(121-05-15) Common Courtesy
Common Courtesy
Summary: Princess Ellia finally pays a visit to Ser Quillian the Blackrood to assess his state of health following his recent duel.
Date: May 15, 2014
Related: None

Little Bellhorn Holdfast

This tiny fort used to be part of the city's defenses, and once its Western wall was part of the city wall itself. Now it's marooned amid the houses and workshops of Sphinx Street and Champion's way. It remains stalwart, though — a small courtyard of about sixty feet square, large enough for the keeping of horses and the training of men, ringed by four thick stone outer walls with ground-level rooms behind them and accessible by one mighty arched gate of iron-bound oaken beams. The roofs of the rooms form a wide walkway, and above it there's a narrower one where men can stand and look over the battlements. Above the gate there's another little room, sheltering the men who work the murder-holes.

Thin grass grows here in the center courtyard. All the rooms are accessible through doors that simply open out to this space. When it rains, one must wear a cloak on the way to the dining room.

It nighs the noon time, and already the men have filtered out from the exercise Yard, leaving it bare, their footwork imprinted into the mud. A few sentries keep the watch, but the majority of the men here seem to bear Oakheart leaves, as Lord Tyrell is out on some errand-leaving Quillian as acting Castellan here.

For his part, Ser Quillian looks pale, even in the drab practice armor, but he is up and moving, and given his arm is out of a sling-means he was likely swinging it at people. His body lands with a crash in a campaign chair set out under a cloth awning in the training area. His squire is quick to retrieve his blade, as he undoes toe bindings on the jerkin and harness, worn. "Recovery is the worst part, Lewyn. Please remember that." he adds before sinking back. Sweat clings to his face, neck and brow-and already a page of his is bringing wine, and a bowl of water. "Gods I could puke."

Though customs do dictate one should alert others towards their intentions to pay call, the Princess of Dorne has failed in that particular measure from all accounts upon the rather gloomy day. Her arrival is clearly met with a degree of wariness and unease from some of the staff in residence as the widow presses her way on through with a small contingency of two companions, both of the guardly variety in Dornish silks.

Even before the one resident servant can manage to declare her arrival, Ellia catches the faintest sound of Quillian's confession to illness before responding simply in a rather commanding tone, "I highly doubt the Gods would care whether you emptied the contents of your stomach now or later, Ser Quillian, though given the muck upon which you are standing… it is unlikely to make the ground any less tolerable." Her hands are wrapped around a small wooden box as she continues towards the actual awning, a few non-Dornish servants scampering a bit out of her way clear unease.

As for her own guards, they do nothing but flank heir princess in silence - allowing her to continue, "It becomes quite evident that while you may seek to return to battle, your body does not agree."

The contingency is ignored as Quillian is quick to return his arm to it's sling and have it secured, before he is taking c loth and letting it soak in the water. Wine is poured-though as words call out across the training yard, there's a bit of a pause from where he reclines. A raise of a brow is given before he is motioning his squire off. Apparently the Blackrood is unafraid of armed Dornishmen in his yard, or simply because he doesn't care about much. Wine is sipped or slurped before he is moving to rise and take hold of the rag.

"Ah, Princess Ellia Martell." Or is it Lady Dayne? though the question is unasked it remains there at the tip of his tongue, before he is awkwardly trying to wipe down the back of his neck. "I would be lying if I did not say you're a joy to look upon, though I am highly confused as to why I am." Water drips down the back of his tunic before he is looking towards the woman again, his eyes are not that of a wary enemy-or married man.

"To hell with my body. It needs to or I need to retire." Something he has no plans on doing. "I'm no old man yet."

Even in spite of the mud and muck, the steady progressive steps of the elder Princess, in widow's garb, carry a modicum of grace as she makes her way towards her quarrie. A brow arches slowly in response to the Oakheart's words, gaze sliding to take note of the squire as well as the wine before countering in a smooth tone, "It is often the nature of a man to be confused, especially when given to assumptions that he might be a joy to look upon in turn. In truth, Ser Quillian, your current state does little to grant me even the faintest kernel of joy."

Ellia pauses for a moment before delivering rather bluntly, "You are palid and feverish, though I believe it a fault to credit all the perspiration to physical exertion you undoubtedly recently have completed. Furthermore your stench could be construed as slightly offensive to anyone with any remote sense of smell. You favor your arm, still - though less as a result of the recent injuries sustained and more due to what might just be an incessant stubborness to will your body to completion before it is remotely ready. To be quite direct, Ser Quillian, you are a man at war with himself - though I do admire your tenacity."

The princess begins to close the last bit of distance between them, stayed only when her own guards start to follow. With a brief turn of her head to one, then the other, she gives them the silent command to stay before again returning her focus back to Quillian, "To answer your likely question, I came only to check upon your status of health. It was a particularly brutal duel and such things have a way of afflicting more permanent consequences upon those engaged within it."

"I do not know, I believe your bastard knight was pleased to see me as I was-as I can guarantee many other Dornishmen and Women would be happy, if they thought I was threading the needle with life." Quillian quips, before he is looking back to his squire. "Bring the Princess a chair, Lewyn." And it goes without saying another cup should be brought-whether or not Ellia chooses to partake or not. Carefully, he tries towash over his neck, and then his face-which is a sight hade to do given the awkwardness of his right arm. "I can assure you any stench you take in, comes from my sweating out fat and laziness." he adds before he is dabbing his rag in once more.

At the sudden blunt assessment of his status, and now the notion of admiring, there's a faint grin and mirthless chuckle to follow suit. "I would never take your for a Maester, Princess." he says before nigh knocking over the bowl. A hard line shows as he clenches his jaw, but carefully rights the thing, before choosing for more wine. "I'll take your admiration." he adds from the rim of his cup as more wine is imbibed. "And say I have qualities of yours that I admire, but I assure you such time and place as here and now, I do not feel approproiate to share them with."

As she closes the distance, Quillian pauses in his drink, and sets his cup aside, before drawing to his full height. Carefully now, as opposed to his leering before, does he scrutinize the princess. "As you can see, I still live and likely will for some time."

"Words, Ser Quillian, scarcely have the power to deny death when it comes. I have known many men who may similar boasts until such time as they no longer were able - my husband amongst them. So I ask you not seek to convince me of your invincibility… it is the Gods to which you should make such boasts, not I." Ellia adds with an even tone, her own guards bristling a little behind her. The offer of the chair is met with a turn of her head towards the squire, addressing the young man simply, "I prefer to stand, if you will. I am sure you have other things to occupy your time - polishing armor or sharpening blades."

While the Oakheart might be imposing to some, his full height and reputation do little to intimidate the Princess, as she lets her gaze fall to his cup with a shake of her head, "I need not be a Maester to know when a man is being foolish in his own care, Ser Quillian. One does not grow up in the company of warriors and not recognize a bluff when one sees it. Still, if it pleases you to continue to foster the illusion of being in marked good health and recovery - then so be it. After all, such concerns belong more to one's wife and loved ones to bemoan."

She pauses for half a beat before inquiring with a curious lilt of her head, "Tell me, Ser Quillian, just where has Lady Emilia been? I would have thought for certain she would be at the duel, or at least by your side now. It must truly be difficult upon her… your recent injuries."

"You never know. Mayhap, I've figured the right word that keeps Death at bay." Quillian japes before taking another sip of wine-his suddenly needing it. And so he moves to sit down. Whatever vitality he was wanting to display all by spent. And so he sits. There's a brief look to the water and the rag before he gestures to the bowl. "I hate to be a bother, but If you could aid me?" Apparently he is not going to ask his squire to wash his face and cool is neck.

Eyes slide to the box there, before he is looking back up to Ellia, as she chooses to stand he nods briefly-still Lewyn is off to get a cup for the wine. "My sister-" however the rest of the words do not come out as he looks back towards her. A tightening of his jaw. "She keeps to herself since our last fight. Apparently she could not understand the duty of a man oathed to another." A look back towards Ellia. "Something, I assume you understand."

The princess maintains her place as she continues her study of the Oakheart, favoring silence for the time being. When the tree of a knight finally yields to his own body, she turns a bit and signals for one of his own servants to come forth with a gloved hand. Others about the field stop to watch as their invading guest dares the audacity to try and issue a command to them - none really so much as moving to obey.

Eventually a slip of a youth tenatively takes a few steps closer, perhaps more drawn by curiosity than anything else. "Fetch a mug of steaming water - see that it is hot enough to scald." Ellia hands the youth the box as she continues, "Add one pouch from within to the mug. Have your tasters or healers watch and sample if you trust me not. Once it has steeped, bring it to us. Now go…" she dismisses the boy with a shoo of her hand.

"There is very little of your wife's behavior I understand in the least, Ser Quillian," she offers upon returning her attentions back to him, "A child is indulged to a degree for such actions - a grown woman should not." Ellia adds ever open with her own opinion matters, "I do not understand you Westerosi men. Our Dornishmen would not tolerate such behavior from our wives - though most women of Dorne do not conduct themselves as spoiled children to sulk behind closed doors."

Even as she speaks, she begins to slowly remove her gloves - one by one - before handing them to her guards. Her hands reach to take hold of the rag before submerging it within the contents of the bowl, "Because you asked and did so with a degree of civility, I shall indulge your request. But I caution you to not grow too comforted by the prospect of being attended by Dorne, Ser Quillian. We are not here to be beholden to whatever whims you Westerosi deem necessary at the time."

As the Servant heads off, Quillian looks back with a faint smirk. A cough, that shakes and he's grinning again as he carefully watches the motions of the princess. "They will taste it and check it." he states rather bluntly. "Because they don't trust you. You're Dornish-moreso you're a Martell; one whom I have recently killed their husband." So likely such things will take a bit to happen. Once it's made sure someone won't die whatever was ordered and issued has passed the won't kill us test. And there he closes his eyes as he chews on that question before he merely chuckles.

"I have not set aside my wife, mainly because I wish to keep peace and not be seen as some raider bent on Dornish blood." And look how good it has done him. "And though in these eight years she's not given me a child-I've remained faithful. Something, your people have trouble understanding." Whether or not the Princess is included in that is hard to tell. "Had I a prospect? I might think on it." And do it.

"You know me not, if you think that I believe you are beholden to me in any way-or if I view your country as a place to round up chattle to do my biding."

"I would expect nothing less of your people," Ellia adds with a nod, "To confirm my understanding of their intentions merely means we are like minds upon the matter - as my own will allow me to partake in no offering given by House Oakheart, or any Westerosi house, without out vetting it in kind." Her hands wring the excess water from the rag as she reaches out to light a touch upon his whiskered chin. The act might be construed as overly intimate to those unaware of the discourse surrounding the strange pairing, the Princess' voice somber in its continuance, "It is the duty of a wife to bear her husband heirs, whether she is amenable to the nature of the marriage or not. Those who cannot are set aside. It is quite a simple arrangement. When one may take for themselves as many paramours as my people often do, the only obligation a wife has above all else is to grant her husband legitimacy in heirs. Fidelity, Ser Quillian, only works if it runs both ways. Which is something /your/ people fail to comprehend."

Even with the emphasis on her words, she begins to dab at the abrasions and dirt upon his cheeks - dark liquid eyes studying him steadily as she does so with little offering of emotion in one manner or another, "And yet your marriage still has failed to solicit the return of your fallen's bones from House Blackmont nor done little to quell the raider bent upon Dornish blood within you. Funny how such a marriage that was to solidify peace does so in empty name only." The Princess admonishes idly as her hands continue their tender assault of the Oakheart's face, "One might ask whether Oakheart or Blackmont truly desired peace at all. Trials aside, contractual agreements aside - there comes a time when we must recognize the truth for what it is. You cannot instill a peace if those involved do not equally commit to the endeavor. To say you would set your lady wife aside for a prospect is an insult, Ser Quillian. Set her aside, or do not - the choice is your own. But do not hide behind some illusion of peace as your excuse. No one - not here in Oldtown nor back in Dorne, remotely believes peace exists between your two houses."

"And so we have it." The Blackrood declares as he lets his eyes lull to an easy close. Even as she cleans his face and neck, the knight if but subtley leans his head into the motions made. Indeed such the scene seems to be rather intimate and this action more befitting a wife if not betrothed under strict supervision. Of both, Princess Ellia Martell, is not. It might cause some to murmur, but it seems the Blackrood cares not. "Do we?" He asks after towel moves over his face and there he looks up, briefly. "I've not whored on my wife nor have I found another's bed to make up for her lack of enthusiasm, when it comes to making a family." Quillian notes before he turns his head, catching Lewyn's approach from the side. "Set the cup there and pour it for the Princess. One of her men will taste." he says plainly before his attention is back on the Princess.

"Indeed it did. I followed through with my own side and saw Lord Lyndon's son returned and most of Lord Lyndon.." The skull cup is rather infamous isn't it? To that end he looks back to her, one hand reaching for a wrist, unless she jerks back. Likely to still her hand more than harm. "No, it has not. But I had no say in the matter. A deal procured by Roses and I find myself married to my enemy's house. Nothing else." he adds before he rolls his shoulders back. "Illusion of peace, such as the betrothal of one Mariya Martell to Daevon Targaryen. You might as well betrothed a cat to a dog and called it final."

Eyes narrow as her wrist is taken within his grasp, Ellia's lips twitching with the faintest hint of temper. There is something in the action that begins to alert her own guards, the twin pillars taking one step closer to their princess in defense. Whether by sheer will or perhaps an ingrained need to keep the matter calm, Ellia's features smooth once more as she offers a staying nod to her guards - halting their approach, "There are countless ways to deny a man the one thing he desires most if one has a mind to do so, Ser Quillian. A wife that beds her husband of her own accord, yet fails to procure children from such arrangements usually is the result of one of two circumstances. Either he is impotent and unable to perform his manly obligations or she is barren and was given to you so knowing that your line would die out with you for as long as you two are wed."

The princess does pause for half a moment to let her words sink in before offering an alternative, "Though, there is a third possibility - one I would hope not the case given that the arrangement was a suance for peace. Yet perhaps she has deliberately been ridding herself of every potential chance for your own seed to take root within her. After all, do you really think women partake so much in tea simply because they relish the taste?" she queries with a faint curl of her lips, "In any case, after eight years of a peace marriage? House Oakheart and House Blackmont should be at a full accord with no animosity left between them. The fact you harbor mutual bad blood still is a testament to failure of epic porportions."

Dropping the dampened rag into his own lap, she calmly reaches to remove his fingers from her imprisoned wrist, one by one, "In the end, what to do with Lady Emilia is your concern. As for my sister? Who knows what a year shall bring."

As the pillars step close there is a tension that lies in the air. Some of the Oakheart men are stirring and were one to have a bow, lines would tauten…However, luckily this stand off merely remains as such. And there he runs a thumb over her wrist before letting go. "I can assure you, I am not impotent." he adds before looking back with brows up. A lick of his teeth and he settles back and releases whatever tension was lying in his arms and shoulders.

"I can tell you. Ser Daevon is more likely to give her children than a frog give birth to blackbirds." he adds before leaning back. "I haven't watched her after-Though I would not be surprised if there was such a tea she turned to. She seems overtly fond of tea." A wry smile there before he is reaching for his wine. "Indeed. years are tricky things."

"Perhaps," Ellia admits casually as she adds in a non-abrasive tone, "Then it would seem both you and Ser Daevon shall be in like company among heirless knights. It is a pity, really, all things aside you might have really made a decent father or mentor to a young child one day."

She slowly reaches to put her gloves back on, first one hand followed by the other, "Though it is perhaps for the best you have had no heirs, Ser Quillian. There is no greater pain than a son to grow up without his father due to losing him upon the fields of battle. It is a fate I would not wish upon the children of even my greatest enemies."

"Perhaps." he replies back before he laughs for a moment. "Trust me lady, One day I will have some woman fat with child. There have been some in Dorne I am say who bear my likeness." And there he raises a hand. "Before you call me a raper-I would have you know my honor has not been broken." he adds before he is looking back towards the woman as the gloves come back on. And there he falls silent.

"I still hold true to my promise to you. If you wished, I would see your son under me as a squire. Once he is of age." He'd be no father, but he'd be a sight better than a dead one.

"I hope, for the sake of your children, that time tempers your desire to tilt a blade at every passing threat," Ellia counters rather abruptly, her brow arching once more, "While I have little doubt of the sincerity of your offer, Ser Quillian - surely you must understand that it is something I can never accept."

The Princess of Dorne pauses before explaining in simpler terms, "Your blade felled my husband, robbing my children of /their/ father. Regardless of the decision of the Gods, it is not something any will soon forget. The trial spares you and your own from repercussions as it rightly should. However, were I to consent to allow my son to be squired under such a man? There would be no words nor measures in place to guard against such backlashes. My son shall be squired under the watchful eyes of my brothers or whichever man I next take to husband, should he be a worthy warrior, once my mourning has concluded. Such is the way of these things. Though I have no doubt as to your competency in such matters - it is simply the way things must be."

There's a grin showing on Quillian's face. "Trust me, I am practical about where I point my blade." Quillian replies as he shfits in his seat. One leg crossing over the other. "I will defend my family, my country and have I a good one-my wife. And it won't be over vain glories of pride- a physical threat will be met with kind." And the knight falls silent before he nods. "Indeed. It still stands."

And there Quillian raises brow before nodding. "I would expect as much-tell me Princess Ellia, how long will you mourn?"

The question takes Ellia a little by surprise, the faintest crack slipping in her normal impregnable mask as she replies without too much thought, "I will mourn Osric until my last breath, yet even then seems to short a time given a man such as he." There is something about her words that fills the air with a palpitable discomfort as her own Dornish guards shift their weight upon their stance a bit uneasily.

The moment lasts all too briefly before her posture straightens once more to exude the presence of calm control, Ellia contradicting her other words with crisp precision, "My mourning period will last until such time as it is ended, or my Mother deems otherwise."

Dark eyes slide to regard the wooden box she brought with her as she shifts the focus once more with a smooth transition and austere tone, "If you mix a dose with scalding water and allow time for it to steep when feeling feverish - you should find it dulls the pain and lowers your temperature enough so that you might rest. Whether you partake in the offering or not is of your own choice. I care not."

Quillian offers a brief nod of his head before he looks over to the box. There's a slight smile that shows before he tilts his head and looks back. "Of course." Whether he speaks about the mourning period-or the box is unclear. And as she straightens, with a low grunt-Quillian stands after all it is what one should do when someone looks to be departing. "Well, thank you for your concern in my well-being."

"It is not concern, Ser Quillian, which inspires one to pay call to a warrior who displayed themselves honorably upon the field of battle," Ellia counters with a serious tone, "It is mere common courtesy. I would expect any one of your people to show the same consideration to my people had situations been reversed."

As her guards take a few steps forward to join her, the Princess of Dorne dips her head in a faint bow, "A good day to you and your own, Ser Quillian." Her own words exchanged, she prepares her guards as they turn to leave.

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