(121-04-02) Two Gentlemen from Essos
Two Gentlemen from Essos
Summary: Lord Pansy meets Lexander Charos and reacquaints himself with Nico.
Date: 2 April 2014
Related: none


Terrace - Quill and Tankard

The Quill and Tankard's terrace occupies the area of of the little island that is not filled by the tall, timbered, southward-leaning building itself. There are ragged little stacks of stone sticking up from the Earth around the island's banks, the remains of a wall that once kept drunkards from falling into the river but has now been knocked down and robbed of its stones enough that it better serves to trip them and make sure that they fall headlong into the Honeywine instead of merely walking in. They are rather picturesque. Tall torches stand along the ruined wall. They're lit at night, and in foggy weather.

There's a single, ancient apple tree in the middle of this area. The rest is grass, made sparse by the passage of too many feet, flagstone footpaths that help keep the guests from muddying their feet when it rains, and weathered tables and benches. Tall torches surround some, but not all, of the larger tables.

It has been a hot summer day in Oldtown, and the night is only slightly less so. Though rain has broken the humidity, the temperature is still at the upper edge of the comfortable. In fact, that rain still drizzles on the terrace of the Quill and Tankard, leaving it largely deserted. There are but a pair of men outside.

One man, in the small dry patch afforded by the spread of the apple tree's branches, is Lexander. Dressed brightly in an Essosi style, he wears silk and velvet, his blouse and trousers hugging tight to his torso but billowing around his arms and legs. Bright red accented with gold, his clothes suit him well. The shirt is unlaced at his throat to allow for a moment's respite from the heat, and he holds in hand a mug of cold cider that's meant to do the same. Behind him on the table is a wide-brimmed hat in the same red as his clothes, with a band of golden silk.

The other man on the terrace is a puzzle. He's dressed no less finely than Lex, if less ostentatiously, in browns and black. But he seems as broad as he is tall, and his face is scarred and ugly. He stands in the rain, leaning against the rail near the water, staring back at the door that lets out onto the terrace from the tavern proper.

The door from the tavern bangs open, and Lord Garvin Tyrell bursts through with a loud gasp. He leans in the doorway for a long moment, panting in the fresher air, as purple cloaked men crowd around behind him. Finally, the lord pushes himself upright and stumbles out onto the terrace proper, gulping from the goblet in his hand. "Was it ever so bloody hot in Highgarden?" he asks idly, as his men file out behind him, each carrying a tankard, though one also has a large flagon. "I've seen illuminations of places across the Narrow Sea, Mareen or Yunkai, places in the desert, where lords in fine silks are being cooled by women holding tall fans. Tell me, Tor, why don't I have any women with tall fans to blow the heat away?" The man in question can do no more than shrug helplessly, as Garvin staggers toward the apple tree.

"Myr, Lord," Lexander says, looking over his shoulder to see precisely who it is complaining of the heat, "Is a fine city." The man himself speaks with an accent, difficult to place, but one that marks him as Essosi. His brows draw down a bit as he considers the proper etiquette, and then he stands to sweep his hand toward an empty seat on the bench next to him. "Maidens with fans is one of many traditions we here in Westeros might borrow from them, hm?"

Garvin stops short, nearly toppling at the abruptness of his own action, though at the last moment, he manages to catch himself. He sways in place then, squinting in an effort to focus his eyes. "Myr?" he says at last, straightening his shoulders. "A fine city, I'm sure. Is that where you're from then, my lord?" He takes another long swallow, then waves his goblet about until the guard with the flagon moves to refill it. "Forgive my ill manners," Garvin continues. "I am Lord Garvin of House Tyrell, and these are Tor and Pelly and…." He narrows his eyes at the other men-at-arms, then simply shrugs. "…and other brave men of the Tyrell household. And you, my lords?" He doesn't move to sit just yet, his bloodshot eyes moving between the two Essosi men.

"I am Lexander Charos," Lex says, flourishing one hand as he bows. "In Essos, I might have asked that men call me Lord," he says, straightening with a winning smile. "But here, the finest people simply call me Lex." He looks sidelong at the other man then, and it seems to be a dismissal of sorts. The scarred brute shrugs his shoulders and, without another word, heads back into the tavern. He's forgotten as soon as he starts that way though, at least by Lex, who sways a bit toward the bench he had been sitting on, then lifts his leg to prop one soft-booted foot on it. "Everyone knows Lord Garvin Tyrell," he says amiably. "It is a pleasure to finally meet you properly My Lord. Join me for a drink?"

Garvin's eyes follow the other man for a few moments, but are soon drawn back to Lexander, his lips curling in a grin. "Everyone knows me, do they?" he asks, clearly pleased by the notion, as he takes the last few stumbling steps to the bench. "It would be an pleasure to join you, Lexander. Or shall I call you Lex? You may call me Lord Garvin, of course, or Lord Pansy, if you desire. What are you drinking then, Lex? I'm indulging in a sweet gold from the Arbor tonight, rather fruity. Tell me, what does everyone who knows Lord Garvin Tyrell say about him? I'm most curious."

The Purple Cloaks keep a wary eye on Lexander and his companion, at least until the other man has vanished inside the tavern, as they spread out over the terrace, taking up impromptu guard posts so that they are close by, but far enough away to offer their lord a small degree of privacy.

"Lex, please, Lord," Lexander says, shaking his head. "Lexander seems entirely too much, hm?" He holds his rakish pose — one foot on the bench, his wrists crossed to lean his weight on that knee — until Garvin is seated, and then settles himself next to the young Tyrell lord. "Mine is a mug of the cider," he says, lifting it as he adds, "They say it is famous throughout Westeros. I cannot swear to that, but if not, it ought to be." He chases the claim with a drink of the same, and then lets the mug lower.

"What do men say of Lord Garvin Tyrell," he muses, his grin thoughtful. "A great many things, hm? That he is a generous man, good to his friends. Possessed of a kind heart and a poet's soul. A great many things indeed, Lord Garvin."

Garvin can't help but chuckle, though it's almost a girlish giggle. Almost. He quickly drinks again, nodding. "All that is true, of course. Generous, good to my friends, possessed of a kind heart…Too kind, some would say. I've been accused of being too good to my enemies as well as my friends." He gives a small shrug of one shoulder. "I suppose it may be true. Fortunately for the realm, I surround myself with men possessed of wiser minds and perhaps harder hearts, men who can and do make the difficult decisions where enemies are concerned." He pauses to look around the terrace until he spies the man with the flagon, waving him closer for another refill, then pats the bench beside himself, where the guard leaves the flagon before returning to his place. "The cider here is most excellent," Garvin agrees with a nod. "It is rightly famous throughout the Reach, if not all Seven Kingdoms."

"Just so," Lexander says, his Essosi accent thickest when he uses the common Braavosi phrase. "We must be careful to surround ourselves with shrewd men, who would protect our interests though we might mean to do otherwise ourselves, hm?" He mirrors Garvin's shrug, one shoulder rising and falling, and his lips curl into a lopsided grin. "Still, there are worse things for a man to be than too kind, hm? Troubles come from this, too, but it is said that the Mother smiles on the kindhearted man, and surely in Westeros there is no greater blessing than hers."

Garvin takes another long, slow drink as he ponders Lex's words. "I suppose that would be true," he says at last, lowering his goblet. "The Mother watches over her children as…well, as a mother, I suppose." He cocks his head to one side, curiously. "You believe in the Seven in…Braavos, are you from? Your accent reminds me of my dancing instructor, Nicholai Tychos, so that is why I guess you are from Braavos." His eyes move up and down Lexander. "Well, and your clothes, which are very distinctive."

Lex' grin spreads at the mention of Garvin's dancing instructor, and he even nods as Lord Pansy looks over his attire. "I'm afraid I still favor the Braavosi mode of dress," he admits, his voice soft and conspiratorial. "It suits me better than the styles of the Reach, I think, though I admire them on other men." He laughs at the talk of religion, a free sound, devil-may-care. "I confess, Lord, I gave the Seven no thought when I was in Braavos. Are you a religious man?"

Garvin shrugs one shoulder again, eyes still lingering on Lexander's clothes. "No more religious than any other man, I suppose. Well, except septons. I'm not nearly that religious. But I like what you're wearing, it's very…colorful." His tongue plays quickly over his lips, his nostrils flaring for a moment. "And tight in all the right places."

"But still loose enough to let a man breathe," Lexander finishes, raising his beaten pewter mug for another drink of the cider. He turns a critical eye on Garvin then, looking the young lord over from head to toe before he nods. "It might suit you, Lord. Have you tried it? I know a tailor, I could recommend you to him. No doubt he could achieve something pleasing, in suitably Tyrell colors."

Garvin giggles again, his eyes alight. "I have a lovely set of Bravo clothes, which I wear when I'm dancing. Though recently, I've begun thinking I should add a shirt of mail beneath the tabbard. The vest's padding is good, but not good enough to block a Westrosi sword, I've discovered." He reaches up to rub at his left arm, just below the shoulder. "Unfortunately. But I should be delighted to meet your tailor! I am always looking for new styles to try." He pauses, his grin turning rather wicked. "I find that I like a good many things most men of the Seven Kingdoms fear to even try."

"The green nectar wines of Myr," Lexander says, his eyebrows raising and lowering quickly, "Dyed mustaches, and servants collared in bronze?" His tone is playful, but there's something in his eyes that suggest he understands more than he lets on. Instead of elaborating though, he frowns, trying to picture Garvin in a mail shirt. "I know little of swordplay I'm afraid, Lord," he admits with a shrug, "And less of armor. It has always seemed best to me to let other men do the fighting. I haven't the build for it, I think."

"Nor have I," Garvin says, looking down at himself, though all those layers of satin and brocade then to hide his physique. "That is why I took up water dancing. A slim, lightweight blade and quick, graceful movements, that is what I am better suited to. My father tried to put me in a heavy suit of mail once, when I was younger, but I toppled right over under its great weight. And there I lay on the armory floor, flailing my clanking limbs like a turtle on its back. I'm sure it was a very amusing sight, though my father seemed more disgusted than anything else." He shrugs again, then takes a drink. "After that, he left me to my dancing lessons." He pauses then, squinting to get a better look at Lexander's face. "Do men really dye their moustaches? And why do their servants wear collars of bronze?"

Lexander seems more shocked at the story than amused, his eyes widening sympathetically. He's glad at the change of subject, and it shows. "They do," he admits with an easy laugh. "In Tyrosh, Norvos and elsewhere. They grow them long, like so," he says, with a gesture of his hand to indicate the length, and dye them bright colors. And mold them with wax, they sweep them upwards!" He looks out over the water, grinning as he recalls the sight. "It's striking, sometimes." He looks sidelong at Garvin as the subject returns to servants, though, and his voice lowers a bit. "Wealthy men collar their servants in bronze in Pentos," he confides, "Because slavery is outlawed. But seeing one's servants collared gives one the same feeling of power, doesn't it?"

Garvin's eyes suddenly widen, his face growing pale for a few moments. "I'd forgotten that men keep slaves in parts of Essos," he says, voice filled with wonder and awe. "Such practices are outlawed here as well, of course. Though I suppose some lords and ladies treat their servants little better than slaves. I've heard such dreadful tales of men being beaten for the slightest of offences. Women too, if truth be told, and even children." He shakes his head. "I cannot imagine treating anyone in such a manner, even if some men do deserve a good lashing now and again." He straightens his shoulders then, taking another drink. "But of course, I leave such matters to the City Watch and the pillory. Some crimes need rather harsh punishments."

"There are crimes, and there are crimes," Lexander agrees, his tone differentiating between the two. "I never owned a slave myself, Lord, but I've known men who did. And it strikes me that you have a keen insight into it, it's little different than servants here, to some folk. Kind men are kind to their slaves, and cruel men are cruel to them. Mind you," he says amiably, "I do not mean to say that I hold with the slavers in this. Only that, knowing as we do that it exists, we must see that it is much like any other unpleasant part of our lives, hm?"

Garvin nods slowly, his eyes distant for a long moment. "I do not think I could own a slave, even if it were legal within the Seven Kingdoms," he says, slowly swirling wine in his goblet. "It would be too great a temptation, I think, to become cruel. A servant is free to leave employment, if he does not like his master, but a slave must endure whatever treatment his master sees fit to deal to him." He shakes his head. "Men should be free, I think. Women too, of course, within reason."

"Well said," Lexander agrees, his tone more serious with the observation. He and Garvin sit beneath the branches of the apple tree, which protects them from the night's steady drizzle. Lex is dressed flamboyantly in a Braavosi style, his clothes made chiefly of bright red silk, accented with gold. Despite the rain, a coterie of Tyrell men-at-arms surround them at nearby tables, though not so near as to make private conversation impossible. "A good man remains good, I think, by removing himself from as many temptations as possible, hm?" With a laugh that's a touch more carefree he adds, "I would hardly know, myself, of course."

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