(121-05-02) Bear Reunion
Bear Reunion
Summary: While at camp, Maera and Maege talk in person for the first time in awhile.
Date: 05/02/2014
Related: None

The fire has died down low and the night leans more toward the dark hours. Maege sits by a stoked fire. The camp of the Starks and other Northeners is not exactly vast, but it has been enough to quell the Wildling incrusion so far. Despite the evening and the fire, she wears a cloak about her, staring contemplatively into the burning wood.

Maera departs from the command tent, a dark figure wandering through the darkness. Her features are illuminated by the firelight as she approaches. Wordlessly, she sits down next to Maege. Longclaw comes out of the sheath, and a whetstone is taken out to sharpen the Valyrian steel sword.

The middle Mormont glances over at Maera as she sits down at the fire beside her, but allows the silence to last a little longer. Maege watches her sister sharpen the ancestral sword of their family for a noticeable while before finally saying, "You've yet to tell me that I should have stayed in Winterfell."

"Because I don't care that you didn't stay at Winterfell." Maera says without looking up from the blade, "I wouldn't have stayed at Winterfell." A pause, and she admits softly, "What I tell you stays between us. Do you understand?"

"What you would have done and what you would ask us at times does not always line up, sister," Maege tells her sister with a kind nudge. However, at the pause, she gives her sister a long look and then gives a solemn nod of agreement. "As always, Maera."

The whetstone on the blade stops, and Maera turns her head to look into her sister's eyes, "The Glovers killed our brothers." Her words are barely a whisper, "They pretended to be our friends, and our neighbors, and they killed them. They made a deal for Randyll's death with the Faceless Men."

There is no outward emotion or shift in Maege at Maera's announcement. The letter of warning against the Glovers had already shifted some suspicion on them. However, there is a sudden stillness that comes over Maege at the accusation. There is no waffling and no questioning the statement. The woman stares intently into the fire in order to gather her own thoughts before replying, "A Glover died on the march." There is no accusation or speculation. It is merely a statement of fact.

"Cressen." Maera says with a nod. "He was friends with Randyll, the bastard." She glances about carefully before saying, "You see, the cost for a Faceless Man is something that you can pay, but something you truly cannot afford. Cressen came to Oldtown to try and marry me. They thought to absorb our lands. He also came to pay them a obsidian candle. …The Faceless Men never received their payment. There are consequences for that."

Maege's gaze is steady on the fire for quite awhile as she processes the information given. "I remember him." It was difficult to place him without all the other information. Her face hardens at the thought of her sister marrying the man who killed their brother. "The bastard," she agrees. She's silent for a moment, contemplating. Then, her dark expression softens just slightly as she turns to look at Maera. "How long have you known?"

"He was an accomplice, but it was his mother who masterminded it. She will pay." Maera says softly, her voice lethal in it's certainty. "As soon as I found out I sent for you and Tanda to leave." A pause, "Ulyka doesn't know. I don't want her to know until later."

"We will see to that." Now that Mage knows the truth, she will gladly help see the punishment of the woman behind her brothers' deaths. Yet, the questions that matter just as much to her are still to come. "You sent the warnings and the letters, but you didn't say why." Maege keeps her eyes on her sister. Her expression is a tight. Despite her steady voice, Maera may understand the undertone of anger and pain when she says, "I could have helped you, Maera."

"I didn't." Maera says softly, "I was afraid you'd be found out, and I didn't want them to take you. I was afraid they would take you or Tanda, and force you into marriage. If they did that then there would be an attempt on my life." She sighs softly, "I didn't kill him, Maege. There was nothing to help with. Now, perhaps, there is."

Maege turns her gaze from her sister to the campfire. "You trusted me to manage our home, yet you did not think I could handle keeping myself and Tanda safe with your warnings?" With a sigh, she shakes her head. "I believe you." If Maera had killed Cressan, she still believes she would confess to it, despite all that she has kept secret lately. "I could have helped with your burden." There's a moment of silence before she asks, "How can I help?" Theres is no question of if she will. That is a foregone conclusion.

"What was I to do, Maege? If I had sent you a letter they could have intercepted it. Was I to abandon everything in Oldtown to take a ship up because you needed an explanation?" She inhales through her nose, "My hands were tied. I didn't know how closely they were watching you. I didn't know what would happen if they knew we knew."

There's a deep sigh that emanates from Maege. "Of course not." She takes a frustrated intake of breath. "You've never shut me out before. Even before you left for Oldtown, you were hedging." She clasps her hands in front of her. "I just wish I could have been here to help. All that ever happens in Winterfell is people being dreadfully serious, worrying of Wildlings and talking of winter."

Maera lets out a small little snort of amusement despite herself, "By the Old Gods, they are a dour bunch, aren't they?" She smiles faintly before turning serious again, "I left you initially because I couldn't trust anyone else but you to run the Island. I needed you there in my place."

Despite her words, the edge of Mage's mouth turns up. "They are. And you sent me right to them." She sighs. "I know you mean it as a confidence in my abilities." She may have more words to say, but instead she keeps them buried. Attempting to change the subject, she says instead, "What else is there to be done?"

"For now? We put down these Wildlings, and discover who is pulling the strings with it." Maera says, "And then I owe Riderch Blackwood my services against the Ironmen. Then after that? We get her."

As she digests the words, Maege gives a distinct nod. "Then I will help where I may. In all courses of action." There's a tilt of her head. "What is to be done against the Ironmen?" There is, of course, no argument against it, just a question of action to be taken.

"I imagine we'll be killing them." Maera says with a shrug. "What else do you do with Ironmen, anyways?" She turns her attention back to Longclaw, and starts sharpening it again. "You could come. You're good with a blade."

"What else indeed," Maege snorts. "I meant, what had they done against Riderch Blackwood, specifically, but I guess that answer is as good as any." Readjusting, she leans back and sets her hands in the dirt. "I would, gladly, if you would not send me away. What of Ulyka?"

"She goes back to Oldtown with the Wulrus." Maera decides, "He'll keep an eye on her, and keep her out of trouble." She lets out a groan, "She's decided she wants to be a southern lady, and thinks I ought to suspend her training."

There's a sigh at that declaration. "She was always the most gentle of us," Maege tells Maera, not dismissing Ulyka's desires outright. "Perhaps give her a few months to pursue her desires exclusively and she will realize that she is a Mormont."

"She wants it both ways." Maera says with a sigh, "She wants to be able to hit people, but she wants pretty gowns. She can't have both, Maege. That's the cost of living life the way we do. We can't have things that some women do."

"I know that, but it seems she must learn it for herself." Maege shrugs her shoulders. "Give her a few months of respite and perhaps she'll realize that we are not Southern ladies. You brought her to Oldtown - let her use some of her time to mingle and she will see how different we are. Hopefully she'll come to realize why it is necessary for us to be the way we are. If not, we will drag her back to Bear Island."

Maera scowls slightly, "I don't know. I already tore her gown up because she pissed me off. On top of everything else she is disrespectful to me. I about had to beat her up to get her attention."

That brings about a frown. "She's a Mormont, she'll always be willful. It just so happens that instead of blades, she wishes for dresses." Before Maera can argue, she quickly adds, "I am not saying that she should, but that's just what she wants for now. Give her some patience and she will come around. You shouldn't have torn her gown."

"I'm more than her sister." Maera says, "I am her liege Lord. She can't say or do what she wants to me without consequences. Besides, what choice did I or you ever have? None. What do you think Father would say if he heard her?"

"I am not saying there are not consequences." Maege stands her ground. "You may be her liege lord, but she is still your sister. You raised her from a babe, Maera, and you can show her some leniency. You are who you are and you know we will all follow you willingly, but don't have to be Father all the time." She gives a bit of a grin. "I can't even imagine him being this far South. He would certainly melt."

"All I've done is show leniency." Maera points out with a deepening frown. "I can't be lenient all the time. Especially not now when we've so much going on, and we need to take care of things. She's not a little girl anymore. The time for games is over."

At that, Maege stops arguing. There is much going on - some of which she has just learned. "Then, perhaps she should know why the time for games has finished. If she is to set aside what she thinks she wants, she should know why. It may focus her on her training all the more. When we return from Wildlings and Ironborn, will you tell her what you just told me? You're right, she's no longer a child. If she's to be an adult, we should treat her as such."

"I want her to be an adult, but she doesn't act like an adult." Maera sighs, "I don't know what to do." She shakes her head, "Maybe when she seems like she can handle it I will."

With a frown, Maege nods. "I don't know the answer. Give her some responsibility, perhaps she will rise to the task. If you'd like, I will speak with her. I doubt I will convince her to put down her dresses and take up the sword, but maybe I can find some insight. I haven't seen her in quite awhile; it may help."

Maera nods to this, frowns, and continues sliding the whetstone down the blade in silence. Shink. Shink.

Maege nods in response, watching the fire as the sound of the whetstone sharpens Longclaw. She does not speak for quite awhile, content to stay by the fire for awhile at Maera's side. Finally, though, she says, "I should probably rest some." As she starts to gather herself up, she reaches forward to put a hand on Maera's shoulder. "It's good to be with you again, sister."

Maera stops sharpening Longclaw again to put her hand over Maege's. She squeezes it lightly, "Good to have you here with me." She looks up to Maege briefly before releasing her hand.

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