Merry Christmas ;)




Jon Stark — Haunted Forest


That was the word Jon used to describe himself at that moment.

He was so very tired, and he wasn't the only one.

"Have to—" the rough voice of Clegane came out as the two forced themselves to move forward. "Keep going."

Jon had no clue of the distance they'd traveled, but he knew the direction they were heading in: Northwest of their initial position.

He'd checked.

They would have gone further West, but to their dismay, the two men had spotted hundreds of wildlings in their path.

Impossible to go through them without being forced to fight.

By some miracle, he, Sandor and Ghost had been lucky enough to not be noticed. He didn't question it, instead skirting around the small army and making his way Northwest, instead.

Jon grimaced.

He didn't like this. Going farther North was the last thing he wanted to do.

The fighting may have dulled his meager magical sense, but now that he was no longer struggling to survive attack after attack, he could feel it again.

He could smell the death lingering in the air, licking at his skin and making him feel weaker. He knew what this was— the influence of the Others. And though he thought it was faint, he did note that it was growing in power, almost slow enough to escape his notice.

Almost. Jon thought. But not quite. It's like a predator slowly lulling its prey into a false sense of security— right before it goes for the kill.

Sandor tripped over a branch and was forced to lean on a nearby tree to keep from falling over completely. His armor clinked and clanked loud enough to make the young Stark concerned.

The sheer noise of it had made Jon cringe and look around. He waited, and waited.

No one came. Jon sighed, weariness beginning to settle in his eyes.

"I don't think anyone heard that." He said, his voice as hoarse as the exhausted, scarred man before him.

"We won't last much longer like this, Stark." Sandor said, still leaning on the tree with his hand. "It's too damn cold. Those wildling cunts could find us, aye; but we need to stop."

"Aye." Jon looked ahead of him and realized that he did not want to keep going, either.

"We have to survive."He continued, determination blazing in his eyes and overpowering the tiredness for a moment. "We've a duty to… to stop the wildlings from burning the realm."

"That we do." Clegane said, shaking his head and sitting down at the base of the tree. "And how do you suppose we'll get that done if we die here from exhaustion or starvation, Stark?"

Jon opened his mouth to reply with something acerbic, before realizing that the man was right. They were of no use to Robb if they collapsed from driving themselves too hard.

'Is it not true that even the Gods must rest from time to time?' He remembered someone telling him once, but he couldn't recall who it had been. His memories of his younger years had already begun to grow a little fuzzy.

Still, he did remember the lesson imparted to him, which was to seek rest and replenish himself when the situation called for it.

He still didn't have to like it, but if he continued to be stubborn, it would only serve to hurt them and the North.

Jon sighed. "You have the right of it, Clegane. We have to make camp."

"And get food." Clegane added, getting back to his feet with great difficulty.

Jon tasted blood in his mouth and knew that, somewhere ahead, Ghost had found an elk.

Good boy. Jon sent through their link, sharing his feelings of pride and affection towards his friend. Come back and I'll cook it for you, just the way you like.

A wave of excitement returned through the link, its intensity almost bowling Jon over.

"Ghost is coming back— he found something to hunt." Jon said, swallowing the phantom taste down his dry throat. "We won't be going hungry, at least."

Sandor grunted in acknowledgement.

For a few moments, Jon turned to stare Southeast, in the direction of the now-broken Wall. He could no longer see the massive gap in the structure due to the thick brush obscuring the view, but the terrible sight was carved into his mind, forevermore.

He wondered just what sort of Hell the wildlings had unleashed on all of Westeros before gathering his wits.

First things first. He trudged around the area, gathering what firewood he could find as Clegane began to prepare an area for the fire. We have to live.


Harry Potter — Hill overlooking the Ruined Valyrian City

I sank my teeth into the bread, not paying much mind to the rich taste and exquisite texture, and ripped out a chunk with savage intent.

We hadn't done anything but rest— and now eat— since we landed on the shore. I had to undo the bubble head charms for this, which gave us all coughing fits as we attempted to acclimate to the noxious atmosphere.

The fumes weren't very dangerous in short bursts, as long as I reapplied the modified bubble heads in time, but any extended exposure would lead to certain death.

It made sense now, how this place wasn't totally ransacked.

You couldn't loot the place if you couldn't breathe— aside from Greyjoy, at any rate. How he did it, I'll never know.

I shook the sour thoughts away and focused back on the topic at hand, watching everyone scarf down their food without any decorum whatsoever.

They would never eat like this in a more civilized setting. I thought with a humorless smirk. Not that I blame them; this place is inhospitable to normal people— anything that can survive here is a creature to be reckoned with.

I remembered the studies I'd conducted on the topic of Valyria in my early days in this world, as well as the odd conversations I had with Aegon's ghost in King's Landing.

There honestly hadn't been anywhere near as much information as I would have liked.

Aegon hadn't given me much, as he had been born close to a century after the Doom, and many of the various books and scrolls I'd pored over were little more than baseless drivel perpetuated by Maesters or Septons.

What little I had found painted a murky, unpleasant picture: hints of blood magic rituals to transfigure or transform humans into animals, magical forging techniques— which I assumed to be the secrets behind Valyrian steel— and mysterious artifacts of great power.

That infernal horn came to mind. I stifled a grimace and took another quick bite of the food. That damnable thing had been a tool of torture and control of the worst sort, darker than any magic I had ever seen back home.

Darker than the Unforgivables, even.

If this kind of magic was the norm for these people, then they deserved to be dead… and I would have my work cut out for me.

Daenerys coughed from beside me.

"Are you all right?" I said between bites.

"The air…" She replied, pinching her eyebrows together. "It's vile."

I nodded. "Yes. Luckily it's not so bad that it'll kill us instantly, but there's no doubt that prolonged exposure will do us in."

"Best to eat as quickly as we can." Ser Barristan said, wiping some water off of the corner of his mouth. "And then Lord Harry can recast his spell, once more."

Everyone in the group showed signs of agreement before we all focused back on our meals.

Once everyone was done, they began to line up in front of me, and I went to work setting up all of the bubble head charms again.

It wasn't too long before we were once again atop of the beach, staring down at the destroyed city.

"It truly is a sight to behold." Princess Arianne said, the fires reflecting in her black eyes. "However horrible it is."

I gave a slight nod before speaking.

"We make for the standing tower over there." I said, pointing to the structure in the center of the city.

The Last Bastion of Valyria. I thought as we began our trip, moving down the hill with quick steps. I wondered why it was called that, and how Daenerys had known the name.

Had she made it up, or was she able to divine the building's true name through magic? Divination was a muddy topic that confused the heck out of me on a good day.

And today was not such a day. I looked up at the sky, thick with roiling, dark clouds.

I wasn't even sure it was daytime, if I had to be honest with myself.

It reminded me of the dream I had, a good while ago now; the one where Ghost was dying in the snow, and Jon's eyes shined like cold stars of blue. I hadn't been able to tell if it was day or night there, either.

Old Valyria's stuck in a Long Night of its own, it seems. I thought. I'm not sure which is worse; a long night of ice, or one of fire.

Banishing such thoughts from my mind with a shake of my head, I stifled another sigh and pressed on forward, towards the city in the distance.

I'd thought it would take us half an hour to get there, give or take a few minutes, but it had been forty five minutes and we were still only halfway there.

Sometimes, large structures may fool you into thinking they're closer than they truly are. The half-remembered words came to me.

On we walked, feeling the earth beneath us grow hotter the closer we got to the city.

I stopped just outside of its limits and gestured for everyone to gather around.

"Normally, I would set a few tasks for everyone." I began, gesturing at the city as I spoke. "I would've ordered a few of us to go ahead and scout, someone to guard our boats, and so on. I'm not doing that here— I don't know what's lurking or skulking in the shadows."

There was a long moment of silence, which I took as a sign to continue.

"What little I do know of Old Valyria is that they dabbled in vile, dark magic, meant to kill, torture and subvert others." I said, my voice grave. "So I would tell you to be exceedingly careful. Don't go anywhere alone. And watch your step."

"Wise advice." Daenerys said, joining my side. Her eyes swept over the group. "Is everyone ready?"

There was a chorus of "Yes, Your Grace", contrasted by the "Yes, Khaleesi" which had come from Joqo.

"Then..." I pointed towards the massive, Blackstone tower in the distance. "Let us be off."

"May the Father watch over us and keep us on the right path." I heard the aged knight's mutter as I passed him by to the head of the group.

We entered the city's ruins, keeping our pace slow and careful as we navigated through rubble laden streets and around sizable craters.

"What are these holes?" One of the men said, walking a little ahead to stare down into one of the craters.

"Craters." I said.

"Cray ters?" Joqo mangled the word from behind me. I slowed my gait to walk alongside him, seeing the confused look on his face.

"Craters." I said, a little more slowly. "Holes in the ground caused by great impacts."

He tried the word a few times, getting the hang of it before asking his next question. "What do you think put these… craters here?"

I nodded, having half expected such a question. "The Fourteen Flames, no doubt. When they erupted, they likely sent massive, burning rocks flying high into the sky. And what goes up…"

"Must come down." Daenerys finished for me, a solemn look on her face as she attempted to suppress the torment threatening to show on her face.

She looked to her left. "I wonder what sort of structures lined these streets… Shops? Homes? Perhaps a tavern?"

"That, and more, most likely." I said. "From the size of the place, I would say it was thriving before…"

"Yes." Daenerys said, shaking her head. "An ancient dynasty, rich with culture and history, and this is all that remains. One day— that's all it took to tear it all apart."

She went quiet, unable to keep going.

I didn't have any idea what to say to that, so I did not reply for a while, instead grasping her shoulder for a few seconds and taking point once again, fixing my eyes on the prize far ahead.

Hestia was in there, somewhere. She just had to be.

What if she isn't?

My blood chilled at the thought.

"This place is perfect for her to hide from the scum who imprisoned her mind." Erebus broke the cold away with simple logic. "She would be indistinguishable from the background heat of this realm. Plus, this is the only place we know of which could block any scrying magic. And, in this place, that tower is the only structure that is still standing. She literally cannot be anywhere else."

I nodded with agreement, trying and failing to stop the flood of questions in my mind. Why hadn't she come back to me? Why did she make her way here, specifically? Was she even still eating? How had she held up alone for so long?

Endless questions. I stifled yet another sigh. Never any answers.

"Wait." Joqo said, pulling me out of my thoughts. "I think I heard something. Over there."

My eyes widened with a bit of surprise, before narrowing as I started looking around. "Where?"

"To the right." Joqo said, though he sounded unsure. "I think."

"You think?" Perros said, incredulous. "Did you hear it or not?"

Joqo didn't answer, instead drawing his arakh and heading towards where he said the disturbance was— one of the broken down shops. He stood in front of the sharp, cracked and broken remnants of a glass pane and peered into the building's dark corners.

He stayed there for a long moment, sweeping his gaze over the structure before he stopped to stare at something. Without warning, he dashed to the left just as a creature leapt out of the shadows.

With an inarticulate cry, Joqo parried its strike and pushed forward with the flat of his arakh, sending the monstrous thing sprawling on the charred street before us.

Flailing in pain, the creature scrambled back to its feet. Its green scales shone in the firelight as it turned its red eyes towards the copper skinned man with a look full of hatred. Its long, green and muscular tail writhed with agitation.

I drew Erebus, hearing the various exclamations of surprise, fear and disgust from behind me.

Joqo engaged it again, ducking under another lunge and dragging his arakh across its belly, but it did not go as deep as he thought it would have, the blade thwarted by his enemy's scales.

The lizard-man fell to the floor once again, writhing and wailing in pain.

I swallowed; it had almost sounded human, just then.

Joqo did not fall for the bait, holding his ground with his sword bared and ready to taste the lizard's blood. The expression on his face, however, showed both horror and a certain fascination with what he was seeing.

Realizing that its prey hadn't fallen for its tricks, the lizard-man stopped its noise with a startling abruptness and slowly got back to its feet, staring at Joqo with an almost calculating look— its demeanor so very human in form and substance.

My eyes roved over its form again. This thing… It's like a reptilian version of us.

I heard the intakes of breath from behind me, once again. I didn't blame them. Behavior this erratic was bound to spook anyone. Joqo mastered himself and brandished his arakh, now tinged red with the blood of his enemy, resuming a fighting stance.

This time, he did not wait for its attack. Joqo dashed forward with a war cry, and I watched with fascination as the creature swerved and bent its body at angles which would snap the bones of a normal person with ease.

Joqo broke off his attack, grunting in frustration and taking deep, long breaths. He was growing tired. Recognizing this, the lizard-man made its move; it rushed Joqo, sidestepping his weak slash and driving its claws towards his throat, intent on ending his life with one attack.

Joqo stumbled, raising his sword just high enough to take the blow, which sent it flying out of his hand. He scrambled backwards as the arakh clanged against the ground, but the lizard-man did not give him any more time, lunging for his throat once again. Its mouth opened unnaturally wide, revealing row upon row of razor sharp teeth.

I almost moved to intercept the strike, but realized that there was no need. Joqo snatched a dagger from his side and thrust it forward in a desperate bid for survival. The steel pierced through the inside of its mouth, and the two skidded back a few feet from the momentum.

The lizard-man spasmed as it tried to get away, but Joqo twisted his dagger and thrust it in deeper, aiming for its brain and crying out as the motion drove his forearm into the creature's teeth.

With a loud squelch, the monster ceased all movement, slowly sagging down onto the Dothraki warrior. With another cry of pain, he pushed it off of him and let go of the dagger, opting to press hard on the four puncture wounds on his forearm.

"Joqo!" I sheathed Erebus and rushed over to him, kneeling to check the wound for any signs of venom or infection.

"I don't need help." He grunted out in Dothraki.

"I'm sure you don't." I said, scoffing. "I'm checking this wound whether you like it, or not. You'll either let me do it, or I knock you out— and then I'll do it. Your choice."

Joqo sent a glare, before relenting as he realized who he was speaking to. "This place. It is… affecting my mind."

Not surprising. I thought, inspecting his arm for any further bite marks. There were none.

"He's clean." Balthazar whispered to me.

"All right. You seem fine." I muttered and used what few healing spells I knew of to get him up to scratch. "Try not to stick your hand in anything's mouth again, would you? If it's venom, I don't know if I could save you."

The irony of me giving this piece of advice was not lost on me, but I managed to keep a straight face. Luckily, nobody here knew of my Basilisk killing ways.

The man only nodded in reply.

I tried to help him up, but Joqo pushed me away before doing it himself and gathering his weapons. He took the arakh first and, with another loud squish, pulled the dagger out of the dead lizard-man's mouth, grimacing at the blood and brain matter coating it.

"Disgusting." Balthazar spoke. "But then I didn't expect to find anything particularly clean here."

"That…" Arianne said as everyone approached me and Joqo so that they could look upon the dead creature. "That was a chimera, was it not?"

Daenerys nodded with a grim look. "Yes. I've read a few old accounts on my ancestors' home, and there have been mentions of them. It pains me to see that they are true."

No one said anything for a long moment.

"We shouldn't linger for too long." Ser Barristan said from beside his Queen, keeping his hand on the pommel of his sword in preparation for attack.

"Too late." Perros said in a foreboding tone.

I turned to see him pointing to the other side of the street, where a veritable pack of abominations slithered, sprinted and trotted their way to us.

So much for the slow and careful approach. I thought and ignored the curses of the people around me, before heading to the front of the group.

"Form up!" Barristan cried, moving to stand by my side. The men and women in the group followed without question.

"If their skin is as tough as the one behind us." Daenerys said, hefting her spear with one hand and extending her free hand towards the chimeras. "Then aim for the eyes! I will do what I can."

The people in front of her moved clear out of her way and the silver-haired woman smiled in a mix of appreciation, amusement, and anticipation.

A torrent of flame spewed forth from her hand, washing over the center of the enemy group and filling the air with their agonized screeches.

I winced at the noise but moved forward to engage the first one of those who'd escaped Daenerys' onslaught.

It was tall, surpassing seven feet by my reckoning, and rather slender. Covered in head-to-toe with yellow fur, spattered with small spots of black, the chimera hissed at me. Its feline head and recognizable tail told me that this had been a cheetah, at some point.

A cheetah-woman. I realized further as the creature ducked and weaved its way through every one of my strikes, revealing its gender as it moved its legs apart to avoid a downward slash after I'd gotten it on the ground. I did not want to see that.

It got back to its feet and stepped to the right, away from my thrust. I narrowed my eyes and shifted the sword's trajectory to target its side.

The she-cat leapt over the strike, and swiped at my face with a clawed hand, hoping to score a crippling blow.

I raised my right arm and took the brunt of the attack, feeling the claws scraping against my scaled armor and rattling the bones in my arm.

That had not been a love tap. I thought as I turned my hand on my slowly falling foe, pressing it over the she-cat's face and flooding her body with Lightning.

High pitched yowls filled the air for only a few seconds before the creature stopped flailing.

I kept it up for a second longer before driving Erebus into the chimera's chest, just in case.

It didn't move.

I nodded and turned my attention to the others. Everyone seemed to be handling themselves so far. I spied a chimera from above, swooping down on Princess Martell, who was too busy fighting a pig-like chimera alongside one of her men.

A quick Lightning Bolt dropped it out of the sky, where it fell in front of Perros. The Dornishman roared, unleashing all of his pent up aggression as he drove his sword down into the chimera's chest, over and over.

"Harry." Daenerys called out, pointing up at the roofs of the buildings surrounding us. "I saw some enter the shops and go around the buildings in all of the confusion."

Ser Barristan drove his sword into the eye of a ram-with-a-chicken-head, dispatching it with the same ease that he would have with any other foe of his. "An attack from the sides or even above, possibly. I will take the right flank with the help of your man, Joqo. You take the left."

I nodded as Joqo joined Barristan's side without me needing to say anything.

"Sure." I said before standing off against the attackers from the left— a lone fighter.

He towered over me, and had a lion's head instead of a human's. I glanced at the sword hanging off of its belt and realized that this one was different from the others.

Covered in golden-orange fur from head to toe, and dressed in boiled leather topped with a tattered red cloth, the lion chimera carried itself like a trained fighter, staring at me with curious, but implacable eyes of yellow which held a certain sapience.

It would have unnerved me, had my body not been flooded with adrenaline. Instead, I held my blade at the ready.


The chimera drew its sword— and gave me a nod of acknowledgement.

I didn't have time to question its behavior, seeing as it was on me in an instant.

Fast. I thought and reacted to the thrust it sent straight to my heart. Erebus met the enemy's sword and sparks flew as I deflected it to the left, feeling my arm ring with the impact.

This thing's strength far exceeded what its size would suggest.

"Valyrian steel." Erebus said in mild surprise as the lion-man recovered, lunging for me again with a snarl. "It's using Valyrian steel."

Sparks flew once again as Devil Arm connected with Valyrian steel. "Hurts like Hell every time."

I didn't acknowledge the words outwardly, though I felt taken by a sense of familiarity that I couldn't quite place.

Focus. I thought and stepped forward, testing my enemy's defense with a quick thrust towards where its heart was, just like it had with me.

Or where a normal human's heart would be, at least.

The lion's eyes narrowed and it stepped to the right, parrying my strike in a way I'd witnessed a few times before.

What… I thought and stepped back, faintly realizing that the sound of fighting everywhere else had stopped.

I could not tear my eyes off of this chimera, though. If I did, it was sure to punish me for it.

The lion-man tried an overhead strike, and I moved to parry it— but it leapt back and landed in a crouch, all of the potential energy stored in its legs.

I called my power forth and let the Lightning suffuse into every cell in my body, strengthening them beyond the human level and pushing sparking blue light out of my pores.

The lion-man howled in challenge and pushed off of the hard ground, cracking it with every step.

Even as the whole world slowed down around me, I could still see the lion coming at me at a worrying pace.

This thing was a monster.

I leapt to the left, narrowly dodging its stabbing lunge before being thrown on the defensive. The chimera traded blows with me at speeds far exceeding what it displayed before.

I parried a strike, a second and third, stepped to the left and ducked under its following upwards, diagonal slash before thrusting Erebus towards its gullet.

The lion chimera brought its sword back down and diverted Erebus' path just enough that it grazed its left shoulder, instead.

With a yelp, the lion-man jumped back, its expression far different now. I had expected fear, anger or even surprise.

But the lion-man touched its wound, brought its hand in front of its face and stared at the blood. Its yellow eyes and feline face twisted into an unmistakable expression of joyous wonder.

"What the Hell is wrong with this thing?" Balthazar said, more bewildered than I was.

It brandished its sword at me again, looking at me with intense fervor.

"One… move." It forced the words out of its mouth, stressing its voice box to make noises it was never supposed to be able to. "Honorable… battle… finish."

I felt my lip tremble at the sound before nodding and fixing my eyes on its own as I took Erebus in my right hand and raised it in challenge, Lightning weaving its way into the dark blade and causing it to fill the air with a low hum. "Yes. Let us end this."

The two of us stared at one another for a few moments longer before we both moved, as if by some unspoken signal.

We were on each other fast. I drove Erebus forward and twisted my head to the left, narrowly avoiding the stab to my left eye and getting a deep cut on my cheek for the trouble.

The lion-man, on the other hand, was not so lucky. Erebus had found his mark, piercing through the chimera's chest and out the other side.

It let go of its sword and grabbed me by the shoulders, snarling in my face.

I made to move away, but found that I couldn't.

"Harry!" I heard Daenerys' voice from somewhere to my right, though I was too busy trying to get away to acknowledge it.

Seconds passed and the lion still did not attack, calming down, instead.

"I… Smell... Kin on… You." The lion spoke, its grip weakening. I set it down on the cracked ground gently, eyes widening at the creature's words.


"Tell... Me." It struggled to get out, coughing up more blood. "Are my family... Still... Alive?"

The words slithered into my mind, a recollection of a conversation I had with the captain of the ship waiting just outside of Valyria's magical boundary:

"He was from that rich family— Lannister, I reckon their name is."

It made sense now. A lion chimera, a Valyrian steel sword, movements which were, without a doubt, reminiscent of Jaime's, the creature 'smelling kin'...

"...Yes." I said, my voice turning somber as the realization hit. "You're a Lannister, aren't you? Tyrion and Jaime's uncle."

It wheezed in surprise at the two names, before its expression grew more clear.

"I was… Once…" The lion could hardly get the words out. "Left… My home… Foolish quest… The silver-hairs found me. Tortured me... Tried to... Break me."

I felt myself get angry, even as the chimera continued to explain.

This didn't need to happen! I thought.

"Why did you fight?!" I cried out, anger and shame coloring my tone. "We could've joined forces— you would've gone home!"

What was I supposed to say to Tyrion and Jaime now? How would I be able to break the news to them that I had murdered their uncle?

The lion-man gave a weak shake of the head. "Bound to fight… Blood magic. Release only through death or… The Bastion."

I didn't answer, instead struggling to blink the tears away.

"I… would ask…" The lion-man said before choking on his own blood again.

I swallowed. "Name it. It's the least I could do."

"My body." The creature— no, the poor, tortured man— gathered one final burst of strength through sheer force of will.

"Take me back to crypts at Casterly Rock. Tell my daughter—" He coughed and continued to force the words out despite it exacerbating his injuries. I realized that I could see the lights leaving his eyes. "Tell Joy that her father Gerion never lost himself. Never broke."

With a shudder, I was reminded of Cedric's shade's words to me, so long ago.

"I will." I said, voice thick with emotion. "I swear it— I'll bring you home. Sleep now, Gerion Lannister. You've endured for long enough."

Gerion Lannister gave me a final look, and smiled with his eyes.

"Thank... you…" With those words, he sighed and then his chest stopped moving.

I stared down at Erebus, still embedded in the man's chest and closed my eyes, shaking my head as if it would ward the pain I felt away.

"Harry…" I heard Daenerys' voice as she approached me. "Are you all right?"

"Fine." I bit out, opening my eyes again and staring down at the corpse. Gerion was smiling even in death. "He didn't deserve this."

"None of them did." Daenerys said in agreement, and I raised my head to see the bodies of chimeras strewn about the street. Not a single one of us had been hurt. "And I think…"


"I think they were deliberately holding themselves back." Daenerys admitted, a troubled look in her violet eyes. "They…"

I swallowed the lump in my throat and finished her sentence. "They wanted to die. I don't blame them. They must have been the crew that Gerion had recruited."

"You think… Whatever happened to them could also happen to us?" Perros said, shuddering.

I didn't answer; instead, I set Gerion Lannister's head down and pulled Erebus out of his chest, taking care not to mangle it more than I already have. I sheathed the sword and then turned to the blade the man had dropped.

I took it and began to examine the weapon.

For a moment, I stared down at the lion-shaped golden pommel and hilt, admiring the engravings before holding the blade parallel with the ground and staring down the fuller which ran through the whole length of the blade, reducing its weight without affecting structural integrity in the slightest.

It was a masterwork, combining ostentatiousness with practicality.

This must have taken a lot of work to get just right. I thought, holding the blade up close to my face again.

"I know what that sword is." Princess Arianne said, getting my attention. I lowered the sword and motioned for her to continue. "That is Brightroar, the Valyrian steel sword of the Lannisters. Lost to Valyria, or so the story went."

I stared at her for a moment, absorbing her comment, before nodding and shrinking the blade with a wave of my wand.

Jaime should have this. It's only fair.

"Gather the dead. We'll give them proper burials." I said, eyes flashing as I continued to speak. "After we're done with this place, we're going to destroy the fucking Bastion. If anyone has any objections— now's the time."

No one argued.


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