Page 016: Tournament of Song
Tournament of Song
Summary: Performers entertain the assembled nobility at Tordane Hall.
Date: 28/07/2011
Related Logs: None
Amelia Anais Eyrian Jaremy Jarod Igara Ilya Isolde 
Tower Hall - Tordane Tower
The entrance to the tower opens into a larger common room for receiving guests. Effort has been made to bring warmth and light to the interior, as well. Rugs have been hung from the stone walls as well as placed on the floor to bring at a welcoming ambiance. There is a large table with several chairs off to the left of the door, a cooking hearth against the back wall, and a wooden staircase that leads up. An antechamber behind the stairs is where the servants live and bed down.
July 28, 288

The tables, chairs, and every other extraneous furnishing has been cleared from the common room, in order to accomodate as many of the tournament's guests as would wish to attend. Even the wooden staircase curling along the curve of the round tower wall has been occupied as a sort of impromptu balcony. The doors to the tower are thrown open to allow those without the chance to hear, as well as letting in a late summer breeze to cool the large chamber while all in attendance await the arrival of the Lady of Stonebridge.

Amelia arrived some time ago, at first milling around outside the tower and speaking to a few individuals. No one really of note. She's dressed as a commoner rather than a whore, something becoming more and more ..common.. for her. For now, she stands with the other men and women who will be performing. Her hands are clasped in front of her, eyes drifting over the crowd. For a woman who is used to performing at the Inn, she certainly looks a little nervous.

Jarod has come to see the show. He strolls in with a couple of young knights in Mallister colors, laughing and joking about something or other.

Eyrian for her part has taken some time to gather herself and some semblance of clothing after her last had been shredded by the Ironborn. She has arrived, stepping inward and around the outter edge of the main hall, gazing up and about. A simple blouse, a set of bloused pants and boots to tuck them into. No skirts for her now, for some reason she has found comfort in other things. Her lyre is in her hand, worn and nearly abandoned. She looks about, her dark hair left free and nearly dried from the washing she had given it. She shifts, turning the lyre about to tightenin a string her too as she lets out a long breath, the nobles obviously putting her on edge.

The events of note in the realm are nearly never allowed to play out without the presence of the Faith. At least when those events surround a tournament, and even a tournament of song, given the high spirits that have plagued the recent events, may have need of the healing arts that come not from the Citadel, but from the Sept. Though she's settled at the far outside of the room, far from the nobles and those of high birth, preferring, perhaps, to sit with those of more common stock, the Septa, Ilya's eyes and attention roam with interest about the room. In time to catch sight of the knights wearing the purple and silver, before her eyes move on once again.

They have not to wait very long for Isolde enters from the side door from the gardens. The Lady of Stonebridge slows her passing, that rich blue fabric of her dress beset with silver adornments, including her circlet. As acknowledging gazes are offered to her, she gives a dip of her head. Dark hair is drawn back and up, pinned into place, curling to embrace the silver about her forehead. She grasps at her skirts and shifts, moving for the head chair where Valda rests nearby, deferring to her daughter for these events.

And at Isolde's side, as ever in these last few days, her virtuous shadow in white and pale greys with markings of deep grey-blue along the collar, the curved headpiece which covers the greater portion of her hair hardly managing to make the young girl look very tall, though it does try. The great crowd seems to dazzle her eye, and she holds onto her cousin's hand on their way to the front of the room, where she lowers herself in a courtsey of warm greeting to the Lady Valda, her half-sister, taking the woman's hands, if she's allowed, pressing them in a tender greeting between kin.

As the hall continues to fill, and it seems the time to begin the tournament is fast approaching, Ilya rises, moving away from the far wall, and with soft words and graceful movements, attempts to to wend her way closer to where the performers have been gathering. It is not only for those things of import that the people seek the services of a Septa, but for things such as these, things born of the hand and the heart. Music, in all of its forms, is a gift of the Seven. And while she won't engage the performers directly, she does settle easily, allowing them to come to her if they have need.

There are some late arrivals, it seems, both to the tournament and to the competition of the moment. Crowded though the hall may be, a small group works its way in. And what a strange group it is. A good five men at arms in black and grey, with badges of a cloaked figure surrounded in flame, follow four young noblewomen of marriageable age, ranging from fifteen or sixteen to mid-twenties. They're all fair of hair and eye, though their heights and builds vary. And guiding them in? One Terrick heir: Jaremy.

There's no indication the Mallister knights Jarod is presently paling around with - all of whom are in their very early twenties - are focused on anything besides eyeing the line of singers competing. The ladies, particularly. Jarod notes them with no small amount of interest of his own, trying to catch Amelia's eye and offer her a quick nod of encouragement. Eyrian is also spotted, and blinked at with some surprise. "Huh," he murmurs to himself. Eyrian seems to touch off some newly vigorous conversation (if they were a gaggle of ladies, it would just be called 'gossip') among the men. Though even chattering and laughing as he is, Jarod can't help but note the procession of young noblewoman into the hall. And Jaremy among them. That brings a grin to his face.

Isolde takes ther seat with Valda seated further back. But Igara's greeting of the widow is offered a wan smile and the elder nods to the fellow Frey Lady. "Be well, sit with me sister." Valda intones softly to Igara and makes room for her. The Lady of Stonebridge clears her throat as she looks about her father's hall and even as she has just taken to her seat, she rises once she sees that most are gathered, the soft murmurings of shared conversation echoes off hthe stone walls. Slowly she steps forward, gazing to the two that will perform. Green eyes scan over the more recent entering and she does well to keep her face schooled into an unreadable edge as the woman and Jaremy are noted.

Stepping forward, she lifts her hand, to motion to the guests. "Honored guests, charges, Lords, Ladies and our performers." SHe dips her head gracefully to each. A warm smile offered. "Tonight we put aside the strength of sword and shield and of great warrior display for that of entertainment and art. We have for us a bardic comeptition of song and word. I will that it starts, enjoy yourselves and to our competitors, good luck." She nods her head and turns, taking her seat gracefully. So it begins.

Amelia continues searchign the faces of the crowd nervously. Spotting Jarod, she takes a strong breath and returns the nod with a smile. Strength to be found there. With the arrival of the Lady, though, her attention turns to the woman. It stays there until Jaremy comes in. She smiles at seeing the man until she spots his entourage. Eyes narrow on the harpies and that smile might as well have set sail for the bottom end of the continent. But when Isolde rises to speak, the whore returns her eyes and listens. She rises to her toes and rocks back to her heels at the end and looks to the others standing with her.

Igara looks only too glad to see her sister, having devoted the most of her time here to seeing to her cousin (technically niece). She shines with a girlish freshness and renewed vigor of spirit, laying a chaste kiss upon her sister hand and then turning to settle down on the little stool set out for her at the feet of the chairs in which the ladies of the realm are seated… well. Will be seated. She looks up and up and up her tall cousin's person, clasping her hands together in excitement for her pronouncement, and clapping them when Isolde sits again.

Leading the ladies of Banefort and their guards along the side of the room, Jaremy takes great care for where he steps, issuing quiet nods of greeting to the lords and ladies as he passes. Doing his best to get closer to the Terrick and Mallister camp, he lifts his head up to look to the contestants. Spotting Amelia, he smiles broadly and leans back to Anais, speaking in hushed tones. "My Lady, another bannerhouse of your Lord Tywin Lannister is present but I have not seen him yet, a Ser Lyle Crakehall of Crakehall. It is unknown to me if he traveled with other members of his house, though I've not seen any others of the Westerlands." He pauses. "If you've no arrangements you're welcome to find a place near my own house until you find them?"

Anais manages to stay toward the front of the little wedge of guards and women, though the more observant may note that she seems more focused on finding a good spot to listen than on dogging Jaremy's footsteps. Not so the youngest of the girls, who is much more focused on the heir. "Is he? It's too bad we didn't know beforehand," she muses in a low tone. "We might have travelled together. Father was a bit anxious about sending the men with us. Though apparently the Greyjoys were headed /here/, I heard. My sympathies," she offers, glancing to Jaremy with a faint smile before falling silent to listen.

A word spoken, in that time-softened Seagard burr, here and there, but stilled as the Lady rises to address the gathered. Ilya's full attention shifts to the Ladies of the House, before it seems the tournament is set to begin. A flick of her wrists to settle her sleeves over her hands, before they're clasped in front of her, her expression calm and neutral, showing no sign of either favour or its opposite. But still her attention moves from point to point in the room, in the space between the announcement and the first performance. There is always time to look and listen.

The camp of men Jarod's packed into is only too glad to make room for Jaremy and his companions as the Terrick heir meanders in their direction. Bows are even sketched to the oncoming traffic of ladies. Jarod adds particular flourish to his to Anais, conversation companion to Jaremy that she seems to be. He makes an effort to shoot that crooked grin his brother's way, and give him a little nod. Well done, Ser. Well done. But as the competition gets started, that's where his attention flits. For the moment, at last. Ser Rivers' attention seems to be a roving and easily-distracted thing that likes to run off and chase shiny objects.

After teh crowd seems to have settled some, the whore from Terrick's Roost fidgets. Nobody else seems to want to be the first one to go. With her hair given one last turn around her ears, she inhales sharply and steps out from the group of competitors towards the center of the floor. She stops in the middle and eyes the walls and ceiling for a moment, seeming satisfied with where she is before bowing deeply before the nobles at the head of the room. Amelia makes no sound. Yet.

As the whispered name of the performer is offered, a retainer of House Tordane steps forward. Speaking up, his voice rings out over the conversations.

"Miss Amelia of Terrick's Roost!" It echoes and he steps back.

She's heard? Jaremy thinks, his eyes shifting towards Anais. Catching the subtle, faint smile on her lips, Jaremy returns it with a short nod of his head. Finding her rather perceptive, he nods once more. "Thank you, Lady Anais." Though the wound is still rather fresh, he's back above the water. Coming to a stop near the Terricks and Mallisters, he glances back to the Banefort entourage and sidesteps, making room for all of them. He turns, and catches the look from his brother. Jaremy's eyes narrow slightly, though the hint of a smile at the edge of his lip is obvious. It's the don't start look…the playful version. It's sibling pride at its best. A much more welcome look is given to his father and Lord Mallister, and as Amelia is introduced, Jaremy turns his eyes to the arena, eager to listen.

<FS3> Amelia rolls Singing: Amazing Success.

There are no instrument accompiments to aid her or help her keep time. She holds her skirt gently in one hand and keeps her eyes down. Amelia certainly does not look the part of what she is today, either. She's dressed as any commoner woman might be. A simple light teal dress, a modest piece that only finds a true fitment around her waist, is all she wears except for a dark blue sash tied loosely around her hips. Rather than stall, she begins without any more hesitation. With her eyes low and voice gently soft, the words come quietly at first and slowly pull in more emotion:
"I put away the day
And I take my daily bread
I dream of your arms around me
As I turn the kids in bed"

Her eyes lift and search among the male faces for some of the nobles at first, but as she sings, her arms lift towards the crowd as well. The words gain strength as she leans forward a bit, the words nearly stinging on her throat.
"I do not know what you are doin'
And I do not know where you are
But I look up at that great big sky
And I hope you are wishing on that same
bright star"

Then, just as her voice seems to be reaching a fever, she seems to melt. Her shoulders sag as her arms drop lower and reach out with the first and then clasp together with the second. She looks as if she might drop to her knees for all the earnesty to it.
"I wonder, I pray"

Just when it seems like that might have been all, she begins again in the same quiet voice that she started with. Her rolling mezzo-soprano hits the notes with the same ease as a light breeze passing over the tips of wheat in a field. Again, one can almost her her throat tightening as she sings. Amelia pours her heart into it as it seems like the chorus and following might wrench her heart right out of her chest. Eyes search those of the men, her concern unmistakably pure. By the end of the first set, her voice is carrying far beyond those who have only been listening carefully.
"And I sleep in the cold
I cry in the cold
And it's so hard livin' here
…without the bold"

"I know that we are together
Even though we are far apart
And I'll wear the locket round my neck
Pressed to my heart"

"And I sleep in the cold
I cry in the cold
And it's so hard livin' here
…without the bold"

"I still imagine your touch
It's beautiful missing something that much"

…And then suddenly Amelia isn't looking to the men anymore. Her glistening eyes find those of the women listening, her own soul reaching out to find those who have come to hear. Those who know. Those who stay behind. The transition occurs mid stanza with nary that switch of her eyes and the sudden clasp of her hands together and coming to her chest.
"But sometimes love needs a fighting chance
So I'll wait my turn until it's our turn to dance"

Her voice falls quiet once more. As she started the song, Amelia intends to finish it. Anyone who wants to hear it will have to be listening for it. The words are nothing short of sincere as she continues to pour it out to the women in the audience. There is a tough swallow before she slides back into it, though, the tightness in her throat quelled for the moment.
"We wonder, We pray"

"We sleep alone
We cry alone
Without him this house is not a home
So please, come home soon"

"We walk alone
We try alone
We'll wait for you, don't want to die alone
So please, come home soon"

The last fades with each word until only the last one could be heard by those standing closest to her. Hands lower, still clasped, in front of her as her eyes and terrifically sad expression drop to the ground before her. There was only a quick glance to a few of the noble men before her clouded eyes sought the stone beneath.
"Come home soon
Come home soon"

She striaghtens, bowing deeply to the nobles before she turns and walks quickly from the performance while she fights off the her emotion.

Anais's lips quirk at Jarod's flourish, a tilt of her head acknowledging the gesture, and the ladies of the Banefort all bob their appropriate curtseys to the Mallisters. But then there's /singing/. The youngest girl is all eyes for Jaremy, while the older two alternate between the singer and the crests and faces filling the hall. Anais? Anais is rapt to the performance, the only motion in her a single finger brushing the fabric of her skirt in time with the music. Even when the song ends, she's still, unwilling to be the first to break the spell of silence.
Eyrian pages: Question dear, do you want to roll instrument and singing seperately?

Igara clasps her hands together once more, keeping them over her heart, the beauty of the singing seeming to threaten to overwhelm her. But as caught up as she is by the music, when Amelia's eyes search those of the women in the crowd, there's nothing to be found in Igara's wide witch-hazel gaze beyond the thrill of the music itself, her young heart as yet unschooled in such affairs as loving and lonesomeness. She may well not even fathom what the song's about, from the bright look in her eye as she admires the artistry with which it is sung.

Jaremy's eyes center onto Amelia as she sings, recognizing the song. He remains silent for the duraction, letting the precision of the notes and the tone of her voice fill his ears. The performance is exquisite, and as the song draws to an end his hands come together, starting to applaud her performance. He claps loudly, though he cannot bring himself to smile, watching the way she steps away from the nobles, concealing her emotion. "So well done, Amelia, so well done…" He says aloud as he claps. He turns, finding the chubby-cheeked face of Anais' sister, Gwyneth. And to her he offers a quiet smile before he turns away, finding Isolde and her mother, Valda, further down the side of the room. He breathes out quietly, lifting an eyebrow as he continues his applause, looking to his brother. It's an interesting room indeed.

Amelia is known very well by the Tordanes and Nayland alike and while Valda watches her carefully, Isolde smiles faintly to Amelia. The Lady of Stonebridge presses her hands together in a silent clap while the room fills with encouragements and calls of enjoyment at the end. For her part, the Lady Tordane nods her head to the woman and claps softly, but it shows in her face she enjoyed the presentation, shifting some so she can give Amelia her eye for a while longer. As the singer of the Roost steps back, the retainer looks to the others present.

Jarod might waggle his eyebrows up and down at time or two at Jaremy in retort for that look. He can't quite resist doing that. But if he has further needling of his brother to do, it'll have to wait. As Amelia' performance captures his full attention. His own eyes are kept on the singer, rather than wandering the hall, all the jokiness going out of his expression - for the moment at least - as he listens. "Fairly done indeed," he mutters, adding his own clapping to that filling the hall as the notes fade. No raucous whistles or anything of that sort from him for that. Just plain applause.

With only the barest flick of her wrists, Ilya's sleeves are pushed back, at least enough to allow her to join in the applause for the singer, and the for song so exquisitely performed. A quirk of her lips, a smile, if a soft one, but it is there, before she allows her hands to fall once again. A step to the side, another murmured word, allows her to move to a slightly better placement, that much easier to see, despite her slightly taller than average height for a woman.

As others begin to applaud, Anais joins in, adding her own to the tumult. A glance over at her youngest sister earns Jaremy a briefly sympathetic look, while the eldest of the Baneforts is giving /Jarod/ the eye. The last of the girls seems much more interested in looking over the Mallister men.

Amelia does her best to blend into the back of the competition, keeping her head bowed until she hears the applause. It actually seems to surprise her so when she looks up to Isolde, there's a returned smile. It drifts across to a few others like Jarod and Jaremy before she turns red in the face. Dipping her head forward again, her hair moves with it to provide a dark shield. Good place to hide for now.

Igara only has eyes for the commoner at the tail end of her performance, herself, though her applause would likely be curtailed from its enthusiasm did she know the woman's trade. As it stands, she claps and claps, and when she does look away, it's to her cousin Isolde, first, turning to one side, and then to her sister on the other, "How fine a songstress!" she remarks brightly to the latter. "And how well such a show bodes for the rest of the tourney."

Waiting graciously as long a she can, Eyrian hesitates and smiles faintly to Amelia before leaning in to speak to the red faced woman, "Well done, Miss. Beautiful voice. No instrument need accompnay that." A nod of her dark tressed head and as other performers hesitate, she musters the strength. There is a whisper to the old gods made and she brushes her hands to her long necklace of coral and stone. Stepping forward, she breaks the line, giving her name to the retainer. Her booted feet step forward, pant and blouse matched with a short cut vest in green. Drawing forward further towards the center of the room. Waiting as the whispers earlier give her no heart for what will be said.

The retainer steps forward and faintly to the side. "Miss Eyrian. Of the North!" Her name proclaimed, he steps back.

Jaremy can't hold it in. After getting Gwyneth's chubby-cheeked look, he spots Jarod and his lips part in a bared-teeth smile. Hee. The look is wiped from his face as he turns to the other side, finding Anais' sympathetic expression. He tilts his head, nodding in quietly with the slightest tilt of his eyebrow. The theater of facial expressions is afoot, and Jaremy seems to be caught in its throes, though it does appear that he's enjoying himself. And thus to escape, he turns his attention to Amelia and Eryian, whatching their exchange with interested before the minstrel herself is introduced, hungry for more song.

Jarod must note the Banefort lady eyeing him, though he does not leer at her back beyond a courteous dip of his chin and polite smile. Save, oddly, an overlong look he takes at her hair. A low, thoughtful, "Hrm…" sound is made under his breath, and he shrugs. Whatever he's turning over in his brain he seems to keep mulling it when Eyrian begins her song and his eyes turn back that direction.

Now in a slightly better position to see the performance, Ilya settles once again into stillness, that calm returning to her expression, as if it had ever left. Finger intertwine beneath her sleeves, her eyes returning to the area that serves as the stage, studying the second woman that steps forward for the performance, eyes frank, and frankly curious.

As Eyrian remains, despite the whispers and words exchanged, the dark haired minstrel lifts her lyre and calloused fingers play across the strings. The music fills the walls, a tune with life and vitality, of mysteries of the North and soon her lips part, voice carrying with the tune that rises from her skilled fingers.
I was born at the dawn of a cold autumn day
When the wind met the mist on the hill.
A child of the northlands, Im free as a bird
And my bodys as strong as my will.
I laugh at the blizzard and dance in the gale;
From the wild geese I learned to take flight.
My first lullaby was the song of the wolf
And the cry of the loon in the night.

And its heigh-ho, down from the snow,
Down with the hail and the rain!
Down where the thunder crashes and roars!
I am the North Winds daughter!
Wild as the storm, Ill never be tamed,
For I am the North winds daughter!
I am the North Winds daughter!

The second verse is more spirited, her hand shaking some but she continues, the eyes upon her something she is used to but the whispers of Lady Blackmane mar her confidence. Eyes lift and she drives the strength into her words, moving with the music a bit, stepping to the side to deliver to one half.
When Winters white cloak lies so cold on the land,
Then I dance on the ice-frozen lake.
To send down the sleet or to send down the snow?
Well I feel it is my choice to make.
I run with the deer in the pine forests dark
When the Northern Lights leap in the sky.
When bonfires are lit to drive off the deep cold
With the hawk and the eagle I fly!

And its heigh-ho, down from the snow,
Down with the hail and the rain!
Down where the thunder crashes and roars!
I am the North Winds daughter!
Wild as the storm, Ill never be tamed,
For I am the North winds daughter!
I am the North Winds daughter!

The third verse and she ignores it all, Eyrian is given to her art and she dips back to the center, playing to her hosts as she draws her fingers along the strings in honest pliant ways. The instrument comes to life, spring forth with the tune to which she guides it.
Come Spring and come Summer when warmth fills the land,
Now dont think I have fled far away.
For I am the storm-wind that shreds the white sail;
With the lightning and thunder I play.
I ride on the crest of the rapids white wave
Where it leaps and it foams on the sand.
Come sailors take warning: when you hear my voice,
Then youd best keep your feet on the land!

And its heigh-ho, down from the snow,
Down with the hail and the rain!
Down where the thunder crashes and roars!
I am the North Winds daughter!
Wild as the storm, Ill never be tamed,
For I am the North winds daughter!
I am the North Winds daughter!

Noble or not, the young Minstrel is of one mind, the last verse offered with a faint white smile. Briliant rich mezzo tone gliding out. Sultry and warm, like warm hazy nights such as this. Givng warmth to the cold beckoning Northern tune.
Come all you brave men, now come heed my advice,
For with you I shall never abide.
Though many have tried, just as many have failed,
For you cant take a storm as a bride!
Speak not your sweet words, they mean nothing at all!
Oh swear not any promise to me!
Do not try to follow, do not dream to dare
If you loved me, youd let me stay free!

And its heigh-ho, down from the snow,
Down with the hail and the rain!
Down where the thunder crashes and roars!
I am the North Winds daughter!
Wild as the storm, Ill never be tamed,
For I am the North winds daughter!
I am the North Winds daughter!

The last is finished with a lingering strum of the lyre, the minstrel drawing her hand away, her breath taken deeply to fill her lungs with an eager pull. She hesitates and then dips her head and drops into a bow to the assembled nobles, lingering there before rising slowly.

Again when the singer picks up her song, Anais is focused only there, a slow smile growing. "I told you it would be worth it," she leans over to murmur to the sister who's interested in the Mallisters, getting an absent sort of nod in return. Exasperated, she rolls her eyes just a bit before applauding.

Igara settles in for the second performance, eager to watch, eyes settling on the woman's eyes with a warm invitation to entertain her. And the invitation is not left unanswered, but that the Lady Frey folds her hands in her lap, leaning forward by degrees as taken by the song, the theme of which seems to speak to her on a much more heartfelt level than the theme of the prior song, such that when Eyrian comes close to address the last stanza to her gentle cous and wise sister, she sits up straight again, meeting the woman with a bright smile and even brighter eyes, the latter sparkling with tears brought forth for the beauty of the image presented.

Amelia smiles, whispering back to Eyrian before the woman slips off to the floor. She watches the woman work the lyre and rise into song. She sways a bit with the epic bard and is all smiles by the end. Yes, the whore is most certainly a fan. She'll wait for others, specifically the nobles, before she begins applauding! "Well done!" she whispers to those around her.

Again, her hands are raised in applause, be she the only one or no, and if she claps alone or is joined by those in the crowd she seems to pay no mind. Ilysa simply does what she did for the woman who came before. Applaud her for her skill, and the courage it took to perform before such a gathering as this one. Not for her to think on the recent events surrounding the bard. Only to focus on the moment.

Jaremy's hands press together in applause for the song from Eyrian. Issuing a broad smile towards Eyrian and Amelia, nodding in their direction to say hello, he continues to applaud while the rest of the room does. He leans in to Anais. "This is going much better than I expected." He admits, giving a slight shrug of surprise to the noblewoman as he catches her elder sister's gaze at the Mallister knights. He trails her gaze towards Lord Jerold Terrick and Lord Jason Mallister, to the knights in question, and then finally to his brother, trying to establish eye contact for some more wordless, subliminal brother-to-brother conversation.

Jarod taps his foot during the song and certainly seems to enjoy the spirited tune well enough, though he also doesn't burst right into clapping. However, he adds his applause to the room a beat after Jaremy does. Seemingly as much to join in solidarity with his brother as for the Northern singer, judging by the look he shifts back toward Lord Jerold. He does jot a sidelook at the Banefort lady. Or, rather her hair again. Though he only shrugs when he catches Jaremy's eye.

Many recognize the Minstrel for who she is by rumor or by face and there are whispers amongst the applause. Isolde looks over towards her Lady Cousin and leans in to speak with her softly. She claps with the others but it is reserved.

Eyrian steps back, turning and disappearing back into line, hands about the lyre and pressing it to her. Her gaze sweeps back and then she looks to Amelia, dipping her head and allowing the other performers to take their part. The applause for the minstrel is tempered by the recent happenings and she slings the lyre to her back in quiet patience.

Anais's brows rise slightly at Jaremy's comment. "Are there not often good singers here?" she asks. "I'd have thought the Riverlands might be…I don't know. More attractive to them." At which points her younger sister pops her head over from Jaremy's other side. "Maybe they just get so much /better/ singers here that what you think is good is really just /embarassing/, 'Nais," Gwyneth pipes in. Alas for Jarod, for all the Banefort girls are fair-haired. The one eyeing him, though, is now eyeing the favor around his wrist.
Anais has partially disconnected.

"Oh, no there's excellent singers in the Riverlands. Amelia, the first, is from Terrick's Roost, and Eyrian, the second, traveled with the Terrick entourage." Jaremy replies to the two Baneforts he's sandwiched between. He folds his arms across his chest and leans back on his heel, glancing between the two of them. "I've had the pleasure of hearing them both sing on more than one occasion. They're always very good." He tilts his head, watching the main of the room, a thoughtful look coming over his eyes. "…though there's a certain extra element to what they're doing. It's very good."

Igara does clap as enthusiastically for this singer as for the last, bright and merry until the Lady her Cousin Isolde leans close to her to whisper close to her ear, and her hands slow as if suddenly weighted with lead, both descending to her lap, there to link together, the girlish cheer fading from her countenance as she watches the minstrel take herself from the field.

"M'lady," Jarod says politely to the fair-haired Banefort lady, quick enough to turn his attention back to Jaremy. "I knew Amelia of Seagard had a fair voice, but it's another matter altogether to see her perform in a hall like this. That was very lovely done. As for the Northern girl, I'm rather surprised she showed herself here, though I'll not fault her skills with a lyre."

"Perhaps it's the /competition/," Anais replies to Jaremy with a faint smile, though the last word is accompanied by a sharp look at her younger sister. "Who's to decide the winner?" she asks equally of Jarod and Jaremy, glancing toward where Isolde sits with some curiosity.

"That…" Jaremy replies, obviously answering to Anais, following her field of vision. His gaze settles onto Isolde and her mother, eyes curious and shadowed. "…I'm not entirely sure of. I heard no mention as to who is judging, or how it would be decided. Perhaps that's forthcoming." He graciously dodges acknowledgement of the way Anais looks to her sister, though he does notice. Instead, he looks to his brother. "Before the next sings I should introduce you all. This is my brother, Ser Jarod Rivers. Jarod, please meet Ladies Shayla, Elinor, Anais, and Gwyneth Banefort. They've traveled all the way from the northern Westerlands."

The murmurs continue on after Eyrian's performance but it seems only the two would be had and so after leaning in to her mother. Isolde furrows her brow, nodding her head and then turns to Igara, offering her Lady Cousin a smile. She speaks with her a moment.

A few moments of respite, none more fleeting than the ones that are taken when there is great need, never seem to last as long as one would wish, and with the performances seemingly concluded, and the judgment still to come, Ilya turns her attention to some of the common folk who sit around her, speaking quietly, gently to each, though the soft expression that lights her face shows that it's no burden.

Jarod nods to Anais. That statement gets a grin. "The lady is correct, I think, Jaremy. It's certainly so in the rest of the tourney. Nothing to make you perform at your best than the opportunity to show what you've got against the other men in the lists. This is a good bit less bloody than some of the other matches, though, I must say. So far. The day is young, and I don't discount that someone might get brained with an instrument over a bum note." He's joking, of course. Probably. Mostly. He sketches another little bow to the ladies, albeit not one with such flourish as his first at their approach. Can't pull those out everytime. "My ladies, then. I hope you're finding the Riverlands hospitable. We've perhaps more rain than you're used to in the western country, likely, but I like to think we put on a merrier show even for it."

Igara's witch-hazel eyes widen as her cousin whispers to her again, cheeks coloring bashfully as she looks across to the two contenders again, then turns back to her cous to address her with earnest eyes and muted tones.

"We might yet see someone eviscerated in song, Ser," Anais suggests, smile quirking even as she nods to Jarod's bow. "It is a pleasure to meet you." The sentiment is echoed by the other women, particularly Shayla, who's been watching him all along. "Have we missed much of the tournament itself?" Anais asks of the brothers. "We heard rumors along the road, of course, but never an entire tale. A few of the men were hoping there might yet be a melee they could compete in."

As she listens to Igara, Isolde nods before slowly rising from her seat along the center of the ring in her home hall. The Lady steps forward and folds her hands before her, the settling of her deep blue dress about her is the only sound at first before she looks to those talking and lifts her hands to signal a quiet. It is slow to spread but finally does as the Lady of Stonebridge nods her head. "We have been gifted beautiful performances this eve. Though both performers gave great displays, there is only one prize to give." There is an obvious regret in that and she drops her hands to her sides and motions for a retainer to bring forth the covered gift. "It has been decided amongst those of my close kin who we will grant this to." She pauses and then raises her voice to be heard, "Miss Amelia of Terrick's Roost, your song was very heart felt and the Ladies of Stonebridge have chosen you to be graced with this gift." She dips her head and motions her forward. "Come forward, please."

Igara resumes the bright smile that had been lost in the aftermath of Eyrian's song, remaining on her little stool with her hands clutched over her heart, watching victor and runner up both with an eager stare as she sits waiting for the former to come forward.

Amelia lifts her head as she notices Isolde rise from the seat and she turns more to face the woman. Only two competitors? And she didn't even have any music. She's ready to lose.. but the call of her name gets wide, saucer-sized eyes. Uhh. She's frozen in place for a moment before her feet, feeling as if she is walking in mud, moves slowly from the group. She looks nervously to Jaremy and Jarod before slipping up to the front and center of the room. Facing a line of nobles, one who tried to have her arrested, is a daunting task. She pulls gently to her skirts and curties before them, her head bowing deeply with it. "M'Lady," she greets, loud enough to be heard by everyone up front.

"Oh there will be a melee. A squires melee and a grand melee, and I've decided I'll ride in the next joust as well. Jarod here, as well as my good uncle, should do well in the grand melee." Jaremy replies with a quiet smirk. Sensing a commotion, he turns to the center of the row, watching Isolde step into further view. His eyes darken a bit, some of the life sapping from them as he watches her speak. Though when Amelia wins the prize, his eyes widen, thoroughly surprised. His lips part in a broad grin, putting his hands together to applaud her victory. As she approaches Isolde, Jaremy quiets, watching for Lady Valda's facial expression.

Eyrian half expected it and as she waits still, smiling and whispering congratulations to Amelia, allows for the moment to be taken in. The Minstrel however, once more are distracted, the northerner begins to the slow slide along the outside of the Tower for the exit. She lets out a breath and hugs up along the groups, finally slipping between to disappear if she is able to the night.

"You're in time for the melee, my ladies. I'll be taking part myself in the coming days," Jarod says. "I hope your Westerlands men are not too eager for the purse, for I'll not let them have it easily. Either way, whether I manage it or I'm…eviscerated, as Lady Anais puts it, I promise to put on a good show." He chuckles, all of anticipation about the event. "A good part of the jousting has taken place, unfortunately, though you might catch a little more. My brother put in a good ride earlier, which I'm sorry to say you missed. Unhorsed Ser Rygar Nayland in a beautiful stroke. And did three passes against the Crakehall - though it was your Crakehall Westerlands countryman who ended up taking the lot. Still, that's as many passes as Lord Jason Mallister stood up to, and it was a fine show to watch."

He probably has more to expound on, but the announcement of the winner forestalls his tourney chatter. A low whistle escapes his lips at Amelia's win. He grins, clapping as well. He also spares a glance toward Lady Valda, though his still contains a smirk.

"I'll have to let the men know," Anais glances toward the guards not too far away from the girls, smile flickering as she lowers her voice. "They were quite full of boasts about staying in practice and being well blooded." If she notices the chance in Jaremy's expression when he looks at Isolde, she's well-mannered enough not to say anything, instead quick to take to applause when the winner is announced. As Anais is clapping, Shayla turns her charms on Jarod. "Do you think it poor etiquette for the hometown knight to win a tournament, Ser, or only fitting?" the eldest of the Baneforts asks.

Smiling some as Amelia lowers before her, the retainer steps forward so that Isolde may take the dragonbone flute from its velvet cloth. As it is shown, the detail in its greywhite set is beautiful and scrolling. She steps forward. "Miss Amelia, this token is for you and your song that you gifted us." She holds it lengthwise atop her two hands, extending them out to the Miss. "Seven grant you the ability to contintue to entertain us."Her smile is warm unlike Valda who just sits, unmoved and stone faced.

Silence, as the Lady of the House makes her pronouncement, and the winner of the tourney comes forward to accept her prize. But Ilya's eyes are never idle, and the movement of the northerners, as well as the following attempt at departure of the second minstrel in the competition do not go unnoticed. A brief return, to the small gathering of purple and silver liveried men, and the man who stands at their head, the Lord of Seagard, before she looks once more towards the Lady Isolde. And to the prize of no small renown now bestowed upon the singer.

Igara stands merrily for Amelia as she comes up to claim her prize, offering the woman a fresh, artless smile which is only shaken slightly when she sees Eyrian trying to obtain her escape. When the presentation of the prize has been completed to all satisfaction, she adds, "A triumph, Miss. A breathtaking triumph, and well won. Gentle cous, may I ask you also to call the runner-up to the fore? It is a sad thing not to have a second prize, but I should like to congratulate her myself."

"Well if you do see the Strongboar…" Jaremy starts, looking sidelong to Anais. "…give him my regards. He's a good opponent. My shield arm is still sore, and jousting that man's much like head-butting a mountain. I'd like to get a second chance at the man, if the opportunity strikes." His words trail off, blinking as the flute is offered over to Amelia. "Seven, that's dragonbone…" He squints, eyebrows lifting at the realization. He can't help but applaud again. "Well done, Amelia, Well done…"

Amelia doesn't move from her bowed posture until the Lady of Stonebridge approaches her and extends her hands. She lifts her head slightly that she might see what she has won and just stares at the flute. Her mouth hangs open for a moment before looking up the Isolde's eyes and then back down. She hesitates to reach for it, but in the end holds out her hands to take it. "Thank you, m'Lady," she breathes. The woman can't even bring herself to do more than blink at Igara. She just bows her head once more and clutches the flute to her chest.

"I think, my lady, that may the best knight win, whatever his name or country," Jarod replies to the eldest of the Baneforts. "That's the honor in it. To put your sword or your lance - or your voice, come to it - against those who can push you to be better. That's the fun and the sport, whether you take the purse or not. You know you've had a chance to cross blades with some of the best in the Seven Kingdoms, and hopefully not make too poor a showing of it. I for one look very much forward to the honor of meeting your Westermen in the melee. Though if it rains…well, then my Rivermen may have the advantage in that event. We excel in mud." With a quick grin, he fixes his eyes back on the claiming of prizes. Another quick whistle escaping his lips. "Well done, indeed…"

The Lady smiles one last at Amelia and nods her head. At Igara's request, Isolde looks over towards the door and avoids her gaze from drifting too close to Banefort and the Terricks. A motion of her hand and a nod of her head has sworn moving to block the door. "Miss Eyrian…my dear Lady Cousin, wishes to congratulate you on your song." She smiles some but there is a glance towards Igara from the Lady of Stonenbridge before she steps back to give the Lady Frey some room.

Eyrian is caught short by the sworn blocking her way and then there is the call of her to return. Nervouness spikes up her spine and the minstrel turns slowly, wariness in her dark gaze. She looks about at those assembled and slowly rounds the crowd, stepping through where there is room to make her way back to where she had stood to perform, approaching Lady Igara, casting her eyes about faintly for the moment. She dips her bow low, smiling faintly to Amelia. "My Lady"

"Oh my," Anais blinks at the prize, brows rising. "No wonder you get more singers through here than the Banefort. And here I was thinking it had to do with the travel and the reavers on our side." For all young Gwyneth's early excitement, the girl looks to be waning now, covering a yawn with one hand. Elinor is there in just a moment, drawn away from her consideration of the Mallister men. "I think we may have to depart shortly," Anais turns a small smile on Jaremy. "We rode hard to make it here in time for the competition."

Amelia isn't moving. Not even when Eryian comes to the front. She doesn't see the smile. The whore of the Roost is completely unwilling to do anything until she is given leave — lest this be taken from here.

Igara steps to the side, once, and carefully forward, skillfully moving with skirt raised so much as not to trail but not so much that even the sole of her shoe might be discerned from thereunder, and, thus parted just slightly from the rest of the Ladies who had judged the competition, she meets with Eyrian there in the middle of the floor, offering the woman both of her hands to take and help her rise from the bow, looking up to make direct eye contact with the woman. "Be not disheartened, charming Miss. It was a difficult judgement to make, especially for me, whose very soul your song has touched. I should like to offer you a prize of my own, humble as it may be beside the generosity of the Lady my Cousin's prize. I wish for all the world that you would stay with us tonight in the tower, and be our guest, and sing more songs of the brave winds of the North. Oh, please, Miss, do not say me nay, for I long to hear you sing again."

Jaremy's eyes are pulled away from the nearby Septa, but not before he can't put his hands together and offer her a slow nod of recognition. She's not one that he recognizes, but pays his respects nonetheless. As he turns, his eyes tilt to Elinor and Shayla, heading away from them. "It does appear that Lady Gwyneth is tired and I likely would be as well after such a long ride." Jaremy replies, giving Anais a small, return smile. "Perhaps we'll meet again during the tourney. I'll be in the stands during the melees, and I'm sure my sister, Lucienne, would love to meet all of you. Will you be needing an escort to your camp?"

Taking note of the kneeling Amelia, Isolde steps to the side, smiling some. "Miss Amelia, you have my leave to do as you please. Be proud." The Lady nods her head before gazing amongst those gathered as conversation rises and many are yet watching Eyriam and Igara.

Eyrian hesitates in taking the offered hands, slowly doing so with great effort. Effecting a smile, the Miss dips her head. "It is a pleasure to know you like my songs.." But she is wary and she shifts, trying not to show it but this is dire. Lady Blackmane offered a place in the Tower and she feels her throat dry. Trouble. It's a trap! But one can not turn down a Lady so the Minstrel wets her lips in nervousness. "I would be honored to do so for you, my Lady. I will remain at your behest and share with you another song." But there is a tinge of fear in that gaze of her's. Caught.

Amelia slowly rises from the bow and looks up to Isolde with a gracious smile. There's a look between friends before she takes a few steps back. There's a flickered glance to Lady Valda before she turns and almost manages to glide back to where she was standing.. Except a little closer to a sworn sword this time.

"Oh no, please," Anais shakes her head as she takes a step back. "I'd not see people pulled from the celebration. And since we know where we're going, I'm certain Bruce won't get us lost again," she adds with a wry smile, a glint of humor in her eyes. "It has been a pleasure, my lord. Ser," she adds with a nod and a smile for Jarod as well. It's only Bruce who lingers there, the other guards already escorting her sisters out. "I'll look forward to seeing you both in the joust and the melee."

A tilt of her head in acknowledgement, and an answering bow to follow, for the Terrick heir, though Ilya, seemingly following the precept of speaking to the nobility only when you have been spoken to, bars her from offering any greeting to the man. While the Faith does not often tread as carefully as they might, this particular Septa seems content to give no reason for the attention of the houses to fall on her in full force. The second prize of the evening is dually offered and accepted, and so the Septa begins to make her own way towards the exit to the hall, though one would hope that her own attempt at departure would be more successful than the minstrel of the north's.

Jarod makes another of those smaller bows, this one with some parting flourish, to the Ladies Banefort. "I shall leave you in the capable hands of my fair lord brother." He, for one, is encouraging of this whole escort idea. "I promise, he has an excellent sense of direction. I'll see you later, Jaremy. I said I'd join some of Mallister's men at the Crane again tonight. Haven't seen some of those lads in years, and there are at least a few stories we haven't retold yet. Ladies, it was a distinct pleasure speaking with you and I hope you find the tourney a good spectacle." His glance also flickers back to Amelia, though just to add another scant bit of applause for her as she descends.

"Good," Igara whispers, giving those hands in hers a gentle, encouraging squeeze, then, louder: "Good," she repeats, looking into the woman's eyes. "I'm so glad you can stay. Come, the game is over for the eve, and the people depart. Why not retire with me for a rest and some wine. I should think you parched after such endeavor. Cous," she turns toward Isolde with a smile all innocence and youth. "The good Miss has assented to stay. Is that not lovely of her?"

Jaremy looks to his brother and opens his mouth, suddenly closing it as he shuts off what he was about to say. It's a rare, flustered moment for the young knight. He turns his gaze back to Anais and Gwyneth, giving them both an apologetic smile. "Really, it's no difficulty. At least allow me to show you to the fork of the camps, as I'm likely to sleep early tonight myself. The celebration, it's…" He glances back in the direction of the Tordanes and Naylands. "…unnecessary for me, at least for now. Please, I insist. Perhaps we'll find the Crakehalls on the way." He motions, stepping around the two Baneforts as he makes his way down the row, away from the commotion.

Anais quirks a brow, but makes no objection to Jaremy's escort. Gwyneth is already on her way back to the camp with the other older sisters, chattering at them both between yawns. Bruce, however, falls unobtrusively into line at Anais' other side. "To the fork, then," Anais agrees with a small smile. "Thank you."

And so the woman of the Faith makes her escape from the hall, unacknowledged by most and thankfully unseen by those whom might have given the most cause for concern. A good night, thank the Seven, as the Septa makes her way with the throngs now departing the Tower, back to the streets of Stonebridge.