A Song of Rock and Fire

A Last Letter
When inspiration hits, it gets good.

Lons huddled in the dim candlelight of the tent. The snow and ice seemed to penetrate everywhere. Even in the tent, a layer of ice glistened on pretty much everything. He sat in the shifting light, penning what might be his final letter. With what he’d seen so recently, he’d felt the need to send a final letter to Tyene. Stonewing stood on his shoulder, bristling some of the snow off his feathers. He’d been far less talkative that usual, though he still seemed healthy enough for all intents and purposes.

Those blue eyes still seemed to be staring at him. It was as if he couldn’t get them out of his head. They just pierced into his very soul day and night. He sighed and continued to write. He had to get the words down while they were in Winterfell. There might not be another chance.

“Dearest Tyene,

The journey North has been cold and harrowing, but we’ve been making it through as best we can. There has been more snow here than I care to think about. Luckily, we have the dragons to help us contend with it. For weeks, we’ve been losing men to the fogs that would encircle the camp. The fires were stamped out by the cold itself. Embers died away and anyone caught outside of the light was likely not heard from again. Eventually, Toten and I stumbled across the true cause of this. It was one of them, Tyene. They truly aren’t legends. I wanted to believe they were anything but real. I saw one with my own eyes. I can still see it’s blue eyes glaring at me from the darkness. I’m sure you can relate, from what we experienced with our…. magical endeavors. My point isn’t to scare you. I just want to take this moment to tell you that I love you. With every ounce of my being, you have helped me get to this point. But right now, the realm needs men like me, Toten and Dany. Any of the men brave enough to stand up here deserve far better than what we’re able to give them. Having finally fought our enemy, I see now how dangerous they can be. But this foe is real, and even if we do win…will come back. If I don’t make it back from this land of snow and ice, I know you’ll raise our child right. I’ll entrust Toten and Dany to see to your care as well. They are good people and I know they will help if I ask them to.

Please, if I don’t come back, let our child know how important the Wall is. That this threat is real, and must never be forgotten. The Night’s Watch is a vital part of our realm and needs to be kept strong. This predicament is solely because of the state the Watch has been in. I want our child to know this. Let her know what good we did here. If I don’t make it out, let her know that I died serving the realm, serving you and her. Let her know of all the other heroes that will no doubt fall out here. I suppose I just wanted to send this raven out while I still had the chance at Winterfell. In a days time, we will be marching North to meet the enemy, this time en masse. I will do my best to make it back.

To the flame of my life,
-Lons”

Lons sealed the letter with the candle. Stonewing hopped over, bouncing his feet across the wax. “Fitting.” Lons said with a weak smile. ‘Dark wings, dark words.” he thought morbidly. Things were going to get much worse. He was certain of only that. He had to be ready for anything. There was a good possibility that they could all die on the bloody tundra. He wasn’t sure he was ready for this fact. The candle was snuffed out by a gust of wind through the flaps of his tent. He sighed and crawled into his bed roll. He would need rest for the battles upcoming.

As he closed his eyes, all he could see was those ice blue eyes gazing at him. He felt a chill that rocked him to his very core. It seemed to freeze his soul, even with R’hallor’s blessing. The last thing he heard as he slipped into sleep was Stonewing quietly croaking. “Fight.” “Win.” “Die.”

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Lanncaster Log 13

Toten stood at his customary spot halfway up the small set of stairs to the Iron Throne. His armor gleamed and his shadowcat cloak fell in a soft pool on the higher stairs, its warmth fending off the winter chill which was creeping into the castle despite the raised fires.

His wife sat behind him in the Iron Throne and Lons sat in the smaller throne, usually reserved for Toten, just off to one side, looking tired. Oberyn lounged easily on a table at the bottom of the stairs.

The Queensguard was arranged at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at the king and queen, adorned in their white cloaks and varying armor.

“I’ve summoned you all here for a reason,” Toten began. “In light of many events, both past and forthcoming, I have seen fit to bestow upon you tools for the kingsguard to use.”

“Ser Vindin Tyre,” Toten called, and the knight in question stepped forward, kneeling briefly. Tommen Tommen passed a pale green scabbard to Toten who held it out to the knight from the Reach. Ser Vindin pulled the blade. Valyrian steel greeted his eyes, folded metal tinted with hints of green. A pale gold filigree of flowers curving its way up the blade. The pommel was that of a closed rose, waiting to bloom, the crossguard made into twisting green vines. Ser Vindin stood awestruck for a moment. “It’s name is Burr,” Toten said proudly. Ser Vindin kneeled again. “Your Grace,” he murmured. “I am deeply honored.” He stood and returned to his place, strapping his new sword into place.

“Ser Hubert Humphrey,” Toten continued, and the next knight approached. Again Toten passed a sword, this one with a deep blue scabbard. Its hilt was made into fine feathers that flowed up into wide sweeping wings that made the cross, curved downward, a small falcon head peeking onto the blade. Sharp twin lines of blue streaked up the steel to meet at the point. “This one is Talon,” Toten said, and Ser Hubert nodded, resuming his place.

“Ser Lance Swyft.” The knight pulled a sword from a dark blue scabbard. So dark it almost seemed black. The pommel was that of a star, shooting up to where dragon wings mad up the cross. The star’s trail flew up into the blade, running into a double fuller down most of the length. “It’s name is Whisper,” Toten said to the dornish man’s smile.

“Ser Gerold Dayne.” The Darkstar sauntered forth, the greatsword Dawn across his back. A wry smile widened on him. “I already have one of those, Your Grace,” he said snidely. “You may find this one to your liking as well, Darkstar,” Toten said, handing over a pink scabbard. Ser Gerold scoffed but pulled the sword anyways, revealing a blade with a dark sun on the pommel, bursts of orange light spreading from it. The design was replicated above, the bursts stretching out into sharp orange points that made up the crossguard. “It is called Dusk,” Toten said, eyes meeting the Darkstar’s. Ser Gerold nodded solemnly. “Thank you, Your Grace,” he said, stepping back into place.

“Ser Brienne of Tarth.” The large woman knelt. Toten passed over a dark green scabbard. The woman pulled out the sword, admiring it. In the pommel was a large sapphire, cut into a dulled point. A matching pair of sapphires sat on either side of the blade at the crossguard, sharp points shooting lines of blue down the center if the steel straight down to the tip. “This one is called Maiden,” Toten said, looking into the honest face of the first female knight. “I thank you greatly, Your Grace,” she said, before returning to her place.

“Ser Jaime Lannister.” The Kingslayer stepped forward, a strange look in his eyes as Toten handed him a red scabbard. Ser Jaime awkwardly but effectively strapped it around his waist with his good hand before pulling the blade. A large white lion graced the pommel, mouth open in a silent roar. The blade was tinted with red throughout, giving the steel a dark tint. “You made me a valyrian steel blade?” Jaime asked, incredulous. “Technically, Lons made it,” Toten said, nodding back at the former maester who inclined his head from his seat. “I just gave him the guidelines.” Jaime’s mouth worked soundlessly in a rare moment of speechlessness. “Ser Jaime,” Toten said, meeting the Kingslayer’s eyes. “It’s name is Oathkeeper.” Ser Jaime nodded and sheathed the blade. “You earned that sword, Jaime,” Lons piped in from behind. “Thank you, cousin,” Jaime said as he resumed his place. “And thank you, Your Grace.”

“Hand of the King,” Toten called, turning to Oberyn. The Red Viper hopped off the table and approached the king. “Toten,” he began. “I’m quite flattered, but you know I’ve never really been one for blades.” “Good,” said Toten, accepting a long parcel from a squire. “That’s why I made you this.” The king pulled a cloth from the parcel to reveal a long spear. Its shaft was intricately detailed into small dark scales that curled down to the haft end. The other end melted up into the open mouth of a snake, a leafed spear tip of valyrian steel gleaming out of it, a long slit down the end to make the forked tongue of the viper. Oberyn twirled it easily, thrusting it through the air. “It’s named Venom,” Toten said. The Red Viper smiled with a small laugh. “Thank you, Toten.”

Toten turned to face the last man who shifted his weight uncomfortably. “Lord Commander Ser Robrik Cassel,” Toten called out proudly, beaming at Ser Robrik. The old knight stepped forward hesitantly. “Your Grace, I don’t need any sword, it’s too much, and I’m not deserving of such a thing.” Toten pushed a pure white scabbard into Robrik’s hands and the old knight quieted. He slowly pulled the sword. Its pommel was quite plain, heavily crafted to the perfect balance. At the top of the hilt, a large direwolf stretched out its open mouth, the valyrian blade sprouting from within it. The crossguard was rough, cut into rock-like imperfections, angling outward. The wide fuller set into the blade was bright white and on either side, twin dark green stripes ran parallel down the blade. “Its name is Patriarch, Ser Robrik,” Toten said quietly. He could see tears well up in the old knight’s eyes as he said the name, but Robrik was too proud to let any fall. He cleared his throat. “It’s a good sword,” the lord commander said roughly, his voice thick with emotion.

“A good sword for a good man, Ser Robrik,” Toten said. Robrik stepped back into place at the center of the line of kingsguard.

“Kingsguard!” Robrik yelled out in his commanding voice. The seven members in their white cloaks drew their new swords. “Salute!” Each raised their swords in front of their faces and the dropped to one knee, swords propped on their tips before them.

They stood and sheathed their weapons and took their places around the royal family, each as loyal and true as the white linen draped across their shoulders.

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Lanncaster Log 12

Three dragons circled a fleet of ships in the distance, the ships flying Targaryen banners. Toten stood on the bow of his flagship, Stonebreaker, studying the distant fleet, assessing the numbers rapidly. He stepped down to Robrik and Gabby waiting for him.

“We need to land first. If we can get to the castle first, we can hold it and the beaches. Balerion the Black burned Harrenhal, but those dragons are not Balerion. It will take them time, time that we can use.”

Gabby studied her husband carefully and nodded. “I’ll get to my ship,” she said. She stepped close to Toten and leveled her voice at him. “I’ll see you soon, Toten.” It was not a question, but an order.

Toten nodded and Gabby was ferried off to her own ship, the Dragons already waiting. Toten returned to the bow with Robrik, his eyes darting over the enemies, always studying for the advantage. Over the water a faint roar echoed past the waves. “Get the men, prepared, Robrik,” Toten ordered. “We’re going to hit hard and fast.”

Toten leaped over the gunwale of the ship as it crashed its way up onto the beach. He landed heavily but rose quickly, Shatterstone already in hand. The doors built into the ship crashed open and Toten was joined swiftly by his kingsguard, swords drawn and together they charged up the beach, slaying the ironmen that rushed down at them from the hills, Toten always in front. The boy that had first come to Pyke was gone, and in his place was a man, intent on reclaiming all that was taken from him on those beaches all those years ago.

Toten stared across the land on Pyke at ten thousand men, many dothraki and unsullied slave soldiers. More crowded on scores of ships still out to sea. Behind him, his own forces gathered, formed into perfect formation to counter any sudden attacks. A small part trotted forward with a banner of parlay. Toten turned to Robrik. The old knight’s mouth was set in a hard line as he looked over the enemy. He would never say anything, but Toten knew what the lord commander was thinking, he’d grown up studying that face.

Toten spurred Thorn forward, his kingsguard, Oberyn, and Robb Stark following. As they met, the knights across from them removed their helms, revealing Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Jorah Mormont.

“Lord Lanncaster,” Ser Barristan said. “It’s been some time.”

“Yes it has,” Toten said in measured tones. He respected few men more than the former commander of the kingsguard, but the man sat in front of an opposing army. One that threatened his kingdom and whose leader was blackmailing Lons.

“There’s no need for any senseless death here,” Selmy said plainly, spreading his arms to take in all the surrounding forces. “We have not come to fight a war against you, as our letters should have related to you.”

“Are you proposing a cessation of hostilities?”

The old knight nodded. “You’ll remove your ships from the docks. Those who are landed may remain,” Toten said, mind still focused on potential battles. He would not be caught unaware by this other Targaryen’s forces. Selmy considered for a moment and spoke. “It will be done.”

Toten inclined his head. “Then we have terms.”

“I believe I should lead the khaleesi’s forces through the gate first,” Ser Jorah said, the group looking towards the gate of Pyke where the unsullied hurled rams against it.

Lord Stark approached from Toten’s other side. “I should lead the attack,” the boy said. “It was my father who won the last battle here, it should be I who does so this time, especially since Sansa was forced to marry that beast.”

“Victarion Greyjoy was killed by Ser Jorah some days ago,” Selmy spoke. “Your sister is quite well back on the ships. As is the lady Tyene.” Toten saw his generals stiffen as their loved ones’ names were mentioned. Victarion slain, Toten brooded. His fist clenced tightly. I had hoped to meet him here. To settle all of this. And of course they would levy hostages against us. But they have one other one as well. Lons…

“I will lead the attack,” Toten said, his voice commanding authority. His eyes drilled into Selmy. “I have unfinished business on this island. I failed here as a boy. I will not do so again.”

Selmy met his gaze with a steely resolve. “As you will, Lord Toten.”

Shatterstone sang with the tune of battle, ringing as Toten marched through the castle, slaying those ironborn who found themselves in front of him. Blood sprayed over his armor as he parried and swung, tearing a swathe through the castle. He sprinted onto the first drawbridge as the ironborn tried to lower it, but Toten made his way into the guardhouse befor they could cut the ropes, his sword cutting through their bodies first. His kingsguard swarmed after him, each white cloak stained red as they tore quickly to the next drawbridge, stringing up ropes of their own to rush their way across.

Toten led the way towards the hall where the seastone chair awaited. His knights were close behind, as were Selmy, Jorah, and their soldiers. The few remaining soldiers they encountered either yielded quickly or were cut down.

Toten rounded the last corner and saw Gabby, wiping blood from her daggers before sheathing them. Blood ran from several cuts across her face and bare arms. At her feet was the man who could only have been Euron Crows-Eye, a mangled mess of a wound where his one eye should have been.

The king rushed into the room and up to Gabby. “Gabby, are you all right? You’re bleeding.” The queen started to reassure her husband as Toten began to look around the room. His eyes found Lons’ familiar face standing only a few paces away. “Lons,” Toten cried. “Lons, help Gabby, she’s been hurt…”

Toten’s eyes widened and turned back towards the man he had not seen in almost five years. “…Lons?…”

Toten and Gabby stood on one side of the room, the knights of the kingsguard, the hand of the queen, several of her Dragons, and the warden of the north behind them.

Across from them stood Danyers Targaryen, Maester Lons, Selmy, Jorah, and several of the woman’s soldiers.

Toten looked in shock over his friend’s face. It was much the same as he remembered it. Memories flooded him as he looked him over. His gaze shifted to the woman and his mouth set in a firm scowl, teeth clenched painfully. I won’t let her dig her claws into him any longer. Lons is back where he should be now, and no force in westeros will let her spin her lies any further, dragons or not.

Toten extended a hand out towards Lons. “Lons,” he said, voice dripping with relief and the pain of absence. “It’s ok, Lons. She can’t hold you any longer. You’re back, Lons. Finally back. Come home, brother.”
Lons didn’t move from his position. His mouth moved in a strained way, as if something were fighting its way out of him. Toten’s eyes narrowed in confusion. Why didn’t Lons come over? He couldn’t be afraid of her warriors, not with Toten there. Why after so long didn’t Lons come to him?

“I…can’t, Toten,” Lons managed after a moment. “I sent the letter…I’ve come a long way with Dany, and I can’t leave her now, but I have missed you, my friend.”

Toten’s mind raced back to the letter he had crumpled in his hands some weeks before. He shook his head, not wanting to believe. “But it was all lies,” he said meekly. “Wasn’t it?”

Lons dropped his head. “It was the truth, Toten.”

“You…you serve her?”

“…I do…”

Toten felt as though a blow struck him hard, deep in his core, piercing the solid protection of his armor to settle deep in his heart, a gaping wound like none he’d ever felt before in any battle he’d ever fought. It threatened to stagger him on the spot.

A mask dropped over Toten’s face as the betrayal washed over him. His teeth clenched and his eyes darted to the horrid woman standing next to Lons. She had taken him away, sunk her foul claws into Lons and pulled him away with the allure of her dragons, using them as leverage, something Toten would never have, to keep them apart.

His eyes locked back on Lons, anger making his hands shake as they reached towards the crown on his head. He plucked it off. “Here,” Toten snarled at Lons, baring his teeth. “Take it,” he threw the crown to the ground at Lons’ feet. “It means nothing now.” Toten whirled and stalked toward the door where several of her men stood. His hand twitched at his sword, waiting for a reason. “Get the fuck out of my way!” he roared, shoving his way past them.

Toten stumbled through the halls of Pyke, hands grabbing at his hair, breath coming in quick gasps as he staggered away from the throne room. He let out small streams of curses in between gasps. He shouldered his way into a room and found it filled with items. He looked at it for a moment, panting.

A wordless roar erupted from his throat as he picked up a desk and smashed it against the wall, shattering it and dozens of things on it. His fists punched through glass and wood, feet kicked through tools and doors. “No!” he yelled, breaking a chair over the hearth. “I don’t care how many dragons she has!” More yells mixed with sobs broke through until Toten found he couldn’t see through the tears welled up in his eyes.

A voice spoke up behind him. “You feel better now, boy?” Toten turned, trying to blink away the tears and saw Ser Robrik come into focus. “How could he, Robrik? He was my brother…” The old knight sighed. “He’s been gone a long time, Toten. He’s seen things we can’t even dream of. But just because he has new friends, it doesn’t mean he’s forgotten about his old ones, or what that friendship means.”

“You remember what it was like for me after the last time I returned from this place. How I was. It was Lons coming to Rockfall…he saved me, Robrik.”

“I know, boy. You each followed your own path. But sometimes different paths can lead to the same castle, Toten.” Robrik waited for a response that did not come, before turning and walking from the room, closing the door behind him.

Toten sat at one of the less damaged desks in the room, on the one chair he’d missed in his destruction, staring intently at the wood grain, picking pieces of shattered glass out of it, pondering how he had come so far only to have it all cut out from under him. He hadn’t left the room for two days. Gabby had had meals brought up to him, but it largely remained untouched save for the wine, which he had much of.

From out in the hallway a clicking sound grew louder, like a specter straight from his past. He could hear his father’s heavy footsteps echoing down the corridor, the swish of his cloak against the dusty floor. The haunting noise stopped for a moment before several sharp raps came at the door. Toten stiffened and the now crooked desk creaked.

“Toten,” came Lons’ voice. “It’s Lons.” Toten scowled, trying not to make any more noise. “I know who it is,” Toten said gruffly. There was a pause. “Toten,” Lons pleaded. “Please talk with me.”

Toten waited again, not sure what to say or do, emotions running through his mind.

“It’s not barred, if that’s what you’re asking,” he said, his voice rough and haggard. He heard the door creak open without looking up. The clack of Lons’ cane filled the room as he came over and Toten heard the bed groan wearily as Lons sat on it.

“Toten…”

“It’s been a long time, Lons,” Toten said thickly, the words heavy on his tongue.

“It has,” Lons said, cautiously. “I’ve thought of you and your family each day since I’ve left.”

“I’ve never felt so wounded, Lons. I’ve taken blows, terrible ones through this war.” Toten turned a pained face towards Lons, his eyes red and face unkempt. “None have been so bad as this. When I see you with her…”

“I may be serving Dany now, my friend. But I have never forgotten our friendship.”

Toten stood suddenly and Lons jumped slightly. The taller man walked to the window and gazed out at the frost covered island below him. “The last time I came back from this island, Lons… I was broken. I never told anyone before, Lons, but…you were the one who helped bring me back from that.”

“Do you remember why I left westeros in the first place? It was to protect you. You, Gabby, the children. I did it for you.” Lons sighed deeply. “The iron throne, all of that bullshit…none of that matters compared to our friendship.”

Toten looked out the window as a tear rolled down into his coarse beard, the cold wind biting against it. He wanted to rage against Lons, to cast him from the room, curse this new woman, call them enemies, and be free of him forever. Toten turned from the window, ready to declare his anger. But his eyes didn’t see an enemy before him. They saw Lons, standing softly, his shoulders slumped humbly, eyes shadowed with a gloomy tension. He saw the brother he had left in King’s Landing. The brother he had grown with in Rockfall. Toten Lanncaster saw a friend, old and true. A weight fell from him, the rage and hurt fading like snow melting in spring, leaving only the deep love and friendship that had been with him since the beginning.

Toten brought his hand forward, a timid smile twitching the corners of his mouth. Lons took his hand. “It’s good to have you back,” Toten said softly. “Brother.”

Lons smiled, relief coloring his features. “You too, Toten. In fact…I brought something for you from Essos.” The maester stepped out of the door and quickly returned, bearing a large metal object. He turned it and held it out to Toten, revealing a magnificently crafted shield that bore a large rock in the middle, cracking out through the rest of the metal.

Toten’s mouth opened as he took it gingerly. It was surprisingly light in his hands as he inspected it. “It’s incredible, Lons. It’s…”

“Valyrian steel,” Lons said. “I made it for you.” Toten was awestruck, speechless. He strapped the shield on and gawked. Lons waited a moment and then turned to leave.

“Lons…”

The maester turned back and Toten swept him into a crushing embrace, years missed friendship shared between them. They parted, Toten with a wide smile on his face. Lons turned again to leave and opened the door. Ser Robrik stood in the doorway, arms crossed.

“You boys feel better now, do you?” The two younger men exchanged a look and turned back to Robrik, trying unsuccessfully to contain grins. Robrik grunted. “That’s what I thought. Now get moving. There’s work to do.”

Toten strode down the halls of Pyke. His face was cleaned and trimmed. He wore a smooth doublet of dark green and deep gold. His new shield was slung over his back, over the rough fur of the shadowcat cloak, Shatterstone hanging from his hip, crown sitting low on his head.

The doors of the meeting room swung open with a mighty groan and creak. Toten stood framed in the doorway as all heads turned his way. His wife smiled at him in that way she had. Toten strode forward into the room, head held high, and took the seat at the head of the table. He inclined his head towards the woman at his left. “Lady Danerys.” The mother of dragons nodded back with a small smile. “Lord Lanncaster.”

“What’s this?” Gabby asked, holding up a small, beaten package as she and her husband packed to leave Pyke.

“I’m not sure,” Toten said, taking it from her. “I must have missed it when I was cleaning up.”

“Well open it, you fool,” Gabby said, playfully pushing on Toten’s arm. Toten sat in one of the chairs and pulled off the small strings that held the package together, opening it gingerly. A dark green rock greeted him and Toten removed it, studying it. It was cut in the shape of a mountain, tall and imposing. Toten set it on the desk and looked beneath it. Numerous glass jars sat in the bottom of the box. Toten pulled one out and looked at the label. ‘Pepper – Dorne.’ He took out the next. ‘Juniper – Lys.’ On and on it went. ‘Saffron – Volantis,’ ‘Paprika – Qarth,’ ‘Anise – Yunkai,’ ‘Basil – Astapor,’ ‘Sage – Mereen,’ ‘Cinnamon – Yi Ti,’ ‘Mint – Asshai.’ Each label was written in Lons’ hand and with each new jar Toten felt new tears roll down his cheeks.

Toten stood on the bow of another ship, sailing back east, Lons close by. In the distance the coast of westeros was beginning to take shape. Toten put a hand on Lons’ shoulder. “Can you see it, Lons?”

“I can. Lannisport.”

“No, Lons,” Toten said, a purposeful tone to his voice. “Home.”

Preparations were well underway for Lons’ wedding to Tyene. Casterly Rock had all but been transformed by the Targaryen women and their cohorts, flowers and meals being brought in from as far away as Dorne. Toten did his best to stay out of their way, but made it his job to see to security, a task that Lons was also passionate about.

Toten walked back towards his chambers, looking to avoid another job from Gabby. He opened the door to his chambers and found Danerys folding up several cloths on the desk. “Oh,” Toten started. “Lady Danerys. My apologies.”

“No need for apologies, Lord Toten. These are your chambers after all. I’m just here to collect some fabric for your wife.”

Toten stood awkwardly as Danerys gathered the cloth and moved toward the door. She reached for the handle on the oaken door. “Lady Danerys,” Toten called. The Targaryen turned to face him.

Toten gathered his thoughts, still unsure of his feelings towards the woman.. “My lady,” he began. “I don’t know what will happen in the future, but know that my duty is to this realm. If there is a threat to it, I will do all in my power to stop it.” Across from him, the mother of dragons nodded her head. “That being said,” Toten continued. “If there is to be a war, you’re going to need me. You may have dragons, but I know these lands. I know its people. I know what they’ll fight for and how far I can push them, how to raise them against an enemy. You need to understand this. I’ve fought a war here for five years and I can command these people.” He looked hard into her eyes, studying them. “If we go into battle and I give an order, you need to follow it. If you do not, it could mean the difference between winning and losing. And if what you say is true…we can not afford to lose.”

Danerys raised her eyebrows as Toten spoke, looking like no one had ever spoken to her in such a way before. Slowly, she nodded. “I understand, Lord Toten,” she said carefully. “I know how to follow orders when I need to.” Toten bobbed his head and Danerys took her leave, leaving Toten alone with thoughts of the future.

Toten walked down the corridors of Casterly Rock, his armor freshly polished for Lons’ wedding, a small parcel under one arm, his cloak rustling against the floor. He reached the chambers that Lons had been using and raised his hand. He let out a heavy sigh and rapped three times on the door. The door swung open and Toten faced Lons, dressed in the strange robes he had worn since arriving in Westeros, though they were freshly cleaned. The maester invited him in and Toten stepped over the threshold. Danerys was sitting at a small desk near the window. “Lady Danerys,” Toten said, surprised to see her. He looked between her and Lons. “I can return if this is a bad time.”

“No, not at all,” Danerys said, standing. “I can leave if you require privacy.”

“You can stay, Lady Danerys,” Toten said, looking towards Lons. “There’s no need for you to leave.” “What’s going on, Toten?” Lons asked him.

Toten set the parcel on a table and opened it as he began to speak. “I know you’re having a red priest at the ceremony, but you know we have westrosi traditions as well. I had the tailor prepare a few things. I wasn’t sure…I…” he stammered, eyes flitting between the other two. “I didn’t know if perhaps you needed a cloak for the ceremony. I have this,” he said, laying out a cloak with the white chevron and sun over red of house Ashford. “Or I wasn’t sure if…if it was…” he trailed off as he laid down a second cloak, the sigil of house Lanncaster bright upon it. “Or I thought perhaps if those were not acceptable, that perhaps,” he reached up and unclasped his shadowcat cloak, holding it before him.

A smile brightened Lons’ face as he slowly extended his hand towards the shadowcat cloak. “It’s the only thing from home that I have,” Toten said softly. “Thank you, Toten,” Lons said, taking the cloak in one hand. He handed his cane to Toten as he began to fasten the cloak on.

Toten gazed at the wooden cane in his hands. The top was that of a dragon. But the dark wood was familiar to him, it had come from a dark sycamore that grew just above the castle at Rockfall. His father’s cane. The one he had given Lons after his injury. Toten lost himself in memories as he looked at the cane, feeling its weight in his hands and the smooth edges his father had crafted.

He looked up to see Lons in the cloak, reaching out his hand for the cane. “Thank you, my friend,” Lons said, taking the cane and making his way from the room, the click of the cane fading down the hallway.

“He never lost it, you know,” Danerys’ voice came softly from Toten’s side. “Not through sea voyages or battles, or riding dragons. He always kept it with him.” Toten nodded stiffly, not trusting himself to speak, lest his voice betray the tears that threatened him. Danerys smiled gently as she picked up the cloak emblazoned with the rock of Lanncaster. She reached her hands up to Toten’s shoulders and clasped the cloak there on each shoulder from behind him slowly. She moved around in front of him and smoothed the cloak over his armor with gently precision. Toten looked down at her as she did. Lons had befriended this woman he thought. If she was good enough for him, that was more than enough for Toten. Danerys finished her work and stood back, turning to leave the room.

“Danerys…” The mother of dragons turned back to the lord of Rockfall.

Toten held out his arm with a smile. “Shall we, my lady?” Dany returned his smile and slid her arm through his and together they left the room, eager to share in their friendship of Lons, and ready to forge a new friendship of their own.

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Allegiances tested

(So, uh, this was pretty much stream of consciousness/brain dump style. I don’t want to touch it, but who knows. I think it turned out alright."

Lons hobbled up the stairs of the ancient castle. The hallways were unfamiliar to him, save the monotonous, echoing report of his cane down the hallway. He approached the door, setting his load down near the door. He stopped for a moment, trying to ready himself for what would come. It had been a few days since he’d seen Toten. Hell, it already felt like another lifetime. Four years gone and he was reunited with a crown thrown at his feet and a goodbye filled with pain. He thought of the friends he’d lost on the journey home. Some were lost many moons ago but still just as vivid in his mind. Others were lost merely days ago. Marwyn’s death still burned inside him. Those couldn’t be the last words that were spoken between Toten and Lons.

He knocked on the door.

A rustling of fabric and creak of wood were his only response.

“Toten…It’s Lons.”

“I know who it is.” A gruff, pain filled voice spoke. The tongue was hardly familiar. It was not the man Lons had left behind. Not the man he had expected to see. He was a mere shadow of the man they had been what seemed like so many years ago.

“I only want to talk…Please Toten, just talk with me.”

“The door’s not barred, if that’s what you’re asking.”

Lons took that as permission enough. He swung the door open, revealing a room that looked like it had been hit with a mountain. Tables were overturned and splintered. Chairs lay strewn in pieces across the floor. A wardrobe stood riddled with holes and listing on a broken leg.

‘Seven hells, this poor man…’ Lons thought.

He had to make him understand. Memories flooded back. That first day when the two had met raced back into his mind just as vivid as his breakfast. A dreary day, as per usual in Rockfall was when they had all returned. Toten had been bloodied in the battle for the very same isle they now stood upon. Victarion had nearly killed the lad. He had dealt with so much. Lons had helped him through it, carefully helping him through the problems. It wasn’t all him, of course.

Ser Robrik had guided the boy, helping him learn how to cope with the inevitable results of battle. Many hours spent talking, practicing drills to keep his mind off of things, or to force him to face his demons.

“Toten… I know this must be difficult, to say the least.”

Toten sat, grim faced with an unkempt beard at a desk across the room. He gave no response, barely an acknowledgment of Lons existence.

‘Damnit man, you’re one of the few friends I have left.’ Lons thought. ’You’ve got to talk to me you golem of a man.’

Toten finally spoke, surprising Lons slightly.

“Lons, it’s been a long time.”

“I know… it certainly has.” Lons replied, setting down a small bundle on the bed, which seemed to sag as if the frame itself had buckled under some tremendous attack.

There was a silence between the two of them, and Lons thought for a moment that he’d lost him. Suddenly, Toten spoke up.

“I never felt so broken. When I see you with that woman…I’ve taken blows that no man could stand, but that…” he trailed off, falling silent. The pain was clear on his face.

His words hit Lons like a battering ram, still, he pressed on. Losing another friend to anything other than death was not going to happen. He couldn’t let it.

He couldn’t take it.

“When Marwyn asked me to go to Qarth, it was for this reason.” Lons chimed in. “I may be serving Dany, but I have not forgotten our friendship.”

“You know Lons, when you left, you were my brother.” Toten added. “Now, gods, it’s been so long…”

“ Do you remember why I left Westeros in the first place? It was to protect your family. You, Gabby, the kids…everyone. I did it for you.”

Toten stood and walked to the open window where the chilled sea breeze blew in through balcony.

“The road may have led me down a different path, but I am still your friend. The Iron Throne, all of that bullshit… none of that matters compared to our friendship.”

“Not a day went by when home didn’t cross my mind.” Lons continued, still sitting amidst the ruins of the room; amidst the ruins of a friendship once so strong.

Toten turned back from the window and approached Lons. The two locked eyes for a moment, tears threatening both of them. (Danielle Steel edit: And they kissed longingly.)

Toten thrust his hand forward. Lons clasped his hand and they shook. A weight seemed to lift off the room.

“It’s good to have you back…brother.” he said, a smile on his face for the first time since Lons had seen him.

Lons smiled, glad to have his friend back. He was glad to have this all behind him. He’d gained a new friend in Dany, but it would be worth nothing if it meant losing everyone else he cared about.

Lons stepped back outside, grabbing an item from the hallway.

He held the shield out for the warrior. It was a finely crafted item, bearing a cracked rock hammered into the shining finish. He’d spent quite a lot of time on it. In fact, there were several shields that hadn’t met his approval arming several of the Unsullied.
“I figured it was fitting. Just a small bit of something from my travels. It’s Valyrian steel, made in Asshai.”

Toten took the shield, looking it over. He clasped it onto his arm, lacing the leather straps together. A grin came across his face. For the first time in years, Lons saw Toten’s face brighten.

Lons smiled, turning to walk away.

“Lons…”

Lons turned. Toten looked as if he was a changed man. No longer did he appear gaunt and shrunken. He was the same lord that Lons had left so many years ago.

Toten embraced Lons, the two friends glad to see the other after so much happened to them. So much had changed them.

After a moment, Toten held Lons by the shoulders.

“It’s good to have you back, brother.”

“It’s good to be back.”

Lons turned and left, leaving the spices on Toten’s bed, unmentioned. Spices from every corner of the world lay in the small bundle. Lons may serve a new queen, but his allegiances had never changed. They’d only grown.

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A flip of the coin
"Lons Marywn Death Post of Feels Doom.doc"

Lons leaned against the gunwale. Two broken chains draped across his hands. Everyone seemed sullen, even the dragons flew with less vigor and flash than they usually did. Lons mind raced with memories. He saw hundreds of evening spent with his mentor. Evenings spent talking of fantasy, reality and everything in between. Philosophy, magic, ethics… no topic was left untouched by their two kindred minds. His mind settled on one of these myriad of evenings. Lons and Marwyn, sitting under the open sky just off the port of Old Town.

“Perhaps the Dothraki have something right…” Marwyn muttered after spitting a wad of sourleaf out, a sight Lons had grown accustomed to.

“They certainly know how to fight. Or so I’m told. A superstitious lot as well, from most of the reports.” Lons added, taking a swig of “Firewine”, something Marwyn had found while travelling. It was a strangely spiced wine, but Lons had learned to enjoy it. And Marwyn had always enjoyed talking of his travels.

“That’s…true, I suppose. But the superstitions aren’t all superstition.” Marwyn said, spitting out the rest of his sourleaf. His smile stained red from the juices as he spoke in the low lantern light.

“They say, that when a warrior dies, his spirit goes to ride the sky with the Great Stallion.”

Lons laughed. “Certainly there is no Great Stallion…”

Marwyn’s face turned serious as he spoke. “Perhaps not a stallion, but I think there is merit to the idea. A man is not gone forever. He lives on in what he has left the world, whether it’s something as simple as a kind word, writings, a smile and a handshake. Everything a man does impacts the world around him. When we go, we leave that behind. What we teach, show, play, love… all of that leaves an imprint, a ripple if you will, on the ocean of time.”

Lons nodded, encouraging Marwyn to continue. He sat in silence, simply absorbing the conversation.

“I would wager that this ripple, connects the two worlds. Life and death. They are truly the same thing. Like the ancient sorcerers used to believe. Death magic and healing magic are just used to different ends, they are the same.”

Lons smiled. Marwyn’s charisma was certainly bringing him to see his point. Perhaps it was the wine, but Lons could understand the old man’s ramblings.

“You aren’t going to die on me now, are you Old Man Marwyn?” Lons said with a laugh.

Marwyn chuckled. “I wouldn’t worry about that boy. I’ve got some years ahead of me. But, like every man and beast, that day comes for us all. The trick is to leave behind what good we can while we are here.”

The old man turned to watch one of the ships slowly rowing out into the bay on the dark water. Few ships left at night, but the captains that did were certainly skilled. It took a strong heart to navigate the harbor with nothing save the torchlight. Luckily for them, the moon shone full, easing the journey.

“Death is just one more adventure to a new land. One day, all of us will pull out of port, just like this vessel here, to witness a world larger than we ever thought possible.”
‘I hope I leave some goodness behind in you boy.’ Marwyn thought idly.

Over the years, Marwyn would come back to this conversation as he and Lons spoke. His mind was at ease, the more he taught the young maester. Maybe there was good to come out of the citadel, even in a time where magic was a laughingstock.

One day, Lons would come to know the truth about magic, Marwyn decided. He’d seen it in the flames before.

Lons snapped back to reality as Viseryion let out a mighty roar that echoed across the ocean. In the distance, another fleet approached, flying Targaryen and Lancaster banners.

Lons looked out to the waves, then down at his chain… and Marwyn’s chain.

“Best of luck on your new journey, old friend.” Lons said aloud. “We’ll speak again someday.”
With that, he let the chains drop into the dark waters.

Viseryion roared again. Lons wondered if Marwyn existed somewhere in the great beast, somehow part of the great power that the creatures exuded.

Lons smiled. Marwyn would have most certainly proposed such a theory.

The chains slipped into the water without a small splash, leaving a ripple in it’s wake.

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Darkest Night
"Dany, we just need to stop going outside. At all."

Lons moved along with the entourage through the streets of Asshai passing bustling markets and a vibrant city full of life, even under this eternal twilight. Rhakaro and the other blood riders stood a close guard. The Unsullied stood with spear tips ready. It was surprisingly peaceful. As the group moved on, the crowds thinned out and the darkness seemed to press in. Lons glanced at Rhakaro, his hand uneasily settled on his auroch, but still forging forward like the grizzled warrior he was.

“Something’s wrong…” Lons muttered.

Rhakaro nodded, gripping the hilt of his Auroch. Lons knew he was afraid. In fact, this whole damn city seemed to scare Rhakaro. Lons couldn’t blame him in that regard. Even knowing of magic, the place had an unsettling air to it.

“I know.” Dany said.

The streets were deserted. Nothing but wind was slipping through the alleys.

Three men in black robes walked out of the alley.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time, Mother of Dragons.” the warlock spoke.

The Unsullied fanned out into a phalanx, shielding the queen.

One of the robed men raised a hand, scattering the Unsullied like mere toy soldiers. Many died on the impact. Either way, they were out of the fight.

Rhakaro and the other blood riders shot forward.

“Stay back! You can’t fight them!” Lons yelled, hoping to stop them in time. A sickening crack of broken bone echoed through the street. Rhakaro turned, slowly. His chest had literally exploded. His eyes caught Lons and he mouthed words that had been so dear to his heart. ‘Blood of my blood…’

Another good man had died in service to him and the queen.

Lons moved forward.

His cane seemed to be the only sound in the street, save a few scattered moans of the other Blood Riders and Unsullied.

“Lons, what are you doing? We need to get out of here!” Dany pleaded.

‘Too many good men have fallen to these unjust fools.’

Click.

‘Magic is not inherently evil, it is the purpose for which one uses it.’

Click.

The robed men sneered. Rhakaro’s killer spoke. “And just what does a crippled old man hope to do? Your friend died like the fool he was. No magic can harm us. We are gods amongst you worthless worms.”

‘Magic does not make one invincible Lons, remember that well.’ Marwyns words came back to mind as he raised his hands. He took in a deep breath and focused.

His cane clattered to the ground next to him. The warlocks guffawed at the crippled man trying to face their obviously insurmountable power.

All of the power within him welled forward. He felt it pulsing through him. Where it once used to roil about, out of control, it was now a focused beam. He simply continued to breath, willing the power forth.

The flames sprang to life from his hands, whirling around like a superheated tempest. The flames shot out, engulfing the men. Around him, Dany and the others would see the warlocks raise their hands to protect themselves in futility.

The scene was gruesome, but the killers deserved nothing less. Skin disintegrated and blew away.

Ashes. Only ashes.

Muscle and bone melted with it, scattering to the wind.

Only ashes in the wind.

Lons collapsed, his chest heaving. Sweat poured out from him.

“I’m sorry, Rhakaro…” he muttered.

‘I hope that was vengeance enough.’ Lons thought.

It would never be enough, he thought as he began to grieve for his friend.

The few guards that were left hobbled over and tried to muster a defense.

The streets were full of life again as people began to call the guards over, noticing the bloody scene.

Just like that, life went on.

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The Bloodrider's Tale

Rakharo strutted through the ranks of dothraki crowding in the ghost grass near the walls of the dark city. He looked up at the ever dark sky and suppressed a shudder. It would not do to show weakness or uncertainty here. He was bloodrider to the khaleesi, blood of her blood, and he would follow her anywhere. Besides, the dark sky and eerie feelings he had were nothing next to the power of his friend, dahktar Lons. His magic was strong, and Rakharo knew that Lons would use his magic to cast away the dark clouds if needed.

Rakharo pushed an older man out of his way. “Dak tra hla khaalo scruk tuu suol!” The man backed away from him, muttering as he went back to work, cutting at the grass. Few of the dothraki bothered to trouble Rakharo anymore, despite his young age. Rakharo had added many bells to his braid while with the khaleesi, and all knew it.

The young bloodrider strode into the city, ignoring the looks of the strange warriors and their odd blades. He had thought he’d seen impractical weapons in the blades that the khaleesi’s bear and old man carried, but these shadowed fighters were even more ridiculous. They glared at Rakharo as he passed and he scoffed. If they attacked him, he would cut them down, even if it was less honorable without being on his horse. It would be simple, and he would add another bell to his braid.

He walked up to the large building in the middle of the dark city and made his way to the khaleesi’s chambers. He entered to find the khaleesi alone, looking through one of bound skins. Rakharo didn’t know what they were for, they could not be eaten, or used in a fight, so he had no use of them. But dahktar Lons carried many, and he was very powerful, so they must have contained some secrets. His khaleesi looked up. “Rakharo, how is my khalasar?” The bloodrider thumped his chest. “Rakharo has led dothraki many times. Rakharo would have many new bells if fight real.”

The mother of dragons laughed. “Well I’m glad to hear it.” She offered him some fruit from a small platter. Rakharo accepted the gift from the khaleesi, roughly shoving the food into his mouth. “Dahktar Lons not eat with khaleesi?” She looked up at him again. “No, not today. Lons is busy with the red priestess, studying. He’ll join us later.” Rakharo nodded as if he understood the magic that dahktar Lons was learning. Dahktar Lons tried to explain it to him several times, but Rakharo did not understand how a man could fight without and arakh and a horse. Once he even tried to show dahktar Lons how to use an arakh, but he couldn’t swing the blade right. They had both laughed at each others attempts. Rakharo liked remembering that.

He liked having dahktar Lons around. The man was not a bloodrider, he was not dothraki. But Rakharo thought that if he had to choose others to be blood of his blood, dahktar Lons wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Hours later, Rakharo walked down one of the dark streets a few paces ahead of the khaleesi and dahktar Lons, Aggo and Jhogo on either side of them, the khaleesi’s unsullied ahead and behind. Rakharo had his hand on his arakh, he didn’t trust the dark alleys they passed. Ahead three men in dark robes appeared and the bloodrider noticed that the other people in the city had vanished. He quickly unsheathed his arakh and moved in front of the khaleesi as the unsullied moved towards the men. Rakharo had seen the unsullied take down many men, and knew they would quickly get rid of these troublemakers. One of the man in robes raised his hand and slashed it in front of him. Rakharo saw the shadow fly and the unsullied all dropped heavily in front of him. Magic. Like Lons’.

Rakharo was the only one between the robed men and the khaleesi. He raised his arakh, ready to earn his next bell for his braid, only wishing he had his horse. He began to charge forward. “Rakharo, wait! You can’t fight them!” Dahktar Lons called to him and Rakharo paused. Lons knew much of this sort of magic. Lons would protect them.

He turned back to face the robed men and the one in the lead raised his hand again. Rakharo felt a strange sensation in his chest. Like something was pushing at it from the inside. Rakharo looked down as an invisible fist punched through his heart and out of his chest. The bloodrider staggered and turned. He fell to his knees and his eyes met Lons. He tried to speak, but only a strained gurgle came from his lips. His mouth formed the shape of the final words that he would never speak.

Blood of my blood…

And then all was black, and Rakharo knew no more.

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Lanncaster Log 11
Flashback!!!

“Five…six…seven…” Jance Morgan’s young voice called out loudly. Toten dashed down the hallways of Rockfall looking for a hiding place, his small feet scrabbling along the stone floors. He reached the end of a hallway and hauled open the door at the end, wincing at the loud creaking sound it made. Toten slipped into his father’s chambers and looked around. He darted quickly into a small closet, pushing his way past old furs and cloaks until his back pressed against a cool stone wall.

In the distance down the hall, he heard Jance call out. “Ready or not, Toten, here I come!” Toten could hear Jance running down the hall, checking doors and alcoves. Toten pushed himself back further, feeling around him and finding another small space further back in the closet. The air smelled more damp from back there, and a cold crept up from the space, but Toten edged into it as he heard Jance pull open the door to Natan’s chambers, the same creak as before echoing through the room.

Toten tried to get as far back as he could when his foot slipped out from beneath him and he fell into the crack in the wall, tumbling roughly for several feet before coming to a stop in the darkness. He could hear the trickle of water, but couldn’t make out which way he’d fallen from. He sat for several minutes, waiting for Jance to find him so he would know where to go. When the young boy did not appear, Toten put out a hand, feeling the wall of the cave and slowly started forward, following the sound of the water, slipping and sliding his way through the cave. Eventually, he found a small beam of light and moved towards it, wedging his way through another crack and out into the afternoon light, the sun making a rare appearance in the sky.

He moved away from the mountain, looking back at the small cave he had just emerged from. It melded almost seamlessly into the rock wall, and unless Toten was looking for it, he had no idea where the rock overlapped the opening. Toten turned away from the rock and rounded a corner, spying the back of a barn. Toten moved around it and was met with the clang of steel ringing out in the afternoon. A large man with a wide belly and even wider shoulder stood hammering at an anvil, awkwardly holding the steel with the fingers of his left hand, having no thumb to help his grip.

“Hello, Earnum,” Toten called. Earnum One Thumb looked up from his smithing. “Toten! What in the seven hells are yeh doin’ down ‘ere? Yeh know what time it is!”

“Gods, Earnum, I was just having a bit of fun exploring. No harm in that,” Toten said, hopping up on one of the blacksmiths stools.

“There’s gonna be some harm in yer hide if you don’t explore yer way back towards the castle, boy. Ma Morgan’ll be lookin’ for yeh. Go on, git up there!” Toten hopped off the stool and made his way into the town, winding his way through the streets until he came to one of the larger wooden buildings in the shadow of the castle. He walked up and rapped on the door which flew open almost immediately.

A matronly looking woman stood in the doorway, a dirty apron hanging around her. “Toten, where have you been? The stew’s was going to start getting cold! Get yourself in here.” She ushered Toten through the door and into a room with a long table, Jance already seated near one end. “You better not have been down near the barracks causing trouble again!”

“I wasn’t!” Toten said, sliding into a chair next to Jance. “Toten! Where were you? I called oly oly grumpkins free ten times and you never came out! I waited a long time. Where did you hide?”

Toten pulled a bowl in front of him and spooned some food into his mouth, grinning widely at Jance between bites. “Tell you so you can find me next time? I don’t think so Jance.”

“I’ll keep this one my secret."

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Flame and Shadow

The ship swayed idly as it cruised across the calm seas towards whatever the future held. For the first time in quite a while, the mentor and student spoke of magic and lost wonders.

“I spoke with the Red Priest the other day. He trained me on some things.” Lons added after pouring himself some wine.

“Yes. I’ve seen it in my visions. You seem to be taking it astonishingly well. A quick learner, as always…”

“Well, there was something else the priest asked me… he told me to think about whether I would take to the Shadow or the Flame. I told him I thought the flames were more to my liking.”

“When I used the Kiss of R’hllor to bring Tyene back… the shadows swirled around from all angles, threatening to consume us. It was quite honestly the most terrifying moment in my life, and I’ve seen many things over the past few years.”

“I feel the Shadow is far too dangerous… it’s almost like inviting death to share your bed.” he said. The two scholars burst into laughter.

“Yes, well… all magic is dangerous. No school is more dangerous than any other, and it’s important to remember that. Much like a sword, it’s what you do with the magic that counts, not where it comes from or who condones it.”

“I suppose you have a point… but, I don’t know. Some days I can still feel the shadows racing around me from that night. It’s certainly not a pleasant feeling.”

“I’ll say this, Lons.” Marwyyn spoke, “Shadow or Flame is irrelevant. If your heart is true and honorable, then whatever path you choose will be true. There is nothing to fear. The next chance you get, just sit and open yourself to the shadows. Try it, at least. Let your mind guide you and I think you’ll find they are just two means to the same ends.”

Lons nodded slowly.

“And what end would that be?”

“That, my friend, is always up to you.” Marwyyn said, draining the last of his glass.

Lons returned to his bunk some time later, finding Tyene already asleep. He fell asleep, though rather fitfully, and awoke some time in the middle of the night. A voice whispered in his ear.

“Truth… Outside…”

Lons grumbled, fighting to get back to sleep.

“Truth….”

“Outside…”

He heard it again. Slowly and quietly, he rose to his feet. The cool night air greeted him as he stepped onto the deck of the Iron Victory. He was strangely not surprised to see Lady Stark standing at the aft of the small vessel, gazing up into the full moon.

“Lady Stark?” Lons said, leaning on the railing next to her. “Trouble sleeping as well?”

The young girl was startled by his presence, unaware anyone else was awake.

“Um, yeah…I guess. I just didn’t think anyone else was awake. Just thinking about home.” the young girl said wistfully.

They spoke for a few moments about her circumstances before Sansa suddenly piped up again.

“Victarion isn’t all bad though. Sometimes, he tells me stories. And I think it’s the real him, not just the person you see all day. Like the story about the horn he has. I guess it has the power to control dragons. He says if Dany refuses him, he’s going to use it to make her listen.”

“I probably shouldn’t have said that though.” she said, suddenly turning a bit shy again.

“Well, it’s good that you told me. The dragons are strong creatures. There’s no telling what would happen if he tried to use it. It could finish all of us if we aren’t careful.”

“Um, well, I should probably get heading back before Victarion realizes I’m gone.”

The scholar nodded as Lady Stark walked past. “Rest well, Sansa.”

He sat on the deck and watched the moon for a moment.

He thought back to Marwyyn’s comment.

“Magic is only as evil as the intent behind it.”

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Friendship is Magic!
Oh god, kill it with fire.

THIS WEEK I TRY MY HAND AT MY LITTLE PONY FANFICTION! READ ON TO FIND OUT JUST HOW TWILIGHT TURDMONGLER AND SEMEN SPARKLE DO TO GET OUT OF THIS JAM!

Lons sat in his room, enjoying a brief respite from the day’s troubles. A knock on the door roused him.

“Sorcerer Lons!” A familiar voice called out. Lons slowly got up and opened the door. “A man would like to see you.” he said, his voice showing far more seriousness than Lons’ expected. Lons furrowed his brow in a strange confusion. Court was finished and anyone else would have either come by themselves, or Grass would have known enough to lead with their name. “Who could that be?” Lons spoke, half to himself and half to Grass. “M-Mar…Merlin? I can’t be sure. He wants to see you is all that I was told.”

Total surprise took over. Merlin could be none other than Marwyyn.

What in the seven hells could Marwyyn be doing in Mereen? Certainly he couldn’t keep an old friend waiting. As he hobbled down the hallways as quickly as possible, memories flooded back to him. It was as if he was home, back in Rockfall and Old Town, even King’s Landing. He was everywhere and nowhere, his head swimming with the best and worst times of his life. He was reminiscing about late night conversations he’d enjoyed with Marwyyn over the years when he saw his mentor.

“Marwyyn?” he said, still shocked.

Marwyyn flashed a mischievous smile. “So this is him? The Sorcerer of Mereen?” he said with a laugh as they shook hands for the first time in over two years.

“What brings out to this corner of the world, my friend?” Lons asked. He’d known Marwyyn had traveled in his younger years, but never did he expect to see the aging Maester outside of Westeros.

“It’s been some years since I’ve traveled, but it’s a good path for a man of knowledge to walk. There are new opportunities around every corner. There’s nothing like the feel of the open sea, the entire world spread before you.” Marwyyn continued.

“Actually, Lons, I’m here to make a final offer.”

He rummaged through his robes, searching for something. A few moments later, he produced a maester’s chain. Lons knew it well. It was his chain. He’d been dreading this moment for quite some time now.

“I want to offer you your chain once more.” Marwyyn said, holding the metal necklace out for Lons to take.

Time seemed to stop as Lons formed the words in his head. He didn’t want to utter them anymore than he wanted to experience the bloody flux, but still they rolled out of his mouth like a flash flood.

“I’m sorry, but after everything that I’ve seen and everything I’ve been through… I don’t think I can accept my chain again.” Lons said. His heart dropped as he watched Marwyyn’s hand release the chain. The metal clattered to the floor with a finality he’d never wanted. In his mind’s eye, he envisioned Marwyyn turning and walking away, back to the Citadel and the world he’d left behind. And where would that leave Lons?

To Lons’ surprise, Marwyyn hadn’t left.

“I knew you’d make the right choice, Lons.”

Lons was stunned. “What do you mean?” he managed to stammer out.

“Do you think it was by accident that you got placed at Rockfall, one of the lower houses. A maester of your caliber, getting placed with a small house? It was no easy feat, but I was able to get you placed there. The Lanncasters are an honorable house. I wanted to let you learn about honor before the corruption of the Citadel took it’s roots in you.”

Lons looked on, a smile slowly spreading across his face. The broken friendship he was dreading was in truth, stronger than ever. Perhaps there was hope for the rest of the world he’d left behind. He wondered how Toten was doing. Or for that matter, if the man was even still alive. He’d certainly gotten himself into the thick of things somehow…

“The Citadel… they’re nothing but puppets. They don’t know what true power is. You and I, we’ve seen things most of these men only dream of. Magic is alive again Lons. I know you feel it. I know you’ve seen it.”

“And we’re going to be at the forefront of it.”

(Annnd, two week old post!)

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