Page 074: The Road Ahead
irThe Road Ahead
Summary: Lord Jacsen and Ser Jarod confer briefly before the latter departs to hunt their runaway brother.
Date: 27/09/2011
Related Logs: May the Warrior Guide Me; Lord Jerold's Lament and other 'Jaremy gone' logs
Jacsen Jarod 
Entrance Hall — Four Eagles Tower
A long hallway with many alcoves.

Ser Jarod Rivers is up early again, and again the thing that's getting him out of bed in the pre-breakfast hours is the search for his wayward half-brother, Ser Jaremy Terrick. Or Middleton. Or Rivers. Whatever the eldest of Lord Jerold's sons is being called these days, there's no sign of him around the Roost, and Jarod is taking his search farther afield as of this morning. He's roused Jaremy's sworn squire, Caytiv Hill, as well to ready their horses. The Banefort
bastard will be accompanying him on his ride down Stonebridge way, and perhaps beyond. Jarod himself is lingering in the castle for the moment, however. He's not bothering with lengthy farewells for the most part, but he is trying to hunt down his non-wayward half-brother, Jacsen Terrick, before he goes. He knocks on Jace's chambers first. If he fails to find him there, he'll range to the lame Terrick's usual haunts. He'll find him eventually.

It is fortunate for Jarod that this Terrick is indeed the lame one, because he cannot range too far afield without an onerous amount of assistance in his current state. Jacsen is to be found in one of the alcoves of the wide entrance hall, driven inside by a light shower of rain that does nothing to temper the heat already building in the morn.

The sight of rain outside the windows he passes, light or no, makes Jarod wince. "Figures…" he mutters as he clomps into the entrance hall, smirking ruefully at the weather. As if it's some sort of personal insult to him. "If I'm lucky it'll clear up in an hour. That does not bode for good luck, however." The chatter serves as a 'good morning' to Jacsen, as it's rattled off while he's approaching the alcove.

The meagre breakfast of what looks like forgotten bread and cold tea still sits before Jacsen in the alcove, where the book he should be reading is left open beside it. He'd been staring out at the open doors of the hall, watching the rain fall, but his brother's arrival breaks whatever spell had kept him so. "It's only just a sprinkle. Hardly enough to dampen the ground," he insists, mildly. "I'll pray the Seven keep it that way."

Jarod sits down across from Jacsen, swiping a chunk of bread and chomping it without bothering to ask. He does at least have the manners to chew and swallow before resuming conversation. "Thanks for that. I dislike riding in mud, so I'll take all the help against it I can get." He slouches comfortably, settling his elbows on the table. "I shouldn't be gone more than a week. Two at the outside, if I have to go all the way to the Mire. I'm hoping Jaremy' trail doesn't head that way but…we'll see what we'll see, I guess."

"Gods, Jarod…" Jacsen shakes his head quietly. "If either you or he were discovered there at the Mire… Stonebridge I can expect you would be more or less safe, given everything between the Tordanes and the Terricks," he insists, "But the Naylands, if they have either of you… we'd have no proof of it. They could do whatever they chose. You must not let him get that far, and safeguard yourself besides."

"It's a time of peace, little brother, and I'm a free man with the right to go as I please in our fair Riverlands," Jarod says lightly. Moreso than he feels, likely. Seriously he adds, "I've no intention of making any trouble. I just want to find out where Jaremy's gone off to. I'll not linger long on Nayland land, and they'd just make trouble for themselves by bothering someone doing no more than traveling lawfully within their borders. I'll be careful. My promise on it. Feel better now?" He cracks a faint smile as he asks that.

He frowns at his brother. "No, not in the slightest, but I don't suspect that I have much of a choice in the matter," Jacsen remarks with a sigh. "Fuck all of this, Jarod, you'd better find him." He leans back against his chair in the alcove, running a hand through his hair. "I don't know that father can stand up to this heartbreak, Jarod. His heir…"

"My main concern is that he's off on some half-baked grand adventure he's made up in his own head to rescue Lady Isole and slay Nayland dragons," Jarod says. "Which would be a disaster. But if he's not…you can catch a riverboat in Stonebridge that'd take you to Seagard. And from there, a ship to anywhere. King's Landing, tournament country down in the Reach…he had enough coin to keep himself comfortable for awhile, and he can make silver with his sword after that runs out. If he didn't go to the Mire, Jace, I'm figuring he might've just…gone."

Jacsen lets out a slow breath, and rests his head against the alcove's wall behind him. "It sounds as if our options are that he's gone to do something that will end terribly," he remarks, "Or that he's gone and lost to us." He reaches up and rubs his hand over his face. "Seven help me, that sounds like a shit pair of choices."

"Do you really think so?" Jarod asks it in a low tone, but one that suggests he doesn't quite agree. "I mean, certainly if he went off on some half-cocked crusade on Nayland land, that'd end terribly for everyone. But if he has just gone down to King's Landing, maybe to make an actual go at the King's Guard, or to enter the tournament circuit, or try and earn his way as a hedge knight or…just off into the world to see if he can stand on his own…if that's the case, is that really so bad?" He adds. "I don't think so, really."

He straightens in his chair, giving his brother a more frank look. "You're thinking like a brother, and not like the Lord of the Roost, Jarod," Jacsen tells his half-blood sibling. He leans forward to tear a scrap of bread off the loaf, but seems only slightly inclined to nibble at it. "Imagine how he shall feel, our father, to know his son, his heir, whom he has raised to take his place… has abandoned him? All that father has worked for, all that he has created and done is for the legacy he would pass to Jaremy. And rather than respect and love that legacy, rather than take that mantle so prepared for him since birth… he's run off into the night without so much as a word save some scrap of paper to mark his leaving." He looks at his bread, and sighs again. "It will break father's heart, no matter that he might be too proud to show it."

"Whether this can ever be mended between our lord father and Jaremy…I don't know." And Jarod does sound truly grieved for it. "I pray it can. I pray Jaremy can come back here some day and be our brother properly again. But…even if he does, would he the best one to lead this House, if he was Lord of the Roost?" He plainly has an opinion on this answer, though he doesn't voice it. "The damage is already done. He's abandoned Lady Banefort and put that alliance at risk, forsaken him name and title to father…it is what it is. If I was our lord father, I'm not sure I'd have much faith in one who'd do that, at least not in leading his House. Besides, that's why highlords are supposed to have broods of children." The look he gives Jacsen is frank in return. "Heir and spare and all that."

He lets out a long, slow breath at that, and casts aside the bit of bread, looking up at his brother's face again. "I know, Jarod," Jacsen mutters, almost bitterly, "But this is not how I would have things. This is not what I wanted, not…" He frowns, and reaches for his cane. "I don't want Jaremy's life, Jarod, because he has decided he doesn't want it for himself."

Jarod snorts a laugh at that. "I don't figure you'd want Jaremy's life. That's not so much what I mean. You're different men. Very different. But…far as doing the duties of heir are concerned…I mean, you'd be just fine at it. It's funny, but that was always how I kind of figured it'd end up. When Jaremy talked about going off to join the King's Guard. Him giving up the title, it passing to you and me…well, doing as I pleased." He grins. "It'd not be his life. It'd be yours, and you could make it what you will. And I don't think that'd be a disaster. That's all I mean."

"His title, his wife, and the problems he left behind, Jarod. That's what I'm getting," Jacsen remarks, shaking his head as he uses his cane to leverage himself up to his feet. "Be that as it may, what is done is done, and what will come will come." He gestures to his brother. "Come and walk with me a bit. The damp, it pains my leg."

"All right." It's quite early yet and with the continuing rain outside - light as it is - Jarod's in no great rush to depart. He stands, stealing another hunk of bread to snack on as they go. "I'm just saying, it would hardly be the worst thing for this house if you had to get it. Though I hope you don't. I will do all I can to bring Jaremy back. Even if father doesn't restore his title - and I'm not sure his doing that would be for the best - Jaremy owes Lady Anais and the Baneforts…something. Seven hells, that's a mess. I think young Caytiv Hill will beat our fair lord brother senseless when we find him." His grin crooks. "I'll not stop him, either."

"Good," Jacsen remarks, not at all humored when he says it, "It will do us both well if Jaremy needs limp his way back into the Roost. I'll feel less inclined to take to him with my cane, then." He breathes through his nose. "And I… do appreciate your vote of confidence, Jar, I do. And it's not like I would not be honored to serve Father as such, and one day…" He shakes his head some. "I've just spent a long time now building something for myself, I'm not so eager to have it taken away."

Jarod nods to that. "Jaremy couldn't take the weight of it. And it's a better life, in many ways, without it. More freedom, at least, to make what you will for yourself, make your own choices. Well. We'll see what we'll see, I guess." He pauses. He clearly very much wants to add something more, but he hesitates. So, finally, he just says in rush, "Imight'vetoldRowennaJaremywasgonewhenwewerefuckinglastnight."

Jacsen's footsteps cease and he slowly turns around to face his brother. "Jarod…" He rubs his face with the hand that doesn't hold on to his cane, the same hand that sorts through his slightly messy hair. "If she says anything to anyone before we've handled this properly…"

"I know, I know, I know." Jarod faces Jacsen, albeit with some difficulty. "I didn't even really think about if she would say anything. I asked her not to. And she told me…" He sighs. "…she told me she'd not say anything to Lord Ser Anton or Ser Gedeon on her own speed, but she they asked her, she'd not lie about it. So…" He winces. "…I fucked that up, I suppose."

He frowns again, and lets out a breath. "Well. I suppose everyone will know sooner, rather than later, and with all the various things occupying those two men, perhaps they'll not think to ask her," Jacsen offers, trying to remain upbeat since there is not much else to be done about it. "Speaking of Gedeon, I've agreed to do him a favor, but I'll need your help."

"I never meant to risk it all coming out to them like that Jace it just…didn't occur to me she might not keep quiet about it until I asked her. After I told her," Jarod says. "If I've done anything to put the family's reputation at risk, Seven help me I'll do all I can to make up for it. Aye. Anything. What do you need?"

Jacsen says nothing about the risk he's put on the family, his somewhat dire expression saying all that needs be said. He is, in that way, clearly Lord Jerold's son. "Ged is going to lead a group of craftsmen from Oldstones to Stonebridge, and then the Roost, to sell their wares. I need two guards, reservists will do, to send with him. A mark of the friendship between Terrick and Valentin."

Jarod nods to that. "Speak to Ser Payte about the men for it in particular. He'll be charged with the guardsmen while I'm gone. But they should be available as they need. I'd offer to go with him myself, if it wasn't for these latest dramatics with Jaremy. I hope Ser Gedeon is safe in Stonebridge. No reason he shouldn't be, but given someone tried to serve him pennyroyal the last time he was there…aye. Best he have some men with him."

"Well. They are not going so much to protect Ged, though that is a valid concern," Jacsen admits, glancing about before he settles a look on his brother again. "I mean to find two of the more gregarious sorts… that might strike up some conversations about how life is like back at the Roost. No levies, no stocks in the center of the village, and their own Lord and Lady to lord over them." He clears his throat. "We're looking to see what we can do with the rumors of this discontent coming from Stonebridge of late."

Jarod grins at that. "Gregarious I don't think'll be too much of a problem, especially with the lads we just got on reserves. I'd send old Ser Norris' nephews. Pair of cousins, just a couple years older than you and me. They're fine lads to go drinking with." Which is as good an endorsement of 'gregarious' from Jarod as one can get.

"Good. I'm pleased you don't have objections to my stirring up the hornet's nest a bit," Jacsen remarks, with a mild smirk. He glances over Jarod's shoulder at the open doors of the tower and notes, "The rain seems to be easing, Jarod, and I should like as not go pay Anais a visit. I've… " His lips form a thin line. "Not much time, I think."

"Hope so," Jarod comments, as to the rain. "Oh. I did ask Rowenna to speak with you about…the thing. Which I think she'll do even before she tells anyone else. So…there's that, at least. Anyhow. I'd best see if Cayt's got our mounts ready. I'll see you soon, Jace. Good luck with the Lady Banefort." Small wince there.

He gives his brother a black look at that. "Mayhap she'll reconsider our last talk, and we can run off together," Jacsen remarks, his voice thick with dark humor, "And can leave father to recognize you. Only, hand your fucking letters over to Lord Tully right away, if he does, alright?"

Jarod gets a barked laugh out of that. "I think there are a few dozen Terricks father'd have to go through before we were in any danger of that catastrophe. But aye. I'll carry my bastard legitimization letters to Riverrun with my own two hands. Though I hope I won't have to go that far on this errand. Take care of yourself, Jace." With that, he reaches out to briefly clasp his brother's shoulder. And then, he'll be off.