Page 526: United We Stand
United We Stand
Summary: Divided We Fall… Bastien summons Aemy to explain the terms of the betrothal.
Date: 31/December/2012
Related Logs: Ashwood/Erenford Betrothal
Aemy Bastien 
Gardens - Tanglewood Manor
Much of these gardens remain largely untouched, since the construction of the Keep; enclosed now by the towering wall and overlooked by the rear of the building. Trees yet linger, old and strong with sprawling boughs and unruly roots in places. The ground remains uneven, as well as set in a lazy slope, with little rocky outcroppings dotting the lush grass here and there. The main body of the lawn is well enough tended.. but these ancient guardians of foliage and flora lend the impression of being far, far removed from the troubles of the Riverlands. Further off toward the east, led to by a neat path along the top of the hill, a rather less wild expanse of growth can be discerned through the trees.
Monday, December 31, 289

The gardens, perhaps one of the few places that retains its tranquility in the Tanglewood Manor these days. Aemy has been called here, rather suddenly, by Ashwood's new head of household, Lord Bastien. The large man is dressed plainly, a tunic with an overstretching chain shirt and simply leather pants that seem to have seen their share of hiking in the woods. Despite the simplicity of his dress, the man holds himself like a noble, and his reputation of being stoic and cold seems to be proven in reality with the emotionless stare that he grants to everything residing in the garden.

Word has reached the Herons of the absence of the Lord of Highfield and while Kalira and Young Lord Brennart have already set a few things in motion, Aemy Erenford had also volunteered to do her part. A brief stopover in Highfield only to find out that Lord Daryl was currently indisposed, probably doing the very thing she had planned, regarding assisting in the search for the missing Lord and Lady. With a summons in hand, via a rolled parchment, probably, the Erenford has dressed somewhat somberly, given the occasion and the state of affairs at the keep currently. Her dress is dark green wool, a muted tone, the vibrancy of her golden hair gathered at the nape of her neck, the tumultuous curls threatening their hold.
Carefully, her expression is schooled into one of polite respect, though it is no hardship for that is exactly how she is feeling at the moment. With a healthy dose of feeling intimidated. Moving with an easy grace, poised and proper, she arrives with a handmaid and three guards. The trio remain a polite distance away, the alertness in their posture unmistakable. Closing the distance, she finally greets the nobleman with a proper and deep curtsy, "My Lord Ashwood, here at your wishes."

As the Lady and her entourage enter into the gardens and come into view of the new Lord of the Tanglewood Manor, it becomes visible that he has a parchment of paper residing in his hand. When Lady Aemy draws near, Bastien's guards give her a brief stare before going back to staring at what few beauties that the garden has to offer. They seem to know better than to stare at nobles who are having a conversation.
Bastien moves forward and bows his head respectfully towards the Lady and finally speaks, his voice a low and serious tone that matches his appearance. "Lady Aemy. It begreaves me to inform you that this visit will likely not be a pleasurable one." His words are measured, careful, and from the looks of it, somewhat planned. Without another word, he offers forward the parchment that resides in his hand. The thing looks to be of the same stock that the Lord Erenford uses in his messages. It has been crumpled and straightened out at least once.

Lord Aleister,

While we welcome the proposal of a union between House Erenford and House Ashwood we are troubled by the rumors that have spread due to the actions, acknowledged and speculative, of your kinsman Lord Daryl. Several points give us pause, and these points include - but are not limited to:

The lack of respect toward Lady Aemy and, accordingly, her reputation in regard to the incident at Terrick's Roost where he falsely accused one of Lady Aemy's guards of stabbing him.

Blatant talk of practicing for a son before the wedding and the accompanying attempts to remove her from the protection of her guards for the purpose of deflowering her in advance of their nuptials.

These insults, to Lady Aemy and to our House, make the match with your kinsman both dubious and questionable. I was willing to overlook the disrespect that he gave myself and my lady wife at our wedding - the inappropriate fondling of Lady Aemy's leg beneath the banquet table - but the rest has gone too far.

House Erenford welcomes, still, a union with House Ashwood. However, Lord Daryl will not be part of said union. We welcome and invite a dialogue to discuss other avenues.

A brief stare from the guards is easily overlooked, the attention of the Erenford having been on the current Lord of the Tanglewood Manor. Guards have been part of her life for the whole of it, so they are sometimes overlooked. This is one of those times. Straightening from her curtsy, she smiles at the bow of his head, though that is the only emotion she shows, preferring to follow his example and adhere to the formality. Slowly, the smile fades at his foreboding words.
Somehow the parchment is necessary, Aemy realizes that, though her hesitance in taking it up is apparent. Though with a stiffly formal nod, she reaches for it, her hand closing around the parchment before she lifts her eyes to regard him a moment.
Opening it, she begins reading down the page… the words grim, her expression mirroring them.
Once the message has been read, Aemy carefully rolls it back up, her expression carefully neutral as she offers it back to him. "I see.." Though in truth it is perhaps obvious she does not see at all. "The betrothal was arranged by my Lord Cousin."

Taking the parchment back when she offers it forth, Bastien tucks it away beneath his belt and clasps his hands behind his back. "I have already sent Lord Brennart a reply, and he has responded in kind. Tell me, Lady Aemy, what do you think of my cousin, Lord Daryl?" The large man's inquisitive words carry very little to no emotion to them, his stoicism infecting every little thing that he does. Turning away from her, he walks over to the nearest tree and rests his back against it, waiting for her response.

With the parchment in question safely out of sight, Aemy studies him a moment. His knack for showing little if no emotion is admirable. Wishing right about now she could do the same, she takes a deep and bracing breath. Her expression is perhaps a little guarded, nothing like the stoicism he displays with his whole demeanor. "I believe Lord Daryl to be an honorable man, if somewhat.. misguided in some of his actions. He is very passionate and anyone who would try to tame that would be doing a terrible disservice to the man. It is part of who he is. Would you wish him to be meek and even tempered when so clearly that is not whom and what he is?"

"I do not wish it of him." His eyes linger upon the ground momentarily, before raising to meet her own as he completes the thought, "I demand it of him." Her response draws very little compassion from the man as he pushes himself away from the tree and takes a step towards her. "Lord Daryl's actions have put a union between our families at risk, and I will not idly stand by while he tarnishes what my brother has worked so hard to create." Something finally starts to slip through the man's cold demeanor. Something hot and broiling beneath the surface. "He will not be made meek, you need not worry of that. You do not neuter a fighting dog to make it behave."
Lifting the note back from behind his belt, he brings it up and shakes it slightly. "This is something my brother, nor I should never have recieved. We are nobility, all of us, and as such it is our responsibility to act the part. He will be taught, and until he learns, he will not be able to call himself a Noble." The note is removed as quickly as it was brought up, and after a moment of thought, he shakes his head. "Your marriage to Lord Daryl has not been called off, I've made sure of that. It has simply been postponed. I felt that you should be aware, before the news came to you through disjointed rumors."

"No." The denial is swift and immediate. The fire burning in the Erenfords eyes is adamantly set on refusal. "Stripped of his title? His very birthright?" Whether the union were at risk or not was the issue of course, though at the moment, once she has taken a moment to understand what he is intending, Aemy clasps her hands together, her training as a proper noblewoman coming into play. "Your forewarning is appreciated, as is your mercy on him. I do wish for the marriage to continue on and I am grateful that you see the worth in it to ensure the event. I apologize for my earlier reaction, I have no excuses, nor would I attempt to make any. All I can do is beg your forgiveness and hope in the future you do not judge me by my outburst."
It is called swallowing crow and it tastes simply awful, though the fire is still in her eyes, her grace and demeanor belie it. "That Lord Daryl and I are able to represent our houses with this union means much to me, as it has been my whole training and intention in life to make use of myself for the good of my family. I thank you, again, for the opportunity and.. lenience you have shown."

Her outburst, while still an outburst, is to be expected. The stripping of noble title isn't exactly a common thing afterall, is it? "He will have his chance at redemption. When you, Lord Brennart, and myself all unanimously agree that he is worthy, shall his previous birthrights be granted back upon him." With that, the large man moves slightly closer and places a hand upon her shoulder. His voice lowers, and something a bit more…human, shines through? "I know I am not being lenient, you needn't coat your words in honey. I will return him to you, not a broken Noble, but instead an honorable man." With that, he steps away and bows his head one last time in respect of the Lady. "I believe our conversation is now at an end. If you will excuse me, I have business to attend to."

With the permission to be frank, Aemy takes it. Lifting her chin, the fire burns bright and clear in her blue eyes and the defiance remains there, just barely held in check. "It is no little thing after all. You would humiliate him only to build him back into the man you want him to be, or think he should be? I disagree. Were it up to me, then I would agree right here and right now that he is worthy to be husband to any noblewoman who was lucky enough to be granted the betrothal. Already, I believe him to have the best of intentions with his actions, not only has he helped to rescue my cousin Lady Hafwen, he has selflessly put his own life on the line for others more often than not. Were you wishing for me to acquiesce to your decision, then might I say while I do not agree, I will respect and abide your decision and that of my cousin. Thank you, both for your time and the relaying of your decision to me on a personal level." With another curtsy, she will not linger, straightening and turning, head held high and a graceful bearing as she leaves.