They left just before dawn the next morning. Despite all her brother's wishes, Allyria had not slept well. It was the dream again. The dead soldier with the haunting eyes and hollow voice. Your father dies on a blessed hill. The words rang in her head as he mounted her horse, the same destrier she had stolen from the Lannister camp. They said Lord Stark was executed at the Great Sept of Baelor. She knew many called Baelor Targaryen 'Baelor the Blessed' but Allyria could not recall it that was built on a hill. That doesn't matter. It's just a dream. Allyria thought as she prepared herself on the long ride south.
The group bound for the Stormlands was composed of only ten people; Allyria, her mother and eight guards. The guards were mostly men from Winterfell but there were a number of Freys and a Glover. The squire who helped her mount the stolen destrier suggested that she change horses. A palfrey perhaps, smaller and better built for travel. But Allyria declined his offer, determined to stick with the large black warhorse. The animal had led Allyria back to safety and back to her brother and mother so she found it hard to part with the horse. She dressed plainly and did not bring her crown. Stannis was a king now and Allyria felt that it would not do well to remind him more than necessary that there were other kings in Westeros.
After leaving the Riverlands they were forced to abandon the road for open fields to avoid any Lannister forces. Even before that, two scouts were always a mile ahead of the main group to watch for any danger. They turned away from the Blackwater Rush, which flowed directly to King's Landing and out into Blackwater Bay, and crossed into the Reach in the morning of the second day. The sky was clearer than it had been when Allyria fled the Lannister camp and the intensity of the sun was starting to make her regret the heavy dress she wore.
Allyria was not sure how many days had passed before they crossed over into the Stormlands. The flat, smooth lands of The Reach turned into small rolling hills and then into mountains. One of the Freys in their group mentioned that the mountains of the Vale were much larger than the ones that bordered the Stormlands but steep inclines slowed the horse down all the same. Mention of the Vale reminded Allyria of her aunt Lysa and the many ravens her mother had sent to the Eyrie asking for help. Either a response nor soldiers came from Lysa Arryn and the only help from the Vale came from Allyria's great uncle, Brynden Tully, who accompanied her mother when she left the Eyrie.
They made camp when they were just north of Storm's End. In the morning, their group split in two. Allyria rode east with four guards while her mother went west. Grey rain clouds hung low in the morning sky and the air smelled of saltwater. Her auburn hair was pulled back into a single braid, to keep it out of her face when heavy gusts of wind swept over them. Despite the wind, it was still quite warm so Allyria dressed in a thin blue grown under a darker cloak with a hood, in case rain started to fall.
It was mid-day, though it was hard to tell since sun was mostly hidden behind the clouds, when they met them. Allyria saw the banners first. They were the standard Baratheon yellow but there was something else in the center, around the crowned stag. As the riders got closer, she was able to make out a fiery red heart enclosing the stag. That's strange. But Allyria did not have much time to ponder why Stannis Baratheon would change his banner.
They met on a hill overlooking the older Baratheon's camp. There two men on dark destiers and two more standard bearers. The first man to speak, who Allyria assumed to be in charge of the small party, was an older man with large ears and thinning brown hair. "Speak your name and business here, my lady?" His tone was firm but not unkind.
"I am Lady Allyria Stark and I come here as an envoy seeking an audience with your liege on behalf of my brother Robb, Lord of Winterfell and King in the North." She tried to make her voice strong but not too demanding. She was a guest here and it would not do well to offend and upset any unnecessary persons.
The man with the large ears considered her for a second. "Follow me, my lady."
Stannis Baratheon's camp was built along the coast and smaller than her brother's. The tents were mostly white, save for a few made out of yellow cloth, which Allyria assumed belong to important people. Just off shore were a large number of ships, more than she had ever seen. What Stannis Baratheon lacked in land forces, he almost made up for in his navy.
No one paid her, or her party, any particular attention as they followed the man, who she learned was Ser Axell Florent. Along the way, he offered his condolences for her father's death. Can your condolences give my father his head back? If not, then I don't want them. But she thanked him all the same. She was tired of people's sympathies. All they did was remind her that she was fatherless. She was left in a small, but well-furnished tent to wait as Stannis as altered of her arrival. Her guards were given an adjacent tent but Gawen Glover insisted on waiting with her while the others tended to the horses. A young boy no older than ten carried in a flagon of wine and plate of cut fruit then but all but run out of the tent again.
She poured herself of a cup and drank heavily from it. Allyria wondered if she was developing a bad habit with her use of alcohol. The thought made her exchange the cup for a small piece of apple before sitting down in a craved armchair. Glover stood by the entrance of the tent, back straight and his hand never leaving the hilt of his long sword. He should be doing this. Allyria thought. Not me. I wasn't taught to treat and negotiate with lords and kings. That was Robb. I am just his sister. She was good with sums, could sew almost as good as Sansa and secondhand training from Robb and Jon had made her a less-than-decent swordsman. Sansa would become the real lady of the family, if she was not already. Allyria was just an odd combination of her two little sisters.
Allyria let out a quiet sigh before removing her hooded cloak. A few minutes later, Ser Florent returned. "King Stannis will see you now, my lady."
So sorry for the delay but I had finals and I had to move out of my dorm and I didn't have time to update. Thanks for all your reviews. :) - Madison