|Something Like Home|
|Summary:||Jarod crashes at the Darant estate and reunites with Lucienne. They talk on rebuilding and the various ideas they have.|
|Related Logs:||Ironborn invasion/Roost sacking logs in general, none specifically.|
|Guest Room — Darant Estate|
|A nice room.|
|Fri Feb 03, 289|
Jarod took his leave, along with his squire, of the main body of Roost-bound knights traveling to Terrick country when they hit the outskirts of Stonebridge lands. He had business in town and, as evening darkens to night, even that business is concluded. He's not quite home, but the Darant estate has rooms for him which are at least a home away from Roost. Leaving said squire to deal with their horses, he dismounts and makes his entry into the house. Asking after where Lady Lucienne is, it's not long until a servant shows him to where she's keeping herself. He's scruffy, and very dirty, from the road, but he's as hale and hearty as he was when he rode off to Seagard. In body, at least.
Where she's keeping herself is a modest little room, shared with her two handmaids (one the dark-haired Celine and the other Ser Hardwicke's radiant new wife). Currently, she's alone here whilst the girls draw a bath or see to some other errand, and the little Terrick lady leaps to her feet upon the sight of her travel-dusted brother. She had been stirring tea with a spoon, but metal clatters against the glazed teacup as she abandons it to rush over and meet him, gushing, "Oh, Jarod, you're safe!"
"Little Luci!" Jarod bounds to catch her in a bear hug of an embrace, which turns to picking her up and swinging her around. He could use a bath himself. Not that he seems to think too much about it. "Of course I'm safe. Didn't think the reavers were a match for me, did you? You wound me, little sister." He laughs and beams. "Feels good to be back on Terrick soil again."
Lucienne grins, wrapping her arms about her brother as he swings her around and squeaking delightedly. This is becoming quite the homecoming ritual, isn't it? "I am so glad you're back," she says, her eyes all a-sparkle as he sets her back down. "Was it awful? I heard about Lord Jason, Jarod. I still can't believe it."
Jarod kisses Lucienne's cheek roughly as he sets her down. His smile has faded by the time he's looking her in the face, however. Green eyes somber at mention of Jason Mallister. "It was…" He breaks from her, a little, to sit down. "…he seemed invicible, Luci. I never quite got over seeing him the way I did when I was a boy of fifteen. Strong and bold and as fine a knight as any man in Westeros. Died like a knight, at least. He took single-combat with the Greyjoy. It was a near thing, though Lord Mallister was felled in the end. Well. We avenged him on the field that day, at least that can be said."
Something flashes in those sparkly dark eyes of hers, but it's brief and then it's gone, and Lucienne sends a look back over to her tea as Jarod sits. She elects to stay closeby, though, rather than fetch a drink, and settles in the space beside her brother. I suppose they're sitting on the bed. "Oh," she says, quietly. "That's… he was always so kind to me. I'm sure he did the Riverlands proud that day."
"Not that he'll be properly avenged until Rodrik Greyjoy lies dead. And Maron Greyjoy along with him, for all he did to the Roost. I hope Good King Robert mounts the lot of their heads on pikes, slaying every last of Greyjoy blood from this world." Jarod clears his throat uncomfortably after saying all that, shrugging at Lucienne. "Sorry, Luci, that's not…sorry. We made it through the battle all right, most of us. Our lord father and Ser Hardwicke, and Rowan and Ser Hollister. And that hedge knight Ser Kell, who did us good turns during the siege. And Lord Patrek, though I'm sure his own safety is cold comfort to him now. Poor boy."
Well, those are rather confronting thoughts, but Lucienne handles them better than she might have a few years prior, pressing her lips thin and stretching over to offer another hug. "It's alright. I - I'm sure the King will see justice done," she says, nodding idly along with the words. "I'm just glad that you're safe. That father is safe, and the Sers. And Row, Seven bless. And what now, then? Are you staying here?"
Jarod leans into Lucienne's hug. It's doesn't quite relax the tension in him, but he takes comfort in it. "I want to kill them all myself, Luci. The Greyjoys. The Harlaws. I pray it's about justice not vengeance but I…" He clears his throat. "The town, the countryside, all the people we've lost…" He sighs. "It'll be all right, though. We'll make it all right." He sounds more like he's trying to convince himself than anything else. "I'm bound for Four Eagles tomorrow. Though I'll probably come back here for a bit after. I like it here, Luci. It's…peaceful's the wrong word, I guess, with all that's happened but it's…it feels a little more…I was never quite sure how well I fit in my place at the tower sometimes. Feels different here, somehow. And I'm still doing our lord father's work."
"Justice," repeats Lucienne softly. "Vengeance. Maybe they aren't so different, those two?" She squeezes her embrace a little tighter about Jarod, and echoes his sigh, her chest heaving with the effort. "No, I understand. It is nice here. Truth be told, I'm not sure where I really fit at home anymore, either. Anais is there now, and I…" That thought is quickly abandoned, and Luci edits back to: "It's nice to be here. The town… it's awful. It's so awful, Jarod."
"Maybe not." Jarod doesn't sound particularly happy about that conclusion, as to justice and vengeance, but he agrees. He puts his head on her shoulder. "Maybe that's how Jaremy felt. Or part of how he felt. Like he had to be…someone for someone else all the time in the Roost. The dutiful son, the fair lord brother, the picturebook knight. I almost think…I think he can be happy on the Wall, Luci. Half the folk I've talked on it with think he'll just run away but…I think he can, if he pours himself into it." Though he sounds a little sad. "I do wish he were here now, Luci. Fool that he sometimes was, he was a beautiful fool. And he loved this land. It'll take so much, so much to rebuild."
Luci rests her sheek against Jarod's head, and smiles a soft, sad little expression. "He would have fought so bravely," she adds to that wistful wish for their brother's continued presence. "And he would've been so good with the smallfolk. He was always so good with the smallfolk." She sighs a soft breath out hr nostrils, her dark lashes falling closed. "Sometimes I don't miss him at all," she admits, "And other times I miss him so terribly that I might explode. I don't know how we're to do this without him. I don't know how we'd have done it even if he were here, Jarod. It's such a mess."
"Aye. It's all just…such a mess." Jarod can't come up with a better way to say it than that. "I'm worried about our lord father, Luci. He looked so…old at Seagard. Older than I've ever seen him look. So tired. He's always seemed so strong…and Lord Patrek's leaning on him so much…I want to help him, but there's so much to do I barely know where to start with it."
"I think… we need money, for the rebuilding," explains Lucienne, gentle but concerned. "But before that, they need food, Jarod. Supplies are running so short, but everything costs four times as much as it used to, and I just… I hope there might be something to be gained in Stonebridge. Even if the King snubs Ser Gedeon, perhaps we might find some other house to treat with - we've land, we've that big ugly boat, we've several of us yet unwed."
"I got an axe off an Ironborn lord. It's castle-forged. I can sell it for a bit of silver in Stonebridge." Not that Jarod sounds like he considers that any sort of contribution. He straightens up a little, though he still keeps an arm around his sister's shoulders. Hugs fix things. "Did you know, Luci, that we've not even gotten Ser Gedeon's firm commitment that he'll swear to us when he gains Stonebridge? We've promises, but nothing signed and sealed. So…we've got about as much as we did when Lady Isolde promised she'd marry Jaremy."
Hugs are comforting, at least, but Lucienne looks grimly up at Jarod. "I didn't know that," she says with a shake of her head, her shoulders sinking as she exhales. "Gods, Jarod. I… I mentioned approaching the Freys to Jacsen, but he overturned that idea. I still want to speak with the ladies Igara and Lorna, while we're close. I just… I just don't know what to do. I just don't know what else I can do."
"I spoke to him at Seagard, and just today in Stonebridge, about it. Ser Gedeon, I mean," Jarod says. "He says he'll do it. Give us a promise in writing." And Jarod sounds, though pensive, as if he believes that'll happen. "Even diminished as we are, this is hardly the time for him to start pissing off what few allies he has. He's got some business to take care of in town in the morning, but he says he'll ride with Rowan and I when we head to Four Eagles. Get it done." As for the Freys, he shrugs. "The Freys always come out the better in any bargain, even if the one they're bargaining with doesn't know it. Still. Might be worth looking at…I don't know, investments?" He sounds unsure if the term is right. "Even from the Twins. From everyone. We haven't any money, but Terrick land is still fertile, and we've still hands to work it. If we can hang on through a few lean years, we'll regain something of what we were, perhaps even finish the docks. Maybe we can bargain with…trade concessions, generous breaks on tariffs, marriage pacts…anything we've left to bargain with."
Lucienne is quiet for a long moment, mulling over these shared thoughts. When she speaks again, it's with some dark, half-hearted humour that she says, "At least you won't have to worry about Lord Anton anymore. I highly doubt he'll want my hand so desperately when it doesn't come with the promise of his stone castle walls as well."
"You can do better, Luci," Jarod says. "You're still the jewel of House Terrick. That still means something. We've…" He shrugs. "…well, you and our brothers have a good name. That matters. It's a strong foundation. I just…I hope I can do something for Lord Jerold. He needs us very much right now, I think. I wonder if Lord Patrek'll ask him to stay at Seagard. He'll need a regent but…the Roost needs him, Luci. I figure he might need it, too. Need to be home now, after all that's happened."
"You're kind to say so, Jarod," replies his sister, her smile warming a touch. It quickly pales as the conversation steers back to their father, though. "I… my lady mother is with child, I would hope he wouldn't accept to reside in Seagard just now. Surely… surely not? I understand, about Patrek, but… he could squire with us, at least until the baby comes, couldn't he?"
"He's the Lord of Seagard now, Luci. I fear squiring may be one of many things he'll have to put aside," Jarod says. "I just…he's only a boy, and I hope too many of his duties don't fall too heavy on Lord Jerold. You think there's anything we could to do…help? We could, I was thinking, try and deal with the refugees still in Stonebridge. It's a small thing but, I mean, it's something we could do, aye?"
"Oh," says Lucienne, disappointedly. She pauses for awhile, gathering her thoughts, before nodding. "We could do that. I had hoped to do that - find them something useful to occupy them, help them assess the damage to their homes and see if we can't see them back there safely. Do you have any other ideas, for these people of ours?"
"You thinking of something else, Luci?" Jarod asks of his sister. Though before he waits for an answer he replies, "There might not be much for many of them to go back to. The Ironborn had the countryside to raid at their pleasure for many weeks, and it'll be less secure out there than it once was. Not only with the scattered reavers that're still left, but outlaws'll find it easier country than they once did to prey on. Still, we should do that. Help them assess the damage, and reclaim what they can. I was thinking some of them might be resettled on Lady Isemay's land." He adds quick, "Not all of them, certainly. Doubt she has the means to provide for them. But this place was relatively untouched by the raiding, and working here on her vineyards they'd still be doing labor for the Terricks, just in a different fashion. For the short term she might be able to keep them better than we can, and perhaps more smallfolk'll yield more profit from vineyards, or be able to grow more other sorts of crops here."
Lucienne is quick to shake her head no, for she has no clue. Jarod's idea is met with an enthusiastic nod, though, and wide, hopeful eyes. "Yes, yes! That's a wonderful idea. I can speak to Lady Isemay, or would you rather? The more we can find places for, the better. They can't just continue camping outside Stonebridge, the poor people."
Jarod looks up at Lucienne with a half-surprised grin. He had an idea! And somebody said it wasn't bad. "If you could, that might be best. You've more an idea of household management and that sort of thing than I. Might have a better idea of what she needs. We've skilled tradesmen who were displaced as well as farmhands, and they may be keen to up shop a stone's throw from Stonebridge. The army would have more than enough work for the others, for the moment. I don't mean as soldiers but…cooks, folks to haul supplies, fix wagons and tend horses and do laundry and carry the wounded from the field. Trouble with that is, the best for that sort of life are able-bodied men, and that might just take hands away from the rebuilding effort. Still, it's a place some can go if there's nowhere else."
Not only did she say it wasn't bad, she said it was wonderful. "Alright, I can do that. What a good idea, Jarod. That war galley might fetch a nice price before the fleet sails to the Isles, too, don't you think? I know it was part of Lady Anais' dowry, and we've only just got it… but right now, we don't need it, like Seagard or further south might. It can't hurt to enquire?" Lucienne shrugs one shoulder, inviting opinion.
"Aye, it might, especially with the Mallister and so much of the Westerlands fleets destroyed," Jarod says. "Plan was for Ser Aeric to help us train men to man it, but we'll have to focus on other matters at present. And who knows if Lord Patrek may have other duties for his cousin, though I do hope Ser Aeric stays near to help our service in some regard. He's a fine knight, if not a conventional one. I think it's a grand idea, Luci. It's one of the few things of real value we have left that won't beggar us to sell."
Lucienne is most relieved to have her thoughts recieved well, and she lets out a loud sigh. "Oh, good. Well, maybe you should put that to Jacsen, when you're home tomorrow? If we wait until after the war, its value will drop dramatically. It's something we ought consider and act on quickly, I think." She offers another squeezy hug, buoyed by their shared problem-solving ideas. "I'm so glad you're safe, Jarod. And I'm so glad you're here."
"Jace and Anais. She'll have a good deal of say in matters of the galley, since it was part of her dowry," Jarod says. "I'm glad I am, too, Luci. I…I know everything's a mess right now but, I don't know. I feel…better about many things of late than I have for awhile. And like I can do better for them, if that makes any sense." He doesn't really seem to expect it to, though he does smile as he says it, and returns the hug. "But, aye, we'll all have a good deal to talk on. I'm glad to be back, Luci."
"Tread carefully," warns Lucienne, quite serious for a beat. "With Jacsen, and his wife. I think all this… it's weighing on him, not being able to ride with you all." She nods blankly for that explanation (which really didn't make any sense, sorry Jarod) and returns her brother's smile. "We should have some wine. Down in the little hall, with whoever's about. After a bath, mayhaps?"
"Bath'd do well right now," Jarod says, taking the gentle nudge that he needs to dunk himself and standing. "Jace is smart. And practical. Can't think of a better young lord than him right now, with father so occupied. It's strength of a different sort that's needed for the rebuilding projects, after all. Anyhow, wine and dinner sounds grand. I'll see if Rowan's settled the horses before I wash, see if he wants to join us. It's…we'll figure it out, Luci. The Roost. All of it. Somehow."
"We'll figure it out," echoes Luci, bobbing her head, reassured. "Go, then. I'll see you in a little bit." For her part, she's got cold tea to dispose of.