|More Than Bargained For|
|Summary:||After being asked to Igara's room to deal with one problem Josse leaves troubled, himself.|
|A modest room but with a double bed that is crown in an oval headboard of maple, giving the room it's lighter look. A cream rectangular rug is angled in the center of the room. A chest for storing the visitor's goods is at the foot of the bed and a rich burgundy and cream cover settles over the bed. A hearth to the right of the windows which rests between it and the bed is done over with a iron screen meant to be removed when in use. A pair of chairs rest near the window and about a small circular table set with a candle. On the same wall as the door rests a low chest of drawers, a basin for water and a few wooden mugs rest there for use.|
|Sun Jul 31, 288|
Post-wedding, and with the afternoon stretching on toward evening, Igara is taking her refreshment in the room her things have been newly moved into, since Isolde's chamber itself is no longer a viable option for her. She may be her cousin's shadow, but the wedding chamber is a foe which Isolde must face without her cousin at her side. Since. That'd be kind of creepy. After this morning's fright, Igara has not been entirely well, but she's made it so far through the festive day and only now as she has a bit of time does she ask for the Septon to come. She sits primly in a chair at table, another chair across from her, wine and cool water served in goblets, a tray of little morsels settled in the middle, though she looks to have no appetite, only a certain pallor to her, her hands folded in her lap, her eye downcast.
Not being the highest-ranking septon in the area Josse was not the one to preside over the important proceedings. Nevertheless the event called for all the trappings and trimmings, heavy ritual dress and long hours of solemn preparations. Before he makes his way to Tordane Tower he has changed back into his simplest drab robe and single small pendant, his feet given a wash before put back into unavoidably dusty sandals.
A servant walks him up the flights of steps to Igara's new chambers and gently taps on the door with her knuckles before pushing it open for the septon. "My Lady, your visitor."
Igara keeps her eyes at their dire downward angle, her shoulders slouched as she regards the hands folded in her lap, a posture whose every angle speaks of guilt, a posture more than likely familiar to anyone long in the service of the Seven, a posture housing a troubled soul looking for its salvation. "Septon," she greets meekly, voice hardly carrying, addressed as it is to her frail little hands.
"My Lady." Josse's voice has a slight uptone at the end, the words half a greeting and half a question upon seeing her posture. He steps aside to let the servant leave and waits until she's closed the door before taking a few more steps into the room. "Have you taken ill?"
Igara blinks a few times, stifling a dampness at her eye, and she nods her head briskly, still not moving from her seat. "I am ill at heart, Septon. I have broken step with the Maiden who is my guide, and I feel the guilt so keenly I am ill of it. I pray you," she adds, voice wavering helplessly, "Aid me."
Josse moves closer to her, around front of where she sits. With a careful sweep of his robe around his shins he crouches down on the floor to face her. "Whenever we stray from our paths we leave our footprints behind, my Lady. We can always trace them back home. What's troubling you so?"
Igara's hands, at such close range, can be seen to tremble with a little flutter of her delicate fingers. "Ay, me, Septon," she whispers plaintively. "For I have looked upon a young man…" she swallows, "And…" bracing herself, "Found him fair to look upon." She squeezes her eyes shut, her mouth worrying itself into a distressed frown, shoulders moving with a short hitch of breath.
Settled, Josse lets his arms rest on his knees, one hand set over the other. For a moment after she speaks, there's an unsure silence. "Go on," he invites her.
Igara draws her lips tight at the prompt. "I know I have no call to look upon a gentleman, Septon. 'Tis thus impurity is born in a maiden's soul. And so impurity has been born in mine, for, as I looked, I found him… fair. And I did not look away," she adds in a sort of whispered squeak of shame.
Josse clears his throat quietly. It's not an uncomfortable sound; quite the opposite. "My Lady, the challenges that the Seven put before us are there for a reason — they refine us, and teach us our character. The Maiden would not have a woman never find a man fair…for this is part of what makes a woman a woman. If there were no temptations in the world there would be little need to ask her guidance. If that makes sense. What she calls upon you to do is to know the dangers of such and navigate them in a way that does her honor."
Igara lifts her eyes, finally, looking to the Septon crouching by her chair, but neither lifting her chin nor moving her hands. She may as well be a penitent little doll. "I know not what to do, Septon. I hardly dare write, nor make a signal to him in the public. How frightful wanton I should seem to him, nor a proper Lady, at all. Besides which, I fear he goes away, now the tourney is complete. How may I forget his fairness and be at peace again, Septon?"
Josse smiles a little, the corners of his mouth barely moving. "My Lady, I'm afraid nothing will change until you can let go of this fear that you have done something so terribly wrong. If he is going away then you have little to worry about except to learn to be joyful that you were challenged and have come away unscathed. It is a celebration to the Maiden, not a black cloud."
Igara gives a hearty sniff, then lifts one hand to her face in embarrassment of having made such an indelicate noise. But all the same the corners of her mouth wibble upward as her virtue is petted by the Septon. A celebration. With ribbons and flowers. Igara, conquerer of crushes. It almost lights up in her eye. "Ay, Septon," she whispers, keeping her voice quiet and meek, though it no longer sounds quite about to break with tears.
"Aye, my Lady," Josse reflects back to her, the smile finally — briefly — crinkling the corners of his eyes. He's too young to have lines like that. "Some praise to the Maiden might do the evening well." He folds his arms comfortably atop his knees. "Feeling a little better now?"
Igara wobbles her head in a quick series of short nods. "Yes, Septon," she tells him, the voice of a proper and obedient child. "I praise her and the strength she gives me to resist all fairness until my father gives me to a husband," she offers, her spirit visibly lifted. She looks to the Septon with a liveliness returning to her wide, witch-hazel eyes. "Are you friends with Ser Jarod, Septon? You cheered for him so at the melee."
"I have known Ser Jarod for a good time, yes." Josse smiles slightly, one dark brow quirking upwards. "He was the first knight whose anointing ceremony I conducted, the poor man. I do hope I didn't offend my lady's ear by calling out."
Igara shakes her head with a bashful smile. "No, Septon," she tells him, that same mild, obedient intonation. "The games were so very thrilling, I very nearly yelled out, myself," she blushes to say. For a fellow to shout is one thing, but Ladies oughtn't act so. "If you should see Ser Jarod, before he takes his leave of here, do tell him that…" she hesitates, but then smiles, since surely nothing will come of it. "That his squire is passing fair." She pinkens, lowering her voice to a whisper. "Only don't tell him who said so, please you, Septon. He will be gone, soon, and all will be well, as you have said."
"…aye." That took a second longer than Josse had intended, but the septon covers it promptly. "So they will. I shall say not a word of you, my Lady, I promise you on my vows." He glances at his hands, stilling the idle picking at a fingernail that had unconsciously started, then looks back up to her. "I expect things shall calm for you, at least where that is concerned. Have things been…alright for you and Isolde, with the wedding?"
"Oh, ay, Septon," Igara brightens to talk about the wedding. "Did you see the canopy in the garden? I did up the ribbon festooning myself," she fairly well beams. "But for that brute assaulting the Lady my sweet cousin early this morning, things have gone splendid fine. And even he was subdued before he could draw his blade."
The slight smile melts from Josse's face. "Assaulting? Seven, who would want to do such a thing?"
"A knight, Septon, no less. Or, rather, no knight at all, since no man may assault a Lady and still so call himself. But a base blade sworn to the victor of yesterday's games," Igara informs, wide-eyed. "He called himself Ser Gedeon, and lay hands upon the Lady herself… by her very father's grave… on the very day of her wedding!" Each outrage has Igara's voice lifted an octave, until she barely squeaks out the last in a scandalized whisper. "I saw it myself, for I was there."
Josse feels hair stand up on the back of his neck, his shoulders unconsciously tensing under the folds of his hood. "I recall him from the tournament," he murmurs, frowning thinly. "What a shocking thing! What did he say? What did he do?"
"I did not hear him, Septon. I was letting the Lady Cousin have peace alone with her dear lost Lord Father and Brother, and was staying at the bottom of the hill, as she had bidden me," Igara relates. "I noticed that some of the Sworn were looking up in that direction, and when I lifted mine own eye thither, why, he was seizing her viciously and… shaking her about. I could not hear what he was saying, and I was so overcome by fear that I fell into a faint. When I came to, the Lady had been recovered by the Sworn, and I was only sad to find that the fellow had escaped being taken into custody. Though I pray that be remedied soonest."
Josse's jaw tightens a little, the movement of muscle visible on the right side. He's quiet for a few moments before nodding. "I see. Well…Seven be blessed Lady Isolde is safe. She is well, is she not? I pray she was not injured, at least in flesh."
"Yes, she came away from it uninjured. A boon blessing for which I can only thank Seven," Igara gives a sigh of relief, releasing that quivering tension of indignation from her tender frame. "And now she is blessed in wedlock, safe in the hands of the Mother."
"Indeed," Josse says under his breath. "Indeed so. I shall have to pay my Lady a visit before I go, certainly. I thank you for telling me. Be assured I shall show discretion with this."
"Thank you, Septon," Igara grants him the words with a whole heart and earnestly. "Septon, I pray, may I have a blessing of you before you leave? You are a wise man, and so close to the Seven."
"I am no wiser than the next man, I assure you." Josse chuckles quietly. "I am just glad to come to understandings. Absolutely, let us give the Seven our praise." Which he then does, in that long-winded way septons can have.