(121-08-23) On Poetry and Other Pleasures
On Poetry and Other Pleasures
Summary: A down-at-heel acolyte meets an unconventional maester.
Date: (23/08/2014)
Related: Pirates of Pentos Whimsy logs

Quill and Tankard, evening

With papers scattered out on the table before him, along with a glass of red, Leandro is hard at work. Or hard at drinking, often it's much the same thing. To some it might seem like mere fortune that the work has avoided any stains as of yet, but surely it's only a matter of time before an accident happens. Leandro's scribbling, furiously upon the paper.

Of late, the usual crowd to be found enjoying Amadys Baratheon's company and patronage has undergone rapid, dramatic fluctuations. First, as word of his successes at the Whimsy spread, he was much sought after, and his thronging circle was notable for including several ladies…some of them even of gentle birth. But success appears to have encompassed decline. As rumours gather that the acolyte is about to be turfed out of the Citadel, is in disgrace with his own kin, and is unlikely to marry Lady Maera or, presumably, anyone else, very few of his fairweather friends return consistently to his board. And so he comes to be tippling a pre-emptively enormous and potent cider all in rhapsodic loneliness.

There's a frown as Leandro gets stuck on something, he looks up, around the room. "A synonym for purple, rhymes with above? 'The sun glows orange in the sky above painting the seas purple.'" That question would seem directed specifically at Amadys.

The younger acolyte glances up from his tankard with distinct suspicion, but before then shrugs, apparently deciding not to worry about whether he is being mocked or tested, instead simply flowing where the question, and the cider, takes him. "Scansion's a mess anyway. Don' say you'd redeem the couplet with the best will, - n' rhyme, i' the world. P'raps 'painting the sea a darkling shade o' dove', or summat?"

"It sounds beautiful in Old Valyrian," Leandro says. "Although if their seas were purple, well I'm assuming that's poetic license. I've been working on a book of translations, but whomever wrote them doesn't have a poetic bone in his body. The translations just lose the essence of it. Darkling shade of dove. Hmmm." He mulls it over, notes it down any way.

"Purple-tinted eyesight, that was their trouble", Amadys declares of the Valyrians with drawling scorn. "That n' incest…most like they stared into each other's violet eyes till e'en sheep 'n cattle seemed a glorious shade o' lilac…" And with that sage judgment once delivered, he washes it down with a healthy gulp.

Leandro laughs heartily. "Of course. I had forgotten the purple eyes, I suppose that does grant a different perspective on things. You sound like one who's been burnt by their gaze."

"Burnt?" The callow, but undeniably toothsome, lad snorts in derision. "I'm told the eyes o' me and mine, the kin o' Storm's End, burn quite enough in their turn, aye, and freeze, too. And it is blue eyn that keep me awake anight, as it happens. But…any rate…" Amadys narrows his own fine dark blue examples of the Baratheon stare. "A maester chained, and yet it sounds as if you're devotin' y'self to some matter of at least a little interest. It's almost enough to restore my faith i' the order. Shame we've not met. ‘M Amadys Baratheon. But," he lounges still more spaciously, "y'knew that, of course."

"Of course," Leandro chuckles in reply. "It's not as if anyone could be a Maester and not know of The Amadys Baratheon. You're famous in your own way, or infamous. I'm Leandro." No last name of course, but that accent of his is decidedly Dornish. "Is there anything more interesting than the quest for knowledge? And here we can have it all. I had thought to breathe life into this dry poetry, to make it more accessible to those who can't understand the original versions. It's a very interesting, intricate puzzle. So you're thinking of finding a different way of life? Shackled to a wife and not a book, perhaps?"

"Me, I'm a modest youth," Amadys insists implausibly, "but that Valerio Vixenbane, he'd whore himself to a motherhouse for an hour's celebrity. How I endure him, I ne'er can tell." Leandro's name is acknowledged - though the only the gods could tell if it were absorbed - with another swig, but the maester's rhetoric questions make the younger man frown. "Look, I may not be chained, but I'd say you'd got it all addled, honoured maester. It's knowledge that's dry enough to drive any honest man to the Quill till he can neither scribble, nor yet stand. Poetry comes as easily as a willing woman. It is a smooth and slender art, slaking the thirst while it whets the appetite." On his more specific future plans, it seems Amadys is unwilling, as yet, to be drawn further.

"Poetry and willing women, these are the knowledges forbidden," Leandro replies. "Strange don't you think that when the Citadel quests for all matters of the mind, there's much that they deny too. So, I won't argue with you there."

"Now that one, my dear Dornishman," Amadys points out frivolously, "very nearly did scan. Don't despair, we'll make a singer o' your maestership yet…" He chuckles, but when the mirth has died, a look of curiosity remains, withal, on his pale, sharp face. "You've found the golden compromise, then, Maester…Leandor? How to take your chain and your wage and keep a lady or six on the side? What's your secret, eh?"

Leandro leans in closer and mouths the words "don't get caught" in answer to the question, before lounging back on his chair, laughter. "Or if you do, then always be sure to have three alibis, each more ridiculous than the last. Or better yet make it so they just don't want to ask you any questions at all. And if you can't already take up art. Pictures are as important as poems."

"Mm. Think some of those ridiculous alibis might be where poems come from to begin with," the young Baratheon boldly speculates. "S'been good speaking, maester. Good for the…sense of…possibility. I hope we manage it again, same place, same time, more of those lady friends we definitely don' know. For now, I…I must be elsewhere. In the wrong place at the right time. Or t'other way round, might be." He grins as he rises, draining the last of his cider and taking a hasty leave.

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