(122-06-16) Cake or Death
Cake or Death
Summary: Marsei, Dhraegon and Camillo contemplate moral and logical dilemmas over cake. (The nobles are actually eating the cake, Camillo is literally just over the cake.)
Date: 16/06/2015
Related: Seal of Truth, Thiefwatch, To Die, Or Not, Repent

Level 3 - The Hightower Battle Island

Even a single tier of the great white stone tower is grand enough for any palace, and this floor is one is the grandest of all. The third level houses the Hightower family themselves. It has many suites of private rooms, as well as suites with multiple bedchambers, each enough to serve as a noble house in themselves. The open part of the level includes shared parlours with large windows that light the tower's interior. The floor is polished stone in three colours, red-orange and white and grey, laid in a pattern of chevrons. The grand gracious staircases are accessible from near the center of the tower.


Dhraegon arrives around lunch time with a large bouquet of lisanthus, long hair loose, and a little woven circlet of Daisies and Septon's Lace about his temples. He is all fresh scrubbed and maidenly blushes.

Lady Marsei is seated at one of her favoured tables in one of the Hightower parlours upon the third level in all its massive splendor with a view of the garden. The level is not free of civil noble activities, but her the space is vast enough that her spot is private enough. Before Dhraegon has even arrived, she has set into a tray of cakes. Besides drink, there is scarcely little on the table but cakes, save for fruit that, comparatively, seems only decorative. She is clad in one of her simple, elegant blue dressed, her hair down but braided on the sides. Rather single-minded in her focus, she hardly notices her prince at all.

Dhraegon brightens, though whether from seeing her or the cakes or both, it is unclear. He bounces over, likely quieter than he intends on soft embroidered slippers, and stoops to kiss the top of her head from behind, the scent of the pale pink blooms mixing with his characteristic lavander and vanilla.

Marsei is all smiles when she realizes the nearby figure is Dhraegon — her surprise is mild, but it is suprise nonetheless. She ducks her head, touching a delicate finger to her lips as she swallows and then to her chest in a gesture of tranquil apology. "My prince! Apologies. You startled me out of my…" Marathon of desserts? "… my… my cake." She looks up, way up, after the kiss on her head, noting his flowers. "I feel under-decorated."

There is a great deal of work to be done in such a large place. Camillo is just passing through with a rolled-up rug balanced on one shoulder. It belongs in the Northwest suite, but has evidently been beaten clean this morning.

Dhraegon giggles, "I hope that you might being in a sharing sort of mood." He eyes the cake meaningfully, "Are you celebrating, or simply enjoying them for themselves." He looks around for a place to set the flowers, eyes catching Camillos's as he passes, "have you a vase about your person?" The flowers do indead look a little like a rose married a peony. "You are never under decorated, My sweet, hyacinthe, your petals are your best adornment." He touches her hair to show he means her bright locks and not her dress this time.

"Oh, please, do eat some," Marsei more than encourages, mid-smile for Dhraegon's compliment. "No celebration. Save me from myself. I'm not sure I can stop now I've started!" Her tone is joking … but whether it is a joke is to be determined. Enough has been cleared away already that she may be capable of taking down enough to feed an entire dinnertable, at this rate. She reaches out to touch the petals of the flowers admiringly. "Lis… anthum?" she makes a hopeful attempt to recall the name.

Camillo looks up when he's addressed by Dhraegon. "I'll bring one straightaway, your Grace," he replies. He takes the carpet into the suite and comes back with a vase in hand. Presumably he'll get another to replace that one later on. He brings this over to the couple. "Shall I set it on this table?"

Dhraegon looks impressed by the progress she has made on cake devouring, "I have always wanted to buy one of everything at the Cake Shop! I truly think we are well suited whatever people say." He beams at her, "You remembered! How do you, this fine day, My iris? I have sent Flox to the garden with some new cocoons…. Best not on the table, lest it get knocked about and spoil the cakes."

Marsei smiles brightly at the vase and thus Camillo, nodding to confirm it should sit prettily upon the table. She gives Dhraegon a hint of a playful smile for his idea about the Cake Shop; that notion is no doubt stored away. That smile falters somewhat, even before mention of cocoons invading cakes. She contemplates, seeming to favour silence, but as she reaches for more of the dessert, she confesses, "I am… perplexed today, I admit. I am not sure what to think." So she eats cake.

"Yes, your Grace," Cmillo agrees easily enough. Which leaves him holding a vase with obviously no idea where it's wanted.

Dhraegon catches her look, "Don't worry, I am infested with neither butterflies nor their Night Sisters….Perplexed about what, My Cornflower?" He settles in and starts happily sampling cakes. Seeing Camillo's confusion, he tries, "Perhaps to the side of the table where it won't be bumped?"

Marsei edges the tray of cakes slightly to the side, settling on this well enough, supposing — hoping — cocoons don't move. "Imagine…" she starts out with a small sigh, "… image someone who commits an offense, but does not quite understand what they have done, or their place within the law." She takes a bite of the sweet treat and neatly finishes before carrying on, looking down at the cake all the while. "Are they as responsible for their crime as someone who has committed the same crime with wicked intent?"

"Yes, Your Grace," Camillo agrees, finding a spot for it near the table. He glances at Marsei as she brings up her hypothetical.

Dhraegon nibbles a cake, thinking it over, "Are we speaking of a child? A… childlike adult?" which mant deam him to be, of course. "A foreigner acting in a way that is lawful and customary where they are from? How much harm did the act do?" He studies Camillo, "Would you hold Lord Lionyl guilty for… recent events, though he acted as any child might and had no idea of the possible consequences? Sometimes justice is not as simple as the law's letter."

Marsei shakes her head. "Not a child. A childlike adult… perhaps." Marsei gives Dhraegon a small, knowing smile. "… exactly, but— that is where it is most confusing, because the law must be enacted regardless. It is not… black and white as I suppose I wish it was. It wouldn't be a wrongful accusation and imprisonment." She glances at Camillo, turning it into a glance at the vase to admire it idly as she speaks. "If the crime was committed knowingly, but without the intent…" Thoughtfully, her eyes narrow, going distant from the table and focused inward. "To harm anyone…"

"I would not, Your Grace," Camillo answers quietly, "In that instance." He keeps his eyes on the vase.

Dhraegon nibbles another cake thoughtfully, "Is the person apt to do more mischief? Is the mischief libel to harm others or that person?"

"Mischief," Marsei repeats, amused and saddened in the same couple of breaths. "That is quite the fitting word. Yes. Harm, I cannot say. If only I knew." She turns her attention to Camillo, questioning him first with her gaze before asking, "What do you think now, Camillo?"

"If…" Camillo glances at Dhraegon, perhaps afraid he'll be answering the wrong question and say to much. "If there is to be an execution, I think it may be a mistake to delay it."

Dhraegon's eyes go wide at camillo's comment, "Do we speak of the trouble makers who interfered with the Snake hunt? I heard one of them might be… Childlike."

Marsei's eyes go slightly wide as well, but not there is no surprise in them; only a distraught empathy and appall over such things, even when they are necessary. She sighs, tipping her chin down. "She may be a snake and a troublemaker," she gives up the hypotheticals for now, "but perhaps a different sort." She glances up again at both of them, curious, not entirely sure, after the fact, considering she hasn't grasped the meaning of 'snake hunt'.

Camillo looks at the beautiful floor tiles. "I do not think she is childlike, entirely. I believe she either tired of the thief's life, or is making a bold play at a new score. But I think if we leave her too long, she may slip through our fingers. A caged thief is like a caged beast."

Dhraegon thinks this over while munching yet anothe cake. After all, cakes do not eat themselves. "Might it be kinder for her family to hire a Keeper or Keepers lest she do herself harm or get lost?" Here he does blush and look down, perhaps remembering that time a year ago when he escaped his Keepers and became very lost indeed…. Wait, have you caught the seal theif?"

"Caught is not precisely how it happened," Marsei confirms to Dhraegon. "She confessed to me. We walked her straight to the Hightower and she sits awaiting her punishment. She claims to remain there of her own will. If she has a family… they are back in Fleabottom." She gives Camillo a conflicted look, pained by her split opinion, half-smiling wistfully. "After sitting with her I… she seems so…" She struggles for fitting words, trailing her thumb along the edge of her gilded wine cup. "Honest… for a crook. Naive."

"She has no family, I think." Camillo says. "She is a poor girl, apprenticed to thieving from a young age. So she says." He frowns a little at Marsei. "It is hard to believe, that a lifelong thief from Fleabottom could be so naive. I…wonder if it is genuine."

Dhraegon looks grave, "I have to wonder then, myself. It is not a kind place to the simple, and without a protector…."

"I think it is in her nature," Marsei answers. "She is hyper like a child. I believe her when she said she stole the seal as a prank and feels badly; I certainly don't trust her, but she seeks my help and… I shall feel terribly if she is harshly punished, even if she did do wrong by us, especially Ormund, and I feel terribly about that as well." Getting a bit worked up and uncommonly flustered, she reaches promptly for another cake.

"I think keeping her waiting may be worse than the punishment," Camillo says softly. "If you live that life long enough…you know that one day it will end you."

Dhraegon's expression is soft as he gazes at his future wife, "Your kind heart is your most brilliant adornment, My Crocus. I think Camillo has the truth of it as far as punishment goes. Have you spoken to your brother of her yet?"

Marsei raises her eyes halfway to Camillo without quite looking at him, thinking grim and knowing thoughts from her visit with Aralynne. "He tries to decide," she tells Dhraegon.

"I am sorry, my lady, to speak so…coldly," Camillo says, glancing at Dhraegon.

Dhraegon's expression is serious, "You and your brother take duty seriously, which is a burden I can understand for all my faults…. It is a shame one can not give an adult a spanking…."

Marsei is thinking herself in circles, but she doesn't say loop around, falling into a short-lived hush— short-lived, as she looks across to Dhraegon with vague alarm. After a decidedly awkward pause, she says, "I … think the … " She gives her head the littlest shake. "Perhaps we should move on to nicer topics, after all! Thank you," she turns this last part on Camillo, sincere even through the grim topics, "for your input, as always."

Camillo inclines his head. "Yes, my lady. I'll return to my duties." Bowing to the prince as well, he departs.

Dhraegon looks confused and chastened, "Did I say the wrong thing? I did not mean to, My Hyacinth!" He clearly has no idea that some adults are in fact spanked, though he does read her distress well enough. He casts a questioning look at Camillo as if enlightenment might lie in that direction.

Marsei is glad — for Camillo — that he's on his way out. She attempts to reroute Dhraegon before he lures the servant back into the discussion, reaching out to lay a hand on his reassuringly. "It is only that… I expect there are so many forms of punishment for adults, I would rather not think of them. Nor the thief for awhile. Tell me what's new in the garden."

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