(121-06-10) Unbowed, Unintimidated
Unbowed, Unintimidated
Summary: A Princess and an Heir have a slight difference of opinion.
Date: Date of play (10/06/2014)
Related: Lots.
Players:
Arnau..Mariya..

Surely the White Stone Manse boasts some sort of library, even if it is a modest one, and no doubt books and other items for perusal can be found between the residents of the manse, past and present. Whether there is a room set aside specifically for that purpose does not matter on this day, for one man has taken his reading to some windows that look out to the garden area behind the manse proper. It makes for a pleasing view in the moments one looks up from whatever they are doing, while the stone provides a cool protection for the heat of the garden proper. Arnau's green eyes are fixed on a small bound book he holds in a hand, sitting in his seat with legs crossed so that an ankle rests on the opposite leg's knee.

Mariya has found herself in the library often, lost in one book or another. It was her place of refuge when the Dornish were under house arrest before the Trial. For the time being, however, the young Martell princess has not come there in search of a book. Instead, she has come to find the man holding one. After conducting a thorough search of the downstairs, she has meticulously combed through every public room until finally she pauses at the door of the library when she sees Arnau sitting there. If he was not to be found in the public rooms, she was not above starting to knock on personal doors. Luckily, she will not have to resort to that. "Lord Arnau." Her greeting is proper. As is her posture, hands clasped in front of her. "I would like a word."

Luckily for her, she has not needed to knock on private doors. One never knows what one will stumble across doing that sort of thing. For his part, Arnau is a little less proper — or at least, less flamboyantly gallant — looking up from his book with a nondescript expression to eye the princess a second before he shuts what he was reading with a firm clap of paper. It is set aside shortly after and he sets both feet on the ground. "Princess. Speak your mind then," he graciously offers the Martell.

Had she stumbled upon something, Mariya would most likely be blushing and stammering. Luckily, she is composed, though it is easy to see that she is tense. Perhaps the shock would have loosened her up. She studies the Blackmont Lord for a moment as she steps in to the library. Her hands clench tighter, attempting to rein in emotion. "I can imagine that you know why I am here." She pauses, but does not wait much longer for him to respond one way or another. "I will not argue with your right as Dornishman to duel another. Despite that I think this duel is wrong, I cannot stop it. All I am here for is to ensure Ser Daevon's life."

If he imagines or not, Lord Arnau does not give any sign of it one way or the other — certainly nothing that can be read into without a careful study of his person over time. It doesn't matter though, as Mariya barges on forward regardless of any response he might have. "You are, of course, entitled to your opinion," he finally says after a heavy space of silence. It's the polite way of saying 'you opinion is wrong'. "I hope, at least, you are here on behalf of Princess Mariya Martell, serving the Queen's wishes, and not just Mariya the girl."

"I can be both." Mariya gives Arnau a level stare, only a hint of anger behind it. She clasps her hands further, not caring whether her opinion is wrong or not. "I have deep affection for Ser Daevon, but I can only imagine what would be done if he were killed by you." Proudly, she lifts her chin. "He is promised to marry me to ensure the peace between our realms. If he were to be killed by you for an act that many would see as heroic - the search and rescue of Lady Yael - I can only imagine what their King would think of it. Especially as our betrothal was announced by Princess Rhaenys at the Trial of Seven of which you were the orchestrator." Her voice constricts slightly. The Trial where the Dornish lost so soundly, where Ser Osric fell. "I am reminded of how important this marriage is every day. I would impress upon you the same necessity."

"The difference, Princess," Arnau begins to explain, accent rolling off his tongue slowly, "Is that one is in errand for the kingdom of Dorne and the other is a foolish heart of a young girl. I have no interest in entertaining the wishes of the latter." It is something of a warning, if one without any real threat, mildly spoken as it is. Then he leans forward in his chair to fix her with a sharp look from under his brows. "The Lady Yael rescued herself from her captors. She was almost home, at the foothills of our Red Mountains, when she was intercepted by Ser Daevon's man and coerced to return to Oldtown to fear for her life. And that is the truth." His nostrils flare with a deep breath taken. "That is what I am owed satisfaction for. And you have no right to try to tell me otherwise, knowing what you did."

"I, in fact, have every right." Mariya's knuckles whiten, her anger and fear for Daevon starting to show through. Her words are biting. "So what if I have a heart of a foolish young girl? What is wrong with pleading for the life of someone dear to you? Did you not wish for Lady Yael's safe return? Why are your wishes sound and mine foolish?" She gives a quick and violent shake of her head and changes the topic. "Yes, she did. And I rejoiced in that, as she watched me as a child in Sunspear. And, yes, while she was almost in Dorne, she was also in an area heavily raided by Westerosi. The unjust attack on the Red Rookery should be proof of that alone. To think her safe just because she reached the other side of the mountains is foolish. It was miles yet to go until she reached Blackmont. Eonn wished to return her to the city you, yourself, resided in and for proof that she lived when many thought her killed in the attack." Her back straightens. "And what did I do, Lord Blackmont? Wish for her safety? Fear for her life? Pray, tell me. Perhaps I should prepare my swords for tomorrow." Despite the fact that everyone knows that Mariya has absolutely no skill with a blade. Or any sort of fighting skills.

"Then you and your betrothed are a good match after all." In another context, it would be a compliment, but these words have bite. "You can both be fools together, twisting the truth to whatever you fashion pleases you most and wallow in ignorance." Arnau looks steadily unimpressed, even as her knuckles whiten. He shakes his head, slow and serious. "You cannot be a foolish young girl and a tent pole of a monarchy. My wife was taken and wished to return home. You defend someone who seems show you little enough respect. Or do you not hear of him going to private rooms with others?" He slams a fist into the arm of the chair. "You defend someone who took my wife hostage instead of returning her home, who wished to use her as some sort of proof, in who's home she did not feel safe!"

"Wishes and intentions do not make up for actions taken and mistakes made." The Lord Blackmont seethes and though his words have a crack to them like an avalanche, they to not gain much in volume, just intensity. "I would begin calling you Princess Mariya Targaryen now, if I thought your intended actually wanted to marry you as much as you apparently do he. It is the side of the border you would rather stand on this day."

"I twist no truth. It makes no difference what you think I am. I am of Nymeros Martell and my mother's daughter. You can attempt to call me whatever you wish, but that fact will never change." Mariya's voice finally flashes with anger, flinging her hands down to her side. She does not respond directly to the rumors of Daevon and his Braavosi. Instead, she spits back in an attempt to wound him as he did her, "She was taken by wholly different people than Ser Daevon. If this was about her safety instead of your pride, then perhaps you would have found her before he did."

There's a quick breath before she continues, "He wished her safe. If he wished to use her as proof he would have paraded her through the streets of Oldtown to show that she lived and that it was the Knights Errant that perpetrated the atrocities at the Red Rookery." She has no chair to punch the arm of to prove her point, no way to punctuate her sentences that would not seem petulant and childish. Her voice raises, not able to restrain it as Arnau does. "Instead, he kept her in his Manse for her safety. The Reachmen are bastards of the worst kind and would delight in causing more grief to another Dornishwoman in the guise of questioning her. He wished to spare her from more trauma."

"Ah, so then you have spoken to my wife, have you? You have asked her of her troubles and her journey? Or do you just stand before me, spouting the words of another with a bleeding heart for one not worthy of it? " Arnau does not stand up from his chair, does not feel he needs the greater height to loom. He sits with straight back and wide legs, feet firmly on the ground. He sits as though he resides in a throne room and not the library and stares the Princess's anger down. "Then act like it." He lets those simple words fall heavily in the face of her declaration of lineage.

"Though I do not believe Ser Daevon to be behind Wickham's Nest," the words are rather dismissive, "Unless you know the identity of the lord who kidnapped my wife, then you should not jump to conclusions without proof. I have already shed my blood and that of others seeking my wife. Nothing has happened as it should." A subtle change in expression is a clench of jaw, the muscles standing out in cheek and temple briefly. "He kept information from her. He did not share that her people were here, next door, where she could have been instead, even though I was still a hostage myself. She did not feel safe nor spared." Arnau tilts his chin up slightly. "He made mistakes and when called on those mistakes whined like a babe instead of accepting like a man."

"I am." It would not take much for Arnau to tower over Mariya. She is a small figure, despite how much she wishes her personality and anger would grant her a greater height or force of presence. "Oh, yes, and you, of course, have spoken to the men she would have spoken against should Ser Daevon forced her as proof? They are well intentioned men, who would have her best at heart, are they? Should they have seen her show up at the Dornish Manse they would leave her be?"

Despite her somewhat rational argument, suddenly, her voice is sharp and she takes a step forward. "Do not tell me of the blood shed for your wife. You were the one to yield while my goodbrother died on the field of the Trial. You are able to return to your wife and fight Ser Daevon for her while Ser Osric lies in Starfall and his children grow up without a father. My sister without a husband. You were the one to demand the Trial. And Ser Daevon was the one to find your wife alive. You've your own mistakes. At least Ser Daevon's ended with finding a life. Yours only ended with the death of a man most beloved."

"Then you should know entitlement does not suit you and nor is it particularly impressive." Certainly more force of presence would feel helpful in the face of Arnau's bluntness, as seemingly unmovable as the mountains he hails from. "Ah, I see you too have so little respect for your own people that you do not believe she would have been save in these walls. I wonder why you even remain here yourself under such terrible conditions, where as you believe, any Reachman can enter unopposed and do as they wish. Though I suppose your family does entertain unsavory types in these halls these days." He makes a dismissive gesture with a hand, as that is besides the point.

In the face of her anger, the Lord Blackmont is very still, in the way a predator seems to be before they strike as opposed to fear. "Ser Osric was as my wedding. Do not, do not, presume that I take any of what happened in vain," he warns, voice low. "He fought for Dorne and I would not diminish his sacrifice by even suggesting that to do so was not worth it. He chose to fight and he chose to keep fighting. I will bear my own marks of failure that day, as I should, but I was not the one to fell him." Now he does stand, casting a great shadow from the light behind him of the windows. "I demanded justice, not a Trial, and I have only had to pay the men who felled my family, but your family would have mine marry their murders. AGAIN." The temper he had largely kept is lost, and he bellows the last word. "Ser Daevon sat in his manse and found nothing. He sent someone out into the wild who, by chance, found and captured her. I am grateful they did not mean harm. I will not be made to be grateful for the fear my wife felt in company."

"Suit me?" Mariya almost huffs, but keeps it retrained. "It is not my doubt for her ability, but the wish to spare her further hurt. She had just been through a kidnapping and a worse. If anyone could spare her further harm, would you not wish it? Had anyone submitted her to questioning, you would be just as angry." There is a confused look. "Why do I remain here? Because I am betrothed to Ser Daevon and must marry him to secure the peace. I am not allowed to return to Sunspear or to cross the Dornish border. This is not just the decree of the Westerosi King, but of my mother. So, do not speak of agreements you have no knowledge of."

There is a raised eyebrow. When he stands, she tilts her chin upward, unwilling to concede. "Yes, and I was at Ser Osric's weding. If you do not take his death in vain, then do not act as the victor. You were not. You lost, Lord Arnau. Ser Osric believed in you and if we are to believe the Gods, then you betrayed him." She takes a shuddering breath. "We all well speak knowing what transpired, but you did not know you would lose. Ser Daevon did not know the Reachmen would not claim Lady Yael for questioning or worse." She glances downward. "I know now that the Knights you declared against attacked the Red Rookery. The fight you lost is meaningless. Ser Osric's death meaningless. If we had waited to find Lady Yael, she could have pronounced those who attacked Wickham's Nest Westerosi. But, you declared the need of a Trial. So, am I to forgive you for his death? Despite his good intentions? Your good intentions?"

"I speak of our fellow countrymen to protect one of their own. Of my guards and servants that came with me from Blackmont who could be charged with her care as she is their Lady. I do wish she could be spared harm, but not all harm is physical or intentional. And I wish she was able to make decisions for herself having all the information available, not just what people decided she should have." To the confused look, Arnau points down at the floor, looking mildly frustrated. "Here, this manse. You speak as though my wife staying with the Targaryens was the only place she would be safe, when she could have been here, as you and I are."

"Betrayed him? I do not need some ignorant girl to tell my of the losses I have suffered. Nor do I need someone who knows nothing of combat to speak to me in such a way. Ser Osric fought because he volunteered, as everyone did. I betrayed no one. The Seven betrayed us." Lord Blackmont's fists clench at his sides. "And if you believe that fighting for Dorne is meaningless than you can claim all the blood you want, but you are NOTHING. A bastard has more respect for those sacrifices than a supposed Princess of Dorne." There is such a dark look on his face as he takes a single step forward before stilling himself. "I do not care if you forgive me. I do not seek or need the forgiveness of someone so misguided. I demanded the return of my wife from those Lords Errant and justice for those they slaughtered. Your family had as much of a hand in what happened as mine did." He smiles, but it is not a nice smile, it is sharp and black. "I had no intention of killing Ser Daevon. But you make me reconsider my position."

"Yes, but your Blackmont guards did little to protect Lady Yael when she was taken by Westerosi. Nor did they do much to find her after the fact." Mariya glares at him, clenching her fists as if to punch him. She does not, however. "I wish a good many things. That my goodbrother lived, that Lady Yael had been spared all that she had been through. Did you lose anyone so close to you in the Trial? As I did? The Seven certainly failed us, but it was you that put the question before them. In fact, you were not in Oldtown at the beginning, Arnau." She forgoes his title. "We were put under house arrest. We were then taken under custody of the Hightowers, unable to leave. You do not understand anything of Oldtown."

Mariya puts a steadying hand on a bookshelf. "I need know nothing of combat to know the suffering your decisions have cost. I see it every day in my niece's eyes. That is the cost of pride. If your cause was for Dorne, the Gods did not see it so. They weighed against you. Ser Osric decided to fight for a cause. You cannot deny it as yours. One that he died for while you live." She raises her eyes to Arnau's. "If you are attempting to make an argument that it was all for Dorne, then you lost. The Gods deemed you wrong minded. That is not me speaking, but the Seven."

Mariya draws herself up to her full height - though it is not that much - and rests her hands to her sides. "Many a man may join an army, but it is the general who loses the war. You tell me your quarrel with Ser Daevon is that he will not admit his pride in his attempt to help Lady Yael. I would fight for Dorne with my very last breath. But, I put my faith in the Father to spare those involved in the fight and he did not listen."

At Arnau's final declaration, Mariya straightens and gives him only a steady look. She is terrified, but for once, her shaking and her anger is pushed aside. She gives Arnau a steady look. "I care not who wins this this duel, as the Seven have only shown me they do not care for truth. However, if your pride to spite me will out-rule the Princess of Dorne's wishes, then know there are consequences. You may beat Ser Daevon to a pulp. As long as he survives to his wedding day, Dorne does not mind his state."

"You speak so much and know so little. You know nothing of what happened to my wife and you will cease speaking of her and what happened to her. My people and I spent months looking for her, so do not tell me what they did or did not do." Arnau's chest heaves with breaths, anger restrained, if barely so. "I will not apologize for seeking the justice for those dead. You betray Ser Osric's memory by dismissing his actions as meaningless. You cheapen everything about him. and you betray Dorne by dismissing all those dead at the Red Rookery that wanting justice is only for pride." Openly, he sneers at the princess, plainly disgusted and not bothering to hide it. "I will quarrel with Ser Daevon because he has wronged my family and repeatedly tripped over his own feet and offered insult while trying to help."

"You would fight for yourself and nothing more, as you are doing now. You belittle your own people and the sacrifices they have made. Instead of support, you offer condemnations. Instead of sympathy, you speak to shame. Instead of wisdom, you spout ignorance. You only care selectively for Dorne, whatever you claim." The Lord Blackmont towers, looking down his nose at Mariya. "I used to think he was unworthy of you," the anger is not gone, but it is a cool anger now, spoken through gritted teeth of a man wounded, "I see now why it is you chosen to be bethrothed. You are good for nothing but lying on your back and having Westerosi children. Get out of my sight. As you have insulted every aspect of my character and my House, you can have nothing further to say. And I am no longer in the mood to humor you."

"Oh, I know nothing of what happened to her?" Mariya sneers at Arnau finally. "I was kidnapped by a Westerosi dog once. There was much he wished of me and I heard all of it described in graphic detail while I was tied for his leisure. It was Ser Daevon who rescued me. You are the one that does not understand what you speak. Many can attempt to describe or explain it to you, but until you are actually faced with the terror, you will never know." She shakes her head in an almost pitying manner. "I was not the one who told all those dead at the Red Rookery that their deaths were worth naught. It was the Trial of Seven you yourself called that did that. That was where the Gods declared the Reachmen cleared of all charges despite knowing they did, indeed, perpetrate the monstrosity. It was for a fight apparently already lost that Ser Osric fought. That is what you led him to. It was your need for a Trial that led us here. If you had waited even a week, Lady Yael would have been found to provide her testimony."

She turns for the door before Arnau attempts to dismiss her. But, she stops. "Ser Osric died thinking that the attack on the Red Rookery was wrong. He gladly fought for you and your cause and I encouraged him. The Gods were the ones that tried to tell him and us that was not true. I care very much for Dorne. You are the one that would kill Ser Daevon for spite of me, which would spin us into war. Many more Dornish would die for your pride. You may think me ignorant, but you are the one that declares anger and pride as means for war. Lady Yael was badly abused by men who were not Ser Daevon Targaryen. Should he pay that price because those men are supposedly dead? Should Dorne pay that price by a war? I have made my own sacrifices to my country which you disdain to see. You are an arrogant man who only wishes to see his own pain and sacrifices repaid. That is all well and good for a minor house of Dorne, but that is not what your name is supposed to yield. You're the one that holds the insult to your House." With a glare of anger, she spins out of the library.

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