(121-05-12) Unworthy Men and the Unnamed Trollop
Unworthy Men and the Unnamed Trollop
Summary: The Mormont Sisters (and Cousin) have another family chat.
Date: Date of play (121-05-12)
Related: When Harry Met Sera, Best Laid Plans, and others

Sailmaker's Manse — Oldtown

The early morning still covers Oldtown with the salty mists from the sea, the noises of the last night-seizing citizens have yet to be replaced by those who are about to start their day's work.

The largest room of the Sailmaker's manse seems to be busy already. Where the wafts of mist blurr one's view outside, a thick cloud of herbal-scented fog lingers over a cauldron on the hearth inside. Right in front of it, there is a crouching young Mormont girl, furrowing her brows as she tosses some branches into a green-brownish concoction.

Anghard comes downstairs still yawning, bed-headed, having just thrown on a shift and a simple, slate-blue dress. She breathes in deeply, nose twitching at the herbalness of it all, but smiles warmly to see Ulyka already wide awake and hard at work. "So industrious," she remarks, coming over to greet her youngest cousin with a kiss. "You're going to make a wonderful wife. Not that you don't already make a wonderful you. Are you making a nice, potent contact poison for Maera's latest round of suitors?"

Maera's voice is heard outside. Accompanying it is that of a man's. The words are almost indistinguishable.


A bitter laugh. Maera's. "Go. Never come back."

Then the Lady Mormont steps back into the house. She's still dressed in her night shirt and the robe she wears over it to remain decent, and a stray piece of grass and dew sticking to her feet. When she spots her sister and cousin she gets that doe caught in the sights look, and weakly manages, "…You're both awake early."

When Ulyka turns around she just barely manages to dab her eyes with her sleeves. Her always redenned cheeks seem to have found another reason to flare, even at this early hour. Not even a smile is offered to answer Angharad's amiably snarky comment on her sister's choice of company, instead there is a wail of despair "I wish I could say you were right. That's no poison. It's medicine. I hope. For me. The maesters say I should have bled already…"
Overhearing the unfamiliar, male voice she only lifts her head with a pinch of attention, a reflex she cannot get rid of. Her sister's approach makes her swallow, the piece of grass twitch her mouth. Nevertheless her greeting is amiable enough, spiced with a rare pinch of insecurity. "Indeed. Good morning."

Angharad flails a little, comically, when Ulyka wails. ONOES! Then laughs — not at all unkindly — and hugs Uly tight. "Darling! What do those old fuddy-duddies know about women? Not a thing, that's what. It will happen any day, sweet girl, and you have years yet to worry about getting married, so what good is it, anyhow? Just a bunch of mess and discomfort, I promise you…"

Then there's Maera. OHAI. Harry looks her over with dimples deep, laughter barely held in check. "Why, you little harlot," she intones, dryly.

"I don't know what you're talking about." Maera says smoothy to Harry. But Ulyka's words cause her to sigh, "Dearest, we'll take you to see Archmaester Thane. If he thinks you need something to help you then he will concoct something for you." She takes a step towards Ulyka, and strokes her hair, "I was a late bloomer, too. I didn't flower until I was fifteen. I don't think Maege did until she was older, either. It will come. And when it does? You'll wish it had never come at all."

"But what if I'm barren?" Ulyka's question is muffled by her cousin's embrace "What if I am nevvvv" the rest of her sentence sinks into Angharad's gown. The her hair is stroked by her sister. Finally she has no choice but to yield to those signs of affection with a sigh of her own.
"Fifteen? I did not know. An old women told me girls are usually not older than three-and-ten down here. I was worried a lot. And still am a bit, but not as much now that I know I may not be in a hurry to drink that." she explains nodding at the cauldron. "Now, tell me - that wasn't the Wulrus speaking to you at this hour, was it?"

Harry frames Uly's worried face in her hands. "You are perfect, sweet girl. Don't you dare do drinking something that's going to hurry things before their time. Who knows what else it might do to you?" The younger sister's question to Maera puts a grin on her face. "You were out all night talking to someone called The Wulrus?" she asks Maera, gleefully.

"You're not barren." Maera says with another stroke of the hair. "It's different in different families and different depending on the girl. Don't be so sad, little dove. Women who flower early fade early." She then leans forward to peer into the caldron. "But you aren't an alchemist, Ulyka. I don't know if this is safe for you to drink. Throw it out, and we'll have the archmaester see you."

She gives Harry a lifted brow, "The Wulrus is my second in command." She lets out a heavy sigh, "No. It was Griffyth Wylde. He arrived back in the city, and decided the /first/ thing he needed to do was see me. After he'd been drinking the whole ride here from Rain House."

Ulyka nods. A lenient nod, a succumbing nod "The archmaester, alright. I know, I'm neither an alchemist, nor a proper healer. But the Wylde-ling is as much a courtier and a politician as I am a maester! What did he want from you? If it is a cure against his hungover he can have a sip of my cauldron."

Harry kisses Uly's cheek a final time as the poor girl stumbles off to bed. "Wylde? That pickled son-of-a-whore? Why did you even spare two words for him?" she asks Maera, hackles up at the mere mention of her… former… almost… cousin-in-law? Something.

Maera lets out an exasperated sigh at Ulyka and Harry, "He was my betrothed. We were planning on marrying before his brother died, and he became heir. Perhaps it could be because he still has some feelings for me, and is upset over the sudden end of things?" She shakes her head, "I'm not heartless, you know." And then Ulyka gets up to go, and Maera leans over to take the strange smelling caldron off of the fire with another huff, and walks towards the door to the garden to throw it outside. "Griffyth was a slut, but he was loyal in other ways."

From the street, Maege enters the room and shuts the door softly behind her. Having missed Ulyka, she sees only Maera and Angharad in the main room. Her eyebrow raises just slightly. "Who was a slut?" It appears she missed most of the conversation, but anything that involves sluts must be at least interesting enough to stick around for.

"Griffith Wylde, her former betrothed," says Harry, unmoved by Maera's testimony to the man's character. "What's he doing back in Oldtown, anyhow?"

Maera throws the concoction out the door, and carries the caldron back into the room, and sets it down heavily on the floor next to the fire. "He says he plans on avoiding his responsibilities until he dragged back to Rain House kicking and screaming." She glances moodily at the door, "Why the hell isn't the cook up and making breakfast yet?"

"Oh?" Maege straightens and looks between Angharad and Maera with her eyebrows now both raised. "He's returned?" She moves forward in an attempt to help Maera, but realizes that she is mostly just going to be in the way there. Instead, she moves toward the large table and takes a seat. "Does he now?" She glances to Harry with a quizzical look. Was her mood like this because of the cauldron and the cook, or is it because of Griffith's return? "Cook will be up soon, I'm sure. And I think we can manage to toast some bread if you are really so hungry."

Harry drops to sit at the table, propping up on an elbow. "Well. It's nice to hear he's taking so well to his new responsibilities. Makings of an excellent husband, to be sure." She shrugs when Maege looks to her for a gauge of Maera's mood. Not a clue.

"Stop." Maera says to Harry. "You didn't know him. You just knew all of the bad things about him." She opens her mouth to say something else, but thinks better of it and shuts it. "I don't want toast." She says testily to Maege before she goes to the sideboard to pour herself a very early cup of wine.

The middle Mormont leans against the table, watching Maera move one way and the other. "Maera," Maege says with a touch of reproach at the pouring of the wine. "It is a bit early and as you've made clear, you have yet to eat." As for Griffith, she does not know the man - only what she has heard in snippets of conversation like this one - so she avoids judgement.

"Well," huffs Harry, "you don't know Laurent, either, and you hate him. So… that's what's family's for, isn't it? Hating the fuckers that we're tangled up with that aren't worthy of us?" She sighs and puts her head down on the table, sheltering it with her arms. "I went to see him, by the by."

"Harry, the difference is Laurent made you miserable. Griffyth and I never fought, and if it had been the same between you and Laurent I would have kept my mouth shut." Maera points out, "Griffyth never lied to me about who he was. He respected me. He respected my position, and he respected my prowess as a warrior. You know he was one of the few men here to duel me without reservation, /and/ he still thought of me as a woman?" She has a swallow of the wine, "Good. I'll be sober by midday, then."

Maera glances to Harry, "What happened?"

Harry sighs. "Maemae, no man with eyes can fail to think of you as a woman," she says, lifting her head and propping it in her hands. "It's just when they see at you with a blade, they have trouble looking on themselves as a man." She sits up a bit straighter, still leaning on the table, elbows and forearms. She studies the grain of the wood. "He still loves me."

With a sigh and a roll of her eyes, Maege has made her point and will not fight Maera further about the wine unless she is given cause. "I would think it difficult to find someone of the South to respect us as both women and warriors," she replies. Though her attention was on Maera, it shifts significantly to Harry.

With a sigh and a roll of her eyes, Maege has made her point and will not fight Maera further about the wine unless she is given cause. "I would think it difficult to find someone of the South to respect us as both women and warriors," she replies. Though her attention was on Maera, it shifts significantly to Harry. "And does that matter so much? After what he has done?"

"What are you going to do, then?" Maera asks Harry.

Harry shakes her head, looking emotionally exhausted. "What can I do? If we love each other… it seems wrong not to try. I want to try. But we have so much trust to rebuild. I told him — it's not going to happen over night. I'm not moving to his little fort. But…" she looks between her cousins. "You can expect to see him here, sometimes. We're starting over again, from the beginning. Which means courtship. He'll be coming to call." Then, to Maera, "No stabbing."

"I won't have to stab him if he doesn't behave like a jackass in my home, now will I?" Maera is quiet for a moment before she notes, "Lord Stark has seemed to have gotten involved in all of this. Do you know what that's about, Harry?"

"Here." Maege immediately looks to Maera. This is not exactly something she would agree to, but it is Maera's house after all. "A marriage needs more than just love, my darling. You were keen to be rid of him no more than a few nights ago. You were prepared to declare yourself barren to not be tied to him. Yet, now he will come here to call?"

"I was keen — desperately keen to avoid being used as a brood mare to get sons for a man who despised me, and yet I loved. There's a very special pain in that," says Harry. She frowns at Maera's mention of Lord Stark. "Involved in — what, exactly? In what way?"

"I don't know." Maera admits. "He was very vague, and asked questions about Laurent." There's a pause, "He did admit to knowing about the noblewoman, and how /she/ was apparently angry about you dragging her name through the mud. Which I found interesting considering you won't even tell us her name."

Maege glances between Maera and Angharad, nodding at the answer to her question. "You and Lord Carolis seemed very close after the Wildling raid," she offers, without accusation. "He may have gotten an idea." As to whether it is the right idea or not is up to debate. "A noblewoman? What noblewoman?" Perhaps she did not hear the part of Maera not knowing her name. More likely, she does not care and will ask it anyway.

"Wait. What?" Harry sits up straight, looking completely baffled. "I haven't dragged anyone's name through any mud. I've barely spoken of the little tart to anyone, and certainly not by name. If she thinks her name is muddied, it's her own conscience that troubles her." She stands. "Lord Carolis is a very sweet young man, and gallant. I admit I was free in discussing the state of my marriage with my fellow archers and Northmen, when we sat about the fire. The whole — sordid thing probably pricked his sense of honor." To Maege, she explains with a shrug, "The one Laurent was fucking."

"Perhaps we ought to teach her a real lesson?" Maera suggests with a little curl of her nose. "It's one thing to have a lover. But to steal another woman's husband? Disgusting. Who is she?"

"As we have yet to hear her name, I am sure that is the case." Maege's back straightens, mimicking Angharad as she does so. "We should, honestly, teach them both the lesson. I don't mind calling out either for their behavior. He for thinking anyone could be better than Harry. She for taking up with another woman's husband."

"No," says Harry, her voice quiet but brooking absolutely not argument. "Cousins — fair cousins, beloved ladies — I'm done. Truly. I will not speak the woman's name — as I did not to Lord Carolis or anyone else, so I don't know how he thought to opine on how she feels. It is not because I love or trust you the less. The lady was young and stupid and my — Laurent can be, when he wishes to be, a compelling presence. I spoke with her. I handled it. And I promise you, I put in her the fear of gods she'd never even heard of." However intent she is to do the right and noble thing, there's a trace of satisfaction in that. "We're moving forward. My husband is being given an opportunity to win me back. I appreciate, in advance, that he will not be stabbed."

"It wasn't Lord Carolis that opined on how she felt. It was Lord Stark himself. Which means that you think you put the fear into her." Maera says to Harry sternly, "But apparently you didn't put enough fear into her that she's willing to go about town, and tell her sob story to random men who just happen to be Lord Paramounts. She doesn't respect you. If you're willing to let the little twit smear your name in the dirt then so be it, but personally? I wouldn't stand for it."

"What sob story? That she trysted with my husband and I was summarily unkind to her?" Harry shakes her head again. "How does that smear my name?”

"Lord Stark knew of it somehow," Maege agrees with Maera. "I know you may insist, but this is less between you an your husband than it is between our family and this woman. A woman who thinks it allowed to sleep with our cousin's husband and then complain to our liege lord about the deed. That should not be allowed."

"Lord Stark seemed sympathetic of her." Maera says, "He said that she was upset that people were saying she was a trollop when while what she did wasn't entirely innocent she was not his lover."

Harry drops to sit again, looking exhausted once more. "Fuck. This is all so… stupid." She slaps a hand down on the table, her frustration lacking energy. "The stupid little shit was probably trying to pre-empt anything he might have heard about her because she assumed I was spreading gossip about. There's no one out there saying she's a trollop except, perhaps, the servants — which is how I heard about it."

"Well, then her trolloping will get the best of her, I hope." Maege reaches out to put a reassuring hand on Harry's shoulder. "Because we are all of the North - as is Lord Stark, may he not forget it. She is not. Simply because she harped her tale to him first, that does not make it set in stone. She is the one that confessed to her dalliances. Let us hang her with her own words."

"You tried being the bigger person." Maera says to Harry in a gentle tone, "And she decided to open her stupid mouth after you had been so gracious about it. She's done nothing but hurt you, Harry. You need to fight fire with fire sometimes."

"I'll… consider it," Harry says at last, and with reluctance, of Maera's firey strategem. She stands again, going to pour herself a cup of wine. "Fuck breakfast," she declares, draining the cup to catch up with Maera. Best, after all, to be sober by noon.

As everyone takes a glass of wine but Maege, she sighs and shakes her head. "You both are determined to be drunk before lunch." And she has no desire to be that way. "Then consider. But, you have her a chance, sweet Harry. And she decided it better to speak to Lord Stark of it." She stands. "As opposed to letting it lie."

Maera finishes off her wine glass, and stands up from the table. "No. I'm determined to go back to bed." She gives Maege a look, "Do me a favor and have Ulyka do her drills? I'm exhausted."

"I'll do them with her," Harry offers. "I'm of a mood to whack something with a blade, anyways." The practice dummies will feel the wrath that more rightly belongs to the Unnamed Trollop.

"Of course," Maege says. Though, of course, she will most likely be far more lenient with Ulyka than Maera ever would be. At the offering from Harry, she raises her eyebrow but quickly concedes. "Of course. I'll put you both through your paces, so make sure you're at the very last halfway sober."

Maera snorts, "I'd stop drinking if I were you." She says to Harry with an amused little smile, "You'll end up puking everywhere as hot out as it is." With that lovely bit of advice dispensed she turns towards the stairs to nap.


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