(121-08-03) Only Refusal
Only Refusal
Summary: Maera isn't interested in the marriage contract on offer from Lord Karstark.
Date: 3 August 2014
Related: The Second Son, The Queen of Skagos

This small garden is walled in dusty-brown coloured stone. Grape vines and runner-beans and peas grow up the walls, and alongside them there are vegetable and herb patches. Near the door to the manse is a water-barrel, collecting from the downspout. A couple of apple trees grow here, old and twisted but still able to bear fruit. Under and between them is enough space for practice at arms. There's a single heavy wooden bench situated to provide an observer a good view of any combatants.

The back garden wall is the wall of a house the next wynd over, and its windows and those of the surrounding residences might offer a view of the garden, but no access.

There's apparently a single wooden bench in the walled garden of the Sailmaker's Manse, and Kellan occupies it now. The singular focus of his attention is his great axe, having opted to take some air while he tends to its edge with a whetstone. He is methodical in its application, performing a series of steps that seem almost a second nature, the result of having performed them so many times over so many years.

Maera steps out of the manse with a parchment in hand, her eyes skimming over it quickly. She lets out a divisive snort as she reads over the words, and crumples it in her hand before tossing it into a brazier to be burnt later. She comes to stand next to the bench where Kellan sharpens his sword, and crosses her arms across her chest lightly. "How much have you seen of the city?"

"You're in my light," rumbles Kellan, before he's even looked up from his blade, completing a pass of the stone along its edge and testing it with the pad of his thumb. That done, his stare climbs from weapon to woman, foot to face. "Enough to find the whores and the drink," he tells Maera with a wink of his eye, and then he shoves over enough that she's left a tiny little portion of bench to sit on, if she so desires. It's just that he takes up so much of it.

Maera is not a petite little thing herself. She remains standing, and doesn't move out of his light, either. "I'm glad you've found a way to waste your time while we wait, then." Her nose wrinkles slightly in response to his wink, but she says nothing in regards to it. "I'm going hunting tomorrow. For stag, not boar." She's never liked hunting for boar. Too much risk and not enough reward. "Do you still know how to tie those snares? Could get a brace of hares for a stew."

"What is it we wait for?" Kellan asks, returning his attention to the axe, to further hone its edge with the whetstone. "My light," he reminds her again, as gruffly as the first time, using the butt of the axe to prod her at the hip in an effort to usher her an inch or two to the left. Hunting? That piques his interest. "Aye, could do. How's the sport here?"

"I've sent out an offer to the Flints, and I am awaiting word from my Uncle at Oldcastle." Maera explains as she surrenders the few inches Kellan needs for his light. "I want them to feel as if they've no friends to turn to. No options but to yield to me."

Kellan takes advantage of the light to finish with the blade, and once that's done he sets down the axe, propped up against the side of the bench, its keen edge glinting. It's a hulking weapon for a hulking man, and Maera's like to remember he prefers it to fighting by sword. "Might be we should write to my lord father," he suggests, squinting a touch as he looks up at the Lady Mormont, now that the sun's back in his eyes. "I'm to send word on your counter-offer, anyway." It's a little ironic, given how decisively she declined the terms, but there's no disappointment in him for it. Instead, he glances to the clearing and says, "You just missed a good bit of sparring. What say you give me a go later?"

"Your Lord father has proven that he has no desire to offer me true help." Maera states cooly, "I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to help the Glovers to force my hand. What counter-offer could I propose to him? I have no counter-offer. Only refusal." Her arms over her chest tighten slightly as she speaks. "Perhaps. If I've the time."

"Demand it, then. Tell him you'll consider the offer and give your answer when this bit of business is done." Is he helping Maera conspire against his father? Maybe, technically. He's sworn his service to her in the name of their many gods, and his suggestion is a further demonstration of that loyalty. From where he sits, commandeering the bench, Kellan takes to studying Maera, and at the tightening of her arms over her chest, he suggests, "Find time. I might even let you win."

"That would make me a liar, wouldn't it?" Once that question is posed rhetorically she gives a light shake of her head. "I'm not a liar, and I won't be known as one. Tell your father I refuse his offer. Bear Island will remain under Mormont control. Even if I do not get what I need from Flint I could probably still go forward with my plan. However, things will be less certain. Let him know that. That I don't really need him." She shakes her head softly at his last statement, "I'm busy." That said, she turns to go back into the manse.

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