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Fandom The winds of winter [Closed]

Sub Genres
  1. AU


A diamond shimmering on my tongue
When the ship had landed, the sun hid behind grey clouds, darkening the day. Traveling over the water was still something that Sirysa was not used to. Most of the time, the twenty-one-year-old had spend below deck, trying to keep her insides where they belonged to - inside.
The passage had been calm, no one had asked her questions and left her be, though she had noticed eyes on her. Surely, the Mussovy woman looked a lot different than the usual person. It started with her different colored eyes. The left was amber, almost like molten gold and the right was of deep blue, almost like the ocean. Added to that, golden patterns were imprinted on her skin over her body. Even though her skin was somewhat colored in a sand-like tone, she was still somewhat pale.

"Bring the anchor!", someone shouted from the deck above. Finally, the young woman thought, some ground beneath the feet.
Leaving Braavos head-over-heels, the female had purchased the first passage she had found, not asking where it would take her. Surely, it had to be still Essos, right? No one would sail over the Narrow Sea to lands divided by war. That was, what Sirysa at least thought.

During her years in western Essos under the guard of many masters, she had heard about the other land - Westeros. A place divided by war, many people in starving needs and reckless armies pillaging every village left and right to their horses. This was truly not a place for the former priestess to go.

Taking the creaking and damp wooden stairs to the upper deck, the place didn't look familiar nor unfamiliar. Even though she had been sold many times, the world was still a mystery to her. For the first decade of her life, Sirysa had never seen a city, only the thick forest, and the shore of Mussovy. Later on, she had traveled once to Nefer, the closest and only city around. During the travels from one new master to another, her journeys had mostly been on ship, much to her dismay.
Having learned a few languages during that time, she couldn't pinpoint that the current spoken one was the common tongue of Westeros.

As the young female had no belongings of her own, she stepped down from the ship as soon as it had fully anchored. Her legs felt still wobbly from the many days on the ocean, but she was almost confident. The first thing she did was go to the market close by, buying herself some fresh food to fill her stomach. Silently biting into an apple, she pushed the hood of her cloak over her head to gain a few moments without stares.

Walking slowly through the streets of this new city, stories came to her ear. On the ship, she had heard of the latest turmoils from Westeros.
The north had fallen, but got reclaimed only a few days ago by the former bastard of the lands. A great army of a wolf-boy had fallen due to breaking a sworn oath. Another great army had left a forsaken and cursed castle, Harrenhal, to march back to the capital city of those lands.

All those stories were uninteresting, as she only wanted to make her way back to her former home. But the more she heard, the more she came to worry about being at the wrong place. When people started calling the town Fairmarket in the Lands of the Riverlords, all color had left Sirysas skin. Where was she!? Panic climbed up, as there were only a few silver and copper coins left in the small bag that was tied to the belt around her hips. Not enough to buy herself another passage, and the concept of work was strange to her still.

Now searching for evidence, her head moved around in a hurry, feet walking faster, as if that would help her. Sooner or later, her head was spinning due to the realization of being further from home than ever before. With a hitched breath and uncareful eyes, she soon crashed against a person who stood at least half a head taller than her, making her fall backward onto the ground. Luckily, the hood was still on her head. "Forgive me", she spoke in the tongue she had heard in this place, though her words were coated by a heavy and thick accent. Usually, she wouldn't say much more, but maybe that person could clarify where she truly was. "I...", she started, searching for the right words. "I am lost. I need a horse or passage to Nefer", she said, looking up.

During these times, this was probably a naive thing to say. Being lost as a woman was truly no good thing around here, but Sirysa didn't know that just now.

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"There always has to be a Stark in Winterfell!", those words echoed through Jon's head. A few weeks before, a raven had come to the wall to bring news of Robbs army being slaughtered. He and Catelyn were presumed dead. In the same letter, word of Sansas escape had been made and the red-haired girl sooner or later came to the wall.

Even though the young female hadn't been the most kind to Jon in the past, he had been awfully grateful to see her alive and in one piece. After all, there still had been no word from Arya for months, if not years by now. Reuniting with the little bit of family he had left, new problems surfaced.

The Stark-born girl urged his older half-brother to reclaim Winterfell. It was their true home, the place of the Stark's origin, and the Boltons' rule had been hard and brutal. All the people left in Winterfell seemed to dislike their new rules but were too afraid to rise against them. Jon could not blame them, for he too was scared to face Ramsey Bolton. The young bastard was said to be cruel, even worse than his father and the entire house Bolton.

But when another raven came, from said Bolton, with news about Rickon being held hostage in the dungeons, Jon had to do something. Gathering a few forces that followed him by free will, he soon marched against Ramsay.

The battle of the bastards had been a brutal and grim fight, but with the knights of the Vale they had won. Reclaiming Winterfell shortly after, its people seemed more than just happy that the Starks banners were hanging from everywhere again. The harsh reign of the Boltons was over and Jon was crowned king in the north by the other houses. Thanks to young Lady Mormont, that was. The girl had probably not even seen her tenth name day but was a lot wiser than the other Lords in the Great Hall.

It was a title Jon never wanted. He had not even seen himself as a simple lord of knight, let alone the king of the north! This title belonged to Robb, and Jon was still in denial of his older brother being dead. The wolf was tough, he surely had somehow managed to survive, right?

Having spent some minutes in the godswood, Jon had prayed to the old gods. To bring Robb back and take this burden from him, and if not - to guide him at least. He wondered if the old gods had ever answered someone. Had Robb prayed too? Or father, before he got beheaded?

With heavy footsteps, the bastard returned to the inner yard of Winterfell, torment written all over his face and black curls hanging everywhere they wanted. Today, new people arrived at Winterfell. Some old and loyal to House Stark, giving their strength to help rebuild this place, some new and seeking shelter. Grey eyes looked over the ones coming in, wondering if he should talk to some of them.

Deciding that was something his father would have done, to spread confidence, he walked toward them with stronger steps than before. The torment on his face made way for a more neutral look - at least that was what he opted for. Lord Snow started to talk to a young boy, who had lost his parents due to Ramsay. The boy hoped to be of any use, suggesting he was good with the horses. Jon immediately send him to the stables, before his eyes drifted on a female. She was probably around his age, maybe a few years younger. He wondered if she too had lost her parents, and that already pained him. "And you, young lady?", the newly crowned king in the north asked. Inside, he begged for her to be of some loyal house, here to help.
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Robb Stark had been through a lot of different things in his life. However, none of them had ever been close to what he was currently experiencing. Everything he labelled as heartbreaking, as disturbing, as something that he had to deal with and something that wasn’t easy to handle for him, had been nothing against his current situation. He had always been protected by his name, his title and his family essentially. He had tried to become a hero, but had fallen like one from the many stories Old Nan used to tell him and his brothers.

Wanting to help his father, save his life and prove the man’s innocence, he had lost more than just his father. He had lost his wife, his mother, his will to make the world a better place. When he had rode to the twins that night, when he had laughed and had gotten drunk on the wine, he would have never been able to imagine what his life would be like now.

He was a man on the run, a man hiding between shadows and surviving by lying and sometimes even stealing. Robb grew up as one of the richest and most important children in Westeros, yet he was nothing now. He was a lesser version of his former self, older, wiser, and sadder. His life had taken the worst turns imaginable.

After his army had been defeated, it had been a long and hard journey through Westeros. Sometimes, he was recognised, by allies, as the Gods allowed him. In general, he seemed to be very lucky on his journey through the entire land. He rarely encountered people that weren’t too happy with his presence and if they didn’t like him, it was for other reasons than his name and his title.

He had once been a king, feasting on the most delicious meat he had ever tasted, drinking the finest wine, and now he was glad if he could afford a proper meal in a tavern. The food he managed to make for himself on the road wasn’t the best, but it got better with time and he stopped to mess up a lot of his tries. Practice and the sheer need to survive really helped him and made him to another person than he used to be.

His hair had lost the reddish glow, almost appearing brown now, even though it used to be something in between. His curls had long gone weak and were now a sad thing to look at, rather than the unique charm they gave him. His face had remained the same, expect for his eyes losing the hopeful spark they once had. His beard was also far more prominent than he would have ever let it be as… as a King, essentially.

Oftentimes, he wished he had stayed in Winterfell, had never been foolish enough to think he could loosen the lion’s claws in his father’s back. The Lannisters always won somehow and he was ready to see them lose someday, but how should he? He was with no army, no safe way to go North where people had started hearing rumours of his bastard brother taking over Winterfell. Jon was a good man and he trusted him with the people in the North and he was more than happy to know that Jon was still alive.

It made him want to go back North and with a new found motivation, he really did everything to gather the money he needed to buy a good horse and make his way to Winterfell. No matter how long it would take him.

By now, he had enough money to buy said horse and was now only on the market to get some supplies before he would start his journey back home. As he bumped into a woman though, a girl just perhaps, he gasped softly and tried to save her from falling over completely. When she did, he helped her up politely, making sure to not touch her inappropriately in any way.

He hadn’t lost his manners yet.

“I apologise, my lady,” he said quickly, staring at her for a moment when she started talking. She wasn’t from here, the accent clearly gave it away. “This isn’t a place for a lost girl. I don’t know where you can get a passage from to wherever you’re heading, but I am heading North at the moment and can recommend you a man selling horses over there,” he said politely, trying to help the lost girl. He was glad for the girl that she didn’t run into someone who would maybe harm her. Wandering around alone as a woman was never a good choice.

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This wasn’t Mila’s first mission. If she could even call it a mission. She had been spying for Cersei and her brothers multiple times before, but always in close proximity. Now, she was heading North for the first time in her life. She had never been in the North for any occasions. Her father only always told her about how rough the people from there were, how far behind everyone else they were. They were worse than cavemen, he sometimes said, but Mila still wasn’t afraid to go there.

When she got the order to go north and get some more information on what was happening there, now that the Boltons had been defeated and Winterfell fell back into the hands of a Stark. Half a Stark at least. Jon Snow was now named King in the North and Mila was surprised by that fact alone. How could a bastard earn so much trust from the people that he was named their king at the very first chance? He had heard of the man’s fights, of what he had done beyond the wall and at the Night Watch if any of the rumours were to be believed.

And Mila had to get close to the man now, find out more about his plans, because no one could rule out he wasn’t going to gather all the forces the North had and march south as a revenge for what the Lannisters did to his family. First, Ned Stark, killed for treason, then Robb Stark, his wife and Catelyn Stark killed at the Red Wedding by the hands of the disgusting Lord Frey. Mila had the chance to meet that man already and she hadn’t been very pleased about it.

Her journey north was a very boring one. The further they got to their destination, the more boring it got. The people became more grumpier, obviously recognising Mila and her two guards as people from the South. She had a light tan to her skin, from the natural sun down in King’s Landing.

She wouldn’t always travel with her guards. As soon as they’d reach the small village before Winterfell, she would leave them behind like planned. They would ride back to King’s Landing and she would make sure to send letters to Cersei every other week. If she was able to gather some good information that is. Wrapping her coat tighter around herself, she made her way to Winterfell. As she reached it, she got past the guards quickly, looking like any other woman riding into the walls of Winterfell. Everything still seemed to be chaotic after the sudden death of the Boltons and then following the battle that occurred just before the gates of the Castle.

Getting off her horse, she handed it over to one of the people from the stables, taking a moment to look around the courtyard of Winterfell. She brushed her gloves off, feeling the icy wind move between her fingers. It was really insanely cold here, compared to the warm and rarely rainy King’s Landing.

As she looked around, she could both make out kids with their families, workers that seemed to be doing things around the castle and farmers selling their harvest or giving it to the guards for the people in the castle probably.

Mila was the daughter of a noble house, she would be allowed to stay, especially using the excuse she made up with her father. That she was here to discuss the business of the mines her father occupied and a potential deal with the King in the North. Or just the general improving of Western and Northern relationships.

Fate played into her hands when she was personally greeted by the King in the North himself. The description fit perfectly to the man approaching her. A small smile appeared on her lips as she looked at the dark-haired man.

“Good evening, your grace,” she said politely and then made a curtsy like she had always been taught to do. “I am coming from the Westerlands, your grace, in hopes of getting to know the King in the North and improving the relationship between my house and yours. Our regions seemed to have some differences in the last years,” she spoke slowly and handed him a letter she had been given by her father. It was sealed with the emblem of her house, a pretty field of apricots in front of a cave.

“I was hoping to stay here for a while, it was always a dream of mine to get to see the beauty of the North. No matter what horror stories I have heard about what might be behind the Wall that is part of your kingdom,” she continued, making sure to seem interested in this very… dull place. Everything was snow, wherever she looked. And the people really looked just like she had imagined them. Somewhat like cavemen.


A diamond shimmering on my tongue

He got the stranger's hand to get up, thankfully taking it and dusting off her already dirty cloak. From underneath the hood, she was able to see him, and so could he see her. Though the lack of sun would keep the golden patterns from shimmering. If he saw them at all, they would first seem just like some kind of war- or tribes paint.

Sirysa stayed silent for a moment. Why didn't he know a passage to Nefer? It had been the biggest city close to Mussovy and as far as she could remember the last harbor. Nothing came behind Nefer - besides the demons and shadowland.
Little did the girl know how unimportant Essos, especially this far east point of it was, to everyone. Even most of the people in the free cities didn't even know Nefer.

But at least he knew some directions, to which she could hold on. Maybe some people further north knew how she would get to Nefer? It was her only chance really. The next problem was, how would she buy a horse?

Back in Braavos, her last master had shown her the market and how trading was necessary. But the concept was still lost to Sirysa. Everything she had ever needed was given to her by the forest and she did give things in return. Handling this kind of trade with coins?

It was another naive move, the copper-haired female didn't even look around to make sure no one else saw. Her slim fingers grabbed the little leather pouch on her belt, pouring the coins into her hands and showing them. Now with her hand exposed, some fine lines around her fingers started to shimmer and she almost withdrew her hand but decided not to. "Would this be enough, for a horse?", she asked almost nervously.

If not, all hope was lost for the next few days. Maybe even weeks if not forever. She had come here from Braavos, without a lot of these coins and she cursed herself for not taking more. Her latest master had been carrying way more than she had robbed of him. Could she be blamed? Killing someone, then robbing - that was already the worst she could imagine doing.

She was oblivious to who stood in front of her and what he had done in the past few months of the war. Though he surely wasn't the worst man in Westeros at this point. "Could you", she started, very hesitantly and searching for words again. "Could you buy me one?", Sirysa scolded herself. Even if she was a stranger to this part of the world, she made a fool of herself by sounding like a little helpless girl. Though, was there any difference between such a girl and her? She hardly knew where she was, it was utter luck she knew the language good enough to hold conversations. How honest could she even be with this stranger?

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Icy winds blew around his face, pushing his dark hair back and forth again while his eyes almost analyzed the young woman in front of him. She did not look anything like a northern born. Her hair seemed to hold sunshine within every strand, her light eyes were to bright and her sun-kissed skin looked to untouched.
Surely, the harsh and strong winter winds, the cold and gloomy weather have not left their mark on her - like they would have on everyone else her age.

"Your grace", Jon gave it a weak little laughter. So she knew him, had spotted him between hundreds of men while he still couldn't figure out if he knew her or not. When her mouth formed the words "Westerlands" a knot tied itself together in his stomach involuntarily. The region and almost everyone tied to it left a bitter taste in his mouth.

Only very slowly did his gloved hand reach out to the paper, taking a look at the seal. He recalled that seal to be one of the smaller houses in the West. If only he had paid more attention in Maetser Luwins classes. On the other hand, he had been lucky to get any kind of class - considering he was the bastard.

Breaking the seal, the young man's eyes flew over the text and he swallowed hard. How could he possibly just try to improve those relationships? Almost all houses in the west had been part of the war. On the Lennisters' side. Listening further, her sentence made him look up from the paper and shortly around the area. Whyever someone would be interested in the north was baffling.

His kingdom, she said, as if it was true. Jon was still in the hope to only have to do this for a smaller amount of time. Up until Robb would show up, magically. Until then though, he had to act like the king. "Well, by now you have probably noticed that the stories about the boring landscape is at least true", Jon said in his little attempt to hold a conversation, while making a movement with his arm to tell her she should follow him.

Now that they walked over the inner yard to the studies, people around them started to go after their usual work. Opening the heavy wooden door, warmth greeted them. Just a few moments ago the servants have lit the fire in the room's hearth. It was cramped with books and papers, now that Maester Luwin was gone there, it was on Jon to keep order in this room. Or, first and foremostly, to bring order to the chaos. "Take a seat, I am sure the journey here was long. Wine?", Jon asked while he stripped off the gloves and put them on the desk he took a seat behind. Reaching for the carafe with the sweetened wine, he poured himself some.

"I probably don't have to introduce myself, as you know me. But I am curious as to who you are Lady", a short break, where his mind was racing to figure out how to call her. Though, whilst thinking about the sigil again, it suddenly rang a bell. "Prescott. My family did not have the best relations with anyone of the west as of lately"


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Robb caught himself being very curious about this mysterious woman. She seemed kind of confused, perhaps the sun had done some damage at her head or she was from so far away that Robb couldn’t even identify the culture correctly anymore. He had never been a big fan of politics and learning everything about other cultures, but he did know the basics about every house in Westeros. It had been his duty as future warden of the North and Lord of Winterfell. Then he had been crowned a king and now he was nothing more than a shadow wandering about to maybe find a way home.

When the woman showed him all her money, he felt like his throat was being closed off. “Oh…” he mumbled and stared at the money and then the strange lines running across the woman’s hand. This was making everything even more… exotic. Who did he encounter on this very sad market?

“I am certain this is enough for a small horse. It would take you North in a few months probably. Counting in breaks and such,” he explained slowly, scratching the back of his head nervously. This was a very weird situation to be in and looking at the way the sun stood, it was almost time for Robb to start making his way North. Making his way home. It was probably safe now to step past the northern border.

“If I could buy you a horse?” he asked again, totally startled by the woman’s question. She was giving him her money so easily? Robb would never abuse that trust, but other people would without a second thought. “I can do that, of course. But as a little advice, don’t give your money to someone that easily again,” he said slowly, trying not to sound rude or even make the woman think he was thinking nothing of her. Where was she from that she was this insecure about her wherebeings?

Robb slowly took the money from her, keeping it safe in his hand before he motioned for her to follow him. When she didn’t know her way around Westeros, she also didn’t know who he was, so at least that was a bonus point. He didn’t have to lie about his identity then and could just say who he was.

“My name is Robb, my lady. What is yours, if I’m allowed to ask?” he said slowly, heading towards where he had encountered the man with the horses earlier.

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Mila found it quite amusing how even the King in the North himself seemed to admit that the landscape of the North was as boring as child stories to an adult. She saw nothing interesting in the widespread fields of snow. However, she did wonder how everything looked when there wasn’t any snow around and maybe some grass would shine underneath.

“I am afraid I have to agree, your grace,” she said with a soft chuckle, focused on not upsetting the man in any way. And she could be charming if she wanted, finding the right words and making sure someone liked her. However, she was afraid of how it was going to go with this particular man though. He seemed to know something outside of the life as a noble and that was never good, because he wouldn’t fall for her usual tricks.

With a small smile, she followed Lord Snow inside, her heart skipping a beat when they entered the cold castle. It was nothing like the Red Keep. Mostly stone and wooden doors, not an ounce of happiness within the walls and windows seemed to be a rarity as well. Once in the study, she sat down in the chair slowly, gripping her skirts softly as she watched the man.

“Of course, thank you,” she agreed to the wine politely, taking the glass and waiting for Jon to drink first, before she took a sip as well. Usually, she wasn’t a big fan of wine, also, this one tasted awful, but her personal preferences weren’t of importance now.

“I am not from here, your grace, but you can be quite certain you don’t have to introduce yourself. It’s a pleasure to meet you, by the way, the stories weren’t disappointing after all,” she said with a chuckle, taking another sip from the wine. Even though she felt the need to pull a grimace from the awfully bitter taste, she kept herself together.

“Prescott, that is correct. I know the North and the West aren’t on good terms, especially after the catastrophe that happened between the Crown and your dear father. I heard he was a good and trustworthy man, I am sorry it ended like that for him,” she spoke softly, her fingers tapping against the wine glass.

She had watched Ned Stark die, in front of the sept a few years ago, but she hadn’t felt a bit of pity for the man.

“My father was hoping to better the relation between the North and some houses of the West at least. Not all of us are evil Lannisters,” she admitted openly, even though it was the biggest lie she had ever told probably.


A diamond shimmering on my tongue

How far did this north even stretch? A few months!? One was able to pass Mussovy from east to west within that time by foot. Then again, the passage from New Ibbish to Saath had taken a while as well, or the long march to Qohor.

But his reaction to her showing the coins made her tilt her head. She usually had no value for this - at least she hadn't in the past. Why should that change now? His words sounded like lecturing in a way, but the female tried to just accept it. After all, the customs of these lands were unknown to her and he could maybe help her navigate - up until she found a passage home. "I wont", was her short answer and underneath the hood, she nodded her head to reassure that.

When the man started to move with her pouch of money, the young woman followed him and stayed close to his side. Walking back to the more lively part of the market made her a little nervous. What if someone saw her and would try to sell her off to the next bidder? Just for her, presumably, exotic looks. Letting her eyes wander around, she did notice that no one looked even the slightest similar.

She would have almost sighed if the man wouldn't have introduced himself. Robb. A nice, short name she could remember in a second. While being in the free cities, Sirysa had mostly given up remembering the names of her masters, for they usually were too long and complicated. "Sirysa, my lord", she answered and tried to mirror the way he talked, and the way the man on the ship had talked.

"May I ask, are you a knight?", the female asked, steps away from the man who sold horses. The animals weren't the youngest, but some still relatively fit. Sirysa had heard some other slave girls talk about stories of knights. Grand and glorious, saving people from their misery and protecting the weak and vulnerable. Without a bow, she belonged to the last.
Whilst the other seemed to attempt to get a good price for two of the animals, she walked a few feet away and eyed the horses up while still listening to their talks. It seemed as if the value of the animals was nothing set in stone, but merely the price of either Robbs skill, or the sellers skill in talking and trading. A weird thing, to think about. Weighing the life of something breathing against a few metal coins.

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His bones and skin slowly warmed up beneath the woolen clothes he wore. Taking a sip from his wine after having poured her a cup, the king listened carefully. It couldn't be a good sign someone of the West was here, for relations while the Starks had cut ties to everything Crown and Lannister related.

The red liquid burned in his throat, though it kept him from sighing deeply. "So the West tells stories about me? A bastard-born boy?", Jon Snow wondered. Had he caused such a great stir, by following Ned and Robb Stark? Probably, as he was the last living male Stark and went from someone who wore the black to the Lord commander to king in the north. Quite the way for a bastard and if the situation wasn't that dire, he would have maybe smiled about that.

Putting the cup of wine aside, his grey eyes fixated on the female. Was she truly sorry, or was this just truism? "Sadly this wasn't the last catastrophe, caused by the crown", Jon rubbed over his face and now sighed deeply. Just the thought of Robb and Catelyn having died felt like he was slowly suffocating. Even though Catelyn openly despised Jon, this wasn't how things should have ended for the Starks mother.

"Maybe not all, but I am sure you understand that this will be carefully thought about. The Starks had enough traitors and oath-breakers in the past", Jon said, thinking this would have been something his father would have said - or Robb. His grey eyes lingered on the paper still, trying to figure out if it was a ruse. He wouldn't be able to figure that out now. "You are welcome to stay in Winterfell, Lady Prescott. For as long as this matter might take. I can lead you to your room if you wish", the Lord offered, taking the last sip of his wine. Surely, the more southern wines tasted a lot better. But he liked the honey-sweetened one of Winterfell, as it had a rough aftertaste.

Jon would need to talk about this with Sansa and the few remaining lords. It would take time, and he still wasn't very convinced. Why would a house that was so close to the Lannisters try to fix relationships with the Starks? Was it goodwill? Were the Lannisters finally rid of all their wealth and needed some gold?


New Member

Robb started to feel like it had really been some kind of sign from a higher power that he encountered this woman. Gods know what would have happened if he had just left her alone in the middle of this market and she would have shown her money to someone who wasn’t as well-mannered as he was. She would have probably ended like all the women who were naive enough to trust a man who clearly had bad intentions.

But he was also kind of bitter that this higher power decided it wasn’t time for his journey home yet and he had to wait to help this girl. But that would surely somehow benefit him at some point. It just had to be. Because all his thoughts were now directed home, to Winterfell, where his brother and sister were.

Sirysa. Another implication that she wasn’t from here. And not even from any of the free cities. He knew a bit about those but in the past few years he had other things to worry about than the free cities and what kind of people were living there. Enough people that had fled Westeros, he knew that much.

“I am not a knight,” he said with a chuckle, that he wished he would have held back. He didn’t want to let her think that she was stupid for asking that question because if she really wasn’t from here, the concept of a knight might have been one she couldn’t identify herself. “I was once something else,” he said simply and left it at that before he talked to the horse seller.

Robb started to negotiate with him, trying his best to get out the best price for a horse that would suit him and also Sirysa. He hoped a pony would be enough for her plans, whatever those might be. When he was successful, he took the horses by their reins and caught up with the mysterious woman again, handing her the reins of the pony.

“It wasn’t enough for much more,” he said as a kind of apology. It was the truth after all.

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“Not every bastard-born boy ends up being named the King of the largest of the Seven Kingdoms, your grace,” she added to his questions, chuckling softly. Mila knew that she had mostly heard the stories as soon as she had gone past the borders of the North, but it would be okay if she made him believe that a lot of people also talked about him in the warmer parts of Westeros. It was kind of true after all, people were shocked and curious how a bastard boy was now named King in the North.

“I understand your caution, your grace. I am not too pleased with what happened between your family and the Lannisters and I can only imagine what it feels like. But I can assure you, I only have peaceful intentions and I am trying to bring forward my father’s offers. Our mine can be from good use for the people in the North, just like we can make good use of some decent payment for the outcome from these mines,” she spoke slowly and carefully. One slip up and she’d probably be left to die in the snow. Mila imagined that was what they did with Southern People here in the North. Gods know what these Northmen were capable of.

“I would feel honoured if you could show me to my room,” she agreed, slowly getting up from her chair, but not before finishing the glass of wine out of pure politeness. She had manners after all and even if she wouldn’t have to keep up the facade of a lovely, young lady who wanted to help her father, she would have probably kept her manners here.

Mila proceeded to follow Jon through the dark and cold walls of the castle. “Excuse me the question, your grace, but how can you even know your way around here? Everything is just a collection of corridor after corridor and every door certainly looks the same,” she asked, out of genuine curiosity and to keep a conversation going.

Winterfell seemed more like a maze to her than everything else, but she would probably start to find her way around the place with time. At least she assumed her matters wouldn’t take just a week and she could leave again. She wouldn’t allow it to be over that quick.


A diamond shimmering on my tongue

He was not a knight. For some reason, she was even sad. Now, so far away from Essos and with the little note in the back of her head, she had somehow wanted him to be one. See if all the talk she had heard was true. At least he acted like the ones the others talked about, Sirysa thought to herself while silently listening and looking at the horses. On his words that he had been something else, curiosity only grew. A trait that she had never really left on her horrible journey.

Back in Mussovy, the only thing close to a horse where the animals of the Jogos Nhai - they were horse-like with black and white striped, though smaller and sturdier than the ones here.
Even the pony with whom Robb returned was still a lot more elegant in its build. Underneath the hood, a smile formed on her lips. Even if he apologized, this pony was much more than she would have gotten herself.

"I must thank you, my lord. It is much more than I would have got", the female accepted and took the reigns of the horse. It exposed her skin again with the thin lines and patterns that now reflected and seemed like gold. Quickly she pulled her arm back to let it be covered by the sleeve of her coat. Having found a bit more courage with her curiousness, she wondered if he'd take her along for a while.

"I beg your pardon, my lord. You said to journey north", she started, trying to sound as clear as possible and to lay off her accent "Would you mind if I accompanied you? Only to the next port...", little did Sirysa know at this point that there wouldn't be any ship going directly to Nefer. Nor any close to it. Her best bet would have been to just sail back to Braavos and work on the ship to pay for the passage.
"I am good with the bow", even though she despised the hunt and rarely ever did that, her skills were still good. "And I have...", another time she was searching for the right words "Profound knowledge of herbs and remedies", even though those forests were unknown, she was sure to find whatever she needed.

The forest gave, to everyone, if one just looked close enough. Whether Mussovy, the forest of Qohor, or any other she had come across. Her gut feelings and knowledge had never let her down so far. Hopefully this was enough for the young man to let her come with him. After all, he was her only chance to navigate herself through these lands.

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Jon wondered to himself by times. Which odd luck or misfortune had put him on the place he was. Surely, a lot. After all, not only did his high father die, but also his oldest brother and Catelyn. The only one that was surely still alive was Sansa, his younger sister. But she as a female and customs and traditions had it, that she wouldn't sit on this throne for a while. Nor did he believe that she would want this burden - at least not as long as there as a war going on.

No, this burden was left to him. Another time where he damned Robb for dying. Though, truthfully, that was a grim and unfair thought. Robb would had not chosen to die that day, surely not.

Jon sighed, and looked at Mila, a hint of sadness washing over his face before he got back up and put the gloves back on his hands. "How comes that the Lannisters do not claim ownership over those precious mines?", Jon came to wonder. This whole deal sounded to good to be true and he would not sign anything until this was sorted out. The female they had sent seemed like a nice girl - but so had Cersei seemed like a nice queen when she had first come to Winterfell, years back.

Moving through the many corridors and rooms of the castle, Jon figured that it may be good to show her the main places of the inner castle. Such as the Great Hall, the kitchen, and the other study. Her question only gave him reassurance that this was a rather good plan. "You can call me Jon, my lady", was the first thing he said, offering a faint smile. He did not feel fit to be king. Heck, he hadn't even felt fit for being the lord commander.

The black-haired laid a finger on his lips and motioned the same to the stone walls. Winterfell was a very old castle. Some stories said it was built with the magic of the children of the forset. Others said it had been build by Bran the builder, who had also build the wall. And some stories said it must have just been a very clever human.

"If you listen closely, you hear water move from within the walls", he said with a low - almost whispering - voice. It was true. Withing the walls of Winterfell was water flowing, up and down - it was warm and kept the walls from freezing in the winter, giving the castle a very low, but steady heat inside. Summers weren't hot up here, but winters could be harshly cold. That was what the old Nan had said at least.

"Living in these walls fr long enough, you know how the waters flow and can navigate your way with that", he said, turning towards her before another faint smile rushed over his lips. "Though, your best bet is to just ask the servants around", this time, the little smile stayed a little longer on his lips, before he went further to show her the Great Hall at first.

Jon had to admit, now in the winter, it looked a little sad. It was dark and without the hearths cold. When Robert Baratheon had come here, it had been full and looked of joy and pleasant temperature. "This is Winterfell's pride, aside from the Godswood. But I am sure someone of the West has no business with the Old Gods", he hadn't himself too, actually. His prayers had never been answered and over the past years, he wondered if there were any gods in these lands. Showing the hall, he remembered that fateful night. Where he had finally decided to join the nights watch.

Oh, how different their lives would have looked like if he hadn't. Bran and Rickon would probably still be alive. As well as Maester Luwin. Jon sighed again, obviously caught in his thoughts.

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