(123-01-12) Heart Strings and Slipper Threads
Heart Strings and Slipper Threads
Summary: Miranda comes to drop off a tale to Loryn for his perusal just when he's discovered one of his belongings has been mauled by a certain residence of the household. Stories are discussed.
Date: 12/01/2016
Related: Chickens... Away!; before A Holy Hostage

Solar - Garden Isle Manse

Sphinx Street

The manse's solar lies behind a pair of ornately carved oaken doors. The floor of the room is a beautiful and shiny surface of polished red granite. There are three large tables of polished mahogany, along with several scattered wooden chairs. Between the bookcases are plush divans, each covered in a rich, fleecy upholstery that makes them very comfortable for reclining.

Sconces designed to hold torches are mounted on the walls all around the room. There are also smaller scones inset into some of the bookcases. These beeswax candles cast enough light to illuminate parts of the room.

The solar is rather well stocked with books, volumes, and tomes of various sizes. There are likewise many scrolls stored in a rack along the east wall. Tapestries depicting scenes of hunting and epic battles hang on the north, east, and west walls. High, arched windows line the south wall, overlooking Sphinx Street, and in the distance, the domes and spires of the Starry Sept can be seen.

It's been a quiet morning in Garden Isle. So far. Loryn had slept in and then moved over to the solar to poke around the books and scrolls that are piled high there. But something else caught his attention, followed by a rather loud yell for Viola. She'll find him feet planted apart, one fist in hip, the other hand clutching a silky golden object.

Miranda's announced by one of the servants to Loryn, who looks rather hesitant to disturb the young lord as he shouts. But since it's the septa they saw the other day, it takes exception.

It takes a trail of several servants to pass the word to Viola — loud as Loryn's yell was, she's a busy woman, and loud herself, industriously barking commands to a lesser housemaid at the far end of the manse in next to the kitchens when it occurs. She makes up for the delay by running across Garden Isle, swerving around a mop and bucket, cursing at a servant who doesn't get out of her way, and presenting herself, then, immaculately, with no sign of any of such rush. "My lord," she says, hands behind her back. She glances briefly at the septa out of recognition and concern, but focuses immediately on the silky object and her eyes widen, but she doesn't gape, only waits.

Loryn waggles the golden object into Viola's face. "What do you think this is?!", he begins but before he can launch into an actual rant, a visitor is announced. He nearly chokes on all the air he just inhaled for ranting and coughs. "Oh. Uh, Mylady Septa, what a surprise!", he greets her, the golden silk slipper (or what's left of it) still lifted high in his right hand. "Do come in!"

Miranda carries a leather folio under her arm as she's escorted in. She casts a smile over at Viola and sketches a curtsey for Loryn. "Is it a poor time, Ser? I can leave this with the servants if you prefer?" She motions to the folio and then looks up at his hand, blinking at the slipper.

"It appears to be your slipper, ser," Viola answers as neutrally as she can muster, although by the way she studies the slipper waggling in her face so obviously she might want to make some comment on it and its state. Her lined face is grave.

"No no, dear Septa, please do stay!", Loryn says quickly. A brief curious glance falls onto the folio she carries, but is quickly returned to the business at hand. "Perhaps you could help me find out what happened to my slipper. How it came to be here in the solar without its companion and why it is in such a frightful state. Or perhaps Miss Viola could elucidate us?" He waggles the slipper at the housekeeper again.

"I've found that stockings have similar properties," Miranda replies with a small smile. "How one always needs to be darned and the companion is just vanished into thin air…"

The housemaid has been in the trade too many a year to become flustered; while the younger servants might become embarrassed, Viola simply stands by, patient. She casts a quick look at Miranda, warmth — amusement — in her eye, fleeting and easily missed, not straying from Loryn for long. "Well," she says, good-naturedly, but sure to take it seriously all the same, "let's have a look." She holds out her hand for the slipper and examines what might be… tooth-marks. "It seems what happened, m'lord, is one of the kitchen girls left the door open again…"

Loryn willingly hands over the slipper which is slightly mauled about, frayed, with said tooth-marks and the odd trace of slobber. He, too, glances briefly at Miranda with a warm expression in his eyes, before his gaze returns to Viola and darkens. "My dear Viola, surely we are feeding our servants well enough for them to have no need to sneak out and chew on slippers? Or what could you mean?"

Miranda folds her hands over her foilo and holds it close. She gives Viola a reassuring smile but doesn't involve herself. She waits, patiently.

"The dog, m'lord." Viola doesn't wait for that to settle in, moving on, "It has been rather brightening everyone's spirits down in the servant's quarters." She nods sharply, dismissive, her broad shoulders taut as she stands tall. "It won't happen again, m'lord, you won't see a hair of it. I'll make certain've that."

Loryn inhales sharply when the admittance comes, but he finds it hard to keep up that glare. "I've seen plenty of hairs of it.", he comments dryly and looks at Miranda as if for help. "Perhaps you could explain to Miss Viola why taking in stray dogs is not a good idea." Though he's obviously melting already, as Viola pictures the dog as such a harbinger of joy in the servants' quarters. "Can you… train him to … uh, feed only on what's being given to him in the kitchen?"

Miranda frowns gently as she's put on the spot. "Street dogs often have fleas, and worms, and may not be gentle enough to keep in a proper household. I would suggest you have him bathed and groomed as the hunting dogs are so he stays clean, and ensure he won't hurt anyone. Not that I think that little spaniel could- it seemed rather friendly."

"Of course, m'lord; he'll only eat what's given. And only scraps. No extras." Slippers or otherwise. "I had the girls wash 'im up. He squirmed up a storm and soaked them straight through to the bone; the little rascal is clean as they are now, I can guarantee you that, m'lord," Viola astutely replies, fastidiously anti-flea in her household.

The young knight knows when a skirmish is lost and it is time to withdraw. So he just nods and exhales slowly. "Alright. I know you value cleanliness.", he admits with a look at Viola. She chewed -him- out often enough after all. "So…" He waves his hand about a little dismissively, "Whatever. Can you see that the slipper is getting repaired - if it is not beyond repair, that is - and then bring some tea and refreshments up here for the septa?"

Miranda ohs at the mention of tea. "I wasn't planning on staying over-long, but I could linger a while." She smiles as she presents the leather folio. "I wrote out the story of the swan-maids for you, but then thought if I just dropped it off you may have more questions, so I thought I'd just…"

"Yes, m'lord," Viola says dutifully, turning with the damaged and slightly disturbingly slobber-damp slipper in tow, disappearing from the solar.

Loryn's eyes follow Viola for a bit, before he looks at Miranda again, his gaze warming. "I'm sorry you had to witness that. Please sit down. It's a lovely surprise to see you again this quickly." He gestures to a nice seating arrangement by the window with comfortable chairs and a little table.

Miranda looks down a little in embarrassment. She takes the comfortable seat and offers a shrug. "Making sure ones' servants maintain a well ordered household is important," she agrees - it's matter of fact for her. "I wasn't able to sleep last night so I thought I would get to work on the outline." She sets the foilio before them on the table and unwinds the cord holding it shut.

"Oh, Viola is a pearl, really.", Loryn assures her with a smile, "I hadn't taken her for the type to take stray puppies in though." He looks at the folio curiously, remarking on its neat state compared to his scribbled, ink-blotched scripts. "That is wonderful of you, how thoughtful!", he smiles, opening the leather cover to get a better look at it.

Miranda's a septa - neatness is part of her job description. The written-out version of her tale is less embellished and far more practical, and her handwriting is very neat and dainty. "I had nothing better to do with my time and a lit candle, and I wanted to get it on paper for you."

Loryn reads a few lines, perhaps as much to check on whether he can read her hand (not that he doubted that) as to remind himself of the contents of the tale. "I will read more later.", he assures her with a warm smile, "Right now I rather look at you than your writing. You know, if you ever find yourself bored, I wouldn't mind receiving other stories that might work well for a stage adaptation."

Miranda finds herself blushing and glancing away at the 'rather look at you' comment. She smiles a little as she nods, still keeping her gaze fixed on the table. "I could try to think of a few good ones, stories that are… proper for an audience without being dreadfully boring. Perhaps something of the Andals and the first-men. What of a tale about a maid of the first men and a proud Andal king? Those tales were always fascinating. Forbidden romance, old tree gods, good stage combat?"

Viola strides back in just then, along with a cleanly attired servant girl to better carry two trays. Viola carries the tray with a small pot of honeyed nettle tea and cups, while the girl's offering is typical Tyrell fare of sweet fruity cakes. They silently go about setting them down and stepping back unobtrusively.

"Ah, forbidden love, old gods, good combat, it sounds just about perfect!", Loryn exclaims happily and seems pleased to see Viola and the maid arrive with tea and nibbles. "Viola! Do join us. Did you bring a cup for yourself? I believe Miss Merryweather is about to tell us another exciting tale and it would be good to have your female judgement on it."

Miranda's on the spot. She blinks in surprise mid-pouring of tea. "A… story? Well, I don't KNOW any myself, not off hand. It's less about the Faith and more about history."

"A cup for my…" Viola looks frankly confused (and a little bit like she thinks Loryn is confused, as well). "Well no, m'lord, I wouldn't think of it. But of course if m'lord wants my judgment…"

Loryn's not confused but rather amused. "You were just suggesting that tale to me, did you not, Miss Merryweather?", he asks her with a warm smile, then gestures to the other maid who is already withdrawing. "Please bring a cup for Miss Viola too!" He turns towards his housekeeper cheerfully. "See, when I plan new plays, I need to gauge audience reaction. It seems that the last tale the septa told, stirred quite some superstitious feelings among our northern friends…"

Miranda finishes pouring her tea and takes a sip. "I was suggesting something about the Sage Kings, when the Andals came and the Greenhands welcomed them. It was fairly peaceful so you'd need to spice it up. Perhaps the war is brewing and only the secret love between King Merle and an Andal princess keeps the peace? That one could be nice, he was the first to build many septs and motherhouses across the Reach. Or if you go further back, before the Andals even set foot in the Reach, there was… Oh goodness. Mern the 3rd? He apparently went to a Wood-witch to try to raise an army of the dead to fend off the threat that never came."

"They can be a superstitious bunch," Viola says — nothing but cheerily, really, bearing no ill will for the Northroners or their supposed superstitions. She gives the other servant — who looks more confused than anyone — a subtly confirming look in addition to Loryn's command before the girl scurries off. The older servant stands by a chair with her hands folded in front of her. "Oh, the crowds do cheer a good love story," she says with a smile, lifting her brows, "And a— good army of the dead I suppose…"

"I suppose they'll prefer scantily clad swan maidens to an army of the dead, but…" Loryn leaves that hanging there and leans back, cup of tea in one hand, lemon cake in the other. For now he waits for Miranda to continue her tale.

Miranda frowns reproachfully at scanty swans but she -was- the one to tell the story. "So I take it Mern the Madman was more of note? The army of the dead was a lie though, and there was never any fighting."

"Well, Ser Loryn's the expert, but-stories're all about the embellishments," Viola says. "All the good songs, anyway."

"Mern the Madman… now that sounds like a role dear old Amadys would be born to play.", Loryn grins good—naturedly, nibbling some on his lemon cake. "I suppose we could do something with an army of the dead. Certainly a challenge for my designers…", the Tyrell impresario muses, before a thought strikes him and he grins at Miranda: "Nothing to take your orphans to, I'm afraid."

Miranda drums her fingers on the table as she thinks. There's a tea-cake popped into her mouth. "The king fears the coming of the Andals enough to contract with the wood-witch, but his son - who is sent a dream by the Crone — he knows that the rise of the Andals will only bring the Reach into the light of the Seven and that trucking with such evil forces would damn them all." Her blue eyes light up as she speaks, hands animating the tale. "The witch has a… daughter. Who agrees the army is evil and wrong. But it's too late, the army is summoned and the prince has to fight through them to slay the witch. But he cannot marry the witch-maid because he's betrothed, and… she tries to kill his princess, and he has to kill her." She shrugs- the entire thing made up on the fly.

Viola claps, smiling broadly at the storytelling. "Well done. septa!"

Loryn seems marginally less excited than his housekeeper but her reaction is duly noted. "Couldn't we not have an army of the dead fighting the swan maidens? Who have been enchanted by the witch? The maidens, led by the dashing hero defeat the undead and the witch and return to their normal shape, so the most beautiful swan turns into a lovely girl who'll sink into the hero's arms?"

Miranda looks mildly horrified. "You can't combine Hugor and Merl together, they were centuries apart, and the story about Hugor is a holy one!"

"That's what happens when you try to force a happy ending, m'lord," Viola advises in a joking tone. The servant girl returns, setting a cup down on the edge of the tray with the others. Viola pours tea into it and stands with it, looking somewhat out of place with it in her hardworking hand.

Loryn looks rather chastised by Miranda's response, then shrugs a little. "It seems like a good idea. And the audience loves a happy end." Seeing Viola stand there as she does, he gestures. "Please do take a seat, Miss Viola. Perhaps you do know a tale for us as well? I won't insist on a happy end even."

Miranda drinks her tea to calm her reaction. "If you want to elaborate on Merl the Madling, go ahead my lord. He was a pagan king of a dead line- very few people you could offend."

"Oh," Viola chuckles lowly, shaking her head. She sits down, as she's told, although it's on the very edge of the good furniture. "I only know the stories sung in old tavern songs, m'lord, and they're not fit for good company."

"There's always someone who wants to be offended.", Loryn explains with a shrug, apparently not very bothered by it. His eyes wander between the two oh so different women, the sturdy housekeeper and the dainty lady-turned-septa and a grin spreads on his face. "Ah, come on, Viola, you know I'm not good company. And I'm sure that Mylady's ears shall be able to tolerate a tavern song?"

"Depends on the song," the septa replies demurely. She takes another drink and shrugs.

"Better we spare Septa Miranda," Viola uses the septa's faithful name somewhat pointedly, "my singing, instead," she says with a short, deep laugh. She takes a sip of tea, since she has it. "No, no, m'lord. Not unless it's by your utter command, but I hope it's not."

Loryn hesitates for a moment. He seems tempted. But then his eyes fall on Miranda and suddenly he looks embarrassed. "Er, perhaps another time.", he decides, clearing his throat. And then he's out of words. Uh. He looks out the window. "It's rather nice today, isn't it?" Yay, small talk.

Miranda mm-hms slowly. "Well… if that's all.. I should get back to the sept. There's a bit of a worry about my leaving, but I told them I was coming to visit here and they'll be concerned if I don't return timely. We have a bit of an emergency, although it doesn't affect me directly. I think."

Viola takes this as a cue to put her cup down and stand, taking a few steps back and waiting at the ready to clear out the trays.

Loryn looks a little embarrassed when he realizes that he's causing the women to scatter, but he gets to his feet nonetheless. "Of course, Mylady. Thank you for taking the time to bring me the story. I trust the donations were received well?", he asks as he accompanies her to the door. Treating Viola once more like the typical invisible servant.

"They were," Miranda replies with a brilliant smile. "I haven't the chance to distribute it myself, but I hope to soon. I think I may be on lockdown for a while, until they find the woman who was abducted." She frowns at that and adds, "But they told me it's being looked to but one can never be too careful."

"A woman was abducted from the sept?", Loryn gasps in horror, "What happened? Is there anything I can do?" Tyrell to the rescue!

"From the docks," she clarifies. Miranda gives Viola a look to plead secrecy as she lowers her voice. This has the -unfortunate- happenstance of her leaning in closer to Loryn to speak. "A ship docked a day ago from the Vale and someone abducted Septa Raya before she could meet with the Most Holy. They're worried but the Maiden's Knight is supposed to be investigating the kidnapper."

"Oh Seven. The Maiden Knight couldn't find his own arse in the dark, much less an abducted woman.", Loryn groans. Which may not be the smartest thing to say in such close proximity to a septa, but it's out before he can stop himself. "I'll see what I can find out.", he promises then, "I'll have a talk with my Hightower cousins, they should know everything that goes on in this town…"

Miranda does look shocked. "Ser Loryn," she says, mouth slightly agape. Then the rest of his words sink in and she shakes her head, the wimple swinging. "Oh please don't. It's a matter of the Faith, and if word gets out, I'll be branded as a gossip and have to do penance." She looks rather worried by that.

Viola gives the septa a small, firm nod to assure confidence. Granted, it's followed soon after by an attempt not to crack a grin at Loryn's assessment of the Maiden's Knight — successful, but not before a hint of it peeks through while she stands dutifully by.

The young Tyrell looks deflated at that. "As you wish, Mylady. I shall of course abide by your request.", he assures her although it's hard to hide his disappointment at not being allowed heroics. "If you change your mind… or if you find you need more help… I do insist that you shall call upon my help though.", he tells her firmly.

Miranda gives Loryn's hand a quick thankful squeeze and a small smile. "Thank you. I should be heading back then, before they grow too worried. I don't have any important matters, but if someone's abducting septas…" She doesn't notice Viola's stoic servant-like expression.

Loryn seems surprised by the septa's touch but he doesn't waste the opportunity to bring Miranda's hand up to his lips for a very brief touch. "Of course, Mylady. Be safe. Miss Viola shall see you out." He'll let go of her hand and they are both dismissed.

Miranda's frozen in place as he kisses her hand. A deer spotting a hunter is the appropriate term. She nods apprehensively as she gives a smile to match. "Good day, Ser. Seven bless and keep you." She falls in beside Viola and nods weakly to indicate they can go. She looks almost panicked but is taking it in stride.

Viola lets Miranda walk just ahead, strolling just behind her elbow, quite skilled at keeping just the right amount of space between them and staying in pace, yet somehow giving the feel of leading the way out of the manse. "He's a sweet boy," she says once they're out of the Tyrell's earshot. "He likes to talk nicely to nice girls, evidently even when they wear septa's clothes. I wouldn't mind it. Let's just try not to pull his heartstrings, eh?"

Miranda shakes her head in alarm. "I would hope I'm not," she says, although she sounds troubled by it. "He's generous and sweet- yes… but I'm not leaving the Faith to remarry, no matter what my father hopes. I even asked him if my father put him up to being so… kind to me."

"Oh, myy," Viola responds with a low, tumbling chuckle as they make their way through the manse, the doors up ahead that will soon guide Miranda onto Sphinx Street. "Well, the poor boy's never been lucky in love, I'm afraid. I only don't want him to get his hopes up, an odd a place to put them as it would be."

Miranda looks absolutely guilt-struck. "He is so very nice. If I was an unmarried maiden again, and he smiled at me like that? I'd be begging my father to draw a contract between us," she says with a sad smile. She presses her hand to her forehead as she shakes her head. "I have no intention of hurting your lord or leading him on. Please know that Mistress Viola."

Viola chuckles again, an amused, low and salty sort of sound that matches the twinges of Riverlands in her voice. "I just hope he knows that, Ser Loryn and his happy endings and star-crossed storybook lovers. I'll save you anymore blushes, septa." She steps around Miranda and opens the door for her, led by a strong shoulder. "Now you be careful out there."

"Thank you," the septa says, although she does blush a little. "Seven watch over you, Miss Viola. I'll be cautious… last thing he needs is to try to 'rescue' me again, right?" It's met with a faint smile and a weak chuckle.

Viola tosses her head back and starts to laugh-she cuts it off short quickly, or else it would have been bound to be so loud and boisterous Loryn would certainly be able to hear it all the way inside. "Ahh," she shakes her head, smiling, "Aye, true enough, septa, true enough."

Miranda bows politely and heads out back in the direction of the distant sept.

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