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PostSubject: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:39 pm

As the sun was beginning to set through the trees Celosia Montello was losing her wits about her, and her hope. Dirt was beginning to accumulate on her face in fingerprints now streaked due to tears. She cried pitilessly as she steadied herself around rocks on the uneven terrain. The hem of her skirt was already stained with mud and fraying. Celosia knew she would have to make camp somewhere soon but all she could see was boulder after boulder; each rock seemed bigger than the last and only a couple inches from the last one. Mountains were supposed to have rocks and all but this seemed a bit.... much.

Celosia came upon a large rock with a flat enough surface to sit on. Once she seated herself she pulled a handkerchief from her bodice and cried even more heavily while wiping incessantly at her face.

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:04 am

As the sun set rapidly behind them, the night-chill of the Northern mountains of the Westerlands began to work its way through Leontes' thick hair and into his scalp. The winds and thin air hardly affected him and his three men in their gambesons and fur, but they were weary from travel and eager to reach the mining village over the next peak, their foresight reaching no further than the comfort of a warm bed.

Leontes always made an effort to make proud strides when he walked, even in the face of weariness, and especially in front of his men. He lives by a principal of always setting an example, which he could not do if he let himself slouch, let alone complain. Following his lead were Belisarius, his personal bodyguard, Etrius, a Westerlands native chosen as a navigator, and Arturo, a promising Dornish mercenary in whom Leontes has taken personal interest. The four soldiers flew the banner of the Black Lion Trading Company, a free enterprise sect which has been making a name for itself in recent years.

At what Etrius believed to be the correct altitude, the four Black Lion constituents hiked across the range, neither climbing or descending. Belisarius, loyal to the bone and ever alert, was the first to detect a faint but organic sound.

"Sir," he said calmly, stopping short. It was enough to make the other three perk up and scan the area. "Quiet." he whispered. He focused on Leontes to see if he could hear it too. Sure enough, just over the howling wind was the soft weeping of a woman just over the hill. Leontes wordlessly looked to his other men, indicating without a gesture that they were to remain while he investigated alone; he had not wanted to frighten a civilian with the approach of four armed men. He unbelted his sword and scabbard and left it with his men.

Leontes cleared the hill and saw a woman with her face buried in a hankerchief. He relaxed his shoulders, making sure to approach her in as nonthreatening a fashion as he could in spite of his garb. Leontes liked to look refined no matter the scenario, and here he'd worn a burnished gambeson and the fur of a black lion across his shoulders. A chain mail shirt poked out just below his gambeson, and his boots were as black as his fur. He wore no helmet, his face was shaven and his dark hair was matted to his forehead from a long trudge through the mountains.

Leontes made sure to stop his advance as a distance he believed the woman would deem herself safe before calling out to her. "Hey!"
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:21 am

Celosia was jolted from her sobs by a shout. She jumped and looked toward the sound. A man stood a distance from her--she was glad of it: firstly for the sake of her appearance and secondly because if he had ill-intentions he would have acted on them already. However "Hey!" was no way to address a lady--and Celosia was certainly dressed like one. It was one of her better gowns--no, more of a dress--it was a lovely deep wine color with pink and silver embroidery (a sign of wealth). The neckline was square and modest which Celosia thought was best on her travels, she wouldn't want sexual attention brought to her. She wore a flawless short cloak over her dress to cut out the bite of the wind, though the rawness of her cheek was a dead give away that it wasn't warm enough in the least. Not for the mountains. Even though this was still the summer they were too far north, too elevated, too close to the impending storm for it to feel at all like summer.

Perhaps there was a grain of truth in all that northern babble: winter is indeed coming.

Celosia harshly attempted to wipe the remaining dirt from her jaw. "'Hey.'" She repeated lamely. She couldn't get a good look at the stranger from that distance in the fading light and Celosia was uneasy about whether or not she wanted his attention.

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:49 pm

The young lady looked up at Leontes with what appeared to him to be a look of relief and disappointment. Hey, she called back, unenthusiastically. Leontes didn't care for the look she gave him, but more importantly she didn't seem panicked. She was clearly a lady of sorts but certainly not of House Lannister. His curiosity deepened.

Leontes approached further but remained at what he decided was an unthreatening distance for a stranger, close enough to cease shouting over the wind. "My lady, you seem distressed. How may this stranger be of assistance? I am of the Black Lion Trading company. Perhaps you have heard of us." Though it may have been proper to introduce himself, formalities such as this one were, more often than not, discarded on the more treacherous roads and in the wilds.
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:18 pm

Finally the gentleman spoke to her in a manner better fit for her stature, Celosia sat up right and brought her gaze from her lap. The wind stung her face recently fresh with tears. It blew the strawberry blonde strands of hair out of her face--and abruptly back in--exposing her face for only a moment. Celosia liked to think of herself as a beauty but some would argue "cute" would be closer to accurate. With her slight frame, just under average height, tiny button nose, and virtually nonexistent breasts it was understandable.

She took in a breath, "I have lost my way; it seems I knew not how to best prepare myself for this journey. I am not familiar with your company but I would assume a gentleman, like yourself, must not have nefarious dealings underway?" Celosia arched a quizzical brow. 'Cute' as she had been called, no one could deny a sharpness in her young eyes--a sign of intelligence perhaps--the lovely gray-green eyes had a tendency toward intimidation and had scared off many suitors. "If not, would you allow the company of a young mistress? Not for long of course. Only until I am back on my way again."

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:03 pm

Leontes cocked his head slightly to the side and narrowed his eyes; he couldn't help but be amused. This young lady, certainly a noble, had voiced her suspicion of his intentions and, in the same breath, requested she join him. In all of his dealings with noble blood, never had he encountered such an oddity. She was lovely too: slender and young, beautiful to look at... she was seemingly outspoken too, and while that is not normally an attractive quality in noblewomen, Leontes was not the typical nobleman himself.

"Well, my lady, I can promise you that no harm would come to you in my company. Quite the contrary, I would see to it that you'd be delivered safely. However my word is all the assurance I can offer. Would you trust a stranger?" he couldn't help but grin a little. He couldn't help his curiosity about this young woman one bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:13 pm

The young lady's sharp eyes sized the stranger: he seemed.... well.... the little he claimed to be. Aside from that in the dim light she was beginning to make out his features, and that smile he had given her warmed her in places that were not her heart. Celosia pouted her lips together, Not a time for such feelings. I must remain on course.

She pushed the thoughts easily aside and raised her chin to speak with the gentleman. "It would appear that my options are sparse: stay where I am or travel amongst company who may better know the way. I suppose my decision will be based on a simple enough answer, where are you headed?"

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:27 am

Leontes had nothing to hide. "My destination is one of the Westerlands' fine mining villages. This one is about two ridges across this range, my lady." He enjoyed the variation in dynamic: speaking to a noblewoman as someone now less than a nobleman.

"You should be aware that I have three men under my strict command over the hill behind me, holding their ground as per my orders; I simply did not want to frighten you with the approached of four armed men. Rest assured, however, that they won't lift a finger without my consent. We four intend to stay at their inn. Do you find these circumstances acceptable, my lady?"
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:18 pm

Celosia allowed the slightest of nods, "I do indeed. I expect you would require some token of payment should I leave you and your companions unharmed; such will be provided once I have reached my destination, no sooner. Please be aware and alert your men that I am no woman to be trifled with."

Celosia gracefully shifted her skirts as she stood. She re-secured her cloak and adjusted a good sized satchel at her hip. "Shall we go then?"


(( I am leaving this here as a reference and in case you didn't want this deleted OR wanted to copy and paste it to a new post

LEONTES "Aha..." Leontes said reflexively, his eyes narrowing as he processed the idea of this young woman leaving he and his three men "unharmed". Having not come to a conclusion as to what she could mean, he decided to play along.

"No payment is needed, my lady, but thank you for not visiting harm on me." he said with a bit of a smirk, rubbing the stubble of his chin. Leontes gave a partial bow, expressing respect before turning his back to her. He trudged a small distance up the hill and waved his men over. In short time, Leontes came back down the hill with three sizable men at his back.

He once again approached the young lady. "My name is Leontes de Lannister. These are my men Belisarius, Etrius, and Arturo. We fly the banner of the Black Lion Trading Company." He turned his head and spoke over his shoulder. "Worry not, she has given her word that she will not harm us." Belisarius furrowed his brow in mild confusion and Etrius lifted a eyebrow, but the three gave partial bows regardless, as it was apparent to them all that the woman was nobility.

"May I have your name, my lady?"

CELOSIA: Leontes did not seem to take Celosia seriously. She felt immediately insulted  by this as she crossed her arms at him--unfortunately for Celosia, unbeknownst to her, this made her appear younger and even more harmless.

However, she brightened when she heard the gentleman's name. But quickly became puzzled. Leontes looked like no Lannister, perhaps it was a trick, a false name... which reminded Celosia--

"May I have your name, my lady?"

Thinking fast she searched her mind for a popular girl's name and thought of her childhood best friend, "Marleiya." She gave a shallow curtsy. She decided that it would not be so strange not to give her family name seeing as three of them did likewise and she was above her company in stature--or so she thought. But a Lannister? Nah, couldn't be.

"It is my pleasure to meet you, Etrius," Her eyes found him and gave a personal nod--most gracious of her. "Arturo," He received the same. "Belisarius?" She even gave him a genuine smile. Only a fluke, for she worried she mispronounced his name. "And Leontes." Her eyes were hard, like little glistening stones lived in her skull in lieu of eyes. She was still upset with him for not taking her warning to heart and following her instruction. Nevertheless, he intrigued her, amused her. He was a riddle, a puzzle, that Celosia was determined to get to the bottom of. After all, she was very good at riddles.

LEO Belisarius gave a silent nod while Arturo and Etrius gave vocal greetings. "Pleased to meet you, milady," "King's honor, milady." Leontes was still eager to reach a warm bed. "Let's away." he said, nodding to his navigator to lead the party.

Etrius traveled thirty yards ahead, and Arturo traversed a more difficult path higher up the ridge, keeping watch for questionable travelers. Belisarius kept close to Leontes and Marleiya. "Tell me, Marleiya, do you hail from one of Westeros' benevolent noble houses?" he said, snidely.

CELOSIA: Celosia had had quite enough of this arrogant fellow. "I am tiring of your rudeness, Master Leontes. If you wish to address me in a proper manner with so much as a pebble of respect, I will hear you. I appreciate the company on this journey but not so much that I will take your insufferable impertinence! Next we speak, I do hope you will refer to me by title." Now she spoke as if to a child, gently, but incapable of understanding, "That means Mistress or Lady are spoken before my name."

And with that she picked up her pace to walk instead with Etrius.
))

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:37 am

Leontes' eyes narrowed slightly as he briefly regarded what harm the young lady was threatening him with. His brow furrowed, allowing her to note his wariness toward her, a friendly wariness that any two strangers might hold toward one another in the middle of the countryside. Leontes figured that she was likely well acquainted with the cutthroat politics of courts held between noble houses, as she had easily embedded her threat within an extension of gratitude.

Leontes extended a hand toward her in an offer of agreement, "Trifle, we shall not. I am simply conducting a business venture and I would prefer that we are not met with trouble." he took a step back and, with a smile on his face, bowed "I am Leontes de Lannister, at your service." He then met eyes with her, "May I have your name, my lady?"
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:35 pm

Celosia felt a small wave of relief as Leontes seemed to understand her meaning and bowed politely. However, she was delightfully intrigued by the gentleman's name. Leontes looked like no Lannister, perhaps it was a trick, a false name... which reminded Celosia--

"May I have your name, my lady?"

Thinking fast she searched her mind for a popular girl's name and thought of her childhood best friend, "Marleiya." She gave a shallow curtsy. She decided that it would not be so strange not to give her family name seeing as three of them did likewise and she was above her company in stature--or so she thought. But a Lannister? Nah, couldn't be.

"Tell me, Sir Leontes, what business do you and your men have in this mining village?" She asked curiously.

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Mon May 11, 2015 2:25 pm

"The Black Lion has interest in Westerland ore, my lady. It is my hope that the Lannisters' men will be courteous enough to lend us a share or two." Leontes could not help a bit of a mischievous smirk. "I know they're not terribly giving people, but I can be quite the persuasive businessman.
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Tue May 12, 2015 2:57 pm

Celosia seemed to warm visibly at the gentleman's smile. She gratefully took the hand he offered.
"I have no doubts in your capabilities, Sir de Lannister, but as you said the Lannisters are indeed not giving people. How do you expect to manage such a feat? Could it be that you are a Lannister yourself?" She regarded him playfully.

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:15 pm

"Ah, you've seen through my ruse!" Leonard jested. "In all seriousness, however, I am genuinely amazed that you haven't heard of us. The Black Lion Trading Company has made a fairly large name for itself over the last several years. Now that there is a king in every corner of Westeros, I suspect that we have a considerably large amount of business incoming." He remarked with a grim tinge to his tone. He quickly recovered with a pleasant smile. "Forgive me, my lady. From which house did you say you hail?"
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:24 pm

Celosia noted that Sir Leontes strategically avoided her question.

"Oh forgive me, I have had quite the unfortunate adventure and it seems to have made me forget my manners. I am of House Marbrand of Ashemark."
She smiled a little and gave a nod of acknowledgement and then directed her gaze to the rocky terrain she tread. "Where is this mining village you refer to? Just so I have some idea how to collect my barrings."

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:54 am

"Ah! Not to far from home then. are we my lady?" Leontes then began regarding her facial structure, her hair, her frame, unconsciously sussing out genetic traits as he'd learned to do in his previous life.

"Where is this mining village you refer to? Just so I have some idea how to collect my barrings."

Leontes nodded toward his navigator, "According to Etrius, it should be in view once when we mount this next ridge." he eyed Marleiya again, allowing her to notice this time. He smiled, "A knight of your house serves under an uncle of mine, I believe." Leontes remembered the tall, copper-haired knight. "His name escapes me, but I could never forget how that man fought in the tournament to commence Joffrey Baratheon."
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:46 pm

Celosia allowed a large toothy grin to overtake her face. "Yes! All of the kin of my House are excellent fighters and most of our men take to knighthood or some form of militia. That is not to say we women are overlooked! That is why my guard was so sparse on this trip." Her face fell. A moment passed with  faraway look in Celosia's eyes before she shook her head. "Any way, we were discussing the village, will we be stopping there for the night or somewhere closer by? Please don't consider this a complaint, I am just faintly tired and could use the rest."

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:26 pm

"We are all quite tired, my lady." said Leontes, without breaking his forward gaze. He jaunted a small ways forward up to the top of the ridge and looked on ahead. He turned back to Marleiya.

"Our village is not far, my lady! We will reside in warm beds tonight!" Leontes took the opportunity to watch the beautiful girl as he waited for her to close their distance. He normally hadn't cared much for yellow hair, a predisposition onset by tumultuous ties with his former 'family', but Marleiya looked lovely with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:30 am

She let out a warm sigh as Leontes promised rest was not far off now. Celosia joined him on the ridge and looked down into the small mining town. It appeared quaint, but sturdy. The town made enough to make itself comfortable but no more. This would have to do for Celosia.
A hard lump took up residence in Celosia's throat. As she swallowed water sprung to her eyes. Her nimble, quick fingers found her handkerchief in her bodice and she turned herself away from Leontes, further down their path. She hoped he wouldn't notice her vulnerability as she fell into step behind his men.

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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:17 am

Leontes stopped watching Marleiya and had become preoccupied with speaking to his men while she was out of earshot. Etrius and Arturo were standing by.

"While the good lady is out of earshot." he said, voice low and gruff, "Expect a signal just as the sun rises tomorrow. Etrius, make this known. Arturo, make a nest..."

Meanwhile, it was not Leontes that noted Marleiya's faltering moment, but Belisarius. The imposing, dour-faced man made notably audible footfalls as he made his way to the young lady.

"Milady?" his brow furrowed in what could be mistaken for contempt, yet was clearly concern in this context. "We may stop for your health, if need be." It was Belisarius that drew Leontes' attention toward Marleiya. He began making his way toward the pair. "My lady!" he called, almost halfway to them and still going. "Is everything alright?"
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PostSubject: Re: Wilted (Game of Thrones)   Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:54 pm

Celosia reached a few fingers out to Belisarius, "It is good of you to look out for my welfare but, I assure you, I am quite alright."
But it was too late. Belisarius was already gesturing for Leontes.
"My lady! Is everything alright?"
Much more attention than Celosia wanted; instinctively her hand made a fist around her handkerchief in order to block her face. "Really I'm fine. I don't see what all the fuss is about." But the tears refused to be yielded. Dutifully Celosia dabbed and wiped at each one as they streamed down her cheeks. Once she was finally able to control her sobs and force herself to breathe regularly she spoke addressing the entire party if they wished to listen, "You are all going to think of me as very foolish--if you don't already." She folded a corner of the handkerchief over with one long finger before blotting it to her nose. "And that I need a new handkerchief." A real laugh but only a small one came from the lady. "I was crying because I felt--" Celosia choked and struggled to maintain her calm. "I felt relieved." She looked down at her fingers and folded the handkerchief over again. "I was beginning to believe that I truly am as cursed as they say--" Her eyes found Belisarius. "--not to my face. Just look at me!" Celosia's arms turned out vaguely at her sides before her fingers came down on a clump of hair. "I look like no Marbrand: I have two perfect brothers before me and they are boldly built and strong. My elder sisters are tall and lovely and they all have beautiful fiery hair. And last there's me. An afterthought. I know what everyone says, I'm either cursed, a bastard, or both." A hard laugh broke the chance of any more recruiting tears. "It's my fault I'm here all alone. Nearly lost completely without your help." Her eyes touched every man in her company. "It's my fault my escorting party perished. When I saw that town over there I final felt like I had some hope to make it out of these mountains alive."

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