(121-08-11) Tea Invitations
Tea Invitations
Summary: Prince Dhraegon invites Nathaniel to tea to discuss possible business.
Date: 11/08/2014
Related: None.

Walled Garden - Dragon Door Manse

The Dragon Door Manse has a large walled garden behind. The tall stone walls have iron spikes topping them to prevent climbers, and a heavy double oak-and-iron gate leading into the alley behind. It's quite solid, though there is a little door in it that one might open to look out. Near that gate is the stables, with an attached mews on one side and kennels on the other. There's a small paddock for the horses behind the stables, and in front of it a space for training at arms, with a simple pell as well as a more complex practice dummy that can pivot when struck. These utilitarian areas are separated from the rest by a lower, and gateless, wall. Orange trumpet-creeper grows over it in most places.

Between this wall and the garden is a great fire pit, ringed in glossy black stones, each cut to interlock with the next and engraved with the image of a dragon. They're all in slightly different poses.

Nearer to the Manse is the garden proper. Its has winding stone paths and is planted thickly in flowers and trees. Most of the blooms range in colour from fire-orange to blood red. Deep purples are also included in the garden's otherwise limited palette. The pride of the plantings is an enormous flowering quince tree, some thirty feet tall — not large for a tree, but vast for one of its type. Clearly it has been pruned for generations to take on this form, single-trunked, with its branches curving up and then down in a fountain shape. Each of them nearly touches the ground and is heavy with bright red-orange flowers. One can step through them to stand hidden under the umbrella of blossoms, shaded and cool.

Most of Oldtown's grand manses have a fountain at the center of their gardens. Here there are only a few small ones, here and there along the paths. At the center there is, instead, a black stone pavilion, standing in the open and unshaded by any trees. It is seven-sided, with arched doorways on its East and West walls. It is otherwise glazed, including its domed roof. The glass is black and clear and red, pieced together to form the three-headed dragon sigil of House Targaryen. The image is repeated on the floor inside, in red jasper set into the black marble. The pavilion houses long curved benches of that same black stone. It gets tremendously hot inside.

The Guards were respecting Lord Nathaniel Crane, and after a quick weapons check, servants will announce him in the garden. A table has been set with honeyed lemonade and sweet mint tea. There are a variety of savories that can be eaten with fingers. There are fresh baked rolls, a dish of pink sea salt, and an assortment of citrus tarts and jam cakes. The Prince himself is poking about the flowers with a long stick. A small, nondescript man sits near the table, but not at it with paper and an ink quill.

Nathaniel arrives in the garden promptly at the appointed time. His steps are fairly brisk and he glances around as he is shown in and annouced. He looks to the nondescript man breifly and offers him a polite nod before that deep blue gaze drifts to the Prince who is poking at the flowers. He smiles faintly yet warmly and offers a polite bow. "Prince Dhraegon? I am Lord Nathaniel Crane, it is a pleasure to meet you." He straightens up and regards the prince politely if a bit curiously.

The nondescript man, stands and give Lord Nathaniel a polite bow. The Prince drops his stick and gives Nathaniel a big friendly smile. His voice is a deep bass. "Welcome! Welcome!" He says the next in the stilted tones of a child reciting a memorized speech, "I am Prince Draeghon targayen. It is nice to meet you, Lord Nathaniel Crane." Then he is trying to put an arm around Nathaniel'ss shoulders to guide him to the table, "Come! Eat!"

Nathaniel raises a brow as the Prince puts an arm around his shoulders but he smiles and allows the other to lead him to the table. He takes a seat settling gracefully into a chair and waiting for the prince to sit. He studies the spred breifly and pours himself a cup of tea before he selects a jam cake. He takes a bite and his eyes light up a little at the taste. He looks to Dhraegon curiously. "Forgive me if I am being too direct Your Highness…but what is the reason behind this invitation? I find myself quite curious." He takes another bite of the jam cake and studies the Prince with a warm smile.

Dhraegon sits across from him, "I love jam cakes, don't you?" He helps himself to one as well. "I had been thinking of holding a topsy turvy festival in honor of my intended and word reached me you were planning to hold races. I was thinking, I might help fund a racing festival if we could work together. Maybe. If we were thinking the same sort of things." He gives a delighted giggle and helps himself to more jam cakes.

"I do like jam cakes, though I enjoy most other cakes as well." Nathaniel replies with a smile. He listens to the offer with interest. "That would be most generous of you. I am actually planning to buy land and build a track to hold regular races as well as other horseback challenges like obstacle courses and mounted archery. I plan to hold races every week once its set up and there will be both seperate and combined races for not only nobles and knights but also ladies and smallfolk. I plan to charge a small fee to those that enter and the winner of the race will get the sum of all that is paid in. Spectators will be allowed to bet on thier favorite horse as well and I'm planning to encourage vendors who are willing to sell refreshments." Nathaniel finishes off his first jam cake and sips his tea thoughtfully. "My plans are still in the works though and I am very much willing to adjust them if need be. What do you think Your Highness?"

Dhraegon says, "What if we held a really big race meeting for the opening in honor of the Hightowers? I could make the prize purses fatter in exchange. We could make a sort of festival out of it?""

Eonn comes out of the stable. He's not wearing his armour, just his simple brown shirt and trews. He's a little dusty with bits of straw from whatever he was doing in there.

Nathaniel nods and smiles warmly with excitement showing in his eyes. "A festival? That sounds like a good idea to me. It would help get the word out about future races and I think holding it in honor of the Hightowers is an excellent idea as well. Perhaps for the festival we could have seperate races for knights, ladies and small folk and a combined race for everyone at the end of the day? We also might work in the obstacle course or a mounted archery contest as well. It depends on how long you want the festival to run. An all day affair would be a good idea that way everyone who wishes to attend could find the time." The Crane Lord looks to Eonn as he comes out of the stables and he inclines his head to the man offering a small smile to him.

Dhraegon looks up, startled by the newcomer. Pale lavender eyes stare vacantly at Eonn until vague recognition dawns though and he relaxes. "All day is fine. I could hold a feast afterwards. The more ways people can compete, the better. I was also thinking of a Ladies Tourney, but we could save that for the wedding. If we do, might I hire you to run the horse archery and the like for that as well?"

The small man makes notations with his quill on some vellum.

Eonn looks at the two. He returns Nathaniel's nod and wanders over, unhurried, stopping to wash his face in the water-trough by the little wall that divides the training area and stables from the garden.

Nathaniel nods to Dhraegon with a faint smile. "I would be glad to assist with that yes Your Highness. I was planning to buy some land near the tourney grounds to have the track built…I have already sent a letter to Lord Ormund Hightower to get his approval for that. Once the land is aquired it should not take too long to have the track built I shouldn't think. Though with your backing things would likely go much smoother." He smiles warmly to the prince.

Dhraegon gives Nathaniel a big goofy smile, "Call me Uncle Dhraegon. I'm not fond of formalities…. Do you like boats? I have…" The small man with the quill clears his throat. The Prince's face falls, and chastened he asks, "Are you settling in well?"

Eonn raises a brow as he comes closer. By the look of it, /he/ likes boats. He bows his head again once he reaches a more polite conversational distance, but says nothing.

Nathaniel chuckles a bit at the mention of boats. "Actually I do like boats. House Crane's family seat is Red Lake and our home is built on a island in the middle of a large lake. Its normally a very good place for sailing smaller boats…I have never been on a boat in the sea before though." Nathaniel looks thoughtful. "I am settling in quite well yes. I'm still trying to get a place sorted for my horses. My family has a manse in the city but I also had a farm purchased with large fields and stables so I can keep up my work."

Dhraegon perks up as he notices both men's interest, "Well, I've been talking to the Oakhearts and Mallisters aboput real boats, but I have small ones to sail in the fountains and reads for blowing on the sails… If you were interested." He bites his lower lip, but looks all hopeful. "Will you build the stables along the rose road? I… never learned to ride though Tellur Snow brought his horse for me to meet and it doidn't bite me."

Eonn smiles at that, warmly. "Bottle of Smoke will teach you to ride, my prince," he says gently. "She is a good riding master."

"I was planning to build the stables along the rose road yes." Nathaniel looks thoughtfully at Dhraegon a moment. "I have several horses for sale at the moment and a couple of them would make good first horses if you wanted to learn to ride. Most of the mares I have are very calm and gentle. I could offer to teach you as well but I have had more experience riding horses myself and training and handling them than teaching others to ride them." He smiles softly.

Dhraegon look frankly alarmed at both Nathaniel's and Eonn's offers, rather than reassured, "That's… nice to know. I'm very large, you know. I wouldn't want to tire her out." He looks between them with a look rather like a trapped animal. The little man leans forwardsw and whispers something in the Prince's ear. The Prince closes his eyes and steels himself. He squeaks, "Yes. yes, I would like to learn and by gentle riding horses for myself and my companion."

Eonn says quietly, "Bottle of Smoke is very large."

Nathaniel smiles reassuringly keeping his tone gentle and trying to calm the Prince. "Do not worry my Prince. If you wish to buy a horse from me I will allow you to view them first and as many times as you want. You can take your time getting used to being around them before you buy one. I know some people find large animals unnerving but horses are really gentle creatures at heart. Once I have the stables set up you are welcome to come by any time or not at all if you would rather not. I will not push you to do something you are uncomfortable with." He glances to Eonn curiously and then looks back to the prince.

Dhraegon stares at Eoinn with pale, empty eyes. "If you are sure?" He sighs and hangs his head, "It can not be cars and palanquins forever. I will look at your horses, Nathaniel."

Eonn bows slowly at the waist to look back into Dhraegon's eyes, his own deep sapphire ones intent, curious. A faint smile touches one corner of his mouth.

Nathaniel smiles faintly. "I will do my best to make it as pleasant an experience as possible my prince. Just let me know when you would like to view them." He glances around and looks thoughtfully back to the prince. "Was there anything else we needed to discuss in regards to the festival and race track?"

Dhraegon nods slowly, though it's not clear which of them the nod is for, "Not unless you wanted to play with my boats. I could send Flox for them."

Eonn keeps watching Dhraegon's eyes for a long moment before he straightens up to his full impressive height again.

"I would love to play with your boats at some point but I'm afraid I'll need to leave shortly to check on one of my mares." Nathaniel smiles softly and rises to his feet offering Dhraegon a low and polite bow. "Thank you for having me over Prince Dhraegon. I look forward to working with you. I will take my leave now but please feel free to contact me again if you wish." Eonn gets a polite nod as does the Prince's assistant before the Crane Lord turns and goes to see himself out of the manse.

Dhraegon blushes at Eonn's gaze, "I am sorry, I forgot which one you are…." Then he is darting at Nathaniel with arms open to try to catch him in a hug.

"Eonn," says the tall man. "Prince Daevon's man."

Nathaniel raises a brow at the prince but he does smile faintly and will allow the hug for a breif moment. He even returns the hug a little before he steps away and bows low once more before exiting the garden.

Dhraegon is an enthusiastic, but careful hugger despite his size. Luckily for everyone's dignity, he doesn't resist Nathaniel's escape after. He brightens, "Oh! you're Eonn? I approve of young Daevon, even though he said he could not play with my boats without you!"

Eonn smiles. "He knows I like boats," he says. "He got me one, too. A toy one, I mean."

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