The Path of Honour: An Interactive Story
Hey everyone! So I've been wanting to do this for a little while now, a song of ice and fire has been my favourite book series since I read it for the first time a few years ago and I have read and re-read it again and again since then. After playing the game a few times, reading Dunk and Egg, The World of Ice and Fire and watching and re-watching the show I didn't know how to get more GoT so 6 months ago I started thinking about a character who lived through the events of the show and what struggles they would face. I settled on writing a story so I laid out the events I think would make an interesting story, then a few weeks ago I began writing.
Thanks to @AgentZ46 and also to @LiquidChicagoTed who's "The Cost of Loyalty" and "Forum of Thrones" stories respectively were the first stories I read on the forum and inspired me to write my own, they both also advised me to post my writings on the forum, and gave me needed advice. Without them I wouldn't have posted them anywhere and you wouldn't be reading this. Whether it's a good thing I post them well, we will wait and see!
About the Story
The Path of Honour follows Tobor Hightower, a boy on the brink of manhood, and how he survives the world of Westeros and Essos. He's currently my only planned POV character but that could change! Each chapter of my story will be uploaded over two or three posts, each post will have one or two choices for all you readers to decide by vote! The exception to this rule is when the chapter ends. Then there will be no choice.
The title is based on a quote from our Maester Aemon; “A craven can be as brave as any man, when there is nothing to fear. And we all do our duty, when there is no cost to it. How easy it seems then, to walk the path of honor. Yet soon or late in every man's life comes a day when it is not easy, a day when he must choose."
It's an indication that people assume being honourable is easy until faced with the choice that will change them. I think it's perfect for a story where the plot revolves on choice, and how Tobor will be changed by his ordeals.
The Story So Far
For anybody wanting to catch up without scrolling through: read here
Black Ships and Dark Sails: Chapter Complete
Golden Coins and Iron Chains: Chapter Complete
Hot Sand and Warm Blood: Chapter Complete
Cold Steel and High Stakes: Chapter Complete
Crucial Fights and Tested Faith: Chapter Complete
Making Deals and a Taste of Battle: Chapter Ongoing, Part VII Coming soon
Cold Stone and Old Relics
Roaring Fires and Sharp Fangs
Broken Iron and Cold Revenge
False Promises and Forgotten Pasts
Bold Knights and Old Friends
Deadly Attacks and Worthy Causes
True Honour and Beyond Reason
The Snake's Head and Fallen Warriors
The High Tower and The Path of Honour
Submitting Your Characters
Any and all characters you'd like to see in the story would be greatly appreciated, I need good guys and bad guys and morally grey guys alike! Some will be in Tobor's past or his present. The more detail provided is better, but please note that I may have to tweak your submission to fit in with the story but don't worry, I'll ask you if you're ok with the change first! My story is predominantly in Essos so those characters would be preferred!
Submit your characters here
Just follow the link and fill out the short form.
Examples of who I would need to be submitted include but aren't limited to:
Brothers of Tobor
Cousins of Tobor
Uncles of Tobor
Slaves (serving slaves, pit fighters, unsullied, even bed slaves it doesn't matter)
Slave Masters (great, wise or good)
Just any character you've thought up!
This list isn't the whole picture so let me know if you have anyone at all you would like for consideration for the story. The way you can do this is following the link above under Submitting Characters. I'll try and fit as many in as I can, and I'll try and do them justice as I write them, but of course, I can't write every one of them perfectly to how you imagine, which is why the more detail on them, their backstory and personality the better. Also I'm sorry if I kill off your character, this is GoT and people do die!
-Name of character
-occupation (where they are now, slave, sellsword, Knight etc.)
-backstory (how they got to where they are now)
-general physical description (are they tall, are they handsome/beautiful)
-personality description (what are they like? Quick to anger? Kind?)
I really hope I provide a good read, I'm looking forward to this experience and will appreciate support I get and also any criticism, otherwise how do I get better? So, without any more reading, I'll let you submit your characters and I can't wait to bring Tobor's story to you!
Good luck! I'm interested and looking forward to this.
I also plan to submit a character.
Thank you! I look forward to it
Oh yes, I am excited. Best of luck with the story, may there be many interested readers. I for one look forward for how this is going to develop. I am also hoping to finish my first character for this story tomorrow
Thanks! Im excited for the story
The first part is almost ready to be posted. Final grammar checks are being carried out. I hope to post it tomorrow afternoon. Black Ships and Dark Sails will be with you soon!
Black Ships and Dark Sails
The gentle recurrence of waves lapping at the side of The Stag’s Fury rocked the small galley as the green and gold sail flapped lazily in the cold air. The dark of the night dulled the usually bright colours of the cloth, save for when the clouds drifted from the face of the bright half moon and the great stag on the sail was illuminated, rippling with the wind. But for the sounds of the waves and the few sailors working, the night was quiet. A boy stood at the side rails, his elbows propping him up as he stared at the horizon. His long, golden hair fell over a young face and his blue eyes rippled with grey searched the air. His strong jawline, sharp cheekbones and unlined face betrayed his youth, with light skin tanned by the southern sun. He wore a coat of gleaming mail which itself was atop a layer of boiled leather and then a black tunic embroidered with silver. A grey wool cloak was draped over his shoulders, wrapped around his slender but muscular frame, to protect him from the bite of the cold sea wind.
A shout came from one of the sailors, “Hightower! I don't give a rat’s arse if you live or die, but if you drown I don't get paid so get back from the side.”
The boy’s head snapped around at the words shattering his thoughts and he nodded. Running a hand through his hair to push his it from his eyes, he stepped down from the rail and walked over to the grizzled, grey haired sailor. “I don't believe the captain would be pleased to be woken by someone as low as you, Mathis,” he said softly.
Mathis bristled with anger, “if there weren't a handful of silver stags in this for me, you'd be in the sea now, boy! With your feet manacled together. I've seen too many years at sea to be insulted by a fucking crow!”
The boy chuckled and turned to walk away, Mathis grabbed his arm and drew a knife, his foul breath cascaded over the boy as he held the point of the knife in the fleshy part of the boys chin. “One move and you won't be talking for a while, you may be some lordling’s son but don't think I won't do it. You don't need to talk to protect the realm from wildlings. The watch will still have you.” The point of the blade cut the boy’s skin.
A door opened to the side of them, bringing the conversation to an abrupt end, through the doorway walked a tall figure, dressed in black. “Sailor, step away from my recruit unless you want to explain to Lord Commander Mormont and Edric Hightower why Tobor is missing a throat,” he drawled, almost bored. A hand was stroking the hilt of a dagger, resting on his hip. “Or would you prefer to join us atop the Wall?”
Mathis drew away from Tobor, disgruntled and sheathed his knife. He slid away in the dark to resume his duties. The man in black turned on Tobor, “so, why must I save you?” He asked.
“Mathis wasn't treating me as he should a lord’s son. As such, I simply informed him,’ he replied. The man in black sighed, “Tobor, you will soon be a man of the Night’s watch, you will be with your fellow watchers and as one of them, you have no father. You won't be a lord’s son, you will hold no lands or take a wife. You'll be a brother regardless of your birth.” The rest of the sailors on deck passed them to retreat inside and sleep. He put a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “I know you want honour, the watch can give you that, but the day you treat that with contempt is the day you'll find that your sharp tongue leads to your death. Words are wind, but wind can destroy. Some fucker needs to teach you that.” Tobor looked down, and nodded. “Yes Gethrys, I understand.”
Tobor’s father was Edric Hightower and his father before him was Lord Leyton Hightower, the Man of the Hightower and Lord of Oldtown. Tobor had travelled to King’s landing at a young age with his father where he served page and then squire to a knight in the city watch, learning sword, lance and bow. Showing promise and skill, he joined a handful other boys in squiring for the Lord Commander of King Robert I Baratheon’s Kingsguard, Ser Barristan Selmy.
All who saw him knew he'd make a fine knight someday but none could foresee his mother dying from a severe illness and his father suffering a terrible hunting accident; hit by one of his own party’s arrow, in the same turn of the moon. Leaving the capital, Tobor put his knighthood opportunity behind him in favour of family. Although he was gravely wounded, Edric survived and was never the same after, he needed regular treatments of milk of the poppy and became more bitter and paranoid. The news that King Robert had been gored by a boar and died of his wounds shook Westeros, and then the honourable Ned Stark was executed as traitor to the realm. But when Tobor had heard that Ser Barristan Selmy had been removed from the Kingsguard he had no reason to return to King’s landing. This was to his Edric’s immense disappointment. Father and son argued day and night until one day, a man dressed in the black of the Night’s watch, introducing himself as Gethrys Stone, arrived to empty Oldtown’s dungeons and cells for recruits.
Tobor knew the laws of succession and understood how improbable it was for him to become the Lord of the Hightower, as Tobor was the second son of a fourth son, he chose to look elsewhere for meaning and joined Gethrys in search of glory. Goodbyes were said quickly and tersely, belongings were packed; his sword, light armaments, provisions for the journey and a knife. He boarded the ship and was gone.
Gethrys looked at Tobor and grinned, “you'd better not be this much of a pain in my arse at the wall.” Tobor smiled sheepishly. He wondered if he'd ever see the High tower again, it was higher than the Wall with a beacon serving the saviour of many a lost ship. When he was a young boy, Tobor had spent his life looking up at the majestic tower, wondering what Leyton Hightower, the Lord of Oldtown was doing up there and imagining ruling over Oldtown from high up. A deep thrum sounded through the air drawing their attention, Mathis had stopped working. “Sailor, what's the problem?” Gethrys asked. Mathis made a choking sound, “I told you, stay away from my recruits you-“ the man in black grabbed the shoulder of the sailor and turned him around, only to take a startled step backwards.
Mathis’ frantic eyes darted around and he gurgled as his hands grasped at his throat. Blood flowed through his outstretched fingers, strikingly scarlet on his pale white hands. He fell to his knees and then to his back, arms spread away from his red stained torso, exposing his neck. The folds of his throat were ripped open like old parchment, on one side of his neck gleamed something silver and the other, feathers that could once have been white.
Gethrys swore, “crossbow quarrel, get down!” Blood crept in a river towards Tobor, who was rooted still in terror at the sight of the murdered man. A sudden impact splintered wood and split Tobor’s stupor. A second ship, a galley, had smashed into the starboard side of The Stag's Fury, knocking the boy to the deck and Gethrys into the mast. As the man of the watch ripped his sword from his side Tobor struggled out of his grey cloak and reached for his sword, but he only found an empty belt. His sword was inside; it was leant against the wall of his quarters. Cursing, Tobor crawled to the corpse in the lake of blood to take Mathis’ knife.
“To arms!” Roared Gethrys. “Pirates.” He sounded a great horn stood by the mast, the warning rang clear, followed by a series of screams and war cries sounding in the cold air as a dozen men leapt from the attacking ship, armed with axes and short swords; falchions and arakhs. The door to the cabins burst open as the rest of the crew and Night’s watch recruits streamed through to face the threat. In a heartbeat the clash of steel rang as battle ensued.
While the Stag’s Fury had numbers, the pirates had the superior weaponry as most of the recruits had picked up kitchen knives and harpoons making do with what they could. Panic was raging over the recently tranquil vessel. Amidst the great cacophony ensuing, a summer islander with skin as dark as the night sky and with the moonlight sparking from the tip of his spear charged at Tobor.
No fear gripped him now. All the training and countless hours of practice had prepared him. Up close, the pirate’s long weapon did nothing for him as a knife pierced his chin and plunged into his head, leaving him to fall backwards with the boy clinging on. Tobor rolled from the body and gasped, feeling sick.
As he glanced around at the scene before him from next to his first kill, his stomach turned. The skirmish was all but over. A score of men lay before him, some staring up seeing nothing, some in such a state that they no longer had faces or limbs. A pirate lay whimpering, trying to hold his insides in his stomach not understanding the futility.
“Find all the living, look inside and bring them to me,” bellowed a man with a thick Norvoshi accent. He stepped next to the pirate on the floor and buried an axe into his skull. The whimpering stopped. Placing a boot on the fallen pirates chest he pulled the blade from bone with a sickening crunch, then looked at Tobor.
He bared his teeth in a twisted smile, “come boy, come here. You belong to Bloodtaker now. You are mine.” He looked down at the pirate with the knife in his throat and motioned towards him with his bloodstained axe. The movement sprayed red onto the floor with a splatter. “You do that boy?” He questioned.
[aye that was me] [must have been someone else] [attack him]
[aye that was me]
Better to be honest about it and avoid trouble .
[aye that was me]
I dont want to see him as a liar.Honesty is everything
Now, that was already a great start! I told you before, I really enjoy Tobor as a character, with all his flaws and feel quite invested in his story right from the very beginning.
[aye that was me]
I do think that lying won't make anything better here and surely, attacking won't either. But being honest could spare Tobor quite some trouble. Who knows, he might even manage to impress his captor. I mean, it is a small chance, but he showed strength and skill, I could see that as virtues respected by them. On top of that, I have a hunch that guy might already know about Tobor's hand in his man's death, so lying could only make things worse.
Thank you! Flaws make us human which is why I believe Tobor is such an interesting character. It's also what I love about book characters like Jaime and Tyrion.
They say honesty is the best policy, so we'll have to wait and see if this is one of those cases!
[aye that was me]
[aye that was me] Bravery and honesty is the way to go!
[aye that was me]
Bravery and honesty are two things very important to Tobor, I'm glad with the way this vote is going!
Voting is closed!
Unanimous decision for Tobor to admit that [aye that was me]
Now, for when I'm going to post the next part. I have the next five parts ready (to the extent I'm able to due to the optional parts) all that I need to write for the next few parts is the choice that you'll make! I'm actually going away for a couple of weeks next Monday and that's why I have all this prepared so I can post while I'm away.
As a result of this, I could post the next part in ten minutes or in a few days. It's up to you! Would you rather me keep the first few parts that I have written spread out? Or post them as soon as the vote is done? (This is kind of an informal vote, I'd just like to see what people would rather)
Unlike some other interactive stories on the forum, I (currently) only have one POV character. One of the drawbacks of this is being unable to write all of the next part until the vote comes in. This means that my parts may come out slower than others, I hope you all understand. But I will do my best to bring them out as soon as I can.
In the next part we find out how Bloodtaker reacts, and we see Tobor's journey to Slaver's bay!
I'd like it if you posted one every day or every two days
If I posted one every two days then I will be able to post the last part I have written on the 16th. I'm actually still away for another week after that. So I wouldn't be able to get the next part posted until a week after the 16th probably. Is that ok for you?
As soon as possible would be ideal butt it's up to you. I'm just really looking forward to it. So my vote is that you post them as soon as the voting is done.
Black Ships and Dark Sails part 2 will be up in the next few hours
Black Ships and Dark Sails
Tobor looked at the man he'd killed, then back at the pirate. The Norvoshi was clad in boiled leather, favouring agility over protection. His dark skin glistened with sweat and blood, eyes bright and dangerous. Madness can be seen through the eye, and his eyes spoke of untold insanity. Tobor’s reluctant nod was all the answer Bloodtaker needed. The pirate let out a booming laugh. “This is good. You have fight and will sell much, you stay alive. But you killed my crew. That is not good.”
Bloodtaker thrust the shaft of his axe into the boy's stomach. A gasp burst out of his mouth. Unable to breath, Tobor doubled over as he searched for air. The pirate grasped both ends of the shaft and holding it sideways he brought it up in a vicious, sweeping arc. The wood cracked Tobor’s face snapping his head back, the world exploded in light and pain as he slammed onto the deck. He tasted blood in his mouth. A laugh burst from the pirates lips. A dark laugh. He turned away and two other pirates grabbed Tobor, pulling him to his feet. “Bring the living to me!”
The survivors tied and lined up consisted of Tobor, Gethrys, four sailors and a handful of Night’s watch recruits. Bloodtaker prowled towards them. Up and down the line he walked, inspecting the captives. “You are mine. I, Bloodtaker, the Wind of the Narrow sea, Pirate Lord of Norvos have take you from your miserable lives and be sold to the Great Masters of Meereen, for good price. You have fought, but you don't fight now. Two of my crew are dead and life must pay for life, blood for blood. Two of you die now, you send me your weakest. They sell for small silvers. If not then I pick. Who dies tonight?” His admittedly poor grasp of the common tongue expressed his point perfectly. He stared at the captives.
“You've already killed more than two of our crew. They lie dead around you, pirate bastard, you only have to look. You're only the Lord of the shite I wipe from my arse,” came the calm voice of Gethrys. The self proclaimed Pirate Lord of Norvos chuckled and announced they had a volunteer. Gethrys was dragged before him and told to bear his neck. Gethrys shook his head. Tobor struggled against his bindings and earned a blow to the stomach for his efforts.
“I name you coward, I'm a man of the Night’s watch and I face worse than you each day. The least you can do is let me die as I've lived, a blade in my hand and breath on my lips.” He challenged. Bloodtaker glanced at his crew, confident in the knowledge that his crew couldn't see him allow a captive to call him cowardly without risking disobedience and then mutiny. “Give him a blade, I kill him myself.”
The rope tying Gethrys’ wrists together was removed and he was handed a falchion with a serpent hilt and the blood of Gethrys’ own crew on the razor sharp blade. Tobor glanced at the two, Gethrys made eye contact with him and nodded, smiling. The crew of the pirate ship formed a ring blocking Gethrys and Bloodtaker in, the two warriors circled each other like caged animals while they each tested the other, throwing feints and small swings, trying to get a feel for the other fighter. Gethrys swung high, Bloodtaker matched the blow with his axe, left, right, low, right. Blow after blow, Bloodtaker matched it.
Gethrys aimed to swing at the pirates neck with a one handed strike but as Bloodtaker parried with his axe in his left hand, the pirate struck out with his right in a vicious attack. Gethrys took a step back and struck a brutal blow at the pirate’s stomach. Bloodtaker caught the blade with his axe-head and in one quick motion, pulled his axe back. The crescent shape of the axe blade caught onto the cross guard of the falchion and ripped the blade from Gethrys’ grasp. The sharp edge of the axe sliced through the Night's watchman’s fingers, leaving two digits on the ship's deck. Gethrys stumbled backwards clutching his maimed hand.
Bloodtaker leapt forward, swinging his axe, but the assault was anticipated and the man in black drew his dagger from under his tunic and with his left hand, cut down into the boiled leather of the pirate’s shoulder, the blade cleaving through material and flesh alike. The Pirate Lord of Norvos snarled and barked a command in a foreign tongue, blood blossoming from his shoulder.
From behind the Night’s watchman three pirates grabbed his arms and neck, dragging him back. Gethrys held the dagger in his hand. Then a crack whipped through the air and Gethrys right arm stuck out at an impossible angle. Without a second to spare, Bloodtaker sank his axe into the top of Gethrys’ dark black hair. The axe slid down to the bottom of the man in black’s nose. A spurt of blood and brain matter splattered the three holding the twitching body of Gethrys and the pirate himself. Turning around, the captain was a fierce image. His dark skin and clothes were covered in scarlet, his dark eyes shone with a madness Tobor had never seen, blood soaked his right shoulder where the dagger had bitten him.
“He asked for a blade in hand, and there is one.” He pointed to the dagger gripped in the hand of the dead man. “That is one dead for payment, who is the next?” He growled. When the night was silent he pointed at an old sailor. “He's too old for slave, cut his throat and put him in the water along with this one.” As his throat was slit, the sailor let out a horrific gurgle and blood bubbled at his mouth. Then he was pushed backwards over the side and fell down to the black water.
Bloodtaker glared at his crew, “who searched the man in black?” He demanded. “Who searched him and missed the dagger?” A pirate, shaking uncontrollably, raised a timid hand. “It was me, captain.” He stuttered. Bloodtaker stamped over to the offender and looked down on him, standing a head taller. “You see this, Grollo?” He asked pointing to his wounded shoulder. Grollo nodded, scared. “This is like if you had stabbed your captain. You shall have punishment for the crime.” The captain judged.
Grollo fell to his knees and clasped his hands together, “please captain, please forgive me I beg you!” He shrieked. Bloodtaker grinned sinisterly. “Very well. You shall have my forgiveness.” With that, he swung his axe high into the air, one handed, and brought it down on the shoulder of the begging pirate. The sound of a crunch and a scream echoed in Tobor's ears.
Bloodtaker turned away from the screaming man. He motioned to Grollo with the axe stuck in his ruined shoulder. “Bring my axe and the rest of the prisoners.” Tobor was harshly shoved around and pushed onto the gangplank that led to the pirate galley then marched across. As he looked behind, The Stag's Fury was ablaze. “And now his watch has ended.” Tobor muttered, thinking of Gethrys.
Taken to a cell below the ship’s surface and stripped of his chain mail, he was thrown in. For a boy of fifteen, the cell had just enough room to stand up in. Tobor thanked the gods he hadn't grown as much as the other squires he was with when serving Ser Barristan. While fighting with them he had cursed his smaller build as he was never as strong, but instead relied on speed and intelligence. Barristan had been known to say that a battle is won with the mind as it is with the sword. Looking around the cell he noticed small scratches in the walls, with red-brown stains on them. Disgusted, he told himself they couldn't be shit, there's not enough room in here for that. They must be bloodstains. He was more convincing himself than anything.
There wasn't enough room to lie down, just enough room to sit when crossing his legs tight. The door was heavy, iron most like; with a barred window almost narrow enough to slip a hand through and grab the keys. But then what? If he unlocked the door, slipped out and managed to find his way to the deck what would he do? What could he do? He'd be captured, whipped, beaten and thrown in this cell once more, this time with extra guards and cuts and bruises to add to the discomfort.
Maybe he could jump over and swim, but they were most likely somewhere off the coast Dorne. He'd simply drown in the cold sea water. Tobor supposed he could attempt escape now or wait until Meereen when they were ashore. Although, he didn't have any idea what to do when in Meereen. It was a foreign city as far away from Westeros as the known world stretched, Essos was a large and strange place. Tobor had learnt about it, taught by Maester Rueben in King’s landing. Along with studies of Meereen Tobor had learnt the tongues of some of the free cities. He knew fluent High Valyrian, or near enough as makes no matter. Tobor could speak passable Low Valyrian the trader language of Braavos, but for all his lessons, he couldn't remember what language was spoken in Meereen. He doubted it was the Common Tongue, perhaps Low Valyrian or just Meereenese.
[escape now] [wait until Meereen]
A pirate passed Tobor's cell and the boy jumped up, “I want water,” he stated with his fingers wrapped around the cold iron bars. The pirate grunted and rapped the hilt of his knife on Tobor's fingers. Falling back, Tobor swore at the pirate and looked at him sullenly.
“You got a mouth on you boy, you'll get no water until I let you. I am a god here and you're the shit on my boot.” He leered at Tobor. “We're travelling for a long time and you'll need water, if you don't get any water then you'll die. You'd better be nice to me you little shit stain.”
[apologise and ask for water] [demand water] [spit in his face]
Nice part. [wait until Meereen] escaping now would not help him in any way he'd drown or get cought.[spit in his face]
[wait until Meereen]
[spit in his face]
[Wait until Meereen]
[Spit in his face] Probably not wise but I'd rather Torbor not tolerate any bullshit.
[Wait until Meereen]
[Spit in his face]
Thank you! perhaps there is a rowing boat somewhere he could steal or maybe he could single handedly take over the ship! But Meereen is the option I would choose if I were in Tobor's situation.
Wow.It was a very nice parts
[wait until Meereen]
Yes He can escape,but the chances are very low.He can get caught
[spit in his face]
Just for fun
[wait until Meereen]
He really can't help himself if he is going to drown here. I mean, I really doubt that would happen, because well... that'd be kinda embarrassing, but you know, better not risk it I hope we won't wait too long though.
A bit of an oddity out of the votes, I see, but I'd very much not get Tobor savagely beaten for spitting at some pirate bastard. I would prefer for him to demand it, standing his ground, showing that he is not one to be fucked, but without being outright attacking the guy by spitting on him.
Unwise to be sure, but defiant!
It would be a rather abrupt and anti climactic ending wouldn't it? Tobor falls into the water and drowns. The end
I'm surprised to see that so many people are for Tobor spitting at the pirate. I suppose it fits with his character, he is young and therefore slightly immature at times, and although dishonourable, it's not as though a pirate turnkey is deserving of honourable behaviour!
Thank you! I'm pleased with this part, sad to see Gethrys go though! I wanted to do more with his character, but his bravery (or foolishness) in the face of Bloodtaker was more than the pirate lord could accept. Gethrys sealed his fate with his words.
Voting is closed!
Tobor will [wait until Meereen] and [spit in his face]
Waiting until Meereen is the smart choice in my opinion, but Tobor could have helped other crew members by escaping in the ship. We will see how Tobor's escape attempt fares in the part after next. I was surprised about the choice to spit in the turnkey's face, but like I said, as a boy, it fits with Tobor's character.
The next part of Black Ships and Dark Sails is slightly shorter and will actually bring the first chapter to a close, and as a result will not have a choice. I have decided not to include choices for the last parts of chapters so that they have a more definitive end. However, this does mean I can get the first part of the subsequent chapter out a lot quicker without having to wait for results of the vote.
So, this means the next part will be posted in the next hour or so. Then the first part of Golden Coins and Iron Chains will be posted tomorrow. I hope you're looking forward to it as much as I am!
Black Ships and Dark Sails
Tobor nodded and drew closer to the window, beckoning the turnkey closer as if to whisper. The gaoler obliged and Tobor spat in his face, “and there was me thinking a god as powerful as you would have known that was coming, no?” The pirate swore and furiously wiped the spittle from his cheek. He left, slamming shut the hatch on Tobor's barred window. Dark filled his cell, leaving him alone with his thoughts and the strange marks on the wall. From outside he could hear some talk of not having water until the day The Wall melted.
Minutes passed like hours while cramped up in the excruciatingly small cell, his legs felt as stiff and solid as the iron door before him. The straw below him was rough and scratched at him like needles and yet somehow, eventually, Tobor drifted off to a somewhat fitful sleep.
The face of Edric swam before him, whispering to a small Tobor, perhaps having seen four or five namedays. The words were on the cusp of hearing but his father wore a spiteful look on his face. “-should have never…I told you, the tower” it seemed to mutter. “-old Hightower, he should have known.” Edric shook his head. “Father!” Tobor called out, “I was meant to leave. I wasn't ever as good at leading like Kallum, or Edwin or Mace. The watch is the place for me!”
His father’s face rippled, as if laying on a lake’s surface and reformed into shadows that writhed before him; twisting around themselves and vanishing, into smoke. Dancing, they struck at one another with blades of darkness, a creature with dark wings darted around the base of the tower where a shining object glittered through the open door. A beast with horns chased down a wolf with fangs of ice, and yet the wolf turned and tore down the beast. The wolf turned on the dark winged creature, ripping it apart and then swallowed the shining object. The horned beast lay on the ground. The wolf climbed the tower. Promise me, promise me, promise me.
Tobor woke with a throbbing in his legs, he pushed himself onto his feet and winced. He ran his tongue around his dry mouth, feeling the gash where Bloodtaker had split his lip. It wasn't bleeding but it hurt like seven hells. Tobor wondered why he'd had that dream, it was one of his first memories. It seemed half forgotten: misty like a cold winter morning. But Tobor was clueless as to what the wolf dream was about, he sat and pondered it and then swallowed and realised his throat was parched and he needed a drink. “Gaoler! Water, I need water. Or rum! Fuck, just give me anything.” He yelled desperately.
Despite his pride Tobor knew that without water he'd die as sure as without air. The turnkey sauntered into view through the bars, “anything eh? What if I whipped out my cock and pissed in a skin, would you drink that? I'm sure you'd gulp it down and then thank me. ‘Oh thank you, you are a god, m’lord.’ I'm right aren't I?” He mocked. “You spineless dolt.” He laughed hysterically. Tobor didn't rise to the bait, instead he changed tack.
“Is it that I'm to be sold into slavery?” He queried. The gaoler nodded suspiciously. “And if I'm to be sold into slavery then how will you sell a corpse to the masters? I'm no good dead. What will you tell them?” The turnkey replied, “I'll tell them they can give you a right fucking.” In spite of his strong words Tobor sensed the turnkey was doubting himself and pressed his advantage.
“They have live slaves for that, I'm afraid you'll earn the ire of Bloodtaker, Wind of the narrow sea and Pirate Lord of Norvos should I perish here in this cold cell with no water or food. I'm sure you know how he treats those who disappoint him.” Tobor had seen how Bloodtaker treated those who had failed him when Grollo had missed Gethrys’ knife during the search. The gaoler looked visibly shaken, clearly the fear of his captain was a weakness. “I don't know what no ire is, but I'll get you a skin of water, just stop running that cunt mouth o’ yours.” Spat the turnkey.
As the lip of the skin was placed between the bars of his cell, Tobor reached up eagerly to get each drop of life giving water. The skin was empty mere moments after. A chunk of bread was unceremoniously crammed through his window and Tobor tore at it like a bull a gate, he was ravenously hungry. Once the bread was half gone, his stomach felt almost as empty as before but he was satisfied. He would save the rest of the bread for later, and besides, he had beaten the gaoler. Safe in the knowledge he would, at least, survive the voyage to Slaver’s Bay he sat down and grinned. The turnkey stalked off cursing.
Tobor sat with the door of the cell to his side, and put his feet up against the wall. Tapping his feet he noticed that the wall felt oddly thin. He shuffled around, putting his ear against the wall. He could hear a small, faint sound. Intrigued, Tobor stood up, looking out of the barred window to make sure there was no-one there. Sitting back down, he knocked on the wall as one would a door. “Hello? Who's there?” He said, putting his ear back against the wall. The sound stopped, then came a voice, “who are you?” Tobor told the voice his name. “I'm Pate, I was fishing with my Pa and these pirates attacked us. They-they killed him, he fought back against them.” Came the response, his voice was shaky and he sounded common. Tobor didn't know what to say.
Tobor turned the bread over in his hand. “Are you hungry?” He asked. Pate replied, “oh yes! I hasn't eaten in days.” Tobor sighed, “ok, get away from where my voice is coming from.” Pate sounded confused. “Why what are you going to-“ Tobor interrupted, “just get back.” He drew a leg back and kicked, hard. The wooden panel didn't budge, Tobor kicked again. Worried about the sound he listened out for the turnkey, there was nothing. Tobor kicked again and again, until finally there was a splintering sound. Tobor kicked a final time, and a small hole appeared in the wall, about the size of a fist. Pate sounded impressed, “how did you know that would work?” Tobor chucked, “I didn't.”
Tobor handed the bread through the hole in the wall, “Mother have mercy on you, thank you Tobor!” Pate praised. Tobor glanced through the hole, Pate was a young boy, from what Tobor could tell Pate seemed smaller than him, but his face looked older. The beginnings of a beard covered his cheeks and chin, like the fuzz on a peach. The boy wolfed down the bread. “Thank you again!” As he finished it. “Are you going to escape?” He asked. Tobor shook his head, “No, there's nowhere to run to here. I will in Meereen though.” Pate looked thoughtful. “I wondered where we was going. I reckon they'll sell us to slavers.” Tobor agreed with him. The two boys fell into an awkward silence, both contemplating slavery.
With nothing more to say, Tobor sat facing the door and shut his eyes. It was going to be a long day on the morrow. The Hightower boy had had enough of this black ship.
ow!!Very nice part.I enjoyed it
Lmao I know really like Tobor!
If he doesn not get killed before he grows up to be a man I have no doubt that he will become a legendary badass.
I really enjoyed writing that line, just a little snarky remark from him! I'm glad you like him, I hope he gets to the legendary badass level too!
Oh, that has to be my favourite part so far! The dream was particularly amazing. I mean, both of the dream sequences. The one with his father was very informative, I like how Tobor is slowly fleshed out more, makes him feel really like a great character. I like it And the other dream, oh, ain't that a mystery! At this point, I have no idea what it means yet, though I will definitely keep it in mind. No doubt this will be important later on and once I spot anything that seems familiar to the things he has seen in this dream, I will be sure to mention it in my comment!
I had a lot of fun writing the dreams, I can confirm they are important. I didn't just write some random sentences I thought would get people talking they are a big part of Tobor's story, however, whether they are his past, present or future remains to be seen!
Great part! I really enjoyed that. Tobor is quickly growing on me.