|Summary:||The Nayland siblings get together to talk about rumors, and squelching them.|
|Related Logs:||Treason to the House|
|A standard room in Tordane Tower. A poster of Riordan's horse hangs on the wall|
|May 9th 289 A.L.|
A message was verbally delivered to Rutger this morning, asking him to visit the Regent in his chambers at his earliest convenience. When he arrives, he is let in immediately. Inside, Riordan and Roslyn are already there. Riordan is sitting at the table, studying a number of papers strewn out before him, while conversing with his sister. "…Until after the Lady Rosanna's nameday celebration. I doubt she would have forgiven me for missing it, anyhow, as it will be hosted beneath my roof. Besides, it would probably have looked suspicious otherwise."
Clad in a bright emerald green against pale skin and dark curls that are hanging freely down her back at the moment, Roslyn has no such work spread out in front of her. Her hands are tucked together in her lap, a small, approving smile gracing her lips as she nods to her brother. "Good. There will not be many there, but for the Naylands and the Groves. It does matter what they think, however," she replies softly.
Normally the Lord Nayland would be back home in the Mire attending to things for his father by now. But circumstances have kept him lingering here in Stonebridge. Needless to say he does not seem pleased to have been summoned around like a dog. Still there is no knock the door when he shows. He simply comes in without much announcement or fanfare-the small piece of parchment held in his hand. "I assume this is important." Rutger notes dryly. "You'd not believe the inane summonses I have followed recently." However the bit of conversation heard has him raising a brow, though not directly asking what they are talking about.
Seeming about to speak further, Riordan looks up as Rutger enters. He does not seem bothered by the way his brother arrives, simply inclines his head. Finishing jotting down a few more lines on the paper he was working on, he says, "Well, I had meant it to be more invitation then summons, brother. I meant no offense." Putting quill and paper down for now, Riordan rises, facing his brother with hands folded behind his back. Once he is assured that the three of them are alone, he continues. "I would wish for you to remain for Stonebridge a bit longer, and see to things in my absence. Roslyn and I will be departing for the Roost after Lady Rosanna's celebration. Either that night, or the morning after, we've not yet decided."
Roslyn looks up at her brother as he enters, smile widening for Rutger as she stands as well with a whisper of skirts. "I had thought it likely you would stay for the small party I am throwing for the Lady Rosanna, and we must discuss later what you plan to get the lady for her nameday," she adds to Riordan's words. She glances from one brother to the other before questioning, "The same as what you were mentioning yesterday, Ruts?"
"That indeed is keeping me here. I've not made a move to leave yet, as I think it would reflect poorly on our courtship, should I flee at her nameday." Rutger admits with a faint grin. "The very same, which is why I am glad that I do get to see both of you, so that I can be more open than I was, then Lyn." he states before moving to find himself something to drink. He turns his head for a second, looking over his shoulder back to Riordan. "Leaving me the bridge? Not afraid I will bar the gates on your return?" a chuckle there " Why are you headed for the Roost, Riordan?"
"More honest?" Riordan queries, curiously, before smirking lightly at Rutger's further comments. "And you'd be welcome to it, brother. I am singularly sick of Stonebridge. I swear, if I did not have you, and Roslyn, and Rygar around to support me and give me honest advise, the Tower would be rubble by now. That, or Lady Valda would have me dancing to a jig anytime she felt like whistling." Despite his amused expression, Riordan nonetheless speaks with a certain earnestness. And then, in answer to his question, "Publicly, it is to oversee the first transport of our gift of food to the Roost, and establish possible future shipments with Lord Jerold, as I had meant to do before the whole Bastard debacle began." Holding his brother's gaze, he continues, in a slightly quieter tone, "Privately, Father has granted me the official right to speak with his voice as his envoy, in matters of forging alliances. Lady Anais and I believe we can end this feud, ally House Terrick into supporting our house's claim to Stonebridge, and herald the beginning of a unified Cape. If we can move quickly and concisely, the foundation can be in place for the Old Fish to see before he can make any decision, and Danae's claim will be for nought." He glances, then, to his sister, adding, "Remind me, I still need to pick out something for the Lady Rosanna. I've no idea what to get her."
"Or knowing that if you bar the gates to him, you will bar the gates to me, my dear," Roslyn murmurs with a hint of dry humor to her words as her brows lift slightly. It is a soft, teasing challenge, not truly believing that he would shut the gates on her. She adds, for Rutger's benefit, "We mean to make it a marriage alliance, as well."
"And you are seeking to gift the Lady I am courting? Trying to steal her from under my nose, Riordan? If so, I shall slap you with a glove, and we can duel in the square with our shirts open." The elder says with a bit of an amused look. Finally finding the wine- he sets to pouring himself a cup. There is a brief nod there as he listens back towards his brother. "mm A Unified Cape is a fine dream Ser. Though I wish you well in your endeavor-Jerold Terrick is a hard old bastard. I doubt he will easily accept the hand of friendship we offer." But that is more or a personal opinion.
"As for Stonebridge- give it me, and I'll see it run well." he states before there is a faint shrug given the rest of the words. "I would never bar you Lyn. I would have the men throw out a ladder made of silk for you to climb." A grin there before he takes a sip. "Speaking of Lady Valda, brother. She is seeking to undo your hold here." He lets that sit there. "And turn me against you."
Though that bit of news does have brows peek up. "Who will you marry, Lyn? I thought their Lord was fully married off."
"The Lady Rosanna strikes me as a woman who expects gifts from everyone on her nameday, regardless of who is courting whom, and may the Stranger pity the soul of any who does not," Riordan says with a return chuckle, though the smile he gives is a warm one. "Maybe, but there are those in his house who, perhaps surprisingly, believe it will work. First, because of Terrick's views of the laws, and of honor, and of the Gods. Whatever Blackwood may opine regarding the Duel, Terrick will hold true to the fact that Trial by Combat is a sacred rite not to be discounted. More then that, though, I think he can be persuaded by the simple fact that Danae shows no inclination to bend the knee to the Roost. And why should she? They can offer her little against our House. But if he allies with us, he ensures prosperity for those sworn to him, and in return we can show the possibility of peace to the Old Fish. And Terrick still has a few talented men-at-arms and knights at his disposal, should it ever come to open confrontation."
As for the matter of Stonebridge, that actually has him studying his brother for a moment in silence. And he asks, very softly, "Stonebridge is not mine to give. I might be able to put you in a position to receive it, if you truly desire it. But you would not be able to marry the Lady Rosanna. Is that a trade you can make?" It's not a threat, or an offer of trade. It is a simple, truthful query.
The comment about Valda though, draws a furrowing of his brow, and a tightness to his lips. There is little of surprise in his eyes, but of annoyance, there is plenty. "What has she done?" he asks, simply, softly.
Roslyn laughs at her brother's response, nodding with a teasingly solemn air as she answers, "I suppose a silk ladder will do for a lady." She pauses, looking from one to the other before answering, "Riordan has suggested his third son, the one who stands to inherit if no child comes of the Lady Anais's marriage." But then as the conversation turns to Lady Valda, she falls silent to listen.
Rutger lets lose a bark of laughter. 'Brother, I must get better at my sarcasm. I'd not have this place for the world. Rather, I would like to keep my place as heir over the Mire. Which I suggest we push our Father to separate. It would need to come from you-though." he says plainly. "Believe it or not, I would not have us keep either Tordane as a happy vassal, if it means we are pitted against one another by Lady Valda." A pause there. "Nor could I imagine what power she would try to wield had she a male heir to place over us." And there he rubs his jaw for a second.
"Brother, She summoned me to a secret meeting in her chambers yesterday in order to name you a traitor to our family- and then ride at haste to have me convince Father of your treason and oust you here." A pause there. "Now, we make agree on this one thing right now- I believe you have been a complete fool, and a fucking idiot concerning this recent scandal. But" and Rutger holds up a hand. "You are Lord Regent here, and Father saw some purpose for placing you here. That being said, and all the advantageous makings of your mistake aside. I would never do that." A sip of his wine. "And whomever I believe leads Stonebridge would do well to settle Lady Tordane in a manner that she remembers-she is our Vassal. Not our ruling hand."
A glance to Roslyn. "A wise match. It'd be good for you."
Riordan actually seems a bit surprised at Rutger's response, though he does let loose a chuckle of his own. "Ah well. I suppose I can't get rid of this position as easily as all that. Though, speaking of your possible betrothal brother," Riordan begins to say, his smile fading a bit as he turns to a serious and delicate matter. "How open would you be to the possibility of another suit? I know you like the Lady Rosanna, and the possibility both her and her family represent… but if by some miracle, I can actually convince Terrick to agree to all this, and top it off with a still more miraculous miracle and get him to agree to two marriage alliances, parting with his beloved daughter… well." He takes a breath, continuing to hold Rutger's gaze as he says, "I doubt he'd give her to Rafferdy, and Raymond is still in Highgarden, and doesnt seem likely to quit that place anytime soon. And as Lady Isolde is like to be trothed to me… that would leave you." He pauses, before adding to the idea, "It could save us all, and ensure our family's dominance in the Cape. And with both bloodlines mixed, the feud would finally come to an end."
And then, while waiting for his brother to mull that over, he turns to consider the other issue on the table. "Lady Valda… I will need to do something about her. It is possible she was testing us… but the truth is I do not care. I've a mind to strip her of her position and send her to a motherhouse, but I doubt the Septas would forgive me." He grunts a chuckle, and then falls silent, considering.
"We must speak to father on her, as Rutger said. Sending her away would be easiest, but perhaps just stripping her position would make her remember that she is, yes, not ruling us," Roslyn murmurs quietly, a look shot towards Rutger. Perhaps, if they were in different company, she would simply agree, but instead she says with a dry twist of words, "A man that is seven years my junior? I am sure it will be a great match, for our family."
"I have several prospects, brother." He offers with a faint grin before there is a shake of his head. "I think there are several ways to handle this. but We do need to either move her out of the way or put her in her place. As long as Isolde is unmarried Valda will fuck us in the ass if she thinks it benefits her house. Just because she went with us over the Terricks doesn't mean she won't seek to do more harm to us." Rutger states before he is looking back with a sigh.
Though the other idea does cause Rutger to frown. "My brother, as long as rumors persist about my being a murderer of my late wife any Lord will be loathe to send their daughter to me. I am trying with Lady Rosanna, as she at least sees some part of me that is not inherently evil. So we must try to commit Lord Kittridge to that view as well."
More wine and Rutger looks over towards Roslyn, grinning from the rim of his drink. "Well, you could teach him to read and put on his boots. Some marriages have been based on worse."
"The good news is, we truly do not need her to marry Isolde. Strictly speaking, as the Father of her late husband, Father now has Isolde under his care," Riordan says, nodding slowly. "The truth is, the Lady Valda has been kept around because she has proven useful, and because she knows Stonebridge so well. But a good Castellan is not so hard to find as all that. " He considers, thoughtfully, as he turns back to regard his siblings. "If she can still be useful, and made to comply, then she may stay for now. Otherwise, she is gone. So, I would appreciate suggestions on putting her in her place - anything I can think of is likely heavy handed and will merely seek to alienate her further."
As Riordan waits to here the opinions of his trusted siblings, he glances over at Roslyn, saying, "Lord Justin is expected to be in Stonebridge today. He will likely be remaining until we all leave for the Roost. So at least speak to him, before you judge a relationship that has not yet even been made certain, sister. Please. Give it a chance. I will not have you unhappy, but we do need an alliance. And if I must try to marry Rygar's sister to him - oh, our Cousin Jocelyn is now residing in the tower by the by - then so be it. But it would be better that these alliances are made from the main branch of the families."
And then, turning to Rutger, he says, "You are heir to the Mire, brother, and that means much. So long as you are open to the possibility, that is what is important. I doubt Terrick will consent to any union with Lucienne, but who knows. Perhaps Rafferdy will grow on him." The thought of their brother has his brows furrowing, though, anger suddenly entering into Riordan's visage. "Do you know what our brother has done? Apparently, he thought it a good idea to spread rumors, and to Lord Blackwood no less, about how Rowenna was fucked every way to Sunday by Tordane's Bastard." His ire suddenly ignited, he fails to apologize to his sister for his vulgar language. Likely he will when the moment passes. He always does.
"Better at least, that he is the one with two boots to tie. Surely that will make the lessons go much longer," Roslyn answers with the same touch of humor, though a smile slips onto her lips despite her words. "You know I shall, Riordan. I shall speak with him and get his measure, and marry him no matter what I find, if it is what is needed." She reaches to pat Riordan's hand reassuringly, before turning her attention back to the added conversation with a sharp flicker of anger in her wide eyes. "You have got to be—Why the hell would Rafferdy say such things in a public forum about Rowenna?"
"I am, and for that I do know." he states plainly before he moves to find a chair to draw out and sit, so as to keep his eyes focused on both brother and sister. "As for Lady Valda, I would send her to stay with Father for a while, and move Isolde as well. If anything to be careful for whatever upheaval might come." A sniff there. "She'd eat herself with worry which is a fine torture of itself." And then he is looking to his wine glass. "Indeed, I am, till Isolde produces a male." And perhaps that won't even stop Rutger. Still he swish his cup around, fascinated there. " We may try it, though I cannot see him parting his youngest to a Frey avowed monster."
That said eyes slide up to the last part and there his cup drops. Still Rutger doesn't apologize for any damage or spilled wine. The look on his face would state, that like a badger he simply does not give a fuck.
"Not directly, of course, or I'd have strung him up by his ba… privates before now," Riordan says, in response to his sister. Looking to both Rutger and Roslyn, anger on the subject still plain in him, the Regent just shakes his head sharply. "But yes, it's true. According to Rafferdy, he has many contacts. The benefit of being a spy for father these last… nine years, or something." He waves that thought away irritably with his hand, as he continues. "Which apparently made him believe that he knew what he was doing, so he could sell what little honor Rowenna has left to her name so that he could assault the honor of a dead bastard who died honorless after losing a trial by combat. You would think that Tordane's Bastard having been convicted by the Seven for high treason would have been enough. But apparently not. And apparently I am utterly short sighted for not agreeing with him."
Attempting to control himself and return to other subjects, Riordan gives a short not. "I'll do that," he says, simply, in response to Valda. "I'll need your help on how to word this all to father. I'd prefer my words to him not come out petty and spiteful. Although it is nothing short of what the woman deserves." And that is about as much control as Riordan can keep for now, as he moves to get a cup of wine for himself, utterly ignoring the one Rutger spilt.
Roslyn only draws her skirts back at that spill of wine, not even dropping her gaze to check if any made it to the hem of bright emerald silk. Instead, she grits tightly through teeth, "We must make it clear to Rafferdy that he must stop any such rumors now. If he can surpress them, having spread them, all the better. We will not have people talking of Rowenna and the dead bastard as well as her living one." She takes a slow breath, looking for a moment to the wine, but as it is not watered, she does not take it yet.
"We must make it abundantly clear, that if he keeps talking-despite my love for him I will fucking rip out his throat." Rutger states as he shifts in his seat. "I do not like this." the elder Nayland states as he brings his hand up to rub the bridge of his nose. "It's as if we're stabbing ourselves in the foot over every fucking, little thing.."
"It might be best if you talk to him, sister," Riordan says, grunting. "I'm with Rutger on this, though the fate I dream of for him is worse. I'm liable to make him confess to Rowenna, and then lock them in a room together. Let us see how righteous with his convictions he is when faced with the victim of his lies." Letting out a sigh, Riordan takes a long sip from his wineglass, before saying, "You are not wrong brother. We need to stick together. We can hold Stonebridge, but not while we fight amongst ourselves, or scheme against the others. That is why I wanted to be honest about my intents." He pauses, before saying, "I would ask you do not speak of my plans for now, however. Valda and Rygar both know of my intent, or some of it, but not how soon I wish to enact it. Ser Rygar did, however, suggest also forging alliances with Haigh and Erenford. Perhaps you could make subtle overtures while I am gone? We can sit down with their representatives when I return and hammer out the details." And then, he adds one last thing, "Oh, and Father does not yet know exactly what alliances I am seeking out. I've no wish to hide it from him, but I did not want to trust the specifics to the written word. If all goes well, I plan on bringing the Lady Anais with me to the Mire once I'm done at the Roost, and we can get his agreement to all this. I've little doubt he will, in the end, even if he might rage a bit. For all his hatred of Terrick, our father will do anything to see the Stonebridge remain firmly in his hand. In our family's hand."
"I will speak with him," Roslyn replies simply, though by the slight emphasis on the word and anger still lingering in her tones. "It will likely go better if it is me, yes, than yelling or threats to his person."
Rutger is still quiet, having not moved to retrieve his cup or see to the wine. After all, servants are to be used for that. Still he just remains seated, before finally shaking his head after a moment. "Yes.." And with that he slowly rises with a sigh. "I'll make sure that everything goes smoothly, while you are away. And hopefully we can navigate through both of the obstacles. A gods damned mess." the eldest Nayland states before he is looking to the other two. "Anything else?"
"No. I'll speak to the Lady Valda, and deal with her before I leave. Please write our father with what she told you, so he knows why we are burdening him with her presence. It might also be best if she not be allowed direct contact with the Lady Isolde from now on. She may try to do something stupid just to prove a point." What Riordan fears that to be, though, he does not go into detail. He simply offers his brother a tired smile, and says, "And thank you, brother. For everything. Truly, your support means a great deal to me, as does your advice."
Rising from her own seat, Roslyn touches her fingertips to Rutger's arm as well in a thankful gesture before drawing away with a nod to both brothers. "I'd rather not delay any meeting with Rafferdy. Perhaps it is time to insist he stays with us in the Tower, rather than in town," she murmurs quietly. "I shall see you soon." With that she moves to leave, leaving them a private moment to themselves.
There's a brief nod to the gesture from Roslyn, before he is looking as Roslyn escapes, leaving him to focus on his brother. A faint line pursed there as he watches the other man. "I will let our Father know of what she was trying to do without making it come out as petty." He merely says. A sigh there. "Hold strong, brother." Rutger says after bending to grab up the cup, finally.