(121-03-18) A Dragon's Sticky Webs
A Dragon's Sticky Webs
Summary: Thadeus meets a Cerys in disguise, is confronted with confusing news and a warning, and finally decides to return her to her family - against her will.
Date: 18/03/2014 (Date of play)
Related: The Dragons at Home and More Fish on a Dish

Somewhere out of Oldtown, where the edge of the forest extends, the petite creature is standing, leaning against the huge oak, which has a strangely broken branch. The tree is quite unique, what can't be told about the creature. At first, it looks like a simple common boy, whose family didn't have money to buy the clothes of his size. Baggy linen trousers and the linen shirts with really long sleeves. He is wearing a huge hat, which casts a shadow over his whole face. Even the early rays of sun can't catch the tiniest bit of the person's skin. However, the boy still looks way too slim to be a boy. Unless he is sick or something.

Obviously, he is waiting something. He quite nervously taps his one foot into the ground, always glancing over towards the town. The early morning drags people out or in, but nobody of them calms the boy down. He just gets even more nervous, slowly withdrawing into the shadows of the tree, when some of these strangers turn to the direction of him.

It does not take long, and a small group of riders approaches. Glimpsing the frail looking boy by the huge oak, Thadeus will reign in his horse, one hand lifted to gesture for the two knights in his company to do the same. He wears his chainmail and the tabard of Tully colours, red and blue, and all three riders are armed.

A faint smile adorns the features of the Tully heir when he dismounts, a smile that may contradict the slightly worried expression in his grey blue eyes. His hand is waved again in the direction of his small retinue, in a gesture that signals them to remain ahorse. "Who are you,… and pray tell, were it you who sent that odd girl to me with a message?" His tone soft as he approaches the figure that stands there in the shadow of the tree, his gaze curious as he studies the lad for a moment.

"Because if you are, I'd wager you are not what you are dressed to look like." A faint smirk there. "Certainly not - the most beautiful /boy/, hmm?"

When the men approach the tree, the young boy withdraws backwards to hide behind the stem of oak. He very gently raises his hat with pale fingers. Just Thadeus Tully would be able to clap an eye on soft lips and pale chin, and a tiny one silver curl.

The boy takes a few more steps backwards, deeper into the woods, "Follow me…" The soft and trembling voice whispers, "Alone…" And Cerys waves with her oh so womanly soft and fragile hand for the Tully heir to come closer, deeper into the woods.

If he will follow, she will lead him quite quickly, deeper and deeper into the woods, until they will appear in a tiny clearing, which would remind a nest of the bird: lonely stump, burnt-out fireplace and a few tiny packages.

The pale colour of the face is noticed, and the glimpse of that silver curl has the lips of the Tully curve slightly more upwards. "So it is you, indeed?" Grey-blue eyes shifting from her to the surrounding area, scanning it for any others - some company that would be expected given the high born lady before him. "What's the meaning of this?", he will inquire, frowning, but following her when she withdraws deeper into the woods, after offering a brief: "I''ll be right back," to the two knights that remain on their horse.

His brows will furrow when Thadeus arrives at the clearing, his gaze brushing the fireplace and the packages beside it. "My lady… Don't tell me you are here all on your own?" The worried glance he shoots her next giving away he is perfectly aware of the inappropriate situation.

"Please, take a seat!" The girl gestures toward the stump of the tree. She takes of the hat, freeing these long silver curls. Even if she is wearing the rags of a commoner, the girl looks amazingly beautiful. Well, these rags even emphasize her beauty worth of the sin. She slowly, but a bit nervously licks her bottom lip, glancing at the man. A very brief smile appears in her features, before it is changed to an expression of fear and sadness.

"Let me congratulate you and myself! You were granted the permission to court me. I am granted with the possibility to be the center of attention of such a great man!" She starts walking from one side to another, her pale fingers are tapping on her sides.

"You know, you were honest with me, when we met. I respect honesty more than anything. That is why I will be honest with you too. Here and right now." She sighs, biting her lip and turning her silver gaze at the man, "First of all, I will admit, that I was worried, that you care about my surname, but will never care about me. I saw, how strong man you are, who is not afraid of challenges. So, when Ser Jaremy Strickland announced to me that he will try to ask my brother's permission to court me, even if he already gave you one, I thought, why not?"

The young lady comes closer and leans to whisper into the man's ear. Her voice is very soft and calm, "I was sure, that you will win." Then she leans back and starts walking again, "So, I told Ser Jaremy that he can try to ask my brother's permission. I wanted to see, how actually you are ready to protect me and our arrangement. But… The meeting of my brothers and Ser Jaremy went really wrong…" The girl shivers, "I've seen that. Now when my sister came back home, my life is in danger again. That is why I am here now, standing in front of you. It looks like the Seven brought us a different kind of challenge, to see, if we actually are meant to be together. So, let me to introduce you with my family this early morning and explain, why I need protection from my own kind. I want to ask, that you would protect me, and I will promise, that blood of the dragon will run in the veins of your sons and your family will become most powerful in time, and all your own dreams will be fulfilled!"

She stops and waits for the man's reaction, staring at him with her huge wonderful, but really scared eyes. The fear in her eyes is so real, that it is almost impossible not to believe her words, that she is actually in danger.

At first it seems Thadeus would prefer to remain standing, despite Cerys' asking him to sit down. Her remark about courting her is met with an incline of his head, his gaze still showing a bit of worry and caution. He seems about to make an interjection, before he shrugs and decides against it, letting the Targaryen continue with her explanations.

The news about a possible rival has his brows jump upwards at once though, and he will belatedly follow the invitation to sit down. "Ser Jaremy…who?" A low chuckle leaves his lips as he shakes his head. "Never heard of him… Sounds like a very minor noble lord." A dismissive gesture is made, the glance he shoots Cerys, bewildered to say the least. "You mean to tell me you encouraged him? I certainly don't understand, why you should do a thing like that, honestly." He snorts. "Were it not that you… are playing some sort of twisted game, my lady…?" Looking not very pleased at the prospect, his gaze will lock with hers. "Or you feel something for this… Ser Jaremy."

"I feel very much tempted to renounce the interest I have expressed in you.", Thadeus confesses after another pause, the disappointment obvious in his gaze before he lowers it, allowing the thoughts that are racing in his mind the time to settle. "But I can see you are in a perilous situation at the moment. At least your reputation is at risk." A faint smirk appears momentarily on the Tully's mien. "I will certainly not take advantage of that. I will hear you out and offer advice, if I can. But after that you must promise me to return to your family. Or a betrothal between you and I may remain a chance we will never be allowed to get."

Cerys sighs, leaning against the tree, "Yes. He is just a minor lord and I do not feel anything for him, my lord." The girl sighs one more time, "He wants my family name and that is all. He doesn't care about me. Let’s call it… I wanted to see him defeated by you, for the horrible lies, he told me, making a fool of me."

Cerys rolls her eyes and shakes her head, "I know, how all of this may look to you. You don't know our family history. You don't know my sister. Since the day I was born, she was trying to take everything from me. She calls me bastard, she calls me insane and repeats that hundreds of times. Do you know that her dream is to see me tortured, to see me abandoned, and far far away? I am pretty sure, that you won't believe me now. Especially under such circumstances. However, I can make sure, that she will find you, when she will learn that you are my suitor. She will do everything to take you away from me. And her words… I have never met a man, who wouldn't believe in her, who wouldn't stand on her side…"

Cerys eyes grow wide and she hugs herself, squeezing herself tightly. The fear in her eyes grows. She looks like a little mouse in the teeth of the cat. A person should be blind or really stupid not to notice or believe this fear which claims the girl. Cerys shivers.

"Have you ever met a real dragon? People are afraid of them. Though, there is no worse dragon than Visenya. The way she deals with people, who stand in her way… I can make sure, that she will come as a little innocent pure sheep to you. She will speak about how she loves me, how she cares about me. Or she will say how she cares about you and your family. She will call me bastard and insane, and… and if you won't believe her, you will see how slowly the innocent sheep will fade and something worse than a dragon will overcloud her." Cerys shivers again.

"She came back home. She has dragon eggs. She is ready to do everything to turn my own brothers against me, my father, my mother. She will take everything in order to become the most powerful and most amazing mother of the dragons. She will take you from me too. My brothers already believe her and do what she wants. They toss me away from family matters, saying, that it is a men business, but Visenya remains in the room and she is allowed to say her opinion… My lord, I have no time to wait. If you prefer to marry my sister, you can do that. I will understand. But I can't go home without protection. I will have to go there…" And she looks over to the depth of the forest.

While he listens to the Targaryen lady's explanation about her view of Ser Jaremy, Thadeus remains were his is, one finger scratching the stubbles on his chin, pensively. Any such cunning is beyond his understanding however, and he will shrug and nod, not really getting the meaning or reasoning behind Cerys' actions. But then again, he is neither a Targaryen nor excessively versed in political intrigues of any kind, so he replies: "If you'd have wanted Ser Jaremy defeated by me, there would have been easier means, my lady. You could have asked me to deal him a lesson, in the practice yard." Or even challenge him to a duel, pointless as it may have been.

The Tully heir will fall silent again, giving Cerys the opportunity to speak about her family, especially her sister. Quirking his brows at the mention of the dragon eggs, but still listening attentively till she is done with her speech. Grey-blue eyes are raised to meet her gaze. "I do not know your sister, Lady Cerys. And as far as I remember, I expressed interest in courting /you/, not her." A faint smile, when he sets that straight. "She may approach me, but… With you gone…" His words trail off, as he tries to bring some order into his thoughts. "My father is eager for me to marry a Targaryen, he would not have any reservations in shifting my attentions from you to her. But I understood that Lady Visenya is already betrothed, and to a Tyrell?"

Thadeus pauses, leaving the question to linger in the air for a moment, before he continues: "I could accompany you back to the Dragon Door Manse, " he lets out a soft sigh, "but there will be implications. You without a septa and any guards,… in my company. That would certainly arouse many questions. But at the moment it is the only solution I can offer."

His fingers absent mindedly playing with the hilt of his sword, Thadeus will add after another moment: "What other possibilities can there be, but to return you to the care of your brothers. They do care, I assure you, as they both questioned me thoroughly about my motives in seeking your hand."

Cerys lowers her gaze, "You don't understand… She can be one moment betrothed to the Tyrell, but the other moment - no. After all, it was she, who once already changed the arrangements between the Tyrells and us. She can do anything. Time is not in my favor. Her intrigues, her sharp tongue and nails are reaching all over the place. She can easily do anything to separate me from you, and she will do that, if we will come back. She knows, that you are my only one hope to survive, my lord."

The girl slips to sit on the ground, "There are many options. You perfectly know, that your father wants a Targeryen for you. My father and brothers are interested in your family. So, we wouldn't do anything against their will, if we would skip courting and the betrothal period and would marry now? We can go to find Septon and he will marry us, if we will pay him. I am sure. Then, I will be fully under your protection, I will be yours, not my brothers’ and sister’s toy."

She looks at the Tully, "Please… I promise, I will be the wife you ever dreamed having. I will never hurt you or betray you! I've seen many a marriage, which happened without waiting, when there was an urgent situation. And it is an urgent situation! Take this little dragon into your care and you will have the most trusted ally in your services!" The girl smiles briefly, but then lowers her gaze, "If I will go home now, in such position, where am I now… You won't see me again. Visenya will make sure of that. She is the head of our family."

Thadeus shakes his head, sympathy mingling with a touch of skepticism in his grey-blue eyes, until the former seems to get the upper hand. "I am sorry to hear you are so at odds with your sister, Lady Cerys, and if it will placate you, I have little inclination to marry her, especially after what you tell me of her character."

Her proposition will make Thadeus smirk faintly, before his mien sombres even more, as he shakes his head, slowly. "As much as I'd like that, I cannot.", he admits. "My father stressed, I should go about this business as sincerely as possible. Any rushed marriage will be food for wagging tongues here - and in the Riverlands."

Another moment is given the Targaryen to present the hopelessness of her situation, before the Tully raises his gaze, shaking his head fiercely at her words. "You must return. I'll escort you home. And, by the Seven, I'll see you again. As it is you I've agreed to court. Your brothers seemed honourable enough for me," even for Targaryens, "I can't imagine they would allow any harm to come to you, my lady." Said in a firm and determined tone.

"You know, your brother, Ser Daevon, even asked me, what I would do in case you'd gone missing. Just yesterday, when he was asking me out. My answer was, go and find you. Which is what I did, in a way." A soft chuckle escapes Thadeus, at the strange coincidence. "And you say your sister is the head of your house? I believe it is your father. I'd better send word to mine then, that he can start negotiating the conditions for our betrothal. If… that is agreeable to you." A brief glance is shot in Cerys direction, one brow raised, as he rises and offers her a hand to help her up.

Cerys looks at Thadeus, "My sister convinced my brothers, that she is better than I. My own brothers and father. Can I trust you, that even if Visenya will call me insane, child, bastard, and will use other most horrible words about me, you still will answer her firmly, that you will marry me and just me?"

Cerys sighs and stands up, not taking Thadeus hand, "You know, that it is not your or mine decision, who we will marry. My sister will convince my father, as she did with lord Garvin, that I shouldn't marry him, and my father won't let that happen. Will you be able to stand against all of them? I fear, not…"

The girl leans to take her packages, "My dream would be to marry you and leave my home, leave Visenya behind. You know, likely, whole city is looking for me now. I didn't come home whole night. They will lock me. I will not see freedom, love, and I will have to feel all that joyful bragging of my sister, how she is a true Dragon and I am but a… She will find horrible words, my lord. I am really scared and I am not sure, that I can trust my own brothers."

She comes a little bit closer to the man and whispers, "Marrying you would be the happiest moment of my life… But I can't go home, my lord, not when my sister is ruling all family men. I am but a fragile lady, who will not be able to stand against her and her army for too long. So, take a nice friendly advice - never trust Visenya. She has sticky webs. When you get into her traps, you will never be able to run away. Your each move will just sink you deeper into even stickier webs."

Then the girl places the hat on her head and steps to move deeper into the woods.

There is a flicker in those grey-blue eyes when Thadeus hears Cerys' reply, his brows rising a touch when his offered hand is ignored. "It is a tragedy then, that I cannot marry you, if you choose not to return to your home," he remarks, tossing a slightly annoyed glance her way. "You are right. Of course you are! The decision is not ours to make." Then, after a moment: "Just tell me where do you think you are heading?"

The Tully heir starts to go after Cerys, with swift sure-footed steps, one hand reaching to grab her, his fingers closing around her slender wrist in a firm, yet not too firm grip, to prevent her from running away. "I cannot let you leave, my lady. Not after the vow I made to the Maiden Knight." A slight dilemma of chivalry there. If she will offer any resistance, the Bull Fish will grab her about her slender frame and lift her to carry her just like a sack of wheat over his strong shoulder. "Forgive me, but I have no other choice." Muttered with an apologetic smile.

Of course, Cerys will be bold enough to struggle. And even, when she is tossed over his shoulder just like a bag or something, she will bump the man with her fists, "You are dragging me to the dark cells of dungeons!"
However, the moment will come, when she will be tired and just whisper, "Then… my lord, just promise, that you will do everything to marry me and save me from these cells, that you won't leave me to rot there. Remember, if anything will happen for me, it will be your fault…. if you will leave me in the nails of Visenya…"

Whatever punches Cerys will throw at the Tully, he seems hardly impressed with it. "This is for your own good," he assures her with a grim smile, his grip about her firm as to prevent her from falling off his shoulder. "Yet I ask you to forgive me, for taking such measures." Feeling her resistance fade after a moment, Thadeus will nod to her whispered plea, an almost sad smile appearing on his features. "I promise I will marry you, Cerys Targaryen. This I swear, by the Seven!" The vow leaves his lips in a weary sigh, as if he already regrets giving it, before he will carry her all the way back to where the two knights are waiting, tossing the Targaryen lady over the back of his horse where she will remain like a sack of wheat, when he climbs into the saddle. One hand resting on her back to keep her from falling, the other grabbing the reins of his steed, Thadeus will head back towards Oldtown at a rather moderate trot, his two knights falling in behind him. The Tully heir being oblivious to the surprised glances they share, as he has other things on his mind at the moment.

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