The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:43 am

In an attempt to give the site a little more to it I'll try and post my story from Space Battles here.

The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

'Why do I feel sand?' was the first thought that came to Tom Brodie's mind when he left the dark depths of sleep and returned to the land of the wakeful. He closed his hands feeling something small and granular gather up in his hand.

Idly he rubbed his fingers over the substance and felt it sift through his fingers, 'Definitely sand.'

He opened his eyes, expecting the dim light of his college dorm room but was instead by the light of a noon day sun. The molasses of sleep that had been gumming his mind evaporated like the morning dew in a desert. He shot up into a seated position while saying, “Oh Shit! I over slept, oh damn I'm in so much.... what?”

He stopped in mid rant when he saw that he was not in his dorm room in Atlanta Georgia, he was instead sitting on some strange beach, the sun already fairly high in the sky though still rising from the direction of the ocean if he judged correctly.

Confused, disoriented, and wondering just where the hell he was, he got to his feet and noticed that he was not wearing his pajamas either. Instead he was wearing a pair of blue jeans, his black cross-trainers, a black t-shirt and his thick canvass cloth coat, the last he quickly began to take off when he noticed just how hot is was here. That didn't make any sense either for as far as he knew it was the middle of February and still freezing cold. It shouldn't be feeling like high summer. “Just what the hell's going on here and where the hell am I?” he muttered to himself once he got the coat off.

As he placed the coat down he noticed the corner of a piece of paper tucked into one of the pockets of his coat. He quickly took the paper out and began to examine it hoping that there would be some sort of answer on it. To his relief, there was a note written on his in a hand writing that he didn't recognize but was perfectly legible. He only read a few lines though before he stopped, his eyes widened in shock and lost focus as he began to panic, any sense of relief he had previously felt smashed like a rock, not wanting to believe what he just read, hoping that he was just dreaming and that this would all go away if he just woke up. He closed his eyes counted to ten and when he opened them, he was on the same beach and was looking at the same note, the same collection of damning words written on it.

Slowly, haltingly he forced himself to read the entire note, hoping that there was some sort of answer or maybe a 'fooled ya' at the end of it. As he read he muttered the words out loud, not really noticing as he did so.

Good morning pitiful mortal. Stand tall and behold the glorious sights of Westeros, and the beauty of King's Landing and Blackwater Bay... or at least what might eventually be known as Kings Landing. It is important that is that this land be united. Bad things will happen if its not. What those bad things are, I'm not going to say, but I'd like to encourage you to use your imagination. Of course I'm not going to leave you totally out in the cold. After all, you ain't John Carter and this ain't Mars, so I'm doing you two favors. First, I'm removing the greatest threat to your inevitable conquest (no, no need to thank me!). Second, well, you'll just have to find out now won't you? So have fun, enjoy yourself, and remember, it goes Rape, Pillage, then Burn. Oh, and if you're still wondering what the hell I'm talking about, here's a hint, just repeat after me... Fus Ro Dah.

The moment Tom spoke those last three syllables a blue shock-wave of energy erupted from his mouth and ripped the paper out of his hands and flew along the beach.

Tom stated at his hands for a few seconds, unbelieving of what he saw. Then he realized that the note was flying away, “Dammit! Come back!”

He ran after the paper trying his damnedest process what he had read. Blackwater Bay? King's Landing? Westeros? Those were names and place from a book series he'd recently read, a saga of intrigue, war, love, hate, death, life, honor, and the struggle for power and those who won it or lost it and the consequences thereof. But that was fantasy, it couldn't be real, it just couldn't.

As he ran he kept his eyes dead set on the paper in front of him, hell bound and determined not to let the damn slip of paper get away from him, he failed to pay proper attention to where he was going. His chase was brought to an abrupt halt when he tripped over something large and heavy, his face slamming into the wet sand for his troubles.

He couldn't react for a second, his nose hurting and likely bleeding, the sand muffled a flurry of curses as his temper and frustration flared at the ridiculousness of it all. He raised his head from the sand a trickle of blood already begging to come from one of his nostrils. His eyes scanned the beach in front of him, trying to spot the paper. His efforts proved to be futile, the paper was nowhere to be found and likely never found again. His grit his teeth, clenched his right fist and began to pound the ground in front of him. The air was filled with the muffled thuds of his blows as his curses threatened to turn into a scream of frustration.

His tantrum lasted for about half a minute before he was interrupted from his emotional meltdown by a strange sound. “What was that?” he muttered to himself as he raised his head and strained his ears in the hopes of catching that sound again. The frustration he had felt over losing the paper evaporated and was replaced by confusion and a growing apprehension as the sound had seemed hauntingly similar to a masculine groan of agony.

While he would never admit to it, he felt that he was perfectly in his right to be worried he was unarmed, alone, and had absolutely nothing to defend himself other than his hands and fists, the events that had forced him to run after the paper he failed to bring up, it was too soon and it . While he'd had years of football, folk wrestling, and even a long stint in Taekwondo all of which given him a powerful albeit more than a little flabby physic; all of that fell away as unknown terrors began to haunt his mind. Tom was not a soldier, he was not a trained warrior, though he had held his own in the few tussles he'd had in school and had been more than competent on the gridiron or the mats, actual combat for his life was something he had no experience in and an image of armed thugs torturing some hapless victim and who wouldn't mid another warm carcass to kick around wouldn't leave his mind.

But he was no coward even if he was unblooded and he was not going to curl up and cry waiting for the inevitable. Steeling himself he picked himself up, hefting his 13 stone bulk off the ground and tried to spot the source of the sound. About three or four yards further further down the beach, Tom noted a what looked like a large piece of driftwood, but his eyes all but slid right off of it after the first glance and he continued looking for the source of the groan. His fists clenched in preparation for a fight and along with searching for the maker of the sound his eyes scanned fruitlessly for something that he could use as a weapon.

When he heard it again, he managed to decipher where the general direction the sound came from, he turned his head towards the sound and again all he could see was the piece of driftwood, then he took a close look, and his heart leaped into throat as his eyes widened in shock, he then began to run towards the “driftwood” as he finally recognized it for what it really was.

It was a person, more specifically a man, he was soaked to the bone and his body was covered in sand. When Tom got alongside the seemingly dead man, he flinched at the condition he was in. He was battered and bruised as if he had been slammed against a brick wall by some giant petulant child. His hair was an unique silver-blonde and he had somewhat angular features, what was more worrying was that the man's face was deathly pale and blood was oozing out of both corners of his mouth.

When he knelt down to examine them further, the man flickered his eyes open and striking violet colored eyes looked right into Tom's. Tom flinched yet again but recovered quickly enough when he saw that the man was still alive. He grabbed the man under his shoulders and began to drag him away from the surf he'd just been laying in, although the man had to weigh nearly as much as he did, Tom continued to pull with surprising ease, he powerful legs driving into the sand. When Tom had dragged him a good twenty feet, he bent down and tried to get a response from him. “Hey, buddy you alright? Come on speak to me. What happened?”

Tom continued to fire this barrage of questions in the hopes that if nothing else the sound of his voice would keep the man awake. For easily a minute or so no response seemed to come from the man and right before Tom was about to give up he suddenly heard a response, the man began to speak, his voice was low and cracked, the sheer agony that seemed to lace every word the man spoke boggled Tom's mind at the personal strength the man had to of had. He leaned down closer to the man, never breaking eye contact, as the man spoke, telling him what the young man knew to be his eulogy.

“I am Aegon Targaryen...of Dragonstone....fleet was lost....was a storm...” He stopped as he began to cough fitfully and blood spattered the front of Tom shirt.

Tom flinched in animalistic revulsion nearly vomiting. But he forced his bile down and told Aegon, “Easy now, you'll kill yourself if you keep this up.”

That seemed to amuse the man somewhat as a slight smile appeared on his face before he answered, “Already dying... no need to save my strength now...why did this happen....where are Visenya, Rhaenys, Orys....” His speech began to fragment even more so and he started to cough again his entire body shaking this time and his face was wracked with pain, his face became even paler.

“Stop! I get it! Just rest! Please!” Tom's voices grew higher as panic tried to rob him of his calm. White surrounded his usually sedate eyes as he tried to get the man to stop talking and rest, all the while a niggling bit of information gnawed at the back of his head like he was forgetting something incredibly important, but he was so confused by everything that had happened to him that he failed to piece it all together.

Suddenly Aegon's hand shot out and grabbed Tom's in a horrifying death grip and with a shocking burst of strength he bore his fevered eyes into Tom's and said with unbelievable strength, “Find them! Find Visenya! Find Rhaenys! Give you my sword ….please find them! ….swear you do it.... swear!” He used his other hand to pull out the huge hand-and-a-half sword that was still cinched to his waist.

Tom tried to snatch his arm out of the other man's grip, panic overriding his calm. But the blonde man's grip was terrifying in its strength and Tom couldn't break free from his grip. Fear driving him, he said, “OK! OK! I'll do it! I'll do it!”

Apparently it wasn't quite enough, “SWEAR!!” His eyes where near bulging while his pupils had turned into tiny black pinpricks.

Mind rushing at a thousand miles an hour Tom half shouted out what he hoped would satisfy the man, “I, T-tom Brodie, swear to find Visenya and Rhaenys! May God strike me down if I don't!! There is that good?” He asked as he tentatively took the sword, being lighter than he thought it would have been.

All the spirit seemed to leave the man, and the demon strength left his grip as he let go and seemed to collapse in on himself, he took in a deep breath and then spoke one last time, “Thank-you.” Then, just like that, he stopped breathing and died.

Tom knelt there in shock for who knew how long, his mind was a confused maelstrom of what he had just seen. Then the pieces snapped together as he finally recognized why the man's name seemed so familiar. This was Aegon Targaryen! The man who, with his dragons would have united the continent of Westeros under a single banner and forged a throne out of the swords of his foes.

His mind flashed back to the note that he'd found on his person and with shocked horror he realized what the note had meant by 'removing your greatest threat'. The entity that had sent him to Westeros had also removed the one who should have done it along with at least two thousand of his followers, as a favor to him! What sick monster would do this? Why do this? Why him?

The only word that could encapsulate this entire situation was a forceful, “Shit!”
Brian Boru
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:44 am

For over an hour Tom just knelt there, the sand becoming uncomfortable under his knees, the sun burned the back of his neck, sweat trickled down the center of his back and his thick brown hair began to turn dark from the sweat, yet still he knelt in a stunned vigil for the fallen lord of Dragonstone. His mind was in too much turmoil to notice the discomfort as he tried in vain to comprehend what had just happened.

His impromptu vigil was finally put to an end when sweat trickled into his eyes and forced him to move, his arm wiping the sweat from his face. With that movement, Tom finally noticed the heat and the discomfort of his knees, with slow aching movement, he got to his feet and, facing the sea, he gave his surroundings a proper survey.

To his left, as far as the eye could see, was an endless stretch of beach with woodlands further inland. To his right, the beach continued for a long distance as well until interrupted about a mile away by a mighty river which emptied into the bay. On his side of the river, he could spot several hills adjacent to the river with one of them forming a cliff that jutted out towards the sea. He realized quickly enough that the river was Blackwater Rush, which flowed into the bay of the same name. Those hills were the clincher for him as he remembered from the books he'd read that was where the city of King's Landing would one day stand.

Or rather would have, he thought, grimly remembering what lay nearby. He turned back to the body that lay near where he stood, then he looked at the sheathed great-sword in his hands, he remembered the oath he had given a dying man. “I don't have a choice do I?” He muttered out loud, “I gave the man my word that I would find his sisters, but I don't even know where to look.” Then he remembered that Aegon had not gone alone when he went on his conquest, he'd been with a army, albeit a tiny one, but an army none the less, that Aegon himself had survived long enough to make it to shore gave him hope that other had as well. He had to find them if he could, and even if nothing could be found, it was better than sitting here doing nothing.

Deciding on a direction, he turned and walked towards the river and began to scan the beach, looking for anything that even vaguely resembled a person. He strode slowly, his eyes darting back and forth, occasionally examining ocean flotsam with more focus than he should have, terrified of accidentally missing someone and leaving them to die of exposure. By the time he was nearing the river, he was about to panic, so far he'd had two false alarms of what he thought was a person was only driftwood, and the ghastly remain of six members of Aegon's fleet. He had recoiled in horror at their drowned bodies, cheese white skin, and features bloated by the sea with bits and pieces of them already torn off by scavengers. He was about to give up hope of finding anyone alive when he spotted a shape near the mouth of the river.

As he approached the shape, his heart jumped into his throat when he saw the long silver-blonde hair and the rich but soaked clothing that the shape wore. He broke into a run, hoping that he hadn't already failed his promise to Aegon. As he finally came upon the person, he saw that the woman, as only a blind man could have missed those curves, was likely one of Aegon's sisters, given the silver-blonde hair and her features which were strikingly similar to the drowned man's.

At first glance it seemed that she was dead as well, but excitement flashed through him when he examined her more closely and found that there was a pulse as well as shallow and somewhat labored breathing. He then turned her onto her back and tried to wake her, however his attempts all ended in failure and when he checked her breathing again he felt to his horror that her breathing was beginning to grow even more shallow and her heart beat was beginning to fade.

Panic filled him and he scrambled to try and save the woman. After throwing his coat on her, he scrambled for the trees growing further in from the beach and scoured the forest floor looking for branches and twigs, the wood scratched his arm and more than once nearly blinded him but he never even noticed. When he felt he had enough he sprinted back to the woman with the awkward bundle of wood when he reached her side he quickly began to stack the wood the best he could. When the wood was stacked to his satisfaction, he realized that her soaking wet clothes needed to be removed to prevent the onset of hypothermia.

He proceeded to turn her on side and searched for the laces that kept the dress on. He fought with two of the total of thirty laces before giving up on untying each one. He dug into his pants pocket and pulled out a pocket knife he always kept on him. He then proceed to slice five of the top laces and then peeled the dress off of the woman as if he were skinning a snake, the entire time he was cursing how the black and scarlet dress seemed to refuse to let go of the woman.

Once that was off he then quickly removed the rest of her clothing which consisted of a shift she wore beneath her dress, as well as her shoes and stockings. When he was finished he was left with the woman's body bare and exposed for the entire world to see. Tom failed to recognize this other than to throw his coat back on her as he turned his focus back to the wood he'd gathered. His plans to save this woman now hit a snag, to his horror, he realized that he had no matches or any other means to start a fire. He turned back to the woman fading before him. She was dieing right in front of him and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about it.

Or was there? His mind wandered back to what the lost note had said, and what he'd done when he'd spoken those words. His voice now had a power to it that much was certain, but was there anything that he could do for this woman? Was there a word that could light this fire? Yes there was. A word came to mind, one that meant fire in the tongue of a race that had never existed in this world. He bent down to the pile of wood and spoke in as calm a voice as he could, praying to God that this would work. “YOL”

The moment that he spoke, a small jet of fire erupted from his mouth and struck the wood, immediately catching it on fire. Tom now had a warming fire crackling merrily in front of him. He then picked the woman up, never noticing her bare skin or her exposed body as he lay her next to the fire and covered her with his coat.

As he examined her he tried to think of anything else he could do he remembered how if someone had suffered hypothermia that he was supposed to try and warm the victim up with his own body heat after removing his clothes. Not even thinking about the implications he proceeded to strip himself down to his underwear and then quickly shifted himself under the woman, acting as a heat source and a means of getting her off of the cold wet sand and then draped his coat back over the two of them, taking care that she was covered as much as possible. It was about this time that he realized just what the hell he was doing. He flushed a bright red, despite being twenty-two years old, he'd had barely any experience with women outside of his own family and now he was all but spooning a naked woman while he had nothing but his underwear on.

But he did not try and extricate himself from his position, despite his misgivings, he knew that this was the best way to keep her warm and prevent hypothermia, so he grit his teeth, focused his gaze on the river, and did his best to control certain aspects of his body, with middling success.

After a while Tom grew concerned that Aegon's sister seemed to refuse to warm despite all of his efforts. He knew that he was doing everything right, but she still refused to warm up and Tom was beginning to panic, what else could he do? It wasn't like he could make a healing shout. Or could he? His mind went into overdrive and he delved into his limited vocabulary of dragon words. He eventually pieced together what he hoped would work as a healing shout and after extricating himself from under the woman and getting to his knees, he took a deep breath and shouted the words for “Life”, “Spirit”, and “Force.”

“LAAS ZII FUS!!” A flash of golden energy enveloped the woman and at the same time Tom had nearly all the strength he had in him evaporate for a moment and he collapsed to a seated position. Panting slightly he got back to his feet and watched the woman carefully as her body seemed to absorb the golden energy. As the energy did its work, he prayed that his cobbled together Thu'um or shout had actually worked.

The reaction was actually quite immediate and severe. The moment the gold energy faded into her body, her skin lost the pale pallor and she all but flew to a seated position. She then hunched over as she began to cough and vomit water and she was soon forced to her hands and knees as she shook from the force of her body trying to expel the water that had been in her lungs and stomach. Tom took a step back in surprise at the forcefulness of his shout. When her coughs seemed to subside, Tom inched back over to her and in a low voice asked, “Are you alright?”

The Targaryen woman didn't seem to notice him and he was about to try again when she surprised him yet again by leaping away from him and scrambled for his pile of clothes and the sword lay.

The Sword!

Tom instantly realized what she was going for and he knowing that she was likely his superior if she got that blade he bolted after her. He all but body slammed the woman then while she was stunned he tried to pin her to the ground in order to stop her. She shrieked like a banshee and fought like a wildcat as she struggled to escape his grip. But Tom had several advantages over her, one he was over 180 pounds compared to her at most 120 pounds, two she had only just awoken after barely surviving a storm that had destroyed an entire fleet and then proceeded to slam the debris of said fleet all along the coast and no magic shout was going to change that. Finally Tom was no pushover, he'd been a high school athlete, playing football, and competing in wrestling tournaments for all four years of his high school career and had kept himself in shape since them. The countless hours of conditioning, games, and bouts had given him both strength and endurance, and while he was not the absolute strongest, or fastest, or the most skilled, he had an endurance and toughness that allowed him to keep plowing on when others would collapse from exhaustion. As long as the fight remained on the ground, he had the advantage.

With some effort, Tom managed to pin the woman to the ground by straddling her stomach, he also had one of her arms pressed into her chest above her breasts while his other hand kept her arm pinned to the sand of the beach. Meanwhile, Tom used his legs to keep his captive from using hers to espcape. Her struggling became even fiercer and Tom had to shift his position several times when she tried to bite him, but through the entire melee he held on and after what seemed like an eternity, she finally gave up and slumped to the sand, panting, her eyes wide open and her pupils narrowed to pinpricks.

She stared into his eyes with incredible intensity then after a minute she mustered the strength to give the young man a truly stunning sneer as she spat out in a bitter tone, her voice laced with the venom she obviously felt, “Well, what are you waiting for?”

Tom immediately answered in as a calm a voice as he could muster, “I'm waiting until you stop trying to run for that sword.”

The woman's eyes momentarily widened in stunned disbelief, the quickly narrowed as she glared at him before saying in sarcasm laced tones, “If you truly believe that I will simply lie down and allow you to rape me, then you are an even greater fool than I thought!”

Tom eyes widened in shock and he managed to sputter out, “It's not like that! I wasn't going to do anything that! I found you have drowned and I was trying to keep you from freezing to death!”

“Really? And I suppose that is the hilt of your dagger grinding into my hip just now?” The sarcasm never left her voice.

Tom nearly leaped off of her as if she was on fire his face had now turned a beet red and he could feel his ears burning. The woman took advantages of this and tried to scramble for the sword. When Tom saw what she had done he leaped back after her and after grinding her face into the sand. He did not even try to hide his physical reaction this time and to be honest it was starting to fade especially after his arm got too close to her mouth and she bit down actually drawing blood. Under his breath he muttered, “You know you are really making me wish I hadn't made that oath.”

But before she could respond that he continued, “Now, I told you. I am not going to do anything to you! Just relax, stop going for the sword and let's talk about this!” She was silent for a moment then she gave a quick silent nod.

Tom then let go of her and backed away from her, allowing her to get back up on her own. She promptly did so spitting sand all the while, while he tried not to notice how the sand clung to her bare skin.

When she seemed to have spat out enough sand to her satisfaction, she then turned to him, still naked and said in an accusatory voice, “Assuming that you are telling me the truth, where did you get my husband's sword and what oath do you speak of?”

“I swore an oath to your husband to find you and your sister” He replied, not liking where this conversation was going. Meanwhile he grabbed his coat which had been laying on the beach where it had been forgotten after her violent awakening. When he offered it to he she stared at it for a moment before snatching it, slipping her arms into the sleeves, and then held it tightly to preserve at least some illusion of modesty.

“Then how did you get his sword?” The accusation in her voice growing.

He continued to keep his voice as level as possible, “It was payment for giving my oath.”

She smirked derisively at Tom and retorted, “That's a likely story, my husband would never give up his sword unless...unless.” Both confidence and color drained from her face as her voice started to give hint to her growing apprehension. “Where is my husband?”

Tom was no longer able to look her in the eye, he bowed his head and looked away for a moment before looking back at her, saying, “I'm sorry.”

The woman stood dumbfounded for a moment not quite able to process what he was telling, but she was far from a fool and realization struck her like a bolt of lighting, she staggered for a moment before she spoke, her voice thick with emotion, “Your lying! Where is he? Where is my Aegon?” The more she spoke, the more frantic her voice became.

“Um” Tom began weakly, not really sure how to articulate what he was about to say, “I found him on the beach...” He dumbly pointed in Aegon's direction as he spoke, but got no further as the Targaryen woman literally streaked down the beach.

With a deep sigh, Tom slipped his pants on before grabbing the sword and giving chase.
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:45 am

Tom stared after the fleet footed woman, amazed at how fast she dashed across the sand. By the time he had started after her, she was already a good thirty yards away and that distance was quickly growing.

Tom muttered a curse and decided to follow her though he kept his distance from her not wanting to get in the way of her search. She darted down the beach stopping to check each body she came across before darting away from the body yet again. They kept this zigzagging chase up for a good two or three minutes before the Targaryen woman reached a uncomfortably familiar shape a distance away from the water. His companion had come to a complete stop and was standing next the shape, her head was angled towards the body of Aegon Targaryen. When Tom saw this he came to a complete stop, not wanting to intrude.

He nearly jumped out of his skin when the woman suddenly threw herself onto the man and clutched his body then began to shake him, begging him to wake up and not leave her. She repeated this over and over until it became and almost endless barrage of sound as she seemed to descend into madness then she went silent for a moment before she snapped her head up to face the sky and emitted one of the most piercing, bone-chilling, and pain laden shrieks of despair he had ever heard in his entire life. To call it a scream would be to belittle the primal grief and agony contained within her deafening cry. He almost hated himself for thinking it, but The Princess Bride was right. Ultimate Suffering really did have its own sound.

She held her wail for what felt like an eternity, long enough that Tom was left idly wondering about her lung capacity. When finally she seemed to have exhausted herself, she hunching over the body of the dead man and simply wept, her body shaking with every one of her sobs.

Tom stood, unsure as what to do before he finally marshaled the resolve to bridge the distance. He knelt beside and, expecting her to strike him for doing this, wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her into a one armed hug. She flinched as his touch at first, but after a moment she turn into his side and continued to cry into his chest clinging to him like a drowning man to a lifeline. He proceeded to run his hand up and down her back in an instinctive attempt at comforting her.

She simply wept for at least ten minutes before her sobs finally subsided and she continued to cling to Tom, exhausted from her crying and her early misadventures. When Tom was sure she would hear it, he cleared his throat and said, “If it is any consolation M-Lady Targaryen,” He tripped over using a prefix that she would actually recognize, “I was here when he passed on, the only thing that was on his mind was of you and your sister. He... refused to let go until I made an oath that I would do everything I could to find you and your sister.”

She was silent for a moment, then muttered, “Thank-you, for saving me and for holding to your oath. As for Rhaenys, I fear that she may be dead. My memory is not that clear but one thing I do remember during storm was that she was thrown overboard before the ship capsized.” She shuddered at the memory of that horrible experience.

Tom grimaced, thrown overboard in a storm? While people may survive that in stories all the time, there is a reason you only hear of that happening in stories. She was likely dead at the bottom of the ocean or somewhere miles away rotting on a lonely beach. But he looked to the blade at his waist and recalled the mad desperation in a dying man's eyes.“Even if she is dead, there is always a chance. And I made an oath to him to find both of you.”

Talks of oaths reminded him that his own oath was only half fulfilled and also their current location while picturesque sans the grounds, were not conducive for long term residence so to speak. “Lady Visenya,” He ventured, “we need to be going. We still need to find your sister and you need something beyond a coat that barely covers your hips. You may have missed it earlier but your clothes are drying by the fire I made back that way” He jerked his thumb back towards the fire behind him.

Visenya looked down at herself and blushed slightly in embarrassment, but nodded in agreement, “You are correct Ser...?” She gave him a inquisitive look.

“Oh right!” He shook is head then gave a slight bow at his waste with own arm across his chest like he had seen in a hundred period pieces. “Tom Brodie at your service.”

“Ser Tom Brodie...” Visenya seemed to test the name as she spoke it, though for what Tom couldn't tell. “Tell me Ser Tom where are you from? I have never seen such clothing before. Is that what the Nightwatch wears when they travel to the South?” She indicated the black t-shirt with a small pocket over the left breast Tom had slipped on when he had gone after her.

He looked down, and had to laugh at bit at it, “Oh no I'm not part of the Nightswatch, as to where I am from,” He paused to think of something to tell her that wouldn't convince her that she had been saved by a lunatic. “I am from far away, you would likely never have heard of it. I am something of a wanderer, I've only just come into the region.” He left it at that, hoping that she would accept it.

She looked at him long and hard before nodding, “Very well, I will not pry into the affairs of the man who saved my life without his leave.”

She then turned back to the body and said, “I agree we do need to go but first,” and she paused as a sad look reappeared on her face, “We need to bury my husband, and see if there was anything he had we could use for our journey.”

Tom was somewhat surprised at how she seemed willing to search her only now cold husband's body but he acknowledged the logic behind it, he would no longer need it and anything they could find on him would be essential for the future. But the thought of a woman having to search her own husbands corpse seemed abhorrent to him. “Here let me do it, you can go and dress yourself I should be done and ready with a grave by the time you get back.”

She looked at him again, her emotions clouded in his eyes but she nodded and said, “Thank you Ser Tom.” She then, after giving Aegon's body one last look, turned back towards the fire and walked away from Tom. She took a few steps then stopped and turned back to where Tom had stood watching her walk and made a final comment, “We Targaryens burn our dead, it is not the way of Dragons to be laid into the ground to rot. *Aegon was a dragon he deserves better than this.”*

Tom looked at her, the pained look in her face made his guts twist and he wished there was something he could do. Then a thought flashed through his mind, yes that could work but he needed a bit more time. “Lady Visenya, this might take a while why don't you check the other bodies for anything we could use. My coat has plenty of pockets you could use to keep them in.”

She nodded and turn back on her way to her clothing.

Tom sighed then turned to the dead lord of Dragonstone and said, “Well let's see what you had on you Mr. Targaryen.”

After a few minutes of searching he found a gold and ruby amulet in the shape of a three headed dragon, much similar to the Targaryen family heraldry, a pair of rings one gold with a red stone, and the other silver with a black stone. Then on the man's hip was a small money pouch with three gold coins with a dragon on one side, and about forty silver coins with a stag shaped emblem on one side. A fair amount of money and enough to get whatever supplies they needed in any larger settlement, though that raised the question of where a larger settlement was located.

Once he'd found everything he could from the man's body, he strode towards the forest again and began to gather as many sticks and branches as he could find, making several trips. He then proceeded to make a large mat of wood on the beach. Then he grabbed the dead Targaryen lord under his shoulders and dragged him over the mat of wood. Making a Sign of the Cross he then said a short prayer, “May you be with your loved ones who have gone before you, Aegon Targaryen, Lord of Dragonstone.”

He then took a glance down to check for Visenya, then when was sure that she wasn't there, he took a deep breath and concentrating on the shout for fire he bellowed out, “YOL!” A ball of flame half as tall as he was shot from his mouth and enveloped the pyre. While the wood burn he was cooking the man more than turning him to ash. He was on the right path but he needed something more to get this job done. Concentrating on the flames another two words bubbled up from the depths of his mind. Standing up he took a few steps back and then taking a deep breath he bellowed the words at the top of his lungs, “YOL TOOR SHUL!!!!” This time instead of a fire ball, his rewards was a gigantic stream of scarlet flames that consumed the pyre and left only red hot embers behind of what was the earthly remains of the lord of Dragonstone. He was standing there watching the embers burn when Visenya returned with her dress on, his coat draped over her shoulders like a shawl, and with prizes wrestled from the broken ships and broken men from up and down the beach.

She stopped and stared in wonder at the embers that burned in front of her and she turned to Tom who was flushing a little at the intensity of that look.

“How did you...?”

“I gathered up some wood, and as you said, he was a Dragon, he deserved to go out like one.”

Her eyes glistened with unshed tears, then she took a deep breath and said, “Thank-you I am grateful for the gesture and I am sure Aegon is as well.”

She turned back to the pyre and stood incredibly close to it, closer than Tom would ever had before she spoke some chant in a language which Tom guessed was Old Valyrian. She then stepped back and stood by Tom as the two of them watched the pyre burn.

The flames burned down to ashes after several hours leaving little but the occasional bones fragments which Visenya took and scattered them into the sea, all the while muttering some prayer in the same language as before. When Tom asked her about it she told him that is was an old traditional send off for the dead that had been passed down in the Targaryen line since the ancient days of Valyria. The tradition was to toss the remains in the direction of Valyria, that the soul of the dead might find its way to their ancestral homeland to be with their ancestors.

Tom didn't know what to say to that so only nodded in acknowledgment, he then looked up at the sky and noted that it was beginning to set into the West hidded behind the hills and forests further inland. Making a decision he turned to Visenya and said, “Well, it seems that night will coming soon, I'm sure your exhausted, and hungry,” he grimaced himself when he realized that he hadn't eaten anything all day himself.

As the two of them walked to his earlier fire he turned and asked, “And what were you able to find?”

She dug her hands into the coat pockets and pulled out two copper-wire rings with semi-precious stones set in them as well as about six pieces of silver and easily forty copper stars and pennies. “There were also a pair of chain mail hauberks we might be able to use, though there will be rust if they aren't dried quickly, as well as a few knifes.”

Tom nodded and the two continued on in silence. When the two of them reached the fire, Tom saw, to his relief, that the fire was still hot enough to keep going, he tossed a few more pieces of wood and blew on the embers until they caught the new logs. When he was sure that it would remain burning for a while, he made sure that his pocket knife was in his jeans pocket, grabbed one of the larger knives Visenya had found, and proceeded to head into the forest telling Visenya that he was going to try and bag a few rabbits for a spit.

When he'd left Visenya's line of sight, he turned to the late afternoon forest and wracked his brain as to how he was going to find anything, he was no hunter, he'd had only one experience in hunting which had resulted in absolute failure, with nothing found. How could he even track anything down?

His thoughts went back to the different powers he'd exhibited today, he'd fired a blast of kinetic energy within minutes of arriving here, and over the course of the day he'd breathed fire no less than twice with one word. While those words seemed to be familiar to him, in more ways than one, he couldn't tell why exactly they seemed so. But that conundrum paled compared to how was he supposed to locate any animal in this forest. As he stood there more words appeared in his head, three of them, organized into a certain order.

Tom was wondering just how many of these phrases he knew and as to how he knew them in the first place? But in a situation like this he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Putting his musings to the back of his mind he took another breath and spoke the three words, “Lass Yah Nir.” When the shout did its work, Tom was nearly floored by the sensory overload, he had heard in fiction about those who 'became one with nature' being able to detect living things with an almost supernatural ability. But this? Words failed to describe how he could now sense not just the sounds, the sights, or the smells, he could sense through some sixth super sense the very being of every living animal within a quarter of a mile of him. Insects, birds, smalls animals, their sheer number nearly overwhelmed him. He could have just stood their in awe of the sheer amount of LIFE that was in just such a short distance from him.

He had to force himself to get a grip on his senses and zero in on specific signatures, he zeroed in on each larger signature, marking what they were then moving on trying to spot something easy to bag and had plenty of meat on it.



Tom, still using the the senses granted him by the shout zeroed in on the largest life signature he could sense in his range. It was a wild pig alright, not a large one, fifty pounds at the most. It was also only about sixty yards away snuffling through the woods, most likely digging for mushrooms, acorns and the like.

Tom stalked his way towards the pig, his senses never leaving the thing until he was around a good forty feet from the thing, he held his breath, scared of breathing too hard and giving away his position. The power of his most recent shout faded away at that point but he was close enough to track it with his eyes. When he tried to take another few steps, the pig suddenly snapped its hairy head in Tom's direction before squealing in rage and charging the stunned man.

“Shit!”, he shouted, he was unarmed save for a knife and now he had an enraged pig charging down on him. What should he do? He wracked his brain and then he remembered the first shout he'd done. He smiled that should do it. He took a breath and shouted, “FUS RO...cough!” he didn't manage to finish the shout but the first two shouts proved more than enough for the job, the pig was knocked clean off its feet and was slammed into a tree where Tom could hear the crunch of bone as it slammed into the wood.

The pig crashed to the ground and lay there unmoving. Tom stood there for a few minutes, expecting the pig to get up and charge him again at any moment. When it failed to do so, he inched closer and closer to the pig, he finally took the new knife and pricked the thing. When it failed to move again he pricked again. Yet again the pig didn't move. A large silly smile spread across his face and he couldn't help but feel like he had achieved a great accomplishment. He'd taken down a pig that had to be forty pounds. Now how was he going to drag this thing back to Visenya and the camp?

Vesenya's look of stunned shock as Tom walked back to the fire with a forty pig draped over his shoulders would remain in Tom's memory for years. When he dropped the pig to the ground only half an hour after walking into the forest, armed with one side knife, she started to sputter, “How did you...?”

Tom couldn't help but grin at her awe and tease her a bit, “I guess I have a way with animals.”

She continued to stare but she didn't comment further.

Tom went back into the forest and a few minute he came back with a trio of long pieces of wood which he tied together into a tripod shape using one of his shoe laces. Then he took the pig by the feet and tied its ankles to the center of the tripod so that he could hang the pig off of the ground.

He took the knife, took a deep breath, and began to carefully and somewhat haltingly prepped the pig, then he made another two tripods using some strips of cloth borrowed from a few of the bodies from the beach. He then set the pig on the impromptu spit and sat back and watched it roast.

As they sat by the fire Tom turned to Visenya and asked her, “Well where do we intend to go tomorrow?”

Visenya was silent for a moment before she replied, “You intend to go with me?”

“Of course,” He answered as if it was the simplest thing in the world, “I swore and oath to Aegon that I would find both you and your sister, and to help you in anyway I could. The way I see it, I've only fulfilled part of that oath.”

Visenya, stared at Tom and replied, “You truly are going to fulfill your oath?” When Tom nodded in answer, she seemed surprised and somewhat impressed, “There are many men, born into great and noble houses who would never have held to an oath given under such circumstances. Maybe my husband found the best man to entrust Blackfyre to. But do remember that it is only a loan though I promise that this will not be forgotten and House Targaryen will reward you for your services.”

Tom shrugged and said, “If a man's word is no good than what good is that man?” He then picked himself up and while helping her to her feet he continued, “I gave an oath and I will fulfill that oath come hell or high water.”

She made a slight smile and said, “I am truly in the hands of a proper knight then.” Her features then hardened as her eyes glazed over in thought. “I need to get back to Dragonstone. With the fleet, our dragons, and Aegon gone, it won't be long before a raven brings word to the coastal and island lords, especially Driftmark, that Dragonstone has lost it defenders and is open to attack. I need to get back so I can marshal our defenses.” She looked to Tom, “You seem to be a strong fellow, I am sure that we could make great use of your services..”

Tom smiled at the complement and bowed saying, “It would be an honor to serve your house, Lady Visenya.” All the will Tom was somewhat apprehensive, while it would secure himself a means to support himself, he was worried about what sort of forces would array themselves against the house that must have only until just recently held all of Blackwater Bay in terror of their dragons.

About then the first bit of roasted pig was ready to eat. Tom took his knife and sliced a piece of pig and after allowing it to cool he passed it over to Visenya.

She smiled and said, “Thank-you Ser Tom.” She took the meat into her hands and began to eat it with surprising decorum. Tom shrugged his shoulders and sliced a piece for himself. The two of them stuffed themselves on roasted pig and after washing themselves off at the river and getting a drink as well the two them hunkered down for the night and Visenya went to sleep with Tom volunteering to take the first watch. He sat watching the fire crackle for several hours before, the events of the long day finally getting to him, he dropped off to sleep with Blackfyre in his hands.
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:46 am

He was awoken with a start when he head the sounds of the morning birds chirping and the cries of the seagulls. He had slept with the sword next to him the entire night. Looking over at the other side of the low burning embers he saw Visenya still sleeping. With a full belly and a full night's rest she had lost much of the haggard look she'd had the day before and combined with the innocence of sleep, Tom couldn't help but notice that she was actually quite a beautiful woman.

He shook his head and drove the thought from him mind as quickly as it came to his mind, the woman had just lost her husband the day before.

Hating to wake her, he moved over to her and shook her awake, she woke with a start but when she saw Tom's face she relaxed, “Good Morning, Ser Tom.” she said cordially.

“Good Morning, my lady.” Tom replied with equal cordiality, which was technically true as while the sun was already high in the sky, it hadn't reached its noonday zenith yet.

The two of them ate more of the roasted pig and after taking another drink of water from the river, they then packed the rest of the meat using Tom's t-shirt and a stick they made a knapsack which Tom would could carry on his shoulder. Visenya had worn Tom's coat the entire night and while they ate and readied themselves to leave she made no move to offer his coat back and Tom made no comment on the matter. He didn't really need it in this heat and wasn't a man supposed to offer his coat to a woman if she wanted it?

But with giving the coat to Visenya and using his Shirt as a knapsack for the roasted pork, he noticed that he needed something to wear on his upper body. Thinking on for a while, he decided that he might as well use one of those chain mail hauberks, but he didn't want to wear those things right next to his bare skin. So what was he to do?

Thinking on it, he decided to raid the dead one last time. A short walk up the beach brought him to one of the drowned men who had been found wearing one of the hauberks. Tom knelt down and after muttering, “excuse me,” slipped the padded shirt the man had worn underneath his armor and after examining the thing for any noticeable tears or vermin.

When he found neither, he took a sniff of it and was repulsed by the foul stink that came off of it. Chivalry would have to be put on the back-burner for the moment, he'd need his coat after all.

As he was leaving he noticed a few extra sets of footprints around the body. He knelt down to examine them further but Tom's tracking abilities were woefully insufficient and he was forced to give up trying to identify the tracks. But he didn't worry too much about them, if their owners had any ill intentions, then he and Visenya would not have awoken as pleasantly as they had. In fact he was fairly sure that they would have woken up with either being held captive or having their throats slits. So he put what he saw away for later and headed his way back to the fire.

He went back to their campsite and looked over to Visenya, who, after finishing her meal, had begun to undo her long thick sliver braid, then proceeded to use her fingers to comb out any knots she founds. She looked up and nodded to Tom. He pointed to the coat she had by her side, “I'm afraid I need that back, I tried to find a padded shirt elsewhere and the thing was so foul smelling it near killed me from the stink alone. At least with my coat I'll be able to breath,” He explained.

Visenya nodded after a moment and, handed the coat over to Tom who took it with a muttered thanks then slipped it on, when he had the coat on he then slid the chain mail over it. When he was finished with the hauberk, he then girded the sword to his waist. Then he began to examine his new appearance somewhat liking what he saw though he felt the crosstrainers and the blue jeans were a littl anachronistic. Visenya couldn't help but smirk at the man who was acting like a boy given his first suit of chain-mail, which was a relatively accurate description. The armor, not the boy part.

Tom noticed her smirk and stopped his self examination, he held his arms out angled down and to the side. He pivoted side to side to give her a panoramic view of his new getup and asked, “Well do I look like a proper knight of Dragonstone?”

Visenya cocked her head to the side and seemed to examine him for a moment before saying, “Well you certainly look like you are of Dragonstone at least. Though we shall rectify that when I get home.”

Tom snorted at that but shrugged his shoulders and after making sure the fire had died down and everything, including the jewelry, the knives, and the coins were secured. By the time he was finished Visenya had braided her hair back into its long braid, Tom couldn't stop himself from letting his eyes linger for a moment as she flicked the braid back behind her, her back arched a bit and her... 'assets' pressed against her black and scarlet dress. While the dress covered most of her body save her hands and head, was fairly form fitting and was also cut so that the upper half of her breast were visible and what nice breast they were.

Tom shook his head and set his face into an amiable smile, hoping that she didn't notice his discrepancy, “Well, off to Dragonstone then?”

“Yes, off we go.” She replied. As the two of them went on their way Northward along the coast, Visenya continued to explain her plans, “There is a fishing village about five miles up the coast from the river. We can purchase supplies there. After that we can ask for directions for the way to Rosby, then we follow the main road to the port of Duskendale, where we can find a ship that will take us to Duskendale.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Tom agreed, he then gestured forward, “Lead the way,” and so the did.

They made fair progress as they made their way down the beach, the sun was high in the sky and the wind off the bay made the walk relatively pleasant. Neither Tom nor Visenya spoke much as they made their way down the beach. The bulk of their conversation was noting birds, shells, or the clouds. Tom started whistling a nameless tune after half and hour and serenaded the two of them. To which Visenya applauded, commenting how she'd have to have him whistle for her later. Tom smiled and said that he would be happy to oblige. He then continued to whistle some simple and not so simple tunes, even honestly impressing her a couple of times. This carried them for several hours as they continued their journey.

Tom was about to start his another tune when the smell of smoke hit their senses. Tom forgot about his song and looked up to see a great pillar of smoke rising inland from the beach. Tom brought his hand to his brow to get a better look at the smoke, then he turned to Visenya and said in a slightly strained voice, “Uh Lady Visenya, is that about where that village you were speaking of was at?” and pointed to the cloud of black smoke.

Visenya was also more than a little surprised, “Yes, yes it was?”

Tom turned inland and ran into the scrub and trees that grew inland from the shore. Visenya dashed after him not saying a word. The two of them did their best to follow through the forest towards the smoke, as they got closer, the smell of smoke grew stronger and now they could hear the sound of men fighting and women screaming. Tom slowed his pace but continued to get closer and closer, a numb fear began to build in him.

When he finally reached the edge of the forest his stomach sank into his feet. The fishing village Visenya had spoken of was there alright but it was under attack. He could see that a single ship, similar in shape to a Norse longship, was beached along the shore and its owners, men armed with swords, axes, spears, and large shields, and wearing either chain mail or leather armor, were attacking the apparent inhabitants of the village. While the villagers were putting up a brave fight, there were just as many raiders who were all much better equipped than they.

Most of the women and children seemed to be pouring out of the village into the forest beyond the village while the men, armed with fishing spears, clubs, wood axes, and the occasional wicker or plank shield were acting as a rearguard, though they were quickly falling and more than one simply dropped his spear or club and ran.

Unfortunately, not all the women seemed to have escaped as there was one woman, a girl really as she couldn't have been older than Tom's little sister, was being dragged out of one of the huts by a trio of the raiders one of them better dressed than any of the others and holding a shield with a complicated sigil emblazoned on it. When they threw her to the ground and proceed to rip her rough dress off of her, revealing her breasts for all to see, Tom realized what was about to happen, and something deep within him snapped.

Tom was not a passionate individual, while he could be considered stubborn as an ox, he was not the type to be lead to great rages or rash decisions, he would at least look at the situation before he would leap in. But there were some things that would trigger his temper and his temper would be terrible to behold. The rape that was occurring before him was one such thing.

Tom strode out of the forest into the village, his eyes were as hard as flint and an emerald fire seemed to burn in their green depths. His lips curled back into a bestial grimace and he actually began to growl. Visenya saw what he was going to do and grabbed his arm to stop him, “What in the seven hells are you doing? Stay here!” Her voice a harsh low whisper.

Tom snapped his arm out of her grasp and continued his way towards the trio trying to have their way with the girl, ignoring any more attempts by Visenya to stop him.

When Tom drew closer, his eyes never left the trio as their leader grabbed her hair and proceeded to fondle one of the girls breasts he could hear the man speak to the woman, “Now, now, don't cry girl, if you do well I'll take you home with me. You would make a good salt wife for me back on Harlaw.”

Her answer was more screaming and pleas for help, “No! No! Help me! Someone help me! Seven save me please!”

The Ironborne seemed to become annoyed by her screams as he snarled and hurled her to the ground, “Scream all you want wench, your Seven won't help you now,” he snarled as he dropped to his knees then began to undo his belt.

Tom's only reaction to all of this was to get angrier and pick up his pace. When he drew within a dozen paces of the trio he took deep breath and swore that if nothing else, these three died today.

Just as the leader got to his knees, Tom drew the sword and with a swing like a lumberjack swinging at a tree, he swung his sword of Valyrian steel. While he had almost no experience with the blade, he was strong, angry, and knew how to swing for maximum effect. The blade all but cut the man in half from the navel up, and he went down with a gurgled scream.

The two men snapped their heads up and spotted Tom for the first time. The lordling's, for that was what Tom assumed he had to be, companion's fight or flight instinct, kicked into gear and he charged the stranger with sword ready to bring down on his bare head, poor fool.

Tom's answer to the charging man, was a short look of contempt, before he took another breath and shouted, “FUS RO DAH!” A gigantic ball of blue energy slammed into Tom's attacker and blasted him away like a pebble in a hurricane. The man was already dead when he struck one of the huts behind them. His bones crunching like twigs when they made impact on the hut's wall.

Tom then turned on the lordling and slowly strode his way to the man, his face turned a bright red, his lips peeled back from his teeth in what some might loosely refer to as a smile or just a snarl, and fire danced in his pupils, red as the flames of hell, or maybe dragonfire.

The final man, the leader of the trio and likely the leader of the entire raiding party, fell to his bottom and started to crab walk away from Tom, all the while echoing his former victim's platitudes, “No! I yield! Don't kill me, I'm worth a heavy ransom! My father is Lord Harlaw! He'll make you a rich man if you spare me!” Tom ignored his cries as he hefted the greatsword and began to bring it over his head to strike, the blood of his earlier kill still dripping off of it. The lordling screamed in terror, “Oh god! Oh Drowned God save me! Please have mercy.”

He ran out of room to flee when he ran into the wall of the same hut he had just come out of with the girl in tow. Tom now towered over the openly weeping man, looking like some great doom out of legend, “Please have mercy!” The man sobbed out one last time, his face a caricature of terror.

Tom stopped his advance and lowered his sword. He looked curiously at the man, as if he were examining something bizarre and disgusting. 'Mercy?' he thought, almost bemused by the concept. 'You mean like the mercy you were going to give her?' and glanced back to the girl, who was watching the entire thing with her eyes bulged wide open and her mouth agape in shocked awe at what she saw.

Tom then turned back to the lordling sitting at his feet and a wave of disgust ran through him. "Where I'm from, we have a saying. 'Mercy is the mark of a great man'."

The lordling all but passed out at that, he sat there, panting and giving thanks to the Drowned God repeatedly under his breath.

Tom continued, “Unfortunately for you, I am not a great man.”

The other man's head snapped up in shock and comprehension which turned to even greater terror.

He then took one of the deepest breaths he had ever taken then he roared as loud as he could, all the while the lordling scream a “Wait!” one final time before all sound was drowned out by a “FUS RO DAH!” The hut and the man leaning in front of it disappeared into a giant cloud of dust and a spray of red that hid Tom, the raider, and the hut. When the dust settled there was only a pile of straw and dirt remaining of the hut sitting in a large depression. As for the raider, there was little more than a crater full of shredded wire, tattered leather, and what looked like extra chunky salsa where a man had been just moments prior.

Tom spat one last time as the pile of debris and then turned to the girl. She flinched when he walked back over to her, but seemed surprised when instead of grabbing her he leaned down and with incredible tenderness in his features asked in a low, soothing voice, “Are you alright?”

She stared for moment before she suddenly flung herself around Tom's neck muttering thanks over and over again, referring him as 'Ser' in her thanks.

Tom managed to pry her arms from around his neck. “Wait here,” he told her and then stood up. Tom looked her over for a moment before he nodded and then stood up and walked towards the closest fight. A trio of villagers were cornered by an equal number of raiders. Tom blew all three of the raiders away with a FUS RO DAH which left the fishermen staring gobsmacked right in front of them. Tom strode by and seeing their stunned features, he turned to them and said, “What are you waiting for? Follow me!” He then continued onto the next fight, not even bothering to give them a second glance. He did note to his satisfaction that they were quickly catching up to him a minute later.

Before they could ask who he was, Tom spotted another fight two raiders about to kill a downed villager, with a YOL one man was set on fire and before the other raider could react, the three men accompanying Tom swarmed him and he went under their rain of blows. Tom continued on his way though he noting that the trio of fishermen helped their fellow up and followed him. He continued his way through the village, killing the raiders he came across with fire and force and letting the men who were following him deal with any he missed. Soon he had nearly two dozen villagers following him and the raiders were beginning to realize the changed situation and were leaving the village in two and threes back to the boat.

Soon a mass of well over a dozen men were fleeing the village and pounding across the sand toward the single ship on the beach. The few men stationed to guard the ship saw their companions running from the village and while ignorant of what the cause of it was, knew a bad situation and started to push the ship off the sand and out into the water.

Tom saw this, “Oh you won't get away that easily,” and without even needing to think about what he wanted to accomplish, he bellowed out a new trio of words, “WULD NAH KEST!”

He shot like a bullet out of the village and past the crowed of fleeing raiders, before coming to a stop between them and their ship. They stumbled to a halt at how suddenly he had appeared and before they could react, he turned towards the ship, “FUS RO DAH!” With that the mast of the ship was snapped off like a twig torn from a tree in a storm. The mast flew through the air like a giant kite before it splashed into the bay with a huge spray of water a good twenty yards into the bay where it bobbed innocuously in and out of the water. The ship effectively going nowhere, the guards took one look at their ship, then at the young man who had done so much damage, and tore down either direction along the shore. The entire time they were screaming in terror of the Storm God having come.

He then turned towards the remaining raiders who had formed a shield wall in an attempt to protect themselves. Tom took one look at that mass of men and only smirked before taking in another breath and bellowing out, “YOL TOOR SHUL!” The resulting inferno consumed half of the remaining raiders, who dropped to the ground screaming or silent in death. Of the survivors, or at least those who could still run, most tore after their fellows up and down the beach while a few turned around and ran towards the village, right into the vengeful arms of the villagers and their oh so tender mercies.

Tom's rage began to fade as he watched the villagers rain blow after blow on the surviving raiders and when blood began to spurt, he decided enough was enough and he walked towards the beating shouting, “Enough! Stop! I want to ask them a few questions, and I need at least one of them for that.”

To his amazement, the villagers not only heard him, but actually backed off from the raiders, of whom several were noticeably still alive and might be able to answer a few questions.

When Tom had made sure of the survivors, he noticed Visenya walking down the beach towards him. A numb and awed look on her face that Tom had never seen of her before. When she reached him she stared at him with such intensity began to bizarrely blush. She finally open her mouth, her eyes never leaving his, and asked him in a small voice, “What are you?”

Tom was caught off guard by this question and at first he couldn't answer, then he really thought back to not only the fight, but to all he had done since he had come here. He remembered why this all seemed so familiar, at the same time a name he already had heard of bubbled to the fore and he gave Visenya an honest look. “I am a Dovahkiin,” he answered her as if it was the most natural answer in the world.

Visenya's grew even more bewildered, “And what is a 'Dovahkiin'?”

Tom's answer was a single word that would one day be heard across all of Westeros, “Dragonborne.”
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:47 am

The day when Tom told Visenya that he was a “Dovahkiin” was one of the most interesting of Tom's life. The villagers surrounded their savior and led him back into the village chanting Dovahkiin at the top of their lungs.

Visenya walked with several of the women of the village after the main press of cheering men her eyes following the young man surrounded by the cheering villagers. She barely gave any attention to the other young woman, the one who had been saved by Tom when he'd begun his rampage.

Tom eventually can to the center of the village while the villagers continued to surround him cheering his name.

Tom just stood there, a bit shocked but what he felt mostly was excited elation, and proceeded to soak in the praise. While he he had not been ignored back home, this sort of mad cheering solely for him was new, and he quite liked it. It was a heady experience for him and a small part of his psyche, something he did not notice at the time, also reveled in how he had proven his power to these peasants.

After a few minutes of the applause, something moved through the crowd and a handful of the bigger villagers dragged a pair of the raiders that had unfortunately run right back into the arms of the villagers in their attempt to flee from him. “Here's the bastards you wanted t' question m'lord.” One of the villagers, a bigger man with a bushy red beard and a large cudgel in one hand, asked him before shoving the Ironborn to his knees in front of Tom.

Tom glared down on the two surviving raiders, the two unfortunate saps had blindly fled right back into the arms of the villagers when they broke and ran after he had shattered their final shield wall. The both of them were battered and bruised and one of them was openly bleeding from a wound over his right eye. He was constantly trying to blink the small stream of blood that trickled into his brown eyes. Those brown eyes were half glazed in terror it was obvious that the young man, who couldn't have been older than Tom with his brown scraggly beard, was only holding onto his self-control by a very tenuous thread. The other younger man with jet black hair and eyes, couldn't have been more than sixteen years of age, his hairless cheeks being the best indicator. This younger man was even more terrified, there was no sign of anything other than blind panic. He could hear the black-haired boy whimpering under his breath and Tom was sure that if he tried to pressure him too hard he'd likely faint.

It was the look of utter terror on the prisoners' faces that kept Tom from simply killing the two of them, their fear humanizing them in Tom's eyes. Calmed enough so as not to outright murder anyone, he knelt down to look the two young men in the eye and he then he asked in a calm voice but one that promised pain if he was trifled with, “Alright lads, I want to ask you a few questions. If you answer them and I like what I hear then I'll make sure that you get to live.”

The older man stared for a moment seemingly uncomprehending of what he was told, but after a few seconds it got through to him and he nodded his head in a rapid movement. Meanwhile his younger companion didn't seem to even notice what was said. His eyes bulged in fear and darting back and forth as if looking for some means of escape.

Tom nodded, “Smart choice,” he remarked before continuing, “I promise that if you answer my questions to the best of you ability, then I'll make sure you stay alive.” He took a deep breath and then continued, “Alright first question, who are you and who was leading you. Don't lie, if you lie well I might lose any interest in keeping you safe here.” He happened to grin unpleasantly towards the disgruntled villagers surrounding him.

The older man was again the one to answer, “I am Triston,” his voice trembling with barely controlled terror, he then jerked his head towards the other young man, “This is my cousin Tregg.”

Turning back to his captor he finished, “We were lead by Harren Harlaw.”

Tom nodded that name seemed familiar to him but he didn't dwell on it, he could feel the adrenaline and the fury of the battle beginning to seep away and his legs were starting to shake in weariness, “Who is Harren Harlaw?”

Triston, still the only one seemingly at all there, answered again, “He's Harrick Harlaw's son and heir.”

“I am afraid that Harrick is going to need a new heir.” Tom gestured to where the crowd was less thick, and the crater where young lord Harren met his end was located. Triston and amazingly Tregg looked over at the crater and after a moment the truth reached their fear hazed minds and Triston turned pale as a ghost, Tregg on the other hand slumped over in a dead faint. Triston yelped and begged his cousin to wake up, “Please don't leave me alone here!”

When Triston turned back to Tom the terror in his eyes intensified and Tom realized that he was going to have to remind the man what he needed to do if he was going to get anything else out of him.

“Someone get a bucket of water for that one please?” Then he turned back to his conscious prisoner, “Yes, that was me. And if you don't want to join him than answer my questions.” Tom replied, a grimace was hidden as now his arms were about to shake as his adrenaline levels continued to drop. He fought down his exhaustion and continued the interrogation sweat starting to appear at his forehead. “Alright, what was young Harren doing here? Isn't rather close to the Stormlands here? Do Harlaw and King Harren intend to start a fight with Argilac?” Tom asked, wrenching his mind to recall the names of the various lords that ruled at this time, privately he thanked the fact that he had read that wiki so thoroughly before he was sent here.

Triston shook his head and stammered out, “I don't know anything about that? I'm just a simple warrior, me and my cousin wouldn't know a thing about the plans of Kings and Great Lords.”

Tom looked Triston dead in the eye and said, “I honestly doubt that. Harren there didn't seem the type to hide anything from his companions, as for you being simple warriors. You were the personal companions of Harren Harlaw, heir to house Harlaw and great lands I'm sure. I doubt simple nobodies would be with him, more likely the two of you are the sons of some houses loyal to Harlaw, and even if you weren't I'm sure that you would have heard something about any plans that King Harren and lord Harrick might have had. So I'll ask again, what are King Harren's intentions here?” Tom's features turned hard, he hoped that this would crack at least one of them because if neither did, he couldn't justify letting them live and would need to leave them to the mercy of the villagers.

Triston just knelt there and Tom was wondering if he'd pushed him a little too far when the man suddenly shouted, “King Harren is going to war!”

Tom nodded and urged him on, “Go on?”

“I...I don't know anything else, I just know that we'll be fighting soon.”

“Now how did you know that?” He never left his gaze from the young man's eyes as he waited for an answer.

“I...I don't know it was just rumors.” Triston finally admitted

Tom processed the information he'd learned and did his best to recall what he remembered about this world.

What he remembered was not good at all. The raiders, Triston and Tregg included, were a group belonging to a people called the ironborn. The ironborn were from the imaginatively named Iron Islands off the West coast of Westeros. The land there was harsh and live was harsher, the only metal to be mined there was iron hence the name. These rough conditions produced a rough and hardy people, and a cruel one as well. Having so little to live off of on the islands, much of their livelihood was made raiding the coasts and up the rivers of Westeros. In fact if he remembered correctly, the ironborn at the time had been so successful that their current king, Harren Hoare ruled not only his Iron Islands, but formed a powerful kingdom in the center of the continent ruling over the Riverlands, named so by the large river system that flowed through it.

The ironborn were some of the most terrifying raiders that lived in Westeros and now he'd killed the son of one of the most powerful houses among the ironborn, second only to the Royal House itself.

“And here I am right in the dead center of it. Joy....” Tom thought ruefully to himself and was about to have them taken away when Tregg, who'd come to just a moment ago with a splash of water to the face, saw that the villagers were closing in on them and started shrieking over and over again, “Me and Triston here aren't nobodies, Triston's father is lord Volmark under Lord Harlaw, and I'm the nephew of Lord Drumm, my father's Lord Drumms brother and my mother is Triston's aunt. We're good for ransom! Please Don't Kill Us!”

Tom's eyes widened in surprise and then a little suspicious asked, “Then why are the two of you so in the dark about what is going on? Considering your companion was the heir to one of the strongest of the ironborn house that seems a little odd. You wouldn't be hiding something from me would you?”

“No no! We're not hiding anything me and Tregg we weren't told much anyway, it was our fathers that were told everything, and we were just.... a little too excited about our first raid without our older relatives watching us....and our first chance to win ourselves a salt wife, and we didn't pay attention.”

The villagers didn't like the sound of that, their faces darkened and their knuckles turned white as they gripped harder on the handles of their weapons

Tom raised his hands to calm them down as he thought, well this was certainly an interesting bit of information here. While he'd been here for only a few days he was certainly savvy enough to spot an opportunity when he saw. Still, there was no reason not to traumatize these fucks now that he didn't need to question them any further. “Well no one likes hearing bad news...”

The two of them began to shake at the sound of that.

Then Tom continued, “But only a fool kills its bearer. You held up your end now I'll hold mine. I'm not going have to crucify the two of you.”

Looks of confusion and terror spread across their faces at the apparently unfamiliar name, “C...crucify?” Triston managed to squeak out.

A nasty grin spread across Tom's face at this opportunity, “Well since you asked so nicely...” He then threw himself into an extremely lurid and exhaustive description of the crucifixion process how a man was nailed to a T-shape of wood and left to suffocate or die from exposure. Those who lived for three days were allowed to be cut down. Then with a flair he then mentioned that even strong men rarely lasted longer than two and a half days. If the two men had been scared before, they were utterly terrified now, their skin turned the color of clean snow. The villagers and Visenya heard the entire description, interestingly enough, the villagers didn't turn pale themselves but instead had thoughtful looks on their faces and were making glances over towards the thick forest that grew behind the village. Visenya nodded, slightly impressed at the implied brutality that Tom spoke of.

Tom noticed the thoughtful looks and decided that he needed to speak up before they actually tried it. “Well since we seem to be done here. Have their ankles bound, just enough that they can hobble around if needed, have their wounds looked over and set a guard over them. If you behave yourselves then I'll make sure that you can walk around the village with several guards. But if you do anything that I don't want you to.” I gesture over to where Harren's remain still lay, “I'll send what's left of you back to your father's and uncles in a bucket. Do we understand each other?” The two nodded their heads so fast that Tom wondered idly if they would get whiplash.

The two young ironborn were dragged off, the older one silent as the tomb while the younger one was still shrieking about how they were good for ransom. Tom on the other hand simply fell to a seated position, exhausted and shaky from the adrenaline finally leaving his system. A villagers handed him a ladle of well water which he guzzled down. As he watched the ironborn being dragged off he couldn't help but mutter to himself, “You know, for the most terrifying people this side of the Narrow Sea, you'd think they'd be a little harder to crack.”

“You dealt with them with as definitively as if you were mounted on the back of a dragon.” A female voice rang out. Tom turned his head towards Visenya, whom he'd noticed but had not acknowledged until now.

He smiled at her, “I thank you for the praise my lady.”

Before either of them could say anything else, the big redheaded man came to their side and knelt in front of Tom, “Thank you Ser Dovahkiin, without yer help, our village would have been burnt to the ground and we would have been killed...or worse, his eyes drifted over to the girl Tom had rescued. Tom looked to where she stoop a little way from where he stood, her eyes held one of the most obvious looks of adoration that Tom had ever seen in his life. He was amazed that any gave him such a look and he was unsure as how to react to it so instead he turned his focus back to the kneeling man who was all but planting his face into the mud at this point.

He placed his hand on the man's shoulder, “It was only the right thing to do, any man who had a shred of courage and honor in him would have done so without having to think about it.”

The look of surprise on those who heard his words was a bit stronger than what he'd expected but a smile spread across the man's face when he stood back up and smiled, “Well now that the pleasantries are all over, the only thing left is to clean up this mess and then celebrate!”

The other villagers, both men and women, cheered in agreement. They then went to work with a surprising gusto considering the hell that had been their situation only minutes before. When Tom rolled up his sleeves, and attempted to grab a piece of debris, the village leader raised his hand and waved him away from the cleanup, “Oh don't worry yourself, Ser. Let us handle this, you've done so much for us already.”

Tom looked at him somewhat confused, “Are you sure? I mean I helped to make this mess, it's the least I could do to help clean up.”

He shook his head in slight wonder before he bowed his head again, “m'lord is too kind, but please let us handle this mess.” Visenya was also more then a little stunned though she hid it well.

Tom would have tried to argue further but before he could answer he was elbowed by Visenya who shook her head when he turned to face her. He looked at her for a moment before he finally nodded his head then turned back to the man and replied, “Alright, if you insist but if you need any help I'll be happy to help.”

He walked away from the villagers, who watched him in confusion, and sat down on a roughly hewn bench that had been brought out at some point earlier. When he sat down he turned to Visenya who sat down with him. “Why did you do that?”

“Because if you had tried to stand much longer you would have collapsed, I could see how much you were shaking.” She answered, as if she were talking to a idiot child.

Before Tom could answer he tried to shift his legs and the sheer exhaustion he'd been holding back slammed back to the fore and he was glad that she'd stopped him before he'd made a fool of himself and likely disillusioned the villagers of their hero worship. “Ah, thank you m'lady.”

She nodded then turned to the young girl who had continued to follow them. “You, girl, bring my lord something to drink, he is parched from the battle.”

The girl scuttled from the two of them without a word.

“Was that necessary? She wasn't doing anything wrong.” Tom asked Visenya once the girl was out of earshot.

“She was beginning to irk me.” Visenya replied, her face relatively blank any emotion. "Besides, if she insists on following you around like a lost pup then at least she should be of use.

Tom raised an eyebrow in confusion but let it go. The girl returned quickly enough with a wooden mug of what Tom assumed was some sort of weak beer. He contemplated the brew in front of him for a moment, wondering whether he should drink it or not. Back home his only experience with any brew had only been with a single sip of his dad's tri-monthly can of beer and the experience had driven him away from the stuff and alcohol in general. But he also remembered that trying to drink water straight up was asking for stomach problems and it would have been worse to hurt the girl's feeling who'd gotten it for him. So taking a breath he took a pull of the beer, and it tasted better than he'd expected. He smiled and took another pull from it, then he turned to the girl who'd barely moved since he'd taken the mug from her and smiled, “Thank you, it certainly quenched my thirst.”

The girl blushed and stammered out “m'lord's too kind.” She then offered a wooden plate with a piece of brown bread and some sort of cheese. “ is some food, I thought you might be hungry.”

Tom smiled and took the plate from the girls hand, never taking his eyes of here as he made a quick glance over. She was a petite girl, only 5'1'' at the tallest and with a slight build to match it though she had a perfectly feminine build to go along with it. Her hair was in a simple braid that went to between her shoulder blades her which was a brilliant orange color while her eyes were an almond brown. She had some dirt on her and she was more than a little bruised but overall she was cute in a pixieish kind of way which was only multiplied by the way that she was blushing like a neon light at this point.

“I'm no lord, just a knight who saw something that needed to be done er... What is your name?”

“My name? I'm...I'm Mya, m'lord. My uncle Rolf is the man you spoke to earlier.” The blush on her face was if anything even stronger now.

Tom failed to notice this and smiled again, then dipped his head, “Well thank-you Mya, your very kind to a vagabond like me.”

Tom was a little surprised when the girl all but squealed and ran off. When Tom turned back to Visenya, he saw to his consternation that she was giving him a glare as strong as a basilisk. “What?”

She didn't let up the glare but muttered, “Her groveling is beginning to irk me.”

Tom raised his eyebrows at that, “Why do you care? Sure she's a little eager but I just saved her from rape.” He then gave her a look, “Besides, I thought you great noble types loved that sort of thing.”

She didn't let up her frown and just said, “I've seen dockside prostitutes with more subtlety and grace. It's really quite pathetic.”

Tom tried to get anything else out of the young woman but she clammed up after that last retort. Tom was still confused but let it go as the coming up celebrations made it seem to fade in the background. The villagers quickly gathered all of the bodies and after stripping them of anything valuable tied rocks to their feet and tossed them into the ocean. They then sent a few boats to drag the raiders ship back to the shore and cleaned the entire thing out for anything valuable, what they found was an astonishing amount of rich clothes, gold, silver, and other expensive valuables. The cheering that rose up from that was almost deafening.

The during the cleanup and the preparations for the feast, Mya tailed Tom like a duckling with its mother, whenever Visenya was gone she promptly sidled up to Tom's side and occasionally tried to touch him. Tom, having almost no experience whatsoever with women, not only didn't know what she was trying to do but he likely wouldn't have known what to do if he had noticed.

Visenya, while she wasn't with Tom the entire time, she did keep occasionally spot him and watching the peasant girl irked her to no end, and it wasn't only because that she was acting, in her opinion, like a bitch in heat, but it was also just who she was acting so clingy towards that irritated her. That shaggy haired lummox was simply too useful to lose on account of some ginger tart from an insignificant fishing village that had no value whatsoever. It would have been a tragedy to have someone with such power stuck here simply blowing away the occasional Ironborn and siring ginger brat upon ginger brat. She also knew that Tom would do something so stupid, as strong as his sense of honor was, if that silly little hayseed decided to spread her thighs then he'd actually feel obliged to stay the morning afterwards.

About an hour before the sun was setting over the inland forest, preparations were put to a halt for the day as a meal was set out for everyone. There was big bonfire ready to light that would officially start the meal. Rolf stepped to the side of the bonfire and went into a rough but heartfelt speech his voice slightly thickened by the emotion in his voice. “Today we almost lost our homes, our livelihoods, and our lives, but thanks to our hero here,” He gestured to Tom, who raised his hand in acknowledgment from a trestle table in the center of a semi-circle of tables laden down with a simple fare of fish, and plenty of bread and cheese along with some vegetables as well. Rolf had apologized for the lack of meat though Tom had said it was nothing to worry about and if they had wanted to do so, they could make use of the Boar meat he had wrapped in his shirt. The look of surprise in their faces when the boar meat was presented had been priceless. Tom was seated at the dead center of this in a place of honor, Visenya sat to his left while to his right a space was reserved for Rolf to sit when he was finished. “our lives were spared and the bastards who tried to take everything away from us are either dead or long gone. So, to Ser Dovahkinn!”

“To Ser Dovahkiin!” Was the answering cry, Rolf then took a torch and threw it into the giant pile of wood which quickly caught and soon a great bonfire was roaring in front of them.

Tom, to whom the bread and cheese was nothing more than a faded memory tore into the food with a great gusto, piling his plate high and eating quickly.

Rolf soon sat by him and struck a conversation meanwhile one of the girl took the cask of wine that had been pilfered from the Ironborn ship and had poured wine into their cups. Rolf to a deep pull while Tom took a smaller sip, actually liking the taste to this one though he tried to make sure not to drink too much. Rolf had finished the cup when he turned back to Tom and asked him. “So where are you planning to do now m'lord?”

That made Tom sputter for a moment, but he recovered and did his best to answer, “Well we need to head on North eventually. The two of us need to find a way to get to Rosby, any chance you could give us directions?”

Rolf seemed to have a worried look on his face. “Are you sure you can't stay? We're supposed to be beholden to Lord Rosby, but considering the bugger all he's done for us, he might as well be auctioning our daughters to the raiders himself. Now you come along, saving us singlehandedly.” The obvious bitterness in his voice was tangible.

Tom wasn't sure what to say, one the one hand he'd made promise to protect and escort home Visenya back to Dragonstone, on the other hand the look of hope on Rolf's face, he wasn't sure how to answer the man though he wished he could do both.

He took a deep pull of the wine, deeper than he'd taken before and decided to use stalling tactics. “Well either way we can give it a little while before I make a decision. For now let's just enjoy being alive.”

Rolf nodded and raised his own mug, “I'll drink to that m'lord. But please at least stay at least another day m'lord, come tomorrow we could have a proper feast in your honer, fish of every kind, roasts, sausages, and meat pies of all kinds.”

“Well, when you put it that way, how could I turn down you hospitality.” Tom answered mouth already watering at the thought of all that food, having never turned down the offer of food in his life.

Rolf laughed and took a drink from his mug. After he finished his drink, he then rose, muttering about needing to relieve himself. While Rolf was gone Tom turned back to his meal wondering what he was going to do about this situation. He eventually decided that there wasn't anything he could really do about it right at this moment so he chose to let it go for the moment. As he sat he spotted in the corner of his eyes that Rolf and Mya were talking with each other but he didn't make any note of it.

When Rolf returned, he seemed to have lost that worried look to his face, a new happy demeanor had replaced it. He looked over to Visenya and then said, “If you wish m'lady, we can draw you a bath and get you some dry cloths until your own are cleaned and mended.”

Visenya's face immediately melted into one of relief as she then muttered, “Thank the Seven.”

Tom's surprise at the sudden change in her attitude that he nearly had mental whiplash and only managed a lame, “What?”

Visenya sighed and leaned in to talk to him, “I've been uncomfortable all day, but I had not planned to talk of it as we had more important matters at hand.” A smile spread across her face, “That said, I refuse to let the opportunity to wash all this sand and salt off of me go to waste. I thank you and I bid you good night.” She then turned and left the table towards one of the huts were a fire was being lit.

Tom followed her walking away, feeling somewhat guilty about not even thinking about asking whether she had been uncomfortable.

When Tom turned back to the fire and his food he saw that his cup had been filled with the same wine. When he looked up he saw that Mya was standing behind him with a wine jar and a glowing smile, “I'll be attending you for the night m'lord.”

Not wanting to waste it and beginning to enjoy it, he drained the cup in three pulls. At this point he began to feel a buzz in his brain pan and he felt quite relaxed.

“More wine, m'lord?” Mya asked, moving to refill his goblet the moment it was removed from his lips. He moved his head and studied her more a moment, he knew that getting drunk now might be a bad idea, having never been drunk before he had no idea what might have happened if he had.

On the other hand, the smile on her face was cute and he didn't want to hurt her feelings, that world be bad. He smirked to himself, and besides, he was the mighty Dovahkiin, not like a little booze could really get to him.“O'course Mya.”

Mya smiled and poured him another cup and he took a deep pull of it, enjoying the fruity taste of it. He decided that he rather liked wine and had several more cups of wine before the night was over. He looked at Mya through slightly crossed eyes and said, “You know Mya, you're a real pretty girl, y'know that? And sweet too, yer gonna make some lucky man the happiest man alive y'know that?”

Mya flushed like a neon light, and stuttered a bit, “M'lord's too kind.”

“Oh no, 'm serious. You are a real prize Mya!” Tom then countered somewhat forcefully. “I'd be a happy man with a girl like you.”

An odd smile spread across Mya and Rolf's faces when he said that, though Tom, sloshed with more cups of wine than he should have had in one sitting, failed to spot it. Then Mya handed the jar off to one of the other women and took Tom's hand saying, “M'lord, could you come with me please, I want to show you something.”

A dopey guileless smile spread across Tom's face, “Sure thing Mya, sounds like fun.”

He was about to leave when Rolf spoke up, “You left some wine behind m'lord.”

Tom noted that in the time that he had looked away Mya had filled the cup, again, which he quickly dealt with.

Mya then helped the man to his somewhat wobbly feet and led him away from the fire. They walked through the mostly empty village, Tom not saying much.

Mya guiding him along towards a storage hut with a large haystack in the center, while was shutting the door behind her, Tom turned back and asked her now more than a little slurred, “So Mya wazzit you wanned t'show me?”

Mya smiled gently, looking Tom in the eyes, and without a word, proceeded to shrug out of her dress, letting it fall to the ground, leaving her standing before him clad only in a smile and her own natural glory.

Tom's brain ground to a shrieking halt when he took in the female form in front of him.

While he was stunned and stammering like an idiot, Mya smiled and said, “Do you like what you see, m'lord?”

Eventually his brain managed to force its way through a combination of alcohol, hormones, and shock, prompting him to sputter out, “Um... uh huh.”

She smiled and then walked closer to him to where he could reach out and touch her, “Do you want me, m'lord?”

“Uh huh.” was her answer accompanied by a slow and dumbfounded nod.

She then leaned close into him and said, “Then take me.”

Tom, his brain addled by alcohol and hormones reached one conclusion, “Okay....” He then fell back into the hay, and into a world of soft ruby lips and silk smooth skin.
Brian Boru
Brian Boru

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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:48 am

The first sensation that Tom felt when he woke that morning was a warm soft something draped across his torso. The next was the glare of the sun, burning into his eyes through his closed eyelids. Deciding to brave it, he cracked his right eye for an instant before clamping it shut again. To his shock, it was Mya the girl from yesterday, who was not only draped across him and dozing contentedly, but was also as naked as the day she was born!

Tom lay there for a moment, unsure of what to make of this new situation, as his higher mental faculties tried to form a response to this, he idly noted the rest of the situation. He was also naked, his clothes in a pile not far from where the two of them lay. With his skull feeling like it had a pulse of its own, it took him a moment before he remembered what had happened the night before. A slight smile spread across his face as the memories of the previous evening began to return to him as well as feeling of relief as he confirmed that he'd not forced himself on the girl when he'd gotten drunk the night before.

Braving the sun once more, he decided to open his eyes, and before he come to any other conclusions or make any other action, he saw that he and Mya were not alone in the hut.

Standing in the doorway with the sun shining in over her shoulder was an extremely irritated looking Visenya, wearing a clean peasant dress. and looking much cleaner than she had the night before. But all of that was barely acknowledged by Tom's hangover addled brain when he saw the wrathful look on the woman's face as she all but burned holes into him.

"Good morning. Did you have a good time?" The sickly sweet tone of her voice set off warning klaxons in his mind even stronger than the look in her eyes, and considering that her gaze currently could be classified as something between 'terrifying' and 'demonic', that said something.

A weak smile spread across his face and he tried to hold off the approaching doom that was coming for him for as long a he could, “Good Morning Visenya, I think I did. H-how was your night?”

She didn't answer his question though her face grew a large toothy smile that was less a grin then her baring her teeth, before she turned to Mya, who was now wide awake, and resumed her basilisk-like stare, this time at the other girl before biting out three words. “You. Girl. Out!”

Mya didn't have to be told twice, she immediately grabbed her clothing and after one last longing glance back towards Tom, she dashed out of the hut leaving Tom to face the avatar of feminine rage that was Visenya.

Visenya sighed and crossed her arms under her breasts, which Tom noticed were much more pronounced and visible in her peasant's garb, shame that raw terror sucked all the allure of the situation. “This complicates matters,” Were the first words that escaped Visenya's lips after Mya was long gone. Tom had by this point dashed for his clothes and was rapidly pulling them on, waiting for the explosion that was bound to come from the silver-haired woman. Her actual response confused him for a moment.

Unsure as how to respond he simply asked, “Erm, why?”

Her eyes bore into Tom with such incredible intensity, that Tom felt he now knew how the rabbit felt when spotted by the hawk. She then formed a disturbing facsimile of a smile that chilled Tom to his core for a moment. “Because the villagers have just seen one of their girls return under questionable circumstances with my 'lord husband'.

All thought in Tom's mind screeched to a full stop, with all the grace of a car trying to avoid a deer. He stared there shell-shocked for a while, until he finally managed to croak out, “What.”

That facsimile never left her face, “Oh, it's really quite the tale of dashing romantic heroism. You were the son of a sworn-sword in the Riverlands to a lord who could barely pay for the knights he already had. That and the cruelty of the Ironborn meant that you left to be a hedge knight. You then entered the Stormlands in the hope to find a lord to serve. You then decided to enter a tournament at Bronzegate, where you saw me, Renna.” She paused to preen somewhat before she continued, “It was love at first sight,” she sighed with a sarcastic tone. “But my father, a sworn sword and an important house vassal guard for Lord Buckler had no desire to wed his daughter to a scruffy hedge knight who'd fled from the Riverlands. But we refused to listen and we fled back North one dark night. Regretfully we lost your horse in our flight. Which now brings us here.” The entire time she told her tale her voice rose and fell with all the dramatics of a Shakespearean actor, obviously to drive home the point of his idiocy.

"Um. Shouldn't we have discussed this?" He tried to ask lamely.

"Yes. We should have, but you were busy." She curtly replied.

Tom could only stare, he had no clue how to respond to that for a moment. When he connected the dots and he responded with a groan of frustration, “And now I've ruined your ruse because I got too sloshed last night and one girl was too eager to thank me for saving her.”

“Oh don't be a fool 'husband'. You're hardly the first married knight to take a comely peasant wench to his chambers. Why, you even had the uncommon courtesy to give her a say in the matter.” The sarcasm in her voice was tangible, “The only reason that little ginger tart spread her legs for you was because her uncle told her to do so. I saw him talking with her when he left after you told him that we would be departing soon.”

That brutal honesty hit Tom like a blow in the gut, but thinking about it, it made a cruel sense in his mind. Back home Tom had never been that skilled with women, he stuttered, he goggled, he was a blithering moron. The sole time he had tried to ask a girl out she'd verbally berated him while amongst their fellow high school students. It had crushed him and for the last five years he hadn't tried again since, settling for admiring women from afar but never communicating with them, convinced for years he had nothing to offer a girl in a relationship.

Tom was growling in the depths of his throat. He was not just hurt about being used, he was furiously angry. Did they really think so little of him to believe they could guilt trip him into remaining here for the rest of his life? Before he left, he was determined to have a few choice words with Rolf and Mya about their pathetic little ruse. He pulled on his clothing, girded his sword, and then stormed out of the hut, intent on looking for either Rolf or Mya or hopefully both.

After a few minutes of looking, Tom spotted Mya sitting at the door of a larger hut, brushing her hair with a wooden comb. When he saw her bright orange hair and that wistful look on her face, Tom wanted to believe for second that Visenya was wrong and that it was an honest mistake. But then he remembered how it had been Mya who had been refilling his cup every time he put it down, keeping him from being able to judge how much he'd drunk. The anger returned and he stormed towards Mya again, intent on getting the truth from her as well as giving her a piece of his mind in the process.

Before he opened his mouth, Rolf happened to cross his path and started to go into a warm greeting, “Good-morning m'lord, I hope that ….” Tom cut him of by raising his hand and turned back to Mya, who'd spotted Tom walking towards her. She all but jumped up and nearly skipped her way towards Tom, a smile on her face. “Good-Morning, m'lord.”

“Good-morning.” Tom replied his voice flat though his eyes began to bore into her.

“Is there something wrong m'lord?” Rolf interjected, his face beginning to show concern.

“Oh nothing much, just a question I wanted to ask the two of you.” Tom answered nonchalantly. He turned back to the man and asked, “I must know, why are you so indignant about the Ironborn stealing your women when you're so anxious to give them away? I mean, it's not like I don't appreciate a good gift, but my very own peasant girl was somewhat unexpected but not entirely unwelcome, though I do wish you hadn't gotten me so drunk in the process.”

Before Rolf could sputter a reply, Tom then turned back towards Mya, who began to wilt under the angered gaze the younger man gave her. “Now, Mya, I have a question. Did last night mean anything or were you prostituting yourself for your uncle's benefit like a common dockside whore? I have to wonder was it Tom you wanted, or was it the Dovahkiin?” His eyes were actually were blazing at this point, small sparks of red could be spotted in his pupils and they only grew stronger as he continued his gaze.

Mya stared in horror for a moment before she broke into a tearful cry and turned, fleeing from the two of them as fast as her legs could carry her.

Tom stared after her for a moment, then snorted and was about to leave when he looked at Rolf and was taken aback at the pained and frantic look on his face.

“M'lord, please don't be angry with her, I was the one who thought up the entire scheme. You're from the Riverlands, you know what it's like living with those godsdamn Ironborn. You know what it's like living everyday wondering if they'll show up on those longships of theirs and burn or steal everything you ever knew or loved.” He had a pained look on his face, like one who'd gone through horrible things in his life, things that were threatening to force themselves back to the forefront. “Mya, she's the only kin I have left. Her mother, my sister died when she but a babe and her father, some wandering lout ran off months before, me and my wife, we decided to take her in. After my wife died a few years ago she's all I have left, none of my sons lived to manhood and we never had a daughter ourselves. When I saw how smitten she was and when I heard you were leaving, I... I didn't know what to do. So I told her my plan and I hoped that you'd stay or at least take her with you when you left. Please I know you don't owe me or her anything, but I beg you please find her. Those Ironborn bastards might still be skulking around out there and if anything happened to her....” The big man trailed off and he all but collapsed into himself.

Tom stood there, his burning anger turning inward. He was such a big damned hero, wasn't he? He'd shattered a girl's heart and he'd crushed the mad dream of a man who was trying to do what he could to ensure his home's safety and if he couldn't at the least the safety of his niece. He idly wonder what he'd do to next to fuck things up next. He wished Visenya hadn't said that he was a Riverlander, he didn't know what it was like to live in fear everyday wondering if some band of Cthulhu-worshiping thugs would crash into their lives and proceed to rape, pillage, and burn everything they had.

“I'm still upset with you, but I can understand why you did what you did. I'll find her.” Tom finally said.

The other man nearly collapsed and thanked Tom repeatedly before Tom finally got him off. He then walked into the forest. As soon as he was out of sight of the village, he started shouting her name, trying to think of what he was going to tell her. He felt like a heel for what he'd said to her after Visenya had talked to to him.

When he didn't get an answer after a few minutes, he took a breath and shouted “Laas Yah Niir!” Instantly the entire forest lit up with the various living creatures that were within a half-mile radius. He found, that the it was far easier to keep control of his senses. He scanned the forest for several minutes then, right at the very edge of his scan he spotted a small human female, 'Mya' but he also spotted a larger male form right on top of her.

His eyes widened in horror and he tore towards Mya where she and the stranger were still standing. After a few minute he tore through a wall of bushes and found Mya and a thin man maybe a few inches taller than him wiry build and looked like he could move quickly when he wanted to. His hair and he eyes were dark and he wore what appeared to be a noble's clothing but had been somewhat dirty and torn, most likely from a night spent in the forest. He was using Mya as a shield and he held a small dagger to her neck effectively holding the girl hostage.

Tom had drawn out the sword, the dark Valerian steel glinting in the dappled light of the forest, and kept his eyes locked onto Ironborn.

"Let. Her. Go.” He ground out each word as cold and harsh as if it had been carved from ice. His grip on the sword grew tighter and his knuckles cracked and whitened with the pressure.

The other man smiled jovially and, as if talking to an old friend, said, “Good tidings to you on this fine day! Ser Dovahkiin was it? I must apologize for the trouble but, I needed to make sure you were open to converse, hence the insurance.” As if to make his point, he pressed the tip of his blade into the skin of her neck, causing the girl to let out a small cry.

Tom was taken aback for a moment before he forced down his rage, and replied as calmly as he could,"And what makes you think she means anything to me?"

The Ironborn gave a hearty and bemused laugh before giving Tom a look that seemed to say, 'do you think I am that stupid?' "I can see the concern in your eyes and I can smell the stench of sex upon her. I have no desire to harm to your pretty little Saltwife, but right now, she's the only thing shielding me from your magics. So I think for the moment she's looks best standing between us." Mya looked at Tom with huge fear filled eyes, pleading him to save her.

Tom looked at her for a moment before he turned back towards the Ironborn, his eyes hardened to green stone, though in the center of his pupils fire seemed to spark and blaze even in the dark under the forest canopy,"If you hurt her, I will show you there are things far worse than death..." He ground those words out with the finality of a headsman's ax. Only a fool could tell that he was giving no threat, but a statement of fact.

The other man answered with surprising calm, “I am Ironborn. Believe me when I say that, I am well aware that there are many things in this world far worse than death.”

The two of them stared each other down before Tom said, “So. What is it you want Ironborn?”

The Ironborn looked at Tom for a moment, “Why, to serve you as your sworn man, of course.” The smile on the man's face as he told him this couldn't have been larger.

When he saw Tom's incredulous look on his face he continued, “I'm Bannon Harlaw of house Harlaw, my cousin Harren was the unfortunate fool leading this ill-conceived expedition. I’d give a bow, but for obvious reasons I must refrain.”

Tom thought back for a moment and remembered how the two Ironborn had said that their commander, the one that Tom had turned into paste the day before, had been the son of the lord of Harlaw. “Your cousin? Why would you want to serve your cousin's killer? I would've thought that you want revenge.”

Bannon merely snorted with contempt. "My cousin was an idiot who refused to take council, and who's main concern in life was the next moist, lukewarm hole he could cram his dick into. I told him that raiding this village was a waste of time, but he refused to go home without first engaging in some 'merry sport'." Tom could all but hear the scornful quotations wrapped around those last words. “He wanted a woman, and nothing I nor anyone else said would have changed his mind.”

Tom was a little stunned at that sort of callousness towards one's kin but that still didn't answer all of his questions. “Alright then,” he replied. “I can understand if you didn't want revenge. But why do you want to serve me? Why not go home to your uncle and father, raise an army and put my head on a pike?”

Bannon had an answer for that as well, "First, that would involve being able to separate your head from your shoulders, a feat to which I have few delusions as to my ability to accomplish. Besides, even on the most pacific of days my Uncle Harrick is not exactly a mellow individual. To be blunt, he has the gentle temperament of a badger with its arse on fire. Even if I were to bring your head home, there is an uncomfortable possibility that mine would be hung right next to it for failing to save his half-wit spawn from his own stupidity."

Tom looked at Bannon long and hard, much as he wanted to blast the bastard, he couldn't while he still had Mya held hostage. He finally made a choice, “Alright, if I did decide to take you in, what would you have to offer?”

A spark seemed to light up in Bannon's eyes for a moment, before he answered, "For one I could teach you to actually use that fine weapon. You look like you're chopping wood."

Tom flushed and sheathed the sword while muttering, “Not that I really need it.”

Bannon continued, “For another, unlike my idiot cousin, I actually paid attention during my uncle's meal-time conversation. I can safely assume that I know everything worth knowing. For example, were you aware that the king is planning a war?”

Tom shook his head, “I know that too. Got anything else?”

Bannon raised his eyebrows for a moment before he answered as confidently as before, “My, you are certainly well informed. Well then. I am at a bit of an impasse. I guess the wealth of information I have on their numbers, positions, and possible targets would be completely superfluous then.”

Tom nodded his head, “Alright. You're in. Let Mya go.”

Bannon nodded and released the girl who dashed to Tom before bearhugging him and weeping saying, “I'm sorry, I'm sorry....”

Tom returned the hug and kissed her on the crown of her head before saying, “It's alright, your uncle told me the whole story, I'm not mad at you anymore. It's alright.”

When she calmed down enough to disengage from him, Tom then strode over to the Ironborn before grabbing him by the front of his tunic and snarling out, “If I come to regret this, you will not live to regret this. Am I clear?”

Bannon never dropped his insufferable grin when he answered in a confident voice, “As clear as crystal m'lord.”

Tom shook his head as he let go of the man, “Were you this sarcastic back among your people?”

Bannon smirked, “Certainly.”

Tom raised an eyebrow, “And you're still alive?”

“One of the advantages of always being right.” He replied with a shrug.

Tom snorted at that being saying, “That and being the fastest runner in all of the Iron Islands no doubt.”

Bannon stared at him for a moment before he laughed and said, “Oh, I like you! I think I will enjoy working with you m'lord. You have a sense of humor!”

“Before we head back to the village there is one more thing that we need to deal with.” Tom drew his sword and turned to the Ironborn. “Kneel.”

Bannon gave him a look then he knelt.

Tom nodded then said, “Do you Bannon Harlaw of house Harlaw swear to make an oath of loyalty to me Thomas Brodie 'the Dovahkiin' of house Brodie?”

“I do.”

“Do you swear to follow and aid me in all of my endeavors to the best of your abilities?”

“I do.”

“Do you swear never to harm me or my own through action or inaction, through words, spoken or written, or deeds as well as those whom I call ally should they mean no harm to me or my own?”

“I do.”

Tom then tapped the flat of his blade across both of Bannon's shoulders, “Then I call you the first of my vassals and the first forever more for as long as our blood remains in this world.”

With that Bannon rose and then the three of them walked back towards the village, Tom idly wondered how Visenya would react to this new turn of events.
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:49 am

Visenya watched the forest from the safety of the village wondering when Tom would be coming back and whether or not he would be bringing that little redhead with him.

Despite the cold fury she’d shown that morning, and how she’d goaded Tom to turn on her, she had no real dislike of the girl. She was simply a young woman who’d been in a bad situation and had been smitten with her hero.

The problem was that from what she’d observed of the man, he had an overdeveloped sense of honor and moral compass that made him almost pathetically easy to manipulate. If he made a promise then she was reasonably sure that he’d do whatever it took to keep it, a fact that was both dangerous and useful. Visenya had feared that if the girl had gotten her legs around the young man that he’d be guilt ridden into staying in this tiny little village blasting away at the occasional brigand, pirate, or Ironborn.

That was such a terrible shame when she knew that he could be so much more, set to much greater things. Her mind went back to the day before as he stormed into the village, not caring a bent copper that he was outnumbered at least thirty to one, and with blasts of pure force and balls of fire had decimated the attackers and had scattered the survivors screaming to the four winds. Power had always been attractive to Visenya, force of will, strength of arms, wealth, or any other form that it came in she found intriguing. Aegon had been such a man, he was tall, strong, intelligent, he had burned with ambition, and he had the fire and the force will to achieve what he set out.

When Aegon, she, and their younger sister Rhaenys had approached adulthood, it had become apparent that aside from the traditions of Valyria, the two sisters also desired Aegon on a personal level, and being Targaryens, both sisters competed fiercely for his affections. She was still a little embarrassed at how much their competition had escalated. When Aegon had finally put his foot down and ended their feud by marrying the both of them, Visenya had been in the process of girding on her armor, while Rhaenys was quickly slathering the deadliest poisons in the world to her knives.

At first glance, this young man, did not have any of the qualities that Aegon seemed to possess. But when she had dealt with him longer she saw that at least compared to the men she had lived with for most of her life, Tom was an honestly good man, and thus a predictable one. He had saved her when there was little to gain for him, he had sworn to bring her home because of a promise he’d given a dying man. When they had found the village under attack, he’d foolishly jumped in to save them and had done so nearly single handedly, against odds that he had no business surviving. He had accomplished this by harnessing powers she’d never seen before, and she had the feeling that he was only showing a fraction of what he could do. More than anything in the world right now she wanted, no craved to know what he could to and also learn how to bend that power to her own purposes. The possibilities that she saw were endless.

She was brought out of her reverie when she spotted Tom walking out of the forest his head high in the air. Visenya made a very unladylike snort of contempt when she saw that moon-eyed peasant girl, Mya, was hovering by his side like an over-eager puppy, all but lost in her adoration of the man.

IT was then that she noticed the other man following behind Tom as they walked into the village. She saw to her small satisfaction that Tom’s smile disintegrated when he saw her waiting for him. He noticeably swallowed and then turned to Mya, saying something to her before she nodded and left him alone with his companion. Visenya glared at the girl for a moment to keep up appearances, before she turned back to the two approaching men. The peasant girl shot her an equally venomous glare for an instant before she turned and headed into the village, but Visenya ignored it as being beneeth her notice.

When Tom reached Visenya he swallowed then gestured to the stranger, “Hello...Ranna, meet Bannon Harlaw, the nephew of Harrick Harlaw, he’s promised me information in exchange for not blasting him into oblivion.”

“And oath of fealty in exchange for protection from my uncle’s wrathful nature!” the Ironborn added with insufferable cheer.

Visenya looked incredulously at Tom, absently wondering what madness had overcome him, before she examined the man infront of her. He was a few inches taller than Tom but of a lighter build. Both his hair and his eyes were near jet black in their darkness, and he had a permanent smirk on his face as if he were privately enjoying something hilarious that no one else could see. When Tom finished speaking he dramatically bowed to Visenya, and with great mirth in his voice, said, “It is an honor to meet you lady Ranna. It is an honor to meet my lord’s lady wife.”

The entire time he spoke Visenya instantly knew that Bannon knew that the two of them weren’t married and that she was not named Ranna. She looked to Tom and saw to her frustration that he either was a far better actor than she gave him credit for, or actually seemed to believe that the Ironborn bought their story. She hoped it was the former, but considering how inept he seemed at anything even remotely involving intrigue, it was probably the latter.

She showed no sign of any of these emotions and instead curtsied and smiled, “Greetings lord Bannon.”

“The pleasure is mine, m’lady,” he said with a degree of good humor that was honestly off-putting, coming from one of the normally violent and dower men of the Iron Islands, “But I must say, I didn’t know there was a Targaryen branch house in the Stormlands. Your family history must be quite the tale.”

The look of numb horror on Tom’s face would have been amusing if their cover had not been so easily blown. Visneya was vaguely impressed when Tom quickly recovered and grinned sheepishly and said, “Seems that you were even more clever than I thought.”

“Then we must have words about your obviously low opinion of my intellect,” Bannon countered with a small frown, “White hair, violet eyes. The only way she could be more marked by her lineage would be it you tattooed a three headed dragon to her arse,” he paused for a moment then playfully added, “And if m’lady would allow it, I’d be willing to check for one.”

Visenya was about to have puffed up at that before Tom countered, “She could have been a Dayne, or maybe of house Valeryon. Both of them have those features. And the Valeryon’s live right next to the Targaryens.”

“True that is a possibility, there are a few problems with that. For one the Daynes live in Dorne and are leagues away from here even a distant cousin wouldn’t have moved as far North as Bronzegate. As for house Valeryon, everyone in Westeros knows that old man Valeryon is pissing himself with worry that Aegon’ll finally decided he’s outlived his usefulness and torch Driftmark with his dragons. He would never have even a peasant soldier of his away from his island, let alone a kinswoman. And then finally, and most importantly, it wasn’t either of their fleets that recently wrecked on these shores.”

Visenya watched Tom flinch, “So you knew about that? I was hoping it hadn’t become common knowledge just yet.” To be honest she had agreed with him. If the Ironborn from Harrenhal already knew that the Dragonstone fleet had been destroyed and the dragons lost, then her difficulties were greater than she had expected.

She missed part of conversation as she thought but she was wrenched from her musings when she heard, “...and cousin Harren sent the silver-haired Highborn lady to Harrenhal as a gift to the king.”

She then turned her entire attention on Bannon. “What was that!?”

“I said, before we hit this village we found a silver-haired woman floating in the middle of the bay, clinging to a piece of debris. She was dressed in highborn clothing. Harren wanted to have her right then and there but to my personal amazement, I was able to convince him that she was too weak to...” he snorted and began to finger quote,“‘Survive his manly passions’ and was able to convince him that he’d gain much favor by sending her to Harrenhal as an offering to the king. We dropped her off at one of our coastal forts to recover her strength to travel,” He looked at her for a moment, “Why don’t tell me that was....? Oh this is too rich.” He then proceeded to laugh.

Visenya bristled. "This is no laughing matter! This is my sister we're talking about!"

"Your sister..." he then started to laugh even harder. "Sisters! My, my, my lord, you travel with interesting companions. That fine blade you were swinging about as if it were a woodsman’s axe wouldn't happen to be the famed Blackfyre now would it?"

Tom sighed and said, “Since you’ve sussed everything else out, yes. Yes it is.”

“Hmn. If the ladies are on the mainland, one as a love-slave-to-be, and the other playing little wify to a fire breathing hedge knight, and you have the lord’s sword. Well, I take it Aegon’s no longer with us, and the dragons are a total loss? Correct me when I’m wrong,” he said, completely assured in the accuracy of his guess.

“Yes, you would be correct.” Tom answered again and she saw that his knuckles were beginning to whiten as he clenched his fists tighter.

“Then I strongly suggest we get moving,” Bannon replied with the sureness of the grave. “Unless I am mistaken, house Targaryen has few friends, and many enemies. House Valeryon will no doubt take advantage of the opportunity to capture Dragonstone, and my own people would leap at the chance if only for the bragging rights for being the first people to sack the city.”

A numb feeling of dread filled her as the thought of her home being put to the torch by a swarm of Ironborn burned into her mind. Now more than ever, she needed to get Tom and herself back to Dragonstone. At the same time she wanted nothing more than to fly to her sister’s rescue and utterly destroy those who dared make a slave of a dragon.

She was taken out of her thoughts when Tom spoke up. “Do you remember where it is?”

Bannon, slightly confused, replied, “Erm yes, it’s a way up the coast, in the territory of Micah Rosby.”

Tom nodded, “Can you lead me there?”

“I can but I believe that would be...inadvisable, there are at least a hundred men using that fortification and no doubt by the time you arrive they will have learned about you.” Bannon seemed somewhat nervous about the look in Tom’s eyes and to be honest she was as well.

With that, Tom said, “Tomorrow, we’re going after her. If you don’t want to come with me then I understand, just leading me there or giving me the directions there would be appreciated.”

He then turned towards to the village, mentioning something about, “Apologizing to Rolf,” as he left. Visenya stared after him her face a mask of stunned surprise. Bannon stood beside her watching the man walk off into the village. He conversed with the large red-headed man for a moment then after shaking his hand he then turned towards the hut that held all of the equipment that had been taken by the Ironborn.

“Your new man is either insane, the stupidest man in all of Westeros, or he is more powerful than I thought.” Bannon idly commented.

Visenya turned to him for a moment, incensed at Bannon’s implications. The very idea that she would ever deign to actually... but as she thought on it. As she remembered the man who could have so easily slaked his lusts on her when she was too weak to resist, or more callously left her to die there on the beach. The man who without a thought had leaped into the village because of the rape of a peasant girl. She remembered the raw power that he could call to bear with just a single word. She thought on it for a while, hmm.... She did have a young third cousin who should have bled by now. Maybe.... She would have to think on this.

About then she realized what it was that Tom was intending to do. Much as she wished that they could go and save her sister, there wasn’t enough time to mount a rescue. If they stayed away from Dragonstone for too long then Valeryon would learn of what had happened and send a fleet against Dragonstone. She then dashed into the village to find and stop Tom before he wasted their time and doomed her home. She failed to notice the small redheaded figure emerge from behind a storage hut and look after the running silverette.

Visenya found Tom standing in the house that had been laid aside for storing the equipment gathered from the Ironborn. He was in the middle of examining a well made hatchet when Visenya cleared her throat behind him. “We can’t do it. We don’t have enough time.”

Tom never turned around to face her, he just placed the hatchet into his belt and then turned to the chainmail shirts, “I made an oath, I am going make good on that oath. Besides I saw what those Ironborn were doing and I’ll be damned if I leave a woman to that kind of fate.”

She gave Tom a look and retorted, “And if you do then you will doom my home to that kind of fate.”

“My oath was to keep you and your sister safe not protect you island and not to be your attack dog.” He answered.

“But you do not know where to find her.”

“Bannon said he was there.”

“How do you know that he will not betray you.”

“The man could have run when he had the chance, instead he actively sought me out so that he could work for me. He wouldn’t have done that unless he was intending to be honest with me.”

This banter could have gone on for a while but there was an interruption when Mya appeared behind Visenya, “Actually m’lady, we could use the Ironborn ship. My village are fishermen and we’re familiar around boats. And if we needed to we have three Ironborn to help us.”

Visenya turned back to Mya and after glaring down at the girl who to her surprise glared right back at her, answered, “I assume that between your fawning and seductions, you didn't notice that the mast of that ship was torn clean off yesterday.”

“And I guess that between your preening and lies that you didn't notice the gigantic bloody forest behind us and not a noble lord in sight to complain about cutting the trees down.” Mya replied without a pause that knockedVisenya back on her heels.

“How Dare You Speak To Me Like That!” Visenya all but roared at the girl, who’s bravado seemed to only swell in the face of her indignation.

"Not an easy feeling, is it, m'lady? Living in fear of the Ironborn, wondering when they're going to come for you and the people you love? For you this is something dreadful and new. For my people its just another day. Believe me when I say that acting daft and won't get you anywhere." Mya retorted at Visenya’s outburst, shocking the highborn lady to the core as it struck far too close to home.

But Visenya was a Targaryen and fire was in their bodies, hearts, and minds. She retaliated quickly, “So then wise one, what do you suggest our course of action should be?”

Mya smirked with a shocking amount of venom and replied, “My ‘suggestion’ is that you get your bloody head out of your arse and actually think about finding a way to save your godsdamned sister! If one of my kin was taken, and I had a chance to save them, I wouldn’t be standing around here weeping like some festering cunt!”

That was one word too far for Visenya’s frayed temper and she would have leapt at the woman right there if something hadn’t diverted her attention.

“Visenya... Mya... SHUT! UP!” Tom suddenly snapped, the unexpected source made Visenya’s righteous fury fade like mist in the summer sun.

Tom had slipped on a helmet and a chainmail shirt to see how they fit and when he glared at the two of them he snarled, “What the hell has gotten into the two of you?”

Mya was the first to answer, “After all that has happened to me, I'll be buggered if I'm going to let some pampered princess stand around ruining everything for everyone because she just found out that guess what everybody, world ain't fair! My home was raided and I was nearly raped, then I was saved by a hero like out of the age of legends. He made love to me, made me feel like I never believed was possible, then he was infuriated with me the very next day, thanks to her,” she all but growled the last three words of the sentence, “When I ran from him, I was held hostage by one of the very same men who attacked my home and nearly raped me. Then my hero saved me, again, and immediately apologized for his harsh words, and then this damned fool ruined the moment by ranting about leaving her very own sister to suffer a fate worse than death,” she snorted, “Besides, considering the value that I’ve heard nobles place on kinship, I’m left wondering if she’s really concerned or just looking for a way to get rid of her!”

Tom was staring in stunned silence and a slight blush spread across his cheeks but Visenya barely noticed him or anything else. The last few words that Mya had spoken were rattling around in her brain like a macabre rattle. Did she really think that? She recalled to the fighting that had happened between her sister and her before Aegon married the both of them. Was she really so hostile to her sister that she would abandon her now?

She scarcely heard Tom’s half whisper, “Don’t you think you’re being a little too harsh Mya?”

Mya struck hard again with her response, “Not in the slightest, m’lord. I’m only getting started.”

“No, you’re not,” Tom said brooking no argument, “Cut it out.”

“Yes, m’lord,” she replied, deflating somewhat.

Tom nodded in satisfaction. “Alright. Now, lets go talk to the men of the village about that boat.”

Tom made a motion for Mya to lead the way, and as the two left, he looked back to Visenya for a moment before leaving her to her fugue.

Not a moment later Bannon shot her quizzical look that held far more amusement than was probably healthy. “Well, it seems that there was more to that little fireball then was to be expected.”

Visenya nodded blankly, not actually hearing what he said.
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:50 am

Tom stared at Mya as the two of them left the hut, unsure as what to say her after he witnessed the shocking barrage of insults she’d unleashed on Visneya, other than to get her away from the other woman. Tom examined her more closely, and after taking a sniff, he could smell the distinctive odor of beer on her breath.

“Uh Mya,” he said in a low voice, “Why do you smell like beer?”

"Because I decided that after all the shite I'd been through this morning, I deserved a nip."

She answered so matter-of-factly it made Tom blink before he then asked her, “Uh how much is a nip?” He was a little surprised at this, there was no way she could have had that much they’d only just got back.

“Wasn't that much, m’lord,” she said with a shrug.

“You’re drunk aren’t you?” Tom deadpanned, not really believing this insanity.

Mya seemed to puff up and retorted, “I’m not drunk!” She snatched her arm out Tom’s grip, “I’m angry!” She turned towards the other villagers and with a more powerful voice than her petite form would indicate she roared,"Alright you buggers! Everybody line up! Ser Dovahkin’s got a task for you!”

The entire village as one turned their heads towards the tiny redhead standing next to their savior and groaned.

“Seven curse it!” Rolf exclaimed, “Mya, what happened?.”

“Not too much. Just told the lord’s ‘lady wife’, what was what, that’s all,” she replied smugly.

“You were hitting the ale again, weren’t you?” he said with a frown.

“I just finished off the jug. I’m fine,” she said almost flippantly, “Besides, after this morning I needed something to calm my nerves.”

Tom’s eyes almost bugged out of his head. Finished off the jug? Oh, for the love of God. He didn’t know how much had been left in that jug, but he had a feeling it had probably been enough to make him lose his own head, but here she was, a girl that probably weighed about as much as one of his legs, perfectly functional albeit somewhat maniacal.

“You did what?!” Rolf turned to Tom and almost begging, said “I apologize my lord! When Mya gets drunk she gets rather... spirited.”

“I’m not drunk!” she replied in a huff, “Girl decides she needs to take the edge off and speak her mind, and they think its all up in the ale!”

“Damn,” one of the younger men cursed, “Enough to put the bug up her arse, but not enough to make her friendly.”

“Believe me, Castor, there isn’t enough ale in this world to make any lass as friendly as you’d prefer,” she replied coquettishly, “I’d stick to the sheep if I were you.”

The other young men exploded into laughter, while Rolf simply crossed his arms and glared at her. “Mya, what is this all about.”

“Ranna’s sister was taken by the Ironborn,” That statement alone took all the cheer and levity from the situation. At once everyone was focused on her, their brows furrowed, and the tension heavy enough to cut with a knife. “But we know where she is. She’s taken ill and isn’t good to travel, so we have time for a rescue.”

To the people of the Riverlands, the idea of a rescue, of snatching a loved one from the jaws of the Ironborn was a faint dream, something everyone fantasized about, some even attempted, but few were able to accomplish. The very idea was enough to still all conversation and put all, undivided attention on Mya.

“We need to make their longship seaworthy and mend the sail. Then we’ll need a volunteer crew to tend her. Anyone left behind will probably need to take shelter with nearby kin in case the bloody Harlaws show up while Ser Dovahkin is saving his ‘wife’s’,” it was a testament to her acting ability that she was able to say the word with a straight face, “kin. So the menfolk better start looking for a good tree and the womenfolk better start mending that sail.”

The villagers lined up and set to work with great elan. As the villagers threw themselves into their individual tasks, Tom looked for anyone who was not being berated by the woman.

To his joy he spotted Rolf leaning against a hut wall, laughing himself sick though he kept it quiet. Tom walked over to his side and the two of them watch Mya browbeat the villagers. Rolf then leaned over to Tom and muttered, “So she got into the ale again huh?”

Tom snapped his head and said, “Again? You mean this has happened before?”

Rolf nodded, “Oh yes. My little Mya’s a very spirited girl, but whenever she gets grog of any sort in her,” he paused for a moment.“You know how we think one thing and say another?”

“Your internal monologue?” Tom offered weakly.

“Aye. That. She has trouble keeping her tongue on the best of days,” he replied, “Get a little drink in her and everyone gets to hear what she thinks, like it or not”

“Great,” Tom muttered as he noticed how the young woman was all but chasing half a dozen men, all carrying axes, into the forest.

“Now it even gets worse when that little temper of hers goes flying,” Rolf observed.

As he listened to Rolf’s commentary, he now glanced at Mya who’d moved to browbeating the other young women into getting started on the sail. “Little temper huh?”

“Oh yes m’lord, you should see what she is like when her dander is truly up.” Rolf said only half seriously.

“God have mercy that never happens.” Tom said dramatically with a hammy shudder.

Rolf nodded, then patted him on the shoulder. Then hopefully stated, “M’lord, you are taking her with you when you leave, right?”

“Take her? I’d be a fool not to. She’s got a gift there.” Tom commented, watching Mya turn the entire village to their new task.

As they were watching Bannon strode up beside them making a low whistle, "For once I can't condemn my late cousin's taste in women. His idea of courtship though, I still view as morally lacking."

Rolf visibly bristled at the sight of the Ironborn, but as the situation with Bannon had already been explained to him, he didn’t go any further than a curt, “And what do you want?”

“I was just going to offer my services to direct the repair of the ship. I’m an Ironborn, shipbuilding is in my blood.” He replied.

Rold bristled again and retorted, “We’re fishermen, we live on the sea our entire lives, do you honestly think that we can’t do it ourselves?”

“Fishermen you may be, but there is a reason my people are feared as the most skillful seamen in the whole of Westeros.” Bannon retorted with a slight smirk. “This is a Longship, not the little dinghies that you paddle around with to catch fish. The fact that you live off the sea is the reason I’m offering direction and not standing aghast in mute horror, wondering what ramshackle indignities you intend to inflict on such a finely crafted vessel.”

Rolf’s face turned as red as his hair, and for a moment he looked like he was about to attack Bannon. Tom quickly stepped into the argument putting his hand on their respective shoulders. “Easy! Easy There’s no need to get hostile. I’ll take any help I can and he can help steer the ship when we head our way North.” He turned to Bannon, “It is North of here right?”

“Steer? Any peasant can hold an oar.” Bannon replied incredulously, “It would be best if I were to captain her,” he raised a finger, “And before either of you get a burr in your nethers, about me, ‘usurping command’ or any other such nonsense,” he finger quoted, “Do we have anyone else with any experience commanding a sea going vessel with a number of crew greater than the fingers on one hand?

He paused for a just a moment. “No? Didn’t think so.”

“Fine,” Tom muttered. As much as he wanted to thump Bannon for that little power grab, the jerk was right. He doubted that any of the locals had experience in larger vessels and his captaining experience was amounted to little more than having watched all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. “Since we’re on the subject I think now’s the best time for us to talk logistics. What exactly are we going to go up against?”

Bannon smiled that insufferable know-it-all smile of his and looked at his liege. “This will take some time to outline. I believe it would be best to sit down and discuss it, over some leftovers from that fine smelling feast you enjoyed last night, while I was huddling in the cold mud, chewing on moldy tree bark for sustenance perhaps?”

Tom groaned. “Fine...,” he looked at one of the gawking women, “You heard the man.”

“And make sure to bring some of that mouth-watering pork I smelled, if there’s any left!” Bannon added in.

“Y-yes, m’lord,” stammered the girl, a cute, brown haired lass with freckles, who seemed to shrink under Bannon’s not entirely innocent gaze.

She retreated as quickly her two legs could carry her, while Bannon kept his eyes glued to her petite bottom the entire time.

“You know,” Tom said slowly, his southern drawl coming to the forefront as he spoke, “I just want to warn you that if you touch any of the local girls without their consent, your death will not be pleasant.”

“Just looking,” Bannon replied, looking back to his lord, now that the maiden was no longer in eyeshot, “Besides. Believe it or not, not all Ironborn share my late cousin’s tastes. I prefer my women willing and eager. Sex is so much more enjoyable when you can dedicate your energy into reaching new heights of pleasure, and not have to preoccupy yourself with keeping her underneath you..”

“Wonderful, you restore my faith in humanity, now let's get going,” Tom said with a grimace as he led the other two men to a wooden table dragged out into the center of the village.

Once the three of them sat down Tom turned to Bannon, sighed deeply, and said, “Alright, give me the info.”

Bannon, raised an eyebrow at the bizarre term but seemed to understand what he meant, after rising to grab a piece of charcoal he sat back down and began to sketch a rough map of the coast. When he finished he started to point out the location, “Alright, if this,” he pointed to one part of the map, “Is our location, and this,” he pointed to another spot, “Is Rosby, then the waypoint is about here.” He jabbed a third spot to the South of the indicated location of Rosby.

He then continued, “It is located on lord Rosby’s land but Rosby barely has the strength to hold his own dick as much as drive them off of Ironborn, to say nothing of establishing a presence to keep them from returning. The waypoint is made up of a natural bay where the ships are able to weigh anchor for the night. There is a wooden palisade that has space for 200 but most of the time, that room is being used to hold thralls for shipping back to the islands. Technically there are only about twenty men stationed there, but as there’s almost always a longboat in port, so you’re probably looking at closer to fifty. I do note though, it varies almost day to day.”

Tom smirked, “Slaves huh? Good. Even better for us.” Ignoring the look Bannon gave him, he turned to Rolf, “Alright Rolf, how many men can we bring with us?”

Rolf thought for a moment, “I think we could raise about twenty from here and if we're willing we can call help from our neighbors over at the mouth of the river. If we can get help from them we could possibly gather about fifty men all told.”

“And how are we for armor and weapons?” Tom then asked, already knowing that even if they could fit fifty men on that ship, they could never equip all of them.

Rolf had a scowl form on his face when he answered that last question, “Not nearly enough, we have enough armor for about fifteen men, and Ironborn weapons for about twenty, then add in what we got now and we got enough for about thirty, the rest‘ll have to settle for wood axes, clubs, or knives.”

Tom grimaced at that, if he had tried this under any other circumstances they’d be likely slaughtered like chickens. But, and Tom grinned at this, they had an ace up the sleeve. “Alright, send a runner to the Blackwater Rush village and tell them what happened here and ask them if they want to help us. If they do then bring them. Once we get the ship fixed then we get as many men on as there are oars plus another ten if we can fit them. The rest of the men are going to help the women and children here relocate to Blackwater Rush, once they get there I want everyone staying behind to start working on a palisade on that hill by the mouth of the river that’s jutting into the bay.” He pointed towards the South, indicating the largest of the three hills, the one that in another world would have become known as Aegon’s hill and would have been the home of the Red Keep.

“Once we got the men here we set sail, we’ll come up with a more concrete plan once we get closer.” He finished.

“Wonderful,” Bannon exclaimed, “And such perfect timing as well.”

Looking over his shoulder, Tom saw the same pretty girl he’d tasked with bringing Bannon his meal had arrived, holding a wooden tray laden with food, including some remaining scraps of the Boar they decimated the night before.

Seeing her, and the tray of bounty she carried, Bannons eyes twinkled like little stars. “My dear, you are far too kind to this sailor,” he said with far too much cheer and she placed it before him. “So, my dear, what do you call yourself?”

“E-eryn, m’lord...,” she stammered looking like a deer in headlights.

“A lovely name for a lovely young woman,” He smiled. To the girl it must have seemed dashing, for she blushed. To Tom it just looked smarmy.

With great force of will he resisted the urge to facepalm and mutter ‘you’ve got to be joking’ under his breath.

Seemingly emboldened by the girl’s reaction, he gently patted the seat beside him. "Come, Eryn, sit and I shall tell you of my travels. Most think we Ironborn leave our islands because they're nothing but drowned rocks. Bah I say. Truth is most Ironborn women are like badgers with breasts.... short, stocky, and angry. Would a fair change to have fair company while I eat."

To Tom’s consternation, Rolf’s face turned as red a stop sign and he looked like he was about to outright attack. “Don’t do anything hasty now,” he warned.

“Hasty?” Rolf turned on him. “Yesterday this Ironborn attacks my home, and today he works his foul charms upon our womenfolk?!”

“If it helps,” Tom said weakly, “He was against the attack.”

“Then why did he go along with it?” Rolf demanded to know.

“Because if I hadn’t I’d have been offered up to the Drowned God,” Bannon said with a lazy drawl, raising his voice and turning from Eryn, “One does not deny your lord, and one surely does not deny their captain. I’d have been in the precarious position of doing both at the same time. I thought the attack was foolishness, but dying in protest would have been even more so.”

“Fine, but don’t expect me to like it,” Rolf sneered. “I’m not going to sit back and watch this bastard eat. I’ll go help the others find a tree.”

“Large and straight, need between 25 and 30ft for the mast,” Bannon chimed in with a smile as he shoveled roast pork into his gullet. “You can cut wood shorter but not make it longer after all!”

Rolf turned about, flushing red once more. “I know!”

Not wanting a fight, Tom grabbed onto Rolf’s arm. “Okay, forget him for now, lets just go find that tree.”
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:51 am

The sound of Valyrian-Steel striking wood sounded out through the clearing. Sweat beaded on Tom’s forehead as he swung Blackfyre over and over, striking the dead tree, the sharp edge of the blade biting deep into the wood with every strike.

After Tom had finished planning with Rolf and Bannon, he’d felt restless. Planning was important but a strong part of him had no stomach for it. He wanted to act, not wait, even if waiting was the wiser course of action. It was then that he’d taken a single look at his sword and decided that if he had to wait for the ship to be repaired, then at least he’d put the time to some use. After all, he needed to learn how the hell to use the damned thing, and this was as good time as any to start.

The clearing was a good thirty yards from the village and about fifty feet across. The sun was high and a few clouds drifted lazily across the sky. The hangover from the night before had already begun to fade on its own, and his continued exercise gave him something to work out his frustrations upon.

He’d put the sword down for a moment to take a breath, and was about to pick it back up when he was interrupted by a female voice. “I had a feeling you’d be here.”

Turning to the direction of the voice, he saw Visenya standing at the edge of the clearing watching him with an bemused look on her face.

Wiping the sweat from his forehead, he nodded to her, “Afternoon m’lady, what brings you here?”

She nodded back in greetings and then pointed to the sword, “I have been watching you... ‘practice’.”

“Really? And what is your opinion of my abilities?” Tom asked with a slight smile on his face.

“Your father needs to track down whoever it was who trained you and demand satisfaction for his outright sabotage of your education.” She answered without pause.

Tom blinked at this for a moment, feeling slightly indignant for a moment at her implied insult. But after giving it a moment’s thought he couldn’t help but agree with her observation. But then he’d never had to learn how to fight with a blade.

“Well, if you think that you could do it better. Why don’t you teach me how to use the damned thing properly?” Tom asked ruefully.

Visenya looked at him for a moment. “Alright then,” She smirked and approached the man, “The first thing you must know is the stance and how to hold it. Now show me what stance you have and how you hold it.”

Tom nodded and got into what he hoped was a good stance and took the sword in a firm two-handed grip.

She took one look at the stance and then sighed deeply. “Please tell me you jest.”

Tom blinked in confusion. “Huh?”

Visenya sighed deeply and palmed her face, rubbing her head slightly at the temples with the thumb and index finger of her hand. “Where to start...” She sighed again and shook her head before stepping forward towards him. “Alright then. First lesson is to teach you how not to stand like a drunken woodsman.”

“Hey!” Tom exclaimed. “I...”

“Silence,” she snapped. “I’m working.”

Reaching down to the ground, she picked up a thick fallen twig and walked towards Tom. Her eyes looked him over for any and all faults which she corrected with a swift strike from her switch.


“Widen those legs.”


“Not that wide, fool!”


“Suck in that gut!”


“Chest forward!”

After a few minutes of torture, she stepped back, pleased with Tom's improved form. "Now that seems a bit more correct... Now remember, how you hold the blade, and the form of your stance are the most important basics in using the sword, all the strength, speed, and agility in the world will not matter a half copper unless you have these basics. To encourage correctness... I will continue to encourage you to be correct."

She stepped forward, matched his stance, holding the stick as if it were a sword, and then shifted her own. “Now you try.”

Tom winced, but complied, and copying the stance that she showed. Once again, she ‘corrected’ any mistakes, but to Tom’s great pleasure, this time there were a good deal fewer mistakes. Unfortunately though, with Visenya and her stick, one mistake was still far too many.

Again and again they did this until, just when Tom felt like there was not a single part of his anatomy that wasn’t bruised, Visenya finally nodded and said, " Congratulations, you now know how to hold a sword."

The condescending look on her face make Tom grit his teeth for a moment but he let it go as he knew that he would not be able to find a better sword instructor anywhere for who knew how many miles. He also knew that he needed to learn how to use this damn blade if he was going to survive in this new world he had been unceremoniously dumped into. So he simply smiled dumbly and nodded, speaking with real honesty and just as much relief in his voice, "Thank-you for your instructions m'lady."

Her smile was sickly sweet. “Wonderful. Tomorrow we will see how many you can remember. Now let me show you how to swing it”

Tom muttered under his breath, but did not comment other than to say, "As the lady commands."

For the next several hours, with Visenya as instructor, Tom worked with the most basic forms of sword fighting. By the time they were finished, when Visenya felt that he wouldn't accidentally kill himself drawing it from the scabbard, Tom was aching all over, now not only from his teachers merciless correction, but the effort of his repetitious swings left his wrists, hands, and shoulders feeling like they were on fire.

Tom groaned in agony and, in his mind at least, was luckily able to get the sword back into the scabbard still tied around his waist. Even more satisfying was his relief when she threw her stick to the side and started back into town. He spared a moment to stomp on the damned thing before he followed Visenya back to the village to see the progress that have been made so far on fixing the ship.

When he arrived, he was pleased to see that considerable progress had been made on replacing the mast and repairing the sails. While it was still a long way from being finished, he felt that it would only be a few days before they would be ready to set out and free Rhaenys from her captivity by the Ironborn, and himself from her sister's brutal lessons.

As the two of them were walking towards the ship, they were spotted by Mya, Rolf, and Bannon, all of whom waved and approached the two of them. There was slight jockeying for a moment as to see who would be the first to speak to Tom and tell him their progress so far. Mya managed to get there first by employing a vicious elbow to Bannon's gut that left him staggering for a moment.

She then smiled sweetly at Tom, and bowed deeply before saying, "Hello m'lord, I wanted to tell you that me and the other women of the village have been able to fix most of the sails and all we need to do now is to wait for the mast to be finished. How long that will take," and at this point she gave the two men a scathing glare that made her uncle flinch while the Ironborn showed no visible reaction to it, "It is not my place to say."
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:52 am

That evening, Tom and Visenya found themselves set up in Rolf's two room hut, which was, according to Rolf, the best place to sleep in the entire village. This was a fact which Visenya was more than happy to confirm, making sure to point out that she’d slept there, alone, the night before. Bannon had taken that opportunity to bid them good-night, slipping off with the pretty girl he’d flirted with earlier by his side while Rolf alternated glaring death at the Ironborn and giving pitying glances at Mya who was looking forlornly at Tom as he and Visenya entered the small dwelling.

Looking around, Tom couldn't help but agree with Rolf's statement. While the place was fairly small and only had one bed that Tom would have had a hard time considering a double back home, it was warm and dry and well taken care of and the entire house seem to have the smell of some form of spices wafting through the entire house. All in all it was a meager but, cozy dwelling.

Tom walked over to Visenya who seem to be looking over the abode with a disdainful look in her eyes the entire time. Tom sighed, but did not comment as he was too sore and too tired to muster the energy to argue with her attitude. The bed, while it was big enough to hold the two of them, was small enough that they would have had to spoon. Tom looked at the bed then over towards Visenya, then back towards the bed. Then he sighed and said, “You can take the bed, m'lady. I'll grab a blanket and take a spot by the fire.

Visenya giggled, to Tom it seemed completely out of place on that fierce woman and the young man stared in confusion at such a reaction. He outright goggled when she followed that giggle with a sardonic reply, her violet eyes flashing with sardonic humor. “Oh but it would be improper for a husband to sleep separate from his lady wife, especially so soon after the wedding.”

Tom stared, somewhat uncomprehending what she had just said. When they finally pierced through his iron hard skull, he blushed, then shook his head and snapped, “I'm not your husband. No matter what you've told them.”

The humor evaporated from Visenya's eyes and they turned as hard as Valyrian steel. “Yes, you aren't my husband. My husband died not three day prior.” Her eyes glazed for a moment in memory before she turned them back towards Tom, even harder if he thought that possible. “But, that means I still do not know who you are or more importantly what you are. You called yourself Dovahkiin. That is not a name I have never heard of before. Just what is a Dovahkiin, and why do you call yourself Dragonborn?”

Tom sighed, he knew that this was going to come up eventually, and, careless as he was sometimes, he hadn't planned out a proper answer. He grit his teeth and decided to wing it and hope for the best. “I'm not surprised that you haven't heard of a Dovahkiin, they are rare at the best of times and arise only among the number of those carry the blood of a land farter from Westross than Valyrian. So far in fact that it might as well be another world” Literally another world, he thought ruefully to himself. “As for what Dovahkiin means, It means Dragonborn in the ancient language of the Dragons themselves. Dovah. Dragon. Kiin. Born. Dovahkiin. Dragonborn.”

Visneya stared at him for a moment, her face a blank slate of any emotion, then she said, “You lie. Ancient language of the dragons?! Save your nonsense for the peasants. I've lived, trained, and fought with dragons nearly my entire life. My ancestors tamed, controlled, and fought using dragons for thousands of years. I can say with as much expertise as is possible, that dragons, while the king of beasts, are in the end simply beasts, no more intelligent than a very clever dog.”

Tom never knew what came over him, maybe it was the stress of the situation, maybe it was the bruises he'd received from her earlier, or maybe it was the condescending disbelief that she was showing him, but at that moment something inside of him snapped and he just lost control. Something primal just welled up from deep within him, and he didn’t even know what he said until it had already had been spoken.

“Mey Kiir! Nid!” he roared his voice full of primal rage.

The force of his outburst literally send Visneya crashing onto the bed, wide eyed and pale with shock, literally unable to look away as he continued his rant.

“Vahzah Dovah Mul Hevno Ahrk Munax! Ahrk Nust Kin Al Ahrk Kronidd! Nust Ann Kruziik Maar who Nir Ahrk Du Muz Med Raan! Dovah Do Keizaal Ni Sahlo Jaar Sivaas! ”

To Visneya’s stunned shock, while she had no idea what these primal, guttural words meant, something in the core of her being knew what was being said, ‘Idiot child! NO! True dragons are powerful, brutal, and cruel! They are born conquerors and destroyers! They are an ancient terror who hunt and devour men like animals! The Dragons of Skyrim are not weak mortal beasts! “

Visenya almost quaked under Tom’s gaze. She could remember seeing the very same look in Vhagar’s eyes when the dragon spied an especially fat, and succulent looking sheep. Only this time, she was the sheep. Dovahkiin. Dragonborn. On some primal level, it suddenly made a terrifying degree of sense.

Before she could speak, before she could even think, Ser Tom moved towards her in a burst. She reacted with fear, reacted by instinct, and before she knew it, she’d drawn the dagger hidden under her skirt in a deadly arc to defend herself from the predator's approach.


If she was frightened before, now she was terrified, as her weapon was torn from her hands, only to find itself imbedded almost hilt deep in the timbers of the peasant hovel.

Petrified, she could do nothing but look on, hoping and praying that he let her live. For a moment, a shameful part of her was even willing to allow him to pillage her body, just as long as he spared her afterwards.

She flinched when he knelt before her and grabbed her hand, and there was a lack of resistance when she allowed him to place it on his chest. Equally confused and relieved, she did not struggle and he held her hand in place, allowing her to feel the beating of his heart.

As her terror faded, it was replaced with confusion. His heartbeat, there was something strange about it. The fact could feel it through the chain-mail was odd enough, but beyond that there just seemed to be something more.

Though her fingers she could feel fire and fury, power and might. For a moment she could only think back to Vhagar, and that was when she realized. “Dragonborn,” she said with a small voice, full of equal parts shock and awe, “It’s not just a title, isn’t it? What are you?”

“I’m Dovahkiin,” he restated, “Dragonborn. I have the body of a man, the spirit of a dragon, and am kin to both.”

For the first time Visenya realized what it is she was dealing with, and her fear was like a bitter flavor on the tongue that refused to be swallowed. She really was an expert on dragons, quite possibly the foremost in the entire world now that her husband was gone and her sister’s condition was still unknown. She knew well how there was no other creature in this world, no kingdom, no force at arms, that could match the combination of strength, power, and ferocity of a dragon. And to take all of that, combine it with the reasoning ability of a human, and then disguise it in the skin of a man. The very idea terrified her beyond the ability of language to articulate.

The feats such a being could accomplish would be the stuff of legends. Only the gods themselves could ever hope to match it. And it had her hand pressed up against its chest, feeling its heart beat.

“Why?” she asked, her voice cracking, as she forced the syllable through disobedient lips.

Tom looked at her for a moment, not quite comprehending the simple question that said so little and asked so much at the same time.

“Why did you help me?” she asked again. “What did you do?” her fear began to grow frantic. “All I can remember is nothing then... then light and shock! What did you do to me? Why didn’t you help my husband?! Why did you spare me when you let him die? Tell me please! Why? What do you want from me?”

“I helped you...because I was asked to... because I wanted to...” Tom’s voice was as soft as a whisper but is carried to her ears with ease. “I was alone, and scared out of my mind...”

“You? Scared?!” she interrupted frantically. “What could a being such as you ever have to be frightened of? Surely not Bandits. Or maybe Armies? Entire nations?” she scoffed, “All would be like gravel underfoot for once such as you. What could you possibly be frightened of?”

“Watching a man die before my eyes without being able to help him...”

“Not able to help him??” she demanded. “You were able to help me! What did I have that my husband didn’t?”

“You were weak, but not fatally injured like he was.” He paused for a moment before admitting, “I didn’t know I could help you like I did. What I know of my powers is dedicated to their use in combat, for destruction, taking life not saving it. My healing you was a flash of inspiration, born of desperation and a mad desire not to see an innocent woman die before me as I clung to her, impotently trying to warm her body with mine like some helpless fool.”

Visenya though for a moment. It sounded like he found her moments from death. That explained why they’d both been naked, but it left her with a bigger question. From the sound of it, she should be in the same condition the ironborn has reported her sister, feverish and near death. But she felt hale and hearty, as if her life had never been in question for a moment.

“What did you do to me?”

“Your spirit was flickering like a candle in a storm. I... I... From what I remember of that panic filled moment, I gave you a little of my fire, to stoke your own until it could burn by itself. I am sorry I can’t say anything else, but that is all I know.”

Visenya’s eyes went wide at the implication. This man, who was in truth, a dragon wearing human form, gave of his own spirit to save her life. She remembered that moment too. Blackness, endless nothingness, then frantic light and fury. In an instant she’d gone from the brink of death to being full of life.

The idea of his power frightened her, but it also intrigued her, and she could not say that the idea of having some of it for herself wasn’t entirely appealing. After all, while her dragon may have been lost to the storm, it didn’t mean that she didn’t still desire the dragon’s power. And if she could convince him to share just a little bit, well. He might be Dragonborn, but she was still Dragonblooded, and though she’d never say it for fear of offending him, she did somewhat feel like she had a right to maybe just a little bit.

“Show me what you did to me,” she said, her tone stern and brooking no argument, and hiding both a giddy anticipation, and the very real concern that he’d see through her deception and set her on fire for her impudence.

Tom stared at her for a moment, then he nodded, “Alright.”

He stood up and taking a deep breath he thought back those two long days ago, “LAAS ZII FUS!!”

The same blast of energy erupted from his mouth and slammed into the woman before him. For a moment she looked as if she were on fire, as power washed across her body, filling her very soul with his draconic essence.

Visenya’s eyes rolled into her head and she fell back onto the bed releasing an ear splitting, and entirely unwholesome scream from her lips. The feeling was indescribable, like being awash in both pleasure and power beyond limit. Her blood boiled from the sheer intensity of it.

The sound of chanting whispered at the edges of her senses, and she knew it to be the voices of dragons. It felt of a wild joy and a rage beyond mortal comprehension. It felt of the scorching heat of an unforgiving sun on her back. It felt of the bitter cold of an icy wind sluicing over her wings.

The chant grew into a roar and Visenya felt her vision darken, becoming blurred at the edges. Even so, she felt a great sense of euphoria well up from within her, as if the whole world was laid bare beneath her all-encompassing gaze as she towered over it. She felt the urge to cry out, and her chest heaved with the beginnings of some wordless scream. The desire to proclaim this world as her own, its peoples her subjects, that it was all hers. Hers from the tallest mountain to the deepest chasm, that all the nations of men, that all the beasts and beings that live under the skies were hers by right of blood.

And it was her Right, nay, her Duty to rule them.

For that moment she was no longer Visenya Targaryen, pathetic mortal, but something far greater. While lasting only a couple seconds, the sensation was so great to have felt like a lifetime.

As it faded, she looked at Tom. In that instant it she saw him now for what he truly was, not a man but a dragon. It was a great beast of vast and shadowy darkness that loomed over her, dominating a room too impossibly small to fit its great dimensions. Its wings spread and it roared so loud she felt that her eardrums must soon burst from the strain of the great proclamation that followed.


As swiftly as the vision had appeared, it disappeared and in the place of the colossal dragon was the overweight young man she had known for the past few days.

He was nothing like Aegon, his face was rounder, and while attractive, was handsome in a humble peasant way rather than in the noble power and nobility of Aegon. His hair was a dark brown and shaggy like a wolf’s pelt, unlike the silver and gold of Aegon’s long smooth locks. His body while short and solid was incomparable to Aegon’s tall and trim form. It wasn’t until she looked at his eyes that she remembered the raw power and terror she had felt before. They were an interesting green, not unlike a Lannister but they burned with a jade fire much like wild fire and the black pupils if one were to observe them long enough, one could see a gold glow that seemed to hint at the raw power that dwelt within this young man.

She now understood what that power was. She’d thought he’d tricked him, but now even through the euphoria she wondered if she was the one who’d been tricked, and just as strongly, she wondered if she even cared. She had been given a taste of his power, and now she would give almost anything to taste that power again. She wanted it, she craved it, she needed it. She’d do anything....


Tom was beginning to become worried about Visenya as she grew redder and redder, her skin began to shimmer from a thin sheen of sweat, the pupils of her eyes dilated till it seemed that her eyes changed from violet to jet black.

Worry about to grow into outright concern Tom placed his hand on her shoulder and in a loud clear voice said, “Visenya!”

Whatever fugue she was in evaporated almost the instant that Tom touched her and spoke.

She stared blankly for a moment, the flush gone and her eyes contracted back to normal. When her mental fog seemed to clear a few moments later, her eyes focused on Tom and she began to study him as if he were some fantastic creature that she’d never seen in her life. Tom was more than a little disconcerted and wondered if she were about to attack him.

But his concerns were unfounded when Visenya turned away and said, “You may share the bed with me. It is the least I could do for the man who has rescued me.”

She then stripped down to her small clothes, an off-white shift that went down to right below her knees. Then she slipped into bed shifting on her side so that she faced the edge of the bed. All while ignoring Tom’s presence while doing so.

Tom stared for a moment, somewhat stunned, despite his little adventure the night before this was more than a little confusing for the poor guy. When he didn’t move for a few minutes Visenya lifted head to look at him and said, “Well are you not going to bed?”

Tom was started out of his paralysis and stripped down to his jeans and slid in with her making sure his back was facing her as well. When Tom went to sleep, more than a little confused at this turn of events and wondering what the hell it was he did and why he did it, he never noticed that Visenya had laid there, wide awake, her mind was whirling with thoughts and plans for the future.
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:56 am

The sun rose up early the next day, a golden ball rising up from the ocean, bringing light to the humble coastal village that lay less than a day's walk from the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, one of the mightiest rivers that ran through Westeros.

The silence of the pre-sunrise had just given way to the sounds of songbirds making their early morning calls, when the stillness of the village was broken by a dark shape exiting the door of the largest hut.

Tom stretched and cracked his neck and other appendages in an attempt to get the kinks out after sleeping somewhat tensely the night before. Tom unconsciously blushed a bit when he remembered the cause of aforementioned tenseness. At some point in the night, Tom had been roused from his slumber by an interesting sensation. While it had felt pleasant for an instant, when his mind remembered where exactly he was, he’d snapped awake and found that Visenya, still asleep, had rolled over, wrapping her arms around the young man from behind and slowly running her hands along his sides and along his arms and chest.

For a while Tom was unsure as what to do, on the one hand this was an extremely attractive woman molesting him in his sleep. On the other hand, this woman was likely able to rip his throat out with her teeth if she so desired, and thusly he was terrified of her waking up with her hands somewhere less than respectable. For a short time he was unsure of what to do, his reptile mind and his human mind battling out for supremacy. Then her hands started to move south of what can be discussed in polite company and the debate was decided. He needed to get with the out of there before she woke up and turned him into a throw rug.

So, it was with agonizingly care that extricated himself from Visenya’s embrace and from the two sizes too small bed with they’d been sharing. Deciding he was thirsty he then left the hut to get himself a mug of ale to quench his thirst. Normally he’d have gone for water, but the combination of Visenya’s wandering hands and his own burning desire to avoid the threat of intestinal parasites won the day.

As he walked, looking to find someone to fetch him a mug of small beer, his mind thought back to the events of the past three days. Less than a week ago, Tom’s only concern had been worrying about whether or not he could wake up on time to get to his classes.

“Now,” he mused, “I have to worry about whether or not I’m going to have my head removed from the rest of me if I get in the way of some angry Cthulhu worshiping wannabe viking.”

He looked out to the ship, its sails, though tied down, had been repaired and it now only waited for the unfinished mast to be completed in order to be seaworthy once more. That led to Tom’s next conundrum. He’d given his word to a dying man that he’d find and protect his sisters. He’d found one right off the bat and now he had a possible lead on the other. Unfortunately, that other lead was given by a man who was part of a raiding party he’d slaughtered, why would Bannon, the Ironborn raider in question, be so willing to aid him, let alone give an oath of fealty like he had. He knew the man claimed his uncle would kill him, but there had to be more to it. However, he let it go for the moment, as so far Bannon had proven to be both able and helpful, though a bit insubordinate.

Not that he stopped worrying as there was still much more to worry about. The day before he had sent a runner to the village’s closest neighbor, coincidentally, the one that would have become King’s Landing in another world, requesting aid in an attempt to rescue the kinswoman of a knight who’d saved them from an Ironborn attack.

Now the only question that remained was whether or not the villagers would aid them in their mad endeavor.

As he stood wondering whether or not they’d send men, he spotted Mya emerging from another of the houses, dressed though her eyes still seemed to be clouded with sleep. Tom was a bit unsure as how to respond to the young lady whom he’d shared a ...well mutual defloration would be one way to describe it. His considerations came to a swift end when the young woman spotted him across from the village.

When the young girl spotted Tom, all sleep vanished from her eyes, and with a warm smile spread across her face, she all but chirped, “Ser Tom!” She walked over to him, her pace quick and eager. When she stood before him, she continued, “Good morning, milord. Did you sleep well?”

Tom was a little surprised at the complete personality flip he’d seen from the day before, though he quickly assumed that she was far less aggressive when she wasn’t half-drunk and dealing with the stress of having been kidnapped by an overly sarcastic Iron Born.

“Good morning, Mya. I’m alright,” he replied, carefully not answering the question as to how well he slept. Grabby widows with daggers are not the best bedmates.

Mya looked at him for a moment, measuring his response, before asking, “Is there anyway I can serve you this morning, m’lord?”

Tom blushed as a couple ways that the attractive redhead could ‘serve’ his needs passed through his mind, but he threw those thoughts to the back of his mind and focused on his immediate concerns. “I could use a...”, he fumbled for the proper words, “small beer, and something to eat. Is there any of that barbequed pork left?”

Mya nodded, “Right away milord.” She then dashed away to return in only a few minutes with a terracotta jug and matching mug and a wooden plate laden a small loaf of bread, a hunk of cheese, a generous cut of roasted boar, and a lump of fresh butter to finish it off. Tom glanced over, and spotting a comfortable looking log, walked to it with Mya trailing close behind him. Once he’d reached it, he promptly sat down, and then, before claiming his meal, patted a section of the log next to him, inviting her to sit with him.

The girl blushed for a moment, before smiling warmly and gingerly taking a seat, her attention intently focused on her chosen lord. Tom returned her smile before turning his attention to the food before him.

After a moment’s thought, a smile came to Tom’s face and he drew his dagger. Carefully, he cut down the middle of the small loaf, he dividing it into two halves, attached to one another by only a small length of crust. Then he buttered both sides, and cut the piece of cheese into slices, which he carefully layered along one side of the bread. Finally, he placed the meat in between the two halves and carefully closed the bread over it.

Well pleased with the product of his efforts, Tom lifted his creation from the plate and took a generous bite. While the bread was somewhat grainy, the cheese somewhat hard, and it could use some salt, but the meat was tender juicy and the butter did much to alleviate the otherwise dryness of the bread. All in all, it was not something he would have ordered for himself had he still being on Earth, but it still presented an enjoyable bouquet of flavors none the less.

Mya looked on in confusion for a moment, and he could help but blush when he realized that while she was used to eating their meat and cheese laid upon bread, as he’d seen her eat before, the closed-faced sandwich was probably new idea.

“It’s called a sandwich,” he said before taking another bite.

“What an odd name,” she said aloud.

Tom smiled. “It’s named after the Earl of Sandwich, who if I remember the story right, was a notorious gambler who refused to put down his cards, even for a meal, so his servants stuffed his bread with his meat, cheese, and salad so he could eat with only one hand,” he paused, “Obviously, the idea caught on and thus the sandwich was born!”

As if to prove the point, he took another generous bite, causing Mya to giggle.

“Was this Earl of Sandwich an illustrious ancestor? The liege lord or your house, perhaps?” Mya asked, only half serious.

Tom snorted. “No, nothing like that. He was simply a man of popular eating habits,” he playfully replied, earning a giggle from the girl.

“Would you like to try it, Mya?” he asked, offering the sandwich to her.

She smiled. “Thank you. M’lord is too kind.”

Gingerly, she accepted the meat and bread creation and took a bite. Chewing, she looked over it, thinking of the possibilities.

“I can see why it would catch on,” she observed, “A man could place his a full meal together in the morning and eat it without having to pause his work. Or you could serve meat with gravy in it, without worry of getting it all over yourself.”

Tom nodded. “Bingo.”

She blinked in confusion. “Bingo?”

“I mean exactly,” Tom replied, drawing away from the cultural reference, “That’s why it became popular. The food of gambling lords became the meal of working men and soldiers, and a popular choice among street vendors. For example, if you want to try something very good, try a sausage on a bun with some chili and cheese, or maybe some mustard and some sauerkra...” Tom trailed off, realizing the german name would probably go right over her head, “Sour fermented cabbage”

Mya without pause, asked, “What’s chili?”

Tom sighed. “It’s a thick, spicy stew made from beans and beef. I doubt they have the spices needed in Westeros.”

“Maybe they have them in Dorne,” she observed. “Dorne is famed for its spicy foods.”

Tom let that sink in for a moment. Yes. That would be something to look into. After all, living a lifetime without Buffalo Wings could hardly be called living.

“So, thinking of more exotic foods from your mysterious homeland, m’lord?” she asked, playfully.

Tom blushed. “Yeah. Hot Wings. Fried chicken wings slathered in Buffalo Sauce, a sauce made from a vinegar based chilli sauce mixed with butter. Very tasty.”

Mya snorted. “No wonder you’re so generous around the waist m’lord, if your people love strange foods so very much.”

Tom shrugged in acquiescence. “Guilty as charged,” After all, what could he say in response, he liked food and he hadn’t really exerted himself enough to burn it off. “So where did you hear about Dornish spices?”

Mya snorted and rolled her eyes, “I live on the mouth of the Blackwater, and was raised by the village chief,” she replied matter of factly. “One does not live along a major trading route without learning something of the outside world.”

“I see,” replied feeling a bit abashed. She might be a peasant girl but that didn’t mean she’d automatically be ignorant. Not knowing what else to say, Tom remained silent. Back home, he hadn’t spoken much with women, and frankly he felt he didn’t any real talent to it. Her background made it even worse, it wasn’t like he could ask her what she’d thought of last night’s episode of Dexter! On the other hand, there was a simple pleasure that came with sitting in peaceful silence with a pretty girl while eating a satisfying meal.

Of course, all good things must come to an end.

“Well...Lord Husband, I was wondering where you had wandered off to.”

The contented smile on Mya’s face shifted to a stony glare so quickly, Tom nearly got whiplash watching it. He took a breath and turned to Visenya who was standing behind the two of them with an unreadable look on her face.

Tom then smiled and said, “Good Morning, Visenya. I hope you slept well.”

“Well enough,” she replied, “But this is the second time you’ve left your wife to wake up alone in her bed, to find you in the company of a servant girl.”

Tom gritted his teeth behind closed lips then loosened his jaw to answer, “I’m sorry ‘darling’, but your wandering hands made it difficult to sleep. I needed some cold air.”
Visenya flushed, her eyes widening somewhat, before narrowing them again, and answering, “It is only natural for a wife’s hands to wander in the dark when her husband left her so well pleased.”

Tom’s eyebrows shot up and his guts lurched a bit. Alright Tom, he thought to himself, she got you good there. Time to think of something. And think he did. A smile came to his face, but he fought it down, instead replacing it with the stony look of a man who’d done far too much work for far too little benefit. “Well, dear wife, I am pleased one of us enjoyed it at least, for all I remember of last night was a great deal of shouting while you sat on the bed, unmoving.”

The Lady of Dragonstone’s mouth went agape for a moment. For a moment he expected another witty retort from his self-proclaimed ‘wife’ but much to his surprise, when her gaze met the hard displeasure so apparent in his own, she lowered her head in submission. “I apologize for interrupting your rest, m’lord.”

Tom raised an eyebrow at that and dipped his head slightly, while he’d only known the woman for three days, he knew for a fact that such passive behavior so far outside the bounds of her personality that it was only marginally more likely than her spontaneously belting out the Soviet National Anthem, in Russian, for the honor of the proletariat and the glory of International Socialism. But that said, he wasn’t stupid enough to look a gift horse in the mouth, and was just cruel enough to twist the knife a bit, so he simply grinned and said, “It’s quite alright. It’s endearing for a man to know that he has such a loyal, obedient wife.”

Visenya’s response was to flinch slightly but she did not raise her head to meet his challenge, a fact which Tom oddly found both smugly satisfying and somehow disappointing. It was as if he’d voiced a challenge and she’d backed down without even putting up a fight.

So, he thought, apparently there had been some good that came of that last night. Tom had for a while laid awake wondered what the hell he had done to her and what the hell he was thinking when he snapped at her. Tom had always taken pride in the fact that he was a very laid back person and not losing his temper easily. But for some reason, he had gone ballistic on her for simply disbelieving the intelligence of a Skyrim dragon. He wasn’t sure why he’d done it, but he had a feeling that the little part of his soul deep down that was more ‘Dovah’ than ‘Kiin’ had been offended.

He shook his head. That was a matter for another time. He had plenty else on his mind. Seeing Visenya’s still subdued visage, he turned to Mya and asked, “Could you get something for Lady Visenya ? I’m sure she’s hungry as well.”

Mya looked at the woman for a long moment then sighed slightly and nodded. “I’ll make her a ‘sandwich’,” she said before leaving to gather the food.

Visenya blinked in confusion at the girl’s statement, much to Tom’s amusement. With Mya out of earshot, Tom turned back to Visenya and said, “Sit down, I want your help planning today’s agenda. I’ve got a lot on my plate and some advice would be highly appreciated.”

Visenya studied him for a moment, then sat down next to him. Tom grinned for a moment then continued, “Alright, first thing we need to check on is the ship. We were told yesterday that the women had finished the sails but we need to check on the mast. That’s Bannon and Rolf’s job there.”

Visenya nodded, not really having anything else to say. “We also need to see to the arms of the villagers. It would do us no good if we try to attack the Ironborn camp if they’re only armed with fishing spears, clubs, and wood axes.”

“We have all that gear we gathered off the Ironborn. We can give it out to as many of our guys as we can. As for the rest. Well maybe we can comb the beaches a few more times and see if we can find anymore of the remains from...the fleet.”

Visenya flinched for an instant but she managed to speak in an even tone, “That would be wise, the dead no longer have any need for their arms and armor now.”

Tom nodded, “We also need to have the men start drilling for a couple of hours a day,” he continued. “The men aren’t trained soldiers, and there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of getting them to anything resembling proficient with the time we have, but at least we can at least make sure they know enough not to hurt themselves and hope that superior numbers and good moral can make up for it.”

Visenya snorted. “More they’ll bravely stand behind you while you shout your enemies to death, and then run down the frantic survivors as they flee in mortal terror.”

Tom winced slightly, thinking of his last battle, before looking back to the house where the two of them had slept the night before, “That reminds me,” he then turned back to Visenya, “Do you think we could have another training session today at some point?”

Visenya piqued her brows at him. “I’m surprised you would want another thrashing after the one I gave you yesterday.”

Tom looked at her confused, “Why wouldn’t I? You’re better than me and if it can train me to use a sword then I don’t really mind how much I get kicked around by you.”

“Wait. You mean to say that you weren’t even trained.” She asked honestly confused.

Tom bowed his head slightly and averted his gaze for a moment, “To be brutally honest, no. I really have no clue what I’m doing with it.”

She goggled at him a moment, but as she thought back to the previous she remembered that he’s only used the sword once, instead using only his shouts to kill the Ironborn. At the time, she had thought that it was because he hadn’t felt the need to sully blade with their blood, and she probably wouldn’t have either if she’d been in the same position as him. But if he’d used only shouts because that was really his only means of doing battle... just who was this man? How could someone be so mind-numbly powerful yet so utterly helpless at the same time?

She was about to speak further when another villager came running up to them. “Begging your pardon, M’lord, m’lady, but some men from next village coming this way. I think they wish to see you, m’lord.”

Tom nodded and turned back to the hut he’d slept in the night before. By his side of the bed he and Visenya had shared the night before, lay the Valerian steel sword he’d been given three days ago. He quickly picked it up and wrapped the scabbard’s belt around his waist and rushed back out to the edge of the village.

On the way there he came across Visenya who had been in the middle of following him towards the hut. He stopped for a moment then, offering his arm, he asked, “Would you like to accompany me while I meet with the newcomers?”

She looked at his proffered arm for a moment before she nodded and took the arm. The two of them then walked out of the village to the men who stood patiently waiting.

The men from the next village over proved to number three, one was a man about his own age, black hair and brown eyes, but was about two inches shorter and much leaner than Tom’s more heavy-set frame. Of the other two one was a man who could easily have been the previous’ father. The third surprised Tom a bit, as he noticed a wooden medallion around his neck painted in seven colors just like a color wheel. So, he thought, this is a Septon. I didn’t think that there would be a permanent one in villages this small. He must be a wandering septon, he mused, one of the holy men who wandered around offering holy services to the villages too small for a sept of their own. He grinned as he recalled another fragment of information from the books and wiki, lord was he glad he was such a fanboy of that series.

The three men looked up as one to the young man and the lovely young woman who walked with her arm entwined with his. They took in his strange clothing and the sword at the belt. There was a momentary silence, then the older villager spoke up, “Good Morning Ser, if I was told right, you were the one who sent Dontos to our village?”

Tom nodded then said, “Yes, I’m the one. I am Ser Tom Brody the Dovahkiin.” Lord he hoped that didn’t sound as foolish as he felt saying it. “I sent a man a day ago asking if you would help me and your neighbors to destroy an Ironborn camp.”

The three men started for a second, then the older man again spoke up, “Beggin your pardon m’lord... But you said attack an Ironborn camp?”

“Yes. They have my wife’s sister hostage.” Tom gestured to Visenya who nodded demurely at the trio while they bowed in turn. “I intend to free her and give the Ironborn a pounding they’ll never forget.” Tom placed his hand on the pommel of the sword, as if to imply what he intended to do when he found them.

The three looked at each other and then their appointed leader answered for them. “I don’t want to be rude m’lord, but are you sure you want us? We’re just fishermen. We have no swords nor armor. What good will we be?”

Tom smirked he’d thought on this for a while and had a response in place. “First off, numbers, the camp I’m planning to attack only has around fifty men, and if we’re lucky even less, with your help we’ll be able to match them man for man. Second, you won’t be going in with nets, fishing spears and woodaxes, not all of you at least. When I first came here a few days ago I drove off an Ironborn raiding party and all of their gears was left behind. Enough for about thirty men to be properly armed for this fight. Third and most important of all. I’ll be leading the charge, so long as I here it wouldn’t matter if there were five hundred Ironborn in that camp.”

When Tom saw the incredulous looks on their faces, he couldn’t help but smirk, “Oh you’re doubting me? Let me show you something.” Tom led the three men to a large tree that had died years ago but was still standing, a huge solid trunk that would take a massive amount of labor using axes and saws to clear.

Tom stood about 10 paces from it. Then he took a deep breath and bellowed at the top of his lungs, “FUS RO DAH!!!!”

The three men leaped when a blue ball of energy shot out of Tom’s mouth and slammed into the tree, ripping it from the ground, shattering the rotten wood into a thousand shards and sending those shards flying forward in a plume of splinters.

Then he turned to another log, this one having fallen over years ago. He took another breath and roared again, “YOL TOOR SHUUL!” This time a jet of dragon fire blasted from his mouth, consuming the log in a white hot inferno..

Against the light and heat of the flame, none of the men noticed Visenya staring at Tom’s show of power, her face slightly flushed and her mouth open a hair.

Turning back to the dumbfounded men, Tom spoke again. “So, about that help...”

The Septon, having kept silent for the most part, flicked his gaze between the inferno and the man who was the source of said inferno, “...gods...By the Seven, who...what are you?” He managed to gasp out, fingering his amulet the entire time.

Visenya stepped forward and with a small smile on her face answered, “He already told you. He is Dovahkiin. Dragonborn.”

The three were dead silent, then the youngest of their party, the obvious son of the older man, smiled and stepped forward, “If you can shoot fire like that when we set sail, then you have my help.”

Tom smiled and nodded, “Thank you.” He then turned to the older two men and asked, “Well how about you?”

The older man then asked, “How many Ironborn did you kill before?”

“At least twenty.” He replied.

The man, instead of scoffing at the high number, simply nodded, looking back over to the pyre still burning. “If you can do that again the next time you fight the Ironborn, then you have our help.”

The Septon nodded as well, “This endeavour is blessed by the gods and has my support.”
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:58 am

The sun was low in the sky as Tom stood in the center of the village looking on at the assembled men and women who had come out to see off the folk from Rivermouth. Seeing the relieved looks on many of their faces, Tom quickly deduced what it was they were thinking and decided that his best bet was to somehow bolster their morale a bit more. Hopefully another speech would do some good.

“Whether or not they had agreed to aid us,” he paused to give the men in question a respectful nod, ” I would have have gone on to rescue my good-sister anyway and I am sure that the courageous men, “he looked to Mya and Visenya, “and women that stand beside me this day would have accompanied me regardless. Prepare yourselves tonight, find whatever weapons or armor you can gather from our previous...guests and be ready to move at first light, because we sail at dawn!”

The response was a wordless shout from both the men and women of the village. In the torchlight, the borrowed weapons many of the villagers had gathered from the dead Ironborn, seemed to glow a blood red. Tom couldn’t help but grin at the sight.

As the crowd began to disperse he noticed two irritating problems. Neither Visenya nor Mya had left with the others. Instead they seemed to be preparing themselves and... good lord, Visenya was looking through the swords laid out for the men’s perusal.

Tom looked around to see if anyone was still watching him and seeing that most of the men were busy with their own preparations for the next day. He sighed deeply and walked over to the two women.

Before he could open his mouth, Visenya spoke first. “We’re going,” she stated with the finality of the grave.

Feeling a bit off put, Tom crossed his arms and glared at the both. “One good reason.”

“You will need my help identifying her,” Visenya stated steadily.

“Yes. I need help to find an attractive young woman with silver hair and purple eyes,” He responded with a smirk, “I’m sure there will be dozens.”

Her eyes narrowed and she promptly responded, “So you could find my sister. What then? She will have been held captive by the Ironborn for days now. She is ill, alone, and likely paranoid out of her mind. She’ll will have hidden away at least one knife, and she always poisons them.”

Tom gave her a long look before taking a deep breath and letting it out in a loud huff, “Alright. But I want you out of the fight. I’d hate to lose you, dear wife.” He finished, attempting to keep up the charade that Visenya had set for them.

Her eyes twitched for an instant but she nodded, “As my lord husband commands.” She answered with a bow.

“But while this answers one question, it does leave another open,” he replied smoothly. “That explains ‘I’. What was that about ‘we'?”

Before Tom could even turn to face her, Mya answered heatedly. “If Enya is going then I am as well. I’ll be more use on this adventure than she will be anyways.”

Tom grit his teeth, doing his best not to sound the frustration he was feeling dealing with these two women. “Mya, Enya’s coming because the only person I’m pretty sure won’t have a case of poison knife to the kidneys if they get close to her sister. You on the other hand, unless you suddenly are able to swing around one of those battleaxes here then I’m not sure what we can do with you.”

Mya looked levelly at Tom, and the tone of her voice slow and somewhat sarcastic. “M’lord, the woman’s taken ill and you’ll need someone to look after her. I doubt Lady Enya knows much about tending to the ill, and you can’t exactly ask a man to attend to a woman, for obvious reasons.”

“Is this true?” Tom asked Visenya.

“Yes,” she replied. “I know about tending wounds but my sister was the one of us who was most knowledgeable about nursing,” she paused for a moment, “I’m not pleased to say this, but it looks like your little peasant strumpet is going to have a chance to earn her worth on her feet rather than her back.”

Mya’s face flushed bright red and she looked at Visenya, who smugly ignored her, with a look that if any more intense, would probably cause her hair to catch alight.

“Cut it out, both of you!” Tom said cooly. “I’m convinced but I want you both to stay out of the fighting.” He hoped that repeating that command would reaffirm it.

Visenya snorted. “I’m no damsel, but I have no intention of charging the enemy lines for as little as the idea of my sister becoming some Ironborn’s saltwife amuses me, I find the concept of becoming one myself even less entertaining. I’ll be guarding your back and letting you handle the foolish heroics.”

Tom nodded. “Alright. I want everyone ready for the morning.”

Mya nodded. “Don’t worry. I’m already packed.”

“And I’ve already chosen the best equipment I could,” Visenya added.

“Alright then, we need to retire because we’re leaving at dawn.”

With that the ‘married’ couple bid the girl goodnight and turned back to their set aside hut to try and get some sleep before they set sail tomorrow.

Tom had already gathered the best bits of Ironborn armor he could find from the spoils, but he decided to check them on last time. He was tapping the side of an iron helm when he looked over to Visenya who was brushing her silvery hair with a borrowed wooden comb. Her hair seemed to glisten in the light of the fire burning in the central pit in the middle of the room. Despite knowing who she was and what her original intentions had been. Tom still was forced to admit that the woman was beautiful. He also remembered the promise he’d given her brother, made when he wasn’t completely accepting of where and what he now was.

A thought came to mind and taking a breath he asked a bit hesitantly, “M’lady, I was just wondering. When we find Rhaenys and I get the two of you back home. What do you plan to do when you get back?”

Visenya did not stop her brushing, she seemingly had not heard his question or was purposefully ignoring him. He was about to try and ask her again. When she stopped her brushing and put the brush down on a small table. Not looking at him she broke the silence, “We will have to endure whatever may come.”

She then turned to look at Tom, her violet eyes searching him with a surprising intensity, “And what of you? What will you do once we have come home?

Tom shrugged, he hadn’t really thought that far to be honest, ever since he’d woken up he’d merely been going from crisis to crisis. “I guess I’ll come back here.” He finally answered. “The villagers like me and well,” he went red for a moment, “there’s also Mya to think about.”

Despite only knowing the girl for a few days, he liked the fiery little red-head.

"You're wasted on this peasants. Return with us to Dragonstone and I'll make you a proper lord." She replied as if it were the most natural thing in the world.

Tom’s eyes narrowed a bit, "Wasted? That's fine talk for the people who've been working so hard to save your sister. And what about Mya? I took her maidenhead and I owe it to her to at least look out for her." His tongue tumbled at that slightly out of date word but she didn't seem to notice.

"Then keep her. Sire little Snows, Sands, Pikes, whatever it is they call bastards in your realm on her, but you have greater things to accomplish." She answered with a wave of her hand.

"Greater things huh? What greater things would that be if I pledged myself to house Targaryen?" He said with a little more heat than he'd intended.

"Ideally," she replied, as cool as ice.

Tom was silent for a moment before he responded. "You know maybe you're right, maybe I am a bit wasted merely staying here. But why should I swear to house Targaryen? I'm sure King Mern Gardner of the Reach or maybe Loren Lannister of the Rock would like my services. I'm sure they would offer riches beyond my wildest dreams for my services. Maybe they'll offer me a daughter. So unless you have something else to offer beyond a strip of land on Dragonstone I think I might be going elsewhere after I bring you and your sister home."

Visenya’s faced softened just a hair before she replied,"To them you'll just be another lord. My people have always been people of the Dragon, and you are a dragon no matter what appearances may well. Dragonstone is the only place in Westeros where you will be welcomed for what you are and not what you can do. They will fear your powers, we will honor them."

“Honor me? Well that does sound rather nice. How would you honor me?” He asked his eyes never leaving hers.

She seemed to flinch for an instant before she recovered and said, “Well whatever we offer you. It will have to wait until I have Rhaenys back with me and the two of us can decide what would be proper. With that she quickly stripped to her shift and jumped into bed.

Tom looked at her slightly confused but shrugged and went back to examining the rest of his equipment. When he was done he also prepared for bed and did his best to sleep. His dreams that night were of fire and steel.
Brian Boru
Brian Boru

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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:59 am




With each shout, the sail strained, the ropes groaned, and the ship was pulled just a little bit forward. While there was wind to fill the sails, and good men fit to row, Tom had not been satisfied with their speed. Being a child of the 20th century the sedate pace of a sail driven ship, even one designed for speed such as an Ironborn Longboat, simply failed to impress. Rhaenys has been in the clutches of these Ironborn for several days, almost the better part of a week really, and while Bannon had said she was too weak to move, he didn’t know if that was still true. She could be recovered enough for them to take down river and away from his reach, she could be dead even, but either way he didn’t have the time to dally around waiting for what in his mind amounted to a pregnant canoe to get him there at a leisurely pace. They needed speed, and like his grandfather had always told him, if you want something done, you do it your damned self.




Tom coughed as the weakest form of Unrelenting Force struck the sail with a force that was all too relenting. Taking a moment to rub his throat he opened his mouth again but was interrupted by a hand on his shoulder. Turning his head he came eye to eye with Bannon who gave him a steady gaze.

“When you first told me that you’d get to the fort before supper, even if you had to scream us the entire way there I thought I’d be humoring you. Now its not even midday and I swear that I can already smell the pickled herring of their larder on the wind, but at this rate all you’re doing is getting these damned fools to their deaths more swiftly, for if you tire that magical voice of yours, then we’re all buggered.”

Bannon then waved his hand to indicate the men in the ship before them. “While they’re a sad sight compared to Ironborn, we have 40 sailors here who’ve but sat on their arses watching the sights go by, stuffing themselves plump with rations the entire morning,” He all but thrust a skin of water into the arms of the younger man, “Time for you to rest up and save a song for my countrymen, while these sheep fucking dirt farmers get to earn their keep.”

Rolf turned bright red and glared at him from his place at the head of the rowing line. “Dirt farmers?! I’ll have you know, boy, I’ve never tilled a field in my life!”

“Probably why your pathetic little village was such an iconic example of its ilk.”

“Both of you, cut it out,” Tom hissed though tired vocal cords, “Rolf, get the men ready to row.”

Rolf nodded and began barking orders to ready to ores, getting them moving while not with the precision of an oiled machine, at least well enough that no one was hurt. Bannon simply rolled his eyes. “Hurry up you fools. You gawked your way here, and you’re just going to gawk when we get there, so this is your chance to earn those tall tales of heroism that I’m sure that you’ll telling the strumpets back home!”

“Bannon,” Tom took a long drag of water and glared at the swarthy ironborn. “Shut up.”

In the next moment, Tom experienced what had to be one of the most surreal sights of his entire life. It was entirely fleeting, but at the same time, all too real. A pouting ironborn warrior. Then, recovering almost instantaneously, he simply rolled his eyes. “Aye. As m’lord wishes. Just trying to keep morale up and the men sharp.”

“Don’t,” Tom replied, with a deep sigh, “Just don’t”

Amazingly the Ironborn finally stopped and turned back to the task of ordering the men to keep rowing.

Tom sat back against the mast of the ship, grabbed a skin of water and after taking a long pull from it, corked it and sat back to watch the shoreline go by, albeit at a slower rate than it had been previously.

Looking back on the past several days, Tom realized with a start that he’d never driven himself so hard in his life. For most of his life, Tom had been, to be frank, a slacker. He’d never put much drive into applying himself, and when he did, it took a great deal of personal desire to make him to do so on his own. But for the last three days he’d been dashing back and forth like a meth head and now he was heading into battle against a seasoned force of unknown number, with allies with little to no experience of battle, all to save a woman he’d never met in his life, because he’d given his word to a dying man that he had just happened to find on the beach.

‘How the fuck do I keep fucking falling into this horseshit?”’ He all but grumbled to himself, as he sat back in an attempt to get comfortable. As much as he wanted to complain, he knew that the sheer bloody chaos of the past several days was starting to take its toll, and despite how much he wanted to complain about it, he knew that he’d better off centering himself and steeling his mind for the new batch of blood soaked chaos that was about to land wiggling in his lap. So with that in mind he closed his eyes in a half-hearted attempt to meditate.

Only a moment later, he felt a gentle shake of his shoulder and the sound of Visenya’s voice speaking to him in a low, soft voice, “We’ve arrived.”

“Wait, what?” Tom almost shot up to his feet, almost being the key word because in his attempt he almost tripped over a cloak that had been laid over him.

Visenya simply giggled melodically in response. “You were asleep. I had Bannon drag you off to the side so you wouldn’t get tripped over and threw a cloak over you so you wouldn’t catch cold.”

“Wonderful,” Tom snarked in reply as he shook the cobwebs from his mind and took in his surroundings. The sun was beginning to grow low in the sky, staining the horizon a malevolent shade of red that spoke of the bloodshed soon to come. Looking down from the sky to the shoreline, Tom could spot numerous the pillars of smoke coming from behind the stockade. Tom narrowed his eyes. Each one of those pillars was a fire, far more fires than were needed for the skeleton garrison that Bannon had said were permanently based here. But that would mean...“A raiding party’s come in hasn’t it?” Tom finally said, his voice low and calm despite the cold sweat appearing on his forehead.

“It would appear so, milord.” Bannon answered in a deadpan as dry as a Dornish summer, “I mean the two grand bloody boats sitting on yonder shore is a bit of a giveaway I’d say,” he replied, indicating two beached and dismasted longboats Tom had not noticed in the shadows of the palisade.

Tom nodded with a shocking amount calm before asking, his voice now trembling just slightly, “And our chances of getting out of here right now?”

“Slim to none, as close as we are I wouldn’t be surprised if...” He was interrupted by the sound of a horn blowing from the fort. Shadows and torches began to move through the palisade as the garrison went to their positions to accept and identify this newcomer.

“Ah there we go. Unless you want to exhaust yourself again milord we won’t be able to outrun them, and even if we do the fort will be alert and waiting for our return. No, I would advise we continue with our venture. After all, the last place any self-respecting Ironborn would expect an attack from is the sea.”

Tom nodded, that made sense to him. While he was confident in being able to outrun any other Ironborn, the only problem would be that trying again would be damn near impossible. But the sight of the two unexpected ships meant that this had just become that much more complicated, not to mention dangerous, of a mission.

Deciding to get another opinion, he turned to Visenya who had come up on his right side watching the reacting Ironborn in silent observation. “What do you think, lady wife?” That seemed to be getting easier to say he silently noted as he waited for her answer.

Visenya was silent for a moment, slight flashes of emotions that Tom was unable to catch quickly enough flitted across her face. Suddenly she took a deep breath, let it go, then answered, “While I think that attacking now might be reckless, suicidal even... we won’t have another chance like this again. If we wait the next time we try, my sister may be gone.” She then set her jaw and continued, “I am forced to agree with Harlaw. We attack.”

Tom looked at her face for a moment, then letting out the breath he’d been holding in one single blast he nodded. “Alright then get the men into as much of the Ironborn gear as they can get on, the rest are to cover themselves in cloaks as not to stand out. Bannon, I’m assuming that you have a way to tell them that we’re friendlies right?”

Bannon quirked an eyebrow at the unfamiliar term but understood the meaning of it quickly enough to not linger on it. “I know the watch words, they change every fortnight, but the next change won’t be for a long while yet. Why they may even line up like good little pegs for the knocking down to lick the shit covered boots of my late and unlamented kinsman.”

Bannon smirked for a moment then turned to Tom, "Cover yourself with your cloak, and try and look like a drunken idiot." then he looked to Visenya "Tear your dress, tease your hair, and try and look as miserable as you can manage... try your best to capture that ‘freshly pillaged’ look."

He then glanced over towards Mya, “Make that both of you.”

Tom narrowed his eyes and muttered, “You know you make yourself a hard man to like. I have to wonder, do you actively try and get people to dislike you, or are you just naturally an asshole?”

Bannon’s smile was insufferable. “Years of tireless practice and diligent study, I assure you, m’lord.” His smile faded, and his voice dropped from his normal, gratingly jovial tone to calm and serious, “But my point stands. The day my cousin doesn’t come into port without a fresh wench or two to keep him entertained would be the day he started buggering sheep, and as there aren’t any livestock on board, we’ll simply have to make do.”

“Am I to play your dearly departed cousin then?" Tom asked.

"Of course. As I said, just throw on a cloak, discard all shame and decency, and try and look like a drunken moron. Molesting the women in open view while drinking heavily will do much to make you seem authentic. It would be even better if one of them could get a good cry going."

Bannon’s smile wouldn’t have melted butter, while Mya and Visenya combined glares, if combined with the correct isotopes, could probably be used to initiate nuclear fusion.

Tom groaned but nodded, “Alright, I think we can figure out what the plan is from here.” He then turned his focus on the fishermen-cum-warriors, “Everyone who has any Ironborn gear get it on now, the rest of you, throw on a cloak and try and look like you belong, and for all that's pure and holy, do not say anything from here on out. Is that understood?”

There were a flurry of nods all around as armor, helmets, and weapons were either strapped on or set next to them to be ready to use at a moment’s notice.

Tom then turned to Bannon and said, “Alright, what now?”

Bannon grinned and said, “Grab that water skin and start stumbling like its full of southern wine. But first gear up. You can’t do this without looking like a proper Ironborn from the neck down.”

Tom nodded then turned to put on his own equipment. The helmet and the chainmail fit surprisingly well and the sword Blackfyre felt comfortable at his side, ready to be drawn the instant it was needed.

To Tom’s mild surprise Visenya and Mya arrived at his side, their dresses strategically cut to look like they’d been torn. Both had applied bits of tar to their face, so at a distances they’d appear bruised, and Mya even seemed to be in tears.

“Are you alright?” Tom asked a bit worried by the authenticity of her red, watery eyes.

“Found an onion,” was her only response.

Tom blinked. “Oh.”

Shaking it off he then smiled and, grabbing a water skin, he took a long swig before throwing his arm around Mya from behind and pulling her in tight. She blushed, he blushed, and both hoped that from the shore this chaste embrace looked more like unwanted molestation.

Closer and closer the ship rowed towards the fort. It was, in the grand scheme of things, actually rather small. Set above a small natural bay, the fort was set on a small hill with a wooden palisade about eight feet in height with each log forming a sharpened spike at the top. A pair of wooden walls stretched the fifty or so yards from the hilltop to the beach itself. There were no actual physical docks, because Ironborn ships were of shallow draft and designed to be hoisted onto the shore when not in use. There were however eight great posts driven into the ground, to serve as a tie down in case of inclement weather.

Only two were in use at the moment, the ships drawn well away from the water, and bound securely to posts. Both of the ships were all but abandoned by their crews, protected by unmotivated looking men who were probably bitter that they were not being given the chance to join the festivities further inland, though despite this, their attention was firmly locked on the incoming ship.

There were camps and fires set up in the great courtyard between the central palisade and the sea, probably those of the lower ranking warriors who due to either limited space or noble arrogance, were not afforded a place in the inner walls.

Suddenly the palisade gates opened and a small contingent of heavily armed men began making their way towards the sea. Feeling somewhat nervous, Tom looked up towards Bannon who simply rolled his eyes.

“Give it time. Give it time,” he said in a low voice, “If we announce ourselves too early we’ll look suspicious. The point is to look comfortable, look confident, and act like we belong.”

“Are we going to have to announce who we are?” Tom asked.

“No,” Bannon replied with a tone of subdued annoyance, “Not with my cousins personal sigal painted on yonder sail as broad as a Reachland wench’s arse after shitting out a couple of pups.”

Tom frowned at Bannons’ vulgarity and muttered, ”And thank you for that wonderful mental image.”

“My pleasure, m’lord, now shut up and let me do my job.”

Tom shot his sworn man a look but remained silent, agreeing that this was not the time for chit chat. It was such, that as they approached, he sometime shifting his hands over Mya’s body or drank from his water skin, all the while feeling his tension grow as the party grew ever closer to the shoreline. It was then, when he swore his butt was at maximum pucker, that Bannon cried out for all to hear, “WAR IS OUR HARVEST!”

There was silence for a moment, then three short blasts of a horn soon followed and the shadows and torches moved again, this time away from the walls and much more slowly. Having done their duty, the guards at the ships went back to slacking off, while the small group moving towards the shoreline visibly relaxed their pace.

Bannon turned to Tom and smirked before turning back to guiding the ship in to rest close to the shore.

Tom’s lips twitched for an instant before he began to take deep breaths in an attempt to calm his nerves. Despite already having been in a battle before, Tom could feeling the icy grip of fear squeezing in his chest as well as dragging it’s cold fingers up and down his spine.

Forcing himself to calm down he grabbed a waterskin, then taking a pull from it. Then he grabbed Mya around her shoulder, twisted her around, and kissed her roughly on the lips, lightly grabbing her hair to make it seem forced.

As they kissed, he swore he saw Bannon snicker once, but before he could really confirm that action, a voice from the docks bellowed out across the water.

“Ho there! Who’s speaks for ye!”

Bannon took a breath, “Bannon Harlaw! I speak for my cousin, Harren Harlaw! We’re coming in from a raid!”

The man frowned. “Why don’t he speak for himself?”

Bannon laughed and jerked his head towards Tom. “As you can see, he’s a little preoccupied. Decided to enjoy his spoils early and leave the busy work to yours truly.

Just then, Tom decided it was time to act. He pushed her away as gently as he could, and turned her around, giving her a sharp swat on the ass to motion for forward. Not enough to hurt, but enough to make a sound that had the men on shore laughing loudly.

Mya, for all of her character, bore the ‘abuse’ well, holding her hands, and the onions concealed within up to her eyes to bring forth a new torrent of tears.

“You too, wench,” he said in a close to the voice of the man he killed as he could manage, intentionally slurring it to sound drunk and conceal his deception, turning back to give Visenya’s shirt a tug, pulling her forward, and tearing it slightly, and causing a new ruckus of laughter from the men on shore.

While he could see a glimmer of outrage in the eye of the elder Lady Dragonstone, she obediently followed, her shoulders slumped, and her head downcast, playing the role of the resigned woman taken as a slave frighteningly well.

“Enjoying indeed,” the man leading the beach party replied, “I only hope Lord Harlaw is generous enough to share the spoils when he’s had his fun. Especially the taller one. She has the same cast as the wench be brought in last time, and believe me, its only your orders that are keeping the men from doing what comes natural.”

Tom could almost feel the tension wafting off of his ‘lady wife’ but she kept her composure well.

“An’ ‘ows dat one doin’ then?” Tom slurred, “Need ‘er well an’ intact now.”

“Intact I can give you. Well I’m not so sure of. Her fever hasn’t broken yet and she’s in a sorry state.” The man frowned. “Are you alright m’lord? You sound a bit off.”

Tom froze in place for a moment. Oh shit what now?

“My cousin has taken to cold,” Bannon replied, “Unsure footing when coming in for a raid and tripped. It happens to the best of us.”

The owner of the voice seemed to be satisfied by Bannon’s explanation, as the next thing he said was, “Well, either way welcome my lords, come in, eat and drink and tell us about what’s going on further South.”

Bannon turned back to Tom and smiled again, this time larger if it were possible.

Tom returned the grin and took another drink of water before walking forward, the girls in close tow. Looking more carefully at the men greeting them on shore, he had to count at least a dozen, all well off if their gear was any indicator. The leader somewhat older than the others seemed to be rather pleased to be hosting such important members of Ironborn society and was rather jovial in his demeanor.

“Welcome my lords, it’s a real pleasure to have you here again so soon.”

Bannon leaped down from the ship as gracefully as a cat, Tom half tumbled out behind him, a cloak covering his face and hiding the Valerian steel sword. He continued to half stumble behind the other man towards the welcoming party. The moment they knelt Bannon drew his sword and threw himself away from the party in a diving roll while Tom threw back the hood of his cloak and bellowed at the top of his lungs. “FUS ROH DAH!!!”

The Ironborn only had an instant of comprehension before they were blasted away like leaves in a tornado. One of them had the misfortune of crashing into one of the large mooring posts with a gut twisting crunch. The great log was actually bent over by the force while the man fell unmoving to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Another poor bastard actually landed in the cooking fire of one of the shore groups, and if the screams were any indicator, was still alive after impact.

With that the rest of the rescue party leaped from the ship armed to the relative teeth and righteous fury burning in their eyes. The handful of the welcoming party that were not caught in the attack were quickly dealt with by the rescuers while their weapons, shields, and helmets were quickly stripped from them by men who had need of either.

“You lot!” Bannon exclaimed, pointing at a small group of fishermen. “Get this ship up on shore! No matter how well you fight, the raid will be a loss if our bloody ship drifts off in the middle of it.”

“Do as Bannon says,” Tom said as he drew his sword, the dark grey of the blade glinting off the torch lights. He then raised his sword then lowered it to point towards the buildings and the fort further up the hill where heads began to poke out of tents and shacks. “The rest of you... CHARGE!”

The men behind him roared in agreement and followed him as he and Bannon thundered up the hill towards the Ironborn crews, the whole time Tom was howling in his head, ‘Don’t let me get cut! Don’t let me get cut! Oh God don’t let me get CUT!’

The first man Tom ran into was an older Ironborn if his dark hair peppered with grey was any indicator. He was nearly naked save for a pair of trousers. He was armed with a sword in one hand and a knife in the other. Tom bellowed “IZZ!” and in a heartbeat, the man was encased in a solid coating of ice. Tom without wasting a moment, Tom twisted around, and neatly decapitated the mancicle, his Valerian blade cutting through ice, bone, and flesh with pitiable ease.

Before Tom could linger on that little act of violence, another Ironborn, this one actually still armored swung his ax at him. Tom nearly had his sword torn out from his hands in an attempt to parry the blow. He then bellowed “YOL!” Setting the man on fire and making him forget all about him as he struggled to put himself out.

Before he could finish him off, Tom was forced to involuntarily flinch when the loud *phwt* of an arrow barely indicated that the missile barely missed him. Throwing himself behind a hut he tried to learn where the had come from. A quick glance showed that the warriors in the fort proper were trying to take pot shots at their attackers before they could approach the walls.

After blasting another man with a FUS ROH DAH, Tom paused to assess the current situation. Either by a stroke of divine favor, or because of perfect timing, many of the Ironborn had been caught with their trousers down, literally in some cases as many in the encampment under the fort were slaves or prisoners of the Ironborn, and most of them being women. Regardless, they were putting up an impressive resistance, showing with regretful clarity that even against drunk, half-naked Ironborn, a large group of well armed, well prepared, and very angry fisherman were still, in the end, just fishermen. To make matters worse, the on duty guards, who were actually armored and sober were beginning to trickle out of the inner stockade.

Tom quickly recognized that while his men were technically winning, if they lost the initiative, things could get very messy. Thankfully, he knew just the thing.

Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and focused his mind on the thing he hated most. Spiders. The damned things always gave him the willies, and he simply couldn’t stand the sight of them. As such, he felt a wellspring of primal, animalistic fear rising from his gut, as he shuddered, remembering the feeling of walking into their webs by accident, the time he ended up with one on his face. It made him want to shudder, and he latched onto that disgust, that nameless horror, and forced it into his voice.


Fear. Run. Terror.

The effect was instantaneous. Focused to a razors edge, the power of dismay quickly tore through the assembled Ironborn. Most of them broke combat and began to flee, some of them, especially those closest to the epicenter, simply dropped their weapons and ran screaming into the sunset, even the guards, who were farthest from Tom, quickly turned about face and advanced to the rear with a motivated swiftness, before slamming the gates shut, giving no regard to their countrymen.

The effort though was more than Tom had expected. For a moment he was almost sent to his knees by the exertion, barely able to catch himself as his hungry lungs fought to draw in air.

“Okay,” he panted, thinking aloud “Can’t do that too often.”

As he fought to get his breath back under control and stand back up again, he saw that the fishermen had recovered and were running down the now blindly panicking Ironborn with relative ease. But the stockade, it seemed, was still going to be a problem. One man who’d become too emboldened by his success decided to make a go at the blockhouse, and was riddle by four arrows for his troubles.

Knowing he would need to find a way into that fortification somehow, Tom studied the stockade for a moment. It had heavy log walls anchoring a solid wooden blockhouse, protected by a large pair of iron shod gates with heavy hinges, which were probably imported from the Iron Islands. He nodded. Yes. He could deal with that. He knew just the shouts.

Closing his eyes, he delved into that place that held the words for the shouts he desperately needed for this plan to work. Like an annoying pop song, the bubbled to the surface. Eyes opening, he quickly muttered, “God, don’t let me fuck this up,” sheathed his sword and broke towards the gates in a full run.

Rolf, seeing his suicidal seeming charge cried out, “M’lord what the bloody hell are you...”

Ignoring the fisherman, he shouted, “FEIM ZII GRON!” In an instant the world greyed out as he entered ethereal form, becoming almost as transparent to light as he was to arrows. It wouldn’t last long, but he didn’t need it to. He only needed a couple moments.

Making the most of those moments, he voiced his Voice, and with a shout of “WULD NAH KEST”, he rocketed off in a blur, almost crashing into the front of the gate as his feet skidded to stop him. He might have been able to go right through them in his ghostly form, but he wasn’t about to risk it in the middle of a battle.

Not giving the Ironborn a chance to reorient, as it was understandably difficult to keep track of a transparent figure moving at almost superhuman speeds, he simply took a deep breath and exclaimed at the top of his lungs, “IZZ SLEN NUS!”

As he’d been standing right in front of it, he’d had no reason to aim. The damaging shout disrupted his ethereal form faded but he no longer needed it as he watched the results of his efforts. The blast hit the gate dead on, and quickly covered it with a thick layer of ice and frost, as the full force of the Ice Form shout froze it inside and out. It was almost like watching a nature documentary with a time lapse camera in the first person.

Once the frosty work was finished, his ended with the coup de grâce. “FUS RO!”

He chose not to use the full power of Unrelenting Force because he did not know who was behind these doors. Ironborn yes, but he would not have been able to forgive himself had some innocents, taken as thralls, been struck in the face by the massive claymore blast of frozen wood and iron that would have resulted. Still, force and balance were more than enough on their own, and the attack did exactly as intended. As if they were but glass, the brittle, frozen iron hinges shattered under the strain. The gates themselves, acted upon by the force of both his Thu’um, and regular old gravity fell away from him, striking ground with an almost anti-climatic thud.

He instantaneously found himself looking at several Ironborn who were standing almost infront of the gate, utter shock and horror on their faces. They were probably standing guard around the gates when they fell. In fact, he wouldn’t have been surprised if he was told that one or two of their number had been crushed when they fell.

Still, they were Ironborn, they were warriors, and when given the choice of fight of flight, their natural tendency was towards battle. One of them raised his axe and opened his mouth for a battlecry, but Tom simply rolled his eyes and made a cry of his own. “ZUN HAAL VIIK!”

Their axes and swords were ripped from their hands like a stick smacked from that of a disobedient child by an angry parent. They flew through the air before landing on the ground, scattered half a dozen paces from the group.

For a moment they looked dumbfounded at their now empty hands, their minds almost unable to process what they were facing. Tom simply took the chance to draw Blackfyre and said, with the most certain of terms, “On your knees with your hands on your heads, or on your backs with your heads on pikes. Decide. Now.”

Slowly the group drifted to their knees, their eyes wide, and their faces ashen with terror, unable or unwilling to comprehend exactly what it was that they stood against.

Raising his voice, Tom said, “That goes to all of you. Gently lay your weapons at your feet, kick them away, and assume the position, and I swear that if any of you give me any shenanigans, I will rip out your blacked souls and feed them to the Storm God himself. Am I clear?”

Tom smiled with grim satisfaction as a shower of weapons rained down from the walls. To quote Hannibal Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together...”

“What the bloody hell was that?”

Looking over his shoulder, Tom found himself looking at the enraged vistage of the elder Lady Dragonstone.

“I was winning the battle,” he replied smoothly, more than a bit proud of his successes.

Visenya stunned him by giving him a solid thump up the side of the head. “You should have told us what you were doing, you caught us as unawares as we caught them!”

Tom blinked. “Yeah, that could be bad.”

He honestly hadn’t expected her to fight, but in retrospect, he’d been an idiot to think anything but. While still clad in her now bloodstained peasant dress, she’d given the skirts a quick reduction with the sword she now carried, a sword that was covered in blood, testament to the fact that she really was one of the only actual warriors he’d had to his name for this battle. He also noted that her torn shirt now displayed a great deal of cleavage, once again reminding him that they were living in the time before bras.


“Alright,” he said looking away from Visenya’s breasts, and at the panting fishermen, who while strong and fit, were obviously unused to running about on dry land for extended period of time. “Bannon, I want you to strip these men of their armor any any remaining weapons. If anyone resists, kill them. Take as many men as you need.”

He nodded, “Don’t worry, I’ll be as gentle as a virgins first time with this lot.”

Tom grimaced. “Bannon, I hope you didn’t expect that to be relieving, because I know what you Ironborn do to virgins.”

Bannon’s response was a smile of pure cruelty, but Tom ignored it, turning to Visenya. “I want you to round up any Thralls you can find, both here and out in the courtyard. I believe they’ll react more positively to a woman than a man. If any have any talent for medicine, set them to helping our wounded.”

“What about my sister?” Visenya asked, “We came here for her!”

“We’re getting to her, don’t worry!” he replied, “It might surprise you, considering how easily I can spit out fireballs, but the healing shout takes a lot out of me.”

She nodded, acquiescing immediately, “Only understandable. I apologize for my impudence.”

Tom blinked, “How is it understandable?”

She simply smiled, “As a woman, I know well that it is infinitely more difficult to create life than it is to take it away.”

Tom rolled his eyes slightly, not sure if she was serious or if she was jerking him around. “Rolf...”


“I want the men to give me an inventory of everything they’ve got in their stocks. We have two fully laden raiding ships and an entire fortress of goodies. Anything we don’t take with us, we burn.”

“Your will be done.”

Tom waited for a moment and crossed his arms. “All of you, report back to me when you’re finished. Now go.”

The three quickly ran off to their appointed tasks, grabbing any men they could to aid them.

Taking a deep breath, Tom then turned towards the Ironborn, “Alright, I have been told that there is a woman you are holding prisoner here. She looks something like her.” He pointed to Visenya, “Do you know who I’m talking about and if you do where is she?”

There was silence for a moment before one of the Ironborn from the group he’d first disarmed spoke up, “M’lord...She’s in the central hall, m’lord.”

Tom muttered, “Alright” under his breath then turned back to the his companions, “Mya? Mya! Where are you?”

“Right here.” Mya made her way through the crowd of fishermen to reach Tom, “What is it you need?”

“I was just told that my sister-in-law is being held in that hall over there.” Tom told her, “Would you please go in and look at her until I can join you? Take a couple men with you for protection.”

“Of course m’lord.” Mya nodded then dashed towards the blockhouse.

Spotting Rolf, Tom then turned to him and said, “So how goes it?”

“I’ve set the boys to looking over the enemies goods. They’ll tell you what we’ve found when we’re finished.”

Tom nodded. “Good, so...” he let his voice trail off as he forced himself to face the grim reality of battle. “How bad was it?”

“We have eight outright dead and another ten injured,” Rolf replied grimly, “Would have been worse, but when you did, whatever it is you did, most of the fight went out of them. I’d say most of ‘em are dead or gone, not many prisoners. Probably could have gotten more, but we didn’t chase them down as, well, we figured you’d need help. We were mistaken it seems, m’lord.”

“You weren't. I couldn’t have kept all these prisoners myself,” he replied leaning against the wall, finally letting his fatigue overtake him, “I need to rest for a few minutes before I do anything else.”

Rolf nodded and handed Tom a waterskin from which he drank liberally. “Thank you, Rolf,” he sighed and looked over. “I suspect you can handle it out here?”

“Aye,” the old man replied. “I know how to handle my men, and Bannon, being the foul Ironborn bastard he is, knows all about Sea Raiding.”

“Good,” Tom replied, “Because as soon as the wife gets back, I have to go attend to my inlaw.”
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:00 am

Tom walked into the dimly lit hall, and squinted his eyes. The light from torches cast a foreboding glow across the dimly lit room. While they were enough to see by, to one spoiled by a life of bright, electric lighting, it felt it like an issue of ‘only just’. He couldn’t help but frown. Yet another reminder of the things he’d lost. Things like running water, proper sanitation, and a competent and reasonably honest central government founded on the ideal that human life actually had some kind of intrinsic importance and value.

He sighed. Though for the moment, he’d settle for some extra light.

Blinking his eyes to help adapt to the darkness, Tom moved through the hall heading towards the door, that he hoped would lead to the living quarters. As he walked, he glanced to the side and saw a small number of men and women, more of the latter than the former, hugging close to the outer walls of the hall, trying their best to be unnoticeable. Obviously some sort of survival trait, he reflected with a frown.

Slowing for a moment, he looked over them. All were dressed reasonably well. Not richly by any means, but well enough not to be an embarrassment to the lord of the hall. He noted that each had a wooden collar around their necks, driftwood if he wanted to hazard a guess. “Always driftwood with them.” He muttered wryly under his breath. Iron was not to be wasted on slaves

Looking more carefully, he studied them, even as they shrank away from his lingering gaze. The men all looked beaten and downtrodden. The women wore dresses of a distinctly abbreviated nature, that he found himself unable to ignore.

Their tops were loose, showing full cleavage and baring their shoulders, obviously kept from falling only by a single bow nestled between the mounds of their breast. Their skirts were short by westerosi standards, ending just below the knee, and slit down one side, showing a shock of leg. For a moment, one probably longer than he really should have allowed, he studied them, considering their state of dress. Then his frown deepened with realization. Yes, the dresses were sexy, but that was obviously a secondary objective. Rather designed to allow for ‘easy access’ without the threat of a randy, drunken ironborn damaging the goods while trying to reach the creamy center.

He gritted his teeth. Slaves came cheap in these parts, but semi-respectable clothing was a valuable commodity.

His eyes narrowed to slits as he noticed the condition an especially skittish, rosy cheeked blonde girl in the back. It caused Tom to feel both a sensation of festering self-loathing and seething rage, for just moments ago, he’d been stupidly ogling her impressive bosom, completely inconsiderate of her physical condition. Now that his eyes had adjusted he could see the dark spot about her left eye, the split in her lower lip, and the black bruises along her upper arms and throat. The poor girl looked like she’d been beaten half to death.

Barbarians, he thought to himself as he sneered, his heart filled with disgust. Fucking barbarians.

Seeing the look on his face, and his attention directed at her, the girl recoiled in obvious fear. This shook away Tom’s anger, leaving only his shame, which he quickly twisted in his mind to something infinitely more productive. Purpose.

“Girl,” he said in a calm, level voice he hoped was nonthreatening, “Come here and stand before me.”

The blonde girl visibly paled and pointed to herself, “M-me m’lord?” she asked, her voice but a squeak, like a frightened mouse who had earned the full attention of the local cat.

Tom slowly nodded. “Yes, you.”

She slowly stood up and walked, or rather limped, towards him, tense but not resistant in the slightest, her head down to avert her gaze.

Once she was before him, she stood up straight as her injuries would allow, chin up, her posture perfect for display. You’d almost think she was standing at attention if it wasn’t for her eyes, which were shut to prevent her accidentally making eye contact with her master, or any other ‘respectable’ individual who’d seek to make use of her. In her condition though, all it did was underscore how bad she really looked.

“No,” Tom said gently, laying his hand softly on her shoulder. “None of that. Open your eyes.”

She lowered her head and did as he bid. “Yes... m’lord.”

Slowly, Tom reached out with a single finger and lifted her chin bringing her eyes up to meet his own. Pretty eyes, he couldn’t help but observe. Soft, warm brown eyes, eyes filled with so much fear, sadness, and suffering. It made him hate this god forsaken world even more. He could only hope burned the fucker who did this to her.

“Don’t be afraid,” Tom said smiling sadly. “Come now, what is your name?”

“A-ana, m’mlord.”

“Ana, I am not going to hurt you,” he said in the most reassuring tone possible, “But I need you to do something for me.”

“I understand, m’lord...”

Slowly her hand rose to the tie that bound her top, only to be caught by Tom’s. She looked at him with confusion, to which he firmly replied, “No, Not that. Just hold your head straight and hold your hair out of the way. Alright”

“M’lord?” she asked, not so much confused as completely dumbfounded. After all, he was still dressed like an Ironman, but here he was treating her as something other than a self-propelled sex aid.

“I need to look at your collar,” he clarified.

She gulped slightly as a big of fear ran through her, and did as he bid. Obviously she was afraid that he might somehow find her collar lacking and blame her for it.

Tom sighed and gentle fingered it, looking it over it. It was just as he thought, driftwood, smooth and pale, bleached by the sun and carved into a two joined half circles that were joined to one another with pegs, and driven into each of those pegs was a small iron wedge. There was obviously no way to remove them without cutting them off.

A small smile came to his face. Though there was something else he could try. After all, if something was closed, all he needed was for it to...



The wedges shot free out with an audible ping, while the pegs simply popped out like a cork from a champagne bottle. As for the collar itself, the two halves flew across half the room before hitting the ground, skidding to a halt against the walls.

Ana stood there, confused and disbelieving as he had moved to her neck. The skin was red and sore, irritated from the collar. Slowly she rubbed her throat and looked at him. He couldn’t help but smile as a he saw a new emotion run through her eyes. Hope.

“M’mlord... my collar...,” she said hesitantly, unwilling to believe quite yet.

“You won’t be needing it anymore. You’re free, Ana.”

“I’m free?”

Tom nodded and looked towards the others and took a deep breath.


A wave of energy shot from his mouth, washing over the huddled mass of men and women. Their collars shot off just as Ana’s had.

“You’re all free,” he paused but before he could react Ana knelt before him. Well, maybe knelt wasn’t strong enough a world. More like prostrated “M’lord,” she said, “I...”

Oh come on, I don’t have time for this shit, Tom thought to himself before coming up with something a bit more diplomatic to say. “Ana, Please. Not right now. Whatever it is, it will have to wait. I came in here for a reason, and I have to finish. Just tell me later. Alright?”

“Of course. Whatever m’lord commands,” she replied as she slowly, and painfully started to rise to her feet, her battered body not enjoying the movement.

Tom winced in sympathy and much to Ana’s shock, and the shock of all of the other former slaves, knelt down next to her and slowly, gently helped her back to her feet.

“Easy now,” he said in a kindly voice. “You’re hurt and I won’t have you making things worse on my account.” he paused for a moment and smiled. “In fact...”

Tom smiled as he had an idea. While it would be a massive waste of energy, and probably somewhat risky, to use the powerful healing thu’um that had some an... interesting effect on Visenya, he could try something here. He hadn’t had a moment to spare when he created that Thu’um. Here he could afford a second. For a moment he focused on the idea of health, of physical well being, of healing, and what it really meant to be whole. Then smiled as a word came to him, one steeped in understanding of the primal concept of Health.


A wave of green energy swept over the girl, and clung to her for a moment, almost like green fire. She startled for a moment, but then marveled as her bruises faded from view, and as any injuries burned away leaving only smooth, untouched skin.

She stood there, dumbfounded, lost in her shock, unable to react as Tom left her, continuing on through the door. Behind it was a simple set of steps that lead to the tower.

It was one the next level that Tom spotted Mya’s bright red hair bobbing around through a doorway at the far end of the hall. Without hesitation, he he walked towards the bed that Mya was hovering over, but stopped dead in his tracks when he spotted a flash of silver-blonde hair from the bed.

A bundle of emotions rose in his chest, excitement and elation at finding what was obviously the other Targaryen sister. Fear and apprehension at her condition after what he’d heard from Bannon and other Ironborn.

As he entered the room, he was able to get a good look at the person laying on the bed being administered by Mya; the sight made his heart hammer in his chest. Laying on the bed, in a most sorry of states, was Rhaenys Targaryen, lady of Dragonstone and the youngest child of the late Aerion Targaryen, former lord of Dragonstone.

Her breath was swift and shallow, interrupted only by the occasional incomprehensible delusional muttering. Her long, silver hair, which he could only imagine was normally as lovely as her sister’s, was wild and soaking with sweat. Her violet eyes were bloodshot and glazed over looking blankly into space, while her skin was somehow a fevered red and sickly pale at the same time. All in all, she looked like death.

Tom quickly moved next to Mya, who only glanced up for a moment to see who it was before turning back to Rhaenys. With a purposeful grimace, she ground powders together before dumping them into cup of water, with the intent of pouring down the ill woman’s throat. To Tom’s consternation she seemed to cough more of it up then she swallowed, and even that bit she did seemed to do little to help.

Finally breaking the silence, he coughed and asked, “How is she?”

“She has a terrible fever, the worst I’ve ever seen,” she said matter of factly, “I’ve seen grown men as strong as oxen be stricken down by fevers half as bad as this, the fact she’s still alive is nothing short of a miracle.”

Mya never looked to Tom as she told him the diagnosis.

“Is there anything you can do?” Tom asked, apprehension tinting his voice.

Mya was silent before she finally shook her head, “ No m’lord. I’ve never seen anyone recover from a fever like this in my life, and I doubt even a Maester could help her now. I believe that all we can do now is make her comfortable as we can and send someone for the Septon.

Tom nodded then hearing the sound of footsteps behind him, he turned behind him to see a shock of blonde hair duck behind the door frame.

“Oh for the love of...,” Tom muttered under his breath, “Ana, what are you...”

Tom paused and then smiled. Wait. He could use this. “Ana, step out there I can see you.”

‘Ana’ Mya mouthed, a sour look on her face, while the blonde girl, much prettier now that she wasn’t covered in bruises, stepped into sight. “Y-yes, m’lord?” she asked, frightfully.

“Who's the fastest runner here?” He asked.

“W-what?” she blinked in confusion, shrinking away slightly.

“Look,” he said with a sigh, “I’m not angry with you, but right now I need to know is who’s the fastest runner you’ve got. I need to send a message.”

“Yohn,” she said after a moment of thought. “Yohn is fastest.”

“Good,” Tom said in a tone that brooked no argument. “Fetch him as quickly as you can.”

She nodded and bolted from the room as if The Others themselves were riding the hem of her skirt.

Once she was gone, Mya looked up to Tom and scowled. “So, who’s Ana?”

“She was injured,” Tom replied. “I removed her collar and then healed her.”

Mya facepalmed.

“What? All I did was free her...”

Mya looked up. “Did you pay her any special attention?”

"Well, she was injured, so like I said, I healed her...” he paused, “And I had to look at someones collar to figure them out.”

Again, Mya facepalmed, muttering something under her breath. From what little Tom was able to hear, she was saying something about ‘heroic’ ‘idiot’ ‘men’.

Tom blinked, a bit lost as to the cause of Mya’s reaction. “What?”


Tom turned about to see Ana standing in the doorway with a young man of slight stature, probably barely into his teens, and filled with what looked to be abundant nervous energy. “You summoned me m’lord?”

“Alright, I need you to go find a lady with silver hair to come here. Tell her that the Dovahkiin needs her in the hall.” When he saw the look of confusion at his title he sighed, “Just tell her that Tom needs her at the hall, she’ll know who you’re talking about. Also, if you are able to find the Septon we brought with us putzing about out there, fetch him as well. We might need him.”

Seeming to understand the young man bowed his head. A grim look of determination came across his features. Remaining only to say, “Your will be done, m’lord,” he dashed from the room as quickly as his legs could carry him. Tom had to admit, boy was pretty damned fast.

Turning back to Mya he said, “Is there anything else that could be of any help?”

Mya looked for at him for a moment, “I need a bowl of the coolest water you can find as well as several rags. It will cool her down a little bit.”

Tom nodded, and after giving the room a quick glance, realized he knew exactly where none of them were. Thankfully though, he knew someone who did. “Ana,” he said, trying his damnedest not to look at the busty blonde’s bust, “I’m going to need your help. If you would fetch the things that Mya asked for, I’d be very thankful.“

Ana blinked at the pleasantry added at the end of his request but recovered quickly bowing saying, “Of course m’lord.” She scampered off to complete her task, her wide hips swaying with every step making her rear move in such a special way.

Tom shook his head. He really needed to get that girl dressed in something that would be considered acceptable outside of a brothel, if only for his own sanity's sake.

Moments later Ana returned with the basin and the rags, Mya took them from her without comment, and quickly soaked them in the water. Then, after ringing them out, started wiping the woman’s forehead in an attempt to make the young Targaryen woman as comfortable as possible. Tom doubted that this venture would do any real good, but not being anything close to a expert or even an educated layperson in this particular field, he bowed to Mya’s expertise and continued with the work.

A few minutes later Tom heard the thundering of footsteps up the stairs and a moment later, Visenya burst into the room with the Septon right behind her, his pudgy face lobster read from the exertion, looking like he had been dragged the entire way up here.

Visenya’s eyes scanned the room in an instant then honed in on the prone form of her sister, she was by her sister’s side in an instant, all but throwing Mya to the side in the process.

She took her sister’s limp hand into her own and began trying to get her attention, “Rinnie, it’s me! It’s Vissy! I’m here, little sister! Please wake up! I’m sorry we got lost but I’m here now. “

Rhaenys didn’t respond, she just continued gasping and occasionally muttering.

Her eyes widened frantically and started to gently shake her shoulders. “Rinni! Wake up! Please! Please wake up!”

Shooting her a glare, Mya pulled her away. “There’s nothing we can do, and if you keep this up, all you’re going to do is kill her faster.”

“You little wench!” Visenya growled, knocking Mya’s hands away from her, “Don’t you dare there me there’s nothing we can do, I... I...”

She snapped her head to look at Tom, who’d been ignored up to this point, the look in her eyes silencing anything he had been about to say, “You saved me. Can you save her?” Her voice held none of the normal power and authority that it normally had, all Tom could see was a scared woman, desperate not to lose her little sister after having already lost her brother/husband.

Tom was silent for a moment, then nodded, “I can at least try.”

He then strode over and knelt by the sick woman’s side. He took a deep breath then focusing on the words that had saved Visenya he bellowed at the top of his voice, “LAAS ZII FUS!!”

The same gold shockwave of energy that had saved Visenya days before enveloped the young lady of Dragonstone. There was silence a split second, then with a deep, choking gasp, Rhaenys shot up from the bed, her eyes wide open though staring at nothing. Turning over she leaned over the side of the bed, gasping desperately for air and hacking herself raw.

Mya grimaced and slid the bowl under her mouth as she spit up massive globules of phlegm. Thick, pussy, rotten smelling phlegm that was a stomach wrenching shade of green, with vile brown chunks in it. The fact that it was coming from a human body made him fight to keep his lunch.

As her lungs cleared, Rhaenys’s breathing became deeper and less labored. Tom could only watch as the women fought to clear her airway, while Mya stood back, her job being done. Ana’s attention seemed to be locked on Tom, her eyes shining with wonder, while the Septon seemed to have broken into spontaneous prayer, thanking the seven for the miracle that he’d just been blessed to observed. As for Visenya though seemed totally unpaused, and instead simply began to slap her sister on the back in an attempt her help her clear the foulness from her lungs.

As the labored hacking faded to a simple counting, Rhaenys glanced up and looked at her sister. While tired from the labor of clearing her lungs, she looked infinitely better than the decaying figure she’d been moments before. While her skin was still a bit red, it was from exertion and not sickness. Her eyes had also cleared, becoming weary and tired, but alert, rather than the glazed over, bloodshot orbs they’d been moments before.

“Visenya,” she said before going into a short coughing fit, “Where am I?”

“In a formerly Ironborn held camp. We have just taken the camp after we learned where you were.” Visenya answered.

“We...?” Rhaenys managed to ask.

Visenya gestured to Tom who walked up to the young lady’s side, “This is Tom Brodie, a knight that found me washed up on the beach near the mouth of the Blackwater Rush. He nursed me back to health then after we stopped an Ironborn attack, he gathered a rescue party to find and free you. We owe him our lives.”

Rhaenys turned her head to look at Tom, her eyes seemed to scan him for a few moments before she smirked slightly, “You look more like a baker than a knight but if you did all that my sister said you did, then you are true knight in my eyes and you have my gratitude.”

Visenya smirked. "I'd call him a baker of sorts, though I wouldn't say its bread that he introduces to the fires."

Rhaenys stared at her sister for a moment, “Is that a joke I heard from you sweet sister? Truly this is a day of miracles.”

"Oh, it is no joke, just a witty observation."

“Truly sister? Than this must be a rare man indeed.” Rhaenys’s gaze became more appraising of the young man and he had the vague feeling he was being measured for something that he wasn’t exactly looking forward to.

"Sister, don't. He may look like a fat peasant, but understand I make no joke when I say he's quite possibly the most dangerous being either of us has ever encountered." Visenya answered her voice taking a tone of reprimention.

Tom gave her a look of askance, "'Fat peasant' you are so kind to the savior of you and your sister." Sarcasm all but dripped from his voice.

"Feel blessed that I hold you in esteem high enough to speak the naked truth." She replied in what seemed both jesting and deadly serious at the same time.

Rhaenys then suddenly changed the subject when she interrupted their banter, "Neither of you mentioned Aegon, is he here? Or have you not found him yet?" Apprehension now tinting her voice.

Visenya visibly shrank at the question and Tom looked away, unable to make eye contact with the prone young lady.

That apprehension started to turn to panic, "Where is he? Where's Aegon, what has happened to him?"

"While he was able to save me... Aegon... he was beyond saving, even with his power." she closed her eyes, unable to go on.

Rhaenys’s eyes widened in horror, her voice completely gone, then tears formed at the corner of her eyes and she began to cry, she covered her face with her hands and wept like a lost child. Visenya reached out and embraced her sister, letting her head rest against her breast for comfort. Tom stood there, unsure as how to respond.

"I know, little sister." Visenya whispered as her own pain once again welled to the surface.

Tom stood there for a while, then turning to Mya and Ana he nudged his head towards the door and went out, the other two following behind him letting the sisters have a moment alone.

Noting that the Septon hadn’t moved from his kneeling position, nor had he stopped praying, going to the holy man’s side he cleared his throat then asked, "C'mon, I think we need to give these two a moment alone."


“If you lost your sibling wouldn’t you want a moment of privacy? Besides there are plenty outside that need your help.” Cutting the sputtering holy man off.

He paused and sighed. "I apologize. It is not everyday one sees a miracle."

As they walked out, a thought came to Tom’s mind he turned to look at the Septon, “ "Wait. Where were you when I was killing the Ironborn."

"Seeking shelter in the boat, sire. I am a man of the cloth, not of swords."

Shrugging his shoulders, Tom replied, “Fair enough.”

As the group walked out of the hall Tom spotted Bannon across the courtyard, “Bannon!” He called out, “We found her! She’s in a rough state right now but she’ll live.”

“Oh, happy day,” Bannon remarked in an almost girlish voice. “Now m’lord, I’d be most thankful it you would leave me to my work. We need to be out by sunset unless you wish you spend the night. Bah. You’d almost think that these peasants have never looted a settlement before.” He scoffed, “A proper ironborn crew would have their winds in their faces, and a fire at their backs by now.”

"A fire at their backs?"

"Rape, Pillage, then Burn. My father always said you have to get the order right."

Tom shook his head at that little comment, but he thought on it for a while, Bannon was right if these were Ironborn they’d have already been out of there but they weren’t. “No, we’ll stay the night, we gotta rest then we’ll head out early, I’ll make sure we get out quick enough but the men need time to rest.”

Bannon frowned. “Then if I may be so bold, make a plan in case of visitors. It’s not unheard of for ships to arrive soon after dawn.”

Tom looked over to the bay, thinking hard. “Have some of the former slaves watch the water, if they spot anything have them call it in then we’ll make sure to bug out as quick as possible. Throw everything onto the ships and row out. I can take care of any ships that get close enough to be a threat.”

He turned back to Bannon, “You go help them get ready to move out at a moment’s notice.”

“I doubt such is possible. This crew simply isn’t used to working in haste,” he replied, “Still, I’ll try.”

“That’s all I can ask.”

Bannon nodded. “I don’t suppose you’ll allow motivational floggings?”

Tom gave Bannon one of the most withering looks he’d ever given anyone. “What do you think?”

Bannon shot him an all too oily smile. “I think it was worth a try.”

Tom rolled his eyes. “I think you need to get back to work. If you need me, I’ll be getting something to eat.”
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

Post by Brian Boru on Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:01 am

When Tom walked back into the hall, he was surprised to see Rhaenys already up and about, and dragging Visenya behind her, a look of exasperation on her sister’s face, “My Lady, I’m pleased to see you and about. How are you feeling?”

She paused for a moment a slight look of melancholy on her face, “As well as the circumstances warrant, but there is something that we must discuss now. My sister has been telling me tall tales of of magic powers. She claims that you can breath fire and ice, can blast open doors and shatter walls with a shout, even that it was you who healed me with but a phrase!”

“Sister,” Visenya warned, “Do not taunt the Dovahkiin...”

“Sister, we both know I dabbled in Valyrian magics of old when I was young, and as we both know, whatever power those spells ever possessed is long gone. I find your claim that this man is somehow able to do things that even the dragonlords of could not to be absolutely preposterous.”

“How else did I take this fort? As brave as my men are they’re fishermen not warriors.” Tom asked, hungry and thirsty and now more than a little snappy that this woman, whom he’d just saved from dying, was now trying to read him the riot act.

“Not without evidence,” She then strode right up to Tom, her face inches from him. “If you can really do these things then show me.”

“Rinni, please...” Visenya said wided eyed and a bit pale, before turning to Tom. “Please don’t set her on fire, I do love her, even if she is being very very stupid.”

Rhaenys snorted in contempt. “This isn’t like you.”

“And it isn’t like you to stick your head in a dragon’s maw,” Visenya snapped.

“This man, he is no dragon.”

Tom’s eyes twitched, he was tired, hungry, his throat felt like sandpaper, and now this ungrateful little bitch was questioning him?

He thundered over towards a fireplace, unlit but set for a fire with the wood piled high. Taking a deep breath he bellowed out, “YOL TOOR” A massive jet of flames shot from his mouth, enveloping the fire and almost billowing back out from the fireplace. He held the flames for as long as he could then shut his mouth, killing the flame. The wood in the fireplace was completely consumed, only hot ash remained.

He turned back to the stunned woman and thundered back towards her, fury blazing in his eyes, “Are you convinced now or does the wittle doggie have to do another trick?”

Rhaenys’s reply was simple and to the point. She stood there, eyes wide, her mouth agape, completely dumbfounded by what she’d just seen.

“Close your mouth, little sister,” Visenya said with a smirk so insufferable, you’d expect to see it on Bannon, “You’re going to catch flies.’

“Are you convinced? Good, now if you’ll excuse me I want something to fucking eat!”

He nearly stumbled into Ana who was standing right behind him, carrying a large platter generously laden with bread, cheese, and pickled fish. “I thought you might be hungry, m'lord!"

Tom stared, a little bit stunned at how quickly she had shown up but he couldn’t help but smile, “Ana,” he sigh with a sigh, “You’re a blessing you know that? Just let me take that and...”

He reached out to take the tray but she looked almost scandalized. “Please, m’lord! It wouldn’t imagine! Please, just sit and allow me to serve you!”

He looked at her, slightly surprised as that was the most spirited he’d seen her, then he shrugged and said, “Alright then, if you feel so strongly about it then alright. Shall we?” He then gestured towards a table and the two of them walked side by side to said table.

Ana was almost glowing with pleasure as she placed the food before Tom, a brilliant smile across her face. “Would you like ale or wine, m’lord?”

Thinking back to the results his imbibing of wine had done to him a few days ago, he responded, “Ale sounds nice.”

As soon as Ana had left the room, Visenya shot him a scathing look. “Tom, are you intentionally collecting a comly peasant girl from every encounter, or are you really just that naive?”

The look of stunned confusion on his face could have been used as a picture description for the phrase. “What? No! That’s just how my mother raised me, treat a women like she’s a lady unless she proves otherwise.”

“Tom,” Visenya said dryly, “I believe I can say with much assuredness that neither your pretty little fishwife, nor your freshly liberated the slave girl are noble born.”

Tom smirked and shook his head, “What I mean when I say ‘a lady; doesn’t mean she has to be noble born. It means that any woman should be treated with dignity and respect unless she proves by her actions alone that she doesn’t deserve it.”

“Your people have a very strange definition of the word ‘lady’,” Visenya remarked.

“You should be thankful,” Tom replied with a wide smile, “Had my mother not raised me to be a gentleman, I probably would have left you to die.”

Visenya flushed in annoyance. “You were raised to be a gentle man? That might explain why you are so soft and untrained in the ways of war. They should have raised you to be a warrior.”

“The capacity for mercy isn’t weakness, Visenya, and my people’s culture is very different than your own.” Tom’s features hardened, “I strongly suggest you watch your mouth, especially when it involves my mother.”

That left her silent as Tom turned back to the table to focus on his meal. As he lifted the first piece of bread though, he glanced to the side to see undivided Rhaenys attention focused on him, or rather the piece of bread within his hand. She didn’t say a word, and tried to control her body language as much as possible, but he could see her eyes tracking it like a cat with a toy. Lightly she smacked her lips and...

He frowned deeply when he heard a slight rumble from her stomach from halfway across the hall. Yeah. She’d been deathly ill with fever for days, and probably hadn’t had more than a couple bowls of broth, if that, the whole time.

Sighing deeply Tom muttered to himself, “And remember son, a gentleman always suffers for a lady...” then pushed the food towards her. “Ladies first.”

Rhaenys walked quickly but calmly over to Tom’s table and quickly tore into the plate with surprising speed and demureness. When Ana returned with a pitcher of ale, she blinked in surprise.

Tom looked up to her and shrugged, “She hasn’t eaten in days,” he stated calmly, to explain the situation, “Would you mind getting another tray for me, please?”

“Of course m’lord.”

She placed down the ale and left to fetch a second serving.

“Why not get enough for everyone?” Visenya remarked.

Ana paused and frowned slightly before bowing to the elder Lady Dragonstone. “I will tell one of the others to attend you, m’lady.”

Visenya smirked and sat down next to Rhaenys. “Remember to breath, little sister.”

Rhaenys ignored her and reached for the ale, pausing and looking to Tom who simply sighed and nodded. Foregoing the goblet entirely, she drank deeply of the pitcher before returning to her, well, for lack of a better term, ‘feeding frenzy’.

Tom filled a cup quickly before Rhaenys claimed it and nursed the drink until Ana returned.


“Ouch!” Tom cried out, rubbing the back of his head from where Mya had slapped him, “What the hell was that for?”

The two of them were in a more private part of the hall, the fires in the hearth making a reddish glow reflect off of Mya’s red hair making her almost terrifying.

“You really, are an idiot sometimes, m’lord,” she replied, coldly, a deep frown marring her pretty features. A small part of Tom’s mind was amazed at how a girl so tiny could make herself puff herself up so that she seemed like a giant looking down on the tiny bug-like people below her.

“An idiot? Honestly What did I do? I’ll try and fix my mistake but I can’t do that if the only answer I get is an insult!” He responded, honestly confused.

“Ana ring any bells?”

“You did see the state she was in right? I couldn’t leave her or any of the others like that. And how should I have treated her?” Tom asked a bit upset now.

“No, but I can only imagine,” she replied, “But whatever you did has her following you around like a lost puppy,” she sighed, “I’m not upset that you helped her, that’s what you do, but the way you go about it sometimes...”

Tom looked at her, confusion etched on his face, then his eyes widened in surprise as a light bulb flashed in his head, then with slight bemusement he asked, “Are you...jealous of her for some reason?”

Tom struggle for a moment, then unable to contain himself, started to laugh at the absurdity of the situation.

Mya’s face turned red and her cheeks puffed up, which when combined with her red hair, made her look rather reminiscent of a tomato. “What’s so funny?!”

“Nothing, nothing at all, just remembering my younger days and how different they were.” He thought back to how he’d joke that he’d have girl-repellent when he’d been in high school. He then looked back to Mya, who’d seemed to get only more indignant, “Mya, I promise you, you don’t have ANYTHING to worry about from Ana. I was just trying to be kind to a girl that needed it.”

Mya shrunk down a bit. “You swear?”

Tom, still a little unsure as how to go about this, wrapped her up in a hug and said, “I promise Mya, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

“Good. Just so you know, m’lord, I’ll be warming your bed tonight lest Ana try and warm it for me,” she smiled coyly, ”We can’t have that now.”

Tom flushed like a fire hydrant at the implications behind Mya’s words. But he managed to recover quickly enough, “I guess so.”

Unsure as how to react from there, Tom beat a hasty retreat from the young woman and walked back into the hall proper, to his mild surprise, he found Bannon and Rolf along with the men that had come with him eating, drinking, and generally celebrating their victory. Bannon seemed to be talking with one of them a pretty brown-haired girl that seemed to be talking animatedly with the young man.

Looking up from his conversation, Bannon happened to spot Tom and with a grin on his face stood up and gestured to him. Then he called out in a loud voice, “And here he is, our brave leader, the Bane of the Ironborn, the fire breathing, bear buggering bastard of Blackwater Rush himself, Tom Dovahkiin!”

The men and women either sitting or serving the table immediately began to scream out in cheer, lifting their drinks in the air in honor of him.

Tom was a little stunned by the reception he was receiving, he knew that he’d taken these men away from their homes and had gotten several of them killed for what he felt were for selfish purposes. But here they were, cheering his name and toasting to him. It was a...heady feeling.

Feeling a moment of inspiration, he walked to the center of the hall, then he raised both of his arms and then lowered them, gesturing for silence. Once he had it he took a deep breath and loudly declared, “Men of Blackwater, tonight you have every right to celebrate.” There was a loud cheer from the partiers.

Tom let them calm down then continued, “Yesterday, you were fishermen, and easy target in any Ironman’s book! But now, now your warriors, warriors who took up arms to defend their homes, warriors who avenged themselves and their loved ones! Warriors who fought not for glory, but for honor, and you gave those Ironborn Buggerers the reach around that they've been asking for the better part of the century, and sent them running back to their shitty little islands! This night isn’t mine, is yours! I toast to each and every single one of you! TO THE RUSH!”

“TO THE RUSH!!”, was their immediate reply.

As Tom sat down at the high table he managed to be close enough to Bannon for him to mutter, “I’m not a bastard.”

"Ah, and that may be, but I see you didn't contest that you bugger bears." Bannon asked with his usual grin.

"And once again, you and charm wins the hearts and minds of those around you." Tom responded, dryly.

“I try my lord, I try.”

“Bannon... Shut up.”


The next morning found Tom, along with the sisters Targaryen and Bannon Harlaw sitting at the head table eating breakfast before heading out to help with packing up and heading back to the Rush, or Bannon and Tom were, the sisters had made it clear that they weren’t interested in, as Visenya put it, “being pack animals.”

The two were also interested in talking with a pair of young women who were the most interesting of the former captives of the Ironborn. Lysa Stepstone and Dana Storm, the legitimized bastard granddaughters of Lord Pyle who ruled land along the Southern edge of Blackwater bay and was sworn to King Argilac ‘the arrogant’ Dondarrion, King of the Stormlands.

Tom had met them the night before and both had thanked him prodigiously for having rescued them from the Ironborn. Dana, at sixteen, was the elder of the two. She was an extremely intelligent young lady of particularly sarcastic temperament, who even after the ordeal she’d so recently been through, managed to affect an extremely dry, almost implacable affect.

After establishing her pedigree, and telling the sad tale of how the two of them had been horseback riding near the coast when they’d been beset by Ironborn raiders. Their guards were killed, and their person’s taken into captivity. Being noble born, they’d been spared the usual immediate rape followed by enslavement, and instead had been captured intact. It seemed the captain who claimed them was a practical salt, one more interested in the coin that a pair of noble ladies could bring in ransom rather than getting his rocks off.

Lysa Stepstone, was a relatively good natured girl that while far less implacable than her cousin, seemed to possess the same swift mind, and an admirable eye for detail that in retrospect, was probably somewhat of a liability, at least for Tom.

While her cousin had spent most of the night, and much of the following morning trading barbs with Bannon, Lysa had remained silent, simply watching and listening. In the morning, she’d sat herself across from Tom, and simply watched, no, studied him, as well as keeping a close eye on Visenya and Rhaenys.

After an eerie half an hour of her eating and silence and observing, she shot Visenya a long, studying glance, before casually asking, “So... lady Brodie, how exactly did you meet your lord husband again? I’m afraid that didn’t get to hear the full story last night.”

Having used the same story a number of times, Visenya could repeat it virtually route. “Well...,” she began before being cut off by her Rhaenys.

“Sister, I believe that it is obvious to all but you that your thin ploy is starting to fray at the edges,” Rhaenys stated coolly, “While I say this with no disrespect to the brave and honorable men who charged to my rescue,” she said lifting her glass in honor of the fishermen, “They are peasants, simple folk of the sea who are not accustomed to sorting through pleasant falsehoods with every breath. Lady Lysa on the other hand, is, and has obviously picked up on your little white lie. So please, I beg you, enough games. While I understand why you did so, and agree with your reasoning, it has outlived its usefulness. To continue to cling to it is an insult to Ser Tom and to the intelligence of everyone in this room...”

“Sister,” Visenya replied through gritted teeth, her annoyance clear and very apparent, “I could have just explained it to the two of them in private.”

“Gods damn it, Visenya!” Rhaenys roared, slamming her hands onto the table, “Our beloved deserves better than this! He deserves better than to be to mourned in hiding while you play the little wife of some dumpy hedge knight with the ability to breath fire!”

Visenya’s face sank. “I know, Rinni, I just wanted to keep us safe...”

“I couldn’t take it,” Rhaenys cried out, as she broke out into a full weep, “I just couldn’t take it anymore!”

Visenya frowned sadly, and pulled her little sister into a hug. “There, there little sister. I’m here.”

“I don’t know how I can live without him,” Rhaenys wailed as she clung to her elder sister, “I don’t know how I can go on...”

“Wait,” Lysa said her eyes wide. “Her names Rhaenys, they’re sisters, and... by the gods... you’re...”

Visenya’s eyes snapped up and all but bored into the girl’s skull, “You complete that sentence in public, and I swear by by all the gods worshiped under the open skies, I will strip you naked and throw you into the cells to entertain our prisoners!”

“Wait! Everyone calm down before we do something we all regret!” Tom shouted.

When he was sure that everyone had his attention he cleared his throat and continued. “Rolf, Beric, Septon Patrek, Ladies Storm and Stepstone, I’d like a moment of privacy with all of you. I can’t tell the details to everyone, but I know the others trust you. If you find my reasons to be true, I’m sure they’ll take your word for it” He then rose and walked up to the second floor of the hall. The others closely behind him while the fishermen began to mutter under their breaths about what was going on.

Once Tom was sure that they had privacy he turned back to the small group and said, “Alright, you want the full truth, here you go First off Rana is not my wife. Rana it isn’t even her name. Before you are Visenya and Rhaenys Targaryen and sisters/wives of Aegon Targaryen, Lord of Dragonstone. They were, along with most of their fleet, underway to the mainland when a storm hit. As far as we know, all hands were lost to the bay except for the Targaryen siblings themselves. I found Aegon. With his dying breath he made me swear to find and protect his sisters.”

“Soon after I found Visenya and managed to restore her to to health. Our original intent was to head to Rosby and find a ship to take her back to Dragonstone. The next day we came across the village and the rest is history.” Tom sighed, “Listen, I know I lied and I apologize from the bottom of my heart. If you feel it right, I will not accompany you back to the Rush, and instead I will do my best to get the sisters back to Dragonstone.:”

Rolf looked at Tom heavily for a long moment, before snorting. “Lad, you’ve done right by me and mine so I don’t take any issue. I’m sure you had your reasons, but I need to know what they are.”

“It’s simple,” Dana cut in. “If it was commonly knowledge that Lady Visenya Targaryen of Dragonstone was wandering about the countryside with but a single hedge knight for protection, there would be a line of thieves, bandits, and petty nobles looking to seize her for their own devices that would stretch from Sunspear to Winterfell!”

“Well,” Beric said grimly, “I’ll admit I felt rather insulted, but when you put it like that... I see your point.”

Lysa sighed. “I guess I should apologize for giving Lady Rhaenys the opportunity to have her outburst.”

“Don’t blame yourself, dear,” Patrek said gently, “The lady just lost her husband. It’s only natural that she be distraught.”

Dana snorted. “Come now, I can understand that Lady Rhaenys is upset, but really, there is a fine line between distraught and stupid. I believe she crossed it somewhere in the vicinity of Lannisport. She just put all of us in danger.”

“Lady Storm, please don’t antagonize her, the last thing we need is a fight. So here’s the big question, should we tell the men, they aren’t stupid and I can’t imagine them not trying to ask what is going on and I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on Rolf and Beric.” He nodded to the respective village leaders.

“Personally I say we tell them what is going on, get out in the open now and prevent rumors from spreading or them finding out on their own and feeling betrayed for it. What say you?” He asked the others.

“Lady Visenya obviously wants it to be kept as secret as possible,” Lysa countered, “I humbly suggest we...” Lysa trailed off as a horn sounded in the background. “What was that?”

“That was the horn. That means...” Tom’s eyes widened. “Oh, Christ. Not now!”

“What is it?” Lysa repeated.

“Ships, you silly girl!” Rolf exclaimed, “Ironman ships!”


“Alright then, what’s the situation?” Tom asked, not even bothering to look to the side as he exited the hall, clad in his helm and chainmail shirt, Blackfyre hanging at his side.

“M’lord, we’ve spotted two sails,” one of the men announced. “Just on the horizon. Maybe an hour’s distance”

“Bannon,” He called out, “Where are you?”

“Up here!” the Ironborn warrior announced from the wall, “What do you need?”

Tom looked at him. “You’re the expert, do you think we can get out of here quick enough to avoid them?” He already had a feeling what the answer would be but he had to ask.

“To be honest, maybe,” he said, “But we’d have to leave now. Right now. And even then, we’d be in for rough times. Even with the thralls you freed manning the oars, they’d be able to get here, see that the place has been sacked, and row us down without much difficulty. Even if they didn’t, we’d have to leave everything intact to avoid drawing attention, and believe me when I tell you, they’d use this place to staging point for a putative reign of terror across the entire coastline.”

“Shit! Shit! Shit!” Tom started to curse. Tom looked to the sea and then to the forest inland, “Alright everyone get the women and non-fighters out of here. Head for the forest and hide there, those Ironmen won’t abandon their ships for long.”

Bannon let his eyebrow peek. “After this? The forests would be the first place they’d check, and don’t make me remind you of the dozens of Ironborn warriors you send fleeing into those very woods but yesterday.”

“Motherfucker!” he screamed to the high heavens. “I take it fighting them on the shore would be a lost cause?”

“Unless you can magic out another victory,” Bannon observed, “We have less chance than my Great Uncle Orin has of getting off the damned Wall.”

“God damn it all to hell,” Tom grumbled. He needed to whittle down that group down before they hit shore but how? How!? Then like a bolt of lightning, it struck him, there was a shout that could probably work. One he’d been able to recall with ease even before he’d come here.

“I have an idea,” he said with a smile, ”Have the men pull the ships up as far onto shore as they can, take down masts, and tie down the ships. Things are about to get very rough...”
Brian Boru
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The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms Empty Re: The Thu'um and the Seven Kingdoms

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