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Beneath the Gold, the Bitter Steel. Beneath the Bitter Steel, the Good Heart

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Victory should not have tasted bitter.  The Bastard had finally left. He had ran off to  Essos, a boy of four and ten. In his little farewell letter, he said he was going to  squire for a Knight in the Golden Company, and when he returned it would not be as a bastard, but as a Knight of the free brotherhood of the Golden Company.    He promised Sansa, silks from Myr, and velvet form Loras. He promised Robb, armor from Qoher and Bran, climbing boots and claws from Norvos.


He promised Arya he would commission  a sword for her. A sword!


If it weren’t the fact Jon Snow’s absence made her children sad and her Ned wroth with her she would be happy.


But still her victory was bitter, and the promise she made to  the Seven as a boy loomed over her like the Titan of Braavos.

A month later a variety of packages, all neatly stacked in the back of a very large carriage was trotted up to the gates of Winterfell.


Ser Rodrik said the packages came off a ship from White Harbor, The Ship was from Tyrosh.   The Captain told the customs master that a member of the Golden Company,a pretty boy with a long face and curly black hair asked the packages be delivered to Winterfell, and that the boy has given him a bag loaded with Volantis silver to see it delivered.


There was a letter, sealed with the spear and  gilded skull sigil of the Golden Company.


To my father, Lord Eddard of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North and Warden of the North, his wife, Lady Catelyn Stark nee Tully,  my brothers, Robb, Bran and Rickon, my sisters Sansa and Arya, and my father’s ward, and my brother Robb’s closest friend, Theon of the House Greyjoy, future Lord of Iron Islands and Lord Reaper of Pyke


It has been four months since I swore my oaths beneath the skull of Captain-General  Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers. It has been a rather busy four months. The Golden Company has been on content campaign, at the behest of Braavos, who is paying the Company, and by extension myself, after my expenses for food, lodging clothing, arms and armor have been deducted by the Company paymaster to make war upon Volantis.   


Our Company did not fight alone, aiding us in fulfilling the contract, were the Company of the Rose, the Wolf’s Pack and the Brave Companions.   Opposing us on the field of battle, were the Second Sons, Stormcrows, and some two dozen lesser bands, seven of which were slaughtered to the last man and woman.   We did not have the numbers to sack Volantis, but we carried out a raid in force, that left us with a great deal of plunder, as well as many liberated slaves, to fill the ranks.  About a week after we left Volantis a great many slaves rose in revolt. Something we took great joy in.


Essos is too warm for my liking,  Volantis was particularly unpleasant.  I have told many men and women of the under settled land of The Gift,  It is my hope that many escaped slaves will make their way there and perhaps bolster the Night’s Watch strength by working the land or taking the black.  Perhaps you could ask Uncle Benjen to ask Lord Commander Mormont to send some of the recruiters to Essos? There are great many Eunuchs about in the Free Cities, as well as other who have nowhere to go.  If I were in their shoes, I would rather die an honorable death serving the realm of men than begging for coppers amidst slavers and sickness and tavern wenches.


Forgive my Jape at your expense Theon, but you would enjoy Lys, nothing but prostitutes and liars and bullies who need their faces smashed into the cobblestones.


The Golden Company is a very uncouth group, but to dismiss them is the bitter dregs of failed rebellions against House Targaryen, and would be usurpers and bastards like myself would be a mistake.   There is honor and discipline in their actions. The knights may curse and jape and the Men at Arms may spend their gold on baubles and women and men to warm their beds, but these men in their hearts, are good.  They dream of Westeros and home. The have families and people they are willing to kill and die for. The knight I squire for is named Ser Franklyn Flowers. He has served twelve years beneath the gilded skulls.  He is not a particularly handsome man, and he resembles nothing of the Knight’s of the songs you love so much Sansa. But he is gallant, he understands the pain of being judged by how the Gods brought you into this world, and not by your virtue as a man.   He carved through seven men to rescue Ser Tristan Rivers when he was dismounted, and I have seen him shrug off arrows to shield a young slave girl. He has done right be me when I asked to join the Company, and as his squire, I swore to the Old Gods I would do right by him.


Anyway, I made some promises about what I would send you all,  and I have fulfilled them, It was quite satisfying to use money acquired from Illbegotton means to  bring smiles to family’s faces. There are a great many dead slavers in Volantis, and they had plenty of coin.   


For my father, and Robb,  Armor from Qoher, the only better armor you’ll find is of Valyrian Steel.


From my sister Sansa, and her mother,  Jewelry, silks, bolts of cloth and tapestries from Myr and Loras.   Two of the necklace have small blades, concealed within. The world is a cruel place and there will not always  be good men with stout hearts and skill at arms around. I have attached a list of poisons Maester Luwin would be capable of brewing to  coat them with at request of Lady Mudd, Serjeant Jon Mudd’s mother who recommended I purchase such jewelry.


For my brother Bran,  climbing gear from Norvos, as well as a number of books from Tyrosh that I thought you might like.  


For my sister Arya, I have commissioned a sword, so she may defend herself and those she loves.   This blade is based off a Braavosi design, it won’t cut a man’s head off but it can poke him full of holes if your fast enough.  Have Ser Rodrik drill you on the basics, and practice every day and you will be as good as Queen Nymeria or Visenya, if not better.  


For Theon, I had a recurve bow commissioned, as well as a variety of arrows, and arrow heads of exotic materials.  


In the event of my death, the Captain-General shall send a Raven informing you all of such,  any funds and items in my possession shall be shipped to you, as well as my bones, if the circumstances permit it.


I plan to  return to Winterfell when I come of age and am knighted.


All my love,


Jon Snow.


Arya reached for the sword Jon had gifted her.   She drew it slowly, taking in every inch of the blade.


“That doesn’t  look like a sword.”  Sansa said. “It looks like a long sewing needle.”


Arya laughed.  “Then that’ll be its name.”

“Do you plan to legitimize him?” Catelyn asked that night.   Ned stared at her, his grey eyes both soft and hard.


“When Jon returns to  Westeros, I plan to tell him, you and his siblings who his mother is.  He deserves the truth.”


“I do not care who his mother is  What if he asks you to legitimize him?  He’s send us gifts, He seeks Knighthood.  By the seven, Ned he’s joined the Golden Company.   What if he returns to Winterfell to take what he thinks is his?”


Ned  let out a slow breath and clenched his right hand.


“Catelyn, we both know Jon would never harm his family. I have asked you not to hate him just for being born.   Jon is my burden, my mistake. I swore to his mother to protect him. And I failed him by making him feel like he  had to run across the Narrow Sea.”


“The only reason I have allowed him to  remain here is because of the love I have for you and the happiness he brings to my children.”


Ned’s gaze darkened.  “He is my family. Cat.  The Stark blood runs in his veins just as much as Robb and Bran.”


“He is a sign of your infidelity.  I understand we were not meant to be wed originally, but you swore to be faithful, and you were not.  You brought him here, raised him alongside our son. A bastard. He looks like more like you than Robb Ned.  All it would take for one rumor that Robb is a bastard, and he would have all the support he needs.”


“Listen to  yourself Cat.  Jon would never betray Robb.   And if Jon does bear any ill will towards you, he would keep it to himself.  You’re the mother of his siblings, and he has always been polite to you.”


“If he returns, I do not want him to stay.”


Ned sighed again.


“I do not intend to legitimize Jon.   When Jon returns he may intend to join the Night’s Watch,  or perhaps as a Knight he will join a house in the south. He may travel to  Dorne, where there is less stigma against bastards, but I will not force Jon to leave Winterfell.  If he wishes to stay he stays. Let that be the end of the discussion my lady.”


Catelyn took his hand in hers.


“Fine,” she said softly.


To my brother Jon, future knight of the Golden Company


How are things in Essos Snow?  I hope your not too bored over there.   I wish I could be there with you, but as heir to  Winterfell, and Theon’s only friend, I have my responsibilities.    Sansa has already made a variety of dresses with the material, and she loves the necklace you sent her.    Mother is quite worried about Bran climbing with the claws and boot spikes you sent him, father arranged for bran to  spend a few days with House Flint of the Mountains so he may test them out. He enjoyed himself, but it was at mother’s expense.  Gods she was worried. Arya misses you a lot but father misses you more. On the day, we received your gifts, I saw him go to the crypts after supper.  I swear by the gods he was holding back tears. We all pray for your safe return when you are knighted.


Come home soon,  Arya wants to spar with you.  And I want my brother at my right side again..


All my love,



To my father, Lord Eddard of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North and Warden of the North, his wife, Lady Catelyn Stark nee Tully,  my brothers, Robb, Bran and Rickon, my sisters Sansa and Arya, and my father’s ward, and my brother Robb’s closest friend, Theon of the House Greyjoy, future Lord of Iron Islands and Lord Reaper of Pyke


I regret to inform you you and I will have to go to Bear Island a day or two after my arrival to Winterfell.  In my first battle as a knight of the Golden Company, I encountered Sir Jorah Mormont. I could not convince him to take the black to  atone for his crimes, and had to kill him. I plan to return his body and the House Mormont’s ancestral blade Longclaw to Bear Island in person. Father, when I return, I would like to discuss who my mother was.


I pray things are going well in Winterfell.


Ser Jon Snow

“Open the gates!”  Jory ordered.


Sansa was somewhat disappointed  when her brother entered the gates of Winterfell.  When they’d read his letter about him being knighted, she expected him to  arrive in gilded plate, every inch a hero from the songs.


Instead Jon rode up to  Winterfell on a unbarded horse,  a Mule, with a coffin secured to his side.    He was clad in black leather and knee length fur lined boots.  He wore a cloak of chainmail and black wool with a pin in the shape of the Golden Company sigil.


His gauntlets and greaves were polished steel, and judging by the scuff and hammered out dents, well used.


Across his waist was a crimson sash, with two daggers tucked in it andA longsword at his hip.  Longclaw, the Valyrian steel bastard sword was strapped to his back.


Jon dismounted.


“Father, Lady Stark.”


Ned embraced him.  “You've grown up son.”


“It has been three years, father.” Jon said.


“Aye.” Ned said with a sad smile


“I always said black was your color.” Robb said with a smile as he hugged his brother.


Arya lept into Jon's  arms. Jon smiled for the first time since he arrived in the North  and mussed her hair.


“I missed you little sister.”  Jon said.


“Can we spar?” She asked.  “Well I certainly didn't send you a sword for you to shave your legs with it.” Jon said as he ruffled her hair again.”


Bran was the next to hug Jon.  “Since you're a knight, does that mean I can squire for you?”


Jon swore he saw a vein bulge in Lady Stark’s neck.


“I’ve not even been a knight for a year Bran.”  Bran smiled the grin of a boy who idolized his older brother.  “You’ll be a great knight. You’ll be almost as good as Barristan the Bold.”


Jon laughed and turned towards Sansa.   He was surprised when Sansa pulled him into  a hug.


“It’s good to see you again Jon.”


“You too Sansa, i’m glad you enjoyed my gifts.”


“The silks and jewelry were marvelous.” Sansa said. She was was wearing the necklace with the hidden blade he had sent her.


“Come, we shall feast and you can elaborate on the tales we read in your letters. Afterwords, I will tell you about your mother.” Ned said.

Arya, knew something was nagging her father.


She knew because he drunk three goblets of wine.  Her father was not one to indulge in drink.


She was so happy to have Jon home.


“How long will you be staying?” she asked.   Jon looked to his father and her lady mother.  “I must leave for Bear Island before dawn. If I am allowed, I would like to stay in Winterfell.  But if my presence is unwelcome, I can rent a room at Winter Town. I plan to stay in the North at least a month,  The Golden Company will be mustering in Tyrosh by then.”


“Why would you rent a place at Winter Town? This is your home.” Arya said.


“I'm not a Stark Arya. Your father letting  a bastard like me live with his trueborn children is rare.”


“You’re my brother.” Arya said.


“You will always have a place here Jon.” Ned said as the servants cleared away their lunch.


Ned rose.  “You’re a man grown now Jon.  I… It’s time I told you who your mother was.”


He turned to Catelyn, than to his trueborn children.


“Follow me to the crypts. All of you.”


Jon hated the crypts.   Ever since his fifteenth name day.  He had dreamed of the crypts.


The statues of the crypts had haunted at him,  cursed at him. This is not you place, the King and Queens in the North and Lords and Ladies of Winterfell would say to him     Jon would have been excited, once at the prospect of finding out his  mother. Now, he felt a strange source of emptiness.


The seven of them stood before the statue of Lyanna Stark.


In the torchlight, Eddard Stark, looked far older than his five and thirty years, and Caitlyn's face was as stony as the statues surrounding them.


Robb and his other siblings looked concerned.


“ Besides me only two people still live who truly knew your mother.” Ned said.   “Your Uncle Benjen, and my good friend, Howland Reed.”


“When you mother lay dying, she begged me to protect you.  When you ran off at three and ten, I was prepared to have men find you and bring you back, but Howland Reed remind me, you were like your mother, that you couldn’t collar a wolf.” Ned said with a sad smile.


The Lord of Winterfell turned to  the statue of his long dead sister.


“What I am about to tell you, cannot leave this room. If word go out, it would bring death to our house and suffering to the North.”  Ned said.


“Jon… You are not my son.”   Jon’s blood ran cold.


“Your mother was my sister Lyanna Stark of Winterfell.  Your father.. Your father was Prince Rhaegar Targaryen of Dragonstone, “


Jon sank to his knees, his head spinning.   He looked at the statue of his Aunt- no of his mother.


“So i’m not just a bastard, i’m a bastard borne of rape?”  Jon said weakly, unable to rise.


“You were not a product of rape Jon, Lyanna loved Rhaegar for a time, before he betrayed her trust and had her imprisoned in Dorne. Rhaegar had you legitimized as a Targaryen, and your mother named you Aemon, but she wanted you raised as a Stark, she begged me with her dying breath  to raise you in Winterfell.”


Jon rose, but he could not speak.  Arya hugged him and clung to him like a leech.  “I don’t care if you’re a dragon. You’re my brother.” Arya said.


Caitlyn looked to Ned, than the statue, then she stared at Jon as if she was seeing him for the first time.  “God’s forgive me for being unable to love a motherless child. .” Caitlyn said “There's nothing to forgive Lady Stark.” Jon said softly.


Jon looked Robb, than at his Uncle.


‘“Father.”  Robb said. “You should legitimize Jon.”  “Please father, Jon’s a knight and you said Prince Rhaegar legitimized him.” Bran said.


“I’m not a Stark.” Jon said hoarsely.


“You are.  Your mother was a Stark. Your father, our father is a Stark.” Sansa said in a tone that would brook no argument.


Ned sighed. “I will write to the King,”

Bear Island was rich in Bears and Trees, but poor in aught else.  Nevertheless the Island and it’s people were no less impressive. Mormont Keep was a heavily fortified Longhall that had been rebuilt and expanded many times over.  


Two figures waited for Jon Snow at the docks.  One was a hairy, dark skinned balding man clad in chainmail.  His beard was cropped and his eyes beady. He hefted an axe and had a longsword and obsidian dagger at his hip.  His kite shield bore the sigil of House Stane of Driftmark, a house that resided on Skagos.


The other was an Auburn haired young woman clad in furs and boiled leather. A greatsword was strapped to her back.


“I’m Valeria Norrey, Captain of Lady Mormont’s Household Guard.  This is Ulric Stane, our Master-at Arms.”


“Ser Jon Snow of the Golden Company.”


“Is that what’s left of him?”  The Skagosi asked.




“You did what your father couldn’t Snow.”  The old northman said gruffly.


“I had no desire to kill him, I tried to convince him to take the Black, “


“He had nine years to take the Black. Even if him taking it defeated the purpose of Ol’ Jeor joining the Watch, it would have better then running to  Essos. ”


“Enough of that  you old Unicorn, let’s escort him  to Lady Mormont.” The young woman said.


The hall of Bear Island  was austere, even by Northern Standards, a sign of Bear Island’s Genteel poverty.    Shields decorated the walls, Jon saw the shields not just of House Mormont, but the shields of extinct houses, like House Hoare, Greyiron, Greystark and Woodford, even a shield bearing the Golden Dragon of those that supported Aegon II.


Lady Maege Mormont, was a big boned woman with grey hair. Her face was lined not just with age, but with laugh lines as well.  Surrounding her were her many daughters, The oldest a year older than him, the youngest a child of nine or ten with piercing eyes and a stern complexion


“The prodigal son returns.   You put your father in quite a tizzy when  you left boy.”


“That was not my intention Lady Mormont.”


“And what was your intention? Did you father tell you he was going to  send men to drag you back to Winterfell? Wasn’t till Howland Reed, asked to  speak with him in private, that rescinded the order.”


“He did. My lady.”


Lady Mormont looked at him.   “Your prettier than Ned was when he was   lad. He and your Uncles were quite a catch back then.  Shame Brandon got himself killed and your Uncle Benjen joined the Night’s Watch”


Maege Mormont sipped her ale


“But your eyes aren’t like his,  their like his sisters. Wild, angry, make you want to piss yourself at times.”  


Maege sighed.


“Enough small talk.  Dark wings have brought dark words.   And the sins of the past have come back to roost in our keep.  Tell me Ser Snow. How did my nephew die?”


“As my letter said, he died by my hand on the field of battle.  I killed him by slitting his throat. He fought well, my lady. It was the hardest battle I ever fought.”


Maege sighed.   “Tell me of your duel.  I want a blow by blow account for my Maester.  Jorelle, fetch Ser Snow, bread and salt. Lyanna get him  a drinking horn and a chair. ”


When this was done, Jon sipped  his ale and began.


“ The Golden Company and I were under contract in  Qorth, one of the Free Cities. We had been hired, along with a few other bands to protect them from a Dothraki horde under the command of Khal Drogo.  The Khal was working for The Beggar King.”


“The Beggar King?’ One of the Mormont girls asked.


“The Mad King’s son Viserys, my lady.  He’s twice as mad as his father. He tried to hire us, but he had no plan, no gold, only promises he could not keep.  Viserys wed his own sister to the Khal in exchange for his support. What he didn’t understand you can’t conqueror Westeros with only 40,000 screamers, even if they would cross the sea.”


“And Jorah?”  


“He had sworn himself to  Viserys’ service in exchange for a pardon.  We fought when he led the host that broke through one of the gates.   He cut down ten men before we met. We were both on foot. We locked blades. He was the better swordsman, he broke my shield and almost took my left arm off.  We dueled for another three or five minutes, before he disarmed me. “


“I thought that was the end, so I decided I’d take him with me.  I drew my dirk and flung myself onto Longclaw. He sheathed it inside my chest,  I was face to face with him, when I jammed my dirk in his left eye socket. He fell on his back.  I was on my knees, trying to breath as I pulled the sword out. He wasn’t dead my lady. He rose and came at me with a dagger.   He was on top of me, he jammed it in my right hand, when I tried, to grab his arm. I punched him in the face. I pulled the dagger out of my hand, and buried  it in his throat. He was still trying to choke me with his right hand and before he died. “


Jon drained his ale.


“After that I stood over his body and Longclaw, killing any Dothraki who wanted his body or the sword,  I took two arrows to the back, but I made sure Ser Jorah’s body and Longclaw were taken to the rear when the healers carried me off the field.”


Jon unstrapped Longclaw form his back and offering the blade hilt first to Lady Mormont.


Maege took the blade.  She held it sadly. Her eyes staring into the dark steel.


Before she could, reply, the doors to the hall burst open.  A household guard was panting, “My lady! It’s the Silence!  Euron Greyjoy is here!”


“Boy hand me the scabbard!  Ulric, Dacey, Alysanne you’re with me Valeria, get my daughters to safety, then get over here to help repel these damn krakens.” Maege bellowed.


The She-Bear sheathed Longclaw and left it on the table.  Jon followed her outside the keep, his sword drawn.


All Mormont’s learned to fear Kraken’s, but all Mormont’s learned that Kraken’s could be killed.


The Silence hit the beach with some 200 Ironborn. House Mormont was a small house,but a proud one and every Bear Islander fought with the strength of ten mainlanders.  


As such for every Mormont who fell, three Ironborn did as well.


Maege Mormont, had a reputation as a terrifying warrior,  quicker than lightning, with her mace, able to shrug off wounds that fell lesser men, a force of nature on the battlefield, that Lord Stark could rely upon to smote the enemies of the North.


But Jon Snow, was something else entirely.   Dacey had expected the boy to be decent in a fight.


She had not expecting him to be almost as terrifying as her mother.  Jon Snow, may not have been a Stark, but he was as much a wolf as they were.   A bloody- handed bitter, rage filled wolf, only collared by discipline and honor.  His dark eyes smoldered with a cold fury as he stabbed bashed and when necessary bit through the Ironborn swarming over Bear Island.


Jon snarled as he spat an Ironborn’s ear.   “I don’t see Euron Greyjoy!” he yelled.


Dacey blocked an axe blow and buried her mace in an Ironborn’s chest.


“There’s no  way he’s not leading this raid Snow!”


“If we’re lucky your mother’s killed the fucker!” the Bastard knight roared as he buried his sword in an ironborn’s chest.


“Here we stand!” the cry went up from the Mormont’s lines as they pushed the Ironborn back.  


The Ironborn were silent as they reorganized and made a second attempt to break through the ranks of House Mormont.


“Hold the line!” Maege Mormont ordered.  “Ser Snow, Dacey, hold the right flank, Ulric, Eddara, you have the left! Here we Stand!”


“Here we Stand!” the men and women of House Mormont choused.


“Here you die! I always wanted a Mormont girl to warm  my bed! That’s the only reason I came to this shithole excuse of an island!” Euron Greyjoy bellowed.


Euron made Dacey’s skin crawl.   He was a tall man, with hair as dark as tar and a blue eye that glinted with madness.  His left one was obscured by an eye patch. He wore black scaled armor of Valyrian Steel under a black longcoat. Like his brother Victarion,he favored a two handed battle axe.


“The fool’s not wearing a helm, go for his head.” Jon said.


“Neither of us are either.” Dacey said with a grin.


“True.” Jon said, as he braced himself for the reaver’s charge.


The ground shook from ninety charing ironborn, unlike most Ironborn, there were no battle cries or curses spewing from their lips, Euron Greyjoy had a habit of cutting out the tongues of those sworn to his service.


Jon hacked and slashed his way through the Ironborn with  controlled fury. His sword rose and fell, rose and fell. Not every swing, killed his enemy outright, but every blow  stained the dirt of Bear Island with blood.


Dacey lost all sense of time,  all that mattered was the knight at her side and the enemies in front of her that needed to die so her little sisters could be safe.


“Dacey!”  Dacey turned, her morningstar twirling in her hand.  She hardly recognized her sister Alysanne under her coating of blood and grime and sweat.


“It’s Euron, he broke through the left flank! He’s heading for the keep!”


Dacey’s blood ran colder than Ice.  “Get Mother and Captain Valeria quickly.”  She ordered Dacey turned and saw Jon already running in the direction of Mormont Keep.


Jon  burst into  Mormont Keep,  the two guards at the doorway were already dead.   He cursed. He thought of his sisters, then he thought of Maege Mormont’s youngest daughters.    They had been given daggers and told to hide in the cellars close to the great hall of the keep.  


Jon Snow 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 Captain-General and your rightful Queen, to fight bravely when needed and do such other tasks as are laid upon you, however hard or humble or dangerous they may be?      Ser Flowers had asked him.


I do.  He replied.


“Then rise Ser Jon Snow of the Golden Company.


Jon saw Euron Greyjoy just step into  the Great Hall, his axe and armor wet with blood.   One of his subordinates, held little Lyanna Mormont, who was squirming and cursing him.  Judging by a hastily bandaged wound, she had stabbed him Her older sister Jorelle was held by another Ironborn, an ugly man missing an ear and with rheumy black eyes.


“Put them down right now, and I will ask Lady Mormont to be lenient and let you take the Black.”


Euron laughed.


“Been a while since I killed a member of the Golden Company.  Beneath the Gold the Bitter Steel! That’s your motto in it!” Euron said with a mad laugh.


“If you know those words than your know the other words we live by.   Our word is as good as gold.” Jon said darkly. “If you do not let those children go and throw down your arms,I give you my word that you will die.”


“What is dead may never die, but rises again harder and stronger boy.” Euron said.


“And now it begins.”  Dacey whispered. She prayed to the old gods, her sisters and mother would survive this day.


“No my lady.” Jon Snow said solemnly.  “Now it Ends. “


Jon lunged forward and bashed Euron with his shield, he that smashed the pommel of his longsword into  Euron’s face, breaking his nose. Euron stumbled back, and then caught Jon’s next blow with his axe. He swiftly regained the intiave driving Jon back with a wild energy that sent the young sellsword’s blade spinning out of his hand.  Euron’s second blow dug into Jon’s shield, and split it in half horizontally, sending the young sellsword crashing to floor.


“Not again.” he groused.


Euron’s crushing,blow had left, the reaver off balance and overextended.  Dacey darted forward, ready to pulp his head like a Dornish melon.


Instead, Euron stabbed her in the belly with the serrated spike mounted at the bottom his axe handle.  He then headbutted her, sending her stumbling back, Dacey barely had enough time to get her shield up, Euron’s swing nearly knocking her on her back.


It was in this moment,  screams erupted from mouths of the two  ironborn raiders. The one holding Lyanna had a bloody nose while the other one had a knife in his eye socket courtesy of Jon Snow.   The two young girls were scrambling to their feet. Jon drew the second dagger from his belt and charged the remaining ironborn raider.


Dacey let out a sigh of relief as she and Euron continued to trade blows.   Her little sisters had a chance to get to safety. She blocked another blow, and then struck him in the chest.   The Valyrian Steel didn’t break, but Euron fell back a bit. Dacey aimed her next blow at his head, but Euron blocked the blow with the shaft of his axe, the wood splintering and snapping under the strength of the blow.  


Before Euron could react. Little Lyanna Mormont leapt upon Euron’s back and tried to jam a knife into Euron’s eye socket.   Euorn grabbed her with his right hand and threw her to the ground. He kicked her in the chest.


“I’m going to rape your pretty older sister in front of you you little mongrel!”  Euron snarled he rose his axe high.


Jon Snow, tackled him to  the ground, raining punch after punch on the man’s face.  Jon drew his second dagger, still stained with the Ironborn with the bloody nose he killed moments earlier.  Jon brought the blade down, ready to finish what Lyanna started, when Euron grabbed his right arm and socked him in the face.   The two men grappled until Euron put Jon’s right arm and a lock and pulled it out of its socket. Jon howled in pain. Euron snatched up Jon’s dagger and buried it in Jon’s belly.   Euron pulled the blade out and stabbed him again.


“I’m going to kill, you Slowly, and  painfully. I’m going to take your cock, then i’m going to take your tongue.  Then i’ll take your feet and make you watch as I rape every single woman and this fucking island. Then i’m going to  put your eyes out and tie you to the bottom of my ship. And then i’m gonna send of what’s left of you to Eddard fucking Star-”




Euron collapsed with  a groanthe back of his skullbeen caved in with a morningstar.


“My thanks.  My lady.” Jon said as he slid his arm back in his socket.  Dacey offered a hand to to help pull him to his feet

To my father, Lord Eddard of House Stark, Lord of Winterfell, Lord Paramount of the North and Warden of the North, his wife, Lady Catelyn Stark nee Tully,  my brothers, Robb, Bran and Rickon, my sisters Sansa and Arya, and my father’s ward, and my brother Robb’s closest friend, Theon of the House Greyjoy, future Lord of Iron Islands and Lord Reaper of Pyke


Father, shortly after I arrived at Bear Island to  return Ser Jorah Mormont’s body and Longclaw, Ironborn led by Euron Greyjoy, raided Bear Island.  The raid was repulsed, and Lord Greyjoy was killed by Dacey Mormont.


Theon, I offer my sincere condolences, for your Uncle’s passing.  I tried to convince him to surrender, and take the Black, but he refused.  I have had his remains cremated, and will return them with me so you may scatter them yourselves.  


I will stay at Bear Island a few days  to assist in rebuilding and such.


All my love


Ser Jon Snow of the Golden Company.


“That bastard!” Theon snarled.


“Theon, Jon did not kill your Uncle.” Robb said  softly


Theon ignored him.  “How much more am I going to lose to you Starks?!  My brothers and my life weren't enough?”


“You have a life here.” Robb said.


“If you call being a prisoner in a gilded cage a life.  I spend an extra hour at the brothel with Ros, your Lord father sends his household guards  to take me a trueborn son of a Lord Paramount, back to his cage, while his bastard gets to spend three years in Essos.”


Robb held his tongue.


“I wonder how many whores Snow's fucked.” Theon said as he took a swig from a wineskin.


Robb sat next to his best friend and held out his hand for the wine skin.


“I'm sure my brothers fucked many whores.  He did go to Lys.” Robb said .


“I don't believe  you.” Dacey Mormont said.  She was dressed in a dress of green and black wool.  The two sat in Dacey's modest but spacious chambers


“You can believe me or not, but it's the truth.” Jon said as he sipped his ale.


“But you said you went to Lys? Couldn't you get  a girl there?” Dacey asked with an arched eyebrow.


Jon sighed and put down his Drinking horn.   “I’m a bastard my lady. Any children I'd have would be Snow's.   I was lucky to have a father who took responsibility for his mistakes.  Most bastard aren't so lucky.”


“If you gave me children they'd be Mormont’s.”  Dacey blurted out.


Jon choked on his ale.  “I had no idea you had-   That you desired me My. Lady. “ Jon fumbled with his words.  


Keep you eyes on her  face, not her teats. You damn fool.


Dacey rose and let her dress slip to the floor.  “I want you Ser Jon Snow. Your loyal and your brave.  You stayed to help mend nets and chop down trees and tell my little sister stories.”


“I'm a knight, my lady.  It's my duty.”


Dacey smiled.  “I know you want me.  So unless you're joining the Night's Watch or have a pretty Dornish Woman you're looking forward to-


Jon kissed her.  Then as soon as he did he broke it.


“ I don't deserve you my lady. Surely you have no shortage of suitors?  You could marry into of the Mountain Clans or House Glover. You could marry my brother.  Be the Lady of Winterfell.”


Dacey kissed him back. She tugged at his shirt.  Jon gently pushed her back to remove his shirt. Dacey eyed his body, which was canvassed in scars.


“I don't want to be the Lady of Winterfell.  I want you Jon. You think you'll be a Snow after what you did today? There’s no way your father doesn't legitimize  you.”


Jon looked at her.


I was born a legitimized bastard.  I'm half a dragon. I can't put her and her family in danger.


Dacey , say my father legitimized me.”  which he plans to , Jon thought  “I'm a sellsword.  I have no lands, no titles.  What makes you think your mother will allow us to wed?  Your her heiress and a legitimized bastard isn't as worth as much as a trueborn son.”


“You wouldn't be just any legitimized bastard. You’d be a Stark.  My mother would have no objections to that. You're a good man with a good heart. You returned my Uncle's body and my family sword.  You fought by my side. You helped save my sister's from thralldom. And you stayed afterwords to help us rebuild and get everything back to normal.  


I'm not saying we need to wed first thing on the morrow, I'm saying I want you Jon Snow and if you get legitimized I'll ask my mother to broker a betrothal and we can wed in a year.  And if your father doesn't feel like giving you what's your due, after he made the decision to raise you among his trueborn sons and daughters… We Mormont’s are skinchangers. We turn into bears and find mates in the woods.  Everyone knows that.”


Jon’s resistance crumpled.  Dacey was beautiful with her muscled well developed body .   She could fight, she didn't give a rats ass she was a bastard.   How could Jon ask for more?


Jon kissed her again and  then with a gentleness that surprised himself he liberated Dacey of her small clothes.


Jon kneeled before Dacey and gently slid her tongue inside her.  


Dacey let out a sequel of pleasure. A soft   Ah sound escaped her throat.  In a few moments she climaxed.


Jon rose and licked his lips.


“Please bend over my lady.” he said huskily.


Dacey obeyed and  buried her face in the bearskin pelt she used as a blanket.  She then let out a muffled scream of pain and pleasure as the bastard son of her liege lord sodomized her.