1. For prospective new members, a word of warning: don't use common names like Dennis, Simon, or Kenny if you decide to create an account. Spammers have used them all before you and gotten those names flagged in the anti-spam databases. Your account registration will be rejected because of it.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Since it has happened MULTIPLE times now, I want to be very clear about this. You do not get to abandon an account and create a new one. You do not get to pass an account to someone else and create a new one. If you do so anyway, you will be banned for creating sockpuppets.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. For a trial period of one week, allowed avatar size has been increased to 256kb, up from 51.2kb. During this time, if the forum seems to be loading slow, drop by the topic in the Announcements & Rules sub to let me know.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. QQ will be down for upgrades starting at 2030 EDT. Please be prepared and save any work.
    Dismiss Notice

[ASOIAF][SI] No Promises

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Nugar, Jan 29, 2018.

Loading...
  1. Winged One

    Winged One Not the Simurgh

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    7,246
    I bet that conversation'll be fun. "Dad, you're drinking so much that it's going to kill you." "You'd better get ready to be king then, because I'm not stopping!" "Dad no." "DAD YES."
     
  2. alec_potter

    alec_potter Making the rounds.

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    49
    Epic. Can picturize it and can't stop the smile on my face.

    Isn't she Lord Hightower's daughter. He is influential in his own way. Doubt if punishing her harshly will be productive.
     
  3. KanameFujiwara

    KanameFujiwara Getting out there.

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    15
    I like the Amazon reference.
     
  4. Argentorum

    Argentorum I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    2,547
    Hey Nugar, you should write “King of Everything” as your coronation song, to the tune of Sara Barellies’s one song.
     
  5. Winged One

    Winged One Not the Simurgh

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    7,246
    Assuming he even lives long enough to be king. I rather doubt Robert will forgive him for saving Cersei. He might even disinherit him for it.

    Hell, it's not completely beyond possibility that someone will claim he's a double-Lannister like Joffery and make it stick enough for a canon-eque War of 2+X Kings.
     
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 4: The first rule of medical club is 'do no harm'.
    Nugar

    Nugar Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    2,753
    Took an extra week to get this one out.



    My mood was sour and my thoughts bleak as I walked through the Keep and down the narrow stairs to the former dungeons. It took some doing, but I had credibility by the time last year when I asked to take over the dungeons. A jail can be built anywhere, a place cold enough for penicillin vats is a rare and valuable thing.

    Robert is a terrible king. Not the worst, no, and Jon Arryn’s competence means he hasn’t ran the country into the ground, but he’s not a good king. From a purely outside perspective, I’d say he needed to die. Especially if it put someone competent in charge.

    But I didn’t have an outside perspective anymore. He was my damned father. Not my Daddy, that will forever be another man I loved without reservation, but he was a decent enough father to me. I pretended to be what he wanted, a brave, physical son with a warhammer, and he loved me. I simply didn’t bother him with the parts of me he wouldn’t care about, such as the sciences and the books and the studying. I had no particular need for reassurance, after all, and his approval only meant something as far as it made my life easier, much like Cersei.

    But you can’t just be a man’s son for nearly a decade and a half and feel nothing, especially when you realize that you’re about to be the cause of his death.

    I don’t even need to kill him. His worst aspects are pretty much mitigated at this point. He hasn’t touched Cersei for years, and they mostly avoid each other, so that works. I’ve got him covered in whores so he mostly leaves the noble girls alone. He’s still spending money faster than the kingdom brings in, but I’ll catch up eventually, and more of the money is on useful things rather than just tourney purses. I also don’t particularly want to be king. This arrangement has been working fine.

    The really fucked up thing is, I can’t even say I didn’t see this coming. Back when I was younger, and just getting my distilleries going, I actually thought, ‘Oh hey, this will probably shorten Robert’s reign, too. That’ll be useful.’ Then I forgot about it.

    I’m such a shit.

    He’s already got jaundice. Yellowing eyes is an indication of a buildup of buliruben- ah, billiruben? I forgot how to spell it. The liver is supposed to process it, and it takes a very small percentage of healthy liver tissue to keep up with the normal body processes. If someone has jaundice from cirrhosis of the liver, their time is extremely short.

    I’m killing my father with booze.

    Probably shouldn’t have said it exactly like that to Jon Arryn, but it’s true. I explained what was going on, and we’re going to have a meeting later tonight about what to do about it.

    The problem is, the only thing I think could make Robert stop drinking is by secretly feeding him antabuse, which makes people sick just at the very smell of alcohol. The problem is, I don’t know how to make antabuse. I never learned.

    Oh, I’m decent enough at chemistry, and biology and medicine. I did, after all, work in a chemical lab for years in my first job. A US Army chemical weapon lab, to be exact. I was a civilian contractor, but I’ve done the NBC training. My college major was actually biology, the first time, and when I left the chem lab job, I went back to school as premed. Ran out of money before I could actually make it to medical or even my fallback of nursing school, but I’ve got education and real world experience with a pretty broad selection of things.

    I paused in the second deepest level of the Keep, the ‘Black Cells’. They used to be classic ‘tiny stone room with iron bars’ dungeon cells. No sanitation, food and water when the guards felt like it, and cold enough that some prisoners simply died of hypothermia. I had the bars torn out, the stone scrubbed with successive treatments of boiling water and soap, pure grain alcohol, and bleaching powder I made from slaked lime. I didn’t want anything contaminating the mold cultures.

    Maesters already knew that moldy bread could cure certain infections, and they’d actually found a number of decent strains of the penicillium mold, which they called blue mold. They didn’t know why it didn’t always work, though. Well, I did.

    Penicillin doesn’t work on all bacteria, of course, but also, the mold only produces the antibiotic when stressed, such as by low temperatures. So even though the mold grows faster at higher temperatures, you’ve got to keep the stuff fairly cool. So here on the third level, I had filled the place up with big wooden vats, about five hundred gallons each, that were loaded with a mixture of mashed corn and rye. Penicillin girls, commoner women bundled against the chill, stirred each vat several times a day with paddles to keep it mixed and let the mold spread through the feedstock.

    The women all paused and paid their respects, but I waved them off before they could start talking to me. I wasn’t here to chat.

    Why was I here?

    Oh yeah, the ice.

    I turned and continued down the staircase.

    Penicillin wasn’t the only thing I was working on, of course. Streptomycin, made by a common strain of soil bacteria, is even more valuable. It works on everything from tuberculosis to rat bite fever to the goddamn plague. Other strains of bacteria found in soil can produce candicidin, which treats yeast infections, and neomycin, the active ingredient in the topical ointment neosporin, which is a great general purpose antibiotic. Even if I missed streptomycin, I might get tetracycline, which was just about as good, and there’s dozens more antibiotics and antifungals from closely related strains. It should be especially effective here in westeros, where antibiotic resistant bacteria haven’t been pressured to evolve.

    I also needed to get my vaccine on, but apparently smallpox doesn’t exist here. Instead, they had weird shit like greyscale, which may or may not be magical because it sure as fuck doesn’t seem to react like I’d expect. It’s not leprosy, I’ll tell you that. The Bloody Flux is probably cholera but one of the antibiotics will work on that. I have no idea what the Pale Mare is, except everyone is deathly afraid of it. I just needed to start testing.

    Not here, though. Most of the bacteria made antibiotics don’t need the cold, so I needed a proper lab. Hadn’t quite got around to getting it constructed, but it was rapidly climbing the list. I’d been trying for streptomycin in my regular lab, but I was having a hell of a time getting the cultures going. My efforts at making agar plates weren’t turning out too well, partially because I think I’m working with the wrong kinds of seaweed, and partially because they keep getting contaminated. King’s Landing is, after all, a backed up sewer pretending to be a city. Of course, even if I did get good cultures going, I wasn’t sure if the same extraction method I used for penicillin would work.

    Penicillin had to be chemically extracted from the mold juice. Chemical extractions involve taking one solution, in this case, the mold juice, and mixing it with another solution, in this case, amyl acetate, or banana oil. Penicillin, and unfortunately a few other compounds, will dissolve into the amyl acetate from the water, leaving most of the undesired compounds in the water. Amyl acetate is an oily liquid that doesn’t mix with water, so then you can physically separate it. Then you combine it with distilled water, and the penicillin goes into the distilled water. Then you can separate it from the undesirable compounds and concentrate it.

    Westeros has bananas, but amyl acetate is easier to make in bulk from reacting vinegar, acetic acid, with pentanol, which is a heavy alcohol. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar, and can easily be distilled out. Pentanol isn’t easy to come by, but you do get a small amount in the fusil oils, which are the final product of grain alcohol production.

    The money is nice, but I started alcohol distillation because I needed the byproducts to fulfill my goal of bringing a few small slices of modern medicine to my people. A noble goal, tempered only slightly by pride and a desire to be remembered as someone that brought life, not death.

    Too bad my father was collateral damage.

    “Prince Eddard? Edd? Are you planning to redesign the water pump?” asked the voice behind me.

    “BWAH,” I replied cleverly, whirling and nearly catching Cayla with a flailing backhand as my heart leapt into my throat and proceeded to throttle me.

    Ducking my arm with long practice, Cayla put her hands on her hips, her ever-present notebook still in her left hand, and looked up at me in curiosity, and maybe a little concern. Her green eyes were just visible in the lamplight here on the lowest level of the dungeons.

    “Whu-what?” I asked, snatching my hands close to my body. “Sorry, sorry.”

    “I’m used to it, Edd.”

    I loved that I’d actually managed to get her to call me by name, at least when we were in private. I hated being called ‘prince’ ninety five thousand times a day. The occasional ‘grace’ was stupid as well. I was a lanky teenager. I had no grace.

    “You were staring at the pump as if you’d had a new idea. I was asking if you planned to rebuild it.”

    Here on the fourth level of the dungeons, there was a well and cistern with wonderfully cold and surprisingly pure water, especially since the dungeons above it were so incredibly nasty. I didn’t trust ‘surprisingly pure’, or open wells, so I had it capped off with a bronze cap and a rope pump. A rope pump used a long loop of rope studded with wooden balls every foot, which went over a pulley, down into the water, then up a pipe sticking into the water which was just big enough for the balls to fit through. Each ball, made of cypress heart which wouldn’t rot, dragged and pushed along about a pint of water by the time it reached the top. A geared hand crank ran the pump which exited into a gravity feed filter that used cloth, purified sand, and activated charcoal. It was the only well I’d drink unboiled water from.

    “Ah. Well, I do have some ideas for a better filter. I made pinkwater powder, and I think I can use that and something else to filter the water even more. I need to find some green sand.”

    Pinkwater powder was potassium permanganate, actually a black powder that turned water pink or purple when mixed. It mixed with greensand, manganese sand found in shallow ocean water or beaches, to remove most metals and many compounds from water, including arsenic, iron, and sulfides. Anyone who had their own well should be familiar with it. It also had other uses, which was why I had originally made it.

    “You’ve mentioned greensand before, I doubt you’re suddenly obsessed with it.” she replied, putting her hand on my arm and not quite accusing me of lying. “Was it the lords? I heard what Lord Ashford called you.” Her frown indicated she would not soon forget.

    “Ashford is a wore out leather boot. Fuck him,” I replied, running my fingers through my hair.

    “What is it then, that has you so upset?” she asked again. “Prince… Edd, you’re a terrible liar when you’re upset.”

    Yeah, I know. I can spin bullshit all day long, as long as I’m calm. Get me upset and all that goes right out the fucking window.

    I didn’t reply, instead picking up one of the clean glass demijohns, one gallon blown glass bottles wrapped in wicker to make them break less often, and put it under the spout. A few moments of enthusiastic spinning of the pump handle started the water going, and soon clean, filtered water started filling the bottle.

    Cayla waited patiently behind me, letting me get my thoughts in order.

    “Robert is killing himself by drinking too much of my booze,” I finally announced. There. Nice and neutral. Not claiming fault, like I did with Jon Arryn, but also not falsely implying I’m not responsible, either.

    “How do you know?”

    I briefly launched into an explanation of how I’d noticed his eyes turning yellow, and what that means. I didn’t try to pronounce ‘bilirubin’, I just said liver salts, but I gave her the run down. Livers are remarkably resilient organs capable of absorbing and excreting an astonishing amount of toxin, and alcohol is even good for the body in small amounts. Robert probably had another decade or two of drinking wine before having trouble, if indeed the fat alcoholic could be conquered by wine alone. Whiskey was a different story. Enough whiskey could kill anyone.

    Cayla nodded seriously after my explanation. The demijohn was full, so I picked it up and we trooped back upstairs to an out of the way corner of penicillin production. It might have technically been a degree or so colder in the lowest level, but the supplies were in the penicillin level. Technically, I didn’t have full dominion over the lowest level.

    My ice tray was made of tin, with a whole series of half spheres beaten into it. A sealed can of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was kept nearby, as the ‘fuel’ for the reaction. A generous scoop of ammonium nitrate was placed into the reaction tray, then topped off with water and briefly stirred. Then I filled the ice tray with water and set it in a holder that kept it in contact with the reaction liquid but not so deep it’d get contaminated. Given the temperature of our surroundings, the chill of the water, and the heavily endothermic reaction as ammonium nitrate dissolves in water, it’d probably take about fifteen minutes for the ice to finish forming.

    Cayla knew this, so as soon as I finished setting it up, she waved at one of the penicillin girls and told her to take over, and to deliver the ice to the King when it was finished. Then she grabbed my hand and practically dragged me upstairs. I think she was a little chilly. Neither of us were dressed for the cold, but it takes a while for chill to affect me.

    Bemused, I allowed her to direct me through the keep, all the way up to my bedroom. We saw Sandor along the way, but other than a nod he seemed to think I was well in hand.

    Once we hit my apartment, Old Gurnar, my manservant/butler/dogsbody, was waiting.

    “Crown Prince, your Queen Mother wishes for you to join her for lunch this afternoon,” he began.

    “I know, thanks Gurnar. Formal or semi-formal?”

    “The embroidered red silks should match your Queen Mother nicely,” he replied.

    Oh nice. That meant she’d be in that red silk cheongsam knockoff I had designed for her. She looks good in that. Admittedly, most women look good in that. I was going to have one made for Cayla one day.

    “I’ll handle getting him ready,” Cayla announced. “We have a planning meeting due anyway.”

    Old Gurnar nodded slowly. He didn’t entirely approve of Cayla, but respected her enough to let her do her job. He was an old man, at least in his seventies, and barely able to do his job, but he was also training a pair of young men whom he made do most of the physical work.

    Obstacles surmounted, Cayla dragged me into my bedroom, and immediately started stripping me of my clothing. Well, ordering me to take it off, mostly. I was too tall for her to really physically handle.

    Unbidden, fantasies of her bringing me here to fuck sense back into my head jumped to mind, and other body parts jumped as well.

    That wasn’t what was happening, though, obviously.

    I knew that, she knew that, and she politely ignored how part of me held out hope. I couldn’t ignore that part, but I did my best.

    Once I was down to boxer short underwear, another thing I’d introduced, she bid me lay face down on my bed.

    Oh. Oh nice.

    Erection still wouldn’t go away, but at least I knew what was going on now.

    Cayla hiked her skirt up a bit, then straddled my body, seating herself on my butt. Then, rather methodically, she began to scratch my back.

    Aww, yeah. It’s good to be the prince.

    She didn’t do this anywhere near often enough in my opinion, but part of the point of something like this is the unexpected aspect, so I couldn’t just order her to. I mean, I could, and she would, but that would defeat the point.

    My erection was basically a permanent feature at this point, and pressed down into my goose down mattress and occasionally rocked by her motions sitting on my hips and butt… Well. Just call me double-d.

    Still, I practically melted under her hands. She mixed a little massaging in, but mostly she ran her short, trimmed fingernails over every inch of my back, chasing the tension away. I groaned in pleasure.

    Very faintly, under her breath, I heard something about ‘years of… training, and he just wants his back scratched. Oh my prince.’

    I ignored that. Cayla didn’t like answering questions about her past, but from various hints I’m pretty sure Varys bought her from slavers in Lys before he trained her to be my secretary. I doubt it was a happy time for her.

    About the moment I was hitting that perfect moment of pure bliss, she lay down on top of my back, her lips close enough to whisper into my ear. I was hyper aware of two little erect nubs pressing into the newly sensitized skin of my back. It occurred to me to wonder if she ever got pent up, as well.

    “You made a mistake, and it’s hurting your father. Fix it.”

    I half started to rise up, and I could have, she wasn’t that heavy, but since she was trying to hold me down, I stayed face down on the bed. “It’s not that simple,” I replied. “My father would have to stop drinking. He’s an alcoholic, and he hasn’t been in real pain in ages. The withdrawal would be like torture, and I don’t think he could bring himself to stop. If he stops, he’ll get better, but as soon as he starts again, and he will start again if he does stop, it will kill him even faster.”

    “So don’t just put it off. Fix it.”

    I huffed. “The only way to fix it would be to take the liver of someone else and put it in him. But there’s a lot of problems with that. They’ve got to have the same blood. Not necessarily family, although family is more likely to, but there’s a lot of problems involved.”

    “Do you know what the problems are?” she asked.

    “Yeah, mostly.”

    I loved that Cayla never really questioned how I figured stuff out, she just accepted it. I didn’t ask about her secrets, she didn’t ask about mine.

    “Then fix them.”

    “I can’t. I don’t know how to make the drugs he would need, even if I did find someone with the same blood. And I’d have to find someone dying, but not dead, to be able to do it.”

    She thought about that for a while. “You wouldn’t kill a man for his liver?”

    “No,” I replied firmly. “Not for a king. Not even for my father.” Not even a condemned man. That’s some evil shit I won’t be a part of. Looking at you, China.

    Cayla was silent for a moment, then continued. “Do the maesters know how to cure this liver disease?”

    “N-uuuhh probably not.”

    “But are you sure?”

    “No,” I admitted.

    “And much is said about foreign magicians. They say the warlocks of Qarth can keep a man’s mind going after his body stops. And there are many tales of the Red Priests of R’hllor bringing men back to life. Do you know how they do that?”

    “…No,” I admitted.

    “So, are you the man who only fixes what he knows how to fix? Have you forgotten how to learn?”

    I sighed. Her physical weight was a comfort. Her words bruised.

    “Go ahead and give yourself a raise. Whatever you want. We’re probably going to be busy for a while,” I said in defeat.

    “Yes, we will. I will search for new things for you to learn. You will get your father to stop drinking for a while, to buy us some time. You will also train harder. There is a tourney coming up in just over a month, in honor of your brother’s nameday. You will ride the lists this time.”

    Bleh. I’d rather prioritize the melee, since it was more likely to be of actual use in the future, but I can’t deny that the joust gives better rep.

    “For today, you will have lunch with your mother. This evening, you should train with Sandor, or your uncle, or both. Tomorrow, you will train for the lists while I begin research. We’ll start with the maesters.”

    “I have a meeting with Jon Arryn this evening,” I added. “About Father.”

    I felt Cayla nod, factoring that into her plans. “I will find out when he wishes to meet. It may be after dinner.” I felt her rise off me, leaving me face down on the bed. There was a brief rustling, and then a thin, but beautifully illustrated book dropped onto the bed in front of my face.

    The book had no title, but the embossed cover had a depiction of the Lysene goddess of Love. It was a pillowbook from Lys, an instructional manual and pornography both.

    My heart stopped for a moment. She wasn’t supposed to know where that was.

    “Be clear-headed when you speak to your mother. You are not immune to her charm,” Cayla warned. “I’ll be back in time to see you dressed.”

    I have no words.



    AN: Again, thanks to everyone who comments, especially those in the discord channel. You a writer? Want your own channel in my server? Just ask.
     
  7. Woooinion

    Woooinion Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2016
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    652
    I really like the way you're handling this story, and I honestly dread when we get to the parts that you wrote first.

    I don't want the fun, practical science and labor policy stuff to go away...
     
  8. Felius

    Felius I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Just bang her already. Or more likely, she'll probably just bang you already instead... :p
     
    jirka642, R.A.G., tomio and 9 others like this.
  9. Winged One

    Winged One Not the Simurgh

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    7,246
    She's his fucking (well, his non-fucking) dominatrix? How did I not see that coming?
    I wonder if she actually does still work for Varys? If so, he's probably happy that one of his minions has this degree of influence over the Prince of Everything. I'm genuinely uncertain if he'd have given up on saving Robert without her prompting.
     
  10. Breadnaught

    Breadnaught Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    1,642
    All that training as a sex slave, wasted! *throws up hands*


    If Nugar does still take the story in that direction, the new chapter puts a new spin on events.

    If the prince to convince Robert to stop drinking, he'll have a few years of life left in him. But if Robert falls off the wagon, he'll be dead in a month.

    ... how likely is it Robert would stay off the drink after discovering the incest and flying into a rage?

    If Edd is forced to flee Kings Landing, he'll probably arrive at Casterly Rock to receive news that Robert's already dead.
     
    meganeshounen and Nugar like this.
  11. Felius

    Felius I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    2,571
    Hopefully he'll eventually calm down enough to recognize that at least the SI is his kid. Given his features, he would have to have gotten cuckold with Renly, or even less likely, Stannis...

    But yeah, he'll probably die before he calms down if he falls of the wagon...
     
  12. Xicree

    Xicree Destroy and Rejoice!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    17,920
    Likes Received:
    24,297
    Oh, didn't realize you had a discord server up.

    I wouldn't mind looking in.
     
    Nugar likes this.
  13. Winged One

    Winged One Not the Simurgh

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    7,246
    Didn't the SI just say that getting Robert to stop is just straight-up impossible without that drug that he doesn't know how to make? There's a reason he's going with straight-up magic when the Maesters turn out to not know how to cure liver disease.
     
  14. Breadnaught

    Breadnaught Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    1,642
    He was planning to talk to him and try, to buy time for an actual cure.

    But if Robert can't be made to stop, he'll quickly start to grow frail and sickly.


    Even if he doesn't calm enough to realize Edd is his kid, Stannis would probably support his claim after Robert dies.

    Dude is completely anal about rules and law. If he actually thought Edd is Roberts legitimate heir, he'll support him to the end.
     
  15. Nugar

    Nugar Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    2,753
    He'd still try but he'd miss some possibilities and probably waste more time feeling sorry for himself first.

    Cayla is the Pepper Potts to his Tony Stark. She's not really a dominatrix, she's... just bossy. Because he procrastinates and forgets things and avoids things he hates even when it's better to go ahead and do them. Without her he'd have a fraction of his current accomplishments.

    Though admittedly if she ordered him to let her sit on his face, he'd obey.



    Yeah, I'll have to rewrite all of the original stuff to make sense.

    I can't say whats going to happen with robert other than that so far no one has guessed even close.

    Link is in the notes for last chapter and the one before. You might see some names you recognise.

    Yeah, Eddgar was going to try, but was subconsciously sabotaging himself with the assumption Robert wouldn't have the discipline to stop.

    Rules and law can cut both ways, though. And Melisandre talked him into burning his own daughter. Eddgar is wary of Stannis and Stannis doesn't particularly like him. Nothing personal, Stannis doesn't like most people.
     
  16. Xicree

    Xicree Destroy and Rejoice!

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Messages:
    17,920
    Likes Received:
    24,297
    I almost expect a Hawks forum reunion. Heh.
     
  17. Breadnaught

    Breadnaught Not too sore, are you?

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    397
    Likes Received:
    1,642
    Robert and Tywin go to war. Robert rides out for glory and battle, because he's Robert.

    ... then he dies a week into the march, because you can't go to war with liver failure you fucking idiot.
     
  18. Winged One

    Winged One Not the Simurgh

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2013
    Messages:
    7,667
    Likes Received:
    7,246
    I don't even think it would be a discipline issue. I just think Robert might actually choose to fucking die rather than stop drinking.
     
  19. Raging Iron Thunder

    Raging Iron Thunder Getting sticky.

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    189
    I really like this fic. The slightly dirtier version is better.
     
  20. SonOfNenji

    SonOfNenji Aimless Wanderer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2015
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    464
    The fic would be lesser without Cayla.
     
    Winged One likes this.
  21. Threadmarks: Chapter 5: Lots of Stuff and a Beautiful Woman
    Nugar

    Nugar Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    2,753
    I sat on my bed, partially dressed in black pants and boots, and cracked my neck with a twist. No, I did not relieve any tension.

    Take that how you will.

    My bed was nice, at least for the technology level I lived in. The base was several layers of firm, coarsely woven reed mats stuffed with a variety of pest controlling bark and leaves, such as cedar heart, mint, lavender, thyme, catnip, and, amazingly enough, patchouli. The top layer was goose and duck down.

    Do you know how many ducks and geese it takes to fill a prince size mattress? I don’t. But it’s a lot. And it makes for a decently comfortable bed, laying there on the remnants of waterfowl massacre.

    I mean, it’s no tempurpedic. And I prefer cotton sheets, but even the finest imported sheets were kinda rough and scratchy compared to good machine woven, so I’d ended up going with silk. Still, it beats straw ticking. Or worse, nothing.

    Honesty, the three room complex that was my apartment were pretty nice. I mean, I pretty much split my indoors time between my room and my lab. The lab was for projects, tools, and things to tinker with. My rooms were where I kept my stuff. I was right next door to Cersei’s rooms, one of which was used as Myrcella’s bedroom. Tommen was off with Kevan Lannister in Summerhall. He was a little young to be away from both Robert and Cersei, but like me he was an independent sort, and he actively resisted Cersei’s attempts to mother him.

    Favored child status: maintained.

    I was a bit of a packrat and I had a lot of stuff. A copy of my stirling engine desk fan, because I like the white noise and breeze when I’m falling asleep. The six maester’s links I’d earned hung above my desk. Chunks of various kinds of ore and minerals sat on shelves. A few nice tapestries hung on my walls here and there, either house crests or various scenes of battle or hunting or in one case a Lysene party.

    And there ain’t no party like a Lysene party.

    One of these days, if all goes well, I will destroy Lys for being the slaver shits they are. But for the moment, I could appreciate the artistry of it. And by artistry I mean naked girls and boys. And by appreciate I mean in a purely clinical, intellectual fashion. Medically! Yes, it was all about the anatomy! I should have thought of that excuse before.

    I also had mirrors, of course. My biggest early profitable venture, though income had tapered off over the years. Mirrors are easy even at a home chemistry level. So naturally I had a couple of decent sized mirrors set up so you could see yourself from all angles. I also had trophies on the wall. Lifelike carved fish, based on ones I had caught or speared. A big, dried, incredibly brilliantly colored crab shell. Mother of pearl seashells. A giant, taxidermied boar head was in my ‘living room’ area, its enormous curved tusks stained red.

    That big boar had killed my first dog, Brut. Brut had been a big boy, even more muscular, more mastiff looking than Rusty. I loved that dog, but then, I love all my dogs. He died doing what he loved, and he absolutely loved hunting and fighting. I’m one hundred percent against making dogs fight each other. But hunting is different. Yeah, they die sometimes. But Brut died with the biggest doggy grin on his face. Going out on a big hunt with Robert and I was literally his favorite thing in the world. We were pack, and we fought beside him, and Brut died with no regrets other than not getting to do even more of the same. That had been four years ago.

    I’ll miss you, Brut. You were a good boy.

    On a more recent tragic note, I currently lacked a horse. I mean, I had horses I could go ride, but I didn’t have one that was mine the way Rusty was mine. My very first practice after my arm had healed from the last tourney, some random nobody hedge knight’s horse stumbles at the last second and the guy puts his lance through my horse’s eye.

    Rest in peace, Brucephallus. You were a good boy, too.

    I also had other trophies and curiosities. I had a small, as in about four foot long, partial dragon skeleton. Both legs were missing the femurs and the wing was missing the long bones, too, but the ribs, spine, and skull were all there. I was trying to get reproductions made of the missing bones but it was low priority. Also I kinda wanted to turn it into an automata, but wasn’t sure if that was a good idea.

    Lurking menacingly in a dark corner was a whole taxidermied basilisk, about six foot long. Fascinating creature, really. They weren’t particularly fast, but in a stand up fight they were nightmares, with six agile limbs and a powerful bite. They were really kinda similar to komodo dragons, but where komodos used their venom to inflict an inescapable death and then patiently followed, basilisk venom induced a mindless rage in its victims, causing them to immediately attack the closest thing, the basilisk, instead of running. And mindlessly attacking a basilisk is a terrible idea. Frankly, they belonged in Australia.

    Another creature that should be an Australian native was the manticore. Basically, an evil looking winged scorpion, horrifically venomous. Pretty, if you like evil little deadly things. I had a couple pinned to a display board under glass, alongside a host of other pretty or unusual bugs, all labeled. Similarly, I had a big display board on the wall with dried snake skins of a bunch of different types. Generally, I find it’s a good idea to memorize what’s venomous and what’s not.

    I had arms and armor scattered all over the place in my rooms, since most of it was personal and some of it was rare and expensive enough I didn’t want anyone else having access to it. Standing here and there were several armor stands laden with armor. One light armor set in chain and boiled leather, one set of mostly scale I had outgrown, and a newish set of heavy plate which had become my main armor. Good quality, but nothing special, merely enameled with my house colors and crest on the breastplate. I was growing too damned fast to put serious work into a fancy armor set I was going to have to replace in six months anyway. The only really noteworthy parts were the shield and great helm.

    The shield was pattern welded metal, swirls of mirror bright nickel steel stood out among loops and blotches of dark grey and light grey steel. It seemed a shame to cover up the face of the shield in paint or gilding, so I went with a brass inlaid gear behind the black Baratheon stag. The black stag itself was gilded in hepatizon, that same dark copper alloy Ilina was using for the crow feathers on the whirligig automata. The crown collar on the stag was gold. There was also one more difference in the design of the stag, and it was reflected in my helm.

    The great helm was just good steel, but taking inspiration from Robert’s ludicrous ceremonial helm with the stag antlers, I had my own set of antlers on it. The ‘stag’ of House Baratheon was no ordinary deer, and actually had antlers closer to that of a mule deer or elk. But I was the young stag, right? At least before I got more insulting titles such as the Toymaker Prince, or Prince of This and That.

    Young male deer get their first antlers at about one year old, and they’re small. Usually they’re just short spikes, each with one point, and maybe a tiny secondary point. Yearling bucks are often called spikes.

    One of my hunts with Robert, I killed a spike. His tiny, four inch antlers adorn my helmet, and the stag on my shield has similar endowments.

    Of course, I had weapons, too. My glaive, currently in two pieces for easy carrying. The pole unscrewed part of the way down, leaving the slightly swept, valyrian steel edged blade on a long handle. Its length was about like that of a great sword, but more of it was handle than blade. I also had a backsword, a single edged, slightly curved blade similar to a falchion, made the same way.

    I was fascinated with valyrian steel. Swords made of it were basically vorpal, impossible to break under any strain yet achieved, and sharper than a razor. Literally magic. It didn’t glow, it didn’t tickle the edges of my senses, but that shit was magic.

    Real magic.

    Hell yes I slightly obsessed over the stuff. I hadn’t managed to keep all that I found, but there was some in the castle that had been overlooked. Maesters used valyrian steel links to indicate their mastery of the study of magic. There was a royal physician’s kit that had some tools made of the stuff. Some sort of candlestick. A really big chunk I found when digging out the dragonpit that House Royce would literally murder me over if they found out I’d had it secretly chopped up into unrecognizable pieces instead of returning it to them. Sorry, folks, I needed dragonsteel more than I needed the gratitude of a single House.

    I also found the infamous catspaw dagger, though I’d kept it instead of breaking it down. Although, I did replace that stupid dragonbone hilt with one that didn’t want to slip out of my hand and also wasn’t a risk of accidentally stabbing myself in the gut. I went with a bowie knife style hilt and guard. It was currently locked up in a trunk with my backsword. Since I practiced more than I actually fought, I had a dulled copy of the backsword in regular steel for training. I also had a copy of the catspaw knife as the knife I usually carried on my belt. With the better handle and guard, it had become the fashionable new accessory for the well-heeled young noble.

    Tobho Mott knew how to rework valyrian steel. He split the Stark great sword, Ice, into two new swords in the original events. So I thought, if he can do that, why waste the super rare stuff on the parts of a sword that didn’t need to be magic? Like, oh, basically all of it that wasn’t the edge?

    So, we came up with a workable method for drawing the steel out into much smaller strips, with lesser steel wrapped around it. Like a taco with a razor blade sticking out the open side. Then welded and forged. There were issues, of course. You can’t actually weld valyrian steel. But we worked it out. That’s why my sword and glaive were single edged, to save on valyrian steel and make the project achievable.

    Sandor had one exactly like mine, for instance. And I’d made a few more things I’d used as gifts. The only double edged sword we’d made was Lion’s Pride. Tywin finally had a, partial, valyrian steel sword for his house.

    I called mine ‘Quill’, and my glaive ‘The Pointiest Stick’.

    I crack myself up sometimes.

    The rest of the valyrian steel I’d got had gone into other projects.

    Another magical material I had access to was dragonbone. Not as magical as dragonsteel, but apparently possessed of some properties often considered magic. When made into a bow, even at the same draw weight as a regular wooden bow, it shot further and more accurately. Now, part of that might be that dragonbone is lightweight and flexible, like bird bones, to allow for flight. But dragons were unquestionably magical, and nothing as big as Balerion has any goddamn business flying around under the laws of physics as I know them.

    I don’t understand magic. I’ve even got the green porcelain link that says I’ve successfully mastered wildfire. There are rituals. If you do them, it works, if you don’t, it doesn’t. But with dragonbone, there aren’t any rituals involved in working it. You just carve it. It’s hard as hell, but one of the uses I’d saved as much valyrian steel for was making a set of tools, so it’s easy enough for a master bowyer. And yet, the bow turns out not just better, but actually more accurate. Absolutely bizarre.

    I was fond of archery in my first life and that was the one martial hobby I had that translated perfectly into my life as a prince. I mean, I’d fenced with foil, saber, and epee, but only Braavosi water dancing even came close to those, and it was still radically different. But archery, there was something I had a leg up with, with experience with flat bows, longbows, recurve, compound bows, and several kinds of crossbows. From the murder of Baelish onward, I’d practiced various kinds of archery. To that end, I had a whole collection of bows from all across the world hanging on pegs, in stands, and in display cases.

    My favorite three were the ones made from dragonbone. I’m a good shot, but not a great shot, and that metaphorical, or not so metaphorical, magical plus 3 helps. I had a dothraki short recurve bow, ideal for firing from horseback. Just like the Mongols or the Parthians, they knew horse archery. I preferred traditional recurves, but there’s no point in having modern knowledge and not using it, so my primary hunting bow was a compound bow, a copy of one I had once owned.

    Compound bows use asymmetrical pulleys and a complicated string arrangement to reduce the amount of force needed to hold it at full draw, allowing for a longer, easier time in which to aim. Also, they were more efficient than other bows, with a smoother acceleration and far more force imparted to the arrow. This results in a faster arrow, which ignores wind a little bit more, has a flatter trajectory, more accuracy, and more range. The problem I ran into was that modern compound bows are made of fiberglass, aircraft aluminum, and sometimes carbon fiber. My first spring steel reproduction weighed almost eighty pounds.

    But then I remembered dragonbone. My compound bow had a draw weight of a hundred and twenty pounds and could fire an unaimed arrow just over a thousand yards. It had a realistic range against a man sized target of about three hundred yards. Not as good as ultramodern archery, but amazing for what I had to work with. Dragonbone is magic. And that’s just the regular bow. My crossbow used the same system of pulleys but had thicker limbs and a three hundred fifty pound draw and maximum distance of more than a mile. I made a scope for it out of one of my smaller, 6x magnification spyglasses. It could put an arrow lengthwise all the way through a bear at five hundred yards. Why make a rifle when I had a magic fucking bow?

    And lords are obsessed with skill at the joust, the crash test dummy of martial combat. God I hate these people sometimes.

    That was all the dragonbone of sufficient thickness I could get, though, unless I wanted to start carving up Balerion’s skull down in the dungeons. That seemed like a terrible thing to do to a skull that magnificent, so I didn’t do it.

    Yep. If you measured success in stuff, I was pretty successful. If you measured success in inventions, I was doing pretty good. If you measured success in improving the lives of people, I felt like I was alright.

    Why, then, do I feel empty? Like I’m in an endless holding pattern, a chick waiting on feathers to grow, a farm boy who’s made the decision to join the army but is still mucking the stable.

    Cayla picked that moment to burst through my door like fucking Kramer in an episode of Seinfeld, her skirts swirling. I got a glimpse of calf… and stocking. Huh. I didn’t know she was wearing stockings today. Nice.

    She saw me sitting on the bed, eyed me for a moment, then slumped just a little in disappointment.

    “What, thought you’d catch me doing something?” I asked ruefully.

    “You didn’t do anything,” she griped, striding over and glowering at me with her hands on her hips. “You sat in here and brooded.”

    I shrugged, not denying it. “I started getting dressed,” I offered.

    “Ugh. You picked the wrong clothes, too,” she said with a sniff, whirling and starting to open armoires and drawers.

    Heh, I don’t usually see her in a female snit. Of course, usually I listen to her, and for years she still had the whole subservient thing internalized. I liked her sassy. Too many doormat women around.

    I mean, not that I blame them, what with the whole beatings and rape thing being about as controversial here as shitting in the street. It’s uncouth and you don’t want to hang out with someone who does it a lot, but it’s generally ignored unless it offends a noble. Technically rape was illegal, but that was really more about rape of another man’s wife or daughter, or not paying a prostitute. It was seen as a property issue, like theft, not really a violation of the woman. And the laws of the kingdom were really mostly guidelines.

    I’d say Cayla knew my room almost as well as I do, but with the discovery that she knew where I hid that pillowbook, I’m going to give up and say she probably knows it even better. I listened to her when she dragged out clothes.

    Light cotton pants, dyed a deep blue, almost black. Why that was better than the all black pants I had originally grabbed, I couldn’t tell you. Soft black shoes, not boots. An almost white cotton shirt with mother of pearl buttons. A wide black silk belt with only my knife stuck in it. And the main event, something like a frock coat, thin enough to almost be a button-up long sleeve shirt, in dark crimson silk and elaborate gold embroidery, with red coral togs.

    I was honestly of mixed feelings about the silk coat. On one hand, I look pretty damned good in it, and by all reports it will complement my mother’s silk dress. On the other, I don’t want to get food stains on it.

    Then Cayla turned her attention to my hair. I had short black hair, so there wasn’t a lot that could be done with it, but she at least made sure it wasn’t tousled. I was too young to grow a beard or mustache, but old enough to have a few wispy strands. I mostly plucked them out with tweezers. There’s little more pathetic looking than a teenager with scraggly wisps.

    Finally satisfied with her work, Cayla stepped back and smiled at me. “You look good, Edd,” she said.

    “Hah!” I laughed. “That’s your work, not mine.”

    She adjusted her glasses. “I will never understand how a man who can design a dozen new types of smallclothes and dresses and costumes for women before his balls even drop can’t seem to understand how to properly match colors and set fashion for himself.”

    I was a little bit offended at that, but not much. “Hey, that’s two different things entirely!”

    Cayla raised one eyebrow. “Oh? Explain it to me, Prince of Maesters.”

    I huffed, turning and pointing at one of the big mirrors that showed both of us, and angles of the other mirrors in the room that showed our backs and sides. “It’s simple, my lovely assistant. Do you not see it?”

    We both stared at ourselves and each other. Me, resplendent in the dark red, thigh length silk coat. Thread of gold glittered with slight movements, and the partially open front showed the ivory cotton and flashes of mother of pearl buttons. The wide black belt kept the coat close at the waist, its polished silver buckle drawing the eye. I was as big as the average man, but my face was thin and youthful, my proportions lanky and unimpressive. I looked like a snotty rich kid.

    But Cayla. Oh Cayla. She wasn’t even in finery, merely a slightly floofy swirl of pleated rich dark green linen over an underskirt of fine amber cotton that came down to mid-calf. Black boots with heel added two inches to her height of just under five and a half feet tall, their tops disappearing under the skirt. A scoop necked white shirt displayed her neck and some of her décolletage, itself under more of the shimmery amber of the cotton. Hints of her bra were visible under the cloth, lifting and separating her breasts, and I knew she had on a garter belt and stockings since I’d gotten a peek earlier. I had no idea what panties she was wearing, but I’d introduced all the major cuts and any of them would stop my heart if I saw her in them. Her lovely face had a firm chin and elegant nose, with those intense green eyes staring back at me knowingly through the clear lenses of her glasses. She was, if she hadn’t lied, twenty years old, but she looked more like she was in her mid-twenties, the prime of her life, all woman and no girl. Her dark blonde hair was twisted up into a practical bun and pinned with a thick chinese style hair pin with an enameled unopened magnolia bulb at the end, its ivory white flower petals peeking out from within. The hairpin was actually a sheathed, extremely thin and sharp dirk, and I knew she had several other knives, as well as a few poisons, secreted on her body, just in case. I’d given them to her.

    I’d burn the iron throne to slowly disrobe her and find every hidden weapon, meticulously cataloging every nook and cranny she had…

    …I just wasn’t willing to see the death and destruction that would certainly happen if I did. The examples of Tyrion and Robb loomed large in my mind.

    She quirked her mouth and put her hands on her hips. “I give up. Please explain it to me.”

    Did she not understand? Did she understand, but just want to hear me say it? Ah, I may never know.

    “Ah, but it’s so obvious,” I said with a pompous air. “When I look at myself, I see a pretentious little shit, too rich and too spoiled to be worth notice. But when I look at a woman, I see beauty. I see art. I see the wonder that are and the wonders that could be, and all these images spring to my mind of how to bring it out. And more than just some ordinary woman, when I look at you...”

    She was fighting a smile, trying her best to keep it down to an innocently curious expression. “Oh, my Prince? What do you see, when you look at me?”

    “The most beautiful woman in the world,” I admitted quietly. That title supposedly went to my mother, and I was supposed to say it myself, but here, just the two of us, I could admit it.

    She hip bumped me sassily, kissed her finger, reached up, and pressed it to my nose. “Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re not bad either, for a spoiled, rich little shit.”

    I sighed.

    “Now, don’t be late. And try to get your mind on straight before your Queen Mother asks you to do something rash, like poison your father or something.”






    AN: Thought this chapter would have lunch with Cersei, but I had to rewrite a lot of stuff and it ran long. Next chapter: Did she say 'poison your father' or 'boiling in chowder'?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
    kaazmiz, Fredo, jirka642 and 80 others like this.
  22. RageKnight

    RageKnight My heresy senses are tingling

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2018
    Messages:
    777
    Likes Received:
    2,054
    I want that woman on the bed begging for it at some point. that or her foot on his dick making him beg to come.
     
  23. HypoSoc

    HypoSoc Time, once consumed, has no meaning

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    17,566
    Well, look on the bright side.

    When you get disowned, then you'll be able to fuck Cayla without regrets.

    Assuming you managed to cultivate any personal loyalty with Vary's creature.


    Come to think of it, even after banishment, you probably would have Varys on your side. Even if he is an ardent Faegon supporter, he might try to finagle you into being Lord of the Westerlands, especially if you get declared a bastard.

    If you weren't a claimant, and if you were convinced to support a "Targaryen" restoration, you would be a great ally, especially after everything goes down. Enough to the point that Varys would personally try to convince you.
     
  24. Felius

    Felius I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    2,571
    I'd say something about that last exchange, but I already did:
     
    CrazyGuy and Winged One like this.
  25. cezyou

    cezyou Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2015
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    166
    I object to this history of textiles. Bad homespun is really awful stuff, true, but skilled workers produce much better, to the point that only recently did machine-worked stuff match up.
     
  26. Nugar

    Nugar Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    2,753
    That's fair. But I didn't consider that, so this will have to be a bit of unreliable narrator.
     
  27. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Experienced.

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,523
    Likes Received:
    9,828
    Well, if SI-you ever needs a ginormous favor from his grandfather, he's certainly earned it.
     
    ItsComplicated and Winged One like this.
  28. Nugar

    Nugar Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    2,753

    Yeah, except he stupidly spent most of it getting Tywin to agree to let him kill the mountain and lorch, and publicize their crimes against ella martell as part of his efforts to make peace with dorne.

    Tywin let him do it, because for a valyrian steel sword, two assholes and a minor hit to his rep is cheap, and also as a lesson to Edd on both dealing with the dornish and also on deals with people in general.

    Tywin likes Edd because he's family and intelligent and useful, but works to strip him of some of his childish notions and make him a proper noble. They clash.
     
    jirka642, R.A.G., Malorius and 8 others like this.
  29. GloryHound

    GloryHound Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    3
    Nugar can we atleast get some sort of image representation on what you think Cayla looks like?! Please and thank you :)

    BTW i'm liking how you are deviating from the normal 'SI fix's it all' approach. You don't have a fix for everything, b/c either you don't have the knowledge or technology. Most SI's just do hand-wavium and got it going. The most unique part is of course clothes design... specifically for women! :D never seen that before.
     
    Winged One likes this.
  30. ItsComplicated

    ItsComplicated Getting out there.

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    32
    Holy shit this is great. Is it on SB?
    It doesn't even need porn or gore or anything (why's it on QQ?), just continue writing like this (okay maybe with a plot too) and you'll have a fantastic fic.
     
    Winged One likes this.
Loading...