Interactive GoT Fan Fiction: The Invasion



  • edited July 2018

    Alright, well as no more votes have come in I will bring this one to a close. Jaremy will give the book to Edgar. This is a wise choice, but as CM pointed out, giving the book back does hinder Jaremy's choice to potentially grow into the man his father wished for him to be. However, Jaremy can always later ask for the book if he feels naturally compelled, but I imagine being Jaremy he won't look to train under the ways of chivalry and honour :D

    The next part is ready, and as I mentioned in response to Liquid, it is a Torrhen part. Here's a recap: King Hector and his eldest son Torrhen travelled to Yronwood to arrange an alliance with King Olyvar in relation to the inevitable Andal threat, to which Torrhen succeeded in winning Olyvar's alliance when accepting to take his great-grandson: Daris, as a steward under his training. The negotiations would later be finished between Hector and Olyvar while Torrhen would speak with Prince Broden, Olyvar's second son. Here, Torrhen would learn that there is a great divide in House Yronwood, with a rivalry between Benedict and Eddin (the crown prince), which has progressed with the two rivals offspring. Broden had clear intentions to gain Torrhen's support through inviting him to join his own council meeting, something which Torrhen found odd, but you guys agreed to. This part picks up directly where it left off.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Jaremy The polished floorboards of the Great Hall fixed the attention of the brute’s glare as he consumed and dwelled on his burning ange

  • Torrhen

    A feeling of concern crawled over Torrhen’s skin as he had come to his decision, giving Prince Broden a nod before voicing his choice. “I will attend your meeting,” Torrhen stated, though even he was unsure if this was the best plan of action. Working behind his father’s back was not the path he wished to walk, but if the alliance with King Olyvar would not be accepted by the remainder of House Yronwood, it was Torrhen’s duty to gain an alliance which would hold. The only issue is which side? Torrhen thought to himself as a grin spread across Broden’s face.

    “Excellent. I will have my granddaughter, Jeyna, come to collect you before sunset. Perhaps after that you and your father may dine with us?” Broden suggested hopefully, to which Torrhen only raised an eyebrow. “Do you not all dine at your father’s table?” Torrhen queried with a tone of disbelief, to which a small chuckle escaped Broden’s lips. “Ah, my Prince, you must understand that we are a large family. My father seldom communes with us, and my foolish brother is sickly and generally confined to his chambers. It is my table or Benedict’s,” Broden explained, to which Torrhen firmly nodded in acknowledgement. It is worse than I thought, Torrhen realised as he gave a bow to Prince Broden and the man took his leave.

    Turning his gaze to Prince Eddin’s chambers, Torrhen wondered how long he should have to wait until his father had cleared negotiations with the Bloodroyal. To his recent knowledge, he feared all this effort to secure an alliance with King Olyvar was all for naught considering the division amongst his descendants. Yet without examining the whole family, it would be imprudent of Torrhen to align himself with Broden just off his word. His thoughts pulling back to Benedict, he decided it would be worth meeting the other side of the Yronwood family, and began to navigate his way to the courtyard.

    Exploration of the sandstone castle was no doubt a good experience for the crown prince of Blackmont. Torrhen had been taught to inspect the weaknesses of both his enemies and his allies, as it would judge his actions to either defeat them swiftly or aid them beneficially. In this instance, Torrhen was unsure where the Kingdoms of Blackmont and Yronwood stood, but he took in his surroundings all the same.

    His ears eventually aided him to discover the sparring yards as the clanging of metal on metal rung in the distance. Torrhen turned down the open corridor and approached the area to inspect the soldiers training. To his surprise, he noticed only a few Yronwood footmen sparring at the far end of the courtyard, while the rest had gathered around a supposed duel in the centre.

    Curiosity peaked, Torrhen descended the steps to the sparring arenas and approached the masses, pushing past the gathered soldiers to the front of the crowd, where he spotted two men engaging in a duel. On either ends of the man-made arena stood Prince Benedict, and another man which Torrhen did recognise. The two duellers were unfamiliar faces to him also, but given Benedict’s presence here, he gauged that one of the men was his son: Yorick.

    The two men engaged in combat, one clearly exhausted and less experienced than the other, who easily parried the weakened strikes and delivered merciless counterblows against the man’s armour. From Benedict’s earlier boasts, he could only assume the victor was his eldest, while the other opponent must have been Broden’s grandson: Aren. As the round closed off, Yorick consulted with his father while Aren approached the man on the other end of the arena, to which Torrhen assumed the man was his father.

    Torrhen turned his gaze to Yorick, who was a handsome young man with almost shoulder-length curly black hair and bright blue eyes, and a build which showed he had clear training with the sword. The other opponent, Aren, had a much simpler complexion with a light stubble coating his face. His build was average of most men, but it was clear he was outmatched by his opponent.

    Benedict whispered some words into Yorick’s ear while Aren’s father spoke to him directly, a difference which Torrhen took notice of. When the two opponents were ready to face off, Aren was the first to make the bold strike, taking a step forward and thrashing his bronze shortsword at Yorick’s shield, a smashing which Benedict’s son was not expecting. This action gave Aren a cutting edge, but his follow-through was lazy, and eventually Yorick countered his attacks and disarmed the man.

    Expecting the fight was over, many soldiers began to egress from the arena, a few applauded and others simply murmured amongst themselves. However Torrhen quickly witnessed Yorick’s personality in direction of his cousin. “Pick up your sword, coward,” Yorick demanded, taunting Aren as he slashed at the dirt at his feet. Clearly intimidated, but holding a stern composure, Aren foolishly took up his sword and unleashed at Yorick with his frustration. It was clear to Torrhen that Yorick revelled in humiliating his opponent, weaving and dodging Aren’s weary strikes and making him pay for it.

    Choosing to parry the final strike, Yorick threw a gut punch in to finish his opponent, dropping Aren to his knees with the unexpected move. To finish him off, Yorick pummelled Aren in the temple with the pommel of his sword, knocking the prince out cold. Immediately the young prince turned to his father with a grin spread across his face, to which Benedict flashed the boy an approving smirk. To little surprise, the father of Aren quickly rushed to his son’s aid, glaring irefully at Yorick.

    “You honourless shit, Yorick. Learn some respect!” the man seethed, inspecting his son’s head wound. Soon other soldiers came to help the barely conscience Aren off the ground and carry him away. Yorick only smirked, sticking his blade into the soil beneath their feet. “I gave Aren countless opportunities to withdraw, Braedon. He asked for that,” Yorick stated weakly in his defence, not a hint of remorse in his tone. The father, Braedon, rose to his feet with clenched fists, and Torrhen spotted Benedict’s concern growing as he grasped the hilt of his sheathed sword.

    “Prince Benedict,” Torrhen called, unveiling himself from the crowd for all to see. A bold action which paid off in the way he had hoped, pulling the tension away from Braedon and Benedict, along with wiping the smug look off Yorick’s face. “Prince Torrhen,” Benedict mumbled awkwardly in surprise, rubbing the back of his head. “I suspected Broden had talked you out of coming to see me,” Benedict admitted, averting his gaze from Torrhen’s hard piercing glare.

    “Well I couldn’t pass the opportunity to meet your esteemed son, Yorren, was it?” Torrhen mocked subtly, to which Yorick corrected him with a cocky nature. “Yorick,” Torrhen amended, smirking at the boy as he nodded his head in apology. Meanwhile the bitter Braedon took a step forward. “Prince Torrhen,” he greeted, poorly masking his anger he currently held towards Yorick and Benedict. “I am Broden’s son, Braedon. We are honoured to have you in Yronwood,” he stated, extending his hand out.

    Torrhen grasped it firmly, nodding to the man in gesture. “I’m sure your soon would appreciate to awake with you by his side,” Benedict stated, placing a hand on Yorick’s shoulder as he frowned. “I know I would do the same if anything became of my own,” he added, to which Braedon scowled at the man before returning his gaze to Torrhen. “If you will excuse me,” he pardoned before egressing, to which Torrhen nodded, turning his own gaze to Benedict.

    “My apologies for you having to see that,” Benedict stated awkwardly, to which Yorick furrowed his brow in confusion, but remained obediently silent. “This is my son, Yorick. He has admired you as his idol since hearing your feats in glory for your kingdom. I hope he can become half of what you are once he is heir to the throne,” Benedict glorified with a proud smile on his face as he glanced at his son. Torrhen maintained a solemn expression, glancing at the young man before returning his gaze to Benedict.

    “Well he is still a few lines away from becoming king, and still has much time to learn,” Torrhen stated, to which he put on a small smile, “a luxury I wish I had,” Torrhen admitted honestly, acknowledging that growing up with the responsibility of one day becoming king was not an easy role to accept as a child. Others have it worse, he reminded himself.

    “I have been teaching my son that a king should be equally as proficient with the sword as he is with an iron fist. He is growing to be the best swordsman in all of Yronwood,” Benedict exclaimed, to which Yorick smirked with a cocky look in his eye. “Perhaps we could spar sometime, Prince Torrhen?” Yorick suggested, to which Torrhen smiled but shook his head. “It’s my brother you want to pick a fight with, he’s the more experienced swordsman,” Torrhen admitted, but he was not too bad a warrior himself, and unlike Yorick, he had true experience.

    “Your brother is not in Yronwood, and I have long wished to duel with another future king. I couldn’t think of a greater opponent than yourself,” Yorick challenged, to which Torrhen could think of countless better swordsman in Dorne that would prove for a greater challenge, but again, he did not doubt his own skill to be able to humiliate Yorick as he had mercilessly humiliated his cousin. That's not how I fight, Torrhen reminded himself, but he did confess that he wished to put this ignorant boy in his place.

    Scanning the courtyard, he witnessed many guards watching from afar in hopes that Yorick would convince Torrhen to fight him. Yet what caught Torrhen’s eye was on the balcony that overlooked the courtyard. His father watched with the company of King Olyvar and the sickly crown prince Eddin. He imagined each of them would have their own opinion if Torrhen chose to spar with Yorick or not. Perhaps it would be a good chance to test his own limits, however.

    [Spar with Yorick] [Deny him]

  • [Spar with Yorick]

    He could pass this off as a friendly duel. Maybe neither side would be too upset about this. It's been such a long time, I had to look at the Yronwood family tree I made to see how my characters relate to each other! :)

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Torrhen A feeling of concern crawled over Torrhen’s skin as he had come to his decision, giving Prince Broden a nod before voicing his ch

  • [Spar with Yorick]

    Yorick is calling Torrhen out here and I figure this would be a good opportunity for Torrhen to humble Yorick a bit if he does believe he can defeat him that is and I definitely want to see who would win because I believe it could be a very good sparring match!

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Torrhen A feeling of concern crawled over Torrhen’s skin as he had come to his decision, giving Prince Broden a nod before voicing his ch

  • Well given the small amount of readers left on the Invasion, I doubt the current decision would be able to be changed from what it is, so I'll bring the vote to a close. Torrhen will spar with Yorick. This choice will certainly test Torrhen's mettle, but whether for better or worse, we shall see in his next part.

    The next part is ready, and it goes to Jaycen Caron. The last time we saw the Lord of the Marches, he had marched the combined armies of Caron and Dondarrion through the Red Mountains and along the Stone Way. On the way, they were met by a Blackmont convoy, where Jaycen and King Hector reunited, and agreed to a pact where neither would attack each other's lands in their absence. Riding ahead, Jaycen, along with Gladys Dondarrion, Keat Musgood and Lord Gilbret Swann (whose army had joined them exiting the Stone Way), would discover Griffin's Roost had been levelled. Seeing three black riders approach them, they would learn that these men are brothers (Morrigen, Simon Whitehill and Tom Hill) of the Night's Watch searching for Teddy Estermont, and that the Andal's had laid waste to Griffin's Roost conveniently at the same time they had arrived. Sceptical of their story, Jaycen would bring them before Qarlton to decide their outcome. Later arriving at Storm's End, Jaycen would ride into the throne room and announce their arrival, and then test Qarlton leadership given his stupid conquest, to which Qarlton would question if Jaycen could do a better job. To further enact on that query, Qarlton presented the purpose for Jaycen's calling, the silver brooch of the Hand of the King. You guys accepted Qarlton's offer, making Jaycen his Hand. This part picks up where the last left off :)

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Torrhen A feeling of concern crawled over Torrhen’s skin as he had come to his decision, giving Prince Broden a nod before voicing his ch

  • edited August 2018


    Jaycen glared into the deep blue eyes of the man he could barely recognise, trying to see something that was no longer there. Qarlton had once been a compassionate and fair prince of the Stormlands, fighting for the justice and good of the realm, and yet now… Now he passed that mantle of responsibility to Jaycen, all in the form of a silver brooch, one which the Lord of the Marches would accept reluctantly, but with greater solemnity than his grace.

    A smirk crawled onto Qarlton’s lips as Jaycen took the badge from his hand, to which the king threw his arm around his old friend’s shoulder, guiding him up to the throne. “Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to my newest Hand!” Qarlton announced with a wide grin as the murmurs of the crowd erupted into a forced applause, one to which brought amusement to the malevolent king.

    “My home is now your home, old friend. In my absence, you will hold my council meetings, sit in my throne and govern my subjects,” Qarlton informed him, to which Jaycen found his eyebrow raising in reflection of the term the man used. Subjects? “When I return, I will see to a celebration being held in honour of your new position, but as we both know, time is a luxury we cannot afford to squander,” Qarlton stated with a smirk, grasping Jaycen’s shoulder before nodding to him and descending from his throne.

    “Is this why you had me march my army here, Your Grace? For you to command while I rule over your kingdom?” Jaycen backlashed with a noticeable bitterness in his tone, to which Qarlton furrowed his eyebrows in response. “All of my subjects are victim to my commands, whether or not their lord is present or not. As the previous Lord of the Marches I’d thought you would have understood that,” Qarlton stated with a touch of disappointment, looking to Gladys Dondarrion in reference to solidify his point.

    Jaycen clenched his fists in ire as he watched his “king” make his way for the exit of the throne room, accompanied by his personal guard and seemingly plain soldier, his hair dark brown and eyes vibrant and green – similar features to that of the Estermont’s, Jaycen realised. “Your Grace,” a voice called, bringing Qarlton to a halt for a second time, this time being one which seemed to irritate the man. Jaycen identified the voice to belong to the black brother who stood amongst the ground. Morrigen, Jaycen thought to himself with an unsteady conscience.

    “With you walks a traitor, King. The Night’s Watch demands his head,” Morrigen stated, emerging from the crowd. The ranger was a rogue looking man, perhaps in his early to mid-thirties, and dressed head to toe in black. His shoulder length hair was clumped and knotted, as black as the coals to fuel a fire. A thin untidy beard covered his face, but none of his hair was enough to conceal the cold-pinned glare on the simple looking soldier by Qarlton’s side.

    “You’re a long way from the Wall, brother, and your demands fall on deaf ears in my halls,” Qarlton stated plainly, but Morrigen was quick to retaliate, taking a step forward. He was met with the spear tips of Qarlton’s personal guard, which only appeared to be an inconvenience for advancing watchmen. “Kill me, and all the honourable houses of the North will rally to lay your keep to its foundations,” Morrigen warned him, causing the king to chuckle to himself in ignorance.

    “Soon I will have added Massey’s Hook to my kingdom, and later the Riverlands. How long before your loyal houses of the North are marrying my children and kissing my boots?” Qarlton tested the man in warning, but the black brother remained persistent. Jaycen now descended the steps from the Storm Throne, approaching his destrier and stopping before the crowd. “The Massey’s have the Andal’s at their backs, the Riverlands are all but conquered by the Ironborn, and the looming threat of the Dornish are south of our borders. Kill him, and you’ll add the North to your growing list of enemies. How many will remain to be obedient to your rule then, Qarlton?” Jaycen challenged, to which the Durrandon snarled at him in response.

    “Careful, Caron. You wouldn’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of that war,” Qarlton warned him, pushing passed his guards and stopping before Morrigen. “No, I wouldn’t,” Jaycen admitted, joining Morrigen’s side. “You’re no immortal, just hand over the boy and be over with it,” Jaycen solicited, making Qarlton growl in turn, glaring maliciously at the black brother before rolling his eyes.

    “Come here, Estermont,” Qarlton barked, sparking a tremor to crawl over the young man’s face, freezing him in place. Impatiently, Qarlton’s personal guard brought the unwilling man before their king. Unsheathing his dagger, with one swift and effortless stroke Qarlton had severed the boy’s ear from his head, flashing it in front of Morrigen’s eyes. “Take this back to your Lord Commander,” Qarlton muttered reluctantly, “you’ll get the rest once I’m done with him,” he added, pushing the screaming boy away from him as he dropped the ear at Morrigen’s feet.

    “Court dismissed,” Qarlton growled, shooting a glare in Jaycen’s direction before leaving with his escort and Teddy Estermont, who clutched the side of his head with bloody hands. The murmurs of the court nobles grew louder as they all gathered to egress from the throne room, eventually leaving Jaycen alone with his initial company and Morrigen. Gladys and Keat appeared to be quite bewildered by what had just transpired, meanwhile the old Lord Gilbret Swann stroked his white beard in contemplation.

    “I can see I will find no justice here,” Morrigen muttered, crouching down and snatching the bloody ear from the stone floor, egressing in humiliation. Jaycen returned to his steed, remaining surprisingly placid during this whole ordeal, and running his hand down her nose. “I will take command of the Caron forces if you permit it, Jaycen,” Gladys suggested, to which Jaycen only shook his head. “My army remains at Storm’s End with me,” he claimed, to which she sighed and nodded.

    “I must return to my stead then, I assume His Majesty will wish to depart soon. Coming Grandfather?” Gladys queried, placing a hand on the old Swann’s shoulder, shaking him out of his trance. He placed his gentle hand on top of Gladys’ and nodded. “I will reunite with you shortly,” he assured her, now looking to Jaycen. Gladys gave him a short smile before beckoning for Keat to follow after her, which he reluctantly did.

    “You see this as a curse,” Gilbret stated, approaching Jaycen’s destrier and running a hand over her mane. “I believe I was a fool to think Qarlton summoned me to make amends for our past,” Jaycen elaborated, returning to the throne, now not seeing just an old stone chair, but a cluster of riddled responsibilities that fell onto him. “He used to be a better man,” Jaycen stated, to which Gilbret nodded. “Far better,” he admitted, and his aimless gaze appeared to think the past.

    “I recall the Battle at Cape Wrath, when pirates from the Step Stones seized the Weeping Tower and slaughtered countless innocents. On that day I rode to battle with fury and vengeance on my mind, but as a prince, Qarlton was the most level-minded of all of us. Yet as a king, I see a man fallen to the greed of power,” Gilbret stated, to which Jaycen turned back to the old man in frustration. “Then why agree to fuel his agenda with joining him in this war?” Jaycen queried, to which Lord Swann only sighed.

    “It is my duty, as it is now yours to rule over the Stormlands, do not throw that away because of your pettiness,” Gilbret pled, to which Jaycen rolled his eye, “I am not petty,” he grumbled, evoking a chuckle from the old man. “No? Bitter, perhaps?” Gilbret mocked with a smile, to which Jaycen smirked and shook his head. “Watch yourself out there, Gil, you’re not the man you used to be,” Jaycen reminded him, to which Gilbret smirked, heading for the door. “Neither are you,” he quoted, pointing at his eye in jape.

    Jaycen sighed as he watched the old man egress, coming to terms with the fact that this would likely be the last time he would see Lord Swann, or any of the others who had now been caught in Qarlton’s foolish conquest. He turned his gaze back to the throne, a heavy feeling weighed him down. He had been no stranger to responsibility, but he knew the consequences of his actions in his own years of battling as Lord of the Marches. He had lost his eldest son, his bastard daughter, and now he had forced that responsibility onto his only remaining son. He has to be ready, Jaycen thought to himself, knowing full well that Gareth would never make for as good a lord as Ryman would have.

    Pulling his gaze away from the old chair, he felt the necessity to engage himself in a duty to bide his time. No doubt he would need to write to Blackhaven, to inform Gareth to return to Nightsong, and perhaps call Meghan and Bethany to Storm’s End. However as he thought on it more, he wondered if it not be best to leave Bethany at Blackhaven. Regardless of all this, he had to decide what would become of his army. All of my subjects are victim to my commands, the words echoed in his head, lifting the hairs on the back of his neck. Not my men.

    With the army of House Durrandon absent from Storm’s End with Qarlton’s conquest, only the City Guard remained to patrol the streets, hardly enough to fend off an attack from even a single bandit group. After seeing the damage dealt first hand at Griffin’s Roost, Jaycen had enough of an understand to know that any of the coastal cities of the Stormlands were in risk of Andal raids, yet the Andal’s had never been his concern. The damn Dornish… Jaycen thought, thinking of how vulnerable Nightsong had become. He knew they were his primary concern, but by being the Hand of the King now, he understood there was more at stakes than just the threats that loomed over the Marches.

    [Keep the Caron army at Storm’s End] [Send the army back to Nightsong]

  • edited August 2018

    [Keep the Caron army at Storm’s End]

    This choice is a very difficult one either way and while it could be potentially cause great harm to Nightsong, Jaycen now being named Hand of the King basically means that his hands are tied to some extent. While I do not believe that the Andal's or any other invader from sea or land could cause harm to the castle of Storm's End, the town surrounding it would very much be in danger and Qarlton coming home to see his ancestral lands being torn apart by foreign invaders would definitely make Jaycen an easy target for his wrath. Also since it has been brought up as well that there is a chance that Meghan and Bethany could come to Storm's End with him does ease my worries at least a bit. However this does mean that Gareth would basically be left with a skeleton crew which isn't ideal and could cause trouble for him and Nightsong in general so this could potentially lead me to change my mind.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Jaycen Jaycen glared into the deep blue eyes of the man he could barely recognise, trying to see something that was no longer there. Qarl

  • Oh damn it! I thought I had voted on the last part, but I haven't been home when you posted it and things have been hectic, so it seems I did not actually leave my vote despite reading and greatly enjoying the part. Sorry for that, while things are kinda busy for me at the time, you know I love the story and will try my best not to miss another vote :)

    [Keep the Caron army at Storm’s End]

    Fuck, this is a hard one. At first, my decision was even the other option, simply because Qarlton is not just a bad king, he is a vicious, psychotic, utterly crazed son of a bitch and any bit of loyalty or servitude towards him can only be rewarded with treachery from him. However, there is one reason that made me decide to keep the Caron army at Storm's End instead and it is the fact that displeasing Qarlton is only going to make things worse. Right now, I believe Jaycen is in danger of receiving nothing but a dagger to the back for his efforts, but keeping Storm's End safe will more than likely mean that Qarlton will be at least somewhat pleased with the work of House Caron as a whole. If the army returns to Nightsong, if pirates or bandits plunder Storm's End, imagine how the king will react. It is likely he won't just punish his hand, but Jaycen's entire family, minus potentially Alara. I remember that Meghan already is at Storm's End and the fact that Qarlton does not see fit to inform his hand about this gives me a majorly bad feeling, now more than ever. Bethany will not be safe with this man, she will be left way better at Blackhaven, whereas Gareth... well, Gareth gets the short end of the stick here, but the way I see it, sending him the Caron army will keep him safe in the short run, but will cause him to have to face Qarlton's wrath in the long run, so if he manages to defend Nightsong against the dornish, this option sounds like the one more well-suited to keep him and his sister safe in the long run.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Jaycen Jaycen glared into the deep blue eyes of the man he could barely recognise, trying to see something that was no longer there. Qarl

  • Oh damn it! I thought I had voted on the last part, but I haven't been home when you posted it and things have been hectic, so it seems I did not actually leave my vote despite reading and greatly enjoying the part. Sorry for that, while things are kinda busy for me at the time, you know I love the story and will try my best not to miss another vote :)

    No worries! I tend to go and stalk the FoT posts when I grow concerned, and I can see my concerns weren't misplaced. I am really sorry to read what's happening with you and the family right now, I understand how hard it is to go through that, and if there's anything you need that I can do please ask! At any rate, I won't close the WN part until I have the next one ready, but that vote is still open for you if you have time to read and vote on it :)

    Oh damn it! I thought I had voted on the last part, but I haven't been home when you posted it and things have been hectic, so it seems I di

  • [Keep the Caron army at Storm’s End]

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Jaycen Jaycen glared into the deep blue eyes of the man he could barely recognise, trying to see something that was no longer there. Qarl

  • Hey guys! The Voting is Closed, and Jaycen will keep the Caron army at Storm's End. Either choice would have severely wounded Qarlton's authority with Jaycen's disobedience to just hand his men over to his conquest, but holding his garrison at Storm's End certainly has some perks in favour over sending them back to Nightsong. Still, we shall see where this leads in the future for Jaycen :)

    Now, I had hoped I'd have a part ready by the time I leave, but unfortunately I ran out of time. The next part will be a Bethany part, and I had gotten started with it a couple of days ago, but with juggling assignments which will be due when I return from my bushwalk in a week, I figured I had to prioritise uni work sadly. Rest assured, I should be able to finish this part and the impending WN part when I return and hand in the first assignment, but we'll see how I go.

    Otherwise guys I hope you all keep well and I look forward to reuniting with you guys soon!

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Jaycen Jaycen glared into the deep blue eyes of the man he could barely recognise, trying to see something that was no longer there. Qarl

  • Hey all, so as those of you who follow WN know, I am back! I had a lovely time off from society and social media for a nice week in the wilderness, and now I have the joys of catching up on all the university work I'm even more behind on! Yay. Yet there's not only grim news with my return, I have done a lot of thinking with the stories, devised a lot of new character plotlines and development in my head, and am eager to get back into it, however there is another thing.

    It's really no secret that the Invasion has lost a lot of the attention that it used to have, and I'm now really only writing for three of you rather than close to a dozen that I used to. This makes the voting system really difficult in that, firstly it is unbalanced with the minimal amount of voters we have, secondly it is super time consuming (and the Invasion has been dragged on long enough as is), and thirdly as time progresses I begin to lose interest in writing parts for the story. Wildling also encountered a similar issue with the voting system on NW, but to which I believe we differ in our views for why we dislike this method. As I've mentioned, having the votes is super time consuming as I am slower at putting out parts for the Invasion, given the sheer amount of characters to write for and the wait for you guys to vote, which can stretch up to a few days. No biggie though!

    It is for this reason that I'm also considering removing the interactive system from the Invasion so that I can actually get some writing done without forcing out votes and having to wait to close them. The only severe issue I have with this is that I thrive off feedback and discussion, and I fear I'll completely lose what I have left of that if I cut the vote interaction that I have with this story. However it is clear that the way it is now is simply not working, I mean, I've been writing Book 1 for almost 4 years now, I still have another 3 books to complete. I'll likely have to shelve PoV's and storylines for specific chapters just to help speed along the process but I think cutting the voting until (and if) more readers come along would be the wisest option... but I want to hear what you guys think too.

    To finish with a lighter touch, I do have two, albeit short, parts ready for your guys' pleasure. They go to the Caron sisters, Bethany and Alara. For a recap, the last time we saw Bethany she was left stranded alone at Blackhaven as her father rode to meet King Qarlton, her mother sneaked away from Blackhaven to do the same, and Gareth returned to Nightsong to act as lord in their father's stead. This has taken its toll on Bethany, yet a new person has come into her world which could alleviate some of the suffering she feels, an assigned bodyguard named Captain Cassian Cole. When given the choice to kiss Cassian, you guys were all for it, and that part continues directly after the last. With Alara on the other hand, the Nightingale has been developing quite well with her new lover, Dromon Tarth. They had made friends with Lillith of Lorath, Kasia and Chet Tully, and were now setting off for Andalos, finally leaving the dreaded Bolton lands. This part takes place a few days into their voyage across the Narrow Sea.

  • Bethany

    Without a second moment of hesitation, Bethany’s hand caressed her guard’s neck, her eyes shut and she leaned in for that instinctive kiss she felt they both wanted. She waited for him to take lead, yet she found herself immediately disappointed as Cassian didn’t pounce at the opportunity, instead only lifting her and himself onto their feet and brushing her off. Bethany gulped awkwardly as she watched the captain become stern and distant, avoiding her gaze and checking her for injuries. Other than a few grazes from their tumble, she was wound free, but oddly she felt this rejection hurt more than any physical harm she could have received with this event.

    “We should keep moving,” Cassian finally muttered after he was convinced that she was in good health, to which Bethy nodded awkwardly. In silence, Cassian retrieved his diligent steed, mounting it and sighing as they watched Bethany’s courser disobediently dart off into the distance. Towards home, she thought with frustration and envy as the horse slowly faded beyond the horizon.

    Cassian Cole walked his horse towards her, extending a hand to her. “Come, we’ll take you back to Blackhaven,” he stated, to which Bethany shook her head defiantly. “You wanted to see your mother,” she argued in regret and irritation, but Cassian only sighed. “Things change,” he muttered, his mood clearly dampened, and Bethany immediately realised that her stunt had clearly left the only person that was real with her sour.

    Reluctantly she accepted his hand, being lifted atop his horse where she would sit behind him, unwilling to hold his waist for balance. She felt terrible, her actions were completely irrational and immature, the sparks of a lost and untempered child. She had been raised better than this, and with each following thought, Bethany felt the tears return to blur her gaze.

    The afternoon fell into a dark cloudy evening which solidified the grim mood that Bethany felt within her chest. She looked up to the sky, having always watched the storms from her tower window back in Nightsong, she had always felt safe and secure perched in her nest. Now she felt vulnerable and utterly alone, a stray bird without any wings, drowning in her misery as she was cradled in her captor’s jaws.

    As the droplets of rain dampened her hair, she felt her weakest. While she imagined that the downpour could mask her tears, she knew that nothing could ever hide a woman’s broken heart; she had seen it over her mother’s face all of her life. Now she’s gone, like the rest, she lamented to herself in thought, her shivering hands stroking the wet mane of their weary steed.

    “You’re cold,” Cassian observed as a cold shiver ran down her spine, to which she only sneered. “I’m fine,” she muttered, having no interest in speaking to him or anyone else. All she wished for was to wallow in her misery in peace, and even that she couldn’t have. “I can stop and start a fire, if you wish,” he suggested with a distant tone, to which Bethany just rolled her eyes. “Just ride, Captain,” she grumbled with a snarky tone, to which Cassian simply nodded.

    “As you wish,” Cassian remarked nonchalantly, to which Bethany turned on him with spite. “Don’t flip this on me like I have a choice,” she snapped, causing the young captain to raise an eyebrow. “I’m your prisoner, you just do what you’re ordered to, so long as I don’t run away,” she muttered, turning her gaze ahead of them. For a long moment there was only silence, only then to be followed by a short heavy sigh.

    “I know what you mean,” he admitted, but Bethany was beyond caring for what her brute captor had to say, and so she maintained her silence and best capability to ignore him. “When my mother first fell ill I was only a child, hardly old enough to understand what was going on. My father grieved for her in his own way, and my older brother was too much of a shit to consider me in his own inflated world. I felt utterly alone despite being surrounded by everyone,” Cassian stated, and Bethany noticed his hands tense around the reins as he stared passed her along the muddy track ahead.

    “I love my mother, but I know she is gone. She has been confined to her bed since I was just a child, her limbs too weak to hold her weight, and now she can hardly remember her name. Ironic my lord holds a similar fate,” Cassian remarked, and Bethany held back the urge to rest her hand on top of his. Despite how much she wanted to hate him, there was something about his words that was just right, something which spoke to her in a way that no one else here had.

    “I’m sorry,” Bethany finally mumbled, yet she couldn’t answer herself which thing she was more apologetic for. The state of his mother? Her un-lady like behaviour? Her selfishness? Perhaps all of it, or maybe none of it. All she longed for was her family, but she could not have them all ever again. Ryman and Briala rested in the ground, Gareth held Nightsong alone, her father rivalled with the king while her mother swooned for him, and Alara… She never knew that she could feel so much pain, and yet it all seemed to be nothing compared to what her sister had suffered; and given all that, Alara had still risen to be better and stronger. It gave Bethany both hope and frustration. Hope that things would become clearer, yet frustrated that she felt unable to carve her own path like Alara had.

    Silence choked at the atmosphere between the two of them, and as the castle of Blackhaven came into view, Bethany felt her heart sink within her chest. She had lost her chance to escape, she was now a prisoner to her distant family again, no matter what sweet words her captor could feed her. Her thoughts drifted to Alara, a painstaking envy for the freedom her sister had while Bethany would return to her cell.

    No decision.


    A hundred or more soldiers and sellswords were confined to each of the seized and restored Andal warships that would cross the Narrow Sea to lay waste to Andalos, a devilish deed which only held merit to Alara’s party because of coin and comradery. The Nightingale and First Dragon had set up camp under the port staircase that led to the upper deck, large enough for four bodies abreast, which had been claimed by Kasia and Chet Tully. As for Lillith, Athena and Bautistant’s company, Alara only knew that they were somewhere aboard this ship.

    It felt oddly relieving to be back on the water again, watching as the waves coursed off the bow of the warship and left a trail of wake in its path. It had not been all that long ago that Alara had boarded a merchant vessel from Starfall which took her to the Freehold, and those years of experience had been fruitful to her life, yet she knew that this time it would not be the same. Even now she wondered if she had made the right choice in sticking with Theon’s vengeful ploy, there would be other benefactors elsewhere in Westeros, and his demands certainly weren’t in their best interest. Contractors’ interests never are, Alara reminded herself, as she had learnt the hard way of being cheated time after time in her early years.

    The soft touch of the First Dragon’s hands coursed the Nightingale’s hips, giving Alara a sense of comfort that alleviated her stressful thoughts. She rested her head back on his broad shoulder, to which he pressed his lips on her forehead and rested his head against hers. She had never felt so secure and safe, not even with Ryman at Nightsong, or previous lovers in the Freehold. Dromon managed to reach through her chest and cradle her heart, and the relief that she felt was bliss.

    Similarly, the Red Fish and Sisterwoman shared a similar bond, and in their short amount of time together, it felt like they had come to be a small dysfunctional family. Kasia was strict but fair, her mind was always pointed in the right direction for the group, and Chet was at her heels in love with her. Alara liked to think Dromon was the same about her, even if he was more reserved in public around her, she never felt doubtful, and made the effort to ensure him there was no reason for him to doubt her.

    The four had sat in reasonable silence for the majority of the evening, as had been the case for the past few days as they allowed the sail to be a time for rest, but when they had talked it had always been beneficial. Occasionally Lillith had visited the group as obscure times of the night, and Dromon had claimed to have spotted Bautistant and Bautian to be gambling with their men and the Stark soldiers in the hull, but as far as anyone else, Alara was at a loss. She had grown concerned for Athena, whom she had not seen since they departed from the North.

    “Have you spoken with Bautistant?” Alara whispered in question to Dromon softly, to which he nodded. “Yesterday,” he answered laconically, caressing her hands gently. “Bautian saw benefit in their company and our group aligning,” he added, to which Alara let out a sigh of relief. “Now just for Athena,” Alara mumbled with a tone that hinted some dread, a subtle touch which Dromon picked up on. “Have you seen her during the voyage?” he queried, to which Alara shook her head. “Why don’t we go find her then?” he suggested, to which Alara only sighed, looking out to the Narrow Sea again.

    “I fear she’s not a big fan of you,” Alara mentioned in concern, which evoked a chuckle from the First Dragon. “Few people are,” he stated in reassurance, to which Alara bit her lip, turning her big eyes on him. “I am,” she reminded him, causing a small smile to break on his solemn lips. “And for that I am fortunate,” he remarked, before leaning in to kiss her. The two held each other in embrace for a short while before Kasia spoke up from the background.

    “Lillith did not seem too keen on the idea of Athena in our group,” the Sisterwoman stated, to which Alara shrugged her shoulders. “Is it wise to get her in?” Kasia queried in hesitation, to which Alara scowled at her. “That girl lost all she had with this war, I won’t abandon her,” Alara stated firmly, to which Kasia held an arguing glance on the Nightingale, but she was held back by the gentle touch of the Red Fish.

    “We would benefit by gaining as many allies as we can,” Chet counselled her, to which Kasia only shook her head and sighed. “I respect that you want to look out for her, Alara, and I will do the same,” Kasia stated in assurance, “but we need to recruit people that will reciprocate this, and all I’m saying is I’m sceptical of her,” Kasia clarified, to which Alara nodded. “I know what you’re saying, Kas, but my word still stands. Group or not, I won’t leave her,” Alara claimed loyally, causing Kasia to frown. Dromon grasped Alara’s arm, moving her hair away from her face with his other hand. “Come on, we’ll go look for her,” he stated, to which Alara nodded, understanding he was wanting to help her relieve some tension.

    Rising to their feet, the two pushed passed Chet and Kasia into the crowd, where Alara quickly tied her hair back into a strict bun, then following Dromon closely to the cabins. Gazing at the faces around them, Alara observed many emotions. Fear, anger, sadness, sickness. There was a mixed crew amongst this armada, and Alara admitted that Kasia was right in that they needed to have people they trusted amongst their ranks, but regardless, she had made Athena a promise; and she planned to keep it.

    The two descended the steps into the hull, where the atmosphere immediately felt humid with the abundance of men and women gathered there. Many rested in their bunks, either weary or motion sick from their time at sea, but some sat around and communed or played games. Alara heard the booming young laughter of Bautistant before he saw him, and Dromon had already began to steer them in that direction.

    The young company leader sat amongst a group of mostly unfamiliar faces, yet there were a couple which Alara identified, specifically Bautian beside him, and the archer Simon Holt. “Ah, if it isn’t the First Dragon and the Nightingale!” Bautistant announced obnoxiously as he lifted his spirits bladder in greeting. “Come, sit with us!” he insisted, to which the sober Bautian frowned in response to this. Dromon tucked an arm around Alara’s waist, keeping them standing.

    “We’re looking for a girl, Athena. Have you seen her by any chance?” Dromon queried, to which Bautian immediately shook his head, but Bautistant answered vocally. “No beautiful women have come to visit us since we left the Stormlands!” he chuckled, taking another swig from his bladder. “But where are my manners! Let me introduce you to these fine young gentlemen I have just met through our old friend, Simon,” Bautistant slurred, to which Bautian sighed and spoke up.

    “This is Norrhen Cassel, Bendor Went and Casper Diamond. They are enlisted Stark loyalists,” Bautian introduced, to which the three men raised their mugs of ale in roaring support, to which Alara nodded with an awkward smile. “We will have to speak another time then,” Dromon suggested, to which the men all agreed as they got a look at Alara, who in turn tightly squeezed Dromon’s arm.

    “Alara,” a stern voice called from behind them, to which the Nightingale turned to meet the hard gaze of the Hungry Wolf, dark bags residing under his eyes. He was accompanied by a couple of his personal guard, but both were quickly dismissed as he approached. “Your Grace,” Alara mumbled in greeting, bowing slightly as she left Dromon’s grasp. Theon let out a sigh as he frowned, looking at the First Dragon and then at the state of the rest of the crew.

    “I had hoped we could talk again, about the last time we spoke, I…” it was clear that he struggled with wording what he was trying to say. “I wonder if you would give me a chance to explain some things, I was hasty, I know that now,” Theon stated in some small hope to win her over, to which Alara could feel the hard glare of Dromon piercing on the two of them from behind her. The atmosphere was thick with the heat and sweat of the crew, but the arms pulling her in different directions was suffocating her. She gulped as she momentarily glanced at Dromon and then back to Theon. Could she deny him again?

    [Speak with Theon] [Tell him you’re seeing someone else]

  • [Speak with Theon]

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Bethany Without a second moment of hesitation, Bethany’s hand caressed her guard’s neck, her eyes shut and she leaned in for that instinc

  • [Tell him you’re seeing someone else]

    I hope the king can be mature about this. I mean he is married after all.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Bethany Without a second moment of hesitation, Bethany’s hand caressed her guard’s neck, her eyes shut and she leaned in for that instinc

  • Hm, things did not go as well for Bethany as I expected. I really kinda wonder what the deal with Cassian is. First, he seems to have sent Bethany some clear signals, then he refuses her like that. It is odd and it makes me wonder, did she really misread him that badly, or is there something wrong with him? It's known, I expect major bad stuff for Bethany in the future and I gotta wonder if Cassian has bad intentions for her or the Dondarrions.

    By the way, I greatly enjoyed the transition, from Bethany envying Alara's freedom to showing Alara herself with anything but that freedom, confined to some small space in a crowded warship, fighting another one's war. I doubt she'd be all that envious would she know the truth. Really enjoyed both parts! Bethany's story is sort of a slow burner, but there is an odd feeling of suspence that really makes me nervous. At the same time, Alara's story is really building up to further highlights, on top of the big stuff that happened in the past. I can't wait for more of it :)

    [Speak with Theon]

    So, yeah, Alara is seeing someone and what matters is, she chose Dromon over Theon. Both men have to accept this. Sure, speaking to Theon there could cause Dromon to grow jealous, but there is really no reason for that. Alara has made it clear she is not interested in Theon. But there is one important aspect to take into account here. Theon is the king, he is Alara's employer and he is waging a war. He is a harsh and unforgiving man, but at the same time, I always considered him to have something regal about him. I don't expect him to do anything to Alara here, he is not Qarlton after all. But if she refuses even just to talk to him, he could grow bitter and this in return could cause major problems for Alara during this war in Andalos if she truly triggers some irrational, petty and jealous side in him. I don't know if he is like that, I consider him to be a cold man, but also as regal as a king should be, so it is best not to get on his bad side, else he could try his best to make sure that Alara and/or Dromon do not survive the coming invasion. So, yeah, I'd say talking to him is a good idea and I expect things to remain at that talk. Clarifying stuff, parting on a better way, just a talk as he requested, I see no reason to deny him even this little bit of kindness. Dromon has no reason to be jealous, this is obvious.

    Now, there is this thing about removing the choices you mentioned. I said a bit about that in NW and I am sure you have seen my arguments there. Long story short, if you believe this to be the best course of action to rekindle your excitement for the story, then go for it. You know you can count on me as a reader and I shall always make sure to leave my thoughts on the part even if there's not a choice. Though maybe a middle way could work for you? I don't need a choice in every part just for the sake of having a choice and removing it could speed things up, allowing you to write longer parts with the option you prefer winning. At the same time, whenever you feel like it you could give choices, for plot points you truly wish to leave up to our votes. I don't know what you think about that, but it'd be my suggestion for a middle way, keeping things somewhat interactive while allowing you greater freedom in the way you want to progress with what is essentially your story.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Bethany Without a second moment of hesitation, Bethany’s hand caressed her guard’s neck, her eyes shut and she leaned in for that instinc

  • Hm, things did not go as well for Bethany as I expected. I really kinda wonder what the deal with Cassian is. First, he seems to have sent Bethany some clear signals, then he refuses her like that. It is odd and it makes me wonder, did she really misread him that badly, or is there something wrong with him? It's known, I expect major bad stuff for Bethany in the future and I gotta wonder if Cassian has bad intentions for her or the Dondarrions.

    I think it should be good to consider both the clear positions that we see Bethany and Cassian in. As from Bethy's perspective, she's in a very vulnerable state, so misreading signs could be a very possible explanation. However I didn't write the previous part to be ambiguous, and Cassian certainly has an attraction to her, but he has a lot of conflict with himself. House Cole is a significantly lesser house to that of House Caron, and of that, he has been designated to guard her with his life, so I think a fear of jeopardising that holds him back from rushing into things or even going into them at all.

    By the way, I greatly enjoyed the transition, from Bethany envying Alara's freedom to showing Alara herself with anything but that freedom, confined to some small space in a crowded warship, fighting another one's war. I doubt she'd be all that envious would she know the truth. Really enjoyed both parts! Bethany's story is sort of a slow burner, but there is an odd feeling of suspence that really makes me nervous. At the same time, Alara's story is really building up to further highlights, on top of the big stuff that happened in the past. I can't wait for more of it :)

    I'm really happy you enjoyed it! Yes, Bethany is really on the shitscalator for story progression, given all my major plans for her involve other PoV's, who are simply not up to their own plot points to interact with her yet. However as you've pointed out, there's a real dark suspense that looms over her. It hasn't really been delved into all that deeply, but Blackhaven is a really fucked place with a lot of shady people. Really the only level-headed people of Blackhaven are both absent, so it's really in the shambles. On top of that, Bethany being confined there all the worse, but we'll see some more fucked up shit at Blackhaven in Bethany's next parts :)

    Now, there is this thing about removing the choices you mentioned. I said a bit about that in NW and I am sure you have seen my arguments there. Long story short, if you believe this to be the best course of action to rekindle your excitement for the story, then go for it. You know you can count on me as a reader and I shall always make sure to leave my thoughts on the part even if there's not a choice. Though maybe a middle way could work for you? I don't need a choice in every part just for the sake of having a choice and removing it could speed things up, allowing you to write longer parts with the option you prefer winning. At the same time, whenever you feel like it you could give choices, for plot points you truly wish to leave up to our votes. I don't know what you think about that, but it'd be my suggestion for a middle way, keeping things somewhat interactive while allowing you greater freedom in the way you want to progress with what is essentially your story.

    Thank you for replying to this, I really appreciate your input. As you've said, along with the numerous others comments, I have poured over your arguments with Wildling's prior decision, which only made things harder to decide for me. For WN the wait is reasonable given the reader base that I have there, but as I said, the less time I spend writing means the less time I feel interested in trying to pursue it after a long wait. I acknowledge half of that is plainly due to my shitty shifting of interests nature, it's just an undeniable truth for me. With that being said, there are many parts I had planned ahead which were really reader-vote driven, which is an element I've really enjoyed in writing these stories. So perhaps cutting down on these minor, and ultimately forced and pointless, votes could speed up the process of writing. It's certainly a nicer alternative than scrapping it all together, but I really don't want to drive myself to the state of complete boredom that I just end up shelving this story again. The years of planning this story along with the two sequels would have just been a waste then :D

    Hm, things did not go as well for Bethany as I expected. I really kinda wonder what the deal with Cassian is. First, he seems to have sent B

  • The Voting is Closed! Alara will speak with Theon. This is a wise choice, maybe not one Dromon's ego would like, but this is working off a scale bigger than just Alara and Dromon. It'll also allow me to show off Theon as I always love :D

    Now under analysis of the one response to my earlier query, I've decided to try and limit down the choices on parts without outright removing them. I'll just leave the finale of each part with: No decision, as I have with other parts that weren't fitting for a vote. I'll be flying up to visit my ill grandfather at the end of this week, so I apologise if I'm not very active. Without further ado, I do have the next part ready, and it goes to Tylar! Here's a recap:

    The crown prince of House Lannister found himself born into a position he never wanted, but his hands have always been forced in the line of duty and demand. In such cases, the difficult decisions he has wished to avoid have always fallen onto him, and the situations he has believed himself capable of he has been shielded from due to his inheritable importance.

    A Lannister escort guided the major lords of the Westerlands and three of the Lannister family (Maxwell, Tylar and Loras) to Silentport to attend the wedding of Maxwell's bastard son, Bryce Lantell. Along the way they adopted the lion cubs, got into a standoff with House Banefort, and arrived at Silentport in time for Lady Emilee's attempted assassination. Tylar and Loras decided to take matters into their own hands, and join Warrick Westerling, the infamous Enforcer, to track down the assassin and bring her to justice. They did indeed find her, but Warrick's unhinging rage would bring her to an execution without a fair trial without Tylar's interception. You guys chose for Tylar to parry his attack, and this part picks up from there.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Bethany Without a second moment of hesitation, Bethany’s hand caressed her guard’s neck, her eyes shut and she leaned in for that instinc

  • Tylar

    The look of malice in Warrick Westerling’s dark eyes was enough to recognise that a standing order would not stop the killing blow. Glancing at the Travelling Spider for a split second, Tylar’s judgement pulled through and Storm was already unsheathed from his scabbard in time to intercept Warrick’s swing. This defiance burned a rage in the Enforcer’s glare that sent a shiver down the crown prince’s spine.

    “We don’t know if she’s guilty,” Tylar barked, holding the weight of Warrick’s blade against his own, to which the Enforcer continued to press the blade against him. “I know she is,” he growled, lifting his blade and pushing Tylar back to have another swing. Tylar’s eyes widened at the sheer brutality that was about to be unleashed as he stumbled back, but he knew in the second it would take to regain his stance it would already be too late.

    The Enforcer lifted his blade once again, and the girl known as the Travelling Spider silently wept with her head buried in her hands. He came to a sudden halt as he was at the apex of his executional swing, and Tylar noticed the red glint of Last Words pressed against Warrick’s throat. “Drop the sword, dog, or I’ll cut in a nice blood collar around your neck,” Loras warned, but Tylar could hear the uneasiness in his brother’s tone, and so could Warrick.

    The Enforcer jolted his elbow into the young prince’s ribs, disarming him as he gasped for breath and collapsed to the ground, and the brute turned his anger onto the arrogant child. “Warrick!” Tylar shouted, adjusting the grip on Storm as the Enforcer held his glare on Loras. “We are not murderers,” Tylar reminded him, causing a moment of hesitation in the man as he hovered above Loras, whose fear glance flickered between the Enforcer and Tylar.

    Reluctantly, he dropped Loras’ blade at his feet and sheathed his own. “You’re not,” he corrected under his breath, pushing past the winded young Lannister and out the cellar doors, allowing a flood of outside light into the basement. Tylar let out a sigh of relief while Loras grasped his sword, crawling onto his knees and he struggled to breath. “Come back dog, I’ll make you pay!” he gasped, struggling to deliver his threat as tears ran down his eyes.

    “Shut up, Loras,” Tylar barked, sheathing Storm into his scabbard and turning his attention to Angela Webber, who lifted her wet gaze onto him. “Get up,” he ordered, masking his sympathy and concern for the seemingly traumatised woman. Hesitantly the woman obeyed, wiping the tears from her eyes before Tylar grasped her forearm and led her up the steps out of the cellar, to which Loras followed in struggle.

    Exiting the keg room into the main hall, Tylar analysed the situation at hand. Warrick had just exited the main doors as the Lannister brothers entered the scene, to which Maxwell still remained and a dozen or more guards searched the hall on high alert. The crown prince spotted the two lion cubs had returned to play fight in the pool of Lady Emilee’s blood, causing Tylar to frown as he guided Angela Webber to his uncle.

    “We have her,” Tylar announced, to which a relieved expression fell over Maxwell’s face. “What happened?” he asked, clearly referring to Warrick’s hasty exit and Loras as a weepy gasping mess. Tylar thought on his words, handing Angela over to a pair of guards who immediately ceased her. “The Enforcer took matters into his own hands, and I was forced to act. We’re alright,” Tylar stated in assurance, to which Loras scoffed as he massaged his ribs.

    “Speak for yourself,” he spat, using Last Words as a cane to hold him upright. “Had it not been for me he would have cut down you and that bitch,” he stated with an aggravated tone, to which Tylar let out a heavy sigh. “You should see to Warrick, uncle. We’ll handle the rest from here,” Tylar informed him, to which Maxwell nodded, taking his leave.

    “Wait,” Tylar called, to which the old gentleman halted a moment. “Let no one else know that we have the suspect. I will not let any more emotional messes sabotage me from finding the truth,” Tylar stated, to which Maxwell nodded in understanding, then taking his leave. Tylar observed the malicious look sparking in his brother’s gaze as he hoisted himself upright with their ancestral blade. “So, now we interrogate the whore,” Loras announced, to which Tylar shook his head.

    “Go lick your wounds, Loras. I’ll do this alone,” Tylar informed him, to which Loras was expectedly defiant. “This is how you thank me? I stopped that brute from mincing us all into pulp in there!” Loras exclaimed, to which Tylar rolled his eyes and approached his brother. “I do not disregard what you did, but if you are going to point a sword at a man, you make sure you’re ready to kill him. Your idle threats would’ve been the end of you if the Enforcer lacked loyalty,” Tylar lectured him, to which the boy scowled in response.

    “Fuck you,” he spat, approaching the blood pool and snatching his cub from the floor. He stormed out with a shattered ego, but Tylar new that his inflated arrogance paired with his true cowardice would only get him killed. He did not love Loras like he did Byran, but he did not wish him dead either, and he knew only hard lessons would get through that boy’s thick skull.

    Turning his gaze to the Travelling Spider, he then lifted his gaze to the guards that had a hold of her. “Take her into an adjacent room,” Tylar ordered, to which the men nodded and obediently escorted her away. Left alone with only a handful of other guards, Tylar approached his lonesome cub, Skarn, whom patiently awaited his arrival.

    Tylar knelt down and ran a hand down Skarn’s neck, scratching behind his furry ears and hearing his soft purr. He was still much in awe with these three cubs that they had taken. Was it a sign from the gods or plainly a strange event? The young lions had learnt obedience to their new parents, but Tylar wondered how long that would last until they grew into primordial beasts. The thought strangely left him with unease.

    The crown prince lifted up his cub up from the bloody floor, the red stains from his small paws rubbing onto Tylar’s hands and sleeves. He summoned a guard to which he passed Skarn over to, commanding him to take the cub back to his cage. As Tylar watched the guard exit with the calm lion, Tylar felt an overwhelming sense erupt within him as his duty now called for him to interrogate the wandering girl he had bumped into not more than a few days ago. How did she get caught up in all of this? There was only one way to find out.

    He approached the room that the men had taken her into, which he found they had begun to bind her to a chair. Tylar raised his hand to halt them, shaking his head. “That won’t be necessary gentlemen,” he informed them, to which they looked at each other with concern before one of the guards spoke up. “Apologies, your eminence, but this woman has already stabbed our Lady. We can’t risk your life as well,” he explained, to which Tylar smiled empathetically but shook his head all the same.

    “Lady Emilee was unarmed and unaware. Of that I am neither, and I am more than capable of handling myself. Remove the ropes and take your leave, I’d like some time alone with her,” he stated, to which the guards simply nodded and quickly untied her. When they were gone, Tylar began to circle the Travelling Spider like a lion would his prey, studying her.

    “My Enforcer claims he watched you plunge a dagger into Lord Lantell’s wife-to-be, but you claim your innocence. Which am I to believe?” Tylar queried in interrogation, to which he noticed the behaviour shift in the girl. Her breaths became shorter and heavier, her eyes widened and her muscles tense. “I had no choice, they have my son,” Angela claimed, to which Tylar raised an eyebrow. “Who?” he questioned, stopping before her.

    The Travelling Spider bit her tongue, clearly indecisive in how she wanted to answer to her prince. “If I say, they’ll kill him,” she claimed, to which Tylar frowned. “If you don’t, they’ll kill you,” Tylar stated, inferring to the Lantell’s and guests of Silentport. To Tylar’s surprise, the woman only let out a sigh and nodded. “That’s just a risk I’m going to have to take, Lannister,” she stated, to which his eyes widened momentarily before his brow furrowed.

    “Why did these contractors of yours want Lady Emilee dead? Was it a personal agenda or something else?” Tylar queried, to which Angela shook her head, seemingly as clueless as Tylar was. “They want chaos,” she stated, to which Tylar pressed on. “Why? Why single out a young bride to a lesser house?” Tylar interrogated, to which Angela only glanced at him. “She is not the only target”, she stated laconically, which made a shiver crawl down Tylar’s spine.

    “Who else?” Tylar asked, but the woman only shook her head. “I won’t say anything more. They’re listening,” she stated, to which Tylar looked around the empty room with some confusion. “There’s no one else here,” Tylar stated, to which Angela shook her head. “They’re listening,” she repeated, and Tylar could observe her growing visibly paranoid. He let out a sigh and approached her, kneeling before her so he would be at eye level.

    “Angela, if you don’t give me something to work with they’ll pull you to pieces out there. I can assure you, there are much worse men out there that have their methods of getting information, you would save yourself a lot of pain talking with me,” Tylar tried to persuade her, but she only shook her head, and he could spot a tear forming in her eye. “I have said all I can say, no amount of suffering or persistence can change that. All I can beg you for is a swift death, as I gave Emilee the same,” Angela mumbled, a tear rolling down her eye, and an overwhelming feeling of doubt and conflict weighed down on him.

    As he studied her eyes, he only saw pain and remorse, yet he could feel that she spoke the truth. He had never been a firm believer on intuition, always trusting more in hard evidence and the gods, but in this situation his gut told him there was nothing more that could be gained from this girl, and he accepted that.

    Rising to his feet, Tylar turned for the door and pulled it open, where the two guards flooded back in. “Take her outside, please,” Tylar mumbled, fingering the hilt of his sheathed sword as he contemplated what he knew he had to do. The guard that had spoken up earlier slowly nodded as he understood what his prince was implying, and as they went to cease the girl, Tylar exited the room.

    It wasn’t long before he spotted the beauty of his wife standing beside the wooden column adjacent from the interrogation room. Tylar let out a small smile as he approached her, but he knew that she would see right through him, and immediately accepted his embrace as he fell into her arms. “It’s okay,” she whispered in his ear, but the amount of conflict in stirring in his mind could not be soothed by her words alone.

    “I never asked for this,” Tylar reconciled plainly, burying his head in his wife’s shoulder. “I never wanted it.” Gwyn gently played with his short curly hair; he didn’t deserve a wife as caring as her, yet the gods were good. And I am not, he thought grimly. “Perhaps we should get away,” Gwyn suggested, causing Tylar’s brow to furrow as he glanced up at her from her shoulder. “What do you mean?” he queried, to which a small smile touched her lips.

    “Get away from all this for a while, leave Westeros and live a simple life in the Valyrian colonies for a while. We could find your brother,” she suggested, glancing at him with her big wondrous eyes. “We could find ourselves,” she added, caressing his cheek. A small smile touched Tylar’s lips, even as much as he’d like to take that offer, he knew it could never happen. “Father would never allow it. He’s locked me away in that rock for years. Even if we did somehow manage to convince him, it wouldn’t be without a hundred-man escort,” Tylar explained realistically, to which a sad smile broke on Gwyn’s lips.

    “Then perhaps we should compromise,” she proposed, to which Tylar raised an eyebrow. “We could remain in the kingdom, and spend time with our families. I would like to visit Greenfield again,” she stated, to which Tylar smirked as he rolled his eyes. “And my family is the one thing I want to get away from,” Tylar muttered cynically, provoking a small giggle from his wife. “I didn’t mean the Lannister’s,” she corrected, to which Tylar glanced at her.
    “There’s my family, and your mother’s family as well,” she reminded him, to which he nodded. The Reyne’s had always cherished me like their own, Tylar reconciled, but as much as he had always wished to be a Reyne as a boy, he had been and would always be a Lannister. “Perhaps,” Tylar said to appease her, rubbing her cheek as he split himself apart from her. “Just think about it, for me,” Gwyn pleaded, to which the crown prince nodded.

    He took his leave of her, heading for the main doors of the hall to where a grim situation would greet him. Storm felt so heavy by his side, yet the weight had never been a problem. It was the burden that the sword dragged along with it. The law of custom was something all First Men houses abided to, and if he was to sentence this woman to death, he was to deal the deathly blow.

    The Lantell guards pulled open the large oak doors to reveal a wild scene ahead. It had not taken long for the masses to learn what had happened to their new Lady, and many had conglomerated outside the main hall in revolt. They all wished to see the head roll off the shoulders of the assassin that had committed the crime. Tylar observed as a dozen or more Lantell guards held back the restless Silentport populace, while Angela Webber was knelt over a wooden stump.

    Adjacent to her stood Lord Mericus Westerling, a sullen expression coating his face. Tylar joined him by his side, to which the man immediately vented his unease. “Are you sure this is wise, my Prince? I don’t know Bryce well enough, but I believe he would want to hear a confession from the girl, or at least take the head off her himself,” Mericus proclaimed, to which Tylar shook his head. “There is nothing more we can learn from her,” Tylar assured him, to which the man frowned, stepping out of his way.

    Inhaling a deep breath, Tylar walked towards the assassin, stopping a few feet before her to unsheathe Storm. He took hold of the blade with both hands, resting it vertically against the stone floor as he delivered her sentence. “Angela Webber, you are charged guilty with the attempted assassination on Lady Lantell’s life. Do you speak any final words?” Tylar announced, to which the woman only shook her head, disappointing the crown prince. He had hoped she could have said anything that could sway his hand, but now he was left with no other choice.

    “Then by order of the Crown, I sentence you to death,” he muttered, lifting Storm in a swift swing which cleanly cut through her flesh and bone. Her body fell lifelessly off the stump as her head rolled down the steps to the cheering crowd. We pack of animals, Tylar thought as his grip tensed around this hilt of his sword.

    No decision.

  • I wish he was able to get more information out of Angela regarding the group that contracted her to kill Lady Emilee. For instance, was the standoff with House Banefort meant to be a distraction while she killed Emilee? Was it a totally unrelated event to the assassination? If the confrontation and the assassination are connected, then does this mean House Banefort are complicit in the assassination. Perhaps, someone from that house hired/threatened her to do it. Also, who are the other targets, and are there other assassins? So many questions remain unanswered! at least he was able to get some answers, if not more questions, from interrogating her.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Tylar The look of malice in Warrick Westerling’s dark eyes was enough to recognise that a standing order would not stop the killing blow.

  • Hello! I have the next part ready, which goes to Warrick Westerling. As we just saw him in Tylar's part, I won't give a recap as we're pretty up to date with where the Enforcer is at. His part takes place a few hours after Tylar has executed Angela Webber. This part also has a choice.

  • Warrick

    The Sunset Sea lived to its name as the Enforcer stared out to the west from his chamber balcony, his heart heavy and his glare ireful. How dare that bastard accuse me, how blind is he? The scornful thoughts plagued his mind, but for a first time he found himself more concerned for the life of Lady Emilee over the ill-informed opinions of his close friend. Tylar should not have denied me the girl’s life, Warrick thought bitterly, but acknowledged that he was berserk with rage, and the crown prince was being rational.

    As the blood sky turned the western sea red, Warrick watched as the pods of dolphins swum along the coast, the sea lions barking at them from the extruding boulders, and in the distance a pair of whales leapt from the depths of the ocean, causing an explosion of spray water as the plummeted back to where they came. Their life was simple and primitive, their objective based on survival, it lacked the complexity of man. It lacks the cruelty of men, Warrick thought philosophically as he leant on the balcony balustrade.

    He barely heard the doors of his chamber open before Maxwell and his son, Willem, were upon him. The young boy pounced onto his father, taking Warrick a step back with the surmountable strength of the kid. I will have to begin his training soon, Warrick thought with a conflicted mind. “Hello boy,” Warrick greeted, running his large hand through Willem’s coarse hair. The child responded by tightly grasping his father, causing Warrick to raise an eyebrow at Maxwell.

    “Tylar took the head off the assassin’s shoulders this evening,” he explained, to which Warrick scowled at the man. It seemed his fiery temper was not as ill-placed as he thought. “You saw this, boy?” Warrick queried, to which Willem nodded with a fragile expression. Warrick sighed, pulling Willem in a close embrace and smothering his ears. “Good,” he muttered quietly, to which Maxwell spoke up.

    “How are you feeling, Warrick?” the man queried, evoking a chuckle from the Enforcer as he rolled his eyes. “We both know you’re not here to mend my bleeding heart. You said you wanted to talk earlier, that’s why you are here,” Warrick rationalised, causing a small smile on the old man’s lips before he nodded. “Cutting straight to the business then,” Maxwell stated, to which Warrick shrugged, moving his son away. “It’s the Lannister way,” Warrick stated laconically.

    Maxwell joined Warrick on the balcony, eying Willem with a subtle hint which Warrick acknowledged, patting his son’s shoulder. “Run along, boy.” Willem looked up to his father with concerned eyes, but Warrick only showed a hard dismissive glare, and the message got across. When Willem reached the door it slammed behind him with the sea breeze, and the Enforcer turned his gaze to Maxwell. “Say what you’ve come to say,” Warrick beckoned impatiently, not in a talkative mood. Maxwell frowned, placing a hand on Warrick’s shoulder.

    “Warrick, you may not have my blood or name, but I raised you as I raised Bryce. You are as much my son as he is, and the way I see it, that has made you into brothers,” Maxwell stated, to which Warrick shrugged. “I doubt he sees that now,” Warrick muttered, to which Maxwell shook his head. “My son is hot-headed, but no fool. He may blame you now, but he will see clearly Emilee’s condition improves,” Maxwell assured him, to which Warrick raised an eyebrow.

    “Improves?” Warrick mumbled with a perplexed tone. “That girl is strong, Warrick. She would have bled out had you have chased after her killer, but thanks to you, she has a chance. I have our best healers operating on her as we speak,” Maxwell informed him, lifting a load of stress of Warrick’s shoulders, but then followed a feeling of paranoia. “If she lives, more attempts will be made on her life,” Warrick came to realise, but Maxwell shook his head. “I don’t believe this was so much of a targeted event from what Tylar has said to me, but we have yet to reveal Emilee’s life to the public. We shall keep her concealed at Casterly Rock until Tylar gets to the bottom of this,” Maxwell explained, to which Warrick nodded.

    “Then the wedding is off,” Warrick stated plainly with some relief, a feeling his foster father appeared to share. “Good riddance,” the old man muttered as he leant forward over the balustrade. “Yet I’m afraid the work only gets harder from here,” Maxwell added hesitantly, yet Warrick had expected he would reveal something along those lines. “What’s the mission?” Warrick questioned laconically, evoking a small smirk from the old man.

    “You will ride with us back to Casterly Rock. Tybolt has turned his eyes onto the Riverlands, and he is sending his son to cease it,” Maxwell briefly explained, to which Warrick’s expression sorrowed down as he looked out to the darkening sky. A sick joke, Warrick thought grimly to himself as his memories turned back to the Battle at the Border. He wished never to return to the Riverlands, and yet he was obedient to his king’s command. “Which son?” Warrick queried, but he already knew the answer.

    “Loras,” Maxwell sighed, glancing at Warrick momentarily in expectation for a reaction, but the Enforcer held a stern expression. “So what? I am to lead the runt’s army?” Warrick grumbled, to which Maxwell nodded. “The Roaring Blood Lions, twenty-thousand greenhorns who follow Prince Loras out of fear. I have no doubt the formidable Enforcer will have the same effect on them,” Maxwell stated calmly, to which Warrick shook his head. “Worse,” he assured him, knowing he had made Loras piss his pants once already.

    “I know the Riverlands is the last place you wish to return to, Warrick, but the situation is different now. The Mud Fort is still garrisoned with Lannister troops from the Battle at the Border, but they won’t be enough to buffer the Andal invasion,” Maxwell explained, to which Warrick chuckled. “The Andal’s are focused on the east, they serve little threat to the Westerlands,” Warrick stated assured, but Maxwell was less agreeable.

    “The Andal’s practically hold the Fingers, they turn their eyes to the Stormlands and Reach now, it won’t be long before they march west,” Maxwell claimed, clasping his hands as he glared out to sea. “We need not fear for an invasion by the sea, we hold a strong enough navy to repel such efforts, as do the Farman’s, Manderly’s, Hightower’s and Redwyne’s, who would undoubtedly feel the force of the Andal’s before we ever did.” Maxwell stood himself upright, grasping the stone railings as he averted his gaze from the sea.

    “It’s imperative that those foreign fanatics don’t reach Westerland soil. Our economy would suffer with the loss of trade routes. It’s why I’ve convinced Tybolt to take the Riverlands, and if we can, gain the local houses to support our cause willingly,” Maxwell stated, to which Warrick only rolled his eyes. “If you believed the Riverland houses would support the Lannister’s, you wouldn’t be sending me,” Warrick clarified, to which Maxwell sighed with a nod.

    “Aye,” Maxwell agreed with a sullen tone before pushing himself away from the balcony. “We leave for Casterly Rock at dawn,” he informed him. “Understood,” Warrick responded laconically, resting himself against the railings to look out to the sea. “And Warrick, it would be unwise to drag your son along with you to the Riverlands. I could ward him in Casterly Rock, or you could pick another, the choice is yours,” Maxwell suggested, to which Warrick frowned. More talk of warding, he thought irritably, but the man held a point, and Warrick knew that Maxwell was a good choice for a master. He has taught me well enough, he reconciled, but he wanted his son to be better, and he was unsure if he could trust any man to achieve that. Yet again, he was unsure if he could trust himself to do that.

    [Let Maxwell ward Willem] [Take Willem with you] [Postpone Willem’s warding]

  • [Take Willem with you]

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Warrick The Sunset Sea lived to its name as the Enforcer stared out to the west from his chamber balcony, his heart heavy and his glare i

  • Hey, I just thought I should give an update.

    Over these past couple of weeks my grandfather has been struggling with complications post-Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal), which has been hitting my mood pretty hard. He had internal bleeding which led to clotting and internal pus buildup which needed to removed, and naturally the tool used to remove that crap easily had to be broken. He was taken into surgery early this week and that was successful in cleaning the mess, albeit he was a bit of a meat bag for tubes and plastic filters.

    All was looking well until last night, where he suffered five cardiac arrests over the span of four hours. He was put into a coma but his organs started shutting down, and earlier today I lost him. My grandfather was a real idol to me, and this sudden passing has really shattered me. I apologise if I fail to pump out many parts, I will try, but I can't make any promises. I imagine it'll just be like how my activity has been for the majority of this year, except now you guys know why. I am sorry.

  • I'm so sorry this happened to you. You and your family will be in my prayers and I wish for the best for you guys.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Hey, I just thought I should give an update. Over these past couple of weeks my grandfather has been struggling with complications post-L

  • I'm shocked Lady Emilee is still alive!
    [Let Maxwell ward Willem]

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Warrick The Sunset Sea lived to its name as the Enforcer stared out to the west from his chamber balcony, his heart heavy and his glare i

  • My friend, I am deeply sorry to hear this. I honestly know how you are feeling. My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family. Don't take us into account right now, we can wait. Take as much time as you need and if there's anything you wish to talk about, do not hesitate to approach me.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Hey, I just thought I should give an update. Over these past couple of weeks my grandfather has been struggling with complications post-L

  • Oh, we are sorry. We can wait. Your family is more important than us.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Hey, I just thought I should give an update. Over these past couple of weeks my grandfather has been struggling with complications post-L

  • A second update:

    My grandfather lies dormant in the coroners office while they inspect him for the cause of death, and things have been pretty grim and emotional for all of us in mourning. It's expected that we will be holding the funeral by the end of the upcoming week, but naturally further complications have arisen with all those details as well, given all the inheritance has fallen onto his demented wife. To top things off for me, my computer rolled back a week and wiped all the research articles and progress I had on my assignment due today. Fortunately I had gained a week extension with the recent dilemmas I've been facing, but this has certainly set me back further than I had expected and has left me pretty down in the dumps. I've tried to do some writing to keep my mind off of things, but nothing good really comes out of anything I try to do currently, all I can do is think.

    So as I've thought, I believe I might have come up with a solution to the Invasion's over-populated PoV community without shelving, culling or proceeding with a snail pace (albeit I think the latter will occur regardless given my nature). I have thought perhaps it would be wiser if I split the story into regions (e.g. PoV's of the North, PoV's of Westerlands and the Reach, etc). In this case, I could solely focus on all the storylines in that area, and PoV's that would become relevant to that area relatively soon. I would move to the next region (e.g North to South) when I conclude all the PoV storylines in the prior region for that chapter. There are however some downsides to this new idea, the obvious being that it could end up shelving other regions for super lengthy times, but also that it would segregate storylines and restrict my ability to merge PoV storylines. I would be having PoV's cross over from region to region given their story direction, but that also means if one PoV left from a region of focus to another, we'd lose track of them until I finished up with the spotlight province.

    All in all I'm not sure if I should go with this idea or not, it has it's ups and downs. On a positive note, it would be easier to write in sequence with regional context, as well as you guys easily being able to keep track on what's going on in that specific area without me having to write lengthy recaps for each part. On the contrary however it runs the risk of me growing bored with writing in one area for too long, and as I mentioned earlier, us not seeing other PoV's for a long time. So I'd like to hear your opinions if that is okay, as I value each and all of your inputs. So please do comment your thoughts whenever it is convenient for you. If it is decided this new method is worth a try, I will implement it into Chapter 4. I'll also likely conclude Alara's storyline for Chapter 3 and push us right into Chapter 4 given I've structured Chapter 3's conclusion with the invasion of Andalos.

    Anyway, please let me know! I also heavily appreciate your support and understanding for my situation during this point in time. Thank you!

  • A final update:

    After some considerable thought on the matter I believe I will trial this new approach with the Invasion. However I fear I will not be able to do so here, as I'm sure most of you are aware, Telltale is going to shit and I am so sorry to everyone here.

    The community is gathering into a Discord server until we can find a solution that will benefit us all. I hope you guys can join us there.

  • Alright, the Voting is Closed! Well it is a tie, but given the jeopardy of these forums, I've decided that Warrick will let Maxwell ward Willem. This has the best story potential for Maxwell in my opinion, who will earn a PoV status to show of Casterly Rock in Book 2.

    Speaking of Book 2, I'd like to announce that there will be only two parts (and an epilogue) left to Chapter 3 and Book 1 of the Invasion! This is an exciting milestone for me, one I've been trying to reach for years, and with the prompting of Telltale shutting down on us, it's made me rearrange and rethink some ideas (for the better) and has given me a window to bring the first book to a close. I will post the parts here, and then post an updated document of the completed first book on Creator's Haven, where I will continue Book 2 from there :)

    The final two parts will go to Davios Tallman and Alara Caron. The last time we saw Davios, he had left Celia in a troubled state, given their grudge for each other, and him finding his dominance over her. As he left her alone in her quarters to weep, Davios bumped into Celia's sister, Elayna, who had just come to see them. Davios was particularly hostile to Elayna's kindness, who then went on to remind him that they are soon to become siblings, and Davios should have more trust for his new family. You guys chose for him to apologise to her. Meanwhile for Alara, the last time we saw her she had been on a vessel found for Andalos with the Stark army, and was seeking out allies to have by her side when the time came to invade. While already with Dromon Tarth, Chet Tully, Kasia and Lillith of Lorath, Alara wished to extend that alliance to Bautistant and his company, and Athena. While managing to track down Bautistant, they had little luck with finding Athena. Before Alara could search further for her, Theon wished to have a word with her about their last date. You guys chose to accept having this conversation, much to Dromon's chagrin.

  • edited October 2018


    The warlord let out a sigh, staring into the green eyes of Elayna Maeson as he struggled to read the intent that hid behind them. “Perhaps you’re right,” Davios reconciled in apology, to which Elayna flashed a small smile to him before releasing her grip on him. “You will see, Davios. Give my father the North, and he will not only reward you with riches, titles and lands, but his love,” Elayna assured him, to which Davios rolled his eyes.

    “You speak so highly of your father’s character. I haven’t heard such great regards from others,” Davios muttered, to which Elayna frowned. “My father… has a lot of enemies, but is also well misunderstood. He has made his fair share of mistakes, as have we all, and once we claim our position in Westeros, we will be able to restart anew,” Elayna stated hopefully, to which Davios only groaned.

    “We still have to conquer the North first,” he reminded her, to which she nodded with a stern expression. “That we do, but this time it will be different. This time we will use that Hungry Wolf’s enemies against him, we will turn his kingdom inside out and destroy him within. Then it will be a simple invasion like any other,” Elayna stated confidently, to which Davios raised an eyebrow to this. “You seem awfully sure of yourself,” Davios observed with little offense, to which Elayna sighed.

    “I was always sure, and had my father not been so stubborn, perhaps we would have succeeded in taking the North the first time around. We have lost our element of surprise, but the Northmen think us fools, and we will show them otherwise,” Elayna assured him, to which Davios only nodded, hoping she was right. Their complex strategy had just as many risks as it did potential.

    “Davios, I want you to keep on your guard when you and my sister travel to the Vale,” Elayna added, to which Davios furrowed his brow. “From what?” he queried with some confusion, to which Elayna sighed. “I know how much your father meant to you, and Gerold might try to use your love for the man as a way to goad you into his own cause. Don’t be fooled, there’s no future for us in the Vale, and if you follow him you will only be his pawn. He will discard you the moment his use for you ceases,” Elayna informed him, to which Davios only gave her a stern nod.

    “Noted,” he responded solemnly, only causing Elayna to frown. “And my sister, I know she struggles with this marriage being so soon, but please try to take the time to know her. It will make it much easier for the both of you,” Elayna promised him, to which Davios reciprocated his earlier gesture. “I will do my best,” Davios assured her, to which a small smile touched her lips, and she took hold of his hand in both of hers. “You’re a good man, Davios. When my sister sees that, she will thank the Seven for their blessings,” Elayna stated before letting him go.

    “I hope so,” Davios remarked with a stern expression. Elayna nodded, gulping awkwardly as she took a step back. “I’d best go check on her then. I assume you will no doubt go to pack, father wishes for you to both be on your journey,” Elayna stated, to which Davios gave her a firm nod. “Then so it will be,” Davios remarked poetically, to which Elayna smirked as she squeezed his shoulder and brushed passed him, entering Celia’s room abruptly.

    Davios let out a heavy sigh, knowing his ever-so-friendly sister would undoubtedly turn cold on him once she arrived on the mess of his betrothed. Davios was a soldier, he would always be a soldier, and it would be the battlefield that the Seven would claim him. Not some golden coffin, Davios remarked in thought, glaring at his surroundings as he began to walk. He was glad to be rid of this place, but he acknowledged Elayna’s words.

    Noriphos had put a lot of faith in him to do what Argos could not, and while Davios believed that with the Seven’s guiding he could achieve this, he feared that his love for his father would overrule his mission. He had been taken too soon from this world, at the hands of First Men filth, which had brought Davios to Westeros in the first place. He did not wish to work with the First Men, he wished to slaughter them, and perhaps Gerold would give him that. Yet that was not what Noriphos wanted, and Davios was now his son.


    The entourage fleet beared many sigils atop the numerous masts, a blazing yellow tower, a pink finch, a golden phoenix, and countless others. All flapped in the light westerly breeze. They would have easy sailing to the Vale, yet Davios could not help but feel the company would be of less ease. Davios watched as Princess Celia was escorted onto their flagship, her eyes sullen and cheeks red from her tears. While her maidens were large in group, Davios could not spot the Valyrian amongst them.

    By his side stood his fellow general, Warlord Dickon Finch, a stern look crossed over his mangled face. “How long does Noriphos wish for us to remain in the Vale?” the old man queried with a solemn tone, to which Davios only sighed and shrugged his shoulders. “A week, maybe two,” Davios suggested, and Dickon sighed in response. “Just don’t forget the real mission,” Dickon reminded, making Davios scowl in frustration.

    “Why does everyone believe me incompetent to remain focused on the mission?” Davios grumbled in exasperation, and reluctantly accepted the old coarse hand of Lord Finch rest on his shoulder. “You are young, Tallman. You have a lot of potential, Noriphos sees it, and none of us want to see you throw your life against Barrack Redfort’s blade. Even if you lived, you’d be branded a traitor, you would find no friends with the Andal’s, nor with the First Men,” Dickon lectured, to which Davios only rolled his eyes, shrugging off Dickon’s hand.

    Before Davios could respond, the two’s attention fell upon the round king and his two followers. Davios observed as Dickon tensed up, his gaze piercing at the late king Grafton, while completely ignoring the two knights that accompanied him. Gerold Grafton was not the man which Davios had imaged, being a larger man who had grown plump around the edges, his hair greyed and receded, his face wrinkled and his chins layered.

    “Dickon Finch,” Gerold greeted with a cold and shifty tone. “What the fuck are you doing here?” he then added, to which Dickon smirked. “Serving a king with honour,” he remarked, to which the old man scoffed and later chuckled. “You mistake honour with cowardice, had Noriphos not had ships at his side then I would have laid cut him down and taken his daughters as well!” Gerold boasted with a fat grin, to which Dickon glared firmly at him as he his hand grasped around the hilt of his sheathed sword.

    “You’re not the man you used to be, Grafton,” Dickon threatened, to which Gerold’s eyebrow raised to the challenge. “You think you could beat me, Finch? By the time you had even unsheathed your sword my boys would have cut you down twice already,” Gerold reckoned with a smirk, glancing back at his companions. “You’re slow, Finch. You were too slow to save your family from turning to ashes, and you’re too slow now,” Gerold gloated, and Davios watched as Dickon’s ire unleashed.

    Davios caught the old man by the forearm before he could unsheathe his sword, and surely enough Gerold’s two knights had already unsheathed their blades in preparation. “Easy,” Davios grumbled under his breath, to which Dickon retaliated a moment, but regained his composure enough to back off. “I’ll see you on the boat,” Dickon muttered back to him, wrenching his forearm from Davios’ grip and pushing past Gerold and his men; much to the old king’s amusement.

    “That’s right, run away you craven,” he chuckled, smirking at his men. Davios glared at the man, an immense disappointment cloaking his bitterness towards the man he had once held in high regard. “I used to think of you as a hero. My father would write of your feats,” Davios stated coldly, to which Gerold raised an eyebrow. “Why should I care for the opinion of a cripple who befriends a traitor?” Gerold queried, to which Davios only maintained his disbelieving glare on the man.

    “I am Davios Tallman, son of Simon Tallman. My father fought for you,” Davios explained in a distant tone, to which Gerold furrowed his eyebrows. “Who?” he questioned awkwardly, his face scrunched in thought, to which one of his men spoke up. “He was one of your best captains, father. He fell against Lord Barrack Redfort,” the man reminded him, to which Gerold’s eyes widened in an apparent realisation.

    “Ah, Simon, yes. A good man, a loyal one too,” Gerold stated, to which Davios nodded, and Gerold cleared his throat, turning his gaze to his men. “Where are your manners? You boys stand before the son of a legend,” Gerold grumbled, to which both of the men immediately bowed and murmured “My Lord,” in sequence. Gerold sighed, shaking his head. “They’re quite talented young men, but they still have a long way to come, Gerold explained, pulling them both forward.

    “This one here is my eldest and only son,” Gerold introduced, pulling forward a handsome young man with similar younger features of the round king. He was a fit man, with lean muscles and an imposing height, yet nothing on Davios’ towering height. His long blonde hair was tied back into a ponytail, and his face cleanly shaven, his eyes like his father’s, dark brown. “Ser Lesley Grafton,” the young man introduced, nodding to Davios, which the warlord briefly reciprocated.

    “And this one here is my champion, the greatest swordsman in all of the Vale,” Gerold proclaimed, pulling the man in his left hand forward. This man was also quite handsome, with a chiselled chin and strong cleanly shaved jawline. His build was much similar to Lesley’s, but his hair was short and curly, and as black as night. His eyes were a very light brown, almost golden in the sunlight, and his tabard displayed a golden phoenix on a red field.

    “Ser Felimy Keding, my Lord,” the young man introduced, to which Davios nodded to him. “The best swordsman in the Vale is a high praise,” Davios noted, to which Gerold chuckled. “It’s a high praise indeed, but he lives up to it. He beat Ser Jaime Corbray, Prince Marvion Corbray, Ser Luceon Templeton and Ser Darren Tyrner all in single combat at the Tourney at Heart’s Home,” Gerold proclaimed with pride, to which Felimy shrugged his shoulders.

    “Quite the praise,” Davios simply confirmed, not placing much high esteem on the claim of words. He was a believer of action. Gerold nodded, firmly patting Felimy’s shoulder. “He brings great pride to both his family and my kingdom,” Gerold stated, to which Keding nodded in appreciation, though Davios could tell the man was more humble than arrogant. A rare trait nowadays, Davios thought admirably.

    “Well, if you would excuse me, Your Grace, I have a wife to attend to,” Davios excused nonchalantly, bringing a grin onto Gerold’s lips. “Ah, the great Princess Celia, yes? My advisors had long wanted me to marry my own boy to that snobbish bitch, but I had always refused their council on that. No one should have to endure such entitlement from some royal whore,” Gerold grunted, to which Davios’ duty called for him to stand up in his fiancé’s defence, but his sense only nodded.

    “I bid you good fortune on your years to come,” Davios uttered with forced politeness before parting, understanding why Dickon had been so eager to be rid of the man. Compared with the Grafton king, Davios admitted he would accept the company of Celia ten times over the plump arrogant man with a crown atop his head. All royalty is shit, Davios concluded with an unsurprised thought, he knew it to be no secret, but he had hoped one man could prove his thoughts wrong.

    Davios descended the hill down to the ships, where he was then escorted to the flagship that Celia eagerly awaited him on, a look of dread on her cursing eyes. Davios only frowned, passing her and heading to the helm of the vessel. To his own demise, a man of poor taste stood behind the wheel, holding the same entitled smirk that Davios had seen when he first had the privilege of meeting the man. Harlan, Davios recited bitterly, and the cocky Braavosi flashed him a grin.

    “I did promise you didn’t I, Tallman? My prices would be raised for that little stunt you threw at me,” Harlan reminded him, leaning against the helm of his vessel. “So my new demand is this, you kiss my boots and swear fealty to me once we take the North, and if I am appeased, I might even make you my Hand, to make up for what you lack, of course,” Harlan smirked, to which Davios sent him a malicious scowl. “You’re a persistent bastard, aren’t you?” Davios muttered, to which the Braavosi grinned.

    “You’ll see, Tallman. One day I’ll be looking down on you, and all you will see is complete superiority,” Harlan promised him, then turning his attention to his sailors, to which he barked orders at them to prepare to disembark. Davios let out a sigh, walking to the forward balustrade and resting his hand on the polished timber railing. His gaze momentarily locked with Celia’s beneath him, who only scowled at him in spite before retreating into her newly found cabin.

    Davios raised his gaze ahead of them, staring west to the land they had only just sailed back from. Westeros, Davios thought with awe, just as he had as a boy when his father wrote to him. He missed that man dearly, and a raging fire burned in him to avenge his death, but he had a duty now to another. A duty to a king, a duty to a wife, and his duty to uplift his oaths to the Seven. He would be unwise to defy them.

    No decision.


    The Hungry Wolf had led the Nightingale into his den, poising himself on his rock, or in this case his desk, as Alara stood by the door nervously. There was a calm look of compassion on his face, but Alara was not sure if she could even confidently read the man. She felt a victim under his gaze, weak and prey to a wolf. She felt like her mother.

    “You look unwell, Alara. Do you not fare well at sea?” Theon asked with concern, to which Alara shook her head. “I have travelled throughout Essos for many years, Your Grace, the seas have never disagreed with me,” Alara stated, to which the king smiled, approaching her and clasping her hands in his own. “Please, there’s no need for the formalities here,” he pleaded with her, causing her to gulp. “Theon,” she corrected nervously, to which the man smiled.

    “I wanted to talk about the other night, about us,” Theon stated nonchalantly, to which Alara’s eyes widened momentarily before she nodded. “I know now that perhaps a lovely stroll was not ideal along the coastline of the dead,” Theon chuckled, to which Alara awkwardly laughed in cue, causing him to smile at her. “I understand why you’re anxious, getting so much attention from someone higher up can be like that. I know it from my experiences with my own father, it scared the living shit out of me,” Theon assured her, this time evoking genuine laughter from the Nightingale, who understood his standpoint.

    “You and I both,” Alara stated, to which Theon smirked. “I had heard Lord Caron was a hard man, on his children as well was he?” Theon queried, to which Alara shook her head, her expression souring. “Just me,” she muttered, seeing his face flash before her eyes. She clenched her fists, but was startled to feel Theon’s soft touch on her shoulder. “I’m sorry to hear that, I’m sure he would be proud of the fine strong woman you’ve become now,” Theon stated calmly, something which Alara doubted, but she nodded gracefully. Theon took a step back, returning to his desk and clearly brooding on something.

    “Alara, I’m an older man now, and in my years I’ve been with a lot of women. I’ve experienced what love is in many different ways and forms, but there’s only been one thing that has irked me my entire life, and its genuineness,” Theon admitted, to which Alara furrowed her brow. “How do mean?” she queried, evoking a frown from the man.

    “Every woman I have ever been with has always been so willing to be with me, be it due to my wealth or royalty, it has always felt fake, even with my wife. Yet when I’ve been with you, it has felt otherwise, you have not chased after me like any other girl, you have been more real with me,” Theon stated with awkward wording, to which a small smile touched Alara’s lips. “I believe that we are all still human underneath all of these titles and privileges,” Alara confessed, having been taught that during her time in the Freehold. This brought a smile to Theon’s lips.

    “That’s what I love so much about you, Alara. You can see the good in me which I think no other woman has, and that makes my heart skip a beat like no other,” Theon exclaimed, now bending down on one knee and taking her hands in his. “I know the first time I tried to tell you this didn’t turn out so well, but I beg you, if you give me another chance I promise I will make it up to you,” he pleaded, making Alara freeze with shock, but Theoon continued regardless, now standing.

    “All my life I’ve been expected to be a king, and I’ve given my kingdom that for the last forty years. What if we continued on through Essos after our time in Andalos is done? We could return to the places you had been to once, find retirement in the Valyrian colonies, or travel further east to the city on the edge of the world,” Theon suggested, now turning back to her. “We could leave this all behind us, the North, my family, your family, all of it. We’d have a fresh start, a new life, just the two of us,” Theon stated with hope, and Alara felt a lump build in her throat. He was giving her an opportunity to tame him, and yet she couldn’t.

    “What do you say?” he proposed, a small smile on his lips, but Alara’s sad gaze spoke enough of an answer. “I’m sorry,” she mumbled in sorrow, to which the Hungry Wolf frowned with disappointment. “Is there another?” he then asked forwardly, and Alara nodded reluctantly. She watched his grey eyes turn from disappointment to bitterness over a brief period, yet instead of unleashing he simply nodded. “I understand,” he stated firmly, returning back to his desk. “I won’t hold you any longer,” he added, taking a seat as he glared at the tabletop.

    Alara looked at him with wet apologetic eyes, but as she quickly felt her presence growing unwanted, she egressed out of his cabin in a weepy mess. To her surprise, Dromon awaited her patiently with a concerned look on his gaze. She fell right into his arms, tears streaming down her cheeks as she embraced him. “What happened in there?” Dromon questioned her with a worried tone, and she could feel his heart growing rapid in his chest. She squeezed his arm and stared deeply into his sapphire blue eyes with a weak smile.

    “I chose you,” she mumbled, and she watched with a growing smile as his eyes widened and a smile grew into a grin, and he hoisted her up into the air with laughter before pulling her into a tight embrace. “I love you,” he uttered in muffle into her shoulder, to which she whispered it back softly in his ear. “Should we go find somewhere quiet?” Dromon suggested, to which Alara played with his hair, nodding in response. He smirked, tucking up her legs and carrying her away.


    She awoke in his arms with the sun rising to the east, and a rummaging of steps pushing past each other to climb on deck. Alara gently lifted Dromon’s arm off of her, wrapping a blanket around her naked body before approaching a slit in the hull where she peered out. She saw the blue of the sea, but not far ahead she saw green. Land, she realised excitedly. “Dromon!” she whispered, coming to his side and shaking him awake. His tired sapphire eyes looked at her with a smile. “Morning beautiful,” he greeted, to which she rolled her eyes and pulled at his arm.

    “Come look,” she grunted, pulling at him playfully, to which he smirked and followed on. As she returned to the slit in hull and peered out, she felt his warm hands grasp around her waist as he looked over her shoulder through the crack. “So, we’re finally here,” he concluded firmly, to which she nodded, it now dawning on her what this meant. Dromon gently pulled her hair back, scrunching it into a messy bun in signal of her alert personality. She turned around and jabbed him in the gut with a finger, evoking a grunt followed by laughter.

    “We should get ready,” he suggested solemnly, trying to hold down his smile for her. Alara peered out to the green of Andalos, a sorrowed look falling onto her face before she nodded. “Yes,” she agreed, turning back to him. The two pulled on their clothes, then helping each other put on their armour and gear. By the time they were done with the straps on Dromon’s plating, they were perhaps only a mile off the shore, and the strong voice of Theon Stark could be heard up on deck. “We’d best not miss this speech too,” Dromon stated cockily, to which Alara rolled her eyes, pushing passed him.

    If the ship had felt packed before, it certainly felt more so now. The entire crew had rallied onto the deck before the Hungry Wolf, who stood on the figurehead of the ship: the rotting corpse of Argos Sevenstar. “My brothers and sisters in arms! Today is the day we take back what is ours! Today we take back the lives which the Andal’s stole from us! Today we take their riches, their children, and all they hold dear. Today we have our vengeance!” he announced, and a great cheer roared from the crowd.

    Alara and Dromon pushed through, managing to join Kasia and Chet Tully, to which Alara grabbed the Sisterwoman’s forearm. “Where are the others?” Alara yelled over the chatter, to which Kasia searched around, then pointing out Bautistant and his men by the portside rails, and Lillith further forward with Athena. Alara let out a sigh of relief, knowing that they had managed to gain Athena’s support.

    The land grew closer, and Theon’s cries grew louder, and the crowd’s roars became greater, until the ship struck the beach and came to a halt. Everyone jerked forward, but once they were stopped, another cheer erupted from the crowd. Alara watched as fellow Stark ships from left to right also beached a few miles away from them. She then looked up to Theon, who stared directly at her before unsheathing his sword, which rallied the crowd to follow in his image. “Let’s go murder them!” Theon shouted, and a battle cry erupted from the crowd as they all followed him off the ship.

    Alara and the group were pushed with the moving crowd, jumping off the sides to push up the shoreline and onto the plain green hills. She followed Dromon and the others two a sheltered spot underneath the prow of the vessel, looking for the others. Dromon managed to spot and point out Bautistant’s company charging up the hill, but as for Lillith and Athena, neither of them could be seen.

    Dromon turned his attention onto Alara, clasping her hands in his bronze gauntlet, while behind them Chet and Kasia held each other in a tight embrace before following after the crowd. Reluctantly, Alara and Dromon unsheathed their blades, now being the last stragglers to move away from the ships. The once green hill was now flooded with Stark banners and bronze blades, a cry of war which no doubt echoed for miles. Alara turned her gaze back to their flagship, looking at the mangled body of Argos Sevenstar before gulping. What have we become?

    No decision.

    End Chapter 3.
    End Book 1.


  • Ooooh man, this is quite something. Alara's talk with Theon did not go as I expect it to go. I was hoping that by now, he realized there is another, but I severely overestimated his ability to spot the obvious. I mean, Alara and Dromon haven't exactly made much of a secret out of their relationship. I was hoping that by the time he asked her to speak, he genuinely wanted to clarify things between them, which I suppose in a way he actually wanted. But oh man, as much as I can understand him and even feel sorry for him, I am concerned. I don't blame him for being smitten with Alara, but we know he is a ruthless man and he has even gotten somewhat delusional when it comes to her. She hasn't shown much interest in him at all, yet he is convinced they belong together. This means, I absolutely consider him capable of pulling an Uriah here and trying to get Dromon killed in battle. And if it happens, no one, not even we as readers and certainly not Alara can be certain that it wasn't a tragic accident after all. He is in the perfect position to orchestrate this, perhaps in one last attempt to get Alara to be with him. Yet I expect anything he could ever do to achieve the absolute opposite, driving her away from him forever. However, while I hope she'll get out of there before it is too late, I am also quite afraid for her life, alright. It's not just Dromon I fear for, but what if Theon accidentally harms or even kills Alara in his attempts to get rid of her lover? I have been nervous for her in the past, but never like this. The stakes are high, there is a potentially love-crazed king around and the worst thing is, I am not even certain how far he will go. Maybe he manages to restrain himself, maybe he is genuinely not behind any bad that might happen, maybe Alara or even Dromon get out of this alive. But there is the very real danger that this won't be the case and I will be highly scared for what you have in store for her next parts.

    Now, when it comes to your solution for the Invasion's pacing and PoV situation, I actually like that idea! Of course, it means a longer wait for some storylines and we won't get to see characters in a while. However, that is already the case as it is and I think I prefer to have intense sequences with PoV's in a region having their storyline told with only small breaks as opposed to having every storyline at once and the parts spread over the course of many months. That would allow the PoV's to really shine, giving us an even closer connection to those that are already favourites, while allowing the somewhat less colourful PoV characters to truly shine.

    But ah, I cannot believe we have reached the end of the chapter :D This has been quite a long ride and the result if probably the single longest chapter in any story to date. It has definitely been a worthy ride though and I thoroughly enjoyed every single part of it. I cannot wait for the next chapters and hope the new method will eventually help you with sorting out the pacing that has occasionally troubled the story.

    Stigz_52 posted: »

    Davios The warlord let out a sigh, staring into the green eyes of Elayna Maeson as he struggled to read the intent that hid behind them.

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