(121-04-25) Childhood Dreams
Childhood Dreams
Summary: In which Aevander pays Mariya a visit.
Date: April 25, 32014
Related: What Is Owed

Eastern Suite - Garden Isle Manse

This is not the manse's largest suite. It faces East and from its windows one can overlook the Honeywine, and Lower Hightower Street beyond. Neat the window stands an easel and supplies for painting. The polished wooden floor is bare there, but for the paint spatters that have fallen and dried on the boards. There's a rack where finished paintings can lean or hang to dry, and unused canvases await the artist's attentions.

On the other side of the room are velvet-cushioned chairs and couches, their colours bright and cheerful. In this area the polished wooden floor is covered with a simple but plush carpet, red and green and blue. There's a small table in the sitting area. On one side of the door to the bedchamber stands a large and fanciful doll-house, full if precisely detailed miniature furnishings. On the other side of the door there's a large sideboard, a grand old thing that might once have held a minor family's entire collection of dinnerware but has now been pressed into service for the storage of toys.

In the sleeping chamber rests a large bed with a green and gold coverlet. There is a matching wardrobe and nightstand, with a simple candle-stand. The wall that leads to the sitting room is equipped with a hearth that heats both rooms should it be needed. In one corner sits a large copper bathtub.

It's a lovely evening in Oldtown. Many might find themselves outside to enjoy the weather, however Mariya remains in the suite assigned to her nearby the lodgings of Quillian and Emilia. She has been provided with refreshments and amenities. However, the young Dornishwoman is currently lounging, reading from a book she brought with her from the White Stone Manse.

There are footsteps along the corridor and then a knock on her door. One of the house guards announces, "Ser Aevander Targaryen to speak with you, Princess." And then the blond-haired fellow belonging to that name steps through and offers a bow. "Princess Mariya. Good evening."

The knock at the door as well as the announcement pull Mariya quickly to her feet, dragging the book along with her. "Thank you," she tells the guards kindly before gesturing for Aevander to step in and to be welcome. "Ser Aevander, it's good to see you. Can I offer you some wine?" She moves toward the pitcher - perched on a table near the back wall - and places her closed book on a chair along the way.

"Thank you, that's very kind," Aevander says with a small smile, stepping more properly into the room. "How are you faring, princess? I know what a trying time this must be for you, for so many reasons."

Deftly, the princess pours two glasses of wine. Once they are both filled, Mariya moves closer to Aevander and holds out one for him to take. "I am faring. I must admit that I did not expect to find staying here to be so draining. But, thank you. I appreciate your concern. Any news from the outside world? I find that all that any information I can gather comes from the kind souls that visit."

"Thank you," Aevander says as he accepts the wine. "Why draining? Is Ser Quillian or are any of the other inhabitants being unkind? It seemed to me a rather selfless thing you did, offering yourself in Ser Arros's stead." He takes a small sip of wine before he notes, "I would have expected the ransom to arrive before now, though. I had understood it was en route when the exchange had been agreed upon."

"You're welcome." With the wine poured, Mariya shifts to one of the comfy chairs. "I've yet to stay in a place every day where I've been scrutinized so warily. I thought it bad in the market, but in this manse it is as if most of the servants and some of the inhabitants are expecting a mere touch from me will kill them. Plus, to see my goodbrother's killer practically every day has not been a kindness." She gives a helpless shrug. "Thank you, but I was merely attempting to do what I thought Ser Osric would have wanted. The money is en route, however, there is apparently a bit of a discussion to happen between my sister and Ser Quillian. I have yet to be privy to the discussions or the reasonings, but it seems my stay here will go on for a bit longer. Ser Daevon mentioned his cousin may wish to pay the ransom, but should Ellia wish to discuss it further with Ser Quillian, then I do not wish to step on any toes."

"Oh, I see," Aevander replies, his fingers tapping lightly against the goblet's side. "I am sorry being here has been so trying. Your goodbrother fought well and nobly. I knew his reputation better than I knew him, but it seems all can agree he was a man of excellent character and a true knight. I am very sorry for his passing." He has another small swallow of wine. "I suppose, as my brother's betrothed, House Targaryen has arguable cause to pay your ransom, though I agree, the best, most honorable course would be to allow House Dayne to see to its own. If your sister means to speak with Ser Quillian, I will do what I can to dissuade Daevon and my cousin from interfering." He hesitates a moment before asking, "Has my brother been treating you courteously when he visits you here?"

Mariya waves a hand at the apology, though she gives him a warm smile. "Thank you. I know Ser Daevon dislikes my being here - as does quite a few of the Dornish - but, I gave my word and I will remain. Though, it is truly House Martell that will settle the matter and not House Dayne. They must deal with Ser Osric's funeral. My family can handle the ransom. Though, I will admit, the hope of being released early has often crossed my mind." Then, however, she tilts her head, studying Aevander with a confused expression. "Of course. He is, as he has always been, a kind and gentle man. Why might you think otherwise?"

"Oh, I apologize. Will your sister be returning to House Martell, now that her husband has passed? Forgive me, I am afraid I am not as knowledgeable in Dornish customs as perhaps I should be." Aevander gives a small shake of his head. "I do not think otherwise, but I… well, Princess. You have known my brother for some time, and you know how sensitive he can be to another's unhappiness. I think he fears the thought of your impending marriage saddens you, and I only wondered if he might have inadvertently caused any distress with his concerns."

"No apologies necessary. It has less to do with Dornish customs and more with my family's desire to keep the peace. As for my sister, I, honestly, am not certain. She will remain in Starfall to see to Ser Osric's affairs, I'm sure, but she may return afterward to see to me. She has often been protective of my welfare." Mariya does not drink from her glass, but merely holds the wine she poured for herself as if it were a prop. At Aevander's words, she frowns. "I see. No, he has not caused me any distress. In fact, he has ever attempted to boost my spirits. Has he voiced concerns to you about the marriage?"

Aevander offers a little nod and a small, sad smile. "Only that he fears this wedding will trap you and deny you whatever future it was you dreamed of before it was decreed," he replies. "I tried to assure him that, as a princess of your country, there could be no greater dream than helping to maintain peace between Dorne and Westeros. But I think he…. highness, I know I've no right to ask this during such a trying time, but if his concerns are unfounded, I pray you will reassure him of such when next he visits. I know such words from you will mean far more to him than any reassurances I could hope to offer."

"I see." Mariya repeats as she sets down the glass. "I have had many a dream for my future. None of them involved a political marriage. However, as you have said, I am a Princess of Dorne and will go where I must and marry whom I must. I love your brother quite well and could think of many men less worthy. I will not cry on my wedding day in either joy or sadness. I am to marry Daevon and if I am to do so, I will do it properly. I will not lie to him and say that to marry a Targaryen and possibly never return to Dorne was the dream I had as a child."

"I do not ask you to lie," Aevander assures Mariya, his hands slowly turning the goblet the cradle. "I only ask that you say to him what you have said to me. We all have dreams as children that the responsibilities of our adulthood deny us. I understand that. It seems you understand that as well. Sometimes, I fear Daevon does not."

"I have already spoken with him about the marriage. He has his own fears, just as I have." Mariya picks up her glass again and takes a small sip. "I've told him how I feel and that no matter the case, we'll work through it together. Ser Daevon is a knight and, more than that, he dreams true. He carries a large weight on his shoulders."

"Yes, that he does," Aevander agrees. He takes another sip of wine. "Is there anything you need that I might be permitted to bring you, princess, or anything I can offer to make your stay here more comfortable?"

"I'm not allowed anything from outside," Mariya tells Aevander. "Though, it's a kind thought." The Dornishwoman frowns and looks down in to her glass. "Does Daevon truly worry about the marriage? I did not mean to put a burden on him. He told me he would release me from it if I wished, but that I would be most likely matched to some other Westerosi."

"He worries about your happiness," Aevander replies. "The truth is, highness, this wedding was decreed by Princess Rhaenys who spoke as the King's voice, which means it was decreed by the king. Before all and sundry. To maintain peace between our countries. I do not doubt Daevon would do his best to release you from it if you asked, but to change the terms of so public an arrangement that means so much… the king would be wroth, and it would not go well for my brother."

"No, I know." Mariya gives a shake of her head as if to add credence to her words. "And I would not ask him to release me. My mother also made this arrangement and I would not go against her word. I think she thought it would soften the blow to be betrothed to Ser Daevon. Or, she knew that I would not fight it, for my actions would be tied to him. She knows I would not cause him pain or suffering for any reason. I cannot tell if this was done out of genius or kindness, but either way it is done."

"Perhaps both," Aevander replies. "I am sure your mother wished you as much happiness as such an arrangement could allow, and she must have been aware of the high regard in which you hold my brother. Similarly, I choose to hope that my cousin the king and Princess Rhaenys chose an alliance that could be a strong and lasting one, to represent the strong and lasting peace Westeros and Dorne desire."

Mariya nods at that. "Yes, of course. I hope it will bring both kingdoms peace for many years." The reply is not exactly automatic, but it does seem slightly rehearsed, as if she is already thinking of other things. It's clear that Aevander's words have troubled her, but she does not bring those troubles to the surface. What she does say, and sound sincere of is, "As I've told your brother, of all the political marriages I could have been given for, I am glad that it is him."

Aevander nods. "I believe you and he have much in common and that you could have a union of mutual respect and caring." He finishes the last of the wine, gently setting the glass down. "I thank you for your time and company, princess. I hope you are soon able to rejoin your family, and a wish you a restful evening."

Mariya still has much in her glass, but she sets down her glass as well. "He is a good man. I hope it will be as well." She stands, meaning to show him to the door. "Thank you for visiting, I hope you have the same. It is good to see a few friendly faces every now and again."

"I find the occasional pleasant change some how makes the familiar even more inviting," Aevander agrees as he walks to the door of the room. "Good night, princess." With a final, parting bow, he steps out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License