(121-01-18) On Grace
On Grace
Summary: Ser Ariston Mallister and Lady Ulyka Mormont strike up a conversation in a rather cheesy atmosphere.
Date: Date of play (18/01/2014)
Related: None

The wheel of cheese lies round and golden on the market stall like the hot afternoon's sun sticking to the pale, dusty sky.

"That's robbery. It looks golden, I agree but I wouldn't buy it for the prize if it was made of milk from a Lannister's tits. Five," the sturdy guard gruffs through his dense beard.
"Five!" The weasely cheesemonger winces like a beaten dog. On the edges of his mouth, however, the tiniest hint of satisfaction flickers. "Oh, my dear children will have to starve tonight, master, but if you add a smile of this fair maiden in your compa… huh!"
Ulyka Mormont turns around. A heartbeat ago she has watched two young girls draped with silks and flowers walking across the square - the moment the merchant has addressed her, she brings her longing looks of envy, her sullen gaze of ambition over to meet the man's eyes. "Heavens, buy it already," she mutters to her guard, leaving the cheesemonger speechless.

Ariston still isn't at home in Oldtown, but the market is growing increasingly familiar. He's just finished a rather unseemly haggle of his own and is sinking his teeth into flesh that once belonged to some sort of bird as he passes by the cheese stall. "Mmf," he grunts as a preamble while he swallows, "If you take ladies' smiles as a currency, you won't be in business very long, eh?" he ribs the cheesemonger.

"I assume he gains some additional coins by getting people to pay him to keep quiet," Ulyka answers instead of the merchant, skimming the new arrival with her fierce, dark eyes. For a moment they linger in a squint, as they meet the pommel of his sword their judgement comes to a satisfying result. She dips a vigorous curtsy. " …mylord."

The guard can merely surpress an amused snort, a little noise which is commented with yet another sullen look of the girl. Nevertheless she continues, straightening her skirts and speaking the next words as if following some written instructions hidden in a bard's verses. "I wish you a fair afternoon."

Ariston gives Ulyka a quizzical sort of smile, as if he didn't quite know what to make of her. He makes her a half-bow, perhaps abbreviated because of her apparent youth. "A fair afternoon?" he asks, then nods a little. "All right. And the same to you, lady." He glances at her guard, perhaps because he comes unattended. "May I ask your name?"

<FS3> Ulyka rolls Heraldry: Good Success.

An approving nod announces Ulyka's response "Oh, of course. My name is Lady Ulyka Mormont, sister to Maera Mormont, ruling Lady of Bear Island. " Again she skims the knight, looking for a sigil that would tell of his ancestry. "A Mallister, am I right? It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. May I asked for your name as well?"
The guard rubs his beard, skillfully hiding the expression of his mouth while listening. Quietly the cheesemonger is paid and the food wrapped in a piece of linnen.

"Oh," Ariston says with instant recognition and a smile. "Well, I know your sister. She's been kind to me since I've arrived, in fact." He nods to confirm her identification of the sigil that marks a few of his items. "That's right. I'm called Ariston. Heir to Seagate, if that matters to you." He hesitates, then wonders, "Do you mind if I eat while we talk? I realize it's rude, only…it's still warm." The eating is rude and the meat is warm, that is.

Ulyka raises her brows in surprise as the Riverlander speaks of the rudeness of eating. "No, mylord, I certainly don't mind. Once a man back in the North accidently hit me with a bone, he was throwing behind him, so everything you do is most likely nothing but refreshing courtesy." .

Even though words of her home often leave a cynical undertone in her voice, words about her sister are nothing but filled with genuine warmth "Oh, you already met my sister? I shall tell her you speak kindly about her. Where have you met? And, above all, what brings a Riverlander to the city of Oldtown? "

Ariston grins at Ulyka's reply, then sinks those teeth he was just flashing into some bird flesh. He chews while he considers his answers. "Well, we first met in a tavern, to be honest with you. The Quill and Tankard, I think it's called, though I haven't seen many quills there. As to what brings me here, among other things, I am looking for a wife."

A little suspicion raises as his last words seem to spice his former description of Ulyka's sister in retrospective. "Oh," she comments.

"Well, when it comes to tankards one of our men told me this particular tavern is famous for an ale as dark as ink. Maybe that's where the quills might appear. And for the wife Isn't there a saying? They grow on trees in the Reach, you just have to make sure not to pluck a sour one. But the ladies are fair in these lands. They carry themselves with grace and " Again a spark of jealousy lets her gaze flicker to the spot where a few moments ago the pair of ladies has walked. "… they are easy to admire."

"Oh, I see," Ariston says with interest about the dark ale. "I hadn't heard that. Maybe because I never asked." He laughs at the advice the girl dispenses, then watches the changes in her expression, pausing his chewing a moment. "Well," he says after he's swallowed, "Grace isn't necessarily the most important thing. It's very nice, of course, but a nobleman has other considerations."

"If I were a nobleman, I would certainly care more about grace than a collection of swords, wide hips or a dowry. " Ulyka responds over a sigh of regret.

Ariston gives a tilted smile. "Well, so you say now," he argues, "But you haven't got a nobleman's responsibilities to bear down on you."

"Bearing down on you… You know the sigil of my House, mylord? More than anyone else I wish I didn't know any of those responsibilities, but I can assure you… my sister taught me well to carry everything that might be dropped on my shoulders." A stubborn pride shivers in Ulyka Mormonts voice as she speaks. "But for now I fear it is the smallest responsibility that chains me to a schedule. I have to make sure the cheese ends up in our cellar before it melts in the sun. It was a pleasure making your acquaintance." A last curtsy dipped as vigorously, almost forcefully as before bids her farewells before she and her guard cross the square again.

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