|To See For Myself|
|Summary:||Sarojyn and Dafydd pay a visit to Stonebridge. The Nayland welcome wagon rolls out.|
|Outskirts of Stonebridge - Stonebridge|
|The trails are worn and well tended here and the fields on either side are lush and full of wildflowers amidst the lightly scattered trees of the central Cape of Eagles. A few packed dirt trails converge with the main road from outlying hamlets around Stonbridge.|
|31 August, 288|
As the Camden horsemen make their way east to the crossroads of the Cape of Eagles, a party has been assembled to greet them upon arrival, beneath the quartered crane and harpy standard of Stonebridge. Beneath that banner waits a severe looking gentleman ahorse, with another pair of riders in attendance. An honor guard of household retainers in the new orange and green livery of the place are gathered to welcome the incoming guests.
The entourage of Camden's a small one, considering of the Lord of Tall Oaks, his brother and two other riders and there's little haste wasted in making their way to Stonebridge. At the 'front' of the group of riders is Sarojyn and as they begin to approach that small assembly that's gathered for their arrival, he's casting a look towards Dafydd, "Let us hope that all goes well, brother." Once they've begun to draw close enough to that assembly, there's a bow of Sarojyn's head in their direction and it's followed by, "House Camden bids greetings to those of Stonebridge and House Nayland."
The group does look as if they've been on the road for some time, their chargers growing tired in the pace set. Still, though sweated and breathing deeply, they carry their riders easily. The Captain of the Guard for Tall Oaks ride beside his brother, his response coming after a moment of quiet reflection. "I just hope we find more answers than questions, brother. Again."
As they near the group, Dafydd reins up a bit to slow his steed, though he keeps apace of his charge, his brother.
Rygar raises his cool, precise voice to answer the greeting, "House Nayland of Stonebridge bids the Lord and his company welcome. I am Ser Rygar Nayland, come to give fit greeting on behalf of the Lord and Lady of Stonebridge, Ryker and Isolde. Enter, my Lords." the formal words are a signal to the retainers who stand at attention at the thin knight's back, who offer salutes to the Camdens, and step crisply aside to clear the road for them.
Having drawn his stead to a halt, Sarojyn had let his attention flit amongst those that had gathered, but when Rygar begins to speak, he's drawing the Lords full attention and there's another dip of his head towards the man, "You have my thanks, Ser Rygar, and that of my men." The salute from the retainers draws Saro's attention so that he can give a nod and when they step aside, clearing the road, he's beginning to urge his horse forward.
"Well met, Ser Rygar Nayland," is offered in response from the younger of the pair of Camdens. The guards, as they move aside, are given a glance as he presses his horse on from the brief pause.
Dropping his voice, Dafydd cants his head towards his brother as they ride through. "So far, so good. They didn't turn us away." He smiles tightly, lips pressed together before, "That's positive."
Rygar turns his own steed so as to ride alongside the Lord of Tall Oaks as the Camden party moves into Stonebridge proper. "Your Lordship's reputation for such.. exceptional devotion to his own holdings has preceded you, my Lord. I would inquire what is the business upon which your company breaks this isolation?" The banner bearer falls in behind the trio of noble horsemen, while the retainers fall into step at their backs. A Captain of the Guard would immediately note the difference between a defensive escort and a ceremonial honor guard.
To Dafydd's comment, Sarojyn is offering the hints of a smile, along with a slight nod of his head before he's turning his attention back over towards Rygar. The Knight's words draw that smile a touch larger as he offers, "Concern has drawn me from the Oaks, Ser Rygar. Nothing more, nothing less." Eyes shift from the Knight, moving to the fore and to the road they ride upon. "With all that has happened and all that is happening, I wished to see for myself whether a war was on the horizon. And during such a thing, I found a request being made of myself."
There are times when Dafydd is glad that he doesn't sit upon the seat for Tall Oaks. A suitable response (read: polite) would have been difficult to form, but simply because the Ser is correct. Something that really should be remedied, but that is a matter for discussion behind their own closed doors.
Instead, "And to meet with those who may offer assurances." That works, on all levels.
"It's hard to have discussions on the leg of a bird."
Falling silent again, Dafydd rides easily, watching the road before them.
"If the Lord comes looking for the root of a war, he shall not find it growing in Stonebridge," Rygar voices back with the same cold precision that has thus far marked all of the stern knight's words. "House Nayland and Stonebridge both have prospered in this peace, we have neither the need nor the desire to see such fresh growth threatened." voicing in response to Dafydd, "Birds will speak, but will not understand, Ser. They echo what word they are given without thought of their own."
Rygar's words draw Sarojyn's head to the side so that eyes can once more settle upon him, the smile resting light upon his lips, "It pleases me to know that House Nayland has prospered with their union with Tordane." A dip of his head accompanies those words and when it lifts back up, he's continuing, "I'm also pleased to know that House Nayland does not seek bloodshed. Peace is a wonderful thing, Ser Rygar, and too much blood has been spilled in the past."
"Exactly. Which is why we find ourselves on the road, dirty from the dust, but in good spirits."
Dafydd lets the pair speak, though he listens carefully, seeing if there is anything that he can catch and inquire after. His gaze is still set before them on the road, watching. Softly, he begins whistling a tavern ditty, set a little slower than those who had imbibed sing it.
"I was unaware that reports of the fighting had reached Tall Oaks, my Lord," Rygar voices in return, a cool edge beneath the words, before he turns on to the former subject, prompting, "The Lord Camden spoke of a request, earlier."
"It was not reports of fighting that brough me from the Oaks, Ser Rygar, but the possibility of fighting. We may sit in isolation, but that does not mean we remain ignorant of things. To do so would be simply foolish." Those words are returned evenly before Saro is casting a look towards Dafydd before looking back to their escort. "During a similiar visit to Terrick's Roost, a Ser Gedeon Rivers approached me and asked that I speak to House Nayland, on his behalf, and petition for the return of .. certain letters to which he lays claim to."
"We hear a great deal. We do have friends without as well." Dafydd offers it with something of an offhand shrug in his tones. "Sometimes we need only confirmation. It would never do to dicount other points of view." Glancing back at his brother, he smiles and gives him a one-shouldered shrug, looking all the world as if he'll go back to whistling. Thankfully, he refrains.
Rygar sniffs sharply as Sarojyn names the cause for his travels. "I had forgotten there to be birds upon your own family's heraldry as well, my Lord. You speak of the letters borne by Ser Gedeon Rivers to Stonebridge, at the event of the tourney?" Turning his chill blue regard aside to meet Sarojyn's he notes, "Of these letters, those which bore Tordane seals are the legitimate property of the Lady Valda Tordane, as the last of her name. Those which bear no seals are no proper documents. Gedeon Rivers has no claim upon them."
Dafydd's input into the conversation draws a confirming nod from Sarojyn, though the Lord's attention remains settled upon that of Rygar and when a response is offered, there's only the hints of a chuckle and a slight bow of his head, "I expected that to be the response of House Nayland, good Ser. The Knight saw fit to share the contents of said letters with me and mine and I must admit, I was left wondering just what he hoped to accomplish … other then earn the ire of your House."
As they come to the crux of the matter, Dafydd nods at the response. Like Saro, he fully expected that to be the response. From here on, the Captain of the Guard remains silent, watching the road, but also watching their honour contingent. Still, no one has reined up, and their progress continues forward, so.. still going comparitively well.
"I will not be so discourteous as to suggest that a knight would stoop to using such a request as a means of spreading slanders, my Lord," Rygar answers, disdain subtly coloring his own speech, briefly. "So I must say that I cannot find any honorable motive in such a request. With that idleness addressed, the more substantial subjects of your visit may be given better breath."
Rygar's response draws the smile back to Sarojyn's lips as he gives a slight nod of his head, "No, of course not. But, my duty has in that respect has been fulfilled and I may pass along the response to Ser Rivers." Eyes now shift back to the road and what lays ahead, "I must admit, Ser Rygar, that we will not take much of your time, nor that of the Lord and Lady of Stonebridge. We wished to pass along our congratulations on their marriage, albeit a delayed one, and to simply speak of things to come and whether there is anything that House Camden may offer to their own."
Dafydd turns his head to look at his brother. No questions? No defense of the young knight in his absence? No argument? Nothing? Trying to keep a scowl from appearing on his face, and mostly succeeding, he tightens his jaw and looks back at the road ahead. He likes the young Ser, and to simply say, 'Oh, okay then..' just doesn't seem right to him.
But, he's neither the Lord of Tall Oaks, nor is he an emissary, herald or diplomat. And there's still more road to travel to see the Lord and Lady..
"If it is your wish to offer congratulation to the Lord Ryker and Lady Isolde, my Lord will not find them here. Their Excellencies have been called to the Fortress of the Sevens to address matters of state. Your Lordship and his company shall of course be welcomed in their name for so long as you choose to remain." Rygar's keen eye fixes on Dafydd as the knight struggles to control his scowl.
If Sarojyn notices Dafydd's attempt to control his scowl, there's certainly nothing said in that regard. Instead, a brow is lofted at Rygar's comment, though a slight nod is given, "Indeed? I am sorry that we have missed them. I wonder, perhaps, when they might return, Ser Rygar. I would like to speak with Lord Ryker about a few things and it would interest me greatly to speak with Lady Isolde, as well." A turn of his head lets his attention shift from the road ahead and back to Rygar.
If there is any expectation of a confrontation between brothers, the bet would be lost. Brother and brother form a front, regardless, and the younger Camden says nothing but with the looks of seconds ago. With his face held front, blue eyes scan the road, his back straight.. tense for the conversation held around him.
To hear that the Lord and Lady aren't within, however, that comes very close to breaking the man.. and glancing back at his brother, watches the elder as he speaks to the Ser that greeted them and now escorts.
"I cannot say with certainty how long such Lordly concerns will keep the Lord and Lady at the Fortress of the Sevens, my Lord," Rygar answers evenly. "If it is your wish that a messenger be sent to them, either to announce your intended visit to the Mire, or to bear what word you choose to give, I shall put a rider on the road within the hour."
With Rygar's response given, Sarojyn takes a moment to turn his attention to his brother, to give the younger a Camden a nod of his head before he's looking back to the Nayland Knight, "If it would draw no inconvience from House Nayland, we would stay a night in Stonebridge, good Ser. Then, we would like to depart to the Mire, to tend to a visit and to pay our respects to the Lord and Lady of Stonebridge, as well as to the Lord of the Mire."
One of the benefits of growing up together, even with the age difference, is that there is a language shared that is all their own. It takes only a glance from his brother, a hint of a nod to tell Dafydd that his suspicions are correct. Exhaling in a soft breath out his mouth, he draws in another, his face set to the road. "To see to the horses and to shake the dust from our clothing before we continue on."
"Suitable quarters within the Tower shall be arranged, my Lord," Rygar notes with a crisp nod to Sarojyn's decision to remain for a single night. "If you wish to prepare a letter, it shall be sent. Otherwise, the rider shall carry this word unto His Lordship, Ser Rickart with all appropriate alacrity."