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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Nikolai

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Part XIV: The Huntress

A chill filled the air. The sun had just set. It was a clear night: stars began to fill the skies. The moon was full.

45481.jpg

Hunger gnawed at her stomach; she had not had a good meal in weeks. Ever since the two-leg uprights had invaded their forests with their metal fur, food had been scarce. When they had not been eating more than their fill, the metal-furred frightened away every with their noisy walking.

She led a few of the pack in search of game. Quietly, they walked through the woods, each three tails’ lengths from each other; none made a sound. She sniffed the air. Nothing. A few more paces; she sniffed again. Nothing. A few more…nothing. And then – faint but noticeable – a familiar scent.

Deer.

She growled, signaling to her companions. They tracked the scent through the night; when the moon was at its highest, they tracked the scent to a clearing. Surrounding the deer, they crouched in the brush, ready to pounce. The smell of wolf filled the air. Low to the ground, she inched forward, before bounding into the clearing.

The pack was met with a freshly-killed deer, and resistance. A lone wolf, fur stained with mud and covered in fresh blood, sprang up, teeth bared, but silent. He – for she could tell by scent it was a he – was bigger than most, just as big as herself, if not bigger, in fact. Her pack prepared to fight, but she growled a halt just in time. She looked the he-wolf over.

It was hard to tell the color of his much-stained fur in the darkness of the night, but it appeared to be white. He stood shoulder-to-shoulder equal with her, and his red eyes bore into the deepest depths of her mind.

White fur. Red Eyes. It was her littermate, her runt brother, Umbra White-tail.

direwolf.jpg

Recognizing her, White-tail stepped back from the carcass, inviting them to share. When they had eaten their fill, he looked at her intently, turned, and walked away, tail held high. After a moment, she realized he wanted them to follow.

He led them through the forest until it was almost rise-of-the-sun-dawn. He finally stopped on the outskirts of the woods-den of the metal-fur-men. Three smells filled the air – wolf, men, and burning deer.

She was not quite sure what exactly Umbra White-tail wanted, but she knew one thing – these metal-fur-men had enough food to feed her starving pack until the next hidden moon.

Two stood guard, one with a long-point-claw [spear] and the other with a sharp-metal-arm- extension [sword]. She readied herself to stalk them, but two flying stick-feathers flew through the woods, and they fell dead. Her head tilted in confusement, she watched as multiple two-leggeds no-metal emerged from the woods, while one younger one sat on horseback with a flying-stick-thrower. Some looked and smelled familiar, but she could not remember from where.

Confusing her just as much, Umbra dashed from his cover, passed the men, and sprinted deeper into the sleeping woods-den. When she and her pack did not follow, he returned, looked her in the eyes, and left again. His meaning was clear – he, and by extension these men, needed his help; if her pack wanted to run off with the metal-furred’s food, they would have to earn it.

She raced from her cover with a howl and led her wolves into battle.



It was a slaughter, for a few minutes, anyway.

The metal-furred were caught sleeping in their beds; only a handful of guards were awake, most of whom were slain by flying-stick-feathers. Her wolves pounced on the sleepers and tore their throats while they snored. She could count on one paw how many realized the imminent danger before dying.

They drove deeper and deeper into the woods-den. Adrenaline surged through her paws. Her fur was caked with blood, her mouth filled with the taste of it.

Her human allies led the path of destruction against their mutual foes; but unlike her, they seemed to have a destination in mind: a small structure near the middle of the encampment, made of crossed sticks. Unlike many buildings, it did not hide itself from the weather. It was close, barely a few bounds away, but the metal-furred here were ready and fighting.

She had been in fights before, but never had been blessed with a thrill like this. She took in everything around her – the smell of human and wolf blood, mixed; the hordes of metal-furs that poured into the fight; the girl, holding a sharp-metal-arm-extension, trying to destroy the crossed-stick building, the young two-legger with light brown fur inside, the pile of furs and mud in the corner of the crossed-stick building; her wolves slowly succumbing to long-point-claws and flying-stick-feathers.

Soon she found herself with metal-furreds all around her. She dodged a slash from a sharp-metal-arm-extension, clawed out the throat of one, then felt a metal-sharp-hand [dagger] stuck in her side, opening her flank from front-right-shoulder to her bottom rib; her side felt like it was in flames.

In front of her, a large warrior reached back to throw a long-point-claw; she tried to dive to avoid it, but the wound slowed her too much. The pole went straight threw her heart.

Twenty feet away, Arya Stark awoke to the howl of a dying direwolf.










Arya-Stark.jpg


Wow. Writing from the point of view of Nymeria was by far the hardest thing I've ever written. It's not easy trying to figure out what a wolf names things! :D
 

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Indeed, this needs more dragons! :D

Good reading anyway. More interesting than the last of Martin's books.
 

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Part XV: Bran

“You did well, Bran.”

The last few years, many complimented Bran on his running Winterfell (and, in a lot of ways, the North) while his brother was at war – everyone from local peasant farmers to foreign kings, maesters to religious folk, and everybody in between. He never took any solace from it, always feared that he was not good enough, that every decision he made was the wrong one.

But hearing it from his own brother, right next to him….for the first time since Robb went off to war several years prior, before he was even declared King in the North, Bran felt proud of himself, and truly happy.

Both were on horseback, at the head of the Northern army, which, for the first time in many years, was traveling home. After the raid to rescue Arya and Trystane – with the surprise help of a pack of wolves led by Nymeria, who had run away many years before, Stannis’s army suffered defeat after defeat to Robb, before surrendering – and then dying.


They say he died of a manure explosion….

With the Riverlands, now devastated by war once more, back under the control of their rightful lords, the Northern warriors could finally return home. The Time of Troubles, the new name coined by the Archmaesters to describe what began as the War of the Five Kings, was officially over.

But the army was not going to disperse yet; Robb decided that his men, both lowborn and highborn alike, were to be rewarded – and what better way, he thought, than to invite the veterans of wars in the Riverlands, King’s Landing, the Westerlands, the Iron Isles, the Stormlands, and the Reach, than to invite them to a royal wedding (specifically, Arya’s)?

“It will be nice to finally return home,” Robb said to no one in particular. “Although…it will be a change, for sure.”

“You will be a magnificent king,” Bran said. “You already are – you brought the North its independence, turned our enemies into our allies, and secured the immediate future for our family and for the realm. Why should you be concerned?”

Robb laughed slightly. “You have learned much, Bran, but you are still young, and still naïve. I have brought independence for the north – I have reconquered a kingdom for our family, you might say. But conquering and ruling is not the same thing. Robert Baratheon is more than enough proof for that.” Bran laughed; he had met his father’s friend once, and he was not the kingly type…especially when you hear the rumors around him. “You will be taking up your post in King’s Landing soon, I would believe.”

Bran nodded. “About three moons after the wedding I will begin my journey south.”

“Good. You have a good ruling sense, exactly what they need in King’s Landing. The lowborn there, they are nice and considerate, mostly. It is the noblemen that you need to worry about.”

“What is King’s Landing like?”

Robb considered for a moment. “It is hard to describe to someone who has never been to a city; think of the largest town you have ever been in, except that it goes on for several leagues and has a many people as a castle in a very small area. Hold up.” He reined his horse to a stop and called up to some riders, dressed in black, approaching. “Who goes there?” The horsemen replied that they were from the Night’s Watch, so he bid them approach.

“Is Jon Snow riding with you, Your Grace?”

“No. As befitting his duty as recruiter, he departed us a week ago to tour the southern kingdoms and gain recruits. Is there any way I may help you?”

“Aye. Do you know when he will be back in the North?”

Robb nodded. “In about six moons, he will be in Winterfell for his sister’s wedding. If you so need, you may stay in Winterfell, as befits your station.”

“Thank you, Your Grace.”
 

Nikolai

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Hmmm...... I'm wary of these men of the Night Watch. Are they up to any good? Are they Night Watch men at all?
 

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Hey everybody, sorry about this long delay. My computer broke, which meant I couldn't play/update, and I just got a new one.

Anyways, good news/bad news. Bad news is, this is going to go on hibernation for a time, possibly until late December or even next summer, due to time restraints - I simply don't have time to actively pursue the AAR.

The good news is, however, that I plan on doing one "Epilogue" update for Robb Stark; even though I lost the screenshots and specific events, I'm going to piece together a general idea of what happened in one last update that will tie up some loose ends. Then, the next time, we will begin with the story of, as of now, Renly Baratheon.
 

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Good, looking forward to that.:)
 

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Well this has sat unfinished for a while now. Not much longer, though - after re-reading everything, I have actually no recollection of the Nights Watchmen, or the wedding, or whatever the heck I had planned after this, so you know what, I'm just going to figure out some sort of epilogue, and then move on to our next character. I see that I had originally said Renly Baratheon...well, we shall see, I haven't decided if I want to continue with that plan, I'll decide then.

But I have to say, it's good to be back, and I hope to tie up these lose ends ASAP
 

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Okay, I'm looking forward to it :)
 

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EPILOGUE

*Forty Years Later*

"...and now his watch is ended." With that, Jon took the torch from young Arron Martell, fourth son of Trystane Martell and his sister Arya Stark, and dropped it on the pyre of his old friend Sam Tarly, then left without a word, a tear in his eye. Sam the Slayer, he had been known, but to Jon he was more - he was the schemer, the Archmaester of the Citadel, the avid bookreader who discovered long-lost secrets of the Long Night in books long forgotten by the realms of men, and most importantly, a loyal friend. His last true friend, even, for Pyp and Grenn had perished on a ranging many years before, and Dolorous Ed had succumbed to the greyscale epidemic of ten years prior. They shared many adventures together, from the Lord Commander Mormont's Great Ranging, to the wildling attack on the Wall, to forging the alliance with those same wildlings, to early battles against the Others. He had prevented the Night's Watch and the wildlings from civil war as the Wall descended into chaos in the weeks and months following Bowen Marsh's Mutiny, as Jon lay comatose in bed with four stab wounds. And it was because of Jon and Sam, the free folk believed, that the Others and their wight army had not ventured to the Wall, instead spending an entire winter, spring, summer, and now a fall in the south bringing winter to the lands beyond the Wall, but no further.

As Jon entered his study, Maester Arthur called to him. "Lord Snow, a raven from the Citadel arrived this morning announcing the return of winter. I am sure that you are aware of the potential ramifications."

Jon nodded glumly. "Better than most, I fear, for so few remain from the days when the Night's Watch first encountered the White Walkers. If they mean to move south, it will be soon."

The maester nodded. "There's more, my lord. A raven from Winterfell arrived within the hour. I left the message in your study."

A message from Robb. He had not seen his brother in many years, since his eldest son's wedding nearly fifteen years prior, and had not heard from him in over five years. And although he had duties as Lord Commander all afternoon, his mind was not in the storerooms, or the practice yards (where even now, with hair and beard white as his bastard name, he proved one of the Watch's most able swordsmen), or even in the dining hall, but back in his study, anticipating the letter with equal parts anticipation and dread.

At last though, Jon made his way back to his study, opened the seal, and read the note:

To Lord Commander Jon Snow,
I, Eddard Stark, first of his name, King in the North and of the Trident, invite you to my coronation and wedding to Ella Lannister, son of Kevan Lannister, King of the Rock, which shall take place on the anniversary of the foundation of the alliance of the Kings against Stannis of House Baratheon.

Ned Stark...Robb's firstborn son, now King in the North, which meant...Jon did not want to believe it, but there it was, the truth staring him in the face - his brother, Robb, had passed.

Robb - the singers would sing of his reign for generations, he knew. Even at the Wall he heard songs of his siege of King's Landing, when a sizeable Northern force, led by the Greatjon himself, disguised themselves as refugees and infilitrated the capital. He defeated Tywin Lannister, Stannis Baratheon, and Balon Greyjoy to secure his throne, vanquished the Bolton Rebellion, which saw Winterfell engulfed in flames, and the invasion of the Horse Lords to keep it. His reign brought unprecedented peace and prosperity not only to the North and the Riverlands, but to all of Westeros. Indeed, while the "Young Wolf" became the "Old Wolf," the smallfolk began to call him "the Great."

A knock came at the door. "Lord Snow," Arron Martell called. "A rider from the South has just arrived - a highborn Northman, he says. Wants to take the black."

"Send him in." A highborn noble recruit, while always noteworthy, was not uncommon in recent years, as Robb had throughout his reign had encouraged recruitment to the Watch.

The door opened. "Lord Jon Snow, I presume," a familiar voice said.

Jon did not believe his eyes..."Robb?!? What are you doing here? I thought you were dead," he said, embracing his brother."

Robb laughed. "Aye, so you received my son's letter. He is a good lad, and has been ready to rule for some time now, and as for me, well, ruling does wear you out after a while -not so easy to do anything with it. I'm sure the Lord Commander who tamed the wildlings would understand. Anyways, since young Ned is no longer young anymore and is ready to rule, I decided to do what the Old Bear did forty years ago and retire to the Wall."

"It won't be a quiet retirement."

"I'm not expecting one."

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhoooooooooooooooooooo.

The horn. "Ser Jojen must be back. Every castle sends weekly rangings to find signs of White Walker activity. Or any straggler wildlings who did not come south forty years ago."

"Last time I spoke with you, there had not been any news for over a decade."

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhoooooooooooooooooooo.

Robb looked at Jon. "Two means wildlings, right?"

Jon nodded. "Perhaps some have survived all these years."

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhoooooooooooooooooooooooooo...
 

Dayni

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Well, that's a way to come back to a game! First day on the watch, not even a vow spoken and BOOM! Long Night. That should be interesting news for a coronation.

Also, are we going to get a more detailed description of the time passed? (Especially these horse lords)
 

WingedLion14

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Well, that's a way to come back to a game! First day on the watch, not even a vow spoken and BOOM! Long Night. That should be interesting news for a coronation.

Also, are we going to get a more detailed description of the time passed? (Especially these horse lords)

Unfortunately, this is all you will see, as the computer with the savegame on it has met the Many-Faced God; as such, the entire epilogue is, for the most part, made up, although I do mix and match events from a few quick games I played to learn the mod's new mechanics - since I am moving on to my next character, I did not want to leave Robb's story without some sort of ending.

I intend to start my next "book" of the story this week if all goes well; right now I'm trying to decide on a character.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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A nice conclusion to an excellent story. If I may ask, what characters are you considering?
 

WingedLion14

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A nice conclusion to an excellent story. If I may ask, what characters are you considering?

Thanks! I'm thinking either Joffrey or Stannis; depends on whether I feel like playing an evil SOB or a just guy who's overly obsessed with his right.

Sad to see this end

I'm glad you enjoyed it. This story may be over, but we merely begin again with someone new!
 

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BOOK II: THE KING ON THE IRON THRONE

204GoT0209.jpg

Four spots sit next to Ned Stark.
The first is for the traitor's son, who fancies himself King in the North.
The second is for the delusional hero, who claims I am not my father's son.
The third is for my theatrical uncle, who plotted with the traitor Stark.
The fourth is for the ambitious kraken, who again wears a crown of his own.

They call themselves Kings; they will die traitors. I alone am King in Westeros.

My name is Joffrey Baratheon, and this is my story.


Character Bio:
Joffrey Baratheon
The First of His Name
King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men
Lord of the Seven Kingdoms
Protector of the Realm

Son of Robert Baratheon, the First of His Name, King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and Cersei Lannister, Queen Regent.
Betrothed to Sansa Stark, Daughter of Ned Stark, Traitor to the Realm.
Eldest Brother to Tommen and Myrcella Baratheon.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


So now we move on to Book II, where we start with Joffrey from the ACoK bookmark. I've already played quite a bit (this will likely cover more in-game years than Book I), and boy, will this be exciting. I don't want to ruin anything, but I'll give two hints - we fight the War of the Nine Kings, and the Night's Watch plot matters.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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So now we move on to Book II, where we start with Joffrey from the ACoK bookmark. I've already played quite a bit (this will likely cover more in-game years than Book I), and boy, will this be exciting. I don't want to ruin anything, but I'll give two hints - we fight the War of the Nine Kings, and the Night's Watch plot matters.

Can't wait! Two questions though:

1. Is this continuing on this thread, or are you starting a new one?
2. NINE!? How? Does freaking Tywin revolt against you? Sounds like this is going to be a very short second book...