A Song of Ice and Fire - Robert's Rebellion

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A Song of Ice and Fire - Robert's Rebellion

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Masked Rose on Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:38 am

Warning: Extreme violence and sexual content.

((OOC))
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The year is 281 AL, and Robert Baratheon leads the realm of Westeros to war.

In the events preceding the rebellion:

Rhaegar Targaryen, Crown Prince of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms, attended a great tourney at Harrenhal with his father, King Aerys Targaryen in the year 281, The Year of the False Spring. After overthrowing all other combatants in the tourney, Rhaegar Targaryen proclaimed Lyanna Stark as the Queen of Love and Beauty, despite his marriage to Elia Martell. Rhaegar seized Lyanna from her family, having become increasingly obsessed with her. Lyanna's brother, Brandon Stark, rode to King's Landing immediately to demand the return of his sister, despite protests from all sides.
Rhaegar Targaryen, however, stood absent when Brandon and his companions arrived to take back his sister. Brandon stormed in to King's Landing, into the halls of the Red Keep, shouting for Prince Rhaegar to come out and die. Aerys immediately held Brandon Stark and his companions, Elbert Arryn, Jeffory Mallister, and Kyle Royce, on charges of treason and threats against the life of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.

Aerys II summoned the fathers of the accused to court to answer for their crimes. When Rickard Stark, Brandon's father, was allowed a trial by combat, the Targaryen King burned him alive. Aerys claimed that the champion of a Targaryen was fire; Brandon died from strangulation, a collar fastened around his neck as he attempted, in vain, to reach his father and save him.

Eddard Stark, Rickard's second son and now Lord of Winterfell, was visting his former mentor and his friend Jon Arryn at the Eyrie of the Vale, with his best friend (and young Lord of Storm's End), Robert Baratheon. Lyanna, Eddard's sister and Robert's betrothed, was still in the Prince's possession when a message arrived from King's Landing demanding that Jon Arryn hand over Ned and Robert to the crown. The death of Ned's father and brother, as well as Jon Arryn's nephew Elbert, prompted Jon to raise his banners rather than submit to the King's demands and let Ned and Robert be killed. The deaths caused by the King and the kidnapping of Lyanna Stark became the grounds for justified action against Aerys Targaryen, and Houses Baratheon, Stark and Arryn called their armies for war.

The Tullys of Riverrun soon came to the side of the Rebellion due to the marriage of Catelyn Tully, originally pledged to Brandon, to Eddard Stark, while Jon Arryn was married to Catelyn's sister, Lysa Tully. House Tully called their banners to arms, and all but House Darry and House Frey declared their allegiance, with House Darry pledging to Aerys and House Frey undecided.

As Aerys Targaryen realized what was beginning to happen, he called his own banners to arms. The Houses with oaths sworn directly to House Targaryen responded, as did the House Tyrell, which commanded the largest army in the Seven Kingdoms. House Martell pledged support to House Targaryen, but behind closed doors, Doran Martell was furious at the insult that Rhaegar had put towards his sister by proclaiming Lyanna Stark Queen of Love and Beauty. So the Prince Doran marshalled his troops with extreme lethargy, halting their involvement in the affair. Tywin Lannister, who had once been the Hand of the King to Aerys, refused to muster his forces for either the Rebellion or Aerys Targaryen. House Greyjoy refused involvement with the ordeal.

As no leader had been chosen for the Rebellion, the banners elected that Robert take the head, as he had the best claim to the throne by relation to his grandmother, daughter of King Aegon V Targaryen. To Robert's dismay, he was the leader of a divided army. Houses Lannister, Greyjoy and Martell remained apart of the conflict. With all of the banners pledged to Robert's crusade, he held larger numbers than House Targaryen, despite his fractured army.

Robert Baratheon leads the realm to war. When it comes time for the Game of Thrones, which side do you play for?

Characters

Ned Stark - Dropkick
Tywin Lannister- Dropkick
Aerys Targaryen- Creevy
Rhaegar Targaryen - Creevy
Mace Tyrell - Me
Robert Baratheon - Me
Jaime Lannister- Me
Stannis Baratheon - namratak
Lyanna - namratak
Elia Martell - Undecided
Jon Arryn - Me or Shard
Varys - Anxiety

Major Houses

Stark

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House Stark of Winterfell is the principal noble house in North; many lesser houses are sworn to them. Their seat is Winterfell. Their sigil is a grey direwolf on a field of white, and their words are "Winter Is Coming." Notable members of House Stark include Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell, Catelyn Tully and Lyanna Stark. Recently deceased: Rickard Stark and Brandon Stark.

Lannister

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House Lannister of Casterly Rock is the principal house of the Westerlands. Their principal seat is Casterly Rock. Their sigil is a golden lion on a field of crimson, and their words are "Hear Me Roar!" Notable members of House Lannister include Tywin Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Tyrion Lannister and Cersei Lannister.

Targaryen

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House Targaryen is a noble family of Valyrian descent that escaped the Doom. They lived for centuries on the island of Dragonstone until Aegon Targaryen and his sisters rode their dragons to the conquest of the Seven Kingdoms. Their sigil is a three-headed dragon breathing flames, red on black, and their words are "Fire and Blood." Notable members include Aerys and Rhaegar Targaryen.

Tyrell

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House Tyrell of Highgarden is the principal noble house in the Reach; many lesser houses are sworn to them. Their seat is at Highgarden, a castle near the Mander river. Their sigil is a golden rose on a green field, and their words are "Growing Strong." A notable member is Mace Tyrell.

Martell

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House Martell of Sunspear is the ruling house of the kingdom of Dorne. Their seat is at Sunspear. Their sigil is a gold spear piercing a red sun, and their words are "Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken." Notable members of House Martell are Elia Martell, wed to Rhaegar Targaryen, and Doran Martell, the Prince who slowed the rally of his forces.

Baratheon

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House Baratheon of Storm's End is the principal house in the Stormlands. Its seat is Storm's End. Its sigil is a crowned black stag on a field of gold. Their words are "Ours is the Fury." Notable members are Robert Baratheon and Stannis Baratheon.

Arryn

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House Arryn of the Eyrie is the principal noble house in the Vale. Their main seat is the Eyrie, but they have many other holdings. Their sigil is a white moon-and-falcon on a sky-blue field, and their words are "As High as Honor." Their line dates back to the old Andal nation that invaded Westeros. Usually marrying other Andal nobles, House Arryn to this day has the purest line of Andal nobility.

Map of Westeros

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Prologue: Barristan the Bold

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Dropkick Assassin on Sun Jul 31, 2011 3:37 pm

The white knight looked out over the crowd from where he stood, at the feet of his King, on the steps leading up to the Iron Throne. The petitioners were numerous as always, all with grievances to place before him. The knight was mostly there for show. No one would dare try to harm the man sitting above him.

As a man stepped up to tell the King of some stolen property, Barristan the Bold let his gaze wander. A good knight knew how to hear without listening, and he had more practice than most anyone in the Seven Kingdoms. This was the third King he had served, the second one for whom he was a member of the Kingsguard and, if he was being completely honest, he’d say he had heard more than he cared to.

When he had served the other Kings it hadn’t been so bad. But this one… well, Aerys wasn’t called the Mad King for naught. Barristan was frequently required to stand by while the King committed something despicable, evil. But he had learned not to object. After the King showed him what happened to those who disobey.

Faintly, as if from far away, he heard the King laugh. “Your goods were stolen, were they? Very well. Name the thief and I shall have him brought forward on the morrow for punishment. Be sure you are in attendance.”

“Yes, Your Grace. Thank you, Your Grace.” With that, the man scurried from the room, likely hoping the King did not change his mind. That is wise of him, the knight thought. Barristan was old, almost five and forty but he was still revered as one of the most talented knights in the realm. He had been knighted at the age of 16 by Aegon V. Seven years later (after Aegon perished in the Tragedy of Summerhall) he was named to King Jaehaerys’ Kingsguard, giving up the Selmy family seat and the girl he was to marry. At the time he had felt honored.

Now he was not so sure it was worth it.

A young boy, no more than fourteen, had come forward. “Your Grace,” he mumbled.

“Speak up boy! Being a King does not enhance my hearing.” The words were dulled none; their anger and venom was apparent.

The boy continued, scared, but louder now, “Your Grace, I wish to be married to… a woman. She’s of a noble house and I am just a lowborn boy from Flea Bottom, and... she’s been promised to someone else. But… you are the king so you can say otherwise. And I’m here to ask for your help. For love.”

The King smiled. The boy returned his smile hesitantly. Selmy stood quietly, knowing that the boy was in for a bad surprise. The King’s smiles were not always good things. “For love, huh boy?” He spoke softly, almost sweetly. “Well, I would hate for you to not have the chance at love. But, for me to do this for you, you must prove your love for the girl.”

“Yes, Your Grace. Of course. I’ll do anything.” Ser Barristan grimaced. You do not offer the king ‘anything’ unless you are ready to pay for it.

The King smiled wider. “Ser Barristan, uncover the pit.” The boy’s smile fell just as the old knight’s heart sank. No one deserved the fate this boy was about to suffer' but one does not say no to the king.

“Y-Your Grace,” the boy stuttered. “I don’t… I can’t… no, please.”

“You said you wanted to prove your love, boy. Prove it. Ten minutes should suffice.” His grin had widened to the point of grotesquery.

The boy panicked. “I don’t! I don’t love her! Please, no.” The king was deaf to his pleas. The boy had sealed his fate when he had first addressed him. Barristan moved to do what he was told. The king had a low stone pit built in the middle of the Great Hall, always filled with logs, drenched in lamp oil. Most of the time it was covered by a light stone cover but now Barristan pushed it to the side and rested it on the floor.

“Lannister,” the king snapped.

Jaime Lannister stepped forward and bowed low. “Yes, Your Grace.”

“Secure the chains,” Aerys commanded. Ser Jaime stepped over to the boy. As he approached, the child turned to flee but he found he had nowhere to go. The press of the other petitioners was too great.

Jaime knelt in front of him and grabbed his shoulder. “This will be easier if you do not fight.” There were two long, heavy chains hanging from the rafters above the pit. Jaime led the lad over to them and secured one to each of his wrists. This was not the first time he had been charged this duty. The boy did not struggle. He seemed to know that it was futile.

Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning, was standing near one of the walls. Next to him was a small crank handle that the other end of the chains ran through. He turned it and soon the boy was suspended by his wrists above the logs. The king stood to get a better view. “Ten minutes,” he said again, eyes shining with excitement.

The boy had started to cry. “Please Your Grace. I didn’t mean it. Please.” Blood had already begun running down his arms from where the chains bit into his wrists.

“Lord Commander,” the King said as if he hadn’t heard him. “You have the honor.” Barristan had to suppress a sigh of relief. Burning live men was a nasty business; but he had no choice in the matter before now. He was grateful that he was spared the guilt of burning a child.

Gerold Hightower had no such reservations. The words had hardly passed the King's lips when the Lord Commander grabbed a torch off the wall and thrust it into the stone circle. The wood and oil caught instantly. Barristan watched for a moment but after only a few seconds the flames were licking at the boy’s feet and he had to look away. He focused on the dragon skulls hanging about the room. There were many of them. The smallest, no larger than the skull of a dog, hung closest to the door. While the largest, that of Balerion the Black Dread, hung directly over the Throne.

The screams began.

Even after witnessing the event a hundred times, Barristan had no stomach for it. There was no honor in killing a man, bound in chains, in such a painful way. After only three minutes of the allotted ten, the boy’s screams ceased. Two of Barristan’s brothers moved to take him down but the King stopped them. “I said ten minutes.” The smell had reached the knight by then and it was all he could do to not retch. Others in the crowd of commoners couldn’t help themselves and soon the smell of burning flesh was joined by the smell of vomit.

After seven minutes, the boy’s legs had all but melted away. The King was standing on his throne now, giggling like a child, clapping his hands as the rest of the time crawled by. Just as he was about to call an end to it, the child’s body fell from the chains and into the pit. Finally able to look up without seeing the boy’s charred remains, Barristan shifted his gaze to the chains.

The boy’s hands hadn’t fallen with the rest of him.

Aerys was laughing maniacally now and most of the townsfolk had left the room. Leaving only the King, four of his seven white knights, a woman missing an eye, and a man who was dressed in rags. The King halted his laughter in short, clipped breaths. Why are you still here, fools? Ser Barristan was about to get them out of the Hall when the king gestured to the one-eyed woman. “What do you want? Be quick about it.”

“I-If it please Your Grace, when your collectors came ‘round my inn I was charged almost double the gold as usual. I haven’t been able to feed my family in three days. It’s all I can do to keep the inn open. I-I’m here to request the return of the extra gold.” The woman was definitely scared, Selmy saw, but she was in need.

He looked back to the Aerys just as he said, “I see no harm in that. Barristan, see that the woman is paid.” He fell back onto the throne as though exhaustion overtook him. But as he sat, his arm slid across one of the many sharp points on the chair and he began to bleed. Arthur Dayne, who was closest, rushed to him and covered the wound quickly. He then tried to help the King up and out of the hall but Aerys pushed him away, his eyes wild. Barristan knew the look. Aerys frequently cut himself on the Iron Throne, the seat his ancestor Aegon the Conqueror had forged from a thousand swords taken from his enemies when he came to take Westeros for his own, and every time the throne made him bleed, the madness overtook him.

This time was no different.

“You…You plot to steal from me! I am your King!” He shouted, leaping back to his feet.

The woman’s look of relief changed to one of confusion. “Your Grace?”

“I will have your head!” He swiveled his head round wildly. “Lannister! Seize her!” Jaime hesitated; but, as always, he had no choice. He grabbed the woman. “Take her to the black cells. Her sentencing will be carried out tomorrow at midday.”

As Jaime began to drag the woman away, she screamed and kicked and pleaded. “I did nothing wrong. I just wanted my gold! Keep it! Just release me! Please! I have children!” After she was dragged from the hall, silence fell. Then king sat back on the throne, suddenly calm once again.

His four knights converged around him. “Your Grace,” Barristan said, “You should have your arm treated.”

“It’s only a scratch,” he replied, dismissively. “I have people to think about. Are there more petitioners?” Barristan looked at the only man still standing in the room. The king followed his gaze and addressed the man. “Well, what is it? Out with it.”

The poor man looked like he was about to faint. “Y-y-your Grace, a-a-a-“

“Yes?”

The man swallowed and continued, “I am a poor man. My only source of gold a hen whose eggs I sell in Flea Bottom. She…” He gulped. “She was killed in a bar where I was drinkin' last night. I take her with me e'rywhere, y'see, so she don’t get stolen but… one second she was clucking 'round, the next her head was missing. No one would tell me who done it, Your Grace. But she still just as dead.”

“I see,” Aerys said, drumming his fingers, “I assume you want another chicken.”

“If it please Your Grace.”

“You know what?” he began. The man trembled in fear of what the King’s next words would be. “I think that… mm… what to do?” The man was utterly petrified now. The King was enjoying toying with him, Barristan knew. “I think I like you.” He turned. “Ser Gerold.”

“Yes, Your Grace.”

“See that this man receives five chickens. One rooster and four hens, so that he might breed them as well.” He turned back to the man. “Never let it be said that your king was unjust.”

“No, Your Grace. Never, Your Grace. Thank you.”

“You may go now.” The man scurried from the hall, with Gerold Hightower following behind him. Now the Throne Room was empty except for Barristan, his king, and Arthur Dayne. “We are done for today, I think,” Aerys said. “Escort me to my solar.” Dayne helped him to his feet and they moved toward the exit behind the throne.

Just as they opened the door though, they heard a shout. “Rhaegar! Targaryen! Where are you?! Come face me like the man you claim to be. Face me and die!” Barristan’s heart hit his stomach. If there was one thing the King did not take kindly to, it was threats to his family. Especially his heir.

“Who dares threaten my son?” Aerys hissed, turning. He pushed past his two guardians and walked briskly to the other end of the hall. He threw open the great doors and stepped through. Barristan the Bold had no choice but to follow.

Once outside of the Great Hall, Barristan saw the man who ‘dared to threaten’ the Crown Prince. It was a young man. He had gray eyes and a long, handsome face. He was dressed in grey and white wool. The colors of Winterfell. This will not end well. Barristan thought. Everyone in the court knew Rhaegar was infatuated with the daughter of the Northern Lord. It was not as though he tried to hide it. He had named the girl the Queen of Love and Beauty at the Tourney of Harrenhall, for all to see. Including the Prince’s own wife Elia and the Stark girl’s betrothed, Robert Baratheon.

“You there!” The king shouted. “Who are you to think you can enter my castle and threaten my son?”

The man looked up, his face a black mask, glaring at the king. “Your son kidnapped my sister. Your Grace.” The last two words dripped with sarcasm. Barristan hoped against hope that Aerys hadn’t noticed.

He had.

“Your sister? You’re the Stark boy, eh?”

“So you admit to your son’s guilt?”

“I could not say one way or the other. Rhaegar left us some time ago for some errand or another.” The king was smiling again. Barristan hated when he smiled. “You coming in here and shouting threats like that is treason, young Lord.”

“I am not the Lord of Winterfell. My father still has the honor of holding that title.” As the two men talked, four others approached from behind Brandon. All of them dressed for cold weather.

“You ignore part of my statement. The important part. I’ll say it once more. You are hereby accused of treason,” Aerys said. “Guards!” Immediately, ten men wearing Targaryen red and black emerged from the shadows and grabbed the Northmen. “Escort these gentlemen to the dungeons. Make sure they want for nothing while they stay with us. They are still highborn, treasonous or no.” He looked back to Brandon. “Your father will be summoned to court for your trial. All of your fathers will be.”

Brandon tried to pull free of the guards but there were too many. “Your realm will bleed for this,” he said as he was dragged away. “It will bleed!”

Aerys chuckled when he was gone. “I certainly hope so.”
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Winter Is Coming...

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Robert's Rebellion

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Masked Rose on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:28 pm

Rickard


Rickard Stark stood naked with his back to the gate, shivering in the night time air of the North. He took a look around, attempting to catch hold of one of the castle residents to ask them what was happening. But he found the grounds empty, and through the windows of the castle walls there stood no men, no women nor children. He tucked his hands under his arms, attempting to ward the cold from his body, to save his fingers, though his manhood felt several bites.

Shivering, he moved onward through whatever snow coated the grounds; he soon reached the wide arch that led to the Great Hall, stumbling forward to shove the doors open. The iron handles stood ice cold, sentries permitting no entry. He looked about frantically, searching for the entrance to his chamber tower. As he took the long walk across the yard, he happened to notice the doors to the Stark Crypt wide open, with fresh tracks leading down the stairs.

Detouring, he shuffled towards the crypt. His toes had long abandoned feeling and he had given up on warmth altogether. Even the walls, usually full of hot water to warm the castle, held no heat. He took tentative steps down the stairs, finding a lit torch in the bracket off to the side. He eyed it with apprehension. “Fire,” he whispered, though he knew it to be his only way to see down below. He pulled it from the bracket and continued onward, holding the fire before him to light his path.

Reaching the bottom, he halted. He swung to torch to and fro, attempting to catch a glimpse of the one that had intruded on the dead, for surely none of his own would disrespect them so. He dare not speak, though the fire was sure to draw anyone who saw. Still, he pressed on, passing tomb after tomb, great grandfathers and grand mothers, great uncles and aunts, then finally his own father and mother, his wife, and beside her... himself.

He stood, staring at his open grave in wonderment. Was he dead? For surely he did not see himself laying in that stone prison, if this was indeed the afterlife. He was woken from his reverie when he heard the sound of a boot scuffing the ground behind him.

“Who goes?” he demanded, swinging the torch about, casting light and shadow alike on the dark halls of the underground. Finally the light illuminated a figure. They stood hidden in the corners, upright and still striding towards Rickard. They moved closer to him, the light catching first their boots, then their breeches, their wools... and then their eyes.

His own gray eyes stared back at him.

“What is the meaning of this?” he asked his other hesitantly. He received no answer but the icy stare he knew so well from the looking glass. The intruder moved forward, a grin cracked across his thin, seemingly dead lips. A sword hung at his side, scabbard and all. His eyes twinkled bright as he reached across his body to slowly draw the blade, forged of Valyrian steal, the folds in the metal rippling in the torch light as the smooth sound of metal on leather resounded beneath the earth.

“Ice,” Rickard breathed, turning back to flee, but simply tumbling into his own stony deathbead. The torch had fallen at the foot of the tomb, and his other regarded it with an absent gaze. He reached down slowly, fingers curling 'round the bottom. As he hefted the flame, Rickard gazed up in wonder, daring to breathe again as his phantom stood distracted.

“M'lord Stark!” he heard, looking about as the ghost vanished from before his own eyes. “Ser Rodrik?” he asked, puzzled.


His eyes soon opened on the dawn of a new day, light streaming into his chambers.

“M'lord Stark,” a voice called gruffly, accompanied by a rattling knock on the chamber door. Rickard sat abruptly, eyes wide and startled for a moment before he gained composure. “M'lord, a raven from King's Landing. It bears the seal of the Mad King himself.” Rickard's heart began to beat doubly fast as he looked about for want of a distraction.

“Come,” he managed, “The door is unbolted.” Ser Rodrik, Master-at-Arms to Winterfell and one of Lord Rickard's closest friends, managed through the door. Though not built for someone his size, it allowed his large shoulders entry. The old master clutched in his left hand a letter sealed with a large glob of red wax embroidered with the three headed dragon of House Targaryen. His right hand reached nervously to pull at his large gray-and-white whiskers. Lord Rickard caught his gaze. “Ser Rodrik, out with it,” he commanded.

“Y-yes, m'lord, right away,” he fumbled hastily with the letter and shoved it into Rickard's outstretched hands. Rickard drew a quick breath, running his thumb over the wax before breaking the seal and unfolding the thin paper.

“Gods,” he let out. He stood from his bed, linens thrown haphazardly over the edge. His eyes had abandoned their traditional calm in trade for distress. “What is the meaning of this?” he asked, turning angrily towards Ser Rodrik. “My son's been taken prisoner by Aerys Targaryen on grounds of treason?”

“Yes, my Lord Stark,” he returned, head bowed gravely. “I am truly sorry. The King requests you and the fathers of young Brandon's companions come forth at once to answer for their crimes.” The last word of the sentence hung in the air, unwanted.

“Crimes,” Rickard spat, turning to stare out the large window at the end of his chambers. He stood there, a stony expression on his face, eyes wandering the hills in the distance and tracing the Kingsroad. “I will go to King's Landing, but not on the demands of any King,” he said quietly. “That is my son he holds, and Prince Rhaegar still keeps my daughter. If anyone shall answer for a crime, it is Aerys.”

Ser Rodrik nodded and moved to stand beside his Lord and friend. “And how shall you be traveling, m'lord?” he asked solemnly.

“Five of my household guard. I would prefer to go unnoticed. You shall remain in Winterfell to look after those that remain. Make sure Benjen and Ned receive word that I've gone. I shall return; hopefully with my son and daughter alive.”


----- -----


Lord Rickard had left Winterfell in Ser Rodrik's care on the day following as he set off on the Kingsroad. He brought only his most trusted members of the household guard, and carried at his side the greatsword Ice. Their mares rode at a canter, not daring to move fast, though the pace was painstaking.

On one of their nights of camp, some twenty-eight riders approached, and at the head were the Lords Mallister and Royce, and the Lord Jon Arryn's brother. Recognizing the Stark banners, they readily enough requested to make camp with Lord Rickard and his guard, knowing that they shared in the same troubles. The Lord Stark accepted them after some internal debate; their party was quite large, though refusing another Lord company could come off to some as hostility.

And so, some few days later, they approached King's Landing together. Those in the streets made part for the Lords and their men, as they winded through past brothels and homes, stalls and stands, inns and smiths, all haphazardly clustered together.

Rickard sat his horse abreast with the fathers of the other accused. The guards that rode with them were set fore and aft, now numbering thirty. Lords Mallister and Royce, along with Arryn, rode to Rickard's left, speaking of the events preceding their journey.

“...heard Stark's boy caused all o' this. Stupid boy, crusading after his sister. What did 'e think to find? The King alone on his bloody throne, arms wide, waiting for th' pointy end, eh?”

“I heard m'self that the girl wanted after the Prince. Why wouldn't she? He so willing to name her Queen o' Love an' Beauty.”

“Damn fool, right in front of his own wife. Poor Elia must have been in quite a fury.”

“Aye, that she was. It's been said that she could've o'erturned all o' the contenders at th' tourney at th' same time, what in that fury she was.”

“But the damn Stark boy, going in like he did. Last we heard, she had no harm done to her. And then he storms in to the Red Keep during the middle of a petitioning, Seven be damned, with our sons behind him. They're just as much sods as he is, I reckon.”

“Shut up,” Rickard said, his voice like a biting wind come upon them. They turned their heads to regard him as he stared straight ahead, and they quickly turned back towards each other, sure to hush their voices as they continued their heated discussion.

Rickard sat and tried his best to guard his ears. Before the gate to the Red Keep stood a set of guards. One squinted to make out who rode amongst the mass of horses and men, when realization took him and he set about raising the portcullis. Into the castle the group rode, the Lords now quiet save for the occasional gasp of awe. Inside the castle walls stood many a structure.

Maegor's Holdfast, inside the heart of the Red Keep, was kept behind walls twelve feet thick as well as a dry moat adorned with iron spikes. It held the royal apartments inside it, the King's bedchamber with twin hearths; as well as the Queen's Ballroom, which had a Hall only half as big as the Small Hall in the Tower of the Hand.

The Tower of The Hand stood sentry, the bedchambers of the Hand of the King. Its Small Hall was a long room with a high vaulted ceiling and seating room for two-hundred. The private audience chamber, though not as large as the King's, had an intimacy about it. It was adorned with Myrish rugs, wall hangings, and a golden-tinted round window. The tower held a solar as well as a garderobe, and its long windows were easily distinguishable from other structures.

White Sword Tower was erected proudly, a slender structure of four stories built into an angle of the castle wall overlooking the bay. A round white room forming the first floor, known as the Round Room, had whitewashed stone walls hung with white woolen tapestries. The undercroft held arms and armor, the second and third floors the small spare sleeping cells of the six brothers of the Kingsguard, and the topmost floor given over to the Lord Commander's apartments.

Traitor's Walk was a squat, half-round tower containing the entrance to the dungeons. The top floor held the cells for the prisoners who were to be kept in a degree of comfort. That is where my Brandon is, Rickard thought, choking on his own emotion. The entrance to the dungeons sat on the ground floor of the tower, with the dungeons beneath. Between the two prisons were rooms for the King's Justice, the Chief Gaoler and the Lord Confessor.

Elsewhere in the castle was a Godswood, though the heart tree not the same as the weirwood Rickard himself prayed to. An acre of elm, alder, and black cottonwood trees comprised the Godswood, with a great oak at the center: the heart tree, overgrown with smokeberry vines.

But before them now stood the Great Hall, the King's throne room. The riders had dismounted at a stable and the guards stood now round their charges as their arrival was announced to the King. The great doors opened with a moan.

The Mad King Aerys II Targaryen sat atop the Iron Throne, slumped lazily to the side. The throne itself sat raised on an iron dais with high and narrow steps. Greeting them as they stepped forward was a long carpet that stretched from the oak-and-bronze doors to the throne. The cavernous hall looked as though it could sit a thousand. It was oriented north to south, its high, narrow windows on both the east and western walls. Skulls of the Targaryen dragons adorned the walls; their eyes, though dead, followed as you walked.

“So nice of you to join us,” King Aerys announced. “Why don't you leave your guard outside, hmm? I trust you won't be in need of them any time soon.” A small smile touched his wicked lips, and the guards took a bow to first their King, then their Lords, and exited the Great Hall. As the doors closed behind them, Aerys addressed the Lords, “So, you come to bear witness to the trial of your sons,” he began, his grin fading and a slight expression of boredom overcoming him. “Well? Bring them in, Seven be damned!” he boomed, looking over his shoulder. 

Four men escorted the accused into the chamber, Brandon and the others bound in shackles and stumbling down the narrow steps of the Iron Throne to be placed before their fathers. Rickard and the other Lords took a collective gasp; their sons were unharmed, healthy, dressed. Rickard wanted to move forward to embrace his son, but he knew it not to be allowed. Brandon Stark stared back it him through determined gray eyes.

“So, here stand the treasonous snakes.” Aerys cracked a smile, standing from the throne and pacing the dias. “And there stand their fathers.”

“And there stands the Mad King,” Rickard called out. Those in the room not too shocked to react began to laugh, all but Aerys Targaryen, who stomped his foot down like a pouting child, bellowing at them to remain quiet. The laughter died down around the party, but Rickard still stood with a smirk gracing his features.

“And so there stands another treasonous snake!” he hissed. He looked down the bridge of his nose at Rickard Stark and his son, his gaze full of malice.

“And what crimes have I to answer for, Your Grace?” he spat.

King Aerys did not take kindly to those that served him making a mockery of him. “Threats against the life of the crown Prince, Rhaegar Targaryen, my own son.”

“On account of his kidnapping of my daughter, Lyanna,” Rickard returned.

“Your Grace.”

“I piss on Your Grace,” Brandon laughed, looking over his shoulder as he addressed the King.

“ENOUGH!” Aerys stormed down the steps and swung a fist at Brandon's head, knocking him to his knees. Yet still Brandon laughed, looking up at his father. “What is so fucking funny?” he demanded, staring down anyone else that dare smile or chuckle, his eyes wide and bloodshot with fury.

The Seven of the Kingsguard stood watch, their eyes glazed over as they distanced themselves from the goings-on and paid their attention to other matters; perhaps the ornate carpet patterns or the designs of the windows, the grand pillars lining the hall, it mattered not. Ser Barristan Selmy broke his reverie to look to Rickard solemnly. He shook his head, looking to the ground as if he knew what was to happen.

Rickard could not shake the feeling that he wasn't going to leave with his life. A chill ran up his spine; not much could turn a northerner to cold, but suddenly Aerys making a fool of himself seemed less a folly and more a sight to be wary of. After he turned apart from the Lords and prisoners, he strode back up the steps towards his throne, slowly taking a seat and sweeping the room with his crazed gaze.

“And so, how shall we atone for these crimes?” he whispered, after a moment of silence.

“Trial by combat,” Rickard stated, taking a slight step forward. The rest of the room turned their sights towards the man that dared challenge the King, a hint of fear in their eyes. Yet the Seven in White still stood solemn, as if none of this was new to them. Ser Barristan was the only to show any remorse. Rickard's heart dropped.

Aerys smiled wide, cackling. “Oh, as you say... Lannister!” he called, and Ser Jaime stepped forward with four others of Targaryen loyalty, seizing Rickard Stark as he struggled to free himself.

“What is the meaning of this?” Rickard cried out.

“Father, no!” Brandon exclaimed, “No, father, confess my crimes, confess all of our crimes, he will kill you all!”

“It's too late, young Stark,” Aerys cackled, leaning forward in the Iron Throne and resting his elbows on his knees; all for a better viewing. “Your father is to be chained high in his armor, and a fire to be lit beneath him. If he can survive the flames, then he has bested my champion.” He grinned and chuckled to himself. “Ser Barristan, fasten a noose to a pillar, remove his fetters... make due sure it is tight around his neck. I would have you place his father's sword before him. If he can reach it in time, mayhaps he can save his father... and spare his friends.”

As the Targaryen guards held Rickard Stark, Ser Jaime Lannister moved forward and removed the covering to the stone pit, revealing the logs soaked in lamp oil. “No, this isn't a trial, it's murder, Gods be damned!” Rickard called out, but none took his aid. The King now stood atop the Iron Throne, watching with eyes wide in anticipation.

The white knight stepped close to him and clasped a hand on his shoulder. “I am truly sorry, my Lord of Stark.” Jaime fastened the chains about his wrists as the Lord Commander turned a winch which hefted him high into the air, his shoulders straining to remain in place. As he looked over, he noticed Brandon had the noose about his neck, pulled tight. Ser Barristan himself now stepped forward, looking into Rickard Stark's eyes and attempting not to betray his doubt. He pulled from Rickard's side the greatsword Ice, setting it before Brandon and stepping back to take his place before the King.

Rickard looked pleadingly to the King. “No, no please, Your Grace. I'll take the black, I swear it, they will too, just let us go!”

The King looked from one Lord and prisoner to another. “They don't seem to have the same idea, my Lord Stark.” He grinned, and he motioned with his right hand. The Lord Commander hefted a torch and strode towards the lamp-drenched logs.

“No!” Brandon cried. “No, Your Grace, please, no!”

But Brandon's screams were snuffed out as the fire caught, and the roar of the dragon overtook Lord Rickard Stark as the Mad King laughed in the background.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Robert's Rebellion

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby legend on Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:17 pm

Lyanna


And the blare of trumpets filled the air.

"Hail! Hail! The prince is here!"

Lyanna sensed the entire crowd turn west where the prince would surely be mounted on his great, black destrier at one end of the jousting field. She didn't have to turn. She knew what he would look like:

He would be covered head-to-toe in Targaryen colors alongside the destrier and lance tucked neatly under his arm, with hair as silver as the moon and armor gleaming like a bloody smile. Even from this distance his dark, lilac eyes would bore through the crowd, looking neither at individual faces nor the crowd as a whole. He would just look, and it would make you feel as though he knew something valuable about the crowd, the crowd which you were a part of, but it would be something only he could understand. That stare would disconcert many and haunt many more. Why? Because it came from the face of Knowledge. And once he put on his helm, his body and his destrier would merge into one being-- a powerful adversary for any man, even a man such as Ser Barristan the Bold.

...Lyanna turned her head to face what the others faced and she was not surprised, just as she had expected. It was a curse, really, the strength of her memory. Being able to remember every detail of the greatest realities of her life took away the much of the beauty in those moments. Every time she experienced a recollection, a little piece slipped away from the mass that is that memory's ingenuity. Sometimes she wished she did not remember, so she could look at things and feel as though she were looking at them for the first time again. Like the first time she had studied Rhaegar. She had been a young girl while Rhaegar had already been supping with the great lords of the realm at his father's side. He had seemed more like an idea or an image than an actual person. But now, because they were of both of age, Lyanna could see what she could not see then-- the honor, the civility, and the gentility in him that is lost over time in most men joined to nobility.

Well, besides Barristan Selmy.

Her father had predicted this match-up. He had said it would be quite interesting as well. Lyanna believed that to be an understatement. Ser Barristan had received his knighthood at the age of sixteen, proving his worth through hundreds of jousts just like this one. The wisest men spoke of Barristan the Bold, and they had good reason to. Rhaegar had not enlisted anywhere near the amount of tournaments that Ser Barristan had, especially since Ser Barristan had been alive at least two whole decades longer. He had four times the experience, yet there were whispers that Rhaegar was the toughest challenger Ser Barristan had ever had.

Both knights slid their helms over their heads, almost simultaneously. Their horses kicked at the dust and waited for the nudge that would throw them over the precipice. Lyanna was occupied by the horses, momentarily, remembering her father's words when she had pleaded for him to let her practice jousting with her brother, Ned. "Are you afraid I'll be killed by some boy when I'm good enough to enlist!?" she had said, exasperated after fifteen minutes of begging. "No," Lord Rickard had replied easily. "I'm afraid you'll kill some boy when they freeze realizing you're just a little girl." She had pouted and kept her silence then, unable to think of a response. Even now, all she could do was squeeze her brother's thigh in anticipation. Ned turned to her and smiled warmly.

The horses broke into a gallop. Neither lance wavered being staunchly held by their respective owners. There was a clash of wood to metal, but both lances bounced off the shields as if they had been made out of rubber. Lyanna watched as the horses slowed down to a trot and turned around for the second tilt. She glanced up, suddenly reminded of her betrothed. He had taken part in a seven-sided melee, though the results of that melee were still unknown to her. "Ned, is Robert watching this?"

He shook his head, patting her hand, "No, I'm afraid the results of the melee have captured his interest entirely." Lyanna did not even bother to ask if he had won; she prided herself in asking about Robert at all. I remembered. So when Robert asks Ned if I had thought of him, Ned will say "Yes, like a good wife would." And Robert will smile, believing he has captured me entirely. And I will smile, letting him believe just that. Years ago, Ned had asked her why she did not look as pleased as he had thought she would when her hand was promised to the young lord of Storm's End. "I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale," she had responded. "Robert will never keep to one bed." Her brother had tried to argue for the sake of being Robert's friend, "What Robert did before your betrothal was of no matter. He is a good man and true who will love you with all his heart." She had smiled then, shaking her head at her brother's credulousness, "Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man's nature." She still held on to that belief. Robert would never change, not truly.

Ned's voice broke through her trance, "Four points for Rhaegar, two for Ser Barristan. Ser Barristan can only win if he unhorses Rhaegar or makes him drop his lance." In this tourney style, there was a limit to the number of tilts. She crossed her slender arms on her thighs and leaned forward, determined not to miss the final joust.

Crrrrraaaack!

The sound sliced through the air like an arrow through the wind. It was a sound Lyanna had heard many times before, though never had it been this loud or piercing. The three-headed dragon on Rhaegar's ruby-studded breastplate seemed to glow with fire as Ser Barristan's lance broke into a thousand splinters. One point was not enough to throw the joust; Rhaegar had won. The crowd roared as the massive weight of anticipation that had been hanging over the jousting field was finally lifted. Rhaegar took off his helm, letting the morning air take care of the little drops of perspiration on his forehead while his hair fluttered in the wind with the same freedom and direction as the numerous banners behind him. Lyanna had no doubt Ser Barristan felt some anguish, considering he had defeated Rhaegar at the Tourney at Storm's End less than a year ago, but by his actions she could not sense any disappointment. He simply led his horse to one side, stood straight and tall, and allowed the prince to have his glory.

Not a man defeated, but a man ready for a new challenge.

Rhaegar began to trot back to his squires Myles Mooton and Richard Lonmouth, nodding modestly at the hordes of people cheering his name, "The dragon prince! The dragon prince!" He picked up the champion's laurel from Myles' outstretched hand and held it in his as if it were a basket made of glass. Lyanna looked across the field where Elia Martell, the prince's wife, sat, with one hand cupping the other unable to hide her smiles. Her ochre hair--which was so dark it was almost black--was pinned to the side with a hairclip bejeweled with emeralds to match her gallant, green dress. Tumbling down in vivacious curls, Elia's hair was sure to make any man yearn to do more than just touch it. With almond eyes and slender hips to complete the figure that was Elia Martell, no one could say the Dornish princess was anything less than beautiful. Lyanna wondered if her smiles could get any bigger once the laurel was set on her lap.

The prince was ten yards away from her when Lyanna glanced back at him again. Then five. Then three. Then one.... And suddenly three again. He trotted past her. Lyanna sucked in her breath, for surely he must have forgotten where his wife was seated in the stands. But then Rhaegar steered his horse toward her; Lyanna met his eyes and immediately, she knew. Her body froze as the prince continued to close the distance between them. Suddenly, she felt the weight of every eye in the stands upon her. That feeling disappeared as quickly as it came, and Rhaegar's lilac eyes became all she saw. She knew she should stand up and walk away before Rhaegar acted irrationally, but her seat was plastered to her chair with the undeniable yearning to know if the prince really felt her deserving of the laurel that signified the Queen of Love and Beauty. Before she could decide, the ring of flowers was laid on her lap. He had chosen a crown of winter roses blue as frost.

How did he know? How did he know blue was my favorite color?

Lyanna fingered the velvet petals and all at once felt completely at ease. She smiled, remembering her courtesies, and bowed graciously to the prince. He curtsied back, a smile beginning to play across his rosy lips. He truly is the Mad King's son. Ned had not said a word throughout the whole exchange--in fact, Lyanna had forgotten he was there at all--but once Rhaegar disappeared into the stables, he stiffened, almost as if he were having a late reaction. "I had heard whispers about this but I didn't believe them, treating them as the rumors they were. He's already married... that was wrong. The laurel should have gone to Elia Martell."

"But he gave it to me," Lyanna replied, almost stupidly. "I didn't know what else to do, I took it."

Music erupted all at once, signaling the start of the final feast. The crowds began to filter out of the stands, migrating like a giant animal made up of colorful, little heads. "It wasn't your fault," her brother sighed. "But do not forget he has a mad man's blood within him. Stay away from him, you hear?"

"Robert is a mad man too, sweet brother. Just a different breed," Lyanna replied, feeling Ned's eyes glaring at her. She ignored him and stared at the spot where Rhaegar had been just a few moments ago, reliving the moment their eyes had made contact. There was something about the way he had looked at her. It had been... incomplete, in a way. Lyanna wondered if there was more to come.

"But you are betrothed to that mad man and the realm's laws are for all the realm to follow."

Lyanna laughed at her brother's serious manner, "Ned, if that sentence had any effect on me our father wouldn't have had to get me out of trouble as many times as he has had to."

Ned's eyes softened and he gave into a smile, "I know. But I worry that your fiery spirit draws too many people, making no distinction between the good ones and the bad."

"I have you to protect me, don't I?" She grinned and leaned over, kissing her brother on the cheek. "And anyway, when winter comes, we Starks are always ready."
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Robert's Rebellion

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Creevy on Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:42 pm

The Mad King

“….and you would have done what, Gerold?”

“Your Grace, I do not presume to—“

Aerys made a sharp hiss, and the Lord Commander fell silent. “The White Bull always presumes to. You think he should have been spared?”

Gerold Hightower shook his head feverently. “No, Your Grace. He was given a trial by combat, as he had requested. The Seven saw him guilty.”

Aerys looked out to the city from his window. Locked away in his solar, the quiet streets of King’s Landing seemed almost happy. Though too far away to be heard, Aerys could see a child running through the streets, as a slightly older girl played catch with him. Traders spoke to whoever would listen, hawking their goods, complimenting the ladies and striking deals with the men. A dove fluttered by a nearby building, and a naked woman soon poked her head out to see it. The sight of her stiffened the King. He sighed.

“Gerold, he threatened my son. My son.

“Yes, Your Grace.” Hightower subconsciously went to finger his blade, but found his hand wanting. Everybody, even the Lord Commander of Aerys’ Kingsguard, had to leave all steel at the door. It was a law that the White Bull was not pleased with, but it was a law all the same. “And now, Your Grace?”

The King took a seat behind his desk, a dark, wooden hulk of a table. The legs were etched in the likeness of dragons. Each dragon breathed fire made of trees, and their wings held up the desk proper. Carved into the top of this was the Targaryen coat of arms, a three-headed dragon on a field. Underneath, the words Blood and Fire were beautifully notched. A piece of glass was placed over the table, so that the imprints would not interfere with the King’s work. Whoever carved this was worthy of praise, thought Aerys. “And now, we will wait. If that bastard Eddard Stark has any semblance of intellect, he will stay in his wasteland with his tail between his legs. If he is as honorable as the people claim, however….” Aerys let the sentence hang.

“My lord, they will not hurt you, nor your family.” The Bull reached for his longsword, and again found naught.

Aerys had to smile. Gerold has always been loyal. “No, he will not. A wolf cannot harm the Dragon. Now, leave me. I have much to think on.”

“As Your Grace commands.” The Lord Commander knelt low to the ground, and then left the King to his thoughts.

The moment he was alone, Aerys’ smile turned into a scowl. Yes, you have always been loyal, Hightower….when it has suited you. But when Stark rears his ugly head, who will you fight for? Don’t think I can’t see right through your hideous façade. And should you prove traitorous, you will burn. Long ago, Aerys sent sellswords in the black of night, to capture a single loved one from every one of his Kingsguard. While they could not marry, even those sworn to the King had father, mothers, brothers, and friends. Gerold, however, had a bastard.

Marya Flowers was spawned long before Hightower had sworn his vows. Now, driven into this world by sin and lust, she would pay her father’s price, should the need arise. Of course, none of the Kingsguard knew of this. They had been fed stories, most from Varys’ little birds. Lewyn Martell’s mother had died of consumption, for example. And poor Oswell Whent’s brother had met his end protecting a village against a raid.

“And who says these aren’t the truths?” Aerys said out loud. “Last time I checked, I was King.” He even reached atop his head, and felt his crown, to be sure. “What I say is truth.”

“Nobody can deny you,” said the voice. Aerys turned, and saw her standing there. He smiled, and began to stiffen once more.

She had fiery red hair, like Dragons’ breath. Her skin was pale, covered with freckles. Her eyes, emerald, shone with a glint that might have been desire or greed or hatred. Her breasts hung out for all the world to see, and she did not bother covering her bottom half, either. “I have missed you, my lord,” she said, walking over to him, her hips swaying with every step.

The King put his arms around her waist, and leaned in, kissing her passionately. Their pelvises rubbed against each other, and she laughed. “My lord,” she chided playfully, and that was the end of the talking.

When they were done, the King held her in his arms, as they were lying on a crimson couch. “You need to stop coming, Victoria.”

“I’ve never said that to you,” she whispered, grabbing him down below.

The King pushed her away. “I mean this. If the Queen found out—“

“Your sister is not worthy of you, my love. Marry me instead. I will give you everything she cannot. I will warm you when you are cold, and twice as much when you are hot.” She leaned in, and they kissed once more.

“Aerys? Are you in there?”

The King’s eyes widened. “Rhaella!” he whispered. “You have to go.”

Victoria stood up, glaring. “Isn’t this a sight? A Dragon running away from a bitch?”

Had they been under more private conditions, Aerys would have raised his voice. As it were, only his tone got sharper. “Leave. Now. Out the window, like before. Do not come back.”

“Aerys?” A knock at the door. She was growing impatient.

“Don’t worry, Your Grace. I won’t.” Victoria went to the window, twisted around, and dropped. Aerys did not know how she got down, or how she managed to always do so without being spotted, but he was thankful for both. Even as he laced his breeches up, he knew she would be back, though she said she wouldn’t. And when she does, what will I do? Kings fathered bastards all the time in history, and yet for some reason Aerys felt guilty of Victoria. He opened the solar door, expecting to see his wife.

Only an empty corridor greeted him.

He poked his head out of his solar. “Rhaella?” he called, and yet Rhaella did not answer him. He walked into the hallway, looking for his wife. When he finally found her, it was in their quarters. “Rhaella?”

“Yes, my sweet?” she called.

“Well?”

His wife seemed confused. “I…I do not understand. Well what, Aerys?”

You are the Chosen.

Suddenly, the King was tired. “Nevermind. A mind plays tricks on you. I think I’ll sleep.”

“But Your Grace, it is barely noon.”

“I said I’ll sleep!” barked the King, and Rhaella jumped. Stupid whore, doesn’t she know what sleep is?

“I…I am s-sorry, Your G-Grace, I did not mean to o-offend.”

“Leave. Now.” I have said those words twice now, to two different whores.

Wordlessly, the Queen stood up and left the room, staying as far away from Aerys as possible. Isn’t this a sight, the King thought to himself, a bitch running away from the Dragon?

And sleep he did.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Robert's Rebellion

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Shard on Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:35 pm

((Arryn, eh? Sure, I can pick up Arryn. Although, if anyone is feeling overloaded with characters, heh...feel free to pass. Otherwise, Arryn, and...ah, maybe the Sword of the Morning? Anyone taken Arthur Dayne yet?))
Et amlug-gwann Endorenna utulien. Sinome maruvan ar mellynyar tenn'Ambar-metta.

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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Robert's Rebellion

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Masked Rose on Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:40 am

Robert

Robert Baratheon sat atop his mare staring out at the Vale of Arryn; beside him sat Jon Arryn, Lord of the Vale, as well as Robert's mentor and friend. Jon was the first to raise arms against the King in the aftermath of the murder of Brandon Stark and his companions, chief among them being Elbert Arryn, Jon's nephew and heir to the Vale. Robert looked to his friend and calmly stated, "So, this is it?" Jon sat, his eyes narrowed as he gazed for just once more at the Eyrie, his home, where his new wife Lysa sat comfortably as he rode to war with his former wards. 

"Yes," Jon said mildly, "This is it, Robert. And you are our leader." He turned to him. "Are you ready for such responsibility? This war is not only for your betrothed, son, it is for your freedom, and the freedom of the kingdom. Fighting a Prince to fuck a woman is not the way of things." 

Robert frowned and returned petulantly, "I know, Jon. What of it?" 

"Robert, you are a man in name but a boy in heart. Are you fit to command this large an army to win a kingdom? You are the only alive with another claim to the throne once the Targaryens are dead." Jon Arryn looked his friend in the eye and asked him calmly, "Is this what you want to be doing?" 

Robert sat a moment, breaking Jon's gaze. He followed the mountain which the Eyris rested towards the sky, where the peak disappeared amongst the clouds.That's me, he thought. That's me, my spear raised proud toward the heavens. The Seven give me strength. "Aye," he said finally. "Aye, old man. This is what I'm made for." 

Jon nodded. "Then so be it." He reared his mount and turned about to face Western sky, and Robert followed suit. The sun rose behind and their shadows stretched beyond them, Robert tall and proud. "Let's head back. Ned probably has been worrying." 

Robert snorted. "All the bastard does. As tight as a babe's ass." 

"A lesson you could take to heart from your dear friend." Jon snapped the reins, laughing raucously as he left Robert fuming behind. Robert growled to himself and followed. 

Jon led the pair into camp, swinging from his saddle as Robert did the same. They tied their mounts to a hitch and strode through to Eddard Stark's tent, the flaps embroidered with the sigil of House Stark; the direwolf. "Jon," barked Robert, "Let me wake the fool." Jon shrugged and allowed Robert pass. Robert lifted the flap of the tent and shouted in, "Ned, you limp bastard, wake up!"

((Tim, there is an OOC thread now to post in... xD))

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