|The End of the River|
|Summary:||Jaremy reunites with his uncle, Revyn, and after their conversation he finds quiet conversation with Anais, who informs him that he is part of the reason she is at tourney. Igara arrives with questions about the Greyjoy duel incident.|
|East Walk — Stonebridge|
|This crossroads at the edge of town is where the docks intersect with the road heading towards Hag's Mire in one direction and a few blocks to the town square in the other. The activity in the area is usually cart traffic with moving goods from port to retail and most of it passes by the Common House. This one story structure on the corner is known as the town's nicer inn as well as a brothel for the lonely visitor.|
Although the Tournament had been going for some time, Revyn had been oddly absent. Not only that, but those travelling back and forth to the Roost would know that he had departed off with his squire and two sworn swords, with no word as to his destination. It's only now that he seems to be returning, judging by the fact that the smal group of individuals have gathered in the East Walk and with a small wave of his hand, Revyn seems to dismissing those that had accompanied. "You are all released for the time being. Be prepared to travel again, though. Our business is not yet concluded."
Walking against the small flood of bodies casually, the heir to Terrick's Roost, Ser Jaremy Terrick, steps into view. He's escaped the tourney for a few moments, dressed in his finest for all the other nobles to see and still clean shaven, save for the patch of goatee over his lips. "I heard a rumor you'd returned." His opening words are welcoming, and although he does look as if it's been a long past few days, he seems to be freeing himself from his brooding. "You should know there are a clutch of fifty Nayland swords on the other bank waiting access to provide extra security. I do hope that's not where you've been, uncle."
At the approach of his nephew, Revyn's head turns enough so as to bring Jaremy into his view and after a brief moment, there's a flicker of a smile that crosses his lips. "I thought I'd stop by and toss a couple of rocks in their direction and see just how jumpy they are." The words are clearly a jest, though and once they are done, the smile fades from his lips. "The Mallisters are displaced with the lose of the Tordanes. I was trying to .. quell their displeasure at my brother's request. That, unfortunately, required me to take my leave of things." Unlike the others, he's still clad in the armor that he travelled in, not yet having had time to change from it.
"Yes, my father and mother have kept me close to Lord Jason and his son throughout most of the tourney after the joust, and despite a few awkward conversations I've been learning much about restraint and keeping my damned mouth shut." Jaremy replies, wrist resting over his peace-tied sword as his spurs ring against the wooden planking of the dock. Everything around them smells of muddy water and algae, as the waves lap against the struts that hold the ferry docks into place. "Lord Mallister, however, is here, what in the Seven is he having you do to appeace Lord Mallister there?"
To the first, Revyn can't help but offer the hint of a chuckle as his head gives a slight shake, "It would seem that restraint is going to be needed in the coming weeks, especially with the Naylands nipping out our heels, so to speak." The mention of travelling -there- has a smirk dancing across his lips as he gives a slight shake of his head, "What do you think? Your father has no doubt met with Lord Mallister here on the very same subject that I travelled there to meet with his staff in regards to. He doesn't want the Mallister's displeasure to extend to us, so it was more of a 'show'. One that had no real hope of resolving anything."
"Ah, make the show of good faith as the Lord of Terrick sends his own brother to Seagard to speak with his own? I should have guessed." Jaremy's shoulder rises and falls. Taking in a deep breath, he plants his gloved hands down on one of the thick, hemp ropes that line the docks, gazing out over the barges. "You've missed much. Ser Kevan Tierney was having drink with a minstrel who attempted to steal from Maron Greyjoy himself and a duel was called. Prior to the duel I released Tierney from Terrick service, so as the matter would not be one house against another, though with the Greyjoys no one can predict." He looks to his uncle as the conversation becomes less of an update and more of a briefing. "Tierney one, slaying a well liked Greyjoy bastard." Jaremy nods in the direction of the bank. "Now the Tordanes and Naylands want to increase security, though father denied them. Instead now he's sending me and my brother as envoy to sit with them and make our decision."
Lifting a hand, Revyn gives it a slight wave before it lowers back to loop his thumb through his sword belt, "Preciously. It is only a shame that I could not ease the displeasure." Shoulders then lift in a shrug and when they lower, his brow is lifting just a touch, "A duel?" His head then shakes and there's a faint chuckle that begins to escape his lips before he offers, "Good thinking to release him. It would have been unfortunate if it became a matter of house against house." Taking a moment, his eyes flicker about the surrounding area before once more settling on Jaremy, "I don't blame him access for denying the Naylands access. I can't imagine Tordane was .. happy about that decision, though. Not when all things are considered."
"Which, at first I thought it was just another power show attempt by Valda herself, but I'm not so convinced anymore. I'm hearing rumors about fear of Greyjoy reprisal. Their entire camp left in the night, and even Isolde's husband to be came to my tent to try to make amends." The younger knight scoffs, shaking his head. "That alone, was…something that I wasn't expecting." His lips crease into a frown as he turns squarely to face his uncle. Looking up at the short height distance that Revyn has over him, his eyes widen with curiosity and hope.
"Father sent the Tordane's packing on the issue, but I've even heard some apprehension from the other nobles. Now we've a late arrival of four Banefort maidens, two who seem to have an eye for Mallister knights. I know father has no heart for the Naylands, uncle…" Jaremy turns his head. "…but knock me on my block if you think this foolish? I think we've an opportunity to at least secure something from this. Ser Lyle Crakehall was fair when ransoming my armor and horse back to me, and just as the Crakehalls the Baneforts are bannersworn to the Lannisters themselves. Taking an interest in security with the Naylands could at least achieve us a few months of good standing with our new neighbors…like them or not."
Listening to what's said, Revyn gives a slight nod of his head, though there is a slight blink at something that's said, "Wait .. her husband to be came to your tent to make amends? That's … interesting, to say the least." The rest is then processed and considered for a moment before he's giving a slight shake of his head, "Your father is caught in a difficult position, Jaremy. By allowing the Naylands in, it could show that Terrick is conceiding defeat early and allowing them in already. By refusing them, though, it could be taken that the Terrick's are posturing a show of force, for the sake of being spiteful. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to strike a median that all will find acceptable." There, he falls silent for a moment before resuming, "We should compromise. Allow some Nayland men to compliment our own in providing the security that is needed. As you said, they -will- be our neighbours soon enough."
"I was hoping you'd say that, because that's exactly what I was thinking of suggesting. Fifty is a bit much, but if the Naylands are so concerned with security to allow a small number of them to post with Terrick guards would show some compromise. I'm also going to have to speak to Jarod with this. The guards are his to command." Seeming a bit less stress-filled than he did a moment ago, Jaremy lets out a cleansing breath and turns back to the water. His left arm, still a little sore from the joust, rises and rolls in its socket. "As for Ser Ryker Nayland, uncle, yes. He came to show himself to me, basically, to say that although I cannot have Isolde that he is not the typical Nayland and that he would be fair and kind to her. A bitter mug of wine that was, but if he was genuine it seems he isn't interested in hostility." He turns to look to his mentor, eyebrows drooping. "I felt as if I should tread carefully, as perhaps one day he would be the old lord, just as I. I couldn't bring myself to be hostile to him."
"You would do wise to seek Jarod's advice on this matter, as well. As you have said, the guards are his to command, though I am sure that he'll find the wisdom in such a thing. Now, whether my brother will approve such a compromise is another matter." Revyn's lips curve into a slight smile with that, though. Lifting a hand to his shoulder, there's a moment of adjustment and then the hand falls back to his belt, coming to rest there. "He will be Lord of Stonebridge in a matter of time, I'm afraid, so you have done well to tread carefully with him, Jaremy." Now, there's a step towards the younger man, his hand lifting to settle upon the shoulder of his nephew. "And I can't imagine it's going to be easy to swallow. Not on a matter such as this. I do intend to have words with the Young Lord, though."
Jaremy lowers his gaze, nodding as his uncle takes his shoulder. "I'll admit there are times, Uncle, that I've looked for you to try to consult you before making my decisions. I don't want to do any further damage to this house. I waited too long with Isolde. I allowed Rygar to taunt me, though still I think I made the right decision with Amelia." He frowns, looking back to his uncle's face. "Though what you've taught me has given me confidence. Seven, I wouldn't have pulled this together past that gods-damned joust if not for some of the things you've taught me. Thank you, uncle, and please…reserve the right to tell me when I'm a fool. In return I'll do better to watch my footing."
Leaving his hand on Jaremy's shoulder for another moment, Revyn gives the younger man a firm squeeze before pulling his hand back and letting it fall back to his side. "Let it not be said that the Terrick's claim perfection, Jaremy. You father would be the first to admit that I've made my fair share of foolish mistakes." There's a flash of a smile and a slight incline of his head with that, "But I'm glad to see that some wisdom has been imparted, Nephew. For that, you're welcome and I'm glad to have been able to help. When the time comes, you will do well for our House. And when that time comes, I will have little trouble in saying that you're acting a fool if I feel that such a thing is the case. Though .." The smile remains hinted upon his lips, ".. I'm sure you will come to regret such a request, in the future."
"Fuck, I'd rather regret it a thousand times over than to end up some foolish, power mad goblin sitting on a tall chair with an entire room full of people counting their every second until they can be free of the miserable, arrogant bastard. Such is the cost of humility. That…you taught me as well." Jaremy laughs, turning to put his back to the river, facing the Tower of Stonebridge in the distance and the tourney grounds. "So…are you officially here for the tourney now, or do you have continued duties? Just earlier Rowan was in the squire's melee with Patrek Mallister and Edmure Tully. The grand melee is tomorrow, and if another joust is called I'm going to try to share a beer and get another crack at Strongboar. Fuck, Revyn!" He stops, hand to his forehead. "…did you hear? Amelia won a dragonbone flute as she took the competition of song. I think the flute alone was from Valda's fucking stores!"
Revyn can't help but give a laugh, one that he's following up with a slight shake of your head, "Don't let your father hear you say such a thing. He might begin to think that I've been a bad influence." There's a hint of humor contained within those words, an indication that the seriousness of past issues no longer weighs as heavily. "I'm considering partaking in the grand melee and see how my blade holds up to the others .. or more specifically, how it holds up to your brother and the training that I've given him. If I'm to lose to someone, I would prefer it to be him .. though he would probably hold such a thing over me for far longer then I prefer." A smirk dances across his lips with that statement and at the mention of the competition of song, his right brow lofts upwards again. "A dragonbone flute? From Valda's stores? Fuck .. it would seem that I've missed quite a bit over the past couple of days."
"Yes, you have, and Rowan won the squire's melee, fighting against Patrek Mallister…" Jaremy cringes, brushing a hand through his hair. "A bit awkward, of course, but it's Terrick training, aye? I'd hate to say it, but as a house we have done rather well this tourney." Jaremy begins to walk towards Stonebridge, looking to his uncle as each step passes alongside the other. A dark smile creeps over his lips, mischief inbound. "Jarod is wearing a favor from an anonymous lady. It's taking all of my power to not fuck with him about it, but in truth he seems…charmed by the letters this Lady Anonymous sends him."
"Yes, you have, and Rowan won the squire's melee, fighting against Lord Mallister's own squire." Jaremy cringes, brushing a hand through his hair. "A bit awkward, of course, but it's Terrick training, aye? I'd hate to say it, but as a house we have done rather well this tourney." Jaremy begins to walk towards Stonebridge, looking to his uncle as each step passes alongside the other. A dark smile creeps over his lips, mischief inbound. "Jarod is wearing a favor from an anonymous lady. It's taking all of my power to not fuck with him about it, but in truth he seems…charmed by the letters this Lady Anonymous sends him."
Beginning to move with Jaremy, Revyn allows that smirk to deepen just a touch as he gives a slight bow of his head, "Rowan won? Good for him. Lends credence to my statement that a Terrick blade is worth ten of any other house." There's a touch of pride in that statement and the smirk begins to shift towards a smile as he let his hands slip behind his back for the time being. "An anonymous lady left him a charm and letters?" One of those hands leaves it's spot behind his back, coming to scratch lightly at his chin before dropping away, ".. Good for him, I suppose. It's about time he considered charming a Lady into being his wife."
"I'm glad you said it." Jaremy steps around a fishmonger's stall, starting up the gravel incline that will lead them closer to Stonebridge. It's there that Jaremy finds his sworn swords, having stood back to provide watch for the young lord. Despite all of Jaremy's training, while their is no heir yet sired, the protection is a must. "If I were to say such a thing to him, he'd laugh in my face. At the very least someone with a wife should say it. I know it's not a Banefort girl, as they only arrived yesterday. Though perhaps it's not even a noble? Jarod gets around, he does." Jaremy snaps. "Not Amelia, but do you remember the name of the girl at Rockcliff he sees from time to time?"
At this particular moment, Jaremy and Revyn seem to be walking up the gravel incline that leads close to Stonebridge, though they've slowed their pace as they approached a pair of sworn swords. With a faint smirk and a shift of his attention back to Jaremy, Revyn gives a nod of his head and then a quick chuckle, "Oh, when I tell him, he probably laughs when I leave the room. I think he's afraid I'll force him into the yard for more training if he does it to my face." He does pause in his words, taking a moment to consider something as he cants his head just a touch to the right before shaking it slightly, "I try to not keep track of the women that your brother visits .. it would be -far- too daunting of a task, nephew." There is a quirk of his lips to a faint smile as he casts his eyes back towards the sword swords, giving them a slight nod before he looks back to Jaremy, "Speaking of such things .. have you given thought as to what you will do?"
"I should be thinking about that, shouldn't I?" Jaremy's reply comes with an awkward shrug of his shoulder as he comes to a stop beside his men. It's a common enough conversation that the rather bored-seeming sworn swords don't pay attention to. Instead they watch the crowd around them for signs of trouble for the two knights as they speak.
"Father…" Jaremy tilts his head, emphasizing his words. "…has told me to prepare myself for after the tourney he's to find me a suitable match, to try to salvage what's been lost. I do think he meant it when he said that he would try to find a comely girl, though the time for being choosy has passed." He leans against one of the nearby posts, eyes up to his taller, older mentor. "He's not wrong. It's time that I found a wife and started making preparations for the future of our house. Though I'm a little unsure as to how to be a part of this process."
"Well, it isn't the sea." Among the tournament crowds of people travelling to and from the docks, shopping or gossiping or looking for a free seat in a tavern, Anais and her guard can almost blend in. "But there certainly seem to be fewer reavers. Now, at least." The young women certainly seems comfortable in the dockside environment, accustomed to the slight hitch of a skirt that keeps a hem clean, but unbothered by the occasional spot. There's a moment of silence as the sharp-eyed guard presses a finger to her sleeve, drawing her attention to where Jaremy walks ahead. "Oh no, let him be-"
But her guard takes his orders from Lord Banefort, not from his daughters, and over her objection, simply clears his throat to call out. "M'lord Terrick!"
Unlike the sworn swords, Revyn doesn't seem to feel the need to constantly survey the area, and so, his attention remains entirely on Jaremy, that smirk returning to his lips as he grants a slight nod of his head, "It wuold be -wise- to consider such things, Nephew. I know what your heart wants and where it lies, but that has been lost and you must prepare yourself." There is a faint sight, one that he follows with a slight shake of his head, "My recommendation? Find yourself someone that you can tolerate to be with, Jaremy. Present her to my brother and hope that he approves. At least this way, you will have some say in the matter." There is a pause given and just as he prepares to begin again, the call from the guard has his head turning in the direction of the voice, eyes playing over the man and then the woman that he escorts before he's looking back to Jaremy, "It would seem you are being summoned, for that most certainly is not for me."
"I think you're right. What's done is done. What's done was done weeks ago, it would se—" Jaremy stops, also hearing the call to Terrick. Turning his head in the direction of the words, he spies Anais and her sworn sword. His head lifts in response, speaking sidelong to his uncle. "That…is Lady Anais Banefort, no less." He looks to his uncle, a quiet smile forming at the side of his lip. "Why don't you let me introduce you?" He asks, already stepping across the walkway.
Making the last few steps up the gravel to the platform that Anais and her guard are standing on, Jaremy is careful to secure the sword at his hip as he strides into place. His head lowers in a slight bow of respect to Anais, greeting her with a smile. "Lady Anais, I was hoping to see you this afternoon. I was just catching up with my uncle. Please…" He motions to Revyn. "…this is Ser Revyn Terrick, my uncle. I was his squire before earning my knighthood. Uncle, please this is Lady Anais Banefort."
"I'm sorry, my lord," Anais says as Jaremy steps up, cheeks flushed. "Bruce oversteps his bounds." Bruce, for his trouble, gets a backhanded smack to the arm, though he looks less than repentant. "I didn't mean to interrupt your walk. A pleasure to meet you, Ser," she adds with a small smile for Revyn, absently bobbing a polite curtsey toward both of them.
Past conversation are just that, in the past, and as Jaremy begins to move towards Anais and her guard, Revyn is following suit. As they begin to draw closer and he's introduced, there's a bow of the man's, during which time he offers, "The pleasure is mine, Lady Banefort." Then, as his head lifts, he's turning his attention to the guard, offering him a nod and a smile. It's then that he's turning his attention towards Jaremy, offering the young man a smile before he takes a step back. "I think this would be an appropriate time for me to take my leave and seek out my brother."
"Alright, Uncle, I do believe that he and my mother are likely to be near Lord Mallister's section. I'm glad to see that you're back." Jaremy clamps an arm to his uncle's shoulder, nodding his head in respect. Letting go of the man, he turns to face Anais and Bruce. One hand rests behind his back and the other over his sword's hilt, straightening his back as he faces her. "It's…quite alright, My Lady. In truth my uncle and I had been talking for quite a while and now that he's arrived he does have to meet with my father. I think he means to enjoy the rest of the festivities before the grand melee tomorrow." His smile is genuine, a bit more of the last night's fatigue worn from his eyes. "So what are you thoughts of Stonebridge so far? Have you been able to take a good look around?"
"Oh, please," Anais tries to object, though Jaremy's reassurances seem to be successful. "So long as we aren't imposing. Do have a good evening, Ser," she adds with a small smile toward Revyn before turning to answer Jaremy's questions. "It's /lively/. We don't get many visitors through the Banefort, and when we do, they don't often stay for long. We're not exactly a crossroads. This…" A smile touches one corner of her lips as she twists to watch a pair of knights in unfamiliar armor ride past. "Well. It's exciting. What about you? I'm sorry for my sisters, by the way," she adds with another faint flush. "It's just- Well. Like I said, we don't get many visitors. I think the freedom's gone to their heads a bit."
"Then I shall seek them out. Do enjoy your time, Nephew." To Anais, Revyn then offers another bow of his head, the smile still gracing his lips and as he lifts back up, he's offering, "It's no imposition at all. It was a pleasure to meet you, Lady Banefort." With that said, he's turning away from the individuals and begins to make his way off in the direction of the camps, and ultimately, that of the Mallisters.
Revyn leaves, heading towards the Town Square [West].
"Your sisters?" Jaremy can't help but blush a little in return, nose scrunching up as he does so. "Oh no, they're fine as they are, my lady. I was glad to get to meet all of them before losing your two elder sisters to conversation with Mallister's knights. Gwyneth seems to have a bright nature." He grins, doing his utter best to skip around the fact that her younger sister was giving him bright eyes at the Competition of Song. He steps to the railing, resting his forearms on it as he looks to her. "My time here at Stonebridge is getting better as the days go by. This is a place I usually visit when I come by." He motions to the river. "Perhaps it's something about watching the water roll. Is Banefort as green?"
"Inland, some," Anais nods, echoing Jaremy's posture at the rail, though she props her chin in one hand. "Though there it's more trees than grass. The shores are rocky, and there are mostly rocky hills and mountains. And mines. Which are the very opposite of colorful, if you were ever wondering," she adds, looking over with a crooked smile, a glimmer of humor in her eyes. "I've missed the sound of the sea against the walls, though," she admits.
Jaremy breaks his gaze from the river to turn his head to her, the side of his lip tugging in a small grin. "Mines don't sound nearly as attractive as the things removed from them. Our lands dabble mostly in farm. We have some coast to the west, though it's been years since I've seen it." He follows her gaze directly back to the water, putting a little more weight on his lean, as well as one of his spurred boots on a low-hanging board before him. "We've got this place at Terrick's Roost that I go, it's a high walk that overlooks the land. No sea, of course, but it'll hold your attention. So…I know what you mean about the waves. Strange places don't sound right."
"I couldn't figure it out for the first few nights we were travelling," Anais laughs softly, reaching up to tuck her hair behind her ear. "I just kept tossing and turning, and the harder I /tried/ to go to sleep, the harder it was to get to sleep. And then one night, it started to rain. And we were near the river, and between that and the sound of the rain on the tent…I slept like a babe." Her guard, apparently content that there's conversation going on, takes a few steps away, the better not to intrude.
"Oh, for me it's definitely the crickets and the birds, and sometimes the toads of all things." Jaremy laughs, eyelids drooping a little as his smile takes up part of his face. "We're not infested with them, of course, but there's a few that roam from time to time from a pond not far from the gates." He brushes a hand through his hair, pulling his long hair away from the side that faces her. "Though what's worse is the few occasions where I have to sleep further away from a window and I can't hear anything at all. Oh, when it's too quiet it's unbearable."
Igara arrives from the Town Square.
"Isn't it?" Anais agrees. "It's like suddenly /any/ sound is just deafening. And you hear every person who walks past the door. And none of it is…It's just that the waves are so regular," she sighs. "It lulls you to sleep." She and Jaremy are standing at the bridge, looking over the railing at the water. Jaremy has his arms folded over the rail, one foot propped at a lower rail, while Anais is resting her chin on one hand. There's a Banefort guard nearby, but he seems to be doing his best not to pry into the conversation.
"For me it's that quiet moment of paranoia, waking and for that one second I can't tell if I'm not back by the room near the window where I'm supposed to be hearing those sounds, yet something's wrong." His cheeks darken a shade, rolling his eyes at the thought. His hands press into the wooden rail, pushing himself up from his lean to stand straight, tapping the rail a few times. "Seven…this is going to be a strange place to miss. Once this tourney's done I'm not like to return here for quite some time, perhaps not until the next tourney." He smirks. "If only we could find a way to bleed some of this river further to the west."
"No?" Anais' brows rise at Jaremy's statement. "Is it so far from here to Terrick's Roost?" She twists to face him as he stands, though one arm stays draped over the railing. "Forgive me," she adds with a brief twist of a smile. "Our maps are…well. The ones of the coast are impeccable, but the ones of the Riverlands are lacking in both detail and scale."
Igara is out of the house without her gentle cous. Call it a miracle of the day. But she does have a guard leading the little pony she perches atop of sidesaddle and proper, and her girl with her— if she might call someone her girl who is likely at least a year her elder. She carries in her own lap a parcel of correspondence bound, no doubt, for the landing and parts unknown.
"No…no I'm not likely to return." Jaremy repeats, turning to lean his hip against the rail. His long, dark hair sways as he shakes his head, which fails to conceal the disappointment on his face. For the moment he looks away, spying a strange girl he saw during the last event sitting with the Tordanes. His gaze drops to the parcel in her hands before he's snapped back to his conversation with Anais. "Oh no…" The look immediately fades as he smiles quietly, raising a hand to wave her off. "…no need to forgive at all. I'd be asking the same questions in the Westerlands. There's a long ride between Stonebridge and Terrick's Roost, but this is one of the last docks on this fork of the river. Hence the importance of this post. Many ferries from the North could either head for the Frey's Twins, or fork down to Stonebridge."
"So what is the village near Terrick's Roost?" Anais looks briefly discomfited at the disappointment in Jeremy's features, looking away for a moment before drawing a breath. It's almost as though she's bracing herself for her next words. "My lord, I've heard-" But then she follows his gaze toward Igara, and she must remember the other woman as well, because she doesn't finish her statement, instead simply offering a polite smile.
Igara's pony is wonderously well-behaved, probably because Igara herself is making no effort to guide it, but letting its lead rest in her guard's hands. Whatever the reason, the little beast steps lightly and evenly up onto the bridge, her wide, witch-hazel eyes skimming past Jaremy— it would not be seemly to look for too long, though she recognizes his gaze with a gentle dip of her chin. She settles on looking at Anais, whom she certainly recognizes from the prior evening, haing marked her out as the only one in a gaggle of young ladies who wasn't swooning over some fellow, but who was listening to the performances. She gives the woman an artless smile, and, with a word or two asking her guard to stop the animal, she remains aloft even so. "Dear Lady, hello," she greets. "I do not think we had a moment to be introduced at yesterday's games."
"Terrick's Roost is the name of the village. Four Eagles Tower is where the Terricks live. It's on a tall hill that overlooks the village beneath…" Jaremy starts slowly, one eyebrow lowering as the other rises, providing Anais a look of curiosity as she starts her question. As her attention is divided, he takes in a slow breath, fingertips drumming on the side of the railing as he follows her gaze, watching Igara. He's not altogether uncomfortable, but is bracing for impact. "Yes, you did mention hearing rumors from the road, didn't you, My Lady? I do hope they weren't too…" He doesn't have time to finish the statement. Igara has neared. He returns the dip of her chin, watching her introduce herself to Anais.
"I think there are probably many things we should talk about," Anais murmurs in a lower tone to Jaremy, catching his gaze for a moment before Igara can arrive. Once she does, though, she turns to face the other lady with a polite smile. "Lady Anais Banefort, my lady," she introduces herself with a twitch of her skirts and a slight bob. "I fear you had a better seat than I at the competition. I may have to confess myself envious."
Igara's smile spreads into something girlishly playful. "And this causes you fear?" she repeats back, hardly meaning the question. "I am the Lady Igara Frey, Lady Isolde's cousin. I have been called upon to be in waiting upon her during the remains of the tournament," she explains away the proximity between the pair of them. "I am to be something of a shadow to her. But just now I have some letters which I must send to my dear father and to my brother's wife. And yet it is a great pleasure to have finally met you, Lady Anais. I marked with my eye how you enjoyed the evening's singing, and I felt somehow of a spirit with you, across the way as you were." She glances toward Jaremy, pinks blossoming in her cheeks, "But I interrupt. My apologies, Young Lord Jaremy," she tells him, never making eye contact, but keeping her eyes hidden behind her lashes.
Jaremy, making an attempt to end his streak of awkward conversations, avoids drawing too much attention to the way that Igara never quite looks him in the eyes. Instead, he puts on his best, most broad smile and lowers his head in a nod. "By all means, Lady Igara, it's quite alright. Lady Anais is new to the region, as are you, and if you've both an interest in music I would hate to not give the two of you time to speak." He looks to Anais, eyes crossing past hers as he leans back against the railing, spurred heel pressing back against one of the baseboards.
Anais arches a brow at Jaremy's words, eyes narrowing slightly. You'll not escape that easily! "Nonsense," she declares, turning back to Igara with a sunny smile. "It would be terribly rude of us to keep the lady from her errand, after all. But is a pleasure to meet you, Lady Igara. No doubt you'd had many more chances than I to properly appreciate such fine performaces. We so rarely get good performers at the Banefort. I thought I should enjoy what I could while I was here."
"Miss Eyrian is currently doing me the honor of staying in tower with Isolde and I. I'm sure if you were to come by she would favor us with another performance," Igara smiles warmly. "I must move on, but I look forward to seeing you again, Lady Anais. And I hope the day treats you well, Young Lord Jaremy," she adds, for the other.
Busted, Jaremy can't help but grin at the narrowing of Anais' eyes, sucked back into the conversation by being thoroughly caught at trying to steer near the edges of it. It does so seem Igara is avoiding him, of course. "W'wait…" Jaremy suddenly blurts out, his brow creasing with concern. "Miss Eyrian is staying at the tower?" He asks, eyebrows quirking in a look of incredulity. "If you could, Lady Igara, please let Miss Eyrian know that I'd like to speak with her about matters concerning that duel before she leaves Stonebridge. And, of course, please give my regards to the Tordanes. I would meet with them soon as well."
"I wouldn't dare impose, but do let me know if she seems so inclined," Anais smiles swiftly to Igara. "You are very kind to invite me." She's still a little wary of Jaremy's inclination toward escape, half-facing him as if she'll stare him down if needed. Like a herding dog.
Igara is, indeed, about to move off, when word about the duel makes her to lift her hand, stalling her departure. "The duel," Igara repeats the words, looking… well, closeby enough to Jaremy that he might know she's talking to him, "I pray you tell me, my Lord— were you present?" she asks.
Now it's Jaremy's turn to narrow his eyes back in Anais' direction. It's a quiet, unsaid challenge. "Yes I was, my Lady." Jaremy replies, peeling his slitted eyes away from Anais to face the shorter Frey girl. "For the entirety. I stood beside my brother, father, and Lord Mallister himself as we watched Ser Kevan Tierney duel the man of Pyke."
Anais arches a brow when Jaremy narrows his eyes back, though there's a twitch of her lips that suggests his looking back has turned it into a game. Until the talk turns to Iron Islanders. "We saw their ships just a bit before we left," she grimaces. "It's part of what took us so long. Our father didn't want to send an escort if the ships were headed for our shores. What happened, though? I heard there was some matter of insulted honor and theft?"
The Ironers have gone. The Mallisters and Terricks all showed up to the duel. Igara carefully sets each piece of information in its required place. "The story seems to change each time I hear it, as stories are wont to do," she tells Anais with a wry twist of her lips. "My good Lord, were you present, too, for the events which led up to the unfortunate duel? Miss Eyrian claims that the falsehood was perpetrated on her behalf, and not by her. Do you know the truth of the matter?"
There's a soft click from the roof of Jaremy's mouth as he settles into place for an explanation. "No, I was not personally there, though I was able to talk to Ser Kevan Tierney about it prior to the duel. It was then that he was released from service to House Terrick by myself personally." Jaremy seems to stand a little taller as he goes into a more official mode. He glances between the two ladies, though the explanation is far more for Anais, as Igara seems to have a larger grip on the stories. "Though it was explained to me that while Ser Kevan and Miss Eryian were drinking, the Ironmen came upon them rude and loud. At some point, which I am sadly unable to verify, Maron Greyjoy accused Eyrian of trying to steal from him. Ser Kevan claimed Eyrian was a noble because of a nickname, a Lady Blackmane, though I cannot be sure. The duel was set from that point forward."
"That was bold of him," Anais blinks at the description of Kevan's actions. "I'm glad he was able to support his claims in combat. Though if I were the Lady Isolde, I think I'd set a few extra guards," she adds with a look to Igara. "The Ironborn aren't known for departing peacefully if they don't consider themselves truly beaten. They might not be inclined to hold to the terms of their agreement."
"But she never so claimed," Igara half-claims, half-asks of Jaremy for confirmation. "As far as she says. But who would admit to such a thing as that?" She runs her gloved hand idly on the back of the side-saddle. "Steps have been taken to secure Stonebridge in the case of their return, dear Lady Anais, you need not worry," she tells the woman with a soft smile. Of course she does not elaborate on these steps. "The Lady Isolde is devoted to the well-being of her people and guests. And you say Ser Kevan no longer is under your colors, my Lord? For this incident alone — not to say it would not be enough — or were there others in which he was involved which helped you to this decision?"
"I can't confirm. Ser Kevan is still at the tourney and intends to take part in the grand melee, and I intend to find him again to ask him about it." Jaremy replies, frowning as he's not able to say one way or the other. He switches his lean to the other foot, folding his arms across his chest. "There is a matter concerning some Nayland guards on the other side of the river that I would speak with Lady Valda about, in regards to security. The Ironmen would first have to travel from Pyke should they return with complaint." He pauses, rubbing the small growth of goatee at his chin, watching the ever-so-curious Igara closely. His eyes shift to Anais and then back to Igara. "Ser Kevan was released from Terrick service for reasons I decided, and the matter of innocence was settled in trial by combat, was it not?"
"Surely you don't fault the knight for helping her?" Anais asks of Igara, brows rising. "Perhaps he overstepped his bounds, but it's the duty of any lord - and thus his bannermen - to protect the smallfolk within his lands. Lacking the authority to arrest the woman himself, what else could he have done?" She pauses as Jaremy gives his reasons, flushing slightly and pressing her lips together with an apologetic glance. "I'm sorry. It's not that I question your judgement, my lord. It's just that…Well. The Ironborn will take whatever liberties they are allowed to. Politically unsound as it might have been, and difficult as the situation it placed Lord Terrick in, I can only imagine that allowing them to enact their own brand of justice on Lady Tordane's land would have been worse."
Igara might argue with the Young Lord. But that would neither be wise, nor seemly. And so, eyes lowered, "Yes, my Lord, it was," she restrains herself to agreeing, even with an amiable tone of voice. She did not, after all, ask about the guilt or innocence of the Ser. Only the woman. "I will let my wise sister know that you wish to speak with her, my Lord," she goes on to say, voice demure and obedient in a pleasant fashion. "Only I must away. Good day, my Lord. Good day, Lady Anais."
"Good day, My Lady." Jaremy replies to Igara, his eyes carefully watching the girl, waiting until she's out of earshot before he turns to face Anais. "Oh, believe me, I know of the Ironborn, my father was well to give me a few words of warning. The problem lies in the fact that only Ser Kevan was present at the alleged thievery." He frowns, speaking quietly to her. "Ser Kevan is a good man, though when I went to speak with him about it he told me of his hatred for Pyke and how someone must stand up to them. In truth, I do believe this girl tried to steal, and that Ser Kevan may have tried to use the excuse her being an alleged noble to spare her, which is something that I admire." He holds his gaze to hers, sighing softly. "He wanted Greyjoy defiance for his own reasons and I could not commit the Terrick banner to that, nor Mallister, nor Tully, nor any other banner present, knowing the way the Greyjoys think. It was a hard decision, but he stood to them as a man and I had to do what I could to try to risk this becoming an act of war."
"You both did what you had to," Anais agrees, tilting her head to one side to look after Igara for a long moment. "It would have been smarter of him to claim the lord's justice in his own realm and place her under arrest for escort to you or your father, but knights will be knights." She looks back to Jaremy then, pulling her hair over one shoulder and twisting it slowly into a coil. "Speaking of people doing what they have to, though. I…Gods, what an /awkward/ conversation this is." A deep breath, and she pressed onward. "I know why my father sent us here. Do you?"
"The last month, my Lady, has been filled with a series of hard decisions and rough diplomacy. I would have rather not taken Ser Kevan's badge, in truth, but I knew I had to. It most definitely would have been smarter for him to claim the lord's justice, but as knights will be knights, as will be Greyjoys, aye?" Jaremy replies, running his hand over the top of his head to smooth his long hair out of the way as the wind kicks up. He can't help but chuckle at her mentioning of how awkward the conversation has become. "You didn't learn the rumors from the road did you?" He asks, head tilting slightly. "If you were sent here, that means the tourney is a second benefit, right? Did he send all of you for a purpose?"
Anais turns to face the rail again, propping her chin up once more. "Some of them," she mumbles. "Some of them here, after. People always talk. Especially about young lords and their romances." Pressing her lips together, she turns her gaze to the water rushing by. "My father sent us because apparently, there is an eligible young lord in these parts," she explains, managing the faintest, vaguely uncomfortable smile down at the water. "Though if I understand things correctly, he'd rather prefer he wasn't."
"Heard that, did you?" Jaremy replies, eyes lowering to the river beneath them. The wood of the railing creaks quietly as he nestles his elbows against it, propping his toe once more against the baseboards beneath. "Long before my twelfth name day, Lord Jerold Terrick and Lord Geoffrey Tordane, brothers in battle that fought alongside our now king, promised two children to eachother. With no Tordane sons and Geoffrey now dead…" He nudges his head back towards Stonebridge. "…Stonebridge and Tordane go to whoever marries Isolde. This eligible young lord you speak of was too busy worshipping his own ascent into knighthood over the course of six years while Lady Valda prepared her chance to break free of the Terricks. The Stranger himself weaves a stranger fate when the deal is all but signed and an eligible young fool and a Tordane lady sat to speak and realized that they'd waited far too long."
He turns his head, looking to Anais. "This whole thing…has stumbled into something it shouldn't have been, though not wholly undeserved."
"I'm sorry." Anais looks up, a small, rueful smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "For you and she, yes. And for me and my sisters. And for whatever other girls are trekking this way as we speak, I'm sure." As she turns back to the water, she draws another deep breath. "She's very lovely. And for all you talk of not returning here for some time, very close, when it comes to matters of the heart."
"It's…a rather large club to be beaten over the head with." Jaremy replies, complete with a quiet pause to choose the right words for the situation. He leans his head towards the water, and the side of his face tugs in an honest look of awkward disappointment. "Though understand, my Lady, that is lost. Perhaps I speak too plainly, and forgive me if this is too plain, but at first there was a level of anger and betrayal, which has become a bit of rumor, aye? Somewhere since this tourney began it's turned into something else for me. A sort of quiet understanding about the way this world works, perhaps something that I didn't quite read into. What's done is done and Isolde is to be wed, and our great rivals, the Naylands will rule this spot by tourney's end. When next I find love, or my father finds an arrangement for me, whichever comes first…I can assure you I'll not wait again."
"I'll not insult what you had with too much sympathy. I can't claim any experience to match yours." Anais absently twists at the rope of her over her shoulder, fidgeting. "But…Well. I hope you'll give us a chance and not hold our presence against us. And if not, then I suppose it will be back to the Banefort for us, and we'll have to take up the dangerous and thrilling lives of mermaids luring men to the shore. It will be tragic, but we will soldier on," she assures, a glint of humor in her sidelong glance.
Jaremy's lips part in a newfound, genuine smile, grateful for the levity to drag him out of the darker waters. "Perhaps you'll have to tell me a few of those. I know a thing or two more about tales of white-walkers, dragons, and a damned near maester's record of Ser Barristan Selmy himself to trade." He turns, pressing his back against the post, holding the rail on either side of him as he looks across his shoulder to her. His smile fades, his quiet tone growing more serious, but only slightly. "Will you be attending the grand melee tomorrow? If you are, I would like to sit with you and talk some more. Perhaps I would be able to introduce you to my sister, my Lady."
"I don't believe I've ever heard of white-walkers," Anais admits. "But I'd be glad to trade tales. I hope to be there for the melee. I know there are several of the men who were hoping to make names for themselves, so it would only be fitting that I be there to cheer them on." She pushes away from the railing then, smile faint. "But at the moment, I should probably be getting back to camp. If it gets much later, I fear they may start sending out search parties."
Jaremy nods softly, growing a bit tired himself. He turns, looking for her man, Bruce as he offers his arm to lead her down the steps of the slightly raised platform. "Do you think he left you to my guard, or should he be around here somewhere?" Jaremy asks quietly, giving her a sidelong look. He lowers his gaze to his footing, speaking in hushed tones. "Thank you, though, for telling me why you and your sisters, or maybe even others, have come. I…can't believe I didn't think about it. Though…" He slows himself, choosing his words carefully, though they are still heartfelt. "…allow me to be awkward now?" He chuckles softly. "What's done is done, and as my father has said, I need to look to the future. This young lord you heard of? He's suffered a loss, but that doesn't mean he's not willing to gain."
"He'll be just over there," Anais nods toward a spot just out of hearing range. As if on cue, the guardsman steps out where he can be seen more clearly. "I /thought/ your father might have mentioned it," Anais admits, taking Jaremy's arm. "But I hate blundering about in the dark, not knowing. And if we might some day work together, well. Then best to start out in honesty, no?"
"Aye, best in honestly less either of us end up wed to someone that doesn't want conversation and at best wants mild civility." Jaremy replies quietly, again resting his hand over the hilt of his sword as he nods to Bruce, allowing the guard to lead the way while the knight escorts the lady on his arm. "I'll admit, I was impressed when I heard your take on how Ser Kevan handled the matter with the Greyjoys. You and I agree as much that nobles and justice as there to protect the smallfolk. I've always taken the opinion that it's my duty to create a land within my borders where the smallfolk can live and have families with as little interference as possible. My father spoke of too many lives uprooted by the rebellion."
"We see too much of the Greyjoys and their ilk in Banefort," Anais murmurs, shaking her head. "We fight too hard for peace and security to take it lightly. I meant what I said about watching your back, as well," she looks up to him, pointed. "It may look like they left, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a longship creeping up the river in the night. We'll be keeping extra watches at our camp."