(Second installment of a game night encounter! Enjoy a bit of A Song of Ice and Fire role-play. And back up off me, I like playing archers XD )
Marisily watched Sable walk away, her eyes still red-rimmed from weeping. There he goes once again. Warrior protect him. She felt empty; lost. All she wanted was to lie with him. Just once more, she thought miserably. She wanted him to hold her and tell her . . . possibly lie to her . . . that everything was going to be all right.
Kloe had left without a word, and Sable would leave her soon for war as the Marshal of the Southern Reach. If that was not enough to weigh on her, Grandfather had been assassinated, and the heir to her father’s house had been slain. Of course Arthur would only die in a song-worthy manner. Syrax had been slain, her brother’s body the only one found not far from the dragon’s corpse. Ris had always been rather hasty, but she clung to the thought that her beloved brother had perished living up to the House words. Fear no fate.
Letting out a weary sigh, she turned back to face the target. “Danica, would you be able to move the target to the furthest reaches of the torch light?” she asked quietly.
“Certainly, M’lady.” Danica promptly moved the target just beyond the light, where only a phantom of the target could be seen.
Ris nocked an arrow and took aim. “The Lady Regent wrote highly of you,” she said in a distracted yet casual tone as she pulled back her bowstring. She recalled the message sent by her gracious hostess. Lady Marisily Thorne, Danica is my guarantee that a noble lady will not come to harm in my city, despite the times. She is taught to keep her eyes open and protect at all costs. There is a greater darkness coercing Highgarden than we have yet been able to speak of.”
“Lady Alisandre is quite benevolent.”
“She is indeed.” Marisily squinted at the shadowed target and fired. “Since I shall have the pleasure of your company while I am here, would you mind telling me a little about yourself?”
Danica did not bat an eye at the question as she stood calmly watching. Ris sensed an awareness around her companion that was refreshing and comforting. “I was born in Saath, along the Sarne. My father was killed by the Dothraki and my mother was taken. I wept by the sea for three days before a trading Braavosi brought me back to his home.”
Marisily’s arm faltered for a moment as she nocked another arrow. “I am sorry,” she said quietly as she took the shot. Loosing two more, she glanced over at her. “I have heard that Braavos is home to some of the best fighters,” she commented.
“Yes, my saviour was a brilliant swordsman with a sick mind to complement it. But then I was brought to Westeros, and to this home and family. Lady Alisandre is my new savior.”
Ris did not want to know more of the man’s ‘sick mind.’ She could only imagine, and she welcomed the twinge of anger that accompanied it. Shooting once more, she set the end of her bow down, holding it as one might a staff. “Thank you, Danica,” she said sincerely, “for being here — and for agreeing to protect me.”
“I take oaths very seriously,” replied the woman. She then nodded curtly. “Well-aimed, M’lady.”
Marisily studied her for a moment before nodding and turning back to face the target. “Is it safe to assume that you will be alongside me through most of my dealings and activities?” She pursed her lips in thought as she again took aim.
“I am your servant. I will be where you desire.” Danica hesitated for a moment before wondering, “Perhaps M’lady does not require a close attendance?”
“Because I am not accustomed to close attendance does not mean I do not need it,” Marisily said reluctantly. “After all that has happened . . .” Her voice trailing off, she lowered her bow and turned back to Danica. “I will need to get accustomed to being attended to,” she said matter-of-factly. She could not expect to find out friend from foe if she did not play a perfect courtier. “Do you have a nice dress? Preferably in a dark red?”
“I do. Though knowing the occasion might allow me to better tailor my selection.” Danica allowed the slightest smirk at her word choice. Nigh imperceptible.
The corner of Ris’s mouth twitched with a slight smile. I think we shall get along quite nicely. “Very well. If you need, I can fund the dress for you. In light of everything that is going on, my work is just beginning. We shall discuss a ‘tell’ I will give you when it is best for us not be together.” Her eyes narrowed as she rose up to her full height, pushing her sorrows aside. “From this point on, your presence is an extension of me and how I am to be perceived by the courtiers and whoever else might be watching.”
“Of course, M’lady,” nodded Danica courteously. “You possess a good sense of the court, as does Lady Alisandre. I suspect I shall enjoy attending you very much. You know — more than required.”
“I hope you are right,” sighed Ris, giving her own grateful nod. “The occasion may vary, so I will trust your judgement on having it be court appropriate, though maybe a tad more — well, more enriched than what the other servants wear. Comfort and convenience for you should also be kept in mind.” Flexing her free hand, she started to slowly walk to get a look at the target. “I want to keep them unsure about us — about me — till I find my niche in their game.”
Danica glanced at the target, new-found respect evident on her face and in her voice. “I’m beginning to doubt they have the slightest idea whom they’re dealing with.”
Marisily twisted her mouth to one side as she studied the target with a neutral expression. It was time for her to play her part. Sable would be away fighting with his words and his blade, trusting that she would hold strong on her own battlefront. The Stranger find her if she failed him. “If you would, pull out the middle grouping? Leave the stragglers on the edge.”
“Certainly.” Danica extracted the projectiles quickly, then turned back to Marisily for direction.
Nodding to her with a faint, confident smile, Marisily gestured to the target. “That is all they need see. The Lady and yourself being the exception.” Reaching over, she plucked out an arrow that protruded just outside the mark and studied the fletching with what might be a mix of sadness and determination. “We need to hit our targets with unwavering precision. They should never suspect that we miss on purpose.”