(121-03-12) Dornishmen and Dragons
Dornishmen and Dragons
Summary: Lord Pansy's meeting with a Dornish group is interrupted by the reappearance of Whoremaster.
Date: 12 March, 2014
Related: The Fall of a Dragon: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-03-12-the-fall-of-a-dragon


Apex - Whimsy Theatre

The third story above the stage is called the apex, and it's here that the theater's owner keeps his office. In contrast to the disarray of the tiring house, the apex is kept neat and orderly. A large table surrounded by matching chairs holds stacks of parchments and ledger books. Other, more comfortable chairs and cushioned benches are arranged around a lower table, creating a relaxed area for socializing. In one corner of the room is a monstrous bed with coverings and drapes of heavy purple velvet.

There are windows with diamond-shaped glass panes that look down upon the amphitheatre, though it's impossible to see the stage itself, due to the heavens roof. The yard and gallery can be viewed, however, and the windows have drapes that can be pulled closed for a little privacy. There's also a small door giving access to the castle walk, though actors generally use the stairs outside the apex to reach the third level of the stage.

Garvin has turned the apex of his theater into his own personal solar, and at the moment, he's sitting at the large table in front of the windows, sipping mead and having a chat with Maester Jacsen. "There's a solar at the manse, but it's been shut up for about fifty years. We really should open it, air it out, so you have somewhere to, you know, do maester things. I don't believe we have a rookery though. Will you be bringing any ravens with you to the manse?"

The rest of the theater is empty, though there are some purple-cloaked men-at-arms stationed about. One of them would lead the group through the tiring house and up the stairs to the apex.

"Maester things." Jacsen's face wrinkles in a sincerely bemused grin as he settles in a chair, leaning with one hand on the table. The other is propped on the top of his cane. "Whatever might those be, my Lord? As far as the Ravens go, I they will be brought from the Citadel forthwith."

There is a small group of men-at-arms loyal to either House Dayne or House Martell left in the yard, along with a single Oldtown city watchman. The group that is escorted into the solar is an odd combination — two Dornish princesses, a pair of bastards, a Septon and the Sword of the Morning. Ser Osric Dayne struggles a bit on the stairs, limping from an old wound. He wears a set of chain mail polished to shine almost silver, a tabard of vivid purple bearing his personal arms, and the greatsword Dawn is slung across his back. It is not his place to introduce the group, and so he holds his tongue, remaining within arm's reach of Mariya.

One of the bastards also happens to be Ser Osric's squire, and Tameron is dressed in the purple and white of House Dayne, though some of that is covered but by a boiled leather vest. Not quite as impressively gleaming at his knight, he none the less stands beside him, chin high, as a somber member of the princesses' retinue.

Unlike the rather Dornish looking people in his party, the Septon appears to be someone of the Reach. And should one had known him, he'd be still recognizable as he was when he wore a knight's kit instead of a sexton's robes-his an ever present coal grey. Sadly he does not come armed, save for a simple walking cane, that he doesn't entirely seem to need. A glance is given to a purple cloaked member who is escorting them, before he is quipping, rather to no one: "I didn't know the Tyrells liked purple…I thought that was more of a Redwyne thing…." Everett does manage to suppress his smirk and try to seem, calming.

Ashara wears bright silks, as is her custom, in the Martell colors, though she's made some concessions to the more conservative fashions of the Reach. A high collar and elbow-length sleeves, along with a more wrapped style keep the whole a bit more demure. Especially in comparison to the wet silk she wore at the archery competition. As the group arrives, she pauses near the door to wait for a servant's announcement. "Princesses Mariya and Ashara Martell." Only then does she step forward, smiling politely.

That's SER bastard, thank you very much. Arros will flank the Princesses. He wears black sandsilk robes in a style common with the nobles of Dorne, and has a sword buckled to his hip.

Garvin's eyes bug wide at the announcement, quickly rising to his feet. "Princesses?" he says, sounding both confused and more than a little frightened. "What an unexpected honor, your…Graces?" He glances toward Jacsen — how does one address a barbarian…that is, Dornish princess? He moves around the table and gives a low bow. "I have the pleasure of being Lord Garvin Tyrell, if it please your Graces." Standing upright again, he glances at the others, only really recognizing Arros at the moment. "To what do I owe this visit?"

Dressed in proud, but conservative, Martell colors, Mariya holds her skirts properly as she ascends the steps. She glances toward Osric every once in awhile to make sure that she keeps pace with him, taking the steps slower as needs be. At the top of the steps, she allows her gown to fall back to its proper place and stands tall next to Ashara for their servant to announce them. Then, she steps forward with her cousin, glancing about here and there in a polite way. The last time she was in the Whimsy was for the Masque and she did not get a chance to see it properly with all the guests swirling about. Realizing her place, she quickly snaps her gaze forward, smiling pleasantly. "In Dorne we are referred to as Princesses," she responds to Garvin simply. "Princess Mariya Martell." While she was introduced by the servant, she gracefully curtseys to distinguish herself. "We have come for a short audience, my Lord."

How does one, Lord Garvin? Thankfully, one of the specialties of House Tyrell's newly-attached Maester is statecraft. He too, stops as he hears the announcement but slowly moves to his feet, clasping his hands. His wolfish smile beams broadly as he leans on his cane, clasping his hands. "Nymeria's Children have arrived." He then deeply bows his head. His chains of office jingle loudly.

The Septon, looks towards The Maester and strikes a likewise pose, of leaning on the bit of wood tween his hands. Though it seems he is here, more for diplomacy, if need be than much else. After all, all the gentlemen with swords are behind him. Everett does though have the decency to bring up an arm to cough into, before looking back towards the Tyrell lordling.

"We've heard, like so many, of the tragedy regarding the Cockshaws," Ashara explains to Garvin, her smile fading away. "And though we offered our condolences to the Hightowers, we thought it would be meet to offer them to their lieges as well," she gestures toward the Tyrell with an open hand. "We also hoped to assure you that if there is any way in which we can assist in finding the perpetrators and bringing them to justice, we are only too glad to offer it."

Ser Osric bows when Garvin introduces himself, a gesture smooth enough that he must have at some point practiced doing it with a greatsword strapped to his back. When he straightens, his violet eyes take a moment to consider both the Tyrell lord and his maester, though he remains silent as the princesses speak.

Garvin frowns for a long moment, then sweeps a hand toward the chairs near the fireplace. "Please be seated, Princesses," he says, moving to one of the chairs himself. "This is Maester Jacsen, who serves House Tyrell here in Oldtown." He takes a seat and chews at his lower lip for a few moments. "Now then…what can you tell me about the brutal attack on Wickham's Nest?"

"It is an honor." Jacsen chimes in, simply. For now, it's not his place to talk, but listen. Still, for what it's worth, the words come across as quite sincere. He remains standing for the time being, his grey eyes darting to and fro.

Still Osric is silent at Mariya's side, watching but not speaking — at least for the moment. His hands are clasped behind his back, making his posture seem somehow formal.

Glancing toward Ashara and Osric, Mariya takes a seat when Garvin gestures for them to do so. The question, however, gives her pause and confusion. "Thank you, Lord Gavin," she replies. "However, we know very little of what occurred - most likely what you have heard. That there was an attack against Wickham's Nest, but that the perpetrators have not been determined." Placing her hands in her lap, she glances at Jacsen and gives him a warm smile for his greeting. "A pleasure, Maester."

There is a small frown that shows on Everett's face, but then he looking back towards Mariya as she speaks up. The inside of his cheek, chewed, but the Septon doesn't interrupt. Instead he flicks his eyes back to the Lord Tyrell, curious as to how he will take that bit of news.

Ashara shakes her head to Garvin as she settles gracefully into a seat. "Nothing new, I'm afraid," she answers. "Save that none of us are aware of any sanctioned groups who would engage in such behavior." She nods to Mariya's explanation before looking back to Garvin. "And of course, it is in the interest of the family that we keep some peace here, given how many of us are currently residing here."

Standing beside Ser Osric, Tameron's doing hs best to be a neutral, quiet present. However, Lord Garvin's question causes his brows to draw together for a moment, a frown touching the corners of his mouth before he schools it away.

Garvin nods slowly, though his eyes show disbelief. "Of course, of course. I'm sure no one would imagine that House Martell would sanction such a terrible deed. All those deaths, including Ser Viggo Cockshaw's brother and our Lord Hightower's cousin. Not to mention the razing of the castle itself. No, such a deed is more likely the act of wild madmen, or perhaps some enemy of House Cockshaw."

The young princess gets a brief smile from the old Maester. It's not quite creepy, per se. Thankfully. He looks at Garvin pensively but does not interrupt his Lord.

"Lord Garvin." Arros says from behind Ashara, as he stands behind her in the same way that Osric stands behind Mariya, "You have considered me honorable in the past, have you not? I know Princess Ashara personally, and Princess Mariya is held in esteem by Ser Daevon Targaryen. Even if you doubt my truthfulness, I do not think the Maiden's Knight would befriend those who wish the Reach or the Throne harm."

And there, the Septon clears his throat. "My Lord." his accent giving him away further as clearly his is a man of the Reach. Now Everett steps forward before leaning back on his stick. "I must say- The Princesses speak the truth. Despite whatever harsh things befell those at Wickham's Nest the members of House Martell here had no knowledge, nor would they sanction an act with peace so dearly gotten." And with Arros speaking up The Septon turns his head towards the bastard before offering a shrug.

Osric's brow furrows, his violet eyes darkening at Garvin's words — or perhaps at the look in his eyes. "Her Royal Highness, Princess Amarei Martell, is a staunch supporter of the peace between our countries," he says, letting one hand fall on the back of Mariya's chair. His voice is soft, but his tone does not waver. "We mourn the loss of life at Wickham's Nest," he says, earnest, and in agreement with his fellows. "And would see it ended once the perpetrators are found and dealt with."

As Mariya watches Garvin, she glances to Ashara, nodding at her additions before turning her attentions back toward the Tyrell. As those beside her would speak, she does not look beside nor behind her as they do so. Instead, she allows them their peace before speaking for herself. "Thank you, Ser Arros, Septon," she says softly, then, she moves back to Garvin, deciding to take a argumentative technique that Arros himself used against her. "Do you deny that there are those of both the Reach and of Highgarden that have attacked those of Dorne without your sanction, Lord Tyrell?"

As Mariya watches Garvin, she glances to Ashara, nodding at her additions before turning her attentions back toward the Tyrell. As those beside her would speak, she does not look beside nor behind her as they do so. Instead, she allows them their peace before speaking for herself. "Thank you, Ser Arros, Septon," she says softly, then, she moves back to Garvin, deciding to take a argumentative technique that Arros himself used against her. "Do you deny that there are those of both the Reach and of Highgarden that have attacked those of Dorne without the sanction of your House or your King, Lord Garvin?"

As others speak up, Ashara leans back in her chair, letting the words settle. She reaches behind her for a feather-light touch to Arros' arm, but it's Mariya's question that draws her gaze back to Garvin.

Garvin suddenly frowns, his brows drawing together, as he looks between the princesses. "Did I not just now say that I did not believe House Martell had authorized this heinous deed?" he asks, sounding a little frustrated. He looks to Everett then, lifting his chin. "Septon, I do not believe I know you. Will you tell me your name and what part you play in these…proceedings?"

Tameron glances from the princess and over to Osric, brows lifted in a 'is this Tyrell for real' moment of query. Then he exhales softly and looks back to Lord Garvin and the backs of the princesses' heads.

"My Lord, you made it sound…." And there he waves a hand in the air, as if to insinuate fishy without saying such. "As for my name. I am Brother Everett if you please. Just a simple Septon and naught more." Like all other Septons he has indeed forsake his surname, titles and all else. "As for my part, I serve the Houses of Martell and Dayne here in Westeros as their chaplain, healer..tutor among other things." A glance is given to Princess Ashara. "As it is, I have the unique skill of somewhat understanding both cultures."

The silver-haired Maester arcs an eyebrow while glancing at Garvin with a sidelong, surprised look. He clears his throat. "My Lord. If I may?"

Osric's mien settles back toward neutral as he looks back to his young squire. A very slight nod of the head, acknowledging, perhaps even sympathizing, though there is a measure of sympathy in his eyes.

"I have been told often times that there is quite a difference between words and intentions." At this Mariya gives a smile and looks downward. "Forgive me, my lord. I am the youngest daughter of my Mother and not used to foreign courts. However, I was introduced to Lord Gwayne a few days past and what I have heard and what I have been told as of since has made me defensive. You cannot deny that there are many would look to Dorne to blame these heinous acts. I would assure you, that my mother would never have authorized such deeds."

"Whether it was Dornish or not," Ashara continues, her voice low and gentle, "We would offer our assistance. If it was our people, then my aunt will be most eager to…illustrate her displeasure. And if it was not, then we would consider it a gesture of goodwill between our houses to have helped identify the culprits. We brought few men or knights with us, but I'm certain there are some, such as the good Septon, who are familiar with the marches. Perhaps they might be of assistance in tracking or searching."

Garvin studies the septon for a few moments, then turns to the princesses with a nod. "My cousins, Ser Laurent Tyrell and Ser Quillian Oakheart, have gone with Ser Viggo Cockshaw to look at the ruins that were once his family's hunting lodge. When they return, we shall see what we shall see. Until then, I am reserving judgement on this matter. It does none of us any good to reach conclusions before all the facts are known. I'm sure they would welcome any assistance you might offer them when they return." He looks then to Jacsen, nodding again. "Of course, Maester. I know we all would be pleased to hear the wisdom of the Citadel on this matter."

"Thank you, m'lord." Jacsen fires off a quick show of gratitude to Garvin before turning to study the Dornish faction, leaning on his cane with two stacked open hands. "I believe nerves are a bit raw now, that's a good way of putting it. But what I am hearing is that our good neighbors from the South have come to us in a gesture of conciliation and cooperation, asking a very pointed and obvious question." Tap. The cane taps once or twice.

"How and why would this be done to benefit the people of House Martell, House Dayne? Especially when so many of their principal members are currently located right here, within Oldtown?" He looks towards the Princesses, Osric, and the others, before turning back to his Lord. "Words were already exchanged with — Lord Hightower." His delivery of Gwayne's name and title is especially bland here. "Now they have come to treat with Lord Garvin Tyrell himself. This is a gesture. And I believe a very honest one, if my humble estimation is to matter for anything?" He looks to his lord one last time and then back to the Dornish. "You have done us an honor to treat with us and this gesture of goodwill will do a lot to keep things calm in this trying time."

There's hue and cry again, starting on the Eastern side of the city. Somebody's seen it. The form of that dragon in the air to the East, coming in from the Uplands. A dark shape, sometimes flashing mustard yellow wings in the daylight.


There's a scramble in the streets, as people move to get the horses and other livestock into barns, and themselves into lower parts of buildings, or to where they can watch the monster. Warning horns sound from the watchtowers at the Rose Gate.

Arros hears the warning horns, and strides over to the window to stare out of it. "The whoremaster returns." He declares after staring out of the window for a moment. "We could flee downstairs."

Garvin nods to the maester's words, looking back again to the princesses, each in turn. "And I do thank you for the courtesey of this visit, my Ladies….er, Lady Princesses. I believe…." But then he hears the horns blaring and his men shouting down in the theater's yard and forecourt. Frowning, he rises to his feet, looking toward the windows. "What in the name of the Seven can that be? The dragon? We should be able to see it from…Do you really believe we should go below, Ser Arros?"

"If the dragon decides it wants us, I doubt being below the collapsing tower is going to help us," Ashara points out practically, rising from her chair and moving toward the window as well, too curious or too bold to seek shelter just yet. At the moment, a potential dragon attack is the preferable topic of conversation.

"We should," Osric says, in immediate agreement with Arros. He's in no rush toward the window, despite his curiosity. Between Mariya and the glass, he's ushering the princess toward the stairs. "And out from beneath the tower. Is there a cellar, Lord Garvin? Or outbuildings?"

It grows closer, visible through windows, and any other place high enough to see over the nearby buildings. Winged and enormous, poisonous mustard-yellow and threatening storm-blue. It's still well away from the city when it flames. One can see the bright fire against the cloudy sky.

"I don't know." Arros admits as he stares out the window. He gives Ashara an askance look before turning back to the glass. "Last time it just took a courtesan. Perhaps it will only pick up another girl from the street?"

Garvin moves toward the windows as well, pushing two of them open so he can lean out. "Cellars? Yes, there's a cellar beneath the stage, but if Hightower topples, there's nowhere safe within the city. I certainly wouldn't want to be buried underground beneath all that rubble. You don't think it could topple the tower though, do you?"

"Terrible f—" Jacsen starts, before minding his company — and the general implications of cursing House Targaryen's pet war machine. He glowers towards the window, stepping away.

"My Gods…," Everett breathes out as he turns back out to the windows and there he almost drops his walking stick. Instead there's a reach for the prayer chain that dangles from his belt. Collecting the beads, he worries them over his fingers, as he watches the Dragon, and then the flash of flames within the horizon. "Mother's mercy…We need to move."

"I think there is a reason dragons are beasts of war," Ashara murmurs to Garvin's question, leaning against the window frame, but at least not sticking her head out. "Or forces of nature. You might as well try to hide from a sandstorm in your robes." The princess seems fascinated, and not likely to move on her own.

"Highness," Tameron murmurs, joining Arros near Ashara, "I think it's time to no longer be up high and inside a building made of wood."

"Were it a sandstorm, Princess, I'd advise we hide from that as well." Osric succeeds in ushering Mariya out the door and into the care of the small cluster of Dornish guardsmen, then turns to wait just inside the door. "It is said the the dragons of old could set stone afire," he tells Garvin, though he has no idea if this Whoremaster is capable of the same. "I'll be slowest on the stairs. I'll come down last."

Arros touches Ashara lightly on the arm, "I'm sure we'll be able to see it from the courtyard, Princess."

For a moment, it looks as though Ashara might protest, but instead she lets out a soft breath, dipping her chin to Osric and Arros. "Of course," she murmurs, stepping away from the window and waving them on. "To wherever you think we'll be safe, Sers."

"Oh, all right then." Jacen's heavy eyebrows droop as he glowers, heading towards the stairs as fast as his three legs can take him. Which isn't that fast.

Garvin chews at his lower lip for several moments, leaning out the window and scanning the sky. "Yes, I think the forecourt would be a wiser place to be," he says. "Let's hurry though, I don't want to be trapped in here if the building catches fire." He leans back in and grabs his hat from a corner of the table, plopping it onto his head and leading the way to the stairs. "Quickly, this way," he calls, pulling open the door.

"I'll stay with you, ser," Tameron informs Ser Osric as Arros gets Ashara on her feet and moving. He falls into step beside his knight.

The beast passes over the Eastern wall, huge and glorious, just below the clouds but now angling down. Those lucky and sharp-eyed might see a flash of something white at the base of its neck.

Everett glances to Jacsen for a moment before he is looking back to the window and dropping his prayer beads. "I hate those fucking things." the Septon admits before he offers an arm to the aged Maester. "Please, if I may-allow me?" To help you down the stairs is not said. He'll be sure to let loose of the Maester once they are close to the end of the stairs-so the man can seem respectable.

Suddenly, inexplicably, the Maester shoots the Septon a toothy smile. Gimps tally-ho. "I am glad you said it before I did, Septon. He does however hestitate but does take the arm. "I'm not bloody helpless yet." He retorts. "But thank you. Given his name, I wonder where this great bloody beast is going to go first?"

Osric glances toward the stairs, seemingly about to protest. But Arros is escorting Ashara, Everett has Jacsen in hand, and Mariya is seen to, so the Dornishman simply nods to his squire. There is a healthy respect in his violet eyes as they meet Tameron's — easy to see, though he doesn't voice it. He waits patiently at the top of the stairs until the rest of the party is headed down, then gestures Tameron onto the stairs before following himself, limping slightly as he goes.

"Likely the Bawdy Bard, and then the Quill. Then there is Ragpicker's wind." How the Septon knows where Whores go, and congregate is another matter entirely. With the Maester in arm and hand, he moves to help the elderly fellow down the stairs at a quick pace. "You know, where ever whores go." Everett tacks on as they traipse down the stairs.

Arros will offer Ashara his arm for balance to walk down the stairs, but he doesn't make a show of insisting that she take it. "We are not taking the Princesses to a pillow house or a slum." He says to the back of the Septon's head.

Garvin hurries down the stairs, taking them two and a time. Below, his men can be heard shouting and running about. One is partway up the stairs when he meets Garvin. "Below, below!" Lord Pansy shouts, giving the man a quick shove. Once in the tiring house behind the stage, he waits for the others to catch up.

"Given this beast's preferences, that's probably for the best," Ashara quips at Arros' protest, taking his arm with a brief, wry smile that she ducks her chin to hide. "Anyhow, I'm sure they're not nearly as nice as the ones at home," she adds to Everett's list. "No offense intended, of course." For Garvin. In case he thought she was insulting the local whorehouses. Because that's the concern here.

Even Septons need hobbies too. "Well, I suppose after that there is the bathhouse." The Maester observes, plainly, as he shuffles along.

"Oh I forgot about the bathhouse." Everett perks for a moment. "That's the Iron born one yes? I can't imagine the water's good there." He adds in with a smirk. Were there any better conditions, he might consider this old fellow a companion. However he's supposed to be minding Dornish princesses and the like-and diplomacy or something of that nature.

Tameron thumps down the stairs, not moving down the next until he hears his knight shuffling behind him. Even so, he cannot suppress a quiet snicker as he overhears the conversation between the septon and the maester. "A maester and a septon walk into an inn…" he murmurs, mostly to himself.

The smell of dragon fills the streets. Hot. Spicy, smoky, frightening and huge. It skims over, lower now. Those still on the streets can see the scales of its belly. And the woman on its back.

Arros lets out an amused little sound at Ashara's quip despite himself, but is quiet as the party heads down the stairs. There is a dragon outside, after all.

It flies South over the city, towards the harbour.

Osric shuffles down the stairs, making good enough time despite his trick hip. There's a heavy hand on Tameron's shoulder at the quiet jest, but it's gone almost as soon as it's there, and a quiet chuckle even follows it. And then they're down the stairs and into the tiring house.

Garvin hurries up to the platform just behind the stage and pulls aside the curtain, holding it so the others can pass through. The set from the play was struck earlier, so the stage is bare, and two small sets of steps have been positioned to either side, allowing people to climb up and down from the yard below.

Those with sharp hearing might hear the woman speaking to the dragon, and if they understand High Valyrian they might catch snippets like, "Land!" or "Don't burn anything!" and "Bad dragon! No!"

"I wouldn't drink the water, that's for bloody sure." Jacsen observes as he finally makes it down into the tiring house himself. Of course, they've cleared the stairs. Dignity time and all that, as he ambles away from the Septon, still shooting the man a conspiratorial grin. Of course, this doesn't last long, as the commotion goes on outside — and then just like that, the Maester is distracted from it all as he witnesses an elaborate silvery-metal mask complete with an attached crown. "Seven Hells, is that mask for Metherin, from 'The Silver King?'" he wonders aloud? Old dude knows his plays.

"Is that…" Ashara tilts her head at the sounds of the crowd, brows rising as she looks to Arros. "Perhaps Ser Daevon needn't keep searching for his sister," she murmurs, following the others out.

"Gods no." Everett replies once they are down into the tiring House. And there he separates himself from the older man and offers a grin right back. A quick shift of his robes before he smoothes it out. A glance is given over his shoulder-apparently distracted as well, though he's turning look back up to the sky, his eyes squinting. "I don't know if one can command a dragon not to burn anything…" he muses to himself. "That would be like saying, wind do not blow…."

"I'm sure the gentle scoldings of the Mother Tongue are /quite/ effective." The Maester retorts to the princess, sniggering softly as he hobbles along.

"It certainly matches the description, doesn't it?" Arros observes to Ashara as they walk through the Tiring house at a quick pace to the amphitheater.

Out over the harbour, the dragon starts to gain altitude again.

Garvin glances at Jacsen as he passes, frowning a bit. "The mask of…? I don't know, perhaps. All this came with the theater, and it's not all been properly catalogued yet." Once everyone is through, he hurries past and leads the way down the steps and toward the main entrance to the forecourt.

There is definitely somebody on the dragon's shoulders, astride the base of its neck. A woman, naked or nearly so, with silver-blonde hair.

Forecourt - Whimsy Theatre

The Theatre of Whimsical Dreams, better known as simply The Whimsy, is a large, round-shaped building in the form of a 21-sided polygon, constructed of timber and stone. At ninety-eight feet in diameter and three stories high, the theater is set back a good distance from the boulevard, with a wide forecourt sandwiched between the shops to either side. Here, a few vendors have set up stalls to sell ale, wine, and of course, oatcakes to be enjoyed during performances. There's even a stand where pansies made of purple silk can be purchased.

At the front of the theater building is a small stage, where mummers and musicians can put on small performances for whatever coin is to be had. There's also a tiny puppet theatre, where farcical versions of more famous plays and legends are played out. To either side of the small stage are the wide, arched doorways into the theater itself. There are a few wooden tables and chairs scattered about the forecourt.

Admission to the theater is relatively inexpensive. Groundlings, who stand in the yard around the stage itself, pay only three copper pennies. The more expensive seats in the gallery vary between two and seven silver stags, depending on how good a view of the stage there is.

The woman falls from the dragon's back. The beast seems startled, lofting in the air, stopping its climb to spiral about, peering down with its fierce yellow eyes.

"I wouldn't know the first thing about how one tames a dragon," Ashara admits, shaking her head. "Though if they're anything like horses, I would imagine it's a task best undertaken away from innocent bystanders." She looks up once more, searching out the sight. "The first person to look at one of those and think 'I can tame that' must have been at least a little bit mad."

"More than a little bit," Garvin agrees, shading his eyes and he looks up at the sky, turning in a slow circle. The harbor is pretty far from Beacon Boulevard, but the dragon can probably be seen way off in the distance. "Is that someone on its back? Oh! He's fallen!"

"The Silver King. It's an absolute classic, My Lord. If the whole bloody city doesn't come down around our ears, I will happily tell you about it, sometime. It is an old play, but I don't think it originated with the Andals." Maester Jacsen responds to Garvin as he hustles along, staring off in the distance. "It appears someone is." He observes, staring off.

Over the harbour, the dragon snorts out a puff of fire. Just a huge one, which is little considering the size of the monster. Then it turns in the air and starts to swim upriver.

Garvin nods to the maester, though he's not really paying attention, turning to follow the distant dragon with his eyes. "Now where's it going?" he wonders aloud, frowning.

To the North, over the river, the dragon gains altitude and disappears into the clouds.

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