(122-06-13) To Die, Or Not
To Die, Or Not
Summary: When Marsei and Camillo bring him news, Lord Ormund now must consider what to do with Aralynne.
Date: 14/06/2015
Related: Seal of Truth, Thiefwatch

Paramount's Suites - 3 - The Hightower Oldtown

This luxurious set of suites is home to the Lord Hightower and his immediate family. The polished stone floors are covered in plush Myrish carpets in silver, white, and red. The main room includes a several scattered seating areas with velvet-cushioned chairs and couches surrounding low tables with their tops inlaid with silver and semi-precious stones. A grand white stone fireplace dominates the inner wall. The outer has tall arched windows that offer one of the finest views in the city — they face Southwest, allowing one to see the cliffs along the edge of the Whispering Sound, and to gaze further out to sea.

Six different large bedchambers are accessible from here, as well as a private dining hall that will seat fifteen. At the far end, past the bedchambers, there's a bathing room with two marble tubs.

Ormund is in his not-really-small dining room, eating kippers in his dressing gown. He wakes early, but he doesn't always leave his private rooms early. It's otherwise quiet in here. Lynesse and Lionyl must be asleep still.

Marsei is eager to speak to her brother, so eager, in fact, that she dressed for the day and is at his door early before anyone else has a chance to bring him pressing business; should they dare to bother him this early as he breaks fast. She brings Camillo as well, but waves him gently back as she knocks upon the door of her brother's private rooms. Her knock is telltale and soft, but urgent.

Ormund sighs a little to himself, and rises to admit them, rather than call out. He blinks when he sees it's Marsei. "Mm. Good morning."

Camillo keeps an appropriate distance at Marsei's wave, nodding slightly.

"Good morning, brother." Marsei's greeting is, of course, friendly, but not her chipper self: she has business. "I wanted to see you as quick as possible, but the hour grew late last evening. I encountered our thief." She lifts her hand from her side and reveals a prize to Ormund: his Hightower seal.

Ormund raises his eyebrows, starts, "Our.." and then sees the seal. He's surprised. "Thank you." A pause. "Breakfast?" What does one do in situations like this?

"No, thank you," Marsei smiles off her brother's offer. "It… was quite a strange thing; she confessed herself to me," she goes on quietly, though no one but Camillo is like to overhear. "She has been put under guard on the thirteenth level. I did not want too much word to spread until you had a chance to act. Camillo was present as she approached me, and has since had more words with the girl. Aralynne." She steps aside to provide a view of Camillo, a potential open path as if asking if he may enter with her.

"The thirteenth level?" asks Ormund, frowning and holding his hand out for his seal. "Seven, why?"

"Forgive me, my lord, but she is supposedly a master thief. I thought an escape would be more difficult from high than low," Camillo says, bowing his head. "She can be moved."

"It's a little… nice up there," says Ormund. "But not bad thinking." He sighs.

After the seal exchanges hands, Marsei touches her chin with a few gently curled fingers in bewildered thought of her own. She moves to step in. "Also, she begs mercy, of a sort. Or… perhaps she thinks has a chance at mercy, despite her treason, which she calls a prank," she says, sounding altogether undecided on that front. "At least up there, she is less likely to catch a fright and pull a trick."

Ormund sighs again, then repeats, "Breakfast?" and heads back to his table. "What do you think I ought to do, then?" he asks a moment later, before he sets down the seal to pick up his fork and resume eating little crisp-fried fish.

"She hasn't shown any tendency toward destructiveness, my lord. But the room will be thoroughly cleaned," Camillo promises softly. He looks Marsei's way, but doesn't offer his own advice directly to Lord Ormund.

"What do I think?" Marsei says in faint surprise, lifting her brows as she follows Ormund. "I'm not so fond of kippers as you." She takes a seat all the same, however. "Well, I think she committed a crime against you and our family…" she says slowly. At this point, Marsei is simply stating the facts; her opinion only touches them in hints, that uncertainty over it all. "… though I think there may be something to her admitting her mistake. But it could be a trick," she points out. "Aralynne has her own ideas about what to do. She told Camillo," she looks at the servant briefly, "she would like to be placed in service to … pay for what she has done."

"I have no idea why people think that committing crimes is a way to get me to hire them," says Ormund. "I ought to hang her."

Camillo looks rather as though he agreed with the idea that hiring the girl would be a misstep, but he does look solemn about hanging her.

"It would be in your rights," Marsei agrees, though even in this, her voice is soft, maintaining a fair amount of its sweetness even as she is solemn. She dips her head down a little. "Thus far her only punishment has been confinement and the promise of prayer. She did bring it back; I am no expert in law, but I cannot think of another situation in which a thief returned something so important to their lord. Is there a precedent? Perhaps a trial…?"

Ormund sighs. "I cannot think of such an incident, either," he says. "But certainly to hang her would discourage any future returns of stolen property. Yet I cannot reward this."

"Forgive me for speaking, my lord," Camillo says, "But the girl expressed a desire to leave thieving in the past and enter service. But perhaps she need not enter service here. If a position could be found for her in another land, a rural noble's holdings where trafficking in stolen goods would be arduous and slow, that could…afford a middle road. You could formally call it exile if you wished, and therefore it would not appear as a reward."

Marsei's small smile toward her brother is warm; the fact that he's conflicted speaks to his character, to her. She gives Camillo a small, approving, knowing look for his suggestion, listening quietly for a moment.

"It's quite all right, Camillo," says Ormund. "Have a kipper. And I am sure that there are no lords who would be quite so keen to have my thieves as to think it other than me doing them disservice."

"Thank you, my lord," Camillo says, accepting the kipper he's been offered. He bobs his head softly, too, at Ormund's reply, not disagreeing.

"Perhaps after you speak to the girl, you will see it all clearer," Marsei suggests lightly. "I am certain whatever you choose will be fair, Ormund. I will pray with her for mercy, whether it's for this life or the next."

There's service for more than just the one man at the table. Ormund gestures for Camillo to sit down. "Gods," he says, tiredly, "I don't want to speak to the bloody girl." That doesn't sound as if he means he won't, exactly, but clearly he does rather dread it.

"She does not think you deserve what she did," Marsei says, sympathetic to Ormund's reluctace. "She compliments you." As many would-be captives might, granted.

Camillo hesitates just briefly, but sits. "She seems…somewhat frivolous," he mentions quietly. "I could not tell whether she does not understand the gravity of her crime or whether she has a secret wish to die."

Ormund smiles slowly, grimly. "I see. Perhaps you had better advise her of it, before I speak to her. I do not feel any. Inclination to be patient on this matter."

Marsei tilts her head ever-so-slightly at Camillo sitting at the table with them, as if it is simply a curiosity to her to see him there in such a way, and moves on. "I should not like to … well, to groom her expectations too much," she says to Ormund delicately.

Camillo keeps his head down and eats quietly, as politely as he knows how.

"I would groom her expectations to expect to die, compliments or not," says Ormund. "If she is not taking this seriously, it is. Trouble for both of us. To different degrees."

Marsei glances down at Ormund's table, distracted briefly by thought. "Perhaps something so dire is— better left to a member of the Faith, when or… if the time comes," she says quietly, a bit discomfited by the concept. To make up for it, she looks up to smile reassuringly at her brother. "But if you wish, of course I will speak to her to be certain she realizes the intensity of it all. That way you can delay your visit." Her voice brightens, trying to lift spirits. "As long as she can be held, and the guards are careful, what need is there to rush?"

Ormund nods at that. "True," he says. "What need? So long as she is not too. Comfortable."

"We must only guard against escape," Camillo says softly. "I think she may be very good at such things, and if she believes she is to die, she might become desperate."

Ormund nods again, and finishes off his breakfast. "Well, perhaps she'll fall," he says, rather crossly.

Marsei frowns a little, an expression of distaste for such discussions as making a captive uncomfortable and falling off the Hightower. "I think we've had enough of that as late," she says, voice particularly soft. She reaches toward Ormund's crossed arms; whether she can reach or not, it's a fond gesture. "I am sorry to sour your breakfast, brother. Perhaps no more talk of the thief until need be."

Ormund nods. "I must bathe and dress and get to work," says Ormund. Then he smiles. "And think of a suitable way to thank you for the return of my seal. It was. Troublesome." He probably means 'embarrassing.'

Camillo gets up immediately when Ormund mentions he has things to attend to. "I hope, my lord, I can be of some help in the matter's resolution."

Ormund nods, "You're a good man," he says. "Thank you.

"I did nothing," Marsei is quick to assure, smiling bright as she rises as well, wishing to immediately dismiss any need of thanks. "It was quite literally handed to me." She nods to Camillo as if agreeing before starting toward the exit of Ormund's rooms. She turns to give her brother a last kind smile.

Ormund nods at that, though he does not quite seem to agree. "All right," he says quietly. He rises to go to his dressing room.

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