(121-04-14) The Father Guides
The Father Guides
Summary: An encounter at the sept between a Dornish knight and a septa.
Date: 14/04/2014
Related: In Blood, Truth

It's a sunny mid-morning at Oldtown's magnificent Starry Sept, and a prayer service has just recently concluded. Congregants have begun to disperse, some to the other demands of the day, some to any number of the seven altars to offer parting words and prayers to the godhead before taking their leave. Leire is overseeing a cluster of young acolytes who stood as a choir during the service, seeing them organized with tasks to attend to for the rest of the morning. When it's done, she casts her eye about the floor of the sept, taking silent measure of the congregants in attendance.

After the service concluded an injured Dornishman, in the robes of his land, stood rather solemnly and headed rather slowly, and with a limp, for the statue of the father. With pain etched across his face he went to one knee and began offering a few silent prayers before looking up at the wooden face offering guidance. To himself the young Dornishman says, "I have failed my father and need your guidance more than ever as you have become the only father I have left."

"The only Father in the land that always forgives his children," muses Leire in a low voice, having come up behind Arrick at some point during his supplication before the paternal icon. She passes him to approach the altar, taking a slender taper and using it to light another candle at the Father's feet. When she turns back, she says, "I apologize for intruding, Ser Arrick, but I could not mistake you on your entrance, and wished extend an offer to attend you in your prayer this morning, should you wish it."

Ser Arrick doesn't rise from his kneeling position and he answers the offer, "I would like that septa." The young knight winces as he shifts weight onto his other knee. "I need guidance, I know my father has no interest in my return to Dorne after the terrible loss in the trial of seven. I have prayed and prayed fearing that I have been completely abandoned by not only my father in Dorne but my father above as well." The Dornish knights looks back towards the wooden face of the father and asks, "How can I be sure our father above has not left me to fend for myself? Are their signs I can see or am I simply to listen within?"

When Leire sinks to her knees at Arrick's sides, her fine robe pools around her in a wave of navy cloth. She folds her hands in her lap, looking from the benevolent, downturned face of the Father to that of the Dornish knight to her left. "It is my true belief that the Seven would never turn a blind ear or eye upon a subject seeking to govern himself by their divine example. The Father Above most of all. In this trial, he found you and your brothers wanting, yes, but I think that to be quite different than finding you beyond worth. One might always redeem himself in the eyes of the Father. Life is but a series of opportunities to do so."

The young knight keeps his eyes locked up the father's as he continues, "But in what ways can I hope to redeem myself? I have searched the stars for ways and I have seen no signs that suggest redemption." The knight finally looks away from the father and turns to the septa asking with hurt eyes, "How can I hope to redeem myself in the eyes of our father above and the eyes of my father at home?"

"It could have been that the Stranger saw fit to lay his hand upon you, as he did your compatriot, the Sword of the Morning. Instead, here you are, knelt before your Father Above, seeking a return to his grace. Your road has come to a fork, not an end. It will be upon you to choose what path you follow now." Leire speaks to Arrick in a hushed but reverent voice, affording him a measure of discretion despite the occasional wandering eye of the other congregants present in the sept. "What man you will be now remains to be seen, but how glorious that you have been extended the opportunity to discover him."

The hurt of losing the Sword of the Morning stings as the Gargalen responds, painfully letting his other knee come down to support his body, "This fork seems to offer vengeance and suffering no matter which road I take." The knight looks back up to the father and asks again, "If what you say is true and the stranger laid his hand upon my shoulder to show me the way, does that not mean there will be more death in future?"

Leire offers a steadying hand to the knight's elbow as he crashes upon his knee, a fleeting gesture, thereafter lifting her hand to touch the seven-pointed star she wears at the hollow of her throat. "I think you shall face your share of trials. How you respond to them will be what shapes your new self. It isn't only the Seven who shall be watching, but your countrymen and Oldtown herself. We all will know the Stranger's embrace in time, yes, but it would seem he has stayed your death that you might indeed have redemption. I can no more tell you what form that redemption will take than can this statue. But you can remember the vows of your knighthood, keep the Seven close and forge your path of something other than vengeance and suffering, if you've a mind to."

The young Gargalen breathes deeply as he takes in the words of wisdom, after a moment of pondering and trying to understand the knight simply says, "Thank you for words septa." The Dornishman then goes to rise, pain etched across his features as he goes to one knee and then onto his feet. "I shall keep to my prayers, I know our father is always watching and if redemption is in order, I know the path will present itself. I believe the words and will always remember the vows of my knighthood."

Leire rises as well, sparing a last look at the image of the Father before setting her sight on Arrick. She tells him, "I am pleased that you have come to petition the Father. Let your faith guide you in the days to come, and please do not hesitate to seek me out if I might be of further assistance to you in this matter." And then, placing her hand on his forearm, she adds, "My sympathies on the loss of your countryman."

Ser Arrick's eyes darken a bit as the sympathy is offered and he says, "It was a terrible loss for Dorne but there will be another Sword of the Morning, whoever that may be will be just as knightly as Ser Osric." The Gargalen turns to leave and before heading for the starry street he says again, "Thank you septa for your words of wisdom and I am likely to take you up on your offer. May the seven protect." With that the knight heads out, a small limp slowing his usual quickened pace.

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