|The Best Intentions|
|Summary:||Jacsen converses with Rickart Nayland.|
|Related Logs:||Together Again|
|Sitting Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|Chairs and wine.|
|16 January, 289 A.L.|
While the first eforts at recovery within the ravaged Roost occupy the time of Lord Jerold, keeping the Terrick patriarch out of common view, the town's new guest is all the more prominent by comparision. Rickart Nayland has passed some time n the company of Lady Anais, but there are some things a Lord can only discuss with another Lord; barring that, such matters may be discussed with a Lord's seal bearer.
While Lord Jerold has judiciously kept himself occupied with the very real tasks before him, Jacsen has not forgotten his father's instruction, nor his cautions. While Rickart enjoys being his bombastic self in some conversation or another in the entrance hall, the Young Lord makes to join him, the rhythmic thump of his cane upon the floor a familiar noise to some, and perhaps note-worthy for those less familiar.
"And she looks him dead in the eye and says 'I was talking to the pig," is the punchline that Jacsen walks in on. Rickart grins as a few chuckles stir the throats of the men nearest him. At Jacsen's uneven approach, the grey lord's eye turns aside to fix on the young man, "Ah, the young Terrick. Jacsen, aye? Or was is Joseth? Heh, Old Jerold and I didn't do each other any favors in naming our boys, did we?" he voices with a chuckle in greeting the Terrick heir.
Jacsen's lips quirk in a small smirk, though he nods in the affirmative. "Jacsen, yes," he remarks, offering the man a bow of his head, and a more polite smile for the sake of Rickart's audience. As to the rest he adds, with a touch of humor, "Well, my lord, with you and Lord Jerold so apt to do favors for one another, there had to be an instance when it did not go that way?"
Rickart barks out a short laugh at Jacsen's quip, smiling broadly enough that the wrinkles at his eyes are quite pronounced. "Too true, my boy, too true." Exhaling easily, he queries of Jace, "The old Roost has seen better days, since last I were here. Tell me, just how strained are the Tower's supplies, anyhow? How bad a mess did the islanders make?"
He shakes his head as if to express the gravity of the Roost's circumstance, a hand gesturing in the direction of the courtyard, and inevitably the village beyond. "It is as it looks, my lord, the reavers did their worst. But the fortress stands, barely untouched," Jacsen informs. "Our supplies are strained, of course, but the horses haven't yet started to look delicious, so I suppose that counts for something." He gestures at the throne room. "Will you join me for a cup of wine Lord Rickart?" He shifts ever so faintly upon his cane, but the most observant sorts might see how his hand so tightly grips the top. This is one man he does not wish to seem weak in front of.
"Wine, yes. Fine idea," Rickart nods to the offer, before voicing, "It is a sickness of the mind, that," he comments to the eating of horses. "The Ironborn eat horses you see- why they havnt any left to ride- and the longer they surround you, the more and more your appetites turn toward theirs, I imagine," he jests deadpan. "We've brough along supplies enough to keep your horses safe awhile longer, young Terrick. I'll have my men begin distributing it among the smallfolk."
Jacsen leads the way into the throne room, motioning a servant over and instructing them to bring a pitcher of wine for the Young Lord and their esteemed guest. "We're grateful for the supplies, my lord, though I think at any length our small folk will need come to a fondness for fish stew, at least for a while." He draws out a chair, but waits for Rickart to sit before joining him. "And the horses," he adds dryly, "Can surely be put to a better use."
"Can't abide fish stew," Rickart chuckles with a grimace. "Suppose its for the best I weren't born a peasant, eh?" A shake of his head. "The fields inland are still intact; the raiders never made it past Stonebridge," he recounts. "Bloody armies on the march will drive the price further and further up, but at least there's food to be bought. Never seen a proper famine, myself, but there are stories from the days of the Blackfyre rebellion. Not a living soul left in entire villages." Settling comfortably into the offered chair, he looks again to Jacsen.
"Seems the Gods were merciful in your birth, my lord," Jacsen rejoinders with a mild laugh. He nods with approval to the servant that brings them a clay jug of wine and two goblets, the Young Lord taking it upon himself to pour first a measure for Rickart, and then one for himself. "It's good fortune that the fortress here held so securely, lest the Frey banners met with an entrenched foe that could wait for reinforcements, and we might've seen just that." He holds up his cup, and offers, "Given it's rarity, my lord…" an eyebrow raises archly, "To what shall we toast?"
"Wouldn't that have been a ruin," Rickart groans at the notion of an entrenched foe in Four Eagles Tower. "If Paxter Fucking Redwyne would stop running away from the Ironborn long enough to offer battle, mayhap the tides will turn further, eh?" Accepting the offered cup, with a nod of thanks, the Lord of the Mire proffers, "To the victories won, and to those yet to come," before drawing a draught of the cup without hesitation.
Jacsen seems satisfied with that toast, and drinks to it easily, savoring it before he speaks again. "Do you reckon that the Iroborn will be given chase back to the Isles?" he inquires of the elder Nayland Lord.
"Hmm?" Rickart grunts around a full mouth, swallowing before he voices, "Back to the Isles? Assuming we can win back the sea, I imagine so. Kick over a few of their castles, whip the salty lot of them back into line. No word yet from Dorne or the Reach, but the Riverlands, North, Vale, Stormlands and Crownlands are all well fond of King Robert, and have called banners as they were bade."
"Very good, then. I imagine His Grace will be eager to remind Balon Greyjoy of whom rules," Jacsen affirms, able to speak with at least some vague authority on the subject of the King's character in war. "I have seen quarters made prepared for you to take what respite you can find, my lord, if you would have them. I know some prefer to keep to their men in the field, but," his lips quirk in a wry bit of a smile, "You were not born a peasant, after all."
Rickart chuckles again, "Excellent, young Terrick, as you say. I'll not insult the gift of suitable quarters in so full a castle by refusing." A smile wrinkles his features anew. "It does a man's spirit good to be in the field again, my boy. But the body is all too fond of a decent bed once the battle is won, eh?" A ready laugh follows as he draws a second swallow of wine.
The contents of Jacsen's cup are considered a brief moment, the flick of his wrist given the wine a faint slosh within. "Were that I was better able to join the lot of you," he remarks, eyes lifting with mayhap a bit of internal regret for having said as much. "We are able to provide that much, at least." He lifts his cup and asks, "You mentioned that the Roost had seen better days, since last you were here? What occasion last brought you, my lord?"
Rickart chuckles, the merriment taking a rueful turn as Jacsen asks that last. "Not since the days when Geoffrey Tordane was a bachelor, my boy," the grey Lord of the Mire muses aloud. "I came here to attend the man's wedding procession, and- believe it or not- to set aside the knives that Terricks and Naylands had so readily drawn upon each other." A short, chuckling shake of the head, "Just goes to show you, young Terrick: even I was once young and idealistic. Well," he amends a moment ater, "Younger. Heh."
"Harder to imagine, now, but I'd be lying if I'd not looked a son or two of yours in the eye and wondered if he might be the sort to think the same," Jacsen offers, though his tone does not seem to make much of it. "I'm going to take it," he notes, as he lifts his cup again, "That your efforts were in vain?" He takes another swallow, considering the man across from him.
"All the best intentions of the very best man aren't enough on their own," Rickart laments with a short chuckle. "Sad to say your father would have none of it. Believe it or not, young Terrick, Old Jerold was insolent in his youth. Wrap your mind around that, if you can!" he invites with a chuckle at the memory. "Tell me though, with which of my boys have you passed words and looks in the eye that made you think so?"
"Well, I suppose it is not so hard to imagine, though the thinker in me wonders if it is our younger selves we are before the world has changed us, or the old men we become to protect ourselves from the world, that is the truer image." Jacsen's brows rise with that thought, and he takes another swallow of wine. He seems to consider the Nayland Lord before he offers, "Your second, I think. Rutger. But in the end, I am afraid to say my lord, he traded what trust we had for more material gains." He waves his hand in a small circle. "And so, history begins to repeat."
"Trust, trust, trust," Rickart repeats with a shake of his head and another rueful smile bringing out the marks of age in his face. "Is there any currency more precious, or more quickly turned over? I think not." A relaxed exhale follows, and he drinks again of the wine, complimenting the vintage, before voicing further, "You lot havn't done much for goodwill either, my boy. A damned shame, is what it is."
Jacsen nods, accepting the man's words for truth. "I cannot claim that I would not have made the same choice, were our positions reversed, nor can I know precisely what went through his mind," he remarks, and downs the rest of his cup. "But on that count, at the least, we can agree my Lord Rickart."
"Well, perhaps we can carve something productive out of the ruin of this invasion, hmm?" Rickart supposes aloud. "Time will tell. It always does." A breath drawn and let out. "My thanks for the wine, young Terrick, I needed that more than I knew."
"Life is nothing if not full of surprises," Jacsen concurs, after a fashion. His lips form a small smile as he adds, "Believe it or not, as you like, but it was my pleasure to offer it. I wish you and yours the strength of the Warrior and the wisdom of the Father at Seagard my lord."
"I am a warrior and a father both, my boy, so I'll take the blessings of each, gladly," Rickart quips as he rises to his feet, adding a smile and jibe of, "Though I've quite had my fill of the Crone. Don't tell the septons, eh?" Finding something tremendously funny in the words, the grey Lord of the Mire laughs again.
Jacsen rises to his feet when the Lord of the Mire does the same, though he keeps one hand on the chair to hold him steady. "I'll keep your secret on that," he assures the man, smirking with humor. "You can have trust in that, at least."