(122-05-03) Preview Performance

Walled Garden - Garden Isle Manse Sphinx Street

This large garden is a wonderland of splendor. Small trees and exotic flowers are in bloom, their aromas permeating the area. The entire garden is enclosed a high wall, covered in vines and ivy. There is an area where fresh herbs are growing, and another for roses of red, white, and of course, Tyrell gold. Other beds have daffodils, tulips, lilies, and pansies. Spread out and mingled amongst the rest of the plants are a variety of wildflowers. The two far corners are dominated by massive oak trees, which spread shade over the area. The luscious scents and beauty add to the natural feel of the atmosphere here.

Stone benches of polished marble surround a long pool, also of marble. There's a statue of a small dolphin above one end, spouting water from its snout. The pool isn't very deep, only about three feet, and small, colorful fish dart about playfully. Luxuriously soft towels are folded and placed on some of the benches. To one side is a lounging area, with outdoor furniture which comfortably seats six.

The Tyrell servants have been working these last days - first the great reception following the Maiden Day tournaments when half the town was invited to Garden Isle, now a smaller soiree which Ser Loryn has arranged to present the first parts of his new play to an audience. Accompanied by plenty of wine and good food of course to mellow said audience. As per his wishes, pavilions have been set up in the garden with big pillows threwn around for people to lounge on. A bunch of kids is presently splashing around in the pool, enjoying the bustle of the preparation and getting underfoot here and there. Loryn himself enters the garden dressed in his finest golden-green coat, freshly scrubbed and shaven, to see the state of affairs.

One of the servants of Garden Isle stands out from the others, for no reason other than the fact that she's taken it upon herself to organize some of the staff, at least those in her area of service, into working more efficiently. Viola has been polite and obedient to a tee since her arrival amidst the Tyrells a relatively short time ago, but in her domain (so to speak), she's rather a force to be reckoned with. "Over there, move those pillows further back, we don't want them getting wet now, do we," she points this way and that and people scurry, while she herself carries a pillow already under one sturdy arm. The harried strands of hair around the woman's face, part of an otherwise tight and tidy hair-do, give the correct impression that she's been hard at work all day. She hasn't yet spotted Loryn. "Where did that fool boy go with the trays?"

Loryn has had enough military training to recognize a born commander when he sees one and so he finds himself heading towards the bossy woman. "Miss… Viola, isn't it?", he asks her politely, "How are things here? Has the cider been delivered from the port? Why is the barbecue not lit yet? Surely it is time to start roasting some chickens for the guests. Oh and can you find some more lights - the performances may draw out beyond sunset, so it would be handy to have some torches to light up the stage. They say I light up the stage as an actor, but probably not enough." He smirks a little, realizing himself that this was pretty much a lame joke.

Surprise sparks in Viola's light, ambiguously coloured eyes the second she's alerted to Loryn's presence, but she doesn't allow the startle to go far. The older woman faces him, immediately falling into a utilitarian curtsey, even if it must be done around the pillow she holds. "Ser Loryn." Her nod is all that might confirm that he got her own name correct. "All is well, ser, moving along," she answers calmly, managing a mixture of cheerful and serious that would be at odds if it weren't for her position of serivce. "One of the kitchen boys is on the way with the cider. I will be sure to get the fires 'n' lights moving, ser."

"Well, you better hurry, the first guests should be arriving soon.", Loryn replies a little worriedly. Indeed, a few of the actors are being shown into the garden already to set up their props for a later stage performance and a certain Stark is lurking around the fringes already, too. Loryn manages a little smile for the harried housekeeper. "Well, I won't keep you from your work, Miss Viola. Proceed. If there is any trouble, please never hesitate to ask me for help. I rather you ask me and I can help than to dodge me for fear of offending a noble - and have things go awry."

"You've no worry of that from me, ser, it's my job to see things go off without a hitch," Viola replies straightforwardly, although that too is not without every proper subservience; she curtseys. "Thank you, ser," she adds and, dismissed, hurries straight off to yell at somebody about the torches, no doubt.

Loryn looks pleased. Nothing like a capable housekeeper.

* * *

Madrighal is looking less close to death's door than he was when Loryn saw him at the Acacia, though he is still too thin and generally frail looking. Just now he has his beautiful lute out and is patiently tuning it while sitting on a bench, his long mane of braids falling across one shoulder.

Sharp eyes might spot some bright fabric under a large bush, a leftover guest from the festivities the day before.

Loryn Tyrell's soiree follows hot on the heels of the Maiden Day Festivities, but if the servants at Garden Isle are tired, they are not showing it. The gardens have been decked out with lavish pavilions, some containing a buffet of savory snacks or sweet pastries, others a drinks stand manned by a servant. Large pillows are strewn around for people to lounge on. Those pesky kids are still playing in the pool, even though their mothers are trying to shoo them out now that the guests are arriving. Loryn's actor friends are preparing the stage for some entertainment. There's a buzz of excitement in the air.

Lady Marsei Hightower arrives with her own escort and company, the latter consisting of three lovely young women who function as her handmaidens. Presently, they're only additional party guests, and companions for the lady — who is absent her so recently and surprisingly announced betrothed. At least two of the other ladies are of noble blood, and Siva, who is not, hangs slightly back. All are well-dressed, though none so brightly as Marsei, whose gown of alternating hues of gentle yellow is the picture of summer. Gold glints against her red hair in the form of butterfly pins in her whimsical braids upon looser curls; similar hairpins adorn her some of her companions' hair, thoughtfully matched. Marsei is immediately smiling upon entering the garden, although she's not quick to branch out from her protective bubble of women as she takes in the lay of the land.

Camillo is escort, but not company. He's a few steps behind Lady Marsei and her women, perhaps ensuring security. He is not well-dressed. He looks as plain and worn as ever, and solemn.

Madrighal's clever fingers segue the tuning into a sort of overture, teasing bits of melody that will turn up in the performance, getting the audience used to the tunes they will be hearing. His smile is rather dreamy, abstracted.

Clever eyes might spot Flox, dressed as gentry mingling in the crowd. Perhaps, like Camillo, he is discreet security for his Master's intended, or perhaps he is here for his own amusement.

Lingering not far from the entrance she so recently arrived through, sure that her and her collection of handmaidens are neatly out of everybody's path, Marsei pauses her gaze throughout the garden to look over her shoulder, around Siva, to Camillo. If she has spotted Flox, she hasn't reacted. "Thank you for the accompaniment," she tells Camillo quietly. "Perhaps Ser Loryn would not be opposed to you joining his servants in aiding the party." She ponders uncertainly for a moment, "or would that be impolite to suggest?"

Camillo tilts his head. "That would be up to Ser Loryn, I suppose," he replies. "If his servants are liveried for the occasion, I might prove a distraction. I can offer my help and see what is said," he offers, making a faint bow. "If I am not needed, I will wait and walk you back when the party is finished."

Loryn buzzes this way and that way to welcome guests and invite them to make themselves at home. When he spots Marsei, he heads over to her with a grin. "Ah, here comes the blushing bride! I hear congratulations are in order, Lady Marsei.", he smiles at her without a proper greeting. Since Camillo is beside her, he offers the man a nod. "A distraction from what, my good man?", he wonders, having overheard only half of the conversation.

Ormund has dressed rather grandly for this occasion, in sea-green and pink. He doesn't really look like this is something he wants to be doing, though.

The diminutive Dornishman provides the theatrically themed chamber music, large eyes watching the revelers now, his fingers knowing their own way with the strings. He takes in the Hightower arrivals, having heard much of them, but not having seen them up close before.

Her head turned away, Marsei is startled by Loryn, and with little time to prepare, the blush arrives even faster to her fair cheeks. Blushing, indeed. She is, however, all smiles to the host. A wave of curtseys animates the group of women. "Thank you, Ser Loryn," Marsei says in cheerful if slightly flustered greeting, "although I am not a bride again just yet. And is I who should be congratulating you, today, in anticipation of your play, which I have on good authority will be quite wonderful." Her attention flits ever-so-slightly, attuned to the sight of Ormund. "Ah!" she exclaims softly, pleased. "Ormund has made it."

Camillo makes Loryn a bow. "The Lady Marsei suggests I may be able to lend a hand amongst your servants."

"Oh, well, it's only a few excerpts today, presented by my minstrel and some of my actors.", Loryn replies, trying to look humble. When Camillo speaks up, he offers him a distracted nod. "Sure, ask my housekeeper, Miss Viola, how to make yourself useful.", he suggests, then turns to greet Ormund, the most important guest so far. "Lord Ormund, what a pleasure to see you!"

Beneath the large bush there is a soft moan, nearly covered by Madrighal's lute. Madrighal nods politely at his mention to the important nobles.

"Oh, well, it's only a few excerpts today, presented by my minstrel and some of my actors.", Loryn replies, trying to look humble. When Camillo speaks up, he offers him a distracted nod. "Sure, ask my housekeeper, Miss Viola, how to make yourself useful.", he suggests, then turns to greet Ormund, the most important guest so far. "Lord Ormund, what a pleasure to see you!"

Beneath the large bush there is a soft moan, nearly covered by Madrighal's lute. Madrighal nods politely at his mention to the important nobles.

Ormund smiles at Loryn. "Ser Loryn," he replies, managing to look as if he's happy to see the young man, and isn't doing sums in his head, or wishing he was. "Thank you for hosting us."

Marsei smiles encouragingly to Camillo, pleased that he could potentially be of some use to Loryn. She looks off toward Madrighal, drawn to the minstrel's music — and pauses a moment to look around after the noise beneath it — but rather than drift closer to its source as she seems apt to, she greets her brother. Her kind smile is admirable toward his good job at looking happy to be here. "Ormund! How lovely you're here too." Her well-coiffed lady companions curtsey deeply in the lord's presence.

Flox discretely slides a goblet beneath the branches, before going back to mingling. The bush subsides into silence.

Mardighal sand flashes the Lady Marsei a particularly brilliant smile in response to her notice, and for a fleeting moment, his beauty is almost as it was.

Camillo bobs his head and slips off into the house to consult this housekeeper, glancing once back over his shoulder as he goes.

* * *

It's not difficult to find the so-called Viola, who is running, or at least co-running, the works behind the scenes. While all the attention and nobility are outside, the servants are more in sight than usual inside. The grand hall is a bustle of efficient activity, directed by one stern-faced woman in her forties, if not beyond, with dark hair and a plain Tyrell-coloured uniform of sorts. She's in the process of directing a young, similarly clad girl back to the depths of Garden Isle when a server comes to her with a mumbling question. "'Vi this, Vi that'," she mocks, annoyed that her work is being interrupted by someone else's. "Well, I'm not a bloody kitchen maid, am I? Go ask the cook your own self!"

Camillo slips inside, hugging the wall to stay out of the servants who may need to pass through in a hurry. He identifies the figure of authority immediately and moves her way, though he doesn't invade her space. When there's a lull in the questions being thrown at her, he says, "I'm Camillo from the Hightower staff. Can I be of help? I can serve, fetch, deliver, and do simple kitchen tasks."

Viola immediately eyes Camillo up and down, glancing past him at the door he came through as if for some kind of explanation. Her reaction isn't immediately bristling … not exactly, but isn't warm, either. She's skeptical. "And who sent you in here on your high horse?"

Camillo lowers his chin somewhat. "No high horse, Miss Viola. I was idle, and the Lady Marsei knows I prefer to help when I can. If it's trouble, I will go and wait outside the gate."

"No, no, we won't toss away good help when it comes, as long as it's fine by Ser Loryn," Viola answers, though she still examines Camillo closely. Whatever she sees in him seems to appease her well enough. "Someone was goin' on of not having enough men to serve, and the crowd out there likes their drink." She sighs, nodding. "Go down and get a proper coat and a tray to bring, tell 'im I sent you." The housekeeper shouldn't exactly have that authority, but she wields it as if she's had it for years. "Keep out've the way've the others, we don't want anyone harbouring a grudge."

"Ser Loryn gave permission," Camillo assures Viola. He inclines his head at the instructions. "Yes, Miss Viola," he returns, like an obedient boy who's just had his lessons hammered into him. It isn't that he seems cowed, but it's clear that he want to let Viola know he'll be no trouble to her. He hurries off to get the appropriate livery and tray. He seems to have no trouble at all keeping out of the way of others.

* * *

Loryn looks around to see if all guests who matter have arrived. Of course the one guest who -really- should have been there is absent, but there is nothing to be done about that. So he steps onto the stage and claps his hands to get attention. "Welcome and thanks for attending this little soiree!", he calls out across the din, "May I introduce Madrighal the Dornish Minstrel, who will now present us with some of his compositions for my new play?!" He points at the man, waiting for Madrighal to take over.

Ormund bows to the ladies, and then turns his attention to Loryn, and Madrighal when that is called for. He does try to spot where the goblets are coming from and gesture to get one coming his way.

"Is he important?" asks Ormund of Marsei, quietly. Wouldn't want his lack of interest to become entirely public knowledge.

Madrighal stands and gives a deep bow, flourishing his instrument. His accent is Dornish, his high voice is richly expressive, We take you now to a village where a young woman of the People says goodbye to her love as she heads off to face adventure!

Flox gives the Lady Marsei a polite bow on her approach.

Loryn claps excitedly as Madrighal announces the first song and leaves the stage to help himself to a fresh drink. He makes sure that no new guests have arrived that require greeting and goes to stand with the Hightower contingent again.
The young woman steps forward and sings in a soaring voice about her aspirations, her desire for travel and adventure. Madrighal's lute supports her, his often flashy playing here a simple bedrock of melody over which her decants can trill and fly.

Flox then turns to Siva and tilts his head to listen with a polite smile.

"I just keep hearing his name, is all," Marsei tells Ormund while she claps for the entertainment. Her voice quiets as she leans slightly toward her brother to say, "He's the one who— " But after Loryn approaches, she fades off, simply watching Madrighal and the songstress, between a bright smile to Loryn and an occasional watchful glance toward Siva.

The wandering handmaid has a nod for Flox in passing, then circles back to him to quietly murmur, "My lady asks after the prince."

"I haven't," says Ormund, and shrugs. "Perhaps I ought to have." He listens.

Flox replies softly, "I fear he has a very sore head after the Maidenday festivities yesterday. He gives the bush a meaningful look.

The young woman sings of the treasure she and her family guard, but also of the boy she loves from afar and her longing for more, for travel. She comes to a decision. she will steal away from her post so she might meet the boy at a bridge she knows he will be crossing. Madrighal fingers a complex bridge on his lute in preparation for the duet.

Loryn, having fortified himself with drink and a smile from Marsei, returns to the little stage, to join Madrighal and the female star of his show. Apparently the Tyrell is about to burst into song.

"I do enjoy his music," Marsei notes, happy to listen. She smiles beamingly at the singer, as well, just incase the songstress happens to look this way and receive accolades. "This Madrighal seems to know Maester Leandro," she tells her brother in a quiet, reminding tone as Loryn rejoins the stars.

Siva nods her head low to Flox again, covering her glance toward that certain bush. "I had my suspicions," she replies. "Will he stay as much?"

Ormund blinks. "Ah!" he says. "/That/ Dornishman."

Siyu arrives, somewhat fashionable late, or something similar. Once again, dressed in his clean white linen, though accentuated with a red silk sash this time around. A few pieces of silver cosmetics. Freshly washed and perfumed with a hint of makeup. For the most part just going to sneak in and enjoy another party. Though his appearance probably will draw attention soon enough.

Camillo re-emerges in a borrowed coat that matches the other servants', a tray of drinks held in both hands. He circulates quietly, finding an area that is underpopulated with other servants.

The music swells as the two Smallfolk characters see each other.

Flox looks rather rueful. "He will likely emerge later to pay his respects. he can hardly sleep through all of this."

Marsei laughs softly. "Yes," she confirms again to Ormund, all in good spirits; whatever her concerns about Madrighal from any previous conversation, she's content to simply enjoy the entertainment here and now. She notices little else, now that she's focused on the entertainment, readily engaged in the story. It's not until Siva, after frowning somewhat ruefully to Flox, slinks back to Marsei to nudge in gently amidst the other handmaidens and whispers news in her ear that the Hightower lady looks back through the party. Camillo in a coat, Siyu from the garden— both are noted by her gaze, but a bush wins her attention. "I think there is a better view from over there," she announces, and her and her lady companions drift toward the area, planning to stand in front of it.

"Maybe someone can find a curl of willow-bark," suggests Ormund to his sister as she walks off.

Loryn is not the greatest singer in Oldtown, but he does hold his own with a pleasant youthful voice in the duet. His cheeks colour a little when he finally takes his bow along with his leading lady, pleased and proud by the reception.

Siyu hmms, food and drink is around? He smiles a little bit and goes to help himself to what is offered. The young man from Yi Ti spotted and noted. Still his exotic face has been seen around at a lot of parties, chatting and eating. Being a strange person does get you a lot of invitations. Still, he remains quiet, looks around, and watches the stage performance? Singing and acting?

Madrighal bows too, flourishing his lute again, the silks that hide his figure billowing in the slight breeze. he gives the audience another of his dazzling smiles as he does so.

Behind Marsei, the bush shivers in distress.

Camillo brings his tray to Siyu, who seems in search of libations. He keeps his eyes mostly on the tray and the ground he's walking, so he won't spill anything. But he does make two other glances: one to Madrighal and Loryn, and one to the quaking bush.

Marsei gives her brother a somewhat startled look over her shoulder before her and her ladies settle a few feet around the bush that houses a certain hungover guest of the previous party. They applaud those on stage, Marsei and the blonde handmaid he previously met both equally enthusiastic. Marsei cuts her accolades just a bit short, however, turning around amidst the cover of her companions while most guests are theoretically focused on the stage. "All is well, my prince," she surrepitiously tells the shivering foilage.

Ormund tries to blend into the scenery. After all, the party is not meant for his demographic. He's more a chaperone, pretend not to notice him, that sort of thing.

Loryn leaves Madrighal to sing the last song of the new play himself and steps off the stage again. His brow quirks when he spots Marsei talking to a bush until he realizes that there is someone -in- the bush. But he decides to not question the whole thing and instead heads over to Siyu to greet the stranger with a smile. "Ah, Siyu, how did you enjoy my performance?"

Siyu ohs and he takes the drink from Camillo, "Why thank you very much I was looking for…" he blinks when he sees Camillo's face, but doesn't comment, just sipping his drink once he's gotten it. He claps politely when he sees Loryn is on the stage, he finally does notice a bush that's wobbling. A glance, and then a look away. It's a noble party. One doesn't look too closely at moving bushes and what might be going on in them. Not if you want to keep your eyes.

Camillo sees to it that Loryn is served, too, if he wishes to be. Then he moves on with his tray, going to Madrighal next, since no one has served him. He sets a glass beside the bard in case he does not want to be disturbed at his work.

A large hand, soft as a toddler's creeps from the bush to seek Lady Marsei's.

Madrighal opts for a lighter song. In this one, the heroine is lost in a wood and meets various peculiar forest denizens who give her various punny advice. Madrighal acts the various odd strangers, giving each a silly voice. He does give Camillo a nod as he comes by and is careful not to step on his goblet.

Marsei takes the hand, gentle but firm, although she does try to push it down at the same time, urging it to remain slightly less obviously within the confines of the bush, until such a time its owner wants to arise. She stands by the bush watching half-watching the show, acting more or less natural. Her companions do a fair job of concealing the situation.

Camillo nods in return, having set the drink out of /immediate/ danger of being stomped. But he doesn't get in the way. He makes his way round to Marsei's group. And coincidentally provide more occluding cover.

Ormund manages to pay no attention to the hand in the bushes.

Siyu hmms and sips his wine, he walks slowly towards the stage, swishing his hips very lightly as he looks up towards Madrighal, listening to the song, and the singer. Happy little song? All right

Loryn drifts off to one of the pavilions that hold buffets and loads a plate with finger food. Apparently he had been too nervous earlier to eat something and now he's hungry. Then he's swooped by some friends and gets drawn into a conversation.

There is no resistance from the hand at being tucked out of sight.

Madrighal as the old woman finishes his silly directions, leaving the pour woman more confused than before until she points at the sky and in the last stanza sings of dragon wings. They bow and curtsy again, the shrivelled musician next to the heroic looking actress.

Ormund starts to slip into the house as the applause greets the bows.

Marsei smiles gratefully to Camillo, and not for the service — at least, not the drinks. The blonde lady at her side does select a drink, but Marsei dare not, with one hand belonging to the bush. "I like what the Tyrell servants wear," she remarks, on the verge of saying something more — something more relevant, perhaps, with a half-worried look down a the bush. Instead, she quietly addresses the person in the bush while others applaud the performers once more. "Are you all right? Would you like to come out?"

Siyu looks up at Mad, and bows "Wonderful singing, it seems your strength is returning to you?" he asks Mad, glancingback over to some of the nobles, but instead hoping he can chat with the performer. Siyu does still just stand about.

Camillo doesn't look at the bush at /all/. But he does linger with the group, being absolutely sure that everyone who wants serving is being served.

A rather pained bass voice murmurs back to Marsei, "Is the sun terribly bright?"

Madrighal smiles rather ruefully, "Tellur Snow has brought me some horrible Northern soup to drink. I fear it does help so I must take more…" he studies the retreating Lord Ormund, "His Lordship is very colourful on this fine morning, isn't he? Ah, there he goes."

Siyu nods hs head, "The colors are quite vivid, I generally prefer white myself. But good to see you recovering, the singing was lovely" he offers Madrighal, and then looks around, "Still it seems as if the party is winding down."

"It's a bit bright," Marsei admits, speaking as casually as one can to a man in a bush. The skies above Oldtown are being kind to Loryn's party, if not the hungover. "But there are pavilions, or you could sneak inside," she suggests, hushed.

Madrighal nods, "I fear I have not much stamina as yet." He steps closer to Marsei, bowing deeply. "My Lady. I am Madrighal sand, a friend of Maester Leandro's.

A soft rumble says, "I would rest a moment."

Camillo inclines his head once he's spent as much time here as he can reasonably spend, then goes off to circulate elsewhere in the garden.

Marsei squeezes the hidden Dhraegon's hand before gradually letting it go, in order to give a proper greeting to Madrighal without drawing undue attention to the bush; there's only a fleeting couple of seconds of transition before she smiles brightly at the musician. "Madrighal. I have heard your name, yet hadn't the pleasure of hearing your music, until now. I was not disappointed."

Siyu takes a deep breath and lets it out again, bowing his head as Marsei and Mad talk. He smiles and wanders to find some more food and wine, and perhaps find a good place to relax.

The hand withdraws.

Madrighal gives her a bright smile, "My music is my life. I came here to study the similarities and differences between Reach music and Dornish. The Maester says I out to write a tretis, but music is a living thing, and dry pages do not do it justice. We have been working on a project to put music to an Old High Valyrian poetry cycle…. This I do for Loryn is a setting with the singing as the jewel. My work with the Valyrian poetry is more experimental." He drops his voice to murmur something to the Lady.

"How wonderful," Marsei replies, her words brimming with bright, genuine interest. When the musician murmurs something to her, lips briefly tense with concern before turning, again, to a smile. "Do come by the Hightower and speak to my brother, Lord Ormund." She looks for said brother before realizing — without surprise — he must have slipped away.

Siyu slips out, and finishes his drink. Leaving the glass behind.

Madrighal bows again, "I am at you service and that of your brother….I fear I must retire."
It is this moment that the disheveled Prince chooses to crawl squinting and wincing from the bush. Wilted flowers ad ribbons dangle for the thin braids that formed a crow around his head yesterday, but are now fuzzy as caterpillars with escaped hairs. The long loose hair is tangled with twigs, leaves and flowers and a root pattern is pressed into his dihydrate cheek from where he was passed out. He peers up at Marsei with real worry, "Where am I?"

Camillo is quick to distribute drinks to other guests who might have a direct line of sight to Dhraegon. He can't entirely prevent people from seeing, but he can distract a few for a moment.

Flox tips over a tray "by accident," thus creating a distraction on the far side of the garden in support of Camillo.

Worry, both for Dhraegon and the eyes that may stare his way (fewer, thanks to the efforts of Camillo and Flox), alight Marsei's face as he rises, but her smile and gaze upon him is calmer than all that; she takes it in stride. Or she's had time to prepare. "Garden Isle," she replies straight away. "Ser Loryn is throwing a party. He showed a preview of his new play." She takes Dhraegon's elbow and steps back, to give him room, as she tries to guide him to step further from his prior resting spot. She plucks a twig from his hair and stands at his side, as naturally as if he'd been there all along.

Dhraegon sways to his feet, clinging to her arm as he does so, clearly in that still drunk but already hungover state that is the worst of both worlds, "Still? I…I remember giving the hawking prize and there was talk of a party and… and I was crying and a woman was combing my hair and singing. Was that you? How is it still day?"

"It's the next day," Marsei explains. She takes a step with Dhraegon in tow, testing how he'll fare. She stands strong as she can incase he falters, but she's scarcely little help if he truly does; her support is made of more of kind intent than it is strength. Her lady companions surround them, doing their part, although they look uncertainly to each other, all but Siva, who is stoic. "I'm afraid I missed the Maiden Day contests and the celebrating that followed," Marsei goes on gently, "So that— um, I was not here then. Shall we go inside where it's dim and get a cup of water?"

Camillo gives the pair privacy now that they seem to be clear of the hedges. He goes about his business, taking the tray in to refill it.

Dhraegon finds the news of it being a different day rather distressing. He watches his feet as he shuffles along with her, trying to coordinate them. "Later would be nice. I think there is a chance I ate nothing but wine and cakes yesterday." Indeed, there is still the remains of both these things staining his person. he has a new, alarming thought, and with some embarrassment, "I…I think I may have announced our engagement, Marsei. The hawking took a long time and there were many drinks and I was… was celebrating our betrothal and in an excess of spirits…." He does seem very happy to be led.

"You did," Marsei confirms, her tone remaining gentle — and mostly neutral about the subject, focused on getting where they're going. She directs Dhraegon toward the manse, giving a smile here and there at guests she passes who happen to notice them, but mostly succeeding in avoiding clusters of people. The manse welcomes them with dimmer light and a much quieter atmosphere. Marsei immediately looks around for a servant — preferably a familiar one.

Camillo has secured another tray of drinks and WHAT A COINCIDENCE, it seems there is a prince who just happens to come inside at about the same time in need of refreshment. Camillo doesn't need to be asked to fetch water and food to the couple, which he offers silently.

Dhraegon is visibly relieved to get out of the light, "I am sorry, Marsei. I meant to ask you first. Are you… are you angry? He struggles to focus on her properly, "I fear… I will always be embarrassing you." He gives Camillo a rather pained smile, "You are kind."

Marsei murmurs behind her to dismiss her handmaiden companions; they disperse back into the party while the pair are secured in the manse. She beams in relief upon seeing Camillo there. "Thank you, Camillo." She shakes her head reassuringly at Dhraegon. "It is nothing to worry over, Dhraegon. Everyone was bound to know soon, and now we don't have to concern ourselves with how and when to make an announcement." She reaches for one of the edible offerings and gives Camillo a smile that hearkens back to some prior jest with the servant as she says, "At last."

Camillo shakes his head a little a Dhraegon. He smiles at Marsei, then, a small gesture, but rare enough that it has considerable meaning. Then he looks back to Dhraegon. "For my part, I think it was well to announce on an auspicious occasion, when there were also other matters of interest to occupy the minds and tongues of the people," he puts in.

Dhraegon seems reluctant to let go her arm for the dubious comfort of food, but he does take up a goblet and take a wary sip. He gives them each a shy smile in turn, "That is a good thought, Camillo. I suspect… there might have been some consternation at the time, but it's all rather a blur. Still, the Maiden is the one of the Seven I most…." Here he blushes to his ears."

As she eats her bit of food, Marsei gives Dhraegon a peculiar curious look for all his blushing at first, but it turns knowing enough— and fond, in a way, as a result. "We'll be blessed then, by the Maiden. Like my dove, who I found in the Maidenday Gardens," she determines, deciding upon optimism. "If I recall, there's a lovely sitting room over there," she says, looking off to the side. She takes Dhraegon's elbow gently and attempts to lead him off the great hall, where there is indeed a sitting room, pleasant and comfortable and out of the way. Hopefully it's absent any Tyrells. She glances back at Camillo, embodying a 'come-just-in-case' plea.

"It is right to honor her," Camillo asserts quietly,nodding at Marsei's mention of the dove. He follows the pair at a slight distance.

Dhraegon perks up at her response and is happy to be led somewhere quieter and less exposed, "How is your dove?" The room being temporarily empty, Flox takes up position at the door to discourage interruption.

Marsei takes a seat, although she shan't be quite settled until Dhraegon does the same. "Well, I think," she answers. "But without it being able to fly very far, I still can't be entirely certain."

On the way into the room, Camillo catches a glimpse of one of the other servants struggling with a couple of trays of cups in need of cleaning. Noting Flox at the door, Camillo makes a bow to the nobles. "If you will excuse me," he says, looking apologetically Marsei's way. Duty calls.

Dhraegon takes a seat with her with obvious relief, "Is it ready to live in the garden yet? I would not mind living there myself." He attempts to nibble whatever looks most bland. He asks her with a deep seriousness, "Marsei, do you like lilies? And hide and seek?" He looks at the departing Camillo after asking. Flox gives Camillo a businesslike nod.

Marsei's smile to Camillo in parting is an easy and grateful one; now that Dhraegon is sitting with less likelihood to succumb to the effects of a hangover and Flox is at least nearby, she's less concerned that they'll need any assistance. "I'd worry for it in the gardens, alone; what if it tried to fly and fell?" On a much brighter note, she answers, "Of course, I adore lilies." Who doesn't like lilies? No one Marsei understands. "I'm not certain on hide and seek…" she admits, though not dismissively. "I suppose I am not opposed! Does it have something to do with lilies?"

Dhraegon nods, the issue of the dove's safety clearly a serious one to the Prince, "So you will let her practice in your room until she is stronger?" he giggles and shakes his head no, then clutches it in pain. When he has recovered from the sudden movement and the sound of his own high pitched giggle, he manages, "your brother and I were discussing hide and seek. It is the best way to really learn a place I think. He said he wasn't sure if you enjoyed it though."

Camillo goes into the grand hall.

Marsei nods eagerly to Dhraegon's assessment of her plan with the dove: exactly that. She's quickly engaged in trying to imagine him speaking to her brother about hide and seek, an amused look joining a smile that was already present. "You spoke to Ormund about hide and seek?" she asks, assuming it was Ormund, all things considered, although she's having an equally hard time imagining this apparent conversation with any of her brothers. "There certainly are many places to hide in the Hightower! It takes hours to truly explore, perhaps more, even. I heard a story once about a servant boy playing hide and seek in the Hightower who wasn't found for days! I don't know if it's true." She thinks to add quickly, "I think he was just fine, though!"

Dhraegon nods, "He's quite fun, your brother is. I wouldn't have guessed. He was so serious the first time we met, I never could have imagined him laughing." Given Elric's character he is an unlikely object for such an accolade. He takes her hand and says eagerly, "We should pack provisions, like proper explorers in case we get lost! You could be my guide! We could pretend to be crows ranging North of the wall and hide from all comers: giants, wildlings, snarks, direwolves…."

Marsei, glancing down thoughtfully, is in the midst of pondering whether or not she ought to regret her story about the servant boy when she's easily brought about, smiling first fondly at mention of her brother and then laughing merrily at Dhraegon's plan. "We will need a lantern," she says cheerfully and assuredly (as if from experience, even). "I make no promises I shan't get us completely lost, but I suppose that is part of the adventure." Sounds of the party drift in here and there through the windows, and the sun starts to dim. Somewhere, servants are surely readying torches to keep the party alight. Inside, they have a little world all to themselves.

Dhraegon grins at her in open delight, "A lantern and wine and snacks, and a blanket in case we get tired! I should like that very much!" He lifts her hand to his chest and presses it lightly to his heart, "Marsei, doubt not that I think you will be the best wife i ever could hope for and I do want to have adventures with you. I want to make you smile just the way you are now every day that we have together."

"Adventures we will have, then," Marsei replies, her voice upbeat, lifting her chin to match her certain smile. "And you are sweet, Prince Dhraegon. It is a delight to me when I can make you so delighted." She quiets only a touch to duck her head down and add, " … perhaps not quite so much wine, on our next adventure, for the Hightower has so very many stairs."

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