(123-02-18) Duty Call(s)
Duty Call(s)
Summary: Duty obliges Ser Loryn Tyrell to call upon a lady connected with his family, who has lately lost her child; duty then calls him away again. Or so he claims.
Date: 18/02/2016
Related: Anything to do with these characters, really.

It's quite a hike up to the seventh floor chambers of Lady Margot Rowan and Lady Bryony Tyrell, not to mention the latter's ever-expanding brood of little roses. Perhaps that's what's been deterring the citizenry at large from paying condolence calls — that or the particular difficulty in approaching a mother of two who has now lost both her sons… Nonetheless, a man has to do what a man has to do; and when Ser Loryn presents himself he is shown in swiftly enough by a serving-maid in his house's own colours, and deposited in the presence of a very quiet septa whose name is something like 'Melarie'.

The maid requests deferentially that Ser Loryn be so good as to wait a moment; the septa (who remembers him a dashed sight better than he does her) offers him the usual Seven blessings, and hopes he is having a pleasant stay in Oldtown; feminine laughter can be heard from an adjoining chamber, most likely the property of his cousin Adarian's wife, Lady Bryony. She's almost always in a good mood. On her second pass the maid delivers a tray holding four goblets, a pitcher of fresh lemon water and a bottle of wine, and a plate of very small and colourful iced cakes of a kind visitors to the Hightower see a great deal of: she is just ascertaining Ser Loryn's preferred libation when another of the inner doors opens upon a strange new apparition. Lady Rowan, notorious for wearing pure white even in the city, smoothly rustling in night-black.

She has put on mourning, then. Albeit a mourning made of the finest silk cut in one of her modest yet unfailingly elegant styles, a mourning the severity of which alters her complexion from a healthy porcelain to the stark pallor of white marble and turns her eyes bluer than before. The seven-pointed star pendant she is never without, seventy-seven diamonds set in white gold, gives a fiery glitter from her bosom; her only other piece of jewellery is her wedding ring, which despite everything she keeps to just as faithfully.

At her heels is the smaller, rounder figure of Lady Bryony, blonde-haired and lilac-gowned, with her arms full of a little boy who must be her youngest — unless she's had another. Lord Davith Tyrell. He has a great deal to say for himself, most of it bad-tempered and at a pitch painful to the ears.

"Good day, Ser Loryn," is Lady Rowan's smooth greeting as she moves nearer to him, her bearing dignified to a fault, her hands clasped at her waist. "How good of you to call. I see you're being looked after," she inclines her dark head graciously toward the maid, "just as we should have wished…"

Loryn Tyrell steps into the rooms of the Hightowers, offering a little smile. "Lady Margot, Lady Bryony.", he greets them both with a little bow, "I hope you don't mind the intrusion. I've come to… to see how are you holding up." The latter directed at Margot. The Tyrell is in fine silks as usual, golden and green featuring very prominently.

"Very good of you," repeats the contralto murmur of Lady Rowan. She inclines her head to him next, flowing black locks shifting over her black shoulders. The littlest Tyrell lord among the assembled company keeps fussing; the ladies exchange a glance and his mother passes him across to his 'aunt', in a procedure as practiced as hers for sitting down with him and letting go with one hand just long enough to smooth her skirts. She regards the elder such Tyrell with eyes shadowed beneath. "I am well, all things considered." %rFor her a dainty armchair near a window, affording a view over the Whispering Sound and the best of the afternoon light for her perpetual embroidery. The frame set up there shows the beginnings of a winter garden, done in thread of silver and gold and shades of white silk, not a hint yet of colour. Two stylised golden rowan trees rise so far from her snowdrifts, each barren of leaf or flower or fruit. Others may be inferred from a sketch upon the cloth.

Lady Bryony, empty-handed, chases the maid away with a flutter of her hands and a blithe insistence that, "Oh, I'll see to that. Loryn, how are you?" she inquires sincerely, pouring lemon water into the remaining goblets as the girl takes her leave with a curtsey. "What shall your next production be? Something I might succeed in persuading this one to attend, I hope!" And her gaze, which has hardly left Lady Rowan, flicks back again as she delivers unto her the first goblet, then flutters across to the septa with hers, and swoops past the table again to collect her own. Other chairs are arranged at varying distances outwards from Lady Rowan's window: she ushers him to the one nearest, and perches her own plump little figure on the second-nearest. The manner of a lady-in-waiting in attendance upon a cloistered princess whose callers are wont occasionally to overshadow her own consequence.

Loryn holds on to his wine as he goes to choose a seat. "Well, right now we're all busy preparing for the Dolphin Festival.", he tells Bryony, "Surely you'll attend? There'll be artists from all over the seven kingdoms and from beyond the Narrow Sea, so there's plenty of entertainment to be had. Some of it kid-friendly, too.", he adds with a thought to her offspring, "Let me know when you wish to attend and I'll make sure you all will be getting tickets." With all the people flutterng around, he chooses a seat as far in the corner as possible as if wanting to be out of the way.

For the moment Lady Rowan is occupied soothing the temperament of the great Lord Davith Tyrell, who became a deal less cranky as soon as he was transferred into her arms and seems now to be quieting just to listen to the very soft, low, purring song confided from her lips to his ear. The tune is that of a familiar nursery rhyme of the Reach; but she leaves out the words, perhaps so as not to compete with the other, more grown-up conversation. This is not unusual: Ser Loryn must hardly recall her without some miniature Tyrell or another delegated to her authority by their endlessly fertile mother.

"Oh! We've only the four littlest ones here with us," Lady Bryony is explaining to Ser Loryn, her rather pretty face having lit up at the thought, "and I daresay the two littlest are two little — but if we might bring the middle two… they've so been looking forward to the festival! And if you're putting on something that might be suitable for their first visit to the Whimsy I'm sure they'd find it a tremendous treat. Won't you come out with us, Mar, for the children's sake?" she teases gently. "Perhaps just once, mmm?"

Resettling Lord Davith in her lap, facing outwards now so that he might see what's going on, Lady Rowan essays a small, patient smile. "Shall we see?" she suggests, not for the first time. Lady Bryony's campaign to entertain her and take her out of herself is becoming a menace. "Ser Loryn, it is kind of you indeed to think of our pleasures," she informs him with quiet firmness. "I have my own little contribution to make to this year's festival," and she lowers her eyes in ladylike humility, "and I must confess it has preoccupied me a great deal in recent days — you, responsible for so many of the city's amusements, must have so many demands upon your time… I hope we shall indeed have the opportunity before long to enjoy the fruits of your labours."

"Haven't you seen 'Mella and the Dragon' yet?", Loryn asks curiously. It was a family-friendly adaptation of a more rowdy show for adult audiences and it had Oldtown's first flying dragon after all. A dragon that did not only fly but breathed fire over the audience!

Loryn offers Margot a warm smile. "I look forward to seeing you at the Whimsy. We even got a brand-new supplier for upmarket food on the noble's gallery. And of course you will all attend my little party at Garden Isle?" Another lovely Dolphin festival tradition.

"We meant to go," sighs Lady Bryony, "so that we all might see the dragon; but, do you know, so many performances were sold out…" She blinks admiringly at Ser Loryn. "I suppose you must know! And then, of course…" Her gaze wanders across to her cousin, whom she has long named her sister.

Tucking her seven-pointed star inside her gown to discourage Davith's curiosity (which he tends, alas, to express via his several brand new teeth), Lady Rowan gives their visitor another deliberate, measured small smile. "We received your invitation two or three days ago," she admits, "and we must apologise for not answering it more promptly. Of course Lady Bryony will attend — and Ser Adarian, who has come for the festival — but I don't feel, such a large gathering… It may not be quite seemly, for me." Again that lowering of her eyes, to the soft curls of the baby boy in her lap.

Loryn nods to Bryony - of course he knows, but he doesn't brag about the coins clanking in his theatre's cofffers. "I understand, Lady Margot, but honestly, the Dolphin Festival is a celebration of the Seven first and foremost, there is nothing unseemly in celebrating that, surely?" He offers her a smile. "Don't stay long, if you don't feel well, but do attend!"

The lady's fingertips rise unconsciously to brush over the shape of her diamond star, concealed now beneath black silk; perhaps just knowing it's there lends her strength. "My thoughts are never far from the Seven at present," she temporises gently, "but I think it is for the best that I celebrate the Mother's festival in my own way, Ser Loryn. This year."

Loryn lifts his hands defensively. "Alright, alright.", he smiles, giving in easily, "Only trying to help…" He looks a little fidgety then, having run out of nice things to say or offer consolation. "So, how are the kids?", he turns to Bryony instead.

"Of course, I quite understand," insists Lady Rowan, smiling again — not because of any particular delight in her heart as she considers the young Tyrell and his plots for her entertainment, but because to smile is correct.

His next remark of course sets off Lady Bryony: several minutes later she concludes, "… And she's understanding so much of our talk now that we feel we have to go back to watching every word we say. Quite exhausting. And Davith of course has his teeth coming in," she nods to the infant presently nibbling at one of Lady Rowan's fingertips, "and I don't know what I'd do with him without Mar — he likes her so much better than he likes me. I suppose I ought to be jealous, but being so fond of her myself…" The usual end of this practiced recitation, to which all their callers are being treated at present when Lady Rowan has run out of things to say for herself; Lady Bryony delivers it with a helpless shrug of feminine acquiescence. "Some ladies simply have a knack. Like that lovely Septa Miranda of yours," but it's to Lady Rowan, rather than Ser Loryn, that she nods when naming her so.

Loryn has become a skilled actor, so he somehow manages to keep his eyes from glazing over. He isn't actually paying attention for a bit when suddenly a name does get him to perk slightly. "Of m—-? Oh." Luckily he realizes quickly enough that Bryony is speaking to Margot and not to him. "You're a friend of Septa Miranda's?", he asks her curiously.

Lady Rowan has been watching him whilst Lady Bryony spoke; she perhaps is more aware than her sister of that moment of surprise. "We became acquainted recently, yes," she explains smoothly. "She is a friend of yours, I take it?"

Loryn's jaw sets at the question. "I suppose so.", he says rather curtly and bangs the empty wine cup down on the table, before he rises to his feet. "I should not keep you any longer. Besides I'm needed at the theatre…", he explains his sudden urge to flight.

The ladies don't try to keep him. "If your duty calls," murmurs Lady Rowan, her gaze considering, yet guarded in its conclusions, quite almost as though she had noticed nothing. "Thank you again for stealing a few minutes for us."

Lady Bryony blinks at Lady Rowan, blinks at her goodcousin, and rises to show him. "Yes, thank you," she echoes. "It was lovely to see you; and I shall write you a proper answer to your invitation directly. The children will be so excited to see what you recommend during the festival… You'd know much better than us, what would be best for them." She smiles encouragingly.

"Of course, certainly.", Loryn mumbles, although he might not even be aware of what he just agreed to. He bows distractedly and hurries out.

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