(123-06-21) A Delivery of Andal Gold
A Delivery of Andal Gold
Summary: In preparing for a tournament at Starfall Castle, two Targaryens come into contact with a Sand courier and eight bottles of rather expensive wine.
Date: Date of play (21/06/2016)
Related: None

It is morning, and the castle is alive with activity as knights arrive and set up their tents for the tourney. Martell, and not Dayne, servants run about assisting. Directing the whole effort is Princess Visenya. The Princess is dressed in a sleeveless silk gown cut in the flowing Dornish style. It is dyed a brilliant shade of aquamarine blue, and is belted with a jeweled girle. She is strolling about the Lower Bailey on the arm of her brother Prince Daevon, and while she gives the servants instructions she also seems engaged in an unrelated conversation with her brother, "…I must admit I am selfish, and want you here with us."

Daevon's wearing similar shades of blue to Visenya. They're a matched pair today, oh so very clearly twins, that same silvery hair, the same height. He smiles at Visenya. "Well, as long as you don't expect me to actually help with the planning of this. I fear I'm far better suited to the tourneyfield than pulling the strings behind."

Unlike the two silver-haired royalty, the Sand bastard that approaches them is dressed in grays and browns, carrying an ornate wooden cask on his back. As he approaches, he bends the knee for them both with some visible difficulty due to its weight. "Pardon me, your Graces," Sceadu says. "I've a delivery from King's Landing. I've been ordered to deliver it personally to the Maester, though I do not see them here." His accent is Dornish, though the inflection is something more northern and deliberate. "Might you tell me where I could locate them?"

"Oh, heavens no. But I meant-" Visenya does not finish her thought as they are being approached by a messenger. She looks over the box curiously before her eyes find the face of the messenger. "Which maester?" She asks with a little raise of her brows. "The Dayne's have their own personal maester, maester Vaedarys is here, and my brother brought one with him." She gives Daevon an inquiring look once she says this.

"Don't," Daevon begins to says as Sceadu starts to kneel, but his protest's cut off, for all that he does look uncomfortable. "Stand, please." He looks at the cask curiously. "Which Maester is it that you're seeking?" His words echo Visenya's, he casts her a quick glance, and then looks to Sceadu awaiting the answer.

The bright-eyed youth stands when told to, a creeping look of embarrassment beginning to color his features. "It would be Maester Vaedarys, your Grace," he says, answering them both in the same sentence. His posture is erect and casual, regardless of the weight of the package lashed to his back. "An order was placed to the Broken Anvil in King's Landing and it arrived by carriage just this morning, wine for the tournament," he says in explanation. Of course, the shipment wasn't a secret of any kind. With the event going on here, messengers and couriers were coming through constantly, but they were generally just dropped off near the kitchens rather than brought personally to any one person.

"Ah." Visenya says, and then she turns to point to the smaller tower on the Upper Bailey. "He is staying in the tower that is housing House Martell. Go there, and inquire with the servants. They will assist you." She looks over the courier a moment before she wonders aloud, "Why would he need wine when we've so much of the stuff?" And then she shrugs before she says, "Maesters have unusual requests." A pause before she asks, "Are you alright with that? It looks awfully heavy."

"There's a lot of stairs," Daevon warns. "What sort of wine is it?" he asks curiously. "Maybe it's something special that reminds him of home?"

A slight flush of the cheeks crosses Sceadu's face. "Thankfully, your Grace, I've been blessed with a strong back, though I appreciate the concern." The cask is bound to his back by a wide leather belt that buckles just over his breastbone. He kneels briefly and unbuckles it, leaving the cask sitting on the ground. Standing, he turns the cask towards the pair of them, showing handsome hand-etched carvings and pyrographic etchings in the cask itself. It seems only large enough to carry six or eight medium-sized bottles of wine. When he opens the top of the cask, he reveals the tops of four wine bottles packed tightly with straw. "Eight bottles of Andal Gold, your Graces," Sceadu says. "I do not know who made the order, sadly. I only know their destination."

Visenya eyes the cask curiously when it is taken off of the young man's back, and shown to them. Once the cask is opened she peers inside before looking to Sceadu, "Do you know who would know who made the order?" She follows up that question with, "Take a bottle out so I may see it?" She does not seem inclined to reach into the cask herself. Perhaps the scars on the pale smooth flesh of the underside of her arm that look like a viper bite reveal her reluctance.

Daevon knows absolutely nothing about wine and so the name just has him smiling as he glances to Visenya. That's good wine? And then she's being cautious, and he's looking abashed by this.

Carefully, he removes one of the bottles and holds it up for the two of them to inspect. The bottle is of fine crystal glass with the drink inside carrying a rose gold color. "From what I understand, it is one of the finest wines served in the North, not to be confused with Arbor Gold, but a truly fine wine nonetheless. I would assume that it is a gift, your Grace, possibly for your consumption during the tournament." At this point, he begins to wonder whether or not he should be giving out this information, though if it were meant to be a surprise to the royalty, he'd have been told that much at the very least. "I confess, I'm not as knowledgeable about such things, but it does look quite appealing." Even the bottles themselves would fetch a high price alone, Sceadu estimates internally.

"I am not familiar with wine from the north." Visenya admits as she looks over the bottle curiously before she says, "The master's tastes must be wide reaching, indeed." She nods her head then, an indication that Sceadu may put it back. "This particular maester mixes medicines. It may be a component in his elixirs." This is noted to Daevon more than Sceadu. Her eyes find the courier again, however, and she looks him over curiously, "Do you work at the docks?"

"No, your Grace, I'm a courier from House Toland here in Dorne," Sceadu says. "Sceadu Sand, at your service," he says, bowing his head politely. "I have been transporting wine and other fragile goods personally through this area for years now, though with the tournament at hand, my assignments have involved less travel abroad and more running between Houses close to Starfall." He wasn't complaining, mind you. Northerners were typically more closed-minded and devout than his Dornish countrymen.

"You have experience with finding people all over Westeros, then?" Visenya inquires curiously before she follows up with, "You should drop off your wine to the maester, and then come seek me out again. I am Prince Torren's wife. We reside in the same tower as Maester Vaedarys." She looks away from the Sand then before she says, "I would not dream of keeping you longer, Master Sand, so please finish your work before you come see me."

Slightly taken aback by the request, Sceadu bows his head immediately. "Yes, your Grace," he says. "I won't be more than hour." He casually slips the bottle of wine back into the cask, packs it neatly, seals it and kneels to slip the belt back around his chest before buckling it. With a soft grunt, he rises to stand and bows once more to the Princess before excusing himself from her presence.

Later, Sceadu is shown into the apartments of the Prince and Princess. Princess Visenya is sitting on a low couch in the solar with a glass of wine in her hand. "Please come in, master Sand." She motions towards the chair opposite her. A servant comes over to offer a goblet to the courier. The Princess then gets to the point rather quickly, "I've a brother in Essos. The problem is I don't know where in Essos he is. He has a fleet of ships, however, and he is trying to set up trade. So, that could make him easier to find." She takes a sip from her goblet. "Do you know someone who could help me locate my brother?"

Almost timidly, Sceadu accepts the drink from the servant and sits across from Princess Visenya. "Generally if shipments are sent across Narrow Sea, a courier from Essos will handle delivery. I've only been once or twice to hand-deliver messages and, regrettably, I book passage on the next ship headed back." He takes a sip from the goblet and thinks for a moment. "However, a fleet of ships is much easier to find than a single man, even in Essos. What do you know about this fleet, your Grace?"

"Very little, I'm afraid." Visenya says with a sad little shrug of her shoulder. "My father sent my brother, you see, and he is not exactly keen on sharing his activities or plans with his daughters." She runs her teeth across her bottom lip thoughtfully before she says, "I had hoped that you knew of couriers familiar with Essos who would be willing to search my brother out to deliver a message. I would pay handsomely for such a service."

"I do know of some couriers that I've met in passing and have handed some messages off to one or two others. What I can do is travel there and give a description or a name, assuming that he's not changed either, and see what comes up. I will maintain secrecy about whatever information I find out and, if I do locate your brother, I will send notice to you to send your message along, depending on the secrecy needed," he says, watching her face carefully. "My employer," he says, meaning his father, "will grant me temporary leave should I ask for it. If he does not, I will contact one of my acquaintances here that will be headed across the sea soon with whatever information you can give me and we can go from there, you Grace."

"It is not a secret message." Visenya says with a little shrug of her shoulder. "It is just that I do not know where he is beyond somewhere in the Free Cities." She nods her head once before she says, "Surely your employer will give you leave? He is of house Toland, is he not? My husband is the Prince heir. His father, the Prince Consort, is a Toland. That would make us related through marriage, would it not?" She gives the messenger a grateful look.

"Forgive me, your Grace, I hadn't considered that," he says softly, smiling gently. "My mother is of the Andals and my father is a Toland. We speak very little, as he retains residence with my step-mother with House Blackmont." He pauses for a moment, looking down into his goblet. "That being said, I will send a raven to him at once requesting leave from my duties so that I may travel to Essos and begin searching for your brother. It may take some time, but, as you can see, I prefer the humble life of a courier and will not require much in the way of travelling funds." Truth be told, he did have some money put back that he would need to send for from home, but it would not take long to arrive. "I will book passage to Essos as soon as I am able, your Grace."

"There is nothing to forgive." Visenya says with a small smile in return. "And thank you. You are doing me a great favor so it is important that you are well-rewarded for your service to me." There is a pause before she says, "I need not write down the message. It is a simple one. His son Brynden Flowers from Oldtown is alive and well. He is an acolyte at the Citadel. He is seeking my brother out, and will be in Braavos."

Sceadu repeats the message twice more in his head before nodding. "How will I know your brother?" He almost asks if he has the same silver hair as the Princess herself, but he's a bit too shy to do so. That and a cynical part of his mind tells him that the Princess may very well change her mind about this assignment on account of his utter stupidity at a question like that. "Or perhaps his name or a name that he chose to go by?"

"Aevander Targaryen is his name. He looks like my brother-" Who does have the same silvery blonde hair as Visenya, "But taller and less slight in build." Her lips curve upwards into a slightly dry smile, "You cannot miss a Targaryen Prince. They all look fairly similar, and they all have an entourage of lackeys to praise them and feed their egos." She shrugs then, "I do not know what other names he goes by. But, if he is somewhere, he will be easy to find."

He sips from his goblet once more, if for no other reason than the fact that his mouth had gone utterly dry. He was going on some kind of royal assignment. Him! A lowly Sand bastard courier, taking wine and consulting with someone whose life was valued infinitely more over his own. He manages a warm grin despite his nervousness. "If he can be found… I will find him, your Grace. I thank you for this opportunity."

"It is very important to my nephew." Visenya says, "So if you find him I shall be very grateful." There is a pause before she asks, "Why a courier? You are of noble blood even if you are natural born. Goodness, I thought there was less prejudice in Dorne." She shakes her head faintly, "The Dornish tell me there are no cruel men in Dorne. No rapists. No murderers. And yet I keep finding examples of this over and over again." Her brow furrows slightly, "They've the same problems here as everywhere else, don't they?"

His expression sobers slightly, his response weighing in his mind. "It is my experience, your Grace, that we people of Dorne are truly no different than people of the North. All that really changes is the climate and the gods that are praised. Some men rape, some men prefer other men to women, some women are given to serving whatever master is before them and some women are given to becoming masters of whatever they see," he says, recalling several faces and incidents where he'd been forced to run for his life or face humiliation, assault and worse. "Some are bound by their beliefs to be humble and others brag about being humble. Man is man," he says, shrugging noncommitedly. "But, to answer your earlier question… I am a courier because my step-mother must never know that I exist. My father took an Andal woman before becoming betrothed into House Blackmont and my becomining a messenger or deliverer of goods saw to it that she would never see my face. It's a life that I've become accustomed to."

Visenya looks almost pleased with his response, and she nods along in agreement as he speaks. She doesn't have much of a response once Sceadu finishes; he is preaching to the choir, so to speak. "That is…" She stops herself from saying what exactly she thinks of such an arrangement, but her lips still form the words even if she doesn't quite say them. 'Stupid'. She thinks it's stupid. "If my husband had natural children before me I don't know if I'd welcome them, but I would not be insulted by their existence. Men have bastards. It is in their nature." She looks over his face a moment before she says, "If you perform this task well for me perhaps a position in the royal household can be found for you."

The young man's bright eyes go steely for but a second and he nods assent. "I will find him for your Grace. And I will happily bear the good news for you," he says. Across the vast seas of possibility in his mind, he sees the face of his father, Ser Rell Toland. That handsome face, with his dark beard and cold eyes becomes ashen with news of his progeny gaining favor with the Princess. He pictures his wife, Lady Alys Blackmont flaring her nostrils and demanding an explanation from her husband. And standing between them, himself… Sceadu Sand, the Bastard of House Toland slowly and very deliberately giving his father a vulgar, two-fingered salute before his gods, his wife's gods and any other sky-born gods that care to look on. But that sea of possibility is vast and there is much work to be done before even such a small victory as what plays out in the courier's mind. "Thank you, once again, for this extreme honor, your Grace."

Visenya gives Sceadu a pleased little smile when he speaks with such determination. "I appreciate confidence, master Sand, and am sure I have placed my faith in the right place." She rises from her seat then, and smooths a hand over her flowing silks. She gives the courier a small nod of her head when he thanks her. "Speak to Lady Ynys regarding your expenses. I will let her know that you are to be provided for in every way. Good day, master."

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