|Under The Trees|
|Summary:||In the godswood, Liliana and Jaremy talk of…a great many things.|
|Related Logs:||I will totally be adding these.|
|Godswood, The Courtyard — Four Eagles Tower|
|The godswood of House Terrick, with a little more nobility and a little less weirwood.|
|23 Aug, 288 AL|
"My Lady, your skill is much improving." Elise's voice, bright and cheerful, drifts beneath the trees of the godswood, the small garden, which, in the days of old, might once have housed the weirwood of House Terrick. But now, only the small sanctuary of shade trees and comfortable benches in the courtyard remain. But…perhaps, there is something of the memory of that tree still within and beneath the sanctuary of leaf and branch, because the voice that drifts back, belonging to Liliana, is not nearly as frustrated as it could be. "Only because you have given me a child's sample to practice on, Eli."
The two women, one older, the other younger, the lady and her handmaiden are seated close together, working over what looks like a square of rich golden silk, seeming in the midst of practicing their embroidery.
"I do my best with what the Seven give me to work with, my Lady."
The quiet sound of leaves crushing beneath boots comes from within the thick brush of the godswood. The last few steps taken at a leisurely pace emerge Jaremy Terrick from the trees. Walking in relative silence with a retainer following at a distance, the young lord is lost in his thoughts and paying little attention to the sounds around him. As he nears, however, he catches the sound of human voices, forcing him to sneak a glance towards Liliana and her handmaiden.
Liliana's laughter is rich and warm, contralto voice reaching out from where she sits with Elise, "If nothing, else, Eli, you have learned how best to couch your speech, so as not to touch on the truth of the matter." It seems a long-standing joke between the two. The amusement, at the sound of footfalls on leaves does not darken her mood, but it does brings Liliana's head up, head tilted at an angle as she listens, finding the source and direction of the sound, and, allowing the square to settle in her lap, turns to cast her eyes in the direction of the sound of approaching company.
Jaremy's gaze meets Liliana's, allowing her a little bit of insight into his darkened mood. He's spent many hours alone as of late, wandering the halls for Four Eagles Tower. Keeping council to his though, it appears as if he has decided to venture into brighter and much more living surroundings.
"My ladies." He introduces as he nears. A small half-smile meets his lip. "It seems we all agree that the heat has gone, and it is too nice of a day to spend indoors."
Liliana's expression is warm with sympathy, though she voices none of it, allowing the Young Lord his own counsel, for the nonce, a smile, wider, perhaps than his, is as inviting as the words that she does offer, "Indeed. The trees are cool and comforting. Sit, if it pleases you, and be at your ease." Elise blushes, giggling, at Jaremy's greeting. But she does rise to her feet, "Shall I bring something to refresh you, my Lord?"
Seated at one of the trio of benches set in the coolest part of the godswood, Liliana allows the fabric to fall, the needle tucked into a fold of the silk, the shade the rich golden Terrick hue. "You must swear to feign surprise when you see this, or something like it at the giving of the gifts." A nudge of the fabric, but she does not reveal it completely.
"Merely some water, please." Jaremy replies to Elise, smiling softly as he steps around one of the benches. Choosing an empty one as his perch, he sits and leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees. The fabric that Liliana is working on catches his eye, causing him to narrow his eyes in conspiracy. "I assure you, Liliana, that I have seen nothing at all."
Taking a moment to enjoy the feeling of being off of his feet, the young lord pushes with his feet and leans back a bit more on the bench. He looks from the cloth to Liliana's face. "It's a shame Saro and Dafydd couldn't stay longer. They are good people. It's nice to have friends and family together…" Of course, the young lord means allies.
"I knew I could count on your discretion, Lord Jaremy," is Liliana's amused reply. Elise dips a curtsey to the Young Lord, eyes glancing to Lili, but finding the Lady offering her a nod, she departs, though not so far, remaining still within eyeshot of the Lady and the Lord sitting near her. Cooler it is, under the shade, but not so much, that refreshments have not been set out here and there for the members of the House both relaxing in the courtyard and working in it. A glass of cooled water, twinkling slightly with the ice brought from the deep underground stores of the House, and a slice of blood orange for flavour, is carried back to Jaremy, Elise offering another curtsey.
"A sample of the wares of one of the merchants bidding for right to provide wares the feast." Liliana offers as Elise returns with the water, "They have been quite…eager to have their services engaged." A softening of her expression, as the conversation turns to her recently departed Uncles. "I too wish that they would have stayed longer. But I think they both knew they could not long put off their trip. Opportunities for diplomacy do not come often. But I know that their thoughts turn often to the welcome they have had in this House."
The cup of cooled water brings a quiet chuckle to Jaremy's lips, looking to the small bit of ice inside. He brings it to his lips, taking a quiet sip. Finding it worthy offers a quiet salute to Elise, thanking her for it.
"My discretion is slowly becoming a thing of legend. As are my guests." Jaremy says, eyes painting the far-off distance. In the last few weeks he has gone from a proud betrothed to a darker shade of himself, thoughtful and concerned. He grows quickly to share more of his father's expressions. "What was it like before you left for the Roost, Liliana? I never knew much of you for years after your arrival, you and I have never spent much time talking. I hope you don't feel mildly neglected. I can only imagine the move must have been a shock."
Elise, pleased at having her offering so well accepted, flashes the Young Lord a bright smile, before she returns to working at her own piece of cloth, this in the darker purple hue. "One may be born with a title, but it takes a lifetime to become what you were born to be, Lord Jaremy. To some, nobility comes easier than to others. I have had my own trials, in that regard." Liliana sets aside her needlework, rising from her seat to move to one of the closer trees, hands settling on the warm, smooth bark of its trunk, "I was a child of the woods. Wild, heedless, more tomboy than noble Lady of my House. My sister Ava and I were never close. But Wren and I were often inseparable. I imagine I was much like my Cousin Alyse, truth to tell. I had never had a suitor, nor wanted anything to do with such things, accepting the dreams all women have, I think, when they are very young, but soon grow out of, as they come to learn the ways of the world. I was happy to range the forests, learning the ways of bow and hawk and spear. And then it was decided I should come here. My Lord Uncle Dafydd brought me, with some of our guard, introduced me to your Lord Father. I was terrified of him. I hated the stone, the cold, the sound of the sea. I felt the gods had abandoned me, left be adrift from the wind, the water, the trees." She does look back, studying the Lord still seated. "I was not your ward, Lord Jaremy. You had no obligation to entertain me. Your obligations were to your blood family. Not to the one your Lord Father bound to him by law and obligation. I never felt any resentment towards you for that."
"Still…I know that it must bear a certain weight to be sent to live with strangers in a strange place. I've not felt that weight, but I cam see how over the years you have grown to blend in with we Terricks. For what it is worth, I have ignored everybody save myself, and perhaps that always was my fatal flaw. I had my mission." He pauses for a sip from the water, turning his gaze from the forest to her at her bench. "When we visit Tall Oaks, you should escape for a while and run the forest. Revisit that. It's been years."
"It is something that I have always felt. Sometimes…the weight is heavier than others. Your Lord Father is a hard man, perceived as cold, in many ways. But in all of the nearly three years I have been here, he has never treated me as if he thought me different than his own blooded children. He agreed to be my father in all but blood, and so he has been. The rest of the House…their opinion of me rises and falls. There are some who have welcomed me, and others who love me little, and will not, no matter what I do to prove myself to the House. I have had to learn to live with that too." Liliana turns her eyes, settling on the Young Lord, "You are the Young Lord of Terrick's Roost. That is a greater weight, I think, than many could readily understand. I can imagine you have had to spend most of your life trying to prove that you are worthy of the title. You are the highest of your House, and yet there are lesser of your House that have done deeds of great renown. Lord Jacsen fought at the Trident, and has gone on to serve at the House of Mallister. Ser Jarod, for all that is only the natural son of your Lord Father, has been given a position of rank and responsibility much more than one such as he could ever hope to reach. And you have been kept safe and secure. How could that not rankle a man who has earned the right to be called both Lord and Ser?"
"Perhaps, when if I should return to Tall Oaks, I will. We shall see."
"It is strange…" Jaremy replies, the far-away look in his yes returning although his gaze is centered onto hers. "…as a young heir swinging a wooden sword you receive so much confidence. Oh doth the young lord swing his mighty sword, chasing dragons. You receive many pats on the head, many esteemed words of encouragement. I remember when war came I wanted to go…so badly. I wanted to show them all, even my brother, that I would be a strong man." His eyes sharpen, seeing her once again. "Now when the time comes that I am of a better age there are few such encouragements. My…ethics are received as if I am looking for a pat on the head."
"Are you? Looking for a pat on the head? For some sign that you have grown into the heir of Terrick's Roost that you have been bred to be?" It's a pointed question, for all that her words are soft and gently given. "Your father is a great man. Your brothers are great men, and your Uncle whom you squired under. Are you feeling the need to live up to the greatness that each of them has brought to the House?" Liliana remains where she is standing, hands light and careful on the tree trunk. "It is not an easy thing to ask yourself, or to admit. But ask yourself why you did not go to your father with many of the concerns you had regarding Oldstones."
"Oh…I did. We've nothing to work with just yet. Soon we will. Of course nothing can be acted out of my concern of Oldstones without evidence, as all we have is theory. Perhaps one day that evidence will come, but until then this theory I have only males me seem…paranoid." The cup of water is brought to his lips again, taking a long pull. His spurs roll in their moorings as he stretches one leg out before him. "As to living up to the rest of my family? My only need is to be just and vigilant and to care for my people that I will one day rule. The shadow of my father only provides as a reminder of how peaceful I should keep things. He is well respected. He has guarded that respect."
"He is my father too, though we share no blood between us. It is not simply the contract between my House and yours that keeps me here." Indeed, a warding is no chain of servitude or indenture. The Lords of Camden could easily recall this daughter to Tall Oaks, at their wish or hers. Liliana's attention settles fully on the young man sitting at his ease, "And you are my brother. So very much like Wren; strong-hearted and honourable, though we two are not so close as he and I are. I meant what I said to your Lord Brother Jacsen. I have no greater fealty to any house than Terrick, except to my own. I will do whatever I believe is right and necessary to protect your Lord Father and your family. And you. No matter what the cost to myself."
"I pray that you will get the answers that you seek, when word comes from Oldstones, or from your other agents sent out to ascertain the truth of the matter. But if you do not, it will not be as to the ending of the world. It will be a problem to be solved. And every problem has a solution. Your marriage might well be the first step towards that solution. It is sometimes for the better of all…to do what we have to do, and not what we want to do." And great the cost for Liliana to say the words, knowing her recent opinions of Jaremy's betrothed, which Jaremy would know full well, but she does. Before all other things, to Liliana Camden, is duty.
"All of this would be different had I done as I should have six years ago…" Jaremy trails off, tearing his gaze to the ground. Finding a tall weed, he sets his cup aside and rips the weed from the grass. He starts to silently pluck the threads from the weed, busying his hands as he continues. "…perhaps you are right. Perhaps my marriage will be the answer to all of this. Perhaps the loss of Stonebridge and the Tordanes can be recovered from. Perhaps by the time I am old this will just be remembered as a strenuous season in an otherwise unremarkable era."
"Life is filled with 'If Only's', Lord Jaremy. It is easier to look back on the past and say, "Things might have been better if', or 'Perhaps I should have'. But the past is lost to us, and nothing good can come of looking back on the events of our life and dwelling there. The past might influence the future, but it is today that shapes the future. The loss of Stonebridge and the Tordanes is no great loss, compared to what you stand to gain by allying yourself and your House with the Baneforts. It is not our lot to live our lives for love. We live our lives for our duty, for our families, for the strength of our House. To wish that it could be otherwise, or that we might find a way to have both our love and our duty, is to court disappointment."
"And whatever I might think of Anais Banefort and her ways, and however she might seem, coming so soon after the loss of the one you wanted in truth, no woman deserves to feel as though they will never be able to become all that they can be to their husband."
Liliana finally steps away from the tree, to move to retrieve a glass of her own, from the small tray Elise brought over, "Our marriages do not often begin with love, but I do not think there is a single woman who does not hope, even in the farthest reaches of her heart, that her marriage will end with it."
"It was rather well known, at least prior to the tourney, just how intended Isolde and I were. In some ways, Liliana, because of that I was prepared to not envy whichever match my father prepared. I knew that it would suffer that test." He pauses, dropping the shredded weed and reaching for his cup once more. "I think you are being too hard on her, though. I told her I wanted her voice and that I did not want some silent, hopelessly obedient wife to do little more than entertain my guests and collect my children. She spoke as she did because, in a sort of way, I encouraged it."
"It was not her place to correct you in public so. If she felt the need to disagree with you, she should have done it privately. She comes from the Banefort, she claims to have been bred for things such as this. And yet she does not know the basics of the ways in which a wife should act with her husband in public? She diminished you in the eyes of the Castellan, and I have no doubt that that was part of the tales that were told that have made the rounds now as a song." She's certain the Lord must have heard it. Even she's heard it. "It may not seem right or proper to treat a woman so much like chattel, but the truth of the matter is that we noble women are. We are tasked with the birthing of children and the managing of household. We are not tasked with attempting to leaven the bread of our Lord's words with the salt of compassion. Not in such a public forum. Every lord should be gifted with a strong Lady Wife, but in times such as these proper appearances must be maintained. You spoke as if you approved of her 'threat' to bring her family's ships to bear on Oldstones. But they are not her ships. If she becomes your wife, they are your ships. If you wished to push that threat, you should have been the one to do it."
"You may believe that encouraging such freedom and forthrightness is a benefit to her, but it is a detriment to you. No matter how strong a woman might be, in the ways of court, the husband leads and in the eyes of the world, she follows."
There is a soft clicking sound as Jaremy opens his mouth to reply, eyes on Liliana's. He hesitates, and instead of speaking, he turns his head and let's out a quiet whistle. "I would not wish to be your enemy, ever, Liliana. While I can't bring myself to outright disagree with you, I still feel there is something missing. While we were talking with the steward I got the sense she hoped to be able to interrogate her quietly away from the men, over tea as women will."
He reaches for his cup of water again, stealing a glance inside to see how much he has left. "One day you'll bed wed and I've no doubt your home will be tightly kept."
Liliana takes a sip of her water, lifting the glass to press the cool of the glass against her cheek, before she lowers it to rest, held in one hand, but resting on the palm of the other, "You could never be my enemy, Lord Jaremy. Even if the world should change, and my hand be given to the family of your greatest enemy, never would my heart turn against you and your family." And then, a smile, and a nod, "Ah, you begin to see the ways in which we women can influence this game for our Lord's benefit. Do you think we just pass dainties and speak of the latest fabrics coming in from the Dornish lands when we sit to share tea and company? A well paired Lord passes his will in the forums of men. In courts, and throne rooms and meeting halls. His lady presses his will and takes the measure of his friends…and his enemies in the quiet moments of women. Over tea, at riding, under the leaves of the gardens. Perhaps what is missing is a clear understanding of where the both of you stand. She wishes to support you, there is no doubt of that, but it must be done in a way that benefits you both. If she knows fully your mind and you hers, your efforts in public and hers in private can work to press your agenda to your advantage.
Liliana rises, moving back to the tray, "Would you care for another glass, Lord Jaremy?" But the final comment gains a small smile, "Perhaps. Well have I learned at the feet of the women who came before me."
"My father, or one of my dear brothers, would say that believing that would be my first mistake. No offense, Lil, but it was believing that the Tordanes would never betray us that allowed us to be betrayed by them in the first place. That and, of course, my famed ability to not pay attention to the passage of time." Jaremy rises from his seat, downing the last of the water. He steps over, handing her the cup with a nod of his head. "Please, if you would." He stands in place, hands clasped at the small of his back. "Another rather major shame in all of this, Liliana, is that there have been so few women to entertain by our ladies at Four Eagles. I've a sister who's yet to wed, and we have to be careful involving her. You as well. I apologize, though even I am unsure as to what your family intends by means of prospects or where your interests lie, but I can only wish the best for you. "Perhaps…" Jaremy muses. "…you would be lucky enough to find yourself with someone that isn't so…how did the song go? Feckless?"
"I cannot speak to that particular betrayal. I knew little of the contracts, if such existed, between your Lord Father and the Lord of Stonebridge. But for what it is worth, I believe The Lady Nayland did as the law and the ways of nobility dictated, once the deed was done. Likely as not, she was given a command, and she was bound by honour to follow it." Liliana lifts the carafe of water, turning to pour into the emptied glass she's offered. "Our men pull the strings, and we jump." Liliana turns, to study the Lord standing not far from her, "You must stop being so hard on yourself. Mistakes have been made. That you have acknowledged, but they do not encompass everything that you are, or define everything that you could be. You must find it in yourself to forgive. And the first one who needs forgiveness, is yourself."
A hand reaching out to offer the refreshed glass of water, Liliana sets down the carafe, "There are days when I am of the opinion that the fewer women within our walls, the better. Women can be especially cruel and vicious, particularly when they feel they must tear you down to gain what they most prize." Liliana steps back, to retrieve her own glass of water, fingertips wiping the beaded condensation from the surface, "You need not apologize for your uncertainty. I know as little as you. I have received no missives from my Lord Uncle, or my Father, nor from Lord Jerold. Whether that means that all prospects have been rejected, or that I have had none, I do not know. In truth, I am content to remain here, until duty sends me elsewhere. I do not covet a great castle, nor strength of arms. I wish only to do good work and to be as much of a credit to my House and yours as I can be." Jaremy's musing brings a bubble of rich laughter to her lips, "Perhaps…though that is uncharitable. I have never believed you or Ser Jarod to be feckless. I will reserve judgement on Lord Jacsen, I know him too little to be able to judge his character."
"So that you understand, Isolde and I had our full attention to marry, but her mother quickly signed writs and contracts, effectively selling her to the Naylands for her ambitions. The end result is there was nothing Isolde nor I could do, and for that she now finds herself rushed away to places unknown to answer to her new husband and a house that even her father hated. My father blames Isolde. I blame her mother. In this we differ. All of this was possible because I was too busy doing other things of lesser import. The result is a love lost and a woman forced to marry a man she didn't want to. My hesitation, as you see, results in ruin." Jaremy takes the cup from her hands. Turning his back to her, he steps back over to his bench and sits. "While my brothers and many others had the experience of being able to harden themselves in Robert's rebellion, I've had to find other ways to harden, and it appears that these costly mistakes are going to do just that. Rule, Liliana, affects the lives of many, and indecision is a form of decision. These are all things that I need to take into account. The worst of it, though, is that it's far easier to place yourself at danger before your people, though it's a foolish way of doing things."
"But if her mother signed contracts securing the marriage, then there was no true contract between her father and yours. Only a gentleman's agreement, yes? If that were not the case, this new contracts between Stonebridge and Hag's Mire would not have been possible. Agreements made by word do not hold much weight by the King's Law. And so it was, perhaps your Lord Father and the Lord of Stonebridges fault that the alliance that they wished for never came to pass." Liliana returns to the bench at which she was sitting, "While I grieve that you have lost the woman that you loved, that you might have had the chance to marry someone you did love is a rarity among the noble Houses. We are all of us pawns to the game of thrones. What is in our hearts do not matter. Do you think Lady Anais would object, if it was decided that she should marry your brother and not yourself? Of course not. She has not been sent here to find love. She has been sent to secure an alliance between her House and yours. Whichever of the brothers she is bound to matters little, if the end result is what was desired."
Liliana takes a moment, sipping her water, before she settles the glass back into her hand, "Again, you are basing all of your decisions on one bad one. Isolde Nayland is lost to you. Put that loss out of your mind and think of the future. Rushing headlong, without consulting your father, because you feel you have to act before you can get proper information, will benefit neither yourself nor this House. There is a reason why Jerold Terrick has ruled this House so well and caused his lands to prosper in his reign. He is a good man, and skilled in the ways of politics. True, that he has a heavy hand, but his hand is never intended to hurt. He wants only the best for all of his children. He has admitted to me, that he has not always been the perfect Lord, and that he does not expect perfection from his children. Only the strength to learn and grow to be the best that they can be. It is not always easy to see the love he bears us, but it is there. Deep and abiding. You should trust in that love, and trust in him. To guide you and support you, but also to teach you. If you are willing to learn."
"Oh I do, Liliana, and I'm quite willing to learn. I've spent many years learning, although recent actions would probably leave some to question whether or not I've been paying attention." He scoffs, scratching his chest quietly before he busies himself with another pull from the cup of water. "I think that Lady Anais would object only if my brother were something foul. She did come hoping to secure an arrangement for her father and there's no lie to that. She said to me once she was lucky to be arranged to a man that she thought was comely and kind, which…was rather nice to hear, but you're right. There are very many who get what they decide when it comes to politics, and sometimes it's the other side of the table that chooses the field. Lately it's come down to that. I know no other better way to say this, but I've not been fighting ever since losing Isolde to this. It's just an example of what my hesitation has cost. The playing field is treacherous, and now that my full force of family is involved in the protection of Terrick's Roost we should be fine."
"Unfortunately, people have a tendency to judge others by what they see, without trying to get to the heart of the matter. But I must disagree with you on one point. I do not believe she would object, even if she found Lord Jacsen a poor match. Banefort wants this alliance too much. And I cannot help but wonder why." A lift of Liliana's hand sets the comment aside for the time being, "You are both comely and kind, but you deserve something better." Okay, so she's not setting it completely aside. "You should have fought. You should not have taken the first offer that came across the table. There might have been better alliances to be made, ones that might have been of greater benefit to the Roost. But you were willing to accept the first offer of willing flesh across your door." That clearly irks her, "I only hope that the House truly is united in their desire to protect the Roost."
"Oh the way you paint it, Liliana, makes me feel hungry and impatient." Jaremy replies with a humored laugh escaping his lips. Sighing, he rises and moves to a nearby tree, allowing his hand to grip a low hanging branch. "It was I that suggested the match, agreeing to it. Though I was the one that lost us Stonebridge, there are good tidings in having a smart match that places our house closer to the Queen and Lord Lannister, that being access to the armada." He locks his head in the direction of the sea. "It will defend our backs from the Greyjoys while I figure this mess out."
"You are a man and a knight and a Lord of a good House. Are not such men often hungry and impatient?" Liliana's words are deadly serious, but her eyes are merry and filled with humour, as she teases her foster brother. The glass she finally lifts to her lips, sipping the water, before she sets it aside, straightening her legs, allowing the soft indoor/outdoor slipper on her feet to peek out beneath her hems, staring at her feet. "Do you ever wish to do nothing but simply sit in the meadows, barefooted, curling your toes in the grass," she offers once she finally looks back up, seeing Jaremy at the base of one of the trees, "Or wish for the freedom to climb those branches into the treehouses we played in as children?" Not that she knows for certain Jaremy actually did play in treehouses, but she most certainly did. A seemingly random question, before she returns to the conversation, "If you truly wish this alliance and you are truly happy with your choice, then I will support you, Lord Jaremy. But I hope you will understand if I am not always the meek and retiring younger sister. You are my family and this is my House, and I will always do and say what I feel is right and necessary to protect all of you and your interests. I will try to do it in a more ladylike fashion, but I will not hesitate to have an opinion and share it, if I feel it is to your benefit."
"I'm sure there are lords that will think me foolish for valuing the opinions of the people I care for. Then again, I'm sure there are lords that would think me foolish for listening to women in general. I've had a long time to observe and to listen, Lil. It's felt a lot like waiting over the years and its gained me very little as my first few steps out of the nest are likely to be costly." He looks back to her. "I approve of Anais. She is wise, she is beautiful, and I can only hope that in time that she will stand by me. These are things I cannot do much but hope to." He turns his gaze back to his long, hard stare directed at the tree line. "Jarod, Isolde, and I climbed every one of these trees. Not far from here is a frog pond where her and I spoke before she was rushed away…"
"It is never wrong, to listen to the words and counsel others offer you, so long as you filter them through your own understanding. It is easier, perhaps, sometimes, to allow the words of others to dictate all of your actions. But while they have great value and, as is the case with your father, they should be given great weight, you should not take things at second or third hand, not trust only to what has been written by the dead, or recorded in books. You must look and listen to all sides, but filter them through yourself, with ever an eye to the betterment of all, and not only your own."
But for all the seriousness of their conversation, Liliana has not lost all of her humour, "Well, I am no Isolde Nayland, but I have chased a frog or two in my day. Care you to go and see if we cannot splash our feet a little, before the cares of the world come acourting us once again?"
Something in Jaremy's face twitches as Liliana mentions Isolde's new name. The momentary facial tick rings out, quite apparent, though he glasses it over with a neutral expression but a second later.
"Let's see just what frogs remain." He says with a deflated tone to his voice, not the adventure seeking child he once was. He let's go of the branch, stepping underneath it without another glance to her, starting in the direction of the pond.
Liliana's hand reaches out, attempting to rest a hand on Jaremy's forearm, her expression sympathetic, filled with the sisterly affection she bears the heir of the Roost, "No more 'if only's', Jaremy. You have a bonny lass waiting for you when we return. And a bright future ahead. Come, let us catch frogs, splash in puddles, if any remain, get muddy, and forget our worries." And she fully intends to put all her strength and effort into bringing that smile back to her foster brother's face.