Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters, settings or constructs from G.R.R. Martin's books. I'm simply having a little bit of fun with his toys.

Foreword: It's been ages folks. No excuses from me. Also, quick question. Who else do you guys want to see in this story? And would you like to see more pairings? Obviously they'd be very peripheral, since the focus is going to have to be on Jon and Dany.

He smelled the burning pitch before he ever saw the smoke, riding hard towards Castle Black with Ghost hot on his heels. As he spurred his mount forward, Jon Snow's eyes darkened, fearing for the worst. Again he had abandoned his Watch and again it threatened to cost him dearly. His thoughts turned sour and seeped fear.

He crashed through the briars and thicket as Castle Black came into view, putrid black smoke pouring skyward in thin lines, and everything reeked of burning tar. There was noise in the air, disturbing the normally sullen and quiet atmosphere of the place. Steel sung through the skies and cries carried clearly across the evening air.

Jon only snarled and pressed on. He had returned in time. The Castle was still standing, and so too would the Night's Watch.


Sam and what men of the Night's Watch remained toed silently through the corridors of the Castle, heading for the provisions room, where the narrow doorways would keep them safe. Five-and-Thirty men had never moved so efficiently as each of them silently padded towards the Great Hall. They would have to risk travelling through to get to the other side, where food and safety – for now – would be waiting for them.

They had all witnessed friends, brothers, wilt before their eyes. Not even the burning pitch had been able to kill the fucking thing. It had only staved the creature off for a while, until its eight, terrible, will-o-wisp eyes turned back towards them, those left alive retreating back into the Castle from the courtyard.

The men shuffled quietly, swords and spears at the ready, listening… The provisions room could be accessed through the kitchens, but first they had to cross to the other side of Castle Black. The men fanned out, covering all of the exits as the rest filed in, ears alert for any signs of the loathsome spider that had wreaked havoc upon even the most elite of the Black Brothers. Grenn signaled to Sam once they had all entered the Great Hall, and motioned to the other Rangers, sending a cursory arm towards the back of the hall near the blazing hearth.

Like ice slowly being rent, succumbing to insurmountable pressure, a hissing, scraping sound wafted into the Great Hall. It started as a faint keening, slowly following them to the hall as a cacophony. "Run!" Grenn shouted to Sam and Pyp, "We'll try to hold the creature off." Grenn brandished his sword and steeled himself as nine other Rangers stepped up and did the same. "Leave some of the pitch," he barked over his shoulder, gritting his teeth. "These fuckers have to burn somehow."

A set of eyes peered at them from the wide doorway, frozen sapphires that slowly multiplied as the stallion-sized spider crept forward, its spindly legs covered in thick bristles of fur that sparkled dangerously in the light of the fire. It cautiously stalked them, moving in a half-circle away from the blazing hearth, its feet clacking on the cobblestones like stalactites crashing to the ground.

"Grenn… We're trapped," squeaked Sam from somewhere behind the burly warrior. "It's… The corridors have all been sealed off with its webbing." Gossamer threads and filaments had been woven together tightly across the passageways, leaving only one exit: directly through the ice spider.

The crows had found themselves ensnared in the spider's web. They were trapped.


Jon Snow stormed through the gates and flung himself from his stygian mare. The din of swords and cries of battle rang sharply through the icy air. Taking them two steps at a time, Jon leapt up the first set of stairs and hurled himself through the large oaken doors leading into the Great Hall and joined the fray.

The massive ice spider had reared back on its back legs, colossal arcing fangs dripping poison as they gnashed towards the panicked Crows. Grenn was trying to stave it off with a shield, his sword lying shattered next to him. The remaining Black Brothers – Sam included – had formed a short but effective shield wall, overlapping the rims of their ovular shields. Behind them the hearth blazed brightly, casting long shadows over the spider, the bristling hair of its head crackling like the sound of ice breaking.

Jon slung Longclaw down in a savage sweep with all of his might. Crackling pain shot through his hands and arms as the Valyrian blade moaned in protest, failing to even chip the encrusted exoskeleton of the spider.

Its eight terrible eyes lolled and rolled backwards, as the arachnid whipped backwards towards Jon and again reared up upon its back legs, batting away Longclaw. As it clattered to the ground, Lord Snow dove and rolled just between the Ice Spider's legs, slipping through towards his men and towards his sword. The pungent odor of pitch surrounded him as he regained his bearings, and his men surrounded him with their shield wall.

Sam Tarly had dropped his own shield, hooking Jon under the arms and yanking him up from the ground. Amid the scuffle, black tar had flung all over the place, coating Jon's sword and his cloak. Jon snatched a spear up from the ground and thrust it into the fire, blazing brightly before he jammed it deep into the underbelly of the spider. Snatching up Longclaw, Jon plunged the Valyrian blade deep into its guts, sword also engulfed in flames as the arachnid hissed and screeched in pain, trying to get at the Lord Commander beneath it. By now, Jon's cloak had begun catching fire as his sword continued to blaze lacerations into the spider's vulnerable body, its blackened innards flowing out across the cobblestone floor with a wet slop.

Author's Notes: I'm not dead. Nor is this story. I just hit a rough rough patch of writers' block. Hopefully it won't happen again. Because I haven't even come close to explaining why the story's even named Bloodstained Lineage.