(122-07-28) Ragin' Ramparts
Ragin' Ramparts
Summary: In which tempers run high.
Date: 28 July 2015
Related: Seeds of Peace; Welcome to Skyreach



They had not meant to linger at Skyreach as long as they have, but the plot on Torren's life, and the subsequent questioning, had caused them to stay for a bit more than they had originally planned. It is a tricky business, trying to figure out the best way to get the truth out of the apparent perpetrators, and it can't really be rushed. So, the party from Oldtown is still there, though luckily there is enough to do that they have not yet started to become restless.

It's mid-afternoon, and Torren is, at the moment, by himself and not with his new wife. She may be resting, since while she is healing quite well, she was still bitten by a viper not even a week prior. He's leaning against the rampart of Skyreach's tallest tower, looking out over the Prince's Pass, a thoughtful frown on his face.

Alaeyna comes out onto the rampart with Arrick in tow, offering the Desert Fox a warning look in the moment before she presents him to Torren. "My prince," she says, to draw his attention from the view he enjoys of her kingdom. Or at least, so it seems, from such a vantage point, Skyreach having been constructed in the days when there were kings in Dorne. When Torren turns from the ledge she moves in to kiss him on either cheek, looking a little weary herself between the events of the past several days and the late stage of her pregnancy. But still. Unfinished business. "I thought perhaps it might be prudent that the pair of you speak before your party departs for Oldtown. I can leave you to it, if you like."

When Alaeyna commands something, she usually gets it and so Arrick followed along and as the Lady of Skyreach greeted their prince, so too did Arrick. After the customary bow, Arrick chimes in with, "The view is beautiful up here. You'll find the view on the far side of this pass to be less astounding. It's downright ugly my prince, to the point that you'll long to look at it from this side as soon as you can." Arrick smirks as he folds his arms and heads to peer over the edge.

Of course, Torren sees Arrick as soon as he turns. However, this does not stop him from giving Alaeyna an appropriate greeting. "I cannot imagine what I could have to say to Ser Arrick that would make any sort of impression," he says with a little smirk, "so your presence is welcome, as always." He turns to look at the man in question as he speaks, one eyebrow raised. "I have seen all the views of Skyreach many times," he remarks a little bit dryly, "but thank you for your counsel."

Alaeyna merely nods, tilting her head to regard Arrick, where he leans over the edge of the rampart wall. "One presumes you speak of the Marches, and not of the view of my fine fortress from the mouth of the pass," Alaeyna teases the Cockatrice, reckoning she knows the answer well enough she need not even clarify. She pauses, long enough for it to become obvious neither man will be the one to begin, and then she asks, "Arrick, how often did I tell you to lay aside your feelings for Mariya, to allow her to do her duty and to set your sights on a woman within your grasp rather than one so far beyond it?"

Arrick takes the usual teasing from Alaeyna with a smile from over his shoulder, "Of course I mean the view from the marches. This view is beautiful as always." Arrick doesn't let Alaeyna's mention of duty stop his previous train of thought towards Torren, "My prince, I imagine when you get to the far side of these Red Mountains and the claws of the dragon go deeper, you will know what I mean when I say you'll be facing the ugly side of the mountains. Duty as Alaeyna suggests or not…" Arrick turns his head again and while looking out of the pass he continues with, "I will pray to the seven that your time in Oldtown is uneventful, unlike my time there."

The door to the tower opens, and Visenya steps through the threshold and out onto the ramparts in search of someone. Probably Torren. When she sees that he is with Arrick she stops near the door. She certainly isn't eavesdropping since she is so clearly visible. It appears that she is restraining herself before approaching the small gathering.

"I have seen the far side of this pass, as well, Ser. I have not spent all my life in Dorne." But that's all that Torren says about that, and the smile is wiped from his face as he continues. "Save your prayers for where they are needed," he says. "You ignore the Lady Fowler's question. But I suppose I should expect no more out of you than that." He hasn't yet seen Visenya, since the angle is not quite right, but no doubt he soon will.

Alaeyna's stare goes dark and flinty when Arrick presses on with his line about the pass and what lays beyond them. She lets out a little warning hiss, but does not say anything, not yet. The look and the sound are enough to telegraph to the Gargalen knight, who knows her well enough by now to read such signs, that he ought tread gently or else invoke her ire.

Arrick cocks his head in almost an annoyed way and says quickly, "I didn't ignore, I heard her, it's just not something that needs to be addressed." After catching the look from Alaeyna, Arrick looks to shift the conversation elsewhere saying, "Beyond these mountain, I fear you'll be a prisoner my prince, much like how Princess Mariya was to be, but I'll leave you to it. You seem prepared to do your duty." Arrick bows again and stalks off looking annoyed. As the Gargalen passes Princess Visenya, he bows his head but says nothing while continuing into the tower.

Alaeyna notices Visenya only as she tracks Arrick with her stare. The Fury of Skyreach's temper is a wicked thing, and as the Gargalen knight stalks off and disappears into the tower, she fumes, too incensed for words.

Visenya does not return the Gargarlen Knight's nod. She remains frozen in place and watches him go into the castle proper with a look of pure revulsion and hate. Her hands ball up into fists at her side, and her breath quickens ever so slightly. When finally he is gone she approaches Alaeyna and Torren. "It was not my family who held your sister and cousin prisoner." She says to Torren through gritted teeth, "I have been called a whore at our wedding feast, I have had Ser Manfryd continue to insult my family after you pardoned him, and now Ser Arrick insults my family."

Torren does not have a response to Arrick's words, except to roll his eyes so hard that they threaten to fall out of his head. It's then that he sees Visenya, of course, and when she speaks, and comes closer to them, he holds out an arm to her. "It was not," he agrees. "And anyway I very much doubt that I will be imprisoned once we are in Oldtown." He looks over at Alaeyna, as though to say, 'see?!' and says, "He cannot be spoken to. I must take action. Every time he opens his mouth I grow more tempted to listen to my wife and have him beaten within an inch of his life."

"I will send him home to his father before sundown tonight, unless you prefer to issue him alternative orders," Alaeyna says resignedly. Though she's made the effort, she cannot condone the result, and does not so much as seem inclined to attempt to do further work on the Gargalen's behalf. "I apologize to you both for the insult he has delivered you. I do not and will not abide it."

"He is a liar, and I want him punished for his slander." Visenya says to Torren in a heated tone, "I have kept silent regarding Ser Manfryd even though I have found it difficult to stomach his bragging. But this?" She sucks in a breath through her nose before saying, "You need to do something about him because once what he's done becomes common knowledge, and he will brag about what he's done and he is already alluding to what he's done, it will make you look weak, Torren."

"What has he lied about?" Alaeyna asks, lapsing into silence once Visenya sucks in that breath and lays into Torren. That's right, I said LAYS INTO TORREN.

"It is not for you to apologize," Torren replies, waving a hand as though to wave away Alaeyna's concern. "He is his own man and shall answer for his own words." He turns toward Visenya then, and continues, "Punish him for what? I do not think that he was implying your family were the ones who kept my sister captive. I cannot just come down on him, or people will wonder why."

"What else would he have meant about how deep the dragon's claws go?" Visenya snaps before she moves away from him to stand near the ramparts with her arms crossed over her chest. She's so angry that her fair skin has started to take on a red hue that spreads across her cheeks and her chest. "People will wonder why he is allowed to speak to you in such a manner. You will be his liege, and you are his liege's heir!"

At her first words, Torren's eyes narrow, and now he's looking a little angry, too. Of course, he wasn't far from that when Arrick was here, but it had been hiding it better. Why that should make him angry is anybody's guess, though, because he just says, "Soon enough, we will be gone, and he will not be speaking to me in any way at all. We will leave tomorrow or the day after."

"Were there any but us standing here, I'd not have let him walk off," Alaeyna notes, when Visenya goes to the edge of the ramparts. "But you should know that Arrick is not alone in his sentiment, and that there will be plenty more who think it but never say it. You cannot cut the tongue out of every person who dissents." That's what tyrants do. But she doesn't say that part. And, if anyone's counting, Alaeyna likely numbers herself among the dissenters to Targaryen rule in Dorne.

"It is not dissent that is the issue here. It is disrespect." Visenya states from her position near the ramparts. "But what do I know?" Her tone goes a bit hot again, "In Oldtown I was surrounded by men who constantly bowed to those who disrespected them. My brother Aevander did it with the Tyrells and the Oakhearts. When you allow yourself to become so disrespected then you are no longer the ruler you are the ruled. But as I said…what do I know? I'm just a stupid young girl."

"It is true that there are many in Dorne with no love for your kin. To that I say two things. First, if you would have their respect, you ought win it, as you did mine when you caught the viper. Second, Torren is both well loved and well respected, and his esteem for you will inspire the esteem of others, if you give it time. You cannot let every errant word find its way into your heart, or you arm your opponents with the best weapon they might use against you." Alaeyna may not mince words, but her demeanor is night and day from Arrick's. Intended to bolster, not to provoke.

Torren is starting to nod as Alaeyna speaks, though then Visenya goes on, and his eyes widen. Especially at the last words. He doesn't answer right away, just stares at her — or, at the back of her head, which is what he can see from where he is. "And what is that supposed to mean?" he asks, though then Alaeyna is going on, and he falls quiet, though the silence is seething more than listening.

"This is not about the respect of others. This is about Arrick Gargalen specifically." Visenya states flatly to Alaeyna, and she turns around to face Torren. "You know what he did to me. To my brother." There is a slight quiver to her voice as she says this, "I will tolerate being called a whore, and I will tolerate Manfryd Qorgyle, but him? To hear him speak to you in such a manner as if he has some care for what happens to anyone but himself, and then act as if my house is the villain in all of this and not him? It is not tolerable!" And then she moves past him and Alaeyna towards the door leading into the tower.

It looks as though Torren is going to answer Visenya. It's as if Alaeyna has ceased to exist in this space where they are. His own face is a little bit flushed, his eyes narrowed, and he even opens his mouth, but as soon as she starts to move past him, he closes it again without a word. He doesn't go after her, either, but just turns away, back toward the ramparts so that he can look out, and once she's gone he just lifts one hand up to rub over his face.

Alaeyna watches, wordlessly, as Visenya leaves just the same way Arrick did, probably wondering when it was the ramparts last saw this much drama. She touches a hand to Torren's back, running it up toward his shoulder, and at the tail-end of the caress, tells him, "I'll leave you. Forgive me. I'd hoped it would all go another way." Obviously.

When Alaeyna's hand reaches his shoulder, Torren's comes up to cover hers briefly. "Thank you," he says, and while yes, he might mean for her leaving him alone, he probably doesn't only mean that. "There is nothing to forgive. This shall pass eventually." He squeezes her hand once more before releasing it, and leans a little bit more over the edge. "I shall be down soon."

Alaeyna smiles at the squeeze to her hand, and then she assures him, "At your leisure," before being the last of three to take her leave of him. And once inside? Instructions are given that none ought have access to that stretch of the ramparts until he has cleared them, to ensure that the Martell prince has the solitude he desires for so long as is his whim.

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