|The Maiden Trapped in the Tower.|
|Summary:||Alys strolls to the rooftop for some fresh air in the middle of the night after drinking heavily with Lord Alric. Though she does not find peace and quite, she finds Riordan, and his news is of the bad sort. Alys, is taken hostage.|
|Related Logs:||Oh there will be many!|
|Stonebridge: Tordane Tower: The Rooftop|
|On the walkway between the rookery and the stairs.|
|Thursday June 7, 289|
Decisions have been made. The dies have been cast. Now, it's time to wait and see their outcome. It's late, or early, depending on how one judges these things. Whichever it is, a silence hangs over Tordane Tower. An almost sinister quiet. The lull before the storm. And here, standing in the eye of it, is the Lord Regent of Stonebridge. He stands atop the Tower he governs in the name of his brother's wife, the same woman who may one day be his own.
And, looking out into the night, he gazes down at the sleeping town of Stonebridge, to one building in particular, where even now lights can still be seen, as knights and men-at-arms bearing the Mistletoe shield drink, make merry… and await, unknowing, for the decision that has already been made to reach them. And Ser Riordan stands and holds his silent vigil, still weary and haggard looking, the signs of illness becoming more pronounced. Only the caws of the ravens in their rookery, and the idle chatter of the nearby guards keep him company.
Alys found sleep short and fleeting, not to mention irritating as she found her way to her bed, but sleep would not find her. Tossing and turning and still intoxicated she gave up and left her maid asleep with her needlework and made way for some safe, fresh air on the rooftops. Her blazing red hair is a mess, and she still wears the clothes she wore the day prior. Sunny-yellow and cinched at the waist.
When she reaches the top she finds Ser Riordan, and with a small lift of a brow she walks by the, and nods to the two guards the stand at the foot of the path leading away from the stairs. Wobbly and shaky as is, trying to shake off the drink and what little of the sleep that still remains. A stone that is slightly lifted —or not depending on who you ask, and how much wine they have consumed, makes Alys trip, though she catches herself and puts her hands out to her sides for steadiness. "Seven Hells." She whispers before finishing the walk towards the rookery, and subsequently, toward Riordan. "Good morn, or is it eve still. Bah, Hallo, Ser Riordan." She drops an unsteady curtsy for the Regent of Stonebridge.
Ser Riordan's quiet reverie is broken by the sounds behind him, and he turns to see that stumbling redhead approach him. "Lady Alys," Riordan says, his dark and tired eyes revealing some surprise. And his eyebrows raise, further and further, when he realizes her state. He opens his mouth, as if to say something… and instead, laughter comes out. He seems to find it really, really funny for some reason, so much so that his body almost seems to bend, a shaky hand holding on dearly to the stone crenallation beside him. The laughter, however, is short-lived as it transforms into a wracking cough, that truly has him bending over double, for a moment. Finally, as it subsides, he murmurs a hoarse, "Forgive me, my lady…"
Alys' cheeks turn a bright cherry red, they seem to almost blend in with her wild mass of hair. She looks at herself, and blushes further pulling a piece of rush from her hair from the fall she took in her room earlier with Alric. A dance lesson in lifting gone completely wrong. Though as his laugh goes to a cough a look of concern crosses her face. "My lord, are you well?" She goes to stand beside the ill man her icy blue eyes scanning over him as he speaks. "You are forgiven, my lord, no worries." She chirps a sloppy smile as if to reassure him of that.
"Fine, fine," Riordan says, in spite of the coughing, still smiling as he straightens and once more regards Alys. "Ah, Lady Alys… the Seven truly have a sense of humor, don't you find? I had been considering speaking with you, but feared seeking you at such an hour lest I sully your reputation. And here you are… well." He gestures to her. Cause you know. Drunk. His smile is genuine, though, the same warmth as always, even if made a bit smaller with weariness. "I hope you had a pleasant evening, however."
"The Seven have more than that I fear." Alys mumbles, "Oh, never you worry about that. I am staying in your home and you are Regent. I should doubt that you could sully my name by calling on me. I do have a maid so…. I am not without household." She raises a brow and cocks her head to the side, kind of looking like a lion with her bright colored main as wild as it is. "What did you have to speak to me about, now that you have me here?" She places her hand to the stone, holding onto it, still a bit shaky, at least the sleepy feeling is gone. "My evening was pleasant, I held company with my father's diplomat, more like cried to my father's diplomat. An old friend, listening to a lady's woes. I, trust you have heard of my betrothal?" Alys' face goes sour to the idea, though she quickly wipes it away for a look of indifference.
"Betrothal?" Riordan asks, surprise on his expression as it over rides any need he might have to answer her question. "I had not, no. That was… rather fast. I knew your father had sent you here to make possible connections, but I had not thought…" He frowns in thought, before he asks, "Who has Lord Keegan sought to match you with?"
A short laugh, almost defiant. "Yes, Ser Perrin Haigh. I have never met the man." Alys bristles at the thought. "I do not know why my lord father would push me out of Hollyholt to make friends only to toss me at the first offer that came his way. I thought he favored me most, apparently I thought wrong." She sighs leaning on the battlements looking over stonebridge, the cool night air as a slight sobering effect, Alys closes her eyes. "He could have matched me better, Ser Riordan." She crumples her nose up. "It would seem I have no choice now. Unless, that is, he has only made arrangements and negotiations, not signed a formal contract. I just wish he consulted me. I could have told him as such, but he did not, not even with his diplomat." Alys shrugs a little and opening her eyes she looks to Riordan.
"I wonder…" Riordan says, once more finding his gaze drawn to that distant speck that is the inn. "When we spoke last, Lady Alys, regarding the politics of this region, you seemed surprised and dismayed at what your family, your cousin has done. This sudden betrothal to the Haighs, and the rest… it makes me think that the rumors are indeed filled with more truth then I'd have wished." He frowns to himself, before looking to her. "You have heard what your cousin did, while the rest of us were out searching for the abducted women, his wife among them?"
Alys nods along with the Regent's words. "I was, and I wrote him about that. He called me a silly little girl and told me that I am kind of heart but, well, basically, that people aren't as kind as I think they are. He acts as if I am a naive little girl, and not the woman that stood by him at his meetings and dealings." She shrugs and then brings her full attention to the Stonebridge Regent, "Pray tell, Lord Riordan. I should like to hear your thoughts, and what did Ser Aleister do? I had not heard anything about it." She shakes her head and looks to Riordan with much interest.
"Ah, I see," Riordan says, raising his eyebrows a bit about Alys writing a letter, though he does not seem overly surprised with the response. Just… disappointed. "I am sorry," he tells her, quietly. Turning to regard her more fully, he says, "Your cousin withdrew his men from the search, by all accounts more then a score of knights and men-at-arms combined. And then, while the rest of us were occupied with rescuing the ladies who had been abducted, his wife included as I have said, he and his men marched into the Crane's Crossing, took over every room… and by all accounts, have turned all other comers away. They sit in my House's town, a garrison's worth of men." There's a hint of anger, however wearily kept, in his tone, as he speaks these last words. "They provoke me to action, Lady Alys."
Alys stands with a look of disbelief, blinking a few times trying to make sense of it all and finding none. "What in the Seven Hells?!?" She huffs and the guards down the walkway who most likely heard her curse cough and mutter amongst themselves. "That pretentious, I, I am sorry Lord Riordan. Is there anything I could do to help? I might not be in much of a position anymore, but I will try." Alys crosses her arms, her usually soft plump lips form a hard thin line. "What is going on here? I hope my father is not planning anything rash." Alys plops herself down on the ground suddenly loosing her ability to stand. "Is he mad?"
Riordan's eyebrows raise slightly at the expletive, and even more so when she falls to the ground at his feet. "Lady Alys," he says, chidingly, but in a tone that still maintains fondness and warmth. "You are still in your cups, I think." He pauses, before saying, "But there is something you can do." And, after a moment, he lowers himself to the ground to sit beside her. "Forgive me," he says, simply. "That is what you can do for me. For I have already made my decision. I must answer your cousin's termity. More then that, though… it is likely I shall have to take advantage of having you beneath my roof, though it galls me. If it comes to it, I will have to make the fact that you are my guest a threat to your cousin, and mayhaps your father. More then that… I will likely need to confine you to the Tower." He shakes his head, and he truly, genuinely seems to regret it.
She slides a look to Riordan that brokers much confusion as he continues to speak and sit beside her. Mirth, that is what can be found there. "Into my cups I very well may be, well not so much anymore, but yes I was." She waves her hand, "That makes no difference now." She watches his expression a she does slap him, and not lightly, fairly hard across the cheek. "That is for lying to me. You told me I would be safe here, have nothing to worry about. It seems I do."
She half smiles and shakes her head, lessening the furrow on her brow and rubbing the spot she left on his cheek. "My apologies, but you have to recognize the situation you put me in, not to mention how silly you make me look." She nods to her own words. "However, I do recognize that my family gave you no choice."
She sees the regret on his face and sighs. "If you must confine me here, at least allow my father's diplomat the opportunity to come visit. Let him broker the agreement. Perhaps then, this can end peacefully, at least let my father know that I am safe, if anything at all and lessen his wrath, if anything." She looks at him a bit hard. "I know I am not position to make demands, but for the love you bare my brother, at least afford me this courtesy." Her eyes soften, and a half-idled smile sits on her face. "Please, Ser Riordan."
"Ow!" Riordan proclaims, more in surprise then in actual hurt. Well, a little hurt, anyways. He stares at her for a moment, a bit indignant. "I did not lie! I said you would be safe, and I meant it. I'm not about to let harm come to you. Just because I allude to you being a hostage doesn't make you one!" Riordan stares at for a moment, before he smiles a bit ruefully. "Though, I suppose it does a bit if I have to restrict your movements."
He lets out a sigh, shaking his head. "I am sorry. I didn't want this. And for what it is worth… I haven't lied to you. Not intentionally, anyways. I will do all I can to protect you, Lady Alys, I truly mean that. But I must also protect my family. You can see that, can you not?" His hand moves up to where her hand touches his face, holding it there, briefly as he holds her gaze. "I want this to end, quickly and as peacefully as possible, I do. I hold your brother dear to me. Nothing would give me greater pleasure then to see this well done. I had even hoped to see if we could allign your family to mine. Truly. This…" He shakes his head again, lowering his hand. "This was not my wish." Riordan falls silent, then, as he hears out her request. "Perhaps. Not immediately. Some events must play out first. But afterwards, yes, perhaps."
"Oh? And yet, here I am, with worry." She smirks, obviously slightly amused with his reaction. "You deserved it!" She exclaims with a bit of humor, how humor is even possible at this point, well, we will blame the booze shall we. "Awww, you didn't, ser? And here I thought you wanted my company until the end of days." She laughs, but what else can she do, cry? "You deceived me, there, is that a better way to put it? Not intentionally, granted, but you still did. I could have stayed at the inn and not been involved in this at all." She sighs, "Of course I do, I would do the same, trust, I am not a lamb. Well maybe I am, but not one to be slaughtered."
She raises her brow at that and continues. "I cannot in good faith be at all compliant until you do. Not only do you refuse peace, but you refuse the company of my oldest friend. It pains me, Ser Riordan. You take away my freedom and any sense of comfort. And comfort I will need. Next you will be taking my maid to sit in my rooms all alone for days." She huffs a little at this and waves her hand dismissively. "Do what you will, my lord. I have, and always will be a piece on the board. Move me as you please."
"I am fairly certain I would never promise anyfemale that I would keep him safe from worry. Safety I can ensure… the other, well, that seems hardly something I could prevent, now, could I?" Riordan points out reasonably, still rubbing at his cheek, even as he maintains a small bemused smile. However it fades, a bit, as she continues, until it is nonexistant by the end. "My lady, I did not think it would come to this, truly. Do you truly think me such a monster as you paint me?" The question is geniune, and her words truly wound him.
"You cannot promise me anything then." Sobriety is not far behind with the situation at hand. Foggy becomes a bit clearer. "Worry of any ill deeds, not worry in general. No man, nor woman can promise the lack of all worry, that would be a foolish thing to promise." Alys sighs, "That doesn't quite matter now does it?" she stares up at the sky. "A monster no, but with all I have come across in the past few days, I am sure to paint you less a monster than you think. I am just upset, ser. My father told me not to trust you, that sweet words are not always coming from sweet people."
For a lack of better words. "It might be a ruse, it might not be. I am just tired of being a rabble instead of a Dragon." She says placing her life in the perspective of the board game Cyvasse "To sweep across the board, but it seems that even if I was afforded the opportunity, there would be a trebuchet near by to take me down. Tell me, my lord, what would you have proposed to bind our houses in peace?" She looks at him and sees he is pained. "I am sorry if I upset you, I just do not like looking the fool. Especially to my father, you must understand." She rubs at the spot on his cheek once more and lets out a small chuckle, "I suppose I am stronger than I thought." an amused grin slides across her face.
"I shouldn't be surprised. What woman wishes to hear such words, from her brother's friend no less? And so soon after what happened…" Riordan pauses, and turns to hold Alys' gaze once more, saying, "That is why it hurts, I think. So soon after what my sister and cousin, and the rest just went through… I do not wish to be such a man as they who took them. I do not want Andrey to know what I felt… worse, to feel such a betrayal." He sighs, and closes his eyes, leaning his head against the cold stone. "How else?" he then murmurs, to the question of alliance. "Marriage."
Perhaps it is a bit of sympathy, perhaps not, she does pat his shoulder. "I know, your sister, cousin, my cousin, such terrible events." Alys frowns "I am sorry if my demeanor pained you so, ser. That was not my intent. But I can only guess that after this, no matter what I tell my brother of your plans, you will find your friendship with him strained, if not absent all together." She nods to her next, "I promise, I do not look at you in such a manner. I am pleased to have been afforded the opportunity to hear it from you myself." Alys feels bad for him, a pained expression on her own, much more sobered, face. "A marriage? Well that would help things much! Whom, one of my cousins, my brother?" She likes to hear of betrothals, well those of other persons, not her own to a man she doesn't even know, even with the thought of that she still smiles.
"I do not doubt it," Riordan agrees darkly, in regards to her brother's reaction. "The truth is, our relations were doomed to be strained by the paths our Houses now take. I truly thought I could move quicker then them. I could propose a match, and then…" He shakes his head, opening his eyes to smile ruefully at her. "I truly meant for this to be more ruse then anything else. And still do. You are my guest. The restriction of movement is… unwanted, but necessary, ruse or not. For your safety, and my family's." It's almost as if he's trying to convince himself as much as her, still trying to shake the comparrison to the bandits. So, for now, he goes back to the other subject. "No, no… actually, I had thought to seek your hand for my family."
She nods sorrowfully. "I understand, and I could not agree more. Though, perhaps there is still a slim chance…" She leaves that open ended, it isn't important. "I do not mind not being able to leave, I see this to be beneficial to the cause, a cause I well support. Ending this silly disagreement between our houses. Though I fear some peoples in mine, and your house, would rather fight than make peace." She beams a warm smile, "That is not me, however, I like peace. And perhaps your proposal might still be obtainable. Who did you have in mind for my hand, if he is a worthy enough match and my father has not signed a formal contract, with the help of Lord Alric, you could still find that peace by stipulation of my release." She leans back against the wall as well. " I am willing to help you, my lord. But I have to plant the seed now, do allow lord Alric to visit me, not me going to him, but him coming here. He is a diplomat of Charlton, not a Charlton himself. It would show good faith, so very important, and my father may be stubborn, but he could be swayed with reason." She looks at him and waits his reaction.
"The most suitable match would be to my brother, Rutger, or myself. Though whichever match is made, it would need to be well timed. Rutger is already courting a young woman, though not betrothed by any means yet. As for myself… well." Riordan considers Alys for a moment, before saying, "As I said previously, some events must play first. After that, I can likely arrange it." He doesnt seem like he'll be budged to a sooner allowance, whatever guilt he might feel over it. "Lady Alys…" Riordan reaches out know, and seems more earnest then ever. "I bear great love for your brother, and though we know eachother little, I still esteem you greatly. I continue to endeavor to be honest with you, but I must balance that with my duty to my house. Though I have personal trust in you, there will be times when I must show a lack of it, or maintain a suspicion of betrayel, even though I truly know you would never do such to me. Can you understand that, and forgive me? And despite it, work with me to try and find a peaceful solution?"
"And what makes you think I would approve of that." Alys chuckles, "Honestly, I like the idea of that better than this Ser Perrin. I should hope my father agreed to pay a cheap price for me." Alys rolls her eyes, "I have only seen Ser Rutger once, though I did not have much conversation with him." None really just a simple nod of the head, but hey at least she actually met him. She turns to put her feet to the wall so she can face him, delicately she tries to gain admittance for her dear friend and family servant, Ser Alric. A man does not like to be told what to do after all, she smiles. "I worry only about your appearance, my lord." That is true it is written plain on her face. "That is why you should do as King Baelor, and broker peace with peace. Offer allowances, but do not be as soft, we don't want people calling you Rirdan the Blessed now."
She laughs lightly, "Lord Alric will let my father know I am safe, and well taken care of and that my capture is meant to be a means to an end, and that no harm was ever, or will ever be given to me. That it is peace you want in your fair Stonebridge, and that you wish for a conference to end this once and for all." Alys nods, "I know my father, he would be more apt to speak to a person who presents themselves a great ruler, not some suspicious and paranoid regent, that might as well be some… bandit for all the courtesy he affords. Not to mention some comfort to myself." Though she gives in, making it her last attempt, "But if this is how you wish to do it, I am in no position to do anything but comply to your demands. I just wished to offer some amiable and sound advice, that is all. No need for scolding or anything of the like." She smiles softly to Riordan, clearly a little sad at this.
"Lady Alys. Please understand. This is not the life I was raised to. I was a lesser son until a few months ago. My life was that of servititude, but I was free to make my own choices. My own friendships… my own romance. All that is gone to me now. I still have an older brother, but with my late brother Ryker's death, my father has given me his responsabilities here in Stonebridge. That means, for all intents and purposes, I must act a Lord, a leader, with no experience, over a holding that multiple people want for themselves, some of whom would have me call them ally." Riordan says all this, quirking a brow, before he withdraws his hand and scrubs his face wearily, giving a light cough that is half chuckle. "And somehow, someway, I am supposed to do this, and still attempt to be the person I was. If I am to live with myself, I must be the kind of person I can respect, while still doing my all for my house. This is no easy feat, and I am making it up as I go along." He lowers her hand, and looks at her. "Just… give me time. I am not preventing you from seeing this man, or anyone else, forever. Let me do what I must do, and then we shall talk again, and sort it out. I would like to trust you on more then just a personal level, but that will take time. If you will be patient enough with me to do that, though, we can figure out a way to bring our families together in this matter. Will you do this with me?"
"It was the life I chose to live, I wanted to understand. I wanted to know the rules so I can live under the Mother's direction when the time came. To give counsel to my husband, and give a sense of humility and deference to any situation that he may face." She smiles softly, "I am not angry with you, nor do I try to make your standing less, I just want you aware, and prepared for what my father may think. What he may do. It might have helped that I wrote him of your kindness, that is, if he believes it." Alys sighs, "You have to know, I am not one to try and hurt another person. It is not in me to be as such, but if pushed I will fight. You cannot expect me to care for your family, and not care for my own. My father will be afraid when he hears of this, I only wished to assure him I was well. Nothing more. Perhaps allow me to write to him or Lord Alric. You may read what I write if you would like. I just do not want him to think my life is in danger, that does not serve anyone and pains my heart."
She looks to Riordan with all sincerity, "You have a kind heart, and I see you are struggling. You will be everything you wish to be, and everything everyone hopes you to be." Alys gives him a crooked smile. "Make sure you hold good counsel, do not let anyone change your peace to war. This can quickly go sour, and siege be waged. And I do not wish to see the people of Stonebridge suffer for this, you know? You would be putting yourself and me in the position of guilt. I cannot have that, you cannot have that, no matter what your family wants. You have to be you someday, and not who everyone wants you to be all of the time." Alys pushes a few curls from her face. "I will, and I will do my best to help you to obtain peace. I put myself at risk for you, never forget that."
"Write your letters, then, and I shall review them. I make no other promises for now," Riordan says, still in earnest, though as he says his next words he adds a rueful grin, his hand instinctively moving to his face. "I would not want to risk another slap, by seeming to lie," he notes. After the small quip, however, he falls silent for a moment, studying Alys. Finally, he reaches out to her, cupping her hand in both of his. "I know, Alys. I know what you do, and I shall endeavour, most heartidly, not to break that trust. I truly am not asking for you to consider my family above yours. I think we both agree that this support of Danae will not end well for anyone. So let us find a way." He gives her hand a squeeze. "Will you forgive me one last thing?" he finally asks, truly hoping she will, but obviously expecting a similiar reaction to earlier.
A whole body sigh as he allows her to set her heart, and mind at ease. "That is all I wanted, I will send it to you for review before I place my seal on it and close it. We wouldn't want my family to think you review everything I write now do we?" She pokes his nose for the joke about the slap. "No, you would not want that. Though I should say, your news sobered me up." A small girly giggle comes from the fiery haired maiden as she listens to the rest of his words. "My thanks, my lord. And just so, if you did, it would be understandable, our houses are most important to each of us. And this support of Danae is unfounded, I do not see why. My father turned away my words on the matter. But we will find a way to see reason. That is why I allow this to happen, I knew the risk coming here. Even if I thought you would not do it, still, I knew the risk was there." Alys smiles as he squeezes her hand, "Perhaps, I seem to be in an agreeable and forgiving mood. What have you done now?" She arches her brow in a humorous sort of way, adding a bit of silly to the question.
"I did not think I would have to," Riordan says, ruefully, his hand lingering in hers for just a moment. "Perhaps I am as naive as people think." He shrugs, withdrawing his hand, before he says, "I would ask that you allow me to escort you to your quarters, and ask you nor your maid to leave them, nor communicate with anyone else until I speak with you again. I do not think it shall be long, and you will, hopefully, sleep for most of the time. More then likely you shall have the freedom of the tower by later today, and I can give more of an update as to our situation. Can you grant me this precaution?"
"Well that is good to hear. I would hope you did not invite me here to hold me hostage." A crooked little grin slides on her face at that, and then she shakes her head. "No not naive, just perhaps, there is a fear that you will drown in the weight." Alys explains, "You have said it yourself, you were not born for this. I will provide the best counsel and insight into my father's thoughts that I possibly can. You can have my word I will do my best to not hinder plans. Just know, Ser Riordan, do not cross me. Trust goes both ways, and I permit you forgiveness on that basis alone. It would be wise to make sure that no ill befalls me, if it does, you will never have peace, and you will lose Stonebridge." She holds her hand up defensively, "Now I do not think you capable of such foul deeds, but you do have other family, and there is no way of knowing if they agree with peace or not." She sighs and nods to his last, "I will forgive you for it, for now. I cannot speak for my maid and her peaceful compliance, she does not like you much as you know." Alys smirks. "But I will do my best to make sure she holds her tongue."
"I have not held the deeds of your kinsmen against you, Lady Alys. I would hope for the same courtesy," Riordan says simply, at the caveat that Alys adds to her threat. To the threat itself, he does not respond directly, other then to simply not. He rises, then, and will offer her his hand. "As for your maid, you need to not fear. I've dealt enough with women who would see me lashed with their tongue. I have a thick hide, normally, when it comes to such." And, with that, he'll start to lead Alys towards the stairs.
"Of course not, never think that I will. I am just stating reality. But that is fine, yes, I should think I need some rest. I am quite tired. Perhaps we can speak more about this when I have slept. You are right, I will most likely sleep through the most of today. The Seven surly do have a sense of humor, they wouldn't let me find peace in sleep for me to come here. I am glad I did." Alys takes his hand and stands up, a little wobbly but that could be from sitting so long. "There we are. Shall we? " She smiles as she gestures to where the guards are at the top of the stairs that lead down to her rooms.