|Whose Duel Is It, Anyway?|
|Summary:||Rygar seeks out Jarod (and with us as always is Rowan) on the subject of the Terrick Sworn Sword, Kevan.|
|Related Logs:||Water and Iron Equals Rust|
|Outskirts of Stonebridge - Stonebridge|
|The roads are worn and well tended here and the fields on either side are lush and filled with wildflowers. The tournament tent is set up just north of the road and a grand pavilion rests to the central right of it, set with the colors of House Tordane. Knight's tents are being set up everywhere there is room and high ground. They dot the countryside and near the Tordane tent there is a cart of water and food, a small general area for the nobles to greet the hosts and partake in food to ease their journeys.|
|July 25, 288|
Outside Jarod's pavillion is the banner displaying the gold wing upon the black field. That is the sight toward which the bastard knight's unannounced guest turns his long, purposeful strides. "Rivers," Rygar calls, crisp and clear upon stilling his steps. For once, the Nayland knight has no escorts with him; no ladies, neither squires nor pages.
Jarod is strolling back toward the Terrick's main encampment, alongside Rowan. In a rarity, he looks quite sober and chipper, whereas his squire is clearly sporting a monster hangover. He's also wearing something on his wrist, which he occasionally toys with. A lock of dark chestnut hair, tied with a golden ribbon. That's new. "You should have some wine, it'll steady your head," he's advising Rowan sagely. "Best thing for a hang-over is just to start drinking again right off. And eggs. I love eggs when I'm drinking. Though those're better when you're still drunk." He may have more wisdom to impart, but the sight of the Nayland knight stops him in his tracks. Blink. He's puzzled. He thoughtfully scratches at the (somewhat unfortunate) beginnings of a beard he seems to be trying to cultivate on his chin. "Ser Rygar. Fancy seeing you here."
"Cooked eggs?" Rowan looks greenish. If there were anything left in his stomach, it would surely be decorating the grass now. He shakes his head. "You've a stomach of sodding iron — that's just not human. I'm not sure I could look at a chicken right now, without the eggs making me sick…" He blinks at the sight of his kinsman, and the slender, rangy boy slows his steps, coming to a halt alongside his knight. "Cousin," he greets Rygar, tilting his head curiously. Other than this — it was his knight addressed, so it's left to his knight to speak.
Rygar's cold blue stare settles upon Jarod, shoulders squared and back straight as he answers the greeting, "Ser Jarod." A brief look aside at the hung over Rowan. "Cousin," he acknowledges the squire, expression stern (though no moreso in eyeing the green Nayland than his knight). Then it is back to Jarod. "I would have words with you, Ser."
"You know nothing of the world, young squire. Eggs're grand drunk food. With sausage if you can manage it. Greasier the better. And potatoes if it's beer you've been into, though I find those don't sit too well with wine." But Jarod can't dwell on the subject of what makes good post-bar food. He crosses his arms along his chest, eyeing Rygar. "All right, Ser. Let's have them, then." His manner is wary, but not outright hostile.
Rowan's eyebrows lift as the lad glances between Rygar and Jarod. He bites his lip pensively, but doesn't interrupt, simply standing near at hand, and ready.
"The sworn sword to House Terrick called Tierney," Rygar begins, quite content to get down to business. "You have heard of his challenge to the Greyjoys," the man's tone presumes that the subject is already well known. "I ask of you whether your Lord intends to permit this challenge."
"I heard the story of it over lunch, aye, though I've not had opportunity to speak to the man personal," Jarod says. "Some bar brawl over a minstrel girl, if I've the right of it. Hope she's a fair one, though I'm not sure I'd go for a fight to the death over a sweetling I spent just one night with, however pretty she was." As for the question about his father, he shrugs. "The challenge is made. Not sure there's much my father can do to stop it now. Ser Kevan's a stout man, managed to unhorse the Ironman during the joust. He might manage to come out the better in a fair fight." Though he sounds more worried than he'd probably like to, at least in front of the Nayland.
For his part, Jarod's squire looks extremely uncomfortable with the whole ordeal. "I thought there was no killing in a tourney. Isn't that supposed to be part of the point?" He shrugs, shoulders slumped. "It seems a shame for either of them to die."
Rygar's already stern countenance hardens subtly at the report. There is a distinct lack of surprise. "Tierney is your father's sworn sword. He can and will obey his Lord's commands, if ordered so. Ser, you must sway your family to withdraw this challenge. Give the girl over. Whether Ser Kevan slays or is slain, your family shall suffer." Rowan's voice again draws his eye. "This is presented and accepted as a trial by combat, squire. Death is the hazard of defending an unjust cause."
"The challenge has been given. It'd be a blow to Ser Kevan's honor to have it struck down, wouldn't it? And what of the girl? Like I said, not sure a woman you scarcely know's worth spilling your lifeblood over, but given what they say about the Ironborn I can see why a man'd do his best to spare her that." Jarod continues to eye the Nayland knight in that speculative fashion. "What's this to you, anyhow? What do you care about one of my father's free lances?"
"Well it's stupid, Ser," Rowan opines, looking sullen. "I thought this was why we had Lords and Septons and Sherrifs and laws — so these grievances could be sorted out without anyone having to die. Is five short years really the length of time it takes for us to forget how horrible it is to lose lives?" The boy scuffs the dirt in frustration. "There's no honor in two hotheads cavalierly killing each other in the street. That's just sodding pride, that is."
"No greater a blow than squandering his honor in defense of a false cause, ser," Rygar returns to Jarod sharply. "He has falsely represented this woman as a noble, and defied the law of the Realm in doing so. Whatever chivalric folly your family clings to, this woman is no noble. Whether or not she is guilty of theft, she is guilty of that. As for the Ironborn, they have come here for blood. If you give them blood- while staked to a false cause- even in triumph you gain naught but the ire of the Ironmen." As for his interest.. "By now the Ser must know that the Lady Isolde is to marry a Nayland. I will not suffer Stonebridge to become the bleeding ground for your family's compulsive folly in defending guilty smallfolk. Ser, though they bridle at it, the Terricks must give over this thief for punishment, not grant the Greyjoys further excuse for grievance."
"If there is some matter of law to be settled it seems to me that the Ironman should bring it to Lady Tordane or her sheriff, as it's her land we're on," Jarod says. Adding firm after a beat, "Lady Isolde Tordane, as Stonebridge is hers by right and blood, whatever her lady mother Nee Frey wants her to think." He frowns. "And not your lord cousin yet, either, until they're properly wed." He advocates for Tordane justice with a perfectly straight face, though he seems to mean it for all that's passed with his family and certain smallfolk before this.
"I think my brother would agree there shouldn't be blood shed over this," says Rowan, and before the point that there's been no marriage yet can be raised, "And I think Lady Isolde would, too. Perhaps, Ser," this to Jarod, "we can petition the parties to seek Lady Isolde's judgment on the matter. If she agrees to trial by combat, it is her lands — then let it be so. It's sort of like being in her house, isn't it? They're guests. They shouldn't be pissing on the rug, no matter how much honor they find in it."
Rygar's countenance sharpens at the retort. "An anointed knight is permitted trial by battle. While I had expected the Terricks to overlook the import of this, I had hoped that you- as an honest knight- shown the poor nature of your man's challenge, might be wise enough to seek averting this misstep. He defends a common cutpurse, claims her as a noble and sets to shed Greyjoy blood in the bargain. Gods above and below, Ser! Your Lord would hazard war over one guilty woman. How many of your truly innocent smallfolk will bleed should it come to that?" Rowan's colorful metephor goes uncommented upon, alas.
"This isn't a matter for your young lord brother, Rowan," Jarod says flatly. "Whoever settles it." It's almost, but not quite, snapped. He takes a breath and looks back to Rygar, with another shrug. It's not really a point he can argue the right of. "I can't deny, Ser, it's a badly-done matter for a man to die over. And if it's true she's not a noble, trial by combat isn't her right anyhow. I'll speak to my father on the matter, and Ser Kevan. He seems a good man, and a good arm with steel. Seems a shame to waste him on this."
Rowan stares at Jarod a moment, clearly biting off a reply that would get him cuffed in the ear. He breathes and glowers down at his boots.
Rygar remains stonefaced throughout Jarod's answer, drawing a steady breath in through flared nostrils. "Quite, Ser. Should this shameful challenge take place you shall have good need of him in the days ahead. Good day, Ser," he offers crisply. "Cousin," to Rowan, and the Nayland knight turns on a heel to go on his way.
"I'll not tell my father you petitioned to me on this matter, Ser," Jarod says to Rygar's departing back. As that would pretty much kill any inclination Lord Jerold might have to listen to his bastard son. He seems about to let him go on that note but, after watching the man a beat longer, he adds, "I remember your face, Ser." Whatever the hell that means, it's not like Rygar hasn't made a few memorable appearances in Terrick presence lately. Not that this seems to be what he's on about.
Rowan says nothing, watching neither his departing cousin nor Jarod, frowning at the tent flying the gold-winged banner.
Rygar pauses in his withdrawal, to half turn back and regard the younger knight a long moment at the last words from Jarod. His stare severe, his countenance cold, the Nayland knight offers a short dip of the head and shoulders in something not far short of a bow, and takes his leave.
Jarod looks on point of saying something else to the departing Nayland but, as the man is taking his leave, he doesn't hinder him further. The dip is answered with a short inclination of his head that's a similar sort of gesture, and he lets the man go.
Rowan breathes in deeply again, turning to look at Jarod, watching him at his cousin depart. "I would like your permission to speak to you freely, Ser, some time in the near future. Though as there is a duel to prevent, I expect you have more pressing matters than my thoughts, at the moment."
Jarod eyes were locked on the departing form of Ser Rygar, so it takes him a second to register Rowan was talking to him. He turns, and blinks. "Permission to whatsit?" He scratches at his chin yet again. "We always speak freely to each other, Rowan. Just out with it. Though I do need to find Ser Kevan. Ser Rygar's right, this *is* a giant cock-up of a way to get yourself killed, but I'll not ask my lord father to pull a challenge out from under a man without bending his ear about it first."
Rowan shakes his head. "No, Ser. We don't. And as I am angry at you, I think it would be best I vent my spleen where we won't be overheard if I shout. Which I might do." He nods. "Go find Ser Kevan. I can wait to throw my tantrum, but the duelists cannot."
"We don't? Sure we do. At least *I* do. We're friends. And what're you pissed at me for? None of this is *my* fault." He does more confused semi-beard scratching, blinking at Rowan. "Fine. Whatever. Go grab a practice sword and hit something if you're looking to work out some aggression. And eggs, Rowan. Trust me. Eggs and beer, you'll feel better."
"We are friends," Rowan agrees. "Friends are allowed, occasionally, to want to knock one another into next winter." He sketches a quick, curt bow in taking his leave. "I will not be having eggs. And that beard makes you look like a barely-grown boy who's been into the honeypot and kissed the dog." With that, he turns and heads for the practice field. Hitting something repeatedly seems to he the one part of the prescription he aims to follow.
Jarod makes a fist and stops scratching at his chin, looking after Rowan with an expressio of incredulous perplexion. He shakes his head, muttering, "This is what happens when you try and be responsible? Everybody ends up pissed off at you? Fuck it, I should just go get drunk and find myself a whore." Alas, he goes off in search of a hedge knight instead. The drinking may still happen.