Prologue: Dark things stir in the Night
The young man ran from what he saw, horror's he couldn't believe. Pile's of dead wild-lings, his friend's head cut off before his eyes, white walkers, but what scared him most, bright eyes in the darkness that stared into his soul. He had to run, he had to warn everyone. He knew what awaited him for running, but he knew the north needed to know.
Something was coming, something that was stirring in the dark of night beyond the wall.
Chapter One: A Tourneys Revelation
It was a cloudy day, the skies grey and melancholy. The King and Queen of had awoken in the shared bed, the room wasn't either of their actual chambers. These were the chambers they shared in their early marriage. The room brought up too many bad memories in recent years, but today they let those memories lay bare. They did so once every year. The populace of Kingslanding was stirring with excitement for the yearly tourney. Most didn't know the significance of the day except a select few. The Royal couple helped one another, it was some of the few times that they gave each other a look of comfort and genuine care for the other.
As the stands filled and the competitors began to line up for the people, the king called for the Archery contest to begin. the clouds parted away revealing the sun and blue skies, This surprised many as they had believed it to rain.
The archers lined in a row and faced the targets. One of which caught King Robert's attention as the man's face was hidden. He called for them to fire, he noticed that the masked man hadn't notched his bow. When the king said to fire the man was quick as his hand shot to the quiver grabbing not one arrow but five. He pulled them back just as quick and released, letting loose all the arrows at once. Each one hit their mark dead center in five targets, but the man didn't stop. He began moving, pulling out arrows and notching them within seconds. Letting them loose into target after target, not stopping till each target held one of his arrows, even splitting arrows that had hit the center.
Everyone was amazed at the man's skill as the crowd roared with excitement. Even the man's fellow competitors applauded, respecting the archer. The masked man turned to the kings box and bowed before walking to the small tent that bared no sigil he had emerged from. Robert named the mysterious man the winner, calling for the melee to be set up.
"I must say that ones skill is quite impressive." Queen Cersei turned to see that her younger brother Tryion had arrived, he gave his sister a hand on her shoulder and a comforting smile. He knowing what the days significance held. It was well known that Cersei hadn't cared much for her dwarfed brother, in fact for a sizable chunk of their lives she hated him. Seeing him as their mothers killer, but in recent years had warmed up to the dwarf, she grew to tolerate his presence and sense of humor. She smiled back to him and looked at the scar that adorned his face going from the top left side to the bottom right.
Tyrion saw her gaze and briefly touched his scar. In any other case he would have hated it, some to add for someone to gawk at him about. However this scar he wore much like his stature and appearance, he wore like a badge of honor.
Tommen and Myrcella greeted they're uncle with smiles and brief hugs. Joffrey merely dismissing his uncle, unlike his siblings he was arrogant, thinking himself above others. He couldn't understand why his mother tolerated him. He saw his uncle like a stain on the tapestry of their family.
As the competitors entered for the melee, all saw the Mountain, many considering to merely come back for the joust. The huge hulking man himself believing this to be short, but people stayed as they saw that the masked man had come out this time in black armor with an armored skirt, looking like a black scaled coat. On the helmet were a pair of horns, curling up and slightly back. A sword at his hip with a hand and a half hilt wrapped in bright crimson. A White furred short cape that covered his shoulders, and ended just at the middle of his back.
As the fighting began, it was manic. Since killing wasn't allowed most of the fighters held maces and other blunt weaponry. The masked Man using his sword, the blade almost two inched wide with intricate patterns on the blade looking like flame, and its dark grey close to black color. What they saw was amazing as he parried blows and gave out consecutive ones. His speed surprising many, at how well he moving in the armor. He would block or parry an attack on him before moving in close delivering a solid punch or kick. Knocking out man after man sometimes flipping the blade into his armored hand, and using the guard like a war hammer. Bypassing armor and landing hard blows that dented armor and broke bones.
It was like so till it was just The masked man and The Mountain. The two slowly circled each other till the mountain lunged bringing his great sword down, the masked man stepping aside the attack with ease as he turned and swung his blade fast at the knights head. Turning the blade flat as he hit the mountains helmet. With a loud clang the Mountain dropped his weapon as his ears rung. The Masked Man wasting no time as he twisted the opposite way banging the other side the same way but a bit higher. This knocking the Mountains helmet off, and revealing Sir Gregor's face. Not stopping as the man twisted again back the other way, this time bringing the tip of the blade to the dried ground before breaking the earth and flinging it into the Mountains face and eye's blinding him for a moment but all that was needed as when he wiped his eyes. The back of his knees were kicked bringing him to kneel . He was halted from moving as he felt cold metal against his neck. This greatly shocked all that the Mountain had been brought to his current state. The Hound whom stood in the stands with the royal family could not and didn't bother to hide the shit eating grin that had grown on his face.
"Yield" A muffled voice said from the masked mans helmet, from it Gregor could hear the man wasn't asking, he was ordering. Gregor then did what no one ever thought he would. He yielded knowing that if he moved his throat would be sliced open. This angered him as he had been bested, when the blade was removed and he heard the blade re-enter its sheathe. It was followed by footsteps away from him. The crowd was cheering at the Mountains loss as it was something that did not happen often. This angered the Mountain more as he picked up his blade and swung at the man still in range. A silence fell onto the crowd as they saw that the masked man without turning had stopped the Mountains attack with his forearm.
The man then in a motion turned around and delivered a hard elbow to his face breaking the Mountains nose. While holding his sword arms wrist before sending a hard blow with a resounding crack breaking the knights wrist. Gregor cried out in pain as he was left there on the ground, the masked man merely left back to his tent. Robert named the man the winner of the melee before glaring at the Mountain for his attempt. This day turning out to be interesting as he wondered how well the mysterious man will do in the Joust. He noticed that his hand Jon Arryn had arrived, and began to talk as the Joust was being set up and Clegane was being carted off to a Maester.
"From what you've said, and what I saw of him as I entered, he's quite the spectacle." Jon Arryn stated as both the King and the Queen nodded. The joust had already begun and the first few rounds were average including the masked man's, he wore the same armor as for the melee. The only odd thing he had done thus far was his shield, it was about the size of a average round shield except it was silver and in a likeness of a wolf ready to strike. On a provided house he took down his opponents with ease, until he came upon Jamie Lannister. The kings-guard coming and meeting the masked man's blows, till he changed his stance. He brought his shield forward and bending forward a bit as he hunched his shoulders and brought his arm back holding the base of the lance parallel with his shoulder.
The crowd was silent as they watched in anticipation till is a blink both horse charged. Ground breaking against they steps as the riders eyes met, and flashes of green met one another. At the last moment before impact The masked man brought his shield back angling so the tip of Jamie's lance hit and veered off. While the mans arm and lance came forward with speed hitting the center of Jamie's chest knocking the wind from his lungs and off his horse.
Cersei stood up worried for her twin, and shocked at his lost. Robert let out a hearty laugh as well as Tyrion as they saw the masked man get off the horse and help up the fallen kings-guard. Cersei sitting down relieved at seeing Jamie was okay. When both men came and stood in front of the king, they both bowed as he named the masked man the victor of the Tourney.
The Victors Crown was brought out and presented to the man, he accepted it as he walked over toward the edge of the kings box. He knelt down and held the crown up.
"I wish to crown the queen." The surprised everyone as a squire gingerly took the crown and presented it to the queen. The King raised an eyebrow at this and stood.
"I must say this is quite odd, may I ask why you've crown my wife." He stated more in a order than a request. The man stood up as he undid a latch connecting his helmet to his armor.
"It's often customary for a man to find his wife and daughter to be two of the most beautiful woman in his life. Though since I have neither the most beautiful woman I should think of..." He removed the helmet revealing shaggy black hair that was just barely above his shoulders, he looked up at the king and queen with a single green eye. The other had a long scar from the mid left of his forehead to his cheek. "...is my Mother."
Everyone was shocked at what they heard. Robert had dropped and forgotten his goblet, Jamie looked at the young man who looked to be no older then nine and ten. Tommen and Myrcella looked at the young man immediately seeing the resemblance between him and they're father. Joffrey was looking at him with disgust, wondering who he was. He was about to ask his mother who this man was and the gall he had to claim such a thing, but was stopped by his uncle. Cersei looked at the young man her eyes never leaving his face. She moved down the stands and the ground till she stood in front of him. She lifted up her hand close to his face, she pulled back a bit hesitantly before placing her hand on his cheek.
"Ethan?..."She said quietly as a small hint of smile crept to his lips before he gave a small nod. The face Cersei held slowly fell before she pulled Ethan close and held him tight as she left out the only tears she didn't care if anyone saw.
"Who is that man?" Joffrey demanded from his uncle, he looked over and saw that his uncles eyes didn't leave the man either.
"That nephew is your older brother Ethan Baratheon, the lost prince."
The whole of Kingslanding was bustling with news of the return of the lost prince. Many wondered where he had been, and why he hadn't come back sooner. Many also wondered how this would play into the great game, and if the young man would survive it.
Jon Arryn many things with the man now changed greatly, something that had made the aged hand of the king felt resolved and relieved. There was now a proper heir to the throne. He could still tell the king what he knew, but decided against it, the lost prince had just gotten his family back. He didn't want to rip that apart from the young man. He drank his wine and decided to turn in for the evening wondering what the future held.
Ethan Baratheon had lived through many things. Great beasts, dark creatures and bandits, to the great dragon Grigori. He had lived without his heart, and could do what many here would consider impossible. When he defeated Grigori he was brought before the Seneschal of the world, a being that appeared to be a god, but saw himself as anything but. He had surprised Ethan by getting on his knees with his head touching the ground. He apologized as to the fact he was partly to blame in him being separated from his life in Westeros. He told him of his past, and of a great danger coming to his old home. He was given back his past. Ethan albeit angered by the beings actions he could see the tiredness in his eyes. He pulled the being to his feet and forgave him.
He was joined with Grigori, telling him he had his own part to play. After then had gotten to Planitos they had landed somewhere is Essos, Ethan began to travel, sending out his pawns. The loyal beings that had aided him on his journey and had grown many bonds and friendships. He felt honored by their devotion and thanked them all. The Striders and Rangers he chose to act as his spies and network, while staying hidden and keeping him informed. The Warriors and Fighters acting as sell-swords and mercenaries, earning gold and acting as unofficial protectors against criminals. His Magic users helped him set up many important items inside and out of Essos and Westeros, and acting as healers, using mainly medicinal subtle magic, and their expertise with herds and the like. As he looked down at his latest report be smiled as he made his way to his first meeting of the small council. Although he made no move or interest toward the throne, he since wished to help in the well-being of his once an now home.
Across the narrow sea in the home of Magistrate Mopatis, Viserys was frustrated. In recent months something incredible had happened, one morning he had awoken to a shriek of his sister, he had ran to her room to find something he couldn't believe. On his sisters bed rested a crimson dragon with glowing orange eye's, it was about the size of a cat. He planned to control it to help in his plan of conquest for the Iron throne. It was until the very beast spoke explaining he had merely chosen to be small, and could grown at anytime.
The dragon calling himself Grigori explained he was only there to safeguard his sister, he would protect her from all threats, sending a undertone one to Viserys himself. He wasn't there to fuel his mad ravings of conquest.
While Viserys was frustrated and was working out a deal with a Dothraki horse lord, Daenerys was elated and mystified by Grigori. He at the time small dragon found he interest amusing and enjoyed the young woman's company. He was amused and interested at this world and hoped he would see more of it.
Chapter Two: Origins
Cersei thought about many things at night. Sometimes she would stare up at the ceiling, just letting her mind wander as she drifted to sleep. That night her thoughts drifted to the day her firstborn came into the world. She labored for many hours as the sky thundered and cracked, the seas pelting at the cliffs and city walls. Her husband, as she reluctantly called him, had decided to go out and hunt in the storm. There was only the mid-wives and her beloved twin, her other half, as she wholeheartedly called him, there to comfort and watch over her.
She felt the world slow down and the torrential rain go silent, as silent as everyone in the room when she looked up and saw the mid-wife holding a bundle in her arms. The mid-wife glanced at her, a flash of concern as she saw the dread on the young queen's face. She brought the wrapped babe and smiled comfortingly.
"Your grace, it's a healthy boy." The mid-wife was glad at the look of relief as she gave Cersei the babe. The mid-wife gestured to her fellows to leave before bowing to the queen. "Merely call if you need something your grace." Cersei nodded and looked down as she studied her child. She ran her finger along the side of her babes face. She moved the wrappings somewhat and saw her baby's thick black hair. Black, a color she had grown to hate as it made her think of Robert. She had hoped for blond, like hers, like her brother's...
Something bitter and hard formed in her chest as she wondered if she could love the child like she wanted to if she only saw her husband when she looked at him. But then she met his eyes as they opened for the first time. They were her eyes but the brightest green she'd ever seen, brighter than emeralds in sunlight. They were bright like wild-fire, they looked up at her and inspected her. His eye's wandered before they fully settled on her. She realized right then no matter what she could never hate the child before her eyes. She brought the babe close to her face and smiled. This was her son, and it did not matter whom his father was.
Jamie unsure what to do could not bring himself to hate the child. He came closer and felt a smile creep across his face as he saw his sister coo with the babe. It wasn't too long before Robert returned soaked from the rain and haggard. He presented to Cersei a skinned stag head and pelt, its antlers still attached and looked as they had been carved down. It pleased Cersei that it was cleaned and not bloodied. He had Jamie hold it as the king sat down by the bed. He told Jamie to take it to the tailor to make a cloak. Jamie gave a curt bow, though with a roll of his eyes unseen by the king.
"Let me hold him." Cersei hesitantly handed over her son although reluctantly. Robert at the surprise of Cersei held the babe with an amount of gentleness he had never shown to her. "Have you thought of a name?" She shook her head as he thought for a moment. He thought on the name he could give before something came to him. "Ethan…..., Ned told me of Ethan Glover. He said when the young man squired under his brother he was the last alive that came to Kings-Landing. He tried to protect other's till his death." He gave a smile as the newly named babe grabbed at his growing beard strongly. "Heh, you like that name? The name of a protector, to his kingdom, to his friends, and to his family." Cersei couldn't help but smile at Robert's words.
-(Six Years Later)-
Cersei despite where they were going couldn't stop the smile on her face as she watched Ethan practically shake in his seat with excitement. The boy at the age of five, almost six had requested one thing for his upcoming nameday. He wanted to see Winterfell and meet Lord Eddard Stark. The Quiet Wolf having become an Idol to the crown prince from the stories Robert told him while sitting on his knee.
Robert, a man despite showing love to his son still gave her practical disinterest and distain. The reason being the simple fact she was not Lyanna Stark. For that one reason she knew he would never love her, and he'd drink and whore himself till the day he dies. She hated him, and that was something that would never change. She refused though to project that hate onto her son. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of her two year old Joffrey waking from a nap. He had Blonde hair and eyes that matched her own, and his father's. Despite her love for Ethan, it was not enough that she wouldn't seek comfort from Jamie. Something that both pleased and angered her was her son's love for his uncles, all of his Uncles. She glared at her imp of a brother sitting next to Ethan as he looked out at the landscape described by Tryion. She hated him, he was the reason their mother was dead. As he entered the world, he took her out of theirs.
Ethan seemed to look up to his uncles for different reasons. Jamie for the simple fact of her son's growing love for swordsmanship. Stannis Baratheon, due to the fact looked upon Ethan with seriousness and expectations. He was always the one Ethan would ask first involving about getting something to read. Much to Maester Pycell's annoyance, but had to relent due to the boys eagerness to learn. Then came to Tryion who taught Ethan to read and write, which he did well as Ethan was able to speak well enough to make sentences. He wasn't going to make any speeches nowhere in anytime, but he could state his thoughts at the least. Renley had no real impact on his due to him being only a few years older than him, but there was a expected friendliness. Then there was her father, she was happy to see that Tywin Lannister had at least wanted to see his grandson.
When Ethan was only three, and Tywin had come to Kings-Landing on business. Another loan to Robert. When He when to the Solar to talk to her, She saw that her son had walked over to the old lion. She was surprised to see her father watching him with a calculating gaze. Ethan had raised up this arms to the man indicating he wanted to be picked up. When Tywin bent down to pick him up, he was surprised as Ethan bent his legs slightly and lunged at Her father wrapping his arms as much as he could around his neck. All while letting out a sound like he was trying to roar like a lion. This caused something that Cersei wasn't sure when the last time she'd seen him do. He smiled, and gave a chuckle. The old lion brought over the boy and gave her son his continued smile. He had told her that he expected good things from her son, and looked forward to see if he could meet his expectations.
As Winterfell came into view, although she herself didn't like the keep and area. She was able to respect the build of it and its fortification, something both her twin and father have expressed about it. When they were inside the courtyard, Jamie had to hold Ethan's shoulder and remind him to contain his excitement and act proper. Though she herself had to contain the want to hug and tickle the ball of energy. She watched as the two old friends greeted each other.
"Come're son." Her son looked toward herself and his uncles and getting a nod. He rushed over nearly tripping but righting himself quickly and stood straight next to his father. "Ethan, this is my closest friend and a man I'd have you see as another uncle, Eddard Stark." Ethan was stone stiff as he stood in front of a man that was practically his hero. Ned seeing the young boys nervousness dropped down to a knee, doing his best to reach his eye level.
"It is a great joy to meet you my prince, and I am honored that you requested to visit Winterfell." Ethan relaxed at the fatherly warmth that came from the Warden of the North. A big grin grew on the prince's face.
"I-It is a honor to be a guest." Ethan looked unsure what to say tempted to look back at his uncle Tryion. He relaxed though when his father ruffled his hair and let out a hearty laugh.
"This is my own son Robb, you both are about the same age." That was when Ethan noticed the young boy standing next to the lady Stark. The two boys stood in front of each other as looked at the other.
"Do you like swords?" The young Robb said, as a smile grew on Ethan's face.
"I love swords." The two fathers couldn't help but chuckle at their son's interaction. But the sweet moment of course was soured in Cersei's opinion as Robert called to Ned mentioning about him wanting to pay his respects. Cersei greeted Catelyn Stark as she noticed she had sleepy pair of children in her arms. She had guessed they were the twins Sansa and Arya. Robert speaking of them on the way toward the north. Everything seemed to go as well as it would probably, that was until Cersei while taking a walk to clear her head saw the young heirs playing in the courtyard. She smiled at how much fun she saw her son was having until she saw one boy running around with them. The boy with dark hair and grey eyes that matched his fathers. The boy was Eddard Starks bastard, Jon Snow. Many wondered who the boys mother was, but the queen had her own suspicions. She was about to call her son over to tell him to ask the boy to leave. However she was beaten to the punch by someone much, much less subtle.
"Snow!" The young boy stopped immediately, and looked scared at the voice. The other two stopped as well as they turned and saw lady Stark. She looked livid with barely contained frustration. "What are you doing out here?" The boy seemed to be as if he was unable to move. His eyes trying to meet Catelyn's but couldn't. His hands twitched shifting between open palms and closed, unable to choose.
"U-uh, t-the pri-, his grace…." The boys voice was quiet, barely able to hear it from where Cersei was. The annoyance growing more visible on Lady Starks face.
"So you mean to tell me it's the Prince's fault?" This caused a look of alarm in the boys eyes.
"N-No! I-I didn't mean tha-" He was cut off by her cold glare, making the boys own eyes start to grow misty.
" I asked him to play with us." Ethan's voice cut through the airs tension like a knife, as Both Catelyn and Cersei were surprised and turned to him. Who's green eyes no longer showed a bright happy light, but a raging glow of wildfire. The growing anger that could be seen behind the scowl on his face surprised both noblewomen. Cersei for the seer fact she'd never seen him get this way, while Catelyn surprised that it was directed at her.
"My Prince…." She cleared her throat before situating herself. "…I don't think it would be appropriate for you to interact with hi-" This made Ethan glare as he took a few steps forward.
"I don't care." That made Lady Stark lose her voice as she almost to a step back. "He is my friend and will not let someone bully him." He gave Catelyn another hard fiery glare before grabbing Jon's arm and pulled him over to where Robb had been standing the whole time. The three boys had then gone off to another part of the keep leaving Catelyn Stark standing in the courtyard. Cersei didn't stay to see what she did next as she had to do her best not to laugh out loud right there. Although she agreed that her son shouldn't be around the boy, she could only be proud at how strong and intimidating her little lion could be. The sheer loyalty and fierceness and making the Lady Stark silent.
When the visit came to an end, the air around was vey pleasant as her son said goodbye to his newly acquired friends. She was at ease to take a breathe in the wheelhouse, and merely enjoyed watching Ethan talk excitedly to Joffrey who watched his older brother intently. He still didn't understand much other than peoples tone and how loud they were. She decided to rest her eyes for a few moments, just a few.
For what only seemed to feel like seconds, her eyes snapped open. She found what woke her as a nervous looking Tryion. Before she could say anything there was the sound of a blast as the wheelhouse turned and toppled. When she was able to situate her spinning mind, as she realized the wheelhouse had completely been turned on its head. Joffrey was crying but as she turned her head saw Ethan who had a small cut on his forehead holding him and tried to calm him. She looked out the burnt hold in the wood. In one side she saw something that made her eyes widen in fear. She saw fires that seemed to box them in as five men in large saggy hooded robes. She saw some of the guards strewed on the ground dead. She in a fast attempt to save her children, she grabbed her brothers collar.
"You are going to protect my sons and try to get away as far as you can. Don't you dare disagree and go!" She seethed through her teeth, partly not giving him a choice as she opened the opposite side of the wheelhouse away from the attackers. As soon as it closed she opened the door facing the men and gaining their attention.
"Ahh, You must be the beautiful Queen Cersei." The mans face unnerved her, but didn't show it. His completion looked almost as if he was rotted for lack of a better word. His voice however surprised her as if he sounded well spoken. What stood out most to her about the man was his almost glowing eyes. He smiled in a almost smug sadistic way. "Might I inquire the whereabouts of your son?" Cersei tried her hardest to not react as she felt almost like she couldn't breathe.
"He's not here, we decided to leave him back in Winterfell." She could see out of the corner of her eye Robert and Jamie with several Kings-guard and soldiers. Two soldiers and Kings-guard rushed forward charging through the fire. When all of a sudden the fire seemed to grow larger and held them as they screamed in agony and reduced to ash. Sir Barristan and the other soldiers had to hold Robert and Jamie back lest they suffered the same fate.
"Now, now my dear queen…" He thrusted his hand to his left as she saw the air ripple for a moment and a torrent of air. She looked to the direction and saw Tryion flung into the air before hitting a tree with a audible crack heard through the air. "…You shouldn't lie." He gave a sinister vile smile.
"Uncle!" Ethan ran to his fallen uncle as the mans evil smile only grew. He gestured to one of the men near and he began to walk toward the two. Cersei was about to run only to protect him as much as she could but was suddenly hit by the same thing as Tryion. As her back slammed against the wheelhouse, the air in her lungs left her unable to breathe as she watched the man get closer before grabbing Ethan. He struggled against the mans grip but due to his miniscule strength. He was handed off to the leader as he held a knife to Ethan's throat making him stop immediately. He didn't move as he looked at his mother scared. Before anything else could happen the man in the back seemingly keeping the fire up fell over as a spear had been thrown at and through him by Robert. The fire died down distracting the man for a moment as Ethan tried to get a away and pushed up the mans arm that held the knife as it connected and slashed the mans face and eye. He yelled out but then grabbed tightly to Ethan's ebony hair making him cry out as he was pulled back.
"Heh, heh ha, geh ha HA HA HA! Good try young prince but now I think a fitting punishment is needed." His grin filled with malice as he slowly brought the knife across Ethan's cheek, eye and brow. Ethan crying out in pain as he bit down hard on the mans hand who didn't seem to care. " As well as you your grace, kill her." Jamie immediately cried out and Robert had to stop him from trying to go through the fire that was slowly dying away but still active. The man whom brought Ethan over slowly walked over to Cersei as she still tried to breathe. All she could see as Ethan struggled at the mans hold and was yelling to her. She saw the shadow of the man as he lifted up his sword and a manic grin on his face. He stopped all at once as his midsection suddenly burst with blood as the head of a spear went through it. The man dropped his sword and to his knees revealing Tryion holding the spear in his hand and under his armpit as it looked like his other arm was broken, and a cut across his face as well as cuts all over his clothes. It seemed the blast of air did more than push him. He let go and do his best to pick up the fallen sword before swinging it with all his might and cutting half way through the mans neck. At this point the fire walls had died down completely. The no alone leader of the men once again had his blade to Ethan's neck, He tilted his head to be able to see all the angered men that were slowly moving in toward him. Jamie and Robert both looking like they wanted to tear the man apart with their bare hands. The man was moving backward as Cersei noticed the man was nearing the nearby cliff side his grin never leaving his bleeding face. Her mind began to panic as she tried to speak but her lungs didn't let her. She then saw, as they all saw the sick smile grow cruel on the mans face.
"You will all one day feel the might and the sweet release of death, AND SALVATION!" He then flung himself off the cliff as time seemed to slow down. Cersei letting out a pleading scream as she feebly stretched out her arm as if to try and reach him. She could do nothing as she saw her son do over the cliff and out of her sight. Her mind seemed to shut down after that moment, tears she didn't even realize she was shedding ran down her face. It was only after Joffrey was given to her as it turned out Ethan had him hide in a small nook in the rock they were hiding behind. They searched everywhere, but there was no sign of the man or Ethan. Upon hearing the news Lord Stark contributed to the search, but not even with the entirety of their force, they failed. Not even their bodies could be found, and Cersei didn't know if it was better. Would seeing her sons only cause her to grieve more, or give her closure.
The whole royal party had returned to kings-landing with sullen looks and faded tear marked faces. The whole city seemed to go silent for even the shortest amount of time. In their times of grief the king and queen each sought out comfort, but not from each other. The drowning his sorrows in wine and whores, while the queen from her twin.
The years then went by as if nothing happened, as if Ethan hadn't existed. Many of the smallfolk seemed to have forgotten him, but not all. Robert had decided to hold a tourney every year on Ethan's nameday. Those who still remembered it gave their silent condolences. It was the same for many years, though Cersei had given birth to two more of her children. They were Jamie's and that made her happy, and she loved her children with all of her heart. There was always a hole in it that she felt would never be healed. Come again another year, and another nameday she'd be without her black lion. That year he would have been nine and ten.
Cersei was partly paying attention to the festivities, enough to give comments but nothing too substantial. That was until the melee were the masked man whom won the archery decisively took down the mountain. She paid much more attention to the joust, she always even if silently cheered for Jamie. She rose from her seat in shock when it was Jamie whom was unseated from his horse. After the man had helped Jamie to his feet, the masked man was given the crown of beauty. When he came in front of the royal booth he spoke for the first time.
" I wish to crown Queen Cersei." His voice was muffled and something about it seemed familiar. However Cersei didn't fully pay attention as surprise had sweep through the crowd. When Robert asked why, the man said his words till the last one struck. Mother. When he removed his helmet letting loose shaggy black hair, he looked up and her emerald eyes met with a single eye of wildfire. Her mind raced, trying to tell her it was some trick. She had stood from her seat. Her mind told her this was some scum lying to her to gain something. She walked down the stairs, never taking her eyes off the one of green fire and the other marred by a scar. She would have this man killed for the insult toward her. She stopped and saw the face before her. He had stubble that at a distance was not noticeable. She raised her hand but could not bring herself to strike him.
"Ethan?" He smiled at her, a smile that made her heart skip a beat as her eyes grew misty. All he did was nod as Cersei self control broke as she lunged at him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held him tightly. She held him tightly never letting go as she feared he would disappear into smoke if she did. Robert had come down as well moving like he had not for many years. When he came close he held Ethan's shoulder and looked him square in the face as he saw his own in the young man's. He felt tears grow in his own eyes as he pulled both Ethan and Cersei into his embrace. The latter not caring only focusing on holding the former.
After Jon Arryn dismissed the crowd the royal family all went up to the Red Keep. When they were all settled in a room Ethan removed most of his armor except his greaves. As soon as he sat down he got as big as an embrace Tryion could give due to his stature. Cersei saw her little brother she once hated to such a extreme degree. She knew that even to that day he blamed himself, he told her once that he was willing to leave all of Westeros if she asked for failing her. Any other time she would had jumped at the chance, but she didn't. She could tell it tore him apart inside about Ethan, but it also was due to a simple fact. Even though they hated each other to no end, he still saved her. It was something that she doubted she could say she could ever do. It was thanks to that moment that Cersei found that she could no longer hate Tryion.
He cleared his throat as he let go of Ethan and brought his hand up like he was wiping his brow but subtly wiped his eyes. Tommen and Myrcella didn't know what to do by stayed by their mother, while Joffrey scowled and leaned against the wall.
"Gods boy, where have you been?" Robert asked breaking the brief silence.
"Well, I'm not very sure where to begin. I have to say honestly, up until about a year or so ago my earliest memory was waking up on a beach." Cersei saw a sad smile on her sons face. " The land I was in was called Gransys, I don't think I could show where it was on a map, as I'm not so sure myself. The place I woke up in was a simple fishing village with good kind people. The first year there I didn't know what to do. I didn't know who I was beside my first name, and whatever basic skills I had. They gave me my own home, fed me and treated me like any other of their own. For a few long many years I was just a fishermen and a sailor." Joffrey had scoffed at that but still kept his mouth shut. " I'd go into more but I really would like to get some rest." Robert nodded before he gave Ethan another hug.
" You'll tell me more tomorrow." Ethan smiled and nodded as one but one everyone left, Tommen and Myrcella giving short bows and telling him they hoped to talk more soon. As Cersei hugged her son one more time.
"Joffrey, could you wait a moment I want to talk to you." Joffrey stopped before stepping back into the room, He held the door for Cersei as she stepped out. She didn't leave of course, she leaned close as she listened.
" What do you want?" She could hear the frustration in Joffrey's voice.
" I wanted to talk to my little brother. The last time I saw you before today was when I told you to hide in the nook and cover your ears and eyes." She heard Ethan let out a sigh. "I'm….I'm not looking for a throne, any throne. It may had been years ago but You've been raised to be ready for the responsibility ever since I was gone." She heard footsteps. " I just wanted my family back, to see my little brother again.
" Well you have, now go back to your pitiful fishing village." Before another word was said Cersei backed up as the door slammed open and Joffrey stormed off down the hallway. He hadn't even noticed his mother off to the side as he went off. She looked back into the room and saw the look of hurt on Ethan's face and like Joffrey's words wounded him. He just walked over to a chair and sat, letting out a breath as he tilted his head back and stared at the ceiling. Cersei decided to leave him be as she quietly walked away. She felt frustrated at Joffrey but couldn't bring herself to go yell at him. She felt conflicted and didn't know what she should do.
She thought about Maggy the Frog, and the words told to her.
"You have three questions you can ask, but two paths ahead of you." This statement had perplexed the young girl whom entered the shack in the woods. Her first question was the most important one that made her seek out the witch. Would she marry Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, would she be queen?
"You will not marry the prince, you'll marry the king. That is until there is a new king, one you will be proud to see, but will be dead before you do."
She got her answer, and she didn't like it as the witch said she wouldn't. She then asked the second question in her mind. Would she have children, she worried many times if she would die giving birth as her mother did.
"He will have twenty and one, you will have four" That didn't make sense to her and was ready to protest when she suddenly saw Maggy's eyes brighten as she saw the women's features almost smoothen. She still kept her odd complexions color and tiredness, but her hair seemed to gain color. The witch now seemed to hold a odd beauty to her now. A smile came across her face as she looked at her once withered hand. "Hmmmm, curious…" She then looked at Cersei once more, she still scowled at her but it was less given with seething contempt. "…I see three crowns of gold but their fates unclear. One crown dark as a starless night, but eyes bright like wildfire. They burn with fury, and roar like beasts of red and gold." Cersei was speechless and felt frozen in place. " Twice by dragon and once by wolf will a heart be stolen. Together as one that will stand against a cold storm." As she spoke those words she wrote something and let it dry. She stood as she rolled the paper and tied it in a simple string before taking Cersei's hand. "Read it when you need to focus your thoughts, perhaps sing it like a lullaby. But always keep it, be it on this paper or in your thoughts." Cersei simply nodded as she was ushered out of the hut.
She looked over the city and bay as she sipped her wine. She brought out a small aged piece of paper and hummed.
Please comment what you think and any questions you have.
Chapter Three: Winters greetings
It had been six months since Ethan had revealed himself to the Seven Kingdoms. One month since Jon Arryn's death, currently the royal Family and company were making their way toward Winterfell. His Father had explained to him he planned on requesting Lord Eddard Stark to be his new Hand to the king. Ethan and his father had been having ups and downs with each other as of late. From Ethan's annoyance at his Father's whoring, which has lessened quite a bit. Much to Cersei's pride to Robert's annoyance that every time he argued something with his son would always be the one to come out on top in the argument. This both made Robert proud and annoyed at the same time at how much his son stood his ground.
When Ethan had talked to his mother for her to explain for his fathers behavior. She with a reluctant sigh at the time told him of his fathers inability to move on about his previous betrothed. Although Ethan could understand the feeling of lost, he knew what was is the past couldn't be changed. That though didn't stop him from trying to fix the future.
Robert to the surprise of Cersei had agreed at the request of Ethan to visit Lyanna Stark's grave after they had settled in. Robert begrudgingly agreed much to Ethan's thankfulness as well as Cersei's. As they traveled Ethan offered to meet up with his uncle Tyrion to make sure he found Winterfell without being set upon by bandits. He promised to stay inconspicuous and meet back up with them before they arrived to meet the Stark's.
As he made his quick farewells which consisted of his mother making sure he had enough to defend himself with on person. After the tourney had full confidence in her son not needing a sworn sword with him. He having already told he was looking for those he felt could have his back and met his standards. A hug from Tommen and Myrcella, and as usual the barely acknowledging scowl from Joffrey. He knew what Joffrey thought and said about him, though wouldn't complain so much publicly unless it was just servants or the Hound.
Though something that the whole royal family and the retainers could all agree on. It was that as soon as they returned to the Red Keep, they were all going to personally dismantle and burn the wheelhouse. They all agreed that it seemed fitting punishment to the constantly breaking hunk of wood. It had to be repaired several times on the trip to the north.
"Hello Uncle." Tyrion raising a eyebrow at his nephews appearance to arriving before himself to the outskirts of Winterfell. He was surprised since he had left to go on ahead , as he noticed that the horse didn't even look tired.
"Hello Dear nephew, may I ask why your here and not with the rest of our family?" Ethan gave the man a sad smile knowing his uncle, who didn't show it was a sadden man.
"I'm here to help you uncle..." He raised a hand to stop Tyrion from saying something. "...Please, just follow me and I'll explain." Tyrion did just that, knowing that Ethan had something serious to tell him. Before Ethan was kidnapped the uncle he was probably closest with was Tyrion followed by Stannis. He taught even at a young age Ethan the game of thrones, something that Ethan had told Tryion helped him greatly within the court of the duke in Gransys. They walked under the cover of hoods, to hide their faces with the excuse of fending of the cold. They came upon a small yard farm filled with many different foods and herbs it looked well kept even in the cold weather.
Tyrion watched as Ethan walked up to the door of the humble home and knocked on the door. A couple moments later a boy looking the age of sixteen answered the door, when he saw Ethan a huge grin grew on his face and two had a quick embrace. Tyrion was surprised as he saw that the boy had dark golden hair and Two different eyes, the right was blue and slightly covered by the boys bangs. While making no real effort to cover it, the boys other eye was a emerald green. When you boy looked toward him his smile fell into a line. Tryion merely shrugging it off like others that looked at him.
"Is that him?" He heard the boy whisper to Ethan, all he did was nod as the boy beckoned them in.
"What's your name?" Tyrion asked his curiosity growing as to why his nephew brought him here. He saw the boy flinch slightly not exactly looking at him, but not in spite to ridicule him. The boy took a deep breathe as he then looked Tyrion straight in the eye.
"My names Tytos, and that is my Twin sister Joanna" He said pointing behind Tyrion, the names making his eyes widen in shock. When he turned he saw a girl same age as the boy. She had long golden hair that reached her mid-back and green eyes that matched her brothers lone one. Tryion felt as if he was looking at the living painting of his mother.
"Ethan...who are these two?" He looked toward his nephew as he felt his hand on his shoulder. Acting like a lifeline as he felt a large need to run.
"These are my Cousins, your legitimate children between you and Auntie" Tyrion looked at him in shock as his sharp mind answered his unasked question. He was about try and leave when he heard the door open and the sound of a woman's hum. A hum he knew and even to this day yearned to hear again. He turned as he came face to face with once wife Tysha. When she saw him her eyes widened before she brought her hands to her mouth. "Uncle, Aunt Tysha wasn't a whore bought by uncle Jamie. You did save her that day, but due to grandfathers inability to move on he had Jamie lie to you and made her...well you know the rest." He paused before he said one more thing. "Talk to them for at least five minutes, I'll wait outside."
As Ethan went out the door he let out a tired sigh as he leaned against the wall of the house. He was disgusted by what his Grandfather had done to his aunt. He'd never forgive what he did, but while not agreeing he understood why. Despite what he showed to most people be, he was able to see much regret in the eyes of Tywin. Behind the cold steely gaze he could see the man that wanted to be proud and love his children. Tytos and Joanna said they wanted to meet the man before they judged him fully, and to see if he was different than the man known years ago.
"So...this is where you've been?" He asked as he hesitantly sat down. He couldn't meet her eyes due to his confusion, and anger toward his father, his brother and himself. Tysha didn't need to ask what he was thinking as they both knew how smart his was.
"We lived in Essos for a long time, till one day last year Ethan came. He called us family and asked us if we wanted to come home." She made a sad smile as she wiped her eyes. He looked at her still seeing the beautiful woman he fell in love with on that country road. He hesitantly at first reached across the table before manning up and grasped her hand in his own. She looked at him with a smile that made his heart race in the way only hers could. He looked over and saw that the twins were waiting in the other room giving them some privacy.
"I shocked to see that they aren't outright disgusted by my presence."
"I never gave them reason to, what happened wasn't your fault." Tyrion looked back at her before looking at his...children again. "Ethan explained that since they were conceived during our marriage, they aren't bastard's."
"Well then, I certainly have somethings to catch up on and...make up for. Both in lost time and to you and them." As he said that Joanna came into the room and hugged him. At this he froze up and for one of the few time's in his life, didn't know how to react. Especially when he heard a faint whisper of 'papa' from his daughter. When he looked over at Tytos he saw him smiling at his sister before walking toward them and held out a hand to his father. Tyrion took it with a smile and shook it.
Later in the evening both Tyrion and Ethan were sat down after dinner. They discussed how he had come upon Tysha and the twins. Though leaving out more fantastical parts out, and Tryion knowing that his nephew was leaving things out. Ethan explained that he had arrived in Essos from Gransys after a long journey, and that since regaining his memory had remembered the story of Tysha from him. While he traveled to aquatint himself with the lands and gather info on what went on in the lands till he had found her. He wanted to know her side of things, though in truth his pawns helped him find her but felt he could tell his uncle later of the pawns. He explained that after gathering more information it wasn't hard to see that Tywin would have killed her and Tyrion had she not done what he said. Also that it was Jamie that had told Tywin of Tysha since it was his who told Tyrion she was a whore he bought. Ethan saw a pattern within these lands many problems seemed to stem from people in power who couldn't learn to let go of the past. Tyrion accepted this explanation with a undertone he wanted to know the rest at a later date. After that they both retired to bed, Tyrion going to Tysha's at her request to sleep beside her. Ethan walked toward his room but left out the door to visit a good friend he left the last time he was in Winterfell.
When the Royal company was nearing Winterfell, but having stopped due to a wheel problem. Many were surprised to see Tyrion had come back with Ethan, Jamie had asked his brother why only getting a very well done fake smile that only Ethan could see through telling Jamie he'll explain later. After a quick bath Ethan got dressed in a tunic he had made in own personal style of a mix of many things. It consisted of a dark red tunic that reached just above his knee's that had simple golden accents. Simple black swordsman trousers with dark and sturdy thin leather boots. Over the tunic a black with red accents leather jerkin he had a few made of from the skin of hell hound pelts he had collected from his travels in Gransys. They were durable enough to protect from a slash of a blade and kept you warm while also not overheating you in warm weather. It reached to his knees as it opened from the middle, and had splits at the sides and back allowing for better mobility. Beside his Iron bracers he also had a left sided shoulder cape that reached the back of his knees, it was also made from the hell hound leather. Black on top while the underside was crimson, the top was accentuated with the hell hounds black fur that covered the left shoulder down and narrowing off to the mid back.
He tightened his belt securing his swords scabbard to his left hip. Also on the back of his hip in a cross sheathe placed his dual daggers, though smaller than what he was use to. They were there if needed. The daggers hidden behind the cape as the hand an a half hilt stuck out ready as he climbed onto his horse.
Robert had gotten Joffrey to get on a horse himself as they rode into Winterfell they were met with the sight of the Stark family, minus Jon Snow as he was off to the side with Hodor by the stables being Ned Stark's bastard. He saw Lord and Lady Stark at the head of the line to greet the royal family. As Ethan looked down the line he noticed there were many stares on himself. Robb Ned's eldest, looking as if trying to size Ethan up, next were the Twin Stark girls Sansa the elder twin and Arya both beautiful in their own right but in each they're own style.
Sansa seeming to be more of what would be considered a "proper" lady, while Arya was more worn in and natural. Both girls the same age as Joffrey being the age of sixteen, Arya looked at Ethan briefly before looking over everyone else. While Sansa was mainly staring at Joffrey and Ethan looking as if not knowing who to see before looking at her feet. Next was Bran who seemed torn between looking at Ethan or Sir Barristan causes both the lost prince and the Kings-guard to chuckle. Last was Rickon who was the youngest as he nervously held onto his dire-wolf, whom nudged him as support.
As Robert walked over to Ned after getting off the horse, he held a scowl. Some were worried thinking the king was annoyed with something, though those not worried were most of the adults.
"You got fat." The king simply stated as everyone looked at the man confused as Lord Stark raised a eyebrow as he looked down at the kings portly stomach. Ethan and Tyrion holding in their chuckles before the king and warden of the north couldn't hold back their own laughter opening up for others to laugh as well as the two embraced. "Ned Stark! Where have you been in more than nine years." He asked in more of a rhetorical question.
"Guarding the North for you my King, it is yours." After a nod Robert moved down a line giving a hug to Catelyn, addressing each of the Stark's. He froze for a moment when he got to Arya. He felt as if he saw a ghost before giving her a brief smile and looking to Ned telling him that Sansa and Arya were quite the Beauty's making Sansa blush close to her hair color and Arya a small blush herself.
"Ned!..."Cersei and Ned both looked at Robert as he stopped himself. "...Show us where we'll be staying. After were settled we have much to discuss." Ned himself was surprised but kept it low key. As Robert and Ned went in the opposite direction of the crypts, Cersei gained a small warm smile. Ethan after greeting Catelyn and getting a hug from her she expressed how happy her and Ned were that he was safe. She told him of how Ned wanted to tell him how sorry he was for failing in protecting him in the north that day. Catelyn thankfully convinced Ned not to telling him it wasn't his fault as he couldn't control everything that happened in the north. Ethan then met the Stark boy's he gave Robb a hard handshake as he did the same to him.
"If I remember correctly when I was here last officially I remember always getting into fights with his one kid a little younger than me."
"I remember some older kid who would get into all sorts of trouble, dragged me along with him" The two smirked as they both chuckled slightly. He crouched down to Bran's level and pointed behind himself.
"You know, I bet Sir Selmy wouldn't mind it if you went and talked to him" Ethan watched as Bran gained a excited look before giving a quick bow and ran over to the Kings-guard. Ethan then turned to Rickon as he saw the boy was nervous. Ethan gave the Dire-wolf a small scratching behind the ear. "So what is his name?" Rickon looked at his feet before mumbling.
"Shaggy Dog" The boy looked embarrassed before Ethan gave him a smile.
"That's a good name, Straightforward. I have to agree, he is quite shaggy. He'll look like one of the biggest when he's older I bet" He said earning a small smile from the boy.
"Ethan!" A voice yelled making the said prince freeze and look very nervous. He quickly stood up and turned around coming face to face with a scowling Arya. Everyone was confused at what was going on just before Arya then tackled the young man sending them both to the ground. "You say your leaving but will be back soon, and don't show your face again for three months, not even sending a raven!" She yelled into his face making many afraid she was about to throttle him as she held his collar lifting his head close. The lost prince then let out a sigh before giving a apologetic smile.
"Your right, don't worry won't happen again" She gave a satisfied smirk before getting up and simply dusting herself off.
"Good." She pulled him up to his feet while a lot of people around them were looking with a mixture of shock and confusion. Ethan then cleared his throat getting everyone's attention.
"I spent sometime in Winterfell before revealing myself at the Tourney, I had become friends with Arya. She didn't know who I was till I told her and asked her not to tell anyone." He looked over at Jon whom was trying to contain his laughter since he had met and became friend's with Ethan as well. What he also left out was that in exchange for her silence he taught Arya some sword skills.
Though both of them wont admit it, Ethan and Arya held very strong feelings for the other. Something both Robert and Ned could see even from afar, Robert himself now changing some of his original plans he had previously made.
Please comment what you think and any questions you have.
Chapter four: Lion's, Stag's, Wolves oh my!
After what had happened in the courtyard Ethan and Arya where both pulled aside by each of their mothers. Cersei asking Jamie to watch Tommen, Myrcella and Joffrey, while Catelyn had Robb handle showing them to they're quarters. Most in the courtyard confused and still perplexed at the fact that Arya had basically attacked the prince whom was completely fine with it. Tryion who was trying to contain his laughter at the interaction and planned to mercilessly tease his nephew about it later. Sansa was aghast at how her twin acted toward a member of the royal family. Jon whom was other by the stables was much like the short Lannister and trying to contain his laughter. Joffrey however was anything but happy but tried his best not to show it. He was able to restrict his expression for a scowl as he watched is so called "brother" have everyone including his mother's attention. Despite that he kept his smarmy smile as he relished that he was still the crown prince.
When they were in private the two mother's were giving their children a look that meant one word.
"Explain." They both stated, giving the other a small smile before going back to a shared questioning scowl to their children. Cersei scowling at Arya for having the audacity to hit and lunge at her son. Catelyn was also eyeing Arya for her actions toward the prince, but was still mainly curious overall due to the princes reaction to her daughter's action. A thought that came to Cersei's mind as well but less so. Ethan gave Arya a shrug as the latter whom nudged him with her arm urging him to talk, Ethan then let out a sigh and looked toward the mother's.
"Alright, in order to explain fully I need you both to sit down." Ethan took a deep breathe as he looked as though he was thinking. "As I told you mother, I had traveled around Westeros for about a year and a half. Part of that time was spent in the north, and Winterfell." This brought a look of shock to Catelyn's face.
"I didn't know he was a prince until we got the raven about his sudden return." Arya looked at the black haired prince with a vey annoyed scowl. "Something he failed to mention at the time."
"Well…" Ethan started to say before he got a hand put over his mouth by Arya.
" On top of that you just disappear with just a note, and don't bother even sending a raven for seven months." Arya showed she was more annoyed that he hadn't sent her a letter than not telling her he was the lands lost prince. Ethan's expression softened as under Arya's hard stony gaze was the hurt she was feeling. She removed her hand from his mouth before crossing her arms. "Also Neema's been rowdy after you left her up north." This raised the brows of the older women at the name as the name raised many questions.
"Who actually is Neema, Ethan?" Cersei looked at her son hoping that her son had not followed in the footsteps of his father's "hobby".
"Neema is my...I guess the right term is pet, but she dislikes that. I'd just say that I've had she ever since I was a small and had lived in Cassardis for a short time." He spoke somewhat reluctantly as he was nervous and was carefully trying to choose his next words. "When I was a young boy, I found a newborn lion cub. She looked at me and I did the only thing I could think of. I took her home and she became my closest friend." Cersei was conflicted on what to feel. Was she terrified at the danger her son put himself in, or proud of his kind nature. " She became a partner of sorts for my in hunting and was able to take down the odd shark that swam in when I would fish."
"Where is Neema your grace?" Catelyn was wondering how this involved her daughter but decided to see where it went. Also with the fact that there was a Lion around near Winterfell.
"It would be easier to show you" They all left the room the two older women following Ethan and Arya to the stables. "Its a little ways away." They rode till they came to a abandoned but well kept together barn. It was around the edges of the forest and by a nearby lake, after they got of the horses Ethan was about to knock.
'Come in Little one. I may be annoyed at not letting me come with you, but I'm happy to see you' He let out a sigh as his shoulders lax. He lowered his hand and smile much to the confusion of Cersei and Catelyn.
"Good to know that your nose is adjusting" Cersei and Catelyn where confused as Ethan spoke as if he spoke to someone. Ethan slowly opened the barn door as he looked in and made a gesture. "Well come on."
'Easy Little one, I don't want to scare them.' Cersei and Catelyn stood there straight as then heard the padding footsteps of something moving. Slowly out the barn making the mother's eyes widen a huge lioness. The top Ethan's head just above Neema's nose and as long as two horses from the base of her neck to the base of her tail alone. Neema looked at the two women before bowing her head and back up to look at them. Cersei didn't know what to feel at this sight, afraid of the large creature or to be amazed. Catelyn was in the same boat and could slightly imagine how the queen was feeling when her boys and husband had brought home the wolf pups.
"H-how is this possible?" Cersei asked as she looked at her son as he scratched behind the Neema's ear. This action earn a small purr and nuzzling from her.
"In the land of Gransys, where I was lived, there are many beasts and creatures. Neema's kind you could say were ones called Chimera's. but she was what you could say was an odd case. The average Chimera has three head's. A lion's, a Goat's and a Snake's, a mind split into three. She seemed to be born with just the shape of a lion, and her mind more focused and single. She was abandoned, my guess for not smelling as she was suppose to." Neema turned her head to and rubbed her head against Ethan's chest. "She would have died of hunger and cold a few days after being born had it not been for me. Ever since we've shared a bond and have fought by each other's side many time's and for a long time my only family." Cersei looked at her son and saw his smile towards Neema. She saw the love he held for the lion, she stepped forward and looked the lioness in the eyes, eye's that were deep grey with hints of red and green within them, and her fur was a light slightly dull gold but nothing as to show age.
'Thank you for being there for my son when I could not, and him not fully knowing it, acting as a symbol of where he came from.' Cersei said almost to herself but was surprised when Neema gave Cersei a small bow of her large head as if thanking her for her words.
"I'm still not seeing as to how my Daughter plays into this" Catelyn chimed in as they moment ended. Everyone turned toward Arya who let out a nervous chuckle before being nudged by Neema to look toward her mother.
"About a year ago I started sneaking out to practice swords, and came here to do it. That was until one day when I came I literally ran into Ethan. He had decided to stay at this barn during his time exploring the north. I had also met Neema when I took a nap on what I thought was a pile of fur's. Which resulted in me running and into Ethan when I found out it wasn't."
"To which I was black mailed into teaching her swordplay in exchange for not revealing Neema." He gave the Stark girl a small smile, which she returned. "She's quite the natural with a Rapier blade" He went to the inside of the door of the barn and pulled something from the wall revealing a long, thin sword with a blade that looked to be somewhere between a longsword and an arming sword. The guard was a rounded shell like cup that encompassed some of the hand. Before Catelyn could reprimand her daughter, the prince sheathed the blade. "I still don't understand this land being against women fighting. One of the best swordsmen I knew back in Gransys was a noblewoman. I've fought alongside many allies, and never cared what gender they were." This made Cersei raise a brow surprised, while Catelyn could see he was telling the truth.
"Now, The biggest matter is...how do we explain Neema to father?" This made Ethan adopt a thinking pose. It was a few minutes before it looked like something dawned on him. "We could have Neema present a wild boar she killed for him." He said with a big grin earning a bout of laughter from his mother as they both knew how much the man loved boar.
"That seems like a excellent idea, how cleanly can she make a kill?"
" Well she could easily break a boar's neck with a pounce, or a bite to the jugular. She'll try to do the former, okay?" He asked he lioness before she them made a low growl before leaping into the wooded forest.
As they waited for her to come back Ethan and Cersei recounted to the Stark's of his part in the Tourney. Arya loved it and ate up every part, While Catelyn was surprised thinking some of the details were only rumors she heard. The younger of the four even deciding to have a short spar. Arya having gone into the barn and grabbing some spare clothes left in the barn. Along with some practice swords she'd gotten from inside. The two at first just eyed one another as they stepped in a circle parallel to each other. They struck at the other with precise thrusts and parries. Although it could be seen that the more experienced and powerful was Ethan, Arya was quicker and a smaller target. Catelyn and Cersei couldn't help but be impressed by the spar as their children almost moved as if they were dancing with one another as well as fighting. After a short while Neema had come back with a dead boar by the scruff of its neck and not a wound in sight on it. Ethan decided to ride Neema the way back and asked Arya if she wanted to as well, which was received and returned with a hearty and quick yes. The mother's guiding the other two unused horses chuckled at the two on Neema with knowing smiles at how Arya wrapped her arms around Ethan's waist.
To say that the king of the seven kingdoms reaction to Neema was unexpected, is like saying someone just found out the sky was blue...confusing. Robert was currently laughing his ass off at the sight before him. His son riding a giant lion presenting him with a wild boar like a house cat bringing in a mouse. He had finally managed to stop laughing as Ethan explained who Neema was.
"Well son, you've managed to make a already good day better." Ethan got off of Neema as she set the boar down by the cooks. Much to the ire of Joffrey who watched from a window as he fumed at something else Ethan accomplished. He would never consider him sibling all Joffrey saw was a bastard usurper. His mind thinking back to before his father named Ethan the crown prince and at the time felt he needed to teach him who was in charge.
It had been a fortnight since the tourney, Joffrey looking at who everyone told him was his long lost brother. He smirked as he looked at Ethan, thinking him lower than dirt as Joffrey was the crown prince while he wasn't. He walked into kennels seeing that Ethan was doing some cleaning before feeding the dogs.
"Fitting you'd be here, doing task's meant for lowly peasants." Joffrey said trying to get a rise out of him, getting angry as he saw Ethan petting one of the hound's. "Giving it a feel up before going to bed? " He taunted with a sneer before scowling as his words showed to cause no reaction. As Ethan finished he looked at Joffrey with a expression that made the blonde prince angry. A look of disappointment, it wasn't a expression he got often from people. Ethan didn't say anything except a sigh that matched his expression as he walked past. Joffrey was about to backhand the black haired young man, but was met with nothing but air.
Ethan was already at the door of the kennels and walked away.
The next morning Ethan had woken up in the stables resting against Neema's side. He stretched as he got up giving her a good scratch around her ear as she snored contently. He smiled as he thought back to the times they made camp in their journey. He made his way to his room in the early morning and took a brief bath before changing his clothes to white tunic and black jerkin, trousers and boots. He wore his bracers, and smiled content at the metal. He strapped his sword to his waist before he exited the room. He naturally got up in the morning due to his life as a fishermen back in Gransys. As he entered the court yard to get some fresh air he came upon Theon Greyjoy the Stark's Ward.
"Morning...I'm surprised your royal highness is up so early" He said with a surprised and partly sarcastic tone. Ethan couldn't suppress a chuckle as he let out a laugh. Theon became confused at the princes reaction to his statement, not knowing if he should be insulted or not.
"Heh...sorry, it's just you reminded me of a old friend of mine who said that to me the first time I managed to get up on my own before heading out for the mornings catch. Theon looked at him confused at what he meant, before he cleared his throat. "After I disappeared from Westeros, I was raised in a fishing village most of my life." Theon looked at him with a bit of surprise, before he remembered that the prince had been kidnapped when he was six.
"So you know your way around a ship eh?" The Iron born boy said with his usual smirk.
" I'd be a shit fishermen if I didn't. " The two shared a laugh before they decided to see what was available in the kitchens before the rest of the house hold woke.
After everyone had broken their fast and went on with their day, Sir Rodrik the master of arms of Winterfell called for the boys and young men to spar. The first two were Bran and Tommen, both bundled up in cushioned protective gear. The sight much to the two boys embarrassment, gained awes and coos from the female's around. The older males chuckling at the younger being called cute and adorable.
The two did as well as they could at their age, but Ethan was happy to see he could keep up with Bran. When he first taught his little brother, the poor boy was so nervous. He was happy as he saw the grin on Tommen's face when he ran over.
"How'd I do?" He looked up at Ethan with his big eyes, and grinned as he saw his brother smirk.
"You did great, both you and Bran will be skilled swordsmen in no time" His younger brother beamed at him before giving him a tight hug. After he helped Tommen out of the gear Ethan found himself in the sparring ring with Robb. The Winterfell heir charged him as Ethan blocked him strikes, before countering some strikes, and hitting back others where he stopped just short making Robb move to block before, leaving him wide open where Ethan struck.
He did the same with Theon, the Ironborn thinking he knew how to deal with Ethan. But he was thrown for a loop when Ethan used the practice sword in his left hand but switching in and out of a reverse grip on the handle.
He also sparred with Jon, much to Rodrik's confusion to Ethan that he didn't care that Jon was a bastard. The spar was a good one as the two kept up with each other quite well , and Jon managing to land a few blows on Ethan. They both a one point turned to cheering when they saw Arya and Robb urging them both on. When it was Joffrey's turn against Robb and Theon, ignoring Jon not wanting anything to do with him, he was beaten with ease, the golden prince getting angry about this grew a smug smile.
"Sir Rodrik, I grow tired of using toys, I say we use live steel." He said with a Malice filled grin. Rodrik was about to deny the prince when Ethan spoke.
"Sir Rodrik, allow me to spar with him , but with blades you provide." The old knight thought for a moment before nodding. He saw how Ethan carried himself and saw a man who knew his way with a weapon.
"I can use my own blade." Joffrey growled,
"Well you need to learn when to adapt Joffrey. When your in a fight, you need to learn to work with what you can get. Sometimes it won't be your own weapon." The two stood in ring both holding simple iron blades. Joffrey charged at Ethan as the latter simply sidestepped the overhead strike, before he slapped the flat of the blade against the formers wrist and then hitting the guard. Joffrey's wrist which tingle from the slap dropped the sword. This went on as Joffrey became more and more angered, his strikes being blocked or parried lazily by Ethan.
"FIGHT ME SERIOUSLY!" He demanded when he threw a heavy swing with his sword toward Ethan's face. Everyone gasped as they saw the path of the blade toward Ethan's head. Those paying attention saw the ebony haired prince's stance change. He ducked under the swing turning and moving his blade to Joffrey's guard. He swept his foot on the ground and hit the inside of the crown prince's foot and knocking him to the ground and the sword up. While Joffrey was on his back, his own sword was in Ethan's other hand as he held both in a cross at Joffrey's neck. He was held firmly in place with Ethan's foot planted on his chest. Joffrey felt very afraid as he saw the seemingly glowing green eye look down at him coldly.
"There, I did" Ethan moved the swords away from Joffrey's neck and stabbing the ground either side of them both. Everyone watched Joffrey run off after slapping Ethan's offered hand away to pull him up. They realized that Ethan had been going easy on the other's. It was something that many around could tell. The Ebony haired prince was not a greenhorn boy, he had seen battle and he has definitely killed before.
Arya wanted to check on Ethan before the feast. She went to knock on the door but saw it was slightly open. She looked in and was surprised by the sight. Most girls would say that due to the fact he was shirtless. Although he could see he was well fit, he eyes were more drawn to the scars that littered his body. Some were thin lines on his arms, others looked like bite marks. There were a few that looked either like claw marks or sword slashes, possibly both. The one she was most curious about was the large one on his chest. It stood out more than the others in its almost white sheen. It looked like the wound at the time would had been deep, and right where his heart would be.
Please let me know what you think, and leave a question if you have one.