|Wheels in Motion|
|Summary:||Another Nayland meeting on what to do about the Charltons.|
|Related Logs:||Under The Mistletoe and The Maiden Trapped in the Tower|
|Secluded Room — Tordane Tower|
|Only four chairs.|
|Weds Jun 06, 289|
One of the more secluded rooms within Tordane Tower has been set aside for the curtly called meeting. A quartet of chairs are prepared, but the common niceties of cups and drinks have been forgone. The Sheriff of Stonebridge, his countenance as dour as ever- perhaps even a touch moreso- awaits the arrival of the others, with hands clasped at the small of his back.
Riordan arrives, looking a bit better then he has in the past few days. His hands are a little shaky, and there's a cough that comes from him every now and again. But the shadows under his eyes have faded a bit, and the palor of his skin is a bit better. So, he's recovering. "Ser Cousin," he greets Rygar, simply, moving to take a seat without further word.
The dark brush of sleeplessness under Roslyn's eyes have not faded, though it is made remarkably better by the flush that a hot bath brings to her skin. Bathing often lately, it is no surprise that her hair is damp where she slips into the room, her clothing soft and tended towards comfort rather than any showiness. She takes a seat by Riordan, murmuring quietly to both cousin and brother, "I am sorry, though I do not seem to be late."
Not long after returning indoors from the parapet favored by a few residents, Valda receives word of an urgent meeting called by Rygar. Without giving the servant a response, she alters course for the designated room. Unsurprisingly, she arrives nearly on Riordan's heels. "Sheriff," she offers with a respectful dip of her head as she makes her way inside to choose a seat.
Coming fresh from dinner, and looking splendid as usual is Rutger. There's a glance to the Regent as he comes in behind Valda, before he is looking back over towards Rygar with a brief raise of his brow, as he moves to find a place to stand, or so it seems. "Coz." the easy familiarity with the Sheriff of Stonebridge given, despite what tension might be waiting in the air.
"Ser, my Lady," are the words that Rygar greets Riordan and Valda with upon their entry. His chilly regard fixes on Roslyn, to whom the stern knight voices, "Lady Roslyn, I had not expected you." His eye goes from Roslyn to Riordan again briefly, but Rutger's arrival spares the regent further word or regard. "Ser. Be seated, all, I wish to raise the subject of the Charlton knights and Armsmen within the town, a matter most dire." It seems the Sheriff intends to be the one keeping his feet.
Riordan greets each person in turn, warmly in the case of his siblings, and politely in Valda's. He then simply meets Rygar's regard evenly when the matter of Roslyn's presence comes up, but his only response is to cover her hand with his. Otherwise, he remains silent, even when the point of the meeting is brought forward. He nods his head, but keeps his peace for now, looking to the others when they choose to speak.
When Roslyn enters, Valda glances to Riordan with a slightly lifted eyebrow, then to Rygar as her face smoothes once more. The meeting's official opening has the Castellan nodding once. "It seems the harlot is making her move. Sheriff, what is the state of our forces as opposed to theirs?"
Rutger frowns for a moment as he looks back towards his Cousin. "Ah, yes." the Lord heir (for now) of the Mire states. "Them" A shake of his head as his arms clasp behind his back. "I was hoping they would be gone, once Ser Aleister had received his wife..I take it they still linger in the Inn?" And there eyes slide over towards Riordan and then to Roslyn, as a brow raises briefly. "Do we have accurate numbers as well..I heard rumors.."
"There are many things lately that we have not expected, haven't there been?" Roslyn suggests quietly, polite for all that she meets Rygar's regard with an even look of her own. She does not flinch or cry, despite it all. "The Lady Cherise was hit often at the hands of the bandits. It could be that they are wishing for her to recover before moving her, though perhaps we may ask his men to leave."
"The best estimates are a dozen knights, and as many Armsmen, with full arms and armor," Rygar recounts of the Charlton numbers. "By conventional reasoning, this is a sufficient force to match or overwhelm the garrison of Stonebridge, which is not an accidental calculation. However, they have erred greatly in conceding the initiative through inaction." Rygar draws a level breath, and states, "Their presence and comportment are built upon the presumption that we cannot or will not move against them. If the Lord Regent wishes to be courteous he may order them to leave, although I recommend moving against them directly. Keegan Charlton's saber-rattling will shame his house should it cost him half of his strength taken."
"And what if this move is simply an attempt to get us to act?" Riordan voices, finally, quietly. "If Charlton had wanted to take Stonebridge by force, why did they not do so when most of the garrison was out in the field looking for the women? Why wait till we have not only the combined force of Stonebridge and the Mire here, but also those protecting the ladies who remain as guests within the Tower?" He doesn't propose an action just yet, nor does he comment on one. He merely seems content to put these questions into the wind.
Roslyn's response that this could be something as innocuous as waiting for Cherise to recover is met with a flat look by Valda, who then summarily mentally dismisses the girl. "Lord Regent, my thoughts are along the same lines. I am not convinced this bandit attack was not planned by someone with power — likely, someone with title."
"I see it as a bold and bloody move, if you were to ask me." Rutger says, as he nods in agreement to Rygar. "I can understand, that one man would be looking for his wife, but For all of them to be in camped at the Crossing, while we were off at the forward camp? No, He is challenging our strength." A sniff there, before he is releasing his hands and crossing them over his chest. "We should show them our mettle. And force them out." But, Rutger is not for kindness after this bit of banditry. "I'd say burn down the crane with them in it. Bar the doors." There, Murder.
A glance is given over towards Riordan and he is raising a brow. "Then simply, we call his bluff. What Lord Keegan, and by proxy Ser Aleister are doing is challenging our right and hold on this town. His men must go, if he wishes to wait then he and a guard and squire can wait. The roads are safe enough between here and Hollyholt without them having to worry." A pause there as he looks back towards Rygar. "I find it no coincidence in this move, followed by the rumors of Lord Keegan being here with his chair.."
A glance to Valda and Rutger chuckles. "I don't think that they would plan an attack and then beat the Lady Cherise about. Aleister is a right bastard as Pyke proved, but I doubt he would endanger his wife.."
"To make it known among the peasantry that they are more powerful in Stonebridge than we, Ser," Rygar supplies. "They bar entry to the inn to those not of their ranks, and place a strong presence within our lands. Yet Keegan Charlton is wary of action. He wishes to prevail bloodlessly, and thus seeks to overawe any response. The plain fact is, Lord Regent, that House Charlton has aligned with our enemy, and made themselves our enemy through deed and intent. They have erred in delivering half their strength into our hands, and failure to treat them as an enemy would cost our cause dearly." In the black and white logic of Rygar, the expected course is clear.
"What do we lose by asking them to leave, however? We do not lose the ability to burn them out. We only show ourselves civilized to the Lord Paramount, that we do not act on every whim of violence that we always have, us Naylands," Roslyn says slowly, a hint of dryness where she imitates public perception.
"I do not suggest we do not ask them to leave in force, however," she adds, quietly.
"Of course he would endanger her," Valda notes to Rutger without hesitation. "Or mayhaps the bandits became overly excited with their temporary power. It is irrelevant. We should go through the motions. First, we ask them to leave. When they do not, we act with force. We must observe the proprieties. This also allows time for our allies to send men and keep them on the outskirts in case they are needed."
"I've no intention to make it seem as if our House is the agressors here. The battle now, as you pointed out to me some time ago, Ser Cousin, is a different one altogether." Riordan looks to each person in turn, before he says, "Besides which, we have a piece on the board that they do not. The Lady Alys, Lord Keegan's daughter, is my guest in the Tower." He let's that hang there for a minute, before adding, "And let them think of that as they will." He pauses then, before quietly adding, "I've a mind to do something along the lines of what my Lord Brother suggests. Have someone, with no ties to us, start a fire. But do not bar the doors. Rather, simply take away their place of lodging. After making sure all such other places are unavailable to them, of course." Shrugging his shoulders, he says, "Then, we apologize that such a thing has happened, and offer to help see them on their way. If they persist in staying, we can make more agressive overtures. The point however, is that they must be seen as the agressor. And then we've no apology to make when we crush them. If such becomes necessary."
A hint of a frown catches at the corners of her lips as Roslyn glances from one brother to the next, shaking her head. Quietly but firmly, she replies, "You would light fire to an inn that brings us money? It pays its taxes, it generates revenue. And what of its owner afterwards? Or the buildings next to it? This is not a good plan."
"What we would lose," Rygar notes plainly, "Is the military advantage. Escorting them out of Stonebridge simply returns two dozen fighting men to an enemy of our house. Charlton has committed a grave error in this maneuver, my cousins: we have the ability here to end any aggression quickly and decisively, at a minimum loss of life. With so great a number of his vassals held in our power, Keegan Charlton loses the chivalric advantage. He loses the advantage of Armsmen. Should we shame his fighting men and deliver them back to Keegan Charlton, what do you imagine shall happen, Sers?" A sharp shake of the head. "Sers, I say directly: this provocation must be answered sharply and with authority. It must be made plain that sending warriors against Stonebridge shall not be suffered. Let them name us the aggressor. They have made a grave error in conceding the initiative in this: it would an even greater error to permit such a rare blunder to pass untaken."
"Why burn the inn? Even if naught can be proven, it would too obviously point back to us. In fact, they could start it themselves and it would be assumed we were behind the event." Valda shakes her head firmly. "Furthermore, removing their official lodging will only put the harlot in a position to be a generous hostess and invite them to her camp. We wish to do nothing to make her look like anything better than the half-penny whore she is, do we?" There is no venom in her tone; rather, she seems perfectly calm, her gaze moving from Riordan to Rutger, then to Rygar. "Make it clear bringing such a large force is considered an act of aggression on their part. Give them a day to leave. If they do not, show them we are not to be trifled with. In the meantime, I presume our allies have been informed of this move?"
"I doubt the Erenfords will come down to aid us in this. If anything we would need to worry about the small force at Stonecamp perhaps looking to help their comrades." And there Rutger pauses for a moment. "Why do we allow the Lady Danae to keep her camp outside our fine town anyway? We should have rooted them out as well." Rutger notes before he looks back towards Riordan. A shake of his head there. " Ser. He is challenging you and has placed in our township more than half of the armed men we can field. You may state the Levies, but they will not be as well armed or trained as house hold men and knights." Rutger notes. "And if we are to burn one of our inns, I would rather us take some of his men with us. Perhaps bar one of the doors and do it in the dead of night. Sleeping, an accident, but we cannot let his force simply walk out. That too will make us look weak."
A glance is given to Rygar. "We would not be the aggressors in this, I believe. The move on the board has already been made." As to Roslyn's point. Rutger is not going to comment.
"Agreed." kill em and be done with it. "You Forget, brother. It was on Pyke that the Charlton waited till we were all bloodied before coming to join us. When we needed them the most-they did not come. ONly when it seemed we were able to die without him pushing the knife-did he enter." Of course this is Rutger's view of the bloody keep.
"I forget little, brother," Riordan says to Rutger, quietly. "As I have not forgotten how each of you have, in the past, cautioned me against acting without thought or consideration of the consequences." He lets that hang for a moment, before saying, "However, if your collective advice is to make it clear, first by word, and then by deed of arms, that they are not welcome in Stonebridge, then I will do so. I can use the fact that Ser Aliester sat back like a coward when we were rescuing his wife." He looks to each, seeking their consent in this plan.
Rygar restates, "I say again, Ser, giving them warning to prepare could cost them and us more in blood. They have provoked us already. They have delivered two dozen fighting men- a dozen of them gentlemen- into our power, being fed and watered by our smallfolk. I say that if you give me consent, I shall muster the men of this holding, and take them unawares, in their beds. Some few may die, but the worst shall be spared. Or," he adds, after a long moment, "Do not give me permission, if that is your choice. I am prepared to remove this threat and capture the Charlton strength, for holding against Keegan's compliance, or for ransom. I am willing to do so on my own authority, if it is your wish to deny formal knowledge."
"Do we act against the Charlton's and lose Stonebridge for it if the Lord Paramount decides that the Lady Danae's claim holds? This would weigh the scales, no matter how we go about it," Roslyn replies, almost directly to Rygar's statements of action.
"If we do this, ser," Valda states, looking at Rygar. "Then I would like to capitalize on the momentum by continuing through the harlot's camp as well. Ser Rutger is right to state we have suffered her growing presence just outside Stonebridge for far too long. Much and more can happen in the confusion of battle. A terrible shame and tragedy that while our men were pursuing some of the Charlton men-at-arms, Danae happened to be felled in the mayhem of battle at night. Yet life will move on. Far more pleasantly.
Riordan falls silent as the debate continues apace, and he frowns thoughtfully. For now, he keeps his peace once more, his quiet listening broken only by the occassional coughs that rack his body.
"I say do it." Rutger replies there as his arms fold over his chest. "And catch them all sleeping. Have men outside to catch those that would escape and put them to the sword. I Would see blood." But that is his view. A glance is given over towards his sister. "It should prove to Lord Tully that we shall not be fucked with.." A pause there before he glances to Riordan. "We can indeed, end this now." As for the bit about Danae there's a frown. "I would say remove her, but not kill her-I believe that would make us look more poorly, than dealing with a threat to our sovereignty."
"I will not hold out hope for Hoster Tully's goodwill, nor would I advise holding back a decisive blow for fear of his ill will," Rygar opines. "If the Charlton's move on Stonebridge, you may be assured that they do so with the tacit consent of Lord Frey. We are so badly abused by our neighbors because none of them have cause to fear us. Keegan Charlton has committed two dozen men to shame us, because he does not fear our answer. I say that we must give them cause to fear, Sers. My Ladies. Stonebridge is ours for so long as we hold it. It shall not survive our weakness." He lets Rutger's commentary on Danae stand.
Hazel eyes flick from Rygar to Valda to Rutger before they settle on Riordan like a weight. Sitting the closest to her brother, it is an easy thing for Roslyn's words to drop low, quiet with disapproval where she says, "If you do this, give me word, so I may leave Stonebridge tonight and not be caught in any of it."
"Then toss on the talbard of a Charlton man before you drive the sword into her throat," Valda says with a touch of exasperation. "If you are unconcerned as to the ill will of Lord Tully, then why hold back from removing the root of the threat? She can continue to make alliances and throw men at us or we can rid us of the bane that is the harlot." If she cares about, or even hears, Roslyn's decision to leave before this is done she makes no sign of it.
"Lady Valda," Riordan says, finally speaking again. "It is your opinion then, that all who show opposition to me, my position, my family, must be swiftly and harshly dealt with?" His words remain quiet, but there's a sharpness held in his tired eyes as he now looks to her.
Rutger remains silent as that question is asked. Eyes sliding over towards Valda, as his lips curl, barely.
The weight of Roslyn's gaze slides to Valda as well, expectant, patient.
"I maintain that taking the Lady Pretender alive is preferable to low murder," Rygar opines stiffly as talk of simply killing Danae is raised again. "Against the Charltons, our every action can be defended as legal. I say we are best served by sending the Westlering girl to Hollyholt with a letter demanding that Lord Keegan desist in support of her, else his men in our power shall be considered insurgents against our governance."
"Of course not." Valda looks to Riordan, her lips tugging into a small frown. "But there is a world of difference between showing opposition and having a very real chance of taking away your family's holdings. If the latter is successful, House Nayland would seem exceedingly weak to all who wish it harm — and let us not pretend there are not many who fit that description. What, then, would stop them from joining together and taking the Mire itself? The greater Houses seem to have stepped back from this, content to let us determine the result amongst ourselves… in whatever manner." With a sniff toward Rygar, she adds, "It would be a cleansing of a disease-ridden rat nipping at our heels more than murder. She knew well the stakes when she attempted to take Stonebridge. But fine, let us say you leave her alive — in which case this battle will never, ever truly end for she can revive it at any time. How, precisely do you propose to get her to Hollyholt? Before the ransom is made, there is naught halting Charlton's men from felling ours. And all it does is give her more time to scheme and plot alongside the Charltons, even entertaining ever more potential allies."
"Lady Valda," Riordan says, a second time, still in that same quiet tone, that same sharp look in his eyes. "It has been brought to my attention that you named me traitor to my family, and attempted to draw my own Lord Brother into collusion against me, to usurp my authority and position given to me in trust by my Lord Father." He does not ask her version of the matter, just seems content to lay that out on the table, and leave it there. As for the rest, he still refrains from adding his opinion.
"They are in our town without peace bands wrapped upon their blades. I say it's fair and legal to make our move and take their men. Should any of them die, then that is all the better." Rutger announces as he looks back towards Rygar. A nod there in agreement with the Nayland Sheriff. "I believe that solves both problems, and allows us to deal with the Westerling in a better way, than advertised. It indeed gets her out of our hair." And speaking of hair, he reaches up to rub at his own scalp. "As we have his daughter, we can hold her to a price." Simple Don't retaliate, or well-you know.
He will try to answer Rygar on the matter.
Roslyn too has apparently said her fill on the matter of the men-at-arms, disapproval and threat all wrapped into one in those soft words to her brother where she spoke of leaving for the Roost instead of remaining if the course is chosen. Now, she waits.
"I did not name you traitor. I said your actions against Ser Garrett were borderline traitorous, but also that I knew well you did not intend them to be. You simply did not control yourself — or did not know better; I am uncertain which." Valda sighs, shaking her head at the Regent as a mother would with a foolish child. "I felt such actions against one who could have helped end this by aiding in the annulment of the supposed marriage between the bastard and the harlot — a completely peaceful ending, mind you — was proof you were not equipped to have the final word on matters of Stonebridge during this volatile time.
"Further, I felt Ser Rutger would serve better and, being the elder and more experienced brother, suggested he should speak to your Lord Father on the matter. My concern was keeping Stonebridge in your House's hands more than your personal hands. I am sorry if you took it personally, but a time of great crisis is an ill time to learn the basics of being a lord. It is the time for a well-experienced man to learn when and how to use subtlety and when force or a well-aimed strike at the heart of the overt threat to your House is required."
Apparently considering that settled, she purses her lips in thought. "If you insist on leaving the whore alive, I would strongly advise against letting her out of our sight. Particularly, delivering her right into her allies' hands. If you wish to hold her for ransom, that could be different, although it does seem an unnecessary risk. And whom would you demand the ransom from. Not only is Westerling likely unable to pay any large sum, but they have not shown any support of her. Charlton has little reason to pay so much as a stag for her. So… whom?"
Rygar's eye sharpens when Riordan speaks the word 'traitor' and the stern knight turns his regard to Valda, hearing out the Castellan's answer with his countenance relaxed into the comfort of sold solemnity. He lets out a breath through the nose, leaving discussion of the matter to the Nayland brothers, for the moment.
Eyes slide to Valda there for a moment. "You sent me a missive, in which you told me not to come to anyone else with what we were speaking on. Further more, you did name my brother traitor, Lady" Apparently Rutger will get back to plotting the Charltonoplyse with Rygar later. This needs to be addressed. "And it was your idea to have me write our father, with this perceived malfeasance."
And now he turns his body to face both Riordan and Valda. "You are lucky we've left you here with your daughter, despite those words. Ser Garett cannot help us, in this. This is a matter between us and Lord Westerling. And one knight-no matter his relation will not change that man's heart. He was asked to leave, and then you and our cousin Roland brought him back in." A tightening of his jaw. "Should we continue on this, Lady?" A raised brow there, before he is glancing back towards Rygar. A shrug given.
"What actions did you deem so traitorous, Lady Valda? Actions that you heard through our cousin and not through speaking to your Lord Regent?" Roslyn questions on her own turn, not even missing a beat where Rutger falls to silence and she picks up the thread. "That he told Lord Garett that his behavior was unnatural and unbecoming? That I saw guards to escort him wherever he wished to go in the Tower, ere his temper be taken out on our property?"
"It is odd that you speak of subtlety, Lady Valda, when you've all the subtley of a stallion's member trying to find the mare," Riordan says, a squeeze of his sister's hand the only apology given for his vulgar language. "Nor do you know much when it comes to my family, nor me. I did not, as you say, take it personally. You're sadly mistaken if you think I would be anything but relieved to be rid of Stonebridge, and you." He shakes his head, his expression weary, but still sharp as it remains firmly on Valda. "Whatever your exact words, I trust my brother's interpretations as to the spirit of what was said, rather then yours." He considers her for a long moment, then simply gives his head a shake. "I once told you what family meant to me, to the Naylands, but I think I must now show you."
"Lady Valda, as Regent of Stonebridge, I hereby strip you the titles and honors of the position as Castallen of Stonebridge. You will simply be referred to as the Dowager Lady Tordane. You may remain in Stonebridge, at my pleasure, but you will be barred all contact from your daughter henceforth. Furthermore, any attempt to interfere with my family or our concerns, without my express permission, whether it be matters of the household staff or matters of state, will see you sent away from here. Either to keep my father company in the Mire, or perhaps to a Motherhouse - it will depend on who I wish to vex more with your presence at the time. And Seven help you if you do anything further that I deem traitorous."
Rygar draws and releases a slow, steady breath as Roslyn, Rutger and Riordan speak in turn. When Valda is declared stripped of her Castellan's status, the normally dour Rygar looks distinctly annoyed. "There is a Charlton garrison within your town, Ser. Is this the proper time for such things?"
"Well.." Rutger states there as Riordan does his pronouncement thing. And he is looking back towards Rygar, a brief chuckle as he is now walking in the direction of his cousin. "I did not expect that. A slap on the hand, or maybe send her to see Lord Rickart, but yes…"This not so much. Still Rutger is not taking back his words. "We do need to see about the armed men in our town. And with this..I think Lady Valda should be confined to her quarters until everything is sorted out."
"I never said those words, Ser Rutger, nor was that the intention of the words I -did- speak. Think well on that conversation." Valda is just as firm on this, being a woman who chooses her words carefully. "Furthermore, I never brought the young man back. By the time I heard of what happened, he and his betrothed had already left."
Her attention turns to Riordan as the young man again speaks. Seeming not the least bit surprised, the last Tordane finally shows a bit of emotion. A sad smile curves her lips as she rises and curtsies. "As my Lord Regent wishes. Although I recall you stating rather explicitly that I was your family as well. So I am not certain what you wish to show me of family in this. I have shown competence for years on end with regards to the running of Stonebridge and official negotiations since Lord Tordane's demise, so it is not that. This decision was made either without or against the advice of at least one of those whose opinions you have stated you value, whom you have admitted knows more than you of these matters. I am sorry to see you do this, not for me, but for you. And more, for the House I have grown to care and fight for as my own."
Looking to the other men in the room, she dips her head to Rygar. "It has been a pleasure. At least he keeps one other of great experience close to counsel. And the other…" Pausing, her head dips to Rutger. "Is a man of action. Right or wrong, depending upon the situation, such a viewpoint must be heard out and given due consideration." She catches Rygar's eye once more, turns, and heads for the door.
The former Castellan stops and glances back. "I request permission, however, to be with my daughter when her time comes. It is an awful, horrible thing to have to go through birth without one's mother." A small twitch of her shoulder, then the smooth facade is back.
Roslyn remains quiet for a moment, watching the Lady Valda in a lingering, calm study of her own as the weight of hazel eyes settles on the older woman. Where Valda moves for the door, she turns back to Rygar and her brothers with a steady, "The Charltons will be dealt with, no matter the timing of that. It only comes down to whether we wish to show ourselves as strong or prudent to the rest of the Riverlands."
Without a word, Riordan gets up and moves to the door, opens it, and speaks to the guard there. "See that the Dowager Lady Tordane is escorted with all due respect to her room. She will be remaining there until I say otherwise, and her only visitors will be members of House Nayland." That said, he turns back to the Lady Valda, and says, "Lady Valda, it is because you are like family that I have been lenient, and why, one day, you might yet find yourself back within my trust. But our tenuous connection will stretch only so far." At her request, he raises an eyebrow, and says, "You concern does you credit, but in this, but I find it unlikely that I will be able to grant your request. I will send a request to my Lady Mother to attend her instead, however. She has been through the process more times then any other woman I have ever heard of, and is a calming presence besides." Then, turning to regard Rygar, he says, "The timing is not perfect, and indeed I should have acted sooner. But now I have, and it is done. As to the other matter, Ser Cousin, I charge you to find all legal precidence to support any actions I might take against the Charltons camped out in my town. Once you have brought these to me, I shall give my decision. After I have had time to sleep on it." He turns to his siblings, then, and dips his head, "I will speak to you both soon as well. Good night." And then, with a final lingering glance to his sister, he will head out of the room.
As protocol dictates, Rygar- already on his feet when Valda rises- offers a short bow to the departing lady, before speaking further to those still present. "Do tell me, cousin, the full extent of your knowledge in such crafts as war and state?" Rygar prompts with a plain look to Roslyn. "Enlighten we knights, if you would, as to the proper execution of law." A sharp breath drawn in through flared nostrils, as he looks to Riordan. "We shall speak when you wake, Ser," the grim Nayland promises his cousin, curtly.
"Riordan, as I know sleep calls to you." Rutger states, straightening as Riordan makes more things in this matter clearer. "I would ask that we settle the Charlton mess now. Our Cousin has indeed given all legal precedent, I believe for us to act now would be prudent." Rutger cautions before he is looking to his sister. a smirk passed to her, given Rygar's comment. One brow hitches, but he doesn't say anything further.
"Would you argue about appearance, ser? That locking an inn full of people and burning it to the ground would not show us as prudent?" Roslyn murmurs, her own gaze meeting Rygar's with a lift of her chin. Then she is pushing to her own feet, glancing to Rutger with a flat look. "I do not argue that we should not act, I just do not wish to burn down an inn of our own. Nor would that be proper execution of law."
"Tomorrow," Riordan simply reiterates to his brother, pausing long enough in the doorway to give that one word answer, before he takes his leave.
When her small, one might even say sentimental were they talking about any other woman, reqest is denied, Valda's brow lifts slightly. Yet the next words regarding whom shall be with Isolde during labor, has a brief, but visible effect on the Tordane. Those light grey eyes darken to the hue of stormclouds and her lips part in a silent gasp. Before any more can be seen, she turns back toward the door and steps rapidly into the hallway. The guards will have to work to keep her pace back to her room.
"Lady Cousin, if you cannot muster the wit to recall that I have advised only taking the Charltons alive, and with our inn undamaged, I shall ask you to keep your own counsel, in this matter," Rygar states, unabashedly harsh as Roslyn's reply. "No doubt the lady remains distressed by the recent unpleasantness, and would be well advised to retire for her own peace of mind." His eye passes promptly to Rutger, to whom he offers, "We must speak further, cousin."
"Then we don't burn the inn down." Rutger states. "We allow Ser Rygar to do his duty as a knight and execute the law properly, by taking the men while they sleep. It would be a swift move, and would give us the upperhand. A few may die, but in this the chances of bloodshed are somewhat diminished." And there as Riordan leaves there is a faint frown there and he merely turns to Rygar. A brief nod given. "Ser. I would see you do what is right." As for Rygar's request he does nod. "I shall remain.."
"No, my lord, that was my own brother advising that. I do have such memory for things, and that is ever only what I spoke against, if you recall," Lady Roslyn answers evenly, her words patient as she watches her cousin for a moment. "Unless one counts suggesting to ask as speaking against action?" But she does not argue further, glancing again to Rutger with a hint of a frown to her lips, her gaze lingering on him before she sweeps a general curtsy and turns to see herself out.
Rygar offers his habitual short, sharp bow to the departing Roslyn, "Good eve, Lady cousin." Exhaling as he rises to regard Rutger, the lean knight notes, "Ser. Trusting that Ser Riordan consents to this course, I would have Lord Rickart learn of this by your hand, rather than mine own. As the Castellan has been relieved of her station, we must needs directly see to the necessary quarters and provisions for a dozen gentlemen, at least one noble Lady, and a dozen smallfolk sworn to Charlton."
There's a brief bow given to Roslyn as she departs before Rutger is looking back towards his cousin, and fellow knight. "Perhaps we should have just asked Riordan to come. He holds to our sister the way a babe does to a blanket..though." whatever else he would surmise, he halts himself short of, with a wave of his hand. "I think we should plan to move on the Charlton even if the Lord Regent does not. I am sure my father would see the bounty in it, and the need to act." he states before nodding. "I will write and send a courier at once to the Sevens with our request and recommendation."
"I did not invite the Lady Roslyn, Ser," Rygar notes with a curt sniff. "You might deduce, by the count of chairs, that those summoned were yourself, Ser Riordan, Lady Valda, and myself." A terse breath drawn and let out, "As well, the matter of Lady Valda were most poorly handled, Ser. Most poorly."
"Agreed. Where as I believe she did call my brother a traitor, this was not the time nor the place for that." he states with a shake of his head. "And the course of action the worst.." A sigh. "My brother has no mind for this, though he does like to style himself as a Lord-when it comes to Lording he." shrugs. "Falls flat." a pause. "If you were to act, how soon could you? I would have us do it, before Riordan could alert Ser Aleister to such a move, by asking him to leave."
"This eve, Ser," Rygar answers plainly. "Ser Longbough and the Guard could be made ready within the hour, the knights summoned discreetly to arms in the same. In truth, it would take longer to prepare the Tower and dungeons for the prisoners to be held, than the time needed to take them." A short sniff and shake of his head. "He were of a stronger mind before the arrival of his sister, cousin. It is my concern that- should he disapprove- Ser Riordan may release the Charltons, and deepen our danger. Lady Tordane would have been of great use in this, as- though Walder Frey has but little love for his progeny- dismissing his grandaughter in the same span of days in which we move against his favored vassals is ill done. And the added insult of denying her presence at Isolde's birthing bed? My cousin has a gift for stirring up hate."
"I would have them ready on the morrow then. A courier can be gone by first light and a man back by midday I am certain." Rutger states, before he is nodding. "Indeed." he agrees with a sigh. "His actions alone with Lady Terrick is enough to already have whispers focused on us-and then when we need to make our move, Lord Frey-" a sigh "We'll be lucky if he doesn't fuck this from us, as he nearly did Stonebridge with the Westerling." A glance to Rygar. "Ser, I want us to take the best course of action, as soon as possible."
"All shall be made ready, Ser," Rygar answers Rutger's request with a short nod. "I would see the worst of the insult toward Lady Valda addressed, as well. Though the Charlton matter is clearly the issue deserving attention. If there is naught else, there is now a great deal more work that I must attend, Ser."
"Good. " Rutger states with a nod. "We can address that, and I shall let my father know about that as well." After all it might be Rutger who replaces Riordan over this. "That way we can handle such easily. Perhaps we can coax Riordan to allow Lady Valda back with her daughter. I will be sure to see the Lady as soon as I can, ton insure her that we will right this, lest she goes to her father with it." A rub of his chin. "I'll have the letter ready soon and sent even sooner. You know what we are to do-then we shall be about it." Wheels IN MOTION.