(121-05-27) The Enemy of my Enemy ...Still Probably isn't my Friend.
The Enemy of my Enemy …Still Probably isn't my Friend.
Summary: Johanna runs across Parizad on the shore, and a strange, if predictably vitriolic conversation ensues.
Date: Date of play (27/05/2014)
Related: None

It's a quiet afternoon on a little secluded beach some ways from the city. The sounds of birds scream through the air along with the gentle breeze that one would expect from a little corner of the sea like this. The water ripples as the tide comes in on the sand.

A safe distance away from the water's greedy grasp there is a curious sight. On the dry pebbles, there is a pile of driftwood laid out with angry orange flames waving from it, sending the aromatic smell of smoke in the air as the little campfire burns. There seems to be no reason for this fire, given the time of day and the weather, and there appears to be no cooking done.

What is accompanying the fire is the sight of a man, clad in a bright green, robed, long tunic and black breeches and boots. Stretched out beside him is an equally bright-colored cloak of a sturdy purple cloth, stitched with little silver bells. Upon that lightweight, decorative cloak lays a disturbing amount of weaponry. There is a sturdy-hafted spear with an almost comically long blade attached, it looks like somebody hacked off a shortsword and affixed it in place of a normal point. Next to it, a simply-made longsword in a sheath. And a dagger in a sheath as well.

He is accompanied by a man with a strange, forbidding appearance who stands a silent vigil over said fire. This man is massive, with a bald head that looks like it was oiled, and has a huge bastard sword strapped behind his back along with an exotic-looking dagger. But that's not what makes him so unsettling. His face is entirely covered with whorling, intricate tattoos. The manner of both men's dress screams 'not from around here' but the features of the brightly-clothed man who sits by the fire scream 'Dornish.' Whatever his clothing otherwise states.

Though it is likely not nearly so impressive as the sight of the purple cloak and all the weapons, nor the fire, nor even the exotic men that sit vigil beside it, but there is another figure present on this little stretch of pebbled beach. Johanna begins about as far as one can be from Parizad and his fire, a small basket slung over one arm as she crunches along the pebbles, pausing every now and again to pick something up and drop it in the basket. The nearer she gets, the more obvious it becomes that she's plucking some small plant from the ground, not flowers, but some small leafy thing. She does shoot a look up at the men and their fire every now and again, more and more often the closer she gets.

The Valyrian-derived tongues of Essos are a curious thing, but clearly recognizable. The two men briefly speak with each other. Or rather, the Dornishman speaks while the big man merely grunts an unpleasant affirmative. It's Myrish, but a woman who understands High Valyrian would be able to pick out a few words of the conversation.

"And this one. For my dear, dear uncle. For every day your corrupt, scheming carcass sits upon that seat, you are one day closer to what our Lord has demanded for you." The Dornishman begins in this tongue. The big man responds with a shout, also in Myrish, "And in the shadow of His Fiery Heart, the Lie will be torn from this world."

The whole thing sounds a little bit like a ritual. Or a prayer. Now, however, the two of them switch to a tongue Johanna could understand. Common speech of Westeros. And this smaller Dornishman continues in it. "It is a strange thing that they do here, no?" Parizad's accent is clearly Dornish, just with the hinting lilt of something unmistakably…foreign.

Word here and there are picked out in the foreign tongue, making no attempt to hide the fact that she's listening as Johanna nears the men and their fire. It's not until the switch to the local tongue is made that her expression sours, going from curious to visibly displeased. Dornishmen. Ugh. The search for whatever plant life might reside at the edge of the pebbles is abandoned and she straightens, narrowed blue eyes turning on both men now, but whatever poison she might spit, she doesn't spit it just yet.

"And so I would say, Serdar. Do you know what I love the best about the Reach? The smell of flowers. They are so //honest/ here. It is refreshing in a way." The Dornishman in question suddenly laughs a sharp, hearty laugh as the ugly, large man grins. The large tattooed fellow does look around, though. He's an intent type, with the look of a bodyguard.

At least 'bodyguard' would be the polite way to phrase it. The more honest sorts would call him one thing — a goon. More words are exchanged in Myrish, and both men laugh again.

Johanna's narrowed eyes remain upon the men, though it's largely Parizad that is the focus of her attention, especially following the remark on Reach flowers. "When you're from a den of snakes, I'm sure that honesty is a refreshing thing," she remarks, arms folding across her stomach with the basket dangling over both of them.

Well, the goon probably tipped him off, but the hawk-faced Dornishman turns sharply to study the harvesting woman, with a lazy, bemused smile. "Do you see, Serdar? She already knows the truth about many things. A den of snakes is certainly and apt description. Perhaps our Lord has sent us another Seer, no?" This is in the Common tongue once again.

The big man, he just laughs.

Johanna makes a derisive sound at the continued exchange, watching the pair of men with open distrust, and just a little bit of hostility. "What a fool thing to suggest. Do you truly think it takes a seer to know the sort of people that inhabit Dorne? No, experience is more than telling enough. If you require a seer to understand this sort of thing, I suggest you try opening your eyes instead."

"It is a funny thing for you to say this. To me, of all people." Parizad's dark eyes gleam with a certain detached mirth, although his grin is anything but warm. "I see you have certain — opinions on my countrymen. A country I have not seen for many years. If not a seer, than certainly an amusing fellow traveller." His companion merely watches. Not Johanna so much, but for others, to see if the woman was somehow followed. Yup. He's a goon.

"Perhaps you can tell me more of the perfidy present in the house of my birth than I can, though? That would be truly refreshing." This odd Dornishman is not insulted in the slightest, it would seem. Just amused.

"Well, good for you," replies Johanna in the blandest of tones manageable, glancing back when the goon looks around, as though worried some more sneaky Dornishmen (or women, they're sneaky too) might have crept in behind her. When she finds none, she turns back to Parizad. "If I were from that wretched place, I'd have left it too, but no doubt you don't need me to tell you about all of the ill things found in that place, or the wretched people." She shifts her stance ever so slightly, but the defensive quality of it is maintained. "Why do you all insist on coming here, anyway? Perhaps you can tell me that much. There is an entire world out there, can the roaches not find some other corner of the world to skitter to?"

"Compliment taken. I must confess, when I came here, I did not expect to find such a — large and colorful assortment of my countrymen. This is my first visit to the lands ruled by House Targaryen." Parizad's slightly musical lilt narrates as he leans on his elbow to study Johanna, all the while wearing a damnable smirk that probably has her blood boiling.

"The Martells, Lady Fowler, an Yronwood, some Daynes, bastards of all stripes, and oh, the Blackmonts." He chortles a bit now, studying her even if his goon starts to take a walk around the fire, turning back to study it with a strange touch of — reverence. "If you are asking me in a roundabout way why they here I am sorely disappointed that I cannot provide you with a satisfying response." One green-coated shoulder shrugs, shifting his entire weight upon the ground. "You truly seem to have a concentrated and pure disdain for my kind. It is refreshing to see. Usually you see the little boy and girl-flowers and foxes skittering about, chattering amongst themselves, pointing at my man here — " Well, to be fair, his bodyguard is horrific-looking. "But never an unkind, honest word. It is a first tenet of my Lord that Lies are of the Other, and are quite unbecoming in the worst of us."

It is entirely possible that her blood is boiling, by the hard set of her expression, or the way her full mouth is pressed in a grim line. A lovely woman Johanna may be, but a vicious one as well. "As I am rather constantly disappointed by your countrymen, I cannot even pretend to be surprised that you've done so as well. So far you conform to every expectation I might have had for you." She takes a step nearer, though not too near, and then leans in slightly. "Flowers and Foxes may skitter, but I am an Oakheart, we do not scare so easily."

"Ahhhhhh-hhhh. Refreshing indeed." Parizad mouths the words with the mirth just dripping off them. "And Oakheart is the name of the blood that flows through the veins that laid Maelys Targaryen low. Maybe there is something to be recognized in that, mmm?" That name just made him a twinge more wary too, if Jo is paying much attention to such things.

"I would be amused to have more words with a Lady bearing this name. Come and sit. The Fire burns for a while and this is therefore a place as sacred as any. And I will tell you that Parizad Uller is a man civilized enough to treat with one who would despise him."

Oh, Johanna is paying attention, sharp attention to the man, to his reactions, especially to reactions as the name is given. "Yes, that would be my brother, Quillian Oakheart." Her gaze trails to the fire for a moment as the hard line of her lips is tugged downward. "And what happens when the fire goes out, Parizad Uller? Is this no longer a sacred place?" She makes no attempt to dissuade him of the notion that she despises him, daring a step closer, but that still leaves a good many feet between them.

"Ahh. So he is your Brother? Ahhhhh — Lord Quillian Oakheart is a man whose name carries a certain weight in this place, or I have heard. And a certain curse that often goes with it among my countrymen." Parizad muses as his companion focuses on the fire. He's a weird guy, who's staring at it reverently.

Parizad, for his part, makes no move to close in. "For him to best Maelys, I would well know that this is no small feat either. I understand that Lord Blackmont is still sore over all of these things. He is a sore man. I also imagine that Princess Ellia would scorn me for even speaking to you like this. But Princess Ellia is not here and I would not do anything to violate a blood oath." He rattles all this off like it would make sense to her.

"Yes, well," and here that stiff way her mouth is held relaxes enough to curl into a smirk. "I'm sure the roach often curses the boot that steps upon it it, and that is bound to leave a few other roaches sore." The mention of Ellia wins a sound, surely not a snort, but it's a derisive sound. "She may well scorn you for doing so, but that would make her a hypocrite, as she has paid at least one visit to my brother, and left gifts behind for him." She pauses, eyes narrowing on him slightly. "What blood oath is that?"

Parizad's dark eyes widen ever-so-slightly at Jo's statement on Ellia's current activities. "Gifts, you say? Perhaps this is not so strange that we are speaking then, no?" Well, he's not lying. All the talk of roaches earns a derisive 'tccchh'. "Oh, the roaches. I have heard so many things. These roaches, my personal favorite of course is the "Shitsteed."" He laughs a titter now before moving on to answer her question, plainly.

"Oh, the oath I presented her. She did not know this, of course, because most of my countrymen still insist on following the same silly little Gods of yours that I too was brought up with, but in the name of my Lord of Light, R'hllor, I made it. The oath was simple." He says, conversationally. "Do not perform any actions to harm or cause harm to those of the House of Martell, or the Dornish Houses they provide protection for. Now, my family is a particular case, but most of them would not dare openly call them that. I think your brother and I have something in common." He chuckles faintly before clarifying, "And before you ask, Princess Ellia does not leave gifts for me and never will."

"To compare them to any sort of steed seems too high a praise for them," Johanna replies as the arms over her stomach relax and she lets the basket slide down to one hand, dangling from her fingers by the handle. "Yes, well, it sounds as though she need not give you gifts, she has sway enough over you as it is. She hasn't that over my brother, nor will she ever, regardless of how many things she leaves on our doorstep."

"It's what a man has to do to give certain assurances." Parizad's toothy smile is vulpine, amused, and entirely cold. "I suppose I should not blame her. I do not imagine she had forgotten what I had done to her poor cousin those years ago." And then he laughs, it's creepy, man. It's really, really creepy. "Perhaps your brother will have to kill a Martell next to grasp such achievements, no?"

It is creepy, the man is entirely creepy, and Johanna has to restrain herself from taking a step back from him in the face of that strange laugh. "I'm sure if it becomes necessary, he will kill a Martell as easily as any of your countrymen. What is it you think you have in common with my brother?"

"Well?" Parizad begins now. "I should not say this is entirely true. From what I was led to believe, Ser Osric Dayne was a famous, storied, and entirely honorable fighter. Who refused to submit, of course. So your brother killed him."

Why he's confessing this to a complete stranger now is anyone's guess, but the creepiness abounds in his next statement as he rests his hand on the haft of the spear nearby. It's a slow thing, and he holds up his other hand in a gesture of reassurance. "Ciro Martell was also a famous and storied fighter. I would call his honor into question, but he did submit to mercy." His grin is almost pointy-toothed. "Before one quite like this went into his eye and into his skull. And the Faithless refused to allow me to take this eye as a trophy."

"The Sword of the Morning? I would say he was famous, yes," Johanna replies with no fondness for the fallen man, but perhaps a smidge less malice. Maybe she has some respect for the dead, or at least that dead man. When his hand comes to rest on the spear, she tenses, it's obvious, and now she takes a step back, but only one. "Next time go for the whole head." It works for her brother, anyway.

"Yes. Famous. But this Martell — He made such a satisfying little dance, though. Tell me, Lady Oakheart. Have you ever seen a man have a blade go through his skull slowly?" Parizad's creepy rounds of questions are lobbed in Johanna's direction. Sometimes I prefer doing things a more — mmmm, elegant way, no?"

"No," Johanna replies in an even tone, and though she might back off when he has a weapon in his hand, the current topic of conversation doesn't make her squirm in the slightest. "I can't say that I have, though I imagine it's a touch messier than going through quickly. Unless the blade isn't very sharp, in which case it would leave an awful mess."

The hand flattens open and leaves the spear lying where it was. Whatever Parizad was intending to do there, brandish weapons at the woman was not part of the deal. So his hands go up and knit gently upon his lap. "It's a matter of doing it slowly, you see. But it is even more satisfying when you have a room full of fluffed-up fools sure of themselves who are horrified to see the man they pinned their hopes on have what little false light he clung to snuffed —" He blows a puff through the air. "Like that." And again, he grins. Widely. "But I should have left the blade a little less sharp. You are correct."

"For going slowly? No, for cutting slowly through bone you want something horribly sharp," Johanna muses, going quiet a moment as she considers him. "Or a saw of some sort, which can also work very slowly but I imagine has a different sort of effect. I meant that a dull blade wouldn't cut through a head if it were going fast, it would bash and cause quite the mess. It all depends upon the sort of impact you were going for in the end." Now that his hand is no longer on the weapon, some of that tension abates, even if she continues to watch him warily. "I can relate to the fluffed-up fools who were so sure of themselves, it was rather like that when my brother beat the Prince of Ashes rather handily."

"I suppose if that is the effect one wants." Parizad narrates merrily. "Tcchh — I think Maelys is getting soft." Parizad counters, with just a touch of bemused petulance. "I need to see this for myself, although every account is in, mmm, accord with what you have provided, Lady Oakheart. I think he is wasting a promising life here, sucking up to fools who would not appreciate him. He should be back in the field instead of championing Arnau Blackmont?" It's clear that he doesn't find this man worthy of a tremendous amount of esteem. "That man is good for many things. I believe he might make an excellent fool at one's court one day."

This token amount of disrespect dispensed, he does comment further on the fine art of murder. "In a camp outside of Astapor, there was a girl who we found who had an arakh" he continues without bothering to explain what the weapon is, "coated with a particular venom that turned a man's blood to fire, or so I was told. She was apparently sent to kill one of the Captains but the City, paid her so little. It was insulting. I never did find out if it would turn a man's blood to fire. Maybe one day." He says cheerily.

"Anything to do with the Blackmonts is an absolute waste of time," Johanna replies, making a bit of a face, as though even saying the name has left a bad taste in her mouth. "That alone speaks to Maelys Targaryen's bad taste." She shifts the basket from one hand to the other, considering for a few moments. "There are some venoms and poisons that will make you feel as though your blood is turned to fire, an awful way to go, as I understand it. I don't care to experience it myself."

"Oh, but of course. None of us wish to. But it is interesting all the same." Parizad notes, a little noncommitally. He shoos away the talk of Maelys now, particularly in the face of this one who is clearly unimpressed with the man and his reputation.

"So tell me if you will? Are all these Oakhearts like the one who stands before me and the one who would be your brother? I find you an odd, how would I say, aberration in comparison to what one normally encounters in the Reach, no? And yet you are sworn to these Tyrells? Is this what always happens in Westeros?"

"Are you asking if we're all loud-mouthed?" asks Johanna without the slightest bit of shame at this particular trait of hers. "Some of us, yes, some of us, no. My brother isn't quite so much, but he's to inherit so that might be for the best, my father a bit more." She shrugs. "We are sworn to the Tyrells though, yes. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, I don't care about that so much. You just seem to be a little less concerned with niceties in a realm that is clearly founded on the judicious, and sometimes, well messy application of violence. Which has its own benefits." Parizad folds his hands on his lap shooting the woman a vulpine smile. "Oh, because I have yet to see a Tyrell who did not have his manhood clipped and carried around in a pouch. It is always disappointing to serve those so — disappointing themselves, no?"

"I can only guess as to which Tyrells you've met, but there are a few that are somewhat less disappointing than others," Johanna replies with a thin smile. "But as you're serving the Dornish, I'm sure you know all about serving disappointing masters." She turns just slightly, enough to shoot a look over her shoulder, but what she's looking for is hard to say, and soon enough her attention is back on Parizad. "What made you decide to come to this place, or all places to visit in Westeros."

"Now." The Dornishman purrs out the word, still splayed out upon the ground and looking up at Johanna bemusedly. "Is that not an interesting question? No, not the Tyrells. The ones I have seen look like children that would turn white like curdled milk in the face of a proper wall of spears. The question I would answer now is simple. Why have I come here expecting to not find Dornishmen, only to find so many? Maybe I wish to not go home. Yet. I have much to do before that day will come, and if it pleases an Oakheart, I would assure you it has no designs on this quaint little place with the flowers, and the bad food, and the rampaging Blackmonts who cannot seem to manage a simple Border dispute. I was here to see a friend. A friend your brother almost put into the ground. Not the one he did put into the ground." He lets the matter lie for the moment, with one final statement. "And you are sworn to the Tyrells. The same way my family is sworn to the Martells. Well, in our case because the great Nymeria was clever enough to have fucked the right man." Rude and crass, for certain. And completely uncaring. "I wonder if that can be said about the Tyrells, no?"

"Is it?" asks Johanna with a sudden, rather sardonic twist to her lips as her shoulders gather into a shrug. "I'm fair sure I've heard more interesting questions in my life, but I'll entertain the notion that it is for the time being." The basket in her hand is carefully place on the ground at her feet, and then she straightens, arms folding across her stomach as she listens. "It must be disappointing to hear that the last two fights your friend was in, he lost rather terribly. I expect it's less that he is getting soft," she touches back on the comment of earlier, head canting to the side a moment. "And perhaps more than the men here in the Reach aren't near so soft as he expected them to be." The crassness doesn't appear to bother her, but she doesn't address it either.

"Oh, if you're expecting that I'm sore that he lost, you mistake the nature of our camaraderie. We were sellswords. There is a certain understanding in that profession that a man…or woman is going to do something to try to kill you just because you are there. That kind of violence is vocational, no?" Parizad is actually all cheery here. "As far as the Dayne man, I never knew him. But he seemed just, and some of his squeamish people turned angry at this. Truthfully, the Dornish are not what I knew, or maybe they have all gone the way of my dear uncle." Still smiling here, but the smile has just turned to something unmistakably bloodthirsty.

"You needened get so defensive of your people as I said before. I would very much like to meet your brother. There are always things to be done for a man of his talents, and I would go as far to say that both you and he would even approve of these things. But if Ellia Martell is involved?" He cants his head ever-so-slightly, putting on a carefully constructed air of reluctance or disappointment. "So these gifts given, you say? I hear he is wed to one Dornish woman in the first place? Another is seeking him?"

"Oh, they did turn angry," Johanna replies with a quiet laugh and slight shake of her head. "I've been given looks, and called a few choice names since the trial as a result." She tilts her head back slightly, watching him down the line of her nose for a few moments. "Mm. I'm sure that Quillian would be just delighted to speak with you," the tone is dry. Dry, dry, dry. "Yes, he is married, and yes, she is coming around. I can't imagine why, given that he was the one to end the life of her husband, but women are strange creatures, are they not? So who can say what it is she wants."

"Oh, I am certain." Parizad says dismissively. "And I am sure some of them care. Men are odd creatures too, as are women. We all are, particularly when led false." His eyes drift to the flame that if Jo looks just right can see the the angry red blossom mirrored in his eyes.

"This is quite a thing. So odd, when she specifically forbid me to bring any Westerosi in to visit her. Save Maelys of course, but —" well, he shrugs. "He isn't going anywhere." Truth there. And his smirk turns smug. "I wonder what her plan is, no?"

"Well now, isn't that just the most curious thing," Johanna remarks softly, rocking back on her heels a moment before taking a step closer. "It does make you wonder, but aside from a visit, I have no other clues, and it seems unlikely she is going to reveal her plans to me. You might have a better time finding out, your name isn't Oakheart."

"You should consider then, the challenge of being the man who drove a spear through the eye of her 'hero' cousin championing the cause of a wretch who wasn't worth the death of a single footman. After he supposedly yielded in a duel that wasn't his." Parizad narrates, oddly detached now. He's not bitter or angry sounding. Just bemused. It's like he's talking of some distant, absurd thing. Maybe it is.

"Presided over by 'Gods' who only listen to gold, and pretty, pretty lies.."

"I'm sure it's very challenging," Johanna replies, but the words lack in any true empathy for his situation. "As to the Gods, if the Gods require gold and lies, it sounds to me as though they're not terribly Godly, but then," her shoulders gather in a shrug. "What do I know about the Gods, save what I was taught growing up."
Parizad has reconnected.

"Unless your family is some exotic Lyseni transplant worshiping the Lady of The Rose or something that I find equally unlikely," Parizad muses, laughing a little at this concept, he counters, "You were raised with the same stories and the same gods as I was. They're a comforting story, these. In your Trial of the Seven it sounds as though something did triumph that day. The hand of men's skill. The same skill that guided me in the first duel that I fought. But the Gods had a different message that day about the Victor. This is the work of Men, and those Gods, well — I would not tell you that all you have been brought up to believe is anything other than that."

There's something definitely unhinged in the man's eyes here. "One day you may experience something, though. Pray for a foul man to be brought to Justice. And the foul man falls? There are other Gods and other Paths, Lady Oakheart." He reaches around for some sort of bag and pulls out — oh, no weapons. Just peppers, olives, and some sort of spiced fish spread and crusts of bread.

"You say that as though you think I haven't prayed for foul men to fall already," Johanna remarks as she takes another step closer, and then sits on the pebbled ground. A moment is taken to carefully adjust her skirt before she looks up at him again. "Whether or not the Gods decided it, or the skill of the men in question, it was decided. It makes some people feel better to think the Gods sided with the men of the Reach. I take a greater comfort in knowing that it's their skill that is superior, rather than it all being the whim of Gods, but people take comfort in different things." She eyes the food that he produces, curious, but then she looks up at him again. "What makes you think the Red God is any more real?"

"Mmmm." Comes an entirely-all-too-serene response from an entirely-all-too-serene Dornishman. He's been down this path, it would seem. "Oh, indeed I have. As you have, by the sound of it. If you are the type. I wouldn't dream of making the assumption of course." Teeth flash, yes he has. Already. Watching her sit, he doesn't immediately do the hospitable thing as he digs into a container of particularly Dornish food. But then, he slides it a little her way indicating she can partake if she wishes. Which is funny, of course.

"I have no doubt of the hand of Men in these things, to be sure. But I had never prayed the way I did before to 'them' the way I did when I looked into the Flame. And what I saw? I am not even sure if can be described by one such as myself. I am no priest of R'hllor. Merely His servant."

"Maybe that was your problem," Johanna points out as she leans in a little closer, looking down at the container of food, but she doesn't partake for the moment. "Maybe if you'd just prayed harder to the seven, they would have answered you the way the Red God does," she suggests, but she doesn't sound too serious as she says it.

"The Seven had their years of prayer. Seven of them, to have been exact." Well, hospitality offered, Parizad makes no insistence as he helps himself in a cobbled-together snack and takes a bite. Afterwards he continues commenting. "I believe I exhausted forcefulness with that enterprise, or maybe it was just the odd symmetry of the number, no?" He flashes a smile after wiping some bean spread from his lip. Disgusting Dornish food to her, no doubt. "It had been a long time since I tried that hard. And within days, it was brought word to me that my prayer was granted. Such an easy thing now!"

There's a gleam in his eyes that is not at all warm or fuzzy. "My people are indeed lost. They, as I did, claim to follow a faith that has its spiritual and administrative heart here. Even as they at the same time claim to hate this place. The joke of it is lost upon them, as is the joke of so many things."

"It seems arrogant to think that the Gods should answer our prayers the moment we want them to, doesn't it?" asks Johanna as a hand falls from her lap and onto the ground beside her. "Your people are lost, they all seem to be coming here. Draw them a map, if you would? Help them find their way back to where they're supposed to be," she remarks, fingers toying with a pebble in an absent fashion.

"It is even more arrogant to see some bloodless, empty-headed Septon spouting out platitudes would speak for. Mmmm hmmmm." Parizad notes, playfully. "And I am certain that they will all follow the great name of Parizad of House Uller to the seat once held in the righteousness of Justice, of the Hellholt." He seems quite taken with this idea. "And all those little Martells, Daynes, Blackmonts. They will fall in step with their wayward kinsman and just — march back to where they belong. It is a beautiful thought, and a dream, and one that I share." He munches on an oiled pepper slice.

"You seem to have tremendous faith in my personal magnetism and leadership ability. And to think — you have never seen me lead an assault on a fortress."

"Is that more arrogant?" asks Johanna, seeming to truly consider the matter for a moment. "Is it not even more so to think that we are somehow personally owed something by the gods, to the degree that they must answer our requests on our time, and not their own? What is the point of being a God if you must answer the call of every whining follower?" A throaty, but genuine laugh follows his comment on her faith, head shaking ever so slightly. "You mistake me and my dreams, I'm afraid. It's not that I have faith in you to see it done, it's just that I would like so very much for it to be done that I'll gladly see it done by one of their own as anything else."

"There's never just a call. There is always a price to be paid." Parizad's serene answer is tossed out conversationally, with a serene smile. "I would agree too — if that price had not been paid. The Sister who brought His name to my ear, first, explained this. The price was far greater than the first one I ever paid, when I sailed East ten years ago with next to nothing. Exile was the first price I paid, but there was a much greater one to be paid later, when I entered His service. And a greater one still."

"Then, Lady Johanna, Sister of Quillian Oakheart, I would see this done, and an accounting, and you in Westeros can be left to pick your flowers and eat your lemoncakes or whatever is you see fit to do."

"Is there? Well, maybe that's what we've lost, mm?" asks Johanna as she leans back on her hands, considering him. "Sacrifice, or a price outside of a rather lot of prayer and listening to old men give dull speeches." Another quiet laugh follows and she shakes her head. "Do you truly think that's how we spend our time? Ah, how bored you must be here."

"Bored? That's not the word I would use to describe it." Parizad muses. "Perhaps you would know of what I speak. There is a Temple that you likely know of if you are near the City's waterfront. Perhaps they will tell you more there. I am but a poor representative of the Faith I was shown in Myr. But — I would not say I was bored." He pauses a beat, smirking now. "I would like to speak with your brother, maybe? Somewhere without much attention? I imagine he would like to bring a second, and that is agreeable. It is not in my interests to antagonize or bring trouble to him."

"Would you? I don't imagine you're the only Dornishman that would like to speak with him," Johanna replies sounding highly amused, but there is a certain wary regard in her eyes. "If you like, I can pass on the message to my brother. I'm not sure where it is the two of you could meet, but perhaps he'll have some notion of where, if he so chooses to meet with you."

"Well, I imagine there are many Dornishmen who have — a shortness of vision and do not understand that there are things to be done in their own homes before they start looking to redress slights seen on one side or another of a porous border." Parizad's tongue clicks. In contrast, he looks positively entertained, letting out a low chuckle as he finishes his food and closes the bag. At least for now.

"There is a house near the docks. It is not luxurious, but I prefer to stay there rather than under the roof of Ellia Martell. Or Alaeyna Fowler, even. They are dangerous women." See? Smile. He then gives the location and description of it. "Word can be left for me there he so chooses. I would imagine that my countrymen would not enjoy knowledge of this meeting. For either of us."

"I'm sure they would enjoy it if they thought you intended a trap," Johanna remarks as the amusement is all but snuffed out at the thought. "But I will hope that it is not. In any case, I will tell my brother of this place of yours, and if he wishes to meet with you, I'm sure he will. Though it might help your cause to tell me at least vaguely why it is you wish to meet."

"Mmmm. Well. That requires a certain amount of trust that I am just" Parizad says, lazily as he flutters his fingers through the air in a graceful, if ridiculous manner. Those people out East are strange. "Flapping out there. But very well." He rumbles. "There are certain men who are likely to be coming or going from this city soon. Men who you would have an extreme dislike for, I am sure. I have an interest in them being, how should we say, persuaded to not travel? It need not be anything too egregious. But they do not listen to me. They would listen to Ser Quillian Oakheart, the Hammer of the Dornish, I am sure." He blinks. There's a name.

Whether or not Johanna will actually carry the message is likely unclear, but she does at least listen as the reason for the request is made, possibly being too nosy for her own good. "The Hammer of the Dornish?" This is repeated, eyes wide as she regards Parizad, bursting into laughter a moment later. "The Hammer of the Dornish. Oh Gods, that is fantastic. I am going to have to share that one with Quillian, I imagine he will love it."

"I am sure we can tell stories of how storied Dornishmen died at our hands. It will be a cheeful thing, no?" For a moment, there is a bloodthirsty glint in Parizad's eyes. He looks over to the fire as this happens, and it is clearly dying down. "Serdar!" He shouts something again in Myrish and it sounds like a command. The big tattooed man who was staring at the fire clasps a fist to his chest and begins gathering some sand.

"I am sure our interests will diverge one day. But if it pleases him, I would say that there are several men that carry Dornish blood in their veins that will no longer breathe this world's air. One day I will return home. And I would have no need to involve the Oakhearts, or the Reach in my plans. I am a loyal Dornishman, it is my countrymen that have…forgotten, one would say, where their loyalties lie. If it would take a Hammer to remind them? Sometimes a Hammer is a tool, as well as a weapon." He lazily scrambles to his feet, like an overfed cat who just awoke from a nap. "Now, I must go tend the Fire as is in accordance with my Lord's wishes. Some obligations are easy. And I would not interrupt you from venting your hatred upon my other countrymen, who I must repeat, should not know that we had this conversation. Although it is so cute when Lord Blackmont becomes angry."

Johanna is slower in getting to her feet, one hand brushing off the back of her skirt discreetly once there. "Don't worry, I don't make it a habit of confiding anything in the Dornish, even the secrets of the Dornish." Not that she has many of those, but given her family, their history, and her open hatred of that country and it's people, that's no surprise. "And don't worry yourself, there is little in this world that could get in the way of my hatred for your countrymen." Another thin smile follows. "It was… interesting, meeting you, Parizad Uller." With that she leans down to pick up her basket from the ground, then turns to stroll off toward the city.

"Every song may be heard and every sung, but there are only some that one will remember. May the Lord of Light guide you — wherever you must go." Parizad offers this benediction, which is probably unwanted and unneeded, to the retreating form of Johanna Oakheart now. He doesn't linger overlong in doing so. "And be careful. My countrymen are not as — open-minded as I am. But again, you knew this." With that, he and his disturbing goon return their attentions to tending the fire.

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