(121-02-16) Lord Pansy Hires the Pillowcase
Lord Pansy Hires the Pillowcase
Summary: Lord Pansy's actions threaten to tear the local branch of House Tyrell asunder.
Date: Date of play (15/Feb/2014)
Related: none.

Crescent Beach

This is a little sandy-pebbly stretch of the Whispering Sound's shoreline, crescent-shaped and somewhat sheltered by the more precipitous coastline to either side of it. Terns and gannets and kittiwakes nest on the sheerest portions to the North and South, but it's much gentler here and the tiny inlet even offers good anchorage for small boats of shallow draft. The city of Oldtown, marked by the great bright spire of the Hightower, can be seen across the water to the Northwest.

There's a steep switchbacking track leading up to the Blackcrown Road.

A fair distance down along the beach, where few go on a regular basis, Kai can be seen sliding through the sand, swords in each hand twirling about and slicing through the air, one can almost see the enemies fall as Kai's blades move to and fro, his movements smooth and swift, more akin to a dance than to fighting. Despite the apparent grace of Kai's movements, it can be seen that thought has been put into them, as his swords seem to be challenged with all descriptions of weaponry, as one would likely find on the battlefield, and it does look like his style of fighting is suited to the battlefield, as he constantly focuses on defending, and attacking all angles, even ones that he cannot see. Although one would be challenged to see it in the dark, Kai's eyes are closed as he dances to the beat of his inner battle, his breathing calm.

Garvin comes riding along Blackcrown road with his usual escort of six Tyrell guards. His squire Nyran rides ahead, holding a large lantern at the end of a long pole, trying to light the way. Suddenly, Garvin reins his palfrey, calling for the others to stop as well, as he looks out over the beach, squinting in the moonlight. "Hold here," he says, turning his horse toward the beach and slowly riding toward Kai.

Kai spins to his right and cuts with both of his blades, the steel ripping through the air; he remains still for a few moments before standing up straight, twirling his blades about in his fingers and then swiftly sheathing them with a smooth motion. He turns to face the approaching horse as he hears it coming, eyes opening slowly, gazing towards the palfrey and it's rider. He remains silent, hand lightly rested atop the pommel of his longest blade as he awaits Garvin's approach, although one of his hands move to hold his side, presumably where he was stabbed.

Garvin keeps his approach slow and non-threatening, both hands on the reins. "You're good," he calls, stopping at least two meters in front of Kai. "But you already know that. I've known it for a while now." He reaches up to rub at his left arm, where the sellsword had previously injured him.

Kai looks up at the man silently for a few moments before speaking, the corners of his lips tugging down ever so slightly, "Not good enough." he says, pausing for a moment before continuing to speak, "What do you want?" he asks simply, examining the Tyrell emotionlessly.

"You," Garvin says, then lifts his right hand. "Not that way, I've learned my lesson there. You won one, too. I think you are good enough. My cousin has been hiring men to guard the manse. Seems someone recently broke through our defenses and entered the house, intent upon some mischief. Ser Thorn was fit to be tied and has doubled our guard. But all these new men need training, so I'm looking for a master-at-arms."

Kai slowly removes his hand from his stomach, and lets out a sigh, "And how do I benefit from being another Tyrell dog?" he asks, "I do not care for your money, nor your men, all I desire is power." he finishes, speaking flatly.

Garvin lowers his hand again. "I'm the son of the Lord of Highgarden, and I'm the acting Lord of Hightower. At the moment, there's no one in Oldtown more powerful than I am. And you've bested me not once, but thrice. I'm offering you the opportunity to serve me in a more public capacity. Master-at-arms for Lord Tyrell, second only to Ser Laurent and Ser Quill over all the men who serve the House here in Oldtown." He pauses for a long moment. "What power do you desire?"

"I desire many kinds of power," he says, "The power of mind, body and steel.. Nobility, armies, women.. The power to cut through anyone and anything." he says, turning his gaze over to the water slowly, absently, not particularly caring about Garvin's presence anymore, talking moreso to himself, "The power to never lose." he finishes, fingering the pommel of his blade, his voice calm and stern, lacking even a single shred of hesitation despite the rather strange things coming from his mouth.

"I can't give you power," Garvin says slowly. "No one can. Power that's given can't just as easily be taken away. Real power, the power that lasts, must be seized. It is the one thing my lord father impressed upon me." He pauses for a few moments, turning his eyes toward the water as well. "I cannot offer you the power of mind, as I'm no maester, but there are books in the manse's solar. Tomes and scrolls and maps. Power of body and steel you can perfect by training my men. Nobility and armies are another matter. I'm offering you my army, small though it is now. Prove your worth, and I may be able to arrange a lordship for you as well, someday. Women, I'm afraid, you'll need to come by on your own." Another pause as he looks once more to Kai. "I don't know how it works in Essos, but in Westeros, if you want real power, you must be willing to bend your knee. It's the only way."

Kai perks his head up slightly as Garvin speaks up again, remembering that the man is actually there, he turns towards Garvin and listens to him speak silently, his gaze slowly turning up towards the stars silently as the Tyrell speaks, and then sighs, "Very well." he says, slowly dropping to a knee, rather suddenly, "I will do as you command, and train your men until the day that I leave your service comes." he says, a single dying wave washing by his knee as he bows his head, remaining silent.

Garvin reaches into a bag hanging from his saddle, pulling out a small flask. He holds it up until he's sure Kai has seen it's not some weapon, then tosses it lightly to the man. He removes a second flask for himself, pulling the cork. Both contain fine Arbor red wine, and Garvin tips his back for a long swallow. "I must tell you, my cousin hates you. He's the captain of the guard, so you'll need to bend your will to his. Show him the respect he's due, and his hatred will fade. Can you do this?"

Kai catches the bottle as Garvin flings it towards him, but does not drink, "As you command." he replies steadily to Garvin's query, remaining kneeled for the time being, not particularly desiring to stand up in the first place, his injuries as they are. He gazes down at the ground silently as he remains on his knee, contemplating.

Garvin lifts his chin a bit. "Stand up, Kai. Is your horse here? We can go find you a room at the manse and maybe see Ser Laurent." He turns his horses, looking down the beach, then hesitates before turning back. "Answer me true, don't say what you think I wish to hear. Do you want to share my bed sometimes?"

Kai slowly rises, breathing in and out slowly as he ignores the pain in his stomach, "I do not." he says in reply to Garvin's question, before turning away from the ocean and walking over towards a gathering of trees, where his horse can be found eating grass, he pulls himself up onto the black courser and then brings it around, slowly making his way back over towards his new lord atop his horse, hand lightly gripping the reins, "Lead the way, my lord." he says simply, sparing another glance up towards the sky.

Garvin can't hide the disappointment in his eyes, but he waits until Kai has returned. "Very well. I would never command you to. It's simply an offer. But I'll respect your true desires." He turns the horse then and heads back toward the road, riding slowly.

Kai follows after the man slowly, sparing glances towards the Tyrell guards, whom are apparently to be his comrades starting now, he lets out another brief sigh before turning his gaze forward, his expression blank, but stern as he rides along.

Grand Hall - Garden Isle Manse

The first floor's main hall is grand, open room dominated by a massive fireplace and high-arched windows facing the street, protected by heavy iron bars. The white walls and polished white marble floors make it seem airy and bright. The starkness of the walls is softened by three long tapestries, depicting fantastical hunting scenes, while the marble floor is cushioned by rich Myrish rugs.

Down the center of the hall is a long, wide dining table, able to seat thirty comfortably. At the head of the table is an enormous chair of elaborately carved rosewood, with a door behind flanked by two high windows, giving a view of the sunlight gardens. Near the fireplace are smaller chairs, cushioned benches, and small tables for more intimate conversations.

Alcoves and doors at either side of the great hall lead to servants quarters, kitchens, and smaller sitting rooms. At the northwest and southeast corners of the building are square towers holding the stairs up to the floor above, where the bedchambers and other sitting rooms are found.

Garvin rides up with his six guards, squire Nyran, and…Kai. Leaving the horses with Nyran and the guards to their duties, Garvin leads Kai into the house and tells the nearest page to find Ser Laurent.

Kai shadows Garvin silently, expression blank as he does so, bright grey eyes slowly shifting about, carefully examining the guards about as he moves, pre-inspection, perhaps.

Laurent enters from the garden, his betrothed on his arm. He follows the page, wearing an uncommonly neutral expression as he listens to something Angharad is saying. When he sees Kai, however, his manner shifts. Suddenly he's standing protectively in front of Lady Locke, one hand on his sword. He stares at rhe sellsword even as he greets Garvin. "You sent for me, Cousin?" His tone is far from cool.

Lady Angharad's smile as she leans in to speak to Laurent is a wide, warm thing. She seems to be in splendid spirits and far more than content with her companion. Dimples are deep at the start — but they and the smile die a quick, startled death as Lauren't mood shifts. She probably feels it in him even before he moves for his blade, then tension of muscle and sinew all gone taut, like hackles raising. She looks to Garvin, then to Kai. There is no recognition on her part — but she's decidedly concerned. "Lord Garvin… who is this?"

Garvin hands his cloak and absurd hat to another page, crossing the great hall slowly. "Cousin, I have something to tell you, and I want you to keep an open mind." He glances between Kai and Laurent a few times. "All the new men you've hired, they need training and drilling and…they need a master-at-arms." He pauses, taking a deep breath. "Ser Laurent Tyrell, Lady Angharad Locke, may I present Kai, our new master-at-arms."

Kai follows after Garvin slowly, finishing his examination of the guards in the room before turning his gaze over to Laurent and his lover. As Garvin introduces him, he bows slowly before standing up straight once more, speaking calmly, "It is a pleasure to meet you milord, milady." he says, nodding to each of them in turn, keeping his neutral expression quite well, unlike Laurent.

As bellicose as Laurent's mood had so suddenly become, that small piece of news is enough to sour it further. First, he struggles to form a complete sentence. His eyes are wide as he gestures at Kai with his free hand. "This!" And then, "I hired them bec-," and "I'll not!" A vein throbs visibly at his temple as his protests continue to rise in volume. "We've no!" A wordless roar, next, his free hand suddenly thrown out in front of Angharad - a warding gesture. A loud and foul curse, and then, "Why?!"

Angharad looks absolutely baffled. "Kai… who?" Surely there's a family name. Or if not, then… Flowers. Rivers? Sand. Pyke, even? She looks at Laurent for some clarification, eyes round as saucers as he spits out broken syllables of rage. She looks at Kai again, then Garvin. Back at Laurent. Kai (hi there.) Then she gasps — and laughs. It's a hysterical little hiccup of mirth, but mirthless. She looks rather pale and gropes for a chai. "I — is this…?" She puts a hand over her mouth, perhaps to stifle another horrified giggle. "This can't possibly be…" And she can barely squeak out the question, words tiny, "…the Pillowcase?"

"Because he's good," Garvin says firmly, fixing his cousin with his sternest look (which is rather similar to a cocker spaniel's sternest look). "I've seen him fight, and I know firsthand how good he is with his swords. Why wouldn't I want his strength on our side? I told you before I wanted to hire him." When Angharad catches up and begins laughing, Garvin flushes, his 'stern' look becoming rather sheepish. But he sucks in a breath and tries to save some tiny bit of dignity. "Who better to ensure our security than someone who managed to breech it? We could all learn from Kai's expertise."

Kai remains silent as Garvin speaks for him, idly counting the number of men within hearing distance, and continuing to examine the guards, keeping his features expressionless as he gazes about, adding the number of people he will have to beat into submission to the counter.

"No," says Angharad, all mirth dropping from her expression, leaving flat ice. "Lord Garvin, I will not allow you to bring this — criminal into our household. A household full of vulnerable women, the safety of which you're imperiling, never mind your own. That you're in love with this mongrel's cock does not make him in any way qualified to be anything other than your lover and he belongs in an inn. Preferably a cheap one."

"Better than the host of loyal men who wear these arms," Laurent shouts, clutching at the Tyrell rose on his doublet, "Any of whom would have been honored beyond words by the promotion?!" For a moment, his thoughts are written upon his face - he grips the doublet tight, and is sorely tempted to tear it off. His eyes are wide and white, and he can't even find it in him to speak out against Angharad. Slowly, his hand falls from the fabric, shaking. "This is your home," he allows, trembling with anger. "I've no say in how it's run. If you've no further need if me, I'll inform my ladies Tyrell of this and take my leave." Angrily, he adds, "My Lord."

Garvin's blush deepens, but his expression becomes as icy as his future goodcousin's. "Lady Angharad," he says, rather too harshly, "his cock is not what interests me. If it was, an inn is exactly where I'd be seeking to use it. I've hired him for his sword. Since you have not yet seen him wield it, I hardly think you qualified to judge his worthiness for the position I've given him in my household. I can assure you, the vulnerable women who dwell here will be safer with him training the men who guard our doors." He turns to Laurent then, his voice remaining harsh. "You are captain of my guard, and Ser Quill is your lieutenant. The master-at-arms will be under your command. All the new men you've hired, they're loyal to our gold right now. This man is prepared to be loyal to us." He turns to Kai then, nodding. "Show him, Kai. Take the knee and swear it."

Angharad stands, shaking. "Then know, my lord, that I will make certain your father and family know every excruciating detail of this… relationship. The Targaryens, too. Do not think your words will be believed over mine — it will only confirm a reputation that's already well-rumored, if not officially acknowledged." She breathes in slow, nostrils flaring. "Laurent may think that protecting you includes protecting you from the consequences of your actions — I did, as well. I no longer do. I think we all need protecting from them." She laughs again, bitterly, as Garvin instructs Kai to kneel. "Don't bother, Lord Garvin. This man's word is less than nothing."

Kai slowly turns his gaze over to Garvin, and without hesitation, nods, taking a step forward and then softly dropping to a knee, lowering his head and closing his eyes, following Garvin's directions despite Angrharad's words, "I swear before the old gods and the new that I will protect this household and inhabitants with my life, and will do nothing to harm them." he says slowly, firmly, before bowing his head down further, "I hope I may earn your respect, milady, milord." he says, unflinching despite the apparent rain of hatred that slams into him.

"What use have I for his word," Laurent shouts, a sweep of his hand acknowledging Kai for the first time. "I'll serve as captain of your guard," the Thorn goes on, still shaking with his rage, "For so long as it is required of me. But I'll not suffer this," he says again, poniting at Kai as he kneels, "In silence." Eyes narrowing, he adds, "If I see one of those blades drawn in the presence of my Lord, or a lady of the household, his life is forfeit. So long as my word holds weight here."

Garvin's eyes flash with fury, and now he looks nothing like a lapdog. Maybe not quite a wolf, but a kicked and cornered hound at the least. "Lady," he says, putting special emphasis on the word. "I am sure you wouldn't want to endanger your betrothal with slanderous accusations that would damage the Tyrell name. I do not pretend to understand all the ways of the North, but here in the Reach, we do not suffer salacious gossip about our noble folk." He turns on Laurent then. "And you! You are my cousin, and I love you as my brother. This man you hate so much, who willingly takes his knee before you, has thrice had the opportunity to take my life. Thrice! And he could have slit the throats of everyone else in this house, if that was his intent. He did none of these things, by his own choice. He has demonstrated to me that he can be trusted with my life. I'm asking you, for any love you have for me, to give him the opportunity to earn your trust as well."

"I will let your father decide if it's salacious gossip, my lord. And if you think he will decide to unmoor my betrothal because I've given him good — entirely plausible — report of that which he already suspects? Enabling him to avoid scandal by giving you the censure you in your selfish, lascivious lust so richly deserve…" Angharad snorts. "Then the man has well and truly fucked your brains out." To Kai, she says simply, "I hope he's paying you enough to afford a food taster, Kai Pillowcase." And so she turns to go.

Kai remains kneeled before all in the room, head still bowed and eyes still closed, simply remaining silent as the nobles argue. He does not speak out against Angharad as she speaks to him, calmly breathing in and out, hiding well whatever emotions he may hold inside.

"I will fulfill," Laurent says, taking a further step forward, "My duty to you." His dark eyes are narrow, his mien fiery as he goes on. "Though you may love me, you love this man better still. Have him then. I'll ensure our cousins understand their plight, and return on the morrow to continue in my duties. If you have need of me before, I'll be found at the Quill and Tankard." Storming after Angharad he adds, "I bid you a good evening."

"And if you think," Garvin says, his voice falling dangerously low, "than any Tyrell, least of all my lord father or uncle, will reward you for causing the very scandal you claim to be avoiding, by drawing it into the light of day, then you, my lady, should go back to your needlepoint and leave the business of ruling a House to those who are better suited to the task." He turns on Kai again. "No, I forbid it. You know I hate to do this, Cousin, but I must. You'll stay in this house, in your own bed, tonight. Kai will take a room at the tavern on my coin, and will be here only during the day, to perform his duties. Will that satisfy your sense of safety for the women in this house?"

"Have me pilloried," is Laurent's only answer, his tone savage, as he storms out.

"Dragging it into the light of day? By telling your father?" Angharad laughs. "Please, my lord, you are too droll. I shall tell him that I thought to tell the Targaryens because of my loyalty to the crown, but refrained. For truly, I do love his newphew better than anything in the world, and I would not see the Tyrell name besmirched. Which is why I will not allow you to keep your dog." She sweeps out in Laurent's wake.

Kai slowly rises to his feet as the two leave, his eyes opening, and then he turns his gaze over to Garvin, speaking slowly and quietly, "I would not presume to tell you how to rule, my lord.. But you are acting ruler of Oldtown are you not?" he asks, before gazing towards the door where Laurent and Angharad stormed out of, "I do not believe allowing such disrespect to yourself to be… A tolerable thing, considering your position." he says, simply leaving it at that, although he goes no further, slowly gazing about the room at the guards, particularly at the talkative ones.

Garvin sighs, watching them both storm out, then turns back to Kai, looking down at him. "That went better than I expected," he says, color slowly returning to normal. "You're right though. Lady Harry's behavior was intolerable, and I'll have to speak with my Thorn about it, once he's cooled off himself. Pray you never have to go to the North, Kai. It seems the women there are less educated than the women of the South." He takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly. "I trust your word, and I give you my own. Serve me well and faithfully, and you shall be rewarded. Stand now, Master Kai." He takes four golden dragons from his beltpouch. "This should buy you room and board for a week at the Quill and Tankard, I should think. If not, I'll give you more. You can discuss your actual wages with my steward when you return tomorrow." He offers the coins, then hesitates. "This will not be easy, but it can be accomplished. My cousin can be reasonable, but only after he's finished being stubborn. Are you sure you wouldn't like me to come with you to the inn tonight?"

Kai takes the coinpurse as it is offered, and simply attaches it to his belt, rather then checking to see how much is within, "I will be fine, my lord." he says in reply to the Tyrells offer to follow him back to the inn, then turning to look over towards one of the guards. He gestures the guard over silently, and as the young guard approaches, he speaks, "The household are to gather for inspection at first light, excluding those who are on duty at the time, I will see to them afterwards." he says, speaking sternly, and calmly, his voice begging no argument, causing the guardsman to nod and run off, to tell the other guardsmen no doubt. After he has finished speaking to the guard, he turns to speak to Garvin once more, "If you will excuse me, my lord, I shall retire to the Quil and Tankard now." he says, bowing his head slightly.

Garvin looks disappointed again, but nods and holds his peace. "You have leave to go, Master Kai," he says, offering a smile. "I look forward to hearing your report on the fitness of our men." He's disappointed, but also relieved — keeping things on a professional level should help matters in the long run.

Kai nods, turning away and silently exiting the area, hand lightly rested atop the pommel of his longest blade as he walks, he ignores the dubious glances from the guardsmen, simply exiting with as powerful a presence as possible.

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