Page 268: Somewhere Between Celebration and Loss
Somewhere Between Celebration and Loss
Summary: The Riverlands knights find themselves in this not-quite-merry place as the Pyke falls.
Date: 12/04/289
Related Logs: The Kraken's Last Stand
Bruce Jarod Riordan Rutger Rygar 
The Pyke
Knights. Camp. An increasingly-surrendered Castle Pyke.
Thu Apr 12, 289

The Army camp is a strange place right now. Some, even many of the men, are merry and celibratory. They can see the end in sight. For others, though, friends have been lost, or wounds ache and fester in pain. Stuck squarely in the middle of both sides is Ser Bruce, in the centre of the Rivermen's area. As he sits outside the "knight's" tent, where senior men of all contingents usually meet and take meals, he sharpens his blade by the fire. His armour lays next to him in a large leather satchel.

Rygar is also out of armor, although unlike many others about the camp, he remains fully dressed in the manner befitting a gentleman, knightly broadsword belted at his waist, and every button of the collar and cuffs secured. the edge of bandaging over the stitches at his neck peek above the white shirt's tall collar, his familiar chain settled on the knight's shoulders. "Ser Longbough," he greets the Captain evenly.

Bruce rises from his seat out of respect and dips his head at Rygar. "Ser Rygar. I'm happy to see you out and about, after last night. That was no mean fight." Seemingly done with it, or at least for the purposes of being polite, Bruce puts his sword back in its scabbard.

Jarod is not among those celebrating. At least, he's not presently engaged in any open show of merriment as he approaches the knight's tent. He is, at least, likewise out of his armor, which he's exchanged for a green tunic and dark trousers. He still wears his sword, of course. Upon seeing the pair of Nayland knights, common and noble, he offers them a polite, "Sers. You made it through yesterday well, looks like."

"My injuries were not so terrible, Ser," rygar answers Bruce's voiced relief. "the count of our levies slain is one dozen. The rest shall survive." Steep losses considering the committed pikemen numbered only twenty for the leading assault. He turns at the waist, still too stiff necked to stretch his stitched by turning his head, to regard, "Ser Jarod. I am told you have secured a captive of quality."

Bruce smiles gregariously at the half common, half noble knight who approaches. "Ser Jarod. We made it out alive. The men performed… well, they performed like men possessed. No armour, really, no shields. Just spears. And they fought the retainers and the elite guard of the Greyjoys to a bloody end, and they paid the price. I'm very proud of them. I heard you knighted Ser Rowan, as well. Well deserved. I'm doing the same for Amos, my brother's boy. We'll see if Erik sends him back here after or not." He chuckles. On news of Jarod's captive, Bruce seems to have been oblivious. He arches his eyebrow, simply, and swings his head over.

Jarod winces at the count of the dead from Rygar, inclining his head slight. "All who the men who stood at the Pyke'll be remembered with honors. All men mattered yesterday." A nod, as to the captive. "Aye. I managed to take Ser Harras Harlaw to a yield. The healers say he'll live. I'm glad enough of it. Seven hells of a knight that one, squid or no." Bruce's praise for Rowan earns a grin. "Kept thinking soon as we set foot on these isles I should've done it after Seagard, on River soil. Well, the lad's been working for it long enough, and none can say he hasn't held his own on the field throughout all this. Best to get it done. It's well deserved for your Amos as well. You figure he'll go into service for Stonebridge, once we're back home?"

"They did their duty," Rygar speaks in level praise of the Mire levies who braved the Bloody Keep. "The Harlaws have been honorable foemen, though committed to a treasonous course. I would that I could say the same of our allies in this struggle, Ser." He begins to nod, inhaling sharply through flared nostrils as his neck reminds him against such movemeny. Indeed. Ser Rowan's conduct has been appropriate to the station of a knight, in this campaign. Moreso than many aleady dubbed and anointed."

"I can hope so. It matters greatly on what my brother thinks. I'm going to talk to him, when I find him in the camp later. He's the Blackwood's Captain of Guard, and he might want Amos to serve with him but… I've kind of been selfish." Bruce smiles thinly, dipping his head down. "I've not trained him ahorse very much. My brother's a horsemen." He chuckles. "Good show on capturing Ser Harras, then. If only they were all knights like him, well, I don't think that they would have done what they'd done when they were reaving. A man of honour and a worthy opponent. I heard that Prince Rodrik fell, too." For Rygar's words, he simply nods and keeps his peace.

"I'll tell Rowan you said so, Ser, if I see him before you do," Jarod says to Rygar. "He values your opinion on matters of the chivalry quite high." For Ser Harras, he nods. "Wasn't his men who had any part in the ravaging of the Roost. Only head I wanted to take for that was Maron Greyjoy's. Didn't even see him on the field. Any further word on what became of him? I heard he was in the lower quarter, but not counted among the dead." As for Rodrik, "Aye. Fought like a damn maelstrom, but he fell in the end. Ser Kamron fought him single-handed for a good portion of the battle, though it took more men to fell him in the end. The Pretender Prince could fight, can't deny it."

Rygar breathes "Hrm," simply in lieu of a short nod acknowledging Jarod's initial words. "You may also tell him that Lord Rickart seeks word with his son, Ser." Drawing a fresh breath he answers, "Maron Greyjoy were leading the resistance in the lower keep, but he lacked his brother's determination. He fled as the Ironborn lines broke. As he was not found within the Bloody Tower, it may be presumed he escaped to the next line of defense."

"Well, were I in full harnass, I probably'd be able to take a few more wounds than I do now." Observes Bruce wryly, tapping the leather satchel on the ground with a booted foot. The bag is open, and one can see mail links within. "But, aye, a real warrior. As for his brother Maron - I saw him take some bolts from Lord Rafferdy's own crossbow - and then he wasn't there anymore." He nods at Rygar. "Aye, I didn't see whether he did or didn't. It was very hard to see. I'm surprised none of the Guard hit our men with bolts. Thank the Gods for that."

"He means to speak with Lord Rickart, Ser, soon as he's able. He took a cut from Ser Harras' sword during the melee. Valyrian steel isn't kind to maile. But it was not deep, and I'm told he'll recover well enough." Jarod frowns at the news about Maron Greyjoy. "Perhaps Good King Robert can take his head himself. Do you figure he'll have Balon Greyjoy's? Was treachery, after all, what the Pyke lords did."

"Very good," Rygar notes simply to word that Rowan is expected to recover. Bruce's relief that no rivermen took bolts in the back is echoed with the words, "Indeed, Ser." As to Jarod's inquiry, Rygar draws a long, steady breath through the nose before answering. "It is treason. By law, Balon Greyjoy should die, as ought all men of Greyjoy blood who joined him. Once a man turns traitor, how could his faith be honored ever again?"

Though he's at first somewhat hesitant to speak, Bruce does so anyways after a pause. "No, I don't, Sers." He stops speaking for a moment or two. "What is right is that he should be put to death. It is treason, as you say, Ser Rygar. But he needs a strong man like that to keep the Iron Isles together under the King's Peace. They'll break out into open warfare with themselves and resume raiding, but indivudually, if they don't have a strong leader."

"That is my feeling on it, Ser," Jarod says with a short nod to Rygar. "And a common murderer goes to the gallows. What was done to the River coasts - and the West - is a hundred times that, and it was done at his hand much as his sons. Could give lordship of the Iron Islands over to the Harlaws, or another of the great families. Can't believe we've much to fear from them now for some years yet, save the occasional raid. The islands've been laid low."

"The Isles do not need a strong hand, Ser. They need a loyal one," Rygar opines to Bruce. "If Robert Baratheon spares Baslon Greyjoy, it shall be to his own regret, as a traitor can only ever be trusted to betray. How dire the precedent, that one who rebels against his liege lord is returned to Lordly dignity? A traitor's fate is death, Ser. Or so it was, once."

"I don't think that's how King Robert things, Ser Jarod. I think he would rather go with somebody he knows than a House he does not. That's only the opinion of a common knight, though." Bruce qualifies the statement, lowering his head a bit. "I am in agreeance with you both, Sers. But I just… I think it will not be so."

"Don't know. There's some precedent for it, aye?" Jarod looks between the pair of them, like he's looking for confirmation of this. "The Tyrells were from steward stock, but they were the ones who the Targaryens wanted to rule the Reach after it bent the knee, and it's still whole." He does not dwell on the many differences between the Reach and the Iron Islands. "But aye, Sers. The king'll make peace how he makes it, and like as not ask us if we approve or not." He lets out a breath. "You still got that bottle of wine you talked about drinking on the Pyke, Ser Bruce?"

"Quite clearly I lack any manner of insight into how Robert Baratheon thinks, Ser," Rygar answers Bruce with a short sniff. "Quite, Ser," he voices to Jarod's observations, choosing to let the question lie.

"I hate to say it, Ser Jarod, and I hate to say it in this camp lest I be overheard, but I don't think that the brave King Robert has the mind of Aegon the Conqueror. He's a spectacular soldier, yes, but the rest isn't his strength. He forgives everyone he fights. The people love him for it. Others…" Bruce's voice trails off, though he does smile wanly at Jarod. "Aye, I do. But I figured I'd wait until this really ends. With the surrender. Would you join us for a drink, when that is, Ser Rygar?"

"King Robert Baratheon's a good man." Jarod is quick to jump to the defense of his king. Though, the way he does it makes him catch himself and frown a moment after he says it. He amends, "He's a fierce warrior. He may've pardoned the Royalist lords, but there's no Targaryen breathing today in King's Landing." About the wine, he nods. "Plenty of that honey stuff the Ironborn like so much. Though I'll be glad to get back to lands where proper wine flows again."

Rygar draws his lips into a tight line (even if that line does tug down at the right corner, now) and refrains from further talk of King Robert. "We are warriors, Ser. should the Greyjoys survive this treason, we shall return home and prepare against their next transgression. Should the Greyjoys be rooted out, and a loyal house appointed, we shall return home, and prepare against their next transgression, for the blood of these Isles has shown faith only to the dragons, in the whole of their history."

"Aye. Before King Aegon came across from Dragonstone, our ancestors all fought the men of House Hoare. They ruled from the North to the Reach, and my ancestors too, in between." Bruce is talking about ancient history, but even so he still frowns. "They still tell stories about their depredations, you know. The Blackwood Vale has a long memory. So. I don't doubt that we'll be fighting these men again, some day. Maybe our sons." <re>

Bruce and Jarod are talking by the centre of the Riverlander's camp area, where knights and lords usually gather to congregate and take many of their meals. The food is better here, anyways.

"Suppose my ancestors were ruled by these gods-forsaken islands," Jarod says to Bruce, looking over his shoulder at the three castles of the Pyke. "Was always how I was taught the story, at least. King Aegon came and made the squids bent knee to him, and the Riverlands were free to bend the knee in their own right." An inclination of his head to the departing Ser Rygar. He watches him go before saying to Bruce, "I hope my son, if I'm given such, never knows war like this. But after the Rebellion I thought I'd never see anything like that again. This wasn't, really. Was worse."

"Aye, in many ways it was. But then again, neither of us were in King's Landing, mate." Bruce has dropped some of the formalities with Jarod that he maintains when other people are around, pulling his cloak more tightly over his body. "My son will be ready to fight if they do. I may be a pessimist when I say that I don't think we'll see peace in our lifetimes… who knows. These fools my try their hand again. Or some other threat. Maybe the Free Cities will get together and attack us." He laughs harshly. "It happened once before! In a way, anyways. Come, take a seat."

A thoroughly battered looking Ser Riordan approaches the area. Having spent far too much time abed, he is now quite content to utterly ignore Senna's orders. Moving stiffly through the campsight, he pauses as he spots a familiar looking figure, and slowly approaches Ser Bruce and his companion. Picking up a bit of the conversation as he approaches, Riordan apparently feels utterly free to add in his two coppers. "Not that I ever paid much heed to my studies as a boy, but I am pretty sure Westeros has not known peace since the First Men first set foot here," he points out in a slightly weaker voice then is his usual want - aside from that, though, he still manages a lopsided grin as he stops before the men. "Mind if I join you fine men? I need a good hiding place, and the conversation would be welcoming. No man should be left to his own thoughts overlong It is thoroughly maddening."

"True enough," Jarod agrees soberly, as to King's Landing. "I think about not having gone sometimes. I suppose I could've. Some men rode south with Lord Stark's force after the Trident. Lord Jerold needed men to ride home with our fallen, though, and I took the chance to do it." He does not sound particularly sorry. "Perhaps it will be the Free Cities, though they seem to fight themselves too much to bother with us. Ser Gedeon's told me a little of those lands. Always war, between one tribe or lord or another. Lots of work for a mercenary, but I can't imagine trying to live in such a place. Ser Riordan." The last a greeting, friendly enough, to the Nayland knight. "How fared you in the battle yesterday? Was hard in all quarters, from the tales I've heard."

Bruce dips his head as soon as Riordan approach, though the man would have been able to see the experienced soldier assessing him. "M'lord. Of course, you may. But don't do anything stupid. Mistress Delacourt is better than every Maester I've ever met. When she says something, you do it. And you were badly hurt yesterday." He snorts, smirking. "Trying to sleep on the battlefield." He shrugs at Jarod. "I understand exactly why King's Landing was sacked, but I don't know if I'd had done the same thing. Maybe. I've great respect for Lord Tywin; he knows what he's doing. As for the Free Cities, well… the Ninepenny Kings, and all, right?"

Riordan grunts at Bruce's assessments, particularly the brief one regarding sleeping on the battlefield. It is good naturedly done, however. "Yes, well, I am a terrible patient," he says, simply, with the same grin still on his expression. He slowly lowers himself to sit by the man - very slowly, as event that still has him wincing from the pain radiating from his chest and torso, which is where most of the injuries he sustained rest. "Ser Jarod," Riordan inclines his head easily enough. "Fared well enough, though not as well as I'd have wished. They simply refused to allow me my horse, something about the tunnel being too small." He is joking, of course, that is clear by his expression. "Still, if the Seven had meant for knights to walk, they wouldn't have given us horses." Listening to the conversation at hand, he asks, "If you gentlemen could go to any of the Free Cities, which would it be?"

"Wasn't how I pictured it ending, from the stories that came out of the capitol," Jarod says to Bruce, of King's Landing. "Not sure what I pictured, really. Maybe something like the Trident, King Robert laying Mad Aerys low with his own sword. Never goes like you figure it will, I suppose." He laughs at the bit from Riordan about the horse. "I don't think my courser would've cared much for Pyke corridors. Do miss him on the battlefield, though. As for me, fuck the Free Cities. I don't think there's anything over there I'd like to see. Now give me the Reach, or King's Landing as it is in peace now, or the wild North…far too many fine things in Westeros to need to go farther afield."

Bruce says, "Eh, I walk everywhere and I think I'm better for it, m'lord. But, that's not to see I don't appreciate horsemen. I do. Just you don't win battles without us foot sloggers." He considers Riordan's question for a moment, before venturing with, "Qohor, probably. As silly as it is to say, I've heard they've a group of slave soldiers with iron discipline and training. I want to see how they do that, and what I could learn from them. If not them, then the Norvosi would be who I want to visit." He chuckles at Jarod. "Hey, if you do go down to King's Landing, my brother Erik is a Gold Cloak down there. I'll send him a letter with you."

"Oh, fear not, Ser Bruce, I know that well," Riordan says with a companionable chuckle, and a clap of the hand on Bruce's shoulder. "I daresay after yesterday, however, that we have our places for a reason. I fight best atop a horse, and you rule the ground. With an iron boot, as it were," added this last as he remembers just who started the tradition of kicking him in the side to get him back in position. He grins, however, and then turns thoughtful. "Well, if it were me, I'd choose Lys. I've heard far too many good things. Though, I will admit some curiousity about these Horse Lords, as well. Have you heard of them? Men who wear practically nothing, and ride around on horses their whole life, barely ever walking more then a few feet. Or so I've heard tell. They carry around sickles for swords, of all things." Riordan laughs at the very idea, clearly not giving it much stock. Still, it's a good story.

"Was considering it, before the reavers came," Jarod says to Bruce. "Still might in a year or two. If I do end up on the tourney circuit I'd like to do it before I'm five-and-twenty. Lord Ser Anton said you hit your prime for it about then, and it gets late for it after. There's too much work to do back home now, though. I'll put my hands to it so long as Lord Jerold'll allow me to." As for the East, he shrugs. "Ser Gedeon spent a fair few years across the Narrow Sea after the Trident. Sounded like a cruel land, where war never ends, and there's no lawful king save him with the bigger army on a given day. He did mention girls who ride elephants, though." He crooks a grin. "That'd be a thing to see, I'll grant."

"Aye, I've heard the stories. Men who live on their horses and are light as feathers are not men that I'd be much use in facing as infantry. Lucky the Nayland Guards has taught me the fine art of employing many different weapons. Like crossbows. I would not want to face them, I think." Bruce chuckles harshly. "Ah, well, Lys were I a young man, m'lord. But I'm married with child, and another on the way. Who knows, by the time I'm back maybe Aleks has already given birth. That'd spare me from that." His eyes go wide at Jarod's description. "Elephants! What are those, even? I heard people tell me they're like massive, hairless bears with huge noses."

"Well, I am six and twenty myself, with my nameday only a moon hence," Ser Riordan says with a grin. "I don't feel any less in my prime…" He trails off as he shifts and winces. "Well, I didn't, anyways. Bleeding squids." Grimmacing to himself, he frowns in thought. "And… No, elephants are those tall things with the long necks, aren't they?" Riordan asks, rubbing at his beardlessly youthful face in thought.

"Never seen one, but that's rather what I picture," Jarod says to Bruce. "Sort of like a great, over-grown combination of a bear and a horse. With no hair. And big ears and nose. Ser Gedeon says in some of the Eastern lands they're used like cavalry." He shakes his head. "You'd never get me up on a beast like that. A girl who rides one, though…" He winks. "…her I'd take a turn with."

Bruce's normally sleepy eyes go even wider. "They've got long necks, too? Ye Gods, they must be some fearsome beasts. Ach, Jarod, her legs would probably be forced so wide open every day she'd not be very good. Stretched out like cheesecloth." Bruce jokes with Jarod. "Oh, by the by - I don't have that wine yet. That's waiting for the end. But I do have some of the Greyjoys' stock. I don't know what it is. It's strong, it burns the chest and tastes like some kind of fruit I don't know. It's bloody good." He reaches into the satchel with his mail, pulling out a small skin. "You want some, m'lord? Jarod?"

"Sounds like they'd be tripping over their own heads to be much use in a battle," Riordan points out, before wincing at Bruce's further description. "Anyone ever tell you that you paint far too convincing an image, Ser Bruce?" He chuckles, if a bit weekly, and will accept the wine offer. Tasting it, he frowns in thought. "Not bad. I still prefer Mire brew, but this'll do in a pinch." Nothing quite like the bitter brews made in the Mire. Ah, home. He will then offer Jarod some as he asks both men, "Anyone see anything fine besides the wine? I promised my new ser brother a gift for his annointing."

"I've never been afraid of a girl who's got some miles on her," Jarod says with a shrug. "They know what to do in the saddle, at least, if you take my meaning." He winks, to make his meaning as unsubtle as possible. "Seven hells, sure, I'll try a pull. I found some of what I think is squid peasant homebrew back on Harlaw. If that didn't blind me, nothing will." He takes the skin from Riordan when it's offered. "Rowan prefers whiskey to wine, if you're considering drink. Lad could use a shield more than anything else, or funds for a finer breastplate. He's geared himself decently, but it's out of money he's saved himself, so it's got a patchy quality to it." He sniffs the skin, then shrugs and gulps. He does not immediately go blind.

"Aleks's brother Ryon didn't show much inclination for taking up the sword like their father, but what he /is/ good at is brewing. And making all sorts of things. He doesn't grow grapes himself, or the fruits, but he makes them into all sorts of wines and different drinks. This tastes like one of his fruit drink. I swear to the Gods, he can take any fruit, sometimes even just little berries, and make a bottle of spirits out of it. Very wealthy, now adays, works out of Riverrun. When we get back to Stonebridge, we'll all share some of it. For celebration. I've got more than I know what to do with his wine and spirits in my cellar." Bruce laughs. "It takes some getting used to, I found. I'll probably give Ser Rowan a bottle of it, when we return."

"Well, I am sure our Lord Father will see him properly outfitted now that his squiring is done with," Riordan says to Jarod with a not. "I am going to need to see to my own plate, after the beating it took." He shakes his head mournfully, apparently not thinking better of bringing up his platemail, which once belonged to Jaremy Terrick. "Still, it'll but nice having our brother back among us. How did he fare in the battle yesterday? Acquit himself well, I trust?"

Riordan, Jarod and Bruce are sitting by the knightly area of the Riverlands camp, warming by the fire and drinking from a small skin.

Riordan, for his part, is sitting a bit stiffly and looking a little worse for the wear. He is also keeping an eye out, in case a certain healer might track him down to drag him back to his tent by the ear.

"Rowan'd probably like this stuff," Jarod says, of the drink. As for Rowan going back among the Naylands, he shrugs. "That'll be sorted out when we return to the Riverlands. Along with a good man other things." He takes another, longer, drink when next the skin is available. "Fought well. Rowan's done fine on the field since the squids came to the Riverlands. Stood up to Ser Harras along with me. Got a cut from that Valyrian steel sword of the squid knight's, too, though the healers say it's not deep. He's recovering well enough." The bastard knight is slouched comfortably, for his part, drinking companionably enough. Though Riordan's comment about his armor earns a laugh. "Careful with that plate. Might carry a dislike for harpies in the metal."

"Properly outfitted? That is rich, brother." comes a chiding voice from the darkness, before another figure is seen coming closer. Though his armor can be seen, as is the Nayland colours he wears, Ser Rutger is still dressed for war-though perhaps lightly for war. There's a press as his hand moves out to tap Riordan on the shoulder, before he is dares come in closer. "I am sure Rowan will have to pay his way-not all of us are given shiny gifts." he teases before he nods towards Jarod and Bruce respectively. "Sers.." he says, "May I join you?"

Bruce rises again from his seat, dipping his head at Rutger. Seems like a trend. "M'lord. Of course, please do." He's not wearing armour - actually, his mail is in a big, open satchel next to him where the drink skin was taken from. He grasps his cloak tightly around him. "That he did, fight well. He's a small lad, but with spirit more than many grown knights I know. He'll do well."

"Our father rewards service, dear brother," Riordan says, a smile alighting his face as his brother approaches. He doesn't rise like Ser Bruce, but will offer the wine skin to Rutger. "Wine, brother? Some fruity concoction of the Ironborn, or so Ser Bruce says," he says, with a grin. "Not like the brews from home, but serves well enough." At Jarod's comment, Riordan chuckles… though it ends with a bit of a weeze, as his chest and ribs begin to pain him again. "Well, the armorer's of Stonebridge slapped enough harpies on the gods blasted thing, I shouldn't wonder if that were the case."

"Small, but wiry," Jarod says with a quick grin, as to Rowan's form. He's shed his armor, for his part, trading in even his bastard heraldry from a green tunic and dark trousers. He still carries his sword, of course. He seems about to say more concerning Riordan's armor, but Rutger's appearance makes him look up. "M'lord Nayland." He glances between the two Nayland brothers, sitting up a little straighter. And grinning ruefully, like he half finds something amusing. "I seem surrounded by Mire folk tonight. But, aye, free fire. Quite welcome, m'lord."

"Is it their honey wine? I do like that, a developed taste to be sure, but I like it." There's a nod to Bruce and the skin is taken from Riordan and he does of course partake. Drinking down a healthy pull before he offers the skin back with a sigh. "Ser Rivers, the eagle." as opposed to Ser Rivers the stone. And like that he moves to catch his 'seat' if you will by the fire, so as to warm himself. "Indeed, out numbered by swamp dwellers, how ever will you survive scandal?" Rutger jests, before he is looking back towards Riordan

"You make it sound a if father was your Master and you his whore." good natured, even if rough ribbing from one Nayland brother to the other.

Bruce thumps his chest. "Stonebridge, meself, or so Lord Ryker told me back when he was a Ser. But, I go where I'm told to. If it's off the Mire, then I guess I'm off to the Mire. I hope not! We've a lovely house in Stonebridge. The climate is agreeable. But. Gods and Lords decide, and I march." He grins wryly, and shakes his head. "No, not honey wine. It's some other fruit. Not made the same way as wine. As I was saying, m'lord, a lot like my goodbrother Ryon makes with fruits back home."

"Our Lord Father is my Master, and I am his servant. As I am a servant to our entire family, brother," Riordan corrects, his tone light, though there is an ever so brief intensity to his words. Then his smile returns, and he looks back over at Jaron with a grin, nodding in agreement with Bruce. "Stonebridge for me as well, it seems, once we are done kicking Squid ass. Then the real battle begins. I'll be off to face my most harrowing and deadly opponents yet." Recieving the wineskin once more as it makes the rounds, he lifts it up in toast, a sparkle in his eye. "Managing a holding, and Lady Valda, may the Seven have mercy on my poor doomed soul."

"Half-Eagle, if you want to be correct, M'Lord Nayland," Jarod replies chipperly to Rutger. "Less feathers, but it better suits me. Haven't quite figured out what the other half is. Elephant, maybe." His chipperness eases down some as Lord Ryker is mentioned, however. He looks to Riordan and Ryker. "Said it to Rowan already, but you've my sympathies on the loss of your elder brother. Seven keep him."

"Half Eagle. It does has a ring to it." Rutger replies with a grin. "Well should I see you in tournament, if you're not facing me and mine I will raise a glass to the Half Eagle.. and hope it sticks." a chuckle there from the Nayland, before he is looking back to Jarod. "Elephant is too large, it'll frighten the ladies.. Do something modest. A cockerel." he adds before looking back to Riordan. Whether or not the slight intensity is noted by Rutger, the elder brother does not let on. "I'll remember that, when I need some sweeping done." Like all brothers, Rutger knows where to pick at his own.

"Stonebridge is nice, I will agree. But, I am quite fond of the Mire. It has a smell that cannot be.." and he waves his hand "Adequately described. I am sure your wife would love it, Ser Bruce."

Bruce nods solemnly at the mention of Ryker's demise. "Aye. To the fallen, then, we drink - those in battle and those out. Let's hope the Gods give us a few more years before we see more fall as they have recently." He shrugs at Rutger. "Well, you'll have to talk to her then, m'lord. She can be er… touchy."

Any lingering intensity seems to be gone, and Riordan merely exchanges a smirk with his brother at the jab, and bows his head. "At your service, m'lord." He then looks over at Jarod, his expression during serious. "Thank you, Ser. He will be missed. It is an ill thing, for a child to be born in this world without being able to know his father's love. I plan on looking after the child as if it were mine own, and hope that it will be enough." He lets out a small sigh, and goes silent after that, taking another sip in memory of his late brother.

"Convey my sympathies to Lady Isolde, when you see her next. And wish her well on the coming of her child," Jarod says, a fondness in his tone as he speaks of the lady. Albeit of a wistful kind. He takes a drink, when the skin comes his way again. "Aye. To the fallen, in battle and otherwise."

Rutger looks back towards Riordan at that proclamation for a moment, before he is looking towards Jarod. "Thank you for your condolences Ser.." As to whether or not Ryker will be missed, the now eldest Nayland does seem to show a flash of pain in his features, before it is swept away. Perhaps it's the mention or the inflection in which Lady Isolde is held. "We shall." he intones before he reaches for the skin from Jarod once he is done. "An odd thing to lose a brother-at least at this age, when you know they were home safe. But the Stranger comes for all of us at any time he wishes. We have no true say in it."

Bruce plops down in his seat with not much more to say. His hands leave the confines of his woolen cloak to warm more effectively over the fire.

Riordan inclines his head to Jarod at Rutger's words, not saying further since his brother pretty much summed it up. He seems inclined towards silence for one himself… up until the point when he spots someone in the distance. Maybe it is Senna, maybe not. But he's not about to risk it. "Well, gents… if you'll forgive me, I needed to… have a word with my father. Excuse me." And he will rise as quickly as he is able, albeit not without a few grunts and groans, and will move to hobble off as quickly as he stiffly can.

"M'lord," Jarod offers to Riordan. He stands as the man leaves, but it doesn't seem purely a gesture of respect. "I should look in on Rowan, come to it. And Ser Harras. The healers said he'd mend of his wounds, but he was in fair bad shape when we came out of the castle, and I don't want him looking too poor when I start talking ransom with his family."

Rutger looks up for a moment, and watches with an amused look as his brother stiffly staggers himself on towards the figure in the distance. A faint nod, as with a sigh the other Nayland is rising up, with the skin being passed back to Bruce. "I am indeed sorry to cut this short, Ser Jarod." A bowing of his head as he is following after Riordan. Though he does turn to look back at Bruce and Jarod. "Ever my family's servant.." he parrots before he is off with a chuckle.

"Mlord." Greets Bruce as the nobles takes off. "Ser Jarod. Gods keep you, I'll see you on the other side."

"Better be with a bottle of that good wine, Ser Bruce," Jarod replies to the Stonebridge captain. And off he goes.