|Confidences In Castle Gardens|
|Summary:||Muirenn Mallister enjoys 'girl talk' and gossip with her handmaiden, Miniella.|
|Date:||26/03/2012 (OOC Date)|
|Seagard's Castle Garden|
|March 26, 289|
Sitting upon a quilt in one of the castle gardens, Muirenn’s gloved hands work steadily to plant yet another precious herb into a small clay vial to accompany her to Four Eagles tower at Terrick’s Roost. She hums a spritely tune softly to herself as she tucks the tiny plant into its allotment of soil.
Reaching over, Miniella draws the noble woman’s veil further down for her. “Be careful my lady, you know how your nose likes to freckle if you are in the sun overlong.” The handmaiden’s own gloved hands gesture as she instructs, “Heurtebise, bring some more of the rosemary and mint over for Lady Muirenn.”
Glancing over at her trusted friend and maid, Muirenn smiles “Indeed, it would be embarrassing if those people who promised to come visit Terrick’s Roost actually do so and I looked as freckled as street urchin. As well, it would not be a good impression to present myself to my new guardian looking like some ill-bred thing.” She lifts her hands and studies the pair of riding gloves she has modified for the purpose of gardening, “I am rather pleased with how these turned out, especially since my hands have mostly healed from the siege.”
“The diplomat may actually do as he says, but for the other…would you truly wish him to visit?” Minnie glances over at her mistress looking a bit disconcerted, “He is so…so…so…” she struggles to find an appropriate word, “scandalous! I mean how would *HE* feel about such a person paying court to you. Not to mention your brother, Lord Mallister, your cousins, and Lord Terrick?”
Muirenn doesn’t look up as she continues to work with her plants “The diplomat is arrogant though there are moments he can be quite sweet, he annoys me greatly with his self-importance. I *still* bristle when I think of how he insulted my own guards right in front of me. That he insulted Ser Conners himself a sworn knight in front of me! It was sheer impudence.” In the confines of the quiet garden with only her handmaiden to hear her she speaks her mind. “Yes, he finds me beautiful and cares about *my* feelings more than my family’s money, that is flattering to a girl’s ears but still…I do not know how politically advantageous to *me* it would be to marry into such a small house. He could not further Mallister interests. And you know that *HE* would disapprove anyway after what was said.”
Minnie nods as she sorts out piles of wolfsbane, “Oh I quite agree my lady, but what of the other? I saw the way he looked at you. I must admit it made me blush the way his eyes watched you.”
“Really?” Muirenn smiles and looks pleased by this news, “It is highly improper I realize, but a girl does like to be noticed. I have always felt like such a hinderence to my own marriage prospects because so many other ladies are so beautifully tiny and delicate that I feel so gawky in comparison. I do not think he is quite as horrible as they say, I imagine it rather an act and in private he is quite different…though I freely admit he is a peacock. His cousin on the other hand is truly ruthless and abhorrent so the gossip goes.” The soil is tamped firmly in place as she lays the vial down to pick up another, a grin teasing at the corners of her mouth as she continues “Oh, do not get me wrong. He is truly an ill-mannered and undoubtedly an ill-tempered bear but such things may be worked on. That has potential to be a more unique alliance, he would have more to bring to the table.”
“Perhaps, but I heard rumor in the market before the ships sailed that he had perhaps cast his eye in another direction.” The handmaiden murmurs, “which for your reputation perhaps is just as well. I also heard…” and she leans forward and whispers in her mistress’ ear.
A deep blush suffuses the fair cheeks, though she laughs behind her gloved hand. “Really?! How deliciously shocking! That is…” she clears her throat as she listens to more, “They say that?!” Muirenn’s green-grey eyes dance merrily as she leans over and whispers, “Should such an alliance take place, *I* would have to show that I am without peer and ensure such things happened with me and *not* with such rumored filth. I confess, though Mama and the rest would die, my medical lessons from the Maesters have taught me much that they would not expect me to use in such ways.”
Minnie giggles and shakes her head with a blush, “Do not let them hear you say such my lady! Lord Jerold would lock you in a tower and throw away the key. As well you know your father and brother would quite applaud such actions.”
“Perhaps” Muirenn replies as she gives a little shrug, “But trust that I am wiser than that, Minnie. How *HE* would see it though,” she gives a soft sigh, “HE would like it not I am guessing. It is unfair!” her hand tightens around the clay vial holding its tender seedling. “Yes, yes I realize that life is not fair, but any alliance, even were it to someone perfect, would hurt him and that in turn hurts me. Not that there are any perfect men outside the Mallister family. I will just have to discuss my choices as they come with HIM is all.”
“That is probably wise my lady.” She pauses and tactfully changes the subject as she watches the young Mallister maiden’s expression sadden and then turn desperate at turns, “What about the empty land that belongs to Lady Camden? Do you think upon her marriage to your cousin Lord Aeric that will come to the family?” Minnie resumes her work and passes one of the wolfsbane cuttings to mistress.
“Rumor has it that small folk not either of the Terricks, Camdens, or Mallisters is moving in to claim some of the nearby land. I truly hope that it comes into our family. Not only would the timber be a valuable asset, but my cousin will put the fear of the Seven into whoever is attempting to take a greater stake in the politics of the region.” A new vial, another bit of wolfsbane planted as Muirenn muses speculatively, “I should like very much to have the Lady Liliana in our family. I admire her greatly and miss her. She is one of the reasons I look forward to returning to Four Eagles. Otherwise, I should be dreading it and nervous indeed.” A small sigh and she looks down at her black gown, and admits to her confidante “Even were the House and its people not in such mourning over loved ones lost in the siege as well as the Lady Evangeline, I am terrified that Lord Jerold will find me wanting in some way.” Stretching she reaches and tugs her breeze blown veil down over her face completely, “You are right, though it is insufferably hot it will ensure my face does not freckle.”
“Of course I am right, and my lady you should not worry. Your family adores you and if your cousin the new Lord Mallister did not think you would represent the family with honor and ability he would…well ok, so he loves you and would not send you packing my lady, but you know you are quite capable and only small minded jealousy would keep anyone from adoring you. Stop worrying.” Miniella smiles affectionately at her mistress, “Do you honestly think all these plantings will arrive intact with us?”
Not replying for a moment, Muirenn focuses on her work and then comments “It is doubtful, that is why I am making so many.” She grows silent and then says, “I hope they come home soon. I miss *HIM*. As for the others, they are entertaining though I honestly will be quite shocked if they pay me call. It is not like any of the eligible nobility of our vassel houses have wished to strengthen ties through an alliance with myself.” the planted vial is set down, “It has occurred to me that perhaps we should begin bringing in other House alliances.” Tilting her head the maiden blows a puff of air that stirs her veil a bit in an attempt to feel not so stifled, “Perhaps one of the cadet branches of the Lannister House or one of their vassels. Unless I wed the House Lord or his heir, I would insist that the contract included allowing us to live here in the Riverlands near my family. I refuse to be shipped off like a bag of fodder. Mallister women have more worth than that.”
“LADY MUIRENN!” comes a shrill call from indoors that is repeated and drawing closer to the garden.
“Oh Seven! It sounds like the Septa Waldstenia is looking for us.” Minnie mutters, “Is she coming back to Terrick’s Roost with us?”
The noblewoman heaves a sigh and after dusting off the gloves, strips them from her delicate, long-fingered hands. “Sadly, yes. Mama insisted if I was to be sent from home again that she accompany us. And you know that Papa, Martyn, and Patrek will give in to this one thing else they would be made miserable.” Giggling she adds, “I know the diplomat would cause her no concern, but should the peacock find me desirable for a match and come calling, I will be most amused to see how he deals with her…though hopefully kindly. In her way she cares for me deeply.” Pushing herself upwards she shakes her black skirts gently to straighten them and turns to look around calling to her other retainer at the far end of the garden, “Heurtebise, see to the rest of these please. Make sure they are well watered. We will leave only a few days after the men’s return.” Stretching and giving another sigh, Muirenn gestures “Come Miniella let us see what the Septa wants. I imagine she will insist I practice my singing. For some reason learning the dulcimer was not enough, I must sing like a lark whilst I play.”
And into the castle, grumbling about her lessons, disappears one of the House Mallister’s more lovely flowers feeling her mind a bit more eased by sharing her thoughts in confidence with her handmaiden.