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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 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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 There's a way out, For Doran
ARIANNE MARTELL
 Posted: Feb 18 2018, 04:39 PM
Quote
Stormie is Offline
27 years old
DORNE
Martell
Martell
Dorne
Princess of Dorne



Her brother's incineration had significantly dampened Arianne's spirits. For weeks after the ashes that the Targaryen's were so kind to ship back to Dorne lay in the Sept with Arianne spending days there. Sometimes the servants heard her whispering, though the words were never easily made out. Rumors around the castle said Arianne refused to eat. That she hadn't been seen outside the Septa or her rooms in days. They weren't entirely without merit. She wore black, her hair largely unkept, and if her feelings towards the Targaryen's were unclear, it was clear now that she had nothing warm to say about the House of Dragon's. She barely was able to bite her tongue and so most days she just stayed silent. Even her Mother's presence could not stave her tongue and so most of the family let her linger in her own mourning and anger. When he was buried, she kept mostly to her own quarters.

She was sitting in her rooms, avoiding the sun that came through her windows and listening to the world seem to carry on without Quentyn in it. It was like her brother's death meant nothing to any of them. Another pawn, another solider sacraficed for what? For a new Queen? For the fall of Tyrosh? For an imp? Arianne was not pleased. Her mind seemed to be stuck in a loop, the silvered tongue princess was now mute. It was then that a servant brought her a summons. The seal? Targaryen. And not just any--the Royal Rhaegar Targaryen seal. Fingers trace the three-headed dragon before sliding themselves beneath the wax to open it. When she looked to the servant questioningly, the girl simply curtsied and stated it had come that morning by raven.

She brought it to her desk, and carefully into the sunlight--almost not trusting her hands. Dark caramel eyes read the letters so carefully recorded on the parchment once. Twice. A third time before she carefully folds the letter. Arianne sits back in her chair and her gaze drifts off as she considers the contents. A command dressed as a request to be a judge for the trial of the Imp. She stands and moves towards her door. Her servants bowed and she only gave them a glance. Her black dress flew past them as she rapidly to the gardens where she figured her father would be.

Arianne covered her eyes for a moment, giving them time to adjust to the sun. Normally it would not have been an issue, but in her weeks of mourning, she had no ventured far into the Dornish sun. When she finally was adjusted, she moves towards the Prince of Dorne. She noticed others from the household surrounding him--no doubt Doran was running the country while she bathed in her sorrow. She stands firmly and clears her throat. "Your Highness...may I speak with you in private?" A stern look towards the other courtiers made them stammer and fall silent, awaiting Doran's command.


@DORAN MARTELL
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DORAN MARTELL
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 02:01 AM
Quote
nica is Offline
55 years old
DORNE
Targaryen
Martell
Sunspear
Prince


Black was an unfamiliar color. It felt strange for Doran to run gnarled fingers over the silk brocade of his tunic as he smoothed out the wrinkles. He'd always preferred cloth of gold and copper, bright orange and red, sunshine yellow. Splashes of turquoise. In his time in the Red Keep, the colors reminded him of his home, kept him grounded among the northron courtiers. Reminded them of Dorne. And in Dorne, it simply made sense to don the colors of his House, to display the pride with which he held House Martell. But black was different. He had worn it in the days and moons after Elia's death, when a rage unlike any before or since overtook him, and he stalked the corridors of Sunspear, planning vengeance that he'd never see through. As the wound in his heart scarred over, his wardrobe grew lighter, until at last there were no more grays and blacks aside from what grew atop his head. This time, he was not sure how he would heal. There was a name for one without parents. A name for a man who lost a spouse. But there was no name for a man who'd lost a son. Doran knew why. It wasn't supposed to happen. A father was always meant to die before his children; for them to outlive him and carry on his legacy.

Doran did not mourn as others did. He found no solace in the sept, among the cold gods and their blank stares. Nor did he find comfort at the bottom of a bottle. He took his time, withdrawing from the court for a sennight, withdrawing from everyone for a sennight. And upon his return, there was little sign that he'd mourned at all, save for the black that adorned his aging figure, the hollows beneath his eyes, and the cold that resided in those amber depths. It was a coping mechanism; to behave as if nothing had changed, and to once more push himself into work. The business of Dorne did not stop for the death of one man, no matter how dear that man was to Doran's heart, and so, Doran did not stop. The Sunshadow accepted the condolences with grace, but nothing in his amber gaze betrayed his true thoughts upon the matter. He didn't want condolences, he wanted answers. So far as he'd determined, Quentyn had desired to make a name for himself, to bring honor to Dorne. But those were not the answers Doran desired. He wished to know how he'd gotten between a dragon and it's intended target, and who was willing to take responsibility.

If the loyalty of Dorne to the rest of the Seven Kingdoms was already tenuous, this left them hanging upon a golden thread. The Prince of Dorne was making arrangements to stockpile grain, supplies, against the encroaching winter. The Red Mountains had already seen snows, and it was with a furrowed brow that he glanced North. This winter would be more foul than any he'd seen. And Doran was content to allow the remaining kingdoms to freeze and to do what he saw fit with those who survived when he got there. "Arianne," Doran greeted, turning from his conversation with Ryon Allyrion and Quentyn Qorgoyle. He studied her with a dispassionate gaze, noting the disheveled state of her appearance; from the hollows under her eyes, to her sunken cheeks, and the state of her hair. "Of course," he then turned to Allyrion and Qorgoyle, giving the men a nod, "we'll continue this conversation later." The others filed out, leaving Areo Hotah as a silent sentinel, Doran, and Arianne alone in the garden. "I presume you've something important to say," Doran commented. It was not a question. He waited for a response, expression as still as always, save for the emptiness that seemed to echo behind his deep amber gaze.

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ARIANNE MARTELL
 Posted: Mar 18 2018, 12:41 PM
Quote
Stormie is Offline
27 years old
DORNE
Martell
Martell
Dorne
Princess of Dorne



She knew from the looks of Ryon Allyrion and Quentyn Qorgoyle that she must of looked a mess. It was almost that their face had sneered at the looks of her instead of scanning her body as most were want to do. For probably the first time in forever, Arianne did not care. Her vanity did not hold a flame to her grief. For once, she was thankful that her father was home from the Red Keep. He was better suited for still hearing out the grievances of Dorne while masking his own pain. She knew better than to think he didn't care. She just also knew that he hid it far better than any other member of her family. Whether it was years of practice or the quietness of his soul, Arianne did not know but it did not matter. She stood silently, with her head held high as they left leaving only the silent Areo Hotah and her expectant father.

She brought out the notice of her summons to King's Landing from behind her back and held it out to Doran. "Did you know about this?" There was no accusatory tone to her voice, but more of a defeat. The day she dreaded was upon her. She would have to venture into the Dragon's den and pretend to be a loyal subject. She would have to smile, be amiable and keep the passion that flowed through her veins at a minimum. She watches him as he reads it, managing to stay still while the sun beat down on them. There was a brief moment where she enjoyed the warmth on her skin. Missing the way things were before Quentyn's murder.

Today, today the father and daughter in the sun were on the same team. They were ally's in this next endeavor. "What do I need to know of subtleties of King's Landing that I cannot learn from the notes and papers the Raven's bring?" If ever there was a time for Doran to share what he knew of Court, today would be it. She wanted to be as prepared as possible. Arianne never ventured out of Dorne. She was not allowed to be fostered, nor did she travel the Free Cities as her father had done. It did not mean she was ignorant of the rest of the world--but she was inexperienced and she was well aware of the fact.
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DORAN MARTELL
 Posted: Mar 25 2018, 11:39 PM
Quote
nica is Offline
55 years old
DORNE
Targaryen
Martell
Sunspear
Prince


Gnarled fingers gripped the parchment, and he drew it closer to himself. There was a minuscule twist of the Prince's lips as he held it to arm's length, squinting at the dark script. Soon enough, he'd have to send for Myrish glass to craft a lens with which to read. Moments passed as he absorbed the letter's meaning, before he calmly let his hand and the parchment rest against one leg, and a deep sigh escaped his lungs, a long, slow exhale. To say he was surprised by the summons would be a lie; Doran had always known that the King would find further ways to entangle his family in the affairs of the Dragon's Court. He had simply hoped it would not be so soon. Eyes of liquid amber lifted at last and met his daughter's own dark gaze. "No, Arianne, I did not. I cannot claim to be surprised, however." He folded the parchment, carefully lining corner to corner, and creasing it precisely. His gesture slow, but not feeble, he outstretched an arm to return the document to his heir.

It pained the Sunshadow to see his daughter dimmed. The bright Dornish sun beating down upon the gardens only placed her misery into deep relief, displaying her very raw grief for all to see. It was almost vulgar; the contrast between the visual cheer of the Dornish garden abloom with life, all gold and green and turquoise and fuchsia, and the darkness of his daughter. His own darkness. They were twin clouds before the Martell sun. "You will always be an outsider," Doran replied simply, the words containing no trace of sorrow, no trace of bitterness. Just a matter-of-fact resignation. An understanding of the way the world worked that only the old learned through experience. "When you understand that, all other interactions are simple." He paused for a long while, steepling his hands in his lap, twining knobbly fingers together. Studying the digits, he noted the spots of age, the ink upon their tips, staining even beneath his nails.

"Always remember that Dorne is the only Kingdom to join the Seven Kingdoms by choice, rather than by force. We are unconquered." Another long sigh left his chest, and he turned his gaze upon Arianne again. "But pride will not get you far in King's Landing. With this in mind; guard your tongue. The Red Keep is a place where the walls contain ears. Never say anything that you do not wish repeated, even when you believe yourself alone. Above all, say nothing askance against the Crown." Something softened in the deep amber gaze he leveled upon Arianne. "I trust you to hold yourself well in Court," he began, the words perhaps some of the kindest he'd spoken to her since he'd returned from Court himself. "But mind your temper. You are Dornish; they will already believe you volatile and flighty. Perhaps my own influence tempered that reputation, but we needn't reinforce it. If you feel your blood rising, breathe. Smile at them; disarm them with a laugh or a jest in lieu of sharp words. It will get you much further."

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ARIANNE MARTELL
 Posted: Apr 11 2018, 09:00 AM
Quote
Stormie is Offline
27 years old
DORNE
Martell
Martell
Dorne
Princess of Dorne



It was a look of relief on her face when her father proclaims his own ignorance to the summons. It was not a cruel joke or another test. This was the real thing, with real consequences. Her heart should of been excited, should of jumped at the oppurtunity to show everyone how capable she was and instead she found that her stomach lurched and she felt nauseous. When was the last time she ate? She could hardly remember. There should of been some sort of acknowledgement by the king of Quentyn's death and instead she got cold, empty words of a summons for no reason other than to judge a imp who may or may not have killed his own father. Her heart felt tight in her chest, she forced the breath out of her chest with a loud, deflated sigh. A sign of fidelity was what the King wanted after the murder of her brother. Her mind whirled in a thousand directions at once but she stayed steadfast on her feet.

Her own paled hand reaches out to take the parchment from her father's weathered hands. His voice blocks out the noises of the garden. Of the birds. Of the children chasing each other through the flowers. Of the maids clucking at them. The wayward mind focused on her father singularly. She sits to the right of him, quiet and reserved--a rarity for her. She listens to his words, her pride swelling at the small compliment and vowing to watch her tongue, to be wary with her true thoughts and feelings. "A courtier's mask and a servant's tongue. Truly the ladies of the Red Keep must be exhausted from the facade." Her voice was more contemplative than judging, a simple observation. Her pride swelling in remembrance that she was an heir in Dorne, that she was allowed to have lovers, and speak relatively freely as Doran Martell's daughter. This would have to be curved back, "Are there any Houses I should be wary of in particular? Houses that do not openly share their distaste for us but that would seek to harm us if given the oppurtunity?"

She was seeking to be as informed as possible, to hold herself up with the utmost respect and to carry out her duty like a loyal servant. She wasn't excited about it and the bile that threatened to crawl up her throat seemed more and more present the more she discussed her journey with her father. As much as she hated the Targaryen's she was not going to cross her father (despite their differences as well) and she would not put Dorne in harms way...at this point. She sighed softly, "Quentyn would of been better suited for this." A simple, and probably correct statement. Her middle brother had always been more even tempered than she ever was. He was the ying to her yang, much like Doran still had Oberyn.
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