(121-02-17) Court and Oatcakes
Court and Oatcakes
Summary: Garvin Tyrell holds his second court as Acting Lord of the High Tower.
Date: Date of play (17/Feb/2014)
Related: Sudden Oatcake Shortage rumor: In the early morning hours, when bakers first begin to lay out their wares, a crowd of servants from Garden Isle manse, the Tyrell home, descends upon Oldtown's marketplaces, buying up every oatcake they can find. By noon, there isn't an oatcake left to be had for any price. What reason can the Tyrells have for buying so many oatcakes? 'Tis a mystery!

The Hightower

The great tower is all of white stone, ancient and beautiful. This lowest tier is quite wide and grand enough for any palace. There are two stories of this widest and lowest one. The tower has a narrower tier above, and a circular balcony-garden on the roof-space left unoccupied.

On this level are the grand halls for dining and dancing and the massive entry hall with its palacial arched ceilings. There are also smaller meeting halls for the Hightowers and their advisors, a library, and parlours, some with hunting trophies, others with looms and comforts for needlework. Hidden behind unobtrusive doors in the dining hall are the kitchens.

There are wide gracious staircases here in the lower parts of the tower, and on one side, ramps that allow wagon-loads of firewood for the beacon to be hauled up.

Outside the doors of the Great Hall, long tables have been raised on both sides. Baskets holding hundreds upon hundreds of oatcakes line the tables. Plain oatcakes, oatcakes with raisin or berries, honey-glazed oatcakes, oatcakes shaped like dolphins. All are given away free to the smallfolk, as many as they can carry, and the men who hand out the oatcakes are sure to let one and all know that they are a special gift from Garvin Tyrell, known as Lord Pansy.

The back third of the Great Hall is packed with crowds of smallfolk, most of whom have armsful of oatcakes, all eager to catch a glimpse of the Acting Voice of Oldtown.

Leof is a bit late, and a bit green across her face, wearing a bright orange silk gown and a grey overdress. She looks agitated - atop being nauseous. Her hair is sticking up this way and that from the breeze outside. The poor woman appears to only have a house guard as an entourage today.

At the appointed time, the herald bangs his staff against the floor three times, then shouts, "My lords and my ladies, smallfolk of Oldtown, the Acting Lord of the Hightower, Lord of the Port, Defender of the Citadel, Beacon of the South, and Voice of Oldtown, Lord Garvin Tyrell!" A door behind the raised dais opens, and the smallfolk press forward. When Garvin steps out, a cheer begins to build, as dozens of voices call, "Lord Pansy!" As Garvin sits in the high-backed chair, the herald bangs his staff again, until the cries finally die down.

He looks more confident than he did last week, and he's added a green velvet mantle to his shoulders, with a collar of sealskin. Hanging across his upper chest is the symbol of the Lordship of Hightower. The Collar of the High Tower is an accessory worn secured with white ribbons tied in bows on the shoulders. Made of pure silver, the collar is composed of silver knots alternating with enameled medallions showing a white tower topped by a red beacon fire. Suspended from the center of the collar is a three-dimensional figure of the Hightower. It's made of silver, with tiny windows enameled along its length, and the fire atop is a carved ruby.

The herald takes a step forward, bangs his staff again, and shouts, "Summoned forth is Lady Leof Banefort. Step forward and lay your petition before the Acting Lord of the High Tower."

Keyte is at court today, albeit looking rather nervous. The usually boisterous lady has no whisper on her tongue for the nobles nearby her, no elbowing to the front of the crowd today. Dressed in a dress that by her standards is plain, a modest cut in brocade and chiffon, she stands with her sisters nearer to the back of the room, observing the proceedings.

Leof moves foreward, swatting a helping hand as she moves. "I have comeforth with a request as much as a complaint. Are you willing to hear me great lord?" she looks agitated, and perhaps a bit physically ill for the day. Her short delicate frame pulls lightly on the sleeves. "I petition that the Lord Tyrell slows his purchasing of all the oatcakes as this is causing a shortage through town and making it very hard to get oatcakes for medicinal means. I generally would not care but in my condition suffering throws of morning sickness oats are one of the few foods that I can keep down easily. I can not be the only expectant woman with stomach ailments troubled by the scarcity of oats and oatcakes." she offers, voice soft and polite. "Perhaps only seventy five percent for the rest of the week?" she asks, a soft smile on her face.

Angharad is somewhere in the back, not quite among the rabble but close, silent and unobtrusive. There's nothing smiling or merry about her tonight. She looks, in fact, acutely uncomfortable, and as though she might turn to go at any moment. Two Northmen, her guard, stand sentinel nearby.

The presence of the infamous Sea Witch up on her perch in the shadows of the second story galley have is herald by the one footed raven on her shoulder stretching his wings and crying out, "Pansy!" The kraken embroidered cowl of the Lady Greyjoy's cloak is deeply shadowed, but the angle of it and the rigidity of her stance belays the fact that she is giving Garvin the most scrutinizing of looks. A pale hand does lift out of the cloak and is used to press the opinionated raven's thick beak closed.

Katya stands beside her young sisters, clad in a gown of silver and grey, embroidery that gives the subtle suggestion of armor in links and lines and fine silk. Gems of Tyrell green and gold decorate neck and wrists. She watches the proceedings in silence, head turning at the raven's cry before she looks back to Garvin and Leof.

Garvin listens to Leof, looking increasingly troubled. At the back of the room, boos and jeers begin, and a few smallfolk even throw oatcakes, though none reach anywhere near the dais. The herald again bangs for silence, and men-at-arms in both Hightower and Tyrell colors move to hold back the crowd. When Lord Pansy raises his hand, the din slowly quiets again. "Lady Banefort, you have my most sincere apology. I was unaware that my gesture to the city would cause you such suffering. Be assured that next week, I shall have my own cook prepare you a batch of her best oatcakes, and they will be delivered to your home at first light. Is there any other way I can atone for my unintentional misdeed?"

Keyte is starting to wring her hands a bit, standing rigid amongst her sisters as she waits. As the first petition is presented her lordly cousin, an audible sigh escapes her, and she immediately lifts a hand to cover her mouth in horror for the slip. Oops.

Leof gestures "That is unnecessary, while I am all for charitable gifts - perhaps just slow down as you've unintentionally caused the price of oats to rise." She looks at the thrown oatcakes "Such waste." she mutters, softly "Perhaps you could instead offer a goodly discount on staples so the smallfolk may help themselves and enjoy barley or wheat as well?" she offers, getting a bit visibly greener from the hostile crowd, especially since she is known to be openly generous and prone to acts of charity. Her hand rests on her belly "I have said my peice and will leave now." The raven is regarded and she dips in a polite curtsy, waiting to be excused.

Garvin smiles, though it is a rather chilly smile. "But my lady, the people love their oatcakes. Perhaps it would have been wiser for me to put out a warning though." He lifts his eyes to those gathered in the hall, raising his voice. "People of Oldtown! Be forewarned that each week, on the morning before court is held, I shall buy as many oatcakes as I can find within the city. These will be given to any and all who attend court that day. Bakers, be prepared! Those who wish to have oatcakes on those days before they are made available here, be sure to buy them in advance. So long as it is my duty to sit upon this chair in Lord Hightower's stead, this shall be my custom." Again, there are cheers from the back of the room: "Lord Pansy!" The herald allows this for a few minutes before thumping his staff against the floor for order.

Garvin nods then to Leof, giving her that chilly smile again, and the herald steps forward to shout, "Summoned forth is Lady Keyte Tyrell! Step forward and lay your petition before the Acting Lord of the High Tower."

Leof eyes Garvin, looking just slightly annoyed. "Yes. I'm sure your wisdom is appropriate." Her tone is cold for now, perhaps not enjoying the sensation of being mocked publically… during the mother's festival while pregnant. She gives Garvin an outright glare because of the outright inappropriateness of his actions, heading for the door not a seat.

Having been summoned, Keyte takes a deep breath, and sweeps into motion past the departing lady previous petitioner. Her hands are clammy, and she makes every effort to not grab at fistfuls of her skirts. "My lor—" Squeak! Voice cracking as she approaches, she takes another deep breath and dips into a long, deep curtsy; it's more polite than is really necessary, to be sure. "My lord, I thank you for hearing my petition this day. I… my lord, I bring to the court a request for the arrest of one lowborn criminal, to whom I was introduced by the name 'Kai'."

Garvin smiles when he cousin approaches, and it's a far warmer one than he gave Leof when she left. But when she manages to squeak out her complaint, Lord Pansy tenses visibly. "I am aware of the individual in question," he says, his voice grave. "Of what crime is he accused this time?"

Katya steps up as well, allowing Keyte to lead but joining the younger Tyrell as she faces the acting lord. Her curtsey is polite, and then she clasps hands in front of her, a silent support at her sister's side for the moment, watching Garvin closely.

Kesha follows her twin forward, standing to her side and just a little behind, supportive-like without actually hand-holding. Probably because Keyte's hands are clammy and that is just gross. Back straight with perfect posture, steps steady enough that she mostly appears to glide like a lady, she is possesed as she can be while playing her supportive role. Hopefully it helps to have the whole family here. She spares a sympathetic look to her twin, and bobs a curtsey that would have been a mirror-image of Keyte's if it weren't less deep, though it is perfectly polite.

"FARSE!" Well it can't be said that the Sea Witch's raven lacks for vocabulary. Who knows if he was repeating what his mistress might have whispered in her shadowy perch. It depends on who you ask, some even are so bold as to be rumor mongering that it was the Sea Witch who has stricken Lord Hightower with the ailment that keeps him from holding court himself. Others now whisper that Garvin will be next. That is perhaps only strengthened from gossip to possibility by the pale knuckles of her already pallid hands going whiter still as the spindly fingers grip the bannister as she watches the man in Hightower's throne ever so intently.

Angharad's eyebrows knit down, drawing a line between them. She doesn't look surprised, but grim(mer); her jaw sets and her chin lifts. Her arms fold just beneath her ribcage, hands cupping her elbows — without the beligerence of being crossed over her chest, but there's unmistakable tension there.

Hightower-sworn men find themselves in a peculiar and invidious position, these days, sullenly answering the word of one of the rosebloomed on a strictly temporary basis, and among these is an officer of the Hightower Sea Watch…otherwise known as Sylas, Lord Volmark, Captain of the Mourning Maw. Suspended between a kind of informal sentry duty and sullen, half-curious, half-resentful surveillance, he and a couple of his more formidable looking crewmen pace about near to the back of the Great Hall. Until, that is, Volmark hears his kinswoman's blasphemous storm-bird croak. Then he breaks his listlessness, if not his taciturnity, by spitting on the rushes before him and cursing the Storm God beneath his breath.

All too aware of the attention on her now, Keyte's eyes wander, seeking the reassurance of her sisters in her peripheral field of vision. When Garvin tenses, so does she. "My —" the raven's cry interrupts her this time, and Keyte frowns deeply. "My lord. I… mean for him to stand accused of breaking and entering the Garden Isle manse." She is nervous, shaking even, her hangs wrung tightly as she hastily adds, "If it please my lord, that is."

Archmaester Thane sits near the front of the chamber, serving as a representative of the Citadel. He has kept his silence thus far, as has the raven perched on his shoulder, which eyeballs the one on Millicent's curiously.

A murmur stirs in the smallfolk crowd when the raven makes its cry, and Garvin visibly jerks on the throne, eyes quickly scanning the upper gallery for some sign of the sound's source. It doesn't take him long to spot Millicent, and his brows draw together in confusion or concern. It's really hard to tell on a face so young and unused to all these duties. When Keyte begins to speak again, he brings his eyes back to her, and another warm smile appears. "Be at ease, my Lady Cousin. I am aware of the incident, and I agree that he must answer for this crime. I shall issue forthwith a warrant to the Captain of the City Watch, calling for his arrest." He raises his voice again to the rest of the court. "Be it known that the sellsword Kai is called to answer this charge, and until such time as he presents himself or is arrested, he shall be known as a fugitive. Any found to have aided him in escaping justice shall be judged to be equally guilty." He looks again to his three cousins. "Will this satisfy you, my gentle lady cousins?"

Taking a deep breath, chest rising and falling visibly, Angharad shifts and presses a fist against her mouth. It's certainly not to conceal mirth. Her eyes dart between Keyte and her cousin-on-high. Lord Garvin's answer… makes her eyebrows lift again, but there's no lessening of the tension in her posture. This isn't a pleasant surprise. Rather, her eyes narrow in suspicion.

Katya watches Keyte as she speaks, and Kesha beside her. She makes no move to take her sister's hand, not just yet. When Garvin has spoken she takes a moment to consider, and to allow the twins to do so as well before speaking up. "That was all we wished to say, Lord Garvin," she says, inclining her chin slightly, tone clear and even and polite. "We thank you for taking the matter seriously. We will all sleep easier once this miscreant has been brought to justice." She bows her head politely, and then moves off, a hand lifting to Keyte's back as they go.

Meanwhile, Lord Sylas, having exchanged a significant look with his minions, shrugs - infintesimally - and begins to thread his way forward through the petitioners…edging ever closer to his sickly cousin, the Greyjoy damsel and purported sorceress. "Millicent, dearling. It has been quite some time," he hisses in a remarkably ostentatious whisper once he has woven near enough. "I trust the family is well? Unaccountably, they seemed to have neglected writing to me of late."

Keyte swings an immediate look over her shoulders, seeking reassurance from her sisters both. Her shoulders rise and fall with each deep breath she draws, and the young girl turns back to face her cousin enthroned. With a pleading expression, as though she might have a thousand other things to say, she searches for words… but it is Katya who speaks. Relieved, the younger Tyrell girl at the head of her sisters lets go of a breath, and musters a weak smile. "Thank you, my lord."

Angharad turns swiftly, her gown sweeping the floor, and also moves to go, followed by her men. She has, apparently, seen enough.

Kesha nods her head slowly in support of Katya's words, letting the oldest of the sisters say her piece for her. What she said. She smiles at Keyte when the girl turns around, a brief thing mean to reassure as she likes. "Thank you, my lord." She then steps forward, but it his just to hook her elbow in her twin's own, lending a more physical support this time as they withdraw.

Garvin maintains his smile, as he nods to Keyte, Kesha, and Katya, giving them leave to withdraw. The herald steps forward and shouts the name of the next petitioner. Hours later, when all have their chance to speak (or more likely, when Garvin signals that he's heard enough today), the herald announces an end to court and bids all who still have petitions or grievances to return again next week. Garvin stands, looking more weary than before, and makes his way to the door behind the throne.

Millicent keeps facing the court room below and Garvin quite possibly gets that chill down his back again as her eyes follow him as he leaves. "My family aren't exactly scribes nor authors. Nor do they waste time for those that are out of their sight. Especially those sent from it." The raven is once again pinched by pale fingers when he 'barks' out, "Pansy!" "They are his favorite treat." She explains covering up the fact that the bird picked up the word from guards and gossipers they came across. "How long have you been here?"

"At least some of them have a sense of humour," Sylas retorts, cuttingly or pettishly, depending on the onlooker's sympathies. "As for that…long enough, lady cousin. But I suppose it will seem a brief spell only, on the day I sail out of Oldtown's harbour with a fleet at my back and an army below decks. Good eve, sweet coz." At that, he spins about and strides over to his subordinate ironmen, leading them out of the scattering court.

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