Part 2: A Rose for Lions - Jaime
Part 2: A Rose for Lions
Robert Baratheon knelt before the King. Being a prisoner agreed with him, it seemed. In the five years he had spent in captivity at King's Landing, he had gained enough weight to live up to his reputation as Robert the Fat. Gods, thought Jaime. I wonder if he'll starve now that he's being released.
"Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End, do you swear fealty to the Iron Throne and the King who sits it, Rhaegar Targaryen, the First of His Name, now and forever?" thundered Tywin Lannister through the Great Hall. On the throne itself, Rhaeger looked positively regal, sitting as though the throne was a collection of cushions, he wore the thin band of a crown first worn by Aegon III. The Iron Throne, made from the melted down swords of Aegon's enemies, had been known to cut those considered unworthy to sit it, and the gods knew Aerys had not been comfortable sitting in it, but if the melted sword points and blades put Rhaegar ill at ease, Jaime could not tell.
"I so swear," intoned Baratheon.
Tywin nodded. Jaime's father had fared well since being appointed Hand. In celebration, he had held a tournament at Casterly Rock. The King had traveled to attend it. Ryman Frey, the Lord of the Twins, and old Bloodless Walter's heir, had won.
Lord Ryman had broken three lances in a joust with one of the King's loyal knights, Ser Alliser Thorne, a hard and unforgiving man, and when the two men turned their horses for the fourth pass, the crowd had been on the edges of their seats. Jaime had been afraid that the former rebel lords would turn on the loyalists should the points go against the Frey lord, but Lord Ryman knocked Ser Alliser to the sand. The King himself had declared Lord Ryman the valiant winner, and invited both Frey and Thorne to join him and Tywin at his feast table that night, to put old enmity behind them.
Jaime sometimes could not fathom the changes that had occurred in his father. Though he could still be as rigid a man as ever, especially where Tyrion was concerned, Tywin seemed to have some small joy in his life that would occasionally break through the cracks and bring a smile to his face. Jaime often encountered his young brother, Tybolt, wandering through the halls of King's Landing. He'd heard that Lady Pruella was even pregnant again.
Jaime was not sure how he felt about his father's wife, given that she was two years younger than Jaime and Cersei, but she seemed to drive his father to great lengths of devotion. He bought her jewelry and fine clothes, and tolerated her whims. One year she had attempted to take up painting, and Tywin had paid for it, though the expense for a teacher was high, and her talent not very great.
When Maester Gawen had died, Tywin had sent to the Citadel for one trained in delivering children. True, Maester Podrick had delivered more foals than newborn children, but he had assured the Hand that the mechanics involved were quite similar. When Tyrion had come to visit, he and Jaime had shared a laugh about it.
King Rhaegar stood, drawing Jaime back into the matter at hand.
"Robert Baratheon, we hereby declare you as a free man, to travel where you wish to go, when you wish to do so."
"Thank you, your Grace," said Robert.
"We would, however, appreciate it if you would remain in King's Landing for some time more," said Rhaegar. "We would ask you to serve as Master-at-Arms, and train the youth of the court in the nature of war."
"It would be an honor, your Grace," said Robert.
Well, at least he doesn't have to worry about going hungry, thought Jaime.
After Robert's ceremony Jaime's father cornered him as he walked back to White Sword Tower.
"Your brother is to be married to Margaery Tyrell soon," said Tywin.
"So I've heard," replied Jaime.
"You will join us?"
"Unless my King requires that I stay with him, I would not miss it. I'm sure Tyrion will be overjoyed at it."
"He detests the arrangement, but understands that there are certain requirements to being my heir. It is good you are coming. We will need good men in the Westerlands soon."
"It's a wedding, father," said Jaime. "Not a war."
Tywin merely smiled.
"We shall see," he said.
Last edited by HobbesMkII; 20-06-2012 at 00:21.
Alright, looking forward to the megawar. I'm very curious to see how the years after the death of the well-known characters play out. If you want to make this story move forward faster, that's okay. I enjoyed the narrative so far but I totally understand if you are itching to move on and go to 1.1.
Originally Posted by HobbesMkII
I don't think the narrative's going to move much faster. I'm constrained a little by the sheer variety of things that occurred, especially during the last 20 years of Tywin's rule, that trying to speed up the narrative and hitting the important things might feel like too much shoehorning for the narrative to stand up on its own.
Originally Posted by Leviathan07
Part 2: A Rose for Lions - Tyrion
The chicken hutch was colder than he'd thought it would be. But chickens had a warm down blanket to wear, and Tyrion had only his cloak, which he'd lifted off a dead Reachman when he'd had to dispose of his finery. The hutch also stank of the droppings the chickens had left behind.
If I have to wait much longer, I'll lay an egg, Tyrion thought to himself. He would have given everything to be back in Casterly Rock. Why hadn't his father allowed him to stay?
Barely a fortnight into Tyrion's marriage and Tywin Lannister had appeared in Deep Den, leading five hundred knights behind him. The Lannister Lion, dancing on its field of red, had swayed majestically in the wind. Where are those knights now, Tyrion wondered. Dead, probably. Some wretched Reachman cutting off their fingers for their rings. Gods take Tyrion's bloody marriage. He wanted no more of it.
He was sure Margaery had wanted none of it, either. Their wedding bed had been one they had both approached with a detachment and sense of duty.
"I wanted to be a queen," she had told him, after.
"I'm sorry, sweetling," he'd said.
So it had been no surprise that when Tywin had offered to make her the Lady of Highgarden in place of her brother, she had heartily agreed, penning a letter to the lords of the Reach indicating that her brother, Master of Coin for King Rhaegar, was unsuited for his position, having warred with his brother Loras and imprisoned his brother Garlan.
But Willas Tyrell had all of the Reach to marshal against the forces of the Westerlands.
There was a clicking of horse's hooves and Tyrion stopped moving from his position in the coop. The horse drew closer, and he could hear the clicking of spurs. A rider. Outside, he could hear a sword being drawn. Tyrion's breath froze in his throat.
"Tyrion?" asked his father's voice.
Tyrion sighed and crawled out of the coop.
"Why were you hiding in there?" asked his father.
"Was I supposed hide in there?" asked Tyrion, pointing to the burned wreck of the farmhouse. Idly, he wondered whether it had been torched when the Westerlanders had stormed through and occupied Redding, or if it had happened when the armies of the Reach came to take the holding back.
"You smell terrible," said Tywin.
"Better than being dead," said Tyrion. "Is this the only horse you could find?" It seemed slightly run down and malnourished. The horse fixed him with a baleful glare.
"Better horses cost more gold. And attract more notice."
"But will this nag carry us all the way to Casterly Rock?" asked Tyrion.
Tywin bent down and pulled Tyrion up into the saddle in front of him. "We shall have to see," he said, spurring the horse on.
"How did we get here?" asked Tyrion after a while. "We won at Bull's Keep."
"Aye," said Tywin. "And we won at Sparkleford. We lost not a single battle."
"But battles don't win wars," he continued. "It was the siege of Highgarden that undid us."
"I'm not much of a warrior," said Tyrion. "But isn't there something you can do to keep men from deserting?"
"Kill them," said Tywin. "If you can catch them. But it is hard to ask a man to sit for a year outside a castle, waiting for the people inside to starve. And once men have begun to desert, it can be difficult to stop others. You cannot catch and kill everyone. So when Randyll Tarly marched to relieve with Lord Willas, we were too few and I ordered the withdraw. But the army dispersed. Soldiers are often fair-weather friends."
They passed more time in silence. Tyrion watched as the trees went by. It was undignified, sitting in front of his father, as though he were a child, but during the rout, a few of his soldiers had stolen his horse, and the special saddle he had used to ride it. Tywin had sent out men to find them, but he could not risk too many. Not enough came back as it was. Halfway to Dosk and some Sloane bannermen had appeared in the night and cut down most of Tywin's knights. Tywin's horse had been hit by a crossbow quarrel and it had been all Tyrion could do to find his father and flee together. They had slept in a tree, and then Tywin had left him to hide at the burned out farmhouse while he went to find the last horse in the Reach not drafted into the Tyrells' army.
"Is Gerion waiting for you?" Tyrion asked, the thought of home taking him all of a sudden.
Tywin snorted. "The boy was barely born before we marched south. I'd be surprised if he had any idea of who I was. Pruella will be the only parent he has known. He may mistakenly believe Maester Podrick is his father."
"You've left them all in King's Landing, haven't you?" pressed Tyrion.
"I have. It was safer for her," said Tywin. "Willas Tyrell will not march on King's Landing, though he may lay siege to Casterly Rock." Tywin looked at his son. "And what of you? Is Margaery waiting with your little Bryce? The boy is, what, seven now?"
"Bryce may be waiting. Margaery is not. She despises the sight of me."
"No matter. Love is not a condition of marriage," said Tywin.
"I detect no such lack between yourself and Lady Pruella," said Tyrion.
Tywin frowned. "Perhaps," he said. "I have a great...affection...for Lady Pruella. Not so great as I held for your mother, but, still, a great one." He said it as though realizing it for the first time.
"Where do you think you're going?" came a voice from the side of the road. Tyrion looked up to see three men step from the woods. The speaker, a serjeant, wore chainmail and carried a sword, and his two companions wore boiled leather. One had a large pike in his hand. Each bore the red huntsman of House Tarly on his chest. Tyrion pulled his hood tighter around his face. There were not so many blond dwarfs with mismatched eyes in all of Westeros that the Lord Imp of Deep Den could be mistaken. Tywin drew the nag to a halt.
"My son and I are riding to Redwater Keep, milord. I am a bannerman for Lord Crane" Tywin said. From inside his hood, Tyrion frowned. Tywin's affected smallfolk accent was terrible. It would take a buffoon to believe he was anything other than a lord.
"This road is full of Lannister scum. Why did you not stay within Redwater Keep? What kind of man drags his little boy through a war to return to his master?" asked the Tarly man.
"My son, he was afflicted with greyscale," said Tywin. The soldiers glanced at each other and stepped back a little. "Only the Maesters of Oldtown can treat it. I am returning from the Citadel."
"He's cured?" the serjeant stepped forward a little. "I've heard a man can't catch the disease once it's run its course. Let me see." He reached for Tyrion's hood.
As the serjeant came forward, Tywin pushed Tyrion into the soldier's arms. The man stumbled, and fell, and Tyrion fell with him. One of the other men made an attempt to grab the reins of the nag, but Tywin's sword flashed and there was a sharp scream. Tyrion looked up to see the man fall, his face a mask of blood from where Tywin's longsword had cut him from the scalp to chin. Tywin spurred his horse away, the nag responding admirably, then wheeled it about to charge.
The serjeant pushed Tyrion off him and sprang up, drawing his own sword. "Get him!" he screamed at the pikeman. The pike lowered, pointing at Tywin, who began to spur the horse foward.
Tyrion rolled towards the fallen man, and pried the man's sword from his scabbard. It was heavy, and too big for his hands, but he managed to lift it. With a shout, he ran at the pikeman and swung with all his might. He felt the sword bite into flesh, and when he looked at it, he saw he'd cut deep into the man's leg. The pikeman faltered, and fell to one knee. Tyrion pulled the sword loose and push it into the man's back. The pikeman toppled over, pulling Tyrion's sword with him.
The serjeant looked down at Tyrion. "You're no boy," he said. He raised his sword over his head, and Tyrion raised his hands in a feeble attempt to ward off the strike and turned his head.
There was a scream and a clattering, and when Tyrion looked back, the serjeant was missing an arm. Tywin's sword flashed once again and a thin red line appeared in the man's throat, before blood bubbled out. When he fell, he was nothing but a corpse.
Tywin wiped his sword on his cloak. "Good work," he told Tyrion. Tyrion nodded, his mouth agape at the carnage around him. But his reverie did not last long. The sound of hooves echoed through the woods, and Tyrion looked up to see twenty armored knights come thundering down the road. Even Tywin looked surprised.
And then, when the one holding the banner bearing the leaping silver trout on blue and red of House Tully, he looked relieved.
"I am Lord Tywin Lannister," he declared, as the knights drew up, their lances lowered in case of threat. "And this is my son, Lord Tyrion Lannister."
"My lords," said one knight. "It grieves me to inform you that Lord Hoster Tully is dead."
"When did this happen, ser?" asked Tywin.
"A month, perhaps. If not weeks, my lords," answered the knight. He flipped open his visor, and Tyrion realized he was staring up into the smiling face of Edmure Tully, Hoster's heir. "So I have come south to help you take the Reach."
So, what happened here was that I raised my army, thinking that Hoster Tully would come to my support, but he wouldn't. Luckily, I had invested money in raising Edmure's opinion of me. However, the war went for eight years, six before Riverrun entered into it, and I occupied Redding, Dosk, and Ivy Hall, which created a straight line of occupied territory to Highgarden. However, my army at Highgarden dwindled to less than 9,000, and rather than lose a fight to Willas, I turned them back up and disbanded them so I could raise the armies again. It wasn't enough, at the time, to defeat Willas, so he began to roll back my conquest of Ivy Hall. At this point, Hoster dropped dead, and Edmure entered the war, turning the tide as he linked Tully forces to my armies. I'll cover the end of the war in the next update.
Last edited by HobbesMkII; 20-06-2012 at 00:24.
The last of the giants
Very nice writing style. I'm really enjoying this one.
So, while I've protected the save game file in its own unique instance of the 1.0 mod, I've also copied it into the 1.1 mod to see what would happen, after hearing reports that the save game might work. It appears as though it does, just minus the change in starting conditions (everyone still has gavelkind instead of primogeniture). So I may continue The Lions of the Garden indefinitely. Still planning to secede from the Iron Throne at the next possible chance, however.
Part 2: A Rose for Lions - Tywin
The marble fountains in the courtyard of Highgarden had been smashed. The expansive and carefully manicured gardens had been trampled into the ground. Tywin's nephew, Tion Frey, had stationed the knights' horses there, and most of the roses had been devoured.
Except for a few lone shouts and the odd crossbow quarrel from the keep, the clash and cries of battle had died down long before, and Tywin thought that if he listened, he could hear the Mander babbling just on the other side of the outer wall. The whole place might have been worth owning, eight years ago, before he had first marched the armies of the Westerlands down into the Reach and besieged the castle of House Tyrell. And in another twenty, it might be worth having again.
"Lord Willas," he called. "Give up, surrender the castle. This war is over."
A crossbow bolt buried itself in a beam near his head. Two men-at-arms ran up and thrust their shields in front of him, pressing at him to get back. Tywin shook them off.
"I still have men loyal to me, here and in the field," Willas could be heard shouting back. "If you want this castle, you'll have to come in here and take it, Lannister."
Tywin frowned. His men had attempted to batter down the gates of the inner keep, but it was a gauntlet of arrow slits and murder holes. Combined with the skill of the knights of the Reach, it had become more or less impenetrable. There were corpses still frying by the abandoned ram.
"Maybe the gods will strike them all dead and we can go home," muttered Tyrion, looking every inch a walking, talking breastplate in the armor they'd found for him to come this close to the fighting, from behind his hiding place under the outcropping of the ruined fountain.
"I have someone that wants to speak to you, Lord Willas," called Tywin. He gestured and Lady Margaery Tyrell walked up, escorted by her own guard of shield-bearing men-at-arms, these wearing the Tyrell rose.
"My lady," said Tyrion, bowing with an awkward attempt at a flourish, the best he could manage in his ill-fitting armor. Margaery paid him no mind.
"Willas," she called.
"Louder," said Tywin.
"Willas!" she called.
"Margaery? This is no place for a woman," cried Willas.
"Surrender Willas!" said Margaery. "Your strongest bannermen have all bent the knee to me. But for this keep, Highgarden and the Reach is mine."
"To take this keep, you'll have to kill me. I will never bend the knee to you and your Lannister dogs."
"I don't want that, Willas! You're my brother," said Margaery.
"You've had your Lannister handmaidens make your bed for you, Margaery! Now you must spend the night in it," called Willas. "What other choices can be made?"
"Don't bend the knee, Willas! I will grant you Lordship over Derring Downs. You will retain the title of Lord of Highgarden, but I will be Lady Paramount of the Reach and hold the castle proper. And you will not be my bannerman. You will be the bannerman of the King!"
There was silence for a while.
"Lord Tywin will agree to these terms?" called Willas.
"I will, Lord Willas. If you surrender the castle," replied Tywin.
More silence. Tywin frowned at the length of it.
"The castle is yours, my lady," called Willas.
Tywin turned to Margaery, and gave her his lion's smile.
"Good," he said.
Last edited by HobbesMkII; 20-06-2012 at 00:25.
You could use the console cheat commands to change everyone's succession laws - that wouldn't be cheating IMO.
Originally Posted by HobbesMkII
Greatly enjoying this, I'm glad you didn't have to end it!
Loving it. I look forward to more.
Glad to hear you're able to continue.
Thanks everyone. I'm sure there'll be some unforeseen weirdness that will result, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Update soon: The end of Rhaegar
As much as I'm enjoying the AAR it'll be almost as good just to see what transferring a save between versions does. I imagine they'll be a host of updates before my AAR ends and I'd hate if I have to make a choice between abandoning the AAR and missing out of the updates.
Part 2: A Rose for Lions - Jaime
He was old now. Not as old as Lord Commander Dayne or Ser Barristan, perhaps, but older than he had ever wanted to be. His sword swung slower in his hand, weighed his arm down more. A part of him had hoped to have been dead before now, hoped that he would have died in defense of his king, Ser Jaime of the Kingsguard, the Lion of Lannister, a knight of songs. Few knights of legend had lived to go grey, and fewer still had gone white, unless they had been Targaryens or Daynes and been that way since birth. Young knights died great men with glorious deaths in battle. Old knights died ingloriously.
Jaime Lannister had slipped past the age of forty and it kept him up at nights.
Which was how he heard the sound of boots and the clanking of scabbards on armor echoing from the passageways below White Sword Tower. Jaime rolled from his bed and pulled a shirt of white mail over his head. He tightened his sword belt, his sword hand falling to a comfortable grip on the hilt, wrought in the shape of a lion roaring. His father had commissioned it from the blacksmith at Casterly Rock for him when he had joined the Kingsguard.
At the bottom of the stairs, he encountered some Targaryen men-at-arms running through the hall. He reached out and seized one by the arm.
"Where are we rushing to?" he asked.
The man-at-arms, a boy with a thin line of fuzz on his upper lip, saw the white mail and stared up into Jaime's face with abject terror.
"K-k-kingsguard!" he screamed. The boy's sword raised into the air.
Jaime Lannister was older than he'd meant to ever be, but he was not that old. His sword flashed out of its scabbard and became buried in the boy's stomach up to the hilt. For a hard moment, Jaime saw the life drift of the eyes staring back at him.
Three more men-at-arms approached, swords drawn.
"For Prince Aegon!" shouted one as he charged.
Jaime Lannister frowned, but he kicked the boy's corpse off his sword, just in time to parry the first man's attempt to separate Jamie from his head. Jaime's swing went slicing wide up the man's chest, into his chin. He fell away in a bloody mess.
A blow to the thigh felled the next man, and the last caught Jaime's swordpoint with his shoulder.
The hallway was screaming bloody agony when Jaime left it, his sword and mail stained in red. He had no idea what this was about, but he knew that his place was with the king.
As he ran down the passageway to the Royal Quarters, he heard more booted feet and clanking come up the way. He pressed himself up against the wall with his sword at the ready and waited.
But instead of a Targaryen dragon on the the breast plate of the first man around the corner, it was a Lannister lion.
"What are you doing here?" asked Tywin. "You should be at King Rhaegar's side."
"I was coming to find him," said Jaime.
"He's not in his apartments," said Tywin. "Our men could not find him."
Jaime started to reply, but shouts and screams and the ringing of steel on steel echoed up the hall behind them.
"The Great Hall," said Jaime.
He ran then. He did not bother to check if Tywin or the Lannister soldiers were following him. It was neither here nor there if any besides him ran. He was a man of the Kingsguard, and his sword was sworn in service to his King.
The Great Hall was full of armed men when Jaime got there, but it held a few more as Jaime, Tywin, and the Lannister men arrived. King Rhaegar stood on the dais. Before him, Lord Commander Dayne, Ser Barristan, and Ser Lewyn Martell stood, their swords drawn and bloodied. There were dead men on the ground before them, and all had wounds. Ser Barristan had blood streaming down the side of his face. Targaryen soldiers pressed tighter around Jaime's sworn brothers, pikes pointing towards them.
"Attack," Jaime said to his father's men.
"Hold," said Tywin. When Jaime gave him an incredulous look, Tywin raised an eyebrow. "Don't be reckless, son."
Jaime shook his head, but as he looked back the main doors on the other side of the Great Hall burst open and Prince Aegon, flanked by more Targaryen men and Ser Jonothor Darry of the Kingsguard, entered.
"Father," said Aegon. "The Red Keep is mine."
"So it is, Aegon. So it is," said Rhaegar. He looked at the carnage on the floor below his dais. "At cost. Now what do you desire?"
"Yield the crown and you will be allowed to live."
"Your Grace, give me the word and I will teach your son a lesson in respect for his father," said Ser Lewyn. "The Hand is here, we have the numbers."
Rhaegar looked to where Jaime and Tywin stood. "Is the Hand here for me?"
Jaime looked at his father, but Lord Tywin only stroked the bare bit of chin between his silver whiskers and avoided his son's gaze. "I am sorry, your Grace. I am not. But I am not for the Prince, either." Jaime stared at his father, shocked. Tywin was the King's Hand. But then again, he had sat out the war when Fat Robert Baratheon had rebelled against King Aerys.
"You might as well be for my son, if you're not for me, Lord Tywin," said Rhaegar. There was a disappointed bite in his voice. He turned back to his son. "I will be allowed to live?"
"You will not be allowed to die while we still breathe, your Grace," said Lord Commander Dayne.
Prince Aegon ignored the Kingsguard's captain. "You will, father. You may be allowed to go to the Wall and become a Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch."
Rhaegar pressed his fingers to his temple and closed his eyes. His other hand reached back, stretching for the Iron Throne. He missed his grasp and pressed his palm into one of the exposed sword points. He jerked, staring at the line of blood across his hand. He laughed, then, and pulled the crown from his head. He walked down the dais steps and pressed his uncut hand to Lord Commander Dayne's shoulder.
"You cannot protect Kings from the harm they inflict on themselves, Ser Arthur," he said. "I accept, your terms, Aegon. I shall join the Night's Watch. Sheath your weapons, sers. I am the King you are sworn to serve no longer."
Dayne, Selmy, and Martell exchanged glances, but when they looked to Rhaegar his gaze was nothing but a firm resolve. Their swords slid back into their scabbards. Rhaegar looked to the Lannisters.
"And you, Ser Jaime."
Jaime looked up to realize that all eyes, King Rhaegar's, Prince Aegon's, Ser Arthur's, Ser Barristan's, Ser Lewyn's, Ser Jonothor's, and his father's, were on him and his still raised sword. The blood on it from the Targaryen soldiers he'd slain had begun to darken and dry. Honor compelled him to fight to the death for his King, but honor also compelled him to follow his King's orders. He felt Lord Tywin's hand touch his back, below his neck, a soothing gesture.
His sword clattered to the floor.
"It is done," said Rhaegar to his son. "The Iron Throne is yours." He turned and walked from the Great Hall. Targaryen guards walked to prevent him from escaping, and Jaime felt drawn to follow him. His feet seemed to move on his own accord.
"Lord Tywin," he heard Aegon say. "I would like you to continue in your position as Hand. Do you find this agreeable?"
"I am honored to serve your Grace," said Tywin. But to Jaime his voice was little more than some whisper on a wayward wind.
Last edited by HobbesMkII; 20-06-2012 at 00:26.
Oh wow. You're really great at this. Can't wait for the next.
Thanks! I appreciate that. The next installment will be the first Lord Tyrion one.
Just out of curiosity, how did the coin fall? is the new king a lunatic or not?
Aegon's sane. His son isn't, though.
Originally Posted by Rafinius
Part 3: Lord Imp - Tyrion
"Hold still, father," said Bryce as he fumbled with the lion's head clasp holding Tyrion's cape around his neck. Well, half-cape, really. It looked a cape on Tyrion. "You'll have to learn how to do this yourself, sometime."
"When I'm Lord of Casterly Rock, we'll do away with capes," answered Tyrion. "Until then, I'll have to make do with tall sons."
"And chairs," said Bryce, pointing to the one Tyrion was standing on.
From behind his desk, Lord Tywin snorted. "It hardly would have done for you to attend your sister's wedding dressed like some fishmonger's son."
"Darlessa would have taken me dressed in rags. We have a strong bond in the shared misfortune of our birth."
The clasp worked free with a snap and pinched Bryce's finger. "Seven hells!" he swore. Then, remembering his company, he turned to Tywin.
"My apologies, grandfather," he said.
"I daresay I've uttered worse over less," said Tywin, not looking up from his papers.
Tyrion hopped down from the chair and padded over to the table to pour himself some wine. "I thank you for your sacrifice, my son," he said, toasting Bryce, who bowed with an exaggerated flourish in return. Tyrion frowned, looking at the young man before him. "When did you grow that ridiculous mustache?"
Most boys grew their first sad attempts at a few years younger than Bryce was now. Certainly, Tyrion had given it his best go at about that age, much to his humiliation when Jaime had discovered it and teased him mercilessly. For whatever reason, perhaps because Bryce was the oldest child and Tyrion had not been able to afford a proper knight as Master-at-Arms at Deep Den Keep to break him of his reckless childhood indulgences, Bryce had grown his peach fuzz into a pair of thin golden whiskers that reached out well past the edges of his mouth. He was inordinately proud of them, and Tyrion knew this. But if it was not a father's place to mock his own son about that son's facial hair, than whose place was it?
"Father..." Bryce complained.
"Fine, fine," said Tyrion. "Go find your mother and the others. I'm sure the Lady of the Reach is bored to death having to rub shoulders with all these Westerlands Lords. If Garse Florent wasn't her sworn bannerman, I'm sure she wouldn't have even come."
"Yes, Father," said Bryce, departing.
"You've raised a good lad," said Tywin, smiling. Tyrion's relationship with his father had often been precipitous and rocky, and yet he was glad to see the man smile now. Tywin was past his seventieth nameday and the last year in particular had been one of death. From the North they'd received word that the old deposed King, Rhaegar Targaryen, who had become the commander of the Shadow Tower in the years since he had surrender the throne to Aegon VI, had passed away. Frozen to death up on the wall, some suggested. His dragon's blood just not up to the task of confronting a cold as terrible and harsh as the North's.
Then, and more hurtful to Tywin and his family, Lady Pruella had died. The Maesters were unable to say what malady in particular had killed her, suggesting that perhaps it had been her time. Certainly, the septon had tried to convince Tywin of this, but if Tywin had not had much use for the Gods before Pruella's death, he certainly had no use for them after.
"Bryce is the terror of the ladies of Deep Den, or so I'm told. No young maid is safe from his affections, all of which are passionate and sincere, but short lived. But he rides as well as anyone, and he reminds me of Jaime at his age. He wants to be like him, you know."
"A member of the Kingsguard?" asked Tywin, frowning. The Lord of Casterly Rock held no fondness for the Kingsguard--it had robbed him of his heir and given the duties to Tyrion.
"No, just a famous knight. They've actually started to call him 'the Lion of Roses' because he's taken the Lannister lion crowned with Tyrell roses as his personal arms. Boy's not even a knight yet. Margaery's only half-delighted. She remembers how well knighthood worked out for her brothers," said Tyrion.
"How is Margaery?" asked Tywin. "It was good of her to come up from Highgarden."
"She spends her days down in the Reach, I spend my days at Deep Den, the children visit her or she visits them every few moons. Mostly, she plots to have me killed."
"Hrm..." said Tywin. "I'll inform her that we know. That should convince her to stop."
"Beyond that, everything's fine. We have four children, none of whom share my deformities, so how can I rage at the Gods in good will?"
"And here she is, with her dwarf husband to see the Lord of Brightwater marry his dwarf sister. I almost might feel sorry for her."
"I wouldn't. You should save your sorrows for any future children. Can you imagine the misfortune if they should be born with both Darlessa's height and Garse Florent's ears?"
Tywin laughed then, a hard rasping sound that took Tyrion a moment to recognize. The little Lord smiled in his cup. At least he could make his father laugh, even with Pruella's death. But the smiled died when Tywin's laughter turned to the ugliest wheezing Tyrion had ever heard. He leapt from his seat.
"Father?" he asked, trying to reach up to pat Tywin on the back.
But Lord Tywin just kept coughing, in between taking ragged gasps that seemed to draw no air into his chest. Then, he ceased making noise altogether, and Tyrion got one last glimpse into his father's eyes, and saw the greatest terror contain within, before Tywin Lannister toppled out of his chair and landed on the stone floor with a resounding smack.
For a moment, Tyrion was stunned so as not to speak. "Father?" he asked again, but the body on the floor below him did not speak, did not move. Not even his chest.
"Help!" cried Tyrion. "Somebody fetch the Maester!"
Last edited by HobbesMkII; 20-06-2012 at 00:31.
This is really good! Love the multiple perspectives and your way of explaining events.