Holy shit so soon another chapter. Yes. I actually feel like writing lately. I even have the next three chapters planned out and outlined. However, I will also be embarking on a big project. One YOU can help me with. I will be reviewing this entire fucking story and editing it up to a better standard. This isn't a complete redo like I have done in the past but a check up on the old chapters. There's shit back there that needs to either be fixed, deleted, or revised. Things like why the fuck is Walder Fray immune to Force detection or the ages of some characters. I will be posting a Gdoc of this story on my Discord where anyone can comment and point out something I did wrong or they think is stupid. I will add chapters to that Gdoc as I think each chapter has been debugged but new people can go back to already done chapters and contiune to reeee at me for things. Anyways, here's the chapter.
"I want the men ready the second the gates are open." Glory is nothing more than a currency to be traded for power. That was one of Tywin Lannister's core beliefs on the matter of ruling. And he had gotten very little glory in Robert's war against the Targaryens. If he was going to secure his position among the new elite of the realm he needed to prove himself. Capturing the capital without any assistance from the rest of the rebellion would be that means to glory.
"Are we sure Pycelle will deliver?" His brother asked the question the rest of his war council was thinking. And Tywin didn't want to admit that he wasn't as certain as he wanted to be. Pycelle had been a good asset he acquired during the time Tywin was Hand of the King but the task set for him in all of this was not one that could be done easily. There must be many in the throne room telling the king that the Lannister army outside their gates was here to kill them all. Then there was the Grand Maester saying that Tywin Lannister was a good and loyal man, even with all the history between the Lion and the Dragon.
"He will, he knows the price of failure." Tywin couldn't show the rest of his men his own personal doubts that the Grand Maester might fail. If he did, then Tywin would have to commit to a true siege. Which was why he brought all he would need for just that occasion. It would be time consuming and likely last well into when the rest of the rebels would arrive.
The royals had been routed at the Trident and the prince by all accounts was dead, killed by Robert's own hand. The war was as good as done as there were rumors that Dorne would soon be invading the Reach to declare themselves for the rebellion. Meanwhile the Iron Islands were retreating out of the Riverlands as fast they could with Vale Knights on their heels. Tywin was well aware that Robert would be the new king in the coming days and now those that had been on the fence were scrambling to look like they were on his side the whole time. Him included. The wealth of the Rock would only go so far, the Lannisters needed more than just that to secure their place among the coming new order.
"Milords!" A runner burst into the council, a look of panic and fear on his face. "He's approaching, the Grandmaster. Darth Nagash is approaching the Dragon Gate."
"Why didn't anyone warn of us of his approach?!" This could be a disaster, no it was a disaster. Tywin was sure that the Sith wasn't here to pledge himself to the King, but him even being here cheapened anything Tywin did. This needed to be solely his victory and no one else's.
"No one saw him until he was walking down the road past our camp." There was a good chance that the doors would open for him with how much the king adored the sorcerer. It was misplaced fascination of course but Tywin could not deny it was real. There would be no way contain the information that Darth Nagash was here or what he may do.
"Belay the order to have the men storm the city upon the gates opening." There had to be a way to salvage this, credit to the capture of the capital had to come to him if not alone then primarily. But then a new runner burst into the tent.
"Milords! Darth Nagash has torn the Dragon Gates out of the gatehouse." Impossible, no… that was exactly the kind of insane thing that Rhyhall would do. The Lord of the Rock racked his brain for an answer but nothing came up. Best he could do was take the city quickly and reach the King before the Sith did.
"Send word to all battle commanders, take the city immediately. Head for the Red Keep as fast as possible!"
The king's body still twitched a bit at the bottom the throne. Despite it not being Jamie's first kill, this was his first time being in the presence of a freshly killed corpse. Every other time it had been quick. The battle had been done and they left to leave the handling of the body to others or no one at all. It disturbed him to see something he had killed with his own blade still move.
The golden-haired lion of the Kingsguard stood at the top of the Iron Throne, he had half a mind to sit on the damn thing but there was this… feeling that the chair itself wouldn't allow it. There was always the myth that any king that sat on it and got cut by the swords was a unfit king. Aerys got cut on the damn thing more times than a person could count so Jaime was inclined to believe it. But beyond that myth there was a malevolent energy that spooked the young man and kept him on his feet.
"What have you done Jamie?" After a shift in the air, the voice that Jamie could not forget spoke. He looked below to see Darth Nagash walking up to the throne. None of the doors had not made a sound, and it would be impossible to open any of them without doing so with how quiet it was. There was so feint distant noise of the sacking taking place below but nothing that would mask the creek of all the entrances to the throne room.
"What does it look like?" Jamie shrugged as he himself did not want to verbally acknowledge his own stain on his honor.
"What does it look like indeed?" Darth Nagash chuckled as he approached the Iron Throne, only stopping at Aerys' corpse. Then to Jamie's surprise, he gave a small kick. Not the kind of kick to check to see if he was truly dead but the mocking and disrespectful kind. "Get fucked you batshit insane bastard."
Jamie's eyes widened at the words coming from the man's mouth. He felt some sort of reflexive itch to defend and even to point his sword at Darth Nagash for saying such things to the king. But before he could even catch himself from doing anything, the Sith buried his foot under the dead body and then in one move side kicked Aerys' body into one of the nearby pillars, the crack of the body hitting the stone echoing in the hall.
"W-what did you do?" Jamie gasped after watching the corpse of his former king fall to the ground with a disgusting thud. He had never seen such a display of raw strength and had no doubt that some usage of the Force had been just deployed.
"I have some pent-up resentment towards that thing, I'm sure you can understand." The Lannister did understand to a degree but it was still hard to watch. And he had been the one to kill the man. Darth Nagash cracked his neck and then looked back to Jamie, eye to eye, breaking the golden haired Kingsguard out of his shock. "Do you remember when we first met Jamie."
"Yes… quite clearly in fact." He could remember seeing his beloved sister floating in the air, thinking that she was being held hostage by the strange wizard that had come to the Red Keep. Then he was running but had no weapon, so he thought he could take the man's while he was distracted. That was really the first time he had felt real fear when he was being choked by the Sith. Jumping off the cliffs of the Rock… easy, staring into those yellow eyes filled with anger and hate… impossible.
"Your mother was quite mad at me for that. I always do respect a woman that is protective of her children. Such is family love. You love your family don't you Jamie? I can imagine all sorts of reasons why I would find the corpse of a man you were sworn to protect at your feet… all them involving family." Jamie didn't like the smile that Darth Nagash had on his face when he spoke of his mother. But shook off such impossible thoughts as just another way that the Sith was playing with him. That's all this was, a game. And while Jamie was no master at the Game of Thrones, he was able to recognize it.
"I'm sorry, there a point to any of this or we just having a nice chat until my father's men break down the door?" It was really starting to get exhausting, thankfully the sounds of battle were growing closer. Any moment now the Red Keep would be besieged and quite honestly it wasn't going to be much of a fight. Beyond the Gold Cloaks, there wasn't anyone protecting the city. All the Targaryen troops had left with Rhaegar and likely died at the Trident.
"There's a point I'm getting to it." Another little laugh before a pause and then first step the Sith ever took on the Iron Throne. Jamie could feel the very metal he stood on creek with… joy? It was such a strange sensation that the Kingsguard completely forgot about the audacity this foreigner had at presuming to ascend to the Iron Throne. "The point of all this is family and the love between it. That thing down there had love for his family, but it was twisted and in all the wrong ways. You're not like that thing down there are you Jamie?"
"I… I… I…" There was a snake around his throat, its tongue was flickering against his cheek. Tunnel vision consumed the Lannister as all he could look was down at the ascending Sith. Every step he took there was a cry rapturous bliss coming from the Iron Throne that sounded like the calls of a pet who had missed its master. Only it wasn't the happy barks of a dog or the purrs of a cat, but the roars of a dragon echoing in metal.
"You are an honorable man Jamie. I believe in you and the things you'd do for love. The love of your family and the realm they serve." Faster than he realized, Naraiz had passed him on the stairs and his hand was on his shoulder. A touching pat was given, like a proud but restrained father would give to his son for a job well done.
And then the next moment it was gone, everything was gone. The darkness cleared and the noise that had never existed stopped. Jamie looked back up to the throne and there was Naraiz still standing but staring down at the seat that still had Aerys' blood on it. A smirk was on his face as if he had just decoded some great mystery. Only the sound of the throne room's doors cracking open broke Jamie free of the moment.
"We're here you mad bastard come and face… oh… Ser Jamie? Darth Nagash?" Jamie heard the voice of Ser Elys Westerling call out as the first among those that entered the hall. There they saw everything as it stood.
"Don't worry, the bloody bits are already handled." Darth Nagash responded as he turned around and began down the stairs once again. This time he moved more easily and without much purpose as he did climbing them. "The mad dragon was screaming and screaming burn them all burn them all, I don't think he even noticed when I started climbing the stairs."
"So you killed the Mad King?" Lord Crakehall asked as they all stared at the unmoving body of King Aerys. Jamie meanwhile moved to correct the Sith, tell the truth that he was the one that killed the king. But found his body and lips unable to move. "Ser Jamie, is that true?"
"Don't mind him, I'm still keeping him pinned in place with the Force. I wasn't about to give him the difficult option of staying true to his oath while also fighting for one unworthy of such a oath." The Sith looked back and there they were again, those yellow eyes. Glinting with mischief but still disturbingly hateful even as the look on the man's face was devoid of such a negative emotion. But then they were gone before he turned back to face the others. It was a warning to not speak of what really happened, ever.
Everything is going just as plan… so I'm waiting for something stupid to happen. The Sack of King's Landing has pretty much concluded, Though it really wasn't as bad as I think it was supposed to be. The city is pretty much intact and Tywin made sure to keep his soldiers in line and orderly during it all. Very little looting and raping to be sure. My theory as to why is that he didn't want to damage King's Landing is simple, he didn't want to help me. If the capital suffered any truly devastating blow then its economic significance would only further deteriorate, allowing Dol Guldur to further grow off the declining power of King's Landing.
I hadn't thought of that angle so I didn't make any move to insure the city was thoroughly sacked but to be fair I don't think I could have done that. It mattered little in the end as King's Landing was in a death spiral in terms of importance in the Seven Kingdoms. Or at least it was in my eyes with my plans going the way they were. It's only real importance to the realm was the seats of both the crown and the Faith, both of which would be replaced by my hand eventually. By the end of it all, King's Landing will be turned into regional capital rather than one for the entire realm.
"Darth Nagash." I was looking out of the window toward the doomed city when Jon Arryn addressed me. He looked tired but that was to be expected for someone that had been riding for a good two days straight to make it here. His army was mopping up the very last hold outs of the Iron Born and Riverland royalists, but the man himself had left once word had reached him of the victory of the Trident. He had arrived the same day as Robert, two after the city had been taken. Eddard of course had arrived just as the Lannisters had finished their work.
"Lord Arryn, or is it Lord Hand yet?" I asked as it was all but confirmed that Jon would be Robert's hand. Several other things had happened very quickly. It had been immediately decided that Robert had won the Iron Throne and so would be king. Jamie was already pardoned as had been Ser Barristan. Eddard and Robert didn't have a falling out due to the absence of three particular corpses. Rhaegar never had children in this timeline and Mysa had done her job in deceiving the two meatheads that had been sent to kill her. Yes, Tywin had sent Gregor and Amory to kill Elia despite the fact she was no real threat to anyone really. He even had given them a small vile of Wildfire to make it look like the Mad King had burned her alive. Mysa mind tricked them into believing that they did carry out their jobs and even burned down Elia's old room as proof. Such a good little scheming Sith Lady I have.
"Not yet. But you have been requested to join us in the Small Council's chambers." I nodded and followed the tired man back towards the side chamber. Passing the Iron Throne I felt it linger toward me, I had further my grasp on the thing and was convinced more than ever that Aegon had built in some crazy Force Magic into it. Thankfully, it's not going to transform into a woman… I hope.
Inside the Small Council's chamber was the yet to be coronated king of Westeros Robert Baratheon, Eddard Stark, Tywin Lannister, Hoster Tully, and to my surprise some new faces. That being Lord Cafferen who apparently had risen up in the forces of the Stormlands and a Hedge Sith by the name of Khort who I honestly had no idea who he was. Ripples were already starting to form from my actions apparently. I would have to get my Nightsisters and Jaesa to investigate these two.
"My lords, with Darth Nagash here we can begin." This wasn't going to be the meeting to finally decide everything, the war needed to be officially finished first. But with Robert and Eddard still being friends I guess things were being taken a little more slowly.
"Right, does anyone have idea clue as to where Lyanna is?" Robert didn't mice words and got right to the point, or at least his point.
"Our first theory was that she was being held here but that seems to not be the case." Hoster spoke quickly, likely to try and make sure that he wasn't forgotten at the table. Out of everyone here, honestly he contributed the least. Half of his own lords had sided with the enemy and he himself spent the first half of the war trapped in his castle. "Could she be in Dragonstone?"
"The rest of the royal family has fled there, it isn't an impossibility." Lord Cafferen was far more secure in himself than the Warden of the Trident. Even if he was a lower lord he carried himself as a man that fought and bled in war. Even if he turned sides in that very war. I really need to learn his name.
"The Targaryen fleet is anchored there and is admittedly still quite formidable." Jon sighed as the those ships represented that last true threat the Targaryens posed. It was openly known in the Red Keep that once word reached Dorne that their princess was burned alive by the Mad King they would do everything they could to take revenge. Or at least those out of the know would. Doran and Oberyn both knew that their sister was nice and safe in my keep but would play along with the party line. However… I'm sure they would love to know that Tywin had at least tried to and believed he had killed their sister.
"She's in Dorne." He mused as I leaned back in the chair I had been given. Everyone looked at me, both expecting and shocked at my causal statement of what was the topic at hand.
"How do you know this." Tywin broke the silence before either Robert or Eddard could. I would bet anything that he was desperately hoping that Lyanna was dead. Afterall his daughter was the only other real choice for Robert to marry now that he was king.
"What do you think I have been doing this entire time? Sitting on my ass doing nothing. I've been investigating just what the prince had been doing this whole time. It was only a few days ago that I learned the full truth of the matter and thankfully Tywin here had decided to also pick a side so I came over to give him a bit of a hand." I had a nice shit eating grin as I looked over to Tywin who did not look pleased at having to share credit for the taking of the capital. But that was enough screwing with the aging lion, I had plot to move along. Starting with the fake documents I had drummed up, which I pulled out from my robes and placed upon the table for all to see. "Rhaegar had been planning to overthrow his father for some time now, that I'm sure was suspected by most here. However, he apparently had more backing than any might have thought. These are a collection of letters that I, in collusion with Varys, were able obtain detailing a correspondence between Rhaegar and sympathizers of the Blackfires."
"Oh not them again." I heard Jon mutter under his breath as Tywin, Hoster, and Lord Cafferen all began going over the letters I had set about. All of them were fake but they were either between people that had been killed, were about to be killed, were going to be involved with Rhaegar at some point soon, or never existed in the first place but sounded real. The Blackfires were an easy boogeyman to pin Rhaegar too, especially since it was these types that Rhaegar was likely going to be contacting once he got to Essos. Given that the Blackfire male line was dead, anyone that had attached themselves to its cause now was without someone to repay their investment.
"Yes. From what I could gather, Rhaegar was making all sorts of promises that he would never be able to keep. Land and titles that mostly are still held by people that are quite alive. Including-"
"This is all very interesting but what about Lyanna? Where is she?" Robert interrupted with a slam to the table to finish it. I gave him a small moment to cool off or to grow even more impatient before finally answering.
"The prince had developed a series of towers placed in remote locations in territory that at one point were favorable to him. She is being held at one of these towers, and I believe it's the one that had regular deliveries of food and water being sent to it." I pulled out a map with the Tower of Joy marked on it. Robert grabbed it out of my hand the second he could and stood up, likely to run off and go get her himself. I didn't move as Jon would do the work for me.
"Robert, you can not leave the city. You are still recovering and we need to have you coronated as soon as possible." Jon ordered his former ward and Robert looked genuinely torn between doing as he was told and flipping his father figure off. But the years of parental discipline won out and he looked to his side and handed the map to Eddard who had been right behind him. "Ned, first thing in the morning you can head out to Dorne. I'll have a party ready for you by then."
"Very well." Eddard sighed knowing that it was true that going now was probably a bad idea because it was.
More was discussed on the finishing of the war. Eddard would travel down to Storm's End and lift the siege there before making his way to the Tower of Joy. Meanwhile ships would be ordered to be built for a new royal navy, Lord Cafferen did point out that Tywin had a rather large fleet of his own but the Lion Lord shot down that idea by reminding us that the Iron Born were still a issue. And while they had been soundly beaten on land… the same could not be said on the seas. Balon was still Lord of Pyke and unlike in the canon timeline had thrown his full weight behind the prince in hopes of reconquering the Riverlands. The Grayjoy rebellions would not be happening as Balon would be dealt with here and now.
All throughout the meeting I spoke little other than a few small quips here and there. I honestly did not want to risk any progress I had made with Robert or Jon. There was a thin line between them being grateful for me doing anything at all in the war and them complaining I didn't do enough. But someone that spoke even less than me was Khort. Mostly he just stared at me with this he thinks he knows so much grin. This guy just somehow lucked into being a character and is already playing with the big boys. I have no idea if he's a problem or an opportunity.
The meeting concluded with it being decided to have Robert's coronation in a few days as to solidify his rule. Soon enough everyone but two dispersed from the Small Council's chambers. Only myself and Tywin remained as he continued to look over the letters that I had given as my proof of Rhaegar's nefarious deeds. Against the scrutiny of most those letters would be indisputable. But Tywin was Tywin and perhaps there was a chance he could find the truth given enough time, which I won't give him this day.
"You know the likelihood of Lyanna returning is quite high… would that have any impact on your future plans?" I asked knowing that it did. But Tywin just gave a short grunt of dismissal and continued on examining my proof. "Come on, everyone knows that you want Cersei to be queen. And you can speak freely, no one can hear us beyond the doors."
"I assumed that you had some ability to prevent sound from escaping but it is nice to confirm it." It was loose change to have him know I could do that since it's impossible to get around it. I was literally using the Force to push air out of a box there by creating a vacuum wall. This was initially developed as a way to kill people by suffocating them but then it was realized that if done in a large enough area then for a good period of time it would be breathable, and silent to the outside world. "If you have something to say then say it."
"We don't like each other, let's not delude ourselves over that fact. But… I'm proposing a deal for us going forward." Tywin wasn't as in as strong as a position as he wanted or had been in canon. With Lyanna going to be the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and his glory and part in the rebellion diminished a bit by my actions, all he had left was his reputation and wealth going into the new dynasty. He was not going refuse me outright because it was me, he couldn't afford to.
"And just what would you need from me? Need I remind you as well, you quite perfectly derailed my plans for the capital siege and forced me to share its credit with you of all people. So tell me just why I should consider a deal with the likes of you?" A growing anger was building in his voice, something that would not happen if he wasn't free to express himself thanks to my sound barrier. I guess he has a lot of pent-up anger. After I composed myself from the slight shock of this outburst, I just smiled and gave him what he wanted.
"I can make Cersei queen." Tywin looked at me with a dead glare but said nothing as he knew I wouldn't joke about something so important or vital. "Lyanna Stark was not a woman that wanted children before all this started. And I don't believe she will be changing that view when she returns. That leaves a need for someone to provide a legitimate heir for Robert."
"You are assuming that Lyanna won't get pregnant and have a change of heart before drinking moon tea or something similar." He was leaning back and listening what I had to say. All traces of irritation and aggravation gone. I just tapped my fingers on the table with my smile never leaving me. Tywin put two and two together and rather than the looked of disgust anyone else in this type of society would have, he held a thoughtful look of intrigue. "I see. There is… precedent for this kind of arrangement."
"Right. Aegon started his dynasty with two wives, and if only one of them had children well then succession will be less messy. As for the how I'm sure you are wondering, it's not sorcery but a medical procedure. I wouldn't be doing it but I told my Maester of the procedure and he has… trained… himself to perform it well enough." It actually be done by a doctor droid as while Qyburn was a excellent Maester for many things and an extremely competent doctor I did not trust him to do something of this importance.
"And you believe that you can convince Robert, Lyanna and Lord Arryn to agree to this?" Convincing Jon would be a bit tricky but I'm sure I could do it. And then with him on my side and the offer to render Lyanna infertile which I know she would want given all she's gone through, convincing her and Robert would work out.
"Yes." A simple answer but that part I didn't need to discuss with Tywin.
"Very well. If I should agree to this plan, exactly what sort of deal are you proposing?" Here we are, I could ask for a lot considering I was going to be handing Tywin everything he wanted. Clutched from the jaws of the abyss.
"One of noninterference. We stay out of each other's way, no actively helping or hampering the other. That's all." And that's all I needed out of Tywin. Him feeling safe and secure in the coming years would allow for things to progress nicely and be a sure way of him not meddling in thing I needed him out of. Rhaegar being a big one. If Tywin didn't feel a need to discontent with the current dynasty than he wouldn't seek other options. Even if the primary other option was one like Rhaegar.
"That would be acceptable." With that settled I Force pulled all the remaining documents back into a pile and collected them. Tywin gave me a little stare at my recovery as if saying I had just confirmed that there was something fishy with them. But I had gotten what I came for and had no need for him to possibly discover an inconsistency in my work. So with a nod and a grin I left the lion to stew on what I had just offered him and the possible realignment of his plans.
"You understand your mission, correct?" Jarman followed Lord Nagash through the halls of the Red Keep down to the stables. He had been able to gain Jarman a place among Lord Stark's retinue heading south. During this time they would lead a medium detachment of the Northern army south to Storm's End and free it from siege by the Reach's forces. Hopefully peacefully by informing them of the Targaryen defeat. Then they would leave the armed forces behind and head to the Tower of Joy and rescue Lyanna Stark.
"Yes my lord." The Red Keep had been abuzz with activity since the dragons had been ousted. Even now troops and servants all ran from place to place to effectively rebuild the entire keep in a new image for the new dynasty.
"Complete this mission and you'll secure your place among those that will be granted a title at the end of all this." The Neophytes all had their objectives during the Rebellion. Each was vying for favor and worthiness to be granted a title, mostly for the bragging rights to be named the first titled Sith. But also with those bragging rights came more training in the Force from Darth Nagash and Rathari, more freedom in movement, prestige and allowance from the order. Jarman knew that he was one of the closer ones to gaining a title but he didn't think it was this close. But Lord Nagash's words also suggested he wouldn't be the only one.
"Thank you, my lord." Jarman was quiet but respectful with Darth Nagash but this seemed to bring a certain smirk to the man.
"Oh, Jarman… there's no need to be so sullen. I kept my promise after all, I did not instigate the rebellion. Rhaegar did that all on his own." And that had been exactly what was such a issue for the honor bound Neophyte. The Sith had not orchestrated the war like a puppet master though he wasn't completely blameless. But it exposed the cracks in the realm that Jarman had never seen before and in the time since his first trip to space he had studied government and observed the changes Naraiz had begun. The conclusion that came was that the change was for the good of all and perhaps prosperity for all outweighed or at best mitigated a little lost honor.
"I know. I guess I just put my faith in the wrong places is all." Honor and chivalry were high ideals to be sure. But when the institutions that ruled over the lives of the common man played by very different rules than what good was personal honor? First, equality and merit must come first and then hopefully honor will follow.
"You are young and still learning, there's plenty of time to understand what really matters in life." It was good advice and it helped his troubled soul a bit but not as much as seeing a old friend.
The sight of Howland among those that Eddard Stark would be taking with him was enough to rid Jarman of any of his worries of morality and honor. The two old friends quickly conversing between each other upon seeing each one another. When Lord Stark announced that it was time to leave the Red Keep, the pair had finally noticed that the Grand Master of the Sith had long since vanished. Neither of them had expected him to stay long but maybe to give them some advice or see them off. Nevertheless, at the very least Jarman knew that Darth Nagash had a great many things to see to in this developing time.
"Did he give you any idea what we would find?" Howland asked as he rode next to Jarman. They were at the back of the Warden of the North's party to speak a bit more privately. It was a slow pace now that they were traveling at the head of a contingent of the Northmen army. Just enough to where the Reach wouldn't attempt something dishonorable when they approached.
"The remaining Kingsguard I would expect. But no, Darth Nagash was vague as to what would be at the tower." Jarman had his orders in regards to what would happen at the tower and he would follow them. He was a Sith now, not some knight or a man serving a lord but a true Sith. It was hard to grasp at times but knowing what he did, it would be foolish to deny it and possibly worsen the fates of those around him because of it.
"I hear that he will be made Master of Laws. Would give him the ability to enact serious change in the realm if the King allows for it." It wasn't official yet which was why there wasn't more chaos in the streets when they had left the capital. Already the Faith was begging King Robert to rescind the Mad King's proclamation about the Sith and declare them heretics and enemies of the realm. They likely hoped that with the new king's hatred for the old, that he would side with them over King Aerys' pet sorcerers. But Jarman already knew that it would go nowhere. King Robert was not a pious man at all and so the Faith held little sway for him.
"That seems to be the theme when it comes to anything to do with him and the rest of the realm. He will bring change whether we wish it or not." It was all according to some sort of plan. Few things that happened around the Sith Lord was outside of his visions or plan for the future. Jarman had picked up things here and there from conversions between the governor, Maester Qyburn, and Darth Nagash on just what sort of reforms they had in mind. While he didn't object to most of them as they felt right and just, he couldn't help but feel they would in the long run grant even more power to the Sith rather than those they were supposed to serve.
"I don't know about that Jarman. Westeros has been static for a long time… perhaps it is time for some change." The honorable Sith wanted to refute that but even before the dragons came to Westeros things had been very similar. Just who was powerful and what names were important were different but how one lived and died was all the same. Still, things were changing to fast in Jarman's opinion.
"Some change, but that's not what we're getting."
The rest of the ride was unnervingly uneventful. A calm before the storm type of feeling hung on the shoulders of every man marching towards the Stormlands. But the storm wasn't for them. As when they arrived at the seat of House Baratheon they were not met with battle but a feast. Mace Tyrell opened his camp to his former foes and quickly bent the knee in the name of King Robert. Eddard decided to ignore the fact that the man had been besieging Storm's End until the Northman army had arrived, though this was made harder when he saw the state Stannis and his men were in. If not for a smuggler braving the siege and bringing them some food they would have all likely starved or resorted to unspeakable acts. But Eddard has his sister to save and so there were more important things to concern with.
The heat of Dorne eventually replaced the cool breeze of the Stormlands. Now Eddard's party moved without it's army accompaniment, riding as fast as they could to the Tower of Joy until they finally reached their destination in the dead of night. Jarman could see the tower from where the party had made camp, a ridgeline that overlooked the valley that separated them and the tower. Eddard had wanted to charge at the tower the second they saw it but Howland and Lord Willam Dustin had advised him to wait until morning. It was likely that they would be fighting the remnants of one of the greatest generations of Kingsguard and it be best to do that fully rested. He agreed if begrudgingly, but this was not helped but the two Sith's reaction to being so close to the Tower of Joy.
"You two have had the same sickened face since we set up camp. What's wrong?" Theo Wull asked as he stirred the pot over a very dim fire. They were all hungry and had some dry rations but for the coming fight that wouldn't be enough. Plus, it was likely to be the last meal of some.
"It's the Force. I can feel great despair coming from the tower." Howland explained as he stared at the cracking embers of the fire. Jarman stayed quiet as he knew that Darth Nagash had ordered the Neophytes to keep quiet about the mental abilities of the Force. But Howland wasn't a Neophyte and could say what he wanted.
"You can feel something like that? How?" Ser Ryswell asked suspious of the two Force Users. It was rare for a Northman to be knighted as that was a practice of the Faith of the Seven, but it did happen and usually to those of a profound pious nature.
"It's like feeling a more heavy breeze without any wind, and there's a kind of smell to it for every emotion. That's not at all how it is but that's the best way to describe to someone that can't sense the Force. One of the first things we learned as Acolytes was to block out this sensation… though nothing after that." Howland gave a looked to Jarman suggesting that he suspected that full members of the Order were given training of things he had to learn on his own. Jarman continued to say nothing, but it was all true nonetheless. All of the Neophytes had been taught how to focus and turn on the ability to sense the emotions of other beings, with some taking to it more than others. Jarman himself mostly kept his senses to himself as he felt it overwhelming at times to feel how those were feeling even if it was only a surface level.
"And now you are feeling great despair from where I know my sister is? You know this is absolute?" Eddard spoke from where he stood looking out to the tower. He hadn't moved from that spot since they arrived despite the others insistence that he needed to eat and rest.
"It isn't just her Lord Stark, I can not feel a single person there that feels anything but shame, loathing, or despair." The reality of what the camp was about to commit to was only truly on them with that statement. It both filled them with purpose and fear.
The shifting tides rocked the boat even as Rhaegar stepped off of it. This was Braavos, the lost child of his ancestors' empire. It would be here that he would begin his journey to find his champions of the Gods and gather a army of holy warriors. While he had initially had thought of Volantis as his first step… the current relations between the Valyrian Old Blood of Volantis and the Targaryens stopped him. They thought his house was nothing but a band of exiles that got lucky. But he would show them, Such power he had now will prove just how wrong they all were.
"Move buddy, you're blocking the way." A gruff voice was followed by a shove that caused Rhaegar to stumble to the floor of the dock. He so desperately wanted to run that brute through but he had no sword to do so with and the knowledge that he was no long some important prince but a man in hiding kept his hand blood free.
That was the current challenge set before the Prince who was Promised. He had no resources and his name was more of a liability than boon in most cases. If he came out shouting his name and demanding everything under the sun because of it he would either be mocked or quickly the Usurper would send assassins after him. The Prince knew he had no friends left in Westeros, they all either were traitors, kneeled to traitors, or abandoned him. There was nothing left back in Westeros that he cared to bring with him. Absolutely nothing.
Rhaegar now understood where his father's madness came from, weakness. The gods had sent their plan into his mind and he attempted to carry out their will but was too weak to handle their divine wisdom. He cracked and buckled under its weight and thus allowed for the corruption of the Sith's insidious power to seep into him. Now that spread throughout the realm and tainted all that was once was good and just. Where before only parts needed to be burned and purged, now the whole must be exorcised. Rhaegar knew that it was certain now and he just didn't have that understand before.
But that wasn't the only thing he didn't before. Even as he was on his hands and knees Rhaegar could see the shine of the One Ring on his finger. The glint of its golden beauty and the power of strength and mind it provided was all he needed to know that he was on the path of divine glory.
The docks of Braavos were filled to the brim even as morning was just beginning. Rhaegar moved between the people with relative ease as this was not the first time he had slipped through the throngs of the common people. His first task was securing a connection to the Sealord of Braavos.
The sun was still breaching the horizon as they approached the Tower of Joy. Even with all the benefit that it would have given him, Eddard didn't have a moment of rest during the night. He couldn't have embraced the darkness of sleep knowing that his sister was so close. He had failed her and for since her kidnapping she had been subjected to gods only know what. But now it will all end and he was going to make sure of that.
"Seems you were right, that's some welcoming party." Howland muttered as they all rode up to the Tower and found three men in the Silver Armor of the Kingsguard all standing in front of the stairway leading into the tower. No one responded as they all stopped and then hitched their horses, their hopes not high but each knowing what was to come and would carry through regardless.
As they walked up the trail to the tower's entrance, they all saw who was waiting for them. Eddard recognized two of the men, that being the Lord Commander Ser Gerold Hightower, and Ser Arther Dyane. And by process of elimination of who had died and who was left, Eddard guessed the last who had his head covered to be Ser Oswell Whent.
"Men of the Kingsguard, stand down. Both Aerys and Rhaegar Targaryen are dead, there is no need to cross blades this day." Eddard announced hoping that this would not come to a fight. Both because he didn't wish for anyone to die today but also because even with it being eight on three it still didn't feel like the odds were their favor.
"Regardless if they are or not, our duty is to them and their wishes. And Prince Rhaegar ordered us to guard this tower until his return." The Lord Commander replied but it was more resigned than faithful, and the side glances of the other two spoke volumes these men were not loyal to the men they swore to but to the oaths themselves. Both sides didn't want to fight but would.
"My sister is in there, your presence confirms it. I will rescue her; I will bring her home." It was here that Eddard drew his sword and was followed by his party. The Kingsguard pulled theirs, but the first clash between steel took a moment… a last offer of peace between the two sides. But that was in vein as Ser Whent struck first and began the melee.
The fears that the Northmen had were true as within seconds of the fight breaking out two of their number in the dirt bleeding from wounds that could not be recovered from. What was considered one of the greatest generations of Kingsguard did not earn that moniker lightly as the three held off the remaining five, two of which Force Users armed with Force Steel blades. Eddard himself was in a personal duel with the Lord Commander, a fate he had some idea of since the moment he had stopped him from accosting Ashara. That memory along with the knowledge that this man was the final obstacle to his sister spurred him on.
Another after another of shouts and spurts of blood told him that another two had fallen. Who they were, he didn't know as he was too busy blocking the furious strikes of the White Bull. This was not like fighting the prince in the Melee which had been his toughest duel up until now and if Eddard was being honest, still was. Perhaps it was both age and the lack of true spirit in the fight but the Quiet Wolf felt he should not be holding this well against the legend he was fighting. When it ended, it felt more like the old Lord Commander had simply wanted a glorious end to his long life in the Kingsguard. To fall before a worthy opponent. Because the last move that Ser Hightower made was a amateur mistake and one Eddard exploited by instinct. Before he knew just what he had done, Ned's sword pierced under the arm of the Lord Commander up and through his body. The moment passed by incredibly fast and by the time his senses returned to him the living legend of the White Bull was dead before his feet.
"Lord Stark! Go to your sister, I've got this!" The sound of Jarman Buckwell's voice snapped Eddard out of his shock. Turning back he was perhaps even more surprised by who was left. Jarman and Ser Dyane circling each other while everyone else was on the ground, maybe all dead. The stairs were now completely unguarded and while he wanted to assist the Sith in his fight, his need to save his sister proved to be more vital.
Having been given moral permission to leave Jarman to his duel with arguably the greatest swordsman of the Severn Kingdoms, Eddard ran toward the Tower of Joy. His stride uninterrupted as he climbed the stairs to the door into the tower. Only a moment was given to rebreathe and possibly prepare for any more guards even though they would have likely joined the Kingsguard. The door opened easy enough and he entered to an empty room that looked to be a simple gathering place. That's when he heard cry from upstairs. Never had he moved so quickly outside of a duel, Eddard ran up the wooden stairs past two more empty floors until he finally came to a occupied bedchamber.
"Ned!" He heard his sister's cry for him from the sole bed and the distraught Eddard ran passed the chamber maid that had been attending his sister.
"Lyanna!" He came to her side and they both embraced tightly at having been reunited.
"Please be careful my lord, my lady is recovering but is still not feeling well." The oddly accented voice of the chamber maid readjusted the two Starks. Eddard pulled back a little to avoid hurting Lyanna and she felt her body return to the fragile state it was in. It was then that Eddard noticed the blood.
"What… what happened?" He asked, feeling his own blood boil at the thought of what this could mean given where the blood was. Lyanna herself closed her mouth and looked away, pain and disgust rippling across her face. A feint cry that came from neither of them drew his attention to the plain crib that at the other side of the room. "Is that…"
"She won't let me get up Ned. Please, get rid of it." Never before had he heard his sister speak with such vitriol in her voice. Standing up, he walked over to the crib as the small cries became unmistakable. He looked down into the basket and saw black locks and gray eyes staring back up at him. A small baby that looked as Stark as could be but he knew exactly where it had come from. "Do it Ned. I don't want to hear it anymore."
"I'll take away sister, don't worry." It was a boy, he somehow knew. Which meant it was Rhaegar's heir even if it was a bastard. But it was an innocent all this. A life born out of the worst situation was still a life that hadn't chosen its parents.
"No. I want it dead." Eddard refused to hear that from his sister.
"We need to get you both away from this place."
"I'm not killing a child!" Eddard roared back after his sister screamed his name at defying her request. He stared back to his sister and both had hardened eyes that wouldn't refuse to back down. Unfortunately for Lyanna she was unable to move out from her bed and so was unable to stop Eddard from picking up the unnamed baby from its crib. She did continue to glare at him as he walked past her, only stopping as he reached the chambermaid. "You said she is recovering, is her life in danger?"
"No my lord." Again, the words were spoken in a voice that came from a place Eddard did not recognize but he wasn't thinking of that right now.
"Keep her that way until I return. You are to never speak of what you have seen here and if you do I will have you executed." He could not see the chamber maid's face as it was wrapped in cloth but she nodded and the Northerner took that as enough. There had been enough death already.
Eddard carried the small babe out of the tower and found Jarman kneeling over Howland Reed who upon a closer look was still alive. The Sith was performing some sort of aide to his friend meanwhile the Sword of the Morning was laying on the ground unmoving. It was finally done, the war was truly over.
"My Lord Stark, did you find your sister?" Jarman asked as he carefully helped Howland sit up. They both saw the bundle of cloth in his hands and both sets of eyes widened at the implication.
"Yes, she is alive but I fear she will be unable to move right now." They needed actual medical assistance for Lyanna. Eddard could guess that the birth took place perhaps in the last week and it was a rough one. And it was unknown if the chambermaid was right in that Lyanna was safe and out of danger.
"And… that?" Howland asked as he stared up at the slightly moving cloth.
"It is what you fear, Rhaegar's child." He pulled back the cloth a bit to allow Jarman to see the baby underneath. The Quiet Wolf was swimming in uncertainty. Lyanna wanted the child dead as would Robert once he learned of its existence. There was only one place that he could think of that the child would be safe. "Jarman, I need you to take this child to Darth Nagash."
"What? Do you not understand what you are asking of me?" It was a lot. The Sith Order wasn't nearly as secure as it was during Aerys reign as strange as that sounds. It was founded by the favorite of the Mad King, it was disliked by many of the southern lords and seen as a disruptive power. Right now its only saving grace was its good will by being pivotal in the taking of King's Landing and Robert also saw it favorably though not nearly as the last king. This could change all that.
"Even I know of the reputation of the Sith Order's ability to defend against the spies and daggers of the realm. It is the only place where he could live and not be found." A thought had crossed his mind to claim him as his own but firstly that would not be taken well by his new wife and secondly he knew that convincing Lyanna to let this child live and forget about would be easier if said child wasn't in her family home. "Please, I beg of you."
"Hmph… fine. I shall ride to Dol Guldur with this child. But Understand that Darth Nagash will not take this child in without expecting something in return nor will I be able to hide his parentage." Jarman resigned himself to this scheme. After helping Howland to his own horse so that he may travel to the nearest keep and send word to the king of what is happening, Jarman took the baby from Eddard and set off north on his own. The Stark watched the two survivors of the Battle of the Tower Joy ride off into the distance, then looked back at the tower itself. He had found his sister, but she was not as he remembered her. His only hope now was that Robert might bring her back.
The Sword of the Morning rumbled, the darkness was receding. Slowly Arthur began to awake from his slumber, as his eyes opened he blinded by the overwhelming white light that hit his eyes.
"Doctor, the subject is waking. Should I put him back under?" The voice was feint but he knew it was close by. More voices around him as the world returned back to the fullness of consciousness. The Kingsguard tried to move his arms only to find them restrained. He was trapped. Likely a prisoner of the Usurper… maybe that wasn't such a bad thing.
"There's no rush sir. It's not going to be easy so take it slow." A older voice, perhaps a Maester who had been treating him spoke as everything started to focus. Arthur Dyane blinked a few more times as his eyes adjusted to the light and there he saw he was in a place like he never could exist.
Almost everything was a shade of white, smooth and lined with some sort of metal. Beds in metal frames lined the walls divided by hanging sheets. Some sort of moving painting was implanted into the walls. Meanwhile the people while they looked normal their clothes were anything but. Clean and crisp fabric that was finer than any robe or tunic he had seen before all of them sterile white but for some hints of gray or black. There was a man next to his bed and behind him was a woman, both looked concerned.
"Where… where am I?" He asked as he once again tried to move his arms but they stopped due to shackles that were bound to the bedframe.
"I'm sorry but I have been advised to not answer that question. What I can tell you is that this is a infirmary and I am its head doctor. We've been able to patch you up but your injury was quite critical. I had half a mind to put in in a Bacta tank but I don't think you would have responded well if you had woken during the treatment." He gave a sorry smile and chuckle and overall was quite sympathetic. It actually calmed Arthur down a bit as clearly this man was trying to help him even if the shackles and circumstances spoke otherwise.
"If you can't tell me where I am then can you tell me what happened to me. Last I remember I was dueling the Sith Jarman Buckwell and then… nothing." He only knew just who he was fighting due to the small fame the young man had been able to achieve prior to the war breaking out. Arthur had seen Jarman duel a knight in King's Landing once and he had to admit the Sith had talent. Hadn't even used his powers in either that particular duel or theirs. Or perhaps he did, as some of the moves he had used Arthur did not think where possible.
"Neophyte Buckwell incapacitated you as was the orders of Lord Nagash. Your body was then later recovered by a team of Nightsisters and Brothers and transported here for treatment. If I had to guess Lord Nagash has some sort of plan for you and needs you alive." Ah… the sorcerer was scheming. And by the looks of things here he had far more in the way of influence and resources than even the Prince believed. While Arthur did not believe that Naraiz Rhyhall was the spawn of the Lord of the Seven Hells, he very clearly was a beast of another kind. "We were told to inform you that your sword would be returned to Starfall and that your sister would be looked after."
"That is of some comfort." He had been beaten and if Darth Nagash was returning the Sword of the Morning back to Starfall than it was likely that he wished for people to believe he was dead. Why he did not know but Arthur was sure he would find out sooner or later.
"I'll have the nurses bring you something to eat, thankfully your digestive system is intact so you can have some solids, lucky you." He tried at making the situation lighter with some humor but it washed over Arthur nonetheless. Nothing really could improve his spirits, he had lost, failed in his duties to his liege. Though… that very thought did bring a smile to his face.
Omake by Mr. Medic and edited by me to fit a little better.
Naraiz was in his office in the tower of Revan. He was there after a session of lovemaking with Lyarra and Joanna, and was now looking over some of the paperwork of dealing with the Galaxy. It was late, and the only light in the room was from his datapad. He was deep in thought after reading one of Cypher's reports on the state of the Imperial remnant worlds, when he felt a disturbance in the Force. It was originating from behind him, and when he turned around he was pleasantly surprised to find Darth Marr behind him. It had been a number of years since he last saw the Force ghost, and he was intringed to see just why he was here and now. When he started to greet him, he sensened somehting very wrong. Not in the Force but in that way everyone can feel like they are about to be the butt of a joke, and when he started to ready himself for whatever was comign, the Being spoke.
"It is a pleasure to see you again after these years, young Rhyhall."
"What is it you want Marr, I'm quite busy running a shadow empire."
"You... gave yourself a Darth name. A title that is given by the Master to the Apprentice, and a rank that is decided by the Dark Council. While it is true that you have earned the rank of Darth, and all that it entails, but you have not received the title from your Master. So it is my responsibility as the senior Darth, and the last member of the Dark Council, to give you that title. Henceforth, you shall be stripped of the name Nagash, and while holding your responsibilities to the Empire, be known as Darth... Trazyn."
There was a sudden shift in the Force, as if an unstoppable monster had been unleashed, and was about to make a great deal of headache for the unsuspecting Naraiz. The sudden presence of "Marr" had blindsided him, and he hadn't felt the ritual at work. So it was understandable that it took him a few moments to realize what he had been named. He sputtered for a while after the name was given to him, then he recoiled in horror after realizing that the Name was binding, and short of going back in time and making a fucking paradox there was nothing he could do, and that would have pesky consequences like being deleted from the universe. After the fading cackles of the imposter, he realized that the fourth wall had been broken, and some bastard had fucked him over. His anguished screams reverberated in the Force, giving anyone who heard them the weird urge to chuckle in response.
eatizza00 - I'm not spending the money to get commissions for a Fanfic.
Rouge Dynasty - I like LOTR and as such Naraiz likes LOTR and what nerd wouldn't want his own Nazgul
Mr. Medic - Ha, thank you. I made a few little changes but all credit goes to you for this. I've been wanting to do some Omakes for a while but haven't gotten around to it. Just like the Vette and Cipher Nine spin offs that have been in the workshop for some time.
Morkail - Oh no he did tie his soul to the One Ring. But not in a stupid way like the OG One Ring, more like in the same way that Lyarra and Joanna are tied to him. If the ring is destroyed it will be a loss in whatever power was imbued into the ring and not affect Naraiz at all.
anubis1650 - He was watching, and he made sure that Rhaegar lived as Rhaegar is going to become a boogieman in Westeros and a vital pawn in Naraiz's late game plans to take Westeros for himself. Plus now he has Rhaegar going around collecting his Nazgul for him.
Inritus - That's exactly what's happening
ZhaWarudo - negative comments have killed a fic of mine before and right now my mental state is secure enough to handle the negative feedback I get from the earlier chapters. I'm good with any I get from this far in as at least that means the person read the story in full and has a fully developed opinion about it.