|The Spoils of War|
|Summary:||Lucienne is worried about money.|
|Related Logs:||Siege logs, I guess? And brokeass Terrick logs.|
|Throne Room, Four Eagles Tower|
|A room. WITH A THRONE, SURPRISE!|
|23 January, 289|
In the days since the liberation of the Roost, the Terrick fortress has seen increasingly less of the small folk that once crowded its halls, many brave souls that once resided within these walls seeking shelter from the barbarous Ironmen now feel secure enough to head out into what is left of the village and begin the process of cleaning and rebuilding. Still, the Throne Room is rarely silent, a convenient meeting place where strategies and plans are arranged, and the input of commanders and lords can be easily consulted. It is in the midst of such a meeting that Jacsen sits, along with a few other men, a table covered with a rough-looking facsimile of the Roost's countryside stretched out upon it, and held down with mugs not unlike the ones the men drink from.
Never having found herself unwelcome at such meetings, Lucienne comes in from the less formal entrance hall, bedecked in her house colors. Spying her brother with the lords, she chooses to hang back a few steps and observe for a moment, debating whether to insert herself or not.
Well, it would seem at least one of the men, an elder from the village, is too excited by half to see the Daughter of the Roost returned, and he leads the other men in rising to their feet to offer a bow. Now that she is closer, none of them save Jacsen has the right to be called a lord, but given all that has transpired, her brother's accorded them a modicum of respect. "Lady Terrick," the elder man calls, "Won't you join us that we might hear how your fairer sex sees such matters we discuss?" He looks to Jacsen for approval, whom simply smiles and indicates a seat. "If you would indulge us, my Lady?"
That settles her mind, doesn't it? Lucienne echoes her brother's smile, and bobs a shallow curtsy to the men before joining their table. "Thankyou," says she, folding her hands carefully together atop it, and measuring a look at each of the men seated - to gauge their persons, perhaps, or by way of greeting. "And what matters might you seek my soft counsel upon?"
Jacsen, swift to fetch his goblet and down a small measure of wine, is naturally first to speak. "We discuss, at present, the organization of the small folk in regards to clearing debris and erecting temporary structures to house them," he explains to his sister, once she's taken the seat to his left vacated for her benefit by a younger, and equally pleased, common born man. "Especially when it come to the women and children."
"Ah," says Lucienne, bobbing her head agreeably. "One of the many problems that will need solving. What have you come to, so far? The green might serve, as a place out of the way of he actual rebuilding, but close enough to the tower and our resources. And," she adds, "Where the women might be of most use?"
"A fair question," Jacsen remarks, though he takes a sip of wine as a rough-hewn fellow leans forward to answer. "There's plenty a what they're good at, Lady Terrick, an there's plenty to do, good at it or no. But we had a few a them fellas that just…" He smacks his hands together, and waves one in the air. "Off like tha, cause that there work was too much, couldn't see through it ta tha other side…" Another, slightly more urbane man chimes in and looks between Jacsen and his sister. "What Andru means is that we want them working not just where they are competent, but where it might do their spirits good. If we can have it both ways?"
"I see," says Lucienne, drawing out each syllable. "It might suit better to call for volunteers for each task? Rather than allocate as you see fit." She tilts her head, a fidgety motion, and adds, "Though you do run the risk of a lack of volunteers."
"We've been fortunate so far," Jacsen offers, quickly following Lucienne's words, "And volunteers for some of the most unpleasant tasks have been well come by. Ser Jarod even leads a contingent of Roost men, all armed and nominally trained for battle, volunteers every one of them."
"If it has been working so far…" Lucienne shrugs, and sends a look around the table, looking for an argument - not that she gives a chance for one to surface, before enquiring politely, "Gentlemen, might I have a moment with my brother? I shall not be overlong."
Jacsen leans forward and sets his cup down on the table. "I think we shall leave it at thus, and convene again on the morrow. I'm eager to hear how the various teams are performing. We've much work to do." Chair legs scrape across the floor as the men get up, offering polite farewells to Lord Jerold's eldest remaining true born children, and soon enough, Lucienne is left alone with Jacsen, whom has long since turned his gaze upon her.
"Good day," and, "Farewell," bids the lady Lucienne as the others depart, all sweet and polite. Once they're gone, though, a hint of worry creases on her brow, and she looks to Jacsen to ask, "Have you heard from the Banefort, through all this?"
Jacsen reaches for his wine when they are alone, and shakes his head. "We've nothing but word from Ser Aeric Mallister that the Banefort was under attack, when last he'd word of it. Without the Golden Fleet to come to their rescue…" he shakes his head. His brow quirks as he takes a sip, before adding, "It's impossible to know. Why the interest in Anais' home?"
"Oh," says Lucienne, shaking her head in disappointment. "That's… that is terrible news. I'm sorry." She frowns, then, and hesitates, biting down on her lower lip. "It's just… I mean… to be very blunt, I have absolutely no idea how we're to afford the cost of rebuilding."
He lets out a slow breath and shakes his head. "I don't know either, Enne, but we'll find some way, we don't have much of a choice in the matter, do we?" Jacsen says, downing another mouthful of wine. "It'll be slower than we might like, but we've plenty of stone to work with, and if it's lumber we need…" He shakes his head. "There isn't anyone in Tall Oaks to say much should we take it now. Besides, the conflict isn't over, and surely the Greyjoys will be made to pay in blood and treasure. With some maneuvering on our part, it might well be that some of that treasure comes to us."
"That's… that's your plan? The spoils of war?" Lucienne doesn't even come close to hiding her surprise. Her hands flatten against the table, and her eyes flit over each finger in turn whilst she draws a deep breath. "It's bigger than that, isn't it? The whole town, Jacsen. If the alliance with the Banefort won't serve, we'll need help from elsewhere. I don't think we can rely on briny treasure, in this."
The look he gives her is not anywhere near a pleased one. "No, Lucienne, that is not my plan. I am in the midst of helping our people crawl out from the rubble of the Roost," Jacsen reminds her, "And last I recall, Lord Jerold still draws breath. He will have his own thoughts in this matter." He tips his head back and drains down the rest of his wine. "Anyways, what would you have me do, that you scoff so easily at thoughts of building with what we have, here, free to us, and securing some aid from our allies once the war is done?"
"Don't," she says, at that displeased look. "I just want to be honest with you, Jace." Lucienne's hand snakes out to his shoulder, something of a peace offering. "I didn't mean to upset you. I merely thought to prompt you, perhaps, to thinking of brooking new, more profitable alliances. Even if the Banefort come away relatively unscathed, hasn't the Western Fleet been destroyed? They'll owe the Lannisters before they even think to help us."
His expression relents, a touch, but he is still frowning. "You're dancing around something you want to say, Enne, so just be out with it," Jacsen suggests to her, "I'm not feeling all that clever at the moment."
"We need Stonebridge back," Lucienne says plainly, at that request. "Or failing that, the Freys. Or the Groves. Somebody, just somebody who came through this untouched, and is close enough to help." Her shoulders sag, the weight of her hand on her brother's shoulder becoming heavier. "I don't… I don't know. Am I wrong? I'd like to be."
His brow quirks as he ponders his sister, shaking his head a touch. "I'm not sure I am following you," Jacsen admits to her, "With Stonebridge, everything waits upon King Robert, and his mind is occupied with far weightier matters for the nonce. As to the Freys or the Groves…. how should I get anything from them? At least the Groves share the bond of loyalty to Seagard, but from the Freys I can see us receiving precious little. It is not to their advantage."
"I don't have some hidden agenda," she promises, though Lucienne admits, "Neither do I have the solution. But it's come thing we can do now, here, is to put our heads together and think on where we can produce this coin from. We can't even be sure the smallfolk will stay to rebuild. Maybe Anais has some idea of what aid we can or can't expect from her home, come the war's end?"
Jacsen shakes his head a fraction. "She'd be hard pressed to say, and with her sister Elinor dying at Tall Oaks, and the Banefort still under siege… I don't think it will do us much good to press her on that," he says. "Lord Tully might be able and willing to lend to our coffers to rebuild, for all that we are supposed to be a bulwark against the Ironmen, all of the Riverlands should put forth for the sake of that protection. But father… he is proud, Enne. There are some avenues he will not suffer to be considered. The Freys are among them."
Lucienne ducks her head, closing her eyes for a moment. "I'm sorry," she says quietly, regarding Anais, "That's fair enough." But the rest… She spends a moment contemplating the tabletop, before nodding. "Lord Walder has one of the richest houses in the Riverlands, is all, but if he won't look to them… then I suppose he won't, and there's nothing for it."
"Lord Walder would not give a favor he did not expect to reap him the greater reward," Jacsen points out to his sister, "And Father is right when he says that men such as he and Rickart Nayland are not men you take anything from that cannot be immediately repaid. I'd rather not owe the Lord of the Twins anything, Whatever the immediate gains, I know it cannot be worth what he'd seek in recompense."
"I understand," says Lucienne meekly, nodding again as she takes her hand back for herself. "I'm sure… I'm certain we'll find a way, somehow."
Jacsen lets out a breath, his hand moving to cover the hand she's put on his shoulder. "We will, Enne, I know. Hard to see the way, right now, but we need to hold to what we have, and do all we can, until there is a way for us to do more. Slowly but surely, we will find our way."
"We will," Lucienne agrees, mustering up a smile to flash at Jacsen. There's something sad in her big dark eyes, unreached by said smile. "I might go check in on our lady mother," she says. "Come find me if I can be of any use?"
While his face might not reflect it, she knows him too well to miss the signs of a similar sadness hanging heavy about his neck. "I will," Jacsen promises. "Let me know how she is doing, when you can."
"I will," promises Lucienne, rising from her seat to settle her hand upon his shoulder once more. "I'll see you later, my love." There's a quick squeeze of slender fingers, and then a swish of skirts as Luci moves off back toward the entrance hall