(123-01-05) King's Business
King's Business
Summary: Rhaegor follows up with Bryn on some old news, and talk invariably turns to dragons.
Date: 5 January 2016
Related: His Grace Commands

Rhaegor sends advance word that he'll be calling on Bryn at the Citadel, and when he arrives he's shown to the Scribe's Hearth to wait for the boy. His interest at the operations taking place would seem to indicate he has likely never observed them before. The Citadel is admittedly not a place his business often leads him. He purchases ink and paper to justify his presence, and perhaps to minimize speculation as to what it really is that prompts his visit.

It isn't long before Bryn is coming out to meet Rhaegor. He's wearing his Citadel robes, with a single link hanging from a thread and resting on his chest. He smiles as he arrives, "Hello, Prince Rhaegor."

Rhaegor might not return the smile, not being much of the smiling type, but the greeting he offers is fond just the same. "Bryn. I hope my visit doesn't interfere with your studies." It's almost fatherly, intent on the boy's success by virtue of their shared blood.

Bryn shakes his head, grinning, "No. Just my chores, and I don't mind those being interfered with." Then he asks, "Can I help you with something? Do you need something researched?"

"Then I'll endeavor to keep you as long as I can," Rhaegor says with a wry hint of humor, though he's once more serious when he answers the boy's questions. "Yes. Is there somewhere we might speak?" His missive had said simply that it was King's business.

Bryn considers a moment, and then nods. He turns, and leads the way to the healer's building. Inside, he leads the way to a small treatment room. Empty, at the moment. "Acolytes don't get offices, and they're picky about who goes in the library, so think this is the most private place."

"The library," Rhaegor echoes, as he's ushered into the spare room where they can speak in privacy. At first it isn't obvious why that would be the word he would pick out from the rest, but he seems content to speak freely now. "I had an audience with the King. We spoke of your dream. I recalled that you'd had a vision of a High Valyrian text, but was uncertain if any efforts had been made to determine whether it was a tome that might be found here in the Citadel."

Bryn nods quickly, "Oh, yeah. It was a poem, and it was a clue to opening the way into the catacombs under Hightower. Where we found the pipes."

"Is there a copy I might forward on to the Crown?" Rhaegor inquires. "It is of particular interest to King Viserys and I expect he will like to have it, even though the pipes have long been located."

Bryn shakes his head, and says, "But I can write it out for you. It's a very old poem, from the freehold. Even Maester Leandro had trouble translating it, and he's fluent. But King Viserys would be too, right? It makes more sense in High Valyrian, though it's still weird poem."

"Please do," Rhaegor says, an undercurrent of approval in the words he offers in reply to Bryn's initiative. And then he is silent a moment, inspecting the boy, as if trying to determine a likeness to one or another of his Targaryen kinsmen. During this study, his gaze wanders to the single link worn around the Dragonseed's neck. "Which is that?" he asks, with interest.

Bryn looks around, finding a piece of parchment and producing a pen from one of his pockets. "May I use that ink?" He indicates the ink Rhaegor bought outside. Then he answers, "Silver, for healing. I sort of apprenticed with Archmaester Luckin for a while, and I was one of the few who didn't get sick during the plague, so I got a lot of experience really fast." Then, he adds with a grin, "I think I'll be able to test for my smithing link soon. I won second place at the Tournament smithing competition. I want to get a Valyrian Steel link someday, so I've been practising. We have to Smith our own links. Doing silver was easy, it melts easy, but that one will be hard."

Rhaegor produces a pot of ink from the leather manpurse worn on his belt, offering it to Bryn when requested. He seems truly interested in the boy's account of his accomplishments and objectives, more of that paternal-seeming pride and encouragement offered up in response. "You've achieved so much already and have only just begun your studies. Think of the links you will come to bear in time."

He watches the boy with his pen and ink, and he broaches another matter entirely. "It wasn't that I didn't want you by my side," he begins, harkening back to the caution he'd given Bryn on the mountainside, before delving head long into the mists where Veraxion lurked. "It was only out of an abundance of caution that I thought it best you stay behind. I might have done anything to ensure that Rhaenyra had time to summon Syrax." And though he was willing to put at risk his own life, his words would seem to indicate that wasn't the case with Bryn's.

Bryn settles in and starts writing, slower than the scribes outside. Of course, most of them are older, and likely have been writing for many years. "Yeah. Some of the other boys don't like it, some have been here for years and aren't even close to getting a link. But they know not to mess with me, so it's usually okay." Then, he looks up, and says, "I understand. I thought Veraxion would listen to me, like he did at the tournament. So I probably wouldn't have been careful enough." He seems quite embarrassed at this failing.

"Good." Rhaegor seems glad to know that the others give the Dragonseed a wide berth and his due respect. Their gazes meet when Bryn looks up from his task. Not being careful enough is maybe a sentiment the prince understands well enough. But he reassures Bryn, "Man and beast both are unpredictable when they mate. Anything might have happened." And of the boy's success at commanding the Whoremaster during the tournament, he observes, "You did well and thought quickly. The response to your command was a promising thing indeed." Rhaegor might have no hope of bonding with the wild wyrm, but Bryn, on the other hand…

Bryn smiles some again at the reassurance, nodding. "I'm just glad it worked, and the King's okay." He looks back down to the parchment, continuing to write. "I'm glad you're okay, too. I thought Veraxion burnt you like it later did Ser Desmond's eyebrows, for a minute there."

"As did I. Imagine my surprise when I realized in the wake of it that I still lived and breathed." Another bit of slight humor for Bryn's benefit, regardless of whether or not Rhaegor speaks truly of his encounter with Veraxion.

Bryn giggles a little at that, nodding. He goes quiet for a bit, as he finishes writing the poem. It's pretty long, with a verse each for the Season of Whispers, Season of Scampering, Season of Wandering, Season of Flames, and Season of Ashes. "It was the first verse in my dream. But we needed the whole poem to open the catacombs."

While the ink still dries on the page, Rhaegor moves to stand behind Bryn and scan the words of the poem he's penned. "Well done," he says, and then he asks after the pipes. "Where are they now?"

The poem is full of alliteration instead of rhyme, and the first verse is about whispered councils, dreams, the soft sound of a cracking egg, and a lover's kiss. Really, it makes little sense. Bryn dries the pen, and caps the ink again, before looking up again. "The pipes? Lord Ormond has them somewhere, I don't know where. Prince Daevon suggested to the King that they should be in Royal hands, since they seem to be able to control dragons, or at least summon Veraxion. The king seemed to agree, but he said it would upset a lot of people, and I haven't heard of anybody being upset. So, I don't know if he did."

After he's done an initial scan of the poem, Rhaegor turns his mind fully to the matter of the pipes. "I see," is all he says at first, seeming contemplative. Like he might be making a mental note to follow up on it during his next reporting to the King. "Thank you, Bryn. I hope you will remember that you might call on me at anytime."

Bryn nods, and says, "I think my dream meant the pipes could help stop the war. Well, my second dream. The Mother and the Crone said there would be many choices, choices I could help with if I was quick enough, and the puzzle we were trying to solve was one of them. That puzzle that led to the catacombs, and the pipes. And in my dream, the Smith was making the pipes." Then he nods again, smiling, "I'll remember. I never forget anything. Well, sometimes things I'm supposed to do get lost in my head that I don't think about them when I'm supposed to do them, but I don't forget. Anything."

"There is an idea that whoever succeeds in becoming Veraxion's rider might have a crucial part to play in averting a war of succession." Rhaegor says this lowly, like whatever Bryn has said has triggered some other train of thought. "Perhaps that, too, might be you."

Bryn's eyes widen at that, "You think so?" He pauses, and then ask, "Are bastards allowed to be dragon riders?" He thinks, "I know a lot about dragons, but not about winning them. Or riding them. I guess those books are all at Dragonstone."

"Veraxion responded to you at the tournament. It is as promising a sign as any." Rhaegor may have once been a rider, but his precious mount was killed before reaching full maturity, and more, its full potential. So even though the words of encouragement are genuine, they are shrouded with the despair of his own loss. Bolstered only by the potential of what the boy might yet achieve.

Bryn is very clever, and very perceptive, but like many clever people his understanding of emotions is a little lacking. So, while he sees the conflicting emotions in Rhaegor, he doesn't seem to understand them, and just looks confused.

"Forgive me. I was thinking of Nyraxes." The look of confusion registering in the boy's expression is enough to stir Rhaegor from the spell of melancholy that'd just befallen him. His gaze goes to the page, as if to assess whether or not the ink has dried. "I suspect I've kept you from your chores long enough."

Bryn blinks, and then says, "Oh. Sorry." Think is indeed dry, and Bryn nods quickly. "Yeah, I better get back or I'll have to do extra to make up for it. I hope that helps."

Rhaegor rolls the paper the poem has been transcribed upon, slipping it into his manpurse along with the little pot of ink. He nods, when Bryn agrees that he ought return to his Citadel duties. "Very good. Thank you. I look forward to speaking with you again." He goes to the door, but thinks better of attempting to navigate his way out. "Shall we go together?"

Bryn nods again, slipping his pen into his pocket (one of many pockets in the robes), smiling once more as he leads Rhaegor back out of the Citadel.

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