(122-11-30) Targaryen Pillow Puppets
Targaryen Pillow Puppets
Summary: There are a few visitors to the Hightower gardens to see Lady Marsei. One brings another special Targaryen wedding gift.
Date: 30/11/2015
Related: None

Lower Garden - The Hightower Battle Island

The bottom two levels, giving some forty-five feet of height to the tower, are below, and the next tier of the white stone structure looms above. The second tier is narrower than the first, and the roof-space left behind supports this garden. It's a large ring, some twenty-five feet from the wall to the interior of the tower to the battlements at the roof edge. There's a paved walk along those crenellations, but the rest of the space has been floored in rich deep soil.

The garden has two winding paths around the rings, twisting among beds of flowers and blossoming shrubs. They bloom profusely, and in every colour. A few small fountains are nestled amid the plants. The soil is not deep enough for large trees, so there are canopies of colourful fabric to create the shady spots. White stone benches and tables grace the shaded areas. Still, the rich earth is deep enough for small trees, and little plum trees and spreading berry bushes offer their sweets on some months.

There's a games court on the Western side of the ring. The Butterfly Garden is on the South side.

Leandro's dressed in his maester's robes, for once. They're flashy, for robes at least, and as stylish as the things they can get, nothing but the best for Leandro after all. His maester's chain shines around his neck, all those polished links. And he's here, to speak to Marsei.

Loryn is in the Hightower as well to visit Marsei. Someone is very popular apparently. He looks at the flashy Maester curiously as he notices him in the garden and inclines his head to him in a greeting.

Marsei, as it happens, is not here to speak to the maester — inasmuch as she's aware, that is. The noblewoman is pleasantly distracted, crouching carefully afront a grouping of berry bushes beneath the plum trees and speaking soft encouraging words to something hiding within. A child, perhaps? Marsei's gown, crafted of long, thin layers of the palest blue, trails out behind her upon the clean cobbles; between that and the waves of red hair spilling down her back, she's easy to spot, at least if one looks down. "Come now, this isn't your garden," she's saying gently, "you live with your lady friend amid the butterflies."

A reddish, iridescent-necked pheasant jaunts out from the bushes, and Marsei stands as if to follow it, but spies the flashy robes of Leandro and gives pause as though faintly startled. She's less surprised to see Loryn; her smile to him warms her silent greeting to both men.

There are those present who have seen Xavia wear her half veil in public before, the hood of her gown is up and from the top portion hangs a draped piece of crimson lace. The lace hangs to her nose and works to obscure her eyes behind a red screen that swallows her gaze. Her personal knight Ser Auraine walks her into the room before offering an introduction on her behalf. "My Princess, Xavia Targaryen."

Xavvy nods calmly as she passes him on her way into the room. Her hands are clasped near her solar plexus. Her impassive gaze drifts over the other guests gathered listlessly and a small smile forms on her lips without ever being able to reach her unseen eyes. "I hope I haven't arrived with poor timing." Her head follows the path of the pheasant but snaps soon back to Marsei.

Leandro looks back at Loryn, offering him a smirk in greeting. "My Lady." He greets Marsei, polite today, for all that he doesn't bow, as one might if they were addressing a superior. He's not actually an uncommon sight around the Hightower, having been employed to take care of certain secrets. "That's a marvellous pheasant you have there. Perhaps try coaxing him with some seed?" There, advise rendered, not that he has any to offer.

Loryn seems surprised to see the pheasant scoot out from the shrubbery. "Run for your life, mate, or you'll end up on the dinner table.", he tells the passing bird casually, then wheels around, looking startled when the princess is announced. "My, what a nice little gathering is this, cousin Marsei?", he turns to the Hightower lady briefly, before offering a bow to Xavia. "Your Highness. Good day."

"Hello Maester, Ser Loryn," she says to the men, her friendly self. "He's simply set upon wandering." She points at at Loryn as if to scold, as though no such intent truly makes it to her cheerful voice. "And not to the dinner table." As the young Targaryen makes her way into the garden, the stature and veil give her identity away to Marsei; not to mention Ser Auraine. "Princess Xavia," Marsei greets just as warmly, but more formally, full of respect for the title and blood of the Targaryen. "I think you are quite timely, your grace. Assuming everything is well?" One never knows what news might be delivered from the Targaryen manse.

"Good day, Ser Loryn, Maester." She nods to both in turn and while she may not know Leandro's name she does recognize his title with a solemn sort of greeting. Rare teenage respect, perhaps?

Xavia wears a pert plastic smile that seems sculpted to compliment her lack of eye contact; it so -tries- to be warm. Yet, next to Marsei's genuine demeanor the stolid Xavia rings cold and indifferent even as she smiled. "Quite well, I only wished to deliver a small gift on behalf of my Father and I, as a welcome to the family.." Her hands had been clasped around a small ornate box made of stone to look like a mini Dragon egg. It is polished and rather plain. "Do open it." But! It has a hinge.

"Leandro," the maester supplies. He has a name, after all. And he's doing his best to be patient, to be polite as he can, since it seems he was inadvertently not invited. He looks at the gift, curiously, studying the box from the distance.
Xavia pages: Little curled up sculpture of a dragon baby sleeping. Made of silver and velvet lined with red in the egg.

A mini dragon egg! With a hinge! Loryn is riveted. He steps close to Xavia to get a better look at the egg. "Is there are a dragon inside? Perhaps a tiny little gecko with fake wings at least?", he asks hopefully.

As if responding to a true warmth that's absent from Xavia's face, Marsei smiles further; indulging the girl's attempts, perhaps, but doing so only sincerely. "Oh!" she says softly as the gift is offered. "How wonderful. Your family has been so kind to me." As she takes the mysterious hinged egg into her hands, she laughs softly at Loryn. "You're showing your impatience, cousin." She holds the egg closer to her chest, although it's more of a show to keep it away from Loryn. Rather than open it just yet, she looks to a set of benches beneath the shade of trees and offers, "Shall we all sit down, since we all happen to be here on such a nice day? I could get a servant to bring us drinks — and sweets!" As a Hightower in her garden, she takes naturally to the role of host, but defers to the young princess.

The Coldly Logical girl can not help herself when speaking of her father and the smile falters as she deadpans, "An early wedding gift, Xavier also sends his apologies as he is too ill to attend the Wedding." The girls smiles once more as Marsei delightfully hoards her egg from Loryn. She nods to the offered seat before drifting over and when they have a quiet moment on the bench Xavia abides in soft aside, "I'm afraid I'll just take tea this early in the day but the sweets sound divine."

Loryn looks a little disappointed when the egg is not instantly opens, but he doesn't make a fuss. He's being offered a drink after all! "Sure, let's all sit down and … uh, have a chat?", he suggests eagerly and goes to sit down on one of the benches Marsei had indicated.

Loryn looks a little disappointed when the egg is not instantly opens, but he doesn't make a fuss. He's being offered a drink after all! "Sure, let's all sit down and … uh, have a chat?", he suggests eagerly and goes to sit down on one of the benches Marsei had indicated.

"Personally, I prefer sweet lemon water this time of day," Marsei confesses quietly to Xavia as she sits down beside her on the bench, all smiles. The men will have to share their own bench. She manages to wave down a servant who had been lingering closer to the entrance to the gardens. It's not difficult, given that any number of nobles gathering means they're likely to demand food and drink any moment; rather than snap orders, however, Marsei she beckons him nearer still, delivering what sound like kind requests for food and drink. Once that is done and he is sent off, she focuses on the gift nestled on her lap. She opens it, finally, to reveal a baby dragon — sculpted, curled up sleeping, made of silver, laying on a lining of red velvet. "Oh!" she exclaims again in honest surprise, bringing her hands to curl under her face, which is alight with innocent joy. "It's beautiful! How adorable it is!" She turns it to show Loryn and Leandro. "Don't you think it's adorable?"

Leandro remains on his feet, at least for now. In fact he's been glancing at the path that leads out, possibly considering wandering off. "That's exquisite." He says of the dragon, a genuine compliment. He's being polite, he doesn't say anything more.

The Princess sits with perfect posture and her hands are folded in her lap demurely. Xavia leans in sidelong and with a conspirator's clear whisper comments, "You are to keep it under your pillow I am told-" Her moonwhite skin below the veil has begun to take on a familiar crimson. "On the wedding night. For baby Dragons." She giggles and sits back upright some before reaching up to remove her hood as she narrowed her eyes at the men.

It seems almost as if she has trouble seeing them all the way over there, "None of you heard me say that…" She teases the men with a bemused sneersmile on her strange features. Marsei may be the first to notice her now evident Nystagmus; the girl's gaze shivers with an unnatural edge.

Loryn had already opened his mouth to make some smart-arse comment about the tiny silver dragon, but then Xavia's explanation reaches his ears and he sputters a bit, then coughs to try and mask his laughter. "Riiiight. Baby dragons.", he snickers. Trying to distract himself, he looks up at Leandro. "Come and sit down, mate, I don't bite."

Leandro's definitely on his best behaviour. He bites back a snarky comment of his own, and then Loryn says something. He chuckles instead, and drops down right next to Loryn, perhaps a bit too close but then he's Dornish, no sense of personal space. "Oh good, because I was so worried that you might if I didn't ask nicely." A glance at the dragon. "Heard you say what?" he smiles.

The exact moment Marsei's innocent delight over the gift begins to deflate can be clearly marked: baby dragons. Her delicate shoulders tense and she finds herself beginning to phrase a word — her lips press as if to start saying b… instead, she's caught looking into Xavia's less than welcoming gaze and risks going silent altogether. It is, in the end, her manners that draw her out of her too-long pause. "… Thank you. I will extend my thanks to your father and brother as well, for their welcome," she manages, relatively smooth and still sincere, whatever her thoughts on baby dragons under pillows. "Maester Leandro is well-versed in exquisite artifacts," she comments suddenly. "As this will be in many years' time — an artifact, that is, and still exquisite, well after we are long gone from the living." Within the compliment is something of an odd path of thought to wander down, especially for Marsei, and with a blink of her animated eyes and a brighter smile, she seems to realize this and watch the garden path for a servant to appear.

"Precisely." Xavia quips back to the Leandro first with a succinct little nod. She is frozen though as Marsei makes the accidental faux pas of talking about her brother as if he is still alive. What levity was in her remarks about baby Dragons evaporates rather quickly and she frowns with a subtle flare for her nostrils. She looks down to her hands, "Marvelous." She agrees to everything else Marsei said and yet the Princess is gone for a long moment and silent as she considered correcting her elder. It passes and she looks back up for servants as well, "Does your pheasant have a name?" The subject change is prompted by the bird scuttling past in the distance.

"Certainly it will be a treasured family heirloom," Leandro replies to Marsei. "Best keep it near the bed and not under the pillow though. Least it get broken or lost there. Even the box is exquisite craftsmanship. You'll want a painting too, the two of you together? Something large, to hang upon the walls, for all those generations to look upon with admiration."

Loryn doesn't mind Leandro chumming closer to him or at least he doesn't scoot away promptly. Especially since his attention is now wandering to Xavia and her eyes. But while he's usually got at putting his foot in his mouth, he does manage to shut up for now and just waits for a servant to help them through this awkward pause.

"Not yet; I suppose I'm rather strange about names. I never know when one's right or not. I think I shall let Prince Dhraegon name him," Marsei replies to Xavia. Between watching for the servant, she's watching the girl closely, although not sharply, curious. "Do you have an artist in mind?" she queries of Leandro. "I would not like anything too bold…" A servant does indeed hurry along, arriving to offer them their choice of lemon water, wine, honeyed tea and lemon cakes.

Xavia is at seemingly at ease once more as she selects a slice of lemon cake and takes a cup of tea with just a little honey. "Yes, he will certainly love that…" Xavia muses with obvious endearment toward her Uncle judging by how she spoke of him. Her tone was warmer and though she fancies herself an artist she deigns to quietly sip her tea and listen at this point.

"So not a life-sized oil painting, with Prince Dhraegon striking a heroic pose, riding upon his fearsome war-ox, and you gazing up at him, with adoration?" Leandro teases. "I can certainly do something a lot subtler, and more true to life, if that's what you prefer. Maybe even capture your garden and the butterflies there? The light would be lovely, softer"

Loryn accepts the wine and the lemon cake, even though Oldtown seems to be permanently awash in lemon cakes. Someone should do something truly revolutionary and make an orange cake! Ahem. "I know a few artists at the Whimsy.", he tells Marsei, "Painting backdrops and such. They're also…" But then he realizes that Leandro is actually offering himself as an artist and shuts up to not steal his thunder further.

Marsei plucks a cup of water and a lemon cake from the tray just in time to be overtaken by the most gentle fit of giggles, bringing her knuckles to her mouth as if to modestly hide them as she imagines heroic Dhraegon on his war ox. "A portrait in the garden would be wonderful," she says, sounding charmed by the idea. "Is it you who paints, maester?" She looks to Loryn, smiling just as much at his offer, and is reminded, "Oh, Loryn; I meant to inquire about your puppets. I know Dhraegon keeps asking after them…"

Since there is no table, the servant steps back between the benches, holding the tray like a piece of living furniture.

"Who ever heard of a war ox?" Xavia quips with a little smirk, softly, to her lemon cake between tiny birdish bites. She giggles softly with Marsei as if overcome by the infectious good cheer. Her tea she sets on the bench beside herself, "How long have you been painting Maester Leandro? I always wanted to learn. I sketch, myself?" And puppets? She quirks a pale brow at Loryn and her strange eyes seem to trace to and fro as she tries to focus her gaze on him across the way. "What is a puppet? Like a doll? Do you make dolls?"

"And I'm better than all of them," Leandro says to Loryn. "There's a difference between painting backdrops, designed to be seen from afar, to endure the theatre audiences, and working on portraits." He too helps himself to wine and cake. "I'm the greatest painter in all of Westeros. You won't find a better artist." The question of puppets ignites his curiosity. "He rides a war-ox, or so they say, with horns as wide as can be." He stretches both arms out, even if that means one's waved in front of Loryn's face. "Actually, I hear tell it's a gentle beast that eats flowers fed to it from the hands of maidens." The question of painting. "All my life. I've studied it at the citadel and it plays a part in all that I do. What do you sketch?"

Loryn arches a brow very slowly and pointedly at Leandro's claim. "If there's one thing you can identify any Dornishman by, it's his massive ego.", he comments and frowns when the man starts waving his arm around. "Keep your bingo wing to yourself, man.", he grunts. When Marsei brings up Dhraegon's interest in his puppets, he sighs. "There are no puppets. It just… doesn't seem to get through to him that the Whimsy is… a different kind of theatre."

More subtly than her Tyrell cousin, Marsei's light brows raise ever-so-slightly as the maester flaunts his artistic mastery, but she makes no comment except one. "I have always wished I could sketch or paint," she says, placing admiration on both Leandro and Xavia. Her eyes turn sweetly pleading then to Loryn; an utterly earnest expression when it comes from the utterly earnest noblewoman. "But you could have some made," she says, questioning. "As a gift? For the wedding. I could have a mummer company make them, but it would mean more coming from you and the Whimsy."

"That and our giant…" Leandro looks between Marsei and Xavia, and just flashes Loryn a grin, not finishing the sentence. "No neeed to be jealous. They used to do puppet shows outside the Whimsy, perhaps that's what he means? Although really, if a Targaryen Prince wants there to be puppets then there are puppets, don't you think? Surely your artists could make some?"

Loryn just rolls his eyes at Leandro and decides to ignore the cheap shot. "Yes… puppets can be made…", he says slowly as an idea starts brewing in his head. The idea taking shape so quickly, that the Tyrell is quick to leap to his feet. "If you'd all excuse me… I need to go to the Whimsy…" He even abandons his half-empty wine glass for whatever mission he's now on!

"You have all my thanks, Ser Loryn— !" Marsei calls out lightly, as pleased by his expedience as she is startled by it. She raises a hand — and half-eaten lemon cake — and nearly stands herself to see him off, but settles back down and lets the artistic theatre owner run off toward his idea. "And thank you, maester." For the backup. If she's noticed any of his sly comments, she's pointedly and politely not responded to them. "I should like to see your art."

Leandro watches Loryn go with amusement. "Splendid. Puppets." He nods. "Ah yes. Well, most of my portraits are with those that commissioned them, but I'll find some examples for you."

"Oh, of course that makes sense; perhaps I've seen them in their rightful homes— ?" Hopefully not above the beds of their owners, but Marsei seems not to consider that, only hopeful that she may have glimpsed a piece of art upon some noble wall.

Leandro nods. "Quite likely. I've done a number of pieces over the years for noble families." And yes some of them quite scandalous, but not all.

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