The sun has passed over its zenith, though the clouds cover up the world from its majestic light. A light rain, like tears, showers the deck and the men laboring at the oars. They churn the water sternward even though the sails are billowed with a feeble breeze.
A massive figure, clad all in black, with a black cloak hanging sodden in the drizzle, stands beside the rails to port. His dark blue eyes regard the passing shore of Westeros, even as the raindrops drop upon the hood that keeps his close cropped black hair dry. The springing stags of carved jet gleam wetly in the pale light, as to the golden hilts of the longsword at his side.
So tall this man is and so broad of shoulder, he could be no other man than he who terrorized the Boneway and the villages and holdfasts doomed to be near Godsgrace. For this man is Sarmion Baratheon, called Stormbreaker.
“Even if for the sake to take a breath” Lanei mutters under her breath, as she reaches the desk and leaves the oppressive and depressing atmosphere of the cabins below. The rain bothers her very little as a matter of fact it is almost welcome- and yet she takes good care to wrap herself on the light deep red cloak she took from her chest only a minute ago. To get a cold is the last thing she needs right now.
As said, the young woman leans for a few seconds on the doorway, enjoying this moment of freedom, inwardly cheering the pure air filling her lungs. Pity, no sun to warm herself, “As if she were mourning, too” she chuckles mirthlessly, and moves away to the railing, now covering her head with the hood. There is not a lot of people around, she notices, just the men on duty and a few knights that, perhaps, as she did, sought for the same: to take a breath. Most of the rest should be getting ready to take their meals but, today, Lanei is not hungry.
Sarmion’s tall figure is not missed, certainly, and as soon as the lady’s eyes fall upon him, she stops, contemplating what to do. Should she withdraw?. But nay, she should not, the Fowler resolves, and resuming her way, she arrives to the railing and, in silence, surveys the shores.
“Another hostage let abroad,” the towering knight remarks, looking on red cloaked maiden as she comes beside him. Beneath the trimmed beard his jaw clenches and his dark blue eyes regard the Fowler woman coldly.
“Even now the Cape that marks my homeland draws nearer. Let these folk look on it, that they might know the reason they have paid such a heavy price this passing year,” his deep voice remarks, almost to himself, even though his eyes never leave the figure of Lanei.
Soon Lanei’s eyes are drawn, again, by the massive and impressive shape of Sarmion Baratheon. Looking sidelong at him, the dornish lady examines him up and down; discreetly, of so she thinks. But there is not much to look at, just another knight, tall as he might be. Just another invader, and she has grown tired to look at them. For months, now.
She’s about to look back at the shores as he speaks to her. Half startled, Lanei cannot help but gasp, unwillingly, his first words and, despite she pondered to take her leave, eventually she stays. And, now, looking straightforward at this insolent man. “Indeed” she nods, “we did. But I have heard that you, too, paid a heavy price for your boldness ֖ and will, in the years to come.”
“Not I, Lady,” Sarmion says with a sour grin, “I have paid my price to Dorne, or rather Dorne has taken its score from me.”
Nodding South and Westward, he adds, “Only now do I repay the gentle ministrations of your countrymen.” His jaw clenchs and the same sad smile is upon his face. His dark eyes burning with a barely checked rage.
His left hand, large and heavy, falls upon the sword hilt its side. The emeralds made into the shape of eyes gleam in the sockets of the enameled stags heads that meet the blade.
Still Sarmion’s words are leaving his mouth as the lady’s eyes are closed to a very thin line, following the Ser’s hand as it moves down to the hilt of his sword, but with the same speed, they are lifted up, again, to meet the Baratheon’s eyes.
“Aye. You did, and with the support of all your people” Lanei replies, and turns away from him, as if she were captivated by the sight of the shores. “And yet, I cannot figure out what did my people to you, or when, aside to fight for our land and our own people. You came, you raided, you won. This easy. And, still, you are the offended one.”
Looking down on the woman, frowning, his blue eyes cold, Sarmion asks, “Where are you from, lady?” He shakes his head toward the North and West, saying, “There lies Cape Wrath, and beyond the Red Mountains and the Marches that ward them. Know you not that many of your folk have pillaged, raped, and burned many innocents that lived upon them.”
Looming closer, the Stormbreaker adds, “Even from before the day that you were born have they killed. And even from that day have men chased after them when they had done their bloody deeds.
“Really?” Lanei’s lips curve up in a faint smile, which soon becomes a smirk. “No more than you, and the rest of the Lords of the Marches pillaged our lands, killed our people? Or do you think I know naught of that? Aye, we are far away from the Boneway, Ser Sarmion Oh, yes, I know of you, and of your deeds you so much pride of- but we recall, day by day, all what you and your companions did to us over the years. And we will. Forever.”
She makes a short pause before to add, though, “As for me, obviously, I come from Dorne. But I am sure you already knew that, yes?.” Now, the lady manages a brief sigh. “From Skyreach, by the Prince’s Pass.”
“You will smile at me?” Sarmion asks, a catch of rage building in his voice. “You who live within your cherished halls far away from fighting. You who jig and amble, lisping of what wealth your family owns with pride! You with faces painted up, making wanton in your ignorance!”
Stepping closer to the woman, he bends low so that his dark blue eyes are level with her own, “Know you that I have not slept upon a bed other than the stones and rocks of the Marches or the deserts of your Dorne for six whole years, because of your countrymen! Where have you slept? Where sleep your cousins, save beneath the dust as I would bid them be?! Will you smile at me, now? I live only for my vengence, woman! And I will have it!”
His eyes gleam hotly, his jaw clenched and the knuckles of the hand that rests upon his sword hilt are white with strain.
Lanei’s brows are lifted as if surprised, while her mouth draws what, surely, might be an ‘Oh’. Yet, this is not what she will answer to the raged man. “But…Is it not what us, ladies, are supposed to do, Ser? Or are you going to tell me that you send your ladies to the battlefield to fight for you, instead to lock them all at home, sewing and..” she manages a quick shrug, “... and performing such arts?”. The lady clasps her hands together.
“I might be wrong, of course. For, truly, I do know so little of your… customs!” Then, her air of innocence leaves, being replaced but a stony face, her light eyes gleaming no less than the Baratheon’s. “No less wrong than you are, though. For, I see now, that you know of me, and my people, even less than I do. Far away from fighting, you said? I would reply you as you deserve… Ser, but you are not worthy of my words.”
She wraps again on her cloak, looking back to the shores. “And blame Lord Garvys Tyrell, if he provided you not of a good place to sleep. For what I know, he has been generous enough with some of his friends, giving them even stolen Lordships.”
Liane is pale as she comes up from below, drawing in a slow, cleansing breath before looking across the deck to catch sight of Sarmion and Lanei. For a moment she looks back down belowdecks, though the worried expression that crosses her features when she does makes her decision clear even before she turns and continues across the deck, chin rising and shoulders squaring. “Yes. Vengeance is always best taken upon hostages who have been sworn safe conduct and fair treatment in return for good behavior. Though I believe the custom is to wait until /after/ our relatives have overstepped their bounds in some way to threaten us with dire punishment,” she drawls, moving to a spot at the rail little ways down from the others and looking out to the water.
Rising to his full height, Sarmion steps away from the woman with a shake of the head. “My words are as lost on you as they might be on a drooling lackwit,” He waves his hand dismissively. “As to your question of our custioms, I do not suffer the women of my house to boast so openly of prizes won in such enterprizes as those of your folk who have bought bloody coinage through feats of arms upon the innocents of my lands.”
Looking at the woman newly come, the Stormbreajer says, “You, mind your tongue, for I have threatened nothing to this one. But you both shall earn what treatment you are beholden to through word and deed. Look not to me for lienency.” His eyes fasten on the Uller woman’s face as he adds, “No, not even when you are at the mercy of Ser Jonn of Lannister.”
Considering that Marcia, her mother, has not surrendered, still, Skyreach to King Daeron, the Uller’s words make Lanei feel discomforted, for all the time, since she was captured, she could not help but wonder what would happen to her if only the Fowlers or what remains of them- decided… But nay, much better to remove such dark thoughts away from her head.
And, indeed, Sarmion’s words helped her, for they caused the lady to start laughing. “Ay, Ser” she says, distractedly brushing some raindrops from her shoulders and hook. “Who was the lackwit? I, speaking to you, or you, starting this… speech? As for your women, I just pity them, poor ladies, deprived, even, of their rights.” Turning to Liane, she looks puzzled at her. “That Lannister? What has he to do in this conversation?.”
Liane’s lips twitch in the faintest of smiles as she arches a brow to Sarmion. “If you think to terrify me with threats of Jonn Lannister, good ser, I fear you’ll need to see to changing your tactics,” she notes bemusedly. “I am an Uller of Hellholt, and I will not be frightened by your anger or anyone else’s.” She folds her arms over the rail, casting a brief smile towards Lanei, rolling her eyes slightly. “He is like many here, only choosing to display his resentment in a different manner. One lacking a considerable charm.”
“Shall I champion your rights, lady?” Sarmion asks the Fowler woman, “For I invite you to remove yourself from this place and enjoy your rights to the privacy below.” To the Uller, he says, “Then, you may have your right to enjoy his company from now and henceforth, I shall not waylay him. Yes, and doubly may he heap his pleasures at your feet, I shall bid no many hamper him, since you enjoy so much your rights in this, good ladies.”
“Right as the rest of their knights” Lanei adds to Liane’s words, and feigning a yawn as if she had grown bored of the current speech. “But, still, what about that Jonn Lannister? I have heard of his brother, but of this Jonn…” she shrugs helplessly and is about to add something more… but the Baratheon’s new words make her turn her full attention back to him.
“You are in no position to make me leave the desk, Ser Sarmion, for you are not the Captain of this ship, nor the King, nor a prince.”
It is the Stormbreaker’s turn to laugh, “I am a knight, lady! Where is he who can stop me, should I send you below?” Looking around the deck, he asks, mockingly, “Have you some male cousin to raise arms against me? Is there some lackwit boy you have conjured to your bed and made him the sporting ass of your japeries?”
Raising up his hand, Sarmion says, “There is no one, and this hand is all that I need to remove you from this place. Be wary, fool lady, I warned you of my lack of lenience. Try me at your peril.”
“I had not assumed you would defend me, ser. Such chivalry seems in short supply, if Ser Jonn is any indication,” Liane murmurs dryly, looking out over the water again, fingers tapping on the rail. “Lady Lanei, would you care to walk with me?” she asks, turning back to the others. “I grow restless of confinement here on this ship.”
“I would not risk my companions’ wellfare, asking them to protect me against your delusions of grandeur, Ser” Lanei’s response comes calm, her voice even, “But know that we, the Royal Hostages, swore an Oath to King Daeron and, in retribution, he engaged his word, so that he would extent his protection to defend us, if need be. Aye,” she nods, “By force you would remove me from the deck. No big deal there. But then I would demand the King to do as promised, so that you would deal with him, or any knight he appointed for the task.”
Turning to Liane, the Fowler nods. “And I grew tired of such an unpleasant company. Aye, let’s walk, my dear.” And yet, Lanei delays her paces, just in case Sarmion had something to add.
“Get out of my face, then,” Sarmion says with a scornful look, “This is what passes for wits amongst the Dornish womanhood?”
“Ser Sarmion, please. Leave us to our grief, and we will gladly leave you to yours,” Liane says wearily, turning to walk further down the deck with strides that hardly seem designed to allow for response, but rather to just move away.
“And you are the epitome of the Chivalry, I do suppose… among your people. Well, now I know what we, the hostages, will find in King’s Landing” Lanei calls out, over her shoulders, as she moves away with Liane. “And, certainly, this is going to be harder than expected” she continues, now only for the Uller’s ears. Her back relaxes, the shoulders are dropped and, for the first time, she realizes of the tension she dealt with. “Or, perhaps, we should go down to the cabins, for lunchtime is almost over.”
“No,” Liane says, just a little too quickly, at the mention of going below, clearing her throat and shaking her head before repeating herself a bit more circumspectly. “No, thank you,” she corrects herself. “I don’t think I can stay down there much longer today.” A heavy sigh is released as she pushes her bangs away from her eyes. “I wish we’d ridden,” she murmurs, looking out to the water.