(123-01-22) A Singular Case
A Singular Case
Summary: Having been asked to run Princess Visenya's household, naturally one of Lady Ynys Trant's first thoughts is to acquaint herself with the princess's ladies-in-waiting…
Date: 26/01/2016-01/02/2016
Related: Takes place an hour or two after this.

Chambers of Lara and Vynesa - Guest Tower - Starfall

The sun is high and Starfall is wide awake. Lady Ynys Trant has no chambers of her own to go to, whilst a small swarm of servants is engaged in moving her and her daughter's belongings to a suite nearer Princess Visenya's; and, having attended to several small pieces of the princess's business and her own, she turns next to the project of acquainting herself with the ladies Lara Gargalen and Vynesa Manwoody, whose reactions to the appointment of a stranger as Mistress of Keys over their own lovely heads must be gauged sooner or later.

The growing warmth of the day has her in sleeveless sandsilk, of a lurid green which would wash out colouring less richly vivid than her own, with her lightly muscled arms bare and her luxuriant, dark, silvering curls tied at the back of her neck by an ivory silk ribbon wrapped several times round and tied with a careful knot but no bow. Each of her wrists is circled by its own harmonious chaos of bronze and green and ochre bracelets; her only other piece of jewellery is a heavy dark golden signet ring engraved with the hanged man of House Trant of Gallowsgrey, on the third finger of her left hand.

A serving girl shows her into the sitting-room shared by the princess's ladies: only one is immediately apparent, and being at a glance somewhat more mature than seventeen must be… "Lady Lara?" she inquires in low, mild, velvety tones. "My name is Ynys Trant; it's a pleasure to meet you."

Lara was glad to be back. Relieved. As if a heavy load had been taken off her shoulders. It has taken her only a few days to get used to the quarters provided to her and the other lady-in-waiting to Princess Visenya - Lady Vynesa Manwoody. It is quite a coincidence really, for Ynys to encounter the Cockatrice in said living-room, as Lara Gargalen has been mostly out and about, acquainting herself with whatever diversions Starfall has on offer. When the woman of obvious Dornish origin but Westerosi name of House enters, Lara rises from where she was seated on a comfortable arrangement of pillows, a task she accomplishes in one fluid movement, exhibiting a slightly predatory grace. Clad in a Dornish gown of green sandsilk that shifts about her shapely form, a few golden bangs adorning slender arms that are left bare, and a wealth of almost black hair that falls about her shoulders in a rather untamed manner, the woman is comparatively young still, even if older and of a more ripe beauty than the seventeen-year old Vynesa.

There is also a certain way about her looks and bearing that suggests she has already tasted from the delights life has on offer, a relaxed sensuality in her gait as she approaches the visitor with a smile that is at first polite. "Lady Trant," she greets with a curtsey, more an elegant hint of one than an overly courteous gesture. Still, the hazel eyes of Lara will lower momentarily in an expression of respect towards the older woman. "Yes. I am Lara of House Gargalen. One of Princess Visenya's companions.", she informs softly, as she meets the gaze of the visitor, and a faint smile forms on her comely features.

With the easy serenity becoming to one who is at home here, rather than the hesitance of an intruder, Lady Ynys waits where she is for Lady Lara to come to her. Her great dark eyes bestow meanwhile a considering (indeed almost a searching) glance. "Lady Vynesa is not here, I gather? … Too bad," and she gives a single shake of her head to accompany this cool statement of regret; "I had hoped the three of us might take our luncheon together here. Princess Visenya has asked me to serve as her Mistress of Keys," she explains, "and so I should like to begin to know you both."

A slow shake of the head is offered in immediate reply to the question, hazel eyes lingering on Ynys Trant as Lara looks up to meet the taller woman's gaze. "She is not," the Gargalen affirms then, with a vague gesture of the hand. "She must be somewhere, on some errand for the Princess, I assume." Her gaze is curious and she lifts a brow is silent surprise when Ynys states her position awarded to her by the Princess. Not a single word that would question the authority thus claimed by the Trant does leave her shapely lips, though, as Lara steps away from the woman and gestures towards the table, low as many encountered here in Dorne, at a comfortable height that can be reached whilst lounging on the comfortable pillows of blue silk that are scattered about it. "I shall send for refreshments," she announces smoothly, and does so with a mere gesture of the hand towards a servant lingering close by.

"I agree, it would be nice to get more acquainted with you, my lady, especially since we are to serve the same Princess of Dorne." Even if only by marriage. "I have been in her service for almost a year now. A lady-in-waiting since shortly before Princess Visenya's marriage. But still, I am surprised…", Lara intones, her hazel eyes flitting over Ynys Trant's form as she half-turns, facing the other, as the Gargalen lady brushes a black strand of hair out of her view. "A Lady Trant doing service here in Dorne? Isn't your presence… required elsewhere…?" A vague but elegant gesture of her hand, in lack of the appropriate knowledge perhaps of where House Trant has its seat.

Green sandsilk brushes the tops of Lady Ynys's sandaled feet as, accepting Lady Lara's implicit invitation with a nod, she makes her unhurried, slightly swaying way to that low table. However long she has been sitting at Westerosi tables, in Westerosi chairs, she lowers herself to her knees and half-reclines against two or three convenient silken pillows as bonelessly as any Dornish creature half her age, her forearm draped over her hip, the gentle curves the years have added to her lean body displayed with nonchalant grace.

"Almost a year?" she murmurs. "Then I'm sure I shall rely upon your intimate knowledge of the princess and her customs…" When the inevitable question is uttered, she watches Lady Lara in silence for a long moment, giving perhaps the unintentional effect of deciding how much the younger woman needs to be told. "I am a widow," she says at last, "and I've become 'Lady Ynys' again for the present purpose. When Princess Amarei heard that my husband had passed away and I had come home to Dorne, she wrote to ask of me this service on her good-daughter's behalf. The suggestion met with Princess Visenya's favour. And here," she lifts a dark eyebrow of her own, "we are."

Lara Gargalen walks beside Ynys when the older woman accepts the invitation and lowers herself into the casual seating position on one pillow while leaning against another, sand silk shifting about her that shows a slightly different shade of green in comparison to the color the Trant lady wears, this more of an almost turquoise. "I've been sent to Sunspear, for that purpose," the Gargalen confides with a smile that grows a bit in warmth, "to help Princess Visenya with getting acquainted with the customs of Dorne." The Dornish ways. "Still, soon after the wedding we were departing for Oldtown, so… this was more about me getting acquainted with the Westerosi ways," a soft sigh there, "and I will not lie to you, I am glad to be back in Dorne."

Even so, Lara lowers her gaze for a moment, when Ynys clarifies her status as a widow. "I am sorry," she utters smoothly, "that your return to Dorne would have been caused by such a tragic circumstance. But still, I suspect for you it must be a convenient turn of events as well, to return to Dorne." Better that, perhaps, than being merely tolerated in a Westerosi castle with Westerosi relatives by marriage. "Was your marriage," Lara asks in an afterthought, "graced with children?"

"I am pleased to feel the warmth of the Dornish sun on my skin again," Lady Ynys allows — and what skin it is, too, a rich caramel flawless but for a faint knife scar high on one arm, glowing with health, redolent of a honeyed, spicy scent which must surely be teasing at Lady Lara's senses across the table in between. She lowers her own eyes for an instant in receipt of Lady Lara's rather mixed but not wholly mistaken condolences, and murmurs as she lifts her gaze again to meet the other's, "Thank you. I have four children; and so far also four grandchildren, with another coming in a few months' time.” A pause. “You'll meet my daughter, Lady Alysia: she is with me here. She's a year younger than Lady Vynesa and the princess suggested they might be suitable companions." The few loose dark and silver curls framing her face shift as she tilts her head; she inquires, "You didn't care for Oldtown? Or do I assume too much?"

Lara Gargalen smiles, it is a smile that grows slowly in intensity. “Oh, the Dornish sun… is but one factor of many,” she states, shifting into a more comfortable lean against the pillows, a motion that stirs the play of sandsilk about her form, and rearranges the black tresses about her shoulders. Her own skin is of olive color, much lighter than that of Ynys. Hazel eyes linger on the Trant widow, as the Gargalen lady considers her words. “Four children? And some of them stayed behind in Westeros,” Lara muses thoughtfully, tilting her head to the side. “Your daughter… Oh yes, I believe Vynesa shall be delighted to make her acquaintance. She is a kind soul, and probably very suitable.” More suitable than a certain scandalous Gargalen lady, perhaps. The question, posed in all candidness, earns a low snort from the Cockatrice, and she laughs, a truly amused melodious laughter that is easy on the ears. “I hated Oldtown,” she confesses after a moment, her dark eyes glinting as she meets the gaze of the newly appointed Mistress of Keys. “I… may have had some difficulty to blend in with the Westerosi ladies.” She shrugs, a fluid elegant motion. The mirth dims from her expression when Lara Gargalen shoots Ynys Trant an inquisitive glance. “You’ve heard about the circumstances of our departure…?”

In contrast to Lady Lara’s shifting and shrugging, Lady Ynys’s long-legged, semi-recumbent form remains now languidly, beautifully still in the place in which she has settled herself… though something in the younger woman’s thoughtful mien as they regard one another, and in her choice of words, inspires the lift of a dark eyebrow. “‘Left behind’? A curious way to phrase it, Lady Lara… a mother can’t keep grown children on leading-strings,” she remarks lightly, smiling, “following her wherever she may go to the end of her days. Whether the girls suit, we will see in time; but they are much of an age and Princess Visenya mentioned to me she thought perhaps Lady Vynesa feels it, sometimes, being the youngest of your usual trio. Those four or five years are the difference between girlhood and womanhood, wouldn’t you agree? … She didn’t speak to me,” she goes on, narrowing her gaze slightly, “of how she came to leave Oldtown. Is there a tale you consider I ought to hear?”

A melodious chuckle escapes Lara Gargalen, and she shakes her head, “Forgive me, I am perhaps a little biased through my own conviction…” Her gaze flickers with open admiration over Ynys Trant’s frame, “And yes, of course, grown children do have a right to their own opinions. And if they indeed enjoy living there…” She lets her words trail off, hazel eyes lifting to the servant. A servant that returns just now, with another servant in tow, one of them carrying a flagon of what appears to be Dornish red and two goblets, and the other bringing two platters with finger food, dates and olives, slices of meat left overnight in a spicy marinade before being roasted over the open fire, flat bread with a hot sauce, and another bowl of fruit. All of this is placed on the low table, the two goblets are poured, and handed to the two ladies, and the flagon left there beside the platters.

The servants withdraw, and Lara’s attention shifts back to Ynys. “Lady Vynesa is young, yes,” she agrees, “much more of a girl indeed, in comparison.” A slight smirk there, as she continues with amusement lacing her tone. “Especially to someone like me, Lady Ynys. Even if I pursue my interests mostly when she is not around, I am aware. She is aware. So I am sure she will appreciate someone of more innocence.” Inferring Lady Alysia is one such innocent soul. The Gargalen takes a sip from her goblet, the smile remaining on her features, even if her gaze takes on a slightly thoughtful expression when the taller and darker-skinned Dornishwoman admits not having heard of the manner of their departure from Oldtown.

“I shall tell you, because… as you will now hold this position, I am sure you’ll hear of it sooner than later.”, Lara drawls, running her index finger over the rim of the goblet she still holds in her other hand. “It had to do with a knight in our retinue, Ser Manfryd Qorgyle, also known as the Scorpion. He stirred some trouble in Oldtown, and he was accused of some atrocities he did not commit. Regardless, it seemed best advised for us to leave Oldtown, as the public opinion had already swayed against us.” There is a faint glint in her dark eyes in the moment she speaks Manfryd’s name, a slight twitch there at the corner of her mouth; still when she ends, the smile has faded from her features and Lara Gargalen takes another sip of the red wine that will leave a faint stain on her lips, her gaze meeting that of Lady Ynys as she gauges her reaction.

The elder lady is, it must be assumed, entirely aware of the appearance of leonine sensuality she presents, half-sprawled and half-propped-up at her ease in green sandsilk which hardly forbears to outline her figure, her lustrous black and silver curls spilling over her shoulders, the line of her elegant throat continuing unbroken by jewellery deep into the bodice of her gown. She meets Lady Lara’s stare with nonchalance, indeed with unconcern, listening with courteous interest and nodding once or twice, until at the first sound of the servants’ arrival her gaze flicks across to the far doorway. Recognising their luncheon she pays then no further heed to the girls or to the platters, affecting still to find the lady-in-waiting a more intriguing subject for her attention. She draws in much, presents a sympathetic reflection, but little more.

When offered wine she lifts her hand slowly to clasp the cup, her many-hued bracelets shifting against her wrist; she sips, she holds that first taste in her mouth and quirks her eyebrows as though in approval of the vintage; she murmurs a quiet “Ah!” in answer to the tale of the Scorpion; and at last, when her companion has fallen silent again, she ventures, “Your interests, Lady Lara…? Do you refer to something in particular? I don’t know you; I don’t like to assume.”

Lara Gargalen cannot boast to be of a similar unobtrusive because not openly voiced sensuality. But then again, her exposure to Westerosi society has been limited, compared to Lady Ynys Trant, who is more subtle in both presence and words. A fact that will soon again be confirmed. When asked about her interests, the Cockatrice shifts one again, assuming a casual sideways lean, the goblet still held in her hand, and a wicked grin appears on her comely features. “Handsome men.”, she drawls with a slight roll of her hazel eyes. “No!” Her hand lifts, index finger pointing upwards as she suppresses a giggle. “Strike handsome. Just men.” She lifts the goblet to her lips and takes a good sip from it, the food for now ignored, her head tilts to the side, black tresses falling over her shoulder. Her gaze meets that of Ynys Trant with a look of faux innocence. “You must have been away from Dorne for quite a while… Or you’d have heard about me.”, this Lara adds with an amused giggle, before she does put the goblet down onto the table and reaches out for a slice of roasted meat to nibble on.

Lady Ynys stretches slowly up into a sitting position, cross-legged in her own nest of pillows, and plucks an olive from amongst its fellows as her first approach to luncheon.

“Ah, I understand,” she allows, smiling crookedly, saying no more of Lady Lara’s confessed hobby or her flirtatious ways even in this very conversation. “I have visited from time to time,” she goes on, “but I haven’t lived in Dorne for quite some years, you’re right…” A second olive, of a different variety, black rather than green. The taste is more pleasing; her lips curve deeply. “Of course some things are the same, but all the people, all the gossip… I wonder whether you have any other anecdotes for me, from your first year with Princess Visenya?” The courteous implication being that there shall be other such years. “You have had such a privileged vantage point upon court life, from the time when she entered it. I would value your thoughts upon how she has begun in Dorne, and how she has found her new life here.”

“Anecdotes?”, echoes Lara Gargalen with a raised brow. “What would you like to hear?” Her hazel eyes narrow just so as she takes a bite from her slice of spiced roasted meat, her smile deepening slowly as she considers. “Her match was not exactly a love match in the beginning,” she states then, in a conversational tone. “And Princess Visenya felt she had to fight for acceptance by the Dornish… A sentiment perhaps not quite so unfounded. There are some like the Scorpion, who have openly opposed her. She managed to earn the respect of most,” the Cockatrice continues, “when we were on our way to Skyreach, there was an attempt made on Prince Torren’s life – and she took the snake bite that was meant for him.” Her gaze grows a bit thoughtful there. “It was after her wedding, and we were on our way to the next, of Lady Fowler to Ser Maelys Targaryen. This marriage,” Lara intones, shooting Ynys an ominous glance, “did not happen, however. Lady Fowler’s paramour, Ser Lorenzo Yronwood, protested against the match and challenged Ser Maelys to meet him in a duel. Ser Maelys…” A hand reaches for the goblet of wine to wet her throat, and the Gargalen shifts ever so slightly in her posture, hazel eyes glinting at the memory, “Ser Maelys killed him. And decided he needed no matrimonial bond to prove his affection to Lady Alaeyna Fowler…”

Letting Lady Lara go on as she wishes, Lady Ynys applies herself in earnest to that cold roasted meat which looks delicious and proves indeed to be so. She has been taking her meals, since coming to Dorne, with a relish which would surprise the inmates of Gallowsgrey.

With her mouth full she can only widen her eyes at the mention of the snake, in a signal to go on, by all means; when Lady Lara digresses from political into sexual scandal, as is probably inevitable given her ‘interests’, she swallows meat and frustration alike and licks clean her fingertips. Her quiet savouring of the taste, the fullness of her lips and the breath she happens in that moment to exhale, imbue this casual gesture with an enviable air of carnality.

But by the time she has gathered herself to interrupt, the younger woman has related the death of Ser Lorenzo Yronwood — and the elder’s curiosity seems cooler, more focused, more intent. She has given only her married name thus far — Lady Lara cannot yet know she is by birth an Yronwood, and that that young man who lost his life for love of Lady Fowler was her cousin — but more than that… “You leave out, Lady Lara, the details I’d most wish to hear,” she protests quietly, taking up her wine to drink. She has a number of questions and she unleashes them steadily, one after the other. “When and where was the princess injured in this attempt upon Prince Torren’s life? What was discovered of the perpetrators? Were they brought to justice? Have there been other… definite incidents of hostility against her, if of a less deadly nature? And do I understand you to say that this man you call the Scorpion, who has shown ill will toward her, is a knight in Prince Torren’s own retinue?” Her tone shifts into incredulity.

It was not like Lara held back detail on purpose, rather that the mention of one occurrence led to the next, and how could she be sure, just what kind of gossip Lady Ynys Trant would be interested in? Her hand holding another stripe of roasted meat between thumb and index finger stops halfway to her mouth, when Lara looks up and realizes her brief lineout of the journey to and the events at Skyreach from last summer have caught the darker-skinned lady’s attention. Nudged towards the points that do interest Ynys, the Cockatrice obliges with a faint smile. “I am of course willing to tell you all I know…”, she assures – well, perhaps not all of it. “It happened last July, at an oasis we made camp at which had an ancient hall, where we all gathered to eat and spend the night later. A ‘gift’ was brought by a messenger – a belated wedding present…” Her words trail off as hazel eyes go distant for a moment and Lara recalls that particular evening.

“It was one of those many Targaryens who were around at that time. Ser Gemon or something,” A light shrug of her shoulders, that instantly reflects in the slight shift of sandsilk over her form. “He, and a Westerosi bastard girl brought a basket with… a bolt of Myrish lace for Princess Visenya, and another ‘present’ for Prince Torren beneath it, or so they said.” Her demeanour still thoughtful, as she takes a bite from the spiced treat, chewing it carefully as she tries to remember. “That present turned out to be a snake. Ser Gemon and his ‘friend’ were seized at once… but then it turned out they were innocent… And the culprit was a squire to another Targaryen knight… Willem Fossoway, sent by the Tyrells. To kill our Dornish Prince and sow discord. An intrigue, judging from what I’ve heard. The Fossoway got his share, almost beaten to death by Prince Maelys who had ridden out to meet us there, with Lady Fowler. The squire was questioned later, I believe.” She tsks, shaking her head ever so slightly. “I don’t think he came out of it all alive.” No sympathy there in her tone, nor the slightest hint of regret.

“As for Ser Manfryd…” Hazel eyes lift to meet the gaze of Ynys Trant, and Lara’s features take on an odd expression, a slight sparkle there in her glance as she lets out a slightly exasperated sigh. “He killed a Ser Aelyn Targaryen, over a quarrel about what happened at the Red Rookery, shortly before the snake incident. He has a hot temper, the Scorpion.” A bit of fondness flashes briefly in Lara’s gaze, and her lips curl in a faint smile. “Prince Torren took him back into his retinue, after Ser Manfryd offered another piece of evidence to the Tyrell plot. And I…” Sensual lips are wiped with a napkin before Lara Gargalen reaches for her goblet of wine, her smile deepening. “I was asked to do my share to keep him in check. A task, I may not have quite succeeded in.” She sighs again and takes a good sip of Dornish red, glancing at Ynys over the rim of her goblet.

The suitable fate meted out to the conspirators has the power to move Lady Ynys to no more than a crisp nod, marking her satisfaction with the end of that tale as well as her readiness to move on from it. Luncheon is not an infinite repast: just enough of this, just enough of that.

“I have never regretted breaking my betrothal to a Tyrell,” is her only comment upon that house and its villainy. She selects a piece of bread and dips it speculatively in the bowl of sauce before her, holding it over her other hand to ward against drips en route to her mouth. She pauses before taking a bite: “And is the Scorpion handsome,” she inquires, lips softening into something nearer a smile, “or is he just a man?”

The tale seems to have brought up old memories, and Lara's gaze turns distant for a moment as she takes another sip from her goblet of wine, lips curving upwards when she notes that crisp nod of the other woman. "I've managed not to encounter any Tyrells whilst in Oldtown," she confides, tilting her head slowly to the side in a slightly contemplative fashion, as she lowers the goblet, resting the hand holding it casually in her lap. The rather direct question has her hazel eyes widen, then her lips curl in a slightly amused smirk. "Am I that easily seen through…?", Lara drawls, lifting a brow. "But yes. He is. Handsome. And a man."

If that’s all it takes, that’s all it takes; and chewing that mouthful of flatbread anointed with what has transpired to be a magnificently spicy sauce Lady Ynys nods in understanding, though it may not be the understanding Lady Lara supposes it to be. “What is the nature of his quarrel with the princess, I wonder…?” Asking nonchalantly, she sips her wine to cool her tongue. “How does he express himself? In the way I have heard already from one or two other Dornishmen in Starfall, or…?” Another sip. Really a remarkable sauce. “Is he the only one in Prince Torren’s circle who feels this way, do you think, or is he — the only one who speaks aloud?”

"I wish I knew," Lara states with a slight roll of her hazel eyes, "but I believe it is mostly his behaviour that has been problematic. Like…", and here her features soften into a smile, "a child that rebels against rules being imposed upon him - by a former Targaryen, of all!" A soft chuckle there. "Princess Visenya… has already adapted quite well to her current situation, I would think. Still, the Scorpion apparently knows how to sting with his words and deeds, to irritate the Princess." More wine is sipped slowly, savoring the taste, as the Gargalen lady considers the next question of Ynys Trant. "I told you, he is of a rather hot-tempered disposition. So while I think, he still goes in open opposition towards her now and then - her overall acceptance among the Dornish has improved. So yes… I would think he is a rather singular case."

"The case is singular," echoes Lady Ynys in quiet agreement, "yours and his. A knight of Dorne who has sworn his spear, his life, and his honour to House Martell has set himself up in open opposition to a princess of House Martell, the wife of one liege and the expectant mother of another — to use your words, he rebels against her, he irritates her, he stings her, by deeds as well as words — and the hot temper of which you speak with fondness has led him already to kill a kinsman of hers, suggesting his enmity may perhaps go very deep. And because you like wrapping your thighs around him you think this is harmless and boyishly sweet."

She continues in the same even, matter-of-fact tone, setting down her goblet and yet keeping her hold upon Lady Lara's gaze by means of her own fathomless, unflinching dark eyes.

"Do you truly suppose no disaster can come from such a man? Why did you leave Oldtown in such a hurry, if his behaviour was not a threat to the peace bound together by this royal marriage? A child trying his limits may break a vase — a man grows beyond vases,” is her dry opinion. “What will he say, this lover you indulge and excuse, the next time he's in a temper? What will he do? For your part you were trusted to hold him in check; by your own admission you have not done so… A royal lady-in-waiting is always a path to the princess who has her service, that is the nature of court life; but when the path is such an easy way, so well-trodden, admitting those who should be excluded, she who guards it is at risk of becoming not a support and a strength but a point of weakness. I trust your loyalties are more fixed than they appear, Lady Lara: that you will hold fast to the princess you serve, rather than the men you fuck." She tears off another piece of flatbread and looks down to find the dish of sauce and dip it in. "Try this," she advises coolly, glancing up again at the younger woman, "it's very good."

Lara Gargalen considers herself having been quite helpful to the newly appointed Mistress of Keys, so when she hears what Lady Ynys has to say, her eyes widen momentarily in realization that she is being reprimanded? And so her own talkativeness and attitude cools in a likewise manner - at least for a moment. "I don't think he is harmless," she stresses. "And in fact I am angry at him for complicating things. To tell you the truth," not that it was any of her business, "my legs haven't wrapped about him of late. In the hope it will teach him some wisdom." A hand runs through her black tresses, her chin lifting as she shoots the Trant widow a glance. "What has happened to him in Oldtown has left its traces on him. He seems, after all, able to learn, also in more regards, as it has led him to rethink his prejudices, at least pertaining to some Targaryens." This stated with an ominous glance towards the lady, as Lara shifts into a slightly more comfortable position.

"I sense an appreciation for candour in you, my lady. So I shall not insult you by not speaking my mind on this. I admit my failure in using my charms to educate a rather stubborn, hot-tempered Scorpion in regards to tact and a bit of political wisdom. No, I admit I underestimated the time it would take me to get him there. Princess Visenya…" Her words trail off and she sighs. "Ironically enough, I am quite loyal to her, Lady Ynys, given we did not have the best start in our acquaintance. I do happen to have sense, even if most find that hard to believe. So yes, in that assessment you are right. I don't rely on just one particular cock to keep me happy. But I admit… in the case of the Scorpion, I'd prefer him to be more…" Her brows twitch upwards as she searches for the right word. "Cooperative." Hazel eyes flit down, and the goblet is lifted once again to her lips as she drains it to the last drop. "He may be a fool, but I haven't quite given up yet to administer some sense to him." And as if she were trying to appease the widow of Gallowsgrey, Lara reaches out for some flatbread to enjoy a bite of it and the spicy taste of the sauce, her eyelids fluttering for a moment, before her lips curve upwards in obvious approval and delight.

Of course by the time Lady Lara takes up her piece of flatbread Lady Ynys has made considerable inroads into the quantity of it set out for their luncheon, eating steadily and methodically while she listens, picking also at the olives and figs, pouring wine into her own goblet and leaving the flagon where her companion, separated from her by a broad expanse of table as well as their differing perspectives, can reach it if and when she wills.

“You start afresh with me, Lady Lara,” she reassures her, and in truth she has exhibited no ire, no dislike, “but you understand you can only do that once. I do prefer candour, behind closed doors, provided it remains respectful. But in public I have no room for anything but the loyalty, the discretion, the respect,” she repeats, “and the consideration which is Princess Visenya’s due from every single member of this household — and I include Prince Torren’s men, it’s absurd to place them in a different category. I am astonished by what you have told me of this Ser Manfryd Qorgyle. Perhaps he has performed other great services to House Martell of which I am unaware, and which have earned his aberrations a greater measure of the prince’s tolerance — that may well be the case — but I remain,” her gaze flicks up to Lady Lara from the platter from which she was just selecting another fig, “astonished.” She bites into the fig.

“When the Dornish people look at this household, what do they see?” she asks a moment later. “Dissension, scandal, opposition to the marriage, opposition to the princess among those who should be her staunchest supporters — and make no mistake, there are some who’ll take their cue. If one of Prince Torren’s own knights is outspoken against his wife, the mother of his unborn child, an implicit license is granted to other lords and ladies of Dorne to persist in their hostility toward her and the bonds of peace between Dorne and Westeros of which she is the living symbol. In this campaign, which is of paramount importance for all of us in her service, the object of which is the stability and durability of her marriage and its acceptance among the people her child will someday rule, we do not have a united front. We have wildfire in our midst. You think I’m overstating the case…?” She lets out a low, velvety laugh. “Consider, Lady Lara, the Dornish court and its passions. It can’t have changed so much since last I was here… It is neither an easy place nor a safe one. I am glad to hear you speak of your loyalty to the princess,” she declares with greater warmth, nodding to emphasise her words, “but in every other breath you speak of the efforts you have made with an eye to this man’s benefit first of all. However many other men may catch your interest, I think you care for this one’s fate, don’t you? Yet your charms have not governed him; in denying your favours you only lose your hold; and he is not by any means your private trouble. He is the princess’s, and I am concerned that now he is mine. Do you,” she asks Lady Lara quietly, sincerely, “wish him to become mine?”

A slow blink of affirmation is Lara Gargalen's reaction to Ynys telling her about loyalty and respect in public. "I haven't told you anything specific yet," she dares to interject, in regards to the Scorpion, "of what he has exactly done. It is not like he would challenge Princess Visenya verbally before others. And I have just assured you he may have learned something, which might lead to Ser Manfryd actually changing his ways…" Her brows lift, hazel eyes opening fully as Lara adds, "Also… he is Prince Torren's man. I suppose his loyalty would perhaps be a more effective means to get the Scorpion in line." A smile there, amused and confident. "Even so, I assure you, I am doing what I can. He is not my trouble, yes, I may nurture a certain fondness for him, that much I'll admit. But that does not keep me from seeing the potential perils in his behaviour - such as it was, in Oldtown. The return to Dornish lands can only help in reminding him of his origins and the loyalty he owes House Nymeros Martell. So… no, I don't wish him to become your concern, as I hope Ser Manfryd has been humbled sufficiently from his recent experience in Oldtown. But if he does…" Her shoulders lift in a shrug, "I cannot help it, can I?"

The Mistress of Keys, who has been making a fine luncheon throughout their talk, considers the lady-in-waiting for the time it takes her to bite into and luxuriously devour another fig.

“You say now that you’ve not said specifically what Ser Manfryd has done, you make all manner of assurances, but the language in which you’ve been unspecific has left little room for you to step backwards now… And yet you hope that he has been humbled, that he may have learned something which might change his ways. I see indeed, Lady Lara,” her eyes narrow, and yet her tone remains mild, “that you cannot help it.”

She appears to have had enough of the Scorpion, however, for the time being — it would be too much to expect after what has passed between them that she’ll put him wholly from her mind! — and her low and melodious voice, her determined attention, are turned next upon more prosaic household matters. “Tell me then, if you will, of your usual routine with the princess…? What duties are yours, and Lady Vynesa’s? How do the three of you customarily pass your days?”

Air leaves the Gargalen lady’s lungs and her physique slumps ever-so-slightly when the topic of the Scorpion is dropped. Her confident smile remains, when she reaches for an olive and pops it into her mouth, leaving Ynys’s finalizing remark uncommented, while replying to the request.

“Oh, of course!”

And Lara begins to go into the comparatively boring subject of the usual daily routine of one former Targaryen Princess and her two Dornish ladies-in-waiting.

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