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Sites of Interest
Differing Points of View
IC Date: Day 28 of Month 2, 160 AC.
RL Date: November 16, 2008.
Participants: Aisling Ryswell, Ammena Piper, Mavros Uller, Rosalind Hill and Valeria Blackmont.
Locations: Red Keep: Old Keep <Great Hall>.

Summary: During an impromptu gathering in the Old Keep, tensions run high as Mavros Uller encounters one of the more outspoken Dornish hostages, Valeria Blackmont.

The hazy, muggy day has driven many of the nobility in their finery to seek shelter in the cool halls of the Red Keep, and not least among these is the great hall of the Old Keep. Courtiers young and old, knights and lords, ladies and maidens, gather in knots and collections throughout the hall. The noise of their discussion, and their sport, and their arguments, is a constant hum in the background. Servants come and go, delivering cups of iced milk with honey, or wine as the case may be.

And there, flitting from one group to another with a casual purpose, is a Dornishman, but not a hostage. Oft glimpsed from a distance in the company of the mightiest lords and the wealthiest merchants, Ser Mavros Uller in his costly garments would seem just like any other courtier, even to his clothes. The complexion of his skin, and the accent of Dorne in his speech, give it away however. He exchanges a word with one of officers of the royal mint here, with the head of a guild there, and ignores the looks and sniffs that follow in his wake.

One of groups that have formed in the hall features no less than one of the Small Council, Lord Terin Ryger. What the intent if any of his presence is, is not clear, but he is accompanied by his niece, Lady Sylvina, as well as his step-niece, Lady Aisling. The former is a charming presence at his side, the latter a cold shadow a few steps behind.

Some of the hostages are more disgruntled than others, and show their disdain more openly. Among them is Valeria Blackmont, all dark eyes and unruly black hair as she sits among some kinsman toying with a cold goblet of wine. She watches Mavros Uller not so much from any apparent opinion—her brother Arrant and his swift backhand are nearby to keep her in line, at the very least—but from what would seem to be boredom.

“. . . Pass is less troubled now, thanks to Lord Tyrell’s efforts.” Ser Mavros’s remark, given to a guildsman lessing with the sort of feigned disinterest of the practiced merchant, carries a ways in a pocket of silence amidst everything else. “There’s an opportunity there, to take supplies to Yronwood; the king means to offer two groats more for each barrel that comes through.” With a courtier’s ease, he turns his eyes away from the man, looking, spotting others, seemingly calculating who he might wish to speak to with. “Give it a thought—ahh, there’s Lord Ryger. Come, he’s always quick with a jest.” It’s thrown off easily, and the guildsman gets pulled along in his wake as Ser Mavros—in his northron garb—glides along to where the Lord of Willow Wood stands.

As he walks, though, his gaze briefly turns to the Dornish hostages, and for an instant eyes meet.

“Northern jests -ought- to fall on deaf Dornish ears,” remarks Valeria as they pass, her black gaze taking in the way the Uller is clad, and only then rising to meet his eyes. And when she does, she only raises her dark brows and turns pointedly away with a rustle of faded sandsilk.

“Ser Mavros, a pleasure as always,” replies the tall, grey-bearded Lord Ryger, smiling in the manner of someone who has spent many years at court. Its polished, pleasant, and rather insincere. Briefly, perhaps upon seeing Mavros’s glance over at the hostages or perhaps upon hearing Valeria’s remark, he too looks over at the other Dornish. A frown registers on his face for a moment, then he smiles again. “Have I introduced my niece to you, Ser?” A gesture at Sylvina at his side, who curtseys with elegance. “Lady Sylvina Serry, my sister’s daughter from her first marriage.” Then, as an afterthought, he indicates Aisling as well. “And her step-sister, Lady Aisling Ryswell.” Who does not curtsey.

“Good day, my lord, my ladies,” the Dornishman says, offering a brief bow. His lips feature a brief smile, of just the right dimensions to lighten his expression while avoiding seeming unctuous. “My lord, you’ve met the deputy master of the Guild of Carters?” The two men exchange pleasantries, while Ser Mavros regards the young ladies with dispassionate eyes.

“Maidens such as yourselves must find court exciting,” he remarks, eyes shifting between the two. “Perhaps more so than that Dornishwoman over there; is she looking at me, by the way?” Mavros asks, a slight motion of his head pointing towards Valeria without turning his gaze to her, or her brother Ser Arrant.

She is not. Valeria has put her head down on the table, though it is likely because of the heavy boot that rests on her toes under the table. After a momment she looks up at Ser Arrant, and the pair of them exchange a few words before he lifts his foot and waves irritably at her in the universal gesture for “go away.” So she does, rising and moving past the Uller and his Westerosi acquaintances en route to the window, her eyes shuttered.

“Of course, Ser Mavros. It is a most enjoyable opportunity.” Sylvina is all pleasantries and charm, and is quick—but not overly eager—to offer a response to the query as well. “No, no she is not, ser. Though she does seem to be in a somewhat disagreeable mood, if I may say so.”

“And such a wonder it is. I could not possibly imagine why,” comes the tart and more than mildly sarcastic interjection from Aisling, her words to her step-sister holding no more warmth than her cool, composed expression. Her eyes go to Valeria as she speaks, and follows the other woman as she walks past them.

Mavros’s smile widens briefly for Sylvina, but also for Aisling. And it’s to the older of the two maidens that he states, “No great wonder, I fear. Any man who tries to find an ... accomodation with the Iron Throne, for Dorne’s benefit, is not like to be well-loved.” It’s bluntly put, and mildly so . . . and just loud enough to be sure that Valeria can hear it. But then he’s distracted by a remark from Lord Ryger, and for a time the two converse with the guildsman.

“The garrison at Yronwood could use more…”

“... the rebels are quiet; Ser Alyn believes an amnesty..”

“... Manwoody is old ...,” Ser Mavros can be overheard following up, attention on the Master of Laws, ” ... not like to lay down his sword ... likelier than Blackmont, however…”

A glance is darted toward the table, but Arrant Blackmont has departed with some of the other men, and so his sister tosses her head. “Is there shame in defending your land against usurpers?” she asks of Mavros. “We did not require the Dragon’s assistance, nor did we invite him to invade.”

She looks at Lord Ryger briefly, and even sends a ghost of a smile to Aisling, but it is clear where her focus is. “I am proud that my lord father will not lay down his sword or bend the knee before tyrants. If he dies, he dies with his pride intact, knowing he never fell into lickspittling for the rape of his homeland.”

The impassioned response from Valeria is met with a look of disapproval from Sylvina, though it is mild enough that her expression remains generally pleasant. Aisling, on the other hand, does not share her step-sister’s desire for an agreeable appearance. She does, however, keep her expression cooly composed more often than not. Her dark eyes are turned first upon Mavros, and then over to Valeria, giving the other woman a carefully considering look. “You seem to have a talent for understatements, ser,” she concludes, her words addresses to Mavros.

The Great Hall is thronged with knots and swirls of knights, lords, ladies, and maidens, with servants moving in and out among them. There is laughter, there is chatter, there are serious discussions and less serious. The heat of the day is banished at the doors, for the old keep is cool. One knot seem to be having a more serious discussion, and Lord Ryger begins to speak when a Dornishman in a courtier’s garb speaks up, “My lord, forgive the lady; she has cause enough to be angry. May I?” Ryger nods after a hesitation, but he glares at Valeria Blackmont before he and a wealthy guildsman move away, leaving Sylvina and Aisling alone with the Dornish.

“My lady of Blackmont,” Ser Mavros says, speaking gravely. “The only shame is when a brave man like Lord Andrey chooses stubborn pride over the needs of Dorne. There are children starving in the shadow city, because of his deeds in the Prince’s Pass. I doubt he loses a night’s sleep over it.”

“I doubt the King loses a night’s sleep over it either, for it is he who created the situation in which those children starve,” Valeria retorts, chin held high with that same stubborn pride her father stands accused of. “Can you tell me that if this king had not decided he coveted Dorne for his own, those children would starve still? Or that countless men would yet live?”

“And you,” she goes on, shaking her head. “Did you just give him Hellholt on a platter, ser? Or did you -fight- to keep it? As we all fought to keep what was ours? But you were given Sandstone for your loyalty, weren’t you? Is it prettier than Hellholt? Is it worth this?” And she throws her arms wide to take in all the hall.

Only then does she look at Aisling, and with a degree of regret. “Forgive me,” she says briefly. “I have no pretty court manners to hide behind. A liability, I’m told.”

“His grace is more troubled by it, I dare say, than your father,” Ser Mavros replies blandly. “Even if every man lay his sword down tomorrow, it would be a decade before all the king has spent on Dorne’s behalf might be repaid.” As to the rest . . . he shakes his head sadly, and then speaks with sudden bluntness. “You are a child, and I suppose it’s my niece or nephew who filled your head with nonsense. Hellholt? The least of my concerns, save that my foolish sister is like to have her head taken off if she continues as she has. The same will happen to your father, if he does not see wisdom, and put Dorne before his pride.”

Ammena Piper, smiling brightly with flushed cheeks, lightly steps in from the entrance hall. Her arm is lightly entwined with that of her Septa’s. “Should be a splendid meal tonight Septa. I am so pleased they had the sweet peppers,” says the Piper maiden. “But my oh my, it’s warm today,” she adds, “Rol, be so kind as to call a server over would you? Water to cool I should think.” A tall lanky guard in Piper blue ever so slightly nods to Ammena and stops a passing serving boy with greasy hair. The pimply faced adolescent server, having overheard the young maiden, nods and briskly moves off without hesitation to fetch the order. Removing her light shawl from her shoulders, Ammena drags her Septa to some vacant chairs near the shining windows.

It is not the kind of exchange that either Sylvina or Aisling would normally enter into. The former because it would not be quite proper, not in such a public setting. The latter because she can avoid to. But Valeria’s concluding words spark a wry smile on Sylvina’s lips. “Something that you have in common with my step-sister, Lady Valeria. A liability indeed, as she too has been told.” A glance over at Aisling, but though she keeps smiling she then moves a little to the side, putting some more distance between herself and her step-sister.

Where before there was cool disdain, there is suddenly poorly disguised anger, and a touch of colour on pale cheeks. “I will give you a taste of the kind of liability I can be, Sylvina, if you do not watch your mouth,” replies Aisling, a heated undercurrent suddenly in her voice. Normally, she would have turned and left, that seems plain enough, but this is not quite the time for such demonstrative behaviour.

The pimply faced serving boy returns to the Hall with three goblets of water and quickly finds Ammena, the sturdy Septa, and the tall Piper guard. Taking a sip of the water, Ammena finally relaxes in her chair and softly takes in the surroundings.

“Dorne -is- his pride, and I need not have my head filled with any notions that are not my own,” replies Valeria, quite unruffled. “And I may be young, but I ceased to be a child when Lord Tyrell attacked Blackmont and I took up arms to defend her. I am a child no more than any man my age who has done so.”

She meets his gaze with her own, quite as firm in her beliefs as the Uller is in his. “What your King has of Dorne he has stolen. Keeps and castles, the lives of men and the childhoods of women. And now the best years of our lives waste away here until we are too old for wedding, and there will be no more true blood running in the veins of Dorne’s great houses.”

She cannot hide a smile, however, for the exchange between Aisling and Sylvina, and she sends the former a look of commiseration from a kindred spirit, however unlike in circumstance.

The swell of people taking refuge from the midday sun makes the Great Hall lively, as courtiers and ladies while away the hours, dining, chattering, arguing, laughing, and playing at games. The hall’s large enough to accomodate them all, in their various groups. One of the livelier seems centered on Ser Mavros Uller and Valeria Blackmont, with Lord Ryger’s nieces witnessing it all.

The entrance of Rosalind Hill is, as usual, subdued and without fanfare. The bastard daughter of the lions is accompanied by a pair of guards, one in Lannister red and the other in Buckler blue. She takes a moment to peruse the crowded hall.

“A man cannot be a kingdom, child,” Ser Mavros says mildly, save for that last word. “No man or woman cares for Lord Andrey’s puffed-up pride as they watch their children starve.” Another shake of his head, his grey-shot mane of hair swaying past his shoulders, and he offers a brief smile to Sylvina and Aisling. “The omens were not good for a calm day, but of course I did not heed them. Shall we talk of other things?,” he asks, as much to Valeria as the other young women, “Dorne and its sorrows are far away, and you are in the flower of your youth, whatever you may think today.”

Lord Ryger, caught up in conversation with a member of one of the guilds of King’s Landing, keeps a close eye on his niece (and Aisling as well, really) while the Dornishmen have it out. The entrance of Ser Endros’s betrothed does not fail to catch his attention, as well. His lips set, his eyes glint with careful thought, and then he breaks off his conversation with the guildsman to draw nearer. “A good day to you, Rosalind,” he says to the Lannister bastard, with a smug kind of pleasantness; he doesn’t look so much at her, as through her. “I hope you are keeping your courage, and praying to the Seven for Ser Endros’s safe return—and Ser Lormon’s, for that matter.”

A pause, and then he adds with artless casualness, “I’ve urged the City Watch to send men out once more, you know. I’m sure Lord Loren would do the same, were he here.”

Aisling, being who and what she is, is not quite sure what to make of Valeria’s look in her direction. In the end, she inclines her head to the other woman, albeit a little stiffly. Sylvina, meanwhile, found herself taking another little step sideways at the implied threat in Aisling’s words, but smiles again now that her step-sister appears distracted. “You are quite right, ser,” she tells Mavros, seizing the opportunity. “There are more fitting things one can speak of today. Will you remain in King’s Landing over the wedding, I wonder?”

Sylvina earns another cold look from Aisling, but once again there is more disdain than anything in her eyes, her composure regained. And then, a distraction, as something Mavros says draws her attention to him and she finds herself regarding him with just a hint of curiosity.

“I’ve not your talent for justification, great-uncle,” Valeria replies, shrugging. “Indeed, I am in the flower of my youth, but unlike most of my age, there are no marriage prospects in my future, and I will never wed one of these Westerosi lapcats, no matter how much pretty conversation I engage in with them. A hostage, sweet uncle, carries her sorrows with her always.”

Mention of the coming wedding makes the girl rub her temples, but she does hazard to enter the conversation. “Will we all dress up as dragons again?” she asks, trying to sound as if she cares.

Ammena’s dark green eyes stray briefly upon some minstrels who are taking a break and chattering. Then her gaze is drawn to a rather statuesque gold-skinned woman and the pepper-haired man. She stays fixed upon them in idle curiousity for the briefest of moments. Taking another sip of her goblet, she averts her gaze back to her present company and lightly taps her toe to the floor.

It is with a modicum of surprise that Rosalind finds herself addressed by Lord Ryger. She dips a brief curtsey as he acknowledges her, but the bastard girl’s respose is carefully measured. “I am most grateful for your kindess, my lord.” She replies, in a demurely subdued tone. “I have been praying most earnestly for their safe return, but I have learned that one should never underestimate the Bucklers. They will return, both of them, I have no doubt.”

“Oh, I fear not, Lady Sylvina. Lord Qorgyle beckons, and it’s time for me to return to Dorne. I’ve time left to settle a few affairs, before taking ship. The king’s graciously had one of his captains make room for me and mine,” Ser Mavros responds, only glancing again at Valeria briefly. “I will leave a gift for Prince Baelor and Princess Daena, from Lord Qorgyle, before I go. Something appropriate to the occasion.” His eyes, half-lidded, turn out to examine the rest of the crowd, marking out Lord Ryger speaking with some young lady, before he adds, “Though I do not know what, exactly. I have some sandsteeds stabled outside of the city, but I gather the princess has sufficiency of those. It must be something more interesting, though I’ve not yet found out what that would be . . .”

“I’m sure you’re right” Lord Ryger says, nodding briefly even as his too-bland voice suggests a certain lack of conviction. His purpose apparently done, he briefly adds, “Well. Give my regards to Lord Loren, should you exchange letters with him. Good day.” And then he’s back to speaking with the guildsman, who’s waited dutifully to win back the Master of Law’s attention. The two wander off, talking of more mundane things.

Mavros may be ignoring her now, but the things he says brings a look of such naked hunger to Valeria’s face that it must be difficult to see for anyone else. “You are returning to Dorne?” she asks, sounding now like the child she is at heart, reaching to lay a hand on his arm.

“You will no doubt find something appropriate, ser,” interjects Sylvina, “though it is unfortunate that you will not be attending.” All smiles, all charm, not the least as she turns away from Mavros to take in some of the new arrivals. The Piper girl receives a pleasant smile and a dip of her head, and Rosalind something of the same kind, if perhaps a little more reserved.

Aisling, on the other hand, find herself a silent spectator once nothing provokes her to speak up again. But like her step-sister, she takes note of those that have entered the hall most recently, and finds herself offering polite but most certainly restrained nods of greeting to the new arrivals.

“I’ve a fine set of scrolls from Asshai from my time in the Free Cities,” Ser Mavros muses aloud, “an account of the association of stars with certain mysterious arts such are said to be practiced there, but I fear Prince Baelor would not find that to his taste. Perh—” Valeria’s interruption gives him pause. Or, at least, it appears to do so. He looks at her with leaden eyes, as if wary, and then says, “I am, milady. To continue on as I have done, in doing what is best for Dorne. Why do you ask?”

Rosalind bobs another curtsey, murmuring courtesies, as Lord Rygar dismisses her. Withdrawing, she likewise nods in greeting to the other nobles in the room, regarding Mavros Uller with a bit of detatched curiousity, before spotting a friendlier face among the sea of courtiers. With a warm smile, tinged with relief, Rosalind approaches Ammena Piper. “My lady, tis good to see you.”

“Would you…” Valeria starts, but she breaks off, all confidence fled. “Would you carry a letter to my mother? Or near as you can? We’ve not heard from her, you see, and we—my brothers and I…” Here she breaks off again, looking to the far side of the hall where the two tall Blackmonts are dicing. “We miss her,” she says finally. “If you carried a letter, we could be sure of it reaching her, at least, so she will not worry.”

Nodding gently in acknowledged greeting to Sylvina and Aisling, Ammena visibly brightens at Rosalind’s approach. “Rosalind! So good to see you. I have the most wonderous news. You remember the soil samples I asked you about? The seeds and such?” she quickly chatters.

A notable spark of interest brightens Aisling’s eyes as Mavros ponders what gifts might suit the royal couple. “Scrolls from Asshai?” she queries, revealing an uncharacteristic spontaneity. This earns her a warning glance from Lord Ryger, and a smug smile from Sylvina, who is next to speak up. “Intriguing, I am sure, Ser Mavros, but the prince is most pious and the princess fond of more active pursuits. It would seem like a gift better suited to a Maester, or someone else who is far too closely acquainted with musty old tomes.” There’s no mistaking where those words are aimed, though she does not look at Aisling. Instead she glances over at Valeria again, apparently curious what response the Dornishwoman’s plea might garner.

Ser Mavros’s expression softens, a little. “I could do so, of course,” he states, magnanimously enough. “I will be sure to send a man to the Dornish Tower for it. Indeed, if anyone else wishes a letter carried, have them leave it with you to pass on to me.” He does not offer anything more stirring than that, a call for respect for differing opinions or a paean to the importance of kinship and fellowship. Instead, he picks up the thread of conversation where he left off. “Yes, Asshai, Lady Aisling,” he says. “Well. Not from Asshai directly. They are copies of scrolls, translated into the High Valyrian from the language of the lands of the Shadow. The originating scrolls were lost, I’m told, when the Doom came to Valyria… Although I suppose that bores you young ladies, dry dusty things of this sort. Active pursuits, you say, Lady Sylvina? Hmm…”

Rosalind smiles in response to Ammena’s enthusiastic greeting. “Oh, yes. I remember.” She replies, “Were you able to discover anything?” The discussion of the Asshai scrolls do get a sidelong glance of interest, albeit discreet.

Valeria nods mutely, the brightness of her eyes testament to her wordless thanks. Instead she turns away from her distant uncle and looks at Aisling. “I hope you are well. And your horse. I hope he is also well,” she says in a clear attempt at civility. Asshai scrolls meaning nothing to her, however, she lets her gaze wander a bit, and she lifts a hand in greeting to Rosalind Hill.

Nodding happily to Rosalind, Ammena says, “Yes. With some investigating and a bit of aid from the custodians in the library, I was able to oversee some plantings in Aunt Taria’s gardens. The gardener at the Manse informed me just today that some of the clippings have taken and thrived. We are to have whitefish with orange peppers this very evening.” Happily rising to her feet, she extends both her hands towards Rosalind and adds, “Oh do say you are free tonight to come and join us? It’ll be a small rehearsal tasting as it were for my nameday celebration to come. And it has been ages since we last spoke! So much to catch up on.”

A little laugh from Sylvina, not quite coy but certainly intended to be charming. “I must confess, ser, that I do not think such matters are for a lady to concern herself with. Though I believe my step-sister feels differently. She spends an inordinate amount of time with her nose in a book, even though mother always warned that it was likely to make her squinty-eyed.” Her tone of voice is pleasant enough, it could be nothing but friendly banter between siblings.

It is not, though, and the cold, hard glare (not at all squinty-eyed) from Aisling in her direction makes it plain. But before she can respond, she is distracted by Valeria, to whom she turns. “Ah, thank you for asking, Lady Valeria. He is well. I think I would say he is now fully recovered from his injuries and fully fit again.” She considers going on, but then finds herself drawn back to Mavros and Sylvina, addressing the former. “Most fascinating, ser. From the Free Cities, you say?” She is clearly intrigued, yet also reluctant to say too much.

“Oh, I would love to sup with you this evening, thank you.” Rosalind smiles to Ammena, “It has been too long since last we’ve talked and I’ve missed your company. I am sure your lady aunt will plan something magnificent for your nameday.” Catching movement out of the corner of her eye, she spots Valeria Blackmont, raising her own hand in greeting. “Who is the Dornishman?” she asks the Piper maiden quietly, with a nod toward the Uller knight. “I don’t recognize him.”

“Your lady mother has a certain wisdom,” says Ser Mavros to Sylvina, though he glances at Aisling as he speaks, and perhaps takes a glimpse at Valeria as well. “My eyes aren’t so sharp as they used to be. But I’ve seen distant places and visited distant times, thanks to the learning in books and in scrolls. That my sight’s a little dimmer is a fair exchange.” A pause, and then a brief grin revealing the gap of a missing tooth at one side of his smile. “But ladies such as yourself have better things to think of, than mouldy books from the Free Cities and the dust of ages…. Horses, for one. Do you share your sister’s skill in riding, Lady Sylvina?”

Glancing briefly towards the peppered Dornishman and the statuesque goldskinned woman, Ammena quietly says to Rosalind, “I know not. He seems to have quite the audience.” She then adds in lower tones, “Earlier there were sparks. Best to stay clear from desert lightning I should say.”

Valeria subsides into a chair, but it is readily apparent that she is listening to every word being said, out of idleness at the very least. She may look at her wine, but her eyes are keenly interested .

Sylvina begins to smile at Mavros’s response, but then it falters a little. “No, ser.” The response is surprisingly curt, at least coming from her, except for those—and they are not all that many, all considered—who know of the lady’s aversion to horses. Then a smile again. “But on my own two feet, I have often been complimented, not the least for my dancing.”

While her step-sister speaks, Aisling looks about ready to roll her eyes at the younger woman, though she does seem rather pleased to find Sylvina with so little to say in response to Mavros’s query. She also seems to consider saying more for herself, as a curious glance lingers upon the Dornishman, but she finds herself thwarted with the return of Lord Ryger. “I fear we must make our excuses now, Ser Mavros,” says the Master of Laws.

Rosalind inclines her head, hearing the Master of Laws name the unfamiliar Dornishman. “I’ve dealt with enough ‘sparks’ as of late. I need not seek out any more.” She smiles wryly. “So what does your lady aunt plan for your name day?”

“Grace is a gift from the gods, Lady Sylvina. I am envious,” Ser Mavros says courteously, but Lord Ryger’s interruption does not seem to disconcert him. “Of course, my lord, of course. You have been gracious to lend your nieces to keep me company for a little while.” He bows to the ladies, and Lord Ryger. “A good day to you all.” And with that, his eyes turn to scan the room, to pick out the next fixture at court he might have a word with. His eyes brush past Valeria, pausing a moment before moving on, and soon enough he moves to converse with the royal harbormaster.

Glancing at the windows, Ammena distractedly comments, “Why just look. Even the sky itself reflects the King’s colors. It should be a lovely evening no doubt.” Focusing her attention back towards Rosalind, she says, “Ah! Well then, we have lists of guests, plenty of food, wine of course, some proper Riverland dishes, some new experiments with the plantings, hiring musicians and singers, gifts for guests, practicing dances, the guest list… Oh, I said that already. Gifts for the servants, new candles, overseeing decorations, definitely several new dresses and perhaps a new necklace, and.. Well there is simply so much to plan!” Chuckling softly she then adds, “Twill be my first nameday in King’s Landing. I do so wish to make it festive.”

Rosalind smiles, listening to her friend chatter merrily about the upcoming celebration. “That sounds lovely.” she agrees, “And undoubtedly a grand event, to be sure.”

“Well, we shall see. One thing I’ve learned from Aunt Taria is that there is great… how would you say…. -delicacy- to be taken in even the simplest of planned gatherings.” Smiling softly, she gently adds, “But we can talk of this and other matters later tonight. I must be off and change for our dinner.” Leaning close to Rosalind she softly whispers, “Bring your maps with you. There is a matter that I need your wit upon.” Gently ushering her Septa and guard to join her, Ammena softly nods in curtsey towards Rosalind.

Rosalind chuckles faintly, “Aye, I will. I’ll be along for dinner. Thank you again.”

“See you soon then.” Ammena says. At that, Ammena swiftly adjusts her shawl about her shoulders and moves towards the entrance hall and into the glowing night.

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