|Truth And Lies|
|Summary:||Pyrs sends for Anais. They have some disagreements about…everything.|
|Related Logs:||The latest Terrick meeting.|
|A web of LIES!|
|June 15, 289|
Well after that eventful meeting of dysfunctional Terricks, the Maester had already set his plans into motion which would begin by visiting the Lady Anais. He respected that some time was needed for tempers to lower, particularly this one. While in his offices, the double chamber serving as his quarters as well, the elder male was standing before a few shelved scrolls and returning a small collection into their place. He had sent word some time ago to politely request a visit from the Lady Anais. For now, he simply waited while passing time pretending to look busy.
Anais is reasonable enough to let her anger fade before answering the letter, though she's still looking a little edgy when she enters the maester's chambers. Or rather, when she knocks at his door, standing outside the chambers with her hands clasped in front of herself. Whatever manners the Terricks may believe she lacks, clearly the maester at the Banefort was able to drill a few things into her early. The end of her nose may be a little red, though there's still enough remnants of sunburn to blame that on. The red-rimmed eyes are a little harder to explain away.
Crossing his chambers the maester pulled the door open with his expectations served. "Lady Anais." She was given brief inspection from head to toe in order to acertain the lady's physical and mental state. A step backwards would permit her entry. "I appreciate that you have chosen to accept my request." Just a visit, nothing else was hinted to however she could not be too obvlivious to the intentions of his request. "It seems we have much to discuss."
"I'm not with child," Anais says first, stepping inside and moving toward the nearest seat, doing her best not to touch anything on her way. "Not for lack of trying, but it just- It just hasn't happened. I meant what I said, and I said it in full control of my faculties." All right, so she might still be a little bit defensive. She looks around the room once she sits, at the shelves, at anything interesting, though she picks at her nails rather than touch anything.
Once she's indoors, instantly correcting a falsehood the maester chuckles softly. "No, I had not believed you were." The door clicks as it is closed, a heavy booted footstep marks his progress to join the lady, occupying the other seat closeby. "I have no doubt you meant every word of it. Was it necessary?" Thick salted eyebrows raised while sinking into the seat, at rest he exhales slowly. "Your passions for your husband's recovery is admired, however you are his wife, nothing more to the Terricks. Your concerns are to be giving him heirs and offering him wise council, not assailing his family as you had." Even if the accusations were true, he was not scolding just simply reminding the woman. "Until you are lady of this Roost it would be wise to remember just how outnumbered you are."
"As if I ever get a chance to forget." Anais shakes her head, turning away and chewing at the side of one thumb. "I know that wasn't…ideal. I just…" She pauses, brows furrowing as she shakes her head. "I can't believe he just sat there and /ignored/ it. I can't believe he's that willfully blind to what she's doing. That stupid little-" She cuts herself off, closing her eyes and forcing a slow breath through her nose. "I'm sorry. I'm sure you had a more important reason to speak with me than to hear me rant."
As she continued, apparently still boiling with anger over the outburst the maester is too kind in listening without interrupting the lady. "Yes well, sometimes having an ear to release the anger is just as important." He crooks a small smirk that quickly fades. "He will not address such a personal matter before the entire family. You concerns may have been better received in private. Even then, that is his blood, his daughter. You are easily replaced." Pyrs reaches across the table, pulling a crude cup and some unmarked jug closer. Once uncorked, the pours the amber colored liquid into the clay cup which is then offered to Anais. "From your last visit here, I had stated that the Lord Jacsen would be denied the Milk of the Poppy, from my hand. As it turned out, he was provided for by the hand of another." Who is not so important. "Tell me, if you will, all that has transpired since you leaving my chambers."
"Not so easily replaced as he thinks," Anais mutters, reaching out to take the cup. "My father won't sit idly by if Lord Terrick tries. Especially not after they sold the ship." She doesn't drink, instead giving the cup a slow spin in her hand. "And if you don't discuss these things with family, then who do you discuss them with? I'd have brought it to him privately if he could ever be bothered to meet with me. But if he can't, what other choice do I have?" She reaches up to rub a finger at her brow at his question, sighing. "As you heard, he was going through the withdrawal. It was…ugly, but I trusted that he would come through it. Except I returned to the room one morning to find him up and about. I asked him a few things, and he admitted that he'd had Willem, his page, get him some because someone had offered to get it for him if he did something for them and he didn't want to be subject to that sort of manipulation. I told him that if that was the case, then we would go through you to keep the doses controlled. I thought…" She catches her lip between her teeth as she comes back to him. "I thought he had been."
Pyrs is listening, nodding where appropriate as suggestion to continue. Once she does the maester shakes his head, "There is no hope for a man's honor if he cannot control his impulses." He turned down the offer now, "But next time, he may not be strong enough to deny the lure of the substance." A flash of disappointment darkened his features. "You believe this true, that Lady Lucienne attempted to barter the seal for the milk?"
"In my bones, maester," Anais says quietly. "I know we've never been close, but I wouldn't make these sorts of accusations lightly. Why, when Lord Jerold is already looking at marriages that would send her away from here? What would I have to gain from it?" A frown lines her brow, and she shakes her head. "She'll have her pretty words and her lies, and they'll believe her. But I know the truth."
"Some might say people who find pleasure in causing misfortune upon others may be the reason. You may not gain fortune or respect, but some satisfaction that she would be perceived as a failure, unmarriagable." Pyrs lifts a shoulder, shrugging. "Your peers and family knowing the Lady Lucienne was willing to barter her brother's ailment for power and authority is not… an easy accusation to swallow. Least of all for the Lord." The man gestures to the cup, "Drink." A single order before he continues. "Who else might be capable of proding Lord Jacsen with his vice?"
"What is it?" Anais asks at the order to drink, giving the cup a swirl and watching the liquid within. "Avinashi knows how to make the Milk of the Poppy, I believe. She was involved in the previous episode with Maester Gwyllam. But she wasn't in the room with him. It may have been where Willem was about to get some, though. I don't think any of the other servants who were there knew what the source of his illness was."
The liquid is thick, honey colored by radiates a sweet and oak odor. "If the Lord Jerold suspects you are with child, your actions from this evening will be pardoned." What it is, it doesn't matter or he's not willing to divulge but implying that he has concerns over her future in the Four Eagles should be apparent. "This, Avinashi, she is a food tester is she not?"
"That didn't answer my question," Anais notes, dry. "And I suspect that eventually he'll realize I'm not with child either way. I don't see an advantage to lying about it." She looks into the cup, then dips a pinky into the liquid. "I hope you'll forgive me if I'm not feeling very trusting at the moment. Yes, though. Avinashi is the food-taster." Granted, her tone makes an epithet of the title.
"Lord Jerold is preoccupied with other priorties." Such as sulking. The maester does pull the jug to his lips, drinks, and sets the container down. Proof, as it seemed necessary. "I have nothing to gain from harming you or allowing you to become harmed. Your failures reflect poorly on me Lady Anais. As does the failures of your husband, the Lord Jerold." With the jug set aside for now he shares, a little, "It's harmless. The first signs of pregnancy are lethargy. If the Lord Jerold believes you have true intentions of ill thoughts to his daughter, your future is grim m'lady and I will not be able to assist you. With this, his suspicions will be fulfilled and he'll dismiss the matter." Perhaps. "It will last for just a day or two. You will still be able to move about normally."
Anais eyes the maester, brows furrowed. "I am not going to poison myself because Lord Jerold is too weak to face the truth. What is /wrong/ with the men here?" she asks irritably, setting the cup down and moving to stand. "And how do I know she doesn't have /you/ wrapped around her little finger as well and this isn't something to keep me from conceiving? I'm sure she'd love nothing more than to see me put out of the Roost."
"And you are too bold for your place lady Anais. Your authority here is an illusion, you tread on grounds that are not your own. When you became Lord Jacsen's wife you yield to his family until your time to lead the Roost has come. This will placate the Lord Jerold and allow him to forgive your outburst. Unless it is your wish to make enemies of your husband's family?" The maester eyes the lowered cup for a brief moment, "Your dowry to the Eagles is gone, your worth is only valued by the functionality of your womb. Do not allow your pride to cloud your senses. Your armor is near wearing thin." He nudges the cup forward with a much softer tone, "No woman could ever wrap me around their finger." Pyrs grinned inwardly. "I seek to keep you here, your level headedness is very much needed during these times. Either you trust in one who will see to your lengthy tenure here or you do not. Either way this.." He points to the cup, "Is going into your stomach and you'll thank me tomorrow."
Anais picks up the cup, only to walk over and empty it into the fire. "Lord Jerold doesn't care enough about me to even find out if I'm lethargic," she informs the maester as she sets the cup back down on the table. "I will not drug myself to please him. It's bad enough that Jacsen is dependent upon a drug to function. I'm not going to make myself weaker to please them. Now. Are we finished here?"
Pyrs watches the cup empty into the fire with an unreadable expression. "Your pride will be your undoing Lady Anais." As she had not accepted the offered aid he recorks the jug. "We are finished, yes."
"So you asked me here for the sole purpose of drugging me into submission," Anais says flatly, a muscle at the corner of her jaw ticking with a resurgence of rage.
"Entirely, no m'lady. I am determined to see the Eagles flourish." However that may be achieved is kept to himself. "It is wounded everywhere, from within to the very tips of its reach and my duty is to see it mended." His head cants a little to the side, "I believed that was a duty you and I shared, perhaps I was wrong. I can admit and accept my follys." So rare as they were.
"It's not wounded, maester. It's poisoned. And so long as Lucienne continues to reside here, she'll continue to spread her noxious poison through the men who should be supporting Four Eagles," Anais says quietly, unyielding. "If you want to help me heal this house, then you can start by cutting out that mass of gangrene Lord Jerold calls a loving daughter." Okay, so maybe there's still some rage left over. "Sometimes an infected limb has to be cut away, does it not?"
"Poison has a nature of spreading m'lady. I have offered what help I may and," A glance is given to the fire as the faint aroma of honey and oak permiates throughout the chamber. "If the limb cannot be saved then at times, yes it may be removed though it does not come with its own risk. The host may die as well."
"If you seek to help me by convincing Lord Jerold that I'm with child, I'm sure you're quite capable of conveying the necessary information without drugging me, Maester Pyrs," Anais points out, eyes narrowed. "Let us start with that. I'm sure you understand that I'm not in a position to simply trust in drinking something right now."
"Not only Lord Jerold m'lady." He adds while pressing unto the serface of the table to aid his rise. Taking the jug with him, Pyrs limped for one of the many shelves. "I lack faith in your aptitude to uphold a mummer's farce." Blatantly speaking, she has his back unfortunately while the maester makes room upon the shelves. "Just because one may smell the fires in the kitchens, it does not mean food is being prepared. Sometimes people must see with their eyes to believe as mere words do not serve it well." His chin turns over the shoulder, "It is mild m'lady. Nothing similiar to the poppy your husband takes nor has it the properties to become addicting. I took great measures in assuring that."
Anais shakes her head, though she seems slightly less frustrated. "I have too much to do to spend days lying about in bed," she murmurs. "Believe me, I'm more than sufficiently tired. I just don't have time to lie abed. Even if I was with child, I'd be taking care of the things that need to be done. Besides, I have to prepare for the trip to Seagard, and travel there."
"You'll not be confined to a bed." He returns while turning around, fully facing the woman. "The feelings will last for just a day or two, you'll be completely functional and not amiss to your duties." Whatever they may be. "It is harmless, I would not administer something to you and not drink it myself."
"Something that is harmless to a man might not be harmless to a woman," Anais counters. "Things that might cause me to lose a child I was carrying would mean little to you." But at least she hasn't left yet. "What's in it?" she asks. "What do they do?"
The aged male chuckled lightly, "True." She had a point. "Aged honey mostly. It used to be common practice for women who had not showed signs of concieving a young in their first years of marriage. Perhaps they had not truly wished to be with child, who is to say? They consumed their moon teas to postpone pregnancies with intention while drinking this to stave off the suspicions of a barren womb." The maester then spread his hands, "Neither you nor are are fully immune to our current positions m'lady. Should your husband not recover who do you think they will look should he no longer be named heir?" He asked, raising his thin salted eyebrows. "Perhaps she who hold's her father's affections? I do not think you will live here much longer there after."
"If something were to happen to Jacsen, I would go home, Maester Pyrs," Anais says quietly, glancing toward the door and making no effort to hide the longing for home in her words. "You know it isn't my fault. I've done everything I could. But it was hardly two months before the Ironborn came, and we've been on nothing but short rations since then. And they were hardly gone before Jacsen took ill to bed for three months. And now that he's awake, he can't even always- It isn't the fault of the fields if there's no seed to plant them."
"Do you wish that, to return to Banefort? Do you have a desire to bring forth his heir?" Pyrs asked after noticing the movement of Anais' head, a gesture of nostalgia. "It is not I you need to convince m'lady. However you also do not seem willing to convince them beyond using words. Words they do not wish to hear from you but see the evidence."
"I want this to feel like home," Anais answers the maester, her voice small. "I want to give him sons. I /am/ trying. Any time he can, I do. I've never turned him away. Never." She leans against the doorframe, arms crossed tight over her chest. "I've given everything to this place, and whenever I try to help, they still just throw it back in my face. It's never enough."
The maester does nod, a little. "Your methods of help may require some fine pruning." Pointedly earlier when she had made an accusation against young lord's sister. "At the present you are giving them every reason to believe themselves right. That you are at fault for failure to yield his heir. It will continue to remain that way unfortunately." As she refused his help.
"How is it my fault when he's unconscious for three months?!" Anais exclaims. "What was I supposed to do? It's perfectly normal for a lady of good breeding to take some time to get pregnant the first time. Only whores and commoners get with child immediately." She scowls, pushing away from the door. "It's not my fault."
Pyrs allows a few breaths to pass before offering a retort. "As you say m'lady." The conversation went full circle with the subborn Banefort. "Even with good breeding there may be accidents." Oopses with the sudden failure to produce a healthy calf that some farmers would attest to.
"If you have something that will /actually/ help me to conceive, I'll be glad to take it," Anais snaps. "But I'm not going to pretend to be pregnant. If I pretend to be pregnant, then I have to pretend the lose the babe when nothing happens, and a woman who can't keep a babe is /clearly/ damaged, whereas one who has yet to conceive is not yet lost." She straightens, chin rising. "I am not going to give up here, Maester Pyrs."
"And if the babe is lost due to actions of your husband?" The maester asks after a second of thought. "The fault will not lie with you, but him."
"And what actions would those be?" Anais asks, brows furrowing back at the maester.
"Those suffering withdrawls from the poppy may be prone to violence, causing their other halfs to endure times of extreme sadness and grief. Such things are not good for a new mother. To be in such a high state of worry." He said carefully.
"And so in addition to faking pregnancy, we now lie about Jacsen beating me to cover the loss of the fake pregnancy." Anais' voice is flat, and she draws a deep breath, pinching the bridge of her nose. "I don't see where this solves problems so much as creates a plethora of potential ones. I appreciate the sentiment behind trying to help, but I think I'll stick to the tried and true method of conception for now." Lowering her hand, she turns to depart, only to pause and look over her shoulder. "Are you going to cut him off completely?"
"The beatings wouldn't be a lie." A statement returned that would also provide an answer to her question. "You may need to accept the possibility m'lady you may also be of fault." As something she was refusing to believe the Maester limped over towards his desk. "I am to prepare for all outcomes and I do not hold any reservations about using the knowledge I have gained to better the future for the Eagles." It needed an heir.
Anais stares at Pyrs for a moment, then simply turns around. "There must be something in the water," she murmurs to herself as she walks away. "Everyone in this gods-damned keep has gone mad…"