(121-03-24) A Wolf Among Roses
A Wolf Among Roses
Summary: Lord Pansy and his cousin Keyte welcome Lord Carolis of House Stark to Garden Isle Manse.
Date: 24 March 2014
Related: none


Garden Isle

Here a grand manse stands on the center of a small island. Over a stone bridge wide enough for a vintner's wagon, a dark, two-story building rises, with two 60-foot-high towers at the northwest and southeast corners of the manor. High, arched windows have been secured with iron bars on the ground floor. Steps lead up to a small porch, guarded by two rampant griffins. Ten-foot-tall, five-foot-wide double doors of iron-banded oak provide entrance into the manse. In the center of each door is carved an enormous Tyrell rose, gilded and gleaming.

While the bridge connects to Sphinx Street, the front of the building faces Starry Street, giving a fine view of the domes and towers of the Starry Sept.

There's a pleasant walled garden in the back, viewed from the windows in the back wall. The upper stories have balconies to overlook it. Two centuries-old oaks dominate the area, their canopy offering shade, but there are also flowerbeds all around. Pansies of various colors dominate, but there are also marigolds, tulips, and of course, roses in white, red, and especially Tyrell gold.

Carolis's things would have been sent ahead. He's not going to cart around his own luggage. He hasn't packed much, though. Clothing, books, a fine long bow and target practice arrows. He wouldn't need real arrows, would he? Under House Tyrell's protection? Of course he wouldn't. He's safe here. 100%. Yes, he is. In any case, the actual Lord Carolis Stark arrives hours later in the company of a modest number of guards (he's so safe, after all, why send more than a few?). They draw up to the bridge, and Carol lets his retinue announce him. He's too busy looking around the place with the curiosity of someone who has never seen anywhere South of the Neck before and is trying hard not to make it look like he's gaping.

The guard serjeant peers curiously at the lordling, then gives a quick bow and barks an order at one of the other men, who runs up to the house. The serjeant then waves the party through the gatehouse and onto the small island, saying that Lord Garvin will likely be out in a few moments. And indeed, the guard soon returns with Garvin, looking a bit flushed from hurrying, or judging by the way he stumbles along, perhaps he's flushed from too much drink. "Lord Carolis!" he calls cheerfully, waving a hand over his head. "I have the pleasure of being Lord Garvin of House Tyrell, your host here in Oldtown. Welcome to Garden Isle manse!"

Carolis turns his attention to Lord Garvin Tyrell as the man comes to greet him. His guards step aside, parting to let him come forth. He's far more subdued than Garvin is, and quite composed now that there is someone to focus upon rather than the fascinating scenery. He inclines his head politely, dipping into just as much of a bow as is proper. "Lord Garvin," he says. "It is an honor and a pleasure. I look forward to staying in such a lovely house. I trust my arrival isn't inconvenient?"

Garvin eyes the Stark guards a bit warily, then gives Carolis a friendly grin. "Not at all! Your baggage arrived a few hours ago, but we assumed you'd be staying in an inn tonight, somewhere on the road. It's not safe to travel with such a small retinue, what with the dragon and the situation with the Dornish. But thank goodness you arrived safely! Do come inside and have a goblet of wine and perhaps something to eat. Are you and your men hungry?" He eyes them again. "Will they be staying on with you, or returning to Winterfell?"

The Stark guards are alert, possessed of that stern sense of duty associated with the name, but they don't seem particularly menacing. "All the more reason to come sooner rather than later," Carolis says. "In any case, I'm here and no worse for wear." He smiles at Garvin, and it's all sunshine and good humor. He doesn't think twice about speaking on behalf of his men. "We would be honored to break bread with you. They'll be returning to Winterfell in the morning. I wouldn't mind seeing them well rested before they go."

Garvin nods quickly. "Yes, of course. Come in, come in. Your men can stay in the barracks tonight. Pelly! Tor!" Two men in Tyrell colors, though with purple cloaks (all the guards seem to have purple cloaks) step up, and Garvin sends them to lead the Stark men to the barracks, where they can freshen up, while Garvin himself leads Carolis inside the great hall. He sends a waiting page running to the kitchen.

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.

The guards go when Carolis quietly dismisses them. His tone is a far cry from haughty. Kind, rather, and about as familiar as a nobleman can get to his servicemen without seeming untoward. He falls into step with Garvin, hands clasped behind his back as he looks around the place. This time, he's far less agog about it. There's someone important watching. That changes things. "Don't put yourself out too much, Lord Garvin. I don't want to be any trouble."

The table is clear, dinner having ended hours earlier, but there's a low fire in the hearth, and on a small table near the fireplace is a flagon and goblet. "Oh, no trouble," Garvin says cheerfully, giving Carolis a grin. "I'm sure the kitchen can prepare something quickly enough. While we wait, will you join me in some wine? Arbor red, unless you'd prefer something else?"

"Not at all," Carolis says. "I would love to try the Arbor red." There's that smile again, sunny and guileless. "The evenings here are so warm," he says. "I didn't even need a cloak." He comes around to a seat, following Garvin's lead, more or less. "Have you ever been to Winterfell, Lord Garvin?"

"Me?" Garvin asks, as another page scampers up with a goblet, which he fills from the flagon before offering it to Carolis with a bow. Garvin barely notices he's there. "I've never been farther north than Goldengrove. This is as far south as I've been, too. But you, your hundreds of leagues from home. I can't imagine what that must be like."

Carolis inclines his head to the page as his goblet is filled. "It wasn't a bad journey," he says. "I'm finding the heat interesting to adjust to, but honestly it's all rather exciting. I've always wanted to do this." He samples the wine politely, considers the taste of it, then nods a little. Yes, this will do nicely. "What is it like, where you're from?"

Garvin takes a long swallow from his own goblet, then holds it for the page to refill. "Highgarden? Well, weather-wise, it's much like here, though it doesn't rain quite so much. It's warm though, always pleasant. Flowers everywhere, of course. Everyone has their own garden." He pauses to sip again, then cocks his head to one side. "Didn't you pass through Highgarden on your way here?"

With a quiet laugh, Carolis says, "I mean what is it like having it as your home? Not the weather, which was very pleasant by the way. We didn't linger long enough for me to get a sense of it beyond the weather and the scenery." He takes another drink, then holds the cup so that it might be discreetly refilled.

Garvin ohs, nodding then as he sips some more, and again holds it to be refilled. The page is clearly used to standing by to refill Lord Pansy's goblet. "I guess I never really thought about it," he says. "Highgarden's always been my home, so I've nothing really to compare it to. Except here, of course. Of the two, I think I prefer Highgarden for some things, and Oldtown for others. Here I have a good deal more freedom, without my lord father constantly keeping a close watch on me. On the other hand, in Highgarden, bannermen and foreign visitors know their place."

Carolis glances around, as though he might see evidence of these bannermen and visitors in need of reprimand. "Oh? What do they do? I haven't had a chance to witness much firsthand." In a lower tone, he confides, "I haven't been out of my retinue's sight, and the itinerary was quite clear. I'm afraid I didn't get to do much sightseeing."

Garvin grimmaces a little, then quickly covers it by taking a long drink, his cheeks flushing again. "Well, foreigners are just…you know, foreign. There are quite a few Essosi in Oldtown, for example. Also Dornish, though I'd suggest avoiding them for the time being. If there are even any free at the moment. Lord Ormund of Hightower arrested a number of them recently, and he's holding them in the Hightower somewhere."

"I had heard there was something brewing on that front," Carolis says. He takes another sip and holds the goblet close, casually sparing in his drinking while keeping a subtle eye on Garvin's. "We don't get many foreigners in Winterfell," he says. "So what advice to you have for a foreigner, then? How do you suggest I conduct myself?" He flashes Garvin another one of those patented smiles.

Garvin thinks for a long moment, sipping once again. Then his eyes suddenly light, his lips curling in a grin. "Bathe frequently," he says, amusement in his voice. "Too many Essosi take too few baths, I've found. Not sure about the Dornish. Oh, and Wildlings, I don't know if they ever bathe. Some of them are downright frightful."

There's a bit of a ruckus to be heard all of a sudden, laughter and shrieking mingling to emanate in soft echoes from the kitchens. Some pots crash. A cook curses loudly. And out into the hall tears one Keyte Tyrell, clutching her skirts as she runs. Her cheeks are flushed, and she's laughing brightly, though she almost trips at the sight of a guest. "Oh!" Oops.

Carolis's brows lift. He regards Garvin for a moment, and then he laughs. It's quiet laughter, noted mostly in the ways his shoulder shake than any noise he makes. "All right," he says. "I'll try to remember that." Then there is a ruckus from the kitchen, and Lord Carolis Stark, who is of course as safe as can be and has nothing to worry about, is awfully quick about how he rises to his feet and turns fluidly to see if this requires fight or flight. Ah, it requires etiquette. He offers a modest bow to the flushed and laughing lady and says, "Good evening, milady." He leaves introductions for Garvin, but he got to his feet with a quickness to bow. Totally meant to do that.

Garvin is slower to get to his feet, swaying just a bit from the wine. "Oh, Keyte! Or are you Kesha? You two need to start wearing signature colors or something." He straightens his shoulders and puffs out his chest, trying to look official. "Lady Keyte or Kesha Tyrell, may I present Lord Carolis of House Stark, our guest here at Garden Isle. Isn't that delightful?" He beams a grin, looking to Carolis again. "Kesha is my cousin, and Keyte is her twin sister. This is one of them. Or the other."

Keyte drops her skirts abruptly, making little smoothing motions as she hurries to regain some sense of — composure. And propriety! Yes, propriety. She plasters on a pretty smile that lights in her eyes, and curtsies to Carolis. "Good evening, my lord." Garvin's shakiness draws a quick wash of concern over her features, but it's soon given way to an affectionate grin. "Sweet cous! I'm, um…" Sending a glance down the length of herself, she looks back up to regretfully (and truthfully) admit, "I'm Keyte." No switcharoos tonight. "I didn't mean to interrupt, so sorry! But how truly and wonderfully and very nice to make your acquaintance, Lord Carolis. We do so love guests."

Carolis politely seems transfixed by a particularly fascinating patch of upholstery on the chair before him while Ketye regathers her composure. He saw nothing, honest. When she curtsies, his attention lifts to her again, and he smiles, warm and broad. "Lady Ketye Tyrell. It is an honor and a pleasure to be your guest. I've looked forward to my visit here for some time." He looks to Garvin, then. Also politely not noticing he's soused save to sidle closer to be near at hand in case he starts to faceplant. "I only just got in," he mentions.

Garvin nods then, his head a little wobbly, and his grin lopsided. "Yes, he and his men only just arrived. He'll be staying in the northwest suite. Or possibly the southwest. Or southeast." He waves a hand — unfortunately the one holding the goblet, so a little wine sloshes over the edge. "One of the suites up there. One that doesn't have people living in it, of course. He's here to study us. Our ways, I mean, which are so very different from the ways of the north. Well, you've met Lady Mormont, so you know how different our ways are from theirs." He wrinkles his nose in obvious distaste, but quickly covers with another gulp of wine.

"Only just? Just, just now?" Heaven only knows why it matters so much. "One of those," Keyte agrees easily, wagging her chin in a series of little nods to Garvin. "That sounds like a remarkably vague assignment," says she with a quirk of her brow to Carolis, "Please, don't stand on my account." Indeed, she'll seat herself in a handy vacant chair, to put the others at ease. She's that kind of nice.

Carolis is good at not noticing things. LIke the look on Gavrin's face before he covers it with another drink. "Actually, I'm here to study at the Citadel," he says delicately. He only seems to notice the goblet in his hand is still there at all when the page refills it. Once Ketye seats herself, he follows suit. "While I'm here, I'll be staying with House Tyrell so that I might learn more about etiquette South of the Neck. I won't be underfoot, don't worry. I'm sure I'll spend most of my time at the Citadel."

Once everyone else is sitting, Garvin falls back into his chair, a bit harder than he expected, so a 'woof' of air escapes his lungs, and his wine sloshes again. The page quickly refills the goblet, then offers a fresh one to Keyte. Garvin drinks again, cocking his head to one side as he looks at Carolis. "Why would you want to spend so much time at the Citadel? There's nothing there but dusty old books and scrolls. We have plenty of those up in the solar. If you're smart, you'll stick with us and have a little fun while you're away from home. We have so much fun, don't we, Keyte?"

Keyte's already reaching for that goblet as the page offers it, making the hand-off look like something of a performance for them. It's the way things work around here. "Oh! Well now, that sounds far more normal than anything I were imagining." She beams another of her warm smiles at Carolis, laughing lightly. "Oop, careful cous. Aye, that we do. Terrible amounts of fun. It's shocking. But in a fun way!"

"Oh, are there?" Carol asks, when books and scrolls are mentioned, right here in the house and everything. "I might go take a look sometime if you don't mind?" He takes another sip of his wine. Garvin's got him well beyond outpaced. "The books and scrolls are the point, I'm afraid," he says with a small quirk of a smile. "I'll be sure to schedule a bit of fun now and again." He raises his glass to them both. There, he's drinking on it, fun will be had. "I'm looking forward to seeing what fun looks like here."

Garvin's wine-blurred eyes suddenly light, his grin widening. "Oh, we're quite scandalous at times," he admits, glancing to Keyte. "Some of us moreso than others, of course. The Thorn isn't very scandalous at all, though he is thorny." He suddenly stands again, then sways dangerously close to toppling over, though he manages to catch himself. The page hurries to his side anyway, just in case, and Garvin hands the boy his goblet. "I should go see about your room, Lord Carolis. Oh, and a bath, I'll have a bath prepared for you. After your long trip, I'm sure you want to get all hot and wet and naked." His cheeks flush darkly when he realizes what he's said, and with a sheepish grin, he shuffle off toward one of the tower staircases.

"The Thorn's as scandalous as any, moreso than many," Keyte asides to the Stark lord in hushed tones. She makes some sort of glare-eyes at Garvin for his 'naked' remark, smile skewing lopsided for a brief moment. "Make sure you knock before just barging in on the suites, cous!" She settles a bit in her chair and draws a sip from her goblet, finally. Once Garvin's out of earshot, she breathes out long and assures Carolis, "You'll get used to him."

Carolis's brows lift. Okay, he can't pretend he didn't hear Garvin say that, but his response is merely a polite, "A bath sounds wonderful, Lord Garvin." He takes another slow, savoring sip of the wine. He watches Garvin go, and then he looks to Keyte with amusement alight in his eyes. "It's all right. Once I got South of the Neck everyone seemed a bit different. Getting used to it is exactly why I'm here. Who is this Thorn?"

Keyte laughs again, lifting her drink in gesture to Carolis. "Aye, in some the difference more marked than others, hmm? The Thorn is another cousin, Ser Laurent Tyrell is his actual name. He's awful, poorly-mannered and prone to shouting. His lady wife Angharad is a Locke! Maybe you know her?"

"I'm not sure that I do," Carol replies. Slowly but surely he adopts a more relaxed pose, settling back in his chair more comfortably. "I look forward to meeting Ser Laurent, though. It'll be interesting to see what is considered poor manners so that if I do misbehave, at least it's on purpose." He winks, then lifts his goblet again to drink. After, he asks, "So do you come from Highgarden, too?"

"Ha!" Keyte is certainly amused, crowing out that one syllable at Carolis' wink. "Well, she's cousins to the Lady Mormont, I think. Angharad, that is. I suppose it's a little ignorant to assume all the Northerners know each other, isn't it? Please do accept my apologies, my lord. — And yes, why yes I do. Just another petal, am I! What's it like in Winterfell? Is it cold?"

"Its a big place," Carol says with an idle wave of his hand, as though Keyte can't possibly be expected to know this. "And I'm afraid I spend more time with books than with people when I'm at home. No fault of the people, of course." He glances at the page refilling his goblet. There isn't much to top off, the way he's nursing it. When his attention returns to Keyte, there's that smile again. "Oh no, it's quite normal. It's everything South of the Neck that's sweltering." That smile broadens. He settles back entirely comfortable now. "It's lovely though," he says with a quiet sigh. "The air is so clean and clear, and the mountains rise up taller than any manmade thing. I used to think Winterfell was massive, but it's nothing like this."

Her smile is warm and bright as she punctuates Carolis' conversation with nods — Keyte seems genuinely interested. She dissolves into giggles at his weather commentary, mixing it up with a shake of her head. "Hey, no! It's not so hot as all that, now. You just need ten less cloaks here!" Her expression softens as the Stark lord speaks fondly of home, and she hazards over the rim of her goblet, "You miss it already?"

"Ten?" Carol says with a laugh. "I haven't needed one since we left Greywater Watch." He allows himself another sip of wine. Still not anywhere near getting tipsy, but maybe enough to warm himself up a bit more. "I do," he admits. "I knew that I would. I'm glad to be here, though." He glances over at Keyte and his features and tone remain warm from his reminiscing. "The Reach is truly beautiful. It's a softer beauty, but I'm glad to have had a chance to see it."

Keyte sips, perhaps hiding a touch of smug in her smile for her correct guess behind the curve of her glass. She cradles the thing in both her hands afterward, watching Carolis. "Ah, well. We're glad to host you, my lord, honestly. Oldtown's a funny place, there's people from all walks here, I doubt you'll find yourself wanting for company. When you're not busy busy at the Citadel, of course. What kinds of things do you hope to learn, there? Are you going to be a maester?"

"Fortunately, I do have kinsmen in the area," Carolis says. "I'll seek them out once I get settled. It won't be the same as being home, but it'll be nice." His gaze strays toward the low-burning fire. He's been traveling most of the day, and surely it's going to start wearing on him sooner or later. For now, he's merely sedate and looking happy to be somewhere comfortable. "Languages," he says. "And history. I know much of Winterfell and too little of everywhere else."

"I don't doubt it," says Keyte with a nod, of Stark kin in Oldtown. "There's a Riverlander lord at court here, even. And a Greyjoy lady, with a great squawking raven. It's a shame you missed the Dolphin Festival!" She lifts her cup to draw another sip, adding, "Those sound like noble things to study, aye? Languages. It's always fun to speak more than one."

"I heard I missed out," Carol says with a wry smile. "Will there be other festivals coming up? I'll have to take your instruction for how to dress and conduct myself." He continues to hold his goblet like he's not done with it, just out of reach of the page who might otherwise refill it. "Do you speak more than one?" he asks.

When Garvin finally returns, he hasn't sobered up very much, but he has changed clothes. Or rather, his valet has helped him change. He's in a looser tunic now, and a simpler doublet with skirts that reach nearly to his knees. The first thing he does upon returning is retrieve his wine goblet from the page, draining it entirely, then handing it back to be refilled, as he makes his way back to his chair. "High Valyrian," he slurs, grinning sloppily. "Well, I can read and write it well enough. Speaking it is flower of a different scent entirely."

"A dolphin bit me in the one just past," Keyte brags. Yes, she's bragging, if you can read it in the warmth of pride in her tone. "I'm sure there'll be something. Oldtown's never long between feasts and celebrations, from what I've seen." Garvin's return gives interruption to her answer, but he's exactly the same to say that she does, so she simply nods. "Welcome back, sweet cous! And aye, nobody really speaks it, do they? I can read it, write it. High Valyrian, that is. And Kesha and I have our own little language, too."

Carolis's brows lift, and he nods slowly. "I… see. Congratulations?" See, this is the sort of stuff Winterfell just doesn't see a lot of. Already he's receiving an education. He sits up taller as Gavrin reappears, and he says, "Do you really? Both of you? Perhaps I could trouble you sometime to tutor me? It's one of the things I'd like to study while I'm here."

Garvin takes his goblet from the page again, swallowing deeply. "Tutor? I'm sure Maester Jacsen would be delighted to. He's teaching Janei…things and stuff. Language and history and numbers and geography, all those sorts of things." His head swings around loosely on his neck, turning to Keyte again. "Are you still on about that dolphin bite? It was ages and ages ago. Surely you've used up all your good luck by now. You'll need to be bitten by something else." Suddenly, his eyes light, and his grin turns impish. "I hear it's good luck to be bitten by a Cockshaw squire."

FINALLY. Someone who understands the grandness of her (mis)adventure! Keyte fair beams her smile at Carolis for his congratulations on her dolphin bite. "It's lucky," she explains. "The luck of the dolphin is with me now!" She celebrates the achievement all over again by drinking thirstily from her goblet, whose contents are dwindling. "Oh," she flushes bright red at Garvin's impish turn. "Cousin! Shh. It's not true! — The maester's probably a better teacher than either of us, my lord. But if he's busy, I suppose I could… try?"

"Generally I find it's lucky to not be bitten by things," Carolis says. "The things I'm learning already." His lips press down on a smile when Keyte flushes. Clearly he's siding with Keyte here, because he says, "I'll be sure not to run afoul of any Cockshaws, then. Unless you're thinking of hoarding the luck for yourself. In any case, I cede to the lady." He waves his goblet idly. See? Still totally using it. "I'll take my lessons as they come. I merely meant as something to pass the time. You'd have my undivided attention."

Garvin lets out a small groan. "I don't like divideds," he grumbles, sipping again. "Multiplies, I can do, but I always get stuck on divideds. Numbers were never my best subject though. I was much better with history and music. Especially music." He drinks again, eyelids drooping hard now. "I just remembered what I forgot to remember when I was upstairs. Your bath, Lord Carolis. Nyran! Where is that squire of mine? Nyran!" The page looks around, but Nyran doesn't appear, likely still up in Garvin's chambers, dealing with all the clothes the lord had been wearing earlier.

"Dolphins are the exception to that," Keyte assures Carolis, as much as she's assuring herself. She'll smile again, friendly warm for their guest as Garvin is rambling about sums. There's a flutter of her lashes as he mentions the bath again, perhaps meant to hide a roll of the eyes? Lady tricks. "Well, if you've the inclination to put up with my very poor teaching, I shall show you the letters sometime, my lord. Garvin? Cous. I think Nyran's drawing the bath now? It's all being taken care of. No need to trouble about it, sweet cousin!"

"I don't want to trouble your man," Carolis says with a wave of his hand. He makes a show of finishing off the goblet of wine. The page probably knows better, that it's been almost empty for awhile now, but never mind that. "At the risk of coming off like a wildling, I'm sure I can manage for myself, once it's drawn." He sets the now empty glass aside for the page. "Lady Keyte, I would be grateful for the tutelage if you can put up with my fumbling ignorance."

Garvin gestures wildly with his goblet, but fortunately, it's nearly empty this time, so no spilling. "And I can teach you music, if you like. I play the harp and the lute rather well. I won the music competition during the Dolphin Festival, you know. Well, I tied with the man who had little hairy men. What were those creatures called again, Keyte? They played drums while he played a flute, I believe. It was very haunting."

"Oh, well it sounds like we have a deal, then," Keyte tells Carolis, her brows dancing high as she lifts her goblet to toast. She'll (try to) teach him. There's nothing left in her goblet, mind, but it's quick to be topped up when she holds it out. "Ah, the little rat things! No, not rats. Monkey men? Leeeee…murs? They're very cute to watch, but I wouldn't want one to touch me. Have you ever seen them, my lord Carolis? They're from the Summer Isles."

"I would like that, Lord Garvin," Carol says gently. "My musical education has been woefully lacking." The talk of little rat monkey men gets a quizzical look from him, and he shakes his head slowly as he replies, "I'm afraid I've never heard of any such creature. Perhaps you can show me a picture of them sometime."

"That's it, lee-murs," Garvin slurs, nodding his wobbly head. "Very entertaining to watch, but less so when you're the one they're crawling all over. We must have that man and his lee-murs back again sometime, so Lord Carolis can see them. I wonder if there's a drawing of them in one of the books in the solar? I think I may have seen a tome about the Summer Isles. We should check on that…later." Yes, later, when he's more sober.

"I'm terrible at drawing, but I'm sure Kesha could sketch one up in the blink of an eye," says Keyte, retracting her newly-filled goblet to cradle it in her hands again. "Maybe not to dinner though, cous. I swear they almost stepped in my food the last time," she exaggerates with a squicked-out twist to her expression. Gross. "What is up in that solar? Aside from a cartload of dust, that is. Hasn't it been unused for the better part of… ever?"

Carolis watches them both, each in turn as they speak. He's affected a comfortable lounge against one arm of his chair, rather languid. He has been drinking all night, after all. "If I may be so bold, I'm not sure either of us gentlemen are up for the search tonight, and it would be impolite to expect the lady to go do the chore for us. I'm afraid I shall have to find my bed as soon as I've had that bath."

Garvin scrunches up his face in concentration. "Books," he says at last. "And scrolls. Maps, I think. We can go up and look at it now, if you like. Not search for the Summer Isles book, of course. But Maester Jacsen has been organizing things up there, since the room has been closed for so long, and I know the maids have carried out buckets and buckets filled with dust and cobwebs." He pauses to finish off his wine. "Tapestries! There are some tapestries up there as well."

That sounds boring and gross, says the look on Keyte's face, but she's not going to utter the words. "Mayhap you can show the Lord Carolis in the morn, cousin. Can you see out to the streets from there?" She finally sips from her cup again, adding for the Stark's benefit, "Don't let us keep you up, my lord. We're like to chatter all the night long, left unchecked."

Carolis lowers his gaze and says, "I've been awake since dawn, or else it would be a pleasure to talk all night." He sits up then and stretches lazily. "But I'll be here for some time, so there is no rush. Rather, I imagine you'll all be tired of my imposing on your hospitality in no time." He glances at Garvin, in the state he's in, and he offers tentatively, "I'm sure I can see myself to my suite. I've been told I've got a fair sense of direction."

Garvin pushes himself to his feet again, swaying until the page runs over to offer a shoulder to lean on. "Yes, it's been a long night for all of us," Garvin slurs, barely keeping his eyes open. "We should all be in bed." He frowns suddenly, brows drawing together. "Beds, our own beds, and not anyone else's. Because we sleep alone. So very, very alone." As his chin drops to his chest, the page gives him a gentle elbow, waking him enough to begin stumbling toward the tower again.

Keyte bestows a patient smile upon her swaying cousin, standing as he does for propriety's sake. They've a guest, after all. "You tell Nyran to tuck you in, now. Or is it Rhaen who tucks you in, cous? Take him a pitcher of water, would you, with some lemon. See that he drinks some." She's talking to the page supporting Garvin, of course. Turning her attentions back to Carolis, she offers a grateful smile, brows arched high to open up her eyes. "It's not hard to find the suites up there, but I'll call a maid to show you to yours, my lord. Do you need anything sent up?"

Carolis bows once more to Lady Keyte, and he says, "Gratitude, Lady Keyte. I admit that I navigate the woods better than I do corridors. You're too kind. My things arrived ahead of me, and so I have no doubt everything I need will be there." He glances toward Garvin as he's led off. To the man's ladycousin, he says in a lower tone, "It was rude of me to arrive at so late an hour, but he's been very kind."

The page gives Keyte a polite head-bow, struggling to support Garvin's weight (even though Garvin's not a large man at all, the page is only twelve years old). Garvin's eyes are mostly closed, and all he can manage now is a grunt or two, as he's led along.

"There's a good lad," the lady praises Garvin's page. "Sleep well, sweet cous!" That seen to, she's free to lean in and gossip with Carolis. "Don't you worry," she all-but-laughs, "The night I arrived, we met out along the river while some Lyseni woman was trying to drown herself and a bear was duelling a Wylde-ling. We're a friendly bunch, you'll find. The manse is full of dancing and drawing and too much drinking, but it's all in good fun. Tomorrow, make sure someone shows you the gardens! But for now, if it please you, Lyla will show you up and I'll retire for the evening too?"

Carolis's brow knits. The poor lad is only twelve. "Should I—" He considers a moment, then tells Keyte, "I won't trouble your maid. I'll just have the boy here show me." He nods toward the page. Who he then goes to help by offering Garvin an arm to prop him up. Just incidentally. Not because he's taking any sympathy on a servant. "I look forward to the gardens, Lady Keyte. And to seeing you again, I hope."

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