(121-04-26) Feeding Fish
Feeding Fish
Summary: With Ser Osric laid to rest, Princess Ellia and her household are returned to Oldtown. She and Tameron discuss their next step.
Date: April 26, 2014
Related: some?

Garden - White Stone Manse

This manse has a large walled garden behind. The tall stone walls have a heavy double oak-and-iron gate leading into the alley behind. It's quite solid, though there is a little door in it that one might open to look out. Near that gate is a stable, a kennels, and a mews. These utilitarian areas are separated from the garden proper by a low stone wall with a gateless entry. It's thickly growing with clematis vines bearing pale purple flowers.

The garden proper has white stone paths and is planted with flowerbeds and flowering trees. Most of the blooms are white and pale blushing pink shades. Near the house is a tall cherry tree that frequently bears a profusion of sweet fruit.

At the center of the garden is a large seven-sided fountain of white marble, filling the air with the sound of its splashing water. Tiny silvery fish live in it.


Well, it was all a bit awful, wasn't it. Returning home, but only so the man who made Starfall home could have his last rights and Dawn could be returned to its resting place in the Dayne ancestral keep until such a time as another would become worthy of it. Tameron did as he could to be of help to Ellia, even as he continued to recover from his own injuries. He did not weep or rail or curse the gods. He was simply quiet and attentive and a little more withdrawn into himself than he even normally is. And now, here they are back in Oldtown, the city running along as if none of it ever happened. As if nobody even cares that one of the truest knights in any kingdom was cut down and the world has become dimmer for his passing. Even the gardens are the same, the flowers blooming as merrily as ever they did, the silvery fish glinting as they dart about in the fountain.

It's on the edge of this fountain that Tameron Sand currently sits. He has a small loaf of bread on his lap, and he's silently tearing off small pieces and working them into little crumbles before dropping said crumbles into the water for the fish to chase and gobble down.

The ranting and railing has long since past - retired within the first 24 hours of her loss where the elder Princess is concerned. For the rest of her time, the normal pragmatic Dorne lady come Martell once more has been eerily sober. With her children safely nestled under royal care back in Sunspear, Ellia has made the rest of her journey with a degree of stoicism that would have made even Osric proud. Her entourage returned, horses groomed and fed - it might just be another evening… if not for the absence of the essence of Ser Osric Dayne that weighs even now heavily upon those who knew him well.

Having taken the time to see to her own bathing from the dusty trails traversed. Ellia wanders on into the gardens, shrouded from head to foot in widow's black trimmed with silver. Gloved hands hold a piece of parchment as she pierces the solitude of night with a calm tone, "We must set for the Oakheart holdings at first light. It was not good enough for them to demand such an obscene amount for Arros," she adds deliberately forgoing the other knight's title for now, "But now he seeks to name a royal ransom based upon having Mari for his own prisoner." Her expression remains stern as she crosses on over towards Tameron and extends the letter should he care to read it.

"There are no Oakheart holdings here, Princess," Tameron replies softly, scattering a few more crumbs to the fish. "The Oakhearts reside in the Tyrell manse on Garden Isle." He brushes his hand clean and accepts the note, finally looking away from the fountain's water to read it over. His brows lift in silent surprise. "I cannot imagine Princess Mariya insulting anyone, certainly not to the tune of six hundred and fifty gold dragons."

Lips purse slightly at the news, the older Princess still not all that well-versed with the geography of this Westerosi world. Once the parchment is taken, she folds her arms across her chest with a nod, "Why am I not in the least surprised they should reside amongst the Tyrells." Ellia shakes her head slowly in return, "Mari can be headstrong when she has a mind to do such, but no, she is rarely insulting. If nothing she errs upon the side of being too congenial to these Westerosi. I would estimate that to merely glance in the direction of this Ser Oakheart would be to cause him slight in light of the circumstances."

Her gaze finally breaks from Tameron to glance a little past him for a moment before again lighting her dark eyes upon him, "It is nothing more than another contest of power between Westerosi and Dorne. We are guests within their lands, of this I understand, yet their hospitality is anything but. Ashara might have been content to endure this sort of dance, but I am not. This has gone far enough and it shall end now. Do prepare yourself and your … squire… if you will. We shall leave at first light for this Garden Isle."

Tameron smiles faintly and nods. "It is only across town, highness," he clarifies gently. "The Oakhearts do have lands and a keep in them, but the ones who fought in the duel stay in the manse owned by the Tyrells here in Oldtown."

"Across town, far away, it all matters little in the end, Ser Tam. We will still set forth at first light," Ellia echoes as she lifts a hand to wave it a bit flippantly. She does, however, move to take a seat near him at the fountain, "As much as I would love nothing more than to run charging in to set Mari free tonight, it would be impractical. Enemies ride in the night and storm keeps, and though we might be such to them? We shall come under the light of day with our arms stowed for now. I will not give them further reason to justify their hatred of us." She pauses before adding as an afterthought, "Besides, perhaps this shall teach Mari enough never to place herself in exchange for a man who by all rights should have been detained. As admirable as her intentions may have been, I must instill some sort of parameters upon her gestures of good faith."

"I only meant that at first light, I expect much of the nobility may not yet be awake, highness. If you wish to present yourself amicably, perhaps… riding out more properly in the middle of the morning might be received better?" Tameron gives a small nod. "It was generous of your sister to see Ser Osric's household could all be present, but I'll agree, it was also impulsive. Now he has her, he can sing what tune he likes and call what price he wishes." He gives a small nod towards the letter that does just that.

The elder Princess considers the advice before allowing her lips to crack into a faint ghost of a smile, "I am well aware that most of the house might yet be abed at early light, but that is hardly our concern. I have no doubt you are correct in thinking it would be more amicable to arrive midday, but I find myself unable to muster that much concern over comforts given to them on that front. My sister would be more comfortable in the comforts of our holdings here - as long as she must endure their hospitality, they should deal with the negotiations at my convenience." Ellia lets her attention slide to the fish in the pond in silence for a few moments before finally adding quietly, "I am not going to pay the new price. Renegotiating for Arros was acceptable. He gave insult and the result of the Trial entitles Ser Oakheart to something as a result. But Mari? She was never part of the original agreement, even standing in for Arros - this takes the matter into an entirely different realm."

Tameron is quiet as he considers this and, wordlessly, passes a few bits of bread over to Ellia. In case she, too, would like to feed the little, silvery fish. "What do you intend to do then, highness?"

Gloved hands brush his in passing as she accepts the few bits of bread before crumbling them into smaller pieces. One by one she sprinkles them into the water idly, "Appeal to his sense of reason and remorse. I highly doubt Ser Oakheart has considered the ramifications of his actions. In some small part, I believe he feels that we shall have no other recourse but to rollover and accept his terms. Which I shall clearly educate him otherwise." Ellia slowly looks back towards Tameron, studying him for a moment before adding thoughtfully, "Even though he is Westerosi, he is a knight… and upon that front I owe him a chance to be reasonable in negotiations. It is what Osric would have desired. However, if we cannot come to agreeable terms - I shall be left with no other recourse than to take stronger action. One way or another, Mari will ride back here with us tomorrow."

"As you like," Tameron allows with a small nod, "though I wonder what actions you intend, if he is obstinate? His request does not seem reasonable to me, and I think a man's skin ought to be thick enough to weather a complaint or two, or whatever it is he feels Mariya has done, without crying foul and demanding more money to soothe his damaged ego. But we cannot break the peace, either. Not when it has been won through blood and means to be sealed through marriage."

"That is a bridge I shall cross once it is necessary, Ser Tam," Ellia counters simply, feeding a few more morsels to the silvery fish. She sighs deeply, "The fact he was was incensed by the outcry of a bastard to begin with seems to suggest that Ser Oakheart does not possess the thickest skin a man should have. I am certain he and I can come to some sort of arrangement that will not result in needless spilling of blood. If not? Well, then, I am not beyond employing the rights of challenge. However, I would like to think there is a degree of sincerity within the correspondences I have received from Ser Oakheart."

"Ser Quillian," Tameron corrects gently. "Knights go by their title and their first name, unless they are the head of their house." But, for the rest, there is a small nod. "I have had my fill of duels and challenges for a while," he confesses quietly.

"Ah, yes, Ser Quillian…" she amends only to sprinkle the last of her bread crumbs over the water for the fish. The quiet confession draws Ellia's attentions thoughtfully as she lights a gloved hand upon his arm gently, "As have I, but should it come to that level - I will not be choosing a champion from amongst our own. Not this time. If blood is to be spilt, it will not be our own," she confides.

Tameron considers in silence for a beat before he asks, "You mean to ask a Targaryen, highness? They are the only other house I can think of who would have a reason to come to Princess Mariya's defense."

"I believe a man, who is any man, should stand in for his intended should a challenge be needed - especially if that said man be a knight. Would you not agree?" Ellia counters easily, not quite answering the question directly, but perhaps doing so in the same. She pauses before elaborating further, "While it may be the duty of a Lord to oversee the transgressions committed by members of his house, it is our duty as royals to govern the houses which carry our banners and in part, bear responsibility for any transgressions they have committed unto others - especially upon a more diplomatic and foreign level. Were our situations reversed and the Gargalens detaining one of the Targaryen princesses for ransom under such ludicrous conditions, as an emissary of House Martell… I would intervene. However, we cannot expect the Targaryens to care overly much for the conduct of their subordinates. In truth, they can scarcely care overly for the conduct within their own house." She slowly lifts her hand from his arm again as she folds it within her lap, "There is so much more at stake here than a princessly ransom. It is only my hope that Ser Quillian will prove reasonable. One thing is for certain, Ser Tam. We, as Dorne, cannot bend any more than we have thus far. It is not a matter of pride, but principle."

"He did seem reasonable during the duel. I do not believe he intended his blow to be a killing one, and save for his response to the hotheadedness of Ser Arros, I feel he conducted himself honorably. So, I share your hope that he can be made to see reason. As for the Targaryens, I cannot speak for them one way or the other, save that Ser Daevon did seem to wish to come to our defense when Oldtown was up in arms against us. I think he would be willing to defend Princess Mariya's honor."

"Well, then, it would seem that perhaps the Gods shall favor us in some small manner after all," Ellia adds with a faint smirk before slowly rising from her place and smoothing her skirts. Inhaling deeply of the night air, she contemplates for several small moments before turning to face Tameron fully, "I am not certain if it was ever said, nor do I truly know if it bears mentioning…. but he loved you. From the moment he dragged you home, you were his, and while I might have been less than pleased at the time? You were the best thing that happened to him… to us. I think if he were still here, Osric would want you to know that."

She bites her lower lip for a moment, the outpouring of emotion really not her strong suit as she takes the time to recompose, "… but since he is not, I just thought I would share upon his behalf. If you will excuse me, I should retire. It would not do well to meet Ser Quillian with a surly temperament."

Tameron's gaze drops down to his knees at such praise, and he is about as uncomfortable accepting it as Ellia is in offering it. Still, he manages a quiet, "I know he did, princess. And I thank you for making me welcome in your home. It is an honor to continue to serve your family." As for the gods, he offers nothing. Tameron tosses the last bit of bread into the water, draws up a slow breath and stands. "Let me walk you in, highness. If we are all to be up before dawn, I should sleep as well."

Ellia offers only a simple nod in silence - the mask of stoicism once more upon her features as she allows the young knight to escort her back inside.

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