|A Maester, a Minstral, and a Postulant|
|Summary:||Ayhendor talks to a Maester and a Mistral about the Citadel.|
Madrighal is settled in under his favorite apple tree, mandolin in hand, white wine, grapes, and good brown bread and cheese near to hand. The diminutive Dornishman's hands move deftly on the strings, rich, counter tenor voice plaintive as he sings, "Once I had dwelt on lakes, once I had been beautiful, when I was a swan. Poor wretch! Now black and well roasted!The cook turns me back and forth; I am roasted to a turn on my pyre; now the waiter serves me. Poor wretch! Now black and well roasted!Now I lie on the dish, and I cannot fly; I see the gnashing teeth. Poor wretch! Now black and well roasted!"
Leandro's lounging, idly watching Madrighal play, while he sketches the musician. He's wearing his Maester's chains, even if he's not in the traditional robes.
Walking into the terrace at the Quill and Tankard as a musician begins to play his mandolin, Ayhendor frowns as soon as he hears the first line. Shaking his head resolutely nonetheless, he looks about the room and spies Leandro- specifically seeing his Maester's chains. Eyes lighting up, he approaches the Maester and, from a respectful distance, asked his question, "May I sit with you, Maester?"
"Do you have a drink?" Leandro counters Ayhendor, looking him up and down. His own glass, and bottle are both almost empty. "I suppose it depends on what you want."
Looking somewhat confused, Ayhendor answers the first question first, "No, Maestro, I do not have a drink… I do not partake of alcohol, as I find it addles the mind too much for my liking." Sighing then, and visibly composing himself, he answers the second question, "And, Maestro, I want to become one of you- a Maestro."
Madrighal's high voice is perfect for the lament, and the music wails along with him, though dark eyes watch the conversation and his lips hint at a gentle smile. He has gained enough weight back to have a measure of his looks back, though there is still something unworldly about him, as if he still only has has one foot in the world of the living.
Leandro gives Ayhendor a look as if he's suddenly grown two heads. "You're very old to become a Maester. Would you plan to sit in a class with children and study for your links? Or are you planning to walk in, an already learned man and take a position of power and authority?" He drains the rest of his drink and starts looking around for a refill.
Looking to Leandro with an evaluatory gaze, Ayhendor shakes his head slowly, carefully, before speaking considered word. "No, Maestro- I would not presume so much as to try to join as an equal: I know full well that I must study for what ever links I am to earn. All I ask is the chance to earn them, rightfully."
"Have you had training before?" Leandro asks. "Have you studied? They will mock you for your age. They will mock you for your skin. You know that you're expected to give up all family. Why do you want to study there? Do you know the history of the citadel? It would be polite to buy me a drink, or a bottle."
The swan gives it's final wail, but Madrighal's slender brown fingers keep moving, the tune shifting into that of an old Summer Isle's lullaby, soft and gentle.
Looking carefully to Leandro, he beckons a serving maid over. As they wait for the maid, he says, "I have had training- mostly in warfare and healing the wounds gotten on the field- and I have studied many subjects. I… am used to being mocked- as you most likely know, I am Naathi. I was mocked, shunned, and given up because I had violent tendencies which, at a young age, I found hard to control. That control has come with age, though. But, because of that, I have no family. I want to study there because I value knowledge, and wish to serve with it at my command and to pass it on. I am, unfortunately, woefully ignorant of the Citadel's history, however." As the serving maid approaches, he smiles to her and nods. "An aged bottle of a reputable vintage of one of your better wines, please." Turning to Leandro, he raises his eyebrow as if to inquire if such would be acceptable.
Leandro nods at the drink suggestion, that seems to meet his approval. He listens to Ayhendor. "You've studied for what, 40 years? You have knowledge to bring. If you step in the citadel as if your knowledge has equal value to theirs, they may treat you that way." He shrugs. "Or perhaps not. Value the knowledge you have. Trade it for that what you want." He looks over to Madrigal, and holds up a finger, indicating he'd like to speak to the musician once he's finished his current song.
Nodding slowly, indicating his understanding, he smiles softly. "I feel I have much to share, myself already, but I will not discount what others may be able to teach themselves."
Madrighal is eavesdropping of course, the horse's mane of tiny black braids he has allowed to half cover his face more in the way of a smokescreen than a barrier. Realizing that his guesture may have been misinterpreted, but not wanting to interrupt, he hesitates, but seeing Leandro's gesture, winds the song to a close. He sets the mandolin gently in it's case and taking up his goblet, comes to sit with them. A sharp eye will notice something subtly wrong with his gate, an unevenness that is less a limp, than a tendency for his left foot to shuffle in a way his right does not.
"Wait on asking to join," Leandro says. "It shouldn't be the first thing you say." He waits for Madrighal to take a seat with them. "Do you know the history of the citadel and how it was founded?"
Shaking his head slowly, Ayhendor answers simply, but honestly, "I know very little about that subject."
Madrighal gives the Naathi a dazzling grin, "Lea here is a good one to advise you for all he is… apt to be in trouble himself. It is kindly meant." His accent is definitely Dornish, though hard to pin down to a region. "I am Madrighal Sand, by the way." The tiny musician has a citrus and spice scent about his hair that suggests the Summer Isles, "My Grandmother was from Koj. I've never been myself though, nor have I met a man of Naath before." Madrighal adds, "I fear I do not. It is as if it was always here, it is such an institution."
"Oh you should know," Leandro says to Madrighal. "That way I won't need to tell the story again, I can just ask you. You can embellish it properly, as a minstrel would. The Citadel is as old as the Hightower. King Uthor had two sons, the youngest of whom, Peremore, was born crippled. Being unable to travel himself, he instead brought wise men from all over the world to visit and share their knowledge, and when Peremore died his brother gave these men the land for the citadel to be built."
Listening intently, Ayhendor nods at the end, but he does not speak, apparently hesitant to.
Madrighal flashes the Maester a grin, "Perhaps I shall write a song about it, though carefully because of the politics." He very gently prompts the Naathi, I do not think I caught your name, I am sorry… So what was it you were hoping to learn at the citadel?"
Ayhendor looks to Madrighal intently. "I am Ayhendor- an honor to make your acquaintances, I am sure. And - I hope to learn much… Astronomy is a specific love of mine."
"I'll dig out the oh so boring books about it," Leandro says. "They're more detailed about the story." He nods at Ayhendor. "We have a tower for such things."
Madrighal says, "I will read them, Lea and make them into poetry. I suspect the Students will like it if I give it a chorus they can sing in their cups." He studies Ayhendor, "The Stars… It is language that interest me, but not enough to be swearing celibacy and giving up my freedom." He wrinkles his nose at the thought of what Ayhendor is giving up. "I like the idea that I could go wandering at any time, even though I do not much any more. You are a stronger man than I.""
Smiling softly, almost ruefully, Ayhendor shakes his head at Madrighal's word. "I do not value the body and its delicacies- rather I crave the mind and its intricacies. Knowledge is so much more fulfilling- and longer lasting- than any encounter of the physical nature."
"Certainly," Leandro says. "I do wonder when the rules and vows came. Certainly not at the beginning of the citadel. It's probably in there, amongst the history books. I suppose wise men are meant to put knowledge first and foremost, to forsake all other distractions. No family ties, no political bias." He nods at what Ayhendor says. "You will likely fit in well with that attitude."
His eyes gleaming brightly at the compliment, Ayhendor nods to Leandro gratefully. Unsure of what to say in response, however, he stays silent.
Madrighal says, "And wiser too, it seems, but I do study in my own way…. It seems to me there is bias anyway if you bar half the people who might want to study there for lacking a part Maesters aren't meant to use anyway and saying there is no bias in favour of one House or another doesn't change that the Tower is right over there…" he waves in the general direction of the Hightower Light, sipping his wine as he does, "or that more of the students are of the Reach than say the North or the Vale, or that lads with connections often get better placements once they have their links." He shrugs, "But what do i know being a simple musician." He eyes them both, "I would think the effort to be celibate would be more distracting to a man's intellect than scratching the itch, but I suppose that is not how Reachmen see it.""
Leandro offers a hint of a smile at Madrighal's words. "Indeed." He then looks at Ayhendor. "Where are you staying?"
Chuckling, Ayhendor answers simply, "The Widow's Walk Pension House."