authorsnotes: edited 02/07/2020, further edits 16/05/2022 (spoiler alert they were all edited on this date, secretly it has taken me ageees, but I'm uploading the edited chapters around this time).
this is a biggg chapter, and I hope you enjoy it! I am juggling a lot of fics and I suck at updating when I'm supposed to, I know. I do hope you don't give up hope on the story, I will never abandon it, sometimes life gets in the way, work, uni, falling into a writers block hole you can't claw your way out of, you know, the usual. I do love this story and want to see it through, hopefully you do too.
anyways, I hope you enjoy this chapter! I am super pleased with this one. pls follow/fav if you enjoyed and lemme know your thoughts!
songrecs: The North Remembers - GOT Season 4 Soundtrack
'You're a greenseer'
'The greenseers were more than that. They were wargs as well, as you are, and the greatest of them could wear the skins of any beast that flies or swims or crawls, and could look through the eyes of the weirwoods as well, and see the truth that lies beneath the world'
- Bran Stark and Jojen Reed
And then he was left alone.
His uncle left the room with a nod of his head, expression mostly unreadable but his eyes still clouded with concern. Jon wanted to reassure him, but he also wanted some time alone, to contemplate his thoughts in peace.
Honestly, everything felt too much for him at the moment and he was thankful he had the mind of a man grown. He couldn't imagine how he would have reacted if he had been told this as a boy, all brooding and quick to a temper. Now at least he was more patient, pragmatic, and he could just about handle the news … just.
With a small groan of pain, he forced himself to sit up in his bed, despite the throbbing head and the tiredness that ran through him. God he was exhausted, but his mind was far too active to sleep now.
He could understand now why his uncle had wanted to wait to tell him, he was barely handling the news and he was older than he looked. As angry as he was at a lifetime of being branded a bastard and ill treatment from Lady Catelyn and others who despised him for his status, he could understand why his uncle had done so. Not just because he might have taken it worse back when he had been a boy, but also … how dangerous this information was. Honestly, it was dawning on him just how dangerous it was, he hadn't even thought of that.
He was a half Targaryen, half Stark… he was something different, something new, and if there was anything he understood, it was that people like the Lannister's, his enemies, they abhorred anything new and different. Half Targaryen… he still couldn't quite believe it, and he shook his head as he forced himself out of bed. He had no intent to sit around in bed all day, not when he had another option now, from the book.
Still his mind reeled back to what he had learned, and what he kept getting stuck on wasn't the revelation of his mother, and his uncle… it was his father that struck him, and the issue that kept coming to the front of his mind.
He had always known he was a Stark, and so even though it was a shock to find he wasn't the son of Eddard Stark but Lyanna Stark, it was still easier to accept. He may have never carried the name, but he had always considered himself to be a Stark, even in his old life, even as he went to the Wall, he had always thought himself a Stark. But now? Now he wasn't just a Stark, he was a Targaryen.
He didn't just have the blood of the First Men running through his veins, but the blood of Old Valyria too.
He decided then, he would need to find out more about the Targaryen's. He knew plenty about the Stark's, about their history due to Maester Luwin's education, but not nearly enough about the Targaryen's. He knew the old Maester wouldn't begrudge him learning about his ancestors, and so he resolved later that night to do some research into his father's side of family history, he knew little about them past the history lessons he had sat through with Robb and Theon. He would need to learn more, much more. He had never been too studious in the past but now he would need to be.
It was then he saw that same silver shimmer come from the book on the bedside table, and oddly picking up the leather book bought him some comfort. He opened it, and saw another quest alert… god they were piling up, weren't they?
The Blood of the Dragons.
Research the Targaryen family.
Success: +200XP, +1 INT.
Well that seemed easier than others, with good rewards as well. It was strange how used to the book he had become. He supposed with all the new, strange things in his new life this was the easiest thing to accept. After all, he knew now he had been bought back to life, he had died and come back. He also knew his heritage, who his, mother and father were … it was a lot to process, and to have this book? Not only was he quickly becoming used to it, but he found he kind of liked it. After all he would never have known of his parents if not for it, he would have remained in the dark.
The book still held many mysteries, and he knew he would need to uncover those and yet it already felt natural in his grip, already felt like part of him, like an extension of him. He realised then, that would be another thing he needed to do today. His own personal quest. He needed to study this book in more detail. Look at the quests laid out for him, look at the maps he had unlocked and the special attributes he could garner. There would be much to learn but he felt this might be the most important thing of all, this book had helped him a lot so far, he needed to learn more.
He decided then, he'd go to Maester Luwin soon, ask for a hefty book on Targaryen history to study, but he would also study the book in his hand, in-depth, he felt that would be of most importance going forward.
With a nod, he forced himself to stand, a small groan left his lips and he raised a hand to his head. Gods, he hoped this Weirwood tree thing worked, and he was thankful for having stuck with the religion of his uncle and his mother. It would come in great use to him, it was coming in great use even, and so soon as well. And so, with a nod he made his way to the door, he was still dressed, and Ghost was trotting by his side as he made his way out of the room. He only paused to grab his weapons belt and a cloak, the latter for the cold, the former because he was so used to it, he couldn't help it, even in his own home he felt the need to be harmed.
That was an easy thing he supposed, he still considered Winterfell home. It always would be. Even when he had been at the Wall, freezing to death at Castle Black, or even colder in the Wildling camps of the Haunted Forest, he had always thought of Winterfell as his home, his true home. That was no different now, even though part of him longed for the Wall; it hadn't been easy their but he had memories that he wished could still be real in this life – Sam, Grenn, Pyp, Ygritte… all things he wouldn't experience again, not unless he went North once more. He had to think of it then, as he hurried down the corridors and out into the courtyard, his head still banging, making thought harder than usual.
Did he still go North? He strained to think of his memories from this time, and yet somehow, it was harder to remember this time than it was his old life. It would take some getting used to he was sure. But the question was still there, did he go to the Wall? He knew he had been bothering his Uncle to do so for months up until this point, and it might seem strange to suddenly change his mind … but part of him, part of him didn't want to go, not anymore. He felt he had more to do in the South now, more to do here. Everything was so different, and thus… how could he be expected to follow the same path?
Well, he supposed he had time to think. The King would be arriving soon, and he had at least until then to make his decision. In fact, he had a lot to think on before the King came, and he knew after he was healed, he would need to do so. He also had a lot to decide before the King came, for he knew King Robert's arrival would trigger many events that would lead to pain and misery for House Stark. That was another thing to think of.
It seemed there was much to think on, much to plan.
It was weird he hadn't thought of it before, but he supposed he was so overwhelmed with everything he hadn't realised the glaring point right in front of his eyes. He had been sent back in time (he had accepted that now, for what other explanation could there be?), he could change things! Stop the murder of his uncle, save Robb, change a great deal. It would be difficult, but he could do it, surely? He'd have to be careful ... subtle of how we went about things (as he still resolved to hide all he had come to learn, it was too dangerous to reveal everything), but he could possibly change things! Why hadn't he thought of it before?! The only annoyance was that he didn't know all the goings on that had happened in the South before, that had been Robb's domain whilst he had remained at the Wall. They had received trickles of information, but not much.
Still he could do this, he would have to do this! Make change, save the Stark pack, that would be his priority now.
Once out in the courtyard he remained in the shadows, his head down, his hand at his sword. He noted Robb in the practice yard, with Bran, Rickon and Arya (who was hiding but not very well). Rickon sat nearby on top of a barrel, Bran was practicing his archery, Robb instructing him with Theon at his side. Jon felt a rush of hatred as he looked at the Iron Born, but he forced himself to bury it, he couldn't hold grudges for what had happened before, since they hadn't happened yet (though he knew it would be hard, he had to try and separate his old life from this new one … though he wasn't sure how to).
Gods, trying to work it all out made his head hurt, and it was already hurting from his fall. So, as much as he wanted to rush over to his siblings, to spend time with them and see them again after having lost them, he kept quiet, slipped away and headed for the Godswood, Ghost as always by his side.
It didn't take him long to reach the weirwood tree and he was thankful to see no one else in the area, he was alone. He made his way over to the shrine to the old gods and felt a sense of calm wash over him as he stood in front of it. He had never been overly religious before, but it made sense to believe in something higher up now. After all, something had bought him back, hadn't it? He didn't know what had, and he might never know but it had to be something. And so, it seemed he would need to be a little more devout. He also felt more of a pull now, he wasn't sure if that was because of his resurrection or the fact he had chosen the religion of the old gods, it could be both or either, he wasn't sure.
He moved closer and paused just at the base. He reached inside his inner pocket for the book and read over the quest again, there was nothing else, no prompting or instruction now he was here, and so he supposed he'd need to figure it out himself.
He felt a bump against his hand then and smiled down at his faithful companion, Ghost and ran a hand over his fur. He smiled but went to turn back to the tree before he saw a silver light coming from Ghost. Writing appeared over the direwolf's head, in that ever-present silver light.
ANIMAL COMPANION (Perk!)
You have gained a new attribute.
You can now see the relationship you have with an animal companion, you can also see your ability to warg with them – the higher the relationship, and the higher your warging ability, the more likely you will be able to warg into said animal.
Your Loyal Companion.
Warging Ability: 40/100
He smiled when he saw the relationship he had with Ghost, his ever-loyal friend, and he noted the warging level too. He would certainly need to look into that further. He remembered Old Nan's stories about wargs and now it seemed there was some truth to those tales. Part of him wanted to do that now, but then he felt another sharp pain in his head and knew he had other priorities for the moment. And so, with a smile he patted Ghost once more before turning back to the weirwood tree.
Jon took a deep breath, and raised his hand to the tree, acting on instinct, hoping touch would elicit something. He felt a tingle up his arm, as he reached closer, and with an urge he couldn't quite explain he closed his eyes, blackness taking over.
But only for a second. Not a minute later, the dark ebbed away, and all he could see was a brilliant golden light, beautiful, illuminous, he couldn't even put it into words. It reminded him of the book, though the light here was a blinding gold rather than the icy silver he had become used to. He could see nothing else, nothing but that powerful light, the light … it made him feel alive. He felt completely and utterly at peace, as though everything would be okay as he basked in its glow. He felt strong, powerful, his heart pounding, hand firm against the tree, the delicate red sap trickling down over his skin.
'Be healed Jon Snow, be healed in the god's light, as you are chosen, and always remember, remember, the ink is dry'
The voice boomed in his head, and yet it wasn't loud, it just felt like it was filling his brain. As the voice faded the golden light grew brighter, blinding him almost, and the feeling of strength, power, it only increased, adrenaline racing through his veins. He let out something that was almost a shout and yet he made no sound. At that, he fell from the tree, into the ground in a not so delicate heap, his eyes opening, and the golden light was gone, he was back in the Godswood of Winterfell, as he was sure he had been somewhere else for a few moments.
He was breathing heavily, heart still racing, and he forced himself to sit up, back to the weirwood tree, his head placed in his hands. After he took a few seconds to calm down he realised how good he felt. The banging in his head was gone, and as he reached back so was the lump. Some fresh cuts on his hands had disappeared and he felt completely and utterly refreshed, like he'd slept the night through and then some. Every single ache, it was all gone, wiped clean, he felt as though he was as strong as he could be.
It was then the book lit up again, but he knew he didn't need to open it as the silvery light appeared in front of him and words suspended in the light wrote themselves.
The Old Gods.
Use the Weirwood tree to heal for the first time.
Reward: 100xp, full health restored.
He smiled to himself, he felt great! The light from the book faded then, and he knew it was time to get on with the day, nothing could break how good he felt!
Well, until he heard a crunch on the forest floor, realised someone was here, and that someone came into view.
He wasn't sure what he had been seeing, or what had made him follow his brother. All day he had been worried about Jon, when he hadn't shown up for their lessons, and when he had gone to ask father about it, his office door had been shut, and he heard Jon's voice through the wood, yelling… he hadn't heard the conversation, having to run as Maester Luwin had almost caught him eavesdropping. He had been worried all day, and so when he had seen Jon in the courtyard attempting to be stealthy, Robb had made an excuse to his siblings and ran after him, determined to find out what was wrong.
Jon was his brother, regardless of his parentage, regardless of the fact they didn't have the same mother, Robb frankly didn't care. They were brothers, always would be, and he needed to know if his brother was okay, needed to make sure he was okay.
And so, he had followed him, Grey Wind silent at his side, his footsteps quiet as they could be. He had found it odd Jon had been heading to the Godswood, Jon had never been particularly devout; another curiosity surrounding Jon on that day. Either way, Robb followed, intending to confront his brother as soon as they were in the open space, keeping hidden behind one of the smaller trees, as Jon made his way to the weirwood.
However, before he could confront him, he watched Jon interact with Ghost, and smiled to himself, patting Grey Wind as well. As Jon turned away from his direwolf, Robb made a motion to move from behind the tree and speak to his brother… but then he had been stopped in his tracks.
He had watched in curiosity as Jon first looked at a book he had inside his cloak… that was curious, Jon was smart yes, but never big on reading, he'd always been more devoted to the sword than the pages of a book. Strange. What was equally strange was as Robb watched Jon raise his hand to the weirwood, what on earth was his brother doing? He continued to watch as Jon clutched at the tree, falling to his knees. As a bystander, it looked extremely strange. Jon looked as though he was focusing deeply, concentrating hard, but he didn't look particularly pained or unhappy, just extremely focused. It only lasted half a minute, and then he watched his brother fall to the floor (in a very ungraceful manner) and let out a small groan.
That was when Robb rushed forwards, he couldn't leave Jon in pain.
"Jon!" He called out as he ran closer, though Jon seemed okay, righting himself against the weirwood tree, a strange smile on his face. Grey Wind followed Robb of course as he ran closer, stealthy by his side. Ghost was here as well Robb could see, and the two pup brothers immediately found one another, the deep grey and the white direwolfs bounded over to the lake, evidently leaving their masters alone for the moment. Robb was thankful for that, he felt he and Jon had much to talk over.
Robb quickly approached his brother then, he was smiling … and yet Robb had seen him collapse to the floor. Honestly, Robb had no idea what was going on and he knew he needed to talk to his brother immediately. It had only been a day or so since Jon had started exhibiting weird behaviour … and Robb wanted to make sure it didn't continue.
"Are you alright Jon?" Evidently his words made Jon aware of him, and his brother looked at him with shock. However, a myriad of expressions flitted across his face one by one; shock, worry, distrust, before being replaced by uncertainty.
"What… what did you see?" His brother in all but name spoke. He seemed to be settling now, his expression still a little guarded but less confused. Robb had never seen such an expression on his brothers face before … the guarded expression. Jon loved to brood yes, but he was more open with Robb, talking about his troubles, but recently he had been so secretive … Robb wished he knew why.
"I saw you fall after holding onto the weirwood tree" Robb said, believing frankness was the better bet here. He saw Jon calm as he spoke and his brother nodded his head, before holding out his hand. Robb nodded and pulled him to his feet, and spoke as Jon brushed some dirt off himself, "What happened?"
"I came here to pray" Jon said quickly, as though it were a prepared answer, "But I felt a bit weak, haven't eaten properly today"
Robb could see there was something else, but the expression on Jon's face told him not to push it and so he nodded, before the two fell into step alongside one another, their direwolfs soon joining them.
"Why haven't you been around Jon?" Robb asked, unable to remain quiet. They were brothers! They usually told one another everything, Robb didn't want his brother feeling as though he had to keep secrets. It made him worried; what was Jon keeping from him? And more importantly; why was he keeping things from him?
He noted Jon's expression then as he seemed to think on what to say; it was guarded, cautious, and that worried Robb. Jon had never been a sharer true, neither was Robb, but the two made exceptions for one another; he hoped that wasn't changing now (especially since there was no clear reason as to why).
"I've had a lot going on Robb" Jon spoke, and Robb noticed a change in his voice too. His brother seemed … older somehow, there was something in his voice and his eyes that spoke of a weariness, or someone having lived longer than sixteen years. Of course, such a thing was impossible, and yet it was the impression Jon gave, especially as he continued.
"It's confusing, and … trust me, it's not that I don't want to tell you, I just need to figure it all out first, okay?" Jon said and Robb nodded. He wouldn't be dropping this matter, not a chance, and yet he understood. Jon had something he needed to resolve, and then he could discuss it; Robb could respect that.
"Fine" Robb said, and he clapped a hand on his brother's shoulder, "But know I'm always here for you Jon, and if you need any help resolving whatever you've got going on, or you just want to talk about it, you know I'm here anytime, you're my brother, I'm always here for you" He said, the sincerity in his voice ringing clear and true.
That bought a smile to Jon's face at least, though he still looked a little pained and he nodded, "I know" He said, "And trust me, as soon as I figure out some stuff, you'll be the first I tell" Robb nodded, he could live with that, he understood the need for privacy sometimes, for getting one's head together before discussing things. As much as he didn't like relenting on the issue, he knew it was the right thing to do, and so he let it go … at least for the moment.
"Right" Robb said, "So, fancy a spar?" He said, changing the subject, and he saw Jon nod, clearly, he'd suggested the right thing, especially as Jon smiled a little more, and they made their way to the training yard. It was good to see his brother was okay, though Robb knew something was going on with him, he wouldn't push, at least not now, now they would spar, and Robb was reassured that Jon knew he was here for him.
Jon was glad to have sidestepped that mine, he loved his brother Robb, of course he did, but he knew he couldn't confide in anyone about the mysterious book he now possessed. It was too dangerous to do so, he would need to keep it to himself. Still, it felt wrong to lie to Robb, they usually confided most things to one another, even when Robb had become friends with Theon, they had remained close, and he didn't like lying to his best friend.
And best friends they were, no brothers … when Robb had first approached, he'd seen the relationship they had, and as he thought of it, the silvery light appeared above Robb's head again.
It was heart-warming to see such a high level with his bro... cousin, and Jon couldn't help but feel curious about his levels with his other cousins (though he still considered them siblings). Still, he couldn't get side-tracked, he had so much to do today, and he decided once the spar was done he'd grab some food, sit down in his room and sort through what was necessary, and what he had to prioritise. He knew without figuring it all out he'd become overwhelmed. He had to keep this a secret, but it meant it was all on him, in the secrecy, the responsibility was in his lap.
It was necessary, that was what he had to tell himself to justify it, and it wasn't just Robb, he wouldn't be telling anyone about his newfound possession. Thankfully, his mind eased as they approached the training grounds, a good spar would make him feel better he was sure, sure Jon wasn't a fan of fighting on the battlefield, he had done too much of that in his past life, but this? An innocent training session? He knew it would get his blood rushing, and it would make him feel good, with all the confusions, and the revelations of the past day he needed that, he needed to do something simple.
He also recalled the quest:
Defeat Robb in a fight.
Success: 100XP, 5 Gold Dragons.
Failure: -5 Gold Dragons.
Hmm, that meant he'd need to put a little wager on this fight, and he needed to succeed, evidently more XP meant more points he could put into his skills. He knew later, after dinner he would need to sit down and go over the book in detail, to understand everything so far, but first he would fight, and he was sure he would win.
"Right boys, sparring or archery today?" Old Rodrick Cassel spoke as they approached, the training master who'd taught him everything he knew, and Jon wasn't surprised when he saw the familiar light over the master at arm's head:
Master of Arms at Winterfell.
Well it was nice to see he didn't have a negative relationship with Rodrick. In fact, he imagined that he would have positive relationships with most people in Winterfell. Sure, many looked down on him for being a bastard, but he felt he had at least a cordial relationship with most of the people around the castle. It was nice to see that confirmed with Rodrick.
"Sparring" Robb said with a nod towards the man who had trained them both. And he nodded back, Robb grabbed himself a sword from the rack, and Jon grabbed his from his weapons belt, which got him some odd looks… damn he had to remember, walking around armed would look odd. Quickly, he removed his weapons belt and his cloak, and shifted into his normal stance. Rodrick may have trained him as a boy, but he had surpassed any training with his time at Castle Black, it felt odd not holding Longclaw but he was sure he would adapt.
"Fancy a wager Stark?" Jon said with a small smile, since it seemed to be part of the quest.
Robb too smiled back, "Sure, how much?"
"Let's say 5 gold dragons?" Jon said, and his cousin nodded. Right, it was time.
Robb was more of a defensive swordsman and Jon knew he'd need to go on the offensive against him. And so as soon as Rodrick signalled for them to start, he rushed forward.
Almost immediately he overwhelmed Robb's defence, and knocked his brother to the floor in two swings. Robb managed to scramble to his feet, but he looked shocked, and so did Rodrick, as did several of the people watching, that was when Jon realised his error.
He was fighting as the man he'd become! Sure, he didn't have the strength anymore, but he still had the skill, learnt over years of fighting! It would look suspicious to suddenly be the master swordsman he'd trained to be, and he realised with worry he'd need to tone it down so not to give anything away. As he glanced around, he saw his fa…uncle and Lady Catelyn were now watching, as were Bran and Rickon, Arya too since she'd snuck out and was attempting to hide behind the stables. Okay, he had to be careful now, so not to arouse any suspicion about his sudden skills.
"Too easy Stark" He said with a smirk, which thankfully lightened the mood as his brother's expression cleared and he shifted back into fighting stance. Jon would need to tone it down yes, though that didn't mean he had any intention of letting Robb win.
And so, when Robb swung at him again, he sidestepped but forced his movements to become a little slower than before. He couldn't seem too quick on his feet, too skilled, he knew he had grown into a much better swordsman at the Wall, and though he knew his skills weren't at their peak (considering his diminished strength), he knew they were far superior than they had been.
Still, he dodged the blow, and then another, before moving forward and bringing his sword down to clash against Robb's. He swung with each blow, making his movements slower, even stumbling once on purpose. He knew as they duelled he could have beaten Robb with ease, but he gave it several minutes before he finally hit a hard blow that had Robb's sword flying out of his hand, followed by a push that had his brother on the floor, and then he placed his sword forward, and Robb nodded. "I yield!" He said, and Jon grinned, as did Robb when he got over the annoyance of losing. To ease the annoyance Jon pulled his brother to his feet and clapped him on the back.
Quickly, he saw the silver light come from the book, and he already knew what was coming, as the letters appeared in the light.
Defeat Robb in a fight.
Reward: 100XP, 5 Gold Dragons.
"Good job boys" Ser Rodrick said with a nod, though he was looking at Jon a little too suspiciously for Jon's liking. "They're looking good, aren't they my Lord?" The Master at Arm's turned to look at his fa…uncle (damn that was hard to get used to), and Eddard Stark nodded.
"They are indeed" He said proudly before heading back inside with Lady Catelyn, but not before shooting Arya a look to indicate he had seen her, and soon the youngest Stark girl was hurrying back inside, so not to be caught by her Mother.
"Good job brother" Robb said with a nod, "Join me for lunch?"
Jon wanted to say yes, but he knew he had to prioritise, he had so much to do, and so he decided to compromise, "I'll join you to grab stuff, but I need to eat in my room, got some reading to do"
"Reading?" Robb said with a confused expression, Jon had never been big on studying.
"Yeah" Jon said, trying to seem casual about it, but he'd never been good at lying on the spot, he'd gotten better of course, but it was never a natural skill of his. "Maester Luwin said I need to up my studies, so he's given me a thick tomb on Northern Histories to read by Friday" He shook his head as if to indicate he was being forced to do it, "And the dining hall is too loud"
"Ouch" Robb said, apparently convinced, "I've read that one, dull as dishwater" He said, and the two laughed, "Come on then, let's grab stuff" And so they headed inside, Jon was thankful Robb had fallen for the lie, but unhappy he had to lie in the first place. But it was necessary, and the thought struck Jon again, it was all necessary, there was so much he could do, and he didn't have much time to get everything in order.
Half hour later, Jon returned to his room, a tray of food in one hand, and a leather-bound journal from Maester Luwin in the other, his plan was to take notes of everything in the book, figure out everything. He was close to 'levelling up' as well, and so that meant he needed to plan forward. It was a lot to do, and he was putting his Targaryen research on the back burner for now, now he needed to understand this new object, understand everything about it, it would guide him going forward, he was sure.
And so, he set himself up at the small desk in the corner of his room. He pulled out the book, placed his journal down with a quill and ink pot, and began to pick at his food, before opening the book and turning to page one, which was his own personal statistics.
LEVEL 2: 800/1000
ALL OUT OF A POSSIBLE 50, UNLESS YOU GET SPECIAL QUESTS THAT ALLOW YOU TO PUSH THEM FURTHER.
Okay so his stats weren't the best, on the low end, but he knew he could push them up higher and higher with each level he passed. The important thing to remember was that now he knew how to improve them. He decided to focus on that tomorrow, to advance a level to ensure he raised his stats. It was hard, having so many priorities, but he felt that getting himself into peak physical and mental shape was important.
Animal Knowledge: 20
Magical Knowledge: 20
Medical Knowledge: 0
He was pleased with his magical knowledge, and particularly the parts about animal knowledge and warging. In his past life, he'd experienced dreams as Ghost, but he wondered if now it was time to push it further, explore it more. If he recalled he had a quest with Ghost to complete, he could do that first thing in the morning.
Knowledge of Westeros:
The North: 50 (Map of the North unlocked)
The South: 20 (See Quest, 'Journey Below the Neck')
Beyond the Wall: 40 (Map locked past Castle Black, see quest 'The Night's Watch')
The Iron Islands: 25 (Map Locked)
The fact he had one map unlocked was encouraging, and for the moment he thought it was important to ensure he knew the North. He would look at the map after reading through the stats. It was curious he had quests to unlock maps, but he wondered if he could unlock them naturally? Hmm… something to think about.
Knowledge of Essos:
The Free Cities: 20 (Map Locked)
Valyria: 10 (Map Locked – Ability to unlock with perk 'A Home Away from Home')
Slaver's Bay: 0 (Map Locked)
Eastern Essos: 0 (Map Locked)
He wasn't too fussed that the Essosi maps were locked, for the moment he had no use for them, and he didn't need any more on his plate than necessary. The same with the maps of other areas he saw below. For the moment he needed to focus on Westeros, particularly the North … though he supposed if he were to prevent some disasters in the future he needed to know about the South as well. Still, the North would need to be his focus, for the moment at least.
Knowledge of Other Areas:
Summer Isles: 0 (Map Locked)
Sothoryos: 0 (Map Locked)
Ulthos: 0 (Map Locked)
That was to be expected, hell even the Maester's didn't have a complete knowledge of these areas! For now he didn't need to either.
Language, Common Tongue:
Language looked good, and he felt he could easily raise those numbers considering how much reading he'd need to do in the coming days. Honestly, Jon grimaced at that, he'd always preferred a sword to a book, but for now he'd need to focus on the latter.
Language, High Valyrian:
For now, High Valyrian was not a priority.
He paused for a moment then … what was a priority? Well for now he needed to study this book, and then focus on levelling up, hopefully he could do that before the day's end. After that, he'd need to focus on figuring out how to change things that had happened; Bran's fall, his uncle's death, Robb's death, Arya and Sansa's disappearance, so much to change, but he knew the root of it all; his uncle's trip South. So, he would need to focus on that, prevent it somehow. He had no idea how, but he'd have to figure it out.
Then he turned back to the book, he knew figuring all this out was the most important thing, it would surely guide him forwards, it had so far.
Valyrian Steel Sword: 70
Bow and Arrow: 40
Dragonglass weapons: 10
Hand to Hand Combat: 50
Shield Usage: 35
Armour Wearing: 50
Horse Riding: 60
Combat he was pleased with, though annoyed that his best combat score was in a skill he couldn't use without a Valyrian steel sword … evidently the Valyrian steel quest would be one of the most important. Still, he had good skills with a sword and dagger, but he had other areas he could improve upon. Perhaps he'd need to talk to Ser Rodrick about widening his skill base to cover the greatsword, and mace too? Jon wasn't sure he had the raw strength for those, but they were important skills to learn.
Jon had to remember as much as he knew he needed to improve his mind and learn new things, he would also need to get his strength back up, that too was of importance, he'd need to lengthen his training hours. He realised then he'd be forced to have less and less freetime. Now he had to focus. No more dawdling around doing as he pleased, now he would need to train for more hours of the day, spend his evenings reading and sharpening his mind. It was strange, the clarity he now had about his path going forwards.
He remembered before … his past life, at this age he'd been so unsure, so worried about his path forward. Now, he had a clear view. He would need to let this book guide him, whilst protecting his family, and ensuring he lived the life he was supposed to. There was so much he could change, so much he could do. It was clear to him now, and the clarity actually helped keep him calm, helped assure him of what to do.
Insights into the Past
Walk with Direwolf's
Home is the Heart
Valyrian Steel Eye
His eyes scanned down the list of perks, and he smiled to himself, well these all seemed good. He recognised the ones he had chosen, and the ones he had gained, but only briefly remembered 'Valyrian Steel Eye', and so he knew he needed to remind himself of it.
But how did he go about doing that? Hmm, looking over the book, he reached his hand forward and tapped on the words 'Valyrian Steel Eye', he knew he'd done the right thing as the page glowed silver, and the words about the perk appeared. Well, at least he was figuring out how to work this thing.
Valyrian Steel Eye.
You can spot Valyrian Steel spots on the map (maps you have unlocked). Now remember, the spots on the map indicate the presence of Valyrian steel in the area, not the exact location, that is down to you.
Jon nodded to himself with a smile, now that was useful! He could get an idea of Valyrian steel near him that was available to take! He knew there were many lost Valyrian steel swords, and perhaps he'd be able to discover one for himself. Still smiling, Jon clicked on the 'Back' word in the top corner that had appeared, and he was back on the page he had been before.
Next was the section on quests, and he paid particularly attention to these; these were important for levelling up, and improving his skills.
Remember you will always have three minor quests (these refresh daily to earn small amounts of XP, then you will have ongoing/active quests which are usually longer but offer higher rewards).
Train Ghost in 5 Simple Commands.
Success: +10 Relationship with Ghost, +5 Animal Knowledge, 100XP.
Failure: -5 Relationship with Ghost.
The Blood of the Dragons.
Research the Targaryen family.
Success: +200XP, +1 INT.
Okay, those could easily be completed soon and would ensure he would level up as soon as possible! That was good news, and Jon was smiling again as his eyes scanned down the page, to look at the 'active' quests.
Obtain a Valyrian Steel Sword.
The possible swords you may obtain are as follows (remember more options may become available to you through certain quests!):
LongClaw: Quest! The Night's Watch.
Dark Sister: Quest! Egg.
BlackFyre: Quest! The Essois Merchant.
Reward: A Valyrian Steel Sword, +10 to Valyrian Steel skill, +10 relationship with all people (excluding pacificsts), +1000 XP.
Failure: -20 to Valyrian Steel Sword, - 1 AGI, -1 LUC.
Claiming Your Right.
Claim your ancestors throne, the Iron Throne for yourself.
Reward: +5000XP, +5 CHA, +5 INT, +5 LUC, SPECIAL STATUS fully unlocked, the crown of your ancestor Aegon Targaryen will be yours.
Failure: -10 LUC, you will be branded a bastard forever and your claim to the Iron Throne will be lost.
Slightly more challenging true, but Jon was determined about the first, and still completely unsure about the second. It was a true relief to know he wasn't a bastard, to know his parents had been in love, and he was a product of marriage and love … sure Jon would like to be known as a trueborn (though to his bafflement he realised if he were legitimised it would be as a Targaryen … now there was something crazy), but claiming the throne? Jon had never wished to rule, the only thing he had ever truly wanted was to be a Stark.
But now the option was open to him, did he intend to try? He could of course, as he had realised with shock, he was the most legitimate candidate to the throne … god he was the next in line technically. With that thought, Jon pushed the book away and stood to his feet, pacing back and forth now, as the thoughts swirled in his head.
He was the legitimate heir to the throne! As Rhaegar's son, he was next in line. Good god. But Jon had never wanted to rule, and he was of the North, not of the South. No, the throne wasn't for him … but he ignored the cancel button next to the Quest he saw, he didn't want to close off his options, even though he was sure being King would never be his way forward.
Honestly, though he had clarity for the next few months, his true path in life was harder to see. He knew the book would guide him, and he knew he had much more to discover about himself, but it was still difficult. Did he still join the Night's Watch? Attempt to go South? Cross the Narrow Sea? In truth, he had no clue, he just hoped the book would help, and was glad these heavy decisions could be ignored for the time being, when he had higher priorities to face.
First and foremost, he needed to finish studying his book. He was at the end of stats, perks, and quests, and now he sat himself back down, turned the page and saw the detailed picture of a map. With a smile he turned pulled the book forwards, and leaned over to study it, it was extremely detailed, and he bought the candlelight a little closer so he could get a proper view.
It detailed every section of the northernmost kingdom, each major house in their own chunk of land (with accompanying sigil), including small diagrams of their keeps, and diagrams of forest areas, lakes, rivers, abandoned keeps, everything, mapped out in perfect detail. Honestly, Jon had never seen a map this comprehensive, not even the ones in Maester Luwin's study, or his uncle's solar. This had every detail, spread over two pages, and Jon had to remind himself not to get lost in it.
Still, he spent a good amount of time studying the map, looking over Winterfell first, and then his eyes lifted to the Wall. Unfortunately, the map cut off at the start of the Gift, but upon turning the next page, there was another detailed map, this time of the Gift, New Gift, and the Wall. Again, this was extremely detailed, and Jon found himself looking over his former home, looking at Castle Black, and he let out a small sigh. In truth, though Jon didn't know his path forward, that future felt lost to him now … how could he abandon the Starks to become a member of the Night's Watch when his presence was clearly needed here? To his knowledge he was the only person able to prevent upcoming tragedies, he couldn't abandon Winterfell to the Wall, but again he had to keep an open mind … he knew where this life would take him?
It was then as he focused on Castle Black once more, he saw a small detail that didn't fit with the map. It was a small circle, the colour silver, and inside was the depiction of a sword. With a gasp of realisation, he understood; these were the Valyrian steel spots he could identify! He could see two on the map of Castle Black, at Castle Black itself, and he strained to read further on the first one he saw the writing underneath the picture of the sword, in the ever-present italic script; Dark Sister.
His heart was racing, this was one of the two famous Targaryen swords, hidden away at Castle Black! What the hell was it doing there? He had no idea, but then part of Maester Luwin's history lesson popped up in his mind. Hadn't the old Maester told him about Blood Raven? How he had absconded to the Watch, taken Dark Sister and it was never seen again?! Clearly it was at Castle Black! Good god, a piece of history, and he knew where it was! He cautioned himself not to get too excited though as he looked at the other sword at Castle Black; that one made more sense, it was Longclaw, held by Jeor Mormont. Jon remembered then, he remembered holding that sword in his hands, he remembered how it felt cutting through men as he wielded it, and not just men, but the dead too … Longclaw would always hold a place in his mind, and heart in a way, it had been at his hip for years in his old life.
And yet Jon felt that might be the one Valyrian steel sword lost to him. If he didn't join the Watch … then well, it would never be his, would it? Still, it was in the capable hands of Jeor Mormont at the moment. Though Jon realised; changing things at the Wall sooner rather than later, that was something else to add to the priority list, but he shoved it to the back of his mind, and turned the page back to the map of the North, actively looking for Valyrian steel this time.
The first he identified was Ice, here at Winterfell, the famous ancestral blade of the Stark's. And yet … it was the only one in the map of the North … not a single other house held one. Hadn't Jon heard a rumour once, that about 150 blades existed in Westeros alone? And yet many were lost or held by smaller families. Yet the North only held one? How strange … yet, Jon supposed it made sense, if any house in the North would hold Valyrian steel it was the Starks. And wasn't Valyrian steel made in Valyria? Hence the name? It seemed to make sense that the North, who as far as Jon was aware had little dealings with Valyria thus didn't have much Valyrian steel. Jon wondered then … god, how many blades were still in Valyria? Left behind but intact after the doom? How many were around in Essos? Jon wished he could look, but the pages following the map of Castle Black were blank … clearly those maps weren't available to him, Jon wished he could look over them, and yet he couldn't, so he turned back to the map of the North.
He wanted to obtain Valyrian steel, he had a quest for it that granted great bonuses, and importantly it was his highest ranked battle skill. And yet he knew it wouldn't be easy, so far he had three options to get one. He knew where Longclaw and Dark sister were, but the former was likely lost to him, and the latter? He didn't even know where to start! Turn up at Castle Black and do what? God, this was giving him a headache, and he decided for now he'd put the book to rest, there was a lot to think on, and yet he'd learnt a lot today, a lot of important information going forward.
And yet the Valyrian Steel quest kept niggling at his mind ... why was he focusing on this? Perhaps because it was the easiest thing to focus on in the middle of all this? Jon knew he had a troubling future ahead ... at least for the next month before the King arrived, and perhaps past then. He'd have to be constantly alert to ensure the safety of his family, to ensure his uncle didn't lose his head in the South, to ensure Arya and Sansa remained safe, Bran and Rickon too, to ensure Robb didn't end up murdered in the Riverland's ... to ensure the pack remained together.
Family First (Perk!)
You have gained a new attribute.
The man who puts family first ensures their survival.
+5 relationship with all other Stark's, +5 relationship with all other Targaryen's.
Another new attribute? They seemed to be piling up, and yet Jon wasn't complaining, he'd need everything he could to ensure the future didn't replicate his old life. In truth he had no idea how he was going to change things ... he just knew he had to. He'd find a way, wouldn't he? The book would guide him, he was sure of it. After all, it was a dawning realisation coming to his mind ... why else would he have been sent back? Other than to change things? With a renewed sense of purpose Jon felt his heart warm, this was his purpose now, ensure his family survived, ensure the past didn't replicate itself. And he would not fail, he could not fail.
Jon let out a sigh before closing the book, that was enough for the moment he felt. He glanced outside then and to his shock saw the sun was already setting, he must have been in here for hours! A swift yawn backed up that thought. Though he wasn't physically tired, mentally he was exhausted. Yet this was what he had to get used to now, this kind of life. Yes, he'd still train hard with a sword, but to achieve his goals he'd need to use his mind as he never had before ... it was daunting, and yet he knew it was necessary.
He could do it; he'd held command at Castle Black, had fought wildlings and the dead, planned the defence of the Wall. He could handle this, though it would mean many sleeplessness nights ahead, it was worth it.
But for now he felt it was time to rest, an early turn in would do him good, he could wake up early tomorrow and make a plan, figure things out further, but he needed to be well rested, both physically and mentally first. Quickly he finished up the remainders of his lunch, and then when content, undressed and climbed into bed. He was thankful for the Stark bonus of not feeling cold as he climbed under the sheets and settled in, Ghost jumped up and curled on the end of his bed and Jon let out a small sigh.
Tomorrow he would figure everything out, hopefully level up and make some important decisions, but for now? For now, he slept, and he dreamt of the Wall.
I hope you enjoyed! these chapters can be a bitch to write, so many logistics! this fic is hella complicated and everything is extensively mapped out. I have a lot planned, and a pairing in mind and a plan going forward, I think I've got it down.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter, let me know if you did! fav/follow all that jazz, always appreciated!