo dismisses the notion of him being in a stir with a wave. And if he doesn't apologize, he doesn't complain anymore either. "I suppose a song sung of the truth would not make for as good a story. At least, it would not make for as pretty a one."
"Some truths do be so strange that one would be hard pressed to be believed if they were spoken. They never are as pretty," she agrees. Thankfully, a pragmatic mind accompanies that surfeit of spirit and that has never been an issue. She doesn't expect an apology, that would be both unlike him and unbecoming of his station. Instead Sofya merely nods, straightening her skirts with a slip of her fingers.
"I am not sure that I find it so strange, but others might. At any rate, that's what the arts are for, are they not? Selective history and making the world a more beautiful place." That is perhaps a bit cynical of Inigo, but only a bit. "So, how do you find yourself in this new setting, now that you've once again been dragged away from home?"
"You would know better than I, my Lord," Sofya demurs softly, lifting her shoulders is a delicate shrug as she folds her hands behind her back. "But yes, I suppose so. A song that only brings sorrow isn't likely to be repeated." Her own view is a little more practical than cynical. "It is much the same as the last few settings we've been in, my Lord. Nobles to mind and servants to gossip with, although I do like the coast though, the waves are beautiful against the rocks. I have a mind to take the horses out that way on the morrow, give them a bit of exercise now that they've been stabled a spell."
"You know enough," Inigo says with a soft snort. He, of course, does not deny that he knows better. "There are sorrowful songs aplenty, but most have the more unsavory aspects cloaked in poetic phrasing." It is how it is. Adjusting the fit of his cloak after a gust of wind twists it, he considers his retainer's words. "That is a good idea. They are too spirited to stay stabled long without sulking." He is just surrounded by spirit. "So. What do the servants say?"
That's practically a compliment from Inigo. "Sweetens the sorrow if one words it kindly, I imagine," Sofya suggests evenly. The wind continues to scatter dark hairs across her features, drawing a soft sigh from the woman as she lifts her hands to try to thread them back into place. Her pale eyes watch her Lord as he adjusts the lay of his cloak, waiting to see if her service is needed to set it back into place 'just so.' "Yes. I'll see to them." All the spirit. "The servants say a great deal, I haven't all the details yet — but there are rumors of secret weddings and judicial duels and traitors and potentially love mad Lords, that would be Lord Riordan Nayland as I found out. His presence sent one of the kitchen girls into a touch of a tizzy, fair on the eyes as he is. Stonebridge is quite the hub of gossip it seems."
"I suppose," Inigo replies noncommittally of sweetening sorrow. With some fussing, he manages to put his cloak to rights well enough that he doesn't appear to need help, nor does he ask for it, but the wind will probably just kick it up again. For a moment, he just stares at his retainer. "If I did not know better, I would think you were making things up. That sounds like the subject of poem and song." He does know better, though. Sofya has spent too many years sifting through the commonfolk gossip for him to start making things up now. He considers this while brushing his finger along his shaded jawline. "Love mad, hm? Yes, I met the Lord Nayland the other day…all smiles and supposed friendliness. Although I believe he winked at the Lady Anais."
It isn't King's Landing, but even so Sofya cannot resist the urge to reach over and straighten its fall to be just so. Then she steps back again, crossing her arms across her breast as she looks up at him. "Doesn't it just?" Truth odder than fiction. "The Lady in question is some sort of Westerner, that everyone can agree on…who supposedly is pregnant or believes she is. The rest just gets more twisted with the telling, I haven't time to make heads or tails out of it yet with bias for the feud. It's a mess better served by poetry than life from the sounds," she notes, shaking her head in quiet disapproval. Her voice lowers before she continues, assuring that her words are for Inigo alone. "Potentially, my Lord. The options seem to be that or he deflowered the Western Lady, who calls herself Tordane; so the romantics seem to be leaning towards the former and the practical folk towards the latter. It's hard to speak of Western virtue…although the Lady Anais is a Banefort, isn't she? So likely one shouldn't question it here."
"The wind will only undo your work in a moment," Inigo warns as his cloak is set just so again, though he doesn't protest the help one bit. This news (gossip) is considered as he leans a little more heavily on the stone wall. "Hm. Hard to make out the truth when there is bias on all sides." As there usually is, but this seems like it would be especially bad. Brown eyes do a quick scan of the area, tipping his head to listen for any steps of persons heading their way as Sofya lowers her voice. "I would, of course, not question a Lady's virtue…" In public. Or unless he was making a point. So that is something to ponder later. "And more than likely the truth lies somewhere in-between."
"Then I shall always have work to do," Sofya replies sunnily, settling it with an approving smile. There. She watches him as he settles against the wall, angling herself to the side so the wind catches at her less. Nodding briefly, blue eyes watch his features for any sign of alarm as she speaks quietly. "Of course, not. However, it paints few parties in good colours, my Lord. The Terricks themselves seem mostly removed from it, although…it is to my understanding that they had offered some support to the fellow who died in the duel. You'd do better to learn of that than I." Rumors she can find aplenty, but asking after the Family of the holding is both impolitic and unlikely to make friends amongst the staff.
"You are unlikely to find yourself lacking work to do, yes." Inigo smiles for a moment. The rumors, though, are serious things to consider. "Rumors seldom paint anyone in good colors. The more scandalous things get, the more it is spread, as well." Not that he really needs to tell her this, but he finds some mild amusement in it. "Yes. Some support does not surprise me given the family feud, but you are right." There is only so much poking into such situations one can do as a servant, but he trusts her discretion.
If anything, Sofya only seems pleased by that and dips her head in an approving nod. Good. The rumors are sobering in and of their telling, however whimsical one might find such events in tale or song — that they happen to neighbors is juicy and unsettling. "They are a bitter thing in that manner. Considering the amount of heat in these…it must have been quite the affair to hear tell of it," she adds with a click of her tongue. "Perhaps one of the Noble Sons might have knowledge…" It is suggestion, just in case those nasty rumors come up in conversation. That is how that sort of thing goes.
It is still probably better, in this situation, to arrive at the Roost than in the middle of this rumor maelstrom. "Certainly," Inigo agrees without embellishment. "Though apparently the Naylands are trying to resolve the tensions between their house and the Terricks." That is commented rather dryly, though not quite unbelieving. Hey, it could happen. "I am sure they would."
Speaking of things that have the household achatter… "What is their plan in that, do you know?" Sofya wonders with interest, cocking her head to one side.
"I cannot speak to any private plans of house Nayland, or to what Lord Jerold will do," Inigo prefaces, because he's not a mind reader or anything. "But officially they have brought much needed supplies to the Roost in charitable aide and plan to ask for a betrothal between the Lord Justin Terrick and the Lady Roslyn Nayland." He arches a brow at Sofya in silent wondering what she has heard, if anything.
Welp. That is news. Sofya blinks once, twice, and again in surprise. It is not for the fact that Inigo deigns to comment on the plans of the Naylands and Terricks either. "A marriage?" She breaths out, whistling lowly for a moment. "Between…" A Nayland and a Terrick. Huh.
"It happens sometimes between families looking to settle differences for a common goal…or keeping their enemies closer than their friends," Inigo remarks quietly, scratching his chin. "The hopeful would believe the former, the realistic the latter…the cynical might say the Naylands are pawning off a spinster daughter." He pauses and adds, "This is, of course, not to be repeated." It's probably an unnecessary reminder.
"You can't really get much closer than a marriage bed," Sofya agrees, tapping her fingers against the curve of her arm. "Poor dear." The Nayland spinster, that is. "Not likely to make a terribly charming offer with that." She lifts her brows at the unnecessary reminder, tipping her chin in a short nod. Of course.
"No, you can't," Inigo says with a slow nod of his head. Of course, that is speaking in generalities. More specifically, he says, "Yes. I am honestly not sure what has kept her from being married this long." It's not a terrible common thing for noble families, after all, unless they have an abundance of daughters. He just smiles slightly as Sofya lifts her brows at him. Never hurts to be careful.
"I've only glimpsed her, but she seems lovely…" She opines slowly, slanting her gaze towards the landscape. Still there must be something wrong with her if she is still a widow at such an age, never mind how fair few years Sofya herself is from such an age. Ahem. Inigo's slight smile is met with a somewhat wry angle of her brow. As if she'd forget after all these years, really. "Simple politics, possibly."
"I spoke with her a moment a few mornings ago and nothing stood out immediately that she was anything but a Lady…" Still, yes, there must be something wrong with her. It goes unsaid, but it's the obvious end to that sentence. Inigo does not remark on Sofya's age. It's different, after all. "Possibly."
"No doubt she is very much a Lady." All ladies are such, Inigo. Still. "I have seen your own Lady sisters and I very much doubt that the most do not ascribe to such a regimen," Sofya notes. It is different. "A den of politics, then. I missed the Riverlands," she says softly.
"Well if she wasn't it would be easy to see why she is still unmarried." So was his point, anyway. "It is the way of things," Inigo says casually of Ladies and marriages, which he can do because he doesn't have an impending one of those hanging of his head…yet. "Is anywhere not a den of politics?" He huffs a quiet laugh.
"I am sure the stables manages to escape it most of the time," Sofya suggests with a smile. "The horses don't care much for it." Horses being as they are. "Nowhere that I have seen."
"Perhaps you should hide away in the stables, then," Inigo suggests with a curve of a smile. He is clearly not serious.
"Keep myself away from politics? A wise idea, my Lord," Sofya agrees, eyes bright as she takes a step backward. Which, if one were not aware of their surrounds might be a dangerous thing to do up on the terrace walkway. "In fact…I think I'll go and do that presently."
Inigo does admittedly look a bit concerned as she takes a step backwards. Try not to fall to your death, okay? "I am beginning to think you like those horses more than myself," he remarks with a lift of his brows and an attempt to hide a smile.
Sofya seems unconcerned about her potential demise, following that first with a second before she pasuses. No falling to her death today. "Yours does have rather fetching brown eyes and a fine personality, my Lord," she muses, tapping the corner of her smile with an index finger. Hrm. Those words couldn't be used to describe anyone else of course. "Do you require my company? Oh! I've arranged for a tray to be sent up to your room, when you're ready."
"Yes, mine does." Inigo laughs quietly, not bothering to hide a smile this time. He makes a dismissive gesture and shakes his head. "No, you are free to seek shelter in those politic-less stables as you wish, surrounded by all those big, gooey brown eyes. I will be retiring soon myself, at any rate." He nods his head in thanks.
The returning grin to his lapsing smile is bright, all teeth and eyes and genuine warmth. "I think I'll actually retire to finish some needlework," Sofya admits with a chuckle. The horses are for tomorrow, she'll find herself a nice sunny alcove and pick away at his surcoat. He'll be able to find her if he needs. Dipping her head slightly, she withdraws and dances down the stairs with a quick footed ease.