We all tell stories…
Bard's have a way with stories, they've a gift for gilded tongue, an ease of manner, the knowledge of when to best pause for breath t'leave an audience suspended in wait. God touched, me mother used t'say, that their stories might be as men are and others, them with true gift, as men will be. Twas always men though, from 'er lips. Always men, fer women have no tales. They've names that're only remembered if they birth a king'r'ah traitor. Less'n of course, theys traitors themselves.
No bard will tell my story, tis no fer the ears o'men to keen. Nothin' an less than nothin', meant t'be dead well aforenow. Grew up in the riverlands, nary a Rivers nor a Snow. Nary an anyone t'my knowledge. The names blur, the memories. But I remember rollin' pastures an folks of sheep. I remember 'Come by Summer!' and 'Away to me, Winter!' for such were the names of the dogs that ran by my sides. I remember drivin' the flock an tryin' to stay out from underfoot. I remember the trick of a stove kept warm, kept open, for when the lambs came too soon when the nights were cold. Remember it seemed like some sort of magic that touched them and fused them with life, when it was nothing more the heat that warmed their blood and made it move.
I canna tell you the Lord's name, nor his wife, because rare if ever I saw them. I was young then. So young. Youth falls away quicker'n tha first leaves of fall, if you want the truth. I remember it was dark, dark when they rounded us together. Dark as pitch when they said t'were time to go. Go? Go where? The sheep were set well to pasture. Father set to the fields to watch over them. Go, says they. These men who were neither Lord nor Master. But says they the Lord says go, an we went. Less than people then, to be sold away as sheep. I remember bein' left to wonder if we were to be slaughtered, too.
First taste o'tha sea an it was found with bloody feet fer tha walkin', an shorn hair t'better avoid lice. Different, tha's how they wanted us t'look an different we did, packed away like fish t'a crate, fit snug upon ship and lost t'sea. Slaves, that was what they called us. Slaves, with new masters because we were t'be taken far and away. Born upon solid earth, without tha call o'the sea t'our blood, too many of us got sickly for the rollin' that never ceased, an tha salt that never left us. Remember the fevers, the fevers an sea an watchin' the rest turn just as white, just as sickly. Tha's where I fergot most o'what came before. Where the nights strung together and the heat never wanted t'leave. S'where the beginning blurred.
Stayed blurred too, fer more days than I could count. Too many days, an a body fer each'o them there near the end. Lost o'er the side, them as what didn't make the voyage. Tyrosh, they called it. Foreign says I. No more'n slave. No more'n youth. Bakin' beneath the sun in the bright light o'day. Remember watchin' em go, watchin' em fret. Hearin' the crowds talk an jeer about we'd be good for. I weren't good fer nothin, they said. Too sick, to thin. Not old enough even t'make a proper whore, good enough only fer the mines. Good enough to die in them.
They's right, too. Even if'n they's wrong. I was good enough, just no for that. Were a man that bought me anyway. Took me fer a servant, taught me how t'pour and string a bow. How to move quiet. Quiet as a temple mouse. How ta eat when I was hungry. He was as far from home as I was. Tha's how I got me Pa. I've had two now. One who helped bring me into the world, an the one I still have. The one who delivered me from certain death an gave me life a second time. Me Father. Gerry. S'his name I bare an none to say any different er be the wiser. Them who could or might have known me are long gone. One over the edge of a ship from a sickness to great to be quelled, another on the auction block, far an away from where I walked.
An we did walk, a great deal. An what we didn't walk, we rode as he forced the sickness of travel from my veins. Learned the saddle from him too, an words. How to wash away the stain of dirty common from my tongue, until they sounded almost if not completely proper. Of company he kept a sea of changing faces. Some women who stayed longer than others, one of whom taught me better how to pull a needle and thread. But mostly…mostly it was about learning how to survive. How t'build a fire without one being set. How t'cook over an open flame.
Saw more of the world scrubbin' bowls at his feet an walkin' through foreign markets than I ever would have otherwise. More to the world than sheep, he'd say. We didna have to be them. I just hadta earn my keep. So he made me a thief instead; small hands are harder to spot than large ones. Small feet make less sound. My life depended, sometimes, when work was hard for him, on my ability to be quiet. To be quick. To be unseen. Too well he had explained what could happen to my hands, or my neck should I be too slow. The trick of laws, was knowing them. And so knowing, learn what you could twist. He promised I'd learn lots of things, if I didn't give up an die on 'im. Make sure he got his money's worth. Sometimes I reckon that's why he took the old Maester's deal. It probably aint. But s'nice to think about.
Maester LLewen was old even when we met him, on the side of the road; with the grayest hair I'd ever seen, an a beard that swept all but to his knees. Pleading for his life an fer help from any who came near. It just happened that it was us. I keened Gerry's question even before it came, remember just as well the cuff he gave the back of my head for the grin that came with it, when he told me it was best not to look too smug. Llewen promised everything he owned fer his life that day, while the men who'd once been his bodyguards laughed an laughed. Tha first was still laughin' when 'e died. Tha third was screamin'.
Llewen was tha first Maester I'd ever properly met, an that was only after he an Gerry talked fer a full night settin' the terms. Merceranry companies like good healer's see, but good healers like a good promise they can keep on healin' an turnin' coin. I think it was Llewen's greed as is what got him disgraced, but if it were, he never told me. He mightha told Gerry though. He taught me other things instead. He helped refine the words, filling in the gaps that Father had missed, smoothing out the lumps as if my life were clay to be shaped by another's bidding.
Llewen paid well fer his service with my Father, an as one year became another, became five, he'd taught me quite a bit. Sometimes I think he just liked the notion of havin' someone to pass his knowledge onto. But he said it made me a better servant, a'least, that were his excuse in the beginnin. That a good servant could keen the masters needs an anticipate. At least Gerry didn't think it a wasted skill an let me learn. He could peddle my potions just as easy as the Maesters. Sometimes I think the old man just wanted me t'learn an honest trade, so I'd have a way to freedom, a path t'walk of my own, if Father's fightin' ever got 'im killed.
Seven years. Long years. Years that brought every day somethin' new t'learn. Be it how pain could be mended or how pain could be made. Gerry taught me how to survive, but it was his way. Different than Llewens, with one toleratin' the other as if they were waitin' t'see who's teachin' took deepest root. One teachin' me how t'do nothin' but take, one teachin' me out to give back; feedin' off each other. A sort of balance there in my unlikely family. But mine all the same.
I still remember when the old Maester died, I cried for three days, till He taught me there weren't much use in it. Word of the Greyjoy rebellion had reached us then too, an with the remains o'the Maester's worldly goods, Gerry took us once more across the sea. Daughter proper then, daughter in full. Back t'lands I dun rightly remember, just so he could find somewhere else t'fight, somewhere else t'turn a coin. I was born in Westeros, but it hadna been my home in too long. King's Landing seemed dirty to my eyes, the tongue different than the accent that I was used to hearin' it on.
Weren't long a'tall before Father hired on with a lord, an there we wandered off to war. Him wit t'men an me with t'mendin. Still our same life, even if tha scenery had changed. But they were quicker here t'call him done when it was settled, dismissed an sent on, for extra guards were naught but extra mouths t'feed. Dumped on tha Iron Islands, an from them t'Lannisport. He says we're headed t'the heart'o'tha Riverlands now. Men say they got hit the worst. Maybe they need men. Maybe they'll need him. An me?
I just go where 'e tells me. An sometimes where I want. Might even be a little grain of truth in it.
What you see…
Standing at five feet and five inches, Catryn is a slender waif of a creature, with pale blond hair the color of ripe corn silks and eyes as blue as the summer sky. The latter being one of her most prominent features, bright those eyes, sharp. Set above a slender nose and expressive lips that are quick to smile or frown in equal measure. Its the eyes though, that lend a weight to her years, a thing that is hard to otherwise determine. Those eyes have seen too much and years of being underfed has lent her a lithe willow figure, one that suggests enough force could shatter her to pieces.
Most might shun such a thing, that svelteness, but Catryn carries it well with simple dresses that emphasize what curves she does possess; with necklines that sweep, small tapered waists and sleeves that are open - often in light shades, to compliment the tone of her skin and the color of her hair; the brightness of her eyes. Still a discerning eye might easily spot the tight leathers worn beneath, tapering like a second skin and well suited to the runner's legs they hide.
Other times Catryn doesn't bother with the dress at all, because there's no sense on wearing something just to soil and as a good portion of out of doors and away from polite company…those favored leathers of hers, with their hidden pockets and built in sheaths seem to work quite well beneath one of her Pa's tunics; a thick belt worn to help it better fit her obviously smaller figure.
(aeliana alric amey arabella catryn erik event garion hallianne logs nathaniel nedra robben stafford)
(aeliana aemy alric arabella catryn erik evayne event logs lyanna maldred martyn nathaniel nedra ozric robben stafford)