Chapter 1: Introduction of Eddard Stark
The thrice widowed Wolf Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North
Born 263 AC in Winterfell
married from 282 AC until her death 283 AC to Catelyn Tully.
married from 285 AC until her death 287 AC to Barbrey Ryswell, widow of Willem Dustin
married from 288 AC until her death 290 AC to Hanna Reed, sister of Howland Reed
Robb, Mina (Minisa) and Sansa, triplets born in 283 AC
Arya, Rickon and Rodrik, triplets born in 287 AC
Lyarra, Melantha and Bran, triplets born in 290 AC
'Father'(Uncle) to Jon Snow, born 283 AC
Is a true father to his people, works hard to make the life better for his smallfolk and is adored by the peasants and Nobles of the North alike.
Killed Victarion Greyjoy with the Help of the Greatjon during the Greyjoy Rebellion.
Beheaded Roose Bolton and the Bastard Ramsay Snow in the Year 297 AC, Ramsay for the Kinslaying of Domeric Bolton and Roose for not speaking Justice himself.
Agreed in 298 AC to become Hand of the King, Robert Baratheon.
Ned Stark had just weeks ago become the new Lord of Winterfell because of the horrible deaths of his father and older brother, when he married in Riverrun for the first time.
His wife was the former Bride of his older brother, Lady Catelyn Tully. In the same Ceremony his former Fosterfather Jon Arron married Lady Lysa Arryn.
Both newlywed men spent only two nights each with their Wives before they left for War.
Lady Lysa Arryn had not the luck to get pregnant in this time but Lady Catelyn Stark did and while the men fought against the Targaryens and the loyalists and finally won, Lady Starks pregnant belly grew enormously large.
While her husband was lifting the Siege on Storm's End, Lady Stark gave birth to triplets, a boy and two girls, all with her hair and her eye color. Then Lady Catelyn Stark died.
Lord Eddard Stark came to Riverrun with a baby boy in his arms, the Child of his sister Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen, which he though claimed to be his Bastard Child by Ashara Dayne.
Lord Tully was angry about that but Lord Stark didn't care and claimed that it was his right to do so and bring his Bastard along because Lady Ashara killed herself. Then Lord Stark took his Triplets Robb and Sansa and Mina, short for Minisa, with him too, seeing as they were his legal heirs.
Lord Eddard had lost too many good friends during the War, his search and following fight for his sisters freedom had cost him even more good men and after his sister then died in his arms, all these loses turned his desire to enlarge his family up to be his highest wish.
In 285 AC, a year after Lord Eddard Stark arrived back in Winterfell with his people, his three Children and three nurses, he married again. His second Bride was the widow of Lord Willem Dustin, Lady Barbrey nee Ryswell, who was once deflowered by Lord Eddards older Brother.
Lady Barbrey Stark would have liked it more to be the wife of her first lover but in the end she was satisfied enough to be the Lady of Winterfell and even congratulated the new Lord of Barrowton, a distant Cousin of her first Husband, with best wishes for the future.
She soon got pregnant and Lord Eddard was satisfied by that. Sadly enough, this wife too, died while giving birth to triplets.
While Arya and Rickon and Rodric cried powerfully, their mother bleed to death in the late days of 287 AC.
These children of Lord Eddard not only both looked entirely Stark but also showed even as babes that they had the Wolfsblood, so wild they behaved.
Lord Stark sighed but then nodded to himself and looked for a new wife.
A good year after his second wife died, he married anew, this time a Lady Hanna Reed, the sister of his good friend Howland.
Lady Hanna Stark was a Greenseer, which she never told anyone outside of the Neck besides her husband and while she was of a slight build, she was unafraid of anything and showed that when she had to take full responsibility of the North during her pregnancy while her husband and his men fought down the Greyjoy Rebellion alongside with the Southern Realms.
Lady Hanna gave birth of Triplets too, the boy was called Bran and the Girls Lyarra and Melantha. All three children had the colors of House Stark and the features of House Reed. Lady Hanna never got up from her bed but hold on to her live till the moment that her husband got through the door of her bedroom.
She smiled at him one last time and then died.
Lord Eddard Stark began to think that maybe some bad luck spell had been spoken on him years ago but by whom?
He decided about a year later to look for the most robust Wife that he could possibly find and then send letters everywhere but most Ladys were not interested in being Lady of Winterfell for maybe two years only to then die because of a triplet birth.
Because that was what Lord Eddard became known for, for fathering Triplets. The unmarried Ladys of Westeros were afraid about that. Childbed was hard enough and then three at once, no thank you.
Lord Eddard worked relentlessly as Lord of his lands, he was highly respected and loved by the smallfolk and nobles of the North.
It was just that no Lady wanted to become another tripletbearer for him.
So the Warden of the North spend his time doing everything to better the life circumstances of his people, doing his best to be a good father and role model for his many Children and sometimes he had to decapitate some people.
For his carnal desires he found releases but all the women always only pleasured him in ways that led not to pregnancies for themselves.
And so the years got by.
Many years later Lord Stark was visiting The Norrey with his heir Robb and his Bastard Jon. On their way back home from there they were surprised to find themselves confronted by the biggest two wolves anyone had ever seen in their lives.
One a male and the other a female with a hugely pregnant belly.
The two boys begged for the lives of the huge and wondrous wolves and the He-Wolf bowed down himself in front of Lord Stark.
The Wolves were allowed to come to Winterfell with the humans and they were barely inside the huge Keep's Courtyard that the Shewolf gave birth.
Ten little Wolfpups were born that day, one for each of the ten Children of Lord Stark.
The Shewolf managed even to survive this ordeal and she and the male Wolf enjoyed the twenty Children around them, one half human the other half Wolf.
Two weeks later a letter arrived that Lord Jon Arryn had died and then another one came with the news that the King and his Family would come to Winterfell.
And so it began....
Lord Eddard Stark sat in his Solar and was reading the two letters from King's Landing again.
Weeks ago came first the one about Jon Arryn 's death. Ned closed his eyes for a moment of sadness while thinking about his former Fosterfather.
The second letter that came with the news that his former Fosterbrother would come to Winterfell had been more nerve-wracking though. The Warden of the North had just finished reading it again. He groaned.
The King coming to Winterfell with his family and numerous Courtiers at now this time was highly distracting not to mention, it was also something that would make Winterfell nearly burst because of how many people had to be given some place to sleep.
King Robert would arrive tomorrow and in the last few days already most of the Lords and Ladys of the North had arrived because of Robb's wedding.
If only he could have managed to sent a message to Robert to stay away for a couple of weeks more but no chance.
All the Ravens were either ignored in King's Landing or never arrived there.
Eddard Stark sighed deeply, he hadn't had this much of a headache since he had been forced to decapitate Roose Bolton and his Bastard son for the crime of kinslaying. It had been a shame about Domeric, really. He had been such a good boy and Mina had liked him very much. Then again he hadn't been really smart, which he had shown by trusting another man of Bolton blood.
Lord Stark sighed again. He was not sad that the main line of the Boltons were finally gone for good and that now a Cousin from a distant relation of Roose's grandfather's sister that married into the Norrey Clan, was the new Lord Bolton.
Mina though had liked Domeric Bolton better than her new fiance Harbold Bolton, formerly Norrey, who was a lot hairier and two full heads taller.
It couldn't be helped, for she still also wanted to become the Lady of Dreadfort and thus would have to arrange herself with her new husband to be.
Sansa had been the easiest of his older children so far. She had been betrothed to Lord Tarlys heir and could barely wait for her wedding.
Sansa had been the only one too, that liked the endless chain of Septas that Hoster Tully had send North to his grandchildren.
Not that any Septa had ever the time or Chance to feel comfortable in Winterfell, not when nine of his ten Children liked to make bets who of them would shock the then current Septa the most.
Lord Stark chuckled for a moment. The Septa four years ago nearly managed for seven moons to stay before she finally had given up and left. What had been her name again. Drusilla, no Ursula, no Unella. Maybe? Oh whatever. Something like that at least.
Ah, egads. Back to the problem at hand. Where in Others damned name should be put his oldest friend and the numerous people that will arrive with him, when even now Winterfell and the Wintertown is already filled up to the roofs?
Damned Umbers and Wulls had arrived with so many people three days ago, that Robb had asked The Wull if the Clan had completely left the Mountains for this wedding.
Everyone had laughed and the Robb's fiance had suggested to her husband-to-be that she would like to be shown around.
Nobody had seen them for hours till the Night meal was to be served in the Great Hall. Both arrived with a limp and had been starved.
Jon had teased his half-brother endlessly, that if he was already so weakend now, what would he look after his wedding night.
The Great Hall had exploded in laughter and Robb and his fiance Nella Umber had blushed spectacularly before they too laughed out loud.
Eddard Stark sighed deeply again. No time to think about the fun moments of the last couple of days, he really had to find someplace for the damned Royal sycophants and his oldest friend to stay.
The King arrived the next day with his Wife and Children, four Kingsguards, numerous Servants and some Courtiers and Ladys-in-waiting.
Also accompanying them were the Lord Tywin Lannister, the father of the Queen and his youngest son, Tyrion the dwarf.
All together over seventy persons arrived in Winterfell in Wheelhouses and on horses.
The Warden of the North had taken his place to be the first to welcome his old friend in his home. Around him stood on the left side all his children and on the right side his most important Lords and Ladys.
There were three rows behind him, the first on with the other Lords and Ladies, the second and third row with his highest servants and men-at-arms.
More people, mostly those of his Lords, were standing around at the other sides of the Great Courtyard.
Finally the biggest Wheelhouse anyone had ever seen, arrived at the Gates of Winterfell.
It was a rather tight fit for the oversized Wheelhouse to pass but the coachman was a good one and the great thing came to stop in the Great Yard. Behind it, many riders clad in red and gold arrived, alongside four Knights clad entirely in white, two of them were riding in front of a fat Gold and Black clad man and two were riding behind him.
Behind the white Knights, a Lord in Gold and Red armor rode in and alongside with him a small being also wearing the colors Red and Gold but no armor. Behind those two, three more but smaller Wheelhouses rolled in and finally twenty Redcloaked Guards came on horses to complete the Royal treck.
Everyone of the North looked to the fat person that rode to the top of everyone and then stopped to stare at the Northerners.
The Stark children looked from the fat man on the poor horse to Lord Eddard, the northern Lords and Ladys did the same.
All looked disappointed.
Well, Ned Stark thought, it looked that there was nothing of the once mighty Warrior Robert Baratheon left. Still, traditions wouldn't be changed now and so the Warden of the North bent his Knee and all Northerners in the Courtyard followed the example of their highest Lord.
King Robert went down his horse heavily and with the help of a small ladder and panted worse than Wyman Manderly did three days ago, at least in Neds opinion.
Robbs future Goodfather, the Greatjon, who was standing the nearest to Neds right side, scoffed while watching the King climbing down his horse and muttered under his breath that Robert Baratheon was not that far away from passing Lord Wymans weight. Greatjon's wife Jocelyn, a born Wull, rammed her elbow in her husbands side and just a moment later she repeated the same to her other side with her brother, The Wull. Both men looked fondely to the woman between them, she still was a fierce one.
Finally King Robert was down from his horse and standing in front of the kneeling Northerners. Beside the King stood his wife and children and his own Goodfather and the four Kingsguard Knights on the flanks.
Robert Baratheon gave command and all Northerners stood up from their knees and looked interestingly towards the Southerners.
They all saw a huge fat, black haired man, in Black and Gold while his wife and children were wearing Red and Gold, had golden hair and were all pretty and thin.
The Lion Lord besides them looked at the assembled Lords of the North with a critical eye, his daughter looked at everyone full of disdain, the same as the eldest Prince did. The two younger children looked tired. King Robert himself looked happy, called his friend fat as a joke and then grabbed Lord Stark in a crushing embrace.
Everyone else looked to the two embracing men and then the Stark children and the Northern Lords looked at the heavily scowling Queen. Everyone sighed at that. This would be a unpleasant Royal Visit.
Robb looked defeated, he had so wished for a good wedding with Nella but this Queen and the oldest Prince looked as if they would ruin all the fun.
Finally the embrace between the former fosterbrothers ended and then Lord Eddard Stark began to introduce everyone to the Royal Guests.
He first presented his heir Robb with his bride Nella Umber. The Queen made the snide comment that the bride was taller and even less civilized looking than the boy and how unfortunate that looked.
Eddard Stark thought to himself that this must be a new record. He never met someone before that managed to turn everyone of his Lords and Children and even his most gentle daughter Sansa against themselves with just one Comment.
The King ignored the badmouthing that his wife uttered, the oldest Prince delighted in it and the younger Children looked embarrassed. Lord Tywin Lannister rolled his eyes up at his daughters words and then scowled at her.
Mina and Sansa, Robb's tripling sisters looked to each other and then to their younger siblings and all nodded to each other slightly. This meant revenge!
The rest of the introductions proceeded in a tense atmosphere that had everyone on their most false best behavior, everyone but the King, the Queen and the now introduced Prince Joffrey.
The King was cleary really happy and the Queen and her oldest son didn't even try to be nice and civil.
They commented quite loudly and often how the children of Lord Stark looked and then the same about the Northern Lords and Ladies.
When afterwards the accompanying Southern Lords and Ladies were introduced, Prince Joffrey made mean-spirited comments about them too from the sidelines.
Lord Eddard Stark sighed deeply and in the end he just hoped that nobody would kill this Royal Golden Brat under his roof while ignoring Guestright.
This promised to be a really uncomfortable visit.
After all the introductions were done, the King asked his oldest friend to be shown to the crypt and Lord Stark and the King went away.
Sansa and Mina as oldest Daughters of the House were the acting Ladys and brought the Queen and the Royal children to their rooms. Robb had the not really pleasant task to do the same for the Lion Lord. The other Southern Courtiers and Lady were shown to their accommodations by the Vayon Poole and other high up Winterfell officials. At last the headservants of Winterfell then brought the Southern servants and soldiers to where they would find their sleeping arrangements.
Jon Snow remained with his six younger siblings, who were eager to look over the Wheelhouse and who all even looked inside and commentated mockingly about the overstuffed room inside. Then the Bastard ushered his younger siblings to their rooms so that they could all make themselves more presentable like he promised father.
The Northern Lords and Ladys were still standing in the courtyard and looked to the huge Wheelhouse. The Greatjon and his Goodbrother The Wull made a bet how often it broke down on the whole way from King's Landing to Winterfell, how often the smaller Wheelhouses did and how long the Southern Horses would survive in the Northern weather.
They also made their bets about how long the Southerners would be able to stand the weather themselves.
Lady Maege Mormont put some money into the bets too and every Clanchief from the Mountains and Woods did the same. Other Lords and Ladys followed, from Manderly to Glover and from Reed to Karstark and all other too, till finally the only one that had not put any money into it was the notorious stingy Lord Crowl from Skagos.
"Apuktu bat eggin, harrut skagu jan"
The Greatjon finally shouted and The Crowl answerd him with a rude gesture and a meagre purse which he placed on the non existent longlivety of Southern Horses in Northern weather.
The Lords and Ladys finally finished their betting business and notewriting and went back into the Great Hall. It was the evening before the Wedding and a King had just arrived, they all made their bets how long the Southerners would last here up in the North till they took ill, animals and peoples alike and now the Northerners wanted to feast and drink.
They started to drink to House Stark. Long live The Ned and that he had worked so good to keep his barns full and his animals fat and that there was Beer and Ale and Mead and harder stuff aplenty.
A short time later the King and Lord Stark arrived and the oldest Triplings lead the Queen and her Children and father to the High Table, with the Courtiers and Ladys following and going to the lower Tables.
The younger Children of Lord Stark and his Bastard rushed inside and seated themselves at the high table even Jon to the consternation of the Queen and her father.
The feast now started for real. The King clearly enjoyed all the laughter and the drinking and the food. He sadly also enjoyed touching the behinds of the Serfing Women a bit too much till Lord Stark bend to the Kings nearest ear and said something to him. After that, the King still enjoyed food and drink and laughter and the occasional song but kept his hands to himself.
The Queen though, her oldest Son and her father looked as if they had swallowed something bad and sourtasting the whole time. The two younger Royal Children though looked fascinated by the absolutely unknown atmosphere. On the lesser tables some of the Southern Courtiers and Ladys looked nearly as horrified as their Queen, while others enjoyed the so much less tense atmosphere at the feast.
Such a difference to the one in the Red Keep were one always had to be careful to stay on the good side of the Queen.
Musicians from White Harbor took their place on a small dais behind the lower tables and started to play jolly songs that were known throughout of Westeros.
Robb Stark nodded to his father and then bowed slightly before his fiance, who was sitting also on the high table. Nella Umber got up and went with Robb to the free room in the middle between the tables, which were all standing alongside the Walls, with most people still sitting and feasting and drinking.
One of the Ladys, Roslin Frey took to dance with the fat and nearly twenty years older Ser Wendel Manderly, the second son of the Lord Wyman of White Harbor. Though he was a fat man, Ser Wendel was still a graceful dancer and the Lady Roslin looked like she enjoyed herself, for she and the Ser were laughing with each other.
Jon Snow asked his sister Sansa for the dance since her fiance was not in Winterfell and she always liked dancing and after a nod from his father, they both joined the other Dancers. More and more couples joined in.
Lord Stark though cleary couldn't because he was entertaining the King, or more likely was listening the King talking about the good old times. The Queen and her oldest son looked with disgust clearly etched into their fine and beautiful faces, to all the fun that the other people were having. Little Princess Myrcella and Prince Tommen looked longingly to were all the Stark Children were dancing with each other and other Lords and Ladys. Their Grandfather looked like he thought that this journey was a huge mistake.
Then Arya Stark came back to the High Table and stepped directly to the Lion Lord.
She was not a pretty Girl but she was also not ugly and she was confident with her eleven years of age. Arya Stark looked the Lion Lord in the eyes unblinkingly, something that Lord Tywin noticed with surprise and then spoke words that the Warden of the West never heard before in his life.
" I want you to dance with me. You look still fit and healthy enough to do so, even though you are old. You look bored while you are sitting here, so you can dance with me instead."
The whole High Table turned absolutely silent, even the loud talking King, it was as if they had turned to ice.
Lord Stark closed his eyes and buried his head in his hands for a moment and the King, the Queen and all three Children and the four Kingsguards standing behind the High Table and looking at the Girl open-mouthed.
The lower tables were unlikely to have heard what happened, for they were all still singing and dancing and drinking but the High Table occupants were really nearly petrified.
The Lion Lord looked at the Stark Girl first with a scowl on his face but it soon turned to genuine interest because of how the Girl's eyes never wavered from his own. Finally he stood up and presented his arm to lead the young Stark Lady onto the Dance floor. They soon were among the many Dancers, though they presented a funny picture, the tall old Lord and the way shorter and smaller young Girl.
Eddard Stark looked to the others seated at the High Table. Even Roberts looked like he had just seen something unbelievable, the Queen and her Children looked even more shocked.
Arya always managed to surprise everyone.
Apuktu bat eggin, harrut skagu jan"
Make a bet, old Stone eater
A mixture of Skagos/Stone from Old Tongue and the rest Google Translator in Basque with a bit twisting
I hope it sounds good enough.
The jolly feast had ended around the hour of the Wolf for the next day was the one of Robb Starks wedding to Nella Umber.
The morning found Lord Stark being roused earlier than he would have liked by his heir and his bastard. Jon Snow clearly was smirking at his fathers scowling about the too early hour, while Robb was desperately trying to make his only half-awake father agree to his idiotic idea.
Robb had apparently spent his night entertaining his bride and for some odd reason they had spoken about how unhappy with each other the Royal couple looked and how they hoped that they would never become like that.
This seemed to has later resulted into an idea that entered Robb's mind and that he now wished for his father to follow through with.
"No Robb, i will not make the King and all that came with him, leave Winterfell for the Time of Wedding and the following feast just because you think they course your marriage with Bad Luck just by being near you and your Bride. You will wed Nella in front of the Hearttree and that is Good luck enough to cancel out the Bad Luck."
"Father is right Robb but if you and Nella want to be sure, you know what Old Nan always said. Go to the Weirwood and offer blood and the leaves that they gift you with, the ones that fell into your hands, those wear near your heart and the Gods protect you from the Evil Eye."
Jons comment was hopefully meant in jest, was Lord Eddards thought but sadly Robb looked at his half-brother like he had offered the best idea ever, crushed Jon happily in an bonebreaking embrace and then left his fathers bedroom quickly.
"Jon, i hope that you meant that as a joke, not a good one but a joke." said Lord Eddard warily.
"Well father, even though i hate to bring down your hope, i meant it for real. This was the only way that Robb would stop pestering you to sent the Southerners away." was the answer before Jon Snow left his fathers room too.
Lord Stark sighed deeply and let himself fall back in his bed. This promised to be an even more nerve-wracking day than the one before.
The whole Grand Keep was already busy and loud when Eddard Stark arrived at the High Table in the Great Hall. All his Children were already on their seats but the King, the Queen and the Children were still in their rooms, at least that was what Vayoon Poole mentioned.
Lord Tywin Lannister though was also seated at the High Table, his whole appearance looked cold and his eyes were drifting disdainfully around in the Hall and the many many occupants. The Northern Lords and Ladys were already eating their morning meal at the lower Tables and slowly the Southern Guests arrived too.
"Good morning Lord Lannister", Eddard Stark greeted.
" Lord Stark" accompanied by a small nod was his answer by the Lion Lord.
Both men decided that Silence would be easier. Ned Stark thought about the other information that he received from the Steward Poole. Tyrion Lannister, Lord Tywins hated Dwarf of a son had yesterday left the Keep while the King and Eddard embraced, had preferred to ride back into Wintertown which the Southerners just had passed through and immediately found the next Whorehouse. Since then he was enjoying himself there.
The Warden of the North wondered if the Warden of the West knew that too but then decided for himself that this was not his family and so it was not his problem. Then Eddard Stark began to eat and talk with his children.
Robb and Nella had both a small linen wrapping around their left hands and were clearly happy about that.
A long while later, the King, followed by Ser Barristan, stumbled into the Great Hall and let himself fall down onto the chair. The Princess Marcella and the younger Prince Tommen came next and with them came their three stern looking Septas and Ser Aerys Oakheart.
The Children sat by their Grandfathers side and looked both sad and longingly over to where the Stark Children were happily talking and joking with their father, Lord Stark. Prince Tommen looked then fearfully to his Grandfather and then to his own father, King Robert.
Princess Myrcella's eyes were still focused on the Stark Children though. She stared unashamedly to the so much more happily interacting family that they presented, then finally closed her eyes and thought for just a few moments of how much she wished to belong to them. Her and Tommen living in Winterfell, what a nice little fantasy that was, she thought to herself.
Sadly then Prince Joffrey arrived, followed by Ser Meryn Trant and sat himself at the High Table with utter hatred etched into his fine features. Ser Meryn was standing behind him and was snarling angrily.
Joffrey started to speak his woes, imagined or real, to King Robert.
"Father, this room, this bed, everything is absolutely unworthy of me, your heir. There were no silk sheets and nothing in the Colors of our Houses in this Room. Not even the tiniest piece of Gold, nothing. All is drab and grey and ugly. I shudder to think what things are crawling under the Covers and i..."
"Shut up Joffrey, just shut up." was the only answer if the King.
Prince Joffrey looked angrily but sat down with a scowl and started to eat, while he still continued his angry mutterings about everything till a sharp word from Lord Lannister stopped that finally too.
The Queen sent news through her handmaiden that she felt ill and would not come and since Ser Jamie was the Kingsguard that primary protected his sister, he too did not come to the morning meal.
Later, when all was done, the Lords and Ladys were mingling and the three youngest Stark Children Bran, Lyarra and Melantha were showing Princess Myrcella and Prince Tommen around, the three middle ones Arya, Rickon and Rodrik were plotting how to pay back Prince Joffrey for what he said about their beloved home.
Joffrey though was pouting in the Corner of Lord Lannisters room, while said Lord told him what bad behavior he as Prince was showing.
Hours later, the Lords and Ladys, also all Northern Servants and men-at-arms, were wearing their best clothing.
Lord Stark, his heir and the rest of the Children, went into the Godswood. The King and the two younger children followed them, to the disgust of the children's Septas.
A short while later, The Greatjon and his wife Jocelyn were leading their daughter Nella into the Godswood, followed by their other children, the heir Smalljon and his Wife Serena nee Stane and Ned, Rickert, Ulla, Alya and Oscer Umber.
Jocelyns birth family followed, lead by The Wull, Hugo Wull. He was followed by his children Eddo and his wife Lorna nee Flint, Riko and his wife Nessa nee Ironsmith and his unmarried children Theo, Arik and Hugh.
A short while later the marriage vows were spoken in front of the ancient Heart tree and everyone then went into the Great Hall again for the wedding feast.
Everyone but the Queen and Ser Jamie were now there in the Hall to celebrate. From the King and his Family to the Ladys and Lords to the many many servants, everyone was toasting the Young Couple and their future.
Everybody was toasting but Prince Joffrey, his personal Kingsguard Ser Meryn, the Lord Lannister and the three disgruntled looking Septas.
Nobody cared about these peoples though. Life was good right now in Winterfell, nearly all were really having fun and about an hour later, the King was granting a wish for the newly wedded couple.
Robb wished for his brother Jon to be legalized and Nella wished for the New Gift to be returned under the care of House Stark, she even had a letter from the Nightwatch that they didn't want the New Gift anymore. King Robert looked surprised but agreed to both these wishes for they were easy to fulfill and would cost him nothing.
Maester Luwin did the honors of writing both Contracts himself on good veal leather on top of the High Table. Lord Lannister, Ser Barristan and two Northern Lords and two Southern Lords signed as witnesses under the King and Lord Stark.
After that, the newly legalized Jon Stark was embracing his brother Robb so long and hard that the heir protested that he wanted to survive the night. All laughed merrily at these Words.
It was such a happy and satisfying night for everyone.
The ancient Great Keep of Winterfell was filled to the brim with merrily feasting people who were celebrating the heirs wedding and the generosity of House Stark.
In the Great Hall, the Lords and Ladys of the North intermingled with those that came with the King from the South. King Robert himself laughed loudly about stories told by The Wull and The Greatjon, while Lord Stark was currently besieged by The Norrey and The Burley, who both already tried to make sure that The Ned would not forget them when the lands of the former New Gift would be distributed anew.
Princess Myrcella looked happily up to the long but handsome face of Rickon Stark while she danced with him, her younger brother Tommen stumbled clumsily during his own dancesteps with the ever pleasant Melantha Stark and Prince Joffrey was sitting moodily at the High Table, unwilling to dance and muttering the whole time of how horrible everything was in the North.
Lord Tywin Lannister looked with interest to the youngest pairing on the Dance floor and winced nearly invisible when Prince Tommen then stepped again wrong and this time so bad that even the gentle Lady Melantha cried out in pain with a couple swearwords and disentangled herself from the now beet red younger Prince.
Melanthas tripling sister Lyarra showed mercy to the embarrassed Prince and took her sisters place. She clearly rued it after a short while but soldiered through that dance and one more before she lead the young Prince back to the High Table with a clearly forced smile.
Tywin Lannister gritted his teeth while he looked down at his returned youngest Grandson. At least Myrcella held herself in good elegance and dancing talent and was showing already through her dancing that she had inherited the graceful behavior from Joanna.
The Warden of the West then looked to his two Grandsons, the older scowling and the younger sniffling and shuddered. They were embarrassing the family. He would have to talk with his daughter, her sons were lacking all that was needed to be a Grand Lord or Prince. Cersei had clearly brought them up badly and the King was also only bad influence. That reminded him of something. He looked to Ser Barristan.
"Ser Barristan, was my son excused by his Grace for tonight?"
"No Lord Lannister, Ser Jaime is still doing his duty but he is guarding the Queen and since she is still resting in her room, Ser Jaime will of course be standing Guard in front of her door." was Ser Barristans answer.
Lord Stark, who finally had managed to free himself from his two Clanchiefs and was standing just near enough to Ser Barristan to hear his answer to Lord Lannister, interrupted both men.
"My Steward Poole had informed me earlier this day that Ser Jaime had asked were there was a Sept for the Queen to pray in. Steward Poole had told the Kingsguard the truth, that Winterfell doesn't has one but that there is a small Tower, formerly called the Broken but now the Septas Tower.
It has a crude small Sept on the first Floor and two Rooms for the endless Streams of Septas that my first goodfather is still sending to us, for he wanted his Grandchildren to know the Faith of the Seven.
To this small Tower my Steward sent the Queen earlier this afternoon, for Ser Jaime told him not only of the wish of the Queen for praying but also that had horrible problems to find rest in the Guest Quarters because of the noise overall.
My Steward told me all this before the wedding ceremony and i approved of it, so that the Queen might be better again tomorrow."
Lord Stark finished his explanation with these kind words and Lord Lannister tried to look grateful. Inside he was seething.
Typically Cersei, she had no shame in slighting such a huge House by faking illness just because she was uninterested in anything but herself. Surely she was already drunk, that seemed to happen more and more often to her when she was unwilling to be involved in socializing.
Young Arya and Rodrik happened to be going by when their father spoke and both now looked to him with wide open mouths.
Then Arya looked to her brother and asked him if they had found all of the Essosi Termites after the last Septa left two and a half moons ago. Before Rodrik could answer though..
BBBBoooooommmmm!! ! ! CRASHH!! BANGGG!!!
The noise was deafening.
Rodriks answer was silent.
"Seems that we had missed a few."
Everyone was running out of the Great Hall, the smaller Halls and all the other places where people just moments ago had been celebrating.
They all were running till they found the reason for the loud noise. The Septas Tower had broken apart and collapsed to the side, the Towerroof had fallen into a small courtyard and the whole two upper floors had been turned to rubble. All the wooden joisting that had hold the stones of the old Tower upright had crumbled to Sawdust and broken pieces. Amidst this rubble two naked bodies were found, those of the Queen and those of her brother. Both were connected by their lower intimate body parts and had clearly been involved in treacherous behavior before they died so suddenly.
Lord Lannister looked shocked at this picture of total embarrassment for his House. His Children had behaved like Targaryens, had been so deeply involved in their disgusting desires that death through a crumbling Tower could surprise them.
The Warden of the West closed his eyes. King Robert Baratheon though, even though he could barely stand anymore because of his drunkenness and had to be hold upright by the Greatjon, looked at his now dead wife and saw her with her head that had been bashed open on the back by her fall, her embracing arms still tight around her twin, whose head also was bashed open by his fall.
King Robert saw all that with his eyes still clouded by all his drinking, then looked from the dead couple to Lord Tywin Lannister, then to his three shocked and crying, well only the younger two were doing so, children and finally back to the dead Couple. The King closed his eyes, opened them again when Lord Eddard came to stand before his oldest friend and then Robert Baratheon started to laugh and laugh and laugh ....
For a few breathless moments all these hundreds upon hundreds of people that had swarmed the courtyards and were looking at the fallen Tower and the King from other Towers and other buildings too, were silent.
Then the laughter started in every corner. What a way to die for a Queen. The Stark Children and especially the new Husband and his Wife, Robb and Nella Stark, all looked at each other. This had not been planned.
The King was still laughing. Tywin Lannister was not laughing!
And the peaceful time crumbled away....
Tywin Lannister had found out, along with every Lord and Lady and Smallfolk currently in Winterfell, in the most embarrassing and public way possible that his oldest two Children behaved like Targaryens.
The King Robert Baratheon had at first nearly laughed himself silly and with him most of the people that were there in Winterfell but after a short time of merriment, everyone began to sober-up.
King Robert looked to his children and for the first time in his life, he began to doubt that they were sired by him for all three looked purely like Lannisters and nothing like Baratheons. Many agreed with the King.
Many but not the oldest Prince who screamed and screeched and behaved utterly improper. And another who did not agree with the King was the father of the dead Queen and Grandfather of the royal children himself, naturally.
Prince Joffrey screamed that he was the next King, that he was Roberts son for he was as daring as his father and surely the King could see that. He screamed that he was absolutely a Baratheon he only had inherited his treacherous whore mother's hair but his blood was Baratheon.
The Warden of the West argued that his twins had clearly behaved in a treacherous and disgusting way, he also brought forward that they both received what they had earned and that there was no way to prove that the children were not sired by the King himself.
The King could not prove that this shameful intimacy happend before, that was Lord Tywins argument and some Lords nodded.
Maybe Lord Lannister would have even managed to convince the King of this, if not in just that moment, Prince Joffrey lost his mind.
Nobody had seen before that he had carried a small dirk on his person but in a moment of wicked madness, the older Prince stopped his screeching, grabbed his hidden dirk and slashed open his own little brothers neck. Little Prince Tommen had been standing shoulder to shoulder with Myrcella near his mothers and Uncles corpses. Prince Joffrey had been standing one step away from his younger siblings.
In the blink of an eye that went by after Joffrey had slashed open his brothers throat, he then also repeated the same to his sister.
"Look Father, see what i have done. They both looked too much like they were Mother and Uncle Jaime but only younger. They too were surely doing this nasty treacherous behavior themselves or would have done when they would be older. They were surely not your children. I am though. I am your son, i got revenge on them for the treachery, the same way that you did against that disgusting Rhaegar Targaryen. I showed them Royal Justice like you do against your enemies. I am a Baratheon, i am your son. Ours is the rage, father."
The King and everyone else looked aghast at the bloodbath that this screaming mad boy had just created. Lord Lannister looked just lost. His children and his grandson had done something that not even Aerys Targaryen had managed. Lord Tywin Lannister looked broken.
Lord Eddard Stark and many Ladies and Maester Luwin had tried in vain to help the two poor and gentleminded children but they had died so quickly that nothing could be done.
Everyone looked at the screaming and mad Kinslayer, this boy that shed his own siblings blood out of madness and cruelty and then they all stepped closer and closer to the boy. Joffrey found no way out of the ever enclosing circle of people and then he crumbled down. Behind him stood Ser Meryn Trant, he had clubbed the boy over the head with the hilt of his sword.
King Robert looked from the small corpses of what he had known all their lives as his younger legal children to the killer of said children. His broad frame was shaking, his face was white as snow and tears were running from his eyes. He was not the only one that cried shamelessly, for even the toughest warrior could not find anything other than sadness about the useless death of innocent children.
Lord Stark and his newly married heir Robb, took each one of the children in their arms and brought them away into the Maesters Tower, with Maester Luwin and Lady Nella following them.
Robert Baratheon was swallowing heavily. This wasn't what he wanted when he just a short time ago had doubted that he was the father of his wife's children. He looked hatefully to the corpses of his wife and her brother and then to the unconscious body of this living embodiment of madness that he had always known as his oldest son. Then his eyes fell onto the two bright and fresh stains of blood on the ground. It glittered like garnets in the glow of the torches. There his younger children died. Sweet and gentle Myrcella and shy and chubby Tommen. Killed by their own brother.
Robert Baratheon looked up from the ground and his eyes wandered over the many many sad and tearful faces that now looked towards him or towards Joffrey. Mina Stark and the newly named Jon Stark stepped in front of the King, gave their condolences and asked the King if he would agree that the Kinslayer would be brought into the Keeps Cell.
"Do it and make sure that he can not escape. And if you have one more Cell, than Lord Lannister will take that as his new Quarter. I will not risk that the man that extinguished two of his own houses will try to do the same with mine. House Stark will keep the Lion secured and the Westerlands thus obedient."
Then the King followed the others into the Tower of the Maester.
Nobody found rest and peace that night and all joy was gone.
Lord Tywin Lannister was secured in a cell in the old Keep and two hours later his youngest and last son was thrown into it too after the Stark Men had brought him from one of Wintertowns Whorehouses.
Tyrion Lannister then found out from his broken and empty looking father what happened and broke down too.
Joffrey 'Baratheon' was thrown into the most secure cell under the Grand Keep and started screaming and screeching again as soon as he woke up.
Two days later, the now heirless King and his Courtiers and Ladys and servants started on their way back to King's Landing but this time they would go to White Harbor and take the Sea route. He was accompanied by Lord Eddard Stark, his new Hand and many of the most respected warriors of the North would come with the King and the new Hand to King's Landing.
Ravens were sent to every corner of Westeros to inform everyone of what happened and the Lords with daughters were salivating.
In the Westerlands though, there was fear in the Air. Ser Kevan Lannister wanted his brother back, he needed him back or all that Tywin had worked for all his life would be done for and meaningless.
And so the Westerlands made openly offer upon offer to give as much Gold as was desired by the King and the Starks to let the Lord Lannister go and in secret the Lannisters prepared to go to War. The Gold of the Westerlands was used to interest all sellsword companies that could be hired.
In the Reach, Lord Mace Tyrell looked forward to the wedding of his daughter to the King. Nobody felt as sure as he about it, for the King had never even met the young Margaery Tyrell till now. The Lord of the Reach would not hear it. The King, he argued, would met Margaery and would fall for her and she would become the next Queen and bear the true Baratheon heirs.
In Dorne, the Prince Doran looked up from the letter and met the glittering black eyes of his Brother. Both nodded and the younger brothers smile was pure teeth. Their time had come.
In the Stormlands everyone was shocked but waited for what the King would do next.
In the Capital, where Stannis Baratheon was acting as Hand for the time on command of his brother, the news were received with Glee. Nobody had ever forgiven the Lannisters anything. Lord Stannis was unreadable though. He did not give his thoughts about anything.
In the Vale, the mad widow Lysa Arryn couldn't care less. She wanted her son to be safe and her lover Petyr Baelish by her side. She sent out word though that the Vale would do nothing, whatever happend, they would not be involved in any kind of War.
In the Riverlands, Hoster Tully was dying and Edmure his heir had only half listened when the Maester read the Kings message. He was then away for many days with his friends, doing whatever he was doing.
In the Greyjoy Keep on Pyke though, the Lord Reaver Euron Greyjoy, that last living member of his family, smirked. This would be the Chance that he had been waiting for.