(121-01-27) Water Dancing and Bravado
Water Dancing and Bravado
Summary: Maera invites Rona to discuss training Kelinyx in water dancing, but manages to anger the lady bravo instead.
Date: Date of play (01/27/2014)
Related: Related Logs none

Sailmaker's Manse - Appletree Wynd

This modest stone manse is well appointed, with three levels, each about thirty feet square.

The lowest includes a main hall with a massive stone fireplace, and an exit into the stable. There are no windows facing the wynd, but an arched door and wide windows give a view of a walled garden in the back. The back garden wall is the wall of a house the next alley over, and its windows and those of the surrounding residences might offer a view of the garden, but no access.

The floors above house several chambers of varying sizes, a few with fireplaces joining the single big chimney.

It's evening, just after dusk. A young servant girl will show Rona into the main hall of the manse. "Rona Vielo." Maera will greet the woman with a respectful little nod of her head. There is refreshment on the sideboard, yellow cheese, pickled hot peppers and olives from Dorne, and the standard bread and salt that is always offered in Westerosi homes when one wants to make their guests feel welcomed. "I'm glad you could come at such short a notice." She pours out two cups of a sour Dornish red, and walks across the room to offer one to Rona. She'll glance to the servant girl, "Where is Kelinyx?" The girl will shrug helplessly before turning to find the house urchin.

Rona has donned her finest bravo attire, upscale and classy, but still with the masculine touches of trousers and a high-collared jacket. One must look one's best when visiting nobility for the first time, after all. "Lady Mormont, I was a bit surprised at the invitation." She steps to the sideboard, taking up the bread and coating it in a bit of salt, lifting it as if in toast to Maera before consuming it. Best to just get that out of the way immediately.

Rona nods slowly. "Just so. Now this makes sense. I was not understanding why you would be interested in learning from me. But the child, that may be another matter. Tell me, how do you come to know of the Water Dance?" She sips at the wine with a nod of appreciation.

"My lands are a backwater, I admit." Maera says as she drifts over to the big table, and sits down. "But we are not completely cut off from the rest of the world. And I've seen you. Heard about you. I have not seen you use your rapier, but I have a feeling in my gut you are skilled at what you do." She motions for a chair, "Generally, I have a sense of these things. I hope you'll stay for dinner?”

Rona smirks, lifting her chin. "I am not skilled. I am a master; trained from the day I could lift a blade by my father, the legendary bravo Furio Vielo," she says, as if this should mean something to everyone. She moves to the chair, nodding gratefully and taking a seat. "I thank you for the invitation. Of course, I will have to meet this child. My art is not for everyone. Also…there is another thing. I am a friend of Lady Leof Banefort. I trust that I do not need to explain why this could be problematic?”

"Lady Banefort is under the impression that I have some vendetta against her." Maera says with a shrug. "I do not like her, that is true. However, if I wanted to hurt her that would have already happened." It is not a brag or a boast. Her tone is rather matter-of-fact. ""Despite her slanders and insults against me I do not see her as anything else but an annoyance, and will not even discuss the lady with you. As for the girl…she is supposed to be here.”

"Still, you must understand that Lady Banefort is a concern for me," Rona explains. "I am very aware of her…eccentric reactions to many things. It is something I hope that I can help her to overcome. But in the meanwhile, she is likely to take the idea of my working for you badly. So, if we do find this arrangement suitable, I could not agree to it until I have spoken with her."

"Funny." Maera says before taking another swallow of her wine, "I was under the impression that Lady Banefort was not your mistress.”

A perfect time for the tiny shells of ears to prick as Keli is soon delivered, a little dust on her knees and palms, likely crawling in store rooms or attics again. She gives an apologetic smile to the one who had to capture her, but seeing the Lady and her guest reminds Keli to dip her head. "My Lady." Her eyes glitter on the guest, but Keli waits for things to proceed at protocol, even here among the bears.

"She is not," Rona says with a slight edge to her voice. "She is my friend, as I have stated. Do not attempt to bait me, Lady Mormont. I am capable of making my own choices, for my own reasons." She shifts her dark eyes to look upon the adventurous young girl. "Well, this is a face I remember from the first day I set foot upon Oldtown dock. I never did find you again, little one. I am glad to see that you are taken care of."

"There is a difference between baiting and pointing out truths." Maera observes before changing the subject. "Kelinyx. You've gotten yourself dirty when we were expecting guests." Her words may be chiding, but they are filled with a warmth not often heard. "Did you bring your little friends?"

There is a cord of fabric about Keli's waist, the girl sporting not her usual rusty daggers but two foot long blades with twin edges, the gleaming metal silvery and bright, the grips a good size for her smaller hands. Patting the dust off her hands and knees, she gives a bow to Rona and nods her head. "It is nice to see you again, Rona," she says for lack of a known proper title. Approaching the two, she presents her daggers, hilt-first to Rona. "These friends, right?" she asks, sharp eyes glittering warmly back on Maera.

Rona arches an eyebrow curiously at the blades, taking them with a respectful nod. "They are beautiful. Hm…a bit short for what I could teach, at least in terms of bladework. Are you skilled with the dagger, little Kelinyx?”

"Yes." Maera says with the faintest of smiles. "Those friends. I think before dinner is served you will show the lady bravo your skill with them." She says to Rona, "The girl is quite skilled with the daggers. She is fast, and of the philosophy that she should not be hit at all. I try to teach her swordplay, but it is in the westerosi fashion. I think water dancing would suit her better when it comes to the sword."

The small thing nods her head and takes the daggers carefully. "I cannot hold a big, heavy sword. I like my little stabbers, and I like to be a surprise." The small thing twirls the blades ambidextrously in her palms, then grasps them tight, springing back with an impressive jump while slashing a defensive X formation in front of herself. "If you can't afford a shield, hold another stabber!" she notes, showing off her wisdom earned the hard way. "Your back draws blades, never let others see it." She tumbles backward in a roll, blades out to her sides. She's getting a little dusty, but it's a good show, and it's clear the young girl enjoys springing about this way.

"I wonder if swordplay is the right choice. Not that I am opposed to a woman wielding a sword," Rona smirks proudly. "But will she have opportunity to use a sword? I can teach things that will benefit knife-fighting as well." She watches the girl's tumbling style with amusement. "Already, you possess the nimbleness of a Water Dancer."

"She may never need to wield a sword, this is true." Maera acknowledges with a stiff nod. "But will the knowing hurt her? I do not think it will. If anything, it will be a benefit to her." That said, she nods her head to Kelinyx, "What say you, Keli? What do you want?”

"I want to be able to fight. I want to be able to take care of my friends and myself. I want to be terrifying to people who know I am angry at them. But I am not a soldier." And that is her take, the slender orphan springing then to the left with both daggers arced to strike downward in a horrible slash. Given her size, the amount of gut and inner thigh attacks she focuses on hints at an unhealthy level of experience fighting adults.

Rona laughs aloud. "Just so. I do like your style, Kelinyx. You have a fighting spirit. But…being a Water Dancer is not being angry. You can be fierce, yes. Fierce as a wolverine. But calm as still water. Once cannot dance on rough seas.”

"Am I a soldier?" Maera asks with a little tilt of her head, "Is the lady bravo a soldier? You need not be a soldier to know different things." That said, she nods her head to Rona, "Brashness and anger do not mix well with any sort of combat."

Keli's head shakes to Maera's question. "But you are as good as one. You are dissi..discipl….you spend time staying good and you don't let people tell you when you can or cannot use your blade. That is one of those differences between being a whore and being a slave," she reminds. She gives the woman a clearly approving look, then shifts her gaze to Rona. "I will try to learn anything I can to be a good friend and learn how to, uh, 'live through combat,' as the Lady calls it.”

"Discipline is necessary to be a Water Dancer, also," Rona says. "Knowing how to use a blade is about knowing when not to use it, more than using it. What I teach is much more than bladework. It is learning to see, to calm your heart, and to control your fear." She glances to Maera, then back to Keli. "I am intrigued. I will consider this proposal, and give you an answer after I have spoken with my friend. Though, I trust you realize that such lessons will not come cheaply."

"I understand the cost of such things." Maera says in her typical flat voice. "But, I do not think such an arrangement will work out. I will not be beholden to your mistress in any matter, nor will I allow that woman any determination over my affairs." She gives Keli an apologetic look, and a small sigh.

The child's dark brows lower and her eyes narrow. She has to bite her lip, and hard, to keep from speaking, and though she is quiet and still, her fingers clutch tightly, knuckles white, around the daggers which rest at her sides. She puts them away and hugs around her middle, then resumes that statue nature, watching the two adults speak. "I could work to earn it."

Rona gives Maera a dark look of warning. "I told you that she is not my mistress. Now you are calling me a liar. I will forgive it this once, Lady Mormont. Do not repeat it." She rises from her chair, straightening her jacket. She looks to Kelinyx, sighing with a sympathetic smile. "It would be beyond your means, little one. I am sorry. But this has been a sad waste of time. Just remember what I have said. Calm as still water. Fierce as a wolverine. And fear…fear cuts deeper than swords. She who fears losing has already lost." She offers Maera a slight bow, the barest sign of respect for her station, before turning to head for the exit. "Good day."

"It is considered poor form to threaten your host after you have taken bread and salt with them. However, I will forgive you this since you are a foreigner here." Maera stands up from the table, her droning voice calm, "Nor should you think that I am afraid of you. On the contrary, I am not someone to be trifled with. You would be wise not to forget yourself, lady bravo. As for calling her your mistress, you say she is not, but yet you still make decisions based on her wants. That is the very definition of a mistress. Someone who is free follows their own heart." That said, she sits down in the chair and picks up her cup, "I'm sorry, Keli." A pause, "Sometimes we cannot compromise if it is a show of weakness. I hope you understand?”

The child checks her daggers in her scabbards, smooths back her hair, her face cool. Her legs tremble, and she lays a heavy column of a gaze upon Maera. There is something deep, emotional there, something that tries to boil over and make clear this has little to do with a loss of potential lessons. She stomps a foot hard on the ground, arms straight at her sides, then walks straight out, unescorted, no goodbyes, eyes burning holes in the place she wants to be instead of the adults before her.

Rona pauses before departure, turning back around. Her eyebrow arches at Kelinyx's emotional reaction, and she sighs sadly. But her expression hardens when he looks back to Maera. "Twice now you have called me liar. I will honor your tradition of bread and salt. But do not think that will protect you if you dare insult me again beyond these walls. Remember well that it was you that asked me here, and you that delivered insult veiled by hospitality. Poor form, indeed, Lady Mormont." She makes a gesture, flicking her fingers away from her chin — some kind of Braavosi insult or challenge, perhaps. Without another word, she strides out.

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