(121-01-10) The Glass Candle
The Glass Candle
Summary: Bryn brings his glass candle to Maera, who has in turn arranged for Maester Thane to look at it. They discuss whether Bryn should find a way to light it, and how he might.
Date: 121-01-10
Related: Catching Up
Players:
Bryn..Eonn..Maera..Thane..

<This log may contain plot SPOILERS.>

Dusk has fallen, and the shadows lengthen as darkness is kept at bay by candle and torch. The Sailmaker's manse is quiet. The large table in the central area of the house has been cleared for use, and after the servants show any visitors in they will make a beeline for the kitchens. Maera sits at the big table alone, a glass of wine in one hand and a thoughtful frown wrinkling her forehead.

Eonn is sitting at the other end of the table, his feet up on an empty chair. He, too, has a glass of wine. And his knitting. He clicks away at this handwork, creating something or another from cheap black woolen yarn.

Bryn makes his way into Appletree Wynd and over towards the Sailmaker's Manse carrying a large bundle wrapped in cloth, big enough he has to hold it to his chest with both arms to keep a good grip on it. And, moments later, this is how he enters. He steps over to the table, but pauses there, still holding the package. "Hello."

"Hello Bryn." Maera says in response. She stands up from the table, and walks over to the sideboard, "Why don't you put that on the table? It looks heavy. Your helper should be here soon." As she speaks she pours the boy out a glass of wine, and adds a decent amount of water to it before offering it to him.

Eonn stays where he is, knitting. He nods to Bryn as the lad enters and says, evenly. "Boy. Hello."

Bryn lifts the package up and puts it on the table. "Who is gonna help me?" He looks surprised, but smiles as he's offered the wine, and accepts the drink, saying politely, "Thank you." He takes a small sip of it, almost experimental.

Thane's appearance in the entryway is announced by the thunk of his weirwood staff. The raven at his shoulder takes flight, flapping over to perch on the back of Thane's usual chair. The ginger-haired maester nods respectfully to Maera, and then offers a more curt not of greeting to Eonn. "This is the boy?" he asks bluntly.

Maera offers Bryn a little half-smile before nodding her head to Thane. "This is the boy." She sits back down at her chair, "Bryn, why don't you take it out of the package?"

Eonn returns Thane's nod, raising his eyebrows at the man, a little questioning.

Bryn looks back quickly towards the entrance at the thunk of the staff, and blinks, looking up to the maester in surprise. After a moment, he looks back to Maera, perhaps a little unsure, but nods a little and unwraps an ornate wooden box, which he then opens.

Thane settles into his chair, leaning his staff against the table. His steely gaze is fixed on Bryn and his box. "I am Maester Thane, boy. Come on now, let's see it. Where did you get it?"

It's a fancy box. Inlaid with a flame pattern. Inside, it's padded well. It contains a spiraling piece of dragonglass, about a foot and a half long at most. It's near half the size of the great tall ones they've got at the citadel, but it looks the same. It's helix has sharp, gleaming edges. It looks as if it /wants/ to burn. At least, to Bryn and those with anything like his sensibilities, it does.

Thane's eyes widen with astonishment, as if he hadn't truly believed it existed until this moment. "Where did you get it?" he asks again, more insistently this time.

Eonn stops his knitting, the clicking of his wooden needles suddenly silent. He sits up and gazes at the contents of the box.

Bryn takes a slight step back so Thane can get a good look at the candle, and says, "I found it. It was just left in an alley. I know who left it, a squire, but he still left it and I found it. So, it's mine now," he adds, as if wanting to make sure the maester knows this fact. Then he adds, "Aeron says it's part of the Targaryen legacy."

It's beautiful. You know it will cut your hand if you're not careful picking it up.

"A Glover squire left it." Maera adds softly as she looks over the sharp and beautiful obsidian candle.

Thane harumphs. "Lord Aeron Targaryen would say such a thing." He rises to his feet, circling around to inspect the candle more closely. "Lady Mormont tells me that you wish to light it." He turns a sharp glance to Bryn. "Why?"

Bryn meets the sharp glance without flinching. "Because it has to be lit. It wants to be lit, it.. it needs to. It's supposed to be lit, it's made to burn." His tone becomes a little more plaintive as he goes on, struggling to find words he doesn't know to explain how the candle calls to him.

"I don't think you should light that," says Eonn, looking at it.

"What will happen?" Maera asks. "Once it is lit, I mean. If it can be lit."

"If this boy lights the candle," Thane says, a distant look coming to his eyes, "The lifeblood of old will turn sickly blue…black and white will be divided…" He shakes his head. "This is no mere toy, child. This is a tool of sorcerers, with the power to wield it, and the wisdom to know when to resist its call." He looks to the candle, the lines in his brow deepening with concern.

Eonn looks at Thane, baffled, "Blue?" he says. "What do you mean?"

Bryn shakes his head to Eonn emphatically, "I have to!" At Thane's words he calms down a little, growing a little more thoughtful. "Then… it could be bad if I light it without knowing what sorcerers know? Then… how do I learn that stuff?"

Maera looks between Thane and Bryn before her eyes settle on Thane, "Some clarification, maester? What makes sense to you may not make sense to the rest of us.

Thane lifts his brow, spreading his hands in a gesture of uncertainty. "I don't know, Eonn. It's what I saw. Lady Mormont, I don't have those answers myself…yet. But my dream showed me these things, and they did not fill me with a sense of hope." He peers curiously at Bryn, and moves to retake his seat. "The knowledge you would seek comes from a lifetime of study, and a heavy price. That is a lot to commit to over a found object."

Eonn looks at the candle, then looks at Thane. "Shade of the Evening," he says, fixing a stare at the man.

Bryn looks back at the candle and says softly, "But it has to be lit…" He bites his lip, and then looks back up to Thane. "It isn't just… isn't just an object. It's important. Most important thing I've ever been near."

"Shade of the Evening?" Maera gives Eonn a confused look.

"Qarth…of course." Thane rubs his chin, calloused fingers scratching over his scruffy beard. He looks up to Maera. "An elixir drunk by the warlocks of Qarth, said to bring them clarity or visions. It is dark blue in color, and turns their lips a similar shade. Hence the name. But why would they be involved?" His eyes fall upon the candle again. "We must know where this artifact came from before the Glovers possessed it."

Eonn nods and says, "That is why you should not light it." He knits another stitch, then stops and puts the knitting down.

Bryn thinks a moment, then says, "I've never seen anybody with blue lips. Warlocks… are they like blood witches? I've met one of those. She made a toy knight move for me." He looks to Eonn and says, "I don't have to light it *now*. Dunno how, anyway. But I'm gonna, someday."

"I thought the obsidian candles were made by the Citadel." Maera says with a thoughtful little frown, "What would this one have to do with Qarth and their warlocks?" She shakes her head softly, "It was Erena Glover's. Perhaps it came with her when she married? I don't remember who her people are."

Eonn turns his attention away from Thane to Bryn and says quietly, "You may not wish for what can be seen by the light of such a candle to be made visible."

Thane shakes his head. "The Citadel has its own candles. But those were brought to us from Valyria a thousand years before the Doom. We do not possess the knowledge to create such things. But it would behoove us, Lady Mormont, to learn where Erena Glover obtained it. If this belonged to the warlocks, they may be trying to reclaim it." He nods to Bryn, "Eonn is right, young man. A glass candle casts more than just the light of its flame."

Bryn shakes his head to Maera, "Aeron said these candles, and Valyrian Steel were things that came from the homeland of the Targaryens." He looks back to Thane at the explanation of where the Citadel got their candles, and nods. Then he looks to Eonn in confusion, and back to Thane as he adds to it. "What do you mean? What's it cast, then?"

Eonn looks to Thane, curious.

"Knowledge," Thane says to the boy. "Sight of things unseen. Perhaps of things not meant to be seen. Boy, listen to me. There are many people that will want this candle, and many of them will have no problem hurting you to get it."

"It must be kept somewhere safe, Bryn. What if it were to fall into the wrong hands?" Maera gives the boy a lingering look, "You cannot hope to keep it on your own."

Bryn bites his lip as he looks between the three adults. The mention of people willing to hurt or kill him seems to get through, at least. "If.. if I give it to you to keep safe, can I still see it? And if I want to take it back someday, when I'm older and can protect it, can I?"

Eonn raises his eyebrows. He looks at Maera, then at Thane, and then back to Bryn. He says nothing, but he certainly seems surprised that the boy is so trusting about the candle.

Thane sighs, eyeing the candle. "I will not lie. I desire this candle. But to study, not to covet. I wish to know if it differs from the others in the Citadel's possession. But above all else, boy, I wish to be certain you will be safe from those that want to take it."

Eonn lowers his head, leaning across the table towards Bryn. He says, intently. "Who knows you have this?"

"It would be best kept with the maester." Maera says in agreement. "But someone has to be looking for it. One doesn't just lose an object like this."

Bryn isn't, necessarily, being trusting. He hasn't agreed, yet. He's just asking the question, and seems to be assessing Thane and Maera on their responses. He shakes his head to Thane, "I can take care of myself." He looks like he might say something else, but Eonn's question has him blinking, "Just you," meaning those in the room it seems, "and Aeron. Lord Banefort and Isador think I heard people talking about glass candles, but they don't know I have it. Know people want it. Even Aeron said he'd have taken it from me, if I didn't have The Blood."

"The last thing we want is that witch getting her hands on it," Thane scowls inwardly, rubbing at his chin. "Boy, I'm sure you've taken care of yourself so far. But you've not known trouble like the Qartheen warlocks. Nor of many others that would try to claim the candle. If entrusted to me, I will not keep you from it. In fact…" He squints curiously at Bryn. "When I told you that you lacked the power to use it, your first question was how to gain the knowledge to do so. Knowledge…not power. Why did you assume knowledge is what was needed?"

Eonn nods, straightening up in his chair. He regards Bryn thoughtfully and says, "I know their names." He speaks slowly. "Will they keep your secret?"

"Aeron will keep his secret." Maera confirms with a little nod. "What that one says he will do he does." She taps her fingers across the tabletop and frowns slightly, "It is better if the Baneforts do not know you have it, Bryn. Lady Banefort hates me, and if she knew you were here she'd be displeased. I cannot help you with her meddling. Worse, she may try taking it from you for herself."

Bryn blinks at Thane's question, and says, "'Cause that's where power really comes from. King Aegon conquered Westeros 'cause he knew how to control dragons. It wasn't 'cause he was big and strong like a Blacksmith. My friend Keli, she's never been hurt by anybody bigger than her, 'cause she knows where to stab her knives. It's all like that, every kind of power. Even just knowing what to say to make people do what you want. It's all knowing." He looks to Eonn and nods quickly to what Maera says, "Aeron will keep it. I don't know Isador, and I don't trust the Baneforts. They're really, really nice to me, but.. too nice. Haven't figured out what they want yet. Nobody's ever been that nice to me without wanting something."

Thane sits back in his chair, lacing his fingers together and staring hard at Bryn. "That is half of the relationship between knowledge and power. But it is possible to have power without knowledge. Keeping power requires a deeper knowledge. It requires wisdom, and wisdom comes from more than just a simple collection of facts. It comes from study. From discipline."

Eonn smiles dryly. "The witch being an example," he says. He swallows more wine, then goes back to gazing at the candle. After a moment he murmurs, "I confess I would like to see it burn."

"Aeron is a wise choice, I think." Maera concedes, "But Aeron cannot study the candle. Not like Maester Thane can."

Bryn nods a little to Thane and says, "My mother said wisdom comes from living." Then he says, "I only just started studying. Lady Banefort makes me take lessons. And Aeron's going to start teaching me how to use a sword." He looks back to Maera, considering her words. Then he says, "Aeron said I could trust you. If you trust Maester Thane…" He hesitates a split second, then says, "I do too."

Thane nods firmly, "Good. Then trust me when I say that whatever Lady Banefort's lessons teach you won't help you understand that candle. Boy, you live a stone's throw from the greatest center of learning in the world. You clearly have a mind made for greater things. The Citadel is where you belong."

Eonn stays quiet now.

"The maester will not take the candle from you. He has a Valyrian steel link. That means he knows all about magic." Maera tells Bryn, "If you truly want to understand the candle than leaving it with maester Thane is for the best." A pause, "is he not too young for the Citadel?"

Bryn nods to Maera's reassurance, relaxing a little then. But only for a moment. He looks back to Thane and his eyes widen. "I could be a maester? They take bastards?"

"It's rare to train a boy so young, but not unheard of." Thane says to Maera, then turns his attention to Bryn. "We do. When we take our vows, we set aside family names. So bastardy means nothing among our ranks. Your youth would also be a great benefit in the long run. Many maesters do not enter training until they are much older, and their minds have already hardened. Right now, you are like a dry cloth, ready to soak up knowledge." He arches an eyebrow. "It could be a good life for you, don't you think? And it would give you an opportunity to learn more about your treasure there. Give it some thought, boy."

Eonn looks at Bryn. He nods. It seems he approves of this idea.

"You're smart." Maera says to Bryn, "I barely know you and I can see that. You should think on it."

Bryn nods a tiny bit to Thane's words about it being a good life. He then nods a little bit again and says, "I'll think about it, I promise. Do… do I just come find you, if I decide I want to?"

Eonn studies the boy. "If the sorcerers wish to claim this candle," he says, "It will likely be safer with the Maesters of the Citadel than anywhere else we can take it. If they wish to harm you in order to find it, the same is likely true for yourself. I would not think long, boy. In fact, I would go with the Maester now. And if you light the thing, you will want to be with them when you do it. If its light works in more than one direction, then you will wish for the wisdom to see them coming."

Thane nods to Bryn. He isn't exactly the Citadel admissions officer, but it's plain to see that this boy is something special. "You will find me in the Umbral Tower. If anyone in the Citadel asks you what your business is, just tell them it is with 'Thane Thricewise'. They'll send you along your way quickly enough."

"Good. It's settled then." Maera motions her head towards the candle, "Wrap that thing up. I will send some of my men with you to take it to the Citadel."

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