(122-01-09) Green Wedding
Green Wedding
Summary: The wedding of Lord Owen Fossoway to Gala Manderly; the couple meet at the altar for the first time. The wedding feast is held at the Hightower.
Date: 09/01/2015
Related: Carrying On
Players:
Owen..Gala..Marsei..Loryn..Andolin..Kaspar..

It's a pleasant summer day in Oldtown, and the Starry Sept is bright and airy, bustling with activity. Word has spread: There is to be a wedding. Both the Reach and the North are represented in the turnout. The bride is a Manderly, and the groom a Fossoway, creating an eclectic mix of bannerman, lieges and vassals in attendance at the affair. Milling near the altar of the Mother are members of the Manderly family, and near the Father, those attending on behalf or in affiliation with House Fossoway. The groom stands in between, in front of a large septon with quivering jowls. Little acolytes hold seven-sided crystals on long chains, beaming off bright prism-light here, there and everywhere. Incense burns. The stage is set. All that is missing is the bride.

Those that know Owen Fossoway know that he's at times a hard man to read. Usually even tempered to the point of being dull today there is a nervous energy even about him as he stands between the altars of the Mother and Father to await his Manderly wife-to-be.

With the Fossoways being sworn bannermen to House Tyrell, the Lord of the Reach would obviously want one representative there. And with Tyrells thin on the ground in Oldtown, this task fell upon young Loryn Tyrell, who's taken a seat up front where the VIPs sit, accompanied by a small entourage, all gleaming gold and green in finest garb. For now he waits and fidgets and watches.

The acolytes start to sing The Song of the Seven, their voices clear and bright with youth. The septon stands with an affected air of piety, his hands folded across the swell of his prolific, rotund stomach. The song heralds the imminant arrival of the bride, and the guests without the luxury of a seat begin to fan out so that they might obtain a good view of the action. As the acolytes near the end of their song, one of them begins a charming solo, his gaze pointed to the altar of the Maiden, where the bride's entourage has assembled.

Gala Manderly is a vision in silver samite, wearing a bride cloak emblazoned with the crest of her house. She begins a slow promenade toward her betrothed, where he stands alongside the septon, a notable eagerness in her pace perhaps best explained by the fact that this is the first time the bride and groom will be laying eyes on each other. Near the back of the crowd, there's a little bit of a gasp. The other guests catching sight of the Manderly girl for the first time are awed by her hair: bright green, like the merman that is the sigil of her house.

Amongst the Fossoways is Lady Marsei; the Hightower, so recently widowed from the groom's brother, reunites with those of Cider Hill and their kin after being separated from them under unfortunate circumstances. Being at a wedding — a Fossoway wedding, at that — so soon after the death of her own husband might seem a tad uncomfortable and, indeed, the noblewoman can be seen holding a bit of tension in those small shoulders. Still, she's present in steadfast support of Owen, all smiles in anticipation of the bride's arrival. Marsei's reddish hair is styled more formally than it was earlier in the day, but her gown is less elaborate than it was when she greeted Owen into the Hightower, choosing a simple, but still fine, flowing blue gown. Her eyes widen roundly the second she sees the bride in all her green glory.

A slight quirk of the brow is Owen's only response to Gala's eccentric hair choice. Despite the flight fidget of his hands behind his back the Lord Fossoway's face remains a stoic mask. He moves to strip the maiden's cloak off of her back, and does so in a smooth motion. He trades the blue-green Manderly mermaid cloak for a gold cloak with a red Fossoway apple on the back. When he places the cloak on Gala's shoulders he leans in slightly to murmur something into her ear. And then he offers her his hand to assist her up the steps to the High Septon.

The Starks have a presence in Oldtown, true, but many of them are involved in other matters, and thus Andolin Stark has been stuck with making a showing. Dressed appropriately, he just looks a wee bit stiff and uncomfortable, but at least he's being polite; Loryn's spotted, and, though he notes the Tyrell and gives his friend a scarce nod, he otherwise stays quiet and attentive.

In a rare feat, the Manderly maiden makes it to her betrothed before the acolyte has finished his solo. When the song is concluded, the seven young acolytes arrange themselves behind the septon with practiced precision, their gazes respectfully downcast. Gala smiles at the gallantry of her betrothed, at how smoothly he strips her of her cloak and replaces it with his own. One of her kin moves forward to take her bride cloak, and then disappears back into the assembly.

This is the septon's cue. "We gather today to witness the wedding of Gala Manderly to Owen Fossoway," the septon drones, forging into an exhaustive reciting of the virtues of marriage, of the gifts of the Seven, and of the merits of piety and obedience.

Though the young bride seems at least ten years the groom's junior, she comports herself well, her calm composure masking any inner nerves. At last it is time for their vows to be sworn, and she turns away from the septon and toward Lord Fossoway, offering him her hands. The septon leads him in the traditional refrain.

Taken by the beauty of the affair, within the nostalgic, colourful splendor of the Sept, surrounded by the Seven, Marsei is starry-eyed. A hand even flattens to her delicate collarbone in a pose of girlish awe. It's a welcome thing, to forget her own circumstance briefly, and to imagine that this arranged pairing is as wonderful as it looks on the surface. For a moment, perhaps she can even believe that Lord Owen is wedding a real mermaid. As the wedding carries on, she watches on, half rapt, half wistful, with a sliver of room for discomfort in-between.

Loryn quirks a brow when he spots the green-haired bride, but then he's used to eccentricity in Oldtown. He smiles and offers Andolin a nod in return, the same for Lady Marsei should the young Hightower look his way. Then the septon gets going and he focus on the business at hand with a strange absorbed expression, taking everything in, but still miles away with his thoughts.

And so Owen Fossoway and Gala Manderly's hands are bound together as tradition dictates. They recite the names of the Seven together, and say their vows to each other. The Septon says more ritualistic words, and two strangers are bound together for more utilitarian reasons than the flowery words suggest.

Once the ceremony is complete, Lord Fossoway offers the newly made Lady Fossoway his hand yet again to help her down the stairs. He leads her through the crowd towards the Sept's exit, and into a waiting litter. The guests will, of course, see them again at the feast.

* * *

Grand Dining Hall - The Hightower Battle Island

This enormous dining hall is made to feast hundreds. There are wide double doors in the back which lead to the kitchens and the servants quarters beyond.

The walls here are decorated with huge tapestries depicting the Hightower, the acts of famous members of the Hightower family, the house sigil, famous parts of Oldtown, and the wildlife and flora of The Reach. Large oil lamps light the room, some from wall sconces and others from several massive chandeliers.

There are five long tables, each long enough to serve any ordinary grand feast. Their legs are carved in the shape of the Hightower itself, with the flame at the top leafed in gold. While they are narrow enough to allow people to pass things across them, they are so long that fifty might sit at each side. The great Head Table where the Lord and his family sit near the head is a little wider and a little taller, and is inlaid with blue and white and grey stone along its top. Carved chairs to match surround the tables.

The feast is, strangely enough, taking place in the Hightower. It does make some convoluted sense; Lord Fossoway was the good-brother of Lady Marsei Hightower until her husband's death. So the Hightowers take their place at the head of the table along with the bride and groom, and important members of the Fossoway and Manderly families. Room is also made for their liege lords, Tyrell and Stark. The next two tables are reserved for Manderly and Fossoway overflow, next comes other nobility, and finally the common but important attendants of both houses.

The menu includes crab legs brought from White Harbor in casks of ice with drawn butter. Roast pig with an apple in it's mouth, and spiced apples on the side. Various other hearty dishes including meat pies popular in White Harbor. Fossoway cider, wine from the Arbor, and even a vintage from the river lands flows. For dessert there are several different apple confections to choose from, and lemon cakes for those who do not enjoy apples.

A bard from White Harbor begins to entertain the guests with rollicking sea shanties, lively and conducive to dancing. Before they've had a chance to grow roots at the high table, Gala the Green turns to her husband and asks, "Oh, mightn't we have some dancing, my lord?" all bright-eyed and beside herself with excitement.

Lady Marsei is somewhat awkwardly positioned between the Hightowers and Fossoways, part of one and tenuously still part of the other. She makes a fine bridge between the families even still; she chats comfortably with the Fossoways, as if they're as much family as the other, a bubbly but politely quiet presence at the table.She regularly casts the brightest of smiles toward the newlyweds, the familiar face and the new, giving them space while they acquaint themselves.

"I'm afraid I will need more wine before my feet cooperate, my Lady." Owen says smoothly, and then swallows down said wine as proof that he takes her request seriously. Sensing she will be disappointed he motions one of the Fossoway servants over. The man carries a small chest, and sits it down on the table in between Gala and Owen's plates. He flips the lid open to reveal that it is a jewelry box, and there is a good quantity of jewels inside. "Most of these were my mothers." He explains, "And they are yours now." Reaching into the little chest he shows her a pair of emerald and pearl earrings, "But these ones? Ah, I spent most of the morning hunting them for you."

Gala is disappointed when her new husband defers her whim, but fleetingly so, proving in relatively short order to be a little bit flighty. She's distracted expertly by the chest put down between them, and her bright blue eyes widen at the bounty Owen reveals to her when he flips back the lid. "How beautifully marvelous," she breathes, her tone sheer delight, until he produces the pair of earrings. Her luminous eyes mist at the sight of them, and she exhuberantly leans across the gap between their chairs to plant an energetic, enthusiastic kiss upon his cheek. One of her young Manderly maids, likely a cousin if the resemblance is any indication, approaches to put the earrings on the new Lady Fossoway, who still beams at her husband.

Marsei has quickly, neatly gotten through a very small meal in order to focus on dessert. She sits with a piece of pie and cake in front of her, but her true focus is on Owen and Gala, smiling over the excitement of the new bride. The moment she realizes she's been outright staring for some time (not that she's the only one; it's a wedding, people are allowed to stare at the focal points of the whole event, are they not, and the bride, besides, has green hair), she looks down, and her pleasant gaze turns to nostalgia and nostalgia turns troubled. She attacks both of her desserts at the same time — in a ladylike manner, of course.

Owen looks equal parts pleased at Gala's reception of his gifts, and a little overwhelmed at her enthusiasm. He smiles. It looks uncomfortable on his face. As if he were not a man of many smiles. With a motion of the hand the chest with the rest of the jewels are taken from the table. Owen drinks more than he eats; an indication to those that know him that he actually is quite nervous. On his third glass of wine he glances down the table at Marsei, and looks back to Gala, "Lady Marsei is-well, was my good-sister. My brother died recently. But, she is still part of the family, and we will be in the Hightower for some time. You are both relatively close in age." That is how women form friendships, right? They just happen to be of an age, and then they talk fashion and babies or whatever it is women are interested in.

Gala holds up her chalice, admiring the look of the earrings in its reflection, and is still beaming at herself and at Lord Fossoway when he introduces his good-sister. She looks down the table at Marsei, sharing that bright, toothy smile she seems to wear so easily with the Hightower lady. "Well met, my lady! I would like so much if we might be friends. Aside from the ladies I've brought from White Harbor, I fear I'm positively destitute for friendship." She drinks out of the cup, using it for its intended purporse rather than as a looking glass, and adds hastily, "My heart aches for your loss."

Marsei hurriedly stops spooning desserts in her mouth, which seems a great and terrible fluster to her, but in truth is simply the act of slowly setting down her utensil and only a small burst of surprise. She looks to Gala with immediate and beaming kindness, paired with the kind of smile that lights up her whole face. "Oh! Well met, Lady Gala! I've been ever so eager to meet you. Barely a month ago, I would have been welcoming you into the family with open arms, but now I shall be glad for friendship."

Look. Friends already. Owen sips his wine with an almost smug look on his face as the women beam at each other. One of the Manderly's gains his attention to talk business, and soon enough the men are discussing port access, trade routes, and other yawn-inducing topics.

Gala cajoles the Manderly sitting next to her to trade seats with Marsei, so that the two of them can converse more easily. Once Marsei is settled in her new seat, Gala pushes over a plate of little apple tartlets and asks, "Have you had one? They're absolutely divine." She lowers her voice, as if Owen might overhead from the midst of what sounds like the most boring conversation imagineable, and confesses, "I think I could eat the whole platter of them!" She bites into her tartlet with gusto, not being the sort to nibble when you can take a nice big bite of something. Leaning toward Marsei, Gala puts an elbow on the table, resting her chin on the back of the hand she holds aloft, admiring the Hightower woman. "You're ever so lovely. And your hair. I've cousins with that beautiful red, and there isn't a day I don't envy them."

Happy to settle in, Marsei sits neatly, turned ever-so-slightly toward Owen's new bride in budding friendship. A look of utterly genuine surprise and modesty washes over Marsei's fair face, turning faintly rosy over the flattery, particularly when she can't quite stop starrily looking at Gala's hair, all things considered. "You flatter me and my Tully mother," she says humbly, "But red is so terribly common compared to yours! I've heard tales of such fashions, but I've never— it's so beautiful." She remembers the tartlettes, then, and looks to the plate. "Ah— yes, and I have eaten whole platters," she confesses, "but you may want to go easy on them." Not for the stereotypical reasons; no, it's with humour and some good-natured pity in her tone that she explains, "You have so very … very many apples in your future."

Gala sighs, and laments, "If I'd hair like yours, I should never think to change it!" She toys with a lock of her green hair, a bright and dissonant contrast to her pale blonde eyebrows and soft smattering of freckles. "Did you know Braavosi men color their beards, too? I've heard…" She thinks better of making this proclamation at her usual excited volume, and leans closer still to Marsei, whispering at her ear, "…the courtesans apply the dye between their legs, to surprise their lovers." Her eyes sparkle brightly, as if in disbelief, and she goes back to her usual volume. "Their trade ships come through White Harbor all the time. They bring dyes in colors we don't even have names for."

"So what I propose is loading up extra water to make our way around the Broken Arm of Dorne without stopping. Those villainous Dornishmen will tax us to death if we stop in one of their ports. The ships will be able to take on supplies in Tyrosh. Pentos or Gulltown could be used for the next filling station…" Owen's words dry up as a rather scandalous whisper involving courtesans and dye escapes his wife's lips. His head turns to stare at her green hair for a moment before he says, "I believe it is the Tyroshi who dye their beards, my Lady. Shall we retire soon?"

A wedding feast is in full swing at the Hightower, with the guests in attendance a mixed and varied party. There are Manderlys from White Harbor, Starks, Tyrells, Hightowers themselves, Fossoways, as well as guests from a handful of other Reach houses with some connection to the bride and to the groom. The feast is sprawling, and a bard sings lively sea shanties for the guests. Most of those dancing are from the bride's family, though she herself is seated at the high table between her husband and Lady Marsei.

It is fortuitous that Marsei finished her desserts, for she chokes briefly even on air. She clears her throat as elegantly as possible — and succeeds, what with the elegant tip up of her chin, even leaned in as it is to receive whispers, but her words don't follow suit. "That is— that would— is— " Hushed, through a over-modest and vaguely mortified smile, she says, "— that— is surprising. I've seen the men with colours in their beards at the market, and at port…" And now she'll think of the other thing every time she sees a dyed beard; thank you, Gala. Owen's return to attention at that particular moment leaves her extra speechless; she reaches for another lemon cake.

Gala blinks innocently, in a very "Was it something I said?" manner, as if truly having no idea what it is she's said that inspires blustering from Marsei and the sudden attentions of her husband at her other side. Taking a hearty drink of wine and another bite of her apple tartlet, she laughs merrily at Owen's suggestion they leave and says, "But how can we, when we haven't even had any dancing yet?"

"If you insist, but I am likely to step on your feet." Owen has another swallow from his wine glass, and says to the Manderly who he was discussing trade with. "Tomorrow we'll put it all together." He finishes off the wine, because copious amounts of wine make men better dancers, and stands up from the table to hold out his hand to Gala. "Shall we?"

"It's a rare opportunity," Marsei tells Gala merrily, smiling good-naturedly Owen's way, "A chance to dance with Lord Fossoway. Make him last two whole songs!"

According to Lord Wilmar Royce, it is unseemly for a Valelord to arrive late to a wedding, melee, or hunt. Of course, it is Lord Wilmar's brother Ser Kaspar who was chosen to pay his respects to Lord Fossoway and his new bride. Kaspar is dressed in a black trousers and a doublet with bronze slashed undersleeves. Although, the Valelord's belt of runes has been conspicuously absent from his court attire and harness for several weeks. Kaspar approaches the table above the salt where bride, groom, and their relations sit. He falls into a low bow and motions for two boys to step forward and set chests, the one of cedar, the other of weirwood upon the table. Belated Wedding gifts.

Gala is fit to bursting with enthusiasm, beaming a smile at Marsei before taking her husband's hand and getting set to whisk him to the floor, rather than letting him lead her there, as decorum might dictate. But she's halted by the approach of the Vale lord with his chests of gifts, and stops to examine the chests with interest, most particularly the weirwood one. She does not recognize their bearer, or his arms, and looks to her husband, offering Kaspar a bright smile in the meantime.

Owen's eyes flick quickly over Kaspar Royce's attire in an assessing manner. He doesn't smile, but his countenance is welcoming as he says, "My Lord of Royce. Well met." He takes a step down to clasp arms and so some sort of manly greeting with Kaspar. He has had more than enough wine to be friendlier than he usually is. "You didn't have to bring us gifts." Still, the cedar chest's lid is opened, and a fine Ram's horn with silver work at the tip and a silver band running down the remainder is revealed. It is decorated with mermen and apple trees. "That is a fine vessel, Ser."

Lord Fossoway's young, green-haired bride claps with delight when the weirwood chest is opened, revealing two matched sets of combs, one with Manderly motifs and the other Fossoway. "How lovely!" she praises, immediately retrieving one of each from the chest to admire them all the closely. "I adore them," she declares, returning the pieces carefully to the chest for safekeeping. "You must please extend my gratitude to Lord Royce," she insists to Kaspar, with a bright smile.

Marsei is left with empty seats on one side and an unfamiliar Manderly on the other. She does not immediately inch closer to the Hightowers, however; she simply watches those in the hall, settles her lemon cake in front of her, and the takes a moment admire the couple's wedding gifts from the Royce as they're revealed.

Kaspar Royce is nothing if not convivial. Unlike Lord Wilmar, he does regard every Southron Lord with contempt. "May the old gods and the your Seven bless you and your bride, Lord Fossoway." Kaspar nods to Owen and chuckles when the Reach Lord claps him upon the shoulder. "And I hope you will drink deep, my lord, deep enough that your desire waxes, but not so deep as to make your faculty wane." The Valelord turns next to the Gala. When she mentions Lord Wilmar, Kaspar favors the maid with a sly smile. "Indeed, I shall my lady of Manderly."

The knight looks about the grand dining hall and stops when he sees Marsei, the young widow of… some Fossoway or another was it. "Lady Marsei. Quite a wedding, though I'll wager you have seen the like in Cider Hall, yes? I have heard Lord Owen has a lively court."

Once Kaspar drifts over to Marsei, Gala seizes the opportunity to finally force her husband into a dance. She takes Owen's hand in hers and positively skips out onto the dance floor with him in tow, already melting into the lively steps of the shanty before Lord Fossoway has a chance to realize what's happening. The tune is a lively one, better suited to the deck of a ship, perhaps, than a southron dining hall, but the Manderly bride delights in it. "This is my favorite!" she tells Owen, while the dancers around them heft their lady partners into the air with the beat.

Lady Marsei's attention lands easily on Kaspar; she's ready with a welcoming smile. Even such a polite, expected expression is bright enough to count on behalf of all the Hightowers. "I've been witness to many a wedding, my lord, from here to the Crownlands, all lovely in their own right. Although I must say, this one was particularly splendid to watch!" Her gaze can't help be drawn to the energetic dancing, a slip of laughter escaping her. "It seems Lord Fossoway has been blessed with a lively and beautiful wife."

Owen didn't lie when he said there would be trotting on the foot. He is the worst dancer ever. Well, probably not the /worst/. But totally up there. Still, he goes along with it for two dances before he finally leans down to murmur something into Lady Gala's ear. Whatever he murmured seems to have the effect he desired. Taking his wife's hand in his own, Owen discreetly leads her off of the dance floor, and towards the exit of the Great Hall. It seems Lord Fossoway intends on robbing the guests of their bedding. And, for the most part, people are far too into their cups to notice the bride and groom creeping out.

"Truly, this seems a fine wedding, though my sister Serra's wedding to the late Donnel Pryor was one of the most ah, one of the livliest weddings the Vale has seen in decades. Lady Jeyne's cousin coveted my sister and my brother Wilmar was acutely aware of the young Knight's…."

Two boys rush toward the Valelord, one bearing the crest of house Redfort, the other the crest of house Grafton.

"Ser, Ser!" Both boys hold a pair of table daggers in their hands. The younger boy leaps from the flagstones. "You promised Ser!"

Kaspar sighs and favors the boys with an indulgent smile. He takes three steps so that he is well away from any of the wedding guests and begins to juggle.

Marsei is — perhaps politely so — engaged in Kaspar's story, but the boys' interruption is a welcome surprise when it turns into a most unexpected act of juggling. "Oh, my." There's enough childlike awe to go around; she's easily amazed by the flying daggers. And concerned, if the small gape of her mouth is any indication — but not so transfixed that she doesn't notice a certain presence is missing from the floor. Namely, the dancing couple of honour, a fact which draws her attention utterly away from Kaspar's feat.

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