Page 290: Bare
Summary: Lord Blackwood comes to Lady Danae with some questions. She offers the sacrifice of her dignity in return.
Date: May 5, 2012
Related Logs: All the Stonebridge. Ever.
Daemon Marsden Danae 
Tordane Tent — Stonebridge
It's a tent.
May 5, 289

The sky is beginning to darken when Lord Daemon Blackwood makes his way over to the stone bridge and the maybe-Tordane camp that sits there. He has with him his secretary, as has become his custom, but more strangely, two septas, who trail along in his wake. The Lord has a grim cast to his expression as he approaches — whoever is there to receive him. "Lord Blackwood to see Lady — Danae," he says.

The flap to the large tent would be peeled back easily enough, allowing for the Blackwood and his secretary to be allowed in. The inside of the tent is moderately furnished, and is relatively spartan. As of now camp chairs have been arranged as cups of wine and a plate of bread sit on a table. Nothing entirely fanciful. Simply to the point.

As for the man at the tent, he is clothed in the drab robes of brown, and hears a scar on his face that is hard to go unnoticed. His pale blue eyes stare back before he moves to the side. "Come in, Lord Blackwood. The Lady is ever ready to receive you." Marsden intones before he is nodding to the table. "There is wine if you would like?" if not the septon shall not force it.

The Lady is within the tent, garbed in the blacks of mourning and still bearing a bruise from a blow across her cheek, fingers playing with the edge of her sleeve. Smiling cordially, Danae rises as the Lord Blackwood enters the tent and slips into the appropriate depth of a curtsey. "My Lord Blackwood," she greets softly. "Welcome ."

Blackwood murmurs a quiet note to the septas, who nod and remain outside when he slips into the tent. "Lady Danae," he greets her politely. His gaze flickers to Marsden, taking in the man with a quick sweep of his gaze. "That will not be necessary." Looking back to the widow, he says, "I need to ask you some questions."

Marsden nods once, allowing the flap to close behind them. There is a quick glance given to the septas outside, before he is moving over to stand off the flank of Lady Danae. Hands move to bury themselves into wide brown sleeves. There is a brief raise of brow towards the Blackwood and his man, but otherwise the septon doesn't interrupt.

Inquisitive, blue eyes flit past Blackwood to note those lingering Septas, her gaze sharpening slightly as they are asked to remain outside the tent. Curious as their presence is, a glance is cast towards her maid to ensure that the holy women are seen to while the nobles speak. Danae smiles graciously, inclining her head in a delicate nod at the Lord's words. "Of course, my Lord. Whatever you require."

As delicate as always, Blackwood — absolutely refrains from beating around the bush. "When did your alleged marriage with Ser Gedeon take place?"

Marsden is silent for a moment, before he is looking back towards Blackwood. "The private ceremony was performed on that Saturday before the duel on the Sun's day My Lord." Marsden states softly, before he is looking back towards Danae.

"My marriage with Ser Gedeon took place the night before the — his death, the day of duel…as the Septon said," Danae replies softly, an edge of emotion slipping into her words with a breathy pause. "There were a number of witnesses present, including Lord Anton Valentin, Lady Cherise Charlton, and Lady Tiaryn Flint."

"I see." Blackwood folds his hands at the small of his back, gaze sliding over to Marsden. "And you were the Septon?"

Marsden nods once to the question. "I am my Lord." he states simply. " Septon Marsden." In this Danae might note the difference of his name and title, but other than that the same scarred man she knows. "I can list the name I was signed into the Septry's records with if my valid credentials of ordination need to be examined."

Hands clasped at her waist, Danae inclines her head in an agreeable nod at the pronouncement of the Septon's title. It is as he says. She will not speak until so questioned.

"Yes," is Blackwood's entire answer to Marsden's offer to list his credentials. He tips his head at his secretary, who stands waiting for it.

"Then you will find in the Septry's records at Riverrun that I was listed as Marsden Erenford. An acolyte of the father under Septon Judd." He announces without a look back towards Danae. "After my ordination I was sent to Goodbrook, under my title now." Of course there may be an asterisk by his name, but that remains unsaid. If they wish to press into Goodbrook lands, then they will find out more. Marsden exhales, briefly. before he looks to the Secretary. "Anything else, my Lord?"

"And you will swear on all the usual items that the ceremony was performed properly and legally?" Blackwood is starting to sound a bit resigned.

Marsden bows his head. "I will swear seven times on the seven books, and sign any parchment to the legality of the ceremony being performed properly, validly and legally binding by my ordination." Marsden intones easily.

Blackwood thins his lips. "Very well," he says. His attention returns to Danae. "Lady Danae, the Lord Regent has sworn that you laid with him the day before your wedding. Is this true?"

"No." There is no hesitation as the Lady Danae utters the word, shaking her head as she looks up at Blackwood. No. "I swear by the light of the Seven that so soon as I was promised to my husband, there was no one else. I never laid with the Lord Regent, my Lord Blackwood."

"How much time passed between your betrothal and your wedding, Lady Danae?" Blackwood says just a touch dryly at her phrasing.

"My Lord, if I might interject?" Marsden says as one hand slips from his robes. "We do have proof on Lady Tordane's claim." the septon interrupts. However given the question there is a look back towards Danae and he falls silent.

"I never laid with the Lord Regent, my Lord," Danae simplifies quietly, looking up at him from under the blonde cast of her lashes. "However, it was soon after Ser Gedeon received his letter of declaration that he shared his intent to wed…me." A flicker of a smile curls across her lips at the memory.

Blackwood shares no such smiles at no such memories. He looks to Marsden, brows lifted, and waits for his proof.

Marsden nods. "As per custom and rite, the sheets were kept to be inspected and given to Ser Gedeon after the duel, and thus presented to the Bride's father as well." And the septon gestures back to a chest off in the corner. "As I was unable to give them to the Groom, they have been kept, locked in with his things." And without any biddance, he simply moves towards the chest, only to pause and look back towards Lady Danae. "If it is alright with you, My Lady? I will need the key."

"Of course, Septon," Danae demurs, lifting her hands to slip a finger beneath the collar of her dress. A key is withdrawn on a slim lace and passed to Marsden.

Blackwood's brows twitch upwards, but he retains his silence as Marsden explains and waits for them to produce the sheet.

Marsden takes the key from Danae, and quickly moves without much fanfare to unlock the chest, and then carefully reaches down to pull out the offwhite linens. A brief sigh, as the chest is closed and he moves over to the secretary-taking time to unfold and hold out the sheets for he and Lord Blackwood to inspect. There is but a brief glance to Danae. "I am sorry for having to do this…" regret held in his throat.

Danae meets the Septon's glance with a pale, understanding gaze and a white-knuckled claps of her hands. She shakes her head briefly. "I understand completely."

Blackwood waits impassively as Marsden carefully unfolds the sheet, his gaze focused until he sees that proof of blood. "Well, it is blood on a sheet," he says in a weary tone. His gaze returns to Danae, his jaw hardening. "Lord Riordan has explicated specific — details of your person," he says. "The septa who have accompanied me — one who serves a Mallister noblewoman, the other a Frey — have agreed to examine you to compare his description."

"Proof that her virginity was taken." Marsden iterates in case it needs to be taken down. However to the request there is a tightening of his jaw, as anger does seem to show in the septon's visage. "Does that man, know no bounds in which he would drag a widow through the mud. By the Seven-" and he bites his words. A look over towards Danae, looking to her reaction. "I am sorry. So bloody sorry that a monster has targeted you so…" his voice, softer there.

At the Lord Blackwood's…request, Danae pales significantly and reaches out to grab one of the backs of chairs to steady herself. "I see," she whispers brittlely, exhaling a slow breath. The Septon's words ring out angrily through the tent, while her own are barely a murmur, however chilled a one. The blood leeches out of her hand, gaze hot as she looks back to the Lord Blackwood with her teeth gritted tight. "As am I…However, it would see the Lord Regent gives me little choice but to accept such indignity. The Septas have each been given that description and will examine me…in private, then?" And that he will not partake of it with them.

"My lady, if I were going to examine you myself, the septas would not be necessary." Blackwood's expression is grim in light of this particular request. He glances about the tent. Any fancy separated rooms kind of tent? "If you are prepared, I will leave and send in the septas."

"My Lord." Marsden speaks up-though nothing follows it. Apparently the septon does defend his lady as well as he can within his station. There's a brief look given to Lord Blackwood, before he is moving to lay down the sheets, if the Septas care to look at those and judge as well. A faint pause before he moves to the flap, and there to hold it for Lord Blackwood. It seems Marsden will slip outside as well.

"Considering these awful…you'll have to forgive my discretion, my Lord," Danae murmurs, pressing her fingers against her temples. It isn't so fancy of a tent, a single room in the pavilion with her maid fidgeting anxiously at her lady's distress. There is a nice roaring fire without, though. "As you will," she agrees softly, indicating her acceptance with a short nod. She will wait.

Blackwood does glance at Marsden, but when the septon offers nothing further, he turns aside and slips out of the tent. He speaks briefly with the two septas, who listen before nodding and moving inside the tent. Neither of them is particularly warm, but they are both polite, and one of them at least has an edge of removed sympathy about her manner.

The flap of the tent falls shut and is tied once the Septas enter, allowing for what privacy that they can. Inside the sounds from within dull to murmurs and the whispers of fabric as Danae is made to disrobe and stand before them, stern and silent under their hands. Silence falls for a time as both the Frey and Mallister woman take to work, making their own inspection of the widow Tordane. It seems a very long time before they exit the tent. The lady is left, garbed once more and seated at the table with her face pressed against her clasped hands. The indignity is done.

Blackwood is silent as he waits outside, his jaw set, his gaze steady on the horizon. It is not until the septas exit that he turns back. He only confers with them briefly before returning back inside the tent. To his credit, he does not look wholly without feeling. "Lady Danae," he says in a quieter voice. "Thank you for your — cooperation. I will take my leave of you now."

When the septas exit. Marsden merely, places a hand out towards Blackwood to prevent him from entering right away, before he simply moves inside the tent and looks over at the widowed Tordane. A swallow and Marsden seems to pale, before that scarred face of his churns in un checked anger there. "Were I your father.." his voice comes out dry like old paper. "I would murder the son of a whore right now. Gods forgive me, I would." And his hands-remained clenched as fists. "I'd eat his heart in the market place for everyone to see."

As to Lord Blackwood's words he says nothing, and merely moves to see to the Lady. The Lord can show his own way out.

It is feeling that Danae does not look back to see, shoulders bowed as she continues to press her face into her hands. "Of course, my Lord," she replies softly, voice unsteady if perfectly polite. There is a slight inclination of her head in a dip, but nothing more than that. She does not turn nor respond to the Septon's vivid words.

Marsden says nothing more as arms move to catch Danae's shoulders, and he simply steps in to hold her, unless of course she shakes him off. Which he fully expects as well. "I am sorry.." he says after a moment of silence. "I am so sorry, my brave girl."

Blackwood studies her for a long moment. It's unclear what he's looking for — or what he could even find that the septas haven't. "The bruises?" he asks finally.

There is little left to find in the slim woman's bowed spine, the presence she commanded seemingly sucked out. "I was grabbed," Danae answers, blunt words still soft — with a rawness at their core that frays the edges of her gentle tone. "And struck."

"By whom?" Blackwood asks in a level voice.

Marsden is silent as he watches Danae, but he does not speak up for his Lady. This is her fight as well, and she must hold the wall if she wishes to be ruler of it.

"My Lord," Danae begins on a harsh edge breath. "If I knew the exact reason, I would have made certain to avoid it…" She leans further into her hands. "I am a widow and he wishes for me to annul my marriage, going to great lengths to see it done. Is that reason enough?"

"Lady Danae, I am asking what reason he gave you for violence. I am not content to rely on the motivations of rumors that are running through the village, and I think it is in your best interest that I remain such." Blackwood's voice, while still even, is firm on this.

"And I am telling you, then when I would not recant he got angry," Danae clarifies softly, voice flat.

Blackwood purses his lips, standing there for a long, silent moment. Then he dips his chin in a final nod, turns, and leaves.