Actions

Work Header

The Starry Wolf of Winterfell

Chapter Text

Chapter 1: A King, Stars, Wolves, and a Wedding

300 AC

Horns were blown from the walls of the first wall of Winterfell. Jon Snow could see from a window as men dressed in armor with golden cloaks carrying the Baratheon crowned Stag banner enter the yard. A member of the Kingsguard rode through the King’s Gate next with his white cloak fluttering in the wind. More guards in red carried in a banner depicting the Lannister Lion.

 

A man with a helmet shaped liked a hound rode through after a young golden haired boy with a smug face who could only be Crown Prince Joffrey. An elaborate wheelhouse rolled through next with two Kingsguard, two golden cloaks, and 4 Lannister Knights. A man who looked almost as big as Lord Manderly, rode through the gate next followed by two more Kingsguard and a score of Baratheon bannerman.

 

The huge man, atop of a horse that looked as it was about to collapse had a crown of golden antlers on his head. Father quickly knelled to the man. In disbelief Jon couldn’t believe the man to be the famed King Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of His Name, Kings of the Andals and First Men , Lord of the Seven Kingdoms  and Protector of the  Realm, Demon of the Trident.  The man Father and many other warriors described was said to be the greatest swordsman and the strongest of men. This man looked to be one of the fattest men.

 

The King signaled for Lord Eddard of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North, and Warden of the North to stand. As father rose the rest of Winterfell rose with him.

 

A few words were said between Lord Eddard and the King before both laughed and proceed to embrace each other in a hug that only true friend of the King would be allowed to do. The King quickly went and hugged Lady Catelyn Stark, the wife of Lord Eddard Stark and mother of his 5 trueborn children.

 

Robb Stark, the heir of Winterfell, then was introduced to the King. A man of seven and ten with a tall and stocky build with piercing blue eyes and curly red hair, was the reason of the King’s visit to Winterfell.

 

Robb was getting married in two days to Alys Karstark, who had arrived two days before. A women of also seven and ten with long brown hair in a braid down her back and stood almost as tall as Robb, with a long face and pointed chin, and eyes a few shades lighter than Robb’s blue. Alys had first visited Winterfell with her father, Lord Rickard Karstark, some odd years ago. She had danced with Robb multiple times, and Jon once. From there both of their fathers agreed to a betrothal between the two. Now she was standing behind her betrothed being introduced to the King as the soon to be Lady Stark.

 

The only person who is probably more fair than Alys Karstark was Sansa Stark, the young sister of Robb and oldest daughter of Lord Eddard. Sansa, like Robb and most of her siblings took after her mother with the red hair and blue eyes of a Tully. It was obvious Lord Stark would soon have to fight off betrothal request from many lords of the North and maybe even some from the South.

 

Arya Stark was the only Stark child that took after her father with a long face and grey eyes. Her hair was as black as Jon’s, who also took after their father besides his lilac eyes. Those he took after his mother Lady Ashara Dayne.

 

Jon Snow looked like a younger twin of his Father besides for his eyes. His hair was black like most ancient Starks, but also curly. Kept at a long length Robb usually joked that he loved his hair more then anything, which wasn’t true since he loved his pet direwolf, Ghost, more.

 

The next Stark introduced was Brandon, a young lad of only nine namedays who would be found climbing the walls of Winterfell during the day, tried his best to show off the little muscle he had to the King.

 

The youngest Stark of only of five namedays was Rickon. He had red curly hair like his older brother Robb. He was already turning into a wild child who Father said had too much wolfs-blood in him, tried to stand still as the King messed up his hair.

 

The King made more introduction of his wife Cersei, heir Joffrey, daughter Myrcella, and younger son Tommen. An argument looked like it took place between the King and Queen which was followed by the King and Father heading towards the crypts and the rest of the Stark family and Royal family entering the keep.

 

Once the yard started to clear Jon went down to wait for a member of his mother’s family that came with the King to see Jon. A lord with a tunic of purple lighting and stars entered with a boy who looked of age with Jon came in with a white and purple tunic with the sword and star of House Dayne. Lord Edric Dayne of Starfall looked like a Dayne of old with his near white hair and eyes so blue they looked like purple.

 

Jumping off of his horse and running to Jon and entangling him in a hug fit for a bear, Edric, or called Ned, stood a couple of inches taller than Jon.

“Cousin, it is finally good to meet the man who has been trading ravens with me for the past years.”

 

Since either could write ravens have flew between Starfall and Winterfell carrying the two cousin’s letters. While Edric wrote of the beaches and heat of Dorne, Jon wrote of the Wolfswood and summer snows of the North. The two cousins who looked different have experienced the almost exact different lives. While one was hot the other cold, one was colorful the other grey, one was a lord and the other a bastard of a lord.

“It is good to meet you to, my Lord.”

“We are family, Jon, call me Edric, Ned ,or anything besides Lord.”

“Alright then, Cousin.”

 

A cough came from the man that was dressed with lighting bolts and stars. A man who need no introduction was Lord Beric Dondarrion of Blackhaven, the knight that Edric has been squiring for.

 

“My apologies Jon. This is Lord Beric of Blackhaven, the man I have been a squire for the last six years.”

“It is honor to meet you my Lord. Lord Edric has told me a lot about you.”

“Likewise Jon Snow. You have been the only thing Edric has been talking about on the way up here, that and how you two will be traveling south to goto Starfall.”

“Aye, my Lord, thank you for allowing Edric to show me our families home.”

“It is no problem Jon, I am sure Edric will be able to show me how much he deserves a knighthood in the coming months before he leaves my service. For now though you are relieved of duty tonight and tomorrow, Edric, spend them with your cousin. Jon, from what your Lord Father and Edric say you are quite the coming swordsmen, we should spar to test your steel against a true knight”

 

With that the Lord of Lighting left to go inside the keep.

“Come on Jon show me this castle of your youth. I heard the inside is heated and I am getting cold in this land you have called home.” With that Edric throw his arm around Jon’s shoulder while the two walked in the castle.

 


 

Later that night Jon and Edric sat at the table filled with squires in the Great Hall sharing stories with each other and the other inhabitants of the table. The Royal Family and the Starks sat at the head of the Great Hall raised above the others, the Karstarks sat below the Starks and with the other Lords in attendance. Rickon and Brandon have already left the hall with Arya being carried out by Robb after flinging food at Sansa. After the dancing has almost stopped with only Robb and Alys being the only couple left on the floor Jon excused himself from his cousin to go to bed.

Though going to bed was the excuse to leave Jon went first for the quite at the Godswood. Sitting in front of the carved Heart tree of Winterfell, Jon tried to lose himself to the sound of nature and the gods.

 

“You must be the Honorable Lord Eddard Stark’s Bastard.”

Growing up being a bastard hasn’t been easy, but barely anyone has called him a bastard besides Lady Stark. Turning around to confront the man that had called him it Jon saw no one.

“I am down here Bastard, the dwarf who has drank too much.”

There he stood Tyrion Lannister, the only dwarf Jon has heard of and the brother of the Queen.

“I am my Lord, though most call me Jon Snow.” He said as he bowed to the man shorter than him.

“That is fine Bastard I am not most people,” Jon winched at being called a bastard multiple times in a few seconds,” I hope you are not offended by the word bastard, it is who you are after all.”

“No, my lord, like you said I am Lord Eddard Stark’s baseborn son, Jon Snow.”

“Let me give you some advice bastard. Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”

“What the hell do you know about being a bastard?”

“All dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes. Now could you point me to the shanty town you called a town?”

 

After being pointed in the next direction of the gate to Wintertown, Tyrion left Jon and the peacefulness of the Godswoods returned.

 


 

 

Sounds of steel rain out around Jon. The yard that was full of pleasantries and customs yesterday was filled with men training with swords. It was mainly only non-lords in the yard as their were in the Godswood training with Robb and Prince Joffrey. Edric and Lord Beric stayed in the yard with Jon as they sparred. It was the seventh match between Edric and Jon that both had three wins. Beric was standing nearby giving advice to both swordsmen.

“Watch your left Edric”

“Jon, keep your elbow right.”

“Both of you keep your shield arms strong.”

The match has been going on for several minutes and had drawn a crowd around them, with neither side backing down to their cousin. Jon felt exhilarating to fight another man of age who is equal of ability and had new move sets then Jon’s. Usually Jon only fought Robb and Theon, and both had the same type of fighting styles as Jon. When the first match between Jon and Edric started, Jon was surprised by the fast movement of Edric who quickly overwhelmed the strong northern fighting style of Jon. It was only after the second tilt that Edric won that Jon started to be able to defend himself better. It was this moment that he realized this is what a battle is really like. You can’t let your skills lack in certain areas because you are not need while sparring someone like Robb, a person you have fought a thousand times. Not everyone was trained by Ser Rodrick. For example Edric was taught to be fast and quick with his attacks, Robb was trained to be strong and powerful.

 

“That is enough from both of you. I call it a draw. Both of you were good, Jon nice footwork. Edric you are getting a lot better with your fients. Both of you would make fine Sword of Mornings.”

Though Jon knew Edric was the only one with a chance of being the wielder of the legendary sword of House Dayne, a shiver went down Jon’s back being compared to his uncle Ser Arthur the last Sword of Morning and wielder of dawn.

“It was a good fight Edric maybe next time I won’t take it easy on you,” Jon said as they shook hands.

“Likewise Jon. How about after we get cleaned up you show me your direwolf you have been writing to be about.”

“Alright meet me near the stables once you are cleaned up.” With that both went to different directions of the keep Jon to the family part and Edric to the guest rooms.

As Jon was walking back to his chamber he heard his name called out behind him. “Jon, your Lord Father wants to see you in his chambers.”

“Thank you Jory.” Jory was the captain of the household guards and a trusted man of Eddard Stark. His father died fighting with Lord Stark trying to bring his sister home. Since then he has stayed with his uncle Ser Rodrick. Jory was one of the few who didn’t care about Jon’s bastard status. He has many times taken Jon, Robb, and Bran to fish in the Wolfswood.

Once Jon heard a voice behind the door say enter, Jon walked in on his father reading over some papers with the ancestral sword of House Stark Ice hanging on the wall. It was another sword of his family that he would never be able to wield. Maybe one day Robb will let Jon swing Ice around or Edric will allow him to swing Dawn . Two great sword that looked different one was pale white like the hair of Daynes and the other dark grey like the eyes of Starks. One was the warmth and hope of morning and the other the cold and dread of winter. Though both according to legend came from mystical fires. Dawn from the heart of a fallen star and Ice from the forges of Valyria.

“Jon take a seat,” his Lord Father said as he pointed to the two chairs that him and Robb usually found themselves in after getting in trouble. The worst scolding they got was when they hide in the crypts and scared their siblings. Sansa and Bran both had nightmares for the rest of the month and wouldn’t step back into the crypt for the same time either. While Sansa and Bran ran away and Robb was laughing only Arya stayed and attacked Jon.

“Jon, how has meeting with Edric been.”

“It has been good. We tied in six matches. He has also been telling me tales of my other families home.”

“That is good. Are you ready to leave in a fortnight,” It has been over a moon turn since Jon had been able to convince his father to let Jon journey back to Starfall with Edric. Most of the argument has been Lord Stark saying it is dangerous for him to travel south ,but not giving a reason why. It was only after Jon said that if he was forbidden to go south he will just go north to the wall and join the Night’s Watch.

“Yes, I still have a few more things to pack, but I should be ready to leave.”

“Good, have you told anyone that you are leaving?”

“No, I don't know what to say to them. I suspect Sansa to not care, Bran would be sad he isn't going and Rickon wouldn't know what is happening. I think only Robb and Arya will be upset and I think that might hate me for leaving them.”

So far the only people who knew of Jon’s departure from Winterfell were the Daynes, Lord Beric, Lord Stark, Jon, and Lady Stark. The later being overjoyed to finally have the stain of her Lord husband’s honor finally being sent away. The day she was told Robb made a comment about how happy his mother seemed and that she even smiled when she looked at Jon. He knew Robb would understand his departure, it was Arya that he was most worried about. Being the odd ones in the family both became very close. Arya not once said anything about him being a bastard. To her Jon was her older brother.

 

“The long you put this off Jon the hard it will be. I suggest telling them a couple of days after the wedding. Let the festivities pass. I am sure they will come around and force you to spend everyday before you leave with them. Though Robb might be spending them with Alys once they are married.”

“ Thank you. Is there anything else Father I was going to show Edric Ghost in a little bit.”

“ Just one thing. The King would like you to join us on the hunt later this afternoon.”

“ Why does he want me their?”

“ He said he was to meet the son of the only person who could make me break my honor.”

With that Jon took his leave to his chambers where a bath was already drawn for him. He couldn't believe the King would disrespect Father like that. The hunt was going to be the men of the royal family and some other lords and their sons including Robb and Bran. It was no place for a bastard to be. Not even Edric was going. What did the King even want to talk about. How the honorable Lord Stark broke his marriage vows. Jon thought about not going on the hunt, but realized the implications that would have to the King and how Father would act.

 


 

The hunt has been going on for over an hour with the Sun starting to set before a member of the Golden Cloaks sent for Robb and Jon to hunt with the King. So far neither Robb or Jon have gotten anything. They were too busy dealing with their own problems to focus on the hunt. Robb with about to being married on the morrow and Jon with trying to figure out how to tell him about leaving Winterfell. Edric, who was back still at Winterfell playing with Ghost and Greywind, jokingly suggested Jon leaves without telling anyone. He was half tempted to do it to, sparing the looks of disappointments from his siblings would be better then to see them. But he owed it to them to look at them when they learn the truth. He has almost told Arya and Robb when they asked why he is packing his things up, but before he could he told them he was moving rooms. Though it hurt him to lie to them he didn’t have the things he wanted for them done yet.

“You Grace,” Robb and Jon said at the same time bowing at the man that once had been one of the most fierce fighters.

“Robb and you must be Jon Snow the bastard of my friend,” Jon couldn’t tell if the King meant disrespect to Jon when he said the word bastard.

“I am, your Grace.”

“It is good to finally meet you. God you look like your father did when he was your age. You even have his solemn look. Your eyes remind me of your mother though, your hair is even dark like hers. Gods the moment she took Ned’s hand at Harrenhal I knew he was in love. If things have gone differently you could of been a trueborn Stark, like your half-brother Robb. Though if that had happen I wouldn’t be King!” With that the king erupted into laughter as with many of the nearby bystanders. Only Robb, Jon, Jory, and Lord Stark didn’t laugh.

“If I was to legitimize you how would you feel? After all it could be the least of all I could do for Ned. He went to war for me and all he got was his ancestral titles, a bastard son, and the bones of his...of his lovely sister.”

A silence fell over the area Robb’s and Father’s eye opened wide in shock.

“Your Grace, I would be most honored, but I don’t want to cause any problems with the laws of succession between the trueborn children of Lord Stark.”

“I see, I don’t have to legitimize you as a Stark, it could be another house.”

“I would be most honored to be called a Dayne, but I still wouldn’t want to cause anymore problems and I feel I am more Stark than Dayne.”

“Gods Ned, I feel like I am talking to a memory of you. He is just as shy and humble as you are. Boy, while I am sure that the Daynes would accept you with open arms like your cousin Edric has, anyone can see you are more northern than anything. I meant a new cadet branch of House Stark.”

“Your grace I would be honored.”

Pft ‘Honor’ He is just like you Ned with that word. I am not trying to honor you boy, I am trying to make right with your father. Talk with your father and brother about this, maybe they can convince you to take the name Stark. Now let’s get back to the castle I am getting hungry.” With that the King left a stunned Jon in a field with Robb grinning next to him and his father looking back with a face carved with stone.

“You could be finally a Stark brother think about it. You could have a noble wife and your own hold. Our sons would be cousins. Even if you were given a cadet branch your options would be wide open! Mother would never be able to make you leave since you would be a Stark and Starks stay in Winterfell. Isn’t this gander brother!”

“Aye.”

“Come now you don’t sound happy. Isn’t this what you always wanted Jon to be a Stark?”

“Not like this. I don’t want to be a Stark because the King feels bad about how he has treated our Father. It won’t even change much. I would still be looked upon as the bastard, but now they will just say the word behind my back. I want to be a Stark because Father is proud of me and thinks I deserve it. That he can say I love this son like all my others let him carry my name so no one thinks different.” With a kick to his horse he was off back to the gates of Winterfell leaving a confused Robb behind.



Later That Night

 

Jon was still awake tending to the fire in his room while Ghost slept on his bed even though the hour of the wolf neared. Jon went straight to his room when he got back grabbing Ghost and mumbling some words of sorry to Edric before he locked his door. He hasn’t even made an attempt at trying to sleep, he knew any attempt right now would be fruitless.

“Jon, open the door we need to talk.” The sound of his father could be heard from the other side of the door. He is the last and only person Jon wanted to see right now. He silently opened the door without a word and went back to tending the flames. His father shut the door behind him then sat on the bed next to Ghost petting him.

“I can't believe how much these have grown. Ghost has started to to become bigger than Lady and Nymeria.”

Jon let the crackling of the flames talk for him.

“Robb told me what you said. Jon, I love you as much as my other sons. None of you are any less loved than the other. From your quietness to Bran’s constant questions each of you give me some reason to love them. You may not have my name yet, but you have my blood. I grant you my blessing if you want to be a Stark. You deserve it and I should of done it years ago. If you want to create a new name for yourself and prove to the world that you are more than just my bastard then do it. If you wish to just stay a Snow and be my bastard then do it. I will support you in any choice you make, you just need to choose. Sitting here and brooding won't help, trust me I have tried many times. If you wish to talk, then I am here. You must understand though you must choose fast I don't know how long the King will remember or care about this. I will not lie and say I know what you are going through. I am not able to relate to what you have dealt with, not many men have. Though I do know about making tough choices. Ones where in a moment you must decide between difficult choices and just do one of them. Follow your heart in this Jon and I know you will choose the one you believe is best for you and what you want to become.”

A few moments went by with just the winds and fire talking to each other.

“Why do you not talk about my mother?”

Lord Stark made no sound if he was surprised, upset, or both by the question.

“Because every time I think of her I start to cry. You remind me much of her and that brings me joy though it pains me much she will never be able to see you and know what you have become or to love you like I have.”

It seemed like a minute passed with Ghost’s snoring added to the talking.

“I should go to bed it is a big day tomorrow that we must all prepare for. Though I think Robb needs your help right now, I think he is going crazy right now. I left some ale outside your door.” Lord Stark gave one last pat to Ghost then got up to leave.

“Thank you father.” They were the only words Jon could say right now, but they seemed enough.

“No problem son.” A rare smile appeared on father's face before he left leaving the door slightly open.

 

Picking up Ghost in one hand and grabbing the Ale in the other. Jon made his way down to the only other room with some light peering through the door and just walked in without knocking.

Robb has recently moved to a new bigger room. One that had enough space for two people to live in, which was the idea. The bed that Robb was leaning against had enough room for both him and Alys and the sleeping Greywind.

Without a word Ghost was set down next to Greywind and fell asleep next to his littermate. Jon slouched down next to Robb and took a swig off ale before passing it to Robb who took a large drink of it before passing it back.

“I am leaving in less than a fortnight. I am going to travel to Starfall with Edric and meet my other family. I probably won't be staying long, but I will most likely be gone for a year.” He didn't mean to have said it so bluntly, but he was glad it was off of his chest.

“I am glad. Not that you are leaving, but that you are seeing more of your family. I will hold you to being back in a year time though. If not I will have your head.”

A light laugh was shared between the two.

“You Starks are strict about keeping your words. I don't want you to see through that threat thru.”

“You could be a Stark, the King offered it.”

“I could, but I would feel bad about taking what seems like a pity offer. Plus I don't think I want to share the same name as you.”

“Then don't. Be a WhiteStark or a StarStark, no that one sounds bad. How about Dayark your words could be Morning is Coming .”

“Thank you for the horrible names, I will be sure not to choose them if any.”

“Any of those names are far better than Snow. I don’t want you to be a bastard anymore. I see how much that word hurts you. Every time it is said you somehow brood more.”

“I don't want to be a Snow either, but it is who I am and the only thing I thought I would become. I think though that I will have to choose the name myself though.”

“I am sure Sansa and even Arya will be happy to help with a sigil for you.” “I am sure Sansa will be more happy with the babies you are going to be making with your soon to be wife than anything else.”

“Gods I can't believe I am getting married tomorrow. Especially someone as beautiful as her. “

“You will be fine Robb. I am sure she doesn’t find you that bad looking, she could be marrying Theon.”

“I guess I will be the valengent knight and save her from such a fate.”

The two shared some more drinks from the almost empty ale and a few moments of silence.

“I want you to sit at the head table with me. I know what you are going to say about my mother, but I don’t care it is my wedding it may have been planned by my mother, sister, and future wife but I want you there sitting with me.”

“As long as your wife won't be offended I will be there.”

“Good. I am glad you told me that you are leaving. I will miss you while you are gone. Maybe by the time that you come back father may have a keep ready for you to live in.”

The only thing that owning a keep did to Jon was make him wish he had more than one bottle of ale. “ Maybe by the time that I came back you will have a children of your and forget about me.”

“Fuck me you are right. But how could I ever forget about you? You are my brother and my best friend, till our deaths.”

 

They sat like that watching the fire and passing around ale between the two for what seemed like hours.



Sansa

There was a small shower of snow falling in the Godswood it made the magical day even more magical. Though Sansa prefered The Seven and their septs, the Old Gods’ godswoods had the beauty of outdoor weddings. Right now the Godswood at Winterfell was filled with many Lords, Ladies , Princes, a Princess, and even a King and Queen. The crowd was split in half on either side of the Hearttree. On one side the Karstark family and most other northern lords, and on the other was the Stark family, their closest allies, and the royal family. Robb was standing in front of the Hearttree wearing a light brown tunic and pants. A sword was strapped to his waist and caused his grey cloak to jet out on the side. Father was also standing before the Hearttree with Ice unsheathed and was holding it in front of him, he was wearing his lordy clothes. While father was standing facing the entrance, Robb was facing the Karstark side.

 

It was a miracle that Robb was actually standing straight and unwavering since the state she found him and Jon in this morning. Her mother had sent Arya and her to make sure that Robb was awake and washed. When Arya and her opened the door they found Robb and Jon laying down on the floor with 2 empty bottles of ale and another one spilling from where it laid in Robb’s hand. The only inhabitants of the room that weren’t in disarray were Ghost and Greywind who cuddled next to each other on the bed made for two humans. Sansa and Arya just laughed at the sight causing both pairs of males to wake up. Jon shot straight up and almost hit his head on a table. Robb flung his arms wildly and spilled more wine on the ground and himself. They both broke into laughter at the sight of the other. The direwolves woke up too see what was going on before licking the puddle of spilled Ale. It took awhile for Sansa to get Robb to start cleaning up and for Jon to snatch the ale from Robb before he could drink more. She also had servants clean up the mess he and Jon made in the room that would host the married couple tonight.

 

There was some commotion coming from the entrance of the Godswood. Sansa turned her head to see Alys Karstark making her way to the Hearttree. Her brown hair was tied in a single long braid that draped over her right shoulder. Her wool dress hung to her body. The Karstark sun and the Stark direwolf were embroidered around the trim of her neck line. Under her breast a grey Karstark sun was spilt in half on a the dress the split in the middle showing a grey direwolf. A black cloak with a white Karstark sun was wrapped around her neck. A white sun was holding the two pieces of leather together keeping the cloak on her shoulders. She looked truly beautiful.

When Sansa first meet Alys when she came to Winterfell for the wedding she took an instant liking to her. Alys was another true lady that loved to embroider and dance, unlike Arya. She even made her own wedding gown. She was the sister Sansa has always wanted and she would soon actually become her sister through marriage. In the time till Sansa’s own wedding and leave of Winterfell she will cherish every moment of being with her.

Robb looked awestruck at the sight of his wife. While his face remained stern his eyes were wide and surprise and approval. Though Robb and Alys had only a few time together they seemed to laugh and smile at each other which had taken Sansa’s mother and father some time to do.

 

“Who comes before the Old Gods this night?” Her father asked breaking the silence of the woods and causing the bride and her father to stop ten feet from Robb and his father.

 

“Alys, of House Karstark. Who is here to be wed. A woman grown. Trueborn and Noble. She comes to beg the blessing of the gods. Who comes to claim her?” Her father Lord Rickard Karstark responded. He was a large man with long white hair and a beard.

 

“Robb, of House Stark. Heir to Winterfell and the North,” Robb said as he stepped forward, “Who gives her?”

 

“Rickard, of House Karstark. Lord of Karhold and her father.”

 

“Lady Alys, do you take this man?” Her father said.

 

Alys closed the gap between her and Robb. “I take this man,” she replied while she took Robb’s hand in her own.

 

“Lord Robb, do you take this woman?”

 

“I take this women.”

Robb and Alys made their way past father and kneeled before the white weirwood tree. They bow their heads and have a silent prayer. Once they both rise, Robb offering a hand to Alys he removed her maiden cloak and trade it for the bride cloak that Jon was holding. The bride cloak was all white except for the grey direwolf that was snarling on the back. Robb tied the cloak on her with a grey direwolf holding the leather straps. Cheers came from the crowd as Robb picked up Alys with a smile on both of their faces as he carried her out of the Godswood and into the Great Hall for the feast.



Jon

The feast was well underway by the time the servants moved the tables and chairs off to the side to make room for a dance floor. Usually at feast Jon would be helping them as he was normally seated down on the main floor. Tonight though Jon was seated on Robb’s right hand side while his wife sat on his left. From what he heard Robb made a big deal about having Jon at his side at the feast. Lady Stark was not happy and said that a bastard shouldn’t have a better seat than the King. Robb respond he didn’t care about the King which launched him and his mother into another argument till Alys said she would also like if Jon sat next to him as he and Robb were best friends and almost twins. Apparently Lady Stark left  the room angrily after that. Once a dance floor was cleared Robb held Alys’ hand as he guided her to the floor for their first dance as a married couple.

As the two danced they smiled and laughed at each other. It was clear Alys was ignoring Robb’s feet stepping on hers. Once the first dance ended others soon joined them on the floor. Lord and Lady Stark danced together. Sansa was dancing with Prince Joffrey who was making remarks about how barbaric the ceremony was and how a bastard sat ahead of him at the table. Brandon was dancing with Princess Myrcella. The only Stark not dancing was Arya who has turned down multiple suitors.

 

“My lady, would you care to dance with me?” Arya just glared at Jon while he bowed in front of her and offered her his hand.

“Shut up Jon, this that isn’t funny.”

“Sister come and dance with me. This might be the only chance I have to dance tonight and I am sure your mother won’t hound you to dance with someone if you dance with me.”

“Fine. But I want to upstage Sansa and that snort nose prince.”

“Well then you better not step on my toes then.” The Bear and Maiden Fair started to play as they took the floor. While they certainly didn’t upstage the Prince and Sansa they were having more fun. Even while Arya stepped on his toes most of the time he didn’t let the smile leave his face as he continued to dance with his favorite sister. Once the dance ended, Edric came up to Arya and asked for a dance, to Jon’s surprised she said yes.

Once Jon sat back down at his spot and downed a glass of wine. Him and Robb started talking. “I would say that was great dancing Snow, but I think your partner stepped on your foot more than the floor.”

“Aye, Stark. Though she has more grace than you do. Lady Alys I am sorry if my brother stepped on your feet he has never been one to dance.”

“Thank Jon and please call me Alys we are good-siblings after all. He wasn’t that bad as I had expected, he certainly improved since the last time we danced in this hall. His smile was more than made up for the bruises my feet will have in the morning.”

“Alys if you want a good dance partner Jon is one of the best. I know he or my mother would not admit it but he is the best one out of us six Stark children.”

“I would just to see this for myself then husband, Jon would you like to dance?”

“It would be an honor, my lady.” Jon offered her his hand then led her to the dance floor. He could hear murmurs coming from the crowd and he could feel the glare coming from Lady Stark on his back.

 

“I must say Jon from what Robb has told me about you, you don’t remind me of the boy I danced with years ago or what I was told bastards are like.”

“Thank you. Though I am sure some of the things Robb has told you were exaggerations.”

“True, I can’t say you seem like the kind, good hearted, and happy person Robb said you are with how much you usually brood. Though it seems like he hasn’t lied about how good of a dancer you are.”

Dancing to Jon felt natural, almost as natural as fighting. To him both of the two activities seemed similar and both helped him with the other. While Robb, Arya, and Bran took to fighting more and Sansa with dancing, Jon tried to master both of the activities.

“What is Robb like Jon?”

The question has surprised him he is sure she was told a lot about Robb. Though the thought that most of what she was told was to make Robb seem like the best person ever and she wanted to know how he was really like.

“He is kind, brave, honorable, and will do his duty no matter how much it hurts him. He is stubborn though and likes to take charge of things. He can act like an idiot a lot and not think things through. Though he has been groomed for lordship all of his life, he is afraid he is never going to be ready for it and will fail. Even though I am a bastard he has never treated me any different. He will defend his family no matter what. Him fighting his mother to have me sit next to him at this feast is proof enough of that, though I must thank you for allowing me to sit with him.”

“If I had denied him I think he would of hated me for a while. I feared I had made a mistake afterwards since about how I was told what bastards will be like. I am glad that I was wrong about you and beg your forgiveness about how I first thought about you. You are a good man Jon. Robb said the King would legitimize you as a Stark or give you a cadet branch, he also said you were thinking about a becoming a cadet house. If you need a help with a sigil I would be happy to help make one for you. I already have an idea about one.”

“Thank you Alys, and no need to ask for forgiveness. I will proudly wear any sigil that you make. Though I think our fathers want to dance with you so I must ask for another dance some other time.” As the Jon left Alys her father quickly got in his spot and started to dance with her.

By the time that GreatJon Umber started to shout for the bedding with others soon joining, Jon had danced with five daughters of most likely some southern lord not knowing the brother who Robb sat next to was a bastard. Most of the young men and some of the older ones carried Alys off to her and Robb’s new room, leaving behind a trail of ripped clothing. Instead of carrying Robb a group of ladies push Robb and were ripping his clothes off at the same time. Once everyone made it back to the hall, besides Robb and Alys, the King had called him over.

“Your grace, you asked me?” Jon said as he bowed to the fat and obviously drunk man.  

“So bastard what am I supposed to call you a Stark, Dayne, or something new.” He said as he drained another bottle of wine.

“If his majesty would be so kind I would like to be called Lycaon.”

“Lycaon? What does that mean boy? Jamie bring over those papers.”

“It is the name of the constellation of the wolf, your grace.”

“Very well,” the king took the papers from Jamie and wrote on them. He then handed one back to Jon and gave the other one to Maester Luwin to copy and to send one to Kingslanding and the other seats of the Great Houses including the Maesters of Oldtown.

“You are now Jon of House Lycaon. Now leave me I want to drink more wine.”

Jon quickly bowed and walked back to his seat still looking at the paper he held in his had it read.

I, Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, in the year three hundred AC. Proclaim the bastard son, Jon Snow, of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell and Lady Ashara Dayne of Starfall as Jon of House Lycaon. It will be a cadet branch of House Stark and shall be in the succession order after all members of House Stark and before any cadet branches that is founded before it.’

Jon read it over multiple times before his father sat in Robb’s seat and took it from him. Jon looked at his father while he read it to try and get a glimpse of any emotion on his face. He saw a small smile on his face for a brief second before it turned to his natural stone face and stood up.

“My lords, ladies, King, and Queen. Today we have celebrated the wedding of my son and heir Robb Stark and my new good daughter Alys formerly of house Karstark. From their union a new generations of Starks will rule over the North. Tonight though the King has given me another reason to celebrate. He has given my natural born son Jon Snow a cadet branch called Lycaon, after the name of the wolf constellation in the night sky. I am sure that once he has a keep for himself he will be a true bannerman of house Stark and the North.” A cheer roared through the crowd, “This is where I must call it a night for I am old and tired. You are all welcome to stay late and drink more good night.”

After the speech father gave, people came up to Jon to offer their congratulation. It was the first time Jon has felt that no one cared how he was born.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2: Going South

As Robb woke up he felt a splitting headache hit and another body in his bed. Before he caused a scene and woke the person up he remembered what happened last night. It was his wedding night, it was also a night Robb drank a lot. Remembering he was not alone in the room he looked to his left and saw his wife, Alys. Her brown hair was all over the place as she still slept facing Robb. Her blue eyes were closed, with brown hair covering them. Robb reached out and pushed the hair behind her ear, being careful not to wake her. Somehow at this moment she looked more beautiful then she did when Robb was pushed into the room.

He had expected her to be naked from all the ripped clothes on the floor of the hallway. She was in a black gown that did little to hide what was underneath. His mouth must've been hanging open as she giggled and her face turned red. He quickly remembered that he was naked in front of her and on instinct he put his hand over himself, he could feel himself getting hard against his hand.

“I see that you like what you see, husband. You don’t need to hide yourself I am sure I will every inch of you in the coming years,” she said with a sly smile. “If you are speechless now, I wonder what would happen if this happens?” At that moment her gown slipped off of her shoulders and landed on the ground.

He could swear he felt his chin hit the ground. “Wow, you are beautiful.” She truly was. Most men would of found her small breast and small hips lacking, but to Robb they fit her perfectly. The small breast were perky with a pointy nipple on the center of them. “I am glad you like them, I thought most men would be discouraged by the smallness of them.”

“They are perfect just like you.” He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her. This kiss wasn’t like the ones during the ceremony and feast, those were chaste. This was one intimate and filled with desire. His hands moved off her face and down her back, each hand cupping one of her ass cheeks. Her hands were pushing his head into hers so he wouldn’t stop kissing her. He felt his hardness press against her wet womanhood as she let out a whimper. That was when he decide he could stand any longer and lifted her in the air as her legs wrapped on his waist.

Neither stopped kissing as Robb carried them to the bed. As he laid her gently on the bed she broke the kiss saying, “Robb go slow.” The only thing he could do is nod as he grabbed his manhood and start kissing her again. As he felt himself press against her womanhood she----

“Good Morning, Husband.” Alys had broke his thought as he realized she was awake.

“My wife, by the sounds that I can hear I fear that it is already midday. We most of slept through the morning and no one decided to wake us.”

“That is good for I wish to spend the day here with you.”

“I would too, but I am afraid we need to eat and go to the dinner tonight.”

“I concede on going to dinner, but other then that we are staying here. Though you need to go and get us some food for your wife is starving.”

“Alright my love give me a moment.” Robb quickly put on pants and was midst opening the door and putting on a tunic when he noticed a tray of fruits, meats, and wine sitting outside the door.

“It looks like they thought of us being hungry already. Would you like to eat at the table or in the bed?”

“As much as I would love to stay in bed I would not like crumbs in the bed. Let's eat at the table then maybe we could grade the bed again later. Can you hand me one of my sleeping gowns I fear I will be cold once I leave the bed.”

He quickly grabbed a black gown from a dresser that was in the room and handed it to her. Once she put it on and moved to the table he pulled out a chair for her. Once she was seated he poured them both a glass of wine and sat down.

“Thank you, you are most kind.”

“I think I have to be since we are now married.”

They sat in silence as they ate. Just like last night she was delicate while she ate. She had made sure that everything she touched went into her mouth. Robb on the other hand had pieces falling on his lap and the table.

“It seems you eat like your direwolf,Grey Wind.” She commented as a piece of sausage hung out his mouth and another piece on the ground.

“I fear Grey Wind eats better than me since he wouldn't waste the food.”

She chuckled at what she thought was a joke. “You know nobody has told me how you Starks came in possessions of direwolves. Maybe you can tell me the tale and more from your childhood here at Winterfell.”

“If you wish, but I must ask for tales from Karhold and how you grew up. As the only girl I assume it was quite interesting.”

“It is a deal than a tale from Winterfell for a tale from Karhold. You must go first I wish to know about the origins of Grey Wind and the others.”

 

That is how they spent most of their day, tell stories from their childhoods. They went from sitting at the tables to in front of the fireplace to cuddling on the bed. If there wasn't noise from outside Robb could swear it was only the two of them in Winterfell. The only intrusion they had was a servant who told them dinner would be ready in two hours and bathes were drawn for them.

Once Robb had returned to their shared room, as he gave her some time with her ladies to get ready and him to finish packing up his old room, he found her wearing a grey dress with a black cloak. Her hair was tied in a single braid much like how it was when they were married. She was sitting next to the fire reading a book that she glanced up from and smiled at him. He was only wearing a simple brown tunic and a grey cloak, a outfit he usually wears.

“My lady, if you do me the honor of letting me escort you to the dinner. I am sure our families are waiting for us.” When they did arrive all of the Karstarks, Starks, and Lycaon were there. Two seats were left open between Jon and Alys’ brother Eddard. Once they took their seats next to their respective brothers the servants started to bring out the food. A conversation broke out between Sansa and Alys each complementing in the others dress from the wedding.

“So then I am supposed to call you Lycaon now? I don't think it has the same ring to it as snow.”

“Aye, but it will grow you on. And it is pronounced Ly-can.”

“Well alright then Ly-can. If that is what you wished to be called. So what will your sigil and words be?”

“Well your wife said she had an idea for my sigil and I said I would be happy to wear it. As for words I am not sure yet.”

“I would be still happy to help you with it Jon,” Alys said as she turned to face them, “Though I fear I won't be any good for words.”

“Wait Jon can I help with creating your sigil?” Arya spoke up from the other end of the table.

“Jon, could I also help I am much better at needles then Arya.” Sansa said in a calm tone that was the opposite of what Arya used.

“Like I was just discussing with Robb, Lady Alys already offered her help before you two. You will need to ask her if you can.”

“Please Alys.” His two sisters said in unison.

“I would be happy to have you two help me. We can start tomorrow.”

As much as Robb would of liked to see both of his sister's create their own sigil for Jon he knew neither would be good enough. Santa’s would be all flowers and pretty colors. Arya’s would be such a mess no one would be able to tell what it is. Maybe the both could of created something good together, but they could never work together. Hopefully Alys knew what she was getting herself into.

“That is if you two ever leave that room.” Arya mumbled to herself, but loud enough for everyone to hear her.

Sansa gasped, Alys blushed, Robb glared at her, and the rest of the table just laughed.

“You better watch yourself outside Arya Underfoot or you might find a snowball in your face.” Robb threatened her trying to look menacing.

“You couldn't catch me if you tried, Robbie-poo.”

“Oh that is it, you me outside after dinner.”

“Robb, Arya,” His mother glared at the both of them,” I am sure you two won’t resort to such childish behavior especially while your wife seats next to you, Robb.”

Before either he or Arya could respond, Alys started to talk, “It is alright Lady Stark I would actually like to see my husband lose to my good-sister.” Arya quickly stuck out her tongue at Robb who seemed shocked at her response.

“Very well then, come on Jon we have snowballs to make. And don’t you think I won’t go easy on you wife.”

With that Jon and Robb left the dinner that was almost over and made their way to the Godswood.

“I am not hitting your wife, Robb. She is making my House sigil after all and I would rather it not be flowers.”

“I don’t expect you to because if you did I would have to defend her. You can take Arya. I will get my wife, Alys.”

After ten minutes of waiting near the entrance, they heard someone coming through. Before they looked they threw snowballs and hit the confused Grey Wind and Ghost.

“Ghost! Grey Wind! What are you two doing here.”

Both the owners and their pets met out in the open. Before either him or Jon had the chance to respond a flurry of snowballs pelted them. When they looked up they saw not only Alys and Arya, but also Rickon, Bran, and Sansa. All of the direwolves were out and chasing each other and playing in the snow. Though the two fought back it was cleared they were out numbered. All of a sudden Robb was pushed into the air then landed in a pile of snow. His attacker was his traitorous brother, Jon. Before he could stand up and retaliate a snowball hit him and the face. When he turned to look at the thrower he saw Alys trying to cover up her giggles behind her hand.

“Oi, you’re in for it now.” Robb charged Alys, lifting her off her feet then fall backwards into a pile of snow holding her with him. All seven of them and the six direwolves stayed in the Godswood playing for more than an hour before everyone went their separate ways to their chambers. Alys and Robb laid under the covers off their furs to get warm while Grey Wind laid out in front of the fire.

“Thank you for letting Arya and Sansa help with making a sigil for Jon. Though I fear Arya won’t be that much of a help with a needle.”

“It is no problem, I wanted to spend time to get to know them and figured this would be the best way to do it. Also they know more about what Jon would like then I would.” They shared a kiss before she put her head on his chest while he storked her hair.

“You know I can think of another way for us to get warm. It is also more fun than laying down.”

“Oh, is that so Robbie-poo.” Alys whispered before she rolled on top of him and started to kiss him.

‘I think I am already falling in love with her’ was the only thought Robb had before she removed the gown off of her body.

 


Next Day, Jon

 

To Jon’s surprise Robb was actually up at dawn and on his way to training yard. Though he wished he could be somewhere else right now.

“You’re awake? I expected not to see you till dinner again. I didn’t see you breaking your fast earlier.”

“Har har har. You didn’t think I wouldn’t want to beat you in the yard after you tackled me last night? And Alys and I broke our fast in our room.”

“Where is your lady wife, I thought she would want to see you get beaten.”

“She is meeting with our sisters to create your sigil, so she won’t see me beat you.”

“Are we just going to talk like ladies or are we going to fight then.”

“Aye, come on then.”

 

The two of them fought for a while Jon though got the uphand more times then not. If it was because his brother was out of practice, already tired, or because of the new moves Edric and Lord Beric showed him, he could not tell. After a couple of hours of training with Jon teaches Robb the moves Edric and Lord Beric taught him, Jon was forced to leave once the princes came to train.

After washing up and grabbing something small to eat Jon made his way to the Hearttree with Ghost. Jon sat down leaning against the rock his father usually sits on and sat looking at the hearttree. After a couple of minutes of silently sitting Ghost ran after another direwolf that looked like Grey Wind.

“Robb, if you came to hit me with a snowball please not in the face or hair I just washed.”

“I will make sure I pass that on to him when I see him next.” Jon looked up and saw Alys standing there.

“Forgive me Lady Alys I just though Grey Wind and assumed it was Robb.”

“It is alright I don’t know why Grey Wind has been following me around, maybe he knows that his master and I are married. That or Robb told him to protect me.”

“I believe it is both. Direwolves are smart creatures.”

“Forgive me though I didn’t mean to interrupt your prayers. I can come back later.”

“There is no need I was about to leave, though these are you woods now as much as mine if not more. If you don’t mind though I would like to leave Ghost here so he can play with his brother more before we both must go south.”

“I will make sure both get back to the kennels once they are done. Also you would please to know that your sigil is coming along nicely it should be done in the next couple of days. We are making a tunic, banner, painted shield, and two cloaks one for you and one for a lucky lady you will wed.”

Jon nodded to her as he walked away. It was the first time that someone brought up the fact that he could be married now. Before gaining a house, he only thought about joining the Night’s Watch or becoming Master-at-arms for Robb once Lord Stark dies. Even though he had no holding of his own, being the son of a lord paramount made his prospects higher than most. The women’s family that he marries might even give him a holding of his own. The thought terrified and enlightened Jon. He had swore he would never father a bastard, he still will never, but now he had a chance to have a really family without the name Snow being a problem. He was so caught up in his thoughts he didn’t realize that he almost bumped into his cousin.

“Jon I have been looking for you! The King is taking most of the people out for a ride around the country side. Since you are no longer a bastard you can come to. Come along it has been awhile since I have seen you.”

Before he could say a word Edric was already dragging Jon towards the stables. Once out on the road the only people who didn’t join them seemed like Lady Stark, the Queen and Princess, Arya, The Imp, Bran, Rickon, and the elderly people. They had travel a few miles away from Winterfell before making in an arch direction back to Winterfell. They whole journey Jon spent it with Edric and Robb. Both talking about swords, battles, and what they will do once they are lords. Jon joined in with their discussion about swords and which they prefered. Robb liked longswords better, faster movement and reach he said. Edric said he would rather swing a greatsword like their uncle Ser Arthur Dayne, The Sword of Morning. When Jon commented on that he liked bastards sword the best since they were strong, long, light, and could be used one handed or two handed they had more uses in battle. When he mentioned it he saw both of the other boys eye go wide at each other, he thought it was because they never suspected to like a sword with it’s name.

As they approached Winterfell Jon could feel something off about it. It looked Robb felt it too. When they got closer they could hear six direwolves howl. Most of the it would only be five with Ghost keeping to his namesake. Though if he did howl with the others it would be at night under a full moon, not under a setting sun. As they drew closer a set of riders under the Stark banner rode out once they met Lord Stark and the King, Lord Stark raced off back to Winterfell with the other Stark men following on his heel. Without wasting a second of thought he and Robb were chasing after with Edric behind them. Once they reached the yard they could hear cries coming from the family’s housing area. Lord Stark had already left the yard and Alys stood alone with red eyes. When both of them dismounted Robb emberaced Alys and asked what happened.

Through all of the noise happening Jon could only hear a few words, “Robb… Brother…. Bran...He fell… not waking up.” Without needing to hear more Jon raced up the stairs to Bran’s room. He was immediately stopped by Jory and Ser Rodrick.

“Jon, stop! Your father has forbidden us to allow anyone not asked for by the maester him or Lady Stark to enter. I am sorry, but you can’t go in there.” He didn’t care which Cassel had said this to him. “Go comfort your younger siblings they need someone to tell them all will be okay.”

Without knowing who told him what him to do it Jon made his way back to Robb and Alys. He quickly explained with the wall he came to when he tried to see Bran.

“Robb we need to make sure the younger siblings are okay.”

“Alright Jon. Okay I will get Rickon, Jon go and find Arya, Alys can you get Sansa. Once we have everyone we will bring them to my… Alys and my room. It looks like we are having a slumber party like the old times Jon.” The smile that Robb gave him was a nice gesture, but it look to forced. Though most would of had a hard time finding Arya, Jon found her crying in one her favorite hiding spots under the First Keep. He gently lifted her up and carried her to the meeting point while she cried on his shoulder. In the room he found all of the direwolves expect for the one Bran has yet to named laying in front of the fire in a big pile of fur. There was a pile of bodies on the bed in order was Alys, Rickon, Sansa, and on the end was Robb. Jon quickly laid Arya down between Alys and Rickon. He sat down in one of the chairs next to the fireplace and watched the fire as his siblings sobbed while there was nothing he could do for them. After an hour of listening to sobs the room fell quiet as they fell asleep. He heard a noise coming from the bed as someone got up, then another one as they laid down on the couch behind him.

“Jon, are you awake?”

It was Robb, “Yes.”

“Brandon never falls.”

“I know.”

“What do you think happened?”

“I don’t know…”

 


Four days Later

 

It has been four days since Bran had fallen, he still hasn’t awaken. Maester Luwin said that surviving the first night is the hardest and now that he did he expects him to be okay. Though he said that he will probably never be able to walk again. Lady Catelyn hasn’t been seen outside of his room since. The mood in Winterfell has been distraught. The only people that have been laughing have been the southerns that came north. Slowly things have been going back to normal. After the first night of a slumber party in married couple room, Rickon stayed with them the seconds night. The third night Lord Stark was back in his room so the girls and Rickon slept in his bed. Jon spent most of his time in the Godswood. Robb would join him most of the time and the two would sit there in quiet until Alys came to get them for dinner.

Today Robb, Jon, and Edric were sparring in the training yard when Alys came to them. Robb and Edric were in the middle of a match when she stood next to Jon.

“Alys, how are you today?”

“I am well Jon. Have they been at it long?”

Aye. I thought Edric would of won this match, but now that you are here I think Robb will try to win because of you.”

“I just hope he doesn’t hurt himself more. He has been coming back more bruised everyday.”

“Sorry, those are mostly my doing. He has become insufferable when he talks about how happy you make him. I didn’t mean to sound rude,” he said as he noticed her blush at the previous statement,” It is just he only talks about how much good you are too him and the things he will do for you once you both are older. About how your kids will have the bluest eyes and be the bravest and most kind humans ever. It is good to see him happy, though.”

“I didn’t realized that I made him that happy or that he thought about that stuff.”

“I never thought it was possible, but he looks happier when you are around. And he is the heir of Winterfell I don’t think he has never not thought about having kids.”

“Oh I almost forgot, Jon we have finished with your sigil and things.” She smiled at Robb once he won the match and started to walk towards them.

“Truely? When may I see it.”

“Yes, and I came down to get you three so you can see it and present it too your father. Robb! That was a great match I am glad you won.”

“Thank you dear wife, you gave me the strength I needed to win.” He kissed her cheek before turning to Jon. “Up for me to beat you in front of my wife brother?”

“I am afraid I will have to see that match later husband, I can down to get you three so you may see the sigil we have created for Jon.”

“What are we waiting for let’s go and see. Edric let’s go and see which flowers my sister’s decided to put on the sigil for house Lycaon. I bet there will be blue winter roses.”

 

The four of them made their way to one of the sewing rooms. Jon couldn’t remember a time when he has been in one of them. They were no place for a boy especially a bastard to play in. Alys knocked on the door and waited for someone to say come in before she motioned Jon to enter. Jon lightly pushed open the door that guard what he and his possible children and wife would wear for the rest of their days.

His first impression was messy. There was fabric, paint, furs, and everything else just scattered everywhere. There were flowers scattered around the room that he hoped weren’t used as inspiration. Then he saw it. Arya was holding up a shield with it painted on and Sansa held up a cloak. Behind them, hanging on the wall was a black banner. On the black field a white direwolf, much like the one that the Starks used but facing the other direction, with snarling. It’s eyes were bright red. They reminded him of Ghost’s which is where they probably got the inspiration from. Above the direwolf was a falling star much like the one on the Dayne’s sigil. Instead of being painted white it was a deep purple. Jon just stared at it.

After a few moments of silence Sansa was the first to speak, “Do you like it Jon?” He still didn’t respond, but moved closer to look at it.

“See I told you he will hate the purple on it Sansa. We should of done it in red or white.”

“Shut up Arya.”

Before Arya could respond he embraced the two in a hug. “Thank you both it is perfect. The purple is a nice touch. Thank you too, Alys.” Jon said as he motioned for his good-sister to join them in a hug. After he released them he grabbed the banner to look at it more closely.

“It was Alys’ idea to have both sigils of your parents houses on them. It was my idea to make the direwolf look like Ghost and Sansa’s to make the star purple that the Dayne’s are fond of. She said she tried to match it with the color of your eyes. Alys and Sansa sewed everything while I painted and got all of the supplies. Sansa let's show him the cloaks.”

Both of the cloaks were black. Though one was heavier and bigger than the other. On the bigger cloak two leathers straps held together the two sides, much like how father wears it. On one strap a direwolf was snarling on it. The other a falling star. A brown wolf was sewed on the collar of the cloak. The other cloak was of a lighter material. Holding the sides together was a chain link. One end of the link was a direwolf the other a star. The back of both of them had the new sigil on them. A slap on the back brought him back to what was happening in the room.

“I think it will the sigil will suit you. Though I think the black will make it hot for you when you do south soon.” His eyes widened when he realized what he just said.

“Wait you’re leaving! After we all made you this.” Arya shouted before thrusting the shield into his chest before storming off. Sansa gave the cloak she was holding to Robb before she left saying she will calm Arya down. Alys just glared at Robb.

“I am sorry I thought he told them already.”

“I will go see to Arya and make sure she understands that you are coming back.” With that Alys left in the direction Arya went.

Edric stayed their hiding in the corner before he spoke up, “I am going to go and see if I can get my sword sharpened at the blacksmith.” Soon it was just Robb left in the room with him.

“I am sorry Jon I thought they knew already.”

“It is okay Robb, I know you didn’t mean anything by it.”

“I think father is in his solar if you want to show him your sigil.”

“Thank you. Can you take the cloaks and shield back to my room?”

“Sure, I will go comfort Arya afterwards.”

Once Robb left the room with both cloaks and the shield Jon started to roll up the banner before carrying it too his father’s solar. After a guard let his father know who was at the door he was granted access to the room. His father sat at his desk with books and ledgers littered over it.

“Jon, how goes it.”

“It is well father. Alys, Arya, and Sansa finished working on my sigil for my house and I wish to show you it.” He said as he gestured to the rolled up banner he held.”

“Good, unroll it then I wish to see what House Lycaon shall wear.”

Jon quickly grabbed the top and let the bottom unroll. He lifted it above his head so his father could see it all.

“It is good. I like how you embrace both of your houses with your own flare. I am sure Ghost will be pleased to see himself on the banner.  The purple of the falling star matches your eyes.”

“Thank you. I also like it as while. Sansa said she tried to match the colors as best as she could. It was Arya’s idea to make the direwolf look like Ghost.”

“Is something wrong Jon?”

“No, it is just that Robb let slip that I am leaving soon and Arya yelled then ran away from me.”

“I don’t know how you expected her to react but that is better than I had hoped. I thought she would of stabbed you. Though perhaps this is the best she will probably not hate you as much.”

“Thank you.”

“Though I am sorry Jon I wish I had more time to talk, but there is a lot I must finish before the end of the day.”

“I understand.” With a short bow Jon left his father to his work heading back to his room. Once inside he hung his banner on the wall. He found the cloaks and shield laid on his bed. He moved the cloaks into a drawer of his dress and hung the shield over the fireplace. He laid down on his bed as he thought over the day. The exchange with Arya left sadness in his heart. He knew she didn’t truly hate him, but the way she looked at him told him differently. The look of betrayal had hurt him. Though he will be gone he knew she will understand why he is leaving. It was only after he was able to think of a way to make it up to her that he finally found sleep.

 


Seven Days Later

It has been seven days since Jon received his coat of arms. During that time neither Bran woke up or did Arya talk with him. Hopefully with the gift he was about to get her she would forgive him. After all he was leaving for Starfall in the morning. When he rounded a corner that led to outside Robb and Edric stopped him, Robb was holding something in his hand.

“Jon!” They both cried out at the same time. The first time they might Jon could tell neither liked the other. Though over time the two have grown to like the other.

“Robb, Edric if you guys don’t mind I have to go do something real fast.”

“We do mind actually Cousin. We have a gift for you.”

“A gift what for?”

“Well it is to celebrate getting your own house. We would of gotten it sooner if we could of decided on some details.” Edric said as Robb held out the gift that was underneath a sheet. Carefully Jon lifted the covers off of it and was shocked by what he saw. He grabbed hold of it with both of his hands before taking out of Robb’s hands. It was a sword. Though it was long it was also light to.

At the pommel of the sword was a white direwolf carved out of stone with what looked like red garnet for the eyes the grip of the sword was covered with black leather which led to a dark steel crossguard. In the middle of the crossguard was a white star where the biggest point extend down the steel. Unsheathing the sword from a brown sheath with the runes of the first men on the steel of it. On the brown leather the word Lycaon was written on it with space after. The sword itself was steel with the mark of Mikken the blacksmith of Winterfell.

“It is a bastard sword, like the ones you said you like. It is normal steel. We couldn’t find and Valyrian or a fallen star for you. Though Mikken made it so it is the next best thing. We left room after your house name so you can have your words put on it. Also have you chosen words yet?”

Jon looked down at the wolf and star before speaking. “ We are the Dangers in the Dark .”

“Good words.” Robb nodded his agreement as he said it.

“It is a good warning too. So every good sword needs a name what about yours?” Edric had a point. All of the memorable swords had a name too them. Though what should he call the sword that his descendents would tell tales about. Then it hit him.

Phantom.

“With wolves, ghosts, and now a phantom you will truly be what lies in the dark.”

The three of them talked about their houses swords and which was the best. Before long they agree if ever given the chance the three blades will be in the same room. Jon excused himself so he can get Arya’s gift.

Walking to her room with Phantom strapped to his sided felt natural. The sword bounced against him every step and made it feel like an insurance to Jon. Holding the gift with one hand behind his back, he knocked on the door. With a come in Jon entered the room quietly shutting the door behind him.

“If I knew it was you I would of told you to go away.”

“You can still, I just will give this gift to Sansa then.”

“If it is anything pretty she would like it more.”

“It is not that kind of pretty now face me so I can show you,” With that she turned around and faced him, “You must promise not to tell anyone about this, but here it is.” Jon moved the package to in front of him and lifted the fabric of of it. In his hand was a small, lightweight, and thin sword.

She gasped.”Is this for me?”

“Yes it is I had Mikken make one for you like the braavosi use. It is very light and sharp so you must not cut yourself with it.”

She took hold of it in her hand before waving it about almost cutting Jon.

“Easy there little wolf,” Jon moved to lower her hand, “If you are too keep this sword you must promise to learn how to use it properly, promise?” She nodded her head. “Good, now every good sword needs a name what are you going to call yours.”

She looked down thinking for a few moments before looking up at Jon with a smirk. “Sansa has her needles, I have mine.” She raised her Needle after naming it. “Now,” she says as she tapped Phantom , “What is that.”

Jon laughed, then told her about his new sword. They spent the next hour admiring the two swords. Jon taught her some basic sword movements, not surprised that she knew some of them. Once a servant came to inform her that a bath has been drawn for her, did he start to leave. “Remember what I taught you?” “Stick them with the pointy end.” Jon smiled as he ruffled her hair then left.

Once Jon got to his room he went and found some black paint to paint his words on the scabbard of Phantom . Instead of painting all of the words, Jon settled with Beware the Dark . On the back he neatly wrote out wielders of Phantom then under that wrote Jon Lycaon. He knew that he would have to have the scabbard stamped with the the words so they wouldn’t have to be re-painted. He looked at the empty space below his name and hoped that one day, they would need a bigger scabbard. He laid Phantom against his bed so it would be in his reach if he needed it while he slept. Which he hoped he would never have to do.



In the morning and the horses packed. All of the Stark family was present besides Lady Stark and Bran, who still hasn’t woken up. Once his horse was saddled up and load with some of his things, he hung his painted shield on the side of the horse. He wore the lighter of the two cloaks, leaving the heavy one behind hoping he would be back before winter came. Though Jon didn’t know if his room would be used by someone else by the time he came back he moved his things into crates and put them in the back of storage. He made his way to say goodbyes with Ghost sitting next to his horse and Phantom strapped to his side.

The first person he met was Rickon. “Rickon, by the time I come back you will be taller, fighting with swords, and would have forgotten about me.” He embraced Rickon in a hug before moving on to Sansa.

Once he had Sansa in his arms he promised to bring back something from the south for her.

Before he could say something, Alys opened her arms and brought him in close. “Jon, it has been great meeting you. I know that Robb will miss you more, but I will also. So please come back I don’t think I could help Robb if you didn’t.”

“I will. Thank you again for the things. I will also find something for you while I am in the south.”

The next person in line was Robb who they both held each other close. “Take care of yourself Lycaon.”

“Aye, you too Stark. Who knows maybe the next time I see you, you’ll have a baby in your arms.”

“Maybe you will have a wife to be then. Remember your promise a year before I send the dogs after you.”

“Aye I will try my best.”

 

Once he released Robb, Arya quickly took his space and held him tight. They had no words for each other as they had already said them the night before. Before either could cry Jon let her go and moved on to the last person. Their father.

When Jon reached in for a handshake, Lord Stark went for a hug. Surprised at first Jon hugged back. “I am proud of you son. Your mother would be proud of the man you had become.”

“Thank you father.”

“When you come back there might be a keep ready for you, so take care and have fun with your cousin.”

“Thank you.”

After holding each other for a little longer Jon felt him release him. Once Jon mounted his horse and waved a finally goodbye, he saw Lady Stark look out from Bran’s window with a glare. The encounter he had faced when he visited Bran last night was still in his mind. Her words of, “It should've been you.” that dripped with hate and resentment for her husband’s bastard, still stung him now. Maybe she will be happy that he is gone and only trueborn starks are left in Winterfell.

 

Once passed the gates and his cousin flanking his side, he looked back at the only home he knew. The only family he knew.

Chapter Text

Chapter Three: Broken Hearts

It only took a week after Jon left before another big announcement that affected Robb came to pass. His father was to be the Hand of the King and travel south with Sansa and Arya. The former being beyond excited at that and the fact she is betrothed to the Prince now and will wed when they are older. The later though was furious that she was being forced from the north and her family. Father also announced Robb will be Lord of Winterfell while he is gone and will carry Ice  ,once father returned though he would take over again.

Though Robb knew that one day he would be in charge of the north he didn't think it would be while he was so young. His father though was only a name day older when he took charge. And that was do to less than happy circumstances. Robb had apparently a less than a fortnight to live out the rest of his childhood without his childhood best friend before adulthood would reach him. The fortnight was about to come to an end in the morning and Robb still didn't feel any different.

 

“Robb, honey come back to bed. It is getting cold over here without you.”

Robb was staring at the mound of paper and books that occupied his desk. He silently walked back to his bed before falling face first on the mattress. “It is some much things! I never realized that being a Lord meant so much paperwork.” He soon felt soft hands on his back rubbing his shoulders and neck. The weight of soon ruling Winterfell he started to feel was melting away. Each rub of skin against skin made him feel happier and tired. He wish that he could just stay here for the rest of time and ignore everything else.

“See now isn’t this better than worrying.”

“Can we stay here for the rest of our lives?” Robb pleaded to his wife as he cuddled up to her and pulled her against him.

“Sadly we can only stay here till morning. Then you will be Lord of Winterfell.” He simply groaned at that and buried his face in her hair.

“Can’t Rickon do that? You and I can go riding and visit Karhold and all of the other holds under our rule. It would be grand just You, me, and Grey Wind going where we please.”

“It would be, but we have responsibilities here that must be dealt with. Once your father returns and it is spring we can go anywhere in the north we want. If we have children by then we will take them with us and show the North the new Starks. Now let’s go to bed and get ready for your lordship tomorrow.”

With kisses along her neck Robb responded, “How about we try for those kids you talked about.”

“We have already tried twice tonight. Let us instead go to bed. I am tired and you need all of the rest you can get for the coming months.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Robb didn’t even have time to realized what he said for the first time to her, or anyone not in his family. By the time he heard her say the words too he drifted off into sleep. He didn’t realized he was that tired.

 

By the time his father, sisters, and the Royal Party was ready to leave Robb had been up for 3 hours and hadn’t broken his fast yet. Alys woke him up that morning with a kiss telling him he need to take a bath and get his clothes on. She was already washed and had her set of clothes on. She ordered him to wash up, put on the clothes she laid out for him, then to go help with the leaving party. While his mother was still moping by Bran’s side she has taken over the duties of Lady of Winterfell, including dealing with Rickon. She spent most of her day dealing with him, while he spent at his father’s side get all of the last minute instructions that he needed. She seemed to have quite the impact on him as he stood between them as their leaving family came to say goodbye. Arya was first. Hugging Alys first and whispered something into her ear which she giggled at. She then hugged Rickon messing up his hair like Jon does to her.

She held on tightly as he held her back.

“I will miss you baby sister. I know you will not be on your best behavior always, but try for father’s sake and keep them safe.”

“I will Robb. Please keep everyone here safe as well. Also if you hurt Alys in any way both me and Jon will hurt you worse.”

“Ha. I will try to keep that in mind, now run along before you start crying like a little girl.” She punched him in the arm for that before walking to her horse. The emptiness of his arms were quickly filled by Sansa when she came to him.

“I am sorry Mother isn’t here Sansa.”

“It is okay I know you all tried.” She was right, they almost pretty much begged for her to come see her other children leave Winterfell. They would of dragged her down here if they thought she would stay, but they doubted that she would.

“The next time I see you, you will be a woman grown and either getting married or already married.”

“I will make sure you are there for when I marry. I couldn’t do it any other way.”

“Aye, but there must always be a Stark in Winterfell and Bran and Rickon would be too young still to rule.”

“Let Jon stay then.”

“He is not a Stark though he is a Lycaon.”

They stayed in a hug for a few moments before Robb realized his father was waiting for him to be done with Sansa.

“Be good will you? Try and become friends with Arya, remember the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” He kissed her forehead before letting her walk towards her own horse. The only left one to say goodbye to was his father.

They stood facing each other not saying a word. A few moments passed before the silence was broken by him.

“Robb, I know this will be difficult for you, but you have Alys for support. If you need anything Maester Luwin will be able to help. Once your mother is better she will also help guide you. You have so far turned into a great man. A honorable and kind man, the kind of man that I am more then happy to call son. Though I still rule the North while I am gone, you will be my voice. What you say will be like I said it, so try not to make me sound foolish,” he jested with a rare grin that quickly turned back into stone. ”Since I won’t be able to pass judgements from King’s Landing, it will fall to you. For that task I grant you to use Ice in judgements, prayer, meditation, and, gods forbid, war. “He motioned for Jory to come forth who was holding the greatsword. Robb gently took it from Jory’s hand feeling the extra weight from holding the blade of House Stark.

“I know you will rule justly, honorably, and make the right choices. They might not always be the best choices or they may turn out to be wrong. Learn from your mistakes. Once I reach King’s Landing I will send a raven to see how you fair. Goodbye son and take care.”

“Thank you father and good bye.”

They enveloped each other in a hug before letting go.

Once Father was on his horse and trotting away, Rickon ran off with Shaggydog to the Godswood. Alys came over to Robb and held his arm as they watched half of his family and half of Winterfell leave. They stood there till the last of the Winterfell household traveling left. Once the last of the hooves of the horses became a distance sound Robb turned around with Alys and walked back to his father’s solar.

Once there Robb moved over to the fireplace and placed Ice back on it’s holder, so it hangs from the wall. The two shared a kiss before they sat down in the chairs in front of the fireplace. They sat there for a few minutes of silence. Alys had already picked up a book and started reading, Robb just sat and stared at the fire.

 

The silence was eventually interrupted by a knock at the door and it being opened slightly. The sound of the guard outside the room spoke, “My Lord, Maester Luwin is here for you.”

“Thank you, you may let him in.” He stood up  and greeted the old maester. “Maester Luwin, how can I help you?” He pointed to a seat next to the desk as he took the one his father usually sat in.

“My lord, my lady,” Maester Luwin bowed slightly to both, “as you know your father took a decent amount of the household staff with him. As such we need to refill the ranks with replacements. Also we need to appoint a new captain of the guards and more positions like that since most who left were the heads of their stations. If I may offer my advice, usually Lady Stark would take care of the servants and women, while Lord Stark would take care of the soldiers and the such. If you and Lady Alys wish to follow suit I can have a list of potential list of candidates that each head left for their replacement given to you.”

“Thank you maester, I think if it would be for the best is we spilt of the task between the two of us,” Maester Luwin nodded and handed each a list of names.

“There is also the matter of what damage the Royal Party did to our winter rations and food supply. Usually your father likes to keep 7 years worth of food ready in this type of weather incase winter does come. The King’s stay though forced us to use some of that reserve. We have only enough ready for 4 years, and considering how many believe the up coming winter to be the longest in recorded memory I fear that is not enough. There is also basic supplies that we need to more of to, though they are not as bad and the normal amount of money used will be enough to purchase them.”

“If we were to offer some tax relief for farmers could that help put us back on track to resupply our food?”

“It would be a start, we could also do create some more farm lands.”

 

For some hours they talked about what could be done for the current situation that hosting the king created. Alys even offered her own advice which some of them were good ideas. She left once the talk turned into decisions about Winterfell’s levies and guards. When she left she took the list Maester Luwin gave her promising to look over them and bring her decision to them in the morning. By the time that the meeting ended the sky was already turning to darkness. Before the maester left though he turned back to Robb.

“Robb, what I speak about now is not because that you are lord, but because you are the son of your mother. She needs to leave the room and sleep. I am concerned for her. I know she worries about Brandon, but she can do nothing for him right now besides to make sure she is healthy when he awakes.”

“I know Maester, thank you for your concern. I will talk to her tonight.”


Once he had eaten dinner by himself, Alys and Rickon ate before him, he made his way to Bran’s chamber. Bran was still sleeping in his bed, Mother was in a chair next to him looking at him.

“Mother,” she didn’t even respond, “You need to leave the room. You need to wash. You need to sleep. You need to eat. You need to take care of yourself.”

“I need to take care of Bran.”

“There is nothing we can do for Bran, but wait. You have kids here that need you. Rickon has been clinging to me and Alys while you have been in here. Did you even realize that Sansa and Arya left with father? They went to King’s Landing this morning and you didn’t even say goodbye to your daughters.”

“I know.”

“You know, but didn’t care enough to say something to them or even look out the window.” She still didn’t look away from Bran. “I need you mother. I need your help with running the land.”

“Alys will help you.”

“Alys and I have never ran a keep before, you have. We need your advice. Please help me I don’t know if I can do this.” He pleaded with his mother trying to hold back tears. When no response came he headed for the door. When he grabbed the handle of the door he stopped and looked back.

“Fine stay here. Be of no use to no one. Let Rickon think his mother doesn’t love him as much as Bran. Let ME  think you don’t love any of us more than Bran.” With tears in his eyes he slammed the door as he left and made his way back to his room. He shut the door when he entered the room, Alys looked worry when she turned around surprised by him. He laid down on the bed and started to cry as she tried to calm him. If his mother didn’t care for him anymore, than he wouldn’t worry about her. He was the Lord of Winterfell now. Come tomorrow he wouldn’t show anymore weakness because of her.








 

Around a Week later, Jon

 

As the sunset to west, the outline of the Stormlands disappeared into the darkness. Behind him, or to the stern of him if he spoke like a sailor, the North was nothing but a distance thought across the horizon. They left White Harbor over a fortnight ago. They were in the only true city in the North for less than half a day. Apparently a ship from Dorne was waiting at the harbor for them. If Lord Manderly didn’t wish to have a large meal with them when they got there, they would of left right away. The was of lobster and some fish from the sea that Jon had never had. After the meal he had hoped that they would be able to leave, but Lord Manderly had other ideas. He had Edric and Jon meet his granddaughters, probably hoping to make matches for them. The eldest was Wynafryd. She was a couple of name days older than both of them, but had looked lovely and not at all like her grandfather Lord Too Fat to sit on a Horse . Wylla was the youngest and stranger looking one. She shared her physique with her sister, but while Wynafryd’s hair was brown Wylla’s was green. She said that she dyed it so she would stand out from everyone else. After talking with both girls for a while Lord Manderly finally let them leave.

The ship that they taking to Sunspear was called Sand Rider it was a large trading vessel. He learned that they came to sell off silks and to buy some wood to bring back to their land. Though they were a trading vessel it looked like they would be able to fend off an attack from any who wish to plunder them. The Ironborn were of no really worry, though, since they were on the other side of the kingdom. The only threat to them were the pirates of the Step Stones. Though they were more of a danger, Jon still feared the Ironborn more. In the stories Jon heard about as a kid, all pirates from the east never came back after facing northern justice. He didn’t blame them, the north was an isolated land and the south was much richer for plunder. The Ironborn, though, have came back to the western shores of the North since they could sail. They plundered for women, supplies, and for fun. Though Jon didn’t worry if it came down to a fight Jon would push the Ironborn or pirates back to the sea like his ancestors did.

He started making his way down below the deck to the room he shared with Edric and Ghost. Both didn’t take to the travel that well. While Edric had been out on the sea before he wasn’t used to the type of water they were facing now. He was used to the gently waters of Dorne. Ghost, on the other hand, wasn’t used to the rocking movements of the waves. He mainly laid on the floor spread out. It took Jon only two days before he was able to walk around without feeling the need to throw up over the floor.

“Where does the captain say we are now?” Edric asked probably hoping they would be past Storm’s End now.  The Captain was a dornish man that lived in Planky Town named Gerold. When he first heard that he would be carrying the Lord of Starfall he was excited. That was until he heard that a direwolf would be coming too. He made a comment about how wolves should stay on the land. Though he was upset by Ghost he didn’t argue with them about it.

“He says that the winds are in our favor and we just passed the island of Tarth now and should be at Planky Town in the next couple of days.”

“Good, the soon we get closer to Dorne the better.”

The plan of travel from White Harbor had them make a stop in Gulltown for a day so the ship could resupply and sell the rest of the silk. While White Harbor was the biggest city in the North, Gulltown was bigger. The city was built into the mountain. Jon could only make out one wall protecting the city. He guessd though that the mountains were the other walls. In the distance Jon could make out a large fortress that blended into the mountainside. Near the entrance of the port a large red building with a large burning flame on top, stood out against a mostly grey and blue colored city. A sailor told him it was a temple of R’holler, the fire god from Essos. Apparently the witches of the religion were said to be pretty powerful. They also are said to practice sacrifice to their god. Though they stayed the night there, they did not leave the ship since it would be leaving at first light. From there they left straight for Planky Town.

Once at Planky Town, depending on the time of day the get there they will either spend a day or an afternoon there. They will leave Sunspear on a ship that hails from Starfall. If all goes well they will be at Starfall two days after. The trip from Gulltown to Planky Town is supposed to be under ten days. From their current spot they should be only two or three days out from Gulltown. The rest of the trip should take them a fortnight to make it to Starfall.  

The only southern town Jon has been in felt different from the North. The people there wore silk and furs. They relaxed and had fun for long periods. In the North people did everything practical, the clothes they were for warmth not because they looked good. They did not stay in one place for long as there was always something to do before winter would come. Their building were even different. It seem like the south prefered pretty exteriors to the warmth and sturdiness of wood and stone. The water was different too. The South had blue and almost calm waters, while the northern waters were grey and rough. These differences were what made the northern people so stubborn. While the southerners could live there days without too much worry, the northerners had to make sure there would be enough food for them when winter came. To Jon it seemed like the northern people were the better bunch.

 

After five more days of sailing the weather got hotter and the water calmer. Edric he showed up on the deck. While Beric and Jon sparred Edric sat behind them. Though Beric was a seasoned warrior and great swordsmen, Jon was still able to defeat him before a ship was spotted on the left, port, side of the ship. The captain started to balk orders as his men started to lower more sails and move faster. Apparently the other ship was a well known pirate that patrolled the area. The captain said that he would sometimes attack a ship, trade with it, or just leave it be. Though the captained hoped it was the later he didn’t want to chance it. The ship trailing them though let loose black sails and turned towards the Sand Rider .

Jon didn’t realize how long ship battles could take. On land a large battle might take an hour or two before it was settled. It was already the fourth hour of being chased. Captain Gerold had hoped that they would of tired of it by now, but the pirate captain named Blue Fist Kayne, a lieutenant of a another pirate named Salladhor Saan. Once they could hear the sounds of the other crew cheering the captain called over Edric and Jon.

“Boys, have either of you killed a man before.” Both shook their heads as the noise grew louder. “Well it looks like you will have to today or at least die trying. I know you two know how to fight. I have been watching you both. These pirates are untrained. They try to win with fear and ferocity. Do not let them see your fear. Once you face your first man kill him and move on to the next. These pirates do not fight honorably so watch each other backs. You understand me.” They both nodded their heads, “ Good. Do not put on any heavy armor, only leather. If you wear armor and fall in the water you will sink and drown. Now get going and be ready for an attack.

It took another 20 minutes before arrows started to ding off the ship around him. Edric, Beric, and Jon were supposed to wait below deck until the pirates stopped firing arrows and boarded the ship. Edric and Jon followed Beric’s direction when he removed his scabbard saying, “Why would you need to put your sword away during a battle.” The arrows suddenly stopped and then the doors from the cabins bursted open as the crew of the two ships met on the deck of the dornish ship. When the three of them came out of the door chaos surrounded them. Beric immediately ran off running to the nearest fight. Before Jon realized what was happening a man swung an axe at him. The man’s skin was a light shade of brown. His hair was a bright red, almost pink. He had scars all across his body including one on his cheek. His eyes were black without the trace of goodness or color in them.

On instinct alone Jon blocked the attack. Phantom quickly deflected the other attack before Jon saw an opening when the man lifted the axe for an overhead strike. Before he could swing down though, Jon stab Phantom where he believed the man’s heart to be. As blood dripped down Phantom ’s blade Jon watched as the life of the man slowly leave his eyes. Not once did the man say a word beside to gurgle up some blood. Another man quickly moved into kill Jon.

As Jon tried to remove Phantom from the dead man’s chest, Edric parried the attack allowing Jon to pull Phantom from the chest of the dead man. Once removed the body slumped to the floor into an uncomfortable position. Jon stood their for a moment thinking about what just happened. He quickly put the thought of murder from outside of his head and moved on to the next target.

A man held his sword high before he was about to kill an innocent sailor. Before the sword could come down, Phantom pierced the man’s back. Learning from his last kill, Jon quickly pulled out of the man’s chest as he tried to speak. He went to help the man he saved up when a cut was felt on his arm. A small man with a sword like Needle came at him with a upper swing.

Jon parried it and swung a counter. The man was too fast for the swing though. The short man kept Jon on his toes before he overextended himself and Jon sliced his neck almost all the way through. Jon felt the cut that was running down his left arm. The leather took most of the blow, but a small gash ran from his shoulder to his elbow. His blood trickled down his arm and some landed on the stone wolf of Phantom painting it red.

“That is a nice sword you have there boy, not like the valyrian one I am going to make, but it is nice enough that I am going to relieve you of it.” Jon saw a tall man with a short beard. A scar ran down from his eye to his mouth. His blue hair was done in locks down his back. Holding a sword curved in the middle was a blue fist. It came to him this man was he captain of the pirates attacking them Blue Fist Kayne.

“They only way you are going to get this sword is when it cuts your head off.”

“Oh, a little brave are you. Well no matter I have killed me twice your age and skill.”

Without another word Kayne moved in too attack. While two of the men Jon had attack were either fast or strong, Kayne was both. He was also far better than the other two. Jon parried all of the attacks he could. He was cut twice one on his thigh. And another that ran down by his eye for the man Jon killed, Kayne boasted.

When Kayne went in for another swing Jon quickly swung causing Kayne to back up. That was all the time he needed before he pressed his attack.

Phantom went high, Kayne blocked it.

Phantom went low, another block. Jon feinted high before coming low, cutting off Kayne’s right foot. When Kayne dropped low Jon quickly swung and chopped off his hand.

“Bloody Bastard.” Kayne spite at Jon before he felt a stab on his thigh. Before he could react, Jon said “You have no idea.” With a swing from Phantom, Kayne’s head rolled on the deck. Jon quickly stood up with his sword up ready to fight off the next pirate.

Looking around Jon only saw the shocked faces of the crew of the Sand Rider . Beric was smiling while Edric looked amazed. Pain went through Jon’s body as he collapsed around the cheers of a victory. When Jon looked at the source of pain Jon saw a dagger sticking out of his leg. More Pain went through his body as Jon touched the blade.

The world faded to black.



 

Around the Same time Sansa

 

The party has been on the road for about two weeks almost three. A map would put them south of the Neck and east of the Twins. Since they were in a wide open field at the end of summer, the King had ordered a halt for a few days so everyone to rest. Sansa was glad for this since it meant she could spend more time with her betrothed, Prince Joffrey. The Prince was a prince from the fairy tales she read when she was younger. The kind of prince she always wanted to marry. He was kind, brave, honorable, handsome, friendly, and perfect. From the day they meet in the yard of Winterfell he has been a true hero. On their rides together on the trip south he took an interest in what she had to say. They were on such a ride now.

When morning came Sansa meet the Prince near the stables. Coming along with them was a score of Lannister and Baratheon knights and the Hound. The Hound always followed the Prince. If the Prince had a kingsguard member who was supposed to follow him, none came. The Hound was decked in his usual garb with his helmet in the shape of a dog. He rode a huge horse named Shadow.

The Prince on the other hand was wearing a red outfit and a small golden crown that sat on top of his golden hair. He was the most handsome man ever, Sansa was sure. He greeted her like a king should his queen. When he kissed her hand she blushed at feeling his lips against her skin. Once they got on their horses they left the encampment behind.

They rode for an hour before they dismounted their horses a few servants that had followed them set up a picnic area for them. Once they sat down food and wine was served. Though Sansa has drink wine before at feast, she was never given this much before. She took tiny sips of her wine. She was hoping the Prince wouldn’t think she was an alcoholic or being to prudent.

“How do you like the wine, my lady? It is Arbor gold.” He said before he took a sip of the wine he just mentioned.

“It is good, my Prince, far better than the northern ale my Lord Father would allow us to have sips of at feasts.”

“I am sure. Anything from the south is better than from the north. Though you pass all the ladies in beauty even down here.” She blushed as he complimented her.

“Thank you my Prince you are kind.”

“You deserve all the praise, you will make a fine princess and queen one day,” she felt her cheeks become even redder, “I am sure you will act better than the other princess that is causing grief to my father.”

That was curious, Myrcella has been nothing but kind and sweet. She didn't look like she could harm even a fly. For her to be causing trouble would be unthinkable.

“I didn't think Princess Myrcella would cause trouble.”

“It is not my sister, no she is too sweet for father to ever hate. It is the last Targaryen princess, Daenerys Stormborn. The daughter of the Mad King and the sister of Rhaegar. She has apparently married a savage Dothraki horse lord. My father thinks she and her brother might try and retake the throne.”

Sansa didn't even know what to say. She hears that a brother and sister Targaryen still lived, but thought it was just rumors. Even if they did come back the dothraki wouldn't be enough. Not enough houses would flock to their side either. Four of the kingdoms were in open rebellion for the longest time against their father. The Lannisters eventually turned against the dragons and married a stag.

“I am told no dothraki has ever crossed the Narrow Sea, my Prince. Even if they did I am sure you and the knights of the kingdom will defeat them.”

“Rightfully so.”

After that they spent their remaining ride talking about the countryside and the beauty the land. Once they returned back to camp, the Prince dismounted then helped Sansa. Once her feet were on the ground Sansa felt herself being pulled close to his body. He moved in close and kissed her cheek before letting her go. She knew her face was redder than the cloak he wore. His lips were soft and delicate when he kissed her cheek. It was much more nicer than when father did.

“My lady, hopefully our fathers will marry us soon, so we can share more kisses like that.” He bowed slightly before turning and walking away.

Sansa quickly returned to her tent ready to tell Jeyne what has happened.

 


 

Jon, Some days later

 

Jon was back on the ship. He was at the moment when he killed his first man. When Jon stabbed Phantom through his chest though the man did not die. He looked at Jon with hatred in his eyes. Slowly the face changed from the almost pink hair man to Uncle Benjen, then to Beric, then to Edric, Alys was next, then Robb, Arya’s face also appeared on the body of the man he killed, his father’s face appeared and quickly morphed into a woman with black hair and eye’s like Jon. She must be his mother, Ashara Dayne. He reached out to touch her when suddenly her sad face turned into hatred. “You killed us, Jon.” as she said those words blood began coming out of her mouth, eyes, nose, and ears. She repeated, “You killed us.” The hatred in the words kept repeating as her skin slowly melted away. The bones and muscle still said the words as they also began to melt into a pile of goo. He tried to keep her, the women who loved him and gave birth to him, together. It was to no avail. Before the goo left his hands he heard a soft voice filled with anger and hate. “You killed us all, Jon.”

He shot straight up that the people around him jumped. He screamed “Mother” before he even realized he was dreaming. Suddenly hands belonging to Edric were pushing him back down to the bed he occupied. Ghost, who was occupying the end of bed, looked up at him worriedly.

“It is okay Jon, calm down it was only a dream.” Edric handed him a drink that Jon discovered was water after he chugged most of it down.

“What...What happened?”

“There was a battle on the Sand Rider remember?” He nodded, “Well after you saved the captain’s life and kill Blue Fist Kayne he stabbed you in the leg. You were lucky a maester at Planky Town said that if Kayne hit a mere inch to the left and went deeper he would of hit bone. He also said you should be up and walking in no time.”

Jon merely nodded as he sat up. “Where are we now?”

“Well you slept for a few days. It took a day for us to reach Planky Town. After a maester looked at you we moved you over to The Comet one of the ships that is in my small fleet. Once that happened it has been 2 days. We were actually about to move you, but you awoke. We have already docked at Starfall. If you are ready I can help you get clothes on and help you off the boat.”

Once Jon got out of bed he felt the pain in his leg plush through his body. It was the worse feeling he felt, while physical. The dream felt worse, by far. Once he donned a grey leather tunic, Edric forced him to put on his lighter cloak. It was then Jon noticed that Edric was dressed the part of a lord. He wore a purple tunic that had the Dayne coat of arms embroidered onto it. The rest of his outfit was white except for a purple cloak. By contrast Jon were more dark colors with the only bright thing about his outfit was the the grey tunic and the purple and red on the cloak. Before he left the room he found Phantom laying on a dresser. Instead of the blood red he last remembered it, the color was once again white.

“I washed and honed it for you. I know how you like doing it everyday so I did it too.”

“Thank you, cousin.”

“Come now Jon, my people await for us.” Edric slapped Jon on the back before leaving the room. Jon hobbled after him favoring his left leg.

Once out from under the deck, Jon was blinded for a moment by the Sun. Once his vision returned he saw the village that laid by Starfall. Though Jon expected a hot and void of green place Jon was proven wrong. All the banks of the river Torentine trees and grass grew. So did a cool breeze and a bustling village. A small sailboat waited near the Comet for them. Once aboard the boat, they took of to a nearby dock in the village. On the dock stood three guards with two extra horses. When they disembarked from the boat the horses whined at Ghost . After a few minutes of letting the horses get used to the wolf that was bigger than most kids, the six of them took off through the village. People on the streets waved to Edric. It was clear they adored him. It took them on hour to move through the small village as Edric took time to speak with every person he could. Once they rode away from village Jon could see a Purple Banner flying in the wind. As they drew closer blue roofs appeared under the sword and star of the Daynes. The roofs stood on whitish and pinkish stone. Three gate towers stood over a bridge to enter the castle. The first tower carried the Dayne and Martell banners on it proudly. Once they passed the last tower the went under a large gate house then entered a small courtyard. The courtyard brought them face to face with the wall of the barracks. Going through three more small courtyards, tunnels, and sets of stairs they finally dismounted before walking into a small courtyard.

Unlike the previous four courtyards this one had a fountain in the middle with a statue of a knight standing vigil with a sword in hand. It must be a previous Sword of Morning or a generic one. There was trees, bushes, and flowers everywhere. It seemed the Daynes made the inside of a desert castle look like a lush meadow. Behind the statue stood an open door way that lead to the inside. Up some another flight of stairs they entered a room with high ceiling up more stairs on another level stood three entrance on three different walls. Through the right entrance a doorway led to the lord’s hall. The chair and the room itself were smaller than their counterparts at Winterfell. Across the stairway lead to a small dining hall. Directly in front of the stairs the archway led to a small room with a fireplace on one side and another stairway on the other, his leg was already killing him. When Jon moved to sit down on a nearby bench Edric pulled Jon up more stairs.

“I know this maybe tough for you, but we have more stairs to kill till I show you something amazing.”  They travelled up the stairs that hugged the curved wall. Half way up Jon saw something that immediately caught his eye.

Dawn .

A suit of armor held a pale sword that glimmered in the light of the fireplace. If it wasn’t for a heavy set of steel bars Jon would of reached out and touched the sword of legends. Dawn , a greatsword, was only a little more elaborate than Ice. At the pommel a star sat. It was a sword used in battle and the steel itself made up for the lack of design. Unlike Ice with a dark grey blade, Dawn ’s blade was pale and almost as white as the walls of the room. Inscribed on the wall next to the chamber of Dawn was a short list of the wielders of Dawn. Each name had the name ‘Sword of Morning’ wrote next to it. Ser Arthur Dayne, Jon’s and Edric’s uncle, was the last name chiseled into history.

“I know it is amazing. I hope that once I am knighted I will be good enough to add my name after our uncle. Though we must hurry it will grow dark soon and I wish to show you something before that happens.” Edric practically dragged Jon up a spiral staircase. They passed by a bedroom that Edric explained was usually filled by a random family member. Since Edric’s leg didn’t have a dagger in it not even a week ago, he beat him the the top of a long staircase. He waited at a door for Jon before entering it.

The door led to a large bedroom, to the right a large bed with a purple and white curtain sat. To his left a small desk with a set of chairs. Built into the walls next to the chairs one side was a book case and the other a dresser. A window looked out over one side of the river and the green land it flowed next two. On the wall two Dayne banners sat. Near another door a painting of a woman with black hair and and lilac eyes looked at Jon. He knew immediately who she was.

“That is my mother isn’t it.”

“Aye, now hurry we haven’t got much time left.” This time when he pulled on Jon’s arm, he didn’t move. “Jon, please. Your mother would come back and haunt me if I do not show you this spot first when the moment is right and the moment is right.” Reluctantly Jon followed Edric through a door that is mother stood by and up another spiral staircase, it seems like Edric wants to kill him.

The staircase led to a room with another small table and some chairs. He followed him past all the nice looking comfy chairs and out a door that showed a sunset.

Once outside Jon could see everything around him to his left was the green of land and to his left the wide open ocean that had a sun setting behind it. The reddish yellow covered the ocean and the sky. It was a sight to behold.

“This is the Palestone Sword Tower. The view was your mother’s favorite, especially when the sunset and rose. It was said that every morning and night she could be found up here.”

Jon could see why she loved it here. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. It was then a bitter memory of a tale came back to him.

“This is where she jumped.”

“Yes, I am sorry I didn’t even think about that. They say she didn’t even watch the sunset that night. She apparently came and saw you. It was apparently the only sunset she ever missed and it was because she loved you more than that,” he point to the sun which was apparently almost gone,” It was only when the nursemaid Wyalla found you in her bed did anyone realized she was gone. You were the thing that she loved the most in the world, we still do not understand why she jumped.”

Tears filled Jon’s eye as he watched the sun’s light faded into darkness.

“I will leave you alone then, the servants should of already have your stuff in your room below.”

“Which one is that.”

Edric smiled, “The one we just passed through, your mother’s.”

“Thank you, could you show me to the maester’s rockery I need to send a message to Robb.”

He laughed at Jon before responding, “I am afraid you would like it. It is on the other side of the castle up more stairs. I will have a servant come by in an hour for it. There should be paper and ink on the bookcase. Good night cousin and sleep well.”

Edric left Jon overlooking the same view his mother adored.

 


 

Robb Over a Week later

It has been almost two moon turns since Robb has been Lord of Winterfell in his father’s absence. Bran has not woken up yet though. His mother was in now leaving his room now, though she stayed in there most days and some nights, she would sleep, bathe, and eat in her room and the later with her children. It was progress and hopefully she will soon only spend a few hours in the room so she could return to some of her duties including his little brother. Rickon has taken to following Robb or Alys around. Though it was late at night so he should be in his room sleeping.

Robb was busy attending to more lord business. The farmers have been happy with the tax relief and the influx of food has grown. There was some reports of wildings in the woods. Even though he wished to ride out and rid his land of them, Alys talked him out of his childhood dream. Instead he increased the amount of patrols. If the reports weren’t just rumors the guards would surely deal with it. Darkness already settled over Winterfell before a knock came to at his solar. Once the guard announced it was Maester Luwin he permitted him to enter.

“Ah Maester Luwin, anything you have can wait till tomorrow I am about to go back to my chambers and sleep.” He noted the scroll the maester held in one hand.

“It can, my lord, but I feel like if it did you would have my head. It is a letter from your brother, Jon.” He handed the note that bore the stamp of a Dayne on it.

“Thank you, maester.” Luwin bowed before he left Robb, closing the door behind him.

Before he could think he broke the seal and sat down in a chair next to the dwindling fire.

Robb,

I made it to Starfall. Much has happened to me in the short time we have been apart. You will probably not believe some of it, but you know I wouldn’t lie. I am currently staying in my mother’s old room, in the Palestone Sword Tower. I am staring at a picture of the women who gave birth to me and I can spot some similarities. One our hair is both black and we have lilac eyes. I was told a story about what she did before she jumped and it brought me to tears. I will tell you another time as I have much to say with little space.

I killed some pirates. We were off the eastern coast of Dorne when a pirate ship captained by Blue Fist Kayne, a famed pirate down here, came upon us. I killed 3 men, not including Kayne. A battle is not what we dreamt it was about. I still can see the eyes of the man that I first slew. They haunt me. I hope you will never experience it, but knowing you, you may already have. After I cut off the blue fist of Blue Fist Kayne with Phantom he called me a bloody bastard then put a dagger in my right leg before I removed his head. His head did not come off all the way as when father does it. I am sure though that when Bran wakes up he will like a story of fighting pirates, Arya too.

I am fine though. Besides some scars, I have one running from my eye to my chin it cuts through the beard I have been growing, I only have a sore leg. Sadly the battle wasn’t all that heroic for me as I passed out after noticing the dagger. The maesters I have seen both said I will make a full recovery.

I miss you all and Winterfell. Starfall if by far the smaller keep. It is as beautiful though. I prayer you will keep it as such till I return. I prayer every night that Bran wakes up or has woken up, even though I have not seen a hearttree since leaving the north. Give Bran, Rickon, Sansa, Alys, and especially Arya my love. I will let you know when I plan on travelling again. Perhaps this time on land so I don’t run into trouble. Tell father I will write to soon I have walked up many stairs and am tired.

Write soon.

Your Brother,

Jon of House Lycaon’

It pained him that Jon at least at the time off writing didn’t know that father was Hand of the King. A smile stayed on his face as he walked with the letter from his solar to his room.

 

“Robb are you okay, I sent a servant to fetch you from work when the maester told him you were attending something important.” Alys was already in the bed wrapped up in furs. It was getting cold at Winterfell, winter is coming after all.

“All is well. Here is the cause of my tardiness, I blame Jon.” He said as he handed the letter over for her to read. While she read Robb undressed and join her in bed, wrapping her in his arms.

“You should write to him.”

“I will, in the morning. For now I just want to hold my wife.”

Only half of what he said was true. Once she put the letter on the night stand he started kissing her neck. Slowly he made his way down her neck and moved over her to kiss her each of her breasts, before leaving a trail of kisses down to her womanhood. She squirmed and giggled as his red fuzz on his face brushed by her stomach. When he first started growing his small beard she begged him to shave it saying it made him look to old. After feeling it on her skin though, she ordered him never to become clean shaven. After kissing her lower lips he moved up to kiss her breasts again. She whispered his name as he sucked each of her nipples, causing them to harden. Her skin was soft and warm. He hoped that they will never grow too old for moments like this. All of the hardship and headaches that came from ruling quickly melted from his mind as she pulled his head closer to his. As they kissed he re-positioned himself so they could make love easier.As he pushed the head of his hard manhood against her entrance, he slowly entered into her lower hole. She moaned as she grabbed his back pushing him closer to her. Before he could starting thrusting in the familiar hole a loud and demanding knock broke the intimate moment.

Robb silently cursed as he stayed in her.

“WHAT IS IT!” Robb yelled, hoping the person would not answer back detecting the mood he broadcasted to them.

“My lord, I am sorry to awake you, but there is a fire!”

Chapter Text

Ch. 4- Mixed Emotions

 

Alys has been up now for several hours before the sun rose. During that time she has been preparing the day that she had planned for Robb and her. The past couple of weeks have been hard on him. First there was a fire that burned part of the castle at night, before it was brought under control. Though the terrors of the night did not end there. Once the fire was contained screams were heard coming from the family wing. When Robb and some guards found the source of the screaming, Lady Catelyn and a man whose throat was ripped out. Apparently when the fire started to burn Lady Catelyn went to check on Bran. While there the man came and attempted to kill Bran. If Lady Catelyn hadn’t delayed the cutthroat long enough, Bran’s still unnamed direwolf wouldn’t of arrived at time to protect it’s owner. The rest of the night was spent in a Robb’s solar discussing what to do while guards stood guard over Bran’s and Rickon’s room. It wasn’t till hours later that Lady Catelyn decided that she and Ser Rodrik will head south to King’s Landing to meet with Lord Stark to discuss what happened. Robb wanted to send a score of men with them to protect her, but was convinced that discretion was what needed to be done. After another day, more of Robb’s family left him. When she first arrived to Winterfell a big Stark family greeted her.

 

When she first sighted Winterfell, it still looked as big as when she first came here. Though this time more people were on the streets trying to catch a look at their new lady. Going under the gates of Winterfell was different too. More people were waiting for them in the yard to greet them. If she hadn’t meet them before she would of thought the black haired youth who looked like a younger Lord Stark was Robb. She knew though that the tall redhead, standing next to his father was the man she was to marry. She remembered the sweet boy that made her smile and laugh years ago when she danced with him and his half-brother. When their father’s announced their betrothal the next day she felt like a dream come true. When she saw Robb after all those years ago the feeling was different. The childhood love disappeared over the years, as she hoped the boy would stay the same when he was a man. That night at the small feast they had she learned he hadn’t. He had become much more better. He was still kind and made her laugh, but he was sweet and made her feel safe. At their wedding she knew he started to love her when he had his mouth opened. The feast when they danced confirmed it. Later that night instead of just making love as was their duty that night, they did it multiple times with lust. This day was her repayment for the things he has done and also a break from his lordly work.

She walked back to their shared room with a plate filled with bacon, eggs, and fruit. She sat it down on the nightstand on her side. Once she removed her clothes, besides her small clothes, she got back in bed and snuggled against him till he awoke for the day. She knew it wouldn’t be long, since he has become temporary lord of Winterfell he has been waking up at dawn everyday. It only took him a few minutes of her fingers running through his curly red hair before he awoke.

“Good morning, my love.” She kissed him on his lips while he was stretching.

“Good morning, I would love to stay in bed longer with you, but I have a lot of things to get done todo.” When he tried getting up, he let her push him back on the bed.

“You do not. Myself and Maester Luwin have agreed that today you and I can take a break, He will not disturb us unless it is an emergency. So we have nothing to do today, but what I have planned.”

“Oh, and what have I done to deserve such a day.” He said with a smirk on his face.

“Robb, do you truly not know what day it is?” He only shaked his head with a confused face, “Honey, it is your name day you are eight and ten.” It took him a moment before it actually dawned on him what that meant.

“Well in that case, since we have nothing to do let us stay in our bed for awhile,”He started kissing her neck,” Or maybe a long while.” She shared the kisses with him  before she broke off.

“Sorry, like I said I have made plans for us and they do not including laying in bed all day,” She got out of the bed and gave him the plate of food. “Now hurry up and eat we have things to do.” He sighed in return before digging into the food.

 

They rode for two hours before she brought them to a small pond in the Wolfwood. Once they arrived Robb sent the small unit of guards, only a score, out to hunt for a while. They by the lakeside and had a small picnic as they talked most of the day away. Once the guards returned, they caught nothing while Grey Wind caught two hares, they rode back to Winterfell. Once there she led Robb to the Godswood and ordered the two guards to not let anyone, but Maester Luwin enter. When they got near the hearttree two sets of blankets were on the ground with two bottles of wine , glasses, and and basket of fruit. When they made it to the blankets. She smoothed her dress and sat down while Robb poured them both a glass of wine. They sat and shared the wine and food for awhile before she got up. She moved over to the side of the pond and faced Robb.

“So, are you ready for your name day present from me?” He nodded at her with a curious face. She smiled at him before undoing the laces that held her dress. His eye grew wide when the dress gathered at her feet, she was wear no small clothes. She stepped out of the dress and made her way into the hot pond, point at Robb as she motioned with a finger for him to come. By the time he was undressed she was halfway underwater. When he finally caught her with the water just under her breast, they entwined in a passionate kiss. She wrapped her legs around him as he lifted her up. She felt him pressed up against her. They kissed for a few more moments before she felt him attempt to enter her womanhood. She felt him slowly enter here waiting hole, she moaned his name into his mouth. Slowly he started thrusting in and out of her. She whimpered when he started picking speed. They stayed together for a while they made love.

When the hour of the wolf neared they had spent most of the night in each other’s arms. Now they rested in the pond filled with warm water. She sat sideways on Robb’s lap as she rested her head against his comforting beating heart. The wine and food they had next to them was all gone. Robb had one hand holding her near him and the other playing with her hair that floated in the water. She didn’t mean to, but as she had her eyes close listening the a soft thumping noise and nature blowing in the wind, she fell asleep.

 

When she woke up the next day she was somehow in her bed. Memories of last night brought joy to her mind until she rolled over and noticed Robb already gone. That was odd since she always work up before him. Something must of happened. She quickly got up and started putting clothes on her already naked body.

By the time she left the room morning light began to fill the castle as it awoke. Not finding him or Ice in his solar she went to break her fast before trying to find Maester Luwin. She slowly made her way to the maester’s tower, stopping in front of the door before entering. A quiet reply of ‘come in’ came through the other side of the door.

“Maester Luwin, I hope I wasn't intruding.”

“My lady, it is good to see you and no I was just reading a book. Is there something I can help you with?”

“Yes, do you know where my Lord Husband is. I usually awake before him, but this morning he was gone before I got there.”

“Ah yes, a guard patrol encountered a small group of wildings. They caught one and brought him back for Robb to pass judgement. I believe he went to the spot the Starks have beheaded their prisoners. He left not to long ago so he should be back in an hour.”

“Thank you, when he comes back can you tell him to meet me back at our room.”

“My lady, I will, but you must know Robb will most likely go straight to the Godswood to clean Ice and pray. If you wish I will still tell him.”

“ Thank you, if he chooses to clean Ice first can you come and tell me.

 

It took an hour before Maester Luwin informed her that he returned and went to the Godswood. It was at the pond near the hearttree, where they made love the night before, she found him. He was dipping Ice into the water then washing it with a rag.

“I killed a man today, Alys.” He said with a tone of sadness in his voice.

“He was a wildling and would of killed you without a second thought.”

“He was still a man though. The only thing that separates us is a literal wall of ice. We share more in common with them than the southerner. I wonder if this is how Jon felt when he took his first life.”

“He probably did, and the is good. If he or you didn't something would be wrong with the both of you.” She sat close to him and leaned her against his shoulder.

She stayed there for a few minutes with her arms against his body as he finished cleaning Ice.

“ I meant to ask who how did I wake up in our bed when I remember fall asleep in the pond.”

“Will after you fell asleep I thought about waking you, but you looked so happy and peaceful that I carried you back. Don't worry I wrapped you in a blanket and took your clothes with me.”

“Ah that explains it then. So than I am guessing that you haven’t eaten yet.” She felt his head shake in reply. “Well I had a servant prepare a meal for you in your solar. So come.” She stood up and took his hand after he sheathed Ice and carried it. They made their way through the keep back to his solar where he would eat.


Arya, A week later

King’s Landing was a shithole. It not only smelled like one it acted like one. When she first saw the capital of the seven kingdoms from a distance it seemed impressive. Up close though it was terrible. The Red Keep stood above the city on Aegon’s Hill and looked down upon the city that they ruled over. The only good part was that she could practice sword fighting with Syrio. If it wasn’t that father had allowed her to learn to fight she would of tried and to leave long before being forced to attend a stupid dance. Sansa was all dressed up and being danced with half of the kingdoming. Including that asshat Prince Dumbfrey. She didn’t understand why she still wanted to marry him. It was his fault that Lady was killed and Nymeria gone. If Sansa had told the truth to Father and the King about what actually happened along the Ruby Ford, both direwolves would be alive and here.

Her brooding was interrupted by a familiar face.

“My Lady, it is good to see you again,” Lord Beric the Lightning Lord greeted here.

“Lord Beric, if you are here then did Jon and Edric come too?” She looked behind him and tried to see if her favorite sibling was here. She sadly didn’t see a sign of him. She started to slump back in her chair when he started to speak.

“No, I left them both at Starfall after I knighted them both before I took my leave.” Knighted? She couldn’t of heard that right. Jon was a northern bastard, he followed the Old Gods he couldn’t of been knighted. Though the more she thought about it she has heard about knights from the North. There was Ser Jorah Mormont who made his name during the Greyjoy Rebellion, though he disgraced himself by selling poachers as slaves. There was also Ser Rodrik, the master of arms for Winterfell.

“Jon, Knighted? How? What happened? Has he become a follower of The Seven?”

“How about I tell you a tale of Ser Jon and Ser Edric, in exchange you must dance with me while I tell the deeds of the two brave souls? I have noticed you not dancing with anyone yet.”

It was true while many young lords and sons tried to dance with the younger Stark daughter, more asked for Sansa’s hand, she turned them all down with a glare.

“Fine.” She followed him to the dance floor and allowed him to grab her hands as he began to dance and talk.

“I am not surprised your father did not tell you this, but when we were sailing to Starfall we were attacked by a Pirate.” She felt her eyes go wide and look up at him in shock. ”Don’t worry he is fine. The ship we were on tried to outrun the the pirates, but they caught up to us. When we couldn’t outsail them we stopped and prepared for an attack. Once they boarded the ship we fought them. Edric slew two, myself five, and Jon four plus the captain of the pirates. He also saved our captain and the pirate captain knocked me to the ground and was about to kill me before he saw Jon’s sword, Phantom . Jon and the Pirate Captain Blue Hand Kayne, fought each other for some minutes. Jon though was able to. OW my foot.” Arya may have accidently stepped on his foot.

“Sorry, I am not the best dancer.”

“It is fine. Like I was saying Jon managed to get the upper hand on Blue Hand before chopping his head, though not before he was stabbed in the leg.”He held his hand up before she could speak. “Don’t worry he is fine. It seemed like he was back to his old self when I left them. So how does that sword work coming along.” Second time that night she looked at him with a surprised face. “Ha, don’t be surprised. Jon told me about your needle and the small lesson he gave you.”

“They are good. My father has employed Syrio the First Sword of Braavos. He is teaching me the water dancing of Braavos.” She said proudly.

“That is good the Braavosi style will suit you the best. It is made for the quick feet and agile. Also maybe it can help you with your dancing. You should write to your brother about this. I am sure he will love to hear from his little sister.”

She was ashamed that she still hadn’t written to him. Though every time that she tried she would fill the whole page with questions. The current letter she has written is only 2 pages long though. She might just send that one if the maester said that a bird will be able to carry it. Though since learning about what has happened to him that Father did tell them she felt like she should add another page to it. At least she was trying to write to him. Sansa wasn’t even attempting to write to him. She didn’t even know if father was writing to him either. Though she has seen letters with a purple seal on them being carried by Jory to her father.

Though she hasn’t written to him, he hasn’t written to her. She knew that he was waiting for her to send a message once she reached King’s Landing. Though if he was writing to father than he knew she was here and should write to her. Maybe she shouldn’t even write to him, if he didn’t care to write to her, she shouldn’t need to. Though she wanted to know what it felt like for him to have been in a fight.

She guessed that  the training she has done with Syrio was far different than with actually battle. She pondered more on this as she slowly made her way back to her room in the Tower of the Hand. Her room overlooked the city below them. The sight was not as pretty as the one overlooking the sea though. When she looked down from her window she saw the training yard filled with drunk squires. The sound of the feast in the great hall was almost drowned out by the noise in the city. She missed Winterfell.

She imagined that Starfall was a far better sight than this. Maybe her father would allow her to visit Jon there soon. In Dorne where women fighters are normal she would be able to practice with Jon in the training yard. Maybe she would be able to defeat him and Edric.  They might of had years of practice, she was sure she was faster than them. Maybe then father wouldn’t make her attend all the stupid lady lessons that she has been taking here. None of them have been any fun. Instead of using sewing needles fixing holes in men’s shirt she would rather be poking holes in them. A brawl from the training yard quickly broke her line of thought.

Once the noise went back the normal sound of an ugly city. Maybe if she writes to Jon and ask him to ask her to let her come, she will be able to. She knew the odds were low though. Father had barely wanted to come this far south. He probably wouldn’t want her to go any further south, even to Jon. It was unfair that Jon could do what he mostly wanted as he wasn’t a lord’s son. It was the one good thing that she knew he enjoyed about being who he was.

She will still write to him though begging him to send for her. He has never been able to resist him though.






Edric, Near a month later

It has been some months since he has made it back to Starfall. At first he was worried that his people would despise the Lord that left them. They greeted him and Jon when they first arrived with open arms. It felt good to have the small folk still like him in his absence. There was a big feast held in his honor later that week. It was held outside of the castle, but the castle was open to those who which to explore it. They only problem was that some little kids accidently knocked over a vase or two. He forgave them and told their parents not to worry about it as he was a child not long ago and broke a few vases in his time.

It was later during the feast that Beric spoke to the crowd.

“The men, women, and children, if you may lend me your ears I would like to say something,” He waited until the crowd’s volume turned down. “You may not know me, but I am Lord Beric Dondarrion of Blackhaven, betrothed to the beautiful Lady Allyria Dayne.” The crowd cheered at the mention of their lord’s aunt. “Your lord has been my squire for some years now. During that time he has shown the great qualities of knighthood. Though he showed them more truly when we came under attack by pirates on our way back here. He helped defend our ship from those who wished to harm us, but they did not realize they had sons of Daynes on board.” Another cheer went through the crowd, it took some time before it grew quite enough for Beric to speak again. “I would do a great dishonor if I didn’t mention Lord Edric’s cousin Jon Lycaon, the son of the late Ashara Dayne and Lord Eddard Stark. He fought by his cousin and my side on the ship and save not only our captain's life, but my own. He slew the feared pirate Blue Hand Kayne in single combat.” A smaller cheer tore through the silence. “Both Lord Edric and Jon showed to me that they have the ability to be great knights, so if Lord Edric and Jon would like to kneel before me I would like to knight them both before you.” The great cheer roared through the crowd at this.

Edric was beyond joy. He has dreamt of this moment since he was little, though most Dayne boys dreamed of becoming the Sword of Morning only a few did. Jon, on the other hand, was in complete shock. Though some northerns have been knight it has only been a small few. Though Edric knew Jon deserved it. He had after all fought against the same foes Edric did. Jon also has only acted honorably his whole life. It also gave him a title, it may not be Lord, but it was a start. Once they both kneeled in front of Beric, he removed his sword. It was the same sword the Edric has spent countless hours cleaning and honing, though probably not as much as Jon did with Phantom .

Beric moved in front of Edric. He touched his sword to Edric’s right shoulder. “In the name of the Warrior,...” Edric didn’t hear the rest of the speech only the tap of the sword on his shoulders seven times. The ceremony was usually done with the Faith of the Seven’s gods as most knights were followers of the Seven. When Beric moved over to Jon, he began to wonder what type of creed he will say to him. Jon was a follower of the Old Gods. His answer came though when Beric started speaking. “ Jon of House Lycaon, do you swear before the eyes of gods and men to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to protect all women and children, to obey your captains, your liege lord, and your king, to fight bravely when needed and do such other tasks as are laid upon you, however hard or humble or dangerous they may be?” He rested his sword on Jon’s right shoulder as he said this.

“I do.” When Jon responded Beric moved the sword from his right shoulder to the left.

“Then rise Lord Edric and Ser Jon, as two new defenders of the weak and innocent.” Once again the crowd cheered louder this time as Jon and him rose to their feets.

 

It was simpler then. Now Edric was faced with doing his lordly duties. He had sent Jon and some men-at-arms to deal with some robbers that have been harshing the smallfolk. He was also dealing with stone shipments from the quarry on his land. There was also the matter of getting some more food to import. While in White Harbor he set up a trade deal with Lord Manderly and was in the process of fulfilling that deal while dealing with much more issues. While he has been dealing each issue as they came in, he was pushing off one issue still. His marriage.

 

As he was Lord of Starfall marriage proposals have came in from all over Dorne. So far the major houses of Yronwood, Flower, Uller, and Wyl have each suggested a daughter or niece for Edric. Even some of the houses from the Reach have put forward their own daughters. Lord Tarly, an old house that used to fight against the Daynes in the old ages, put forward his daughter Elyn Tarly the youngest of his daughters and second youngest child. That marriage would be a great way to end the hostilities that caused pain between the two houses for centuries. While he knew the match would bring a great military alliance, he knew that most Dornish would not like a women from the reach ruling over them even if they lived over the Red Mountains from them. While he hoped for that marriage the most, his advisors wanted him to consider another. Elia Sand, the bastard child of Oberyn ‘the Red Viper’ Martell. The Red Viper didn’t put forward her name she did. Apparently they were free to choose who they wanted to marry or not. He had somehow caught her eye. A marriage to her would bind together the Daynes and Martells. Though she was a bastard, the princess heir of Dorne felt like they were sisters.

It took him a few weeks of pushing the issue off before he settled on have to pick either Elyn Tarly or Elia Sand. Both had their merits. The Tarlys were a great house in the reach. They could provide food, military strength, and peace. The Martells though are the Paramount house of Dorne. They brought with them a chance to raise the nobility of the Daynes, they also have more wealth and greater military strength, and since they ruled Dorne they could provide a good chance to increase their power. He was ready to leave the choice to a later date, again, when Maester Srywen came into his solar with two letters in his hands.

“My Lord, I hope I am not intruding, ah I see you have the marriages proposals in your hands. Have you made a decision on who will be the new Lady Dayne?”

“No, Maester Srywen I haven’t. I have it down to either Elyn Tarly or Elia Sand.”

“That is good I am sure your other advisors would be glad that you have almost made a selection.”

“I am sure they will be. I see you have letters in your hand are they for me?”

“Yes, my Lord. Well this one is for you. This other one is for your cousin, Ser Jon.” He handed a note with a direwolf stamped on it to Edric, “Any news on when he is to return?”

It had only been two days since Jon and two score of men-at-arms left to hunt down the robbers. They expected to be back in a week or two time. As of right now they had no way of contacting them to call them back. It would also not do good if he called them back when their task was left unfinished. Even if he did call them back, he is sure Jon wouldn’t until he at least tried for the two weeks.  “No, but they should be back before the moon turn. If you leave the letter to me I will make sure he gets it when he comes back.”

“As you wish my Lord.” Srywen sat the letter for Jon on his desk before taking his leave. Edric moved a candle closer to the letter as he began to read his.

Lord Edric Dayne of Starfall,

I know this will seem unfair, but I have need of Jon back North as quickly as possible. I can not say much as I don’t know a lot either. But I fear that the roads in the south, even in Dorne, will not be safe for a Stark or Lycaon to pass through safely soon. If my letter to him does not make it their before this one or at the same time, tell him to meet me where the Drunkard meets the Children from the Gatehouse. He will know what it means.

I am sorry that I am forced to call him back, but I need him. If you could send a small party to escort him I would be grateful. They will be provided any transportation south they need. Thank you.

-Robb Stark, Current Lord of Winterfell.

Stay safe.’

The letter only caused confusion in Edric. Why did he need Jon back so quickly. Why would he also send two ravens to carry both letters? Most would send one raven with more letters. Was he fearful of one being intercepted? The cryptic location also didn’t make sense. Though he suspected that was the idea. To him it seemed like the child and drunkard were meeting at the gatehouse. Though which gatehouse was he talking about the Hunter or King gate at Winterfell? Also why would the roads be unsafe for a Stark of the north in the south. Jon had always joked that Starks do not fare well below the Neck. The last time that a Stark died below the Neck was during Robert’s Rebellion. Unless Robb meant.

War.

It was the only explanation as to why Jon would be needed to be send back so soon. It is no secret to many lords that Lord Eddard and most of the Stark family care deeply for Jon. He would be a valuable hostage against them. It only begged the question as to who the war will be against. The Tullys, Arryns, and Baratheons were all allied to the Starks from marriage or friendship. It only led to the remaining Enemies to be either the Lannisters, Tyrells, or the Martells. While most know it the King Robert who did not punish Tywin Lannister for the murder of the Targaryen children whose mother was a Martell. They knew Lord Stark was sickened at the sight and petitioned for Tywin to be punished. When he wasn’t Lord Stark left King’s Landing swearing to end the siege of Storm’s End, find his sister, and then to head straight back North. So that took out the Martells for having any bad blood for the Starks. The Tyrells were defeated by Lord Stark at Storm’s End, while they were told that the Targaryen’s were dead and Robert won the war. He gave them the chance to surrender and they took it, much to the annoyance of Lord Stannis Baratheon. The Lannisters were the most likely. They were the only ones who were spurred by the Starks during the war. It made sense then why Robb wanted a small force to head north with Jon for protection.

How small would be enough though. If war did break out in Westeros who side will Dorne fight on? Edric could not allow a huge chunk of his men gone for an extend period of time. Though if he sent too small of a group it might not be enough of protection for Jon though. He would have time to think about it until Jon comes back. War hasn’t broken out yet so he was sure that two more weeks out in the wild would not cause great harm. He burned his letter, making sure that not a piece was left before he grabbed Jon’s letter and went back to his chambers.



It was almost fortnight later before he was informed that Jon’s party had returned. When Edric went down to greet them he saw Jon’s squire take hold of Phantom and Jon’s armour before bowing and heading towards the smith. The squire was a son of a knight in the service of Edric. While hesitant at taking a squire in the beginning, it looked like Jon quickly got used to it. When Edric reached him Jon smiled at him.

“Cousin it is good to see you again. You will be happy to know that those robbers will not be harshing your villagers any longer.”

“That is good to hear, Jon. Thank you for doing that for me. Though I fear that I must talk with you, alone, for a few moments. It is urgent.”

“Alright, Edric. If would first allow me to change I would be grateful.”

“As you wish. I will be in my solar waiting come right in.” Jon nodded to him before Edric left him.

It only took Jon a few minutes to arrive at his solar. True to his word he exchanged his riding leather for something more suitable for the heat of the south. Once he sat down he asked about the paper that Edric held in his hand.

“I hope you weren’t about to talk to me about marrying the one you do not pick.” It was a poor jest, but enough to bring a small smile to his face.

“Sadly, no. Though I fear you may prefer that to what we must talk about. Some letters cane for you while you were gone. Hear this came first and is from Robb.” He watched as Jon’s face turned from joy to sadness and then to stone. As he opened his mouth to speak, Edric held up his hand before giving him the second letter that arrived a few days ago.

“This is from King’s Landing.” It caused great sadness in Edric thinking about what Jon must be going through right now. The letter said that Lord Stark betrayed the realm and King and tried to usurp the throne from the King’s children after his death.When the message arrived Edric and his advisors debated on what to do.

The younger ones on his council wanted to hand Jon over to the crown to show their loyalty. The advisors who were alive during the Rebellion didn’t wish to think about sending Ashara’s and Lord Stark’s son to those who may wish him harm. The younger generation stated that Lord Stark destroyed Ashara’s honor by getting a bastard on her and reminded them that he was the one to kill the beloved Ser Arthur Dayne. They were quickly reminded though that both parties were in love with each other and Lord Stark did the honorable act of taking his bastard as his own son. They also stated that he defeated Ser Arthur in a duel during war, and returned Dawn back to the Dayne’s while lesser men would of taken it as a trophy. It was only after Edric said that he will not sell out his own kin, did the conversation end.

“This is a lie. My father would of never betrayed the King. They were like brothers. They king was to marry my Aunt Lyanna. I MUST LEAVE NOW!” He stood up abruptly and moved to the door.

“Jon, Wait. We must think this through. From the rumors the Lannisters are said to be marching and raiding from the west to the east. They will be all over the path back to Winterfell. You need a better plan than to march straight north.” Jon let go of the door handle before slowly making his way back the table they were sitting at.

“Fine. I assume then you have a plan. I will have you know that I will not stay here much longer.”

“We have had the news for sometime, I have already made a plan. And you will only need to stay here for only two more days before you will be able to leave.” He heard Jon grumble before sitting down. “Good now I plan on sending you north with twenty of my men for your protection. You will be under the cover of accepting a term of marriage from Lord Frey to me. If anyone ask you will be escorting her back here. The best path for you to follow is from going from here to Riverrun,” he pointed to a map that the maester brought him some days ago.” I expect that Robb will call on his mother’s father for aid. That will be the best refuge for you until you are able to meet Robb where the Drunkard meets the Children of the Gatehouse.”

“It is Moat Cailin. The last three towers standing are called the Drunkard, the Children’s Tower, and the Gatehouse. It is the only point that an army can pass into the north. No one has been able to pass it unless welcomed.”

“Good. The path will be dangerous. If you must fight I ask you must use your own banner if it is an attack. If it is as a defense then whatever you are carrying. I have had some surcoats with the Lycaon design on them so you can use them. Get some sleep now. Tomorrow you will meet your twenty men and the next day you will all leave at first light.”

 

It was the morning that Jon was about to leave. Twenty-two men were standing ready by saddled horses, ready for a journey north and maybe into battle. The men were a mixture of men Edric trusted, men from more northern regions used to the cold, some men who joined Jon on the hunt for robbers. Jon was standing near his horse expecting his squires work. Jon was dressed in his light riding armour with his light house cloak on his back.

“Jon, I hope you are ready for this.”

“I am Edric thank you for all that you have done it is more than you needed too.”

“Well I am afraid I am not done giving. If I may have your sword for a few moments. Your next gift from me will be ready.” Once Jon undid his belt holding his sword and gave it to Edric, he quickly gave it to Doran, Jon’s squire, to take it to the smith.

“So than, if this is all about nothing am I to continue on my task and bring home this Frey girl for you to marry?”

“Ha, funny. No, you can return without her. I expect that if war is to come my advisors will force me to marry quickly so I can have a heir.”

“Well then I may miss your wedding than. I hope it will be a joyous occasion.” They idly talked until Doran return with the Phantom .

Once it was handed back to Jon, Edric began to talk, “I know you wanted the leather stamped with your name and such so I had it done for you.”

“Thank you Edric, it means a lot.” He moved to tie the belt back around his waist.

“Hold on though. That is not all. I know it is your name day in a couple of days, so if you unsheathed the blade you will see my second gift.” Jon gave him a confused face before he unsheathed Phantom. The iron blade was replaced with a pale white ore with black swirls in the blade. The edge was sharper than normal blades and Edric doubted that it will ever need to be honed.

While Jon looked perplexed by the sword he began to stumble as he spoke. “Is this Valyrian Steel? Where did you get this? You better of not melted down Dawn.

“Ha, I would never do that to Dawn my ancestors will haunt me forever. And we suspect the black to be some Valyrian steel though. The pale white, though, we think is from a core of a fallen star. We found it on the ship that attacked us. After you fainted at the sight of being stabbed, the Captain had the ship searched. During said search the crew found that block of strange ore. The captain insisted that we take it as a gift to you for saving his life. The smith here has been slowly making that blade an exact copy of the iron Phantom .”

Jon sheathed the new Phantom, before embracing Edric in a hug. “Truly, thank you. I do not know how to repay you for all that you have done for me.”

“It is no problem Jon. Your repayment will be to use the sword honorably and justly. Also to come and visit.” In truth Edric wanted nothing from him. Just being family was enough for him.

Once let go, Jon mounted his horse along with the rest of his party.

“Thank you, Edric. I will see you soon.”

“I know you will. I wish you well in the wars to come Jon. Come back in one piece.”

 

With a simply nodded from Jon the party started to leave. Twenty-two horses, twenty-two men and one great white direwolf left Starfall. It instantly felt empty without his family there.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: First Blood

 

The once mighty fortress that was Moat Cailin has seen very hard times. Since it has been centuries since any army dared to invade the North through the Neck, the second wall of the north has fallen to pieces. The only thing that was left standing of the ancient First Men keep was three towers. The tallest and probably the safest of the three towers was the Gatehouse. Above it flew the snarling direwolf of the Starks, ready for the war that will eventually come. The giant of house Umber flew over the tall and slim tower called the Children's. A tower that was leaning and looked ready to fall was the Drunkard Tower. It flew the banner of the Karstarks, a cadet branch of the Starks and the house of Robb’s Lady Wife. It was said the there used to be twenty towers, a wooden keep, and a wall as tall as the one in Winterfell. The sight of seeing it in when it was first was built would've been amazing. Moat Cailin was often referred to as the Moat since like one for a castle this one protected the North from invaders. The Andals and many other would be conquers all fell before the castle. It was perhaps the only castle in all of Westeros that has never fallen. During the Age of Heros when their was more kings than the people knew what to do with, any time one would think of traveling north all Northern Kings would band together and man the fort. Only the Targaryens with threat of dragonfire were able to conquer the North. Perhaps without his dragons Aegon could've conquered the rest of the kingdoms, but he would of surely fell at the Moat.

Now the ancient fort was surrounded by thousands of bannermen ready to march south to free their liege lord. They were also marching south to help their allies in the Riverland. They were in need of it too. When she had left White Harbor the rumor was the Jaime Lannister had won a battle near Golden Tooth. Golden Tooth was on the border between the Westerlands and the Riverlands. It was not more than a week’s ride east to Riverrun. If gods were good, her Father and brother would be preparing for a siege and hold out until the North can arrive. Sadly Catelyn has not been able to convince Lysa to add the Vale’s aid to the cause. She said that even though her son would be more than safe in the Eyrie she believed he wouldn’t if a war came. If she would not support them as an ally, as family should, then they would have to win the war without them. Still though if battles continued to happen in the Riverlands an ally of the North would lose a significant amount of their army before they can even from. The Westerlands outnumbered the North and Riverlands if not combined once combined though they will be able to outmatch them in numbers.

Her uncle, Ser Brynden Blackfish, rode up to her. He had joined her on her journey back north. “This is the famous Moat Cailin? It is a…”

“It is a death trap uncle. No one has ever crossed it or captured it. The only Northern force that has crossed it has been on dragons. Even the Ironborns never dared to attack it in their many attempts of invasion.” She interrupted him before he could say anything, as more northmen surrounded them as they approached the Gatehouse Tower. Once she was off her horse, she walked towards the doorway where two guards of Winterfell told her that Robb was up stairs with his bannermen discussing a war plan. As she was walking up the stairs to the solar that he was using, Lord Bolton, Tallhart, Umber, Crewyn, Glover, Karstark, and Lady Mormont passed her by. Each of them gave her their promise that what has happened to Ned will not go unpunished. Once she entered the solar she found Robb, Alys, and a short man with short brown hair. Holding a green cloak on his shoulder was a lizard. She immediately knew who he was.

“Lord Reed, it is an honor to have finally meet you. My husband has always said you were his most trusted ally, yet you have never come to see him.” The short man whose name was Howland Reed was, according to Ned, the only reason he survived the Tower of Joy and recovered his sister’s bones. He was also the person who helped him bring home his bastard Jon Snow.

He smiled at her. “Lady Stark, forgive me. I felt that it would be better if I stayed in the Neck, most of the lords of the North do not look kindly on my kind.”

Before she could say anything else Robb spoke  “Mother, it is good to see you. I would of thought that you would of gone straight back to Winterfell instead of stopping by here first.”

“I am not traveling north anytime soon. You are in more of a need then your brothers are right now. And you sisters and father are in the south.” Before he could protest more Uncle Brynden spoke.

“Gods Cat, he looks more Tully than Stark. I can see some of you in him though.” Robb looked at the strange man with confusion.

“Robb this is my uncle, Ser Brynden Tully. Uncle this is my eldest son Robb Stark and his wife Alys Stark.” Robb reached out his hand to his nucle.

“It is good to meet you Nuncle. Your reputation precedes you. We could've used you in the initial strategy.”

“So that is what you were all up here doing. Well come on then show your mother and me what you northerns plan to do.”

“Very well have a seat while I tell you.” He waited for everyone to sit down. Once everyone was seated at the table with a map of Westeros on it he began.

“Reports have Tywin Lannister sitting on the King’s Road. He makes our goal of getting my father and sisters free difficult. We know that fighting a direct fight against him right now would be suicide. Instead of meeting him with a full force, I am having two thousand men under Lord Bolton attack him for a distraction. I will lead the rest of the force south to Riverrun where Jaime Lannister has it under siege. With the other Lannister force occupied, it will be an easy win. It will also cut off the Lannisters from their home. To get to Riverrun instead of crossing where Tywin is, we will be crossing at the Twins.” Brynden spat at the ground for good reason. The lord of the Crossing, House Frey, have not known to be honorable. The current lord, Walder Frey, is said to be a cruel and hard man. Crossing the Twins would cost a huge toll to the North.

“I know Ser,” It was Lord Reed who spoke, “We crannogman neighbor the Freys. I tried to talk him in another path, but there is no other crossing large enough for an army.”

“Alright say that you cross the Twins and make it south to Riverrun, what then.”

“Well Ser, when we cross and make it south I plan to try and lure Jaime in a trap in the Whispering Woods. Without their commander at the siege, the camp should be an easy target. Then Riverrun will be free.”

“It sounds good now, but how will you lure him into a trap? He is Tywin’s son he might not fall for it.”

“We are not completely sure yet, but with your help we might be able to come up with something better once we know more about what the situation is like down there.”

“Anything else we should know about now that we are all present.”

“I had Lord Bolton send a spy to King’s Landing to know how Sansa, Arya, and father are doing. And if there is anything we could do to help them. Lord Reed here will travel with us south to Riverrun. After that he will travel back north and make any enemy of ours that steps foot in the Neck bleed. A little over 200 hundred archers and a couple score of soldiers will be left here to defend the Moat.”

The five of them discussed some more about the plans for how to take Riverrun. Brynden offered the most as he explored every inch of the place. It wasn’t long before the group started to leave before he left she called Robb to stay. Alys made a move to stay as while until she spoke.

“If you wouldn’t mind Lady Alys I would like a moment alone with my son.”

“Mother you can speak freely in front of her she is my wife.”

“Do not worry Robb, I will leave I am growing tired and would like a bath before going to bed. Lady Stark” She shared a kiss with Robb before leaving.

Once the door was closed and the footsteps began to fall away she began to speak up.

“You should've left her at home Robb where she will be safe.”

“I tried mother, but she would not here of it. I only agreed when she said she will stay behind in the first battles and then stay at Riverrun until the war is done. If it is to go badly Lord Reed said he will host her at Greywater Watch until it is safe to leave.”

“You can’t trust Lord Reed he is a crannogman.”

“Enough mother he is a loyal bannerman of father. Father himself said that you can always trust Lord Reed the man will not betray a Stark even for his family. Besides he has agreed for his children Jojen and Meera to go to Winterfell.”

“Fine, but you must not let her control everything you do, while at war only at peace.”

“I know mother, I have a task for you though. The lords will not allow me to enter the Twins until peace is assured. So to deal with Lord Frey I wish for you to treat with him. You have will have all authority that I have when I make decisions in this.”

“Alright. The price of passing will be high though. I will try and negotiate it down.”
“Thank you, that is all I can ask.”

“If that is all then I will leave you too your wife.”

She got out of her chair and moved to the doorway. When a voice stopped her.

“Can you please try and get to know her more while she is riding with you. I fear she thinks you do not like her since you have never talked to her by herself.”
“Of course son, Goodnight.” With that she shut the door behind her and followed a servant to a room that was set for her.

Of course she liked Alys. The only reason that she has been distant was that she took her firstborn child from her. If she had ever moved to hurt him, she will have Alys beheaded though.




It has been almost ten days of traveling before the towers of the Twins appeared. The sight of it was ugly. A tower stood on each side of a stone bridge with a lone tower in the middle. The bridge was wide enough for two carriages to travel at once. When they stopped near the edge of the woods a small party of men holding the Frey tower banner approached their group. Currently Robb, Alys, Lord Karstark, GreatJon, and some twenty mounted soldiers were staying near the edge of the field. When the Frey men asked who they are to deal with, Robb sent Catelyn alone into the Twins. The gates of the Eastern tower rose as they rode under it. She was quickly led to a hall with a great chair and a very old man sitting on it. On either side of the room seats were arranged like they would be at a joust. She could only guess that the many men who filled the seats were the offsprings of Lord Walder.

“Lady Stark, I welcome you to my hall. It has been a long time since a Tully has graced us. Though I fear with your father near death and your brother Edmure prisoner, it will be a while longer after you leave.” Edmure was prisoner?! It was the first she heard of it, though she has been on the road the last few months.

“Well I hope you will allow us to rectify that. The army of the North would like passage south. They wish to free their lord and yours.”

“Pft. Why do they wish to cross here, hm. The King’s Road is faster and free. What is the problem.”

He obviously didn’t know about Tywin sitting near the Green Fork waiting for the army to march against him. If he did he made no mention of it.

“It is closer to Riverrun. It also leads to a route that would not be expected to be taken.”

“True, what do I get out of allowing your son travel my bridge. If I do it would make me seem like an enemy to the Throne.”

“The throne has already betrayed the North and Riverlands. They took my Lord Husband as prisoner for a crime he did not commit and attacked the Riverlands unprovoked.”

“They say he commited treason.”

“My husband is an honorable man, he would not betray his best friend or King.”

“Ha! Honorable. Doesn’t he have a bastard to some dornish slut.” She became furious when he brought Snow up. She was sure Lord Frey had more bastards than Aegon ‘the Unworthy.’

“My lord if you will not do it for my husband than do it for your Lord. He is dire need of help, it is your duty to help him.”

“You Tullys, with your family, duty, and honor. It has been over twenty years since a Tully has ever graced these halls. Your father has said no to every marriage proposal to his son from us. So I ask again what do I get out of this.” He truly was a stubborn man. Her own father never trusted him and usually left him to himself at the edge of the Riverlands.

“I am sure we can come to agree on some terms, my lord, what is it that you want.”

“Marriages, you have children. I have a lot of children and grandchildren. Why not marry some. Perhaps your eldest to one of my daughters. And a daughter to one of my sons.”

“My son Robb has already been married for some time now. My daughters are four and ten and eleven name days old. Both though are not with us right now, but a betrothal will be fine.”

“Fine, the youngest daughter to one of my sons closest to her age. What about his brother than.”

“Brandon is only ten name days old and no one knows if he will awake anytime soon. Rickon is only five name days old right now. A betrothal can be made between him and another daughter of granddaughter of yours.”

“Not those. The other one. The bastard who was given a cadet branch what about him marrying my daughter.” She came to terms earlier that she will have to allow a marriage to take place between one of her children and a Frey. She wasn’t expecting a proposal between the bastard and a Frey though.

“He is unmarried and I am sure he will marry one of your daughters if he is honorbound to.”

“Is he here with your son now? We can have them married and be off by morning.”

“No, Last I had heard he was in Starfall visiting his mother’s family. Robb said he sent him a message calling him back. He should be on his way now. Once he is back he will come and marry your daughter.”

“Fine, I will also expect that your son takes one of mine as a squire with a knighthood in the future. Some other Lords of the North will need to do the same. Since I am not getting your eldest as a son by law I will require two thousand dragons. A small price for what I gather is a large host.”

“We agree to the terms.” The price was a lot less, but also more than what she expected.

“Do you have the authority to make such agreements.”

“My son gave me power to broker a deal with that and that he will agree to any terms that we have agreed on.”

“Good, you may go back to him then and tell him he may pass under these terms.”

 

The price may have been low, but she was forced to give up Arya to him. Hopefully when they get her back Walder Frey would change his mind and be happy with his daughter married to a bastard.






 

Theon, eight days and nine nights later

 

A piercing silence was broken when the distant sound of horses became closer. The northern army and some riverland lord’s, were hiding in the woods right now waiting for an ambush. On either side of the small valley, that had a small stream running down the middle of it, two forces were waiting for the enemy. Across from where he was Lord Mallister, Lady Mormont, and the GreatJon waited for the horns to blow. Farther up behind him Robb, Daryn the heir to Hornwood, two of the Karstark brothers, SmallJon Umber, and Grey Wind. Theon was up closer to the edge of the forest where the archers were in hiding. Being the best archer on their front he was chosen to lead them. Lady Mormont lead the other side’s archer and would be the one to signal the attack. Soon Theon could make out the Blackfish running between the two forces faking a retreat that cause Jaime Lannister to chase him. The Blackfish’s forces quickly moved beyond the small bend in the river before the Lannister party moved in. From the looks of it the Lannister brought with him only two thousand man. The northern force only consisted of around six thousand men mostly cavalry. They had raced ahead of the rest of the horse to capture the Lannisters unaware before the main force would arrive. Soon the valley became filled with the Lannisters. Leading the party on a white horse, was Ser Jaime Lannister. He was covered in black and red armour with gold on the edges. From this far away he could see the arrogance of him. By the end of the night, he will be in chains and stripped of all protection. If the plan went right and he wasn’t killed before. Theon would've much rather see the young lion dead in the river, but they needed him alive so he could be used to ransom the Stark girls.

Once the party wearing red reached a certain spot, Theon and the archers drew their bows back. A war horn sounded from the other side before the sound of arrows flying through the night began to fill the quiet night. He didn’t wait to see the bodies of the unsuspecting men to fall before he let loose another air. After another horn blasted, followed by a deathly howling, and another horn blast, the archers stopped firing as the cavalry began to charge down the hills and from down river. Theon saw hundreds of bodies laying on the ground before they arrived. More were nursing some types of arrow wounds. A yell for Winterfell that sounded like Robb caused Theon to mount his horse and join the charge to battle. The shouts became for the Starks, Winterfell, Riverrun, the Tullys, the Lannisters, and more houses and homes.

Swords meeting swords and shield ran out around him. The screams of death rang out. It sounded glorious. He quickly pushed his way to the front of the charge so he could join the fight. By the time he swung his sword against a foe Robb had already looked to have killed one and Grey Wind three. The man he fought against wasn’t as near as skilled as he was. He quickly slew the man. He felt nothing at the blood of the man on his sword. He moved onto the next man that raised his sword against the heir of the Iron Islands. The joy of battle quickly overwhelmed him as he cut through the man.

 


Robb

 

The plan was working out perfectly so far. Jaime has fallen for the trap and was now trying to rally his troops to form up some type of defense. He had first tried to charge his troops forward, but quickly ran into the Lord Karstark and the Blackfish. His retreat was also cut off by the northmen coming down from the hill. Robb has already faced off against two men that fell before his sword. The first man was an archer who barely had time to draw his sword before Robb swung down from his horse and Ice sliced through the man. He was thankful that his father left him Ice , it easily cut through the armor of the men before him. Since he was allowed to use the greatsword, he has practiced with it every day. It became natural to him to swing the two handed sword. He stilled carried a longsword on his side. When he first charged he held Ice in one hand pointing to the enemy since he require to hands to hold the ancestral blade he went without a shield. The blade shimmered when it caught the moonlight at first. Now it was drenched in blood. Just like Grey Wind, whose presence scared both horses and men and already killed three men, the grey coloring was red with the blood of men.

Another man swung at Robb. He quickly blocked the attack from his left than his right before he swung over head and knocked the man on the ground. He marveled at the blade as it digged straight through his the man’s armor and stabbed through his heart. Normal armor was no match for the Valyrian steel that he wielded. He was quickly surrounded by his men allowing him a second to breath. As he breathed heavily with him holding Ice out in front of him ready to attack the next man. For the moment there was no man. His guards held back any as more Stark soldiers moved forward cutting down Lannisters. Currently Daryn Hornwood and Eddard and Torrhen Karstark. Grey Wind howled as he moved forward to kill another man. The Lannister force looked like it was trying to rally around Jaime. The man who swore to give up his name for a white cloak of the King’s Guard, had a red one for Lannisters. The disgraceful man was still sitting on his white horse while his men were dying around him. Robb could see a look of annoyance on his face. Ser Brynden was right about the kind of man Jaime was.

 

Once they passed the Twins, paying the price of crossing, he still wasn’t sure on how Jon would react to his marriage contract, they learned about what the situation at Riverrun was like. The siege was going slowly. The camps were also being harassed by local Riverland Lords. Ser Brynden was the first to offer a plan. He promised that Jaime was a restless man who would rather fight than siege a castle. He proposed leading a feint attack against a camp, then running back to the Whispering Woods. If they waved the Tully banner he was sure that he could lead Jaime to any spot. They had been sitting in the woods waiting for them to come for three days now. Unlike Jaime he had the patience to wait. He also trusted his nuncle to complete his task. While some of the Northern Lords wanted to attack the besiege camp right away it would have costed them too much time and a lot of lives. They also wanted to be the one who charged against Jaime, but none of them knew the land as good as Ser Brynden. Another problem the he faced was that GreatJon refused to allow Lord Glover to lead men over him. So, Robb had Lord Glover with a small force to go behind the Lannisters and block off their exit. Ser Brynden and his outriders were to circle around the battle and not let a single soldier or raven leave. The Manderlys were given the task of guard his mother and wife. Hopefully they will be unneeded. A sound of a trumpet brought him quickly back to the battle.

He looked to the sound of the trumpet and saw the Lannisters grouping together around Jaime. The Kingslayer pointed his sword at Robb before charging through the lines to Robb.




Jaime

 

He cursed himself for falling for the damn Stark and Tully trap. It seemed to good of an opportunity not to pass up. The famed Brynden Blackfish finally showed himself, Jaime had to take the chance to capture the best military leader that the Riverlands had to offer. His father would of seen through the ruse easily. He also wouldn’t have left the siege camps. It doesn’t matter now, he had to try and escape this hellish valley before he was captured. Once his party was attacked, he tried to get his men to move fast through the valley. His way was block though by soldiers charging towards them. It was then that he realized he was trapped. There would be no way for him to make out the way the came before that way was shut. The only course of action now was to cause the damn northmen to bleed, much like their lord did outside of the brothoral. He quickly started to swing his sword from his horse as many northmen tried to make a name for himself by being the one to kill the Kingslayer.

 

After a few minutes of the chaotic fighting Jaime knew that it would end soon. He would either be leaving the battlefield in chains or left here to rot. It was then he saw the little lordling that was in charge of this whole movement, Robb Stark. The boy took none of his looks from his father. His build and strength were that of his father though. In the young lord’s hand Jaime saw him wielding Ice it was too big not to notice. No wonder Lord Stark didn’t have it in King’s Landing. It was probably for the best actually, father was still sour that lesser houses had Valyrian Steel sword still while the Lannisters lost theirs just after the Doom. His father probably would have taken the sword for their own, instead of giving it back like Lord Stark did with Dawn . It made no matter now, the boy will die with it in his hand and Jaime will have stopped a rebellion before it started. He quickly grabbed his trumpet at his side and blew it. Once a good size of men were at his side. He pointed his sword at the young lord and shout, “For The King!” before riding in that direction.

Like Jaime, Robb was surrounded by other soldiers and lords. He let his surrounding knights charge ahead of him and carve a path for him. Before he could reach the young wolf pup a man with a moose on his surcoat charged at him. It was the first Lord that Jaime would fight today so he finally got off his horse and deflected a blow. He swung a counter that a peasant would of died. His blow was deflected though. He swung again before the moose lord could mount an defense. While his attack was defected again, he showed that he was slow. On his next swing Jaime swung high and off to the side. Before a deflection could happen he pulled back. The lord lost his footing and was off balance, Jaime quickly took advantage of the opening and sliced downward and opening him from the neck to his stomach. He quickly fell. Two more men stood in his way of ending this war.

Both wore black surcoats with a white sun on it. Jaime quickly remembered that it was the sigil of house Karstark, a cadet branch of the Starks and the family of the young pup’s new wife. He made for the younger looking one, age usually came with experience. After a couple of seconds of trading blows, Jaime could tell the man who battle with an axe would be an easy target. A sword was faster than an axe. It also allowed for more ways to attack. When the younger Karstark raised his axe to swing down, Jaime quickly stabbed his sword through the man’s throat. Two shouts of protest were heard nearby as Jaime pulled his sword out and made for the other Karstark. The older one was quickly put on the floor, since he fought with rage and not common sense. Before he could land a deadly blow, Robb Stark charged him with Ice in hand shouting for his home. He barely got his sword up in defense before he lost his head.

The boy was a naturally, he would give him that. It was clear though that he would of liked using the longsword at his side and not the greatsword that has been wielding by Starks for centuries. He wouldn’t say the boy didn’t know how to handle Ice though. It was cleared that he trained with it. He would be a gifted swordsman if he lived after this. It caused a smile to Jaime’s face that the first Valyrian sword he faced in battle was wielded by a boy. He had spared against Dawn before, but that was training and not to the death. In his moments of thought the boy was pushing Jaime back. He quickly rectified that by going on the offense. He was slow on the defensive it seemed. Jaime took advantage of that and pressed harder and faster. The boy was quickly forced off balance and pushed to the ground. Jaime swung his sword high before swinging it down at the young rebel.




Jon

They had been on the road for near a fortnight. His eight and ten name day passed while they were crossing near the Ring in the Reach. No one made a big thing about it. He was fine with that. Most of his name days have been with no affair. He was used to it. Though he missed having at least Robb or Arya to spend the day with. He at least had Ghost still with him. The direwolf has been growing bigger with each passing day. He was now larger than the hunting dogs kept at Winterfell. The men at first were terrified of Ghost, they stayed far from him at first. They soon got used to him and even started giving him food. Like when they went on a hunt for the robbers in Dorne, Ghost kept to the edge of the party.

Once they entered the Riverlands they kept close to the hillside boarding the Westerlands. It was easy to see how affected the Riverlands have been affected so far by the  near one sided war. Fields were burnt by the fire or trampled by armies. The closer they got to Riverrun the worse it got. They crossed the Red Fork south of Pinkmaiden. When they neared Riverrun it was at night. The fires of a siege camp illuminated the night. They would not find the hospitality of the Tullys on their trip. From the top of a hill Jon could make out three camps on either side of the fork in the river. Riverrun’s surrounding land next to the walls were flooded so they couldn’t commit an outright assault. Moat Cailin was on the other side of the river, unless he wanted to take extra time and head up the King’s Road. While sitting on top of the hill looking for a way to get around this obstacle, a small envoy of Lannister men came up to them. Before they arrived Jon had his party unroll the star and sword banner of House Dayne, it looks like Edric’s back up plan will be put to the test.

 

“In the name of the King, who goes there.” The man with a red bull on his surcoat. He was short with a bald head and a brown beard.

“My name is Ser Jon Sandwolf, we are an envoy from Lord Edric Dayne of Starfall. We have come to treat with Lord Walder Frey about a marriage proposal to my lord. We wish to pass.” Hopefully the name Sandwolf would explain Ghost and the wolf pommel on Phantom . “May, I ask who we are treating with.”

“I am Ser Forley Prester, good to meet you Ser. Do you have any proof of this marriage proposal? I do not mean to speak ill of your word as a good knight, but as you can see,” He gestures behind him at the siege camps,” We can not let just anyone through here.”

“I understand, here my lord gave me the proposal before we left.” He rode up to the man and handed him the scroll he has been carrying. He hoped the ploy will work. If not, Jon wasn’t sure if they could take these men. Luckily the man handed the note back and motioned for them to follow.

“Can’t believe a Dayne will be marrying a Frey. I would think he could get better proposals.” The knight made conversation as they made their way downwards to the camp.

“Willl Lord Frey offered any of his girls and the gold for their weight. Lord Dayne heard he has some fat girls.” He hoped Edric would forgive him for portraying him like this. It was the only reason Jon could come up with why a lord of such a noble house would marry a Frey. He could tell that the camps were well ran, but were slowly becoming more relaxed. The siege engines were also newly constructed and would occasionally fire a missile at the besieged castle. He hoped that Riverrun would be able to last long enough for a northern force to make it down from the Moat in time. Once in the camp Ser Prester led them to a large tent where he bid Jon to enter. The tent was a laverish area, clearly intended for the leader of this camp. As Ser Prester took a seat he imagine that he was the commander of the this side of the camp.

“So, Ser Jon, I assume that you and your men would like some tents to stay the night?”

“Actually Ser Prester, if you would allow us, we would like to pass through the the other side of the Tumblestone and head off away from your camps before we rest for the night. It is not intended as an offense I would just feel better if we were not in the camp if any attack happens.”

“I understand Ser. Though you will have to stay for at least an hour Ser Jaime Lannister is about to ride out against some raiders so the road will not be able for you to travel. Once he leaves though you will be allowed to travel. So sit let your men rest, let us share stories of war. From those scars I assume you have at least been in a fight.”

They spent an hour sharing battle stories. Well Ser Prester mainly shared, Jon told the stories of hunting the band of robbers. Ser Prester talked about the Reyne-Tarbeck rebellion, the war of the Nine-Penny Kings, and Robert’s Rebellion. It seemed he was eager to fight again and couldn’t wait until he was able to. It was some time till a servant came and told them that Jaime left and Jon’s party was on the barge to cross the river waiting for him. The trip on the boat was very fast and unexciting compared to the last time he was on the water. He was happy for that. Once across the party mounted and rode out of the makeshift gates that were built around what looked like to be the biggest of the camps. The road was trampled from a recent large party. While in the camps, he heard that the man Ser Jaime was riding out against was Ser Brynden Tully, The Blackfish. It was then Jon decide to follow them. He hoped Ser Brynden would know where Robb was, that was if he wasn’t caught by the time they find him.

For the next two days he had Ghost lead them the way to the Lannister party. They stayed far enough behind that no outriders would see them. Though judging by why they were out, all the outriders were ahead of the party. It was almost morning on the third day, the sun hasn’t even risen yet, Ghost was urging them to break camp fast. He was urging them forward. Jon could feel a familiar presence ahead of him and he sure Ghost could to. To the annoyance of his party Jon ordered them forward and to donne some light armour. They were trotting on at a slow pace before a horn blew in the distance. It wasn’t the Trumpets that the southerners used. It was a northern war horn. Shortly after the blast another horn blew followed by a howl that was all too familiar. It was a direwolf. Robb must of some how made it south and was engaging the Lannisters as they listened.

“Unroll the wolf banner!” Jon shouted behind him. He heard the flapping of a banner in the wind and rustling of armour as the men donned their wolf surcoats. Once the noise stopped and Jon looked behind him and saw the men wearing his house sigil, he turned forward and charged galloping to the battle. His cloak with his sigil flapped in the wind. He was sure that people would only be able to see the white direwolf on his back.

After a small bend in the valley they were in, they saw their first group of men. A banner with a Giant breaking free of chains facing away from them attack men clad in red armour. He could see a bear roaring next to white bird on his right. To his right a white tower stood next to the growling direwolf of Starks. He quickly maneuvered his men to over to that side. He yelled for a hole to open in the lines as he pulled out Phantom . Once pass the line of Umbers, he started to swing at anything that wore a lion. Ghost moved ahead of him scaring all the horses of men in his path. Once the way became to crowded he got off his stead and moved forward on foot. At first, neither side knew who he was fighting for until he stabbed a Lannister man through the neck. After that the northern men roared as they charged past him to the enemy. He looked behind him he saw the rest of his party on his heels. He couldn’t see Ghost, but by the sound of scared horses and men, Jon knew he was still alive.

He turned back towards where he thought Robb was and fought his way to a man with red hair and a large sword cutting off someone's head. Ice . He didn’t even think that father might of left the valyrian sword behind for Robb. He was wielding it perfectly though. A trumpet turned Jon’s head as he saw a cavalry charge heading straight for Robb. He quickly killed four more men as he entered a small circle of men watching a fight occur. Ser Jaime was fighting off against Robb. It looked like Robb was winning for a second. That was until Robb hesitated for a mere second which allow Ser Jaime to press an attack. In the training yard Robb was not good at defense. It showed now. Robb will lose this fight if no one came in for help. The northern bystanders were to honorbound to do that though. When Robb fell though, Jon knew if he did nothing his brother would die. As he saw Ser Jaime raise his blade, he shouted out no and ran forward.

 

Jaime

 

He swung his sword downward. It was at this moment Jaime thought it would be his second Stark son he will be killing. Before the death blow came , though, a sword meet his above the surprised and scared pup’s face. The sword looked familiar. It was Dawn . No, he has seen Dawn enough to know that it had no black sword like this one did. He looked at the face that wielded this mysterious blade. The face of Eddard Stark looked back at him. The eyes, though, were that of Ser Arthur Dayne. It was the blasted Stark bastard. He thought the stain on Stark’s honor was in Dorne. Without another thought he pulled back his sword and swung at the boy. It was easily deflected though. Before Jaime could attack again the mysterious blade came at him this time.

He barely deflected it before another attack came. The boy was fast. Faster than Jaime was. It seemed though he wasn’t as strong.

A swing high was blocked. Another to his right.

After three more blocks, it was clear to Jaime he wasn’t going to win this fight. The boy was better than him. Most likely better than even Ser Barristan ’ the Bold.’ To Jaime it seemed like the boy was close to the skill of the last Sword of Morning.

 

Jon

 

During the battle Jon stopped thinking. He was acting on instinct alone. While Ser Jaime was far the best trained man he had faced, Jon seemed to be able to overwhelm him with speed and quickness. Another swing high was all Jon needed before he swept the leg of the swordsman. Once he fell, Jon quickly held Phantom to his neck.

“Yield.” Mercy was more than the oathbreaker deserved. The man at sword point though reached for a dagger. Before he could touch it though Ghost bite the man’s hand snarling. The knight screamed.

“Yield.”

“I yield.” He dropped the sword he was holding, but still grunted in pain as the direwolf didn’t let go off his hand.

“Ghost.” At the call of his name the direwolf knew what he wanted to be done as he let go of his hand and moved to stand next to Jon, snarling. Four men removed any weapons they found on the defeated knight and quickly tied him up. Once Jon was sure he wouldn’t be able to escape he turned around and saw the surprised look of Robb. They quickly embraced each other as Robb muttered out some thanks. A sound caused them to both let go as two large and bloodied direwolves were rolling on the ground nipping at each other. It was a funny sight seeing two great wolves playing with each other.

“Jon, once again thank you. But how did you find us. Did they know where we were?”

“No one knows where you are. I thought you were still at Moat Cailin. We passed through the camps at Riverrun and we heard Ser Jaime left to chase down the Blackfish, so we followed them at a distance with Ghost. Once I heard the war horn and Grey Wind we charged forward and made it here in time to save you.”

“Good, you must tell me all about your trip here and Starfall. I should have Ser Brynden knight you for saving me.”

“I don’t think someone can be knighted twice.”

“You’re already a knight truly?” Jon nodded his head,”Well you will have to tell me that story too. First though after I make sure everyone is alright here I am sure there is someone that would love to thank you for saving my stupid ass. You must also tell me what that sword is and what happened to the blade that originally came with Phantom. ” Robb said as he sheathed Ice back in its scabbard over his back after wiping off the blade.

Jon did the same with Phantom before beginning the tale of where the strange metal came from.

“So they think it is metal from a fallen star and a some valyrian steel?”

“Aye, though how some pirates came into possession of it is beyond us.”

“Well come with me there is some people who will be happy to see you, well at least one, over that ridge.”



Once they broke through a tree line Jon saw the people Robb was talking about. Alys and Lady Stark were on top of horses next to Ser Rodrick. Both of their faces appeared happy and on the verge of tears as they saw the party come before them. Jon was riding next to Robb as the rest of the party rode behind them. Grey Wind and Ghost were running right behind their two owners. Jon slowed down as Alys rode out to meet Robb. She quickly got off her horse as Robb neared. Robb jumped off his horse, almost falling over, before running over to her and lifted her in the air as they shared a kiss. They looked in love, something Jon has never felt and probably never will. Jon slowly got off his horse when he neared them, not wanting to make a fool of himself like Robb. Lady Stark also gracefully got off her horse. It wasn’t until Robb let Alys go before she noticed him.

“Jon! What are you doing here? I thought you will be still in Starfall.”

“Saving me for one thing. Jaime was about to kill me before Jon stepped in and beat him in a duel. I would of had him knighted if he wasn’t already.” Gasps came from both of the women married to Starks before Alys hugged him.

“Thank you Jon. You have know idea how happy it makes me that you saved him.” He held his arms open not sure what to do with them before she let him go and made her way to Robb.

“Thank you, Ser Jon.” It surprised Jon to hear words of praise be directed to him from Lady Stark. She had even called him by his name. He usually heard the word ‘bastard’ come from her mouth when she spoke to him or about him.

“It was nothing, my lady.” Jon bowed his head trying to hide his smile from her, before looking up with a face of nothing.

“Are my brothers behind you Robb?”

Both men went silent and looked down. It seemed only Lady Stark knew what that meant, Alys didn’t. Before Robb could speak the sad news Jon interjected.

“Lady Alys, I am sorry. Before I fought Ser Jaime, your brother Eddard did. They said he put up a good fight protecting Robb before falling to Ser Jaime. I am sorry.” Robb held her tightly as she began to sob into Robb’s leather. “We did capture Ser Jaime though, he will face northern justice for all he has done.”

“Good.”

They stood there in silence before they started to get ready for the ride to Riverrun and the battle to come. Alys sat on Robb’s horse with him with tears in her eyes.

 


 

Alys, 3 days later

 

It has been three days since Alys learned about what happened to Eddard. While she was happy her other brothers and father survived, Eddard was the closest to her and it hit her the hardest. By the accounts of the men Eddard held Ser Jaime for a good time before falling. Torrhen would of fallen to if Robb didn’t save him. As happy she was with Robb saving Torrhen, he almost died too if it wasn’t for Jon arriving at the exact moment. She was still angry at Robb and Torrhen for putting their life at risk like that. She had been slowly forgiving them after Lady Stark, explain that men will do stupid things in war. She was happy that Lady Stark had started to speak to her during the trip. During the last two battles both women have been hidden behind lines and were ready to leave if things didn’t go to plan. The first battle in the Whispering woods went by far faster than the battle at Riverrun.

The first part of the plan was led by Ser Brynden Tully the uncle of Lady Stark, who has also been calling her niece. He was to attack with a somewhat big force at the northern camp. They were hoping that the western or eastern camp would lead a support mission. The guessed the western would send aid since they were the closest to the northern camp according to Jon. While that was happening the rest of the army led by Robb and Jon would attack the western camp. While Robb would lead the main force, Jon a smaller force would focus on the siege engines and siege lines. They were hoping if they could cause enough chaos at the front of the siege line the army in Riverrun would be able to sally and attack from the castle trapping the western force. The eastern camp would be dealt with once the gates of Riverrun was open.

The plan went exactly according to plan. The western force sent barages to the northern camp. The archers from Riverrun pelted them with arrows and rocks. They apparently sunk most of the barrages. Ser Brynden and his force quickly took care of the camp. Instead of send help, the eastern camp feld leaving behind most of their things.

Before the main attack on the the camps happened. Jon and his small force sent all the weapons made for sieges on fire. They quickly broke through to the front and cleared a path for the army in Riverrun to make their way out. Once the Lannister army saw this they moved to attack the them. It was what Robb was hoping for as he rode behind the them and began cutting them down pushing one side to the river and the other the the burning equipment. From where they were hidden they could see the fires and smokes rise in the air. The noise of battle slowly went away as it neared an hour. It was an hour later before some soldiers wearing Stark colors came for them.

As they rode through the battlefield Alys saw the cost of war. Bodies with every coat of arms laid on the ground. Men were screaming. Some of the bodies were missing limbs or whole chunks of bodies. It made her sick looking at it. Tents, battlements, and some men were still burning in the distance. The sickening smell of death. The party quickly made it through the blood stained ground and into the clean halls of Riverrun. When they entered the hall adorned with the banners of the Riverlands and now the North, Alys was happy to see both Jon and Robb alive and unhurt. The lords were are yelling at each other. They just won a great victory why would they be fighting each other. Alys sat down next to Robb with Jon on his otherside and Theon next to him.

“They killed my father.” The words shocked her. Last she heard Lord Stark was imprisoned in the Red Keep under false charges of treason. What should of been a great victory turned soured. Lady Stark apparently heard the news and broke down crying before leaving the room. That caused the room to go silent as they all remember what happened affected most. She quietly whispered to Robb.

“Is there anything else?”

“Aye, both of King Robert’s brothers claim the throne. Renly with the power of the Stormlands and the Reach and Stannis with Dragonstone. The lords here are debating on who we should join. I have been trying to tell them that an older brother comes before a younger brother. But some have heard terrible things about Stannis and would rather choose the man that nothing bad about has been heard about.”

Before she could speak GreatJon Umber roared.

“My lords,” The room went silent as his voice echoed in the hall, ”Why should any of those southern kings rule over us. They do not know the struggles that the North and Riverlands face. The Lannisters shit so much gold they give it away. The Tyrells fawn over pretty things. The Martells keep to themselves in their warm land. The Baratheons became rich on their iron mines. So I ask what do they know of hardship. Do they worry if they have enough to food to make it through winter? Do their fields burn during the wars like the Riverlands? No. I say let them keep their pretty chair and pretty things. Why shouldn't we rule ourselves again? It was the dragons we bowed to! And now the dragons are dead!” He unsheathed his sword and pointed to Robb,” There sits the only king I mean to bend my knee to: the King in the North!” He quickly kneeled in front of Robb laying down his sword. Robb slowly stood up. Robert Glover was the next to follow.

“My lords this is a King that I can stand behind fuck those who claim the iron chair.” He pulled out his sword and kneeled, “The King in the North.” Jon stood up next and moved in front of him.

“I might not have your name, I may be a bastard, but I have your blood and call you my brother, I hope you do the same.”

“I do Jon.”

“Then,” he pulled out Phantom and kneeled before him, “I will follow you to death and back with you asking me. I would lay down my life for you and your kin. You have the sword you gifted me forever. You are my king. The King in the North!”

“THE KING IN THE NORTH!” GreatJon yelled in agreement. Soon the hall was filled with the shouts of lords of the North and Riverlands agree on who should lead them. She looked on at amazement on what was happening around her. Before she could stop herself she yell the sentence that has been echoing in the hall. Robb looked at him with wide scared eyes.

 

After the events of last night Alys woke up feeling sick again. It was the third time this week she woke up like this. She could feel that Robb has already left the room they were gifted. Once dressed she walked outside of her door she found two guards who were to follow her. She made her way to the direction a servant said was the maester’s chamber. She ignored the fact that the servant had called her ‘My Queen.’ The maester of Riverrun had greeted her the same way when she entered his chambers.

“My Queen, is there something I can help you with something?”

“Yes, maester. I haven’t been feeling well these past couple of morning I was wondering if there was something you could prescribe to me?”



She quickly left the maester’s room and made her way to a solar that Robb has taken as his. Two guards were standing outside allowing her entry. In the room was some lords of the North and Riverlands, Jon, and Theon. All eyes looked at her when she entered. All but Robb bowed their head and said “My Queen.”

“Alys is there something you need?”

“Yes, I would like to talk in private if my Lords would be so kind.” Each lord bowed before exiting the room, leaving the new King and Queen by themself.

“What is it sweetie?”

She didn’t know how to say it. Her mouth opened and closed a few times before she decided that she should just be blunt like Robb.

 

“I am pregnant.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 6: Crimes of War

 

It has been less than a fortnight since Robb was crowned the King in the North. Less time has passed since the news of the pregnancy was announced. It was only a little over a week since Robb has sent Jon out with one hundred men to harass the Lannister supply lines. This past couple of weeks have been chaotic. The first part of the last month or so Jon was in his first battle where he best Ser Jaime Lannister. He reunited with his brother, Robb. It was only a couple of days later before there was another battle. While the camps were distracted with Robb’s attack. Jon rode with some calvary near the riverside and destroyed the line that was holding the rivermen in their castle. Once they rivermen saw the fighting outside their gate they quickly joined the northmen and helped win the battle. Once the besieging camp realized what was happening the battle went by quick. They suffered no major losses. It wasn’t till they entered Riverrun did they finally receive bad news. Once the field was secured and lords were gathered in the great hall at Riverrun they learned that they had already failed in one of the goals of the rebellion.

Lord Stark was already beheaded.

His father. The one who brought him home and raised him with his trueborn children. They each re-read the letter twice. He was apparently behead for the charge of treason. A fictitious charge that only enraged him. How could his father, who preached honor above all, betray his best friend. The maester of Riverrun had left them standing there. Before Jon could say anything Robb left the room. He assumed he went to the godswood at Riverrun.

He stood there for a few minutes caught up in his thought before leaving towards the training ground. It was mostly empty there with only the training dummies. He pulled out Phantom and started to swing wildly at the closet post. His own screams drowned out the noise of the battlefield. He wanted to go back out there and kill all of the Lannister men. It was a few minutes later and three destroyed training dummies before someone dared approached him.

“We already won the battle lad and those aren’t the enemy.” When Jon turned around to face the man he found Ser Brynden Tully facing him. “What could have you riled up so, your brother kill more men than you.”

“They killed my father. They beheaded him like he was a traitor.” He spat the last word out of his mouth.

“The moment we all marched south we became traitors. What happened to your father was a tragedy. This was most likely going to happen though. He deserved to die as an old man with grandchildren around him. I am sorry, but beating some hay tied to a post won’t change what happened.”

“Then what should I do? Sit here and talk or march straight to King’s Landing and kill all of the Lannisters.”

“What you should do is honor your father’s memory. Help your brother seek justice by winning this war.”

Jon’s sword arm fell as he felt a tear start falling down his face.

“Go wash your blade. Your brother has called a council with the other lords soon. They need to see Ned Stark’s sons as men like he was.” With that the Blackfish turned around and went back into the castle. Jon moved to the river to start cleaning Phantom he wasn’t sure where Doran was, but he wanted to do it himself. He needed peace before the council began.

After learning about Lord Stark’s unjust death a council was held with all of the lords. Once the northern lords were made aware of the death of their liege lord, death threats to the Lannisters were issued by the northern lords. None were louder than GreatJon Umber. They were debating on which king to follow since both Lord Stannis Baratheon and his younger brother Lord Renly have both claimed the Iron Throne. The lords were debating about who to kneel to when Lady Stark and Lady Alys entered the hall. After telling them about what had happened, Lady Stark had to leave the hall, the GreatJon announced who he believed should be king. To the surprise of most in the room including Robb and Jon, he proclaimed Robb as the King in the North. Both of them have played as the old kings of winter when they were younger. Jon never thought either would be called king. Even the riverlander lords named him King of the Trident.

Besides the bad news that came at the arrival good news soon followed. While Robb, some lords, and Jon were in a solar preparing for what to do next when Alys entered. She had the room cleared and Jon took the opportunity to visit the Godswood in Riverrun. It was later that he was informed that Alys was pregnant with the child of Robb. While it was a joyous thing to learn that the new kingdom will already have a heir. While Robb wanted to announce to his lords the joyous news he was talked out of it by his mother. They agreed that if their enemies new that Alys was pregnant then her and the babe would be in danger. They would keep it a secret until they couldn’t keep it a secret anymore.

It was the day before he and Ser Brynden Tully were supposed to leave to harsh the supply lines of the Lannister’s eastern army, when Robb and Alys confronted him. He was in his temporary room packing up his stuff. Ghost was laid out next to the fireplace, Phantom was leaning against the bed frame. A knock came to his door and once he bid the knocker to enter, Grey Wind entered first and curled up next to his brother. Jon kneeled to the man he knew would enter. He heard two distinct footsteps enter his room before he spoke.

“My King and Queen.” He felt a hand on his shoulder as a familiar laugh echoed in the small chamber.

“Jon, please do away with the formalities when it is just us. You are my brother let us talk like one.” He rose and smiled at both of them when he noticed Alys holding a letter in her hand.

“What do I owe the honor of having the royalty of the North enter my small room. Alys would you like a chair?”

“Thank you Jon, you and Robb are to worried for me. The babe is only as big as a large pea according to Maester Vyman. And to the reason of our visit is because we wish to see you before you leave.”

“Thank you both.”

“That is not all though Jon,” Robb said as he pulled the only chair out for his wife, she reluctantly accepted it. “I have told you about how we crossed the Twins to make it past Tywin Lannister and take Jaime by surprised.”

“Yes, from what I heard you had to pay a price to pass through. From what I heard it was not as steep as some expected.”

“True the money we had to pay wasn’t that terrible. Though we had to give away more than gold to pass. Arya had to be betrothed to one of Lord Walder’s sons or grandsons.”

He couldn’t help not to chuckle at that. “Arya will not marry him easily. She might just run away when you tell her.” Arya was said be their Aunt Lyanna reborn with how similar they acted. Both were free spirits who did not take to being a lady easily.

“I know, that is why I hope mother will tell her. There was another betrothal that had to be made though.” Jon looked at him with a quizzical face.

“Who? Sansa is still betrothed to Joffrey, Bran is still asleep, and Rickon is still very young.”

“Well, it was actually you. I know my mother had no right, but in order to cross she had to betroth you to one of his daughters or granddaughters. I know we had no right to do this, but we needed to pass and this was the only way. I understand if you are mad, if you do not wish to go through this I will end it and pay whatever is needed.” Robb looked at him with sadness in his eyes, Alys looked at the two great direwolves asleep next to each other.

“I understand. I will marry her. You swore an oath that I will and I will honor it.” He would not let it be said that Starks or their bastards were without honor. It was the least he could do for the family that housed him all of his life. To the father that treated him like one of his true born sons. If marrying some girl was the price to pay to see justice done for his father he will marry her.

“Jon, thank you. If there was another way I would take it. When this war is over I will grant you a keep near Winterfell. Perhaps even Moat Cailin if it can be rebuilt.”

“Thank you Robb, it is no problem. Is there anything else I need to finish packing and get to sleep since I will be leaving early.” Alys extended her hand with the mysterious letter out to him before speaking.

“Your betrothed has written a letter for you. You should write her back before you leave.” He took the letter from her hands and noticed the twin towers stamped on blue on the letter. He bid them a good night as he set the letter down next to his stuff.

When Ser Brynden entered Jon’s tent he was still looking over the unopened letter that he took with him on his mission. One hundred men were with the two of them as they slowly threatened the supply lines.
“You know boy, you can’t read that letter unless you actually open it. Aren’t you curious on what your betrothed has to say to you.” The old knight stayed standing near the entrance.

“Is there anything else I can help you with Ser Blackfish or did you just come in to make japes at me.”

“I would say you are the black wolf of your family too, but I fear Ghost might take offense to that. And yes I have need of you. My scouts have reported a small band of Lannister patrolling the area. There maybe only thirty of them. They have already set up camp for the night. I figured we could scare one more pack of lions before we head back to Riverrun.” He put the letter back in his bag before starting to put his armour on.

“Good, have you gotten the men ready yet.” He tied Phantom around his waist before putting his cloak over his shoulders and making his way out of the tent.

“Aye, thirty men should be more than enough. They are all ready and mounted. We are just waiting for you.” Ser Brynden mounted his horse. Doran had already saddled Jon’s before he approached it.

“Good, let us leave then. Ghost, to me.” The white direwolf appeared through the darkness of night and moved next to him. He followed the old knight with the men riding behind them as they rode out to fight another patrol.

 

It took them an hour of riding before they dismounted and found a small camp next to a stream. It did not look like many men stayed up late at the camp. Of those who did they were not heavily armored. Jon’s men had spread out around the camp, sticking to the shadows until fighting broke out. He and Ghost were near the horses when he heard talking start.

“The horses are acting weird don’t you say, Robert.”

“Aye, so what of it?”

“Remember what Jeremy said about what happened when he was attacked?” A silent interrupted the talk. “He said that the horses became scared and started to try and get away before the the White Wolf attacked them. He said a wolf as tall as a horse and as white as snow appeared with men. Then they were attacked, and only him and few other men were left alive. Apparently the wolf tore off a man’s arm and ripped through another’s neck.”

“That is just a tale. It was probably just some large dog and men. The White Wolf doesn’t exist. The horses are probably just scared of some snakes.”

It seemed like a legend was beginning to form around Ghost and these attacks. It was what they wanted. To make the men scared of a tale. Before the two could start talking again though, a horn interrupted through the quiet night. The fighting started.

Before the two men infront of him could react he stab one with Phantom before the man could even reach for his sword. Ghost quickly up on the other man and went for his throat. Once the two immediate threats were dealt with he went near the horses and cut them loose, letting them ride off into the darkness. Once he moved to the the camp, Ser Brynden had already defeated them. They quickly disarmed them and relieved them of any gold they could find before leaving them tied together around a tree.

They were riding in silence back to their camp before Ser Brynden broke it.

“You know I heard some of the Lannister men screaming it is the White Wolf when they saw Ghost come closer.”

“Aye, I heard the men I killed talking about him too. It seems like the legend is spreading fast.”

“It seems so. I say let the enemy and men talk, it is good for moral Ser White Wolf.” The old knight let out a laugh before riding ahead of him. When they reached back to camp, the men cheered for them and started calling Jon The White Wolf, after Ser Brynden encouraged them to do it. He handed his horse off to Doran before retreating back to his tent.

He pulled the letter that he got two weeks ago out from his bag before breaking the seal. The letter contained nicely written handwriting. At the bottom of the page the name Roslin Frey was signed.

To my Betrothed , Ser Jon Lycaon,

I know we have not met and will probably not meet before we are wed, but I wish to try and know the man that I am to marry. I also want you to know more about me. I hope I am not to forward.

From what I hear from you, you are a good and honorable man. They say you have fought pirates already when you visited your mother’s family. I have also heard that you have a direwolf that is as white as snow. I briefly saw your brother’s direwolf when he went past. They look like magnificent creatures. I am afraid there is not much to tell about me. I have done nothing of note or great importance. My whole life has been pretty much spent at the Twins with my large family. The one thing that I have been told that I am good at is music.

I wish you a safe journey and that you will be unharmed in the war. Write back if you wish. Though you keep the old gods I will keep you in my prayers.

Your Betrothed,

Roslin Frey.

 

Jon put the letter back in his bag before dozing off thinking about his betrothed.




Robb, 3 days Later

 

It has been been almost 3 weeks since Robb was named King in the North and of the Trident. When he began this journey south he did not plan for this. He had hoped that the Lannisters would see the threat he posed and would release his father and sisters. Instead his father was murdered. His sisters held hostage. And he was forced to send people to die for him. While the plan of send few men to distract Tywin worked, men died in a battle that didn't need to happen. Even now he was forced to send Jon out there to harass the enemy. From the reports they have been getting it has been working.

 

It seems like the attacks that Ser Brynden and Jon are leading, is causing the Lannisters to beef up their envoys. Costing them men that could be used to attack them. Rumors have already spread about a white wolf that is a monster killing all Lannister men. He knew that the tales were of Ghost and Jon. It brought him a smile to know his brother was out there causing the Lannisters to bleed for stepping foot in the Riverlands. He would've gone to if he wasn't named King or if he wasn't told he was to be a father.

It was the best news he had ever received when Alys told him. The bad news was finally broken apart by the first good news in awhile. He still couldn't believe that he would be a father. He wanted to tell everyone he knew. He remembered why he couldn’t though. If the Lannisters found out about his unborn child, it and Alys would be in to much of a risk. Outside of him and Alys knowing, the only few who knew of it was Jon, his mother, Lord Hoster Tully his grandfather, Ser Brynden, and Lord Edmure. Of course the maester knew aswell, but promised not to say anything. He could barely make out a small bump on Alys. In time though he knew it would grow large and they will be unable to hide it. He vowed he would be there for his child’s birth. He would not miss it like his father missed his. Fighting a war far from home while his wife gave birth. To keep the vow though he had to send his mother away.

As of right now the Lannisters outnumber them, not by much but enough. Renly had the biggest army and Stannis the smallest. The only two kingdoms right now that have not declared for a side is the Vale and Dorne. Dorne was too far away and fought against the North in Robert’s Rebellion. He didn’t know if hostilities were still held by the dornish. While if they made peace with Renly they would be supported by the biggest army, but might lose their independence. His lords put too much faith in him for him too allow that to happen. That left only the Vale. The Arryns were bond by blood to the Tullys and Starks. Though his mother said she could convince her sister to join them earlier, it was pointed out that it was before he was king. If they supported him he could give them independence from more the iron and winter throne. If they wanted to join the northern kingdoms, he will allow them to join him. With their numbers combined they would pose a serious threat to the Lannister armies and to any that dared to attack them. If they had the Vale with them, it would be easier to sue for peace with either Baratheon brother. To try again he was sending his mother to treat with his aunt and bring her his terms. Join them and swear fealty to the North and help fight against the family that killed their liege lord. If they did not accept the first offer she was to offer them their support in independence and an alliance till the end of time. If that didn’t work and his mother thought nothing will, she was too leave and speak to Renly. If she thought that another offer could work, she would offer it then leave to meet with Renly.

She wasn’t the only one he has sent away with similar terms. Theon was sent to his father with the same terms. Their ships would be a great asset if they swore fealty. If they chose independence then the one condition would be no raiding in the North til the end of time. While many of his lords argue against this act saying that the only reason Balon Greyjoy hasn’t attacked yet was because they still had Theon. Robb was confident though that Balon would accept the second offer. He had already tried for independence once, what was not being able to attack the poorest of the kingdoms mean to the riches of the Reach and Westernlands. He was king though so no man dared questioned him when he sent Theon to leave three days ago.

There was much debate about what he should do now that they have retaken Riverrun and trapped Lord Tywin in the east. Some wanted to march straight towards the lion and kill him where he was. Those were the younger lords, including his Uncle Edmure, the ones seeking glory not victory. He might of joined them if he didn’t know they would end in a defeat. The Lannisters had the better suited and armed army. An attack on Lord Tywin would cause thim a great many of men and most likely a lost. A frontal assault on Tywin would never work, he was too great of a military commander to lose like that. The only way to defeat him would be in an ambush. They would have to draw him out in the open. To do this they must lure him away from where he was. They would need to head west and cause havoc in his lands. They had already picked a target too.

Some distant Lannister was gathering up troops near Lannisport. The troops were mostly green boys, so they would need to be trained up before they would be able to fight a battle. Hopefully they wouldn’t be ready for a fight when his army brings it upon them. If they were to defeat the only large army in the west they would be able to capture all of the castles they could. If they did enough damage they would be able to draw Tywin in the open and be able to ambush him. To have this plan work they needed their plan a secret. Only a select few lords would know the truth. The plan had them leaving once Jon and Ser Brynden came back, which should be any day now. They would then march west to the Golden Tooth and be forced to take it. Once passed it they would move fast and crush the young army were they train. Once the army was dealt with their army would split up and start to capture the northern castles. Another army of the same size that was going to be taken west would stay in the riverlands under his the command of his Uncle Edmure. He was tasked with staying at Riverrun and only venture out if the Lord Tywin’s army threatened them. He had to trust his uncle to protect his rear and his wife and child.

He had faith that the riverlords and his uncle would be able to protect them. Once they battle the training army, he would have Alys sent away to Greywater Watch if she had given birth or not. Even though Riverrun could last two years being sieged, twenty thousand westerman led by Tywin Lannister could probably take the castle if they wanted. It was his hope that he wouldn’t leave where he was hiding til Alys could leave. Once they defeated the lion, he would have her called back. If they failed though, she would be safe in the home of the crannogman. As Lord Reed pointed out, no one can find Greywater Watch unless he wanted them too. Hopefully they would be safe there. Hopefully his mother would be able to get the Vale and Renly on their side. If that happened it would be five of the seven kingdoms against the other two.

He was up late at night watching over his sleeping queen, thinking about all the burden he had to face when a light knock came at the door. Before he could respond Grey Wind hopped off wear he was sleeping next to Alys and started wagging his tail looking at the door. When Robb opened the door a white blur pushed the door open and went past him. Jon stood on the other side of the door.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you, but you said to come to you once I returned. Would you like to talk outside so we do not wake Alys.”

“It is alright Jon, Grey Wind woke me when he jumped off the bed. Come in and have a seat you must be tired.” She motioned to the two chairs that sat by the fireplace as she pulled the furs around her. Robb shut the door behind him once he entered the room.

“Thank you, the last couple of weeks have been of long ridings. How are you feeling?” Robb couldn’t help but smirk at that. Alys has started to get mad at people asking her that. She has already threatened to do away with him if he asked her that again.

“I am well, thank you for asking. How are you any injuries from your time out of these walls?” Robb handed each of them a glass of wine before he poured he poured himself one.

“Only small cuts and bruises. Nothing to serious. I will have more scars once they heal, but that is all.”

“You should try to be more careful Jon. I am sure your betrothed, Lady Roslin, would like you to remain in one piece till you are married.” While they should be talking of the plans for the upcoming battles, Robb wanted to hear more about what Alys has to say to Jon.

“Aye, I suppose you are right.” He noticed Jon looked down and away from them when he said it. It was usually a sign that he was uncomfortable with the conversation and wished it too end. If Alys noticed, it did not matter to her as she kept on the pressure.

“No new letters have come from her yet. I thought you said you would write to her before you left?”

“I did not have any time to write to her. It slipped my mind until after I left.”

“Well then I expect you to have a letter to send to her in the morning. That is an order from your queen. She is probably as scared as you, marrying someone she doesn’t know. I felt the same way. If Robb sent me some letters when we were betrothed I would of slept more soundly some nights.”

“As you command, my queen.”

“If you are done with ordering my brother around, we need to discuss what the plan is.” He tried changing the topic of conversation before it turned worse for him. Alys only nodded at him before taking more of her drink.

“So then Jon, we have been getting reports of a White Wolf terrorizing the Lannister’s partols. I assume that is you and Ghost.”

“Aye, we had attacked at least fifteen patrols while they were encamped and sleeping. We were usually gone before they even knew what happened. Though it is hard to miss a great white direwolf on the field of my banner and on the battlefield. The patrols and supply lines have become more protected.”

Robb spent the next hour explaining the plan in great detail. He left out the part about sending Alys to safety since she would protest it. He still hasn’t told her yet that he is thinking about doing it. When it was brought up in front of her, he said that Riverrun would not fall to any Lannister men so she would be safe here. She seemed content with that.

“After the main Lannister force is dealt with and Tywin either captured or killed we will ride for King’s Landing and siege it if the Lannister bastards still hold it. If not we will sue for peace and have our independence from the southerns.”

“How can you be sure either Baratheon brother will allow us to be free from them.”

“We will have four kingdoms on one side if all works well. They would be force to wage a war against all of us if they want one of us to kneel. It would be a longer war and more bloodshed if they do it.”

“Sounds good. Is there anything else?”

“No, if all is good with in the year, we will be free and living in our own castles with our wives and children.”

 

Jon

“I will leave you two alone then for the night.”

He bowed slightly to both of them before leaving with the reluctant Ghost. He would of prefered to stay with his brother like the direwolf, but he was still very tired and sore. He wasn’t sure if he would wake the next morning. Before he falls to slumber he promised himself he would at least start on a letter to Lady Roslin. It has been near a month since he got the letter. Simply write was the least he could do. As Alys pointed out. She was probably more scared of this union than he was.

He knew how most highborn ladies thought of bastards. He could only hope she wasn’t like Lady Catelyn in her hatred for him. He could forgive Sansa since she was following her mother’s lead. Arya was at least kind to him. He was surprised that Alys didn’t harbor any ill will towards her husband’s bastard brother. He could only hope the lady he was betrothed  would be kind like Arya and Alys. With that he started to write her a letter.

 

Lady Roslin,

Forgive me for not writing sooner. I received your letter before I left Riverrun for some time. If you truly have been praying for me like you said, it has been working. I have had no major injuries since you sent your letter.

It is true I have a white direwolf that I have named Ghost. He does not make much sound. Fighting the pirates was an interesting experience. It was the first time I was in a battle.

If none has told you what I look like I have black curly hair. My eyes are from my mother Lady Ashara Dayne, they are a indigo color.

It is good that you are good at music. We all should be good at something. I have been told that I am the better dancer of my siblings. Lately the tales have been that I am a great swordsman.

I am sure the tales have been reaching the Twins about a white wolf in the riverlands, it is Ghost. If the tales of me besting Ser Jaime Lannister have reached you, they are true but I only beat him as he was tired and I was not.

I am afraid while you have heard some things about me, I have not heard anything about you. No one has even said what you look like, I am sure you are more beautiful than all other ladies I have seen. I am sure there is more to you than just how well you are at music. If you can write more about you and your life. I would like to know you better.

If you write back, the sooner the better. I am not sure how much longer I will be here or how long I will be gone.

Your’s,

Ser Jon Lycaon.

Stay safe.

 


Sansa, A few days later

She was in her sewing lessons when King Joffrey called her to his solar. When she entered he was sitting in his chair with an angry look on his face. It was the same one when he learned that Robb defeated Ser Jaime and captured him. Behind him stood the Hound. Ser Meryn Trant stood near the door. She quickly bowed to the king before he had another excuse to beat her.

“My king, you sent for me.”

“Yes, it seems your brother do not care for you. One is starting to attack the good men of my grandfather’s army. They have been even calling him the White Wolf. This bastard thinks he has a right to attack my men.”

“All bastards are terrible people, your grace. He has been a stain on my traitorous father since he was born. He will probably try and usurp my traitorous brother’s throne too. Though you will be able to defeat him with easy.”

“True, no bastard has ever beaten a king. None of the Blackfyres ever beat a Targaryen. No bastard of a traitor and whore will ever defeat me.” He sat and stared at Sansa before growing a wicked smile. “A raven came from Winterfell for you. Your brother, the one who stupidly fell, lives. Though it would of been better if he died, better to be dead than a cripple.”

She had no words for him. What could she say to that. Bran was still a child and had no part in Robb’s rebellion. It made her happy that he lived though.

“Your grace, after this war is done please show mercy to him. He had no part in my brothers’ traitorous rebellion. He will swear to the rightful king like Robb should of done. Please my king.” She didn’t realize it, but she was on her knees begging him.

“Don’t worry. I will spare him and even let him keep Winterfell. A crippled boy is more than a traitorous house deserves. He will lose the North though. It will go to a more loyal northern house though.” He knew nothing of the north if he thought the other houses would tolerate any of the other as their liege lord if a Stark still lived. Starks united the North and most houses were in some way indebted to the Starks.

“Thank you my king, you are too kind.” She moved to stand up.

“No, remain kneeling I quite like you in that position. Did you think I forgot your outburst today at court.”

She had hoped that he had. One of the first acts of being Hand of The King, Lord Tyrion Lannister had sent Ser Janos Slynt, the commander of the City Watch, to the Night’s Watch. The Dowager Queen and the King were upset at the news. While Queen Cersei and King Joffrey argued with Lord Tyrion she whispered good. Apparently though King Joffrey heard her and scowled at her. She was lucky that Lord Tyrion was there else she might of been beaten. Is that why she was in his solar with Ser Meryn. He has been the one to mainly hurt her.

“Dog leave us, go do whatever you do.” He waited until the Hound was away from the room as his footsteps grew silent. “Didn’t you have a pet wolf or something that was killed on the way down from here. What was its name again?”

“Her name was Lady, your grace.” It was because of him and Arya that her father had to kill Lady. Lady was a good pet, she didn’t harm anyone.

“Ah yes, you tried to make hide a wolf bitch as a lady. That is what I think you are. A wolf bitch trying to be a lady. I have a gift for you though. Bring it out.” A servant appeared from behind a curtain holding something in his hands.

“Ah, thank you Reek. This is just what I think she needs.” Once the king took hold of the thing from his hands, the servant moved back to the wall.

“Come here it is my gift to you.” He motioned her closer with a soft voice.

She started to tremble as she took a step closer to him.

“STOP. I said you were a wolf bitch, did I not. If you are one, then you must walk like one. Ser Meryn help her remember how a bitch walks.”

Before she could move the flat of a sword push against the back of her legs, pushing her down. A push on her back sent her to her hands and knees. She knew what he meant now. She started to crawl to him like a dog.

“That is a good doggie. Come here I have a gift for you.” While she crawled slowly to him tears began falling from her face to the ground. Once she reached his feet she stopped and looked up at him through tear filled eyes. In his hand was an elaborate dog collar. It had jewels in the collar. Embroidered in the collar was the name Lady. It was much more elaborate than the one she made for the original Lady. She hoped he didn’t give her another dog.

“Don’t you like it. I had it made for you. Here let me put it on you.” She was forced to hold up her hair as he tightly secured the collar around her neck. He seemed to ignore the tears that landed on his hand. “There we go. We have another Lady. What do you say to me for buying you this nice gift.”

Her words tumbled out of her mouth between the sobs of despair, “Thank you, your grace.” Her eyes were focused on the ground.

“On your hands and knees again. Reek hand me the next gift.” Her arms were barely holding her up before she felt her ‘gift.’ A large piece of wood hit her bottom causing her to scream out in pain.

“Who are you?” Swat . “I asked you a question. Who are you.?” Swat.

“Sansa Stark, your grace.” Swat.

“Really.” Swat. “That is not what your collar says.” Swat. “What is your name?”

“Lady, your grace.” Swat.

“Good, now what are you”

She had no idea what he meant. Apparently silence was not what he wanted as he hit her even harder her causing her to fall.

“I asked you a question. Get back up and answer me.”

Through her tear soaked face she responded with what she thought he meant.

“A wolf bitch, your grace.” Swat.

“That is right. Now anytime that I wish you will act like who you truly are, Lady the wolf bitch. You will act like the bitch that you are. You will treated like the bitch you are. If my mother and uncle weren’t here I would have you be Lady all the time. I would love to see your brothers face at that. If you misbehave, you will be punished like the bitch you are. If either my uncle or my mother find out about my new pet, I will have all the dogs in King’s Landing mate with you.” At that statement she curled up on the ground and began crying heavily.

“Ser Meryn, once she is done crying take her back to her room.”

With that Sansa was left alone with Ser Meryn on the floor as King Joffrey left with the servant named Reek. Her tears and cries of despair filled the room.

Chapter Text

Chapter 7: Talks of War

‘Dear Jon Lycaon,

Thank you for writing back. My sister’s and older nieces said it would be for nothing. They said men at war do not care about the women left behind, bastards most of all. I am glad they were wrong. I am sure we will be able to test your dancing skills at our wedding feast.

I am glad you have not been injured. I pray that you will not in the future either. I hear you pray to the Old Gods. I tried asking my septon and septa if they knew anything about it’s customs, but both said that your religion was barbarous. That you hold no services and no none of your gods name. I am sure it is not terrible if all kings have let it survive. It makes me wonder though, which religion will we marry under. I don’t think my father cares though. He just wants to have one of his children married off and away. He is becoming impatient with our marriage though, says it is taking too long. He has started to threaten to pull his lieves back. I do not think he will you.

While your hair and eye color contrast with each out both of mine are brown. My hair reaches my waist. There is a small gap between my front teeth. I am also short. I am the fifth daughter of my father. My family is big so I have been mainly left on my own. My brother Olyvar, who is squire to King Robb, was my main friend.

There has been tales of you and your wolf. My family dismissed them as jokes, but now that I know it is you I will listen to the tales more. While there has been tales of you in war, no one has mentioned anything about if you had a house sigil or not. If you could draw or describe it, I will try and put it on my wedding gown.

As you said I have written back the moment I received your letter. I will have it sent to you before the day in done. Hopefully you get this letter before you leave.

Stay safe.

Your Betrothed,

Roslin Frey’

 

Alys set the letter down on the table in front of here. It seemed to her that Jon has taken to writing his betrothed and is trying to get to know her better. Lady Roslin was fast with the reply letter too. It only took three days for the letter to come back to Riverrun. Sadly though Jon had already left with Robb. Jon was only hear for two nights before they left. It had taken a month for Alys to finally open the letter.

She knew it was a breach of privacy, but she had just heard about what has happened in Oxcross. Somehow The northern army got around Golden Tooth and attacked the army that was beginning trained at Oxcross at night. The victory now made them the sole force in the west. She wanted to make sure that a copy of the letter was made before it was sent off to where Jon was. While she knew a maester could do a better job, she wanted to know what they were saying to each other. It seemed that they were trying to get to know each other better before they were married. She knew this was only the third letter sent between them so they did not have much time to know each other though. With Jon on the front he would not be able to respond anytime soon, she would at least write to her about his sigil and colors.

She stood up resting her hand on the swell in her belly. The maester says she is at least four moon turns pregnant. Her belly has started to show. They would have to announce the news to the kingdom soon. She wanted Robb to be by her side when they announce it, but with him off fighting she will have to do it herself. She knew he would want too if he could. He may have already announced to the lords that are with him about the pregnancy. It made no bother to her that they won't be together when they announced it. She only wanted him there when their child is born.

Robb’s own father was off at war when he was born at Riverrun. Hopefully he will be here though when their child is born here. Even Lord Hoster his grandfather was hoping for it.

With Lady Catelyn go off to the Vale to treat with her sister, Alys has started to sit by his bedside. He usually slept most of the time though. When he wasn't sleeping though he wasn't all was thinking straight. Some of the times he would think she was his daughter Lady Catelyn. Sometimes his wife. The few times that he understood where he was and what was happening he would tell her stories about his youth and Lady Catelyn’s. He even told some of Robb’s brief childhood stay here when he was a newborn.

She was sitting next to Lord Hoster, reading some letters when he awoke. She silently wondered if he would be lucid or not.

“My queen, I would kneel if I could.” He coughed as he moved to sit up. “I hope you are not making that for me. I think it would be to small.”

“No, my lord, it is for my child.” On a table nearby a small blanket was beginning knitted by her. While clothes were already being made by servants, she wanted to atleast make the blanket the baby will sleep in.

“Ah yes, the new prince or princess. My great grandchild. They will be the only great grandchild I will see.” A moment of silence passed while his gaze went out through the window.

“I am sure you will see many great grandchildren Lord Hoster.”

“You are very kind, you will make a fine queen. I know I am dying. I will probably not live to see the end of this war. I have made peace with that though, I have lived a long life. I am over sixty name days old. Seen enough wars to give me nightmares for a lifetime. I have seen my daughters married and have children of their own. Sadly I haven’t seen my brother or son married with kids of their own. There is still time to arrange that before I die though. I promise you though, I will not let any god take me before I hold your child in my arms.” They sat in silence as neither said anything else. A soft snore came from the bed.

She quietly gathered her things and left the room. Two guards that Robb had picked out followed behind her. Her two guard escort usually was a mixture of eight guards. The two current ones were knights in service to house Tully. They followed her as she made her way to the godswood. It was the only quiet place in the Riverrun. Most of the riverlands held to The Seven, so the godswood was usually empty like it was today. She kneeled infront of the small weirwood tree. It was one of the few still left alive south of the Neck. It was not like the ones that were in the North though.

This one was small and thin. All of the weirwood trees she saw in the North were large and sturdy. They grew in the same spot for thousands of years. The weirwood tree at Karhold had grew on the lone hill since before there was any Karstarks or Starks. A tear rolled down her cheek as she thought about her childhood home. It seemed like a lifetime ago that she left her home to marry Robb. Instead of beginning lady of Winterfell she is now Queen of the North and Trident. She carries the heir to her husbands throne in her womb. Her brother died saving her husband. Now the same husband was off in the enemy territory putting his life at risk for a worthy cause. She never thought her life would end up like this.

She came to terms that she would be a lady over the North. She was not prepared to be a queen. Most girls when they were younger dreamed about being a queen and marrying a handsome king. She was living the dream now. Her husband was the handsome king and she was his queen. She didn’t want it though. She wanted to live in the country with Robb and his children. Far away from court. A quiet ‘my queen’ broke her from her thoughts. It was a servant holding a letter.

The letter was sent from Lady Catelyn. It said that she had reached the Bloody Gates and was traveling up the mountain to see her sister and some of the lords of the Vale. She hoped that if the Vale joins them they will be able to secure an alliance with King Renly. If what they say about him is true he will surely accept peace then fight the forces of the North, Trident, Vale, and maybe the Iron Islands. It was the best option they could hope for.

She sat for a little while longer in front of the weirwood tree before leaving.





 

Catelyn, Same time

It was the next day after she arrived back at the Eyrie that she was able to be in a council session with her sister and the lords of the Vale. It was after midday that she was finally called into the meeting room that they were gathered in. Inside was her sister, Lord Royce, Lady Waynwood, Lord Hunter, Lord Redfort, Lord Belmore, and Ser Templeton. She was surprised that a sit remained open at the head of the table between Lysa and Lord Royce. It was most likely reserved for Robin Arryn the Lord of the Vale and her nephew.

Her nephew was a sickly boy. He was pale and frail. If the accounts were true Lysa had just stopped breast feeding him. There were also tales of him having fits when he rarely got what he wanted. Lysa had spoiled him to a fault. He was under manageable, refusing to obey anyone but his mother.

Luckily though somehow the lords and lady that sat around the table now was able to convince Lysa to have Robert, or Robin, be fostered by Lord Yohn Royce. She wasn’t sure how they did it, she was happy that they did. Lord Royce was a good lord and according to Ned a good man too. They became close friends when Ned was fostered by the late Jon Arryn. They were almost as close as Robert and Ned. He even visited them when he took his son to join the Night’s Watch. It was a better visit than they experienced when Ned’s other childhood friend came to visit.

She sat down at the other end of the table, opposite of the empty seat. A servant poured them wine and then left. Shutting the door behind them. All faces turned to her, waiting for her to speak.

“My lords and ladies, thank you for agreeing to seem me again. Is Lord Arryn not joining us.” She was happy that he wasn’t. She didn’t want to deal with him.

“No my lady, he is currently off at some training that I have him for him. He is far behind boys his age when it comes to most things so I am giving him lessons any free time he has. He will though join us later though. For now though let’s talk about why you came back and what you want.” Lord Royce spoke with a strong voice acting as the head of the Vale lords. Lysa looked annoyed that she was probably told not to speak.

She took a sip from her wine, Arbor Gold, before she began speaking. “By now I am sure you have heard the news that my son has been declared the King in the North and the Trident.” She looked around at the table and saw heads nod.

“So, your son would like us to pledge fealty to him. In exchange for us fighting in his war what would he give to us?”

“Protection, allies, and friends. Together we can defeat the Lannisters and keep our independence from the Iron Throne. The North is like the Vale in the fact they have never really been part of the Iron Throne. Both of our regions are left to their own devices, the North more so. We swore our oaths of fealty to the Targaryens and the Baratheons. The Targaryens are all dead. Joffrey Baratheon is a bastard of Cersei and is not Robert’s heir. None of his children are. While Stannis is his heir by right, what does he know of the difficulties of winter. How many times has a king came to the Vale or the North. My son offers a chance to join a new kingdom with a chance to have a say in how the realm is ruled. So yes, my son asks for your fealty.”

Murmurs began to heard from around the table. Each lord began to talk about the merits of this deal. It sounded like they all were happy with the idea of freedom from the Iron Throne. Some still were not happy about the idea of beginning ruled by a distance king still.

“My lady your offer sounds good. Though, what if we do not want to swear fealty to King Robb?” Judging by the red castle that was embroidered on his surcoat he was Lord Horton Redfort. A short man with a short beard, Lord Redfort was most likely the oldest one here.

“My son has also offered that if you do not wish to swear fealty to him then he will support the Vale if they decide to declare independence. He understands that he cannot offer you much, but you will support you. If the Vale decides to name Lord Robert as king, my son will only ask for help in defeating their common enemies in exchange for support, an alliance, and friendship.”

Robb never actually offered it, but she knew he would agree to the terms she offered.

When the talks around the table began Lord Royce asked if she could leave them. She gladly agreed before getting up and leaving the room.

She left the council room and made her way to the small courtyard that was in the center of the keep. The flowers brought some color to the mostly white and blue surroundings. While the castle was beautiful it was far away from the rest of the world. So much could be happening right now. Robb could be in a battle right now. Sansa and Arya could be in trouble right now. Bran and Rickon could need her right now.

She wished she could go back to Winterfell. Back in the day when all of her kids were safe with her husband. She was even wishing the bastard was safe. She wished the king never came north. That Ned never had to go south to King’s Landing. Maybe once she was done treating with the Vale she would travel north back to Winterfell. She missed her other children. She couldn’t help Sansa and Arya right now, but she could help Bran and Rickon. Maybe she could convince Alys to come with her. The war front was no place for the heir of the kingdom to be.

She sat thinking more about the past before a servant came to get her. She was escorted back to the room. In the chamber the same people were sitting around the table. The empty chair between Lysa and Lord Royce sat Robin Arryn the Lord of the Vale.

Once she sat down Lord Royce began to speak.

Chapter Text

Chapter 8: Burning Water

 

Jon sat on his horse alongside Robb and Lady Mormont. Guards were behind them with a bear and a white direwolf were flapping in the air with a grey direwolf between them. They were just outside of the village in front of Ashemark. Their army surrounds three side of the castle. The fourth is a mountain side. They were currently waiting for a parley from the lord of the castle. They wanted to take the castle, but were willing to do it peacefully. Instead of taking defensive moves they were starting a campaign in the West. It would be their first castle that they would take in this campaign that is a Lannister’s. They had already won a major battle at Oxcross so they were the only large army in the west. They wanted to make as much us of this as possible. They had already let the villagers leave unmolested with the promise they will try and not destroy their homes.

They were waiting on a road alongside a farm waiting for the lord of the keep to meet them. A small stream runs next to them. The castle of Ashemark stood in the distance high above the village. It was quiet around them. Ghost and Grey Wind were walking around in the field.

“This is taking too long. Are we sure there is no way for them to escape?” Robb has been anxious since Oxcross. Even though they were the only army left in the Westerlands, they were not taking chance for the army to reform and attack their rear.

“Yes, your grace. We have scouts on all sides of the castle. They can’t climb the mountain. If they leave then we will know.” Maege Mormont was the lady of Bear Island. She was a short old woman. She carried a spike mace on her side. She was a warrior women. If Arya could see her, she would follow her around.

A small group of horses rode down the from the castle. Two grey banners showing a burning pine tree flapped behind a old man wearing armor ready for battle. A small group of guards followed suit behind him. They stopped about 20 feet from them. It did not look like they came to surrender.

“You must be Lord Stark.” The old man in grey armor addressed Robb.

“That is King Robb, Lord Marbrand.” The man shot an annoyed look to Jon. He was obviously not happy to be corrected on Robb’s title.

“Judging by the white wolf on your banner you must be Ser Jon the ‘White Wolf’, Lord Stark’s bastard brother. Standing up for the ‘Young Wolf’ now are you.” He spit out the word bastard. He seemed to be trying to cause a rise in Jon. Grey Wind and Ghost started to move back to them. Each wolf was now as big as a small horse.

“Aye, I am Ser Jon of house Lycaon.”

“And what about you bear lady, who are you?”

“Lady Maege Mormont of Bear Island. You better start addressing his grace by his title, or I will remove your tongue so you don’t have to worry about it.”

“You dare speak to me like that! I will have you in stocks you northern-”

“That is enough Lord Marbrand. We did not come here to trade insults.” Robb was using the demanding voice that Lord Stark used when he talked with a vassal. He sounded strict and serious. The young boy that he grew up with seemed to be gone. In his place was a man that reminded Jon of their father.

“Then why have you disturbed the king’s peace and come to my land. Are you going to butcher my common folk like at Oxcross.”

“I did not start this war Lord Marbrand, but I will end it. All the men killed at Oxcross were soldiers, they died fighting in war. That is more than I can say for some of the villages in the riverlands. I have come here today to seek peace.”

“Then surrender yourself to me and I will take you to King Joffrey for justice.”

“I have come for your surrender Lord Marbrand. Kneel before me and name me rightful king of the North and Trident. You will be able to keep your castle and lands. We will only require a hostage from you. There is no need to fight. None of our men to die. Surrender and name me king.”

“The only king in Westeros is Joffrey Baratheon. All of the Greyjoys, both of Robert’s brothers, and you are all pretenders. You will only take this castle over my dead body, Stark. “ With that the man turned around and rode back to his castle. The banner of a burning tree followed behind him.

 

Once they made it back to their camp they moved to meet in Robb’s tent that had a table with a mock battle ground on it. Ser Brynden Tully was already waiting for them. He stayed back from the talk to command the camp if there was a surprise attack. He was also overseeing the building of any siege equipment that they would need. He poured Robb a glass of ale once he sat down at the head of the table. Four wooden carved wolves surrounded 2 small lions. Each wolf counted for one thousand northern soldiers. The two small lions counted for the estimated two hundred men that are in the castle.  From the six thousand men that they brought with them into the westerlands. One thousand were being lead by Lord Glover in causing havoc on the coast line north of Casterly Rock. Around eight hundred men were with the GreatJon taking the mines of the westerlands. From some reports Lord Glover has attacked some of the supply lines on the Gold Road.

“I take it the talks did not go as well as you hoped.”

“No, Ser Brynden the man did not seem to see sense in surrendering instead of risk dying.” Robb continued to look at the battle map. Jon moved to sit down opposite of him.

“Then it seems like we will need to take the castle from him. Let us show him what northern and riverland steel taste like. I am sure we can make him see his error of his ways once you sit on his chair.”

“How are the siege equipment coming along?” Since they had arrived in the field the day before the camp has been busy creating the equipment needed to take a castle.

“The land limits us on what we can build. A siege tower won’t be able to make it up the hillside, so we have been making ladders to scale the wall. The gate is iron bar so a ram will not be as useful. We will use the ram to attack the south gate, it is made of wood. Though it will be easier to break down it is in a bad spot for us to use as a main breach. The main gate will our main point of entry. The gate will need to be take from the gate room to be lifted. This will require the initial group of men to secure the top of the wall, raise the gate, and hold it open. It will be the worse part of the attack. The equipment will be ready by the morning if we work through most of the night.”

“Good, I wish to attack at sunset on the morrow so the sun is behind us. I will also lead the initial attack to take the gate.”

“My king,” both Ser Brynden and Lady Mormont spoke. “While it is admirable you want to be with your men, the initial group will most likely be slaughtered by the defenders. It only takes one sword thrust or arrow to kill you and end our rebellion. Let the men take the gate and then come through the gate once it is open.” Lady Mormont made the case while Ser Brynden and Jon nodded in agreement.

“I won’t send men alone by themselves to die knowing none of their commanders would follow them.”

“My king,” he only used the formality as there was others in the room besides the two of themselves. “If you want to send a commander with them send me. Lady Mormont and Ser Brynden will be more valuable to you on the field. I can help by taking the castle.” The two other commanders have been helping Robb plan their attacks and movements since Jon joined them. He has not been of us as he let the ones who had experience plan. He was eager though to help more in the battle. While the attack would be dangerous he knew he would be able to complete it.

“Jon, I am not sending you off to die in this attempt.”

“Robb, since you marched from Winterfell you have been sending men off to die. I will wait for the second charge before I go up the ladders. You need someone to go up there with them for morale. There is no consequence if I die, no one will miss me.”

Robb stood up causing his chair to fall. “I will miss you Jon. Arya, Bran, Rickon, Edric, Alys, and I will make sure my own children miss you.” They stood their for a few moment before Robb continued. “Fine. You will join the second charge up the ladder. Once you secure the gate and raise it I expect you to join us in the courtyard for the fight. Do you agree?”

“Yes.”

“Good. Lady Mormont make sure the camp is secure and the sentries are set up. Ser Brynden keep working on the ladders. Jon go rest you have a tough job tomorrow.”

The three of them bowed before leaving the tent for the night.

Jon made his way back to his tent. Outside of it his squire Doran was busy cleaning his armour. His chainmail armor was already polished along with his barbute. His steel collar and arm pieces were waiting nearby. Currently Doran was cleaning his black leather coat of plates.

“Doran.”

“Yes ser.”

“Once you finish you can be done for the night. Go and have some ale or something. Do not get to drunk though we have a battle to fight tomorrow.”

“Yes ser.”

Jon pushed the flaps of his tents open before making his way in. He set his cloak on his chair before laying down and trying to fall asleep for the night. He tried to think about anything else besides of what awaited for him tomorrow.

He wondered what his cousin Edric was doing currently. It has been over half a year now since Jon left him. When he did leave Edric was fielding marriage proposals from different lords. With the Reach fighting against the crown and Dorne not choosing a side yet, the offer from the Tarlys of Horn Hill for him would most likely not be accepted. It only left some minor lord from Dorne or the bastard of a Martell. It was nice to think that if Jon was a bastard in Dorne he wouldn’t have faced as many hardships as he did in the North. The dornish treatment of bastards is one of the great things about them, at least to Jon that is.

His train of thoughts continued until he eventually fell asleep.

 

So far the day has been terrible. Since the morning there has been rain nonstop. It is now past noon and the ground has turned into thick mud. In front of his tent a small pond formed. He stepped through it causing small waves to ripple through the water as he made his way to Robb’s tent. Ghost bolted pasted him and raced to the opening of the tent. Jon followed suit and moved faster to the tent. He pushed the flaps away as he walked into the dry room. Sitting at the table was Robb.

Jon put his cloak around a chair at the table before starting to warm himself next to the fire. Ghost was lying directly in front of the fire.

“Are you sure you still want to be lead the attack to raise the gate? There will be no shame if you do not wish to go.”

“If it will stop you from leading it yourself I will go. It is my duty to fight for you and I will. Will we postpone the attack until it stops raining?”

“No. We will still attack at sunset. Hopefully the rain stops soon and the ground will dry soon.” He wasn’t sure if he was more glad the attack was still going to happen or sad that it will still go on. He knew though that he would rather be inside a warm castle then out in the rain.

“Good. Is everything ready then?”

“Aye. Ser Brynden is checking over the equipment one last time and Lady Mormont is rallying the troops up. We will begin moving out soon. “

It would be their first pitched battle. The last three have all been surprise attacks with very minimal casualties for their side. They expected that there will be more dead today then the last three times. If they get the gate opened in time though, it will be low.

“If you are bringing Grey Wind take Ghost too. I can’t take him since he can’t climb a ladder.”

Both Robb and Jon chuckled at the joke.

“Don’t worry they both will be able to scare these westernmen out of their castle.”

“So what will we do once we have taken the castle?” There has been some debate on about where to go next. They were in enemy territory with enemies surrounding them. Only north of them was in their hands. The west would be the easiest to take, but the south would be more curicual to take. The east would provide safe travel for them to the riverlands and back.

“We will be heading west to the Crag. Once we have our the coastline under our control we will wait for Tywin Lannister to come to us. When he comes we will ambush him. If he doesn’t come we will attack more till he finally attacks. If Renly Baratheon joins us they might be able to help invade the west from the south. We might be able to successfully siege Casterly Rock.”

“It is a good plan. What will we do once we win this war though? You will be king and I assume I will be your Master of Arms like we always dreamt.” They were children when they dreamt of living in Winterfell for the rest of their lives. It was a better time.

“Aye, we will both grow old with our wives and have kids. Our kids will grow up like we did, together. While I rule, you will teach them how to fight. We will die old and happy. That is how we will die Jon. Old and at Winterfell. Not later today in the south. I will not have you die atop that wall.” He stood up and moved closer Jon, “I expect you to live through this attack today. Now go and get ready, We will attack soon.”

“As you command, my king.” They embraced in a hug before he walked back to his tent to put his armor on.”

 

A whistle could be heard in the air as another volley of arrows came down on them. Thankfully the crowded streets and the heavy rain meant little of the arrows hit anything. They had just reached the pathway up to the gate. It was a windy and muddy path up. A small stream was in the middle of the path as the rain came down more. Since they have marched from camp the rain has only picked up. Now the fifty men along with Jon were having trouble carry the ladders up the hill.

The first group of men ahead of him were already setting their ladders against the wall. The archers were mainly focusing on them. They have taken the most damage so far. When they were following them, they passed by a few bodies in the dirt. Some dead, others screaming in pain. One man who had an arrow in his arrow join the group Jon was with.

When he reached the gate men were already beginning to climb up the ladders. The mud, men climbing, and men holding the ladder kept it from being pushed off the wall. He shouted the order to put the ladder they have been carrying for almost an hour. He stood at the base of the ladder as his men pushed the top end of it up.

He could hear shouting coming above. When he looked up he saw the men starting to climb over the wall. One was immediately pushed backed over the wall and landed on the ground below. The blood coming from the man’s stomach was a clear sign that he would not live. Focusing back to the battle Jon started to climb the ladder, keeping his shield above his head. Ser Brynden had made sure that he knew how to properly climb a ladder in a siege.

As he got closer to the top he could hear the sounds of swords hitting each other and men dying. He felt like he was a pirate boarding another ship. Hopefully though he would have more luck.

His gloved became covered in blood as he moved closer to the top. Each rung of the ladder was covered in more as he moved up the ladder. The sound of whistling arrows became non existent as more northern men made it to the top. He could see the end of the ladder that was becoming closer to him. The man ahead of him disembarked and disappeared behind the ever shrinking wall.

When his hand reached the top rung and his head appeared over the side of the wall Jon saw the bloodbath at top. At least a dozen men laid dead on the floor. Most of the men wore the colors of northern houses.

Men were fighting in small groups when he jump to the floor that was covered in blood. He unsheathed Phantom as he made his was too the staircase. His men were slowly pushing their way towards the steps. He made his way around the large wooden beam that held the chains for the gate. A man with a burning tree on his shield charged him.

He lifted his shield upwards to block the sword. He kicked the man’s shield causing him to be off balance. With a quick thrust of his shield the man was sent to the ground. Jon stabbed Phantom through the man’s holes in his helmet, giving him a quick death.

He moved opposite of where the stairs were to a door. Dead westernmen bodies laid near it. When he peeked inside of the room he saw five northernmen killing two westermen in their barracks. It seemed that they had captured the top of the gate.

When he looked behind him the northern force had secured the stairway and was moving down.

“Men, let us open their gate for them.” A cheer sounded through the men as more came over the wall. Some of the men began to grab the metal rods on the end of the log coiled in chain. With a shout they began to slowly lift the gate up.

It was no easy task. The gate was made from iron so it weighed a lot. The wooden log began to creak as the iron chains began to wrap around it.

It took a few moments and about six other men before the gate was lifted. Once the gate was lifted and secured the men started to make their way down the ladder to the battle. Jon removed his helm and looked down in the courtyard.

Below him 3 lines of spearmen were guarding the entrance. Their shields locked in formation. More men at arms stood behind them. The courtyard will be a bloodbath.

He reached for the horn that hung on his side. He brought it two his mouth to signal the rest of the troops waiting outside the castle.

 

Robb

 

He sat and watched from a distance as archers from a top the wall fired down upon the men moving towards the gate. As the men started to climb the ladders and go over the walls, he could hear the shouts from where he was. Once the first set of men went over another set of ladders went up. This would be the group Jon would be in. He strained his eyes trying to look for his brother on the ladder. He could barely make out the shield with the white direwolf on a field of black. Once he saw Jon go over the wall he signaled his troops to slowly move to the gates.

While the horn he gave to Jon hasn’t been blown yet, he would rather be closer to the gate when it did. He was off his horse walking with his men.Once they neared the main street to the gate bodies littered the ground. He had some of his men carry the wounded and dead off the street and back to the rear guard. The stood ready for battle.

His type of kingsguard was following him. Most have been with him since he fought in his first battle. Some have joined since. Today Dacey Mormont, Owen Norrey, and his squire Olyvar Frey were behind him. Olyvar’s brother Ser Perwyn was with Maege Mormont and Ser Brynden attacking the other gate. They might not look like a tradition King’s Guard, but they fight better than the ones Joffrey calls his. The last true King’s Guard from the days of old, Ser Barristan Selmy, was dismissed leaving the group a sad shamble of what it once was.

While the King’s Guard was a tradition started by Visenya Targaryen to keep her and her brother Aegon the first safe, the idea of it was still good. Since its founding they have protected the kings from assassination attempts, soldiers in battle, and traitors. They were to the King what the Night’s Watch was to the realm. The wall against all who dare oppose them.

 

BWEEAA BWEEEEEAAAAA

A short and a long blast sounded from the wall. The gate was opened.

BWEEEEAAA BWEEEEAAA BWEEEEAAA

 

Three blast echoed after the first two. Spearmen lined the entrance. It would be a bloody battle to make it in the courtyard. He turned around to face his men. They looked to him waiting for some inspiring words of courage. Something that would be recorded for the histories. He took a sweeping look at them all before shouting.

“FOR THE NORTH!”

The men cheered back before they started making their way to the open gate. When they were closer to the opening in the wall he ordered archers to the front. If the think we will charge straight into their shield wall they will be mistaken.

“Archers. Drawn. Aim left. Loose.”

The sound of whizzing arrows were quickly replaced by the sound of men dying.

“Ready. Loose.”

Another storm of arrows shot through the small entrance. Hopefully their right flank would be destroyed enough for when the charge happens there is not much resistance.

After another round of arrows he called the archers back before yelling for the charge.

He was the first one to round the corner to see the damage done. The spearman's right flank was heavily weakend. The were in the midst of spreading out the remaining soldiers evenly before men started to pour through a doorway on that side. His men rushed around him to try and be the first one to make it past the westermen. He made for the middle of the wall to help and break through. It was quick work before the wall of spears was broken. Behind them a line of men at arms stood waiting for them.

 

Jon

 

Each step down the stairs brought him closer to the sounds of screams and metal ringing against each other. Once he reached the bottom of the stairs he saw northmen rush past heading towards the courtyard. He stepped over a westernmen with an arrow in his neck before entering the battle zone.

A small line of infantry charged at them. He raised his sword to block the blade that never came. A northman had buried his axe in the attackers neck. Instead of watching the lifeblood of the man run out of his neck, Jon moved to find Robb.

He spotted a small group of heavily armoured men and a woman on the other side of the battle. It must be Robb and his guards. He started to fight his way over to his brother now king. The men at arms were trained men. Not as good as the men he faced at the Whispering Woods or at Riverrun, but like the partols he faced in the riverlands.

He killed two men before a man in better armor charged him. Instead of a sword the man carried an axe. He swung his axe high bringing it down at Jon. He raised his shield to meet the weapon as Phantom was on the other side of his body. The wood cracked as the axe was pulled out of the shield. The next swing Jon blocked with Phantom before dropping his now useless shield.

Once Jon’s other hand gripped the hilt another man swung at him. He quickly blocked it and moved to block the attacker with the axe. The two men started to swing at Jon, hoping to catch him off guard.

While Phantom was interlocked with the axe the man with the sword swung at Jon’s open side. He swung Phantom downward hoping to stop the blade before it buried into him.

Metal yelled as the two blades meet just in time for the iron one to nick his armour. He push the blade away from him before swing in a upward motion to his right.

Blood sprayed over him as Phantom cut through the would be lumberjack. He could taste the man’s blood on his lips. He was thankfully that his helm protected most of his face from the red liquid.

When he turned back to face the man that almost gutted him a grey blur pushed the man to the ground. Another white one jumped on the fallen man. Grey Wind and Ghost. The westermen around him staggered back as they saw two large wolves kill a man. He looked around him and could see the westernmen become surrounded as another force of northman had broken through the other gate. The small group of westermen left were slowly backing into the keep.

Before any northmen could rush to attack a well armoured man threw his sword down at their would be killers feet. Soon more men threw their weapons down. The men around him cheered as they went to collect the weapons from their foes.

Jon made his way to his brother side, which was denoted by the large grey direwolf. Ghost walked next to Jon. Robb was talking with his commanders without noticing Jon standing off to the side.

“Once the castle is swept and cleared bring the noble prisoners to me in the great hall. We will decide what to do next. Now go I want everything done before nightfall.” The group of men and women in front of Robb bowed with a mixture of “Yes, my grace,” or “As you command.” Once the group was gone, expect for Robb’s squire and Dacey Mormont, he made his way over to his brother.

“Jon, I am glad to see you are alright. I was fearful when he disappeared behind the battlements on top of the wall. Thank you for opening the gate for me. How are you?” Robb embraced him.

“It was my honor, your grace. I am well. I lost my shield, but other than that I am well.”

“Don’t worry I am sure once this is all done Alys, Sansa, and Arya will paint you a new one to destroy. Come on there is much for us to do before the end of the day.”

They both started to make their way into the keep. A small sensation of discomfort started to come from his side.

“Ser Jon?” He looked behind him as he saw Olyvar come towards him. “Are you alright ser, you are bleeding.” He must be talking about the blood from the man with the axe he killed.

“I am fine Olyvar. No one touched me.” It was true no one came close. He had block all the attacks that came at him. The only thing that came close to touching him was the sword that barely touched his armour. A sudden realization came to him. A look of worry came over Robb’s face as Jon moved his hand down to his side. When he looked down he saw his blood stain his leather gloves. More was rushing down his side. Robb and Dacey caught him as he collapsed under the sudden pain.

He grinded his teeth together as each step Robb and Dacey made him take to make it in the keep caused pain to erupt from his side. This was the second time he has truly injured by a bladed. The first being the dagger in the leg from the pirate. He was dragged into what looked like a lounge room where he was set down on a couch.

Robb and Dacey started to undo his armor. Robb shouted for Olyver to run and get a maester. The squire quickly left them to find help.

He lifted his arms high as they lifted his coat of plates off of his body. They cut away at his undershirt to show his bare chest. A large cut could be seen on his side. The skin looked to almost an inch separated. He could see inside of his body as blood started to pour out. Dacey pressed a piece of cloth against the wound causing him to hiss.

“Damn you Jon. I told you not to get injured.”

“Sorry, your grace I disobeyed you. Will you take my head for treason?” He tried to lighten the mood with a poor joke.

“If you die I will.”

A man in grey cloaks with a long chain around his neck came in the room. Olyvar followed behind him carrying a bag.


 

Theon, 2 days later

 

The smell of salt and fish filled the air. This is what the world should smell like. Not like pine and coldness. The air should carry the water of the sea not the flurry of summer snows. He finally felt at home. Not on a castle on a island or in a forest, but on a boat. His ancestors would be proud of him now. The Drowned God should be proud of him now. He was a prince now. Prince of the Iron Islands. When his father dies he will be king.

The wind was pushing their ship north. North to glory. North to pay the iron price. When they reach land they will rape and pillage as is the old way. He will prove himself to his father. By winning glory as his brothers did before him. He will never pay for any fine thing in his life again. If he pays for anything again it will be with iron, not gold.

He could feel the warmth of the sun bask him as it rose over the horizon. The crew of the Sea Bitch started to move about as the ship started to move westward now. They soon should be able to see the Stoney Shore appear on the horizon. Once land is in sight they will prowl the sea until either a ship or village come into view.

Behind him he could see the eight longship of his force follow behind him. All filled with men ready to die for the iron price. Each one ready to kill for the iron price. Each one ready to take with the iron price. Each one following his word. Soon he will lead his first raid on the mainlanders. He will prove to the crew that the last son of Balon Greyjoy is fit to one day be called King. He was ready for his moment and could taste it in the air that it will happen soon. The large pine trees on the horizon proved it.

 


 

Roslin, 3 days later

 

From inside of the sept of the Twins she could hear the men training in the yard. She tried to block the sound of metal hitting metal from her mind so she could finish her prayer. It seemed to be of no use. She stood up from the feet of the Warrior and started to make her way to the dining hall. She only hoped that the gods will allow her to come back later to pray.

She walked silently through the halls of the eastern tower. She passed by a few of the servants of the tower. They didn’t bow or say my lady to her. She understood though. She was one of the many daughters and granddaughters of the keep. They would never get anything done if they bowed to every Frey.

The sounds and smells of dinner came through the shut door of the hall. She paused at the door with her hand on it. She couldn’t decide if she wanted to enter or not. She was hungry, but there was other ways to get food. Her hand slid down the door as she walked away. She would prefer to eat only tonight, like she has done most nights since her brothers left. Perwyn and Olyvar had left to fight alongside Robb Stark the King of the North and Trident. Willamen left a while ago and is now a maester to a castle in the Vale. Her brother Benfrey was out on patrol leaving his wife and children here. If her good-sister was nice to her she would of eaten with her and her kids. The only ones that were truly nice to her were her brothers.

She asked a servant to bring a plate of food to her room before she entered it. Her room was small. A bed was against a wall with a small table with two chairs opposite of it in front of a window. Her dresser sat in a corner. It had different kind of fabrics on it. The colors black, purple, and white dominated it. She was still working on her wedding dress. Her white maiden cloak was already made and hung in her closet. She sat down at her table and picked up the book that she has been reading.

The book was A History of the Kings of Winter written by a Maester Helmen centuries ago. It described the history of the Stark family from Brandon the Builder to Brandon the Burner. When she found out she was going to marry Ser Jon Lycaon she had decide to try and learn more of the North and the Starks. They are one of, if not the oldest family still alive in Westeros. They ruled in the North for over eight thousand years.

A knock at the door brought a servant with a plate of food into her room. She thanked them before starting to eat the chicken that was on her plate. While eating the food that sat in front of her she continued to read on about the past Kings of Winter. So far her favorite has been Rickard Stark, the Laughing Wolf, a son of a Jon Stark. Rickard expanded the kingdom of Winter south and into the Neck taking it from the Marsh King. He had also taken the king’s daughter as a wife. Afterwards he made friends with everyone he meet. It was said he could even make the old stone Kings of Winter laugh.

She was reading about Rodrik Stark when a knock came at her door. He was supposed to be the king that wrestled an Ironborn for an island and won. She walked to her door with her plate expecting it to be a servant there to take it. When she opened the door the same servant was there holding a letter.

“It is from Riverrun, milady.” The servant grabbed the plate from her hand as she traded for the letter. The letters between Ser Jon and herself were few, but Queen Alys has been writing to her more frequently. It has probably been almost a month since she received anything from her betrothed and only a week since something from the Queen. She was slightly disappointed to see the white stamp on the paper and not one of black and purple. She loved getting letters from the Queen, it made her feel special and like she actually has a friend besides her brothers. She moved back to her chair to read the letter.

 

‘Lady Roslin,

I am sure that I am sorry that I must inform you, but Jon was injured in taking the castle of Ashemark.’

She felt her breath catch as she read the first sentence. She hasn’t meet the man, but still she felt sadness as she thought of him dying. She was glad the gods saved him, but mad that they did not protect him.

‘He is fine. The King says that he took a cut to his side and never realized it. The maester healed him and he is expect to recover fully. Once he is recovered he is coming back to Riverrun. He would have already left by the time you received this letter.’

 

She put the letter back down. She had read enough for tonight, the rest could wait till the morning when she will have time to prayer again. She blew out her candle on the table before slipping on a night dress and going to bed. Trying not to think of Ser Jon, the mysterious faced man dead.




 

Theon, 3 days Later

It has been three days of sailing with nothing in sight. They saw the forest of the North three days ago and since then nothing. Not a single fishing boat was seen. There was not even a village or hut to see. He chalked it up to how large the North was and because of the rain the last day and a half. Even now as the sun is setting there has been no signs of life, only birds.

He had already retired to his cabin below deck and started to pour himself cup of ale. They never talked about this in the stories of the old way. How most of the time it was boring. Most of his time during the day was spent learning how to swing with an axe. Apparently a sword was to much of a greenlander weapon. The worst part of the traveling so far was that their was no women. It has been a long time since he last had a women in his bed. When he first came to the Iron Islands he almost bedded his sister Asha. He laid down in bed ready to fall asleep to the rocking of the boat.

He was almost asleep before a horn blasted from above followed by eight from behind the ship. He threw off the covers he had over him and picked up his sword before marching onto the deck. He saw his first mate Dagmar standing near bow of the ship holding the blasted horn. The men around him were dressing in armour and looked like they were preparing for battle.

“Dagmar. What are you fucking doing?” When he turned around a smile was on his face.

“Look to the horizon see the red flickering lights. It is a village. The first village we will take on this raid.”

Theon could feel a smile come across his face. “Good. I could use a fuck.” He turned around and head back to his cabin to put his armour on. When he reached back to deck the rest of the crew were ready with their armour and weapons ready. The small village was growing larger with each passing second. He pushed his way to the bow of the ship. Dagmar was there waiting for him.

“Are you ready to pay the iron price, Greyjoy.”

“I have been ready all of my life Dagmar.”

Theon could see the bottom of the sea when he looked over board. They will be landing soon. The sound of weapon against shield caused him to turn around and face the crew. He saw the look in their eyes. The look of glory. He will prove himself to them tonight. They will learn why he is the captain. Why he is the heir to the Iron Islands. It will start right now though. He pulled his helm off his head and casted it in the sea. He let his shield drop to the deck. Let them see me fearless.

The ship lurched forward as it ran aground. He quickly climbed over the railing and dropped into the sea water beneath him. The sound of the first footsteps in the water was his. Soon he heard more. Soon he heard shouts coming from behind him as he rushed to the village. He let out his own yell as the screams of the villagers became louder. This was it. This was the moment that he was waiting for his whole life. The old ways were back and he was leading the first of many charges.

Once his foot hit sand he made his way to the first house he saw. The building itself was made of wood with the bottom stone. A line from fish ran from the house to a nearby tree. A small row boat was near the house. The roof of the hut has some holes in it. He could hear crying coming from inside the small hut.

He kicked the door in. He knew he could of pushed it in but this was more exciting. He quickly ducked as an object smashed into the door where his head was. On instinct he jabbed his sword through the chest of the attacker. He looked up and saw the scared look of an old man. His hair was as white as snow. His mouth hung open as Theon pulled his sword out of the man’s chest. He looked to the women screaming.

She was as old as the man he just killed. She wouldn’t do at all. He wanted a young girl to take. One that would be a proper fuck. He made his way over to her hiding in the corner. In another life he would of spared her. He had to prove himself though so he had to be ruthless. He yelled an incoherent noise as his sword cut through her neck. He left without looking back.

Once outside again, he could hear the sound of his men slaughtering. He tried to concentrate on the sounds of crying. He didn’t care about gold, he wanted a girl. He made his way to the centre of the small village. He could make out a sob coming from a house behind him, it sounded like one Sansa used to make. The hut in question was little larger than the one he was just in. It was made out of stone. Only the roof was made out of wood. Smoke still blew out of the chimney. A pile of wood leaned against the hut. What looked liked a chopping block was missing its axe. Good, This would be a fight.

The wood was better than the other hut as it took three kicks before it opened. Learning from last time he stayed back to wait to see what awaited him. A man with blonde hair and an axe was on the other side of the door. He had a brave, but scared face on him. He charged Theon swinging the axe high. Theon stepped out of the path as he came tumbling pass. His sword cut through the man’s shirt and back as he fell. He screamed in agony. He stuck his blade in where his heart would be, allowing him a fast death. He left his sword in the body as he picked up the axe. He walked in the hut ready to claim his prize. In the corner was a blonde girl who looked to be Robb’s and Jon’s age. An older women came at him holding a knife like a dagger. He grabbed her hand before lodging the axe in her throat. Her lifeless body crumbled to the floor as her daughter scream.

This was what he wanted. The girl was young and had an average face and body. She was no Sansa or Jeyne or Ros, but she would have to do until he could get them all. He pulled her out of her home by her hair as she scream when she saw her father’s body. Theon pulled his bloody sword out of the dead man’s back and sheathed it. His men was cheering and drinking around him. He noticed some had claimed their own girls. The girl screamed and cried some more as he made his way back to his ship.

She tried to escape as his men brought her on board Sea Bitch. They hauled her on deck while he climbed after her. The two men holding her grinned as the moved to grope her.

“Touch her like that and I will gild you. She is mine. Bring her to my cabin and chain her to the bed. If one of you touch her in any way other than necessary you will be hanging from the ram for the rest of the month. The men grumbled, but took her down below all the same. He moved to the aft of the ship where Dagmar was standing.

“Did you not join in the raid Dagmar?”

“No, someone had to stay and watch the ship. Besides I am an old man and there will be more raids soon enough. I see you had fun.” He gestured to the two guards carrying his prize to his cabin.

“Aye, I haven’t fucked in weeks. Hopefully she will be tight.” He slapped the first mate on his back as he started to make his way down below the deck. “When the men are back and ready make sail north.” He was below deck before he could hear his reply.

The sounds of crying could be heard from behind his door. The blonde villager was chained to the bedpost by each hand. She was curled in a ball trying to hide from him. He hung his sword back a rack along with his armor. He stood in front of his bed in his shirt and pants.

“What is your name girl?” She replied with only sniffles. “I asked for your name!” He yelled as he threw his shirt away.

She looked at him with tears in her eyes when she replied. “Gwyneth, your lord.”

He laughed at the title she called him as he moved over to the side of the bed as he pour more ale.

“It is Prince Theon Greyjoy, Gwyneth.” At the name Greyjoy he heard her let out a small sob.

“I am sorry my Prince I meant no disrespect.” He turned around and faced her as he took a sip of the ale in his hands. He looked into her blue eyes.

“You know Gwyneth, you should count yourself lucky.” He started to unbutton his pants. “You will be the first salt wife of the future King of the Iron Islands and the North.”

She screamed as he moved towards her.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9: The Stone Wolf



Each movement of the horse below him caused discomfort to spread from his wound. It has been near a month of traveling and still his wound hurt. In the first five days of travel his wound would still bleed between the stitches. During those days him and the fifty other men in his party took many breaks and travelled very short distances. Even now they were not moving fast. They were moving at a leisure pace for his benefit. He would much rather gallop to Riverrun. He would much rather actually go back to Ashemark and stay by Robb’s side, but he sent him back with a task.

 

It was two days after taking the castle that Jon was finally allowed to leave the room he was sentenced to. It took him awhile to make it to where Robb was. He was in the solar of Lord Marbrand, who died fighting against them. His son and heir was off with Tywin Lannister. It only left the former lord’s daughter and wife in charge of the castle. Lady Marbrand and her daughter were kept in their rooms for the time being. The daughter, Lady Lily, was as old as Arya. He sat down opposite of Robb in the room before pouring himself a glass of Arbor Gold.

“Jon, I am glad you are finally moving about. I thought we would have to leave you here when we leave.” Robb grabbed the bottle from him and started to pour some.

“Like you would do that. So where are we going next?”

“Well I am going to the Crag next. You are going back to Riverrun. Then back to Winterfell after that.”

“You are sending me away?”

“No, I am sending you back to our home with my wife and children. During which you will pick up your wife and marry. Once you get back at Winterfell you will rule in my name.”

“There is other people here that can escort Alys back. Better people to rule from Winterfell. Robb let me stay by your side. It is where I am good at.” He tried to plead his case to his king brother. Some kings would of had his head for speaking to them like that.

“Jon, this isn’t about you or me. This is about Alys, my child, Bran,and Rickon. They all need protecting and the best place to do that is Winterfell where they will all be in one place and safe. I need someone I can trust to put them above all. I need your help. I want you next to me in the battles to come, but you’re the only person that I can trust to do this.” The look on Robb’s face was one he hadn’t seen in a long time. It was one of sadness and worry.

“Alright, when do I leave.”

“Thank you, Jon. You will leave in five days, that should be enough for you to rest enough. You will also be bringing Lady Lily with you as a hostage.”

 

Jon looked behind him and could see Lady Lily riding in the middle of the group as they rode next to the Tumblestone river. Ser Prywen Frey, who Jon recently found out was the brother of Roslin, was next to her making conversation. While Jon understood the need to have hostages in war, he did not like the idea of taking a young girl away from her home just after her father died. He couldn’t tell if she was angry at him or not for being the brother of the king that caused his death. It did not matter though, once they reach Riverrun by the end of the day she will be out of his thoughts.

If the rivermen that Jon had in his party were correct they should see the sandstone walls soon now. Once they reach the castle they will being to make ready for the trip back North. Hopefully Robb’s raven to Lord Bolton’s force made it and the two thousand men and three hundred cavalry were already waiting for them. If they were, then hopefully in less than a fortnight they will be already on the move back to Winterfell. If they were still not there then they would await till they arrived then wait another week before leaving. Jon was hoping that by the time that either his party arrives to Riverrun or by the time that they leave Alys would have already given birth to the new prince or princess. A pregnant women would not do well with traveling he thought.

He heard the sound of a horse near him as he watched Ghost run off into the woods. The direwolf has been a constant companion since he was injured. He thinks Ghost feels bad for not being there for him.

“Ser Jon!” He turned behind him to see who called his name to find Ser Perwyn slowly trotting up to him. His soon to be goodbrother had elected to follow Jon to see his sister wed. He had also expressed an interest in visiting north of the Neck when they go back north.

“Ser Perwyn, how are you?”

“I am good. Do you know how much longer we will ride today. Lady Lily has expressed that she is becoming hungry.”

“I have been told that we should make it to Riverrun soon. If she is truly hungry we can stop and eat something before we get to the castle.”

“I will tell her we will stop in an hour.” Perwyn began to turn around and head back before Jon stopped him.

“Ser, while I have you here can I ask you something?”

“We are going to be good brothers soon Jon, why not.”

“Your...ummm… your sister what is she like? I don’t mean to sound rude, but when I asked her she didn’t say much.” He could feel his cheeks start to red as Perwyn laughed.

“I wouldn’t think she would say much. She is quiet like you actually. Quite and shy. Though she doesn’t brood as much as you. I think you will like her Jon.” Perwyn turned his horse around before moving near Lady Lily.

 

He estimated at least two hours had passed before they saw the walls of Riverrun rise from the water. They had stopped for a quick meal almost an hour back. He was actually happy they stopped. He wasn’t hungry, but he was sore. A small group of riders rode out from the castle to greet them. The two riders Jon sent ahead of them must of reached the castle awhile ago. As they passed over the bridge of the moat of the castle all of the water was gone. In its place was some grass.

Once they passed the gate of Riverrun the men following him left towards the barracks. Jon, Ser Perwyn, Lady Lily, and his squire Doran followed behind him as they made their way  to the keep. As they moved closer to the stairs that led up to the keep, Jon could make out the figure of Alys, though she was wider in her stomach. It looked like she was going to give birth any time now. Behind her was Lord Edmure Tully wearing a red doublet with a silver trout on it. A women stood behind Alys, she must be one of her handmaidens.

Doran took the four reins of the horses and led them to the stables. He heard three footsteps behind him as he made his way up the sandstone steps. When he reached the top he kneeled down in front of Alys.

“My queen.”

“Jon, it is good to see you again. I am glad you are well. Rise.”

“Your grace, you remember Ser Perwyn. And this is Lady Lily Marbrand. Her brother is Lord of Ashemark.”

“Welcome Lady Lily, I wish you had come under better circumstances. This is Lord Edmure Tully he the acting Lord of Riverrun until his father begins to feel better. And this is Lady Roslin Frey, Ser Jon’s betrothed and Ser Perywn’s sister.”

Jon looked to the lady that was standing next to Alys. Her brown hair reached down to her waist. She was shorter than Alys. She had a pretty face with a small nose and large brown eyes. Her skin was almost as white as Ghost’s fur. She looked at him while he was looking at her and gave him a shy smile. Her face went red as she turned her head down. He didn’t notice when Alys was talking to him.

“Come along Jon.” Her voice shook him from his thoughts.

“Yes your grace.” He quickly moved into step behind her noticing that Lady Roslin was directing Lady Lily somewhere else in the keep.

As they began to make their way through the keep two guards followed a couple of steps behind them.

“How is Robb?”

“He is good Alys. He is worried for you and the babe. I know he wishes to make it back here and back to the both of you soon.”

She smiled at the answer as they walked up some stairs that led to the second floor of the keep.

“What do you think of her?”

“Of who, your grace?” She smiled back at him as he was clueless.

“Roslin, Jon. You know you could of said something to her instead of just staring.”

He could feel his cheeks redden at being caught. “She has lovely hair and eyes.”

“She is very pretty. She is also very kind and shy. I am sure you two will love each other when you get to know the other. I know it is a surprise for her to be here, but when I wrote to her that you were injured I asked if she would like to come here and wait for you. She said she would love to and then arrived a week and a half ago.”

When they made it to her room a guard opened the door and let them both in before shutting it. A large bed with the Stark banners was against a wall across from a window overlooking the rivers. A old wooden crib was in front of the bed. A table with food sat on the opposite side of the room. Alys sat down in one of the chairs leaving Jon to sit down across from her.

“How are you feeling?”

“I am sore. My feet hurt, my back hurts, I can hardly sleep, and I can’t wait for the babe to be out of me. Thank you for asking. How is your wound.”

“Better. The trip caused alot of discomfort, but it has been healing better.”

A knock at the door followed by a voice announcing Lady Roslin. He stood up when she entered the room.

“My lady.” He bowed slightly towards her.

“Good Ser.” Her voice was soft and quiet. He pulled a chair out for her on the on one of the side of the table. Between Jon and Alys.

“I am glad you have both finally met and said some words. Roslin, Ser Jon had suggested that you and him have a private dinner tonight so you both may know each other better.” He sat there not sure what to say to what she was telling him he had to do. “I would be honored Ser Jon. I should go and get ready then.” Roslin stood up and walked out of the door.

“There will be a a table set up in the Godswood for you two, Jon. I have also laid out some clothes in your room that you should wear. Also a bath has been drawn for you, cause I thought you will smell after your traveling and I was right.” She said once the door shut.

“Thank you, Alys.” He stood up and had his hand on the door handle before she spoke up again.

“Also leave Phantom in your room. You don’t need a sword for a dinner.” He nodded his head and made his way to his room.

In the same room he had earlier a black doublet with a black direwolf made from a white outline. Next to it was a dark grey cloak. He took off Phantom and leaned it against the bed as he began to undress for the bath that was drawn in his room. Once he took his shirt off he could see the red bump that is his wound. The stitches in him would need to be removed soon. He could tell that the injure will leave a nasty scar like the one on his leg.

After removing his pants and shoes he stepped into the hot bath. The warm water felt nice. This was his second bath in about 2 months. The last bath was once he got his injury to clean the wound. They didn’t have time to heat the water so it was cold as he was in it. Warm baths were one of things that he missed the most while out of castles. He sunk to where only his chin and above were not in the water. He rested there for a few moments before dunking his head in the warm bath.

It was an hour after he finished his bath and dressed before a servant came to tell him that the table has been prepared in the Godswood. After much thought he decided to listen to Alys and leave Phantom in his room. He did not wish to angry her. He made his was over to where a servant said where Lady Roslin’s room was. After a knock on her door he could hear shuffling behind it before it opened.

She was where a blue dress that had some gray as an accent. She had a brown fur cloak on that caused her hair to blend into it. It was then that he noticed that she only came up to his eyes.

“My lady, I am here to escort you to dinner in the Godswood.” He offered out the crook of his elbow, hoping to act like the gentleman that he was taught. She put her arm threw his as she closed the door behind her.

“Thank you Ser. You look very nice tonight.” She kept her eyes averted to the floor not looking him in the eyes.

“Thank you. You look very beautiful tonight too.” He could see her cheeks redden when he said that. They made it down to the second floor before either of them said anything else.

“What are we having for dinner tonight.?”

“To be truthfully I wasn’t told about this dinner until the same moment you were. The Queen set this all up. So I am in for the same surprise as you are.” He didn’t what to start off with a lie between them. Even if it was a small one.

She let out a childlike giggle. It sounded sweet to the ears. “I will make sure to thank her when I see her next.” They continued in silence as they made their way to the godswood. After passing under a bridge with vines growing atop of it they enter into it. A table and two chairs were set up on the shore of a small stream that ran through the godswood.

“Is that the hearttree?” She pointed to the small weirwood tree that grew between two streams.

“Aye. Most godswood below the neck have no weirwood trees. The Andals cut most of them down when they conquered the southern kingdoms. It is a shame a weirwood tree can grow for thousands of years if left untouched.”

“It is beautiful. Why is the face sad?”

“The children of the forest carved the faces of the gods in the trunk of weirwood trees. So they can hear, see, and speak. I think it maybe because the gods are upset about the atrocities of men.” He couldn't remember if anyone actually knew why the faces were usually sad. “You should see the one in Winterfell, it is much larger than this one. The pond next to it is a hot spring so it doesn’t freeze over in winter. The woods around the heart tree is so large you can’t see the walls in the middle of the woods.”

“I would love to see it one day it sounds lovely.”

When they sat down at the table, some servants brought out some wine and two plates of fish and a bowl of an assortment of fruits. They began to eat after he poured them both a glass of some white wine made in the Reach. They were halfway through their meal before he finally spoke.

“You wrote that you play music. What kind of instrument do you play?”

She finished the food in her mouth before speaking. “The harp. A travelling musician named Tom taught me how to play. My father was gracious enough to buy me my own wooden harp so I could play.”

“I would love to hear you play one day, my lady.” He could see red fill her white cheeks before she brought her glass of wine to her mouth.

“Thank you, ser. I would love to play for you, but I left my harp back in my room at the Twins. If you like you can call me Roslin.”

“When we go to the Twins to get married I must insist that you play a song for me. If it pleases you, you can call me Jon, Roslin.”

“Did the queen not tell you yet?”

“Tell me what?”

“My father only let me leave the Twins if I was to marry you. So the Queen said that we will have the wedding here. She is planning it for twelve days now I think. I am sorry if that upsets you.” It was only after she said it that he realized that his face was sulking.

“No, it doesn’t upset me. I am just surprised. I never thought that I would be married and now it is so close. It is just weird to think about I guess.” She gave him a small smile before she started to dig at her food in front of her.

It wasn’t until the sky above them began to turn orange that they finished their meals. The servants came out to clean up.

“Would you like to go for a walk Roslin?”

“Thank you Jon I would love too.”

He led her to a set of stairs that went up the walls of the castle. Before they made it to the stairs he stopped and pulled one of the flowers out of the ground. It was a red rose. He offered the rose to her. She had a surprised look on her face. It was then that he noticed the small gap between her teeth. A small mark on her otherwise beautiful face. He thought that it made her more beautiful.

“For you, my lady.”

“Thank you Jon.” When she reached out to take hold of the flower he felt her soft fingers rub against his hands.

They continued up the stairs in silent. She held the rose in front of her with both hands. Once they made it to the top of the stairs they walked along the western wall. They stopped halfway to the other side so they could watch the sunset over the Riverlands.

“Jon, I have a favor to ask.” When he looked over she was playing with the rose in her hands as she watched the sun.

“What is it?”

“I know you follow the Old Gods and I the seven. And I assume if we have any children they will most likely follow your gods. I was wondering if we could marry in the sept here. If you wish to marry in the godswood I will marry you there.”

“It truly does not matter to me. If you wish for us to marry in front of your gods I will honor your wish. The gods of the forest can watch from the windows if they wish.”

“Thank you.”

They started to make their way back to the keep as the sky turned from red to black as the sun hide behind the trees. Her arm was once again in the crook of his elbow. They paused once they reached in front of her door.

Before she moved behind the door she paused.

“Thank you for the night Jon. I had a wonderfully time.”

“It was an honor Roslin. We will have to do it another time. Good night.”

He turned to leave as he felt her soft lips against his cheek causing him to stop.

“Good night.” The door closed behind her before he could say of anything else.

He walked back to his room on the other side of the keep. Thinking about how her soft her lips felt.

 


 

Sansa, 9 days later

The long line of petitioners in the throne room has dwindled down. There was only a small handful of people left. Joffrey sat upon the monstrosity known as the Iron Throne as he listened to what was being said. Next to him on his left sat Queen Cersei. On his right sat the acting Hand of the King Tyrion Lannister. She was left standing near one of the pillars.

Lord Petry Baelish came before the throne. For the past months he has not been at court or in King’s Landing. The rumors said that he was on a special mission for the King. She didn't know what the mission entailed, but had hoped it failed. She secretly hoped that every plan they had failed.

“Your Grace, I have returned from the trip to treat with your uncle Lord Renly.” The man who said he was an old from of her mother bowed low.

“Good Lord Baelish. I assume that all went well and my uncle has switch to my side.”

“No your grace. Lord Renly was killed apparently by some of his kingsguard.”

“It doesn't matter he wasn't a threat to me anyways. I am sure his army will flock to mine.”

“The stormlanders have flocked to your other uncle, Lord Stannis. He apparently has taken Storm’s End and is marching for King’s Landing.” A murmur went through the room as the reality of war coming to the gates of King’s Landing became real. It took the gold cloaks pounding there spears to silence the crowd.

“They did what? Do they not know who their king is?” Joffrey stood up angrily at the notion of men not being in awe of their rightful king. “Uncle what are you going to do about this.”

Lord Tyrion set down the glass of wine that he seemed to always had before speaking. “I have already prepared defenses in the city in case of a siege. If Stannis is fool enough to attack, then we will defeat him on the battlefield.” A cheer went up through the throne room once again, but this time they let it continue.

“Your grace, I also have some wonderful news too. Lord Mace Tyrell has pledged his forces to ours. With their army on our side victory is all, but certain. Soon all of your armies will fall.” Once again the cheer went through the crowd. “Also my informant in the Vale have said that their armies are amassing near the Bloody Gate. No doubt to soon join your cause and help reconquer the riverlands from Robb Stark.”

At the mention of her brother, Joffrey got off his throne and moved in front of her.

“Did you hear that betrothed? Soon I will have your traitorous brothers at my feet begging for mercy before I take off their heads, like I did for your father. Maybe I will take whatever her name is and keep her as my salt wife, like the ironborns do. I could fill her with lions, not wolves.” He had his evil snicker on his face. The one that he wore when they would be in a room alone with only Reek as company. She was glad that the man had finally left King’s Landing to go back where ever he is from.

“They all deserve what you will grant them, your grace. They are traitors to the realm and you.” It pained her to say those words, especially about Alys. She was nothing, but kind to her during their short time together. She was the sister that Sansa had always hoped for.

Joffrey made his way back to the Iron Throne before sitting down again.

“Is there anything else that I must know.”

Lord Varys, a strange man that always scared her stepped forward.

“Your grace, I have news from Essos. Apparently the last Targaryen, Daenerys Stormborn, has acquired three dragons. While I am certain these are just rumors spread by the small folk. I thought you would like to know.” He bowed before backing away. Showing his bald head to the king.

“It is probably just some horses that she is fucking that people claim will allow her to birth dragons. Besides the last dragon was small enough to crush in one’s hand. We can easily kill three of them if it is true.”

He strolled down the steps showing that he was done talking with them. Lord Tyrion and Queen Cersei followed behind him. His King’s Guard was next followed by her. They made their way out of the throne room and to the courtyard where two carriages were awaiting for them. The carriages for bringing Princess Myrcella to the docks so she can go to Dorne. It was Lord Tyrion’s idea of trying to make peace with the Dornish. Queen Cersei broke out in a rage when she found out. She still hadn’t talked to her brother since it has happened.

She made her way to the second carriage where the handmaidens and other women were sitting. The first one was reserved for the royal family.

She felt the carriage lurch forward as the began to move down to the docks.




 

Alys, 3 days Later

When she knocked on the door in front of her she could hear the sound of people moving around before someone said enter. Inside she found Jon strapping his sword around his waist as his squire and a servant fastened a black cloak around him. Two white direwolves head bunting held it together around his neck. His doublet was black. A white direwolf was embroider on his right side. The eyes of the wolf were a dark shade of purple. His pants were equally as black. He turned around and faced her.

“Leave us.” The servant and the squire bowed before leaving the both of them alone in the room by themselves. She waddled over to in front of him to straighten the cloak. “You look very handsome Jon. Are you ready for tonight?”

“Thank you. I have grown up with the the thought of the only marriage that I will ever have is one to a black cloak. I am nervous right now to say the least.”

“You will be alright. There is not much to the ceremony. It will be all over before you know it.” She sat down at the table trying to get the weight of a baby off of her feet.

“You and Robb were married under the Old Gods. You didn’t have to memorize a bunch of songs, prayers, and oaths.” He reached for a glass of wine that was sitting next to her before he put her hand on it.

“Jon you best not be drunk during your wedding. I will have you exiled if that happens.”

“I thought only a king can do that.”

“Who do you think is in charge of our marriage Robb or me.” Jon laughed at what he thought to be a joke.

“You, your grace. I am sure you will be able to make Robb exile me to his mother’s happiness.”

“You will be fine, Jon. Roslin is a very lucky girl with marrying you.”

“Thank you. There is something else I would like to discuss. Before I left from Ashemark, Robb gave me orders to return to the North once I am married. He also said to wait until you give birth then take you and the babe back with me where you will be safe.”

“Jon I am not going to run North after I give birth. I am going to wait until Robb gets back then he and I will discuss this.”

“Alys please.”

“Jon this matter is over. We can discuss this on a latter date. Not on your wedding day.”

“As you wish.” From the look on his face she knew that this matter would not end easily.

A knock at the door told them that they ceremony will begin shortly. Jon offered his help with escorting her down to the sept. There was a small crowd outside the Sept. Some of the lords were walking into to the Sept, but paused when they walked past.

A rainbow of colors lit up the room as the sunlight hit the colored windows. Benches were sit up facing the marble pillars that had the images of the Father and Mother painted on them. Septon Axel, a short old man with a large white beard, stood in between the pillars and behind the altar.. Jon had spent the last couple of days with him trying to memorize the songs and prayers for the service. He moved to stand in front of the man closer to the side with the Father painted on the pillar. Alys sat down in the first row. Various lords and ladies sat down in the chairs.

He stood there at attention as his thumb moved over the wolf head on Phantom . He looked to his right and saw a piece of white fabric on the marriage altar along with a copy of the Seven Pointed Star. He looked around the room and could see the faces of many riverlords. The only northern lord he saw was Lord Glover. Next to him sat Larence Snow, a bastard from house Hornwood. He could hear the room quiet as the doors opened to reveal his soon to be wife.

 

Roslin

 

The opening doors revealed a room full of people looking at her. At the very end of the room stood Jon. His mostly dark outfit contradicted her mostly white outfit. The only dark part of her dress was the purple lace that covered the top half. Her blue maiden cloak with a gray castle draped over her shoulders and down her body.

Her brother, Perwyn, urged her forward. Instead of her father he was leading her to the altar, she was thankful for that. She kept her eyes to the floor trying to avoid all the looks she was getting. She wasn't used to the looks.

When she stopped in front of the altar. Her brother remove his arm from around her’s and stood of to the side. The Septon gave her a smile before she looked in Jon’s direction. She had caught him looking at her. He gave her a small smile that she returned. She casted her eyes straight ahead again as the septon began to clear his throat.

“We are gathered here to celebrate the marriage of Ser Jon of House Lycaon and Lady Roslin of House Frey. They have come here to have the gods bear witness and to have them bless their union. They have asked you to share in this time with them. Let us begin. Ser Jon and Lady Roslin, Do you vow to be fair to each other, love each other, protect each other, lend your strength to the the other, to share your wisdoms, and to stand by each other through all the hardships to come. Do you both vow to do these things.”

Simultaneous they both stated, “I do.” Their voices sounding the opposite of each other.

“Do you both promise to be truthful with each, to help the other, to watch over the other, to stand by their side while they are sick, to protect their honor, to warm each other in the cold, to live by these promises and vows till death. Do you promise these things to each other?”

Once again they said. “I do.”

“I ask the Father to bless you two by judging you both justly. I ask the Mother to bless your marriage with children. I ask the Maiden to bless you both by keeping your innocence. I ask the Warrior to bless you by protecting you. I ask the Smith to bless you by giving you strength. I ask the Crone to bless you by granting you wisdom. I ask the Stranger to bless you by not coming till the both of you are ready.”

“Let us sing a song for your marriage.” The Septon raised his hands as the crowd in the sept stood to their feet. The Queen remained sitting as she was pregnant. She couldn’t focus on the song as it played. She couldn’t help herself, but watch out of the corner of her eye as Jon tried to stay in sync with the music. She had watched him spar in the training yard many times in the last two weeks and was amazed by his skill. She couldn’t help but smile and hold back giggling at him failing at this task.

Once the song was done the crowd once again seated. The septon began to speak once the noise quieted again.

“it is now that I must ask if there is anyone here that oppose these to mortals from joining together under the eyes of the gods?” Luckily no had stood up to object. She had never heard of anyone actually standing up and objecting. “Then let them exchange cloaks.”

She stood still as she felt her brother remove her blue and gray cloak from her shoulders. He gave her a squeeze on her shoulder when he finally removed it. The cool air went through her skin as she was cloakless. She suppressed the urge to shiver. Moments later she saw a black cloak cover her shoulders. Two hands marked by cuts appeared around her neck. She watched Jon tie a knot between two strings as her new house colors settled on her. The purple on her dress blended into the black of the cloak.

Once Jon moved back to his spot, they both offered their hand out to the septon, his left and her right. He tied their hands together with a white ribbon before stepping back. She could feel the heat coming off of his rough, trained hand. They slowly turned to face each other. She tilted her head upwards as he did his downwards. Once her brown eyes meet with his indigo eyes they began to speak together.

“Father. Mother. Warrior. Smith. Maiden. Crone. Stranger. I am his and he is mine.” He said the opposite of her, “With this kiss, I pledge my love. And take you as my lord and husband.”

She stood up on her toes as she closed her eyes and went in for a kiss. She felt him lean downward as they lips met. She could feel the hair of his beard tickle her lips before they pulled away. They turned to face the crowd as the ribbon fell of their hands and landed on the ground. He grabbed her left as she grabbed his right. The Septon began to speak behind them.

“My lords and ladies, may I present to you Ser Jon and Lady Roslin of House Lycaon. They are of one flesh, one heart, one soul. Now and forever.” They began to walk down the aisle as the crowd began to clap. They slowly made their way to the great hall of Riverrun. The took the path that lead through the godswood so his gods can see them.

Roslin and Jon took the head seats at the head table. To her left sat her brother next to her than various riverlords. To Jon’s right sat Queen Alys, Lord Edmure, Lord Glover, and a bastard from a house in the North. In between their seats sat a large wine glass that her and Jon were to share. Once everyone sat down servants began to bring out plates of food. Two plates of steak, fish, and vegetables were brought in front of Jon and her. As per ceremony the began to eat before everyone else. Once they bit in their meals people began to devour their food.

A servant came in front of them holding a plate with different bottles of wine and a bottle of ale.

“My lord and lady, what would you like to drink?”

Jon immediately turned to her. “What would you like to drink, Roslin?”

“Arbor Gold, please.”

“As you wish, mi’lady.” He quickly filled the glass between the two before moving away. She gently grab the goblet before taking a sip and sitting it down. Jon took a sip after her before putting it between the two of them again.

“You are quiet lucky, Roslin, Jon prefers Ale over wine. When I saw the bottle of it I thought he would pick that.”

“Thank you, your grace. You truly like ale better than wine, Jon?”

“Aye, it was usually the cheapest thing Robb and I could buy in Wintertown, so we could get more.”

“Wintertown is the town outside the gates of Winterfell, correct?” Most of what she knew about the ancient castle of Winterfell was that it was built by Brandon the Builder and has hotsprings to keep the castle warm.

“Wintertown is more of a village. Though during winter time it becomes much bigger as the smallfolk migrate to the castles. Some of the smallfolk have already began moving outside of the gates. Though I doubt it will be as big as Gulltown, White Harbor, or Starfall.”

“You have travelled to a lot of places, husband.” It was the first time that she addressed him as such. The word left a sweet taste on her tongue.

“I travelled with my cousin from Winterfell to White Harbor, from White Harbor to Gulltown, from Gulltown to Sunspear, and then Sunspear to Starfall. Though I was unconscious while we were in Sunspear. I travelled by horse around Starfall a few times and saw the countryside. I then travelled from Starfall to past Riverrun. Then around the Riverlands and Westerlands till now.”

“That sounds like you had an amazing journey.” A servant came up and filled the almost empty glass between them. They both have been taking sips from the glass though she noticed that she was drinking more than he was. She made a mental note to slow down.

“What about  you wife, have you travelled anywhere?” The word wife caused her to blush. It was the first time that anyone has called her that.

“No, my father did not like us to travel. The furthest I have gone before I came here was a days ride away from the Twins.”

“Once this war is done, we can travel to any where you would like to go.” He gave her a smile before eating more of his fish.

“Thank you. I have always wanted to visit Oldtown.” She began to finish her meal.

It was halfway through the feast before a large pie was brought out in front of the table. The guest made room for it and gathered around it. Jon offered her his hand as they walked in front of it. The circle of people made a path for them to walk through. They stood in front of the cake before a servant brought out Jon’s sword and offered the pommel for him to take. The gray and white blade shimmered as he pulled it from the sheath.

“My lady, would you be kind enough to help me.” He held out the handle of the sword with room for her to grab it with both of her hands. Once her hands were wrapped around the rough black leather, she could feel the heavy weight of the sword. Moments later he wrapped his hands over her’s. He helped her lift the blade high before having it cut down to the pie. When the sword broke through the crust, six white doves flew from the pie. The crowd around them clapped.

She let him take the sword out of her hands before handing it back to the servant. Another servant brought out a plate with forks and knives. Jon and her both took a fork and grabbed a piece of the pie on the end of it. They lifted their forks to the others mouth before eating the piece in front of them. The guest cheered before digging in.

The sun was beginning to set as the tables on the floor were moved off to the side so there would be room for dancing. Once the space was cleared, the space was swarmed by lords and ladies dancing. The musicians began to play.

“I believe I owe you a dance Roslin.” He was standing up and offering his hand to her that she grabbed. For the second time of the night she was led down to the floor below.

She rested her free hand on his shoulder while the other was still held in his hand. His hand rested just above her waist on her back. They began to move once the a new song began to be played. She felt like they were sliding over the floor as he led her around the room. He was one of the better dancers she had danced with. He was easily better than her brothers.

“I must apologize I did not think you were this good. Where did you learn to dance so well?”

“Lady Stark made sure that all of her children could dance. My father insisted that I learn too. At first Robb and I did not take it very seriously. Once I learned that it can help my swordsmanship I paid attention in the lessons and quickly became the best dancer out of us, to the dismay of Lady Stark.”

“Does she not like you?”

“No, she was taught that all bastards are evil. That we all want to take what our trueborn siblings have. She tried teaching it to her children too, but only Sansa acted according to her wishes. She sees me as the constant reminder of the one woman my father loved as much or more than her.”

“I am sorry for that. She seems like an awful person.”

“Don’t be. I understand why she does it. She is worried for her children. I just wish she tried to talk to me before she made her decision that I was bad. I remember I dream I had once, when I was really sick. Maester Luwin didn’t know if I would survive the night. I dreamt though that she was sitting at my bedside making something. I heard her pray for her gods to let me live, that she would be a mother to be. When I finally was healthy enough to leave my chambers she still treated me the same.”

“Do you think she will hate me that I married you.” She could tell that he was thinking hard about what to say by the look on his face. Before he said anything he looked her in the eyes.

“It doesn’t matter. Alys likes you, Robb will like you. Ghost likes you, I think. It is hard to tell with him. My other brothers will like you. My sisters will like you. Sansa more than Arya because you act as a lady. Arya will probably be mad at you because as she will put it, you stole me from her. My father would of liked you if he still lived.” He paused after he talked about his father. She could tell he still misses him. “None of that matters though. I like you and will protect you from anyone that doesn’t.”

It was at that moment that she couldn’t help herself as she stood up on her toes to kiss him. It was the second time they kissed. Tenth if you counted the kisses on the cheeks she has given him and the kisses on her hand that he gave her.

“Thank you, Jon.”

The song ended. Before they began to dance to the next song, her brother came over to them.

“Good-brother, may I dance with my sister? I am sure there is other ladies that will like to dance with you.”

“As you wish, Ser. If any other men come after you tell them that if they dishonor her then they dishonor me. And I hold my honor high.”

Perwyn laughed, “As you wish, Jon.”

“My lady,” Jon bowed his head and smiled in her direction before turning away. She saw a woman in a black and red dress come up to him that he turned away.

“Your husband is a dramatic fellow, Roslin.”

 

Alys

She watched as Ser Perwyn started to dance with his sister. Jon had to turn away three other ladies before sitting back down at her left. He took a drink from the large glass of wine.

“Are none of those ladies good enough to dance with you Jon?”

“None of them are my wife or queen, Alys.”

“Are we the only two ladies lucky enough to dance with you?”

“If my sisters was here I would dance with them too. Besides them, there is no one else alive I would dance with. If I have any daughters I will dance with them. Or if my mother was alive still I would dance with her too.” He took a long sip of the wine in front of him.

She could understand that. Her own mother died when she was little. Her heart still hurt when she thought about her. Jon was probably was one of the very few people that could sympathize with her. He couldn’t imagine what he felt though. He knew of his mother, but never met her. Lady Stark treated him lower than a servant. Robb told her some of the things that he saw his mother do. She couldn’t imagine the things she did when it was only her and Jon alone. She was happy though that Jon at least looked happy now with Roslin.

As the feast kept going she remembered her own wedding. It was happy times then. There was no war. Robb’s family was together. Most of her own family was together. The time was better then. Though she wasn’t to be a mother than. She could do without being a queen. It made no matter to her. She felt guilty, but she was almost happy things happened the way they did so she and Robb would be parents soon. She missed him.

They were only together for a few short months, but those months felt magical to her. Robb was everything she could of wanted in a husband. Now he was far away from her fighting in a war. Though he hasn’t been injured yet, Jon’s injury reminded her that it could happen to him anytime now. She didn’t want her child to grow up without a father. While she knew that Jon would step in and help raise the baby she still wanted Robb by her side. She offered up a silent prayer to the Old Gods, praying for safety for Robb. For her child to be born healthy. For this war to end. For everything to be peaceful again. She hoped that some of her prayers would be answered.

The feast was still going strong as Roslin made her way back to her seat. When she sat down Alys saw Jon and Ser Perwyn share a nod before the latter asked his sister to come outside with him for a second. She watched Roslin leave through the back door. No one seemed to notice except her.

It was a minute later that Jon stood up to speak, “My lords and Ladies. I would like to thank you each for coming to my wedding. Lady Roslin and I are very happy to have shared this night with you. She had started to feel unwell so she went to our chambers. I fear that I must retire too. Stay as long as Lord Edmure will have you here.” As he began to get up and leave through the back door Lord Edmure stood up.

“Ser Jon, while one party of a bedding is no longer here. You are still. I say we let the ladies have at least their fun.” The lords pounded the table in agreement as the ladies began to clap.

Before Jon could say anything she stood up. ”I think that is a wonderful idea Lord Edmure. I am sure Jon won’t deprive his guest of their fun at his expense. Ladies come and take him.”

Within moments Jon was swarmed by ladies of the Riverlands as they began to push him out of the door. They had already removed his shirt before they were halfway to the door. She could see a red mark on his left side. She knew that it was the cut that had sent him back here. Even from across the room she could see how grosome it was. As he was pushed out of the door he was trying to fight back the mob of women trying to remove his pants.

She laughed as she excused herself. She was tired and was ready for bed. Her two guards followed behind her as she walked through the godswood. While the wedding in the sept was beautiful, she preferred her own wedding in the godswood. She just entered the keep as she felt a sudden pain on her lower half of her body. It was another contraction. She has been getting them for a week now. This one felt different though. She made it up the stairs and almost to her room before she felt another one began. This time it was stronger and hurt more. The guards had to hold her up before she could fall. She quickly sent one to fetch the maester before they continued to her room.

 

Jon

He could feel a dozen hands on his body as they pushed him forward and up the stairs. He tried to cover himself as his pants joined the rest of his clothes on the ground. The women around him whistled at his naked body. Before he knew it a door opened and he was pushed threw it. He stumbled, but caught himself before falling to the ground. He shut the door behind him as the women cheered at him. He made sure it was locked before turning around.

She was sitting in the bed with the covers pulled over her. She smiled as her face turned red. He quickly covered himself with his hands to her amusement. It was then that he noticed that her clothes were laying down on the chair. Her dress was hanging on the dresser. He noticed Phantom was leaning against the table.

“My brother told me about your plan. Thanking you for saving me from the bedding even if you couldn’t.”

“It was no problem. I would of gotten away to if the Queen and Lord Edmure didn’t object. I am glad that I-” He lost his train of thought as she moved out from under the covers. Her smooth nude legs were the first thing that he noticed. As his eyes travelled upwards he saw brown hair rest above her womanhood. His eyes passed her small hips as began to begin continue the journey up. He passed past her small perky breast. His eyes stopped at hers.

Realizing the situation he removed his hands from covering himself as he felt himself begin to harden. Her cheeks began to redden a deeper red as she looked over him. He started to move closer to her before their eyes meet again. They were inches from each other as indigo looked into brown.

He put his hand to her soft cheek before their lips meet. Her hands moved to his back as they shared in another kiss. His own hands moved down her back and rested at her waist. He could feel her nipples rub against his chest as they moved closer to the bed. After a few more passionate kisses she laid down on her back with him above her. He broke their kisses before moving slowly down her body.

He began to kiss a line down her body as he paused in between her breast before moving to her right one. He kissed a line to her nipple. When he laid a kiss on top of her erect nipple he heard a moan come from above. Her hands rested on the back of his head. They were playing with his curls. He moved to the left to do the same to her other breast. Receiving the same effect he began to continue the journey south.

He stopped at her belly button before moving past the mound of brown hair. When he was near inches from her womanhood he remember what Ros taught him about how to please a woman.

It was a couple of years ago when Lady Stark had said something about how he was born to a whore and would one day marry one to. It was one of the few times that he was truly upset by her words. After drinking far to much he decide to prove her right. It was how he ended up in Ros’ room in the brothel in Wintertown. Instead of taking advantage of a young drunk bastard she talked to him until he started to sober up. He told her about life as a bastard and living with Lady Stark. She enturn taught him how to please a woman. She showed him what she called the Lord’s Kiss.

He moved his back in front of her after performing the kiss. She looked in her eyes.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” He wouldn’t blame her if she said no. He had heard that it hurt for maidens.

“Yes.” She nodded as she answered.

He only nodded before he took his manhood in his hand. He lined up their parts before slowly pressing his head against her. He heard her whimper as he slowly slipped inside of her. Her nails dug into his back as he did.

“Are you sure you are okay?”

“Yes. Just go slowly please.”

He nodded before pushing himself the rest of the way in her.

 

He could feel the heat of the sun on his exposed body. He could hear the birds chirp in the morning. The sounds of a castle could be heard over them. Instead of the normal smell of water that accompanied Riverrun he could smell roses. His face was resting on the hair of Roslin. He was curled around her as she slept. Her body was pressed against his. He could feel her breath. His arm was draped over hers, his hand was resting on her. He wish that he could stay like this. Her soft unblemished body was far different than his scarred one.

His free hand was playing with her soft brown hair. A knock came at the door ruining the moment. He ignored it hoping the person would leave. Sadly it came again with a voice.

“Ser Jon it is urgent.” The voice was of Robett Glover. He could feel Roslin begin to stir awake as the knock came again, but louder.
“Ser Jon!” He silently cursed Lord Glover as Roslin turned around to face him.

“Good morning.” She whispered to him.

“I am sorry about him.” He gestured to the door that echoed knocking on wood.

“What does he want?”

“I do not know hopefully he will go away soon.” The knocking on the door turned to pounding. Jon, I can hear that you are awake. We need to talk Moat Cailin has fallen to the ironborn.”

“One moment,” he yelled back, “I am sorry, but this is important.”

He kissed her forehead before getting out of bed. He pulled on his pants and opened the door a little bit to face Lord Glover.

“Gather the commanders of the army and the lords in the council room. I will be there in a few minutes. I must speak to the Queen first.” He pulled on his shirt before grabbing Phantom and heading down the hallway to where Alys slept. He could hear bells begin to ring throughout the castle.

When he rounded a corner he could see 6 guards outside of the room of Alys. He stopped where he stood as he heard the distinct sound of a baby crying.

Chapter Text

Chapter 10: The Beaten Wolves

As he stood in the hall, the three guards put their hands on their swords. He continued to start walking to the door. As he neared the door, two guards stopped him.
“No weapons are allowed beyond this point.” Another young looking guard moved to the other’s side.
“Let him pass Harwin. He is the King’s brother, and it is his direwolf with the Queen now.” The older guard, a man named Logan, put his hand on Harwin’s shoulder. The two men separated for him to pass.
He slowly pushed the oak door open. He could first see Ghost laying on the bed. He began to wag his tail at the sight of Jon. He had wonder where Ghost ran off to last night. He was happy that he had found a warm place to sleep.
As the door opened more, he could see Alys standing over a crib. Her brown hair was a mess. She was still only wearing her night clothes. As he shut the door behind him, she turned around. When she saw it was him, she smiled at him.
“Jon, come over here I wish to introduce you. Quietly though.”
He made his way over to her, trying to emulate Ghost by not making any sounds. As he became closer to the crib, he saw a face of a baby sleeping. The closer he got though he saw another bundle of wrapped blankets. When he was standing in front of the crib, he saw another face of a baby, also sleeping.
“Twins?” He tried to keep his amazement down not to awaken the newest Starks.
“Yes. The oldest Princess Lyanna,” She pointed to the one he saw the first. “and Prince Eddard, heir to the Kingdoms of the North and Trident.”
The princess had hair as red as Sansa’s. The prince’s hair was red also but was darker. Jon reached out to wipe the drool off of the Prince’s cheek.
“They are beautiful Alys. Robb will be thrilled once he hears about this. When do you give birth?”
“Last night. You had just gone off for the bedding when labor started. I did not want to disturb you two. Speaking of which where is Roslin? I thought she would want to come and see the babies.” She looked behind him to make sure she didn’t miss Roslin.
“I imagine she is still in our room. We were never informed that you had given birth. Lord Glover came to tell me some news. I came to tell you.”
“What happened?”
“Ironborn have taken Moat Cailin. This action has caused us to speed up our plans for the North. I will talk with the other lords, but we will most likely leave in the next couple of days.”
“I will not travel back with you. I will not risk my children safety on a march north while you fight battles nearby. We will remain here until it is safe.”
“I know. Robb will kill me if I bring you. I think he will kill me if I leave you by yourself though. I was going to ask Roslin if she wanted to stay here with you. To help with the prince and princess.”
“You don’t need to ask her. Lady Stark will be back any day now. She sent word some weeks ago. A couple of lords from the Vale are joining her to discuss terms with us.”
“I need to get going. I have to discuss plans with the lords. I will be back afterward though.”
“Thank you, Jon. Can you send for Roslin? I would like her to meet the babies too.” It was one of the only times that she looked away from the babies while they talked.
“Of course your grace.”
He closed the door behind him leaving Ghost as their guard. He started to make his way to the council room after sending a servant to have Roslin meet with Alys.
Inside of the council room sat the lords of the Riverlands and the few lords of the North. On the table was a map of Westeros with wolf, lion, stag, rose, suns, and fish carved figures on the different points on the map. The falcons of the Vale were still in the Vale. Unlike the other figures. When he sat down in his chair the room quieted, waiting for him to speak about what to do next.
“Before we began, you must all know by now the Queen has given birth to King Robb’s child.” Cheer filled the room. “The Queen gave birth to a healthy and beautiful daughter named Princess Lyanna. She also gave birth to a strong a healthy son named Prince Eddard.” The lords cheered at the news of the North having an heir and a princess. He let them have a small moment of celebration before continuing.
“I have some dire news though. The ironborn, led by Victarion Greyjoy, have taken Moat Cailin.” He took the figure of a squid that was set off to the side before using it to knock over the wolf over Moat Cailin. He could feel the loss of the vital castle as he sat the squid on top of it.
“What does that matter? Moat Cailin is a ruin. We can easily take it back. The ironborn cannot fight a siege battle from the defensive side.” A riverlord with a redfish on a white field spoke his thoughts.
“That castle has stood for thousands of years. Would be invaders of the North has fallen at the Moat every time. It can withstand an army with thrice the number of men in it. It is also the fastest way to the North.” Lord Blackwood announced as he looked at the man. The Blackwoods were a house from the North that was exiled by the ancient Starks for some reason. They still kept to the Old Gods.
“In three days I intend to ride north with two thousand men and three hundred horses to take back the Moat and secure the North. These men are northmen. If any other lords with to pledge some small force it will be appreciated by the King and me.”
“I will pledge five hundred of the finest knights in the Riverlands. My son, Lucas, will also lead these men under your command. The North was once our home. We will help take it back from these squid scum.”
“Thank you, Lord Blackwood. Once I leave Lord Edmure will be in charge of the forces left here. Lord Roose Bolton is on his way here now to lend the support of his force. I will lead my force north and through the Twins to attack from the south. Once we have retaken the Moat, I will continue north and help push the ironborn back to the sea.” He once again took a wolf figure and knocked over the squid over the Moat.
“Fuck the Freys. They will bleed you dry of your gold. Head up the King’s Road there are no tolls there.”
“That is my wife’s family Lord Piper. You will not curse their name while I am present. The King’s Road is too far away and will take to long. It is also close to Lord Tywin. The Twins offer us speed and secrecy. If that is all, I have matters to attend to.”
He left before anyone could say nothing to him. While he knew the riverlords did not like the Freys, he didn’t think one would insult them in front of him. He put it from his mind as he made his way back to Alys’ room. He could hear the sound of babies laughing as two women made baby noises.
When he opened the door, he saw Alys and Roslin hovering over both of the babies as they laid in their crib. Neither seemed to notice him as he entered.
“How are the Prince and Princess?”
“Have you seen them yet? They are so adorable, Jon. Come look.” Roslin waved her hand at him, beckoning him to come closer. As he moved closer, he could see that their eyes were both bluish grey. Each showed a toothless smile as they laughed.
“I saw them earlier while they slept. The princess looks like a small you Alys. Well besides the hair. I am sure she will cause you and Robb a lot of heartaches when she is older with all the boys trying to woo her.”
“They will have to get through me first. How did the meeting go with the lords?”
“Good. I leave in three days time before heading north. We will pass through the Twins before retaking the Moat.”
“You are leaving already?” Roslin had a sad look on her face when she looked at him.
“Aye. It will be better if we attack before they can establish a footing. Once through though I will travel north though and most likely stay at Winterfell guarding it until the end of the war. I was hoping you would join me. I will understand if you wish to remain here with Alys and the babies for a while before coming when it is safer.”
“I think I would like to travel with you if it is okay.”
“It is. I will have a servant begin to pack our things then.”
“Thank you. I will be here if you need any help.”
“My lady. My Queen. Prince and Princess.” He bowed slightly before leaving the room.

 

 


Theon, Three Days Later


He could see the golden kraken on a black field fly above the castle of Torrhen’s Square as the ships began to land on the shore. The small attack force he sent out ahead of him seemed to succeed in taking the small northern castle. After months of raiding villages, it felt good to take something of value. The large ironwood doors opened to his party as they walked into the castle. Dead bodies laid around the courtyard. The southernmost of the four towers on the wall was burning. It brought him back to the night when the cutthroat tried to kill Bran.
On their knees were three young men, one old man, a little girl, and an older woman. The Tallhart family. The old man was Leobald Tallhart, the current lord’s brother. Next to him must be his two sons. Between them and the little girl was Benfred Tallhart the heir to the castle they just took. His aunt and sister were crying next to him. As Theon moved closer to his captives, he could see Benfred was supporting a black eye.
“Well if it isn’t Thick neck Benfred. I must say when I came to visit your castle those years ago with the late Lord Stark I thought I must simply have it. Now though I think we might just tear it down for fun.”
“Theon,” Benfred spit at his feet. “How could you do this I thought you, King Robb, and myself were friends. Now you betrayed the North by attacking it. I guess you were the little bitch my father always believed you to be.”
“Friends? How could I be friends with the family that took me from my home and held me hostage? Tell me Eddara, do you think you will be my friend now that I have you as my hostage.” Benfred's sister cried louder when he spoke to her.
“Leave her alone Theon. You may punish us, but not my sister. She has done nothing wrong.”
“Why would I hurt her? She looks like she will grow up to be a great beauty. I think I might take her as my second salt wife.” Benfred had to be held down by two men as he tried to attack Theon. “You two,” He pointed to two men that followed him in. “Take her to the lord’s chamber. Chain her to the bed. I will come and get her in a little bit.”
This time all four men had to be held back as they dragged off the screaming, crying girl. She left a trail of tears on the ground while she was dragged off. Benfred had to be gagged as he started to scream at them all.
“Theon, you so as much touch my niece I will decorate the fucking hearttree with your entrails like in the old days. First, though I will hang you by that small carrot, you call a fucking cock. You cunt.” A gag was placed over Leobald too.
“Where is my uncle Aeron?”
“His ship has just landed on the beach. Do you want me to get him?” A random soldier responded.
“No, we will meet him there. Bring the captives.”
As he made his way back to the beach, he could hear the Tallhart men being dragged through the dirt. A short man with long hair and beard greeted them.
“Ah, Theon. It seems that your plan had work. The Drowned God is most pleased.”
“Thank you, uncle. We have seemed to capture all, but one of the Tallharts. Since we have so many to spare I thought the Drowned God would like a sacrifice.”
His uncle Aeron put his hand together when he heard that. “An excellent idea. Which one were you thinking?”
They both turned to face the scared captives. Theon moved in front of Leobald’s wife.
“Well, she is a woman. We could find a better use for her. Maybe as a whore for the men.”
He moved to stand in front of the two sons of Leobald. He had never bothered to remember their names when they visited Winterfell.
“Both of these boys have no blood on their hands. They would be a pitiful sacrifice to the Drowned God.”
He grabbed Benfred’s hair as he lifted his head up.
“As much as I would like to give thick neck here to the seas. This little lord is more useful to us alive. His father won’t dare attack us while we have his heir and daughter. His daughter is warming my bed right now. That just leaves old Leobald here.”
He let go of Benfred’s hair as he moved down the line. He stopped in front of the old man with grey hair mixed in with his brown. His pale blue eyes meet his in defiances.
“He already has sons. He has fought many of battles. He is not of value. He also would make a good example of what happens to the people that threaten me.”
“A wise choice nephew. The Drowned God will be pleased. Let us push my ship back out on the water and drown the man.”
“Alright men. Bring the Greenlanders on board of the Foamdrinker. Then help me push her back to sea.”
It took them five minutes to load up the Tallharts on Aeron’s longship. It took two more minutes before they were pushed back into the water. They rowed to behind the castle where the godswood faced the water. Theon could make out the face of hearttree staring at him. It made no matter to him though. He was at sea, where he was safe.
Leobald was brought to kneel before the edge of the deck facing his family. Aeron poured some seawater in his hand before splashing it on him.
“God of the Sea hear us. To honor you and our victory we offer up this man as an offering to you. Bless us as you drag this tree loving man down to your halls to work as a slave for eternity.” He raised his hands high as he nodded towards Theon. He moved closer to the man kneeling on the edge of the ship. He lifted his foot and placed it on the man’s chest.
“What is dead may never die.” He muttered before he kicked the man off of the side of the ship. He could hear muffled screams behind him as the body hit the water. He started to sink as his wife and sons screamed for him. When he looked back to the hearttree, he could see a red tear flow from its eye as it mourned its follower.

The men shouted for more as the feast continued. The newly widowed Lady Berena was serving her guest without any clothes on. He didn’t know what happened to them, but judging from the torn pieces of fabric on the ground someone must have ripped them off earlier. He couldn’t care as she made her way pass carrying a jug of ale as someone began to grope her ass. She whimpered in pain as the hand slapped her. She stood still though knowing it would be worse if she fought it. He knew his men would have fun with her during their stay here. He wouldn’t be surprised if someone decided to take her during the feast.
To his right was, tied to a chair, Eddara Tallhart. She was crying through her gag as she watched what could be happening to her. He had thought about giving her to his men, but he wanted to break her himself. He wouldn’t deprive them of entertainment as her naked breast shook as she cried. He ripped the top of her dress earlier after Benfred tried to spit at him. He already had something in store for the both of them later tonight.
He couldn’t help but laugh as the young Beren Tallhart was serving the ironborn like his mother. Unlike her, though he was wearing clothes. Not his own, but one of his cousin’s dresses. As his men started to become drunker, he was sure that they began to think of Beren as a young girl. He wasn’t sure how far they would go to find out the truth or if they will care. He still wasn’t sure if he would stop them. It caused him to laugh to think that he was one of the people that might be the next Lord of Hornwood. It will be Lady of Hornwood more like it.
The boy’s older brother was bound to one of the pillars of the small hall. He was covered in layers of a different assortment of food and drink. The men were taking turns at how close they could hit him in the face with food. Out of his family, he had received the easiest punishment. He was watching though as he mother was practically raped in front of him. His brother was being paraded around like a serving girl. His cousin exposed to the world. And his other stuck in a cage.
Benfred was his pride in the bunch right now. After learning that he and some of his friends started to call themselves the ‘Wild Hares’ he locked Benfred in a cage with a carrot shoved down his throat as a gag. Someone had suggested to shove one up his ass if he continues to disrupt the fun. After his sister was exposed though he calmed down as he realized the punishment for his outburst.
So far everything has gone according to his father’s plan. They found a message in the lord’s chamber that his Uncle Victarion had taken Moat Cailin and was holding it to prevent the northmen from coming back to their country. The siege only left Ser Rodrik as the only force near them. For now, though he was still in Winterfell.
If his plans go right within the next two weeks, he should be sitting in Winterfell. He was sure that once the old Master at Arms hears that Torrhen’s Square has fallen, he will ride out and try to take it back. By the time he arrives here though Theon plans to be away with most of his men. A small token force will have to stay here to distract Rodrik for long enough.
Once the army at Winterfell is gone, it will be easy for him to sneak in. He spent the last couple years of his life stealing in and out of Winterfell with more guards on the wall. Bringing in a small force to open a gate will be easy. Once inside they will be able to surprise the remaining guards and take the castle. Once it is done, he will have proven himself as the true heir to the Iron Islands.
As the feast started to wind down, he had men bring Eddara back to his room and chair her to the bed. Benfred was carried in his carriage to wait outside his door. Before Theon went upstairs to warm his bed, he stopped to talk with Aeron and Dagmer.
“I am off for the night. In the morning have the men we picked get ready for the march to Winterfell we leave in two days. I will be bringing Eddara with me to warm my tent. If the men want entertainment, they can bring Berena. Also, release Brandon Tallhart and tell him to run back to Winterfell with some fake terms of peace.”
Both of the men nodded in approval before he left them. As he made his way up the stairs, he couldn’t help but smile at what he was about to do. He had never liked Benfred. The boy was too cocky for a small lord. He always joked about how his family helped defeated his. Well by the end of the night he will be the one laughing.
He paused at his closed door before kneeling down in front of the caged hare.
“I want you to listen as I take your sister. I want her screams to be the last thing you here before you go to bed and the first thing in the morning. I have a question first though. Whose family has defeated the other better now?” The caged rattled as Benfred tried to break free of his bondage.
Theon laughed knowing it would be of no use. When he made his way into his room, he left the door open. This way Benfred will undoubtedly hear the girl scream.

 


Alys, four days later

 


It has been seven days since she was left alone with only her children at Riverrun. Jon and Roslin had been gone for precisely three days after they were married. She couldn’t blame for Roslin leaving. In the last month and a half, she grew fond of the girl. It was her persuasion that caused Roslin to head north with Jon. She told Roslin that while she was happy to be at Riverrun safe, she would rather be with Robb. She should have been sad, but she had Eddard and Lyanna to keep her company.
Her two children. She could help but smile at the thought of them. They were sleeping in their crib as she watched over them. Sweet Eddard had his thumb in his mouth as he slept. Lovely Lyanna slept soundly next to her brother. People said that they each look like their respective parents. She didn’t see that though. She says two new people with the good parts of her and Robb. Lyanna shared Robb’s red hair. Eddard’s hair was a darker red almost brown. Both of their eyes were the color of hers.
A handmaiden opened the door and let the person knocking on it inside the room. She turned around to see Lord Edmure wearing armor standing in the doorway.
“Your grace, I came to say goodbye for now. We are about to leave to stop Tywin. If it is okay with you, I would like to see the prince and princess.”
“They are sleeping right now, but you may say goodbye.”
He moved to the crib at her words.
“They are beautiful children. She reminds me of Robb when he was first born. His hair was just as red.”
“Thank you. Maybe when you get back, you will finally get married and have kids of your own.”
He laughed like she was joking. Some worried about the Tully line as it only had Three males left. Lord Hoster was not going to have any kids anymore. Ser Brynden has not married even when his brother tried to setup betrothals for him. Edmure was the last male Tully able to have a son. If he died without an heir, it would pass to the eldest daughter's eldest or second son. Which meant that Bran Stark would inherit the Riverlands and Riverrun while he might take the name of his mother’s house. It will die.
“Maybe. Oh, the maester told me to tell you that my father is in a good state right now.”
“Thank you. I wanted Lord Hoster to see them when he was in a good state. He said that he would not die without seeing them, but with how your father is doing I do not know how much longer he can hold out.”
“Do not worry your grace. We Tully men are hard to kill. I must be off though. We will return with a victory soon.”
“Be careful Lord Edmure.”
He bowed as he left. His blue and red cloak whipped in the air as he turned around. Alys returned her attention to the two innocent bundles sleeping. She hated to disturb them while they slept, but she wouldn’t forgive herself if this were the last time Hoster could meet them. Alys called over a handmaiden to carry Lyanna as she picked up Eddard. If she couldn’t hold both of her babies, she wanted to carry one.
As she walked down the hallway to make it to the lord’s bedchamber, three guards stepped in front of her and three behind her. At first when she found out that Robb had ordered more guards around her once she gave birth she was furious. She already didn’t like having two people with her all day. At first, she thought that six was too many. Now she is mad that he didn’t order more to guard them.
Each of the babes started to awake as they walked into the room. The maester was standing near the bed of Lord Hoster when they entered. Vyman was a good man. He has helped with anything he could since he arrived. He was excellent when she was giving birth.
“Cat is that you?” His voice sounded strained as he talked.
“No, Lord Hoster. It is Alys Stark.”
“Ah, my queen. What brings you to the room of a dying old man?”
“I have a surprise for you.” She moved in front of him to show him Eddard. “This is Prince Eddard. And that is Princess Lyanna.” The handmaiden carrying Lyanna moved to stand next to her.
“You gave birth. To twins no less. The gods are good. May I hold them?”
She nodded as she moved to his left as the handmaiden moved to the right. They both set the babies they were holding into his awaiting arms. A giant smile came across his face as he held them. She could see a tear come down his face as he looked down at them both. She could feel a tear begin to form in her eye.
“Thank you, my queen. Seeing my great-grandchildren has made me feel better. I feel like I can die peacefully now. But I will wait until my children are here with me.”
She sat there awhile more as Lord Tully sat holding her children. It made her remember her father. He was off with Robb fighting in the west. He was with Torr. Both were fierce warriors. She still prayed for their safety as she did with Harry. Last she heard Harry was a prisoner at Harrenhal. She wasn’t sure if he was with Lord Tywin as he attempted to cross the Red Fork. She hoped that he wasn’t.
She realized that Lord Hoster fell asleep when she heard a snore coming from him. She quietly took Lyanna from his arms. Trying not to awaken him. The babies were talking in their secret language as she carried them back to her room. While she knew many ladies would have their children sleep in another room, she couldn’t stand the thought of it at first. Now though she was missing the full nights of sleep that she couldn’t get any more since the babies were born. She set the babies down on her bed as she started to play with them.

It was two days later when she finally had the twins brought to another room so she could sleep. She slept through most of the day and all of the night. When she awoke, she had a bath drawn before she went to check on her children. Once the tub was ready though she left them in the room to wash. It was when her hair was beginning brushed that a servant came to tell her that Lady Stark had returned. It had been almost a month since they last received a message from her. Even then the message was very cryptic.
The servant led her to a room on the first floor of the keep. The room had a small table in the middle of it. It was apparently a small meeting room. Sitting at the table was Lady Stark and three older men who must be from the Vale. They all stood up as she entered. Lady Stark moved over to embrace her in a hug before introducing her.
“My lords, it is my honor to introduce Alys Stark Queen of the North and Trident and wife to my son.” Each of the lords bowed to her. “Alys these are lords Hunter, Redfort, and Corbray.” She pointed to each lord as she said their names from left to right.
“Thank you, lords, for providing safe passage for my good-mother. I assume that make sure she comes back safely is not all you came here for?”
It was Lord Redfort that spoke for them. He was wearing a red surcoat that had a red castle over a field of white.
“While it was an honor to escort Lady Stark here, we came for other reasons too. Is King Robb around. We would like to discuss our terms with him.”
“I am afraid that King Robb is in the west fighting. Last we heard he was about to take the Crag. If you want you can discuss your terms with me, I have been giving authority to make decisions on his behalf. Or if you prefer for my husband to hear them you can wait for him to come back. Though I fear that may not be up until another month from now.”
“If it is alright with you, your grace. We would like to stay here until at least we know when he is coming back.”
“Of course Lord Redfort I will have the servants prepare rooms for you and your men. I am afraid that Lord Hoster is still bedridden and Lord Edmure is of about to do battle. You will have to wait to be properly greeted by a lord of Riverrun. Lady Stark if you would follow me I would like to talk. My lords.” She turned and left the room not waiting for a reply from either the lords or Lady Stark. She was getting impatient she missed her children. She also wanted to show Lady Stark her grandchildren.
“Alys I hope you are taking me to the baby. As a woman who has given birth I know the signs of the after stages of pregnancy.”
“In the nursery.” She was trying not to ruin the surprise of having twins to her. It seemed like no one has told her yet which she was grateful for that. As she made her way into the nursery, both of her babies were laying on their backs babbling about something.
“Which one is my grandchild? I assume the other is the wet nurse’s.”
“No, they are both Robb and my children. These two are Princess Lyanna and Prince Eddard.

"Truly? You had twins?" Lady Stark made her way to the babies. "They look like what Robb and Sansa did when they were younger. She has your look though."
"Thank you. Everyone has been saying how much they looked like Robb when he was first born."
Her good-mother began to cry as she stroked Lyanna's hair.
"I wish my Ned could be here to see them. He would be so proud of them. He would be happy to see another Lyanna Stark be born. Thank you for naming your son after him."
"There was no better name we could think of for him."
Once they learned about the death of Lord Stark, they had decided that they would name their first son after him. Before though they were in the midst of thinking of different names. She wanted to call their son Karlon after the founder of the Karstark house, a younger son of a Stark King. He wanted to name him after Artos Stark, the man who killed Rayman Redbeard. The name Lyanna was an easy pick for the both of them. Besides they will more time to have another Karlon or Artos. Perhaps they will have more children to name after other great Starks.
"Has my father seen them yet? I know he wanted to see them before he leaves this world."
"He just saw them. He was very proud of them."
Lady Stark smiled before tickling the now awake Eddard. The innocent little boy giggled at the attack by his grandmother. Lyanna soon woke up to the sound of her brother.
"You should head North as soon as possible. You will be safer there."
"I cannot right now. Moat Cailin has been taken by the ironborn, Victarion Greyjoy. Ser Jon is headed there now to recapture it and rid the North once again of them."
"That bastard and his Frey wife will probably only make matters worse." Alys was appalled by her statement about Jon.
"Lady Stark, Ser Jon has saved Robb's life on numerous occasions. He has risked his life for Robb on numerous occasions. His wife of the betrothal that you arranged has helped me with anything she could. She made some of the clothes my children are wearing. They are both close friends of Robb and me. So I ask you not to speak ill of them, especially not in front of my children."
Catelyn had an astonished look on her face. She couldn't believe that Alys had made friends with a Frey and a Bastard. It didn't matter to her both Jon and Roslin were good people.
"I apologize for any offense you may have taken. If you will excuse me though I wish to see my father since he is in good health." The woman left Alys alone in the nursery with her children.


Roose, Later that night.



A battle raged in front of him as he sat on his horse watching the folly from top of a hill. Edmure Tully was a foolish man if he thought he could defeat Tywin Lannister so easily. It was a fool’s attempt to stop the lion from reaching his den. It made no matter to him though. Whatever side wins each with open arms will welcome him. Even now his plans for both sides are coming together.
His deal has already been made with Tywin. If he helped deplete the northern forces and betrayed the Starks, he will become lord paramount of the North. Making a choice was easy. Robb Stark was a young boy who wouldn’t be able to defeat the Lannisters or any army if he didn’t try to take more than minor lord’s castles. Just like his father, the boy was too honorable to do what was necessary to rule. All of the Starks were unfit to govern. They didn’t understand that you needed fear to keep people in their place. When he becomes Lord Paramount of the North, he will make sure his subjects do not rebel.
Every great ruler knew that fear was needed to rule. Aegon the Conqueror had his dragons to keep his enemies from plotting against him. Tywin Lannister had the song Rains of Castamere to tell his enemies what happens when you get on his wrong side. They understand though that too much fear and people will still rebel. Though Harren burned in his halls, the Tyrells were raised high for surrounding. Tywin had destroyed the Reyne and Tarbeck houses he forgave those that repaid their debts. Roose himself ruled with a firm hand in the lands of the Dreadfort. He has made examples of people that go against him. He had also built up the once small village outside his walls and that laid on the Weeping River. His people might not praise his name like the Starks, but they do not curse it either.
The Mad King and his bastard son never learned this. Aerys burned all that spoke against him. He made fools of the little allies he had. It was these follies that caused him to lose the war and be killed by his old friend’s son. His bastard son was already causing trouble.
Since he was born, the bastard had a terrible streak about him. Villagers cowered in fear of him especially the girls. He should have had him dealt with sooner. If he had Domeric would still be alive. The maester said he died of stomach pains, but he knew the truth. Ramsey poisoned his brother to get the Dreadfort. Perhaps when this war was finished, and he is married to that fat Frey he will have another son to carry on his name. Once that has happened he will take care of his bastard.
He had his use though. It was because he was sent to King’s Landing that peace talk was possible. He hasn’t got a letter from him in some weeks though.
He watched the battle unfold below him. He could see fish charging against men with three dogs. If Edmure kept this up, he would lose this fight. The man needed reinforcements if he will survive. Perhaps the little fish was trying to win the glory for himself. As much he wanted to see the man die he was of more use to him alive, to both sides.
“Tell the Tully reserve to go and save their future lord. He needs help.” The messenger rod of to where the men were.
Some might question why he won’t send in his men. It was a simple choice; once the North was his, he would need all the force to keep the peace.
The horses charged down the hill to meet with the Mountain and his men. From what he had heard the Mountain was more of a dog than a mountain. He was the only force of Tywin’s army to make it across the river. The loss his strength had was far more significant than what was needed. He knew that this was Tywin’s last chance to make it west. It seemed that it would fail though. The Mountain’s force was being slaughtered left and right once the reserve made it down to the mill.
He didn’t know why the mill was essential to Edmure. Perhaps he had laid with a girl there and had a bastard. He wouldn’t doubt it. The rumors have Edmure known as young Robert Baratheon. The stone tower had no worth to Roose those. It wasn’t the Twins.
Walder Frey had also joined him in going against Robb Stark. Much like himself, Walder wanted to be Lord Paramount. They were both hated by their countrymen. Both were willing to betray their countrymen to get what they wanted. Roose had already set up a plan for Walder to enact. It mattered though if the raven got to him in time. If it did, then they will have Jon Snow, Robett Glover, Larence Snow, and Lucas Blackwood as prisoners. To the rest of the world, they would have just died taking Moat Cailin. At least until they were ready to present their terms to Robb.
He could hear trumpets sounding from the other side of the river. Moments later he could see as red banners flapped in the wind. A wall of men and horses appeared in the distance. It seemed that Tywin didn’t stack his last attempt on some wild dog. He was only waiting for there to be no reserves for the Tully man to call on. The sea of red armor rode down the hill and into the sea of blue. If Tully didn’t retreat now, then he would be captured or killed. The red army seemed endless from his side of the river. He could see a group of horses stopped next to the flowing sea of red. It was no doubt Tywin Lannister himself and some lords.
The battle was lost. Their mere thousand of men would be no use against the thousands of men Tywin had. If they still held their bank of the river they might have been able to win. Now though nothing was stopping the westermen from returning home. If he sent his men down they might still have a chance, but why risk it. He signaled a retreat. Men might call him a coward, but he would be alive and soon the leader of the North. He turned his horse around as the sounds of a failed battle ran throughout the air.

The ride back to the camp was a long one. He took a long route back so no westermen would be able to find them if they decide to after him. It was well after nightfall until they reached the camp. The put down their non-bloodied swords. He could tell they were not happy about not joining in on the fight. He wouldn’t think that they would understand. These decisions were part of a game for the lords not for small folk. They should be happy that they are alive. Besides, there would be stupid fights that they can die in. He made his way back to his tent. The mood in the camp was sour as he passed by the fires of his men.
His captain Walton Steelshanks followed him into his tent. The man was loyal. He had followed all of the orders given to him and completed them with effectiveness. He was his most trusted advisor. As he laid his pink cloak on his chair, he began to speak.
“Walton, go tell the rest of the commanders that we are leaving at first light. I want the men ready to head back to Riverrun. Send scouts to watch the Lannister movements. Go now and come back when it is done. I have more for you todo. Send in a servant to help me with my armor.” The man nodded before leaving the tent. Moments later a servant came into his shelter.
“Come here, boy. I need this armor off of me.”
“Yes, my lord.” The boy started to shake as he made his way over to him.
He lifted his arms up as his chest piece was lifted off of him. He no longer felt the weight of it. It felt good. Not even a second later he felt a sharp point in his stomach. He struggled to look down to see a knife in him. He felt the armor fall as he noticed the boy’s hand on the blade. The youth looked up to him.
“Sorry, my lord. Your son has my sister hostage and said if I don’t kill you he will kill her.”
“I will flay you boy! WALTON!”
He screamed for his captain before he felt another knife thrust into his throat. Blood began to fill his mouth as he fell to his knees. He spat some on the boy who looked on in horror. A crash came through the tent as Walton discovered the scene. Without thinking the man pulled his sword out and stabbed the boy through the heart. The eyes of the boy widen in shock as he saw the sword sticking out of him.
As the world began to fill with darkness, he couldn’t help but think that his fool of his guard will now never know who sent the boy to kill him.


Joffrey, two days later

He sat on the Iron Throne as he tried to listen to his subjects. All of their concerns for were so dull. There was some much else to do, but his mother and hand made him stay for it. They will soon learn that he is king and that they can't order him around anymore. Even in the throne room, they tried to get him to obey them. The thought of throwing them in the black cells until they learned to respect him kept coming to his mind.
For the time being though he had use of them. His uncle has been working on the defenses of King’s Landing for the soon attack. From what he had heard he has done an excellent job at it. Joffrey was set to walk the battlements later today to check over them. He didn't see the need for it though. The walls of the capital were strong. If Stannis did somehow breakthrough, he would be thrown back by the Lannister forces. Once his uncle is defeated and captured, then the ax of Payne will await him.
After the stormlords swear oaths of allegiance to him, they will then march north to take care of Robb Stark. He will defeat the Young Wolf and bring him back to King’s Landing for justice. He will have him watch as he kills every member of his traitorous family all except Sansa and his beloved Queen. He will keep the queen as a paramour maybe even have her service all of his guest first, though he will kill the baby in front of both of them.
Afterwards, he will rape both his sister and wife in front of him. If they can find his sister that hit him, she too will suffer the same fate. The little one will lose two hands for striking him. After that, she will be given over to the Mountain to do as he pleased. The youngest Stark boy will be castrated then sent off to join the maesters. The crippled will be beheaded and head placed above the walls of the Red Keep. The bastard will be flayed and shown to all the world what happens when one goes against him. Robb, though well he will take his time with that traitor.
He will make Robb into his version of Reek. He will, of course, have to send for Ramsey Bolton to come back and help him with that part. Once he was made into a loyal servant though Joffrey couldn’t stop thinking about things to do to him. He even had a list of things to do to him and stuff for him to do. He will be his second little pet. He couldn’t help but laugh at a thought that came to mind. He would have a mutt and a bitch. He would, of course, have to try and breed them together. That will be one of the first things he will do with them.
His mother cleared her throat, and when he looked at her, she nodded to the man that was speaking. It was apparent that she wanted him to listen to some random man. He decided to listen to the man. Maybe he could help inspire some new ideas for the traitor and his family.
“-marching to here now. Your traitorous uncle has ships coming with him to provide naval support. News from the Riverlands has your grandfather, Lord Lannister, winning a battle and crossing the Red Fork to make it back to the Westerlands to deal with Robb Stark. Robb-”
“What?” He shouted at the top of his lungs. “I ordered my grandfather back here to help defeat Stannis. Does he refuse an order from his king?” He could feel his blood boil at the thought of his grandfather not obeying him.
“Your grace, the outriders we sent were not able to reach him in time. He will not be able to be here in time.” The speaker tried not to look at him in the eyes.
“Fine. What else were you saying about the other traitor?” He sat back down on the throne made of swords.
“Robb Stark has taken the Crag. Reports have it though that he was injured while doing so.”
“Good, hopefully, he doesn’t die of the wound before I can get a hold of him. Anything else?”
“A raven came from Riverrun and Winterfell. From Riverrun Alys Stark gave birth to twins, Eddard and Lyanna.”
“Babies named after a traitor and a whore. How appropriate for Starks. What about Winterfell?”
“Theon Greyjoy has taken it and killed Brandon and Rickon Stark.” Sansa broke into tears as she heard this. A woman who is crying over her traitorous family.
“This court session is done today. You are all dismissed today. Hound bring my betrothed to my solar. I wish to comfort her there.” The scarred man bowed before leading Sansa away.
As he began to walk away, his mother took hold of his arm.
"Son, The Tyrells have sent their terms of fealty."
"What terms? I am their king. They will swear an oath of loyalty to me, and that will be it." How dare a flower demand something from a stag and lion.
"They only ask you to marry their daughter. We have already accepted. The new High Septon has decreed your betrothal to a traitor's daughter unenforceable."
"What if I don't want to marry her. Maybe I like having Sansa to do with as I wish."
"You will marry this girl Joffrey. Her dowry is an army near seventy thousand strong. If you want to win this war, we will need them." He hated that it made sense. Besides, he will then have two women to do with as he will please.
"Fine, I will marry this flower bitch. But I am keeping Sansa as my toy."
"Do what you wish with that girl. We will not need her once her brother is in the grave."
He turned away from her and went back to his private solar. He thought about getting tools to use on his bitch, but today he will just use words to break her spirit. It wouldn't be hard he had new material to work with.  The three kingsguard members stopped at his door when he entered.
She was standing in front of his desk like she was trained to do. She curtsied when he entered. He moved to his chair at his desk and sat down in front of her as she stood. She was sniffling as she stood there. Her eyes were red from crying earlier.
"Did you hear two of your traitorous brothers are now dead. Isn't that excellent news!"
"Yes, your grace it is."
"Then were you crying earlier."
"They were tears of joy, your grace." She started to cry more after she said this.
He stood up and moved in front of her. She kept her eyes down as he looked at her.
"I have some more good news. Do you want to hear it?"
"Yes, your grace."
"I have decided what to do with Robb's babies. Of course, I will have the boy killed. The girl though I will keep alive. I will send her to a brothel so she can learn to be a whore as a little girl."
He felt a slap hit on his face. He looked up to see a scared look on the bitch's face. He quickly pushed the bitch to the ground and grabbed the rope that was on his desk. He tied her hands behind her back as she laid on the ground trying to apologize.
"You dare strike your king? I will teach you how to respect me properly. You know I am not marrying you anymore. I will have to marry that damn Tyrell girl instead. It doesn't mean I won't be able to have fun with you anymore. On the contrary, I will be able to do anything I like to you know."
He pulled her dress up. She started to cry louder as his hand made its way underneath her small clothes.
"If I want I came have you right now. But that would be a reward, and I can't reward you for hitting me."
His hand started to grope her soft ass cheek as she cried into the floor. He slid his hand down to the front of her. He could feel what he assumed was some red hair above her cunt. She whimpered and shouted as he slipped a finger into her. As he felt himself harden, he pushed himself against her.
"Gods you are tight. I would so like to have you right now, but that is not a good punishment." He stood up leaving her to curl into a ball on the ground.
"Ser Trant come in here." He waited for one of his favorite Kingsguard members to walk in. "Ser, Lady Sansa has struck me. I think two weeks in a black cell will be good for her." The man bowed as he picked up the bitch. "Oh, when you get there remove her clothes. She will spend her time there naked."
The knight practically carried her out of the room as she cried. He wiped his finger on a curtain as he looked outside of his window. He might have to expand the Black Cells before the war is done with all the new prisoners he will have. He should also start having people try to find the secret room that Maegor made to torture people in. Perhaps the Spider knows where it is. Once this war is over, he will have fun with so many new toys.

Chapter Text

Chapter 11: Battle of the Moat

 

Standing from the balcony that overlooked the stone bridge that connected the twin castle Jon watched as his army slowly crossed it. The banners of northern houses of Stark, Hornwood, Glover, Umber, and some men carrying his white wolf banner made their way to the east side of the castle. The men carrying the banner of the Blackwoods followed them. There were some of the riverland lords that had asked to join their march to reclaim the North, but he told them their offers were appreciated, but not needed. The three thousand men that he now command would be more than enough to reclaim the North from the Ironborn. Robb also needed all the help he could get in the south to compare with the Baratheon and Lannister armies.

One of the main reasons those were northmen should take the North. They were proud people they did not want to be shown as weak by needing help defeating a few ironborn. Robett Glover and some of Jon's commanders had agreed upon this. Winter was also coming. He didn't know how well the rivermen would be able to survive in the cold North. He had accepted the small force Lord Blackwood sent with his son though. The Blackwoods were initially from the North but were forced out by his father's house. They still even followed the Old Gods. Perhaps they wanted to prove themselves to the house that evicted them. He was glad that he had some cavalry. Most of the men he had were foot soldiers and archers.

The night began to set behind him as the darkness of night began to invade from the east. The days were becoming shorter. He did not need a white raven to bring a warning from maesters to tell him it was autumn. They even said that this would be the longest winter in living memory. How old was living memory though? Perhaps the most aged living man that was alive was Lord Frey. He at least looked the like he was the oldest.


The man was his good-father lived up to the reputation that riverlanders gave him. He had first met the man when he and Perwyn went to negotiate a price of passing. When Jon entered the hall, he saw an old man sitting on a chair that was in the shape of two castles with a bridge between them. To either side of the room sat rows of chairs filled with young and old men and women. He guessed that they must be the Freys that haven't left home. The man at the head chair though drew his attention. He was the oldest person he has seen. Maybe Old Nan was older, but she didn't look as old as him. Perwyn moved ahead of him to introduce Jon to Lord Frey.

"Father, this is Ser Jon Lycaon King Robb's half-brother." Whispers began through the rows of seating on the side as Perwyn introduced him.
"Ah, so this is the famed Jon Snow that I have heard about and that married one of my daughters." The old man coughed as he looked Jon over.
"Lord Frey it is an honor to meet you. I have come to ask to be allowed to use your bridge and pass back to the North with my army." He bowed slightly to his good-father.
"Go back North? Didn't your brother just march with his army south through my bridge? Last I heard the war hadn't ended yet, so why does he already want to run back to his home."

He could feel the rage start to build up in his as the man began to talk down to his brother like that. If they didn't need to cross at this point, he would have his army turn around and find another place to cross. To the north though was the swamps of the Neck where no army could pass. Further south was the rivers of the Trident making the only place to cross was near Darry.

"King Robb is not with us. He is still off fighting against the Lannisters. He has sent me and some men to retake the North and hold it until the war is done or until he has need of us. It is imperative that we cross as soon as possible and be on our way as fast as we can." He tried to make the speed of his mission sound as essential as possible.

Lord Frey snorted at his reply. "Fine you and your men may pass. I will even let them pass for free Jon Snow. I will just take Roslin's dowry as the payment."
"That is most kind of you, my lord. Once the army has crossed, we will continue you on our way." It was just midday now they could quickly make it closer to the to the Moat if they didn't take long at the crossing.
"Nonsense. We will have a small feast here you and Roslin can stay in a castle for at least one night before you head back north to the savage land you call home."
"Thank you, my lord, you are most kind." He had wanted to leave this place as soon as it was possible, not stay here in this area. He wanted to see the stone walls of Winterfell again. He wanted to see his brothers again.


A call behind him came from Roslin telling him she was ready to head down to the dining hall. He turned around and beheld his lady wife. Her long hair was tied in a single braid running down her back. She wore a blue and grey dress showing the color of the castle they were in. The only two signs of his house were the black cloak she wore and some purple that was an accent color in her dress. He couldn't blame her for not wearing much of the colors of his house. His colors were not as bright and friendly as House Tully or House Tyrell.

"You look lovely tonight Roslin." She blushed like she did every time that he complimented her. It will be almost a moon turn since they were married and they were still shy around each other.
"Thank you, Jon. You do too." He knew he must not look that much southern as he wore an outfit of entirely of black leather. The only color on his body besides black was his lilac eyes.
"While it is usually the lord that leads the lady to the event, you know this place better than I." She smiled as she put her hand in the crook of his elbow.

As she began to lead them to the dining hall, she told him some of her favorite memories of the castle. It seemed like each hallway had some special memory to her. Her brothers, like Robb with Jon, led her into trouble a lot with their adventures. She told him of a game they played called Lord of the Crossing. It was apparently a favorite game for little Frey children to play. It was not unlike the game when Jon and Robb would pretend to be lords of Winterfell when they were young.

The hall was nothing special. While it was smaller than the Great Hall at Winterfell, it indeed held almost the same number of people in a small area. The food was already served and consumed as they made their way through the room. It seemed like they don't wait for their family to eat, though they had a big family if they waited for all to be in one room they would be waiting all night. They made their way to where Perwyn was sitting with a woman and two young children. When Perwyn waved them over to sit in the two empty seats next to him, the two children noticed Roslin and ran to her. She let go of his arm as she was almost tackled to the ground by the two young kids. They both yelled ‘Aunt Rose' as they hugged her.

"Della, Osmund! You have both grew so much since I last saw you." She hugged them back as she said this. Jon just stood off to the side as he watched her. The two little kids started to pull her to an empty seat as they began to question her about her travels. He slowly followed as his wife was made to sit next to them. He sat down between her and Perwyn.
"Della, Osmund I want to introduce you to someone. This is Ser Jon Lycaon. He is my husband." They both gave him a quizzical face as he waved to them. The youngest one, Osmund, spoke first.
"Why are your eyes purple?" He couldn't help but laugh at the question. It was the same one that all of the Stark children and him asked when they were younger.
"I get the coloring from my mother's family. It is like how Roslin's eyes are brown, and your's are green."
"Why do you talk funny?" This time the older girl, Della, spoke up.
"You why do I sound like this?" She nodded her head in response. "It is my accent. I am from the North, and this is how we all talk like up there."
Her eyes grew wide in shock as he mentioned the North. She leaned in close and tried to speak in a whisper.
"Are you a wilding?" She almost sounded scared as she said it.
This cause the women he assumed to be their mother, Perwyn, Roslin, and Jon to laugh.
"No. I am from above the swamps of the Neck, but below the Wall. I live in the great castle called Winterfell, where the old Kings of Winter ruled from."
"Like King Robb?"
"Aye. King Robb is my half-brother."
Before Della could ask another question, her mother spoke.
"Let Ser Jon eat Della. I am sure he will try and answer all of your questions after he has the chance to eat some food."

He thanked their mother as he began to eat the food that was set in front of him. As they ate, he learned that the children were Roslin's brother Benfrey's. Their mother who sat on the other side of them was Jyanna Frey, a cousin of theirs. Benfrey was one of the few Frey men who did not leave to join the war. He was currently though off on patrol around the lands. Roslin seemed like a different person when she was with her family. She was more talkative for one thing. Her smile never seemed to fade as she talked with her niece and nephews. It caused a smile on his face as he saw this.

Music had started to play as he was finishing his meal. Roslin was whispering something to Della who began to giggle. He continued to finish his drink as he felt a small hand pull on his leather doublet. When he looked down, he saw Della looking at him with a smile.

"Ser Jon, Aunt Rose said that you are a great dancer. I was wondering if you could dance with me, please." She looked up at him with pleading eyes.
"I am sorry Della, but I am exhausted I have been traveling a lot lately, and I wish to rest." The look in her eyes told him that she would not take that as an answer so easily.
"Pleeeassseee Ser." She held her hands out in front of her as she once again made her case.
"Husband, she will not take no for an answer trust me. If you dance with her, then we can retire to our chambers so we may rest."

Before he could even finish saying ‘Alright' he was dragged off to the side of the room where Della made him take hold of her hands. She began to sway, dancing in her type of style. The table where they had sat was smiling and laughing at his predicament. He smiled at Roslin as he danced with her niece. The dance with Della lasted for a few more minutes before the song finally ended. Once she was done dancing, she ran back her seat and sat in the lap of her mother as she told them of her time dancing with him. When he made it back to his place next to Roslin, she took his hand in hers.


"Did you tell Ser Jon to thank you for dancing with you, Della?" Her mother Jyanna spoke.
"Thank you, Ser Jon."
"It was my honor, Lady Della." He did his best to give her a small bow as he stayed seated.
"You know Della and Osmund, Ser Jon and your Aunt Rose are married like your mother and father. That can mean you could have little cousins soon enough to play with." Both of the children's eyes lit up when Perwyn said that.
"Is that true? Will you two have children of your own?" He felt Roslin's hand squeeze his own as Della spoke.

They had probably only laid with each other four times since they were married. One for each night they had stayed in Riverrun. Neither wanted to lay with the other where the men surrounding them could hear them. Since they started to ride to the Moat neither has gotten very intimate with the other. They had held hands and kissed before they went to bed, but that was it.

"Hopefully we will have some in the future. Right now is not the best time while we are traveling."

They had never really talked about having children yet. He had assumed that they would at some point in the future. He had never asked Roslin though if she had ever wanted to have any. If they did have any, they wouldn't inherit much besides Phantom and maybe a small holdfast. But they would receive a name though. Unlike him when he was younger they will not have to have the surname Snow. He couldn't promise anything to any child he will have besides that.

For the next hour, they traded stories of living in Winterfell and living in the Twins. He told the children some of the stories that he had grown up listening too. Throughout the tales, Roslin kept her hand on his. It wasn't till after the children had been sent off to bed that he and Roslin left to find their chambers. He could tell she had probably too much to drink as she swayed while he held her. He couldn't fault her though; this may be one of the last few times she would see her family.

When they entered their chambers, he had to help her out of her dress as she was having difficulty. Once the dress was removed and she was left in her small clothes, she laid down on the bed. He removed the clothes he was wearing before laying down beside of her pulling the blanket over them. As he laid there trying to fall asleep, he felt her move closer to him and lay her head on his chest. On instinct, he put one of his arms around her holding her close.

"Do you want children?" Her question caught him off guard.
"Aye, I do. Do you?" He started to play with her hair as he waited for a response.
All that he heard in response was a ‘Yes' before he fell asleep.



It has been almost a fortnight since they left the Twins. The swamps of the Neck have slowly overtaken their surroundings. He had the men stay close to the road as he had heard rumors of people going missing when they leave the path. They needed every man that they had, and he did not want to lose one because they fell into the water. He looked at the trees that surrounded the road, he had no idea why, but he felt there were being watched. By who or what he had no idea. Ahead of him, he could see one of the outriders he had sent ahead of the army race back towards him. It was only when the man approached Jon did he start to slow down.


“Ser, Lord Howland Reed wishes to talk with you. He is just around the bend in the road.”

“Thank you. Go tell the other lords to come on ahead.”

The man bowed before riding off to tell the others.

 

Howland Reed was a mystery to Jon. All of Lord Stark’s bannermen have at one point in his life come to visit them. Some visited more than the others, but as far as he knew Lord Reed has never come to visit his father. Some had said that during Robert’s Rebellion Howland and Eddard were always with each. That only King Robert had a better friendship with the quiet wolf.

 

He was also the only other survivor of going to the Tower of Joy with his father where seven northmen fought three kingsguard, and only two northmen lived. The only thing know about the battle is that Lord Stark defeated Ser Arthur Dayne ‘The Sword of Morning,' Jon's uncle. After that Lord Stark went to Starfall to give them Dawn and take Jon home with him. Apparently, Lord Reed never crossed the past the Neck to see Lord Stark, Jon, or his Aunt Lyanna's bones home. Now though Lord Reed was the last known witness to what happened in that tower.

 

Most of the northern lords and apparently the rest of the Seven Kingdoms talk ill of the crannogman. They say that they are freaks and cowards. Some of the Freys called them bog devils for living in the inhabitable swamps. They don't fight pitched battles, they hide in the trees and fire arrows down upon their enemies and disappearing before they know what happened. Some of the lords call it a cowardly way to fight a battle, but they all agree that it is useful. Ever since they stopped to live in the Neck, they have never let it fall to anyone south of them. The crannogmen have only fallen to the Starks and history is not clear how their moving keep was found.

 

When he rounded the bend, he saw five short men and two women standing on the side of the road. They wore green and brown clothing. If it wasn't for the banners, they were holding he might think of a thought that they were trees. As he approached the group, he couldn't help, but notice that they had no horses. A short man with brown hair and carrying a trident sept forward to meet him. Jon got off of his horse to greet the man.

 

"Greetings, I am Ser Jon Lycaon, commander of this army. Are you Lord Howland Reed of Greywater Watch?" A smile crept onto the man's face as he moved closer to Jon.

"Jon! You have grown so much since I have last seen you. You were, but a babe in your Lord Father's arms. You look like your mother and have the build of your uncle. I am sorry for the death of Ned. I was heartbroken when I heard what has happened to him." As the man came to a stop ahead of him, he realized that he was a little shorter than Roslin.

"Thank you, Lord Reed. It is good to meet you finally. My father said you were one of his closest friends."

“Please, Jon, call me Howland. We have known each other a long time. I assume that you have an extra horse for me so we can talk while we ride.”

He nodded as he sent someone to bring up a horse for Lord Reed. As they waited, the other lords came to welcome the newest member of their party. Once Lord Reed sat awkwardly on a horse the other lords went back to their men. Lord Reed elected to ride next to Jon and Roslin.

 

"I must say Lady Roslin you are best Frey I have ever met. I am glad that you and Jon were married. I know his mother would have loved you."

“Thank you, my lord.”

"Lord Reed, did you know of my mother?" He just thought about how he had traveled with Lord Stark during the war, so the chances were high that he had at least met her at one point.

"Yes, Jon. I met her on three separate occasions. Once at Harrenhal, another during the late months of the war, and after you were born." Jon could see a sad smile that Howland had put on his face remembering the war.

"My father never talked about her when I asked. I don't know much about her. I was wondering if you could tell me about her."

The man smiled at him before talking. "Sure. Let's start at the beginning, all of those years ago at Harrenhal. It was during the first feast that your father first laid his eyes on her. Being from a Great house they were at one of the tables of honor they invited me to sit with them after an incident that happened earlier. Ashara Dayne was a lady-in-waiting to Princess Elia, and they were friends before she ever married Prince Rhaegar, as such though she was seated near the princess. Even though I had just met your father that day, even I could tell he was in love with her. His siblings teased him about it all night. Brandon finally had enough and went to talk with her. Your father was devastated by it. Even in the Neck, we knew how you Uncle was notorious around women. To our surprise though she came to Ned and asked him for a dance. After fumbling with words, he finally danced with her. They had danced all most the rest of the evening before leaving each other. It was clear from our table that both were in love. All throughout the tournament the two took walks with each other. In the end, both were devastated about leaving each other. Your father told me that he sent a letter to your grandfather asking him to arrange a marriage for you two. I am not sure if that ever came to pass before the Rebellion began."

He smiled at some distant memory that brought a tear to his eye before continuing.  

"The next time that I saw her was when we were in a battle camp somewhere in the southern Riverlands. I am not sure how she found us. She came into camp to meet with your father. This was already after him marrying Lady Catelyn. I am not sure what they talked about in that tent for most of the night. I know though when I woke up she was gone and your father had a scared face on. Thinking back on that night, it may have been the night you were conceived. The next months were difficult they included the Battle of the Trident, the Sack of King's Landing, Tower of Joy, and Starfall. I promised not to say what had happened at that tower, but your father killed your uncle and found his sister dead. I tried to tell him we should head back North with his sister's bones, but he said he must return Dawn to its family. We arrived at the gates of Starfall your mother beamed when she saw your father. She ran to him but stopped when she saw what was strapped to the horse. Without it, beginning said she knew why he held the sword. She broke down in the middle of the bridge crying for her lost brother. Ned tried to comfort her, but I guess that knowing he was the one that killed Ser Arthur did not help. It was later that night that he was told about you. It was the next morning that they found her room empty and some of her clothing on the rocks below the Palestone Sword Tower. It broke your father's already broken heart to learn what has happened."

Jon could see tears rolling down Roslin's face as Howland began to finish. He could feel a tear start to form in his right eye.

"They say that it was knowing her love killed her beloved brother and that her babe, you, looked like her brother. I don't think that was the reason, but I don't think anyone will ever actually know what truly happened. She was a great beauty and person. They said she doted over you the moment you were born. She was extremely kind and happy. I am afraid that is all I can say about her. There are probably more people that could tell you more about who she was like. I am sure your father would have wanted to tell you about her before he died."

“Thank you, Lor-, Howland. It meant a lot to me to hear that.”

"It was my please Ser Jon. If you wish to make camp, this would be the best place. The surrounding area is the best place to on this part of the road. My men will bring food and wood for the army."

“Thank you. If you would be so kind to tell them to make camp and tell the lords that we will make after the sunsets to go over our plans. I am going to go ahead of a little bit I will be back soon. Roslin would you like to join me?”

 

After she nodded, the two rode farther ahead of the group. He could have just sent some scouts forward, but he needed some time away from his men so he could recollect himself. He required Roslin there because he didn't want to be alone at this moment.

 

It wasn't till after he could no longer hear the men beginning to make camp that he finally stopped and got off of his horse. He removed Phantom from his scabbard as he made his way to a small tree. Ever since he was young, he would take his emotion out on a practice dummy at Winterfell. Whether he was mad, sad, scared, or anything else he would beat the straw dummy until he felt nothing but soreness. As he raised Phantom to strike the small tree ahead of him, he stopped when he heard Roslin dismount.

 

Back at Winterfell, he would have attacked the straw not caring who was around to see him. He was not at Winterfell though, and he did not want her to see the side of him that craves for blood. As he could hear her come closer to him, he felt his sword arm go limp as Phantom dropped to the ground. He leaned his back against the tree that was once his enemy as he slowly slides down the trunk until he felt the ground beneath him.

 

She knelt down next to him as he could feel the tears that he had held back for so long start to pour down his face. She put his hand on his shoulder as he began to talk.

 

"My father said that the next time we see each other, we would talk about my mother. That was before I left to go to Starfall and him to King's Landing. I should have begged him more to tell me about her before I left. He is dead now, and the only person that I know that at least met her just told me that I was one of the reasons that she killed herself. How am I supposed to live knowing that because of me, my mother killed herself? That I am the reason why I grew up without a mother. She must have hated me when she found out my father killed her brother, and she must have only saw the man who killed her beloved uncle when she looked at me that night."

"I do not think your mother could have ever hate you. You were an innocent child born out of love. No one could blame you for what Lord Stark or your mother did."

He let out a laugh when she said that. "Lady Stark did, and I am sure some of the northern lords did at first too. I was the only black spot on Lord Stark's coat of honor. The northern lords came to like me after a while, well at least tolerate me. Lady Stark though has always hated me. All because my father might have loved my mother more than she and I was a constant reminder of that." He could feel her head against his shoulder.

"She is a foolish woman than. You are innocent in all of the things that Lord Stark and Lady Dayne did. If she had ever talked to you and gotten to know you, she would have known the great man that you are."

"Thank you, Roslin." They continued to sit underneath the small tree for awhile before heading back to where the camp was set up.



As the sun began to hide behind the trees and the horizon, Jon found himself in a tent near the middle of the camp with a map of Moat Cailin drawn by Lord Reed. He made sure to include the points where he knew it was not safe to cross. Besides Lord Reed and himself, Robett Glover, Larence Snow, Lucas Blackwood and two commanders were with them in the tent. Lucas Blackwood was the first to speak.

 

"Moat Cailin is a ruin. We should just march straight up the King's Road with our army and take it from the Ironborn."

"The Moat has never fallen to an army coming from the south. It may be a ruin, but that ruin is one of the strongest castles in Westeros. A small force can hold out against an army four times its size. If the men that King Robb left in charge heeded my advice, then we wouldn't be in this mess." The men of the North nodded in agreement with Lord Reed.

“You know this land better than anyone Lord Reed, how would you suggest to attack the Moat.” The man probably played in the Moat as a child he would know every inch of it. He was the only man Jon could think of that would be the best to plan the attack.

"If one is too take the Moat from the south they must attack from the north too. My scouts say that Lord Manderly is already camped north of the stronghold. We can plan our attacks, so we strike at once and at the right places. My men have been picking off every man that pokes his head over the wall. We poisoned their water and most of their food. Their morale is very low at this moment, the sight of two large armies coming for them might be enough to cause them to surround. If not through the road to the gates will be bloody." He pointed to a spot on the map to the west of the castle. "The ground here is hard enough that men can advance from here too. All forces will need to make some shield wall above their heads as they move forward. My men have snuck up to the gates and been loosening the bolts, and they should fall with one or two hits from a ram. The men from the west should be able to climb ladders that we have hidden outside the walls." He pointed to three spots where he drew a ladder.

"Once the gates are down, and our men enter the courtyard it will be a bloodbath. Each of the three towers will need to be taken at the same time. Each tower though can provide aid to the others. The northern forces should take the Children's Tower to the north. The Gatehouse Tower is right next to the south gate. The Drunkard's Tower will be the hardest. It is to the east where no immediate forces will be. The force sent to take it will lose a lot of lives for it. The Gatehouse Tower too, it has the most forces in it. The Ironborn will likely fight to the last man."

"Thank you, Lord Reed. Lord Manderly will lead the northern forces to take the Children's Tower and the north gate. I will lead the attack on the Drunkard's tower."

"Ser Jon," Robett Glover interrupted him. "I know you wish to lead the army from the front lines it is very admirable, but if you fall, then we will be without a commander. Let me lead the attack on the Drunkard's Tower. You, yourself should lead the attack on the Gatehouse."

"Alright, Lord Glover. You will take the Drunkard's Tower, and I will take the Gatehouse Tower. Lord Reed, I want you to lead an attack from the west. I will give you men that will fight on the walls. I want your men to shoot any Ironborn they see. They will fire from every angle, and I do not want the Ironborn to feel safe behind the walls. A third of the men coming from the south will stay with me. Another third will follow Lord Glover. The remaining third will meet with Lord Reed's forces and help take the rest of the castle. Hopefully, our overwhelming forces will force the Ironborn to surround before blood is spilled." The men around him nodded in agreement. They all knew the bloody battle that will await them at the Moat if it did not end peacefully.

“Ser Jon, what will you have me and my men do?” Jon turned his attention to Lucas Blackwood.

"You and your men will stay back at the campsite to act as our reserve." He raised his hand before Lucas could protest. "The knights that you have brought are good men, and I am sure they will gladly fight with us. The problem is the Moat will not be the place for horses to attack, you will be sitting ducks. You will stay with your men and the cavalry we brought and watch our backs and protect my wife. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Ser. Sorry I am just eager to prove myself." The man replied with his eyes downcasted.

"It is fine. There will be battles soon enough where we will need your horses. Lord Reed, how long do you say we are from Moat Cailin?"

"Perhaps a day or two away." "Good. Can you send one of your men ahead of us to meet with Lord Manderly and tell him of our plan? Once we arrive near the Moat, I will tell him when we will take it."

"As you wish Ser. Once we are done here, I will have someone sent."

"Prepare your men to leave tomorrow. The sooner that we take the Moat, the better." Jon nodded to the men before leaving the tent with Ghost at his side. He made his way back to where Roslin waited for him.



Jon stood at the in front of the lines of men waiting to attack Moat Cailin. After two days of travel and two days of preparation, they waited for his signal to begin the attack. Four long blasts from a horn would bring the fury of the North down on the Ironborn. The only thing stopping him from sounding the horn now was the messenger he sent down to sue for peace. He could see that the Ironborn had not taken to that well. The man he sent down with a peace flag was begin shot at with arrows as he raced back on his horse. Because of the fog, he did not know if the man was still alive or if the horse was running away on instinct.

 

He was glad of the weather during a battle for once. The rains during the taking of Ashemark hindered some of their plans. Not only did it make visibility hard, but the ground was also too muddy for his liking. The fog though just made their chances of taking the Moat with low casualties better. It has allowed Howland to move his men closer to the castle undetected. He did not doubt that once the battle has started the crannogmen archers will be close enough to spit on the Ironborn if they wanted. They had dressed as piles of moss.

 

He was relieved to see the messenger, a Blackwood man, still alive from the storm of arrows he just rode through. Once the man passed by the first line of soldiers, Jon turned around to face them.

 

"Men," he shouted at them, "We are Northmen. This is our home. These silly Ironborns think they now control it. They think they can control the winter winds that we have bowed to for generations. They think themselves as children of the water. The only water I see here is swamp water, and that belongs to us too! They think that they will easily win today and rule over us. The North remembers though. Dragons have only conquered us, and I see no dragons in the sky only squids flopping on land. They wish to taste northern steel today I say we give it to them. Winter is Coming. It is not only a warning but a promise. Today winter is our steel, and I say we bring it to them do you agree?" A wide variety of agreement erupted through the lines.

 

He called for men to blow the horns. Two long blasts echoed through the barren landscape. At the signal, men started to lift the shields that they tied together above their heads as a shell against the arrows. Some men began to say that they were like turtles under them. Jon joined the men carrying the ram under their shells. After a few moments, he called for the second horns to blow. As the long blast ran out once again in the air, the men started to move forward.

 

It would take them ten long, tough minutes to reach the gates. The path was long and windy. A straight way according to Howland would cause many men to fall into sinkholes and die. A three-mile radius of from Moat Cailin has been cleared of trees for centuries. The single tree that remained was a weirwood. The King's Road was well traveled and harden, unlike the surrounding swamps.

 

After five minutes of marching, arrows started to rain down on them. According to Howland, about two hundred Ironborn remained in the castle. That meant that two hundred bowmen could be firing upon them. With any luck though Howland's skilled archers were dwindling those numbers down.

 

“Who lives in the North?” He screamed to the men around him.

“We do.” Some men shouted back at him

“Who rules the North?”

“Starks.” More men shouted back at him this time.

“Who owns the North?”

“We do.” He was sure all the men responded to him this time.

“What is coming for these squids?”

“Winter.” The response back became louder.

“Who brings winter?”

“We do.”

“Then let us bring the cold winds of winter down on them!”

Shouting erupted from underneath all of the shells that were marching behind them. Some men started to pound their weapons against their shields causing the rest of the men to join with them.

 

As they began to near the gate, he could hear the sounds of men dying. To him, it was one of the worst sounds to hear. The only sound worse was the sound of a child crying for a mother that was dead. He could feel the rage build up inside of him as he thought about the mother he would never meet. The death of his father built more on the anger he felt. Thinking about Robb, Alys, baby Eddard and Lyanna, Arya, Bran, Rickon, and even Sansa dying made his blood heat up more as he neared the gates. It was thinking about Roslin dying that finally pushed him into an enraged state that would suit him well in the fight.

 

The men paused at the wooden gate that stood against them. The men holding the ram brought it back before charging forward with it. He could see the would shake as the ram was brought backward again. Once again the ram met the wooden gate with a loud thump as the blots that held it up rattled. He knew that with the next strike or two the gate would fall. It took one more hit to the center of the gate before he could hear the iron bolts snap. He watched as the two large wooden doors began to fall inwards to the courtyard. Before the doors hit the ground, Jon could see about thirty or so men standing in the courtyard waiting for them. The line of sight became impeded as the dust the two doors caused to rise from the ground filled the air. Without waiting for the dust to settle his men began to charge through the cloud of dust into the unknown. He followed right after them ready for blood.

 

As he broke through the cloud of dust some of the men that ran ahead of him laid dead on the ground. A few more were struck by arrows as they moved forward. Some men meet the thirty Ironborn. As Jon rushed forward, he raised his shield to block an attack from an Ironborn. The man's sword bounced off of his shield as he swung Phantom into the man’s unguarded side. Phantom dug deep into the man's side and came out as the bleeding body fell to the ground. A sea of brown leather pushed past him as northmen meet ironborn. Jon slew two more men, one through his neck and the other through his chest, before he deemed that the control of the gateway was won. Robett Glover appeared by his side before he could call for him.

 

“Go and take that tower.”

Jon pointed to the Drunkard’s Tower with Phantom as Robett Glover nodded and took some men with him through the courtyard. He watched as the group Robett assembled locked their shields together above them to protect them from the archers that were still shooting from above. As more men followed Robett, loud pounding sounds brought Jon's attention to the other gate. He watched as some of the Ironborn moved backward as the gates swung open. A sea of blue-green armor came through the now open gate as it crashed with the Ironborn. Jon could see a tall man with a helm in the shape of merman leading the charge. The man must be Ser Marlon Manderly, the cousin, and commander of Lord Wyman Manderly.

 

Jon ducked as he saw as an ax came to his head. He was too busy watching the fall of the northern gate that he didn't notice an Ironborn go at him. Jon felt him helm being pulled off of his head as the ax embedded in the part where his head did not occupy in his helm. As his dark curls fell to his face, Jon shoved his shield in his attacker's face causing him to fall. Before Jon could finish him off, another Northman drove his sword into the man's chest.

 

"Take the tower!" Jon shouted as he began to lead the men to the entrance of the Gatehouse Tower. Out of the last three towers still standing the Gatehouse was the largest. It was also the one still entirely intact. While he knew the other towers would also be hard to take, the Gatehouse will probably be the one that they will lose the most men taking. Already he could see the bodies of men that tried to take the tower on the floor below the stairs. As men rushed past him, he started to make his way up the blood-stained stairs. The screams coming from above grew closer with every step that he took.

 

When he made it two the first floor he could see twenty Ironborn prepared for them. Tables were flipped over for some protection. A man with two swords came at him. It seemed that his attacker didn't know how to fight as he swung the sword at him with no skill. Jon easily dodged the wild attacks as he swung Phantom down with a vengeance on the man's hands. The man screamed as he was literally and figuratively disarmed before Jon gave him mercy by stabbed him through the neck. As he made his way to his next opponent, he could feel blood began to drip down his face.

 

His men began to slowly engage the other Ironborn on this floor as he made his way to his next kill. The next man he fought had some skill with the sword he wielded. It took only a few moments before Jon pushed the other man’s sword high allow him to swing Phantom down across the man's chest. He could feel the skin in armor split as the Valyrian Steel sword cut through both like butter.

 

The rest of the floor was filled with dead Ironborn and dead Northmen before he followed the flood of brown leather up to the next level. The next floor was almost clear of Ironborn, with the last few in fights with his men. Jon watched as a man in squid armor tried to run to the next floor. Jon dropped his shield that he was carrying as he ran to the man with both hands on the hilt of Phantom . Before the running man could make it up the stairs, Jon drove Phantom through his back pushing him to the ground as Jon began to run up the stairs.

 

Only five Ironborn were on the floor Jon ran up into. Before he had the chance to catch his breath two men carrying either a sword or an ax came at him. Jon blocked the sword as he jumped forward into the man holding the ax. As the man stumbled, Jon parried another strike from the sword wielder before cutting through the man's neck.

Jon rolled out of the way as a giant battle ax hit the floor where he was standing. As the fallen man stood up, Jon was surrounded by four men. He held Phantom next to him as he took a defensive stance. At once two move him to him from his right. He blocked the sword to his right as he ducked the other coming from his left. Jon brought his iron-plated fist up connecting to the chin of the man on his left. He moved back as an ax missed his head and almost hit one of his attackers. He brought Phantom down on the handle of the ax with all of his might as the handle snapped in half.

Before he could finish the now weaponless man off another came at him. As Jon blocked his low strike, he began to go on the offensive. He pushed the man backward letting him prevent his attacks. He could hear footsteps coming from behind him. Pushing the man in front of his sword high and away, Jon flipped Phantom around in his hand before thrusting backward connecting with a body.

The man he was fighting stood stunned as he saw Jon effortlessly kill the man behind him. Take advantage of the surprise he pulled his now red valyrian steel sword out from what he believed to be the stomach as moved to attack the last armed man. It took only a few seconds before he was able to find an opening and finish the man off with a slice through the stomach.

With four men died and one left alive Jon turned around to face the man. The young looking man instead of surrounding him picked up his fallen comrade's sword and moved to try and kill Jon. The man was brave, Jon had to give him that. The man swung in a high arc at Jon it was apparent that he would rather have an ax in his hand and not a sword. It sounded like a bell rang as Jon pivoted out of the way and the sword hit the stone floor. Taking mercy on the man, Jon brought the wolf pommel of Phantom down on the man head. The Ironborn’s body slumped to the ground as he fell unconscious.

 

He heard noise coming up the stairs, and he brought Phantom in a stance ready to fell the next men to enter the room. He saw a shield with a direwolf come first followed by northmen. They each looked astonished at the five bodies that laid on the ground.

 

“There was only a few Ironborn left when I came up here what took you so long?”

“Sorry Ser. More came in from a room next to the one we were in. It doesn’t look like you needed us anyway.”

Jon couldn't help but chuckle at the man's joke. "There will be archers in the adjoining rooms to this one and more on the roof soldier. Go and bring them the fury of the North." The man gave Jon a quick nod before running up the stairs.



It took another ten minutes before the Moat was entirely under their control. He made his way down to the courtyard to see the damage done to the castle and his army. Once he made it down to the courtyard, he could see bodies of dead Ironborn and Northmen beginning separated into different sides. The Ironborn bodies were thrown into a pile. The Northmen were laid out holding their weapons. He had men to start digging graves for the fallen. It seemed that there was more Northmen dead than the Ironborn which was to be expected since they were forced to mount the offense to take the castle.

 

He was washing his face with some water to remove the blood that had splatted over his body. As he looked down his armor was already stained with the dark red spots of blood his squire Doran will have a long night ahead of him to clean it. The white wolf pommel of Phantom was colored a dark red. He had already wiped the blade mostly clean himself. Before the night is done though he will wash it thoroughly till it shined like it was new.

 

He was glad to see Lord Reed, Robett Glover, Ser Marlon, Larence Snow, and Lucas Blackwood to be alive and unharmed. The Lucas Blackwood did not participate in the battle, but had ridden down was a Stark Banner was hanging from Children’s Tower. Roslin was still at the camp and would remain there until the Moat was cleaned up. All five men walked up to Jon as he was still trying to remove the blood of the fallen from his body.

 

"My lords and ser, I will hold a council in another ten minutes to discuss what we will do next. There is a large enough room for us to meet in the Gatehouse. Ser Marlon, you can set up your men in the Children's Tower. Lord Robett, Lord Lucas, and Larence Snow you can take the Drunkard's Tower. Lord Reed you and I will house the Gatehouse Tower with any of our injured. Lord Robett and Ser Marlon if both of you can spare some men to help with the fallen it would be appreciated. Lord Reed, your men, know the area the best and while I am sure there is no Ironborn left set up sentries. On behalf of King Robb, I thank you all for helping take the Moat and opening the route back north. Be in the room in ten minutes." He nodded to each man before making his way to the Gatehouse Tower.

“Ser Jon,” Ser Marlon called out to him. “I have urgent news that we must discuss with you.”

"Ser Marlon, as I said we would meet in ten minutes it can wait then. We won't be doing anything else tonight so it can wait." Jon nodded before turning away without waiting for a response.



Jon poured himself a glass of ale as he looked over the map of the North that was over the table in a small room off to the side of the room where he defeated five men. Slowly the lords began to enter the room one by one. Lord Reed was the first you sat down in a chair in silence. Robett, Larence, and Lucas joined as one. The two younger boys have become friends on the travels here. Ser Marlon was quickly behind them.

 

"Ser Jon, was that the room that the men said you killed five Ironborn by yourself?" Lucas looked at him as he took a seat across from Lord Reed.

“Aye, Lord Lucas. They were not the best trained though.”

“Those odds reminds me of my fight with your uncle. Five against one.” Lord Reed commented from his chair.

 

It was known throughout the realm of the fight that took outside of the Tower of Joy. Though no one knew what exactly had happened only that seven men against three kingsguard became five against one and then it was just his father against his uncle. His father said he would have died if it wasn't for Howland Reed, he never went into detail about how Lord Reed had saved him though.

 

“My father told me the tale once. Luckily they did not have you or my lord father on their side.” Each man gave out a light chuckle before they got serious. “As you know my lords, we have recently retaken the Moat.” He took a wolf statue and set it where Moat Cailin was drawn on the map. “That is all I know about our current situation of the North. Ser Marlon since you are likely the most informed about what has happened to our country while we were gone.” Jon moved away from the head of the table to allow Ser Marlon to take his spot.

 

“Thank you, my lord.”

“I am no lord Ser Marlon. I am only a knight like you.”

“Sorry, I thought you heard. Your brother, King Robb, has named you Lord Commander of the Northern Army.”

“I am sorry I was never informed. Please continue.” He knew that it was most likely Alys’ doing to make him not seem like a low knight. He knew Robb understood that Jon didn’t care if he was called ser or lord.

"As we know the Ironborn have still been attacking the western shores of the North." Ser Marlon placed statues of krakens around the western coastline from the Rills all the way past Sea Dragon Point. "There has been some worse news that you must of haven't heard yet, or we will not be here right now discussing this." Jon watched as Marlon slowly picked up another kraken and slowly placed it over Winterfell. He could feel his eyes go wide in shock at this.

“This has to be some misunderstanding Marlon. How did they take Winterfell it is nowhere near the sea and guarded by a few hundred men under Ser Rodrik.” He could feel his blood begin to boil again.

"It is true, lord commander. Theon Greyjoy tricked Ser Rodrik out of the walls of Winterfell by taking Torrhen's Square. Ser Rodrik left to retake it leaving a small force behind. While Rodrik took the square, Theon snuck into Winterfell forcing Prince Brandon to surrender it. There is more though. Theon killed Prince Brandon and Rickon."

 

That was all that Jon could take before he kicked a chair nearby into a wall. How could Theon do this? He grew up with Bran and Rickon. Both of the younger boys thought that turncloak as an older brother. Theon also must have known that both boys would be more valuable as hostages than died. It didn't matter though, Theon was a traitor to his family. Jon will see justice down for Bran and Rickon and Lord Stark's betrayed faith.

 

"Where is Ser Rodrik now." Jon glared at the knight who meets his eyes with a scowl.

"He was going to head straight back to Winterfell. Once we heard you were bringing an army north, we sent word to him. Last we heard he was at Castle Cerwyn. He will probably not attack as Theon still holds his daughter, Beth, as a hostage. I do not know how long he will wait though as rumor has it, Theon took Eddara Tallhart as a saltwife. He must fear the same will happen with Beth." The knight sat back down in the chair he previously occupied once he was done talking.

 

Jon stood over the map and kept his eye on the statue of the kraken on Winterfell. He hoped that somehow Theon would die if he looked at the figure hard enough. He didn't break his gaze as he began to talk.

"Ready your mine my lords we will leave in two days time and march fast to Castle Cerwyn. There we will join with Ser Rodrik and take back Winterfell. We will kill every Ironborn in that castle and the North. Lord Reed, I am leaving the defense of Moat Cailin in your hands. Your men know the land the best and will know what is needed to defend it. You have my leave to take the men you need from my forces. I want you to beach the ships that the Ironborn left and hide them until Robb needs them to strike back at the Iron Islands. Lord Glover, I want you to gather some men. They will take the heads of the dead Ironborn and put them on spikes along the western coastline." The men at the table looked stunned at what he just said.

"Jon," Howland turned to face him better. "I know you are mad about what happened to your brothers, but that is gruesome what you plan to do."

"Lord Reed, when the Andals invaded the North from the sea, Theon Stark pushed them back. He then sailed to Andalos and put it to torch. When he came back, he put andal heads on the eastern shores to deter any future attacks. The Ironborn must of forgot what happened to the Andals. I intend to remind them what happens when you wake the wolf and the North. If that is all Lord Robett find a maester and have him send a raven back to Riverrun saying we have retaken the Moat and march to Winterfell to avenge the princes. If that is all lords, I would like some time to myself. Have someone send for my wife."

 

Slowly each man told him how sorry they were for what happened to Bran and Rickon before they left. Only Howland stayed. Jon would have preferred that Lord Reed would not make more of an issue about what Jon wanted to do. He more just wanted Lord Reed to leave so he could of some moments to reflect on what he just learned. As Lord Reed stood up, he slowly made his way to Jon holding a package in his hands that he didn't notice before.

 

"I know you would have forgotten today, but happy name day." He held out the package to Jon with a small smile on his face.

 

As Jon muttered a thank you Lord Reed left him by himself. He slowly undid the string that was holding the paper covering the gift. After removing most of the covering, Jon found it was a white wooden carving of a direwolf out of a weirwood tree. The eyes of the wolf were purple though. He held what he found out was a necklace by holding the string. Suddenly a knock came at the door removing his focus off of the necklace.

 

As he called in for the person to enter Jon watched as a giant white blur ran into the room to greet him. He had left Ghost in the company of Roslin since he knew this siege would not be one that would do well for Ghost. He heard the door closed as he was petting his direwolf he knew the footsteps would belong to Roslin. He looked up at her and saw the surprise on her face. He looked down to see the dried blood on his padded leather and probably in his hair too.

 

“I am sorry my lady I haven’t had time to wash yet. Someone should be finishing up warming up the water in the room next door for a bath.” He stood up to move towards her.

"It is okay. I am just glad you are safe. I am not sure what Ghost would have done without you."

"I am sure that he would have stayed with you or went back south to Riverrun where Robb and Grey Wind are."

“What is that?” She pointed to the necklace that he didn’t realize that he was still holding.

"It was a gift from Lord Reed for my nameday. It is apparently today, and I forgot. I turn nine and ten today. It also means that Robb's passed and I never wished him a good nameday which I am sure he will not let me live down."

“It is beautiful may I see it?” He gladly let her take a look at the direwolf necklace. “Did he carve this himself? What wood is this?”

"I assume he carved it. I had seen him working on it during the last week but never got a good glimpse of what it was he was making. I assume it is wood from a dead weirwood tree. I know Howland would never harm a living weirwood, so I wonder where he got it from."

"It is stunning." She handed back the necklace.

“Do you want it? I do not wear jewelry.”

"I couldn't possibly take it. Lord Reed gave it to you as a gift."

“I know Lord Reed wouldn’t mind if I give it to you. Here turn around.”

 

She slowly turned her back to him as she held her hands in front of her. He moved behind her with each end of the string in both hands. He laid the necklace so that the white direwolf laid above her breast. He pushed her brown hair out of the way as he tied chain. Once he was done, she turned around. She looked gorgeous with it around her neck. She blushed as he smiled at her. He could feel he smile slowly turn into a frown after thinking about what happened to Bran and Rickon. She immediately picked up his change in attitude.

 

“Are you alright Jon?” Her voice was soft as her hands as she took his in hers.

"Yes. It is just. Well. Ser Marlon Manderly just told us that Theon Greyjoy had taken Winterfell. He also said that Theon murdered my two younger brothers Brandon and Rickon."

 

She immediately embraced him into a warm hug. He didn’t want to ruin the moment by telling her he was drenched in blood.

 

“I am sorry.”

"It is not your fault. I just can't help, but think that if I was there, I could have saved them. That this is all my fault for not trying hard enough to stop Robb from sending Theon to treat with his father." He was sad about what had happened. Above everything else, though he was guilty about not being there for his younger brothers. If he had, they would be alive right now celebrating his nameday with him.

 

He lowered his head to her shoulder as he felt tears beginning to form in his eyes. His rubbed his back as her soft hair rubbed against his face. A voice came from the other side of the door to let him know that the bath was drawn and warm. He felt her pull back after this.

 

"Come and let us clean you up.  Your brothers would not want you to be covered in some man's blood while you mourn them."

 

She held his hand in hers as she moved to open the door. Before she could open it, he pulled her close to him. He leaned his head against hers. He used his free hand to tilt her head up to face him. When her large brown doe eyes meet his lilac eyes, he closed his eyes and kissed her.

 

“Thank you.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 12: Succession

 

In the distance, he could hear the sound of steel ringing out when they meet another steel sword. The wind was blowing hard in his face as it carried the smells of death to him. He could feel small drops of water hit his face as the waves crashed on the cliffs below the Crag. The sound of a wooden ram breaking through an iron and wood gate was a constant beating during the battle. The pounding on the ground from his men running to scale the walls matched the ram.

 

The only thing he could think about was how this could've all been avoided. Like all of the castles that he has taken in the westerlands, he has met with their lord or the Castilian of the castle while their lord was off at war. Sadly none of the lords or Castilians have surrendered to him. The had all have chosen to fight a battle that they had no hope of winning. With every siege though his men became better at them. The westermen he meets with slowly stopped cursing him as much as Lord Marband did. Ser Rolph Spicer, the Castilian of the Crag, had even called him ‘your grace.' Still, though he didn't surrender the castle to him. It was because of his arrogance that he was watching men die in a castle on some cliffs.

 

A loud cheer went through his men as they watched the gate break apart. Some of the men already near it began to enter. They were giving their lives while he sat back on his horse and watched them. His counsel urged him not to join the storming of the castle. They said his life as the king was more important than the storming of a minor lord's castle.

 

That is not why he was called the Young Wolf though. His men and enemies called him that because he fought with his men on the front lines of the battlefields. He bled with him. He has almost died next to them. He would share in their moments of sadness when one of their friends killed on the battlefield. Sitting back on his horse waiting for men to win him a victory made him feel weak. It made him feel like Joffrey who hasn't left the capital since the war started. That was not the kind of king Robb wanted to be.

 

Next thing he knew he was galloping to the open gate with his sword drawn and pointed to the castle. He rode past men running as he heard Ser Brynden shout out ‘Protect the King.’ The sound of more horses galloping next to him signaled that his guards had followed him without hesitation. He watched as men seemed to gain more energy as they watched him run to fight for them.

 

He was nearing the gate when he felt pain in his left shoulder. He was almost under the wall when he fell off his horse. He was under the wall when he finally stopped rolling as he saw men rushed to his side using their shields and bodies to protect them. He was laying in a bed as a maester pulled the arrow that penetrated his armor. Brynden, Dacey, SmallJon, Torrhen Karstark, and Patrek Mallister held him down as he screamed in pain.

 

The screams of pain became cries of sadness as a young lady with chestnut hair told him of the death of Bran and Rickon. His two brothers killed by a man that he once considered a brother and one of his best friends. Robb vowed to destroy the sadistic fuck that killed his two innocent brothers. Either by his hands or Jon's Theon Greyjoy will die by a Stark. A scene of watching Theon drowning Rickon, then Bran, then his two newborn children Lyanna and Eddard, then Alys came to his vision.

 

He screamed at the sight of the drownings as the scene once again changed to him kissing the girl with chestnut brown hair. He watched as his hands began to move over the exposed body of Jeyne Westerling. He tried to shout at himself with no luck. He was better than this. He was more honorable, like his father. Although his father did sire Jon with Ashara Dayne, a lady who was not his wife.

 

The thought of his father brought up an image of  Joffrey Lannister swinging down Ice on his father's neck. He watched as Joffrey brought his wife and children to the executioner's block. As the three of them laid their heads on the wooden block, Joffrey raised Ice again to remove their heads. The valyrian steel sword began to fall as he shouted.

 

Before the sword could meet the necks of his family, he shot straight out of bed almost hitting his head on a lantern. He could feel the sweat from his sleep drench him as Grey Wind gave him a curious glance. The direwolf laid his head down once again once he realized that his master was alright. Robb quickly poured himself a glass of water before he drained it. He has had the same dream more or less every night since the first night at the Crag.

 

He pushed the flap of his tent open to see the early sunlight cast it's light on the camp. The camp was slowly beginning to be broken down as more men woke up. It seemed that for the last year they have been on the march continuously. He knew that his men were happy to fight the Lannisters to avenge his father and their liege lord, but he also knew that they wanted to rest for awhile. It was where they were going now, to Riverrun where they could finally relax without having to worry about enemies sneaking up on them. It was also where he could finally see his children.

 

It brought a warm feeling to think about his children. His Eddard and Lyanna. It also broke his heart thinking about them. He wasn't there when they were born. They are already almost three months old. He has missed all of their life so far. And in their short life, he has already dishonored them and Alys both.

 

When he woke up from that night, he immediately felt the shame of the dishonor he did to his children, Jeyne Westerling, his family, Jon, and Alys. He still did not know what he was thinking when he laid with Jeyne. It was probably nothing. He was just shot with an arrow, he found out his little brothers were killed and his home sacked, and he missed his wife, his love. In his moment of weakness, he betrayed all that he believed in. The ideals that he always held tightly were let go. He wished now more than ever that his father was still alive to help him.

 

His father knew what it was like to break his honor while his child is to be born. The honorable Lord Stark had one stain on his otherwise white cloak, and it was a moment of weakness that gave Robb his best friend, Jon. While Robb dishonored out of grief, his father did it for love. He couldn't tell which one was worse. He would guess though that he was since he would never love Jeyne, while his father was said to have loved Lady Ashara Dayne. His father faced his dishonor by bringing home a bastard to his new wife and child. Could Robb tell Alys about what he did? Would she resent him for the rest of their lives?

 

His thoughts were broken by Ser Brynden Tully walking up to where Robb was eating and sitting across from him. The two were only at the table with only Grey Wind as a company.

 

“Good morning, Ser Brynden. How did you sleep last night?”

“Thank you, your grace. I slept fine, how did you?” The Blackfish put two eggs and a handful of bacon on his plate as he responded.

“I have been had the same nightmare again ever since the incident happened.”

“Are you going to tell her?”

 

The Blackfish was the only one besides Jeyne, and he assumes her family that knows about what they did. That night after he laid with her Ser Brynden walked into his chambers since he thought Robb was still asleep. He saw Lady Jeyne trying to put her clothes back on as Robb hung his head down in shame. His great-uncle stood silently by as Jeyne finished putting on her things before he opened the door for her. He left after her, neither said a word that night. Even the next day both never strayed from the topic of war. It wasn't till after five nights of nightmares that Robb confided in him.

 

Robb stared at his food. “Aye. I will have to. I just don’t know what her response will be.”

The Blackfish laughed as Robb said that. "I expect she will be mad at first. I am sure that she will forgive you later though. Your mother forgave your father when he brought home, Jon."

"She blamed Jon, not father. She hasn't forgiven Jon yet for something he had no control of." He could feel the tension beginning to form. "How much farther would you say Riverrun is?"

“Half a day’s ride with an army this size. A small group of riders can reach it in under three hours. A guard fit for a king will make it in six hours.” The Blackfish gave him a knowing look when he said the last sentence.

“I will ride with the army until we reach Riverrun. Though once you are done eating here send out riders to Riverrun to let them know that we will arrive before the day is done.” He stood up from the table. “I will hold a war council next morning to go over what the plan is now. Tell the other lords. I will be in my tent till we are ready to leave.”

 

He set his plate down on the table before getting up to go back and start to take down his tent. He could have had someone else do it, but he wanted time to think to himself.




He could see the sandstone walls of Riverrun rise out of the water as he neared the entrance. He could make out the Tully banner flying under his own on top of the highest tower. He could make out the shape of people running around on the top of the wall as they waited for him to arrive. When they got close enough to the gate to tell that the moat in front of the castle was gone, he heard trumpets announcing his arrival. Once he entered under the gate, the soldiers that were standing on the side of the rode kneeled before him. It reminded him of the time King Robert visited Winterfell when everything started to go wrong.

 

He didn’t care about that visit now when his eyes landed on his wife. She was wearing a gray and black dress with his mother standing behind her wearing red and blue. He dismounted his horse once he reached the stairs that led to the keep of Riverrun. He took the stairs two at a time to reach the top where Alys was waiting for him. He thought about acting kingly and only kisses his wife’s hand when they meet, but he didn’t care what people would say he was the king.

 

As the rest of the people began to kneel, including his mother, when he bounded up the stairs Alys stood standing with a bright smile. He quickly pulled Alys into a tight embrace as he lifted her off the ground. Their lips met as he twirled her around in his arms. Her lips tasted sweet as they kept kissing as he set her down. He opened his eyes to look her blue-grey eyes.

 

“I missed you, my queen.” He whispered to her.

“I missed you too, my king.” She whispered back to him before he moved away from her.

 

He turned to face his mother and uncle Edmure. Both were looking back with smiles on their faces. Ser Brynden was slowly making his way up the stairs after Robb left him in a hurry. The rest of the castle seemed to start moving around once again.

 

"Mother, Uncle it is good to see you both again. Thank you, Uncle Edmure for allowing my wife and children to stay in your home."

“It is no problem nephew, all three of them have brought joy to the halls of Riverrun. We will be happy to host them for as long as you need us.”

“Mother I hope that you bring some good news from the Vale lords.”

“They wished to meet with you before they decide to join our side. Lord Redfort, Hunter, and Corbray escorted me here to discuss with you. They will please that they won’t have to wait much longer, your grace.”

“I hope they won’t mind waiting a little longer. I would like some time with just Alys and my children before I must meet with anyone. I am sure they will understand.”

"As you wish, I will let them know that you will meet with them before the feast tonight. Come along Edmure let us leave the King and Queen to meet the prince and princess." His mother pulled on Edmure dragging him away. Ser Brynden silently followed behind them.

 

"Come along Robb, let me introduce you to our sweet children." He felt Alys slowly pull on his arm as she led him through the keep.

“I have missed you so much, Alys.” He moved to kiss her, but she used her free hand to stop him before he could.

“First you must at least trim that beard. You will also need to cut your hair more if you wish to kiss me.” She gave him a teasing smile as they walked up a set of stairs.

“I thought you liked my beard?”

“I did when it was shorter. Same with your hair. It is almost the length of Jon’s.” She pulled some of his hair to emphasize her point.

“Did you make Jon cut his hair?”

"I am not his lady wife. And he can pull off the long hair look. Plus you need to look like you are a king." She led him to the family chambers of the keep.

 

She paused in front of a red and blue door that had fishes swimming on it. During his time staying here before leaving to the west he never set foot in the door before. Alys paused at the door and smiled at him as she slowly opened the door. The door opened up to a small room. Two chairs were near a fireplace. Grey Wind quickly pushed his way into the room and moved to a crib that sat in the middle of the room.

 

He could make out two small bundles sleeping in the crib. Both had red hair and were looking up in the air asleep. Alys held his arm as he moved closer. The closer he got the more of their faces that he could see. He could quickly make out the differences between their appearances. His Lyanna had hair as red as Sansa's, but also had the beginning of a long face like a Stark. Eddard's hair was dark than his own, but still red. While his face also had the shape of a Stark, he shared other features with the Tully side of his family with his nose and ears.

 

He moved his shaking hands to brush their hair aside while looking at the both of them. At this moment he forgot all about the war that was happening and all of the troubles that awaited him outside this room.

 

“They are beautiful.” He stared at his daughter as Alys laid her head against his shoulder.

“They should be, we are their parents.” She squeezed his arm as she said this.

“May I hold them?”

“They are your children too, Robb. You do not need to ask me if you wish to hold one.”

 

He nodded as he moved his arms in the crib to hold his daughter who was already waking up. His daughter cooed at him when he held her in his arm. She looked at him with her grey-blue eyes in wonderment of him. He laughed as she started to reach her arms out to touch his face. Her small fingers were soft against his cheek. Alys started to say something, but before she could say a word Lyanna began to pull on his beard.

 

"Ow. Lyanna no. Ow. Lyanna stop, no pulling." He tried to pry his daughter's fingers off of his beard as Alys laughed at his pain.

"Sorry, I forgot to warn you, she likes to pull hair. Here let me hold her." Alys started to remove Lyanna's finger from his beard slowly. Once her fingers were removed Alys put her in her arms. Alys kissed his chin where his beard was pulled. "There that should make it feel better. You need a haircut before you hold her again you. You also need a bath, you smell terrible."

"Well, it will be awhile before a bath is ready so I will just be forced to stay here with you three while I wait." He smiled as he moved closer to Alys. She held up her hand before he could get closer though.

“It is a good thing I had a bath already made for you once we saw your host approach. It should be ready now.”

“Do you not want me here?” He asked her jokingly.

"Not when you smell worse than Grey wind and look like a wildling. Now go and clean yourself up Raymun Redbeard." With that, a servant came to take him to his chambers where a bath was already prepared for him.



The sun was close to setting as Robb, Alys, and their two children were sitting in the godswoods playing. They were sitting on a blanket in front of the hearttree on the other side of a small stream. Grey Wind laid nearby, fearful of Lyanna's tight grip that had already caused him to yelp in pain.

 

While Lyanna seemed to be more outgoing already, Eddard seemed to be quieter. From what his father told him about his aunt, both of the children were taking after their namesakes. It pained him to think that his father would never be able to see them. Robb was still half expecting to wake up and find his father in the Great Hall of Winterfell as if this all a bad dream.

 

He wasn't sure if he wanted to wake up or not anymore. At the beginning of the war, he would do anything to see his father alive again. But if that happened then he might never have had his children. At this moment he wouldn't give up his children for anything. He wasn't sure how he could live with choosing his children over his father and sisters. It didn't matter as of now though. He wouldn't have to make a choice anytime soon.

 

His mother walked in on them while baby Eddard sat on his lap playing with a stuffed direwolf. Lyanna sat on Alys’ lap laughing as she was being tickled. His mother sat down next to him smoothing her skirt.

 

"Robb, Alys. I am glad you two are enjoying your time with your children. You should enjoy it now. Soon they will be running around and driving you crazy." Both him and Alys laughed at her jest.

“I am sure they will be perfectly good children for us Lady Stark.”

"That is what I thought when Robb was born. Then he started to grow up. I thought the same when Sansa was born. And then she started to grow up too. It was same with each of my children. I am sure it will be the same with these two and any more you have."

“Thank you mother, for your advice. Is there anything else that you need right now?” While he was happy that his mother was here with them, he wanted some time alone with his wife and kids.

"I think it is the time that you finally meet with the lords from the Vale. It has been almost two months of them waiting here. You should finally meet with them before they decide to leave." Alys nodded in agreement.

“I agree with your mother, Robb. I fear that they might take a slight if you do not meet with them soon. You should go now before the feast so the men can have another cause to celebrate.”

“Surely they can wait a few more minutes at least another hour.” He tried to plead to both of the women who married a Stark as he held his son.

“Robb.” Both of them respond at the same time with the same annoyance in their voices.

He held up one of his hands in defeat. "Okay. You both win. I assume that you have already have them waiting in a council chamber?" She nodded her head. "Alright. I will be back soon." He kissed Eddard on his head as he passed him to his grandmother. He kissed both his wife and daughter before he got up and left the godswood.



As he neared where the room with Vale lords inside he could hear Ser Brynden and his good-father, Lord Karstark, talking with them. When he entered the room, all five men stood up from their spots and bowed to him. The lords Redfort, Hunter, and Corbray sat on one side of the table while Ser Brynden and Lord Karstark sat on the opposite side. A seat was left open for him at the head of the table between Lord Karstark and Lord Redfort.

 

"My lords, I am sorry for keeping you waiting for so long. I hope you understand; I haven't seen my children or wife since they were still growing inside of her." He took his seat and took a sip of the ale that was sitting in front of him.

“It is no problem, your grace. Lord Tully, his son, and Queen Alys have all been truly kind to us.” Lord Redfort spoke.

"So then, what would you like to talk about?" He folded his hands in front of him on the table as he looked between the three vale lords waiting for one of them to begin to talk.

“We, of the Lords Declarant would like to discuss more on your proposal of us joining your war.” Lord Hunter spoke, a man with a large bushy mustache.

"I thought the terms that King Robb sent to you were pretty straightforward. If you join the war on our side then if you wish you may proclaim him your king or he will support you if you wish to become independent." His good-father stated in a slightly angry tone.

"Forgive him Lord Karstark he meant no offense. We simply would like some guarantee that King Robb will not attack us if he decides he wants to add the Vale to his growing kingdom after he defeats the Lannister. We know the late Lord Stark was an honorable man. Many lords of the Vale knew him when he was a ward at the Eyrie. How do we know you have the same honor." The lord in the red surcoat spoke again.

"You have my word I will not attack you. My father instilled the same honor in his children that the late Lord Arryn taught him. I swear by the Old Gods and the New that we will not harm anyone from the Vale if you join our side or stay neutral. My father and many of you fought together almost twenty years ago to overthrow the Mad King. I ask you to help me break away from another."

"We would like to help you King Robb, but we will need a stronger alliance than one of the words. The Riverlands are bound to you by your mother and uncle." Once again Lord Redfort spoke. It seemed like he was the leader of this small group of vale lords.

"You would like a marriage alliance?" His great-uncle spoke.

“Yes.”

"Who would you want to marry? My brothers were murdered. My youngest sister is missing presumed dead. My other sister is a hostage of Joffrey Waters. My half-brother is already married. I will not betroth my daughter or son off before they can even understand what it means." The last part sounded harsher than he intended.

“We understand that there is not many Starks left. We were thinking of a marriage between Ser Edmure Tully and Lady Ysilla Royce.” This caused Ser Brynden to laugh. “Is there a problem Ser Brynden?”

"I am sorry, Lord Redfort, but my nephew is like me when it comes to marriages arranged by his father. Neither of us has gone through with any of them. Though I am sure if his grace orders him too, Edmure will marry Lady Ysilla."

"Your grace, I think you should force your uncle to marry the lady. The Tully line is worse off than the main Stark line. If the main Stark branch dies you at least have the Karstarks, Lycaons, and some very distant branches that live with the mountain clans. The Tully line is only down to your grandfather, uncle, and Ser Brynden. One who is almost died and another that refuses to marry since before Hoster Tully was Lord Tully."

 

His good-father gave him good advice. The Starks may seem on the verge of dying out, but there was always the Karstarks and Jon to take on the name and rule the North. There was also some Starks still living in the mountains from the line of Artos Stark's twin sons. House Tully had no distant members or any cadet branches. If his uncle died with an heir of his own than the Riverlands would have passed down to Bran if he was still alive. With Bran and Rickon dead, it would pass to Sansa who was still lost to them.

 

“Ser Edmure will marry Ysilla. Is there anything else that you would like, my lords?”

"The main branch of the Arryns is also almost dead. We would ask when your sister Princess Sansa is found and she agrees, she marries Harrold Hardyng, the heir to the Vale."

"Why do you not ask her to marry Lord Robert Arryn? He is the lord of the Vale, does he not also need an heir?" By the look, the vale lords shared with each other, and the look that Ser Brynden gave him, he could tell something was wrong.

“As Ser Brynden can attest to your grace, Robert Arryn is a sickly boy. He is very fragile and has seizures often. His mother has too strong of a grip on his and still sometimes nurses him from her breast. He is now with Lord Royce as a ward, but many of us doubt that he will survive long.”

“So you will have my sister marry a knight with no land or title, but only the hope of one if a young boy dies?” Not only was Sansa a Princess of the North, but she also deserved a better husband than this Harrold.

"All of the lords of declarant have agreed to help finance a new castle and lands to be built for Harry if Lord Robert lives and has children. We have also agreed that Harry should also start a cadet branch at the said castle if he does not become Lord of the Vale or with any second son he has." This time the silent Lord Corbray spoke in a rough voice.

"I will not force my sister to marry anyone after what she has probably suffered at the hands of Joffrey Waters. I agree to your terms though. If you swear allegiance to me, you can join my war council after we are done here. There will be a more formal oath of allegiance to be said during the feast tonight."

 

The three vale lords looked at each other before nodding in agreement. Lord Hunter began to speak as all three stood up. They each kneeled before him.

“By the power of the Lords Declarant, we swear the Vale to your cause.”

“Rise. I accept your oaths. I welcome you all to my kingdom.”

Each of the three rose before him. Ser Brynden and Lord Karstark also rose too.

“I invite you to join my war council. It should be happening soon in another room.”




After an introduction between the lords of the Vale, North, and Riverlands, they began the meeting.

 

"Before we go any farther, how many men can the Vale supply us?" He directed his question to Lord Redfort who stood up as he began to speak.

"We can raise five and forty thousand men. We need ten thousand of them to stay behind and protect the Vale from any Lannister force and the Mountain Clans. Ten thousand of the men we can send with you will be cavalry, and the rest will be infantry." He sat back down.

“That will bring our forces to a little over seventy thousand once some more of the northern forces come south. We will now be larger than both the Lannister and Baratheon forces. The Tyrell army though is still the largest. No one is sure about Dorne at the moment, but they are less likely to attack us. The Lannisters will be less likely to attack us since we still have Jaime Lannister as a hostage and since that Stannis is near the gates of King’s Landing and they have no backup force to protect them since Tywin is now trapped in the west.”

"King Robb there is a problem with Ser Jaime." His uncle tried to talk in a hushed tone.

“What kind of problem?”

“He escaped.”

“What?!”

“Jaime Lannister escaped.”

"How the hell did Jaime fucking Lannister escaped!" He shouted at his uncle slamming his hand on the table.

“It is better if we talk about in a more private matter, your grace.”

"Fine then. Is there anything else that I should know?"

“My king,” Lord Blackwood stood up, “We have news from Moat Cailin. Lord Jon Lycaon has successfully retaken the Moat from the Ironborn. All of the Ironborn were killed in the taking of the castle. He had all of their heads mounted on spikes on the western shore of the North.”

 

Most of the men begin to talk to themselves. Most of the northern lords were pleased with this. GreatJon was laughing and calling him a true Northman. Most of the Riverland lords and the three vale lords had concerned looks on their faces.

 

“He did what?”

“I believe your uncle said that Jon died what your ancestor, Theon Stark, did to the Andals when they tried to take over the North. Your brother is a true northern.”

“What else did he do Lord Blackwood?”

"He left the command of the defenses Moat Cailin to Lord Howland Reed. He says the crannogman know the area best and know how to defend it best. He has also captured all of the Ironborn ships and had Lord Reed beach and hide them for you to use. He is continuing towards Castle Cerwyn where he intends to join forces with Ser Rodrik and retake Winterfell."

“Good. Send a raven to Castle Cerwyn. I am making Jon castellan of Winterfell till either I return or Bran or my son become of age to rule it. Is there anything else that I should know.”

 

His uncle stood up to address the lords. He still had an arrogance about him, since he ‘won' the Battle of the Fords as people are calling it. Robb would call it folly. He was told to guard Riverrun. Not to go off galavanting and attacking an army crossing nowhere near Riverrun. He not only put the whole plan in jeopardy he also left his wife and children almost defenseless. He will have to chastise him in private; morale will drop if the men found out about it.

 

"During our victory at the Fords. The forces that I led at Stone Mill met with Gregor Clegane, and we would have defeated him if Tywin Lannister didn't show up with the rest of his army and pushed us back. We were forced to retreat. Lord Bolton retreated to his camp. Apparently one of the Lannisters paid one of Lord Bolton's soldiers or something to kill him. Both died."

“Roose is dead? Damnit. We needed his mind and forces.” This would be a major set back. Roose Bolton was a good commander and was great at espionage. “Who is his heir?”

The northern lords looked at each other until Galbart Glover, Master of Deepwood Motte began to speak. "He has none, your grace. His trueborn son, Domeric, died from a sickness of the bowls. He has no other family members left. He has a bastard son though. I believe his name is Ramsey."

"Ramsey shall be legitimized then and named Lord of the Dreadfort. He will stay in the north and assist Jon. His forces here though will stay." He could tell that some of the northern lords were displeased by this. Some of them probably wanted to take some of the Bolton lands for themselves.

"Your grace, if we are talking about succession, we should talk about House Hornwood, and the Houses's lands since all trueborn Hornwoods have died." Galbart Glover raised the issue before him.

"My aunt Donella married Halys Hornwood and gave birth to Daryn Hornwood, his heir. I think she should receive the lordship much as the same as Lady Dustin did, your grace." Wendel Manderly, second son of Lord Wyman of White Harbor, sat back down as chaos erupted from the northern side. It seemed like most of the lords had some connection to House Hornwood and wanted to claim their lands.

“Your grace. Your grace if I may speak I would like to put forward a worthy candidate to this issue.”

“Who would you like to put forward Lord Glover? Your brother or nephew?”

“Neither my king. Halys Hornwood sired a bastard named Larence Snow that I have raised in my castle for years. He is a good lad.”

“Is he here now?”

“No. He is with Lord Commander Lycaon. He helped my brother when they took the Moat. I believe the letter Lord Lycaon wrote expressed his gratitude for him.”

“You want a bastard to come before my aunt, Glover?” Wendel Manderly shouted from across the table.

“Larence has a better claim to Hornwood than your aunt. He might be a bastard, but he does have the blood of Halys Hornwood in him.”

Before Wendel could reply Robb stood up to stop, a fight waiting to happen. "Enough. Lady Donella Hornwood will be Lady Hornwood till she dies. I hear she is past childbearing years though. As such when she dies Larence will become Lord Hornwood. He will be legitimized now so he can marry and produce more heirs. That is my final words on this matter understood." Both Galbart and Wendel nodded their heads in consent. Neither looked to please to do it though.

 

“Now that matters of the North are taken care of, we need to discuss what to do next.”

"I say we charge straight for King's Landing with our whole army at our back and take it." a lord with a black crows foot on a field of orange and white shouted for all of the men to hear him. He was Lord Lymond Lychester, an old knight of the castle Lychester.

"I hear that Stannis Baratheon is marching towards King's Landing now. If we meet him on the battlefield, we can defeat two of our enemies at once." More lords agreed to the man that Robb could not remember who he was.

"Your grace, we should let the Baratheons and Lannisters fight each other right now while he solidifies our lands and prepares for any future battles. Let them wear each other out. Once they are done, we can come in and destroy them both with fresh troops." Ser Brynden the Blackfish made a good point. They have not stopped fighting since the war began. Now was a good time to rest and prepare for the next battles to come.

 

" I agree. We will rest our men in the Riverlands. As we are doing this though we will expel all westerlands soldiers from our lands. Any castle taken by them, we will retake. I want lookout towers to be built around our borders so we can know of any future invasion. Once we have consolidated power and our enemies have tired themselves out we will deliver the final blow and end this war once and for all. Lord Tully, I assume that you have already sent scouts out to recapture Jaime Lannister?"

"Yes, your grace. I have sent men all over the east to stop him from reaching King's Landing."

"What about to the west? Did you not think he would have tried to return to his father if he hears he is back at Casterly Rock and Baratheons march to King's Landing?"

“No. I did not think that Jaime-”

“Ser Brynden, send out your best men to track down the Kingslayer. He might already be in the Westerlands, but we may be able to capture him before he reaches a castle.” He great uncle nodded while Robb’s uncle looked angry at being cut off. “This is enough for one day. The rest can wait tomorrow. There will be a feast later in the day, my lords. Go and prepare yourself for a night filled with food and dancing.” He stood up and left the room with Ser Brynden following close behind.



The feast was well under way as the men were becoming drunker. He could count at least five knights passed out at their tables. Most of the northern lords were well into their cups as most of the Riverland lords held back from drinking too much. Everyone had a great time it seemed.

 

His uncle was not too happy on being forced to marry, much to the delight of Robb's mother. She was ecstatic that she was going to be able to plan another wedding. She had already left to tell her father about it; she said that he would be overjoyed at it. Robb knew though that his grandfather will never see Ser Edmure marry. The maester, Vyman, had told him earlier that Lord Tully had perhaps only a few days left in the world. He still hasn't told his mother and didn't plan on telling her. She had already suffered too much heartbreak in the last couple of months let alone a year. She needed to feel an almost completed family.

 

He did not feel complete. His father was killed. His youngest brothers were killed by a man he thought of as a brother. His other brother was off fighting to avenge them and retake their home. One of his sisters is hostage to a mad boy that is king. His other sister was missing presumed dead, and they might never know what happened to her. He also feels like he was living a lie with what he did at the Crag. Everytime that he looked at Alys and his children his heart broke a little more. Holding her hand while she laughed at some joke GreatJon told did not feel right.

 

He needed to tell her. He needed to say to her now.

 

He leaned in close to her so only she could hear him.

 

“I think we should retire back to our room.”

“Robb, the feast is not close to being finished.” She gave a pat on his arm before she began to turn away from him.

“Alys, please. It has been a long journey. The men will understand that I wish to spend some time with my lovely wife.” She returned his smiled and then laughed at her.

“Alright, my love we can leave if that is what you desire.”

 

They shared a kiss before he stood up. He nodded to a soldier that held a spear that he hammered to the floor so the crowd would silence. It took a few thumps and a GreatJon calling them ‘fuckers.’

 

“My lords and good men of the North and the Riverlands. I would like to thank each of you for the past couple of months of fighting. The war may still be going on, but we have won some great victories lately. We have sent Tywin Lannister and his wild dog back in the west.” A cheer from the men came through. He let it settle down before continuing. “Right now our men are taking back the North. They are taking back our homes.”

 

Another louder cheer came sounded off this time from the northmen. Cheers called for the White Wolf, Hornwoods, Glovers, Manderlys, and Stark echoed throughout the hall as they called for the men that are taking back home.

 

“We have gained a great alliance with the Vale. We now out man the Lannisters and Baratheons. Soon we will have our independence from the southern games.” A louder cheer echoed through the hall as all the men cheered for the independence from the Iron Throne. “I wish to honor all of you and all of those that died fighting.” He raised his glass to everyone in the room as they did the same to him. He lifted his glass before draining the rest of the wine in it.

"I must ask your forgiveness though. I am going to retire for the night. It has grown late, and I am tired. Stay though you have all earned it."

 

He offered his hand to Alys as his men started to cheer for the King in the North.




After they checked on Eddard and Lyanna, they head to their room which was attached to the nursery. He slowly removed his cloak and sword as her handmaidens helped her change out of the dress she was wearing. He quietly waited for the sound of the door closing, signaling that they were alone. He took a deep breath before turning around. She was sitting on their bed in only a sheer shift. She gave him a look that he remembers well. In the briefest moment, he thought about not telling her. To not ruin the marriage they had.

 

"Alys, we need to talk." He watched his favorite look on her face turn to worry at his request. "I must tell you something. I know that it will make you angry, but I beg of you not to yell at me or kill me until I finish talking. If you do not wish for me to share your bed tonight, I will sleep on the chairs in the nursery." He stood standing, as she sat up on her bed.

"I could never hate you as much as you think I will." He looked away from her as he felt the shame begin to fill his face. There has been no battle he was more scared of that he was right now.

“What is it, honey?” She could probably see that how bad he felt.

"I- During the siege at the Crag, after I took the arrow in the shoulder. I was brought inside of the castle to be healed. The maester there and some of my men removed the arrow and stitched it back up. It was the worst pain I have ever felt. I was in and out of consciousness for a few days. Before I came too." He paused as he tried to find the right words to say next. He opened and closed his mouth several times before deciding on the appropriate words to say.

"When I came to the daughter of Lord Westerling was apply lotion to my wound. The maester was busy with more serious cases, and when he said I would live, he had the lady clean the wound. She told me where I was and what happened. I asked if she heard anything of the North or you, she told me-." He coughed as he tried to hold back the tears for what he was about to say. " She told me that Bran and Rickon were killed by Theon. I was hysteric for awhile. I could only feel and still feel that I failed them. That I was the reason, they were dead. If I had never trusted Theon. If I listened to the council and kept Theon by my side, then maybe Bran and Rickon would be alive."

"I am sorry. She tried to calm me down, and I. And I laid with her." He looked up at her as he said those words. He could make out the anger and sadness in her eyes. Instead of seeing more blue like when she was happy, he only saw the steel grey eyes of fury. She looked like she was ready to yell and wake up the whole castle, but she kept her word and waited for him to finish. "I do not know why. I won't lie and say I was not in control. At the time I knew what I was doing, at least what I was mostly doing. When we were down, I realized what happened is dismissed her and forbid her to be alone with me. Ser Brynden found us and helped me hide it from everyone else. I don't even think her parents know. I am sorry for everything."

 

Her eyes scared him.

 

“Why? Why did you do it.” She pulled the furs on the bed around her to cover herself from him.

"I do not know why. I think I missed you too much." She threw a pillow at him. He did not attempt to block it and let it hit him square in the face.

“You missed me so much that you, that you slept with another woman! How would that make me feel better?” She stood up as she threw more pillows at him.

“I am sorry, Alys.”

"Sorry does not make it alright Robb." She turned her back to him and faced out of the window. "When I find the bitch that seduced you I will have her head." She spat out each word.

"She didn't seduce me. She did not even make the first move I did. I kissed her first, and it escalated after that."

 

He knew that he should have kept quiet about that. She would have been less mad if she thought someone seduced him while he was injured. He just couldn't lie to her anymore. Jeyne did not deserve her wrath, and it was all of his faults. If he never kissed her, then none of this would have happened. He could be laying with his wife not being the subject of her target practice. She was justifiably angry though, and he knew that.

 

When she turned around to face him, he could see tears in her hurt eyes.

 

“While I was carrying your children, birthing them, you were out kissing the first woman that looked at you with a smile. Is that what you are saying?” Her voice quivered as Alys attempted to hold back sobs.

 

He opened his mouth to respond before she held her hand up silencing him with a glare that would scare Grey Wind.

 

"Just leave this room. No more words, just leave. If you wish to sleep in the same room as my children, then go ahead. Just leave. I can no longer look at you." She turned away again. He could hear her cries that she was hiding from him.

 

He silently opened the door to the nursery. He looked back at his betrayed wife one last time before calling out to his direwolf. “Grey Wind, come.” The direwolf that made its way on the bed during the fight lifted his head. He looked in his companions yellow eyes before Grey Wind laid his head back down on the bed. Grey Wind knew who was wronged and who wronged them. He picked the side of his mistress over his master. Robb shut the door behind him leaving two of his closet family alone.

 

Robb couldn't blame Grey Wind. He knew he deserved this resentment from his wife and direwolf. He knew he deserved it all. He has earned everything that has happened so far.

Chapter Text

Chapter 13: Rightful Heir

 

A knock came at his door causing him to groan in frustration of being interrupted of laying with a whore. To be fair she wasn't a whore, but a young villager that he had his eye on before he left Winterfell. She spurred his advancements back then, but since he no longer feared any consequences from Lord Stark, he decides just to take her. She had put up a fight when he first took her. Her red hair reminds him of Sansa. She even cried like her. He wasn't sure what her name was he just called her Red. It was what he wanted to call Sansa if he ever married her, or take her as a salt wife. He wished that Sansa was here when he took Winterfell.

 

The knock came again at the door. He tried ignoring it again as he forced himself on Red as she still cried beneath him. She will learn to let him have her anytime that wanted. Eddara has stopped resisting him once they arrived at Winterfell. He missed the struggle though. It was easier though since Eddara started to enjoy it a little it has been more fun.

 

At the third knock, he got off of Red and walked towards the door. He pulled open the door wide to let the servant at the door see the naked Red. The women at the door cheeks flushed red at the scene behind him.

 

“What.”

“Sorry, my prince,” she looked downward casting her gaze away from his room, “Your sister asked me to come and get you. She says it is important.”

"Fine. Go tell her I will be there in a couple of moments." When she turned around, he slapped her ass as she began to walk away. She yelped before she hurried away. Once she went away, he grabbed a doublet.

"I will be back in a little bit Red. I have to attend so business. Make sure you keep the bed warm for me till I come back." He winked at her before shutting the door. In case she tried to escape he locked the door from the outside.



He made his way slowly to the great hall where he assumed that his sister was. She had arrived only a few days past after taking Deepwood Motte from the Glovers. She left five hundred of her thousand men that she obtained the wooden castle at the said castle. The other five hundred she brought with her to Winterfell. The look on her face when she arrived and found that he had taken Winterfell with only twenty men and was holding it with just one hundred was glorious. He would try and remember it for the rest of his life. She lost more men taking the Deepwood than he did taking Winterfell.

 

He knew she was angry at him for taking Winterfell. She yelled at him saying that they were only supposed to take the land on the shores, where their navy could support them. She noted Winterfell was too far from the sea for them to adequately defend it. That is brought them unwanted attention to them. Like taking land in the North didn't already draw the attention of Robb and all of the other northern lords.

 

When he entered the Great Hall, he found his sister sitting at the head table eating a leg of chicken. She was sitting in the chair that Eddard Stark would sit in. Theon had claimed it as his seat once he had taken the castle. He walked up to the head table and pulled the chair out on the right side of Asha, and his Uncle Aeron sat on her left.

 

"You are sitting in my seat, and you interrupted my fun, Asha. What is it that you want?" He put two legs of a chicken on his plate and poured himself some ale that was sitting in front of Asha.

"Brother, I saw an empty seat, and I took it. If you wish to take it let us play a game of fingers."

He scowled at her. “It is fine. You can sit there for now. What is it you want from me, I have other things to do.”

“You make fucking a whore sound like a hard task.”

"Well a cock as small as his, it makes fucking a woman hard." His sister laughed at his Uncle's joke.

"Don't make jokes in my castle, sister and uncle I will kick you out, and you both can go back to that wooden castle."

“We have received news from Moat Cailin.”

"Oh, and what does Uncle Victarion want? Does he need more men to hold against the swamp man?"

 

His uncle had taken the Moat before either his sister or him started to raid. With the Moat captured they could run amok in the North with no one to oppose them. Ser Rodrik Cassel was the only army that could stand against them, and he was currently at Torrhen's Square. With Winterfell at his side, he will be able to push Rodrik back with the hundred men he had. With his uncle at the Moat, they wouldn't have to worry about any more men back North. If Robb tried to attack them, they would push him back in the swamps and keep him out of the North. They could rape and pillage the North until they were filled with as much gold and women they could need.

 

"He lost the Moat." Theon spits out the ale that he held in his mouth.

"How did he lose the Moat? His men should have been able to defend against all forces that could come from the South."

“He would of if the gates were properly secured and the only force came from the South. And they didn’t surprise them.” She sounded angry.

"The reports we had said that Robb was still in the west. How did he get back he so fast?" All the reports said that Robb was still marching in the west. It would be impossible for him to cover all of that land so fast. If he were on the sea, he would have been beaten by any of the patrols that were out on Ironman's Bay or the Cape of Eagle.

“Apparently it wasn’t Robb. It was his brother Jon or as some men are calling him the White Wolf, Krakenbane, or the Hungry Wolf born again.”

 

Jon the silent bastard? Why wasn't he at Robb's side? The last he saw Jon was like Robb's Kingsguard. He would have thought that he and Robb would stay together for the rest of the war. The plan he heard before he left for the Iron Isles was that they both were heading to draw Tywin out of the Riverlands. That was of course before he betrayed them and attacked the North. He didn't even think that Jon would come back North.

 

"Why do they call him that? I understand the White Wolf part, and his direwolf is an albino. But what is the Krakenbane and Hungry Wolf born again?"

 

He knew of the first Hungry Wolf. He was named after him after all. Theon Stark was called the Hungry Wolf because of how much land he captured. He was also known for the attack on the Andals. It would be in bad taste to name yourself after a land conquering king when he only recaptured an old fortress.

 

“They called him that because of what he did to the Ironborn.” He raised his eyebrows at her waiting for her to finish. “He killed all of the Ironborn there and cut off their head and spiked them on the shore.”

“He killed Uncle Victarion?”

“No, uncle was off at sea when this happened. He lost all, but two of his ships though. This White Wolf sent a letter to here saying ‘Leave now while our heads are still on our soldiers.’ I think he is angry at you little brother.”

“Let him come. What he has maybe one thousand men with him? They will not be able to stand against us if you bring the rest of your men here.” He finished pouring the ale as he held the bottle out for a servant to refill it.

"He has three thousand men according to reports. Plus a thousand men from White Harbor and that old knight have about two thousand men of his own on his way back here. If you cannot count, that is six thousand to our one thousand and two hundred. We are outmanned."

"Bring the rest of your men here. With our forces combined, we can hold Winterfell against them. We can defeat them." She slammed her fist on the table as he said this.

"We are Ironborn. We cannot hold castles in sieges or win land battles. Did father's failed rebellion not tell you anything? We win when we are at sea or when we surprise them. If we stay here, we will all die. Even if we had more men, we would not be able to defeat them."

"We will win all the battles to come to this castle, Asha." He wanted this castle. He will keep this castle.

"Theon, you will die, and all of your men will die if you do not let this castle go. Come with me tonight, bring your men. Their army is forming at Castle Cerwyn as we speak it is only a half day ride from there to here. Already two thousand men are ready to attack this castle with another four thousand perhaps days away. Leave with me tonight." He could see in Asha's eyes that she meant it. She genuinely wanted him to go away with her. It made him feel like he had a family.

"No. This is my castle. My men and I will stay and defend it till the last man. Besides, I have reinforcements coming from the Boltons soon. With their help, we will be able to surprise the Starks and keep them out of the North once and for all." He only hoped Reek would make it back soon. If he did not arrive with the promised men, then they would most likely lose Winterfell.

“How many men will this servant bring if he can bring any?”

“A few hundred.” Reek never actually gave him a specific amount of men that he could gather.

"The Boltons are loyal to the Starks like every Northern house. What makes you think they won't betray you. Even on the Iron Islands, we have heard the tale of the flayed man."

"The Boltons are not well liked by any of the other northern houses. They have rebelled against the Starks multiple times. They wish to rule the North. We can help them take the North." Once they defeated the army, Jon has they can make the North their vassal. They will more than triple their land size. How was she not seeing this?

"What makes you think that they won't change sides once they see the odds against them?  This army at Cerwyn could attack now, and we will lose to them. What makes you think a few hundred men plus what we have now will stand against six thousand?"

“Rodrik Cassel will not attack while we hold his daughter Beth Cassel as a hostage.” Ser Rodrik doted on his daughter he would not put her safety at risk even if it meant not listening to the Starks.

“What do you think this man will do when he finds out that you have taken his daughter as a salt wife and let all of your men abuse her.”

“I have not harmed her. None of my men have gone farther than touching her. Her father will not attack us while his daughter is treated well enough.”

 

He had only stripped her naked the first couple of nights that he was here as she served them with a bare Berena Hornwood. She could have had it a lot worse. Berena has been raped and abused ever since he took Torrhen's Square, rumor had it that she is a bastard. His men brought her along with them for entertainment. She spent most of her time servicing his men at their whims. During dinners, she was usually used by a drunk Ironborn in either her cunt or her mouth. Once when they had a massive feast, one man took her from the front and another from her back. Theon used her as a threat against what will happen to Beth if she does not do what he says. She has been following his orders ever since.

 

He thought about taking Beth as a salt wife. Her attitude to him when they grew up at Winterfell left him sour. Even though she was a daughter of a master-of-arms, she thought of herself better than him. She used to remind him of how she was of the great North, and he was only a squid out of the water. Just for that, he thought about bringing her to his bed and using her how he liked. Her red curly hair that reminded him of sweet, innocent, perfect lady Sansa was almost enough for him to plunge his hard cock into her probably tight cunt. He resisted all of that because of how valuable she was as a hostage.

 

“Her father might not attack, but Jon Snow will. You killed his brothers. You betrayed his family. He will not hesitate to attack you. What does he care about some servant girl?”

“Jon is not a monster. He would not put an innocent girl at risk just to take back this castle.” He especially would not put Beth Cassel at risk.

 

He remembered when they were young when Jon had a crush on Beth. He was fascinated with her for some time. She was one of the few ladies besides his sister that would not be repulsed by a bastard. He caught them once in the Godswood and saw them kiss. Later that day he teased Jon about the fact that as a bastard he would never be able to marry Beth Cassel ‘Besides' he said ‘Why would she ever want to marry someone that will only bring her dishonor like you? I hear she already kissed Benfred Tallhart and other little lords too, she is becoming a little whore.' None of it was true though. He made it all up to tease Jon and angry him. It worked a little too well. Both him and Jon supported black eyes and bruised bodies for two weeks. He guessed he caused Jon's little crush to break apart since he never saw those two talk alone with each other.

 

"You still killed his brothers, Theon. All men will put anyone at risk to avenge their family. Why did you kill them? They would have been better hostages than some servant's daughter." She glared at him.

"It does not matter, what is done is done. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to finish what I was interrupted from before I need to prepare for a battle. I expect by the time that I am back down here that you will be gone." He pushed his chair out loudly before walking down the stairs from the head table and out of doors.

 

He should of put more guards on Bran and Rickon. How was he to guess that a cripple and a very young boy would somehow be able to escape from Winterfell? He never figured that that wildling whore and Hodor would help them. Hodor sure, but he was a simpleton he could only say his name. He also should have just killed those damn direwolves the first night that he was here. None of it would of happen if he didn't let that whore Osha trick him into bed.

 

If she knew the real reason why he ‘killed' Bran and Rickon Stark she would have likely killed him. How could he let people think that Bran and Rickon were still alive and escaped from him? His men would think him weak, and the northmen would see it as a weakness. The only other person that knew what happened to the miller boys was Reek, and Reek swore never to tell anyone. As strange as the man was, Theon would believe that he wouldn't know a soul.

 

Like he said though, what done is done. He could only hope that maybe Bran and Rickon will reunite with the Stark family and they can be forgiven him for apparently killing them. He knows he should not ask for forgiveness from Starks not after what he did to them. A small part of him wanted them to see that he was sorry. He never meant for any of this to happen when he sailed back home. When he began to sack the North, he was all too caught up in the taste of victory, of not having to follow any northern code of what to do with prisoners. When he took Torrhen's Square, his greed became too great. He should have just sacked the castle and left it with all the women he could carry.

 

All of his actions and their consequences came to him once Bran and Rickon escaped. He made to scared little boys that thought he was their brother run off into the cold night. He liked to believe that they made it to some castle or somewhere warm. He knew though that they likely died of cold or hunger by now. He doomed them to that death. Neither of them deserved it. They were innocent just like Robb and the rest of the North. It was his greed and want to prove himself as the true heir to the Iron Islands that made him do all of those terrible things.

 

If he didn't know the truth, he would probably never sleep at night. The fact was that even though he blames his want to prove himself, he knows that it is because that deep down he knows he is an evil man. How could a good man do what he has done? Now it was too late to turn back. He had already made it this far, so he will just have to embrace being the villain of the stories Old Nan told them when they were little.




Joffrey, Later that Night

 

He ignored the looks that the Gold Cloaks and Lannister men were giving him. What right did they have to judge him? He was their king. He did not need to die for his cause, they did. Their life meant nothing to the overall things. He is the King of the Iron Throne. His presence will be remembered throughout the ages. They will sing about how he defeated all of the traitorous usurpers that were trying to either take his throne or take his land. It didn't matter how bad the battle was going on the outside wall. His Uncle Stannis will be defeated in the street of King's Landing.

 

Stannis' head will be put on a spike where he will put Robb Stark's, the bastard Jon Snow's, Balon Greyjoy's, Edmure Tully's, and all of the other traitor's heads. He already selected the spots for them. He even put a placard with their names on the spikes. Robb's was in the dead center of the gate, so all who come to see him will see what happens if they betray him. Once he has all the heads dipped in gold he might have him placed in the throne room like how the dragon skulls were until his father pulled them down. Perhaps he might even make a throne of skulls that he could sit on. It will no doubt be more comfortable than the damn Iron Throne. He only wished his mother and uncle did not send Ned Stark's head back. He wanted his head at the top of the throne. Robb's was going to right where his cock would rest. He could wait for the look on his bitch's, Sansa Stark's, face.

 

He couldn't wait for once this battle is done and over. He will finally take her maidenhood and ruin that tight little cunt of her. He had already made use of her mouth earlier this day. He could remember how she begged to be let go when he entered the room. With how broken she looked he almost took her right then. He didn't have the time though for that. Instead, he made her open her mouth and had her go to work on his cock. She was terrible at first but started to learn how to do it right after she was punished. Her lips running down his cock felt great. He couldn't wait to feel her southern lips on it. Instead of spilling his seed on her face, this he will spill it all over her.

 

It has been over two weeks since he sentenced her to the Black Cells naked. From the reports that he has been getting she willfully submit to him and his wishes once she is freed. He had a whole list of things that he will do to her. The first thing he would do is fuck her tight pussy like the bitch wolf that she is. He will fuck her so much tonight that she will walk with a limp for a week. The whole court will know what happened to her. They wouldn't even have to guess. He will force to tell her all of it.

 

There was so much that he could do to her. He will have a lot more things to make her do once he has captured Robb Stark. The Targaryens used to wed brothers and sisters, why not let the Starks have some fun with it too. Perhaps she will get a bastard from her brother or her bastard brother. He would have to kill it if it was a boy though. He couldn't have a bastard rise against any trueborn children he has with her once they married. His mother will not approve of him marrying her, but he was king he could marry the bitch if he damn well pleased. He could marry his sister if he wanted to and she was still with them and not wasting away in Dorne. He could take multiple wives like Maegor ‘the Cruel.'

 

‘Cruel' was a good name for a king that did the things he did. Maegor was the type of king Joffrey wanted to be. Maegor defeated all of his enemies. He took his brother's throne from his nephew because he knew that he would be the better king. All of those that opposed him were killed. He brought the damn faith down low. He was right to do it too. What power did a silly faith have a king? He will kill all the Septons if they speak against him marrying more than one wife.

 

By the time he made his way back in the walls of the Red Keep, he could see the damage done to King's Landing. The part of the city nearest the port was inflamed with wildfire. The small folks' homes were being burnt to the ground, but that did not matter. The desired effect was done. His Uncle's navy was almost destroyed. The Stormland's army was being beaten back at the Mud Gate. There was no doubt that the gate would soon fall. When he was leaving the gate to his foolish dwarf uncle the gate was almost done. He suspected within the next few minutes the gate would collapse and the foolish army of traitors will be killed on the streets. Even if they did make it through the city, they would never be able to take the Red Keep. Even if they somehow did, they wouldn't be able to take Maegor's Holdfast.

 

That will never happen though. He will burn down the rest of the filthy city before he allows any traitor to enter the Red Keep, not in chains. He had enough wildfire left to let it lose in the city below if they got to close. It wouldn't matter if his men died in flames. It would be their honor to die for him. He will kill everyone in the Seven Kingdoms to keep his throne. He was the rightful King of the Seven Kingdoms, and by the gods, he will rule all seven kingdoms.

 

His train of thought was interrupted as he watched a bunch of ships crammed together on the Blackwater Rush in front of the Mud Gate collapse. He could make out the tiny figures of men fall into the river below. He could almost imagine the sound of all of those men drowning. He wished that he was down there now to listen to it. He hasn't heard a man drown yet. He wondered if it would sound like own choking. He heard that a man would struggle to keep the water out. Through pain, he will hold his mouth shut to keep the water at bay. Only when he can no longer bear it will the man will open his mouth and die. The maesters say that a man will feel relief once he lets the water down his throat.

 

It sounded like too good of a way for a traitor to die. A traitor showed feel nothing but pain as he dies. It was why he admired the Mad King. He knew how to kill people well. His burned Robb Stark’s grandfather alive as his heir choked himself trying to save the both of them. He only really burned people. Joffrey wanted to kill people in every sort of way. He wanted his enemies to feel pain and despair before they die. He didn’t want them to feel relief before they died.

 

He could make out fires burning on the other side of the Blackwater. It seems like his Uncle Stannis has finally decided to attack the gate with all of his men. Good, it would mean he can watch more men die. He didn't know how his uncle would plan to cross the vast river. One would not be able to swim across it with armor on.

 

He cursed when he saw massive wooden barrages being pushed downriver with men baring the red stag of his Uncle. He slowly watched as each barrage landed on one side and then move to the other side and come back again. He stood standing as he watched the gate begin to be forced inwards. It looked like his Uncle wants to be slaughtered on the streets and not on the side of a river. It didn't matter let his men die on the roads of filth like they were.

 

It only took a few more minutes until he saw the gate began to break down from the ram. His Uncle Tyrion must be dead if he hasn't found sense and left yet. He never liked that uncle thought he was always drunk and making rude comments. He would also treat him like a child and slap him. He deserved to die for striking his king. His mother would probably rejoice at his death. He watched as slowly men began to flood the city. The Gold Cloaks and the sellswords he hired were holding them back at the gate.

 

It looked like too great beast were fighting against each other. It was a lion against a stag. A lion would win if the fight took place in the wild. Stag’s were peaceful creatures that only attack if provoked. Lions though are the example of what a predator should look like. They were proud and strong. They were kings with their golden manes as their crowns. It seemed to be different hear though.

 

It seemed he did not hire the best sellswords or guards. His army was slowly being pushed backward. They at least remembered their orders and were drawing back to the Red Keep. Once back at the keep they will be able to regroup, and he will lead them back to victory. He will crush them all beneath his fist and sword. Their blood with coat his sword in red. He will be the lion that kills the stag. He smiled at the thought.

 

His smile did not last long as he saw fighting break out among his army. It looked like the sellswords were attacking his men! Did he not pay them enough gold? He will have their heads and his gold back once the battle is done. They will learn what happens when you cross swords with him. He will teach them all what happens when you provoke the son of a stag and lion. He could only stare down in anger as he watched what happened below. Sansa will pay for this.

 

“Your grace,” he turned around to see a shaking servant bowing before him, “the Dowager Queen has asked for your presence in the Tower of the Hand. She needs your help with something.”

"Fine. If the fighting happens before I get back here, I will flay you." He pushed past the servant knocking him to the ground.

 

He could hear his Kingsguard follow behind him. His sworn swords that will do anything he wishes and he does not have to pay them. They are all doing this for some misguided honor. He did not care what they joined for as long as he did what he wanted.

 

He made his way to the Tower of the Hand, smirking at the Lannister lions where the ugly Stark direwolves were. It brought him a joy to remember all of the dead bodies of the Stark household that were scattered around the tower. He wished that he was here to take part of the killing. Instead, his mother forced him to attend a small council meeting that would be the first of the little he was attending. Maybe if he was here, he could have caught the other Stark girl. Having both sisters to use as playthings would have been so much better. He could punish that little Stark girl for having her dog bite him.

 

As he made his way up the stairs of the Tower of the Hand, he paused to look outside at the city below him. He watched as the Gold Cloaks were being sent scattered in every direction. He could make out some of the sellswords starting to loot houses and shops on the streets. The stormland army was making its way to the Red Keep. Fools. They will be crushed at the gates and thrown into the sea.

 

He continued his way upward. He finally made his way to the solar of the Hand, where a servant said his mother was. When he entered, he saw his little brother, mother, Kingsguard, Lannister soldiers, and the chest filled things. He looked at his mother disapprovingly as he guessed what his mother was planning.

 

“What are you doing mother.”

"We are leaving. Stannis will win tonight and cut off our heads tomorrow if we do not escape now." Of course, a woman would suggest running from a battle before we would win.

"Grandfather will be here shortly, and we will crush them all, and I will have Stannis' head on a spike."

“My father is not coming. He already crossed the Red Fork before any messenger could reach him. He sent word he is going to regroup at Casterly Rock and ordered us to abandon King’s Landing if we start losing.”

"He dares order me! Am I not the king? He obeys what I have to say not the other way around." This was outrageous, and he would not stand for it.

"You named him your Hand, and I am your regent until you become of age to rule. This has decided what will be best for you. What is best for you right now is to escape and meet with the Tyrell army and then come back and retake your throne."

"If the Tyrell army is nearby why do they not attack Stannis now? I am their King I order them to attack Stannis now!" Fools surrounded him.

"They are not close enough to make it here in time either. They also said they would not help until we make good on our deal." She rested her hands on his shoulders.

"Deal? What deal? I am their king they should be happy to fight for me." Lords lived to serve their king, and he was their king. They do not make demands of their king.

"You are to marry the Tyrell girl, Margery. Once you are married, then they will help us take back this city."

 

How would her mother suggest he not marry Sansa? They already had Sansa wrapped around their fingers or cocks. With this Tyrell girl, he would have to train her too. That would be too much work for him to have to do all over again. Besides she might be too acceptable as Sansa. If he will just bring Sans along than. The Tyrell girl can be his Queen, but Sansa will be his paramour.

 

“Fine I will marry this rose bitch, but I am bringing the wolf bitch as my toy.”

"There is no time to go and get her, my king. The enemy is at the gates of the Red Keep. We will not be able to hold them out of the castle for long. The Royal Cells are near the gates. If the person does not come back in time, then both them and the Stark girl will be taken by the traitors. The man will be killed while the girl raped and defiled before you can have her." He glared at Ser Osmund Kettleblack, the newest of his Kingsguard.

“Where is the Hound? He will kill any man that stands in his way while he brings her to me.”

“No one has seen him since the fires started, your grace.” This time Ser Balon Swann respond to him.

 

How did they lose his plaything and his dog? He wanted them both. He will make sure that Sansa pays for all of this when he recaptures her. She will not remember her name once he is done with her. She will call herself Bitch, like the Reek fellow Ramsay Bolton told him about. She will be his bitch dog by the end of this war.

 

“Fine. How do you expect for us to leave the keep than if the enemies are at our gates?”

"It is easily my son."

 

She pushed on a stone on the fireplace of the office. When she did that the wall opened up revealing a hidden passageway. He knew that Maegor had put secret walkways all throughout the keep, but he was never able to find one. He knew Varys knew where they were all at, but the Spider acted like an idiot when asked where they were.

 

“Good. Lead the way out of this shit city than Balon.”




Davos, Later that night



He kicked his legs as hard as he could to make it to the shore that he could see. His son Matthos laid unconscious on the piece of driftwood he is using as a raft. This was all of Lady Melisandre's fault. If Stannis never listened to her than his other three sons would still be alive. Earlier that he had seven sons, now he only had four left. He would have lost Matthos too if he did not make it back to the surface of the water in time to see Matthos laying in the water face down. He must do something about the red lady. She was no good and will only lead Stannis to death.

 

He could feel his legs grow tired as he continued to kick to the ever-closing shoreline. He could make out soldiers on the beach. Who they fought for, he could not say. He could only hope that Stannis took the city and these men were his. In the darkness, he could make out a gold symbol but did not know if it was the burning heart of Stannis' sigil or a lion. Only time will tell. If it were a lion, he would suppose both him and his son will be killed as soon as he makes it to the beach. At least his son won't have to feel the steel going through his battle as he is killed. He could only hope Marya and his young boys Stannis and Steffon will be safe in his keep.

 

He could feel the sand meet his feet as he kicked in the water. Soldiers began to move towards him from the beach. Gods let them be Stannis’. He did not want to die. He wanted to die in his keep with his family around him and his wife next to him. Any grandchildren will be sitting on his lap as he told them stories. He wanted to die like Aegon the Conqueror. The men began to move closer to him once the driftwood carrying his son landed on the beach.

 

"Who the fuck are ya? Whose is your king?" He couldn't place the accent; it sounded like a stormlander though.

“I am Davos Seaworth, Lord of Rainwood. This is my son Matthos. Our king is the one true king, Stannis Baratheon First of his name.”

 

The five soldiers looked at each other before nodding.

 

“King Stannis has been looking for you Lord Seaworth. He had us here to try and find any of the survivors from the ships. He will be glad that you are alive.”

"Thank you, good men. If you would be so kind can you help bring my son and me to King Stannis I would be most grateful."

"Aye, we will help bring you to the Red Keep if it means we don't have to stay in this shit place any longer." Two men each went to himself and his son. Each group carried one of the Seaworth. The other man went off to inform their captain about who they found floating at sea.



As they rode through the streets of King's Landing, he couldn't help notice all of the dead bodies laying around. Most were Lannister men and Gold Cloaks. Some were Stannis' men. And a small number of them were the innocent smallfolk caught up in the bloodshed. They did not deserve their homes and shops to be raided like this. They were the innocent people that only lived in the city that under control of a bastard. He could see the damage done during the second sack of King's Landing. It took years for the city to become what it was after the first sack he wondered how long it would take after the second one.

 

A large number of guards were guarding the broken down gate of the Red Keep. They formed a strong wall as they approached. One of the soldiers in his group rode ahead to speak with them. It wasn't until a lord in the keep came out to verify who he was, was he let inside. A maester immediately came to his son's aid and promised he would be looked after. Once he got off of his horse a squire wearing the coat of arms of the Florents came to tell him the king was in the throne room holding a meeting and that the king wanted him to come now.

 

Davos followed the squire to the throne room. He has been to the Red Keep a few times, but not enough to know where everything was. He did remember where the throne room was. It was hard to miss since the largest doors of the keep opened to the most significant room he has ever seen before. As they walked through the hallways, he could see the banners of Lannister and the banners of Joffrey Water being pulled down and thrown into piles to be burned. In each of the banners place, the crowned stag in a burning heart replaced them. He expected that Stannis would use the crowned Baratheon as King Robert did. The R'hllor styled banner would only show that Stannis does not believe in the same gods as most of the Seven Kingdoms.

 

Four Baratheon guards were standing outside the large black doors that would open up to the throne room. The doors never opened for him though. Instead, they went through a small side door that led to the side of the room so people could come in and leave unnoticed. When he entered the room, he could see the lords that bent the knee to Stannis around the ugly iron monstrosity that has been fought over for the last three hundred years.

 

Sitting ten feet higher than the ground in a seat made of swords and by dragon fire sat Stannis Baratheon, the real King of the Seven Kingdoms. He was the man that rose Davos from a smuggler to a lord. Davos owed almost all he had to him. Stannis sat listening to the men below him. No crown laid on his head, but Lightbringer was laid across his lap. Davos would have made his way silently to the side of the room if the squire he was following didn't move to the middle of the room. It wasn't until the king saw him and held up his hand for the man talking to stop did the squire begin to speak.

 

“King Stannis, first of his name of House Baratheon. King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm. I present Lord Davos Seaworth, lord of Rainwood. The Onion Knight." As the boy spoke, Davos moved out of the shadows of the room and kneeled in front of the throne.

 

"Your grace, I am happy for your victory. Once the other lords hear of your victory, they will come to your side." He wasn't sure if they would flock to Stannis' side, but it sounded like the right thing to say.

“Rise, Lord Davos. We have important matters to address right now. Right now we are talking about hostages.”

“Very well, your grace. May ask who we captured?” Stannis did not reply only nodded to a man to his right that he recognized as Lord Alester Florent, Hand of the King to Stannis Baratheon.

“We have captured many sons or lords of the surrounding Crownlands. Most of the sellswords turned on the Bastard of Cersei when they saw how the battle was going to end. They killed most of the captains and commanders. We have some sons of lords in the West that were squires to some of the knights and lords here. The largest prisoner we captured is Tyrion Lannister and his squire Podrick Payne. We captured Lord Petyr Baelish before he could escape the castle. The commander of the Gold Cloaks a man named Bronn surrendered to us too.” It was good that they captured the son of Tywin Lannister. He would be a valuable hostage. He couldn’t help but notice that he did not mention Joffrey or his mother.

"What of Joffrey Waters and his traitorous mother? Did they kill themselves?" He could see Stannis grind his teeth as he asked his question. Once again Lord Florent spoke.

“The bastard and his mother escaped with his kingsguard, brother, and most of their treasures.”

“What about the Stark girl? Did she flee too?”

“No one has seen her for almost three weeks now. She is missing presumed dead right now.”

 

What did the boy king think when he might have killed the Stark princess. Surely he would have known how valuable she was to him alive. If he knew he was going to lose this battle it is possible that she was killed so Stannis wouldn't be able to use her as a hostage. He wouldn't put it past the evil boy to kill a young innocent girl. It made him sick thinking about that happening to his daughter if he had one.

 

"Enough talks of hostages. What news from the realm do you have for us Grand Maester Pycelle?" An old man with a long white bread hobbled forward. A maester chain of at least four and twenty links was around his neck.

"Your grace, Robb Stark has returned to Riverrun after his campaign in the West. Apparently, the Vale has joined him in his war of independence. His bastard brother, Jon Lycaon, has retaken Moat Cailin from the Ironborn and mounted their heads on spikes on the coast of the North." At this, a worried murmur of conversations began at the news of the Vale joining the enemy and of this Jon's actions. The Grand Maester did not wait long before continuing. "Tywin Lannister is heading back to Casterly Rock. The Tyrell army is moving back to Highgarden, no doubt to regroup. Dorne has yet to move a foot outside of their borders."

“Is that all Grand Maester Pycelle?”

“Yes, your grace. Everything else is just minor things.” The old man attempted a small bow.

“Good. I am relieving you of your position maester Pycelle.”

"I am sorry, my king. I am old, and my ears have trouble to hear things right. I must have misheard you." Stannis stood up and started to walk down the stairs that led to his throne slowly.

"You did not maester. You may have served three kings, but two of them were madmen. When we both served on the council of my brother King Robert, you would always pick the side of the Lannisters. You are nothing, but a spy and puppet. Therefore I am sending you back to the Citadel."

"My king, you can not do this." The old man pleads to Stannis.

"I can, and I am. Go back to the Citadel and make sure they send a true maester back. Guards help escort him out. He can leave in the morning." Two large Baratheon men pushed the old maester out of the hall. Stannis stood to address the crowd again. "My lords, I will have a meeting tomorrow to discuss what will happen in the coming days. I expect you all to be there." He did not wait for any response before walking out through the door next to the throne.

 

Davos watched as other lords began to talk among themselves. Since no one cared to talk to him, he started to make his way over to where his son would be resting. The castle seemed to quiet down since when he first enter the keep. The city has not seemed to become quiet yet as screams still filled the air.



The massive doors of the throne room opened as Stannis marched up to his iron chair. A herald announced the king's long list of titles. Davos has learned to tune it out as the speech has only become longer each day it seems. Everyone on in the courtroom bowed as he passed them. Davos was one of the first to bow as he decided to stand the furthest from the throne as he could. He did not belong with these lords. He was only a smuggler that was granted a keep. The room was silent until Stannis took his seat. It was then that Davos noticed that the Red Witch was standing on the left side of the throne. He had hoped she has died after the battle.

 

"I will cut to the chase. I am going to announce who will sit on my small council. I will then judge Perty Baelish and Varys to see if they should stay on the small council or not. After that, we will depart for the day so everyone can get a handle on their offices. So let us begin. Lord Alester Florent, you will remain as my Hand." Davos wasn't surprised at that. Lord Florent was Stannis' Good-father. "Lord Arstan Selmy, you are to be my Master of Coin." Lord Selmy was a man that Davos had only meet once but seemed like a good man. "Lord Tarth you are my General of the army." Lord Tarth was a man renowned for his ability to lead and inspire men. "Lord Aurane Waters, you are my Master of Law." This choice surprised Davos the most. The man comes from a seafaring house. He would have thought that he would have been named the master of ships. "Lord Davos Seaworth," Davos turned his head from the new master of law to see Stannis staring at him, "You will be my Master of Ships, Davos."

 

This new appointment surprised him. He never expected to be anything higher than becoming a lord. By the look, some of the other lords were giving him no one else expected that he would rise this high. It was too great of an honor for him. Stannis should've never given him the office.

 

“My king, I am grateful for the appointment, but I am not worthy of it. There must be other lords that are more qualified than I.”

"The reason that you deserve the office is that you do not want. Now everyone not on my council leaves us." Stannis said the stern voice that he could only use.

 

Everyone, but Lord Florent, Selmy, Tarth, Aurane Waters, and himself stayed in the throne room. It took a few more minutes before everyone left the room but the six of them. They all stood standing around looking at each other as Stannis told a guard to bring in the first prisoner. Two Baratheon guards stood on either side of a short man with dark hair turning grey and a pointed beard. He has recalled seeing the man before, but could not place where or who he was. The guards stopped some few feet from the steps of the throne shoving the man to the ground.

 

"Your grace." The thin man said with an unsettling smile.

“Lord Petyr Baelish. You are here today to speak on the crimes of treason.” Stannis was straight to the point when it came to his questioning.

“What treason, your grace? I have been in a cell since you have taken the city.”

“The treason of taking money from the royal treasury while the Master of Coin of King Robert and I expect while the bastard, Joffrey Waters, sat on this throne.”

“I have never done anything of the kind, your grace. I have always been a servant of my kings.” Lord Baelish sounded sincere, but Davos could see in his eyes that the man was lying.

"I had my copies of the treasury while I served on the small council." He could see the accused man shift uncomfortably at what Stannis was saying. "I compared them to the books you kept and found missing funds. You have been taking money from the kingdom for your purposes."

“Your grace there has been some misunderstanding. I have never cheated the crown!”

“I declare you guilty Petyr Baelish. How do you plead?”

 

Petyr Baelish seemed surprised at this. The man must have thought that he would be reinstated today as Master of Coin. Davos himself thought that maybe Stannis was going just to release the man to go back to his keep. All eyes drifted towards the man apparently trying to think of what to do next.

 

“I demanded a trial of combat.” Everyone expect Stannis seemed surprised by this. The latter just stared at the man before beginning to speak.

"You will have it. Do you wish to fight in this combat to like you did with Lord Brandon Stark?" He could see the man being questioned at the name. He had no idea what Stannis was talking about. It was probably something that happened before he even cared about lords and their dealings. To be honest, he still did not care much.

"No, your grace I will call on a champion." No one seemed surprised by it. The accused man did not look like a fighter.

“Very well. Is your champion in King’s Landing.”

“No.”

“Then you have a moon turn to fetch him. If he is not here to fight for you in a moon turn than you will fight no matter what. Guards bring the prisoner to the maester’s tower so he can call forth his champion. After that put him back in his cell.” The two guards dragged the man out quickly as he tried to walk in a more dignified manner.

 

Once the man disappeared out of a door, two more guards brought forth the second prisoner. The man was plump and bald. He wore clothes that Davos would expect a lady to wear. As the bald man passed Davos, he could smell flowers coming off of the man. Davos heard about Lord Varys, the Master of Whispers for the past three kings, but always thought of the stories of the eunuch lord to be exaggerated. Now standing behind him the eunuch played the part of a mysterious man well.

 

“King Stannis, I am glad that you have taken the throne.”

"Lord Varys, I am surprised you are happy that I am here. We never shared eye to eye on many things while we served on my brothers' small council."

“Your grace, I have always supported the realm and the people who do not get a say in how they are ruled. If we ever disagreed it was because I thought that something else would be better for the smallfolk.” Lord Varys bowed before Stannis again.

“Do you not think I want the best for the realm?” The question hung in the air as all eyes turned to look at Varys.

"Everyone here may want the best for the realm, but only I and Lord Seaworth have ever lived with the smallfolk. We know what they need and what they want. We have the best idea of what is the best for them."

 

He couldn't agree more with what Varys was saying. Only them have ever lived with the smallfolk that outnumber the lords and kings. They knew what it was like to starve while the kings and lords get fat on their food. Only they could lose all of their friends and family because a lord wanted to take vengeance on another for some act that happened hundreds of years ago. Only they knew who suffered the most during these wars.

 

“You still wish to serve the realm?”

“Yes your grace,” Varys bowed again before continuing, “I wish to act as your Master of Whispers so I can help you achieve the best for the realm.”

"You would have me take you as my Master of Whispers again after you failed all of your former kings?" If Varys was bothered by Stannis' question, he did not let it appear so.

"Your grace, who is better at this job than I? Lord Caron and Lord Swann do not have the skills of espionage like I do." He could see Stannis tense up as Varys named the two candidates that he was debating about having a Master of Whispers. "I also wonder how many people here know where Lady Sansa is hidden?" He could see Stannis shift when Lady Stark was talked about. He was in an uproar when no one knew where she was. He needed her to hold off her brother for a while.

“You know where Lady Sansa is?” Stannis stood up from his seat as he almost yelled out the question.

“I would be happy to take you to where she is being hidden is you so desire.”

“You will take me to her now. Everyone but Lord Davos and Lord Florent may leave.”

 

The hall quickly emptied beside the four men and a small handful of guards. Once the hall was cleared, Stannis ordered Varys to take them to the Stark girl. The eunuch was glad too and started to walk out of the hall with everyone else in tow. They were led out of the keep and into the courtyard. He started to make his way past the Tower of the Hand and the stables. He brought them to the entrance of the dungeons. As they started to make their way down the different levels, Davos wondered if Varys knew that they have already swept the second level for where all the highborn captives are kept. The man continued downward until he reaches the third floor.

 

The Black Cells were as scary as they were made out to be. Each cell had a large wooden door in front of it with no window to let light in. They could hear screaming coming from the different cells that looked to close together to offer much room inside. The smell was worse than Flea Bottom. They continued down the hallway until it ended with a door. Varys produced a key from nowhere as he began to unlock the door. He could hear a noise coming from inside.

 

“Prepare yourselves. What is inside is very disturbing.” The door opened up and filled with light by the torches they carried.

 

His eyes grew wide in shock at what he saw. In the corner next to the door a chamber pot sat overfilled with its contents spilled on the ground. In the opposite corner with her arms around her legs bringing them closer to her chest sat a naked girl with wild red hair. Her eyes were red with tears, and her body red from what he assumed was from a beating. She looked far too skinny for it to be healthy. She shivered in the corner as she held her hand up to block the light from the torches.

 

"Please, tell King Joffrey I am sorry. I will do anything he wants. I will let him do anything he wants to me as is his right as king." Her voice was hoarse and sounded broken.

 

It was one of the worst things he has ever seen or heard. What has that monster done to her? He could no longer stand there looking at her naked form. He quickly took off his cloak and made to cover her with it. She tried to squirm away from him as he knelt beside her.

 

"It is okay, my lady. Joffrey is no longer here. You are saved. He will not harm you anymore." As he wrapped his arms around her, she began to cry on his shoulder. It was no doubt tears of joy.

 

They sat like that for a few moments as Stannis talked to Varys. Davos did not pay attention to what he was saying as he was trying to comfort a crying girl.

 

"Your grace, will you let me go home now. Please, I miss my family."

 

He looked to where Stannis was standing silently hoping the cold man he knew would cater to the wish of a crying abused girl.

"No. You will stay here until your brother surrenders to me. You will be treated better than Joffrey Waters treated you." He stood there unmoved as the girl cried more and begged to be sent home. "Davos take her to better chambers in the keep. Have her washed up and fed. Make sure she is better-taken care off. She will be under your charge."

 

Before he could argue that someone else would be better, Stannis turned around and left with his Hand. Varys stood standing in the room telling him he will leave the door unlocked and opened when they were ready to leave. It seemed even Varys had some humanity left in him while Stannis had little.

 

“It is okay my lady. I will make sure King Stannis will send you home in no time.”

She looked up at him with pleading eyes. “Do you promise?” Her voice broke his heart.

 

“Aye, my lady. I swear to all that is good and holy that Stannis will release you soon enough.” Hearing this she continued to cry more into his shoulder.





 

Edric, Later that Night



He sat on a chair at the head table at Sunspear. A glass of wine was in his hand as he looked to the women who was now his wife. Her long dark black hair was in a single braid down her back. She had her father's blue eyes. Her breast was not very large or small. Her ass made up for that though. He would catch himself looking at it every time they would meet. It did not help that she noticed it too and would tease him with it.

 

Her personality had driven him crazy the first couple of times that they meet. She outright refused to marry her unless he proved himself to her. The next day he found himself on a horse about to tilt against his betrothed or as she called herself Lady Lance. He was not ashamed to admit that it took five tilts to unhorse her finally. She yelled at him that day accusing him of cheating.

 

Later that same night she snuck into his room. While he was startled by the interdure, she quickly got to work. For the past fortnight since that night, he has gotten little sleep. He wanted to marry her that morning, but Prince Doran had said that they were waiting for some important guest to arrive soon. At the time he had no idea who the guest was or why it was so important that they be there for his wedding, but he did not push it any further.

 

He looked to the four guest that arrived only a few days ago. He guessed that the two blue haired men were father and son and were some rich merchant friends. The other man was their guard that stayed with the son more than the father. The other woman who kept on looking at him must be their handmaiden, or a female relative of the men know as Griff and Young Griff. The three merchants were sitting next to the Martells with Young Griff speaking with Arianne Martell.  He has seen the two of them talking with each other since the moment he arrived. It was easy to see that the young man wished to become one of the many lovers of the princess.

 

“So than Edric, why haven’t you claimed Dawn yet. I would think that all Daynes would want the legendary sword and the name of Sword of the Morning?” His new lady wife spoke to him in a low voice as she took the wine glass out of his hand.

“Please we are married call me Ned if you wish, most of my family does. And two answer your question I still have to complete the Five Trails of Night before I can take up the mantle. So far I have completed only three of the five.” She raised his eyebrow at this. Not many outside of the Dayne family knew of the trails. It wasn’t until one wished to claim the blade of a star that they were allowed to know what the trails were.

"Oh, and what are these trails of the night?"

“I am afraid that is a family secret, my lady.” She seemed displeased by this answer before she leaned in to whisper in his ear.

"If you tell me, I will let you do anything you want to me tonight." As she said this, she bit his ear playfully before leaning back in her chair next to him.

"Well, the first trail that I faced was to swim up the Torrentine river against the current. I had five days to reach High Hermitage. The second was that I had to climb the mountains near Starfall by myself and bring back a rare flower that only grew on the top. I had only two days to complete that task. The one I completed before I came here was to do something good for the people in the village outside of Starfall. I built an orphanage for them and fixed up most of the houses for them. The next one is I have to prove how brave I am by walking through a pit of poisonous snakes. The last one is I must take a potion that will put me in a dream-like state that I will stay in for a long period."

"That all sounds very extravagant for a sword. I am sure though that I could defeat those challenges with no problem." He liked her cocky she sounded at that moment.

"Maybe so, but you are a Dayne by marriage not by blood. The only one born of the blood of Dayne and whose name is Dayne can wield Dawn. And sadly you have no Dayne in you, Elia.”

“I don’t have Dayne in me, yet.” She winked at him as she talked in a sultry voice. He coughed up some the wine that he had in his mouth. He could see her lick her lips when she looked at him.

 

He was ready to call for the bedding at this point before the lady that arrived with the Griffs came before them. She had dark black hair and violet eyes. She was must have been from Volantis. Her accent when she spoke through sound Westeros. She looked familiar somehow. He couldn't place where though.

 

“My lord and lady, I wish you a happy marriage.” She curtsied to them.

“Thank you, lady?”

“Lady Lemore, my lord. I was wondering where Lord Ulrick Dayne and Lady Allyria.” She avoided looking at him in the eyes as she spoke.

"My father died not more than three years back by a failed heart. My Aunt Allyria has married Lord Beric Dondarrion. She sadly could not be here with the hostilities happening in the kingdom. Did you know them?" When he mentioned his father's death, he could see Lady Lemore become visibly sad at the news. Even more so when she heard that his aunt was not here.

"I did, my lord. I knew him and his siblings well before I traveled to the Free Cities. I was hoping I could see them again." She was playing with something in his hands that he could not see.

“I am sorry, my lady. My aunt is the only one still alive, well also my cousin Jon.” He could see her stop playing with whatever she was holding when he mentioned Jon.

“Is your cousin, Jon, here?” She began to look around the feast hall.

"No, he is with his half-brother King Robb Stark. Last I heard he was heading North to Winterfell to retake it. I assume you knew him too?" He could see what looked like a sad smile appeared on her face as he asked his question.

"I knew his mother. I saw him when he was first born." She paused for a moment before continuing. "I am sorry Lord Dayne, but I do not feel well. If I could talk to you sometime tomorrow before you leave, I would be most grateful."

"As you wish, Lady Lemore. If you would like to meet sometime after midday we can talk."

“Thank you, my lord. I would like that very much.”

 

She turned away from him and headed out of doors quickly. Something seemed so familiar about her, but he could not place where.

Chapter Text

Chapter 14: Homecoming



He was in the courtyard of Winterfell, standing in front of the door to the crypts. He turned around and could see a kraken overhead destroying the keep. He watched as it started to take down the maester tower. The stones of the castle began to fall to the ground. He attended as the servants of the Winterfell began to be crushed by the boulders of the tower.

 

He screamed at the death shown before him. He watched as Ser Rodrik, Steward Poole, Jory, Alyn, and more. He began to run as the pieces started to run as the parts started to fall near him. He ran towards the door to the crypt. No matter how fast that he ran the door only became farther away. He could hear wolves howling in front of him.

 

He could make out green and yellow eyes coming from the darkness that emanated from the crypt when the door opened. The eyes snarled at him. He felt something biting his right hand. He looked down and could not see anything grabbing it. He could feel something wet against his hand.



He could feel Roslin's body pressed against his. His face was buried against the back of her head as they laid together on the bed. She was laying on top of one of his arm, her hands holding his as she slept. His other hand was being pulled back in forth. He looked beyond the mess of brown hair that was covering his vision as he saw Ghost with his hand in the direwolf's mouth. The white direwolf swung his hand back and forth causing his arm to rub against Roslin's sleeping body.

 

“Ghost. Stop I am trying to sleep.”

 

He pulled his hand out of the mouth. He wrapped his arm around Roslin. His direwolf did not like that as he began to lick the three hands bound together. He felt the hands release him as the direwolf took his other hand in his mouth. He groaned as Ghost continued to try and get him to play. He closed his eye as he tried to fall back to sleep. He could hear his wife giggle at the display in front of her.

 

"I am sorry, Roslin. If I just pretend to fall asleep, he will go away."

"You know he won't Jon. He probably has to go out. You should let him out of the door. Someone will let him out of the castle." He just moaned in frustration at her suggestion. "Go good ser. I will be here by the time that you open the door and close it."

“I cannot move when you lay on my arm, my lady. Maybe you should open the door.” She swatted his arm. “As you wish, my lady.”

 

He pulled his arm out from under his wife as he moved to let the large direwolf out of the room. Once the door was opened Ghost pushed through and raced down the hall. He would no doubt scare one of the many guards that were patrolling Castle Cerwyn.

 

The army arrived at the castle only two days ago. That means that for the last two days they have been half a day's ride from Winterfell. They have been half a day's ride from Theon. His blood has been boiling every day that he has been here. He has become angrier as they became closer to his childhood home that is filled with monsters.

 

They were not the only ones though that were waiting at Castle Cerwyn. Ser Rodrik Cassel was waiting for them with almost two thousand men. The master of arms of Winterfell greeted him with open arms. For the past two nights, they have been debating on how to take Winterfell. So far they have only decided that it would be best to storm of all of the gates of Winterfell and overwhelm the small forces.

 

“Jon, come back to bed it is cold.” She wrapped the furs closer around herself.

"This is but an early autumn chill. Winter will be colder once the winds start blowing south." He laid down behind her pulling her close to try and warm her up.

"Jon, can I come with you today. I know that we discussed it earlier, and you send no, but I would like to be with you." She turned around to face him. She opened her big brown eyes to look at him.

"Roslin, it will be hazardous. You could be hurt or worse. It is not safe." She continued to look at him with her big doe eyes.

“I know, but I want to be there with you. You will be facing the man responsible for killing your brother and taking your home. I want to make sure you don’t do something you may regret later.”

“Theon deserves what I plan on doing to him once I get my hands on him. Anything I do, I won’t regret later in my life.” Her response was just to look at him with her eyes large and pleading him. “Roslin, please.”

"I promise I will stay in camp and during battle I will stay on a horse ready to leave on a moments notice." She made a face that he couldn't say no to Arya when she made a face. He tried to deny her. These faces should not work on him. He has stared down death multiple times. Why do big wide eyes work him?

“Alright, but you must stay in the camp. You must also stay with at least a guard and Ghost. A horse will be tied near the tent ready for you to take and come back here. Do you understand?” He looked at her with as much seriousness that he could muster. She only smiled at him. She leaned in and kissed him on his lips.

"Thank you, Jon."

“You may not want to thank me after learning that we will need to leave soon and that they say it will snow tonight.” He smiled at her frown. “Come now wife we must leave soon after sunrise.”



He could see the outline of Winterfell in the distance. He could see a black and golden flag over the towers of Winterfell. He gripped his reins as he could not see the white flag of house Stark anywhere. It wasn't right. As his father used to say ‘There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.' Looking at it now he could see all the bad that happened without a Stark in Winterfell. Even now there will not be a Stark in Winterfell until either Sansa, Robb, or the twins. For the time being, he would have to hope that he will be counted as a Stark.

 

One of the horses next to him brought his attention to where Ser Rodrik sat on his horse. Next to him sat Larence Snow on his horse. Robett Glover was on the horse to Jon's left. Benfred Tallhart, the heir to Torrhen's Square, was once the prisoner to Theon. It may not be the best idea to have him here, but he needed to show Theon that they took back Torrhen's Square. He had left Lucas Blackwood, Perwyn Frey, Lord Liddle, and Ser Marlon Manderly back at the camp to keep the army in check and to guard them.

 

A host from his family's castle rode out to meet them. They carried the banner of House Greyjoy. Ghost started to growl as Theon started to come closer to them. He growled as he saw Theon's smug face as the traitor rode closer. It seemed like betraying two of his brothers and killing the other two. Somehow it seemed like betraying the people that loved him only made the squid cockier.

 

He will fix that though. By the end of next day, he will wipe that smug look off of Theon's face. The boneless squid will know what it means to be humble. He will know what happens when one betrays the wolves of the North. He will find out what dangers are in the dark.

 

The traitor to the family that raised both of the boys when it did not have to sat on his horse only ten feet away. Jon flexed his sword hand, ready to strike down the man that sat across from him. The man's eyes showed no hint of remorse as he looked upon the people he betrayed. For a few seconds, only the horses neighing were the only sound that was in the two groups. Ghost started to growl and bar his teeth as he inched forward to Theon. The horses the Ironborn were riding started to become frantic.

 

“Snow I thought that we agreed to meet peacefully and now you have your dog threaten me?” The man he once considered a friend glared at him.

“Ghost,” His direwolf that was as large as a pony now stopped on his way to probably tear out the throat of the man his master hated so much. “Go back to Roslin.” His direwolf growled once more before turning around and heading back to the where the camps were.

"Who is this lucky Roslin, Snow? Is it that you finally found a wife. I have two maybe a third if I wish for pretty Beth." The squid held a smug look on his face as he talked. Theon's eyes darted between Jon and Rodrik obviously seeing who will respond first.

“You so much as touch my daughter Theon, I will run you through with a rusty blade myself.” Ser Rodrik responded as he moved his horse closer to the front with Jon. Theon only sat amused by this.

"I haven't touched her yet old man. My men have only to remove her clothes while she serves us. I must say, Jon, you know how to pick the right girl. Her tits are very lovely, and I cannot wait until I destroy her cunt beneath the forest of red hair."

“Enough. We did not come here to talk about this. Ser Rodrik go back to camp and make sure the sentries stationed and alert. I will handle this.”

 

The Master of Arms hands his hand on his sword the whole time Theon spoke. As much as he would've been fine with Ser Rodrik running Theon through, he could not allow it under a white flag. He would not say the Ironborn had more honor than he did during a peaceful talk. If Theon wished for Ser Rodrik to break the peace by attacking him, Jon would just have to remove Ser Rodrik for his good. The old knight did not move though.

 

"Ser Rodrik, for the safety of Beth go back to camp. This traitor is trying to bait you. We will have justice for anything he has done to Beth." The old knight looked to Jon in his eyes. The ser no doubt was testing his resolve of this command. He did not take kindly to the fact Robb named Jon, the commander of the northern forces and castellan of Winterfell. He would not find any weakness in Jon.

 

After a few moments of staring at each other, Ser Rodrik turned his horse around and grumbled. Jon could only make out the words ‘bloody traitor' and ‘rapist.' Ser Rodrik quietly trotted off back to camp taking the same path that Ghost took. Once the man was gone, Jon turned his attention back to the traitor at hand.

 

“Ordering around the old Ser Rodrik now are you Snow? How high you have risen bastard.” Jon was not a fool to notice that Theon has yet to call him by the name of his house or by his name. He was resorting to the tactics that worked on a younger Jon.

“We are not here to talk about ranks Turncloak. We are here to talk of peace.”

"The terms of peace are simple, Snow. Surrender to me, name me the true lord of the North. I will keep you, and the lords are hostages. Your men will serve me, and your women will warm our beds. You, of course, will watch as I take little Beth's maidenhood and make her my third salt wife." The traitor must know that he would never accept these terms. The man must know that he would lose if Jon decided to attack. It caused Jon to laugh as well as most of the other lords on the side of the North. Theon himself looked amused at this spectacle.

"Why should we surrender to you? We would outnumber you twenty-five to one if our estimates of your defenses were correct. Even if you brought your sister's one thousand men, which we know are still camped outside of Deepwood, you would still be outmanned. Your uncle had better odds at Moat Cailin, and we still defeated him soundly. The terms of your surrender as simple. You surrender yourself to me, only you need to do this. All of your men would be allowed to leave Winterfell unharmed and unarmed. They can go wherever they want to as long as they do not harm any Northman or woman."

 

They were much talk about what terms to offer Theon. Most of his lords called for the head of every Ironborn in the North. He knew Theon would not accept any terms that were presented to him. This was more of a chance to make the moral of his men go down if they heard he denied the chance of his men living. Even if the Ironborn is as stubborn as they say they are, they must see that there is no way for them to win this fight.

 

“I am an Ironborn I will not surrender what I took with the iron price.”

"Than let's settle this the old way. Let us fight tomorrow. You and me. Whoever kills the other gets Winterfell. Come on than Squid. Do you have what it takes to beat me or are you too much of a southern?" He could see the other Ironborn become angry at being called a southern. Some even called for Theon to fight Jon and kill him. Theon wouldn't be able to kill him though. He has never lost a sword fight with Theon even during training.

"I will not deprive of my men of the glories that are fighting and killing northmen. Besides I could easily beat you if I so wish." The Ironborn were not pleased that their "prince" was not going to accept a challenge.

"Then let us fight right now and see if you can win. Or are you too much of a cunt to fight me?" It felt good to wipe that smug smile off of Theon's face.

 

The Ironborn were looking to their leader waiting for the answer that would never come. Theon walked right into a trapped and just noticed it. The Ironborn were proud people. They would not take kindly for the son of their leader to be so cowardly not to accept a fight. It was only known that Theon realized what has happened. He was no doubt trying to find a way out of it without making his men lose faith in him.

 

"This is the last time I ask this of you Theon. Surrender now, and I will allow you take the Black. I would prefer to kill you, but Robb considered you a brother like Bran and Rickon did. You killed both of them. If you do not surrender, I will kill you tomorrow. Take the black Theon, make up some of the honor that you lost." He knew this might work, but he hoped that it did not though. Robb wanted Jon to offer the chance to Theon. And unlike Theon, Jon would uphold the oath he swore to Robb.

"I wonder Jon, how does your wife taste. It doesn't matter though; I will just find out tomorrow though. It will be nice to have four bitches to fuck at the same time. And once I get Sansa, Arya, and Alys I will have seven. One for every night. Once that little bitch Robb whelped is older I will have her too. I will even-"

"You will die tomorrow, Theon." He shouted at the traitor before he could continue. "One way or another I will have you for what you did to house Stark. Rickon and Bran will be avenged by the time the sun sets tomorrow. For my brothers you killed, for the oaths, you broke, and for betraying Lord Stark's memory, I will kill you."

 

Before Theon could respond Jon motioned for his men to turn around and head back to camp. He gave that traitor all the chances he needed to. Every time one was offered Theon just spit it back in his face. He did not even know why Robb wanted him to meet with Theon. If he thought Theon would change his mind suddenly and beg for forgiveness than his brother did not honestly know the boy they grew up with.

 

Though Robb never had to deal with Theon The Dick. Around Robb, Theon acted better and wouldn't treat others like crap. Robb was the heir to the North and Theon needed to befriend him if it meant Lord Stark might send him home or marry him to Sansa. If it was just Theon and Jon or Theon and any of the servants, the man was a prick and an asshole. He always stated how he was the heir to the Iron Islands he was better than everyone else. He made sure to tell Jon that while he was Lord Jon was only a bastard.

 

The man would tease Jon on anything that Jon did wrong. When Theon found out Jon had a small crush on Beth Cassel, Theon reminded Jon that it would never be as Jon was a miserable bastard and he wasn't good enough for even a servants daughter. The Squid began to call her a sult and whore and boasted how when she grows older he will take her maidenhood and leave her with a bastard.

 

A fight broke out between the two of them ending after Jon was dragged off of Theon who demanded Jon be sent to the Wall. Even though the boy was three years older, Jon only received a black eye while the older boy had a broken nose and lost a tooth. Of course, when asked what happened to his father Jon only said that Theon said some remark about his mother. While he was sure if he told the truth about what Theon said the Ironborn would be punished more severely than only missing supper that night. Jon had also missed dinner, but Lady Stark made him clean the stables for a week.

 

Beth found him the second day of shoveling manure out of the stables. He was about to start when she came up to him. She thanked him for standing up for her. When asked why he did not tell the truth, he merely stated the dishonor it would have brought upon her. She asked him if he did like her he only responds.

 

“It is a foolish dream to think a lady such as yourself would fall for a bastard like me.”

 

It hurt him to say those words. It hurt more to see her disappointment in her eyes. He knew then that she liked him, but understood that it would most likely never happen. He was about to turn around and get back to work before she quickly leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on his lips. It lasted shorter than his first kiss with Roslin when they married. It was his first kiss, and he could remember how soft her lips were. Before he could say anything, she blushed and then ran away from the bastard in the stables.

 

He stayed away from her after that. He still had a crush on her for another year and wished to talk with her, but did not want Theon or anyone else to catch them. She tried to talk with him during that year, but he pushed her away from him. She was one of the only ones to be kind to him at Winterfell, and he tried to keep her away from him. She stopped trying to talk to him, but still smiled at him and asked for a dance at a feast.

 

She was one of the many reasons that Theon Greyjoy had to die. She did not deserve the punishment of having to deal with this Theon. Even the old Theon was unfortunate enough to live with. He couldn't let him keep his word on what he would do to her. He needed to deal with him before he had a chance to act. He may no longer have a crush on the girl, but he owed her for treating him kindly while Sansa and Jeyne tried to avoid him.



By the time he arrived back at the camp, it was already set up with defenses almost done. He handed his horse off to his squire, Doran. The boy still followed him north when given a chance to go back south. While he has been squiring for Jon for almost two years and Jon has been in countless battles he kept Doran on the sidelines. The boy did not need to face death yet. The kid who dreams of making a name for himself so he could protect his sister and mother did not need to kill a man yet at his young age.

 

Jon slowed made his way to where his tent was being set up before he left. He stopped to talk with his men and to make sure everything was alright. He had a servant sent to inform all of the lords that he will hold a meeting soon to discuss the upcoming battle. He asked another if they could bring some wine to his tent.

 

He could hear talking coming from inside the tent. He pushed open the flap of his tent to reveal his wife seating at the small table with furs around her. Ghost was laying down on the furs that would be their bed. Sitting across from her was Lady Donella Ashwood.

 

Her family lived in the castle called Hillstead Keep located in the Sheepshead Hills. Her family was minor lords in service to the Manderlys. They ruled just south of Hornwood and west of Widow's Watch. Donella or Ella as she prefers to be called was the same age of Roslin and him. Her brunette hair was tied in a single long braid down her back. She was almost as skinny as Arya but taller than Sansa.

 

She joined their army at Castle Cerwyn with her father. She was not going to be joining in any war but was there to act as a companion and friend for Roslin. He was grateful for her since besides her brother, Jon, and Ghost Roslin has not made many friends on the trip. Ella was also helping her get used to the cold weather of the North by helping sew dresses that had fur in them. He could see a purple and black dress mentioned being worked on by both women. They both stopped what they were talking about when he entered.

"My ladies, I did not mean to interrupt." Roslin smiled at him as he poured himself a glass of wine.

“You did not interrupt anything, my lord. Your lady wife and I were just talking. If I may ask how did the meeting go.” Ella’s voice was softer than Roslin’s.

"You may call me Jon, Ella." She had forced him to call her Ella as her mother was always called Donella. "The meeting went as well as suspected. What were you two talking about that caused me to hear your giggling from across camp?" Both girls looked at each other before breaking out into more giggles. He sat down next to Ghost waiting for them stop.

“Ella was telling me a story from her childhood in Hillstead. I am afraid it is not for a man’s ear though.” Roslin smiled as she tried to take between her childlike giggles. The only time he had seen her like this before Ella joined them was at the Twins with her good-sister and niece and nephew.

"Is this a new dress? I don't remember you having a purple one." Before Roslin could respond Ella commented.

"I wouldn't think a lord will notice a ladies dress before he rips it off of her." Both his and his wife's cheek turned red before Roslin, and she broke out laughing again. It seemed like the two have become fast friends in the concise time that they have to know each other.

“Ella pointed out that I had no dresses in our house’s color, so Lady Cerwyn gave us some purple and black fabric to work with.”

“It looks very nice, Roslin.”

"Perhaps I should leave. My father will get worried about me if I do not return to our tents soon." Ella made to stand up as she began to put the needle she was holding down.

“There is no need, Ella. I am about to leave for a meeting with your father and others. I will let him know that you are with my wife if you so wish.” He stood up from his spot on the furs petting Ghost as he did.

“Thank you, my lord.” Ella quickly seated herself and picked up her needle and thread and began sewing again.

“I will bring your father back here so he can escort you back to your tent, my lady.” He gave a quick nod to his lady’s new friend.

He kissed Roslin on the forehead. “I will be back a little after nightfall. It looks like it will snow tonight so I would suggest dressing warm tonight, my ladies.” He moved to the flaps of his tent, opening them again.

“Ghost?” He asked his direwolf silently if he would come with him or not. It looked like he was about to leave with him as he stood up. Ghost only took a few steps before laying out across the furs. This act caused the ladies once again to giggle. He walked out of the tent leaving an angry direwolf behind. He couldn’t just let Ghost maul Theon during peace talks, as much as he wanted to though.



At the center of the camp that was a table surrounded by lords. Torches were already lit around the area with a fire pit burning. On the table was a large roughly drawn map of Winterfell. The castle had approximately two hundred Xs on the spots that Ser Rodrik claimed would be the best spots for around two hundred defenders to be. It was easy to see that Winterfell was not as secure as he would have thought. The castle was the largest one in the North and one of the largest in the Seven Kingdoms. To adequately defend it one needed more than two hundred men.

 

He silently cursed Ser Rodrik for leaving it so unprotected when he went to go and deal with Theon initially. If the knight waited for more men to arrive than they would not be in this mess right now. No matter how much he could lay some blame on the feet of Ser Rodrik, he knew it did not matter anymore. What done is done, Ser Rodrik is probably feeling worse than anyone over his mistake.

 

The lords quieted their talks once they saw him approach. Most, like him, were still wearing their army. Most haven't had the time to remove it or even wanted to. He would at least remove his plate tonight, but sleep in his coat of plates. He did not trust the Ironborn enough not to be ready for a midnight attack. He would even sleep with Phantom at his side ready for a fight.

 

"My lords, thank you all for meeting me here. I am sure you have all heard the news already, but if you haven't Theon Turncloak did not accept our terms." At the mention of Theon's name, many of the lords spit at the ground, Ser Rodrik remained silent but gripped the table. "I am almost happy he did not because now we can slaughter the damn Ironborn and behead him like the traitor he is. He may outnumber him and have the men to do an all-out assault on Winterfell, but I would like to save as many northern lives as possible." Everyone nodded in agreement.

“Ser Rodrik, you are the Master of Arms of Winterfell and the North. What would you say is the best plan of attack.” Some might think him weak on asking for advice, but the man knew every inch of Winterfell and has probably gone over every way it can be taken and how to defend it.

"The squid does not have enough men to hold the outer walls and almost not enough for the inner walls. If I were him, I would move all my mine to the First Keep and hold it. That bastard though is too proud to do any of that though. He will put all of his men on the four gates into Winterfell." He pointed to the North Gate, Kingsroad Gate, Great Gate, and Hunter's Gate.

"To keep him from using men from either gate to help another we will have to storm all four at once." He moved the wooden figures of wolves to each gate. "While they are distracted I suggest we use to scale the wall at the Battlements Gate. While it does not open to the world, it connects both walls which would allow us to mount an attack on the Great Gate and the Kingsroad Gate" He pointed to the bridge that ran between the inner and outer wall of his home.

"Ser Lucas, two hundred of your knights, will ride through those two gates once they are open. The Kingsroad Gate leads to a small courtyard. You will have to be careful." The second son nodded at him. "Lord Robett, you and six hundred men will attack the Hunter's Gate with the siege weapons prepared by Ser Rodrik while he waited." Once Ser Rodrik heard he was coming north and stopping at Castle Cerwyn, the old knight started to build ladders to climb walls and massive rams.

"Lord Wull and Lord Liddle, I expect for the both of you to put your differences aside and lead the men that will scale the wall. You will have your clansman and three hundred more warriors." The two mountain clan chiefs had a few that apparently started not long ago after one stole another's lady and married her. He only hoped that this rivalry would not turn into another Blackwood and Bracken one.

"Ser Rodrik, you will have one thousand men to attack the Kingsroad Gate. Ser Marlon and Lord Ashwood will have another thousand to attack the north gate. I will command another thousand and attack the Great Gates in the south. Lord Flint and Larence Snow will command the reserves." Hopefully, a thousand men at each gate plus another thousand acting as reserves and the five hundred knights on horses will be enough to scare the Ironborn out of the castle.

"By tomorrow night I want the Ironborn out of that castle. Anywho surrender to you will be taken as a hostage. If you find Theon Greyjoy, do not engage him. Keep him where he is, and I will personally deal with him. No one is to harm him." He looked every lord in the eye as he said these words. He had a slight match with Ser Rodrik before the latter finally nodded in acceptance. Theon might hold the knight's daughter hostage, but he killed his brothers.

“Are there any questions?”

"White Wolf," Hugo Wull the chief of house Wull often called Big Bucket addressed him. "You want me and my men to climb a wall and not participate in any of the killings? This winter will be my last, boy, and I want to bath in the blood of the squid men before I die. I want to lead an attack on one of the gates."

"Lord Wull, your men and Lord Liddle's grew up in the mountains of the North. They are our best climbers. They have traversed the dangerous mountains of the North. Are you saying that climbing an eighty-foot wall will be too difficult for you?" He shot a questioning look to the clansman.

"Climbing will be easy for us. I want to fight though." The man with a large belly slammed his fist on the table.

"You will fight. You and your men will be the first ones over the wall. You will be able to kill all the Ironborn you can find besides Theon Greyjoy. I will give the honor of this to someone else or just give it all to Lord Liddle. Is that what you want?" He will climb over that damn wall if he must, but someone will climb that wall and take it. Snow started to fall from the sky as he waited. While the other lords looked up to watch what might be the first snow of winter he kept his eye on Hugo Wull.

"I will lead the climbers than. I will not have clan Liddle get more glory than us, White Wolf." The man turned his focus back to Lord Liddle. Whatever got the man to fight was fine with Jon. He only hoped that the two clansmen would not kill each other tomorrow.

"Good. Any more questions?" He waited a few moments before continuing. "I want the men ready to fight by first light. We will strike before midday. I want guards to remain on constant alert tonight. If anyone leaves Winterfell, I want to know about it. That is all. I wish everyone a good night's sleep. Lord Ashwood if you would walk with me."

 

The table started to clear of people as the lords started to walk off to their side of the camp. Ser Rodrik rolled up the map before walking away back to his tent. A tall man with a long brown beard walked up to him. Edwyle Ashwood was a man in his late forties. He wore a surcoat with a black tree on a field of brown. Unlike most lords, he chose to stay north and sent his son, Rodwell, a man in his mid-twenties with Robb. The man was a strong silent type like his father and himself. He kept his hair short with only a line in the middle of his head running from his forward to his neck.

 

"What is it need, Lord Lycaon?" The man had a deep rough voice to match his intense look.

"I just promised your daughter, Donella, that I would bring you to my tent so you may escort her back. She and my wife are sewings."

"How is Ella doing? I hope she hasn't been too much of a bother. I know she has been spending a lot of time with Roslin, is it not?"

"Her name is Roslin. Ella has become fast friends with her it seems. I thank you for letting her come here. Roslin hasn't had a lady her age or any age to talk with for a while. She is a good lady, your daughter that is." The man smiled when he heard his daughter being praised. He no doubts asked her to come to Roslin to befriend someone close to the Starks.

“Thank you, her mother and I tried our best with her brother and her. We sent her to foster at White Harbor when she was little and where she seemed to pick up a true likely for southern things. I assume that is them in your tent?” The large man pointed to the tent that the noise of girls giggling came from.

 

Jon only nodded as he pulled back the flaps of his tent. Inside he found Roslin and Ella still sitting at the table where he left them. He watched as Roslin shivered when the winds carrying snow blew into the tent. She and Ella turned to face them with a wine glass in each of their hands. Two bottles of wine sat on the table between them. He had forgotten that he asked for a bottle before going to the meeting. His swaying wife showed that they might have drunk a little too much.

 

"Jon! Roslin was just telling me about your two's first walk. Oh, father, I did not see you there."

“I have come to see you come back to your tent safely Ella. Judging by how you are slurring it was the right thing for Lord Jon to ask me to follow him.” As Ella stood up, Jon held her arm as she started to sway as she walked.

"Roslin, you will have to tell me the story tomorrow when we are in Winterfell. Maybe then our lords will not rudely interrupt us."

 

Jon handed Ella off to Lord Ashwood who quickly left before Roslin could reply. Jon strapped the flaps of the tent shut to try and keep the wind and snow out. Ghost was asleep on the ground near the back all. It seemed Roslin took the remaining furs from their makeshift bed to keep herself warm.

 

"I think you may have drunk too much wine, Roslin." He gently removed the wine glass out of her hand before setting it down and capping the bottle.

“I did not have as much as Ella. She just kept pouring herself wine and filled mine up anytime I finished my glass.”

“You do be colder than her.” He started to remove the rest of the plate he wore. He left his coat of plates on as he undid the strap that held Phantom to him.

"It is cold here, Jon. It is already snowing. Besides she has the nice and warm cloth, and I don't." She grabbed a handful of the dress she was wearing to prove her point.

"Come to bed then. The sooner you fall asleep, the sooner that you will wake up and be warm. If you are cold in the morning, I will lend you my large cloak." He took her hand as she stood up.

Her eyes stared up at him in hope. "The large fluffy one?"

“Aye, the large fluffy one.” He pulled her down to their bed. “I will get you own large fully one if you want.”

“I will like that very much, my lord.”

She buried her head in his chest as he brought the furs around the both of them. He wrapped his arms around her holding her close. He knew he would probably too warm during the night.



"Lord Jon. Lord Jon, there is urgent news." It sounded like Doran was outside of his tent.

 

By the darkness outside of the tent, it was still night. Roslin was still in his arms as she slept. He was right in assuming that all of the furs they had would make him too hot. He slowly pulled his arm out from under his wife. He slowly got up from the ground leaving the warmth of his bed. He grabbed Phantom as he started to unstrap the flaps of his tent.

 

"What is it, Doran? I was sleeping." When he walked out of his tent, he could see men starting to run around wearing armor.

"My lord, scouts saw a large host coming from the northeast. They alerted Ser Rodrik, and he had most of the men prepare for battle." When he heard this Jon started to walk to the center of camp hoping to find out more about what is going on.

 

At the center of camp, Ser Rodrik stood shouting orders to the men around him getting them ready for a battle. Jon finished strapping Phantom to his side as he finally made it to the old knight.

 

“Ser Rodrik, what is happening?”

"Jon, scouts saw a large host maybe a thousand or more coming from the northeast." He points to a hill where Jon could make out torches riding towards them. "There is also some movement coming from inside of the castle. I am having the men prepare in case there is a trap."

"Doran, get my horse and shield. If Lucas Blackwood and his knights are not awake yet, wake them. Tell him to have his men ready to ride out." His squire ran off into the direction of the blackwood camp. "Ser Rodrik I will ride out with cavalry and see who the army is. Stay here and prepare the attack on Winterfell. If we are all up, then there is no point not to attack." He pulled his gloves on as Ser Rodrik began to speak.

“Jon, let me ride out it is a dangerous mission you might be killed.” The old knight grabbed his arm.

"I know the dangers of this that is why I am going. You know Winterfell the best. I need you to lead the assault. I trust no one more than you. I know that if I fall, as long as you are in command we will not die." Doran was already back with his horse saddled and his shield in hand.

"My lord, Lord Lucas has his men up and ready to ride out. They are in the northern part of the camp waiting for you." His squire handed the reins of his horse to him as Doran strapped the shield to the side of the horse.

"Thank you, Doran. I need you to go back to my tent and guard it. If Roslin asks where I tell her. Do not let her leave the camp. Ser Rodrik you have command while I am gone. Get the men ready for Winterfell. When I return, we will attack the castle."

 

He kicked his horse into motion racing to the north edge of camp where he found five hundred knights already mounted and waiting for him. He could hear a soft pounding noise next to him along with some whimpering of the horses. He looked down to see Ghost racing alongside him, ready for battle.

 

They rode to the top of a hill that was in the way of army's path to the camp. He had the banner holders stab the banners of house Stark into the ground in front of them. He sent some scouts ahead to try and make out the banner of the incoming army. He stood to wait for them with Lucas at his side. Behind him, he could see men starting to form battle lines in the direction of him and the castle.

 

It took a little bit before he could see the scouts racing back to him. Hopefully, they will bring some good news. He did not want to fight in defense of the camp. He wanted to attack Theon and kill him for taking Winterfell. The scouts started to slow down as they approached him.

“My lords, they carry a banner of a red x and what looks like a naked man upside down on the x all on a field of black.”

 

He did not know if this would be good news or not. While the Boltons were of the North, they have never truly liked house Stark. They always tried to overthrow them when they could. According to legend, there is a room in the Dreadfort that has the skins of captured Starks hanging from the walls.

 

“Thank you. Lucas have another man ride to Ser Rodrik and tell him that the Boltons are coming.”

 

The second son nodded to a man nearby who turned his horse around and started to gallop away.

 

“The Boltons are from the North that is good news, right?”

“We will see Lucas. Have the men ready for battle just in case. Have one man ready to inform Ser Rodrik if we are attacked.” The blackwood son nodded to him. “You five come with me, we will meet with this army and find their reasons for being here.” The five men he pointed to follow him trotted behind him as he picked up a Stark banner and passed it off to one of them. They began to ride down to the valley between the hills.

 

Five riders from the other army came riding down to meet with them. Two of the men held the flayed man of House Bolton as they rode down. The man in the middle had long black hair. His skin was pink and blotchy. Jon could see the pale eyes that Lord Bolton had. The man who Jon could guess as Ramsay Snow the baseborn son of Lord Bolton sat atop a red horse. Jon could feel Ghost rub against his leg as the group slowed to a halt. The two sides sat looking at each other waiting for the other to begin talking.

 

"Ramsay Bolton, I am Jon Lycaon, Lord Commander of the Northern Armies. May I ask why you have brought your men here?" The red horse, the lord, was sitting on became restless as Ghost moved closer to him.

"It is only Ramsay Snow." The man smiled at Jon with his large worm-like lips.

"With the death of your father and him having no trueborn children, King Robb has legitimized you and named you the lord of the Dreadfort. So I ask again why is it that you brought an army here?" The new lord of the Dreadfort stared at Jon thinking of something. The whole time that the man thought though he did not stop smiling is a creepy grin.

“The same reason as you I hope. I have come to help retake Winterfell from the Ironborn scum.” The man wearing the pale pink coat still smiled at him. Jon did not trust the pale eyes of the man.

"Good. We are just about to attack the castle. If you would follow me, I can tell you our plan on our way back."

“It would be my pleasure, Lord Lycaon. I must say I have heard a lot of stories about you. From what I hear you are the greatest swordsman to have ever walked. They say you are even better than your uncle, Ser Arthur the last Sword of the Morning. I wonder if it is true.” Ramsay Bolton rode alongside Jon as they rode back to Lucas Blackwood.

“Sadly my uncle is dead. We will never know who was the better swordsman.” Thankfully they rode the rest of the way in silence. He was irked by the strange man. Something just seemed off about him.  



By the time they reached the camp, he could see the army preparing to move out to their selected positions. Robett Glover had already left to set up on the other side of the castle in the Wolfswood. Ser Marlon and Lord Ashwood just left to march to their position at the north gate. Ser Rodrik was getting ready to leave the camp. The old knight's force had the shortest distance to cover, so he was taking his time to leave.

 

He gave orders to his captains to get everyone ready to move out soon. He told them the Bolton force would join them in attacking the Great Gate from the south. He rode to his tent to get the rest of his armor on as he only wore his coat of plates. Outside of his tent stood Doran looking like he was going to fall over from lack of sleep.

 

“Doran,” his squire straightened up when he heard his voice, “I will need your help putting my armor on. Is my wife awake?”

His squire nodded.“Yes, ser. She is with Lady Donella.”

"I will get my armor and bring it out here so you can help me with it. Get some cold water and splash it on your face. You look like you will collapse from no sleep." His squire nodded before walking away to try and wake up. After he was gone Jon pushed into the tent.

 

Inside the tent, both of the ladies were sitting on the furs of their bed. They sat talking in a low whisper that he could not hear. A torch was lit casting their shadows to the walls of the tent. Ghost had somehow already entered the tent before him and laid back in the spot he was before they left to deal with the Bolton army.

 

“I see that the two of you are-” Two loud horn blast followed by a quick one sounded in the distance. Enemy incoming.

 

Did they mean the Bolton army? He was sure that they informed the scouts of them. No, the horn sounded like it was to the west. The only enemy that way was in Winterfell itself. Was Theon so arrogant he thought he could defeat them in battle?

 

“Ghost, guard.” He moved out of his knowing his direwolf would listen and protect Roslin.

 

He quickly mounted his horse with his armor hoping Doran would have sense and resume his position. He dug his heels into the horse kicking it into a gallop. The pitch black horse besides for a white spot between his eyes has been his primary mount since arriving at Starfall. The horse that he has called Anvil has survived bandits, ambushes in the Riverlands, battles in the West, and an untold number of miles felt like an extension of himself.

 

Men jumped out of the way as he raced to the western side of camp where some of the men he was going to lead into battle were already waiting. Lucas and three hundred of his knights were waiting. Next to his friend from the Riverlands sat Ramsay Bolton on his dark red horse.

 

He slowed down to the two men talking.

 

“What is going on?” Both men turned their attention to him, seemly stopping whatever conversation they were having.

"Jon, it seems like the Greyjoy is surrendering." Lucas pointed down to the Kingsroad Gate of Winterfell where it was open, and men were pouring out of it. It did not look like a move for battle as the men just lingered around with no real sense of order. Benfred Tallhart rode up beside him.

“What is that bastard doing?” The heir that was held hostage trotted forward to get a better view.

"Benfred tell Lord Flint and Larence to have my men take a position in between the two gates on this hill. Have them set their men up in a defensive position. They are to prepare for an attack from all directions. Once the rest of the Bolton men make it to camp, have them join the defense." The man who carried a pelt of a hare still watched the scene below him. "BENFRED. Go now." Shaked out of whatever he was in, he nodded before riding back into camp.

“I say we run them down, Lord Lycaon. You offered peace earlier did you not? They refused then, so we should refuse them now.” He turned his eyes to Ramsay as he said those words.

“Now is the time to offer them peace again.” The lord of the Dreadfort did not look happy by this. “Lucas, Ramsay gather any riders you have with you right now. Have one of your riders to inform Ser Rodrik that he is to take his men and surround the Ironborn and keep them controlled until we can figure out what is going on.” It took only a minute for the two men to come back with either their men or sending a messenger off.

 

For the third time of the night, Jon found himself racing on his horse to meet with some enemy. This time it would be actually to face them. He couldn't help but feel unprepared as the men around him were all wearing some plate armor while he hadn't had the time to put his on. It even looked like the Ironborn had some armor on.

 

As they neared the Ironborn, none of them seemed to try and form any battle lines. The invaders only looked annoyed at being awake at this hour. No one made to try and flank the cavalry coming towards them. It looked like they had their hands on their weapons but none drew.

 

He ordered a halt far enough away that they will have time to mount an attack if the defenders decide to attack them. He had them wait for the men Ser Rodrik command to come closer so they can provide support. It only took a few minutes before banners from the North began to surround the men from the sea. By the time they arrived the sea of men exiting the castle had stopped. It looked like all of their men. Once they had three sides covered Jon trotted forward to get to the bottom of what was transpiring before him.

 

"What are you doing?" He shouted to no one in particular just hoping someone would respond.

"We are giving up. We heard the terms you offered to the cunt of a prince, and we accept them." A random soldier spoke up before letting the belt holding his sword drop to the ground. More men started to follow his example.

“Where is Theon?”

"In the castle still. The boy refused to give it up without a fight." Another man spoke forward. He still had an ax strapped to his side.

 

Before he could respond, he could hear the sound of steel against steel coming ahead of him. On the other side of the circle, Ser Rodrik and some of his men were fighting against some Ironborn. At this sight, some of the Ironborn raced to the battle with weapons drawn. Others dropped theirs and backed away. Sensing what might happen next, he spoke up.

 

"Drop your weapons and back away from them. If you do not, you will die. No harm will come to you if you do as I say." He shouted at the top of his lungs. It was too early or too late for this.

 

More men dropped their weapons at his command. He looked back to the fighting just in time to watch Ser Rodrik fall from his horse. He kicked his horse into a gallop as he pushed his way through the crowd to get to the fallen knight. Anvil knocked over two men as he pushed through the group of Ironborn holding weapons. The black horse jumped over another as Jon pulled him to a stop in front of the down knight. He drew Phantom for the first time of the night.

 

“I said, Drop your Weapons or Die.” He pointed Phantom at a man with his sword held high. He waited for the man to make a move. He was happy to see the man drop the sword. A groan and the sound of someone getting up brought his attention to behind him. Ser Rodrik stood cradling his left arm. “Ser are you alright?”

"I am fine Jon. I must have broken my arm during the fall. I will live through this." He sheathed Phantom at those words.”

“Good. I am glad. Broken bones can heal, death cannot.” He also did not want to be the one that told Beth of her father’s death. “Have your half your men watch these men. Have the other half follow me. After that go and find a maester.” He turned his horse to face the open gate. He felt a hand on his leg stopping him.

“Jon, where are you going?” The knight groaned in pain.

“Theon is still in the castle. I plan to kill him tonight.” He felt the hand try and grab hold of his leg before he pulled away.

“JON! Jon! There could be more men in there still. He will shoot you down the moment you enter the courtyard. JON! Damnit. Someone follow that fool.”

 

He let Ser Rodrik's shouts fade to nothing as he tried to get in the castle before Theon could find a way to escape. The traitor will not escape justice tonight. Even if he was hit by a multitude of arrows, he will push through and kill Theon before he dies. The squid who betrayed the memory of his father will not live to see the light of the sun.

 

The hooves of Anvil crunched against the snow-covered ground as he crossed the moat into the castle. He quickly unhooked his shield from his saddle and raised it ahead of him ready to block any incoming arrows. Upon entering the courtyard where he knelt to King Robert little more than a year ago the cold wind hit him in the face along with snow. No arrows though.

 

He jumped off of Anvil and pulled Phantom he stood ready for any attacks. None came. He expected a fight.  He expected to have to cut down a hundred men to kill the only one he wanted dead at the moment. No man came through. He was more angry than happy that no one greeted him with metal as he entered the empty courtyard. He saw nothing and heard nothing. He was looking back at the gate waiting for something before he heard a soft crunch behind him. He turned around with his shield raised and sword ready to strike the person behind him.

 

"Beth?" In front of him stood the curly red-haired girl that kissed him all of those years ago. She looked taller now but was still shorter than him. He could see redness around her eyes and her pale skin. Her mouth opened in surprise when she realized who he was.

“Jon.” She ran towards him. She wrapped her arms around his neck. He dropped his shield and hugged the girl back with his one arm. He kept the one hand holding Phantom away from her in case it might cut her. She began to sob into his shoulder.

"It is alright Beth. You are safe now." He tried his best at comforting the crying girl. He was never good at this type of thing.

“Theon. Theon, he did this. He did such horrible things. He made me do such horrible things.” He stabbed Phantom into the dirt so he could try and console the sobbing lady.

“Beth, I am sorry for what has happened, but I need you to tell me where Theon went. He was not with his men. I need to find him so I can avenge Bran and Rickon.”

“He *sniffle* while his men went out the Kingsroad Gate, he *sniffle* he heads the other way to the southern part of the castle."

 

He tried to get her to calm down more as she still cried on his shoulder. He wanted to go and find Theon before he can escape. He could not just leave her here though. He wasn’t sure if he could escape her grip around his neck if he wanted to anyway. They stood there for a few more moments before he heard some noise of horses coming behind him. It was about time they had arrived.

 

He looked behind him as he saw men wearing the sigil of House Stark and Cerwyn entered the courtyard. The men dismounted from their horses. They started to walk towards him waiting for orders.

 

"Get more men and search the castle, Theon Greyjoy is somewhere in the castle. Open the other gates and post guards at them. Send someone to inform Lord Glover he is to have his men sweep the area for any sign of the bastard. Lord Ashwood and Lord Flint will spilled their force in half and check the castle and spread out to comb the area for any sign of Theon Greyjoy. I will check the crypts myself. You two stay here with Lady Beth and wait for her father to come." All of the men broke off into different directions as two men came towards him.

"Jon, please I don't want to go with them. Let me stay with you. At least until father returns. Please, Jon." She looked at him with big eyes. Why did those eyes always work on him?

“Alright. You two come with me we will search the Godswood until Ser Rodrik comes or the maester calls for us.” He pulled Phantom out of the ground as he began to walk to the Godswood. Beth clung to his arm as they walked to the oldest part of the castle.



They were in the Godswood for two hours before anyone came to them. It took a quarter of that time to search the woods. They found no sign of either Theon or Bran and Rickon's direwolves. He would have thought that the littermates of Ghost would appear in the woods. He hopes that the direwolves are somewhere in the Wolfwood. He could only hope that they will come back. They might become the companions of Eddard and Lyanna if they returned.

 

He had sent the guards that came with him out to search the rest of the castle. He stayed with Beth by the hearttree. She was currently kneeling in front of the hearttree. Once he told her that her father was injured, she started to pray for his health. He sat with his back against the rock his father used to sit on trying to stay awake. The night seemed to last forever as it was only the hour of the wolf.

 

He was sitting thinking about how he will search tomorrow. If Theon were in the Wolfwood, he would not get far. Hopefully, either Summer or Shaggydog will take care of him. Before he could think any further Ghost smashed his back into the rock as he licked his face.

 

“Ghost, down.” He pushed the direwolf off of him. “I thought I told you to stay with Roslin.” His direwolf did not answer his question only taking his hand in his mouth.

“He is still with me.” He looked up in surprise to find that Roslin was entering the clearing by the ancient weirwood. He stood up brushing off the dirt off of him.

“You were to stay in the camp until it was safe for you to enter the castle.”

"Ser Rodrik said the castle had been fully searched besides the crypt so it would be safe for us to enter." She continued to walk towards him as her feet crunched against the places where snow broke through the canopy of leaves.

“Is my father with you?” Beth spoke up as she turned around to face them. Roslin looked at the girl with a confused look.

“Roslin this is Beth Cassel, Ser Rodrik’s daughter. Beth this is Roslin, my wife.”

"Your father was with me but stopped to talk with some of the guards. He said he would be right in once he is done. As if on cue Ser Rodrik appeared behind Roslin with his left arm in a sling.

 

Beth immediately ran to him and embraced him. The old knight brought her close with his one good arm. He could hear the father whisper apologies to his daughter. Roslin stood next to him as they watched the happy reunion in front of them.

 

It saddens him that he knows he will have that kind of reunion with his father. He could only hope to have this kind of reunion once Robb either comes back from the war or he is called back to fight again.

 

“Ser Rodrik, I do not want to interrupt, but how goes the search.” The knight seemed disgruntled by him.

"The castle has been searched and cleared. We only found the servants of the castle. The men were locked in the dungeons, and the women were scattered throughout the castle. No signs were found of Theon. Lady Eddara and Berena Tallhart were found. Benfred is with his sister now. The only place not checked is the crypts. I have guards posted outside of it on orders for only you to enter it." The man went back to holding his daughter after reporting back. He obviously did not wish to be away from her anymore.

“Thank you, Ser. We will leave you. I will let you know if we find anything.” He put his hand on Roslin’s back as he led her and Ghost outside of the Godswood.

 

The guards outside of the Godswood nodded their heads at him. The castle was filled with northmen once again. It was a good sight to see men wearing Stark colors walking around the keep tearing down any sign of Ironborn. He could see Stark banners flying from the top of the different towers of Winterfell. The towers looked better flying grey and white than they did with black and gold.

 

They passed through the First Keep to get to the crypts. The old castle did not look like the Ironborn touched it. He could not blame them. Anyone had not inhabited the First Keep before the Doom. Robb planned to change that. His brother wanted the First Keep to be restored to its former glory.

 

Robb also wanted to convert it into a place where extended Starks can stay if they were to live in Winterfell. He offered the place to Jon. While he tried to refuse to say that it should go to any future sons he had, his brother refused and said that ‘You cannot expect me to host you in my keep for the rest of your life can you?' Jon tried to point out that he would still be living in Winterfell, but his brother ordered the discussion to an end.

 

He future keep would need a lot of work to be put back in order. He wasn't sure if what parts will need to be replacing or just fixed. He was sure the pipes would need to be fixed in the old part of the castle. He would need to tear down the Broken Tower. The expense alone to fix the old tower would cost more than if he just rebuilt it.

 

Roslin, who looked ready to fall asleep, held his arm as they passed the lichyard to enter the crypt. Two guards were posted in front of large ironwood door. Two stone direwolves stood guard behind them. Two stone statues holding swords stood behind the stone direwolves. Above the door runes of the old tongue were written in stone. Their meaning lost to time. The two alive guards nodded to him.

 

“Have you let anyone into the crypts yet?” He questioned the two men.

"No, my lord. Ser Rodrik gave us strict orders only to let a member of house Stark enter."

“Good.”

 

He motioned for Roslin to follow him as he passed the guards. She was not a Stark, but she married him. He was a Stark in all, but name. He has seen Lady Stark enter the crypts with his father plenty of times. If his ancestors did not cause harm to her that he saw no reason not to bring Roslin.

 

"My lord, Ser Rodrik said you would need this." One of the guards held out an unlit torch.

 

Jon gladly accepted the unlit light source. He dipped the end of the torch into one of the already lit torches at the entrance to the crypt. The wood burst into flames as it touched the lit torch. He sighed before opening the door. The tall ironwood door was as heavy as he remembered.

 

The door opened to a staircase leading down to another winding staircase. The walls were carved with running wolves. Some were howling under the moon. Closer to the second staircase the carved wolves bowed to the dead Starks. He could smell the daft, damp, old halls of the dead coming from beneath him. He held the torch in front of him as he held Roslin’s with his other.

 

He knew that Theon would not hide in here. The Greyjoy never once entered the resting place of Starks. Any time lessons with Maester Luwin forced them to go inside the winding tunnels of the crypts the Ironborn stayed outside and waited for them. The real reason he wanted to go down was to pay his respect to his father. The bones of Lord Stark were sent North at the beginning of the war and had been laid to rest under a statue. He needed Roslin there for support.

 

He stopped at the level where he knew his grandfather, uncle, and aunt was buried. He knew his father would be buried next to his sister. Robb will be buried next to him. As will the next six Starks. At the very beginning of the long tunnel sat King Edric Snowbeard, one of the last of the kings of winter before Robb. He passed more of the statues that he could name by heart. Roslin held his hand tighter as they went deeper into the tunnel. He paused at the statue of Torrhen Stark ‘the King who Knelt.'

 

It took only a little longer before he neared where his close kin laid. Where his father laid. The light from his torch illuminated the face of Artos ‘The Implacable' and his brother William. They were his three times great uncles on his grandfather side. They were only his two times great uncle on his grandmother side though. He could see the outline of his grandfather before he saw movement in the dark.

 

He dodged to the right as a rusty iron sword swung down where he was. He quickly grabbed the hand holding the blade, dropping the torch he carried. Did Theon hide down here? No, the skin felt too soft. He pulled the person out of the shadows. He drew his dagger and pulled it to the girl's throat. She looked at him with muddy green eyes.

 

Her eyes. He has seen them before. They seemed so familiar to him. The girl he caught said nothing. He heard Roslin scream. He pulled the girl in front of him keeping the blade against her throat as another woman carrying an iron sword entered the light. He could see another large object move behind her.

 

"Jon!" He froze at his name. He recognized that voice. How could that be Bran though? Bran was dead, killed by Theon. "Jon, please let her go she is a friend. Osha put your sword down he is my brother." The women holding the sword lowered it. He relaxed his grip on the girl.

“Her name is Meera-”

"Reed," Jon said the same moment as Bran. "Forgive me, my lady. I did mean no harm." Wait Bran was alive.

 

He pushed forward leaving the Reed girl standing aside. It was truly Bran. His brother was propped up against their Uncle Brandon. He ran forward, kneeling before Bran and pulling him into a hug. He could feel his brother hug him back. Not a second later he felt something hit his back.

“Jon!”

 

He looked behind him and saw the young Rickon hugging his back. He pulled his littlest brother in front of him so he could hug the brothers he thought dead together.  He was getting his moment of a happy reunion. He could hear Rickon starting to cry what he assumed was tears of joy. He held his brothers close not caring about who saw him.

 

“You two must tell me how you are still alive.” Once he finished talking both the ‘dead’ Stark boys began to ramble faster than he could listen. “Slow down. I can not understand you both when you talk this fast.” He held up his hand before Bran could begin to talk. “You can tell me once we are in the castle.”

“What about the Ironborn?” Rickon looked at him with a concerned look.

"Your brother must have defeated him, little prince. Else how would he be here?"The strange woman crouched down to talk to Rickon.

“Is that true Jon?” Rickon looked at him again, but this time with a look of wonder.

“Aye, they are my prisoners now. Now come let us leave this land of the dead.”

 

He stood up to look at the crowd behind him. Roslin stood away from them with a tear on her face and a smile. Meera Reed stood with a boy with the same green eyes; it must be her brother. The woman stood next to the statue of his Aunt Lyanna. The large object he saw turned out to be Hodor.

 

“My lady, I am afraid I do not know your name?”

“It is Osha.” The woman did a slight bow.

“I assume you are Jojen Reed than.” He referred to the young man who nodded. “Hodor it is nice to see you again.”

The stable boy only responded with his name, “Hodor.”

“Who is she?” Rickon pointed to Roslin. He realized he never introduce his wife.

"This is Roslin, Rickon. She is my wife." At the mention of her name Roslin curtsied.

"Come on now. We should go back up before they start to worry." He lifted Rickon up so he could carry his little brother. Hodor went to carry Bran. He would have carried Bran himself, but he needs to carry the torch and led them out. Bran was too heavy to carry, unlike Rickon.



Nine of them sat in father's old solar. Bran, Rickon, Osha, Meera and Jojen Reed, Ser Rodrik and Beth, Roslin, and himself. Bran, Osha, Meera, and Jojen told their story about how they became the prisoner of Theon. Bran said it was his fault since he surrounded after Theon threatened to kill all the smallfolk in Wintertown. He reassured Bran that he did the right thing and that he and Robb would have done the same. He was also told of the origin of how Osha came into their household. Robb may want her back in chains, but after what she did for his brothers she can go anywhere she wants.

 

Both Bran and Rickon were upset that they had to send Summer and Shaggydog away and that they hadn't returned. Rickon cheered up once he was told Shaggydog would come back once he knew his master was safe. His lies didn't convince bran. Rickon asked if Robb, Alys, or his mother were with him. He had to explain that they were still south. Rickon soured at the news but cheered up when he heard that Alys gave birth. They did not know about it before they were forced to fake their deaths.

 

The part on where Theon got the bodies of the boys he said were Bran and Rickon troubled him. By accounts, all of the members of Winterfell said the two heads were of young boys. Beth even agreed that with the tar over the head they looked like Bran and Rickon. It caused him to wonder where were there two missing young boys. Someone will miss them and will never know what happened to them.

 

By the time that they were almost done talking, Rickon was dozing off, and Bran was starting to yawn. He couldn't help but yawn too. They all had a long day and night. Tomorrow will bring another long day as Jon would have to go out and search for Theon as no sign of him has been found. Somehow the Ironborn traitor got past the army of Lord Glover and Lord Ashwood and Flint.

 

He silently picked up a sleeping Rickon. Osha helped carry Bran. As he began to walk to the room of the youngest boys, Rickon woke up and asked where they were going.

 

"We are going to your room so you can sleep in your bed tonight." The young red-haired stark was not pleased by this.

“Can I sleep in your bed with you? Please.” He gave him big, wide, begging eyes. Before he can respond Bran began to beg to.

"Please, Jon. We haven't seen you in ages. It will only be for tonight."

“It is up too Roslin.” He silently hoped his wife would say no. He wanted a peaceful sleep that Bran and Rickon will not give him.

"Of course. We will be delighted to have you with us. It does not have to be just for tonight if you do not want it too." At Roslin's words, Rickon cheered up along with Bran.

“Alright, we will go to Robb’s and Alys’ old room. Their bed will be big enough for the four of us.”

 

He was right of course. The bed was large enough for two adults and two children to sleep comfortably. He somehow wasn't allowed that comfort as he was on the edge of the bed. Bran slept between him and Rickon. Rickon was next to Roslin, who had more room left over that he had to occupy. He tried to fall asleep and not fall out of the bed he slept in.

 

He would not sleep comfortably, but he would sleep happily.

Chapter Text

Chapter 15: The Protector


He sat in his chair happy for the first time in a long time. Not only was he sitting at his family table, but most of his family was with him. Jojen and Meera ate with them as they broke their fast in the private family dining hall. He had asked Jon why they wouldn’t eat in the Great Hall with the servants and lords as they would usually do. His half-brother said that they would understand that he wished to have some time alone with his brothers. He couldn’t help but think Jon had enough of them last night.

 

Before he fell asleep he knew Jon was on the edge of the bed with little cover. Though he felt sorry for his brother he couldn’t do anything as Rickon was spread out taking up more room than he needed. From what Jon said in the morning he wasn’t on the bed long before Rickon rolled over the one stuck in between him and Jon. His littlest brother than pushed Jon off the bed. Jon had to sleep on the chair as the space on the other side of Roslin was taken by Ghost who refused to move.

 

He missed Summer. His silver-grey direwolf still hadn’t come back since the castle was retaken. Though it has only been less than a night, he hoped his friend would return at once. Rickon was no better asking where Shaggydog was every five seconds. While Shaggydog and Summer were large Ghost seemed larger than the both of them. The once smallest direwolf pup seemed to be the largest direwolf now. From what the men said Grey Wind might be as big and ferocious. He was chewing on his piece of bacon trying to remember the size of Nymeria and Lady before Rickon began talking.

 

“Jon. Can I ask you something?” Rickon looked up from his plate looking at Jon who sat at the head of the table, where father sat than Robb. Rickon was sitting between Osha and Roslin, Jon’s wife.

 

He couldn’t help but think that the woman Jon married was a girl version of himself. While she was not a bastard, she seemed just as quiet as Jon. She was kinda like him too. He was afraid that she would not want Rickon and him sharing their bed last night. He was surprised, though, when she said she was happy for them to sleep in her and Jon’s bed. He hasn’t talked with her much or at all since they meet in the crypts last night.

 

“If you wish to sleep in my bed again tonight than I must ask you to promise to not kick me out of my bed again.” He laughed at his brother's joke. It felt good to laugh after a long time of living in fear of and loneliness.

“You have no proof that I kicked you out of bed. Maybe you fell.” Rickon stuck his tongue out at Jon causing the table to laugh.

“Maybe next time you will wake up in the stables.” The table laughed again as Roslin told Jon to be nice.

“Come on little lord ask him.” Osha nudged Rickon with her elbow.

“Jon, I was wondering if you could maybe.” It was strange that Rickon was having trouble asking Jon a question. His brother was never afraid to speak his mind whenever he had a question. “I want to learn how to fight with a sword.”

“You want to learn how to fight?” Jon raised his eyebrow in the direction of Rickon.

“Yes. You, Robb, and Bran all learned how to fight when you were all six. Father said that I could start learning when I turned six.”

“Are you sure Rickon. Training is not easy and with all, you have gone through I don’t want to add stress to your life right now. We can wait another year if you want.” Rickon did not seem pleased by his answer.

“I want to learn though. It is not fair that You, Robb, Bran, and even Arya learned to fight. I want to, too. I want to fight the bad people as you do.” Rickon started to pout looking at Jon. He looked like he was going to storm away from the table.

Jon stared at him for a few seconds before he responded to his little brother’s request. “If you truly want to learn how to swing a sword than you will be trained. You must promise to do as your instructor says no matter how foolish or weird it sounds. You must also promise to be on your best behavior, only good boys are already to train. Do you promise?”

“Yes, I promise. I will be good and do as you say. Can you teach me now?” His little brother started to bounce up and down in his seat as he awaited Jon’s response.

“I cannot teach you right now. Bran and I have a meeting to hold after we finish eating. After our midday meal, I can help teach you if you like.”

“Thank you, you are the best brother.” Another round of laughter was heard around the table, he did not join them. From the look, Jon gave him he was the only one to notice.

“Rickon, how about after we are done eating you and Beth Cassel show Lady Donella and Roslin around Winterfell. I am sure they will both appreciate it if you could show them our family castle.” Rickon looked less excited about this activity than the one he would be doing later today.

“Okay.”

“Good, how about you go and try and find a warmer fur cloak for Roslin in Sansa’s or Arya’s room. It is still snowing and she is not used to our cold weather yet.” Rickon only nodded before getting out of his seating and running back to the way of where the rooms were. Osha quickly followed behind him with two guards.

 

Once his little brother had left the room the table became quiet again. He poked his food with his fork not feeling hungry anymore. Rickon was going to learn how to fight with a sword today, he remembered when he first learned how. He was so excited that day, his father spent most of the day with him in the training yard going over the proper way to stand in a fight. He said footwork and posture were the most important things for a swordsman. He is not able to do either of those things.

 

He looked down at his useless legs and felt nothing, but anger at them. If he never climbed that stupid tower he would be able to go and join Rickon and train. He would have been able to at least help protect against Theon if he had ever tried to hurt them. He could have also grown up to be a knight like Ser Arthur Dayne, Barristan the Bold, Aemon the Dragonknight, and Jon. He could do none of those things. His is destined to live the rest of his life as a cripple. He threw down his fork back on his plate as he thought of this. He could feel all of the eyes on him.

 

“Are you okay Bran?”

“I am fine, Jon. I am just not hungry anymore.” He pushed his plate away from him.

 

After a few seconds Meera and Jojen got out of their seats he looked up and saw them give a look to Jon. They both excused themselves before leaving. After the door shut behind them, only Jon, Roslin, and himself were left sitting in the room.

 

“Bran is this about you not being able to train?”

“No.” His answer was short and did not make it sound like he even believed it himself.

Jon let out an annoyed breath. “Are you upset because you think a girl, like Meera, won’t ever like you. Cause from the way you to have been looking at each, I think she-”

“It is not about that!” He yelled causing Jon to raise an eyebrow at him. “It is that Rickon is too young to learn how to fight. He shouldn’t learn until he is older.”

Jon let out another long breath. “You, Robb, and I all began to learn at his age. It is only right that he learns at the same age as we did. He should know how to defend himself.”

“Robb was the heir, he needed to learn how to fight. I wanted to be a knight so father let me start young. And father couldn’t train Robb and not you, he would have never done that. Rickon does not need to learn right now. Let him have another year or two.”

 

He stared at his plate of food that was pushed away from him. Rickon should be able to enjoy his young age for the time being. He should be able to enjoy the things that Bran could no longer do.

 

“What you said about yourself and Robb was right. Do you know why I wanted to learn how to fight?” He shook his head. “I wanted to be a gallant knight like you did. I wanted to protect my family. When I found out who my mother was and of my other family, I wanted to be like my uncle. I wanted to live up to his legacy. I wanted to be able to defend my family from all outside threats.”

Jon stood up and moved to sit on the other side of Bran. “I cannot deny Rickon training. He wants the same thing I did when I was his age. I will teach him to fight. You too if you wish.”

He looked at his half-brother with an annoyed face. “I cannot fight I am crippled.”

“Aye, your a crippled and I am a bastard. It does not mean you cannot fight.” It wasn’t a fair comparison just because Jon was a bastard doesn’t mean he could night fight.

“I can’t stand a swing a sword at an enemy. That means I can not fight. All of the training I have done is for nothing.” Two and a half years of training for nothing all because he fell.

“Bran, I have fought in a lot of battles. I have killed a lot of men. Take it from me, you do not need to be standing on two feet to kill a man.” He looked at Jon with a confused face. “I have killed plenty of men from the back of my horse Bran. I have also shot a couple with arrows.”

 

Why had he never thought of that? Knights rode on horses in war. They must have learned how to kill a man from the back of a horse. That means that he could learn how to fight again. It means that he might have the chance to become a knight like Jon and the legendary knights of the stories he used to listen too. He could already hear people telling the story of the knight who could not walk. He immediately perked up at the opportunity.

 

“Prince Brandon, have you ever heard of the Dothraki?” His good-sister Roslin asked him.

 

He shook his head in response. He has heard the name before, but could not remember from where. He saw her flash a smile before she began to talk about them.

 

“They are horse lords that live in Essos. They spend their whole lives riding horses in great grass fields. My brothers, Perwyn, Benfrey, and Willamen, would tell me tales of them when I was younger. While the Dothraki are savages and rape and pillage villages, they are excellent horse riders. They fight almost solely from the back of their horses. Their archers are so good that they can shoot from a galloping horse and hit their target. You can always learn how to shoot a bow from a horse if you wish to fight in a battle.” She gave him a polite smile as she started to finish her plate of food.

“I am terrible at archery. Even Arya is better than me. She never even practiced and she was better than me.”

 

He still remembered when they found the direwolf how earlier that day she bested him at archery. It was unfair that she hit the middle of the target with no practice and he couldn’t even though he practiced.

 

Jon chuckled at his misfortune. He gave Jon an angry glare. “Bran, she had more practice than you did. She had a bow and an arrow in the godswood hidden. She would spend a lot of her free time there. She has practiced since she was six. She was, of course, better than you.”

 

It still did not help him feel better. He was trained, she was taught by herself.

 

“If you don’t want to learn how to shoot a bow from horseback, there are other things that you can do in a battle. You can also lead from the rear and command the men from there.  There have been many great men that have commanded from the rear. Most people actually do lead from the rear. If you cannot fight like a knight as you want, why not become a great commander.”

“I know nothing about commanding though. I don’t know battle strategies or anything.” He was never taught anything about how to lead men or any battle strategies. He was told he was too young to learn those things when he was younger.

“You can never know what you do not learn Bran. If you wish I can help teach you some strategies. I can also train you on how to fight from horseback if you wish.”

“Really?” His brother nodded his head as he chewed on a piece of bacon he stole from the plate Bran pushed away.

“Can you teach me now?” He was excited. Probably the most excited he has been since he has woken up. His dreams of being a knight were crushed, but know they were alive again. They were dashed again though as Jon shook his head.

“We have to meet with the lords that help retake Winterfell. Truth be told we should have met with them last night, but we just found you. We can not put it off any longer. There is much that you have to announce. I will give you a brief reading before we meet with them so you aren’t to unprepared.” Jon stood up and moved to sit back down to Roslin.

“I know that Robb made you castellan of Winterfell. You should be the one to hold the meeting not I. I am still a young boy they will not listen to me.” Who would listen to a cripple when the only notable thing he has done is fall off a tower.

“You are the Prince of Winterfell, you outrank me. When Robb gave me charge we believed you to be dead. While I am sure nothing will change, we need to wait for Robb’s orders to do anything differently. Besides, it will be good practice for when you lead men into battle one day.”

“Fine. Can we go fast though I want to start learning as soon as possible.” His brother laughed at him.

“We will do it right Bran. We not be finished until midday meal. I promise we will train today though.” Jon began to eat the last of the food that was on his plate as Bran waited for him to finish.


“Quiet my lords and we will begin the meeting,” Jon said from the chair next to him. His brother gave him the chair of the Kings of Winter to sit in while Jon sat in a regular chair to his right. The lords of the North and some lords of the South sat below him at the other tables in the Great Hall. Most of them were surprised by where he sat. They probably expected Jon to sit at the head chair. But his half-brother chooses to sit next to him with Ghost laying down by a hearth.

 

He would much rather be with Rickon right now then the center of everyone’s attention. Rickon was currently with Roslin and Osha who were trying to calm down his wild side and maybe cut his hair. He wished he could see his brother fight it. They might have to call in Jon to help hold him down. He laughed to himself at the thought before Jon gave him a nod to start speaking. He tried to speak in a lord’s voice, but it sounded like a little kid’s.

 

“My lords, I thank you for your efforts to help reclaim Winterfell and rescue myself and my brother. I assure you that your deeds will not go unsung. Each one of you played an important role in the last few moons and each will be properly rewarded. But first, we must get down to the most important things first. Robett Glover, step forward.” A tall man with brown and grey hair stepped forwarded. He wore mail armor underneath a dirty red surcoat. It looked like he did not get much sleep last night.

“My prince, may I saw how happy I am to see you and your brother alive and well.” The man bowed once he came in front of the table that he and Jon sat at.

“Thank you. My brother, Jon, says you were in charge of the hunt for Theon. How goes it?” He could see an annoyed face on the other second son.

“Not well. Theon Turncloak killed two of my men and stole a horse.” He noticed the venom when Theon’s name was spoken.

“Do you have an idea where he is headed?”

“I would think to my home, Deepwood Motte. His sister is hiding there with my children as hostages.” The man flexed his sword hand. Bran did not know where to go from there and looked to Jon for help.

“Ser Rodrik, do we know how many men she has?” The old knight stepped forward at Jon’s words.

“We believe one thousand, my lord.” Jon looked to be in thought about this.

“Lord Glover, send out a small scouting party back to your castle. It would be best to plan our next move once we know how his sister reacts to the news of his failure.”

“As you wish, my lord. My prince with your leave, I will go myself with my men and send word back to you about her movements.”

“You may go Lord Glover, but be careful.” Robett Glover nodded before turning around to leave, a few men with the fist of House Glover followed him.

 

He did not look to Jon for the help with the next issue as he was the most excited about this one.

 

“Larence Snow, step forward please.” A young man with chestnut brown hair stepped forward up to the table. He wore leather without any color or insignia. Larence looked to Jon for an indication on what to do.

“My prince, my lord.”

“Larence you have fought honorably and nobly in the battle that you have been in. You have followed my brother King Robb with loyalty. You helped my brother, Jon Lycaon, come North and reclaim it. According to him, you fought bravely for house Stark. I thank you for it.” The Hornwood bastard kneeled before him.

“It was my honor, Prince Brandon. I only did what any northerner would do in my place.”

“As many of you know House Hornwood has gone under a succession crisis ever since Lord Halys Hornwood, and his heir Daryn, was killed in battle. The castle has gone without a proper lord for some time. King Robb has made a decision on who will inherit it.” He stopped and nodded to Jon for him to continue.

“Larence Snow, by the power entrusted into me by King Robb Stark, First of his Name, King of the North and Trident.” Jon unsheathed Phantom . He put Phantom on Larence’s right shoulder. “I name you Larence of House Hornwood, Lord of Castle Hornwood. Rise, Lord Hornwood.”

 

Larence Snow, no, Lord Larence Hornwood stood up trying to suppress a smile. It was clear that the new lord of Castle Hornwood was happy with what was just given to him. A lot of people from the south and very few from the North thought that bastard were greedy, lustful, and treacherous people. They would look at the smile at Larence’s smile and say that it is because he usurped his trueborn brother’s castle, even though his brother and father were dead. Would they claim Jon to be like the bastards in the stories if Robb, Rickon, Bran, and Robb’s Eddard died, leaving Jon to claim Winterfell as the last son of Eddard Stark?

 

As the new lord of Hornwood began to step down back where he sat with his men, he stopped in front of Lord Manderly.

 

“Lord Manderly, your cousin Lady Donella is the current lady of the Hornwood. If it would please you, I would ask that your line continue to be the lady of the Hornwood. I ask for your permission to marry your granddaughter Wylla. Together our houses will be joined once again.” Bran wasn’t expect something like this. By the look of most people’s faces, they didn’t expect this either.

“You have the right of it, Lord Hornwood. I will talk with my son about a marriage, but I assure you that he will agree with me that it would be an hour to join houses again.” The fat Lord Manderly stood up and shook hands with Larence. Suddenly an idea came to Bran.

“My lords, if this marriage does proceed I would like to offer up the hospitality of Winterfell for the wedding. Both of your houses have greatly served mine and it seems this is the least that we could do to repay you.”

 

Both men bowed and said their thanks. The other men in the hall cheered at the sound of a possible marriage happening in Winterfell. He knew that Robb left Jon in charge of Winterfell and he shouldn’t be offering it up to host events, but he thought it would be a good time to celebrate the success they have found in the North so far. By the small smile and nod Jon gave him, he knew he did right.

 

Once the noise died down they continued with the meeting. He and Jon thanked and if possible bestowed honors onto the houses that helped them. The Manderly’s were thanked but said that Winterfell being the site of the wedding was an honor enough. House Cerwyn were given gold to compensate for holding the northern armies while they waited to reform. The Tallharts were given their castle back that Ser Rodrik had retaken. The list went on and the meeting took them through the midday meal. Servants brought out food for them to consume while the talks continued. Near the end of it, he was half listening to the meeting.

 

He sat on the Throne of Winter as Jon talked the few lords that still were in the Great Hall. The meeting had ended not long ago and most lords left to see to their men. He watched as Lord Wull, the last of the lords in the Great Hall, left Jon began to head back to where Bran sat.

“You did good Bran. Father would have been proud.” It was somberly that Jon said that. Bran still missed his father, it was hard for him to believe he was gone.

“Would he though? I stopped paying attention halfway through it.”

“Aye, you did. But you lasted a lot longer than Robb when father first took him into a meeting like that one.” Jon motioned for Hodor to come near.

“There is just a lot on my mind. Sitting still is so boring.” He wished to be outside with Rickon. He wished he could climb again.

“I know Bran, there is a lot on my mind too.” His brother looked into the distance focusing down the Great Hall.

“What is on your mind?” With a sigh, Jon crouched down next to him.

“A lot.” Jon elaborated after Bran gave him a questioning look. “There is a war going on. I have my mind thinking about the next move to make, the next move my enemy will make. I am thinking about Robb and how he is doing. I am praying that Arya and Sansa will be alright. Alys and the twins are on my mind and how to best protect them. Roslin and our future is on my mind. There is a lot on my mind right now Bran, but do you know how I concentrate on one thing at a time?”

Bran shook his head. “No? It is simple I train to clear my mind. Perhaps you can try it too.”

“You mean you will train me.” His eye light up in the anticipation.

“I will teach you how to fight from horseback. But we need to find your saddle first, so instead, we will work on your archery for the day.”

 

He let out an audible sound of annoyance. Archery was his least favorite thing to learn. He was never any good at it. Then again he only wanted to fight with swords in those days. Now he will focus with all his might to become the best archer the North has ever seen and will one day out shoot those Dothraki that Roslin talked out. From his horse, he will defeat all the enemies of his house and command armies. He would be like his brothers.


Night had already been settled as he and his family were finishing up getting ready for bed. Jon was currently in the Godswood with Rickon. While they were in the courtyard watching Bran practicing his archery a guard informed them that two large wolves were prowling around at the North Gate. When Jon went to take a look, he came back with Summer and Shaggydog. The two direwolves had both ran into the courtyard and greeted their owners. The reunion brought more joy into his life.

 

Rickon was currently a little upset as he claimed Ghost hurt Shaggydog for no reason. The black direwolf had attacked the all white one to become the alpha wolf, as Jon explained it. Even though the three direwolves were of the same litter, Ghost was larger than both of the others. The albino wolf had fought and won against the second biggest wolf in the castle. The black wolf stood no chance according to Osha. Ghost had fought in countless battles and killed many men, Shaggy had only really hunted animals.

 

His two other brothers had gone to make sure that Shaggy was alright, on the behest of Rickon. Summer and Ghost were in the castle and were free to enter and exit. Jon had set Shaggy in the Godswood until the wolf healed and wildness calmed more. Rickon was upset until both Roslin and Osha convinced him that Shaggy will have with the whole holy woods to himself.

 

Roslin handed him a night shift as he sat in a chair in the bedroom of her and Jon. Rickon and he managed to have Jon let them stay again in the same room.

 

“Is there anything else, my prince?”

“We are family, you can call me Bran. And I know Rickon will prefer to be called by his name.” She smiled and said thank you. She turned her back to him as she started to get some other things ready. “Do you like him? Jon, I mean?” She stopped when he asked his question.

“He is my husband, of course, I like him. He is a good man, one I that I never would have dreamed of marrying by being a Frey.”

“No I mean, do you love him? Like my father loved my mother, like Robb and Alys.” He wanted to make sure she wasn’t just playing with his brother’s heart. He wanted to make sure she was genuine.

“I… I do not know. I have never been in love before so I do not know what it supposed to feel like. Jon is honorable, good, and everything that the many men are my family are not. I know not if I love him, but I know I wish to live my life with him.” She sat down after she was done talking and began to brush her long hair.

 

She didn’t really answer him that well, but it was enough for him for the moment. He will become the protector of his family. He will make sure no one betrays them from the inside or out ever again.

 

The door opened and a black blur rushed into the room and jumped on Summer. Bran was surprised at Shaggy attacking his wolf before the two started to play with each other. A moment later Ghost entered slowly before laying down next to Roslin keeping his eyes on his littermates. Jon entered with Rickon who immediately ran and jumped in with the two direwolves.

 

“Rickon, before carefully. You do not want Shaggy to be forced to go back into the woods again, do you?”

“Sorry, Jon.” His little brother slowly got out of the pile and jumped onto the bed.

“I thought Shaggy was staying outside for now?” Roslin asked as Jon closed the door.

“Rickon has promised me that Shaggy will be good and not attack anyone without command. If Shaggy misbehaves than he will be put back outside. And Ghost and Summer will have no trouble subduing him if he does act out.” Upon hearing his new order, Ghost huffed before shifting to lay on his side.

“If you are sure. Rickon are you ready for bed?” His younger brother nodded his head as he stretched out his night shift to show he was ready.

“Good, I do not know about you three, but I am ready for sleep. I am also ready to not be on the edge of the bed again.” They laughed at Jon’s past misfortune as his brother carried him to the bed.

“You should have tried harder to move Ghost.”

“If you want to try and move a large sleepy direwolf be my guest, Bran. Perhaps I will just put you two back into your own rooms so I can get some sleep in my own bed.” Rickon responded with a tongue poking out of his mouth.

“Perhaps I will just kick you out of the bed, husband. Your brothers do not snore like you.” Roslin seated herself on the side of the bed she did last night with Rickon between her and Bran.

“You would freeze without all of this heat us three are giving off.” Jon laid down as he blew out the last candle in the room. The only light was the soft glow of the dying fireplace and the moonlight coming in through the cracks of the window screen.

 

The fur covered was pulled onto them as they each wished everyone else a goodnight. He was too excited to fall asleep though. The world was becoming right again. Summer, Shaggy, Jon, and Ghost returned home with Roslin. Soon his mother, Arya, Sansa, Alys, Robb, and his new niece and nephew will be coming home soon one day. While his father will not be coming back alive his body should be on its way back home soon.

 

He couldn’t wait to show everyone else how good an archer he will be. He couldn’t wait to upstage Arya and show her him fighting from horseback. Since his saddle was found Jon promised he will help Bran with training on a horse tomorrow and help him learn the strategies of war. In a few years, Jon said Bran will be able to protect his home as he wished.

 

Soon Winterfell will begin to feel like home again with it filled with his family.