Okay, I really shouldn't be writing this; I've already got three stories on the go on this site, and this'll only add to the workload, but I'm disappointed that there, as far as I can find, are no crossovers of the Inheritance Cycle and Game of Thrones, and so I've written the first two chapters of this story and will continue to do so. I hope you enjoy it, if you are reading this, though I don't know how much traffic it'll receive.
Any of you who are reading this because of my other stories, I would like to say a big thank you to! And also to those who stick with this story in the future!
Those of you who are reading this, please do review, follow and favourite. If there's any interest in this story beyond my own, I'd very much like to know. That would also help convince me to update more frequently.
One more thing that I missed in retrospect, (and I'm updating this as of June 2015) it will take some tie to diverge from Canon. The reasons behind this are quite simple, in my mind, as I think that those crossovers in which the protagonist swoops in and saves the day, making the world a virtual-utopia because he's "just that awesome" rarely work. If I'm going to write this story, I won't just have Eragon save all of the Starks lives simply because I like the characters. That does not sound like a story worth reading to me, and I would no doubt end up growing bored of, and abandoning, it. There will be changes, of course, but those that are significant will take place once Eragon knows what is happening, and reaches conclusions about who's claim to support. I know what happens later down the line, but Eragon does not. For him to dictate everything around him would be putting himself on the level of a god, and I have never seen that aspect of Eragon's personality. I ask that you stick with me, but this is a character-insert fic; I am writing The Stranger's Fire the way I believe they are best executed, and that does not consist of immense, immediate changes that make everything all hunky-dory and violate the nature of Martin's world. Unfortunately, that means it will take some time before I can justify killing those characters that I despise and, while I apologise if that disappoints some of you, I believe that that is the best decision for my story.
Once again, I hope you enjoy the story!
Even now, the bite of the North's cold was shocking to Eragon. Nowhere in Alagaesia, other than at the incredible altitudes he had reached on the back of his partner, did it ever reach such frigid temperatures. Yet, for these people, it was ordinary. Everyday.
And this was a summer.
It went to show how tough these folk were, for sure. No more than a fraction of the humans from his land would have been able to last even a week in the North. Many would not be able to survive a day.
For the Dragon Rider, it was not the cold that was bothersome; his physiology, superior as it was, made it easy, when combined with the thick cloaks of the natives, to even be comfortable in this environment. A strange fact, since the homes of elves, who's strength he had gained, were far from the same as this world; Eragon put this, like many things, down to the magic that flowed through him, and had, so many years ago, reshaped his being. No. For Eragon, the problem was that he was not human any more. His appearance, conspicuous as it was, drew attention to Eragon from all he met.
Men would jeer; seeing the regal, almost feline structure of his face and assuming, rather logically from Eragon's point of view, that he was born and raised in the south. Southern Lords looked more effeminate, and soft, than any in the north and, covered as he was, Eragon could pass as one. Of course, in the event that someone looked to take advantage of this, and that happened often, and steal the gold he was certain to be carrying, the human-elf hybrid would quickly correct their assertion. He was careful to spare their lives, of course, but it was highly unlikely that any of the offending parties would forget the brown haired 'man's' movements as he moved, or would a better word be danced, faster than they could hope to, and had a blade; a beautiful sapphire sword, resting against their throat.
Women were harder to discourage.
Eragon was, for lack of a better term, beautiful, much like Brisingr. Except for the fact that only the rare, skilled blacksmith could see that about his rider's sword, and most every woman he had met had noticed it about the man himself. Promiscuity, apparently, was far more common in this world than Alagaesia and, uncomfortably frequently, Eragon received offers for free-of-charge visits to brothels.
The matter at hand did not relate to this trouble, however.
The punishments in this land were harsh, and Eragon was currently watching the evidence of this. A pathetic figure, screaming and crying, was being manhandled towards a tree stump set up for a rather clear purpose. The reason it was so clear, was that a man; a burly man with a tired expression on his face, was stood next to it, hands resting on the pommel of a shining great-sword.
The hybrid elf knew that it was a mistake to get involved. This was none of his business, after all, and the man likely deserved such a punishment. He had seen, in the minds of many a man in this world, the different attitudes they held towards their fellows and, even more, the females around them. Eragon had long since come to terms with men who committed the crimes in this world being dealt with how their Lord saw fit.
Around here, Eragon knew that the most commonly executed criminals were deserters from the Night's Watch; and this criminal was wearing the black associated with them. Even with the Varden, back when they had shared a common enemy, a deserter would, more likely than not, be put to death. That was not even taking in to account the fact that the majority of these 'guards' were sent to the wall for previous crimes.
But, true to character, Eragon was compelled to check.
"I know I broke my oath, and I know I'm a deserter. I should've gone back to the wall." The man, who had so recently fled from danger, said to the Lord in front of him, head bowed ever so slightly. "I should've warned 'em, but... I saw what I saw. I saw the White-Walkers. If you could get word to my family... tell them I'm a coward. Tell them... tell them I'm sorry."
With a nod, Eddard stark gave the signal to his men, who grabbed the deserter by his shoulders and shoved him to his knees. The man did not resist. Theon Greyjoy, expressionless, offered the blade to his Lord, and Eddard sombrely drew Ice; the great blade that he used for each of these executions. As he began his sentencing, his voice low, his bastard child spoke to the youngest person present.
"Don't look away," Jon Snow instructed Bran, his younger half-brother. "He'll know if you do." Next to Bran's father, brown eyes locked on to his, and their owner nodded to him, emphasising what Jon had said.
"...I, Eddard, Lord of the House Stark, and Warden of the North, sentence you to die." With a single swing of Ice, Ned Stark beheaded the kneeling man, and so his sentence was fulfilled.
"You did well." Bran had only flinched as the man was put to death, and the wetness in his eyes was barely visible. The boy's true brother, Rob, placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, and the three began the short walk back to their horses. When they reached them, their father approached.
"Do you understand why I did it?" Ned asked Bran, knowing the sadness his youngest would feel after his first experience with death.
"Jon said he was a deserter." Bran replied.
"But do you understand why I did it?"
"Our ways are the old ways,"
"And the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword." Ned enforced the importance of such a tradition in the North. Bran's response was a nod, and he prepared to climb on to his horse.
"D-Did he really see the White-walkers?" Bran asked, fearful.
"The White-walkers have been gone for thousands of years." Ned shook his head, reassuring his child.
"So he was lying?" Bran was disappointed by the idea of someone making up such a thing, and this was evident in his tone.
"Not necessarily," Eddard said in response. "A mad man sees what he sees. We cannot know what he encountered, but the White-walkers are gone, son." The large man walked away; heading for his own means of transport. As was often the case, he found it near his most trusted... friend; for the man was not his servant. He served only as long as he wished; neither needing the money or owing a debt to House Stark.
"He believed what he said, My Lord." Eddard nodded, as he met the brown eyes of Eragon; last member of the House of Rider; as he referred to himself in the presence of Lords.
"I know, Eragon. But the Walkers are long since gone. He must have been mad." The Rider nodded absently. Minds here were... different to those back in Alagaesia. Their natural defences were far more developed; likely because the magic of the land had had longer to infiltrate them, or that was what Eragon guessed. Of course, it was not enough to prevent one such as he from reading their thoughts when he put in the effort required, but the condition of the recently executed deserter's mind was similar to that of a madman, and so he was forced to dismiss the threat
"I agree. It is a shame how few men there are to man the Wall." This would not be an issue were good men guarding the North.
"That it is."
"The Godswood..." Eragon murmured, as he reflected on the days events. That and how he came to be a part of the life of the Starks. He was well aware of the husband and wife in the forest; discussing something serious, by the emotions radiating from the pair, a few hundred yards away.
Lord Stark. He was an honourable man, and that was why Eragon had first joined him on the ride back to Winterfell. An honourable Lord, in this land, was a rare thing indeed. Even when faced with a cruel man; one who should have been imprisoned or killed in the first place, Eddard had been sorrowful in the act of taking a life. That had caught Eragon's attention, and so he had kept approaching the execution; the why of it, even now, being unclear to him. It had not been his intent to stay with the Stark household for as long as he had, nor had he planned to leave. There was no need to plan that far ahead. When the children had grown attached to him, and he in return began to care for them, Eragon was convinced to stay for the time being, and it had now been 5 years. He had developed a friendship with the Lord, and was almost friends with the Lady, as well.
Eragon had long since reached the conclusion he was stuck in this world.
Well, not exactly stuck, just... delayed. He was here for another two centuries at the least, as the conditions he had been experimenting with when sent to this land would not roll around for that much time. When that was over, he would return to Alagaesia. Or not. That would depend on the partner of his heart. He believed Saphira would survive; he could not think of anything else, but there was the chance that she would not. If that happened, he would not go back lest he raze the civilisations responsible. There had been an uprising when he had left; a charismatic human who convinced his followers that the realm would be best if he ruled. It should not have been difficult for the Riders to quell, but you never know.
Thankfully, Saphira would know that Eragon was still alive; just as he knew she persevered. Their bond was great enough that, no matter what, he could still feel her and she him. They could not communicate, not until the breach was open once again, but the other was always with them.
Of course, if Eragon found something here worth staying for, he would try to persuade his partner to join him. This would be perfectly possible; she would just have to come through. Like him, she would be thoroughly exhausted for a time, but that was the only price that they had to pay. This possibility was far more real given the events that took place a century prior to Eragon's arrival in Westeros; events that still hurt him so dearly.
He and Arya, lovers for time immemorial, or at least that was what it felt like, were as deeply in love as he had ever encountered, and Saphira and Firnen the same. Then the elves... no, not the elves. A single group; the first extremists Eragon had encountered of their kind, had decided that Arya should not be their leader any longer. Had believed that their relations with humans were unnatural; that they needed to remain separate. Dragon and Rider had been blind-sided by incredible mental control, and had died. The only comfort Eragon and Saphira were afforded was that it had been a quick death, and that the last words that had been exchanged were ones of love.
That and the merciless revenge Dragon and Rider took.
They had been forced to move forwards; as head of the new order, they had many responsibilities, and could not merely stop. Neither had truly moved on, though; they would forever love their respective mate and, if the afterlife existed, Arya and Firnen awaited them. But they also knew that, if they existed in some form of paradise, the pair would want them to live their lives fully.
Eragon still held hope that he would find love again.
But back to more recent events.
The pups that Eddard found promised to be great protectors for his children, and Eragon was thrilled when Jon pointed out such a logical argument, in the minds of those present, as that there were five; one for each Stark child. It would be a real shame to see such innocent, marvellous creatures killed for no reason. Jon's pup, especially, promised to be interesting. There was something... different about its mind.
Sitting on the cool ground, Eragon set about one of his favourite pastimes in this world; meditating in this woods was remarkable. The trees were nearly as unique as the Menoa Tree; though far from sentient, and it was a wonder to observe them; even if he wished that he could encounter some of the more fascinating creatures he heard were beyond the wall.
It was not long after that he vaguely registered Lord and Lady Stark heading back towards their castle.
As he exited the castle a month later, yawning, Eragon witnessed a common sight around Winterfell; Bran Stark being berated for climbing by his mother, who was terrified that, one day, the boy would hurt himself.
It was very unlikely that she would be correct; the boy was an incredibly good climber.
"Eragon! Eragon! The king is near!" Bran did not give him a chance to respond, as he rushed past in search of his Lord father.
Okay, one more thing I need to ask of you all. I very much like Eragon and Arya as a pair, as you hopefully deduced from what I wrote above, but I tend to prefer at least some romance, or more specifically a pairing, in Fanfictions I read and write, so who would you pick to have Eragon paired with in the future?