(122-06-18) On Looming Darkness
On Looming Darkness
Summary: Marsei and Camillo talk less than cheerfully about what it is like to be someone who is awaiting death.
Date: 18/06/2015
Related: Seal of Truth, Thiefwatch, To Die, Or Not, Repent, Cake or Death

The Hightower

It's getting on toward night, and here Camillo is making his way down the corridor. Interestingly, he has a bottle of some kind of alcohol from the cellars in hand, but no tray or glass.

Lady Marsei turns a corner several feet behind him, quietly emerging out of an intersecting corridor with her head down. She's focused on a message in her hand, a small, compact scroll delivered by raven. It's unopened, as tight as the day it was sent, but she's looking at it like she can see straight through and already knows the words within. Not so intently that she doesn't realize there is somebody ahead of her — manners, after all. She'd let Camillo carry on with his business, except… she pauses, noting the bottle. "— Camillo?"

Camillo starts a little, which already suggests his guilt. He turns to look at Marsei and inclines his head deeply. "My lady," he says. Though the gesture shades his face, one can tell he's been drinking already.

"I don't mean to interrupt your business," Marsei says with apology. She glances again down to the bottle, questioning but sorry for that too. Apologetic though she may be for making the servant feel guilty, she's curious, too, and a worry brightens her gaze. She inclines her head as well, if only to peek upward at Camillo as if to delicately sneak under the shadow of his face. "But are you all right?"

"Oh, forgive me, lady," Camillo says, retreating a step. "I hope you won't… That is, I don't think this bottle is very expensive. I only…"

"It is from— ?" She starts with surprise at the confirmation of where the drink came from — but purposefully smiles, trying to be dismissive of worry; on Camillo's part, at least. "Well. I suppose I shan't tell," Marsei keeps her tone light, but cautious yet. "It does make me wonder if you and the other servants are owed more than we give. But— are you?" Her brow, inasmuch as it's capable, furrows. "All right?"

"No, no, my lady," Camillo says quickly on the subject of compensation. "I will replace it, only it's faster…" He heaves out a breath, then looks at Marsei with his brows slightly knitted. "I worry about that girl…"

Frowning, looking upon Camillo with clear empathy, Marsei goes to the wall; she does not quite lean against it, but her back brushes the cold stone. "Me as well," she concurs quietly. "Does your opinion waver?"

Camillo shakes his head slightly. "Not…really, my lady, but…I do not like that she is waiting. I once…"

Marsei's soft brows start to raise, hopeful Camillo will continue. Palms lightly pressed to the wall at her sides, the message tucked away under one, she leans her head out ever-so-slightly, attentive. "Once…?"

Camillo's gaze flicks here and there in the corridor. "Is there someplace…quieter?"

"I— well…" Marsei looks uncertainly down the corridor, back the way she came, and back; her gaze falls thoughtfully to Camillo's bottle before it meets him again. "There is a room back here," she says quietly, "when I was small, I thought it was haunted. I'm not certain I don't think it's haunted now…" She carefully takes one of the small torches from its artful sconce, holding it as far as she can from herself and leads the way just short way down to a room that happens to be convenient without going too far. She stands back to let Camillo open the ages old, unlocked door.

Camillo follows Marsei, looking just a little wary about the idea of a haunting. But he seems to prefer a possible ghost encounter to being overheard by another nosy servant. He slips in. "My lady, I think I once told you something of my past. When you asked about…Lord Istor. How we came to meet. That I was to…be hanged, for theft."

Once she's inside, listening intently, Marsei does not cast the light about to reveal much of the room she's chosen. Darkness looms in around them, a bit too oppressive. The floor is bare except for the irregular shadows— of things that look very little like furniture. The air is dank and heavy, full of age-old dust. Illuminated by the torch, Marsei's features speak of her unnerved feelings about the room, but more about her concern for Camillo's story. She gives a little nod to assure she remembers and that she's listening.

"I know what it is, Lady Marsei," Camillo says, a hint of urgency to communicate this in his features, "To be told you must die and then to have to wait."

Somber, Marsei turns to put the torch on the wall by the door and hope it stays there. She stays facing the light, her small shoulders heavy with the uncomfortable reality spoken by — lived by — Camillo. Discomfitedly, she admits, "I have wondered before, what they would be like, those moments." She turns toward the room, wrapping her arms about herself. Poised higher up now, the light sketches along the outlines of tall candle-holders, cobwebbed religious artifacts, and empty bookshelves. "But she seems so…" Despite her soft trailing of words, Marsei's expression is more impassioned— perplexed, frustrated, in a way, by Aralynne. "…carefree about it all, don't you think… unanxious. She all but said she expected to be hanged. Tortured even, though I said not. And then … she laughs." A pause. "I would not be laughing."

Camillo shakes his head slowly. "Nor I, my lady," he says. "I think perhaps she means to escape, but that would be a shame upon this house. I think…she should not be given the opportunity." Camillo shifts his grip on the neck of the bottle. "Has she been told that she is condemned? For certain?"

Marsei gives her head a tiny shake, staring into the shadow. "As far as I'm aware, nothing is certain," she states. She holds her arms tighter. "… between the claims of escape, she claims she'll kill herself before Ormund can."

Camillo knits his brow, looking troubled. "Is it not hard to make her kill herself?" he asks. "It would be better if we could…quickly…" He looks down. "It's terrible to bring such things up to you, my lady."

"No, I … thank you, to be honest. I cannot think of a fairer way of thinking, if she will be sent to death." Marsei hangs her head, reddened by the flame overhead. "I find myself so conflicted over this … one small, presumptuous woman and wondering what it would be like, to be where she is, and then I realize… how many others there must be. How many pettier thieves and those who have done wrong but feel guilt for it and are sent to justice by Gwayne by his Watch or Ormund by his rule and my father when he was home to sit in the chair. But I never see in them in their cells or have the chance to feel sorry for them, it is just… what happens, isn't it, and then I feel silly." She doesn't sound like she feels silly; she sounds like she feels plainly just sad.

Camillo nods softly, sympathetically eyeing the lady, though she is neither the one on the chopping block nor the one who has been there before. He shakes his head. "My lady, you cannot take it upon your self. This girl chose her fate. The others…Well, you may as well be angry over the injustice of plague or stillbirth."

"I do not feel anger over any of those things," Marsei says, slow and quiet and glum. "Only sadness. Even sadness… for imprudent decisions, it seems." Her shoulders tense and fall; she looks to Camillo, giving him a very small smile. "I hope this girl will not plague you too much."

"If she escapes…I will seek to catch her," Camillo admits quietly. "I hope she does not, and yet…"

Marsei dips her chin down faintly; she seems to understand. "That is beyond your duty," she says, but her tone is respectful.

"Yes, my lady," Camillo responds softly, which may or may not mean that he won't hunt the girl down. "I only…hope it is over soon. Waiting is the worst part. Even if she does not show the wear of it."

"Yes." A simple agreement, full of reflection that seems more than sympathy. She stares into the unseen far corner, silent before she says, "This room used to belong to an old maester… or was it a septon, before he died. I'm cold, aren't you? We should leave this place. But feel free to stay." She reaches for the torch, smiling a kindness over at Camillo. "And don't worry about the bottle." If nothing else.

"Yes, my lady," Camillo agrees. "That is…you are very kind. As always."

Marsei's humble smile is perhaps slightly subdued tonight; then again, the torch does flicker. She nods to Camillo, opens the door just so to make sure no one walking the corridor, liable to get strange ideas in their head; then she slips out, going about her evening, somewhere on level thirteen, a thief's life may still hang in the balance.

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