(122-11-12) Gifts and Grapevines
Gifts and Grapevines
Summary: Marsei and Visenya catch up over recent events, including wedding preparations and a certain Dornishman's errant ways — plus news yet secret to others.
Date: 12/11/2015
Related: Smiling at the Scorpion

Northwest Suite - 4 - The Hightower Battle Island

This is one of the smaller of the Hightower's suites, but it is still grand. It offers a unique view from its large window — from the opening one can overlook the city and see the seven domes and seven towers of the Starry Sept, and the Maidenday Gardens in the middle distance. The window has a wide padded sill large enough for one to sit comfortably and watch the city. The room is decorated to reflect the view, with images of flowers and gardens. Vases of flowers sit on all the tables with beautiful blooms and greenery. In the large sitting room are velvet-cushioned chairs and couches. The dull gray stone flooring is covered with a dark hunter green Myrish carpet trimmed in gold.

On one side of the suite an archway leads into a little dining room, suitable for ten or twelve people, and on the other there is a door leading to a bedroom. In the sleeping chamber a large four poster wooden bed rests in one corner, with a green and gold coverlet and lavish pillows. A matching wardrobe and nightstands are also present in this room. The nightstands boast crystal vases with lily flowers. The wall that leads to the sitting room is equipped with a hearth that heats both rooms should it be needed. In one corner sits a large copper bathtub.

Visenya had her maid leave a note with Marsei's maid regarding tea in her suite. Their people coordinated to find a time when Princess and soon-to-be-bride could meet for said tea, and now the time for said tea has come. Visenya greets Marsei at the door when her servants, now Dornish instead of Crownlanders, open the doors. Visenya is dressed in a loose flowing sandsilk robe dyed a dusky purple that brings out the purple in her eyes. She appears to be slightly fuller in the belly, but that may be an illusion caused by the way the fabric drapes. "Oh, it's so good to see you." She gushes, "I haven't had good female company in so long. Do come in!" She leads her into the dining room where tea is set up along with trays of lemon cakes and other confections. More than the two slight women could ever eat in one setting.

Marsei is absolutely joyous upon her visit to Visenya's suite in the Hightower, her smile fully blossomed before she's even set foot beyond the door. She's aglow in flowing dress of aquamarine, sparkling with gems and pearls about her neckline and sleeves — or lack of sleeves; she's the picture of summer and cheer. The Dornish servants give her a faint startle (their presence will simply just take some getting used to), but she looks no more at them and follows Visenya. "Visenya! How glad I am to see you as well! It makes me so happy you're around while my wedding is on the horizon." She embraces the princess for a friendly kiss on each cheek in the confectionary-filled dining room.

Visenya takes a step back from Marsei after they've embraced to get a look at her. "I think you've gotten prettier than the last time I saw you. If you keep it up I will get jealous! I love that gown." She sits down at the table, and waits for Marsei to sit herself before she begins pouring out an expensive blend of real tea from Yi Ti. "You must tell me all of your plans with the wedding! I wouldn't have missed it even if we weren't here for matters of State. I'm told even the King might make an appearance."

Marsei smiles brighter, but it's modest around the edges, her gaze lowering and her mouth opening as if to refute any gains in prettiness, but she politely sits down instead. Her features are quick to animate as she listens to Visenya talk of the wedding, the King. "It's all rather daunting, to be quite honest!" she admits. "It would be an honour if he did come, and a visit from the King would be good for the city, I think, but I'm most grateful that Alicent can make it. And our father, of course, to give me away." She pauses to add quietly, "… again." She takes the tea once it's poured, keeping it close while it's still hot, tipping her face curiously into the steam. "A royal visit makes the whole thing a good deal bigger than I expected at first."

"There was always a huge fuss on Dragonstone when he came to visit. I don't recall if there was as much preparation when King Jaehaerys came. I was very young when he went to the Stranger." Visenya says as she slides over a dish of honey to sweeten her tea a little. "But it will be good for the city economically. Not that Oldtown needs much help with that." She takes a little sip of her tea before sitting it down and reaching for an apple tart. She takes a bigger bite from it than she normally would; generally she eats like a bird, and she seems to relish it more. Her eyes even close a little as she chews. "You have to tell me about your trousseau."

Marsei smiles notably at Visenya's appetite, approving in some way. She spoons honey into her tea and cautiously sips at the hot liquid, only to delicately set it down, add two more spoons than seems logical, and lets it cool while taking a bite of a lemon cake. "My dress is…" She wants to be modest, but her eyes sparkle, and she confesses, all cheer, "It's a wonder, it really is! I've had silks shipped in from abroad — the Tyrells had something to do with that — and it's all so beautifully gilded. Well," she beams, nodding decisively, "I will give you a peek ahead of time, that will describe it better." She takes another bite, considering with slightly less enthusiasm. "There have been gowns made in the Targaryen colours, for after, and more to come, I know, but…" She sighs uncertainly.

"The Targaryen Black and Red can be…" Visenya bites her bottom lip. as if searching for the right word. "Severe. I only wore them when I meant to be intimidating. It's very effective for that." She glances towards the door before giving the servant there a little nod of her head. "I wanted to give you a gift, but I figured everyone would be giving you dragon-shaped jewelry and everything black and red." She gives Marsei a sympathetic look, "So I thought I would stay away from that." A decent sized chest is carried in and set down on the table away from the tea and cakes.

Marsei's expression turns gentle and grateful for the frank assessment of Targaryen red and black even before Visenya brings up the gift. "I would rather not be intimidating." She scarcely looks capable of it. Dusting her hands off from the last bite of lemon cake, she curls them together under her chin as the box is brought out, watching with a contained childlike anticipation. "You are so thoughtful, Visenya." She flashes her friend a smile that's playful for a moment as she reaches to open the chest.

The chest contains sand silks from Dorne of various weights. They are in the light colors that Marsei so often chooses for herself. There is a pretty carnation pink silk that has a subtle pattern of delicate flowers painted onto it in a paler pink. There is a sea green silk that has silver thread shot through it. A sky blue that is unadorned save for it's intense color. A canary yellow that is diaphanous. "I know you like your gowns cut a little differently than I do, and I didn't have your measurements so I thought I would just give you the cloth."

Marsei is immediately enamoured with the fabrics from the moment she sets her sights on them; more, still, when she reaches to touch the rich quality of the sandsilks. "Oh, goodness, look at them," she exclaims quietly, sifting from colour to colour. She hugs a corner of fabric to her chest — the pink, by happenstance — in a delicate grasp. "Dornish? They're so beautiful, Visenya, oh, I love each and every one! Thank you," she expresses, overflowing with sincerity. "They will make the most wonderful gowns."

Visenya watches Marsei with a bit of a broad smile. "When I was in Dorne I didn't get to do any planning at all. Princess Rhaenys had made this monstrosity of a wedding gown for me, and I hated it. So, Torren had one of the ladies at court introduce me to a local weaver." She quirks her lips before saying modestly, as if she hasn't been thinking of Marsei at all, "Really I just saw those when I was picking out my own fabric, and thought of you. It's no big thing. Oh!" Her smile broadens until she can't stand it. "There's another box in there. Under all of them." In the box there are loose opals and a decent sized pink sapphire.

Marsei's gaze shines like the opals. "No, it is! I'm touched that you thought of me, truly. How generous!" She holds the pink sapphire in her hand, curious. However often the noblewoman has been faced with expensive stones in her lifetime, she's easily fascinated by their beauty. "It almost looks more beautiful on its lonesome, does it not? Before it's worked into jewerly," she reflects before beaming again at Visenya, only to soften toward sympathy. "A pity you could not wear a dress you liked at your own wedding." But up goes the smile again in no time. "I hope you dress as extravagantly as you please at every party around mine!"

"I think it would look exquisite in a simple setting on your hand." Visenya says of the pink sapphire. "Or on a delicate chain about your neck. We are young still. We do not need to make up for our lack of beauty with more jewels. Better to wear little, but to wear the best." She laughs a little, "Oh, believe me, I wore what I wanted. There is some seamstress in the Shadow City who now has a small fortune for delivering me a suitable gown on time." She places a hand on her belly, "Oh, well we both know that I will!"

Marsei laughs softly when Visenya does, and again a moment later, entertained. She watches Visenya alertly while settling the stones and fabrics neatly in the chest and closing it tight. "Shadow City sounds like such an ominous place to commission gowns from," she comments; the words hold no negativity toward Dorne, in truth, rather an innocent naivete. She reaches for another variety of sweet, leaning slightly over the table as she does and tipping her head to one side, glancing at Visenya's hand as she inquires — soft, uncertain, but optimistic, too, "Will— you be having more gowns made soon. For about nine months, say…" She lifts her eyebrows, waiting hopefully.

"It's a bit of a misnomer." Visenya says, "As it's more of a town than a city, and mostly it is comprised of craftsmen who work for the courtiers. Entertainment at night for them. I believe some of the servants live in the Shadow City as well. But it's called that because it is in the shadow of Sunspear." She leans forward to sip her tea then, and Marsei's last inquiry her eyes shift upwards and she says, "You cannot tell anyone!" But despite her urgings not to tell she is smiling. "The maesters say I am far enough along that it will quicken soon. I was so busy running around in Dorne chasing my dragons that I barely noticed. Poor thing."

"You have my word!" Marsei agrees easily, as if it needn't be said at all. "It's not at all obvious," she assures, "I couldn't be sure. It's in the way you hold yourself, your belly." She leans back in her seat to look at Visenya in a new light, now. Budding motherhood. Of something other than dragons. "What an journey that must have been. Are you looking forward to it? This— next journey, I suppose. Have you told Prince Torren?"

"I'll have to remember not to do that." Visenya says softly, and then she takes her hand off of her belly, and sits up straight. "I'm afraid I'm going to lose my figure." This is said with a bit of a frown. "And yes. I told him. He's happy, but apprehensive." She hesitates before she explains, "I told you his first wife was killed at the Red Rookery? They were married for quite a long time, and there was no children. She had finally gotten with child, and she had told him just before she left."

Marsei nods slowly, empathetically, her small frown matching Visenya's and worry rising ever-so-slightly in her gaze. "I understand his apprehension…" Her hand fusses at the edge of a plate meant to hold her desserts, tiny, unconscious movements. "It will be altogether different, with you. And," she tips her chin up, smiling confidently, "I think you will regain your figure. You're so slight and graceful."

"And I'm afraid." Visenya admits quietly, and it sounds like she's afraid to admit it. "Someone tried killing Torren. They almost killed me." There is a rare look on her face then. One filled with apprehension and fear. She pushes it away to put on her usually jovial expression, "By the Seven and all that is good I do hope so." And then she laughs.

"You will be safe here in Oldtown," Marsei insists with her absolute, compassionate certainty, as if she knows it to be true; as if there could be no other outcome. She toward Visenya along the table's surface with her palm down, betwixt tea and cakes. "Especially here in the Hightower. I am having a Most Devout septa come to stay. We will pray for you. All of you."

"Is she the one who used to be a Tyrell?" Visenya asks with some interest. "I don't think I've met her." The rest of it, the assurance of safety and everything else, is pushed to the side as if she never mentioned her fears at all. Instead she picks up another apple tart and chews on it before changing the subject, "You have to fill me in on all the gossip I've missed." She makes a face then, "All I've heard has been about my husband's man."

Marsei smiles over the subject of the septa who may or may not have been a Tyrell without exactly confirming or denying. "I … I'm afraid much of the gossip has been about Dhraegon and I," she says shyly. "Beyond that— well, I spent some time visiting Cider Hall, and since then I've been in something of a bubble, what with the wedding coming up." She narrows her eyes, barely, with curiosity considering Visenya's apparent distaste for the gossip of Torren's man. "I hadn't heard." She pauses to think, summoning what she thinks is an unrelated piece of information, "I did have to restrain Ser Loryn from a Dornishman at the Golden Maiden. He was very…" She's hesitant. "He was very forward. The Dornishman, that is, not Loryn. I must say he had some worrying ideas about your family. I think his name was … Manfryd? A Qorgyle."

"Oh, yes. You must be terribly busy." Visenya says with a sympathetic little nod of her head. The subject of the Most Devout Tyrell is not breached again. "Oh, it must have been lovely to spend some time out in the country." She says of Cider Hall. When Manfryd is brought up she looks more than a little displeased. "I don't know what to do with him." She confesses, "He is unrelentlessly vulgar and rude. He didn't say anything to you, did he?" She gives Marsei a bit of a mortified look before lowering her voice despite no one else being in the room, "He propositioned one of my younger kinswomen while we were away. Offered to…" She glances down and blushes a bit. "Well, I'm not going to repeat what he offered, but it was dreadful, and the worst part of it is that he's flirting with her, and before my wedding he slew another one of my kin. A young knight."

Widening her eyes upon the telling of Manfryd's ill deeds, rudeness and the murder all the same, Marsei touches a hand to her mouth gingerly. "How awful. He was not… so crude as— as that, but…" She looks to the side, not wanting to summon trouble or perhaps memory of the Dornishman's behaviour. "Im… proper," she manages. "I shan't repeat it either. And I could tell he felt … dare I say violent toward the Targaryens. It concerned me. I defended the marriage of you and Torren, of the kingdoms." A pause, "He mentioned someone named Aelyn."

"That needs to be corrected." Visenya says, and she sighs. "I will speak to Torren regarding it. I tried talking to him myself, but he doesn't respect me." She rubs her forehead a little before she says, "Aelyn Targaryen. The young man he slew. His mother was there as well, and she wept for days for him. I talked Torren into banishing him to Essos so appease my family, and the only reason he wasn't banished was because he heard of the plot to kill Torren, and tried to warn him."

"How complicated," Marsei sighs, too. "It is difficult to be thankful to him, but how fortunate it was that he was able to warn Torren." She sighs again, near silent this time, faint dimples appearing as she frowns. "Are there more men in the world like Manfryd than those who are good of heart? It seems that way," she admits to wondering. "They fill tower and holdfast walls, taking different faces. Perhaps it is a good thing he lacks respect for you, Visenya. At least he's sure to underestimate you." She sips her Yi Ti blend.

"He was too late." Visenya points out, "So we gained nothing from his loyalty. Although I will say that he is loyal to Torren. That is the only good thing I can say about him." She picks up her cup for another sip as well. "A dog can be good if he is kept on a short leash. Manfryd Qorgyle's leash needs to be shortened considerably." She nods to Marsei, "Perhaps it is. He is a little more respectful now that I have my dragons again."

"Here is to them growing fast, then," Marsei says, part in jest but only just so, lifting her cup and returning to her more natural state of cheer.

Visenya lets out a small laugh then, and raises her own cup. She has a swallow before grabbing another confection. It's probably the most Marsei has seen her eat during tea. Then conversation switches to something much more pleasant like what Marsei will do with her new fabric.

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