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It is currently WINTER in WESTEROS during the year 303 AC. The new moon cycle marks a full twenty years since the Mad King was murdered, and his son King Rhaegar ascended the Iron Throne in his place. Though the year is fresh, war in the Narrow Sea has left the Free Cities of Volantis and Tyrosh in ashes, and the Long Night continues to beckon from the Northern fringes of the Seven Kingdoms. With the Queen Lyanna presumed dead, the citizens of the realms look only to each other for survival.
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 Down in the Flames, Tag Elinor
Steffon Baratheon
 Posted: Mar 9 2018, 08:25 PM
Quote
N/A is Offline
21 years old
STORMLANDS
Targaryen
Baratheon
Storm's End
Noble


The thought was something he never would have imagined. He, Steffon Baratheon, was nervous to speak with a girl. To be fair, it wasn't just any girl. It was the one that had stolen his heart at such a young age, the one he pined over and pleaded for the hand of, only to gain it and turn it away from his own palm. 'She's never going to even hear me out,' Elinor, for all her patience, had little listened to him over the two weeks journey to the Red Keep. In truth, he felt she had barely tolerated to be near him.

To say her ability to reserve herself around him caused him anxiety would be an under-statement. The she-wolf had found a way of making his heart beat faster even from not glancing his direction, something he thought impossible of any woman or man. And he, as best as he did try, could not seem to overcome it. He couldn't shake the dissatisfaction.

Once, they had been so close. As children, they had played beside each other. Practiced in the yards of Winterfell and prayed and bathed in the Godswoods, they had chased Robb around with wooden swords and balled snow to throw at the youngest of her siblings. As young adults, they had flirted and courted, dancing through the courts of the Capitol with all the grace the realm had to offer. In the recent year, they had made promises to one another, proclaimed their deep affections and hopes for their union. And now, now he felt as though he stood atop a mound of dirt, stripped of the seeds and nutrients, where nothing would grow.

His father had assured him that with time, she would come around. The fight that lodged this wedge between them was small, and by his accounts, ought to have happened sooner than later least he want a warrior bride or lamed responsibility. Each time Steffon thought of the fight in Essos, the rounds of the hills they trampled soldiers on, with men wounded and blood abundant, he knew he had made the right choice. Had he let her go, she would be gone, and not for her lack of ability, but for the draw of war. The gods would have punished him worse than the leg that supported him now, aching with every step.

Yet still, he couldn't believe he was nervous to approach her. Never had he been, even as a boy so love-sicken he wrote a sonnet for her, one properly discarded into the hearth once some clarity was granted. "Elinor," He called to her backside,she stood some paces in front of her. Steffon took a breath, a small chuckle releasing from his mouth, "May I have a private word?" His words felt as if they echoed on the decorated walls of the welcoming feast. While the event was not a joyous one, the King had spared no expense at gathering the lords and ladies of his kingdom, rewarding them for their loyalty and service. The sconces on the walls illuminated the fine hall, casting their gentle light on the details of each person's attire and accessories. Steffon's own tunic, a solid velvet blue, appeared as dark as the sea at midnight. A color that might have matched his eyes if the clouds of the storm gods had ever clouded them, or so his mother had said when she presented it to him. A fine thing, with silver threads creating patterns at the boarders, lending shape to his muscular build.

He placed his hand out, tapping the back of her elbow, "I have something I'd like you to consider." His voice trailed, giving a small pause, "Nothing for me, of course," He felt the need to declare, as if it might help persuade her to at least hear him out,"But for the better of the realm...?"

His mouth drew another pause, opened slightly and edging, "Well, alright, I don't know if that's true. But, will you come with me? I'd rather not discuss this with as many eyes and ears tuned to us." His eyes looked to the left, his head nodding just gently enough to sway the hair attached, to the direction of the courtyard entrance.
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ELINOR STARK
 Posted: Mar 12 2018, 02:19 PM
Quote
Lola is Offline
19 years old
NORTH
Stark
N/A
Winterfell
Lady






Solemn were her thoughts of late. Pained recollections stirred with thoughts of her sister’s silhouette; passing glimpses in forgotten corridors. She’d taken her for granted in life, perhaps even stood envious at her triumphs. In her confrontation with death she was left in a superficial stupor, not quite capable of processing the emotions and so she cast herself into a state of aggravation, torn between restrained anger and regret, sorrow and frustration. If she was dead at all. Perhaps she’d been stolen, chained in some damp hovel, shackled for the perversion of some lunatic. Thoughts of such turbulent contemplations had been forgotten in Storm’s End, or at least buried beneath distractions. King’s Landing had upheaved them all, for each Lord that offered a belated condolence, for each woman who made a comparison on appearance, for each moment she caught a glance at Rhaegar Targaryen or his younger look-alike she felt her heart yearn for something she couldn’t fathom. Perhaps she desired to blame them, for to blame someone brought more relief than to accept it was some twisted unfortunate fate.

Indulging in forgotten memories had made it quite easy to disregard frustrations elsewhere. She’d felt Steffon look upon her, felt the trail of his stare upon her heels, the uncertain manner in which his mouth would stiffen or the slight twitch in his hand. Yet she’d felt no inclination to speak, instead she’d become climatized to the shroud of disappointment she’d fitted about her shoulders, the weight of further upset. Essos had been a chance to prove herself, to mount a pedestal of equal respect to the one her sister had once graced, the one her niece now mounted fresh from war. Instead she’d plummeted, salvaged from the promise of death in the Stormlands like some whimsical damsel, a fool of a Stark. In truth it wasn’t Steffon she was infuriated with, it was the reminder that he’d had to save her, the realisation that she'd made a mistake. A mistake he’d never make, or Robb or Brandon or Ned. An idiotic error in judgement, one that now seemed so obvious but at the time she’d failed to consider.

Choosing her attire for the evening hadn’t been her decision, for all she cared she’d have remained in plain leathers and sought out entertainment elsewhere. Perhaps she’d have found Rhaenna, given Night the chance to embrace his Northern companion, a potential pack-mate for a single night. But Argella had instructed a dress to be left upon her bed and so she’d adorned herself in the black fabric, the golden trim cutting a deep line between her breasts in a neat low-cut neck. Traces of silver lined the stitching, a faint acknowledgement to her Northern blood - but for the most part the tight-fitted garment cut with lace saluted her Baratheon husband-to-be. Despite her resistance she’d ended up within the midst of the grandeur, her attention flitting with absent acknowledgement between familiar and unfamiliar faces. Some she could recall, others she couldn’t. She found no shame in that and found herself incapable of understanding the embarrassed fluster others found themselves burdened with when mistaking one man for another, or forgetting a name altogether.

With her hand extending to accept an emerald speckled goblet, she found herself pausing at the sound of a rather familiar voice. With a murmured thank you, the she-wolf would turn, her hand lifting to bring the varnished rim to her lower lip, welcoming the red liquid against her tongue.

Elinor.

Her name sounded strange. It was Steffon’s voice of course, the same rumbling tone she could recall bellowing at her to run after aggravating the Karstarks in their youth. The same comforting undertone which had curbed her temper, eased her apprehensions. Yet it sounded different. Reserved almost, or perhaps unsure. In silence she found herself looking upon his face, the pale blue expanse of her stare roaming his own for an answer to a question she hadn’t asked. Eyes that weren’t quite Stark, such a striking blue that the colour verged on silver or likened itself to blue lightening. Eyes that couldn’t quite decide how she felt and the more they looked the more conflicted the weight in her chest felt as it knotted upon itself again and again. With hesitation clear around the tightening of her mouth she found herself incapable of casting further silence upon him and after expelling a prolonged breath she’d find herself diminishing the distance between them.



Where he stood seemed a lot further than she expected, or perhaps it seemed as such for she wished it to be. Wished for an extra moment to compose herself, a second perhaps to wrestle with her thoughts. It was the tap to her elbow which settled her mind, as if the touch secured her to the ground; a welcomed anchor. “When have I ever cared about what’s better for the realm?” She felt her mouth twitch, the skin loosening to permit the swell of her mouth to smooth into the ghost of a smile, the promise of something bright. But she restrained it, caught it as a wrinkle threatening to spread from the corner. He’d always been able to make her smile, even in those moments where she’d wanted nothing more than to thrash her fists and curse the Old Gods and the Seven. “Are you sure you wouldn’t rather go over there alone? Am I allowed to go over there?” With an element of spite she’d find herself biting back her tone, the words coming without permission to the tip of her tongue. As sincere as he looked she found herself incapable of shaking the irritation of her position, of King’s Landing, of realising just how far she’d fallen from the North; from those she’d left behind. It wasn’t him, but he was there, a target, a vent; her salvation to release at least a fraction of the tension building beneath her skin.

“Come on then.” With a rather surprisingly elegant twist, from a woman accustomed to storming from place to place, Elinor would spin upon her heel and wade towards the direction in which he’d motioned. Her head held high to better disregard the looks following her from those that lingered close. She couldn’t stand half of them, leeches and maggots waiting to prosper from the Lannister corpse in one form or another; or at least hoping that to be the outcome. In truth the courtyard was a far more favourable place, the frost thickening the air reminded her fondly of home and the delicate chill washing across her skin reminded her of a time they’d both stood somewhere far colder but she’d felt so much warmer, “What is it? We mustn’t take too long, I’d hate to miss out on the excitement in there.” With a look of false enthusiasm brief to brush across her face she’d swallow her sarcasm in favour of looking upon him with genuine interest, her mouth tempting that uncertain smile once more.

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Steffon Baratheon
 Posted: Mar 19 2018, 02:10 AM
Quote
N/A is Offline
21 years old
STORMLANDS
Targaryen
Baratheon
Storm's End
Noble


He stared at her, too hopefully in their proximity for something of their old relationship and exchange. It would have been a moment like this, with a cup in hand and a gathering in tow, that might have drawn her into a light gesture of affection. Steffon thought about her hair, how tamed it seemed at the moment, and how his hand relished the small moments it managed to soften a stirred stand. But here, there would little of that for some time to come. As he lost himself to the hope of the past, her words stung. He should have been prepared for that, his mind consoled the bruise on his ego she was beginning to poke at. "Perhaps, it is best time to start then," his answer came with a quiet power and a slight raise of a large, dark brow.

He should have prepared himself for her tone, her eyes gave it away. The blue iris' had searched him, and pupils dilated with frustration and low light, a moment too long before her mouth had dared to part. Even then, as her lips dipped in one corner, he should have known better than to let it tug his hopes a little higher.

The young Baratheon blinked at her, more than once. Though her tone seemed almost even, it was the words she chose that possessed an edge. They reminded him that she was still very much hurt, and that his anxiety of their interactions was not without reason. It felt to him as if he hadn't just crossed the room to her, as if the distance between them was twice that of before. She could have been standing in another keep and the air between them would be no less. He rolled his tongue forward in his mouth, pressing the back of it against his front teeth in an effort to hold it from letting go a comment he would surely regret. "You tell me," He said instead, 'I can order you if you like', though her knew there was no manner in which he ever could. The fact that she had even listened to him in the call to Essos was a wonder, "I know you'll go where ever you please." He thought of his own mother, continuously repeating her point just to get it across to Robert. And acting on it however she dared to when he still didn't hear her, which was a shame, his mother was not often wrong about her dealings in court and politics. It might do him some good to listen to her more often on those accounts at the very least.

Elinor agreed, in some fashion, and turned to lead the way. Steffon followed close in tow, the courtyard offering a cool welcome from the heat of bodies inside the building. He smiled, the chilled air always reminded him of his time in Winterfel, especially of late. When across the Narrow Sea, he had wanted nothing more than to be there. He had stayed warm with thoughts of its hearth, and continued walking with thoughts of fur cloaks, and kept fighting with thoughts of her. There was a part of him that knew if he had not been the first born, or if he had been heir to a lesser house, he would be able and content to live out his days in the snow crested castle of Winterfell.

Lost in his thoughts of the past, and of a never would-be future, Elinor pulled him back to reality, "You're truly rushing to return to that?" His head jerked in the direction behind them, a hand following to point with his thumb. "You seem over due for a distraction, I saw you talking with the old lord from the west just moments ago. Your eyelids threatened to close if he continued," He waved the same hand in front of them, letting his words roll forth as a jest. He knew he would have to get to the point sooner than later though, the she-wolf before him didn't seem to have patience enough to indulge him (or anyone) as of late. He continued, part in topic of what he wanted to talk to her about, and part in trying to act natural about it,"Is the highlight of the gossip they're so inclined to share with you about the guilt and fate of my uncle?"

Steffon took a step forward, drifting towards the steps of the paved way. One, two, his boot was on the lip of the first descent before he looked back at her, "Would you prefer to stay up there or enjoy the winter air? It almost feels like spring in Winterfell," He looked way from her, and towards the manicured area. Even in the late evening, there was enough light due to the activity in the Red Keep that a thousand or more candle cast their light from various manners. "It is a shame that it doesn't smell the same... I suppose even the lack of summer heat and annual flowers cannot mask the shit of King's Landing."
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ELINOR STARK
 Posted: Mar 21 2018, 02:22 PM
Quote
Lola is Offline
19 years old
NORTH
Stark
N/A
Winterfell
Lady




Once upon a time she’d have found herself elevated at the sight of him, the mere baritone of his lulling voice enough to coax her from the uneven tide of her temperament. Even in her bitterness, the weighing cloud protruding about her head, she still found herself compelled towards him, comfortable in his presence; safe beneath the sound of his words. It wasn’t that she meant to offend him, nor assault him with her statements, but it brought a sense of relief akin to bleeding a wound. As if in attacking him, albeit in subtle jabs, she felt better in herself; redeemed in her submission. Was that restraint creating tension against his lip? His words found her ear with caution, as if each one had been assessed, sieved with precision before release. It wasn’t the tone she’d been accustomed too, not the care-free rumble nor the light warmth that had been the promise of spring again the winter of her tone. For that’s what he reminded her of, the crisp delicate transition between cold and warm, where light evenings found themselves dusted with frost beneath a golden halo. “Wherever I please?” She toyed with the statement, the words rolling between her teeth with the edge of someone considering something, someone balancing on the brink of indecision. Would she have another go? Another jibe? The thought pirouetted within her thoughts, twirling with temptation, with promise. But his expression quieted the voice biting between her ears, the frost thawed under the uncertain look progressing between his cheeks and she found herself swallowing the insult.

Prolonged punishment had never been her intension, it had just manifested and remained like an uninvited guest. A chip on her shoulder. The fresh air provided a moment to consider such a thing, for its presence brought her to a more pleasant time, comforting memories that despite their chill brought all the pleasantness of summer to her soul. Although the ice was absent, the chorus of howls somewhere far from where she stood, if she’d listened hard enough she could have sworn she’d have been able to hear Robb’s voice, Steffon’s challenges, Artos’s condemnation of their childishness. Rickard’s smile, the one reserved for her and no-one else. Jon’s brash laugh and irrational complaints. She missed everything, everything from the blue tinge her fingers adopted after hours in the forest to the indelicate scent of wood-smoke filling the hall. “No, I’d rather be anywhere else.” Her mouth dropped in genuine sorrow, the sombre look her expression held folding into a strained pout as she’d restrain herself from grimacing. Even Storm’s End was a far more appealing place, at least there she didn’t have to see her sister’s replacement nor be reminded of just how different she was to those that flocked in the hopes of witnessing a Lannister’s death sentence.

Mentioning her prior acquaintance, the she-wolf found her mouth hoisted back into the ghost of a smile, her cheeks rising to sharpen the cut of her bone against the skin, “It’s hard to be interested in a man with dog-breath attempting to make compliments whilst referencing the weather. Apparently it’s impossible to talk to a Stark without mentioning that it must be ‘ a lot colder up there’ or ‘ looks like you’ve brought the cold with you’” With a mock impression of his over-exaggerated laughter she’d smooth her mouth into a proud line, her head angled to best assess his expression. She wasn’t one to stomach pointless conversation, for one she wasn’t polite enough and two she didn’t have the patience, so it had come as no surprise when she’d turned her back on the conversation as if it hadn’t existed at all. “People aren’t inclined to share such opinions with me, I think they’re unsure on where my allegiance rests and whether or not their thoughts would be appreciated or repeated against them..” Bringing her tongue to trace the outline of her lower lip she’d pause for a moment, the sharp blue of her stare softening as it fell against his mouth for the smallest of seconds, “I have however overheard conversations — that the trial is unfair, that the jury is biased, that your uncle doesn’t stand a chance while your mother and Tycen dictate his fate. After-all isn’t Tyrion the rightful heir to the rock…” She’d tilt her head, the gesture rather endearing as she’d almost lean towards him, tempted to seek the warmth of his presence to deflect the air provoking her skin where it stood bare.

Descending the stairs, she’d take caution in the tightness of her attire, a silent curse echoing in the backdrop of her thoughts towards Argella; the outfit not best suited for an outdoor stroll. How did people cope with such restrictions, the fabric straining against the stride her thighs limiting each step to a graceful though unwanted pace. “I wish that’s where we were.” The comment came without consideration, without thought of filter like a reflex springing from her tongue. The truth could do that sometimes, expel itself without permission, spill in the hope of relief. “King’s Landing will never be a pleasant place, it’s tainted like everything and everyone who is drawn here. Those who come of their own accord — for pleasure in such a circumstance.” She’d allow that withheld grimace to come, her nose wrinkling in disgust, “And they call those of the North animals.”

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Steffon Baratheon
 Posted: Apr 1 2018, 04:50 PM
Quote
N/A is Offline
21 years old
STORMLANDS
Targaryen
Baratheon
Storm's End
Noble



He knew she would rather be elsewhere, likely anywhere, anywhere that wasn't as suffocating to the wild girl he knew as a ballroom full of boastful bastards. Steffon listened to her reply, suddenly very concerned for is own breath. Had he had enough wine to mask the flavorful foods they'd shared for dinner? The garlic and onion had been heavy in the gravy that dressed the meat of his plate only a couple hours before. He wanted to raise his hand, to check his breath against it, but refrained. Instead, he lifted his wine glass and indulged in another mouthful of red, letting it coat every corner of his mouth before swallowing, "I think I remember mentioning something of the same when I first met you and your siblings too." He almost shivered at the memory, a small chuckle released knowing it to be true.

His brow lifted, where did her allegiance rest? He frowned as she lined the frame of her lower lip, "I find that strange, as everyone that encounters me assumes I'm as thrilled to find the culprit in chains as anyone else. They see me as the knight that went to war to serve the kingdom and provide some justice to those that wronged the realm... I think they forget he is my blood," Steffon paused, wondering what words his mother must be whispering to produce this response. She wanted it more than anything else, she had always undermined his uncle in his eyes, and now would be the final time of her deliverance of vengeance. He wondered how conflicted Elinor might be, and how much more so it might have been if she had gone to Essos and fought to slay the enemy forces and capture Tyrion.

He listened to her words and watched the tilt of her head, his eyes drawn to the lines of her chin, "Rightful heir or not, what you've heard is true. It won't be a fair trial as it stands at the moment, " His words were serious, yet distant and soft. His eyes flicked from her chin and to the ground as his steps began, wishing he could be anywhere but the Red Keep. He would let it leave at that for a moment, knowing that the further they were from the masses, the less likely for his words to be heard by unsavory ears. He worried that the little birds and spiders of the keep might hear him from wherever he stood, but it as better them than the lords and ladies just inside the archways of the patio they stood on.

He had turned his head from her, hoping she would follow and delighted at the small tap of her heel against the stone. The young man dared to look back at her, just to be sure, as she took another step. He watched the torch and moonlight cast shadows against the dress that clung to her legs as she moved. The blue of his irises trailed up her slender frame as she spoke, her desire to be in Winterfell was always known. He knew she missed it even in her happiest days among the walls of Storm's End, as he did. Her words drew his mouth closed as they began the curved path of manicured hedges, flowers, and sculptures. He bit the inside of his lip, recalling a time in his youth where he desired nothing more than being in King's Landing, than proving his worth and earning his spurs. It had been only a few years prior, but it already felt like a lifetime. How had his father proceeded through war at his age? Had he felt the same?

Her words always brought from his chest a weight, the want to be a son of a smaller house or second born. For if Elinor had been the oldest of her clan, or he the youngest, they could spend the rest of their days together in the warmth of northern fortress they both recalled fondly. His empty hand lifted, his thumb nail scratching his upper lip, "I wish we never would have left it." His truth came out as well, a longing for them to be younger, running boot prints into the snow. If they had been given another lot in life their possibilities might have been given freer, instead of guided through forceful hands, "I think of all the time we could have spent north had we not other responsibilities and obligations, and hope that we will find ourselves back there before long."

Steffon brought his glass again to his lips, musing another sip before glancing towards her, "But we are here, and the jury of the upcoming trial that will likely decide more than the fate of Tyrion Lannister is unjust. And that's what I wanted to talk to you about, I have a request that might make it fairer." He tried to calm the beat of his heart, feeling his nerves becoming worked up. The man trailed the corner, around a shrub that stood shaped and as high as his chest, it nearly hid Elinor completely from the other side. "As it should be. He deserves it to be, your family deserves it to be, and the people of Westeros deserve it to be. I want your help to petition your brother and nephew to remove my mother and Tycen from the jury. Tycen is mad with grief and will take anyone he can for the blame of Tywin's death, and my mother has always wanted my uncle to cease from existence." He thought of the history he had learned, the stories he had been told, and the lessons he had sat through of his mother's wish for her little brother to die. It was one she had wanted since he exited their mother's womb, killing her in the process.

Steffon let his words hang heavy in the air between them, his jaw clenched again as he stared at her, hoping for some answer that didn't put any more distance between them somehow. "The court sentencing my uncle to death is convenient for Cersei, she's been waiting her whole life for a means to his end and now she has it. She will bribe everyone she can to lead your father and Lord Connington, and the others, to false information." His head shook with his words, his hand balling into a fist, angry for the truth of it and its release, "And anyone that doesn't bend to the words, she will find another way to sway. You know my mother well enough by now to know it. Whether he did it or not, she will have him condemned. And if he is not guilty but goes punished for this, then the rightful man will go untouched to live his happy days in the shits of Asshai or continue planning against the crown, the realm, and your family." His chest was rising and falling, despite his attempts to calm himself. His tone had been even, aside from a few raised words. He pictured what harm might befall Elinor even, as the sister of the late queen with heavy ties to the royal throne, and found his aggression growing. It pulled the last of his wine to his mouth, emptying his cup and placing it on the stonework that based the hedge, it then came to her upper arm as he sought her eyes. The palm of his hand rough and warm against the exposed skin beneath it, "And you. I'm afraid if we get the wrong man executed, the enemy will come for you."

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ELINOR STARK
 Posted: May 7 2018, 12:56 PM
Quote
Lola is Offline
19 years old
NORTH
Stark
N/A
Winterfell
Lady


Remembering so long ago frustrated her, not for the memories she strived to recollect but due to the disappointment she faced each time she couldn’t quite salvage all of the pieces. Instead she was left with broken fragments of things she might or might not have remembered. Sometimes she was certain she’d filled in little fractions of moments, concocted some alternative piece that might complete the picture she’d wished to unearth in the first place. It was becoming increasingly tasking to distinguish the real from the exaggerated in a time so far back it seemed to retreat each time she attempted to reach it. For in truth she couldn’t quite recall the first time she’d met Steffon, she’d remembered a child much stockier than Robb arriving, she even remembered collapsing in hysterics as he received his first ball of snow to the face, the red stain brighter than the sun against his cheek. But it was small fleeting moments drifting further afar with each passing hour. Had he said something like that when he’d first come to settle with the Starks? Perhaps. Though for some reason, one she couldn’t quite fathom, she was sure it had been something else. “No, I think you said something far more interesting than that.” With a rather delicate snort she’d turn her head, the air still exhaling in denial as she’d listen to the distant thunder of his voice, forever a promise of something more. Gentle despite what it was capable of.


“I don’t think they forget Steffon, they just don’t care and they expect you to not care. Because they’re not in that position they will not waste their time thinking about how complex the situation is because to them it isn’t complex at all.” As indelicate as usual she’d form her words with a declarative factual tone, the strength in her voice laced with the cold edge she’d been reared with, the unyielding indifference of frost. Of course she felt for him, somewhere beneath the surface she’d considered the repercussions the entire catastrophic continuation of circumstances had, had upon her betrothed. But instead of succumbing to emotional drivel she maintained a rather calculative look, her mouth stiffening in thought. “It’s not meant to be a fair trial though is it?” The musing came aloud as she’d turn her sights to brush the stone, prancing from place to place to mingle with whispering shadows before drifting against the coming breeze across withering flowers and fading vines. With each step she found her heart lifting a little more, as if the air itself unwound the shackle from her foot and for a blissful instant she might have been somewhere far from King’s Landing. Somewhere where the world sprung to life with vibrant colours or settled to peace in a blanket of white.


“I wish that too, but you’re not meant for the North. Imagine your father’s face if you told him you’d rather be in Winterfell… Though I believe there might have been a time where he’d rather have been there too.” Life wasn’t willing to give everyone their desires, perhaps a taste, a sample in sweet little moments that would come to pass all to fast. On occasion it would pretend to give a man all he could wish for, but it would be seized and spoilt, ruined or perhaps just not quite what he’d wished it to be. No one could find true happiness, people were too fickle and the heart too indecisive for such complex pleasures. “We should go back, even if just to visit. Perhaps after this trial.. Something is happening in the North and I.. I need to speak to my father. He hasn’t been answering the ravens I send.” Channeling the sudden burst of frustration she’d swallow her coming words, the irritation prickling the back of her throat forced into a small ball as she’d grind her teeth to a solid line behind the guise of her lips. Now wasn’t the time to embark on some nonsensical rant, Elinor knew that far better than most. One thing at a time.


As the pair walked the winter wolf found her attention drifting to the change in his expression, noting the slight perspiration lining the curve of his brow, the emerging tension etching itself into his forehead in the form of four fine lines. Was he nervous? The idea of such a thing almost thrilled her, perhaps it was a sudden surge of adrenaline, or the replication of his own anxious demeanour imposing onto her own. It didn’t matter which for the outcome was the same, she found herself coaxed to an edge, stood upon the unknown, strung with nothing more than anticipation keeping her grounded. Coming to a standstill behind the defence of a shrub with a sudden noble purpose, Elinor would search her companion with a look of growing intrigue; a look of slight and affectionate concern. In silence she absorbed each word, listening as the tide flooded in, in what she imagined to be a well thought out idea accompanied with an emotional high.


When the silence fell and his voice dwindled to nothing more than the low ripple of his exasperated breath, Elinor found herself somewhat conflicted. To replace Tycen and Cersei Lannister would be an impossible task. Those pining for retribution found the pair to have suffered the most, to be owed the right to pass judgement on the man accused of tarnishing their name beyond repair, of straining relations with other households, of causing monumental loss and plotting for further misfortune. Whether he was the mastermind behind the composition was of little worth when it came to quelling the riotous tendencies of men in need of someone to accuse. “They’ll never remove Tycen and your mother from the jury. It would cause the King more harm than good.. it would cause too much conflict in the realm. Imagine the uproar that would cause, the accusations of favour it would bring. A lot of men have lost brothers, sons, uncles.. and they’ve chosen to blame Tyrion. Whether he is at fault or isn’t doesn’t matter. They need someone to blame and they’ve chosen him — as far as most people see it with those two on the jury justice is guaranteed. If they were to be removed it would cause mass mayhem, chaos.. and with Northerners? It would be an insult. It can’t be done.” With a brief pause she’d steal a calming breath, the erratic throb tightening in her chest as she’d strain against the constriction of her dress in sudden discomfort. “You need to find evidence to contradict her, or find evidence to go against them — something so the court would have to acknowledge them as bias or unreliable. Or something similar, something public and undeniable.” Under the pressure of his sudden touch she found herself stepping forwards, her fingertips coming to coil around his bicep as she’d clench the muscle beneath, tightening her hold as if it might bring her some steadiness, seeking support as she’d breathe against the restriction of her attire. “Then you need to find another way, or locate another enemy Steffon.. otherwise you’re fighting a losing battle.”
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Steffon Baratheon
 Posted: May 23 2018, 11:35 PM
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N/A is Offline
21 years old
STORMLANDS
Targaryen
Baratheon
Storm's End
Noble



She was true in her words, as hard as they were to hear. The people that flew to King's Landing on the backs of their palfreys and in the comfort of their litters for the trial of Tyrion Lannister were not involved. It wasn't complicated to them, it was probably the biggest relief of news they had heard since this mess had started. Someone to blame and hate for the crimes against the crown that lead to the bloodshed of their brothers, husbands, and sons. Someone to blame for the ill-luck of the realm, and likely even someone to pin the coming winter winds on. The Imp was a man that did not gather love throughout his life anyway, he gathered cunts to accompany his cunning lips. He was a whisperer like Varys and a manipulator like Baelish, and many others at court, using his gifts to seek a certain end. But, with everyone else seeking their own dued ends, how could he be blamed? The young Stag had known from a young age, somehow, that his uncle was just fighting to find his place in the world - one that was taken from him the moment his legs came out stunted, his fingers curled, and his eyes mismatched.

He nodded to Elinor, a sign of defeat really, letting his eyes drift from her again, "You are right, of course, to them it is not complicated. To them, it is an answer to the stream of questions they have for the Gods." He felt tormented by the Seven, as if they gave gift one gift of knowledge in his life with an inability to make use of it. Perhaps it wasn't meant to be fair, it might be meant to appease the masses enough that Rhaegar Targayen would find the true cause without problems on his own soils. It could be even more than that, Steffon thought, as what might have happened in Essos to those out in the field, fighting for the lives of those storming the walls, was unknown beyond the battlefield. The thought produced a shiver down his spine, a taunting what if that he had no desire to indulge.

The thought of Robert Baratheon's face should he retire his position as his heir was an amusing one, almost worth the act to witness the shock. But the fury would come, their would be accusations on the poisoning efforts and words of the North, no matter how close he was to Eddard Stark. "There is, he had told me of it many times," Steffon admitted, thinking on the first time he had come to announce his admiration of the Stark beside him. His father had been rather understanding of the cast the children of the North were capable of. There was a part of him that thought his father would come to understand with time, and accept it even. But then what? They would have nothing, the lands of Winterfell would fall to Rob and the Stormlands would belong to... Argella? Joffrey? While Rob, and the other children of House Stark, stood a chance at performing the obligations of their station, it was not a promising bet for his own siblings. Argella was too used to getting whatever her heart desired, and bound for the Vale, while Joffrey... there was a silent rage there, one that lurked under the facade of a beaming young man. He would iron himself out in the years to come, but it would be after squiring and life set experiences in his path to help develop.

"Would..." He looked down towards the stones beneath their feet, "You rather go alone?" Their relationship had been so strained for quite a time, he knew she had likely dreamed of being away from him even more than she had been. "I understand if you do," He told her, lifting his shoulders. "Though, I would like to go," He paused for a breath, adding on after a moment of contemplation, "It worries me that he hasn't answered you. It's unlike your father."

Steffon took her silence, her eyes focused on him, and absorbed every word he lips dared to form after. She was wise beyond him, able to see into the minds of others and the heart of situations fair easier than he. It was part of why he admired her so, a branch of his tree that could not be filled without her help. How would he ever fulfill his duties as the Lord Paramount of the Stormlands if she were to leave him? Her voice was firm, finite and a swell of frustration overcame him. He frowned, his mother would never be undone, she was powerful enough to silence any that had witnessed her aggression against her brother. What Elinor told him, as true as it might be, was like a knife in his chest. He knew there would be no manner to condemn his mother as biased or unreliable, and Tycen was pitied by the realm for his woes too much for his actions to attain a pause. The only grounding in the moment was the curl of her fingers against his bicep, an anchor for the hurt that blasted him with the defeat of her words.

He thought of the first Storm King, who had fought when odds were against him and demanded victory in a losing battle against the old gods, could he do the same? "Then we need to go and find another," He said, wishing now more than ever that she had accompanied him to Essos. They didn't have time to board a ship, to sail to the Free Cities and carve away the truth, they didn't have time to find another... And yet, here he was demanding it. Steffon drew a breath in and shook his head, "This isn't right. My Uncle is more likely to face the Stranger for a crime he didn't do than..." He tried to calm himself through another breath, he closed his eyes and kept the clench from his fingers that rested on her arm. Steffon drifted his head down and forward, until the smallest crest of his skin rested against her own just above her brow, "You are my voice of reason, as always. I'm sorry for asking, I know there is nothing that can be done. The trial is going to do what it is supposed to, give the people a guilty man to blame for more than his sins attrubuted to, but it will help the realm. You are so much more than I in the ways of court," The stag lifted his head, letting the curve of his lower lips rest as he spoke, "I'm sorry... and thank you."

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ELINOR STARK
 Posted: Jun 13 2018, 05:41 AM
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Lola is Offline
19 years old
NORTH
Stark
N/A
Winterfell
Lady





You are right. Perhaps it was wrong to feel such successive satisfaction in a moment of downhearted acceptance, but she felt it nonetheless like a vibrant warmth brimming in her chest. Since before the wolf herself could recall she’d relished in being right, it was one of those things she’d strived to achieve when compressed beneath Robb’s factual attitude and Art’s endless anecdotes. The smugger her relatives had seemed the more euphoric it had become to be the voice of reason - something she wasn’t well known for in fits of impulse. After all she’d been far more inclined to do something against better judgement even when it was her own intelligence warning her off. “Exactly. And who would want to ask more questions when there’s such a reasonable answer right at their feet.” It was easier to accept something presented on a plate than spend valuable time foraging for it alone. Wasn’t that life? People looking for the easiest means to an end.

As her mind tumbled off on some inexplicable tangent she felt herself drawn back to his remark, the sound of his voice for a moment bemused her as if hearing it for the first time. A depth of longing perhaps… she wasn’t certain. It lacked the decisive strength it so often carried, the dominant tone of a man who could lead ten thousand men into battle rallied on nothing more than the power in his voice and the courage in his word. Now however it held hesitance, a distrust in the sound his own tongue produced. She’d have lied if she said it didn’t appeal, the slight vulnerable edge, the uncertain Stag so well presented no man could ever doubt his unwavering countenance. “No. I’d like you to come with me.” There was no strain in her response, no look of doubt or moment of contemplation. Instead she appeared content, worried in a measure in which her mouth didn’t quite uplift itself beyond the smallest hook but enough so that she appeared comfortable in the development. “It worries me too. Something is happening up there, something bad - Night can feel it, I can feel it. You know what they say about an animal’s instincts..” She’d felt it in his head, an unease, a growing restlessness a sensation so strong that when she returned to settle into the shoe of her own mind it didn’t quite fit. For something in Night had remained with her, making her skin feel a little too tight, too restrictive. She’d wanted to run, run back to Winterfell with the moon on her back. In her mind, although she never spoke it, she imagined her sister had felt it too.

I think we’ll have all the enemies we can handle soon. It was a thought she longed to express, the words crept behind her teeth, loitered on her tongue until she swallowed them back like a bad taste she couldn’t spit free. Now wasn’t the time to add weight to burdens, she was well aware of that. Instead she lessened her grip becoming well aware of the sudden tightness of her nails compressing into the strain of his arm. Had he always bulged with so much muscle? Stood so solid? She’d never quite noticed just how large the man broadened before her was, perhaps because in doing so she’d unveil her own slimness in comparison. In his approaching closeness she found herself stiffening, the undeterred throb of her heart palpitating to a frantic hum. Those full lips hung so close she could taste the current of delicate warmth, the slight tang of mint intermixed with fine-wine, those complex brows seemed so expressive in their almost effeminate slink that she found herself resisting the urge to touch the furrowed line. “If that is how it concludes we’ll seek retribution.. sometimes what happens after the event is for more revealing than what occurred before.” Had he ever looked so much like Argella? Her mind betrayed her with such force she felt her stomach sink, those soft lips so alike that if she didn’t think perhaps —- before she could overthink the sudden tragic realisation of her true desires she pressed forwards seeking the compassion of his lips in what was otherwise a sincere embrace.

I’m sorry too. The single confession she swallowed beneath her kiss.

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