The Days and Nights of House Corinthyen

The Prince's Tourney: Areon and Giselle, Night One

In which they visit the Mothers of Mercy, to ascertain the truth behind Areon's "son."

Areon and Giselle, the boy Daro in tow, make their way through the streets of Sunspear in search of the Mothers of Mercy. After asking around a bit, and coaxing a few hints out of the boy, they find themselves in front of a ramshackle wooden building leaned up against the inside of the outermost city wall. The image of a smiling woman holding a child has been rendered on the door in charcoal. In the dirt of the street next to the door, a small girl plays with a doll and some splintered table ware – she appears to be serving an imaginary meal.

As they stand outside, indecisive, a matronly older woman garbed in blue robes with a white veil over her lower face yanks open the door and strides out.

“Danna, there you are!” She says. “I suggest you move your tea inside, if you want dinner, young lady. Olmed is already working on seconds.” The girl looks up at her, a pouting expression on her face. The matrong merely arches an eyebrow and stares back at her. After a moment, the girl sighs, gathers up her things, and heads inside. The old woman is about to follow her, but stops and turns to face Areon and Giselle.

“Well, and what will you be wanting then?” She asks, a bit belligerently. She eyes them up and down, glances at the boy, sniffs, and turns her gaze back to them. Her eyes narrow. “You’re young and strong. I don’t know what marital problems you’re having, or how uppity your boy is, we’re not taking him off your hands. No food, no room. If there will be nothing else, good day.” She nods perfunctorily, turns on her heel, and begins to stride purposefully back into the building.

Giselle is obviously watching the boy for signs of what he is thinking of the situation, as it seems clear that this woman doesn’t recognize him, and is clearly waiting from a reaction from Areon, as well. The corner of her lips turn up slightly, as she realizes the boy is about to be exposed as a fraud, but still wondering what his purpose actually is here.

Areon speaks up quickly, before she can leave, “I’m sorry madam, but I was hoping that you may be able to help clear a few things up for me.” He gestures to the boy, “This boy, Daro is his name, claims to have been left in your care when his mother, Isador, passed away. While tragic, that wouldn’t normally be of my concern. What is concerning is that he claims his mother left a note with you saying that I’m the father. Do you recognize the boy?”

The woman stops and listens without turning until Areon finishes speaking. Then she sighs, and wheels around.

“Come here, boy,” she says, crooking one bony finger. Daro gives Areon a dirty look and approaches her. She squats down a bit and peers at his face. “Hrm. Two days ago, yes? With that Septa from…wherever.”

“Prodigal.” Daro mumbles.

“Prodigal, yes, as you say. Middle of nowhere, Dorne, for all I know.” The woman straightens, a minor effort showing on her face. “Boy came to us two days ago, brought by a traveling Septa. I wasn’t in, but I saw the boy at supper. If there was a letter, I guess the Septa gave it to him, or maybe one of our younger Mothers.”

The Mother appears to think for a moment.

“Are you his father, then?” She asks.

“He seems to think that I am, and I hate to disappoint him, but I don’t know the name Isador, whom he claims is his mother. I was hoping that if this note really did identify me by name, that one of the Mothers here would still have it, that I might examine it.” Areon looks down at the boy, “I’m sorry Daro, but I believe you are mistaken. I would never shirk my responsibilities as a father, but I don’t think that man is me.”

“Weren’t you paying attention? I gave you the letter, already…I think you put it in your purse when you thought I was stealing from you.” Daro sounds exasperated, and his face is crumpled with hurt. “It has your name in it – it has to, she said…” He sniffs, and wipes at his eyes. “Sister Glim said it did. Why would she lie?”

“Well, let’s have a look,” the Mother of Mercy says. “I haven’t got all night to be standing around out here, and if we’ve got another mouth to feed, I’d like to know it.”

{Jumping Ahead, then.}

Mentally kicking himself, Areon pulls out the letter and peruses it briefly before handing it over to the Mother.

She reads it slowly and laboriously, holding the paper close to her face. She appears to have made it about half way down when a laugh escapes her mouth and is then choked off. She gestures to Areon to come off to one side with her.

“Pardon me, but if this is some kind of jape, it is truly awful. Lord Lumpus? This is a children’s story.” The woman offers the letter back. “Whoever this Sister Glim is, she’s not one of ours. Probably some kind of thief, though I can’t imagine what profit there is in toying with a young boy’s life like this. He’s not like to get over it any time soon. Is there nothing you can do for him?”

In a hushed voice, so Daro cannot over hear, “I’m sorry Sister, but my duties leave me no time for caring for a young boy, as much as it pains me. I’m the Master-at-Arms for House Corinthyen, and my duty is to the Lord of my house. Not to mention how this might look upon me, and by extension my lord. Regardless of whether this boy is actually mine, rumors would spread that he was, and that I had him illegitimately.” Areon’s voice hardens considerably, “However, I do not take kindly to being used like this, not to mention how this might be affecting young Daro. If you can take him in, I will try to see what I can find out about this Sister Glim, and just what is going on. Is there anything you can tell me that might help track her down?”

The Mother purses her lips and shrugs.

“Well, we all have our responsibilities. I’ll see the boy doesn’t starve, if he’ll let me. We usually try to place boys his age as apprentices, if we can, so he may even get a proper roof. As for this false Septa, I hope she gets what’s coming to her – she deserves a rope and a short drop, if you ask me. I’ll ask around and see if anyone remembers what she looks like, or if she said where she was going. And I’ll try to get the boy to talk as well.”

When Areon and the Mother of Mercy turn back to Daro, there is no question that he sees what’s coming in their faces.

“No,” he says. “No, no, no, she said, she said…please…” He crumples to the ground, sobbing. The Mother kneels down and wraps her arms around him. She whispers to him comfortingly, rocking him back and forth in her arms.

After a moment, she glances up at Areon and Giselle. Sorrow is written in the wrinkles of her face, but her eyes are bright and hard.

“We should see if we can track down Lord Errik,” Giselle nudges Areon softly, “The boy will be fine here, but I like not at all being separated for long periods when we know full well there are those who wish us ill. We will soon straighten out these rumors and squabbles, but until we do, we should stay together. I thought for a moment that this ‘Daro’ might have just been a way to increase the separation of our household…and doubt still lingers…”

Areon will turn to Daro before leaving, “Daro, look, I’m sorry that you were caught up in the middle of all this, and I promise that I will do what I can to find out what is going on here, but until then, I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to stay with the Mothers here for now.” Turning back to the Mother. “Thank you for looking after him, and I feel terrible that I must leave him here, but Giselle is right, we must get back to our lord.” Areon finally turns to Giselle, “I fear you may be right, I know not what plots are against us, but it becomes increasingly clear that there are more than we might have suspected. Let’s hurry.”

The boy only cries harder.

As they turn to leave, Giselle realizes something and turns to Areon suddenly.

“I was somewhat preoccupied with my own thoughts upon our arrival, friend. Did Errik even say what he was heading off to do? I remember arranging to have him meet us at the Mothers of Mercy if his business was completed before ours, but don’t know even which direction to head in our pursuit of him now that ours is concluded.”

“Do we head to the inn Lagorio has arranged? And which is that? I feel I must apologize again for my wandering mind earlier,” she says, clearly still battling with some internal struggle. “I will try to stay focused for the duration of our visit.”

{Giselle: Cunning, Memory, 14, Success: At last glance, Errik was heading toward a row of taverns and shops near the Greenblood Gate, although he never mentioned a final destination. It’s maybe a half hour’s walk back around the outer ring. You could try to take a shortcut through the middle rings of the city, but there are no guarantees it will end up being shorter.}

{Areon: Cunning, 10, Failure: Errik vanished into the crowd, and you can’t be sure where he went.}

Areon will admit, somewhat sheepishly, that he was a little preoccupied with the Daro situation, and didn’t hear or see where Errik was off to. “I’m afraid I’m just not sure… I will defer to your guidance.”

“Very well,” she resigns herself to the lead and heads off, adding, “I will take us back to where he headed off, and we’ll head the way he went and hope for the best. I just hope he doesn’t take a different route to the Mothers of Mercy and we end up chasing ourselves in circles all night. The Seven only know who we’d chase ourselves into in the process.”

{Areon and Giselle head off through the streets of Sunspear in search of Errik. Unless you have something to do along the way, that means you’re on hold until I finish up with Michael. Ideally, that should be another couple of posts, so hopefully he and I will be on at complimentary times.}

Comments

//All these secrets leave me twiddling my thumbs and posting horrible, horrible songs in the culture section.

 

Hehehehehe, my evil plan has come to fruition!

Well, you should have plenty of exciting reading to do by next week. I know that’s ages away, but patience is a virtue, or something.

 

Evil, evil fruits. I suppose that’s better than your evil plan coming to vegetation?

I am anxiously awaiting the reading and continuation – I can only reskin so many Bon Jovi songs into Mattyw’s words.

 

Red R’hlorr, protect us, for the night is dark and full of terrors. ;-D

 

No fair! My song is totally better than the original!

 

Haha, no argument, I don’t think. Actually, now that I can hear the music, that song makes a lot more sense. You should maybe imbed a youtube video of an instrumental or something.

It was more that it’s Bon Jovi you’re copying that made me start praying. Also, I’m a jerk.

 

//To Areon and Giselle: For the moment, I have nothing to add. You two are just standing outside as the woman walks back in, and the boy is standing rather sullenly next to Areon.

 

//Back from the holiday weekend :)

 

//Sweet. Me too. By the by – and I know it has been a little while – Daro did give the letter to Areon when he first introduced himself. No one ever opened it or looked at it, though. I’ve been wondering when someone might want to… :-D

 

// Hum de dum… are there any other terrible Bon Jovi songs I can sling at you folks? I’m not sure…

 

//So sorry guys, been swamped, i’ve been the chauffeur for both my folks since they’ve been laid up with different procedures (which they should be fine from in a few days time), on top of work and school. Also, I totally missed that, I glossed over the letter in his recounting of the contents. Nice call on bringing it up. :P Updating now.

 

Well, I for one am glad to hear they’re recovering well. Don’t feel bad about the delinquency – games always come second to life, as I think we all understand.

Hehe, yeah, I thought about reminding you of it OOC, but…well, it’s perfectly reasonable to think that Areon would have been so surprised that he failed to look at the letter. Well done to you both on handling this, by the way. Things could have gone much worse than they have.

 

//…wait, things could have gone worse? I WANNA SEE! :P

 

//Updated. And in case it is not clear, we will head back the way we came, as Giselle has been long away from the city, and would rather not risk “shortcuts” from memory.

 

// Quite a curious read, that. I fully expect Areon to be appearing on an episode with Gerwy Spryngr soon!

JonathonVolkmer JonathonVolkmer

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