|Words With Walder|
|Summary:||On the day after the wedding at Broadmoor Lyanna finally gets the chance to speak with the Lord of the Crossing.|
|Related Logs:||A Wedding at Broadmoor, Part I and logs dealing with Lord Aleister's death.|
|Grand Hall, The Twins|
|The heavy stone walls of The Twins hang thickly with tapestry and trophy, hinting of the weath the Freys hold before one even reaches the decadent center of the party. Although the entry to which carries the reminder of their strength, so much as their wealth, past curtain walls and over a deep moat with the gleaming portcullis lingering a malevolent reminder overhead. In the Grand Hall, the light artifice of the Tourney is put to shame with the rich scents of food and wine coating the air as poignantly as a Dornish perfume, oddly sweet and muggy with summer heat. A trio of muscians play in the corner, attentive to the mood of the party and its guests with quiet breaks for conversation between the rounds of dance.|
|January 28th, 290|
How ever pleasant it is to be reunited with family and to enjoy the reassuring shelter of the seat of one's House, there had been little time indeed during the first week of Lyanna's stay to meet Lord Walder, as certain developments had required his full attention. And so with the prospect that her grandfather would at the earliest have time for her in a couple of days, Lyanna had left for Broadmoor to join her aunts Jaimera and Firth for the festivities celebrating the union of House Haigh and Fenster. However, already on the following afternoon the young Frey lady had returned to the Twins, her retinue and their steeds likewise exhausted from the hard ride, while the eyes of their lady sparkled with determination, as she swiftly sent a servant to let her grandfather know of her arrival and her wish to speak with him at once.
Now, 'at once' is a term that is open to interpretation, obviously. Lyanna has had sufficient time to retire to the chamber, her good-sister Zhoe has set aside for her, change into a more appropriate dress, have her hair done likewise into that snail at the back of her head and even have a bite or two of some bread, smoked ham and cheese that was brought up from the kitchens, before the servant returns with the message that Lord Walder wishes to see her.
With business afoot, Walder had been most busy dealing with other matters and as such, he'd been aware that one of his brood had wished to speak with him, but she'd been put aside in favor of more pressing matters. But, pressing matters can only hold for so long and once they had begun to clear, word had been sent on the mouth of a servant that he had an opening in his .. busy schedule and that he would meet with her. Whether he was aware of her departure to Broadmoor during her wait, or even of her arrival, is left unknown.
Now, with the servant dispatched to fetch his granddaughter, Walder remains ever seated in that throne of his, though his wife is oddly absent from his side. In fact, most of those who settle in the grand hall when he meets are absent, aside from a few of his other children, ones with no hope to the throne of The Twins. Guards stand on either side of the door and there's a servant or two who linger in the shadows.
So now that the time has come, Lyanna enters the Grand Hall well prepared. She is clad in a surprisingly plain dress of Frey blue and grey without any adornment, although it is made of fine and pricey fabrics as a closer inspection would reveal. The choice of dress has been a well considered one, of course. While stressing a certain humbleness, well advised when one is supposed to face the Head of one's House, it shows an awareness of the House's position within the political framework of the Riverlands as well. A trueborn Frey lady, even moreso an Ambassador of said House, will never dress in a cheap attire - or she would truely deny her House's worth and station.
Pausing on the doorstep, her pale face beaming in a state of slightly nervous anticipation, Lyanna's gaze moves about the hall, taking her time to recognize the place which she had spent many an hour of her younger life in - a shy bookish maiden she had been back then, yet unburdened with the office she holds now. When her deep blue eyes come to rest on Lord Walder, a little smile brightens up her face dimmed by a certain urgency as she approaches him, coming to a halt at about a six feet's distance for a deep and respectful curtsey. "My Lord Grandfather."
The arrival of Lyanna to the Grand Hall of The Twins draws Walder's gaze from a point on the floor and up to her, critical eyes watching her approach with a certain impatiance that is always present in the ancient man. When she draws close enough and that slows to that halt, to offer that curtsey, a hand is lifting to give an almost idle wave, "Grand daughter." A pause comes and a slight narrowing of his eyes comes to follow, "Which one of my sons are you born from?"
Before she has a chance to answer, though, his hand is lifting in that idly wave again, even as he offers, "Nevermind. It's not important." When the hand lowers, his arm simply settles on the rest of his chair and with a slight shift in his seat, he's offering, "Tell me, child, what is the situation that has come to pass in Highfield?"
Hearing Walder's question Lyanna is quick to reply despite the wave of his hand: "Ser Jared, my lord. I'm a 'Swann one' as Ser Maldred has labeled me once." Just for orientation's sake. Obviously neither feeling insulted nor taken aback, that her own grandfather might have difficulty in placing her amongst her numerous relatives, she straightens and hesitates as she hears his inquiry, as she had hoped to bring forth the news in a more direct way. However, it seems she must start at the beginning.
"The situation that has come to pass…" Lyanna echoes her grandfather's very words. "Lord Aleister is dead, and despite those who saw his brother Lord Bastien as his successor, it has been announced that Lord Aleister's father Lord Jon Ashwood is the new Lord of Highfield, and Lord Bastien the new Young Lord Ashwood." She is not sure whether these are old news to Walder, yet she gives them none the less.
"Yet things develop quickly at Highfield, my lord Grandfather. Less than a month since…" Lyanna's gaze drops as she hesitates, pondering how to coat the gruesome event in casual words. "…since the deaths have been revealed, it seems Lord Bastien is about to be betrothed. To Lady Ceinlys Erenford, by birth a Haigh. This is what I gathered at the wedding at Broadmoor, just yesterday. And as I am indeed unsure of your plans with the Ashwoods I thought I should tell you about this."
As her lineage is revealed to him, Walder simply offers a soft snort and a nod of his head, though it's hard to tell whether it's to her parent, or to the mention of Maldred. Or to something else entirely; and the elder Frey doesn't seem all that inclined to offer a reason for the sound. "I have been informed that Lord Jon would be succeeding his son at the head of that House. I know of this men, from his service with the traitor Charlton's. It remains to be seen whether this is will be a boon or a bane to our House, child."
Fingertips tap idly against the arm of his chair for a moment as Lyanna offers further news of events that are transpiring and for a moment, he says nothing. When that moment comes to pass, it's with a curt nod of his head, "Rumors of such things had reached my ears, but I had heard no confirmation. This is just as well, for House Ashwood lies in a precarious position and stagnates in their growth." A crook of his lips brings some semblance of a smile to bare, "My plans are rather simple, child. We shall allow the Ashwood's to continue on their path. To see whether they are able to make anything of themselves. If they do, it will simply be to my favor and benefit and if they do not, then they will find themselves out of favor with our House."
Lyanna arches a brow at Walder's reply. "So… Other than watching the Ashwoods in their endeavours you do not have any instructions for me?" She coughs, a little bit taken aback this time by his opinion. Yet the emotional side to her does not allow her to leave the subject at that. "Had it not been your design to join the Ashwoods with us in marriage? What other purpose can Lord Aleister's visit which never came to be have had, I wonder, than establishing a betrothal contract? If not for Lord Aleister, then for his cousin Lady Miranda who was in his company - that unfortunate soul. And even now, after Lord Aleister's passing, I have assumed that you would offer one of my kin in marriage to Lord Bastien; to assure them of our support in these dire times, and to ensure they'll stick to the vows of their vassalage." Not caring if she sounds naive or politically inexperienced, the Frey lady straightens and looks to the Head of her House, awaiting some sort of further explanation.
"Lord Aleister was coming to The Twins, Child, to discuss matters of a martial nature with me; matters which are better left for the ramblings of men." Again, fingertips tap lightly against the arm rest of the chair, "Second to that, we were to discuss a betrothal contract for his cousin. A pity, though, that they did not arrive." A flicker of a smirk and a shake of his head is all that he gives to that sentiment, before his hand lifts once more in an that idle wave, "Had Lord Aleister remained amongst the living, I would have perhaps saw need to see him married to a Frey. But his brother. This Lord Bastien .." A chortle now escapes his lips, "A puppet I am told. Lacking in ambition and easily swayed. I see no reason to marry one of my children or grand children to him."
A shake of his head comes to follow the words and when it ceases, he's offering, "And I have no reason to cement their vassalage through the bonds of marriage, child. If they choose to break such things, they will find themselves without ally or friend and will be crushed beneath the might of our armies." Now, there's just a touch of a pause, "No. Now, they are unworthy. For now, you will remain in Highfield in your current position. You will express our sorrow for their loss and you will watch and listen. You will offer advice to them in my name and when the time comes, child, I will send word to you of my intent for things to come."
As she listens to Walder's explanation of his view of the situation, Lyanna's face hardly moves, except for arching a brow at his hardly convincing regret that the Ashwoods did not arrive. Finally she nods. "I've had suspected as much, that this was the very reason for Lady Miranda accompanying him. I understand and will do those things - I actually have already done all these things, so there'll be little to change in the way I handle my office." Shifting her weight from one leg to the other, Lyanna folds her hands before her, as there is still more on her mind. "My Lord Grandfather, one question does still need to be answered. How are you going to deal with the deaths of the Ashwoods? Do you see a need to push the investigation about who is responsible for killing them? In a way, their deaths affect us as well, with the planned betrothal you have mentioned. Whoever did this might have aimed to weaken us Freys as well? And who knows, there might be more trouble to come in the future…"
"Yes, you already perform these duties, child, and you will continue to do so. You will serve to council the Ashwood's and should you sense that they weave from their path of loyalty, you will send word back to me. As such, I am sending four knights to accompany you back to Highfield, along with the two men at arms who will act as your guard." A curt nod from Walder follows his words, though when she speaks further on matters, he's giving a shake of his head, "Such an event would do little to weaken us and any who presume such are nothing more then fools. I will have one of my sons investigate the matter and you would do well to ensure the Ashwood's do not forget their own investigation into such things. Since the attempted invasion of the Ironborn, the roads to all places have become rife with bandits."
More or less contented by Walder's words Lyanna nods slowly. "I see." With most of her questions answered, she seems to hesitate again for a little moment, thinking hard if there is any other topic that needs being discussed. Her next chance to speak with the Head of House Frey might be sometime in the very distant future. Ah yes, one more thing. "I do not intend to keep you from your other tasks, Lord Grandfather. But I've received a letter from my aunt Firth, in which she proposes that I should take Lord Raffery Nayland into my service - as a guard of some sort. I suppose you have no objections?" Her mouth twitched into a light smile, her deep blue eyes resting again on her grandfather, she awaits his reply.
The mention of Firth draws a slight little scowl to Walder's features as he gives a shake of his head, "Your aunt has saw fit to send me a plethora of letters, requesting such mundane things. I care not who enters into your service, child. The choice is not mine, to make, but that of Lord Rickart and his foolish son, Rafferdy. If the child wishes to serve you, instead of his father, then I care not what happens with him." Pause, "I will not faciliate such things, though. If your Aunt wants him in your service, then she, or you, will need to speak with him and see to the arrangements."
"We will see to it, no need to burden your shoulders with trifles as these." Lyanna replies with a pleasant smile and lowers herself into a deep curtsey. "If there is nothing else you wish to discuss with me, I will take my leave. And depart to Highfield early tomorrow." Some of the nervousness has left her by now, and a spark of confidence glows in her deep blue eyes.
"Then see to it at your pleasure, child," comes the reply from Walder and it's followed by a lift of his hand, so that he can give a dismissive little wave, even as his eyes drift away, to focus elsewhere for a moment, "Take your leave and return to your duties. If I have further need, I will send word to you."
With the natural grace of a Frey, Lyanna straightens and inclines her head in silence before she turns to head towards those double doors that lead out of the Grand Hall - and that small little realm ruled by Lord Walder Frey - a small determined smile on her young and thoughtful features.