|To My Boys|
|Summary:||The two eldest Nayland sons visit with their Lord Father, and discuss family, and the future.|
|Related Logs:||Before the Storm, The Kracken's Last Stand, and Somewhere Between Celebration and Loss|
|Lord Nayland's Pavilion|
|A large pavilion decorated with the colors of House Nayland|
|Thu Apr 12, 289|
The Nayland field pavilion is easily located amidst the Royal Camp. Many other lords have claimed chambers within Castle Pyke for their own use, but the aged Lord Rickart has preferred his own pavilion and camp bed. The orange and green ensigns flutter from the two highest tent-poles, and a pair of Mire Armsmen stand guard outside. Within, Rickart sits at a collapsible camp table, with a bearhide wrapped about his shoulders, and a cup in hand, which his page has just recently fetched back after filling it from a brass pot set above smoldering coals in an iron brazier. On a wooden stand, his brazen suit of field armor has been displayed, although the Lord's sheathed broadsword hangs by its belt on the tall back of his chair.
The sounds of footsteps can be heard, before the flap itself to the tent is peeled back. There's a raise of his hand as Rutger's squire and Armsman remain outside with the other posted Nayland faithful. "Lord Father." intones the now eldest son, with a respectful bow of his head. Eyes look around, as a smile twinges on his lips. "I have not moved into the castle myself- Trying to keep close to.." but he trails off for a moment, his mission to King's Landing was no secret. "Seven.." he says after a moment. "You do keep it nice.." There is no, I have missed you, or fawning. That is not in Rutger's nature, but the look should express it enough.
Finally the knight speaks up after clearing his throat. "We did well yesterday. My only wish is that Maron Greyjoy didn't slip past us."
When he originally set out, Riordan had mainly meant his comment about seeing his father as an excuse for escaping before Senna could catch him and drag him by the ear back to his tent. It seems the younger Nayland son has had enough of forced bed rest, even if his wounds still have him moving stiffly and carefully. However, he nevertheless finds himself approaching his father's pavilion. Nodding only absently to the guards, he ducks inside (albeit in a very careful manner), and smiles at the sight of the old man. "Evening, Lord Father," he offers. He himself is in rather plain clothes, with a warm wool cloak wrapped over his shoulders. The bandages on his chest and ribs are covered by his tunic, so not visable, but the way he moves likely betrays his injuries. "Ah, and dear brother."
"Ahh, Rutger. Come in, come in," Rickart greets with a smile deepening the wrinkles on his face, as he draws a taste of his cup. "Ironborn are good fow rowing and cursing. But I will tell you, my boy, they couldn't build a comfortable house if it would win them all seven kingdoms. I've no mind to crawl into some Greyjoy crypt for a night's sleep." A short barked laugh precedes Riordan's entry. Rickart sets his cup down and rises to his feet, "Riordan, my boy! Up on your feet already? Tough, you are, boy. Good and tough. Both of you, take a seat and a cup. I swear to you both, there is nothing to drive off a cold night on this miserable rock better than a belly full of warm wine."
"There is something to be said about sleeping with ghosts.." Rutger muses before he he turning to look over towards Riordan as he stiffly enters. A half grin is given to his brother, before he moves. And off he is pouring himself a cup-and one for his younger brother, before he comes back. Arm extended, the cup is offered wordlessly to Riordan before Rutger does move to take a seat and slouch as he can. "To this, I can attest. Luckily Father, my time with the King has readied me to handle stronger drink." And there he takes a sip of his own, and allows his eyes to close for a moment. "I'd add that the Ironborn can make a decent cup of their own honeyed piss, but that might be too much credit for them." he adds with a grin.
"Thank you, father," Riordan says, smiling genuinely and warmly to the patriarch of the Nayland Brood. He nods his head just as wordlessly in thanks for his brother's kindness as well, giving him much the same smile as he settles himself down carefully onto a seat. "Likely that stuff that Ser Bruce raided from them was likewise raided from a Redwyne lord or some such," he adds in response to his brother's comment. "I'd expect anything they brewed themselves would be have saltwater as the base. They worship the stuff, after all, do they not?" He shakes his head at the sheer folly of it all. "Still, with any luck, we'll all be off this rock soon enough, and good riddance to it. Even they can't have much more fight left in them, after all the swords we've shoved down their throat."
"Have you brought Rowan along, as well?" Rickart wonders aloud, stealing a glance past his two boys to spy out a third, before dismissing the question with a wave of one hand, whose fingers are heavy with rings. "No matter." Rutger's comment drawns a bemused snort. "You'd be better served sleeping with a woman, boy! Ghosts will drag you off after them, a good woman? Will bring you back to life." Another laugh follows. "The King will be well pleased with our House today, my boys. A hundred men storm the Bloody Keep, and four of them are my sons? A good day, my lads! A damned good day." He chuckles warmly in his throat at Riordan's saltwater quip. "Home it will be, soon enough."
Rutger grins back to his father. "And I think you would have frostbite on your cock from their own deathly embraces, my Lord-though I imagine a ghost would be light- You'd last longer— BUt yes, a real woman I can grip would be preferred." added into his cup before he drowns down more. Shaking his head. "He is being seen to by a healer, or so, Ser Rivers informed us. Apparently Ser Harlaw gave him a few wounds that have lain him up."
"I feel our House has accounted well for itself. Surely in our taking of the keep, and with our gaining the surrender on Harlaw, the King will look favorably on what I've been pressing him upon." a smile there "Stonebridge, should stay with us." As for home there is a soft sigh that leaves Rutger. "I feel as if I haven't seen Home for years. I yearn for it."
"I've not seen him since before the battle, yet. Lord Jarold's bastard assured us he is recuperating, though. Can you believe it? The young sprout went toe to toe with Ser Harras, and survived a blow from that dark sword of his." Riordan shakes his head, duly impressed by the youngest Nayland. "Speaking of Rowan, father, now that his squiring is done, I was wondering if you'd plans for him? He might do well placed at Stonebridge with me. All that time spent at the Roost could prove useful at a holding so close to their lands. And by all account, his blade arm is more then useful." He then nods at Rutger's sentiment about home, though adds, "Indeed. And it is likely I myself will not get to see it for some time yet to come. Once we are done, I will away to Stonebridge to set things to rights. Seven knows what's been happening their without a strong Nayland presence."
"Once we are done on these accursed isles, that is," he corrects himself, taking a sip of his wine.
"Tell me true, my boys, did either of you ever expect Rowan to make so fair an accounting of himself?" Rickart prompts with a laugh. "I'll not quickly forgive Jerold's boy for knighting him before I could attend. It was a good thought to send for me, boy," he asides with a short nod to Riordan, as he settles back into his chair and again settles the heavy warmth of the bearskin about his shoulders. Rutger's ghost quip draws a good natured snort. "Your mother remains plenty warm, boy, mind your tongue," he menaces with a wink. Raising his cup to each of his sons in turn, he offers with good humor muted a moment, "To my boys. All of them." Affecting another smile, he leans forward in his chair, to clasp his still strong grip on Riordan's right shoulder. "As you say. I'll speak with the boy, soon as I may, to see him home. A man wants to have his sons close about him, in these days."
"Truly?" Rutger speaks up first. "No, I had imagined he would take to something like gardening or singing.." he jests, though there is a bit of earnest quality to it. "Forgive me, I meant no slight to our dear mother, though I do believe you have given me an image I should wish to drink away." he winks back to his father with a chuckle. Eyes watch the contact Rickart gives to Riordan, and there's a glance back down to his drink for a moment. "I barely got there for the end of it. I believe the bastard was on the smith by the time Ser Rygar's squire got me there." he speaks back up.
Given that last statement, all Rugter can do is nod for a moment. "We shall all be home soon.." silence there before he is snorting towards Riordan. "I am sure they've been managing well enough ." As they had is clearly left out in favor of more wine. "But it will be good to have a strong presence there. Yes."
"I had my doubts as well, but I am glad that he saw fit to grow into the man he has," Riordan says, nodding his head in agreement. He then grimaces, nearly choking on his wine between his father's comment, and his brother's, in regards to their mother. "Curse you both," he grumbles good naturedly. He reflects on the event in question, then, saying, "True, it was ill considered." He smiles at his father's approval, but says nothing of it. Instead, he nods to Rutger's words, before asking, plainly, "When do you think the King will make his judgement?"
And, as the toast is made, he lifts his cup. "To the Nayland men."
"Singing, for certain. Or worse: dancing," Rickart chuckles in recollection of Rowan's youth. "We still have a hundred men under arms in Stonebridge, boys. Lacking for proper Naylands, but not for strength. Ahh, Ryker, you poor bloody fool," he laments with a weary sigh and shake of the head. Riordan broaches a better subject and Rickart nods anew. "Soon as old Balon yields, there will be a council to divide the spoils. I expect King Bob will try to short us on some measure of reward in order to admit we own Stonebridge, so's he can save face."
Cup up. "Naylands." for life. and down the hatch it goes, before he is lowering from the toast. Licking his lips, Rutger looks to his brother, for a moment, before clearing his throat. "As father says, I am sure we'll see the judgement come down soon enough. We've been passed to Jon Arryn who, is a rather legally minded fellow. The legality of our papers are true and will hold. Our deeds in this fight will make it shine even more. I think with the sound evidence and our own accounts we will have it." A sniff. "Whether or not it's a done deal by the time we go home is one thing, but I believe the King will have it out soon. He's not one for letting things linger or fester. That detracts from his merry making."
And he tilts his head towards Lord Rickart. "I believe the Mallister's mishandling of Grey Gardens will do us good. My own coming with him and being amongst his courtiers has helped. No longer are the barbs of jests directed at me, as so much as with me. We've built a strong case. Let us hope wine does not over turn it."
Bowing his head to his father's judgement on the assessment of Stonebridge, Riordan instead addresses the opinion of the council. "Well and good then. Spoils are nice, but tend to be short term. It's not as if we need dominion over a rock in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of smelly goatherders and pirates. The Terrick's are welcome to it, if it sooths their pride. Stonebridge is ours by rights, and it is what our family needs to grow stronger still." He is utter agreement with his father in most things, and especially on that count. Riordan looks over to his brother at Rutger's words, hmming thoughtfully. "And, if need be, we can always extend an invitation to wine and dine King Bob at Stonebridge. It would begger us for the short term, but if it's true that the King likes nothing better then a good merry making… I've learned a thing or two over the years in that respect. Harranhal was a frightfully dreadful and dreary place, but Lord Whent is one of the best to learn from on how to throw a good tourney." Just an idea.
"I'm indebted to that fool of a Mallister, though," Rickart quips to Rutger as the 'mishandling of Grey Garden' is broached. "Had he been less a fool, I'd not have had opportunity to take command and conquer a city. Our House is much the wealthier for that, in riches and renown alike, my boys. I've wanted a year like this for a long, long while, my lads: led an army to victory in battle and siege, raised the Harpy standard over a captured fortress, and seen my boys riding to victory along with me." He chuckles aloud, "Let the jealous old women bitch and moan, we've done bloody well." He chuckles again to Riordan's suggestion, he notes, "A fine thought, my boy, but King Bob will be spoilt for invitations from larger houses than ours. Besides, the last thing on Westeros I want is to see King Bob in the same room as that bitter barb I call a nephew."
"It wouldn't hurt." Rutger agrees, though as to his Father's assertion of Rygar, there's a faint grimace. "A courtier he is not, but without him Our men would have broken a couple times. I am sure. He is part of why we have the glory that we do. I would like to see Ser Rygar, gain some reward for his part, if we are able." But then, Rutger has managed to get along with the terse Nayland, when others have not. "We can still offer the invite to him or his Hand. I doubt he will take us up on it, but the gesture would be well received.
There's a faint grin there, before he touches at his collar "Not to be the Daenys downer of the conversation, but do we have a plan should our case fail?" A look is given to his father. "Not that I expect it to, but I would hate for us to celebrate too early."
Riordan looks to his father at that, silently. If he has suggestions should the worse happen, he is keeping them to himself for now.
Rickart again makes the dismissive motion with his free hand, and draws another swallow of his warm wine, letting out a long, savoring breath afterward, before addressing Rutger on the subject of Rygar. "Reward? What for? The boy swore our claim on Stonebridge was beyond dispute, and I believed him. Let Stevron reward his boy, I'll see to my own." A dour edge to the words that leads smoothly into talk of what should happen if the King decides against them. "Will depend on a few things, my boys. Stonebridge is ours, I won't release claim on it lightly. Worse comes to worst, we may have to stomach Old Geoff's bastard sitting in our Tower for awhile, but we'll have it back, soon enough." A short snort. "Maiden's tits, but its a shame that bastard recovered after Alderbrook."
"The next time we should burry a blade in him." Rutger jokes before he is looking back towards Lord Rickart. "the claim is solid. What we came up against was one Lord Tully who cares for those who kiss his arse, My lord." BUt he lets that matter drop. "Nor should we. Just so you know, father. I plan to meet with the Groves upon our return to home. To see if we might buy up their resources.." read food. "If the Terricks wish to be petty and wrestle from us what is ours. I am sure we can do the same to them and the Mallisters." a half grin there.
"Also to our claim. I put an offer out to Gedeon Rivers to hold the post of Knight of the bridge." And there he raises his hand. "A title that means nothing— And just as I suspected, he declined the honor. I would have you know this and hopefully support me should this come up. A preemptive strike- to show we bear no ill will. And by him boldly rejecting it, it will make us look for the better." And slowly he is rising. "I will need to show myself to the king before the night is out. It helps to keep him thinking of us…" or at least being present specially during such good times as these.
Rickart snorts once at the talk of burying a blade in Gedeon Rivers, but doesn't contradict the sentiment. Rather he turns a skeptical look to Rutger, at the joking tone his son affects. "Jerold will be petty. Just as Tytos fucking Blackwood was petty when put that worthless Mallister in command ahead of me at Grey Garden. I'll set aside a measure of the Conqueror's Coin for buying whatever the Groves will sell us. Let the Terricks feed on their pride if they mean to support Gedeon Rivers in robbing us." Rickart begins to rile at the honor offered to Gedeon, but settles when Rutger heads off his concern. "I'll support it, so long as he doesn't accept, my boy. No man alive gains more by Ryker's death than he." Another swallow of the warm wine, as Rutger rises. "See to it, then. Extend an invitation if you think it worth making."
"I know." the eldest son admits. "And That is why I play as if we are trying for peace and compromise. With the royals looking at us we cannot seem like vengeful bastards, even in our hurt." Rutger steels himself for a moment as he finishes the rest of his drink, before moving closer to his father's side. "He won't. In fact he has already told me, that he will never do so." a grin there shows, before he reaches out to squeeze his father's shoulder. "I shall, Father. It will be well written and concise. Enough he knows we sent it and meant it. But not enough to appear false." A grin and he bows his head. "Good to see you again." And he looks to Riordan. " Brother.." and with that he excuses himself for the night.
Riordan remained silent throughout the brief exchange, listening to the words of his father and elder brother. Only when his brother has left does he speak, a wry smile finding purchase on his lips. "It's a shame that the bastard wasn't a royalist. There'd be no contest then. There's only one thing King Bob loves less then a Targaryen supporter, and that's a targaryen." Beat. "Don't suppose we can say he's actually Aerys' offspring?" He allows himself a laugh, sipping from his cup. For once not as quick to finish it. Possibly do to the wineskin he shared earlier, or his wounds.
Rickart grunts in flat demi-humor at Riordan's Targaryen quip, giving a glance after the departing once-Royalist Rutger. "Damned shame, but no. He's the son of a half-wit drunkard and dead man who fell in Robert's column." A short exhale, and Rickart leans back in his chair. "Still. Baratheon is a warrior. He will favor the stronger case. And our House could conquer the whole of the Cape if we chose to."
Riordan, for his part, was neither a Royalist nor a Rebel. He was, and has ever been a supporter of the Nayland cause, whichsoever cause that might be. "Indeed, father. And now we've a whole family of knights and victors to lead the way," the son points out, full of filial pride. That pride is tempered, however, by his next words. "I just hope the wine has dulled the King's memory. He's never had much love for our liege lords." Meaning the Freys. "Still, whatever happens, please be assured that I will do all I can to aid our family's cause while in Stonebridge. I would rather die then let you or our House down." On other men, the words would sound hollow or be mere wind. Riordan may have an easy sense of humor and a laid back attitude about most things, but in this he is deadly serious.