Disclaimer: I don't own ASOIAF. I don't own Westeros, the Long Night or the characters GRRM invented.

Author's note: And thus the story ends. Thanks to all for your remarks, support and ideas!

Paul: I thought about writing more chapter...but frankly they would not bring much to the story and I like to surprise everybody, so...

Massey last words must indeed be considered very suspect.

Yeah, Tyrionism is a religion harbouring different doctrines than the norm for healing.

As for the next invasion, stay tuned...

Marvelmyra: I'm well aware I made some grammar mistakes in this story but there's no need to use that many reviews to recount them one by one. It's not constructive and frankly a bit exasperating.

Hanibalrider: He left a few riddles for the next people to read his adventures' books. They have been really useful to tear the hair of the readers in frustration...

Gremlin Jack: Rickon's wife died five years before Arya, and it was one of the reasons why he started the work on his last ship. Oh, yes the Wild Wandering Direwolf left behind a multitude of (adventurous) grandkids...

Sage of Wind Dragons: Some historians and maesters have their suspicions concerning those chosen by the Gods...but these are suspicions, not facts. Thanks for the support!

TheWumpus: Ha! Ha! Ha! I don't think I would do it justice...

BarrZ: Thanks for the support! Continue to read my other stories and enjoy!

Mimagova: Yes, nobody is eternal but the main characters had good and long lives. Thank you very much!

Hektols: The poor girl had at least not to endure the presence of Walder Frey for long...which is somewhat a consolation.

It's not that Stannis trusted the wrong persons, it's just that apart from Davos and a few honest soldiers, nobody was interested in following the succession laws and the customs of inheritance. Renly planted a dagger in his brother's claim from the very beginning and he has never managed to compensate this.

thepkrgmc: Thanks for the compliment! For now anyway I have other ideas to write...

Eduard Kassel: Yes, Davos had a long and plentiful life; unfortunately for him it meant he outlived most of his sons. Still, the Seaworth line endures and survives decades later.

The Age of the united Seven Kingdoms has indeed passed. The realms will change, thrive, prosper and fight with each other.

Thanks for the review. It was a pleasure.


Dawn of the Legend

The Northern wind had never seemed colder. It was persistent too. The snow was flowing right into their visages; helmet or no, it was really becoming to be unpleasant. For one, they weren't able to see half of the time further than their own hands. For two, their speed was so limited that they would need hours to go back to their camp.

"A blizzard is coming, Captain. A big one."

Jonos Kark-Umber would have surely spit to mark his point, but the freezing temperature and a new blast of wind made this impossible. The big Northerner instead closed his mouth under the grey-white winter clothes all the men of the Order of the Dawn wore. It was the best thing to do; anyway his spitting would have certain frozen before touching the ground.


The last ice storm had been only six days ago. To have a new one upon them so fast was not completely unusual, but it was not a good sign either. There had been autumns far more bearable than this summer's end. Scratch that, there had been winters far more bearable than this summer's end. It was like the seasons had been completely overturned.

And better not to think about the winter which will come after that...

"Then we will have to go back." Sighed Maric.

Abandoning their search mere hours after the start of the day was raging, but it was not like they had a lot of choice. The weather was worsening by the minute and the chances of fulfilling their orders in that kind of weather were as low as it could possibly get.

"The Lord Commander is not going to happy we've found nothing." Remarked Ulfric Umber, making an understatement of the highest order in his sentence.

Lord Commander Theo Glover had been in a massacring humour well before two patrols disappeared in the white wilderness of the Lands of Always Winter. The resumption of hostilities between the Targaryen Empire and the Braavosi Third Republic might have something to do with it. Or was it the declaration of war between the Sarnori Union and the Sarnori Confederacy?

No matter the source of the irritation, the soldiers garrisoned at Fort Stannis were paying the price of it. Short of a few critical personnel that were absolutely indispensable inside Fort Stannis, the rest of the men and the women had been participating in the searches to find back the two missing patrols. Infantrymen, artillerymen, tank men had taken their snow rackets – or their skis for those who were more adept with this method of locomotion – and left the warmth of the fires inside the old citadel for the freezing snowstorms.

"The Lord Commander would even less happy if I lost him another patrol in a blizzard." Corrected Maric Seaworth.

Several heads nodded at the rightness of this affirmation. It was always more difficult in times of winter to receive new recruits at Fort Stannis. No need to add their names to the tally of the dead. And the patrols were dead; there was little hope of them being alive remaining in the ranks. Whether they had been buried under an avalanche or not, the ugly problems of their food rations running out three days ago made their hypothetic survival a very unlikely outcome.

"We go back to the camp!"

This was in many ways an unnecessary order; aside from the five men who had already been forced to turn aside the rest of Maric's little expedition the other guardsmen had no more wish than him to endure a blizzard in the wilderness alone and unsupported.

The progression was now a bit less difficult, given that they had already created their own trail in the deep snow.

Then they felt it. Tremors were coming from the ground. At first the Seaworth Captain believed they had by mistake advanced on a large and instable mass of snow hours ago and now it was detaching...but there were on a relatively flat terrain and the snow mantle was not fissuring or collapsing to signify the apparition of a crevasse.

The tremors grew stronger and soon it was the entire ground which was dancing under their feet.

"Earthquake! Earthquake!"

The dreaded word was in every mouth. These events were unfortunately not rare near Fort Stannis and the Frostfangs chain: the mountain range was a very active seismic area. The very big earthquakes were however rare...but it wasn't their lucky day. As three of the men marching before him lost their equilibrium and taking a deep plunge in the snow, the earthquake violently shook the earth. So violently in fact that Maric was ready to bet everyone had felt it to the Bay of Seals and the harbour of Hardhome City.

The members of the Dawn Order who had not collapsed were holding desperately on their walk sticks...and then it was over. The ground stopped shaking, the weird sensation stopped and they could welcome back at the head of their preoccupations the winds of winter and the snow. Maric gave a hand to Jonos, allowing his muscular subordinate to stand back on his feet, with the other soldiers imitating him. The snow being a nice soft pillow, nobody looked hurt.

More than one would need at least a quick trip to the healers when they came back but the major injuries had been thankfully avoided. The weather and the walk conditions were bad enough, no sane commander cherished the idea of towing a wounded man to the camp and eventually to Fort Stannis. Especially since the deployment of vehicles in this region was the next best thing to impossible.

Just as they were able to resume their return to base and laugh of their clumsiest comrades' predicament, the ground shook again. The replica of the earthquake was even more dangerous than the first incident, and this time large quantities of snow started to move, whatever cohesion they had had no more.

The men of the Order of the Dawn ran. There was no benefit staying there, and moments ago they had passed a large ice block standing vigil over these deserted lands. If they managed to reach it and the thing had not collapsed...

Ultimately, the earthquake stopped well before they managed to reach this point. The fact every Dawn guardsman was helping standing up those who stumbled in their progression had its role to play of course.

"Good." Grunted Wullard 'Iron-Drinker', his voice full of relief. "With luck there will be no more."

"You just had to jinx it, don't you?" Asked Sergeant Asric.

"Captain, look!"

A trembling finger was pointed towards the centre of the plain. Maric first thought was just that the dark grey clouds announcing the ferocious blizzard had disappeared. However this was just an afterthought when he saw that a kilometres-wide hole was now dug here.

For a moment the young Seaworth man believed he was the victim of a hallucination. This was the only explanation possible. It was not the first time he and the rest of the veterans patrolled in the vicinity. They had never seen anything like this before. Direbears and various winter-dwelling animals were common. Hills and hilarious snow figures in the landscape were possible. Finding the remains of missing soldiers and war equipment of ages was rare but it could happen. But gigantic holes appearing from nowhere?

"What in the name of the Old Gods is that?" Exclaimed Janos Kark-Umber.

"It's a bloody hole." Grumbled Justin Bridge, not caring about pronouncing the evidence.

"Maybe it's the caldera of a volcano." Proposed a soldier on Marci's right.

"A volcano?" The tone of Wullard was heavy with scepticism. "So far in the North?"

"It would explain the earthquake."

"Do you think our men might have fallen in it?" Demanded Maric without speaking to anybody in particular.

"Ordinarily I would say no, but with all the blizzards these last days..."

For the rest of their existence and possibly the afterlife which came after the Dawn soldiers could never forget what happened next. From the depths of the hole a pure ray of blue light materialised itself and soared through the heavens.

It did not stay that way for long. After mere seconds, the ray became a pillar of energy. Then it was an inferno, engulfing the total circumference of the hole. A fantastic quantity of light and energy was propelled in the skies, blinding partially the guardsmen despite their goggles.

"Magic." The word was pronounced in a tone that was half-blessing, half-malediction.


"It's magic! We have to warn Fort Stannis!"

Maric could not help but snicker at this affirmation. Given the size of this inferno making a fantastic link between earth and sky, the only question was if this incredible apparition was visible from Winterfell and White Harbor. Fort Stannis, Fort Slayer, Castle Black...all the fortifications, settlements and outposts functioning under the authority of any of the Orders were seeing it.

Part of his mind desperately wanted to believe this was nothing but a natural phenomenon like the boreal aurora. Realistically, the sinister pale blue colour of this magical hurricane did not leave much hope.

Every child from the snowy peaks of the North to the deserts of Dorne knew the tales. From childhood the disobeying youngsters learnt of the dark menace having nearly engulfed the world twice in ice and death. Of the blue eyes and the blue magic which brought unrelenting torment and merciless killings with them.

Human sorcerers had not that kind of their powers to their fingertips. They never had this level of power; else it would be magicians and not kings and queens governing the realms. Tens of thousands warlocks, spellsingers, wargs and Red Priests would be needed to unite their forces and do something like that. They weren't that many men and women with a magical gift from Masseica to Asshai.

"Funny lightshow." Commented a man in hysterics. "Too bad we didn't bring food and authentic Umber vodka for the party!"

Sometimes the Dawn soldiers should just close their mouths. That was at least the opinion of their superior when a second ray of magic burst on the right of the first. Then came a third. A fourth. In a matter of minutes, the frozen wastes of the Lands of Always Winter were exploding in a cascade of blue light. If anyone wanted a proof this was not something answering the laws of physics, the snow inside this corona of ice magic was not melting. No, it was thrown in the air and then modified in form and nature.

Under their stunned eyes, the recognisable forms of powerful walls were built at a speed no human engineer could conceive. Reality was overwritten under the sheer power of magic infused under the snow. Everything was bathed in a blue light. Unlike the sun, it was shining with a true expression of malevolence.

Images began to appear, like a veil between the worlds had been pierced. First a great tree could be admired, one so immense it made the vegetal giants of the Haunted forests ridiculous in comparison. The images after this one were so rapid it was difficult to describe them accurately. Mountains, plains and snow were definitely present. There were battlefields and great citadels, fields of flowers so beautiful he felt tears of joy glimpsing them.

The last image was not engaging though. It was a maze of fortresses inspiring fear and revulsion. It was a lifeless place of ice and sorcery where horrors walked free and unshackled.

The hurricane of magic flickered and diminished at last. But the construction just watched didn't disappear. Where the snow plains had been located, this assemblage of towers and great walls had replaced them. Icy structures supernaturally high were now crushing the rest of the scene by their simple existence.

The worst was yet to come. A shrieking sound able to freeze the blood in a man's body resonated all over the winter lands and a huge flying figure flew under the grey sky. New roars were screamed and long blue magic trails erupted from the maw of an animal which could be no bird of prey.

It's an ice dragon. It must be.

But if it was effectively a monster like the one mounted by the Night's Queen, it was a colossal one. The Targaryen dragon bonded with Aena Targaryen at Fort Stannis had only one-third of its span.

More and more roars came from the fortress. One by one, flying figures soared from the ground and went dancing into the Northern skies. A storm of dragons was doing acrobatics around the highest monuments built for their species.

By the Gods Old and New...

This was more dragons than any military power, including the Valyrian Freehold, had ever mustered on a single field of battle.

We are so screwed.

The Captain tried to chastise himself for this defeatist thought, but there was optimism and there was reality. Anti-aerial artillery and the best fighters in service could bring down dragons...if they were young and had a large numerical superiority.

Here, they were far too many. There was only one choice left allowing his command to live another day.

"Run! RUN!"

"Run! We must warn Fort Stannis!"

What a warning would do in this case, Maric had absolutely no idea. One fire-breathing dragon against hundreds of cold ones? A few thousands men against the greatest flying threat of the Known World?

They had to try. They had to warn everyone the first spark of the Third Long Night had just been lighted.

The Dawn guardsmen ran, desperately trying to put the greatest amount of distances between themselves and this insane threat. It was going to be difficult, with the enemy having the ability to see them from the sky and their group being stuck on the ground...but complaining would not change their problems.

It appeared the Others had noticed them from the very beginning unfortunately. All over the hills that were around them, flashes of blue light announced the arrival of the heralds of death and their abominations.

Maric and his men stopped running. There was no point anymore. If they had to escape, they would have to thin a bit the ranks of their pursuers.

"Night gathers and now my watch begins." Began Ulfric Umber.

Like one men, the rifles and the obsidian ammunition came out the packs.

"It shall not end until my death." Continued Asric as the wildfire-launcher was activated.

"I shall take no wife, hold no lands, fathers no children." Osric's impressive grenade-launcher came out of nowhere to accompany his eager rumble.

"I shall wear no crowns and win no glory." Added Maric Seaworth, drawing his Valyrian sword.

"I shall live and die at my post." Declared Kavel Dorver.

"I am the sword in the darkness."

Daven put his ceremonial warhorn to his mouth and sounded it three times. Like in the times of legends, the warning sounded in the presence of the Great Enemy resonated.

"I am the watcher on the walls."

Each word was now pronounced with more and more volume by the guardsmen, as they shouted over the shrieks and the morbid imprecations of their incoming enemies.

"I am the fire that burns against the cold, the Light that brings the Dawn, the Horn that wakes the Sleepers, the shield that guards the realm of men."

A mass of...abominations went straight at their positions. They were uncountable and they had blue eyes...but what were they exactly, Maric had no idea. These weren't the animated corpses of humans. Livid and spider-like, they were abhorrent and nauseating to look at.

They may be the successors of the wights. And we don't know any of their weaknesses.

"I pledge my life and honour of the Night's Watch, for this night and all nights to come." Finished Jonos with his comrades-in-arms.

Maric issued them the last order he was probably to give them in his lifetime.

"Stand your ground brothers. For the Dawn!"


The End