(121-06-15) Raptor Circles Fox
Raptor Circles Fox
Summary: Alaryn Martell tracks down Arrick Gargalen to cross spears and, much to the latter's chagrin, share words.
Date: Date of play (16/06/2014)
Related: Probably Tons!
Players:
Alaryn..Alaeyna..Arrick..Mariya..

With the sky offering an hour, maybe less, worth of sun, the tourney grounds went from an emptied field of mud to an active mud hole in the blink of an eye. All about the area there are pings and clanks of armor and sword as knights and squires have begun conducting their daily warrior tasks.

Down at one end of the field stands a Dornishman wearing the scale armor of his country, showing a younger man the wonders of swordfighting. The armored man looks to be getting agitated as he gracefully brings a broadsword up and down, showing proper form when parrying a high strike. Finally, after a few more attempts the armored man throws the sword down, and orders the younger man off the grounds. The armored man grunts and folds his arms, looking annoyed as he watches the younger man head off the field.

"The youth these days, hmm?" It comes from off behind Arrick, on his left flank, the slosh of lightly armored bootfalls displacing mud on the descent and ascent potentially giving away the infamous Martell's approach before he actually speaks. Dark eyes drop from Arrick to the yard grounds, a grim distaste etched on his face as he experiments with his footing and circles the area not unlike a stalking predator. The way he returns to studying Arrick through those dark eyes, so much like Alaryn's younger sister's yet so much more dangerous, likely doesn't help the impression.

Alaryn Martell's own scale is sleek, custom-fitted to the tall prince's lithely corded frame and cast in burnished gold that reflects the sun in a manner that would be far more painful under the Dornish skies, but isn't precisely easy to stare at even here, when caught properly. A spear easily a foot longer than he is tall is carried in the crook of one arm, its wavy point gripped by paired raptor's talons and currently pointed groundward. The man's heavy accent carries little serious derision— more an intentional irony as he addresses the accomplished younger warrior, a small smile playing across his lips. It's undertoned by the kind of look one has when chuckling at an in-joke, save Aryn hasn't told one. By all appearances. "They just don't work as hard at it as we like to think we did."

Turning his head to the left as boots are heard making their way through the mud, the corner of Arrick's mouth twitches only slightly as a raptor makes his presence known on the grounds. "No, they don't do much of anything you want them to. That one would rather read books and tell stories than shed a little blood on the field, tourney or battle." That twitching at the corner of Arrick's mouth turns to a smirk as his eyes turn back to the departing boy. "He's my cousin of house Dalt though, so I forgive him." Arrick lets out a laugh as he turns about, scales clanking together, "Are you looking for something to do my Prince? Armor and spear seem to suggest something." Arrick stalks over to a nearby weapons rack and he takes hold of a shield that was hanging in wait, never taking his eyes off the Prince. "I could use a little work." The knight then also takes hold of a spear, not quite as special as Alaryn's, but useful nonetheless. Arrick slowly spins the spear about in one hand and peers back towards the other Dornishman, practically expecting a fight.

"Does it?" Alaryn glances to the finely crafted, well-balanced weapon in his hand and rotates it deftly, spinning end over end to land it in his other hand, and then seat the butt of the spear in the crook of the opposite arm fluidly enough that a lesser eye might have to double-take to be sure anything was different in the image. "They told me I could find you down here, Ser Arrick." Though why, and who exactly 'they' might be is left hanging in the air, for a moment.

"Never let the water in your veins dictate your perspective." He advises, simply, and forwardly, instead. "Right and wrong know no family or fidelity but their own." Humanist ideals? In Westeros? The sure mark of a man destined for a violent death; this one just happens to have accepted that a long time ago. A serpentine sway sees that long spear passed behind the Crimson Raptor's back, back to his primary hand and out to the side in a sweeping arc that accompanies a low bow, "If you'd like to dance, I'll not say no." Clearly, it was his intention, after all. A wry arch of one brow precedes the amendment, "Though I cannot promise to charm as gracefully as my little sister." The wise would likely immediately hearken back to Alaryn's approach— and that knowing smile.

<COMBAT> Alaryn attacks Arrick with Spear - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).
<COMBAT> Arrick attacks Alaryn with Spear but Alaryn DODGES!

Arrick's little show of twirling the spear stops at the mention of Alaryn's sister, for many reasons that apparently don't need to be said. The Gargalen's eyes narrow at the Martell and he responds seeming to be annoyed, "I've heard you may even be MORE charming, something about those talons and what they can do." With that said Arrick springs forth, charging with the shield and trying to put the spear to good use.

Unfortunately, Arrick overplays his positioning by a wide margin and is struck squarely in the chest, causing a loud groan to come from the younger knight. He stumbles back and peers about, looking embarrassed and angry, saying with hate filling his voice, "You came down here to discuss things or are you game to fight this out?" Arrick grunts again as he begins stalking about, looking to be less interested in a show and more interested in the fight. The knight moves forth again, this time barreling forward with intent to injure, rather than just barreling forward to strike a blow.

Alaeyna is standing on the field, near the lowest level of the stands, leaning her back against the wooden rail nonchalantly while she watches the men spar from her distance. She's garbed in Fowler blue, a vibrant cerulean hue, her dress long and flowing and flickering in the light Oldtown breeze where she stands, statuesque, to spectate, now and then shielding her eyes with her hand to better her view.

"I suppose it's all a matter of perspective." The sleekly armored prince postulates, deceptively relaxed even as Arrick sets his footing and charges. The Raptor of Dorne lets the Desert Fox close nearly all the distance on his own, weighing momentum and style with the intent, deadly eye of a man infamous for the number of throats he's cut in combat— single and otherwise. When Arrick seeks to summarily skewer him, the lithe Martell spins a singular rotation to the side, scantly evading the stroke… a span that seems calculated, or instinctual, and gives no more ground than he must. It also carries him to the outside of Arrick's spear hand, clear of his shield, and in perfect position to drive that cruelly curved point home.

There's force enough behind the strike to damage mail, precision enough to penetrate— the kind of stroke that could have given Gargalen a mark to carry the rest of his life, instead applied meaningfully to the suit of scale and torn upwards with a practiced arc that barely draws blood before it can conclude. Aryn's footfalls are graceful, swift, overly elaborate— like he's dancing, or playing a game as he continues to move along the Gargalen knight's right flank, holding his distance. "I have to choose one? I'm -so- terrible at denying myself anything.." he muses, self-depricating with his own reputation. The renewed charge brings a grin to his face, nonetheless, stance still failing to set into anything approaching a 'proper' Westerosi fighting form— his form is held fluid, his footing ever shifting. "I already know you're in love." No specification offered of -which- he refers to. It's offered low, in the last instants before that renewed clash.

<COMBAT> Arrick has changed stance to banzai.
<COMBAT> Alaryn attacks Arrick with Spear - ARMOR on Abdomen stops the attack!
<COMBAT> Arrick attacks Alaryn with Spear - Light wound to Neck (Reduced by Armor).

As the knight barreled forward, he managed to land a blow up high at the neck, a place that if Arrick were hit in a spar, he'd become quite angry. With the grace of a knight who has done this a time or two, the Gargalen then shuffles backwards and smirks as he did earlier, answering Alaryn's words with annoyance, "If you KNOW, then there's not much else to talk of now is there?" Arrick sneers at the thought of his stealthy, or at least he thought it was, interest in a certain Princess being so widely known. "Enough of this…" Arrick tosses his shield aside and says, "It was getting in the way, much like this conversation…" The knight then rushes forward again, sweeping the spear around in an arc, looking to strike the man again, this time lower and harder, hoping to push this fight past words and into just open, physical conflict.

To say that Alaeyna delights in watching these two Dornish champions trade blows is an understatement, and when Arrick drops his shield to charge at Alaryn, she tilts her head to follow him with her dark, attentive stare, in open anticipation of the reception The Crimson Raptor will offer him.

From behind Alaeyna's shoulder, Mariya appears. Though she gets little joy in seeing people fight - and even less pleasure in knowing the fight involves two people she cares very deeply about, she sits down next to the Dornishwoman without much else other than a greeting of, "Lady Alaeyna."

This time, the Martell Prince's deft maneuvering doesn't save him— the spearhead grazes across, and into the scale covering his neck as he darts sideways, splitting the metal and leaving a reminder that would be all the more painful if Arrick didn't mean to spare him. Which, hopefully, is still the case. His own whirling retort is cut short as it clangs into that soon-discarded shield, and the Raptor of Dorne is left to pivot, anchoring a foot and kicking off with the other one as a aerial twist brings him down clear of any further reprisal.

"So simple, is it? I'm surprised it's not yet resolved itself, then." He's not surprised— and it's also clear Alaryn finds little simple about it. His smile scarcely wavers, despite the dangerous stroke that could have killed him even in such a spar. He grips his own spear firmly and eyes Arrick evenly as he renews the charge, dancing back from the stroke and seeking to answer it with a single, mighty thrust in that instant that Gargalen's guard overextends fully.

<COMBAT> Arrick attacks Alaryn with Spear but Alaryn DODGES!
<COMBAT> Alaryn attacks Arrick with Spear - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor).

"Hello, princess," Alaeyna says when Mariya comes up to join her, kissing either of her cheeks and treating her to a flash of a smile. "Don't these fine sons of Dorne make your heart positively swell to look upon them?" She tears her stare from them, the better to study the young Martell woman.

Arrick does just as the Prince expects him to as he rushes forth, letting his guard down the knight is smashed squarely in chest again, this time, different from the last, the scales offer little help in cushioning the blow, causing the knight to grunt loudly as he goes face first into the sand, his spear falling to his side. After a moment down in the mud the knight pounds a scaled greave into the ground and rises to a knee, old mud and maybe some caked blood filling the cracks of the scales on the chest piece.

"You seem pretty sure of the outcome of this AND that." Arrick doesn't make it too clear of what -that- is, but it can be figured rather easily. After a momentary pause, Arrick reaches for his spear and rises, using the shaft to assist the climb to standing. He then twirls the spear and asks with a pained expression across his face, "You're not acting surprised, I'm curious as to why?" Arrick steadily shifts his stance and moves in slowly this time, looking to land a few glancing blows, rather than putting this famed fighter down quickly as he seemingly thought he could.

"It certainly does beat faster." Mariya smooths her skirts as her eyes follow her brother and Arrick as they circle each other dangerously. Though she knows this is a sparring match, the spearhead toward her brother's throat manages to illicit a soft gasp. "Though, I will be honest, the sight does not make me happy." The blow to Arrick's chest causes her to wince.

There's no move to finish the battle when Arrick falls. Alaryn simply circles the Desert Fox a span outside spear's reach, eyes intent on his faux adversary. Patient, precise, alert, and lethal— there's little question where the Raptor of Dorne might have earned and reinforced his monicker. It's easy to dismiss the infamous Martell's flippancy as disregard— but it would seemingly be a rather dangeorus mistake, indeed. "Do I?" Aryn muses it over for a half-moment, as if not entirely sure if he -is- sure, and it's a new idea he's forced to consider.

"I suppose these things, and those things, do have a momentum of their own, Ser Arrick." The wry, rakish expression is touched by a subtle show of sorrow— or perhaps simply sympathy. "Thus, why should I be surprised? The two of you have been close for years; she has grown into a beautiful woman, inside and out." He's patient for his own part, wary eyes and reflexive muscle-memory seeking to answer the testing strokes with egress or deflection as they dart nearer, a sudden slice bringing his blade diagonally from low to high to criss-cross the Desert Fox's form and seek to add one more stroke to his growing repository of injuries— both real and implicit. The tale may not be one told from tavern to tavern, but Alaryn Martell is all but notorious for his capacity to observe and ferret out things he was not meant to know.

<COMBAT> Arrick has changed stance to normal.
<COMBAT> Arrick attacks Alaryn with Spear but Alaryn DODGES!
<COMBAT> Alaryn attacks Arrick with Spear - Light wound to Left Hand (Reduced by Armor).

Alaeyna's gaze follows Mariya's back to the field, the elegance of the slow circling that keeps the men moving about each other in graceful whorls one she appreciates, even if the princess in her company does not. She says, "Here are two men who care deeply for you, each in their own way. If this contest leads them to a common purpose and understanding, why shouldn't it please you? I have seen men pick up their weapons as rivals and put them down as friends."

There is a beauty in a fight well fought, however, Mariya has always been more interested in words and stories than in blades and spears. To her, all fights and battles look a bit brutal and ugly. All she sees is the pain. There's a sidelong glance at Alaeyna. "I am sure you have the right of my brother, but I am sure Ser Arrick is here to test his skills against a man much famed in Dorne for his fighting prowess. There is no need for rivalry between them."

"I did not mean to say that there was," Alaeyna assures Mariya, of rivlary, turning her head to catch the other woman's eye. "Only that this is betimes how men come to understand each other." And then she leans in to the princess, whispering something at her ear.

Now working more cautiously than before, the Gargalen knight moved in rather slowly and took aim at the Prince, looking for a quick surprising strike. Not moving quick enough it seems, Arrick's spear goes wide of the Prince and for all the trouble he receives a slash on his scaled arm, pain obvious on his face.

Moving back a moment Arrick seems to consider the implications of Alaryn's words and he says having lost a lot of his annoyance and anger from earlier, "Can I trust that you'd rather your sister be with a man of Dorne, rather than what she's faced with now?" Arrick readies the spear again and aims center mass, looking to inflict some damage while keeping his own at a minimum.

"I would rather see my sister with a good man, living a happy, long life." Alaryn answers, choosing neither of the multiple choice options in front of him— he's known for that, as well. "If there were a nation of such men in this world, it would not be the world that it is." There's a satisfied nod despite the strike that he lands, as Arrick evades a more meaningful wound.

The Raptor shifts gears, now, stalking suddenly to the side and forward and pressing his own attack, seeking to deflect that stroke and whirl in on the Desert Fox, that talon-mounted blade whirling about his body with audible rush, the displacement of air heralding the attempt to put the Gargalen knight back on the defensive. Alaryn's feet, meanwhile, scarcely touch the ground, coming in from one angle, and then the next in a blur of leveraged, uncanny bladework. "That you look down on the Dragonboy for his origins, build yourself up on yours diminishes /you/, not /him/!" It's not so much a defense of Daevon as a lesson for Arrick— though whether a man will see it that way is ever unpredictable, in the Raptor's expansive experience.

<COMBAT> Arrick attacks Alaryn with Spear but Alaryn DODGES!
<COMBAT> Alaryn attacks Arrick with Spear - ARMOR on Right Arm stops the attack!

Taking another blurred shot on the arm, as his own arc went wide, Arrick shuffles back and sticks the head of the spear into the muddy ground. Looking the man Prince up and down he says with a tilt of his head and hand on the muddy chest piece that's likely covering blood, "You speak of that dragon as your sister does. This is the same dragon who had Lady Yael this entire time, who lied about having her taken from our land and bringing her to this place of shit Reachmen."

Arrick painfully shrugs then continues, "I do not look down on the man so much as I just don't wish to look at him at all. I don't like thinking of Mariya suffering under the watchful eyes of those who would take her hostage if the opportunity arose." Arrick brings his free hand to the shaft of the spear and he says, "I think you've proven your point on this day." Arrick then wipes at the muddied chest piece, exposing more red than black, saying finally, "Unless you've got more to teach, I'm done." Arrick lifts the spear and readies it in case there are more lessons to learn, instead of offense though, he's looking to play defense now.

"You do realize that the 'plot' to protect Yael was my sister's brainchild?" Alaryn inquires softly, an amused expression on his face and a slow breath released as he steps back from the fray, the tip of his spear lowering— though not into the mud as Arrick's does. "Not that I'll ever try to insist it was a flawless plan." He's not -stupid- by most measures. "But protecting the knowledge of her location was certainly an important aspect to the one at play." Doing the right thing while playing the right cards may always be ideal.. but Aryn gave up on ideal as norm a long time ago.

"For what it may be worth, when you speak of Mariya.." the name hangs fondly, melodic, intoned just so on the infamous Martell's lips, "You sound like Ser Daevon." In part, nearly word for word. There's no intended insult, and the look cast Arrick's way is a more overt sympathy, with definite traces of melancholy. "It is not as simple as you would like it to be. Easier as it would make it on us all. You fight well, and your heart is in the right place." These are important things, in the Raptor's assessment, offered freely and frankly. "But what you still need to learn, I cannot teach you. Be less sure it is about you, Ser Arrick— all of these things now entwine with the fate of nations, and no one here is exactly what they appear to be. We will speak more soon." Particularly from a perspective so predisposed to bias. A final, small smile is offered towards the Desert Fox, and Alaryn turns to pace towards the stands, away from the younger warrior.

Alaeyna hovers at Mariya's side as the men conclude their sparring, and she watches as Arrick quits the grounds, the distance between them too great for her to be an audience to the words they exchange, only the blows. Her hand shielding her gaze against the sun, she marks the approach of Alaryn to the stands with a "Here's your brother," to Mariya, and she pushes off from the rail, striding to meet the prince halfway, the silks she wears fluttering in the breeze with each purposeful step. Thusly she intercepts the Crimson Raptor, palming his forearm and skirting her hand down to his, that their fingers might entwine. "I confess I like you best as mine own dance partner, my prince, splendid as you looked taking Ser Arrick for a spin." Her words sparkle with the tease, and she sweeps him with a stare that takes him in, head to foot and back again, her smile flirtatious.

Alaeyna's approach subtly swiftens the Raptor's own, the armored prince approaching her with such a matching intensity that for a moment, it may seem that they would collide. Instead, his hand splays and turns to meet hers, fingers folding about the Fury's as he draws her in close in the last moments of her perusal, momentarily eye to eye. That gaze speaks volumes without Alaryn actually uttering a word, an intensity that makes the break of it to brush his lips to her cheeks almost a calmer thing.

"I can't say he was half as enjoyable." The infamous Martell utters in return, tone not unlike Alaeyna's own. "But it had to be done." Men like Arrick Gargalen seldom listen without profound demonstration to such things. A smile is passed past Alaeyna's shoulder to his younger sister, and a murmur subsequently turned towards the Fury's ear, "Such fretting— she always expects me to hurt someone. It's like she doesn't trust me." The hurt in his voice, or at least his words, is another layer of tease and levity. Why would Mariya -ever- think that?

Alaeyna offers a pair of kisses of her own to each of his cheeks when he draws in to deliver her the same, lingering at each brush of her lips a heartbeat longer than is strictly necessary, as such a greeting goes. She meets the Raptor's eye when she pulls back from him, her fierce stare equally intense, and equally communicative of everything she does not give voice to in that very moment. Instead, when she speaks, it's of Arrick. "I have ever found him to be most receptive to my own ideas when I've a knife in hand," says the Fury of Skyreach, and though her tone is airy and light, her knowing smile belies the truth of her words. Following Alaryn's gaze back to the stands, her fingers splayed with his, toying with them as they weave, she tilts her head to receive his whisper, and tells him, "We women have a habit of fretting for those we love." As if she were the sort to do the same.

There's a soft chuckle at the mirroring assessment of Arrick, and Aryn offers a simple, affirming nod. Alaeyna's expression is studied with an interest that's clearly not entirely scientific, the subtler cues seldom lost on the Martell prince. It lasts until she searches out Mariya, and the words that follow draw a firmer squeeze, still ginger given the scaled metal that half-gloves his hands. He disengages just long enough to pass off these and the spear he carries to a quiet servant who all but appears behind him, catching up after the prince's abrupt shift in course brought them here, before also shedding golden, scaled helm and shaking his long dark hair out in the humid air. Rather quickly, he's re-snagging that hand with a rather more forceful squeeze. "I'm fine." He notes simply— nasty, shallow cut beside his throat notwithstanding. Not that she was worried.

There is her brother. Mariya takes a moment to watch Arrick leave the field. There is a moment where she looks like she will follow him, but with the people around, she instead moves to her brother and Alaeyna. Her eyebrows raise a bit, seeing how the two are drawn to each other so closely even slightly longer than should. The looks between each other. While Mariya may be a naive person, she is at least a perceptive one. "I hope you are well, brother?" she greets as she moves closer to the pair. "I would hope there is not much reason to force Ser Arrick's hand at knifepoint."

She wasn't worried, and though Alaeyna regards the Raptor with an attentive eye as he sheds some of his armor, it's less to do with assessing the state his sparring with Arrick has left him in and more to do with admiring him. Her hand recaptured, she starts them on a promenade back toward the stands, meeting Mariya as she approaches. Alaeyna laughs at the princess's hopes, and crushes them by telling her summarily, "On the contrary, he seems to give me a fresh slew of reasons every time we speak." She seems to consider letting go of Alaryn's hand, but, well, he holds hers far too tightly.

'Should' is such a relative term, isn't it? Regardless, what he 'should' do in anyone's eyes but his own has never been -the- highest priority for Alaryn Martell. He shares little of Alaeyna's uncertainty in the moment, instead confirming Mariya's questioning look, after a fashion, with a light tug meant to bump Alaeyna shoulder to shoulder with him as he turns to face his sister alongside the Fury. There's a light chuckle at Alaeyna's words as the Dornish prince shakes his head. Some things never change. "What reason would -I- have to go after Ser Arrick?" Alaryn asks of his sister, in a tone that likely makes it /entirely/ obvious he's aware they've hidden something. Or, in this case, not hidden something. "I'm fine, Mari." He echoes his words from a moment before with a winning smile.

There's is a glance between her brother and Alaeyna and at the held hands as well as the shoulder bump. Well then. "And perhaps you give him a fresh set of reasons to offend him." Mariya gives Alaeyna a bit of a smile as she says it, clasping her hands in front of her. There is no malice there, but she also does not wish to hear Arrick disparaged in front of her. "He is a proud man, that is to be sure. But, aren't all of us who are Dornish?" To her brother, she shakes her head. The look she gives her brother is entirely innocent, much like the one she would give her mother when she was attempted to be caught out at having left the palace. "I certainly have no idea why the two of you would fight, merely that we happened upon the two of you sparring. Lady Alaeyna has just told me rightly that men often spar and come out of it better friends for the blood shed and the bruises made. In that, I hope the fight was worth your time?"

"House Fowler does not suffer insult, be they from proud men or foolish ones or lovesick ones. That he is so loyal a servant to you and yours, Princess, buys him tolerance that would not be afforded another." There may not be malice from Mariya, but whatever slight the Lady of Skyreach believes she's suffered without due satisfaction is yet fresh, and though her words are uttered in a level tone, there's an echo of her legendary fury at the heart of them. Where her hand is clasped in Alaryn's, it squeezes the tighter, but she proves content enough to leave it at that, casting her stare off in the direction Arrick disappeared in when Mariya poses the question she does to her brother.

The chuckle is echoed again at Mariya's assessment of Alaeyna offending Arrick— it's likely that this, too, seems entirely likely to the Martell prince. He's not fool enough to speak up in support of -either- stance, for his part. It's also clear that Alaryn is not buying his sister's innocent demeanor— for one thing, he's seen it too often. For another, he's a man who does his research. That, and Arrick already confirmed much of it even if the Raptor -had- been firing blind. It's not only the females of the family that have their wits about them, sometimes. The knowing half-smile remains plastered on his face more or less throughout, though a quizzical sidelong glance provides enough of a pause to suggest that Alaryn may not be familiar with the -true- core of any grievance between the Desert Fox and the Fury of Skyreach. It's passed over for the moment, however. "Time will tell how profound our understanding is." Aryn observes, an odd paradox of amusement and deeper concern in the words. "But worth my time? Oh, yes. The young knight of Gargalen is… so very vigorous." There's a coached measure of libidinous admiration in the words, in Alaryn's sparkling dark eyes, that's difficult to discern from the real thing.

"I have had enough of pride being our downfall. " Mariya looks to Alaeyna with something akin to a level stare. As much as the short princess can manage. "We are Dornish and I am sick of us fighting amongst each other while we are in the heart of the Reach. If you love me and if Ser Arrick loves me, the both of you will find common ground. You could find the good in Ser Daevon; I am told that as Dornish it should be easier to find it among our countrymen. In our own homeland, we can fight all we like. I would have us united on this ground at least." The Tourney Ground where Osric was killed. "As I love you, I would ask that you would put grievances aside unless they are great. And if it is, I would have it settled." She tilts her head, genuinely curious as she had not heard of the fight between the two. "Was Ser Arrick's insult one worth our people to be divided in a foreign land?" Her eyes flicker over to Alaryn, though either she does not get his joke or she has a proper mask in place when she tells him, "He did seem to fight well, brother." Though many may not be able to tell his falsehoods from reality, she knows her brother. "If you would say something, say it. We are family here."

"The trouble, of course, is that making a habit of brooking insult is the province of the weak, the domain of lords no self-respecting man would serve," Alaeyna offers in swift riposte, but not without the grace of ultimately acceding to the will of Martell's steely scion, a deferential nod of her head and glance at the ground before the princess's feet serving as her gesture of capitulation, even if the fire of her fury blazes still at her core. Let it not be said Skyreach's mistress knows not how to govern her prolific temper, how to take it in hand when it is needful that she do so. But not so well that she isn't tempted by Mariya's question to reply, openly, "You are a woman now, Mariya. You tell me what it is worth, not to be expected to abide a slight one man would not dare pay another for the appendage they share in common. But of course I shall not let it serve to foment discord among our kith here at Oldtown."

"Well spoken." It's murmured from Aryn's lips even as Mariya finishes addressing Alaeyna, with a small measure of surprise. It's not that he didn't know she had it in her— but coming up with it in -this- moment, with all the other pressures and his own prodding against his sister's walls, it actually impresses the Raptor, and he isn't shy about showing it. "There is a fine line between brooking insult and understanding that sometimes, it is borne only of the weakness of others." This is coupled with a lighter squeeze, as much tracing fingertips curling into Alaeyna's palm as anything. "Their strain, and not their character. All of us have needed such understanding, at times— and even those who profess to have a cock between their legs crow loudly at one another at these times." An inclination of the elder Martell's head acknowledges and punctuates his own respect, directed somewhere between the two women as his demeanor settles to something more somber, perhaps even profound.

As Mariya asked what they would say, the favor is granted on his part as well… whether Alaryn would find it wise in this moment, or not. "If you love that man, but would marry another, it needs to be resolved. You might keep him with you at court regardless where you and Daevon end up— but you must be honest with the Targaryen, lest it harden him against you." Much the same warning was spoken to Daevon, and it extends to the young Martell as well. "If you would be free of your obligation to the Targaryens, by my honor I would see it done, and believe it could be done without bringing harm to Dorne." Though he doesn't immediately expound on -how- that might be possible. His free hand is extended to Mariya, somewhere between affection and offering of peace on his part. "I came here to ensure your safety, and your happiness, as much as either can be guaranteed by anything. You have two difficult paths ahead of you, and I would help you walk either you choose."

"Then, have it done at the twist of your arm because you love me and because I have asked it as a Martell." Mariya gives Alaeyna a grateful smile, hoping that she will take that as it will. "Is it weak to look to the greater good? I would find it the stronger action to look toward Dorne as the whole rather than the House." She lets her brother speak, turning a slight pink as he does so. "Ser Daevon knows of me as I know him. We have few secrets between each other," she mutters to her brother. She can hardly keep secrets from him since she attempted to lord it over him that as family they need not have them. "I would see peace and I would not break it for myself. Nor would I have my desire met at Ser Daevon's life or at Ser Arrick's." That is as far as she can come to saying what she feels. She cannot deny her brother's hand and takes it. There is no peace needed between the two, so she takes it for affection. "I do not wish to see either harmed or disparaged." There's a pause and she looks downward. "But, I would not marry a Westerosi man were it possible."

Alaryn's caress to her palm wins him Alaeyna's attention, a sideswept glance that holds him in its sights as he speaks. And so she's twice forced to concede to the wisdom of a Martell in short span, his words prompting another deferential inclination of her head. But it's his pledge to serve Mariya's will in the matter of her betrothal that Alaeyna is most keen to speak to, and she does. "I would do the same, princess, and must confess I have already attempted to discern your dragon's mind on the matter. I do not see why it must end with one or the other's life. His heart is open to a solution, which is of incredible import in allowing one to be found." She says no more of Arrick, letting her silence where he is concerned speak to the success of Mariya's arm twisting.

"As long as you have known me, Mari…" All her life. Alaryn notes quietly, and perhaps slightly sadly, "Have I ever favored a solution that would result in the death of a man or woman who did not deserve it?" It's different from killing one or two along the way; now and then, tragic circumstances are unavoidable. … usually as a result of the various indiscretions of his youth, but that's an entirely different story. "If I thought the only option were marriage or the death of one of these men, I would offer no option at all." Plotting to kill Arrick, plotting to kill Daevon, letting them kill one another: none of that is in the least bit acceptable to the Raptor of Dorne.

Mariya's hand is given a gentle squeeze, fond in an entirely different sense from the one that rests in its partner, and released only after that moment. It's in stark contrast to the firm, enduring grip on Alaeyna's— not unlike an anchor, in this moment, for whatever reasons. A small smile plays across the elder Martell's features, and he nods. "I would see your heart delight on your wedding day, were it possible." Alaryn confides in return. "I will speak to mother." It was, after all, he own plan. "And we will see if there is a solution that might see us all walk away cleanly." He almost manages to sell that as a possibility— but he doesn't believe it. That it's possible, yes. That it will not require sacrifices… not so much. Alaryn has already made clear what sort of price such a thing is worth, and not worth, however. There will have to be enough solace in that.

"I know Ser Daevon does not wish to wed me against my will. He loves me as I love him and would never see me come to harm. But, it is not against my will to marry a good man to ensure peace." Mariya sighs, though she gives Alaeyna a kind look. "And Ser Daevon is a good man. You have seen it yourself." In her opinion, he is one of the best. Yet, there is still Arrick. "No, that is…" she shakes her head, now becoming far less eloquent because it does not have to do with her duty to Dorne, but what she wishes for her future. It was never the clouded before. "…that is not what I meant, Ali. I know you would never…" She attempts to gain her footing again. "The most prominent option I have heard as of yet is for Ser Daevon and Ser Arrick to fight each other for my hand and I would not have that. A stray blow could kill either of them unless Ser Daevon immediately yields the field and that would be seen as a farce." And, obviously, that is not an outcome that would please her.

"Ser Daevon talks of another Martell and another Targaryen to take our places, but I do not know the match of which he would speak that would please both sides. It seems we are all open to a solution, but have yet to find a proper one." Mariya puts her other hand on top of the one that Alaryn holds and squeezes it gently. It is clear she does not believe her brother about walking away cleanly. "Speak with her, but she made this decision with a clear mind and knowing what it meant for all involved. I know you love me and would see me happy. There is a reason she chose me and Ser Daevon." Meaning, she does not think an appeal will change anyone's mind. "Of all the political marriages, he is the one that could come closest to making that possible."

"When I spoke with Ser Daevon of the prospect of a duel between he and Arrick, he assured me he would not lose apurpose, but had a colorful turn of phrase. What was it?" Alaeyna taps her lower lip with her fingertip, her features cast in a contemplative expression for the span of a second before she remembers. "Yes, that's what it was. That Arrick is a man who will fight to the death because his heart bids him do so, and that he has no desire to die and so would be forced to yield." She smiles for Mariya, looking on her once more as the darling younger sister, for whom her affection is limitless. "And so you see, neither has cause to die, because both desire the same outcome. Your happiness." Just the same, she casts her eye out on the field on which they stand, knowing the memory it summons up in Mariya's mind, her jaw setting to think on her own cousin's fate. "I know the notion unsettles you," she admits, pressing her no further on it, and letting her beseech Alaryn to intercede with their mother. Alaeyna clasps both her hands around Alaryn's, more or less draping herself on his arm where she stands at his side, regarding him appreciatively.

"Even the most skilled combatants can make the wrong move, kill one another when they did not intend to." Alaryn agrees with Mariya. Or does he? "But that risk is a choice that they must make. I know you would not have your hand contested…" particularly in such a way. "But such a demonstration is one way for all involved to save face. Without that, reputations may inevitably be damaged." -Someone's- at least. It's not the sort of thing that simply abates, blamelessly. "Another Martell is an option. It may be that it is an essential one regardless of the tools used to enable a split." None of this seems to be surprising to Alaryn, suggesting that the Raptor has considered just these avenues, himself. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone -else-.

"What some see as freely offering the Andals a hostage, I see as an olive branch necessary to the future of Dorne— as well as their own realms. The Stormlands and the Reach will never conquer Dorne. Aegon Targaryen and all his fearsome dragons could not hold Dorne. But steps must be taken to stem the flow of blood, and provide a better future." A meaningful glance is cast aside to Alaeyna— weren't they just discussing this, in more esoteric terms, only the night before? "Nothing will be settled today." He agrees, and informs in equal measure, turning a soft smile back towards his sister. "If your draconic betrothed knows of your heart, and accommodates it, then follow it now. Find your peace where you may, Mari. Tomorrow, we die." A light tousle of the younger Martell's hair follows, swift and determined to muss her thoroughly. "We will find our path through." He leans subtly into the Fury of Skyreach, supporting her weight even as she applies more of it to his own frame, the two of them gradually sinking closer the longer the conversation continues, despite its tumultuous contents.

"They may have not cause to die, but they still might." Mariya has little faith in duels, as the Trial of the Seven proved for her. Ser Daevon's duel with Arnau was agony. To watch two men she loved fight with more than practice blades? It would be worse. "I wish it would not have to come down to that." It seems that Alaryn at least somewhat agrees with her and she shrugs her shoulders. "Yes, and even if Ser Arrick does beat Ser Daevon, the realm is still left without a marriage to unite the countries." She sighs. "We will never bow to Westeros, nor will we be taken by war, but that means we must still find peace where we can." There's a bit of a glare when Alaryn musses her hair, quickly petting it down again to lay as flat as her hair does. "Yes, we will find a way through." Perhaps it is Alaryn's beseeching or just realizing it is time to go, but she looks to Alaeyna and then to Alaryn before saying, "I should return to the Manse. I am sure I will see you both back there." A pause and a smile. "At some point."

Alaeyna's smile is a soft one as she gazes upon Mariya, and though they're not like to be words she wants to hear, she still says, "Darling, you are a princess of Dorne. Men will fight for you, spill blood for you, die for you. Not all of them will do it for love. If your Arrick wins you at the point of a blade, it will be the great pride and joy of his life. Have courage, and have faith. One cannot ever steer love as though it were a ship." She pries herself from Alaryn's side long enough to deliver his baby sister a kiss to either of her cheeks, and a caress to one of them, too, of adoration.

"Summer Girl…" though less and less, by the month, it will always be that way to Mariya's brother. "We all might die, even this very instant, and more often the cause is not one we would ever, ever choose." Alaryn has to smile at that, despite the apparent morbidity. "When we have a choice, something one feels they must do.. it can stifle the soul to ignore that fight." It's far from a mandate— but it's clear the prince offers it as food for thought. That warm expression follows the affection of his paramour to his little sister, more than contented by the loyalty and respect— that held for both Martells, really. The smile only widens as he tosses Mariya a wink, and a nod, "I will see you there. At some point."

Mariya takes the kisses and the advice from Alaeyna. "That does not mean I will wish it." As she turns from the pair, she can't help but smile. "And now you sound just like Ser Arrick," she tells Alaryn. Telling her that any day any of them could die and they must make the most of each other while they have the time. But, she does not stay to argue the point. Instead, she heads toward the road that will take her to Oldtown and the White Stone Manse with a wave. "I will see the both of you soon, no doubt."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License