King Toten Lancaster walked into the hall of Walder Frey, done up in its finest for the upcoming wedding. Toten had polished his armor to a sheen in preparation for the event, and is glittered brightly in the torchlight. He moved to his place at the table and sat, Loras standing just off behind him and with Ned and Catelyn to either side.
The ceremony proceeded with little spectacle, the rain pounding outside heavier than Toten could ever remember. Lightning and thunder rumbled the stones of the Twins, and the thrum of the Green Fork was ever present.
Eventually, the feasting began and the ale began to flow. Toten picked at a few morsels and kindly sipped his ale when Frey men toasted him, turning away others who suggested he change from his armor. His companions did the same, save Loras, his eyes always searching.
After some time, Walder Frey yelled out over the din of the band. “This has gone on long enough, heh. It’s time for the bedding, heh!” The young men and women of Frey’s court crowded around Edmure and his new bride, clamoring and stripping away their clothes. Toten set down his goblet and clapped politely, but paused as he saw tears running from the Frey girl’s eyes.
“The girl doesn’t seem too happy with the match,” Toten spoke softly to the Starks next to him. “It can often be intimidating for a maiden at the bedding,” Lady Stark said as he brother and the girl were being hustled from the room. “Still…perhaps I should make sure…” She nodded at Ned and they both stood. Ned put a hand on Toten’s shoulder before following his wife across the room. A Frey moved after them and Toten caught a glimpse of mail beneath his cloak.
“Loras,” Toten said quietly. “If Frey is making comments about me wearing my armor, why is that man wearing his?” The Knight of Flowers scanned the room. “Your Grace,” he said, his hand sliding towards his sword. “I think all of these men are wearing armor.” He spoke what Toten’s eyes had already told him as he saw flashes of mail and hard leather. He stiffened and his hand edged towards Shatterstone.
The music from the band suddenly rose in volume, the tune changing to Lann the Clever. Toten’s eyes moved to where Ned and Catelyn were across the room and to his horror saw half of an arrow sticking out of Ned’s tunic, the other half buried deep in his chest.
“LORAS!!” Toten bellowed as two more arrows sunk into Ned, the crossbowmen in the band turning towards the King and his guard. Loras drew his sword but it was too late. Two arrows pierced his armor, at his shoulder and his side as Toten felt one slash past his face. Shatterstone’s familiar weight was in Toten’s hand as he kicked over the table and pulled Loras behind it. The Knight of Flowers’ face was slick with sweat and blood was already trickling from his armor, but as Toten lifted the table, Loras put his shoulder to it and together they rushed towards the platform with the archers, trampling over a few Frey’s in front of them. One slashed at Toten, but he picked up a large platter and deflected the blow, throwing the dish back at the man.
The table crashed against the base of the platform as the crossbowmen fired again down at them. Arrows scraped against Toten but failed to find purchase against his armor. Next to him, another sank into Loras’ collar at the base of his neck. Toten lunged up, grabbing another sword and began hacking through the cowards on the platform, blood flying as he ended their lives. Loras followed, his sword singing as he cut through foes, red flowing down into his white cloak.
The last crossbowman fell before them and Toten’s eyes locked with Walder Frey, a fire burning within him like none he’d ever known. “FREY!!” The word came out as a roar, a promise of pain and anger, the sound of an animal. “Kill him! Kill him now!” Walder yelled as scores of his men poured into the hall. Toten jumped down from the platform and picked up a dropped shield. Frey’s men came at him, in ones and twos, threes and fives. But no matter what they sent he fought through them. His shield punched through flesh and bone, Shatterstone tore through armor and muscle, guided by righteous purpose. Bodies littered the floor around him, Loras somehow still with him. Covered in blood, Toten rose up the stairs to Walder’s throne. He cast his shield aside and grabbed the feeble man by his throat and lifted him into to air. The wrinkled man choked as he tried to fill his lungs. “You have your wedding,” Toten snarled. “A red wedding.” Shatterstone rose under Walder’s head and slid up through his neck with a force so intense it separated from Frey’s body.
Toten whirled and threw the body heavily down the steps, facing the rest of Frey’s brood. He started down the steps, sword ready when the doors burst open and Roose Bolton strode in, a host of Frey crossbowmen with him. “You!” Toten yelled, stepping towards Bolton. The crossbows raised and Toten paused. Beneath him, Loras fell to the ground. The King knelt next to him. The Knight of Flowers’ cloak was soaked through with his own blood, his face as white as his cloak should have been. Still, his eyes moved, searching desperately. “Loras,” Toten called. “Loras, you’ll be all right. Hold on.” He tried to cover Loras’ wounds futily. Across the room, Bolton stopped in front of Ned, on his knees, his breathing shallow. Lady Stark struggled near him as the men beat her, a knife at her throat. The lord of the Dreadfort drew his sword.
“Stannis’ red bitch sends her regards.” Bolton thrust his sword into Eddard Stark’s heart and twisted, Catelyn managing a brief scream before the knife was drawn across her neck. “NO!” Toten was on his feet again and made to move at Bolton.
Suddenly Loras was in front of him. “It has been my great honor to serve you, Your Grace.” Toten barely had time to stammer before Loras was pushing him, putting every last ounce of life into one effort to bull Toten backwards.
Toten was falling. Above him he could see a window, and Loras standing in it looking down. Dozens of arrows punched through the Knight of Flowers’ and his body slumped against the window. “LORAS!” Toten yelled as he was turned in the air. The roar of the Green Fork rushed up at him, and the last thing Toten knew, was black.
Toten’s arm curled around Gabby laying next to him, her face nuzzling into his shoulder, her soft breasts pressed against his naked chest. Light was streaming softly through their bedchamber, the silken sheets tangled up amongst them. Toten turned his face to hers and smiled. “My queen,” he whispered. Her mouth curled into a smile. “My king,” she purred. She stood and turned back to Toten. Gabby opened her mouth to speak, but instead of words, water poured forth. Her eyes widened in horror. The light was gone. One hand rose to her throat and the other reached towards Toten as she choked, the water cascading from her. She whipped back, as if something grabbed her feet and she was sucked backwards into the darkness.
Toten ran through blackness. Lena was in front of him. “Lena…where is she? Where?” He turned all around, frantic. Before him, Lena raised her hands to her blindfold and removed it. She opened her eyes. They were black, the color of a river in a raging storm. “No!” Toten backed away, the rushing sound filling his ears again.
“Toten.” Toten whirled. Lons stood in front of him, both hands on his cane in front of him. “Lons! What’s going on? I’m looking…I’m looking for them…for someone…”
Lons shook his head slowly. “No, Toten. When you experience severe cold it’s important to take firemilk. It’s normally used to clean wounds but it’s called firemilk for a reason. It helps warm you from the inside and therefore causes…” his voice began to trail off as Toten looked on. He heard the rushing again and watched in horror as a wall of water fell over Lons, crushing him under it and sweeping him away. “Lons!” Toten yelled. The wall of water carried Lons away and then swept back, rising high over Toten. It crashed down on him, and Toten Lancaster knew no more.
A dog nuzzled a hand. A voice echoed in darkness. “Toten. Go west, Toten. I’ll find you…”
The man slowly opened his eyes, his entire body wracked with pain, the gray light of the overcast sky was blinding. He coughed and water bubbled from his throat. He rolled over onto his hands and knees and retched, more water forced up from his stomach and lungs. Slowly, the man staggered to his feet, gasping. A piece of green metal fell from his arm and onto the bank of the river. His right hand felt strangely empty. Bits of a ragged cloak clung to his shoulder. The man brushed it off and stood blinking weakly, staring out at the landscape.
“You there! Boy! You all right!” To his right a man approached, riding on a small wooden cart.
“L-Lons?” the man croaked, his voice hoarse.
“You take a fall in the river there boy? What happened to you?”
The man tried to think, his face full of concentration. “…wedding…”
“A wedding, huh?” said the man in the cart. “Looks more like a war from here. You must have just taken a bad spill is all.” He got down from his cart and wrapped a blanket around the man. “Jeck Jogs, at your service. Come on now,” he said, helping the younger man into the cart. “Let’s get you up here. Don’t want to be wandering around with kings and queens fighting around here.”
“A girlfriend, huh?” the man with the cart said. “Well, maybe we’ll get you back to her yet. I’m headed to Fairmarket. Plenty of pretty young girls there if you want to find a new one.” He chuckled. “What’s your name, boy?”
A faraway look crossed the man’s face, as if he were trying to view something from a great distance but couldn’t bring it into focus.
Shivering, Toten, a smallfolk of little importance, huddled in a blanket and was driven forward, the concerns of kings and queens, lords and ladies, and houses and banners meaning nothing more to him than so many words carried on the autumn winds that swept through the land.