Steffon I

'The screams are the worst thing', Steffon mused as one of the aforementioned screams assailed his ears and reverberated through the halls of Storm's End. He was a veteran of the War of the Ninepenny Kings and had been on more battlefields than most other men could realistically claim, but hearing his wife screaming and not being able to help was enough to drive him mad. "Damn tradition and the Dragons it rode on to all seven hells", he thought, he'd be fine if he could be in there with his wife. He knew he couldn't actually help her, but holding her hand and seeing how she was doing would've been enough for him, but it was not to be, traditionally men couldn't see their wives giving birth and he had to content himself by seeing the midwives run back and forth, back and forth, carrying various buckets of water, some full, others empty, and sometimes cloth that would later be stained with blood and sweat, a sight that made him internally grimace.

It was bad enough when his first-born Robert had been born, but now it sounded even more like Cassana was trying to excise a demon from her womb. It was not only the screams that gave way to such an atmosphere, for one the weather certainly didn't help as his lands were currently playing host to one of the famous storms they were named after, the rain pelting the walls and the rolling of thunder that was occasionally heard aided and abetted in helping to amplify his wife's screams of sheer anguish, he silently sent a prayer to the mother and father thanking them for having been born a man, he doubted he could stomach pain like that, let alone the life that women were expected to lead…

His thoughts were barely enough to keep him distracted from his very real worry that something might go wrong, but they managed to keep him busy enough, since the birthing went on for hours yet, though he had lost track of time by the time that Cressen had walked up to him. He hadn't noticed his approach, and was thus very startled when Cressen had said something that broke him out of his reverie, but it wouldn't do for a Lord to be scared of his Maester so he regained his composure and silently gestured for Cressen to repeat himself, which he did with a soft smile, "Your wife has given birth to a healthy boy my lord and she has requested your presence."

Steffon smiled gratefully and made his way to the chamber in which his wife gave birth, seeing midwives running to and fro now carrying only empty buckets of water, some of their white robes were stained with blood, the thought that it was his wife's made him cringe visibly for a moment, but he ruthlessly suppressed it.

"Steffon…", his beautiful wife said out of breath, her long dark hair was slicked with sweat, which made loose strands of it stick to her face, but Steffon had no eyes for that, more important was the small child she was clutching to her chest, Steffon smiled at her and gestured to pick him up, his wife acquiesced and he preened at the newborn for a moment, "Hello little one.", he said in what he thought was a sweet parental voice and he liked to think his son would hear and understand him, but in truth he was fast asleep.

"What shall we name him?", his wife asked out loud, though Steffon could sense that she already had an idea, one was able to pick up on such things after being married for so long after all, so he'd said, "I already chose for Robert, why don't you pick this time?", his wife smiled at him gratefully and thought for a moment, "How about Stannis?", 'a strong name', Steffon approved and said as much, though he would've wanted to name him Lyonel after his grandfather his wife's uncle was an honorable man himself and Stannis Baratheon had a nice ring to it.

He sat down on the bed next to his wife, both of them were holding their child, just basking in each other's presence for a moment, not saying a word and simply enjoying the moment. The blissful silence was interrupted by a shrill noise that Steffon couldn't quite make out, it definitely wasn't the storm of that much he was entirely sure, he placed his son in his wife's lap, both of them were sleeping peacefully and he took a moment to commit the sight into his memory, such moments were hard to come by nowadays, especially with Aerys having ascended the throne and requesting his presence in King's Landing so often.

He opened the shutters of the window a small amount of rain pelting his face from the storm, though the small discomfort was nothing compared to what he witnessed as he overlooked the Godswood of Storm's End. He was a believer in the seven and thus had not made much time to visit the Godswood of his ancestral home, even so he knew with a certainty that no man had ever seen what he was seeing right now, there were black Ravens gathered on each of the gnarled Weirwood's branches and all of them were cawing in unison, it took a while for Steffon to make out the words they were saying over the sound of the rain pelting the castle walls, but once he'd heard it, he couldn't unhear it.

"Prince, Prince, Prince", the Ravens were cawing, the round shape of the Godswood allowing their voices to carry by echoing of the walls much further than would ordinarily be possible. He briefly stopped to wonder what this omen boded for his son's future. He had never placed much stock in such things, but this was a pretty clear message that the Gods, be they old or new wanted to say something, though what that something was Steffon couldn't say for certain.

Cressen I

The old Maester smiled at the thought of his student, his favorite student if he was honest, Stannis had a capacity to learn which boggled the mind. The lad had taken to his numbers and letters like a fish to water and had begun to read every single book he could get his hands on with the enthusiasm that outshone that of most Acolytes in the Citadel. He had said as much to Stannis, and while he did indeed have some interest in forging a chain, he'd said that a Maester's life wasn't truly for him.

He had never explicitly said what he dreamed of being, Lord of Storm's End and Lord Paramount of the Stormlands were titles reserved for Robert, despite the fact that his younger brother was at least a thousand times more responsible from one what could see so far, but through Stannis' tastes in literature Cressen could at least gleam some of the dreams he had for the future. While Stannis read almost everything, he could possibly get his hands on, he particularly favored the memoirs of Colrys Velaryon and Lomas Longstrider, often re-reading them and being able to quote large passages from memory, leading the old man to believe that his charge wanted to be a great explorer.

That was practically the only subject of contention between the two, Cressen vigorously argued that with Stannis' obvious intelligence and inquisitive nature, that he should receive an education in the Citadel, but Stannis eventually got fed up with repeating the drawbacks of wearing the chain and wouldn't hear more about it.

Another intriguing if inconsequential difference between the two Baratheon brothers was their attitude towards birds, Robert loved hawking while Stannis found the activity mind-numbingly dull, instead he enjoyed tending to Ravens, a fondness which pleasantly reminded Cressen of his own sponsor at the citadel and the lad thus often volunteered to help feed and water them in exchange for extra lessons on the higher mysteries, Cressen being one of the few Maesters who had studied them and managed to forge a link of Valyrian Steel that indicated as much, though he gained little practical use from the knowledge and had said as much to Stannis, his charge was still as inquisitive and undeterred as ever and wouldn't be shaken from the boyish dream of learning magic, the thought making Cressen smile fondly as he had a similar attitude when he first joined the Citadel.

"Nevermore, Nevermore, Nevermore", the cawing of Stannis' pet raven broke him out of his reverie, the bird was usually very quiet and was by now a fixture on Stannis' left shoulder, but could be very annoying at times especially because Stannis had taught him to say almost exclusively that word, though he'd never explained why. "Cressen, could I ask a favor?", Stannis asked with his usual curt politeness that never quite managed to set others at ease, Cressen raised an eyebrow and genially answered, "Of course, do you wish to borrow another book?", Stannis shook his head and now Cressen was curious. Stannis almost exclusively asked him for more books or failing that, extra lessons on a subject he was interested in, usually history, navigation or the higher-mysteries, but for him to ask a favor that had nothing to do with learning something new was almost unheard of for him.

"I was wondering if you could help me send a Raven.", Stannis said his countenance as impassive as it usually was. "To whom?", Cressen was forced to ask. He'd be happy to do most any favor for Stannis, but any Ravens which left Storm's End could have dire political implications on the family, not necessarily because of the content, but just by where it was going would lead to much speculation among most nobles, especially since both Stannis and Robert were not yet betrothed…

"Castle Black", Stannis said simply. Cressen blinked away his astonishment, and almost breathlessly said, "You mean to join the Watch?!". Stannis' first instinct was something the Maester would've never expected from him, for his charge threw back his head and roared with laughter. After a few moments he calmed himself and wiped away the tears which had gathered in his eyes, "No, no", he began almost out of breath from the fit of laughter, "I've no intention of freezing my balls off at the wall.", Cressen glared at him for the language, but it lacked any real heat, "I just wanted to start a correspondence with the Maester there."

Cressen had not felt this curious about anything since he was an Acolyte and asked the question that he simply couldn't find the answer to in his own mind, "Why?". Stannis just looked at him like a father would look at a particularly dull-witted child who had just asked a very stupid question, "Why would I want to speak with my great-great uncle Aemon, possibly the oldest man in Westeros, friend to Ser Duncan the Tall and Brynden Rivers?", Stannis began, the sarcasm almost dripping from his voice, "I don't know, fun mayhaps?". Now Cressen glared at him for real, but he acquiesced to perform his request anyway and thus asked the most prudent question, "What do you wish to ask him?".

Stannis nodded curtly, a favorite gesture of his that usually indicated approval at someone getting to the point and said, "I was wondering if he had some insight, he might be willing to share into how Bloodraven ran his spy network."

"Do you wish to become the new Master of Whispers?", Cressen found himself asking, though his tone was more joking than incredulous when the conversation had initially began, "Hardly", Stannis snorted contemptuously, "but it is a matter of large historical importance and all of the books I've read are either woefully vague on the subject or are simply conjecture from overeager Maesters born years after Bloodraven became Lord Commander."

Cressen sighed, "Very well, I'll help you, just fetch a quill and some parchment from the table over there.", he said pointing to the aforementioned table. Stannis smiled gratefully and went to do as he was told.

Robert I

Robert Baratheon was the furthest thing from a patient man and had a temper that could put most wild beasts to shame, currently he was attempting to squash the mounting urge to drop his blunted training sword and attempt to squash his younger brother's head like a grape, the main reasons why he didn't were because his father would hang him if Cressen didn't poison him first.

His anger was exacerbated by the fact that he'd eaten a bad lobster and was down with the shits during what would've been his first squire's tourney, a tourney that his younger brother, won handily, the thought made him outwardly frown and Stannis took advantage of the lapse in concentration to whack him across the shoulder, Robert let loose a grunt of rage and tried to club his brother over the head with his sword, but his brother merely got on his knee and rolled behind him, giving him a spank with the flat edge of his blade while laughing all-the-while.

The disparity in their respective skills as warriors wasn't so great between the two, but between their skills as swordsmen it was very clear that Stannis was much, much better. Robert was stronger by a wide margin and thus preferred using decisive bludgeoning weapons like the Warhammer his father bought him for his nameday, but for all of Robert's strength, speed and reach, Stannis on the other hand was faster, decisive and had the reflexes of a shadow-cat, making him an extremely able blade for his age. The fight would've been more even with their respective weapons of choice, but it was required of a knight to learn the sword, so Robert was doing just that.

It was not only their respective inborn talents that made a difference, both of them trained quite hard and were expected to receive their knighthoods by the time they turned seven and ten at the very latest, though Robert focused his training more on strength building, while Stannis galivanted with that sword-swallower Braavosi by the name of Qarro Volentin he had hired to teach him their peculiar fighting style and training by doing gods know what, though as Robert barely managed to block a strike that would've probably broken his nose, he had to concede that those seemingly pointless exercises of balancing on one leg and chasing cats around seemed to be working for his brother, but they still seemed entirely ridiculous to him.

It wasn't long before he landed on his ass, not because of a decisive strike though, but rather because Stannis had closed the distance between them, forcing Robert to take a step back in order to maximize the effective range of which he could attack, but had at the same time entangled his legs with his, making him stumble as he was unprepared for this, but Stannis had come out of the ordeal just fine.

He tore off his gambeson and rushed at his brother with a snarl of rage, wielding his sword much like how one would use a club, "It's so unfair", he thought, "my little brother is better at everything.", it wasn't Stannis who knocked him down this time, but rather Ser Harbert Gower, master-at-arms of Storm's End and not by hitting him either, rather he had sharply barked "Robert!", in his loudest most intimidating training-yard voice possible, that would cause grown knights to piss themselves.

He looked up to see Stannis extending a hand to him with a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes, he scowled and blinked away the tears that were gathering in his eyes, but he took his hand all the same, once he was righted he managed an, "I must be excused", mustering the last of his dignity.

He tried to leave in the direction of his chambers, but a strong steady hand held him in place, my brother's, he noticed as the hand spun him back around and Stannis said with a grin, though unlike his usual ones it wasn't mocking in nature, "Don't worry about a single loss brother, if you'd had your hammer you would have beat me bloody.", Robert sighed internally as his rage slowly abated, he should at least try to make an effort to get along with Stannis, it was after-all his last week in Storm's End before he left for the Eyrie.

Renly I

He tossed and turned in his bed, he couldn't help it, sleep just wouldn't take him! He got up, the cold stone floor being slightly uncomfortable on his bare feet, but he made his way to where he knew his brother would be right now. He ran through the halls as quickly as he could without making any noise that would alert his parents as to what he was doing, "just because they let Stannis be awake throughout the whole night doesn't mean the same for me.", he thought. The pitter-patter of his feat resonated throughout the hallways as he made his way to the library of Storm's End, once he got there, he found the room with its innumerable shelves of books to be shrouded in darkness, save for a small candle which was burning away at the very back of the room. He approached and saw his brother Stannis hunched over a few books and stacks of maps, though they were of locations that Renly didn't recognize.

"Shouldn't you be sleeping?", Renly blurted out with all of the vitriol a four-year-old could muster, Stannis blinked his sleep away and flicked his blue eyes over to him, Renly noticed that they had large bags under them.

"Yes, I really should, sleep is good", Stannis said, and the unexpected response threw Renly off long enough for Stannis to add, ", but books are better.", he said the last part with a Cheshire grin that only showed itself with Renly and Cressen.

Renly scowled at the response, but chose not to dwell on it, he was here for a purpose after all, so he waited for his brother to take the bait, "and actually, come to think of it, shouldn't you be sleeping little brother?", Renly misliked the way Stannis always emphasized "little" when he said that, but chose to ignore it once again and opted instead for simply saying, "I can't sleep."

Stannis sighed rubbing his face as if it would magically take his sleepiness away, he finally said with no small amount of exasperation, "Fine, will you go to sleep if I tell you a story?", Renly nodded eagerly, the faux betrayed smile Stannis sent him let him know that he knew what Renly was doing, but was not unduly annoyed by this.

Stannis ruffled his hair and picked him up, placing Renly on his lap, he scowled as much as a child could, but his brother either didn't notice due to the dim light or didn't care, because he almost immediately began to tell his story, "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit…", even though he didn't know what a Hobbit was, Stannis had Renly's undivided attention.


Hey guys, please enjoy the first chapter of my new Stannis SI! I deleted the last one because I wasn't satisfied with the first few chapters and I noticed that the story was starting to get away from me during the later ones, but it's still the same basic premise, a chemist reincarnated in Stannis Baratheon, this time during his birth so he has more 'prep-time'. He'll still get exiled and go to Essos, but we'll see more of his preparations while he's in Westeros. I also hope to include more about his relationships with his brothers and other people of importance. Not to mention, for those of you that participated the poll about the pairing is still valid, so look forward to that. See you guys next time, same bat-time, same bat-channel.