|Summary:||Gedeon and Jacsen discuss the upcoming trip to Riverrun and what it could mean.|
|Related Logs:||Coastal Preparations|
|Kitchens — Four Eagles Tower|
|Tables, counters, knives, spits and many pots and pans.|
|3 November 288|
It's after dinner but not quite bed, and as Gedeon knew Jarod would be eating with the Terricks, he paid a visit to his ailing squire during the meal hours. Which means now, after them, he's seated himself in the kitchen and he's eating from a bowl of stew; a leftover from the meal he missed. Set out before him is an open letter which he is reading (or more correctly, rereading) as he eats.
"Ah, there you are." Jacsen wastes little time with formality, the strike of his cane upon the floor announcing him just as well as his words, and the Lord wastes no time in making a beeline for Gedeon. "Is that the summons?" he asks, nodding at the letter the man reads over his dinner.
"Here I am," Gedeon agrees around a mouthful of stew. He nods, holding up the letter and offering it to Jacsen for his perusal. "We leave for Riverrun tomorrow. You, me, everyone."
"Indeed. I wanted to speak to you about this visit to Riverrun, and what it means, Ged," Jacsen shares. "I spoke with Lord Mallister before he returned to Seaguard, and he helped put a few things in perspective for me."
The hand with the letter is lowered again, the writing set down on the table as Gedeon regards the newly married Terrick heir. "Go on."
He nods, and takes a seat at the table across from Gedeon. "So, this hearing we're to have with Lord Tully, it's upon the matter of Stonebridge, and whether it is in the hands of its legal heir," Jacsen explains. "It won't quite reach so far as to touch on the matter of your own potential inheritance, I don't believe. This is just about whether or not Isolde is your father's heir or not."
Gedeon nods again, slowly. "I understand. It is the first step, and more than this would be required before I could lay a claim to Stonebridge. But, it is a necessary first step, nothing can be done without it."
"You're right about that," Jacsen agrees with a nod. "I just… wanted to make sure you understood that. Seems you do, so I'll leave it at that. Just didn't want us to walk into Riverrun without being of the same mind on things, I suppose." He offers Gedeon a look of encouragement. "This is good, Ged. We're finally making some progress here. It's unorthodox, yes, but it's a compelling case against Lady Valda and Lady Isolde."
"More compelling if the Naylands actually bring those letters," Gedeon says wryly. "What do you suppose the chances are of that?" The smile fades into something a little more wary and anxious. "It suddenly feels as if part of this will finally be decided. Gods, Jacsen, what if Lord Tully decides I'm full of air? If he disregards what we say, calls Isolde the rightful inheritor… that's finished. It's over."
"The way they've handled things… if the Naylands do not bring the letters, it will reflect very poorly upon them," Jacsen suggests, in all seriousness. "It will just look like they have more to hide. And if they do bring them, we can have the veracity of the hand that wrote it verified by those that know, and even lacking seals, it might lend considerable weight to the claim. I've spent some time looking into Lord Tordane's whereabouts when Isolde should have been conceived, as well as those whom might have been in Stonebridge at the time… I hope to have some useful information by the time we reach Riverrun."
Gedeon nods slowly. "I only hope the Naylands are confident enough in their victory that they don't think to try something more underhanded than simply having destroyed them. If they come empty handed, I've hope your findings and our combined testimonies may undo their certainty."
"Whatever their bluster, Ged, truth is on our side," Jacsen assures his friend, seeming enthused about the chance to have this matter finally heard. "We've honorable knights, knights that did not forget their duty and answered the call from Riverrun to march in the Rebellion, and that counts for much. We need simply cleave to the truth, and avoid being baited into slandering the Naylands or ourselves, and we will see this through."
Gedeon seems, for a moment, as if he might protest. But then he nods, breathing out slowly. "All right," the blond bastard agrees softly. "Good, then. We're on our way."
Jacsen pauses, and shakes his head, not having failed to notice that moment of decision on Gedeon's part. "What is it, Ged?"
"The Naylands are not ones to give up quietly. Not ever, but particularly not when it comes to giving up the things they've 'won'. I only worry… I hope it's nonsense, but I worry they have more of a plan in place than we suspect," Gedeon replies with a faint frown.
Jacsen opens his hands wide, though he does seem to share that concern, given the look in his eyes. "They might, I even suspect they do, because you're right… they would not have come this far to just rest on their laurels," he agrees. "But, we've no way of knowing, so… what do we do? I can think that if we cleave to the truth, and repeat it faithfully by men of known honor and dignity, that such will speak loud enough. With either the letters to confirm it, or the lack of them to cast doubt on our foes." He tilts his head slightly. "Unless you see something I don't, Ged? I'd be eager to hear…"
"I…" Gedeon frowns again, staring down at his mostly empty bowl for a long moment. "They've had the letters for months, now," he points out softly. "Say they did not destroy them. Or, rather, say they did, but not until copies were made. Once that could be verified as false. It would be a brilliant stroke, wouldn't it? To bring the proof we've demanded, but turned against us?"
Jacsen nods once. "It's possible, Ged, though harder I think to fabricate the years of wear the letters possessed," he remarks. "Perhaps you should spend some time thinking on the specifics of them, hmm? Any little detail, ink blots, damage to the paper, wear… And confirm it with those others that saw them, so that you can be as certain as you can when the letters are brought forth that they are the true copies. Or to protect us against the chance that they are not?"
The young knight of Oldstones nods. "I know them crease by crease," he replies, "and unless they were forgeries more clever than I could imagine, I believe I would be able to spot them. But, that presumes we'd be permitted access to them before the Lord Tully, and it would still look rather poorly, us claiming these are the wrong letters, fake letters. Now, at this moment that is meant to be one of decision and truth."
"It would be odd, to me, for Lord Tully to have their veracity decided without the sight of a handful of knights that have put eyes to them," Jacsen opines. "But it is a valid concern, Ged. I just don't know what else we might do, but what we are doing now."
"Yes, that's true enough. We will have to see what the Naylands try and be ready to protect our case if we must. I very much hope that you're right, my lord. That honesty and truth will win out of their own power. Perhaps it may yet be so."
He reaches for his friend's forearm, to clasp it tight. "If not that, then the weight of the testimony of those that Riverrun remember fondly, who took up the call to arms when others let it fall upon deaf ears." Jacsen draws a breath. "I will do all I can, Ged. All that I can."
Gedeon smiles gently, reaching out with his own hand to return the gesture. "Thank you," he answers softly. "That… that if nothing else, I can believe in."