(122-06-15) Repent
Summary: Lady Marsei visits the (questionably) imprisoned thief.
Date: 15/06/2015
Related: Seal of Truth, Thiefwatch, To Die, Or Not

It is a plain room in which they have put Aralynne but luxurious be her standards - she lies on the bed contemplating the ceiling - still in the fancy getup she put on to meet Marsei the other day. She whistles a jaunty tune - and looks more listless than worried. Springing out of the bed she balances her whole frame impressively on one hand trying to move as she has in the past to two fingers supporting her but never quite making it. Nonetheless it is quite a scene Marsei would be walking into. What thieves do in their spare time - professional level carnival tricks.

The noblewoman utters a soft "oh" of surprise, vaguely apologetic for interrupting whatever private spectacle this is, forgetting why she's come here. The guards outside close the door behind Marsei and the fancy suite seems more the temporary prison it is, stripped of all is niceties. All but the bed. A mercy. She comes closer, steps slow. She is dressed in a light, benevolent rose pink, with small, jeweled red flowers about her throat. "Aralynne." It is a kind greeting, but sober.

The thief throws herself out of the uncomfortable posture effortlessly and beams at the noblewoman offering a curtsey as well. "How does the day find you my Lady?" she says - before noticing the more sober tone of her captor. "Bad news I take it?"

Marsei smiles politely as Aralynne asks how she is; a kind deflection, as well, as she isn't here to talk about herself. "I'm afraid I don't come bearing much news," she says first, apologetic… or is it sympathetic; the line is delicate and fine. "But I wanted to talk to you." She folds her hands primly in front of her. Before she gets to what she came for, her curiosity has her peering at the little thief with an innocent sort of study. "What were you doing just then? Before I entered?"

"Exercise," Aralynne says, "I have to do it every day - keeping the joints loose and the musles toned. The habit of a lifetime. It has kept me alive. Until now that is. Do you know how unsecure this room is?" Aralynne looks around. "Not much news my Lady? Well no news is good news," Aralynne says hopefully. "Or we could have a situation where mothers in Fleabottom tell the cautionary tale of Aralynne the thief who foolishly gave herself up and was hanged for her trouble," Aralynne gives a small snort of laconic laughter. She seems to be perpetually cheerful this one even in dire circumstances. Does she use it to stay sane or has that sanity departed long ago?

The concept of exercise in this manner seems to be a curiosity in and of itself to the noblewoman, who may be beautiful but also looks like she could be broken about as easily like a decorative vase. She eyes the wall and glances at the door, not seeing any absence of security, but — though Marsei's curiosity rises over this point, too — she stays quiet, bowing her head ever-so-slightly. "My lord brother is still deciding," she tells Aralynne without looking up. "Will you tell me something," she inquires hopefully, lifting her gentle gaze in an attempt to find the thief's. "Do you like being a thief?"

Aralynne beams at Marsei again - it is a little infectious her enthusiasm. "I get asked that a lot by clients - many of whom were amongst the nobility would you believe? It started off as fun when I was a child and was apprenticed to my better. You don't have to think about things. Only get involved in capers. But then you become the boss - your own boss. Then it is 80/100 parts grind. 19/100 parts terror. 1/100 parts fun. And no matter how much money passes through your hands you can't really spend it. It tends to excite the jealousy of other criminals." Aralynne sighs. "And I /am/ a master thief. You should see where I sleep. Straw cot surrounded by filth. I talk to no one. Just do my job. I began thinking the other day when that Camillo fellow was talking to me that I am actually anhedonic you know what I mean. So if I am killed here Lord Ormund couldn't be technically faulted with ending anything that really amounts to a life." Shifting the bed, "Hey - want to see me 'escape'? Not really escape - but Id be back up the stairs and surprise the guards outside? A bit of fun? Or would that be unwise?"

Marsei listens, quite rapt, her gaze going between fascinated and perplexed, the latter especially around the mathematics Aralynne flies through, the word anhedonic, and the description of the thief's usual bed. Her mouth hangs faintly open in a gape — ladylike, still, in its delicacy. It snaps shut and her eyes brighten with alarm. "N— no, oh!" She shakes her head in a hurry. "No, no, please, I assure you that would not be for the best," she tries to insist. "Could you really— " She shakes her head, closing her eyes for a only brief moment to refocus. She sighs, regarding Aralynne more seriously. "You speak of your life so … flippantly," she speaks cautiously, "yet I… I fear you do not grasp the weight of the situation."

Aralynne stops her escape attempt but describes it anyway. "I use the bedlinen and my dress tied to the bed and go out the window - in my smallclothes of course. I go through the window one level down race back up the stairs confront the confounded guards and say: 'Oh Hiiii!'," Aralynne laughs her goofy laugh. Raising her eyebrows she cants her head at the lady, "I think I get the general gist of what is about to happen. There are only two possibilities: Keep or kill. Both alluringly terrible in their own ways. If I am killed there is a chance I will get tortured first. If I am kept I might be maimed in some way that would wipe out any chance of me being of full use to your House. And I'd probably hang myself after that anyway - save Lord Ormund the rope and the manpower."

"You would not be tortured," Marsei is eager to insist. "Nor maimed, I can promise." Perhaps it's naivete to what truly goes on in such dire circumstances of the law that propels her to say so. Still, the lady is utterly confident in this, empathy rising forth in her gaze. She smiles just a little, a sad expression, and approaches further to sit on the very corner of the bed, gesturing for Aralynne to sit as well. "My brother is just; he is not cruel. But what you have done is treason. I know you spoke of your realization… that it was unjust." She watches Aralynne carefully, worry upon her brow. "Do you feel badly about your crime?"

Aralynne sits on the bed next to the lady, "Perhaps only to the extent that it affected Lord Ormund. I know nothing of nations or cities and their jurisdictional matters. Who holds power where and what obligations the citizen owes to the Lord. It's never the big things with me - only the small things. People not cities or nations. So sure I feel very badly. But this treason thing may as well be from another world." She scoots back on the bed energetically. "So what you're saying is it's the chop for me?" Aralynne draws a finger across her neck at that. "Oh well," she says laconically, "At least my last few days were interesting. Talked to some nice people. Slept on a nicer bed." Finally smiling to herself she note, "You know technically you cant really say that I was caught? Don't you think? Still have that on my posthumous resume. But treason or no I don't think many thieves will be turning themselves in for a while. Not that they ever do. Until now."

After the self-inflicted gesture across Aralynne's throat, Marsei looks down, and her gaze remains in her lap for awhile, thoughtful. "I said so as well," she mentions after a pause. "To Ormund. I asked if there was ever a precedent for such a thing. A thief — turning themselves in. " Presumably, they couldn't think of one, for she says no more on it. She looks up, powerfully earnest. "I do believe you, Aralynne. I don't think you meant to do wrong, not how the cruel or the … forsaken do, the knowingly sinful, even though you cannot be a master thief without being truly… criminal. I'm afraid laws don't exclude anyone who doesn't know them." She sounds truly apologetic toward the end. Sad. She reaches for Aralynne's hands with both of hers.

Aralynne is still upbeat, taking the Lady's hand. "A shame - I don't think he knows what a prize he has here. A link to the entire underworld. The possibility to clean up so much cruelty and iniquity in the city. And he'd rather take my head." A long pause. "Well let him have it." Some grave humor. "I've faced the stranger more times than I can count. He smiles at you. All you can do is smile back."

Marsei squeezes the thief's hands warmly. Hers are as soft and gentle as her demeanour, seeming to have never experienced a day of work more difficult than needlepoint in her life… but, perhaps, more caring than many other soft privileged hands. She smiles, small and contained, tense, shying away from grimacing. She, for one, does not feel comfortable about the thought of smiling back at the Stranger. "Tell your ideas to Ormund," she encourages. "He will come visit you. When he does … try to still yourself. Repent," she advises. "In the meantime, only the gods know your fate." As she indicated she would in the Maidenday Gardens, Marsei raises Aralynne's hands in hers and clutches them tighter together. She bows her head. "We will pray for the Mother's mercy before the Stranger."

"I think actions speak louder than words. But I can only act if I am alive to. Don't think I'd make a very useful ghost." Aralynne again not very religious but very much enamored of this kind lady takes her hands and follows her lead. And bows her head. Hoping that if truly she gets out of this Ormund doesn't force her into the Sept or something.

Marsei takes a deep breath and delves into prayer. It is silent, at first… at least, it has no words, no sound. Her prayer speaks in other ways. The faith and care with which she focuses her energy is almost palpable through the warm hands that encapsulate those of the captive. After a couple of minutes of this silent devotion, she quietly speaks a few well-known prayers to the Mother for mercy.

Aralynne - a fountain of endless energy calms down or relaxes for a moment at least until the prayers are finished. But in her heart of hearts she has known too much of cruelty to believe in or have anything other than contempt for the gods. She puts more stock in the charity of the few others that she has encountered who are 'good' by some objective standard.

Slowly, Marsei releases Aralynne's hands. She looks up and smiles, pleased to see that the young woman is capable of calming down. She makes her way to standing. "I will continue to pray for mercy," she says optimistically, taking a step back.

Aralynne smiles at the Lady. "Don't be too sad if things go pear shaped my Lady. There are worse people out there sure. But from where you're standing anything that happens to me I probably deserve." She curtseys as the woman makes to leave.

Marsei turns to lift her knuckles to the door, but pauses before she can rap upon it to alert the guards. She turns back around at the last moment.

"I am … loathe to do this, but…" The noblewoman strides back toward the bed with purpose, trying — only half-succeeding — not to frown. "I must take your linens." She grabs a handful of fabric reluctantly, but once she's started, she might as well pull. "And…" She glances aside at Aralynne and quickly away, embarrassed by her own words, saddened by the necessity of them. "Your dress. It is better I take them now, rather than anyone else, after hearing your daring tales of escape."

Aralynne laughs and surrenders the proferred items. "I have yet another way I can escape you know? Do you want me to surrender my arms and legs. I'm still here because I want to be."

"It is my duty, I hope you understand," Marsei says — indeed hopefully — as she works at gathering up all the linens into an ungraceful bundle to her chest. The mattress beneath is little more than a package of spilling straw without its coverings. "There is more to do with a length of fabric than escape," she reminds Aralynne very quietly, referencing the captive's earlier gallows talk. It is an awkward enough picture for the elegant lady to hold the laundry, but it is more awkward still when she holds out a hand to accept the dress, all without looking, her neck turned so far in the other direction she can likely see the door behind her better than the wall.

"So… I can't kill me? I have to wait for your brother to do it?" Again the laconic humor with a lopsided smile.

Marsei is quiet beneath that logic. She cannot seem to refute it, nor find humour in it. She simply goes for the door, the bundle making a modest screen between she and the smallfolk captive. A soft rap-rap of her knuckles and the door is opening just enough for her to slip through. "May the Seven be with you," she imparts wistfully before she leaves.

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