4th Month of 298 A.C. King's Landing
Prince Joffrey Baratheon
Jon Arryn, the hand of the king was dead. He had died suddenly and without explanation. Some merely thought he had fallen ill, he was old that was true, and as such some were merely saying old age had caught up with him. Joffrey though was not so sure, Jon Arryn had been a very healthy man, a man who had put even Joffrey's own father to shame, and that was somewhat of a feat considering his father was still in reasonably good health despite the drinking and whoring. No, Joffrey was certain there was more to it than met the eye. Something or someone had killed Jon Arryn, and whoever that person was Joffrey intended to find them, for they knew things, things that would be very dangerous if they got into the wrong hands.
Joffrey looked at Waymar, the only person he truly counted as a friend, and said. "What do you think Waymar? There is too much that looks wrong with this picture would you not agree?"
Waymar Royce was slightly older than Joffrey who himself had just turned four and ten a few days ago, his friend was tall, handsome and confident, the things Joffrey had but did not possess. And it showed when he replied. "I agree Your Grace. There is too much that looks wrong. Jon Arryn was far too healthy a man to merely be put down by something as simple as a fever. No there most definitely is something at play."
Joffrey nods and says. "It does look odd that Lady Lysa did not even remain for her husband's funeral as well. One would think she is running from something. Either that or she feared her husband's dead body would contaminate the little shit she calls a son."
Waymar laughs at that and says. "It is most likely that Your Grace. Robert Arryn does not have the strength to last through his lessons let alone a funeral. And Lysa has always been running from something or the other her whole life. It is in her nature. Though I noticed Baelish was spending a lot of time in her company before Lord Jon died."
Joffrey looks at his friend then and asks. "She was spending time with Baelish? Now that is interesting. What do you think those two were getting up to?"
"Perhaps talking about how fortunate it was that Jon Arryn died when he did. Otherwise the man would have noticed how close his wife and the master of coin had been getting recently." Waymar quips. "And Baelish does have that reputation of his to think of. Can't be seen as being too slimy, otherwise no one would want to take money from him."
Joffrey smiles at that. "Very true. Baelish is a rat that much I know. A rat that my father seems to keep around for no apparent reason, other than his apparent ability to cough up coin from somewhere or the other."
"More than likely from the numerous brothels he owns as well as the seedy people he deals with. There has always been something odd about Baelish my prince. Something very odd. His rise was too quick and too sudden. I think Lysa Arryn knows him more than she is letting on." Waymar says.
Joffrey looks at his friend and asks. "You think the two of them might be sleeping together?"
"I would not put it past them. They are both bold enough to think about doing it and thinking they might get away with it. Though whether they truly are or not is another matter." Waymar replies.
Joffrey looks at his friend thoughtfully then and then says. "An interesting view Waymar. I am not sure whether I agree. Lysa Arryn has always been scared of her own shadow. This sudden braveness does not sound like her. It sounds like something Baelish would instigate. And that is something that worries me."
"As well it should Your Grace. Baelish is a man who cannot be controlled. He is a man who breaks the chains society puts on him. Having him control the Vale through Lady Lysa, is something that cannot be allowed to happen. The lords will revolt, and whatever nonsense Lysa comes up with might well be something that is allowed to fester." Waymar replies.
Joffrey considers this a moment and then says. "Indeed. I would not be surprised if she tries to name my family responsible for the death of her husband. Gods alone know she did not like my mother or my grandfather. There were so many rumours circling around about where Robert Arryn was going to be fostering, that perhaps one of them might hold a grain of truth."
"A shame then that the only people who know that are either dead or fled. It would have been useful information to know." Waymar Royce says.
"My uncle having left for Dragonstone the same time Jon Arryn fell ill? These are not coincidences. They were working on something, something I am not entirely sure I want to know about. Whatever it was, it was enough for someone to kill Jon Arryn for, and to make my uncle flee for his life. I must find out what it is." Joffrey says.
"Pycelle might know my prince. That man knows almost everything that occurs in the Red Keep. After all we are all foolish enough to go to him and not Ebrose when we need help. That is something I have never understood." Waymar says.
"Because Pycelle is my mother's creature and so we are told to go to him so that he might report on us. It is something I have meant to change for a long time but never have had the power to do so." Joffrey says.
"And now that you are four and ten you have more authority to make such moves. It will not be hard for you to either turn Pycelle into one of your own men or to scare off those little golden haired shits that follow you around everywhere my prince." Waymar says.
Joffrey laughs. "Now won't that be a relief. It will be something else to have other company around me other than the mere shits that my mother enforces on me. Perhaps this time my father might agree for some of the Stormlords to send their sons to court. That would make for a far more interesting sparring contest than with that shit Lancel. I cannot stand him."
"Neither can I. How he was ever trusted with a sword I do not know. Perhaps he used his looks to get it." Waymar japes.
"It's because of that that is why. He has never worked for what we have. He has been given it because of his name. And I intend to teach him that there are some things in life that you must earn before you can boast about them." Joffrey flexes one of his arms then, and as always takes some pleasure at watching Waymar's eyes bulge at the sight of his muscle.
"What sort of lesson are you thinking my prince?" Waymar asks.
"The sort that shit will never forget. It is time he learned his place. And he shall learn it in the place where he claims to be the most proficient. Of course nothing too serious can happen to him now. Not before we leave for the north. We must keep him on edge." Joffrey says.
Waymar grins then. "Most definitely my prince. Keeping him on edge would be just what I would do as well. Make him think something is going to happen to him, but never giving it away as to when it will happen. The man will be driving himself mad on the journey. And just when he thinks it is all over, the strike will come."
"And when it does, he will know, truly know what it means to boast about things he does not understand." Joffrey replies grinning, the anticipation of that moment filling him with joy.
"What will you do to him before then though my prince? There must be some sort of plan to ensure that he does not merely think you are joking?" Waymar asks.
Joffrey looks at his friend then and says slyly. "The man knows that there are things I know about him, which if revealed would make his life all the harder here. Taunting that and holding it in front of his face will be more than enough to set him on edge. It will be interesting to see how the boy reacts to it. Very interesting, should he falter, the others will falter, and my mother will not know whom to use."
"That will be good as well, considering what she is likely to say about the journey to Winterfell as well. One cannot keep the queen's views of things to heart, for she does not know her people and that will be her downfall." Waymar responds sagely.
"What are you suggesting?" Joffrey asks intrigued.
"The Starks my prince. They are going to be the key for the moons to come. Your father will ride north soon to name Lord Eddard Stark hand of the king. That is a man whom you will want to know, whom you will want on your side. His two oldest sons Robb and Jon, why they would make very good allies or even servants for you as well. Having them on your side and paying them attention, more attention than your mother would want is a good thing. It will mean that you have the future lord of Winterfell and his brother on your side, ready to do what you want them to do." Waymar says.
The mere thought of that is intoxicating for Joffrey, and yet there are some doubts. "How do I do that though? I have not done such a thing to someone not a Lannister before."
"That is not true my prince. I am here am I not?" Waymar replies.
Joffrey looks at the man then and grins. "I suppose you are right. The Starks are people who respect power, well I have one of the most powerful positions in the kingdom. Perhaps it will be time to remind them of this. The bastard might be the first one to fall. He is a bastard after all."
"Indeed my prince. He will be the one throwing himself at your feet. Show him what you mean, and what you want for him. Get to know him and he will be yours forever." Waymar replies.
The mere thought of a Stark, even if it is a bastard being his servant is something Joffrey finds exciting. It fills him with a sort of anticipation that usually he only gets from going on the battle field. "You are right. And perhaps if the Stark siblings are close, then the heir will follow the bastard. A nice little dance for us to indulge in with the wolves. Let us see which one bites first."
Waymar nods. "The King will look to betroth you to Stark's daughter as well. To fulfil the pact that was supposed to be fulfilled with him and Stark's sister. That will be another person you can use."
Joffrey nods. "Very true. The girl, now the girl will be interesting. Very interesting, I do wonder whether she will put up a fight or not." The mere thought excites him as well. The thought of the struggle before submission.
"It will be a glorious thing my prince. Having the Starks on your side, your own savages with which to use for whatever you see fit." Waymar states.
"And they will have the same loyalty to me as Stark does to my father. It will be my own wolf pack. Something I can call upon. For there will be trouble soon. I can feel it." Joffrey replies.
"Most definitely Your Grace." Waymar replies.
Joffrey allows the conversation to fall into silence then as he thinks of wolves and their taming. He looks forward to going north now. Not only to see a man he has idolized since he was a small child, but also to begin the taming of the beasts of winter.