(122-08-16) Spilling Blood As a Family
Spilling Blood As a Family
Summary: Wylliam's return from battle.
Date: 16/08/2015
Related: Something Is Rotten At Winterfell plot

Rooftop - Weirwood Manse Old Street

The manse's broad flat roof is topped in flagstones and surrounded by a wall that's nearly chest-high on a man. There are gaps at its foot to allow the rain to run off.

The stairs lead to a small enclosed turret belvedere that keeps the weather out of the house. Its door opens onto a pleasant open rotunda, complete with a round table and chairs, and roofed with slats that shade the space but don't interfere with the entrance of the weather. Behind it one can see the top of the big glass prism that lights the hall below, sticking out of the roof.

The center of the roof is a large open space, suitable for training at arms, though the flagstones are hard on the man who falls. Surrounding it are large planters, square things made of bricks with narrow paths between them. They're not deep enough for trees, but vegetables and strawberries flourish in them. At the corner furthest from the rotunda there's another open area. It contains a small dovecote of the sort that looks like a six-sided pillar lined in pigeon-holes. It seems well-occupied, with birds coming and going, and probably provides the household with a few meals of squab each month. Beside it there's a little wooden henhouse, home to six laying hens who wander the rooftop freely.


The rooftop of the Weirwood Manse is practically idyllic this time of day, full of sunlight that warms the flagstones and reflects off the glass prism that lights the hall below in turn. Birds — pigeons and chickens — go about their business serenely. Not entirely separate from this peaceful sight, remarkably, is Hellan, known for cold or distant silences, not tranquil ones: she sits at the outdoor table, focused on a book in which she marks now and again with quill and ink. The lady is clad in one of her more austerely darker-hued dresses; it draws stark attention to her pale skin and the sharp shadows of her face even as she sits in what passes as content.

Wylliam has returned at last from Cregan's campaign wary yet somehow satisfied the prodigal son has returns to find his mother in a mostly unlikely pose. "Mother." He says, dropping his saddle bags to the floor, which are quickly picked up by a near by servent. "Please have a bath drawn for me also, and a change of clothes." The young man, looks dirty and small injuries litter his body. "It is good to see you." He adds, then waits for her to turn around and acknowledge him.

Her posture stiffens, but doesn't startle; she comes to terms with the presence of someone else in increments, slowly turning to look first with a small shift of her head, then shoulder, then a slight half-twist of her torso, as limited as if she were corseted a number of times over. She lays a hand on the back of the chair, still holding the quill, as she regards her son. She slowly catalogues the sight of him from one detail to another: the bags in the brief second before they're whisked away, the injuries, the dirt of travel. "Wylliam," Hellan says, acknowledging. Her gaze drifts past him to the stairs where the servant disappeared. "You were away…" she adds as some kind of disjointed realization, very nearly, but not quite, confusion. She sounds faraway, herself, as she asks, "How long have you been back?"

Wylliam gives his mother a respectful bow, hiding the wince which comes to his lip so she doesn't know just how hurt he was. "For some months mother, perhaps one and a half. I didn't mean to disturb you tranquil I can go bath and comes back looking more presentable."

Hellan stares for a moment, unblinking, as though her eyes are made of glass— before, abruptly, there's a familiar pull of her dark eyebrows and she looks at Wylliam as though he is clearly the one confused, not her. She gives her head a dismissive shake. "No, you were, you were with Cregan," she states. "Are you much hurt?" Maybe she saw through his attempt to hide it, perhaps she's assumed; either way, the question lacks any audible concern.

Wylliam is about to shake his head then smiles faintly. "Nothing that won't heal, broke a few ribs, a few scratches and bruises but as I said nothing that won't heal." He approaches her table, she didn't send him away so he assumes she won't mind him sitting down. "How have you been?"

Hellan seems to have snapped out of her faraway confusion— and her tranquility. She closes the book, its pages blank but for her immaculate writing, as Wylliam sits. "Good," she answers, but given her sharp tone and assessing look at Wylliam, she wasn't answering his question. Rather: "You need the scars. They should toughen you, as I hope fighting for a real cause has."

Wylliam snorts softly and then cocks his head at her. "Are you already?" He asks. "You seemed a little off there, I can come back later as I said and we can talk then?" He always feel a little awkward. "I already was tough mother, what a hateful thing to say." He teases her gently.

Hellan's eyes sharpen on Wylliam, accusatory, giving a soft snort back in answer. "Off?" Perhaps he should not poke the bear. She shifts in her chair, better to face him, and sets down her quill. "I'm nothing of the sort. What nonsense. And Genevra has always been stronger than you. At least you are making strides." She places her hands upon the table, lifting them once again in gesture before they still. "So? Tell me of the battles in the North."

Wylliam shakes his head at his mother. "Always as cold as winter aren't you mother dearest." He says, rocking his chair back on the last two legs. "Mother, enough from your harsh tongue, father might come back down and then if you allowed yourself a moment when you aren't being insultive or sharp." That aside and levels her with a gaze filled with weariness and sorrow and for once she is not the cause of it. "Death mother, needless and endless death. What more is there to tell you, we won, both land and sea battles and lost many good men."

Hellan's sharp tongue is on the verge of telling her son a thing or two about how to properly use his in talking to his mother, but as the topic rounds back to the trouble in the North, she sighs. It's a soundless thing, simply a rise and fall of her shoulders, matched to the disappearance of her former expression. She looks into the weariness and sorrow in Wylliam's eyes and finds an accord with it; her eyes reflect the same back, at a distance. Briefly, mother and son are in sync in the knowledge of battle and death. She nods, slow, measured. "Did you kill?"

Wylliam laughs bitterly. "Of course I did, I killed hundreds of men, mother." He tells her, his own eyes softening for a few moments. "I'm not a boy anymore mother, I grow up in the months I was away with father. Took a few hits and need to work on my dodging, even if I did give as good as I got if not better."

"Never forget it," Hellan advises him soberly. "It is no small thing, to take a life, even if they deserve death." On deserve, her eyes alight with fleeting bloodlust of the past before levelling Wylliam again, serious. She may have always been a better instructor than a mother, yet this wisdom has a more personal intent than any lesson. "They all have something to teach you. Every bit of blood you spill will either make you stronger or seek to drown you. A lot of men drown. Others become so soaked in blood they are blind to the horrors of it. Remember to be neither of those men. Remember to be a Stark, Wylliam."

Wylliam listens to his mother's words and heeds them, she wasn't much of a mother he can agree with that, but she was wise and fair and he always took her words to heart and her advise. "I shall mother, I'm proud to be a Stark and I shall bring honor to my name as well as yours." He says with a cocky little smile. "I need to bath now and sleep, I also invited Xavia around tomorrow I know you both have been eager to meet." And with that he withdraws.

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