(121-02-04) Society Among the Roses
Society Among the Roses
Summary: Mordane and her goodsister Lia meet Keyte while wandering the Maidenday Gardens.
Date: 02/04/2014
Related: None

Maidenday Gardens
The Maidenday Gardens are perhaps the loveliest of Oldtown's public gardens. The gracious footpaths are paved in white stone and lined with with flowering trees and rosebushes bearing pink and white blossoms. The beds alongside them are thickly planted with narcissus, lily-of-the-valley, trilliums and wood anemones. An occasional arbor arches over the path, supporting a clematis or wisteria, a virgin's bower or a honeysuckle. Most of the flowers are pale or blushing, but splashes of bright yellows, purples, and blues are not uncommon. True red is all that is absent. In the evenings little lamps hang from slim iron posts to light the paths.
There are benches here and there, and pavilions enshrouded with flowering vines. There are also shrines to The Maiden throughout the garden. They feature statues of stone or wood, some painted, some plain, some large, some small, some dressed in real clothing. All are beautiful and all have a little altar before them. While this is a public garden the rest of the year, on Maiden's Day it is closed to all but maidens. Those girls who feel the ritual at the Sept is not enough to express their piety may, under the watchful eyes of the Septas who maintain this place, light candles at these altars and sing more of their songs of innocence.

Being that the Maidenday Gardens are quite likely the loveliest of the gardens within Oldtown, it is little surprise that it often has many visitors, especially among the nobility who often have more free time to themselves then the smallfolk. Of these, women are at time the most drawn here, due to it's original purpose as a sanctuary for maidens on Maidenday. Certainly there are a few handful of such gentle creatures lingering within various beautious spots within the greenery this fine day. Of these, however, the eye might well be drawn to the rather unlikely pair that now walk down one of the paths towards one of the more secluded pavilions.

"Really, Mordane, we've been in town a month now, and you've barely set foot outside the confines of…" The speaker is a short, open-faced woman of early-middle years, plain brown hair, somewhat plain faced, but sparkling eyes that emanate warmth and good cheer that are echoed in the bright silks she wears, purple so dark as to be almost red bleeding in to hems that are indeed red. Vines are stitched lovingly across the hems, light green, with blue and white birds frolicking among them. The colors of House Redwyne mixed with House Bulwer into a stunning pattern that can no longer really be called either House, but simply a beautiful and vibrant tapestry.

"I know, Lia," her companion interrupts, "I know. But we're here now, alright? We're out in the sun, as I promised." The other woman is night to the other woman's day. Tall to her short, blond to her brunette, at least as witnessed when locks of her flowing dresses escape her drably colored hood. Where the other wears rich clothing that attracts the eye, Mordane wears cloths that hide herself, and her status. Her face is hidden in shadows beneath a deep hood, just as the cloak's plain brown colors hide away the richer colors of dark green
As there are ladies who prefer to keep themselves tucked away, behind closed doors and underneath drably-coloured hoods, there are ladies who in stark contrast find themselves… out. Constantly. Exploring, ducking, weaving, chattering, pestering the local Sers (or their squires), generally enjoying everything that Oldtown has to offer in the shortest time possible. Keyte is one of these.

She's dressed in a vibrant shade of Tyrell green, her arms bared entirely by her gowns, the curve of her shoulders on show. A modest neckline to her gown more than makes up for the propriety that such a fashionable show of skin lacks, and about her neck an array of mismatch-coloured roses are woven into a garland. There are people with her, an array of maids and guards alike, and all of them on the move — they could be playing a game of chasey, if the flush of cheeks is anything to go by. Her skirts in her hands to hold them clear of her dazzling embroidered slippers, Keyte is only jogging as she overtakes Mordane and her comapanion on the path with a breathy, "'Scuse me, my ladies!"

Lia steps nimbly to the side of the path, turning a studied eye on Keyte as she moves towards the pair. Her expression is pleasant as she inclines her head, her smile bright and warm, even as her gaze sweeps the young woman as she works to place the Tyrell with her knowledge of who's-who at court. Mordane, by contrast, is prevented from being as nimble due to the sheer voluminousness of her cloak, while the hood prevents her from being able to see exactly who, or what, is headed for them. Hopefully Keyte does not expect her to move aside as gracefully as Lia, or there could be an accident.

Just by the look of her, Keyte could be herself or her twin sister, for those who're up on Tyrell comings and goings — though she's only a few days arrived in Oldtown. "Oh!" Not quite anticipating Lia's sidestep, she squeaks and comes to a wobbly halt right in the woman's personal space. Skipping a step back, the dark-haired girl dissolves into a giggle as she lets her skirts go to spread her hands wide, punctuation for her words: "My many and deepest apologies, my ladies. How terribly rude of me to interrupt! You must think me a right buffoon. Ah!"

If anything, Lia's laughter is even warmer and brighter then her smile, though how that is possible is a mystery. There is no guile or edge to it, no mocking, just pure good humor that invites the same from those who hear it. "No problem, Lady… Tyrell, is it not?" A day would have been all that Lia would have needed to be able to identify the lady on the spot, though clearly she has no idea which of the twins this is. Mordane, meanwhile, peaks out from under hood, her head tilted in such a way as to keep the left side of her face in shadows. The glimpse, therefor, that Keyte will see of her is perfection itself, the pert corner of full pink lips, perfectly sculpted planes along her cheek and jaw, and an eye that peers down curiously, cautiously, and is almost more gold then the fine locks of hair that wistfully escape the hood which guards her from the world.

"My infamy precedes me," jokes the Tyrell girl, a little surprised but undoubtedly pleased at being recognised by Lia. She holds a hand over her heart, the other twisting back down into the fabric of a voluminous skirt. "Lady Keyte, yes, of House Tyrell. I must beg my ladies forgiveness once more, for I've not yet the pleasure of knowing your names." The look she fixes on each of them in turn is expectant, pleasant, very genuine and friendly.

"Lia Bulwer, formerly of House Redwyne. My husband is Lord Mark Bulwer. And this is his lady sister, Mordane Bulwer. It is a true pleasure, Lady Keyte." It is likely clear, by now, that this is standard procedure for the pair, Lia doing much of the talking, Mordane simply watching from the shadows. Indeed, this close to the spotlight, her shifting movements beneath the cloak read of a brand of nervousness. Her hands grip the brown fabric shielding her from the world almost to the point of whiteness around the knuckles, but her voice, when she speaks, is steady. "A pleasure." The tone is rich, musical, but low and shy where Lia's is strong and open.

"My lady Lia, my lady Mordane," repeats Keyte as the conversation allows, dipping a gentle unnecessary curtsy. "It is entirely my pleasure to meet you both, though I'm terribly sorry it was in such an abrupt fashion," says she, a breath of laughter escaping her again on those last few words. "Perhaps we shall have the chance for tea or cakes or… something, to make up for it, soon. Are you enjoying the gardens?"

"Of course. If you like, you and your lady sister should perhaps join us for tea and cakes and whatever else you fancy sometime soon. In fact, I have a few new bottles just in from the Arbor courtesy of my dear brother that I've been looking for a good excuse to open." Lia certainly is not one to shy away from an opening like that, her eyes dancing warmly as plots of a sudden social event dance excitedly, regardless of if Keyte was merely being polite or not. "I would be honored to introduce you around to the other ladies of Oldtown's circle, and I'm sure I would love to hear the latest out of Highgarden as well…" She may have continued in this fashion were it not for Mordane's hand freeing itself from her cloak to rest on Lia's arm, as if temporing her goodsister's enthusiasm. It certainly does seem to have a calming effect, if not a mollifying one, as Lia adds, "But yes, we are indeed. My goodsister here has not been to these gardens in some time, and I thought it would do her good. I've been dying to get her do a painting of the rosebushes here for quite some time. She has a wonderful hand with paint and canvas, does our Mordane." About halfway through, Mordane's hand obviously tightened on Lia's arm, but this time the older, shorter woman ignores her.

Her brows sneak up as Lia chatters on, but Keyte isn't put out at all; rather it's a shared enthusiasm, the offer accepted with a decisive nod. "That sounds a splendid idea, my lady." As the conversation turns to Mordane, the Tyrell girl turns her attentions to the hooded woman, clearly interested. "You paint, my lady? Oh, but I should love to see your works, sometime. I oft tried my hand with a brush, but I think I've not the eye for such, you understand. Such an enviable pursuit, is painting."

"Um… I paint a little, yes…" Mordane manages, even quieter then before. Lia jumps in right afterwards, making up for Mordane's lack in enthusiasm with plenty of her own, more then enough to keep up with Keyte's. "She is being unnecessarily modest, of course. Mordane has a true talent. You are welcome to come by any time and see, we brought a few of her works with us from Blackcrown, and she's been working on a new one… what was it, my dear?" At first it may have seemed that Lia was merely talking for Mordane, even overriding her, but now becomes clear her true purpose - working to draw out her shy goodsister, get her comfortable talking. Because as observant as Lia is, as interested in Mordane's well-being as she is, there is no way she does not already know the answer to her question. And whether the Bulwer maid realizes this or not, talk of her passion does, indeed, to have some effect on her. "Oh, uh… a view of the harbor… from my quarters. I caught the sun just right the other week on the water, and was able to get in a sketch…" She takes a deep breath, settling herself even as she braves her insecurities a moment longer to continue talking. "It… it's not really ready for viewing yet though. I've been leaving part of it blank for the upcoming festival… I am hoping to get a view of the dolphins coming up the sound so that I might incorporate them and the ships that will be escorting them."

Keyte's smile grows even warmer, as the taller woman starts to speak. Perhaps she's caught on to Lia's motives, or perhaps not. Either way, she seems genuinely interested in what they both have to say. "How delightful, my lady. I am sure, when you are done, it shall be a lovely thing to set eyes upon! I've always been a firm believer that we ladies should celebrate our talents, after all. It is well that you have such inspiring quarters to paint from!" She shares her grin with Lia, then brings her hands up to prayer-clasp in front of her chest with an apologetic tilt to her head. "Alas, my ladies, I ought not tarry long. But we shall have tea, and soon, yes? I should be so glad for your charming company."

"Of course, Lady Keyte. Let us not keep you, but please offer our warmest greetings to your lady sister, and we shall see both of you very soon I hope," Lia offers, practically beaming in response to the Tyrell lady. Mordane, after only brief hesitation, offers a shorter and quieter fairwell. "It was nice to… meet you… Lady Keyte."

"I shall, indeed." Boldly, though to her it seems simply a matter of course, Keyte Tyrell reaches out her hand to lay it aside the cloaked Lady Bulwer's shoulder, only briefly. "The pleasure was mine, my lady Mordane. Good day to you!" It is backwards that her feet carry her, for a few steps, before she turns to skip merrily back to the rest of her waiting party, bidding them, "Onward!"

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