A Call to Arms

most wanted canons

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 WANT IT BACK, OPEN | 2C
JON TARGARYEN
 direct link • Jul 26 2017, 01:59 pm
Quote
his grace
the wolf of westeros
Sworn to the Seven Kingdoms
ESSOS
18 years
alma • she/her • 251 posts
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Thoguh he had no reason to suspect Aydrian any longer, part of him still longed for a place to call his own, and such he had found in the belly of the ship he had refurbished prior to the hasty departure from King's Landing; wooden panels had been newly varnished, sails mended, and to this day, it still remained a sight Jon drew delight from. It was the last shred of home; the last of the objects at hand, aside from his mutilated, ruby-less breastplate and the dragon Daenerys had at her command, that he felt comfortable and welcome in. And it wasn't odd to spot the scruffy Targaryen heir on deck, or to see him arise early in the morning from the cabins, heading to other ships in port to play cards or knock back drinks with other sailors who knew him as Nathan... only when he was called upon, when he needed to tend to official business as Jon Targaryen did he bother spend a few days being pampered by Aydrian's staff. Only then would he shave his growing beard or brush back the curls he now preferred to keep tied in a greasy, unruly bun at the back of his head. As he had done in Dragonstone, he took to simpler clothes, unpolished boots and the company of less than honorable men, none of which were welcome to cross the threshold of his cabin's entryway, lest they connect the dots and piece together the identity of the westerosi fugitive...

Which was why he grew antsy whenever someone approached his sanctuary.

From where he sat, beside the banisters of his ship, he could see men approach. Some with invitations for drink, others for a few rounds of card games, but when someone new made his way to this part of the dock, Jon grew agitated, a fact he was at odds to conceal. After all, was he not a wanted man? Had someone not already betrayed his location to the Baratheons? He decided to ignore the passer-bys, busying himself with work on deck, whether it was scrubbing the decks or tightening bolts... he was visibly running out of things to do, but how else could he keep an eye out?

He would keep to himself, he figured as he arose from the belly for the ship, his eyes casting a cautious look around him before settling on a bench on deck, opening a book he had borrowed from Aydrian's library. With reverence, he opened the volume, one calloused hand cradling it from behind while another flicked at the edges to flip the papyrus pages, his eyes jumping from words to his surroundings ever so often to see who came...
HARRAS HARLAW
 direct link • Jul 27 2017, 02:31 pm
Quote
HAND OF THE QUEEN
THE KNIGHT
SWORN TO ASHA GREYJOY
THE IRON ISLANDS
28 years
CASTOR • HE/HIM • 21 posts
Offline


This wasn’t the Hand’s first time in Braavos. Harras had first sailed up to the great city almost a decade ago when he first inherited The Gallows from his father, and it was in that he earned his name by sacking one of the Iron Bank’s prized treasure ships. Harras took his first life on that boat, and it yielded a legendary haul in a move as reckless as it was ballsy. Whilst the stunt hand won him the loyalty of his crew, the Ironborn knew that not even a full ten years would have assuaged the wound he dealt the bank. His very presence in this city was a threat, and nobody could mistake the sails of an Ironborn ship in their harbour. To walk here was to tread upon eggshells, so why risk his head? What was so important to Harras that he would risk the Iron Bank finally collecting their debt?

That was an easy question, and the answer was: The Targaryens. Harras wasn’t expecting to see any dragons gracing the many sails that lingered in the bay as his own vessel passed under the Titan’s legs. There were swanships and merchant vessels with sails a motley of colours the Iron Islands had never, but not one dragon. This made sense, as the Targaryen sigil wasn’t the best flag to fly proudly ever since the usurper King Robert kicked their merry arses off the Iron Throne. To Harras it sounded like a fun time for all involved, but it was a war that the Greyjoys and their ilk had conveniently avoided due to the death of King Balon.

However, if there was one thing Harras and his queen could agree on it was that war could not be avoided for long. Hence, Harras had been sent by Asha to make some friends on her behalf. One or two letters had been exchanged but one thing was clear: if you were going to make an ally of a deposed monarch, you do it in person. Anything else was just rude, or so Harras’s life on the mainland had taught him.

”Raff, Nails… You’re with me!” Harras boomed as he let loose his grip on the moorings and skipped off the bow and across the deck in one deft motion. The longship fell in to step with the other boats swiftly, and the crew withdrew their oars and let the boat sail its last few leagues in to the bay. Harras wasn’t about to sail a ship as infamous as his too close to shore; he would take a dingy the rest of the way. The tiny boat had never seen much use, but she was sea-worthy. Harras looked almost comical, in fact: tall as he was in such a small boat. The scene only seemed more absurd when Raff and Nails, the two most brawny thugs Harras had to hand, sat in alongside him.

”Keep watch, and stay clear of the rum. I’ll be back by nightfall.” The knight told his first mate as he took the oars from his hands, and passed them to his thugs. With that last word they were lowered in to the waters and Raff began paddling: slowly inching the three men closer and closer to shore. In any other situation, Harras would have been bored out of his mind. Though powerful men, both Raff and Nails were dull company. Not stupid, but too typical of Ironborn to be of any good conversation. However, Harras kept himself busy with scanning the horizon for the ship where he would meet the king. Not the Usurper or any of the petty kings from the Reach or North, but Jon Targaryen.

And she was a beauty of a ship to be sure. A little too pretty for Harras’s tastes, but a fine vessel all the same. The three hit shore and it felt like only a moment later that the gangplank sat just a step away from Harras’s feet. He took a moment to breath and put on his ‘Mainlander Face’ like his uncle had taught him: his back straight and his face hardened like ice. His knightly bearing blossom as he rested a hand upon the gilded, moonstone pommel of Nightfall and he looked down at his clothes: perhaps wearing full mail wasn’t the best way to enter a diplomatic meeting? But Harras was here to offer Jon an Ironborn fleet, and it would have to be Ironborn that Jon was to negotiate with.

Harras took the first step, and his two men followed. Compared to his thugs, Harras appeared absolutely regal: every step precise and not a twitch in his thumb or eye. Were it not for the reaver’s Armour he wore, one would be forgiven for mistaking Harras for the very king he was about to meet. Heavy boots thundered on to deck with a noise anyone near would have noticed, and yet the first and only person Harras could see was a lone man sitting upon the deck on the ship. His clothes were rough and his hair was a mess, and even his face seemed worn beyond the boy’s years. That was all typical for any sailor on The Gallow’s crew, apart from…

”A sailor who can read?” His voice was dark and warm like spiced rum as he spoke, and walked across the deck to stand in front of the younger man. Rather than look at him, Harras instead inspected the ship as though it were his own. He noted not only the clear expense to which the ship had been built, but also with admiration the skill with which the vessel had been maintained. Harras approved: it truly was a ship fit for a fugitive king. ”An oddity, but perhaps not for a ship as fine as this one.”

Finally, his eyes settled upon the young man and his book, and his hand fell limp from his sword. He regarded the younger man with some curiosity, wondering in part if he truly was on the right and if the man before him was indeed… No, it couldn’t have been. Fugitive or not, the Targaryens were mainlanders. There wasn’t a jewel or piece of gold on this man. Harras visibly scoffed at his own stupidity.

”Ser Harras Harlaw, Hand of Queen Asha Greyjoy.” He began, flatly. ”Take me to him.”
JON TARGARYEN
 direct link • Jul 27 2017, 06:10 pm
Quote
his grace
the wolf of westeros
Sworn to the Seven Kingdoms
ESSOS
18 years
alma • she/her • 251 posts
Offline


It wasn't long before the squaking of nervous seagulls was joined by the thundering steps of an intruder. Actually, a few of them, Jon noted as he raised his eyes from the pages of his book, directing his dark, inquiring gaze towards he who dared, not only approach, but ever so gallantly climb aboard. Had it only been the handsome man that led them and then spoke, Jon wouldn't have felt motivated to rise from his seat, carefully laying down the volume before his hand cautiously settled on the small pommel of an old, standard short sword that hung at his hip. He had not tried to presume his heritage, nor did he want to draw any unwanted attention. Of course he welcomed accolades for his never-ending work and that of many the many talented ship builders of King's Landing, but these he could appreciate as long as the people praising the vessel did so from a distance. And this man, though signaling no ill intent, still insisted on wielding a confidence that Jon found positively threatening.

"There's little to do to pass the time. Figured I might keep my mind as sharp as my blades," he grumbled as his eyes followed the man's movements, his breathing shortening as he neared the entrance of the cabin. Though it was sealed, a mere peek into its interior easily could have betrayed to whom this ship pertained. There was too much red and black, details of the three headed dragon so delicately carved into the wooden, panel walls... it was a ship fit for the royal family, only rivaled by the one his sisters sailed away in. Though he liked to think he had taken good care of this one so far...

However, his attention still lingered on the man before him, biting his inner cheek as he absorbed empty commentary on his ability to understand letter and word sequences, to which Jon rolled his eyes, his fist growing tighter over the sword's grip. It was hard to be at ease under circumstances such as these; alone, poorly armed, not a single piece of armor on his person to deflect any incoming attacks from this man or the two that accompanied him. The sweat began to moisten his palms and roll from his glistening temples, when he found himself unable to contain the words that would either bring a hasty death to the fallen monarch, or confirm that this man, Harras of Harlaw, was truly who he said he was.

He drew his sword but kept it low, using it to signal to Harras' companions. "Order your men to wait on the docks below. They have no business on this ship," Jon sternly stated, sighing loudly through his nose as he took a mediated step backwards. The anger and angst left his person with each soothing breath of salty air, but his eyes remained wide with suspicion. They looked to their clothes, their armor; it certainly lacked the finesse of mainlander fashions, thus confirming, to some extent, the origin of those bearing them. But still, Jon still felt weary. It had been weeks since he had crossed path with Westerosi men, and who knew how long since he had encountered the likes of the Ironborn...

Though he had been aware of the existence of correspondence between his aunt and the aforementioned Queen Asha, Jon still felt ill at ease. He wished he could bring out the same cocky attitude Harras brought to the table out for a walk, to have met him under less critical circumstances. But he had no choice. Jon stood his ground, quieted his mind as best as he could and confronted the supposed Hand with defiant courtesy. After all, the stranger had not realized that a king stood before him, that he was talking to Jon Targaryen himself. I am safe, for now, he figured, licking his lips before going on. "I suppose you carry proof, of your identity, of your post, perhaps a letter from your Queen, or the a bit of correspondence," Jon began, sheathing his sword, but still letting his thumb linger at the edge of his belt. "Surely you are capable of understanding why I must do this, do you not?" Perhaps he was taking a risk here, suggesting that the Greyjoys and their lot were incapable of understanding mainlander protocol, but he had to make it clear that there was no getting to "Jon" without absolute certainty of who these men were. "The Targaryens are no strangers to danger. They cannot afford to take a risk," Jon went on, eyes fixed on the intruder. A dragon was being guarded; Daenerys, pregnant once more, would only grow more vulnerable as time went on. He, on the other hand, had maintained a low profile among those in the crowd. He had become Nathan, it seemed.

He drew some degree of pride in having been able to fool Harras. Caelia would be proud...

HARRAS HARLAW
 direct link • Jul 29 2017, 09:48 am
Quote
HAND OF THE QUEEN
THE KNIGHT
SWORN TO ASHA GREYJOY
THE IRON ISLANDS
28 years
CASTOR • HE/HIM • 21 posts
Offline


Had Harras been any other Ironborn, he might have cut this sailor down the moment he drew his sword. However, his companions had no such restraint, and Harras had to hold out a hand to stay their blades. There were a few tense seconds where Harras unblinkingly regarded the sailor, breathing a sigh of frustration whilst he fought his reaver instincts for the sake of the negotiation. With a curt nod of his head, Harras waved Raff and Nails off the boat: the reaver-knight wasn’t here to cause a fuss and, if things did get hairy, he was more than able to cut down a single, flustered sailor.

”Have it your way.” He sighed, as the two brutes thundered back down the gangplank to take watch. They might not be allowed on the boat, but they sure as hell weren’t going to leave it unguarded whilst their captain was aboard. Harras finally lowered his hand when the sailor sheathed his weapon, both hands now falling limp by his side. So, the sailor wanted to see proof of his identity? Unfortunately for Harras, he hadn’t thought to keep any of Asha’s incriminating letters upon his person lest they fall in to the right hands. A sly smile graced his lips, however, when he settled on a much more dramatic alternative.

”Well, since you showed me yours…” Slowly, Harras began to fiddle with the buckle of his belt, slowly sliding the black leather strap from the iron clasp. He paused but for a second and his eyes boared in to the sailors’. Even with his stony face and all-important bearing, Harras couldn’t help but let out a small laugh at the implication of what he was doing. ”Don’t worry, boy. I’m talking about my sword.”

‘Though wouldn’t that be a fun negotiation?’, he though to himself.

Satisfied that the young man before him now knew that Harras wasn’t planning to disrobe in full view of the harbour, he made quick work of the belt tying his sword to his hip and held the weapon out, sheath and all, to present it to the stranger. Though the sheath was a tattered old thing made of old leather and long-worn cloth, the hilt was a thing of dark beauty: cast from black iron, with a large moonstone rested within the gilded pommel and whirling tentacles of a similarly gilded kraken forming the quillons of its guard.

”Its name is Nightfall,” Harras began, slowly sliding the blade out of the sheath in the least threatening manner he could muster. Here he revealed the pitch-black metal of the blade, shot through with ripples of smoke. There was no mistaking Valyrian steel, and hopefully the sailor could recognise its significance. There were only a handful in the seven kingdoms, and Nightfall was only one of two in the Iron Isles. ”It was entrusted to House Harlaw by the Greyjoys centuries ago, and as heir to that house it has since been entrusted to me. If there’s any greater proof that I am who I say I am… well, there is no greater proof.”

”So, friend, you may rest easy.” With a sharp snap, the blade disappeared back in to its sheath and Harras got to work strapping it back to his hip. He had to admit, he enjoyed getting to show off his sword more than he enjoyed putting it to use. He was proud of his station, and it showed in his bearing: even when reaching around to fiddle with the buckle, he somehow managed to stand straight and tall. There was, at the very least, no doubting his knightly heritage. Whether this did more or less to help his reputation as hand of the Ironborn Queen was up to the boy that stood before him. ”If you are now satisfied, would you kindly show me to your king?”
JON TARGARYEN
 direct link • Aug 05 2017, 03:04 pm
Quote
his grace
the wolf of westeros
Sworn to the Seven Kingdoms
ESSOS
18 years
alma • she/her • 251 posts
Offline


Jon simply smirked at the man's humor; it was something he yet appreciated, even in these dark and daring times. However, there was reason why he should let his guard down so easily, to allow bar talk to tweak and tickle his subdued sensibilities and awaken the sort of trust he extended to the drunken lot he commiserated with. At least not yet, he reminded himself as he relaxed his stance, his coal-like eyes following the Ironborn's posse to the ship's equivalent of a door, their steps fading down the ramp as they descended to whence they came. "It isn't every day I'm graced with visitors," Jon quipped as he cocked his head to the side, observing as Harras began to pull at the belt-buckles, and draw the blade away from his form, pouting his lips as the man commenced to speak of his blade, the mere name of it causing Jon's ears to perk up with interest.

The name was familiar. It struck at his memory, but it wasn't until Harras filled in the gaps concerning long-forgotten courses and many a lesson imparted that Jon found himself ultimately smiling at Harras, almost foolishly. Strange how such tedious, academic studies, once matters he would rather not deal with on his day to day, became beacons of light in the dreary mess he had been left to contend with. So Jon relaxed. He dropped his hand from his sorry blade's pommel, for once wishing to have been lugging around the bastard blade that had been entrusted to him by his mother's family. Not the relatively cheap, cast-iron piece of shit that clung to his hip. It wasn't sharp enough. The balance was off. He could thrust it forward, alright, but the tetanus was sure the kill an enemy faster than the dull blade itself. But he knew why it was kept at Aydrian's villa. There was no reason to parade it around, nor was there a need, as far as any of them could tell. And Jon, regardless of the blade he bore, had already proven to be a remarkably talented swordsman. Oddly enough, it was the only thing he could boast about. And the one factually noted talent he kept to himself.

He itched to reach out towards the blade with both his hands, to cradle the Valyrian wonder between his palms, to weigh it as he often did with his own before tipping it expertly to one side and do as Harras did. To grasp the sheath firmly while the other took to the hilt, pulling it upwards to reveal an unmistakable gleam. It was marvelously crafted; it was of a quality, of an artistry seldom seen nowadays.

Jon looked to Harras with a knowing smile before leaning downwards to examine the blade further, beckoning the man to pull it from the sheath to admire the telltale, smoky patterns that delicately marred its outside. Until it was shut away, when Jon, unsatisfied but more than gracious for Harras' courtesy, nodded in recognition and acknowledgement. And then Harras demanded to be taken to the King. Jon wanted to laugh, then and there, to reveal himself to be the youngster Harras was looking for. But it was best to toy with words, to extend the conversation. To learn more of Harras as a person, and not just as a representative of the Queen of the Iron Isles.

"Jon's blade, Longclaw, is bigger, you know. Wouldn't be prancing around flaunting that the way you do in front of his," he teased with a wolfish yet friendly grin as he bent to pluck the book back from the bench where he left it. "Join me. I will need to gather a few things before we're on our way. Do you fancy a drink in the meantime? Dornish red? I was surprised such luxuries made their way up here. Or perhaps a Myrish brandy? Or something else? The Braavosi have been more than generous, to the point that I find them obnoxious. But you can't turn down a host, now can you?" Jon stated as he bowed his head, making his way into the red and black lined room. He disposed of the book in an unceremonious manner before reaching out a small window to close it, turning the handle with ease and securing it.
HARRAS HARLAW
 direct link • Aug 08 2017, 03:15 pm
Quote
HAND OF THE QUEEN
THE KNIGHT
SWORN TO ASHA GREYJOY
THE IRON ISLANDS
28 years
CASTOR • HE/HIM • 21 posts
Offline


There was, at the very least, some hint of kinship between Harras and the sailor when the Ironborn revealed his blade. Perhaps it was just a shared fascination between warriors to admire the instruments of their chosen art, like two bards meeting at a crossroads to share songs. It almost felt a shame to have to put it away, but Harras could show off his weaponry to sailors on any damn boat in this harbour. He wasn’t to forget why he was here: he was to meet with a king and each minute spent wagging his chin at this stranger was a minute lost for negotiating the most powerful alliance the Iron Islands might ever have the chance of making.

“I wouldn’t blame him,” Harras chuckled mirthlessly at the comment on Longclaw. He’d only ever seen the sword depicted in books, and those were his favorite kind: the ones that heavily featured swords, pictures, and pictures of swords. The image passed through his head like a waking dream for but a second: a bastard sword in parchment lit by candlelight. “If I had King Robert out for my blood, I wouldn’t be showing off my legendary sword like that either.”

Not one to linger on his own jokes, Harras held what few sly laughs he could muster in his throat and followed the sailor down in to the depths of the ship, and in to a room that was explicitly of Targaryen fashion. If the generous helping of red and black didn’t already give this ship away, then Harras was sure he’d find a dragon or two carved in to the woodwork if he strained his eyes in the shadowed light. He walked closely behind the sailor, almost too close for both their comfort. Harras only backed off when the younger man reached to close the window and, much to his curiosity, plied the pirate with wine.

”So, not only are you able to read but you’re also allowed in to the ship’s wine, are you?” Harras mused aloud, his eyes still scanning the ship’s brooding interior for those telltale dragons. No common sailor knew how to read, and no captain in charge of a sober crew allowed his men free run of the wine barrels. He knew this from experiance, and whoever this stranger was he had shown himself a slight too informal either a squire or steward to the deposed king. Harras stiffened at the thought, and wrinkled his nose at the offer of wine.

”Forgive me if this sounds impolite, but I’ve made my fair share of enemies in Braavos.” Harras pinched at the short hairs of his beard as though pondering, eyes finally resting on the increasingly beguiling man, whose name he had long declined to ask. Harras was never a patient man, no matter how stolid he appeared on the outside. ”If there’s one thing I know about mainlanders, it’s that they love their poisons. No offense to your king, of course, but I’m already in unfriendly territory and you’ve relieved me of my guards...”

Harras shuffled his feet ever so slightly, betraying his restlessness. He had to keep reminding himself over and over in his head that he was here in this strange city, on this stranger’s boat, to forge an alliance. Harras had never forged anything in his life, only ever reaved and killed. He was making Ironborn history simply by standing on a ship that didn’t belong to him without any intention to steal it and murder the crew.

”So, if you don’t mind, I’ll take that offer of wine later. Once I speak with Jon Targaryen.”
JON TARGARYEN
 direct link • Aug 16 2017, 06:02 am
Quote
his grace
the wolf of westeros
Sworn to the Seven Kingdoms
ESSOS
18 years
alma • she/her • 251 posts
Offline


Jon delighted in the man's apparent discomfort, smirking even as his friendly invitation was turned down, for reasons most reasonable. "Well,
you certainly don't seem like the average Ironborn; I certainly am not your average sailor,"
Jon stated with a quizzical nod as he reached for the bottle, the light clatter of one bottle against another as he slid it out of the mahogany cabinet prompting the familiar whimper and groaning of the massive direwolf that had, up to that moment, lazily lain behind a dark leather three-seater that was nailed to the floor, shielding itself from the relentless heat of the sun. As it rose, its white fur came into view, its red eyes lazily lowered until it detected a foreign presence that made its head shoot up in Harras' direction, greeting the man with an immediate snarl.

"Ghost," Jon immediately scolded; as expected. the oversized pooch immediately turned to him, lowering its head as it took account of its master's displeasure at the gesture. "Excuse him," Jon went on as he abandoned the task of retrieving drinks, giving the direwolf a reassuring pat on the side of its neck before telling him to lie down once more. It was only when Ghost settled on the three seater, its red eyes locked on the intruder, that Jon finally addressed Harras, sighing.

"He's a tad protective, you see," Jon went on, his voice stern and stoic as he directed his gaze towards Harras, his playful, patient façade having fallen then and there. He was no sailor. That was no dog. Of course he could read. Of course he could tell a Valyrian sword from a pile of objectively inferior blades. He did not speak like a sailor. Did not walk like one. Certainly wielded no respect for the ship or the contents within it because it was his ship. He reached for the cabinet door once again, drawing out a bottle and two goblets, ignoring Harras' suggestion.

"Forgive me, but I will not waste your time any longer," he stated, his eyes wavering over to the intent direwolf and back to Harras, clearing his throat before he began. "You're speaking to me already,"he stated as he pulled the cork from the bottle. "I'm Jon Targaryen. No need to call me anything other than Jon. Save the niceties and pleasantries and tell me why you're here. This isn't a throne room and frankly I'd rather we speak plainly, Harras. Harras, is it?" His memory could have failed him while he was having fun pretending to be someone else; surely, it would not be unwise to check back in with his companion. "You have word from Asha? Daenerys informed me of her interest in extending a friendly hand..." His tone already signaled suspicion. Help, Jon knew, would not come without a price.

ooc: a little short but eh. let's move this forward. c:
HARRAS HARLAW
 direct link • Aug 16 2017, 04:43 pm
Quote
HAND OF THE QUEEN
THE KNIGHT
SWORN TO ASHA GREYJOY
THE IRON ISLANDS
28 years
CASTOR • HE/HIM • 21 posts
Offline


The pieces fell in to place too late for Harras to work it out himself. The direwolf was what broke the lie, but by the time Harras turned his gaze back to the young man he had already revealed his identity. The reaver’s reaction was mixed to say the least: his eyebrows rose with the startling realisation that he had spoken so brashly to the very king he had come to ally his country with, and yet his back managed to stiffen haughtily in a feat even Harras himself thought impossible. Not five minutes in to the negotiation and the Targaryen already had the Harlaw at a disadvantage.

”I am indeed Lord Harras. You’ve played me for a fool, Jon.” He said, placing a great of emphasis on the boy’s name as if to strike at the informal tone the king had taken. Better yet, Harras allowed himself to smile. He moved forward though kept a sideways eye on the beast in the corner of the room. As true as it appeared to his master’s command, Harras couldn’t help but walk in fear of it. Even when prone, it seemed capable of leaping across the room and sinking its teeth in to his throat at a moment’s notice. ”That doesn’t happen very often. To be quite honest, I expected you to be… fairer.”

‘Fairer’ was Harras’s polite way of saying he imagined Jon to be frail and blonde. He had long known the Targaryens had been known for their valyrian features and yet Jon look purely northern: no more regal or kingly than the thralls that tended to the kitchens in Greygarden. Harras was disappointed, almost. Real life never seemed to meet the expectations that stories had filled his head with as a child. The reaver could only imagine what Jon’s sisters looked like.

”Queen Asha wishes to offer more than just a friendly hand.” The Ironborn began, the cadence of his voice clearly signalling that this was to be the beginning of what he hoped to be a very impressive sales pitch. It was here Harras seemed to relax in confidence, pacing two steps forwards and back on the balls of his feet. ”The Iron Islands have long remained ambivalent towards the squabbling of mainlanders, and we’ve plundered the seas surrounding Westeros in confidence whilst Robert Baratheon was busy pulling the throne out from under you. But Asha is a wiser ruler than her father was, and she understands that war will come for us all eventually...”

There was a pause whilst Harras’s tongue found itself lodged in his cheek somewhat. He had gone over this spiel in his head many times over during his journey across the narrow sea, but he hadn’t banked on this Targaryen king being so… rough around the edges. The informality of it all was a surprise, and gave the Hand pause for thought as he took a second to reassess his strategy. The two men did appear to bond the moment Harras produced Nightfall, so perhaps that was a language both could understand.

”… A wise ruler, but still Ironborn. She’s not going to fight in any war unless she can take her fair share of the plunder. The Baratheon’s won’t give us that: the “Great” Lords of Westeros despise the Ironborn, and for damn good reason. But everyone knows you’re going to come back to Westeros to take back your throne one way or another, and you’re going to need all the help you can afford when you do.”

The pacing stopped and Harras turned his eyes up and down the king before him, biting on his lip hard enough it almost bled. The expression on his face was… anger? No, not anger, but something just as fierce. The pirate’s negotiation skills had been chosen on the sole virtue that he was the one Ironborn who spent enough time around mainlanders to know how they thought. He was no true diplomat, and he knew it. Behind that fierce face was a heart thundering with anxiety: he had addressed the rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms and, at least subtly, called his ability to take back those kingdoms in to question.

Harras threw his eyes back to the wolf in the corner of the room and his hand twitched. If Jon was anything like some of the old Targaryen kings… Well, Nightfall might be drawn for a second time today.
JON TARGARYEN
 direct link • Aug 19 2017, 08:34 am
Quote
his grace
the wolf of westeros
Sworn to the Seven Kingdoms
ESSOS
18 years
alma • she/her • 251 posts
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Jon could sense hesitation and tension in the air as Harras' eyes turned to the quelled beast. Jon knew he had to step in and reassure him again. "You do not need to worry about him. He had his lunch already, if I'm not mistaken," Jon stated in friendly jest as he nodded towards a table by the end of the cabin, next to closed stained windows through with rays of light shone, giving the varnished roundtable and velvet covered seats, and the general surroundings a warm amber glow. Jon laid the goblets down and gestured towards the seat beside him. "Feel free to rid yourself of your coats, cloak, whatever; you're safe here," he stated before he began pouring fine wine into the vessels, only looking at him over his shoulder, smirking at the mention of his lack of "fairness".

"I still think myself quite a catch, thank you very much," he jokingly stated as he set down the bottle and sank into one of the seats, relaxed. He wasn't at all surprised by the comment; he did not strive to look like a king, lest he needed to. Aydrian had given him all that chit-chatter about his public image, the power of his name, what memories came to mind, or what stories a name like Targaryen fed on to remain relevant in societies outside Westeros... it surprised Jon that the legacy of his ancestors still seemed to wield some swaying power. And he could, of course, choose to live up to that. He could have shaved and trimmed his beard; he could have chosen his regal coats and leather pieces and brooches and cloaks; he could have opted for embroidered cloths and beautiful patterns, but here he was, looking no better than a sailor. And he liked it.

"So I've heard, as of late," Jon stated with a nod as he reached to his cup, his mind reeling through memories of his letters. In Alora Tully he was proud to say he had a friend, but the conflict in the Riverlands, the willful ravaging of villages at the hand of Ironborn reavers and Edmure Tully's less than commendable decision to turn a blind eye to the crimes perpetrated left a sour taste in Jon's mouth. However, it was not his business. Not his kingdom. Neither Ironborn nor Tully politics were his business, and neither side had come to him, asking for formal counsel or aid; it seemed like they knew the Crown was already fumbling to make ends meet. It had its own backyard conflicts, problems far more poignant, of the sort that killed his father, his sister, his mother, and sent him running for the hills, broken and dismayed. Yet one would never know given how easygoing he seemed before Harras. "The Crown has always had bigger problems to contend with; sometimes you are deemed a distraction, which is why we leave it to others to draw their swords and put their men on the line, for the benefit of all, but you've certainly proven yourselves capable of undermining the Tullys in that regard, though I must say, Edmure was never a strong leader, and even those closest to Alora struggle to comprehend what is on her mind. Folly, strategic calculation, it's hard to determine where one can draw the line," Jon simply stated, his tone factual yet not particularly accusative. If anything, it revealed his knowledge of the situation, that he needn't be schooled or doubted. This was what he was born for.

He smirked as Harras went on about his superior. Asha struck him as amenable in a way that surprised him, or rather, made him realize that his women need not wear flowing dresses or stick to knitting, music or stitching to be attractive. Still, these details he kept to himself, offering a smile and a nod of acknowledgement. "And she will exploit opportunity when she sees it, as I've observed," Jon stated, still maintaining a friendly, welcoming exterior. "The Riverlands have become your open door to the continent, it seems. Quite a feat, I must admit, one that can be easily overlooked by the Baratheons, given that they have plenty more to worry about." He never thought he would live to praise the Ironborn, but it was true. They had established their worth, and seemed far more honorable in their manner of doing so than the bloody usurper that took the Targaryen king's throne. And establishing a stable reign, following a war, was no easy task, particularly when they, the Baratheons, were accused of atrocities such as the killing of children, and of a defenseless, well-loved Queen, his mother Lyanna. These were all facts that needed to be acknowledged, that Robert himself would not deny. Certainties were weapons.

"What can I offer her grace?"
Jon inquired casually as he picked up his goblet from the table. "Her help is needed and appreciated, but it certainly doesn't come for free, Lord Harlaw. Nothing ever is."
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