- Jun 13, 2012
The mood in the lord's solar was one of an impending doom. If the testimoney of one half-dead sailor can be believed, Lord Balon was dead, and an armada of raiders were preparing to set fire to the Coast of The Reach. Lord Roland had marched north to Oxcross with Ser Gewain and Ser Raynard, leaving precious few to defend the realm. Lord Heir Tybolt now sat in Crake's chair. A large wierwood seat, elegantly carved with a high back raising up to a sculptured boar's head, it's wierwood tusks jutting out menacingly toward the court. A lord is expected to exude an auora of confidance, Lord Tybolt, however, put forth no such demeanor. His eyes looked frantically about his court as the sailor told his tale, looking for anyone to have some solution to the problem put before him.
The lordship of Crake's Hall had always been attractive to Tybolt, back in the time of peace, fairs and feasts. Now, in the uncertainty of war, that seat was a curse. Lord Sumner was dead, leaving the rule to Roland, who immediatly forsook his watch of the west and marched north. His brother, Ser Burton led troops in the Riverlands to investigate rumours of a Lord Dandarrion arisen from the dead. Roland's second son, Ser Lyle marched east to fight with Lord Tywin, taking Ser Joffrey with him. Theodore clutched a parchment of paper tightly in his hands, a message from a raven not ten minutes ago. Dark wings, dark words.
Tybolt pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes, as if his blindness of the haggard sailor before him would make him vanish along with his message. "Tell me your tale once more, Shield-Islander." Theodore was confidant that Tybolt had heard every word, but was stalling for time, hoping the Gods would give him an answer to what faced the realm.
The sailor had long brown hair, knotted and haggard upon his head, matching his scraggy beard. He was a man of low birth whom served on a merchant vessel in service to House Hewett of the Reach. His wrists were bound as he was seen as an enemy combatant, though the message held in Theodore's hands told otherwise. The sailor looked up from the rushes on the floor, licked his cracked lips and begain to speak once again. "As I said, m'lord. Cap'n Falwell..."
"My cousin..." Interrupted Maestar Melwyn, "that is before I donned these chains."
The sailor looked over Melwyn with disinterested eyes. "Cap'n Falwell had made a pact of sorts with some castle wench. A whore of the lord of Saltcliffe, if the tellins be true. So the Cap'n made up a plan, to set free our boys held in stocks and take one o' there ships for our own. The water was getting angry by the time we snuck in to the jail set our boys loose. There was no way of reaching our ship, so the Cap'n had us take the pier. It had started raining so we knew any ironmen from the castle would take their time getting down, what with that murderous road, Widow's road they calls it. So we blocked the gates to Saltford and took the pier. It was a quick fight and quiet too. Just the cap'n and 'is officers. Didn't trust us to keep the noise down, you see. Fine by me, i had my share of fighting at the jail. Only after we took the pier, Cap'n Falwell was set on waiting for the whore. His prick was keen on her, the boys been sayin. So we waited, and waited. Soon the sea got angrier and the wind got stronger. Finally great horns rose up from Saltford. Thought we'd been found out, found our work at the jail, but no! Horns rose up from the castle too! Great shouts and calls - The King of the Isles is no more! Not the lord we wanted, but one dead iron lord was good enough, I says. We cast off, the Cap'n sour that the whore betrayed 'im. Never trust a whore, beggin your pardon, m'lord, but they ain't no good."
Lord Tybolt sighed. "Fine. You stole a ship and escaped Saltcliffe. Then what happened?"
"The waves came at us hard, m'lord. We rowed and we rowed but we just couldn't seem to put any leagues between us and that damned island. Soon Ironmen had lined up on the shore, laughing and cursing us. We could here them betting on which wave would send us crashing into the rocks, and we came close, I tell ye. Those rocks were like knives, sharp and twisted and how they called us to 'em, hungry for sailor's blood I told the boys, I did. Soon that sod Lord Sunderly joined his men on the shore, awful sour of our work in his jail. He had his men loose fire arrows at us. Didn't seem to care that it was his own ship he be burning. We thanked the gods for that rain then, I tell ye. Well soon lightening cracked across the sky and the winds changed, coming out of the north. Cap'n ordered the sails to be loosed and we were finally carried from the Island. We sailed on in utter darkness. Clouds blotted out the moon and nothing could be seen. Fear set in as the hours dragged on, our ship being tossed and turned as lightening cracked across the sky. Some o' us began to think their drowned god was coming for us. The waves and wind knocked some o' us overboard. We could 'ear the boys cry and drown but weren't nothing to be done. Soon the waters got calm again, the winds and rains stopped and thats when we saw it. A ship on the horizon. We tried to escape, but it came right up to us. Ironmen boarded and cut everyone o' us down. The butchers hacked off the Cap'ns head and threw it into the water. Fool he may have been, but he didn't deserve that, no. Finally it was just me. A man with blue lips, a patch over his eye told me he was now King of the Isles and all of Westeros would be his. He offered me to his god... Then I woke up here, m'lord"
Septon Wylland, the castellan, shook his head. "The man he describes is Euron Greyjoy. A madman who was exiled for the rape of his sister-in-law. If he fulfills his claim on the lordship of the Iron Isles than all the Seven Kingdoms are in peril."
Rulph Spicer, steward of the hall, stroked his golden beard. "Known to be a greedy and treacherous man, that Euron. Our coin is spent in raising an army to march north, we lack the funds and men to keep guard against this new threat, and what of our enemies to the south? What of the Reach?"
Theodore left his place among the courtiers and approached the sailor, cutting his wrist bonds free with a dagger. Lord Tybolt looked at him perplexed. Theodore bowed his head at his Lord Uncle. "Beg your pardon, Lord Tybolt. A message from Lord Tywin, an alliance was sealed with House Tyrell. A great host of our lord paramount and House Tyrell marches on King's Landing to smash the forces of Lord Stannis."
Tybolt's relief from being free from an enemy to the south was palable. "The God's are good."
Theodore's mouth tightened. "Beg your pardon, my lord, but there was more news. Ser Burton has died tragically in his valiant fight against outlaws in the Riverlands..." Gasps and wails were heard among the courtiers, presumably from Burton's daughters, Bellana and Melesa, "my father, Ser Lyle along with Ser Joffrey have been captured at the Battle of the Fords and are being held at Pinkmaiden Castle along with our ally, Ser Antonio Jast. Our brave fighting men have suffered a defeat at Oxcross, claiming the life of our Lord Roland. The northmen have invaded Westerland." The solar fell quiet, broken only by low sobs.
Septon Benedict approached the lord's seat, with furrowed bushy eyebrows, he placed his hand upon Tybolt's head, "By the will of the Seven, I, Septon of Crake's Hall, proclaim Lord Tybolt lord of Crake's Hall and guard of the West of Westerland. May his reign be long and blessed."
Theodore watched Tybolts lower lip quiver as his eyes welled up with tears. Lord Tybolt, Lord of Crake's Hall... May the Seven have mercy.