(123-11-11) Of Prodigal Brothers
Of Prodigal Brothers
Summary: Ser Loryn Tyrell expects Lady Roxton to return his brother in the condition in which she took him away. But when does the Thorn of House Tyrell ever really oblige…?
Date: 12/11/2016
Related: The whole succession plot

The Thorn of House Tyrell wrote from Oldtown, long before the tourney and before his recent ruckus as well, ordering his own spacious chambers given a thorough cleaning and made suitable for occupancy by a lady.

A rudimentary floor-plan was enclosed in his letter, sketched out in somebody else's hand, indicating where the furnishings might most conveniently placed to permit Lady Roxton to find her way about in her blindness. What's missing is an indication of when the two of them expect to arrive at Highgarden — a question answered, on the afternoon of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, by the outriders in Roxton colours and Tyrell both, who gallop ahead to bespeak in Ser Laurent's name (one to conjure with in any part of the Reach, but here especially) hot meals and hotter baths for the lady and her party.

The men who escorted Lady Roxton here from her seat at the Ring are almost all Ser Laurent's own; Ser Laurent was certainly with her when they left Oldtown together a few weeks earlier; with his name being bandied about, too, is it any wonder that a fellow might expect to find his brother in her company? … But when the baths have been taken and the meals devoured, and a decent length of time has been afforded the weary travelers in which to pull themselves together, Ser Loryn finds only busy retainers — among them the round-faced handmaiden who serves as Lady Roxton's eyes, and the youngish Maester Tirius who joined her household months ago, while she was yet a guest of the Garden Isle Manse — and, standing absolutely still in their midst, the lady for whose sake the Thorn indulged in his latest bout of vengeful violence.

In that sky blue silk gown with its daringly low heart-shaped neckline, with her dark hair in ringlets about her milky shoulders, it's not perhaps such a challenge to see why. She looks very well for her thirty-odd years.

When Ser Loryn is announced and admitted, she cants an ear in his direction, listening to his footfalls — and then turns with a dainty rustle of silk to face almost toward him. Her useless eyes gaze slightly past his left ear. "Ser Loryn," she murmurs sedately. "How kind of you to come and greet me."

The large castle of Highgarden has been busier than usual with colourful tents pitched in front of its mighty walls as more and more knights and other guests arrive for the tourney. Huge banners of noble families are hanging from the outer walls, while inside, Tyrell roses are everywhere, their cloyingly sweet fragrance in every room.

Ser Loryn Tyrell has been busy with all sorts of things, which includes many hours in the saddle to practise for the tourney. But now he enters the room of Lady Roxton as he was bidden, and steps close to take her hand for a well-placed kiss in greeting.

"Lady Roxton, how lovely to see you here in Highgarden! I hope the rooms are to your liking?" He does look around even though he knows she can't see it. So he adds: "Where is my brother?"

The roses in here are some of the finest from the recent cuttings — mostly in blue and yellow-gold for the house colours of the lady who'll never see them. Though given her fondness for scented flowers and the long hours she dallied in the gardens that give the Tyrells' manse in Oldtown its name, making the best of a summer they didn't yet know had begun to wane, surely at least the keener of her senses are delighted by the display…? She appears tranquil and quietly pleased, without the undercurrent of anxiety that trailed her when she and Ser Loryn first knew one another. She has taken to hesitating less, too.

She lifts now a hand to cover her mouth, as any lady might do in surprise: "Your brother…!" she exclaims softly. A tiny frown creases her pale forehead and then is gone. Lowering her hand to join its mate at her waist (and at least one of those rings she didn't own four months ago, either), she asks, "Forgive me, but did you hope to find him here—? I'm afraid I must disappoint you, my lord," and she sounds genuinely apologetic. "When I came to Highgarden Ser Laurent kindly remained at the Ring to oversee certain matters concerning my soldiers… He was of the opinion that such could wait no longer."

"But he said, he'd be here for the tourney…" Loryn's voice carries the obvious disappointment she can't see on his face. "What matters? Have you brought a note from him at least?", he asks curiously and takes her hand again to see if he may be able to guide her to some seating arrangement to continue the conversation.

The unexpected hand-clasp doesn't quite disconcert Lady Roxton, who feels the disturbance in the air before her and surrenders her elegant, long-fingered, sapphire-bedecked hand into his keeping without hesitation. It's not unprecedented, after all. "Yes, if we might sit…?" she agrees.

Her handmaiden Sallei, who curtseyed with the other servants upon the Tyrell lord's arrival and then began to usher them out of the way, almost intervenes to guide her lady and then settles for keeping an eye on the proceedings whilst suggesting in a whisper to Maester Tirius that perhaps he might like to step out, too. Maesters don't generally take orders from maidservants, but Sallei is a special case, in all matters concerning Olenna Roxton. In short order the two nobles are alone but for Sallei pouring… not wine, but whiskey. Not as foul as some of the stuff Ser Laurent is wont to drink, but near enough.

Lady Roxton holds out her other hand in front of herself, wafting it in a precautionary sort of way; the chairs and the sofas have been put just where they were meant to be, according to the floor plan, and she finds the back of a chair easily enough and deduces where the seat of it must be and sits down with easy grace when Ser Loryn deposits her there. Which little victory brings a becoming smile to her lips. The door shuts behind Maester Tirius.

"… Of course he wished and intended to compete," the lady says seriously, facing forward on the assumption that Ser Loryn will seat himself across from her; "he is fond of tourneys." An understatement. "But you know of his very great kindnesses to me in recent months — it can't surprise you, Ser Loryn, to hear that he has undertaken to— reform," a little smile plays about her lips, "my soldiery, a task to which he seems uniquely suited. He has entrusted me with a letter to Lord Tyrell, though I'm afraid he didn't think to write to you as well. An oversight, I'm sure," and she sounds as though she really believes that, "in a time during which he has been rather busy."

Loryn blinks a little when whiskey is poured, but then this woman has spent time in his brother's company so nothing really surprises him. He is indeed sitting across from her, having learned that ladies prefer to keep the safety bar of a table between themselves and men they are neither related nor married to. When she mentions that Laurent has undertaken to reform, he almost gasps, but then she continues and he exhales again. Ah.

"An oversight, surely.", he responds a little sarcastically, lips pressed together. "I did have business to discuss with him, but ah - I suppose I shall see him later then. If not in Oldtown, then at the Ring, provided I'm welcome, Mylady." Hint.

The whiskey arrives before them; Lady Roxton, detecting the clean scent of her handmaiden even amidst this abundance of roses, murmurs, "Thank you, Sallei," and extends her hand to receive her own glass instead of being obliged to collect it from the table. The transfer of it is seamless. "Of course, Ser Loryn," she declares, again quite seriously; "any son of your house is doubly welcome within my gates, for the ancient bond of loyalty between us, and for the aid which has been its fruit." Not to mention the corpsified cousin, which doesn't seem to have bothered her in the least, let alone to have dampened the collusion between her and Ser Laurent. "I regret," she sighs, after a strengthening sip of her whiskey, "I can't offer you such lavish hospitality as your house has given me — I am not rich," she smiles wistfully, "but what is mine I shall always be pleased to share with House Tyrell."

Loryn picks up his glass from the table and pauses to sniff for a second, perhaps also used to his brother's choices in spirits. Only then does he take a sip while he listens to the lady's words. "It is a kindness much appreciated, Mylady.", he finally says politely, "If a stay is necessary, it shall be brief so as to place no undue burden upon your hospitality. Ah, it is a vexed thing that Laurent is not here.", he murmurs more to himself and takes another sip of whiskey before he endeavours a change of subject. "Yet, I hope you will enjoy the tourney tomorrow, Mylady! A great many knights shall be competing for the golden rose of House Tyrell and there shall be music, dancing and as lavish a feast as the Reach can offer."

The contests will be lost on her, of course; and she doesn't dance. But Lady Roxton listens thoughtfully and smiles at his last, and after another sip sets down her glass and mentions, "I well remember the splendours of your wedding, Ser Loryn; all of us who were there can only look forward with the greatest anticipation to another Tyrell feast… I smelled roses," she confides suddenly, with a more natural smile of pleasure, "along every corridor, when they were showing me to my chambers. I'm sure the castle must appear splendid indeed." And, changing the subject from the famed beauties of Highgarden, she inquires, "I hope you and your lady are quite well…?"

"Oh yes, plenty of roses here.", Loryn confirms with just the hint of a sigh, "You should go for a walk or a cart ride among the fields of roses, they are quite a… uh, it's quite a lovely smell.", he finishes lamely when he realizes that the fact that they are quite a sight to behold won't hack it with this woman. "My wife is well, thank you, enjoying the warm reception here and the fact that my mother and aunt are cooing over here. I'm sure she'd be happy to accompany you to the rose fields.", he adds as if struck by inspiration, "I shall ask her to call upon you later, shall I?" Sip sip.

The Tyrell's generosity with his wife's time seems to have stunned Lady Roxton into silence — though after a moment she rallies, reaching for her whiskey with a confident hand and protesting, "Oh, but I shouldn't like to take up so much of her time, when she is so newly-married still, and when all the ladies of your house must have both hands full attending to the needs and the entertainment of so many guests… I require little in that way," she laughs softly; "I think you would do better to worry about those of your visitors who might take offense at some perceived neglect… But I mustn't tell you your business, my lord," she declares, and drinks. "I know you to be a peerless host, and I'm certain you and your house will find your way to ensuring that we all enjoy our stay at Highgarden according to our own fashion." Another mouthful, rather deeper — she isn't afraid of putting that stuff away.

"No no, I'm sure Miranda will be happy to show you around.", Loryn assures her eagerly, "She will know that you must feel a little lonely to be here without Laurent and she's actually glad to see familiar faces from Oldtown, so don't worry." He empties his glass and seems quite ready to storm off and notify Miranda straightaway about the intended excursion to the rose fields.

"But I'm not lonely in the least," insists Lady Roxton pleasantly — but swiftly — and with another sip of whiskey. "I have my most usual companions at my side, and we always do very well together. Truly, you mustn't worry for me, Ser Loryn." She hears his long resort to his glass and the definite way in which he puts it down; whilst she still has time she adds, "I could wish for your sake alone, my lord, that I had brought Ser Laurent to be your companion. I hope… your business with him is not too urgent? I should not like to think," and she seems genuine, "we have spoiled any plan of yours."

This gives Loryn pause. She may hear the indecisive tinkling of the glass as it's being set down on the table but still being fumbled with and the long-drawn intake of breath as the young man considers. But he manages a smile and does get to his feet. "No no, Mylady, have no worry. All in good time, as the wise people say. I'm just disappointed that he could not make it for the tourney but I am glad that he is missing it for the good cause of being at your service. I'm truly glad that you get along so well…", he adds as he gets to his feet, "I'm delighted for my brother to have found such… companionship."

The lady colours slightly. As well she might, traveling about the countryside with a man like the Thorn and only her own servants for chaperones, and staying here in his own chambers in his family's castle, albeit in his absence.

She puts down her glass and rises likewise, for courtesy's sake though she's in no position to show him to her door. "… As I am delighted to have found such friends in Oldtown," she says sedately, "where at first I knew none." Her head tilts, as though she's listening for his movement; she adds a gentle offer: "I would be glad to carry home with me any message for your brother, my lord, written or spoken. I hope I am in his confidence as he is in mine."

"We'll see, Mylady.", Loryn says vaguely, "If I know his whereabouts, I know that a raven shall find him as well." And is less nosey. "Anyway, I hope you shall enjoy your stay at Highgarden. Please let the servants show you to the baths in the gardens, they are delightful, especially after a long journey.", he invites and she doesn't see him bowing, he takes her hand again to kiss it before bidding her goodbye.

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