Ever since she'd been a girl, Brienne had been fascinated by the stories and legends of knights, valiant quests and pretty much anything else that was centuries old and in danger of being forgotten or lost. She'd spent a large part of her childhood perusing any old tome she could get her hands on or visiting museums whenever she got the chance. Deciding on her future career had been a no-brainer. Archeology was her dream come true. She imagined herself traveling the continents, finding lost artefacts, making history by discovering history.
Reality looked a lot different.
After getting her Ph.D three years ago, Brienne had been lucky enough to find an assistant job at the Oldtown Museum of History. The work was interesting, it was just not what she'd dreamed of. To be honest, the only excavation she'd been participating in recently had been one or two months ago when she'd dug through seven cabinets of files to retrieve a report on canopic jars that were going to be featured in an exposition on death and burial rites.
She'd never say it loud, but she was bored.
So when she got a call from a Josmyn Peckledon asking for a consultation without giving any more details, she was kind of excited. So she got her databases ready, made her little no-windows basement office somewhat more presentable, and was actually looking forward to the meeting.
And then Jaime Lannister strode through her door. Without as much as knocking.
He exuded an air of arrogance and disdain at her very small office, and the fact that he was the most handsome man she'd ever seen could in no way make up for the way he seemed to look down on everything in the room, most of all her.
"Excuse me? May I help you?"
"I hope so, otherwise the trip to this..charming.. little hole in the ground was even more worthless than I fear already. I have an appointment."
"That would be my assistant. I'm Jaime Lannister."
He said it as if she had to know who he was and what that meant. And, to be honest, everyone did. The Lannisters were one of the oldest families in Westeros, their ancestry tracing back more than a thousand years. Nowadays a multi-business corporation, they had originally founded their wealth on mining. It was said that in their ancestral seat of Casterly Rock they housed books and items covering a span of at least five centuries. Brienne herself had sent at least a dozen inquiries to inspect weaponry from the great War of the Five Kings for her thesis and always been turned down.
"Oh, of course, Mister Lannister. Please, take a seat."
He grimaced, looking down at the rickety office chair she'd cleaned of files earlier.
"I'm not sure I have all the necessary shots for that. But then again, there's a certain thrill in living dangerously, right?"
He took his sweet time seating himself while Brienne waited patiently.
"How can I help you? Your assistant was rather cryptic."
"What do you know of Brightroar?"
"Uh.." Brienne blinked, pausing. She tried to order all her thoughts, but he didn't give her the time.
"I was told you were an expert on ancient weapons, but it seems your name may have been overpraised," Jaime commented dryly.
"Forgive me if the question caught me off-guard Mr. Lannister. I assumed you were inquiring about something that..well, something that actually exists."
"Well, you know the line about assuming.."
Brienne felt her cheeks grow warm which in itself wasn't a strange feeling for her. However, usually she blushed from embarrassment, not anger.
"Brightroar was a Valyrian steel greatsword belonging to the Lannister family but it was lost when Tommen II Lannister sailed with a great fleet to ruined Valyria. Fleet and sword vanished. It is now believed to be a legend to boost the back then newly gained esteem of the Lannisters. However, since you are a Lannister, I assume you know all this already, so why are you asking me that?"
"I'm asking, Miss Tarth, because I have recently discovered evidence that is in fact not a legend, just very well hidden. I intend to find it. And you're going to help me."
"It's Doctor Tarth and am I?"
"Indeed. I have already spoken to Professor Tarly."
"Professor Tarly can't decide that for me."
"Our first stop would be the Lannister family library in Casterly. I believe you've asked to see that a few times, haven't you? Well, here's your chance. I'm offering you the treasure hunt of your lifetime, plus bragging rights once we find it. Are you in or out?"