(121-04-14) One Sweet Knight
One Sweet Knight
Summary: One night, in the Maidenday Gardens, Ser Arrick happened upon a Princess lost in reverie.
Date: 14/04/2014
Related: none

Maidenday Gardens

The Maidenday Gardens are perhaps the loveliest of Oldtown's public gardens. The gracious footpaths are paved in white stone and lined with with flowering trees and rosebushes bearing pink and white blossoms. The beds alongside them are thickly planted with narcissus, lily-of-the-valley, trilliums and wood anemones. An occasional arbor arches over the path, supporting a clematis or wisteria, a virgin's bower or a honeysuckle. Most of the flowers are pale or blushing, but splashes of bright yellows, purples, and blues are not uncommon. True red is all that is absent. In the evenings little lamps hang from slim iron posts to light the paths.

There are benches here and there, and pavilions enshrouded with flowering vines. There are also shrines to The Maiden throughout the garden. They feature statues of stone or wood, some painted, some plain, some large, some small, some dressed in real clothing. All are beautiful and all have a little altar before them. While this is a public garden the rest of the year, on Maiden's Day it is closed to all but maidens. Those girls who feel the ritual at the Sept is not enough to express their piety may, under the watchful eyes of the Septas who maintain this place, light candles at these altars and sing more of their songs of innocence.


As the sun sets in rich warm hues of pink and purple, clouds lit like cotton candy, it creates an almost magical place in the loveliest of spots in Oldtown. The gardens are, no doubt, lit by lantern and brazier, and with the sun already setting the glow from firelight seems to make it all the more lush and beautiful a place to be on a fair, summer night. Though she can hardly be without her guards, two of them dressed in the black and red of House Targaryen, there's also a single servant beside who seems to be idly waiting for whatever his duties might be.

Tonight, she lingers amongst the blooms, sat on slab of rock, she's leaned back to enjoy the setting sun.

In Dorne, when the sun is just setting, the Dornish begin coming out of their homes to begin their socializing. In The Reach people aren't as confined to their homes for the simple fact that they aren't living atop a desert, there's a certain level of luck in being born to somewhere outside the Red Mountains, but only a little.

Moving through the Maiden's garden, with his young Dalt squire following close behind, Ser Arrick stops and points through the shadows cast by the the lanterns, he says in a low voice, "I believe that's Princess Sapphyra Targaryen, shall we go present ourselves to one of this land's royals?" The squire looks terrified but agrees and the pair of Dornishmen approach, offering aloud to the Targaryen guards, "Ser Arrick Gargalen, this is my squire, a son of house Dalt, may we call on the Princess for a moment?" The Dornish knight is in his courtly robes and while he could have a dagger hidden away, he seems amiable at first glance.

Though her reverie seems impenetrable, the sound of male voices nearby snaps Sapphyra's attention that way, sending waves of pallid blonde hair tumbling over her shoulders. Her head tilts to the side at the sound of her own name, and with a dismissive wave of her hand, the guards wordlessly allow the Prince passage towards her — though they themselves linger closer too. She slides free of the rock she'd been perched on, turning her light violet gaze - though much darker in this light - on the Dornish Knight.

"Ser Aarick," her smile is faint, if maybe a touch shy, but no less genuine for it's small size. "Do, please join me? Won't you?"

The pair move forward as requested and the knight comes before the Princess and he says, "I am Ser Arrick of House Gargalen of Dorne." The knight lightly slaps the back of his squire saying, "This is my squire, Felix Dalt." The young man, maybe no older than thirteen or fourteen steps forward and offers, "Hello." The knight then glares down at the boy, who then adds, "Hello Princess Sapphyra." Arrick nods to the boy, glad he corrected himself, and he says, "For us Dornish, we have our group of Princes and Princesses but for my squire you are the first Targaryen Princess he has had the pleasure of meeting."

Sapphyra's violet-eyed attention lowers to the page as he's thrust in to the light, but his original greeting isn't met with anything but amusement - which seems to double as he is glared at and corrects himself. "Felix; I like that name." Her eyes still sparkle as they're lifted back to Arrick, and while it might be customary not to show much in the way of emotion for her people, the surprise is clearly written across her features. "I'm the first? My. I'm surprised at that, with so many of us in town." She grins down at Felix, "Beware the elder one, she doesn't like anyone." Surely good information for a squire to have!

"I'm sure the same can not be said for you, Ser Arrick?" She motions towards her little area she'd won for herself, which conveniently also houses a bench for sitting as well. "Can I offer you something to drink?" And then the reason for the lingering servant becomes clear. Her perks at the idea of having something to do.

As a drink and seat are offered the knight peers down at his squire and he says firmly, "Felix, return to the sept, seek out Septa Leire and say your prayers to the seven. Return to the manse afterwards, no shortcuts." The young squire nods up to his knight master and then turns to the Princess saying in a small voice, "Thank you for the advice. It was nice meeting you Princess Sapph..Sapphyra." The young man gets the words out and then waits to be dismissed. While his squire goes about being polite, and doing all the right things, the young knight takes the seat offered on the bench and agrees to a drink, practically waving the servant over to do his serving duties.

"And you, Felix." Sapphyra remains standing as the young squire pays his respects, and she lingers to watch him scamper off before she turns to find the Knight has taken her up on her offer. With her smile widening with delight, she joins him easily enough, sliding in to the spot left beside him.

Her servant doesn't even bat an eyelash, when he's summoned to do the Knight's bidding and quick to fill a cup and offer the wine over. Once Arrick accepts his cup, one is also poured and offered to the Princess, who takes a drink before she turns her violet-eyed attention on Arrick. Softly she says, "Will you allow me to express my condolences on Ser Osric's death? "

At the mention of Ser Osric's name the young knight's skin tingles and he says rather cooly, "As a man of Dorne I do appreciate your condoloences Princess. Ser Osric was a great knight and a great man who has left a Dornish Princess as a widow. While our greatest ally is the sun, these past two days have been rather dark." The knight breathes heavily and takes a drink from his cup and then runs his fingers through his hair and says in a rather uplifting manner, "I'm beyond it though, it is time to move on." The knight takes an additional drink from his cup and answers an earlier question, "And by the way, you are also the first Targaryen Princess for me. There haven't been many Targaryens to Dorne in a longtime."

Sapphyra's hand shifts to rest with a feather lightness on Arrick's forearm, as if offering comfort might somehow cause offense. "I've known him since I was a young girl," the Princess' voice softens, as if some memory of Osric were making it so. She watches as his hand lifts and runs through his hair, and while it seemed she might have said more, when there's a drastic change in attitude she can't help but look surprised. Her fingers slowly slip free of the Dornish Knight's forearm, her smile lifting almost uneasily as she nods to the last of his words. "Well, I am honored to be your first, and very likely not the last."

Attention shifting from the Knight to the setting sun, which is barely a tinge in the sky, there's a far-off expression that washes over her features. "He was going to teach me the bow." There's a soft, sad sort of lament in her voice, "I had other business to attend to that night, and I didn't remain when I should have… and now.." she trials off, sighing softly. "I'm sorry, … " her eyes flick back to Arrick, ".. forgive me for lingering where you are moving on."

The Gargalen looks away from the Princess as he she turns towards him, facing the setting sun, saying solemnly, "No, no need to to be sorry Princess. It's a matter of coping for some. Every Dornishman in the city is downtrodden because of this, lingering upon a lost battle. I was in the battle alongside Ser Osric and he died. I feel the pain his family feels because I had already yielded when he was struck through the chest and killed by the Blackrood." Arrick snarls out the name of that certain Oakheart, obvious pain in his voice and features. "His loss is just as much mine and yet I'm still alive, the stranger decided to keep his hands from my throat for reasons I cannot understand." The knight quickly finishes his cup and then waves the servant over for another. As his cup is being filled the Gargalen finally turns towards the Princess and asks, "If you would like Princess, in a way of honoring the Sword of the Morning, would you allow me to teach you the bow?"

At his explanation for coping there's a softer smile and Sapphyra's hand rests on Arrick's forearm again, this time the warmth of her fingers likely felt through the cloth of his robes. "I would be honored if you would, Ser Arrick. Very much so." Her smile lifts, "I will learn the bow in Ser Osric's honor if you will teach it to me." That smile of delight rewards Arrick with the rare showing of a single dimple in her cheek before it melts away and her attention returns to the setting sun.

The servant is quick on his feet and eager to please, filling Arrick's cup quickly before stepping back so as not to eavesdrop on the conversation had between the two. "I am sorry to have made you frown, does it work? To fake being over something? Does it make it easier to cope, Ser?"

Ser Arrick does feel the warmth through his robe and he wonders aloud, "I find it interesting that you are so hot to the touch. In Dorne everything is always hot, but because the sun makes it so." The knight drinks again and watches the Princess as she looks towards the setting sun, answering her questions as they come, "Faking being over something does help, if faking it is what you wish to dub it. My knightmaster, Ser Arlen Gargalen, told me that when something bad happens to you, crying over it doesn't help, sleeping on it creates sleepless nights, trying your best to forget is the only thing that gets you away from whatever was bothering you to begin with." Arrick tilts his head and asks rather plainly, "Not that it's anything I deserve to know, but do you have other troubles you wish to find a way to deal with my Princess?"

"There are always other troubles, Ser Arrick. My uncle, Ser Maeyls, was also in the battle of the seven — as I'm sure you're aware." Sapphyra's smile lifts at the talk of her warmth, but she says nothing on it, for the time being, answering his last question first. "I apologize if 'faking' sounds … unfeeling, or rude. I did not mean to sound disrespectful, I hope you know?" There's another smile flicks his way, along with a side-glance that's more than curious before her attention returns to the sky. "Time, I've been told, is the only thing that truly heals. I think my family, at least some of them, would have serious issue with me if I tried to forget my sadness when it comes to Ser Osric so quickly, else I might give it a try. You have actually helped me a great deal." She finally forgets the sun and sky for the Knight beside her, turning in her seat to face him more properly now. "What sort of teacher are you? Very strict?"

As the Princess turns to face him more properly, Ser Arrick ponders her last question a moment and says offering a brief smile of his own, "Felix would likely say I'm strict, but my own knightmaster would find to be very relaxed with my squire, much more forgiving than he ever was with me." Ser Arrick laughs a moment and then smiles, one that actually stays with him as he asks, "Are you worried about learning the bow from me?" Arrick's eyes reveal deepened lines as he squints saying, "I promise you I'll go easy on you! We've only just met and I of course need to be nice to new friend!"

"Oh, I hope you don't go easy on me." Sapphyra's own laughter lifts with his, the delight at hearing his laughter and seeing his smile quite evident. "I know how to use a dagger, but I always thought it would be more useful, in times like a hunt, to have a skill like the bow." She shrugs almost helplessly, "I admit, if you're wary of teaching me because it's for such a frivolous reason, I would not blame you!" Her chin dips, and in the low light her thick lashes shadow her cheeks. "I'm not worried about it, I'm excited about it, and eager to learn."

"If you do not want me to go easy on you, I won't." There, that was easy, I guess we'll see what that actually means when this Targaryen Princess and her Dornish bowmaster get to the archery range. "As far as hunting goes, having a bow and being able to use it is very useful. I've been on many hunts and in Dorne its expected, even as a Princess, you know how to work a bow and definitely, as you said, wield a dagger." Ser Arrick drinks a bit more from his cup and adds, "I bet there's something you could teach me as well, I just haven't figured out what it could be just yet."

Sapphyra's brows lift at his easy agreement, was it suppose to be taken up that easily? She purses her lips as she clears her throat past more amusement, "My uncle Maelys suggested a hunt, or rather, he saw an outfit I had on for practicing with Prince Daevon and thought I was just back from a hunt…" she glances down, having noticed her hand still resting on his arm, slips it free. "I'm sorry," is said softly, before she continues on her former train of thought, "and … when he asked if I'd just come back from a hunt, I told him that sounded like a wonderful idea. It would be nice to surprise whomever takes me for an idle noblewoman with some useful skill." She lifts one shoulder in a delicate sort of shrug. "Teach you? Perhaps there is. Braiding hair, perhaps?" She jests. "Healing arts? I've trained with some skilled Maesters…" she trails off a little, growing a touch embarrassed.

"Healing could be a good start!" The knight pulls back the robe on his arm and reveals recently laced bandages. "The trial wasn't as kind to me as I would have liked." The knight then proceeds to hike up his robes on his legs and reveals a few more sets of bandages covering his shins and knees. "I feel good except when I'm moving." The knight winces as lets the robes back down on his legs, "So like I said, healing would be a good start. Are you sure there is nothing else? I'm sure you know something so well, you're just afraid I might think it's useless to a knight."

Leaning to examine his injuries, there's a sympathetic smile offered, "What injuries did you take, if I might be so bold?" Sapphrya asks softly, though looks thoughtful in the next moment and adds, "… I suppose the etiquette lessons that have been drilled in to me might be useful, but I have seen nothing but a shining example of manners. Or.." she draws in a breath, letting a soft sigh escape through her nose. "I know a few languages? Painting?" She bites her bottom lip in thought, tsking softly, "Is there anything you would /like/ to learn, Ser Arrick? That might be more helpful, would it not?"

The young knight shows off his arm, and lightly taps his wrist, "I took a glancing blow off the wrist, at first they thought it was broken from the scales cracking but it's just terribly bruised and cut up." The knight then motions down to his knees and legs, "More or less the same with those, I took a hard shot on my thigh." Arrick grumbles and adds, "The stranger decided these wounds would be enough for that battle." The knight obviously is beyond the trial of seven but somehow it seems to creep back into his every conversation, his every thought. This too shall pass, supposedly. "You could show me how to play cyvasse! I know you northrons love that game! I never learned, as a child I was told games weren't to be played and it sort of stuck with me. Now that I'm here, I might as well learn…" The Gargalen grins and says, "Forgive my Dornish way of referring to everyone else, northron is just a common way of saying everyone not from Dorne…"

"I'm not especially good at the game, but I can at least teach you the basics of it, Ser Arrick. There are several charming places to play outside and enough the summer air as well as ones company." Sapprhyra seems more and more pleased with the idea as she goes, her smile growing a little more at his apology. "There is nothing to forgive, but if you wish it, then it's granted."

A servant enters from another part of the garden, causing her (until now) silent guards to rustle, and in turn the Princess' attention to shift, "Ahh,.." is said softly, ".. if you'll pardon me, Ser? It was a pleasure to meet you, but I see I'm being called away already." There's a reluctance in rising, as if she'd rather not go. "It was a pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to seeing more of you. Call on me at any time at the manse?"

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