Jul. 16th, 2012

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So, when we left our family of honeybees, they were returning home from having had their luncheon outing spoiled by a kidnap attempt from a very charming bandit who went by Nymeria Sand.

Se was disturbed by the fact that he'd killed people (handily, too!). Gineva was still flirting hard with Ser Talon. Oberyn was crowing over his triumph, and Ducaleon was trying to keep Se and Oberyn in line while being quietly concerned about this whole Nymeria-"audience with his mother" thing.

They all arrived back at the castle, and things picked up from there. There were instructions waiting for them, courtesy of the steward. Gineva went upstairs and found Septa Setia, who was instructed to help Gineva try on the three gowns her mother had laid out for the evening (one in virginal white, one in a northern style in pale gold, and one traditional Dornish gown in burnt orange with gold embroidery. Gineva chose the Braavosi gown she'd bought Across-the-Sea and sent her mother one in blue that she'd brought back as a present, at Setia's suggestion. Setia was supposed to oversee Gineva, but ended up assisting her in this minor rebellion instead.

Ser Talon, lovestruck, realizes that he's up against some heavy competition, and he wants to appear to best advantage. His regular clothes, however, will not do at all. He starts figuring out a way to obtain an outfit for the feast night tonight -- and then realizes he's too broke to afford a fancy dress outfit of his own. He has friends with money, though, and sets his sights on Se.

Se went to his room, trying to work this out. Gineva stopped in to see him on her way to her chamber, telling him he did the right, in fact the only, thing. This didn't seem to help him significantly.

Oberyn decided that he needed to summon Lady Siobhan to the audience chamber so she could meet with Nymeria, three hours before her late-first-husband's funeral anniversary feast. As he's 14 and kind of snotty to the seneschal, this only went so well. After cooling his heels, waiting for his mother, the seneschal comes back and says that his mother requests his attendance in her chamber. Oberyn goes to see his mother and receives a lecture on how his behavior was inappropriate, and how the news that he captured a bandit should be given in person rather than summoning her to stop her preparations, and that it will be dealt with. Oberyn proceeds to sulk, and is sent off to gather his siblings to find out why the 14-yr-old is the one passing this news along.

Meanwhile, Ducaleon saw Nymeria to a side chamber, asking her questions and trying to put her off while offering hospitality to her. She gratefully accepted the water and a chance to clean up, but would not be put off from her request. She did, however, accept his offer to speak with Lord Riordan instead.

So, Oberyn finds Se and Gineva, and Ducaleon is on his way up regardless, and all of them meet up at Lady Siobhan's room, where Lord Riordan is. They get mildly reprimanded and sent back to get ready, all but Oberyn, who gets in a bit more trouble about decorum and whatnot. Everyone else listens outside the door with varying degrees of glee. Ser Talon finally gets up the nerve to ask for a loan, and Se obliges him.

When his chastisement is done, Lord Riordan comes out. He talks with Se, reassuring him about what happened, and then proceeds with Ducaleon down to the room. He walks in, greets Nymeria, but then a strange expression of recognition passes between them, and she says, "I seek the Golden Lion." Ducaleon and the others are dismissed from the room, while Riordan and Nymeria speak. When they come out, a few moments later, Septa Setia is summoned and requested to help Nymeria dress for the feast and to find her a chamber for the night. "She is to be treated as an honored guest." Ducaleon catches up with Se and shares his suspicion that Nymeria might Riordan's natural daughter.

Siobhan asks Gineva to wait as well, and then she requests that she change -- they want to present a "proper Dornish maiden, not a wild woman." While her mother appreciates the present, she doesn't change her mind. Gineva then goes and dresses in the burnt orange outfit, in traditional Dornish style.

Once Nymeria is settled, Setia attends to her own dress. Instead of dressing plainly and severely, as Lady Siobhan requested -- twice -- Setia adds a little glitz to her gown and hair, setting her token of office -- a crystal, in her hair above her forehead and weaving gold into her auburn locks.

So, with everyone settled, the dinner begins. Darian Martell is seated at the head table with his father Royce (the eldest heirs' uncle), Lady Siobhan and Lord Riordan, and the two heirs -- children of her first husband, in whose honor the dinner is being held. At the table on the right are Gineva, closest to Darian, Oberyn, and Se. Across the hall are Ducaleon, Nymeria (he's her dinner partner). Down another set of tables are Ser Talon on one side and Septa Setia, down the other, furthest from Darian.

The dinner proceeds -- Darian and Gineva flirt back and forth appreciatively but in keeping with decorum. Toasts are made. Food is eaten. Nymeria is graceful and has suprisingly good manners. Lady Siobhan and Lord Riordan both seem a bit pale and distracted, but this really only manifests in slightly less sparkling conversation and neither of them glancing toward the table where Nymeria sits. Ser Talon is eaten up with jealousy, watching the match being made in front of him and Gineva in a positive spirit about the whole thing. Oberyn glowers a lot and ends up being dismissed early, as punishment for his earlier stunt. Setia receives a message through a server, praising her beauty and asking her to be at the well in the grove at midnight.

At the first convenient moment when it will not create alarm, Lady Siobhan rises and begs leave of the company, claiming fatigue and sorrow. Riordan escorts her out, stopping to give her love to Ducaleon and tell him to escort the lady to S's chambers at the first opportunity for discretion. The party continues through dessert and drinks, but breaks up relatively early -- a somber affair. Oberyn (hiding in the hall rather than going to bed -- sneaky teenager) follows his parents up to their room, disappointed at not getting anything more exciting out of it. Ducaleon and Nymeria travel upstairs as well, while Se gets drunk and flirts and fondles with anything or anyone willing, and Gineva flirts with Darian and (more discretely) Ser Talon, keeping him involved.

Ducaleon arrives at his mother's room, and asks if it's true. Oberyn stands outside while Ducaleon can't get away and hears/sees his father stand up and say, "May I present Princess Rhayna Targaryen, daughter of Elia Martell and Rhaegar Martell -- the rightful heir to the Iron Throne," as Rhayna curtsies to Lady Siobhan to the room's general horror and awe.

And that's where we pick up next week!

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