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HobbesMkII

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Part 3: Lord Imp - Tyrion

Tyrion

"It's good to see you," said Tyrion. He smiled at his eldest son. Bryce had come to visit him in King's Landing. After Aveis' marriage, he had left the boy--Tyrion needed to stop calling him that. Bryce was in his mid-thirties, in charge of the Westerlands and the family. As a reward for Bryce's success, he had been named High Lord of Castamere, a title not seen since Tyrion's father had crushed the Reynes and torn down their keep.

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"How is everyone?"

Bryce smiled and rolled his ridiculous whiskers, which had only gotten longer since he'd been a young man. He'd started to wax the ends in order to curl them.

"As well as can be expected?"

"Cerenna?"

"Still largely furious at you. More so since she discovered you'd betrothed her to Alyn Tully."

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Tyrion sighed. "She's smarter than that. Alyn Tully will be a powerful lord when he's grown, and she will be his wife. And she should realize that his youth will give her a few years to herself. And besides, a marriage would do us well after..."

Bryce nodded. "Aveis," he said.
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"Yes," Tyrion sighed again. Aveis had been killed by an outbreak of bloody flux only a few years after the tourney in honor of her marriage. Tyrion, as a rule, did not choose favorites among his children. But should the Rock have somehow caught fire and with all his children in it, Tyrion would have, had he been able to, carried Bryce and Cerenna to safety first. He loved them both the same, although for different reasons, save for their shared intelligence. He adored Bryce's militarism and his true and hardy nature. He had grown into everything that Tyrion had not been able to become. He was a knight destined for song, if they did not already sing some about his jousts and perhaps a few of Bryce's well known conquests (the romantic ones). And Tyrion loved Cerenna for being everything he was. She strove to rise beyond the station appointed her by birth. But just as Tyrion had come to understand, there were limitations that not even the tallest dwarf or most warlike woman could overcome. At some point, she must come back down to the earth. For her, it would be in four years or so, when Lord Alyn was a man grown in need of a wife.

"Well, speaking of daughters, I attended the Joanna's wedding at Harrenhal."

"How was that?" asked Tyrion.

"Terrible," said Bryce. "Every time someone said 'Lord Bryce,' I assumed they were talking about me, but it was always the groom, instead."

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"I'm sure Whent had much a similar problem," said Tyrion.

"I'm sure he didn't. They didn't even give me the Hand's place of honor, even though I was there as your representative. And did you know Lord Bryce--"

"You?" Tyrion smiled.

"The other one," snapped Bryce. "Did you know Lord Bryce considers himself more a Valeman than a Riverlander? He's a complete ass, father. I don't know what the purpose of marrying her to him is. It's cursed, you know."

"To bring Lord Bryce--"

"Me?" asked Bryce, feigning innocence. Tyrion ignored him.

"--sons, I suppose. Or at least children."

"Hmm, yes. That brings me to yet another of your daughters..." said Bryce.

"I don't--," began Tyrion, then paused when Bryce's face lit up in anticipation.

"Yeeeesss?" asked Bryce, jutting his chin out and looking at his father sideways.

"Oh. No. No, of course I do," said Tyrion. Bryce frowned a little.

"I'm afraid the beautiful young girl our cousin Deanna has blessed you with remains an outstanding matter. What should I do with little Cersei?"

Tyrion smiled to himself ashamedly. He was half-upset that he had bastard daughter to provide for thanks to one reckless, but he was also proud of himself for being a new father at such an advanced age. His own father had stayed fertile into his twilight years. It must be a Lannister trait, he thought. And he was inordinately proud he'd thought to name the girl after his sister. The elder Cersei must be fuming.

"Legitimize her," he said.

Bryce's eyebrows raised. "Are you sure, my Lord Hand?"

"Don't 'my Lord Hand' me."

"I just want to remind you of your position in the realm and the prestige you obtain from it."

"Do it anyway."

"As you command, my Lord Hand."

"Careful, Bryce."

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"I would be," said Bryce. "But, at this point, I believe I'd have to lift you up to my face if you wished to slap it."

Tyrion readied a retort, but the door opened and Jaime entered, dressed in his golden armor and white cloak. His sword was buckled at his side, and he still wore his helm. Even late into his sixties, Jaime still cut an imposing figure.

"What's the matter, brother? Is the night too dark and terrible for you?"

"I have to secure the keep," said Jaime. Behind him, Tyrion could see that his own Lannister guard was being reinforced by Targaryen men-at-arms. "In these situations, it's best, ever since...the old King Rhaegar."

Something in Jaime's tone took Tyrion askew. Earlier in the year, the King had asked him to marshal a sizable fleet and army at King's Landing, in possible preparation for an invasion of Ghaston Grey. The ploy, for that was what it had been, had worked. Prince Rhaegar had listened not to the voice in his head he believe to be Aegon the Conqueror but rather to reason and ceded the island to King Aegon VI and returned to King's Landing in accordance with his father's wishes.
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"Is Prince Rhaegar planning something?" he asked.

Jaime cocked his head. "My Lord Hand," he said. "You mean King Rhaegar Targaryen, the Second of His Name."

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Comm Cody

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Oh Crap.

Does anyone beside the Targs have a claim on the throne? Because I predict that the claim will be pressed.

Also, Congratulations on making into the mod team. Good Luck.
 

Bballman23

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On the mod team now? Congrats! Hopefully that helps the mod have/continue to have (haven't gotten around to figuring out how to download it on my Mac yet, so I'm not sure if it currently does xD) the great narrative voice that your AAR does.
 

HobbesMkII

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On the mod team now? Congrats! Hopefully that helps the mod have/continue to have (haven't gotten around to figuring out how to download it on my Mac yet, so I'm not sure if it currently does xD) the great narrative voice that your AAR does.

Well, I don't know if that'll happen. I'm writing the history files for the Riverlands, Vale, and Iron Isles, at the moment. I'm not sure how much help I'll be when that's over, minus updating as GRRM fills in more gaps in Westeros' history (and, of course, if Essos gets added). I'm not a deft hand at coding, although I would like to learn my way towards coding events.
 

Apelstav

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I have to admit I generally don't like GoT-AARs (got something to do with the general focus on already established characters I guess) but this one really got me hooked. Great work so far, and it's gonna be interesting to follow the realm, especially now that most of the oldies from ASOIF is dying off. Following!
 

HobbesMkII

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I have to admit I generally don't like GoT-AARs (got something to do with the general focus on already established characters I guess) but this one really got me hooked. Great work so far, and it's gonna be interesting to follow the realm, especially now that most of the oldies from ASOIF is dying off. Following!

Thanks! There's just a few more hanging on, but don't worry, they'll die pretty soon.
 

HobbesMkII

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Part 3: Lord Imp - Bryce

Bryce

"Thilence!" lisped the King. "You must not thpeak to uth in thuch a way. We are Aegon the Dragon, Reborn." Bryce frowned privately to himself. Below the dais, his father did nothing to conceal his own dour expression. Age had ambushed Tyrion Lannister, and his already small stature was diminished by his newly acquired hunch. He had wrapped a blanket around his shoulders, but he still seemed cold and was shivering in his place at the center of the Small Council's table.

Rhaegar Targaryen, King of the First Men and the Andals and all the rest of it, the Second of His Name, had been convinced of his being the reborn Aegon since he was a small child. Tyrion had once told Bryce that Aegon's wet-nurse had been prone to saying it, half as a joke, and half as a point of false pride and that Rhaegar had taken such exaggeration to heart.

For Bryce's part, he doubted Aegon the Conqueror had ever been such a weak, lisping Dornish-looking man.

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In front of the dais, Bryce and Rhaegar's half-brother Lord Hobber Waters hung between two Targaryen men-at-arms. He was the spitting image of his father, King Aegon VI. One of his purple eyes had been swollen shut, and blood dripped down his white-gold beard. He had foolishly called the banners from Sweetport Sound in rebellion against Rhaegar, believing the realm would rise to follow Aegon the Unready's illegitimate son over his true-born heir. He had been horribly wrong.

"Please..." he gasped. "Stop...brother..."

"You forget yourthelf, my Lord. You cannot be brother to the Dragon." Rhaegar turned to his Kingsguard. "Ther Jaime, thrike him."

"Your grace?" asked Uncle Jaime.

"Are you drunk, again, ther?" asked Rhaegar. Jaime looked shamed and angered by the comment. Bryce knew his uncle had not been drinking today, but the entire court knew the old Lion's fondness for wine. "I told you to hit the prithoner."

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"I am sorry, your Grace," said Jaime. "I cannot do that."

The court regarded Uncle Jaime with a careful eye. He must have been quite drunk indeed if he was defying his king. Even Tyrion, as miserable as he was, turned to raise one errant eyebrow at his brother.

"It is not knightly or kingly to strike prisoners, your Grace," explained Uncle Jaime.

"And ith it lordly to rebel againtht your lawful king?" asked Rhaegar.

"No, your Grace," answered Jaime. "But I will not lay hands on a prisoner."

"Lord Commander Thteffon," said Rhaegar. "Will you carry out the command of your king?"

Ser Steffon Baratheon was the eldest son of Stannis Baratheon, the brother of the old deceased rebel Robert the Fat. Stannis had not been known as an easy man to love, and Bryce did not imagine that being the man's son would have resulted in anything different. Ser Steffon was a soldier to the last ounce of his armor. His sword was sharp, his breast plate polished so bright it shone, and his arm was fast. The one unimpeachable fact about Stannis was that he had been a deft hand at warfare, and Ser Steffon took after his father in all things.

He did not even bother to reply to Rhaegar's question, instead striding forward and smashing one mailed fist into Hobber's face. Bryce's brother howled with pain.

Beside Bryce, their mother gasped.

"If your Uncle wasn't so deep into his cups, he ought to run this sorry excuse for a 'king' through where he sat," Lady Margaery whispered in Bryce's ear. She stared at her other son, who was reduced to whimpering as Ser Steffon delivered a savage beating, the steel of his mail rattling as it struck flesh. Her voice was slurred, muddled with the mulled Arbor wine Bryce knew she favored.

"You're too deep into your own cups, Mother," said Bryce, in hushed tones. "If you believe it safe to utter such words in the middle of court."

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"Am I to be sober for this?" Margaery looked at him with a cold stare. "Lions!" she sniffed. "You all call yourselves lions, and yet every Lannister after your grandfather has been nothing but a housecat, who cowers at the thunder."

"We are doing our best, Mother," said Bryce. "Father plays the game of thrones as well as any."

"Your father plays a game to lose. It was Tywin who knew what he was doing when he paired us to produce you, when he raised me as Lady Paramount. Your father's alliances crumble. He marries Cerenna to some cousin of the Riverrun Tullys, and now Joanna's husband is dead, and her pregnant with the man's child--a son, no doubt, disinherited by his father's death. Not to mention his debacle with his sister Erren's marriage to Baratheon. And Aveis, of course."
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"Our family has truly been plagued by tragedy, Mother."

"And here's another," said Margaery, gesturing to Hobber.

"Your Grace," rasped Tyrion from the small council's table. "As much as we are all no doubt in a flutter to see the good Lord Commander exercise his sword arm, perhaps he should do so only when the man he fights is also armed."

Rhaegar laughed at Tyrion's joke. "Do you not care for my treatment of your Lady wife'th bathtard, my Lord Hand?" he asked.

Tyrion blinked, but otherwise his face showed nothing. "Is that who he is? I see only a rebel lord. What I meant to imply is that good King Aegon knew mercy. Lannister and Stark, Arryn and Tyrell, all were allowed to bend the knee after opposing him. Let Lord Hobber swear his fealty to you."

Rhaegar stared as Ser Steffon continued his assault on Hobber's body. "Enough," he said. Ser Steffon drew up into a stiff column. His fist was red with Hobber's blood, yet it seemed to be of no difference to him. He was a marble statue now, alive only when the king commanded it.

"Perhaps the Lord Hand is right," said the King. "We spared the Lannisters after the Field of Fire, and they have been among our most loyal servants. Why cannot some bastard do the same? Will you swear your loyalty, Lord Hobber?"

Hobber opened his mouth and promptly erupted into coughing as he choked on the blood that had filled his mouth from Ser Steffon's beating. There was a moment while he crawled onto his hands and knees and was wracked with coughing that everyone could see pained him. Bryce thought Ser Steffon might have broken a few of his half-brother's ribs. Next to him, Margaery dug her nails into Bryce's forearm. He grasped her hand and squeezed it.

"I swear, your Grace," Hobber managed.

Rhaegar nodded. "Take him to the dungeon. Give him a cell in the second level, as befits his station. We will hear no more petitions today."

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Rhaegar descended from the dais and the Targaryen men-at-arms dragged Hobber off after him. As the court disbanded Bryce rushed to his father's side.

"Ah, here is my knightly son," said Tyrion to Lord Donnel Greyjoy, the Master of Coin. "Come to carry me away from all this." Tyrion stretched his arms out and Bryce grabbed him, lifting him out of the chair. His father had been unable to walk more than a few paces without needing a rest for nearly a year. The trek to the Tower of the Hand would be quite too much for him, so Bryce carried him to his appointments. Tyrion found it unbearable, though he continued to make a jape of the whole affair.

Margaery stopped them at before they could escape the Great Hall.

"You should have done more," she scolded Tyrion. "My son is more Targaryen than that fool who sits the Iron Throne."

"He lives, Margaery," said Tyrion. "He raised banners against the King. He marched them through your lands, once on the way to attack the King, and once more retreating before the the King's armies. Consider yourself lucky his head does not adorn a pike, and yours along with his for allowing him to pass."

"He will break this kingdom," said Margaery, turning and storming off.

"She's not wrong," said Tyrion. "But I'm too old and tired to do anything about it."

"Let me take you to your quarters," said Bryce.

"Yes," said Tyrion. He really was quite tired, Bryce realized. His father could barely keep his eyes open. His breath was shallow. Bryce held him and walked carefully. As they walked up the steps of the Tower of the Hand, Bryce marveled at how light his father was. The little man carried the whole realm on his shoulders, but he was a reed himself.

He thought his father was asleep, but as he laid him down in bed, Tyrion's eyes snapped open and he jerked and grabbed at Bryce's arm. He looked more frightened than Bryce had ever seen him.

"It's coming," said Tyrion. "And I had such plans for us. I leave it all to you, Bryce."

And then, before Bryce knew it had happened, Tyrion Lannister was gone.

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HobbesMkII

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Thanks, guys. I appreciate these comments, especially as the Paradox AAR competition makes it seem like people are only reading the SoI AARs.

Unfortunately, it seems as though this AAR will have to end with Bryce (which will be a very long time from now--I took about a few hundred screenshots of his reign, and I plan on using the majority of them). This is purely due to the fact that since joining the History Team for the mod, I've come to realize just how complex the detail being added to the mod is going to be in successive iterations, and I want to be there to play (and write the AARs) for those games as well. I promise the Lions of the Garden will have a satisfying conclusion.
 

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Hey folks, I was asked to pass this along to my readers, and it seems like a worthy cause to promote, so I will:

You should all fill out a ballot for the AARland Choice AwAARds 2012 (Round 2), which can be accessed HERE. You can vote for your favorite CK2 AAR writers, like Apelstav, for instance (I have no idea if mods are allowed--I assume not). I'm still filling out my ballot, myself, but I'll get it done before voting closes on August 1st.
 

HobbesMkII

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Part 4: The Rock - Dennis

Dennis

Dennis Lannister was one of those poor unfortunates who had been born into a family of exceptional men, yet possessed only average talent. Average men were common in average families, and unremarkable for it. If Dennis' name had not been Lannister, he might have expected to rise no further than he was meant to, vassal to some liege lord with a more careful mind. But he had been born a Lannister, a family that had seen its members be great knights, some selected for the Kingsguard, and had had two of the longest reigning Hands of the King in the history of the Seven Kingdoms serve consecutively until their deaths. In fact, when Dennis' grandfather, Lord Tyrion Lannister (whom some called the Imp), had died, it had been considered a great slight that Dennis' father, Lord Bryce, had not been chosen for the position.

Some average men, finding themselves in such particular circumstances of their birth, might feel inclined to fade into the shadows, to let other, more readily worthy men lead the vanguard. Some made up for their lack by surrounding themselves with people who possessed the talent they were bereft of. But not Dennis Lannister. He was heir to Casterly Rock, and would one day rule as Warden of the West. And some day, he might also rule the Reach as well, as his father was heir to Highgarden as well.

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He felt all slights to his father as sharply as though they were his own. It seemed to weigh heavily on him, though he was, in his father's estimation, just a boy of fifteen. But he appeared to be the only one looking out for the honor of House Lannister. His father was most of the problem. He had disregarded the slight of not being named Hand as not being worth the trouble. He had even been so crude as to use the expression "the king eats, the Hand takes the shit" in place of "what the king dreams, the Hand builds" when it was announced another had been named to the office. His grand uncle Jaime did the House much credit by continuing to serve on the Kingsguard, though some whispered that a man of seventy-two had no place being responsible for the King's safety. So who was left? His brother Clement would not be of much use. Clement was shaping up to be a worthy knight, but the younger boy dreamed only of being a "knight of the mind" and traveling to the Citadel to earn his Maester's chain and robes. And Tyrion Lannister, Bryce's third trueborn son--it was this distinctive adjective, "trueborn," that rankled Dennis the most--was little more than a babe.

He had asked to accompany his father on one of Lord Bryce's frequent hunting expeditions. They had spent all day marching through the woods, and they had little to show for it, despite having invited a Clegane along to help with the hounds. This had been at Dennis' insistence, and his father had acquiesced to please his son. As the day had progressed, Dennis wondered if the Clegane man had any skill with dogs at all, for they had not found any scent. At nightfall, they had set up camp, and begun passing around the meat and wine they had brought with them. Dennis thought his father might have wanted to sit with the men at their fire, but that would not have been proper for the Lord of Lannister, so Dennis had asked him to retire to his tent. In any event, he had words he wanted to exchange with his father, and having Lord Bryce's men there would have been unbecoming. These were matters for a father and his son.

"We fared poorly today," said Dennis. Bryce stared dully at his son.

"Yes," said his father. "You're missing much of the joy of these hunting trips if we don't catch anything. Usually there's a bear. Almost always there's at least a maiden fair."

"Like the song," said Dennis.

"Very much so," said Bryce, dryly.

There was a long pause as Dennis searched his mind for a way to continue the conversation and perhaps steer it onto the ground he wished to occupy in the same move. When his father saw him struggling, he saved him the trouble.

"Out with it, boy," said Bryce. "I know there's something that's been bothering you."

"Father...my lord," began Dennis. He paused. "Father," he tried again. "I wish to...we need to address your..."

"...My? What is it, Dennis? Has the Stranger taken your tongue?"

"Your improprieties, father."

"My 'improprieties?'" asked Bryce. "Have I been improper?"

"My brothers," hinted Dennis.

"Clement and Tyrion are excellent children. There is nothing improper about them, I should hope. Clement wants to be a Maester. And I have just decided to train Tyrion as a knight. His grandfather would have wanted it for his namesake, I think."

fbbd9d60b19bee4dcf0ab85910d3688cfad3bc943924ff72ffaa766285bf36a06g.jpg

"I meant my other brothers," said Dennis. "My two newest brothers."

"Oh, you mean the bastards."

"Yes. It does our House great dishonor," said Dennis.

"And honor is everything, isn't it?"

"Not everything, but to lose it hurts us in the game of thrones," explained Dennis. His father should have known this.

Bryce sighed. He looked at his son.

"You're almost a man now," he said.

"I might as well be one," said Dennis.

"And as a man, you'll learn that there are things that you will find more important than the game of thrones, or even your House's honor. For me, for your grandfather, one of those things was women. I don't know what it will be for you, but I suggest you find it quickly, as those who play the game of thrones better than you--and there is always someone who plays the game better--will find it as well, and seek to exploit it," said Bryce.

"You will also find that not every action is made in respect to the game," he continued. "Some may be made ancillary to the game as well. You think yourself a man, then, do you?"

"I do."

"Well, then, man to man, let me explain myself and my bastard sons, your bastard brothers. You know who Tywin Storm's mother is, yes?"

75cc47fa169366cf6a8b798023edf1b52266b05b38ca2e57ade5608b0348d9df6g.jpg

"Lady Andreya Baratheon, wife to Lord Alesander Baratheon, the son of the rebel Lord Robert."

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"Well, I cannot say he was conceived under intended circumstances."

"How do you mean?"

"I attended King Rhaegar's feast last year, and during the festivities, Lord Alesander went quite so far as to make a statement about your grandfather I found rather distasteful. And I found Lady Andreya rather bored with her husband, and so the two of us fled to some spare cellar in the Red Keep where we, well, we consoled each other as best we knew how."

6f36f615670a6dbef30ab949d31a5218f23c16fa164640ceef24c9ae620efbf76g.jpg

"You cuckolded a man because he insulted Grandfather Tyrion? You should have challenged him to a duel."

"And had I been less deep into my cups that night, I very well might have. But I wasn't."

"You were drunk?"

"It is a great insult to refuse the King's wine when he offers it freely at his table. Some men develop quite a taste for the stuff, it's said. Actually, come to think of it, we were both rather deep in our cups at the time. I started singing 'The Dornishman's Wife' in the middle and she joined in with me. We made quite a racket. I'm actually surprised we weren't caught."

"All of the Seven Kingdoms knows."

"Now they do, yes. When she became pregnant it was unavoidable. Lord Alesander hasn't been in the space between Lady Andreya's ankles in three years, let alone the space between her thighs. How was she to keep the fact it was another man's child from him?"

b91a3b61544827654fc30adede83ae616514ca0e21c7286eacd6034792c0b7656g.jpg

"So you acknowledged Tywin?"

"I almost legitimized him, but even I can remember my honor. And I have three healthy sons. You'll be a man soon enough, with a holding and later a wife to call your own. You'll give the Lannisters only trueborn sons, will you?"

"I will. My sons will not be any Tywin Storm, come again."

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"That is good, I suppose," said Bryce. He closed his eyes. It was getting late. Outside, even the chatter around the fire had died down as the others had retired to their tents for the night.

"And Aegon Hill?" asked Dennis.

"Oh, well, Aegon..." said Bryce. "Well, I am a well known hunter."

"Your men tell grand stories of it," said Dennis. Bryce snorted.

"Do they? I shall have to speak with them about inventing fables for my children. Well, usually, when I go hunting, I'm after a different sort of game."

"I do not follow."

"Honestly, I did not expect you to. Regardless, on one such expedition, I refused to spend a night in the wilderness when there was a lord's castle so near. And in his court I found a most beautiful girl. She must have been some child of a long ago bastard dragon-spawn, she had the Targaryen hair and eyes. Rhaena, she was called. She'd been raised in a sept. She was fond of birds, I recall. I had to have her." Bryce seemed to trail off.

3b5282a44ecacb7d0191a921336954ae993d4407e196b2decb69ee7f707ac7166g.jpg

"And?" prompted Dennis, when there were no further details.

"And I did," said Bryce.

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"Is that it?" asked Dennis.

"Well, except that after she gave birth to Aegon, yes, that's more or less it. Some bastards are born more simply than others. They're bastards all the same, though," explained Bryce.

4217ce8fad33c0488388c4010e4a96a54de34662ccf403d424051cc576aaba366g.jpg

"And now I think it's time for bed. We'll return to the Rock in the morning."

Dennis barely slept the night, thinking on the things Bryce had told him. In the morning, the road to Casterly Rock seemed long indeed, though it was but a short way away. Dennis' eyes were half-lidded as they slipped beneath the gates into the inner courtyard. His father's voice snapped him awake.

"Lord Redwyne? You are a long way from the Arbor!" called Bryce. Dennis looked up to see the Lord Garrett Redwyne standing in the courtyard, his banner of grapes flapping behind him.

Bald Lord Garrett snapped to attention, his chainmail rattling loudly. He raised a fist in salute.

"All hail, Bryce Lannister, Warden of the South, Defender of the Marches, High Marshal of the Reach, and the Lord of Highgarden!" the Master of the Arbor shouted.

The courtyard erupted into shouts of "hail." Bryce himself, always full of clever quips, seemed awed into silence by it. All of Dennis' concerns about his bastard brothers disappeared. His father had just become the most powerful man in the Seven Kingdoms. All future slights would be met with the combined steel of the Westerlands and the Reach.

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knuckey

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awesome update, I love how you made such a good story from a few events. Maybe if you secured a couple of marriage alliances with some other Lord's Paramount you could declare the Kingdom of the Rock?
 

HobbesMkII

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Part 4: The Rock - Jaime

The crowds screamed. Jaime had forgotten this part. The collective voice of the smallfolk was a cacophony that fought its way to one's ear. It was a mighty lion's roar, full of boastful swagger and anger and threats. And it was fitting for just such an occasion, the tournament to celebrate the union of Lion and Rose.

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His nephew Bryce was, with Lady Margaery's interment, now both Lord of the Westerlands and Lord of the Reach, ruling all of the westernmost land in the Seven Kingdoms, as concentrating an impressive number of Houses under his banner. He ruled from Ironman's Bay in the north to almost the very mouth of the the Torrentine River in Dorne. A few lords here and there--the Targaryen bastard Lord Hobber Waters just to the south of Highgarden, and the last of the Tyrells just to the northwest--were not sworn to him, but save for those few, Bryce's power in the West was absolute.

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Standing here in his presence was itself a thrill, even for a man such as Jaime, a knight of the Kingsguard, a Whitecloak, who stood at the shoulder of Kings and thought nothing of it. Bryce had been a great knight in his younger days, before Tyrion had weighed him down with tasks, and so, after a respectful mourning period, he had thrown one of the grandest tourneys ever devised, perhaps greater even than Lord Whent's Tourney at Harrenhal. Every knight from the Westerlands and the Reach had been invited, which was how Jaime himself had received a raven calling for his attendance.

Jaime had not been on horseback for a long time. He had been surprised when he had clambered onto his steed as though his last tourney had been only days ago, when his hair was golden flax, instead of the wiry white it had become. A few of the Reachmen had mocked him when he had come riding into Highgarden, ready to joust. But they were too young to remember Ser Barristan or Ser Arthur. Not that Jaime was the equal of those two men, but he was certainly greater than a few young hedge knights seeking to make a name for themselves at the tournament. Or so he hoped.

If he had been forced to admit it, Jaime was unsure of himself. He was quite old. Seventy-three, to be precise. Men had led full lives and died in half that time. Many still did.

And yet, when his squire, Bryce's own son Clement, had thrust the lance into his hand, Jaime had tucked it under his arm and heeled his steed without a second saved for uncertainty. His first opponent had been against one of the very same young hedge knights that had laughed at him before. Jaime's lance caught him square in the chest, knocking the poor man straight out of his saddle. He'd crashed to the ground with such a gnashing of plate and mail that Jaime had believed it might wake the Father.

And the crowd had screamed. And screamed. And screamed again when Jaime laid his next opponent out and his next again after that.

And then Jaime had met Garrett Redwyne. The bald lord of the Arbor was at least twenty-five years his junior, although, by that point in the tournament, it was not years that concerned Jaime. Lord Garrett had seemed easy prey. He was a man more suited to the open sea or vineyards than he was to horse and lance. And yet, he had vanquished every opponent who had ridden against him, that day. When Jaime took his place opposite the lists from the man, the smallfolk grew silent. Jaime looked to where his nephew sat on the platform constructed for him and his family. Bryce seemed to be on the edge of his seat. He might have ridden in this tournament, but the risk would have been too great for the Lord of the Reach and Westerlands to die on the sands.

Clement heaved the lance into Jaime's outstretched gauntlet. It suddenly felt quite heavy indeed, where before it had felt only a splinter. His movements felt sluggish as well--he spurred his horse on a fraction later than he would have liked. Garret Redwyne drew closer, faster. Jaime dropped his lance to catch the other man just under his shoulder.

There was a ringing in his ears and he was staring up into the bright sun. Clement was over him, screaming, but it seemed distant. The boy was pulling at something and Jaime realized it was his own helmet. Other men began to crowd around, and Jaime idly wondered how they could be gawking at him so close when he was on his horse. Or how Clement was upside down, come to think of it.

He shook himself. He was lying on the ground. He'd been unhorsed. He struggled and sat upright, and then struggled again to push the others away from him.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," he muttered. He didn't feel fine, but he would be last to let the others know it.

In the Maester's tent, Maester Alfgar informed him he'd shattered a rib, but that it would mend.

"You were lucky," said Alfgar. "Some men your age would have smashed their hip or worse"

"Some luck is skill," said Jaime. He pulled gold dragon from his purse and flipped it to Alfgar. The Maester's wolf followed its movement. Alfgar looked confused. "A Lannister always pays his debts."

The tent flap opened and Lord Bryce entered, every inch a Lannister. His hair was perhaps a darker shade of yellow, influenced by the Tyrell vines in his blood, no doubt. The lion on his chest danced in a red field of golden roses, a new sigil he had created when obtaining the Reach. King Rhaegar had been pleased. He had not liked the implications of a lion crowned with roses.

"Uncle, how grand to see you!" exclaimed Bryce.

"And you, nephew," said Jaime. "Where is Cerenna?"

"Did you know," said Bryce. "Her husband died and since then she's been wandering the Vale with some Corbray fellow? The name slips my mind. Anyhow, I would ask a favor of you."

"And I would grant it."

***​

The crowds screamed once again, as Jaime stood with his fellow victors. It had been Lord Garrett who'd taken the purse, which was a good sign. Best to have a Reachman secure victory in this tournament. It would give them some pride, which had been wounded now with a Westerman to rule over them.

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Jaime himself had been awarded a third place for his part, which he felt was an excellent show for a man of seventy-three. And, of course, he had another duty to perform.

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When Bryce beckoned at him, he strode in front of the platform. His grand-nephew Dennis came down, and stood before him.

"Kneel," order Jaime, and Dennis sank to his knees, bowing his head.

"Dennis Lannister," said Jaime, touching the flat of his blade to the boy's right shoulder. "In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave." It was hardly likely to happen. Perhaps Bryce didn't see it, but the sun would rise in the west before Dennis Lannister would charge an enemy.

"In the name of the Father, I charge you to be just." The boy would fail in this regard as well. He was too capricious. All seven vows that Jaime swore him to would be broken. But he would refuse Bryce nothing.

"Rise, Ser Dennis Lannister," said Jaime. Dennis rose, and a squire came up and pressed a sword and scabbard into his hands. Dennis unsheathed the sword and raised it, to show the crowd. The pommel had been worked in gold, to show a lion snarling with a crown of roses.

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Now Bryce spoke to the crowd, his voice carrying over their cheers.

"In recognition of his adulthood and position, we name Ser Dennis Lannister as Lord of Castamere, a position held by every heir of Lannister since my father, Tyrion, held it under Lord Tywin."

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The crowds screamed and screamed. Bryce leapt down from the platform, and began to stroll away. "Come with me, Uncle," he said. Jaime suddenly felt transported to when King Rhaegar the Wise had requested a similar moment of his time.

The two men walked in silence for a long while, until they were the marble gardens of Highgarden.

"This has been well taken care of," noted Jaime, breaking the silence when Bryce stopped in front of a magnificent fountain.

"My mother worked hard to restore Tyrell glory," said Bryce. He sat on the edge of the fountain and dipped a hand into its water. "The Maesters say she died of the complexities of a woman ruling over men. I doubt it. She was built to rule, my mother."

Jaime remained silent. Bryce would speak when he willed it, not before. He was like a king in that regard.

"If I were you, Uncle," said Bryce. "I would take myself away from King's Landing."

"I am a knight of the Kingsguard. My place is with the King," said Jaime.

"You have already survived one Mad King," said Bryce. "I do not know if you will survive a second."

"I do not know if I will survive another day, let alone which King I'll die for," said Jaime. "Such is the price of age."

Bryce sighed. "Well, if you're resolved--"

"I am."

Bryce nodded. "Then ride to your Mad King and tell him the armies of the West are coming for him. Lions will no longer bend the knee to toothless dragons."
 

Bballman23

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Ah! Loved this most recent scene, I would have bet that Jaime was facing certain death. Seems like this should be an easy enough war for you to win, assuming at least one other Lord Paramount joins your side.
 

Naegino

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Things are heating up! Hope the next update comes swiftly. Glad Jaime didn't die btw.
 

Machiavellian

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It's been a while since we had an update, any chance of one soon? I am really looking forward to it.