|The Pieces Left|
|Summary:||The brothers Terrick-and-half drink, as they are wont to do, and jaw on those lost and gone.|
|Related Logs:||Together Again and the other 'back at the freed Roost' logs|
|Lord Jacsen's Suite — Four Eagles Tower|
|The bar is open.|
|January 15, 289|
The Roost is still abuzz with activity despite the hour, and while many of the lords of the Riverlands, and one of the North, might wish to take to their beds and rest off the battles and the marches that came between, such is not afforded the many servants whom still see to the needs of Four Eagles Tower. Jacsen is somewhat between the two worlds just now, not quite resting but neither is he still about the endless tasks before him. He's taken a few moments to stop in his suite, and sit down. The door is open a crack, that he might listen to the goings on beyond.
There's a knock on the door to Jacsen's suite. Three thumping, rhythmic taps which announce incoming Jarod Rivers. He peeks through the crack, to see if anyone else is pestering the young lord at the moment. "Escape Rickart Nayland and Anders Flint and the various Frey lordships with your life, I trust?" It's wry, though the humor's a touch forced.
No one, save whomever or whatever is responsible for the wound that so defines a great deal of what came for Jacsen after the Trident, as he massages his leg in quiet before the voice of his brother has him lifting his head. "And barely that," he affirms, twisting a bit in his seat to motion Jarod in. "Come, sit a moment?" There's familiar seating within, the room's changed little since Jarod first left for Stonebridge. The stand with a breastplate and sheathed sword upon it, though, is a recent addition.
In Jarod comes, though he doesn't immediately sit. He's brought his trusty flask, which he holds up to waggle. "Ran out of Westerlands rum about half-way through the march from Stonebridge to the Roost. Thought I'd see if I could impose for a refill while you had room to breath." A pause and he asks, with evident concern, "How's Anais?" The breastplate and sword are noted, and blinked at, though he doesn't immediately ask on them.
He waves a vague hand at his depleted sideboard. "Find something, just leave a bit for me," Jacsen suggests, before he answers the bit about Anais. "She's strong, but that's not unexpected. She did well… but I think with the Flints here, and word from Tall Oaks… her sister Elinor was there when the Ironmen attacked…" He frowns, and lets out a breath. "I didn't see Gedeon amongst the riders, did he turn back for Stonebridge?"
"We could see Tall Oaks burning all the way down at Tordane Tower," Jarod says gravely, sifting for liquor. He can play his own bartender just fine. He refills his own flask, and fixes a glass for his half-brother while he's at it. "I hadn't even thought the Lady Elinor would be there. I knew her but little. Seemed a sweet-natured woman, though." He smiles, expression both sad and wry at the same time. "She helped me fix up my face after a little…tussle I got into in Stonebridge a bit ago. Was quite kind about it." He raises his flask in something of a toast and sips, before answering about Gedeon. "He was wounded in a sortie with some of the Ironborn during the advance. Spear to the gut. Was touchy for him for a bit, though I'm told he's expected to recover. He's recovering back in Tordane Tower."
"Gods, what a wound," he says, shaking his head, frowning, though his eyes do seem interested in Jarod's features, and how he delivers that bit of news. "And you mentioned Rowan took an injury during an earlier encounter," Jacsen points out as he sips from the drink his brother provided. "Is she going to be alright?" A glance at the door assures privacy before he asks that much.
Jarod's features are difficult to read on the subject of Gedeon Rivers, though true relief about his recovery is evident. "If I could choose the strike that'd make an end to me, I'd put any other before a wound like that. But, he mends. It sits not entirely well with me that he mends in Lady Valda nee Frey's house, but I'm sure he'll be out of there as quick as possible. And Iz will try to keep him from any harm, I think. Much as she can. I pray it is more her house these days than her damnable mother's. Anyhow, I think it'd look too bad on Valda's part to do him while recovering under her roof. Woman's no fool, whatever else she is." He settles in to sit as he talks, leaning comfortably back in his chair at the question about Rowan. "The taking of it was harsh, but she recovered clean. Thank the Seven." His relief is more rather fervent about that one. "They put us in the cavalry line under her brother, Ser Riordan, when the Ironborn fell upon Stonebridge. I volunteered to stand there, I should say. Though I didn't at the time understand what was happening, just that warning bells were sounding as I'd never before heard them. The Ironborn were trying to take the bridge itself, take control of the river between the Roost and Seagard. In that, we made them fail, though it was harsh business all around."
Jacsen is keen to listen to his brother's recounting of the tale, the relief though clear as he speaks of Rowan's wound healing clean. It's talk of Gedeon, and remaining at Stonebridge, that takes a moment to digest, though he cannot do but agree with his brother's assessment. "I just thank the Seven you came through on the other side, and clean," he says sincerely, shaking his head at the tale. He lifts his cup and takes another small sip, and his eyes hunt about the room a moment before he says, "What do you make of the Frey Lords Rickart and Stevron brought with them?"
"Few to thank but the Seven, and I do as well," Jarod replies. As for the Frey lords, he frowns. "Lord Stevron was better than I had feared from a Frey commander, which is saying little, but I'll take what I can get. When Lord Rickart took his part of command of the host, the push went faster, and more aggressive." This is pure compliment from him. "We had enough of a hammer with our cavalry that it'd have been better I think to strike quicker and harder once the Northmen joined us, give the Greyjoy fucker less time to prepare. But, it got done, and Alderbrook itself was well-led as any host I've fought in. But the Late Lord Frey himself is trying to do this by half-measures. The Naylands were the only one of his banners that raised their full levies, and that I suspect only because Stonebridge was under direct threat. The rest…Ser Rygar says he figures the lord of the Twins will conserve as much strength as he can get away with, for as long as he can. It is Terrick and Mallister men that bleed on the coast, after all. The Late Lord's holdings are tucked far inland."
Jacsen ponders over that bit of news, though he cannot claim to be terribly surprised over the nature of Walder Frey's machinations. "It couldn't be more true that this is going to cost us dear, and those that would see us laid low little, I fear." He lets out a breath and takes a further sip. "You'd be proud of your guards, though, they did as good a job as anyone could've asked. Ser Hardwicke took a wound in the initial assault, and so, believe it or not…" He points with one of the fingers usually wrapped about his cup at the armor and sword, "I was giving orders and helping find among the smallfolk those whom were willing and able to man the wall. He recovered, and led them well afterwards. Young Lord Patrek acquitted very well of himself, and our own Lord Father led a nighttime raid through the sully port to disable the catapults the reavers had managed to put together."
Jarod nods short as to pride in the guards, which he has in abundance. "Ser Blayne's as sturdy a man as there is in our lord father's service. I'm only sorry I was not here to see it through with all of you." His eyes finally return to Jacsen's breastplate and sword. "Rallying the troops, I take it? How'd it feel to put it on again?"
"Chaffed, at first," Jacsen admits, giving the armor another look. "Felt good, I suppose, and yeah, father said it would do people good to see a Terrick thus." His expression twists when he admits, "I've not forgotten how to swing a sword, but when they came over the walls at night and tried to take the gate, Jar… I was useless. Can't rightly expect I'm going to run down some raider…"
"Doubt you were useless to the folk inside who saw the young lord holding a sword, even lame as he was, ready to put his life before theirs," Jarod says to that. He half-smiles at his brother. "I figure those folk'll remember that all their lives. For you were about them that night, Jace, over and above yourself, and perhaps they shall be about you as well, when your time comes as Lord of the Roost. I figure that's one of those things our lord father finds peace in, though of late I think he's a man with many regrets. This place is his. Not just because he is lord over it, but because he's poured himself into it and loved and it made it his own. The title chaffs I know, all the Jaremy fled chaffs but…that's a hell of a thing. Our father made this a good place, and was better for it. If I envy you anything of that, it's that part of it. The chance…build something, that is a reflection of you."
"Would you believe that it doesn't chaff so much anymore, Jar?" Jacsen asks, almost rhetorically, glancing at the armor again. "Seeing what our people endured, watching how so many made so bold a stand, I can't… Wouldn't dishonor that by being anything but grateful for their support, and for their trust in our family. Men and women have endured and lost much, but they still look to us," he explains. "And with all this now, there'll be much to rebuild, and room enough for a few influences," he promises, as he looks back to his brother. But before that can stray too close to an argument that has no place being touched on just now, he swallows another mouthful. "Is there word of King Robert marching? Lord Anders Flint says Lord Stark himself marches on Seagard."
"I would believe it," Jarod replies to Jacsen, still smiling slight. He's no wish to argue tonight, and is happy when the subject isn't broached. "As for Good King Robert, I'm sure he marches, question is where. The Ironborn seem everywhere, Jace. If Lord Stark has room enough in the North to breathe that he can give us aid, that's frankly more than I expected. But they blast the Westerlands shores along with the River coast, and we've still no word from the seas of the Reach or Dorne that I've heard. Yet no aid either, either to us or Lannisport, so I take it an ill tiding. They attacked like a hammer of fire from the sea, in such strength as I didn't imagine the Iron Islands had. They must've been planning this for years." He frowns, taking another drink. "Perhaps since the Rebellion. Ser Rygar and I got to talking about…things…on the march, and he reminded me that Balon Greyjoy was the only one of the lords paramount who took no part in the Rebellion. He conserved his strength on his Iron Islands. And now he seeks to make himself a crown of our river blood with it."
He shakes his head as he listens to his brother, not in disagreement, but rather surprise at how swift and wide the Ironmen have spread their attack. "When this is done, Jarod, if a single soul lives of Greyjoy allegiance, I'll never see us taken so unawares again. We cannot be so blind and deaf to what goes on there, not if we mean to take our duty as defenders of the coast seriously, not if we truly mean to defend our people." Heavy on promise, lean on exactly how it is done, but there is little doubting Jacsen's sincerity on that.
"I would see every Greyjoy dead, and put my sword the the neck of the pretender prince Maron himself for what he did the the Roost," Jarod says, swearing it low and fervent, like a promise he's making to himself. "I pray to the Warrior and Stranger both I meet him and soon, for he shall find me no soft Riverman." His hand is clenched tight around his flask. The grip might break a glass, though the metal withstands it. He takes a deep breath, letting it out slow, and another drink. It's a beat of quiet before he says, "Father told me about Uncle Revyn. Has he been buried yet?"
Jacsen gives another small shake of his head, "We only were able to recover his remains in that same raid we disabled the catapults, though I suspect it shall not wait long now." Talk of family brings another question forward, "Something that I've wondered, too, with word being so unreliable… do you reckon Jaremy's escort to the Wall left early enough to have avoided any parties of reavers bold enough to go in land, Jar?"
"I would like to help in the burying of him. Uncle Revyn." As for Jaremy, Jarod takes a moment to think on that. "Iz told me he'd left Stonebridge in that wagon that came with the black brothers. Confirmed it, more like. We spoke on it for some time and she didn't speak of any price the Naylands demanded for it. I don't think she'd lie to me. Whether she knew the whole of the bargain herself was another matter but…perhaps it was a plea she could make for Jaremy as the Lady Nayland. She still loves him, I think, and he her, even after everything." He takes a drink, eyes his last, and caps it closed. "That was…a week? Perhaps not quite that much, before the Ironborn struck the coasts. Enough time to cover some distance, at least. Perhaps we should ask Lord Flint. If they meant to take a ship to the Wall, Flint's Finger would be the best place to find one headed that direction. If not, we can make some assumption they took more inland roads, and the areas off the coast have not been troubled much. Yet."
Jacsen nods a touch at the burial of their slain uncle, though it's talk of their yet living brother that seems to trouble him the most. "You know, I half expect him to slip his captivity to come racing back here," he says, lips quirking just a touch as he finishes his drink. "Maybe going on about how Lord Anton must've been in on all of this from the beginning, or some such."
Jarod laughs at that, though it's a sound more rueful than amused. He doesn't seem to take it entirely as a joke. "Might. I don't know any longer, though. Maybe his folly at Stonebridge freed him some, in a way. You have to figure it must, don't you?" His lips curve into a grin that's too thin to be anything near boyish or merry. "To do something so spectacularly stupid. And then when everything breaks you just see what you're left with at the end of it. And if it's not what you dreamed of…well, at least you know the worth of the pieces you've got left. For my part, I figure he can find his honor on the Wall. It's no Kingsguard, but it's a good duty in its own way, and something a man can pour himself into, if he's not left with anything else."
"I can believe that, and I hope that he manages it," Jacsen agrees with a nod, putting aside his empty cup. "I hope he's managed to unentangle himself from all of this, and not let it rest too hard on his heart. Whatever else, he doesn't deserve that for the rest of his days." There's silence for a moment there, before he sighs and simply admits, "Gods, Jar, I'm glad to have you back home again."
"Warrior guide Jaremy nee Terrick," Jarod says with a laugh. Though, again, the pseudo-blessing isn't really meant as a joke. "And the rest of us, while He's at it." He stands, going over to clasp his brother's shoulder brief but firm and warm. "I'm glad to be home. Now, I'll see what my room feels like, and leave you to it. Your lady wife will be along soon, and I doubt she wants me hanging around after the day she's had. Tell her I grieve for her sister, and do as you can for her beyond that."