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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 been declared on the Stepstones, 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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 a bird in my eyes, a flight risk, ariannnneeeee
DORAN MARTELL
 Posted: Dec 8 2017, 04:38 AM
Quote
nica is Offline
55 years old
DORNE
Targaryen
Martell
Sunspear
Prince


In many ways, Doran ran his household like he ran all of Dorne, like he had run the courts as Master of Laws. Deliberate, slow, infuriatingly slow. He'd learned long before that it was a far more effective tactic to make others wait upon him. To give them time alone with their thoughts, their anxieties, to allow them the berth to conjure scenarios and demons.

He'd found that it led to much more pliable subjects.

But there was an art to it. Too short a wait, and they were simply annoyed at his tardiness, assuming it due to laziness, or, north of the Red Mountains, 'Dornish time'. Too long a wait, and they simply lost interest. No, there was a sweet spot there, a deliberate point at which they were most vulnerable, somewhere between annoyance and disinterest, a point where their anxieties were strongest. When called out regarding this habit of making others wait, Doran had ready excuses; his ill health, his busy schedule. But it was a deliberate thing, like every action Doran took (or failed to take), it was a planned to the minute detail. Beyond softening his subjects, rendering the most stubborn of men pliable, the waiting gave Doran time to gather his own thoughts upon the matter at hand. To organize his thinking into thin rows of spidery handwriting; painstakingly noted down in a graceful hand that, somehow, few others were capable of reading. It wasn't that his handwriting was illegible; it was merely written in such a manner as to render the overall form more pleasing than intelligible.

This too was deliberate.

All of these habits converged to throw a wrench into his way of thinking, way of life, when Mellario of Norvos marched through his doors, silks swishing, her chin held high. Lips a careful line. Had Doran's spies done their jobs, had his children been honest, had he known she was to cross his threshold, she'd have waited for her audience. He would have set her in a suite on the other side of Sunspear, and allowed her time to stew in her thoughts. Stew in all the reasons she deemed it necessary to return, why, now. But Arianne and Quentyn had deliberately kept it from him. More importantly, they had somehow kept it from his many informants scattered across Dorne and across Essos. Doran's knuckles whitened as he considered the words he had carefully constructed for his own Master of Whispers, an unofficial title, here, away from King's Landing. But now was not that time. That man was still waiting, mulling over his own fate. A deep breath. Inhale, exhale. He'd declined to call upon his daughter the evening of Mellario's return; in fact, he had declined to call upon anyone, instead remaining within his chambers, surrounded by his books, hiding his thoughts behind a mountain of accounting. As Prince of Dorne, he was, of course, free to place such responsibilities upon his underlings. However, he had found long before that burying himself in work; dry, dull, tedious work, allowed him to organize his thoughts far more effectively than any meditation exercise.

Another day passed; pale morning light intensifying to a golden haze, burning the tile and gilded roofs of Sunspear, and faded into a copper pool upon the Western dunes. Another day, and still, Doran declined to call upon his children. He'd instructed his personal guard and staff to allow none through; claiming ill health. In truth, he was biding his time. Day two dawned cold and bright; the sky a pale blue rarely seen this far south, and frost rimed the windows as dawn's tendrils brushed the night from the horizon. It was then that Doran sent for Quentyn. The young Martell arrived mid-morning, to find his father picking at a spread of Dornish fruits; blood oranges, pomegranate, figs. It was a long while before he spoke, breaking the silence that stretched between the two quiet Martells. "Why did you lie to me?" Doran asked, voice deceptively calm, demeanor more curious than interrogating. He declined to make eye contact, instead remaining focused upon freeing the pips of the pomegranate from the white pulp. 'Lie, father?' Quentyn hedged, avoiding the question directly. 'You never asked if I was in contact with my mother.' Doran eyed him now, dark eyes unreadable. Doran too avoided the implicit question in Quentyn's words. "You are more than aware that I do not appreciate surprises." It was a statement, the words calm, dropping into the air like stones upon a still pool. "Tell me this; whose idea was it? Yours? Or Arianne's?" Quentyn shifted in his seat; now he was the one failing to make eye contact. "Arianne," he replied at last. Doran nodded. "You are dismissed. We will continue this conversation later." The middle boy nodded, bowed, and turned upon a heel to leave Doran's solar. Day two grew progressively hotter; the frost on the windows long gone before Quentyn had even arrived. With dusk returned the cold; a wind blew from the water just as the sun dipped over the horizon.

Day three brought an unusual mist climbing up from the sea, trying to smother Sunspear and the Shadow City below. By midmorning, the sun burned it away, leaving but a few wisps of clouds in the sky. Midday passed by, the time languid, the air warm and wet, each mote of dust appearing gilded as they floated by. As the sun crawled towards the western dunes, Doran called for Arianne. They would sup together in his private dining room; perhaps among the most lavish rooms in Sunspear, if only for the sheer amount of glass that encased it; allowing views from every direction, collecting what remained of the day's light. The spread was a simple one; spiced fowl, grape leaves stuffed with rice and steamed with lemons and spices, chickpea paste served with soft, warm flatbread, and a bowl of pickled vegetables; olives, carrots, dragon peppers. Sipping delicately at a chalice of sour Dornish red, Doran awaited his daughter's arrival, expression pensive.

@ARIANNE MARTELL
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ARIANNE MARTELL
 Posted: Dec 8 2017, 10:46 AM
Quote
Stormie is Offline
26 years old
DORNE
Martell
Martell
Dorne
Princess of Dorne



Arianne felt as if she was back to being a five year old, and had stolen food from the kitchen. She had been dismissed from the hall, and where Uncle Oberyn had always been such help--even he failed her at this time. She knew the game that her father was playing. She had watched him play it on courtiers that had displeased him or criminals that were caught. Let them stew, let them imagine the worst and then when the sentence was handed down, judgement passed--did he look like the gracious leader? Didn't he appear fair and just. She hated the head games. Arianne was not like Doran in this way, her youth, the fire in her belly and her temper did not wait days for retribution. Still, Doran was Prince of Dorne, and Arianne still respected him. Perhaps even a small part of her wanted to please him as she did as a child.

When Oberyn fell useless in staving off her fears of judgement, Arianne had gone for a ride to clear her head. With the sun glistening on her back, she rode just far enough that she could see the entirety of Sunspear. She watched as servants ran about doing their duties, gardeners taking their time pruning and tending their plants. Guards watching her watching them. She intended to sup with her mother that night. If Doran would not throw her a feast, then Arianne would. A small feast, but a feast none-the-less. There was a heavily spiced suckling pig, peppers with cheese, and pears poached with strongwine and honey. A small spread fit for the intimate dinner between her brothers, herself and their long absent Mother. If Doran's spiders were listening--they would hear nothing but the joy of a family mostly reunited. The joy on Trystane's face at seeing their mother was nothing short of heartwarming and Arianne did not regret for one moment her little plot to get Mellario here.

Her own little birds, as she called them, told her that Father had stayed in his quarters that night, working on the accounts of Dorne in the morning during her breakfast. She knew him well enough that he was plotting his own reckoning. No one willing did the account work themselves. Well, at least Oberyn and Arianne didn't. She rewarded the servant who had dared to steal themselves away, and turned to her own breakfast again. Gone was the panic that she initially felt. It wasn't until Quentyn knocked on her chambers that she felt her heart climb into her throat once more. She had invited him in and sat on the balcony of her chambers enjoying the hot winds while they spoke quietly. She did not begrudge her brother for pinning the blame on her, and a hand on his was all he needed to be forgiven. Arianne had enough fire within her to take on whatever quiet rage her father would throw at her--though it did break the calm that she had cultivated for herself. She expected to be called in on the second day, just as her brother was, but she misjudged Doran and supped alone instead.

On the third day, she almost had it in her head to breach the doors to her father's rooms and demand confrontation. Dorne seemed to mimic her feelings with the mist covering, concealing its true nature from her and hiding answers to the questions that she didn't truly understand. She walked with her Mother in the morning. By noon, with the sun blazing and burning away the self doubt, the sun revitalizing her vigor. She and Trystane sparred, clashing away in the courtyards with few onlookers. They admired her speed, and his strength. Quentyn seemed to be avoiding her but Arianne held no ill will towards her quiet brother. When it was all said and done, Trystane had bested her with a sword, but Arianne knew that her close combat skills were not the exceptional ones that her brothers had cultivated. The Princess of Dorne was better at riding and throwing knives from distances. She felt only slightly jaded at the good-natured jabbing they threw at each other. Yet her father's judgement was still at the back of her mind and perhaps only distracted her from besting her brother.

As she was bathing, a servant entered--standing off and not looking at her nude body. She laughed at his prudeness and wrapped a blue robe around her as she emerged from the bath. Her ladies quickly patted her hair, wringing the perfumed water from it. "What is it boy? Have you never seen a woman bathe?" The servant glanced up--seeing that the Princess was barely covered only to drop his eyes to the ground again and bow. "Your Highness, Prince Doran commands your presence for supper in his private dining room." Her easy going demeanor stiffened only for a moment before she smiled at the boy. "Tell his Royal Highness that I would be delighted to sup with him tonight." A smile given to him, and he scurried away. She turned to her ladies, and directed them to pull out a pale yellow dress. She would not wear white yet, but perhaps she would invoke the vision of innocence. To be honest, the gown covered her breasts more than most that she wore, and she secured it on the shoulder with a large emblem of their nation. Gone was most of her jewelry. She selected a small circlet with her hair loose around her shoulders in gentle waves and her favorite ruby ring. Around her waist was a small golden belt to remind her father that she was not a child anymore.

It was with this muted appearance that she made her way to his quarters, to play the lamb to slaughter. As she entered the room she found herself alone with the one person that plagued her thoughts for the last three days. She swallowed hard, and straightened her back and smiled at her father. "Father! I am so please to see you." She moved towards him, noticing the pensive look but choosing to ignore it and instead, kiss him on the cheek in greeting. As she stood up, her eyes watched the sun-kissed dust rising up, painting a beautiful picture. "I've always loved this room, and missed the meals we shared together when I was a child." Fond memories came to mind of laughter and stories told against the fading light. She tore her glance away and sat down, watching her father for any signs of emotion. If he thought that she would quake in his presence, he was very wrong. Only in the pit of her stomach did she feel nervous, and she was practiced enough to not let that show through--at least not yet.


@DORAN MARTELL
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DORAN MARTELL
 Posted: Dec 12 2017, 09:53 PM
Quote
nica is Offline
55 years old
DORNE
Targaryen
Martell
Sunspear
Prince


Eyes of deep amber rose to the door as a light rap sounded upon it, a servant warning him of the impending approach of his daughter. No surprises. The door swung open, and she entered, looking so much like her mother in the golden light that spilled through the windows that Doran had to blink, slowly; and the image of his wife as a young woman slipped from his mind's eye, to be replaced by his daughter. None of this was betrayed upon the lines of his face, however; the frown he wore appeared as if carved from stone, and the stony look in his dark eyes was unyielding. He steepled his fingers, resting his chin upon them as he watched his daughter enter the room, looking wary. Little did she know, she had nothing to fear from him.

That was another reason why he waited.

Doran cultivated his reputation as a slow, calm man, manipulating the world around him like a cyvasse board. But beneath that calm facade was blood that ran through his veins like fire. He had been angry initially, when Mellario had crossed his threshold unexpectedly, had felt the blood grow hot behind his eyes, had felt a single flush of heat pass through his body. But Doran had made one rash decision in his life, and had spent the greater part of his years regretting it. Mellario. He'd been a young man then, the blood still hot in his veins, the years hadn't yet gotten the opportunity to carve lines upon his face, to paint the black of his hair silver. He'd fallen for a foreign femme, forgetting the stipulations of his station. He'd reveled in the glow for a time; young love, youth, the invincible feeling all young men know. Slowly, however, his love turned to resentment; a cross word, slight fissures, and surely a void grew between them, as wide as the Narrow Sea that separated Dorne from Norvos. It was understandable then that Doran was less than pleased to see she'd crossed the Sea once more to land upon his shores.

But he'd learned his lesson regarding rash behavior. And so; he took his time. "Arianne, good evening." Doran greeted. He very much doubted that his daughter was pleased to see him; if anything, she might have felt relief that the wait was at last over. Still, he chose to ignore the statement, to see it as a simple pleasantry. "Please, sit." he directed, untangling his hands from each other, and sweeping gnarled fingers at the chair opposite him. Doran straightened in his chair, leaning back, uncurling his hunched spine and rolling his shoulders back. "This is perhaps my favorite place in Sunspear," the Sunshadow admitted, voice quiet, contemplative. "There isn't anywhere comparable in the Red Keep, and had there been, the view was not nearly so pleasant." Doran lifted the carafe of sour Dornish wine, pouring it for Arianne, lifting the carafe up high to allow the red stream to resemble a narrow waterfall. Following this, he plucked a few rolled grape leaves from the serving platter and replaced them upon his own plate, and did the same with the spiced quail, following with the remainder of the spread. "I imagine you are hungry. Please, help yourself."

As ever, Doran was in no hurry, as he chewed contemplatively upon a grape leaf, and rolled an olive across his plate. This was supper, and he rarely discussed difficult subjects on an empty stomach. It wasn't good for the bile. Thus, he cut his quail upon his plate, savoring each bite as the fiery spices burned upon his lips, and cooled his palate with sips of wine, the tannic bite stealing all moisture from his tongue. At long last, Doran set his knife and fork across the top of his plate, and slid it away, even as he drew his wine closer towards him. He met his daughter's eyes with a gaze of dark amber as he folded his hands before him. "Let me preface with a warning: do not surprise me again. You will enjoy the consequences far less." His voice did not waver from a quiet, conversational tone, but there was a dark edge to his words. "I think I understand why you did what you did," he continued. "But I would like confirmation. So let me ask you: why?"

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ARIANNE MARTELL
 Posted: Dec 17 2017, 10:39 PM
Quote
Stormie is Offline
26 years old
DORNE
Martell
Martell
Dorne
Princess of Dorne



There was part of her that was truly happy to see Doran but he also upset the balance of her daily life, her duties in Sunspear and her sense of worth. With him gone, she was the heir. She was the one on the throne helping her people. With him here, she felt lost again. Drifting in a land where she would rather have purpose and having to design her own purpose again. She was no longer a girl waiting for a boy to love her. Nor was she the child trying to impress her father by learning how to fight, or studying poisons with the Sand Snakes. Arianne craved purpose, she craved a daily routine with knowledge that what she did mattered to someone, even if it's the farmer who gets compensated for loss of production because of someone's foolishness. Or a thief being sentenced for his crimes. She wanted to make a difference in Dorne as much as possible. She wanted her people to flourish and Dorne to be taken seriously--not as a vacation destination or a mythical garden.

She watched him as he poured her wine--no trace of his gout, or pain painted on his face. She nods and fills her own plate with quail and pickled vegetables to start. She starts with an olive, the sour taste tickling her tastebuds and calming her churning stomach. Next was the dragon pepper, with the mixture of sour and spice calming her. No where in the Seven Kingdoms was there anywhere that could compare to the spices of Dorne. She had tried food from Kings Landing once, and found it bland and boring. Where was the textures and fire? The thought distracted her from her father's silence for a moment before. She tried the quail, taking a small bite before Doran broke the silence. She watched him, finished chewing and then paused to consider him. A warning. But how serious? The dark edge to his words was not to be ignored but then again, they would have to get to know one another again after all the time apart. Arianne was not the dutiful daughter he had left, and though he was aware of her dalliances, and she was sure that Uncle Oberyn had reported on her--he did not know her mind or her heart.

He claims to understand her mind and yet Arianne doubts it. She sets her fork down and leans back in her chair. Her dark eyes meet her father's gaze head on and she even lifts her chin just slightly in defiance. "I should think that the fact that Tyrosh is being ransacked as we speak would be cause enough to bring Mother home." She paused, glancing at her hands and spinning her favorite ring around her finger before meeting her father's gaze once again. "The King has seen fit to basically demolish Tyrosh under the guise of bringing justice to the Lannisters. Perhaps it reminds him of how he got to his own throne--but regardless, how long till his taste for victory and submission brought him to Norvos?" She could not help the venom in her words though she swallowed back the fire and stopped her soliloquy.

Let her father think she was simply worried for her mother. She did not let own that she had her own plans for Norvos and Dorne. She would hope to foster an alliance with the Magisters, to gain more allies should Targaryen's show their madness again. Then the Dornish people would be ready to strike like vipers. Quick and deadly. Perhaps then Dorne would be free of the shackles of the Seven Kingdoms. She took a deep breath, and returned to the spread ahead of them, spreading the chickpea paste onto a flat bread piece and taking a mouthful. She tried to cool the hot Dornish blood that surged through her, and quell the idealistic ideas of the youth she still very much possessed.
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