(121-04-16) Sympathy
Summary: Valerity comes to see Mariya… better too soon than never.
Date: Date of play
Related: Related Logs

White Stone Manse, Starry Street, Oldtown

For a household already filled with activity, it just became slightly more so. Trunks and baggage are being brought from the courtyard into an upstairs room. There is a bit of shouting and cursing as heavy trunks are dragged up stairs and possibly dropped on feet. Out in the garden, Mariya takes a respite from the noise. Though still dressed in black, her shoes are nowhere to be found. As she sits on the edge of the large fountain, she dangles her toes in the water, watching the small silver fish dart one way or another.

"Lady Valerity Redwyne, Princess," announces one of the house guards, just ahead of the same lady entering the garden. She, too, is dressed in black — a dramatic, high-collared, sleeveless gown detailed with jet beads, and a gauzy black wrap that swirls like smoke around her. She pauses to bow her head and curtsy, lifting her gaze to offer, with hesitance that's not at all like her, "I — hope this isn't a bad time. I can come back…"

With all of the ruckus, Mariya did not hear the guard nor Valerity approach. Apparently the woman was lost in her own thoughts. When she hears her title, she straightens and quickly turns. "Lady Valerity." The expression on her face is hard to read, as there is many conflicting emotions there. "No, of course. Please sit." Swinging her legs around the edge of the fountain, she has taken them out of the water, but does not stand from her makeshift seat. There are more conventional ones nearby, which she gestures Valerity toward at the same time she dismisses the guard. "Thank you, Pate."

The house guard departs with a bow, and Lady Valerity sits where she's bid, sweeping her gown smooth beneath her as she does. Her posture is formal and quite perfect, her hands composed in her lap. It does, however, take her a moment to decide on her words. Her lashes sweep down, as though she expects to find them on the ground. "I'm sorry I didn't come sooner." It's a statement of unvarnished regret and contrition.

"It's…it's fine." It is hard for Mariya to look at Valerity, so she looks more toward the ground in front of the lady. It would seem they both find it hard to meet each other's eyes. "I understand. I…I don't think it would have been possible before now, to tell the truth. I do not mean to be cruel, but it is…hard to see you."

Valerity nods, a line etching between her brows. "I can go. We don't — have to do this. Now." She smooths her gown over her knees. "It just didn't seem… sufficient… to send a letter. Or flowers. Or… anything."

"No." Mariya draws a circle on the ground with her wet toe, the stones staining darker for a short time with the water. "If not now, then I do not think it would happen. I'd rather it while I am distracted and overwhelmed. I fear hate would set in otherwise. And I do not wish to hate you. I truly do not." A traitorous tear falls down her cheek and she angrily brushes it away.

Valerity stands, hesitating again, then moves to sit beside the princess on the fountain's edge. "Then don't," she says softly. "There's no reason. I am ever yet your friend, and though I cannot pretend to share the depth of your loss… I, too, saw the death of a good man at the Trial. And I do grieve it."

"I'm trying," Mariya tells Valerity with sincerity. "You have been so kind to me and I truly appreciate it. But, I cannot forgive the men who would kill Ser Osric and then cheer over his body. I know it is not you…" But, they had discussed a Florent who took place in the Trial and while he did not strike the killing blow, he did start the chant. The princess shakes her head, as if erasing her trailed off sentence. All she can do is agree with Valerity. "He was a good man."

"He was the best man on the field," says Valerity, simply, voice still soft. "I never met him, but when you… listen… as much as I do…" she shrugs. "I came to believe — and do believe — that he was a good man. Good men are so rare. They frighten me a little." She clasps her hands on her knees. "I've prayed for him, though he likely needs no intercession from me. And I've prayed for you. You, and your family, most of all."

"Ser Osric was very serious, but he was patient, kind and sweet," Mariya tells Valerity. "I did not think my sister would listen to anyone other than herself - and sometimes our mother. Yet, she grew to love him. Only a man of true caliber could ever have won my sister. And now my niece will never know her father. She is too young to remember him. All she will have are the stories." It's not that she does not hear Valerity, but that this is all she can speak on. "I thank you for the prayers. I am sure my sister will appreciate them."

Valerity listens without interruption, nodding in quiet sympathy. At length, she asks, "How many children?"

"Two. He has a son of six and a daughter of four." Still young. Possible they may yet not remember their father other than the stories told of him. Mariya sighs. "He will be remembered in Dorne, as he was the Sword of the Morning and it will let them know who their father was - but it is not the same as being raised by him."

The Redwyne lady nods. "No," she agrees. "It's not the same. But they have, yet, many, many people in their lives that knew and loved him. You, their mother, all his household. He will be more than just stories. You will keep him alive, and be an aunt that would make Ser Osric very proud."

"I would hope. Ellia will travel to Starfall with Ser Osric's bones and to return Dawn to the Daynes. I would not blame her should she not return. And I am to stay here to be wed to Ser Daevon. I may not see my niece or nephew again." Mariya gives a shrug.

"Ah, yes," says Valerity, frowning slightly again. "I'd forgotten that." She sighs. "Under better circumstances, I'd tease you mercilessly about being engaged to your paragon… Probably best not to do that, now." She glances at the princess. "Write them. Visit when you can. It's a distance, but Ser Daevon has few political responsibilities. The time can be made… and he seems kind enough to make it."

Mariya gives Valerity something of a smirk. It's not quite like the earnest princess, but it seems that the death of Osric has brought about a few changes in her demeanor. "No, best not. There is still a year yet for that." As for visiting, she nods. "He made mention of travel. Braavos and the Free Cities. He promised I would not be trapped in a city that would hate me. He is also a good man. I have been blessed to know so many."

"You're both a bit storybook," says Valerity with a faint smirk of her own. "There have been worse matches." She nods. "There you have it, then. You'll visit often. And bring the famous Maiden's Knight with you. You'll be like a holiday."

Finally, there is a soft laugh from Mariya at the idea of being a holiday for her niece and nephew. "I guess we are. He already saved me from an evil man and delivered me safely to my family. In the stories we would be wed. The Maiden's Knight and the Princess. It would make quite the song."

"I'm sure it will make quite the song. I don't see how any bard worth their strings could resist trying to author that ballad." Valerity is silent a moment, then says with soft insistence, "The city doesn't hate you, Princess. There will be disgusting, stupid people everywhere who hate anything that isn't — them. Those voices die away."

"I don't think they hate me." Mariya tells the lady Redwyne. "But, I think they hate the Dornish. And because of that, they would hate who I am without knowing me." With a slight kick of her feet, she sprays some stray water droplets toward the thirsty garden. "I truly do not care, to be honest. Ser Daevon would have them love me, but I have no desire to placate people who would be thankful of Ser Osric's death as a sign that their cause was right. To justify bloodshed." With a shrug, she looks to Valerity, "Let them hate a false enemy. I will know who my true friends are."

"Princess," says Valerity, with quiet concern, "you cannot let yourself think that way. That anyone is… thankful for Ser Osric's death. I know of no one who is. To be thankful that theirs was the side that prevailed — of course they are. You, too, would be thankful were the positions reversed. Thankful your loved ones were spared… though you would never rejoice in the death of others. The victory of the Lords Errant and the death of Ser Osric, however linked, are not the same thing."

"I heard them, same as you, Lady Valerity. There is a difference between relief and joy. I heard joy in their voices. I am, indeed, thankful that the rest of our knights will return to us safely. I do not think you rejoice in our loss, but I also think your view tempered somewhat to see all of your loved ones returned safely. I would not blame you for it. I am glad your heart is not broken as mine is. But had Ser Osric survived and instead killed Ser Quillian. Or Ser Abram. Or Ser Vigoo, or Ser Laurent. Tell me there would not be vengeance sought against the Dornish. If not against this household, than those in the Market Place. Instead they are glad that we are put in our place." Mariya is firm in this.

<OOC> Mariya says, "Viggo, not Vigoo. XD"
<OOC> Valerity giggles! Vigoooooooo!
<OOC> Mariya dies.

"The Trial is a different thing than the killings at Wickham's Nest and the Red Rookery," says Valerity. "Many truly believe that what's happened is the will of the Seven. As Ser Osric did. They would have believed the same if the Lords Errant had lost. Save for those wretched folk who will take any excuse to hate."

"Ser Osric believed his cause right and that the Seven would see it. Even if they did not believe in us, I cannot believe it their will to have killed him for it." At that, Mariya stands. "Forgive me, but I soon must go to Ser Quillian to ransom back Ser Arros, Ser Tameron and Dawn and I should get ready." The look she gives Valerity is a sincere one. "Thank you for coming. I will let my sister know of your prayers.

Valerity stands and bows her head, curtsying once more. "Thank you for receiving me, Princess," she murmurs, with equal sincerity… and with that, turns to go.


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