Raynard wanders aimlessly into the Godswood, his left hand resting on his hand-and-a-half sword. He looks at the trees, pondering the pagan religion that worshipped them.
Sitting on one of the stone benches is Rosalind Hill. The bastard daughter of the lions is focused on an arrangement of leaves and shoots. Some she wraps carefully in scraps of wet linen for protection, others are discarded. Nearby, though at a discreet distance stands a crimson cloaked guardsman bearing the roaring lion sigil.
Raynard pauses as he comes on the heart tree. Transfixed by the carving, he doesn’t see the young maid from his six feet of height. Dropping his hand from his sword hilt, he feels like reaching forward to touch the bark of the heartree, as though the face were calling to him somehow. He blinked for a few moments, and looked about seeing the guard. Looking about more thoroughly, he saw Rosalind.
Rosalind inclines her head politely, regarding the Northman. “Good evening.” She murmurs, a faint lilt of amusement in her tone. Her guard shifts position, well aware of the other knight’s approach, but stays where he is.
Raynard bows politely and smiles at her. “Good eve milady. How fare you?” Rising he nods at the guard to indicate he intends no harm to the young woman. “I am Ser Raynard Locke.”
The crimson cloaked guard shoots his charge a wry glance, before nodding in response to the knight.
“A pleasure, ser. I am Rosalind Hill, as it please you. The natural daughter of Ser Landyll Lannister.”
Raynard nods his head. “The pleasure is mine milady. May I take a seat?” He makes a general sweep of the ground with his right hand.
Rosalind chuckles at that, amused. “Of course.” She inclines her head graciously. “I’ve not seen you here before, have I? Have you come recently to King’s Landing?”
Raynard takes a seat against one of the numerous trees. “Nay Lady Rosalind. I am recently arrived here.” His brushed his hair out of eyes, only to watch it fall back in front of them.
“And what brings you here, from your Northlands, ser?” The bastard girl inquires, curious. “Have you come to perform great deeds, to earn your name among the singers?”
“In a sense to regain my honor.” Raynard scratches the back of his sheepishly. “I am something of the black sheep in my family.”“
Rosalind lifts both brows, “Now, that sounds like a story.” She resettles on her bench, apparent upon hearing it.
Raynard hangs his head and grins. “It’s not much to tell. I shirked many of my knightly duties. So in an effort to teach me some discipline my dear Aunt Joncella suggested I be sent here with minimal support. I am not to return until I earn my name.”
Rosalind ahs softly, “What made you shirk your duties? And how do you intend to earn your name?”
“I didn’t care for the routine work. It was dull, and didn’t seem all that important. As for regaining my name, I can’t think of a better way than glory in the tourney. I’m a fair hand with my sword, and I’d like to see how I would fare in the melee.”
“So you were not in Dorne?” Rosalind reasons. “People do like tourneys. I was here for the King’s Tourney. It was all very exciting, but wouldn’t you rather earn your name in true deeds, rather than sport?”
Raynard sighs, and nods. “Yes it would, but such deeds are hard to come by. Should one present itself however, I would seize the opportunity with both hands.”
“Well, you could always offer your sword to the Gold Cloaks or the Kingswood Warden.” Rosa suggests. “There are bandits to chase.”
Raynard shakes his head. “Nay milady. My services are already sworn to my uncle. As soon as I’ve proven myself, I am to take a place in his service.”
Rosalind hmms softly, “You are closing off options that could put you in a better position to seek out opportunities. Neither the Gold Cloaks, nor the Kingwood Wardens is an appointment for life. So how do you intend to seek them out?”
Raynard pinches the bridge of his nose. “And once more I find myself sliding into old habits. Perhaps I should look into the Gold Cloaks.”
Rosalind chuckles at that, still amused. “At least be thankful that you have so many options.”
Raynard laughs with her. “This is exactly what Aunt Joncella sent me down here for. There is so much I can do, but I won’t apply myself to anything. Though you speak as if you have no options. I’m sure there must be a half dozen suitors for such an attractive lady from a noble house.”
“Ah, I am recently betrothed, yes.” Rosa smiles, “But though my family is noble, I am bastard born. That, and simply being female, tends to limit one’s options. I’ve thought much about this in the past. Men that are bastard born may become knights… even to the Kingsguard. They may wed noble ladies, if they prove themselves. Otherwise, there is the Faith or the Citadel. Women cannot be knights or maesters. Bastard girls seldom wed well… there’s been some commentary on that, to be sure! See, it becomes a game of numbers. The war in Dorne had the unfortunate consequences of making many young widows. There are fewer and fewer men for these young widows, or girls who lost their betrotheds, to wed.” Rosalind considers, “I think, were I born a boy, I would have been for the Citadel. As it stands, however, I am quite pleased to be betrothed.”
Raynard sighs and nods. “A sad truth to be certain, and not one I agree with. While I do understand the reasons for it, or at least the ones I’ve been told, I don’t think it’s right that someone should be disparaged for who they’re parents were.”
Rosalind shrugs, unconcerned. “It’s amusing. I suppose if I really wanted to do something… untoward, I could simply blame my bastard blood.”
Raynard laughs, his grey eyes alight. “Yes Milady, you do have that for an excuse. I regrettably have no such escapes, and am forever bound to honor by my station, and my blood.”
Rosalind nods, “Aye, that is true. There are advantages to being a bastard, as well as disadvantages. Truly, it’s an academic conversation. But the hour grows long and I must needs return to my family’s manse. Well come to King’s Landing, ser.”
Raynard nods, and rises. “My thanks milady. And alas I must retire as well. Perhaps you would be so kind as to allow me the honor of escorting you home first?
Rosalind glances over to her guard, who wears a wry smile. The two exchange a look, some communication passing between them. “As you will, ser.” She rises to her feet.