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A Late Night Conference

Posted on Fri Jun 11th, 2021 @ 1:07pm by Lord Garth Blackwater & Lady Celyse Blackwater & Lord Jonah Tully

Mission: The Great Council
Location: The Blackwater estate
Timeline: Post-clandestine meeting

Two dark-cloaked men arrived at the Blackwater estate's gate. A short conference with the guards explained that the riders were two representatives from House Tully of the Twins with a message for Lord Blackwater that could not be kept until morning. They were ushered to the house, and told to wait in the foyer as the castellan was sent to Lord Blackwater.

Moments after the castellan departed to retrieve Lord Garth, Celyse Blackwater appeared at the top of the staircase. She wore a floor-length light blue dress which was opened at the shoulders in a beautiful, though subtle design. She offered a smile to the men and descended the stairs slowly, her slender fingers finding the sides of her dress and lifting them slightly so that she didn't trip on them. Once she was in front of them, she clasped her hands in front of her body and smiled again. She focused on the one to her right and curtsied gracefully. It was technically unnecessary, but she offered it as if she were curtsying before a king.

"Lord Jon." she said in a sweet voice. "Welcome to the Grapevine Estate. My grandfather is preparing to meet you, but I can keep you company until he can join us. Would you come with me to the Great Chamber just down the hall?"

"Lady Celyse. My apologies for calling on your grandfather at this hour." Jon greeted in return, nodding at her curtsy. "Please lead the way. Perhaps we can beg of you a cup of wine?"

“No need to beg, my Lord.” She said with a humor about her. She moved down the hallway , staying next to Lord Tully the whole way. She entered the room at the end of the hall, finally, just as servants were setting out bread, salt, and Lord Garth’s new King’s Landing blend called Royal Red. It was sweet and full-bodied.

“I can’t help but wonder what might bring an important man like yourself out so late.” She said, always the flatter, “it must be quite urgent.”

Jon took a glass of wine and seated himself at the table, tasting it before answering. "My lady, your words are as sweet as the wine."

Celyse couldn't help but notice that wasn't an answer to her question, but she took it as a symbol that it wasn't going to be answered. She demurred, looking humble and slightly embarrassed by his praise.

"You're kind, my Lord." she said sweetly. "I'll go now and see what's keeping my Lord Grandfather."

At that, Celyse turned and walked slowly from the room through the door through-which they had entered.

A few brief moments later, the door opened again and the Lord of Highgarden entered in a robe of green and gold. He leaned against his cane and hobbled over to the table where the gentlemen sat.

"My Lord, to what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Lord Garth, my apologies for rousing you this late. But I've just now had an interesting conversation that you might want to learn about." Jon answered, rising from his chair calmly as Garth stepped in.

"Oh?" Garth asked, his eyebrow raised. "Well, I do so love interesting things, Lord Jon. Do tell me."

"Won't you join me for a glass while I tell you?" Jon asked, gesturing to the chair next to him. "Your daughter did bring us a fine bottle of wine after all."

Garth walked over to the table and lowered himself down into the nearest chair. He sighed as he made contact with it, his gray eyes finding his counterpart's again. He grabbed a pitcher and poured himself a small amount of wine into a goblet and brought it to his lips.

"My granddaughter, that is." Lord Garth said, politely correcting Lord Jon. "I've almost got horses older than her." he joked.

"My apologies." Jon said, dismissing the topic. "Let us get to business so that we may both retire to our beds soon. I just had a meeting with Lord Aethen. He seems to be under the impression he has your support for the Council."

Garth raised his brow slowly. This wasn’t exactly an unexpected happening; he supposed the odds were good that Lord Jon would find out about his meetings.

“You are very honorable for coming to speak with me on this topic, my Lord. A great many men would have run away with rumors and denounced me rather than giving me a chance to explain what you may have heard. Thank you.” Garth said, rather without nervousness as he took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “As I told Lord Aethan and every inquiry that has been placed before me, my support remains with you and your house in the Great Council. I have no intention of going back on my word if your claim to the throne remains possible. I am surprised Lord Aethan didn’t tell you that part...”

"I suspect he did not tell me that because he had hoped I would run with the rumours and burn our pact." Jon answered as he took another pull from the glass. "We will need your votes to get us even close to the Throne." He then emptied the glass. "It heartens me to hear your renewed faith in my cause, Lord Garth. Let us see to it that we can rule together." The prospective King rose from his chair and stepped to Garth with an extended hand.

Garth struggled to his feet as well and grasped Tully’s hand.

“My faith needed no renewing; it never left. If I am to be honest, it is your cause I believe in most honestly, but the situation remains complicated with family, alliances, tradition, and Dornishmen. I hope that we can surmount those odds on the first ballot.”

"Believe me, Lord Garth, I know all too well about those myself. I'll leave you to return to your slumber, I am in need of some of my own." Jon smiled and gave a nod to his bodyguard. "I'll see you at the conclave."

"I shall see you there, my Lord." Garth said with a smile. He watched as Lord Jon departed for his horse and, once he was gone from the house, Garth turned to Celyse who walked in again, having been listening from behind a door.

"That too close for comfort, Grandfather. It's amazing the man still trusts you with all that's been said." she told the old man, taking hold of his arm and walking with him toward the grand staircase.

"He doesn't have a choice but to trust me, Celyse; he needs me. It's like a always tell you, he is the vic-"

"He is the victory who makes himself essential." she said with a smile, parroting his measured style of speech, "and he rules who rules the ruler."

Garth smiled broadly at his granddaughter as he took the first several steps to the seond level of the manse. He was clearly extremely proud of her, a sentiment he had never had for her father, his firstborn son, Parmen. That man never understood that power had no purpose by itself but to corrupt the one who had it; and Celyse understood what Garth had taught her, that all must be done for the common good of Westeros and for the family. Like the rose, they grow forward from beneath, and their beauty was meant for the glory of the field and the warmth of happy homes.

"Say your prayers tonight, my girl. We play a dangerous game for a good reason, and dangerous games can end dangerously."


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