It is currently WINTER in WESTEROS during the year 303 AC. The new moon cycle marks a full twenty years since the Mad King was murdered, and his son King Rhaegar ascended the Iron Throne in his place. Though the year is fresh, war in the Narrow Sea has left the Free Cities of Volantis and Tyrosh in ashes, and the Long Night continues to beckon from the Northern fringes of the Seven Kingdoms. With the Queen Lyanna presumed dead, the citizens of the realms look only to each other for survival.
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Location: DORNE
Born: 15 June 1991
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Alias: Solace
Age: 47
Sworn To: Martell
Born to: Norvos
Location: Essos
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Mar 17 2018, 01:59 AM
[This is set 28 years prior to current date]

Mellario always knew that she would have a family one day. It wasn’t that she didn’t have a choice – but Mellario knew that her life would end up eventually leading to motherhood. She was good with babes- having helped raise her own nieces and nephews – and she knew that once she married she would have a family of her own. She just had never guessed that the man she married wouldn’t have been from Norvos, and that she would travel so far from her own family to create her own with him.

But Mellario didn’t mind because she had Doran. He wasn’t like his brother – or even like his kin of Dorne – but Doran was steadfast and strong in his own way. He didn’t go into the deep, ravenous passions that Oberyn had, but he wasn’t chaste by any means. It seemed to her that only she could unlock the deep desires that Doran had inside him. In the four years since she first rested her eyes on Doran, she knew that there would be no other to hold her heart, and the passion and love for him had yet to dwindle even a flicker. No matter how angry or frustrated she got about her language or royal etiquette lessons, or what others said about her behind her back about being from Essos and not being worthy to be apart of the house, she always had Doran to turn to, who could wrap her in his arms, or just hold her hand and she felt her anxiety and unease flitter away like dust or sand in the wind.

It was knowing that she had a good husband her knowing she would have a family one day that leads her to this moment. Her bleedings had changed, after being regular since she first bled, she had missed the days that she should have bled. She thought it might be just because she and Doran were intimate – she didn’t have the chance to speak to many people about what she was expecting after her wedding night. But that changed once she started to feel sick at the sight of certain foods, vomiting after morning meals when Doran would leave for his duties of the day. After the fourth or fifth day of this, her maids had looked at one another before asking her if she had missed her bleedings.

The Septa had been smiling when she saw Lady Mellario, and as she stood in front of her, hands in front of her, she could tell the woman was nervous. ” Congratulations, Your Highness. You are pregnant, the Maester has confirmed it.”

Mellario had been so excited, her hands over her stomach, that hadn’t shown any sort of sign of pregnancy. It was all inside her, and Mellario was both terrified and excited at the same time. She wished her mother would be there, for her other sisters to help her through this. But she was sure that her new family there would be a fine substitute. They had been welcoming so far…she prayed they would feel the same as she brought in their first child.

Mellario waited until she received word on where her husband was held up for the time being. His study. Should she have guessed anything else? He usually was held up there these days, now that her husband was taking over certain duties since his mothers’ health was declining. She gathered her soft colored silks and moved down the hallways to see him, upstairs and around corners until she came to his doors. She knocked gently, before hearing his strong voice and she poked her head around the door, smiling as she slipped inside. Even though she had been with him for years, she was still uncertain when she could trouble him due to his duties. Her father would lock himself away for hours, and it was clear that when he was there, he wasn’t to be disturbed, or he would not be home, working from other places. But Doran would spend most of his time away, and he would spend his free time there too.

”I hope I am not disturbing you.” She said, her Westerosi better each day she practiced it. It had taken time, and she still liked to move back into Norvoshi with Areo, or to High Valeryian if she needed to speak quickly, but around Doran she was doing her best to speak in his native tongue. She couldn’t hide her smile as she came towards his desk.

In the time she knew Doran, she knew one thing he hated the most; It was a surprise. He liked to see everything laid out before him in a neat pattern and nice little rows. And while she knew that they hadn’t spoken of children, she hoped that he would indulge her with this – since this surprise would result into something rather exciting for both of them.
”I know you hate them-“ she started off, but she was quick to continue ”But I think this surprise might be something you will like.” she moved to sit on the edge of his desk near him, her green eyes dancing and sparkling with mischief.

”I will give you a hint at what it is; I cannot give it to you in a box.”

Jun 23 2017, 02:44 AM
She hadn't had this view since she had first come to the desert shore nearly thirty years ago. Sunspear glowed like a topaz gem in the light of the morning sun. She had watched it from the deck of the Nymeria's Kiss just before dawn. Though they had dropped anchor outside of the harbor earlier the previous day, one of the crew had rowed ahead the night before, sending a message to Princess Arianne to come to the docks as early as possible. So, as the dawn broke over the city, rousing the sleeping citizens to life, Mellario had stood on the deck of the ship, seeing a group from off in the distance on the deck. Mellario could hardly keep herself calm as they soon packed up her belongings onto the boat. Before the city truly had begun to bustle, she had landed in the rowboat onto the dock, where her two elder children waited for her.

Quentyn had grown up so quickly, a strong young man, but with more of his father's characteristics and his uncle Oberyn. But he was quiet and still as he saw his mother approach, as opposed to her firstborn. Arianne was her daughter, and she had grown into many things that she had been curious about. She had left her when she was still a young girl. She was a woman now, and one who was watching her with relief and happiness in her eyes. Mellario stepped out of the boat with the help of one of the row men, and without a moment's hesitation she wrapped Arianne into her arms, kissing her head. She pulled back to look into her eyes - lovely and dark - before she kissed her forehead. "I have missed you, my little Ari." She said affectionately, even though she wasn't little anymore. Arianne hugged her mother back just as tightly. She had grown up with her more than either of her brothers - and the warm familiar embrace of Mellario's arms where enough to calm down any doubts she had. It was right for her to be there. "You have been missed, mother." She replied honestly, and Mellario smiled, stroking her cheek with gentle tenderness.

Then her attention turned to Quentyn. Her heart hurt - she had missed so much of his life - and she moved to him next. She held his face in her hands - his fathers eyes, her nose, among other things - And she kissed his forehead, before bringing him into her arms as well.
"My darling boy." She murmured, pulling back to look at him fully. "I have missed you so much." She knew who was to blame for that, but she kept her bitterness deep within her stomach. Mellario would not let her husband ruin her reunion with her two children. "You are everything I hoped you would be." She said honestly. There was never a day she hadn't thought about him since he had been shipped off to the Yornwoods. She had missed so much of his young life. But not now. She would be there for him in everything he needed. "Welcome home, Mother." He kissed her cheek, before taking her hand and put her arm through his elbow. One of Arianne's servants motioned to the other two in attendance to take her baggage up to the prepared room for Lady Mellario 's arrival.

The trio walked slowly back towards the palace, and Mellario knew she had to ask this now, before she saw her husband eventually. "So he still walks with a cane? How badly has his gout gotten?" She asked them, and Arianne was the first to respond. "He prefers sitting, of course. He is too proud to give up walking entirely. Its painful." Arianne explained, and Mellario was sure she had meant to add 'to watch' at the end of her sentence. Of course, should she have expected Doran to be anything but difficult?

Mellario sighed sadly, as she walked with her son up the stairs, her hand moving to hold her skirts as she ascended the stairs, Arianne behind her. "Mother -" Arianne said as she came up beside her, frowning as Mellario looked at her, seeing the concern in her eyes. "We didn't tell him that you were coming back - He always got angry when we brought you up. We have done this in relative secrecy." Mellario felt something twist in her stomach like dread. If there was one thing that Doran hated, it was a surprise. Not that he would make a scene. That wasn't his way. He was always the methodical and political one. He would show his displeasure, though. This wouldn't go over well with her husband, Mellario was sure. She knew that he didn't want her there - but she hadn't expected her children to circumvent their father, their ruler, in order for her to come there.

It was safer, however. With the threat of war in Essos, she knew she needed to be with her children, and with Doran, even if he didn't want her there.

Mellario walked with her children up the steps, hearing chatter within the main rotund of the audience hall, where courtiers and ambassadors all over the kingdoms waited for court to begin. Mellario remembered sitting beside her husband as court processions began - especially at the beginning of their marriage - and remembered the long, drawn out sessions. They would sit on the two chairs in the audience hall; She in the one emblazoned with the sun, and he, with the spear. He sat there now, his cane in his hands as he waited for the court to begin. How time had changed him.

Seeing her husband sit in his chair in front of everyone was a little more than painful.Even as she stood beside Quentyn and Arianne, holding onto him for support, it was hard to see her husband in such a state. He looked much older in the six years since she last saw him, than what he truly was. It was so different to remember him as the sweet faced young man, the man who swept her away from Norvos and to Dorne. Now he was a shell of that man - riddled with gout and frown lines- and it was painful, almost too much to witnessed.

Quentyn stayed beside his mother, and she stood beside her children to the side of the room, right at the corners of his vision. He would see them eventually - see her, dressed in her Martell orange and gold - and Mellario of Norvos prayed that perhaps his eyes weren't as sharp as they had once been either, to let the relative peace of the situation still linger for just a bit longer.


May 23 2017, 01:59 AM
[dohtml]<div class="n-site-template">
<h1><Dorne>Princess Mellario Martell </dorne></h1>
<h2>46 years old. THE SUN OF NORVOS. DORNE. NUR FETTAHOĞLU.</h2>
<h3>solace. 26. pst. skypo/pm.</h3>
<div class="maincontents scroll">

<div class="genhead">Noom</div>
<div class="gensmall">For the beginning, for the birth, for the beating of your heart as you begin your life. You know that this sound as the sound you hear against the chest of someone else. Noom shall always ring deep withing you. The sound of the bell will ring into your soul, and you will know it as the beginning of everything. </div>
She was born during a celebration for their Gods. Her father was speaking with diplomats, far too calm for a man whose wife was in labor. But this was a normal occurrence. Her mother had given birth multiple times before, eight times to be exact. She was a veteran at birth, more so than most Norvoshi ever dreamed of. Even now as she was in her fourteenth hour of labor, she was calm and breathing and pushing, sweat beading down her forehead but not screaming in pain, but taking the contractions as they came. But when at last her daughter came into the world, Mila of Norvos sighed in relief and held her daughter on her chest, allowing the little baby to scream as it had been ripped from the comfort of her mother’s womb. She stopped not long after, and contentedly slept against her mother’s breast. When her father would pick her up, she would start to cry, as if she knew that the man who was holding her wasn’t her mother. Or perhaps it was a sign from birth that she knew a man’s heart – his true deep one – and she knew her father’s heart wasn’t as pure as everyone believed Kennar of Norvos was.
Kennar couldn’t be blamed if he wasn’t attentive to his family except when they were to entertain a diplomat, or merchants from other cities, or even from across the sea. He also couldn’t be attentive to the six children running around – lease of all his newest one. But he perhaps should have been more cautious of her. Because his newest daughter was full of passion and a wild heart, and as soon as she could crawl, she was escaping her crib and her maids. Mellario couldn’t be set down for fear she would crawl off, and more than once had she crawled to a table, pulling on the cloth and sending whatever was on top of it to the floor with her powerful little grip. Her passion for exploration, for life and her curiosity never would extinguish. Her mother was a wreck, handling five other children along with a babe who was all too ready to explore the world that was around her, and that was when her eldest sister came into play. Daria picked up the little babe, squealing and squirming, and would simply hold her on her lap. The sixteen-year-old Daria would sing to the babe, would hold her close, would read to her, but she had a connection to her little sister. Perhaps it was because while her sister was the eldest, and she was the youngest. Perhaps it was the first, and the last that would hold dear love with one another, a sisterly bond that no one could break.
Mellario was able to cause more trouble in her first five years of life simply by being more curious than her family than any of her siblings ever were. She was running about the house awake, always finding something to watch or to listen to. More than once Mellario was found outside of her father’s study when men were in there, with her elder brother Banti listening against the door. Though they were both young – Banti no more than eight and Mellario five – they seemed to know that the men in their father’s study were important, and the conversations they listened to against the door were too hard to make out truly. But it was the thrill that they might uncover something – of the unknown- that always interested Mellario. She was an observer, a watcher from a very early age that made others realize that she wasn’t like her siblings who attempted to just do as they were told, or not to stray too far from the Bell’s tolling. Mellario followed the best she could, but she always asked questions. Questions about the bells, about their sounds, how the sounds were made. She asked about the sun and the moon, the stars and the forest. She asked questions about why the bearded men had such long beards and why no one else was allowed them, and why her mother shaved her head only to put her hair back on. She asked questions about everything, which because a nuisance to her family very quickly. It was as she got older, that her mother and eldest sister pulled her aside. “Should you have a question, you must ask yourself three things,” Her mother’s voice was stern and tired, from her daughters’ constant questions and her boundless energy. “One, why am I asking this question? Do I need to ask it? Two, will it help me grow? Will it better me? And Three, will I be satisfied once I know the answer? Is it important to know the answer? Once you have thought about those three questions, Mellario, may you ask yours.” <br><br>
Those words would form much of what Mellario of Norvos would learn in her life. She learned patience and self-discipline with those words. Even at six years old, her mother’s tired eyes and her sister’s grim expression was enough to halt her tiny beating heart for a moment. Of course, after her talk, Mellario did her utmost to do what her mother ask, think of the questions before asking her own. But she was a six-year-old child, and there was only so much patience a six-year-old would have when it came to holding back her tongue. But it would only take her mother’s withering eyes, or her sisters soft ones, to close her mouth. She was quick to see that the fewer questions she asked, the more likely she was to get the answer she wanted, the quieter she was, the easier it was to be heard when people spoke. Even her father seemed to care more about what she said when she didn’t come up with countless pointless questions. But Mellario wasn’t satisfied with silence. Her curious mind hungered for more, and it was when she was finally taught to read and write, that that hunger, that need for learning, that need for knowledge was finally filled.
<div class="genhead">Narrah</div>
<div class="gensmall">There comes a time when Narrah will enter your heart, and it will change you. Narrah guides who we become, how we will live our lives by our conviction, by our hearts, by our love. Allow it to fill you when the time comes. Let Narrah resonate in your soul. Follow the way that shakes you. Believe in the words that ring to you. Love the one that fills your heart with the sound. Narrah is all of us, and the sum of our choices. </div>
The deep lush forests of Norvos were easy to get lost in, especially if you were young and you didn’t know them well. Children were usually forbidden from going too deep in, it was easy to get lost, for children to be easy pray for wild animals within. The Norvoshi respected the forests, as they respected their bells that governed their lives. They warned their young ones to never go too deep within the forest, that the city is out of sight completely, and stay within earshot of the bells. When you were close to Norvos, you were safe. That was what Mellario understood. The forest was a perfect place to run and play with other children, it was also close to home. If you were born a Norvoshi, you died one, and very few left the comfort of Norvos for anything, or if they did, they always returned home. Just like the children playing in the forest. You could play in the forest, but you had to return to the city once the bells tolled. <br>
Mellario loved her time in the woods. She would race her older brothers within the deep thickets, find flowers or leaves that she would return home with. She was always at peace there, out in the open world and not confined to the household chores her mother and sisters did. She enjoyed dancing and exploring the city, meeting new people and learning new things. She was full of life, full of adventure held inside a body of a woman who was taught to be quiet and to listen and not ask too many questions. In short, Mellario of Norvos was trapped within herself, and as she grew, she used her desire to live to push against the boundaries that had been set up for her all her life.
The first one she pushed against was keeping her hair. <br>
Norvoshi women and men, in ordinance with the Bearded Men, were meant to shave their beards and could only be clean shaven, or keep mustaches. Women, on the other hand, were meant to shave their heads and wear wigs, something about a woman’s hair not being longer than the Bearded Men’s beards. However, at Thirteen, when her hair should have been shorn off, and then shaven down, Mellario refused. She wouldn’t sit still, she wouldn’t allow anyone to touch her long black hair. She wouldn’t let even her mother brush her hair. Why did she have to cut it? She didn’t like wearing hats, let alone wigs! She had seen the scars that girl’s her age wore on their head, from nicks and cuts, from irritating caps and animal and human hair. It was more painful then beautiful. She wanted to feel her hands running through her hair, she wanted the feel of her mother and sisters tugging and pulling on it to create braids and other elaborate designs. Her mother spent a fortune on wigs, as did her sisters. Why did she have to follow the same path? <br>
For months they tried, and for months they failed. Finally, Kennar - tired of hearing his wife’s complaints and his daughter’s protest – relented. He said that they had so many people coming to visit their home from other countries that it was more practical to let her keep her hair. It was a victory that Mellario would savor, and one that brought her closer to her father. He had a impressive mustache, dyed violet and curled down past his chin. His mustache was a prized feature of his. While Mellario wasn’t the most beautiful of his daughters, he could see that she was the most restless of his children. She was a teenager now, and his daughters were getting married, and his eldest son had a child already. If he could allow her one small victory, he hoped she would be more pliant for the future. <br><br>
It was a change, for sure. The whole house could feel it. When Mellario started her first bleeding, she because the last of the children to become an adult. It was if she had shaven her head, and people were looking at her differently for the first time. No longer was she the gangly, rough featured girl who played in the forest and eavesdropped on all conversations that she could. Her features became more feminine, her body grew in ways that she didn’t expect. Each day it seemed something changed about her, and her mother noticed the way that her brother’s young friends took notice of her. Mother’s kept their children close until marriage, and girls married into their husband’s families. So, while her son’s new wives came into their home, and they celebrated with parties and dances, Mila watched as her last daughter danced among single men. What worried her was that she couldn’t tell if she knew what she was doing, or completely oblivious to the way they looked at her. <br><br>
She needn’t have worried, however. Mellario, while still at the bud of youth, knew enough about carnal affairs from her sisters to know that a man’s desires were not her own. Love for her family was tangible in their care, but love for a man was something different, something she never felt. She sought friendship, companionship, and didn’t think twice if she was friends with a boy or a girl. But now? As she grew older, and her place in society changed, so did her feelings. Her siblings were married by the time her sixteenth birthday came and went. Norvoshi had plenty of eligible men waiting to see who her father picked. But none of them caught Mellario’s eyes, and none of them made her smile. Being his youngest, his most restless, and most willful meant that Kennar couldn’t just pick anyone for her. His elder children had married who he wanted, while his younger ones were a little more at will to find a partner. But for Mellario? She was different, and Kennar knew the day that he met the Prince of Dorne, and saw the way his daughter looked at him, that he had lost her to Westeros.
Areo had always been a faithful companion. When he had been presented to her family from the Bearded Men, he was only sixteen and Mellario were barely ten. But as she grew older, and her penchant for eavesdropping and questions weaned into playing outside and traveling into the market, Areo had become her watchful eyes. He was never very far from her, or if he was, he was always on the outskirts, watching for trouble, waiting for her. He developed a friendship that would last a lifetime, even though his first loyalty was always to the family. <br><br>
When Prince Doran Martell of Dorne came to Norvos, Kennar had welcomed him into his home. He had come during the festival of Narrah, the streets were full of dancing, food, exotic animals and colors. Oh, the colors were beautiful on this day. Aero had accompanied Mellario into the streets as she danced and ate, watched the bears dance around in a circle and songs erupt in honor of their Bell. It was when the three bells chimed together, to signal a continuation of the party, that she saw him standing near her father. He wasn’t very tall, but he was handsome in a way that Mellario had never seen in any foreigner before. His skin – warm and sun kissed – had been cladded in gold and red like his land. Mellario had never seen a man more perfect before, as if he was of the sun himself. <Br>
Their eyes met across the way, across dancing bears and laughing couples. Mellario had never known love until that moment. Her heart raced in her chest and a feeling exploded through her, like an arrow to the heart. Aero had been watching the bears when Mel tugged on his hand and she nodded to the man across the way, unable to look away from him or he form her. “Aero, go ask for his name.” She asked in almost too low of a voice. But Aero looked at the man nearly his own age and he dutifully left Mellario on her own, unable to move from his golden stare. <br>
“His name is Doran Martell of Westeros, My Lady. He is staying in Norvos during his tour. With your father.” He said, watching as her eyes glowed a bit brighter in a way he had never seen before. It was almost curious to see her so interested in some one. It took a little while, but eventually Doran found himself in a secluded spot of the festival, and Mellario took that moment to introduce herself to him. Love at first sight. For someone who never believed in love before, she believed in it then. Her heart had never hammered in her chest quiet like it did with him. His swift hand that brought hers to his lips, the soft hushed tones of their talking…the talking that lasted well into the night when they returned back home, to the days following. The only time they seemed to part was for meetings with her father, and when they needed to sleep. Otherwise, the pair hardly left one anothers side. They talked about large things and small ones, about the world outside of Norvos and of Westeros, of the forests of the sky…All those questions that Mellario had bottled up flowed out, and Doran was eager to answer what he could. It was then no surprised to Kennar when Doran approached him at the end of his stay, asking for Mellario’s hand in marriage, with Mellario waiting anxiously outside his door for the answer. <br><Br>
There was truly no reason to say no. Mellario would become consort to the Prince of Dorne, would be treated like a princess within those walls. She obviously cared for the young man and he for her, and the pair seemed better matched then originally anticipated. It was with his blessing that they departed from Norvos. It was the first time she had ever left home, and it was bittersweet, looking back as they left, until they reached their boats to which they sailed off across the Narrow Sea towards Westeros. He had told her of the sand and the heat, but as they approached Westeros, she hadn’t realized the desert heat, the lack of green, and the cultural difference between Dorne and Norvos. But that meant little to Mellario. She was with the man she loved, holding his hand as they disembarked and met by his mother, who had heard from her son’s letters just days before that he was bringing back a wife with him. It was a strained meeting, the Princess of Dorne could see that Doran loved this young woman, and she, in turn, loved him. She welcomed Mellario into their fold, and from that point on, Mellario began her life as Doran’s bride. <br><Br>
<div class="genhead">Nyel</div>
<div class="gensmall">Nyel has always been the hardest to hear for some. The high pitch rings long into your mind after the bell has stopped. It is the sound that is the hardest to control, the hardest to listen to. But the bell tells us that in the end, we all must heed its sound. Some say it is the sound of Norvos. Some say it is the sound of the universe calling to us. But we know that Nyel is the sound that guides us, that sinks into our brain and makes us listen to what we do not want to hear. It is our conscience, it is our belief. No matter how far you are away from its sound, it will always be there, ringing, and waiting. </div>
The first morning that Mellario didn’t hear the bells to awaken her, it had set her into a small panic. Of course, on the ship to Westeros she hadn’t heard it, but there was something different about awakening to the Westeros Sun, and not hear the bells calling them to awaken. She had felt odd, a sense of trepidation that she truly was in a place far from her own home, far from the comfort of her family, her friends, the bells…But Doran was there. His sweet, sometimes shy smile was met with her own bold one calmed her. But it became very clear that the man whom she had met back in Norvos was not the same prince that she was set to marry. But perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing? She liked surprises. But she wasn’t so sure that her betrothed’s sudden shift was for the better. <br><br>
She began to learn the culture, the language, everything very quickly. It was intense at first, the clothing different than her own – women baring their breasts in public, the shameless flirtation and sexual freedom that was rampant – Made her shy and she still covered herself up as best she could. It wasn’t until she fainted from heat stroke that she realized that by succumbing to the fashions of Dorne, she would not only be accepted quicker as their future consort, but also it would leave with one fewer wrinkles on Doran’s worried brow. <br><br>
He seemed to understand her struggles, but in the weeks following their arrival home, it was quick to see that the Princess of Dorne had bigger things to worry about than her heir. She named him Castellan – she didn’t understand what that was at first – before she left with Doran’s siblings across Westeros to find them suitable mates. It was during this time that Mellario learned more about her husband than she had in the weeks previous. He had his moments of passion, but he was more talkative with her in private, but sullen and quiet, a thinker and a strategist in public. He was a man of words, while she was a woman of action. Growing up in a large household she had to fight to be seen or not seen. She fought to be original and fought to not be seen as just another daughter. Now, it seemed the fighting in her was becoming more subdued by Doran. It was easy, at first, to follow some of the customs; the titles, the names, the eating etiquette, the drinks, the clothes. But she could quickly see how political everything was there. Religion, that had been so ingrained into her soul, was not the same here. If it wasn’t Dornish, it wasn’t worth it. Or that, at least, was the attitude of the court. <br><br>
It was hard, to wait during the long year that the Princess of Dorne was gone and Mellario had to step into a state that she hadn’t been prepared for. But she learned, and her old habit of asking questions arose as she asked about everything – most finding it charming – and she quickly was able to pick up the basics. The fine tuning would come with repetition and time, her tutors said. Doran had only grinned whenever she came out in gowns and clothes that revealed more skin then she ever did. Though she would blush, she found herself enjoying the looks he gave her, the occasional brush of hands in public or the kiss they may share daily. But it was when the looks and small touches and kisses weren’t enough that Mellario saw the type of Man that Doran was; a man of passion and of love. In that year that the Princess was gone, Doran and Mellario fell deeper into love than before, and Mellario could only thank the Bells, and his seven gods that he had been brought to her. <br><br>
It was within weeks of his mother’s return that it was announced that Prince Doran Martell would finally marry Mellario of Norvos. The wedding was grand, the feasting and celebrations lasted longer than any ceremony that she had ever experienced. When she wasn’t feasting, or dancing, or laughing or learning the songs of the Dornish, she was with Doran. She had never seen him so happy before, and she had never felt this joyous. It didn’t hurt that the affection that the two felt for one another had grown into a deep love so quickly. Some said the passion would flare out as soon as their first child would come, but if anything, the years that passed on were like a continuation of the celebration. Each day was different and new. It wasn’t a surprise when, within a year of her marriage with Doran, she was with child. She had never seen him so excited, and she had never felt so nervous and scared before. Not even when she left Norvos with Doran. But the fears were quickly calmed, as they spoke of names, and of gender, and a prophecy from her youth from an old wise woman in the marketplace, in tea leaves. ” Your first born will be a girl, and she shall burn as bright as the sun.” the woman had been so sure, and thus, Mellario took that prophecy to heart. <br><br>
When Arianne was born, her world burned brighter, and the prophecy made sense to her. That her birth was the dawn of a new age for House Martell. She was the heir to Dorne, after all, to Sunspear, to the Martell’s. She smiled as she kissed her daughter’s head, knowing that her little Arianne, no matter how much she loved her father, would truly be her daughter. <br>
But It seemed with Arianne’s birth, the sands of change were swift and unforgiving. Mellario watched as Elia – her sweet goodsister – was betrothed to the Prince of Westeros. She watched as Doran’s mother wasted away, and she held her husband as he cried for his mother’s passing. Suddenly she was thrust forward as Princess of Dorne now, as her husband was Prince, taking his rightful place. It was a position he was born for, but that didn’t mean Mellario liked the changes that came with it. More responsibilities, more politics, and being married into the Royal Targaryen family meant little to Mellario, but everything to the Martells. Elia would be Queen one day. And while King’s Landing was lovely, as was traveling to a new land, Mellario knew that Sunspear was her home, and not the heady politics of the other Kingdoms. Mellario knew that she would raise her Arianne within those warm sands, and she would raise her second child there as well. Like her family before her, she had every intention of keeping her children near to her until they were married. Quentyn’s birth was just as emotional and heartwarming as Arianne’s, the only difference was that she wasn’t nearly as worried as she had been with her firstborn. Mellario learned that observation – what she had learned as a child – was better than any question. Learning on her own was the best thing she could do for her own children. Keeping them close, and remembering what her mother had said to her was all she could do. <br><br>

Her relationship with Doran had always had love, but fire was never too far behind it. For the first part of their marriage, up until Quentyn’s birth, thing seemed easy enough. She was given leniency when she didn’t quite understand the culture, or a few of the words at first. But time was Mel’s own worst enemy, and as time progressed, what was once charming or lenient soon became a bore, because problematic. Mellario hard learned Westerosi perfectly, had studied their customs and culture but refused to completely conform. She wasn’t Dornish, she would argue, and he had married her knowing that. She couldn’t completely give herself to the fashion, the food, or even the way her children were being raised. They thought she smothered them, was too protective of her children and to clingy to them. But how could she explain that it was how she was raised? How could she explain it to Doran about her worries when everyone else just brushed them off? But then again, She felt her world was different from the Dornish – it was nothing compared to the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. She knew that the day that Elia and her child was murdered. <br><br>
Elia and Rhaenys’ murders shocked the entire Kingdom, during a time when Mellario could barely keep up with the news coming from the North. The Prince was taking a northern woman to be a second wife, there were talks of War, The Mad King was dead and his son took, and then the Murder of the Princesses of Westeros where enough to drive anyone mad. She watched Doran be patient as Oberyn raged. Elia’s death shook all of Dorne, and they all mourned their Princess, but she could see that it changed the family intrinsically. Elia was a bright shining light, and the way the King acted towards her before her death had been a disgrace, and it was still a disgrace in the aftermath. Mellario tried to comfort the best way she could, but how could she possibly help heal her husband? Especially after a murder of his precious sister? That she saw him truly angry, furious. It was a reminder that her husband wasn’t stoic and patient all the time. Though the two of them argued, it never truly got out of hand. In these rages, she let him burn himself out before she comforted him, kissing his head and bring what little comfort she could be in those dark times. <br><br>
Oberyn had brought swift justice to those that murdered Elia as Master of Law, and Mellario had thought that Oberyn being the second son, would stay there. Doran had a country to rule, had people and family to take care of. It came as a shock and a deep-seated pain when Doran explained he had to leave, had to leave her and the children behind, to go be the Master of Law. She felt a searing sensation in her heart and stomach as she let the colors she hid from view out. How could he leave his family? How could he leave them in Sunspear while he travelled to the place that murdered his sister and niece, where he would likely be killed? Sunspear was safe – Safer than Kings Landing! - And she wouldn’t have to be far from him. He was her true love, her best friend, and her only ally. Oberyn loved her as a sister, of course, but it meant little to her when her husband was far away from her. She wouldn’t be completely alone – but it felt like it. <br><Br>
He was set, and she knew better than to keep fighting. She simply ignored him. It was a tactic she had learned while being in Dorne. It was what she picked up by being a mother, being a Princess of Dorne, being a woman. She had to start ignoring what bothered her, or what she heard that hurt her. But Doran did her hurt, his betrayal of leaving her was enough to make her shed tears, even though each time he tried to bring up the subject she put on her icy front. The thought of being alone without him – their children not having their father – was enough to make any woman cooler to the idea of their husband. Seeing him before his horse as his children hugged and cried, kissed him and tried to be brave…She just looked at him with so much hurt and sadness, and even the kiss was full of it. Then he was gone, and Mellario turned with as much grace as she could muster and ushered the children inside for their lessons with a heavy heart. <br><Br>
Months that would pass between the time that Doran was there were quiet and almost uneventful. Arianne would grow more beautiful each day, Quentyn was growing into frame as a handsome young boy, It was almost peaceful with the exception of the gaping hole that Mellario felt in her chest. She missed him. There was no denying it. Each day, when a letter didn’t arrive or there was no news, Mellario felt a little more displaced, and her heart iced over a little more. No matter what Oberyn tried to say to put his brother into a good light, it was only when he was home that she felt herself complete again. It was after he had left home during one of those short visits that her third pregnancy was discovered. She had always had Doran there beside her, but this one was painful to be alone. The emotions where high, and the children were happy to have another sibling coming along. She was a month away when her husband returned, and the look of surprise on his face was enough to chink that bit of cold armor away from her heart for all the months – the years – of loneliness without him. Trystane’s birth was a welcome relief, and he was a screaming babe. Mellario held her babe tighter than before, and it almost was as if nothing had changed in those few weeks. But, like always, there was something on the horizon that threatened everything. <Br><Br>
Quentyn was seven and a strong young boy already, and the light of Mellario’s eye. He was like his father in many ways, and while Ari was always causing mischief with Obyren’s daughters, she never felt that they treated her poorly. She was certainly her daughter, surely. It was a joy to have all three of her children nearby, and she would kiss them to sleep, no matter how old they got, or how silly they thought the tradition was. Mellario knew that her mothering instincts were right. That she was right in the way she raised them. They would be with her until they married, and they would never stray far. Or at least, that was her original belief. Doran still had weeks remaining (That was how she passed time- How many months and weeks and days and hours she had left with her husband) when he brought up Quentyn’s fostering at Yronwood. It was confusing – He didn’t need to be fostered, for his parents where alive- and she quickly dismissed the idea. But this wasn’t one of the petty little arguments they had that would be solved with words. Doran was firm – it was normal for a boy to leave and be fostered, to be trained – and Mellario said that he was seven and hadn’t lost all of his baby teeth. It grew from there, the two of them actually yelling at each other. To any servants who knew the pair it was almost unheard of – impossible – that this loving couple would be in such a row. She threw vases and hurled books towards him as he dared try to explain that it was necessary. He – the man who said Dorne was better than the rest of Westeros – who was playing right into their game of taking away her child to some enemy. But it was done. In the act of taking away Quentyn, Doran had broken the shaky foundation of trust between them. <br><Br>
Mellario tried to be brave as she watched her child ride off in the carriage towards his home. But she had cried the minute he started to leave, and she held Arianne closer to her and Trystane. She didn’t look at Doran as she left, and she didn’t speak to him. She didn’t say another word as he left back for King’s Landing, and she cried for the loss of her child. In the following months, when Doran returned home, Mel didn’t feel the same happiness that she once did for her husband. It was hollow. How could she love this man when he obviously didn’t care for her; he took away her child from her and had been leaving her alone for months and months on end?
It had been barely a year and a half when Doran brought the idea of Arianne leaving home to serve as a cupbearer to the Archon of Tyrosh – and Mellario felt her heart ice over. No. Not again. He hadn’t even finished what he was saying when she grabbed the nearest thing to her – a plate- and hurled it at him. It was with satisfaction that she saw it nearly hit him. “You’re stealing my children!” She shrieked at him, and she proceeded to throw whatever else she could. But he wouldn’t have it. She would go. Yronwood wasn’t close, but it was still on the continent. But to Tyrosh? Across the sea where she couldn’t quickly go to get her? To let her daughter – still in the bud of womanhood – leave to go serve the Tyroshi?! The thought was more than Mellario could handle. This man obviously had no love for her. Whatever happened her Doran – the man she fell in love with as the bears danced and the bells sang – to the man she married? The one who valued her opinion and her heart? This man was callous and cold, and cared nothing for her. She grabbed the next closest thing – a dagger – and she pressed the tip of it into her wrist. “I won’t let you take her!” That, it seemed, got the reaction that she desired. Concern. Actual concern for her. He moved forward, but as he did, her glare was enough to show how serious she was. She raised it to her throat, panic setting into his eyes. Mellario never wanted to see that on him, but there was no other way. Did she truly have to die to prove that her children where all that she had left? ”I would rather die than let you steal another of my children.” She was ready to use it. She would rather die than let him take her child from her again. There was silence, and he sat on the floor, asking for him to join her. She did, but she never removed the knife, blood dripping from her fingers onto the floor as she sat, not too close to him, but enough for him to tell her a story. <br>
It was calm at first, him telling a story of a man from another land seeing a beautiful woman across the way, and how he couldn’t live without her, and she without him. It took a moment for Mellario to realize that he was telling their story, and her heart clenched inside her icy barrier at the way he described them. How happy they were, how much love had shared between them. Where had it all gone so wrong? He had been the man whom the bells sang for her, and the bells had never been wrong. How could they have gotten this so wrong? He made his way towards her, inching closer to her on his knees, as he begged for her to put down the knife, that she was the only woman that he ever loved. He would never do anything to hurt her. But hadn’t he? He had left her alone, taken away her child and tried to take the other one. She had very few friends there, even after living there for so long. She had her family, the sand snakes, her children and her husband. She didn’t need anyone else. She stared at him as he inched closer to her, and she slowly, very slowly, moved the knife from her neck, and watched him pick up and kiss her torn wrist. Arianne would stay in Sunspear. And it seemed, that the small bridge of trust would start to rebuild itself. Or so she thought. <br><br>
The next few years were calm, and as Trystane grew older, Mellario held him tightly. He was strong and brave, a natural fighter and almost just like his young Uncle. Doran spent more time in Sunspear, and it was a slow mending of the relationship they once had. Mellario thought that, after Arianne, Doran would never again try to take her children away. But she was wrong. The years of cool tension between them – however much love there once was – began to grow one day. Mellario could feel it in the wind, as if Noom was rushing through her ears. A warning. <br>
She was right. Because he asked for a quiet dinner, and once again suggested Trystane be sent to be fostered at Starfall. The pain that ripped through her was enough to know, to truly know that the love the two of them had was a shell of its former self. ” What do you think?” was all she asked him, and Doran’s eyes, those beautiful eyes she had fallen in love with so long ago, could feel it too. The last little bits of whatever they had together was gone. He relented, as if it would stop the inevitable. But Mellario knew that it was over. That the time in Dorne was done. He wouldn’t change. He had become so jaded to her, so hard, and unlivable with. <br><br>
He had truly shattered her. <br><br>
She packed her things together, her clothes and her jewelry, her fond memories and her life into crates. Mellario knew that she couldn’t steal her children with her. She wanted to – desperately wanted to – but Arianne was the Heir of Dorne. When she tried to have passage made for Trystane, she was told, in no uncertain terms, that the children would be staying with their father. They were Dornish, not Norvosi. That hurt her more than anything, to leave her children behind. But they needed to be with their family. Even if she couldn’t be there for them. They would at least have one another. <br><br>
There was a silence between Doran and Mellario as they sat beside each other, staring out at the water. They didn’t need to say anything to know it was the end. Perhaps they were waiting for the other to talk. But they both knew – they knew it was over. The pain that they had caused one another at the subject of their children and their absence was enough to cause even the strongest marriages to crumble. The truth was much sadder. That they were both too proud to relent. Mellario didn’t want to be left alone while her husband left her again, and her husband was doing what other husbands did of noble houses. They had been too different in the end on their principles to continue living in misery. So silence in the end, it seemed, suited them both. <br><br>
The following years, as Mellario attempted to regain her life back in Norvos, there wasn’t a day that went by that she didn’t long for her daughter and son, for the warm sun and sand of Sunspear, even the spicy food and the Dornish Wine. She missed Norvos, of course, but Dorne had become her home. Her family welcomed her back, and she once again began to regain the spirit that had been lost in the years Doran had been absent. It was a longer road, for her not to cry at the thought of her children. How had Arianne grown? How was Trystane fairing with his sword? Quentyn with his studies? She even missed Doran at times, when she read a passage in a tome and thought ‘Doran would find this –‘ Before her mind shut it off. Her life had been sewn around her family for so long, it was like relearning how to be her own person again. <br><br>
She had always written frequently with Arianne, and in the recent years Quentyn. They had kept her up to date with the comings and goings of Westeros, of their own house, and of Doran. Her heart didn’t ache anymore at the information that she received – Arianne said that his health was worse and worse each day, until he no longer could be a part of the Small Council in King’s Landing – and she accepted that age had finally gotten the best of her once beloved husband. But it was what came next that bothered her the most. The King was to marry the Tyroshi girl that Doran had once fostered in the Water Gardens, and that there was unrest brewing. That their father wasn’t faring better, and that they missed her. Seven years without her children or her husband – however estranged they may be – was enough to drive any mother restless. Not to mention Quentyn had returned back to Sunspear in the previous years. She hadn’t seen him in so long. Arianne begged for her to return back to Sunspear, so at least she was safe during the storm that was certain to come in the coming months in Essos. She needed her, as did Quentyn and Trystane. But not Doran. He didn’t need her. But her children did. And it was that knowledge that they needed her that Mellario packed up her things once more, and prepared to sail back across the sea, back to Dorne. Back Home.

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