(Jon)

Jon marveled at the size of King's Landing. He knew it was bigger than any city in the North but reading about it and seeing it were two completely separate experiences. They entered through the Gate of the Gods and while Jon didn't follow the Faith of the Seven even, he was impressed with the carvings of the seven faces on the gate. He and Sam didn't have too much trouble after informing the city watch that they were selling old weapons and armor for money, though Jon was incensed when they'd had to pay an….entrance fee. Jon had left Ghost in the woods outside of the city for safety and to avoid unwanted questions.

"Jon, I will go and find someone who I think will give us a fair price." Sam said as he drove the cart.

Sam had been to King's Landing before with his father a number of years ago and truly felt in his element when discussing numbers and a fair price for goods bought or sold. Jon was more than happy to allow Sam to take the lead and with a promise to meet back at Cobbler's Square in a few hours, Jon ventured into the city founded by Aegon Targaryen more than three hundred years before.

Jon looked up and saw the Red Keep, where the royal family lived. He saw the remains of the dragon pit sitting atop the Hill of Rhaenys and began to head in that direction. Though Jon was amazed at the number of people around him he couldn't help but notice the smell of unwashed bodies, piss and feces. He soon found himself in what Sam told him was Flea Bottom, the poorest part of the city. Jon saw people wearing little more than scraps of cloths, naked children ran around in filth to their parents to eat from bowl that from the smell contained thins no person should have to eat. Beggars were everywhere holding out empty bowls pleading for food or coin.

'How can the greatest city on the continent have its small folk live like this?' Jon thought to himself angrily. He got more than a few looks for his cloths and weapons he kept on his person. He wanted to help but was unsure of how he could and also didn't want trouble. Desperate people would do desperate things. Jon had very little remaining money on him and felt helpless to do anything.

Making a decision, Jon sat beside some beggars and pulled out his harp. He closed his eyes and began to play. The soft sounds of his harp soon washed over the area and all conversations and playing stopped for the few minutes that Jon played. Soon enough He opened his eyes and was stunned to see a crowd around him. They all clapped and some of the more well to do travel like him that had been walking through Flea Bottom threw him some coppers and Jon even saw a silver in the mix. As the crowd dispersed Jon picked up the coins and began to give them to the beggars around him. The silver he dropped into the bowl of an elderly woman. Jon was moving to leave when her hand reached out and grabbed his. She looked to him with tears in her eyes and Jon realized that she was blind.

"It's been so long since you've come to visit us." She said with a smile. Jon was stunned into silence and could only assume she was confusing him for someone else.

"Your music is still so beautiful and sad. Have you not yet found the happiness you seek?" She continued curiously. Seeing her reminded him a little of Maester Aemon and Jon felt his heart soften as he decided to play along and comfort to woman.

"Aye I am still looking." He said softly as he rubbed her hand.

"You will find it. This old woman may not know a lot but I know you'll find that happiness. When you do please return and play for me again." She said as he helped her rise and she took her walking stick to a vendor that could give her better food then the bowls filled with brown sludge Jon had seen previously.

Jon had a smile on his face at the interaction which swiftly fell when he realized that he had helped the small folk today but tomorrow they would be in their same positions begging for help.

'A King shouldn't allow this to take place in his city.' Jon though as his mood soured a bit and he moved on. Jon soon returned to Cobbler's Square and met with Sam.

"Jon, I believe I have found someone that will pay a fair price for our goods." Sam said happily. His continued time with Jon was making him a bit more confident in his skills and he no longer saw them as useless or 'women's work' as his father would constant berate him for.

"That's great news Sam. Who is it?" Jon asked, brought out his previously melancholy by the information.

"A blacksmith by the name of Tobho Mott. He would like to speak with you as well." Sam stated.

"I've no issue with that. Lead the way Sam." Jon said with a nod. He wanted to get this done before the end of the day and the sun was moving into the evening sky. It didn't take them long to reach their destination and Jon once again marveled at how big King's Landing was that he had spent most of his day exploring and hadn't reached this party of the city.

Tobho Mott's house was made of timber and plaster and was larger than the surrounding buildings. The upper stories towered over the street and it looked as if he lived above his shop. Jon followed Sam through the large double doors, and he heard the sounds of workers working steel and felt the heat from the forge. Tobho was a balding man with a short grey beard and an apron. He shook Jon's hand and it was the hand of a worker, tough calloused and strong.

"I hear you're the man to talk to about our deal?" Tobho said directly neither asking Jon's name nor going through normal pleasantries. Jon liked it as he preferred getting directly to the point of a conversation.

"I am. Sam tells me that you offer fair price." Jon responded strongly. He had a feeling Tobho was sizing him up and would not back down. After a few seconds of him staring the blacksmith broke a small smile on his face and nodded to the two sword Jon had on his waist.

"Those for sell too?" He asked suddenly.

"I'm afraid not. Both were gifts. I will never part with them." Jon said. He wasn't offended by the request and if anything was impressed. Tobho was a man that obviously knew his trade well and he'd quickly seen the hits of Jon's sword and determined them to be of potential high quality.

"Mind if I take a look at them?" The blacksmith continued to inquire. At this Jon did raise an eyebrow.

"For what purpose. I already told you they aren't for sell." He said with a bit of steel in his voice. Sam looked momentarily worried, not wanting a fight but also not wanting to be taken advantage off either.

"Just want to take a look. Promise I won't do nothing to them. Call it professional curiosity. I want to see what quality they are. Like to see if it's up to snuff." Tobho said. Jon debated this but decided to not threaten the potential bargain and swiftly let the man hold his regular blade. Tobho pulled it out and looked it over for a bit before giving a nod and returned it to Jon.

"I can tell you used it recently. It's very good quality steel and the smith that forged it knew what he was doing."

Jon nodded at the assessment and felt his estimation of Tobho rise that he'd been able to determine that Jon had used his sword previously. Tobho nodded to Dark Sister but Jon placed a hand on it and shook his head.

"Mayhaps after we reach an agreement, I'll let you take a look." Jon said firmly. He could see that Tobho had an eager look on his face and wanted to use it as possible leverage to get a better deal. The blacksmith grunted in irritation but gave a nod and called someone over.

"Gendry get over here."

Jon looked at a tall, broad man about Robb's age appeared from the back. From his clothes and the size of his arms he was obviously a smith as well or at least training to become one. Gendry had hair and black as night and deep blue eyes. He gave Jon and Sam and easy smile that Jon couldn't help but return.

"Yes sir." Gendry asked.

"You took a look at the items they brought in before. Tell me your opinion." Tobho commanded.

"It's all of fairly high quality. The weapons however were made a bit sub-standard and you can see some imperfections in the armor as well. Good in a pinch but we could make better. That being said I think we could use them." Gendry replied seriously.

'He obviously takes his job and skills very seriously.' Jon thought. Tobho nodded his agreement and told Jon and Sam what his offer was. Jon, not well versed at all if it was fair, looked to Sam who agreed with the price.

"It's an agreement then." Jon said as he shook Tobho's hand and the man gave Sam a bag of silver and a few gold dragons.

"Now then about that sword?" Tobho said expectantly. Jon was on guard in case the reveal caused Tobho to go back on his word but none the less handed Dark Sister to the older man. Tobho's eyes narrowed when he pulled out the sword, but they didn't widen in marvel or surprise like Jon had thought they might.

'He's no stranger to Valyrian steel.' Jon thought.

"This blade is one of the finest I've ever seen. Doubt even I could forge something like this." Tobho stated as he called Gendry over to take a look.

"Is that Valyrian steel!" Gendry exclaimed. Tobho smacked him upside his head to keep his voice down and Jon knew then he could trust the blacksmith to not say or do anything underhanded.

"Sorry it's my first time seeing it." Gendry apologized to Jon. Jon silently nodded in acceptance and took the sword back from the blacksmith.

"Come see me if you ever need that sword worked on. I'm one of the few in the land that knows how to work that steel." Tobho said. Jon again nodded and shook both his and Gendry's hands.

"What's your name by the way?" Gendry asked curiously. Seeing no harm in it, Jon answered truthfully.

"Jon Snow. Would you happen to know of a place to get some food and rest?" Jon asked as he and Sam prepared to leave.

"Aye I do. I'd like to join you if I could." Gendry said with a smile. Jon returned it with a nod and Gendry put away his things and told them to follow him. Jon felt like celebrating for a bit. He was one step closer to his goal. He'd have some fun tonight and tomorrow they would seek out a ship to take them to Starfall.

(Benjen)

Benjen Stark ran with all his strength through the ice and snow, only a small lantern bringing him warmth and light. He couldn't stop, to stop would be to die. Though he couldn't see them he knew death was right behind him.

'How did things turn out this way.' He thought to himself as he had to stop and try and catch his breath for precious few seconds before moving again.

After Jon had left, things had returned to normal at Castle Black. Alliser was still a headache to be dealt with but that was nothing new. Benjen found himself spending more time with Aemon. He never held any ill will towards to old Targaryen but neither had he ever truly sat with and spoken to him. After seeing Jon emerge from the Maester's room before his departure he'd finally had a conversation with Aemon and found him to be a wise and insightful man.

A few days later they heard horns from beyond the wall and opened the gate to returning brothers. However, none of them were expecting to see two members pulling a third who Benjen recognized as the ranger Otho behind them on a sled, both looking terrified and half frozen. They were quickly given food and put in front of a fire to warm up and explain what happened. Otho had sadly already died and was placed in a room to have his body examined by Aemon before he was to be burned the following morning.

His two brothers were speaking nonsense. They spoke of seeing whole wildling settlements abandoned. They spoke of seeing dead bodies ripped apart and mutilated. Lastly, they spot of seeing dead bodies rising and attacking them. Commander Mormont believed the men to have turned half crazed due to the cold and ordered them to rest for the night and determined that he would speak to them again in the morning.

That night Benjen was awoken from his sleep by a tapping on his window. He looked to it and saw the commander's raven outside cawing frantically and flying off. Benjen, disturbed by the action grabbed his sword and went to awaken the Lord Commander. As he neared the commander's door his saw it had been ripped from its hinges and he heard a commotion inside. Benjen pulled out his sword and ran through the opening. Otho was holding Commander Mormont up in the air with one hand, strangling the Old Bear. It alone was shocking enough, given that Jeor Mormont was a very large man, but what chilled Benjen's blood were the inhuman, glowing blue eyes that gazed at him when Otho turned to look at him.

Not wasting any time, Benjen moved forward and brought his sword down on Otho's arm, severing it and dropping Jeor to the ground. Otho didn't react in the least to having lost an arm and attacked Benjen. Benjen stabbed Otho through the chest but it had no effect. Otho hit Benjen in the face with a backhand with strength that no normal man should possess. Benjen lost grip of his sword and was slammed into the wall. Jeor was still on the ground, coughing and trying to get his bearings. Benjen knew he was on his own. He tasted blood in his mouth and was sure he also had a broken nose. Regardless he rose and ducked out of the way of the attacking Otho. Lacking his weapon, Benjen quickly served the room and grabbed the lantern hanging on the wall. He bit his tongue to keep from crying out at the burns that were forming on his hand before he slammed the lantern onto Otho.

Otho gave off an inhuman cry as the flames spread over his form. He burned as if he'd been doused in oil and soon fell to the ground and did no rise. Benjen fell to his knees gasping for breath despite how quickly the fight had taken.

"By the Old Gods!" Jeor wheezed as he finally got to his feet, rubbing his throat. Benjen could see dark blue bruises forming on the older man's skin.

"It was Otho." Benjen said softly as the body continued to burn.

"Impossible." Jeor muttered in disbelief though the truth was before him. Neither spoke another word until more Night's Watch brothers came, having heard the commotion.

"Get yourself checked out by Aemon, Benjen. The rest of you put that body out and take it to the cells. Keep it there and post someone outside to stand watch until the morning." Jeor ordered.

Benjen later sat with Aemon as the old Maester saw to his wounds. Thankfully his nose wasn't broken but he did burn his hand from grabbing the lantern. He was still coming down from the rush of a fight and didn't catch what Aemon had said.

"Forgive me Maester, my mind was elsewhere." Benjen apologized.

"There is nothing to forgive my lord. I simply asked if the pain is still bothering you." The old man said with a slight smile. Benjen flexed his sword hand that had been cleaned, covered in a salve and wrapped.

"No, I've had far worse. Thank you." Benjen said as he stood. He stopped himself from leaving for a moment before turning to Aemon.

"Maester, I'm unsure what you've heard but what I fought is something that I've only ever heard stories about as a young child. I can't even bring myself to speak of it." Benjen said with a shake of his head.

"Being afraid of the truth won't change it Lord Stark. Face it, embrace it and let it hold no power over you." Aemon replied grimly.

"It was a wight. An undead creature twice as strong as any man and didn't seem to mind having its arm cut off or a sword stabbed through its chest. It should be impossible though. If it is real, then what else out there is as well?" Benjen said, talking more to himself then Aemon.

"I'm afraid I don't have the answers for you. The Citadel didn't teach any about such creatures. I doubt they would believe me if I informed them." Aemon said as he put away his materials.

"We are the Watcher's on the Wall. It's our duty to find out what happened." Benjen said as he opened the door.

"Whatever you plan to do I ask you to guard yourself as best you can Benjen Stark. I'd hate for Jon to lose a family member before he returns to us one day." Aemon said softly as he looked to be in thought.

"I have no plans on dying yet Maester." Benjen said, trying to smile but unable to do so.

"No man ever does." Aemon answered back grimly.

The next day the Watch assembled, and Jeor informed them that the body in the cells had burned to ash in the night, they'd been unable to put out the flames quickly enough to recover any useful evidence. He stated that he was ordering a great ranging beyond the wall in a fortnight to search the areas the surviving brothers had been to and try and make sense of what happened. As he dismissed them, he pulled Benjen aside.

"Ben, I want you to take some rangers and scout ahead. We both know what we saw and what it could mean. Take no chances. If you catch even a hint that something is wrong, you get back here as quickly as you can." Jeor ordered. Benjen nodded in understanding and moved to the black smith. He's sword had been rendered useless as it was caught in the fire that burned the wight and Benjen needed a new one.

"No so fast Stark I've got something more for you." Benjen turned and his eyes widened when Jeor removed Longclaw, the ancient Valyrian steel sword of House Mormont from his waist and handed it to Benjen.

"Commander! I can't accept this." Benjen said in surprise.

"You can and you will. You save my life back there. I'd wanted to pass this own to my son but that's impossible now. I tried to leave it with my sister that old stubborn she-bear said she and her daughters preferred the mace to a sword. I can think of no one better to hold that blade then a Stark." Jeor said and crossed his arms, letting Benjen know he wasn't taking it back.

"Thank you. I'll care for it to my dying days." Benjen said, noticing that at the end of the pommel Jeor had them carve a wolf's head.

The next day Benjen set out with ten brothers of sufficient skill to scout the areas ahead of the Jeor's forces. For a time, there was nothing to see. Benjen always marveled at the vast lands beyond the Wall but didn't allow his focus to falter for a second as they moved along.

They knew something was wrong as they made camp a few nights later. It was quiet, eerily so. They had expected to hear the sounds of nature around them but there was only silence. The kind that raising the hair on the back of a man's neck as if they were been watched, judged, hunted. Benjen and the other's kept their talk to a minimum and ensured that at least two brothers took watch at the same time. It was Benjen's turn to take watch with a brother when everything turned horribly wrong.

It started with a sound, the first they'd heard all day and night out in the pitch-dark distance. Benjen couldn't place it immediately but soon recognized it as the sound of fast-moving bodies. Benjen shouted for the men to rise and managed to pull out Longclaw before the blue eyed wights attacked. Benjen, haven taken precautions, told the men to grab the touches that were in the fire and defend themselves. The men stood together and lite every wight insight on fire, ignoring the screeching they made as they burned to ash. However, it was soon more than clear that the sheer number of wights coming from the trees would overwhelm them.

"To Horse!" Benjen ordered as he cut off a wights head, lite another on fire with his torch and ran to his horse nearby. Thankfully the wights had ignored the frightened beasts in favor of killing the men. Benjen turned and his hear fell to see he was the only one to make it to his horse. Other were trying to catch up but were swarmed by the undead horde. Giving a silent curse Benjen turned his steed and quickly fled.

Benjen pushed his horse as fast as he dared. Given the low visibility he couldn't afford to hit a tree, that would certainly be the end of him. All around he could only see darkness and guess at the horrors that hid within it. Benjen fought to keep fear and desperation from dominating his mind and thoughts. The Watch needed to know what was happening. Without his warnings the ranging party would be walking into a slaughter.

Benjen's horse suddenly reared up with a startled cry. Benjen was thrown to the ground and slowly looked up to see multiple blue eyes staring at them from the dark. Suddenly wolves of all size, and state of decay, attacked the horse and brought it down. Benjen armed himself and ran for his life. He didn't know where he was going but he knew he had to get away. He didn't know how long he ran before exhaustion forced him to stop and rest against a tree. He struggled to catch his breath and listened intently for any sounds of a possible threat. He held his lantern up to peer into the darkness. He once again heard the sounds of oncoming threats and braced himself for a fight he knew he couldn't win.

Surprisingly more sounds joined the fray, and these sounded like human voices. Through they cursed, shouted and used words he didn't understand they were at the least alive. He saw oncoming lights from torches approaching as the apparent fighting died down and the group approached him.

'Wildlings.' Benjen thought without much relief. Though they were among the living, the Wildlings and Nights Watch were far from friendly and he had no doubt they'd kill him just like wights, probably make it more painful as well.

"We got a lonely crow her by himself." Benjen heard one of the wildlings say with malice.

"Probably had his friends killed by the wights." Another voice said with a chuckle. Benjen felt his blood boil at the laughter that rolled over the group at the thought of his dead friends. However, Benjen forced himself to keep a cool head. He needed to survive and get back to the Watch. He put away his sword and raised his hands.

"I mean no harm. I've been fighting those things like you have." Benjen said tensely. He was met with more laughter.

"Aye and had to died to them it would be quicker than what I'm going to do to you." A burly wildling said with a wicked smirk as he approached.

"Stop!"

Benjen had been prepared to draw his sword again and fight to the death before the feminine voice called out in the distance. More torches approached from the forest and Benjen was soon surrounded by wildlings. The wilding looking to kill him grumbled a curse as he put his sword away and moved aside from the woman who'd saved his life, for however long he still would have it. He could tell that most present wanted to tear him apart.

A woman walked up to him, garbed fully from head to toe again the snow and cold. Only her eyes were present, and they peered at him suspiciously for a moment. She heard out her hand toward his sword and Benjen fought ever instinct within him from reacting as she removed Longclaw from his waist. She raised an eyebrow at his lack of reaction or fear as she eyed his sword for a moment.

"What's your name?" She asked.

"Benjen Stark. First Ranger of the Night's Watch." Benjen replied. He heard more curses and spit hurled his way but refused to react, staring unflinchingly into her eyes that had darkened in apparent anger but unlike the others was under control. Suddenly she punched him in the face and kneed him in a particularly painful place. He fell to the ground as he heard her speak again.

"Take him to Mance."

(Jon)

Jon hadn't recalled having more fun then he currently was. The tavern he and Sam were in was full of merriment, laughter, warm food and good ale. Jon was not used to such things. Firstly, feasts and parties in the North were few and far between, most lords not wanting to waste more food then they had to. Secondly, Jon was always kept a distance away from the few feasts that took place. Being a bastard, he was unable to sit wit his siblings and Lady Stark made it a point that he wasn't seen by those of higher birth. The stain to Ned Stark's honor should be as far away from the family as possible in her opinion.

"Come on Sam you can do it!" Gendry said with a shout and deep laugh as Sam tried to down a cup of ale in one go. Sam was not a drinker and began to cough immediately. Jon couldn't help but chuckle as well. Surprisingly, Gendry seemed to get on well with them easily. Perhaps it was because he too was a bastard. He informed them that he never knew his mother and was placed in Tobho's care at an early age. He almost seemed as vested as Jon was in finding the identity of the Northman's mother.

"I'd do the same if I didn't already know she was dead." Gendry had stated.

"You're turn Jon!" Gendry said boisterously. Jon could only shake his head as he down his drink in one go with only a bit of a grunt to hide his cough. When they were younger, he and Robb had once snuck a bottle of wine from the cellars and tried to drink the whole thing. Both were sick the next morning and punished by their father when he found out what they did, though Lord Stark did have a small smirk at their conditions.

"I'd say it's your turn but you've drunken more than both Sam and I." Jon said with a small laugh. Gendry joined in as did Sam, looking to be coming out of his shell more around people that wouldn't ridicule him.

"I don't think anyone is drinking more than that man though." Gendry pointed out. Jon turned and noticed a figure in a red robe singing loudly, and badly with a woman under his arm and a pitcher of wine in one hand.

"Is that a red priest?" Sam asked curiously, his eyes lighting up as they normally did when he found something interesting that he'd red about before.

"Looks like it though I've never seen one in person." Jon said as he looked to Gendry who shook his head as well. Aside from the North, the remaining kingdoms followed the Faith of the Seven. The Red Priests followed the Lord of Light and were prominent in Essos but rarely traveled to Westeros as far and Jon was aware. They looked on as a slight man with red-gold hair wearing a black satin cloak decorated with stars. As the duo walked closer the red priest turned to them and raised a cup in their direction.

"Gendry! How is old Tobho?!" He said with a drunken smile. Jon and Sam looked to Gendry in surprise even as the blue-eyed young man stared back in confusion.

"I'm sorry but how do you know of me?" Gendry asked.

"Ahh that's right last time I was in your shop I'd forgotten my robes. Surely you remember your master's old friend Thoros." The red priest asked. Gendry's face lite up in recognition as he turned to Jon and Sam, both of whom were still perplexed.

"This is Thoros of Myr. He frequents my master's shop from time to time to buy cheap swords. I've only ever met him once." Gendry explained.

"Tobho keeps overcharging me! You'd think he'd give a discount for one of his best customers." Thoros chuckled as he helped himself to sit beside Gendry and across from Jon. The man with Thoros looked apologetic at the intrusion but Jon offered for hi to sit as well.

"He said he did so because you keep ruining his work." Gendry said with a chuckle. Thoros erupted in laughter and Jon and Sam relaxed and couldn't help joining in.

"I feel it's only right to introduce myself. I am Beric Dondarrion." Thoros' companion stated.

"I am Jon Snow, and this is Samwell Tarly." Jon said shaking Beric's hand and recognizing his last name. Sam was busy asking question after question at Thoros about his religion, his homeland and generally anything else that he could think of.

"Donarrion, you are the Lord of Blackhaven." Jon said, a little surprised to see a lord of the Stormlands in the tavern with them.

"Aye I am and you're of the North. What brings you to King's Landing?" Beric asked him. As he watched Thoros and Gendry apparently engage in a drinking contest.

"I came to sell some goods." Jon said vaguely. No reason to tell everyone his goals. He'd only just met Beric after all.

"You've come to the right place for that." Beric said as he took a small drink. The five of them spent some time together, Thoros regaling everyone with his stories and travels before they heard a commotion. They turned to look and saw a number of men enter the bar wearing Lannister colors and seemingly in a disorderly mood. They shouted for drink and food and commandeered a table, tossing the previous occupants to the floor and telling them to piss off. One of the men grabbed the serving girl and tried to pull her in his lap. She struggled and he tightened his hold

Jon narrowed his eyes at the actions and saw the same look on Beric's face as well. However, the man soon let the girl go and both settled down. The rest of the tavern did the same and every returned to their own business. It wasn't long after that a young lad of about ten namedays came through the door and turned in their direction. He had pale blond hair and dark blue eyes. He wore a pale purple cloak and came up to Beric's side.

"Jon this is my squire Edric Dayne." Beric introduced the young man. Jon's eyes widened at the name.

"You are of House Dayne." Jon said lowly. Sam stopped his conversations with Gendry and Thoros and looked over in surprise as well. He looked to Jon excitedly.

"Yes I am. It's a pleasure to meet you." Edric said with a smile and held out his hand. Jon grasped it firmly and returned the smile.

"The pleasure is all mine. Sam and I were actually planning on taking a ship to visit Starfall in the morning." Jon said surprising everyone save for Sam.

"Truly! I haven't been back home for over a year. I do miss it. If you don't mind me asking what your business in Starfall is?" Edric asked, his smile even brighter at meeting men that wanted to travel to his home. Before Jon to answer they, all heard a commotion. They turned and saw the Lannister soldiers were once again harassing the serving girls and one of the more drunk men had knocked down the owner of the establishment when he tried to intervene. No one seemed willing to stand up to the men, yet Jon found himself rising to his feet.

"Bad idea Jon. They are the Queen's men." Sam stated though by the look on his face he was anything but pleased with what he was seeing.

"I don't care." Jo said simply as he began to walk toward the crying girl pushing against the stronger man. He wasn't surprised to see Gendry rise with him, he was surprised to see Sam, despite the fear in his eyes rise as well. However, before they could intervene Thoros beat them to the punch.

"My friends! I have been waiting for you!" He said with a drunken laugh as he staggered over to the group and all but fell onto the man holding the girl.

The soldier instinctively let the girl go to grab onto Thoros becoming confused and angered. Jon quickly pulled the girl away as Gendry did the same for owner. Seeing this the solider pushed Thoros off of him and made to grab for the girl again. Jon passed her to Sam and stood in front of the man.

"Leave her be." Jon said quietly but with steel in his voice.

"And who are you to tell me what to do?" The soldier spat in a drunken rage. He put his hand on his sword prompting Jon to do the same. All conversation in the tavern ended and the atmosphere grew tense.

"Enough. You are the Queen's men. Try acting like it before I fetch the Gold Cloaks and explain to the Kind when he returns what happened here." Beric said as he moved from behind Jon. The solider looked at Beric and apparently recognizing a Lord of the Stormlands muttered a curse as he and his friends turned to leave, but not before shooting Jon a venom infused glare. As they left all of the patrons of the tavern raised a toast to Jon and his friends for doing what they could not.

"I don't like the looks they gave when they left. Cruel men that are deep in their cups are liable to do terrible things." Thoros said much more coherently, dropping the act. The others agreed and stood to follow the Lannister men.

"Edric, go and alert the City Watch commander to be on alert of possible disturbances tonight." Beric told his young squire, both wanting to be prepared for the worst and wanting to keep him away from any danger. Edric seemed to understand this and while upset that he would being sent away for his protection obeyed without comment.

The others moved to follow the men out of the tavern and kept a bit od distance between them. So far, the Lannister men were being unruly and loud but hadn't done anything more. They followed the men to Flea's bottom, and it appeared they would simply pass through without incident when the old beggar woman Jon met earlier bumped into the men by mistake. The Lannister soldier kicked the old woman to the ground.

"Keep your hands off me scum!" The solider said as he began to beat and kick the woman. Others came to try and help their friend and Jon had seen enough. Unfortunately, they were too late to stop the Lannister men from drawing steel and beginning to attack the beggars, whom the men apparently felt were a threat though in reality they'd been looking for an excuse to spill blood. Screams split the air as they were cut down and Jon felt rage flood his system.

He pulled out his sword and attacked the Lannister that had kicked the woman, who hadn't moved since the assault. Though drunk the Lannister man seemed to know a bit how to fight but it was nothing close to Jon's skill especially as his sword strokes were being fueled by his anger. It took no time at all for Jon to disarm the man and bring him to his knees. Everything within him was calling for the man's death but Jon fought against the impulse and knocked the man out with the butt of his pommel. He looked up and the two other Lannister men, seeing their leader knocked out, put their swords away.

Seeing this, Jon left them for Gendry and Beric to detain while Sam checked on some of the injured beggars. Jon kneeled beside the old woman and his heart broke to see no life in her eyes. She'd been stomped to death. He looked up when he heard a cry of pain and saw one of Lannister men had snuck up behind Beric and driven his sword into his back. Thoros called out in shock and fell to his friend's side.

Gendry was busy holding off the remaining Lannister soldier and the one responsible for attacking Beric was turning towards Jon. Jon would not hesitate and he no longer kept a leash on his anger. The man had proven himself a killer twice over with no honor and there would be no more mercy. The two met with a clash of steel and Jon took a small bit of enjoyment toying with the man who not long ago thought he was untouchable as he preyed upon the weak and downtrodden. Jon disarmed this man and as he raised his hands in surrender Jon put his sword in his throat. The soldier's eyes widened in surprised as he grasped his throat to try and stop the flow of blood. Jon watched the life leave the man's eyes and felt no regret.

"Stop there all of you!" Jon turned and saw Edric rushing to his Lord's side as a stout man with jowls and a bald pate arrived at the head of men from the City Watch. Jon put away his sword and moved to speak when the Lannister Soldier he'd previously knocked to the ground roused himself.

"Arrest him! He's killed my men and these people here!" The solider shouted. Gendry and Sam shouted back in refusal, but the commander of the City Watch looked at the man's outfit and immediately turned his weasel like eyes to Jon.

"Arrest him." The men ran up to Jon and roughly put him on his knees as they brought out chains. Jon began to protest before he was hit in the face and everything turned dark.