(122-05-10) Finding Fossoways
Finding Fossoways
Summary: Camillo's past prompts a request into Marsei's present.
Date: 10/05/2015
Related: None

It's evening, getting on towards night, perhaps even a very convenient moment in which one of Marsei's handmaidens has just stepped out. Camillo raps lightly at Marsei's door. It's probably possible to guess his identity. He always knocks the same way.

It's that very reason, the increasingly familiar knock, that Marsei doesn't answer the door. That is, she doesn't get up from her seat at the window, comfortable upon the wide ledge; she simply calls courteously through the grand space. "Do come in!" A piece of parchment bearing no more than a single word sits in front of her on a wooden slab, held flat by weights. Ink and quill are not even here, within in her reach. It's not that blank sight which draws her gaze; it's the view out the window, at least until Camillo's had time to make his way in. It's half-blank in its own right by the dark of night, Battle Island and the rest of Oldtown just speckles of firelight beneath a clear sky of stars.

Camillo slips in and shuts the door behind him. There's hardly a change in the light. "My lady," he says. "I hope I'm not disturbing you." He takes a quick look round to confirm that no other handmaidens are present before following Marsei's gaze to the window.

Marsei's elegant and flower-filled domain is empty, save for her, and now Camillo; he seems to have timed his visit well, although there's every possibility a handmaiden will return, particularly as the lady is still neatly attired in an elaborately fastened blue gown and has no scheduled plans to depart her suite now that she's here for the evening. "Not in the slightest," she assures cheerily; a cheer that's softened, quieted, but not lessened. She's regards Camillo as she turns her smile on him, curious and expectant. "But what is it that brings you by?"

Camillo often seems to have a knack for timing. "My lady is very kind to ask," he replies, inclining his head. "I wondered if I might ask…have you considered the guests for your upcoming nuptials? I know they are not to be hurried."

Marsei's features take on the softest of surprised looks before turning pensive, all unfolding as she glances down at the parchment in front of her. The only ink gracing the surface is at the top, as one might begin a letter by addressing its recipient. "I suppose I have not given it much thought, yet. There are always so many to think of." She looks to Camillo, curiosity rising clear, along with her set of gingery brows. "I wouldn't have guessed you to be one for planning weddings, Camillo." And she still isn't; her airy tone is questioning, prompting.

Camillo looks as though he doesn't know what sort of expression he ought to wear. He seems tempted to be evasive, gaze darting to one side. "You were invited to Lord Owen Fossoway's wedding," he observes, touching on that subject more bluntly than he otherwise might. "Will you have the Fossoways to yours?"

"Perhaps, if they would like to attend. I … hope to," Marsei says quietly, an uncertainty in her tone; not utterly unlike Camillo, her expression is fraught between possibilities, and she glances briefly again to the would-be letter. "Although it's…" Her words drift off and she swipes her small knuckles over her forehead as if to pre-emptively smooth distress. She smiles and focuses on Camillo, instead.

"I have a favor to ask," Camillo confesses, though the fact that he has a request has already been hanging in the air since he arrived.

The fact that he states it, however, is of interest to Marsei. She sits up straighter — not that she had been slouching in the least — and watches Camillo closely, intrigued, hands folding on her lap. "Of course," she says, sounding more concerned than curious Her smile fades ever-so-slightly out of caution, since she doesn't yet know what might be asked of her. "I can make no promises," she adds warmly — with regret rather than warning.

"No one can," Camillo acknowledges, looking back to Marsei. "And I know that…as a servant…" He rolls a shoulder. "But I believe I have been loyal." His brow furrows. "I would like to see Lord Istor invited to the festivities." He at least maintains eye contact for the request.

Her gaze doesn't leave Camillo's, only narrows. She's quiet for a span, taking this request in before she can even consider what it entails. Her brows begin to cinch closer together, and her mouth opens slowly, trying to delicately form around her thoughts. "Has Lord Istor … been … is he not still imprisoned?" she asks rather gingerly.

"I believe so," Camillo answers evenly. "Diplomacy would be required." He doesn't abandon the request easily, despite the lady's apparent unease.

Marsei frowns gently. It's not an outright dismissal; no, not at all. Her expression is one of contemplation, and empathy, of a sort, not to mention worry. Several long seconds and a flattening of her hands upon her knees later, she speaks again. "… Is it true, what's said about him?" A vague yet encompassing question.

"I'm sure different people say different things," Camillo says, lifting his chin slightly. They do. "Which do you mean, my lady?"

Marsei presses her lips together before they part, appearing all the more worried for needing to clarify. "To start… his crimes," she says quietly. "Those against his brother, for which he's imprisoned. I have heard such things — dreadful things."

Camillo appears to consider that response. "Some of the things they say are untrue," he says. "But it is true that he moved for his brother's place— because his brother was unfit. Still is."

An out-of-place smile crosses Marsei's face, without any of her characteristic delight; it's sad around the edges. She shakes her head and the smile dislodges, disintegrating. "Fossoway men," she says without explanation and looks away in thought. The night sky provides a clearer canvas to form her contemplations upon. "You think Istor is a good man?" she asks, sincere. "And you wish to see him?"

Camillo looks somewhat uncertain about that expression of Marsei's, but the question is easy for him to answer. He nods. "He saved my life," he says. "I expect you had not heard that in the rumors."

Marsei has turned slightly toward the window while she looks out. She shakes her head without looking back to Camillo just yet, so that her reply is simply a light toss of reddish waves and pinned curls. When she does look to him again, it's with a kind but frank gaze and the voice to match. "Tell me how," she says. Even Marsei's noble orders rarely if ever sound like orders; this comes close. "I must know more of this man's character … if I'm to consider inviting him to my wedding."

Camillo shifts a step or two, looking aside. "I…had a difficult past," he says. "I know you will not judge too hastily. But I was found guilty of thefts. I was condemned and on the point of being fitted with the noose in the square. He stopped the proceedings, paid from his own pocket for what was missing."

As all else, she takes this in; as Camillo said, Marsei seems to accept his words without judgment. Her gaze gentles further for hearing his truth, in fact. She slowly rises from her spot by the window and takes to walking around, headed for nowhere in particular and reaching no destination, simply walking around the furniture, pensive. "You must really want to see him, and … you have been so loyal to me, Camillo," she confirms, earnest and so wanting to be the bearer of good news. She pauses behind a chair, parallel Camillo at a distance. "So I will do my best. But it is a… rather difficult favour, and— I must be careful."

Camillo glances at Marsei as she walks. "I understand," he says after a brief silence. "It is… I know it is wrong to ask. But…I can think of no other way. There is no telling how he is being treated while his brother rules, my lady. If he is alive at all."

"Do you think— " Marsei begins and seems to rethink, striding closer to the window again; she stops and turns, carrying on after all, "if he is alive — and I do hope so — do you think he would be allowed a visitor? A noble one? Perhaps another Fossoway?"

Camillo shakes his head quickly. "I have no way of knowing," he replies. "Certainly not me." He frowns thoughtfully, looking off to one corner of the room. "It would be better, if he could be out under the sky, even for a day."

Marsei has turned toward the window again, both hands crossed over one another and clutching the neck of her gown. "How … terrible it must be for him," she says quietly with the utmost sincerity. It could be empathy for the lord she doesn't know except through mingled truths and other's lies — and it is, but there is something further beneath her words, deeply introspective and harder to define. "First, I will find out how he fares," she says with renewed confidence.

"Yes," Camillo agrees, perhaps relieved or vindicated that the lady seems to see things his way. "I knew that you could understand, my lady. Some so easily believe the victor's version of events…but your mind is more subtle and your heart more generous." He looks over his shoulder. "I should depart," he says. "But I am grateful that you will consider it, my lady. Seven keep you."

Her smile is a modest one, present when she faces Camillo, her hands relaxing to her sides. "Seven keep you as well, good Camillo. I will pray that Lord Istor will see the sky again."

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