A New Age - Interactive GoT Story



  • edited July 2018

    Recap on previous page!!!
    Quick announcement! Nothing big, just letting y'all know that Epilogue IV has been renamed from Winds of War to The Forgotten Lady. This due to I have completely re-planned that epilogue. Again, nothing big, just letting you know! :3

    Catelyn XIV

    At King’s Landing


    Catelyn shook her head to Alliser, who nervously nodded back, standing put. “Shall we?” Laemond pointed his hand towards the small council chamber and walked towards it. After him followed Elaena, Dany, Wylis and lastly Catelyn, who threw a last look at Alliser before walking off.

    “-my children. Come along, Catelyn.” Catelyn snapped out of her thoughts. The news of the deceased Master of Coin had made Catelyn think. She didn’t know him very well, but he seemed like a good man. Elaena grabbed Catelyn’s arm and dragged her off her chair. “Let us find my children.” she tried to brighten up the mood, without much success.

    They had left the council chamber, walking arm in arm. “I’m sorry about Ser Erich, Elaena. I know you knew him well.” Cat consoled the Queen, who shot her a melancholy smile. “I appreciate it, Cat.” she gazed at the floor and sighed. “We keep losing people, Cat… Friends… Family.. Elia Pyke, Commander Merryweather, Erich.. Your father.” Elaena gazed at Cat when she mentioned Cat’s father. Relieved she was that Cat did not react. Cat herself decided to change the subject. “Yes.. The king, how is he?”

    Cat quickly regretted it, seeing Elaena’s sorrowful look. “The man I married is disappearing. He is just.. just yelling at me. All the time. The poison did not only change his looks, it changed his personality, who he is… Gods, and soon he will be out of bed as well.. Cat, I do not know what to do here.” Catelyn stopped Elaena and looked right into her eyes. “Elaena. You are the Targaryen, not him. He has the name, but he lacks the blood. If he turns out to have changed drastically for the worse, you are still the Queen, that we all stand behind.” Catelyn spoke with confidence unusual to her, and she baffled herself. Elaena gave Cat a smile with a hint of pride. “Thank you, Cat.”

    “BOO!” a child’s voice scared the women, but Elaena had no time to be angry at the child. She immediately recognized the voice to be her youngest son, seven years old. She lifted the brown-haired boy up and looked into his violet eyes. “Hello, lovey!” she hugged Daemon for a long time, before finally putting him down. “Are you not supposed to be reading at this hour?” Elaena asked her son and he squirmed. “... … yes.” he admitted in a very innocent tone.

    Elaena couldn’t help but smirk at her youngest son. “Did you manage to sneak away from the Septa again?” To this question, he nodded. “Only this one time, alright?” Elaena was to kind to her children. She reminded Cat of her own father. No matter what her children would do, Elaena couldn’t seem to be angry at them. “I promise.” he lied, it was obvious, even to Elaena. Yet she just poked her son’s nose. “Good. I expect you to see you during dinner later.” Elaena told him and he nodded. Then he ran off. “And Daemon..”

    Daemon stopped and looked over his shoulder, wondering what his mother wanted. “Do not disturb the guards, lovey.” Daemon nodded. “Yes, mother.” he said and walked away. But almost the second Cat and Elaena turned their backs to Daemon, they could hear Daemon laughing and a guard shouting after him. Cat cracked a smile and Elaena sighed happily, before grabbing Cat’s arm again. “I love that boy.” the queen spoke. “I know.”

    “We must plan the feast later, Catelyn. But I did note the way you looked at Ser Alliser before, in the great hall. I would like for you to talk to him when we are done. Before I make a decision on what to do about the attack I’d like to know as much as I possibly can.” Elaena ordered Catelyn, who gave her a nod. Uncertain of what to say, she changed the subject if only slightly. “As of this moment, how would you act after the news of northerners attacking Lord Silvermane?”

    Elaena gave her a grim look. “Northerners attacked my nephew, Cat. Right now I can see it in no other way than an act of war. Laemond and his men do not exactly come off as Riverlanders.” Cat couldn’t speak against it. Why would Lord Waterman attack southerners like that? And why would King Robert give that order? Something just didn’t feel right with it, and Catelyn hoped that Alliser would have a few answers. They reached a wooden door with golden details.

    Elaena opened up the door to her chambers, and then the pair of them entered. To say the least, Elaena spared no expense, which she was aware of. Her bed had several emerald and rubies in a pattern, and it hanged a purple, transparent silk in front of it, only making the bed a silhouette behind the purple silk. Her desk had golden edges and her candlesticks of pure silver. On the wall hanged a valyrian steel sword known as the Dragon’s Breath. Only during a war is that sword taken down and used. The sword itself was made from Eddard Stark’s famous sword Ice. Many years before it was melted down and made into two swords instead. The other sword is in the north, known as the Wolf’s Bite.

    The floor was clean, polished stone unlike anything else in the castle. And the view is the best of the Blackwater you could have from the keep. A chill breeze could be felt from the Queen’s balcony. Catelyn welcomed that. The climate in the South had been the worst thing when Cat initially got here. Now, she has spent quite a long time in the South now and had now gotten somewhat used to it, but a cold breeze was still very, very welcome. Winter was Coming, that is for sure. The last thing in the room was a pair of wooden chairs, obsidian details on all corners and on the back, the dragon sigil of House Targaryen was engraved. And upon one of the chair sat Elaena’s only daughter, Rhaenyra Targaryen.

    Obviously named after the legendary queen-claimant during the Dance of the Dragons, she has most of the Targaryen looks, apart from her father’s green eyes. The platinum white hair reached her chest, and she wore a red dress with black and purple details. The little princess was nine, and the second oldest child. She loves to read about the Targaryen history, and in her lap lay a book she was reading right now. An old tome with dusty pages. “Hello, little princess.” The queen spoke and walked around her, sitting down next to her daughter. “Hi, mother.” Rhaenyra replied and looked up from the old tome. She looked around, also noticing Catelyn, next to the queen. “Hi, Catelyn.” she welcomed Cat, who waved back at her.

    “Sit down, Cat.” Elaena said, pointing at the last free chair just next to Elaena. Cat did as she was told and sat down. “What are you reading, Rhey?” Elaena started to fiddle with her daughter's hair. “Dance of the Dragons.” Rhaenyra replied, clearly excited. Catelyn recalls a time when Elaena told her that her daughter’s favourite event is the Dance and that she had read many different interpretations of it. Everything from the Battle above the Gods Eye to the assassination of Aegon the Usurper to the Hour of the Wolf fascinated her greatly.

    “What part are you on?” Elaena asked her, still fiddling with Rhaenyra’s hair. This question made her far more enthusiastic. She looked up from her book and looked at her mother. “The battle above the Gods Eye. My favourite part!” she exclaimed, and her mother smiled at her. A smile Cat hadn’t gotten to experience in many years.. The motherly smile, filled with love. “It’s an exciting part and an important part of the history of our dynasty. The battle between Aemond One-Eye and Daemon is legendary.” Elaena explained and stroke Rhaenyra’s cheek. “But you already knew this.” she stated and the little princess nodded. “Yes.” she said with an innocent voice.

    “Alright, how about this… Do you think Daemon died after killing Aemond?” Elaena asked Rhey. Cat remembered the tale. How Daemon had jumped from his dragon to Aemond’s dragon. How Daemon had stabbed Aemond in his blind eye before both dragons crashed into the sea. Daemon’s body was never found. The bards sang of how he survived, but historians tend to disagree. But if they couldn’t find a body, how could they have known?

    Rhaenyra thought long and hard about this. She looked down on the tome and read a few lines, then she looked up again at her mother. “They never found a body.” she stated and her mother nodded. “Correct.” Rhaenyra read a bit more and then spoke up again. “Maybe he lived. ” her mother nodded again. “I agree with you, Rhey. They found Aemond, and the dragons.. But never Daemon. It is interesting to think of.” Elaena agreed with her daughter and turned to Cat. “What do you think, Cat?” she asked and grabbed Cat’s arm.

    Catelyn mostly agrees with Elaena, but the fall was still a long one. It feels impossible to survive a fall like that. But if anyone would live, it would be Daemon Targaryen. “I agree as well.” she spoke and both the queen and the princess shot her a smile. “Good choice.” Rhey smiled and so did Elaena at this remark. “Do you know where Aegon is?” Elaena wondered, and Rhey nodded. “I think he is doing what he should.. Not like Daemon.” Rhaenyra remarked, and Elaena stood up.

    “You are right there, Rhey. He had escaped from the septa already.” she revealed and Rhey chuckled. “That is my brother.” Elaena put her hand on Rhaenyra’s shoulder and squeezed gently. “That is my son.” she replied. “I will see you at dinner, little princess.” Elaena spoke and let go of Rhaenyra’s shoulder. “Yes, mother.” she mumbled, barely listening. Already she was captivated by the old time again. Catelyn stood up and followed Elaena out of her chamber.

    “You avoided to tell them about Erich.” Catelyn stated and Elaena nodded. “Yes. It will have to be a dinner conversation. I couldn’t bear to inform it three times.” Elaena explained, and Cat understood and agreed with the decision. “Anyhow.. You should find Ser Alliser, Cat.” the queen ordered her. Cat nodded. “I will see what he knows, and I will tell you everything I find out.” Elaena grabbed both Cat’s hands. “I can always trust you, Cat. I’m very glad that you are here.” Elaena complemented Cat, who almost blushed. She is not used to all this praise the queen gives her. “I am very glad to be here, Elaena.” Cat replied and the pair of them just stared at each other for a moment. “Well, run along then, Cat. We will plan the feast later, understood?”

    Elaena let go of Cat’s hands. “Understood, Elaena.” Cat replied, and they walked their separate ways.

    Catelyn walked through the corridors of the Red Keep towards Alliser’s chamber when a voice called out for her. “Lady Catelyn.” Catelyn immediately recognised the voice of Daenerys. Catelyn turned around, nervous of what she wanted. “Could I talk with you for a moment?” she asked Cat, who nodded and followed Dany. She walked out on a balcony with a fine view of the capital.

    On the balcony stood a few chairs and a table. On the table stood a few cups and a jug with some sort of liquid in. On all large balconies of the red keep stood a few tables with jugs of wine. Cat cannot recall a single time she has actually been drinking from these jugs, for she has always been scared that they would have poison in them. Dany sat down, and Cat did as well, uncertain and a little shaken that Daenerys Targaryen wanted to speak to her alone. “How long have you been here now? Four years?” Dany started to pour up wine, first to Cat, then to herself. Dany’s hands was shaking slightly, likely her age taking its toll.

    Four years was just about right. A long time. Longer than most other handmaidens. “Yes. About Four years.” Cat answered, a little tensed up. “You are quite old for a handmaiden.” Dany stated bluntly, and Cat could only agree. Twentysix is an old age. “I suppose, but I am not sure if I am a handmaiden anymore.” Cat replied, obviously talking about her recent promotion to the small council. Dany shrugged and lifted her mug. “Fair point.” Dany spoke and was just about to drink when Cat spoke up.

    “Maybe we shouldn’t drink this.. Who knows wh-” Cat didn’t get any further. Dany drank up all of her mug’s content. Catelyn was shocked. What if the wine contains poison? How can she do that? Dany put down the mug on the table with a melancholy look. “Believe it or not, Lady Catelyn, but I am ready to die.” Dany revealed and Cat narrowed her eyes at her.

    “I do not expect you to understand, Lady Catelyn.. When I was only a girl, I could never have dreamt of becoming the queen of Westeros. This was all supposed to fall to my brothers, first Rhaegar, after that Viserys. But in the end, I was the only one left. The last Targaryen… But look where we are now. I am not the last Targaryen anymore, far from it. When my time is up, I can be safe in the thought that I have a very capable daughter who rules`... I’ve made my mark on this world, I’ve made the Targaryen name a force to be reckoned with. What else can I possibly do?” Daenerys explain to Catelyn, who started to understand.

    Daenerys has built an empire after the ruins Cersei left, no one can deny that. “I think I understand.” Cat replied, but Dany shook her head. “I think not. But when you grow old, you will… I do not experience a lot of thrill in my age, drinking wine of unknown substance is as thrilling as it gets for me.” Dany returned and poured up another glass. “Why did you want to see me, your grace?” the northerner asked the southerner. Dany looked up and drank some more wine before answering.

    “I wanted to see you because there is something I need to say to you.” Dany started, taking yet another zip before continuing. “I… This is harder than I thought it would… I am.. I apologise for the way I have treated you, Lady Catelyn. I realise I have been cold and unfair to you, putting you in positions between my daughter and I that I should not have done, and I apologise for that.” Between each sentence, Daenerys drank wine.

    Catelyn was not ready for that. Dany did not particularly strike Cat as a woman who apologised very often. Now that Cat thought of it, this is possibly the first time Cat sits down with Dany and talk. “I.. It..” Cat stuttered before pulling herself together. “There is nothing to forgiv-” Dany cut Cat off. “Oh, stop it. I have been horrible to you.” Dany criticised herself and drank the last drops from her second round.

    “I will not keep you any longer, Lady Catelyn. I am sure you have business elsewhere.” Dany spoke and poured herself a third round. Meanwhile, Cat had not even touched her drink. She is still very sceptical about these jars. “I do, your grace.” Cat stood up and bowed. “Can an old lady share her thoughts before you go?” Dany asked, sipping on her drink. Cat nodded. “It is not hard to see that you haven’t found your place here yet. The uncertainty in your eyes, not knowing your purpose in this world, I know it well. I found my place when I married Khal Drogo. Maybe not the day I married him, but when I got to know him.. When I got to love him. Find yourself a man to love, who loves you back.” Daenerys advised. “Thank you for the advise, your grace. I wish you a good day.” Catelyn spoke, and Daenerys lifted her cup to Cat. “I wish you a good day, Lady Catelyn.”

    Catelyn knocked on Ser Alliser’s door, and he quickly opened. Alliser walked out and closed his door. “Ser Alliser. Do you know any of this? Lord Waterman attacking Lord Silvermane? King Robert giving a command for this attack?” Catelyn questioned him, but Alliser shook his head. “Nothing of it. To be frank, I can not believe it. Robert would never do this.” he was confident. “But he did.” Catelyn concluded, Alliser looked at Cat. “Did he really?”

    He must have. What would Laemond gain with lies such as that? Cat thought. At the end of the corridor, Laemond and Mysarion walked towards them. As they passed each other, Laemond gave them a nod, and Alliser gave Laemond a nod back. Catelyn could not believe that he would ever lie to his family. To his grandmother, to his aunt, to the realm. Neither could she believe that Robert would order this attack, especially now when he is already fighting the Riverlands and the Iron Islands. Quite the dilemma.

    When Laemond and Mysarion were out of sight, Alliser spoke up. “How well do you really know Lord Silvermane?” Alliser asked her, and she thought for a minute. She would think that she knows him very well. They had been talking and drinking several times in the years she has been here. He has been very nice and friendly towards her, and he has not been very secretive about himself. An open, kind and honest man, Cat had gathered. “Rather well, I’d say. How well do you know King Robert?” Cat returned and now it was Alliser’s time to think.

    “Not that well.” he admitted. Cat was about to say something, but Alliser lifted a finger and looked at her. “But he is honourable.” he added quickly. “We clearly won’t get anywhere with this bickering, Lady Catelyn. I will send a raven to my grandfather and see if he knows anything of it. And you will see what you can find out about Laemond. Do we have an accord?” Alliser suggested and scratched his forehead. “I will see what I can do, Ser Alliser. You were going to return to King’s Landing when you find Edrick, no?”

    “That is the plan.” Alliser confirmed as they entered the Great Hall. “Are you going to leave now or tomorrow as planned?” Catelyn asked in the empty hall. Alliser nodded. “Aye. My horse is ready, and so are the few items I bring.” he spoke and touched the necklace Cat gave him before.

    They walked out through the gate, where a black stallion stood. A brown leather-saddle and some package on the horse. The horse’s mane was as black as obsidian. Alliser softly put his left hand on the stallion’s thick neck, patting it calmly. “This here is Ethan. My grandfather named him, and his twin sister.” Alliser spoke and sat up on Ethan. As far as Cat knew, a mare usually isn’t able to give birth to twins, killing both the mare and the twins, but apparently, it is possible.

    “Did the mother live?” Cat asked him, and he nodded with a hint of a smile. “She did. Both Edrick, grandmother, grandfather and I thought she was done for, but she pulled through. She took very good care of Ethan and Talia. Sadly she passed away last year.” Alliser revealed and stroke Ethan gently. Then he looked back at Cat, confident. “I promise you this, Lady Catelyn. I will find out all I can, and I will return with the news… Tread carefully, Lady Catelyn. I have only been here for a short time, but I can tell that this place is full of snakes, spiders and rats.” and with those words, he rode off.

    “Ser Alliser!” Cat called out for him, and he looked over his shoulder. Catelyn thought about what to say and settled with something she knew meant a lot to him and his house. “Iron from ice.” she spoke, and Alliser started to smile, with each second it grew wider. “Iron from ice.” he returned, and then he was gone.

    “Iron from ice!” Someone shouted behind her and it scared Catelyn a lot. She turned around and concluded that it was Mysarion. “Mysarion. You startled me.” Catelyn spoke. Mysarion put a hand on his chest and bowed. “My apologies. I just need to talk with you for a minute.” He replied and waved her to walk next to him. She walked up to him and they walked back into the keep. “Your friend is leaving I see. Was he not supposed to ride north with the queen and her entourage?”

    How would he know about that? Catelyn thought. “Yes. But he had some… other business he had to do.” Catelyn responded and Mysarion gazed at her. “I see… About what I wanted to talk to you about.” he spoke and sat down at one of the many tables in the great hall. Cat sat down in front of him, the table between them.

    “King’s Landing is a poisonous place. You quickly adapt to life here. Telling lies, keeping secrets and snooping about… Don’t you agree?” Mysarion asked and stood up again. Catelyn was about to stand as well, but Mysarion pointed his hand at Cat to keep herself seated. “I… I suppose that could happen to the weak-minded.” Catelyn spoke and this caused Mysarion to chuckle while he slowly walked around the table to Catelyn’s side.

    “Or the smart.” Mysarion added. He now stood behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. He was gentle on her hurt shoulder. “Are you weak-minded or smart?” Mysarion asked in a darker tone than he usually spoke and Catelyn froze completely. What does he mean with that?

    “Wha-Why do you ask?” Catelyn replied, trying to sound unbothered. “I’m sure you are wondering why I wanted to talk to you. This is the reason. I helped you when you were hurt, took you into my room to keep you protected.” he started and pinched Cat’s wound, to which Cat tensed up because of the pain. “I leave you alone in my chamber, trusting you. But what do you do?” he continued and stopped pinching her shoulder.

    “You read my personal letters... It is so difficult to find people to trust here.. Time after time people betray me. And I thought I could trust you, I really did, with you being a northerner and all. But you are not to be trusted.” he bent down his head, stopping just next to Catelyn’s head, and now Catelyn was scared. He turned his mouth to Cat’s ear and she could feel his warm breaths.

    “I would appreciate if you stay away from my private properties, Lady Catelyn. I think you are a good woman, do not let that go to waste… Oh, and one last thing. Keep this conversation to yourself. I have some allies that… might surprise you.” Mysarion let go off her shoulders after clenching her shoulders one more time. “Have a wonderful day, Lady Beartilde. Don’t let your guard down.” he spoke, his voice had a hint of threat.

    For quite a long time Catelyn thought. A lot of emotions flushed up at once. Disappointment in herself for reading the letters, curiosity mixed with fear to how he learnt of this, fear for her own safety with that threat he gave. Weirdly, she also got some sort of adrenaline kick from it all. After a few minutes, she stood up, and walked back to her chambers to rest.

    One Week later

    A week. It has been a week since Daenerys reconciled with Catelyn. It has a been a week since Ser Alliser left. It has been a week since Mysarion frightened Catelyn when he spoke to her. They hadn’t talked since. They had met each other's eyes a few times, but not a word had been uttered. Catelyn had kept it to herself, just like he told her too, but it’s not easy. She wouldn’t want to do anything else than to tell Elaena, but she kept quiet.

    The feast had been planned to the greatest detail. The Martell’s would show up any day now, and if Catelyn is correct, so will Lord Rayner. For the better part of the week, Cat had stayed close to Elaena. She had written a letter to her brother about Lord Waterman, but he had not responded as of yet. Another letter had been written to Ser Alliser, but neither he had responded.

    Right of this moment, Catelyn sat down at a table with Elaena and the newest worker in the castle, Selyne. A black-haired, blue-eyed woman no older than twenty. She had been working here for a week, since she fell on her knees in front of Elaena, begging for help after her house had burned down. She was competent. A good cleaner, as well as a nice young woman. Elaena and Catelyn had taken quite a liking to her. However, Catelyn felt that Selyne was a bit… Beef-witted.

    “Do you agree, Cat?” Elaena laughed and it shook Cat out of her thoughts. She hadn’t heard a word of their conversation in minutes, so she nodded. “Yes, I agree.” Catelyn responded, and Elaena tilted her head slightly and put a hand on the table. Her mouth turned into a sly smirk. “Really?” she asked her and Cat nodded again. “Of course.” Catelyn confirmed and Elaena sighed. “What did we speak of?” Elaena asked her the question Catelyn dreaded, tapping her finger on the table. “...The weather...?” she tried, but Elaena shook her head. “No, that’s not it.” Elaena confirmed

    “You haven’t been yourself this last week, Cat. What is it?” Elaena was genuinely concerned, and Cat is so very thankful to have a friend such as her. Elaena put one of her hands on Cat’s. Meanwhile, Selyne was drinking wine. Catelyn trusted Elaena with her life, she truly did. But should Cat really tell her this? Mysarion said that he had unlikely allies, and this frightened Cat even further. But then again, what if Elaena will be disappointed in her snooping around things that doesn’t concern her. Before she made her decision, Ser Edward Swann walks up to the three women.

    “Your grace. Lord Duncan Rayner has arrived for the trial.” he informed the queen, who narrowed her eyes. “So at least he honours his word.” Elaena noted. “Tell him I’ll be there shortly, please.” she asked of Edward. “I will do that, your grace.” he replied and then left.

    Selyne rose from her chair and gave the queen and Cat a curtsey. “I should get back to work. Thank you both for letting me sit with you.” she thanked them with a wide smile. “Thank you for good company.” Elaena replied before she left the two women alone.

    “Catelyn. If you do not want to tell me, that is fine. But know that I am always here for you, whenever you need to talk. And if you need, I will help in any way I can.” she spoke, squeezing Cat’s hands.

    [Reveal what Mysarion had told her] [Do not reveal what Mysarion had told her]

  • [Do not reveal what Mysarion had told her]
    Not yet, at least. So far, he hasn't done anything to her, and he currently does not have a reason too. That might change if she tells Elayna about him, especially, without any evidence. If she does eventually tell her, I think she shold get proof that he is dangerous first.

    Recap on previous page!!! Quick announcement! Nothing big, just letting y'all know that Epilogue IV has been renamed from Winds of War to T

  • [Reveal what Mysarion had told her] I'm really unsure about this choice. I trust Elaena. It's that servant I'm worried about. I'm worried she's literally by the door listening. But I think it's important for Cat to share everything with Elaena. They trust each other and I think it's important to further build that bond. And Cat shouldn't let Mysarion scare her. She'll mess up if she thinks and makes decisions out of fear of him. Obviously he is dangerous but I think that's all the more reason not to cower. Maybe Elaena will be more wary of him. It's hard to say. But if something does happen to Cat as a result of this, at least Elaena will know why should the worst happen.

    Recap on previous page!!! Quick announcement! Nothing big, just letting y'all know that Epilogue IV has been renamed from Winds of War to T

  • Ah, I loved getting a glimpse of Elaena's children here, Rhaenyra to be precise. I actually just realized how helpful the appendix is, because I was about to ask how many children she has until I realized you revealed it in there :) One thing I am super curious about though is the identity of her father, given that Daenerys' husband has been explicitly never revealed. I feel like that can be quite a big mystery right there.

    [Reveal what Mysarion had told her]

    Hm, I carefully considered both arguments here and I think Tales and Agent bring up excellent reasons. However, ultimately I decided in favour of revealing. Thing is, I like the relationship between Elaena and Cat and I fully agree that they should trust each other. If she reveals to Elaena how dangerous he might be, maybe she will be able to keep it a secret in return, with him never knowing that she told the queen. It might be a foolish hope, but I feel like Elaena can help if she knows.

    Recap on previous page!!! Quick announcement! Nothing big, just letting y'all know that Epilogue IV has been renamed from Winds of War to T

  • Ah, I loved getting a glimpse of Elaena's children here, Rhaenyra to be precise. I actually just realized how helpful the appendix is, because I was about to ask how many children she has until I realized you revealed it in there :)

    Firstly, glad you enjoyed getting a first glimpse at Rhaenyra. Secondly, also glad to see the appendix being used from time to time. I haven't updated it in a while. Whenever I get some time off I will though!

    One thing I am super curious about though is the identity of her father, given that Daenerys' husband has been explicitly never revealed. I feel like that can be quite a big mystery right there.

    Ah well. Time will tell I am sure.

    Ah, I loved getting a glimpse of Elaena's children here, Rhaenyra to be precise. I actually just realized how helpful the appendix is, becau

  • edited July 2018

    The Voting is Closed!

    Y'all will Reveal what Mysarion had told her, and what I can say here is that Elaena will be thankful.

    Anyhow, next part will be Barney, and probably up by tonight or tomorrow morn. Last time about, Lord Walder Mallister escaped with the help of a shadow (like the shadow from Game of Thrones S2), right in front of Barney and the King. At the end of the part, 2 PoV's, Barney and Harlund separated from each other after nearly a whole chapter together at the same places. This part will start off about 10 seconds before the last Barney-part ended. And well, this is the shortest part I've done in forever, but that got to happen sometime.


  • Barney XIV

    At Winterfell

    The Ring

    “And there they go..” Jaesa had moved up behind him without him noticing. He was fully occupied to see the Queen and Marbrand leaving Winterfell though. He looked over his shoulder for a moment, before turning his gaze back to the gate. “Aye. There they go..” He gave the horses riding out one long last look.

    Barney turned around with a melancholy smile to Jaesa. “I haven’t seen you since last night. Have you made any new friends?” Barney spoke, perfectly aware that she has not. “Yes. I and Alfdan made peace. I misjudged him, what a good man he is.” Jaesa replied, clearly sarcastic. Barney’s melancholy smile slowly turned into a joyful one. Nothing seems to be able to break Jaesa’s dour frown.

    “I am glad to hear it, Jaesa… So what have you really done since last night?” Barney answered. Murmur all around them. The blacksmith making armour and weapons, the kennelmaster feeding the dogs, the master of horse feeding the stallions and the mares. Lords chatting with each other, soldiers getting ready to travel, and people of Winterfell running errands.

    “I… I left my sword to be sharpened at the Blacksmith yesterday.” she said, but she said it like she was hiding something. Why is she saying it like that? Hmm.. “Let us go and get the sword then.” Barney decided. First, Jaesa stood completely still, then she slowly started to shake her head. “You don’t have to bother, Barney. I’ll get it late-” Barney cut her off. “No, let us retrieve your sword.” This time, Jaesa did not protest. She only sighed.

    Two blacksmiths were working, Two women. It looked like one was teaching the other one a thing or two. Mother and daughter mayhaps. When he saw this he remembered his own father and when Bernhard himself taught Barney a few water dancing moves. Barney remembers that his father really wanted Barney to learn waterdancing, and while he learnt a few things, Barney never gained any interest in it. Before Barney’s mother died he accepted the offers and learnt a few things, but after Barney’s mother died he turned down Bernhard’s offers to teach him, something he regrets today deeply. Not only because that he today would like to know waterdancing, but also because of how sad Bernhard was each time Barney turned the offer down. He never showed it, but Barney felt it every time. Today he realises that his father just wanted to think about anything else but his dead wife. Barney wished he was like the young woman in front of him, eager to learn more from their parents, when he had the time. But times have changed..

    The older woman was well over forty. Her black hair starting to show signs of grey and wrinkles around her eyes and mouth started showing, as well as dark circles under her eyes. Her brown eyes shifting between her daughter and the sword she was making. She wore a blacksmith’s apron, black and a lighter shade of brown in colour. Her hands were filled with scars and burn marks.

    The younger woman was not off the same calibre. While they shared the same hair colour and some similar face structure, they had a different aura about them. The older woman looked hardened, while the younger woman looked as innocent as it gets. Unlike the older woman, the younger woman was good looking. Unlike the older woman’s brown eyes the younger woman had grey eyes, analyzing what her mother is saying and doing with the sword.

    “...You always have to think about that. Do you understand, Caryl?” The older woman taught the younger, who nodded while touching the sword carefully. Very softly she slid her finger on the edges of the sword, feeling the sharpness. “Yes, mother.” she answered and took her finger off the sword. Caryl looked up and noticed Barney and Jaesa. “Oh, it’s you!” Caryl spoke up and pointed at Jaesa, who looked slightly uncomfortable. “Back in a moment.” Caryl ran off into a house, part of the blacksmith.

    When Caryl had entered the house Barney cleared his throat to get the older woman’s attention. “Good day. I’m Barney Beartilde, this here is Jaesa Brennys.” Barney introduced them, whereas the woman didn’t even look up at them. “Yeah… Name’s Carlya.” she mumbled while grinding the sword she has been working on.

    “Jaesa here left a sw-” before he could continue Caryl walked out of the house again, polishing something in her hands. Jaesa let out an audible sigh. “ Caryl walked past her mother and stopped in front of Jaesa. “Here.. we.. go.” she mumbled while polishing something little with a towel. “Done!” she said with a smile and handed the little item to Jaesa. Turns out it was a ring, a fine one too.

    “That is a very valuable ring.” Caryl noted and Jaesa nodded. “Yes.. Especially to me.” she replied, to which Caryl tilted her head slightly with a smile. Barney glanced at the ring, coming to the conclusion that that is in fact not a sword. “My brother had a similar ring once. Thank you for letting me polish it.” Caryl thanked Jaesa who shot her a quick uncomfortable smile. Caryl’s mother glanced at Caryl first, and then at the sword again with sadness in her eyes at the mention of Caryl’s brother.

    “Have I met you before, Caryl?” Barney spoke up and Caryl turned towards him. She eyed him for a moment with narrowed eyes, then she shook her head. “I don’t think so. Well.. At least I can’t remember you. Sorry..” she answered with an innocent smirk. “You look very familiar, is all.” Barney added, and suddenly she lit up. “Oh! You were the one riding in here with grandmother, right?” she asked him, and he narrowed his eyes. Carlya sighed behind while fixing up the sword when her daughter mentioned this. Grandmother.. Caryl noticed the questioning look. “By grandmother, I mean Arya Stark.” she clarified and Barney understood.

    “Ah, That must be it. You look quite a lot like her I must say.” he said. “I’ll take that as a compliment.” She chuckled, and for some reason it didn’t hit him until now that he spoke to royalty. His eyes widened and he raised both his hands, if only slightly. “I’m sorry. I should be calling you-” Barney started but Caryl raised one hand to stop him. “Don’t. Please don’t.” She cut him off in an almost begging tone. “I never wanted to live a life as some fancy lady sewing away my days. That’s a choice my grandmother made, that’s a choice my father made, and that is a choice I made.” she explained. Barney understood.

    “I won’t then. Thank you for your help, Caryl. And you too, Carlya.” Caryl shot both Jaesa and Barney a wide smile, whereas Carlya grunted and said “Yeah..” not even looking up from the sword she worked on. “Oh, before you go, I guess you are headed south with the king?” Caryl wondered. “Yes, we are.” Barney confirmed. “Then I am sure we will see each other again. We are travelling south too.” she revealed. “I am sure we will.” Barney said and gave her a nod as a farewell. Caryl also gave him a nod as well as a smile before turning around to her mother. “Okay, mother. Teach me more!” Barney heard her say enthusiastically before he walked away.

    “That’s a tiny sword.” Barney stated as he pointed on the ring. “Ha. Ha… I know what you are going to ask..” she sighed. “It.. It is a ring from my family, back in Braavos. One of the last things I have to remember them by.” she revealed while staring at the ring. “My father had one custom made for each child. Me, and my four brothers. My youngest brother and I traded our rings with one another, so this isn’t even mine, not really.” she said with a melancholy smile, before putting the ring on her left index finger.

    Barney said nothing. He put a hand on her shoulder, but he said nothing, perfectly content with Jaesa opening up slightly more. “I.. I need some time alone, Barney. I will see you later.” She said and walked off. “Yes.. of course.” he mumbled to himself and decided to find Deanna again.

    “Deanna?” he walked into her tent again, and she sat at an old table, writing a letter. “Mhm..” she answered, fully focusing on writing the letter. “You talked about someth-” he started, but Deanna started to talk instead. “Just a minute, Barney. Let me finish this letter.” she spoke and wrote. A minute passed before she put away her quill. She looked up and gave him an almost motherly smile. Despite only being a few years older than Barney, he could definitely consider her. “It is really so good to see you again.” she said and pointed at an old bench at the side.

    Deanna sighed and stared at the table. “On days like these, I miss Billon.” she said. Billon was Deanna’s husband, Bernhard’s half-brother, Barney’s half-uncle. He died of the Northern Plague, just like Barney’s mother and grandmother. “He loved a good battle. He.. He would have known how to train Brutus properly.” she spoke and scratched her forehead. “You are doing well, Deanna.” Barney said, to which she shook her head. “You haven’t met the boy in quite some time, Barney. He is.. quite something nowadays.” she said and furled the scroll.

    “Which is why I ask you to take him as a squire. I think he needs a real man, a father figure, to teach him the right ways. Please, Barney. Will you take him as a squire?”

    [Accept the offer] [Decline the offer]

  • [Accept the offer]

    Barney XIV At Winterfell The Ring “And there they go..” Jaesa had moved up behind him without him noticing. He was fully occupied t

  • Ah, I loved this part, for reasons that are probably clear :) I continue to greatly enjoy the way you write Jaesa and I especially liked the glimpse to her past she gave here. She does open up to Barney, slowly but steadily. I really wonder why she was so secretive about her dealing with the blacksmith though. Her own uncomfortable reaction and Caryl's behaviour gives me the impression there's more here, something she didn't say and it might just be the ring, but her it seemed there's more behind this, something she doesn't want Barney to find out. I suppose we have to wait and see, but I am curious if she has further dealings with these blacksmiths and for what reason.

    [Accept the offer]

    Now, someone such as Barney does surely need a squire! I like the idea, as such there really is no reason for me not to pick the option.

    Barney XIV At Winterfell The Ring “And there they go..” Jaesa had moved up behind him without him noticing. He was fully occupied t

  • First, sorry for the late reply. I was away for some time and haven't had much time being on here.

    Second of all, I am really glad that you enjoy the part and how I write Jaesa. And yes, there might be something Jaesa isn't telling Barney. Whether she actually hides something from him or not can only be known in time!

    Ah, I loved this part, for reasons that are probably clear I continue to greatly enjoy the way you write Jaesa and I especially liked the g

  • [Accept the offer]

    So sorry it took me so damn long to read this! I was intending to ages ago but completely forgot.

    Enjoyed the part. Caryl is adorable :) A minor criticism I have is with the final choice I feel like we should've gotten to see a bit of Barney's thoughts on the matter. The choice feels kinda sudden in that regard. I have no idea how hee feels about it so in a sense I don't really see a reason to say no.

    Barney XIV At Winterfell The Ring “And there they go..” Jaesa had moved up behind him without him noticing. He was fully occupied t

  • edited August 2018

    No problem at all! I myself must apologise for not bringing up a new part yet, but I had a lot of shit to do last month, as well as a pretty long vacation.

    On the criticism, I definitely see your point there. I am not quite sure why I didn't add that, to be honest. I feel like I usually am. I kind of rushed this one part because I really wanted it done before my vacation trip. That is the only excuse I can bring to the table.

    Thoughts are something I always want to be included, so I definitely will take your advice. :blush: On that note, a bit of his thoughts will be presented here.

    Basically, on one hand, he would love to help his aunt-in-law and her son as good as he possibly can. On the other hand, he is not sure if that is a responsibility he is willing to take. He doesn't know if he's capable, or if he'd like it. He does know that this would mean that Brutus is in his care in a way and that if anything were to happen to him, he could never look Deanna in the eye again. He'd be ashamed to hell, to say the least.

    I hope that clears some of it up! :3

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    [Accept the offer] So sorry it took me so damn long to read this! I was intending to ages ago but completely forgot. Enjoyed the part.

  • Thanks for for taking the time to give a bit of context regarding Barney's thoughts. :)

    I got confused for a second but I'm assuming you meant Brutus when you said Burtis? :p

    No problem at all! I myself must apologise for not bringing up a new part yet, but I had a lot of shit to do last month, as well as a pretty

  • Oh shit, yes. I meant Brutus. :3 Fixed it!

    AgentZ46 posted: »

    Thanks for for taking the time to give a bit of context regarding Barney's thoughts. I got confused for a second but I'm assuming you meant Brutus when you said Burtis?

  • My god, I'm sorry for the long wait.

    The Voting is Closed!

    Y'all chose to accept Brutus to be a squire. And well... We'll meet the guy soon. :3

    Now, the next part is almost done and will be up later tonight. We will meet Harlund for the first time in this chapter, and here is a quick recap. Last time we saw the man, he was appointed a mission with Arya Stark, to travel north. With him is Farengar, Ned and Queen Valla, who has some own business to attend. The last thing we saw was him riding out to Winterfell, and north, towards Castle Black.

    Anyways, really sorry for the long wait, I had a lot of things to do but now I am back hopefully. I'll see y'all soon.


  • Harlund X

    On The Kingsroad

    Tumbledown Tower

    A day has gone by since Harlund, Queen Valla, Arya, Farengar, Ned and an entourage of soldiers left Winterfell to venture North. The roads here were still well maintained, but Harlund were very aware that the quality of the roads would only decrease. Ned had kept to himself, keeping his eye on the east. Farengar had done anything but keeping to himself. The man just cannot be quiet about his stories. Valla rode up front and didn’t speak a lot, similar to Harlund and Arya.

    Up ahead Harlund could see an old watchtower, ancient even. Harlund was unsure whether he’d still call it a watchtower, not only because of many of the stones making the tower had fallen out of their places, but also because it was completely overgrown by mostly moss as well as ivy.

    “That tower has seen it’s best days.” Farengar noted. So have I. Harlund thought to himself before Arya spoke up. “Yes. This would be the Tumbledown Tower” she explained in a dry voice. “Hmm… nope, name doesn’t ring any bell.” Farengar mumbled and patted his black stallion. The queen looked over her shoulder at Arya. “Where have you gotten that name from?” she wondered, and frankly, so did Harlund. No one but Arya seems to have heard the name of this tower before. “My brother Bran named it many, many years ago.” she said in a melancholy tone.

    “Ah, I see.” Farengar answered. Harlund noticed the look in Farengar’s eyes and sighed for himself. Oh gods.. “You know, this actually reminds me of this one time when I worked over in Skagos. I found an old abandoned tower in the middle of the island, and inside it a starving woman, or so I thought. I left her to gather some food, but when I returned, she was gone. I waited there for a while, and she did return eventually. Sad thing was that she grabbed a tree branch and knocked me out with it.” he paused to take a deep breath. “I was surprised to wake up, if I am being honest. Girl had me tied up, and I thought for sure that she was going to fuck me up. Weirdly enough, she only left me for dead. She took the food I had gathered and left… I guess she liked me.” he said with a smirk before continuing.

    “I managed to get free, and followed her trace. She had built a little fucking boat by herself, and took off just before I could jump on. So I built myself a boat too. Took me two days and two nights. I sailed after her over the Bay of Seals, found her boat, but never her. I lost the trail close to Last Hearth. And instead of returning to Skagos, I traveled south until I found Frosthorn, and you, my lord.” he finished and looked at Harlund with a thankful look. “Nine years ago, was it?” Harlund asked. “Aye, almost ten, I was fifteen years old.” Then the silence resumed for some time, until they reached Tumbledown Tower. “I have the stop for a moment.” Arya demanded and jumped off her horse. “A moment alone in the tower, then we can continue.” she explained and walked into the watchtower, or rather, the ruins of the tower.

    The Queen stopped the entourage with a sigh. Harlund looked over to Ned, who didn’t seem to be able to stop looking east. “What is it you are looking for, Ned?” Farengar asked him, and he finally stopped looking east, and on Farengar instead. “I’m not sure.. I just have a feeling.”

    “Bandit’s are a growing concern.” Harlund admitted. “It’s wise to keep an eye out, especially at a time like this. Winter is coming, and northern bandits may flee south.” he warned them and sighed. All of them went quiet yet again. The cold winds blew hard against their faces. Harlund might be bald, but his massive grey beard and big bushy eyebrows of the same colour kept his face reasonably warm.

    Even though Harlund was little at the time he remembered the winter the Night King returned. Never had he been that cold. The very stone of his keep cracked from the cold. The wooden floors turned white and no matter how many fires he still shivered from the frozen air. He nearly froze to death that winter. The worst days he was white as snow itself, and while he still was whiter and paler than any man Harlund ever met, he gained some colour when the cold winter finally ended.

    For minutes, they sat on their horses until the Queen spoke up. “Alright, she is taking too long. I will fetch her.” Harlund jumped off his horse before the Queen even finished. “Let me, your grace.” he grunted. His legs ached when he landed. Age is starting to show. he thought for himself as he entered the Tumbledown Tower.

    It really lives up to its name.. It was overgrown with tree branches and bushes and moss inside as well. Stones had fallen off from inside too. However, Arya was nowhere to be seen. He looked around and walked into the only sunray in this tower. Thanks to a big stone block had fallen from the ceiling of the tower, one beam of light shined in. In the grass it lit up there were three flowers. One purple, one red and one yellow.

    “Yet again, you try to sneak up on me.” Arya’s voice could be heard from behind, clearly referencing when Harlund and sneaky Ned sneaked into her house. Harlund spun around, seeing her standing right behind him. She looked rather neutral, but Harlund could spot sadness in her eyes. “What is it you are doing here?” Harlund asked, ignoring her comment.

    Arya sighed heavily and looked down at the ground. “Oh, what good is it to keep it a secret.. This tower was the location I met Bran last time. He sat in his wagon, right there.” she spoke and pointed on a grassy spot, almost where Harlund stood. “And I sat here.” she sat down on the stone block that had fallen from the roof.

    “I travelled south, to home. And he travelled north. We talked for a few moments, and then he told me that I could never look for him. I argued for a while, but this was something he wanted. I was.. angry, and left him there. After I’ve gotten some time to calm down and think, I returned… But he was already gone. He left a note.” First, she took a deep breath, then she sighed as she looked down at the grass reaching well up on their legs. “It read that he was sorry, but it just had to be this way.” She slowly stood up, legs shaking a little. Arya started to walk out of the tower. “Then I left this tower.” she mumbled.

    Almost when she had exited the tower she stopped and stood completely still. She rose a hand to keep Harlund quiet. “Do you hear that?” she wheezed, and Harlund walked closer to her. “Don’t fucking move.” he could hear in the distance. Arya’s eyes widened and she hastily turned to Harlund. “Do not let them in here.” she said and walked back to the tower. Harlund nodded as she sat down on the grass. “Stay put.” Harlund said and left the tower.

    Harlund dodged the branches and ducked the hanging ivy before he finally got out and got a good look. There were a good twenty men aiming arrows at the entourage. Every single man from the queen’s entourage had jumped off their horses. All of them stood very still, no sudden moves and all. Were they bandits? No.. They looked like sellswords. Harlund walks towards them, and only stopped after the only man without a helmet raised his hands against Harlund.

    The man without a helmet was no beautiful man. His white face full of ugly scars, his eyes as blue and cold as ice. No beard, no hair. One ear had been cut off completely. He must’ve been forty-five, at least. This man had seen war, Harlund deduced. “Would ya look at that. One of our missing horse riders.” he said with a cold smile. A hoarse voice he had. His blue-ish armour was rusty. Only the chainmail underneath looked reasonably new.

    “Who are you?” Harlund asked, putting a hand on the hilt of his sword. A few of the scarred man’s archers aimed at Harlund now. “Heh.. Straight onto business. Well. We are a part of the Stormborn, a sellsword company with fine men, such as me.” he revealed with a cold smile. Then the man sighed. “Now, if it wouldn’t be to much trouble, take that disgusting hand away from your sword.”

    “I’ve survived worse odds.” Harlund muttered dryly, and the ugly man smirked, clearly amused. “Oh, so have I. You see, I’ve taken many hostages in my days, be sure of that. And I can clearly tell that you are protecting the person inside this tower. It’s quite honourable.” he returned and took slow but steady steps towards Harlund. Harlund sighed before drawing his sword.

    The archers readied their arrows but the ugly man raised his hand. “Stand down.” he mumbled. One of the archers protested against this. “But Oskar-” but didn’t have time to say more before the ugly man, who apparently was named Oskar, stopped him from talking. “QUIET!” he screamed and threw a knife at his soldier. The knife hit the soldier straight in his throat. Blood poured out from his throat and his eyes widened. The fear in the soldier’s eyes as he fell on his knees, dying, was something Harlund had gotten his fair share of. The soldier started to gurgle out blood from his mouth before falling face down, dead. Oskar turned around with a sigh, but a very serious expression.

    “Next one goes in one of yours, my lord.” he threatened and moved considerably faster towards Harlund now. Lord Marbrand raised his sword, ready to parry a strike if needed. Oskar stopped just outside of Harlund’s reach with a very small knife in his hand. “I count twenty men, you included. Not a big sellsword party, I must admit.” Harlund tried to make conversation, but he realises that that isn’t his department. Oskar let out a hoarse chuckle and then walked closer towards Harlund, which in turn made Harlund aim his blade towards Oskar. “Another step and I will cut your head off.” Harlund growled almost with vehemence in his voice. This made Harlund excited, although he hid that feeling very well.

    Oskar frowned. “As a courtesy, I will respond to your remark. You’ll be dead soon anyhow, so why not?” he spoke with confidence and cleared his throat. “We twenty men here aren’t the full company. Currently, we have split up into three groups. It’s this group, led by yours truly, to kill you. Then we have a group down in the South, led by two men, Alexander and Axel, to kill some lord down there. At last, we have our most humble leader, Drefan Carrow. He is… Well, in the middle somewhere, on some personal mission to track down a foreign bitch that stayed with our company for a shorter while.” he explained walking slowly left and right, always keeping an eye on Harlund’s sword.

    “Who ordered this?” Harlund asked, but Oskar only chuckled dryly. “Don’t know, don’t care.” An obvious lie, but Oskar started talking again before Harlund could. “Now that I have been most kind to you, would you please die without a fight? I’d appreciate it a lot.” I’ll be damned if I die on this day. Harlund thought to himself. Only a mere moment or two after Oskar finished his sentence, one powerful and strong howl could be heard. Soon many howls joined in, but none of them had such a strong voice and presence as the first one.

    Oskar was now weary, to say the least. He looked around, swinging his head left and right. He waved at a fat soldier in his company to walk toward him. The fat soldier was frightened, Harlund could see it in his eyes. He opened his mouth to speak, but Oskar wheezed at him. “Not a fucking peep.” The fat soldier closed his mouth again and continued to walk slowly towards Oskar. Everything was completely quiet.

    “What the fuck?!?” The fat soldier fell to the ground and his high-pitched voice cracked as he fell. Two wolves had clenched their teeth in his legs, blood streamed down the wolves mouth. Even Harlund was taken aback slightly. Oskar was frozen in shock, not because of the two wolves eating a man from his company, but the majestic beast emerging behind them. A beast bigger than Oskar himself, who was no small man. Nymeria. Harlund thought.

    Nymeria looked Oskar right in his eyes, and Oskar was still completely still. And still, he stood until the fat soldier had screamed for the last time. “Mother have mercy…” he mumbled before turning around to run for his life. Harlund didn’t stop him. He thought that Nymeria would go after him.

    For a while, she stood still, the agonizing screams of the stormborn soldiers was all that was heard. Carefully, she eyed all of her pack attacking all Stormborn men, then turned her haunting dark golden eyes towards Harlund. He tried to hide that he tensed up while the creature looked at him, but did a rather poor job. After a few moments, Nymeria did what resembled a nod, which Harlund reciprocated before Nymeria ran after Oskar. Harlund took a deep breath and dashed off towards the queen.

    “Your grace. Are you well?” Breathless, he asked her, as she jumped back on her horse. “I’m fine, lord Marbrand. Now get Arya so we can move on.” she spoke with a sigh and patted her horse. Harlund looked around at all the cadaver of men. “Your grace, what about all the bodies?” he asked her. She looked over her shoulder with a smirk. “The wolves will take care of it.” As she said it, she started to ride in a very slow pace. “Talking about wolves, where is your wolf, your grace? I heard you own one.” Farengar had jumped up on his horse. Harlund remembered the direwolf under the royal table in Winterfell. He hadn’t even thought about where it was, and quite frankly, he didn’t care. He simply turned around to walk back into Tumbledown Tower. “I do own one, but Lady got to stay in Winterfell this time.” he heard the queen say before leaving them both.

    The first thing Harlund saw was Arya sitting in the corner he left her in, and her eyes were completely white. She was still hunting for Oskar. Moments passed, Harlund sat down on a stone in front of her, waiting with patience. Finally, her grey eyes finally rolled back.

    “Harlund.” she simply said, as she grabbed the wall behind her to stand up. “Your grace.” he returned. She sighed as she managed to stand. “Let us leave this place.” she spoke and walked past Harlund, who rose from the stone with slight difficulty. Age was taking its toll, on the both of them. “Did you kill that bastard?” Harlund asked her. She shook her head. “I didn’t, but Nymeria is still hunting him. She will kill him.” she assured him as they both left the Tumbledown Tower.

    They had been riding for a few hours, but as it got dark, they had decided to set up camp. Valla had decided to set up camp, and the rest just had to abide. A headstrong woman, that one. Harlund had argued to ride for another hour, but Valla is the queen and had the final word.

    Some of the Stark men ignited a campfire and sat around it, talking. The fire lit up the otherwise dark forest that surrounded them. Queen Valla sat there for some time as well but had now gone to bed. Arya had been absent ever since they set camp. Farengar made some friends with the men around the campfire and Harlund, as well as Sneaky Ned, kept an eye on the kingsroad.

    They made camp in a smaller grove they found a very short distance from the kingsroad. Pines surrounded them, and as the wind hit the pines, it was almost like the pines whispered to each other. “Heh. Would you look at that.” Ned said with a peaceful tone. “What?” Harlund growled with impatience. Ned extended his pale hand, and a snowflake fell right into his hand. It melted within a few seconds. “About bloody time.” Ned exclaimed, and Harlund had to agree. It was unusual for the north to not see snow in such long time. Harlund took a deep breath of the cold air, delighted that Winter has come.

    Farengar walked up behind them, he too had noticed the snow. “Nice to feel some snow on your skin.” he spoke with a smile. “Aye.” Ned agreed. Harlund was more sceptical the more he thought about it. Sure, he likes Winter and the snow, but he also knows that Winter beyond Castle Black is harsh, treacherous and dreadful. He did not dread a winter like that, but he was all too familiar with his age taking its toll. He was not the man he once was.

    Queen Valla walked out of her tent, she still looked wide awake, so Harlund deduced she never fell asleep. She did not seem to be filled with joy as Farengar or Ned. A dour frown and a troubled glare at the snowflakes. Farengar noticed the same thing. “Why so mopey, your grace?” Farengar narrowed his eyes. “The snow will cause us trouble. We will make it to Castle Black with relative ease. After that, we will travel to my father. That journey will not prove too hard either. But you, Ned, Lord Harlund and Arya will travel further north than that. Snowstorms are hard to pass through, Farengar.” she explained to him, and for every word she spoke his joy turned to ashes and was replaced with unhappiness. However, moments later, his smile returned. “Then I better enjoy the snow while I can.” he said with a wide grin.

    “If you’d like I can take watch now, my lord.” Farengar offered, but Harlund quickly shook her head. “No need. I will speak with you when it is tim…” he stopped himself when he heard horses in the distance. Harlund unsheathed his sword in a heartbeat, Ned and Farengar just after. The rest of the Stark soldier quickly stood up and did the same. It was dark, meaning Harlund couldn’t see them, but they were getting closer. The horses' hoofs hitting the ground gets louder and louder for every moment.

    “Get ready.” Harlund wheezed at the others. Harlund could make out silhouettes in the distance now and noticed that the horses slowed down slightly. Maybe they were friendly. Now they were close enough to the fire for Harlund to make out their faces. He narrowed his eyes and in a moment he sheathed his sword.

    It was Alfdan and Yrin Runnie. Two brothers from Harlund’s army, he remembered. “My lord.” Alfdan greeted him and jumped off his horse. “You were ordered to stay with the rest of the Marbrand army, Alfdan.” Harlund growled at him.

    “The king thought it’d be wise to send a few more soldiers to protect his queen. We volunteered.” Alfdan spoke and tied his horse to a nearby pine. “No.” Yrin mumbled as he jumped off his horse and tied it to a pine just next to Alfdan’s. “You volunteered, and I had to follow.” he spoke in a glum tone. “Aye, that is right.” Alfdan chuckled.

    “Farengar the Survivor!” Alfdan greeted Farengar with a hard slam on his back. “Alfdan.” he returned with a smirk. He too slammed Alfdan’s back, albeit not quite as hard. “I need a drink.” Yrin muttered, and his brother turned towards him. “So do I.” he said with a grin.

    “I noticed quite a lot of blood, flesh and bones on the kingsroad. What is that all about?” Alfdan questioned Harlund, but Ned was the first to respond. “Some fuckers attacked us on the bloody road. Princess Arya sent her beasts on them, fucked them up bad.”

    “...I gave her one good night to remember.” Alfdan chuckled where he sat in front of the fire. Yrin sat next to him, and Ned sat next to Yrin. Many men sat around the fire, sharing and listening to stories. The one story Alfdan just spoke must have been a hit because the laughter from all the men echoed in the night. Harlund still stood guard but was close enough to hear some dialogue. Farengar had insisted to take Ned’s place, and Ned finally gave in. Farengar now stood guard with Harlund. “A fine night, my lord.” Farengar noted. Snowflakes still fell from above them, a thin layer covering the ground at this point.

    “A fine night indeed.” Harlund mumbled, he thought about what day it was and drank from his flask. Farengar noted that Harlund seemed to be lost in his thought. “What are you thinking of, my lord?” he asked, a bit hesitant at first. The glare Harlund gave him made Farengar raise his hands. “I meant no disrespect, my lord. Simply curious is all.”

    Harlund looked up at the sky. He felt the cold snowflakes melting against his warm skin. Lord Marbrand was comfortable, for the first time in quite some time. With a sigh, he turned his gaze back to Farengar. “It’s my nameday today.” he revealed, and Farengar’s eyes widened. “The day we just had or the day we will have?” Farengar asked. “The day we just had.” he confirmed and took a sip from his flask.

    “Best wishes to you, my lord.” he wished him. Harlund extended his flask to Farengar, who was almost taken aback by what Harlund did. Soon Farengar extended his hand and grabbed the flask. He took a few sips and let out a satisfying sound when he finished. “Weak stuff.” he smirked and gave the flask back. “Fits you perfectly then.” Harlund growled back and drank the last drops.

    “So how old are you now, twenty?” Farengar wondered with a grin, changing the subject. “sixty-five.” he muttered. One year closer to death. he thought. “What do you think of this journey, my lord?”

    “What is there to think? It will be a hard travel, just as queen Valla spoke.” Harlund grunted. Farengar’s joyful expression turned more into a worried one. He excessively scratched his left hand. “I meant… What are our chances? I don’t want a single one of us to die is all.” he revealed in a tone Harlund hadn’t heard from Farengar before. A tone of fear and worry.

    “As long as everyone does as they are told, our chances for survival will increase.” That was not the answer Farengar wanted or needed, but it was the answer he got. “If you cannot bear it, ride home to Frosthorn.” Harlund muttered without losing eye-contact with Farengar. Farengar regained some composure. “Never. Despite my fear I will always stay loyal to you, my lord. Where you go I follow until I die.” Or I. Farengar said this with compassion. He was truly thankful for all that Harlund had done. Harlund himself was thankful to Farengar as well, but he wasn’t one to be nostalgic and sappy. “Good.” Harlund simply replied, and then they both went quiet, staring out in the dark night.

    One day later

    “Can we make a quick stop?” Arya shouted to the queen, who with a sigh agreed to it. “Why are we stopping, your grace?” Alfdan asked Arya, who quickly glanced at him before jumping off her horse with some difficulty. “Nymeria has something to show me.” she muttered. “The wolf?” Alfdan whispered to Farengar. “The Wolf.” Farengar confirmed.

    The beast emerged from the pines and the shadows, blood dripping from her mouth. All horses were wary when Nymeria emerged, and so were all the men, save for Arya. Arya walked up to her and stroke her gently. Nymeria let out a cuddly groan. Harlund noticed black hair hanging from Nymeria’s jaw, and Arya noticed it as well. She grabbed the hair and dragged it out of Nymeria’s mouth. “This must be Vera.” Arya deduced. “Who the fuck is Vera?” Yrin asked her, and without letting her eyes off the hair, she answered. “Oskar led Nymeria towards their camp with the rest of his men. Vera was one of them, a lover perhaps… She killed everyone there, except Oskar, who just wouldn’t stop running… Nymeria lost his scent, but all wolves are looking for him. Oskar will be found.” she reassured them.

    “No matter. He is one man. We need to continue our journey.” the queen spoke and started to slowly ride. “Let’s move, your grace.” Harlund mumbled carefully to Arya to not anger the direwolf in any way. “Ride on without me. I will follow shortly.” she responded, to which Harlund nodded, and left her and Nymeria with a relieved sigh.

    Alfdan leant slightly towards Farengar. “So.. Who in the fuck is Oskar?” he asked Farengar, who sighed heavily. “Well, let me tell you Alfdan. It all started when we rode past Tumbledown Tower…”

    Twenty days later

    “And that was how we met Oskar. One real bastard.” Farengar finished just as Castle Black could be seen in the far distance. A few hours ride. Alfdan sighed. “Farengar, you are a man of many stories, yet you have told us the story of Oskar three times now.” Alfdan concluded and Farengar let out a chuckle. “You’re right. I didn’t even realise.”

    “Is that Castle Black?” Yrin asked his brother, who nodded. “Can’t be anything else.. Did you know grandfather was a man of the watch?” Alfdan replied and Yrin shook his head in disbelief. “For what crime? Bringing father into this world?” he spoke in a sour tone, keeping his eyes on the road. Alfdan shot him a thoughtful glare. “Our father was an honourable man and warrior.” Alfdan tried, but Yrin didn’t have it. Even Harlund knew Alfdan was lying. Their father had been a recruit in the Frostborn army, that Harlund personally dismissed for being a coward and a swine. “Sure…” Yrin mumbled.

    “I never knew my father well.” Harlund muttered, trying to avoid a somewhat awkward silence. “He died while you were young?” Arya wondered. “Aye. I was six. He was slain during the war of the White Walkers.” Harlund revealed, and Arya gazed down at the mane of her horse instead of Harlund. “We lost many good men that year.” she said in sorrow. “We did indeed.” Harlund agreed. “And I would like to see my father again, before he dies. Ride faster.” Queen Valla shouted from the front of this entourage. “Is your father in Castle Black?” Alfdan questioned her. “Absolutely not. We will stay the night there. Feed the horses and feed ourselves. Then we will travel to my father and the rest of the Free Folk.” she responded and started to ride a little faster.

    “One day?!” Farengar exclaimed. “With all due respect, your grace. We have been riding for weeks. We will have to rest there for at least two nights.” he advised, and Alfdan agreed. “Aye. An extra day to rest would do wonders I’d say.” Yrin sighed. “You do nothing but rest, Alfdan. Let’s just get this over with as quickly as we can.” Alfdan shot him an angry glare, but stayed silent. “That would be a day wasted. I’m with Yrin and the queen. Let us move quickly.” Ned argued and Arya kept her gaze on the castle. “I want to travel north quicker than any of you. But I am old. An extra day of rest could save all our lives.” Arya gave her opinion and the Queen argued back. “Or it could mean the death of all of us. Harlund, you have stayed silent. Speak up.” the Queen ordered him.

    He himself was old and his bones could certainly need another day of rest, like Arya. But on the other hand, getting this over with as soon as possible might be the best option. Harlund had already made up his mind...

    [Argue to stay one night in Castle Black] Argue to stay two nights in Castle Black]

  • [Argue to stay one night in Castle Black]

    Queen Valla is in a great hurry to get to her father. I would hate it if something bad happened and we couldn't stop it because we stayed an extra day. On the other hand, it may be good for them to have extra rest. I'm not completely sure on this choice, but I'll see how the others vote before I decide if I want to change it or not.

    Harlund X On The Kingsroad Tumbledown Tower A day has gone by since Harlund, Queen Valla, Arya, Farengar, Ned and an entourage of s

  • Argue to stay two nights in Castle Black]

    Harlund X On The Kingsroad Tumbledown Tower A day has gone by since Harlund, Queen Valla, Arya, Farengar, Ned and an entourage of s

  • Quick announcement

    I've heard about Telltale shutting down, and I cannot even begin to express the sorrow I feel over that. Their games have been a part of my life for many years now, and I am not sure how I will cope with this.

    With this, I am sure that this website will shut down eventually. Be sure that I and other writers (I am sure) here are looking for a new place, once telltale.com sadly shuts down.

    Take care everyone. I will keep you all posted.

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