|Summary:||Ser Jarod writes Lord Jerold from Stonebridge, on a few matters of local and personal import.|
|Related Logs:||A few. Links may come later.|
|Via courier from Crane's Crossing Inn to Four Eagles Tower|
|Wed May 09, 289|
I write from Stonebridge, where Rowenna and I are staying at Crane's Crossing Inn in decent comfort. We were received at the Mire more graciously than I'd expected. She remains Rowenna Nayland in name even after her masquerade all these years, and Lord Rickart's not pressing to have the marriage annulled. I'm not naive enough to figure he won't expect us to pay some price for such a reception. But blood is blood, and perhaps that's part of it for him and her as well.
I am well, though I still know not what I shall do with myself in the long. I shall gain some coin assisting in the search for banditry in the countryside, in the manner of a hedge knight. This is fine enough for the moment. I'm weighing my options but the one of chief concern on my mind is this: Lord Riordan Nayland has offered me a place as a knight, sworn to him and Tordane Tower.
He has given me his word I shall not have to raise my sword against the Terricks, and I'll admit I'm still fond of Stonebridge. I have known Lord Riordan a little and fought with him during the march to Alderbrook and on the Iron Isles, and I believe him to be an honorable man. And a decent one, perhaps, though this combination seems to bring little good in a lord. He has also said he might find a position for Rowenna in his household that might allow her to serve with honor. I think we might be happy here. Still, Lord Riordan is Lord Rickart's son, and while such strife remains between his family and mine I don't fool myself into thinking I'd have an easy time in such service.
I seek your counsel more than your blessing, as I know this will not sit well with you. I pray you know that I will ever remain your son, and try to serve with as much honor as I have in me, wherever I am. Whatever you may think of my honor. I have lied to you, my lord, and if I told myself it was in what I did not say and did not ask rather than what I did, that does not really make it better. And I have mortgaged your honor, telling myself such was necessary, because faced with the truth you'd do the right thing no matter how painful. I think I was wrong now, but it's too late to take it back. All I can do is try to be better and braver, for myself and she whom I love. I hope that's enough, most days I'm not sure, but I will try to be something of what you would want me to be, and pray you might find it in you to forgive the rest one day.
Lastly, on the matter of Stonebridge. And know as I write this I have spoken nothing with Lord Rickart or Lord Riordan on the matter. This is what I feel. The duel in which Ser Gedeon died was a judicial one, challenged asked and answered as a knight. In both the eyes of the law, and the eyes of the gods, the Nayland claim was upheld. And Gedeon Tordane's was buried, or scattered to the winds on ashes.
I know not if Lady Danae Tordane intends to honor Ser Gedeon's oath to swear to the Roost should she gain those lands. From what I've seen, there has been little of the eagles evident near her pavilion, and many men in black whose faces are unknown to me. But perhaps there's a chance for the houses of Terrick and Nayland to come to some accord. One thing I've learned this last year. You always have choices, and that they're all poor choices doesn't mean there aren't better and worse among them.
I bear you no ill for the way I was dismissed from Four Eagles, much love as Rowenna and I still hold for your house. You did as you must, and we will be all right. I will remember what you said when we parted, that me and my household would always have a place in your halls. That would not be good for either of us right now, I don't think, but perhaps it can be someday. All my love to you, whatever that's worth, and to my brothers and sister as well.