(122-05-25) Sacred Geometry
Sacred Geometry
Summary: Religion!
Date: 25/05/2015
Related: None

Starry Sept - Starry Street

The Starry Sept is the seat of the Faith of the Seven. The High Septon resides here, as do any number of clergy who study here or attend him and the faithful. Seven domes and seven towers make up the structure, all of them richly decorated with seven-pointed stars, carved or inlaid or painted, or in mosaics of tiles.

The largest dome, the worship area, is a heptagon like all the others, but much wider. The seven-pointed star is inlaid into the black marble floor in massive slices of highly polished semi-precious stones: amethyst and rosy quartz, jade and lapis, onyx, cat-eye and garnet. The soaring domed roof is painted a deep blue with glittering sparkles of mica mixed in, and hundreds of seven-pointed stars picked out in gold and silver leaf.

Each of the seven walls holds a statue, larger than life, of one of the gods. The Father, The Mother, The Warrior, The Maiden, The Smith, The Crone, The Stranger. They are painted wood, beautifully and realistically carved by artists of great skill. Their gowns and robes are leafed in gold and set with jewels, and their eyes are alabaster and jet, with irises of sapphire or emerald or deep brown citrine. The exception is The Stranger. His or her statue is plain, almost stylized, the face hooded and the robes painted glossy black with minute flecks of black dragonglass that make it glitter very faintly, like the most distant of stars.

There is an ornately carved and inlaid altar before each statue, for the faithful to pray, and light their candles.

Lady Marsei made a very quiet entrance into the Starry Sept this eve, having arrived with guards who let her from their protection a small distance from the grand seven-sided dome. The gown she's donned is plainer than usual, a grey-violet, with a cape and hood that protect her from the rain and her red hair from sight; there has been talk that the maesters have been eager for the impending betrothal party at the Hightower, and while this isn't the Citadel, Marsei knows well enough that they may be lurking about in the hopes of catching a word with the guest of honour who calls that tower home. But only the most faithful seem to be at the sept on this stormy day. Marsei is one of just a few.

Now, she stands several steps back from the statue of the Mother, humbled and made small by the looming effigies of the Seven all around her. The gleaming seven-pointed star on the floor is behind her, her heels tracing its edge. She's entirely reluctant to leave, as still as the statue at which she stares; the statue in fact seems to move more than she, stone and inlaid gems coming to life with the dance of shadow and light from the altar candles.

Camillo arrives later than the great lady and with no apparent knowledge that she is here. He might have recognized her guards, but perhaps his mind is so focussed on piety that he did not notice that anyone else was here. He comes in, sticking to the edges of the inner chamber, and seems at first even to miss the lady Marsei herself, though a few steps past her, he pauses and turns back to look at her.

She would have been easy to miss, were it not for her profile, and the hint of reddish hair as her thin hood starts to creep back. She has been here long enough that no droplets of rain stain her attire. It would be easy for Marsei to miss Camillo as well … and she seems to do just that, her eyes turned up to the statue like she's waiting for it to speak and finally give her an answer.

Camillo seems to hesitate to disturb the lady, especially when he has prayers of his own to make. For the time being, he kneels before the Stranger, though that's not the most popular statue to choose.

Given Marsei's quest for guidance, she starts to turn away and seek what she needs in the wise Crone; as she does so, she notices the figure at the Stranger. He's notable enough, just for his choice of worship, but some familiarity draws her nearer — she isn't sure, until she's closer. The sweeping length of her cape over the grandiose seven-pointed star and her soft footsteps might alert Camillo that she's behind him, but she does not wish to interrupt his prayer, either. She neighbours him at the base of the Crone, praying silently.

Camillo takes his time making his prayer despite the quiet pressure of the presence of nobility so close. When he has finished, he stands and drops back a little. Perhaps he is waiting to go out with Marsei. Or waiting to talk to her when she is finished.

Marsei does the very same: once her prayers are through, she rises and steps back the same amount, in symmetry. She bypasses her traditional warm greeting of the servant; her eyes remain on the Crone, sometimes glancing to the mysterious Stranger, and asks simply into the quiet, "Do you think it is truly ever possible to obtain a clean slate in the eyes of the gods?"

"I think it may be for some people," Camillo says. He too does not look at Marsei but at the idols before them. "And may not be for others. But if the gods make us, then they know they make us flawed."

"Yes," Marsei agrees, thoughtful. "Flawed men and women should learn from their past mistakes and correct them, in order to go forward in virtue." In this, she has conviction; it's true in her voice, yet there exists an undercurrent of sadness beneath it all. One of the Most Devout slips unobtrusively around the vast edges of the sept and disappears through a door; a draft sneaks in, making all the candles' flames flicker, the Crone's eyes to gleam and stare, and the Stranger's dragonglass-flecked robe to seem to ripple.

Camillo looks at each of the points of reflected light in quick succession. "But that is so much easier said than done," he observes. "And sometimes it even seems doubtful what flaws are. A flaw in one creatures coat might be a natural marking for another. Couldn't it?"

"I would not judge anyone for what they are," the lady replies, level-headed and in agreement with this line of thought; yet it troubles her, "but… it is the self-made flaws that are the encumbrance. Isn't it? An animal usually does not grow spots halfway into its life unless it's rolled around in the mud." She smiles slightly at her odd turn of phrase, evidenced through the faint not-quite-laughter under her breath.

"My lady, have you not seen what a chick looks like when it is born and when it is full grown?" Camillo asks. "Or the white hairs that come in on a dog's muzzle? Those are perhaps a kind of nature…" He frowns. "But then…perhaps in ourselves we know better what was always there and what we have made ourselves into. But more painful than confessing a sin is knowing that a sin is too dear to give up. I suppose that is what you mean."

"Yes," Marsei replies very quietly, "yes, I think it is what I mean." She wraps her arms about herself beneath her long cape, which falls, too, in front of her; drooping off her shoulders more practical than fashionable, she seems almost huddled. "May mercy be upon us," she tells — implores — the Seven more than Camillo.

"Yes," Camillo agrees. "May the Seven understand us better than we understand ourselves."

Marsei bows her head slightly to these words before looking up to the Mother and offering Her a loving and humbled look, as earnest in her piety as most else. She pulls her hood up more in place, then, and turns her head toward Camillo. A gentle nudge to the world outside the Starry Sept, though never away from the eyes of the gods. "Shall you accompany me through the storm," she offers — more than tells or even asks — with a faint shift to normal cheer, "I think I will skip the Maidenday Gardens today."

"If you would have me with you," Camillo replies, inclining his head. "It is indeed a day best spent indoors."

"Yet here we are," Marsei says lightly. Indoors, but there's a significant enough length of Oldtown to traverse between Battle Island and Starry Street. "And I felt like walking," she adds, poking fun at herself. "There was a break in the rains when I set out, foolhardily." She starts for the great entrance of the sept, strolling away from the tall idols who look down upon them. It's like leaving a realm of giants and stepping back into the realm of men. She looks back once at the sept's ancient symbolism mixed with grandeur. "All the same… the destination was worthwhile."

"The spirit will not always wait for sun," Camillo says, following a step behind Marsei. "I hope the visit was soothing enough to your spirit to make it worthwhile."

"Ah! Look, Camillo, we are welcomed by clearer skies." While they likely had other things to pray about than the weather, Marsei nevertheless beams rather victoriously at the greyish but settled sky. A cool breeze rustles past them on the steps of the sept. "I think … faith is as soothing as it is hard work," she states calmly. She half-pauses a step to realize with delight, "like gardening."

Camillo looks up at the sky and his face eases just slightly. "Well. I hope your garden continues to please you, my lady," he says.

Marsei smiles her thanks, warm but subdued, only because she is in reflection. She looks over her shoulder to Camillo as they walk and her genial expression transmits the same sentiment back to him, but sombers as she adds, "I hope you find what you seek in the Stranger." But the words about the haunting deity are unnatural to the tongue, genuine in intent but uncertain in their meaning. She looks forward.

Camillo tilts his head slightly. "If I knew exactly what I sought I probably would not consult the Stranger. Though I admit I have made direct appeals to him in the past. But they were not granted."

At least one part of Camillo's reply strikes true to her as well, placing an understanding curve to the smile she turns back toward him. This too fades, both out of seriousness in the face of talk of the Stranger — so steeped in the unknown and death — and respect for Camillo's privacy. "I will not ask." And yet she's curious about those appeals, it's clear.

"My lady is always wise in her discretion," Camillo replies softly. "But I should pray, too, for the success of my lady's upcoming marriage."

"You are kind to think of it," Marsei commends earnestly. "First of all, I will be happy for the betrothal party to be conquered smoothly." If she is truly worried about the festivities, her concerns are either mild or hidden, for it sounds more jest than truth. Guards from the Hightower mill about up ahead and stand to attention when the realize Lady Marsei comes near.

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