(121-10-28) The Court of Misrule

It is an incredibly long want up narrow stairs in the dark, but there are railings. The wood is piled in readiness for the relighting of the fire. There are refreshments, both food and liquid. The city is a darker shape, but the moon light reflects off the waves and there are more stars than a city dweller ever sees. The breeze blows fresh off the harbour.

Dhraegon is dressed as a really big cock and is well lubricated, having brought a big flask of wine to refresh himself on the walk up. he steps from the shadows of the starewell and is soon spinning giddily, beak pointed up towards the stars and wings outstretched, giggling like a child seeing something beautiful and full of wonder.

Peri is dressed in her sparkling black and blue gown yet, and seems to be dragon-sitting the big silly cock. Her child seems to have gotten sent home with a nanny at some point. "Oh Dhraegon, the view is breath taking. I never thought it'd be something I'd see in person. It is like sitting on a reflecting pool with a mirror above."

Good gods, what had conspired to make this happen? Children slithering into the high beacon during such strange hours? Drunken metal birds and glowing young mothers huddled about the guiding fire's dormant state? Blame the Stranger?

Kelinyx and Bryn enter together, hand in hand. There is a ribbon tied about the wrists of those two hands, and the children are clad in black shrouds over any other clothing, even their faces somewhat obscured by excess material about the neck, just the tops of their heads and bright young eyes showing. Over their arms and faces, black coal shapes and wiggles and ideograms have been drawn, and the two enter with spooky, silent seriousness.'

Dhraegon is dressed as a really big cock and is well lubricated, having brought a big flask of wine to refresh himself on the walk up. He steps from the shadows of the stairwell and is soon spinning giddily, beak pointed up towards the stars and wings outstretched, giggling like a child seeing something beautiful and full of wonder.

Peri is dressed in her sparkling black and blue gown yet, and seems to be dragon-sitting the big silly cock. Her child seems to have gotten sent home with a nanny at some point. "Oh Dhraegon, the view is breath taking. I never thought it'd be something I'd see in person. It is like sitting on a reflecting pool with a mirror above."

Dhraegon sits down hard with a thump, like you do when there is a lot of spinning while tipsy involved. This makes him laugh harder. When he calms down enough to speak, he says, "I am going to live here, you know. When I am married." He takes a long drink. "I am glad you got to see it, Peri. Just think how few people have ever seen it like this." Then he is scrambling to his feet to greet the children with a formal, if slightly off balance bow, "Your Majesties!"

Peri 's smile is warm "You will be lucky, it really is quite a lovely place. I was invited here before all the drama once. the rooms are spectacular - more wealth on the floor than many have in their entire village." she admits, standing up to curtsy gracefully, her arm around Dhraegon's back, not flirty, more 'lets keep the nice prince from falling to his death'ish. She leans to hold out her hands towards Keli and Bryn, puckering her lips as if intending to kiss someone's hand.

Scions of House Hightower are on hand to preside over the ceremonial lighting of the beacon, and it is they who most easily and effortlessly navigate the rooftop in the dark. For most of them, it has been the playground of their youths, and it is their footsteps on the stairs that have helped wear them smooth. Lynesse and Lynette, two daughters of the esteemed house that plays host to Oldtown tonight, stand near the empty cage that will, before long, once more house its legendary flame. In the dusk, the girls are indistinguishible. But then, they're the same way in the light, too.

Bryn grins to Kelinyx at the stifled giggle, but he walks with her, keeping pace with her walk and a grip on her hand. Then his attention turns, and he looks up at those gathered, smiling as he sees Peri and Dhraegon.

Kelinyx had been watching closely those nobles and court-clingers she'd been around the last year and a half, for her enjoyment at pretending to be a powerful regent of some cast shows in the measured and serious expression she plays at. A hand is offered to Peri as she croons, "Mmmmm, mmmmy loyal subjects, yessssss, such a loff-lee evening, wouldn't yew ag-ree?" Such affectation, in accent and pinkies-out-marionette movement.

Dhraegon cocks his head piece as their Hosts appear. He looks down at his bottle, then at the women, then at the bottle again, "I think there may be something wrong with my wine….." He responds distractedly to Peri, "Lord Orland was very nice and had some people take me on a tour so I could see the gardens and what my room will be like." He gives the King and Queen of Misrule a big goofy smile. "It is a lovely evening. Would your majesties have any words to say before your crowning?"

One of the Hightower twins, it really is too difficult to tell them apart, leans in to murmur something into the other's ear. She then takes her sister's hand, and the pair glides towards the Targaryen Prince betrothed to one of their cousins. "Prince Dhraegon." The twin who leads greets with a prim curtsey. "We are so very glad you could make it tonight." The first twin's eyes sweep over his woman companion before glancing to the children. "Would you crown them, Prince?"

Ormund Hightower arrives after the regents, in their 'retinue.' He's dressed plainly, like a peasant, but fails to pull it off properly; the costume is too new, too clean, the homespun fabric too well-made.

Peri leans to kiss Kelinyx's knuckles, drawing back to smooth her hair down as she adjusts herself, expression curious and cheerful as she watches the swarm of new comers, standing primly and with some feminine grace. She seems entirely calm for now.

The other twin smiles serenely, but cannot help her gaze from wandering toward the plainclothed, would-be peasant, whose shock of auburn hair would serve to give him away, if nothing else. She murmurs something in reply to her sister, all the while standing arm-in-arm with her.

Bryn inclines his head to Dhraegon and says, speaking loudly and with as exaggerated 'official'-sounding tone as he can muster, "I declare that from this day forward, that all bastards are to be made legitimate."

A little smile touches the corners of Lord Ormund's mouth.

Keli looks pleased with her counterpart's declaration, for in its simplicity, it undoes most of the foundations of modern society. Good one, Mudbrother.

"There are three rules to living a good life," the Miscreant Queen states. "First, remember that nobody is to blame for the strange gifts that blessed some of us last night. No one. Got it?" Keli surveys her subjects, still holding Bryn's hand. "Second; it is better to leave a copper on your front step for a needy person than it is to find your window smashed and your heirlooms missing." If any dare make eye contact, they might catch a jaunty wink, though the rest of her face and body keep up the act. "Finally, keep in mind that you can't tell when a horse will take a piss, but you can still move your leg before he's done." With this, she bows her head, ready to receive the judgment of her people.

The rather tipsy Rooster Prince gives the Hightower twins a clumsy bow, "I am at your service… Oh, this is Mistress Peri, of the Lyssene Baths." The Rooster, forgetting his worry over seeing double Hightower Ladies, lifts his bottle in toast in the direction of the very clean peasant, and drinks. He then tries really, really hard to be all solemn and straight beaked for the proclamations particularly the horse one. He then produces two fantastically spired crowns, painted to resemble motley. Bowing, he places the blue and black one on Bryn's head, and the red and black one on Keli's head, "I Now pronounce you, King and Queen of Misrule, in honor of your service to the Town!"

Ormund steps forward, smartly, and bows to the children, "If I might entertain you, your graces?!" he says crisply. It's hard to tell if he's liking this or just wanting to get it over fast.

Peri claps for Kelinyx and Bryn, her hands resting infront of her as she removes two black roses from her hair, tossing one at Kelinyx's feet and one at Bryn, her hands smoothing the gown she wears down. The Hightower twins are given a curtsy before Bryn and Kelinyx are given regal curtsies, her weight staying low in a notably Essosi fashion as she turns to watch Ormund, her hands resting now on the chubby curve of her belly.

The first twin, the one wearing black pearls, claps as if one might clap at a tourney when a particularly good blow was struck. She smiles one of those prompt, unreadable smiles that well-bred women are accustomed to giving at the appropriate time.

Bryn smiles as the crown is placed on his head, and then looks to watch Keli receive hers. He inclines his head to Dhraegon in thanks. Then, after a quick grin to Peri, he nods again to Ormund as he says, trying to sound as kingly as he can, "Of course."

Keli looks absolutely delighted at her crown, and with such politeness shown her she inclines her head and holds out a friendly hand to urge Ormund nearer. "Bring the change with you!" she urges, getting a bit honestly excited by the festivities.

Dhraegon steps away, bowing deep again, and stands to the side, smiling a big goofy smile.

Ormund bows again to Bryn and Kelinyx, very deeply. He takes a snappy step towards them, then holds out his arms, gesturing with his hands. The question of what he's asking for is answered in an instant — six noblemen, Hightower banners and notable ones, hurry away from the edges of beacon-tower and add to Ormund's costume. Bells tied round his wrists and ankles, a fool's horned and belled hat on his head, an absurdly huge ruff of crumpled cloth-of-gold or something of that sort around his neck. Everything is festooned in every spare inch with sparkling glass jewels and paste jewels, enormous ones that glint even in the darkness. Ormund snaps his fingers and his attendants back away. And then he starts to dance.

Ormund jingles and hops, turns and kicks, every bright-polished little brass hawk's bell on his costume chiming, his hat sparkling. He is relatively terrible at this, except that being absurd is the point, which means that maybe he's awesome. It's hard to say. He looks like he's concentrating hard on it, and the noblemen just look uncomfortable.

Peri takes out her coin purse, tossing a bag at Keli and Bryn, watching the nobleman dance. Her face gives away that this might be the single greatest thing she's ever seen in all of her life.

Dhraegon squeals happily and cheers and claps with a childlike enthusiasm.

Lynette looks vaguely uncomfortable.

So does Lynesse.

And the mighty Lord Ormund Hightower, Voice of Oldtown, Lord of the Port, Lord of the Hightower, Defender of the Citadel and Beacon of the South, begins to sing. It's almost but not quite in time with his jingling bells. "There was a jolly Septon, as you might plainly see. He wandered out one evening, in search of company! He went into a tavern and a fair girl he did see! Come for one night and be my wife, O come along with me!" He hops and spins, "O come along with me, love! Come along with me! Come for one night and be my wife, O come along with me!"

Kelinyx gives a glance to Bryn as the strange, grunting, heaving movements of Ormund, like some animated soggy fence post hopping about for them. It's mad. It's ugly and awkward and silly. Thusly, according to Keli's soon gigantic smile, it is perfect! She catches the bag of coin curiously, then shrugs and starts happily flinging about (someone else's) wealth for the sake of show, of ritual, of silliness! Prince Dhraegon's amusement only adds to the royal air of approval, and soon the Queen is giggling happily alongside him, clapping and delighted with Ormund's convul— dancing and singing!

Dhraegon attempts to join in the dancing, but trips over those big silly rooster feet and goes sprawling. This just sets him laughing again.

Bryn can't help but burst into giggles at Ormund's dance. He starts clapping as well, though still laughing, when Ormund starts to sing. He seems to be having just as much fun as his queen. He laughs even more, as Dhraegon makes his attempt to join.

Peri claps cheerfully at the display. She seems to enjoy the songs, her expression changes to concern when Dhraegon falls, weight moving to offer him her strong arms, "Are you alright my fair prince?" she asks, her expression amused but concerned.

It's all a bit raucous for the highborn twins, and they seem a touch out of place among the revelers who dance and laugh with their wild abandon. But Ormund's song seems to please at least one of them, and she can't help but smile at his effort as he sings.

Ormund claps, all the more jingly as he does so, and attempts to do a forward roll. He succeeds at that, not half badly at all, and comes popping up in a cascading ringing of little bells, his hat still on even, but now much askew. He's not so old, and is warming up maybe. He continues: "He called for cider of the best and to that girl said, 'Pray, come have a drink it'll make us think that it is our wedding day!' O come along with me, love, come along with me! Come for one night and be my wife, O come along with me!" He jingles his way back front and center to the King and Queen of Misrule, singing, "He called for a candle, to light their way to bed! And when he had her in the room, these words to her he said! A silver stag I'll give to you, for to embrace your charms! And all that night the fair young maid laid in the Septons arms! O come along with me, love…"

Dhraegon is giggling happily as still as Peri helps him up. It is at this point he looks about him and declares in a tragic tone, "I have spilled my wine!" indeed the bottle is fallen, a small puddle dribbling out. It seems most of the wine is already inside Dhraegon though, so perhaps it is not as tragic as all that. Still he takes up the round bellied bottle and cradles it, rocking it like a baby.

"Now early the next morning, sure, it went his way

He looked upon that fair young maid and unto her did say:

'That silver stag I gave to you, do not think me strange,

That silver stag I gave to you, please give me back me change!'

O come along with me, love, come along with me…

Kelinyx squeals in amusement at the joke,, the clapping probably jerking poor Bryn's hand about as they still are tied, her right wrist to his left.

Bryn goes to clap at the same time as Keli this time, giggling still, though with their arms caught up he just ends up letting her do the clapping for them.

Peri giggles at Dhraegon "You've had quite enough my prince. When the fresh dawn comes, I'll make you some strong, sweet tea." she offers, voice gentle, fingers checking Dhraegon's cheeks and making sure he is in fact perfectly alright. She rubs Dhraegon's hair, acting more motherly than a woman of her body type normally would.

Ormund attempts that trick of flipping into a hand-stand and walking about a few steps that way. He fails utterly and goes crashing sideways, landing in a jingly heap. He sits up, wincing, and continues.

"About twelve month later, he wandered out once more

And went into that tavern where he'd often been before. He wasn't in there very long when a fair maid he did see.

She brought forth a baby three months old and placed it on his knee!

When he saw the baby he began to curse and swear.

He said unto that fair young maid, 'why did you bring him here?"

'He is your own, good man,' she said, 'Do not think me strange

That silver stag you gave to me, well I gives you back your change!'

Oh come along with me, love, come along with me. Come for one night and be my wife, O come along with me.

That appears to be the end of the song. The Lord of the Hightower gets to his feet, flushed and short of breath.

Keli's terribly amused by all this, but seeing Orlund tumble over like that draws even a moment of real concern to her face. He keeps singing, though, and she lifts her hands over her head clapping, poor Bryn's arm challenged at the joints and sockets. "Amazing entertainment! The best entertainment! Legendary!"

The Silver stag song clearly leaves Dhraegon puzzled, by his open mouthed confusion, but he is soon clapping and squealing happily again at the dancing, the poor dead bottle forgotten. The Clown Prince seems happy enough and not injured at all.

Ormund's retainers come forward again, this time to strip him of the silly bits of costumery. They leave behind, in his hands, a perforated iron chest, perhaps the size of a loaf of bread but clearly much heavier.

Peri shifts to take a handkerchief over, to offer to Ormund, politely. Her expression soft as she smooths her gown down. Her blush showing as she watches the two.

Bryn's giggling calms down as the show ends, but he seems quite well entertained. He blinks as the chest is brought out, looking towards it with obvious curiosity.

Ormund's brow is certainly damp, but his hands are full, gripping the chest with the two handles on either side of it.

Dhraegon's giggles quiet and he struggles to his feet, curious to see what is in the box. His comb flops as he cranes sideways to see.

Kelinyx stands on tiptoes, trying to see through the perforations and into it. "A trap? A charm? A gift? My king, it could be a plot, or a key, or a dragon's egg! Or a horse's egg! Or a king's egg! Did you lay any eggs, recently, my King?"

One of twins pulls away from the other; it's Lynesse, the one who wears the white pearls around her neck. She solicitously approaches the Lord Hightower, producing a dainty pink square of cloth from her sleeve and applying it to her liege's brow. When she meets her cousin's gaze, she inclines her head to him and dips in a graceful demonstration of obeisance.

Ormund casts a glance at Lynesse, a brief look of gratitude, before he steps forward to kneel before the King and Queen of Misrule and offer the chest up for them to open.

Peri is not high enough on the social pecking order to go touching a Hightower without permission. She is however apparently just fine with touching Dhraegon without even a flail. She shifts, moving to daub Dhraegon's face instead.

Bryn giggles again and shrugs to Kelinyx. "Let's see what it is!" He grabs her hand and stands, and leaning forward to open the chest together with Keli, eager to see what's inside.

Lynesse smiles shyly, grateful for the dusk that hides the blush she wears on her cheeks, and returns to her sister's side.

Kelinyx is about to burst, even sniffing at the air as the contents are revealed.

Inside the chest is a nest of fine sand, a pair of silver tongs just short enough to fit in there lengthwise, their gripping ends in the shape of skeletal hands, and a single, live, glowing coal. Ormund whispers, "Throw it on the beacon."

Dhraegon guesses, "Rooster egg? Maybe?" Then he makes a happy sound on seeing it, "The Sun's egg! The Seed of Light!"

Peri watches Dhraegon, then Kelinyx, her weight settling down to get comfortable beside him her hands eagerly bunching up handfulls of fancy silk. Her expression is awe inspired as she watches with great interest.

Bryn smiles excitedly as he sees what's inside. This is it! Reaching forward, he takes hold of the tongs, to lift the coal. He then waits to let Keli get a grip as well, so they can, together, throw the coal onto the beacon.

Kelinyx looks properly awed, and actually does put her full effort into being careful, deliberate and well-coordinated with her King as they both grip the tongs and return the fire to bright, hot life!

Ormund gets up and out of the way with the chest, quick as he can. It would be some sort of disaster if the children dropped the coal, though this is not so easily done — the skeletal-hand tongs grip it rather perfectly.

There is a worrying moment as people wait for the kindling to catch, but the glow of the coal is soon a small flame, that spreads in a way that suggests oil might have been poured on the pile. The fire flares up and it is clear the fire will take.

The Big Cock crows as it catches light, as if the bonfire is the dawn.

Peri cheers at the light, her hand touching Dhraegon's shoulder, her eyes almost spellbound - as if she had never expected to see such a sight.

In fact, it's obvious the wood has been oiled, because the beacon goes from a small fire to its normal enormousness in a matter of five heartbeats. Down below, in the city and in the harbour, more lights start to come.

The twins glow in the sudden blaze of the fire, their copper hair and fine samite dresses catching the light and glittering with it. They smile in unison as the flames roar up, restoring order to the chaos of the night.

Up on the top of the Hightower, a trembling light becomes visible. It's a matter of five or six seconds before it's expanded, brilliantly, into the normal bright light of the enormous beacon fire. Oldtown's people, who stood in the darkness waiting for this moment, begin to light their own lamps and candles. Richer folks have even provided candles to line the streets. People pass flame from dark wick to dark wick."

Kelinyx can't help but cheer, and when the fire roars, she and Bryn can undo their little tied hands, tossing the ribbon into the fire. Keli improvises a ripper of a belch afterward, then begins to happily dnace about as the city can be heard coming back to life, revels already firing off as here and there a voice cries out in wily giddiness.

There's no cheer from Bryn. He watches the fire light with a caught breath, which he lets out in a sigh as the fire comes to life. Squeezing Keli's hand after they throw in the cloth that tied them, he then just watches the flame like someone watching a beautiful sunrise.

Dhraegon struts about roosterlike, cheering and waving his rather bedraggled wings about and shedding the occasional real feather. Because nothing says Princely dignity like a chicken dance.

Peri 's gown glitters beautifully, the silk's beading showing that in good light the gown is made to look like a starry sky, still a bit disheveled from 'mom stuff', partying with iron men, using charisma to get her way and what not. Her smile shows as she watches Dhraegon. "Oh now that the fires are lit, perhaps I should go get some bacon and eggs." she muses.

Ormund slips away from the scene of his indignity, after waiting just long enough to see the oil catch properly and the great fire come roaring to proper life. He's left his bells and ruff and silly hat behind, where the lesser lords dropped them. And the chest, and the pretty silver skeletal hands tongs, still in the grip of Misrule. Nobody makes any attempt to collect these things. The lights spread out in the city below like little shining golden rivers.

Kelinyx hugs to Bryn, looking pleased if not entertained by the reactions, though as Ormund moves about with that businesslike demeanor, she does at least think well enough to urge the tongs back into his hands as he passes. She finally starts tugging Bryn over nearer the sisters and Ormund whom she addresses. "A brilliant festival, I am sure the stories will ring out and everyone'll wish they could make it this good again! My subjects have made their king and queen proud!"

Ormund smiles wearily at Keli, and accepts the tongs. But it's clear he doesn't mean to stay. He gives the twins a smile, too, a warmer one, then strides towards the staircase, before anyone should collar him.

The twins have no intention of entertaining the King and Queen of Misrule, either. As soon as Ormund slips down the staircase they follow suit, leaving their guests in the care of the dour Hightower guard.

Peri taps Kelinyx's shoulder, smiling warmly, pecking the little queen's cheek. "You should move the party to the ground below." she suggests, offering a genuine smile " It is time for me to go feed my little one and perhaps flirt with your papa." she teases, ruffling Kelinyx. "Stop by later, I have a real gift for you. I want you to try it." she eyes around "It is VERY special and sent to me all the way from Essos for you." she lilts, cheerfully, eyeing Dhraegon "My prince, perhaps you should take the King and Queen to your garden and treat them to light wine and treats or tea." she suggests. Since the roof top is a bad place to be drunk in her mind.

Lynesse goes through the trap-door and down.

Lynette goes through the trap-door and down.

Kelinyx pages Dhraegon and Bryn: Awesome! This is so fun! :D

Dhraegon giggles contentedly, "I love the way the stars spin… Would either of you Graces like a shoulder back ride home?"

Peri eyes Dhraegon "Not on the roof, my prince or I will carry you down myself." she warns.

Gashlycrumb goes through the trap-door and down.

Bryn finally tears his eyes from the fire and he grins up to Dhraegon, shaking his head, "No, thank you."

Dhraegon sways like a young tree in a gentle breeze, "The shoulder back ride or the snacks…" he likely thinks he's whispering, "We could put a little rum in the tea!"

Keli takes the advice well enough, the heat of that fire getting fairly intense on an already warm night like this. She starts gathering and tugging at hands to urge folks down along with her. "My royal entourage, let us step into a place with chairs and couches, yes. royal cuches for our royal arses, and there to rest and drink and nibble without the dastardly wind whispering into our ears."

Dhraegon is easily led at the best of times and is a very easy going drunk, "I have a palanquin downstairs. Do you want to ride in that, your Graces?"

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