(122-01-08) Maesters Behaving Badly
Maesters Behaving Badly
Summary: Lady Marsei and Camillo observe some rather peculiar behavior at the Starry Sept.
Date: Date of play (08/01/122)
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-03-leandro-s-code

The Sept is very popular this evening. A service has just concluded and people are dispersing for private prayers. There are plenty of Smallfolk who are thankful for surviving the recent pestilence. There are a lot of Septas and Septons moving quietly about the edges eying each other and the rather scruffy Maesters in attendance warily. And then there are the Maesters. Though the Citadel was particularly hard hit and many were rendered dead or invalids, there are quite a few of them here, not a one under forty, and looking rather…like they'd been in a tavern brawl yesterday, bruises being in full bloom and cuts having had enough time to scab over. They have the look of disgruntled vultures and seem more interested in each other, the architecture, and the Septas and Septons than in praying.

Camillo is a devout sort of chap, but he's been hanging around the Sept even more than usual, lately. He is among this crowd of Smallfolk, but he keeps his seat for a little while, head bowed.

Among those receiving the wisdom the Sept had to offer this evening is Lady Marsei. She appears to attend alone, or, at least, has separated herself from the other ladies of noble bearing that are around her. She'd been an eager pair of eyes and as well as ears, having the quiet look of someone in need of counsel of the gods, yet when the Hightower noblewoman begins to drift toward the front of the Sept — always a certain, proper, safe distance from the smallfolk even here — she winds up simply coming to a standstill, her long, fine gown brushing the ornate floor with its blue silk, and looking from one statue upon the wall to the other.

There are a lot of offerings around the statues, votives from those hoping a loved one with long term problems from the Fever or gifts of thanks giving from survivors. A stern looking Septon shows a Maester in his late forties away from the Votives at the base of the Maiden statue as he looked to be moving them about.

Camillo is sitting just a row away from the lady, and glances that direction. He rises, and moves as if to pass her by, but brushes her leg in his passing. Realizing he has done so, he drops down to one knee and bows his head. It's a rather odd thing to do, but he does so all the same. "Forgive me, my lady," he requests in a quiet voice.

Marsei is caught looking uneasily from the Mother to the Stranger; she, herself, shows two opposed sides. One arm reaches to hold the other, lightly gripping the delicate sleeve covering her upper arm, vulnerable; meanwhile, her dimpled chin lifts, composed. She's jostled ever-so-lightly out of her contemplation by the man who brushes past and kneels. Her eyes narrow, but not out of any spite, simply trying take stock of what she sees. For the most part, it's only the top of the man's head. "I see no cause for worry," she soothes down in her sweet voice. "Please, rise. There's no need to take the knee."

The red hair, the freckles, the small frame and the strong features in the kind face are perhaps easier to place than Camillo's worn-down features. When he lifts his gaze, his eyes show a flash of recognition, though he doesn't make any other expression to show he knows the lady. He stands when bade. "I hate to disturb a contemplation at the sept," he says, keeping his voice low.

A small scuffle breaks out when the Maester refuses to leave the Maiden votives alone and the rather stern Septa and a male colleague are forced to grab and frog march the protesting Maester to the exit. This gets a lot of angry stares from departing worshippers and the other clergy in attendance.

"My indecision left me quite in the way, I'm sure," the lady says — kindly, indeed. Even as she speaks, the the flash of recognition Camillo gives Marsei sparks her to search his face in hopes to spark her own. It doesn't quite catch, but the redheaded Hightower tips her head to one side, looking quite like a curious deer who's heard a noise in the brush for just a moment. Her face then warms, and she smiles, though it is not a full expression — there's room for questioning. "You look— " The scuffle draws her quick attention, a thin hand going to her collarbone in light shock at what clearly seems, to her, to be unbecoming behaviour in hallowed walls. She soon turns to concern, though, looking toward the Maiden and wondering what caused such a thing in the first place.

Camillo stands a bit straighter and cranes his neck to get a look at the hubbub on the other side of the sept. His internal springs seem to coil a bit when it seems that things could escalate, and he watches very carefully with a frown. Then he glances to Marsei, looking to see whether her face shows any understanding of what's going on.

There is nothing unusual about the statue of the Maiden. The Starry Sept statues are particularly well carved and elaborate, but it is the same statue that has stood for many generations in that spot.

Marsei's understanding seems to be rather nil. Her lack of knowledge is filled in by perplexion and earnest worry. She moves without travelling anywhere, only evident in the faint swirl of her gown, light on her feet as if she means to do something about the disturbance, but she stays out of the way. "Do you know what goes on with the maesters?" she asks the nearby man, "There's a certain— look about them today…" That's putting it mildly.

"It has been this way for at least two days," Camillo says softly, "Though I gather there is some secret about the matter. They seem to be disturbing the septons."

The remaining Septas and Septons are giving the remaining Maesters particularly close and unsympathetic scrutiny. Several Maesters tuck away slates and notes and decide to slink off rather than risk undignified ejection. The two that remain are particularly old. One appears to be openly snoring near the statue of the father. Another appears to be praying quietly before the statue of the Crone.

While the conversation leans too close to gossiping about the maesters and Most Devout for Marsei's liking, giving her a slightly comfortable air, she's concerned enough to go on — optimistically. "The Citadel is going through hard times. Surely, they're just going through a difficult recovery." Her gaze travels gently over the various statues, landing on the Crone. She starts to turn that way, but has not forgotten the man — his familiarity. "Have I— apologies, I'm sure I know you," she ventures politely, "But you look different."

Camillo watches the Maesters make their exit, talking while his eyes are still on them, which is rather impolite, for Camillo. "I suppose times have been hard for many," he allows. Then finally his attention returns to the noblewoman, though he doesn't stare impertinently. He looks to the floor, then has another glance at the lady's face. "I believe that you were a bride in the Fossoway family, my lady," he ventures quietly.

The Crone looks as she always does. She has very few votives compared to the Mother, father, Smith, and Maiden who are apparently the ones getting the most attention just now.

A small turn of the man's phrasing prompts the ghost of a frown on the noblewoman's fair face, but it's overshadowed by her welcoming smile but a second later. "I recall now, yes," she's happy to discover, "you were in the service of a lord of Fossoway. How kind of you to remember me. I feel awful I can't recall your name," she admits, earnestly trying to put a name to his face, now that it's partly covered in hair. How common would it be for a noblewoman, sister to the queen, to remember every passing servant's name, anyway? Perhaps it ought to be the other way around. Marsei takes a few steps in the general direction of the overlooked Crone, urging him to follow with a gentle wave of her hand, though it doesn't have the authority of an order.

Camillo also seems to have aged rather badly, perhaps a combination of worry, hard living, and too much time out of doors. And he always did have one of those faces that looks fine in its youth but doesn't seem suited to middle age. "Much kinder of you to remember me, my lady," Camillo replies. "I would not expect you to have known my name at all, but it is Camillo." He follows on from her gesture immediately, though he stays a step behind. "Will you make an offering?" he asks gently. It's unclear whether he means that question as simply as it sounds, or whether he's suggesting she do that to cover any searching she may be inclined to do.

Close up, the Maester is staring intently at the statue's base, though his posture is one of prayer. There is nothing particularly odd about the base. Like the other six statues there is a simple repeating decorative pattern. All the statues have slightly different variations, but the theme is echoed in the stone work on the walls.

Marsei smiles pleasantly as the name matches the face, albeit unevenly with her memory of Camillo from years earlier. Gaze and steps turned to the Crone, she answers simply, as she's true in her intention: "My indecision answered for me, earlier; who better to turn to for guidance?" Her already quiet voice quiets further the closer she gets to the statue and the praying maester. "It seems so few have," she comments with a touch of sadness on the fewer votives. Her attention to detail goes further than that, however; she homes in on the decorative stonework and the maester who stares at it, as well. "Shall you?" she turns the simple question on Camillo, similarly unclear, before approaching fully, delicately adjusting the flow of fabric from her hips, and kneeling reverently a respectful distance from the maester.

Camillo stays a step behind and follows the lady's gaze, then takes a glance at the scrap of foolscap in the palm of his hand in hopes of finding anything useful written there. He neither particularly conceals the gesture nor makes it overt. "I think I ought to," he says, going to where he can purchase a votive.

There are candles and little clay body parts for sale. The expense of the candles varies by burn time and the more complicated body parts cost an extra penny.

Marsei has long been ready to pray, unfurling her hand from a tight grip to place a votive beneath the withered carved embodiment of the Crone. Her motions are slow, practiced, and— though eager for guidance, a touch distracted, looking with curiosity at the old maester only to duck her eyes back down, taking pause.

Camillo pockets the paper and pays a penny for the cheapest candle, returning to the Crone statue where he, too, places and lights his offering. He seems no stranger to religious observance, either. He looks to the base of the statue, committing what he sees there to memory if he can.

The old Maester is taking surreptitious notes with a bit of charcoal on the inside of his sleeve, the faker.

How peculiar. So peculiar to Marsei that she's having a fair bit of trouble focusing on her purpose at the altar, but far be it for her to tattle on a maester. Her pause extends for longer to focus but, lighting her special votive, the devout lady is soon taken by the way its small flame and the small flames of its sparse companions shimmer against the Crone's lantern. Despite the maester's quiet scratchings, she does silently pray.

Camillo for his part is more aware of his surroundings. He tries to get a look at what the Maester is scribbling, without being too obvious about it.

It is a very detailed sketch of the statue base. That is all he's drawing. he shifts to get the view from the side, coincidentally giving the Lady and the servant more space. He is catching every nick and flaw in the design and seems to have been at it some time, the drawing being nearly complete..

Marsei's silent prayers are short but heartfelt; for a spell, her eyes are closed and her brow troubled before easing into something tentatively peaceful. When her eyes open, they're pointed to the statue, but are magnetized to the maester's drawing attempts. She watches, then looks quickly back up to the statue as if to secretly ask the Crone's forgiveness for spying on a maester— but what is he doing? She carefully extracts herself from the altar lest she gives in again and he catches her staring.

Camillo steps back, too, when Marsei seems to be finished. "Do you feel enlightened, my lady?" he asks cautiously.

"I feel I have more questions than when I started," Marsei replies with an equal dose of caution, in a hush. "Did you find what you were seeking, good Camillo?"

"There are patterns in this, as in all things, I suppose," Camillo replies, glancing at Marsei's face. "Perhaps if either of us is granted further wisdom in the future, we could meditate upon it."

The Maester rises and leaves. The old fellow continues to snore softly. The Septas confer and all but one glide quietly out.

A Couple Septons quietly tend the votives.

"Wise words in themselves," Marsei commends, smiling as Camillo looks to her face, both knowing, sweet, and perhaps even amused, just a little bit. Her gaze is more serious when it turns down toward the base of the statue; the old designs that have been there for as long as she can remember, now mimicked on a maester's sleeve. "Or perhaps these things are not ours to question," she wonders aloud.

Camillo looks down, but he doesn't actually agree. He glances to the old snorer. "I wonder," is all he says, which probably means nothing.

With a last, lingering look at the Crone rather than the seeming mysteries etched beneath her, Marsei turns from the deity. What's intended to be a calm stroll is bothered by the other maester's snoring; there's something off about it, and her mind is not finding peace in the Sept today. Her voice hushes yet further — and falls into more straightforward conspiracy with the former Fossoway servant. "Do you get the feeling we are perhaps interrupting something?"

Camillo nods once. "There is no doubt, my lady."

Indeed, there is an air of impatience about the septons tending the votives, as if they which they could shoo the last three visitors out like invading chickens.

Thus, Marsei puts on another smile — not disengenious, but purposeful — and starts to walk more pointedly toward the outer doors of the Sept, speaking to Camillo as she does so. "It was lovely to see a face loyal to the Fossoways again, even years past," she says, on a different subject, even as a surrepitious suspicious glance passes over the drooping maester and feels the septons pushing invisibly against her back. "I'm sure our paths will cross again here under the eyes of the gods." And, one may hope, not the impatient eyes of those tending them.

Camillo follows along. "I hope they will, my lady," he replies. "I keep the faith as best I can and so perhaps it will be here that we meet again. For now, I suppose I have my own duties to attend to. Seven keep you, my lady." He bobs his head respectfully as they exit.

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