(121-04-21) Ironbound and Broken Free
Ironbound and Broken Free
Summary: Peri faces off with some Ironborn when Hellan comes upon them.
Date: 22/04/2014
Related: None

Crescent Beach Blackcrown Road

This is a little sandy-pebbly stretch of the Whispering Sound's shoreline, crescent-shaped and somewhat sheltered by the more precipitous coastline to either side of it. Terns and gannets and kittiwakes nest on the sheerest portions to the North and South, but it's much gentler here and the tiny inlet even offers good anchorage for small boats of shallow draft. The city of Oldtown, marked by the great bright spire of the Hightower, can be seen across the water to the Northwest.

There's a steep switchbacking track leading up to the Blackcrown Road.

There is a gathering of roughly five iron men backed off from the dark woman in her skin tight leathers. There is a man on the ground already. "I told you NOT to call me a whore. I am not a whore. Say it again and I will send you bloody beasts to the drowned god myself." she half yells. The tall woman is slinking, aggressive and cat like with her motions, fingers grasping a whip, a scaled bit of armor jingling along her hips. "WHERE IS BLACKTYDE?" she yells suddenly, her hiss escaping, face scrunched in anger.

Hoofbeats approach, crashing into the crescent-shaped beach with such force that their spray is louder than the tide. The sturdy, dark horse — its rider a figure with a grey hood — slows from its gallop, and the second horse behind has yet some distance to catch up, left on the road. The horse grunts and sways its head, sensing the danger its rider has also honed in upon; they halt a dozen yards away, observing.

Grey eyes narrow from atop the steed, looking out from a pale, strictly carved face. Lady Hellan, in her dark grey gown, cut for riding, and hooded cloak, pinned with a small metalworked wolf's head, cuts a striking figure … but those are ironmen she spies, and they outnumber both her and the woman in their midst. She recognizes that face.

She rides closer while her guard still trails further behind. "Do you have this under control?" she calls out to Peri starkly, utterly ignoring the men except to stare past them disgustedly.

Peri 's sharp eyes go up to the rider "Yes, my lady." she offers, looking at the bloodied man on the ground and giving him a sharp kick in the ribs "Take your bitch and get out of my sight unless you know where Blacktyde is." she yells at the iron men, letting one approach before making a quick, aggressive approach and backing off again. She tucks her whip handle in her pants, eying the Stark "If any of you bitch to the Hightowers, do not count on her to back you, I was in my baths the whole night." she warns, pointing "And I'll take you to sea and lose you. Just like I did your whore mothers." The iron men look like they wish to fight but back off a little spooked. Mutterings about 'twice drowned' and 'cursed' rise among them as they take their friend who is at the very least out of commission for now. "Are you well, Lady?" she asks, dully, looking just slightly disappointed her violence has been cut short.

In a moment of defensive kinship, however fleeting, Hellan urges her hearty horse to stomp threateningly after the men for a few paces, seeing that they're herded off. After a moment — stoically taking in their whispers and complaints — she replies to the woman while yet watching the men. "Better, for seeing ironmen be scarred and scattered," she says with plain, cold truth; only then does her gaze cut down toward the woman. "I remember you," she announces, her horse turning with a slight encouragement as if to circle Peri. Whatever image she may have had of Peri, she is clearly attempting to figure out the image she now sees in front of her.

Peri snorts at the men, none of them really daring "I wonder if that young bold one will manage without his teeth." she mumbles, examining her knuckles "I suppose I'll need to find some lace gloves or do more mendhi on my hands to cover this." she mumbles, sheepishly, looking up at the woman. Under the leather jacket, she has on a light silk blouse. Her eyes focus on Hellan carefully, examining the woman in an overly critical fashion, possibly trying to figure out if she should run. "Yes we met once. I tried to keep Riker Blacktyde from making an ass of himself. I failed miserably at that. He is infact still the finest ass in all of Westeros." she offers, leaning to pick up her wine skin and a few flowers that had been in her hair, rather dully pinning her hair back up with the flowers. "I can not remember your surname so I do beg forgiveness, my lady." she admits finally "Lest you think me too terribly rude, may I have your name again - if I ever had it to start, I can not remember." she offers, pressing her fingers together and bowing her head politely. As primly as any well trained stewardess.

The eyeing Peri receives on from on high is intensely critical itself. Hellan's brows knit toward one another, her expression tending towards the severe; her lips want to sneer, but hint upward in a grin instead, eased — tenuously, dangerously — by the way she speaks of Blacktyde. "Lady Hellan Stark," she replies, frank, strong; her voice does not have to hold pride for her words to sound like they should mean something. Even if it may not. "It was my niece's party your ass," that is, Riker, "happened to barge upon." Her attention shifts when her guard nears, but she lifts a hand and he eases back.

Peri makes a quick, humble gesture "And he had no right to barge in on your niece's gala, Lady Stark." she offers honestly. "He is .. a stupid, arrogant prick, but, I am precariously tangled with him and unsure of my rights on some issues." she offers with a slight frown, opening her wine skin, taking a deep draw of the dark liquid. It smells stronger than wine - honeyed rum maybe. Her expression goes to the guard, weight backing up, hand nervously at her hip, as if expecting to have to defend herself or run still. There is a distinct lack of trust and possibly fear in her body language.

Noting Peri's demeanour, Hellan dismounts from her horse; it is a slow, careful task, yet not an unfamiliar one. She doesn't seem particularly set upon making the other woman comfortable, exactly, and the Stark is hardly less potentially dire— the fitting wolf broach at her neck — down here, but at least they're on even ground. The guard moves off to watch from a distance.

"What are you to him?" Hellan asks boldly, caring not that she intrudes on the woman's life. "Are you his saltwife— ? I've never seen any woman born or kept by the Iron Islands whip an Ironborn."

Peri watches Hellan curiously "I am his salt wife, yes. I've a known temper. I am unusual yes." she takes a moment, taking another drink before politely offering the skin over, politely. "Most salt wives are not Lysene concubines with educations and some medical training that are tall enough to look down at the stubby, angry, filthy men." she offers with a soft chuckle. "In all seriousness, Riker allowed me to get away with things other salt wives could not because I did something that spooked his men right before he took me as his salt wife." she shivers a bit "I also after capture scared the drowned priests we met by pulling a man from the water and giving him the kiss of life." she admits, voice soft "His personal men are convinced I'm a mermaid given legs."

Curiosity finds a mirror; Hellan's clear predisposition is to judge but, though she lifts her head high, she's intrigued by the woman's history. She eyes the flask long enough that she might impress her desire for it, but then abruptly shakes her head no. "Could a mermaid given legs not walk away from such a life?"

Peri considers "I could, maybe, but other iron men such as the young Leviathan in this town would kill me and throw my body in the harbor. Or Riker himself. I am a foreigner - People on feig-" she tenses, tone getting sharper, annoyed, before she cuts off to draw a deep breath and hold it before releasing "I doubt anyone would even notice me gone, my employees would show to work, Marcellus would let them in and assume I was quietly secluded for my blooming, and it would take weeks for even my bodyguard to notice I was no longer among the living." she offers, closing the wine skin "Summer Rum, if you change your mind, my lady." she gestures. "I do not seem to know many smart men."

"To be fair, they're a rare breed." Extinct, if Hellan's dismissive tone holds truth. "Surely there are better places to live than Oldtown, even farther from them and their iron price," she adds her opinion, its tone barely differing from the first. When her intent eyes narrow on Peri, however, they're still curious, continuing to lose some of their harshness in favour of interest. Although she stands very still as she speaks, her hand idly twines one of her horse's reins; that small motion stills in thought just before she's compelled to reach acceptingly toward the wine skin.

Peri hands the skin over, quietly "Moving and running costs coin. I have a few coins, but I'd only get as far as Dorne. Riker is an outcast and we've gone as far as Volantis before. When I was home sick he took me to the Summer Isles. I had to explain to him that I am not from there, but it was a touching gesture all the same." she shrugs "Also if I ran I'd have to take to prostitution. I'd rather not. Riker is not so terrible, compared to his kin. I do not hate him. There are much crueler greenlanders than Riker. Riker is a greedy, arrogant idiot but he is honest." she comments, taking a moment to take her small green and black earrings out of her bust line to put back in her ears. She apparently took grabbable jewelry off to whoop Iron ass.

Peri's life is so different from Hellan's that the Northern lady looks upon her like she's another being entirely, for a few moments, the wine skin poised beneath her mouth; perhaps she could never truly put herself in Peri's shoes. Her brow hardened in thought, she takes a long drink, unflinching at its strength when the taste hits her mouth. She hands it back, swallows. "I can't tell if that's strong or weak of you," she says in her straightforward manner. She gaze holds a judgment, however, ambiguous and unsaid. "I would cut his throat before being kept by any Ironborn, outcast or not. Ironborn or not." Anger seethes under her cool surface, deeply rooted.

Peri is quiet "He gave me freedom and lets me live in Oldtown instead of on his ship. I have as much freedom as a sailor's wife. I have a bath house that will eventually make me free. I have no desire to kill anyone." she offers, "If I slit his throat I would be killing a noble and would be hung, my lady. I checked that law while in my captivity here in town." she mumbles, nose scrunching. "I may also, in ten years' time, have developed feelings. I understand you've had problems and my experience is rare. I apologize for what his ilk has done to you. They make us women strange and stronger." she offers, softly.

"A pity," Hellan mumbles over the law, briefly glancing down at the pebbled sand, perhaps daydreaming about slaughtering some Iron Islanders herself. Her jaw tenses, and, steady gaze returned to Peri, she considers through a small stretch of silence, interrupted by the shift and crunch of the beach under hooves and the quiet presence of the water. "Many women of my House have been stolen by their raiders over the years," she states, solid, her anger chilling and weighting her words rather than heating them. "They were forged in strength and those who survive must become stronger still." A faint pause; a hitch she gets past. "You have no cause to apologize." But that's remarkably close to Hellan accepting it, if she did.

Peri considers "I was taken when I was two. I was sold across Essos. I was property. If I had ever had children - not that I would have been allowed a say in the matter - they would have been property. A salt wife was a step up for me. I tried to jump in the ocean once, when I was fresh with Riker. His first mate ripped my silks. I was so angry, it was worth five gold coins, Riker laughed about it, So I dove head first off the side of his ship. They pulled me up to get my gold jewelry back, and somehow I wasn't dead. They took it as a sign the drowned god didn't like what they did to me." she offers with a chuckle. "I just want to have a business and be forgotten by them, to have children, perhaps a husband, and live in this warm town. Perhaps when I am rich I will go to Dorne or the Summer Isles. I do not want to go back to Lys - I could be … reacquired. At least not until I get my mark covered properly." she comments, touching under her bust, over the slave mark.

"I don't think it was their Drowned God who kept you alive," Hellan remarks, little more than a half-hearted, bitter sidenote. She's taken in every word Peri's given. She takes either side of her hood and eases it down past her hair to her stiff shoulders. The fabric would typically be too heavy for the weather; she seems to only now feel it. Perhaps it was the warmth of the rum. She eyes Peri's hand, where it indicates, piecing together what mark means. While it's not exactly sympathy that flares in her eyes, it's a distant cousin, fueled by displeasure that such things are possible. "It's a colourful life you've led."

Peri is quiet for a moment "Too colorful. You look uncomfortable. If you come to the baths before hours, I will give you tea and schedule you a massage. For free. Because Riker was an asshole to you and you are a decent person, Lady Stark." she offers honestly and softly, taking her wineskin to her lips to drink the rum quietly.

A tight huff of air escapes Hellan's nose around 'decent person', her brows briefly animated in self-deprecating amusement at that thought. "At your… bath house? A public bath house?" she asks with both wariness and incredulity, sounding utterly noble and above it … but, as she narrows her gaze ever-so-slightly on Peri, puzzling, it may be that the concept is foreign to Hellan. "Thank you," she almost forgets to say; there's a but, "I am not— I wouldn't— I don't think I'm one for massages."

Peri eyes a bit "My bath has private space for massages and caters to higher end clientele, my lady. It is, to appease your country's modest desires, sexually segregated. If you change your mind, I will personally see to your aches." she leans a little bit "I promise you, my bath has no unseemly activities." she offers, bowing her head.

Hellan continues to regard the concubine turned bath house owner with skepticism. "Perhaps," is all she concedes, with the faintest smile; it's the kind of answer a mother gives when it actually means no. She turns halfway toward her patient horse. "If any of those men bother you again, give them an extra lashing on my behalf." She smiles again more fully, and though it can't be said to be warm, it's— something, before a barricade goes up and the woman expresses nothing at all. With a prepared strength and contained wince, she mounts her horse to be on her way.

Peri catches sight of something "Ships are coming in to harbor. Excuse me. I want to see who is in." She pauses, shifting to pick something up out of the sand, "Ha! Teeth!" she muses to herself. She takes to the water, pushing a small, previously hidden two person fishing boat into the waters without any effort "Travel safe My lady Stark!" she yells out, waving and taking to paddling furiously back towards town in a hurry.

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