Page 014: Virtuous Shadow
Virtuous Shadow
Summary: Igara Frey is sent to see over her cousin before her wedding day.
Date: 26/07/2011
Related Logs: TBD
Igara Isolde Ryker Rygar 
Tower Hall - Tordane Tower
The entrance to the tower opens into a larger common room for receiving guests. Effort has been made to bring warmth and light to the interior, as well. Rugs have been hung from the stone walls as well as placed on the floor to bring at a welcoming ambiance. There is a large table with several chairs off to the left of the door, a cooking hearth against the back wall, and a wooden staircase that leads up. An antechamber behind the stairs is where the servants live and bed down.
July Tues 26, 288

The early afternoon has opened to give rise to other portions of the tourney and in the heat of the day, the nobles and commonfolk alike are given to relax to give themselves some relief. Retiring from the tourney with her sworn guard and Milicent not far behind, Isolde is moving about to gather a few things with the aid of Asha. Milicent sees to getting the summerwine ready, cheese and bread for those who had been attending to the Lady of Stonebridge. The platter is brought out by Asha when done and placed with care onto the main table. For her part, Isolde is standing back, sleeves rolled up as she brushes her hands together and smiles faintly. "The tourney brings such life to Stonebridge that has not been here since father's death.." Milicent has made her way closer, slowly so and the words spoken are directed at the kitchenmaid.

"Aye, that would be so. But soon, the Hall will have a proper Lord and Lady. It will be well to have the prospect of wee ones once more…" Milicent nearly glows and Isolde continues to smile, if but a little more softly. "Yes, quite so. But for now, let us just rest and eat before returning to see to the visitors."

It's not the time of day for anyone of wisdom or means to be out upon the road, the heat less stifling than positively hellish, the horses exhausted, the horsemen no less so. But the Road is a harsh mistress and will have her way with a soul, unforeseen impediments drawing out a straightforward journey into the singularly uncomfortable portions of the early afternoon.

Even in the shade of the closed carriage drawn along the way, the Lady Igara Frey is half upon a swoon, delicate creature as she is, her girl with her waving a moistened handkerchief to cool her face and neck as she reclines with one arm up over her head, a book nestled in the crook of her other arm, which she reads from in fits and starts with a distressed lack of focus made worse by every rattling jolt of the carriage. Her eyes close — just for a moment — and an hour or so later she is being revived from her slumber, the carriage stopped without the tower. She allows the coachmaster to tend to her descent, and, once she's attained the ground, she takes a moment to turn, slowly, taking in the location before stepping toward the gates, sending her girl up ahead to let the tower know of the recent arrival.

The arrival had been noted quite sooner than the girl on foot, the Maester at the rookery coming down in a trundle of foot work to find his way to the Lady below. Isolde had found her stool after partaking of the food and the sworn are beating through a find game of cards. It is something that has them softly speaking, chuckles rising from them after several hands. It is a relaxed air, that is until those trundling steps bring Isolde up from her stool, the Maester flushed and bowing upon hitting the ground floor. "M..m…m'lady." He manages to catch his breath, red in the face and exerted as he is. "Carriage arriving, colors make me assume Frey…" That makes a brow loft above a green eye before Isolde sets her needlework aside and nods her head. "That will do well, thank you. I shall have everything at ready." Milicent is waiting at the kitchen door, cleaning her hands on her apron. "Wine and water, Milicent."

Before all of this, the sworn had understood without word, rising and shelling their cards away into a pile neatly made as Asha clears up the plates from their afternoon pleasantries. The Lady moves for the door just as there comes a press of it open from the guard outside. He steps aside to allow Igara's girl to enter. A soft smile touches the Tordane's lips. "Welcome, now do tell who you precede, if you do not mind?"

Igara's girl lowers herself into an altogehter impressive courtsey, made all the more impressive by the fact that it is held for the duration of the following monologue: "Lady Tordane, it is your cousin, the Lady Igara Frey, who comes to call on you, bidden by our Lord her father to bring you his blessing and be your help and boon-companion in preparation for your felicitous marriage into the House Nayland and the Banner of Frey." Only then does she stand, while Igara herself is cooling herself from the sun in the breezeway, letting her heat-reddened cheeks resume their refined pallor.

Rygar stands straight and severe to one side of the door as the girl is shown in to announce her waiting lady. Booted ankles together, neck straight and chin high, the Nayland knight awaits Lady tordane's word to escort the noble guest inside, as is proper.

The sworn stand to either side of the door, awaiting the Lady of Stonebridge and her bidding as the girl croons through the introduction. It had been a while since one such as this had been made in there archway of Tower Hall and Isolde respects it with a followed silence after. Finally she nods her head to the girl, dipping it graciously, "Thank you." She steps to the side, giving Rygar a look for a moment, "My Lord, would you give the honor by escorting my dear Lady Cousin into my father's house?" As she offers him a dip of her head as well, she takes her skirts and steps aside, swallowing as the sworn remain at attending positions and Milicent is busy bringing fresh well water out in a pitcher.

Igara is, by all technicalities, more of an aunt to the Lady of Stonebridge than a cousin, but the lines of generation have been duly blurred by Walder Frey's seemingly unending fecundity, and so the rules of address are duly blurred to match; calling a fifteen year old girl 'dear auntie' would certainly be a surreal experience for the Lady. Igara is not a well-known or important figure in her clan, but as far as her reputation precedes her, her reputation is for a cautious observance of feminine propriety, nigh-unto saintlike. And so she keeps her eyes lowered in the breezeway, trusting in the knighthood of the man guarding the entryway to save their being alone together from scandal, but nonetheless behaving with a meek-hearted modesty that only adds to the innocent youth of her countenance. When her girl returns from making the introductions, she drapes a white cloth over the Lady Frey's hand, and it is only after this final precaution to her chastity has been seen to that she allows herself to be escorted by the Nayland knight.

Rygar nods sharply, once. "Lady," he voices in acknowledgment of the request, stepping outside the tower along with Igara's attendant. his steps are crisp and purposeful, as those of a soldier at drill or upon parade. A short bow from the waist is offered to the noble girl in white. "My Lady. The Lady Isolde bids you enter." rising again to his full height, the kngiht turns to step alongside the girl. The door is opened anew and held so to allow Igara's entrance to Tordane Tower.

When given a span of time to herself, Isolde looks to the sworn. "Please at ease and gives us some room. We will have only need of two of you. The others may wait outside the Tower." Green eyes stray to Milicent who is refreshing the platter with some berries, cheese and small sweetcakes almost like cookies. Smiling to the attention to detail, the Lady of Stonebridge smiles warmly to her trusted friend.

But her attention must be given elsewhere as the tall figure of Rygar is noted and then the smaller of Igara entering into the main hall. Stepping forward, Isolde dips a curtsey to the Lady of Frey, grasping at her skirts, "My Lady Cousin, what a surprise to have you with us. And to travel in such heat." She rises, offering her hand in greeting to the other woman, a cousin if not more. Distant blood, but still distant. "Come, I had cool water brought and some small morsels to ease our roadworn stomach." She nods her head to Rygar in thanks, eyes again redirected to Igara.

Igara dips in a deferent courtsey to the knight as they part from their brief sojourn togehter, still not meeting his eyes, nor looking to his face, nor his feet, but practicedly focusing on an unassuming patch of floor. When her hand is once more revealed from under its white curtain, she clasps her cousin's hand gently but fondly and matches her courtsey. When she stands from the courtsey she lifts her chin, looking for her cousin's eyes with her own, giving the bride-to-be a fresh, girlish smile. "My gentle cous, fair Lady of Stonebridge," she greets in a voice quiet but familiar. "Your hospitality is a balm to soothe all the travails of travel. How fine it is to see you and to be able to see you so blessed in sacred marriage."

Rygar's part in the procedure of noble etiquette fulflled, he inclines his head to Isolde, and takes two steps backward, so as not to turn his back on the ladies, before returning to his post near the door. The looming knight remains a silent sentinel.

The gentle coy natures keeps her smile warm, but Isolde studies her cousin that she is related to. A nod of her head is given, "You are too kind.." She murmurs in response to the marriage. "Come, we can speak of such celebrations once you are comfortable and your throat moistened. I know well the dust of the roads, those especially from Frey lands to Stonebridge." She gently leads Igara, looking to her. "I do hope it proved well, your travels." She intones, tilting her head to cast a curious look in the Frey Lady's direction.

Igara follows along, as docile a lamb as ever clasped hands with a cousin in gladness of greeting. Her girl goes to stand behind a chair where the refreshment is laid out, seeing to the hem of the Lady Frey's dress, lest it rise up in any manner unseemly to the Lady's reputation. "The road was rough; the sun harsh. But it is in the nature of a road to be so, and in the nature of the sun, certainly. And so I bear it no ill-will, but am glad to be at your side, gentle cous."

"It is always a joy to see to the well being of family, Lady Igara." Isolde dips her head and watches thew ay the girl dotes on her. The Lady of Stonebridge remains by herself, sleeves rolled up from her needlework yet. "Then let us wash away the memories of the road and make you comfortable." She motions and Asha is moving. "Wine or water, my dear cousin?" Asks the green eyed Lady, patiently waiting as Milicent looks ready to jump at a moments notice should they need anything else.

"Tell me, how are things with your Lord Father and the Twin Towers?" Slowly she takes her seat again, shifting her needlework.

"I should be glad for a draught of the Mother's own water, gentle cous," Igara replies. "Through which all things flourish in her greatness." This last is offered as blessing and thanksgiving from the Lady of Stonebridge's virtuous cousin. "Blessing upon blessing fall upon the Twins, dear Lady Isolde. Our noble cous the Lord Vernard has had of his wife a third child. Such a fine baby boy was never seen."

Asha is quickly moving to poor water when it is bid, but the flowering speech of Igara is noted and Isolde motions for her own glass to be filled. "Thank you, the Seven have taken many things from Tordane, but we have received just as many blessings. But your words are received in gracious thanks." The Lady of Stonebridge takes her water, sipping from it as she listens further, setting the goblet back down. The curl of her fingers lightens on it and she nods her head, a smile spreading, "How lovely. It sound as if they are both of good health than, mother and child?"

Igara takes up the water and lowers her eyes over it for a moment's further contemplation of the blessing before she drinks in a slow sip, never letting her thirst to make her swallow loudly or tip her glass back with more force than necessary, setting the goblet down between each little draw of water taken. "Oh, quite. Lady Neskara has been blessed with great constitution. She took promenade with the child not three days after its birth. A wonder to see. May Mother grant you such fortitude in her blessings."

At the newest blessing, Isolde quiets, her gaze flitting down to the water in her goblet. Catching herself she clears her throat and nods her head, "With all faith in the Seven, perhaps she will. Perhaps." She smiles a bit more warmly, though it is somewhat strained. A quick draw of breath, "How well do you know the Naylands, Lady Igara?" She queries, lifting her goblet to sip at her own water and again, never breaking eye contact with the visiting family member. "And as well…should I be preparing a room for you to stay for a while?"

Igara lowers her own voice as Isolde quiets, and she leans forward a degree or two to be more distinctly heard. "It is only proper for a girl to fear the Mother's blessing, gentle cous. But bear up— for you are a fine and healthsome Lady, and I know you will make a fine wife and mother," she offers her hand again to press Isolde's in a gesture of support. If the words of wisdom sound strange from a 15 year old girl, consider that this is her job as Isolde's Lady in Waiting, to offer moral support and manual aid in the days leading up to the wedding itself. Not to mention keep an eye on her. "My father has sent me to wait upon you in the days before your wedding, gentle cous. Where you are, I shall not be far from you," she reports, the words surely meant to be soothing and supportive, though perhaps, taken as an order given to the young girl from her father, there might be an undertone of her being a sort of guardian. "I know the Naylands well. No small number of them came to live as wards of the Twins in their youth. Though I dare say I was shocked to hear of Lady Rowenna's indiscretion," that last word whispered with a faint half-blush for merely having mentioned it.

The offer of comfort sits well with Isolde and she offers a renewed smile. A brow lofts and she finds those words odd from the younger Lady, though she comments none on it. "I am sure all will be well, but I will not deny my fears. To do so is to be in denial." The Lady of Stonebridge dips her head in thanks despite her feelings of reservation still. "Your father is kind to send you to me, I do hope you will find comfort here as well." Another shadow to her movements, they are growing in number. Another sip of water is taken and she takes meek company with a meek Lady. "The Lady Rowenna did what she felt was needed. We all must do what is right at the given time. As I will do in the coming days. And as you are doing now." The Lady lifts her green gaze to the Lady, "We can all not be as composed as you dear cousin, it is what makes your person very much needed."

"And so do not deny them, but send them on the back of a prayer and give your trust in those matters which are beyond your control to those whose nod and will is all," Igara encourages gently, pressing her cousin's hand over water at table. She does not take up any argument about Rowenna's actions here at table, with the knight present, but she looks into her cousin's eyes, if she's let. "Let us this night take vigil together, gentle cous. And I will pray for you— and we will pray together, and put your fears into the hands of Seven."

Igara is if devout if nothing else and Isolde nods her head. "I will do as I can…" The younger Lady is something of a study for the Lady of Stonebridge but she keeps this hidden. Vigil. SHe pauses and then forces a warm smile aimed across the table towards her Lady Cousin, "You are too kind, my dear cousin." SHe starts sweetly, "But you will need rest from your travels. Perhaps we shall wait for the morrow's night? I would hate to drive you to exhaustion due to your good nature." She states, giving a squeeze to Igara's hand. "It would make me happy to see you settled and comfortable."

"Very well," Igara answers, "It shall be as you wish. Your kindness and graciousness is a model to us all, my gentle cous. Tending to me even as I'm meant to be tending to you. But let me only retire together with you. I'm sure there's much I must familiarize myself with before the blessed day itself." It looks like she'll be taking her responsibility not to be parted long from the bride-to-be fairly seriously, whether from natural familiar devotion or because she's been warned to keep a close eye and make sure all goes smoothly.

Despite herself, Isolde can not hide all the shock at the request to rest with her. "I…yes of course. I am sure there is something to be done of that. There is enough room for you, your attendant can stay with Asha unless you have direct need of her." The water is brought back to her lips and drank of, hiding some of her expresion for a moment before she is quick to replace it with a warm smile. "Asha.." The girl is within ear shot and moves forward. "Have the Lady Igara's things taken to my chamber, set then against the inside wall and see to it that her own attendant shows you what will be needed to freshen for the next day." The girl dips her head and is off, several of the sworn moving after her as they exit the Tower to attend the Lady of Stonbridge's wishes. "I fear that we have no Sept…" She says gently, "The nearest is in Terrick's Roost, but should you have need of a Septon or a Septa, we do have those in attendance."

Igara is keen of eye and keen of wit, despite her outward trappings of religious daffiness, and the momentary shock, the ambigious look is not lost on her, though she only tilts her head at a tender, caring angle before straightening again to sip once more from her goblet of water, taking a berry from the spread, as well, and taking the fruit into her mouth as it were a gift in and of itself. "We will make do," she replies with a smile once her mouth is no longer full. "Tomorrow, we will make with our prayers a Sept of wheresoever we may be." Such fanciful notions, befitting a child of wide-eyed innocence. "Tell me, how fare Ser Hosteen and my countrymen in the contests?" she moves on to a possibly brighter topic.

Possibly brighter, but not so. Isolde offers her a look of apology, "My dear Cousin, Lord Hosteen took a grave fall from his horse and is said to have broken his leg. It was quite a nasty thing." She saw it happen. The Lady of Stonebridge watches the other partake of food and now that the guest has partaken, she does as well. A piece of fruit is procured and she turns it about, studying it before she places it in her mouth. It allows her to fall silent. "Though I do think he is recovering well and if you wish, we can go check on him tomorrow to make certain of it. Bring him some roses from the Tordane gardens as favors from us both."

"Ay, me," comes the exclamation from Igara, her hand finally brought back from the table and up to her heart. Well, it would be an exclamation, if it had any volume to it. But there's shock there, fear, and then a troubled relief as her cousin speaks of her countryman's recovery. "I would very much care to do so, if only your schedule will bear it. For I must aid you in seeing to all the things you must see to for your wedding day— and not be a distraction to you, my gentle cous. But if there is a moment to spare, if we may visit the good Ser, I should be greatly relieved to see him recovering."

"Then we shall go on the morrow. Then we can tour the tourney grounds and introduce you to those you have not met yet." Isolde prompts, a faint smile as she smooths her skirts into place. "As for regards of wedding planning…I had thought to merely have it in the gardens. A small attendance. I am not one for fanfare. The Seven see even the modest celebrations." She smiles gently and lets out a breath, the sworn entering with a few of Igara's things finally, carrying them towards the stairs as Asha leads. "I have not really given the wedding much thought than that…nor what would be my gown.." She offers a faint smile, "is that an odd thing?"

The stairs echo with the sound of heavy boots falling as someone descends. Isolde would probably recognize who it is. But only a few moments later, Ser Ryker arrives on the base floor of the tower and looks to Isolde and smiles. Annnd company? The man lofts his brow and angles his way over towards them. "Lady Isolde," he greets warmly.

"Your modesty and thrift becomes you, gentle cous," Igara smiles brightly. "But leave it to me. We will look through your gowns tonight, and the pieces I have brought with me, and we will put together a fine dress, and festoon the garden in all in ribbons," she beams. "It will be such a gay affair, and all the more beautiful for its simplicity," When another man enters the room, she restrains her enthusiasm to that which is strictly proper, folding her hands in her lap and averting her eyes from his, but still greeting him, "Ser Ryker," with a certain meek assuredness— she knows him. He might well know her, too, as one of Frey's endless supply of daughters the one selected to come down and act to stand in for the Nayland girl who's gone AWOL. The most proper and virtuous of the bunch, as if to make up for the deficit in the family's supply of feminine restraint. It may have been a while since he's seen her, in person, of course.

Isolde is going to have to get used to the sudden mood changes of her cousin in the presence of men of all kinds. Eyes lift towards the stairs as Ryker makes his appearance. A smile is offered to her husband to be and she gives a swift look to Igara. "My Lord, forgive me. This is my good cousin Lady Igara. She has been sent to me to watch over me til we are wed…quite the surprise and blessing." She looks to her cousin, "Do you have mind if the Lord joins us?"

Milicent is moving, bringing wine already for Ryker as she has been eavesdropping on the two ladies. "Ser.." She offers to him, giving the two ladies a look of curiousity before turning to attend the kitchen for the evening meal.

So she knows him? Well consdering the words being bandied about with the rumors, its no surprise. The man greets the young woman with a nod. Whatever conversation he seems to have stumbled in on seems to leave the future Lord of Stonebridge looking questioningly to his wife-to-be. The introduction doesn't seem to change his expression, though. "Ah. I'd her some rumblings about such a guest." A glance to her and he nods again. "Lady Igara." Then he takes the goblet with a quick thanks to milicent before looking back to Isolde: "Our overlord, as it were? Hope she does not take offense at whispered conversations. We still have much to discuss privately before the wedding." There's a glance to Igara as if inviting her to respond.

"No, gentle cous," Igara answers, words mild as the flit of a butterfly's wing. Does she see the glance sent her way? How can she? For she sits with downcast eye, long lashes hiding the hazel irises from view, the picture of modesty as a man comes to the table. "No, Ser Ryker," she returns to the second question posed to her. For a moment it looks like 'Yes, sir,' and 'No, sir,' are the only things she knows how to say to a man. Which is all fine and well for most gentlemen's tastes, but she does elaborate. "I would not think to keep her from you, Ser Ryker. How fine a blessing will be your union to one another."

In such a way, of course, she displays her child-like eloquence while functionally adding nothing more than a 'yes, sir,' or a 'no, sir,' to the conversation.

"My Lady cousin is not to leave my side," Isolde explains. "I will see to her and what she needs while here and she will likewise attend to me and my virtue. So lest you forget it, you would do best to allow the Lady in our presence at least in eyesight." Otherwise words might fly. Shadow, thy name be Igara. The Lady of Stonebridge offers her cousin a gentle smile and reaches out her hand. "Worry not, Lord Ryker is an easy man to look on, if he is to soon call you cousin too, it may do you well to look upwards? No?"

Ryker watches the young woman gives her replies as if he is sizing her up for something. Its not the way a man might eye a woman for desire. More the look given as an assesment of character. Perhaps he is prone to snap judgments. "I see." He slides his eyes then to Isolde. "Attend as needed, but when there are to be private matters, I will require them to be private." There's a Look to indicate that maybe some private things have already been discussed that need not find other ears. "Eyesight will be fine, as has Milicent's taking of direction." The last words, though, have him weighing his eyes once more on Igara as he sips the goblet.

Igara is only too glad to set her hand in her cousin's once again, giving it a tender press and even seeming to try to do that which her cousin suggests, wide witchhazel eyes flickering into view like a candlewick catching fire, only to widen with alarm to find Ryker's eyes returning the favor, and swiftly flicker down again. She smiles, though, and holds her cousin's hand happily enough. "I will leave the looking-upon of the good Ser Ryker to his bride," she offers with a cheerful pitch to her gently posited words. "I will be vigilant never to be in the way of the things which must get done, but that I am at your service, gentle Lady Isolde."

There is a faint musing smile at Igara's reaction and she holds to her cousin's hand gently. Isolde casts a look up at Ryker with a shake of her head before her attention is given back to her cousin. "As I am in yours, dear cousin. You are a guest in this hall and you must feel comfortable here. But the floor can not be so interesting all of the time or you will never be able to walk about." She teases gently and squeezes Igara's hand. She smiles warmly, "When we do speak, Lord Ryker, we can speak in good faith and in eyesight." She promises more for Igara than anyone else.

Ryker doesn't quite seem to know what to make of the girl that keeps shying away from him. There's wariness there, but the rest of his expression just looks blank. He just looks between the two females for a moment. "Lady Isolde may speak for me for now on this matter. But it owuld also be wise for her to keep in mind of what I encourage in her and what may not be encouraged from others." He glances to Izzy and dips his head. "If you'll excuse me. I do not mean to interrupt." He lifts his goblet to the woman before sipping once more, setting it down, and moving off for the door. "Thank you for the wine, Milicent," he calls.

Igara must be nurturing either a nascent ESP or else a keen use of her peripheral vision, for, even with her eyes downcast, she returns her cousin's smile with one of her own, "I will be most comfortable wheresoever I be, be it that only I am tending to you," she pledges to her cousin, a warmly stated sentiment, but quiet. "I thank you, Ser Ryker. It will be a signal blessing upon my days to be able to wait upon the Lady my Cousin upon her wedding day. What a fine day it will be."

GIving Ryker a look as he goes to take his leave, Isolde can not help but warm, "I have not a sister, it would do me well to know that I have one in heart that day." She offers Igara gently and then grips her hand firmly. She releases to round the table. "Come, let us retire to my chamber. Milicent can bring us water and food there." It will allow Ryker to do what he needs to do. "And we can begin looking at dresses..the time comes swiftly." She gives Ryker a look with that statement, her head dipping down before she moves to join her Lady Cousin's side, standing there to wait for her to rise.

Igara stands as she is bidden, and gives Ser Ryker a courtly courtsey, somehow or other managing to triangulate the angle at which to do so without spying overmuch upon the fellow. "Let us do so, gentle cous," she assents with a smile, finally lifting her eyes to Isolde once Ryker is away, coming out like te sun from behind a cloud. "I have some fine cape collars I've brought with me, they make any dress seem brand new, and so very fetching, without the cost of a new dress itself." These words, the very spirit of thrifty and tight home economy— another stunning asset in any girl.

"Then we will see to those collars…" Milicent is given a look, "Please, water and some morsels to my chamber when you find the time. Send Asha up as well so that she might aid us in the perusal of the dresses." Turning back to her cousin, Isolde takes her skirts and heads for the stairs. "We have a lovely view of a portion of the tourney grounds and the northern flood fields from my room, if we find that the celebration overwhelms us, we can take respite here." All in all, the Lady would rather stay within the tower. "I am sorry for how small our Hall is, but it serves it's purpose."

"I assure you I find no fault whatsoever with the hall, gentle cous," Igara answers brightly. "It is as charming a place as I know. And your kind hospitality furnishes it better than all the riches the mountains hold in store could do." She follows along, Isolde's very shadow, indeed. "Oh, how well, to be able to stay within, where it is cool, and still to see and hear the games," she adds.

A turn of her head back down as they ascend the stairs. "I am glad. We shall stay as long as you like. But we should see to the Lords of Frey and bring them favors. Allow them to see you." Isolde leads the rest of the way, musing over what brought such a chaperone to her. But she does not shirk her cousin. She steps aside of her door and motions the lady in, "So starts a sisterhood..I am glad of it. This Hall needs more light in it.." It is a compliment and within their refreshments wait and likewise the task of picking the dress for that special day that Isolde is so tense about.