Page 287: The Measure of Gossip
The Measure of Gossip
Summary: Rosanna and several of the Ladies Haigh discuss the latest gossip.
Date: May 2, 2012
Related Logs: The Eschaton of Stonebridge, among many others.
Katrin Rosanna Ilaria Briallyn 
Town Square — Stonebridge
The surrounding terrain has several small gullies and streams that feed into the waterfront area just adjacent to the town square, the sails of the boats visible over the tops of the buildings. The square is floored in the same heavy stone that the east docks and castle are constructed of while the buildings are a mix of the stone, wood, and mortar. There are quite a few fish vendors with their fragrant catches for sale among groups of tables which tend to be busy most of the time.
May 2, 289

Walking through the outskirts of Stonebridge, but coming back toward the center of town is Katrin Haigh, walking with her Septa and maid. "Perhaps I should write to father soon," she muses aloud. "Assure him that things are well in Stonebridge, despite everything that has happened." Her arms tighten around herself and the book she hugs to her chest. A frown flickers across her lips. Despite her words, she seems troubled.

The closer the trio come to the square, the more her Septa has to step in and help guide the young woman, else she would surely run face first into a building or a person along the busy streets. No one pays her any heed, however, and she continues to ponder to herself.

Rosanna certainly doesn't seem troubled. There is a blitheness about her manner as she makes her way through the town square, handmaiden and guard in tow. "No, it wasn't red enough," she is scolding the former of the two. She huffs an overdramatic sigh, because apparently woe is her. "Oh," she says, spotting Katrin — or more likely her septa navigating her. "I do think you're going to run into something eventually, Lady" It takes a moment, placing faces from the feast without formal introductions. "Haigh, yes?"

Of a like mind as her sister, Ilaria is approaching the busy square at her own sedate pace from the direction of the sept. No doubt she has been to pray and study. Beside her, Septa Shiella is talking quietly on the finer points of her family's history, but there is nothing particularly moving being said. Her handmaiden, Heolla walks behind her, and is for once looking down at the ground instead of around at the men.

Ilaria pauses to let a cart pass, frowning thoughtfully and glancing up. Several feet away she spies her sister but does not immediately approach.

Katrin looks up, blinking once, then twice. After a jab in the back from her Septa, the elder Haigh sister smiles politely and dips down into a bow before Rosanna. "Good afternoon, Lady…?" She looks aside to her Septa and maid, seeking a name, but neither seem to be able to provide it. "Yes, Lady Katrin Haigh," she introduces of herself. "Have we been formally introduced? I must admit to feeling a bit out of sorts today, and I beg your forgiveness if I have forgotten your name."

"Rosanna Groves," the lady supplies, dipping in a quick but graceful curtsy. "I don't think we managed a formal introduction, no, but I believe I saw you at the feast? Along with a host of others, naturally." Her smile lights easily to life with warm humor.

"Who is she speaking to, Septa Shiella?" Ilaria inquires of the robed woman beside her, squinting across the way at Katrin and Rosanna. The septa supplies her with the girl's name, and the Haigh can only raise her eyebrows. "The face is familiar, but I—we were not introduced, I think." She worries her lip between her teeth for a moment before coming to a decisions. "Be that as it may, I've business with Katrin. Come." The girl starts out across the square making her way toward her sister with purpose in her step.

"A pleasure, Lady Rosanna," Katrin replies with a smile. "Yes, there were quite a few who found their way to Ser Riordan's gathering, and I found myself quite overwhelmed by the sheer numbers." Her eyes flicker with amusement and as she turns to look about, she spots Ilaria making her way towards them. "Ah. My Lady, might I introduce you to my sister, Lady Ilaria Haigh?" she asks politely. A hand extends to encourage her sister closer. "Ilaria, this is Lady Rosanna Groves." A pause and then she speaks again. "How fare things in Kingsgrove, My Lady?"

"I eventually decided to turn my attention to merely dancing and enjoying the evening rather than try to meet every single person in attendance," Rosanna says with a manner of good-natured agreement with Katrin. She turns upon the Haigh's introduction of her sister, and dips in another curtsy. "Lady Ilaria. A pleasure to meet you." Turning back to Katrin, she says, "Oh, very well. We were able to avoid the worst of the invasion, thankfully."

Ilaria smiles faintly at Katrin as she approaches, glancing between her sister and Rosanna as introductions are made. "Lady Rosanna," she greets with a dip of her head before glancing sideways to Katrin. The ladies are involved in conversation, however, so she listens silently while watching the people around them come and go. When Rosanna mentions the state of Kingsgrove, she offers another smile but no words.

Katrin nods slowly, "Excellent. Too many places suffered from this war. It is always good to hear of places that are still standing in one piece." She smiles brightly. "What has brought you to Stonebridge, My Lady? It is not a short trip from here to Kingsgrove." She surreptitiously hands her book over to her maid, leaving both hands free as they clasp loosely together in front of her.

"My brother Kittridge is here with the dreary task of securing trade interests, but I am here just to meet new people and cultivate friendships for the family." From the wide set of Rosanna's smile, it is a task she has taken a shine to.

"It sounds as if you and my sister share quite a bit in common, then. I predict you shall become fast friends now, exchanging all manner of gossip over the people you have met," Ilaria inserts herself into the conversation, her smile overly bright as she reaches out to touch Katrin on the arm in a gentle sisterly gesture. "Lady Katrin is quite the expert at hosting social functions for our brother's guests."

Katrin chuckles and shakes her head, "Oh, my dear sister is far too kind with her praise," she says mildly, but there is a measure of pride behind her gaze. "It sounds like quite a wonderful way to spend your days, Lady Rosanna. I do hope that one day you might be able to count myself and my sister amongst your friendships."

Rosanna laughs a small, pleased sound at the sisterly camaraderie. "I hope we shall, too," she says. "I do enjoy a good round of gossip."

Stepping out of a nearby shop, the Lady Briallyn Haigh appears to be tucking something into a moderately sized woven basket hanging from a silk clad forearm. As she quietly saunters out of the establishment, flanked by her mousy handmaiden and the dour presence of her Septa, the young woman pauses on the cobble stone pathway to scan the square with a guarded expression. Dark green eyes alight upon the three familiar faces as one corner of her mouth twitches upward. Tucking a lock of dark mahogany hair behind an ear, the Lady finds her way along the store fronts towards the titillating trio.

Ilaria falls silent once again, although her nose wrinkles with her amusement. She curls her hand around Katrin's elbow and watches Rosanna for a moment before looking back to her sister. "Gossip does entertain many," the girl murmurs before glancing down to the ground.

"Yes, that is quite true," Katrin agrees with Ilaria, smiling toward her sister gently. "For what would we poor ladies have to live for without the good word of gossip to keep our minds sharp, and virtues in tact." Oh, and speaking of which. There's Briallyn. Her nose wrinkles ever so slightly but her throat clears delicately. "So tell me, Lady Rosanna, what do you think of the gossip that Lady Danae Westerling carries Ser Gedeon's heir? I have heard differing reports of what truly transpired."

"Good day, Lady Briallyn," Rosanna offers the newest Haigh upon seeing her draw closer. Her attention is quickly recaught by the promise of gossip, however. "Well, I suppose it depends on how long they were married, hm? You know. How much time they had to—" YOU KNOW.

Gossip. Briallyn's full lips purse as she catches the present topic upon the tips of their wagging tongues. Her sculpted features remain smooth and composed, but her moss green eyes are thunderous. Even then, she affords a small smile, and a short-lived inclination of her head for the Lady Groves. "I suppose it depends upon how much you believe in rumor," the young woman intones with a small touch of ominous coolness to her dulcet voice. "Disregarding rumor, of course, even then…"

She pauses, voice trailing away. "Hardly enough time at all to know the truth. But, of course, the Lady Danae would make such a claim, or else she is nothing. Women are nothing without the heir of their husbands, no? She would not be able to make any claims. Then again, if you believe rumor." Briallyn doesn't even complete the thought aloud, and her Septa, sour-faced, clears her throat loudly.

Gossip is for some, at least, but Ilaria is blushing so brightly that she could serve as a torch in the dark. She stares down at the toes of her slippers, reaching up to cover her lips with her fingers. She glances up when movement on her periphery catches her attention, and spying Briallyn she offers up a relieved and hopeful smile.

But alas, the topic remains the same. Ilaria shifts her weight from one foot to the other, looking about as awkward as she feels in the current situation. "Lady Danae is in mourning and barely a day of joy did she have before being widowed and her husband slain right within these city's walls. Perhaps we should speak of someone else."

"Sadly, dear one, despite what happened to Lady Danae's husband, the fact that the Lady herself chose to speak out about it, she brought herself into this mess," Katrin replies gently to Ilaria, shaking her head. "My sympathies are with the Lady for the loss of her Lord husband, however there will be a great deal of struggle from here until the matter is settled. If she truly does carry the heir of Ser Gedeon, she has become a threat to House Nayland's claim here." She sighs softly. "There is never an end to the drama and political intrigue, it seems. Would you not agree, Lady Rosanna?"

"It's hardly rumor, even," Rosanna says with a careless sort of shrug. "I heard her say it herself, as did everyone at the duel." She looks to Katrin with a hint of a smile. "I imagine life would be far duller if there were."

"That was not the rumor I was referencing," Briallyn says coolly with a hint of a wolfish smile, but her dark green eyes slide away from Rosanna to find purchase upon Ilaria. "Sympathies or not, yes, we likely should speak of something else. Gossip accomplishes nothing, and only an empty mind speaks of others and little else." The Septa makes a soft grumbling sound with her mud brown eyes squinting disapprovingly at each of the girls, but mostly for her own ward. "Septa Darna is likely to implode if we keep going on about the private lives of people who may or may not be sleeping with eachother." The Septa raises her voice, then, with a grand: "My /Lady/!"

If Ilaria's face could turn any more red it probably would. She stares wide-eyed at Katrin before turning her gaze to Rosanna and Briallyn in turn as they speak. Pulling her hand away, she lifts up the hem of her skirt just a bit as if to depart. "Mother must have neglected me muchly in my education, then. I missed /this/ particular prayer for the dead and their family left behind." She bites her lower lip for a moment before nodding rather curtly. "I've business." Without so much as a farewell, she gestures to her Septa and handmaiden and exits stage left.

"I will walk with you back home, sister," Katrin says gently to Ilaria. She dips down into a bow toward Rosanna, "Lady Rosanna, it was a pleasure to have met you. I do hope that we may meet again soon. It has been quite the experience." She gives another small bow to Briallyn. "Cousin." And then she walks off to try and catch up with her sister.

"I am sorry, Lady Briallyn," Rosanna says, looking to her with full sympathy. "It must be difficult for you to hear talk of rumors and gossip." Her lips spread in a soft, crystalline smile as she looks back to Karin and Ilaria. "It was a pleasure to meet both of you, my ladies. I am sure we will see each other again soon."

Murmuring a few choice farewells to her cousins, eyes following after them as they retreat. But, that clear gaze returns to Rosanna in short order, and little about her expression gives way to an understanding of her emotional state. Instead, she raises one dark brow before speaking. "And why would that be, Lady Groves?" The corner of her mouth is twitching again, but Briallyn's voice is polite, even somewhat cultured.

"Having been the unfortunate target of them yourself," Rosanna replies, her voice eminently gentle. "No doubt that is why you are so keen to lift the burden of attention from another's shoulder." She smiles beatifically.

"Ah." Odd that a single sound could carry behind it so much scorn, but Briallyn is an expressive woman, it seems. On the other hand, her Septa, standing behind her, is making more than a few agreeable grunts in accordance with Rosanna's words. "People crave entertainment when they cannot entertain themselves. Even so, I am not keen to unburden the Lady Danae from the pit she has thrown herself so bodily into. But, I do not see the purpose in discussing it over much. What does that serve? Speaking of it alone will accomplish very little, will it not?"

Rosanna laughs aloud, either at Briallyn's words or the scorn that drips from them: it's hard to tell. The sound is bright and tinkling, near innocent. "What a lovely world you live in, Lady Briallyn, where words mean nothing. But if it doesn't entertain you, there's no reason for you to join. I certainly shan't keep you." She dips in a polite curtsy, amusement still playing on her lips. "Good day, Lady Briallyn," she farewells pleasantly before turning to go.

"Words, in and of themselves, have no meaning. It is the action behind them. Action often taken by others. Gossip is meaningless until someone acts upon it," Briallyn remarks acidly with a wry smile, but inclines her head towards the Groves with a certain humor. "Worry not, I sought the company of my cousins, and you are free to go, of course." She, however, does not. Instead, she seems content to stand idle there, murmuring something off-handedly to the timid looking handmaiden at her side even as her Septa looks on grumpily.