(122-07-24) Welcome to Skyreach
Welcome to Skyreach
Summary: Everyone has made it to Skyreach, not exactly in one piece but nearly. Which means it's party time.
Date: 24 July 2015
Related: Seeds of Peace



Skyreach is an impressive stronghold carved into the stone of the Red Mountains, presiding over the Prince's Pass, the overland throughfare connecting Dorne to the Reach. Its great hall is magnificent in its own right, making it easy to imagine the days before Aegon's conquest, when when Fowler kings held court here. The outer wall has broad windows running its entire length, providing an incredible view of the night sky and of the pass below. The two parties traveling from Sunspear, headed by Prince Rhaegor and Prince Torren, arrive late in the afternoon and early in the evening, having staggered their departures to make the last leg of the journey easier.

A few hours have passed since the arrivals, and finally some of the chaos begins to subside. The princes have excused themselves from the feast in order to see to the prisoners taken by the Lady Fowler at the keep two days earlier, but the headcount in the great hall continues to swell as more and more guests join the festivities after having settled themselves into their temporary accommodations. There is food and music and wine, and nobody is standing on ceremony. Alaeyna Fowler circulates among her guests, as does her lover, Maelys Targaryen, a mixed crowd of Crownlanders and Dornishmen eating alongside each other at the long trestle table, reunited after the terrible attack on their respective royalty.

To the disappointment of many eligible Dornishwomen Visenya is still alive, and well enough to attend the arrival feast. She is not milling about the room like everyone else is as she is still too weak to stand for long. Instead, a place at one of the tables has been prepared with cushions for her. She wears a voluptuous gown with long dagged sleeves that obscure the swelling from her viper bite. She already was pale, but her smooth milky skin has taken on a bit of an ill undercast to it. But beyond this? She appears to be well. Very well for a woman who was bitten by a viper the night before.

Circulating, while still staying a bit back so he can keep an eye on the room, just in case, Ryam is currently discussing something with a guard, while getting some of that eating and drinking taken care of. At one point, there's a bit of laughter, as he smacks the other man lightly on the shoulder, nodding at something that was said. "Too true, my friend. Too true."

Alaeyna veers this way and that through the hall, but eventually she finds herself at Visenya's side. Someone had been occupying the chair adjacent to the Targaryen princess, but not someone brave enough to deny the Lady Fowler the seat she desires. They abandon it, and she claims it, looking relieved to be off her feet. "I'm very pleased to see you looking so well." Okay, pale and sickly, but upright and capable of attending a feast. "I'll have my mother come and tend to your arm. She has seen her share of bites, and knows how best to bind each sort."

"When the maester tended to it before we left the Oasis he informed me of all the ways in which it could rot off and I would have no hand." Visenya says this as if she were discussing what type of cut of meat she would like. "That would be unfortunate." Someone has made her a plate, and left it close enough so she doesn't have to lean over to get it. She drags some bread in oil before nibbling on it. "And thank you. I think I would be very glad to have someone who is not that maester look at it."

Maesters. Just the mention makes Alaeyna scoff. Yet another Westerosi tradition she spurns. No one has made Alaeyna a plate, and so she takes a bit of bread from Visenya's, leaning against the arm of her chair as they converse. "There are hot springs not far from here. When you are feeling ready for it, you should pay them a visit. It should help to ease the swelling, and perhaps to clear your mind."

It is about at this point that Torren comes into the hall. The prisoner transfer has apparently been resolved, or enough so that he is able to come here now. It's a balance between doing his duties, and being close to his wife, considering her current state. Not that there aren't other people perfectly capable of assisting her should she need it, but, well. His eyes scan the hall until they fall on Visenya and Alaeyna, and when he sees them conversing, the former looking as well as can be expected, he relaxes minutely and starts toward them.

There's still some conversation between Ryam and the other man, as well as drinking and some eating. Every now and then, Ryam looks around rather carefully, just in case.

Hot Springs?" This catches Visenya's attention. Those that know Targaryens know that they all seem to enjoy heat, and undoubtably Alaeyna has learned of this quirk from spending so much time with Maelys. She reaches over to tear off another piece of bread with her good hand, and chews along with Alaeyna. She must sense eyes on her because her head turns slightly to regard Torren as he walks in their direction. "Have you let Ser Gemon go yet?" As soon as she learned of his arrest he had protested his innocence.

Alaeyna flashes Visenya a knowing smile, but merely nods. "I'll remind Torren how to find them." And speak of the handsome devil, the Martell prince comes their way, and Visenya's attention is lost to him. The Lady Fowler flicks a hand to beckon forth an attendant for wine, and the girl not only puts a cup in Alaeyna's hand but fills it, too. "Thank you, darling. And one for Prince Torren."

When he reaches the table, Torren moves to sit on the other side of Visenya, giving a smile of thanks to Alaeyna as well for the order of wine. Visenya's question, though, turns his eyes back to her, and he says, "He is still being held, but his accommodations are comfortable and his needs are being attended to." Which is more than can be said for his mistress, but Torren does not mention that. "We just need to finish with his questioning, but at the moment, he is resting. As might be imagined, this was quite a shock for him, as well."

Visenya does not look particularly happy that her cousin is still being held, but she looks somewhat appeased to know he is comfortable. "I imagine it was. Poor Ser Gemon. How could he have known?" She picks up a pepper and pops it into her mouth before chewing. And then she washes down the fire in her mouth with some wine.

"How indeed?" There are some ways that Torren can imagine he could have known, but he does not mention them, and he certainly sounds like he believes the man did not know anything about it. If he thought he did, he probably would not be being treated as well as he is. "I imagine we shall conclude tomorrow, and you may certainly see him before then if you wish it." He takes the cup of wine brought to him and takes a sip, his eyes turning to Alaeyna. "And now, perhaps, a toast to your last night as a free woman." Though there's a bit of a smirk there, since of course, he has no doubt that Alaeyna will do as she pleases when she is married, as she has before she was married.

Alaeyna does not know the Targaryen, but in having transported him to Skyreach as her prisoner, spoke to him as well as each of the others. She concurs with Torren's assessment; the man knows next to nothing about anything of importance to them at this juncture. She's already tasting the wine in her cup when Torren commences his toast, and it stops her. "How foreboding. Do you mean to say that I shall die tomorrow? For I'd sooner cut my own throat than cease to be a free woman." Still, she gets back at her strongwine, flashing Torren an affectionate look as she does.

The Crownlanders and the Dornishmen have been getting along famously since their arrival at Skyreach, having bonded in the wake of the crisis at the keep two nights before, when the viper intended for Prince Torren instead latched onto Princess Visenya's forearm. And so when there's a bit of an upheaval in the hall, more than one surprised head turns toward the source of the chaos. It's a Yronwood man, with dark curly hair. One of Alaeyna's lovers. He shoves another Dornishman and stalks out of the hall, their skirmish brief and whatever insult, perceived or otherwise, suffered with no further escalation of violence. Alaeyna sees it happen from where she sits next to Visenya, and she looks ill at ease. But by Dornish standards, it's hardly much to gossip over. No blood was shed, after all.

Visenya is still alive despite becoming the accidental target of an assassination attempt meant for Torren via viper. She sits in a chair that has been carefully padded with cushions, and while she is still weak and her pale skin has a sickly undercast to it, she is obviously already on the mend. Torren sits on one side of her and Alaeyna the other. "I had a little death after my wedding." She says deadpan, "But I suppose that is typically a Northron woman's experience with her wedding night." She picks up her glass to sip some watered wine lightly, and the commotion at the other side of the hall draws her eyes briefly but she makes no note of it.

"Let us hope not," Torren remarks dryly to Alaeyna. "I believe that we have had enough excitement of that nature for the foreseeable future." His eyes are drawn to the scuffle, as well, and he notes who it is, but he just shakes his head with a little bit of a huff of air and looks back to his companions, just in time for Visenya's quip. It gets a laugh, genuinely amused and just a little bit impressed for its unexpected origin.

Lara may be a bit late. A smile curls her lips as she enters the great hall of Skyreach, her gait graceful and somewhat vibrant, a flowing gown of orange sandsilk drifting about her slender frame. Her black tresses fall about her shoulders in an untamed manner. Dark eyes follow the Yronwood and the one he has quarrel with as they head out of the hall, the Gargalen lady pausing in her steps for a moment. But then she continues over to where she spots Visenya. "Your highness…", Lara offers softly to the silver-haired princess, her gaze then shifting to the others. "Prince Torren. Lady Fowler." Her lips curled, her dark eyes attentive, even when she lowers them briefly, Lara takes a seat somewhere in their vicinity. Attention soon returns to Visenya, when she inquires: "Are you feeling a bit better?" A hint of friendly concern in her tone.

Alaeyna smiles, too, at Visenya's quip, but she's not much good at false ones. She takes a sip of her wine, distracted with watching the retreating Dornishman's back until he's gone. When she returns her focus back to her companions at the table, she says to Torren, "I was telling Visenya about the hot springs near Falcon's Rock. Do you remember them?" Evidently it's been some time since the Martell prince last visited Skyreach, or at least with time enough to spare for such recreation. "You ought take her. It should speed her recovery."

And then Lara has joined them, too, and Alaeyna winks at her Fowler cousin.

As Lorenzo stalks out for reasons unseen, a famed cockatrice knight stalks into the hall, stopping in the entrance way, almost as if to silently announce that he has arrived, not WITH those from Sunspear, but in spite of them, and is ready to deal with whatever comes his way…

As a Fowler servant passes, the cockatrice, grabs hold of a filled goblet and begins making his way around the edge of the hall, not content to take a seat just yet, maybe more interested in being a moving target among so many Dornish nobles and Crownlanders, who may or may not know the truth of Ser Arrick Gargalen and Princess Mariya Martell and what it means for Dorne and her Targaryen guests.

Visenya's eyes settle on Lara, and she gives her companion a bright little smile. "I am alive and not maimed. That is something to be grateful for, I think." She smiles when Torren laughs, and generally looks pleased with herself for having gotten a laugh out of him. Then Arrick catches her eyes. "Oh. It's Ser Arrick. I haven't seen him since I hurled a cup at his stupid head at a tourney last year." And then she smiles and lifts her uninjured hand to finger-wave at him. Clearly she has no idea how involved he was in bringing her to Dorne.

The wink of Lady Fowler is returned, Lara studying her for a moment with a smile. "I am glad for it," she assures Visenya then, her tone soft and not unfriendly. "It was a despicable ploy. I believe the culprits will have received their punishment by now?" This directed vaguely towards Alaeyna, Lara shifting into a casual lean to one side. When Arrick arrives, this Cockatrice cannot help but chuckle with delight. "Cousin! It certainly has been some time! How have you been…?" Unaware obviously of any involvement of his with a Martell, Lara Gargalen studies the Desert Fox with delighted curiosity.

"Of course," Torren replies, of the hot springs, "how could I forget?" For whatever reason. "That is a good suggestion. I shall make a point to do so." When Lara approaches, he gives her a nod as well, and a congenial smile, continuing, "We are very thankful that it was not worse." He looks back to Visenya then and starts to say something, just in time for her to point out Ser Arrick. The name nearly causes him to flinch, and when he looks over and actually sees the man, his smile freezes on his face. It's a brief reaction, but it is there, for any who happen to be looking at him, to notice.

Oona would have liked to have been there for the arrival proper, but there's a lot that goes into making sure such events occur smoothly for all the pertaining parties, and Oona was of more use to the House helping to make sure that it did so then it would have been to stand there gaping. When she's seen to all the matters that she was asked to regarding aiding the soiree, she takes to her small room to change and prepare to make her own appearance, however diminutive by comparison. But at last she arrives and without fanfare to remark upon it. Surely she is just one of many in the room, and as she moves to take up an unobtrusive position, she takes in the space and people with lowered lashes and a satisfied smile. All is well…so far.

As Arrick stalks about the edge of the room, he's spotted by one of the guests of honor and assumes that the finger-wave is a request to come closer. After a short walk, filled with nods and greetings from different nobles, from the different Dornish houses present, he comes before the Princess and her betrothed Prince Torren, noticing that Lady Alaeyna is also nearby and his rather enjoyable cousin Lara is present as well..

With a bow of his head Arrick offers to his Prince first, "My Prince…" Then with a slight lift to his bowed head Arrick offers with his eyes up, "Princess Visenya… How wonderful it is to see you in Dorne, a place I never expected to see another dragon after your brother's time here." Arrick lifts his head completely now and adds towards Prince Torren, "My apologies for missing the announcement. Princess Mariya sends her regards." Arrick lets that last sentence pass through his teeth as he greets his cousin with a sudden smile and a quick, "I'm well, it's great to see you coz. Salt Shore was very boring with just my father and brother about." Arrick then smiles at Lady Fowler but says nothing as his attention turns back to Prince Torren.

"It was despicable, and clearly an attempt on my husband's life." Visenya admits to Lara, "I do not think an easy resolution will come, and there is much to answer for." A bit of rage burns in her violet colored eyes, and it seems to be anger for her own near-death and also for the attempt on Torren's life. She does not catch Torren's flinch. And when Arrick approaches she says, "Very good, Ser Arrick. I almost believed for a moment that you were sincere in seeing me here." She picks up her wine glass with her good hand to have another sip. When he mentions Mariya sending her regards her silvery brow lifts, and her eyes turn to Torren questioningly.

Torren's still smiling as Arrick approaches them, as though this development could not be more to his liking. "Ser Arrick," he says courteously, with a little inclination of his head. The comment about Mariya gets a little tilt of his head. "Does she? How thoughtful of her." He takes a sip from his glass, his eyes still on Arrick over the rim of the cup. "No apology is necessary. I am sure you were engaged with more important tasks." The words are proper, as is the tone, though there's something pointed about his gaze on the other man.

Oona is not suprised to be of no remark, but as swift glance around the room that determines the particular half-brother she'd hoped to see has undoubtedly been called away. There is someone she does recognize however, and so she drifts unobtrusively toward the exchange between Arrick, Torren, and the Targaryen princess. And for the royal couple, there's a dip of a curtsey. It's the courteous thing to do, but she doesn't expect to be acknowledged by them, and really it's about loitering at the edge so that when Arrick finishes his interactions with them, she might have the chance to say something.

Alaeyna watches as Arrick approaches and addresses Prince Torren and his new bride, having a certain sort of affection for Arrick, the way one grows to tolerate a constant pain in their ass more and more every day. She smiles at him when he greets her, but watches with an arched brow when he taunts the Martell prince with that sly dig, the glitter in her stare giving away her amusement. Oona slinks in unobtrusively, and Alaeyna leans toward Visenya to tell her, "One of my sisters," with a tilt of her head at the younger Sand.

Torren's nod of greeting is met with an incline of her head, before Lara lets her gaze drift about the hall, briefly, lingering perhaps for a moment on Oona, trying to place her. But then Arrick is there, and she smiles, raising her brow at the mention of Mariya, but chuckling at his remark towards her about Salt Shore. "It can only be. When neither you nor I are there to fuel the gossips." A tease of course, offered with a playful wink. Not backed with actual scandal, at least on Arrick's part. Her mien sobers somewhat when Visenya speaks, and she nods. A hand is raised, a goblet of wine grabbed from a servant. Her gaze flits to Oona as she overhears Alaeyna's words. "Ah yes. Oona, wasn't it?" Her dark eyes take in the Sand woman, sparkling with curiosity as she sips from her wine.

Arrick's attention stays on Prince Torren as he replies, "Very engaged my Prince. I have been kept away from Sunspear and Oldtown for far too long. It will be nice to see both again sometime soon." Not forgetting that Princess Visenya spoke of his sincerity, Arrick replies to the dragon, "My sincerity is assured Princess. By you having married a Martell, it means that your brother will not. Which is something I can only say warms my heart like the sun rising over the desert." Arrick put one hand over his heart and raises his goblet saying rather enthusiastically, "To the union of House Martell and House Targaryen."

With that out of the way Arrick steps back and shoots a look at Prince Torren, expecting there to be more conversation with the royal at another time and place.

Manfryd has decided to show his newly pardoned face. His pace upon entering the gathering is slow, methodical, letting his dark eyes assess the group. There might just be a tilted smirk on his face as he ambles in, in time to hear the toast. That has him grabbing a goblet from a servant, half snorting into it as he doesn't raise it to chime into the toast but drinks readily from it.

Oona must have sharp ears, because her gaze flits toward Lara, just as a servant passes by with a platter full of wine cups. In a smooth motion just as the toast is being given she snags one, inclining her head respectfully over the cup to the Lady. Ser Arrick's showcase seems perhaps, too dangerous for her blood for the moment, and she starts to edge away.

Visenya leans over ever so slightly when Alaeyna does, but it is with a slight wince of pain. The viper's venom has made her limbs stiff, and movement appears to to somewhat difficult. "Why does she not make herself more known?" And then she offers Oona a small but pretty smile.

Arrick's words and toast draw her attention, and she seems equally parts amused and annoyed. "Oh. Yes. I suppose it does mean that. After all, what Ser Arrick wants is far more important than matters of State." And then she sips from her wine with a sardonic smile that would make her Prince proud before she adds, "Not that you could marry Mariya yourself."

Arrick is not alone in the sentiment; there were many who opposed the idea of giving away Mariya Martell, one of Dorne's sweetest treasures, to the dragons. Some who join his toast drink for the same reason he does. Others out of the genuine air of celebration. Others still because it would be rude not to. But he walks a fine line with Torren, at least by Alaeyna's reckoning, so she attempts to smooth things a touch by commenting, "I once demanded satisfaction from Arrick for his insolence, only your sweet sisters interfered and wouldn't let me have it." She lays a hand upon the swell of her belly, where she incubates a babe that threatens to be born a bastard if it arrives before her wedding to Maelys Targaryen. "And so he lives to grace us with his presence, which one supposes is a blessing, but with the unfortunate curse of not having yet learned to bite his tongue."

It may be rude not to, but when Arrick makes the toast, Torren does not lift his own cup immediately. Of course, no one would point that out; it is his prerogative not to toast if he does not wish to. But the fact that he has married his Targaryen only days before does make it rather odd. Finally, though, his cup rises just enough for him to be said to be participating, and he says nothing more to the man, turning instead to Alaeyna. "My sisters have a surfeit of sensibility," he says. And he spares no more thought for Arrick — at least outwardly — the wince from Visenya instead taking up his attention. "Have you tired yourself, my princess? No one will fault you should you wish to retire."

Although he took a step back after his toast, Arrick makes sure to offer a retort to the dragon princess in regards to marriage, more to group though, than to anyone specific. "I suppose my wants and my haves are more intertwined than anyone beyond the seven knows." Arrick blinks as he hides behind his own goblet, drinking the strongwine and letting that bit fall over the ears of those present.

As has been her way since they first met and cut eachother to pieces for the sake of satisfaction, Alaeyna Fowler comes to save the day, which Arrick is thankful for. "I will bite my tongue moving forward, if only to make sure you don't have to cut it out mi'lady." Arrick bows his head to Lady Fowler, not letting his tongue do anymore work than it must.

Oona slides closer to Alaeyna, settling in at her shoulder. With lashes lowered in the vicinity of the prince and princess, she murmurs quietly to her sister, "There are so many knives in the room, and only a few made of metal." A smile is flashed Arrick's way, as he seems to make her point just in time.

There are many faces to behold in the Great Hall of Skyreach, still, Lara's attention seems to be finally focused on her immediate surroundings. Sensing the festive mood dampens somewhat, by the arrival of her cousin Ser Arrick. Visenya's sardonic remark is overheard, Lara's brows lifting as she finally catches the implication, causing a slightly impressed glint to appear in her dark eyes. And she raises her goblet to drink from it, her gaze lingering on the Desert Fox. A faint smile curling her lips. Her eyes flitting down then, before they begin to roam the hall in a fleeting glance. Spotting the face of the Qorgyle who caught up with them when Visenya was bitten by the viper. A Qorgyle who skillfully finished off a Targaryen knight, just recently. Lara's gaze becoming distant for a moment, even though it continues to linger on him.

"Oh, will you? What a pity. It would look fine strung on a cord around my neck." Alaeyna teases Arrick, but there's enough of an edge of warning to it to serve to encourage the Cockatrice to mind his manners around her guests of honor. She sips pointedly at her strongwine, flicking her gaze away from the table, like to encourage him to jog off. Oona slinks in to her side, and distracts the Fury of Skyreach from the Gargalen knight entirely. "Mmm," she agrees, glancing at Visenya to gauge whether or not the princess intends to stay or go, and whether or not, accordingly, to make the introduction between the two women. She goes for it. "Princess Visenya. One of my father's bastards, and arguably the prettiest; Oona."

"No. It only hurts a bit is all." Visenya says to Torren, and when she speaks to him her voice softens considerably, a sharp contrast to the biting comments just delivered to Arrick. Arrick's words cause her brows to raise again, but she says nothing else to him. And then her attention is drawn to Oona again. "Oh. You are pretty." She says to Oona in the way an older sister may reassure a younger. She puts her goblet down, and rests her uninjured arm on Torren's casually.

Manfryd taps his goblet with a rolling motion of his fingers, spitting the wine back in the cup if anyone notices as he puts it back on the tray he received it. Apparently the toast wasn't even worth a 'fake' gulp. The servant may look at him sideways but is not stupid enough to say something toward the scorpion as his dark eyes narrow to silence any protests. As the servant goes on with a bowed head, Manfryd's eyes appraise the room again, feeling the gaze be it distant or not, of Lara Gargalen. He nods his head with a measure of impertinence that speaks to his personality, a half cocked smirk curling up, daring her perhaps, to say something.

Oona smiles sidelong at her sister, dipping a curtsey to Visenya and holding it there, eyes lowered as she murmurs in High Valyrian, "There is a saying: a pretty woman is not always clever, but a clever woman is always pretty. You are quite clever, Your Highness."

Torren takes Visenya at her word, though he does add, "Let me know if you should begin to feel otherwise." He brings his free hand to lay on top of hers then, and he also pays no more mind to Arrick, falling silent as the introductions between Visenya and Oona are made. He eyes do catch on Manfryd, however, and he gives the other man a nod, and now he takes a bit of a longer drink from his cup, then hands it to a servant to be refilled.

Arrick nods and says while covering his mouth, "I'll keep my tongue for now, but I suspect in a time not distant from now you will come for it regardless. I'd expect no less, but you'll likely not be the first in line." Arrick raises his eyebrows and pats the dagger held within his belt and says casually to the jesting Alaeyna, "I'll be ready."

"But you've just met me." Visenya says with Oona in the common tongue with an enigmatic smile. Her eyes turn to watch Torren as he takes a bigger drink of his wine, and she leans slightly over again to whisper into the Prince's ear. Her hand flips over to curl and entwine her fingers with his as she speaks.

Her lips are pulled into a smile, her eyes narrowing ever-so-slightly when Lara Gargalen's lingering gaze is met with a nod by Ser Manfryd. Noting the smirk, she will take another sip from her goblet, spilling a few drops of the wine, perhaps by coincidence, that will slowly be wiped off with the back of her other hand, staring back at him all the while with a slight lift of a brow. He may not be close enough for a greeting, and so she she will lean over to Alaeyna and Visenya instead, murmuring with intrigued delight: "Seems the Scorpion is joining us…" Catching Alaeyna's introduction, even if it is not neceessary in her case, Lara smiles to the Sand woman at her side. "Oona. You look lovely indeed.", she intones softly, joining the praise of Visenya there. She glances to Arrick then, that smile dimming a touch, even though it remains. That glance expressing the wish to catch up with him later.

"You are a Targaryen woman who has navigated her way safely through Dorne." Questionable accidental poisoning notwithstanding, Oona's tone is smooth as silk, and her smile increases in width. "Lady Lara. I am so happy to see you are well." Her gaze then slides to Arrick and she remarks in idle amusement, "Even I learned the hard way: everyone has to sleep sometime."

Arrick nods as Oona speaks to him and with one eye open he replies to Alaeyna's bastard sister with a laugh in his voice, "Ahh yes, but you learn to sleep with one eye open at all times, otherwise you permanently sleep with two eyes closed." With his own level of amusement Arrick asks no one in particular, "Is it better to fall to an unseen dagger or to one you saw coming a thousand dunes ahead?" Arrick shrugs at that and takes a long drink of his goblet, finishing it and looking for another.

Outwardly, Torren has not looked much different than he tends to. However, whatever Visenya whispers to him makes his expression soften very slightly, and he turns to murmur something back for her ears alone, before straightening up again and setting his cup down on the table again. Oona's last comment, though, gets another laugh. "How true," he remarks. "And Lady Fowler knows how to make the most of an opportunity such as that."

The lingering glance toward Lara is one that expresses Manfyrd's surprised approval when he captures the few drops of wine that seem to be expelled from her goblet. As his eyes turn from the whispered intrigue, he finds Torren's gaze upon him and the nod that comes with. The scorpion fetches a new glass to extend upward in a salute of greeting to the Prince. The way he's marking the Targaryen's in the room with his dark gaze will bait them but also express a certain measure of awareness to which of those in the room he needs to watch most.

Alaeyna grows restless, and when Lara sneaks in and draws her attention to the Scorpion… well, it's all the excuse she needs to leave Visenya and Torren to their whispering and hand holding. She rises, but not without her cup of wine, and says to Lara, "Here, take my place, if you like. I think I'll go and say hello to Emira's cousin." She slips by Oona without comment, but squeezes her hand in passing, sparing Arrick a grin for his quip. In any case, she meanders her way over to the Qorgyle, greets him with a kiss to either cheek, and says, "Ser Manfryd. Will you ride in the joust, or do you prefer the thrill of the melee? Or ought I guess that you shall partake of both?"

"I would rather that he did not." Visenya says lowly in response to Lara's excitement regarding the approaching Manfryd Qorgyle. "My cousin's insults were grevious, but his mother's weeping still rings in my ears." When Alaeyna rises to greet Manfryd, and thusly keeps him away from her, she looks slightly relieved. She says to Oona in a neutral tone, "Ah. I see." There is another mask-like smile from the Princess. Whatever Torren whispers into her ear gains a small little nod, and while her fingers remain entwined with his she does not whisper to him again.

Oona inclines her head to the princess, but upon hearing the turn in her tone, takes a step back. Alaeyna is smiled at in passing, and she notes to Arrick, "Foxes don't sleep with one eye open. They will, however, gnaw off their own limb to escape a trap."

Lara smiles when she replies to Oona: "I am well. Prince Torren has tasked me with attending to his wife," the latter added with a slightly more appropriate expression on her comely features. Lowering her gaze when she overhears Arrick's remark, but choosing not to comment on it. The Gargalen lady is surprised, when Alaeyna reacts so promptly to her whispered remark, her gaze following Lady Fowler as Lara accepts the offered seat - speechless for a moment it would seem. Her eyes lingering on Qorgyle and Alaeyna for a moment, before she shifts her attention to Visenya and Torren. "Seems you are spared from his company, for now," she says to the princess, her tone respectful and with only a hint of amusement.

Manfryd comes to a halt when a certain Lady Fowler cuts his meandering path off with her presence. He takes the kiss to each cheek in stride, a stiffness in him suggesting he wasn't willing to openly return the gesture or that he was unaccustomed to it. Which ever, his lips spread into a slender line that is his best attempt at a smile, coming off more of a sneer than not. "Lady Fowler," his nefarious tone smooth as he talks, "Real battle is certainly more invigorating, as you know. Still, I will take the opportunity to honour my liege in what ways I can, be it sweeping the feet out from underneath an opponent or putting a spear into him."

"Indeed. Well, take care that the only somebody you put your spear into during your stay at Skyreach is naked in your bed and begging for it, or your liege lord will be the least of your worries." Alaeyna's tone is cool, but there's the same warning in it she issued Arrick. Surprising, perhaps, given that she might be expected to gravitate toward the Qorgyle's cause rather than the slain Targaryen's. But this is her ship, after all, and she likes to run it tight.

Despite Torren's own feelings on the matter of Ser Manfryd, Visenya's obvious displeasure would elicit a response, had not Alaeyna already intervened. So instead, he squeezes Visenya's hand lightly, reaching for a piece of bread and taking a bite, his eyes still on the exchange between Lady Fowler and the Qorgyle knight. They are seated too far away to hear the man's words, though, which might be lucky for everyone.

"I wonder how long my reprieve will last." Visenya says in regards to Manfryd's presence. She squeezes Torren's hand back before releasing it to pick up her wine glass and have a swallow before she picks up a piece of cheese to nibble on. Her other arm remains hidden within the folds of her long sleeve. "Lady Lara." She finally says, "I think it would be best if someone were friends with Ser Manfryd. Don't you think? Someone who could steer him towards the proper course, and keep his temper in check."

"Prince Torren chooses those who would aid his wife wisely." Oona says with an easy smile for Lara. Once again she moves, this time a bit closer to Lara for the sake of conversation. She starts to say something else, then quiets when Visenya addresses the Dornish lady herself.

Manfryd fights with a spear. People being stabbed with that happens. Though Lady Fowler's interpretation of what spear he has permission to use has the man's lips curling higher, his eyes squinting at the sides, "A tournament calls for plenty of that, doesn't it?" He licks a drop of wine from the rim of his cup before taking another sip, to give pointed pause between the subject matters as his head dips down, "Would I have your support if I decided to take my antics ringside for the tournament?" Best to ask the hostess, "I have no doubts it would bring much entertainment to the events." His eyes shifting toward some of the Targaryens and their loyalists in the room. Bullseye on his back, all the more interesting!

It could have gone either way, but Alaeyna is amused by the Qorgyle's reply. "I should not mind putting bets on that kind of sport." She glances back toward the table, and asks, "Have you met my cousin Lara?" As if the Gargalen might make the perfect opponent for the scorpion. She tilts her head to indicate the beauty at Visenya's side. "Shall I introduce you?"

Lara continues to sip from her wine, even if in a slightly less spectacular way. Her gaze returns to where Lady Fowler and Ser Manfryd speak, observing the exchange with outwardly faint curiosity. A pity she cannot overhear any of it, but even if she would - Alaeyna's candidness would not manage to bring the faintest hint of a blush to her cheeks. Her dark eyes shift back to Visenya beside her - it has not been that often the princess has addressed her directly in these past days - and a bit of surprise flickers in her gaze. "You are suggesting…" She leans a bit over to the princess, looking obviously intrigued, as the sparkle in her eyes betrays. "It seems you are learning our Dornish ways more swiftly than I thought, your highness.", Lara remarks then with an amused chuckle, taking a long sip from her goblet. "I agree," she says then, her gaze lowered, her lips curled. "And I offer my assistance to provide such… friendship, if that is your wish." Her eyes shift back to the Qorgyle, narrowing ever-so-slightly as she studies her prey. A prey that is pointed again to look her way, by Lady Fowler herself, at which Lara shifts a little in her seat and offers him a charming smile.

"An excellent suggestion," Torren replies to Visenya at the notion of introductions between Lady Lara and Ser Manfryd, and now that Alaeyna has taken it upon herself to do just that, he leans back a little bit in his chair, his gaze moving around the hall. It settles on Lara when she speaks, and his own mouth turns up a little bit at her comment about Visenya, but it looks proud, rather than anything else. With that, he leans over to murmur something else to his new wife.

And yet again, Oona goes quiet. Because what's going on right now? It's educational, and she's savvy enough to know it. Her fingers lace together in front of her, and she's placid as if attending some form of theater.

"It is my wish if it is your wish." Visenya says to Lara. "But I would never dream of forcing you to make the acquaintance of someone you had no desire to be friends with." When Torren leans over to murmur into her ear she nods once before saying out loud. "Forgive me. I am still not feeling particularly well, and I find my strength waning." She turns her head to give Torren an apologetic look, "And I do not know how well I can stand, my love."

Manfryd makes an amused chuff for the Lady Fowler's own response, though what stirs behind the darkness of his eyes suggests he's drawn into a scheming thought, brooding into a distance that is snapped when Alaeyna speaks of her cousin. At that point, Manfryd's eyes blink and his chin turns perceptively slow, gaze rising from the bottom of his sockets to stretch out to study the very Gargalen put into his sights, a stare held beneath dark eyebrows. "Introduce away, if you think it benefits anyone," spoken with a blacker tone to acknowledge the play.

When Visenya speaks, Torren does not waste a moment in rising, and instead of helping her to her feet, he slides an arm behind her back and one under her knees so that he can pick her up and carry her. It makes quite a pretty picture, the pale, still obviously injured princess in his arms. "Please excuse us," he says to the general population around them, his own expression apologetic as well, "My wife should be resting." He catches Alaeyna's eye in particular, before he starts away from the table and toward the doors of the hall.

Alaeyna's dark eyes glitter with amusement as she watches Manfryd scope Lara out from across the hall. She touches the back of Manfryd's elbow, briefly, and guides him toward the table, once Torren has gallantly stolen Visenya away. "Allow me to present Lara Gargalen and Oona Sand," she offers for introductory purposes, assuming that Manfryd himself requires no introduction on account of his reputation.

A bit of air leaves Lara's comely nose at Visenya's remark about not wanting to force her. "Consider yourself lucky then, that the Scorpion already has caught my interest," she intones softly. The sudden wish to withdraw earns Visenya a glance that shows a hint of concern. But as it is Torren who chooses to see the princess to their chambers, Lara will remain seated as she is. "Of course," Lara nods to Torren's words. her dark eyes following him as he carries Visenya out of the Great Hall. Her gaze shifts back to where Alaeyna and Manfryd had been standing, her eyes widening slightly when she sees they have already crossed the distance. "Ser Manfryd Qorgyle," she greets with a smile and a sip taken lazily from her goblet, dark eyes roaming over his frame in an appreciative manner from where she is seated. "I am so pleased to make your acquaintance."

Visenya drapes her uninjured arm around Torren's neck, and manages another wan smile as he makes their excuses. And then they are gone. The party may continue on for hours or it may end soon enough. It is hard to tell with such gatherings. However, the Prince and Princess' presence has made a statement; it will take more than a viper to rip the seedlings that have sprouted from the seeds of peace that have been scattered by the political maneuverings by the elders of their families.

Oona dips her knees a bit at the retreating royals, and then turns her attention to the introductions being made. She offers a smile and inclination of her head to the Qorgyle, but she seems momentarily content to observe the consideration he and Lara pay to each other.

Manfryd goes along with the suggestive touch to his elbow, following the Lady Fowler a half step behind her across the room to stop before Lara and Oona, catching the Prince's leave from the corner of his eyes and yet having to maintain his forward posture once the ladies names are given. His chin tips slightly, a stiffness to his features suggesting arrogance his reputation is made of, an expected retort short, "As I am yours." His eyes may just rake over Oona, for her lack of verbiage. "Are you both enjoying the evening?" asked with a strong indication that he probably didn't care for the answer and it was just a necessary step after an introduction.

The introductions facilitated, Alaeyna slips away from them with a casual, "Now, where has my dragon gone?" Leaving the lot of them to have at it while she goes in search of Maelys.

Manfryd's glance towards Oona is noted, Lara's lips curling even more as her sparkling eyes shift to meet the Qorgyle's gaze. "It has been a little dull so far, to be honest," she says with a wink. "That is until you came around." Her gaze shifts to Alaeyna, a brow lifting in acknowledgement of the convenience of it all. "No offense, cousin. I am sure tomorrow's festivities will be dwarfing any we have had the pleasure to attend so far." She takes a sip from her goblet, offering Lady Fowler a nod as she makes her excuse. "Good hunting," is offered with a smirk, before her gaze shifts back to Manfryd, one hand gesturing to the seat Visenya has just vacated. "Won't you join us?"

"Educational, actually." Oona replies, her eyes suddenly coming alight. "There've been all manner of beasts to observe tonight. Foxes. Scorpions. Practically a menagerie." She takes a sip of her wine, and then looks between him and Lara, more to the latter - perhaps silently inquiring if she should make herself scarce.

Manfryd is dubious of Lara's sentiment, only, he adds for a moment he cannot pass up, "It's my pleasure to arouse your senses." There is a self imposed chuckle added on to the end of that as he considers the vacated seat, watching as Alaeyna slips away on pursuit of another nature. "For a time, I shall, if only because I am intrigued," he heavily moves to sit down, dropping into it with an uncanny ability not to give two damns if he breaks it or not. A further look is pitched toward Oona, "Foxes? Have you seen any carousing with men that cling to the shadows?" An off handed remark, one that simply doesn't follow the track of other conversations.

"It would be, I assure you," Lara quips back easily to the Qorgyle's half-jest, shifting to lean towards the indicated seat, the light fabric of the orange sand silk gown she wears re-arranging itself over her slender yet shapely form. A soft chuckle escapes her lips in reaction to his questions towards Oona, a glance spared for the Sand woman that is friendly enough - not shooing her away by any means. "Foxes? I would not think so, ser. Mistress Oona here references my dear cousin, Ser Arrick. The Desert Fox.", she clarifies, her finger curling about the stem of her goblet as she considers the remnants of wine left in there. Looking up to where Arrick Gargalen stands in the Great Hall. "As for carousing…in shadows?" Another melodious chuckle leaves her lips, as the cockatrice considers Manfryd beside her. "I may have spotted actually some, and more than that, on my way here to the Great Hall." A pointed glance is shot his way. "Is that something that may interest you?"

Oona looks over her shoulder at Arrick briefly and nods. "Just so." she says. She seems politely dubious of her own status as a third wheel, but admittedly, engaging in conversation is far more interesting at the moment. Or at least, watching Lara and Manfryd engage in conversation.

Manfryd is aware of the shifting fabric that comes with the woman's lean, more obvious since he isn't trying to hide at all where he's looking. That is until Lara speaks of foxes and Ser Arrick. His head turns reactively toward the assembly, as if he could pinpoint just who Ser Arrick was amongst the crowd. "I should like to meet your cousin," explanations limited, though he's turning his fixation back onto the women at the table. To Lara in particular for her melodious chuckle. "What if it does?" He leaves it at that, short, to the point, and leaving so much in the way of interpretation.

Lara seems to be little troubled by his hardly-veiled inspection of her sand silk wrapped assets, it rather brings about a confident smirk on her features. "Is that so?", she inquires to his request of meeting the Desert Fox, raising a brow as she glances towards Arrick again. "I am sure such can be arranged, Ser Manfryd." She smiles. "How pressing is your wish? I can introduce you to him right away but that would mean jeopardizing your entertaining company." The latter is added with a slight lift of her shoulders. It is his brief reply to interests in carousing and other pleasurable things that earns him a long sideways glance from the Gargalen lady. "If so, I suggest you should pick your company for engaging in such. And perhaps not delay for too long, or that charming company may already be engaged elsewhere, ser."

Oona looks between Lara and Manfryd a moment, her brows slowly lifting. "Shall I see if I can draw the Fox to your table?" she offers. "I'm sure you could manage well without me, but…I do like having goals." The corner of her mouth quirks wryly.

"Not pressing. Foxes may be clever but they always den somewhere," Manfryd's response comes with a slight glance toward Oona, "And your goals would be what?" The Qorgyles gaze remaining on the Sands woman, brow perched up, expectant for an answer. Though for jeopardizing entertaining company, he returns a look toward Lara, "Do you have a suggestion on fitting company?"

Lara's head turns enough to glance towards Oona, and she nods after a moment of consideration. "It could prove interesting if you do," she remarks with an intrigued flicker in her gaze. "Possibly dangerous," considering these two individuals carried the potential for causing some discord at this feast within them. "Aww, please, Oona, dear. I'd be grateful.", Lara finally decides then. Despite the doubts she had uttered earlier. Dark brown eyes shift back to regard Manfryd. "Then you can offer your theories about denning foxes to him, yourself…" This a tease obviously, knowing such would possibly lead to a confrontation. But then again, this is Dorne, where people delight in pleasures as well as in fights, relentlessly.

Alas, Manfryd's latter question will not be graced with a reply from the Gargalen lady, for now.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Arrick has returned from the Dornish nobles he was entertaining to a party that is missing a few of its original members. No problem though, Arrick smiles at his cousin and laments, "It looks as if the feast is dying down. I don't think I'll be leaving the hall for another few hours however…" Arrick peers beyond his cousin and adds, "I heard someone was wishing to meet me…"

"At the moment, my goal is to draw Ser Arrick into this conversation." says Oona mildly to Manfryd, and with a grin for Lara, rises from the table and turns toward Ser Arrick…only it seems that he's already turned his ears toward the conversatin. "And as it would seem, there's no need for my efforts." A mild smile curves her mouth. "On to a new goal, it would seem."

"A new goal indeed…" Arrick looks to his cousin and then to Alaeyna's bastard sister who seems interested in his company and then onto the Qorgyle and says as he switches his goblet to his offhand, "I've made my rounds and now I'm back to the only family I have in the room." Arrick nods to Lara and asks with a curious look to his face, "Have you been telling lies about me? I wasn't all scandal in our younger years."

Lara straightens, leaving the casual lean she had assumed earlier, when her cousin arrives. "Speaking of the Desert Fox," she smiles, rearranging her black tresses with a flick of her hand, "here he is. May I introduce you to Ser Arrick Gargalen, of Salt Shore?" Oona is spared a smile. "We can't be sure about that," she says with a wink towards the Sand woman, in regards to her efforts being no longer needed, inviting her to stay around if she so wishes. Lara empties her goblet and holds it out to a passing servant for a refill. "Are you all scandal now?", she quips back to Arrick, raising a brow. "And alas, you weren't back then," she sighs softly, hinting that she may have tried her charms on him with little success. "In fact I have not said much about you. Yet. Meet Ser Manfryd Qorgyle," her hand gestures to the Dornishman at her side. "It was he who expressed interest in meeting you. I am sure he has already heard some things about you."

Manfryd, despite his pass on the matter, has now to conf-greet this Desert Fox, Arrick. His expressions are annoyed, as any youth would be for having been ignored and overruled, turning a mildly obstinate expression toward Oona and the arriving Arrick. "What big ears you have," Manfryd says over the rim of his goblet, swishing the wine about, uninterested in the contents really. He's in fact pushing his chair back to rock back in it, sending the chair onto two legs. The kid has an obvious chip on his shoulder. At Lara's formal introduction, he sits forward in the chair so it lands with a pronounced 'thunk', punctuated by his stand as his eyes turn on Arrick. "Indeed, I expressed interest in meeting you at some point… such was expedited by the ladies present." His eyes flick toward Lara, then back on Arrick, "Good of them to do so." His tone says otherwise.

"Not all scandal when I was was younger, just all scandal now. It seems there are a lot of rumors roaming these halls tonight, especially among our esteemed Targaryen guests." Arrick smirks towards a passing Targaryen man-at-arms who returns the smirk with one of his own, "But thankfully, Dorne will only see their ilk for as long as it takes them to get through the Prince's Pass." Arrick gets off his soap box and looks over the Qorgyle, saying simply, "It's good to meet you ser, unless some of the more foul rumors have rubbed off on you, then I guess it isn't. I served at Hellholt for a time when I was a squire. I do not miss the sandstorms."

Oh, poor Ser Manfryd. Frustrated at being overlooked? Oona's expression doesn't change as she studies the Scorpion from under her lashes as she turns her attention to Ser Arrick. Her interest seems to have gone so far as the goal of inviting him to join them. "With the Houses intermarrying, we may see a great deal more of the silver-haired."

Lara's brows twitch upwards when she senses the sudden hostility in the Qorgyle's bearing, a fact that seems to take her by surprise. She moves to her feet with a swiftness, appearing at his side and back, one arm curling about his shoulder in a soothing manner. "My, you are tense," she chuckles, shooting Arrick a glance that conveys how little idea she has what this is about. Pressing her comely form lightly against the Qorgyle to distract his flaring temper. The rumors of Arrick and the Martell princess are noted when Arrick mentions them, but even so, the Gargalen lady will tuck lightly at Manfryd's sleeve, drawing his attention to herself instead. "I like my men spirited," she smiles, her gaze flickering with the flame of Dornish passion. "And right now I would consider you to be irresistible… Come, my Scorpion… and I will show you the pleasures a female Cockatrice has to offer.", she murmurs into his ear.

Manfryd cracks a dark grin at Arrick's smirk toward the passing Targaryen's, knowing exactly why some of them are giving him a meaningful look, and in the heat of the moment, may be unaware of Oona's delight in his frustration. Arrick's greeting to him has him shrug and say with a hard tone, "Piss on rumours. The truth of what one says is all that matters and owning it. Those that don't, would find it easier to dig their own graves." He just killed a Targaryen for that. His stance is rigid as he weighs the Desert Fox with a critical eye, he was measuring the chances of winning in a contest against the other, no doubt. It's as if he's searching for some reason to—then there's Lara's arm curling around him. Her distraction is perfection. He looks over at Arrick with one lingering expression that suggests he wasn't finished, just interrupted.

Lara's lips curl even more when she notices the distracting effect she has on the Qorgyle. "Come along with me… You can meet him in the lists or in a speardance, during the tournament…", she murmurs, flashing a smile towards Arrick, a light shrug of her shoulder indicating the young Ser Manfryd may just be struck with the competitiveness of young Dornish knights. Moving to leave now, her hand unmistakably entwined with Ser Manfryd's as she leads the way towards the doors of the Great Hall, at a leisurely stroll.

Arrick watches as the Qorgyle is led away by his cousin, leaving Arrick with Alaeyna's sand sister, who he wonders aloud to, "I wonder if he was about when I was a squire at Hellholt. That might explain his animosity… Or he's just Dornish." Arrick shrugs and takes down a bit of wine and wonders what happened.

"He strikes me as the sort to default to hostility." Oona observes thoughtfully. "I don't think it's any particular action of yours." There's a tilt of her head. "You're a Dornishman, would you ascribe such behavior to all of your countrymen?"

Arrick brings his thoughts back to the present and he answers the bastard, "I'd say all Dornishman can be hostile, especially at first glance. I'm sure he's heard of me, and I'm sure he's dreamed of knocking me down from my perch ever since he got his spurs. I'll have to keep my eye on that one, he was lucky to pick a weak Targaryen to slay. He'd not be so lucky to pick this Gargalen." Arrick watches the hall doors and then brings his full attention to Oona, "He'd also be smart to avoid any sister of Lady Alaeyna. I imagine you're just a troublesome as she is…."

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