To Winter I Belong || Closed

  • salander.

    salander. (150)

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    Rest against my pillow like the aging winter sun
    Only wake each morning to remember that you're gone
    So I drift away again
    To winter I belong


    Image
    Image
    Aila Hanes & Jon Snow

    My tears are always frozen
    I can see the air I breathe
    But my fingers painting pictures
    On the glass in front of me


    Image
    Image
    Elianora Stane & Tormund Giantsbane

    Lay me by the frozen river
    Where the boats have passed me by
    All I need is to remember
    How it was to feel alive
    July 5th, 2017 at 02:54am
  • salander.

    salander. (150)

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    Jon let out a breath of air, shrinking into the fur collar that he wore. He watched the breath of air turn to vapor before his eyes and could feel the cold sinking deeper into the exposed skin of his face. The sun was out, which was a rarity, but it did nothing to help make it feel warmer outside. Maybe Jon was fooling himself, but it seemed even the sun was covered by a thin layer of ice this far North and seemed just a little less bright than it had below the Wall. Part of him missed the sight of something green, something alive in this snow and ice-laden land, but he knew he had no other choice if he needed the Wildlings to believe he really had deserted the Night’s Watch.

    That’s why it surprised him slightly that they’d allowed him to accompany them on a hunt or scavenge. He’d given up his Night’s Watch black clothing for the Wildling’s grey toned pelts and furs. It stood out starkly against the white world around them, so they were moving as discreetly and carefully as they through the tundra. Well…as discreetly as a bunch of Wildlings were. They were loud, raucous, and laughing loudly amongst themselves as they passed around a wineskin of fermented milk. Jon, as suspicious as it may have been, was lingering toward the back of the group by himself. Tormund, the one he probably trusted the most out of the Wildlings, was not to be found, and instead Mance Rayder was with them.

    The fact that the biggest leader of the Free People was with him worried him a bit. This could have been some ploy to take him away from the main camp and kill him somewhere in seclusion, but he tried to keep that thought as far from his mind as possible. The more nervous or anxious he seemed, the more Rayder would have reason to think he was hiding something. Instead, he concerned himself with making sure they weren’t about to be ambushed by a group of rangers or, worse, wights or White Walkers.

    He stole a quick glance behind him, catching the gaze of a Wildling just behind him before turning away once more and focusing his gaze ahead. In such open land, with little options for hiding places, he knew he’d have to be on guard and ready for whatever could come their way.
    Elianora tugged her tiny row boat onto an ice-riddled shore that she knew lay just just over the Wall. Coming from Skagos, she was no stranger to the cold, but it seemed to have just a bit more of a bite to it this close to the shore. It was a damper type of cold than she was used to up in the mountains. Clutching the black furs she wore closer around her neck, she checked to make sure the bag she’d packed and brought with her was still there. Looping it around her neck, she spared one last glance back to the sea, to be sure that she wasn’t being followed. Elianora breathed out a sigh before turning and beginning to make her way further inland.

    She didn’t know what she expected to find on the other side of the Wall. All she knew was that she would not be forced to marry a man who did not deserve her. They said that Northern woman were made of something different and Elianora was no exception. She would be no bride to some spoiled brat of a man who couldn’t even hold a sword properly. Though Elianora was more than capable of protecting herself, she liked the idea of a man who was capable of protecting her and whatever family they would raise together.

    In leaving behind Skagos, she was leaving behind the life of a noble family, a somewhat cushioned life, where she would never want for nothing. Life beyond the Wall would be different, she knew that, but she didn’t know exactly what waited for her. Tales of White Walkers, wights, and Wildlings had reached her and she didn’t doubt the truth to some of those stories. She honestly believed that anything would be better than living the rest of her life to bear children for a lesser man.

    It became painfully obvious as her skirts swished around her ankles that she clearly did not belong on this side of the wall. One man, she knew she could fight off, but a whole slew of Wildlings would prove a problem for her. She shot a glance skyward, grimacing a bit at the fading light of day before pressing forward into the vast white nothing that lay before her. She had a feeling that even the thick furs that she wore over her shoulders would not be able to keep her warm come nightfall.
    July 6th, 2017 at 03:15am
  • sugarplum.

    sugarplum. (100)

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    (So sorry that I’ve taken so long, I haven’t been feeling the best and work has been super busy.)

    Tormund wasn’t entirely sure of how he was feeling, as he had been told by Rayder, himself, that he did not need to be there on the hunt that Rayder would be leading. There has never been a hunt that he hasn’t been on, he is after all one of the most skilled fighters that Rayder has in his army. He could take down several bears if need be, so to say he was frustrated by Rayder’s decision was an understatement. He didn’t understand why he wasn’t joining the group that Rayden took along with him, was it because the crow was among the hunting group. He had dealt with the crow many times before, he could actually tolerate the boy now. Maybe that was it, Rayder could want to see the crow prove himself and prove where his loyalties lay. As Rayder wouldn’t stand to have a traitor in amongst his army.

    Tormund wasn’t the type of guy to sit around and do nothing with his time, which is why he was currently trampling through a snowy path as he thought he might do some of his own hunting. Not all that smart on his part, in case he was to be attacked but he didn’t trust many other people to protect his back in a time of need. So, he went alone, partly also because he was stubborn. If Rayder didn’t want him, he would find his own food for the day.

    A huffing breath left his nostrils, the cold turning the warm breath into fog within seconds. Tormund wasn’t overly bothered by the coldness, it is what he had grown up with and was now used to. However, the furs that covered his body helped in keeping most of the chill from affecting his body, something that was needed in every fight. Minutes passed him by as he searched for a sign of food, paw prints in the snow or a sound from an animal. Tormund hadn’t bothered to keep track of the time he was spending out there, he would return to camp when the hell he felt like returning. He didn’t care what Rayder would say when he did show up at camp.

    Tormund was about to turn and head in another direction as he wasn’t finding signs of any animals close by, but then a faint sound hit his sharp ears. Finding himself instantly behind a tree that covered his body, but still gave him a chance to find what made the noise in the snow. It sounded like snow crunching under some weight, it could be an animal or another person. Waiting until the sounds grew closer, he peaked out from behind the tree and he was surprised by what he saw. No animal and no wildling, he thought his eyes must have been lying to him. Because he saw a lady, walking through the snow and in a dress. He almost stayed silent, but he couldn’t as it was not safe for her and by her appearance it was clear she wasn’t from around there.

    “You need to turn back and get yourself home, dearie” His voice came out louder than he had been expecting to, he hadn’t meant to startle or scary the lady. But he usually only spoke to other wildlings, none of them had manners or held as much beauty as this strange lady did. To make himself known, he slowly stepped out from behind the tree keeping his weapon in place as he wasn’t there to threaten her.
    Aila had not known much about the world that she had been born into, she couldn’t remember the village she came from or the faces of her parents. She had always known that she hadn’t been born in the Lands of Always Winter, as she was the only human who lived that far North. Which in turn only made her hungry to explore the world that wasn’t her home, she wanted to see small villages and be in an environment that wasn’t dead. The White Walkers were her family, but she craved more from her life. As she knew what would come of her once she was older, the plan had always been known and although she didn’t agree or want what was planned, she couldn’t do a single thing about it.

    It was why the Night King granted her time to explore the world when she asked, as she wouldn’t have time in the near future. Aila had set off a few days ago, her black clothing made thick in order to keep her warm. Fur lined her clothing, pants to help her movements and boots to keep the snow from freezing her toes. A long cloak that followed behind her and a hood to protect her face from the harsh weather, and to hide her if needed. She had already seen so much of the lands, and she couldn’t wait until she saw more.

    She had found a small cave on her first day which she had been returning to before each nightfall, Aila felt safe there until she heard them. Laughter that filled Aila with dread, she had been taught by White Walkers on how to fight and keep herself alive. But the laughter was coming from many, she knew deep down she couldn’t possibly defend herself against more than one other person. She could feel her heart beat increase in her chest, moving herself against the inner wall of the cave near the opening. She dared to take a look outside, seeing the wildlings filled her with fear as she remembered the horrible stories she had heard of their kind.

    Reaching her hand under her cloak, her fingers wrapped around the handle of her sword that was securely tucked away on a leather belt around her hips. The sword had been given to her a few years ago by the Night King, the blade wasn’t made of metal, it was made from ice. Aila had never used her sword against another person, she had only practised with it during her training. She may have been afraid of the wildlings, but she didn’t feel fear to use her weapon against them.

    Calming her racing heart by steadying her breathing, she stole another glance outside. Keeping herself hidden the best she could, she needed to make sure the wildlings weren’t heading towards her cave. It seemed like they weren’t, but then a pair of dark eyes landed on her. His curly hair painfully stuck out from the whiteness of the snow, a sharp intake of cold air stung Aila’s lungs as she pushed her body back against the rock wall of the cave. Her hand instantly drawing her sword as she prepared herself for a fight, maybe the Night King was right, maybe the world away from the far north was too dangerous for her.
    July 9th, 2017 at 09:15am
  • salander.

    salander. (150)

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    [That’s alright! I completely understand!]

    Jon knew one of the suede lacings on his boots was about to snap when he’d been given the boots. Of course, the Wildling he’d pointed this out to just laughed and mentioned that this wasn’t the Night’s Watch and that he wasn’t going to be issued clothing or shoes when they wore out past these few items he was given. The Wildling also made it a point that they weren’t giving him these clothes for his sake, but for theirs. His harsh black clothing would make him far too easy to be seen. Any new things he would need, he’d have to get himself and make repairs to anything that needed to repairing.

    That’s why it was no surprise to him when the suede broke and he nearly lost his boot in the shin deep snow. His steps came to a complete halt as he hissed a curse under his breath and crouched down to take a look at it. The Wilding walking behind him stepped around him, laughing tauntingly at him as he passed. Jon shot a glare at their back, shaking his head a bit before he assessed what he could do to fix his boot and continue on. The suede was long enough that he could tie it back together, thought it would make his boot a little more snug than he would have preferred it to have been. He would rather deal with that than the Wildlings joking him for living a “cushioned” life on the other side of the wall.

    As nimbly as he could with fingers encased in thick gloves lined with fur, he tied up the lace and winced a bit at how much that made his boot tighter. It was bound to start hurting him in a couple of hours, but at least he could still dig in and follow the Wildlings for however long this hunting excursion was going to last the two of them. He’d be able to soldier on through it until he could manage to find some new sueded to tie his boot with. As he was righting himself, he spotted movement out of the corner of his eye and his attention was drawn to the mouth of a cave that he’d merely glanced over earlier.

    He caught sight of black garments before they disappeared behind the lip of the cave. His first instinct was to think that this was some straggler from the Night’s Watch, sent on some mission beyond the Wall and now they were stuck on the other side. If he brought them to Rayder, it could potentially secure his place amongst the Wildlings just a little more. Or, if this was someone he knew, he wanted to be sure they weren't going to freeze to death or become a victim of the wights or White Walkers. Jon spared a glance to the group of Wildlings ahead of him, making sure that no one was going to see him dart off to the cave just in case they were someone he knew from the Night’s Watch.

    Nearing the cave, his hand found his sword, trying to remain as quiet as he could against the snow, but knowing that whoever was in there knew he was coming and had more of an advantage than he did. He drew it slowly, as to not make a noise to indicate that he did indeed have his weapon draw, just in case the person hiding there was not an ally.

    “I know you’re in there,” he called to the person, eyes set on the last place he’d seen them. He spared another glance back at the Wildlings, to make sure he hadn’t been followed, before immediately drawing his gaze back to the cave. He paused for a moment, not knowing what else to say, but knowing he had to continue on. “Are you a crow?” He asked, figuring that was a fair enough question. It sounded more like a Wildling than blatantly asking if the person was a ranger or part of the Night’s Watch in general.
    Elianora was no fool; she would not be distracted by the fact that the cold was seeping into her bones, even more so than it had on the boat or even back on the island that she was from. However, every noise that reached her ears made her more and more nervous. How was she supposed to survive a night out here if she wouldn’t even be able to handle mere noises? Though she couldn’t outright see any threats, she knew they could be anywhere and the thought that they could potentially have already spotted her put her on edge.

    Her long cloak and dress hissed against the snow as she stepped past a line of frozen trees. Maybe the shelter of the forest would provide her with a feeling of security. After all, it would provide her more hiding places than being out in the open along the shore. Though, the moment the first tree was out of her line of sight, she realized how foolish the notion of tree cover was. For as much shelter and hiding places it would provide her, it provided those who knew the layout of the land much more. At least the dark grey cloak and cobalt blue of her dress would not stand out as much against a tree than just pure snow.

    Hand finding the one-handed axe at her belt, she felt a bit more relieved at the notion that she could defend herself if need be. Well, at least against anything living. Her stomach gave a protesting grumble as she realized that she hadn’t dug into what little provisions she’d brought with her since she’d pushed off from the shore at Skagos. For as hungry as she was, she knew she had to find some sort of shelter before she’d let her guard down enough to rest a while and eat. She found it within her to push through it; she was a Northern woman, hewn of long, cold winters. She would survive this. She had no other choice at this point. Things had already gone too far.

    A frigid wind blew past her and she shrunk into her fur collar, wincing a bit at just how biting the wind was. It was like she wasn’t even wearing clothes at all, though she had to have had at least three layers of dress alone. That wasn’t even counting her cloak or fur. She stepped over a root, gloved hand resting on the trunk of the tree for balance as she maneuvered herself around the large tree. For a place that was brimming full of frozen death, she wondered how exactly these trees were still standing. She was quickly jolted from her thoughts by a voice, jumping slightly as she spun quickly to find the owner of the voice.

    She drew her axe out of instinct, holding it out in front of her as her eyes widened and eyes the same color of her dress darted in every direction. “Who’s there?” She asked, gathering her strength enough to sound commanding and tough, though a fine shiver unassociated with the cold had worked its way through her body. She heard movement and it caused her to grip her axe even harder, body turning to face the direction the noise was coming from.

    The first thing she noticed about the man was his height and fiery red hair and beard that was seemingly unkempt. He was a stark contrast to the squat, handsomely dressed man that her parents had expected her to marry before the Old and New Gods not the next day. He’d been the last man she’d seen in over the few days it had taken her to reach the shore; she almost had forgotten what he looked like over the course of her journey. When he spoke, her cat-like eyes narrowed slightly, axe poised in his direction. “Who are you to presume you know what I need to do?” She snapped, though her voice gave a few tale-tell quivers. She wasn’t going to fool herself into thinking she was brave at this moment.
    July 9th, 2017 at 09:48pm
  • sugarplum.

    sugarplum. (100)

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    Tormund couldn’t help the deep chuckle that rattled through his bones, he raised his palms slightly to show the lady that he hadn’t grabbed for his weapon. That he wasn’t any threat to her, but at least she did have her own weapon on her. An axe was a good choice, as long as she knew how to use the axe to defend herself.

    “The fact that you are standing in the snow in a skirt, no food on you and clearly no shelter. No ladies here are dressed like you,” He explained as his eyes were trained on her, he could hear in her sweet voice that she was trying to hold herself together and so far, she was doing well. But her voice wavered slightly, causing Tormund to wonder what brought her to the snow-covered lands.

    “I was only tryin’ to help you, darling. You don’t blend in, you ain’t no wildling.” Tormund dropped his hands back to his sides, she posed no threat to him either. Her axe would do damage to his body, if she was able to get close enough to him. But he wasn’t going to engage in a fight with her, she hadn’t done anything to him and she had brought herself there for a reason.

    “The sun will vanish soon, most of the animals will go back into hiding. Those furs won’t help you when the temperature drops,” He spoke honestly as she would need to find some shelter before the sun became hidden by the mountains, if she didn’t then she probably wouldn’t survive through to the morning.

    “You ask nicely, I’ll help you.” The tree coverage wouldn’t be enough to keep her alive, there were caves scattered along the mountains. A cave would be her best chance of survivable, until she reached the destination that she was heading in. Tormund wasn’t going to offer his help to a lady who didn’t want it, if she thought she could survive on her own then he would leave and wouldn’t look back at her.

    She was beautiful, but she could also easily draw unwanted attention to herself because of her beauty and her skirts. Tormund didn’t want to deal with unwanted attention, as it would either end with him winning a fight in order to protect them both or news would reach Rayder and he wouldn’t be pleased.
    Aila held her breath as she listened intently on any noise that came from outside the cave, closing her light blue eyes for a second she cursed herself mentally for getting herself in this situation. She was tempted to go running home if she survived this day, she knew there was a high chance that she would be killed by this person. She had never held her sword so tightly than she was now, turning her body to face the entrance of the cave she stayed hidden from sight in hopes the wilding would leave her alone.

    She didn’t seem to have much luck on her side when she heard his voice, should she answer him? She could pretend that she wasn’t there and stay silent, but he had already seen her. She inhaled a slow deep breath to keep her voice calm, “Leave me alone. I’m not here to cause trouble or harm, so go away.” She wanted to appear and sound brave, although she wasn’t sure if her voice carried how she wanted to sound.

    Her heart was still racing in her chest, she could feel soreness begin to ache in her legs from how tense her body was. She was ready to strike at any moment if he came any closer to the cave entrance, however a frown settled between her brows at his next question.

    She didn’t understand what he was asking, was she a crow? Why would he ask her that, what kind of creatures were around this area? “No, why would I be a crow?” She had only meant to tell him no, she didn’t want to engage with him as it would make him linger around longer.

    “Please leave,” Aila nearly begged him to leave, she also knew that if anything happened to her than the Night King would find out. He already held a hatred for humans, if she was harmed or killed that would only push him to start a war. A war that he would probably win, Aila didn’t want to be the reason why a war tore through all the lands.

    She knew that he was close now, he wasn’t far from where she stood. She could take a swing at him, but that could make her vulnerable. Especially if his friends then noticed where she was hiding, she couldn’t survive an attack from a group of wildlings. Aila knew that. “You won’t see me again, I’ll go back North when the sun rises.” Aila thought that might give this man a reason to let her live, and she would return home.
    July 10th, 2017 at 10:45am
  • salander.

    salander. (150)

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    Jon stood outside the cave, drawing in a deep breath of air and trying to remain as still as possible. Despite himself, his heart was thudding hard in his chest. If the Wildlings happened to find that he wandered off from the group, he didn’t know what he would do. If the person in the cave wanted to kill him, there would undoubtably be a fight. He kept his ears tuned in for any sign that whoever was in the cave was going to try and attack him. When the person spoke, his brows shot skyward and he went still. The person in the cave was a woman? What was a woman doing on her own?

    He struggled to find what to say in reply, opening his mouth and closing it a few times. A part of him relaxed a little, but only for a moment. There could have been others inside the cave, just waiting to ambush him and split him open. His hand gripped tighter around the handle of his blade, eyes set on the opening of the cave. “Are you alone?” He questioned, knowing that the answer may very well be a lie. Still, it was the only thing he could think of in response to what she’d said.

    A frown curled his lips slightly as he tried to reason through exactly why this woman would not be part of a Wildling clan. Certainly, she had some camp to call her home. He drew in and let out a measured breath of air, glancing around to be sure no Wildlings had spotted him yet. Her next comment only urged the frown deeper onto his features and he shook his head slowly. No woman would ever be a crow, but something told him that she probably wasn’t even sure what he was asking her.

    “I don’t think I can do that,” he replied quietly after she’d asked him to leave. He only had one choice in his mind if she just so happened to be alone; he’d have to take her back to the Wildlings. And when she spoke again, he knew he’d have to take her back. He couldn’t just allow someone to just go back North, where it was even colder and more bleak. Jon didn’t know much about the Wildling clans, but he was pretty certain they stayed fairly close to the Wall to scavenge what they could off of the odd ranger that crossed their paths. The further someone went North, the less chance they had of surviving.

    In one quick movement, he had Longclaw drawn and he spun himself to face the front of the cave. His eyes connected with the black clothing that had attracted his attention in the first place and his eyes slowly swooped up to the woman’s face. She had her own sword drawn, one unlike anything he’d seen, but that was not the most striking thing about her. Jon was never more certain that she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on. Swallowing hard, he leveled his sword in her direction, though he wasn’t sure if he could attempt at cutting her down. Instead, his eyes never left her, relying on his sense of hearing to let him know if there was anyone else in the cave with her.

    “You’re going to have to come with me,” he murmured in a low tone, stern enough that he hoped she saw there was no other option.
    The chuckle the man let out set Elianora on edge. Did he think that she was a joke? Her brow furrowed slightly and she tilted her head to the side a bit as she watched him. She readjusted her grip on the axe in her hand, a cool wind whipping up the dry snow around them and fluttering through her hair. She shrunk down a bit deeper into her fur collar, breath turning to vapor in front of her.

    “I’ve got food…and ale,” she retorted, though she knew she hadn’t brought much of either. She winced a bit, thinking it was perhaps stupid to let this Wildling know what she did or didn’t have on her. “Men would like to believe dresses are more of a hinderance to women, but they’re actually quiet warm.” Elianora liked to believe it was all the layers a woman was required to wear beneath the only part men got to see. But she wasn’t about to have the conversation about what she had on under her dress with this Wildling.

    A scoff left the woman as he spoke and she shook her head. “I may as well be,” she murmured darkly under her breath. People from Skagos were regarded in the same light as Wildlings were. They lived a different way than those on the mainland of Westeros, but they were still very different than Wildlings. She kept her gaze on him, wondering what he was getting at. There was no way a Wildling was offering her help, not without wanting something else in return. That was just not something they did freely.

    “I’m not stupid,” she told him plainly, narrowing her eyes at him again. “I know how to survive in the cold after the sun goes down. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I’m a fool.” Though she knew that she was wearing her warmest clothes, it still wouldn’t be enough, especially if the winds started to pick up. Would it be wise to trust this man if it meant she had a chance at survival? She could only live for so long on what provisions she brought. She could hunt well enough, but shelter was a different. She did not know the land and doubted finding a place away from the cold quickly.

    A heavy sigh left her and she closed her eyes for a moment before reopening them. Logic won out over her pride. “I may need your help…whoever you are,” she said, not dropping her axe. “But if you try to touch me, I will gut you.” Elianora would not be taken advantage of, no matter how tall or fearsome the Wildling looking at her was.
    July 11th, 2017 at 01:51am
  • sugarplum.

    sugarplum. (100)

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    Tormund never once let his eyes leave the woman, he hadn’t heard any other movement to suggest that she wasn’t alone so he didn’t feel the need to scan the area they were standing in to make sure she didn’t have company nor was she followed from wherever she came from.

    “Skirts may be warm, but they would be a hindrance if you were to be attacked. I can’t believe the skirt wouldn’t slow you down, and it seems to me like it would be easy to grab a hold of.” At least that is what Tormund thought, Wildlings don’t wear dresses so he has never seen a lady move in one. He just saw how it would be a pain in the ass.

    Hearing her scoff, it caused him a raise one of his thick red brows in her directions. Where the hell did she come from? His light orbs only briefly left her face to move over to the direction she had been coming from, she couldn’t have possibly made the boat trip across the harsh sea on her own.

    He had, like all the Wildlings, heard the stories about the seas and the inhabitants who lived on the Island of Skagos. Never once had Tormund thought he would see someone from Skagos, that is if she even came from the Island. “You must have travelled far, there is only sea out there.” His eyes turned back onto her.

    “Oh, I never thought you would be a fool. It would be a pity, that’s all. For such a pretty face to die out here,” He spoke to her, she was beautiful. Different to the Wildling women that he was used to, she dressed nicer and held herself with a sense of grace and dignity. Something that none of the women in the villages had, Tormund found himself liking it more than he thought he would.

    Once she agreed to allow him to help her, he rolled his eyes at her next comment. “I wouldn’t expect anything else from you, darling.” He grinned to himself as she was braver than she let on, turning around he wasn’t concerned about her stabbing him in the back. If she tried, she wouldn’t get that close to him to follow through. “Follow me,” His deep voice softly echoed off the snow-covered trees, he knew where all the caves were but he firstly wanted to find an animal to kill as he was growing hungry.

    “Tormund Giantsbane,” He spoke as he listened to her lighter footsteps crunch through the snow, “Why did you leave before the snow melted away? And on your own,” He asked as his eyes searched for a hare or a small pig, he was certain after her journey she would need a decent feed.
    Aila stayed perfectly still even though she knew she should make her move, she could rush past the Wildling and keep running until she lost him or returned home. But then he could be ready for that, he could start a fight or just stab her as she tried to get away. She has never been in a fight before, she had practised for when the time came but that had been different. She had never been harmed, nor had she ever harmed one of the White Walkers. She didn’t even know if she’d be any good when it came down to it, especially if this Wildling was skilled in sword fighting.

    “It doesn’t matter,” Her voice softened as she realised she had missed any chance of her escaping from this situation, he was closer now. Too close for her plan to work. She wished that she wasn’t alone, but she was. She had wanted to do this on her own, only now did she know how stupid she was for assuming she’d be safe. She took several small footsteps backwards, so she wasn’t as close to the entrance of the cave because the Wildling was right there now.

    Then suddenly he was there, sword pointed directly at her but that isn’t what captured her attention. His face was, his strong features stood out to her. He was handsome but he was also alive, Aila had never seen many people this close before. She had seen a few people before they became wights, but this was different to her. He was different to her. However, she never once let down her guard, she may have been alone but he wasn’t.

    “Or you could let me go, forget that you saw me and I’ll return home.” Aila looked at him, she wouldn’t be taken to the Wildlings easily. She would fight for herself because she had to, there wasn’t anyone else around that would come to her rescue. “If you think I’ll go with you, then you’re mistaken. I’ve heard all about men like you, I would rather die than be used and passed around.” Aila wasn’t sure where this bout of braveness came from, she certainly wasn’t feeling brave at the moment.

    But she had heard about how women were only used for sex, bearing children and feeding the men in Wildling clans. She would never let that be her fate, and neither would the Night King. The Night King had promised her that he would have ways of keeping an eye on her while she was away, and although she didn’t want to go running back home, she would if this Wildling tried to drag her to whatever village he was from.

    Not that he looked like the other men in the group he was with, he also wasn’t acting like a Wildling should. She was positive any other Wildling would have simply grabbed her and dragged her away by now, instead he was standing there talking to her. She was confused, she clearly remembered all the stories about how fearless and savage the Wildlings were.
    July 14th, 2017 at 04:34am
  • salander.

    salander. (150)

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    Jon knew that there was still a good chance that the woman before him was not alone. His eyes kept shifting from her to the darkness of the cave. The last thing he wanted to have happen to him was an ambush. The second to the last thing he wanted to have happen was to have the Wildlings find him talking to a lone woman in a cave. They’d either take advantage of her or think he was trying to abandon them, neither of which he wanted to have happen.

    His brow furrowed as she spoke, shaking his head slowly as he tried to make sense of what she just said. Why wouldn’t it matter if she were alone or not? It definitely mattered to him. Instead of trying to argue with her or make her statement a bigger deal than it actually was, he let it go. He’d probably find out soon enough if there were anyone else hiding off in the cave. Jon shot an anxious look over his shoulder, wanting to make sure that the Wildlings he was with hadn’t caught on to him being gone just yet.

    He kept his grip on his sword tight and his muscles tensed and ready to react in case either she moved or something else in the cave did. She didn’t look like much of a formidable foe, but he knew better than to just assume things of someone because of their size or gender. He was sure that plenty of the Wildling women would have easily fought him and provided him a challenge.

    “And where is your home, if it’s not with a Wildling clan?” He questioned, genuinely curious as to where this beautiful woman had come from. She wasn’t wearing anything he’d seen on any other Wildling. There was a chance she scavenged it from someone who was from over the Wall, but he doubted it. Then there was the matter of her sword; it didn’t look natural, in the least. A scoff left him at her next statement and he shook his head slowly. “That’s not my intention, I assure you,” he told her, leveling her with a gaze.

    “I’m technically not a Wildling, for one,” he said, dropping his voice in case any of the Wildlings just so happened to hear him. “And I don’t think I could allow myself to just leave you here. You’ve no fire, no food, nothing to survive out here when night falls,” he explained, eyes darting between hers. “To leave you here would mean I would leave you to death.” He drew in a deep breath of air and let it out slowly, watching it turn to vapor before his eyes.

    “Now, you can either come with me or you can fight me, but I’m not leaving you here,” he told her sternly, keeping his sword leveled on her. He would fight her, yes, but unless he really believed she could do any sort of damage to him, he would not try to actually hurt her.
    Elianora leveled the man with a stare, watching him for any sort of sudden movements or any noises that would indicate that he was not alone. Despite the similarities drawn up between their two cultures, she knew not to trust any Wildlings farther than she could throw them. And Elianora would even allow herself to get close enough to achieve such a feat. They were dangerous people and prone to being unpredictable and wild. She would not find herself a victim of one of them.

    “I’ve been wearing them all my life. I know what I can and can’t do in them,” she retorted smartly. Granted, she was at a grave disadvantage in them and knew the slowed her down than mere deer-skin breeches would, but she prided herself on being a strong woman who didn’t need to dress like a man to survive. Not that her parents would have allowed her to dress in any other way they saw than what they deemed appropriate for a young woman anyways.

    She followed his gaze to the small boat she’d tugged on shore and her brow furrowed slightly. A heavy sigh left her and she shook her head slowly. There really was no going back now. No way she’d survive a journey back over the sea to Skagos again. Not to mention she sure the reception would be less than welcoming. She’d made the point very clear that was not some pawn in a game by leaving in the middle of the night. “No…there is an island before the sea,” she said, figuring that would be enough for him to know where she had come from.

    Elianora shot the Wildling a look when he mentioned it would be a pity for her to die and mentioning her pretty face. Yes, that was all she was, just a pretty face. It was all she was ever bound to be. She set her jaw for a moment, exhaling softly before shaking her head. Instead of saying anything, she let her irritation pass. She had travelled too long and was far too tired to start any arguments. “I suppose it’s a good thing we’ve run into each other, then,” she murmured quietly, eyes focused on the man.

    The woman slipped her axe into a loop on her belt, though she knew that she could grab it easily if she needed to. She was put on edge again when she noticed his grin; it was a wild and unsettling expression. She nodded once when he implored her to follow him and she took one final glance back at her boat before starting after him. Tucking her arms inside her cloak, she pulled the fabric closed around her body, shrinking a bit into the fur collar around her neck. Her eyes trained themselves on his back instead of the frozen wasteland around them. When he spoke next, she figured he was introducing himself and that it was only polite she do the same.

    “Elianora,” she said, pacing herself just behind the man, “Elianora Stane.” At his next question, she fell silent, wondering if she should tell him the reason why she’d travel beyond the Wall or not. “That’s of no matter to you. I’m here now…and I don’t intend on going back,” she told him simply and quietly.
    July 16th, 2017 at 02:30am
  • sugarplum.

    sugarplum. (100)

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    Tormund knew absolutely nothing about dresses, he had seen plain ones that women wore in some Wildling clans. But this one was different to those that he has seen, there was more to the skirt and the fabric looked to be much thicker. It made Tormund nearly believe that she belonged to a Noble family, or that she scavenged it on her journeys. If she was from a Noble bloodline, then why had she come to the North of Westeros? If she was planning on heading South, there wouldn’t be much there after Ned Stark had been murdered.

    “So be it, women here don’t dress so nicely. Some of us men aren’t dumb, we know when something will trade good.” It wasn’t a threat, no Tormund wanted the lady to know that Wildlings will scavenge whatever they can and it didn’t matter who they were stealing from. The dress she was wearing could be traded for anything, warm furs or food or a new pair of boots.

    He left it at that and didn’t say anything when she mentioned there was an island before the vast dangerous sea that surrounded the lands, he was hungry and the sun would be setting shortly. He did however, notice the tension in her jaw when he called her a pretty face. Which she was, he wouldn’t lie about how attractive she was. But he knew there was more to her, the way she held the axe and her body. She understood the weight of the axe in her hands, he had no doubt that she knew how to use the axe. Could she injury a man? He didn’t know, but it was clear to him that she could defend herself.

    “It is,” Tormund stated as she was lucky it had been him who found her, he knew most other men he knew wouldn’t have stopped themselves from either taking advantage of her or taking her as a prisoner back to camp. Hearing her name caused him to grin, this time it was a grin that she couldn’t see. Her name was nice. When she told him that her reasoning for travelling there was of no matter to him, he left it be as she didn’t have to tell him anything and he wasn’t going to force it out of her.

    Silence fell over them after that as Tormund continued to walk deeper into the forest, the trees grew closer together and the snow on the ground became less heavy as the canopy of leaves shielded the forest floor. His trained eyes sought after a small animal that he could skin and cook, give them something to fill their bellies with until the sun rose. Suddenly his feet froze, his hand raising in the air to let Elianora know to also stop walking and to stay quiet. Tormund had heard a soft rustle in a nearby bush, slowly pulling his sword from the leather bond holder on his waist he inched his way closer towards where the noise came from.

    Once close enough he spotted the fully-grown hare, its back was facing Tormund so he knew it would be an easy kill. Pushing his sword through the hare’s body, killing the animal instantly. Tormund pulled the body from the blade and carried on walking towards the closest cave he knew of, on his way he also collected any sticks and branches that were semi dry for when he started a fire to keep them warm. “The cave isn’t far,” He told Elianora as the neared the side of the mountain, the breeze had picked up by then and sent a shiver through Tormund’s bones. It didn’t seem to matter how many winters he survived through, when it was a cold night there wasn’t much to do about it.
    Aila wasn’t about to tell a stranger where her home was, if she did then he would certainly drive his sword through her body. No Wildling or the Free People would ever put their trust into her, they would all want her head. She had heard stories of the Wildlings, but she also knew of the horrible things her family has done. The Night King wasn’t innocent, the White Walkers weren’t innocent. They have killed people, taken babies from the forest, turning dead bodies into wights and will eventually start a war against anything living.

    “I am from a clan, a clan that will cause trouble if I’m harmed.” Aila warned the man, he didn’t need to know anything else for now. She could have told him that her clan weren’t Wildlings, but she thought that may have been too much information for him. He could have worked out where she came from, as only Wildlings lived this far North from The Wall.

    She knew not to believe a word he spoke, but when he told her that it wasn’t his intention to have her be taken by any man who wanted her, she did want to believe that. Then his voice lowered, his words caused a frown to settle on her face. “If you aren’t a Wildling, then why are you walking among them?” She asked as she didn’t understand, he walked among the group and wore the same clothes as any Wildling she had seen on her way.

    Shortly the frown on her face was replaced by an assumed grin, “If you leave without me, the only thing you’d leave me to is having some peace. I’ve survived and grown through much worse conditions than this winter, it won’t be the death of me.” Aila wasn’t sure if she had said to much, but that is all she’d say about where she came from. But she was growing hungry, she hadn’t been able to catch anything for her to cook that day. With the sun disappearing shortly, there wasn’t any time left until the next morning.

    If she fought him, there was a chance she wouldn’t have enough energy to survive any wounds he may inflict on her body. He was stubborn, not once lowering his blade since he entered the cave. Of course, neither had Aila, but she only saw one way out for her and that was to allow this man to take her to whatever Wildling clan he was with.

    Using slow movements, she slid her sword back into the holder under her cloak. “Tell your friends if any of them touch me, try to kill me or take my belongings. I will slice them in half,” Aila told the curly haired male as she gave in, she couldn’t see another way of getting around him now. She would wait this out and make her escape whenever she could, “Led the way then.” She looked at him, she was curious now as to what he was. If he wasn’t a Wildling, then was he noble? If he wasn’t a Wildling, why was he pretending to be one?
    July 16th, 2017 at 04:41am
  • salander.

    salander. (150)

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    Jon studied the woman before him closely. How did it come to be that she was out her on her own? She was far more beautiful than any other woman he’d seen. Did she know how to wield the icy sword in her grasp well enough to deter anyone who would seek to do her harm? If that were the case, why did she seem so unsure and easy? His brow furrowed slightly as she spoke and a short hum left him. “I can promise you, if you come with me, you will not be harmed,” he told her, eyes locked on hers in what he could only hope would convey to her that he wasn’t lying.

    He knew what the Wildlings would do if they got a hold of the woman before him and though they could take advantage of her without repercussions. Despite himself, he knew that women were to be respected and not seen as something to gain pleasure from or to bear their children. He’d gladly ruin whatever trust he’d earned with the Wildlings if it meant that he kept his word. Jon was honorable to a fault and would die to make sure his word was kept.

    His dark eyes darted behind him once more, feeling a bit relieved that it still seemed like the Wildlings he had traveled with still hadn’t realized he was gone. His gaze found hers as she questioned him and he drew in a deep breath of air at the sight of the frown on her features. “I come from over the Wall. I work with the people who protect those South of the Wall from Wildlings. That’s all you need to know for now,” he told her, gaze leveled on hers.

    His brows lifted slightly at the sudden grin on her features, wondering what this change of expression could mean. When she spoke, however, he was having a hard time not pulling a bit of a face as she spoke. Jon drew in a measured breath of air. “I see no fire to keep you warm and there hasn’t been a sign of animal for miles now. If you’re not starving, you will not survive the night without warmth,” he told her. His tone lacked judgment, merely listing off facts. “If I leave you here, I leave you to freeze.”

    Jon was surprised when she sheathed her blade and spoke to him. Her words were what he expected. He supposed if he were in her shoes, he probably would have said the same thing. His sword suddenly weighed heavy in his hand and he suddenly felt very odd. Jon knew it would be dangerous to lower his sword, but he knew that she could potentially see it as a gesture of trust between the two of them. He slowly lowered his sword and sheathed it as well, knowing he could draw it quickly if need be.

    “You’re going to have to be alright with me saying that I saw you first and that I claim you. That’s the only way they’d leave you alone,” he told her, eyeing her for a few moments before nodding once as she spoke of him leading the way. He turned and glanced around for a few moments, seeing a few of the Wildlings heading toward them. Drawing in a breath of air, he steeled himself before glancing over to the woman. “I’m not going to hurt you,” he reassured her before clasping an arm gently around her bicep and beginning to lead her toward them.
    Elianora leveled the Wildling with a sharp stare. This Tormund still seemed to be a bit…dodgy to her. She didn’t expect to run into a Wilding so soon after crossing the sea to the other side of the Wall. The woman didn’t know much about their culture or if it differed greatly from her own, but she did know that Wildlings were not to be trusted by any means. It was then she realized that she doubted she’d allow herself to get any sleep with the man around. He was liable to bind her arms in her sleep and take advantage of her.

    When he spoke next, a cool jolt of distaste and slight fear rippled through her. “You’re fooling yourself if you think you or any of you Free Folk are getting any piece of my clothing to trade,” she snapped, nearly glaring at his back. “I’ll take a chunk or two out of anyone who tries,” she continued, knowing he could perceive this as a threat. If he did, good. She was not someone to be taken lightly.

    The wind whipped past her and she winced a bit at how icy the wind had gotten as the sun had set. It was like any bit of moisture in the air had frozen mid-air and was throwing itself at her skin to imbed itself in. She frowned a bit and shrugged even deeper into her furs, trying to block out the wind from at least hitting her neck. The silence between the two of them was welcome, actually, as it kept her from thinking over his every word and trying to find some hidden meaning to them. Surely, he had to have had some sort of motive behind helping her. Free Folk didn’t just help someone from South of the Wall like her for nothing. He probably would end up wanting something in return.

    She hesitated a bit as he spoke again, her footsteps stalling for a moment. He would certainly seek some sort or reimbursement for his help. Perhaps if she led him to believe she had anything of value, he’d request that instead of going after what she believed any man would go after upon finding a lone woman in a strange land. However, Elianora was pleased when he didn’t press her for more information on how she had left her home and come to this place instead. It was not something she thought she’d ever be ready to talk about, and especially not to a stranger.

    Either she was growing used to the cold wind or the thick overhang of leafless trees blocked the wind from reaching her, as she found the deeper they wandered into the forest, the less the frigid wind tried to bite at her. Though, she could tell that the air around her had grown a bit more damp, like it had sat stagnant in the trees for too long. When Tormund suddenly stopped, her eyes widened a bit, fear shooting through her as she froze mid-stride, eyes trained on his back and the hand he had lifted. Her heart gave an awkward jolt in her chest as he pulled out his sword and her hand immediately found the axe at her side. Should he turn on her, she knew the axe was no match, but she could at least try to injure him.

    She stood stock-still as the Wildling moved forward, gloved fingers wrapping around the top of her axe as she slowly began to pull it from the loop around her belt. However, once she noticed he’d stabbed at something just out of her line of site, she dropped it back into place. A sigh left her when she noted the body of a small, furry creature in his hand. It wouldn’t yield much meat and she wasn’t exactly sure how much this Wildling was willing to share. She nodded once as he spoke, eyes on him for a few moments before she glanced up at the mountains. The mere sight of them sent a chill through her that she could not shake and a soft, breathless sort of noise left her as the wind felt like it cut right through her. “Tormund,” she started, voice quivering slightly from the cold, “if you get me to whatever encampment your folk have safely and manage to keep any…unwanted attention away from me, I can repay you handsomely.” To be honest, she only had a bit of gold in her bag and what few items of jewelry she grabbed as she left. She didn’t know how much the Wildings valued such things, but it would be worth a shot if he felt compelled enough to keep her out of harm’s way.
    July 26th, 2017 at 01:50am
  • sugarplum.

    sugarplum. (100)

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    “I won’t be stealing you’re dress, but you will need to stay on your guard around the rest of the Free Folk. Take some chucks out of them, might teach them a thing or two.” Tormund spoke as he would enjoy watching Elianora lash out with her axe, not that Tormund would let any other man get that close to her. At least not until he has seen how she fights against a man, only then will he know if she can defend herself or not.

    Now that he had meat he could cook, he would still need to find some timber that was dry enough to light for a fire. “If you see some branches, grab whatever you can carry. We’ll need a fire tonight,” He told the strange woman who was behind him, once he had pulled the hare’s body from his sword. He wiped the blood from the blade onto the fabric of his pants, before sheathing his sword. His feet again carrying him towards the closest mountain to them, he knew he wouldn’t reach camp before the sun set completely for the night.

    He could return in the morning with Elianora if she so wished to come along, if she wished to go on her own way then Tormund wouldn’t try to stop her or change her mind. She was a grown woman, she could do whatever it was that she pleased. But then she brought up that she could repay him if he got her back to his camp safely, Tormund realised then that she mustn’t know much about the Wildlings. They never really traded much among themselves, so even if she had gold on her, Tormund would only keep it safe until he could trade it for something in return.

    All Wildlings never helped another person out without wanting something in return, it was how life was on that side of The Wall. When Tormund had seen her, he knew he wanted to help her. At least get her somewhere warm for the night, otherwise she would die and if she travelled far then it would have been a shame if she did die so quickly. However, Tormund didn’t speak, if she felt like she could repay him then she could but it wasn’t what Tormund was helping her for.

    As he walked he would bend down and pick up any piece of wood that wasn’t covered in snow, “This way.” He grunted as a bone chilling breeze knocked into his face like a punch from a fist, stepping onto a few rocks he reached the base of the mountain. Turning he offered his hand out for Elianora to take if she wished, the rocks could get rather slippery when it snowed. “The cave is just over there,” His light eyes glanced in the direction of the cave entrance, it was good timing as the stars were beginning to twinkle in the darkening sky.

    Moving along until he reached the entrance, he stepped into the dark cave and set to piling the wood in a heap. Finding some stone on the cave floor, he used the stones friction to start a fire which gave them warmth and light. Sitting down Tormund set to work on skinning the hare so it could cook, and give them both some food to hold off any hunger they may be feeling.
    Aila couldn’t understand why this stranger that came from over The Wall, would be part of a Wildling clan. However, she didn’t question him about it as she had the feeling he wouldn’t answer her even if she did. She didn’t trust him, she had only just met him and she couldn’t be sure which side he was on. But for now she would have to put some trust in him, if he was to keep her from harm like he promised her.

    He was still underestimating her ability to survive the harsh conditions of the winter, but he was right on her not finding any animals for food. She was growing hungry and would have searched for food, if not for the Wildings that passed by her cave. Her eyes watching as he lowered his own sword, she understood how vulnerable this left them both. It was the only way that Aila saw herself surviving, she would have to believe this man would keep his promise and if the other Wildlings saw them both with their swords. None of them would believe that Jon had claimed her, which she was not pleased with him saying.

    Biting her tongue, she exhaled a heavy breath, it took all her strength not to snap at him for saying that. Like he said, it was the only way for the Wildling men to leave her alone and that is what she wanted. She would ignore the comment if he spoke it again, she wished she could say that no man would ever claim her but she couldn’t. She had been claimed from a very early age.

    Then she heard the crunching of snow under feet, his clan had realised he was missing and were outside the cave entrance. Aila could feel her heart race in her chest, all she had to do was keep her face calm and she would survive this situation she had gotten herself into. She nearly flinched away from his touch, no man has ever touched her before, at least no alive human man has touched her or even been this close to her before.

    She felt her body tense as he begun to lead her from the cave, her eyes instantly finding two other Wildlings a few feet away from them. Their eyes immediately drinking in the sight of Aila, smug smirks spreading across their faces. “Well what do we have ‘ere, Snow. You found us a pretty one,” One Wildling spoke which caused Aila’s stomach to flip with disgust, again she bit her tongue so her words wouldn’t cause her any more trouble.

    “What do you think you were doing, Snow?” Another voice sounded from behind the other two men, a stronger voice and Aila could only guess that he was someone in charge. His thinning dark hair was a messy from the winter wind, his face was aging quickly but he had this sense of empowerment about him. Aila stole a glance over to the one they were calling Snow, was she meant to struggle against his grip or stay silent? Fear was gripping her tightly, she didn’t have the safety of her dark cave and she was now confronting a Wildling clan.
    July 31st, 2017 at 10:12am