(122-08-17) Social with the Seven
Social with the Seven
Summary: Various encounters lead to party planning and conversations that shouldn't be had in a sept (according to Marsei).
Date: 17/08/2015
Related: None

Starry Sept Starry Street

The Starry Sept is the seat of the Faith of the Seven. The High Septon resides here, as do any number of clergy who study here or attend him and the faithful. Seven domes and seven towers make up the structure, all of them richly decorated with seven-pointed stars, carved or inlaid or painted, or in mosaics of tiles.
The largest dome, the worship area, is a heptagon like all the others, but much wider. The seven-pointed star is inlaid into the black marble floor in massive slices of highly polished semi-precious stones: amethyst and rosy quartz, jade and lapis, onyx, cat-eye and garnet. The soaring domed roof is painted a deep blue with glittering sparkles of mica mixed in, and hundreds of seven-pointed stars picked out in gold and silver leaf.
Each of the seven walls holds a statue, larger than life, of one of the gods. The Father, The Mother, The Warrior, The Maiden, The Smith, The Crone, The Stranger. They are painted wood, beautifully and realistically carved by artists of great skill. Their gowns and robes are leafed in gold and set with jewels, and their eyes are alabaster and jet, with irises of sapphire or emerald or deep brown citrine. The exception is The Stranger. His or her statue is plain, almost stylized, the face hooded and the robes painted glossy black with minute flecks of black dragonglass that make it glitter very faintly, like the most distant of stars.
There is an ornately carved and inlaid altar before each statue, for the faithful to pray, and light their candles.

The Princess Xavia would require the pillowed perch to pray simply because she had been there several hours already. Her candle burns low, not yet sputtering but a nub of its former self all the same. The light flickers on and before she rose, drawn from her revery by the scent of a babe, she lights another candle via the flame from the first. Taking her feet Xavia turns around slowly, the impassive mask of her face scanning the pews idly. That is when she spots Visenya and without hesitation starts to approach her older cousin. Xavia takes a seat in the pew behind her, "I see you found a capable handmaiden." Her familiar monotone laced with icy amused concern.

Visenya nods to the somewhat familiar lady next to Julien in acknowledgement on their way out. She does not notice Xavia as the maiden slips into the pew behind her and speaks into her ear, but she does not startle, either. She turns a bit to regard her cousin before she says smoothly, "Let me present to you Lady Vynesa Uller, formally Manwoody. She and Lady Lara Gargalen have become my companions, and I mean to take more. Of course, if you still wish to come to Dorne with me…" She smiles a smidgen, "There is still a spot for you." She leans in a little bit to say to Xavia, "Don't worry. The Dornish don't bite. Unless you ask them too." Vynesa lets out a bit of an amused giggle at Visenya's joke before she covers her mouth with her sleeve shyly.

"That may be a more inspired idea than you know…" Princess Xavia leans back in her pew some but also scoots a tich to the right so as not be directly behind Visenya and therefore a but easier to converse with despite the staggered seating. "Nice to meet you Lady Vynesa." Her own hand rests lightly on her own breastbone as she introduced herself, "Princess Xavia." And maybe it was an unneeded introduction but she presents herself politely and smiles despite her oddly hidden eyes.

The half veil of red lace allows only a suggestion of her gaze to be gleaned, it is nearly impossible to decipher her nystamgus behind the silken screen. She coldly adds, to explain why it is such an inspired idea, "Can you believe that Stark boy made meet his bear of a mother." She shudders a tiny bit before adding. "I'm considering Dorne."

Madalyn Ashford offers a soft smile, after all a Princess nodded to her, though she clearly knows better then to speak without permission as she simply blushes softly as they continue on their way, her husband Julien at her side holding her arm. Any paying close attention would notice the way he holds her arm isn't aggressive or even the formality expected, there is genuinely love and affection in the gesture.

"It is lovely to meet you, my Princess." And then Vynesa bows her head respectfully, but she does not make a great show of getting up to curtsey. The Dornish are a little more informal with their royals.

Visenya lets out an amused little laugh at Xavia's words and she remains slightly turned to speak to her but her posture relaxes some when she moves, "Are the doves with love letters not enough in face of his mother? Oh dear. And I can believe it. You'd have to live with her if you were to wed him. Thank the Seven my goodmother is too busy ruling to bother me."

A faint shimmer of blue drifts from the depths of the sept, emerging from the entrance to the Tower of the Crone; a hint of red hair and floral embroidery, shining with pearls and amethysts, are sure to mark her as separate from a septa, although the tower is traditionally dedicated to such servants of the Seven. A light hood shields her, more from chance of rain upon her styled hair than from being seen; Lady Marsei is recognizable, even with her head cast down in apparent reflection, particularly as she walks through the glittering worship area. She looks up to note her path, in the habit of not getting in anyone's way, even in such an open space as this, and it is then that she notices the princess Visenya and her less familiar companions. Her face warms, and she heads toward the pews.

Pausing on their way out, Madalyn notices the figure exiting the tower, and offers a warm smile and nod as the face is glimpsed when Marsei looks up. As the Hightower Lady moves to join the Princesses, however Madalyn and Julien continue on their path for the door, moving at a slow, respectful pace as though trying to minimize the sound their boots and shoes make on the floor.

"She was hardly a delicate woman, it makes me wonder how Wylliam has come by such sweet manners." The red lace makes her an unusual conversation partner but in truth she never really was the type one could look in the eyes. The stolid screen hint at shadows of emotion but she is soft spoken, adding, "He's given me pearls as well and a ruby." Xavia half heartedly defends before she trails off at the sight of the approaching Marsei. Softly, to Visenya, "What a lovely gown." But obviously about Lady Marsei.

"I have heard of Lady Hellan although I do not believe I've ever met her." Visenya says in a low voice to Xavia, "I heard she is almost as rough as Lady Mormont herself. Although I should be fascinated to meet either one of them. You should hear what they say about her niece, Lady Mormont. They say she can best almost any man in the city with a sword, and that she chooses her lovers freely." There is scandal in her voice, but admiration as well. The Dornish seem to be rubbing off on her. "They say even Lord Stark is taken with her, but I have met Lord Stark and I believe he favors more gentle women. If you were going to marry one of the Starks it ought to be him." And then she lets out a rich little laugh, "Maiden bless him for he is handsome enough to make a woman of any age weak in the knees."

"No ruby is big enough for a repulsive goodmother" Visenya says in a cheerful tone. But look. It's Marsei! Her face also warms a bit, and she says to Xavia, "Of course it is lovely. Lady Marsei is always current." And then she says, "She is the Queen's sister. If you haven't met her I can make an introduction." And then Visenya calls out, "Marsei. We were just saying how lovely you look."

"Visenya," Marsei greets, light and airy, smiling bright. There is a reverent blanket over her cheer, however, quiet and respectful of her holy surroundings. "Oh— " She's overtaken with a modest blush as though the comment comes as highly unexpected, bowing her head demurely in gratitude for the compliment; all sincere rather than bowing to any sort of flattery by the Targaryen. "You look lovely as always." She smiles to Xavia as well, although the expression is slightly less as she tries to figure out who she is, not quite recognizing her."And what a stunning veil." Her quiet joy to see her friend — and her immediate intrigue over the figure in the red veil — cause her to nearly miss the sight of Julien and Madalyn. "Is that my cousin Madalyn and her husband?" she comments, hesitant to call out.

In the last few seconds available Xavia nods along to the remarks, "There are many I've yet to meet. Lord Stark included, but yes, despite Wylliam's best efforts I am afraid I'm not the type of girl swayed by shiny rocks." She goes quiet when Lady Marsei speaks and a smile stays perfectly proportioned below the veil. "Princess Xavia Targaryen, I believe we met in passing at my name day celebration Lady Marsei. The night of the slow moving stars…"
Xavia has partially disconnected.

Julien and Madalyn reach the doorway as they have no been addressed directly yet, as they start on their path to the steps to the grounds outside.

"I recognize the lady as a Hightower, but I am unsure as to which one." Visenya admits to Marsei with an apologetic smile. She lets Xavia introduce herself before motioning to her Dornish lady in waiting, "Lady Vynesa Uller." Vynesa inclines her head before saying, "My Lady." She does not return to the subject of the Starks now that Marsei is here. Instead she says, "Do you think it would be gauche for me to throw a party?" She looks between Marsei and Xavia as she asks this. "Technically I am a guest here now."

"Princess Xavia," Marsei says like a breath of relief, the little bits and pieces of the young princess's appearance and mannerisms falling into place. "Of course. How good it is to see you again." She curtseys, in a manner, blending quite seamlessly to taking a seat near Visenya and her handmaiden, to whom she smiles and nods, friendly. She looks over her narrow shoulder at the grand doorway, just catching a dimishing hint of Lady Madalyn and Lord Julien, considering; she will catch up with them later, it seems. For now, she shakes her head reassuringly at Visenya. "I shouldn't think so. You are always welcome to hold it at the Hightower," she says eagerly, only to pause, her features freezing in delicate concern.

"One would think that depends on the nature of the soiree." Xavia ventures with an even air, she sits tall in her seat and with her slight shoulders squared she looks sure of her posture. "But gauche for being a guest? Not as long as you have a noble attendance in a fine setting. You're Blood of the Dragon. Let them talk." Xavia says this softly in her off handed manner and it comes off with a teenage indifference that couldn't be helped- or faked. She folds her hand demurely in her lap.

Visenya watches as Marsei freezes and she looks over her friend for a moment before asking gently, "What is it?" To Xavia she gives an appreciative smile before saying, "I am the heir to Dorne's wife now. I cannot do as I pleased like I once did. At least, not here with everyone watching us and waiting to point out that we have fulfilled all of their expectations of us."

Marsei smiles gently at Xavia and her phrasing. Although she wouldn't say it in quite those words, she does seem to agree. "Only as Princess Xavia has said — that it simply would depend on the nature of it all," she says, her tone gently reassuring, moving past that slight freeze. "Do they not think you ought to celebrate? Do the Dornish not enjoy celebrations as I've heard?" she asks, half rhetorical and half not, trying not to send a questioning look at Vynesa and not entirely succeeding and so smiling in good humour at her instead.

"I suppose." Xavia agrees but the tiny megalomaniac didn't sound as if she bothered arguing her truths against those of her elders any more these days. She remains smiling in her pert political manner, the even grin growing slightly larger as Lady Marsei agreed with her- in so many words. A smile without eyes to match could be a haunting sight but Xavia wears it well as she spoke, "I believe they do,, from what I saw of my brief visit Lady Marsei."

Visenya, Marsei, and Vynesa are sitting on the front pew. Xavia is sitting on a pew behind them, and the two Princesses and the Hightower seem to be discussing something quietly amongst themselves.

Poor young Vynesa gives Marsei a shy look, and says nothing at all. Visenya lets out a little scoff. "There are no…orgies. If that's what you are afraid of, Marsei." She's married now. She can say orgy if she wants! "It is more informal. There are certain things that may happen in the shadows of our banquets that happen more outwardly at a Dornish banquet. But it is not as you are picturing. Besides-" She leans back in the pew a bit, "It is important to my husband that the misconceptions about the Dornish being lavacious or wanton be dispelled."

"You made the journey as well? How exciting," Marsei replies to Xavia, her eyes lighting up in contrast to the young Targaryen's absence of a gaze. Her enthusiasm for living vicariously through the travellers is tempered quickly by Visenya. Her eyes widen and look away — and away again, as her first sight is that of the Seven, hearing all with their omniscient ears. Her face is animate in its delicate distraught, looking like that of a maiden. "I-I was not— I would not— !" the Hightower lady flusters quietly, instantly embarrassed and in a hurry to dissuade such notions— except that she's rather speechless, in all her modest defiance. "Visenya, we are in a sept," she chastises in good humour — although she means it. "I meant only…" she smiles in an attempt to regain proper composure, encouraging, "They are said to enjoy life, and so too should you. Perhaps a party would even help your husband's cause."

Princess Xavia has the hood of her black and white gown in the up position despite being inside the Sept. There is a piece of red lace which hangs from the inside of her hood and acts as a half veil that conceals her features up to the nose. "Yes, not long ago. When they announced their wedding." Xavia nods casually at Visenya to explain whose wedding she meant.

As the talk of orgies and such racy nonsense persists the young Xavia's bottom portion of her face blossoms with a crimson blush that nearly matches her veil. The Princess' gaze seems averted to the folded set of hands in her lap. "Everyone loves a good party." Softly added.

It is often that Torren is busy with various things during the day, and so does not see his wife until the evening. But today he has apparently come looking for her, since he does not often frequent Septs for other reasons, not being of a particularly religious turn of mind, and also not caring to present himself as such. The fact that when he enters, he immediately looks around to try and locate something — or someone — lends credence to this.

It is easy to see the three women sitting in the front, and when he does, he starts toward them, his strides purposeful. But whatever reason he had for looking for his wife, he does not immediately disclose it, preferring to observe the tenets of courtesy first. "Ladies," he says, with a cordial nod to each, though the smile softens when he gets to Visenya. "I hope my presence is not too unwelcome."

"Are we?" Visenya asks in a jokingly oblivious tone before she says, "The Seven can hear us no matter where we are. And perhaps if they can hear us louder here than in other places then they appreciate something more interesting than the usual conversation." But she doesn't scandalize further by speaking of orgies. Instead she says to Xavia, "Everyone does love a good party, and I throw the best."

She turns her head when she hears footsteps, and when she sees who it is her face brightens in a manner that, if it is contrived, she must be the greatest actress in the world. "Unwelcomed? Banish the thought, my Prince." Vynesa scoots over so Torren may sit between her and Visenya. "I'm sure you met Princess Xavia during our betrothal banquet. May I introduce Lady Marsei Hightower to you?"

Marsei looks up as someone approaches as well; whoever she expected (perhaps a judgmental septon with supernaturally keen ears), Torren is not them, but his appearance seems to be a welcome surprise. Her reaction is, of course, nothing compared to the brightness on Visenya's face. She watches that very thing — the transformation of Visenya's face — with interest while she waits with a polite smile for the opportunity to speak. "Prince Torren," she greets with the warmth of someone so instantly sincere as she, sounding, as a result, as though she's more familiar with the Martell heir than in passing. "An honour to formally meet you after Visenya has spoken so well of you."

Xavia does sit a pew behind them but in a position so she was angled conversationally convenient to the others present. "Nice to see you again, Prince Torren." Her voice comes out not just mousey and small but emotionless as well; the lack of visible brows insisting the illusion of indifference even when she smiled. Her own natural monotone in sickly contrast to Marsei's effervescence.

Torren gives Vynessa a nod of thanks when she moves over, but he manages to seat himself in such a way that she is still somewhat included, not completely shut out. Though of course, she's not really talking much. "Of course," he says, "and a pleasure to see you, Princess." The monotone does not seem to phase him; he is as cordial as he has been. He turns to Marsei then, and continues, "And you, my lady. The princess has told me of you, as well, enough to know that it is you I must impress should I wish to be fully accepted as her husband." His smile widens; it's probably mostly a joke, but with a thread of truth that no doubt speaks to the important place he knows she occupies in Visenya's life.

Visenya's smile widens slightly at Torren's joke. She says to Marsei with a goodnatured little blush, "I must talk about you more than I realize." She then says to Torren, "I was discussing throwing a party with Princess Xavia and Lady Marsei. I was thinking either in the manse that your cousins are allotted when they are in town or the Dragon's Door Manse. Perhaps Lord Velaryon could be the guest of honor since you've become such fast friends with him."

Marsei laughs softly, looking to Visenya with a fond sort of gratitude. "You make me sound as I have such power! As though I am the Queen," she replies to Torren; modesty turns out to be good humour and jest as well as she adds, a twinkle in her eye, "That's my sister Alicent." She quiets pleasantly, an amenable smile on her face through talk of potential parties.

"I do enjoy party games, have you ever played Snapdragon? We had a bout of that at my last name day." There is the fond ghost of a smile on Xavia's face and she recounts her last party quietly. It is a bit unclear who, if anyone specifically, she is asking her question of due to strange veil. She makes few remarks and sits happily as a sort of background piece one pew behind the rest.

The group is currently sitting in the front of the Sept, chatting amiably. Torren lets out an amused laugh at Marsei's words, though Visenya's mention of a party tempers it, and he nods once. "I think that is an excellent plan," he says. "I shall enjoy being treated to a party that has been planned by you, since I have heard much about them and long to experience one for myself."

"Oh, but of course you do! We could host the party together again." Visenya says this to Marsei. "My most successful parties have been co-hosted by you." She shakes her head to Xavia, "I've never heard of it. What do you do?"

"And who has been telling you about my parties? Aside from me, of course." Visenya asks Torren in a bit of a teasing tone, "Or had I gained a reputation in Sunspear that preceded me?"

Marsei looks to Xavia at the mention of Snapdragon; she remembers, lingering briefly on the young lady's veil before simply going on to say, smiling, "Well, I do enjoy planning events. Princess Xavia's nameday was beautiful; any event planned by both she and Visenya is sure to be a sight."

"You take small dried fruit and you scatter them in a shallow bowl of spirits, then you light the bowl on fire and you use your lips to catch the currants. If you do it properly the flames go out each time you make a catch. Old family game, I'm surprised you haven't heard of it… Jurian suggested it if I'm not mistaken…" She grins at the words of praise from Marsei. "You're too kind. Thank you."

"Your descriptions of them are very enticing," Torren says with a little more teasing smile at Visenya. He looks between the three of them, before he nods, and continues, "Good, then that is settled, and I shall inform Lord Velaryon as soon as everything is in place. And now sadly," he says as he stands, "I must leave you, but I have no doubt we shall meet again soon." This to Xavia and Marsei, of course, since he will be unlikely not to meet Visenya that very nice. "A pleasure," he says, inclining his head to them both, before he leans down to murmur something low to his wife. He straightens again then, and starts out of the Sept.

Visenya looks to Xavia when she explains snapdragons, and she opens her mouth as if to speak before Torren is making his goodbyes, and standing to depart. When he leans down to whisper something into her ear her eyes widen and she says in an excited tone, "Really?" Then she hops up from the pew. "Excuse me, ladies." And then she walks after Torren to catch up with him, and when she does she places a hand on his arm and leans over to whisper something else. Lady Vynesa trails behind them.

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