(124-02-03) Babies and Cakes
Babies and Cakes
Summary: … And babycakes; for Ser Loryn and Lady Miranda have a very important announcement to make to all their friends and acquaintances in Oldtown.
Date: 2017/02/03
Related: Related Logs (Say None if there aren't any; don't leave blank. You have to use full URLs, like http://gobmush.wikidot.com/logtitle)

Paper lanterns criss-cross the garden in blue and pink with golden roses painted to lend sparkle. Sparkling wines and tankards of beer flow freely, passed about by the liveried men and women of the house. Delicate appetizers and bite sized cakes also pass by on silver platters. While music plays bright dancing tunes, the occasional hymn to the Mother finds its' way in as befits the occasion.

The grand table hosts a cake shaped as a swaddled baby- one of those cute yet very disturbing creations once they are cut up and served…

Loryn Tyrell has been drifting here and there, welcoming new guests as they arrive. He is dressed rather splendidly in cream colored pants and a golden tunic on which greenery crawls, complete with tiny red roses that are made of genuine gemstones. He easily moves between the nobility of Oldtown (and beyond) and his commoner friends from the Whimsy who form a rather noisy group near the buffet tables where they avail themselves of the free food. Casting looks towards the barbecue where two Tyrell servants are presently overseeing juicy skewers of spiced meat. It is all rather merry and the young man looks very satisfied with himself.

How far is Lady Olenna Roxton from the nervous old maid in the hand-me-down gowns who came to stay at the Garden Isle Manse six months past. Today she's composed and elegant in sky blue silk more or less encrusted with interlinked embroidered rings in thread-of-gold, her skirts spread about her on a well-cushioned sofa carried out of the manse to keep her comfortable through what promises to be interminable revelry. It's just big enough for two. At one of her shoulders stands her maid Sallei; at the other, Ser Laurent Tyrell, the man whose friendship for her is so sincere it has led already to the slaughter of an inconvenient cousin, and the promise of marriage. (Hence the sapphire ring on her finger, which nobody has told him is vulgarly large.) He is clad still in Tyrell green and yellow, but with House Roxton's Valyrian steel sword at his hip even here. (It's not true that he sleeps with it on his pillow.) From time to time he makes forays into the crowd and drags some person of interest back to speak with her, like a hunting dog laying prey at her feet.

Lady Marsei has been early attendant, naturally. She's pleased as can be to be in the Tyrells' gardens, the glass of wine in her hand as light and airy as the flowing garb of the highest fashion the Flower of Oldtown dons herself with, today a gown of the softest violet hue which, while many-layered, is yet slender. She smiles brightly at everything she lays eyes upon, and though she flits about here and there talking to other guests — there is most usually a group of noblewomen around her — she stays closer to her cousin Loryn than Laurent.

A variation of her wedding gown- blue with cascades of flowers spiraling downward to a train of roses and spring blossoms despite fall; the mother-to-be looks pleased as punch to have her slightly rounded belly on display amongst the blossoms. Miranda positively glows with joy, while the Lord of Longtable boisterously demands a toast of anyone who goes near him. Mi beams at her husband as she circulates to welcome the guests.

Marar makes his way into the garden, having arrived a bit early to watch from the outside, the bit of healthy paranoia he has within him satisfied soon after he sees people arrive and hears no screams. He managed to get dressed up for the party, wearing new fitted clothes he'd just acquaired by luck from the other night. His clothes of delicate purple silks with black trim seemed to be a second skin to him, and he was washed, trimmed, and cleaned, much more than he was used to being. His walk does not show nobility or even wealth, but rather wariness, combat, the stride of a fighter. He looks about to those attending, still unsure what there was to be gained by having the newest retainer of House Lannister attend the party, but he wasn't complaining. The free food and drink was enough to make him happy there.

Loryn stops to plant a kiss on Mi's cheek whenever his wife is close enough. He brightens when he spots Marsei and moves over to greet his cousin with kisses to the cheeks. "Coz, how lovely to see you! Isn't it quite the turnout? Miranda's parents arrived from Longtable and my dear brother came from the Ring with Lady Olenna. Unfortunately Mother was delayed, but she should arrive within the next days, too, for the festival." Not that he was bothered by the motherly absence.

"I would expect no less than a full garden," Marsei replies, beaming, in-between polite kisses to either of her cousin's cheeks in turn. She looks beyond Loryn toward Miranda's parents, although she tactically avoids making eye contact with the Lord of Longtable, lest she be looped into doing a toast this very moment. "It seems only days ago everyone was at Garden Isle for your wedding. You are blessed to have another cause for celebration so soon," she says, sounding genuinely pleased for the couple's good fortune.

Woe betide to the random man or woman caught in a bear hug from the laughing grandfather to be. Lord Josaph seems quite happy to force people to drink with him. Miranda does look mortified… she smiles as she sees Laurent with his lady love and goes to greet them. "My Lady, Sir- a pleasure to have you join us for the happy occasion," she says to Olenna. "You look absolutely lovely today, my lady. Thank you for joining us in the gardens."

"Thank you, my dear.", Loryn replies to Marsei's good wishes, "I begin to think there may be something to all that praying after all.", he grins, turning to check wherever his wife is now. Oh, she's actually talking to Olenna. Excellent. He turns back to Marsei. "Time seems to fly, doesn't it? It sometimes feels like yesterday that I arrived here as a green squire…"

Dhraegon's hair is up in an elaborate style, with curls and braids and white flowers and white feathers, all strung with pearls, all held together with hair pins from Essos - carved in the shape of a dragon with mother of pearl scales, a white sailed boat, and a few white pearl laden sticks. All are in white. He is dressed in a Dornish inspired style of long tunic of sand silk in scarlet, with layers of cream and black beneath. The over tunic has a delicate pattern of gold dragons and snap dragons done in gold thread and black edging. The dark sleeves of the undertunic are long and loose, flowing out from the cropped sleeves of the Dornish style tunic like calla lilies, with scarlet trim around the edges to match the overtunic. The top of the piece is more structured than is normal in Dornish style clothing, obscuring his shape rther than clinging. Delicate scarlet slippers with gold embroidered Septon's Lace Flowers peek out from beneath the hem of the robe.

He seems to have found a goblet to sip from and is now drifting back towards his wife to offer her it's twin. Eyeing the baby cake he asks, rather wide eyed and alarmed, "Is this some sort of tribute to the Battle of the Bay up north?"

Lady Roxton's sofa has many advantages; among them, a softness no stone garden bench could afford — crucial when one is likely to remain seated for the greater part of the evening, and protection from the bibulous enthusiasm of a Reachlord about to see his family tree sprout new growth. Lord Longtable poses no threat of discomfort to the Lady of the Ring. His daughter, on the other hand… and when so many congratulations have already been offered the younger couple, thus impoverishing the conversational possibilities. "Of course," says Lady Roxton, "we wouldn't have missed your party." Ser Laurent behind her grunts something which might charitably be taken for agreement; but having offered Lady Miranda a correct bow, he takes himself away to stalk an old acquaintance. "… I'm told," his betrothed goes on wryly, "you look very well yourself, Lady Miranda." She smiles. "My maid is all enthusiasm for your train. I hope no one steps on it in the dark. You are not too tired from walking about? Please sit, if you would like to rest." She lifts her sapphire-laden hand from her lap and gestures to the empty place beside her.

Marsei gives a soft little laugh on the heels of the particularly bright smile for Loryn's tentative approval of prayer. "And you look just as young as you did then," she remarks, humour in her kind voice; it's just as much a compliment as it is a good-natured reminder that she is a older than Loryn. She lays a hand on his shoulder, encouraging. "You've come a long way since then. And your path keeps getting brighter," she says, and for a brief moment her soft gaze is knowing.

The unmistakable silhouette of Dhraegon catches her attention out of the corner of her eye before she approaches, and Marsei is already reaching a hand out to take the goblet, replacing her empty one on a servant's ready tray, when he speaks. "The battle of the— pardon?" she follows the source of alarm. "Oh— no," she assures, smiling. "It's part of the celebration — like a dolphin cake. It is a bit strange if one thinks about it too hard though, isn't it…" Which she politely tries not to, therefore: "…but a work of art I suppose!"

Loryn's cheeks tinge a little at that knowing look of Marsei's and he allows himself an almost smug smile. Luckily they are distracted by her cousin's husband and he offers the Targaryen prince a bow. "Prince Dhraegon, always good to see you!", he smiles, "I see you have already found the wine. I hope it will meet your approval. Ah yes, the cake -" A brief frown crosses his face as if to imply that it wasn't his idea, "I suppose it is soon time for speeches and for cutting that cake…" He leans a little closer to Marsei: "I sure hope Lord Josaph will do the honours…"

Miranda seems relieved at the offer to sit and does so with a oof and a sigh of pleasure. "I find my shoes are being rather contrary as of late," she admits with a tiny chuckle. "But that is normal so the midwife says." She looks over as they discuss the cake and flushes slightly. "I told them to make a cake that celebrates the baby- not that actually *resembles* a baby…"

Marar makes his way around closer to where the noble lords and ladies be, sipping from his own goblet of wine. He looks to the cake for the first time and blinks, furrowing his brows. "I wonder if somebody in the kitchen dislikes the good lady… I wouldn't expect much intelligence from the cooks, but that's hard to believe to be a mistake." He says this to no one in particular, his Braavosi accent shining through the speech.

Dhraegon nods, still a little wide eyed, but comforted by his wife's explanation, "And you have puppets now!" This apparently intended for Loryn, likely as support to his wife's comment about how far he has come. He peers at Olenna, trying to place her, "You were at a party once, I think? I can't remember, do you like cakes?" He sips his wine, "It is very nice wine, Loryn, and you aleways have fine cakes." He gives Miranda a worried look, "Are you well? I hope you are well, I think vines would be better, but they tell me it isn't possible, even if the baby eggs had very thick skin like dragon eggs." he does seem a touch flushed. Perhaps this is not his first cup." He peers at Marar and giggle, "At least it isn't a meat filled Subtlety."

Normal women turn toward their future goodsisters when they're sitting confidentially together on prettily upholstered sofas; Lady Roxton leaves her useless blue eyes pointed toward nothing in particular in the middle distance, with one ear for Lady Miranda and the other for more distant talk. She's sitting very upright, listening, concentrating. She hears Prince Dhraegon's words but hasn't any notion they're for her; she's saying, "Does it really…? How morbid," in a tone more sympathetic than Lady Miranda usually hears from her, when her maid's touch upon her shoulder and a word in the ear away from the expectant mother alerts her to the fact she's being addressed, and by a dragon prince. She turns her head and speaks more or less in his direction: "… Your Grace, how do you do? Are you fond of cakes?" She has learned her lesson about conceding anything to a Targaryen without knowing what's what.

Loryn's eyes follow Dhraegon's adress of the stranger who had spoken near the cake table. Something about the speech riles him and he murmurs "Excuse me", to Marsei and Dhraegon, so he can move on and give Marar his full attention. "We have no reason to question our staff's loyalty, good Ser.", he comments with a hint of steel in his voice, "Their taste perhaps or their hearing, but not their loyalty. I don't think we have been introduced? I'm Ser Loryn Tyrell." Not that the stranger wouldn't know that but he's fishing for a name after all.

Marsei looks this way and that, admirably following her husband's penchant to talk to everyone in their radius at once (not even blinking when he mentions such things as baby eggs). "To be fair, we don't know what's inside," she says of the cake, a light joke; she looks keen-eyed toward the unfamiliar face with a Braavosi accent, curious, though her studying gaze is far from over-bearing. It vanishes as Loryn addresses him, and she turns her attention to the sofa. "Hello Lady Roxton," she adds her polite, warm greeting; next to Dhraegon's, perhaps it is enough to place her identity… she watches the Lady of the Ring with a wondering curiosity before bursting into a smile for the lady of the day. "Lady Miranda, I'm glad you've found a perfect spot to sit down as well. I'm so overjoyed for you," she says, possibly for the third time.

Dhraegon grins, "I am very fond of cakes! And peary!" With a touch of embarrassment, "I have forgotten your name….Lady Roxton? That's very formal!" You can call me Uncle Dhraegon though, if you like." He peers woriedly after Ser Loryn, but addresses his wife, "I suspect there will be no hugs…." But of course there is the expectant mother though and so he comes at her, arms wie and drink rather sloshy.

Marar smirks to Dhraegon. "Indeed, that would have been even worse." His gaze then goes to the Lord addressing him and he stands a bit straighter, hands behind his back. "Of course, Ser Loryn. I meant no offense by the comment. It was a jest made in bad taste, and for it I apologize. 'I've seen what dislike of masters has done in a kitchen, and this does not compare." He bows low to the man. "I am Marar Ahrelar, Water Dancer and newest retainer to Lord Tyvosh Lannister. An honor to be here, in this most magnificent garden."

Miranda beams back at the Flower of Oldtown and the cheerful prince. "You both look beautiful today. A violet and a lilly to grace our gardens." She rises to welcome the hug from Dhreagon with a cheerful pat on his back. "Someone -had-suggested a cake shaped like the Mother but that would be far too… inappropriate. Perhaps we'll just leave it as a display instead of eating it," she concludes. "Unless my father thinks it's hilarious and carves it up. He was the one who suggested the, Ah, vegetable platter at the wedding."

THOSE vegetables…

Dhraegon gives Miranda a friendly hug, miraculously not getting wine on her person, then releases her, "What vegetables? Were they…." Dhraegon looks horrified, and whispers, "Shaped like feet?"

Marsei looks down rather demurely at mention of something that seems so benign as a vegetable platter, though she looks up in time to give Miranda a subtle but insistent nod behind Dhraegon: say yes. Just say yes. "Your lord father has quite a sense of humour," she tells Miranda as though it is a compliment.

Big blue eyes blink at Marsei as she nods frantically. "Ah yes! Feet!" Miranda can't lie to save her life and Olenna has no trouble hearing it in her voice. "My father believes in country humor- the smallfolk adore him. He goes riding during harvest and attends the country festivals; very down to earth sort." Indeed, the girthy lord is enjoying his beer and the juicy carvings off the roasted beef.

Though she was made the same generous offer the last time, Lady Roxton doesn't take the Clown Prince up on it now either: "Then I hope you will find what you like, Your Grace," she says courteously, with no idea what may or may not be clutched tightly in his paws just at the moment. The Flower's voice coming from next to his makes at first no change in her expression of mild curiosity: her maid, whose quick eyes have been darting about in every direction, leans down to whisper again. Then she smiles, nodding not quite toward the lady in question. "… Lady Marsei, a pleasure to meet you again," she answers, voice carefully pitched to carry far enough — she hopes.

Her head tilts, at a different sound, one she can pick out of the social commotion with no trouble at all: Ser Laurent returning, at a leisurely stalk which gives the revelers just time enough to get out of his way. He's carrying a glass of whiskey. "Here," is all he says, taking the hand of his betrothed and wrapping her fingers around it. She makes the effort to smile up at where she believes him to be — she's right — and then he's gone again.

"Ah Lannister man, huh.", Loryn gives Marar a closer look, then nods as if offering some inward approval. "A pleasure to meet you. I do hope you enjoy our little festivity. If you excuse me, I should seek out my father in law, I believe he was keen on making a speech and I should probably say a few words, too…" He inclines his head and goes to find the Lord of Longtable, who can usually be heard before he is seen.

Lady Roxton has no idea about the vegetables or the feet, this not being the kind of gossip commonly relayed to a maiden lady in her thirties whose sightless eyes protect her from such horrors — whilst the others talk around her she listens with one ear to them and the other for her maid, who did see the vegetables and now, questioned, is having to Explain. Fortunately her whiskey is a triple — Ser Laurent doesn't mess about — and she sits sipping it gratefully throughout their whispered conference. Her eyebrows go up.

Dhraegon retreats to his wife's arm and drinks off about half of his wine, "That's very wicked of him. The feet, not the small folk. I like judging the food at the crafts fair, but sometimes the art is baffling." Once ser Laurent has left, he comes at Lady Olenna for a hug, luckily slow enough for a maid's warning if she cares to give one, in hopes of a hug there too. It is unclear from his manner if he's noticed her eyes.

Marsei is poised to greet the other Tyrell cousin, but then he's gone as quickly and as gruffly as he appeared. She smiles down at Olenna, who may not be able to see the expression, but it is clear in her gentle voice. "You as well, Lady Roxton." She keeps a hand on Dhraegon's elbow as he moves in for a hug, ready to ease him back should he miss a cue.

Lady Maera Mormont, rumored to have returned to Oldtown for some months now but seldom seen, steps into the Tyrell garden followed by a rather bulky and gloriously whiskered man-at-arms who carries a bundle of blankets made from northon wool and furs.

The unconventional lady often draws stares, but today it is not her penchant for armor as she is wearing a simple woolen gown.

There are jade tiger stripes tattooed across the Lady Mormont's cheeks. Perhaps that is why she has been scarce?

The warrior noblewoman nods to wherever presents are, and her man-at-arms drops the blankets and furs off. The pair then stand at the side, the lady perhaps wary in regards to joining the socializing.

Marar nods to Loryn. "Of course, ser. Farewell for now." The Braavosi man looks to the new arrivals, taking in the rather.. different, couple than most of the people gathered here, and gives them both a small nod, moving to take his own seat not too far from where the couch is, relaxing and sipping at his wine.

A servant with his wits about him approaches Loryn to hand him a fresh drink and whisper about the new arrival. For a moment Loryn looks wary. He isn't sure if Maera ever forgave him for luring Ulyka onto the Whimsy stage. But needs must, so he inhales deeply, summons a bright smile and approaches the Mormont lady.

"Lady Maera! What a pleasant and unexpected surprise. How lovely you could come. You look… uh -" Is there a tiny hesitation before he finishes the sentence "…very well."

As Prince Dhraegon bends toward her, arms open and intentions pure, Lady Roxton has no hope of seeing it coming. She feels it, though. A disturbance in the air — a waft of vanilla and lavender… She grows very still.

In the same moment her maid exclaims, "Milady, he!" and makes a doomed attempt to get round the side of the sofa in time to interpose her body, or at any rate restraining hands, between them. She's seen the great big prince hugging other people: she assumed they were people he knew. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine that her lady would be next in line for for—

It would have helped if she'd found the right words in time. Alas, she couldn't think straight. And so the overfull glass of whiskey falls away, spilling its richly fragrant amber contents over Lady Roxton's embroidered gown and Prince Dhraegon's sandsilks before breaking into three pieces as it hits the marble pathway at her feet. The lady lets out a soft, wordless cry as both her hands lift up in front of her at the level of her face, empty and with fingers splayed and golden cuff bracelets glinting upon her pale wrists, seeking to ward off— whoever. Whatever. They connect with the prince, albeit without the power to knock him over as, say, a Dornishman might. And poor Sallei plucks at his robes, trying to pull him back, committing lese majeste in her astonishment. It must be like being attacked by hummingbirds.

The Prince makes a soft, frightened soud as whiskey and surprise fingers are suddenly everywhere. He flings his arms up to protect his head, the sleeves flapping about and slapping his wife, Lady Roxton and the unfortuneate made, his own goblet flying in the general direction of the poor Braavosi sword, even as he drops into a croach in a puddle od silks, glass, and whiskey.

Miranda scoots away as drink gets spilled! "Oh dear," she says quickly. "Someone fetch towels," she says as she scurries a few steps away in worry. "It's not so bad. Really…" aaaand there goes the second goblet.

The whiskered man with Maera gives Marar a stiff nod.

Maera says in her flat, monotone voice as the Tyrell knight approaches. When she catches that hesitation she smiles in a feral manner. All teeth and flashing eyes. That predatory amusement is gone as soon as it appears, and is replaced with a bland look. "I remember the friendship you had with my sister, and thought I ought to come in her place to congratulate you."

Just then Dhraegon goes in for a hug, and Maera's eyebrow rises a touch as Olenna attempts to escape. Dhraegon's reaction only causes her brow to raise further. "Oh. I had forgotten how full of interesting people Oldtown is."

Loryn's eyes widen as chaos breaks out nearby. He chuckles at Maera's remark. "Never a boring moment, Mylady. Thank you for your kind wishes. Help yourself to food and drinks and… pleasant company." He casts a doubtful look towards the whiskey-soaked nobles nearby. "I shall rally my father my law to make his speech and… uh, create a diversion." He glides off again to rally Lord Josaph and get him to speechify.

Oh no, the poor Braavosi swordsman! To have mugs flung at him in such a way! Fortunately, the quick, reactive training of being a Water Dancer has prepared him for such viscious assaults, and he manages to catch the goblet and set it down on the table beside him.. leaving him only a few moments to cover his mouth, to stifle a laugh that nearly broke out upon seeing such a cluster of noble people reacting wildly. He has to take a few moments of breathing slowly to keep from laughing once again, as he stands to help the servants bring towels. He also brings the goblet back to the Targaryan who let it loose. "I believe this is yours, Prince Targaryan."

It is difficult to miss the likes of Maera Mormont entering the walled garden, but the remarkable presence goes completely unseen by Marsei, whose entire sights are taken up by Dhraegon, Olenna, and Sallei. She takes the series of events better than most, not the least bit frantic. She smoothes down Dhraegon's attacking sleeve, crouches ever-so-slightly — she need not drop down much, for she is small and he is not, even crouching — and wraps an arm over his shoulders. Her own goblet, remarkably unharmed, is set down on the marble, and she reaches up to take Dhraegon's goblet from the Braavosi swordsman. "Thank you, you are very kind," she says tells him. "My prince husband's big heart sometimes overflows," she directs to Sallei and Olenna, an apologetic explanation, calm in the midst of chaos. Quieter, for Dhraegon, she soothes, "Sh, shh, my prince. You did not know the lady couldn't see your kindness with her eyes. Let us take a few steps back."

Seeing his Goodson headed his way, Josaph Merryweather beams a broad smile, impressive muttonchop beard and all. He grabs Loryn into a massive hug just in time to see the impressive reflexes of the Lannister man. "Ha! Bravo! Acrobats! We should have hired them!"

"Ladies and gentlemen," Lord Merryweather booms cheerfully. "My daughter was blessed by the Maiden when she first laid eyes on Ser Loryn, and now they've both been blessed by the Mother. Behold Our Bounty is the words of my house and they certainly ring true today! To Baby Tyrell! May this be the first flower in Miranda and Loryn's garden!"

Dhraegon is hiding under his sleeves and wailing wordlessly. At Marar's mention of the goblet, he peeks out and asks in a small but hopeful voice, "Is it full?" He leans subtley against his wife, luckily more for the touch than support, given his massive size. After several beats he must have finally figured out Olenna's predicament and his eyes go wide and he says in a chastened voice still from his undignified crouch, "Oh! Would you like to touch my face? I am sorry I startled you with hugs!" Then he is peering at Lord Merryweather, and then back at Miranda, clearly overwhelmed by the speed of events.

Marar chuckles a bit and smiles warmly to Marsei. "A man with a big heart is often something many can't handle. So much love and kindness to give. I was happy to assist, my lady." He then looks to Dhraegon, grinning. "Not a single drop was spilled. As is to be expected when caught by a Water Dancer." He then looks to the man beginning the speech, smirking at being called an acrobat as he stays near the others, listening intently and raising his glass.

Battered by voluminous silk sleeves Lady Roxton is shaking all over, breathing far harder than ladies generally do when seated on silk-upholstered sofas; her cheeks are full of colour, her forehead gleaming with sudden perspiration. But between them Sallei and Lady Marsei disentangle the prince's garments from the alarmed lady, who sits with a hand pressed to her bosom and her head slightly bowed, listening to the other women's explanations, the lady's words calm and the maid's tongue tripping over itself as she tries to describe the scene as quickly and as reassuringly as possible. She gathers herself within a few breaths and lifts her head to an altitude more in keeping with her age and her rank. Sallei is by now crouched before her, careful of the glass, dabbing at her whiskey-splashed skirts with an inadequate handkerchief… She catches her babbling maid's hand, hanky and all, and squeezes it and cuts her off.

"Yes, yes — I understand," she says first, and then, even more quietly and in a voice of command, "Don't tell him." Another shaky breath. She lets go of Sallei and smooths her skirts, hesitantly touching the damp patch and then clenching her fingers into a fist and relaxing them again deliberately. The spoiled dress bothers her more than she wishes to show. And another breath. She folds her hands in her lap to keep them from shaking any more. The prince's words reach her, eventually, picked out of the soft buzz of talk still going on so rudely beneath Lord Merryweather's speech: drunk people have no manners. "It— it is of no matter, Your Grace," she says in a voice almost steady; "I could not see you. I— must apologise for startling you as well…"

Conversations fall silent ass Lord Josaph takes center stage and starts his speech. Although most people's eyes seem to be wandering between the man and the baby-shaped cake to see if any cutting will be happening. Instead the man only toasts and he is met with a round of cheers and toasts in return. Loryn blushes a little, especially when his father in law now nudges him forward. The leading man of the Whimsy seems oddly tongue tied. He clears his throat, takes a sip of wine and clears his throat again until the guests are somewhat quiet again. Then he speaks.

"My wife is very fond of saying that the Gods reward the faithful, and we all know how faithful my dear Mi is. But in this case I find myself the one rewarded. I never thought I would find myself where I am. The blessings of good friends and family. The Whimsy. A wife. And now- a son or daughter. So I must truly be thankful for all these things, and for such good company to share them in. To the next generation of Tyrells. Growing strong!"

Marsei smiles gratefully at Marar once again, and there is a wondering shine in her gaze when he says 'Water Dancer', but the events are too myriad for her to make a query. She retrieves her goblet and hands Dhraegon back his intact one which Marmar salvaged. It is times like these that the marriage of Marsei and Dhraegon makes the least and the most sense, the Flower of Oldtown calmly soothing the addled Targaryen much her senior. "I'm sorry," she says in half a whisper to him, "I should have warned you. I only thought … I wasn't certain that you hadn't already met." She looks to Olenna with worry, wishing she could help, but knows her aid may add to the lady's stress — and she already has Dhraegon to worry about, which she does without complaint, encircling her arm with his once again to listen Lord Merryweather's speech. She raises her goblet. "Growing strong!"

Miranda is blushing at all the talk of the baby. She sets her hand over her stomach and raises a glass of lemon-water in the toast. "Growing Strong," she echoes of her new House words. "May the Mother bless and keep is, and grant us all her Mercy, especially as we draw near to celebrate Her blessed Festival!"

Dhraegon babbles on, genuinely distressed by Olenna's distress, "I am so sorry. Would you like cakes? Or another drink?" To Marar he says, "Thank you….My Beloved campion is the best wife any one could have…." And then he is cheering for Ser Loryn, from the safety of his wife's skirts, and lifting his own goblet, "Growing strong!"

Maera tears her eyes away from the pale-haired prince attempting to hug the blind noblewoman to listen to the speeches. Once the speeches are finished she claps politely, and manages to keep a vaguely interested look on her face.

Speeches made and toasts toasted, Loryn moves away from the grand table again. He pauses briefly to squint at the baby cake. A foot is missing. Someone has nicked a cake baby foot! But he can't investigate now. Instead he moves back to where he has last seen his wife to draw her into a tight embrace and kiss her.

Lady Roxton is paying no attention whatsoever to the speeches.

To be fair, she probably wouldn't be hanging on every word uttered by the father and the grandfather as they compete in showing themselves the prouder of an accomplishment which can hardly be considered theirs — no, it's Lady Miranda who will be doing all the real work — but it's all a bit much, all at once, noise and smells and people crowding round her when all she desires is to be alone; and this latest terrible Targaryen is soaking up what wits she has spare. One thing he says makes perfect sense. "A drink, yes… Sallei, don't trouble about it — I will go up to change in a little while." She unclasps her hands to pat her maid's and send her off for whiskey. She looks a little uneasy still, but she's hiding it better now. "I am quite all right, I— I assure you, Your Grace. I hope I did not splash your… garments, as well," she says to the prince, feigning hopeful good cheer but having an imperfect idea of what he's wearing, only that there's a lot of it. "Have you… You must have known someone else who is blind, or you would not have said what you did. A friend?"

Marsei casts Miranda a beaming look, and holds Dhraegon's hands on the heels of the lady's addition to the speech, squeezing it once. It is only after that her eyes catch on the aberrant figure that is Maera Mormont through the milling crowd. Rather than lay more on Dhraegon while Olenna speaks to him, she asks Loryn and Miranda — after they've done showing their affections, that is. "Do you know who that woman is…? A friend of yours?" she struggles delicately, "…with the marks. On her face."

Dhraegon says softly to Lady Roxton, "On Dragonstone….I truly am sorry about scaring you. I am… much worse in crowds." he much have caught the direction of his wife's attention. His own voice booms out, far to loud, "Oh! Those stripes are lovely! I've seen lilies like that!"

Miranda glances at the Northern woman and shakes her head in curious surprise. "We opened the invitation to any who wished to join, or houses who couldn't com directly to send their Well-wishes," as she nods towards Marar as example. "Then we have a rose, a lily, a tiger lily, and a violet," she says to Dhrea. "What flower would lady Olenna be then, to complete our garden?"

Lady Roxton's lips twist into a small, genuine, wistful smile at that. "… I don't care for crowds either, Your Grace," she admits quietly. And just when they're achieving a rapprochement, he shouts at Lady Maera Mormont and she — Lady Roxton, that is, not the stern northwoman — flinches away from the unexpected sound and tries to cover her alarm by shifting upon her sofa. She'd get up and leave if her legs weren't still so wobbly. Fortunately Sallei's quick, and there's whiskey in her hand again… She sips; then, she gulps.

Lady Marsei has been so serene with Dhraegon, but when his voice booms out next to her ear, she almost jumps. She hides her startle after the fact with an elegant shift of her shoulders; she and Lady Roxton mimic each other in the same moment. A hint of nerves remains in her gaze when she looks again to the stripe-faced northwoman, knowing now it is inevitable that the rather intimidating figure will be looking in their direction.

Maera takes up a goblet and drinks more than a polite sip in one gulp. She is just reaching for one of the delicate canapes when Dhraegon's words cause her head to turn. She smiles, but her smile only seems to make her look fierce. She strides in that direction then, "You must be one of Ser Daevon's relations, My Prince." She says, and she does not curtsey, but she does pay the Targaryen some respect with a bow of her head. "Lady Maera Mormont." She introduces to all gathered, "Mistress of Bear Island. Thank you for having me, my lady." She says to Miranda, "Your husband has always been so kind to my younger sister."

Dhraegon looks the Lady Olenna over, as if the question is a very serious one, "They are very nice petals… Are you a crucus or a hyacinthe. I am very fond of both. Crocuses are the first sign winter is ending, rich colour poking up through melting snow. Hyacinthes come later, with bells made of scent." He gives one of his weird high pitched giggles. Then remembering his manners he recites with the stilted manner of a child with a memmorized speech, "I am Prince Dhraegon targaryen. It is nice to meet you." He mouths her name quietly to himself three or four times in the hope of remembering it. This is…My Lady Wife, Marsei, and, and… Lady Roxton whom we musn't hug without warning.

Marar had gone to fetch himself some more wine, and having gotten it returns to the group of noblepeople. He sips from the goblet in his hand as he looks to the others, simply listening for the time being, deiciding to wait until addressed before speaking. He saw that bit of intrigue in Marsei's eyes, so he knows she will likely be interrogating him soon.

The Lady of the Ring sips her whiskey and listens; and, feeling a breeze on her skin, finds another handkerchief somewhere among her accoutrements and touches it to her forehead in a moment when she hopes nobody in particular is looking her way, what with Lady Mormont and something about stripes. She crumples it up and tucks it away again just before Prince Dhraegon addresses her directly: "… How do you do," she says again, lifting her hand tentatively toward the sound of his (mercifully now muted) voice; "I am Lady Olenna Roxton." Her lips curve again and she paraphrases the nearby northwoman: "Mistress of the Ring."

The face is unfamiliar and strange to Marsei, but the name Maera Mormont draws some manner of recognition: her seawater eyes widen with an impressed if slightly unsettled awe. "I am pleased to meet you, Lady Mormont," she says merrily, unaffected by any intimidation, nodding her head deeply. "I have heard impressive stories about your skills at our tourneys here in Oldtown."

Dhraegon looks confused for a momment, but takes Lady Olenna's handin his massive paw. Not being sure what to do with it, he holds it for comfort. "What ring?" His curiousity seems genuine. To Lady Maera, "Tourneys? Oh! Will you ride in the Dolphin Tourney?"

"A pleasure, my Prince." Maera says in her inflectionless voice. Slightly droning and strong as if she were about to shout a command at any moment. She smiles at Marsei with her flashing feral smile before she says, "I am no knight, my lady. I have fought in a melee or two." She shakes her head a touch at Dhraegon's question, "I am afraid it is not my wheelhouse." To Olenna she says, "Lady Roxton. Well met."

Marar moves his seat that he had earlier a bit closer to the group of nobles, drinking more from his wine, the Lannister retainer quite interested by such diffferent people from the norm. He looks over Maera more closely upon hearing of how she fought in a brawl, studying her, then giving a seeming nod of approval.

Lady Roxton was expecting to get her hand back. But nothing else about this encounter has been normal; why would it start being so now? She explains, "That is the name of my castle, Your Grace. It is built in a circular shape, you see — one can walk all the way around through its chambers without coming to an end." She claims her hand back again, as tentatively as she gave it, and uses it to steady the glass of whiskey which trembled once in her other hand. The level of amber liquid therein has dropped precipitately since it arrived in her custody. She drinks again, and lowers it to her lap. "Lady Mormont," she says quietly, with a courteous turn of her head which doesn't quite suffice to bring her empty blue gaze to the northwoman's face: "A pleasure… And a surprise. Is not the autumn well advanced, in your part of the world?" she asks, with an interest which wasn't in her voice when speaking to Prince Dhraegon.

Marsei smiles gently at Maera; their smiles might as well be natural opposites. "Then I hope you watch the tourney and enjoy the Dolphin festival," she says, Hightower pride innate, thinking highly of Oldtown's beloved festival. "I look forward to seeing who wins the tourney to name a new Queen of Love and Beauty," she goes on to say, though she waits politely so as not not to interrupt Olenna. The lady is more interested in outcome of the upcoming tourney than the battles the crowds cheer for. "What of you?" She's looking suddenly at Marar with a pleasant expression, expectant and welcoming. "Will you compete?"

Dhraegon giggles, "But imagine the fun if you _won!_ And there is usually a melee too!" He lowers his voice conspiratorially, "I always wanted to see a Lady win the tourney." He looks sad to let the hand go, but steals his wife's instead, finishing his wine and casting a longing look at Lady Roxton's whiskey. He has settled to sit crosslegged between the two ladies in his puddle od whiskey dosed silks. "That sounds really lovely! I'd been imagining a ring like a finger!" He peers up at his wife, "But then you wo't be queen of Love and Beauty any more!" He turns to peer at the Braavosi, "Best to wear heavy armour! They hit really hard and they popped a man out of his plate like a lobster from a shell last tourney with one of those big northern swords.

Marar blinks as he's addressed in the middle of drinking from his goblet. "I suppose that will depend. I am not one for horses… at all, really, but I might partake in the brawl, if they permit those who are not nobles or knights." He thne looks to Dhraegan and chuckles. "While I'm sure heavier armor would be helpful if I were to be struck, the Water Dance truly permits nothing heavier than a simple brigadine. Our swordsmanship focuses on getting out of the way, striking at any opening we see, not so much as being struck and retaliating."

"It is." Maera says with a small nod of her head to Olenna that the woman cannot see. "Misadventure has brought me South, I'm afraid." What misadventure that was she does not speak of. To Dhraegon she says, "You're a rare sort to want that, my Prince. I find it vexes the Lords of the south to see a woman pick up weapon." She nods her head to Marsei, "I imagine I will. Thank you."

Dhraegon says, "My young kinswoman did well in the melee at a tourney several years back and i do not understand why she and Lady Alys hightower and others who are skilled with the sword can not be knights. No one will explain it to me so it makes sense." He gives Marar a very worried look, "That sounds, very, very dangerous.""

The lady with the really lovely castle — or it will be, soon, all the best carpenters and drapers and roofers and glassblowers in Oldtown having decamped to her lands — rises in a rustle of damp silk. She is of middling height and fairly graceful carriage, when she isn't startled out of her wits.

"I am sorry to hear that," she says sincerely to Lady Mormont; "I know I should not like to be so far from my lands and my people at such a time. I do hope you'll be in a position to return to your home soon, and that all will be well with you through the winter." She inclines her head slightly toward the Lady of Bear Island. She hasn't taken a single step bt herself — she daren't, among such a crowd. "I think I had best change my dress. If Ser Laurent comes looking will you tell him, please, where I have gone?" she asks of the others. "It was a pleasure to meet you again. Your Grace. Lady Mormont. Lady Marsei."

And thus with her legs once more in working order Lady Roxton makes her escape, led safely away through the gardens by her handmaiden walking before her.

Marar laughs at Dhraegon's comment, shaking his head. "So is swinging swords, charging at another person with a lance, and hunting boars. However, we still do it. It's just a matter of getting good at it to avoid injury. And my teachers and time in the fighting pits of Essos made sure I was very, very good. Not that having the armor wouldn't be helpful, just.. not with my particular method. Those who wield larger, heftier weapons, sure. But I prefer to be quick on my feet and quicker with my blade."

"On my Island it is traditional for the womenfolk to be warriors." Maera explains to Dhraegon, "But I do not seek to be a knight. In fact, the only reason I fight in the melee is to be vexing to certain southern Lords." She smirks a touch but it fades as she addresses Olenna, "Thank you." Her brow raises a touch at the mention of Ser Laurent, but she says nothing. Her whiskered man-at-arms approaches her, and she says, "Please excuse me." Then she turns to depart.

Dhraegon's face falls as Olenna departs, but he calls cheeful goodbyes anyway. To Maera, "It is always nice meeting new people." The Marar, "Well, all are welcome to compete at the tourney if they wish. Good luck to you." He peers up at Marsei and announces, "I am all wet!" As if it were a surprise newly discovered.

Between Lady Mormont's talk of women warriors and vexing southern lords, and Marar's mention of fighting pits, the sweet Hightower's eyes are a bit wide. She's out of her element. She's also a bit worried that Dhraegon has been in the ground with spilled drinks, and when he announces this fact she laughs softly. "Lady Roxton had the right idea. Let's step inside and tidy up. Where is Flox today? No matter. We'll give our regards to Loryn and Miranda again afterward." She tugs his hand, and nods. "It was good to meet you, Water Dancer," she says in parting.

Marar bows to Masei and Dhraegon and they begin to depart. 'It was wonderful meeting you all as well. I hope we might get the chance to speak again, and I hope to see you all at the tourney." He then begins to head out, himself. Seems it was a good call to come to Oldtown.

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