(122-02-13) On Bravery
On Bravery
Summary: Lady Marsei and Camillo walk back to the Hightower after praying at the Sept and encountering pushy maesters.
Date: 14/02/2015
Related: Harassing, Historically; Citadel & Sept

Starry Street Oldtown

This is a wide, relatively quiet residential street, leading to the prestigious Starry Sept of Oldtown. The large and gracious manses of the wealthy line the street on either side, their doors flanked by armed guards. The Sept rises skyward at the Western end, dominating the street. The famous Maidenday Gardens are spread out just across the street from the Sept's seven towers. The Starry Street Bridge with its seven arches and the multitude of seven-pointed stars decorating its stonework makes up the Eastern end of the street. It spans the Honeywine to connect with Hightower Street. The long stretch of Sphinx Street runs North up the Western side of the river, with the towers of the Citadel at its end. Running South is the Guildhall Row with its somber, semi-fortified halls and guild-owned docks.

There are poles all along Starry Street, each bearing a banner depicting the Seven-Pointed Star in gold, on a white field. The cobblestones are heavily worn, smoothed to a shine by the treading of the pious on their way to the Sept. The stones are kept immaculately clean, as are the balusters of the bridge.

Distance slowly spreads between the lady and servant walking Starry Street and the Sept. It's a relief; a rare one, for Marsei, who usually cherishes her time there. She checks back over her shoulder, but the maesters gave scattered, Visenya is nowhere in sight, and Marsei and Camillo are left alone. She looks like she could use more prayer time, what with the thoughtful, distantly worried cast her face has taken, all the more set upon for the encounters in the Sept. A cool air has rustled Oldtown all day, threatening rain, and she wraps her arms about herself. "I cannot believe their persistence," she remarks, truly surprised.

Camillo frowns in agreement. "I am sorry I could not do more to send them off, my lady. It is a difficult matter no negotiate. Perhaps…perhaps you should ask Lord Ormund to be more firm in his declarations."

"You did what was appropriate, Camillo, and well at that," Marsei makes sure to express. "Ormund will of course hear of this," she says, her tone agreeing. "Although … they are not… entirely in the wrong, are they…?" Her query is tentative, thoughtful, and unsure. "The Citadel is the keeper of history. Still; I pray they will learn patience." Her conviction to pray for the maesters and their patience-to-be is quite sincerely literal. A pause. "And … well, manners, in some cases."

Camillo tilts his head slightly in consideration. "I cannot say, Lady," he replies. "History has never been much for small folk. But if it is a matter of history, why is there such urgency?"

"That is what perplexes me," Marsei concurs softly. It concerns her as well, if the worry alongside that perplexion is any indication. "I suppose, history being so important to them, they might fear what we've found will slip forever too far from their grasp to study," she rationalizes, but shakes her head, dismissing the maesters and their motives. She decides to be optimistic in her faith, instead. "I'm sure our next visit to the Sept will be more peaceful."

"Do you not think there must be more to it than that, my lady?" Camillo asks. "They seem each so desperate to grasp something for themselves, independently." He looks back over his shoulder. "It might be wise to ask Maester Leandro to investigate the matter further."

"You're right," Marsei agrees with a small measure of disappointment; not disappointment that Camillo is right, but rather that the matter is more depthful than she wishes. When it comes to persistent maesters, she could do with less conspiracy to investigate in this adventure. "And then there's the dreams," she says, keeping her voice quiet; every so often, someone does pass them on the street. "The ones the boy had; the novice, Bryn. I can't help but feel this is bigger than us all. Perhaps the other maesters know that as well."

"Dreams?" Camillo says. "I have only heard of the boy's dreams in passing." He glances at Marsei. "Has anyone else had such dreams?"

"I only know as much as you, I'm afraid." Marsei looks ahead as she strolls, along the clean smooth cobbles, innocent awe finding its way back to her eye. " But… it's all so magical, isn't it? That night, under the Hightower. Visenya spoke of magic. It's easy to believe they were dragon dreams."

Camillo hunches his shoulders slightly at that. "I confess it makes me somewhat uneasy, my lady. Magics and dragons are beyond common people. What if those pipes were to bring up forces that no one can control or understand?"

"I admit I… briefly feared Visenya would call a dragon to the Hightower." Despite that fleeting concern, she smiles after, finding it amusing— because surely it is an outrageous thought. Isn't it? Suddenly, her light brows move toward each other, taking it under consideration only to smile again, reassuring (Camillo or herself?). "Perhaps the maesters do have the realm's best interests at heart. But all is safe in the Hightower."

Camillo tilts his head slightly at Visenya, as if he cannot quite promise that such a thing is so absurd. Or that the Hightower is safe. But he doesn't voice his worries. Instead he asks, "Did you have time enough at the Sept, my lady?"

The lady is content to let the matter of magic and maesters rest, but she is not content as a whole; Camillo's query prompts silence, spent watching the bottom of her dress ebbing and flowing over her footsteps on the street. She gives a delayed smile; for Camillo, but pointed at the cobbles. "I could stay in the Sept day and night." And it would not be enough.

Camillo seems to take her meaning, following her gaze to the stones. What an interesting street. "I am sorry if you are troubled," he offers after a silence.

Marsei lifts her gaze from the cobbles to look upon Camillo for a moment of gratitude and courtesy. "Thank you, Camillo." She keeps her chin up, now, with rather purposeful poise. For her many troubles, she gives none of them voice.

Camillo seems uncertain, briefly, whether he should say more, but in the end decides against it for a while. They walk on a bit before he mentions, "I think you are brave, my lady."

"Brave?" Marsei queries straight back, surprised. Skirting underneath is a slight tone of defensiveness; denial, perhaps, unsure that she should accept the assessment. She's bright inquisitive when she turns fuller attention on Camillo, but wary. "Why do you think me brave? I… I am not sure I am that."

Camillo seems a little more bashful when Marsei questions his assessment so strongl nd turns her attention on him. He draws his brows down and looks at the road for a moment, slow to reply. "Well. I believe you…have troubles. Perhaps great ones. And yet…I have seen you wear more smiles than those twice as carefree." He pauses to think a little more. "I think…each day it must take some effort for you to summon the strength, but… I have never seen you heap your troubles on others, even in the most innocent way."

She is equal parts warmed and discomfited by Camillo's words. The words of a servant, but that is only a small factor at the moment. Hers is a conflicting concoction of reactions, culminating in a modest blush of rose across her cheeks and her red head tipping down again after all. Her smile is spread far across her face, but thin, thoughtful, even as it lingers. "I suppose I see no other way," she replies slowly. "And if that makes me brave then I suppose it is because I have to be."

"I think there are other ways," Camillo says softly. "If not honorable ways. The fact that you do not see them is…what I mean," he replies, bobbing his head once. "I know it is out of turn for me to judge you to begin with."

The self-reflection brought about by Camillo's observation is a good deal different than the reflection she'd been caught up in moments ago, and long lashes blink perplexed. She nods, subtly, understanding as much as she can without being outside of herself, like the servant is. "It's not out of turn; perhaps if I did not value your judgments it would be so," Marsei says frankly, "I enjoy hearing your point of view."

Camillo nods once. "Then I am glad I spoke," he says. "I…hope that your burdens will lighten over time."

"I am given new ones," Marsei replies, but appreciates the sentiment. "In earnest," her voice lowers, "As of late, I am not certain whether or not some of my prayers have been answered or shattered." Rather than share her predicament, she bears it by smiling; bravely, by his words, she moves on instead to passing a kindness on to him rather than her burden. "I hope the Seven heed yours, good Camillo."

Camillo inclines his head. "Perhaps they will," he agrees. "But then…" He looks mildly puzzled again. "Sometimes having one's prayers granted is as fearsome as not," he says. "The unknown can be fearsome."

Marsei ponders on Camillo, as if by looking upon the side of his face she might uncover what he prays for. His words soon have her thinking about her own prayers — and future. "And never quite how it is imagined to be," she agrees as well, a forlornness to her sweet voice. The street curves and changes, more people of various sorts bustling this way and that the nearer they get to the harbourfront. She looks up at the Hightower that guides them back home.

"Nothing ever is," Camillo returns. He looks up to see Marsei's face as the note of sadness enters her voice. "But that does not mean it is always worse."

She likes that. "I have found that to be so." She turns a smile on Camillo and walks with it intact, gaze upward turned wistful. Hopeful. "It is good to remember it."

Camillo walks quietly for a time. Perhaps he is trying to keep to his place, or perhaps he is thinking of things to say and then realizing that they are bad ideas. Perhaps he just wants to give Marsei some time to think, especially now that she's smiling.

The lady's steps hurry slightly under the awareness that the eve stretches on, that there all manner of people afoot around them, and her finery does tend to draw the eye. She'll slow more comfortably once they reach the guarded island and its safeties and comforts. She's quiet herself, seeming content to remain that way, in her thoughts.

Camillo does keep a bit of a sharper eye out as dusk gathers, taking the time now and again to turn slightly one way or the other and get a clearer view of their surroundings. "I hope I will not have to sweep maesters out from under the rug when we get inside," he says at last.

Marsei laughs, unexpected; the sound is all the more pure for it. "Best prepare, all the same; fetch a broom," she jests as they approach the guarded bridge to Battle Island, with its guards ready to part easily for the Hightower lady and Hightower servant. "If we are fortunate, Maester Leandro is the only one who lurks about."

"He seems trustworthy enough," Camillo says. "But. Even so. I watch him when he is here." Once they get to the tower, Camillo makes the lady a bow. "Shall I leave you here, my lady?"

Marsei nods in regard to Leandro, casually approving. Her opinions of the maester are still forming. She comes to a slow stop to bear witness to Camillo's bow and in return, smiles. "Yes, please, that's good, Camillo. I… think I will go to rest," she decides. "Thank for the escort!" She turns and walks off to enter her towering home, and that would be that, were it not for — without turning around — an entirely joking, last moment call, "Don't forget the broom!"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License