(121-02-18) North South
North South
Summary: Lady Hellan Stark and her family are greeted upon arrival to Oldtown by Lord Trystan Banefort.
Date: 18/02/2014
Related: None

The Roseroad is a wide and well-travelled route, spanning a great distance. It stretches Northeast away from Oldtown, leading through meadows and light woods, and in the distance, the rocky hills that are the mild Westernmost edge of the Uplands. Keep going long enough and you will reach Highgarden, where you might continue all the way to King's Landing, or diverge to take the Ocean Road to Lannisport.

The Beacon Gate represents the Southern terminus of the road. It is Oldtown's largest city gate, made of grand white stone, and lit with torches day and night. It arches over the road, and while the enormous iron-banded wooden are almost always open, the gate is also always guarded, with murder-holes in the arch above.

Near to Oldtown the countryside is spread with farms and vineyards, and smallfolk and their livestock can fill the fields during the days. As one travels further from the city the farms become fewer, and clump together into little villages.

Eyes as cool and grey as deep, frozen ponds stare up into the fair sky above The Reach. The Lady Hellan Stark squints ever-so-slightly against the blue sky, turning her sights — high, from upon her dark bay horse — ahead to the large, arching gate up ahead. The noble Northerner squares her already rigid shoulders, piled high with her regal wolf-skin, and urges on her steed.

The lady rides in the middle of a small retinue; ahead of her, a dark-haired young man, yet a teenager, leads the travel-worn party. Flanking her is a younger girl, a lady of about twelve, and a rougher-looking sort who, like the man who rides at the rear, is no doubt there to guard the family so far from home. The lady is not without her own armament; slung in a leather thong from her saddle is a battle-axe. Murmurs between her growing children — "We're almost there! — Look how close the Citadel is," are ignored by Hellan, her focus straight and grim of face.

The gates stand tall, protecting the wonders held within. At the moment, a young noble lord, wearing darker colors, appears to be speaking with the guards of the gate. He wears much thinner clothing than the Starks, dark of color yet bright orange of trim, his House colors. Several knives hang from his belt, as does a long, thin blade. He is flanked by his own guards, strong, agile-looking men wearing leathers like that of a ranger, short blades and knives at their hips and bows at their back.

The roving Stark party near the gate, closer and yet closer— much to the awe of the youngest, and stern, calculating wariness of the lady Stark. With a quick urge of her horse, she breaks the travelling formation and comes alongside her son and nosing slightly in front. A clear-cut expression of her superiority, intending to be the voice who addresses those at the gate. Holding her head tall, jet black and scarce strands of silver, the woman raises her hand — still at a distance from the gate, it's both a sign for her retinue to slow and a herald to the guards. Several feet from the grand entrance to the old city, her hand lowers, and the horses halt their tired hooves.

The guards look to the approaching party, which then has Trystan looking to them as well. The wolf-skin he recognizes immediately as the sign that these travelers are of house Stark, and he bows, his men doing the same to greet the travelers. He does not say anything, though, simply remains silent. He did not really get a look at who wore the skins before bowing to them.

"Good-day," Hellan's voice strikes out, bold and firm and as distinctive as her strong Northern features. A formality only, the greeting holds no warmth. She, as all do, nod from atop their steeds in respect to the nobleman who bows. She has studied his colours, not his face. "Lady Hellan Stark," she announces herself to the Oldtown guards, "The young Lady Genevra and Lord Wylliam Stark. We've travelled far and long to seek passage into your fine city."

The guards bow to the Starks as well, then nod, setting to allowing them into the city. Trystan, on the other hand, perks up a tad upon hearing the name, standing up straight and looking at the Lady. "Lady Stark…" He smiles softly for a moment, then it is gone. He remembers her countenance, one that demanded cold respect instead of warmth. "It has been some time, Lady Stark. I doubt you would remember me. Nonetheless, let me be the first to welcome you to Oldtown." His own grey eyes show wisdom, his gaze calculating, working to best show the noble woman respect.

Were it not for his piercing eyes, hers may not hesitate with any recognition at all on the man's face. "Banefort," she assesses, "Eyes such as yours have a habit of sticking in one's mind, yet I don't recall you being of such a standing the last I saw you." Nor his name. With an obligatory nod of gratitude to the guards, Hellan, her family, and her family's small measure of protection begin to amble, slowly, beneath the gate. Her gaze into the city is critical, slightly discounting her flattering words about it only a moment ago. 'Fine city.' We shall see.

Trystan nods to Hellan. "Aye. My parents' death left me as the head. I had to quickly change to take on my new duties, m'lady." He nods to the guards, then ables along as well. he looks to his men and speaks to them, giving them instructions in a language not common within Westeros. Once he is done, they head off deeper into the city.

"My condolences," Hellan expresses with little expression, in true, but her head does turn toward the man and a smile, however subtle, does thaw her lips. The sun greets them in Oldtown, winking down from the fair sky to touch her head, revealing warmth in hair that seemed so black as night, bringing out hues of brown. "My thanks for the welcome, Lord Banefort. Do you know the city well—?"

Trystan nods to her. "Thank you." He does not mention that is was fourteen years ago, nor that they were slain by wildlings during a trip to visit the Wall. "I do, m'lady. Quite well." One of his men returns, speaking to him quietly. The lord nods and gives a quick order, and the ranger takes his leave once more. "I can show you some of the city, if you would like, m'lady." He smiles to her as well, his own smile not much more than the one she gave him.

"A tour is best left for another day. We've had a very long journey. We only seek to stable our horses and rest," the lady replies after briefly watching after Trystan's ranger, her sincierty subtle but true in her vague tone of apology. It's the child behind her who wistfully laments until her mother cools her with a look. "Do you know if Lady Maera Mormont of Bear Island still makes her way in Oldtown?" Hellan queries the noble Banefort. Here, her interest is vested, pointed.

Trystan nods. "I understand. And I believe she does. I have not personally seen her in some time, but as we are not on the best of terms, that is perhaps for the best." He sighs, then looks to Hellan. "I believe you'll find her manse in the western part of the city. And should you need anythign else, m'lady, I'd be happy to assist how I can."

The news that Trystan and Maera are not on good terms prompts Hellan to regard him in a new light, lifting her chin to consider him with a faint narrowing of her eyes, but she is otherwise unperturbed. She smiles, in fact, broader than before — if weary around the edges, no doubt worn down from such a journey. "Thank you Lord Banefort, I will keep you to your word. For now you've done more than enough." She calculates west as it lies amongst the unfamiliar Southern buildings of Oldtown and, with a nod to Trystan, begins to careen her horse — and as a result, all the others who follow her lead — westward, toward her own blood, not that of the wolf she displays proudly; the blood of the bear. She-Bear.

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