|Summary:||Cousins meet for the first time and the first Tordane sworn swares to Nayland.|
|Rose Gardens - Tower Hall|
|The rose garden of House Tordane is about three hundred square feet and hemmed in by walls about eye level to keep out the attention of wildlife. Bees hum about the area and around the stone archway which has seen the flowers grow up over and nearly encase in solid vine. The scent is sweet, mixing with the air coming off the water to produce an atmosphere some might find extremely calming. Stone benches have been chiseled out and placed along the path for visitors to relax on.|
|Tue August 2, 288|
Late afternoon in the Tordane gardens, the sun having passed its zenith in the sky and now making its way lazily towards the horizon. Shadows lengthen from the bases of bushes and the stone archway, cooling the stone benches lining the walkways. Inspecting one of the rose bushes in bloom is…someone, tall and coltish in figure. In richly dark-colored trousers and boots, Lady Tenysa is almost mistakeable for a man if not for a distinctly feminine tilt of the hips and the graceful neck, bared by her thick brown hair pulled back out of the way.
Isolde, with her personal guard in tow enters the garden, speaking lowly with Wayland, it seems a matter of importance. But she pauses and lifts her head to gaze at the figure of the woman in trousers. A brow raises as she tilts her head that way to indicate they should proceed. The Lady moves forward, towards the loitering Tenysa, "Hello…" Comes the first part of her greeting as she hesitates and waits to get a look of the other's face.
"Of course, my lady" offers Wayland to whatever she is saying to him at the given time. Whenever Isolde pauses, Wayland moves his attention to whatever is out there and finds the reason for such pause. Looking back at Isolde and noticing the tilt of her head, he resumes his march next to her but keeping a gentle distance. Wayland doesn't use a 'Hello', but instead, he nods politely and offers "My Lady"
Tenysa had begun turning away from the rosebush even before the hello, hearing the sound of footsteps coming closer. Her hunting jacket bears the Nayland coat of arms in a proud but reserved showing of color, the entire ensemble cut conservatively. "Good afternoon…" Her blue eyes cut from Wayland to Isolde, recognition drawing up the corner of her mouth slightly. "Lady Isolde, are you not?" Without waiting for confirmation, she continues. "I did not have a chance to speak with you at your wedding, a shame to be sure. Lady Tenysa Nayland, Rygar's cousin."
Looking to Wayland a moment, the Lady of Stonebridge allows her smile to grow with the introduction. Crossing that remaining distance, she slows to stand before the Lady and dip a short but elegant curtsey with the hem of her skirts brushing the ground. "I am at that, Lady Tenysa. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I fear the wedding was quite an overwhelming moment. House Nayland as quite a few members and I do hope to eventually meet most of them." She looks from Tenysa to Wayland and then motions to him, turning slightly, "Lady Tenysa, this is Lord Ser Wayland Frey. He was a squire of my father's."
When Isolde steps forward, Wayland stays behind, just watching carefully. The man is actually wearing his usual brigadine armor but modified to fit the new colors of the house, following the mixture of green and orange. When Isolde motions to him, he takes a step forward and moves his right fist right blow his left shoulder, offering a polite bow "It is an honor, Lady Tenysa" The man shows a kind smile and then rests his hand on the pommel of his sword, something that it seems comes very natural to him after carrying it around for so many years.
Tenysa crosses her left foot behind her right, bending both knees and allowing her hands to turn gracefully palms up. Her version of a return curtsey, without skirts to sweep. "It was glorious chaos wasn't it? A stunning ceremony, nothing less for a Nayland." She tosses her head slightly as she straightens, a long strand of brown hair moved off her face. "My Lord Ser Wayland, the pleasure is mine. I have heard your name these recent days…let me think. Ah! Yes, the melee that my Lord cousin also danced in."
"I am glad you thought so, my dear cousin helped to make sure it was decorated as I wished." Isolde smiles at Tenysa as she speaks with Wayland, smooths her skirts and trying to keep herself cool with a faint grab at them to gives them a shake. A breath of air rises beneath and she nods her head faintly, "Ser Wayland is a skilled knight, he did rather well in the tourney." Offering him a warm smile she regards the other woman, "Where is your Lord Cousin, I had need to speak with him and have not seen him about?"
The Knight goes silent when the ladies exchange words and for the moment, he starts looking around, scanning the area like he has done many times in the past. However, when Tenysa addresses him, his attention goes back to her and so does his smile. He is about to stay something but then Isolde speaks and he looks at her "Yes, that is correct, my lady. Unfortunately of course, my dance ended a little sooner than I would have hoped for" He nods to this and smiles to both "But the again, there will always be tournaments, so perhaps the next one shall be more fruitful" Now, he looks at Isolde as she asks her question and looks back at Tenysa for the answer.
Tenysa turns her attention to Wayland as Isolde speaks of him, taking a few seconds to subtly appraise the man before she nods. "I am sorry I missed it, but as you say. There will be more tournaments…" A slight incline of her head, and a slightly more serious edge here. "And there will be times when tournament play is behind us. I shall look forward to more demonstrations of your prowess, Lord Ser." Her feline eyes flicker back to Isolde. "Lord Rygar? Brooding somewhere, I suspect." The side of her mouth twitches fondly. "I shall let him know should I see him."
"I would appreciate that, Lady Tenysa." Isolde dips her head and then shifts to regard the Lady more fully. "Are you enjoying the gardens? I will say they are much more enjoyable in silence and in smaller group than was present at the wedding. I do hope you take your time to look around, these gardens were a favorite of my father's and have been cared for, for many years through the changing hands of my family. Now it will it carry through to Nayland." That is said with no look of malice but there is a reservation about her. "Do you care to walk together? I fear I have yet to speak to any of the Nayland womenfolk overly."
When Tenysa takes those seconds to study him, he looks at her with dark eyes, portraying calmness. Wayland nods politely to her words and offers "I am sorry you missed it as well, my Lady" When she goes a little more serious, the man nods again and offers "An in those times, practice is over…" He takes a deep breath and shows a soft smile to her "I will do my best, my lady. That way you'll get to enjoy yourself." But as Isolde speaks, he turns his attention to her and as soon as she offers Tenysa to walk together, the Knight takes a couple steps back top adopt his 'Guardian' position and grant the ladies some privacy.
"I expect that even if this garden gains a hint more orange and green, it shall remain in trust of yours hands," Tenysa says with an amused lilt in her alto voice. "We all must have our strengths and unfortunately, this is not one of mine." A faint smirk, then she gives Isolde a nod to allow her to pick their way. A glance back at Wayland, and her teeth flash ever so briefly as he mentioned enjoying herself. "Indeed, Lord Ser."
"Tell me, Lady Tenysa, do you find the Nayland and Tordane match agreeable?" Isolde holds nothing back, keen green eyes peering over at her as they walk. A flicker of her gaze back to Wayland, "It joins Frey, my mother's family more tightly to the presence of your family." She lofts her chin a moment as she looks over the gardens as the pace is a slow leisurely one, meant to be interrupted should one wish to pause. "There are many in Stonebridge yet used to the taxes and liege-lord Terrick. I am weighing yet how they will react to a new liege."
Just a nod is offered to Tenysa when she speaks those last words and as the ladies start to walk, he follows them around ten steps behind. Hand still rested on the pommel of his sword, he catches that flicker of gaze from Isolde but says nothing about it. He keeps that respectful distance with them and takes this opportunity to carefully look around again. His dagger rests on the left side of his belt and is almost never touched by the Knight, at least during this particular moment.
Tenysa folds her hands behind her back as they walk, her shoulders effortlessly straight. "I do," she answers Isolde's first question simply. "I have seen such changes happen before, Lady Isolde. Smallfolk react less to the name of their liege than to the actions of them. Their minds are on their troubles of their own lives — their commerce, their families, their mouths to feed. Be consistent in fairness and discipline and most shall march with you."
"I would have it no other way, Lady Tenysa. I merely worry for the concerns of the people of Stonebridge. Once they are settled, than I shall have no cause to question." Isolde says and then reflects with a gentle stride to match. "My father's family has always been loyal bannersworn to House Terrick, I am not so much concerned with the smallfolk as I am with my own sworn. I will release any who do not show full loyalty in the change, we can not have such things undermining what has come to pass." Her head tilts and she speaks that as much for Wayland as for Tenysa. "It sounds as if you, Lady cousin that you have had some experience with such matters."
Wayland is basically minding his own at the moment; still following the ladies but not participating in the active conversation. However, when Isolde speaks about releasing the sworn that do not show full loyalty, he looks at her. The man keeps his pace, but now paying a little more attention to the words being exchanged. It would be a surprise if some of those sworns are indeed, released. Not everyone accepts these merges so lightly and many sword swords were loyal to Geoffrey Tordane and his views. Wayland takes a few steps closer to both Isolde and Tenysa, but remains at a good distance.
"My brothers' marriages have had some of the same…challenges," Tenysa replies, mildly. Her nod at Isolde's declaration of weeding out the disloyal is firm. "When it comes to your sworn — yes. Someone in conflict of oath is not only of no use but dangerous. We can readily replace those who do not understand such things." This is said so casually, but there's an undertone in her voice that's anything but. "I do not doubt you know your sworn well, but should you like assistance with your vetting do not hesitate to call upon me."
"My Lady Cousin, you are kind. But to be fair, this a job for my husband and I..if they choose to stay for us, than we know they stand loyal." Isolde says with a smile as she walks with Tenysa and Wayland following their conversation. "Either way, do you plan to stay long at Stonebridge or will you be returning to your place of home? You are welcome to stay and take company in my Lady Cousin Igara Frey and myself. It would do me well to learn more of your family and there is no better way than through the Ladies of the house." There is a rueful smile to her lips.
All this conversation of loyalty is not sitting all that well with Wayland, because he really hasn't received any comments from the other knights on what their views are. Of course, everyone was fiercely loyal to the late Lord Tordane that goes without saying. The Knight follows both Isolde and Tenysa about eight steps behind them, just acting as guard and not actively engaged in the conversation they are having.
Into the gardens strides another Nayland: this one Ser Rygar. The man's purposeful gait and general lack of interest in gardens might indicate his visit is one of business. "Your Ladyship," he voices evenly to Isolde. "Lady," to Tenysa. "Ser," to Wayland.
"I shall be here for a while, I expect. It has been far too long since I have seen my Lord Uncle, and indeed I have cousins here I have never met." Tenysa inclines her head slightly. "It seems an auspicious time to strengthen ties all around." She's about to comment on Isolde's gracious welcome when Rygar's voice appears, and she stops her slow pace to turn around. "Lord Cousin."
There is a nod to the mention of family and smoothing her hands to her skirts before the voice of Rygar interrupts. Turning as he approaches them, she dips a bow to him, "Lord Rygar." Isolde greets in turn, "I was just getting to know Lady Tenysa, care to join us?" She asks of him as her green gaze studies his features. She makes no move to step back into their pace as his posture speaks of business.
When Rygar appears, Wayland turns his head to look at him for a quiet moment. The Knight offers a polite nod to the other man and he says "Ser" His attention returns to Isolde as she speaks and he keeps that respectful distance even now. Now, Wayland takes a deep breath and takes another look around the area, seeing if anyone else appeared along with the Nayland man.
"As the Lady wishes," Rygar assents, a bit tersely to Isolde's invitation. Those who know the man would find nothing unusual in his manner. "The Nayland vassals who shall become attached to your court will be prepared to swear their loyalty at whatsoever time the Lady should wish. I presume the former Tordane sworn have done the same?" Wayland's look finds nothing. Rygar walked alone.
Tenysa says nothing as Rygar addresses his matters, her eyes flickering to her cousin's face and then to Isolde's. Being silent hardly seems to bother her.
"I would be ready to receive their oaths, my Lord.." Isolde nods her head, "I wish to do it with my Lord husband so when he is ready to receive, I shall join him. I will announce then all those of Tordane Oaths have the right to swear to the new Lord and Lady and those who wish not to continue service under the colors of Nayland may leave. I think that is fair enough and when others leave of their own will, those who are unsure will join them. It leaves us with those who are committed to the care of Stonebridge."
Just like Tenysa, Wayland goes silent and says nothing to what's being exchanged between Rygar and Isolde. His attention shifts and he looks at Tenysa for a few seconds, but then just looks back at something far away from this conversation at hand. Politics…blargh.
"I would wonder, Lady: what cause have the Tordane vassals offered for breaking faith with you?" Rygar prompts plainly. That's Rygar. Bringing down the room since 254.
Considering they were just on the subject not a few minutes ago, the room was somewhat ripe for the discussion. The more polite thing to do would likely be to offer to excuse herself — but not from Tenysa, whose attention stays on the conversation. Her eyes flick once to Wayland, surreptitiously observant.
"Forgive me for making this statement, for I wish not to realize it, but I will expect it. These men swore to my father of House Tordane. I am his daughter, that is true and I expect many to remain for it. But I am a Nayland by marriage. For many years your household was a rival of our liege-lord. They now swear to Nayland, not my father." She stops her walk and Isolde looks to Wayland, meeting his gaze. "I will have one oath first if it will be given. Lord Ser Wayland Frey. Will you swear to serve the Lady of Stonebridge, Isolde Nayland in duty and honor. Will you lift your blade to protect me and do the justice I seek? Will you defend the people of Stonebridge and see to my word? Speak now or leave your services untouched and go."
Enter Igara, persued by a bee intent, it seems, on putting the gentle child to flight with its dread buzzing and threat of a sting. She seems unaware that it is chasing her directly into its lair, but, being but a child, she hops from stone to stone in a delicate dance of flight, holding her pretty little ribbon-basket in her hand and stopping stone still just in time to witness Ser Weyland being issued such terms.
If Wayland notices Tenysa's eyes on him, he doesn't show. However, when Isolde meets his gaze, he focuses and looks into her eyes, waiting. The words she says are heard in complete silence by him and when she is done, Wayland quickly detaches his sword along scabbard from his belt. The man goes to one knee and closes his right hand over the grip of his sword. "I swear to serve the Lady of Stonebridge, Isolde Nayland. I will lift my blade to protect you and do justice. I will defend the people of Stonebridge and see to your word." He looks up at her, straight into her eyes "I swore to your father when you were born, I swore again when your father died and I now swear for a third time, directly to you, my Lady" He doesn't stand up after saying that, just keeps one knee to the floor and lowers his head.
Rygar hears out Isolde's cited reasons for those among her household being hesitant, with a familiar stern frown, but as talk turns directly from that answer to an oath-taking, he holds his commentary, instead watching Wayland's kneeling and his spoken words.
Tenysa continues to watch. She has no direct authority in this matter of the House, but her fraction of a nod seems to privately approve.
Watching Wayland intently, the Lady remains silent a beat after his last words and then a questing voice asks, "And when my Lord Husband asks for your oath as well, Lord Ser…will you give it with just as much heart and spirit as you have given me these three times past?" This is the test, this is the line to step across for those once bound to Tordane.
And there are even more questions asked. Wayland stays in one knee, listening to Isolde's words. Hand still holding the grip of his sword, the tip of the scabbard against the grass under their feet. "Of course, my Lady" says Wayland without hesitation. "When your Lord husband asks, I will give my oath as well" This time however, he doesn't look up at her, instead, he just waits for her next words, in silence.
Igara slips the handle of her basket onto her wrist, lifting her hands in front of her and giving a gentle but rapid flutter of clapping, glad of the sight as she is, bright-eyed and smiling.
Rygar remains silent and still, regarding the proceedings with a solemn eye, and awaiting Isolde's satisfaction.
Isolde nods her head, "So it has been heard and witnessed, I hold you to your oath to my own person. My husband will await yours when he asks for it. Rise Lord Ser Wayland Frey. Now in the service of Stonebridge and House Nayland. Your oath has been accepted." The Lady waits, giving a long look of her gaze but eyes flit up towards the clapping that rises from her Lady Cousin. Once Wayland has risen, she offers him a faint smile before her head turns to look at Rygar. "That is how it shall be done. If there is refusal, they shall be released."
Wayland hears the clapping but his silent is not broken by it. When Isolde asks for him to rise, he does so and offers her a polite nod along with a gentle smile. "Thank you, my lady" says the man and hooks his sword back to his belt. The man takes a step back and now looks at the source of the clapping. Wayland nods to Igara and then takes a deep breath, moving back to scanning mode like he was before.
Rygar nods curtly once to Isolde. "I wonder only that there is no waiting line behind the good knight, Lady," he voices. "Ser Wayland, when your duties are concluded, I would have a word with you." A short nod to the knight, before he looks to Tenysa. "Cousin," he repeats in parting, before turning to take his leave.
Igara lowers herself into as proper a courtsey as can be executed while holding a ribbon-basket when her cousin Wayland looks to her, then pops back up from it, proceeding into the garden space with a smile. "Ser Wayland," she greets mildly, but with more enthusiasm than she allows for men unrelated to her. "How fine a thing to see you pledge to our dear cous Isolde. And here I never got to tell you how wonderous proud I was of your fighting at the tourney. It was a splendid thing to see, and I clapped for you often."
If there is refusal. At those words Tenysa's brow lofts slightly, her eyes flickering to the exposed back of Wayland's neck, perhaps contemplating her own sort of release — head from neck. She tilts her head, lips twitching as she looks back up and inclines her head to Rygar. "Until later, cousin." A slight smile extended to Wayland as he stands, then she turns her head, looking for the source of the new female voice.
A nod is offered to Wayland and then Rygar is gazed upon. "My Lord." She disp her head. Isolde smiles then at Igara, a faint quirk of her lips. "Lady Igara, if it would please you, do come meet the Lady Tenysa Nayland." Green eyes flit to Tenysa, studying her in that moment while she nods he rhead, "Lady Tenysa, this is my Lady Cousin, Igara Frey." A motion of her hand and the bonds spread further between Nayland and Frey. But for a moment the Lady of Stonebridge gives a wistful stare about the rose garden, thoughts to herself.
Wayland looks at Rygar for a moment and nods to him "As you wish, Ser Rygar" And he follows the man with his gaze as he leaves. He looks at Igara now "My Lady" he gives her a warm smile as she speaks of the tourney and says "You are very kind, my dear cousin…I can only hope that next time, I could grant you the chance to clap for, longer" The man smiles once again and when Isolde is making the introductions, he moves his attention to Tenysa for a moment, then to Isolde.
Rygar nods crisply once to Wayland's answer, before meeting his cousin's eye for a moment as he turns. The severe knight's steps carry him out of the gardens, and on toward whatever other piece of business lies ahead.
"Why, you struck down the first two men to drop, Ser Wayland, and in such quick succession it was only natural for the others to press hard upon you and drive you out of the match. Why, that blow to my Lord Cousin's calf— a move born more of dread need than a spirit of good play," Igara nods her head once with a grim look to punctuate her opinion in a girlish fashion. She seems to have a penchant for watching sport, at least. But her look brightens when she's introduced to another Nayland, and she flits closer by Tenysa to present herself to her in a deep courtsey. "My Lady," she greets.
"Lady Igara, a pleasure." Tenysa's head inclines politely to the new mention once Rygar's on his way. One foot crosses behind the other again, a slight bend of knees. "Lord Ser Wayland certainly has his share of fans today." She chuckles low in her throat.
Looking between the ladies, Isolde smiles, "I fear I can not stay to enjoy your conversation further cousins." She lets her gaze linger on Tenysa with a faint smile. "But I must gather to my Lord Husband and see to the matter of the sworn so that things can get underway. We have training to do." She nods her head and waits, "So if you would please excuse me, Ser Wayland has leave to stay with you if he wishes, I have but to go within the Hall, though I expect him a half hours time."
Wayland smiles at Igara again and he says "Now now cousin, are you looking to make me blush" he nods to that and says "Well, it was a all-against-all type of battle, fun…" he nods once again and then looks at Tenysa and smiles at her "Well, thank you, my Lady…I will make sure to not disappoint my fans during the next tournament" But when Isolde speaks, the man looks at her, moves his right fist below his left shoulder and bows "Of course, my Lady" Training? Say Whaaaa?
Igara turns about as she stands, coming to settle gracefully on the bench nearby the Lady Tenysa, finally finding a good spot to sit and take her embroidery from out her little ribbon-basket. An exquisite piece of work it is, too, if anyone has an eye for it. "I am sure that you will not," she tells her Lord Cousin, then, smiling for her Lady Cousin, "Good day, cous!" To the woman she's not related to at all, "I hope that you are enjoying your visit to Stonebridge and the Tower, Lady Tenysa."
"Good day to you, Lady Isolde." Tenysa smiles slightly at the departing woman, then turns her attention back to Igara. "I am indeed, Lady Igara. It warms my heart to see my family so well. I hope you won't think me rude, but I should take my leave as well…I wish to pay a visit to my Lord Uncle before the evening grows too late." To Wayland she gives a polite nod. "Lord Ser. We shall speak again, I am certain."