(123-01-13) A Sign from the Gods
A Sign from the Gods
Summary: The gods work in mysterious ways.
Date: 13/01/2016
Related: Cloistered With the Crone, Heart Strings and Slipper Threads a bit

Lady Marsei is ensconced in her own personal conflict, unaware of any that might lie within the sept she now enters. She does not look it, from afar, draped prettily in shades of pale pink, the crushed gold floral pattern of the top layer of her gown glittering like the grand gems of the stars of the sept itself. Although always a regular patron, she has visited slightly less, since her marriage to Prince Dhraegon Targaryen; she's made fewer solitary visits, coming to pray accompanied from the Hightower by Septa Leire. Today she is alone, discounting the guards who wait outside, and she walks toward the statues with her head of long waving hair cast down. Rather than choose an altar, the lady sits as if there is some kind of invisible service in session.

Miranda's offering prayer at the feet of the Mother. She finishes whatever silent devotions she makes and rises, kissing the holy star around her neck. She turns to go about her duties and smiles as she spies the newly minted princess. "My lady—- Your Grace," she amends with a warm smile. She makes a half-bow from her waist in formal holy fashion. "If there is anything you need while you are here, please let me know. Otherwise I'll leave you to your prayers?" She looks around as if expecting Leire and frowns gently upon not seeing the other woman.

"Lady is fine," Marsei says gently, smiling humbly up at the septa. "I am not so transformed." She begins to lower her head once more, to look upon her lap and her hands twining there on the smooth fabric of her dress, but she finds herself looking up at Miranda on second thought. A quick study and a curious gaze, as if to say I know you, don't I— ? "I am afraid I don't know what to pray for, septa," she admits; her voice is warm toward Miranda, but it can't be denied that she sounds lost, looking out toward the faces of the Seven.

Miranda offers, "Septa Miranda, m'lady. Merryweather," she says of her father's house. "And sometimes not praying for anything in particular is best; when you open your heart and mind, sometimes we can hear Them more clearly."

"Merryweather," Marsei repeats quietly; if she knows something of the path that led Miranda here from a life of nobility, she does not say, but gives her a rather compassionate and, more, admiring, smile. It fades under the serious thought of the septa's advice. "That is heartening," she says, holding her hands tightly together; clinging to the words. Conflict crosses her fair brow. "I…" She starts, only to give a little shake of her head as if embarrassed.

Miranda smiles in her quiet way. "I've also found that speaking aloud the words that lurk in our heart helps make them weigh less on us," she offers. "Sometimes as we just let them flow, the answers come. Like hanging them in the air for the Seven to see and answer."

"Yes," the lady says, soft and knowing — and wistful, as well, toward advice she knows and loves and which evidently seems, to her mind, to fail her now. "You have the perfect words, septa. Such wise advice," she tells Miranda, so immediately sincere despite the sadness building in her voice.

Miranda offers, "I know Septa Leire is attending to your household. Perhaps she can offer better wisdom than I can. I've not been at my studies long," she says although that isn't really necessary. "She can hear confession- and by that I don't mean admission of sins but a bearing of th troubles that weigh us down." She looks over to the gentle Mother and admits, "That was what I was doing when you came in."

Mere mention of Septa Leire, however, prompts Marsei to tuck her head down nearly to her throat. Her chin trembles ever-so-slightly, her mouth tensing against a frown. "Septa Leire is in important communion with the Crone." She pauses. "I am sorry if I have interrupted you, septa… I— "She looks to the carved face of the Mother, managing a small, hopeful smile, pious, in its way. "Perhaps I will follow in your footsteps and seek the Mother's gentle hand." Absent Leire, that is.

The septa's expression goes flat. "I did not mean to upset or… offend, my lady Marsei, forgive me!" She sketches a curtsey quickly. "I am more than happy to help, if you wish it. I just thought you had a wiser person than myself to confide in. And you interrupt nothing; the Mother will always be here for me when I need her."

Marsei is quick to smile warm, rosy assurances, a turnaround from the trembling expression of a moment ago, even when traces of trouble linger behind her seawater gaze. "You should not be so quick to discount your own wisdom, Septa Miranda." She rises from the seat with a smoothing of her skirts. "Pray with me," she says like a hopeful suggestion far more than a demand.

"Of course," Miranda replies warmly. "I would be honored to. I found joy and peace in service to the Seven, and if I can help others feel that even for a little while…" She trails off with a shrug. "You seem to be held down by something, perhaps prayer will help your heart be light again."

"It so often does." Indeed, Marsei's look to the Mother, as she begins to walk toward it, is one of absolute love and devotion; the look of the truly faithful. "I just have not felt as myself lately," she says, tucking a strand of ginger hair behind her ear, but just as she risks becoming too forlorn, the lady she shakes her head and beams a smile at Miranda, deciding, for this moment, to be optimistic and have faith as she always has faith.

Miranda hazards a guess, "Because of… the wedding? I can only imagine how such an upheaval in ones life can turn the life around. Truly. No-one understands that more than I do right now, I think…" She laughs gently as she gives an understanding smile. "Or is there something more?"

Marsei gives a small laugh, a soft but energetic little sound that, were it not cut short, would have the potential to grow lively. Under other circumstances. She gives Miranda a curious look before answering. "I think the whole of the reach and probably half the Crownlands know my wedding had its fair share of stress," she says good-humouredly, "it is… it is different, being married, particularly to Dhraegon— " An understatement, but she amends, " — a Targaryen, but it has not been an upheaval. Not like the first time." It is her turn to turn an understanding smile, though it is subtle, to the septa.

Miranda gives a quiet nod. Again, she seems to have a deeper understanding on that topic. "So what, then, my lady? You weather that storm so gracefully, what is it then that has you so troubled?"

"I suppose it is a storm," Marsei says, "a… a great combination of things, all swirling together, clouding my mind. It is suddenly difficult to pick out one from the other. Oh, I sound silly." She pauses nearer the depiction of the Mother, staring up. "There is someone who I struggle to forgive," she admits quietly, "When usually I can see the Mother's mercy so clearly."

"There are some things even the Gods have trouble forgiving," Miranda says quietly. "Broken vows, betrayal of trust and faith… And we are only mortal, after all. We are not expected to be as perfect as our Gods, but to strive towards that goal."

"Yes," Marsei says, her voice going small but with a tremendous amount of conviction contained within. It seems Miranda has hit something quite on the nose, rather validating the lady's distress. "I only hope to honour the gods as best I can while I strive. I should not like to be cruel." She is so innately sweet-natured, such a thing might seem laughable to those who know her, even those who know the kind lady passingly — but Marsei takes it seriously, imploring the statue of the Mother. She approaches the altar to kneel.

Miranda follows alongside and kneels, her hands vanishing into the broad sleeves of her grey linen robes. "If your heart is wounded by your indecision, the Mother knows. She knows you are striving to follow her gentle example, and as long as you are striving towards that goal, She will smile on you." She looks up at the gentle face and sighs. "Some things can be -very- hard to forgive, even if we strain against the concept. But we must do what the Seven ask of us."

Marsei bows her head, both under the weight of this knowledge and in gratitude. "Thank you," she says quietly, accepting, and turns to prayer; silent, although her lips move with memorized verses.

Miranda looks up at the Mother's face and closes her eyes in thoughtful contemplation. "Perhaps your coming here is the sign I was asking her for," she comments quietly after a moment of prayerfilled silence.

Marsei eases, undisturbed, from her prayer to query curiously — and with a hint of bewilderment, "Oh?"

Miranda casts a guilty side-long glance. "I also… lost my first husband. My father would have me take a second…. I was asking the Mother for her council in the matter. If I wed, of course… I'd leave my service to the Seven." She adds in case it proves confusing, "I've yet to swear my final oath to the Gods out of love and obedience to my father."

Off a first empathetic look for Miranda's confession — the loss of her husband — Marsei's eyes start to widen; one can almost see her heartbeat racing in surprise at the very thought of the septa leaving her service to the Seven, but relief visibly washes over her face when Miranda reveals that she hasn't taken her final oath. Still, she is left looking distinctly unsettled. "What am I a sign of, septa?" She looks adrift. "I feel you are a sign, except I suddenly do not know of what."

Miranda glances down at her hands as she takes hold of her holy symbol. "I am not sure," she says simply. "If you were… happily wed to the Prince, and all things between you shining and golden- I would say it was a sign I should listen to my father and consider the young man who would make an -excellent- match." She frowns and continues, "But I think I am taking your visit as a sign I should remain in the service that I so love- even if my family will wish me do otherwise."

Marsei suddenly reaches for Miranda's wrists, tightly but warmly gripping them if she'll allow, bidden by an intent conviction. "Oh — yes! You must do what you love," she encourages, her smile almost desperate, as if she cannot express this to the young septa fast enough, "And service to the Seven is the most important thing of all. How precious your vows are, how shining and golden."

Miranda lets out a sigh of relief as her decision is met with glowing approval. "You see, my lady Marsei? When we voice our concerns aloud, the Gods have a way of providing the answers," she says with a small laugh. "We have -both- helped one another, as the Mother wished us to do no doubt."

"Bless the Mother," Marsei replies, soft but exultant, her smile almost awed. She brings her hands to her chest, folding them across the pink-and-gold pattern. "You have no idea what strange timing this has been. You're right; she truly must have a plan for all of us. I'm feeling much better, septa," she beams her rosy smile at Miranda, and at the statue. She lights a candle and seems to deem it time for more quiet reflection.

Miranda stands and bows politely. "I will leave you to your thanksgiving then," she says cheerfully. The air of the sept certainly feels lighter with both their weights lifted. "I shall be near should you need me for anything. I'm pleased I could be of service, and just as glad you have shown me the answer I sought."

Marsei gives the septa a parting smile, aglow in the light of the devotional candles, and delves quietly into her prayer to the Mother, infinite in her mercy and kindness.

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