Soaring Steel

With Swords and Spears

 photo SwordsandSpears.jpg

Summary
1. Uric executes the 3 ruffians after a rough interrogation. It was revealed that one of them followed straight arrow, a notorious bandit.
2. Lord Manning and his son stays at the inn to avoid the rain, and leaves before the dawn of next morning.
3. The party comes to realize that the hamlet has been abandoned in the morning.
4. The bandits have the town surrounded and moves in. Uric provokes the bandit commander Shagwell Cooper and battle ensues.
5. The party prevails over the bandits. Ajax and Gwen have sustained wounds.
6. It was decided that the bodies were to be burnt behind the South Western house

There is a total of 20 heads. With one staked in the middle of the hamlet.

Meyon

It didn’t seem right to him. To kill defenceless men, especially ones that hadn’t even borne arms against them. But so little nowadays seemed right anymore. The people in his mind, the figures that spoke to him, they often mocked his sensibilities. But they knew too that those sensibilities were a part of him, just like they were. Mycroft knew also that people mocked him for speaking with the figures, the worst calling him mad, the best calling him blessed. He was quite aware the people weren’t real, he knew he alone saw them. But… when he ignored them… they became… worse. If he spoke with them they stayed gentle, courteous, safe, even wise at times. However, if he didn’t… if he tried to live as most others did… he remembered the men and women made beasts, beasts he alone could see, beasts he alone could feel as they tore at his flesh.

He shook his head roughly as he sat in the inn once again. Now was not the time to pine over what might have been. Lord Mycroft would arrive soon, as would Lord Tywin and much ceremony would be needed. 20 heads now. 20 heads out of the lord’s requested 25. And 3 gained dishonourably and callously. But it was so hard to argue with the Old Man sometimes. His methods were… crude… crude and vicious, but so terribly effective. And Meyon did owe him, owe him more than almost anyone else. He could hear laughter outside, the deep basses and tenors of most of the men combined with the alto and soprano sound of Isaac and Guinivere. Isaac was a good lad and an earnest squire, Meyon had been glad to have him in the scrap. Guinivere had been brave too, and durable. Meyon was unsure if he could have taken such a grievously shot arrow as well as she had.

Thinking on the battle made the red-haze enter his vision again and once more he shook his head briskly. The fight was over, a formal event was fast approaching, he needed to think about calming things. It had been interesting to see Lord Manning and his son the night before. Meyon wondered at the strain that seemed to exist between them. Once again, old men disapproved of the next generation, regardless of all that they do. Meyon felt sympathy for Ser Kevan, sympathy and perhaps a semblance of pity. To be married off for an alliance, it made Meyon glad that things hadn’t turned out similarly for him. A “mere” anointed knight he may be, but he controlled his fate far more effectively than lordlings. And come to think of it… the Mannings had left pretty bloody early didn’t they?

“Had they known something?” Meyon was surprised to find himself thinking out loud. He was tired though, and all this subterfuge and trickery disturbed him. He felt his head begin to ache.

“You really shouldn’t ponder on such things. Your mind wasn’t made for it.”

Meyon smiled slightly as the words of “Phantom” Mycroft flowed over him.

“Perhaps you’re right my lord.” Meyon turned his head to look at the all too real illusion. “But surely you must suspect their motives for departing with such haste.”

“It is… suspicious I will agree.” Mycroft stepped forward and sat across from his vessel… and vassal. “But there is little that can be done about it now. You fought well earlier, even though the leader escaped.”

“We only succeeded because so many fought well. Ajax and Guin had a field day with their bows if the shafts protruding from the dead are any indication. And Jorje and Isaac both had good claim in the blood spilt. But it was all so risky. Our strategy was too fragmented. And I hadn’t expected the Old Man to interfere with my negotiation, though I suppose I should have.” Meyon sighed when reflecting on how dangerous the battle had become because of just one man. “Even though he’s quite useful and I have no grudge against him, that Ironborn needs more discipline.”

“Why did you go to help him?”

“It wasn’t him I went to help my lord, it was the Old Man. Never has he or I gained anything but total victory when we stood together. And he has a soft spot for the wretch. I could hardly let him get killed for actually showing some compassion.”

Mycroft’s face seemed to battle over whether to smile or sneer. “Hm… well regardless, the battle was won and you have many more heads to show the application of law in these lands.”

“Though not without cost.”

Meyon turned around, stunned to see his “Phantom” Mother standing before him. I must be more tired than I thought. He pondered to himself. Usually only Mycroft emerges from my mind.

“A little blood must be spilt for progress, just as a little steel must be spilt to make the best blade.”

Alaya Danbeyras waved away Mycroft’s words as she stepped forward, her bright green dress hissing across the wood floor. She sat next to her son and laid a hand on his arm.

“Never pay a cost that doesn’t need to be paid. Especially if it is a cost of life.”

“None of ours died today, the wounds will heal. But yes mother, I’ll remember.” It isn’t as if the thought ever strayed far from his mind. Though it made sense she would voice his thoughts, she was him after all. “Mycroft” disagreed however.

“Words a woman can easily say.”

“Words a man would be wise to listen to.”

“Enough!” Meyon shocked his phantoms with his tone and his abrupt stand from the table. “I will not have you two fighting with such an important event about to take place.” He could handle Mycroft by himself, but an argument inside his mind was liable to drive him to madness, or at the very least utter distraction. “If you must continue this please do it elsewhere.”

The two illusions gazed at him blankly for a moment and during that time a tingle of terror ran up and down Meyon’s spine. Would they change now and drive him again into a terrible coma like the one he had suffered before? Had he pushed them too far?

Waves of relief passed over him as the hallucination of his mother smiled weakly. “You’re right my son, of course. I apologize.” She turned to ‘Mycroft’. “And apologies to you as well my lord. I shall take my leave of you both now.” Meyon helped her stand and kissed her lightly on a cheek that he knew wasn’t there but still felt like it was real. He then watched her as she walked into one of the walls of the inn and seemed to fade away.

“Well my lord, what do-” But as Meyon turned to address his illusory master he saw that he too had disappeared. “I will need quite a bit of rest when all this is over.” He began to rub his forehead with his right hand, trying to ease the pounding.

“Boy! Get your arse out here! Don’t think just cause you kept my hide from getting knicked worse earlier on means you get to shirk on work now!”

Meyon smiled to himself as Uric’s voice boomed into the inn.

“No rest for the wicked.” And then he caught himself, shocked at his words. “Or… or the worthy, for that matter.” He stepped out into the sun, a shadow briefly hanging over his soul.

Comments

Conorose

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.