(121-03-12) The Starks in the South
The Starks in the South
Summary: A Stark who has made a home in Oldtown and a Stark who is new to the city: distant relations Ser Bastion and Lady Hellan encounter one another at the harbourfront, catch up, and try to read between the lines.
Date: Date of play (12/03/2014)
Related: None


The Honeywine River widens into the Whispering Sound here, and on to the sea. The tranquil blue waters of the Whispering Sound are plied by large ocean-going ships from all over the world, in every color and sort imaginable. River-boats from the Honeywine's course, skiffs, dinghies, and the grand warships that protect the Oldtown Harbour - all travel these waters.

This is where many of Oldtown's newest arrivals first catch a glimpse of the ancient city of stone. It sprawls along the Sound, straddling the Honeywine, a multitude of wooden bridges, grey stone manses, docks, cranes, canals, towers, walls, flights of stone stairs, and squat stone buildings stretch to the North as far as the eye can see.

Dominating the harbour is the Hightower, a massive white stone tower some eight hundred feet tall, its top aflame with an enormous beacon fire. It is both castle and lighthouse, and a staggering wonder to behold. It stands out on Battle Island, a sheer-cliffed rock that sits out in the sound, just beyond the river's mouth. There's a bridge leading to it, guarded by knights sworn to House Hightower. Hightower Street leads North from the foot of the bridge.

The Hightower looms like the great and powerful landmark it is, seeming to stand out even more as the air shifts from hot to cool. In the eye of Lady Hellan, it's a symbol of more abstract power; the noblewoman's gaze is distant, grey and iced and a touch melancholy. The lady sits on a clean, stone post at the harbourfront, looking out across the bridge at the jagged Battle Island and the waters around. She looks like a traveller to these lands, not a Reachlander, but she does not look like anyone who traveled by ship; the North is her home. She's pale, dark of hair, and sculpted— as though of ice, snow. Wolf fur lines her collar, heavy and proud.

A man-at-arms lingers nearby, pacing here and there and whittling a stick, perhaps regretting his life choices as he waits for the Stark lady to finish staring into the distance some time this century.

Actually coming out from the great tower. Wandering across the bridge and onwards. Having a moment of calm after his duties, having been posted to protect the Martells. Now just stepping into the area. The large northman that he is, Bastion just wanders along the streets. His morningstar with him, despite not being in armor. Noticing Hellan and actually offering a bow of his head to her.

She sees him cross the bridge, but truly pays no mind to the man until he's giving her a bow. It takes a brief moment for Hellan's cognizance to catch up to her; life only gradually fills the distance in her eyes. She nods in appreciative respect to Bastion; or, at least, a polite fascimile. "Hello," she greets, her voice strong, precise. She focuses on his morningstar more than his face, giving it a flickering smile, remarking contemplatively, "I've a similar weapon."

Bastion chuckles and nods, judging from her clothing who she is. Perhaps having met her once maybe. "I suppose we Starks have that in common then." He suggests while stepping to her. "Apologies, I believe your name escapes me. I have only been up north once in awhile these past years. Bastion Stark." He introduces himself. Having been the late lords youngest brother, and thus uncle to the current head of house. Though not much older than his nephew. Being fostered here for at least half his life. Studying the lady as he calmly comes close. His voice a deep bass one. "How long have you been here, my lady?"

Stark. Suddenly, Hellan studies the man more closely, more life returning to her face. "Bastion," she repeats with a welcome nod, "Of course." If she finds recognition in more than his name, however, it's rather difficult to tell. "Lady Hellan." Only now does Hellan bother to rise from her resting spot, a slow but elegant effort. "I've been in Oldtown … just under a month, now," she replies, looking away from Bastion for a faintly… dazed instant, then back with a proper, if taut, smile. "I must say another Stark in Oldtown is a welcome sight to me. The Reach might as well be foreign land compared to the North."

Bastion nods as he smiles. "A pleasure, lady Hellan. I have not met many Starks down here. Even if some of our vassals have been spotted." He admits. Running a hand through his decently long and wavy hair. "Ah, well I am glad we met at least. I do hope your stay will continue to be pleasant. If you want to know anything you can of course speak to me." He assures her, grinning still about foreign lands. "I have as much experience here as I do the North, so I am quite fine with guiding you."

"I've been staying with Lady Mormont, my niece, during my visit; she seems to have made herself quite familiar with Oldtown, but I may very well take you up on that offer, Bastion," she says, her voice tending more toward solid business than pleasantries, though the woman keeps a smile at the edge of her lips. "Is it Ser Bastion, now?" Hellan's eyes narrow, attempting to remember a fact she may not have been paying attention to in the first place, if she ever knew it at all. The same gaze transfers behind him across the bridge. "I see you've come from the Hightower."

Bastion ahs and nods, "I hope she has been well." He offers about the Mormont. Grinning though about his title. Letting his own smile stay easily on his lips. "Indeed so. Ser Bastion Stark. A guard for the Hightowers, as well as guarding the city. I have in later times been with on planning and councils here. I suppose that is what happens for a smaller house who has one of great houses as a foster child, right?" Shrugging a bit. "I have. As I said, I've spent most my life here. I believe my father, our current head's grandfather, sent me here for some arrangements. I am not certain what that was though." He explains. Prhaps also explaining why they might not remember one another too well.

Hellan's slow nods, one after another, follow Bastion's words with acknowledgment and thought that keeps on building after he's spoken. "A Stark on a council with Hightowers…" It could be approval, it could be criticism; her voice is utterly neutral, plainly contemplative. "I suppose you have taken well to the Reach by now." Frank, her eyes sharpening, particularly from her naturally strong head-held-high pose, Hellan asks, "Tell me, do you still keep the Old Gods?"

Bastion grins and nods to her first words. "Indeed. I am honored. Since it could be worse. I could be a serving boy." He says sort of playfully. "The Reach is a second home, so I have had to come to enjoy it." He answers easily enough, not seeming to mind anything she says. "I do, in my heart. Though I havee had to learn the ways of the Seven as well. Though yes." He assures her, tilting his head.

Again, the lady nods. Her opinion remains ambiguous, even when she smiles; especially when she smiles. Truly, far be it for Hellan to criticize anyone's faith in the Old Gods, but Bastion's answer seems to allow her to assess him clearer, by the observant nature of that grey stare of hers. "I've seen inside the Starry Sept. It's … a sight," she states. "I was told there was a wierwood inside the Citadel. Have you been there?" Less prying into his faith, Hellan seems sincerely curious, now, lifting dark brows with some expectance.

In return Bastion studies the lady. Sort of towering. "It is indeed." He agrees with her. As for the second sentence, he nods. "Of course. Less so now though, being busy at most times. Though I do go there occasionally." Narrowing his eyes a bit as he studies her.

"I would like to see the library just as well," Hellan says with a tip of her head as though confiding this fact in Bastion, the merest hint of humour coming and going from her manner. "Though I am not certain who the Citadel lets in." She takes a slow and thoughtful breath which seems to boulster her shoulders even straigher and higher beneath the regal wolf fur, if such a thing is possible. "… I should speak to Lady Mormont, and have you for dinner one eve," she offers in stiff generosity, "Us Northerners must stick together in the South."

Bastion nods a bit. "I am sure you could ask to be a guest in there, if possible." He suggests to her. Nodding as she goes on though. His own body straightening as well, though trying to relax as it were. Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. "Indeed. I would be happy to dine with you both." He assures her. "It is pleasant to meet people from home. How about your own family, my lady? How are they?"

The abrupt twitch of a bold cord-like muscle in Hellan's neck upon query toward her family is only half-hidden by her fur collar and willpower. "They are well," she answers courteously, as if nothing at all is the matter after all. "It's good for the children to experience more of the realm— they are hardly children now."

She glances briefly, unconcerned, at her bored protection who mills around farther and farther away. "You must have important business to get to, Ser Bastion, as a guard."

Bastion nods slowly. Giving her a curious look. The twitch making him not quite trusting the words maybe. Though hearing her he just nods. "That is good at least." He offers, shifting his stance at her last words. "Ah, I just came off duty. So I still have a moment longer. Though I shouldn't keep you."

"I only came to view the harbour awhile," Hellan assures, a kinder smile appearing as she looks out at the water and the island. "I thought the air would be better." The verdict seems to still be out on that matter. She leans, casually, against the same post she sat upon, her long-sleeved arms folding.

Bastion ahs to her words, "I suppose some parts do not quite live up to expectations. Though I think it si a good view still." He offers. Letting Hellan rest a bit against the post while he stands calmly next to her to look around the area before looking back to her. "Do know that you are always a pleasant sight though, my lady. Despite how distant we are, we are family. Right?" He offers and shrugs. Still being an optimist about all things.

"I had few expectations. I enjoy the water." It's as much a credit the harbourfront and view of Battle Island is going to get from Lady Hellan. "Of course, Ser Bastion. You are a likewise welcome sight, even though a different one from last I recall," she responds. "It is good to know there's a Stark doing their part in looking out for the city."

Bastion chuckles at her words, "Well that is good. I suppose nothing is as good as home, right?" He offers. Not seeming to mind too much. "Thank you. And I do my best. Though if I may, what have brought you to Oldtown?" He asks curiously.

Hellan slow nod seems to say "indeed" with a sincerity that briefly tires her gaze, though she is silent over Bastion's remark on the South versus North. When he asks after her reason for being in Oldtown, her answer is swift, natural— "A personal matter." And private. She moves on quickly, though not so abrupt as to be rude, uncrossing her arms, "We shall meet again soon, Ser Bastion.

Bastion nods, "Be well, lady Hellan." He assures her. Bowing and will move to leave as well. "Until next time."

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