Dark wings, dark words. The raven had arrived a few hours ago but his house doesn't keep a maester. Too rocky, too barren, too wild. Skagos.
Stone in the old tongue. Fitting really, the land was mountainous, and, in most areas, exposed rock conquered all. Grass, rain, snow, all defeated by unwavering rock.
"Stone conquers all," his lord father had declared to his older brothers one night long since passed,"and we are the Stoneborn!"
He reread the message from the mainland:"Lord Rickard Stark and his son and heir Brandon Stark were executed for treason. The King, Aerys Targaryen, has declared Jon Arryn, Robert Baratheon and Eddard Stark traitors. Arryn has called his banners and his wards will probably do the same. Magnar meet you in Winterfell,
He smiled, Gorne, his man, his blood. He was so much more than a friend and he had proven it again. "Magnar" his friendly jest, Lord in the Old tongue, once his father dies then his brother, then his children die, then their children die, then he would be Magnar of House Magnar. His father was still healthy though at an old age of eight and sixty. His brother, at four and fifety, wasn't so good; he had broken his arm fighting a bear and the wound had festered even after he amputated his whole arm.
He wouldn't last the night, but then again he said that for the past eight nights, but come the morn he was there, in his bed, drinking. Stone can't be conquered.
It should really be their house words, Yngvi thought. No one had bothered to tell him what their words were, he doubted whether they cared to remember. It wasn't important not to the Stoneborn. The isle carved the lives of islanders to be hard and short - words were of no importance. He had had ten brothers and soon enough he would have none. At five and ten his skin was riddled with scars.
He went off to find his father, the message was important; the Lord of Winterfell would call its banners, and the biggest war since Aegon's conquest would begin, Skagos will answer its Liegelords call - even if its just him.
He found his father sitting in the hall. The hall was barren, only him and his father, silent; only the rain and wind. His father was ripping meat from a bone whilst filling the great chair. Fur and leather could not hide his immence size. Though his hair was brittle and grey, his body was of a much younger man; arms, legs and chest chorded with muscle. A tale was told around Kingshouse of how he had ripped a boys head off, whilst drunk. Yngvi knew different; there wasn't enough ale on Skagos to get his father drunk.
His father looked up at him as he drew near, his footsteps echoing around the hall. His father's eye followed him, his left he had eaten after a torturor had cut it out. His right was as grey as his beard. Yngvi hated looking into his fathers eyes, as he always leaves his eye socket exposed; empty and sore.
"Yngvi!" He roared,"What do you want, boy?" The moment till he said "boy" was shorter than what it used to be, he had started caring."You fathered any bastards yet? Stop swinging that sword and start using the one between your legs! Do you hear me boy?" Boy echoed around the hall, silence reigned for a moment. Then he spoke up:
"Winterfell will call its banners soon. I want to lead our forces in your name." He had spoken confidently and now a small smile threatened his lips.
Silence reigned once more before his father erupted into laughter.
"The cock on you, boy. It must be bigger than a gaint, does it do your thinking for you boy?" He waited a moment throwing the bone to his sons feet. He cleared his throat and straightened up in his seat."Our forces would be fifety men on foot...that's the most I'll give you. IF, if you answer my questions...boy?" His father smirked at him.
"What's the banner of House Stark? What's their words?"
Yngvi thought for a moment."Winter is coming. A grey wolf on a white field." He felt proud about remembering, he had commited the sigils and words of most Houses to memory.
"A direwolf boy. But, yes, a wolf. So you know what banner you'll be fighting under, and the words they'll mutter every few seconds, but who will you be dying for? No, true, Stoneborn cares to die for words or cloth apart from you boy." He was right, the Stoneborn followed men not bolts of cloth.
Who was the new Lord of Winterfell?
He had just read the names of three lords, yet none of them sprang to mind. He had drawn a blank. He quickly thought logically, since he was nine he had studied his liege house. Names of the Kings in the North rushed past: Theon, Brandon, Rickard, Torhen, Jon.
"Jon,"he whispered softly, then more loudly:"Jon Stark."
His father looked at him and slowly nodded."Fine, go and fight for the Starks,"a grin swept over Yngvi's face,"but don't expect any of my men to die for a dead man. Boy there hasn't been a Jon Stark for decades. Eddard. Eddard Stark boy. Winterfell takes grain from us and that's it, nothing more. They've forgotten about us boy, we are shit to them. No man from Skagos will go to Winterfell to become a kneeler, if they do when they return they'll see their lands taken from them, his women raped probably killed and children eaten. That's smallfolk and us Lords alike." The way he said Lord ahowed how little he cared for the title."Everyman I send to the mainland is one less man to defend our lands and most will drown before being able to fight. So listen closely boy," the man leaned forward and his face became stern,"and listen hard. FUCK Winterfell. You won't be going, you'll stay here, father some bastards and steal some lands from those other bastard Lords. If you don't do as I command, as your Lord father, I'll cut your cock off and feed it to the ravens you like...or ill give it to your brothers newborn, I reckon he'll be able to get a few bastards with it. Now get out." Yngvi didn't move."GET OUT!" He roared.
Yngvi did as he was bid. He wanted to run out of the hall but he couldn't, instead he walked.
He found his bed chambers soon enough. All his worldly possessions in a small room: a hatchet, a sword and a dagger on his belt, which hung from a peg. He had already packed his clothes, mostly furs and leathers, into a chest. His new boots were on his cot.
He had given his father a chance, a chance to honour his liege, a chance to honour his son, but his father had scorned him. Yngvi had made uo his mind; to leave for Winterfell and never return.
To return meant death. His father would see to that, he would never be insulted without retribution. He would leave tonight. I'll need armour, he thought, as he picked up his chest. Will Winterfell supply it? As soon as he thought it he almost laughed. He knew where to get armour. He hid his chest for his escape later. No one saw him through the wind and the rain. He almost sprinted to the armoury. His heart raced, axes and spears lined the walls, a few shields were cast around. Right at the end stood a door, made of wierwood with gold inlay, with runes from the first men. Yngvi slowly walked towards it. He knew what was on the other side of the door.
I can't, its not mine, he thought.
He took it anyway.