|Terrick Sibling Meeting|
|Summary:||Jarod's got a few questions. Luci's tasked with finding answers.|
|Related Logs:||Jaremy logs. That Jarod/Hardie log. Um. I'm sure there's more.|
|Reading Room, Four Eagles Tower|
|Books. Boys. NO TEA. >:(|
|19 December, 288|
Jarod is done with morning drills, and the afternoon training of his growing army of squires, but he's not taken any liberty yet. He's spent the midday hunting down his two half-siblings, the Lord Jacsen and Lady Lucienne. Why precisely he wants to speak with them, emphatically and in private, is unclear as he heads toward the reading room. It could be anything, really. Ser Rivers is an exciteable sort.
Jacsen's already waiting, having accepted his brother's invitation and made his laborious way down to the reading room. Comfortably ensconced in a chair, with his cane leaning against the seat's arm, he pays idle attention to the cup of wine in his hand, only looking up when his brother strides within. "Jar…"
Lucienne enters with a swish of skirts on the heels of her half-brother. Celine dawdles at the door, and Luci wonders, "Did anyone organise tea?" It would not be a proper meeting without tea, boys.
"Umm…" Jarod shrugs at Lucienne. He did not organize tea. But rather than admit that, he just goes to plop himself down in a chair across from Jacsen. "Anyway. Have either of you spoken to your lady mother recently?" Presumably they have, though he seems to have something specific in mind.
"I didn't, though I imagine our dear brother will pass… and I, I've drink plenty," Jacsen calls over to his sister as she inquires after the tea. His eyes cut to Jarod as he sits and asks that particular question. "I've not really had much time to speak with her, not since…" He assumes Jarod will recall.
Lucienne deflates a little over the lack of tea, but hurries on in to join her brothers. Tea will have to wait, apparently, since the conversation is starting without her. "What about?" She dips gracefully into another chair, a curious look bestowed upon Jarod.
"Huh." Jarod seems…not surprised, precisely. He looks like he's figuring out whether he should be surprised or not. And, suddenly his mood - which had an air of somewhat restrained buoyancy about it - is more thoughtful. "Not sure what to make of this, then. Though I confess I wasn't sure quite what was going on with it, the way Ser Hardwicke was about it." He manages to stop himself from wandering further down that path of conversational vagueness. "Anyhow. I was at the Rockcliff the other night having a few pints…" As he does. "…with Ser Aeric Mallister and Ser Hardwicke. And Ser Aeric asked about Stonebridge and we got to talking some about relations between us and them at present, and the matter of Jaremy." He frowns, like he's trying to figure out how he wants to put…whatever it is he has to put.
Jacsen offers a warm, if small, smile to his sister before Jarod really gets into things. While he's reclining in his seat and being as comfortable as it might allow him, the Young Lord is quite attentive. And comfort concedes to interest when he bends closer as his half-brother goes on. "And Ser Hardwicke said…?" There is a certain tension to his frame, like one bracing for an impact, or something else mild but altogether unpleasant.
Lucienne returns Jacsen's smile with the smallest curve of her own, and folds her hands neatly in her lap as Jarod rattles on with his tale. It might be that the slight tilt of her head is meant to beckon him on with the rest of it, but she doesn't speak as such. Just waits primly. Without any tea.
"Well, I mentioned they'd been keeping Jaremy jailed there a good while now. And Ser Hardwicke said, in what he thought was in passing, I figure, that…'If Lord Ryker can be taken at his word, he'll be sent to the Wall.'" Jarod pauses a beat, to let that settle. "And, when I said that was the first I'd heard of it, he told me I should speak to Lady Terrick, and acted like he might've spoken out of turn."
For all his interest, Jacsen leans back into his seat at the last, and draws a small sip of wine. It's something that he seems to want to think over for a moment, though his eyes do lift to Lucienne to watch her reaction. Perhaps it is on account of her relationship with Evangeline, especially after everything of late, that he waits to see how she responds.
Her hands part briefly, turning to interlock together the opposite way, and Lucienne draws a quiet breath. She darts a look to Jacsen, and then back to Jarod, to enquire rather neutrally, "And did you speak to her?"
Jarod waits to see how both his siblings respond, green eyes flicking between the pair of them. "She tell either of you what's going on? I mean…I understand why she wouldn't share such with me but…" Not that he sounds pleased about it. "…I mean, he's my brother. I just want to make sure I can get some word to him, even a letter, before he's shipped off. If some deal's been struck." To Lucienne, he shakes his head. "I haven't yet. Wasn't sure if it was my place or not. Or…" He shrugs. "…if she'd tell me anything."
"We'd best not assume too much on the words of a man sharing drinks about the table…" Jacsen points out, after a moment's consideration, "But all the same, that he would say such either with knowledge or without is worth our concern." He glances at Lucienne. "Would you be willing to speak with her on this, Enne? I think you, especially of late, seem to know how to relate to our dear mother much better than I. You know where to be soft, and when to acquiesce," he says, lifting his cup to his lips, "Talents I am swiftly losing practice in."
Lucienne lets go of a little sigh, curving her back to that of the chair. There are a lot of sentences that stay hidden behind closed lips and lidded eyes, but when her lashes part after a moment, she speaks one. "I can," it begins, "Though I cannot promise anymore success than either of you might see. I'll ask her."
Jarod's expression grows more quizzical as it goes between the pair of them. He frowns, thoughtful. "I do wonder what might've made the Naylands relent." Shrug. He seems unsure whether he should precisely care or not. "I'll have my letter to him written by the morrow, Luci. If you could take it to her to have delivered, I'd appreciate it. I don't think she'd deny me, precisely, but…" Another shrug. "…it'd just go easier with just you. I figure she'll do us that sort of favor, at the very least."
"If she will not explain it to you, we will simply have to question Ser Hardwicke himself, and get to the bottom of things," Jacsen determines, glancing over at his brother. "There is nothing that would make the Naylands relent that we are going to like, I reckon. That Ser Hardwicke seems to think our mother would know best about it, well. I must reserve judgment until we know more. I'm glad you wasted little time bringing this to us, Jar."
"I'll go to her as soon as I've your letter," Lucienne tells Jarod, drawing a nod to confirm his request. She shifts her gaze quickly to Jacsen, her brow lifting in question. "And if we've no success there, I could ask Ser Hardwicke, if you'd like? I've always found him honest enough with myself."
"Question? Surely father's got to know about this already, aye?" Jarod doesn't seem to have conceived of this not being the case. He blinks, and frowns. "We talked on a few matters awhile ago, him and me, and…I got the impression he would bargain more for Jaremy than we were prepared to do when we heard of this at Riverrun. And for any of us in Jaremy's place, come to it. And part of me still thinks…we bend on this, we'll keep bending forever, until the Naylands have taken everything from us. And Jaremy is guilty. No real way to dispute that. But another part…he is our brother. And their son. I'll confess, whatever they've sold off to save him, if anything at all, I'd have trouble calling any price too high." To Lucienne's last, he nods absently. "Aye. Good notion, and with just you it might go easier. Before it was plain I didn't know anything of this, I don't think he figured there was much to be dishonest about."
"That does not inspire me…" Jacsen warns, before giving his head a small shake. "Our Lord Father did tell me he would pay any price for the sake of his blood, that that was more important than anything else… So it is not impossible that they have struck some deal," he admits, agreeing with Jarod's assessment. "That he would keep me out of it, though, is more than passing strange. And would they take anything but Stonebridge as a price for our lord brother's life now, when they would not before? Stonebridge is beyond our father's capacity to concede, now. It is for the King to decide."
Lucienne spends a moment censoring herself, in reaction to something Jarod's said. She bites down on her lip, and once it's passed, offers, "There's not much we can do, if a deal's been struck. Best we find out, and learn to work with it." Have her hands grown more tightly clasped in her lap? Those knuckles sure are white.
Jarod does some more frowning, as Jacsen's words make some things occur to him. "That is strange, come to it. I'd like to think he'd have told me as well, if he was doing it. He knows how fond Jaremy and I were of one another, and he knows I'd likely not really have it in me to argue with him on it. Anyhow, you're right on that. Only one who can 'concede' Stonebridge to them is Ser Gedeon." Deeper frown. "We've supported his claim, but that'll mean little until and unless he swears to us. If he gets it at all, and all that on King Robert's good humor. What else do we have that they might even want at this point?" As Lucienne speaks his eyes go to her, and her white knuckles. "Luci? You something more?"
Jacsen looks to his sister wordlessly, though the arc to his brow makes clear he's not missed how she clasps her hands so tightly.
"It's nothing," she says, with a quick shake of her head. And just like that, whatever flash of emotion was come, is now gone; her hands relax, her shoulders sink. "Let's not speculate on what else they'd take?" Lucienne asks gently. "Jaremy's already cost us plenty, and we'll learn in good time what more. I'll seek the Lady Evangeline on the morrow."
Jarod regards his half-sister, green eyes full of several more questions about her 'nothing.' But he doesn't press the matter. "All right. I'll have my letter to you in the morning. Thanks, Luci."
Sipping on his wine, Jacsen looks throughly unconvinced, though he doesn't press the matter further. "Since I have you both here, I had a thought I wished to share," he points out. "I spoke with Gedeon, the day after the masquerade in Stonebridge. We discussed the merits of sending a representative to be on hand, should the King or his advisors wish to ask questions about this matter."
Lucienne's smile is small and grateful, flashed briefly to each of her brothers. She lingers a little on Jacsen, expression shading thoughtful. "To King's Landing? Wouldn't they send summons for someone, be that the case?"
Jarod looks very, very curious when Jacsen mentions having spoken to Gedeon following the masquerade. He frowns some more. But what his brother says doesn't seem to be quite what he was expecting. "Huh." He considers the actual thing Jacsen said. "Not a bad idea. If nothing else, we'd have someone loyal to us who'd be able to see what happens straight, and report back something that wasn't second-hand from a non-Terrick messenger. Who'd he figure on sending?" A pause and he adds, "And how was Ser Gedeon when you spoke to him, by the by? We've seen one another a time or two since Riverrun but not to really…talk, as such."
"You've not?" Jacsen asks, considering his brother. "I would've thought…" Something that he does not elaborate upon. "They might send summons, but that supposes the King or his advisors are interested in something other than a swift resolution. Should the Naylands think to send someone, the King might as easily just speak with them, hear their side, and see that no one is there to speak on ours, and decide for what he hears." He shrugs slightly. "He's a King, and he can afford to indulge his whims. We must be willing to do the same, I reckon. As to who to send? I'm not sure. I'd hoped we might all think on it together…"
Lucienne lifts one shoulder, her agreement as such. It's not a bad idea. She's not forthcoming with any suggestions as to whom should be sent; her eyes do drift about thoughtfully, though, whilst she thinks on it.
"Not seen Ser Gedeon in near a fortnight now," Jarod replies to Jacsen. "Though I mean to have words with him the next time I'm in Stonebridge, which I figure should be soon. I doubt anything he'll say to me will be of concern to this House, but I'll let you know if it is." He seems quite happy to focus on the matter of King's Landing ambassadors. "Uncle Revyn, perhaps? If he'd agree to make the journey. Or his wife, the Lady Arianna. She might do even better, as she is nee Tordane, though she's not given our uncle any heir to muddle Ser Gedeon's claim." Again, his eyes fall on his lady sister. "What do you think, Luci?"
"Lord Revyn and Lady Arianna might be wise choices, though we'd need speak with them, and see where their hearts all lie on these matters," Jacsen suggests, glancing down into his cup. "I'll be the first to admit I've not kept much close contact with them both since my return. The Lady far less than our uncle." He shifts a glance to Lucienne, to see how she might answer the question, put more directly to her this time.
"The Lady Arianna would be a good choice, if she'd be willing to go," agrees Lucienne. After another moment's ponder, she feels compelled to add, "It's a long ride, all the way to King's Landing. It might be helpful to keep in mind how large an ask it is, when you put it to her."
"Aye, it's a long journey and she'd need escorts. Uncle Revyn might do better for it, or them together, if they'll do for the task at all." Jarod does more shrugging. "There might be others we can send if not. I'll think on it. Anything else, Jace? I've a few matters to attend to before day's end, if not."
Jacsen shakes his head slowly. "No, I think that will serve us all for now, though I'm sure more will come." He smiles, a fraction, and flicks a look at Jarod. "Thank you for bringing this to us, Jar." His smile fades, almost as soon as it shone. "It's things like this, Jarod. Why I need you, both of you, more than you seem to know. And why I will never take either of you for granted." He imbibes a long sip from his cup, and sends a glance out the reading room's large window.
Lucienne gives Jacsen an odd look for his waxing on at Jarod, quite sure she's missed something somewhere along the line. She doesn't seem to have anything pressing to attend to - other than, say, oh, I don't know. TEA, perhaps. But for now, she stays put, adding her own glance to the windowpane.
Jarod certainly doesn't miss Jacsen's aside. The fraction of a smile is replied to with a grin and a joke. "I think you over-estimate my usefulness in moments like this, little brother. I'm sure I'll disappoint you sooner than not." Though he adds, more seriously, "I take your point. Not sure how I could get around needing the pair of you as well, I'll admit. Anyhow. Good luck with your lady mother, Luci." And he's off, on that note.
Jacsen's lips quirk a fraction, but he does not look back to his brother as Jarod takes his leave of them.
"I'll let you know how it goes," Lucienne promises Jarod. "Enjoy the rest of your day." She barely waits for his leave before twisting a look back to Jacsen, bidding him simply: "Out with it."
He frowns a touch at his sister's words, and offers simply, "Jarod has told me he intends to leave, once the matter of Stonebridge is settled. He… wishes to spend some time sorting himself out, chasing something for his own sake, instead of someone else's."
Clearly not what she expected to hear. Lucienne's eyes widen, and she blinks a couple times in rapid succession. And then she turns to look back out the damn window, her jaw ticking as she bites her teeth down hard together.
"Mmm. That's precisely how I felt," he observes after a long moment. "Jarod just…" Jacsen lets out a breath, and shakes his head. "I can't seem to get through to him this time, Enne. It's Jaremy. How he treated him for so long…"
Lucienne's breath in through her nose is quite audibly laboured, and the sigh that comes after is a forced rush. "I don't…" she begins, the rest lost in a cloud of thought. "When did… who even? Was he going to tell me, or just leave a note?" The scowl she aims at the terrain below the tower is fierce and severe.
Jacsen looks over at his sister at that, and tips his head back for a long sip of wine before he sets the empty cup behind. "He's just started talking about it recently," he explains, with a sigh. "Said that after the whole Stonebridge mess was over, he would resign his post. Just for a few years, though he seemed to understand that things would not simply wait for him here. He wishes to see more of Westeros, tourneys, the like."
The explanation doesn't do much to quell her emotion, and if looks could kill it would be safe to say whoever walks below might meet a slow, unhappy end. "Really. Really?" She might wish none of her ire upon poor Jacsen as she snaps her face to his, but it's there nonetheless, written plainly in her expression. "Really?"
"Yes, really." Jacsen lets out another slow breath. "Perhaps… you will have better luck with the mule-headed bastard. It's clear I won't, at this point."
"I doubt it," Lucienne posits sulkily. All in a huff, she crosses her arms and shoves herself backwards against her chair. The heavy thing doesn't move, so she tries it again; same result. "Stupid chair," she mutters.
He shrugs with one shoulder, putting his hands on the arms of the chair. "Well. We do what we must, love, I just hope you might speak more sense to him than I was able. But I shall not relent either. At least… not yet," Jacsen remarks, slowly pushing himself up to his feet. "Let me know how your talk with mother goes?"
Her little tantrum mostly over, Lucienne pouts over at Jacsen as he speaks and moves to rise. "Maybe I should make like that Harlaw woman and take a stick to his head," says she. A beat, and a little softer in tone: "Of course. If Celine's still by the door, would you mind telling her to fetch me some tea?"
"It certainly couldn't hurt him, I don't think he uses most of his brain these days," Jacsen points out with a faint smile, the humor overwhelming his somewhat fatalistic mood. "Did you ever find out anything about Lord Rowan's return to the Roost, by the by?" he wonders, since they're already on a vaguely related topic.
"Somehow I think our lady mother might take issue," says Lucienne, keeping most of her smirk to herself. "Did you even speak with her before inviting her back? Did our father?" She shakes her head 'no' for is question. "I've not come across him, and the last I spoke with Jarod was… well, heated. It wasn't much the time for bringing such up. I guess you didn't, either?"
Jacsen leans on his cane, his lips almost turning to a smirk before the sincere questions ease it. "No, I did not speak to our Lady Mother first… and for that matter, I'm not even sure father's thoughts on the matter, though I can guess at them being somewhat different from hers. I had to act swiftly before the damage was too far done with the Lady Harlaw. As objectionable as mother finds her, she cannot treat a diplomatic envoy like that… like she treated my wife. This woman is not to be Lady of the Roost, and she is here as a guest." He frowns, slightly. "Between us both, I was somewhat embarrassed that we had treated a guest so poorly, even one as strange as the Ironborn woman."
"So this is about Anais? Because between us both," Lucienne quips back fast as a crack of lightning, "I was somewhat embarrassed by the delight the Lady Harlaw took in offending my very self with her sporting. She's the worst diplomat I've ever seen." And as she places that judgement, Lucienne sits a little taller in her chair, above reproach. has she seen thousands of diplomats? Not the point. "I'll never understand why she places such stock in defiance."
He frowns a touch. "No, Enne, this is not about my wife, but the parallels are there to be seen, if you care to acknowledge them or not. She had a right to do such with Anais, but it is not one she enjoys with the Lady Harlaw. Whether she is a good diplomat or not," Jacsen remarks.
"So you agree, she's a terrible diplomat," Lucienne addresses first, laying a hand on each arm of her chair, clearly intending on standing in short order.
"I've had little time to observe," Jacsen admits, leaning on his cane. "But if what I'm hearing is true… she could certainly do better at not making a spectacle of herself, and much better at ingratiating herself to those she's come to do business with." His lips frame a frown. "Whether our mother is in the right or not… My feelings do not grow warmer to anyone whom puts me at odds with her, for whatever reason. She is my mother, after all."
"When you men do insult to each other, you call for blood to pay the debt," observes Lucienne mildly. "So grave it is. The Lady Harlaw has come to seek recompense for an insult - but offered one in her own right. Perhaps you might send her home, her duty done, and your mother satisfied? There is nothing in their dank and watery homelands that might interest us by way of trade, my love, that we can't find easier on the mainland."
"Perhaps, though what they've to offer is not so mild as you might think," Jacsen tells her, his own voice gentle as his eyes lightly course over his sister's features. "Their goods are not unavailable elsewhere, but trade is the first step in securing a better peace, and security for our own people and lands," he points out. "Besides. With her involvement with the Camdens… they might well think to make trade where we do not… We need the lumber Tall Oaks can produce. That trade needs be ours. If I need keep the Ironborn here, and engaged in the meantime? It's a small price to pay."
Lucienne pushes up and out of her chair, still falling short of her brother's height as she stands tall. "You can't make peace with everyone, nor should you," she says, frankly. "The Iron Islands aren't unaware as to what we are, Jacsen. They you such an envoy, brash and insulting, and you take it as a gift? If one woman can strike discord in a house… next thing you know, they'll be landing ships of hundreds of them, brandishing their swords. Why send their men, when their women can fell us?" She moves, skirts billowing gently with her step, closer to Jacsen. "If you need lumber, offer me to Lord Sarojyn. The Seven know you can't afford to build Anton's castle, as fascinating as I find him."
His chin rises a fraction as Lucienne approaches, further emphasizing the difference in their heights. "A gift? No, Enne, I am not stupid. No House, especially not one of theirs, offers gifts. They make moves that they seek to benefit from," he reminds her, "And it is our job to turn the advantage in our favor. There might be discord here, but it is less because of some cunning move on their part and more because our Lady Mother has forgotten how to pursue what is important to her without simply barreling over anyone whom does not agree. If I did not draw a line here, it would be with something else, Enne. I am right in this, I promise you. There is no benefit to our House being known to show such poor hospitality, especially not to one whom has so easily seemed to ingrain herself in the heart of another House that is close to our own."
Lucienne stretches out a hand, seeking to place it ever so gently upon her brother's chest. "I think," she says, silky and smooth, "That you would be better placed in your house to draw the line elsewhere." Her fingers curl, drawing her palm away, but her dark eyes remain locked on Jacsen's blue. "Your wife may love you for this, but she is not the only Terrick, Jacsen. Even with the Lady Kathryna in their fold, the Camdens have need of relations with their neighbours. They're mainlanders yet, my love."
"There are better ways than being intractable and inflexible, Enne…" Jacsen says, without fight in him, his lips slowly turning upward at her closeness. "Whatever I think of Lady Kathryna Harlaw, and I have many thoughts on that, I promise you… she needs to amend her ways. If not on this, then it will be on something else. I'll do what I can to assuage her, Enne, but she is wrong, in how she handled this."
"And so are you." They're so defiant, those words, but behind them is a conviction like no other from the usually obedient, bendable Lucienne. Her fingers start to wander up towards Jacsen's neck, the girl they belong to stepping in even closer to her brother as she smiles mildly up at him. "Tell her that, at the very least. And know that I think you should send the swordsing harlot home. Why make it easy for the Camdens to abandon us, so?"
His lips twist slightly at that last question, his neck a willing purchase for her fingers. "She would just go to Tall Oaks if I sent her away. The Greyjoys sent her here, and so I'm certain they've no great need to see her returned any time soon," Jacsen promises his sister. "At the very least with her in the vicinity we have some measure of influence, if not control. Believe me, love, I have thought this through…"
"Tall Oaks would be fools to take her, sent home so disgraced from our keep," is Lucienne's opinion, her fingers working down to rub at any tension held at the base of Jacsen's neck. "But perhaps they're fools anyway, fancying themselves as they do. I don't distrust you, my love. But as a courtier, even you can see that you owe our lady mother the most beseeching of apologies. She may be your mother, but that does not give you the right to take her love for granted." After a deep, relieving squeeze at his neck, Lucienne retracts her hand to brush lightly at her brother's cheek, before joining it with her other at her waist. "I need some tea. You know where to find me, Jacsen." One last, tender smile, and she retreats - uncharacteristically taking the advantage of her speed over his.