(122-05-29) Nechtan Tuagh and Lady-of-Stark-Bears
Nechtan Tuagh and Lady-of-Stark-Bears
Summary: Two very different parts of the North butt heads in the South.
Date: 29/05/2015
Related: None

Quill and Tankard - Hightower And Citadel

This is the common room of the Quill and Tankard, that famous Oldtown Inn that has never closed in five hundred years. The building is a noble old half-timber structure with plastered stone between the enormous old black beams. It sits on a small rock of an island at the edge of the Honeywine River, and is accessed by a little footbridge, or by water-taxi.

Rivermen and seamen, smiths and singers, priests and princes, Lords and sellswords, travelers both noble and small, and the novices and acolytes of the Citadel - all come for a taste of the fearsomely strong apple cider that makes this inn so beloved by Oldtown's people. There is a pleasant buzz of chatter, cups and tankards being filled and refilled, and general laughter.

The fire in the hearth allows for a merry glow and a comfortable warmth from Oldtown's breezy, misty cobblestone streets. Benches and tables offer places to sit, and there is a deliciously toothsome smell in the air of food from the back.

It is a warm day in Oldtown, boasting clear skies free of dragons, a perfect time to… stay indoors. The Quill and Tankard is, as always, full of life, as open to patrons new and old this day as it has been every day for the past five hundred years. Of those patrons is a dark-haired lady of the North, telltale by the wolfish fur about her collar and the pale hard lines of her face: Hellan Stark.

The woman sits at a bench nearest the place from which food and drink emerge, her back half-turned away from the rest of the inn. Ostensibly, she is here on business, as one of the few Starks presently in Oldtown handling their affairs; more than one cup is cleared away by the barmaid in passing, but if she had a partner in business, they've since vanished, and she sits on her own, rigid.

Also from the North and also here on business for that matter, though vastly different business, is Nechtan. His purse full from ill-gotten gains, still in the mail and leather of his working gear, the oversized man is sat about half a bench down from Hellan, who he peers at in between draining flagons and tearing into a trencher full of stew. The big lug is as noisy as he is handsy with the barmaid, who seems to favour Hellan's side of the bench, though the gods know why (!).

"'Ullo," he grunts to Hellan, at length, his accent somewhere very far north-west of here, "You waitin' fer someone?"

Hellan's head is slow to turn. When it does, she looks so precisely and immediately to the hulking man that her slow turn might as well have been the snap of a whip. Her eyes are light as ice, but anyone who's lived far enough north knows that ice is brutal, sharp and choking. Shadows seem to smear the hollows beneath them as if she's been without sleep for days. She takes in the sight of Nechtan and seems to transmit distaste without so much as a twitch of her expression. "Who are you?"

The big man has the good graces to flinch at the whip-crack look, though it is momentary and slight enough that you'd have to /really/ be on the watch for it, Nechtan breaking in to a broad and open grin at the woman in over compensation. "I am known as Nechtan of the," he tries, stumbling and muttering «what is axe in this southron-speak?» in what seems to be a dialect of the old-tongue, before the grin is back, "I am known as Nechtan Tuagh." he says, with a nod. "But now you have be at a disadvantage, beautiful one," the thug adds, pointing at her with a greasy finger, "I cannot very well call you grey-eyes.. or snow-skin, as pleasant as that is to look upon. What should I call you?"

Nechtan's answer comes as no surprise; at least, as much as Hellan cares to know, she already knew. She might not have known his name, but she's reading his origins plain as day. She turns turns slightly where she sits to face him better, though it can hardly be said to be a welcoming posture. Her eyes narrow as he speaks the Old Tongue and further still when she's described. "You're a wildling," she says low, a curse. Her shoulders press down and she tenses, as if she means to get up slowly but sits in wait, the way a predator might while watching their prey. "I am Lady Hellan Stark, of Winterfell, and a Mormont of Bear Island," she states, measured and proud, unveiled in her threatening, "you will not speak to me in this way."

The bearlike wildling frowns then, "Oh," Nechtan says, shaking his head, "Such a thing to say of me!" he says, smiling broadly again and playing it off as a joke. "I cannot really be as you say now, can I? There is a large wall between us and them, and a garrison of black-clad weapon-men ready to cut down any wildlings gone agang!" he adds, laughing and biting into a particularly gristly bit of stew-meat, "The very thought that you'd find a free-man suppin' with a Mormont of Bear Island is to laugh." he adds, unable to hold back the heavy sarcasm from that last bit. "My apologies though, my lady. I had you as a woman who could use company, or maybe a strong arm."

Hellan's dark brows cinch together in what might be amusement if it weren't so harsh. "Oh, do you need your other eye checked, little man?" They share three languages: the common tongue, the Old Tongue, and heavy sarcasm. The barmaid comes by with a cup of something dark and strong; she takes it and downs a gulp seamlessly. "Wildling or not, you look as much a brute as any so-called freefolk I've ever seen," Hellan states dismissively, "or killed."

The thug wets his lips as he watches the woman drink, having an internal debate over the best course of action.. which probably isn't to slam back his tankard and drain it, swallowing and saying, "Aye? It'd be a fine way to die," but then again, Nechtan is not the sharpest, rather a somewhat blunt instrument, "though I'd rather kill for you, I think. A brute I am, but I have my uses." The broad and open yellow-toothed grin comes back, "Wood-knows you could just kill me if I do you wrong, snow-skin terror that you are."

Hellan rolls her eyes so far to the right that her head follows suit, giving a scoffing, breathy noise that resembles a jolting laugh. She brings her cup up halfway before saying, "You do have a deathwish." She downs a fair portion of her drink, a hearty and practiced drinker, to be sure, and eyes the man. There's been no abatement in her judgment; rather, there's a tension to her mouth that speaks of disgust to even be talking to him this long. "Tell me this: how long have you been in the south?"

"Worse things to wish for than a clean death," grins Nechtan, grabbing a fresh tankard from a passing barmaid, "Been in the south since.." he trails off, taking a long draw on his ale and drumming his fingers on the tabletop as he counts. "Been more than a twelvemonth an' less than two," the man decides, nodding and rolling his shoulders, "only been here weeks though." he adds, with a shrug. Then, as if remembering something, "Saw a dragon though, so its been worth the trip."

That icy gaze dives briefly into her drink, what's left of it; thoughtful, if only for a mere second, over mention of a clean death. The woman looks up to eye Nechtan's arithmetic and loses interest in whatever line of questioning she was on the verge of pursuing. "A shame it didn't eat anyone," she says more acidly than conversationally, her sarcasm debatable. It's her drink that keeps the proud northerner where she is, and that's almost emptied.

"Aye, one of the men was after killing it, but the others were all for luring it away," Nechtan nods, as if agreeing that seeing someone being eaten by a dragon would be a fine way to spend an afternoon. The man shrugs again, frowning, "Lost interest in it when they shouted the killer-man down," he adds, nodding and then breaking into a grin once more, "Do the headmen of all the houses drink here?"

"If all the headmen of all the houses," Hellan starts, lifting her brows high to look down upon the vastly taller man from afar so as to rain down her sarcasm, "drank right here at the Quill and Tankard, I expect there would be a lot of empty chairs in the Seven Kingdoms." She makes to rise, resettling her feet beneath the plain length of her gown on the solid, age old floor before actually standing, half-containing a sway.

Bursting into peals of laughter, Nechtan slams his tankard down onto the table, "I do like you, Lady-of-Stark-Bears," he says, guffawing, "You bring a great wit with you." The big man watches her stand, grinning, "Empty chairs, very clever." he adds, chuckling at the woman, "Like the one you are leaving!" he concludes, draining another tankard.

Hellan up, drink down, she waves a hand vaguely at the entertained man, a gesture with no specific purpose except perhaps to dismiss him from her sight even though it's she who leaves. "Gods be good," she mumbles under her breath, entirely to herself, well away from being any manner of blessing upon this Nechtan Tuagh. Here her wit seems to end, for she makes to stroll straight — or slightly less than straight — away without another word.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License