THE St. Louis Speakeasy
It is currently Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:36 pm GMT

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 248 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 13, 14, 15, 16, 17  Next
Author Message

Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:17 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm GMT
Posts: 46268
Location: Probably a lab. Wishing I was in bed.
Custom Title: Hey kid.
A kiss, a pledge, a ring so worn its crest was a shadow of what it once was.

In the wake of the somber splendour, servants - their backs bent over brooms - swept up all traces of leftover finery. Hairs from fur and long, oiled tresses mixed with dust still damp from perfume in little funeral pyres. Every trace of the ceremony melted away. All, of course, but the man at its centre.

Even then, his presence had barely more weight than a ghost's. Neither the Wall, nor this merchant's house would move for Johann Stark. Perhaps more hands found their way to hilts in his shadow - but even then. They were a sea and a decade away from the bloody legend that had brought him here. Braavos had its own myths and spectres to entertain them.

His room was situated in the corridor adjacent to the Prince's, and opposite the one held by the Jetherys' wary guard. Not that this seemed to encourage any relationship, bar a cursory nod in the mornings.

The schedule was set, like a well oiled clock. At which the centre was Kathmar Falmari, who held a sedentary and powerful position at the centre of the many-layered halls. Rather than move himself, his officers and advisers constantly eddied and pooled around him like one of his own laden caravans.

The clock's lesser hand was the Prince. He would rise early at the Maester's behest. Every morning, with a cup of untouched sweet tea, we would sit before an old woman with fingers as gnarled as tree twigs to endure powder and paste, and silk woven so tight into his hair he'd miss his breaths when she adjusted them. Dull-eyed with morning sleepiness, the Maester, his guard- and now Stark would watch, without being spoken to, without even being acknowledged. Then, he would unsteadily rise and make his way to Falmari's chambers. Breakfast too was an observed affair; the man eating, spooling honey onto flat cakes and popping fruit after fruit into his plump mouth. Sitting by his side, the boy would stare listlessly at his plate. Occasionally he would offer vague answers when direct questions were put to him. It happened rarely. The same courtesy was never extended to Johann.

Then came his education. He was a poor scholar. Restless and inattentive, the heir to Westeros spent most of his ink doodling, most of his words reshaping same curt offering of - I don't know. Rather than look at his books, he'd prefer to stare out of the window at the strip of blue silk sea. He mangled the names of Westerosi houses, spearing their words with a sharp, black sense of humour. Some days the muscles in his hands and arms would twitch and flicker; his fingers become foreign, tremulous things that refused to obey command and couldn't hold a quill. If it alarmed Johann, the effect had long since been lost on the other two men. The boy himself would simply look on at his mutinous limbs with a sort of dead-eyed mirth as they twitched and spasmed.

Sometimes towards the start of the morning some theorem, or problem, or snippet of history would set a flicker of curiosity in his eyes. Maester unheeded he would bend closer to it, eyes narrowed and face so close he was almost kissing the paper. For a few minutes he would struggle, mouth moving to give voice to his thoughts, hands feverishly writing out the answer or some thoughts and then-- Then-- the pen would stutter, his stream of thought interrupted and, eyes wide, would seek some inspiration from the ceiling, the backs of his hands. Then, accidentally he might meet a set of eyes- the Maester's, the guard's, Johann's- and with a curse fling down the pen and send his chair clattering to the floor.

"I've had enough."

Once the words were uttered, no measure of sweet, flattering words from the Maester could lure him back. As the Prince stalked back to his bedroom, Johann would be able to catch that rare glimpse of the Maester's resignation, and the faint roll of disgust in the eyes of his guard.

Those brief moments of eye contact were the only contact Stark and the boy he was sworn to shared.

If the days were long and monotonous, so too were the nights. It was on his second that Han would first hear the footsteps; stumbling and hurried. As he opened the door to his room he would be met with the sight of the Prince's blue-eyed guard, already leaning outside his own and watching. He stayed Johann with an idle hand, and remarked, bored - 'You'll get used to it.'

In the dim light came a glimpse of the phantom; pale, one hand clapped to his mouth and the other to his stomach. Only for a moment; and then he disappeared in the direction of the latrine. Four, five times between sunset and sunrise. Then, in the morning at the chime of first light, an old woman's gnarled fingers would powder away the dark circles and little traces of blood around his mouth. The Maester's crooked hand would rest over his own, and the rheumatic little eyes grow wet with pity and quiet desperation. And then his master would rise and make the long walk to the breakfast he never ate, trailing the three men like footprints in the sand.

_________________
My incredibly sophisticated minions.


Top
 Profile  
 

Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:16 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Posts: 56509
Location: proper tea is theft
Custom Title: Ahoy!
For the first two days, he sat rigid and upright on the front edge of his seat, as though he were but one more of the maester's pupils, overgrown and perhaps a but slow, but undeniably on his best behavior. He tried to bend his mind to the substance of the lessons, unconvincingly assuring himself that some review might prove beneficial to the rusted mechanisms of his brain. But his focus soon wandered; the lessons were dry, dull, and frankly too elementary to hold his interest. The prince, it seemed, did not have the makings of a scholar. Boredom gnawed at Stark. He found himself wondering traitorously whether the disease hadn't rendered the boy a bit simple as well.

Yet as his attention wandered from the steady drone of the maester's words, it came to settle on Jetherys. The longer he watched, the more he could've sworn he saw flickers of intelligence, of interest, as a gleam of a distant fire on a dark moor. But it would vanish as quickly as it had come, and Stark doubted himself, ascribed it to his own wishful thinking. A lifetime of service to a mercurial idiot was a crueler penance than the one he'd been prepared to pay as Lord Commander. At least here there was food enough to eat, and he felt flickers of remorse as he thought of his men and their hunger, old toothless Tanner softening his hard bread in a tankard of ale. Still, though he ate Falmari's food, he adopted an abstemiousness just subtle enough to escape notice. This was not his home, and complacency not a luxury he could afford.

He was constantly aware of being watched. Only in the absolute privacy of his barren quarters did he run through a few simple swordsman's exercises, the confinements of its modest dimensions an incentive to greater precision, absolute control. He paced its perimeter and counted his steps. He slept restlessly, despite his bone-weariness in the aftermath of the journey. Now more than ever, he felt, he could not afford to relax his guard. And on the second night he was jolted from sleep by the slap of running footsteps. Bolting from his bed in the still-unfamiliar darkness, sword in hand, he tore open his door and was met only with the bemused apathy of the guard.

The next morning, captive audience to the prince's grooming, he was unable to maintain his usual sentry's posture and stoic soldier's mask. Instead, he slumped sideways, one elbow on the arm of the chair, head propped on his hand so that the fingers obscured his mouth. His brow was marked by a slight furrow, eyes flickering from the prince's face to the weathered hands of the crone who tended him.

_________________
Image
"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


Top
 Profile  
 

Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:04 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm GMT
Posts: 46268
Location: Probably a lab. Wishing I was in bed.
Custom Title: Hey kid.
It didn't go unnoticed.

The Maester was almost apoplectic. Sitting to Jetherys' left, he froze as he watched Johann carelessly break with the strict geometry of the room. Then, with a series of stares, coughs and clearing of his throat, he struggled to contain the urge to fly- best he could- from his stool to straighten him out. His chains jangled as he fidgeted. The Prince! his agitation screamed. You sit in the presence of the Prince of Westeros! You swore oaths to preserve your posture!

The guard just raised his eyebrows.

Jetherys waited patiently, his eyes staring dully into the burnished mirror before him. After perhaps half a minute of wheezes, he eventually let out a low hiss.

"Have you fleas, Maester Purlam?"
"Nay, your Highness."
"Lice?"
"Nay, bless the Gods."
"If you need to pass water, just go."
"Your Highness!"

With a yank of his head the boy tugged himself free of the insistent hands of his maid to look at his teacher with tetchy exasperation. Captured by the line of his sight, he glanced along the Maester's gaze until it met with another; dark eyes over a hidden mouth.

For a moment he was silent. After a cursory flicker of his eyes over the easy, relaxed lines of Johann's seat, it was hard to know what happened beneath them. Purlam's gasped protestations went unheard and unchecked, prattling background noise like the sound of the wind or the sea. Eventually he was interrupted.

"I see." He looked away, and waving away the eager hands of the maid reached out for a little container on the table before him. Eyes narrowed as he watched his reflection, he dabbed some crimson pigment high on the ghostly pallor of his cheeks. "You take issue with the new guard dog." He paused and smiled brightly, as if an idea just sprang to mind. "Maybe Captain Jeaha could train him. What say you, Captain?" He addressed his guard now, who had a face that suddenly was carved from cold rock, emotionless. "Have you the stomach for it? ... No? Well, perhaps your fear does you credit. Who knows if the old wolf still bites."

He tossed the container before the mirror and stood. The thick cloth fell around him like black wings. As he walked toward Johann he raised a hand, now gloved, to stop him from rising. As ever, his guard traced his footsteps like a hawk.

Standing just before him now, Jetherys summoned one of those pitiless smiles.

"I don't like your look, Lord Stark." Honeyed and hateful. His smile was exhausted, and as the volume of his voice fell quiet. "It makes me wonder what it is you see."

_________________
My incredibly sophisticated minions.


Top
 Profile  
 

Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:59 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Posts: 56509
Location: proper tea is theft
Custom Title: Ahoy!
As the prince rose to his feet, Johann gave an imperceptible start. Attempting to rouse himself from the tumult of his thoughts, he sat up straighter, let his hand fall to grip the arm of the chair. By the time he realized he would have been expected to rise, Jetherys had already raised a hand to forestall him. The pupil had been caught daydreaming. But Stark was no dissembler, and even in the face of impending crisis his expression refused to remake itself into something inoffensive, bland. The furrow between his brows remained, a line carved deep by stress and weather. The thoughtful frown lay across his face with all the natural familiarity of a travel-worn cloak.

Even had he sought to rise, it was too late now. The prince stood too close, boxing him into his chair. To stand would be impossible without collision. Though unschooled in the ways of power, Stark recognized its games when he saw them. He bowed his head and let his gaze fall to the marble floor, to the silken slippers of the boy he'd sworn to serve.

"Your Grace. I am sorry to have displeased you." The years had done nothing to soften his Northern accent; here, it lent his words a strangeness, a foreign quality.

_________________
Image
"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


Top
 Profile  
 

Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:44 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm GMT
Posts: 46268
Location: Probably a lab. Wishing I was in bed.
Custom Title: Hey kid.
Jetherys didn't answer immediately. Taking advantage of the power to be found in withholding it, it gave him liberty to seal away the sound of those odd vowels, the sight of a wind-bitten face and knuckles still etched with scars. That was in the seconds before Stark's head was bowed to him, and he could watch only the dark, silvering back of his head, the nape of a thick and powerful neck.

Just for a heartbeat, it seemed as if the boy prince was waiting.

The smile faded on the chapped mouth.

"You see, Captain." he remarked to the tension in the room. "I have a toothless dog."

He turned, and walked away back to the waiting Maester and the last adornments of finery. As he turned, Han's eyes would catch a glimpse of those goat kid gloves, smeared with rouge, or a trace of blood.

He stared into his reflection once more. Then he reached for the series of vials the Maester handed to him; perfume for behind his years, paste for his lips.

...

You should have come back to the chambers long ago, he chided. He received one in turn; what- you came here through the dawn, sweating from the practice yard to tell me that? As if you slept tonight.

The scent of vellum and charcoal permeated the air, and candle smoke twisted through the odd streams of light that broke over the sea's horizon and through Storm's End's thick, frost coated glass. Fingers stained with ink cleaned hands dipped in blood; bandaging ruptured blisters with the same impartial care with which he turned the pages of his books. They spoke in hushed voices, careful not to disturb the Maester that slept through his guard in the little room behind a thick curtain.

Mercury, king's gold if it can be afforded. Nightshade the give sight back to the eyes, lead to restore the fairness of the skin. They mix in honey, orange peel, anything to make it palllitable.
Are they mad?
Desperate. Essos knew it long before we did.
And is there any truth to it?
Oh yes.

The pale dawn broke over their backs, making the sweat on the warrior's shoulders diamonds. The scholar stood and walked to the window, Johann's blood still fresh on his hands.

It kills them before the scales can.


...

The Maester handed him the last vial, and without hesitation he drank, and tossed it back into the tray. Guard as he shadow, Jetherys walked from the room towards Kathmar Falmari without a second glance.


The scent of citrus blossomed in the air.

_________________
My incredibly sophisticated minions.


Top
 Profile  
 

Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:59 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Posts: 56509
Location: proper tea is theft
Custom Title: Ahoy!
Toothless. He said nothing, made no move. But as the prince turned away, his eyes flickered up again, and caught the uneasy gaze of the captain, eyeing him still, apparently less than reassured. In the minutes that followed, he made an effort to sit upright, unobtrusive, obedient in his conformation to custom until the moment the prince left the room. As the maester moved to follow, however, he would find his path blocked by a sturdy arm that shot across the doorway. Stark, it seemed, could stand quickly enough when the mood took him.

"What is all this?" He tried to keep his voice down, despite the sharpness of his demand, but sounds carried in the emptiness of these vast halls, and like most Starks he had never excelled at whispering.

_________________
Image
"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


Top
 Profile  
 

Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:48 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm GMT
Posts: 46268
Location: Probably a lab. Wishing I was in bed.
Custom Title: Hey kid.
Aghast, the little man stared near-sightedly up at him. At a distance the difference in their heights had been marked; up close it was almost comical. Not that Maester Purlam seemed to be laughing.

He squinted in confusion, and hobbled backwards to avoid the menace of Stark's shadow.

"Lord Stark, you bewilder me," he rasped. He tried in vain to glance beneath the prison door of Johann's arm. If there was a chance to see the retreating figures of his charge - and the sword that went with him - his eyes failed him. Instead he coughed, refound the courage of old men, and stood his ground. "I beg you to calm yourself. The observation of the rituals of members of the royal family is an age-old--"

_________________
My incredibly sophisticated minions.


Top
 Profile  
 

Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:08 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Posts: 56509
Location: proper tea is theft
Custom Title: Ahoy!
"It most certainly is not." He stepped forward as the old man scuttled back, like a swordsman pressing his advantage. "I never once saw the king tarted up like the madam of some King's Landing bawdy house." Having come within range of the array of cosmetics and vials, he took up the jar of paste, opened it, and sniffed. Immediately his nose crinkled involuntarily. Beneath the sickly-sweet stench of perfumed oil, he caught the hint of something rancid, though he couldn't have put his finger on it.

"Whose idea was it," he asked, softer now and perhaps the more frightening because of it, "to paint the lad with slow poison? Did you dream it up, Maester? Or did you merely turn a blind eye? Answer quickly, for I've half a mind to put this down your throat."

_________________
Image
"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


Top
 Profile  
 

Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 3:55 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm GMT
Posts: 46268
Location: Probably a lab. Wishing I was in bed.
Custom Title: Hey kid.
Forced back by the soldier's stride, Maester Purlam didn't have to strength to reach and pluck the poultice from Johann's hands. Instead he was resigned to watching best he could, his lips drawn tight across his creased, sagging face like the string of a purse. For a moment, anger soared like a furnace in those watery eyes.

" 'Lad'! You speak of the King, Lord Stark. 'Lad' indeed." His voice wavered with fury. "You dare speak of him in the same breath as whores!"

Johann's threat hung above them like a naked blade waiting to fall. It was enough to still them, as if riveting their feet to the marble beneath. The contempt in Stark's words fell like snow, covering them, smothering them.

Maester Purlam tried once to lift up his wizened arms to retrieve the jar. It came to little. With an exhausted sigh they well before his hands to rise above his shoulders, and he backed, staggering, to his stool.

"Poison and treason," he muttered under his breath, "Aye, call it poison if you must, I'll not deny it." He raised his face to Johann with an agonised look. "You'd have me slaughter him instead like a pig? At night as he sleeps, though I'll warrant he does little of it. I will not. I'll spare him the scale, if I must rub brimstone into his gums, pour venom into his ears to keep it at bay. I'll spare him of the scale as I have these last ten years. I'll not let canker eat his flesh and bone."

The cot was matted with hair and blood. And he screamed, and screamed.

"You tell me, Lord Stark, if that is treachery."

_________________
My incredibly sophisticated minions.


Top
 Profile  
 

Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:11 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Posts: 56509
Location: proper tea is theft
Custom Title: Ahoy!
Stark watched warily as the little man retreated, seeming at last to crumple under the weight of his burden. As he did so, he found himself wondering how long Purlam had served here, how closely he'd been bound to the family, what he'd sacrificed to spend his twilight years in this gloomy place. Empathy was a soldier's worst enemy, so his father had always told him. Empathy gets men killed.

"I'd have you put the choice to him," he said at last.

_________________
Image
"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


Top
 Profile  
 

Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:22 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm GMT
Posts: 46268
Location: Probably a lab. Wishing I was in bed.
Custom Title: Hey kid.
The old man waved his hand dismissively. Every movement was tired. His wrist clicked and cracked as he did.

"Our King is not yet grown, and fever confounds his wits. Why force him to be tormented by a decision such as that? Ignorance is a blessing to him." He leant forward then, gripping his gnarled hands. "I beg you, don't force the bitter knowledge on him. He'll be lost. You see how he struggles. I do this for his own good."

The bottles and jars, and little clay dishes stood as their sole audience. They sighed rose petals and orange skin into the dark, regal room, and for a moment the view outside might have been that if the gardens of King's Landing.

_________________
My incredibly sophisticated minions.


Top
 Profile  
 

Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:50 pm GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Posts: 56509
Location: proper tea is theft
Custom Title: Ahoy!
His gaze drifted away from the withered old maester and came to settle on the little clay pot of paste. He turned it between his fingers, this way and that in the gray morning light that filtered in through the narrow window high above them. Then he tossed it into the air, and for a moment it seemed he would let it fall, let it smash across the tiles. Instead, he caught it again in the same hand and, in a single fluid movement, stowed it away in the recesses of his cloak.

"On the contrary, Maester. If his days are as numbered as you say, this could be the most important decision he ever makes."

His eyes snapped up again and met the old man's with the full force of their intensity. For a moment, the mask he wore seemed fragile, as though at any moment it might crack to reveal something fearsome, monstrous. At times it was easy to forget that Johann Stark had slaughtered many more men than he'd saved.

"You have until this time tomorrow. Tell him, or I will."

Then he turned on his heel and stepped out into the corridor, in the wake of the young king he'd sworn to serve.

_________________
Image
"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


Top
 Profile  
 

Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:06 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm GMT
Posts: 46268
Location: Probably a lab. Wishing I was in bed.
Custom Title: Hey kid.
Perhaps it was his old eyes failing him once more, or a trick of the light. Dawn painted red teeth and feral eyes. Just for a moment, Maester Purlam swore he stood before a wolf.

As he cowered back in his chair, he only barely heard the words in his ears- though they seemed to storm through his frail, dilated heart. Stark left. And only then did he start to suck air deep into his lungs, greedily biting back the breaths he'd been too paralysed to take. Sweat beaded on his forehead. What words he wheezed out soon fell silent, save for a single, desperate plea.

It was nearly an hour until he could bring himself to move from the chair. When he did it was to shuffle to the table and leer down at the concoctions before it, and the sight of his own reflection balefully staring back at him.

"I'll not let it. I'll not, I'll not, I'll not, I'll..."

...

At the Maester's behest, Jetherys forced himself to chew a few bites of dried toast at midday. Captain Jaeha waited in the corridor, and Stark was somewhere being shown the perimeter by Falmari's guards- though not, he suspected, all the nooks and crannies they knew of.

He found it strange, though, that he wasn't pestered more. The usual stream of entreaties - Try a fig, or a morsel of honey, if I could tempt you... - never came. When he looked to the Maester, he found the old man staring off into the distance, as if he were watching something happen far, far away there on that naked wall. Perhaps he was revisiting memory of a battle, or his studies, or pale recollection of a woman from long ago. Maybe, Jetherys thought a little maliciously, he was just going senile.

The sun felt warm on his back, even through the thick robes. In a moment of cat-like pleasure he moved further into its light. He let his head fall back, closed his eyes, and imagined for a moment the feeling of air tumbling around him, as if he were on the bow of a ship, or had wings like the gulls he spied circling in the sky.

When he opened his eyes again, Maester Purlam was watching him.

"... Maester?" He laughed, but found that it died almost instantly in his throat. For some reason he found himself checking that the shadow of the guard still stood in the doorway. "Have I grown horns?"

"Nay, your Highness."

"I'm glad. But why-"

"Your Highness, I wish you to know that, of all your subjects, it was this old man who loved his King best."

Jetherys straightened up, not knowing whether to rise, whether to speak. He felt the hairs on his forearms rise, some nameless unease stir in his chest.

"I beg you to remember it."

"Maester Purlam, why do you--"

"I beg you, sire."

"... I swear. But it's a needless promise. I know all you've done for me."

"You do? Then that's good." The old man's voice sunk to a mumble. "That's good. That'll bring you comfort, I think."

"Are you well, Maester Purlam? I think I should call--"

"Yes, no, don't. I'll see it done." He raised his head on his crooked neck and clapped his hands once, smartly. "You've your education! I'll call for the parchment." He slipped back into his usual chatter, and the morning turned so abruptly back to normal that, on thinking back, Jetherys became more and more convinced that he had dreamt up that strange look in those pale eyes.


He had a hard time sleeping that night, though for once he had barely any stomach pain. As he lay in his vast bed, he remembered the stories of war and false loyalty his teacher had woven into the darkness only a few nights before. He wondered what Lord Stark had made of Kathmar Falmari's guards, and the spiked walls of this little fortress. He fantasised of climbing them with his claws and perching on their heights to gaze down at the city below, and slink through its glittering, disjointed streets.

The pain woke him first. Panting into his pillow, he propped himself up on his elbows and bowed his head over his knees, gritting his teeth. The usual barbed wire feeling. For a moment he endured it, and then reached a hand for the goblet on his side table-- Too clumsy; it clanged loudly on the flags, spilling its water. No matter; Maester Purlam would come running to him with the sound.

Soon.

Any moment now.

The pain abated as soon as it had arrived, but he remained where he was, hunched over, waiting in increasing disbelief.

Where in the Seven Hells...

"Maester?"

His voice echoed. Sitting up, he glanced to the door, annoyed, conscious that even now he was starting to sulk. He called his name, and waited for the shuffling little steps that never came. He suddenly felt a knot of anxiety, and pushed himself out of bed to walk- a little unsteadily- to the door, cursing Purlam's name under his breath. Across the cold floor of the reception room, past the hulking, insignificant throne to the old man's rooms. The door was shut, so he wasn't at the latrine. He rapped on the door, and was surprised when it swung open beneath his hand.

"Maester--"

The room was empty. His little kits compiled in that big back case of his, all gone. On the bed lay the only trace of him; his necklace of iron rings, which over time had carved great notches into his spine, and that after all these years he had left behind

"No."

Jetherys pulled his night robes tight across his chest and retreated back from the sight of the emptiness. Guided back into the centre of the room he stood alone in moonlight, suddenly made of shadows and silver shards. Afraid to look behind him for fear of who, and who would not be standing there.

Numb and silent before his empty throne.

_________________
My incredibly sophisticated minions.


Top
 Profile  
 

Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:39 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Posts: 56509
Location: proper tea is theft
Custom Title: Ahoy!
What was it that first stirred him from his sleep? Some distant clang or clatter, perhaps. This place was quieter by far than his old rooms at Castle Black. But over the years he'd grown accustomed to the shrieking winds and groaning of old timbers. These halls were tomblike in their still silence, and he found himself waking sporadically, uneasily, in response to the slightest of noises or just the sheer, boundless immensity of the quiet.

Coming fully awake, he roused himself and threw back the blankets. He listened, holding his breath, and when he heard a thin voice, its faint echo muffled by the doors and halls between them, he was on his feet in an instant, apprehension seeping through his chest like swift-acting poison. He hadn't thought the old man capable of harming his charge, but now he realized he'd been a fool, giving the maester an opportunity to save his own skin by putting an end to the suffering he'd spent so many years working to prolong. His hand hesitated for a moment over the hilt of his sword, but after a split-second's indecision, he strode out into the corridor without it.

In the dark, where moonlight did not penetrate, the hall took on a cavernous aspect. A quick sweep did not reveal the presence of the usual guard, and immediately he regretted the absence of his sword. His mind flashed back to the fortifications he'd seen the previous afternoon; the king, they'd assured him, was as secure as the treasures of the Iron Bank itself. In that moment, what neither had said but both understood passed in a glance between them: after all, what was the last Targaryen if not an asset, to be shuttered away under lock and key?

He'd crossed the corridor in a few long strides, but paused to steady himself with a breath, raised a hand, and knocked.

"Your Grace?" He kept his voice low, though it echoed in the emptiness all the same. "Are you alright?"

_________________
Image
"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


Top
 Profile  
 

Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Lion Rampant
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:43 am GMT 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 pm GMT
Posts: 46268
Location: Probably a lab. Wishing I was in bed.
Custom Title: Hey kid.
"You can enter, Lord Stark."

Usually the way he said his name was an insult in itself, but not now. Tonight it was just a name. One which meant nothing for him, that carried no pleasure or pain or dirty, half-forgotten memories. Just a name, another dusty betrayal.

As the door swung inwards, he would see Jetherys bathed in that cold light, like some forgotten silver idol left to rust in its own tomb. Even as the door was opened, he didn't cast a glance towards him. A chilling thought would cross Johann's mind unbidden; the idea of someone walking calmly from where he stood, dagger in hand to come up behind the boy and slitting his throat- and all the while the Jetherys would not have looked.

"The Maester's gone." he said hollowly. "It's not Kathmar Falmari's work. He'd have wanted me to see it happen."

He felt it before he recognised it-- assumed it was another pain in his stomach, in his heart or lungs and felt that same bitter blood in his mouth, the type he always seemed to spit out in the early morning, groaning into his spoiled sheets. But this was different. Perhaps this was what people meant by 'grief'.

Alone again.

"He's left me."

I'm alone again.

_________________
My incredibly sophisticated minions.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 248 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 13, 14, 15, 16, 17  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group