(122-05-22) Delicate Dungeons
Delicate Dungeons
Summary: Marsei has news for Camillo regarding his request.
Date: 22/05/2015
Related: Finding Fossoways

Butterfly Garden - Lower Gardens - The Hightower Battle Island

A fork in one of the paths leads to this spot, nestled away amid the bushes. The young shrubs and flowers here were carefully selected to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and songbirds. In fair weather and season, the little garden is graced with bright wings and song. There are ornately carved birdhouses, some made to resemble a few of Oldtown's more famous buildings. Hanging from tall spiral-wrought iron hooks are hummingbird feeders in the form of oversized blown-glass lilies and irises in glittering and fanciful colours.

The Butterfly Garden is positioned to have a particularly pleasant view of the ships in the Whispering Sound. A few smaller tables and benches are set among the flowers and rare herbs to take best advantage of the vista.

At the heart of the garden is a stone fountain featuring a statue of a woman strewing water droplets from her fingertips like they are petals from the broad shallow basket she carries. The basket doubles as a bird bath for those avian visitors who might prefer it to the little ornamental pond at the statue's feet, where the droplets from her fingers and the stream from the basket splash among water lilies of pink and yellow and white. The stone lady stands ankle deep in the water, and tiny colourful fish flit about her bare feet.

The butterfly garden has tranformed this section of the hightower into a charming new landscape, and perhaps even the sensibilities of servants are stirred by its fascinations. At any rate, at this slow time of the morning, Camillo has stolen out to one corner of the garden with several sets of boots belonging to noblemen of the household, some which need shining, some a little patching or oiling.

After a time, Lady Marsei drifts from one part of the gardens to this one, dedicated to her but already enjoyed by many. She's by her lonesome, appearing content to be so; she's happy to look upon everything she sees, charmed by petals and bird songs and butterfly wings and adrift in a daydream of sorts, a hint of a smile upon her lips. The powdery blue of her gown drifts out behind her making nary a rustle, her slippers made of nothing compared to the footwear worked over in Camillo's hands. She smiles further when she sees him out here, working amidst the beauty, and also gains a sense of purpose, heading toward him. "Good day, Camillo," she greets cheerily, hurrying to add reassuringly, "Do continue, I mean no interruption to your work."

Camillo looks up, and indeed it is probably wise that Marsei reassures him, for his posture briefly shifts as though he might gather up all the boots and scurry back into the house, but relaxes at her permission to stay. "Forgive me, lady, this isn't the place for this work, but I thought I'd like to be out of doors a little before those rains come in."

"And why wouldn't you; what a warm day it is," Marsei says, unbothered; seeming rather pleased, in fact. She leans down just enough to pretend to be conspiratorial. "I shan't report you!" she adds, all smiles — cheery jest, but nevertheless true. She drifts past Camillo's temporary workstation, but does not stray far, simply setting herself down onto a nearby bench. Not only is it well-placed amongst the flowers, it's chosen to still be in earshot. "A raven came from Cider Hall earlier." The lady's tone would easily sound conversational, if it weren't slightly less jovial than what came before.

Camillo gives Marsei a faint smile. "My lady is very understanding," he says, and brings his brush back to bear on the boot he was working on. But the brushstrokes slow dramatically when she mentions the raven, rhythm broken. Camillo says nothing for a moment, then returns, "Oh yes, my lady?" coming as near to her conversational tone as he can under the circumstances.

Marsei directs her gaze to the fountain, hands clasped upon her lap. "He lives." It is an optimistic statement; delivered as good news. Even if it is perhaps perhaps not enough news.

Camillo looks at the boot he's working on. He's stopped brushing it. But he doesn't have anything to say immediately, either. Finally, he glances up at Marsei. "Did you…learn any more than that, my lady?" he asks carefully after a long pause.

Marsei hesitates, herself, before answering. However, she still smiles, glancing once from the fountain and its artful statue to cast this sunshine of hers toward Camillo. It is brighter than the skies, which are grey in anticipation of those familiar Oldtown rains. "No, but Lady Jana may visit in time for my engagement celebration," she replies gladly, only to clasp her hands tighter on her lap and — Camillo may not be so enthusiastic about this news alone — she adds more practically, slower, "…She is trustworthy, and a dear friend. She was the one to make certain he was alive. And perhaps by then, she will have gathered more pieces with which to work."

Camillo's gaze centers more decisively on Marsei, giving one solemn nod. "That is more than I could ever accomplish myself," he says. "She will…report how he is being treated?"

"She will make an effort," Marsei replies empathetically, watching Camillo now. "It … well, it is…" she pauses to choose her words delicately. "I suppose ladies and talk of dungeons are something of a difficult match. Had she been closer to him— … it may be easier if I had known him as well." Hesitant to pause on a note more negative than her prior cheer, she goes on with a gentled smile, "but Jana is charitable, and good at taking an interest."

Camillo seems to consider every word and possible implication very carefully. His eyebrows pull down as he mulls this information over. "I suppose it will be hard on her, as well, to visit a forbidding place," he acknowledges. "I don't know how I can communicate my gratitude to her."

Marsei nods a small confirmation — that the task set out is difficult — but worry does not fuel her expression, which remains gentle. She smiles reassuringly again, at once mellow and certain. "You needn't worry about gratitude. I will give her mine. It is me who she is doing this for. I was careful to keep your name out of my letter."

"Of course," Camillo says, picking up his brush again and scrubbing it against a stone to remove any debris. "I…owe you a great debt. I have nothing to give you in return for this kindness."

"It seems right to me that he should see the sun," Marsei says, balancing her logic and optimism comfortably, as she seems to see it. "I may not be of the City Watch like Gwayne or the Voice of Oldtown like Ormund, and I do not wield the power like Alicent nor have the King's ear, but I should still like to see justice served, if only for a time. And kindness longer than that, I pray." She stands, her the length of her skirt following to resettle elegantly about her form. "You need only to repay me in your loyalty."

"Yes, my lady," Camillo says, looking up from the boot he's gone back to brushing. "You have it, of course. I would do whatever you had need of."

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