(121-05-26) Bull Fish and Blackwood
Bull Fish and Blackwood
Summary: Ser Riderch pays Lord Thadeus a visit at the Tully Manse
Date: 26/05/2014 (OOC)
Related: Some. Maybe.

 Leaping Trout Manse

    This smaller grey stone manse has a leaping trout painted on its door. Like most Oldtown Manses, the streetside wall has no windows on the first floor, leaving the small foyer dark. The light of a pair of flickering torches at the walls reveals a stairway to the right, leading up.

    Ahead is the living area, to one side a table made of cherry wood with chairs of the same material, with carvings depicting the Tully trout at their backs. Cushions in red and blue pad the the chairs. Opposite the table is is a hearth of white marble, with the likenesses of two trouts facing each other worked into the mantelpiece. The walls are hung with tapestries showing the sigil of House Tully, and a warm woollen carpet in red and blue covers the dark grey stone floor.

    A pair of windows offers the view of a well kept garden with apple and cherry trees and a fountain in its center. A small wooden door gives access to it.

It's been a few days since the message was sent, indicating a visitor requesting audience. It was an interesting thing, this — a follow-up message was delievered the following day apologizing for delay due to "unforseen circumstances, and begged for a different time." The visitor in question is none other than Ser Riderch Blackwood, heir to the Lordship of Raventree Hall. It's anyone's guess what the matter he wishes to discuss is.

At the appointed (rescheduled) time, however, there is no dallying or delay. The guards admit a lone visitor in a fine-enough black-and-red tunic bearing a familiar sigil — a large silver Weirwood tree flanked by a flight of ravens. His boots echo against the floor as his inquisitive gaze darts about, taking in the surroundings of the manse. He's even clean-shaven today, or at least he was yesterday, given the hint of stubble. And here in the entryway of the Manse, he stands at attention, a pensive look painted upon his features.

He will be led into the salon by the guard who admitted him to the manse. And uon entering the room the Blackwood will see the Tully already seated there, on a comfortable chair by the hearth, attired in a tunic in blue and red, and dark blue breeches. Quite a colourful appearance, even though the man appears slightly bored at the moment, his grey-blue eyes staring into the flames, one hand casually holding onto a goblet of red wine. The gaze shifting towards Riderch as he approaches it takes a while before the Tully addresses him, looking him over with mild curiosity before he inclines his head in a nod. "Ser Riderch, I suppose?" A bit of stubble is present at his own chin as well, so that may something Thadeus will hardly hold against the visitor. One hand is raised to gesture to a nearby chair. "Have a seat." He smiles. "If ye please. Or remain standing." A soft chuckle follows, as he leans back in his chair.

"The only, My Lord." The reply from Riderch comes rather eagerly as he visibly gauges the Tully Lord's response. A smile delivered and a smile returned, if slightly crooked. Blackwood just appears to do this, it would seem. He tucks his hands behind his back and delivers a swift nod in greeting. "At least, I would hope." At the offer of the chair, he spends a second mulling over the choice before deciding, in fact, that sitting is a preferable option here. And so here he sits. "I left a bottle of honeywine with your man. It was sent down from Blackrush near Raventree that I was saving for a good occasion and this seems as good as any, no?" He waits. "First, I'm grateful to meet you in person. I had…heard you were here."

Thadeus nods when Riderch confirms his identity. The news of a bottle of honeywine does manage to ellicit a pleased smile on his features. "Oh indeed?" A casual wave to the servant, who approaches to present the beverage to the Tully, a sight that seems to please the host. "Bring us two cups," he remarks to the man. "A good occasion?", he inquires in the direciton of the Blackwood. "And yes, I've arrived some weeks ago…" Almost two months, but time seems to fly faster here at Oldtown. "Some tedious trade business," he shrugs. "As well as some betrothal matter." Probably as tedious as his slightly troubled gaze might suggest. "I am sure you heard. I am to marry Lady Cerys Targaryen."

"It's the good stock that I'd share. I find the Reach interesting, but they have no appreciation for certain things that we've further north." First, some small talk, on Riderch's part, as the Blackwood lordling, relaxes in a little. He's taking in the measure of the man now. One heir to another, probably. "Well, a good occasion as any. You're to be my liege one day, and I'd heard you were a good sort to be accquainted with. So thank you for receiving me." And yes, I've heard — some of it. I am accquainted with her cousin, actually." The man's demeanor is animated and some have described him as a little odd, touched, but he's on good behavior here even if he seems entirely too cheerful.

The smile fades a tad though as Thadeus' betrothal is mentioned. "I'd heard something of that. I'd never met the Princess. Well, not /that/ Princess. Congratulations, though? Pragmatically speaking, the Targaryens were the best allies we could have hoped for when they joined our ancestors against Harren." He seems a bit troubled here too, or at least hesitant, but it is unclear over exactly what. The servant brings the drink and the cups, in short order.

"You haven't changed that much, Ser Riderch," the Tully remarks with a grin. "Since last time we met." Some time ago in the Riverlands. A bit of air leaves Thadeus' nose in a silent grin. "Certainly, your liege," hard to imagine, at this point. "One day." He inclines his head to the congratulations with a faint smile. That fades a touch at the mention of Black Harren. "Aye," he replies with a grim smile, as some probably displeasing thought crosses his mind.

For Riderch's part, mention of Harren and that fateful campaign when the fates of the Riverlords changed forever, brings a cheerful sort of look to the Heir to House Blackwood's face, as the cupbearer returns to break out the honeywine. It's a narrow smile, with only a hint of teeth showing. And there's nothing about this expression that belies the man's thoughts here. He's probably gleefully imagining the violence visited on the old Hoare King.

"Well, for my part, I hope my day in the Lordship is some time off. Which is one of the many reasons I am down here now instead of up here, and imposing my presence on your hospitality. I suppose it's a good thing, though. One day we'll likely have to meet over boring, trifling details about actually ruling our lands."

He pauses a slight bit. "Come to think of it I do remember you at that Feast, My Lord." He reaches for the time and place as he snaps his fingers. "So, I mean to ask, how is your business going here? I could bore you with a list of problems I've run into, but…" But.

The grin of the Blackwood is noticed, and that slightly displeased look fades at once from the Tully's features. He does indeed join Riderch in that grin, as that displeasing thought drifts to that of a possible solution. Thadeus remains silent however for a moment, allowing Riderch the time to speak, an amused chuckle leaving his lips at the mention of boring talks. "We should be well advised to enjoy being heirs then, as long as it will be allowed to us," he says with a smirk, taking one of the cups to raise it in a toast. "Be welcome, Blackwood. And… so far things are going well, I think." He pauses shifting his grey-blue eyes to study the Riverlands guest for a bit. "Oh… I may be easily bored,… but why don't you try your luck? I'm supposed to listen to the concerns of my vassals, am I not?" And with that said he takes a good sip of the honeywine.

Indeed, it appears that these two men are of like mind about several things, be they spoken or otherwise, and the erstwhile vassal of House Tully's shoulders shift backwards as he too was eyeing his own winecup for a moment.

He lifts it. "Thank you. And I've been lately reminded of a true thing. This is our time, My Lord." He raises his own to meet Thadeus' toast before downing a sip. "Mmmph. They spiced it right, too!" He lets loose a peal of laughter afterwards before his eyes roll back down to the cup that he sets aside next to him, fingers idly splaying about it.

"Well, it's a matter that my cousins of my mothers' blood have been concerned about as well. Missing ships." The smile is gone. "A great trading cog departed from Seagard. It was bound here, and it just vanished. My House, and several others, had some shares in the shipment, and now merchants we had made promises to here in Oldtown and elsewhere in the Reach are ruffled."

His brows move upwards after his first sip and Thadeus nods appreciatively. "They did indeed." Taking his time then to study the Blackwood as he brings forth his concern, detached boredom soon turning into slight interest. "Vanished?", he echoes, shifting in his seat. "That sounds like the work of Ironmen to me…" There it is again, the frown. Not a good subject these days. "So…?" he continues, raising a brow in an inquiring manner. "Has anyone been able to dig up some information on this 'mysterious' vanishing of a ship?"

"Believe me, Lord. You know what thought entered my mind first when this came to light." Riderch says, his response coming a bit languid here as he splays his fingers about the cup. "Whatever assurances from the Greyjoys would be otherwise, I do not assume there is a leash on that scum ever." Blackwood really doesn't like Ironborn. Also, fish swim. Some birds even fly.

"I would have followed this thought to a logical conclusion, but — ahh, I do not know how much you pay attention to news and rumors. I did something a little foolish in the past weeks which makes me suspect otherwise." That's something. "Well. So, borrowed my cousin's ship. Because, well, Princess to entertain…" He waves a hand hastily. "Not your Princess, My Lord." His cheeks flash in a certain degree of abashment.

"Some errant friends along for the sail. What could possibly go wrong? We discovered another vessel washed up flying a Hightower vassal banner. Crew were butchered, save the cabin boy. They bore the mark of some strange sigil. Red shields too, if the boy's words mean anything. They barely stole anything really valuable and left the ship and its crew for the crows. Now does that sound like Ironmen to you?"

Some fish even have had some sort of spar turning into something more serious with a self-proclaimed leviathan some time ago. The incident surprisingly present in the Tully's memory. "Foolish?", Thadeus inquires. "I see little folly in trying to investigate the matter. So that was the ship in question? What of the sigil, ser. What did it look like?" Not that this Tully is excessively versed in heraldry. "Red shields…" muttered thoughtfully as the Bull Fish seems to contemplate the matter. Looking up he'll nod. "It doesn't sound like the work of Ironborn to me," he remarks. "More like a deed of vengeance. Mayhaps they were after something or someone in particular?" Time for another sip from the cup of honeywine.

"Well. You know. Unfortunately I have this irritating tendency to defer to certain Targaryens when they are insistent and I did exactly that, there." Riderch's hand comes up to his face as he idly rubs his nose with the back of his hand. Maybe he just has an itch. This is delievered with a rueful and slightly dry tone but that's the end of the matter. "I am sure you could understand, My Lord." His blue-green eyes drift upward to study the other man intently.

"The Reach ship, I was told, was under the banners of House Costayne, but those are the injured parties here. This could be a coincidence but this level of piracy is something that ruffles many feathers." Including his own, if his shoulders are any giveaway.

"That thought might have crossed my mind had I not been just so taken aback by the sight. The sigil though? Unrecognizable. The Lord in the Hightower I spoke with seems to make a habit of studying these things and he was of the opinion that someone just made it up. It does not look like any heraldry I recognize. He mentioned someone — like an idiot trying to write High Valyrian but getting it horribly wrong."

"Being defering to Targaryens is a thing I could hardly hold against you," the Tully replies with a smirk. "So what are your connections to that House, if I may ask? You've mentioned a princess, can it be that two Houses of the Riverlands have managed to secure themselves a bride of those Dragons…?" The glance Thadeus shoots Riderch is somewhere between slightly amused and impressed. "Hmm, sounds like someone wants to attract attention, or maybe just an attempt to cover up their true identities? What did the Lord in the Hightower say exactly? In with whom was it you spoke?" He's certainly no great thinker, more a man of action which becomes clear with his next remark. "So… I'm curious. How would you think I could be of help, Ser Riderch?"

There's a little snort in his cup as Riderch is caught in mid-sip. And coughs a little in the process, his eyes widen a little as he recovers. A sip of the wine is a little bit helpful for this but he sets the thing down, clearly something between bemused and embarassed. "Merely one of friendship, to one Princess. Not anywhere near as close to the Crown as your intended, Lord Thadeus."

Wow, that was more formal. "But — aren't they all close in some way? I just became a little fond of her and lost my wits. I am merely concerned with defending her honor, now." He spends a little bit of time circling around the issue which should be rather telling. "My House is — well, your family knows mine and we know yours. There's a question of station and I already got harshly disabused of the notion by one of her cousins, and half-encouraged by another. So, what is a fool to do? But the short answer is no, I have not. Although she's — a clever, clever girl. Which is what I like about her."

Waving the entire issue aside, he returns to the more, well, grim topic at hand. "I spoke with Lord Samael Hightower. We seemed to have come to the early conclusion that the goal here for these phantom pirates is fear. Spread it. But why then? And what I would ask is to see amongst men you'd have favor with at home. Or bannermen. The Lord Hightower suggested studying these incidents more and determining if they are related. And if so? Set a trap for them. Maybe several. House Mallister and House Blackwood are already committed to aiding this cause. We could probably speak to House Piper too. Probably not the Brackens —" Because, oh, well, there's a face he makes. But he's smart enough not to badmouth other bannermen in front of the Lord, whatever his obvious thoughts are.

"Draw these men out, capture them if possible. Cut out the problem like a wart."

Thadeus raises his brows, then lowers his gaze when Riderch insists on entertaining merely a friendship to the Targaryen inquestion, then looks up again, his head slightly tilted to the side, his mien showing bewilderment then a certain realization seems to dawn on him and he smiles. "Defending her… um… honor… sounds honorably enough," he remarks with a soft chuckle, obviously developing his own assessment of the matter. "But I'm glad to hear this Targaryen lady is smart." His own netrothed Targaryen has probably… other qualities. His gaze drops, acknowledging the topic to be sufficiently explored for now.

"Mallisters and Blackwoods have already joined the cause…?" Thadeus echoes, probably a habit of his, this echoing. A smirk at the mention of Brackens. How could the Tully not be aware of the oldest feud within the Riverlands, but he shrugs. "I am with you in this cause, it cannot be a state that is to be tolerated. Yet be aware, if any Brackens would come and offer their help, I would certainly not decline their wish." After setting that straight, the Tully raises his cup once again, to Riderch's final summing up on how to deal with the problem. "Sounds like a plan!" Draining his cup with a long swig, before he deposits it onto the table with a determined bang.

"If I were to sit here and extol her virtues, those beyond the name of her family which so many of these Reachmen who have never lifted a sword in their life seem to covet, I would be here long into the night I'm afraid." Riderch admits, with a slight, rough sigh. Well, he had to address that little point. A man like Thadeus should be able to understand exactly what is going on here.

But the pressing matter at hand, really! "If the Brackens wish to be involved in this endeavour, their help would be…welcomed." Blackwood admits now, a little sour tinge to his tone of voice but he does state this. "We were able to put aside the history we seem to have once before in the Great Rising when your ancestor Lord Edmyn Tully led us once against the worst enemy we have had. We can do so again. This I will promise you." He doesn't have to like it, though.

"Well, that was simple enough. You've a reputation for being a reasonable man, Lord Thadeus. I'm always, well, overjoyed when these things ring true." He sets his own cup now after draining it and throws back his head in an odd laugh. But catches himself. What a strange man. "So — that concluded, I would be a terrible vassal if I didn't offer help where needed. Have you any concerns in this city that the Heir to Raventree can assist with? We don't have many men here but enough to keep our affairs under control. Just me, my sister, and my half-brother." They're all down here for some reason.

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