(123-09-21) Lost Lamb
Lost Lamb
Summary: Princess Joyeuse comes upon House Dayne's lost lamb at the Acacia and Leopard Hall.
Date: 21/09/2016
Related: None

Very few Dornishwomen have red hair.

One who is so blessed, with masses of dark red curls beginning to break free from a high and complicated coiffure, not to mention red sandsilk robes clinging indecently to every line and especially every curve of her opulent figure, appears almost out of nowhere just as Hectar Dayne, having crossed the threshold of the Acacia and Leopard Hall, enters into a conference with a serving girl on the subject of membership terms and monthly fees. Radiant with wine and delight, she cuts into their conversation to greet him with a joy befitting the old friend she currently believes he is.

(She has also a shadow in the form of a casually dangerous salty Dornishman a handful of years Hectar's senior, clad in leather and silk and scale armour: tall, dark, attentive, and ready at any moment to intervene.)

"Owain!" she exclaims, taking impulsive hold of both his hands and lifting them as she squeezes. Her own are soft and small and thoroughly bejeweled, pearls and rubies glowing side by side. She sounds a lady of the Reach, but the warm, spicy fragrance which reached him with the wafting of her robes even before she planted her flag in the midst of his personal space is purely Dornish. "Why, you rogue! You ought to have told us you were coming! But why didn't you come straight to us at the manse? You know you could have done," she insists; she's quite shocked that he might have believed himself unwelcome. "I really do think it's a shame to have so many empty rooms as we do!" she laughs.

… But his reaction isn't at all what she expected; and her self-assured first glance turns to a questioning second glance; and she wavers, visibly, gazing up into his violet Dayne eyes with her lips slightly parted in question.

Not one to be too put off by a beautiful woman's attention, Ser Hectar Dayne accepts the blessing of her attention at first, and then she clearly mistakes him for someone else and he just listens, his eyes growing more and more amused. As if each word were just her throwing more fuel into the fire, and he were just holding back his mirth at her mistake. "You mistake me for my cousin," he tells her only when she has sort of started winding down with her veritable landslide of suggestions and commentary. "I am Hectar Dayne, son of Oran, younger brother to Osric and Osrand-may the seven watch over their souls," he mouths the usual sort of religious rhetoric, as fitting.

He doesn't pay attention to the shadow, because like most Dornish men, in particular, men of Dayne, he is quite sure of his sword and that itself is enough to make him a bit cocky. That and serving for years in the Free Companies of Essos.

"It's a pleasure to meet you all the same, and I am sorry to hear that your halls are so empty, perhaps you might throw a party?" he suggests, trying to be cordial.

The lady's eyes widen and her reddened lips form a scandalised little 'O' as Ser Hectar points out her mistake — but then she begins to laugh before he's even finished speaking. A low chuckle at first, which sets her generous bosom aquiver — and then a gasp, accompanied by a lift of her shoulders — and when he says she ought to have a party, why, she throws her head back and looses peal after peal of rich, dark, melodic laughter. A pearl-tipped pin sproings loose from her hair to roll about on the floor. She doesn't let go of his hands, but holds them tighter still, exclaiming: "Oh, no—! What must you think of me? You're the very picture of him, though, did you know?" she asks interestedly, blinking up at him several times. "Ser Hectar Dayne…" She breathes out his name in growing fascination. And then, at last, it strikes her. "You're the one who ran away!" she gasps. "Have you come back? To stay? Where have you been all this while? Oh — oh, do forgive me," and she remembers, finally, to apologise; "you see, we were just at Starfall for a month, and I do think I heard you spoken of, but only as a very great mystery… When I saw you I didn't think you could be anyone but Owain!"

She lets out another breath of laughter as she looks him up and down, to place him definitely as a Hectar rather than an Owain. She seems pleased by what she sees; at any rate, she never for a moment stops smiling. "I'm Joyeuse Martell," she explains belatedly. "My husband and I have just opened the White Stone Manse on Starry Street — won't you come and put up with us? We owe House Dayne such a debt of hospitality — it would be such a pleasure to pay it! — and then you'd be sure of not missing any of our parties." She winks.

"I took up with a company, fought some folks, good and bad sorts both, but it was good fun. Learned to fight with the Braavosi's blade, and after I made a decent enough living and thought I'd learned a bit of what I'd gone to learn, I decided to come back," the young Knight explains and moves further into the Acacia and Leopard. Pulling out a chair for Joyeuse he waits for her to sit before he takes a seat himself. His manners and way of speaking are decidedly neither Braavosi, Dornish, or even some clear mix of both, but entirely worldly. He speaks with a hint of an accent, even. "I mean, if I had known I could come back and confuse beautiful wives of my countrymen, I'd have come sooner, but I imagined it would mostly just be a lot of my mother trying to pair me up with eligible young women to marry."

That being said, he flags down a servant for bit of some wine, since he hasn't had much good wine in many years, and even before he'd left he'd been a bit young to partake.

"I'd be pleased to stay with friends of my family, and I can't imagine anyone should find it objectionable - - which frankly, at this point, is the one thing I'll have the hardest time remembering. I can't remember my manners very well, so I'm probably over-doing it, a bit," he admits. "Or maybe I'm just not remembering them at all and forgetting them entirely. Please do forgive any mistakes of that sort."

The princess is easily led, and just as easily deposited in the chair of Ser Hector's choice. Whilst they walk she hangs upon his every word, nodding, making little 'mmm' noises, smiling all the more brightly for being told she's beautiful. She knows it, of course — she believes it very deep in her heart — but all the same it's nice to be reminded, isn't it? She lets go of him only to sit, smoothing her cherry-red robes with an absent hand. "… Fancy that," she sighs, rings flashing as her hand lifts again to rest upon the edge of the table. "I've never been to Braavos," she mentions, "or to anywhere else in Essos. I should like to go, of course, but that sort of thing does rather depend upon one's husband…" She shrugs one shoulder and smiles whimsically.

Her shadow meanwhile has faded away only to multiply: he returns from the private lounge at the rear of the common room, accompanied by another knight and a pair of young ladies, one fair and one dark, dressed in defiantly Dornish garb. Their combined ages aren't much more than Princess Joyeuse's — neither of them, however, has her splendour, or her quicksilver vivacity. Another serving girl accompanies them: wine arrives, thus, from two directions at once, and with a goblet placed in her hand the princess is soon off again on another tangent. Her retinue soon settles round an adjacent table.

"… Of course, now that I look, I can quite see that you're not Owain," she explains candidly. "You're older, aren't you? And you've a more confident walk, and… Objectionable?" she asks, wrinkling her nose. "But why would anyone object? Surely it's the most natural arrangement for you — if you're a stranger here, why, you'll want to be among friends and kin, won't you? And the other Dornish houses don't keep manses in Oldtown: when Daynes visit, they always stay at White Stone. At least, that's what I'm told. It was all shuttered and sheeted when we came, or nearly all — so few," she sighs, "so very few Dornish seem to have felt inclined to visit Oldtown lately."

"You should go, and you can gaze up under the skirts of the great colossus that sits astride the entrance to their harbor - -" Hectar jokes with a bit of a smile and glances only briefly toward the return of the retinue, now multiplied. He smoothes the hair back from his forehead then and thinks about her question about Owain, "We're of an age together. I'm not sure who is older, but within the same year, give or take. But I shall take your assessment to mean that I look more mature, and thus, more manly, and tell my cousin as much, the next time I see him," he tells her. By the childish nature he assumes, one might surmise that he isn't joking, and fully intends to tease his cousin. "I am not accustomed to staying anywhere without my family, as a child, or in my own tent, as a man. Staying in the home of another, as a man, feels," he pauses repeatedly, "Odd."

"Well, if you try it and you find you truly don't like it," laughs Princess Joy, between one mouthful of wine and the next, "you must promise you'll say; and we'll let you go again without any hard feelings. I shouldn't like to keep anyone hostage who'd be happier somewhere else," she declares firmly. "Do you know, that was what I meant — I rather feel, looking at you, as though you must have seen a great many things I haven't… Owain is a very sweet boy, but it isn't quite the same, is it…?" She gives a little shake of her head. Another pearl pin pops loose. One of her ladies gets up, a tad wearily, to chase it, and happens to find the other as well. The princess doesn't seem to have noticed any of this. She lifts her cup in a toast. "Homecomings," she declares, beaming brilliantly across the table at Ser Hectar.

"And new friends!" Hectar answers her toast with one of his own, and says nothing of the nature of being older, or of being a guest in her home. He rather feels like he has implied that he thinks he won't like it there, which wasn't the intent, but he'd rather not dig that hole any deeper at this point. "Have you been in Old Town long? You say it has been rather empty of my countrymen, what brings you back? You had been travelling, why return?" he asks, sort of asking the same question a few different ways, so as to make his point clear. Trying to get a feel for the reason for her visit, perhaps. Nothing too intrusive. "I myself have arrived via trader ship just a fortnight past, and was hoping to attach myself to a merchant headed to Starfall, for the last step of the journey. My years in Essos have made me a bit of a spendthrift."

The princess shakes her head and waits impatiently to interject, eager to disabuse Ser Hectar of a mistaken notion: "Oh, but I live here!" she explains. "… I used to, anyway," and she shrugs again, the thought turning her smile smaller and more modest, though not a whit less luminous. "You see, we were married just three months past, at Starfall — and I know Dorne well, but my husband doesn't know where I come from — Prince Auberyn," she adds, taking for granted that her beloved's name speaks for itself, even to long-lost lordlings lately returned from Essos. "We decided to come here for a while, to see if he would like Oldtown — and he does," she giggles, "I'm pleased to say! But what a shame for you," she sighs, changing direction, "to have had to come all the way to Oldtown just to get to Starfall. Did your ship not stop along the Dornish coast? Whyever not? Shall you be leaving again quite soon, do you think, if you can find another ship to suit you? I suppose we shall just have to enjoy you while we can," and there's a certain gleam in her eye, "and see how many stories we can coax out of you in the meantime."

"I'm sure I could have persuaded the captain to, but I preferred not to part with any more of my hard earned coin," Hectar replies candidly and having listened to her tell that she is from the area, he nods slowly. "What is your family's name?" he asks, somehow not remembering, or perhaps not having been told, either way, he's curious, and taking a sip from his drink, sprawls out a bit more, trying to relax. "I don't intend to leave until I've had my fill of Oldtown, which might take some time, as I'd rather not get home to Starfall only to discover that I'd wish I'd stayed to enjoy the place a bit longer. It is, even in my fondest memories of home, a far more metropolitan place. Entertainers, jousts, feasts to attend," he speaks each in turn. "Rather almost too much to do. I expect I will send a letter when we arrive at your home, and wait for message back. Maybe they'd like me to bring something," he supposes.

"Too much, truly?" Princess Joy leans nearer, blinking twice, as though she scarcely believes what she hears. "Oh, the name I was born with is Florent," and she appears a trifle more subdued as she admits to her descent from the ancient Gardener kings of the Reach, via Florys the Fox and the lords of Brightwater Keep, "and then I was a Qorgyle for a while, and then a Hastwyck, and now I have it back again — the middle names, you know. Joyeuse Florent Martell," she adds, in lieu of the traditional 'Nymeros'. "And," her gaze flits away, summoned by a discreet signal from the next table, "that's the name you must give when you come to the manse. The White Stone Manse — it's in Starry Street — everyone knows which it is," she promises him airily. "As soon as we get in I shall tell the servants to make up a chamber for you — you just come when you like, when you've collected your things." She beams. "What good luck it was to have met you like this, Ser Hectar — I shouldn't like to think you'd come so close to your home again only to live among strangers." She pouts; she quite forgets that, if she hadn't met him, she'd never have known.

Her cup, which was quite full when she took possession of it, appears to be empty now: she tips it higher, just on the offchance, and then sets it down as she alights from her chair with an easy grace. "I shall so enjoy introducing you to my husband," she adds suddenly; "he knows the Free Cities quite well. Perhaps you'll find you know some of the same people. It's remarkable how small the world can be, sometimes, isn't it?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License