(122-02-06) Whispering Dragons
Whispering Dragons
Summary: There might be more to the friendly conversation between princess and noblewoman when there's something important to the King at stake.
Date: 06/02/2015
Related: The Treasure Hunters, The Treasure Hunters' Lord

Walled Garden - Dragon Door Manse Starry Street

The Dragon Door Manse has a large walled garden behind. The tall stone walls have iron spikes topping them to prevent climbers, and a heavy double oak-and-iron gate leading into the alley behind. It's quite solid, though there is a little door in it that one might open to look out. Near that gate is the stables, with an attached mews on one side and kennels on the other. There's a small paddock for the horses behind the stables, and in front of it a space for training at arms, with a simple pell as well as a more complex practice dummy that can pivot when struck. These utilitarian areas are separated from the rest by a lower, and gateless, wall. Orange trumpet-creeper grows over it in most places.

Between this wall and the garden is a great fire pit, ringed in glossy black stones, each cut to interlock with the next and engraved with the image of a dragon. They're all in slightly different poses.

Nearer to the Manse is the garden proper. Its has winding stone paths and is planted thickly in flowers and trees. Most of the blooms range in colour from fire-orange to blood red. Deep purples are also included in the garden's otherwise limited palette. The pride of the plantings is an enormous flowering quince tree, some thirty feet tall — not large for a tree, but vast for one of its type. Clearly it has been pruned for generations to take on this form, single-trunked, with its branches curving up and then down in a fountain shape. Each of them nearly touches the ground and is heavy with bright red-orange flowers. One can step through them to stand hidden under the umbrella of blossoms, shaded and cool.

Most of Oldtown's grand manses have a fountain at the center of their gardens. Here there are only a few small ones, here and there along the paths. At the center there is, instead, a black stone pavilion, standing in the open and unshaded by any trees. It is seven-sided, with arched doorways on its East and West walls. It is otherwise glazed, including its domed roof. The glass is black and clear and red, pieced together to form the three-headed dragon sigil of House Targaryen. The image is repeated on the floor inside, in red jasper set into the black marble. The pavilion houses long curved benches of that same black stone. It gets tremendously hot inside.

A Table has been set up in the garden near the flowering Quince tree, and it has a tray of little tartlets and lemon cakes stacked in the middle. There is a pot of tea brewing, but someone thought it prudent to leave a bottle of a fine sweet Arbor Red along with wine glasses to take it. Visenya meets Marsei, escorted by one of the house's servants, at the table. "Lady Marsei." She smiles, and motions for the other woman to have a seat.

Walking delicately through the striking Targaryen garden to meet Visenya, the visiting lady seems quite like she might brush against a red petal and catch aflame at any moment. The pink palette that makes up her intricately embroidered gown looks utterly subdued in these surroundings, yet Marsei is full of contrasts; her hair looks a fair match for the flowering quince tree. "Princess Visenya! This garden, does it ever stop astounding?" Thrilled, she reaches for Visenya's hands in friendship as she lowers into the offered seat.

"It is my favorite part in the Manse." Visenya says as she squeezes Marsei's hand lightly before sitting down herself. She picks up the hot pot with her bare hands without a wince or hesitation, and serves a steaming cup to Marsei before pouring some into her own cup. In contrast to Marsei Visenya wears a gown of deep purple that matches the purple accent colors in the garden, and intensifies the violet of her eyes. "How are you? Busy, I imagine. I heard the Dolphin Festival is only a few weeks away. That must be a lot of planning for your family."

Marsei watches the Targaryen's method of handling the teapot with open intrigue without outright staring. "Thank you," she says before inching the cup closer to her with a much more delicate touch toward the hot surface. She doesn't lift it yet, in fact, it needs to cool. "The Hightower's full of life — that's true! But as much as I always adore the Dolphin Festival, I've had other things keeping my mind, what with our adventure, and all the hustle and bustle might start to rather get in the way, to be honest," she admits, though it's still in good spirits.

"That could complicate things." Visenya does not wait for her tea to cool, although she does blow gently across the top before having a sip. She holds the almost too-hot cup in her hands as if she relishes the heat. "Perhaps you could make an alternative suggestion for the masque?" She pauses, and furrows her brows slightly as if trying to recall. "Or did we throw that last year?" She shrugs, "Regardless, I could see how that could complicate things."

"There certainly is a lot going on — I'm thankful to be busy, of course," she says glowingly, "It will all work out in the end!" Marsei looks on the bright side. She reaches for a lemon cake while her tea is cooling. "The hall has been put back in order," she tells Visenya in a tone that is ever-so-slightly quieter than the one before, just enough to mark her wariness of any potentially intruding ears. "It's no longer so— well, it no longer draws the eye to what's beneath." With the cake delicately poised under her dimpled chin, she opens and closes her mouth as if trying to form words she's not sure of, looking toward the princess both curiously and almost apologetically. "I meant to speak with you about what we found…"

Visenya holds her cup poised in the air. She gives Marsei an encouraging, "Oh?"

"Have you spoken to anyone about it?" Marsei goes on, surmounting her hesitation; it's still conversational, sweeter than the lemon cake she carefully bites.

"Just family members." Visenya says nonchalantly.

Marsei takes a sip of tea to wash down the lemon cake. It's done so quickly, a bit hot for her tongue, but she perseveres. "Naturally," she replies … approves, vaguely; smiles, surely and earnestly as anything. "It's just … well, we're in a strange position, what with so many people bound to show an interest were word to spread and us still trying to unveil the history of it all. There's some concern that the Citadel may try to lay some claim— and," she waves a hand gently, her expression open and wondering, "maybe they have a right, too. But we wouldn't want a conflict to erupt prematurely."

"Of course." Visenya says with an easy smile. She reaches over to take a tartlet, and nibbles on it before saying, "I trust that Lord Hightower will have informed the King and small council of it, anyways. I'm sure Prince Rhaegor will put it in his weekly report, but…" She shrugs while holding the rest of the uneaten tartlet, "It will surely be redundant."

"I was sure to pass on your advice to my brother — on Prince Rhaegor," Marsei replies, in a tone admiring of Visenya's advice to consult Rhaegor's wisdom. She regards the princess with clever eyes, all the while. "There's more to uncover," she says with a slight lean in to the table and a secrecy that leans toward the playful. "I know that if Ormund may seem quiet on the subject, it's because he wants to present the clearest picture."

"Of course he would." Visenya says lightly. She finishes off her tart. "And I'm sure the King-" Her smile widens slightly, "Ah, I speak of him so familiarly, but surely you and your Lord Brother know more of his wants considering he is your good brother and I am but his cousin and his nephew's betrothed. Surely, you must know how pleased the King would be to hear of such a find." She picks up the wine bottle then, "A bit of a nip, perhaps?"

"It's an important relic to both our families," Marsei says agreeingly, cheerful for it— and just like that, she's distracted by staring over-long at the bottle of wine. "Is that an Arbor red?" Emphasis on Arbor; she shakes her red head quickly, just the faintest toss. It's not a dismissal of the offer, but rather of her own question, deigning it silly. "Yes," she answers graciously to make up for it, "just the tiniest pour, thank you."

"It is, of course, an item that belongs to your family." Visenya says in a smooth almost soothing tone to Marsei, "But considering it's history, and the fact that the maesters cannot do with it as we can it is important to at least let the King know of it's existence." She slides the wine glass over, and pours Marsei two fingers worth of the Arbor Red. She pushes it across the table towards the other woman. "I do not know the King, but I have heard much about him. He does not seem a man who simply takes what he wants." She fills her own cup, and has a small sip. "Besides, you are his family."

Marsei's hands have found their way around the now comforting warmth of her tea, but one unfurls to slowly take up the wine, smiling her thanks once more. She grasps it just as carefully as she did the hot cup. "Oh, certainly," she's sure to agree again, solidly so. "We'd never think of keeping a secret from King Viserys." She leans congenially — and conspiratorially — over her wine. "Perhaps one day you will get to explain to him yourself what it felt like to play it for the first time in so many years. Wouldn't that be a wonder? I keep trying to imagine what you must have experienced! Do you really truly think it's," she hushes, hopeful, "magic?"

Visenya seems pleased with being told that it will not be kept secret from the King. She leans forward slightly just as Marsei does, "I am no scholar, Lady Marsei. But, what I felt…" She smiles in a dreamy fashion, "It has to have an essence of magic left over from the Freehold. I felt it. Novice Bryn, whose father is most certainly of Targaryen blood, felt it." She leans back in her chair, "So yes. Yes yes yes. I absolutely do believe it is."

Visenya's dreamy explanation catches, and soon Marsei is as starry-eyed as if recalling the same memory. Her imagination fills in what she can't feel. She takes a sip of wine. "And Bryn's dreams?"

"You know of the boy's dreams?" Visenya asks in a slightly surprised tone.

"I heard only a whisper of them, that night," Marsei explains, "they're a mystery to me. Even so, I… I find myself apt to believe them," the hush in her voice lends to her awe, "whatever they are. Whatever they mean."

"They are not my dreams to share." Visenya admits with a faint smile. "Daevon…he dreams as well. It's not uncommon in my family." She smiles faintly, "If you asked him he might tell you, though." A pause, and she changes the subject to more light things.

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