Fallow Hill, the Riverlands
Rubbing his chin with his fingers, Edwyn leaned back in his chair. On his desk in front of him were several sheets of parchment, on which he’d scribbled various notes and plans. His head was abuzz with thought. There was much to prepare in the event that the Lannister army marched east, and scarce time. The Freys, and, by extension, the Haighs, had not answered the Tully call of banners. This was unsurprising, but extremely concerning nonetheless. Lord Hoster needed every riverlord to unite in arms if he wanted to stand a chance of repelling the Westermen. Edwyn didn’t know why, exactly, the Freys did not come when the banners were called, and he had to assume that they would still fight for their land should war come; but he would not take chances. Usually, he would have Oylen write for him, but, tonight, he
lay ink to paper.‘Lord Walder Frey,
I hope this letter finds you well. As you surely know, the west Riverlands have been raided over the past weeks, and there is word of a Lannister host ammassing in the Westerlands. I write this message to you as a guarantee; your family and people will always be considered by the lords of Fallow Hill, and our granaries. Wh-
Edwyn flinched as he heard a knock at the door, the ink smudging slightly. He sighed a little, but nodded to himself. Perhaps it would be wiser not to intervene. Lord Frey was a devious man who likely already had a plan for the coming war, and Edwyn was proud. He would not grovel - and without grovelling, he was unlikely to see results. Clearing his throat, Edwyn moved the parchment aside and called out. ”Come in.”
Priscilla paced back and forth after she knocked, now wishing that she really had not. She delved deep into her mind and thought about how much of a bad idea this was, or how much of a bad idea it can become. Crap
She thought to herself as she walked away from the door, only to run back to it then walked away again. It was a constant internal struggle for her because she never knew what sort of mood she’d catch him in. Especially with her. Her hand raised up to her face as she sighed, praying to the seven gods to take back her actions from a few moments ago but nothing happened. Of course, she expected that because the gods have not been kind to her over the years. It was known.
Just as she was about to walk away again, she heard his voice mutter for her to come in. She had wondered if he had known it was her, would he have been so accepting to say those words again. Priscilla closed her eyes and inhaled before she twisted the knob and pushed forward, where she exhaled and opened her eyes. As she entered Edwyn’s study, her gaze bounced around as she remembered the fond memories before their love for each other went cold. A little smile even crept between her lips as she closed the door behind her and stood there, eyes still wandered around the study.
It was then when her gaze settled onto Edwyn, her husband, that her smile faded away and her face went expressionless. It was more of a look reserved for him and she never once hesitated to deny it. ❝Edwyn.❞
She breathed his name a bit while her hands clasped in front of her in a greeting gesture. ❝Hope I did not catch you at a bad time.❞
She muttered almost lowly but loud enough for Edwyn to catch her words. ❝How were things while you and Edmund were in King’s Landing for the tourney?❞
Her tone was a bit disgusted by it because she had wanted to be there to support Edmund, her son whom she adored very much so. He was like her in some ways and glad that someone was or else, this family would be doomed. She had hoped that her and Edwyn can speak calmly about things but knew that was probably only shared by her. She still stood closer by the door because she was unsure what type of mood Edwyn was in at the moment and did not want to make matters worse.”Priscilla.”
Edwyn looked up at his wife. He did not smile, but, for just a moment there was a slight glint in his eyes that only seemed to show when he felt something. He had not remembered to greet his wife with all that had gone on - or perhaps he had avoided it. The awkwardness between them was often an elephant in the room that he would rather leave unaddressed. But he was somewhat glad she came to him. It had been three months, after all. Nonetheless, he wasn’t sure he was ready to have a long talk. He had much to do, and he was sure Priscilla would want a real conversation. He was not the type for ‘real’ conversations. Not usually.
When he used to call her name, she used to feel something inside that made her tingle. But now, she felt only a small tingle, really small as if it was already diminished. She did see that glint and that made her smile with her lips a little bit but there was still that awkward feeling between them that clung to the air around them. Priscilla hated this feeling and just wished she would have known where things went wrong between them. There was no use now since their marriage had gone cold and stale years ago. She did enjoy sleeping beside him though because she felt really protected, now all she feels is worried. Priscilla couldn’t help the way she felt around him these days. After all, maybe she was the cause of their marriage taking the unexpected turn as it did.”No, it’s fine,”
he spoke through a sigh. ”The tourney was a tourney. Formalities, appearances.”
Edwyn looked up at Priscilla. He knew she had wanted to go. She had said so, and he had declined, and nothing more came of it. But he knew her temperament. It still bothered her that he had left her at the Hill. But transporting a lady down the Kingsroad, housing her, and keeping her safe cost money,
and Edwyn was unwilling to waste gold on a whim. The reason that House Landry had such fruitful harvests and solid trade links was because Edwyn kept his purse tight, spending little on travel, accomodation and luxury items, and instead re-investing the coin into his land. As far as he was concerned, he would hear no more of it.❝How did our boy, Edmund compete?❞
She inquired as she felt comfortable enough to walk a little further inside of the study room now. There was a tension that swirled in the air but it wasn’t between them, something else was going on and it made her feel a bit confused. Priscilla wanted to inquire about the tension but hesitated a bit because she was unsure of what type of reaction she’d get out of Edwyn. ❝Something...❞
She muttered with hesitation then cleared her throat before she shrugged her shoulders and inquired anyway. ❝Something doesn’t feel right here, Edwyn. And I don’t mean between us.❞
She had picked up a bit of pace in her walk now as she stood mere inches from him and the desk now, eyes glanced over him for a moment. ❝What’s going on, Edwyn?❞
Priscilla asked with no hesitation whatsoever.”I’m sure you heard of Edmund’s performance,”
Edwyn gave a forced smile. ”A valiant effort.
He remained silent for a moment, looking down at his desk ponderingly. He cared not for these pleasantries, and he knew Pris could live with him skipping over them. ”We need to be ready, Priscilla.”
He looked her straight in the eyes now. These ‘skirmishes’ in the west are far from over. They will come for us, too.”
Edwyn danced around the wording, but he knew she understood. Priscilla knew what it was to live through war, at home, and with two infants in her arms. She had arguably struggled just as much as those out in the field. ”I need you to be ready. For whatever happens.”
Her lips curved up into a smile whenever Edwyn spoke of Edmund’s valiant effort performance in the tourney. Her lips then curved into a half frown whenever Edwyn looked down at his desk with the look of wonder expressed upon his face. Something good is not happening right now. Her gut was telling her that story and she could feel it in the air like an impending storm that was about the clash with itself in the skies above them. Then he spoke and said that they need to be ready. Ready for what?
She meant to ask him but thought it instead. It was like he had read her mind as he began to explain his previous and rather cryptic statement. Priscilla had sighed at his words and lowered her head a bit as she took a seat in one of the chairs nearby to brace herself.
This would not be the first time she has had to endure something such as this. Only this time, she had to children to carry in her arms and was more than ready for anything. She had knew that this day would come eventually but just did not think more of it until now. The room started to spin a bit but still, she remained strong in front of Edwyn because it’d be tragic if he had saw her breaking down right now. She stiffened herself up and eyed him with the nod of her head, licking her lips and pressing them together before she spoke.❝Edwyn, you know that I am more than ready to protect this household by any means necessary.❞
She muttered lowly but loud enough for him to hear her, to which he nodded silently. ❝Even if that means suiting Ashton up to join in the fight.❞
Of course, it was just a figure of speech and she hoped that Edwyn did not take her words to thought. She’d die inside if something happened to her little otter out there on the battlefield or just on any field really. She’d revel the day that Ashton is able to join in on the battles though. ❝Speaking of Ashton, you would’ve been proud of him today at the court.❞
She said then ended her words with a smile.❝He looked so much like you sitting in that chair today. I almost had flashbacks to those times.❞
Priscilla was very brief in her tone but made it quite clear for Edwyn to get the message. She had sighed a bit before she lowered her head again, her hands rubbed together before her gaze went back to meet his. ❝What does this mean for us, Edwyn? What’s going to happen?❞
Priscilla questioned, rather sternly as if she was wanting to take charge of the situation. Of course, if there was an impending battle, she’d have no choice but to take charge of the household and those who stayed behind and dwelled their for the moment. She’d also pray for her husband, Edwyn and whoever stood beside him on the battlefield.
Edwyn had remained quiet and calm as his wife spoke. It had been a while since they had been able to speak like this, but perhaps it was just because of the circumstances. Even with the respectful nature of the conversation, there was still a clear underlying tension between the two. Perhaps there would always be one. ”Ashton has grown a great deal in my absence. He is more of a man at fourteen than many are at twenty.”
He neglected to mention that he intended to send Ash out on the operation of his own design in the coming days. Perhaps that was a conversation to face another time. Edwyn waited a moment before considering her question. What did
this all mean? Aside from the obvious; war. Pain. Potential grief.”I don’t know yet.”
He was blunt and unfeeling in his delivery. ”But tonight I will write to Lord Horton. He is a dear friend, and, should the safety of our home be compromised, he would be glad to offer shelter.”
He did not sugar-coat the situation. The idea of having to evacuate home was perhaps a pessimistic one, but Edwyn was nothing if not prepared. ”Baldy is readying our men as we speak. In the coming week we will know what is to come.”
He sighed a little, but attempted to give a reassuring smile, which appeared blatantly forced. ”We have the most plentiful granary in the Riverlands. So long as we can keep a hold on the Kingsroad, we will be fine, and this will likely be put to an end swiftly. King Robert is not the kind of man to allow a war behind his own back.”
She only nodded her head at him whenever he muttered his thoughts about Ashton then stood up, walking closer to him now. She reached her hand out with nerves that caused it to shake a bit. Her hand would rest upon his shoulder as she closed her eyes a bit and breathed, hoping to ignite that spark that they once shared between them. Priscilla always carried that spark that will once light up a torch between them and she will never lose it, so it seems. She cared deeply for Edwyn, respected his decisions and stood beside him in the darkest of times. It looks as so, she has to be that Priscilla he fell in love with once again.❝Please, let me know Lord Horton thoughts, Edwyn so I can be better prepared.❞
She spoke lowly and softly then curled her hand upon his shoulder now to show her worry. She had sighed breathlessly and leaned in to kiss his cheek then leaned backward. Why was she trying to salvage the distant feelings between them so much? Especially now in the time such as this. ❝I hope whatever is to come will be in good in our favor. If it’s a war then I know we shall prevail with you leading the charge, Edwyn alongside Ser Baldric.❞
She spoke in the same tone as before though with a bit more loving tone to it now. Priscilla had to show that she cared for him in some way and she think that she just did that, or least, she hope that he felt it.❝King Robert won’t know unless someone tells him. Perhaps, you should write to him, as well? Let him know of the brewing troubles?❞
Priscilla inquired with hesitation because of course, King of the Seven Kingdoms knows what is going but what if, just this once, he did not know. She had sighed under her breath again, feeling as if she just made matters worse and removed her hand from Edwyn’s shoulder then turned her back from him. Her head lowered to stare at the floor beneath her because she feels as if she just makes terrible decisions for the sake of everyone that’s involved.”We will make it in our favour.”
Edwyn stated, but turned silent as his wife approached him. He did not object to her touch, but his face continued to lack any sense of emotion. As she turned away, he closed his eyes for a moment, but quickly restored his unflinching frown. ”The King has respect for this house, I know that,”
he said, then shook his head. ”But he will always trust the Lannisters over a minor Riverlands family. It would only raise further chance of major conflict if I interfered, I fear...”
He seemed to trail of a little, gazing off to the wall. He snapped his eyes back to Priscilla; it seemed he had decided he wanted to be alone now. That this was enough human contact for today.”Have you seen Edmund yet?”
He feigned sentimentality in his tone. ”You should seek him out. I’m sure he’ll have missed you.”
His eyes seemed to drift back to the papers on his desk, as if the conversation was surely almost over.
She had understood his words and did not comment any further. It was as if he did not want her to do so, anyway. Priscilla simply nodded her head in an understanding and agreeable nature then turned back to face him. Then he changed the topic and it was clearly a sign to get rid of her. She couldn’t blame him because whatever spark that was left between them, fizzled out right then and there. It was disheartening for her to think about but at the same time, it was probably for the best. ❝I have missed him so, it’s no doubt in my mind that the feeling is mutual.❞
She muttered, throwing a brief hint to Edwyn.
After her words, she walked to the door and twisted the knob to open it. Her head glanced back and she wanted to tell him goodbye, see you at bedtime or something of that nature but was it really worth it at this point? Priscilla gulped and held back her words and just exited out of the study. She closed the door behind her then rested her back against, on the verge of absolute tears because of how cold her and Edwyn had really become with each other. Her hand raised up to her mouth as she gasped then stood up straight, sniffling before she went on the search for Edmund.
Wherever he was.
Edwyn returned to his papers. For a moment, lost in thought, but quickly back to work. Maester Oylen appeared as a shadow at the door. A knock. Edwyn called, he entered. “Is there anything else you need this evening, Lord Edwyn?” The Dornishman asked with a gentle tone. He was well aware of the Landry family dynamics, and was aware that the lord would most likely want to be left alone for the night. ”No, that’ll be all, Maester,
Edwyn spoke almost dejectedly. As Oylen nodded and turned to make his leave, Edwyn adjusted himself and spoke out again. ”Actually… Oylen,”
He dipped his head and focused a little. ”Perhaps the house would have supper tonight, together, in the hall. Would you be as kind to arrange it kitchen?”
Edwyn wanted his family have some vague sense of togetherness if war was to come.
“Of course, my lord,” Maester Oylen smiled. “I will see it done.” And with that, the door to Edwyn’s study creaked shut.