(122-10-06) Bears and Pirates
Bears and Pirates
Summary: Raibert and Elyas encounter Marsei at the Harbourfront.
Date: 06/10/2015
Related: None

Harbourfront Oldtown

The Honeywine River widens into the Whispering Sound here, and on to the sea. The tranquil blue waters of the Whispering Sound are plied by large ocean-going ships from all over the world, in every color and sort imaginable. River-boats from the Honeywine's course, skiffs, dinghies, and the grand warships that protect the Oldtown Harbour - all travel these waters.

This is where many of Oldtown's newest arrivals first catch a glimpse of the ancient city of stone. It sprawls along the Sound, straddling the Honeywine, a multitude of wooden bridges, grey stone manses, docks, cranes, canals, towers, walls, flights of stone stairs, and squat stone buildings stretch to the North as far as the eye can see.

Dominating the harbour is the Hightower, a massive white stone tower some eight hundred feet tall, its top aflame with an enormous beacon fire. It is both castle and lighthouse, and a staggering wonder to behold. It stands out on Battle Island, a sheer-cliffed rock that sits out in the sound, just beyond the river's mouth. There's a bridge leading to it, guarded by knights sworn to House Hightower. Hightower Street leads North from the foot of the bridge.

It's a busy morning at the harbourfront, crisp and clear, and Lady Marsei looks over the bustle of the city and its comings and goings with the pleasant air of someone who appreciates the city of Oldtown; enjoys its people and its guests. Her back turned for the moment so she may face the water, it's the lady's loose but delicately woven red-haired braid and flowing, pink and cloth-of-gold gown that might divulge her identity. She stands a short walk from the bridge to Battle Island — never too far from the City Watch, although she presently seems to be alone in her vigil.

The morning is indeed busy, smallfolk going about errands and the highborn also, it seems.

Raibert, for his part, dismisses his crew to their tasks and, pausing only to look up and down the harbour in a manner most surreptitious, pulls a flask from the tattered and pockmarked leather jerkin he wears, his working clothes little better than homespun and almost indistinguishable from that of his crew, the only giveaway being the bear-brooch. The flask is opened, the contents knocked back and the vessel secreted away.

Watchful as she is — making just that of the afternoon, watching — Marsei happens to turn her head and espy the man with the flask, though his surrepition is of no concern; she only smiles a little as the drink's tucked out of sight. She makes no effort to hide her watch of the northroner — the sweet Hightower's gaze is an open and friendly one — and tries to make sense of the brooch from afar.

Another ship recently docked at the harbourfront bears the colors and insignia of Dorne. The crew, all dressed in rather flamboyant Dornish colours unload a few crates that are apparently awaited by an impatient merchant glaring at them, then settle down to allow themselves a drink first. One of them might be known among Oldtownies by now, going variably by Elyas Seafarer, Ser Elyas Jordayne or "that cheating Dornish scumbag". Right now the young man looks rather pleased with himself as his gaze drifts around and settles on the pretty shape of the Hightower lady nearby.

The Poor Cousin of the Mormonts, Ser Raibert of that ilk, is a known drinker and carouser, so the surreptition is perhaps a tad unusual, but nobody else on his crew seems to be drinking as they load the captured Ironborn ship with tradegoods.
The Man might have a problem.

Raibert does, however, wave to the woman, having long since learned he meets people on a daily basis that he often does not remember. Yeah, maybe a problem.

The colourful Dornish ship has been another direction for Marsei's quiet curiosity, but she's yet to glimpse the would-be slightly familiar face of Elyas Seafarer when he glimpses her; she sees him, perhaps feeling eyes upon her, but recognition eludes for the moment. She to him and his crew with a bright smile, one that's quickly turned on the northroner when he waves, granting her a better look at the brooch. It dawns on her, her features animating, that the animal is a bear, and she makes her way toward the man who is — to her, assuredly — a stranger. "Good day, my lord!" She greets, all brightness; there's an innocence about the lady, although no lack of cleverness. "Am I right in guessing you are of House Mormont?"

Elyas quite appreciates the smile and makes as if to approach Marsei, but the Hightower lady is already off to the Northron ship. He watches proceedings there with narrowed eyes, identifying if not the brooch then at least the Ironborn ship, curiously bereft of Ironborn sailors. This doesn't bode well, so he fortifies himself with a big gulp of strong wine and watches, ready to interfere if necessary.

The scruffiest Mormont is, in fact, taken aback by the sudden approach, taking a good moment or three to summon up an open smile in return, though his eyes drop quickly in deference. "Aye, M'lady," Raibert says, "Ser Raibert of Mathan-Tor." he introduces himself, stumbling over the ettiquette involved. But boldness is best at the worst, so the smile is bolstered and eye-contact made! "How can the crew of the Mathan-mar help you this fine morn?"

The lady keeps a significant, polite distance from Raibert, although she's nothing but friendly. "Not at all, Ser, I don't think," she answers cheerfully, glancing to the Ironborn ships — what need would she have of Raibert's business, after all. "I simply noticed the bear, and — I always liked the Mormont sigil," she says with a note of whimsy; perhaps as a sheltered Reach lady who imagines bears to be cute and fluffy, not formidable beasts. "But I've yet to meet those who dwell in the city. The Lady Mormont and her kin, I mean." She smiles another burst of sunshine and bows her head, offering almost apologetically, "Lady Marsei Hightower."

The Dornish stay were they are, though Elyas' eyes remain on Marsei and her new companion. One of his mates approaches to say something quietly and he nods slowly, features hardening for a moment. But then he makes a dismissive gesture and waves his friend off to keep watching the scene nearby.

There is a larger Ironborn cog alongside a smaller, unusually low-keeled and non-ironborn one. Raibert's men (of which about a quarter are women, though no less battle-scarred and battered) are loading goods and sacks from the smaller to the larger with practised ease.
Their Lord, meanwhile, laughs boisterously, "It is a fine fit for the family as well, we are often bears in form and function both," Raibert says, smiling broadly in return, "Not least the ladies fair!" he says, forgetting himself for a moment. The man realises, clears his throat, "I mean.. It is a great pleasure to meet you, Lady Hightower, you do me a great honour."

The Mormont man's laughter warms the lady's smile, not faltering for his perceived slip, although she does look a bit uncertainly at him. It's fleeting, and she turns to modesty. "You are too kind. It is my cousin, Lynesse, who is called Lady Hightower." She turns her curiosity onto the ships. "Do women work upon all ships from your island?" she asks, struck by wonder. Now that she looks out once again over the ships and crews, what begins as intriguing scenery starts to take the shape of Elyas. Recognizing the Dornish seafarer takes her by surprise, however brief their meeting, and she says "oh!" aloud.

As he is suddenly noticed, Elyas lifts a hand in greeting, offering a quick wave accompanied by a smile. "You alright, luv?", he seems to be mouthing towards her, though for now he stays put.

"Ah, no, not all," Raibert says, clearing his throat and trying to gloss over the slip with the title, this is why he doesn't get invited places, "We at Mathan Tor are.. pragmatic to the needs of the many." he explains, not wanting to say that he'll take all comers due to being backwoods. He falters over further explanation, seeming relieved when the woman looks elsewhere, using the excuse to look at his crew again.

Marsei's friendly smile seems to confirm that she's just fine, although she does continue to watch the Dornishman. "How interesting," she replies, albeit delayed, to Raibert; she sounds utterly earnest in it, not simply saying so for the sake of it. "I've heard such tales of Lady Mormont. They say she can best any man in the city with a sword."

Finally Elyas gets bored of lurking and watching, so he pushes himself off the crate he was sitting on and saunters over, trying to look casual and not at all curious. "Lady Marsei, the sight of you brightens my morning.", he smiles at the woman and offers a bow, before looking at Raibert. "And who's your Ironborn friend here?"

"I have heard the same," Raibert replies, nodding and very much not letting his eye twitch, "She is a.." and then the Dornishman approaches.
Raibert's eye twitches, "You what, matey?" he asks as he looks at the man, hand dropping to his sword hilt as his crew stop dead mid-step, though the Mormont forces a grin, "This is the Mathan Mar, newest acquisiton for Bear Island." and the crew release their breath and continue on.

Marsei smiles and lowers her red head humbly to the Dornishman's complimenting hello. "Elyas Seafarer," she greets with the name she knows him by. "How lovely to see you again, I hope you and your business are well." She watches Raibert's crew collectively breathe a sigh of relief. "Ser Raibert is of House Mormont," she further explains. "Bear Island is even farther away than Dorne, is it not?"

"Apparently my business is not doing as well as your friend's.", Elyas grins when Raibert presents the boat as his acquisition. "And yes, Bear Island is far up north… luckily.", he chuckles, "I'd hate having to sink you if you tried to get at my boat, mate…" Obviously he isn't too bothered with titles.

All smiles again, Raibert nods, "Though suppose we met in the middle?" he says, laughing, "Krakens wouldn't know what hit 'em." the Mormont supposes. "Business /is/ good, thank you," the man grins.

"So good, in fact, I should go see my superiors." he adds, nodding, "If you'll excuse me, m'lady.. matey." ((as I'm swept up by rl for a stretch, sorry)

Marsei nods to Raibert, seeing him off with a polite smile. "What is your business, Elyas?" she asks Elyas when she's left with him, both simplistically upfront and charmingly pleasant. "Beyond the acquisition of lovely Dornish rugs, song, and dance, of course," she adds good-naturedly.

"A pirate bear, now that's interesting.", Elyas muses more to himself, stroking his (barely existant) beard as he watches Raibert depart. Then he turns back to Marsei with his brightest smile. "Would you like to buy a Dornish rug then? I can get you a very good price, Mylady! Beyond that.. ah, this and that, but mostly nothing. For a while I thought I was bound for the shackles of matrimony but it was not to be. So you find me quite literally adrift at sea right now."

Marsei glances once the way Raibert left, questioning the term pirate and perhaps seeing the man in a new light, but her attention is not long gone. "Ah, I see; I am sorry to hear of your broken engagement. I thought perhaps you were involved in trade," she says. "It is an area I'm most interested in — for more than fine rugs."

"My banking love was trying to get me interested in it.", Elyas admits with a slight shrug, "Lots of number crunching and pen pushing though. I am a man of action though, I need to be out there -" He points vaguely towards the sea. "Is there anything Dornish you are particularly interested in?", he asks, and somehow manages to make it not sound too sleazy.

Banking … Marsei's features take on a pause, and she puts the pieces together; realization of the Dornishman's betrothed brings a warm remembrance to her face, but becomes empathetic on his behalf a second later. "If there were," she looks to the sea as well, "you would be able to acquire it?"

"Yea… yea, sure.", Elyas replies with a smile, though the eagerness makes way for pause and a squinty look. "Well, it depends on what you want. I'm not in the market for smuggled baby dragons. They sneeze once, your boat is toast. Quite literally." , he grins at her, looking expectantly to see what wishes may be forthcoming.

Marsei gives a small, delighted laugh, shaking her head at Elyas — only to lower her light brows and question, as if to be completely certain, "You haven't… seen any baby dragons, have you?" She is, after all, friends with Visenya Targaryen. With that out of the way, she simply tips her chin up, face to the slight breeze, and considers. "Let us start with a rug, I think."

"Maybe I have… maybe I haven't…", Elyas grins, leaning in a little to whisper conspiratorally: "Can't let you know all my secrets, right?" Then he straightens up and nods. "A rug it is, certainly, Mylady. Any particular requests? Sunspear style? Lemonwood? Sandstone? They do make nice fluffy ones there, you know. Any particular color? And what of the size?" He does come across all rug oriental rug merchant suddenly, but at least he hasn't pulled out a notebook yet.

"Goodness!" Marsei is overwhelmed by the options suddenly upon the table, bringing a hand to her chest, but it's all in good spirits. "Something splendidly colourful," she says, harkening back to their first encounter. "Is there a design with flowers? I should like that. Large enough for a spacious bedchamber. Otherwise, I will leave it in your hands."

Elyas seems bemused by her reaction. "Splendidly colourful flowers. It is noted, Mylady. I shall the rug at your disposal as soon as possible. Certainly in time for the wedding.", he adds with a little wink, showing he's up to date with the local gossip. Then he bows deeply. "It's a pleasure doing business with you, but now I'm afraid I must see to getting our boat unloaded. They won't lift a finger if I don't whip them." He looks back to his friends, still enjoying a wineskin between them and makes his departure.

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