(123-07-08) The Servant Problem
The Servant Problem
Summary: No, not that one. As you'll read, House Tyrell is in fact blessed with marvelous domestics — it's just that one of them proves somewhat startling in conversation…
Date: 09/07/2016
Related: None

It's morning. Garden Isle is already buzzing like a beehive fed on cocaine. Someone hang a "House Full" board on the entrance door. The Tyrells from Highgarden have arrived, though most of them are still asleep in their respective suites. Thank the Seven for small mercies. Lady Hyancinth can be spotted in the gardens, harrassing the gardener about something or other. Up in the lofty heights of the solar, Loryn observes the scene with a small smirk while clutching a wine cup.

Miranda is eagerly watching the distant roads of the city- looking for banners of blue and gold with cornucopias emblazoned. She slips her arm around Loryn's arm and hugs it demurely. "Gods above. Three seven-spans and it's here." She pauses to look up at hime, blue eyes adoring and wide. "We'll be sealed in the Sept and man and wife."

The betrothed pair are, alas, not long alone. One of the solar's paired doors of finely-carved oak quietly opens to admit a maidservant of about thirty years of age, neatly dressed and pretty in a countrified sort of way, leading by the hand a lady a handful of years her senior whose wardrobe has lately grown to include such fine gowns of gold-embroidered blue silk as the one she's wearing right now. A definite cut above the plain linen she arrived in two days past.

The maid surveys the room with a glance. "Ser Loryn Tyrell," she murmurs to her lady, so softly she can scarcely be heard, "and a young lady."

"I hope you'll forgive me for interrupting," Lady Roxton says at once, in a normal though slightly strained tone of voice. "I hoped only that I might borrow a book; the servants say they are to be found in this chamber…?"

"I still think we should have run off to the Summer Isles.", Loryn mutters to Miranda, a sentiment expressed rather often these last days. "It seems though the nuts from there have arrived. I thought they were cocoa-nuts. They are not. They are called coco-nuts. And they don't look like nuts at all." He might go on about his disappointment with said nuts, but they are interrupted. He turns around and since Miranda's arm is linked with his, turns the lady around with him.

"Lady Roxton, good morning! Have you found everything to your convenience?", he asks politely and nods to her inquiry. "Indeed, Mylady, this is the solar and there are… books and scrolls and… stuff." He points vaguely, while his eyes find the servant, expecting her to do the choosing.

Miranda says, "Lady Roxton." She makes a polite curtsey as she's spun in Loryn's wake, giving the woman a warm kind smile. Recollection strikes her and she says, "I don't think we have met, I'm Miranda Merryweather. At least for another score of days; then it will be Miranda Tyrell." She leans over and shyly kisses Loryn's cheek at that.

The more the young couple speak aloud, the more precisely Lady Roxton trains her sightless blue-grey gaze upon them — a courtesy, rather than a convenience. "How do you do, Lady Miranda," she murmurs in reply, indicating by a pressure of her fingertips that Sallei ought to lead her nearer. This duly occurs, the maid piloting the mistress deftly round an intervening chair. "Ser Loryn has been kind enough to invite me to your wedding — I feel I ought to apologise for intruding myself at such a time, with nothing to offer but my congratulations."

"You are not intruding, Mylady.", Loryn assures her for probably not the first time, "Have you broken your fast yet? Would you care to join us?" The breakfast table is strewn with crumbs indicating that the young couple has probably mostly finished theirs but would happily sit back down. He is content enough to let the wife-to-be handle the conversation though.

Miranda moves to Olenna's side and offers her arm, nodding to the maid to pass off the woman. "Ser Laurent was very kind to offer you lodging with us. I was so happy to hear he knows how to properly treat a lady. He can be somewhat prickly at times."

Aralynne is dressed in a maid's outfit today. She strides into the Solar quietly and takes up position against the wall. The former thief figures it better to remain seen but not heard. She was not a noble after all. She appears a little out of her element. Arry preferred pants to skirts. She almost trips over the hem of her dress on a couple of occasions.

The last thing Sallei would do is entrust her lady's dignity to a stranger — she bobs a curtsey to Lady Miranda but retains her customary hold upon Olenna's arm, whilst Olenna herself remains oblivious to this silent interplay.

"Ser Laurent is… an unusual man," she ventures, diplomatically, "but a true friend, I think." Turning her head by a few degrees, to where she last heard Ser Loryn speak, she adds, "Thank you, ser; but I have already breakfasted. The kitchens sent up everything I wished for, very swiftly — you are fortunate in your staff here, I think." A small smile. "Sallei, might I sit—?" And her maid leads her to a chair at the breakfast-table, and places her hand on the back of it. From there she finds her own careful (but graceful) way, and sits down. "Will you allow my maid to look over your books? She knows what I've read," she explains, "and she is accustomed to handling rare and delicate volumes."

Loryn's mouth twitches when Miranda describes Laurent as somewhat prickly. "My brother isn't known as The Thorn for nothing.", he points out. While Miranda and Sallei fight over ownership of Olenna's arm he notices the arrival of Aralynne and smiles encouragingly at the young woman. "Ah, good morning, Miss! Have you come to pick up my betrothed? Please do join us briefly, I would like to introduce you to Lady Olenna. When Miranda doesn't need you, you can keep an extra eye on her in the manse."

Since Loryn said nothing about the books, Miranda nods. But then she catches herself and verbally says, "Of course, please do. You may even take them into the gardens to read should you prefer the breeze and the scent of the flowers there. I'm afraid we have to havest some for the wedding decor but from what I understand one of the wheelhouses from Highgarden has actual flowers brought from the terraces for us." She looks over at Aralynne and smiles, "I hope I haven't been too much trouble. Here to the sept and back isn't very exciting."

Aralynne moves forward lowering her large blue eyes as she does and performing an awkward curtsey to Loryn, Lady Olenna and her maid and Lady Miranda. "As you would have it my Lord - I am happy to guard the manse." As for Miranda's assertion, "No shame in an easy job my lady." Evidently this small female was being used as something of a bodyguard. Not the most plausible protector. Small - pretty and nicely curved - hardly fit for such work - speaking superficially.

Permission having been granted, by her lady's future hostess if not her present host, Sallei still hesitates a moment before leaving Lady Roxton's side to peruse the wealth of volumes crowding the solar's bookcases. At the suggestion that another Tyrell servant might be assigned to her lady (and such a clumsy-looking one!) an observant eye might note the tensing of her back.

She needn't worry. Olenna feels that same loyalty. "I thank you for your concern, Ser Loryn, but in Sallei I have already the finest pair of eyes I could desire," she reassures him at once. "And of course the last thing I'd wish would be to deprive Lady Miranda of one of her own attendants, at such a busy time in her life. Please, you mustn't think of it." This last is directed as near as she can manage to Lady Miranda herself. "It was for the sake of your gardens that Ser Laurent felt I ought to stay here," she adds after an instant's hesitation, her face tilted again Lorynwards. "He was right, of course — the more I walk in them, the more certain I feel that their fragrance is superior to anything I found at the Hightower… of course," and this is hasty, as though she has just understood the implications of her own words, "whatever part of their beauty must be harvested, in such a good cause… I'm sure it must grow back lovelier still, in the hands of such fine gardeners."

"Alright." Loryn accepts Olenna's rejection with good grace and a smile, "Miss Aralynne has been hired specifically to guard Lady Miranda on her excursions into town… As a member of the cleric, it was easy to go about everywhere on her own, but this may not be so for a lady of House Tyrell. Besides we need a few extra eyes here at Garden Isle with all the people coming to and fro for the wedding preparations. Just to be safe. I hope you have not detected anything untoward so far?", he turns directly to Aralynne. Thieving errand boys and the like.

Miranda neglected to tell Loryn about the small mob of peasants begging alms who didn't like her giving children more money than adults. That part wasn't really one Miranda was going to disclose. For Olenna's sake she clarifies, "I was in training to be a septa. I am a widow and thought the Crone's path was the one I should walk; the Seven guided me to the Mother's altar and soon enough I'll stand beside it with Ser Loryn."

Aralynne smiles at Ser Loryn, "Nothing untoward happening my Lord - I'm the only criminal - or former one I have to qualify - that I have been able to identify around here. You have quite honest retainers. Makes my life easier." Arry cants her head - raven locks flicking over her eyes. She pins her hair back in irritation revealing a concealed dagger in the same sleeve that she held the pins. Well she had to have a weapon somewhere. She is a bodyguard and all.

On which note Sallei, with her hand on a book, turns to give Aralynne another look-over with her mouth hanging open and her eyes aghast. Criminal—?

Sitting with her hands clasped demurely in her lap and her sightless eyes oriented only towards Ser Loryn and Lady Miranda — why turn to face a servant one cannot even see? — Lady Roxton seems struck by a similar, though better-bred, kind of consternation. Her lips part, and close. Part again, and close again. Then she thinks better of it (it isn't her house; these aren't her people; it isn't her business) and seizes instead upon Lady Miranda's words. "A septa," she repeats, unhelpfully. "What a change this must be for you, my lady." She casts about for a suitably polite question. "Were you… long, in the Sept, before your betrothal to Ser Loryn…?"

Loryn can't help picking up on the current emanating from Sallei and Olenna and gives Aralynne a quick glare kind of look to indicate that running her mouth is not appreciated. "We believe in second chances.", he explains firmly, turning back to Olenna then, "It says so in the Seven-Pointed Star, does it not?" This for Miranda obviously, she's the expert.

Miranda says, "Should someone wish to walk the Sevenfold Path and turn from the darkness of the past, who are we to judge. Such is reserved for the Father Above." She nods to Loryn, supporting her betrothed in all things. "I had been in a motherhouse for about a year. My father, Lord Merryweather of Longtable, wished me to remarry as I was- am so young. I did not think it wise at the time as I as… greiving my late husband." Her words are lies, easily picked up even if her expression stays pleasant and sweet. "I had only recently been sent to Oldtown to begin my training as a septa in earnest when I recognized Ser Loryn from a party I had attended at Highgarden in happier years.""

Aralynne lowers her eyes and nods, "Apologies my Lord - I did not mean to talk out of place." She bows again. "I've read the Book of the Seven…" Aralynne says but does not elaborate on that statement. At least this former crook can read.

Long moments pass before the maid Sallei turns back to the bookcase, hiding her troubled eyes. Her mistress meanwhile listens attentively to her host and his betrothed; when they fall quiet and it seems incumbent upon her to pass some remark or another she doesn't seem at first quite certain of what she ought to say. "Surely," she murmurs in a doubtful undertone, "the law of the land, is the Father's law…? But I'm sure," and just like that, yes, she does find something else to focus upon and be sure of, "a septa would know better than I do. I have heard the Seven-Pointed Star read aloud many times, but I have not made so deep a study of it as you must have done, Lady Miranda."

Suddenly there are too much feelz in the room and Loryn clears his throat. "If you'd excuse me, Ladies… I do need to go and take care of a few things.", he starts making excuses and leans in to kiss Miranda's cheek. "I shall be back for luncheon. I hope you will find something to enjoy in our library." Before he heads out, he stops beside Aralynne by the door to whisper something quietly to the woman.

"Of course, Ser Loryn." Miranda makes a small demi-curtsey for him as they are in polite company, manners always observed. "The law of the land is based on the laws of Heaven, but even then if someone seeks redemption through the Heavenly law, it surely can superceed all debts and obligations of our mortal laws. Forgive me, my lady. Theological discussion was a passion of mine even before I thought of entering the Faith." She smiles and ducks her head apologetically out of habit.

Aralynne merely nods to Loryns whispered words but shuts her mouth making no further comment. She remains by the sid eof Lady Miranda merely listening to her conversation.

Being the head of her house, and some years these young people's senior, Lady Roxton doesn't stand — nor, being blind, does she turn to look after her host as he withdraws from the solar. What would be the use? Her tone however is reserved but sincere as she lifts her voice slightly and pronounces, "My thanks, Ser Loryn, for your many kindnesses." To Lady Miranda she adds a tentative, "I see." She doesn't, not quite — but it would be so rude to argue… Silence almost falls, only to be broken by a murmur from Sallei, standing once again at her lady's shoulder, in possession of a pair of books. One slim, one monumental; both elderly. "You've chosen…? … Lady Miranda, I'm sure I ought not to trespass any longer upon your time," Olenna suggests. "You must have so many calls upon you at the moment… I can hardly imagine." She who has been wed not at all, smiles at she who is now twice a bride.

Miranda flutters her eyes as she sighs. "Mother's Love, yes. I did not think a wedding was such an ornate ordeal. I have five! Five new dreses made, a jeweler preparing the most lovely headpiece with glass roses, new shoes, new gloves, new… ah, things to wear under said gowns." She blushes a soft pink shade even without Loryn there to hear her mention such things. "And the food menus, and the flower arrangements, and the banners, and the gifts for our guests… I suppose that is what is to be expected when marrying the Lords of the Reach. My goodmother to be is just disapponted we wanted it here and NOT at Highgarden."

Aralynne merely stands in silence listening to the conversation between the noblewomen. Again preferring to be seen and not heard. She folds her hands in her lap as she stands.

Heard by three, seen by two, forgotten not by a one — not after that rather astonishing revelation… Lady Roxton seems ill at ease still, sitting very upright on the edge of her chair, nodding to Lady Miranda, then alighting and extending her left hand to her side for her book-laden maid to grasp. "I'm sure the day itself will prove so beautiful you won't grudge the trouble of preparing for it," she suggests, diplomatically, and in the full knowledge that she herself as a guest will experience very little of the splendour of a Tyrell wedding. "It was a pleasure to meet you," she reiterates; "perhaps we might speak again another day, when you are less… beset." Another tentative smile, and an inclination of her head in not quite the right direction.

Miranda seems a bit off put as she feels a disconnect between the two of them. She glances at Aralynne as if seeking some kind of answer. "Ah, yes, of course, my lady Roxton. Do enjoy the books; as I said, your girl is welcome to borrow anything she likes for your enjoyment," she says hesitantly, making a curtsey- her skirts rustling to give the motion away.

Aralynne does not speak merely offering Miranda a helpless shrug. Evidently she does not catch Lady Olenna's meaning. She does curtsey to the noblewoman as she leaves.

"It will be a great treat to become acquainted with a new library," and as she says that, Olenna Roxton's voice warms perceptibly. "My thanks, Lady Miranda." And the handmaid at her side curtseys again to Lady Miranda, and the two women leave hand in hand, one leading, the other blindly trusting.

Miranda spares Aralynne another look of confusion. She waits until the pair depart and are down the hall before she asks, "Did I misspeak? Did I offend the lady somehow?"

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