(121-05-03) The Reunion of Minds
The Reunion of Minds
Summary: A trip to the Quill and Tankard leads to a reunion of an Archmaester and his one-time student.
Date: Date of play (03/05/2014)
Related: None

Quill and Tankard - Hightower And Citadel

This is the common room of the Quill and Tankard, that famous Oldtown Inn that has never closed in five hundred years. The building is a noble old half-timber structure with plastered stone between the enormous old black beams. It sits on a small rock of an island at the edge of the Honeywine River, and is accessed by a little footbridge, or by water-taxi.

Rivermen and seamen, smiths and singers, priests and princes, Lords and sellswords, travelers both noble and small, and the novices and acolytes of the Citadel - all come for a taste of the fearsomely strong apple cider that makes this inn so beloved by Oldtown's people. There is a pleasant buzz of chatter, cups and tankards being filled and refilled, and general laughter.

The fire in the hearth allows for a merry glow and a comfortable warmth from Oldtown's breezy, misty cobblestone streets. Benches and tables offer places to sit, and there is a deliciously toothsome smell in the air of food from the back.

!!! Currently at least two City Watchmen are stationed here at all times. They will be quick to arrest those who offer violence to anyone. !!!

It's still early, before the crowds really get dense at the Quill and Tankard. There are still plenty of empty tables. Though one of them is occupied by a single man. The ginger-haired Archmaester Thane slouches lazily in his chair, hand and eyes resting on his tankard of cider. A gnarled weirwood staff, carved in miniature with a face like a heart tree, is laid across the tabletop. Upon his shoulder sits a raven that tilts its head curiously at every person that comes near.

Ducking down to enter the area, whether needed or not, is a tall man that soon returns to his full height and starts towards the bar. Scanning the area with mocha eyes, it doesn't take long to spot the raven and the man with it. Adding an extra request to the one serving this morning, Tironos soon takes up a cup and something extra. Making his way over to the raven a nut is pulled out and offered to the raven as the baritone says, "Sorry for the lack of raw meat my friend." directly at the bird more then the owner. Though he does scan the odd collection of items, namely the staff, though as he is standing behind the man, he's not had the chance to get a good look at their face yet as they approached from a bit of a round-a-bout path from the bar.

Thane is unresponsive at first. The bird hastily takes the nut in its beak, and simply stares silently at Tironos after swallowing it down. But then the maester twitches, blinking as if awakening from a nap, and mumbles, "He prefers grains and nuts, anyhow." Without looking at the tall man behind him, he pushes out a chair at the table with his foot and says, "Sit down, Ser Tironos."

Tironos moves to take a seat and says, "It would seem you are more observant then most would consider." After sitting he takes note of the face and smile softly, "Maester Thane, or Archmaester I should say. It has been awhile, it is good to see you again." with a fondness in his tone. Tironos may or may not have changed much since the last time they saw each other, but Tironos at least seems to remember the ginger well.

Thane smirks, nodding. "I would be a piss poor maester if I didn't pay attention, wouldn't I?" He stares at Tironos curiously for a moment. "Tironos Tarly. Bloody great cornstalk of a man, you are. So you didn't complete your chain after all, then?"

Tironos nods and says, "Sadly not, I was removed from the Citadel when I was sixteen, I was deemed too loyal to my House to serve." He is dressed in House-neutral colors though what does stand out is three links. Iron, black iron, and pale steel, each hanging via a leather thong from a different part of his attire, none connected or even at risk of touching. He then says, "I only earned three links, then I became a squire to try and make my father proud since my learning of smithing and training as a knight that allowed me to bulk up enough to fight. I just recently placed in a tourney for the first time, also I recently married." smiling softly at the end, obviously happy about the match.

Thane snorts, chuckling and shaking his head. "Ah yes. A maester is supposed to forget that he was brought into the world and raised by other human beings. Bollocks. Well, congratulations anyhow on your knighthood and marriage. You didn't end up with one of these frail southern girls that cannot lift her voice above a whisper, did you?"

Tironos smiles and says, "She speaks above a whisper at times. She was Lady Jeyne of House Webber from House Osgrey before we wed. I don't know if you know her or either House she was part of." as he takes a drink of his own cider, adjusting his legs a bit to sit more comfortably at the table.

"Webber…from Osgrey. So…is she a widow, then?" Thane takes a swig of his cider, trying to suss out the house connections. Much of the noble maneuvering of the Reach escape Thane while he is squirreled away in his tower, deep in study and research.

Tironos nods and says, "She was yes. She never had any children with her former husband, I'm hoping to do better. How have you been doing aside from the elevated position?" in a curious tone.

Thane toys with the Valyrian steel ring on his finger — the mark of his office. He snorts another chuckle. "Bloody politics. Still, I'm better because of it. Being an archmaester means I can be left alone when I choose to be. I can actually get some work done without being hassled." He regards Tironos thoughtfully. "I've been studying dragons, most recently. The arrival of Veraxion, and Lady Visenya's relationship with the creature have got me wanting to know more."

Tironos nods and says, "You know me, never cared much for 'fantasy', but I know you had an interest in magic and the like and you'd know more then I how much of it might be real, but as you know without experiencing things for myself I tend not to pay it much mind. So why the interest in dragons, beyond them being magnificent creatures?"

Thane gives Tironos a pitying sigh. "There is no 'fantasy' about it. I can respect wishing to experience things for yourself. But write them off as imaginary, and you are walking a fool's path. The unknown can harm you much more easily than that which you can see. You want proof of magic? Take the dragons themselves. What other beast can breathe flame? Flame so hot that it can melt solid stone. How do you think a being of such size and weight can fly? Dragons are magic made flesh. Now imagine if you had never seen a dragon, and chose not to believe that they are real. A nonbeliever burns just as easily as a believer."

Tironos nods and says "I admit to such, and if I suffer from such disbelief then I freely admit I have deserved what comes to me. Still it remains the case for me, I have no doubt you are versed enough to know from experience but I haven't, and though I respect you, there is still only so much the mind can comprehend without seeing."

"Comprehension and belief are not the same thing," Thane advises, once again taking on the role of teacher. "There are many things that I have never seen for myself that I still believe exist. I have never seen the Summer Isles, but I trust that reports of their existence are not fabricated. I have never witnessed a castration, but I believe in eunuchs. I believe in these things because my knowledge of them comes from credible sources." He arches an eyebrow at Tironos, smirking with expectation.

Tironos chuckles softly and and says, "Well argued. The existence of islands or the ability to unman someone are not the same as magic however. It would be like comparing cider to wine. Magic would be more comparing a dragon to a raven. I may not have seen a eunuch's wound but I know enough about hitting someone with a blade that I could likely do so with a dirk. Thankfully I have no desire to unman anyone I know or heard of, nor am I curious enough to learn personally."

"Magic is only a great mystery because so few care to learn about it. That ignorance is what breeds the dangers involved in magic. Then again, a man who has never prepared a meal in his life would be in awe of the skills of a master cook. He might even call it…magic." Thane smirks, gulping down his cider. "You were trained at the Citadel. Would that I had more time to teach you. I'd have better instilled you in you a sense of the importance of questioning everything. You are right to question the existence of gods and magic. But you are wrong to reject the possibility of their existence, simply because you have not experienced them for yourself. If you consider me a credible source at all, take my word for it. There are powers and mysteries in this world far beyond what most maesters will admit."

Tironos nods and says, "I've always considered myself open-minded enough as a person. I will admit to the possibility of such things, but as I said I've not experienced them myself. As to being taught, I've always felt none of us are too old to not learn something new. We all have limits on what we can grasp and comprehend, whatever our motivation. If you can discover proof of such things I'd hear you out, perhaps even submit to an example. Until I have experienced for myself though I'll leave such matters to the… I suppose the 'uncertain' would be a better way to phrase it then 'fantasy'."

Thane nods sagely. "Well said. Choose your words carefully, Tironos. The more you repeat a thing, the more you will believe it. That is how men's minds harden. As for magic…if you find that you wish to know, I can help you study. But if you have no desire, it is likely better left alone. The wildlings have a saying: 'Sorcery is a sword without a hilt. There is no safe way to grasp it.' Perhaps an overstatement, but a point well taken. There is always risk involved."

Tironos nods and says, "I suppose the closest interest to maic I've ever had is Valyrian Steel, though i did study general smithing, weapon smithing, and armoring long enough and it is considered the epitome of what a smith is capable of is why. If you had a way of learning that craft i would be grateful."

Thane smiles, chuckling. "Not close, Tironos. Just as dragons are magic made flesh, Valyrian steel is magic forged into metal. There is a reason no smith today can recreate it. The spells used to make it were lost with the Doom of Valyria. I have heard tale, though, that some smiths have successfully reforged existing Valyrian steel into new forms."

Tironos nods and says, "It would explain how they can be made into links for Maesters that have mastered the field. Such as your own" gesturing to the rink on Thane's finger. He may not have seen Valyrian Steel before, but he can recognize at a glance the steel on Thane's finger is not typical.

Thane smirks knowingly, nodding. "Aye, it's true of my own links. Though I believe the ring predates the Doom. Perhaps it was gifted to the Citadel. For being the greatest center of learning in the world, some histories at the Citadel are remarkably vague."

Tironos smiles softly and asks, "You presume to suggest Maesters don't know everything?" in an overly dramatic tone, obviously making a joke of what he is saying.

Thane barks a laugh, lifting his tankard to Tironos. "I suggest it, and I proclaim it from the rooftops. Any maester that claims otherwise ought to have his chain broken. The man that refuses to learn deserves none of the knowledge he already possesses." He gulps down the remainder of his cider, then stands, taking up his white staff. "With that said, I have studies I must return to. It was good to see you again, Tironos. Should you ever wish to visit, come to the Umbral Tower at the Citadel."

Tironos stands and bows respectfully, "I am likely going to try and help with the Wildlings reported to have got past the wall. After that I may well come to visit with you. I also agree, if you think you know all then you only prove how little you know, though it sounds better coming from an Archmaester then it does a rejected Acolyte." chuckling softly.

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