(122-01-17) Maesters and Mysteries
Maesters and Mysteries
Summary: Marsei and Camillo meet again; they not only share curiosity over what's going on with the maesters of late, but a shared past of sorts with the Fossoways.
Date: 17/01/2015
Related: Maesters Behaving Badly

A small, relatively quiet residential street, leading to the prestigious Starry Sept of Oldtown. The manses of the pious (and rich) line the street, clustered in the Sept's shadow like children around an old, decrepit grandfather. The Sept rises skyward to the West, dominating the street. The famous Maidenday Gardens are spread out opposite the Sept's seven towers. To the East is the Starry Street Bridge with its seven arches and the multitude of seven-pointed stars decorating its stonework. It spans the Honeywine to connect with Hightower Street. To the North is the long stretch of Sphinx Street, and the towers of the Citadel at its end. The the South is the Guildhall Row with its somber, semi-fortified halls and guild-owned docks.

There are banner-poles along the street, with banners depicting the Seven-Pointed Star in gold, on a white field. The street is quite immaculate, in spite of the heavily worn cobbles, smoothened by the treading of the pious, on their way to the hallowed ground of the Starry Sept.

Camillo is sitting on the ground, perhaps technically on the property of a manse, though no one is chasing him off at the moment. He is eating some sort of humble food that consists of vegetables stuffed into bread while occasionally glancing up at the sept across the street.

A lady emerges from the Starry Sept, and is soon joined by men in the cloaks of Hightower who waited dutifully outside for her to be finished with her prayers. Marsei is resplendent but modest in a vivid sapphire blue gown this day; it's long-sleeved, and a thicker fabric, trimmed in samite, to account for the moisture that lingers in the air. The fine hair at her temples and forehead are curled from the drizzle that falls from the skies above Oldtown every so often. She's in no hurry to be ushered away from the sept, rather preferring to take a stroll. In a contemplative mood, she'd be easily lost in her own thoughts if it weren't for the glimpse she catches of Camillo across the way. Promptly, with a cheery step and swish of fabric, she crosses the smoothened cobbles.

Camillo seems unconcerned about the damp ground or occasionally getting sprinkled on. When he realizes that the lady is approaching him, he hurriedly consumes his last bite of food and makes to stand.

"Good day, Camillo!" Marsei greets in her common good cheer. "I am sorry if I interrupted," she's quick to apologize, "I simply caught sight of you unexpected and thought to say hello. I do hope you're well!" The men stay back; how often must they linger about doing nothing while Lady Marsei greets every servant and friendly-looking smallfolk…

"Not at all, my lady," Camillo says, dipping his head. "It is very kind of you to take notice. You have been at worship, my lady?"

She dips her head in acknowledgement. The memory of worship moments ago — or perhaps what fuelled her prayers — brings an elusive trouble to her eyes, but she sweeps it aside with a smile, mentioning instead, "And I could not help but recall our last encounter in the Sept. I do still wonder on it, I admit, yet I haven't brought myself to investigate further."

Though commonly a deferential sort, Camillo does spend some time scanning the lady's face. Then he nods a little. "Are there Maesters inside, today?"

"I believe there to be, but … well," Marsei's smile is humble and fleetingly as anxious as it is sweet, "I tried not to seek their presence and kept my gaze upon the gods. Now it seems every time I spot a maester or septon, I start wondering just what it is they're up to — excepting during Lord Fossoway's wedding at the Sept, of course, it was too lovely— " Noticing she could easily go off on a tangent, she keens her head in Camillo's direction slightly, "I shan't like to gossip about the maesters and the devout, but have you heard anything to account for their strange behaviour?"

Camillo looks up at the mention of the Fossoway family, but it's clear that whatever reaction that name aroused calms after a moment. He tightens the corners of his mouth slightly. "I have not, yet, but I have taken a certain interest. I hope that I may learn something soon, to ensure that the Sept will remain a place for quiet reflection and prayer." He pauses, glancing at the damp earth in front of his feet and the hem of Marsei's skirt. "I heard it was Lord Owen, who was married."

Camillo's apparent dedication to the cause warrants a bright smile in Lady Marsei. "I'm glad for your devotion," she tells him earnestly. The smile holds fast as she bobs her head in confirmation of the wedding. "To a Manderly, Lady Gala. A beauty! She looks nearly a true mermaid with green hair. Lord Owen seeks to remain in Oldtown some time to …" Her seawater eyes jump back and forth as if to a escape some thought or another only to settle calm and bright on Camillo. "Oversee trade and business ventures."

Camillo nods at the description of the beautiful bride and Lord Owen's future activities, looking away. "Were there other Fossoways in attendance, my lady?" he asks.

"A number of lords and ladies of Fossoway travelled to attend the wedding. Most came with him from Cider Hill. It was a … a small reunion, of sorts." For her, at least, who so recently departed from the Fossoways under intense circumstances only to be surrounded by them once more— but Marsei concentrates on Camillo now, her curiosity clear and innocuous. "I suppose it has been awhile since you've seen some of them— ?" she ventures, as careful and polite as possible given that curiosity.

"Yes…" Camillo says in a slightly hollow tone. His brow furrows slightly, but in the end he decides, "I think I have lost count of the years. But not since my service ended." It's obvious that something about all this is bothering him, though he makes a token effort at appearing appropriately neutral. "Do you know whether there was…anyone there from that part of the family I served?"

Although Marsei's natural curiosity doesn't wane, it's outweighed by her empathy for the once-servant of Fossoway; it's a quiet empathy, expressed only in her gentle eyes, answering, "Lord Istor's brother attended. The eldest, I believe?" She watches for reaction with a smaller smile. "I was so new to the Fossoways back then, I only scarcely recall— … " She starts to say apologetically, but rose lips press and thin on the precipice of further speech; no, she shakes her head. She reaches out a hand just shy of laying upon Camillo's arm, her demeanour serious, even insitent, more suddenly personal — yet what have they to be personal about? "Can I ask something of you, Camillo— " Again, she stops; this time she glances to her shoulder, not quite reaching the Hightower men waiting a distance behind her. She takes a step back. "Apologies. It's nothing."

Camillo listens quietly to Marsei's disjointed speech, trying not to betray his own curiosity about the family he left, though it's obvious he has many questions he does not voice. He looks up when she begins to make a plea, brows lifting, but when she stops again, his gaze drifts and he looks just a little confused. "My lady," he says quietly, but follows it up with nothing. Perhaps it's meant as encouragement to continue or perhaps the opposite.

Marsei's brow would furrow, were her youthful skin capable of wrinkling to such an extent. The distraction in her gaze now is quite like the glimpse of disturbance she endured when she thought of prayer. This time, it's not so easily dismissed, particularly as she quietly wonders over Camillo. She smiles reassuringly all the same. Whatever her secretive distress, her shine is not lessened for it. "Trouble and misfortune does seem to follow the Fossoways, does it not?" she says in a casual manner not befitting the reality. She joins her hands together in a clasp. "I should get back to the Hightower; I do hope you enjoy the rest of your day, Camillo."

Camillo seems to realize only then the distress of his interlocutor. He takes a step back. "Yes, my lady, I apologize for putting you to sad thoughts. I hope you will be well."

Marsei can't leave it there; it's not in her nature. "Oh, I'll have none of that," she insists cheerily, sadness or no, that reassuring smile's in full force all over again, "No one's to blame, least of all you." The lady turns toward the men in cloaks, lifting a delicate hand to wave as she makes to walk down Starry Street under formidable guard. "You be well!"

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