|To Build Trust|
|Summary:||Jacsen and the Roost's new Maester Gwyllam try to work past some previous difficulties.|
|Related Logs:||Sleepless in Terrick's Roost|
|Reading Room - Four Eagles Tower|
|The reading room of the Terrick hold.|
That the Roost has been in a state of managed chaos of late is no new fact, and while there is again a Maester from the Citadel here in service to the Lord of the Roost, the Young Lord and the Maester have crossed paths only a touch since their last encounter, spent over sweetsleep. Jacsen has asked the man to attend him now, and already sits in the reading room, looking out the window to consider the courtyard below.
The swish of a Maester's robes can be heard before Gwyllam is seen, each whispering step accompanied by the light jangle of his chain. When he rounds the corner and comes into the room, he is red-cheeked and out of breath, a bead of perspiration trickling down the side of his round face. Attempting to compose himself only makes his struggle for oxygen more apparent, but still, he tries. One hand reaches out to knock on the open door, where he waits.
Jacsen does not rise from his seat, although that cannot be very surprising, but he does glance over at the sound of the knock. "Maester Gwyllam, please come in," he offers, sweeping a hand to indicate the seating around him. "You are doing well, I hope? Or at the least, as well as can be expected, given everything of late?"
"My welcome here at the Roost has been rough by circumstance, but warm by any human measure, my lord," Gwyllam replies, the corner of his mouth lifting in what might be a barely perceptible smile. Those robes whisper once more as he takes a couple of tentative steps into the room, not yet taking a seat. "How are repairs going in outside of the keep," he asks, keeping up the pleasant conversation.
"Slow but sure. There is much work to be done, of course…" Jacsen shakes his head a touch, his face giving evidence to an unwelcome thought. "I suppose you never really had a chance to know the Roost as she was, before the invasion. A shame, she was beautiful, and with a certain delightful character." He shakes his head a touch. "She'll recover, but it will never be the same."
"These are dark thought, my lord," Gwyllam says softly. Silence engulfs him then for a moment, as deep as the pockets on his robe. He watches Jacsen from the cradle of that silence, then says, "And your sleep, my lord? Is it better?"
The Young Lord raises a hand in dissent. "No, I don't think so Maester. I consider them realistic thoughts… we can, and we will rebuild. In many ways, what we create shall even surpass what was done before," Jacsen tries to explain, "But the sense of the place, it'll never be like it was. Those days are behind us, now." He looks up again. "Will you sit?"
"Then the Roost is, perhaps, an apt metaphor for many things," Gwyllam says, nodding his understanding. He chooses the nearest seat, making little fuss about the arrangement of his body within it, not leaning his torso against the back, but sitting forward, almost on its edge. With his last question left unanswered, he takes seems to have taken a cue that silence is once more his ally, and he says nothing more once settled.
Jacsen, it seems, will discuss the matter of the sleep little, if at all, and instead speaks on something else. "Your chains," he asks, gesturing vaguely towards the symbols of learning that weigh about the man's shoulders. "What do the links signify? I understand they each bespeak some knowledge you've mastered, but I've no idea what they correlate to…"
The topic seems to catch Gwyllam off-guard and he blinks owlishly a couple of times before he gets caught in a squint, as if trying to see more clearly Jacsen's face, perhaps to read clues there. One hand rises to touch the links idly. "My chain is very short, as Maesters' chains go," he says, with a touch of embarrassment. "The black iron is for the Handling of Ravens," he says, fingers true as they find the metal. The copper," his fingers fumble to the next link, "is for history. Brass for Heraldry. Gold for Accounting. Silver for Chiurgeonry. And two…" His fingers tap the last links, "…for Herbalism."
Whatever the reason behind his inquiry, Jacsen does not make it obvious to the Maester, his expression disinclined to offer much insight. Rubbing at his chin thoughtfully, he asks, "And why two links, instead of one? What achievement does a second link of the same mark amongst your Citadel, Maester Gwyllam?"
"It means," Gwyllam answers dutifully, "that I have progressed beyond a Maester's requisite knowledge for forging his pewter link and have progressed into advanced topics." He is normally figety and uncertain, but there is an unmistakable, if brief, note of pride in his voice. He even sits a bit straighter in the chair. "Of course," he is quick to add, "my studies continue and I will, in the years to come, by the grace of the Seven, add more links."
"I have no doubt," Jacsen agrees with an easy manner, before he settles back in his chair once more. "You are young, from what I imagine when I think of a Maester. So it stands to reason that should your service here be welcome and you desire to remain… you will one day serve me when I am Lord of the Roost. I should like it if we make time to hold counsel together, perhaps over tea, at least a few times a week. I'd like to hear what you think of matters both I bring up and you've had an eye on, so I can learn from you, and you might discover how best we can work together as time goes on." He adds, quickly, "You serve my father and his lady of course, and I pray you shall for many years yet, but even in the interim, I serve as seal-bearer to the Lord of the Roost. So it shall never be time wasted." He pauses a breath before he asks, "What say you, Maester? Does the notion find your favor? Do be honest."
"Honest?" Gwyllam blinks and looks quite uncertain about how to proceed. After a round of nervous fidgeting in which he adopts no fewer than three different poses on the chair, he finally settles on one where he studies his hands, curled in his lap. When he speaks, his voice is soft and very breathy, as if not committing to a full tone might make his words less offensive. "The idea appeals to me greatly, my lord. You honor me with the suggestion and I am humbled by it." A second of silence then spins itself out into three or four. "However, I do not think it would work." He swallows thickly.
Jacsen's brow climbs a fraction, betraying a measure of surprise that he had not expected or meant to share with the man across from him. "You do not? And… why is that, Maester?"
Gwyllam sits there in silence for a long moment, clearly discomfitted by the entire situation. He swallows several times to get the moisture going in his mouth then, says simply, "I don't not think we share the requisite trust for one another to make such discussions fruitful." He swallows yet again, then hurries on, "it is my sincere hope that one day I will be able to aid you in that, or any way you should require, my lord."
Propping his elbow on the arm of the chair, Jacsen rests his chin upon an upturned palm. "No, I suppose we do not. And while I'm certain you think that it is you whom does not have my trust, I am just as certain I do not have yours. How else to explain your reluctance to fulfill my request? Or to have then spoken of it to my wife?" He lets out a breath, his fingers framing the side of his face. "But we've little other than one another, Maester, and we'll never build trust if we do not provide it the forum to grow. I put forth the idea that doing as I suggest will give us plenty of room to amend this gap of trust between us, as we become less strangers, and more familiar men."
Gwyllam mulls that over for another long moment. Eventually, however, he looks up and meets Jacsen's gaze. "Very well." The Maester gives a nod of his head, small, but decisive. "I should certainly like to try," he adds. "And if I offended your lordship, I apologize. That was never my intention. It was….and always will be…the well being of the Roost and its inhabitants."
He draws a breath through his nose and nods. "I don't doubt that, Maester, for what it is worth. The issue, rather, is that you felt somehow that I was not working with the best interests of then Roost and its inhabitants as my intention. That, I trust, is not a judgment you'll see fit to make again. The Roost is the first of my concerns, always. And if nothing else, our meetings will surely help reinforce that."
"I thought you didn't know what you were doing," Gwyllam corrects. As soon as the words are out of his mouth, his face reddens and he drop shis gaze. "I'm sorry, my lord. That was uncalled for. You are correct, of course, to chastise me for that judgment and, like you, it is my sincere wish that it never cross my mind in the future. I look forward to the time to get to know you better and," he looks up, shame still on his face, "I am very sincere that I am humbled and honored by the invitation."
He nods once, and offers, "I am willing to forget the incident, Maester, if you are. I'm rather eager to, actually." Jacsen's smile resurfaces slowly, and he adds, "I am glad you feel so. And I shall be pleased to learn from your studies at the Citadel. Truly."
"In that case," Gwyllam murmurs, the adrenaline of the confrontation making his hand start to shake, "I will leave you to your busy day. With your permission, of course?"
Jacsen straightens as the man says such, and admits, "There was one other matter I was hoping for your help with, Maester. This more personal than the rest. Might I impose on you a moment or two longer?"
"I…" Gwyllam seems truly lost for a moment, his brow wrinkling. Shaking hands are tucked behind his back as he squares himself to face the lord. "Of course," he finally gets out, shaking his head to dislodge any further expressions of confusion. "Of course," he repeats. "I am here to serve."
"It's my leg, Maester. You might be well aware by now that I have but one healthy leg, the other is forever ruined, and the pain is only ever kept in check by frequent massage, tender steps with my cane, drinking, and the application of poultices and ointments to the pained areas," Jacsen explains. "Of late, as supplies constrict, and without some familiar faces about the Roost… I am running out of what I have to help the pain. I'm… losing the ability to walk about more and more as each week passes." He frowns at the thought. "I need your help in this."
Gwyllam listens intently, then nods several times in rapid succession. "It is both my desire and my calling to help you with his, my lord," he says with complete earnestness. "I can likely find many supplies outside the walls of the keep with a proper escort. And those we cannot find, I can likely get from the Citadel with a little coin. As for massage, I've little personal experience with it, but I've read the significant treastises…"
"I think the massage I can see handled. As for the rest, I will see you provided with whatever escort you need, that you might source whatever you require," Jacsen informs him. "Let us seek remedies with coin only as a final resort… Seven know there are twenty silver worth of expenses needed right now for every silver we have. I'd not add to it without grave need." He draws a breath, and adds, "Thank you, Maester Gwyllam. I'll take no more of your time, but look forward to meeting on the morrow."
Gwyllam nods his understanding, and, dismissed, turns on his heel to scurry from the room, his lips already twitching with a litanized list of possible ingredients to be found and the supplies needed to harvest them.