(121-04-25) The North Stirs
The North Stirs
Summary: In the midst of preparations to raise forces in light of wildlings encroaching south, Maera brings news to Hellan and her son that the Locke ladies are coming to stay, for an unfortunate cause; niece and aunt discuss the upcoming battle and wonder about Wylliam.
Date: 25/04/2014
Related: None

In the midst of the garden, Wylliam lays on his back in the dirt; shirtless and barefoot, like always - sporting nothing but short trousers. His hands are folded over his stomach, his fingers interlaced.. his eyes are closed and he appears to be resting, but not asleep.. the sun shines down upon the left side of his face and brightens his features. A pile of rocks sits at his feet, some stacked upon eachother.. it looks like he was doing something with them but he got bored of it and decided that taking a break was better.

"…Tell him we cannot pay him nearly that much to ride with him, and if he thinks he'll get more coin from others then he is mad." Maera says to one of the Stark men who has been loitering about the Mormont's manse since yesterday. Something is happening. Generally, the only Starks within the abode are the relatives that live with Lady Mormont. Now there are quite a few running in and out of the house to deliver messages. Weapons are being sharpened.

Once Maera finishes speaking with the Stark man she walks out into the garden properly, spots Wyliam, and walks over to stand with the tips of her boots almost touching the top of his head. "…Where is your mother?"

Wylliam opens his eyes slowly, looking up towards Maera.. he pauses for a moment, raises his head only to look to his left, and then to his right.. and then he looks back to her, "I'm not sure.." he didn't give it much thought about the whereabouts of his mother.. and he still doesn't plan to give it any hard thinking still.

Maera stares down at Wylliam with a vaguely annoyed look before she says, "Well, cousin Esselyn is coming back here to live with us, so I'm going to need you to go live at the Stark's manse for a while. I just want to clear it with your mother first." There's a pause, "You know Lord Stark is raising what banners he has in the South, don't you? You're a man grown now, cousin. Why are you out here playing in the dirt?"

Wylliam's mother is here, as as it turns out, or nearly so: Lady Hellan occasionally slips through the manse like a ghost, and it is one such time as she appears momentarily in the doorway between the building and the garden. She's sharp-eyed, keenly aware of the rise in activity and the presence of her House in the Mormont walls. It's unclear how much she's heard, but her grey eyes immediately track to Wylliam, holding a similar judgment as her niece for his sprawl on the ground. She strides into the garden, becoming a second looming figure above him. "Maera," it's the Lady Mormont she addresses, her somber tone one of questioning. "What's gone on?"

Wylliam rolls onto his side, revealing some dirt stuck on his back. He keeps his gaze at Maera's shoes while listening to avoid having the sun blind him. He smiles at the thought of Esselyn coming to live in the manse, but his smile slowly fades as he hears he'll be having to go to the Stark's manse, he lets out a small sigh and shrugs his shoulders.. he doesn't respond to her in regards to why he's 'playing in the dirt', which isn't too far from the truth. He swivels his head towards his mother, giving a blank facial expression.. he doesn't have much to say or do about the actions that are currently taking place.

Maera purses her lips and stares down at Wylliam before looking up to ask Hellan, "Is he touched in the head?" She lets out a slightly disgusted noise before giving Hellan a sympathetic look for having such a son before saying, "Ser Laurent has mistreated cousin Angharad so badly that I've had the poor girl come live with us. Esselyn was living with her, and the southerners will have a fit if she is under the same roof as Wylliam. So, I mean to send him off to live in Lord Stark's manse. With your approval, of course."

Hellan lets the brief moment of sympathy slide off her and lets the news settle in; then, "Get up," she casts down to her son, a tightening scowl set between her eyes that has little to do with the son. "You ought to stand when your mother and the Lady Mormont are speaking to you, and not be rolling around in the dirt like a child in the first place. Do not continue to make me speak to you like one." Only then does she give a slow, deep nod to Maera. "You have it. It shall be." She looks considering at Wylliam for a passing second, then shifts toward Maera. "What state is Angharad in?" she asks, her concern grim but present, if sounding somehow tactical. "What has the Tyrell done?"

Wylliam quickly makes his way to his feet, brushing off the seat of his trousers with his hands. He does as he's told, he's not one to argue with his mother.. like, ever. He lowers his head in shame, and also in submission.. doing nothing other then gaze at his feet and listen to the state of Angharad.

"He did not use his fists on her, thankfully, or I'd have to kill him." Maera tells Hellan, "But he has taken to saying cruel things to her. He has taken up with prostitutes, and even worse Harry says he is having an affair with a noblewoman, and if his wife knows of it he must be flaunting it." She sighs heavily, "She was with child, and lost it. I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a direct result of his behavior."

A subtle twitch overtakes Hellan's jaw as her teeth silently grit. "Awful; and they call us savages," she states, ice toward the absent man they speak on. "She appeared so happy on her wedding day." She narrows eyes off to the side toward Wylliam to remark with a cynic's wisdom— but wisdom nevertheless, "You should take this as a reminder that cheerful betrothals are not always as they seem in the beginning."

Wylliam shakes his head, "I think I will have great promise and a future with my betrothal.." he pauses, "I can't say the same for theirs, seems like it's crumbling.." he shakes his head, dissapointed that happy things turn into bad things sometimes in life.. but life is life, he shrugs it off and looks back towards his feet, crossing his arms over his bare chest.. rocking on his heels - thinking about his betrothed now that it's brought up.

"I will be writing to Lord Locke. Even if she's left him she is still his wife, and the Tyrells must handle this or there will be consequences from the North. Lord Stark will get involved if I ask him, even." Maera shakes her head, and asks in a hot tone, "What would have happened to her if we weren't here for her? She'd be left to defend herself with no family or friends."

"Thinking isn't knowing," Hellan tells Wylliam, straight and factual, before carrying on to reply to her Mormont niece. "She would have been in nothing short of further exile. I suppose that's the risk, shipping off to the South to gods-know-what … but I expect she had little choice in the matter, did she." A business-like yet invested mein hardens her through a small pause before she asks, "Has Lord Stark arrived yet, or just his men who grow in numbers?"

Wylliam mutters under his breath, "I know.." he gazes briefly up towards the two and keeps his focus maintained upon the subject, quite important in his mind he thinks. He hasn't met none of the two, but he still has his own two-cents stowed away on the matter.. not that he's going to say it. Wylliam rubs a hand down his face, waking himself up.. he's tired.

"No, she didn't. But, she did choose to marry him sooner than she ought have, poor dear. If only he had shown his true face sooner…" Maera shakes her head softly. "There's nothing to be done about it now beyond what we are doing." Then, on to the other, "He will not arrive for several more days. I have been given the task of mustering a force."

"His face looked ugly enough to me in the Sept," Hellan replies, not caring to filter her words and dismissing the topic again easily. She's focused on the news of Lord Stark and the forces, her pale forehead pressing down, stiff with purpose. "Is it true, then — a raiding party travels south?"

Maera lets out an audible snort at Hellan's comment regarding Laurent before her face turns serious again. "Yes. Old Gods know how they got this far south…"

"If I were superstitious, I might believe it's a poor omen," Hellan remarks and in the same breath says, "Gods be good. Wildlings would roll over unsuspecting Reachmen, tear them limb from limb before they knew what hit them." Although she doesn't sound especially frightened or sympathetic to that possibility, the older woman is nothing but serious; focused, almost enlivened by the thought of forces, raiders. There's no haze or distance clouds her this day. "I should like to help by any means."

"Do you think you can ride with us? Keep track of supply lines, and help me keep people in line?" Maera asks Hellan.

She considers, and the quick flash in her eye reveals how much she hates that she must consider whether or not she can withstand what ought, in her mind, to be such a simple thing. When Hellan answers, however, it is without a hint of doubt. "Yes." Her square jaw lifts. She's fallen into a natural role. The warrior, the tactician. "How many men do you expect to raise?"

Maera nods her head, satisfied. "It will be Ulyka's first battle, and Harry is coming along as well. As for the count…well, I've managed to muster all of Lord Stark's men, and believe it or not the Dornish are willing to help."

Hellan nods somberly along; she begins to look toward Wylliam over mention of Ulyka's first battle, but a sharp twitch of her head toward Maera denotes surprise. "The Dornish. Really," she says with an interest that she hasn't yet defined, herself— her opinion of the people continues to evolve, it seems. "I challenged a Dornishman to a spar, recently, and he proved to be…" She hesitates; distant; back again. "A decent warrior."

"Was it Ser Arrick, perhaps?" Maera asks with a curious little tilt of her head before her attention drifts back to Wylliam, "Are you coming along, Wylliam?"

Wylliam swivels his head towards his mother, and then towards Maera.. "Uh-huh.." he simply replies. He sits himself back down in the dirt, but doesn't play with his rocks as he was once doing before.. instead he just sits, and looks up towards the two.

"A knight, but I did not catch his name." As Maera questions her son, Hellan does the same with her gaze, which soon turns to a perplexed sort of ire. "I hardly see what good he'd do. Have you hit your head on one of those rocks?" She kicks, lightly, at one of his feet, as one might nudge something to see if it's alive or dead. "If your father saw you— " Her lips tense.

"He'll always be a little boy playing in the dirt if you don't give him responsibilities, and make him act a man." Maera says gently to Hellan. "Perhaps such an undertaking will straighten him out?"

Wylliam frowns, gazing upwards towards the two as they speak like he's not even there.. he shakes his head and looks at his mothers foot as she kicks his bare one.

"You can assist us," Hellan says down to Wylliam, an offer with a thread of threat. "It ought to be an honour, having any part in strategy against a raid with Lady Mormont and Lord Stark," she reminds the young man. "Genevra would leap at the chance."

Maera stares down at Wylliam for a few moments before she looks up at Hellan, "What's wrong with him?"

Wylliam mumbles, "I'm not my sister.." he frowns, he feels as if he's being bullied.. and by family! "Yes, Mother." he replies to the lecture glumly, he isn't his sister and doesn't have the same energy and he /certainly/ isn't stoked about having a part in the raid; but alas, he has no choice in the matter.

Hellan is becoming tired of wondering, herself; her tightly narrowed eyes are too constrained to roll them fully, yet the intent reads all the same on her expression. "Gods know," she replies to Maera, but keeps her sights precisely on Wylliam. "He hasn't been taught to be so soft. Perhaps he is too frightened to follow in the footsteps of his mother and father." Her voice grows colder, "A frightened boy." The woman's shoulders shift beneath the grey fabric that dons them, and one begins to turn toward the manse.

"Go pack your things." Maera says to Wylliam, a tad coldly, "You'll need to go to make room for Lady Esselyn." There's a pause, and she shakes her head, "Lord Stark won't deal with your strangeness. You'd better straighten out for your own sake." That said, she turns to follow Hellan into the manse.

Wylliam watches them from the ground as they head inside the manse, he stands to his feet and with a nod.. he follows in behind them, he's going to do as said and for his own welfare, he shall make changes. He tightens his jaw and proceeds to his room, gathering his belongings and packing them accordingly.

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