(120-12-11) The Sea Witch Unmasked
The Sea Witch Unmasked
Summary: After many many months of hiding away in shadows and in her cloak, Millicent finally meets her Lord Host and he has a request for her.
Date: 12/11/2013

At Hightower

It's another quiet after the storm. Court has been dismissed and the last audience seeker has been shown out. Each of his advisers have also departed once dismissed. The quiet stillness of the empty throne room is pierced with the cry of a raven. "Storm!" It cries it's name again and then in the shadows of the gallery walkway above the courtyard where he holds court a pale slender hand lifts up to give her pet a treat and then the deep cowled cloak hood lowers in a little bow before the inky black fabric of the cloth is consumed by the shadows in the gallery.

Yes everyone is gone but Ormund is still working, gripped in his hand is a large parchment, a sea chart by the looks of it. His feet move across the floor as he paces, his head shaking slightly as his occasional finger moves up and traces a line, muttering something under his breath, then the sound of the Raven catches his ear, his eyes move up towards it and he stops in place. He simply stares for a moment, the Sea Chart forgotten in his hands, "How are you this eve, Lady Greyjoy?" he asks softly, his eyes moving away from them back towards the parchment in his hands.

Millicent steps forward again but her cloak keeps her from view. There are many rumors about her flying around his court, but really she only seems to do things to encourage them, like dressing in the cloak that makes her look like some assassin. She speaks softly and it's poor timed as the crow hollars its name again. The one footed raven hops off of Millicent's shoulder and lands on the stone railing around the gallery. "Storm! Crash! Storm!" The bird clicks its beak open and shut at the acting Lord of Oldtown and it seems she's been trying to speak this whole time little leans in and movements of the hood indicating she's said plenty and just been drowned out and cut off by the raven. "St—!" The bird flaps when she pinches his beak shut. "I am very good your Lordship. Does something vex with the map?" The Iron Born noblewoman can spot a sea chart a mile away. Still it's very hard to hear her as her speaking is very much just barely above a whisper.

Ormund looks from the Sea Chart to Millicent then peers back down at the chart for a moment, clearly something is not sitting well with him on it. "My Lady, certainly you have greater matters to concern yourself with then, Sea Charts." he says with a half hearted chuckle, though his gaze moves back to the chart, "I just received this one, today in Council." he starts moving towards her now, his steps slow and evenly paced, "The issue, is…" he says biting his lower lip for a moment, "The distance between certain things within the reach are off." he says with a small wave of his hand, "Which means in reality the whole chart is off and worthless, how do they expect me to supply a fleet with charts that are…" he says shaking his head, his right hand moving up to rub between his eyes, "Worthless." he says with a deep frustrated sigh, sounding both frustrated and tired.

The still recovering noblewoman of the Iron Isles leans back when he comes forward so she is more in shadow again, up on the second story gallery she can still look down on him. There is no innuendo or propositioning in her tone when she offers. "Come to my quarters." With that the supposed Sea Witch of Hightower disappears completely into the shadows and the next time the caw of "Storm" comes it's echoed and distant. Lady Greyjoy has left the throne room.

To say that Ormund looks confused is an understatement. The acting Lord of Hightower, looks far more confused then, most men would be at the statement. The Sea Charts still in his hands, he looks around the throne room, his eyes moving across it slowly, before falling back on the charts in his hands. His right hand moves and runs through his hair slowly, his eyes closing. He lets them stay closed for a moment, enjoying the silence and darkness, then his eyes open again and he lets out another sigh, they frustrations of the day and how tired he is, still linger on his breath, before he slowly moves, up the stairs, heading towards Millicent's quarters, still holding those Sea Charts.

The guest of the Hightower lives especially high in the highest building in all of Westeros. So the lift is entirely called for. She's already used one of the three lifts but the other two are still down on the ground level to be at his lordships disposal. He's half way up when the other lift passes him by empty and on it's slow descent back to the first level. The door to her chambers is opened and he's greeted at the door by Storm who flaps his wings and caws out, "Lord! Lord!" He's on a perch on a table and a pale hand reaches over and pinches his beak shut. "That will be all Stormy." When she releases his beak the raven flaps and hops on his one leg a bit further down the perch. Oddly even in her quarters she is wearing her cloak, with the hood still up and covering her head and shadowing her face. "I have here many journals. When I was a girl there was a time when I was confined to quarters. My window looked out onto the port and I would mark and list every ships setting off and return, and the times between and the places they went to. I also have diaries full of silly stories about the adventures I imagined them havig while away. But those aren't what you need. I know you enjoy making maps. Here is the information I hope will help you make something more accurate." She pats the stacks of journals she's already laid out and then gestures with her pallid dainty hand to the inks and paints and large piece of canvas she's laid out from her painting supplies. She has not once turned around to face him and after she's gesturing it looks like she might recoil back into her attached chambers.

Ormund steps off the lift his eyes move across the raven for a few moments, though he doesn't say anything. His eyes just stare at the bird, silently. He had taken the time on the lift to gently fold the charts into a neat little square, he still holds them in his hand, at his side. He listens to Greyjoy speak, his eyes move across the journals slowly, before moving back up to her. His hand moves and slowly runs through his hair. "So my hobby as a Cartographer has followed me." he says dryly, shaking his head.
He looks at the journals once more, "You will have to forgive me, Lady Greyjoy." he says letting out another sigh, "You have been my guest and sadly my duties have kept me preoccupied." he starts nodding slowly, "I hope you have found your stay enjoyable and that you have been given everything that you require to be comfortable?" he asks as he moves over to the table and sits the sea charts ontop of the stack of journals, "If you require anything, to ensure your stay is more comfortable, simply ask and I will make sure it is provided for you." he says nodding again, "Though I do have a request of you, my Lady." he says, his fingers tapping against the books for a moment, his brow furrowed, clearly in thought.

The cowl of her cloak lowers enough that the gold kraken that's embroidered on the back of it with the tentacles coming down over the backs of her shoulders and twisting and knotting around each other rather oddly prettily can be seen. "Our Aunt has made mention of it." His Great-Aunt, his father's brother's wife is her mother's older sister. Her tone is apologetic, she hadn't asked to be regailed of all the details of Ormund and Gwayne's life stories. Their aunt however felt it best to do said regailing if Millicent was to put herself before them and be noticed. The cloak is her rebellion against their aunt. She doesn't want to be noticed, not for the reasons her Aunt has. "Please, don't be silly." He can't see it but she grimaces there, she didn't mean to call her host silly. Honestly it's nerves now that he really is here. Mere feet away with no balcony or floors of space between them. So she quickly adds, "I'm very happy here and there's no need for you to spare any time for me to detract you from your duties. They are many and they would weigh on the shoulders of your Smith god." She cuts herself off and her frailty reveals itself in a little crack of her voice. "Yes yOUr Lordship?" She turns her hidden head away and lifts a piece of silk up under her hood to clear her throat. "Forgive me."

Ormund's fingers tap against the books silently still clearly in thought, he listens, but does not respond at first. "Yes our Aunt." he says simply, not saying much else on the matter. "I am indeed glad that you are finding your stay enjoyable. No need to forgive anyone for anything, this is I am sure, a trying adjustment to you." he continues with a small nod, his hand retracting from the books. "I understand that their are certain…" he starts, clearly thinking about his words, obviously not wishing to offend, "Cultural differences." he says looking at her with a small smile as he says this, "While, I respect the…" he stops again, his tongue pressing against his cheek in though, "Interesting, customs of the Greyjoys." he says with a small nod, still smiling.
"Would it perhaps possible, for you to…" he starts, his hand running through his hair slowly, "Remove the cloak within the walls of Hightower?" he asks, tilting his head a bit to side, "Now this is simply a personal request, not a demand or order." he says with a small wave of his hand, "It is simply feeding the rumors, which I would prefer not exist." he says with a small nod and a sigh, "Lady Greyjoy, I am simply asking you play the part of a Lady, if you do me this favor I will gladly return it, five folds. All you will simply have to do is ask and my ear will be yours." he says looking at her, with a small smile.

Millicent's laugh is rich and though ragged from the small rasp that still lingers in her lungs. "You don't like the rumors your lordship? They are ever so amusing and beneficial in ways, for when I am ready to leave my cloak behind. You see it's not a Greyjoy or Iron Isles custom. It is a tool of intrigue. It is also a rebellion to our Aunt who is out to prance me around under every nose that is unwed. Hoping beyond hope that one of them can't smell the sea and sickness on me." As she talks she moves to the door and closes it. Once the door is closed she lifts her hands to elegantly slide the cowl from her head. When she turns around there is no tentacles, or pox, or stoney grey scales like the rumors have all assumed she must have. She is simply pale and looking like as she is, recovering from a malady that had her on death's door. Slightly gaunt, very pale, but not horrible looking at all. "If I were to marry. Can you imagine the crowd? Everyone gathered around packed in, all eager to see the 'Sea Witches' face when her cloak is removed and her husbands is set in its place. I am sorry you dislike the rumors. But they are required. Everyone up in a froth about what I truly am, only to realize that I'm just another Lady of Westeros, who simply doesn't have some of the customs or religion as them. They'll be much more accepting of who I am and might even find me a bit boring after all the mystery and hype is dissolved."

Ormund doesn't look surprised when she removes the cowl, he just runs his hand through his hair again, "No, I do not like the rumors." he says simply. His gaze moving to catch hers, "While, I am amused by both your grand scheme and rebellion against our Aunt." he says nodding slowly, "I would simply prefer to see you dress, befitting of a Lady of your status that reflects your visit of Hightower." he says closing his eyes for a moment, leaning against the wall now. Letting out a deep sigh, "Like I said it was simply a personal request." he says his eyes still closed.
"I will not force you to remove it, simply keep in my that I did ask." he says opening his eyes again looking back at her, "As for all the talk of sea and sickness and marriage, that is not my area." he says with a small wave of his hand, "When you marry be it for love or for political maneuvers, I am sure the crowd will be their regardless of a cloak or not, though I can see how you could find it amusing to see the faces of various people who continue to press the rumors onward." he says with a small nod.

There is the sound of cloth sliding against cloth and as the cloak is removed from her. It's clear that it's the only thing that keeps her from being a lady. "What, did you imagine underneath I wore leathers and trousers and jerkins and look like one of my father's sailors?" She hangs up her cloak and returns to the table beside him. One of the book is taken and opened up to the first page. "It is not your area, as it shouldn't be, but it is mine." It's a request for his trust and understanding that she knows what she is doing. "But I shall promise that it comes off while we have privacy. If you promise not to reveal my secret to anyone." She takes the liberty of picking up the sea chart and opening it to examine it before she flips through the pages of the book. "This will be a lot of work. Work the original maker of this chart didn't put in. There is no accounting for bad weather, or wind. We'll have to go through every book. Collect the like entries into one list and then decide the average travel time and use that to base our sea chart on. Or I could just send Storm to ask my mother to send one to us." She doesn't feel the need to boast that of course the Greyjoys have the most accurate sea charts in Westeros. "But that wouldn't be as much fun. Would it?"

Ormund is still leaning against the wall, a deep sigh escapes his lips, "I had never put in much thought of what you wore under the cloak, Lady Greyjoy." he says slowly with a nod, though his gaze does move across her slowly, "Though you are rather lovely." he says offering her another small nod. "I suppose that compromise will suffice for now, Lady Greyjoy." he says slowly moving off the wall, not touching any more on marriage as it is something he has never really found interesting.
His gaze moves to the sea charts as she lays them out, "No he did not put in the proper work, various things are not accounted for and the distances are off, the whole thing is a rather large mess." he says shaking his head. "No I suppose it wouldn't be as much fun." he says looking over at her for a moment, his rough hands moving to the charts, clearly worn for practice and use of weapons, his finger moves across the chart, "The distances are off, the whole thing will need to be reworked from the start." he says, his brow furrowed slightly.

Proving herself a lady in manners she gestures towards an extra chair that could be pulled over so that they may sit together at the table and get to work. Leaving him to pull the chair over. "I shall do the researching in the books while you work you wiles on the map and charts?" It's a suggestion even though it rather sounds more like a statement of that would be the best course of action. She doesn't care for marriage talk either. Hence the cloak.

Ormund takes he chair and takes a seat, "So in truth how are you liking Hightower so far?" he says taking one of the books in his hands and inspects it for a moment, "When I was a boy, I use to as I draw maps and make up worlds and think about how some day I will be a Adventurer who traveled all over learned all these customs and languages." he says looking back over the sea chart, "You mentioned adventures was all." he says nodding.

Millicent reads off a couple of the first important string of dates and locations they need. Then she smiles when he asks her again about Hightower. "I would never lie to you Lord Hightower. It is a awe inspiring building. Being so high up is something I like as well. The moisture in the air is just right at this height and it help me recover. "Perhaps someday when Lyonel is of age you can pass the torch to him and do as you say and go on adventures. As for my adventures, as I've said I was kept inside my room for spells. I am not as hale and hardy as most. But when I grew of age, I wanted to prove that I wasn't as dainty as I thought. So I did horribly drastic and stupid things. Like…" She draws it out with a smile leaning in a touch, but still plenty of room between you could fit all seven of his gods in. "…going to The Wall."

"Hightower is a interesting marvel indeed." Ormund says with a small nod, tilting his head as he listens to her speak, "Perhaps, when Lyonel is of age, though I fear I will be too old by then to attempt some of the dashing adventures of a young man I had once dreamed of." he says with a small chuckle, "Perhaps I will join the Nightwatch, my Heir and son will be of age and capable of carrying the weight of his duties, perhaps I can get a few adventures before I am too old." he says with a smirk, "I hear the wall is a marvelous sight, I have never seen it myself." he says with a slow nod.

Millicent rests the book down cracked open and resting on her lap to keep her place. "My brother took the Black. There was a misunderstanding with one of his salt wives. So when he was hauled away, I went along with to keep him company. It is amazing you can see all the way to right here in Hightower from the right spot on the wall." She exaggerates perhaps a touch but it's done poetically. "You I think will be youthful even when venerable. You have old eyes, but I've seen you smile when you see Lyonel." A softness enters her voice again when she talks of Lyonel. She's never actually met the boy, but seeing them interact from afar has obviously won her over.

Ormund nods slowly, "Lyonel is a good boy, he will become a honorable and strong man one day." he says, slowly though obviously a hint of softness lingers in his tone. "I have heard interesting things about the Wall, perhaps someday like I said, I will visit it." he smirks, "Though despite what you say, I think my bones will grow tired and one day I will be left with nothing but memories of holding court and trials of politics, not adventures." he continues.

Millicent adds with a bow of her head looking at Ormund still. "Just like his father…" She then lifts up the book and points to the next set of dates and locations for him to jot down for their notes. "Do you know what I like about you the most my lord? You are a delicate balance, you have a keen mind as well as a fine physicality. So I think your mind will provide you with great health and longevity because you wish to take care of yourself so that you can see the wall even if you're old and grey. You'll take steps, careful planning to see that your bones don't grow brittle until you are to the age of not caring about such things and then you will pass surrounded by your children to your great-grandchildren all doting and affectionate."

Ormund listens silently, his hand moving to another book and picking it up and flipping through a few pages, he doesn't comment at first, he just listens, he has always been a careful person about what words he picks and how he says things, "First, I thank you for your kind words, Lady Greyjoy." he says nodding, "A Lord's mind must be as sharp as his sword, a dull mind will simply cost lives and the welfare of the people." he says his fingers moving across a few more lines, "When I am old a Grey, perhaps I will have my Children around me, though I tend to think that I will have Lyonel and his around me, if that was the case." he says with a small nod, "What I admire about you Lady Greyjoy, is your sense of honesty, you do not mind speaking what it is that you have upon your mind." he says not looking up at her from the journal.

Millicent is about to say something but there is a wheeze in her chest and she turns and lifts up her silk hankie to muffle a light bout of coughing presents. "As you can see, I don't have a lot of breath to waste on too much floweriness. As I promised, I'd never lie. I am your Guest, you've …by way of our Aunt have given me my Guest Right and I have accepted your hospitality. To lie to you would break that. I know how important that tradition is."

Ormund waves his hand for a moment, "Not everyone one is as sincere about the bonds they make is all." he says his finger moving between the journal and the sea chart, "I am simply pointing out a feature you have that is most admirable if not attractive." he says slowly, "Would you prefer to be back in the Iron Isles?" he asks curiously, finally looking up from the journal and chart at Millicent, awaiting her answer.

Millicent rather suddenly laughs at his question. She lifts a hand to cover her mouth and looks over her hand apologetically at him. Shaking her head she lowers her hand and answers still smiling. "Only a very little bit. I miss my family, though most of my sisters have married and my brothers all have their own ships now. So I rarely saw them in the end. Which is one reason I left for the Wall with my brother. I do very much like it here. It is so alive. Even at night, my home, even when we are feasting and being merry there's ever a gloom looming around. There's a reason one of our colors is Black and we are called the Greyjoys. There's just very little color at the isles. The Gods drain it out of anything. The salt from the sea bleaches and the wind and rain send things into tatters and drains or pelts the color from things. Even the grass where it might be found in their scraggly patches is grehh…" She's talked to much, carried away in the moment of decribing her home to him and her health catches up with her and she turns her head away from him for another little coughing fit into her hankie.

Ormund attention is drawn away from the journals as he listens curiously, to Millicent speak, when she finishes, well when she is interrupted by her coughing, he frowns softly, "Perhaps I am providing you too much excitement My Lady?" he asks curiously, his fingers tapping against the pages of the book slowly, "I will say that if that is all true and the case." he starts his eyes looking at her for a long moment, "Then perhaps the Sea attempted to steal the color from you, but you are such a bright and strong force, it failed." he says nodding slowly.

Millicent shakes her head when he states that he's providing her too much excitement. "No. Well yes, you are. But don't you dare stop. I'll never get well if I'm not tested. It has it's own beauty, please don't get me wrong. But if you have a masterpiece work of art in your room since you're a baby, eventually you don't even see it as you wake and go through the day. It's what I like about this place things change and move, they expand and contract. I don't know why it's not longer the capital. It has the Seat of the Seven in Starry Sept, it has the Citadel and it has the most magnificent construction equal to The Wall. A port that is always filled with ships from all over. The only thing your city doesn't have any longer is the actual Royal Palace."

Ormund offers a small chuckle, "Well then I will not stop." he with a small smile on his face, "I am sure the Iron Isles are lovely within their own rights." he says with a small nod, "Oldtown…" he says looking up at the ceiling for a moment, "Oldtown is many things, though it is certainly not Kings Landing." he says with a small nod, though he doesn't sound upset about this statement, "Oldtown was built by the First Men, it was not designed to be…" he stops holding up his hand, "We light the way, that is simply all I have to say." he says with a small smile.

Millicent smiles a bit more, there's even a hint of teeth when he smiles. Even just that little bit, she got the usually stoic man to smile. "You do seem to, after all, the most powerful woman in Westeros is your sister. Your father, The Hand of the King. Yourself Heir of Oldtown, one of the most powerful cities in the seven kingdoms. The Hightowers are certainly poised to light the way."

Ormund doesn't comment on the line of up his House, he simply nods in response to everyone and their positions. "I am proud of few things, Oldtown is amongst them." he says nodding, "Have you had the opportunity to visit it proper?" he asks curiously, "There is always something going on, I can speak to my Brother to find out if any thing worth note is happening soon, he would certainly know." he says, while the smile and brief, it did happen. His hand moves back towards the sea chart and he stares at it for a moment, "If nothing worth note is going on, I am certain I can find something that will entertain your adventurous spirit, Lady Greyjoy." he says nodding slowly.

Millicent goes to speak but the rasp she feels rattle in her chest has her turn her head and clear her throat. "I've not left Battle Island since I arrived. Merely watched from balconies and windows." She takes a deep breath and a very slow exhale of her sweet minty breath as it sweeps past her pursed lips. "Is it horrible that I would love to do that Lord Hightower? But I fear I am where you fear to be, to weak for anything grand. But I am healing well. To the credit of your town. A town filled with maester is the perfect place to be if you're ill." She chuckles after her 'joke' and ends up having to turn away once again to cough it out.

"If you were to leave, I would of course ensure that you left with a guards and a maester." Ormund says with a small nod, "Oldtown is a maze of streets after all, easy enough to become lost and end up on one of the less desirable areas." he says with a small nod, he watches her as she coughs, though he doesn't initially comment on her joke, he does let loose another small smile, "Yet another part of Oldtown I love, we have perhaps the best maesters in all of Westeros." he says nodding for a moment, "Though personally believe, that if anything will aide your recovery it will be your spirit." he says with a small nod.

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