(122-07-22) Suffer the Little Children
Suffer the Little Children
Summary: The Dornish party leaves for Skyreach.
Date: Date of play (22/07/2015)
Related: None

It is late in the afternoon, time to leave for Skyreach, and Torren is taking Visenya to the stables to get her a horse. Of course, she could have any horse she wanted from them now, since they are married, but he seems to have a particular one in mind. As they walk through the stalls, he keeps a hand low on her waist. Well, it's actually probably too low to really be considered 'on her waist' at the moment. "If this one is not to your liking," he's saying as they go, "you can pick another; you won't offend me." He smiles at her, and the hand on her squeezes a little bit.

"The weather is too hot for my current horse, isn't it?" Visenya sounds slightly disappointed in this; the horse she arrived with was a beautiful black mare Rhaegor had gifted her with. Of core, she doesn't tell Torren that the mare was a gift from Rhaegor, but perhaps that is why she wants to hold on to it. "Perhaps I will send her home with Ser Fulk." Another sad parting. The aged former hedge knight had been her man-at-arms since her first adventure to find the Whoremaster. But Dorne is too hot for old men used to cooler climes, and Visenya has need of more than ceremonial protection now. "I'm sure I'll like what you pick for me." She leans against him slightly as he squeezes.

"I would say so," Torren replies, though he does seem to understand her reluctance to have a new horse. Maybe not the Rhaegor part, but the part about having become used to riding it. "That might be best. Northron horses do not do as well down here as our own." He does lean down to kiss the top of her head at the mention of her sworn sword; he seems to understand the difficulty of this, as well.

It's not too long before they come to the stall where the horse he's chosen for her is stabled. It is a pale standsteed, so pale it looks almost white, and very elegant, as these Dornish horses are. It looks at them and paws at the ground, nickering a little bit, but otherwise is very calm.

Visenya leans a little more heavily into him as he kisses her forehead. Marriage has seemed to eradicate all of her hesitation about being seen touching him. It is a subtle change that has come over her; her flirting today has been less covert, and she walks closer to him than she did before. Despite her fear regarding outsiders when it comes to just between the two of them she seems content.

"She's lovely." Visenya says of the pale sandsteed. She remains outside of the stall, but does take a lump of sugar from a basket on the wall and holds it out flat on her palm to lure the mare over to her.

When she seems to find the choice he'd made acceptable, Torren's smile widens, and he replies, "She has been trained somewhat, but is young enough that she has never had a constant rider. She should take to you very well, I think." The horse eyes the sugar, and after a second, comes over to nibble it out of Visenya's hand. Once she has done that, she offers her her neck to be petted.

Visenya reaches out a hand to rub her fingers over the mare's neck. "She is lovely." She says again, and then she bites her bottom lip before saying, "And I will ride her through the desert as it will be more gentle on my black palfrey. But I think I will use the black when he go looking for my dragons. She is more used to them, and the smell of a dragon is frightening to horses." She turns then to look at him a moment before she smiles with the corner of her lips, "Thank you."

Torren nods at her assessment, and says, "I think that would be wise. I am sure she will also appreciate not being burned to death by your dragons." Like he will, is the implication, and he lets out a little laugh, though it softens when she smiles at him. He is not in love with her, but it would be a lie to say that he doesn't like it when she smiles at him, and go out of his way to evoke them. He leans down then to give her a kiss, which lingers for a second or two before he pulls back. "Shall we go, then?" All their things are already packed and ready; this was all that was left to do.

"My dragons aren't nearly big enough to burn anyone to death." Visenya says with a slight widening of her smile. "Badly? Yes. But to death?" She isn't completely in love with him, but Visenya gives her heart to men easily. Perhaps she will be soon, judging by the way in which she sighs when he kisses her. "We shall." She says in agreement, and steps back as an attendant prepares the horse for her. "What is Skyreach like?"

Torren nods, and looks over at the attendants then to indicate for them to saddle his horse, as well. His own is a chestnut, but it's almost too red to be called chestnut anymore. It's really as red as the sun on the Martell banners. At her question, he tips his head to the side thoughtfully, and then replies, "It is carved out into the stone of the Red Mountains. It is…very beautiful. I believe its towers are even more majestic than the Tower of the Sun." The horse is brought to him, and he mounts it easily, taking the reins but leaving them slack. He doesn't use them to direct the horse, as he's been riding it for years and they are now used to each other. "I think you may like it."

Visenya is given a foot up by one of the attendants when she mounts the white horse. Her black palfrey will be tied to the back of one of the wagons. She wears the baggy split pants often favored by the Dornish for riding under her robes that are made more for riding through the sand than fashion, and sits astride as opposed to on the side. As she listens to him speak of Skyreach she adjusts the gauzy veil that women often wear to keep sand out of their faces, and once it is in place she says, "I wonder if it resembles the Eyrie in any fashion."

"Perhaps," Torren replies. "I have never seen the Eyrie, but from what I have heard, it is a bit easier to arrive at Skyreach than that. At least, from the Dorne side." The point of Skyreach, of course, was to guard the easiest way out of Dorne, so it is not quite as simple to come down from the other side.

They ride out to join the train, and then they start off, and it isn't long before they are moving through the Shadow City. Despite the hour — or maybe because of it — the streets are still quite busy with people going about their business while avoiding the heat of the day. There are children playing, too, though they scramble out of the way for the train. One of them, though, who looks to be about five or six, is staring at Visenya with wide, awed eyes from the side of the street.

"I've only been to the Eyrie once. My father had something to do with the diplomacy involving house Royce when Prince Daemon was married to Lady Royce. He left…ah, a lot to be smoothed over with them, I believe." The white sandsteed is easy enough for Visenya to ride, and she seems to have no issues as she navigates the Shadow City next to Torren. When she senses those child's eyes on her she looks back before she pulls her veil aside to let them have a look at her face.

They're not riding quickly, and so when Visenya looks at her and uncovers her face, she seems to screw up her courage, and grabs the hand of an older child — maybe her brother, by the looks of him — then starts forward toward Visenya's horse. "Did you really ride here on a dragon?" she asks very bluntly, and now it's her brother's turn for wide eyes, though he looks highly embarrassed, plus also a little bit awed. "I'm sorry," he mumbles as he tries to pull the girl away, but she is apparently quite stubborn and slips out of his grasp to follow along beside the horses.

Visenya turns her head to look to Torren briefly once the children start following them before she slows her sandsteed down to a slow trot. She fixes her gaze on the small girl, and lifts one of her silvery brows. "If I rode here on a dragon why would I leave on a horse?" A shadow of a smile touches her lips. "What are you called?"

The child frowns at that question, but it's thoughtful, and after a second, she looks back at her brother with a glare. "She didn't ride here on a dragon!" she says, but the disappointment is short-lived, before she turns back. "Aryn," she says, in response to Visenya's question, and then after a second, she continues, "Your hair is pretty. I wish my hair was like that." She herself has dark hair, typical of the Dornish people.

Now that the train has slowed, and other children see Aryn talking to Visenya, they start to whisper amongst themselves, and then start to approach as well. Some of them look like they might want to reach out and touch her, but they aren't quite brave enough to. But they're all staring at her. Not like she's a freakish curiosity…like she's some beautiful, unknown creature that isn't quite real.

Torren, of course, notices this, and pulls up his horse as well to a very slow walk, lifting a hand to those behind them to do so as well. He doesn't say anything, but there's a smile on his face.

Visenya favors Aryn with a slightly amused look for a moment before finally she says, "It's very common where I come from. My hair color, I mean. I think your hair is much prettier. Look at how long it is." As the other children approach she sweeps her gaze out and over their faces before she says to Aryn, “What is your brother's name?"

The compliment makes the little girl fairly beam, and she touches her hair as though considering it for the first time. "Sometimes my mother puts it in a braid," she admits. Though the question of her brother makes her make a face. "Gareth," she says, and then continues, "He said you came here on a dragon. But you rode a dragon before, didn't you?"

Now that the other children seem to feel that it is safe, they start talking and asking questions, too. "Do you like it here?" one of them asks. And then they start coming in a rush: "Can I touch your horse?" "Your dress is beautiful." "Do you have brothers and sisters?" "Do you like us?"

At first, the women on the street — probably the mothers of these children — had been looking a little wary. But as the conversation between Visenya and Aryn progresses, they seem to relax, and now a lot of them are even smiling. The wife of the future heir of Dorne being sweet to their children probably goes a long way toward softening any misgivings they might have had of her bloodline.

"I have ridden a dragon before." Visenya tells Aryn, and she gives up the pretense of riding to stop her white sandsteed, and dismounts smoothly on her own, and takes up the reins of her horse to lead it towards the edge of the road to get out of the way of the rest of the train. Once she has moved out of the way she says, "And now I have dragons. Twins born from the same egg." When the next child asks if she likes it here she says, "I do like it here." She almost mentions Sunspear, but that might as well be as removed from these children as King's Landing. "I like how the sun rises and sets over the desert, and how clear the skies are at night. It is much different in the North." She motions towards the front of the sandsteed at the next question, and probably opens up the poor horse to over-petting. "Thank you. Of course I do. I am a twin. Just like my dragons. And I have older brothers and a younger sister."

It is the last question that catches her attention the most. "Of course I like you." She says, and she means it. "Why would you ever think that I wouldn't like people like you?" She glances to the gathering of women before she bows her head to them. A sign of respect. To their children she says, "Who could not admire you when you are all so brave? I've never had children approach me like this in the Reach or in the Crownlands."

It is lucky that her horse seems to be of good temperament, because when she starts being pet it, she bears it with good grace, and certainly doesn't seem to be about to kick or bite any of them. Visenya's answers to their questions seem to satisfy them, especially the last one. When she says that, most of them start to grin with pride, and Aryn reaches to take Visenya's hand, holding it to her cheek. "I like you, too," she says.

When Visenya stops, Torren does, too, and dismounts as well, standing near her but not too near. Some of the older boys seem to be as in awe of him as they are of Visenya, but most of the children pay him absolutely no attention. After all, he's old news.

"Good." Visenya says to Aryn, and her fingers briefly curl around her cheek before she pulls it away. "Now. Prince Torren and I have to leave Sunspear to attend social events-" She says this with a little eye roll as if to say that she'd rather not. "But we will be back soon, and I am sure you will see both of us in your parents’ shops and other places in the Shadow City." She picks up the reins of her sandsteed before she says, "Good evening."

There is a disappointed chorus of groans when Visenya says that she has to leave, but the children seem to be appeased by her promise to return, and so they all give goodbyes in various ways and move to the side, even Aryn, though she doesn't move too far. "Come back soon," she says, and Torren looks at her for a second before he smiles and says, "I will return her to you, I promise." Aryn eyes him as though trying to figure out if she can trust him or not, before she nods solemnly.

Once she does, he moves to Visenya's side to assist her back up into the saddle, but not before he gives her a short kiss, which seems to both scandalize the younger onlookers, and be cause for excitement. Once she is situated, he moves to his own horse and mounts it again, giving them all a wave, then looking to Visenya to make sure she's ready to go.

Visenya knows that while Torren would most certainly kiss her unprompted in private right now they are building a narrative, and the children are not the only audience. So she takes his short kiss like a woman who was a maiden just yesterday; relishingly but with a blush that can clearly be seen in the late afternoon light. "Thank you." She says softly to him once he's helped her back onto her horse, and she looks back to check and make sure there are no little children about to be accidentally trampled by her sandsteed before she turns to re-join the column. She gives the children one last wave before she gives Torren a light little nod to indicate she is ready.

Once they return the column — nearer the back now than close to the front, where they had been — and when they're past the throng of small faces, Torren looks over at her, and he's still smiling, a little bit smugly. But mostly happily. "That was very sweet of you," he comments casually, as though it's of little importance, but obviously he does not actually think it's of little importance. Far from it.

Visenya turns her head to give him an enigmatic little smile. "It was pleasant." She says after a thoughtful little pause where she allowed her gaze to sweep over him. "To be shown that not everyone hates me." She wraps her hands in the reins and spurs her pale mare on when they finally reach the edge of the desert.

"They do not," Torren confirms, and that hint of smugness gets a little bit more noticeable. Or, maybe satisfaction, as though something he had thought had been proven to him. When they reach the edge of the desert, he speeds up, too, and soon enough they're nearing the head of the column again. On their own horses and not having to stay near the man part of the caravan, they could even ride far ahead and not have to worry about too much, since no doubt Torren knows where they're going. It's a beautiful night, and the desert in the moonlight is certainly a sight to see.

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