|Terms of Sale|
|Summary:||Rutger brings the chosen terms to Isolde and Ryker.|
|Date:||14 Nov 2011|
|Guest Chambers - Riverrun|
|Bed and stuff.|
|November 14, 288|
Though the Lady has not gotten much worse for in her symptoms, neither have they lifted. Resting in a simple dress of pale green, she sits at one of the chairs in her chambers, her Lord husband present as well. Asha is busy refreshing the cool cloth that Isolde constantly requests and she is making small work of some water while she looks to be in the middle of a conversation with Ryker. "I am not certain that we have much to worry over. It seems you have had a few days to reacquaint yourself with your friends and family here at Riverrun." She observes as she takes the cool cloth from Asha, the fire in the hearth burning low still seems to be too much for the Lady. She wipes at her neck and cheeks, then her forehead. "How has it been, being back?" She asks of him, shifting as her slippered feet brush the floor in a soft reply.
Ryker is reclining comfortably in a chair adjascent to Isolde, long legs stretched out in front of him and boots crossed at the ankles. He glances up from a folded note with a half-smile to answer Isolde: "It feels as though I've been gone much longer than I have. I admit, it's tempting to remain awhile once this unpleasant business is concluded in our favor."
There is a knock at the door, but it opens without waiting for a response. Into the chamber steps Rutger, with an attendant scurrying in his shadow. "Lord Brother." He doesn't wait to greet the older Nayland sibling, followed by a slight bow of his head at Isolde. "My Lady." The greetings are kept short and simple, giving Rutger the time to dismiss his attendant with a flick of a hand. As the servant leaves and closes the door behind him, the yellow-eyed Lord steps towards the couple. "I bring news, and seek your counsel on a particular issue." Isolde receives a curious look. "Your condition has not improved?"
Lowering the cloth from her brow, she lays it over her wrist, finding the cooling effects along her veins to be soothing. "I figured as much…I do not see why you should not remain for a time. It is not unlike a Lord to visit other places. Besides, the Tullys find favor with you." She smiles and the knock breaks her next words before leaving her mouth. As Rutger enters without being bid to, she shifts and sits more upright in her seat and nods her head to the question of counsel. "Neither has it worsened, goodbrother. Please…" She motions for him to take a seat if he like.
"You should stay as well," Ryker returns to Isolde. "Think of it: fresh air, good company.. no gargoyles hanging over our shoulders." At Rutger's arrival, he transitions smoothly to: "Rutger," letting the note held in hand roll back in on itself. "How goes the thrilling business of back-room bargains and pursuit of justice?"
Rutger simply nods and takes a seat. "A most time-consuming and difficult process." He replies smoothly at Ryker's query. "Nevertheless, the Young Lord of Terrick's Roost and I have come to a preliminary compromise to this unpleasant business. As you may be aware, Lord Hoster bade us to reach an accord to spare him the difficult task of making a ruling, so it is an accord that I sought with Lord Jacsen." He sits back and draws in a breath, slow and long. "I have made concessions on our behalf, in exchange for a favorable outcome. I shall need both your support in delivering these concessions, for otherwise it will all be for naught."
"Share them with us otherwise we could not hope to help you, goodbrother." Isolde's brows have furrowed though, curious but wary of what might have been done in favor of her legitimacy. Pressing her lips firmly together, she lets her gaze shift to that of Ryker, studying him a moment before looking back to Rutger. Those eyes. She lifts the cool cloth and runs it along her neck and then to her jaw, sitting back in her seat to receive the news.
"No doubt they are prepared to offer an apology for slandering my wife's name?" Ryker quips, a wry color to his tone. The Lord of Stonebridge regards Rutger for the most part, though his eye does flick aside briefly at note Isolde when she glances at him. "Let's hear what you've managed, brother."
With his elbows restng on the armrests, Rutger steeples his fingers together in front of his mouth. "Understand that this is all subject to final approval in a few days' time. Gedeon Rivers' letters, though lacking a proper seal, are viewed as true if not legal by Lord Hoster; the contents of Lady Valda's letter, though sealed, contradicts Gedeon Rivers'." He recaps. "Lord Jacsen nonetheless agrees to withdraw the claim that Lady Isolde is illegitimate, and will further refrain from challenging the legitimacy of your marriage based on the content of Lord Geoffrey's final wishes." That means Jaremy, of course. "In return, I have agreed to pay Terrick's Roost the equivalent of three-quarters of Lady Isolde's dowry. In addition, I have motioned the establishment of a merchant company jointly held by House Nayland and House Terrick, yet based in Stonebridge. All caravans flying the banner of this company pays only half the tariffs when passing through Stonebridge. As well, we both agreed to a gradual decrease in border patrols over the next three months."
Giving Ryker a look at his quip, she can not help but smile. Isolde is soon invested in what Rutger has to say, smile leaving her as he lays out the terms. "I truly think the first to conditions to be worthwhile, but do you think Lord Rygar will be fit to agree to the patrols decreasing at all? If I am not wrong, your cousin is very established in what it takes to protect Nayland interests. I find it hard to believe this might be taken so well." SHe presses her lips together. None of it will be taken well in truth.
Ryker's expression twists briefly into one of imperious disdain at the mention of Valda. "We should be lucky your mother's word has any weight at all," he asides to his wife. "Still, it seems a rather plush bargain for the Terricks: they call my wife a bastard and me a thief, and get money and half stake in a merchant enterprise besides. A merchant company which would function almost entirely on Stonebridge resources, I expect." Ryker remains reclined in his chair, one hand held before his chin, nose resting on his first knuckle. "How large a dowry would they expect?" Isolde's question earns a shrug. "The patrols are only there to bleed off Terrick resources. No one is truly worried about an attack."
"As well, a decrease in patrols does not mean a decrease in military preparedness, my lady." Rutger notes to Isolde, then turns back to Ryker. "The size of the dowry is something you must tell me, but consider that Stonebridge will no longer be contested, it is a cost well spent." He holds up a hand at Ryker. "Lord Brother, I entered the negotiations with the hopes that we may achieve an accord without falling back to this ridiculous rivalry our Lord Fathers, Rickart and Jerold, holds against each other. The trade agreement benefits us both in the long run." He lowers his hand. "Putting a strangehold on Terrick's Roost may be gratifying in the short term, but given time, the trade from Terrick's Roost will slow to a trickle, especially when the Terricks find an alternate trade route… perhaps by sea via Seaguard. No, a lower tariff will keep trade flowing, even encourage more trade than before, to flow through Stonebridge. The potential increase in trade volume can compensate for the lower tariffs."
Setting the cool cloth aside, Isolde looks to Ryker to gauge his reaction but there is a not of approval in concerns to starting to break down the old rivalries. "Stonebridge may be a small holding in the terms of the land, but it is a strategic setting for the two Houses. I have to agree with my goodbrother. Increase trade will also quiet our own smallfolk who are balking a bit at the tariffs themselves. We would have some immediate benefit to this change as well, if not some complacency in the face of all these changes that have been made. As for the dowry.." SHe breathes in and smiles faintly. "It would not have put Stonebridge out by itself and now that Stonebridge is no longer standing on its own in this, I do not think it should seem that great of a sum if it goes towards the building of good will amongst the Houses." But she pauses, looking to Rutger. "This benefits the Terricks…but it does not benefit the man in mention that is my half-brother. What is he to gain?"
"We can hardly give them three-quarters of Stonebridge," Rykar notes with a short exhale, a bit of a sardonic note to go with the slight smile he shoots to Isolde. Back to Rutger, he comments, "The eagles really are panicked. Even I didn't expect the taxes to break their pride so soon." Musing further on what Rutger suggests, Rickart's heir adds, with a nod to Isolde, "We'd need to check the ledgers, but whatever two-thirds of the Tordane treasury at the time of the wedding was.. It shouldn't be too painful to part with." A short chuckle stirs his throat as Isolde mentions the smallfolk being happier.
Rutger nods to the evaluation of the sums being discussed; the Naylands are sitting rather comfortable when it comes to coin, so he didn't expect it to be too much of an issue. But it is back to Isolde that Rutger's yelloe gaze falls on. "That is the matter that I seek your counsel on. Lord Jacsen requested that House Nayland, with Lord Tordane's seal, supports Gedeon Rivers to petition King Robert to be legitimized, as a compromise to save face and ostensibly to fulfil Lord Geoffrey's wishes. This I did not agree to, as it is something I feel you both should decide on."
Isolde hesitates there, she looks to Rutger and then to her husband. "Gedeon is my father's son, of that there is no doubt." Unless of course papers suddenly show up to say otherwise. She gathers a breath. "Would this make us look guilty before the crown though? That is my worry. To give so much and then to offer this up may very well crumble anything that may have ever been true in my Lady Mother's letter…" Her lips form a thin line and she doesn't look entirely sold on the idea.
"Absolutely not," Ryker states at first. "Geoffrey Tordane never wanted Gedeon legitimized, and no scrap of unstamped lies the bastard produces will change that," he insists, ire flashing. "Nothing in Gedeon's letter can be treated as true, brother. Because it isn't. If the Terricks are bending their precious honor to a compromise, it means that they're over a barrel and they know it. I'll agree to coin and perhaps a company, but ennobling a bastard who might stand to inherit by our deaths? Never."
"A concern I have as well." Rutger nods to the objections. "If I were to hazard a guess, I estimate Lord Jacsen is seeking some way to appease Gedeon Rivers, without looking like House Terrick has abandoned him over coins. Nonetheless, Lord Jacsen presented it as a point of contention, even if I do not believe it truly to be so. We need to have a counterproposal if these negotiations can be finalized."
There is a pause in her thoughts and Isolde nods her head. "I do not think he could inherit though, with the land in Nayland hands already.." She pauses a moment. "I will have to think on it, but there are father's things, perhaps giving some amount of land to him, a landed Knight is a better standing than one without.." She places her fingers to her lips in thought. "Though if the Terricks are speaking on Gedeon's behalf…they may not need anything else. As it seems they will be well appeased in concerning the loss of marriage."
As quickly as it came, when Rutger agrees, Ryker's temper settles. To Isolde's thoughts, he again shakes his head. "No, a bastard can't inherit land. Only nobles can hold land, and he is not one. What was he promised in the will? To have his kngihthood provided for?" Eyes narrow as he awaits confirmation of that detail. "Give him the worth of that. A horse, sword and armor. I'd say he missed his chance when he fled to Braavos, but-" a shrug, "While we're being so generous with what's ours, why not, eh?"
"We have some days yet to consider this," Rutger points out. "From what I was told, he inherits nothing but a name and his knighthood provided for, yes. Although even if that is true, I am loathed to allow a possible repeat of this farce, should Gedeon Rivers, or whoever chooses to puppeteer him, decides it is to their benefit."
"They would have to seek another route. But if it help appease him, I will give him father's sword as well. I think that it is only fitting bastar or not." Isolde intones and then sits back again, letting herself relax as her brows furrow. She motions Asha over to wet the cloth again and wash away the heat that has gathered to it.
"Where is he promised a name?" Ryker wonders aloud, looking between Rutger and Isolde. "I recall nothing of that. No, coin for the knighthood, and- sine my wife is feeling so gracious- he father's sword. Let the little thief have that and count hiself lucky."
"Let us speak again in a few days on this matter, as this is something that bears further discussion." Rutger announces, as he rises to his feet. "By your leave, Lord Brother, Lady goodsister, I have another matter to attend to." Namely, that snot-nosed brat Edmure Tully.