|Gods and Roses|
|Summary:||Gedeon finds a lost rose among the roses and soon is pulled into a discussion of the Gods and their many faces.|
|Gardens — Tordane Tower|
|The rose garden of House Tordane is about three hundred square feet and hemmed in by walls about eye level to keep out the attention of wildlife. Bees hum about the area and around the stone archway which has seen the flowers grow up over and nearly encase in solid vine. The scent is sweet, mixing with the air coming off the water to produce an atmosphere some might find extremely calming. Stone benches have been chiseled out and placed along the path for visitors to relax on.|
|Thursday January 5, 289|
The Lady Cordelya planned on spending the rest of the evening with her husband, but he is the leader of a party of 200 men readying to go to war. Eventually, he was going to be called away. Far too wide awake to sleep, waiting for the few stolen hours she might get with the man she knelt before a weir with but two months ago, Corrie has found her way to the gardens. It's not a Godswood. There aren't really even any trees, and supplies are being stored almost everywhere, but it's something. She's made her way to the far back corner of the place, near where there's still open ground and some lovely roses. She's settled in a large pool of her heavy skirts, cloak spilled behind her, hair down and wild with the wind around her features. She looks like some sprite or dryad, almost, not a lady of the Riverlands. Very, very carefully, she's pruning some of the roses with her bare fingertips. Getting the dead away, giving life to regrow…
No trees, no weirwoods, only roses and an unexpected visitor. It's only a few hours since their last encounter, but it seems Gedeon Rivers also has some free time and no inclination to sleep. He moves through the gardens and around the piles of supplies… and nearly steps on a lady seated on the ground and plucking at thorned plants with her bare hands. "My Lady Flint," the name is a greeting and chastisement both, "You'll make your fingers bleed."
The young lady gasps, just slightly, more at his words than the fact he almost stepped upon her in the darkness. Hell, Corrie probably didn't even notice that. She does slightly hiss, the startle making her catch one of her small fingertips on a thorn, predictably. She suckles at it, just a moment, like a child might even as her pale green eyes turn up in his handsome faced direction. She smirks teasingly at him, "I was doing perfectly fine until a silent Ser came along…"
"Mmm," Gedeon agrees, smiling faintly as he lowers himself into a crouch near, but at a respectful distance from, the Lady Flint. "I've learned to move quietly to sneak out of trouble. Unfortunately, it seems it also makes me woefully adept at startling ladies in rose gardens. Have you someone in attendance to you present, my lady? I do not think your husband should like you out here by yourself."
Cordelya wrinkles her small nose just a touch, still slightly suckling at the tip of her finger, but the blood isn't too much. She then just turns her hand, having brought enough of it to the surface that it will come mostly easily now. She turns her hand upside down and carefully presses out a few drops of her own blood, feeding it to the roses. "Blood generally makes poppies grow, but it gives heart to roses as well, I suspect…" She explains, fully serious in her words. And then she realizes he's asked a question. "No, not at the moment, but I shall find my husband again shortly. I am fine for now. It is safe in the walls here. It is not as if I went stumbling through the forests?" As tempted as she might be.
"There are no real forests to stumble through, this near the western coast. At least, not in this area." Gedeon answers as he watches Cordelya drop blood on the roses. "Does it?" he queries. "Perhaps that explains the thorns, then."
Cordelya smiles a bit more at the thought, trying to coax another drop or two of blood from her moon white fingertip before she stops feeding the roses. "Aye. They are selfish for it. But if you take care, you can give them the love they need without being speared to death. I cannot say the same for the war you all march towards." Her smile falls away there, eyes going distant, quietly sick with a moment of worry. She brings her hands down to fold into her lap, sighing softly into the cool night air. "This is all such foolishness and pain. It is no wonder the Gods wail for their children."
"No, one cannot," Gedeon agrees softly, "war is all about offering your blood to protect that which you love. The gods may wail all they like, I've yet to see one come down ad stop the 'foolishness, as you call it' of battles and cruelty. Perhaps they're like your roses and feast on blood as well."
The young lady tilts her head a touch to the side, considering his words. Corrie's lips rest in a touch of a line, almost a frown, but she's giving his commentary actual thought, not just dismissing it as some religious zealots might do. "…In truth, I suspect the Gods have said as much, if not more. People just have lost the ways to listen. The old Gods are almost as lost as the children they first fostered in the great forests. Now, you all take religion with seven faces. There is a whole face to your god dedicated to war. How can one listen to the whispers of the Weirwoods when they are deafened by the drums pounding for the Warrior?"
"Oh, that's an easy trick," Gedeon says with a shake of his head, "but that is not the essence of the warrior. He does not pound for war, he is the spirit of fight and perseverance, and we all carry him in our hearts. The warrior is why your goodcousin recovers and strives to move forward even in the face of great pain. He's why you walk beside your husband when he discusses tactics. He's why you're here now, instead of asleep. Strength and will and the desire to turn will into action. That is the warrior's province as much as any battle."
All that pale green eyed attention goes to the handsome Gedeon now, the roses forgotten, her legs curling up beneath her heavy skirts, almost hugging into her chest even as she still sits upon the ground. Corrie genuinely considers that, lips in a thoughtful line. "That is… a most… Intriguing way of presenting the warrior, Ser. These are words my Ser husband should hear, I think… though I am happy to learn them. He is the one who found himself stumbling into this religion and a title without truly knowing it well. I will always believe in the trees, the old Gods, they will always speak to me… but the Seven might have voices as well."
"You should speak with a septon, if you truly want a proper explanation of it all," Gedeon says, "but they're faces. Representations. Seven pieces of a greater whole. They're what we should aspire to be and if each piece is what it looks like, it's much more besides. Seven faces of god, seven faces of man. Who's to say they're not just new names for old gods, in the end?"
A lovely, bittersweet little smile cuts across Corrie's small mouth at that consideration, "It is… distinctly possible. The old Gods had so little way to speak to the children of this new world, when those of the forest fled north and went into hiding from the others. Perhaps these seven faces were the only way to speak to man as it's known now." She still seems a hint skeptical, but not completely denying him. The little woman is more than happy to learn. "…Tell me… do they talk to you, ever? These faces? Can you hear them in the wind or off of the sea?"
Gedeon's shoulders lift and fall. He's no holy man to argue the point, be it right or wrong. "No, my lady, not the seven. We've had little to say to one another, in truth. The only time I ever felt as if the gods might have something to say to me, it was standing before a weirwood."
Cordelya hugs her arms across her knees, resting her chin against her skirts and staring up to him in a position that might be acceptable for a child, but is rather entirely unlady like now. But then, there is something still quite childlike entirely about the 20-something Corrie Flint. Too thin, too tall, almost gangly awkward like some teenagers and yet still so wildly innocent. Maybe it's her Reed blood? "Mm… perhaps that tells you something about religion and Gods, then." She then furrows her brows, "And why are you so dismissive, Gedeon? You act like the Gods and you are on poor terms? You think you would ever not be loved by the gods, even if you have made mistakes?"
"Perhaps," the knight allows, "or perhaps it only says I'm easily spooked by the wind in foreign trees." As for his relationship with the gods, Gedeon smiles faintly and gives his head a small shake. "I've seen something of the world, my lady. It is my opinion that the gods keep their own council and leave men to theirs. Whatever they have to say to us they whisper in secret and laugh when we ask them to talk more clearly."
A warm, light laugh actually escapes her lips at that, Corrie shaking her head almost immediately, still smiling. "Easily spooked? Truly? Now that I have trouble believing, Ser. A big strong knight such as yourself. I think you have more of a chance with the gods than you believe. You just need to be more willing to listen." She sighs softly, turning her gaze back over the roses beyond her that she had tended in silence before. "They do speak, Ser… I have heard them since I was a child. You just must not close your heart or mind to them."
"Well, then I shall have to try that," Gedeon answers, a corner of his mouth lifting in a faint smile, "and see what words I hear."
"And do they need a godswood to hear you, your gods?" Gedeon inquires gently as he watches Cordelya watch the roses. "You did not seem to think so a moment ago, my lady."
Cordelya considers that quietly, her thin face going thoughtful again. She finally releases her knees and hunkers over, fingertips reaching delicately for the roses once more. She was here actually performing a task, after all. "I… do not know, in truth. I hope not. I would think not. They are they Gods. Are they not always listening?"
"All depends on who you ask, I should think," is Gedeon's quiet reply. "In your case, my lady Flint, I expect they are." He draws in a deep breath, peering up at the sky. "The hour grows ever later, and I should sleep. May I walk you back into the tower, my lady?"
The young woman cocks a brow in his direction, looking up from her current project of a rose. "Are you going to give me an option, in truth?" She asks him with light amusement behind her gentle mezzo tone. Cordelya might be a touch different than most people, but she's sharp. Remarkably intelligent, and that includes about human beings as well as books.
The blond knight chuckles. "In truth, my lady? No." Though Gedeon is courteous enough to stand and offer his arm to Cordelya to assist her back up onto her feet.
Cordelya exhales a soft sigh and reaches her thin, long hand up to him, fingers as long as the reeds that grow in the swamps where her maiden family gets its name. She pulls herself lightly up off the ground, only slightly swaying for the fast motion from sitting to standing. She then slips her arm through his and bows her head for him to lead the way. "My husband will be quite thankful to you, no doubt, that you have found his run-a-way wife once again." She chuckles lightly to herself, it all a good joke to her as they move back into the castle.
"Lucky for me you only ran to the garden, my lady, or I never should have found you at all," Gedeon chuckles. He stands a moment, waiting for Cordelya to find her balance and for the swaying to stop, before he begins to guide her around the piles of stores and back towards the interior of Tordane Tower.