AN: So I put a poll up on my discord about which story to update next, Wayward Son or Last King, and this one won. Perks of being in the server I guess.
So yes, here is the next instalment, I hope you enjoy, and as always please leave a comment of a review etc. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to PM me.
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Thanks for reading and please do leave a review, that or feel free to PM, I am usually much better at answering those!
Disclaimer: I do not own Percy Jackson or Game of Thrones.
( - )
Robb worried his lip, as he once again considered whether he had done the right thing in telling Tytan about his bastard.
A royal bastard, after all, was a dangerous thing.
One only had to remember their history about the Blackfyre Rebellions, all four of them, and the War of the Ninepenny Kings, to know that much.
Robb's brow furrowing at that thought, even as he continued to look out over the horizon.
He was still uncertain of whether he had done the right thing. But he had at least done the honourable thing, the thing his father would have done.
Robb relaxed at that thought, only for his brow to furrow as he saw three riders in the distance.
The riders were coming from the north, and they wore black.
( - )
( - )
(With Robb Stark)
He was standing in the courtyard of Winterfell as the three riders in black rode through the keep's front gates.
On the walls above, several guardsmen patrolled the walls, with unstrung bows on their backs, and blowing horns hanging from their belts.
At his back he had a dozen armed and armoured guardsmen waiting, with sheathed swords at their hips, and shields bearing the direwolf of House Stark held loosely on their arms, and at his side and slightly behind him, he had Jory Cassle, Vayon Poole and Theon. The three men were also armed, and standing ready in case of trouble.
Not that he expected there to be any, not considering who the riders were. But then again you could never be too cautious, His father had learned that the hard way.
Further behind him, several members of his family had started to gather curiously in the doorways to the keep. He could see Arya and Rickon peeking out from behind his mother as she stood at the top of the stone steps which led to the great hall watching the gate, Rodrik Cassle waiting at her side.
In the keep itself, he could spy Sansa on one of the balconies that overlook the courtyard. She was wearing a thick, grey fur cloak over the top of her dress. At her side, noticeable by her golden blonde hair, was Myrcella. She, too, was wearing thick furs to shield her from the biting wind. The both of them were supposed to be in lessons with Septa Mordane right now, as was Arya too for that matter, but from what he could see their curiosity had got the best of them.
He could understand why too, after all the black clad riders had not stopped upon reaching Winter Town, but had instead continued at all haste to the main keep.
That in itself would have been enough to raise an eyebrow, but would not in itself necessitate his own being there to greet the unnamed or unannounced riders. Nor would it have drawn the interest of his family, certainly not enough to drag them out of the warmth of the keep on such a cold day.
But what did draw both his attention, and that of his family and retinue, was the standard one of the riders were bearing. The banner it flew bore no House sigil, but was instead plain black in colour, with slightly frayed edges, a sign of both age and from regular wear and tear.
There was only one group he knew of that would fly a banner like that, and it was for this reason that he had decided to meet the group in person.
It was for the same reason that his family had gathered, too.
They had been expecting the king any day now, an honour for sure, even when considering the reason behind his visit.
But even so, he found this visit far more preferable, after all the only group in the North that would fly this banner was the Night's Watch, and the Night's Watch was currently playing host to three close members of his family; his father, his brother and his uncle, and considering their watchman had seen a white furred animal running along at the heels of the lead rider, he had a pretty good idea as to just who it was that was visiting.
Holding back a smile as the three black clad riders cantered into the courtyard, Robb ignoring the guardsmen tensing at the sight of the armed men, as he instead focussed on the lead rider.
It had been years since he had seen him, but he would recognise his dour expression anywhere.
"Jon!" Robb smiled, his arms outstretched in greeting, as his half brother's horse clattered to a halt into the centre of the courtyard.
"Robb," Jon replied with a tired smile, his grey eyes lighting up with warmth, even as he made to dismount, and motioned for the two young men behind him to do the same.
His brother had changed a lot since the last time they'd met.
His face was gaunter and thinner, and he was also now sporting a scraggly black beard. His curly black hair was longer and shaggier than before, and the fur lined black cloak he wore over his armour was worn, frayed at the ends, and like his hair, dusted with snow. He looked tired, there were dark bags under his eyes, and his skin was ghostly white.
In the years since he'd last seen his half brother, he'd grown into a man. But then again, the same could probably be said for him.
Swinging himself off his destrier, Jon stumbled for a moment before he found his feet.
"Or is it Lord Stark now?" Jon asked, a broad smile spreading across his face as he approached and gave a short bow.
"To you, it will always be Robb," Robb smiled, crossing the remaining distance between them and pulling him into a brotherly embrace.
Behind him, he could hear his mother letting out a hiss of disapproval.
As had become common in recent months, he dutifully ignored it.
"Jon!" Arya shouted excitedly, interrupting their reunion, even as she ran forward, a beaming smile on her face as she slammed into him and their brother. Rickon followed her lead not long after, a giant smile on his boyish face.
"Arya, Rickon!" Jon grinned as he swooped down and swept his two younger siblings into a hug. Both of them were talking quickly, their eyes alight with excitement as they clung to him.
Their wolves, Nymeria and Shaggy, had followed their lead, along with Summer, Lady and Greywind, as all five direwolves rushed forward to greet their youngest brother, the former runt of the litter, Ghost. Though perhaps amusingly, the runt of the litter was now the largest.
Smiling, Robb took a step back and watched the ongoing interaction between Jon and his youngest two siblings.
Glancing back at his mother as he heard her hissing again, Robb noticed that both Maester Luwin, Hodor and Bran had joined her. With Hodor, their former stableboy, standing behind Bran's wheeled, wooden chair, his gormless face twisted into a grin, even as his charge, Bran, looked impassively on.
Frowning slightly as he saw the dead eyed expression on Bran's face, Robb felt discomfort rise up within him.
Over the last few months, his brother had started to unnerve him.
With each month that passed, the old Bran seemed to fade further and further away. He was no longer the happy, cheerful young boy that wanted to be a knight any more. Instead, he was quiet, insular, and at times completely cold and emotionless. In fact, there were times when he would just sit in his chair for hours in the godswood and stare off into space, his expression vacant and his eyes glazed.
He wasn't the only one concerned, either.
His mother, Maester Luwin, and all of his siblings, were also worried about Bran's deterioration.
But none of them knew what to do about it, after all Maester Luwin had assured them that aside from being a cripple he was otherwise perfectly healthy. Which meant his declining mental state was not being caused by anything physical, but was instead being caused by something else, something they couldn't see or treat.
Maester Luwin believed that the cause was his growing feelings of hopelessness over his disability. This was something that he had claimed to have seen before when a man had lost both his wife and unborn child on the same day, and had spiralled into a pit of despair. The loss of hope, according to Maester Luwin, could be as fatal as any sword or arrow, worse in fact as unlike with physical wounds it couldn't be treated.
Frowning slightly at that thought, he tore his gaze away from Bran's vacant face and instead eyed his brother's constant companions. A gangly, softly spoken blonde teen, and his bold, confident older sister; the young Jojen and Meera Reed, Lord Howland Reed's children.
The two of them were a mystery to him.
They had arrived at Winterfell a few moons ago with no word as to why they had come, and had stayed within the halls of Winterfell ever since at Bran's insistence.
Considering his brother's state, and their father's strong friendship with Howland Reed, he had allowed them to remain. A decision he sometimes regretted, especially since their arrival seemed to have precipitated a sudden dip in Bran's mental state.
Not that he believed either of them were directly responsible for his brother's hastening decline. After all Meera came across as a good, decent person who went out of her way to be helpful - she also got along well with Arya which was somewhat telling in itself -, Jojen meanwhile was addle brained and whimsical, but seemed to hold no malice at all. Instead, he seemed almost devoted to Bran, devoted in a way which made Robb uncomfortable at times.
Not that he spoke his thoughts out loud of course, after all Bran was struggling enough as is, he didn't want to further push his brother away and into further despair, by making an issue of his tastes.
His frown deepened for a moment at that thought, before with a sigh he looked away.
There was nothing any of them could do for his brother, except be there to support him.
Maybe Jon's return, however fleeting, would be just what Bran needed to perk him up?
Pushing that hopeful thought away, Robb forced a smile back on his face as he stepped in to rescue his brother from Arya and Rickon.
Being a member of the Night's Watch, his brother had duties and responsibilities. He couldn't just leave to visit his family. Which meant he was here for a reason, and considering the pace at which he must have ridden - considering his state -, it must be an important reason.
Glancing at the two young men that had accompanied Jon, Robb looked back at his half brother and cleared his throat to get his attention.
"Jon, we should go inside. I doubt you came all this way just to visit." He said, his brow furrowing as he saw Jon's expression turn grim.
"Yes," Jon said curtly. "If you could have someone see to our horses, we should then head inside. I bring dire news from the Wall, and from our father, who is now the acting Lord Commander."
Robb's eyes widened, even as he gestured for Jory to take charge of Jon and his companion's horses. "What of Jeor Mormont?"
"Dead," Jon replied, his expression grim. "Along with a thousand brothers of the Night's Watch."
He felt a pit form in the bottom of his stomach at Jon's words, and at the expression on his face.
Glancing around, he saw many others looked shocked too, including his younger siblings.
"Come, we should talk in my solar." Robb said, gesturing for Jon and his companions to follow. "Maester Luwin, Rodrik, Varyon, Theon, come with me. Mother, could you see Arya, Sansa and Myrcella back to Septa Mordane, and keep Rickon and Bran occupied?"
"Robb, I really think I shoul-'' His mother started to say.
Only for him to cut her off, "Please, mother."
Turning away, he then led the way into the keep, the others following after him.
His joy at seeing his brother had been soured somewhat by the news he had brought with him.
Jeor Mormont, the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, was dead, along with one thousand of his brothers.
A slaughter of that size could only mean one thing.
There was likely another King Beyond the Wall, one canny enough and threatening enough to catch a veteran like Jeor Mormont out unawares, and strong enough to slaughter a small army.
If it was as bad as he feared, then he might need to call the Banners.
With winter having come, the last thing any of them needed was a wildling invasion.
( - )
It had been a short ride from White Harbour to Winterfell, and thankfully not an arduous one. This in part was because they had travelled light, unlike the last time they had come north.
In total, he had ridden from the harbour with a company of only thirty, including his swornswords, a couple of Kingsguard, some Baratheon guardsmen and a Maester, - the temporary one Qyburn had said had volunteered to accompany him - Marwyn. All of them save for Marwyn, himself included, rode in mail and armour, with thick fur cloaks, and their weapons within easy reach. He wasn't worried about bandits and the like, but you could never be too careful.
Compared to the entourage he usually had to bring along, the party he rode with was quite small, but personally he much preferred it that. It was a faster way to travel, and though less comfortable, it was all the more enjoyable because of that.
In the time that had passed since they had left White Harbour and the Golden Rose behind, their destriers had quickly eaten up the leagues, till they were only a scant few hour rides from the Stark's ancestral home.
Looking around as he rode, the countryside was as wild and desolate as he remembered it being from the last time he had come north several years ago. Though reminiscing on all that had occurred in that time, it felt a lot longer.
A lot had transpired since the last time he had visited Winterfell. His father had died, while Lord Stark had been tried as a traitor and sent to the Wall. He had become king, even as Robb Stark became the new Lord Stark. After which he got married, while Robb was betrothed to Myrcella, and in the midst of all this great changes had begun to occur throughout the Seven Kingdoms.
Thinking back on the last few years, Percy grimaced as he thought about everything that had transpired between their Houses in the last few years. Much of it was bad, and yet at the end of it all, their Houses were somehow closer than they had ever been before, and soon enough, once Robb and Myrcella were married, they would be closer still.
As difficult as his relationship with his father had been, Percy reckoned the old drunk would probably have been pleased with how things turned out in the end.
He had never been a happy man, or not while Percy had been alive. He had hated being king and the feelings of confinement and isolation which came with it. He had also probably felt trapped in a loveless marriage to a woman that hated him, and who had gone out of her way to stop him from having any kind of fatherly relationship with any of his children. Or at least with the children he believed were his.
Still, his father had loved Ned Stark, more so than he had ever loved his children, his wife or even his kingdom.
The union of House Stark and House Baratheon had been his father's dream, and now after his death, that dream would soon become a reality.
A sigh left Percy's lips at that thought, even as their party crested another hill, and he got his first sight of Winterfell.
Looking back, he couldn't help but feel a little guilty sometimes about the way everything had turned out.
Back then, he had been a hypocrite. He had been little more than a drunken whoremonger, a desperate broken wretch clinging on to any vice he could to stop himself from tumbling into despair, and yet he had judged his father for doing the exact same thing. Robert had been miserable and depressed, and so had also delved into any and every vice he could to forget his misery.
Back then, if he had stopped to think, and had tried to empathise with his father's plight, things could have been very different. But then again, the same could be said for his father. If he had made more of an effort to be present in his children's life, and had put up more resistance to his wife's toxicity, then who knows what might've happened?
But that was the past, and was something that nobody could change.
Looking to the future, he could only hope that he was a better father than his own had been, both Robert and Poseidon, and that Margaery was a mother more akin to Sally than she was Cersei.
"Come on," Percy muttered, patting the neck of his horse. "We're almost there."
'It's about time.' The horse snarked back. 'I'm not sure how much longer I can carry your fat arse.'
Smiling at the horse's whinging, Percy urged it on, with the others following his lead.
"Good. This time though, Tytan, can we not stop off in Winter Town first?" Jamie chuckled dryly from his side, a wry smile on his face as he easily kept pace with him. "Unless you want to come back up to the North again in another few years…"
Percy winced at the reminder.
The last time he had come to Winterfell, he and his uncle had stopped off at one of the brothels in Winter Town on the way. A brothel in which he had lain with the very woman who had borne, and who now looked after, his bastard child, his firstborn.
"Point taken," Percy muttered.
"Yes, well let's hope that it is the only point that gets taken while we're at Winterfell, otherwise I fear what Queen Margeary would say when she inevitably hears of it." Jamie chuckled again, his grin turning sly. "And you know she will eventually. Olenna Tyrell might not have the amount of eyes and ears that that shifty rat, Qyburn has, but she, like my father, has a large enough spy network to ferret out most secrets eventually, and just like my father, she is also obsessed with preserving her family's legacy. So unless you want your marriage to Margaery to end up like your father's marriage to my sister, I would tread carefully."
"Noted, but fortunately I am not planning on doing anything that would dishonour my wife," Percy said, his gaze shifting to the empty, steel grey skies for a moment. "But it does make me wonder, dear uncle, about just whose side you are on?"
"Why, on my family's side, of course." Jamie shot back. "I say this, not as a member of the Kingsguard, but as your uncle, and your friend."
"Well, thanks," Percy replied, his eyes narrowing as he thought about all the vipers waiting back at King's Landing. "But fortunately, Qyburn is just as good at suppressing information as he is at gathering it."
"Which explains why the real reason behind your trip up north is not yet widely known," Jamie raised an eyebrow.
Percy didn't reply, as he instead looked ahead at the looming castle in the distance.
"Yes and no. There is now more than one reason why I have headed north," Percy said after a moment.
"Oh, and what's the other reason?" Jamie asked.
"This era of relative peace we have been living in is coming to an end." Percy said softly, his eyes narrowed against the cold, biting wind. "Powers which have lain dormant for many centuries are starting to rise."
"What are you talking about, Tytan?" Jamie asked, his brow furrowing as he looked sideways as Percy. "What has you so worried?"
"My dreams have been dark of late," Percy said, his hands tightening on his reins. "And now I know why. The world is changing, and not for the better. Dark times are ahead, uncle, and the only way we'll make it through them is if we all band together. Which is why the North is only the first of the Kingdoms I'll be visiting. After this we will head to the Vale to meet with Lord Royce, the new Warden of the East, and then down to Dorne to meet with Doran Martel, who we will then be bringing back to King's Landing. It is time the Seven Kingdoms were fully united. It is the only way we'll weather the oncoming storm."
"What is it you've seen, Tytan?" Jamie asked. He looked nervous now, discomforted by Percy's own discomfort.
"War," Percy said simply. "Only our enemy this time will be like none we've ever faced before."
( - )
(Currently in the Winterfell Courtyard)
As the sound of clip clopping hooves on stone drew closer, Robb looked on with grim determination.
The news Jon had brought with him had been as dire as he had feared.
A thousand men of the Night's Watch were dead, with only a handful of survivors left to tell the tale of their passing, and what a tale they had to tell.
Wight Walkers, giant white spiders, legions of undead creatures, and the return of the Long Night.
It was the stuff of Old Nan's scariest bedtime stories, and yet Jon told them with a serious tone and a stoic expression.
His younger brother wasn't joking. He was dead serious, and his proof was a thousand dead brothers, and the several thousand wildlings that were currently camping at the base of the Wall and clamouring to be let through before death fell upon them.
As of yet they had been left waiting.
His father had not given the order to attack and clear the wildlings, but nor had he given the command to let them through. That decision, according to Jon, was not one their father could make, as it was the Lord Commander's decision, and although their father was acting as Lord Commander for the moment due to this pedigree and experience, a new one had not been officially elected. Though, according to Jon that could soon change, as from what his brother had said, the brothers of the Night's Watch had begun gathering to decide the next Lord Commander, even as he was saddling up to head south with the news of what had happened.
Jon had also told him that ravens had been sent to every hold and keep in the North warning of wildlings, and of the death of Jeor Mormont.
But no word had yet been sent of the White Walkers, and the threat they posed. Instead, Jon had been the one to bring word of that to Winterfell.
Their father had decided to leave the decision of what to do next in his hands.
His father would continue to do his duty and guard the Wall, either as Lord Commander depending on the result of the election, or as a sworn brother, but nothing more than that.
The rest, he had told Jon to say, was in his hands.
He grimaced at the thought of the heavy weight of responsibility that had now been placed on his shoulders.
It was a responsibility, he neither wanted nor one he was sure he could handle.
Hopefully, though, it was a burden he would not have to carry alone.
Looking up as he heard the clatter of hooves, Robb watched as the first of the slimmed down royal procession arrived through the gates of Winterfell.
Two mounted flag bearers entered the courtyard first, both wearing mail and fur cloaks and holding banners depicting a prancing stag with a crown around its neck.
Following behind the two flag bearers were two members of the Kingsguard. He only recognised one of them, Ser Jamie Lannister. The man had not changed at all. He still wore the same armour, and carried himself in the same arrogant manner. His expression was still haughty, and his green eyes still bored, as he surveyed the courtyard and all those that had assembled to meet the king.
Though noticeably, the man seemed to stiffen slightly as his gaze came to rest on Robb and the rest of his assembled family.
His apprehension was barely noticeable, but for a single instant he'd seen it.
It was a curious reaction, and one he didn't quite understand, yet.
Following closely behind Jamie Lannister were several men in black painted plate mail, with golden accents round the edging.
These men were also familiar, though their armour was not. They were the king's swornswords. A highly loyal and infamously deadly band of warriors that accompanied the king everywhere he went. Some claimed that they were Kingsguard in all but name, only without the vow of abstinence. Others, however, were somewhat harsher in their view, and said that the group were nothing more than the king's dogs, a savage group of deadly men that did the king's dirty work, no questions asked.
Looking past the king's dogs, Robb finally got a look at the man of the hour.
He truly lived up to his legend.
He looked like a warrior king of old. He looked like the Mountain King the bards sang of at feasts and festivals.
A glance to his side, told him his betrothed, his sisters, and their handmaidens, had also taken note of his striking appearance, as all of them, even Arya, stood there transfixed, and honestly he could see why.
The king was clad in a gleaming suit of castle forged plate armour, with his sword - Valyrian steel from what he had heard - belted and sheathed on his hip, and a black, gold embroidered cloak flowing from his armoured shoulders, and whipping about behind him as he rode into the silent courtyard.
His armour was truly a work of art, Robb was no smith, but he could recognise that much.
His right pauldron had been shaped to look like a roaring lion's head and was accented with gold. His left pauldron meanwhile had been crafted into a snarling stag's head, and had been embossed with silver.
His breastplate had a prancing, crowned stag on it, inlaid in gold.
Then finally, to finish off his ensemble, his helm had been crafted to have the likeness of his own face on the visor, and a pair of sharp antlers protruding from it and jabbing upwards at the sky. It was not a practical helmet to wear in a fight, but aesthetically it was glorious.
Following behind the king were the rest of his contingent, including a fat Maester, and nearly two dozen Baratheon guardsmen wearing mail hauberks, cuirasses, black and golden tabards, and pot helmets.
It was a small procession by royal standards, but no less deadly, as every man was armed with castle forged steel, and outfitted with what looked like the finest armour money could buy. They were a small warband, but still one that he'd dread to face on the field of battle. They were the kind of calvary unit that could shatter shield walls, and rout armies of levies.
As the king came to a halt, everyone in the courtyard fell to one knee, all save for Bran.
The household had been assembled to greet the king; including his family, the Reed's, all the nobles currently staying at Winterfell, or within a short ride of it, and his brother, Jon. Only unlike the last time a king had visited Winterfell, this time Jon stood at the front of the crowd with the rest of his family.
His mother had stomped her foot and tried to forbid it, and Jon had tried to refuse, but he had insisted all the same. Jon might not carry his father's name, and they may not have the same mother, but Jon was still family all the same. Besides which, considering the reason the king had come north, he doubted Tytan would put up that much of an objection to his bastard brother being present.
Lowering his head as the king approached him, Robb braced himself for the conversation the two of them would soon have to have.
In many ways his visit was fortuitous considering the news Jon had brought south with him. In fact, a small part of him was delighted at the thought of passing on some of the decision-making responsibility onto the king's broad shoulders.
Looking up as the king came to a halt in front of him, he saw the king's armoured hand motion for everyone to stand up.
Taking a deep breath, he stood up and looked the king in the eyes.
He could feel the tension between the two building in the courtyard, even as the king unstrapped his helmet and pulled it off, revealing cropped black hair, a defined jawline which was only slightly marred by a light dusting of black stubble, and piercing green eyes, that almost seemed to glow slightly in the late afternoon gloom.
"Your grace." Robb said slowly as he bowed his head to the slightly taller man.
The king cocked his head to the side, not taking his eyes off of Robb's stoic expression.
After a few moments of silence, the king finally spoke. "Robb Stark, we meet again."
"Yes, your grace," Robb replied, lowering his head again. The king had a powerful presence.
"Enough of that," the king said, waving his armoured hand through the air. "You can call me Tytan, after all we will soon be good brothers." Tytan continued, clapping him on the shoulder now with a smile, even as he handed his helmet off to one of his black clad swornswords.
"Yes, your grac-, I mean Tytan," Robb said, his brow furrowing in confusion.
The king wasn't acting like he remembered. He was less intense than the last few times they had met. He seemed calmer, and more casual. Almost friendly.
"Good, now I'm not sure about you, but I'm cold and could do with some rest." Tytan continued, his gaze shifting past Robb, and to his family. "But first greetings."
"Lady Stark, it is good to see you again." Tytan pressed on, clapping Robb on the shoulder again and giving it a squeeze, even as he moved on to greet the rest of the Stark household.
"Your grace," His mother replied, her voice cold as she gave the king a stiff curtsey.
If the king noticed her attitude, he didn't say anything. Instead, he shared a few words with Catelyn, and moved over to his sister, Myrcella, and disregarding any and all sense of propriety pulled her into a hug and twirled her around. Much to the young blonde's pleased embarrassment, as she hid her smile by burying her head into the crook of her brother's neck as he lowered her to the ground, and the two of them shared a few quiet, but no doubt heartfelt, words.
After releasing his sister, the king then moved onto Sansa, a kind smile on his face as he greeted his pink faced sister in a much more appropriate manner, before then turning to greet Arya, Rickon and Bran next.
Arya flushed in embarrassment and said nothing. It was almost amusing to see, as it was the first time he had ever seen his youngest sister tongue-tied.
Rickon just looked up at him with awe.
Bran, meanwhile, just stared at the king, his lips twisting into an odd smile, even as Jojen Reed also stared at him, his mouth slightly agape.
Grimacing, Robb moved to follow the king, even as he shifted his attention from Bran and Jojen, and instead greeted Theon and Meera Reed, both of whom were polite if distant in their responses.
"And if I remember right, you're Jon Snow, Ned Stark's bastard?" Tytan asked, his attention now on Jon.
His mother scowled angrily at the comment, her narrowed eyes flicking between both Jon and the king, as she seemingly tried to work out which one she disliked more.
Jon, meanwhile, outwardly looked stiff and dour. Internally, though, Robb could see the carefully hidden anger and resentment festering within his brother's cold grey eyes.
"Oh, don't pout Snow, I'm not saying that to slight you, I'm asking it for clarification." Tytan pressed on, extending his hand now to Jon.
Jon's expression turned to confusion at the king's words, even as his mother's expression soured even further.
Shaking hands with Jon, Tytan nodded. "I remember hearing that you were joining the Night's Watch. I hope you have settled in well up there. Though I am curious, just what brings you south?"
"I brought urgent news from the Wall." Jon replied bluntly, his expression tightening. "News that Lord Stark had to hear, and yourself too, your grace."
"I see," Tytan said softly. "Is this news of the encroaching Long Night?"
Jon froze at the question, his mouth slightly agape.
Sansa and several of her ladies in waiting tittered slightly at what she must have deemed was the king's jape.
Looking at the king's expression, though, Robb didn't think it was some kind of clever jape, or a jab at the Night's Watch.
The king looked serious.
"Yes, your grace." Jon bowed his head.
Forcing a smile, Tytan turned his attention back to his host. "Now that proper greetings have taken place, I think my men need to freshen up."
"Of course, your grac-, I mean Tytan. Vayon, Jory, could you see to the horses and settle the king's men." Robb commanded. Both Jory and Vayon nodded. "There'll be a feast tonight to celebrate your arrival."
"Thank you, Robb." Tytan nodded, his expression still serious as he approached him and pitched his voice lower. "If you have some time, I think there is much we need to discuss, and someone I need to meet…."
"Yes," Robb nodded, his expression also serious. "There is."
( - )
(In the West)
Black sails rustled in the breeze as pale, leather clad men marched onto their assigned ships.
Their skin was ghostly pale beneath all the filth and the grim that covered them, and the sclera of their eyes was completely black. Their hair was unkempt, and encrusted with salt, and barnacles from where they had been baptised, and rotting seaweed often still clung to their armour. Some of those assembled had already become bloated in death, or had started to rot, making them little more than a buffet for the ever-present flock of carrion birds that flew overhead.
Looking over his assembled armada, Balon Greyjoy's rotting lips peeled back to reveal a set of sharp yellow teeth.
They had finished converting all those on Pyke into true followers of the Drowned God. Which meant that it was now time to spread the worship of the one true god to the rest of the Iron Islands, and then further afield to the greenlanders.
The Iron Fleet was ready to set sail.
Every man, woman and child on Pyke had been baptised and were now boarding the last of the ships.
Casting a look back at his ancestral home, he felt nothing at the sight of it nor at the thought of leaving it, perhaps for the last time.
Material possessions meant nothing to him any more.
All that mattered was spreading the will of the one true god, their god, the Drowned God.
"Father, we're ready to set sail." Yara said, her black eyes gleaming with manic anticipation. Her skin was pale, so pale in fact that he could see the black veins pulsing beneath it. "It is time to spread death to the non-believers."
"Yes," Balon nodded, unsheathing his sword and raising it into the air to draw the attention of those around him. "Men to your stations, we leave now!"
His followers roared their approval, as the last of them ran to get on board.
Lowering his sword to his side, Balon trudged up the ramp as he boarded the Iron Fleet's new flagship, a gigantic, triple masted hulk, that he had named, the Black Coffin.
Smiling grimly as he sent one last lingering look at the Pyke, his black eyes gleamed with excitement. "Fortune favours the infamous."
( - )
(In the East)
Her dragons were roaring as the flaming pyre in front of her grew hotter.
The sound was almost enough to drown out the screams and cries of those that were burning alive on the pyre.
The flailing bodies of six hundred 'Great Masters' of Meereen, and their firstborn sons, decorated what had once been one of Meereen's famous pyramids, but which had now become a sacrificial altar to the Lord of Light, R'Hllor.
Many of the dying men in front of her had been cruel and monstrous in their own right, but did they truly deserve to die in such a way?
Honestly, she wasn't sure she cared any more.
Meereen had fallen to her army in just a single day, helped in part by the slave rebellion her arrival caused. From what Stannis had told her, the city guards had been overwhelmed by angry slaves as her army set up camp outside the city, and the gates had been opened to her marauding horde.
A part of her wondered whether the slaves had any regrets, considering all they had achieved in the end was trading one master for another. Only now, instead of being forced to work the fields or mines, they had been branded with the mark of R'Hllor and conscripted into his holy army.
Her lips trembled at that thought, even as she watched her dragons add yet more fire to the gigantic pyre.
"Six hundred masters, their sacrifice will be a powerful one." Melisandre said softly from beside her. "I can feel the Lord of Light's delight, can you?"
"I feel nothing," Daenerys replied honestly, her tone dull.
Melisandre sent her a sideways look. "Then you have not yet opened yourself to R'Hllor."
Daenerys didn't reply, as she instead continued to look upon that which she had reaped.
On her other side, Xaro let out a soft chuckle. "Come now Lady Melisandre, the Queen has only just converted to the faith, give her time and she will be as devoted as you yourself are."
"Yes, I'm sure she will." Melisandre purred, her intense eyes shifting back to her.
"The dragons have gotten bigger," Stannis said bluntly from the other side of Melisandre. "Unnaturally so."
Daenerys frowned at his words, but didn't refute them. Her two dragons had grown substantially in the last month, they were now four times the size they were back in Astapor.
"Yes, dragons are creatures of fire and magic, they have a close connection to R'Hllor, closer than that of any mortal. They are the blessed children of R'Hllor, and like all of his servants, they can absorb power from the sacrifices made in his name. What you are seeing is merely the changes brought about by the sacrifice of the 'Good Master' of Astapor. They will grow stronger and faster still after this sacrifice, and even more, so after we move on to Yunkai." Melisandre replied, her eyes alight with excitement as she raised her hand, and summoned an orb of dripping flame within it. Showing off the power that she herself had gained from the almost continuous sacrifices she made in the Red God's name.
"Once we have cleansed Slaver's Bay and converted all those within to the worship of the Lord of Light, we can move west, and bring the R'Hllor's Light to Westeros." Melisandre contained, her eyes were shimmering with manic fervour.
Glancing sideways, Daenerys met Stannis's stoic gaze.
It was at times like this that she wondered who was in charge of their ever growing army, and just what their purpose truly was now.
( - )
(In the North)
Cold, hoarfrost blue eyed watched as the last of the wild humans that lived north of the Wall were herded south. All that was left of their savage kind were huddled against the monumental structure of ice, quivering away in fear within its shadow.
It would not be long now.
Soon enough, the Night King would come south, and with him would march the endless legions of the dead.
( - )
AN: So I didn't cover as much as I wanted to in this chapter. I instead decided to push things back, as this is the moment that events start to come to ahead, and things escalate, we are in the third act as pieces begin to line up and preparations are made before final act begins. There are threats to the west, east and north, and unknowns to the south. Percy's position is stronger than the character in canon had it, but the threats are great, which makes it just as if not more precarious. Shit will soon hit the fan, as the era of peace comes to a sudden and violent end. Though the question is, from which direction will the first hit land?
Thanks for reading, and hopefully you enjoyed it and continue to do so. If not then please tell what you didn't like, or what you thought could have been done better? Please leave a review, comment etc. If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to PM me.
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Thanks for reading, and I'll see you later.