|Summary:||Isolde and Jarod talk about their problems. Some are more serious than others.|
|Related Logs:||Sibling Rivalry; To Forgive and Forget and the other Lady Nommy logs|
|Jarod Rivers' Tent|
|Woe and sadness, the bar is closed.|
|Sun Jul 31, 288|
Most of the pavilions in the camps of the tourney competitors have been struck by now, getting into afternoon as it is. The black tent with the golden eagles wing which Jarod Rivers inhabits is still standing, however, even as the Terricks around it are being rolled up and stowed on carts. And Ser Rivers himself is inside. Alone at present, sitting on a bedroll in one corner and nursing a cup of very dark tea. He looks disinclined to move anytime soon and, all in all, has the look of one nursing an impressive hang-over, in addition to the various injuries from the abuse he took in the melee.
What a strange sight the Lady Nayland to be cuts. Having returned with her news, she had allowed the attending to whisk her into her dress this midmorning with nothing more than a peep. But when they left her to sit and relax, she had fled. Fled far and fast, because her thoughts remain quite unsettled. Letters clutched to her beneath the cloak, it is stifling as she picks her way through the folding Terrick camp. She inquires quickly to those about for Ser Jarod and receives motions to the one pavilion oddly unstruck. Keeping her head down for fear of being stopped by someone of higher power, Isolde makes her way quickly towards the flap. Eyes have shed their tears but there is an urgency to yet speak to someone - anyone and it seems safest and prudest to confide in one of her supposed similar stature.
She presse the tent flap aside slowly and ducks her head, looking to the ground, she turns her face some so as to show her presence but not look lest he be improper. "Ser Jarod…" Comes the request, even a little urgent.
Jarod's head turns at the sound of the familiar voice, and he squints in the dim light. He's not big on candles at present, but enough sunlight is filtering through the fabric that it's not entirely pitch inside. He's fully dressed, at least, he appears to have managed to move about that much today. Though he doesn't answer right away. The hesitation is long enough that it's audible. Finally, there comes a rather cautious greeting of, "Aye, such as I am. Happy wedding day, m'Lady." He begins lightly enough with the pleasantries, but there's still that caution behind them. He's feeling out precisely why she's here.
"I would say thank you.." Isolde starts and then cautions a step inside, releasing the tent flap to cover the entrance once more. Looking over him, she smiles faintly, one of those 'oh Jarod' looks. "You look like you had the fun of it celebrating last night for your near victory. You did very well.." She commends him, but the letters hidden beneath her cloak itch against her skin and the need to share with someone begins to claw at her. It shows on her face before her head dips and she shuffles upon her feet. It is like a silent dance of unsure measure and finally she lets out a breath. "I need to talk to you…about someting that must be kept between you and I…"
"I did not have fun last night," Jarod assures Isolde in a deadpan. "I had some thinking to do." Wine helps, apparently, though he does not explain his precise logic on that one. At the compliment, a shrug. "My ribs'll disagree with that assessment for a bit, but I thank you for it. I came for a good fight, and I've never faced anyone like the Oldstones before, so I can say I've got it." The memory of it, abused as he is, does make him crack a grin. Even if it's one that doesn't quite reach his oddly-thoughtful green eyes at present. At her last words, he just groans. "Can you tell me, Iz, why in the seven hells people think I'm any sort of confidant at all? Have I not worked hard enough to make a poor reputation for myself? Anyhow. Sure. Fine. I'm not going anywhere for a bit. There's more tea, if you want it. The septon left a pot." He gestures vaguely to a little side table, on which said pot sits. It's still hot, and there're spare cups about.
She can not help but grin at is words and that alone seems to give her comfort. Isolde shakes her head and moves closer. "Gedeon has returned…I was overjoyed to see him when he met me at father's grave this morning. I thought perhaps there might be some joy today..considering…" Her voice trails and then finally she shifts, drawing back her hood with one hand, the wedding dress peaking out from beneath her cloak as she moves, as if buying time - which she has none of. "I though I saw him fight yesterday, a Knight of Oldstones…I was not sure where he had gone." She smiles faintly at the thought of it, but she looks hardly joyfyl. "He brought me news." She starts, trying to find the right words, "He gave me knews of my father's hand that…I am not Isolde Tordane.." She stops, her movements unconciously made about the room. "But more so that I am Isolde Rivers…" SHe finally gives him, her eyes trying to find his and she is failing. Just saying it aloud she feels her chest tighten.
"I know he's back. I saw him last night. He told me." Jarod watches her face carefully as he says it. Well, this explains the unusual thoughtfulness, and probably the need for several stiff drinks after. The logical question might be why Lord Jerold and Lord Jason Mallister don't seem to be aware of this at this point, as this is precisely the sort of thing that could put Stonebridge out of Nayland hands. But this morning Jarod's just in his tent, so she can make of that what she will. Very quietly he asks her, gaze both gentle and extremely hard to read, "What do you make of that, then?"
The surprise registers on her face. "You know? He…told you." Isolde says more of a statement then a question. A ragged breath is released and she shakes her head, unable to meet his gaze for the moment. "I don't know…" She starts, "At first I was beside myself…I loved my father dearly…I still do. But to learn he might not be my father. Who am I then?" She asks of Jarod. "But with the threat of losing Stonebridge…I got defensive. All I have ever wanted was Stonebridge, my home…if I couldn't be with Jaremy, at least I had that. But now?" She looks lost, uncertain and as she lifts her head to meet his gaze. "I couldn't go to him…I couuldn't speak to Jaremy. He is kind and I know he loves me but I fear he would turn away from me." That gives her a moment and she peers at him. "Why haven't you taken this to your father?"
"I'm not really sure," Jarod replies to that. "I should. I've a duty to. It needs to go to Jaremy, at least. Not sure what he'll make of it, though. He's more a duty toward it than me, but he loves you. Always has. I should've run straight to my father, I know, but…" He kills time downing tea before he has to answer. "…I figured you had a right to face it before anyone else did. Everybody has a right to know what they are before they have to take it out into the world." Another pause. "Would it be so bad, then? To be Issie Rivers?"
The hard truth exposed to all and Isolde grips the letters to her, still hidden beneath cloak. She has done well til now, but sorrow filles her and she has to breath deeply to bite past it. "No, most likely not…if it had been who I was..before all this." She says to him. "But now? I do not thinks things will go so lightly. There will be more injury in the denouncing of who I am than a proclamation of it." She dips her head, breaking his gaze before she tiredly tilting it. "It is not the name..so much as who I am. It has been a lie Jarod…my life." She grips the letters tighter, "How dare he do this to me, in this manner? Setting my brother to the task of telling me." A bit of frustration bubbles, but mostly it is her lack of ability to deal with this. "Jarod, I can be no Knight, I am no man…what is there for a woman denounced and cast down?"
"Lord Geoffrey did it for love of you. Whatever else he may've been, he raised you as his daughter. That's what the matters," Jarod says. "He like as didn't think it mattered while Geonis was alive. It wouldn't have, if things'd been different." More tea is drunk. They aren't different. "There's a…freedom to it." He takes a breath, which prompts a slight wince, as he's still nursing a broken rib. Even so, he seems to need it to gather his thoughts. Like he's trying to put something too big for him as well as possible. "No obligations. No expectations, save what you make in the world for yourself. No, you can't be a knight. But a healer, perhaps. Or find work in some craft. Travel to Highgarden, discover new herbs amongst all the flowers. Travel to Dorne, where they say women are half-men anyhow. Go to the free cities and beguile a merchant prince who'll give you a fortune. A name comes with links of chain attached to it, Iz. Jaremy's always felt them. I said to Gedeon last night, there are a thousand things keeping him from riding off to King's Landing and being whatever the fuck he wants. I serve my father because it's my choice. And for love."
He watches her a moment, quiet. "You can love who you want to, within reason. Jaremy might well still have you, though it'd mean giving up something to do it. Gedeon said he'd give you a good dowry, you're still sister to him, and gold's a better match for many lesser lords and fine merchants than a title they can never truly hold. Not that I think that'd matter so much. Jaremy wanted to put aside his title for the Kingsguard, let it pass to one of my brothers. If he could do it for that…well, you're a better reason than Ser Barristan Selmy, to my mind."
Isolde needs words, not the oath remembering ones of Gedeon, but those of a friend. She falls to silence as he speaks and there is a lightening of her eyes, a lift of something from her shoulders and the Lady takes a step closer, her gaze wandering as if she tries to picture the gardens of and flowers he speaks of. A tinge of a smile touches her lips and slowly she lowers to sit near him, far too tired and overwhelmed by the process of new information to linger standing. The burden in her arms still rests hidden and she holds them differently now, perhaps they are a bid for freedom. "To travel would be something… " She has to admit but at the mention of Jaremy, she gives Jarod a long look.
"Jaremy has a duty and we both know he an perform it well. He should be the Lord of your father's House. He should stand tall and protect those of his family and people. Jaremy is a man to do it.." She tells him. "I would never be so selfish as to ever think he would give that up, Barristan Selmy or no. He has love for his people and it is rightly placed." But she is selfish for Stonebridge, the letters heavy in her arms. "Chains come in many forms, Jarod. Titles are not the only thing that carry them. I will continue to carry them even after mine is stripped away. If these letters are true, I would never find peace. There would always be an eye to me." She worries and then lets out a breath. "Though I am glad you find some worth in Issie Rivers when even now I can not…I do suppose the idea of worth is stolen from me knowing I am not my father's daughter…"
"If I found no worth in it, Iz, it'd mean I found no worth in myself. And most days I try to earn something resembling it," Jarod replies. "Name's a shield, too, I'll give you that. Without it - and I won't claim to have been, entirely, Lord Jerold's been kind enough to give me a great deal - you're only what you can make on your own. If you're strong enough." Whether he thinks she is or not is unclear. Maybe he's trying to decide it, from the way he's looking at her. "Your brother wouldn't simply cast you out. He'd take care of you." He sounds sure of it. But, then, he can't conceive of a siblings relationship that isn't like the one he holds with his own. "I know what it'd mean for you, if this came out. But if there's truth in what Gedeon brought back from the islands…Iz, there'll be nothing of Tordane blood in Stonebridge once that Nayland cur you're wedding gets his hands around it." He's not a fan of Young Lord Ryker. "Does that honor your House?"
As he speaks of Tordane blood gone entirely, it pains her further. Isolde dips her head, brushing the letters. "No, it does not.." She answers him distantly, as if drawing back in on herself. She is quiet for a good long time, lips pressed together as she assesses herself against everything. "Ever since I was told I would marry and give the land to my husband, everyone has been telling me that my father lives on in me." Her gaze lifts to look at him then, keenly trying to keep his gaze. "You father lives in you…even if you are not full blooded, his teachings are there. Just as mine is with me. A Lord can be a good ruler..but his son may not, even if they share blood. The son can be a tyrant and destroy. I only ever wanted to see Stonebridge flourish…that is all I have ever had besides the Roost."
"You're making excuses why you should keep a thing now, Iz, that's beneath you," Jarod says. "I don't know what Gedeon is. Good or bad. I liked him as a boy, even if we were different sorts. I've heard the things they whisper about him and Lord Geoffrey and Geonis off the Trident." His jaw sets at it. "But I'll cal no man a kinslayer if there's no proof on it, that's a vile slander. Some worse men than Gedeon Rivers and me survived there, some better men than us died. There was no sense in it, and trying to pretend there is'll just drive you mad." He holds his cup of rapidly cooling tea between his hands, just looking at the dark liquid. "Gedeon's timing is good, I'll give him that. Or perhaps it's not. He said to me last time he considered not coming back at all, with you and Jaremy to be wed. That was a thing your father wanted. Stonebridge is to be Nayland property now. What Lord Geoffrey would make of that…well, you know better than me."
Irked some, Isolde finds her noble ire growing as he speaks of it being beneath her. Her cheeks redden and she looks away, "Jarod Rivers.." SHe says rather cooly. "I am scared..there is no excuse in that but it is plane and simple. I do not know the man Gedeon is, it has been too long. I trust me..which is why I took..them.." She shows Jarod the letters she had made off with. They are held tightly against her. "I am to wed today…I am given no time to think of this…to accept it. I am to wed and if this is discovered later, Nayland can declare Stonebridge theirs and I will be tossed aside. But if this is a lie..then who takes it and why would they lie?" She breahtes, "I just want answers and there isn't the time…because either I show this to Lord Jerold now or I don't…if I don't…then I know for certain you would never look at me the same and should they know eventually the rest of you would never…I just can't have that." She catches her breath and curls her hands about the letters.
"I know you are," Jarod says quietly, and his tone isn't without sympathy. "You just found out your whole life might've been a lie, and I'm sorry for that. If I could make it easier on you I would." The sight of the letters makes his eyes widen. "I'm surprised he let those off his person. That's his life forfeit if Lady Valda finds them, whatever else he might make of them. But I think you're mistaken about the Naylands. A marriage to you is nothing if you aren't Geoffrey Tordane's daughter. Even if you wed, their claim to this land would be forfeit if this came out. Or at least a matter up for law, likely all the way to Hoster Tully. Not that I think the Naylands would let it go so easy, but they'd have no real way to hold it. If it were found true, likely Lord Ryker would put you aside and go back to his bog. Which'd be a scandal, but not a much larger one than this'll cause anyhow. Though it'll be worse on you with the Naylands if they knew you knew of it when you wed him." He lets out a long breath, which seems easier than inhaling. "My father would grant you protection if you showed him this. He's a good man. Though I can't say he wouldn't wish it true, since it keeps Stonebridge under Terrick rule. I'd tell you to find a way to stall the wedding, but it's a bit late for that now. I'm sorry, Iz. I'm a poor counselor. This is a shit wedding gift your brother's brought you, whatever comes of it." It's said with just the faintest crack of a grin. It's not really a joke, but the madness of the situation has some humor to it.
Madness or not, her plight is rather risky and with rewards or losses unknown. Isolde looks at his cracked grin and can not help but smile. She gives him a gentle press of her hand to his shoulder. "I would have only wished him back..that would have been a grand gift.." She says softly. "You find humor in almost everything…" She shakes her head and then lets out a sigh. "And if Issie Rivers came to be." She cautions, watching him. "What would the Riverlands make of her? Once Lady now bastard as she would be…tell me…I have never looked through the eyes of a Rivers. YOu told me of what I could do, but what is life, without a title?" She shifts, that cream dress soiled some as she is entirely unladylike in her manner as she sits.
"You either laugh at the world or you spend a great deal of time crying. I figure you've won a little victory over it if you're on the merrier end," Jarod says. "If that came to be…well, things'd be very hard for your for a bit and some minstrel would probably write an awful song about you. But in a few years people would forget. And you'd just be Issie Rivers, and your life'd be your own. And Jaremy and I will be your friends forever, whoever you are, for whatever that's worth." As for the question, he shrugs. "Life without a title is what you make of it. Same as life with it. I've always said I'm a lucky bastard. I get the freedom of it and a father and brother who love me. Gedeon…he got the other end, being a bastard in Lady Valda's house, I can't imagine one unluckier. I guess you've got to decide what sort of person you are, with or without the title." His grin suddenly crooks rueful. "You want to have a good laugh, I'll tell you one of my problems. I promise, it's funny. And stupid. It involves a girl."
It is the last that makes her smile and she looks him over. "When isn't it about a girl, Jarod Rivers?" Isolde teases with the need to smile. "It is not really about the title, without my father..I am not sure who I am…" She states faintly but looks to him on discussion of girls. "Go on then, speak of her.." She motions, the letters still very much a tangible thing, but that talk had long since beaten itself to death and they weigh heavily against her again. Her lips press into a smile despite the time ticking away about her.
"On occasion," Jarod says, boyish grin quirking in full force. "I'm wounded by your opinion of my virtue, M'Lady." No, he's not. The letters are eyed, and are likely still very much on his mind. Perhaps this is a distraction while he grapples with that. Or he just has been waiting for some opportunity to talk on it with someone. "When the tournament started…I started getting these letters. And this with them." He hefts his wrist, on which he still wears the favor he sported throughout the tourney. Dark chestnut hair, tied with a golden ribbon. Perhaps he just passed out too quickly last night to take it off. Or perhaps not. "They were written by some girl who called herself Lady Anonymous. She's…a secret admirer, I guess." He sounds bemused at that. And rather charmed. "Anyway. I wrote her back. Not sure how eloquent I was, but it was…nice. She asked me to meet her, after the melee was over. We were supposed to do it last night. Only I…" He shrugs and kinda gestures vaguely around the tent. The whole life-altering secrets from Gedeon and post-secret drunkening clearly made that not happen.
Looking to the favor, her gaze softens some and Isolde grins a little, "Jarod, you have gone and caught someone's eye.." But she quiets as he continues and then she blinks. The realization that the letters had caused him to miss his meeting with this admirer causes her to offer him a look of sympathy. "Troubles beget troubles..I am sorry this was burdened on you twice over..it looks like you did well to try to drown that meeting with Gedeon." She reaches forward to brush the favor if allowed, looking it over before she rests her hand on his. "I am very sorry you missed your meeting….but I can not say thank you in any way possible that would mean enough for keeping the letters quiet." But she quickly withdraws her head, dipping her head a moment. "Your family is leaving…I need to make a decision, I need to speak with my mother..I need to do a great many things….and none of them anything I wish to do." She looks up, "I would far rather stay here and talk with a sweet knight who has a kind thought of me."
Jarod chuckles short at that. "Seems I have. I generally like to know when that's happened, but I suppose a man takes what he can get. Anyhow. I was wondering if you might have some idea what I can do to…make it up to her, I guess. I'm not sure I like the way she's gone about this. Strikes me that people who sneak around and arrange secret trysts aren't really doing anything they're proud of." Slight, rueful smirk to her there. "But her words were kind and…well. I'd like to see her face, at least. I'm not even really sure how to get in touch with her, but I think I owe it to her to try." His eyes go to the letters again. "Aye. I'll not keep you. About those letters, Iz…the right thing to do is give them back to your brother. I don't know how you got them in the first place. But I can see why you wouldn't do that. That's your life you're holding there. My duty, as a Terrick, is to ask you to give them to me. So I'll do that." No smiles from him now, and his green eyes are serious again. "I can promise you I'll not put them in anyone's hands but Jaremy's, as Gedeon intends to bring the matter to him anyhow, I think. I trust Jaremy to do what he can to protect you, and to care more about the truth of this than what power Terrick might gain from it. And I'll promise to help you find the truth, about who you are, if that's what you want to find."
"As a Terrick you must and as Isolde Tordane, I must tell you that they will return to my brother. I wanted to read them…and I didn't feel it right standing at his grave.." There is a faint bite of her lip as she swallows that heavy knot in her throat. Blinking a few times, she smiles with purpose and then clears her throat. "As for your Lady.." She starts a bit, considering it. "Ask to meet her again, bring her a small token as well since she so gladly gave to you." The thought of the small figurine from the beginning of the tourney makes her smile. Letting out a long breath, it nearly becomes a sigh. "If you want my view, women want to know you care..don't hide it if you do. Don't keep it behind your need to be strong. They love your strength as much as your tenderness. I know you dally, Jarod.." There is a knowing gaze shared with him and she dips her head with a soft sound which could be a faint laugh. "But if she means something.." her head lifts and green eyes meet his own as she tries to make this point very clear. "Protect her. Do anything you can to show her that she does in fact mean something. Females are of the persuasion that they have no power, and most do not. Most can not demand of their husbands attention, they can not force what they will on a man. But to offer such things freely…to smile and hold her hand. Even these simple things will give her happiness." A tightness pulls at her skin around her eyes and she starts to rise, gathering the letters to her. "Tell her…most of all. But first..see her and determine if she is what you hoped for in those letters."
Jarod nods to that. "All right. Fair enough, my lady. Sorry I doubted it." As she says it, he'll believe she'll do it. It relaxes his manner some, and he nods slightly. Like that's what he was expecting out of her. The comment about him dallying makes him laugh. "Exaggerations. Well. Some of them. The rest…well, a gentleman never tells…" He winks. Though there's an underlying seriousness to it. "I think she wants to mean something to me. Feels more…I don't know. Serious than anything I've ever gotten from a woman before." And Jarod Rivers lives in terror of the day a woman takes him seriously. He usually manages to avoid it. He shrugs. "I have no power to force anything on anyone. And I'm not sure I do it if I could. Seems like you'd not have much fun between two people that way. Aye. We'll see. Take care of yourself, Issie. I hope your wedding is very lovely."
At his bidding, Isolde half smiles, it is a weak thing. "It is in my father's rose garden…" The one she had tended with him and after, "I am certain it will be lovely..ribbons and all.." She blinks a few times, her eyes shining but not from joy. "Thank you, Jarod. And good luck with your lady admirer." Her smiles vurls a bit more with that and she hesitates, stepping back towards him to kiss the top of his head if he allows. "I leave Isolde Tordane…tonight I shall be Lady Nayland.." She says this as she walks for the tent flap and pauses as she pulls up her hood. "And maybe some day after that…when I see you next I will be Isolde Rivers. Not many can say to be three people all in a lifetime….perhaps after three, there will be a fourth name." She holds the letters to her and then dips her head entering into the sunshine and the slowly breaking camp to hurry her way back though towards Tower Hall.
Jarod bows his head a little to accept the kiss. It gives a smile, though he doesn't blush at it. The bit about names gets a chuckle from him. "Well, it won't be a boring life, at least, and that's saying something. Good luck." As she goes he mutters under her breath, "Seven help her, she'll need it." He'll need to start being mobile and striking his tent, once she's gone. The tourney's over, and the Terricks won't be lingering too long.