(121-05-21) The Best Pieces
The Best Pieces
Summary: The Black Viper impresses upon the Fury of Skyreach the value of an education in Cyvasse.
Date: 21 May 2014
Related: None

White Stone Manse
This grand manse faces the prestigious Starry Street. The first story is protected by narrow high windows that stop people from seeing inside, but the big windows on the back wall and the four upper stories make the manse bright and airy over all.

The first floor's main hall is brightly lit with lamps to make up for the shortcomings of the street-facing windows. The white walls and polished white marble floors add to the effect, making it seem airy and bright. There's a grand dining room separated from the entry hall by broad doorway. The house is richly decorated and well-appointed, with luxurious furnishings.

Like almost all of the houses in Oldtown, it shares two walls with its neighbors on either side, but the servants quarters, kitchens, and servant's stairs buffer the house proper from any noise that could possibly leak through the thick stone walls. The grand staircase that allows residents and their guests access to the upper stories is of white marble veined with a pleasing yellow-tinged pink.

There's a pleasant walled garden in the back, viewed from the windows in the back wall and accessed through a glass-paneled door.

It is a warm day by the Reach's standards, which mean for the Dornish it's like spring. The clouds hang o'er hiding the sun from view and allowing the heat that does permeate to be more of a sticky humid sort. The kind best saved for intimate quarters and bath houses, not for simply walking around town or perhaps sparring. All the same, here in the manse, most move around as if it were nothing, even if some perspiration clings, it is for the most part ignored.

Stepping from the gardens is another reclusive member of the Dornish Court in exile-clad in black silk, sweat clings to bare and inked torso- a long thin pole in hand as a younger man trails after him holding robes, and a towel. The pole is passed over as the towl is nabbed-and the tall Yronwood actually takes time to dab off, before walking into the small sitting room further towards a bowl. There scented water lies, and fingers come to splash on more-before the towel is taken again-the opposite side used down as more delicate dabs are made. Robes are reached for and shaken out- a sign of dismissal to the younger man who scampers off quietly enough. Darius now turns, keeping his back to the door, as he looks back out to the garden for a moment as he slowly re-robes.

Alaeyna enters the main hall while the Black Viper refreshes himself from his jaunt out of doors, and she watches in silence as he completes the series of splashings and dabbings that serve to restore him from the cloying Oldtown heat and humidity. She's dressed scantly in silks that, at home in Dorne, would stand her in good stead under even the scorching midday sun, but she still moves with a sort of languid sloth for which the unusual clime is to blame. The Lady Fowler interrupts her countryman's solitary reflections, cutting through the relative silence of the hall to ask, "Was your sweat well earned? Regale me with some fierce tale, for I lack the stamina to venture out of doors and find my own adventure with this strange, wet heat."

A look over his shoulders and Darius offers the Lady Fowler a smile before he draws his robe closed and fastens it in slothful fashion. "I am sorry, that I cannot tell you more, than it is as wet as between a woman's thigh's out there-and none of the pleasure-or sweet tastes to follow. The air is thick, as if you are breathing in the filth of Westeros all at once." The Black viper says before he is moving to check a decanter of it's contents- a frown showing only disappointment. "Were I had the luxury of laying in bed with one Lorenzo Yronwood.." he adds with a faint grin. His cousin, and his company is known to him. "I should have been better and polite-sought you all out when you arrived." A shrug given. "Forgive me."

"Better to stay indoors, then, nay? One might feast the day away on all manner of refreshments under this fine roof." Alaeyna flashes Darius a smile, watching him try a decanter she's probably responsible for emptying, lush that she is. She catches the eye of a servant milling in the hall, bidding him, "Go and retrieve some of the strongwine from the stores we brought from Skyreach. I would spill a drop or two with the Black Viper, pleased that I am to have such esteemed company here in Oldtown." The servant departs to fulfill her bidding, and Alaeyna stalks across the hall to greet Darius properly, with a kiss on either cheek. "Your poor cousin. At home, I might ride him for hours without breaking him, but it would seem that my pace is too punishing for these foreign climes. He is yet abed, recovering from a long, hot night." Her smile is positively devious, and when Darius apologizes for not having met them formally when they arrived, she merely waves a braceleted hand and says, "When have you ever known me to hold a grudge?" The answer might be 'always,' but her tone is wry and playful.

Kiss is returned and a smile to match, as a chuckle rolls out from his throat. "Were a man so lucky as my poor cousin. I am sure many would take his punishing trials for their own. I myself find an itch in envy." Darius then grins before he is offering an arm for her to lash herself to, as he is now seeking to stalk and stretch himself out on one of the chaises in the room. "Tell me, did you bring Alia Sand with you?" a raised brow there. "Hers is a company I have missed." Like all Dornishmen, Darius has his appetites and likely they go along the same as any who know the sun's touch and feel it in their blood. To her own playfulness his teeth are flashed, and his tone wry. "Never." he replies in faux innocence. "You are a most forgiving mistress." Never mind the own disputes as petty as they are between houses-in Westeros there is no time or room for such things. "I would have feasted you and him. All of you here at the expense of my dear cousins, but it would have been wonderful." he adds before snapping his fingers. "It seems, that all of Dorne's finest people have arrived here. How did that come to happen?"

The serving boy returns with a pair of decanters to replace the emptied one, setting them down on a low table before the chaise Darius has chosen. He fills two cups, one for each of them, before bowing his head and returning to the fringe of the room, hovering in the distance should his further assistance be required, but not so near as to encroach upon their conversation. Alaeyna unwinds from Darius's arm as she settles into a comfortable repose on the lounger, cup of wine in hand, and remarks to the Black Viper, of his itch, "The Yronwood men do have a reputation for having tastes as fine as their appetites are insatiable. Come, what shall we drink to? Satisfying our itches?" She toasts him and then wastes no further time in slaking her thirst with a hearty gulp of the strongwine, sighing with delight to have her thirst so well quenched. "My darling Alia is indeed with us. Take care not to preoccupy too much of her attentions, or I may have to fight you knife to knife for her." Alaeyna's tone is laced with affection to speak on one of her favorite paramours, and the fierce glint in her eye hints that she might actually make good on her threat, if given cause. And then she adds, "You ought still feast us, and all our beautiful friends. What excuse do we need to delight in each other's company but that we have occasion to do so?" When asked for the reason of their arrival en masse, she says simply, "I was charged with delivering ransom monies for our countrymen."

'Ah so you arrived in the company of cousin Ellia." Darius adds with a faint grin. As the cup is taken he goes back into his lazy stretch, much like a cat comfortable with sunning himself in such company. One booted foot lazily dangles above the floor, as he holds the glass in his hand eyes looking to the wine, though no drink is taken right now. Instead he lazily swirls the contents in his cup and lets his eyes draw close. A smile barely shows and then like that he slakes his thirst with three gulps- a content sound rumbling in his chest. "I can share." he assures as one eyes opens almost lazily. "I am good with my playthings." Which in any other discussion would broach on insulting. "Though it is a pity. I am sure you would prove to be quite a fight. Knife for knife-and the only worthy here of it."

"The Princess has been very generous with her hospitality," Alaeyna confirms, when Ellia's name is invoked. "She has already enticed me to extend my stay in Oldtown, when I imagined I'd by now be halfway back to Skyreach." She lazes about as fantastically as Darius does, the pair painting quite the picture side by side on the chaise, indulging in the wine and each other's company. At his promise to share, she grants him a toothy grin, "I think she should enjoy that very much. Mayhaps we might play with her together, nay?" With a drink of her fine Dornish red, she comments casually, "I am a champion of my playthings," dropping a hand to push back the silk of her skirt and offer a brief flash of her thigh to the Black Viper, and more particularly, the sheathe of silver knives she wears strapped to it.

"Indeed she is." Darius agrees, before supping upon more wine. At the mention of Skyreach he merely laughs. A light thing easily to be caught up in the wind, like some song you hear hummed or whistled. "You would be bored there, unless all of you went back." Darius says with a sly smile. "Though the Westerosi are pigs and smell like a horde of goats-things here are interesting and show the prospects of it being interesting right now. It is like living in a cyvasse game-and we are the best pieces." And now his own hand slides down his chest before toothy smile is matched with a flash of brilliance from him. "I would like that. Both of us to take her would be good, and thus I can prove-not all vipers poison everything they bite." A wink and he drains the remainder out. Apparently he is looking to catch up to-something.

"beautiful work." a motion to her knives. "Who was your smith?"

"Yes, but in Cyvasse, no Martell princesses stay your hand and bid you not to destroy your opponents for the sake of politics," counters Alaeyna, motioning the boy back to refill their cups when she, too, drains the last of the wine from her cup. He tops them both up dutifully, and then disappears again. "I would rather see my playthings buried in a dozen traitorous Westerosi throats than wear them at my leg, but I am a subject of her whim. If not for her, I think you should have your own hands full keeping me out of trouble. Perhaps you'd as soon be sending me back to Skyreach, to buy yourself a bit of peace." Still wearing a playful grin, she toasts the Black Viper anew, and then tells him, of the worksmanship of her set of silver knives, "My father's employed the same smithy at Skyreach for as long as I've lived. He had them commissioned for me on my twenty-fifth nameday."

"Ah, but you do have a Queen and a Dragon-both pieces are very powerful, and both make you check your moves." Likely the Queen is but a piece unique to Dornish boards, as the Westerosi have no use for a woman in power. Likely, because their fragile egos could not handle it. With cup refilled, Darius does drink slower, savouring each sip for what it is. Heady bliss. "I think, were we to have our druthers we would most likely be in the same condition with others wishing us from here." he adds with a grin. "I long to poison a dragon- to take from them what they took from us." Apparently Malfeasance is in handling one's bannermen does count as being party to in the Yronwood's book. A new toast and he drinks again-he's quite fond of this actually. At some point his younger squires will rouse him for their martial lessons, but on a warm buzz he can handle it. "And what is our Princess' whim? Certainly I cannot see it being content with the hand these Westerosi have given us. As if we were stupid little birds needing small crumbs to placate."

"You must instruct me in the finer points of Cyvasse, while we are both in residence here. I'm barely decent at it, and I can only imagine what you might have to teach me. Perhaps it will serve as a lesson in patience, something I always seem to want for more of." Shifting in her seat, the better to regard Darius as they converse over wine, Alaeyna tells him, "She desires improved relations above all. I think she hopes to demonstrate to these Reachmen that we are not merely spear-bearing savages who rut in the fields like animals." She pauses. "Even if it is an apt description. Still, I have promised that I shall bide my tongue and my temper both for her sake."

Darius grins, and barely kicks a foot. A sign of pride there. "That, I can do, my lady." he intones politely. His words echoing softly in his cup. "You will find it teaches as much stamina and endurance as a good fuck." A smirk there before he is clearing his throat. "It also sharpens your minds and you learn from the tactics themselves, how to read a man or woman." Now he sits up a bit to regard Alaeyna. "And it shows you what the prize most-and where their weak spots are. If you are intent on killing-then learn Cyvasse." a smile. And then eyes close for a moment. "Ah, then she has a plan already. Good."

Alaeyna's own grin is delighted, a mark of appreciation for the skills Darius promises will be honed by virtue of bettering herself at the game. "I shall be a whole new woman, when the mighty Black Viper is through with me," she says, touching her goblet of wine to his for a toast. "May my enemies cower at my feet." She drinks from the cup to seal the deal, regarding the Yronwood opposite her thoughtfully. "Though I shiver to think what you might learn about me, by virtue of us sitting opposite the game table from each other."

"Many a woman have said that to me." Darius japes with a faint chuckle. His wine is taken in as receiving the toast again. Cowering enemies. Ever good. He raises a brow, then lowers it as cup is set aside. There he leans forward. "I will learn how you think, how you feel. And the right places to place myself." he adds with a faint grin. "I will learn your fears and delights..However it is a two fold mirror..You will learn such secrets of me."

The jest wins a knowing smile from the Lady Fowler, who sways forward, too, when the charismatic Yronwood leans in toward her. "All that from a game?" she teases, as if faintly in disbelief. And then, with a generous caress to his ego, she marvels, "I'd never have known the Black Viper had anything to fear." Drinking the last of the wine that remains in her cup, she says, "I only hope you will keep my secrets."

"My fears are but for Dorne, Lady." Darius adds with a bit of a grin-no admission to any true Fear. But, like all men he has a healthy view of the world and knows when and where is appropriate for fear. "You will find I am as good with my tongue as a septon-and nothing leaves it." he adds with a bit of a laugh, before he is rising up slowly. And his glass is snatched and raised. "To experience."

"The tongue of a septon?" laughs Alaeyna, incredulity written in her expression. "There's a comparison I never expected be made. I suppose I shall thank you for your discretion, and wonder not how many more happy septas there would be if their counterparts truly did meet your prolific measure." She stands, too, but because her cup is empty, she places her hand over Darius's, after he drinks, drawing his goblet to her that she might drain the rest of his wine, flashing him a brazen smile in the aftermath of having done so. "I'm pleased to have enjoyed your company this past hour. You've vastly improved my afternoon."

It is allowed, the sharing of wine and much else once drink is down he erely leans forward to give a kiss. "And I yours." he states with a grin. "As for septons..You cannot believe some men would ever abide by chastity? Surely, I would not." he states before peeling away. He is likely to see to another refill before moving to the door. Pausing there. "Soon, we will begin your training..And then you will be much, much more equipped for these simple Westerosi." And he slides out with a chuckle.

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