(122-03-31) Any Excuse (For a Party)
Any Excuse (For a Party)
Summary: Loryn gets festive at the Quill & Tankard for an actor's nameday and is joined by Marsei, who makes an altogether rare appearance, and an interpreter by the name of Lylen becomes acquainted with the nobles.
Date: 31/03/2015
Related: None

Quill and Tankard Hightower And Citadel

This is the common room of the Quill and Tankard, that famous Oldtown Inn that has never closed in five hundred years. The building is a noble old half-timber structure with plastered stone between the enormous old black beams. It sits on a small rock of an island at the edge of the Honeywine River, and is accessed by a little footbridge, or by water-taxi.

Rivermen and seamen, smiths and singers, priests and princes, Lords and sellswords, travelers both noble and small, and the novices and acolytes of the Citadel - all come for a taste of the fearsomely strong apple cider that makes this inn so beloved by Oldtown's people. There is a pleasant buzz of chatter, cups and tankards being filled and refilled, and general laughter.

The fire in the hearth allows for a merry glow and a comfortable warmth from Oldtown's breezy, misty cobblestone streets. Benches and tables offer places to sit, and there is a deliciously toothsome smell in the air of food from the back.

It doesn't take much for Loryn Tyrell to feel like a party is in order. The first Thursday in the week for example or a day ending on the letter Y. This evening has him and a merry bunch of people from the Whimsy assembled at the Quill for a piss up. It's loud fun with two actors presently standing on a table singing something rather bawdy, while others are trying to chat up the bar wenches.

It is most uncommon for Marsei Hightower to make an appearance at random parties that spring up here and there — no, that is a pasttime mostly left to her sister … the younger, that is. However, it is with bright eager eyes and a curious attitude that the red-haired lady makes her way into the Quill and Tankard and into the Tyrell's festivities, looking around as if she has never seen it before in her life, a testament to her general curiosity than whether or not it's true. The sweet Hightower is dressed modestly and fashionably in samite, all white and yellow and gold, and accompanied by men bearing Hightower cloaks. She turns slightly away from the bawdy singing, looking instead for familiar faces.

Loryn is actually neither singing nor seducing a barmaid for now, he's busy working his way through a tankard of ale while talking to two elderly men about some show at the Whimsy. Upon spying the Hightower lady his eyes widen a little and makes his excuses to approach her. "Lady Marsei! Now yours is not a face I would have expected to see here. Can I invite you to a cup of wine perhaps?" They know each other a little. He did squire for Brynden after all. Badly.

Lylen had suddenly found himself in the midst of a rather loud party, filled with smallfolk, knights, and nobles alike. He had shied away from the general festivities but drank nonetheless, out of the way of most of the men looking for barmaids, rather to not be a bother. As he took another drink, he and continued to watch the partygoers, perhaps hoping to pick up a name, any name, he might have heard elsewhere.

"Ser Loryn," Marsei greets with a warm smile. "Certainly. I came upon a group on their way here as I was on an errand, and I thought a change of pace was well in order," she explains, looking around at the gathered again in a distantly fond manner; more folk seem to recognize her than she does them. She ducks her head toward Loryn, then, her smiling warming further for jest, "though I do hope your festivities do not get quite so accidentally out of hand as mine."

"Your… masquerade, you mean?", Loryn asks with a big smile, "I found it all rather enjoyable." He flags down one of the wenches who hurries over with a fresh cup for Marsei and a refill for him. "It's Jon's birthday, so they decided to have a little party after rehearsals.", he then explains, nodding towards one of the actors, who's already found a soft bosom to cuddle against. "Are you planning any new festivities, dear lady?"

The interpreter had managed to identify the knight Ser Loryn and the lady Marsei Hightower with a little help and passing words from one man to another, and was wondering what the lady happened to be doing here, as she did not fancy parties from what he heard, but not everything is true. He drank again and settled back to watch the two, for lack of better things to do. Perhaps he could learn new things today instead of throwing away money like usual.

Marsei smiles graciously upon hearing that Loryn enjoyed the masquerade, but says no more of the event. Holding her cup neatly in front of her, she looks to the so-dubbed Jon, only to look away rather quickly upon noticing his company. "Do remind me to wish him a bountiful nameday." When he is not occupied with his current bounty. "I have nothing planned, as such, but who knows what is on the horizon. I should like the Hightower to be filled with festivities."

"Yes, definitely, it should be. Isn't Ser Brynden's nameday coming up soon? I remember it from last year when I was still his squire. Not that he's all that keen on big feasts, but then you weren't here to organize it for him.", he winks. "Why don't you sit down?", he offers, since they are still standing in the middle of the room and pretty much in the way of serving wenches and drunken dancers. He nods towards a free bench by the table where the stranger is sitting (not that Stranger).

"I am not certain he would … appreciate the gesture," Marsei replies — albeit with fondness toward her cousin Brynden — as she follows Loryn … as do the guards tasked to follow her, careful to navigate her around drunken dancers and adding to the small spectacle her rare presence makes. She sits delicately and with poise, smoothing her gown as she does so. The Quill's patrons who happen to be nearest, including Lylen, earn the lady's polite smile.

"Nobles." Lylen murmured to himself, amused at the spectacle of guards following the lady. "Complement of guards everywhere." He was glad he hadn't been born a noble, he couldn't possibly deal with everything they had to do. Couldn't even enter a tavern without being watched and guarded.

One of the actors has found courage at the bottom of his cups and he suddenly appears in front of Marsei, affecting a deep bow that almost has him loose his balance. "You are radiant as the sun, Lady Marsei!", he declares, "Would you do me the honor of a dance?"

Loryn quirks his brow at that but decides the lady is able to handle this herself. Perhaps she might even want to dance. So he looks around instead and notices the muttering stranger. By way of greeting, he lifts his tankard to him in silent cheers.

Lylen saw the knight turn his gaze to him, then the raise of the tankard. He grinned and raised his tankard in return before taking another drink, then noticing the man speaking to the lady. "Oh, what drink does to men." he said with a soft chuckle, wondering how the lady would handle him.

A slight turn of her head and an attentive gleam in her eye, just starting to glance toward Lylen, might indicate that she's heard his muttering; however, the actor in front of her is the greater distraction. "Oh!" After an initial fluster, pink-cheeked and looking down humbled in a fashion that is both properly ladylike and seems sincere, despite the fact that it is just a tipsy mummer, no noble so far as she knows. "You flatter me, thank you," she says. Her sweet nature and pleasant smile lean her toward saying yes out of sheer kindness, but she pauses thoughtfully before letting him down gently. "I am afraid I am not up for a dance at the moment. Are you from the Whimsy? I would love to honour your better by watching you upon the stage during one of Ser Loryn's plays."

The young man is half-elated that she is actually responding to him, half-disappointed by the reaction. "I am Merion Drake, Mylady, minstrel from the Vale, presently here to lend my voice to the Whimsy's company.", he explains a little grandly and leans closer, so that Marsei can get the full benefit of his wine-laden breathe. "I promise you, Mylady, I dance as well as I sing…" Loryn starts casting him a warning glance now, to signal he better not overdo it or face his wrath. Catching the look Merion straightens, stumbles a little, but somehow manages to turn it into a pirouette and a couple of dance steps.

The interpreter held back a laugh as the apparent actor nearly stumbled or fell, but luckily caught himself. Perhaps he should keep his mouth shut, he thought, lest one of the nobles hear him say something and take it badly. He never really had dealt with nobles, and even worse had never learned to keep his mouth shut. The laugh he caught came back again and he found himself stiffling it into his drink, hoping not to choke.

Lady Marsei remains as poised as ever, unflinching in the face of the wine-breath. How often must ladies endure more overbearing conversations from knights and lords, after all; they're hardly different, a few cups in, though few can dance as well as Merion Drake, minstrel from the Vale, stumbling and all. She laughs once, soft. "Then I look forward to watching it from the audience," she rejoins, her tone light and humorous enough to not sound utterly dismissive.

Merion seems relieved that the lady is not angry at him and he might even have a witty response for her, but then he hears Lylen snorting into his drink and eyes the stranger. "What's so funny, man?", he rounds on him, while Loryn leans in a little to Marsei. "My apologies for him, Mylady, but may I say that you handled this perfectly. The born diplomat, are you not? A true Hightower…"

Lylen looked up at the actor and grinned before replying, "Oh, nothing in particular, it seems that even professional dancers and singers and minstrels or whatever you are cannot hold their drinks enough to be as gracious as they are when at work." He chuckled. "It's a wonder you aren't on the floor. But I suppose no one can perfectly hold a drink."

Marsei nods her head faintly to Loryn, gracious. "He simply enjoying your festivities," she replies — still diplomatic. She sips from her cup (the halfway dubious look she gave it first a subtle one), her attention upon the exchange between Lylen and Merion, growing a bit wary.

"I can hold my drink perfectly fine!", Merion claims and shakes a fist at Lylen, but before he can get around to any actual threat, he's pulled away by one of the other actors and soon lost among the other revellers in the pub.

Loryn exhales with relief and offers Marsei a vaguely apologetic grin, before turning his full attention to the stranger now. "I don't think I've seen you here before, my good man. Are you new in town?", he inquires curiously.

Lylen nodded to the knight after watching the actor get pulled away. "I am, indeed, Ser… Loryn, is it?" he asked, hoping he had remembered correctly. "I've only been here for… a week now, if my memory serves me correctly." he continued.

Marsei, too, is relieved when the encounter does not escalate. Her smile relaxes, though it hadn't actually seemed otherwise before. She wraps her hands about her cup, interlacing her fingers. She follows Loryn's attention to the smallfolk man. "Then I welcome you to Oldtown," she tells him, her blessing sincere.

"Yes, Ser Loryn Tyrell.", the young man introduces himself, more proud of the family name than the knightly title apparently, "And the fair dame here is Lady Marsei Hightower.", he introduces her, then looks at Lylen, apparently waiting for a proper introduction. "What's brought you to Oldtown? I don't dare to hope it is the quality of our shows at the Whimsy…", he grins.

With a slight grin, Lylen finally remembered to introduce himself. "Forgive me, please, Ser and Lady, I am simply Lylen." he said quite awkwardly, before answering the knight's question, "Well, I've taken to learning some of the languages of the world and a port such as this is always in need of interpretation and translation." He thought for a moment before adding, "And a simple man like myself is always in need of money, and there is enough to go around here. And your Whimsy? I haven't had the delight of seeing a show yet."

"An interpreter? How interesting!" Marsei's eyes are bright, easily entertained by imagining what an interpeter's life might be like. (It is probably less exciting than she imagines.) "It must be lovely to know many languages! You must aid frequently in shipping and trade— ?" Her attention flits attentively about, going to Loryn. "I have not had the delight of visiting the Whimsy either, since my return," she says, happily rather than with disappointment, holding the promise that she will. "When is the next play?"

Loryn also seems fairly interested in the man's abilities. "What languages do you speak, my friend?", he asks. Having already progressed to friend, it seems. Turning back to Marsei then, he smiles. "Ah, soon enough. It took us a while to work out the kinks of our dragon, but she's flying now. So… we shall soon see a new play, although since the princess commissioned it, it will be her pleasure to invite people to the opening night at a date of her choice."

"It's interesting, but not something everyone would enjoy." Lylen admitted, "I do get to speak with many kinds of people, though, as undesirable as some may be." He thought on Loryn's question for a moment before replying, "Well, besides the common tongue, I know the Old Tongue, Low Valyrian, Braavosi, and the ever so confusing Trade Tongue." He listened to them speak of the Whimsy, curiosity growing slightly. He had never had the money to see a play before, or his parents had never bothered to take him or his sisters. But it was no big loss to him. "Knowing languages can be confusing though, at times." he thought to add.

"You built a dragon!" Marsei is awed by the concept, and as excited as a — well-behaved — child. She brings her cup near to her chin, but it remains simply clasped in her hands. "Does it breathe fire?" She's slightly more wary upon that note, but given her enthusiasm, it's difficult to ascertain she wants it to breathe fire or would rather it didn't. She smiles over at Lylen. "I certainly expect! I cannot imagine holding more than one language in my head. Our language has enough words! My good— Lord Fossoway is attending to his business here in the city, perhaps he would benefit from an interpreter," she suggests, eager to be helpful to this stranger, "And Prince Dhraegon, as well, has shipping interests."

"It will breathe fire, yes.", Loryn grins, but doesn't look like he'll want to explain or reveal more. He just winks at the young lady, then turns to the stranger again. "Interesting. I have a few plays from across the Narrow Seas that need translations. Would you like to take a look sometime and see if you can understand them?"

"Perhaps." Lylen said thoughtfully, thinking on the offers. "Well, a man can never have enough coin." He mused with a grin, nodding to both the Lady and the knight in turn. "I'd be honored if they would accept my help. I'll be sure to keep them in my mind." He replied to the Lady with a soft smile and a nod. "As for plays, I could indeed try. They might not be exact, but you should be able to make them entertaining at the least." He then offered to the knight, wondering how his luck had turn from alright to much better in a matter of minutes.

Marsei tips her chin up, pleased that she may have aided in some way. She listens with interest, sipping from her cup modestly until she adds, "How do you obtain such faraway plays, Ser Loryn? It would be like the unraveling of a mystery, interpreting their stories," she marvels. "They could be anything."

"Actually, there was little mystery in it.", Loryn tells Marsei with a cheerful grin, "I bought them on the market from a travelling merchant who said he'd come from Essos with all sorts of trinkets and things. I have no idea what these plays are. They could be a fascinating mystery or they could be -" pause for dramatic effect, "something questionably bawdy." He turns back to Lylen with a grin. "Come and see me at the Whimsy tomorrow, and you shall have a look and tell me if you can make sense of them. One even is in strange curly writing I cannot make head or tail of."

With a soft laugh, Lylen nodded. "Stories from other lands, they usually happen to be questionable in many ways. It's quite possible many of your found plays could be something terribly strange or wrong." He thought on the writing style for a moment and scrunched up his eyebrows in slight confusion. "Curly… I'm unsure, but we shall see, indeed. Maybe one of these plays will be something so obscure that you will be the only one to have a copy of in the entire land." He grinned at the prospect.

"I hope it is just a mystery," the lady insists, quietly alarmed at the prospect of the content being anything else. As Loryn excuses himself briefly, Marsei turns her red head fully to Lylen. "How does one become an interpreter?" Her genuine curiosity has not faded. She gives him a small, apologetic smile. "I hope I do not overwhelm you with questions."

Lylen shook his head and smiled softly at the Lady. "Not at all. As to becoming one…" He bit his lip in thought for a moment and then continued, "It's a matter of finding someone, or many someones, with the patience enough to teach you. Or maybe even multiple teachers for one language. One for writing, one for speaking, it's terribly boring and a slow process." He paused. "I took an interest when I was a boy, and luckily my old home was also a port like this, so there were many people to learn from. The North is cold, though, and eventually it became evident that there were enough interpreters there, so, here I am." He finished, a smile on his face as he recounted his memories. "Lots of work for a big payoff, if you're lucky."

Pondering such book-work and heavy learning brings not only a thoughtful look to Marsei's face but something faintly troubled. "I envy your learning," she tells Lylen. Somewhat of an oddity, for someone highborn to tell someone lowborn. And too personal, for she smiles more sweetly a second after, dismissing it for jest instead, "But I do not envy the cold of your North."

Lylen chuckled softly at the comment on the cold. "It is not so bad if you grow up in it. Though it has had an affect on me where I prefer colder areas." He returned, then thought for a moment. "What about you, my Lady, surely a highborn person like yourself has a skill or something she learned and has a passion for?" He asked, genuinely curious.

As she contemplates, Marsei watches the merriment throughout the Quill and Tankard; her gaze can never stay overlong on one spot, always finding some manner of bawdiness that surprises her. She tips her head to the side. "I do enjoy designing dresses," she says, and though it is with enthusiasm — too modest for pride — she does pause to mourn that she did not have a more learned answer. "And dancing," she adds, bringing a flat hand up as if to shield her mouth from anyone but Lylen, joking again, "but do not tell Merion."

The interpreter couldn't hold back a chuckle again at the last part of her sentence. "Oh, of course, I would never." He replied a bit dramatically, eyes rolling as he remembered the actor. "Designing always seemed a boring thing to me, though it obviously takes skill." Lylen nodded to his own words and then added, "And dancing, never. I dance about as well as a farmhand jousts." He ended in a jest. He scanned the tavern for a moment, grew bored and shook his head. "The same sight everywhere you look."

Loryn finally returns from wherever he had been and resumes his old seat by Marsei's side. A little surprised to find her chatting to the lowborn stranger still, but it seems to be amicable and he seems to be behaving.

Marsei chuckles, quiet and mild. She too shakes her head, but it's a gentle motion, bearing little judgment despite her clear demureness. "But they do enjoy themselves," she reasons. Loryn's reappearance warrants a welcoming smile.

"That is true." Lylen nodded to the Lady's response, and then again politely to Loryn as he returned, taking another drink afterward. "Welcome back, Ser." He greeted.

"I am afraid I cannot stay.", Loryn tells Lylen, "I am needed at home at Garden Isle. But do come and see me at the Whimsy soon." He turns to Marsei with a smile: "Would you like to stay a while longer, Mylady, or would you like my company on your way home to the Hightower?"

Marsei rises, setting her cup down, not emptied. "I would enjoy the company, thank you for your kindness, ser." Her guards, unoffended that they don't seem to count as company, are prepared to follow as well. She nods her head to Lylen. "It was lovely to meet you, Lylen. I do wish you the best."

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