|Summary:||Read between the lines, the chink in the relations starts.|
With the summons finding it's way to Tower Hall, Lady Valda had answered it with a raven of her own and set out the next day to Terrick's Roost, Isolde with her. Arriving, the widow and her daughter were settled into guest rooms within the massive halls of the Terrick's home. Leaving Isolde to once again mingle with childhood friends, Valda walks the halls for the throne room, her elegant dress shifting about her legs, the retainer leading the way.
The door to the throne room creaks open and Valda steps within the stone made room, her footsteps echoing as the retainer guides her further within, the room all but empty, save the man who had called upon her. Drifting towards Jerold, the Lady dips into a curtsey, "My Lord, as always your hospitality is warm and welcoming." She offers a practiced smile as she rises.
Lord Ser Jerold Terrick is standing as she enters, near the throne, but not upon it. Turning to face his guest, Jerold offer the short dip of his head expected of an overlord to their noble vassal. "My Lady. I am glad you find it so. Rise and approach."
At his bidding, the retainer turns to go and the Lady Valda steps forward, closer to the throne and where he stands. As the door echoes it's sound of closing, leaving them alone, the widow looks expectantly. "Your summoms was not expected but not a surprise. What is it you wished to speak of, my Lord?" She asks of him, blue eyes watching his movements and his manners, her own hands lowering to clasp before her.
Valda's retainer departs, though two of Jerold's attendants can be seen standing against the walls, and preventing total privacy. "I wish to bid you welcome in your good husband's memory, and to inquire after the planned union between our houses. How fares your daughter, Lady?" Jerold begins the steps down from the throne level to the ground upon which Valda stands.
"Thank you, my Lord." Valda pauses her lips parting, "She is well…she is with Lucienne at present." the Lady remarks and then shifts, turning to watch him fully. "Has the time come already for such matters to be discussed? It seems to have vanished, the time." She says in a conversational tone.
Lord Jerold's eyes tick subtly more narrow, but his expression otherwise remains composed. "Lucienne is fond of the young Lady, as are many within my house." A drawn breath precedes his next words. "Jaremy, my eldest and heir, is soon to be knighted. His single-minded devotion to that goal has been exemplary, but with that obligation met, he shall soon be ready to ride to Stonebridge, and claim the hand that has been promised him. This meets with my Lady's approval, I trust?"
"My daughter is very at home here, it is why I have allowed her to visit without me whike I attend business." Valda says and she presses her hands tightly together. "I realize that the time will come for your son to begin his duty to his House, but Tordane has need to stand. Isolde is not yet ready. I have things to teach her yet." She says easily. "She still has the fear a young Lady thrust into her situation would."
"Then let her fears be eased, Lady," Jerold returns to Valda's demurral. "I will send my son and a number of Terrick retainers to escort you both hom, when your visit is finished. If my Lady does not object, they may remain in your house awhile to see that your daughter is given every comfort in mastering her fear of this situation."
"My Lord, your offer is kind. But my daughter needs to find her own strength, not a man's. She will only then be ready for a husband. And forgive me, but your son is yet young and wide eyed. His gaze turned to hopes that his duty will keep him from." Valda stops and dips her head, "They are not ready yet. My Lord.."
"Her own strength," Jerold echoes, with a slow nod, his tone ever so slightly turned toward skeptical. "Very well," he allows, not so discourteous as to call Valda a liar. "I have had troubling reports that your eastern border is being encroached upon, Lady Valda. Know that should you or your daughter find yourselves pressed, I will not be slow to dispatch my knights and levies to the defense of my old friend's heirs."
Her chin lifts slowly, "Reports are false. My Lord." She offers a faint smile, "But your offer is welcomed and gracious." She dips her head again to show deference. She rises slowly, smoothing her skirts. "What have these 'reports' said, my Lord?" A curious brow lofting over a sharp blue eye, studying him as his posture and mannerisms have changed.
"My Lady seems quite sure of that," the Lord notes, evenly. "Reports were that Nayland spies have crossed the stone bridge," Jerold returns. "The mere threat of such was enough that I may send riders to secure the lands under my protection." Stilling his steps still several steps above the ground floor upon which Valda stands, the Lord of the Roost looks down on the Lady of Tordane Tower. "I will not suffer the Harpy banner to cross your bridge, Lady. You may rest certain of that."
As he makes that poignant set of his steps, she lifts her chin to look up at his now imposing figure. "My Lord? Spies?" She hesitates, "They sent and emissary at my behest. I had to make certain they respected the borders of my late husband's lands. There is an understanding, My Lord and they do not breech the Tordane lands." She says, her hands curling into her skirts.
"Be sure they send no more, Lady," Jerold voices in return. "The Naylands are not to be trusted. Your Lord husband knew that well. Turning to ascend the steps again, upon reaching the top, Jerold Terrick turns about and seats himself on the Four Eagles throne. "Has my lady anything to discuss?"
There is just subtle indirect words and Lady Valda pauses, "So this is what my summons was for, my Lord? My meeting with the Naylands to speak of borders? Does my husand's liege-lord not trust me so to deal with my own borders?" She asks him. A dark brow lifts again and now that he sits, his position is again reinforced while he rests in his throne.
"We have spoken of the union between our houses," Jerold points out, plainly. "I trust in the word of my vassals, Lady Valda. Just as you may trust in the readiness of me and mine to protect those very borders you and the Naylands spoke over."
A breath is drawn and Valda dips her bow quickly. "My Lord. Of course." She says distinctly. "Your Lord is thoughtful. The borders are safe." She promises before rising. "At your leave?" She asks of him, "I have yet to see to everything from our arrival and I would like to do so before the evening repast is had." She waits, patiently.
"You have my leave, Lady Tordane," the Lord of the Roost voices with a nod of his head and motion of his right hand.
Drawing up, Valda dips her head and turns, moving for the exit. Her walk is slow but as soon as she makes it out, it is brisk and headed for the quarters. Preparations neede to be made. Faintly veiled threats and she no longer felt comfort in these halls. Blue eyes darken as servants bow in her wake and she pays them no mind.