(121-04-03) Changing of the Guard
Changing of the Guard
Summary: Three Tyrell cousins discuss life, love, marriage, and other complications.
Date: 3 April 2014
Related: Follows Pricks and Singes.


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.

Garvin shuffles into the great hall, looking rather ragged, trailed by his squire, who wears an expression of worry. As Garvin takes a seat near the hearth, Nyran runs off to the kitchen. Garvin sits back and shuts his eyes, taking long, deep breaths through his mouth.

When Laurent enters, it's from the garden, and there is something more than mere anger on his face. Fury, perhaps. Rage. He's headed for the stairs, but when he spies Garvin all of that changes. His expression fades toward concern, and his steps veer toward the hearth. "You ought not to die, Cousin," he says gruffly as he approaches. "My wife will be wroth if you miss the birth of our son."

Garvin lets out a small groan, opening his eyes and tipping his head forward enough to look upon his cousin. "I think I am too wicked to die," he mutters, reaching up to rub at one temple. "There's a pounding in my head which rivals the pounding I took last night. Where is Nyran with my tea?" His head tips to one side a bit, as he looks up at Laurent. "You look surlier than usual. What's happened? Was there a raven from Highgarden? Or worse, King's Landing?"

"What's the point in the pounding," Laurent asks with a rough laugh, "If you're too far into your cups to remember it? All you're left with is a sore head and a sorer arse." He comes 'round an empty chair to drop heavily into it, facing Garvin. "NYRAN," he shouts, unaware (or careless) of Garvin's headache. "THE TEA, BOY!" There's no grin on his face as his voice drops in volume back to the conversational. "No, worse than either. Ser Aevander Targaryen was here," he sneers the name, making it sound an insult, "To tell me of his findings concerning Wickham's Nest."

Garvin winces and lets out another groan, this time a bit louder, as he rubs both temples. "What I really need," he complains, as Nyran hurries back with a steaming cup of tea, "is a scale from the dragon that burned me. I wish I were brave enough to ask for a pounding without filling my belly with mead first, but…." He lets the thought drift off as he sips the tea, then winces again. "So what did Ser Arse-vander have to say about Wickham's Nest? He didn't mention…er…your hunting trip, did he?" His eyes dart to Nyran, who takes the hint and quickly withdraws to a far alcove, out of earshot.

"Just pay for it," Laurent says, scoffing, "Like a civilized man." It seems a simple enough answer to the Thorn. "Your good friend Ser Aevander," he goes on, grinning perversely at the claim of their friendship, "Has despatched his brother to investigate the massacre as well, and insists that it can not possibly be Blackmont men responsible. And he did mention our trip, though only vaguely. He suspects, but knows nothing."

Garvin takes another sip, rolls his eyes, then groans at the pain that causes him. "I'm really learning to hate Targaryens," he mumbles, sitting back again. "So Ser Holier-than-the-High-Septon took time out of his busy day of looking scornfully upon anyone and everyone to do some investigating? Huh. So who do they believe responsible, if not the Blackmonts?"

"Damned if I know," Laurent admits with a shrug. "If it's the Maiden's Knight doing the investigating, then anyone save for the Dornish will do, I suppose." He stares into the fire a moment, scowling as he thinks over his 'conversation' with Aevander. "It's no matter to me, who they think is responsible. They're fools, or liars. Either way, they can bugger one another in hell."

Garvin frowns darkly, taking a longer sip of tea. "Fools or liars, we should know whose door they plan to lay the blame before. The Targaryens are arrogant and vain, but they're also very influential. Their word will carry weight with a good number of people. I suppose even the Hightowers will take the word of a Dragon over ours, at this time. If they go around shouting that someone other than the Dornish are responsible, they could whip the smallfolk into a frenzy against some innocent House, and we'd have blood in the streets. We need to know what they're planning to say."

"Let them say what they will," Laurent counters with a shake of his head. "They'll have to say it publicly for it to have any weight, and when I call Ser Aevander a liar in public he'll have to face me. He'll have no choice. Then folk will see we have the right of it."

Garvin's frown deepens. "And if it's Prince Maelys who does the speaking? Will you challenge him, against my father's wishes?" He leans forward just a bit. "Laurent, I know you don't want to hear this, especially from someone like me, who has fled from responsibility and duty all his life. But with your father's death, you are now the head of your branch of the Tyrell tree. My father depended greatly upon yours for many years, and now, those duties have fallen to you. And atop all of that, you're a husband and soon a father as well. You aren't simply an errant knight, riding from one tournament to the next for his own glory. Every action you take now will have consequences and repercussions that affect the whole family. I know you never wanted this burden. The Seven know I certainly don't, and I thank the Mother every night that Matrim is still alive and well. But you have no older brother, no one to take this burden from you. It is yours and yours alone."

"That's not lost on me, Cousin," Laurent growls, "But every action I fail to take carries weight as well. I don't give a damn if it is Ser Maelys that says the words. Lord Tyrell said not to challenge him over my father's death, and I won't. But I think even your lord father would see the sense in this, Cousin. My words on the matter are clear. If they say it happened otherwise, then I can't do other than to back those words with steel."

Garvin and Laurent are sitting near the hearth, speaking in low tones. Garvin looks as though he'd been tossed down a flight of stairs, after a sound beating, and he's holding a steaming mug of tea. "I understand all that," Garvin says, taking another sip of tea. "But we should still know in advance just what it is they plan to be saying. What evidence have they purportedly uncovered? All the steel in the world can't make words be unspoken or unheard. We need to counter their words, not with steel, but with unassailable words of our own. The people must be convinced that we are right, and they are wrong. All the people, even the High-and-Mighty-Hightowers." He sits back again, rubbing at one temple. "Who do we have that the Dragons hate the least? Who would they feel free speaking with, who won't lose their temper at Targaryen lies?"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Keyte=stealth Vs Laurent=alertness
< Keyte: Good Success Laurent: Good Success
< Net Result: Laurent wins - Marginal Victory

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Keyte=stealth Vs Garvin=alertness
< Keyte: Great Success Garvin: Success
< Net Result: Keyte wins - Crushing Victory

The sound of footsteps carries faintly from the stairwell, as one of the twins steals down from their quarters above.

"My sister," Laurent answers readily enough. "My half-sister," he corrects himself, "My mother's daughter, Leire." It may be a surprise, or not. Laurent has long known about her, and shares most things he knows with Garvin. "She's reached the High Septon's Council, now. It could be that she might find a way into their confidence." He's quick to add, though, "I shouldn't worry overmuch about the Hightowers. Ser Brynden rode with us on our hunt." His words are sour at the first, but distracted at the last as he glances up toward the stairs.

Garvin is only distracted by the wardrums pounding in his head, and he rubs his temple again. "I think I remember Leire. Or maybe I'm thinking of someone else. She's been away for so long though, and if she's Most Devout, her loyalties lie with the Faith." He shakes his head then. "No, she's a Tyrell first, of course. She can be trusted absolutely and without reservation. Still, do you think she will do it? Spy on the Targaryens for us? It would be asking a great deal of anyone." He blinks suddenly, sitting up a little straighter. "Brynden Hightower? I didn't realize that. That gives me a new respect for the family. That that I trust Ormund or Gwayne, of course, but it's good to know there are some Hightowers who can be counted upon."

Trying to creep, this twin sneaks her way down one stair after other, the hard soles of shoes purposed for adventuring betraying her. She has a cloak covering her, the hood left to lie over her shoulders as she moves about the manse. The sound of voices filtering through gives her pause at the bottom of the stairwell, but eventually she peeks her head around the doorway. Hello.

"She's already started to do it," Laurent says crossly, of Leire. "Cerys trusts her, they'll all come to. She's a Septa, but she's my sister. She'll help us." His voice rings with confidence, though his face is turned away and toward the stairs. At Garvin's new evaluation of Brynden and the hightowers, he shakes his head. "Don't be hasty, Cousin. I trust Ser Brynden at my back with a sword in hand, sure enough. But to make a decision?" His tone is skeptical there, and it's either that thought or Keyte's appearance that drags a quick laugh out of him.

Garvin squints a bit, leaning to peer in the direction that Laurent's attention had been drawn. "Kesha," he says, sitting back again. "Or is it Keyte? I really feel the two of you should have your named embroidered upon all your gowns. Or perhaps you should wear little signs hanging about your necks, like the ones used in the playhouse to tell the audience where a scene is taking place. Yes, that would work best, as they can be read from a great distance." Grinning despite his headache, he sips some tea, then wrinkles his nose. "Nyran, my tea's gone cold. Now where's that boy gotten to?" From where she is, Keyte might be able to see Nyran sitting in an alcove, chin on his chest as he snoozes.

Keyte isn't sure which is the cause of Laurent's ugly laugh, and she ducks her head back out of sight for a measure. One. Two. Three. Maybe they use Kings Landing here as a measure instead of Mississippi. Her back pressed against the wall, she counts three of whatever they use — but Garvin's noticed her by now, and she sighs heavily, audibly. Keyte grudgingly appears in the doorway again, complaining, "This isn't usually so difficult."

"NYRAN, TEA!!!" Laurent's voice might wake more than just the squire, but he doesn't appear to care. His eyes are narrow as looks one of the twins over, but the complaint seals it for him. "That one's Keyte," he claims, though it may be a guess. "It will stay so difficult," he tells her, looking from Keyte to Garvin. "It's this new captain of the guard — he's better than the old one," the Thorn says sullenly. "Ser Jacelyn Flowers — he arrived today."

Garvin lets out a loud moan, covering one ear, when Laurent shouts. Nyran jerks awake, then quickly scurries toward the kitchen, passing Keyte with a quick bow. With another groan, Garvin turns to Laurent, confusion in his eyes. "New captain? This is the first I've heard of him. Why are you making him captain? Are you planning on leaving me?" He glances toward Keyte only briefly. "And where are you sneaking off to?"

Keyte is shocked as Laurent names her, the look on her face giving away the truth of her identity immediately. Her mouth is wrought in the shape of a small o, and her brows tighten down with displeasure. "What? No. No, this simply won't do." She's even crossed her arms, Seven bless. "Nyran." She allows for the squire with a tiny tug of a smile. Maybe she's got a soft spot for squires.

Laurent doesn't notice Keyte's displeasure, or else it doesn't bother him. He gestures toward an empty chair, but his attention turns back to Garvin. "Your father is, or near enough," he says with a shrug. "He came today with a letter saying I ought to find him a suitable position in the household, and reminding me that he is Ser Brock's only son, bastard though he is." A yawn, stifled with one hand, and then he adds, "Add to that a letter last week, reminding me of his expectations for me in the wake of Ser Corey's death, and it's clear enough."

Garvin looks more than a little distressed. "But…you're my Thorn! I don't want someone else as captain of the guard, I want you. Ser Brock's son or not, I don't know this Ser Jacelyn. Probably one of Matrim's friends, that gaggle of louts always drinking and wenching and bashing one another with swords. And just what's to become of you, if you're not my captain?" Nyran soon returns with a fresh cup of tea, exchanging it for the cold cup in Garvin's hand. Garvin doesn't appear to even notice, simply raising the cup to his lips for a quick sip.

Having neatly avoided Garvin's question, Keyte's little smile remains, just at the very corners of her mouth. She'll just slip into that chair that Laurent is gesturing to, adding to the better-born Tyrell's questions for the Thorn, "What is he like? And what are you to do, instead?"

"I'm to manage the lands from the Whispering Sound to the Cockleswhent, and their attendant incomes," Laurent says without enthusiasm, "To maintain five score archers, twice that many footmen, and half-a-hundred cavalrymen in case of Lord Tyrell's need, and to stem the flow of blood out of the Red Mountains," he claims, though he may be paraphrasing the last. As to the other question, that gets a thoughtful frown first. "Black Jac? He's much like what you might have heard, only more so. Good company, a better swordsman, though he's a bastard all the same. My father's squire in his youth, and more of a son to the man than ever I was." Perhaps oddly, he says this last without animosity. "He'll get on well here. Or he won't, and you'll tell me, and I'll see to it."

Garvin sips again, his frown deepening once more. "All those lands," he says, a small whine creeping into his voice. "And all those men! You'll need a fortress three times the size of Garden Isle. Which means you're moving away after all, you and Lady Harry both. But it's so unfair! You only just got here so recently, and now we're to be parted again. And while you're off being Lord of the Cockleswhent, who's going to be here to ensure I don't get myself killed by some thug in a pillowcase? Keyte and Kesha?" They barely keep out of trouble themselves! "Alaura and Janei? No, I won't have it. I shall write to father straight away and insist that he find some other lord to swear fealty to you and look after your interests. I can't be left with only Flowers and Oakhearts to watch over me. Why, the Targaryens alone are enough of a danger, to say nothing of all the Dornish!"

"Don't sound so happy about it all, cous," Keyte mocks dryly, glancing at her hands bereft of a drink to sip from. How unlike her. "More importantly," she continues, Kesha-like, "Who will brute about the hall in your stead, offending all and sundry with their shocking manners?"

"Don't be absurd," Laurent says, shaking his head. "Those lands have lords to oversee them, I'm only meant to keep the bastards under our thumb. I'll remain in Oldtown, though I may well establish my own household." He doesn't sound any more excited by that prospect than either of his cousins — probably less so. "And you'll be in fine hands. Ser Quillian is adequate to the task, and you'll have this Ser Kane that you've been on about at your side," Laurent tells Garvin. "And the Blackrood is adequate to your task as well," Laurent tells Keyte, with a grin playing at his lips that's almost fond as he adds, "Though if you need me, I won't be far."

Garvin moans again, though this time not from any physical pain. "Kane of the motley cloak? And the Blackrood? Hardly adequate replacements for the great and powerful Thorn." He sighs though, taking another drink of tea. "I suppose it was inevitable. The moment you wed, I knew the day would come that you and she went looking for another place to live, somewhere where you can be alone together. No institution in history has ever done more for the destruction happy families than marriage. If I had my way, it would be outlawed in all Seven Kingdoms." He falls into a more silent grump then, pouting out his lower lip and glaring between Keyte and Laurent a few times.

"Nonsense," adds Keyte, frowning at the mention of the Blackrood. "I'm Ser Quillian's favourite cousin, I should know if he were less a perfect gentleman. His manners are impeccable," and she won't be told otherwise! She nods firmly, asserting her opinion and agreeing with Garvin's, too. "No truer words be spoken, sweet cous. Marriage is an abomination!"

"The Stranger's sacred shits," Laurent swears with a shake of his head, "But if we were Targaryens, I'd see the two of you wed. What a match." He snorts a laugh — the thought amuses him, at least. "I told Ser Kane that you would want to see him turned out a bit more smartly," Laurent says to Garvin, and to Keyte, "Quill is as black a sonofabitch as ever I've met, Cousin. If he's not rude enough for your purposes, then look to your purposes. The fault isn't with him."

Garvin gives another sigh, head shaking. "You're both just as rude as you need to be," he says to Laurent. "Which in my opinion, isn't very rude at all. The Targaryen brothers are certainly more insulting, and their sister is no less so. I've always found you to be more courteous than most, and absolutely kinder to me than any other male rose in our family. None of which changes what really matters here: that you and Lady Harry will be packing your baggage and moving away from Garden Isle. I suppose you'll take one of those terraced manses on Starry Street, planting your garden amid Dragons and the Dornish and the Stranger alone knows what else. And how long before the Blackrood and his wife do the same? None of us ever should have left Highgarden, where our castle is large enough for ten families to live together cheerfully."

Keyte affects shock for all that cursing from thorny Laurent, but her eyes betray a certain affection. A grudging, but certain affection. Outwardly she speaks in contrast: "You're so awful. How dare you sully poor Quill's reputation so!" She leans over to aside to Garvin, "He's been bit by the bug — he'd ne'er have spoken so about marriage pre-Harry, you know." A finger is laid aside her nose, and then to her lips, as though Laurent weren't sitting right by to overhear and see. "Lady Visenya's more awful than our Thorn, certainly. You remember how kind I was to her, when she graced us here for dinner, hmm? Well, she thought better, did she, insulting poor Kesha and me right in front of her brother. We remember Aevander from Highgarden, of course, and I'd thought fondly, but… well. Blood is thicker than water, they say." The twin shrugs, pretending nonchalance with a more telling hiccup in her sigh.

"We have very different memories of Highgarden, Cousin," Laurent says, grimacing as he turns his dark eyes toward the fire again. "I remember sharing the castle, but very little cheer — of course, I've not spent nearly so much time there as you." His broad shoulders rise and fall in a shrug, and he shakes his head. "I don't know where we will settle, in the end," he admits, "But it won't be far, and I'll see you both often enough."

Garvin continues looking grumpy, sipping his tea from time to time. "All I know is, when my lady mother learns that you've started a family with Lady Harry, she'll begin pushing for me to be married off. Again. Why she doesn't push so hard to get Matrim a wife, I'll never know. He's the one who needs to spawn heirs. I just want to play with my playhouse, like Father told me to." He brightens just a little. "And I'm so close to completing the third act of the next play. The company has already begun rehersing the first two acts, though no one is happy with the woman cast as the Lady Fair. She's…not terribly pretty."

"Is it any wonder you shared no cheer, cous? You're happier with a frown," Keyte chides Laurent, one brow sunk lower than the other. Really, now. "Highgarden's wonderful, I'll hear no different. Though I do think Oldtown is more conducive to exploration." She waves a hand, as if to gloss over such a minor detail, and latches on instead to something Garvin says. It's Laurent she levels her tsking kind of look at, lifting her brows as high as they'll go as she shakes her head. "And what did I tell you," sighs Keyte. "With child so quickly will stir the rumour mill, it will."

"The rumor mill be damned," Laurent is quick to growl in answer. "If Harry were your wife, you'd be as eager as I am to get some part of you slick between her legs." Why Laurent, what a perfectly dreadful thing to say to poor Keyte. To Garvin, he's less vulgar, but no less direct. "I thought Matrim had soffered some sort of wound a wound. A lance to his spear, wasn't it? And his ability to father children called into question? So there's an end to your mother's matchmaking for him, Cousin. Finish your play and get it on the stage. No doubt your lady mother will be chasing you down soon with proposals of marriage."

Garvin blushes darkly at Laurent's vulgar talk, but can't help but chuckle, shaking his head. "Matrim was wounded, but not so badly as I've let on, nor was it to his…er, spear. I'm sure he's already plunging it between the thighs of every wench who looks his way. I only said his injuries were more dire than they were as a way to make my wedding to Princess Visenya seem more urgent. And my bluff worked, for she broke the betrothal, and I am once more free of any womanly entanglements." He grins at his cleverness, finishing off his tea. "And on that happy note, I shall take my leave, for my bed is again calling to me. By morning, my headache will be gone, as will my…other ache." He blushes again, getting to his feet. "So until the morrow, I bid you both good night."

Keyte gasps. And then she gasps again, for good measure. Truly horrified, no cousinly affection sufficing for a balm, she darts her hands up to her mouth agape and just… well, she gasps again. "Laurent!!" She's scolding, and blushing terribly red at the same time. "Don't speak of your wife like that, you awful thing! You awful, awful thing. I will never be married, never, never. No brute will speak of me so! Nyran! Nyran, Seven bless you, please before you see dear Garvin off to bed, please could you bring me some wine, my nerves are a-ruffled." She's looking most distressed, though some of it's surely put-on. "Sleep well, sweet cousin. You're horrid too, but in much more palatable ways." Tacit approval for Garvin's scheming, no doubt.

"Aren't you clever," Laurent says, laughing, though the laughter is for Keyte's distress. "Go, rest," he says with a wave of his head. "I'll see you on the morrow, Cousin." His dark eyes turn to Keyte then with his full attention, his voice barely above a growl. "I'm surprised you're not wed already, Cousin. It will come soon enough."

Laurent's laughter is not pretty. It's not pretty and Keyte doesn't appreciate it, do you hear? Having seen Garvin off in a most accommodating way, she narrows her eyes at the more unpolished of her cousins, only to widen them innocently and bat her lashes. "No," she counters, quite sure. "No, it won't. Because I am sweet to those who would arrange such, and they know my mind. I'll not be wed, not now, not ever. Just you watch."

"Mm," Laurent says, nodding as though he only now understood, "And continue to call those maids as you spoke of to your bed. Now I remember." He goes so far to wink, though it's really no better than the laugh, and leans forward in his seat now. Perhaps preparing to stand, or perhaps just shifting his weight. "Where were you off to, Cousin? If I retire, you're not going to find your way into trouble, I trust."

"You stop that! Stop that now!" Keyte's a little shrill, easily stirred up by her boorish cousin. "Laurent Tyrell," she declares, "I'll have your head if that rumour makes the rounds, you hear me?" Perhaps such a threat's a little sensitive, given recent events, but she's making it. And standing behind it — well, standing literally, snatching a cup from poor Nyran once she's on her feet. "I've never been in any trouble I couldn't take care of myself," she lies quite comfortably, convincing enough as she looks down her nose. Keyte sniffs. "And I don't intend to start tonight. Go see to your wife, Laurent, and for Seven's sake stop slandering her to any soul who'll listen." There's a huff, but it's muffled behind the ball of a goblet as her lips seek the rim to draw a heavy gulp of wine. Oh, sweet wine.

"Maybe I'll send her to see you," Laurent says as he stands, moving toward Keyte instead of the stairs. "The Seven know she could teach you a thing or two." And despite his awful, terrible, complete lack of manners he reaches out to hug his cousin, suddenly serious as he adds, "If you ever did have trouble you couldn't handle yourself, I would be there. But still, best you just stay out of trouble, isn't it?"

"Well maybe you should," Keyte ripostes defensively, her goblet held high as one arm folds across her chest. It's an awkward way to be hugged, but hugged she is, and she's not giving in to return the gesture — though not rejecting it outright. "If I ever had trouble I couldn't handle — which I don't —" she's very clear on this, ok?! "I always bring along a group, you know. The girls, the boys… the guards. They all know to slip away and find you, if I need it." She's almost ashamed to admit it, not half because it's admitting she does sneak away, and probably often. "Not that I ever do!" (Please trust her judgment, Laurent!) "Have trouble, that is."

Laurent's arched eyebrow says, 'be careful what you ask for,' but he finally has the decency to let the jest drop. Or runs out of stamina — that's more likely. "Good," he says, pulling back to nod at Keyte, his tone serious. "Right. I'm off to bed then. Good luck finding that Cockshaw lad." And with that, he's off toward the stairs to make good his word.

Whatever the case, IT'S KEYTE'S VICTORY! Banners fly, confetti falls, lords and ladies alike cheer — and one Tyrell twin blushes brightly, sketching the syllables of an elaborate curse with her lips without ever giving voice to such. She drains her glass as Laurent goes, sighing deeply and heavily and saying to nobody at all, "How he knows these things is beyond me." With only the house staff to witness it, and probably a quarter of their number in tow, she makes her way off to find said Cockshaw lad after Laurent's out of sight. YOU'RE NOT RIGHT IF YOU DON'T SEE IT, LAURENT.

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