|The Westerlings Call|
|Summary:||Lady Isolde receives Lady Danae and welcomes her to Stonebridge.|
|Date:||11 Dec 2011|
|Tower Hall - Tordane Tower|
|The entrance to the tower opens into a larger common room for receiving guests. Effort has been made to bring warmth and light to the interior, as well. Rugs have been hung from the stone walls as well as placed on the floor to bring at a welcoming ambiance. There is a large table with several chairs off to the left of the door, a cooking hearth against the back wall, and a wooden staircase that leads up. An antechamber behind the stairs is where the servants live and bed down.|
|December 11, 288|
The Tower that was once the holdings of the Tordane family is nothing large or expansive as the Nayland and Terrick lands. But where the main room is one large great hall with the stairs to either side going up and down and the kitchens, the light fills the entirety from the high window openings and great hearth. The ceilings high to the wooden floor of the chambers above, the circular room is kept clean with scented rushes and the door to the gardens is open as well, letting in a cool breeze that wars with the hearth.
The great table is old and worn but upon it is set a small cloister of food, breads and cheeses to appease the arrived nobles to the home of the Lord and Lady Stonebridge and have been seen to by the House retainers while they wait for the Lady to attend.
Milicent, the robust cook toddles out with a fresh bowl of berries and a side of cream for them, her face read from the heat of the fires and the exertion of moving about. There is a soft tot tot tot sound she makes to a random tune she is humming to keep herself moving, wiping fingers on her apron that is already carrying far too many stains.
Among those arrived to Stonebridge is the single Danae Westeringly, following a house escorted into the holds of the Tower. Her own guards left to await elsewhere while she presents herself to their gracious host-liege. The small blonde is clad in a fine gown of green-gold, which shimmers in the scattered light of the Tower, as threads of gilt metal have been woven into the embrodery that covers the dress in a pattern of twisted knots of ivy. Her hair has been braided back in high cords that mimic the pattern of the ivy upon her gown, presenting a slender neck above the gown's high collar. Beneath pale lashes she roams over the room with an inquisitive gaze, eyes sharp and keen, as her fingers run along the edges of the box she holds in her hands.
It is a small thing, delicated crafted in cherried wood and no longer than a loaf of bread from tip to end. Although she inclines her head at Milicent, she does not partake of the food, instead choosing to wait on her host.
Milicent lingers a moment and dips a bow, though the portly woman does not seem to get too low before she is scuffling back towards the kitchens in a hurry. Though her eyes give a look towards the stairs that wind upstairs. It seems Danae will have to wait moments longer, not too long, but the Lady Isolde soon comes about the curve of the stairs, the presence on them heard far before with the echoing down of movement.
A warm smile presents itself readily upon her lips and she steps off the last step followed by her maids as she grips the front of her skirts to make her way towards the visiting Westerling. "Lady Danae, please forgive me for keeping you waiting. My ride this morning made a mess of me I must admit." She dips her head in respectful fashion and then motions to the table and chairs. "You must be tired for the ride you have made…how was your journey?" She asks as she takes slow steps towards the chairs so that they may sit and speak.
Danae's own eyes follow the line that Milicent's point, looking towards the curving stair in time to see the Lady of Stonebridge descent and to return her smile with a quieter one, a gesture that reads of habit rather than rudeness. "Oh, there is nothing to forgive Lady Nayland. The elements will do with one as they must." She mimics the Lady of Stonebridge's nod, her own dipping fractions deeper into a curtsey, acknowledging her greater rank. "My thanks."
Rising, she follows by Isolde's side to the seats with the box still delicately cradeled between her plans. "It was long, but otherwise uneventful. The season was kind to us in its way, leaving the rain for when we were afoot rather than asea. I thank you for taking the time to greet me."
Tilting her head to the graciousness, Isolde shakes her head, "I wish it could have been sooner, I am so very sorry that you have waited to meet with me. My mother may be along, but it seems matters are needed attending to. Tonight we shall dine together and my lord husband will have the chance to make your acquaintance. Besides, it is my pleausre, Lady Danae." She steps next to one of the wooden chairs, "Please, sit if it pleases you.." She motions.
Settling to her own cushion. "Would you care for some wine…" SHe looks to the box but does not ask of it, instead seeing to her desk as she looks to tone of the house retainers, motioning for cups. "The sea you say, I have never traveled by sea. I have heard many do not find it agreeable and take sick on the journey. Though I would say you may be well practiced enough on the deck of a ship to survive the journey."
Danae says, "I do not mind the wait. It is better to be auspicious rather than hurried, is it not, Lady Nayland? There are always matters that need be attended first, duty before one's pleasure," Danae demurs, taking the seat as it is offered again with a smile for the other woman. The voluminous folds of her skirt are folding beneath her as she settles, the small box adjusted in her lap. "Thank you and please," she says of the wine. "I look forward to making the acquaintance of your lord husband as well. It was not so difficult as that, you would manage with ease I am certain."
She pauses, looking up at Isolde through her pale lashes as to gather her words for a moment. "Although speaking to pleasure, I should like to offer your a token to your hospitality for receiving us here in Stonebridge, if I may Lady Nayland?" The small box is presented upon a flat palm and offered with a smile.
Within it contains a cloisone broach, the arms of Nayland folded into the wings of the Tordane and boarded in silver."
"It can be yes, but we shall mend the fact you have had to wait so long. Their are rooms that can be offered to you for your pleasure here and we can see to your attendants as well." Smoothing her own skirts, Isolde looks to the servant who is quick to pour the wine, offering the first cup to Danae and then the other to Isolde as the plate of cheeses and breads is drawn closer between them.
"My lord husband is a man of mirth and pleasure, he will enjoy a new face. You do look lovely, Lady Danae." She concludes and lifts her wine to take a sip of it. "You may just call me Isolde, I hold no court and why waste the breath on titles we both know are there, yes?" She sets the wine down and then looks to the offered box upon the woman's palm. "A gift. That is very thoughtful of you."
The box is taken gently and opened with care as she gazes at the trinket within. There is a spreading delight and Isolde passes a finger down along the wings of the crane that wrap about her new households colors. "My…oh my this is so very thoughtful. I think Nimue shall enjoy the sudden new item to use do match my dresses to it." She draws it from the box and sets the container upon the table to turn it and give it all due accordance. "I thank you." She looks up to Danae and sets the jewel into the box carefully.
Danae says, "It would be my honor," Danae replies to the more than gracious offer, tipping her head in a slight bow. The wine is taken with a quieter thanks. She takes a sip of the drink with pleasured murmur for the taste, setting it aside to distribute her gift before taking it up once again. "My thanks. Although I am more than certain mine shall pale to yours in your husbands sight, much as anyone elses, Lady…Isolde it is then. You may simply call me Danae, if you prefer," she replies in like, a twist of a smile to her mouth. "I do very much agree." Titles for their own sake are a waste of air.
Isolde's receipt of the gift is observed with interest, the curve of the wine to her lips half-hiding the slight smile that grows wider at the lady's approval. "I am glad that it suits. I had worried it might not be to your preference." The old twined carefully with the new which comes with marriage."
"There is not oft much left of the arms of Tordane, for it to be remembered so by a Lady of the Crag means much to me." Isolde intones. "It suits very well. Old and new…yes. It is well made and a fitting gift, unexpected and quite gracious. I shall treasure it." Isolde dips her head gently and looks to the broach perched before her. "Marriage is a precarious thing, but it opens a great many new roads. Like new faces, new guests, perhaps new friends." That last is said with a smile directly to Danae.
"Come eat something if you are hungry, dinner shall be later and I would hate for you to starve. I am sure you have arrived as well not just to present thoughtful gifts." She adds and lifts her wine to sip of it again.
Danae says, "What the present may forget, history still recalls, especially of the old families," Danae replies with a soft warmth. "It leaves room for those who recall it to progress in its wake, I am very glad that it pleases you. We are all particular about the arms and ornaments we chose to bear that they must be chosen with case." Her words are punctuated by a sip of her drink, for breath and for flavor. "Much like like travel," she returns, freckles dancing with a flicker of mirth in return.
"Again, my thanks. I am happy for the company for the moment. There is little like distance to desire new conversation, particulary when a lesser purvayance of explicatives exist from one gender to another. Your country-side is beautiful.""
"Quite so." Isolde says with a warmth there. The gift has obviously touched her and the Lady keeps her wine to rest on her thigh. "I have never visited the Crag, though my father has in past years. You seem nearly the same age as myself, in that case I do not think he would have known you or he you, at least not that you would remember." The Lady Nayland takes another sip to whet her throat before she leans back to find comfort in he chair as the broach remains displayed before her and oft her eyes return there.
"Stonebridge has its charm, but since I am of a like mind, I tend to think much the same of it. The gardens of the tower are not full bloom at present, but perhaps you will visit when the roses are in bloom - my father so loved them. That makes me wonder, how long are you to stay with us, Danae? Certainly you are welcome as long as you like."
"It has its charms, although the land is far more stark than the greenery of your own and the sea scents the airs in the morning with the pools of the tides," Danae shakes her head with a fond smile for the charms of the aptly named 'Crag'. "Indeed, it is likely that my elder brother may have had cuase to make his aquaintance, but not I. He would have been much smaller and blonder of lock than he is now, but my own father spoke well of him when he learned that it was our intent to come."
"I would like very much to see them, then," she agrees easily, sliding her finger along the edges of the glass. "I would not stay so long as to impose. The visit is more business than pleasure alone, as I mentioned to you in that letter." The one that stated her intent to come to the countryside, of course. "The Crag seeks to find new allies of trade along the Riverlands, I shall remain as long as the business takes to be settled."
"There is beauty in things other than greenery, perhaps one day I will be given the chance to visit your home as well, for now, I fear things here are just a little to at hand to leave." Isolde says before lifting her glas to set on the table and shift to face the westerling a bit more fully. "I have read letters of my father's enjoyment of his visit, it shall prove interesting should I be able to see such a place."
Then there is a nod of her head, "I do remember well the letter and it seems oft that many times when a woman travels it is for the pride of ventures and business. Trade is a valuable thing and Stonebridge is in the midst of it seated as we are along the rivers. Alliances as well are more than promising, I think there is a like mind in that amongst the Nayland house. It would be a pleasure to speak to you of proposals and business as the lords of the Crag would wish."
"You would be most welcome at any time. I am certain that my Lord of the Crag would be more than honored to receive you, as would I in our own home," Danae says, rather than note on the delicacy of the current status of the house. She takes a sip of her own drink, meeting Isolde's gaze equanimically, her own blue eyes clear and steady. "It is an interesting stretch."
"It tends to fall to our shoulders when the gentlemen of our houses find themselves ill suited or otherwise engaged, I'm afraid. Were it not for my father's health, you likely would have entertained my brother's company rather than my own." The circumstances however, clearly do not displease her as her manner is easy and gentile. "Stonebridge is well suited for both its location and its access, alliances and trade alike," she agrees in turn. "I look forward to the dicussion
"As do I…I am certain my lady mother and goodcousin will wish to be in attendance when such hopes are discussed to link our lands in trade. But before than, it is nice to have a new companion for the time. I enjoy a good morning ride and would welcome you on the morrow with me so that you might see more of the lands." Offers Isolde, "I would make a gift of a fine mare and new saddle while you are here so that you might have a horse that is used to the flood fields, they can be rather treacherous."
The wine is sought again and she takes a piece of white muenster, taking a bite and washing it back before she then considers something. "There is a lovely little place, we could make a day of it tomorrow with a picnic. Sadly we have no water but rivers, so the coastline is far, but there are grottos and knolls amongst the lower fields."
"Indeed, it is a discussion for more minds that just our own and one for another day at that," Danae agrees with a dip of her chin and a slight smile. At Isolde's kind offer, the fair blonde pales slightly, if only noticibly for the starkening of the freckles across the bridge of her own. "While I thank you for your kind offer, I am ashamed to say that I might hinder your morning pleasure rather than add to it. I am not the best of riders, for all that I would welcome the continued company and am delighted at the invitation." Her tone tips slightly wry, swallowing thickly and mostly covering it with another sip of wine.
"It was recently, ah rather plainly suggested to me that I might look to finding a mare more matching in tempernment," she continues in explanation. Ahem. "It would be my delight to join you on the picnic, but I would not dream to hamper your morning's pleasure. Perhaps we do so aftwards?"
"I can understand…" Isolde says in retrospect. "You afterall have more need for garrons in your rocky lands. Ships to be more of I guess you would use.." Her smile is gentle and warm. "Very well, a picnic in the gardens then and perhaps a small tour on horseback. Leyna is my horse, a bit spirited for one who is not accustomed to the saddle, but there is Tig. She is a lovely elderly mare who does so tend to follow and offer a smooth ride for all, no matter their skill. But I will leave that up to you, I would not force you to come but neither would you hinder me."
"There are other things to see as well, the town square is often lively with the new goods coming in recently. That only requires us to go by foot if you do not wish to use a horse."
Milicent toddles back out a bit from the kitchen to peer at the food set out and make sure nothing needs to be refilled. Isolde gives her warm smile.
"My swimming is rather better than my riding," Danae accedes, gold threads of her gown glinting as she shifts to select a bite of cheese. Slightly flushed, she returns Isolde's smile and nibbles on it as she regains her composure for the the moment. It is followed by a sip of wine. "I think I would very much like to make Tig's acquaintence then, particularly if she knows the routes. My own Delphine is…spirited, but easily shys." Or runs. Sometimes she runs.
The conversation continues on to easier matters of what they shall do for an outing and whom Danae has met during her small time in Stonebridge and other matters, keeping an easy and conversational tone.