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Indeed it is hot outside, and the sun has been warming burning- the yards for the last few hours. But within the Royal Sept it is cool and quiet, right as any visitor would expect to find. There is not many believers around, though, and few heads are spotted here and there, every of them devoting their prayers to the God they favor.
As for Lanei, she has been praying the Seven altogether for the last couple of hours, perhaps more. The lady has no idea of the time, too lost in her thoughts to have cared to keep tracking, and now that she is done, she cannot help but wonder for how long she stayed here as she approaches the doors.
Bryce is slightly sunburnt - not as much as his permanent condition while fighting in Dorne, but still red enough to show that he has been out in the sun for too long. He has been praying and enjoying the cool as well, coming from the shrine of the Warrior, but also having spent time at the Father’s dedicated place of worship. Now, he’s slowly walking out, thoughtful and silent, studying the floor ahead of him.
The scent of incense has not left her nose, and the lady frowns it. Aye, it is a well-known scent and she should have grown used to is, but it makes her remember, unwillingly, of all the times she was forced to visit the Sept when she was but a child, a visit she did not enjoy. Now, though, she would do whatever to be back at Skyreach’s Sept, with her family ֖or what remains of it- even if to be told, for the thousand time, that she should not look so distracted as she were.
Lanei stops next to the Strange’s box and drops a few coins for the cult, mutters a last prayer and drops her head, as if waiting to get an answer. None will come.
Bryce, seeing someone at the box of the Stranger, looks to see who it is. Watching Lanei as she drops a few coins, he comes to a halt and pauses next to the doors. The Dornish lady he spent so much time with in Sunspear, even if it was at a considerable distance, has not been seen with him since then, and he can’t help but look a bit curious as he waits.
Done, definitely, with today’s cult duties, the lady steps backwards, inclines her head to the Stranger and then, and turning to one of the wandering Septons, she waves a hand to him, to call for his attention. The Brother approaches her and, for a while, they whisper each other; none of them will break the quiet atmosphere of the sacred place.
Whatever they needed to deal together is performed quickly, and the man deigns himself to walk some paces at her side, even. With a grim bow, Lanei thanks him and, as he takes his leave, the dornish lady arrives to the doorway and proceeds to open her cloak a little, ready to face back the sun and the heat.
Stepping out from where he was resting quietly, Bryce offers a quiet grunt of greeting: “My lady Fowler.” He offers a nod and says: “Do you often feel better after you visit the Sept?”, looking at her a bit appraisingly, but only for a moment. He smoothens his doublet as he, too, prepared to go outside.
Lanei is, still, removing the cloak from her shoulders, as she notices her escort approaching her, discreet as usual; perhaps a little more now, due the place. It is not as if she used to speak to them a lot especially because the Goldcloaks are relieved of duty twice a day, so that she cannot start any relationship with them-, but she mutters a “I thank you for your patience. Let’s go outside.”
Such words are still leaving her lips as she realizes that Ser Bryce is around, and is going to speak to her. Lanei waits for him to greet her and nods quietly. “Good afternoon, ser Bryce. Better? I don’t think. But this is a duty that cannot be forgotten. I promised the Seven to come daily, and I will, while I am allowed or can.”
“A worthy promise,” Bryce says, before he simply gives her a nod. “I just wanted to see how you were doing, I will go in and finish my business now..” And so, he offers her a short bow and departs.
Carmella slips quietly into the sept, having just passed Ser Bryce in the yard. It’s a place of quiet and reverence and when Carmella feels her temper getting the better of her she finds that the sept is the perfect place to put her daily life on hold so that she might reflect on what troubles her. The soft rustle of her skirts follows her and coupled with the soft tread of her shoes, her movements sound louder than they ought, thanks to the silence of the place. Her dark gaze wanders slowly over each representation of the Seven as her eyes adjust to the change in light but eventually she spots another with her, the Fowler hostage she had spoken with at the grand feast. A smile touches her darkened lips, finding this environment more condusive to quiet conversation and as such, she continues towars Lanei, not speaking until she is closer, not wanting to raise her voice. “A pleasure to see you again, Lady Lanei.” The greeting is as warm as the evening air.
“Then I must to thank you for your interest, my lord of Caron” Lanei offers. “Please, go. I would not like to be delaying you” she adds, with a nod, and curtsies as he leaves. Now she will remove, definitely, her cloak, and as she does, and is about to leave, following Ser Bryce, her eyes spot the figure of Carmella Dondarrion, Ser Doran’s sister. The dornish lady halts her paces and stands and, noticing the lady’s smile, she offers the incoming Carmella a smile of her own, and a short bow.
Her words are met with a renewed smile as well as a nod. “Good afternoon, lady. The pleasure is all mine.” Looking over her shoulders, Lanei adds, “The Sept is almost empty. If you came seeking for some solitude and quietness to offer the Sevens your prayers, you came timely. May I hope you and your brother are doing well?”
“My visit was timed for precisely this reason,” Carmella responds, the smile not dimming in the least. “Though with the large number of new residents in the Red Keep, one cannot always expect solitude anywhere. It is a pleasure to find that there is some quiet to be found here.” The Dondarrion girl motions towards one of the benches, an invitation to sit and the suggestion that she will do likewise. “We are well,” she offers without going into details. “Thank you for your concern.” Worry begins to enter her otherwise warm visage. “And you, Lady Lanei? I know this place cannot be entirely welcome for you, but I hope you have not been too uncomfortable here? I’ve not seen the quarters for the Dornish guests, but I’ve heard that you were to be given rooms sutible for your station. I do hope I’ve heard correctly.”
“Aye” she nods. “I am afraid that the place is overcrowded now; yet, after lunch, of late in the night, the Sept looks pretty quiet. Or at dawn, but I am afraid I do not like to wake up early, unless I have something to do… which is not the case…” A new nod, and the dornish lady says, “Please send your brother my regards. Ser Doran, I mean, since I have not had the pleasure to meet Ser Anders.”
The Dondarrion’s next words are met with silence, even if it broken after a short moment. “I am getting slowly used to this… Keep. There are not many places where I could go at the moment but, still, I find the place rather.. interesting.” Waving a hand as if signalling the Northern Yard, Lanei speaks again, “Yes. We have been assigned good and comfortable apartments there, in one of the Towers. To this, I am getting used too. I would invite you to visit us, were you interested to see them, but we are still unpacking, and figuring out how to make them look more… homey, so to speak. Well” she grins, shyly, “I have not been in the right mood to unpack and care of these things.”
The worry lingers, even while Carmella makes assurances towards her brother. “I will let him know that you were asking after him and that you pass on your regards. Likely he would do the same, but I would not dare speak on my brother’s behalf.” Carmella grows silent for a moment, attention caught but something or other within the sept, or perhaps just a fleeting thought distracts her. “I would quite enjoy visiting the guest quarters,” she finally says, snapping herself back to the conversation at hand, trying to hide the small bit of discomfort that’s been following her a good deal lately. “You were able to bring a number of personal items with you then? I would enjoy seeing some of your Dornish decorations. Mother only had a few; Blackhaven was a Stormlord’s keep after all.” Carmella smiles sadly at that. “I don’t know how often or when I might be able to visit,” she says, leaving the more important part unsaid, but understood with her tone; that a Stormlands girl spending a lot of time with the hostages might not be looked on well by others. “But such is not forbidden, not as I understand it.
“Oh, I am certain that he would, or I would have not sent him my regards. He is one of the kinder Westerosi Knights I have met since we were… gathered in Sunspear. Very different from… Marcia’s daughter seems to hesitate, and is about to let her words unfinished, but eventually the lady changes her mind, adding a succinct “...from others”
“Well, I trust my mood will improve, with time, enough to be capable to launch such an invitation very soon but, of course, it will be up to you to accept or not. I understand that we are not the… Red Keep’s favoured guests around to visit with. But nay” she shakes her head, “I wasn’t forbidden to invite people to our apartments. As for our personal items” Lanei shrugs helplessly, “I, personally, brought with me those I packed when my family sent me to Hellholt. Garments, jewels, books… those kind of things, not different of what you, surely, packed, when your lord father shipped you off to King’s Landing. I take you dwell within the Red Keep too? I cannot remember if you told me. That evening, at the feast, my mind was a bit… away from the Hall, I am afraid.”
“My brother was ever the considerate knight. He’s taken his vows very seriously, has been my experience and if he has not, then he has deceived me.” The worry begins to fade as Carmella smiles again, the latter comment being something of a jest. “But I have no doubts you’ve been witness to that already, as you’ve said. I am pleased you were not treated terribly the entire time you were aboard that ship.” Carmella takes in a deep breath and releases it with a long sigh. “But you cannot entirely blame them, those that were less than kind. They’d been ordered by their king to fight and you were their enemy. It is difficult to change that distinction so quickly, if there was even a desire to change it. Such it is throughout the kingdom, I suspect. There are regions who feel ill towards or wary of other regions for one reason or another. Or simply houses that do not get along for whatever reason.” Carmella sits up a little straighter and again glances around the sept, admiring the beauty of the place. “But even in conquest the king has afforded you kindnesses that were not necessary to give and if he is hosting you here under the guise of guests, then it would be ill of us not to treat you likewise.” Carmella’s tone grows wary as she treads along dangerous ground, knowing ill-spoken words might anger the Dornish woman.
Lanei cannot help but to think that, indeed, they were not treated ֑terribly’ because most of them did their best to dodge Daeron’s sers company, or to hold their tempers, but she decides that it would be unfair to say that to Carmella, so, all she does is to nod, and to let the topic die. “Oh” she chuckles, “I do know of Houses don’t getting along.” The lady smiles, feeling playful for the first time in many days, even weeks. “Don’t you know? Fowlers and Yronwoods were… estranged in the past”. And surely things would be the same in the present time, but war has changed things heavily. Now, they all are dornishmen, living together and far from Dorne.
Carmella’s words concerning the conquest are left, more or less, unanswered, except for a short remark. “I would no blame a man for following his king’s command… or his prince’s. And you, lady Carmella… Would you blame a man if he fought defending his land, family and people?”. She curtsies. “It has been a pleasure to meet you again, lady Carmella, and to speak to you. As I said before, you are proving to be no less kind than your brother is. Kindest, even. Hopefully we will have more chances to speak, but not now. I am afraid I am late, and they are waiting for me, in the Tower.”
Carmella allows the question on conquest and defending one’s home to linger in the air unanswered. Not that the Dondarrion girl doesn’t have a ready answer, but she’s feeling a bit more uncomfortable and uncertain whether her words would upset the Dornish woman or not. She prefers pleasant conversation and right now she’s not sure that would have continued. But such seems to be the case when one talks about war. Instead, she smiles a little stronger for Lanei’s benefit and gives the other woman a nod, accepting the farewell. “I appreciate your own kindness in saying so, Lady Lanei and I do hope I might have the pleasure of your company again soon.” For Carmella’s part, she’s not yet ready to leave the sept, desiring some more time with her Seven to help her nerves and hopefully find some answers.
At this time of night, Irena had expected to find the Sept more or less deserted, so she pauses as she sees the other ladies within, surprise showing on her face clearly for a moment before she regains her composure, but the time she passes her expression has at least least regained it’s neutrality. Her curtsy as she nears Carmella and the leaving Lanei is polite, before she heads to kneel in front of the statue of the maid. That is evidently where her prayers are directed tonight.
“May the Sevens attend your prayers, lady” Lanei offers and, after perfoming a curtsy, turns on her heels and leaves the Royal Sept, followed by the Goldcloaks.
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