(121-01-17) A Most Remarkable Boy
A Most Remarkable Boy
Summary: Thane visits the Watercliff Manse to discuss Bryn's future.
Date: 121-01-17
Related: The Glass Candle

After Leof suggested she meet Thane and they discuss things, Bryn went to the Citadel and left a message with one of the novices for Thane, inviting him to come. Likely, some kind of arrangements were made in the meantime for a specific time. Now, as that time approaches, Bryn waits in the main room of the manse, fidgetting a little with his likely freshly-cleaned clothes.

Leof is quiet, wearing an orange silk undergown with a light weight black over dress. She is coming out of the kitchen with a tray of snacks, a maid behind her carrying tea. She seems to be neatly preparing the house for Bryn's guest. She looks dewy and fresh. A few books are out from earlier reading which she closes and hands to the maid "Please take these back up to the library."

Thane is a busy maester, but as soon as he was able, he made time for young Bryn's request. It is the early evening when he is is shown into the main room of the Watercliff Manse, clutching his twisted white walking staff, a black raven perched on his shoulder. When he is announced by the servant that showed him in, he clears his throat and offers a respectful bow to Leof. "Lady Banefort," he says in his resonant baritone. "Thank you for having me in your home."

Bryn looks up as Thane is shown in and announced, waving. "Hello Maester Thane." He goes quiet, though, to let Leof properly greet the maester, glancing between her and the maester as he stands up.

Leof smiles a bot, giving a curtsy in return "Would you like tea, or perhaps wine?" she asks, offering Thane bread and salt immediately, like a good hostess. "Maesters are always welcome." she offers, her soft voice greeting the man. Her expression is amused at Bryn, using one hand to gently ruffle the child's hair.

"Wine would be appreciated," Thane says as he accepts the salt and bread, consuming them immediately. "Hello, Bryn," he says with unusual warmth. "I'm glad that you are considering my suggestion. Lady Banefort, I understand that you've taken Bryn under your wing in some capacity."

Leof smiles a bit "Yes. He has all the privilege one of my sons will have - a horse, all the books he can read, I've been tutoring him and was considering hiring a Maester to teach him." she admits, cheeks pink. She moves to gather a bottle of wine personally, returning with two glasses. "I very much adore Bryn." she offers, chipperly.

Bryn nods again to what Leof says. "Yeah, she's been treating me like part of the family. Lord Banefort too," he adds quickly. Then he looks back up to Thane then and says, "I still dunno if I want to be a maester, but I wanna know more."

Thane nods to Leof, seating himself at the table. "I can understand why. Young Master Bryn makes an impression. Surely you have recognized his intellect." He nods to Bryn. "It isn't a choice to be made lightly, Bryn. But the fact that you are weighing it carefully only convinced me more that this could be a great path for you. You have the mindset for it."

Leof takes the wine to pour Thane's glass first, pouring a smaller glass for herself. "Are you hungry?" she watches Bryn "I would prefer if he finished proper lessons before he moved on to choosing a career, personally." she offers to Thane "If he is educated before he decides, he'll be able to go about whatever path he chooses successfully." she admits, settling down beside Thane so that she can hear him. Her hand goes up to his raven experimentally - it is pretty clear she's handled birds before by her gestures alone. "However - I will support Bryn in whatever path he chooses as I do deeply wish his happiness."

Bryn, on realizing he's the only one still standing, moves to sit down at the table as well. He does smile again as Thane says he has the right mindset. He smiles more as Leof says she'll support his choice, nodding. He waits to see what Thane says to Leof's suggestion before asking any questions, though.

Thane shakes his head, "I've eaten, thank you." But he is all too happy to accept the wine, taking a hearty first drink. "It would be many years before he would have to decide anything, Lady. But in the meantime, he would receive the finest education the world has to offer. The Citadel is more than merely a place to produce maesters. It is a place to enrich and expand the mind." He turns his attention to Bryn. "Even if you eventually decided that a maester's vows were not for you, you would still be prepared for an enormous number of paths that would otherwise be unavailable."

Leof looks, relieved actually "Is in the citadel the only place for lessons?" she asks, smiling softly. She rubs her hand over her stomach, lightly, going very light and slow on the wine. Likely only drinking it to prove hospitality. She does however set the cup down and pour herself a mug of rich, spiced tea - notably Valish.

Bryn smiles again, "That was gonna be my first question. So it's like with knights, I can change my mind up until I take my vows? And that'll be alright? Maesters won't hate me or anything if I did that?"

"The Citadel is the only place to receive such a high quality of education," Thane explains, answering Leof's question first. "Tutors are fine. But they do not creative the immersive atmosphere of learning that a Novice would benefit from." He gives Bryn a nod, "That's correct, Bryn. We do not take our vows until we have forged a complete chain." He taps the links of various metals around his neck. "Until then, you are merely a Novice, then an Acolyte after forging your first link. But if you chose not to complete the chain and take your vows, you would be free to walk away. Your time at the Citadel would be over, and some of us might be disappointed, but no, nobody would hate you."

Leof eyes Thane "Would he be allowed to return here? Will he be allowed to practice with his wooden longsword and dirk?" she asks, looking quite serious "I think Lord Targaryen would be disappointed if his gift went to waste." she offers, taking to her tea, refilling Thane's wine with one hand.

Bryn opens his mouth to ask something else, but then nods quickly to what Leof asks. Apparently, another of his questions got pre-empted, but he has more nonetheless, "And what's it mean when you forge a link?"

Thane nods to the both of them. "You would be permitted to leave, but with some limitation. Understand that by becoming a novice, you become a ward of the Citadel. We would be responsible for you. But Lady Banefort could come by to collect you, I'm sure. Or you could depart with one of the older novices or acolytes, or a maester like myself. I believe the Citadel would prefer that the weapons, even practice weapons, remain here. But if any there took issue with him training, they would not hear of it from me. I believe that martial studies enhance discipline." Remembering Bryn's question, he lifts his chain to hold up the black iron link there. "When you are deemed proficient in a particular course of study, you will be tested. If you pass the test, you are allowed to forge a link of an appropriate metal related to the subject. This black iron link, for instance, I earned when I passed my first test for ravenry. It means I know how to train and handle ravens." The bird on his shoulder preens, as if sensing it is somehow at the center of attention. It eyes Leof, perhaps hoping for a bit more affection from the woman.

Leof offers her hands to the raven "Come here you pretty girl." she coos, waiting for Thane's permission before handling it. "How about this - if he does go, you are both formally invited to supper twice a week. So that I may selfishly continue to lightly coddle him. "she offers, intending to pet the raven and if allowed hold it, she is after all quite the bird fancier. "I should also like to ask - will he be allowed to keep his Courser we've bought for him?" she asks, smiling a bit "Will I be allowed to send him candies and jerky?" she asks, curiously.

Bryn frowns at the requirement for an escort is mentioned. "I've been looking after myself for years. I know all the ways through the city, all the hiding spots. Used to being able to go out where I want." Still, he has more questions too, not liking the requirement but not letting it be a deciding factor either. He then asks, "I know maesters heal people, and study, but what else do they do?"

Thane chuckles lightly. "I think he'd prefer to be a handsome boy." Nevertheless, the raven seems to find Leof's offer agreeable, and climbs into her forearm, flapping his wings for balance. "I should caution you," Thane says. "A maester's first loyalty is to the Seven Kingdoms. The Archmaesters will likely disapprove of too much coddling, as it can be viewed as influencing a potential future maester's loyalty. The candies and other luxuries should be kept for visits here. We live a simple life at the Citadel, without distractions to interrupt our studies.

"Bryn, in time you would be allowed to go about on your own. I assure you, I would do everything I can to accommodate you. I know you've got a free spirit that won't take well to any kind of confinement. As for what we do, most maesters are attached to a noble household. We serve as advisors to great men. Though there are exceptions. I, myself, have never served a noble house. I have turned the world into my library. I have roamed all of Westeros and beyond in my studies of strange magic and religion. Still others remain at the Citadel itself, learning and teaching."

Bryn grins and comments to Leof, half-joking, "More excuse to visit, then." He looks back to Thane again and his eyes widen a little at the mention of working with the noble households. "So maesters can be even more important than knights?"

Leof reaches over to ruffle Bryn gently. "You will always be my little one, you know." she teases softly back at Bryn, her nose scrunches "I do believe I've already influenced him enough by giving him a horse, and offering him a hunting bird, and weapon training, and an education, friend Maester." she half-taunts.

Thane chuckles, smirking at the lad. "I'd never say so to a knight's face. But in terms of affecting policy? Absolutely. But we serve a different function than knights. A maester cannot mete out justice or take up arms. But we can certainly play a powerful part in protecting the peace in our own way, through diplomacy and cunning."

Bryn nods a little bit at the explanation, still looking impressed, "So you help by talking and thinking. That's how I always get outta trouble. Always better at thinking than fighting."

Thane grins with approval at Bryn's technique. "Thinking over fighting. Brain over brawn. This isn't to say brawn has no value, of course. But violence should always be tempered with wisdom, and avoided if at all possible."

Leof smiles "Bryn, trust me, you will be important no matter what you do with your life." she offers, rubbing the boy's hair gently, her chuckle escaping.

Bryn looks a bit skeptical at Leof's reassurance, but smiles a bit anyway. Then he says, looking back to Thane, and asks, "Does it cost anything, to be a novice or acolyte?"

Thane nods. "It does. The price is your dedication to the Citadel. You will do more than study while you're there. You will perform daily tasks, assisting in the maintenance of the Citadel. If you are very good and make an impression, you could be assigned as an assistant to a maester, which comes with certain perks and freedoms."

Leof watches Thane, considering "Bryn, I want you to take a bit more time to contemplate it." She considers Bryn "I told you, I will support you." she leans over, giving Bryn a kiss on the forehead. she ruffles the Raven "Would you like a treat, Raven?" she asks towards the bird curiously.

Bryn grins to Thane, "So, chores. I have to do the same kind of thing here, but maybe not as much. But not money?" He nods quickly to Leof and says, "I remember, you said seven days. I won't forget. Still wanna think more anyway."

The raven scoots up Leof's arm to her shoulder, tilting his head to eye her curiously. Thane chuckles, "He doesn't speak much. Blessed bird." He watches Bryn intently. "I agree with Lady Banefort. Take your time to consider this, Bryn. There is no great rush, even as eager as I am to see you come to the Citadel."

Leof takes a moment to bring over some salmon that looks to be still fresh, holding up a bit of flaked fish for the bird, smiling "I'm relieved, Maester that you encourage him to think it through." she admits. For having one arm, she seems to be getting along well enough.

"Bryn impressed me with his thoughtfulness and critical thinking. I'd be doing him a disservice to dissuade him from the same now." Thane rises to his feet, and the raven, after eagerly taking the bit of salmon, flaps awkwardly up to Thane's shoulder. "But now I should be going. Thank you for having me. Bryn, I hope to speak with you again soon." He bows to Lady Banefort, and sees himself out.

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