Page 174: Sweetest Thorns
Sweetest Thorns
Summary: Danae and Cordelya speak in the gardens while the men fight.
Date: 7/01/2012
Related Logs: None
Cordelya Danae 
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.
07 January 289

The men have ridden. This morning the garden is quiet and the air audibly thick with the hum of the bees, taking interest in the plants. Unafraid of bees or the barbs of roses, Danae stands in a tangle of bushes, hands busied with seeing to a bush that has taken some battering due in the last week. Humming softly to herself, her fingers brush along the leaves and carefully wrap a break, blonde hair hangs down her back in a thick, fish-tailed braid.

Cordelya had been there the evening before, though she was scooped away by Gedeon, considering she should not be in the rose garden at night, especially not all alone. So, followed by her lady's maid today, the 20-something Cordelya trots out to the gardens belong. She's looking just a bit bleary eyed, most of the evening having been spent in activities that were not sleeping. It leaves her just a bit deliciously sore also, steps slow and bonelessly comfortable. She murmurs softly into the air, something about a blessing from the gods, happy to yammer on to seemingly nothing until she sees Danae ahead. "…Lady…" She greets quietly, suddenly rather uncertain what to do. She did not expect company.

Tipping her head to regard the other woman, Danae flashes her the curve of a smile, braid sliding over one shoulder. "Good morn. Lady Danae Westerling. I do hope you'll forgive me if I don't curtsey immediately, my lady…" Blue eyes scan the other woman with the appraising regard of a merchant, catching the ring but being too far away to ascertain its shape. Her clothes and her maid mark her a lady, regardless. "My hands are rather tied at the moment," she explains easily.

"Oh, it is… quite alright. I did the patch over there last night…." Corrie motions to the roses at the furthest back corner, hidden in shadows and out of the way. Possibly some of the most neglected, but also possibly somewhere she could easily hide and that had been the plan. "I… hope you do not mind. If these are your roses, do forgive me. I just… I miss… the care of… Things. Plants. Herbs." All of this before Cordelya even thinks to introduce herself. Then she blinks, realizing the other woman had given her name. Corrie is currently free, so her very tall, reed thin form drops into a bit of a curtsey. "It is an honour, Lady Danae. I had heard you were the other herbalist. I am Lady Cordelya Flint but… Corrie is just fine. I am not here for proper court."

Danae takes a moment to finish mending the break she is tending, then she carefully steps out of the tangle of roses to look in the indicated direction. "I see," she says softly, brushing a strand of hair back from her features. "No. This is not my garden, it is that of the Tordanes. They have had roses here for many years longer than I have been alive, I think. Else they would not be nearly so splendid. " Her fingers brush against the leaf of one plant as she speaks, almost fond. After a moment, the much smaller woman drops into the dip of a curtsey of her own. "An honour and a pleasure, my lady. You may call me Danae, just the same."

"Aye, indeed… the roses are beautiful. The Gods have… truly blessed this place, even among the war that shatters our lands these days." Corrie takes a few more steps in the shorter woman's direction, her tall, reed thin body almost looking like it might sway in a strong breeze, but she keeps herself planted. "Do not let me interrupt. I would join you, if you would not mind. It is not exactly home… but at least it is nature, of a sorts. There are no swamps or forests about these lands… it is strange." There is just a touch of homesickness to Corrie's soft, young sounding voice.

"Roses are resilient, my lady. They will winter." With her boots dirtied by mud and hair tousled by the wind, Danae looks grounded in the earth in which she stands. She inclines her head to the lady, gesturing towards a bench. "Perhaps we sit a spell? I had only come out to mend a break or two, lest I displeasure whoever's luck it is to tend these beauties," she suggests with a dim smile. "You came with the Flint contingent then, Lady Corrie?"

Cordelya looks over Danae for a few moments, and there is something almost… envious, homesick and hungry in her eyes as she sees the mud on her boots and the wildness in her hair. Corrie knows what it is to be that girl. She has often -been- that girl. A slight mischievous smile tugs at Corrie's lips and she nods towards the back. "Come… let's go back to the corner where I worked. It seemed neglected and if someone has fits, well, I shall speak to them. I do not care. Let's work and talk…" And with that, determined as she is, she leads the way to the far back area that is out of sun, where roses might need more care. Once there, she plops straight down into the ground, in a pool of her skirts, not caring that they might dirty. She leans over to work on the edges there. "Aye… I came with my new husband, Andy. Ah… Anders. The heir to the Finger. We married two months past. And you?"

Danae's slight smile twists lopsided at the lady's request, she adjusts the loop of fabric around her wrist — that was used for mending breaks so they might regrow — and dips her head in a nod. "Very well." She follows with more care for her dress, bending down and sweeping her skirts aside to work high as the other lady works low. In this quiet corner the taller lengths have seen less harassment from the bustling days, they earn an inspection regardless, fingers creeping over the vines slowly. "May I offer my congratulations on the match, then. That is very recent. I met your Lord husband briefly a day or so past, it is well of him to come." To fight and bleed. "I am an envoy from the Crag, in all honesty. I came before the invasion began."

Cordelya is happily settled into the grass and the dirt. Her poor maid probably has the worst of headaches getting the stains out of all her clothing. Very carefully, she begins to prune the roses with her fingertips. She doesn't yet strike herself on the thorns, careful to avoid them for the moment, but her fingertips are almost as trained as Danae's, it seems. She's got a gift with plants as well. "Oh, lady… I am quite sorry your… mission as an envoy was no doubt interrupted by this bloody mess. Though it is rather exciting. Steel and coursers. Men proving their mettle. It's almost like a story. Yet men will truly die here… and I know that is not… near so exciting." She admits, something almost childlike and light in her voice. She's clearly got some years on her, she's no actual child, but sometimes she keeps the attitude of one.

"Well," Danae demurs in a low note of sound, placing her focus on the task in front of her for the moment. The one that has not been interrupted by a bloody battle. "Indeed. Unfortunately it is rather more life-like, is it not? I am certain that the young knights would agree with you, at least those who did not stand to see the Trident. It is all a little too close for my taste. /Dashing/ as it may be." There is a tremor in the emphasis on the word, brief and easily missed.

Cordelya frowns a bit, pausing with the pruning of the roses to look up to the lady at that tremor in her voice. "…It… disturbs you, doesn't it? Something in all of this bothers you more than the…risk of blood shed. What is it?" Corrie asks softly, her young, gentle voice concerned and doing it's best to be as reassuring as possible. She might seem young, but there is a heavy intelligence in her eyes and an understanding behind her voice. She empathizes with people probably beyond what is healthy or normal, but she does it well. She forgets the roses and focuses on Danae for the moment.

The blonde woman has no eyes for anything but the plants. She takes a shuffling step to the side, continuing her careful examination of the bushes. "It is disturbing to see your home invaded, my lady," Danae offers finally.

Cordelya shifts her body on the ground and reaches one small hand over, patting the ground next to her gently. "…forget the roses, Danae. Sit here… talk with me?" She offers gently, that little girl part of her now firmly put away. There is something suddenly older, wiser, far more protective there. The elder sister that so many need and so few have. "…Tell me, how are you sleeping? Do you pray to the gods? They can give you peace, if you truly look for it…"

Her fingers still at the roses, a soft sigh exhaled as her gaze flickers up to the tops of the stone walls they creep along. Danae turns back to Cordelya with a mild smile, accepting her offer and gracefully folding herself onto the ground. "The seven serve my needs as they can, my lady. I would ask them little more with my prayers than I /need/, I would not request more when they must hear so many voices."

Cordelya sighs softly, something more on the tip of her tongue, but she tries to reel herself in. The woman needn't a lecture on the old gods right now. "…Whatever gods you keep, Danae… they should be strong enough to listen to your voice, as much as any others. But… I know many do not take comfort in the gods the way I do. I know, perhaps, it is hard with your god of seven faces. You cannot heart that god in the wind or the waters… " Corrie shakes her head gently, fingertips reaching out to take the woman's hand if Danae will permit. "Have you heard from your home?"

Through the shade of blonde lashes, blue eyes are sharp if a little thoughtful as Cordelya speaks her piece. Whatever is thought of it is not shared. There is little to Danae's expression beyond polite composure. The Westerling lady's hand is slightly scratched, but the touch is permitted. "Only what has come on black wings. The West was hit much like the Riverlands."

Cordelya gives a small, tight squeeze to Danae's fingertips. "But… the Crag has dealt with Ironborn before, no? They are more prepared. They… are strong. Yes, there will be losses but… they can survive." Unlike poor Tall Oaks. "And you are here and safe. It might seem like happenstance, but I assure you, the Gods have reason for it all. The best you can do is help as much as you can here, hold strong for your family. You will be more important to them than ever when this is all done with."

"Yes." The word is bland, accompanied an unwelcome edge to her tone. "It is as you say…they can survive," Danae agrees, voice softening again. Cordelya's call to the God's causes the Westerling woman to meet her gaze, blue eyes crisper with sudden appraisal. "Yes, that I can do."

Cordelya has the look of a believer, not a zealot. She's not here to toss Danae in the old God's play ground, but there is a certain peace behind her sometimes young, sometimes wild features that comes with someone who has simple and absolute faith. It's a calmnness few have. A few heartbeats later, there's a half quirked, almost apologetic smile crossing her small face. "And I suppose I am actually keeping you from doing that, am I not?" She asks with a faint laugh.

Danae shakes her head with a mild smile, giving the Flint woman's fingers a squeeze before reclaiming her hand. "No, my lady. I do not think that my tending the roses does anyone good beyond the roses," she assures gently.

Cordelya returns that squeeze softly, a slight chuckle catching at her mouth, but she lets Danae go. Still, she makes no motion to get up. She's comfortable here, hidden in the shadows, sitting on the cool ground, surrounded by roses and grass. It's not a swamp, but it will do. There is mud. There is fresh air. "I suppose not. If this war is to go long, we should ask to use a patch of garden ground to start cultivating herbs we could use. The weather is good enough we would have buds in a fortnight. If you are good with roses, surely you are good with herbs as well?"

"I would hate to sully the beauty of this place with that until it is necessary," Danae replies quietly, looking away from Cordelya to regard the garden. "I am sure there are many other areas that would do as well, if not better. This land is fertile, quick as you say." Twisting to regard Coredelya, Danae's mouth twists into something that is almost a full smile. "Well enough, I am well enough."

Cordelya tilts her head a touch to the side, "Well, perhaps not this exact spot, but somewhere on the grounds they will let us regularly access? I do believe, sadly, it will be necessary sooner rather than later. I brought a fair amount of things with me, some milk of the poppy, some things to make moon tea should some ladies wish it… but it is not enough for a war that could last months. It is barely enough for weeks." Corrie then looks off a touch, pale jade eyes traveling across the roses, thoughtful and tired, "…We never had a maester, growing up… Graywatch was too far. Too small. When I spent time at Winterfell, though… there were books. So many books. And many lessons on herbs at home. I… learned well. It was necessary."

Danae smiles reassuringly at the other woman, brushing her fingers idly down the folds of her skirt to settle them. "The Lady Isole has that well in hand, I believe. I have spoken to her some on the subject. She is very well studied." Long fingers sweep a curl back behind her ear in a succint gesture. "I learned much on my own. Then from a Septa later on. What did you do with the knowledge?"

The question actually seems to draw the strangest response from Corrie. Guilt, discomfort, an odd hint of shame. "…Nothing. I… I helped my family. Nothing… really… " A lie. That's a lie. For whatever reason, there is no way those words speak of truth, the shame on her features perhaps just a hint heavier than before. Has she killed someone? Sickened them? Either way, it seems the discomfort is enough to put her to her feet, Corrie scrambling ungracefully back up to her tall height. "But…I… I should go, Lady. It was good to meet you… We… We will no doubt talk again." A small curtsey and she's rushing away.