(121-03-24) Handling The Hightower
Handling the Hightower
Summary: In which Aevander tells Olyvar how it will be, Olyvar tells Aevander how it will be, Ser Osric arrives late, and everyone agrees to disagree.
Date: March 24, 2014
Related: the ones tagged plot:wickhams_nest

Council Chamber - Hightower

This imposing room contains a single large seven-sided table, enormous and heavy. It must have been built within the room, for it is too large to pass through even these big double doors. On its surface stand a number of large candelabra. The chairs are large, padded, and comfortable — clearly long hours might be passed in this room.

The white stone walls are decorated with banners featuring the sigil of House Hightower. Sconces for oil lamps hang between them. Near the entry there is a tall cupboard with a locking door, where records and extra candles are kept.

A late evening indeed, but it is now and here in the council chambers, where we find ourselves. Most of the servants have either gone on to bed, or are lingering, given that the Master of laws remains here at the large table with food and drink. He also musses over some letters and dispatches, but nothing that shouldn't be done within the hour.

Ser Olyvar keeps his eyes down as he dines, ever focused on the task at hand, which right now is dismantling some meat.

Perhaps it's an awkward time to recieve guests, but what does a Targaryen care for inconvenience? Aevander is led into the council chambers by one of the Hightower servants who announces him. He offers a nod and steps forward. "Lord Olyvar, if i might have a word?"

At the announcement of a Targaryen, there is but a rise and droop of shoulders from the Master of Laws, before he is looking up as Aevander's voice rings out. "You might, if you've got it." the older knight responds before reaching for his wine to wash down his mutton. Thick fingers keep a hold on a pewter cup. There is no finery right now as likely he was not expecting this particular guest. "What is it then, Lad?" Not Ser, not Your grace, but Lad. Clearly the older man's mind is preoccupied, but he is making time. Which is something.

Aevander remains where he stands, and though he is younger, he regards Olyvar with raised brows and a long stretch of silence for that 'lad'. "I have come to inform you that a small expedition will be leaving tonight to further investigate the attack on Wickham's nest headed by my brother, Ser Daevon Targaryen. Among those going will be Ser Arros Sand and the Princess Ashara Martell, whom you currently have in residence. When you cannot find them in the morning, this would be why."

And there is a look up at that. "Well then, I would hate to tell you this, but Ashara Martell will not be going with you." And there he keeps his eyes leveled on Aevander. "Targaryen or no. She is staying here, given the tensions outside, those small folk smell Dornishmen leaving and they'll be on you quicker than lice on a whore." And so he motions towards Aevander. "And she is my guest, if you will. I am not dismissing her." A pause there as he looks down to a letter briefly.

"You can take the bastard, but I am not risking some Dornish princess for your little party, Ser." Point blank. "Besides, men have already looked into that site-You do realize you are going two weeks post the raid and previous investigation? Do I need tell you, what you will find?"

"I am sorry if I have led you to believe I was seeking your permission, ser," Aevander replies calmly, "as I am not. The party will leave tonight, quietly, under the cover of darkness, and as my brother has deemed it necessary, the Princess will be departing with the others. They will ride from Wickham's Nest through the red mountain pass and to Vulture's Roost. The trail may be cold, but if the Blackmonts are responsible, I do not think two weeks is long enough for them to have forgotten the affair."

"Ser." Olyvar says with a dead on stare. "I am sorry, that you and your brother believe you have the authority to do so." And there he stands up, the food pushed away as he comes around the table. "Because, I assure you. I do not have a letter from the King stating that any such thing is to be done, and thus I am not handing over my guests to you. You and your brother may go under the cover of darkness. You may even take the bastard. I can even point you to knights who are not in my custody that I will vouch for. Even Dornish ones if you are so hung up on taking a Dornishman to the sight of a Dornish instigated massacre."

And there he comes to stand before Aevander. "However, until I have written word from the King, or Lorant Tyrell about a prisoner transfer, you can kindly leave."

And there he tilts his head. "Ashara Martell is my ward. I already risked much to insure her safety. I will not offer it up because a Dragon, no matter how well beloved, has a whim."

"I am a Prince of Westeros, Ser Olyvar. I do not need a letter from the king to pull rank with a Hightower," Aevander replies, calm but confident, his gaze meeting the other knight's. "A guest does not require a host's permission to leave, and if you have taken the princesses prisoner, you have committed an act of war which, I assure you, the King would not be happy to hear. This has already been decided. We ride out tonight, silently and therefor safely. if you mean to interfere and cause a commotion, it will be your doing that puts Princess Ashara at risk."

"Indeed you are, Ser. However, you are not The Prince." Olyvar replies. "And even our King, no matter how displeased he may be would agree with my stance on this." And there he folds his arms at his chest. "Surely, you do see how ridiculous your plan is right now? That you are saying you are taking a Princess of Dorne into a war area. I am sure if something befell her, that the Prince, of whom I have assured her safety to would welcome that." the sarcasm heavy there before he is looking back towards Aevander.

"Ser allow me to suggest Ser Riderch Blackwood to your company. He is in Court and needs something to do. But I am not putting anyone at risk, like you are foolishly trying to tell me, I should do." And there he motions to a piece of parchment. "You may write to the King asking for Ashara Martell as your ward, or even Lord Lorant. And you can wait for a response. But, you will not be taking her out of here tonight."

"She will ride with five, counting your Blackwood, which is considerably safer than remaining in Oldtown where she is required to hide in a tower for fear of lynching. Both the Princess and Ser Daevon insist a Dornish woman with political aptitude is required, and I will stand by my brother's assertion." Even if Aevander may not entirely agree with it, himself.

"She will ride the pine of a bench here, Ser." Olyvar repeats. Currently Ser Olyvar and Ser Aevander are talking within the Council chambers in the Hightower. "And those within these walls have no fear of lynching as they are not out on the street." he says before he is narrowing his eyes, before brows are raised. "May I state that your brother, is acting the fool and will likely drag all involved in Peril. And that I will not risk the heir of Sunspear to that. Let alone her cousin, or whatever she is? Any Martell life spared would be best." A pause for a moment. "I see no damned reason on taking any Martell. Why in the life of me, and the name of the seven are you even going out there?"

A knock at the door, and a servant steps in to announce, "Ser Osric Dayne." And sure enough, standing just outside the door is the Sword of the Morning. In gleaming mail worn beneath a white tabard, and over that a gray cloak that is dingy in spots. Over it all, of course, he wears a baldric from which hangs the greatsword Dawn, its pommel visible over his left shoulder. He takes a single step through the door, acknowledging both men with a dip of his head. "Sers."

Aevander looks over and offers Ser Osric a nod hello before returning his attention to Olyvar. "Because as of now, we have half the story, an angry town and no sure sense of where to act. Men were tracked from Wickham's Nest to the red mountains pass. A woman, possibly of Dornish descent, was possibly in the company of Ser Eryk. An entire hunting party was slaughtered without any apparent reason or sense. So, ser, we… they… are going out there to discover why. My brother is impartial, Ser Jaremy Strickland knows the border and supports the Reach as does Blackwood. Ser Osric and Ser Arros ride because they know Dorne and are known to be honorable knights. Princess Ashara rides as they are seeking the truth behind this supposed woman, and other women are more likely to know and tell the tale. Namely, to another female who knows and can navigate their language and culture." He sighs softly, "Two weeks is already too long. We cannot wait for a letter from the King to begin this undertaking."

"I believe, you have your why, Ser." Olyvar states. "A lady, is missing, a Dornish one given her earring and what I've been told by those whom have gone. I suspect the Lady is the root of it, if not anything else. And Ser. Despite whatever peace we hold with Dorne. The Marches have always ever been at war. Either in the Stormlands or here. That is why we hate Dornishmen so. This is not an uncommon thing to happen. Save it was an utter Massacre." And there he falls silent, before looking over towards Osric and a nod is given.

"Ser, I don't see how the Princess will help. You have a fine noble in Lord Dayne here. If his own countrymen won't talk to the Sword of the Morning, then they will not speak to a Martell." But, that is Olyvar's opinion.

"If I may," Osric says, stepping into the room to join the two men. He doesn't wait for leave, however, and launches into agreement with Aevander. "The Martell name carries more weight than mine, Ser. For all that my title opens doors, it closes them as well. Princess Ashara is as shrewd a woman as any I have known — she will have answers. Do you question, instead, her intentions?" His violet eyes drift Olyvar to Aevander, questioning, and back. "Were I a man to believe rumors, I might have my doubts. But I know her character. She was married to my brother — my late brother — and we became close over his death. If there is a man who speaks against her, I would have words with him. And more, if that is his wish."

"I am sure that is not Ser Olyvar's wish," Aevander replies, if only to make it clear that a duel is certainly not his wish, "and I think a massacre is an aberrant enough behavior that a simple 'oh, some dornish woman probably' is not sufficient answer. Not when such an act could lead to a full scale war. And if it was not an ordered attack, those who are responsible must be handed over and punished, and I would know who it is we must demand."

"I haven't decided yet." Olyvar says with a look to osric, and there he is look back to Aevander. "Apparently you missed the detail of finding an earring and the woman being missing. Had she not been of Dornish decent I am sure she would have been ransomed, or would be here in the Reach. As it is, she is missing like a fart in the wind." And with that he is shaking his head. "A full fledged war? I am surprised it hasn't given an heir was killed outright. But, if you ask I am certain Ser Dayne here can expound that these raids are common place." On both sides.

A glance is given back towards Osric. "You realize if you go on this and you do find yourself in trouble. We will be unable to aid you?"

"I do," Osric says, frowning as though the question itself were mildly offensive. "We would be far outside your reach, Ser. But if a knight strives toward the truth only when his effort is safe," he says, beginning to pace as he talks, "Then he is no knight at all." His eyebrows lift as he looks from Hightower to Targaryen for disagreement. "It is a credit to both Ser Aevander's family and the Princess' that this has not erupted yet into something more widespread. How can we do less than to honor their accomplishment by using this time — dearly bought, no doubt — to find the truth of the matter?"

"Well put, Ser Osric," Aevander approves with a small nod. "The Cockshaws are restless, and I cannot blame them. This must be resolved before they attempt to act on their own and pursue vengeance. But, a single earring does not necessarily a missin woman make. And if she was there and was Dornish, then it seems likely she is now somewhere at Vulture's Roost, or that someone there will know her tale."

"Then I would argue that sending a letter would be a better strategy than per say riding with a party of knights into Dorne right now." Olyvar counsels before he is looking back towards Osric. "I think it is a credit that everyone is still clutching their knives, and wondering whom stabbed whom that is the credit. We'll see how long it lasts." And there is finally a sigh given. "If anything befalls you, Ser Aevander. It's on your head."

Osric stops his pacing to look at Ser Olyvar, violet eyes narrowed slightly. "If you would oppose this, Ser, then I would have you say so. To wash your hands of it and push it on another man…" He shakes his head, disapproving. "This is no time for half-measures and passing blame. This is the right path," he claims, and he at least is confident in that belief. "There is a truth beneath the tension, and it must be outed. But if you feel otherwise, and strongly, I would ask you not to simply put the matter on another man's conscience. Ser Aevander has his own part to play in this — don't make him responsible for yours, as well."

"Ser, I have played my part and have continued to do so. Right now I am dealing with the fact that you are going on an ill advised search, taking a ward of the Hightower now, in tow. If she dies-it will cause more trouble than you can even imagine." And there Olyvar is shaking his head. "I will continue to state my displeasure with this plan, when good keen men and knights have investigated it-and now you all ride to rotted corpses." And there he folds his arms once more. Apparently the Hightower is not intimidated by Dornishmen, or Dragons.

"If you are set on this, then you will be on your own. And I mean that. I cannot condone this, or give you aid at this time. That is where we are."

"I am not sure the Blackmonts would be amenable to explaining themselves to the Targaryens, not matter now prettily-worded the letter," Aevander replies with an arch of his brow. "My brother and I accept responsibility for this endeavor, ser. I do not need your warning to understand what we have asked, though I thank you for expressing your concern." Aevander looks to Osric. "Well, so there we have it. You will ride with the support of the Targaryens but not the support of the Hightowers. Does that sit well enough with you, Ser?"

"Ser, I would ride alone, were it the only way to find the truth," Osric says flatly, "Though I am happy to ride with your support, instead, and that of the Martell family." He seems confident that he has that, even if it hasn't been expressly offered. "I packed my things, and took the liberty of stabling my horses here as well. I assume we leave soon?"

Olyvar looks between the two, before he is moving back to take a seat. "If you have no other need, then I will allow you on your way. Please make it look like the guards protested or something." he scowls before he is looking to his letters. "I wish I could help more, but my hands are tied. Seven speed your search."

"As soon as the others are read. I will inform Ser Jaremy and Ser Riderch that they are to meet you at the edge of town, you can all ride out together, from there," Aevander replies. He regards Olyvar and offers him another small nod. "I understand. A good evening to you, Ser."

"Good evening, Ser," Osric says, echoing Aevander. "I will take word to the princess, then, and Ser Arros. I would speak to my wife as well before we leave. The southern gate, then?" He draws himself up, starting toward the door when Aevander does.

"The South Gate," Aevander agrees with a nod. "In a hour, let us say."

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