|Your Gentle Gender|
|Summary:||Isolde wants answers from Rygar, but Igara gets news instead.|
|Tower Hall - Stonebridge|
|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.|
|4 August, 288|
Rygar sits at the table, with a lit taper shedding illumination. The Nayland knight frowns at a long page of parchement on the table before him, a quill in one hand, and he appears to be transcribing a letter from the battered and folded scrap of paper which arrived from the Mire in the hands of a courier an hour earlier. Inwell, dish of fine sand for absorbing blots, and a small sharp knife for re-carving the quill. Letter writing is complex work.
Ever since the end of the tournament, Igara has been dressing in plainer and more sensible clothing than the rich gowns she'd worn to the events, nothing if not a sensible girl, where money is concerned, and modest in her appearance, never the type to hope to draw attention to herself with a fashionable neckline or bright colors. It's a simple day dress in grey and muted blue, today, as she's been out with her cousin on some errand, and as she returns to the hall, her eyes, too, have been muted in their usual brightness, her usual focus and deliberation of motion is scattered, and she drifts into the hall carrying some of her cousin's shopping in a basket, back straight but countenance troubled.
Both the Ladies carry a quiet mein, reserved and already sharing in whatever news had made to be so ill fit to sit well with them. For her part though, Isolde's brows are furrowed and her lips set in a thing line. As eyes become accustomed to the dimmer light within, she casts her attention to Rygar and her gaze darkens more. Biting at her lower lip lest she speak of anything, the Lady of Stonebridge shifts to about her cousin to offer to take the basket from her, shifting the one she carries to her other arm.
Rygar's hard blue eyes flick up from the work of writing to the door as that portal opens to admit the two noblewomen. Even voice raised to greet, "Lady Nayland. Lady Frey," the knight finishes the line of script he was at work upon, before lifting the quill from page, and setting it to stand from the inkwell.
Igara lowers herself into a respectful courtsey before Lord Rygar. "My Lord," she well near whispers in greeting, maintaining her lowered posture a moment more in duty to him before she stands again and turns to her cousin, coming closer. "Let me take your basket, my Lady Cousin," she goes on. "I will put the shopping away." Industrious child.
"Lord Rygar.." Isolde returns in kind as she looks to her cousin and relents in doing just the same as Igara is making now. A release of breath and she manages a smile before letting the items go to her care. "Thank you.." She intones lightly and then with a turn of her head, she is taking a few strides towards the man and his script. "We have heard the most dreadful news, my Lord. Oddly we heard it while out in the market. I am not sure if you know?" Perhaps it is a pointed question, for her green eyes lock with his and she waits for the answer she is positive she knows.
Rygar regards Igara's curtsey with a short nod, rising from his chosen chair to offer a short, clipped bow to the two ladies, his eye unlowered. "I know not what the Lady would call 'dreadful'," the stern knight answers, his cold eye unflinching from Isolde's stare. "What news?" he inquires colorlessly, before returning to his seat, and resuming his writing.
Igara makes her way back toward the hearth and the storage thereby, a basket on each arm, and as she goes her usual ghost-like silence is disturbed by a squeak of a noise that could have possibly been some manner of half-aborted hiccup or perhaps a stifled little sob. In either case, it hardly sounds a merry noise, and afterward she hastens to skitter across the grand hall and busy herself putting everything in its place.
"Why the poisoning of your own cousin Rowan Nayland," Isolde starts and pauses for a moment before continuing, "And Gedeon Rivers." Not a direct accusation but the Lady is not taken with the idea of either being harmed. "Pennyroyal so I hear, slipped into some drink that was given to the Rivers Knight. A strange thing to when it happened the day after I was to acquire such letters. I am to wonder the cause of this and who would be looked to for such a devious act. Would you have some ideas, my Lord?" She asks, whether Igara take note or not. But her voice remains even before she looks to the sob of Igara. A small breath is let lose past her lips and the Lady hesitates for the moment, not moving to comfort her Lady Cousin just yet.
"Poison is the weapon of one who fears honest conflict, Lady Isolde," Rygar answers, a note of disdain coloring his otherwise impartial speech. "I suggest you search for a coward." Dipping the quill anew into the inkwell and draining off the excess ink to avoid blotches, he resumes writing, even as he voices further, "I am told Pennyroyal is not a lethal poison, distasteful though it be. Both the Usurper and my good cousin will recover in short order. I suggest that you and the Lady Igara dwell upon more.. pleasant matters. Things better suited to your gentle gender."
Igara must be finding something of her own comfort in the unpacking and re-packing of articles from the shopping baskets to the pantries, for she's resumed her mantle of quiet and sent her soul down into making certain that the household goods are all in good order, tidying needlessly as she goes, seeing everything to her best liking, keeping her mind busy, perhaps, so that it will not stray to thoughts of the poisoned youth.
"Obviously a coward who would risk the consumption of it to chance. As they are recovering as to the news, it seems they were quite lucky." Isolde shifts about the table, moving towards the hearth and Igara as she adds, "My Lord, I am Lady of these lands and their poisoning took place in Stonebridge and was not told of it. I think despite my 'gentle gender' that I should be apprised of such things. I find it odd that two unusual occurences were to take place the day after the tourney, or near enough to it." She stops herself there though, letting her gaze trail over him, "Pennyroyal is expensive at those amounts as well." Its sort of a side note before she moves to aid Igara.
Rygar's deliberate writing continues apace, even as he answers the Lady of the House. "Very well Lady. Let us presume you had been told at the first rumor. What grand and benevolent dictates would you issue to correct the matter?" A slow, even exhale as he continues writing. "A rider arrived from the Fortress of the Sevens while you were out. Word that may interest both yourself, and the Lady Igara."
Igara seems to have things in the pantry well in hand, moving goods with a brisk severity without being so rough as to break anything breakable or bruise anything bruisable. When her cousin comes to help her with it, she is kneeling at a basket, taking up bundles of twine and setting them up on a shelf with other bundles of twine, making oddly for certain that no edge or whisker of twine comes over the edge of the shelf as she stacks them there. She looks up to her cousin, and then over her shoulder when her name is mentioned, but she doesn't say a word.
"Aye, there is nothing that could changed the matter, my Lord..," Isolde begins, "But Rowan is my cousin and is dear to the Lady Igara, to send good wishes would have been an option. Though those will still go out despite the late knowledge of such an event." But she reaches down to help take up the twine when the missive is mentioned. The Lady lifts her head and looks towards the Lord, "What is this word, my Lord?" She asks then, giving Igara a look.
"I am well aware of the affection toward my good cousin from Stonebridge. As- it seems- is my uncle, the Lord Rickart," Rygar notes with the same cold calculation with which he had discussed more sinister matters. "It is the pleasure of the Lord of Hag's Mire to gain the consent of his son Rowan toward betrothal with the Lady Igara, daughter of Walder, of the House Frey." Rygar looks up from the letter to regard the two ladies evenly. "I thought this was a matter of which you would wish to know immediately."
Igara blushes hotly across her cheeks and down her throat to find her (she supposed!) well-hidden affections the topic of conversation so far and wide. It's hardly fitting for a Lady to moon so after a fellow that all and sundry are remarking upon it, after all. When the full force of the announcement is relayed, Igara's eyes go wet with tears— whether of happiness, that such a match might be hers, of sorrow, that she hardly knows whether Rowan is recovered or will recover from the poisoning, or of that natural fear which steals into a chaste girl's heart and bites upon her purity at the first prospect of marriage. Both hands rise to cover her mouth, and as she tries to stand she nearly stumbles on legs numb with kneeling and high emotion. It finally occurs to her that she must say something, and a meek, "The Lord Rickart— is very good to me, in his reccommendation," is about all she can muster.
A brow raises rather swiftly at the announcement and luckily for Igara, Isolde is not teetering at the news. The Lady reaches out to help steady Igara with care, stepping closer. "What good news this is, dear cousin. It seems you have even more reason to visit the recovering Lord." She intones and looks to Rygar. A faint smile touches her lips and she returns her attention to her cousin, "Please, sit…my dear cous. The news is somethign of great import. Take the time to settle yourself." She means to help guide Igara to a seat.
Rygar nods shortly once as he observes the reaction of the ladies to the report. "His Lordship Rickart is a strict man, Lady Igara. But he is fair. If this seems a benevolent act, it is one your virtue and courtesy well deserve." A drawn breath. "It is intended that upon recieving his knighthood, Rowan Nayland shall be betrothed. Word of this shall doubtless cheer the lad's heart and hasten his recovery from recent difficulty." A pinch of the fine powder is scattered over the wet black ink. "This is another letter which shall ride west in my keeping."
Igara lets her gentle cous guide her to a seat, and is seated upon it, her hand tremoring slightly in Isolde's, even as she dares a weepy-looking smile as she looks up to her cousin's eyes. Yes, Igara is decidedly pleased with the news, even in her timorous fashion. Even Rygar gets a smile as he addresses her so kindly, the hand not in her cousin's hand lifting to her heart. "You do me great honor to say so, my Lord," she tells him, then, returning her eyes to Isolde, she registers bafflement, "Should I go to him? Sh-should I write to him?" she whispers, "Gentle cous, do guide me… it would displease him, surely, were I to seem overeager and improper in contacting him, but how I fret that he is ill."
"Surely, Lord Rygar will carry a letter along with the announcement. It would do the young Lord well to know you are happy with the arrangement." Isolde says gently and with a smile as she moves lower so that she may be eye level with Igara. She squeezes her hand and sets it down to her lap. "Let me fetch you some wine, it will help ease your excitement." She straightens with her smile remaining, other thoughts still in hand but set aside for now. "I think you to stay for now..Igara. Perhaps he will call on you when he is strong and healthy once more."
Rygar spends a breath to clear the scattered powder from the face of the letter as Isolde congratulates and counsels her counsin/aunt/lady-in-waiting. An orange stock of wax is lifted and held over the flame of the lit taper, turning it steadily to melt the daub evenly, before applying it to the clear space at the bottom of the page. Pressing the emblem of his ring to the rapidly cooling wax, leaving the harpy blazon clear in the orange button. "Compose your thoughts, and set them to page, Lady Igara. You have time," he advises the young lady.
Igara looks thoroughly grateful at the prospect of a little bit of wine to ease her nerves, though the girl is for the better part an endorsement of sobriety. "Thank you, cous," she whispers, and nods her head, slowly, once, and then more hastily a few more times, "Yes, my Lord. I will write. Dear cous; will you help me to find the words… I have never…" that blush returns, if it could ever have been said to ahve been away, "I have never written words of… fondness… to a… person," she chooses her vocabulary with pained care to avoid saying any words that may be inappropriate in mixed company.
Milicent is already on the move for such things as wine, having heard the talk of it. Isolde merely steps to the side in waiting as she glances down to Igara. "My Lady, such things must be of your own make, but I can try to coach you as best I can. I have not often written such things either, it is not becoming a Lady to create such letters unless they are to her betrothed and I ..was not fortunate to know mine long before our wedding. You on the other hand, have years of familiarity. I am sure the letter will turn out quite brilliant." She offers, still no wine to appear.
"I shall leave the two of you to consider the question at length," Rygar voices as he rises, gathering up the transcribed letter, and leaving the accoutrements on the table, should a lady wish to make use of them. "Lady Isolde. Lady Igara," he offers in parting with a short bow to the two.
"My Lord," Igara repeats, lowering her head to Rygar as he goes in lieu of a courtsey, since she's sitting down. When she lifts her eyes again they direct themselves brightly at Issie. "I'm sure that now you're wed, you will have many a chance to address fondnesses to one another," she tells her. Closing her eyes, "My head feels light in thinking of it all. I feel so greatly blessed in this good fortune."
Just in time - wine. Milicent delivers to the Lady Isolde and she gathers the goblets, one in each hand and moves closer to Igara to administer. "Drink…your heart must be a flutter." There is a fondness there as Isolde has given all but a bare 'my lord' to Rygar. Once he leaves, she grins brightly and then says, "Does it feel like the world will fall away beneath your feet and you tilt forever downward, plunging? And that you shall forever smile and never find the time to frown?" She tilts her head, touching Igara's free hand. "I am happy for you." She says, "To be matched with one you care for, it is a great thing." Her gaze softens and she drinks of er own wine. Remembering.