(122-04-08) A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Summary: Lady Hellan questions the messenger from the Karstarks. Afterwards Lady Hellan and Ser Malcolm Storm discuss the Beesbury Bloodbath.
Date: Date of play (08/04/122)
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-04-28-the-riders
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-04-29-a-wild-crusade
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-06-04-the-worm-at-the-heart-of-winterfell
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-01-04-old-scroll-researches
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-04-05-shadow-cat-in-the-swamps
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-04-06-a-messenger-from-the-karstarks
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-04-06-hijinx-in-the-hills
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-04-04-beesbury-bloodbath
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-04-08-troubling-news
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-04-12-an-audience-with-lord-ormund
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-04-18-into-the-hive
http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:122-04-16-impossible-mission-pt-1
Players:
Hellan..Malcolm..

The man was brought in exhausted, having ridden relays alone since the Neck in his hurry to get here, only to find Lord Cregan and Lord Carolis each away from the Manse for one reason or another. He's got a bandaged shield arm in a sling and half healed burn on that side of his face, with the hair on that side roughly chopped off with a knife. He's slept more than a day and is now dosing on the roof in the shade.

Hellan stands upon the same rooftop, watching him. Still as a statue at the edge of the open space used for training, she looks more like she's preparing for battle. If she were, her only weapon is a cup of wine. After a time, she strikes out across the flagstones, coming to stand next to the man. She made certain that he had the care he needed, should he need it as he recovered, but there her attention ended, until now. She seems to contemplate jabbing him to determine how deeply he dozes; instead, she decides to ask. "Are you awake yet, then."

The man starts awake. For all he's been through physically, he still has a warriors response to an unexpected approach. He grabs for a sword that isn't there, before realizing it is a woman armed with a cup and not a knife. He forces himself to relax his guard and wobbles to his feet. He has washed since his long ride from Karhold, though not shaved. He is in a linen shirt and borrowed hose that are both a bit too large for him. He is barefoot. He bows stiffly and slightly lopsidedly, "My Lady!"

Grey eyes stare down — the levelly — at the man, sharp and practical, absent sympathy, even when her own reflexes prompt her to reach out as if to steady him. She does not. For a fleeting second, the overcast sky crowning the woman's dark-haired head could belong to the North, but they're both far from home. "Hellan," she supplies, in case he's uncertain, "Stark. I do not believe I caught your name."

The man bows again, trying to hide his wince. His accent is North east Coast. He is about 5'7" and rather barrel shaped, with shoulder length black hair and the sort of complexion that burns and freckles instead of tanning properly. As a result, he is mostly red and peeling just now, though the red of his neck and cheeks is likely permanent. He's in his late thirties and has the look of a man who's fought often. "Lady Hellan Stark. Thank you for your hospitality." The bits of his face that are not all burn are turning pink as well now, "I am called Trace Snow. I serve Lord Karstark and usually lead a band of Coastal Rangers, keeping an eye out for Ibbenese Raiders and poachers and the like."

"It sounds like you had your work cut out for you. All things considered." Hellan remarks plainly, raising bold brows slightly in either wonder or criticism; it's rather difficult to tell, as the rest of her expression is stone. "You've been through the story, but I would not mind hearing it straight from your mouth. And now that you've rested, perhaps you will recall yet more detail."

The man is still blushing, eyes lowered, "May I have leave to sit? It was a bit of a ride." It is very nearly the longest ride a man can take without staring in east watch. "There were reports of fisher folk going missing along the Coast, absent a storm. Slavers do that now and then, So my Lord sent out patrols to look. My men were searching the Norternmost section of his land. We saw the smoke first and rode hard towards it, but the raiders were gone when we got there. They'd killed or captured most of the folk, even the babies and the old ones, though a few had managed to hide in the forest and so survived and some of the menfolk were well out in boats and came back later. They took the bodies too, and burned after looting everything they could find in the way of coin or food."

Hellan nods absently, giving a wave of her hand that will allow the poor man to sit. "No need to stand wobbling around," she says, off-handed more than concerned; her concerns lie in his report, which she's taken in with stern attention. "That's wildling enough," she assesses caustically, a murmur, but not fully convinced; perhaps wanting to believe it, to direct her hate. "Did the survivors get a good look at them, these raiders," she asks, "there was word of filed teeth."

The messenger sits with a look of relief. Despite the rest he's had he is still tired and in pain. He nods, "I saw some myself later from close up. They wore mostly leathers and furs, and had filed teeth, at least some of them did. My Lady, they might have been Wildlings, but they could have been from Skagos. you know what they say about the men there, not properly civilized and not much given to obedience to your House, if you pardon my saying so. There's some consider them worse than Wildlings, more like beasts."

"Wildlings are beasts, and there aren't any beasts worse than wildlings," Hellan says with harsh conviction. "But the same savage blood runs cold through Skagos. Are they so starving on their hellish island?" The question is rhetorical, but bears consideration; her brows lower, tensed. "And from what you've seen— do you think they still have more raids left in them — more villages to rampage?"

He nods yes ruefully, "They definitely do. I took word to my lord. He sent the ravens first, but knowing Lord stark likes to hear things first hand, he sent me and my men. As we rode South we heard more news of raids and just North of the neck we came upon a village being sacked and fought them ourselves. We drove them off, but half the village burned and my surviving men were too injured to ride, and so I road the rest of the way here on relay horses, stopping only when I was in danger of falling from the saddle.

"Lord Stark will have it put to an end, I'm sure of that, and we are all glad for your dedication." Though Hellan's confidence is firm, darker thoughts plague her gaze. She sips from her cup, abandoned too long. "I've rarely seen a faster journey over such a long distance," she tells Trace, commending, in a flat tone that makes it more fact than flattery. "You've slept the day and more; there is food, water, and whatever else you may need downstairs, if you can manage."

"Thank you, My Lady." Trace Snow rises to bow again, "It is a pleasure to do my duty to my house and yours."

* * *

Trace Snow went downstairs to eat and have a more serious nap, and not long after, a barefoot Malcolm turns up dressed much the same as Trace Snow, only with his Braavosi blade at his hip. On seeing the Lady Hellan he looks flat out relieved, "Thank the Seven! I've My Lord Carolis a Raven to where I think he is staying, but I could not find Lord Cregan or Lord Andolin, and it's best a Stark in residence know what happened before I report to Lord Ormund." His expression is grim at this last.

"Ser Malcolm." Urgency livens Lady Hellan's typically flat and steady voice, though it scarcely effects its calm. She's perched on a chair, turning to see him proper, a hand planted on the table as if she may rise. "Our harbinger woke," rather, she woke him, "and I heard the story from him, as well," she says grimly, matching his expression. "We must act fast."

You say, "Indeed. I rather wish Lord Stark were here. There is more trouble in the North than the Coastal raids and I have a bad feeling about all of it, but that is not the only problem. Lord Tellur and I were out riding and came upon a brachet, lost and terrified. The witch" He wrinkles his nose" Isador was gathering herbs there too. Fearing some deadly accident might have befallen the dog's master or Mistress, we followed her trail North. There was horse and tent and the body of a women, stripped and murdered and likely violated.""

Hellan appears more disgusted by the mention of the "witch" than all that follows, listening with a certain hardened manner that goes beyond any trained stoicism; she is no stranger to harsh and gory realities. "Is that cause for our concern?" she asks, practical. "I'm sure you didn't follow the dog all the way to our North." At least, her North; the Starks' North; Malcolm's by proxy. "Do you have reason to believe the murder was related to the raiders?"

Malcolm sighs, "It is because of what follows. "I heard a horse coming and told them to hide. It might be the murderer come back or the woman's lover returning to find some outlaws had killed her. Best to see how the rider reacted before revealing ourselves. Tellur hid, but the Witch did not." If anything there is even more disgust as he mentions her again. "From his arms, he was a bastard of Beesbury. The Witch Isador boldly provoked him and he started to strangle her, admitting to his crime and kicking the bratchet who was attacking his leg. Tellur in his distress came forth from his bush. The man was in half armour and we were lightly armed and in riding clothes. I was forced to act quickly and so lept forth and slew him lest he turn on Tellur Snow next." He sounds apologetic here, "Tellur is very fond of animals and the man was a raper and murderer and for all my… lack of fondness for the witch, I could not watch her meet the same fate." He does seem genuinely distressed by the rape and murdering part. "The man needed to die and best he die quick before more were harmed. I fear the Beesburys may not feel the same, but I must in conscience take responsibilities for my actions and face the consequences. I am sorry if this harms your House, My Lady, but I have a particular hatred for cowardly noble men who prey on defenseless smallfolk women. What chance had that servant girl against him with his weapons, armour, and relative power?"

Hellan's mouth evens into an even straighter line that it had before as she takes in this story. At its end, she sits further back in her chair. She nods soberly, distantly bothered, but without regret. "I have no remorse for the bastard. If Beesburys or Hightowers have any regard for the chivalry and honour they claim to hold so dear, they won't either." She sounds cynical toward the end. The woman's head falls back slightly in order to gaze upon Malcolm more critically under half-open, skeptical lids. "Are you certain your conscience must command you so strongly?"

Malcolm smiles crookedly, "I admit, it is not my favorite course of action as the Beesburys might object and claim he stumbled upon us and we were the murderers and rapers, but tellur snow is a very honest man and if it comes to a trial of arms, I like my chances. There are men better than I in Old Town as well as the Lady Maera Mormont, but not many of them and I doubt any of them will step forward for the Beesburys. I suppose there is a chance of Lord Ormund taking up the sword himself, but let us hope he believes the truth. I am not a chaste man, but I have never touched a woman without her being enthusiastic about me doing so before hand, I swear by my honor and all I hold holy that I never will."

"I do not need to hear how you touch enthusiastic women, Ser Malcolm," Hellan dismisses bitingly with a wave of her hand. More to the point, "You're a useful member of the household, and seem held in good regard by the lords of the house — " But before she approaches anything resembling a further compliment, she gives a short, resigned sigh, only slightly quieter as she goes on, "I will stand for your character and that of Snow, should the need arise, and hope it does not come to trial." Even more to the point, "And I am willing to speak as well to Lord Ormund as well about the news of the raiders and what must be done, as it must be done quickly."

Malcolm has the grace to blush and look away, "My apologies, Lady Hellan. I fear I was carried away." He bows gracefully and low, "I appreciate your standing for me. It was my decisions that led to this mess. I chose to see if there was help to offer the hound's Mistress, knowing full well I was more like to find a corpse from the poor beast's distress. I was the one who slew the bastard of Beesbury. I will not let Tellur Snow take blame for my actions and I will do my very best to not stain the honor of your House, which I revere and will happily give my life for. Still, I feel better having a Stark at my back when it comes to the politics of the thing. My Lady, shall we go now together and see if he will see us? I have much worry about events in the North and My Lord's safety."

Hellan takes a steady breath before pushing herself out of the chair, a gradual process — but by the end, she stands tall and, by appearances, strong. "We'll take the horses," she declares, "and a few men, as much of a Stark presence as we can muster. We may not be Lord Stark, but we can make a fuss. Go on downstairs; I'll catch up."

Malcolm smiles crookedly, "I admit, it is not my favorite course of action as the Beesburys might object and claim he stumbled upon us and we were the murderers and rapers, but tellur snow is a very honest man and if it comes to a trial of arms, I like my chances. There are men better than I in Old Town as well as the Lady Maera Mormont, but not many of them and I doubt any of them will step forward for the Beesburys. I suppose there is a chance of Lord Ormund taking up the sword himself, but let us hope he believes the truth. I am not a chaste man, but I have never touched a woman without her being enthusiastic about me doing so before hand, I swear by my honor and all I hold holy that I never will."

"I do not need to hear how you touch enthusiastic women, Ser Malcolm," Hellan dismisses bitingly with a wave of her hand. More to the point, "You're a useful member of the household, and seem held in good regard by the lords of the house — " But before she approaches anything resembling a further compliment, she gives a short, resigned sigh, only slightly quieter as she goes on, "I will stand for your character and that of Snow, should the need arise, and hope it does not come to trial." Even more to the point, "And I am willing to speak as well to Lord Ormund as well about the news of the raiders and what must be done, as it must be done quickly."

Malcolm has the grace to blush and look away, "My apologies, Lady Hellan. I fear I was carried away." He bows gracefully and low, "I appreciate your standing for me. It was my decisions that led to this mess. I chose to see if there was help to offer the hound's Mistress, knowing full well I was more like to find a corpse from the poor beast's distress. I was the one who slew the bastard of Beesbury. I will not let Tellur Snow take blame for my actions and I will do my very best to not stain the honor of your House, which I revere and will happily give my life for. Still, I feel better having a Stark at my back when it comes to the politics of the thing. My Lady, shall we go now together and see if he will see us? I have much worry about events in the North and My Lord's safety."

Hellan takes a steady breath before pushing herself out of the chair, a gradual process — but by the end, she stands tall and, by appearances, strong. "We'll take the horses," she declares, "and a few men, as much of a Stark presence as we can muster. We may not be Lord Stark, but we can make a fuss. Go on downstairs; I'll catch up."

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