|The Best and Worst of Intentions|
|Summary:||Delya comes to Riordan with food, and a desire to help find the noble ladies. The Regent's intentions towards the bandits themselves are also alluded to.|
|Related Logs:||A Wonderful Day For a Picnic and all logs relating to the search and rescue efforts.|
|Riordan's Suite — Tordane Tower|
|The Tower residence of the Regent of Stonebridge, with lots of maps, reports, and other lady-finding things.|
|Sat Jun 02, 289|
Aside from leading two scouting missions much, much earlier when news of the capture of the various females first arrived, Riordan has been cooped up in the tower ever since. Primarily, he has been in his quarters, where frequent visitations from messangers, retainers, captains, and soldiers has kept him rather busy and kept his door mostly open. And, due to this and his obvious worry for his captured sister and cousin, it is highly suspected that the Regent has not, in fact, slept since returning to Tordane Tower yesterday afternoon. Whether he has managed to steal a nap or not, he looks utterly exhausted as for once, he is alone in the room, pouring over a large table that has been set up covered in maps, reports, and other documents. His eyes scour the papers before him, as if willing them, with whatever tired force he has left in him, to reveal the location of the noble ladies to him.
It certainly has been a busy time for all, since the news was received. Everyone has had their duty, and Delya has kept to hers. During times like these she goes where she's needed. Currently, with an actual purpose in mind and with a tray of food and drink in hand, she knocks on the door to Riordan's room. "M'lord? Can I come in?" If he looks her way, she offers him a little curtsy, doing a little balancing at with the tray as she does so.
The look Riordan first gives Delya is an absent one, when his eyes are drawn away from brooding over the map. He gives a silent nod to the side table nearby, where a wine pitcher from earlier, untouched, sits. He then turns back to the map. However, when Delya moves to deposit the tray, and turns back to the Regent, she'll find his eyes have returned to her, studying her thoughtfully. "You were at my nameday party," he observes, quietly, his voice strained with weariness, and other emotions that have strained him to the breaking.
Another curtsy is given to Riordan as Delya turns back to face him. She gives him a little smile and a nod. "Yes, m'lord. Played the flute for you. After all, a good nameday needs a good, light flute playing to make everything right." She says in a slightly cheerful mood, perhaps in a hope of at least cheering him up a little. "How are you holding up, m'lord?"
The good cheer, even the memory of that night, does not seem to break the icy grasp of Riordan's dark mood, at least visibly. He simply nods, at her observations, and after a moment's further study of Delya, he turns back to his documents. For a moment, it might seem as if he's ignoring her, but after a moment he responds, albeit quietly, to her question. "I have been better." Those for words, more then anything, actually seem to be what break through, and he starts to chuckle. It's a stark, cold thing, utterly devoid of all humor. "Dear sweet Seven, but nearly every day before this one has been better in comparison."
"I can only imagine how you're feeling, m'lord." Delya murmurs. "With Lady Roslyn and Lady Jocelyn and Lady…" She clears her throat. "Well, with your sister and your cousin, m'lord, it musn't be easy. And then there's all the other ladies who were taken. I was really sorry to hear about it. I only wish…" She pauses once more. "You don't want to hear me rambling off. I apologize, m'lord."
Riordan is silent a minute, his whole posture bowing under the weight of those names, even the unspoken one. "Whatever hardships I deal with now are nothing compared to theirs," he murmurs, simply. "That is why we must needs find them…" He trails off, continuing to stare holes into the map, as he murmurs, "Somehow." At Delya's apology, he merely waves his hand, showing no signs of having taken offense.
"No luck in finding them yet, m'lord?" Delya sighs. "I can only hope they're not being treated poorly. I don't know what was being though by the people who took 'em." She takes a long, intent look at Riordan before looking down at the map. "Where were they taken from, m'lord?"
"More then likely, they are hungry, desperate men, who have just enough brains to realize the wealth that each lady is worth on her own, but not enough to realize the utter destruction that will rain upon their heads whatever the outcome of this." There is a flash of something in Riordan's eyes, as he speaks his quiet words. Something cold and serious that makes his dark eyes all the darker. Whatever else he may be, he is a Nayland. "There will never be an incident like this one, when I am through with them." Riordan falls silent, after his words, and then just gestures at the map. "Here," he says, simply, pointing at the spot where it has been reported was the sight of the picnic.
"Of that, I am most certain, m'lord." Delya almost grins. "I hope you don't plan on killing them immediately, m'lord. That'd be too good for 'em. I'd suggest allowing 'em to ingest a bit of tansy and allow them to come in contact with some wolfsbane. They'll have some rather unpleasant experiences if you do." By any way it's taken, it pretty well sounds like she's suggesting a bit of torture, which might not be expected from a servant. "As for finding them based off their last location, that most certainly won't be easy." What she's not saying, but she's certainly thinking, is that there's plenty of good hiding spots in the area. "I wish I could help find them, m'lord. Though I'm sure your best trackers are on it. But…" She frowns. "I know the place of a servant is at the Keep, serving their family. But I feel like I could be of help. I nearly feel useless, just bring food and drink and listening to the little gossip without being able to do a thing otherwise."
Riordan raises an eyebrow at Delya's suggestion, looking up at her, perhaps in surprise. When he speaks, though, he merely observes, "That is the least of what I shall visit upon them. I've no plan to let the Stranger visit them too soon." Oh no, a little torture certainly cause disapproval in this Nayland, right now. Perhaps not even alot, judging by his words. As to the rest of Dely's speach, he simply says, "I know the feeling. This waiting…" He shakes his head, and catching himself turning to stare back down at the map again, he curls his fist, slams it on the table with a loud BANG, and then stalks across the room to look out the window.
Bowing her head, seeming in approval of what he says, Delya looks down at the map. He eyes flicking over it as she looks over the terrain. As the fist slams down, she jumps back in surprise. Slowly, she looks up at Riordan. "I want to help find them, m'lord." She says, staring at him, though his back is turned to her. "I know the area. I grew up in it and went hunting with my father while growing up. I know well that area between here and Terrick's Roost. I really think I could be of service." She offers a short pause before saying, "I don't mean to impose, m'lord." Although it does seem like she means to. "I know everything is being done to ensure the safe return of all the ladies that have been taken. I just want to be more useful than bringing food around. And the more eyes that are out there looking for them, the better, isn't it?"
Rather then being dismissive, Riordan turns back to Delya after a moment. "Do you know of any place that someone would use for safety or shelter in that area? Any burrows or warrens that a group of bandits and ne'erdowells could use to hide themselves and a group of noblewomen?" His eyes search Delya's, though he does not yet move from his position by the window. His features remained closed, keeping himself from hoping against hope that this servant who he has never before really talked to might provide him the key to finding his sister.
"You'd want to determine how far you think they'd go from the location of the picnic. I wouldn't limit it, but it might be safe to assume they'd not want to take too long to get there, since they'd have plenty of people to travel with. At the same time, if they're thinking clearly, they wouldn't want to be too close, so as to draw attention to themselves." Delya stares at the map for a moment, eyeing the location that was indicated to her and surrounding areas. Hesitantly, she extends her right index finger and points. "There's a glen here. A little cave here. " She points out a few more places that could possible be suitable for keeping people holed up, in her mind. "I can't make any promises, but hopefully this will lead to something helpful."
Riordan is quick enough to move to the table, and taking up something to write with, makes marks on the map every place that Delya points. He then takes a second, smaller map of the area, and does the same. He then rolls that map up, and moves to the door, calling loudly into the hall, "STANLEY!!!" A servant arrives a short time later, wearing the livery of the Naylands of Stonebridge, and Ser Riordan's personal badge, the quartered harpy, marking him as the Regent's personal retainer. "Take this map, have copies made, taking note of the places I've marked. I want patrols sent to each location." When Stanley has bowed, and hurried off with the map, Riordan turns back to Delya, dipping his head. "Thank you, Mistress…" and here he trails off, since he obviously does not know Delya's name.
Curtsying to Riordan, Delya responds in short order, "Delya, m'lord. Delya Rayne. I only hope that those location come in handy, m'lord. I hope they aren't a waste of time. If…if I do think of anywhere else, I'll be sure to inform you." She bows her head. "And I know my way, somewhat, around tansy and wolfsbane if you need my help if they're captured." She gives him a tiny smile. "I don't usually use them for sinister reasons, mind. My father's a butcher, you see. They came in handy when…" She closes her eyes and sighs. "I apologize m'lord. I'm off rambling again. I promise, I don't usually ramble."
"Mistress Delya," Riordan repeats, picking up where he left off once the name is supplied. "None of our other leads have turned up anything. Regardless of the outcome, it is worth the look, if for no other reason then to know where they aren't. Besides, even if they aren't there now, they might have been, in case they have been moved. Even that would give us a great lead." He seems to be trying to reassure himself as much as the serving woman, but still, he attempts a smile - it is a fragile thing with little heart behind it, though. Much different then the man from the party a few nights back. Even with the awkward moments of that night, he had been carefree and easygoing compared to now. "And I shall keep the rest in mind," he promises, simply. The new apology is waved off, once more, obviously not seeming to mind the rambling, if he even acknowledges it as such.
"If you'd care for me to go to any of these places, m'lord, I'd be more than happy to." Delya murmurs. Of course, he has no reason to suspect that she can do anything as far as tracking or defending herself, so he has no reason to see that she doesn go to help search. "If you need me for anything at all, m'lord, just tell me."
"I think the patrols will manage, Mistress Delya, but thank you for the offer," Riordan replies, giving his head a small shake. At the rest of her offer, he simply nods his head. "Get some sleep if you can. Someone should." He offers another shadow of a smile even as he gives the obvious dismissal, before moving back to his solidary vigil over the table with the maps and reports.
"Of course, m'lord Nayland. If you should need anything to help yourself rest, be sure to let me know. I'll be about." Delya offers one last curtsy before making a steady pace out the door.