Summary: A 30-year-old American farmer is sent to the world of ASOIAF. Follow as he tries to create a life for himself.
Prologue: Part 1
I thought I should try to write some of this down. My name is Michael Dunwoody, and I don't know where I am or how I got here. I was a 30-year-old farmer from Iowa, but now I am in a land unknown. I suppose I was born here anew, like some story, but I know not of any purpose. I was born to a new family, and like any child, I only have some fragments of my memories as a toddler. I lived with my mother and my father's family while my father travelled nearby as a merchant. However, my new mother died when I was 4, and my uncle passed me off to my father and said that they could no longer keep me in their home. My father decided to move to a place called King's Landing in order to better provide for us. I helped my father as much as I could, but by the time I was 14, he had died down at the docks. This world is so brutal, I didn't even know until the next day, because when he did not come home at night, I had to go looking for him. Apparently, he slipped on the docks, and a box crushed him.
Even now, I can remember the feeling of being dumbfounded. His body was already disposed of, and none of the other merchants wanted to waste time talking to me – I was nothing to them just as they were nothing to me. I remember waiting for a government official to come by or for someone to help me sort through some sort of legal paperwork. But nothing came.
Before this, I knew things were different here; how could I not? But it really struck home for me. I realized I didn't have anything tying me here, and I didn't have the heart to try and claw my way to the top of the merchant class in this cruel, lawless world. I sold off what I could, and decided that I wanted to be a farmer again. I know I could do it better than anyone else here; they were all very medieval here. But I also knew that the smallfolk had no rights, no liberty. I was stuck, for the Reach had the best farmland, but was already filled with farmers. I could try the Riverlands, but I didn't want to die. When war broke out amongst the kingdoms, the Riverlands burned – to say nothing of the small skirmishes that occurred all the time among the lords of the Riverlands. I had no interest in being written about in the history books, but I didn't want my entry to be: 'The entire town's inhabitants were killed in the raid.'
It seemed to me that everything boiled down to that. I wanted a good life, and to not die. Since coming here, I constantly feared death. There was sickness, hunger, bandits, cutpurses, lords, and fighting. As a merchant's son, I had seen the map of Westeros many times, and while I wasn't very knowledgeable about current politics, I knew the general history of the kingdoms. I knew without dragons (DRAGONS?! This still astounds and frightens me), that war would come eventually. I knew not when, but being so close to the throne with no natural defenses the Riverlands was probably a death sentence. Similarly, the Crownlands was the same and much too close to a line of mad rulers (I mean, drinking wildfire? Seriously?).
My only real options were the Vale or the North. I was skeptical of the Vale; I knew that they were plagued by mountain tribes, so I knew there might not be room for me. And the fact that I would have to demote myself from a merchant to smallfolk. To be honest, I didn't even know if that was possible. In the end, I decided to make my way north through the Vale, and, if need be, onwards to the North. The North seemed to be frontier-esque, like early America, with a harsh land and harsh life, but apparently, they have different customs there. I know it's not correct, but the talk around King's Landing carried that vibe. But I knew if need be, my mother was a Northerner by blood. So, with that in mind, I decided to head out.