(123-10-16) Heritage
Summary: Loryn pays a visit to the Hightower, seeking advice from a particular cousin … about the future of Highgarden.
Date: Oct. 16/16
Related: Journey to Highgarden Plot

Level 7 - The Hightower - Battle Island

Even a single tier of the great white stone tower is grand enough for any palace. This seventh level has many suites of private rooms, as well as shared parlours whose open walls and large windows light the tower's interior. The grand gracious staircases are accessible from near the center of the tower.

The morning has only just dawned bright over Oldtown when a visitor is announced at the Hightower. While he is not a rare visitor, today's request his rare. Ser Loryn Tyrell wishes to speak with the Lady Marsei in private at her convenience. When he's shown into whatever place the lady has chosen, he even turns up dressed to the nines, a dark-green tunic with embroidered golden roses, creamy-beige pants, polished brown boots. He even got his hair under control with some sweet-smelling oil. He steps into the room and waits, arms clasped behind his back while he waits.

The parlour is far from bustling; Loryn waits alone, although only for a few minutes. It's the hour in which most ladies of the Hightower are barely ready for the day, having only just dressed, their hair having been styled in the latest southern fashion, broken fast, and begun to hear the latest news and gossip circulating the tower. It's rare that Marsei receives a guest quite this early, but she emerges from her suite across from that of Prince Dhraegon's and into one of the seventh level's shared parlours looking bright-eyed and cheerful as ever … if a bit distracted, as though she's not entirely certain she didn't leave something burning in the other room. Perhaps the lady isn't fully awake yet. She's clad in one of her more favoured pink gowns, her hair mostly loose but for a few braids with a scent not entirely dissimilar to that of the sweet-smelling Tyrell awaiting her. "Ser Loryn!" Her quiet voice doesn't need to exclaim loudly to express her polite delight. "It was a surprise to hear you've come round this morning. I hope all is well?"

"I know the hour is early, cousin and I appreciate your willingness to receive me.", Loryn replies with a warm smile for the lady and a little bow in greeting. "Garden Isle is quite abuzz with travel preparations and it's not easy to get an hour to myself with all the questions and errands and problems.", he laments. She would probably know that he and Miranda are travelling to Highgarden and Longtable to present themselves to their people… or something. But now he finds enough presence of mind to add: "You look wonderful this morning."

The bow of greeting is met with a smiling approach and a familial little kiss on the cheek. "And you look ready to take on the world today," Marsei returns the compliment in kind before stepping toward a plush, high-backed chair, laying a hand upon it. "You ought to sit and relax while you've escaped the busyness." And after climbing seven levels up the grand staircase to see her. "But are you and Miranda looking forward to your trip?"

Loryn's appreciation of the offer is shown by the fact that he sits down in the plush chair rather quickly once the suggestion is made. "Yes we do.", he confirms, having mastered the 'we' speech of the married people apparently. "We are expected in Highgarden within a week and I shall show Miranda around for some days before we carry on to Longtable. I can't remember having been there, so it will be interesting. I know theirs is one of the most bountiful areas of the bountiful Reach as shown by their Cornucopia…" He catches himself waffling and shuts up for a moment to inhale deeply. "Cousin, you know I appreciate your opinion greatly, so I came to consult you…"

Marsei sits in an identical chair at a slight diagonal from Loryn. She sits nearer the edge rather than sink into the cushions, and as a result appears even more attentively turned toward him — not that she needs to; the lady's fair, smiling face one of earnest interest. Her sincerity only shows truer when Loryn expresses his want of an opinion. "Of course," she says, her delicate brows inching upward in concern. "What is on your mind?"

"The future of House Tyrell and the Reach.", Loryn replies simply as if she asked for his favorite breakfast. But there is an underlying earnestness that's rare for the chirpy young Tyrell. "It is beyond reason now to expect Aunt Hyacinth to produce any more sons, which leaves them with cousin Garvin." He looks straight at Marsei. "You remember Garvin, don't you, from when he lived here? He also attended our wedding."

"I don't know him well, but — certainly, I know Garvin," Marsei replies with a hint of question upon the end of her words. "The unexpected heir to Highgarden," she adds softly. Or…? The kindly concern remains gently etched along her brows.

"You know Garvin well enough to know of his …proclivities?", Loryn assumes. Since Garvin was pretty much talk of the town for as long as he lived in Oldtown. "His brother's sad and entirely unexpected end is a disaster for House Tyrell", he continues, "Not least for Garvin himself. They are trying to force him to marry, but even if this came about… would he ever be able to produce the heirs the House will need? Will a Lord Garvin of Highgarden turn the people of the Reach against House Tyrell, will our old enemies seize upon the chance? In short… may it be wiser if Garvin would not follow his father to the seat of House Tyrell?"

Marsei's chin dips down, her gaze following, when Loryn mentions Garvin's 'proclivities'; a fair enough indication that she heard the rumours. Tyrells make for strong gossip, and the so-called Lord Pansy's time in Oldtown reached her ears not only during visits home but while she was living at Cider Hall. Her head remains bowed in consideration while she listens, and a moment longer beyond that. "It … is a difficult thing," she says carefully as she raises her head, full of thought. "Heirs are heirs for a reason. Their blood is meant to decide for them. For everyone." She quiets further, reluctant. "But… it is a poor time for House Tyrell to be seen as weak. I cannot say how Garvin would fare in the seat of Highgarden; perhaps… with support, with advisors, he would do well, regardless of the … the problem of heirs." Her optimism gains enthusiasm only to dwindle into more sober words. "But I do know how others speak of him. And it is not as a leader."

Loryn nods slowly and takes a sudden interest in the view through the window. Well, it IS a fairly impressive view from so high up. "Say… if it came to pass that others than Garvin would assume the mantle of heir to Highgarden, others that may be better suited…", he begins without looking at her and keeping his face neutral, "Would they be able to count upon the support of House Hightower and Oldtown?"

"We will always support House Tyrell," Marsei vows confidently; and though she spoke for the powerful vassal of House Tyrell that is House Hightower in that moment, she now defers more demurely, "Ormund could better advise you. If it does come to that." She follows Loryn's gaze out the window, but the clear morning above Oldtown doesn't keep her attention for long. Instead, she regards her cousin's face in this rare moment of neutrality and seriousness. "Who else is of the same thought…?" she ventures, cautious. "Lord and Lady Tyrell?"

"I do not know… yet.", Loryn admits, turning to face her again, his expression still seriousness, "Before I … raise even the slightest hint of this subject in Highgarden, I would need to know that other houses of the Reach would… could be of the same mind.", he explains and gives her a look. "I would appreciate your utmost confidentiality in what we have spoken of today."

Marsei's response is quick. "Of course." She reaches across the space between the two chairs to lay a hand warmly upon that of her Tyrell cousin. "Though I do encourage you to talk to Ormund. He will listen. The matter of… a contested heir, especially when… when the heir is a legitimate one— I …" she hesitates before admitting, "I have seen it go poorly." Far be it for Marsei to end upon a low note, however. She smiles, bright and hopeful. "I will pray for the future of House Tyrell."

Loryn smiles at the brief touch of hands and her words. "Thank you, cousin. I appreciate your words. I'll see if I can speak to Ormund before our departure as well but you and I have always… trusted each other, I believe. I wished to hear your thoughts first. But I shall steal no more of your precious time now, cousin." He gets to his feet.

"Oh, I'm sure I'm stealing more of yours!" Marsei counters good-naturedly, standing after Loryn. "I don't know if I've been of any help, but … I'm glad you came to me," she tells him, looking him in the eye a moment before whisking cheerfully toward the grand staircase. "Here — I'll walk down with you. There's likely still food and drink in the grand hall, if you want to stall returning to the preparations at Garden Isle!"

"I wish I could.", Loryn sighs, "But I am afraid I must make sure that everything is done well." He looks glum, like a man with the weight of the world upon his shoulders. But he is happy to exchange some more light chatter with his cousin while they walk the grand staircase together. Once they reach the button, he parts with a light kiss to her cheek and some fond words.

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