|The Price of Honor|
|Summary:||Lord Geoffrey and Lord Geonis Tordane's bodies are brought back after the rebellion. Lady Isolde, only of age sixteen makes her way in before the gathering to have time with her father and brother. Ser Jarod Rivers joins her and gives her comfort in spite of the price of honor.|
|Throne Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|Early spring the year of 282|
The day had been somber, one of cold air and damp rain outside the Four Eagles Tower. Within had not been anymore forgiving. Torches and candles lit to brighten the dim cast of the clouds offered for the ceremony to come create a fog within the higher vaulted ceilings of the throne room. The caskets rest closed with reliefs of the two Tordane nobleman resting within. They are slightly ajar to show the lost in repose. The hall is empty, left so by the family and those gathering outside in the the entrance hall as the servants prep what is left for the wake.
Isolde had been brazen, sneaking through the kitchens and in through the side door unnoticed. She rests against one fo the pillars hip there and shoulder propped as she stares from a distance at first. Green eyes are unreadable, but there is a dim glimmer to them as the young noble lady looks to the name bearers of her house. Father and son, dead to the rebellion. Remorse mixes with sorrow and anger, yet nothing of it registers upon her face for the moment except for a faint twitch. Her dress is not of black, but rather the colors of her house, deep greens with yellow additives. The silk drape over her loose dark hair is held in place by a simple iron circlet and she lifts a hand to brush at it before braving a step away from the pillar. A few servants rushing out of the room look to her but merely offer quick bows.
Jarod Rivers - Ser Jarod Rivers now, since his return from among the rebel armies and his knighting that followed the calm in fighting - has been quiet throughout the day as well. Uncharacteristic of the boy who left Terrick's Roost years ago to serve as a squire, perhaps, one who rarely shut up and seemed to lack anything resembling seriousness. Perhaps it's just the somber day, though he's been quiet in general since coming home. He's changed out of his armor - his own tunic black, for his part - though he still wears his sword at his hip.
It's that which calls attention to him, really, as he tries to follow Isolde as quiet as possible in through the side door. He's no stranger to sneaking about the castle himself. The boy knows most of the more useful side passages and corners to hide in. But the metal as his hip clank, ever so slightly, against the stone as he rounds a corner. Spotted, probably.
Nearing the side of the first casket, Geoffrey Tordane rests in eternal sleep, eyes closed as Isolde slows. She looks hesitant to look on to the gaunt features, the room suddenly feeling stuffy. She presses a hand to her chest and up the locket the charm on a chain that rests there. But the loud clang echoes in the large room and she stops, her lips parting as she turns to look back. The figure at first is hard to make out in the dim lighting. Tilting her head some, she turns to look that direction, back to the caskets. Breaking the flickering flame of the fire from her view allows her to make out Jarod and she seems relieved, wiping at the corner of her eye quickly.
She doesn't seem too bothered and actually smiles weakly. "I..can leave.." She says, as if perhaps the Lord Terrick had sent him to fetch her out. Yet she looks hopeful that this is not so.
"Bugger…" Jarod swears - softly - when he clanks, straightening up abruptly. And flushing, though that's hidden enough in the low light. "Uh…" He shakes his head, several times, before he can work up an actual verbal answer. "No. I mean…it's me who should leave. If you want me to I can, Iz. But I just…sorry." He sounds like he's not quite sure what he's apologizing for, but he does it anyhow. "I was thinking all last night, about what I wanted to say, I had it a minute ago, and now it's just…gone out of my head, you know?" He shrugs. "Sorry."
"No, don't leave." Isolde says quickly her gaze flickering back down towards her father as she half turns, "Somehow this seems easier with someone else.." She admits gently. That shift of her body brings the hem of her dress across the floor in a soft whisper. "At times like these, my father would say that there is no need for words. Silence is often the truest form of your intent and emotions." She smiles wanly once more and looks back towards Jarod. "Please stay." She says again, to reemphasize her wishes before turning fully back to look at her father in silence for a long moment.
Jarod nods and, awkward as any seventeen-year-old boy, goes over to stand next to her. Usually merry blue green eyes all of sobriety now, though there's still nothing particularly guarded about them. He doesn't bother trying to return her smile, though he does bow his head to her slightly, and then turns to look upon the caskets. For the moment, at least, he doesn't try to work up anything further to say. He just looks.
Silence falls over the both of them and Isolde is content with it. The figure within the casket is not her father, a mere shell really and the young noblewoman stares for a long moments, as if to remember who he was. She keeps herself rather well controlled in her reactions but finally she asks, "How was it that my father came to pass from the living to the dead?" Her head turns, those haunting green eyes meeting Jarod's. "Did you see?" She asks.
Jarod shakes his head, not taking his eyes off the body of her father. For a long moment, all he does is shake his head. "It's not like that, Izz…" His voice is very soft, barely above a whisper, and he doesn't look at her. "I thought it was going to be…I don't know. Different. Like a song. Like a story. That we were going to be heroes, ridding the world of the Mad King and…it's not like anyone says it is, or maybe they do and I just didn't hear them…"
He clears his throat before going on. "Anyone who asks me about the Trident asks me about what it was like to see Robert Baratheon fighting Prince Rhaegar. That's all anyone talks about. But I never saw it. I never saw Prince Rhaegar. It's all so much…bigger, than you think anything could be. I was with the Mallisters men, with Ser Vernon and…there was just fighting all around us, and you can't hear anything over the metal beating on metal except screaming once you're in it and I just tried to stay with Ser Vernon and keep swinging at anyone who swung at us and…I thought we were losing. People kept dying. You can't tell in the middle of it, with everybody dying…I didn't realize we'd won until Ser Vernon shook me and told me somebody'd told him that Prince Rhaegar was dead. That Robert Baratheon had killed him and it was all over, and I heard it like a story. It didn't seem real. I didn't see them, either, Izz. I'm sorry. Maybe it I had, maybe I could've tried…I don't know…"
Her eyes break away from the image of her father and look up at Jarod. His explanation causes her brows to furrow and she gives a slow look back down at the deceased. Isolde was looking for comfort in the images of her brother and father here, but now, she can hear something in the tenor of Jarod's voice. Her hand lifts and hesitantly it rests on his arm for but a breath. "It was their time. The Seven made it so. There is nothing that could have been done. I am glad tat you all came back." She says. "I am glad you are okay. There are always blessings we overlook in the face of death and sorrow." She says. Her hand starts to move, drawn back to her to rest at her side again.
"My mother is already speaking of changes at Stonebridge. I had hoped we would stay longer here after the funeral."
Jarod looks on point of saying something in response to the words 'It was their time,' but he doesn't. "I wish I could say different, Izz. I wish I could tell you something that'd make this…I don't know. I'm sorry I can't." He finally turns his blue green eyes to meet hers when she touches his arm. He flushes again, though he doesn't pull away. Clearing his throat so some of the gruffness goes out of it. "What's she saying? Your mother, I mean."
"It is not you fault, your apology is not needed. But thank you." Isolde lets out a long breath and then bows her head in regards to her mother. "A change of hands and sworn. She will bring in old Frey followers to her maiden name. I think she worries of being alone for the rest of her life. No heir to Tordane." She gazes upward and then over to the second casket where lies her brother. "There is but me." She states plainly. "I am not ready for this, Jarod."
She lifts a hand back to the charm about her neck and gazes across at her brother. "I did not think they would return like this…we are so unprepared."
"There's you," Jarod says, just a beat after she does. "Look, Izz…Lady Isolde…" He seems to only now remember himself in this. "Nobody was ready for this, but it happened. And you can do it. You're smart, and you're strong, and you're brave and beautiful…" He trails off, like he's biting his tongue. "Well, all I'm saying is that you're just the sort of person who's anyone'd want as heir to Stonebridge so even if it's all awful right now…you'll do all right. I know you will."
There is a grateful smile from Isolde and she glances back up at him a moment. "Thank you…I do hope I can be so." She fingers the charm on her necklace. "But House Tordane is no more. I can not carry on the name, there is no one to." She says. "But Stonebridge will become the holding of Terrick….my people could not ask for a better Lord to rule over them." She nods to that. "My father will rest well in that knowledge. I know he would not ask for anyone else." Of course this means Jaremy would rule over Stonebridge with her.
"Oh…" Jarod likely had not, until she said it, really considered the political import of that. "Well…right. You're right. You'll rule it together. And Jaremy'll take care of your people. Of you. He's great. My brother is really, really…great." Anyway. He manages a grin, a boyish one, which lifts his somber expression a little. "We'll be all one family. Well. Of a sort. You know what I mean." It's unclear if *he* knows what he means at this point.
"Yes, Jaremy is a good Lord.." She seems to have agree and then watches him closely. Isolde hesitates again, "Family." She smiles at that thought but is quickly sombered. "I am done…" She says, her mourning far from over but seeing her loved ones like this, is enough for her. "Don't ever stop using my name…as you have for years." She instructs him and then extends her hand. "Stand with me for the ceremony?" She asks of him, using what little she knows of courtly wiles to get him to stay at her side. "Do me a kindness?" A line her mother often uses, but said now with more sincerity than Valda could ever muster.
Jarod is not hard to wile, it must be said, though his palms are a little sweaty as he takes her hand in his. "Of course my…of course, Iz. You can count of me. Always. I promise."
"And I for you." That glimmer that had been in her gaze before has returned and as she turns away from the caskets, she draws closer to him in the motion. Isolde excuses herself and tries to unwind to give him proper room. Fingers curl on his and then as she lifts her head to look up at him, she is silent. The creak of the main doors to the throne room start to open to permit others in and she looks over her shoulder. "We must leave…" Valda would have her for entering early and she tenses before beginning to move out of view behind a pillar.
Jarod blinks away from Isolde's face, it taking him a second to properly orient his thoughts. "What? Oh. Bugger." His head whips around toward the door and he flushes as if caught at…something. Even as he doesn't seem quite sure what, he's more than eager to duck behind the pillar with her. He takes a deep breath, peeking out, palms still sweaty. Though there's that mischievous glint in his eyes now. Jarod Rivers always seemed to get a rush out of being not *quite* caught doing something that could get him in very deep trouble.
Stuck in the shadow of the stone with him, Isolde chances a peek from around it, catching her breath as Valda enters without her daughter. "Oh gods…" She frowns some. "She told me not to come ahead.." Drawing a deep breath, she shifts on her feet and squeezes his hand. A soft smile is offered and without warning, she leans in to kiss his cheek. "Thank you. Remember your promise." She tells him.
She releases his hand and lowers her own to smooth her dress. She looks ready to face the wolves…rather the wolf and makes to step out from behind the pillar.
Jarod turns, just a hair, when she leans in to kiss his cheek. To catch her on the lips, if he can. He can't help but grin. As much in surprise as anything else. It, again, takes him a second to orient his mind as to what's going on now as she steps out. "Oh. Aye…" he mutters quietly, nodding. Ready-o.
Giving a glance back at him, stolen kiss and the like, Isolde hesitates to look at him. Pushing a strand of hair back behind her ear, she hesitates. "Speak with me after?" She asks of him. She doesn't truly wait for his answer, believing already that he will not refuse. She glides out around the opposite side of the pillar to move to slip in close to her mother amongst those standing.
Valda, always a severe woman gives her a sharp look and holds it there. Her gaze moves past her towards the pillar and then her head turns forward again, saying nothing to draw attention to the free will of her daughter.
Jarod doesn't have time to answer though, again, the verbal sort of fails him. He does stay very much pressed behind the pillar. Coming out now strikes him as a bad idea. So he just sticks there, trying not to breathe too loudly or clank on anything, and listens.
Bad idea it would be. As the figures move in, those who have come to pay their respects, the Lady and her daughter are blocked mostly from view. He would be allowed respite soon enough as well when the Septon enters to give the blessings and speak for the Seven. Isolde looks back, craning her head a bit to try to see the pillar or Jarod, mostly the latter. Her brows furrow and it is a tug from her mother that brings her about again, facing forward once more with a softly whispered rebuke that has the younger noble's head bowing forward.
The head-bowing is welcome. It presents an opportunity to Jarod for semi-flight. Or at least a point where he can attempt to blend with the other mourners. He manages to position himself off to the side, in a place where he can reasonably pretend he's been here the whole time, really. He lets out a deep breath, mouthing something that probably isn't a prayer. Another look up at the caskets makes his eyes go downcast.