|The Qualities of Lordship|
|Summary:||Jacsen and Gedeon come to an understanding.|
|Related Logs:||Carousing Addendum|
|The Green — Terrick's Roost|
|The Green is a large field of deep green grass, nearly flat, that runs along the base of the towers. The road into town runs along the far edge, hemming it in neatly to a confined area where beyond a line of trees serves as a subtle windbreak. This area is most often used for drilling or practice for the guards but also serves as home for festivals, tournaments, and another other gathering that might require the space for a large number of the local residents. A well-trodden path winds around the side of the wall and moves towards the coastline.|
|26 August 288|
Even a man such as Gedeon Rivers, one who has faced down foes on both this side of the sea and upon the other, must drill and ensure his skills remain in top shape. It's on the greens, where practice dummies wait mutely for blades and spears to be slashed and thrust at them, that Jacsen finds his old friend on this late afternoon.
The heat of the sun is not so great as it had been at its zenith, though the cool of evening is still some time off. Despite that, whether by chance or by design, the lame-legged Lord Jacsen does make his way in Gedeon's direction, leaning heavily on his cane as he crosses the wide, open space.
Dummies are a little peculiar, when one is mostly accustomed to poking swords at moving, living targets, but most moving, living targets do not hold still to be stabbed while you focus on form. SO while his squire is busy with other tasks, Gedeon is cleaning up his footwork and reconsidering his posture and he jabs and parries against a stuffed opponent. He pauses a moment to catch his breath as well as to realize his has company. "My lord," he says, panting a little as he nods towards Jacsen. "I have no answer for you, yet. I mean to speak with Lord Anton this evening."
"Do you?" Jacsen remarks as he approaches the knight and the dummy, nodding to the latter as an invitation to the former. "Don't stop your work on my account, Ged." His footsteps, however awkward, take him to an overturned log that often serves as perch and vantage point for those come to watch squires, knights, and otherwise practice at their form. "And what do you think to say to him, might I be so bold?"
"You do seem to be so bold," Gedeon replies, wiping a hand across his face before setting his blade aside and walking over to sit beside Jacsen. "I will tell him the request you have put to me and ask him his thoughts on it. You really meant to suggest to me that your support of my claim rests on whether or not I would swear fealty to your Lord Father?"
Jacsen leans heavily on his cane as he lowers himself to a seat, sighing some as he stretches out his leg before him. "No, not that, Ged. That's too crass, too base. My support is not something I'm going to offer, or withhold, because of how you dance to some tune that I play," he insists, shaking his head and seeming a bit concerned that his friend would think such was his meaning. "I love you too well, and my own honor besides, to do such."
"Then what is it, exactly, that you're after, my lord?" Gedeon asks, brows lifting. "What is forswearing the man who I have fought side by side with for five years to serve as a knight in your father's guard meant to prove?"
"Isn't that what you've already done, Ged? You've brought your letters and made your claim for Stonebridge," Jacsen remarks, looking straight at the man beside him, "A hold that is a banner to my Lord Father, by bond of precedent and bond betwixt our families. You yourself have said that as Lord Stonebridge, you would do right by that, and swear to the Lord of the Roost. So what would this be but acknowledging what is already a fact? You cannot be Lord Stonebridge and a knight of Lord Anton Valentin," he remarks.
"And therein, Ged, is my point, the point of the whole question. That which I wanted you to begin considering. You do not see yourself yet as that which you aspire to, despite the fact that you carried your father's letters here knowing the truth in your heart that you were meant to be his heir. You sit here as Ser Gedeon Rivers, call yourself Ser Gedeon Rivers, and think as Ser Gedeon Rivers, whom seems all too polite and content to wait on those whom are seeking to steal his birthright to stroll up and bend their knee."
"If you wish to be Lord Gedeon Tordane of Stonebridge, then mayhap you started acting like it."
Gedeon listens in silence to that, resting his hands on his knees as he does. "So this was a lesson, then, from you to me, on the necessary qualities of a lord?" he asks, his voice carefully calm. "I could likely do more to help Lord Ser Valentin as Lord of Stonebridge and a vassal of the Terricks then I could as his knight, which is not why I brought the case to your family, but it is something worth mentioning, as you seem to suggest that pursuing this claim is the same as becoming a knight in Lord Jerold's household. What I am waiting on is word from your House as to whether or not I have any support for this right. I'm not waiting for the Naylands to offer me Stonebridge on a platter. I'm trying to gain enough support to be more than a bastard knight with a story, come to King's Landing."
Jacsen's lips thin. "No, nothing so arrogant as that, though perhaps I'd have chosen my words or means more carefully without several tankards of ale in me," he tells his friend. "What I am trying to stress here, why I wished you to consider such a drastic action, is because when I hear you speak of your claims to Stonebridge, I don't see a man ready to act. Perhaps it is a failing on my part, not seeing what is there," he offers. "You sound almost… resigned when you talk of the matter, when you should by my reckoning be impassioned, ready to do anything for the sake of your honor and your father's. You," he reminds, poking Gedeon in the shoulder with his index finger, "Are the only one with the claim and right to see right done by Stonebridge's people, and my own. I want to know that when I go to my father and speak on your behalf, when I take inevitable word to Seaguard that Lord Mallister might recognize what we hope my father shall, that you will fight to the very end for this, as I mean to fight for you. I mean to put all on the line for you, Ged, if you mean to do this, and I mean to know that you would put the same on the line for this. No half measures. I don't want the Gedeon that turned with his father's inheritance writ on letters and the iron hot and ran into the East rather than do his duty, whatever your reason. I want the Gedeon that is a Tordane in blood, and soon in name, come to face his duty by his father's ghost, and by the liege he would serve."
Gedeon sits a little straighter, quiet as Jacsen speaks. "My lord," he asks carefully, "Do you propose my taking Stonebridge through blood, if the King denies my claim?"
"I suggest not being passive, Ged," Jacsen says simply, leaning some as he reaches for his cane. "I'd not stand against the King's rule, for there is nothing just in that… I would never support it. But the King's decision may be a long while in coming, and you must be active if you hope to take what your father gave you. Court supporters, find a way in which to retrieve your letters from Isolde… that's what I propose."
There is a small nod for that. "There we can both agree. I spoke to the Lord Camden before he and his departed the Roost, and he has agreed to offer to hold the letters as an impartial party. Whether or not the Naylands comply, it is an overture offered, and should they agree, the letters are safe. Should they refuse, it is one more piece of proof in our favor. Isolde may have sworn she would keep them safe, but if the Naylands had any sense, the letters would already be destroyed. I have considered going to speak to Isolde, again. She has invited me to do so, though for apparent reasons I no longer can read such things as simple 'sisterly' welcome. Still, it might be a way to learn more and to begin to reclaim what I've foolishly lost."
There is a note of appreciation there in Jacsen's eyes, as he listens to Gedeon speak of his actions, and those he might yet take. "If you mean to go to Stonebridge, I would be quite willing to help you consider the matter, and what precautions and the like you might decide upon." His lips quirk. "If you'd have them, that is."
"I think I shall abstain from accepting anymore wine from mysterious women," Gedeon answers wryly. "Of course I would hear your counsel, my lord. If I am to be a lord, you're right to say I'd better begin as I mean to go on, and a Lord is only as great as those with whom he surrounds himself."
He uses that cane to begin to drag himself up off the log, and back to his feet. "Then I think, despite how turned around the process, we've come to the place I'd hoped we would," Jacsen says, offering his friend a warm expression. "You've always my friendship, Ged, and in this I mean to give you my support." He lets out a small breath. "I'm not one to forget honor and the like, but there is more than that at stake in Stonebridge. The Hag's care far less for their smallfolk than ever a Terrick or Tordane ever did. They stand to suffer the most, those of Stonebridge, and even those of the Roost, for the tariffs and troubles such ill neighbors would bring. You are, I think, our best chance at doing well by our fathers, and those whom look to we lordly sorts for protection and guidance."
'We lordly sorts'. That still manages to call up a slightly bemused smile as Gedeon stands alongside Jacsen, the motion a little slower, perhaps, out of courtesy for the Terrick's impediment. "Then let us not disappoint them."