(122-04-13) Cake and Costumes

Good Queen's Cake House Hightower Square

This is an elegant place, with broad steps that lead up from the Square to a floor that is ten or twelve feet above street level. Two men in gleaming armour guard them.
There are tall arched windows with lace drapes to frame them. Delicate carved and silver-leafed chairs and tables set in front of them, allowing patrons to sit in comfort and look down on the people in the square. The entire place is decorated in silver and pale blue, with the image of Good Queen Alysanne and her dragon Silverwing worked in wherever it can be managed — the pair are in tapestries on the walls, carved into the backs of the chairs, and painted on the ceiling and the window-arches.
The Cake House is a favourite among those too genteel to visit taverns, and among well-to-do women who prefer not to host their friends at home lest it be noticed that they're not as rich as they'd like to seem. One cannot get a proper meal, but any number of cakes and dainties and fancy fruit and cheese plates are served, along with wine and sweet drinks.

Good Queen's Cake House is an absolute sight today, the bright sun bathing the elegant establishment in soft clean light. Basking in this glow, Lady Marsei shines just as bright, settled at a table with her back to the windows and the Square below, more focused on the inside. "Do you think so?" the red-haired Hightower asks the young women at her arms, laughing softly with them. Both are her attendants: the so often present Siva, dark-haired and slightly tan of skin, and a light-haired, younger lady, nobly born — but not so nobly as Marsei. Both are clad in identical dresses fashioned with several flowing panels of white fabric, so thin as to be transparent, but backed modestly with a pink layer, all a pleasant, well thought out compliment to Marsei's much finer and more sumptuous gown of white and pink inlaid with floral rose-gold details.

Across from the women are empty chairs, and a plate of fruit and cheese near one empty place speaks of company now gone, but Marsei, it seems, is completely content to stay in the lovely cakehouse with her handmaids — and cake — or else she's waiting on another guest.

Loryn Tyrell is a more frequent guest at the cake shop than his slim figure would suggest. But then he usually orders and fetches basket-loads of cakes for his ever-hungry players at the Whimsy. This day finds him enter the shop in - what? It must be a costume, for it is a gaudy ensemble all in yellow and red with puffy sleeves, tights and high heels. If someone stares, he doesn't care, he immediately heads for the counter. "A raspberry cream cake please and make it quick, it's an emergency." The young woman at the counter nods, disappears for a short conference with the baker and returns to announce it will be fifteen to twenty minutes, would he care to take a seat and wait. Yes, he would.

Marsei looks up out of an eruption of quiet, girlish giggles between herself and the handmaids clustered about her; she seems to entertain them as much as they're arguably meant to entertain her, and for a moment, the giggling is utterly unrelated to the spectacle that is Loryn Tyrell. However, when the blonde one catches sight of him, giggles start anew, half held back by some half-remembered politeness. Marsei is all smiles, but doesn't join in this time, staring curiously instead — because she thinks she recognizes that man. "… Ser Loryn?"

Loryn seems rather pleased to spot the familiar and pleasing face of Lady Marsei amid the gaggle of girls and heads over to where she is, bowing rather elaborately. "Lady Marsei, always a sight for sore eyes. Would you might if I joined you for a moment? It will apparently take a bit to prepare a fresh cake for me. However, I would not wish to intrude…", he adds, eyes darting from her to the giggly girls and back.

Marsei appears utterly delighted, although Loryn's theatrical getup may account for part of that. "Please do!" she encourages, smiling rosily. "… those shoes look terribly uncomfortable." Her companions calm down — Siva immediately as if she were never laughing in the first place, the other girl taking slightly longer to stop tittering. The two nod politely to the Tyrell, looking down.

Loryn looks down at his dainty golden high heels and smirks a little. "Oh, I was in a hurry, I completely forgot to change.", he realizes and takes a seat, making sure to not crumple his costume. "We were dealing with a little emergency at the theatre and no time was to be lost. Are you having a pleasant morning, Mylady? If you find yourself bored, you could come and watch a rehearsal if you like?" Actors. Always looking for approval like eager puppies.

Marsei's smile turns silly at the corners, all the more amused that Loryn hadn't realized his fashion — although her expression is lightly incredulous, not sure if she believes he could possibly walk out the door like that and not know. "What constitutes a theatre emergency, I find myself wondering!" she replies good-naturedly. She plucks a tiny, dainty piece of cake cut into a sugary circle from a half-eaten platter in front of her. "I have had a lovely morning, visiting a friend. It is nice to see people outside of the home." Everybody knows Marsei is bathing in riches enough to host absolutely anyone at her home, given her home is the Hightower. "I think I should love to watch a rehearsal! May my girls come?"

Loryn bites back the remark on his tongue about her girls coming along and just nods. Luckily the serving girl is just bringing him a cup of hot tea and by the time she's gone again, he has his facial expression under control again. "Of course, you are all welcome.", he assures the trio with a smile, "Though I would suggest you wait for a little while after I have left with the cake so that the emergency is over. Upset leading lady.", he explains the emergency to Marsei with a little sigh, "Threatened to walk out. Which she does on a regular basis."

Marsei smiles sweetly, pleased, evidently missing the early moments of whatever Loryn's thoughts were. Her blonde accompaniment brightens to to hear that she can come, though Siva appears completely unfazed one way or the other. Marsei neatly eats her bite of cake and presses her hand to her delicate collarbones. "Oh no," she says with earnest distress on Loryn's behalf, as though any danger to the play is a tragedy in and of itself, "That sounds rather inconvenient. Is she irreplaceable?"

"The audience loves her.", Loryn sighs, thus confirming, "And it's hard to find good actresses these days." He takes a sip of his tea, nodding approvingly, while his eyes drift over Marsei's companions. "Either of you interested in pursuing a stage career?", he wonders hopefully. "We can always use more female players. Unfortunately some parents have qualms about letting their daughters perform on stage."

Marsei smiles sympathetically. Her light brows lift when Loryn asks her companions; she appears a touch worried on their behalf when she looks to both of them.

"I'm not a mummer, ser," says Siva as politely as possible.

The younger girl looks immediately hopeful and immediately frightened by the thought, her eyes wide. "I'm not certain what my mother and father would say, or if I'd have the time to spare, but you're flattering to inquire, ser…"

"What part does she play?" Marsei asks, maneuvering her way about more dainty cake.

"Well, I tend to write new plays to match my players' abilities, so a part would be written for you.", he explaisn to the younger girl, smiling at her. "Ask your parents and come and see me for an audition, if you wish. Right now we are rehearsing a fully written play, but there are always small roles available to cut your teeth on. And you too.", he adds, winking at Marsei. His eyes follow her fussing with the cake, but since she isn't offering to share, he sticks with his tea. Harrumph. But then, that fancy costume is fairly tight to begin with. "Did either of you see our last play, The Pirates Of Pentos?", he inquires.

The Hightower lady looks up from her cake to smile and blush, modestly flustered by the mere thought of the stage. That would be a no thanks, then.

"I saw the play, ser," the blonde replies, eager to please.

"Please, Ser Loryn, do have something to eat while you wait," Marsei offers. There's fruit tarts in addition to cake, fruit, and cheese, spread out. "Imagine all the plays I missed when I was at Cider Hall," she laments in a matter that is truly light-hearted, hardly a real lamentation at all, though she can't help but frown ever-so-slightly after she's spoken.

"Ah there'll be more plays for you to enjoy, Lady Marsei.", Loryn assures her brightly. Finally being invited, he grabs one of the fruit cakes to stuff his face, which momentarily shuts him up. But not for long, alas, as he starts talking about the half-dozen plays he has in development, adventure tales of dashing knights and dainty maidens, betrayals and heartbreak, mythical creatures and magic. Try getting the Tyrell to shut up once he's on a roll.

Marsei has no intention of stopping him, nor does one half of her handmaids; Siva is less than charmed, simply doing her best to pretend she's listening while eating cheese and efficiently blending into the background. Marsei and the younger lady listen with rapt attention, in fact, the Hightower the most of all, her eyes seawater eyes a'sparkle, fully caught up in the fantastical tales, the adventure, girlishly fascinated by the stories. She finds an elusive spare second to interject, "And what are you playing, Ser Loryn?" It's another opportunity to question his attire.

"Oh, this and that.", Loryn replies, trying to look all abashed and humble, "Being the playwright and producer, I feel it would be unfair to cast myself into the limelight on stage as well. I played the young pirate Frodric in the Pirates of Pentos, while Amadys Baratheon actually played the pirate king - the man is a born performer and adores the limelight. Now for this play, as per Princess' Visenya's request we shall have a female heroine and our little dragon - I'm playing a youthful bandit." Not in that lurid costume probably.

Marsei smiles along at attention and all but beams when Loryn mentions that Visenya insisted on a female player; evidently, she feels the same way. "You don't look like a bandit now," she points out in good humour. "So it must be your female mummer who is portraying Princess Visenya? That must be quite a challenge," she asks with a mixture of admiration for the Targaryen princess and pity for someone attempting to embody her.

"Oh, good grief, no!", Loryn protests immediately, trying not to chuckle, "Nobody would ever dare to attempt a portrayal of Her Highness on stage. It's just that she commissioned a story with a female heroine in it. A heroine if the people. It's a fictional character entirely. It would be rather… presumptuous to try and embody a living royal on stage after all. And no -" he looks down his outfit with a chuckle, "We're not rehearsing the play at the moment but an evening of… variety. This is my minstrel costume. I shall be delivering a song. The Dornish minstrel composed it, have you ever met him?", he wonders.

"It wouldn't be presumptuous if she asked for it herself, though I did wonder! Still, I imagine it must be a rather lot of pressure to perform a heroine at her request," Marsei says — then thinks to add, smiling reassuringly, "… although that is of course no excuse to walk out!" She remembers the sweet drink in front of her and lifts it while regarding Loryn attentively, easily entertained by the notion of singing and whatever it is that variety entails. "Dornish minstrel? Well… I expect there's more than one," she quips lightly.

"Oh this one is hard to miss.", Loryn replies with a grin, "He cuts quite a dashing figure. His name is Madrighal and he wrote some of the music for the Pirates of Pentos as well." He begins to hum a few bars of music, then can't resist to actually burst into song because that's what showbiz types tend to do when given half a chance. Not wishing to draw too much attention to their table though, he lowers his voice quickly and breaks off, clearing his throat. "Ahem, yes, the princess is a demanding mistress. But I still hope she will like the play once it is performed. Oldtown has never seen such special effects before after all." And may not again, if he burns the town down.

Whether Marsei is familiar with Madhrigal or not is left utterly up to speculation, the answer poised on the tip of her tongue swept away by the musical performance. She laughs softly, her hands coming together just shy of applause, not wanting to draw more attention that the theatrical Tyrell already has. "That isn't quite what I meant about Visenya," she says, more subdued, "but I do so hope she likes it, too. It is sure to be a spectacle."

Loryn looks happier about the almost-applause than is stricly necessary, though he does not elaborate further upon his own thoughts of the princess Visenya. "Well, that is quite enough talk of the theatre for today.", he decides, smiling, "What have you been up to, Mylady? Planning any more parties?"

"You must think me quite the partier," Marsei answers genially. Contrarily, her sip of her drink is tiny and modest. "Nothing yet, I'm afraid. Have you?"

"Unfortunately not.", Loryn replies, offering her a sheepish smile, "I suppose that is why I quite hoped you might. I could use a party. Perhaps I shall have one at Garden Isle. Some little get-together before the Maiden Day celebrations and our opening night. Of course you are all welcome.", he says, extending the invitation to Marsei's companions as well. "And your family of course. It's been a while since I saw Ser Brynden. I trust he's well?", he asks of the knight he served as a squire for a while… and who didn't despair of him.

"He seems well; it was a shame you couldn't catch up with him the other day in Oldtown Square," Marsei agrees, picking up another bit of cake. She may eat daintily, but she's not afraid of eating often. "It's been some time since I've seen Garden Isle. That sounds like a lovely idea, Ser Loryn."

"Wonderful, we shall have a little party then. Perhaps Madrighal will be on hand to entertain us with some music from the new play. I shall send word as soon as I know when it can be done but it shall be soon.", he promises with a smile. "The weather is quite lovely at the moment and we should take advantage of that."

"Careful, Ser Loryn, the skies will hear you and turn to rain again," Marsei says in cheerful jest. "Well! I look forward to it." As does her blonde attendant, if her eager smile has anything to say.

Loryn looks excited as well. He might launch into party-planning right there, but suddenly the serving girl is by his side again, informing him that the raspberry cream cake is finished and can be taken away. The young actor turns to the ladies with an apologetic smile. "I should hurry back to the Whimsy then and make sure I still have a leading lady."

"Go save the day," Marsei encourages. As he makes to leave, she stands from her seat politely, joined by the others. "Don't forget we would very much like to see rehearsal!"

"Give me half an hour to pacify my leading lady and feed her some cake.", Loryn begs with a little grin, "Then you are very much welcome to join. So… just finish your meal and I shall see you fair ladies at the Whimsy soon." He gets to his feet and bows deeply to them all, then picks up his cake and departs.

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