G.o.T. Campfire - House Stark
Born out of darkness into the light
It is you who decides fate.
What is the world you live in? Where is your future? Who are your friends and allies and which of those might be foes?
Do you turn your back and leave the darkness behind you in order to face the light or do you avoid the light and dedicate yourself to the dark side of your life?
The choice is yours.
This is your campfire! Do what you must.
wordninja & Jeffrey B
Make your own decisions and lead the story in the direction you and your members decide on.
We will not stand in your way. We shall not reveal your words until the last day.
You have until May 25th to add what you need.
On this last day, May 25th, try to make the closing post, as in finish the story - tie up loose ends - get it done!
But, keep in mind, the rating is set at 13+!
Good luck, my Warriors!
The Starkelvin Victory
Darkness enveloped the two Starkelvin bowmen, like a sheet heavy with night rain. They perched on the edge of the cliff, eyes peering but seeing nothing. A raven's call pierced the silence. Neither elf twitched a muscle, so intent were they.
|A fluttering of feathers announced the arrival of the raven. With the lack of light, they saw but the glowing eyes of the messenger. The sleek bird alighted on the stony outcropping, a message baited on it's tiny tongue.|
|In all of the Forgone Lands, nothing remained so still as those two bodies. As Horent was hours from emblazoning the forest with First Dawn, no eye but a birds would stand a chance of acquiring the archers. Almost seven feet tall and more muscular than smaller humans, these were no ordinary elves. And, it so happened, they had no ordinary mission. The only milometer that either Wolf of Forgone budged was the length their pupils drug to trace this unwelcome bearer of news.|
|Its wings grew still and the raven fell in a flawless dive, flighting itself onto a broad arrowhead. The most talented smith in all Forgone had cast the head to Avriel's specifications, down to every vent and curve. The arrow remained just as still with the weight of the bird as it had without.|
Louder than broken bells, the beast crowed for the forest to hear, "The Lady Arryn requests the company of her trespassers!"
Avriel had never liked Magicians.
|Kyriel was unsettled by the message. Between Lady Arryn knowing where to find them and the crow announcing their location, what else was compromised in their quest? And why did Lady Arryn want their presence? Kyriel broke the stillness as he turned towards Avriel with the first shades of doubt crossing his brow.|
Kyriel's lips parted, threatening to trickle a word or two, but it was Avril's eyes which spoke first.
"Shall we?" the narrowed brown eyes inquired. Kyriel nodded.
|The two turned down the rocky path that led to the main road. As they passed the large sycamore tree, a figure dropped from its branches. The two halted, waiting for the other to make the first move.|
"Friend or foe?" Kyriel asked. He leaned to Avril, "I've always wanted to say that."
A sprite crouched before them. One diminutive hand held a small dagger while the other arm tried to steady its stance, by flopping like a broken wing.
"I could be either, depending on who you are and what you're doing on my path."
Kyriel and Avril looked at each other then at the sprite. "Big words from a little mutt. It could be some help to us. What do you think Avril? Do we keep it or cook it?"
|"Let's take the little imp along. He may come in handy, depending on what Lady Arryn has to say."|
"How dare you call me an im..., " his voice was cut off as Avril stuffed him into a sack he'd retrieved from his pack.
|Editor's note: Please delete prior to publication.|
Here, our story flashes to events (only just unfolded) in Council Chambers Arryn. The mysterious "Lord" featured is our inevitable antagonist, Lord Lannistro of Libria. The heir discussed is the child of the fair King and Queen of Starklevin, who has been missing since the revolt that took his/her parents. As our readers couldn't know (but we do!), the revolt may have been no accident... and the motives of fatherly Lord Jeffar Lannistro are anything but admirable. Intent on bringing their kingdoms into a centuries-unheard alliance, the Lord and Lady agree that the child of Starklevin must be located... should only Lady Arryn find someone who can achieve what her kingdom's magic cannot. Here, our job is first to set the scene for our bowmen's arrival and secondly to lay down the foundations of our plot.
"Yes, my Lord."
The high, stone ceilings of Council Chambers Arryn flickered with shadows and candlelight. Dozens of high backed chairs upholstered in lush velvet framed their way around the council table, supporting the tailored boots of a well dressed man. His face had been forged out of the fires of charisma, with lines which only deepened when he smiled. If she weren't the only person in the room, the Lady of Arryn would have felt as much in the company of Lord Lannister. His balding hair regaled his head with a crown, possibly a genetic carryover from the long legacy of lords he was birthed from. His coat of furs fell lazily over the finest red and gold a nobleman could wear. He smiled at his new alliance with the countenance of a loving father.
"I simply find it hard to believe that rulers could be fair and just, and yet be slain in a revolt by their own people. Surely, the Kingdom Starklevin deserved its lot."
"I'd not wish such upon anyone, as poor as their rule may have been!"
"Ah, Lady, nor do I. Yet, when the people speak so, it's our duty, as their servants, to listen. The people of this land need capable rulers. Rulers who can put an end the bitter divisions between our kingdoms. The Stewardship of Starklevin only protected those divisions through its jurisdiction. Only the royalty need be convinced."
"And this is why you seek the heir?"
| The great doors of the council chambers opened. Lady Arryn and Lord Lannistro turned in unison. |
As the bowman stepped across the threshold, the honor guard blocked their path.
“Surrender your weapons before you enter the Lady Arryn’s presence.” A voice from behind commanded.
Kyriel turned to Avriel. “That must be the court jester.”
“Forgive my Lord; for he is ignorant of who stands before us.” Lady Arryn walked towards them.
“Stand down.” The voice commanded again.
The shuffle of feet and parting of the way brought them face to face with Lady Aryyn and she proffered a hand to the bowmen. They in turn took her hand and placed theirs over hers. And each uttered a silent oath.
“Bring a feast fit for the best bowman in all the lands.”
Lady Arryn swept her hand toward the table.
“Come, for there is someone I want you to meet. You have met before but a long time ago. You were all mere infants.”
“We know who he is.” Avriel spoke directly to Lord Lannistro.
Lord Lannistro gave each of them a short bow in turn. Neither of the bowman acknowledged the gesture.
“Your fame precedes you, and I am honored to be in your presence. However, I shall leave you, as I am sure you have much to talk about.”
M’Lady.” He bowed low and then swept up his furs. Servants rushed to open the doors. In seconds they
“This is your bedfellow, Lady Arryn?” Kyriel almost spat the words at her.
“Your brother may have the eyes of a hawk, but his manners need work.” She handed Avriel and Kyriel a goblet each.
The three raised them in the air and cried.
The doors opened again and servants came in carrying platters of meats, bread and fruits. The table was laden with enough food to feed an army. Kyriel licked his lips, for the last three days they had lived on one rabbit and berries. This did not go unnoticed by Lady Arryn.
“Fill yourselves and then sleep, for in the morrow we have much to discuss and plan. The time has come for you both to fulfill your destiny and return the heir to his rightful place as King of Starklevin, Supreme ruler of all the Kingdoms.”
|After eating, the two men climbed the stairs to their rooms. Avriel pushed his door open. With no fire burning in the large fireplace, a chill soon permeated their bones. No candles welcomed them. No bath stood ready as promised. An odd feeling crept up his back, and he took two large steps backwards.|
"Kyriel!!" He spun at the door just as a spear flew by his head. Down the hall, Kyriel whirled toward Avriel and crouched in anticipation. The door to his room banged opened, and a figure flew from it. It circled above him then zipped through the air to Avriel. In another swoop, it shot right through his brother's body, sending a surge of energy that pulled him off his feet. The entity came to a stop at Kyriel. It circled and finally the form turned a bluish color and surrounded him.
"Leave him alone!" Avriel threw his body at his brother. The form dissipated and Avriel crashed into his brother, flattening him to the stone floor.
"OOF! Get off me." Kyriel pushed his brother off of his chest. A frown furrowed his brows. "What happened to you?"
"What?" Avril sat up.
"You look different." His eye's squinted. "Your eyes are green and they're glowing. Your body looks like you've been working out for years." He shook his head as if he hoped to change the scene in front of him.
"I don't believe you." Avriel stood and walked directly to a polished metal square in his brother's room. This room had the fire burning in the fireplace and candles placed on the ledges. In the polished metal, he saw his eyes were indeed a green color.
"Ah, I think you need to see this."
"What?" Avriel observed his new body in the small square.
"LOOK!" Kyriel held out a parchment. Avriel took it and pulled the edges down. The words blurred for a moment then a mouth protruded and said.....
"All things are not as they seem
A usurper lurks in shadows dark.
To find the true and rightful heir
You must turn to noble House Stark"
With that the mouth disappeared from the parchment and the tome returned back to it's dusty form. Avriel unrolled it and read what appeared to be a clue:
"The vain utterings of the imp are in truth the wisdom of kings"
|Avriel gave a nervous laugh and eyed his brother, "Mysterious things are afoot." |
"Who do you think might know of the missing child?" Kyriel tested the bed then got down on his knees lifting the skirt, "Come out or I'll run a sword through the bed!" He stood and waited. Nothing happened. He repeated his warning and withdrew his sword. The sound reverberated as the two men watched the edge of fabric as it brushed the floor below the bed frame.
It moved and they heard a scuffle, then two small hands appeared. The skirt covered the head and body as it emerged from its hiding place. It stood. Barely three and a half feet tall.
Avriel furrowed his brow and Kyriel pointed the tip of his sword at the creature. The tip was stopped with the clanging of metal and his sword flew out of his hand.
"What?" Kryiel jumped back and Avriel's sword was out of its sheath pointed at the small of its neck.
"Who or what are you?" Avriel demanded as his brother retrieved his weapon.
"Does it matter?" The voice was of a man three times his size.
"It does when you are found hiding under the bed." Kyriel cocked his head.
"I might have been cleaning." The creature squinted his eyes and his bushy hair fell in tangles around his shoulders.
"You might have been ready to skewer me to my bed cushion whilst I was asleep." Kyriel accused. The oddly shaped shoulder shrugged.
"What are you?" Avriel asked again.
"You've never seen one of us?" He eyed the two. They shook their heads. The little man like figure laughed and slapped his hand on his thigh. "This should be very good. Well, boys it seems you have been brought here on a goose chase."
"How is that?" Kyriel's hand dropped and the tip of the sword pointed at the ground between the creature's boots. What could be called boots. They seemed to have a hard leather form reinforced by metal. It ended half way up its leg.
"You were sent here to find the child. All the magic of the land has not revealed where the child is hidden. You will not find it without my help"
The two gave a slight nod, they looked at each other.
'Never mind, I know all. I can come and go in this castle without anyone detecting me."
"You are a ghost?" Avriel put a fair amount of distance between him and the creature. "Maybe a faery? I don't believe they exist."
"I am a dwarf."
"Dwarf, you idiot!" Kyriel said as he none-to-gently cuffed his brother's ear.
He rubbed his now red ear and said, "As if you know what a dwarf is, Brother." Avriel's eyes didn't leave the small man.
"Never mind what you think. I'm just as human as you. My body didn't grow in some places and is quite normal in others."
The two young men stepped closer to inspect the small man. They looked at each other.
"He'll die like a man too."
"So will you." The dwarf responded, "This isn't your fight. You need to come with me as there is a plan to kill you before you can find the child."
"You know this child we're to find?"
Of course, follow me." The dwarf dropped to his knees and crawled under the bed skirt.
Kyriel and Avriel remained standing.
"Come on! if you wait much longer the King's men will have your heads cut off and the rest of your body dumped into the moat." The dwarfs head was all that showed with the skirt surrounding his it like a Madonna.
"Do you trust him?" Avriel whispered.
"How should I trust him, I don't even know his name." Kyriel whispered back.
"What's in a name? You'll be dead in a few minutes." His head jerked toward the door as the sound of a key scraped the lock. Both men dove on either side of the dwarf under the bed.
"Just follow me." the body between them disappeared and along with it the two men dropped a few feet to land on a pile of straw.
|It took a moment to adjust to the darkness, but once they did Avriel and Kyriel were stunned by what they saw. An army of eyes shining in the dim torch light, all staring at them as if waiting for them to say something.|
The Starkelvin bowmen looked at each other in silence, which was quickly broken by the dwarf.
"These are the ones spoken of by the manuscript."
With a rustle every set of eyes turned to the ground as the bodies attached to them genuflected as one. Except one. In the midst of the small army was a tall woman, as beautiful as the shining sun and in a glimmering white robe. She alone stood and the others parted as she made her way towards the bowmen.
"This is what the gods have sent to restore the heir?", the woman skeptically asked.
She strolled over to them and made a slow circuit around them. Once back in front she looked up at them but with a haughty spirit that made them feel shorter than her, not in stature but in courage.
"Do you know who I am?" the woman asked? The bowmen did not reply.
"I am Bri-anni." The words weighed heavily in the air as Avriel and Kyriel digested and processed what she had said. Bri-anni. The same name as the kidnapped oldest child of the King. Long since thought dead. Here, in the bowels of the castle.
Together the Starkelvin brothers bowed in the presence of what they now knew to be the rightful heir, all usurpers aside. Bri-anni was the rightful heir as the oldest child of the king. All now made sense according to the prophecies, the manuscript, the imp.
"I was stolen away as a teenager for my mother, the Queen, hated me. She much preferred my weaker younger brother as he as heir would make it easier for her to control the kingdom, if not in title than in manipulation. She was to have me killed, but my guardians protected me and raised me. I have come back to claim my rightful throne. But this is not the end, but only the beginning. For this is the start of the 7 year war, which is prophesied and is to begin. You, Avriel and Kyriel, are the two headed monster that is prophesied as destroying the enemy. You are my generals. Please get up, walk with me and prepare"
As Ariel and Kyriel fell in behind Bri-anni, Ariel leaned over to Kyriel and whispered "Winter is coming".
Suddenly, the heir stopped abruptly and faced the bowmen. With a purpose and determination that made them understand without prejudice how she felt, she exclaimed:
|"Winter has Come!"|