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No creature half so terrifying as a truly just man (Stannis SI, ASOIAF)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Black Fyre, Jul 1, 2020.

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  1. Threadmarks: Jon Arryn I
    Black Fyre

    Black Fyre Not too sore, are you?

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    “To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”
    Ella Wheeler Wilcox


    Fury and the flame Part I

    Jon Arryn
    Kings Landing
    Red Keep, Private Audience Room
    Sixth Month of 283 AC


    The giant stag of a man spat a mist of Arbor Red in a two foot plume resembling the flame of the ancient beasts ridden by his fore bearers. Said accomplishment was followed by gasping coughs and finally loud, rambunctious laughter. His tight belly rolled under the ermine doublet bearing the new design of the Royal Crowned Stag.

    Despite his former ward’s antagonism towards his middle brother the first message that slipped into Kings Landing from Prince Stannis had too many good ideas for even him to ignore. One of said ideas was the was quite novel sigil. It was the head of a stag with forked lighting for antlers, with a large crown the likes none in Westeros had seen before on its head. It had lighting bolts for eyes and its fierce face breathed a storm cloud beneath it.

    Robert took one look at it and instantly fell in love.

    After a moment the new king subsided and was able to speak normally. He stared at Prince Renly and Lord Randyl Tarly and shook his head.

    “Ok one more time Tarly, what did my brother say then ?” Tarly sighed before continuing.

    “Now that more than half of the incompetence in Westeros is off to bed without dinner we can get some work done.” Robert guffawed again, not as loudly, but still it was obvious he was in one of “his moods”. By that the old falcon meant more than tipsy and prone to sudden outbursts of joy, lechery or violence.

    The king's moods had become a bit more stable and leaning towards mirth after the most recent events in Kings Landing, However, they could just as easily revert to dangerous bellicosity. The row between himself and his adopted brother was fairly serious and a few letters, no matter how heart felt wouldn’t truly change them so soon.

    Renly joined in the laughter meekly. Jon allowed himself two guffaws, as Tarly’s delivery was pretty good. Though honestly the joke stopped being funny around the fourth time Robert asked him to relate the story and it was now the twelfth. The little prince didn’t show it but the boy was very uncomfortable around his eldest brother. Jon couldn’t understand his feelings even though Robert could be obnoxious at times. From what the falcon understood sudden violence should not have been surprising to a lad who suffered almost a year of siege. If his sources were accurate Stannis had stoned a man to death in front of him before stabbing him to death.

    After a few seconds Renly stopped. Even Tarly, who wasn’t all that enamored of his Lord Paramont was growing impatient with Robert’s mocking and Robert stopped when he heard Jon’ hrumph.

    “Yes indeed it was interesting tale of what the Prince has been up to recently. However, your grace I feel it is unwise to offer insult to a Lord Paramount in such a manner.”

    “Oh relax Jon. I was just having some fun. Don’t act like you have never mocked Lord Fat Flower in your cups or around the table," sadi the large stag with a wagging finger. Acknowledging his former ward's truthful words the lord of the Vale sighed.

    “I meant your brother holding him hostage. I can understand why Prince Stannis did so and I even appreciate how he worded the exchange. It was very diplomatic, but yet and still this will cause problems with the Reach. Lady Olena..” Robert cut him off with a wave.

    “Lady Olena should be happy that Stannis didn’t charge them more! In fact she should rejoice that Stannis is training the man to be something useful. Hell, we all know Mace could use a diet and bit of exercise!” At that Tarly and the Kingsgaurd on duty both snickered with genuine laughter. Which was the wrong thing to do as Robert’s good humor fled and he fixed the man in white a hard look.

    Said white sword, one Ser Jaime Lannister, quickly shut up and stood at attention. His swollen left eye and still healing lips a testament to Baratheon rage. Though honestly Jon couldn't say he was all to broken up about the Lannister's treatment. The man really was an arrogant arse and if the moniker ‘golden fool’ applied to anyone it surely was created for him.

    John interrupted before things could escalate further. The last thing their fraying coalition needed was a murder. Especially as Jon was unsure as to which one of them would die. Robert was still recovering from wounds taken at the Trident and the golden idiot was still death with a sword. Said blonde had also already earned the name king slayer once before.

    “All good points my king. However, due to the leal service the Reach has provided your house and the realm it would only be right to end the unseemly perceived display of Stannis' lack of faith in Tyrell honor. I am sure that Stannis intended no insult with his prudent moves, but the necessity of such has passed.” Fortunately, Lord Tarley backed him up.

    “While I do agree my Lord Mace could stand to ‘toughen up’ his second fostering does have the potential to be seen as an insult. I’m sure that Lord Stannis would agree his actions are counterproductive." Aryn nodded in support of Randyl's words.

    "Perhaps his wound is still troubling him..” Robert’s face grew harder and the Lord of Horn Hill wisely stopped speaking.. Tarley should not have mentioned Stannis’s sudden change in personality and increasing political savvy. A year ago Stannis would not have bothered disguising an excuse to punish someone. Even more as his letters already mentioned plans to deal with Lady Olenna, Jon could only assume he planned to squeeze a marriage out of the Flower Lord as well.

    Renly cut Robert off to everyone’s surprise. The falcon didn’t really know Renly, only that the boy had been somewhat close to Stannis. It did make sense as he was the one who spent the most time with him after their parent’s died.

    “You better not insult my brother. I’m sure he can put you on a diet too! And he is a Prince. He has a circlet and everthing.” Robert guffawed and rubbed the boy’s head. Jaime had enough sense to keep quiet and the moment passed.

    Robert’s voice went back to his normal mode. He took a swig of wine and turned to Tarly.

    “You heard the boy, apologize!” Tarley, the gruff soldier, rose to his full height and spoke in a calm voice.

    ”I’m sorry your grace and my prince. I misspoke. Prince Stannis has made very good plans and his sound judgment has saved many lives. In the future I will be sure to remember that and his titles.” Robert smirked and continued.

    “Well then that’s that. And fine. I will write a letter to tell …Prince Stannis to set Lord Flower loose. I’m sure you can find a command away from anything important that won’t be seen as an insult to him or his dear sweet mother." No one wanted her to visit the capital, least of all Jon.

    "And this time I’ll let him know it isn’t a suggestion either. Then Stannis better get working on the damn fleet because his little stunt poked the damn beehive. The fucking Dragons are hitting every damn thing that moves on the coast between Gully Town and Parchments.” Jon dared to interrupt. Sometimes it paid to nip Robert’s rants in the butt before they could get started. It all depended on just how much fruit of the vine the king had in him and for Robert this was a light day.

    “Begging your pardon your grace, but I think you might overstate their naval power. By your princely brother’s estimates they have but two hundred vessels of various kinds and only perhaps 50 true warships of any note. They don’t have the manpower to threaten any significant landing, run an effective blockade of Kings Landing or fight in pitched battle."

    "It might be better to wait until we have enough forces to crush them outright. We control the treasury and now that people know just how mad the king was tis likely no one will choose to face you in combat. Tis even possible they will simply go home or even switch sides before fighting a hopeless battle.” Robert laughed again. This one was not pretty.

    “Jon, you know many things and I learned much of warfare from you but you are wrong here. Please explain to him why that is my lord Tarly.” The hard faced Lord of Horn Hill spoke in his deep voice.

    “While it is true that in the long run we can starve them out, they are making us look weak. Every day we delay final victory or at least bottling them up is another day someone with a grudge or ambition my decide to enter the war on their side. They will still lose of course but it will bloody the realm even more and create more fueds and dissention."

    "We also shouldn’t forget that the Golden Company is still 20,000 strong and always looking for an excuse.” Robert nodded in agreement to Tarly's words.

    Robert again spoke. “Let Stannis spend whatever he needs to and play with his sell swords and onion knights; so long get the job done. The man was never a spend thrift so if he says he needs it he’s not hoarding it.” Renly piped up again, imitating Robert with his best boisterous voice as small children were wont to do.

    “That’s right brother Stannis would never steal from you brother. He’ll go beat those dragons like he beat the bad men who gave me hungry looks.” That was another story Lord Jon wanted to hear, but he knew it could wait.

    “That’s right. Send for a measter I’ll light a fire under his teeth grinding arse. The sooner we get this done the better!” Robert didn’t see the cross look Renly threw his way, but then again Robert was used to not seeing things Robert didn’t like. Knowing when not to waste time arguing a dead cause Jon sought out Grand Maester Pycelle. For some reason ‘Lord’ Varys was making himself a great deal less visible around court.

    Of course he honestly didn’t blame the spider one bit. If he had ‘dropped the ball’ as badly in Lord Stannis’ strange phrasing, he would make himself no less scarce. Jon Arryn himself would have resigned, fearing more than a firing from someone like Robert Baratheon. But, then again unlike Varys, he had a wife and keep to go home too.

    The hand still shuddered when he remembered that chaotic week and the concept of ‘firing’ Stannis mentioned took on whole new meaning.


    A few weeks ago


    Jon was ushered into the Guildhall of the pyromancers in Kings Landing. The lord of the Vale was shocked and numb as Tarly’s personal knights made way for him and the retinue of blue clad warriors flanking him passed by.

    That the smell of freshly spilled blood was in the air did not surprise him, as he had known his former charge for most of his young life. Passion, courage, recklessness; those were the things that defined Robert Baratheon to a tee. No it was Aery's last surprise that aged the man almost a dozen years. To find out just how deep the madness that festered in this city went was beyond mind bending.

    Just thinking about how he and Lord Stark had come crashing into this city as Lannister Men were in the process of looting it. The fires that were lit were burning without anyone caring about the consequences. Gods how had those damn golden fools been so blind?

    Aerys was the man’s best friend for years. How could Tywin not have guessed what appointing a pyromancer hand entailed? They just ransacked the city for hours setting untended fires in flea bottom. Hell, those fires alone might have destroyed the city. When he though about what else lied hidden Jon’s face went pale and he almost threw up.

    At first Jon though it an attempted coup cooked up between Tyrell and Stannis. It wouldn’t’ be the first time a younger brother attempted to usurp the throne. To be honest he had been led to believe there was no love lost between the two siblings. But, no one launched a coup with unarmed men. Then he prayed it was a hoax, a story to make the resented older brother jump in front of everyone. Then Tarley’s men brought him the first jar found under the sept of Baelor. Seven Hells! How did they get so many jars there without anyone at all seeing or suspecting? Was everyone in the fucking city drunk?

    Those thoughts were brushed aside as they discovered the reason for the blood spore. On the ground ahead lied two moaning men in pyromancer’s garb. If he had to guess they were the security personnel for the higher wisdom’s areas. They each had at least four broken bones. The door ahead was open and without damage but to his surprise there was the sound of argument ahead.
    Jaime Lannister was speaking.“Your grace this is not productive. We should take them to the lord justice for questioning. He would do a much better job.”

    “The man can’t bloody speak you nitwit. How the fuck’s he gonna get answers if he can’t ask a fucking question. We don’t have the time anyway. I don’t believe you fucking kept your goddamn mouth shut. I outa ring your goddamn neck too!” He could hear the bellowing of his adopted son, but not the response.

    He did however hear the meaty smacks and saw a golden haired body in white plate slam into the wall in front of him. Gold cloaks were afraid to interfere, but wildfire or no murdering Ser Jaime would mean war with Tywin. So he had his men carry the unconscious Kingsgaurd to safety.

    Fortunately Robert had pulled his punches, whether out of concern for Lord Tywin’s wrath, his brother’s written council or common sense Jon could not say. Though it wasn’t really important as Robert was focused on the three wisdoms in front of him.

    ”Eeny meeny miny mo," said Robert and then he grabbed a greybeard by the neck and raised his war hammer.

    “Put your fucking hand on the table BASTARD!” When the man didn’t respond likely because he was so scared he pissed himself the hammer came down on his foot. Even though it was a one handed swing Robert was a master of weapon whose head weighed close to ten pounds.

    The results were gory and caused the man to fall to the floor in pain.

    “I was going to be fair and ask the question first. Give him a chance to save himself, but he decided to disobey his KING!” He stared at the other two. The sound of the crying man clutching his mangled and bleeding left foot was gut wrenching.

    “Shut up or I will give you something to cry about!” When he understandably did not stop wailing Robert’s hammer was pulled back in an underhand swing and before Jon could say something the crying man’s head was parted from his shoulders at the neck.

    His blood gushed over the other two as his heart emptied the corpse with its last beats. The gold cloaks fell back and two of them were sick. The older of the two pyromancers collapsed on the ground. The younger, who was about ten years older than Robert threw up when his friends brains rebounded off the wall from the impact the head made.

    “Now I will ask one time before I get angry. How much of that green piss did you make? Where the fuck is the rest of it? I mean every goddamn jar. I know you have fucking records!” Aryn's foster son pointed the bloodied hammer, Donald Noye’s greatest masterwork, at the older one.

    That was when the Old Falcon interrupted. He spoke in a stern voice but kept well outside the range of the hammer and Robert's long sinewy arms.

    “King Robert what is the meaning of this madness?! Stannis said we should question them without killing them. The ones in charge of the Wildfyre plot are dead, Jaime killed them after the sack. The rest of them likely don’t know anything more than how much was made. Finding out where the hidden stuff is can be done with dogs and back tracking their records.” Robert had blood splatter on his face and the same look of pure hate Jon suspected he wore on the field at the Trident. It changed somewhat when he gazed at his second father.

    Jon was glad he could see confusion and shame in those black eyes. It meant Rober wasn’t that far gone into his rage.

    “I don’t care what Stannis says. He doesn’t know every fucking thing and I’m the fucking King! There is no good use for wildfire or for these shyte stains. I should just take care of the lot now.” Robert griped his hammer more comfortably and they started to quiver. While part of him agreed, these men at least deserved a trial before execution. More importantly they needed to know just how much of the damn green evil was hidden in the city.

    “These are the older ones and they were all here during Aerys’ little barbeque plans. They know something and they are going to tell. Me. Everything. Or. I. Crack. Every. Bone. In. Their. Fucking. Bodies.” His strong arms grabbed the one in front of him by the neck and lifted.

    “I’m sure he will agree to talk if you don’t choke him to death first," Jon said matter of factly. The hand was dangling the proverbial rope his son by choice let him. Playing on the fears of men wasn’t exactly honorable but when thousands of lives were at stake… These men could have come forward after the sack, hell they could have come forward during the sack and it might not have gone so badly for the residents of Kings Landing.

    Tywin Lannister might be full of spite and a desire for revenge against the Targaryens that eclipsed Roberts. However, he had walked into Kings Landing like everyone else and he did not want to burn.

    “What your most wise hand said is true. If you would release good wisdom Runciter he will provide you with every assistance he can.” Robert let the man who was grabbing his sleeve go.

    “Fair enough. My hand here has a map of the city. Point out where each cache is and give me someone who can keep the fucking coward’s piss from going off.” When the man foolishly sought to correct the king on the proper name of wildfire he grabbed his left hand and broke it at the wrist.

    “Robert! How is he going to write down details with a broken hand?” Robert smiled at Jon with a bit of brain dripping from his left ear.

    “He is right handed Jon, notice where the calluses are. I occasionally do pay attention when you teach lessons you know. Now we have a city to save, AGAIN!”
     
  2. Greatazuredragon

    Greatazuredragon Versed in the lewd.

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    Very interesting story so far.
    Good work.
     
  3. Mastersgt

    Mastersgt Know what you're doing yet?

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    personally, I prefer Patrick Rothfuss's line. There are 3 things all wise men fear... The sea in storm, a moonless night. And the anger, of a gentle man.
     
    Black Fyre likes this.
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