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[ASOIAF][SI] No Promises

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

  1. Winged One

    Winged One Not the Simurgh

    Jul 16, 2013
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    It takes two to tango. Jaime's just as at fault.
  2. Nugar

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
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    I edited the fight a bit to fix some wording and also show more of how Robert picked his targets. It should better indicate how Cersei survived.
    BlueHelix likes this.
  3. M.Silver

    M.Silver Getting sticky.

    Nov 17, 2017
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    He already came with warhammer in hands, this is not accident, he already know that his wife fucks her brother. So it said from someone who he trust completely, and who is it? Or he saw it fist hand, ceep his cool until he got his warhammer. Only then he started his killing spree. Otherwise why would a King come to his wife bedroom with a warhammer in hand?
    Prince Charon and Winged One like this.
  4. Breadnaught

    Breadnaught Versed in the lewd.

    Feb 22, 2017
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    It was mentioned in the Spacebattles thread that is might be Basalisk-blood poisoning. Apparently it induces murderous rage before killing you.
    OldSpartan likes this.
  5. Nugar

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Basilisk venom, and yeah, I confirmed it. Checkoved in chapter five with the stuffed basilisk. Eddard hasn't figured it out yet though.
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 8: Sure to be cleared up in no time.

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
    Likes Received:
    xxxxxxxxx Chapter 8: Sure to be cleared up in no time.

    Robert. My father. It’s weird, the whole second life thing. I mean, reincarnation is cool and all, but definitely not something I was prepared for. And my first father was basically perfect. I mean, words almost can’t express how well we synched, even though he was significantly more outgoing than I am.

    Robert, though, had this weird sort of role where he was there but not all the way there. I’d have been out of luck if I needed him to connect to me as a child, but fortunately I wasn’t really a child mentally, so that part worked out well enough. But you’re also supposed to respect your father, or at least I was originally raised to.

    Plenty of fathers don’t deserve respect, but that’s not something I had run into. Robert, though… As a warrior, he deserved respect. The man was a born leader and made to kill. Even as fat as he got, sparring against him was like trying to fight a bear. He was the superior fighter in literally all aspects. But on the other hand, watching him treat Cersei like a particularly annoying problem he could stick in a closet and ignore, that wasn’t cool. The cheating, the alcoholism, the, let’s be honest here, rampant assholitry, those I did not respect. The way he spent money like water.

    I mean, I thought Baelish was the source of most of the kingdom’s money woes, and he basically was, but even with him not around, Robert still managed to blow money like crazy. I didn’t even have much success getting him to spend it on useful things. I convinced him to fix the existing sewer system in King’s Landing, but not to expand and improve it to the level it actually needed. He liked some of my ‘inventions’ for the common soldier and guard, and I got a better, more centralized equipment issue set up… which quickly turned into a rats nest of corruption and thievery. Frustratingly enough, by the time that rolled around, it was mostly my own money I was pouring into those projects.

    And I wouldn’t even mind it as much, if he was spending stuff on the kingdom itself. Even castles and statues and such had their uses. No, the guy spent literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dragons on fucking tournaments and parties. Those have their uses, too, but no knight deserves fifty fucking thousand gold dragons for poking people with a stick. And I was completely unable to get him to stop. He’d do these tournaments like, at minimum, three times a year. That’s a stupid ridiculous amount of money.

    Robert, by his goddamn self, is responsible for more hedge knights suddenly becoming landed nobles than any other king in Westeros history.

    But, I will admit. Every one of those knights loved him. They’d march to war for him at a single word. The throne itself had many enemies, within and without, but for the most part, that was all weird old allegiances and grudges. As if the Targaryens actually deserved to be kings. Listen, incestuous dragon riding foreigners demanding crowns is no way to build a government. Robert, honestly, didn’t have what it takes to be a good king, either. But he did inspire his men. And up till now, he’d done decent enough by me.

    I don’t know if I was going to be able to forgive trying to kill me and my mother.

    All this went through my head as I knelt by Robert’s side. I had moved the ruined couch off him, hidden the warhammer, and also used some twisted cloth to tie his feet and hands. He was still breathing, which was good, but it was kind of fast and shallow, which wasn’t. His pulse must have been in the two hundreds, it was literally faster than I could count. His eyes were dilated, and little tremors ran through his muscles. He also had a lump forming on the back of his head, apparently from where he’d gotten knocked out.

    So. I can’t say he was healthy. He was a fat man who’d overexerted himself and gotten knocked the fuck out. I almost wanted to say he looked like he’d overdosed on some kind of stimulant, but I hesitated to say that because Robert’s rages were literally legendary. Songs and everything. Was this normal for him after a berserking? I’ve never read any medical literature on berserk warriors. I mean, the human body is capable of some weird shit, Baratheons are known for their ‘furies’, and Robert was particularly notorious for his. Also, there’s magic. The twitches were particularly worrying, but was that adrenaline, a drug, or just a normal seizure from head trauma? None of those are good options.

    I have no idea what I’m doing.

    So I did what I’d do in any other OD situation. Laid him on his side, propped against the wall, made sure he was breathing and his airways were clear, and if he throws up he won’t drown in his own vomit.

    I have a bottle of laudanum in my medical supplies. Opioids and alcohol will slow his heart rate, but also potentially thin his blood. If he’s having a heart attack, that could be good. If he’s having a stroke, that’s bad. Given the bump on the head could cause bleeding in his brain on its own, I’m leaning no. Given I have no idea what kind of interactions it might have with ‘the fury’ I’m really leaning no. And he’s been drinking all morning, and doesn’t need any more depressants in his system, that’s three nos. If I had thorazine I’d give it to him in a heartbeat, but I don’t even remember the chemical formula for that.

    Well, he’s just going to have to take that bump on the head like a man and sleep off the fury. I’m so going to kick his ass for this. Tywin is going to try to kill him, which is going to put me in conflict with fucking Grandfather Tywin, and all things considered that’s not where I want to be. And that’s assuming he wakes up sane. Look, finding out your wife cheated on you with her brother is upsetting, but don’t take it out on your son! I’m so Baratheon I shit warhammers, don’t fucking tell me you think I’m Jamie’s kid.

    “And where the fuck are the Whitecloaks?!” I yell in frustration.

    No one answers, though I do hear a noise from the room with Myrcella and Cersei.

    Shit, what if this is a coup? Like, I don’t know how it could be one, but something’s going on. I grabbed my crossbow. Still in my underwear, though. Do I risk going to my room and leaving the girls undefended?

    No, no I do not.

    But at the same time, I don’t have anyone to fight right now either. So, feeling kinda silly, I put the crossbow down, but close at hand.

    Hmm, Jamie should be covered.

    I grab a large drop curtain thing from one of the rooms. I forget what it’s called, it’s not covered in pictures like a tapestry, but it’s also not covering a window. It’s big and its heavy and its cloth, and I drape it over my late uncle.

    “Edd! Mother’s waking up!” Myrcella called.

    I grabbed my weapons and shield and hurried in there.

    Cersei was still moaning and groaning a bit, but she had lifted her arms and was rubbing her temples gently. Myrcella was kneeling by her side, worriedly watching.

    “Don’t touch your cheek, it’s going to hurt like a bitch,” I warned.

    “Mm’cheek’s num’,” she said thickly, immediately doing what I told her not to do and touching it.

    Huh, I guess the morphine cream was working better than I-

    “NNNNNNNNNN!” Cersei moaned, pressing just a little too hard.

    -nevermind. I’ve never had any cracks in any of my skull bones but I’ve been informed it’s basically agony dialed up to 11 if you touch it. One of these days, it’s going to happen to me, and I already know I’m going to touch it. It’s just what you do.

    “Mother! Don’t touch it! Do what Brother tells you, please!”

    “Thank you, Myrcella,” I praised. “You took a nasty hit, Mother. Please, stay with us. I’ve got something for the pain but I need to ask you some questions.” I can fake calm under pressure, but my heartrate is probably the same as Robert’s. It’s a good thing she didn’t need stitches, I’d probably sew my own hand to her face with these trembling fingers. Only in my head do I have control, and even there I’m babbling a bit.

    “J’me… Jaime!” she gasped and tried to sit up, only for me to hold her back, both arms around her. “Jaime, where’s Jaime?!”

    With Myrcella desperately hugging her from the other side, I tried to be as gentle as I could. “Mother… Jaime… he didn’t make it.”

    “No! NO!” she cried, bursting into tears.

    I found myself crying as well, and Myrcella bawled into Cersei as she sobbed into my arms.


    Just. Goddamnit.

    I don’t know how long we were like that. Myrcella cried herself out pretty quickly. Cersei was still sobbing, but starting to get herself together. She loved her brother, no question. And this wasn’t the Cersei that had buried almost all of her loved ones; this was the first time she had lost family since her mother. She was only 35, younger than I was when I had died or whatever. She was family and I loved her and it hurt, it hurt bad to see her hurting.

    She suddenly flinched back, then cried more, louder as she accidentally pressed her cheek into me. I pulled away.

    “Hold on, Mother. I’ve got something that will help with the pain.” It took some effort to disentangle myself from her, but by substituting Celly in, I got them holding onto each other so I could get in my medical bag.

    The laudanum bottle was squareish and made of tin, with a top that doubled as a measuring cup. I poured her a standard dose, which should be enough to kill the pain and leave her a bit groggy but not actually incoherent or unconscious. Frankly, it was more than she needed, but I wanted her to stop hurting and it was what I had. I had a bottle of raw ether, too, but that was for actual surgery. Or bat country, whichever.

    “Drink this, Mother. It’s nasty and bitter, but it’ll stop most of the pain.” I held the little tin cup up with the cloudy liquid inside.

    She trusted me, and even though she grimaced at the taste, she obediently tossed back the half shot of painkiller.

    Then I repacked my medical bag and put it back in my travel pack. Not really because, at that point, I believed I was about to go anywhere, but just because I needed something to do.

    Cersei still sniffled a bit, but about two shots of vodka’s worth of alcohol and a good dose of opioids will kick in fast, and she slowly settled down onto the bed, seeming to almost merge with the comforters.

    “Eddard?! Prince Eddard?!” I heard call from the other room. Cayla’s voice.

    “Prince, I couldn’t find the Whitecloaks,” Sandor’s voice called immediately after.

    “I’m coming!” I yelled back.

    “Stay here, Celly,” I ordered, grabbing the loaded crossbow and stepping carefully to the door and peeking. “Stay there,” I ordered my two friends.

    Both halted. Partially because of the order, partially because I had a loaded crossbow pointed in their general direction.

    Because I had a nasty thought.

    “Sandor, I gotta check. I… uhhhh… Shit.” Shit. You get bored and paranoid and you prepare for situations like these, but then the event actually happens and you completely forget all your preparations. “Uh… uh, fat bottom girls!”

    Sandor hesitated a moment, and the crossbow turned and pointed at him. He sighed, then thrust his right hand in the air and tilted his head back and to the left while his left hand grabbed at something invisible in front of his chest. “You make the rocking world go around,” he said in a quiet, almost embarrassed voice.

    Hah! I forgot I’d made him learn the movements, too.

    “Cayla,” I said, switching to her. “Get back to twerk.”

    “What? Work?”

    “No,” I corrected. “Twerk. ‘T’ –werk.”

    Her eyes got about as big around as saucers. “My Prince, is this really the time?”

    “Sorry, Cayla, you know the Faceless men exist. I made you learn those things for a reason, I know you remember me showing you that. I want to trust you, but I have to know that it’s you.” I was also pointing my crossbow at her. If anyone had been replaced, it was probably the normal sized Cayla rather than hulking seven foot Sandor. I don’t know the limits on magical disguise but there’s got to be one.

    She gasped, and then her expression hardened and grew serious. “That is a good point, my Prince.” She turned around, cocked her hips a bit, and gave a pretty enthusiastic booty shake. It wasn’t a great twerk, but the movements were there. I doubt she’d ever practiced it, so the only time she’d ever actually seen a twerk was my hilariously bad effort to reproduce it. Also her skirts covered her booty a bit too much. But the important thing was, she was Cayla, or someone able to read minds, or Cayla had told someone. And if it was the second two, I was already fucked, so best to assume it’s her.

    “Alright, sorry about that,” I said, pointing the crossbow at the ceiling. “New rule though, as long as this shit is going on, check with people if you aren’t sure. I don’t think this is some Faceless man thing, but we ain’t gonna fuck around and get killed if it is one, okay?”

    Both nodded.

    “So what the fuck is going on?” I asked.

    “I found a dead Whitecloak, Ser Meryn Trant, killed by hammer blows in the Hall of Crests,” he reported, referring to a linking hallway close to the royal suites. “The servants have mostly fled, but there were two dead outside the King’s solar. I found two servants who didn’t know what was going on and another who was in the process of leaving, having heard rumors of a coup. There were no other King’s Guard in the Keep.”

    “It’s the Baratheon armsmen!” Cayla added. “I heard that the Queen had made an attempt on the King’s life and was going to have Lannister armsmen take over the Keep, but when I talked some Lannister and Florent men who had been drinking together they only reported that Baratheon men had suddenly started attacking Lannister barracks and had no idea why. They were gathering for defense but more and more armsmen from other houses were joining the Baratheon men.”


    Here’s the thing. There’s not really anything like fully discrete groups of armsmen in the city, unless it’s visiting nobles. Instead, given that Robert is king and Cersei is queen, they simply form the second and third largest sub groups of the common guards. And since the royal family is a Baratheon-Lannister union, they’re fairly closely allied, but general in-group pressures mean that, for the most part, guards from Lannister owned lands tend to have their own barracks, while Stormlanders have separate facilities. The largest group is actually just local Crownlanders with no particular house allegiances other than what they form based on the friends they drink with, so they form the matrix that keeps otherwise fairly insular groups working together. It’s actually a great metaphor for how the kingdom works in general.

    Of course, it all breaks down when what is increasingly looking like some sort of FUCKING CIVIL WAR breaks out.

    “Until Sandor told me of Robert’s attempt on the Queen’s life, I had no idea what was really happening.”

    “I was there and I still have no idea what the fuck is going on,” I growled. “Who told Baratheon men to attack the Lannisters?”

    “I’m not sure about the guardsmen, but the Baratheon bannermen got orders from Lord Bryce Caron.”

    “Ohhh yeahhhhh, I’d forgotten about Renly’s men,” I admitted. “Stannis isn’t in town, thank god. We don’t particularly like each other, so I doubt he’d be helpful. I’ve always gotten along with Renly, though. Can we get his gay ass up here so he and I can order the fighting to stop? Cersei is still alive and won’t gainsay me, and that leaves Ser Ilyn Payne as the highest ranking man loyal to the Lannisters, and he sure as hell won’t say anything to counter my orders. He doesn’t have a tongue.”

    Mute jokes, hahah. Never a wrong time for them. I mean, what are they going to do, complain?

    I also have a terrible mental condition where I suddenly become the funniest motherfucker in the world and make jokes when I’m feeling really upset or uncomfortable. You should have heard the one I told when I was in the hospital after the accident that took my wife. But I digress. My mind and mouth wandering when I’m really upset is what I do. And I’m really, really, really fucking upset. I’m not actually trying to be funny, I’m trying to keep a handle on myself.

    Cayla was looking at me really worriedly. Sandor had this expression like, ‘look what I put up with’. From a man with half his face covered in burn scars, that’s a pretty intimidating expression.

    “I don’t know if we can do it safely,” Sandor admitted. “If I could find the King’s Guard and some bannermen I trusted to guard you, maybe. But we’d have to send a messenger to him and we have no idea where he is.”

    “Where in the fuck ARE the Whitecloaks?” I demanded. “Their whole fucking job is to stop shit like this happening to the royal family. For that matter, where is the Small Council? Pycelle I could see fleeing, but keeping shit like this from happening is exactly what Jon Arryn does. For that matter, does anyone know where Varys got to?”

    “I don’t think that this is the Master of Whispers handiwork,” Cayla offered.

    “I didn’t say it was, but he’s also not up here explaining how he missed it getting started nor who’s behind it all. He’s supposed to be better than this.” I ran my fingers through my hair and paced back and forth a bit.

    “Why don’t you let Sandor guard you while you get dressed?”

    I hesitated, the nodded. “Yeah, yeah, that’s a good idea.”

    I poked my head back in where Cersei was lying, though she was looking in my direction and apparently alert. Myrcella was gently stroking her hair. Both looked at me.

    “Hey, Sandor is going to guard you while I get dressed. Cayla is here with me. We don’t know what’s going on yet, but Trant is dead by Robert’s hand and the rest of the King’s Guard is missing.” I pulled back before they could react.

    “Alright, guard this door,” I ordered. “We don’t want some clever fuck coming in over the balcony while you’re in the hall.”

    Sandor hesitated. “And you?”

    “Cayla can guard me,” I replied. “I’ll give her the crossbow.”

    He nodded. Cayla looked resolute.

    The two of us hurried to my room. Cayla immediately started flinging open chests and cabinets, but I had to stop her.

    “No, I’ll get dressed myself. You guard the door, remember?”

    She stopped and swallowed nervously, then firmed up again, taking the dragon bone compound crossbow with its mechanical broadhead bolt and taking up guard at the door frame. She only had one shot if someone came running, but that bolt would go through three of them at once if they lined up.

    Of course, this would also be the prime time for her to assassinate me if she was so inclined. But if Cayla wanted me dead, she could have killed me a thousand times today alone. I’m paranoid but sometimes you just have to trust people, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t even tell Varys about twerking.

    Varys. This doesn’t seem like his handiwork at all. I mean, this is a mess, and importantly, other than Jamie, the whole royal family is still alive. It doesn’t make any goddamn sense. But that’s also the problem.

    It doesn’t make any goddamn sense.

    I have no idea where to go from here.

    So I got dressed. Not in my tournament plate, not the armor I wore while jousting. That’s heavy as hell, awkward to move in, and incredibly difficult to put on by yourself. I put on the regular plate I used for training in melee. It’s nowhere near as ornate; in fact, mine was pretty much covered in scratches and dings. Since a lot of my practice is either with hammers or against people with hammers, dents are a common theme, and I use cheaper, less elaborate armor because of it. Most of me ended up being covered by good metal plates, proof against most of what the world had to offer, and the gaps and joints were covered by overlapping scales attached to chain mail.

    It’s still heavier than what I wear for, say, hunting boar, and I wouldn’t want to ride to war in it, but I would want it in my baggage train for the actual battle. The only thing I left off was the helm, which I secured with a strap to my side.

    Dressed and armored, I strapped my backsword, the valyrian steel edged one, to my waist, alongside my warhammer. The catspaw dagger went into an upside down sheathe on my right chest, positioned so that I could draw it in secret behind my shield with the shield hand. I put a quiver of arrows, mechanical broadheads all, on my back and covered it with my shield.

    I also gave a quiver of bolts for the crossbow to Cayla. I wasn’t sure if she was strong enough to cock it using the foot cock method like Sandor and I used, but hell, she might. Ah, it was adjustable, a feature of modern compound bows I’d copied. Two bolts could be turned to change the preload on the limbs and reduce the draw weight. I’d do that when we made it back to the others.

    For myself, I grabbed my glaive in one hand, still in its sheathe, and my compound bow in the other.

    Of course, all of this took forever. At least thirty minutes, not that I’ve bothered to keep a personal clock in my room. Pressing an elbow against the wall trying to get at a strap, getting a buckle upside down, that kind of thing. I usually have at least Cayla or Sandor for this. When it came to some straps, I actually had to just give up and ask Cayla to put down the crossbow and help. Also, it’s fairly heavy stuff, all total probably sixty pounds of weapons and armor. I still left my helmet off, though. Vision and hearing seemed more important to me right then than protection. Also, I hate hats. I hate having anything on my head heavier than a bandanna or sunglasses.

    Once we got back to Cersei’s rooms, I put my glaive and shield to the side, in case I needed them. But mainly, I was relying on my bow. Mechanical broadheads were another ‘invention’ I’d introduced, though they were expensive and difficult to make, so only the few archery inclined lords bothered to get any.

    Amazingly, hammers tended to be better at killing people in plate than swords. Thanks to my efforts to emulate Robert, I was also actually better with a hammer than I was with my sword. Now, the sharpness and durability of valyrian steel is well known, and my sword did have the edge, but even valyrian steel swords needed a mighty blow in just the right spot to do more than leave scratches. Polearms worked pretty well, though. You build up a hell of a lot of momentum with a long pole. My glaive, with its valyrian steel edge, was a decent performer against plate. Unfortunately, in the cramped conditions of the stone rooms and hallways, it would be my last choice.

    My first choice was my crossbow, but Cayla had that. This left my second choice, my compound bow. Historically, plate armor didn’t really start falling out of style until firearms became a thing. Yes, the English with their longbow using armies won a lot of battles with French knights, but it turns out even the power of longbows usually did little to penetrate good plate, and often failed against even the much lighter chain mail. Light crossbows were popular because they were easy to learn how to use, not because they were particularly deadly. Even heavy crossbows or arbalests were like every other ranged weapon of the period, bouncing off plate like a wren hitting a patio door. Sometimes they’d get lucky and hit a weak spot or a gap and cause some damage, but for the most part, if you were in plate with a shield, bows and crossbows were not your problem.

    Modern compound bows, on the other hand, produce around 250% the speed of longbows or light crossbows, and even outperform arbalests. Only ballistae, what the locals called ‘scorpions’, could match the power of my dragonbone compound bows. Modern arrows and bolts are far lighter than their historical ancestors, but the total impact force of modern equipment is still more than 150% of historical on the low end.

    Additionally, there was the question of the arrowhead.

    Westeros archers had a choice between broadheads or bodkin points, both commonly made of soft, spongy iron. Broadheads had large, sharp blades at the tip designed to cut about an inch and a half swath of blood vessels and flesh, but were tip heavy and tended to catch the wind and go off course. They were murder on animals or unarmored targets at close range, but inaccurate at long ranges and the tip just crumpled on impact with armor. It’d usually still penetrate a little into mail, but not particularly deeply once the sharp iron blades were turned into a dull shapeless mass. Bodkin points weren’t generally any bigger around than the shaft of the arrow, making them more aerodynamic, and were also thicker and edgeless, with all their mass focused behind a point designed to penetrate armor. They were more accurate and punched through light armor pretty well, but also tended to just make a hole. If they only hit muscle, they didn’t even cause much bleeding.

    The modern day solution for penetration was a hybrid. A steel point head much like a bodkin, but with three or so thin grooves running along it that steel razor blades hid in. There were various blade shapes designed for specific penetration depths, but all had a blunt flange of some sort that stuck out of the groove. In flight, the tiny blunt flange wouldn’t affect the accuracy, but upon striking something firm, like flesh, would be caught and force the blade to fold open on hinges until it locked open. Thus, you had the performance and penetration of a single strong point, but the internal cutting diameter of a broadhead. And all this was made with much stronger, sharper steel. Complicated steel arrowheads were incredibly expensive, so only some archery inclined nobles had been interested, but I had plenty for my own uses.

    In the case of mine, they would penetrate three inches, enough to get past armor, padded gambeson, and rib cage, then bloom into a razor blade flower three and a half inches across as it reached the organs and major blood vessels. Now, admittedly, the blades would usually snap off as the arrow hit the ribs or armor on the back, but then it was just a bodkin point as it kept going. They were hilariously lethal, almost actually unfair. They did not give a shit about any sort of mail, and only bounced off or shattered on scale and lamellar one time in ten or twenty.

    This was an exceptionally good thing to have on my side, because only a few minutes after I rejoined Sandor, Ser Barristan The-Fucking-Bold Selmy, the greatest swordsman in Westeros, came in with blade drawn and duty in his eye.

    He visibly started when he saw Robert lying on his side against the wall, but took in the rest of the corpses with a cool, calm demeanor.

    “What,” he said with terrifying finality, “is going on here?”

    This was the King’s Guard of King’s Guards. The only man I’ve ever heard that was better than him was Ser Arthur Dayne, and that’s insane to even imagine. Selmy didn’t give a shit about anything but his duty, which, above all else, was the protection of the King.

    And here we were, rumors of Cersei trying to kill Robert floating around the city, dead people everywhere, and Robert’s fat ass lying against the wall like a dead man.

    I don’t think I’ve ever drawn a bow and aimed so fast, in this life or the last.

    Selmy just looked calmly at me, at Cayla, who also had her crossbow pointed at him, and at Sandor, who was out of my vision and I didn’t dare look away.

    “I’m here to find out what’s going on, and I want answers,” he said calmly. “Now put that fucking bow down, boy, before I take it away from you and spank you with it.”

    I put the fucking bow down.

    I may be the Prince of This and That, but I ain’t the Prince of Stupidity.

    Old AN: Would you trust a man who got the nickname 'The Bold' to stop and listen to explainations when it looks like you killed the King? Sometimes you need to make a man sit down, and a magic bow with hi-tech murder arrows is a fairly convincing argument.

    New AN: Would you defy a man who got the nickname 'The Bold' and is widely regarded as the best swordsman in in the world when he tells you to settle the fuck down? Especially as it turns out, modern arrows don't punch straight through plate like they do mail. Whoops. Also, it's fucking Selmy, he can probably just cut the arrow out of the air with his sword like some old bastard in an anime. I had always planned on his response being a warning to stop aiming at him or else, but it was originally going to be the start of the next chapter. Given responses, probably best to use it here.

    I am, however, very glad that, while opinions are divided on whether or not aiming at Selmy was a good idea, it was at least considered a reasonable decision to made on the part of Eddard, and not just stupidity.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
  7. RageKnight

    RageKnight My heresy senses are tingling

    Feb 2, 2018
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    Oh so this WHOLE problem is care of "No one is willing to talk it the fuck out" syndrome.
  8. Nugar

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Eddard is perfectly willing to talk. Indeed, that's what he desires. But given how dangerous Selmy is, the ONLY way he'll be able to stop the man is if he shoots him before he gets within range.

    Also, pasting this explaination from other forums.

    I agree. Pointing an arrow at Selmy isn't the greatest idea.

    I'm going to defend it, because it's also not the worst idea. Robert does look dead. The rumor is that Cersei tried to kill him. Eddard and Sandor ARE the ones who put Robert down. Now, Selmy is not the kind of guy who would kill Eddard first and ask questions later, but I do think that, much like Eddard, his first instinct is going to be to assert control of the situation so he can figure out what's happening. If Eddard has control, and Selmy doesn't like his answers, Eddard still has options. If Selmy is in control, Eddard's ONLY option is to convince Selmy that he, and by extension, Cersei, are innocent.

    Remember, outside of perhaps Selmy himself, Robert could order the Kingsguard to kill Cersei and they'd do it. Eddard won't take the risk. The only people he trusts are right there in the room with him. Selmy is trustworthy, but he's NOT Eddard's man. He's Roberts. And Robert just tried to kill him.
  9. KanameFujiwara

    KanameFujiwara Getting out there.

    Mar 6, 2016
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    Original. love the idea how you completely destroy the stations of canon. Good job!
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
    Winged One likes this.
  10. Nugar

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Updated the chapter with fresh changes, correcting statements about armor and bows and Selmys. Basically changed everything after Eddard goes to get dressed. Please let me know what you think. If this is acceptable, I can finally update FFnet with the new chapter.
  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 9: We're all going to look back on this and laugh.

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
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    ********* Chapter nine. We’re all going to look back on this and laugh.

    I kept the bow drawn, but lowered it to point at the floor.

    “Ser Selmy,” I began, “given the fact that we know Faceless men assassins to be a very real thing, we’ve already been attacked by people we thought we could trust, and apparently you have been fucking around elsewhere instead of keeping tabs on my fucking father, maybe you could prove you’re who you look like?”

    He gave me a cold, measuring look. “You say Faceless men did this?”

    “No, I don’t know what got this clusterfuck going. But right now the only people I trust are the ones on my side. Just tell me something only you and I would know.” I pulled the bow back up, not quite aiming it back at my father’s guard.

    We eyed each other for a moment. I’d never spent a whole lot of personal time with the man, though of course we’d seen each other plenty, when he followed Robert around. He guarded Cersei on occasion, though of course she preferred Jaime.

    “I once told you that it was a good thing you had a knack for the bow, because you’d never make a decent swordsman. Or a hammerer, for that matter.”

    “Pffssh, anyone could guess that,” I replied. “What else you got?”

    He breathed out through his nose, giving me The Look. “I once told your father that you were probably going to accidentally kill him one day, but you’d probably find a way to bring him back to life long enough to apologize. But I don’t think you were there for that.”

    I lowered the bow again, releasing the draw. “Yeah, okay, that’s fair.” I turned and gestured at Robert. “The long and short of it is, my father killed Jaime, tried to kill Mom, killed a shitload of servants and apparently Ser Trant, and tried to kill me when I ran in after hearing screams. Sandor and I hit him with that couch. He’s still alive, just unconscious.” I paused, eyeing the fat man carefully. Fortunately, his chest was still rising and falling. “See? Still breathing. Now. That’s what happened here. Now, what the fuuuuck is going on out there?”

    Ser Selmy relaxed a bit when I pointed out Robert was still alive, returning his sword to its sheathe. Behind me, Sandor put his hand on Cayla’s shoulder, and I heard the soft clack of the crossbow safety engaging.

    “Word is the Queen tried to have your father killed,” he said, kneeling by Robert and touching him briefly.

    “Whose word? I just had lunch with her and Uncle Jaime. We killed a bunch of crabs and at least a couple of bottles of wine.” I was honestly a bit indignant. I put a lot of goddamn work into making sure Cersei didn’t try to have Robert murdered.

    “Assassins are usually arranged ahead of time,” he noted. “But that was what I heard, so I ran back here. Your father sent me away himself, when word of Westermen and Stormlanders fighting in the streets reached His Grace.”

    I blinked, and then frowned hard.

    “As it happens, I saw the remains of Ser Trant, and I believe you. Those were hammer blows. Something must have truly enraged your father. Only in his greatest furies has he ever forgot who was friend or foe.”

    I shook my head. “Go back, go back. Start over from the beginning, when you were with Father. Who all was there, who came in?

    “I was getting to that,” he replied. “Your father had just finished a midday meal with Ser Trant as his guard. Lord Arryn was present, and I was having my own meal outside the kitchens. One of the Goldcloaks came in, I know not who, and announced that there was a brawl in the streets between Stormlanders and Westermen, with several dead already. His Grace wanted to go intervene, but being rather drunk, was persuaded to stay with Ser Trant as his guard. I was sent to accompany Lord Arryn to break up the fighting.”

    I nodded. The timeline didn’t line up, but I didn’t doubt his words.

    “The Goldcloak wasn’t lying, there were brawls breaking out across the city. We broke up one, and Lord Arryn demanded answers. The Westermen were all common guards and Goldcloaks, where the Stormlanders were a mix of guards and those sworn to House Baratheon. In every case, the Stormlanders were said to attack first, although they claimed the Westermen were involved in a plot to take over King’s Landing.” He paused. “A few even claimed that they were under orders to stop the plot, orders from one of the Baratheon bannermen, Ser Donnel Swann.”

    “So where is Lord Arryn? And when did you hear about this supposed assassination attempt?”

    “Lord Arryn left orders to the Goldcloaks to break up the fighting, and I stayed to enforce the orders. He went to find your uncle Renly to get some orders from the top. However, not long after he left, a runner from the Keep found me and told me that I was needed back immediately, the Queen had attempted to murder the King.”

    “How the hell would he have known that?” I blurted. “Unless my mother was either dumb as a post, which she’s not, or you could call trying to claw my father’s eyes out a murder attempt, no one is going to know what happened, at least at first. That’s stupid and it doesn’t make any sense.”

    “I heard from one of the Baratheon men that they originally got their orders from Lord Bryce Caron, and that the attempt on King Robert was what started the fighting. But that was before the King killed Ser Jaime!” Cayla exclaimed.

    Ser Barristan inhaled sharply. “Lord Caron should not be in the city. He left for his home yesterday, after receiving a raven.”

    “The time of events don’t match,” I muttered. “Someone is fucking with us. Fucking Faceless men.”

    “The Faceless men need the faces of dead men to take on their guise. Also, they actually kill their targets. No, this is not their work, but there are other magics in the world.”

    “Huh.” I’d actually forgotten that bit about the faces. And that’s a really good point about them actually killing their targets. This clusterfuck is someone a great deal less professional than that, which is also why I don’t think Varys is behind it.

    “It’s not the regular swordsman the master fears,” Sandor rumbled quietly. “It’s the amateur that does what you would never expect.”

    Ser Selmy nodded seriously at that, like it was a profound wisdom.

    Which it probably was. Words cannot express how much of a comfort Sandor is by my side. If there was any actual merit to the idea that anyone could deserve to be a prince, Sandor would be next in line for the crown.

    “So we’re looking for an idiot with magic?”

    “Or perhaps Lord Caron changed his mind and returned to the city?” Cayla offered. “Didn’t you say the simplest solutions were the ones most likely to be correct?” she asked me.

    “That…! Is actually a good point. Well. We know someone is fucking with us, but we don’t know how or who.” I frowned. “Dammit.” You know nothing, Jon Snow. But you’re a fucking scholar compared to me right now.

    “That’s two Baratheon bannermen said to have been giving orders,” Ser Barristan noted.

    “Yes, but why would my father suddenly go berserk? And where the fuck is Pycelle?”

    “You don’t think Grand Maester Pycelle is…?” Cayla asked.

    “No, but that old lech has a hell of a nose for trouble and has probably fled this mess. Frankly, that’s what worries me. He should be up here pledging his loyalty, and checking my father for poisons. Unless he’s got a damned good reason to not be here, he’s risking his head.” And I mean that literally. I will actually kill him.

    “Big Brother?” Myrcella’s timid voice came from behind us.

    I turned to see her, her big green eyes wide at the sight of all the blood, as she partially hid behind the door frame.

    “Yes, Celly?” I asked, turning to her.

    “Someone’s knocking on the other side of the wall in here. That knock you always use.” She rapped out shave and a haircut, two bits on the doorframe.

    “What.” Other side of the wall? Sandor and I personally sealed the passages that let Varys little birds spy on the royal apartments. I also let him know that I didn’t much like the idea of children having their tongues cut out. We came to an agreement.

    Or at least, I thought we had.

    “Show me,” I ordered, striding forward.

    Myrcella lead me to the far wall, where the headboard of the bed met it. I crept up slowly and pressed my ear to the wall.

    After a moment, I heard it. Tap tap ta taptap, tap tap. Silence, then repeating.

    I pulled out my hammer and rapped it sharply against the stone during one of the gaps. Then I reversed the sequence and tapped it back.

    It came back again, faster. Then silence.

    “It’s too far away, we’ll have to follow the sound,” I announced. I then set up a slow, steady series of taps, then waited. Then I did it again, no pattern, just steady taps.

    After another short wait, I heard the other end start that same slow, steady series of taps.

    “Spread out, listen for the taps. There’s a secret passage somewhere. Selmy, check the balcony. Cayla, I think my room is over there, try there. Sandor and I will go up and down the hall. Sound travels pretty far through stone.”

    No one argued. Ser Barristan reported negative from the balcony, so they weren’t outside. The sound was lighter towards the stairs but louder the other way, but no louder than in Cersei’s bedroom in my actual rooms. Eventually, by listening along the walls, we found a place where it sounded loud and clear, just on the other side of a wall. A wall that shouldn’t have anything on the other side of it, but frankly the surprise of yet another secret tunnel wasn’t much of a surprise. It was just turning out to be that kind of day.

    When we found the spot closest to it, I yelled that we were going to break down the wall, to stand back. Then I told Sandor to break down the wall. I mean, I helped, but there’s a big difference between my hammer swings and Sandor’s. I know who does the real work. Pretty quickly, fairly thin stone blocks were shattered and a hole was opened.

    Flickering light came from within, illuminating a pale young face. A teenage girl, my age or plus a bit. She opened her mouth and made a groaning sound, showing her lack of tongue, then she held out a scroll, tied with string and showing a cracked wax seal. She mimed opening it, and then handed it to me.

    Then, before I could do more than gape, she fled back down the narrow passage.

    “I think Varys is resigning his post,” Sandor said quietly.

    I ignored him and unrolled the parchment. It was stained with blood and some other fluid, with ink splotches and shaky handwriting.

    Prince Eddard,

    Evil magics are at work in King’s Landing. Thoros of Myr had visions of danger in the flames, and was found torn to pieces this morning. Lord Arryn was killed in the streets by forces unknown. Three servants are missing. Another reports that your father was poisoned through his wine. May your reign be long and successful. An attempt was made on my life by magical means not an hour ago. I am injured but alive for now. I should never have told you I was so close to retirement. My only clue is a stain of shade of the evening found on a rag that had been thrown out, found by one of my little birds. My Prince, my deepest apologies for failing my task. It would have been an honor to serve you. If I survive, I will seek you out. Enemies have already infiltrated the city through means I cannot counter. You should flee King’s Landing with the crown. Flee and survive, return with an army. Use that mind of yours as your greatest weapon and avenge your father.


    Sorceries can compel minds. Trust no one.

    Rule well.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  12. Tortoise

    Tortoise Getting sticky.

    Jan 25, 2017
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    Whose word?
  13. Krantz

    Krantz Know what you're doing yet?

    Jul 8, 2017
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    As Sandor would say:
    Fucking House of the Undying
  14. RageKnight

    RageKnight My heresy senses are tingling

    Feb 2, 2018
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    Prince Charon and Ser palps like this.
  15. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet I trust you know where the happy button is?

    Dec 7, 2016
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    I did not expect overt magic this early in a story. I’m eager to see how this plays out.
    Sirnerdlord and Winged One like this.
  16. Nugar

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
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    Eddard doesn't know, that's why he asked.
  17. Valor

    Valor Versed in the lewd.

    Feb 8, 2015
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    Oh snap. This is nothing like I expected. Eagerly awaiting more.
  18. Omega_Endbringer

    Omega_Endbringer Getting sticky.

    Oct 25, 2015
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    We'll see how "Undying" they are, won't we?
    Winged One and Prince Charon like this.
  19. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

    Feb 20, 2014
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    Being unable to die can be a very bad thing, when you're in the hands of someone who wants to hurt you.
  20. cezyou

    cezyou Know what you're doing yet?

    Apr 19, 2015
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    Eddard's a little quick to assume magic, ain't he. There are plenty of mundane ways to plot an outcome like this.

    always with the death flags, tut tut

    Well, anyway. Varys' message is a little goofy and deserves quite some thinking and rethinking on Eddard's part. First is that if magic is involved the source is at least a little dubious—though I suppose Varys should have something close to a monopoly on Red Keep secret passages at this point, but come on that note says 'trust no one,' of course it needs to be cross-examined, and even if it is Varys is that really trustworthy? Second, the note claims the king to be 'poisoned' in a very vague way (and assumes his death). Third, what the hell is an army going to do about magic? That just reads like someone trying to clumsily appeal to a teenage boy's romantic Quixotic fantasy. Same with the 'my only clue is this extremely obvious rag! ...time to let my reader draw his own conclusions' and 'forces unknown' spiels.

    Near as I can tell, a message like this is trying to push Eddard into a particular course of action, eliminate him from politics for the time being, and of course if there is no magic then the prince absconding after some chaos rumored to be aimed at the king is suspicious. And once Eddard's left with the crown it's not like he can come back and say 'lol sorry made a mistake' to all the lords of the realm who try to piece together what's happened.

    But of course that's just me and my read. It's one fairly obvious level of looking beneath the surface, and there are certainly people who can anticipate a one-level read on a message this seemingly transparent. In the end going much deeper than that is just the usual pointless 'I know you know I know...' game. The course of action I expect will work best would be going and sorting things out the boring way, since Eddard is still the prince and has, among other things, Selmy as an obvious source of legitimacy. 'Oooooo, maaaaaagic' might be a bit spoopy but it's really probably not actually the Warlocks. It's way more likely to be a good old fashioned bit of skulduggery than magic. Though I think Eddard totally could buy into the message. That's certainly a decent enough story.
  21. Emiya Pendragon

    Emiya Pendragon Time Walker

    Mar 9, 2018
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    ....... Just great....
  22. Threadmarks: Chapter 10: Nope!

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
    Likes Received:
    xxxxxxxxx Chapter 10: Nope!

    Nope. Nope nope nooope.

    I shoved the letter into Sandor’s hands and headed for Cersei’s rooms.

    “Grab your shit, Sandor. We’re getting the fuck out of here.”

    Cayla practically danced with anticipation as Sandor briefly read the letter, then he passed it to her and headed for his room.

    “What? Why? What does the letter say?” Ser Barristan demanded.

    “Bad things,” I replied, still walking. He was torn between following me, or staying for his turn at the letter.

    In the end, he stayed, as Cayla was apparently frozen in shock.

    I ignored him for the moment, headed for Myrcella’s bedroom. If memory serves me right she’s got a… ah hah! One child sized backpack, fine leather with embroidery, just big enough for the possessions a child might want to carry. Cersei thought it was beneath a princess to carry her own things, but big brother doesn’t think that way. I put it on her bed.

    Cayla caught up to me a moment later, eyes wide. “You’re going to leave?” she asked, voice high.

    “Mmm hmm.”

    “But what if it’s a trap? Or a trick? Maybe that’s what they want you to do?” She didn’t sound like she was trying to convince me to stay, just trying to see my reasoning. Part of Cayla’s job was picking holes in my ideas.

    “I’m sure Varys isn’t behind it, and I have ways out of the city only he knows about. I might even have one he doesn’t know about. We’ll be safer from a magical assassin on the move than in a known location. We should be able to outrun large groups of armsmen or outfight small groups. Also, they might not even attack us, I am still the Prince.”

    “Glasstown?” she asked, referring to the semi-city a few miles upriver that was the main industrial center for most of my businesses.

    “It’s tempting. We’ve got a lot of allies in Glasstown, but they’re workers, not soldiers. No, it’s probably better to keep going. I need to get Mom and Celly to Casterly Rock where they’ll be safe. Either from this plot, or the King himself. I can come back later to straighten things out.”

    “But that will leave King’s Landing open for the taking,” she pointed out.

    “The King still lives,” I pointed out. “And he,” I said, pointed at the newly arrived Ser Selmy, “is going to make sure it stays that way.”

    “What’s this mean?” he demanded, shaking the letter. “Varys wasn’t going to retire, was he?”

    I shook my head. “No, that’s a secret code for me. It proves that it’s him who wrote it.”

    “Ah, I see.” The old Kingsguard was well familiar with codes and pass phrases. “Do you believe him? About Jon Arryn.”

    “I don’t see why he’d lie. If this is a coup, killing Varys and Lord Arryn would be higher on my list than the King. You and I both know that Jon Arryn runs the Seven Kingdoms more than my father does. Even if you failed to kill the King, you’d either be in position to put your own Hand in place, or just wait for him to inevitably fail trying to manage it on his own. And Varys… Yeah, if I was going to run a coup, I’d kill the shit out of Varys.”

    He gave me a look, but nodded slightly.

    “It’s interesting that he thinks my father is dead from poison. We know he’s still alive, but attacked Mother. Some sort of spell to control him seems more likely than poison.” I frowned. “Or he found out about the poison before he drank it and decided that Mother was the one behind it.” I frowned harder, looking down. “Actually, that’d explain a lot of things.”

    “That the Queen did try to kill the King?” Selmy asked.

    I held up a finger to dispute, then lowered it. “Actually, that would, too.”

    “Eddard!” Cayla gasped.

    “No, I mean, yeah. If someone tried to poison my father, but he blamed it on my mother, that’s what I was thinking. That still assumes an external enemy behind everything. But if the person calling the shots was Mom… Jon Arryn is no friend of the Lannisters. And neither is Varys.”

    She did, after all, try to kill Robert in the original timeline. I’ve been assuming I had her under control, but that may be arrogant of me. I have outside context knowledge, who the fuck else was out to destabilize the realm? Baelish, but I killed his ass literally the first second I saw him. Varys, but even discarding the slight amount of trust I have for him, this would be incompetent as fuck for him.

    “Mom has the motive…” I admitted, then shook my head. “Not the means, though. Qartheen warlocks aren’t grown in the West. She’d have had to send people to go hire them. Varys would have noticed.”

    “You mean like your trade expeditions to Essos?” Cayla asked.

    Because pointing out the obvious was also her job, even if she clearly didn’t think I should be seriously considering my mother’s potential guilt in front of a man who wouldn’t hesitate to chop her head off and who I couldn’t actually stop if he decided to. But I was thinking, so I didn’t stop.

    “Okay, but who would she send that she could be sure wouldn’t give up the secret. Tyrion likes me better than her, nobody else on those trips has any-motherfucking Lancel.”

    I never did get a chance to find out what blood type he was. And Cersei’s default solution to any problem starts with ‘fuck a family member’. To head that off, I’d gotten him removed from his position as Robert’s wine carrier and sent him as far away from Cersei as possible.

    To Essos. Because it seemed like a great idea at the time. But it’s not like I can ban him from the city, just make sure he has plenty to do elsewhere.


    This could actually be Cersei.

    Both Cayla and Selmy could see my conflict in my eyes. I looked squarely at Selmy.

    “I’m taking my mother and sister away from King’s Landing,” I announced.

    “You think she did it,” Selmy replied, almost casual in his tone.

    “No,” I said honestly. “I don’t believe she would go around me like that. She loves me and trusts me and I think she would have asked for my help to kill my father. I believe that someone else is trying to set us at odds with one another, Baratheon versus Lannister. And they’re doing a good job.”

    “But she could have done it.”

    “But she could have,” I agreed. “Is that a problem?”

    Are you going to kill your Prince today?

    Ser Selmy very slowly shook his head, knowing that to kill Cersei, he’d have to kill me first. “I suppose… given how tense the situation is… separating everyone and giving us time to figure out who is truly behind it is a good idea.” He paused and gave me a steely look. “But if she is behind it all…”

    “We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it. Given how stupid this whole mess is…” I shrugged. Truthfully, I don’t know what I’d do if Cersei was behind all this. Leave her Tears of Lys and hope the matter resolves itself, I guess.

    But she’s not behind it, I’m sure of it. The whole thing with the pregnancy wouldn’t make any sense if she was just planning to kill Robert.

    Unless that was a ploy to convince me…

    No, that way lies madness.

    “Cayla, do you know where your towel is?” I asked.

    She nodded without hesitation. “My pack is in my room. Should I go get it now?”

    Of course she does. She’s the definition of a hoopy frood.

    “No, we’ll stick together. Put together a pack for my mom and Celly. Keep it light, Sandor and I have the gear covered. Just make sure the girl stuff is handled.”

    She nodded and hurried into the bedroom.

    “Ser Selmy, I’m going to check my father again.” At his nod, I knelt down beside Robert and felt his pulse. Still really high, too high to count accurately or identify any arrhythmias, but it was still beating and he was still breathing. His eyes were still dilated and bloodshot, so no real change. I reported it as such to his bodyguard.

    He nodded solemnly. “Do you believe he’s been poisoned?”

    I nodded, watching as Cayla bustled through and into Myrcella’s bedroom with a bag, my sister following behind. “I’ve never seen him in a full Fury, but I find it hard to believe it could keep him like that even after he’s unconscious. I’m betting some sort of poison, though perhaps not a full dose. Pycelle could tell us more, don’t let the old pervert lie to you, he’s actually an expert on poisons. Fascinated by them, really. If he says otherwise, string him up by his balls.”

    “And you’re not an expert in poisons?” Selmy’s tone betrayed his doubt.

    I shrugged ruefully. “I know some, yeah, but only the ones that directly relate to my research. I haven’t had time to look at them all. Pycelle has probably been studying poisons for sixty years or better. I’m fourteen years old, period. A tortoise in Glasstown will win a race to the Lion’s Gate against a rabbit, no matter how fast the rabbit is, if the rabbit starts in Casterly Rock.”

    He allowed the point. I had a reputation for genius, but despite how useful unquestioning trust in my ideas would be, I fuck up waaaaay too much for that. I try to make sure people don’t overestimate me.

    “So you’re going to Casterly Rock?”

    “Maybe. Eventually. Actually, since our mysterious enemy has been setting up ambushes all over the place, I might just do something unexpected. I’m thinking of taking a ship south, and going the long way around. The Martells owe me a favor. Actually, they owe me a shitload of favors, but given how much they started off hating me I’m probably only going to see one or two repaid.” Fucking Dornish.

    Sandor came back in, wearing his travel pack. Despite his enormous size and strength, his pack was actually lighter than mine, if admittedly a bit bulkier. More of our bulky comfort items were in there, like blankets and sleeping bags. He’s stronger than me, but his main job is fighter. In a pinch, either of us can carry the other’s pack as well, though in my case I’m useless for literally anything else. The encumbrance struggle is real, but the thing about my skills is that most of them are useless without tools and supplies.

    “Cayla? You about done in there?” I called.

    “Just about, Prince! Princess Myrcella wants to bring her music box.”

    “Let her put it in her backpack. But she has to carry it herself.”

    “I will!” Celly’s high voice insisted.

    I poked my head into my sister’s bedroom. “Okay, sounds good. I’m counting on you, Celly.” I gave her a double thumbs up, which she returned.

    Then I headed to my mother’s room.

    “Mother? Are you still awake?” I asked.

    “Mmmmgh,” she replied, stirring slightly.

    “Mother, we’ve got to leave. We need to see if you can walk. It’s going to be tough but we’ve got to get you and Celly somewhere safe.”

    “S’fe? Whurr is safe?” she asked, her eyes widening in alarm that cut through the fog.

    “Casterly Rock.”


    And so, the adventuring party sallied forth. Their first mission: Escape King’s Landing.

    Despite his obvious usefulness, Ser Selmy had to stay behind and guard the King. Sandor lead the party, his armored bulk, shield, and sword prepared to deal with opposition. Cayla, still carrying the crossbow, supported my mother in the middle. Cersei was doing a better job of walking on her own than I feared, and Myrcella stayed glued to her side. I brought up the rear. I had my big pack. I had my mother’s little pack of just the essentials for her and my sister. I also had Jamie’s corpse, wrapped up in a rug that probably cost a thousand dragons. I was perversely grateful that, in obliterating my Uncle’s chest, Robert had inadvertently drained much of his heavy, heavy blood. He was still a bulky ass dead body, though.

    I would have left the body behind, but Cersei wouldn’t have it. ‘He needs to be with me! He needs to go home!’ Okay. We don’t have time to argue. But if we run into trouble, I was going to ditch him. I couldn’t fight like that. I could barely walk like that.

    First we had to leave the keep and grounds, grabbing Cayla’s pack on the way.

    I actually had a fairly secret way out that I’m pretty sure even Varys didn’t know about, involving rappelling down the seaside wall and cliff onto an inflatable, low profile raft made of cow skins and dead branches. The idea was actually to hold onto the raft from below, disguised as a tangle of floating limbs getting washed out to sea, and make my way to a deserted area of coastline. Sadly, that wasn’t feasible with the girls.

    I had plans for a sliding rope, disguised as a stay for a crow’s nest style watchtower. But for various reasons it had never been implemented.

    The backup method was to walk out the front gate. Uncomplicated. Elegant. Stupid. The front gate has guards, and if you were securing the castle, it’s the first place to secure.

    So naturally it went perfectly. Next was to get to Cayla’s house and the Royal Stables to get our horses.

    That was where things went wrong.

    AN: Sorry for the delay, and the short chapter. I'm having some issues with insomnia, and when I do sleep, it's crappy sleep where I wake up every hour or so, so I'm basically a zombie. Got an appointment with a sleep specialist this Tuesday. Also, one of the reasons I originally went for an in media res opening with them already outside the castle was because I knew realistic logistics for actually fleeing a hostile city were going to tie my brain in knots, and lookie here. I was right. It's like that goddamn puzzle with the rowboat, the fox, the hen, and the corn. Or the better rowboat puzzle with the wife, the hooker, and the bag of money.
  23. Luker number 5

    Luker number 5 Versed in the lewd.

    Jul 11, 2014
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    If you're ever having trouble with the escape from the city you can always just time skip it. No need to burn yourself out on a chapter that can be summed up with 'Somehow we managed to escape the city'.

    That said hope you're feeling better soon lack of sleep is a bitch and a half.
  24. Argentorum

    Argentorum Free Cat

    Apr 16, 2015
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    Good to see this back again. Selmy is a boss, as always. I almost hope that a faceless man tries their luck and gets ganked.
  25. Firebrand

    Firebrand Not too sore, are you?

    Jan 13, 2015
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    Try melatonin. It's cheap and works excellently for most people who have trouble falling/staying asleep. You can check this article for more info. I recommend buying 1 mg pills first so you can figure out an optimal dosage, since it seem to vary by person - some easily fall asleep after 1.5 mg, while others need 3-5 mg, or anything in between.
  26. cezyou

    cezyou Know what you're doing yet?

    Apr 19, 2015
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    Woops, not sorry about that :V

    As far as online-fiction rewrites go, this is one of the very few that I've seen be successful. Solid.
    THE END786, thawsta and Nugar like this.
  27. Nugar

    Nugar Not too sore, are you?

    Aug 20, 2015
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    I always encourage people to not be afraid of rewrites. They're generally worth it, provided you don't give up because the hassle of rewriting kills the project.
    THE END786, Lokpik, astus and 4 others like this.
  28. Winged One

    Winged One Not the Simurgh

    Jul 16, 2013
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    ...whether you can trust the wife with the bag of money really depends on individual people, I think. :p
  29. Tachikoma's Aunt

    Tachikoma's Aunt Priestess of Yog-Sothoth

    Aug 11, 2014
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    If you are prone to waking up prematurely after falling asleep, it is also a good idea to take a B-6 supplement with the melatonin, as said vitamin is actually a precursor to melatonin. This means that your body will produce heightened levels of melatonin on its own while you are sleeping--a must if you both have insomnia and are a light or restless sleeper.
  30. Prince Charon

    Prince Charon Just zis guy, you know?

    Feb 20, 2014
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    Why do you keep saying 'Ser Selmy?' The proper format would be 'Ser Barristan,' since that's his first name (a knighthood is not a doctorate).