|Searching for Dignity|
|Summary:||Theology, Philosopy, Free will and the point of intersection for all this and more, as discussed by Ser Trajan, Lady Nedra and Ser Darion|
|The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.|
|Sat Sep 29, 289|
Ser Trajan Antabolis Fenster usually confines himself to the shadows of establishments but today a sailor threw down the gauntlet to him - a challenge - but not of any ordinary character. Trajan asserted casually at the bar that he had made no less than seven times a complete card tower out of the deck that he carried with him. The sailor claimed he had done it only once but did not believe him. Stakes were made and now a small crowd is gathered around the two combatants. Trajan and the Sailor are at varying degrees of completion. Both are obviously deep in their cups - but Trajan is handling it better than the sailor. He is near to finished with the tower where the sailor is only midway. The stickiness of the tabletops is helpful in the enterprise.
The evening air is pleasant enough that a great many people are taking advantage of the cooler air once the heat of the day abates, especially the parts of the city that are nearer to the beach front than not, with the cool wind that comes from the open water, a blessing really with how it pushes the heat of the day away by nightfall. The Lady Nedra Mallister is accompanied by her Septa and one of her armsmen as the door to the Inn opens once again, admitting not just this trio but a gentle breath of wind as well that stirs the air in the common room. She is no longer a unfamiliar sight, though most who recognize her do so because she is Ser Kamron's sister, cousin to Ser Martyn and Lady Muirenn, and mostly only for that reason alone. Those who know that she is also the resident painter would know this because she is often seen sketching when the weather is fine, and any with children are likely to either have - or know someone who has had - a sketch of their children made at some point in the last few months.
Trajan and the Sailor have as an unintended consequence of the Mallister Lady's entry a complete collapse of their respective card towers. The crowd awwws and the tavern owner judge is about to award the pooled money to Trajan (on the basis of his birth). "I do believe the competition should go to the sailor - in the final stretch his tower was taller," actually it was about even but Trajan was feeling generous. General back slapping and a warm handshake pass from the mutilated knight to the Sailor and his friends. A night of popularity - could things be any stranger. Trajan recognises the Mallister Lady. "Lady Nedra," He says negotiating the crowd, "A pleasure to see you again. I trust you had a fair journey to the Roost," a monster maybe but a very clean very polite one at that.
The unintended result of their arrival was noted, indeed, and Nedra looks a little flustered and apologetic at the same time after seeing the respective towers of cards crashing onto the tables upon which they were being assembled. "Ser Trajan, I do apologize," she says in return, curtsying politely, "I had no way of knowing that our arrival, the wind through the open door that is, would cause your card tower contest - it was a contest yes? - to be so abruptly ended." She tilts her head back slightly as she speaks in the attempt to meet Ser Trajan's eyes when she does so, and at her height having to do so is a rather every-day experience for her, and she does her best to not stare at the right side of his face, she'd gotten over the initial surprise of it at their first meeting.
Trajan laughs at the apology - but not coarsely - just dismissing its necessity. A jug of ale is delievered to his hands by one of the sailors friends who slaps him on the back. "A paltry sum - I will regain it threefold in shouted drinks. Put a few drinks in people and they become more amiable - they can even put up with a face like mine." He scratches his hair, "And I do not care if you stare Milady - I have heard it mentioned that you are a painter - you are probably eyeing me through that priasm I would imagine. I get stared at all the time. Maybe not for the same flattering reasons a pretty lady such as yourself is stared at but some things we do not choose. Can I invite you and your septa to share some of the free drinks I will no doubt be recieving? I have had enough and will have to moderate my consumption."
Given the option to demur and project the air that she is NOT viewing Ser Trajan with all the artistic fascination of one who both senses and feels the challenge of capturing his image to perfection - by the tingling of her fingertips she does! - or taking the more polite road that is frequently traveled, Nedra is silent for a moment while considering the option. Her Septa is making a quiet sound at her side, attempting to gain Nedra's attention with the quiet clearing of her throat followed by the light touch of one hand to Nedra's elbow. Nedra's guard, this one named Petyr, is eyeing Ser Trajan for a number of reasons, setting his visage aside, that is, but with the practicality of a man who was once a soldier and has long been a Mallister guard, Petyr eyes Trajan and weighs his potential threat level on several fronts while Nedra decides on her reply.
"I'm not sure I understand what the phrase 'shouted drinks' applies to, but I gather that it may mean free drinks being pressed upon you by the sailors who are companions of the one to whom the contest was given?" she says, first and foremost. "And I am, yes, both sketching and painting, equal mediums that work well to augment each other. And while I do not wish to stare out of rudeness, you are no doubt more aware of your actual physical presence and visage than any other person that I think I have ever met, which - in and of itself - lends you with a further measure of presence that would translate rather amazing on canvass." She nods then, finally turning toward her Septa and reading the expression on Anathe's face, "Ser Trajan is perfectly polite," and she looks back to the Fenster lord, "and we would be happy to share your company, though I do not partake in much drink myself. Does absolutely unpleasant things to the fine control of a paint brush or charcoal stick."
Trajan eyes the guard and Septa evenly, "I have a bad reputation - but I cannot either by act or omission stand the mistreatment of women and children. Much less noble women and children. Lady Nedra and the Lady Septa are safer for my presence rather than less safe I assure you," directed at the guard, "I should show you some of my own sketches - detailing some of my experiences - some of them religious and personal." He has them in a bundle. Directing them to a corner booth - comfortable and relatively private. "You will not drink but will your guard and Lady Septa partake - there is more than Ale at this establishment," He beckons a server - amazingly a male and not a /tavern wench/.
Nedra's guard, Petyr, weighs the offered words from Ser Trajan for a silent moment before he gives a measured nod, "At your word, ser," is all that he needs say. Maybe it's male shorthand of some sort, but Nedra only glances from Petyr to Ser Trajan and back, seeing in Petyr's face a look that she recognizes. And, the look itself, simply addresses any worry she might have had as to the measure of 'talking to' she might have inherited from her brother had Petyr NOT reached this accord.
Nedra's Septa, the grey haired middle aged woman with eyes that are normally kind and very
observant - but for the moment are rather sharp and her expression more than a touch wary - is somewhat mollified by Ser Trajan's words as well. Though she takes one look at the table that Ser Trajan gestures towards, measuring the distance between the areas of the room where business transactions are accomplished and the suggested table, and seems to find it acceptable as well. The grey haired woman makes a small sound, almost a "Hmmph" of acceptance before following her charge through the room, mindful to keep a proper measure of distance between Nedra and Ser Trajan by the simple expediency of keeping one hand on Nedra's elbow.
For her part, Nedra's eyes light up at the suggestion of seeing Trajan's sketches. "You carry them with you, Ser?" she is wondering aloud as she moves through the room. "And there is, yes, I've found that the kitchen can and will make a decent pot of tea. Or some warmed cider, if asked nicely. By nicely I mean with a modest coin, but I came prepared for that. The warmed cider is quite nice, and sometimes there's singing. Though," and she just can't help it, the gleam of amusement in her eyes, "the singing is a trifle off pitch at times." Serious understatement there. "And a bit creative, lyric wise," another serious understatement, "but it's fun."
"I do indeed - though perhaps your Septa would not approve of my sketches they detail some of my least savory experiences," the Waiter takes the orders for beverages, "I have heard if I might be so bold that my cousin Alric was courting you unsuccessfully - I must apologise on his behalf. He is a romantic and somewhat pushy. If my family succeed him and Ser Varag inherits the position that is due him then peace in the region will become much more unlikely. But for the acrimonious relationship between me and Varag I might feed upon such degeneration. We are at cross purposes to the extent that he did - this- to me through a famous bandit - Handsome Bren. Alric is the natural choice then for succession."
"Perhaps discretion would be the better portion of artistic valor, Ser Trajan," Nedra suggests as she smooths her skirt after taking her seat, her hands resting in her lap for the moment, placing her order as well and handing over the requisite coin to ensure that the cider is pure cider, not cider and some stronger vintage - such as mulled cider would be. She clears her throat softly and is silent for a moment after he speaks, her expression pensive before she replies with: "Your cousin, Lord Alric, is a good man. He is kind, and witty, intelligence and thoughtful, qualities that are rare enough, most times, especially now. He is a romantic, yes, and determined, also, a measure that I also can agree to for his character. He will make a fine husband to some lucky noblewoman, someday, and we have - I believe - come to a measure of accord with regards to our friendship," small but subtle emphasis on this last word. "More than that I cannot say."
She tilts her head slightly then, and - with his already given permission - studies his face again, as much his eyes /as/ his face, but she does study him for a silent measure once more. "That this was done to you as a deliberate thing, not the result of ill chance or a wound taken that was ill tended," she begins before her words fade and she can't seem to grasp the right ones to continue. Finally she gives a slow breath, a shake of her head, and focuses instead on the other portion of his words. "You would enjoy seeing discord and and the unraveling of any measure of peace that may be achieved between the houses?" is wondered.
Trajan accepts the dissemblage on Lord Alric his cousin. Explaining his own position, "I have few dogs in any fight my Lady - I am a bad man - prone to mocking those things that others consider sacred. Physical torment as an explanation and an endless cycle of betrayal. I have a few friends. I am loyal to House Charlton because they support my cousin's claim to the Lordship of House Fenster. I have only two true friends - one being your friend Lady Jocelyn and the other being Lord Alric himself. I take greater pleasure from losing myself in battle than anything else. The Ironborn presented an opportunity for me to express myself in ways that were perhaps not healthy for me - and definitely not for them." The drinks arrive. "It is not an abyss I seek to drag people into deliberately - but my pranks and diversions have proved popular."
"I believe that I lack adequate experience, Ser, to really be able to respond to the entirity of what you've just shared," Nedra finally says aloud after another of those long moments of silence. "I am no soldier, clearly, no knight, also equally clear. The only battles that I fight are the sort that are for women, not the sort of thing that earns valor on a field of contest let alone is something that would garner armies to. As to whether or not you're a bad man," she tilts her head slightly again and gives Trajan a very frank look, "that's something that only you can really decide. What you choose to do, when only YOU are aware of your actions, when only YOU must bear the consequences of same - or lack of same - is entirely up to you. Certainly we are all pushed and nudged by those around us.. And I will admit, freely, that I do not react well when backed into a corner on some things, or when pushed or nudged hard enough that my years of hard won control over my stubborn Mallister temper begins to fray. But. It's still a decision." She reaches for the cup of cider, wrapping both hands around the cup to allow the warmth to seep into her fingers, "What pranks and diversions, if I may ask, ser?"
Trajan coughs, "Bad as in evil Milady - I do the things that others wont because they can't to the people who deserve it. No women or children are my only rule. But what I do is evil - plain and simple - without variation or complication. I punish and enforce." As for the pranks, "Well my father Lord Ander's did come a visiting one fine eve and I bribed the stable boy to feed his horse herbs that made it flatulant. My father is not a good man - and not being a good man that rides in a carriage when his horse is flatulant may not be just but it bears the markings of such an ethical dimension. I myself made picnic atop one of the towers in Highfield to watch his departure. It was most amusing."
"I once put ants in my brothers boots," Nedra says softly in return, "tadpoles in his water pitcher and itch powder in his clothing chest," she admits, feeling a trace of a smile form upon her face. "But, he's my older brother, I was sort of obligated to do such things. Granted, he retaliated in kind, but we were children then. We've mostly outgrown that sort of thing. Especially now that he's a man grown, with a wife and all manner of responsibilities on his shoulders." She can feel Anathe's hand on her elbow again, and notes the way that her Septa is observing Ser Trajan most carefully, and silently, from where she is seated alongside Nedra.
"Would you say that you are evil, Ser, because you want to be? Or because," and Anathe hesitates, selecting her words with delicate care, glancing to her charge and back at the Fenster knight, "it is what you have been made into?"
Trajan raises a mutilated eyebrow at the Septa, "It is a religious question - decision versus predestination. When I passed out on the torture table that my wife and brother had bribed the bandit Bren the Handsome to torture me to death on," Now we see why he no longer cohabits with his wife, "I went to a place - a place of punishment where I was told that my great sin was my inherent worthlessness." He takes a drink not at all concerned with the revelation, "It sounded alot like my father speaking - or my abusive siblings. before then I was a good man. Not a pious one - followed the knightly code - honored the Seven - even got called a war hero once in Robert's Rebellion - but only by the people I saved." A pause, "after I was cut and betrayed something took ahold of me - and it is hard to describe. It's like being in one of those theatres with the mummers where they have swordfights in the like. And you are watching yourself up on the stage. And you fight well - and you look good (well not so much in my case) and you are beating back all the villains. And then you realise that everyone in the theatre isn't clapping - they're screaming. And you're not the hero you are the monster. And it is a horror story."
"And the sketches that you carry with you," Nedra says in a soft voice, "they are drawn as a reflection of this place?" she wonders. Her eyes, blue-grey and clear in color, are slightly to wide, continuing to study his face, the look in his eyes, to actually get the sense of the weight of his words - not just the shape of them - as he speaks. Her septa, again, tugs gently - firmly - on Nedra's elbow, "My lady," Anathe says, no longer looking directly at Ser Trajan, and instead looking from Nedra to Petyr and back to Nedra. "It's alright," Nedra murmus to Anathe as she sets the cup down and reaches for one of her Septa's hands with one of her own, still studying Trajan from where she sits. "He's already said that he doesn't harm women or children, by action or inaction," she reminds her septa before she directs her words to Trajan again.
"I believe, ser, that you wish me to understand you. Perhaps because we are both artists, and I pray that you do not take offense at this word, because anyone who can draw a likeness by hand and pour the time and effort into making the details true to form IS, in my opinion. a artist. I think you wish me to understand you. Your two friends are two of mine, which means we have a shared bond of friendship."
"Perhaps," Trajan concedes, "perhaps it is the only connection that I can experience with others now. But understand no. it should not be possible for someone to come back from the things I have felt. I should be dead and I should be void. I should not be walking around half a corpse." he chokes halfway on his ale as he japes half-way, "But should winter come and the half forgotten others arrive with their walking dead men I'll have a good disguise eh? Might even make a halfway decent spy?" Continuing, "To understand me you would have to endure things that I would not inflict even on the family I have who made me endure them. I remain the runt of my family - the least of all my brothers - but pain and Hell have made me see and understand something ugly. And that has made me stronger perhaps then they are in certain ways. But broken and brutal and ugly. There are some things that should not be known."
"You're right, Ser," Nedra says softly, her voice clear and gentle in a way, "there is no way that I can ever entirely understand you, nor what you've been through, what you've survived through, what you continue to live through, day in and day out. What you face is something that many men would have given up on, long ago. Many would have been so broken, I would imagine, as to be unable to be at all in civil company, let alone to still be knight, to have your code of honor intact, your code of ethics intact. You beliefs, shaped as they are now by what you've endured, make you.." she pauses, head tilting subtly, "unique. And not in the 'unique' way that everyone is. You stand apart." She gives Anathe's hand a small squeeze, her own hand cold to the touch, "I can't imagine anyone hurting me, on purpose. Little things, falling off my horse or being thrown when she's spooked badly. Clunking my head while learning to swim, a whole host of silly and entirely trivial things. But they are nothing in comparison, so they aren't even worthy of drawing upon. I can't imagine it, and I can't imagine hurting anyone else, for that matter, on purpose."
Trajan does give her a peek into his darkness. "Whether and why and the extent to which you hurt someone else always depends upon the circumstances. When I exited my revery from the bandit and the torture - I used to hate women purely for being beautiful. I never hurt a one - save for my wife by simply showing her the fruits of her coin with the bandit who tried to kill me. The Ironborn came and taught me otherwise. Women as property - not perhaps to be bought or sold - but grabbed and claimed regardless of what they had to say about it. And the pretty ones endured the most. They changed me perhaps more. And they were fearless and cruel. Until I showed them true cruelty. I once dueled one of their heroes and tore off his lower jaw. They kept on demanding that I kill him but I refused - I just watched him pathetically trying to put it back in. The power of darkness is in that - taking men who are fearless and showing them fear. I saw Ironborn veterans throw up and grow white when I did it. I have never been happier. And no true knight could punish the monsters as I have."
That Trajan keeps nudging Nedra to a place of utter quiet is something that she is well aware of, and entirely incapable of altering. The traces of good humor, of artistic instinct that had made her fingertips fairly tingle with the need to capture this image to the best of her abilities, has long since been set aside. Her face is pale, eyes wide, and his words make her Septa hold her hand harder, and Petyr hasn't moved so much as a single inch to turn his attention away from Trajan since this conversation began. "Why, Ser, do you share this with me?" she asks in a murmur of a voice. "I don't know how to respond to your words. I don't feel that you're saying this to simply boast of your abilities, not at all. Not in a blatant attempt to frighten me, though I dare say you've done a good measure of that as well. So the only question that remains is why?"
Trajan shrugs helplessly, "Because you are young and smart and capable. And because on some level I want to be wrong. I want to be the demon who encounters a face of the seven for the first time. I want someone to tell me I am wrong and how I am wrong and what I have done wrong." Cracking his neck confrontingly, "I am the least of all my brothers. The weakest - the one served and gifted last - cuckolded by my elder brother - though I am not sure that is the term because it implies that one is lied to about a child being their own. My wife flaunted the fact that /our/ child was my elder brother's issue. Insulted bruised and battered and scorned. I search for one thing - dignity. I need to know it exists somewhere - and I am not seeing it. I'm fairly certain it is the one commodity I could not barter for in hell."
"If that which you seek, ser, you do not find within, you will never find without," Nedra says softly. "In every place that you search, in every thing around you that you pour over, you do not find what you seek, because it's the one thing that you must have within you in order to glimpse in others. And if you cannot see it in yourself, if you cannot believe it in and of yourself, then believing it of others is even more of a challenge. Is, and pardon the phrase, even more unbelievable. What we do matters, Ser. What we do, what we think, how we act, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves, matters. Harm none, that is the rule. Harm none, not even yourself. When others harm you, you defend yourself to the point where you must, and then stop. There is nothing to be gained by wanton causing harm, by wantonly causing damage. If you must fight, fight clean. Honor yourself this way, honor your opponent, and move on. Otherwise you will be sick, in your soul, by the things that you do, or have done. And no one, no one Ser, can forgive you once you cross that threshold willingly."
Nedra falls silent for a moment, studying Trajan quietly before she continues with: "There is dignity, all around you. And beauty. And Kindness. And i'm not talking about a richly garbed courtesean or the king's wife. Beauty is something that does not fade with the passing of time, the changing of fashions or the current style of hair and paint. Beauty is …. is simple. The smile on a child's face. A perfect sunrise after a storm that's swept the beach clean. A full moon over a harvest field. Kindness, a hand extended to help steady a stranger. A word, a smile. These things are everywhere. In all of us, if we allow it, if we chose it. What you chose, Ser," she pauses before drawing a soft breath, "is up to you."
Trajan looks up to Nedra's septa, "And you are /her/ septa - perhaps she should be the one doing the preaching…" he half japes, "It's there Lady Nedra - but barely real. And beyond my reach. There are no real apocalypses only personal ones. Think on a world which offers beauty but none that you can touch - that belongs to other people. And you have mine. It is not a question that you should have to wrestle with. It is mine alone. But that unreal level of cruelty it is present. The best I have been able to manifest in respose to what I have encountered in my life is retribution. These things which you speak of - they are your world - and not mine. I'll confide in you something and I care not who knows it but it is gauche to speak of all the time. These wounds which I bear I use a poison to curb the pain. Were you to see me with my shirt off applying my treatments you would see a man with three wounds that no man should have lived through on my torso. A wound on my arm so deep it will never heal and me pouring black poison into it to make it stop hurting. And a being utterly devoid of dignity. I effect morality in defense of the weak as an act of defiance." He is drunk and so therefore unleashing his ugly green monsters.
Nedra turns, shifting her attention - briefly - away from Trajan to smile at her Septa, "Everything that you say is my world, everything I believe and know to be true, is due to the good counsel of my Septa," she says softly. She nods subtly at Anathe, knowing that her face is just as pale as her Septa's, and the hand that Nedra hold is equally cold to the touch, but Nedra gives a gentle but reassuring squeeze of her hand within Anathe's before she turns back to face Trajan. The common room, crowded as it has been all evening, is no less crowded now. Seated at a table with Trajan are Lady Nedra, her Septa Anathe and one of her armsmen - Petyr. The look that Petyr is giving Trajan is all manner of very careful and keenly observant. From his posture it's clear that Petyr would've pulled Nedra from this conversation long ago, save for the fact that Ser Trajan had given his word - before the conversation had turned this deep - that he does not harm women or children, by inaction or action.
"The world can not, does not, will not stop, not for any one person, any one pain, no matter how great, how profound, how awful, now.. evil it may be. From you words, Ser, you are in pain without end. You have become, in part, the things that you have been told that you are. But no one can make you what you are not. We are, at our core, what we have been. When life, and time, and all the things that we go through, all the things that you have endured, pare away all of the other layers - one after another - until nothing but your true self remains? What you are, there, is what you have always been. We become what we are, Ser.. Not the other way around, not being what we become. That self, the one that no one else can see, is the decisions that you make. I believe that the dignity that you seek remains within you, ser. Otherwise you would pose a threat to every woman, every child, every man, ever person that crossed your path."
Trajan looks at Lady Nedra for a moment, "You Lady are a light comparable to your friend - my friend Lady Jocelyn. She helped me when she was but a captive of the Charltons. But it is a dance that I am familiar with," Trajan advances the prose he had so recently written, "And now to drive away the pain; I destroy all I disdain; I'll become what I despise; Living someone esles lies."
In comes another scarred man, the spotted eagle. Although he doesn't wear his scars visible and there by has the luck of keeping the destroyed image of his back hidden. Smiling and dipping his head to people he walks past. Soon enough spotting the man with only half a face. Studying him for a moment and offers a bow. He doesn't seem to disturbed by him though. Then his eyes travel to the lady. "My lord, my lady." Recognizing Nedra by face but not more than so.
"If you destroy all that you disdain, Ser, what will that leave you?" Nedra asks, still keeping her voice soft, carefully measured and moderate, her words selected with care. "You cannot walk this knife edge forever, ser," she adds, her voice again gentle, urgent as well, "and pain cannot be driven away, only endured. Living the life of lies cast by someone else.. is no life." Her eyes lift from Ser Trajan, blue-grey eyes wide in her pale face, startled by the arrival of Ser Darion, more alarmed in fact that he steps into the conversation without being aware of the potential danger by doing so. "Ser Darion, good eve," is said in a quiet voice, putting a glimpse of a smile on her face and feeling Anathe's hands curl around hers again, this time in silent but equally urgent in warning to be most careful with her words.
"Depends on what you disdain my Lady - you may want to at least try." Trajan had gone after those who had slaughtered and enslaved those he ernestly wanted to protect. And broken them. "Ser Darion - I believe - well met…" a momentary diversion.
Darion let his own icy blue eyes slide from one person to another. "Good evening, lady Nedra. Sers. Septa." He offers. making sure to greet all that are at the table. Not just the nobles. Smiling back to the others. "Same to you, ser, well met." Taking another moment to study the man. Though others are talking to him and Darion himself is a scarred man. Not having any rights over that man really. He just had the unfortunate circumstance to have the scars a lot more visible.
Nedra makes the introductions with a small gesture of her free hand from one man to the other, "Ser Darion Terrick this is Ser Trajan Fenster," she explains in the same quiet voice. "Ser Darion and his kin have just recently arrived, returned really, to The Roost and we are most glad to see them returned. Ser Trajan," she explains to Darion, "is cousin to Lord Alric Fenster, the young Fenster lord," she adds, helping clarify things just a wee bit. Also, not unintentionally, trying to draw Darion into the conversation.
Trajan clariifies, "I was just inverting the entire moral order of existence and having a very clever noblewoman who is a fantastic painter refue me Ser Darion. What have you been up to?" Says the drunk highly intelligent sociopath.
Darion offers a bow, "Pleasure." Though he does turn to correct Nedra then. "I'm actually kin to ser Jerrik. I have indeed been gone and returned in time to help on the iron isles. Then I have been around the roost, which is about 5 months now. But I have kept to myself quite a bit. I used to be a tourney knight after I got knighted." He explains and smiles a bit. "And it is nice to meet you. I don't know too much of the Fenster's I'm afraid. Then again, I have trouble keeping track of people within my own family." He says playfully. Then he chuckles and shrugs to the man. "Not much. Helping out around town mostly. Had a drink or two earlier." He explains with a rather calm and kind smile.
Nedra's eyes hold a gleam of surprise and confusion, and startled flattery at Trajan's compliments, enough so that she is briefly flustered and turns a pale shade of pink. "Thank you for your kinds words, Ser," she says with a tilt of her head in a nod to Trajan. "I wouldn't say that I'm fantastic though, not yet," she rebuttals gently, "but I have time, plenty of it, and maybe someday. As for clever," she gives another small shake of her head, "maybe so, maybe no." Her eyes lift toward Darion again and this time she takes the time to really fix his image into her mind, making it easier to her to recognize him next time she encounters the herd of Terrick's that are now in residence. "Perhaps we could carve little signs with everyone's name writ clearly, have everyone wear it until everyone here can sort out who is whom," she suggests with a glimpse of a smile.
Trajan listens to Nedra, "I would have only one request in exchange from you my lady and it is selfish." He pauses long enough for the notion to set in, "paint me - warts and scars and infections and all." To Darion, "Know that the Fensteres are abominations and I am the worst and the only good one our ladyship Lady Nedra has refused to give her hand to correctly."
Darion just listens and nods to the words from Trajan to himself. "A lot of people are called such.
Especially among commoners. I will just have to see for myself." He offers and grins. Ordering a drink and taking a seat if offered. "What brings you all to the Roost?"
Nedra's eyes widen slowly again, this time to stare at Trajan's face with a measure of intense focus, not just Listening to his words, but really really hearing what he's asking her to do. Once again her fingertips fairly tingle with the instinct to put the image to parchment, to paint his image on canvass. "To the former," she finally says quietly, "I will paint you. But I will do you one more, I will paint you as you see yourself, and then i will paint you as how you could see yourself," she says, making a solemn promise of it. "As to the latter," and she gives another measure of a head shake, "It was not mine to give, Ser. No noblewoman has the right to give her hand to anyone, Ser. I am a Mallister, a daughter of Talon Point, and I'm sure that when the decision is made that I'll be among the first handful to know." A small trace of a smile is mustered, "As I said before, ser, your cousin is a good man and one that I respect."
She turns slightly so that she can answer Darion's question, "For my part, merely enjoying a visit to the Roost, with Lady Anais especially. But my brother, Ser Kamron and cousin Ser Martyn were - and continue to be - helping with the rebuilding efforts and with seeing the city safe. Now that he is wed to Lady Saffron," she smiles again at this news, "I am fortunate to be able to spend time with both. I hope that Lady Anais has room to allow me to stay, I would hate to have to return to Seagard and not have the chance to get to know my goodsister better."
Darion just looks between the two before looking to Petyr. "The day always interesting like this for you?" He asks the guard. More comfortable with commoners than nobles. Besides, the lord and lady are currently rather busy. With talk of painting and whatnot. Falling rather silent other than that.
"Do either.." with respect to the painting, "or do both," he elaborates. "In hell I met myself - another self - the Dark Jester he called himself - and this is he," the picture that he shows in charcoal on papyrus is of himself kneeling before some kind of a demon that so resembles himself it is uncanny. But it is like an infant. Taller than the figure that kneels before it. I has teeth like a deep sea nagler fish - needle teeth. And dark ichor runs from between those teeth. Like the crap that runs off Trajan's face now and again. At 12 foot high it is the tallest of alot of demons (in median terms). But the sickness resembling Trajan in his sketch is he in an Alice in Wonderland sense - and that is what he concealed.