(121-03-23) Welcome to the Garden Isle
Welcome to the Garden Isle
Summary: In which Lady Johanna is welcomed by Ser Laurent, though she deserves better.
Date: Date of play (03/23/2014)
Related: None

Walled Garden - Garden Isle Manse Sphinx Street

Sun Mar 23, 121 ((Sun Mar 23 13:00:45 2014))

It is a summer day. The weather is warm and fair.

This large garden is a wonderland of splendor. Small trees and exotic flowers are in bloom, their aromas permeating the area. The entire garden is enclosed a high wall, covered in vines and ivy. There is an area where fresh herbs are growing, and another for roses of red, white, and of course, Tyrell gold. Other beds have daffodils, tulips, lilies, and pansies. Spread out and mingled amongst the rest of the plants are a variety of wildflowers. The two far corners are dominated by massive oak trees, which spread shade over the area. The luscious scents and beauty add to the natural feel of the atmosphere here.

Stone benches of polished marble surround a long pool, also of marble. There's a statue of a small dolphin above one end, spouting water from its snout. The pool isn't very deep, only about three feet, and small, colorful fish dart about playfully. Luxuriously soft towels are folded and placed on some of the benches. To one side is a lounging area, with outdoor furniture which comfortably seats six.


Contents: Laurent

Exits: [GH] Grand Hall - Garden Isle M [GI] Garden Isle

Special: places - Special Places Available


Laurent is stalking into the garden through the postern gate, sweating in a suit of mail. In the distance, through the closing gate, a pair of men-at-arms are helping one of their fellows to his feet, in the center of what seems to be a practice circle. Blood, sweat, and dirt streak all three men. Laurent's squire, a nervous lad in his middle teen years, bleeds from his nose as he chases after the tall Tyrell knight. Neither did Laurent himself come through the rigorous practice round unscathed. There's blood in his hair and edging onto his forehead, and dried blood crusting a cut at his jawline. He's cursing foully as he stalks into the gardens, face red with anger, walking with purpose.

Laurent will find himself with company as he stalks into the garden, that company in the form of a dark haired Oakheart who is currently seated on the edge of the pool with bare feet dangling in the water. She twists around at the sound of those steps, twin brows creeping upward as she watches him. "Tough practice?" Johanna asks by way of greeting, and that is followed by a very small smile.

"Lag behind, Boy, and I'll flay your," Laurent's threat to his squire is cut off quickly when Johanna speaks, and he turns her way. "What's that?" His voice is rough, and for a moment it's clear that he is genuinely irate, not simply flushed with exertion. Dark eyes narrow, steps slow, and he veers toward the pond. "I don't think we've met." From his lips, it seems a complaint, rather than an observation. "Ser Laurent," he offers. After a moment, realizing that he's wearing no blazon, he adds, "Tyrell."

Having grown up in the family she did, Johanna seems perfectly adept at looking into the face of an irate nobleman and not flinching. At least when she's relatively sure that she can do so without being cut down, and it appears that now is one of those times. "No, we have not," she agrees, the words gentle and accompanied with a smile to match the tone. "It is a pleasure, Ser Laurent. I am Johanna Oakeart." She pauses only a beat, then adds, "Quillian's sister."

"Ser Quillian's…" Laurent's eyes narrow, as if unsure whether he were being japed at. He looks over his shoulder to the squire, but the lad looks at the ground, and Laurent comes back 'round to Johanna. "Sister. A pleasure. Your brother is a friend," he says grudgingly. "How long have you," he starts, but changes tack with a shake of his head. "How long will you be staying? Have you been," he says, gesturing with an open hand toward a pair of nearby servants, "…Seen to?"

"I have been here near two weeks now," Johanna supplies the answer to the question never finished as she plants both hands on the ground and pushes herself back from the pool. Once she's retreted from the edge far enough, she gets to her feet, moving from the edge of the pool toward him. "I am unsure of how long my stay will be, it rather depends on how well I like it here, and the whims of our father."

"Damnation," Laurent says, frowning. "I've been away for much of the past two weeks," he says with a shrug. Perhaps he means it as an apology, of sorts, though if so it's poorly delivered. "Your first visit to Oldtown, is it? I don't expect you'll like it. I don't. Pray your father calls you back to Old Oak soon." There's something there, something unsaid, but it can be felt. A rare depth of anger, barely held in check, and this conversation has somehow touched on its source.

"The first that I have any real memory of, though I'm told we were here once when I was young," Johanna answers him, lips pressing together a moment in an effort to restrain a smile. Some subtle amusement at something said, but the placid mask remains in place. For the most part. "May I inquire, if it is not too rude of me to do so in our first meeting, what it is you dislike so greatly about Oldtown?"

"You are new here," Laurent says with a short bark that it may take a moment to identify as a laugh. "Don't worry about offending me. No one does." He takes a few steps closer, until he's in a good and conversational distance, and frowns thoughtfully. "Everything," he finally says. "I hate every single damned thing about Oldtown. Hightowers, Targaryens, the Dornish. Stranger take the lot of them, I say."

"I fear that I am, and everyone has been so busy with the business to do with Dorne that I've not had a chance talk to many that live here," remarks Johanna. "That is a rather lot to dislike, and given the names on the list, I imagine they are hard for you to keep away from. Dare I be so bold as to ask what they've done to invoke your ire? I'm sure I know of some of it, but I feel so very on the outside of everything since arriving that it's good to corner someone with answers and isn't on the list of people you dislike."

Laurent is almost too ready to share that information, animated as he counts off the list. "The Hightowers have no spine, Lady. None. As a family, or as individuals. Save perhaps for Ser Olyvar," he allows this last reluctantly, with a shrug. "The Dornish?" Laurent's first answer to that is to spit on the ground, too near to his quiet squire, who dances away. "They burned Wickham's Nest, killed the heir to House Cockshaw and three dozen men, women and children of the Reach. And all over a piece of arse, I expect." He pounds a balled right fist into his open left hand and adds, "And no one seems set to do anything about it. Not Tyrell, not Hightower, because the crown wishes for peace on the border." He says this last as if it were a greater affront than the actual murderous hall-burning. "And House Targaryen?" He shakes his head, rage boiling out into his voice and onto his face, but instead of an explanation all he gives is a choked sound and a curt shake of his head.

"One can wish for peace all they like, but if your neighbor is provoking trouble, it's hard to keep it for long," Johanna's brows furrow and her lips turn down into a slight frown. "And this business seems far more than a simple provocation. If it's not answered, what is to stop them from repeating it because we are too fearful to answer it with anything?" One and folds atop the other as she considers the rest of the names on the list, brows furrowing further. "I've not had any personal trouble with the Targaryen family, though my meeting with most was brief, and… well, I haven't the experience with them that others here do, being so new."

"It will be answered," Laurent says with a grin that is brief, but savage. His eyes, made to seem beady by a heavy brow, consider Johanna as she speaks on House Targaryen, and he answers her with a hollow laugh. "Treasure that," he advises her blackly. "You'll find in them only madmen, weeping women, and treacherous filth."

"Truly?" Johanna asks, sounding as though she's disappointed by the last. "I've heard the rumors of course, but there are so many out there about so many people, I came to hope that perhaps those rumors held as much truth as many of them do. I appears that is not the case." The gesture that follows is a helpless one, the sort that says 'what can you do?' without actually speaking the words. "Are there any others I ought to avoid?"

"That whoreson Wylde," Laurent starts, as if he were about to start on a list. He stares off into the distance, hand held up, one finger already ticked off. "Riker Blacktyde," he says after another moment. "A couple of sellswords, though you're not like to meet any sellswords, are you?" He shakes his head, as if that were settled, and it's back to the list. "Petyr and Cragar Inchfield are a bad bunch, but you shouldn't see their faces in Oldtown." A short pauses, and he looks surprised as he says, "No, the rest are Hightowers, Targaryens or the Dornish."

"I can't imagine there is much reason I would need to, but one never knows who one might meet out there," Johanna makes a vague gesture towards the wall of the garden. It's the surprised look that gets him another smile, just a touch less restrained than the last. "The only Targaryen I've truly met is Ser Aevander, and others I've spoken to but in passing." A vague gesture that could mean anything follows. "I don't believe I've met any Dornish as yet, and with the current situation, I cannot see bumping into them on the streets."

"Ser Aevander." That name brings a deeper frown to Laurent's face, and his hand to run through his hair. Not wise — his hair is left standing in clumps, blood from his scalp now further spread through it. He winces when he touches the wound, curses, but doesn't seem to notice the hair. Or if he does, he doesn't care. "Ser Aevander," he says again. "I thought him a friend, once," he admits with a cold laugh. "But I expect he's no better than the rest."

Were Johanna to know him better, she might go to the effort of pointing out, or even helping to fix his hair. She doesn't, and so, she doesn't, instead allowing her gaze to skim over it only briefly, then pretending it doesn't exist. "That is a difficult thing," she remarks, sounding solemn. "The loss of a friend. I am sorry for that."

Laurent shakes his head, lips curling unpleasantly. "I'm not," he says, tone sour. "It's a glad thing," he counters instead, "Coming to know false friends for what they are." Though if the Thorn of Highgarden is even capable of sounding glad, none of that shows through in his tone. "A pox on him, and his brother and sisters."

"That is a glad thing, I will agree, but that you must endire false friends at all," Johanna states, nose crinkling faintly. "That is an unpleasant thing that happens far too often, but is a thing which I wish could be avoided by people not being so false in the first place. That, I am afraid, is far too much to hope for."

"Yes," Laurent agrees, nodding as she goes on. Then it's, "YES," more fervently, with a finger raised to point and shake at Johanna. "Precisely, yes. I ought to…" His eyes narrow, and he nods at whatever he is thinking. Reinforcing his own thoughts — something grim, from the look on his face. "Lady Johanna," he says, as if committing it to memory. This, in place of voicing his thoughts. "Yours is a fine family. Ser Quillian is a good man, as well."

"Thank you, Ser Laurent." A warmer smile surfaces as Johanna speaks, head dipping graciously at the kind words. "My brother is a good man, and I am glad to see he has such good friends here to stand with him."

"Uncommonly kind of you to say," Laurent grumbles, "Though you still don't know me well enough to say." Behind the surly Tyrell knight, his young squire — hardly better at hiding his feelings than Laurent himself — looks as though he might disagree. But only because his knight can't see him. "You've met the other ladies of the household," Laurent asks, going on. "And my lord cousin, Garvin?"

"You are a friend of my brother's," Johanna insists, if gently. "That is all I need to know about you.' Her gaze ticks over to the squire, if for only a moment, smile again restrained as her gaze returns to the Knight. "I have not, I fear. Not much, anyway."

"I'll…" Laurent hesitates, grimacing, the word on the tip of his tongue. "Commend you to them," he finally spits, not liking the sound of it. His waves his empty hand, a gesture that seems to say, 'or whatever is the done thing.' He's certainly not one for manners. "I'll see that my wife knows you're here."

"That is kind of you, Ser Laurent." Johanna doesn't seem particularly concerned with what is the proper thing, or at least not informing him of it, in any case. "It would be nice to make a few friends here."

"Wouldn't it," Laurent agrees sullenly, as though he himself hadn't a friend in Oldtown — despite that it isn't true. "You'll do well here," he says with a nod, confident. His eyes narrow as something occurs to him, and he asks, "Did you see where my…" Beginning to look about, his squire must be who he was about to ask after, because he scowls when he sees the boy. "You're still loitering here? Damn your eyes, Boy. Go see that someone draws me a bath." The lad mumbles something affirmative and starts off toward the house, with Laurent calling angrily after him, "A hot bath!"

"I think he's just…" Johanna starts to say, guessing who it is he's looking for, but the words are cut off when Laurent finds the lad on his own. She purses her lips and lifts a hand to help hide a smile, trying not to let him see that the whole matter is highly amusing to her. She clears her throat and lets the hand drop. "I am glad to hear you're so confident in me, I hope that I prove you right in the matter."

Laurent nods once, brusquely. "Right." Another run of his gloved hand through hair now crusting with dried blood, and he nods again. "I should take my leave, then. No doubt I'll see you soon. Most likely at a feast to celebrate your arrival, once Garvin meets you," the Thorn says, his disapproval obvious. "There's no arguing with him, though," he advises her.

"I may attempt to do so anyway," Johanna admits, glancing off in the direction the squire fled in briefly. "But I will know now that it is likely a practice in futility." She pauses only a second, long enough to look back and smile warmly up at Laurent. "It was lovely to meet you, Ser."

"I doubt that," Laurent opines, and it appears that will have to do for a farewell. Long strides carry the tall knight through the rest of the garden and into the manse after his squire.

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