Even in the Riverlands, the mountains were riddled with bandits. It was a ride her brothers were unwilling to chance. In the mountains there were too many places to hide, too many narrow paths that would help one evade justice. So, when they left Lannisport, their ship sailed up through Ironman's Bay, to Seagard. It was an uneasy trip, to say the least. Everyone knew it was risky to sail through those waters. There was as much a chance that your ship would be overtaken by raiders as there was that you would reach your destination in one piece. They'd hidden the banners of house Blackwood, and paid for voyage on an unremarkable vessel that served as transport to knights and commoners. What raiders would pay it mind?
Still, it wasn't until she saw banners of house Mallister that Beth found herself breathing easily. They would spend a day at Seagard before heading south, to their home. As close as they lived to the Mallister's, she'd been to their home before. There was the occasional celebration hosted, and she'd gone to some of the more recent ones. Lord Mallister's heir, Nathaniel, had always gotten along well enough with Lucas. But from what she knew the boy was fairly well mannered and dull, even if he was nice to look at. Truth be told, the day at Seagard couldn't pass quickly enough for her tastes. It would be a day of boredom followed by just over a day on horseback! What a thrill it would be! There was nothing quite like ending a day saddlesore.
After their evening meal, Beth made her way out to the docks for a breath of fresh air. This would be the last she'd see of the sea for some time. She'd return to Raventree Hall, which was tragically landlocked. There was something about the sea that was thrilling - what lay beyond it? She heard that nobody had explored the lands to the west. How far would you have to go to find the Dothraki Sea? Was there a land between there and here? The sea always seemed to wild and unknown. It could be calm and beautiful or terrifying beyond words. At sea, one could hide in plain sight. It was unlike anything else in the world!
Belly full, and head swimming from the extra glass of wine she'd snuck when Hoster had his back turned, Beth made her way to the docks. The ship that brought her an her brothers into port had already left. It vanished nearly as soon as it had arrived. Beth made her way along the edge of the water as the sun faded into the horizon. It was when she reached one of the larger docks that she froze. Sitting there was a massive vessel named Iron Words. Whipping in the light evening breeze was a banner of black and gold - a Greyjoy banner. Her first thought was that this was a raid. Why else could they be here? Lord Mallister was known for his hate of the Ironborn. What reason could there possibly be for them to be here?! From the land she could hear nothing. There were no men milling about the deck, and seemingly no life on the vessel. Curiosity getting the better of her, Beth drew closer.
As she stepped onto the dock, she could hear faint voices in the belly of the ship - laughter as some men seemed to be playing a game. She knew the stories - how a noble woman had been taken by Ironborn men. It was a tale of caution in these parts. Noble men told their daughters of it to warn them against lingering alone too close to the water. But then again, most fathers liked to ignore the fact that the noble woman was now Lady of Harlaw. Anyway, if this was a raid, she'd have heard by now. Anyway, was a Greyjoy fool enough to take a keep? Didn't the ironborn just stick to the fishing villages?