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Posted on Fri Mar 5th, 2021 @ 3:45pm by Lord Aethan Velaryon & Ser Stevron Velaryon & Lady Shireen Velaryon & High Septon & Lord Jonah Tully & Ser Renn Baratheon & Lady Joanna Hightower & Prince Nymor Martell & Lord Brannis Baratheon & Ser Edric Martell & Ser Arron Martell & Lady Ashara Martell & Lady Lileander Baratheon & Princess Tyene Martell

Mission: The Great Council
Location: The Sept of Recollection

The Velaryon's began their day before the sun rose above King's Landing, Shireen had made sure of that. Aethan, Shireen, and Stevron sat in silence in the black coloured wheelhouse. The burden of the day's importance hung over Aethan like a longsword. There was so much pressure and expectations piled upon him.

Shireen pulled back the silken curtain. "We're almost there." She clasped her hands. "these next few days will be the greatest production the Six Kingdoms has seen in years, and we must all play our parts. Aethan, my darling boy, you must lead the way up the steps. Ron will walk with me, a few steps behind." The wheelhouse stopped and footsteps could be heard outside the carriage door. It opened and early morning sun flooded in.

Aethan stepped out into the street, and then turned to help Lady Shireen down. Stevron followed out last and handed his mother her silver walking sick. The streets around the Sept were filled with common folk mourning their former King. The sight was surprising to Aethan, but then just because he didn't know the King well did not mean that the people of Kings Landing wouldn't admire him.

After a moment, Aethan turned back and began to climb the steps. He could hear the familiar click of Shireen's cane on the stone behind him. It wasn't a short climb nor was it overly long. When he reached the top he spotted two men stood near the door. One was clearly older with a long grey beard that was fastened midway. He wore white robes with ornate embroidery and a crown of crystal. This was clearly the High Septon. The other man was tall, his black hair was greying and thinning. He wore all black adorned with the unmistakable badge of the Hand of the King. This was Lord Yorbert Sunderland.

Aethan approached the men and bowed his head to the High Septon as his family approached behind.

Lord Sunderland nodded to Stevron. "High Septon, this is Lord Aethan Velaryon the Lord of Tides, Lady Shireen Velaryon, and the Master of Ships Lord Stevron Velaryon." He had done Stevron the courtesy of calling him Lord. A courtesy only awarded to him because of his place on the Small Council.

The old man bowed slightly to all three and then took Shireen's hand. "My deepest sympathies for your own loss, Velaryons." He had obviously heard of the deaths of Aethan's parents. "May the Stranger have led them well and true."

Shireen smiled and took back her hand. Lord Sunderland took it immediately and kissed it guiding her through the doors into the Sept. Aethan and Stevron stepped into the Sept as well. The trio continued into the place of worship, observing the Silent Sisters as the prayed wordlessly around the King's body in the center of the room.

Shireen gestured for Aethan to lead again. The young man stepped forward and approached the altar where the body laid. Painted stones covered the King's eyes. His grandmother was right, the body was bloated and the smell was beginning to overpower the incense that were burning all over the room. He looked around and noticed that they were the first nobles to arrive.

Stevron whispered to Aethan. "We should sit in the front row. So we're visible." Aethan nodded and led the way to the empty front row.

A carriage bearing the seal of House Martell was pulled before the grand steps of the Sept of Recollection by two Dornish Sand Steeds with beautiful coats of red. They had been brought over on the ship from Dorne, as much a matter of preparation as a display of culture and wealth. Immediately, various servants who had followed the carriage in a small procession began to flutter about, preparing for the doors to be opened.

Inside the carriage, the Martells packed close together, each of them busying themselves with their own thoughts. Prince Nymor the Bear, sat with his tree trunk legs spread wide under his Princely golden garment, stroking his beard. Princess Tyene leaned on him, her eyes closed in preparatory prayer. Funeral ceremonies involved the Sacrifice of the Seven and the Princess was famously religious . Edric, the heir to Dorne, loomed large on the other side of the carriage, though not as large as his father. His eyes were closed in a restful slumber as snores escaped from his mouth. Beside him sat his younger brother, Arron, his watchful yet haunted eyes scanning the world beyond the window. His skills of observation were often underestimated, but he had competently served as the Lord Spymaster of Dorne and he knew how to unlike the secrets of most any man. Lastly, Ashara sat upon the cussioned floor of the carriage between her family on both sides, her eyes buried in the large tome she had brought along. Her eyes were always in books, though people rarely noticed her brains for her beauty, something that irritated her profoundly.

The double doors of the carriage were opened by two dark-skinned guards in yellow uniforms, making way for Nymor to step out first and then help Tyene with his massive hand. The sons followed after, helping their sister down to the ground.

"Remember," Nymor said quietly, his dark eyes dancing over his family. "That we are representatives of the cunning and resiliency of Dorne. I want every one of you to conduct yourselves as what you are: princes among lordlings."

His family nodded their understanding, though their eyes were already ascending the steps before them. The family made their way up to the entrance of the Sept and stopped before the two men standing as lordly greeters.

"Lord Sunderland!" Nymor said with a broad grin.

“High Septon, may I introduce Prince Nymor Martell of Dorne, his wife Princess Tyene, and his children Edric, Arron, and Ashara.” The Hand already seemed exhausted from the tedium of introducing the High Septon to every Lord and Lady of the Kingdoms.

The High Septon bowed at the neck in greeting. “Welcome, I hope the road from Dorne was peaceful.”

"We came by sea, Your Holiness." the Prince said, "and the waves were calm and the breeze smelled sweet."

"Ah, then you will find comfort in your companions inside. They are also seafarers." The High Septon smiled.

With that, the Martells made their entrance into the Great Sept, following Nymor to a place close to the front, if they could find it.

On horseback, Jon arrived at the Sept. He had just one retainer with him, but none that would join him inside. The Lord of the Crossing climbed down from his horse and tossed the reigns to his knight to take horse. For a moment he surveyed the street and the stairs leading up to the Sept. As he climbed the white staircase he eyed the two men at the door.

Lord Sunderland looked him up and down. "High Septon, This is Lord Jonah Tully, Lord of the Crossing."

The High Septon smiled wide. "Seven Blessings Lord Jonah. Gods be good, I used to play Lord of the Crossing when I was a young boy."

"Thank you, your holiness." Jon said, accepting the blessing with a nod. "So did I. Except I never seemed to have stopped playing." He turned to the Hand, "And thank you for the introduction Lord Hand."

Yorbert Sunderland offered a curt nod, allowing Jon to pass into the Sept.

Lady Joanna descended from her own wheelhouse before the Sept. She was accompanied by only two retainers. Ser Luthor Mullendore, the captain of her personal guard, strode confidently behind her, somber as he prepared to enter the funeral of the king. Septa Pernyssa, a soft, plump woman in the garb of her order, kept her eyes downcast. Joanna strode forward. Her expression was appropriately grim though she allowed herself a sad little ghost of a smile as she approached the High Septon.

“This is Lady Joanna Hightower High Septon.” Lord Sunderland said, taking in Joanna’s beauty.

“My Lady.” The old man reached for her hand.

"Your Holiness," Joanna said as she curtseyed, offering her hand.

The Hand of the King smiled at the small procession. The High Septon seemed impressed by the inclusion of a Septa in the Hightower group.

“And Sister.” He smiled at Septa Pernyssa. “Seven Blessings.”

"Seven Blessings, Your Holiness," Pernyssa said, curtseying deeply.

“Please.” The Septon gestured for the trio to enter.

The small group approached the body. Joanna and the Septa bowed their heads briefly before they took their seats. They also claimed a spot in the front, on the other side of Jonah Tully from the Velaryons.

"King Waynn," Brannis Baratheon sneered from the carriage, sardonic venom dripping from the twist of a charming mouth. He peeked past black mourning curtains at the mourning smallfolk, "Waynn the Could've Been Worse."

"Don't Blaspheme," Lileander Baratheon growled from her severe features, her fingers flexing- but declining- to slap him across the face. She sat, seemingly brittle and unamused at her eldest. Brannis, in the poor light inside the carriage, turned an almost eerie eye to his mother and smirked. His gaze returned to the narrow streets of the capital. "We're here to show respect." Brannis chuckled with rippling contempt and irreverence.

"If he wanted my respect he should've made us Master of Ships instead of Stevron Velaryon," Brannis countered.

"What you don't know about ships could fill the Bank of Braavos," a soft voice, even in tone, countered. "They're just a vehicle for coin to you. They have other uses besides making you rich."

Brannis grinned at his little brother, "If I could fill the Bank of Braavos with anything, it would be with my huge-"

"Enough," Lileander snapped, voice almost shrill.

"-Investments and interest portfolios," Brannis continued, before a mea culpa nod to his mother, "Yes fine, enough." He sobered, "Enough childishness, Ren. And sit up straight." His younger brother Renn looked on, sans amusement. He blinked and turned eyes away from his brother. When he looked out of the black curtains of their carriage, he saw people. And their mourning looked genuine enough. He had never met the King, nor the Hand of the King.

The carriage swayed to a halt and after a moment, the doors opened. Lileander was the first out, aided by the hand of her eldest son. Brannis followed, escort the soon-to-be Dowager Lady of Baratheon. Ser Renn Baratheon was the last. His youngest sister had stayed in Storm's End to oversee with Maester Poe.

The Hand watched as the group of dark-haired people ascended the steps. “High Septon, may I introduce Lady Lileander Baratheon of Storm’s End and her sons.” Lord Sunderland nodded as they approached.

"Your Eminence," Lileander dropped to her knees with a flow of black garments and lace. She had brought a veil over her face before they had left the carriage. "A sad day, Your Grace," she sniffed with a notion of entrenched fragility, "There is too much death in this world..."

The bearded High Septon smiled. “Seven Blessings my dear Lady. You’ve come just in time.” The man’s wrinkled hand wave the trio towards the doors.

Lord Sunderland smiled warmly at the Baratheons.

"Lord Sunderland," Lady Baratheon greeted after she had risen. She took his hand too, "What a sad day for us all."

"My Lord Sunderland," was murmured stoically and off-stereo by the two men flanking her. "We arrived by ship just this morning," Brannis added, "My Father and sister send their regards, but he is too ill to travel."

Sunderland nodded his understanding. “We appreciate that you can be here in his stead.”

The Baratheons three nodded their head as the ushers moved to get them to their places within. They filed in solemnly, Lileander leading and Renn in tow. Renn's eyes lifted to first study the Martells, and the fish of the Tully's and finally the Velaryon's whose castle they had just passed at the light of dawn.

Shireen narrowed her eyes and followed the Baratheon’s silently as they passed. Turning to Stevron she whispered. “How do you think they will sway in Council?”

Stevron shook his head. He couldn’t be sure.

As Stevron shook his head, Renn caught the movement, and his eye. His brow raised but he stayed silent, offering the man a nod of his head. Then his eyes lowered back to the solemn procession.

Nobles continued to flood the Great Sept for the funerary ceremony. It was nearly time for the service to begin, the Hand and the High Septon entered. they separated, as Lord Sunderland found a seat. Even still, the Silent Sisters prayed wordlessly around the body of King Waynn. The High Septon moved to the center of the room and raised his hands to silence the room’s occupants. ”Seven Blessings to you all.”

He turned to face the body and closed his eyes. “Father Above, we ask that you judge King Waynn justly so that he may taste the sweet milk of the merciful Mother. We ask that the Stranger lead him true on his path to the Seven Heavens." He placed a crystal in the hands of the dead king."May he laugh and love and feast until the end of days in the Father's golden hall." With that, The High Septon turned from the body and returned his attention to the convened audience. "As we gather, we remember the long life of our departed brother. He was named in the light of the Seven in the Vale of Arryn. His life brought him to all ends of the known world, protected always by the Warrior. As was anointed by the Seven, he became Lord of the Six Kingdoms and led the nation with the guidance and wisdom of the Crone until the Stranger came to lead him to the Seven Heavens."

The Septon stepped off the raised altar and began to walk near the rows of gathered nobles. "As the Mother watches on today, she smiles down on us. Her warmth comforting those who mourn. Rise and sing with me, 'The Mother's Warmth'.”

The old man led the short hymn with a smile to the gathered. Voices joined and rose to fill the domed room. As the singing subsided, the High Septon waved his hand and six other Septons joined him by the altar holding large silver bowls. "We believe The Seven are present in the highest and most divine ritual. We love the Seven, as the Seven love us. Unconditionally and above all else, and we accept the light of the Seven in our heart wholly. And accept them into our bodies." The Septon's dispersed around the room with a blessed wine signifying the blood of the Seven.

A fat Septon moved along the front row. Aethan tipped the bowl to his lips. Shireen and Stevron followed suit.

In turn, the soon-to-be Dowager Lady of Baratheon went first, Renn lifting her veil by half to help her. The cheap wine drew a sour look on her severe visage but it was impossible to tell through her grief. Renn's sip was without event. He had less of a taste for wine- he preferred stouts and Stormland peket- but it was sacrament, not to be enjoyed. Brannis sipped with a smile at the fat Septon and murmured thanks. The Baratheons, as the bowl passed, bowed heads in silent respect- save for a soft, choked to polite sob from Lileander.

A meager sip of cheap wine was all Jon got before he passed the bowl on to the next in his row.

Joanna uttered a small prayer before she tipped the bowl to her lips. Her septa and captain followed.

One by one, the Martells tipped the bowl toward them and drank the sacramental wine of their faith. Each of them, once it was received, closed their eyes as if something had truly changed in them; as if their hearts were now full; all, except Arron who just looked bored. The rest of them said silent prayers for the king who had died.

As the wine was taken back by the Septons, the High Septon raised his hands in the air. “We will sing from the ‘ Father’s Compendium’ for our protection and guidance.” After a short moment he cleared his throat and began the song. They sang twelve songs from the Father’s compendium.

“I thank you all for coming today. May the light of the Seven shine on you all today.” The High Septon smiled. “Seven Blessings to all of you as you undertake the burden of the Great Council. I invite you all to light a candle and make your silent prayers as you depart today

Shireen stood and clutched her cane. She strode towards the High Septon. “Such a wonderful ceremony, Your Holiness.” Aethan stood next to her.

He grasped her hand and smiled. “Seven Blessings Lady Shireen.” The three Velaryon’s made their way to the statue to the altar of the Stranger, lighting candles and making their silent prayers for King Waynn’s soul.

Stevron pulled away quickly to go signal the wheelhouse. His kin followed behind.

Jon followed the Velaryons out. "Lord Tully!" One of Jonah's houseguards called to him as he walked out the Sept.

Renn had stayed, lingering at the altar of the Stranger. He lit his candle and in silent recollection, he studied the face of the statue. It was, of course, entirely shrouded in its hood. But what face would such a being have? One's own? An ancestor? Something not of this world? Of the grave?

Lileander and Brannis processed outside without the youngest Baratheon son. Lileander had a regal arm over her son's supporting arm while they stepped into the light. They passed the Martell's, Lileander's gloved hand tensing with a threat of nails into her son's arm when she sensed even a minute move of his head, a slight slackening of the jaw, from Brannis to the Martells' backs. It was his one and only warning and he abided with darkened charm.

He winked at a pretty young girl whose minor Banner crest was of the Reach. "Why does every Martell reek of cumin?" He whispered to his mother when they were out of earshot. "Do they swim in it?"

"Be silent," Lileander snapped.

The Martell's stood together and started toward the exit, moving as quietly as they could in order to remain respectful, though a look of distant boredom was plastered on Arron’s face.

"Seven blessings, Your Holiness." Princess Tyene said with a radiant smile as they passed the outer doors of the sept.

The High Septon smiled warmly at the Princess. “Seven Blessings. I hope you enjoy your time in King’s Landing.”


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