…This is Lechko's responsibility…
Inspirations for Thomas Stone:
Thomas' life was always full of discovery and adventure. Everything interests him, usually at once. Every new thing learned leads to a dozen new things to discover, and all of Sunkenwood Castle was his childhood playground. Maester's tower was his first favourite place; he learned to read by watching Maester Alwin read and write when he was three. The Smithy was an excellent place to build things until he got his own workshop; the Smith's son, Bear, served both as an assistant and a friend for Thomas since they could walk.
Early childhood was carefree and uneventful - other children, brothers and sister were there to play with; all his physical needs were taken care of; Father was a distant and awe-inspiring deity. Thomas saw Septa Rowena as a mother figure of sorts: a mind-mannered elderly woman who liked cats and children, worshiped the Seven with child-like awe and operated a soup kitchen for the poor every Mothersday. She took care of him, never understanding the strange child who sat down and read all of her holy books in a week.
Thomas did not mind. He loved Rowena even as he became painfully aware of her inability to comprehend him. Like Bear, she was a relatively uncomplicated being - graceful and fascinating in function and design, warm and loving and blissfully oblivious. Thomas grew, consuming knowledge like wildfire; The maester's library provided much needed discourse, but the world itself was the source of enlightenment: an endlessly fascinating place of beauty and intricate interaction.
Every moment was a discovery, and his need to share filled him to bursting. He knew frustration and terrible, aching loneliness, feeling trapped in a world of crude and simple creatures. Drawing helped; Thomas strove to capture the moment, to frame it in a way comprehensible to people - for in his mind, he was not people. He wondered about his mother; who she was, whether she thought of him, whether she would be able to listen, whether she was also not people. Septa Rowena died in 289, when Thomas was 7. It was the first time he experienced death; Rowena died in her sleep, passing on as quietly and peacefully as she lived. Thomas found her in the morning; stiff, grey and tranquil. A fly crawled in her nostril; Thomas noticed the delicate fold of the wings, the tiny legs grasping at dead skin, the differences in discolouration between liver spots and lips.
He was thoughtful at the funeral. The loss of her presence was tangible; he felt sad that she was gone. He could grieve socially only to avoid alarming people, though: he had the same need to share the experience and none to share it with. He tried letting it out through art, but drawing seemed too impermanent; thoughts of immortality haunted him. He began studying sculpture; Gerold disappeared from the castle when Thomas was choosing the best material to make a statue for Rowena. There was some upheaval; Jon vanished into the forests most days; he spent most of his time with Bear, building and testing. Thomas pondered the nature of death; its importance, in the endless chain reaction that was the world; the relative immortality of fame and seemingly absolute immortality of spirit.
It took him three years to complete the death statue: a head-sized, bronze alloy figurine of the Seven, with Mother and Crone made prominent by subtle tricks of composition and proportions. It seemed to radiate the essence of Septa Rowena; he donated it anonymously to a distant poor sept. Kara returned soon after, sick in her chambers while he considered the possibilities of water pressure. Reading a translation of Vitruvio's “Principles of Mechanics”, he pondered the water valves in his garden's irrigation system; when Father proclaimed Gerold a dead hero, Thomas decided to build him a fountain. He remembered Gerold as a troubled and somewhat scary youth; the fountain was to express the myth, the Gerold he imagined, rather than the dead and flawed flesh. It was also a good opportunity to apply some of Vitruvio's principles to liquids.
Jon and Kara whispered among themselves, suspicious of Father. Thomas disliked the atmosphere in the family; it seemed better to spend more time alone. He worked on the fountain: a month drawing, observing horses and men; a month planning the basic design, using shipbuilding books and the “Principles” as reference; half a year testing the engineering principles while working on the sculpture.