(121-03-29) Another Wolf Among Roses
Another Wolf Among Roses
Summary: Carolis Stark receives an unexpected visitor from Winterfell.
Date: 29 March 2014
Related: none


Solar - Garden Isle Manse

The manse's solar lies behind a pair of ornately carved oaken doors. The floor of the room is a beautiful and shiny surface of polished red granite. There are three large tables of polished mahogany, along with several scattered wooden chairs. Between the bookcases are plush divans, each covered in a rich, fleecy upholstery that makes them very comfortable for reclining.

Sconces designed to hold torches are mounted on the walls all around the room. There are also smaller scones inset into some of the bookcases. These beeswax candles cast enough light to illuminate parts of the room.

The solar is rather well stocked with books, volumes, and tomes of various sizes. There are likewise many scrolls stored in a rack along the east wall. Tapestries depicting scenes of hunting and epic battles hang on the north, east, and west walls. High, arched windows line the south wall, overlooking Sphinx Street, and in the distance, the domes and spires of the Starry Sept can be seen.

Garvin is curled up on one of the plush divans, garbed in a brocade bedrobe and reading a small volume. On a small table, close at hand, is a goblet and flagon of mead, of course. Snoozing at the foot of the divan, his head resting on Garvin's ankle, is Ser Daffodil, a golden furred spaniel of some sort.

Carolis is wearing clothes today, so there's that. He peeks inside, and he smiles as he spies the snoozing dog. "Your fierce protector?" he says as he steps inside. There are books, the dog doesn't look vicious, and he's willing to risk it.

Garvin looks up from his book, grinning, as the dog opens his eyes and sniffs the air, without lifing his head from its comfortable spot. "Ser Daffodil is indeed my fierce protector," Garvin says, sounding cheerful, though not particularly intoxicated. "But don't tell Laurent. He thinks he's my fierce protector."

"You have a lot of guardians," Carolis points out. "But your secret is safe with me." He comes to sit where he can regard Garvin politely. He takes up a book absently, glancing at its contents. "One can't help but wonder what threats a man could face that he'd need such protection."

Garvin gives a small shrug of one shoulder, as the dog finishes sniffing and apparently decides Carolis isn't an immediate threat. He closes his eyes again and goes back to dreaming of rabbits or foxes, or whatever dogs dream about chasing. Garvin shuts his book and stretches his arms over his head, yawning. "Oh, you know. Dragons, Targaryens, Dornish, Hightowers, the Pillowcase. There are any number of threats in Oldtown." He regards Carolis for a long moment, brows drawing together as he tries to remember…something.

"Pillowcases," Carolis says. "Surely the Targaryens aren't willing to start a conflict with House Tyrell over a broken engagement." Is there something to remember? One wouldn't know it to look at the man. Why, it is a lovely day for being innocent and polite and well-mannered, isn't it?

Garvin continues to look at Carolis, brow knitted, for another long moment. Finally, he apparently shrugs it off. "Who knows what the Dragons will do? Half of them are mad, and the other half are insane." He grins then, a touch of blush creeping into his face. "As for the Pillowcase…He's a dangerous man. You wouldn't want to be caught by him with your pants down."

"He must be fearsome indeed to go by the name Pillowcase and feel he's got nothing to prove," Carolis quips. He shifts where he sits, engaging more with the conversation and less with the book. "What about him?"

Garvin can't help but giggle just a bit. "He has other names as well, of course," he says, eyes alight with amusement. "The Pansyslayer, for example. I think my favorite is The Left Hand." He gives another small shrug of one shoulder. "It may be that he broke into the manse one night and did terrible, wicked things to one of the lords living here. Terrible, wicked…sweaty things." His face flushes again, a quick shiver running up his spine.

Carolis's lips twitch with amusement. "Oh, goodness. I shall sleep with a dagger under my pillow. So why do they call him Pillowcase? Does he evade identification by putting a pillowcase over his victims' heads? And tell me, did the poor young lord fare well in the end?"

Garvin's blush deepens, and he squirms just a little on the divan. "Actually, he put the pillowcase over his own head and tore out two holes for his eyes. And the lord…survived the ordeal." Another shudder and a sharp intake of air, his lips curling in a grin. "But you needn't worry, he won't return. I have it on good authority that he is now in the employ of the very lord who…er, survived."

Carolis chews at his lower lip for a moment. Then he says, "Now, you see, that's just inefficient. It would make it harder to see what you were doing. Easier to be caught. Maybe he wanted to get caught." He considers Garvin pointedly. "And yet the young lord didn't catch him?"

Garvin coughs softly, with some more uncomfortable squirming. "Well, the young lord knew who he was. It was the young lord's cousins he didn't want to be recognized by, which is why he put on the pillowcase when he heard them pounding on the door. He did escape though." Suddenly, Garvin's eyes light again, a small grin on his lips. "And returned the next night to finish what he began undisturbed."

Carolis laughs brightly. "I see. An enterprising Lord might consider a mask for his assailant to don when he slips into his bedchamber. Something more exciting and villainous than a pillowcase." He taps his upper lip as he considers. "Something fierce and magnificent. Something people will whisper in hushed tones with a mixture of fear and awe."

Garvin can't help but giggle, his face alight with amusement. "Yes, well. He has a different sort of job now, one better suited to his talents. It's a pity, really, as I believe the lord quite enjoyed those earlier visits. They were the last time he was really…ridden…." His voice drifts off as his eyes lose focus, lost in the memory. With another shudder, he lets out a small sigh, then grins again. "So what have you been up to this evening, Lord Carolis?"

Carolis clucks his tongue and says, "Always a tragedy when a talented tradesman drifts on to another calling." He looks, if only very slightly, sympathetic. "I visited the Citadel today, chases down some information, and I offered them confirmation that I am who I say I am." He shakes his head, mystified. "It's strange being somewhere people don't know one another on sight. How do you manage it?"

Garvin's eyes light up, his grin widening. "If was difficult at first," he admits. "But between the theater and the oatcakes, I think everyone in Oldtown knows me now. It's rather fun, really. When I walk into the Quill and Tankard, the barmaids trip over one another, trying to be the one to serve me, as they know how free I am with my coins. And of course, everyone is delighted to see me. When Lord Pansy pays, everyone drinks!" He reaches for his goblet, lifting it in a salute, before draining the contents.

Carolis chuckles quietly. "That's a good way to make a name for yourself." He glances at the book he's chosen, sets it aside, and he picks up another. "So what are Lord Pansy's ambitions? Beyond the drinking and the riding?" He winks. Still not admitting to anything that may or may not have happened last night.

"Well, drinking, certainly," Garvin says, putting the goblet aside again. "I don't really do much riding though. I mean, not for pleasure. It is the fastest and safest way to travel, of course, especially within the city. Well, I suppose water taxis are rather fast as well. Faster, even, in some cases. Like if we wanted to go to the Quill and Tankard right now, a water taxi across the river would be the quickest route, rather than riding all the way down Sphinx Street, across the Starry Bridge, then up the winding Lower Hightower Street." He shakes his head. "What we really need here at Garden Isle is a dedicated boatman. And boats, I suppose."

Carolis's shoulders shake with silent laughter. "Of course. I took up riding when I was young. Someone I knew was rather good with them, and of course we're expected to learn how to handle horses." The sound of water taxis seems to intrigue him, though. "Can you do that? Hire a boatman to have on retainer? And whenever you want, just go on down the river?"

Garvin shrugs once more. "I don't see why not. You can hire just about anyone, can't you? I mean, any sort of occupation. Everyone needs to make a living, one way or another. I should look into that, hiring a boatman or two." He pauses for a moment, brows drawing together. "And buying boats, of course. Wouldn't do to have a boatman without a boat, would it? I know there's a little dock at the north end of the island, where water taxis will drop you off. I suppose we could tie up boats there, couldn't we?"

Carolis gestures broadly with a sweep of his hand and says, "Then all there is left to do put up the notice for your boatman and buy some boats. Then you wouldn't have to ride anywhere in town. I should get a horse, however. I can't forget my upbringing. If I can't ride when I get back to Winterfell I'll never live it down."

Garvin's eyes light then. "Oh, we have plenty of horses," he says, sitting up. "But I'd be happy to take you to…wherever they sell horses. Is there a marketplace for them? I suppose there must be. How else would people buy them? You'll want a palfrey for riding in town, of course. And for hunting, if you'd like to hunt. Do you joust in tourneys? Because then you'll need a destrier. Or a courser, if you're just going to fight with your sword from horseback. They're faster than destriers, I understand, but not quite as large and intimidating. Not that they're small, by any means. They are a war horse, after all. What sort did you have in Winterfell?"

Carolis offers helpfully, "Horse market. I don't want to take away from your stable, but if the offer stands, I wouldn't mind seeing what you've got." He shakes his head as he says, "I do hunt occasionally, and no, I've never jousted. We don't have tourneys like they've got here. Back home, I had a palfrey who knew the woods better than most woodsmen. I left him in good hands, though."

Garvin nods then, refilling his goblet from the flagon, then looking around for a second goblet. "I have a palfrey as well," he says, rising to his feet and striding across the room. "Her name is Snowdrop. Best horse I've ever ridden. She's never once thrown me." He takes a clean goblet from a tray near the door, filling it with mead and offering it to Carolis. Looking him in the eye, he says, "We should go riding sometime. I think I'd really like to see how you handle…riding." Perhaps he remembers more than he let on earlier.

Before Carolis can answer, a page hurries into the solar, fairly breathless, and announces that there's another visitor from the North, here looking for Lord Carolis. Garvin raises a brow curiously, looking at the young Stark Lord. "Were you expecting others to join you?" he asks, putting down the flagon and heading for the door.

Carolis starts to say something about riding. Is he going to confess about last night after all? Is he going to play dumb? Who knows? Because that's when the page hurries in. Another visitor from the North? For Carolis? The Northman sits up straighter, and he looks rather surprised by this. "Perhaps my brother hasn't left yet for Winterfell?" He gets to his feet. He doesn't seem troubled, mind. Just not expecting this.

**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.


Tellur was not expected, and very few visitors are allowed to cross the bridge this late at night. But since he mentioned Carolis by name, the purple-cloaked Tyrell men-at-arms escort him over the river and into the manse itself. Four of them stay to keep an eye on the Northerner, while a page runs upstairs to find both Carolis and the lord of the manse. After ten or so minutes, Garvin Tyrell, wearing only a brocade and vair lined bedrobe and slippers, comes down the stairs of the southeast tower, along with Carolis, who is dressed in actual clothes. Soon they arrive in the grand hall, Garvin looking rather curious.

Carolis follows after the brocaded Tyrell, himself dressed in the darker, more somber tones favored by his house. Far more formal than what he would wear in Winterfell. "Though if it were my brother, you'd think they would have just said…" It seems an academic point he's making, not a pressing one. Whoever is here to see him, he's not terribly worried.

Tellur's mount has been left outside - the horse is weary, and biddable, a good long distance animal. On its back, as stableboys will later attest, are several cages with ravens, which matches the bird on Tellur's shoulder. Tellur himself is somewhat travel stained, but not in any violently unpleasant manner - after all, the south is warmer, so the odd bit of bathing in streams is pleasant. He keeps himself held upright and precise, without visible weapons, and with the minor mark of Stark insignia on his cloak. The raven on his shoulder is far less formal still - the creature bobs, curiously, head turning this way and that with sharp, intelligent eyes. Tellur clears his throat, then inclines his head to the appropriate level, giving a polite bow.

Garvin stops short when he sees Tellur, eyes widening especially at the sight of the raven. "Hello," he says, straightening his shoulders, as he glances between the newcomer and Carolis for any sign of recognition. "I am Lord Garvin Tyrell. Welcome to Garden Isle Manse." He glances to Carolis again, one brow quirking slightly in an inquisitive manner.

Carolis draws up beside Garvin, sees Tellur, and his pleasant curiosity fades into sudden, grim blandness. "Tellur Snow," he says the way one might say 'a smudge on my fine china.' "You're a long way from Winterfell." And that is the way Lord Carolis Stark greets the man who has come such a long way to see him.

"As the young Lord Stark says," says Tellur, simply, regarding his name "Thankyou, Lord Tyrell." He has little idea who Garvin is from the voice - but is very familiar with Carolis - there is clear knowledge in his eyes. "Yes, Lord Carolis. I come at haste to see you, not to bring news of great portent, but rather because I was bid to give you a number of gifts from the Maester of the House. Things to assist you in the South. I was told to travel until I came to you, specifically - my apologies for…getting you up."

"Snow?" Garvin says, both brows rising as he examines Tellur. "You're….er…related to the Starks then?" He glances quickly between the two men, looking for any resemblance. "We weren't expecting you, Lord Tellur. But I'm sure we can find a place for you tonight. Will you be leaving for Winterfell, or staying for a while?" He glances down at his bedrobe, a blush creeping into his cheeks. "No no, I was reading in the solar," he says quickly. "My apologies for my state of undress. I always read for a bit before I retire, you see. But you must be exhausted after your long journey. And hungry too, I suspect? We'll have some food brought while a bath is drawn for you. Did you say you had something to give Lord Carolis?"

There isn't any striking resemblance at a glance. Carolis continues to regard Tellur, though it's Lord Garvin he addresses. "Any bastard in the North is a Snow. But yes, he is related to the Starks. Not to my branch." He then adds, "He's not a Lord." Finally, he addresses the man he's watching. "Did he indeed? The Maester of Winterfell has always been so terribly thoughtful. What has he given for you to bring to me?"

Tellur looks fair scandalised at being called 'Lord', it has to be said, somewhere between horrified and…possibly just a little amused. He says "…just. Snow. Lord Tyrell." He then nods, briefly, at 'related to the Starks', though certainly, he does not even seem to resemble Carolis as much as a cousin might. He says "…I will be staying as long as Lord Stark is." Ah. Right? A brief nod at 'exhausted', and then he says "I'm not sure I could impinge on your hospitality so much, but hot water would be good. Lord Stark - a good gelding, one for hunting. A hawk. And two crates of messenger ravens. As well as myself."

Garvin's eyes widen again, as he looks to Carolis. "Well, there you have it. He's brought you a horse after all. Wait, more ravens?" He turns back to Tellur, confusion on his face. "Maester Jacsen keeps plenty of ravens. From the Citadel, you see. How many did you bring?" He waves to a yawning page, who hurries off to the kitchens.

Carolis's brows lift. The usually polished and poised, aloof and witty Lord Carolis blinks a few times and utters in stone cold dismay, "I'm sorry?" But. There is a Tyrell watching and appearances must be kept up. "Isn't that nice?" He smiles. He's got a nice, polished smile when he needs one, and by golly there it is. "Ah, Lord Garvin, you won't meet a finer trainer of ravens and other beasts than Tellur Snow. I have no doubt the Maester of Winterfell wanted to ensure I would have the very best. If it's any trouble to house them in the rookery, we could see about what kind of accommodations my kinsmen might have in town?"

"Six," says Tellur to Garvin - apparently when he says 'two crates' he means 'two crates of spoiled bird babies' more than anything else. Nevertheless, he opens his mouth as the page heads to the kitchens, then gives a mental shrug. Food it will be, apparently. He then says to Carolis, his northerner accent strong "I am sure the details are not particularly interesting. The ravens are for you, so you can report back what you have learned." About the Magic of Friendship. No, wait. Tellur says "If housing is difficult, I can arrange something, I should hope. They'll be pleased enough to live where I do." Is he smiling? It is very hard to tell.

Garvin puts on his famous friendly smile, all sunshine and lemon cakes. "Oh, it's no trouble at all," he says cheerfully. "I'm sure there's plenty of room in Jacsen's tower for more ravens. And I know we can find somewhere for you as well, Tellur. Possibly in the barracks?" His eyes dart to Carolis. "Or would you rather have him closer to your room? In case you require something in the middle of the night, I mean."

"That's so generous of you, Lord Garvin," Carolis says, and he favors the Tyrell with a warm, sunny smile. There he is. Carol's back. At least the version he's showing everyone so far. At Garvin's question, he considers Tellur, and he purses his lips. "For tonight, why don't we house him where is most convenient for you — I would hate to see you troubled yet further on my behalf — and then we'll decide what to do with him once he's cleaned up a bit?"

Tellur returns a smile to Garvin. Or probably a smile. Underneath some of the road dirt. The raven on his shoulder gives a ragged noise, and then scratches at its beak with one taloned claw. Tellur says "They might fight, we will see, Lord Garvin. The barracks is fine - or the stables, if you prefer. I can bed down with the horses." At 'require something in the middle of the night', Tellur looks faintly uncertain - the possibilities for mischief are higher, but the chance of being woken is as well "The stables, as you know, Lord Carolis, are fine for me."

Garvin's eyes bug wide. "Stables? Goodness no! Come, our first priority is a bath. I'm sure you'd like to have one, after your long journey. It will take forever to heat enough water for one, so you shall use mine. It's heated by an underground spring, I believe. And while you're having a bath, we'll find you a suitable room, and by the time you're done, there will be something for you to eat as well." Just then, the page returns with a tray carrying a flagon of wine and three goblets. "We'll have that upstairs in my chambers," Garvin says to the lad, turning to head back toward the tower staircase.

Carolis quips, "Oh, I don't know, Lord Garvin, he's always had more in common with beasts than men." Outside of Garvin's line of vision, he lifts his brows and gives Tellur a snotty look. "But as you say. It is your hospitality, and I wouldn't presume to dictate how you should dispense it." He inclines his head for Garvin to lead the way. He is a good guest, and will but follow his lead.

Tellur looks….uncertain. While the North stands a good deal less on ceremony than the South, this sort of treatment is clearly a bit new for him "…you are most generous, Lord Garvin," he says "If I could ask for the grey saddlebag from the gelding, as it has a fresh change of clothes?" He looks at the wine, clearly pleased, and then he begins to follow, saying mildly to Carolis "It is true, I have the native sympathy and gentle nature of such things. Incidentally, Lord, I bring a couple of books for you as well."

Garvin nods then, as he leads the way upstairs. "Of course, your things will be brought up for you." On the way, the page snags one of the candlesticks to light the way.

Carolis does in fact let Lord Garvin take point on this one. Oh, he remains nearby — the servant is his responsibility after all — and he does shoot Tellur looks that seem to say 'I am going to make your life a living hell you utter fucking bastard' but only when Lord Garvin isn't paying attention. But he's polite! So very polite. Whether Tellur is dumped in the stables or given his very own majestic suite, Carolis is just so fucking polite about it.

Wine and…these things are good. And Tellur looks just a little bit suspicious, because this is Carolis here, and really WHY is Garvin being so polite, what does the man wand and…the problem is, that after a bath, and clean clothes and so forth? He is going to fall asleep with that first goblet of wine. The man really is completely exhausted. Alas for anyone who wants to draw on his face with a charcoal stick - that raven never seems to sleep.

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