(122-07-16) No Ex-Sept-ions
No Ex-Sept-ions
Summary: A meeting in the Sept turns into something a little more eventful.
Date: Date of play (07/17/2015)
Related: Seeds of Peace; The Scorpion Strikes

The Sept in Sunspear is older than Nymeria's conquest, but not as old as the Sandship itself. The Sandship is ancient; likely the first version was constructed soon after the First Men crossed the Arm of Dorne to war with the Children of the Forest. The Sept at Sandstone marks the Andal Invasion which changed the cultural landscape once again.

It is perhaps fitting then that Visenya dresses as an Andal to come to the Sept, a gown from the Reach in a pale color that covers more flesh than the more revealing Dornish gowns she has been seen wearing of late. A mantle of Myrish lace rests atop her head, and shields her expression from anyone who is not looking directly into her face. It is not uncommon for women to pray to the Maiden and Mother and even the Crone when they are so soon to be married. Visenya does not pay either of those aspects her attention. Instead she kneels in supplication in front of the altar of the Warrior.

Torren is not of a particularly religious turn of mind. It isn't that he is completely disinterested, but he is certainly not a pious man. It's rare to see him in the Sept, but today he has appeared. It may be to pray, though the more likely conclusion of anyone who knows him well is that he is here to see Visenya, having been told where she is. He enters, and of course, sees her right away, but he stops at the entrance without nearing her or speaking, allowing her however much time she wishes for her devotions. The fact that she is kneeling in front of the Warrior gets a raised eyebrow, but that may be fitting, considering who she is.

Perhaps she was soon to finish or perhaps Visenya senses eyes on her back; either way it is not soon after Torren steps into the Sept that she rises from her kneeled position. She catches sight of Torren and drifts over in that direction. "My Prince." She says, "Forgive me if you were waiting for privacy." They are pretty polite words, but she knows why he is here, and that it is not for the Seven.

Torren's lips tic upward at her words; he knows that he has not fooled her, as well, if he had even been trying to do so. "I had thought to offer some supplication," he says off-handedly, "but I think I prefer the more earthly company instead." He takes a few steps toward her to meet her halfway, "Do you find yourself in need of strength to weather the coming days? The Warrior is not generally a favorite of maidens who are no more than twenty.”

"I prayed to the mother first." Visenya says as she stops in front of him. Her voice is soft. Appropriate for the Sept. It does not carry despite the thick stone walls. However, the Dornish tend to pray when they feel they need the Seven, and the Targaryens often pray for show more than actual love of the Seven. "And I am not a Mother yet. And then I asked the Warrior to give me courage and resolve. Even maidens who are no more than twenty need both." She smiles then, "And next week I shall be one-and-twenty."

That is true," Torren concedes, "they sometimes do. I suppose some probably pray for both of those before they are wed." His smile turns a little bit more sardonic, then, but it's teasing rather than derisive. It softens when she speaks again, though, and he says, "I did not realize your name day was so soon. A pity that the weddings will interfere with anything else that I might have been able to do for it." As though this day is more important than the wedding, though he actually sounds sincere.

"And perhaps the bridegroom prays to the Father for patience." Visenya says in response, a small smile forming on her lips that is just as teasing as his. She waves a hand dismissively, "I did not think of it until this morning. Really. It is of little consequence to me." She folds her hands in the depths of her sleeves before saying, "My father has an interesting take on things."

"The very thing I had planned on doing." Though this is probably not actually the case. "It may not be of consequence to you, but perhaps it is of consequence to me. It is not every day that one turns one-and-twenty." But his smile fades nearly completely with the mention of her father, though just to a thoughtful look. For now. "Does he?" he asks casually. "May I ask what it is? Or is it for his daughter only?" A bit of the smile is back, though again, more sarcastic. But not necessarily directed at her.

They are alone in the Sept, and yet when Torren asks that question Visenya glances about before saying, "He hopes that I will in time convince you to bend the knee." It's a ludicrous proposition, and she knows it. That much can be read on her face. That, and the disgust writ across her face as she says this indicates it goes deeper than that, even. "I am told to think of the family, but do the Seven not say a wife belongs to her husband and not her father?"

It's a mark of just how ludicrous Torren finds it that he doesn't even get upset, just lets out a snort of laughter. "Well," he says, "he may hope for whatever he wishes. It pains me to disappoint my future father-in-law so early in our relationship." He doesn't look around; his eyes are on her. "They say that," he agrees, "yes. I suppose you must follow your own conscience in that, however. But I am sorry if this union causes a rift between you and your family."

"Are all parents like this?" Visenya asks. "Does your mother think of her own advancement and little else? Did she show you no love as a child? I don't want to seem as if I am whining needlessly. I…" She trails off, and looks up into his face. "I feel as if all I've said is how I will no longer be a pawn in these games. Is that my only place?"

Torren doesn't reply right away; it's clear he's deciding exactly how to respond. "My mother enjoys her power," he says slowly, as though choosing his words carefully, "but she did show us love when we were young. And pride in us now that we are older. Though she is exacting in her standards." He studies her intently, "That is how you are viewed in the Crownlands, is it not? Worth however much you can bring with whomever you marry? I think it is not just you, but women in general. At least, that is my understanding." He offers her his arm, "Walk with me?"

"In some ways yes." Visenya says to his question, and she nods her head softly. "But it's not just us for my father. He sees us all as opportunities for his own advancement." She puts her hand on his arm, and as they begin to walk out of the Sept she says, "And my mother loved my younger sister, but she barely writes me."

This is what Torren had originally wished for, of course, not any sort of prayer, and so when she accepts, he turns readily and starts out of the Sept with nary a backward glance. His other hand comes up to cover hers on his arm, and he replies, "Your father is an ambitious man. Sometimes ambition blinds us." His voice grows a little gentler as he continues, "I am sorry about your mother. It is difficult to see a sibling seem to be placed above you."

"Thank you." Visenya says as they walk out of the Sept and into the bright light of Sunspear. She weathers the temperature better than most, but in her full gown it is still quite hot. "I do not mean to make you sorry for me, though. I just want you to know where I plan on placing my allegiance. Once we are married I will treat your mother as if she is my Liege because she will be, and I will treat you as my future Liege."

Torren shakes his head her words, "Not sorry for you, sweet. Just sorry." Though his more somber expression shifts a little when she's through. "I hope you will not treat me quite so formally as that," he comments as he turns to look at her with a little teasing smile. "I should much prefer a bit less ceremony in our bed."

"I do not believe there is much ceremony involved between lovers." Visenya has alluded to being his vassal, and now she says they are to be lovers. This is said far more gravely than when she's mentioned being his wife. It's as if vassal and lover carry much more weight in her mind than wife. She gives him an askance look, and her hand tightens slightly on his forearm before she looks away.

"Let us hope not," Torren replies, but the little change in tone has him stopping them in the shade of a tree, and he turns to her, releasing her hand but only so that he can take both of hers in his. "What are you thinking of?" he asks, meeting her eyes — or at least he will meet them, if she looks at him as well. He's looking at her more intently than he had been, as if he could divine the contents of her thoughts just by looking. Of course, he can't, and has to ask.

Visenya does meet his eye. She tilts her chin up to look into his face, and after a moment or two of silence she says, "That some words have more meaning than others. That all of the things I have been taught are moral or good or right were all just lies." Her lips quirk upwards then but there is no humor in her expression, "That I shouldn't be grateful for something even if it is in the end an advantage for me when I am used as a playing piece instead of the faithful servant I could have been to them. I think of how disappointed they will be when they realize that I am no longer theirs."

Her words do not do much to abate that solemn expression that Torren wears, especially as she goes on. He lets go of one of her hands, but just so that he can reach up to touch her cheek gently, not lasciviously or anything else of the sort. "Such heavy thoughts, for one so young," he comments, "even if you are to be one-and-twenty." There's a little smile of his own at the end of that, though like hers, there's not much humor there.

"I am young, Torren. It is true." Visenya says as she searches his face for a moment. "But I am not a child who ought to be spared from hard things." She turns her eyes downwards then, and pulls away from him to turn around and stare out towards the dusty pathway that leads from the older buildings such as the Sandship and Sept to the Old Palace.

Torren and Visenya are standing under a tree near the Sept, apparently conversing, though whatever they are speaking of must not be very pleasant, considering the expressions on both their faces. Torren looks at Visenya as she turns away, and after a second, he says, "I did not mean to imply that you are a child. Forgive me." He falls quiet then, himself, and for once seems like he may be a little bit at a loss for what to say.

Visenya lowers her mantle of myrish lace from her hair, and wipes a sleeve across her forehead. It's hot. When Torren apologizes she turns slightly to look back at him. "There is nothing to forgive. You did not speak out of malice." She sucks in a breath before releasing it slowly, and looks back down the lane. "My parents' presence always makes me feel strained. Forgive me for taking out my ill humor and over-seriousness on you."

"There is nothing to forgive," Torren echoes, and the smile that touches his lips now is at least a little bit more genuine. "They will be gone soon enough, and then you shall not have to see them again unless you wish it." He reaches out to lay a hand on her shoulder, "Think instead of what is ahead, perhaps, rather than whether or not you will disappoint them. I am sure I will be much more of a disappointment to your father than you will." This is said a little bit more wryly.

The sept represents a rare occasion for Rhaegor to pass half of an hour on his own, and when he emerges from within its hallowed halls his spirit is lighter for it. He lingers just outside its doors, as if reluctant to leave it and return to what awaits him beyond its walls. He spies Visenya and Torren; perhaps they had been there when he went in, as well. From his distance, he cannot gauge the atmosphere that surrounds their meeting. And so he makes to join them before returning to court, if only to greet them with a polite "Prince Torren, Princess Visenya," and bow of his head when he is within speaking distance.

"You can never be as big of a disappointment to him as me. You are not his child." Visenya says to Torren. Still, when she turns her head to look over her shoulder at him her expression has softened, and she seems for a moment like she may be coming out of her dark mood.

Visenya was in the Sept while Rhaegor was. She must have missed him in one of the nooks while she lit a candle for the Mother and Warrior, strangely enough, and lost herself in prayer. Torren had made an appearance in the doorway, but he did not enter fully. It is clear that Visenya went to the Sept to pray as she is wearing the same gown and Myrish lace mantle that she often wore in Oldtown to go to the Starry Sept.

As Rhaegor approaches she adopts a smooth, polite meim and bows her head in greeting to Rhaegor. "Prince Rhaegor." She looks like she may say something polite and inconsequential, but there is a rider on a sandsteed who is riding rather determinately in their direction.

Rhaegor is distracted by the hard gallop in their direction, shielding his eyes from the sun in an effort to identify the rider. "It's Daelon," he says, as much to himself as to either of the others. One of his Targaryen kin, a first cousin on his mother's side, one of the men who've been to Qarth and back with him. The closer he nears, the more evident it is that it's Rhaegor he rides in search of.

Daelon Targaryen pulls up hard on the reins to bring the beast to a halt at enough distance he avoids spraying Visenya's prayer gown in sand. The rider looks between Rhaegor and Torren, having known the former would be found here, but likely reckoning it a boon that the latter is present as well.

"Prince Rhaegor." Daelon says without dismounting. He looks to Torren then before adding, "Prince Torren." Daelon does not hesitate as he senses that time is of the essence. "Some Dornish men invited us to hunt. It was going well until Ser Manfryd Qorgyle took offense to some comments Ser Aelyn made regarding the Red Rookery. They have come to blows in the yard in front of the stables."

The fact that Visenya seems to be coming out of her mood makes Torren's smile widen, and he's just about to say something else, when Rhaegor exits the Sept. He looks up, and at the greeting, gives the other man a nod and returns, "Prince Rhaegor." His tone is perfectly friendly, and he might have said more here, too, but he's also distracted by the rider. He falls silent with a raised eyebrow, and though Daelon gets a nod, he's more interested in what the man has to say. Especially when he says it. The words are barely out of the man's mouth before he's striding toward the yard, his mouth set into a hard line.

Daelon doesn't waste time, and this is the sort of trait that makes him indispensable to Rhaegor. Torren takes off toward the yard and the Targaryen prince falls into stride, the rider trailing them on the horse. "Ride ahead. Instruct them to hold their blades." He glances sidelong at the Martell, as if for him to confirm or gainsay the command before Daelon takes off to deliver it.

Visenya picks up her skirts a bit to keep up with the longer strides of Torren and Rhaegor as they start off towards the stables. It's hot, and her dress is heavy, and soon enough she lags behind a little.

Daelon rides ahead to tell the two men to stay their blades. When the three of them arrive there is a distinctive line of Dornishmen and Crownlanders with a Knight in Dornish Garb that bares the red scorpion of House Qorgyle on his chest with his spear in his hand on one side, and a Targaryen Knight on the other side of the wall of men.

There's one brief nod to confirm Prince Rhaegor's instructions to Daelon, but that's the only acknowledgement of them that Torren gives. He also doesn't notice Visenya, though to be fair, the news is somewhat vexing. When they reach the yard, he does not even wait to take stock of the situation. Apparently he presumes that at least the Dornishmen will get the hell out of his way, but in this case, that's exactly what happens. He doesn't stop until he's basically toe to toe with the Dornish knight. "You thought to draw your weapon on a guest of House Martell?" His voice is deceptively calm, and despite the fact that the other man is in armor, with a bared weapon, and Torren is just dressed in robes, he shows no hint of apprehension.

If Visenya's handmaid received a frosty stare for her off-remarks that day in the stables, it was nothing compared to the one Aelyn Targaryen receives now. Though Rhaegor yields to the Martell prince in addressing the Dornishmen first, he still issues warning looks all around his own circle. Visenya has trailed them here, and Rhaegor glances her way, rounding her side to murmur protectively at her ear, "Perhaps you ought to go indoors."

Visenya turns her head up to lock eyes with Rhaegor before she asks in a discreet rushed tone, "So they can remember what a delicate little flower I am when I am Princess Consort?" She does not leave as he suggests. She does, at least, step off to the side and away from the men so she doesn't get jostled or accidentally hit if one of the men charges the other.

Manfryd Qorgyle is proud, but he is also loyal enough to bow his head when Torren gets in his face. "I did, your highness." He confesses. He holds his spearpoint down instead of the aggressive manner in which he held it previously. "But you should know what he said, your highness."

It is probably lucky that he has bowed, at least, though it gets no outward acknowledgement. "Do you imagine for one moment that I care what he said?" Torren replies icily, and if the man had harbored any illusions about that before, he probably doesn't now. "Is this how we show hospitality to our guests? To my betrothed's kin? Put away your spear and go do something to clear your head, so that you may realize how you have represented Dorne with your actions today."

Ser Aelyn had tensed in place among the Targaryen and Velaryons, prepared (no doubt) to defend himself by blade or boast if asked to repeat himself. He's a newly minted knight, one of the younger men in attendance, not yet twenty. Not one who's spilled warlock blood at Rhaegor's side, but still beholden to his older cousin, who glares at him now as if he might keep the youth in line with just his stare.

Ser Manfryd is not much older than Ser Aelyn, and he is exceedingly proud and cocky. It shows in his face when Torren tells him he doesn't care what was said. He opens his mouth to protest, but closes it with a discomforted look on his face. "Yes, your highness." He turns his head then to sneer in the direction of Aelyn before he stalks off away from the stables.

There's almost something said in response to that sneer, but Torren is not as young as either of the two who were about to fight, and so he, unlike them, knows when to hold his tongue. Instead, he turns to the onlookers — mostly those who are his countrymen — and says, "The rest of you may go, as well, unless you have some business in the yard." The look on his face says very plainly that he does not believe that any of them do. The rest he leaves for Prince Rhaegor to deal with; no doubt the other man can do so quite well.

Rhaegor turns to regard the Qorgyle in his retreat, and so does the young Ser Aelyn, who does not seem as chagrinned as his counterpart. But when Torren leaves the Targaryen to the matter of addressing his men, Rhaegor offers him a duly appreciative nod of his head, and the sort of look that says This will be dealt with. He waits until Torren and Visenya are out of earshot, but he and Aelyn and Daelon and the others are scarce for most of the remainder of the afternoon.

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