|Traits Common To Men|
|Summary:||Anais seeks out Ser Jarod to discuss security for the wedding, and ends up talking to him and Jacsen about more than that.|
|Roof Terrace — Four Eagles Tower|
|This is open to the air except for the rookery at the opposite end of the open walkway. Parapets and crenellations are about.|
|August 17, 288|
Evening is coming on, and sunset finds Ser Jarod Rivers up on the terrace of Four Eagles Tower. He's leaning against one of the parapets, looking down at the sea below, head tilted so some of the breeze from the sea catches him in the face. The sun's setting, and the view from the terrace is admittedly gorgeous. That seems to be what he's come up to see, as he's watching it in a rather abstracted fashion.
"I'm telling you," Anais says over her shoulder to the handmaiden who drew the short straw this morning. "It smells like rain. I'm never wrong about these things, you know. Besides, Elyn said he was up here. Honestly, if it rains, you can hide in the rookery," she sighs, stepping out onto the terrace and shading her eyes against the setting sun with one hand. She squints a bit, tipping her head, then starts toward the shadow that might be Jarod. "Ser Jarod?" she calls. "Is that you?"
Jarod has his head tipped up toward the sky, like he's smelling the air. So it takes him a moment to properly notice Anais. "My Lady Anais?" He lowers his nose, and turns to sketch her a quick bow, complete with the flourish he tends to provide to the ladies. "It is indeed. Didn't figure anybody else would be up here, but company isn't unwelcome. Did you come for the view?"
"For you, actually," Anais smiles crookedly at the flourishing bow, responding with her own dancer's curtsey before joining him at the wall. The handmaiden, perhaps taking Anais' word for the threat of rain, lingers near the doorway, lest she get wet. "I like the sounds up here, personally. I miss the sea. From here, if you listen closely, you can almost hear it. But I wanted to talk with you about some things for the wedding. I assume you'll be in charge of security?"
"Well, come over and have a look at the view anyhow while you're here. Your maid, too," Jarod says. "Smells like rain, doesn't it?" He grins boyish as he asks it. Rain is clearly not unwelcome. There are clouds in the sky, the setting sun cutting through them in brilliant purples and muted pinks and oranges. "Banefort's near the coast too, aye? So then you know the look of the sky when it's near evening over the sea. I like to just watch it sometimes." As for the wedding, he nods. "Aye, my lady, I shall be. I've heard talk of you and Jaremy inviting the Naylands, and folk down from Stonebridge way?"
"Right up against the water," Anais nods, setting her elbows on the edge of the stone to look out over the land. "It's strange to think I may never see it again. Or that if I do, it will be as a guest. This will soon be my home." She draws a deep breath then, eyes closing. "I suspect it should rain about an hour past midnight," she predicts. "And much as I'd like a good rainy day, I think it will be mostly gone by morning. But yes," she continues, looking back up again. "The Naylands, and Stonebridge. My father's sent word to the Crag, and the Crakehalls, and the Lannisters, of course. Though I'd be stunned if Lord Tywin came. Perhaps he'll send a representative, though. I've a suspicion there may be a family or two from the Iron Isles, if only to nettle my father."
"I'd ask you, my lady, to keep in mind the delicate situation some of the guests in our house are presently in," Jarod says. "I speak, of course, of Ser Gedeon. There was already an attempt on his life in Stonebridge and - though some might think different and I'll concede I have no proof - my suspicions on how attempted it lie squarely in one Nee Frey who sits near rule of that town. I'm rather leery of having any entourage that might be made up of some of Lady Valda's men in these halls, even in merry times. Perhaps especially, as our guard might be considered low. Though for my part, mine shall not be."
Anais' lips quirk briefly, though the smile is hardly a maiden's humor. "If Lady Valda leaves Stonebridge for the wedding, I will eat my slipper," she murmurs. "To be honest, I doubt we'll see their entire entourage. If we see Lord Ryker and Lady Isolde, I doubt we'll see Lord Rygar. And right now…" Even that faint smile fades away, and she shakes her head. "We have nothing but speculation. Any information will be better than that." Her eyes turned seaward, she reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, considering her next words. "What do you think of Jaremy participating in the tournament?" she asks, carefully neutral.
"I doubt she'll come, my lady, but her silver could move those of Stonebridge's staff that do nonetheless," Jarod says. "Well. I doubt we'll have room for all of them in the castle, anyhow. Your family will be given all the run of the place, of course, but the rest of the guests may have to make due with pavilions, which will make Ser Gedeon's situation slightly easier to secure. I'm not sure how far I trust Lord Ryker, either. His visit to our halls was very strange, and he left town with the body of one of his men behind, which bodes ill." As for the tournament, he laughs. "Lady Anais - and don't mistake me, I don't mean to make light of tournament fighting, large men are swinging metal objects at other large men, and awful accidents happen - but I think in the grand scheme of things, Jaremy's not got much to be afraid of in a clean tourney. It's play war, my lady. If he gets a few bruises, I don't think it'd be the end of the world. He might even be the better for it."
Anais quirks a brow, looking over at the knight. "Do you think?" She shifts, propping her chin up on one fist. "Play war or not, it seems as though it would be all too easy to arrange an accident. Though anyone who would do it must know that it would gain them nothing in the end." Pensive, she brushes one thumb against her lower lip, shaking her head slightly. "I suspect your Nayland neighbors would see your brother Jacsen as a greater threat, though. And perhaps that is just as well for now."
"I suspect they would, yes," Jarod agrees freely and readily, as to Jacsen. "And likely they'd not be wrong. Though Jace's at Jaremy's side again now, and that's just as good. My own thought? Who would gain by it now? Argument could be made there was gain to be had by offing Jaremy at the Stonebridge tourney, with the Lady of Stonebridge's hand and the fate of that land uncertain. Here, his death would just bring about my father's wrath - not to mention that of Lord Mallister's - along with rousing the anger of the Westerlands for the slight to Banefort. The Naylands no longer gain anything I can see. No, my lady. There are some I fear may befall 'accidents' that are not in this tournament - and Ser Gedeon is among them - but Jaremy is not first and foremost among them. Unless there is something you know and I don't?"
"Would that I knew all the secrets of the world," Anais smiles ruefully, shaking her head to Jarod. "No, I'm afraid I know far less than I would like. About /all/ of this." She casts a sidelong glance from beneath her lashes then, smile tugging at one corner of her lips. "Though I might have suggested he could work around any attempts to harm him by simply appearing as a mystery knight," she confesses. "I might not be /quite/ as ruthlessly practical as I would like to pretend to be. My motives may have been less than entirely pure. I /might/ have found it a charming and romantic idea, Seven help me." Maybe.
"May I ask, my lady, why women are so fond of games with mystery knights and anonymous letters and secret liaisons and other such things?" Jarod asks. "Or…well, perhaps I don't need to ask. It wasn't like I didn't fancy tales about dragons and Symeon Star-Eyes and Warrior Queen Nymeria when I was a boy. I do not expect a woman to bring me a dragon when she meets me by moonlight, however."
"Well, when you lock a woman in a tower and tell her she can come out when she has a husband to lock her away in turn…" Anais trails off with a low laugh. "We have to express ourselves somehow, Ser Jarod. Do you know, when I was a girl, the part of Nymeria's story I was /most/ interested in was the ships. I was /furious/ when I heard the burned them. Why on earth would you burn a fleet of a thousand perfectly good ships? I'm sure if she didn't want them, there was someone else who would have been glad to enjoy them."
"She burnt them because she was a fearsome warrior queen, my lady, who conquered Dorne with her fierceness and made it so women could have a ruling hand there and other such glorious and frightening things," Jarod says with another merry laugh. "And I'm not so sure about that. I've met women who have been far from locked in towers all their lives and are still enamored with fancies like that. But you'll forgive me, Lady Anais. I'm a bitter man about such tales at the moment. More seriously, if you want Jaremy to ride as a mystery knight, put the idea to him, and so long as I know what colors are his, I've no issue with it. Still, I suspect some might guess who the mystery knight is, if the only one on the field isn't the groom at his own wedding tourney." He winks.
"She burnt them so that her people would have to stay and build where they were," Anais rolls her eyes with a laugh. "So they would have no choice to run. I still don't see why she couldn't at least have /sold/ them, though," she sniffs. "I'm quite certain setting up your own lands requires prodigious amounts of coin." She arches a brow then, turning to face the knight more fully. "Bitter?" she echoes curiously. "Oh, Seven. Don't tell me Gwyneth's been hawking your door in the mornings, has she?"
"Well she was a *warrior* queen, Lady Anais. Not a *practical* one," Jarod retorts to that. "Warriors aren't practical creatures. Trust me. I am one by trade and nature. And no. It's not Gwyneth. Short version, I got somewhat wrapped up in an idea of a woman that turned out to be not what I thought it was, and now I'm licking my wounds about it. My advice to you about Jaremy is just to be upfront with him about whatever you're after. Which may not be as exciting, but it'll be far less confusing for him."
Anais twists a rueful, sympathetic smile. "As you are soon to be my goodbrother, Ser Jarod, I will tell you a secret of my own," she says quietly. "Women are never the idea that they present to you. And neither," she continues, arching a brow at him, "Are men." She glances to where the handmaiden waits by the door, shaking her head with some amusement. "The question is always what they don't want you to see. But the truly important question, is why."
Jarod is leaning against a parapet, chatting with Anais, one of her handmaidens lurking somewhere nearby. The sun is setting (and the view is fairly spectacular from up here) and there's a hint of coolness in the air that suggests there might be rain later in the evening. He laughs. "Men aren't mysteries, my lady, I assure you. I think ladies make us complicated so they won't get bored or disappointed by our simplicity. It's all very flattering but I impart to you, my future goodsister, the great secret of men. We really are precisely as dense as we appear to be, it's not a clever guise for anything. Which I suppose brings me to a question I should ask you at some point. What do you think of my fair lord brother so far?"
"Please don't let my dear brother speak on behalf of all men," Jacsen implores, his voice preceding his visible presence by only a moment, his hand relying on a nearby surface rather than the weight of his cane as he climbed up to the terrace. It's still there, his ever-present utility, slung beneath an arm one moment, and then taking to the floor to support him the next. "We can, on rare occasion, be creatures of depth and surprising complexity…" He smirks at Jarod, "Though I don't know that I'd go so far as to call any of the lot of us /mysteries/." As he nears the pair, his already slow pace comes to a halt.
"Not all men are as dense as they seem," Anais shakes her head, smile crooked. "Some are far more clever. Though I do believe that they are less likely to hide their feelings than women are." And then Jacsen is offering the same words, and she turns toward the lord with a laugh. "Or else," she suggests, glancing to Jarod with a mischievous wink, "They simply want us to think them clever. And that in itself suggests a lack of density, doesn't it?" As to the question of Jaremy, she merely smiles, though there's something in her eyes that suggests she's waiting to see if the question comes up again.
"That's me, creature of surprising complexity," Jarod quips with a laugh, watching Jace's progress across the terrace, though he makes no move to assist him. "I want absolutely no one to think I'm clever, however. Hey, Jace, you remember when we used to throw things off here to see how long it'd take them to hit the ground? Looking back it wasn't as competitive a game as it seemed at the time. Was fun, though. And you're just in time. You can help me tell embarrassing stories about Jaremy."
Jacsen laughs at that, nodding his head. "I do remember, and I remember the whipping we took when we struck old Reager while he was on guard duty…" That was one of those tannings you never did quite forget. "Oh, but it's embarrassing stories about our dear lord brother, not us, hmm?" Anais is given a smile when he adds, "It's a pleasure to see you again, Lady Anais. I hope you're doing well, despite being stuck with my brother for company…"
"Alas, Lord Jacsen, but I sought him out," Anais confesses with a sigh and a sorry shake of her head. "Perhaps I've simply questionable taste in company. It would explain a great deal, really." She looks between the brothers then, amusement lingering in her features. "As for embarassing stories about Jaremy, I defy you. He is entirely too well-behaved and well-meaning to have collected many embarassing stories."
Jarod makes a "Phah" sound. "My wit is a rapier thing. We've discussed this. And aye, she sought me out, actually." And here his manner turns somewhat more serious. "The lady's giving consideration to security at the upcoming wedding. She was wondering on my thoughts of whether Jaremy should participate in the tourney. Personally I don't see any issue with it, particularly if he sticks to the jousting like he did at Stonebridge. My concerns run more toward how some of the guests might interact with some of the other guests." Though that line of conversation is serious, Anais comment about Jaremy makes him exchange a look with Jacsen. And promptly devolve into barking laughter.
The less martial of the two sons of Jerold Terrick is somewhat better at keeping his composure at that last. Where Jerod bursts into laughter, Jacsen is forced to glance away, his shoulders shaking with good humor. "Oh, you're quite right," he insists, somewhat breathless, "Prim and proper, that Jaremy Terrick. Oh yes." The hand that does not occupy itself with the cane steadies him against the stone of the parapet. He breathes, and steadies, before adding, "He's a knight, he should at least joust at his own tournament, no?"
Anais arches a brow at the laughter from the men, both surprise and interest in the expression. "Surely you aren't saying that Jaremy's been…foolish in the past? Honestly." She sets her hands on her hip, levelling a /look/ between them. "I would be willing to lay a bet that any embarassing story you have about Jaremy after the age of…ten, came from an attempt at doing the right thing. I'll not argue that he did embarassing things." At Jacsen's last words, she looks to Jarod, quirking a brow.
Deep breath. A few more coughed "Ha" sounds and Jarod manages to straighten himself upright again. "Sorry. Something in my throat. I think I got it. In all seriousness, Lady Anais, Jaremy's got the best heart and the best intentions of any man I know, and I'd never slight him, for he'd never do so to me. Still, I think he feels the pressure to act the part of a high lord most of the time. Which I suppose is all necessary and well, in his position. But he's also a good man and decent company, when you manage to make him forget to do it for a minute. And aye. As I was saying before - and again, I mean not to downplay the dangers of a hard-fought tourney, I bruised several ribs against Lord Ser Anton at Stonebridge - but Jaremy's a knight and can handle himself on the field. To the joust, if nothing else, my fair lord brother's an impeccable horseman."
"He's quite the reputation for it," Jacsen agrees with his brother, looking betwixt the Guard Captain and his lord brother's betrothed. "I cannot imagine him satisfied with sitting such festivities out, though a melee I might not suggest he partake in." He lets out a slow breath, and looks between the two of them. "Forgive the pivot in discussion, but I have some things to be about shortly, and hunted you down to ask…" His voice lowers a touch and he glances about them, ensuring there is some privacy before he voices the question. "Have we any news on this dead man Ryker left behind?"
"I cannot say I wouldn't like to see him ride," Anais admits with a brief, almost childish smile for the pair of them. The smile fades quickly enough at Jacsen's change in the conversation, though, as she catches her lower lip between her teeth. She, too, is interested in the answer to that question.
"Lord Ryker sent one of his men from Stonebridge - good knight by the name of Ser Bruce Longbough - to assist us," Jarod replies to Jacsen. "We're making some progress. At least, I think we've figured out how it was done, and narrowed the scope of its implications some. Though precisely who done it we're still determining. It's…" He actually blushes, with a side look to Anais. "…you'll forgive me, my lady. Some of the details of it are rather awful, and not the sort of thing I'd normally speak of in polite company. But I'll put it to you as gently as I can, as I'm sure all will be interested to put the matter to rest as soon as possible."
Jacsen nods at that, attentive to his brother's words. "Let me know if there is aught I can do to help, even if it is just a few words to bounce theories or the like," he requests of his brother. "Surely it is a matter of some import, with implications that could range quite far. Unless… it was all a matter of happenstance," he adds, with a wondering glance for his brother.
Anais arches a brow at Jarod's pause and blush, all the more interested for it. "I have never seen men blush like you Terricks," she notes, a tinge of amusement in her voice. "And I assure you, my mind is probably coming up with far more terrible things now than whatever you might mention to me. I'm glad to hear there's been progress, though."
"Theories I'd appreciate, because I think even when we find the killer we won't have gotten to the heart of what was behind it," Jarod says. "But finding who did the deed might be pretty simple. First off, we're near certain it was a woman. Given certain things about the…uh…" He looks over at Anais and blushes. "…position and state of the body of Master Howard it appears he was…uh…familiar with his killer. Intimately so. Before he died. There was no sign of a struggle, and his sword belt was within easy reach, looks like he was killed with one quick, dirty knife strike to the neck. This actually strikes me as a pretty clever way to do in Master Howard, if you're familiar with his character. He'd made himself pretty well known, even in his short stay in town, as having an eye for local women. So I figure this woman knew him well enough to know that she'd have no trouble getting into his room and into his…well, you get the idea…after he'd spent a night having a few in the common room."
"Very well. I'll give the matter some thought, and share anything I might find with you, Jar," Jacsen promises his brother, nodding a bit at the news. Where he might otherwise find his brother's tiptoeing over sensitive topics for Anais' sake amusing, the grave nature of the problem this murder presents is something of a deterrent to his mirth. "I've a few things to see to this evening, so if that's the balance of it, I can leave you both to your gossip about Jaremy," he offers, "Though I'll like as not see one or both of you again at supper."
Anais tips her head to one side, gaze unfocused as she pictures the crime. "I suppose that would be singularly effective, so far as distraction goes," she muses quietly. "Though /why/? And if the why is what we might be afraid of, then who?" She sighs, shaking her head, though she refocuses when Jacsen goes to leave. "I'm sure I'll see you at supper, yes," she agrees with a brief, distracted smile. "Take care, Lord Jacsen."
"I think we'll have more to bring everyone about it on the morrow, once we've spoken with one of the barmaids Master Howard made himself…very familiar with," Jarod says to Jacsen. "The Sheriff's men are keeping an eye on her, so she's not going anywhere. Good eve, Jace. I'll keep you apprised. As to the why, my lady…my hope is that it's a simple matter. His purse was taken as well. And a wild night gone wrong between a man and a woman that ended in a knifing and robbery…well, that's ugly business, but it's just personal. Still, like I said, there's no sign of struggle. It doesn't seem as if he got rough and she was defending herself. The knife wound even came from above, struck downward, so she had to be…" He blushes again. "…uh…let's just say she wasn't in a position to have been forced to raise a hand against him. Frankly it's as cold a way to do a man as I can properly imagine. Slip into his bed, get him comfortable, and cut his throat." He shudders. "My point is, it all feels very planned. Now whether it was just her planning it - perhaps with another man for his money - or whether someone paid her to do it for some ill purpose, I can't say."
He lingers for a moment longer, the Terrick balanced between stone parapet and familiar cane, listening to the last of the details his brother shares. "Good eve, both of you," Jacsen murmurs, his mind already elsewhere as he ponders the matter, and makes his way back into the Roost proper, the strike of his cane on the stone floor marking every step or two.
"It's certainly clever," Anais agrees. "And cold as well. Ill-conceived, though. In the target, for one." As Jacsen leaves, she turns back to the wall, reaching up to rub a hand at the back of her neck. "Though just because he didn't fight at the kill doesn't mean he didn't back her into it," she notes, looking over from beneath her lashes. "There are ways beyond the physical to force a woman, and the worst of men…" It's her turn to blush now, looking away with a shake of her head. "She could still have been forced."
"Oh, I don't hold she had no reason beyond robbery to do it, my lady," Jarod says. "Though we'll not know that until we find and speak to the woman who did it. In fact, I'm sure they knew each other at least fairly well, and I'd bet she had motive beyond coin. Like I said, it was planned, and plainly by someone who at least knew Master Howard well enough to know he'd be an easy mark to slay that way."
"Perhaps," Anais allows, though she seems distracted. "Perhaps. Well." She shifts, looking over with a small smile. "At least I think we've determined that the general consensus is that Jaremy should be allowed to ride in the tournament. The warship should be arriving along with my father and brother. I know Quenten was planning on coming, at least. That should grant us some security against any possible Ironblooded incursions."
"Is something on your mind, my lady?" Jarod asks. "I do hope you've not begun to feel unsafe in this house. I'd not let any harm come to you if I could do anything to stop it, my promise on it, and I'm at least somewhat useful when it comes to being a shield. You've come to our halls in harder times than would be ideal, I'll not deny it. But I've grown up happy and safe in these lands, and there are good people here and we've had many merry times. We'll have many more when you're my goodsister, I suspect. I know little of your family, but from what I've seen I like them. You come with strength of warships, your sisters seem merry company, and your half-brother has obviously been loved and treated decently, which may not count as much with many as it does with me, but it says quite a lot to my view. Anyhow. I'm pleased Jaremy wasn't stupid enough to let you get away, I look forward to knowing you better, and if there's anything I can do for you in terms of making you feel more secure, you've only to ask. I think that's more or less that." He flashes her a quick grin.
"Something on my mind?" Anais echoes, lips twitching. "Ser Jarod, I have the entire world on my mind. I am getting married in a little over a month. My entire life has been uprooted. And I can certainly not complain about it, seeing as how my father sent four of us, and I did my best to be the one who would stay. It's just quite a lot to think about. In addition to the far more serious issues that have to do with the land at large."
Jarod nods to that, expression softening some. "Of course, my lady. A world of things, I'm sure. I only meant you seemed to have a twinge of some thought to more than just the general madness when we were speaking on the matter of Master Howard just then. And by the rest of it…well, I suppose I was trying to ease your mind and make you know you were welcomed. Clumsily but…well. Jace or Jaremy could tell you I do most things in that fashion."
Anais looks over, smile easing a bit. "I feel /very/ welcomed," she assures him, reaching a hand for his forearm. "I was telling…a friend that I sometimes feel like this couldn't be true. It's as though everything I find here is everything that my parents warned me I couldn't expect in a husband and a home. And so I was practical, and I expected that things would be far from perfect. And yet…here I am. And if the worst thing I find here is that the Naylands don't like us? Then I am still luckier than any other woman I know."
"I've always considered myself far luckier than any bastard I know for the quality of my family, my lady, and the treatment I've received by them, so I think I understand your meaning," Jarod says, giving her his arm. "I do worry about the growing friction between Jaremy and my father. I think Lord Jerold's still smarting over the loss of Stonebridge, and is perhaps holding too hard a view to some of my brother's dealings. And my fair lord brother is, perhaps, trying too hard to prove himself worthy and able to stand on his own, and so is pushing against Lord Jerold where he wouldn't have before. But it's a quarrel between two ultimately good people, and it'll get settled and sorted. Come now. I'll escort you down to dinner, protect you from knife-wielding chambermaids and such."
"I think you've the right of it," Anais agrees, sighing softly. "Though I'm not quite sure how to fix it. I'm afraid that's half of the problem with everything," she wrinkles her nose. "I can see the problem. I just don't know what to do about it. It's maddening. And so instead I work on every possible detail of the wedding. Including bothering my betrothed's brother about security and the tournament, which is technically none of my concern," she confesses with a crooked smile.
"But it is your concern, my lady, as it's your wedding," Jarod says. "And I suspect we shall very much need some assistance from your Westerlands contingent with extra guards and the like, so if you could make me the necessary introductions there when your family comes I'd most appreciate it. As for Jaremy and my father…I don't either really know. A lot of the rift between them I in truth don't understand. Jaremy seemed to think my father was going to start war-mongering over this business with Ser Gedeon's letters or something, but the only orders I've received are to keep the peace and wait to see what investigation of the matter brings. As for the tourney…as I said, it's actually one of my lesser worries. Men on the field deal with each other cleanly, and if they don't it's there for all to see. I'm far more concerned about what'll go on during the parties in pavilions and who might try to slip something into somebody's wine goblet or a knife in their bed or somesuch."
"I'll be sure to introduce you to whomever Father will have in charge of things," Anais nods. "And I think you're right. It will be keeping the peace among the many guests that will be the worst of the trouble. Which…" She trails off, grimacing. "If there is trouble, it will reflect poorly on us. We /must/ maintain order, lest we look bad not only to our neighbors, but to our lieges."
"I quite understand and agree, my lady. Not only our lieges, the Mallisters, but your Lannisters as well," Jarod says. "For if the houses of our fathers gain each other's strength by this marriage, they gain each other's troubles as they come as well. Worry not. I'm only embarrassing when it comes to my personal life and those I love." His boyish grin crooks, but there's seriousness in his green eyes. "I take my duties very seriously, and I seek to earn my keep. This is one reason the murder of the Nayland man troubles me so. He was a guest on our land, though not within our halls, and plot or not his killing further jars relations between Terrick and Nayland. I just hope to see the villain who did him caught and hung before you're wedded, so it's not a dark cloud hanging over things."
Anais lifts a hand, shifting it from side to side. "A dark cloud, perhaps. But I'm afraid an execution would not be a terrible thing. It might perhaps convince people that we are not to be trifled with." She looks over for a moment, lifting one shoulder in an uncomfortable shrug. "I know it isn't a popular view here. But sometimes it takes a little more to get the point across."
Jarod shrugs. "I care little for proving anything other than that murder won't be done in these lands, my lady, and murder's a hanging crime. I'll listen to any reasons this woman wants to give - when she's caught - but I can't think of many that'd make mercy an option for someone who cut a man's throat in cold blood and with clear forethought. Whatever poor Jens Howard did in his life, he's paid for it. His killer can pay for her ills as well. Justice isn't always kind or lovely, but so long as it's fair it's still just."
"Just so," Anais agrees quietly. "If there's anything I can help with, I hope you'll let me know? I've no fear of unsavory topics," she adds, smile flickering across her features. "We've seen the raids from Ironblooded on the shores of the Banefort. I am not so easily frightened as some." She clears her throat then, glancing to the sky. "And I think we are approaching the hour of the rain," she muses. "Much as I might like to stay and enjoy it, I think it might be best I returned to my quarters.
"I might come back up once it's started properly. Summer rain is refreshing after so long a hot spell," Jarod says, tilting his nose toward the sky again. Like he's sniffing at the weather. "But after supper. I'd be unwelcome at the table if I was sopping. I'd like to speak with you more about what Banefort was like, particularly with troubles from the Ironborn, at some later time. The primary concern of Seagard has ever-been to act as a defense against Iron Islands raiders. But. Later. Inside we go." And he'll escort her back to her quarters, on that note.