(122-01-03) Rainbows
Summary: Lady Marsei somewhat inadvertently comes to the aid of Elyas Seafarer, and vice versa.
Date: 03 and 06/01/2015
Related: None

Oldtown Square Oldtown

This is a small cobblestone market square, packed with people from all walks of life in Oldtown. Food vendors offer sizzling, toothsome-smelling dishes, and peddlers offering every sort of thing one can possibly buy with coin line the cobbled walkways, with carpets, weapons, wines, scrolls, armor, cloth, tools, cookware, and myriads of cheap trinkets sure to please.

There is a general babble of voices and chatter as the city folk try to negotiate with the sharp street vendors of Oldtown, and the occasional scuffle as the City Watch snatch up pickpockets and cutpurses from the crowd.

There are some worn stone benches here and there, and grassy swards for the smallfolk to gather upon. In the center of the square stand a set of four heavy wooden pillories, where wrongdoers are frequently held fast for public punishment.

A joy, rare of late, but natural as sunlight, graces the eyes of Lady Marsei as she looks upon the wares in her city's market square. There are many armed men of Hightower surrounding the lady, who looks a delicate wisp of a thing with her soft pink silk gown, a cloth-of-gold half-cloak over her shoulders, and her curled coppery hair and milky skin — every contrast to armour and sword that her protection carry. In the middle of that entourage, she moves elegantly, a fine-boned hand slightly outreached to nothing in particular, ready to fawn over whichever quaint trinket or colourful fruit catches her attention next.

Not far from the lady, raised voices can be heard with a few men argueing a bill or prices or something, accusing each other of being cheats, rip-offs, thieves and finally asses and jerks, as the insults get more colourful. But when two city guards are starting to pay attention and approach, everything goes quiet very suddenly and people try their best to look innocent. A young man of obviously Dornish descent assumes a rather carefree saunter, hands in the pockets of his cheap brown pants. His eyes cut to the lady briefly and then take in her entourage.

As the usual chatter of the square escalates into more heated bickering, Marsei casts a few concerned glances; mostly, however, she tries not to look toward the source of such colourful language, and she's engaged by the more pleasant sights and sounds. She lays a hand on the elbow of one of her accompanying guards in order to lean in toward a stall packed with carpets she very likely has no use for; the high-born Hightower smiles a pure smile as genuine as the earth she walks on, not an ounce of noble patronizing in her compliment to the smallfolk merchant. "These are wonderful. The detail is beautiful— the work it must have taken!" What the merchant thinks of the noble lady's compliment is up for debate; meanwhile, it's her realization of the sudden silence that prompts Marsei to look upon the City Watch and the Dornishman with his hands in his pockets with uncertain worry.

The Dornishman notices the lady's attention and puts his brightest smile on. "Mylady, what a wonderful surprise to see you here at the market! Are you enjoying your stroll?", he asks her, approaching quickly, so he can put her burly guards between himself and the city guards as a sight barreer. "What are you shopping for?", he asks and leans over to the carpets she had been inspecting. "Looking to freshen up your chambers? But they -are- already very beautiful, just like yourself!"

The men in the Hightower cloaks visibly bristle at the Dornishman inserting himself into the arrangement, and are only marginally calmed by Marsei's assuaging smile at all of them. Despite her reassuring manner with her guards, she herself does seem slightly on edge by the man's sudden approach; a natural wariness. The flattery, though a high-born lady such as herself as likely heard its like many a time, or perhaps the mention of her chambers, causes a modest dip of her head. "I am but enjoying the day and all the sights it has to give," she says, friendly, polite. She chances a look the way of the City Watch, but one of her men's bulky shoulders is in her line of sight. "And what of you?"

"As it happens, I have been doing some shopping myself.", the Dornishman explains, "Cloth though, for wall hangings, four-poster beds and the like. Carpets… I'm afraid the carpets here are no match for those of Dornish make." He leans over a pile of carpets, going through them, which gives him another perfect chance to hide his face from view as the city guards pass by. When they're gone at last, he straightens. "Would you wish for a beautiful Dornish carpet of high quality to brighten your chamber, Mylady? I have a contact for you. I could also get you some lovely warm furs from the North for an excellent price."

Marsei appears briefly contemplative — her chambers could use some brightening… — but her curious eye is turned more upon the man himself as she tries to ascertain his motives and what to call him. This is a woman more accustomed for formal settings — where she knows who's who and their place in the world, yet the hustle and bustle and unexpected sorts of life in the market is why she came here, isn't it? She smiles at his offer. "Are you a trader of some sort?"

"Trader, sailor, traveller…", the Dornishman replies vaguely, offering her a charming smile, "I am called Elyas Seafarer these days, Mylady, and I am honored to make your acquaintance." He reaches for her hand to bring up to his lips for a brief kiss, while looking into her eyes. Once the hand is returned to her, he looks towards the carpets again, ignoring the glare of the vendor. "Let me know what your favorite colour is and I shall see to you receiving a beautiful Dornish carpet."

"It is lovely to make your acquaintance, Elyas Seafarer — these days," she replies, sweet. Her hand is easily taken and returned, dainty and elegant all the way through. The polite contact has her men eyeing Elyas, perhaps more suspicious of his vague trade than their lady. "Apologies," as if she ought to have said so sooner, "I'm Marsei Hightower." She instinctively looks in the direction of Battle Island and her family's namesake after she introduces herself, though her gaze is not long away from Elyas. "I love colour in all splendor. I couldn't possibly choose a single favourite. How could I tell a rainbow some of its stripes are more beautiful than others?"

"A pleasure, Lady Marsei Hightower. May I say what a beautiful town your family keeps here? I hope it will soon recover from the ravages wrought by the plague." While the man is dressed in plain garb and looks a little bit scruffy, there's a certain refinement in his posture and speech that might make him appear less of a threat to dainty noble ladies. "A full rainbow it is then!", he smiles, as if this was the easiest thing in the world to procure.

Marsei's smile is sparkling, even with only a glimpse of teeth. Grateful, she's easily charmed by the possibility of a carpet of rainbows. "Oldtown will always live on. Already it recovers, even as it mourns. Under the guidance of my lord brother," she turns her smile to the poor carpet merchant whose goods have been bypassed for the nicer wares Elyas has offered, "and the hard work and resilience of its people."

"This pleases me muchly to hear.", Elyas replies, "As a matter of fact, I found myself trapped in front of the closed gates of Oldtown for some time while the plague raged and it was a worrying situation all around. If there is anything I can do to help bring cheer to your town, please do let me know, Mylady?"

"I lived afar when the plague came," Marsei admits, and her voice, too, sounds afar, even wistful, disappointed; perhaps she'd rather have been high up in the Hightower with her family. The expression is fleeting. "You seem to have taken quite the liking to our fine city," she commends cheerfully, with a hint of unspoken questioning. "What cheer does a trader, sailor, and traveller offer besides covering walls and floors in all colours?" she asks with a light, good-natured humour.

"Oh, I see… so you are as new in town as I am.", Elyas chuckles, "Well, I suppose you should be glad that you were spared the disaster… it can't have been a pleasant sight." Or smell. He ponders her question for a moment, then shrugs with a somewhat mischievous look. "I have been told that I'm not too bad at dancing or singing. Perhaps you might like to be entertained by a beautiful Dornish song some day? I can sing for my supper, you see…", he winks.

'New in town' causes a fond smile that nearly turns into a laugh, tempered only so that Marsei may listen. "Oldtown — the Hightower will always be my true home," she clarifies first; then, to his wink, her smile looks charmed, agreeable. "That may be! In addition to hard work and recuperation, the city does need its festivities. I shall keep your name in my memory, the next time there's need of a song and dance, Elyas Seafarer."

Elyas realizes his gaffe and looks sheepish for a moment. "I see, right. You were visiting family elsewhere then? But forgive me, I shouldn't be nosy.", he adds quickly and moves on, indicating a little bow. "I shall be happy to be of service, Mylady. I am presently staying out of town, so you can leave a message to me at the Bawdy Bard."

"The…" It is possible that Lady Marsei's fair skin turns a tiny shade fairer. She shan't repeat the name of such a, well, bawdy establishment, but that, too, is committed to memory. Instead, she has a polite smile and nod for Elyas and travels backward in the conversation to assure him: "You were not nosy, have no worry! I was simply perplexing. It is only that I used to reside at Cider Hall with my husband, dearly departed." She raises a hand as if to gently cut off any condolences off at the past, smiling reassuringly. Her head bows deeper in gratitude. "I shall be happy to call upon your cheer."

Elyas nods, absorbing the information of the dearly departed as quietly as she had his port of call inside Oldtown. He looks around, making sure that the coast is clear in every direction, then offers Marsei another warm smile, adding dimples to it for good measure. "Well, I shall no longer keep you, Mylady, I am sure you have better things to do than converse with some random Dornishman." Upon seeming to depart, he does lean in closer though: "And thank you for saving my bacon."

Marsei's glance aside to check upon the whereabouts, or lack thereof, of the city guards may look conspiratorial, but the faint narrowing of her clever eyes on Elyas afterward reserves judgment over whether or not she is glad to have saved him. From what, that's the question — and it goes unasked. Instead, that smile. "Be good, Elyas Seafarer," she says to see him off. "Cheer and good men, that's what the city needs."

"Good thing then, that I travelled this way!", Elyas winks at her and wanders off in high spirits.

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