Lonnel Seastark was a short man, bald with a long, ugly face. People liked to jape that the last time he had laughed was when the Wall was built since he was so serious all the time. That being said, not many would say it to his face. House Seastark was infamous for its unrivaled status at sea, due to its member's ability to warg into their sea monsters. I gave him a bow which he returned and started speaking.
"My Lord, the Crown thanks you for answering its call. King Jon appreciates you coming down yourself and fighting the Ironborn."
He did not look impressed at my speech, but Northmen were usually dismissive of such pleasantries.
"Aye, I hope he does, but it was no worry for me to answer his call. Bessie has been itching to feast, and who am I to deny her?"
I smiled at that, finding common ground here while talking about our companions.
"I understand what you say my Lord, Shadow itches for reaver blood since she tasted it some weeks ago. Speaking of which, is your partner close by?"
"She is waiting further on, so let us set sail. I know my sailors itch for a fight."
We boarded my ship and set sail, exiting Blazewater Bay to set sail for the seas by Blacktyde. About an hour after we initially set sail I finally saw the beast. It spanned the length of at least 2 ships, and I could see the size of its mouth. It could fit half a ship in one bite, making it a truly terrifying creature to face in the open sea.
We made some small talk during the sail there. I learned that his second son had apparently inherited the gift as well, and he had started training him in the art of warging. This had prompted him to disinherit his firstborn and give the heirship to the second, a common practice in the family when the gift manifested itself. I could barely imagine it, two of these beasts side to side, that would be a sight to see, not in more than 100 years had House Seastark had more than one warg at the same time. Besides talking of our lives we also started planning out our attack, finally deciding on one.
We would be executing a quick raid, attacking the ships stationed at Blacktyde that had been scouted by our wargs. We spent a couple of days at sea sailing towards our target, and when we finally got close enough to Blacktyde we saw a raiding party sailing towards us, barely visible due to the thick mist that was present in the area. They numbered about 20 ships, which meant that we outnumbered them by 10 ships. I turned towards the captain of the ship and started screaming orders.
"Captain, prepare to ram! Soldiers, we will board soon! Lord Seastark, are you prepared!?"
He looked calmly at the enemy ships, nodded his head, and sat down crossed-legged. His eyes rolled to the back of his head. I took out my Myrish Eye and observed a leviathan in action for the first time in my life.
Bessie came out of the water and I could hear some clicking sound come from it. It dived back down and swam straight to the Ironborn ships, displacing water and causing waves to form around us. The Ironborn longships saw these and tried to turn away, but they did not prove fast enough. Bessie came out of the water and slammed straight into one of the longships, breaking it in half. That was quickly followed by three more ships meeting the same fate. Another ship got hit by its fin, damaging it and making it flood. Another was rammed headfirst by it, breaking it like a twig. I saw men drowning, the sea riddled with body parts, painting it red. One of the men was missing an arm, and he was quickly gobbled up by Bessie, swallowing him whole.
It was the single most terrifying thing I had ever seen in my entire life. One of the most commonly known taboos for wargs was the fact that it was considered a sin to taste human flesh, even in the skin of your companion. Everyone knew it was not to be done, yet this…. man, had already eaten about a ship's worth of men. It was horrific, yet there was nothing I could really do about it since he was not breaking any real laws, just unspoken ones.
By now half of the Ironborn ships were destroyed, with a couple of the surviving ones being damaged. Bessie finally went down the waves and disappeared into the sea. Looking down to my side, Lord Seastark had warged back into his own skin. He looked at me, smiling, and said:
"Are you gonna attack or just gawk at this? Bessie had her fill, now it is our turn!"
I snapped back into focus, segregating my disgust and slight admiration to the side and ordering the men into positions. We rammed into their surviving longships, and soon we boarded them to kill the remaining reavers. I was met by a man who looked like a beggar, gaunt and dirty. He had a hammer in his hand, and was only dressed in rags. I was confused, but it was no matter. I dodged quickly and sliced his head off in one stroke. Then another attacked me, this one dressed in silks and slightly obese. He was armed only with a spiked club, and by his charge, I could tell he had never fought a day in his life. He swung from right to left, but he swung too early, making his attack too far away to touch me. I sliced from side to side and opened up his stomach, then stabbed him in the chest, impaling him with my sword.
A man with mismatched leather armor charged at me, swinging his ax down. I parried and sliced away at his belly, valyrian steel cutting straight through his rudimentary armor. He screamed in pain as his guts spilled out, dying the wood with blood. Another came and attacked me, this one looking better equipped at least. I saw steel plate, red in color with a lannister sigil. It had most likely been taken in the recently reported Lannisport raid. He swung at me with crazy eyes, yet he did not scream. I parried his sword thrust, then thrust back, the man stepping out of the way. I spared a look to my side and I could see Lord Seastark laughing while cutting the throat of one of the ironborn, lost in his bloodlust.
I swung my sword straight downwards meeting the man's blade with my own. I could see it chipping, and a couple more of my thrusts would break it. I swung from my right, then my left, then my right, not giving him any chance to create space. Each parry chipped away at his sword, its steel clearly not meeting the standard of my own Valryain Steel. Finally, one final swing broke his sword in half, and I took his surprise as a chance to take away his legs, fainting an upward slice and then slicing at the back of his knee, making him collapse. He wheezed, yet it seemed like it was not in pain. Looking back at him, he was laughing, almost silently. He had no tongue, and with the look on his face, he seemed utterly insane. He took out a knife and held it forward, intent on trying to do some last type of damage to me.
He finally stopped laughing and looked at me, a smile on his face, as if he was happy this was happening. Taking his knife, he plunged it into his own chest, then took it out and sliced his own neck. He dropped forward, limp, and looking at him he looked as if he was in bliss, his face utterly calm in death. The fighting had finished, save for a few skirmishes on the surrounding ships.
"Men! Collect any spoils to take back, they shall be divided amongst yourselves!"
While my men started grabbing everything they could get their hands on, I started walking through the ship, feeling curious as to the unusual variety of reavers who had been present here. I looked at the first man I had killed. He looked like a beggar and looking more closely now that I did not have to focus on killing, I could see he did not have any boots on either. I looked to the man who had been in silk and seeing his hands he looked to be noble-born, or at least well off, given the fact that his hands were un-calloused. Dread boiled up in my stomach as I realized something terrible. Aside from the two reavers, I had fought and killed thralls, not raiders. Having that now clear in my mind, I entered my ship once more, preparing to leave this dammed place.
I looked around me, searching for the origin of the war horn. I had not signaled any retreat, and none of the sailors in the other ships were authorized to do so either. The mist around us was clearing up, and the pit in my stomach kept getting bigger. All of our ships were concentrated in basically the same area, and surrounding us, no uncovered from the mist were warships. Galleys, spanning as far as the eye could see.
"Fuck." I thought.
"LONNEL SEASTARK! WARG INTO YOUR BEAST AND MAKE A PATH FOR US!"
He nodded, realizing how dire this situation was. I turned to a soldier and ordered him to look for my Myrish eye and hand it to me. He went to the cabin and came back with it in hand, and handed it to me. I looked towards the horizon, scanning over the different ships and I saw one that made my heart stop.
It had a single mast, with black sails and dark red hulls. On its prow, you could see a mouthless maiden made of black iron. Standing on its deck was a man wearing a full set of mail and armor, with a crown on his head seemingly made of black iron on top of his black hair. He was not tall, at least not from the traditional sense, but gazing upon him from here he looked to be taller than any man I had ever known. A cruel smirk danced on his blue-tinted lips, and his one eye shined with a strange blue light, the other one covered by his eyepatch. I had never seen this man, yet in my heart, I knew who he was. Euron Greyjoy, the Crow's Eye.
Two crew members walked over to him. One was holding a black horn, similar in look to the Horn of Winter, while the other one dragged a pale-haired girl, heavy with child. She was in chains and had a dead look on his face. She kneeled, and the one who brought her up kneeled as well. He was handed the horn and placed the large part facing upwards beneath the pale-haired one's skin. He cut her throat, making blood flow into the horn, and she was kept kneeling by the man who had brought out the horn. She stopped bleeding, and then she was let go, flopping onto the deck of the ship.
The other man smiled and sliced his own throat and let his blood flow into the horn as well. Once they were both dead Euron took the horn in hand, brought it to his lips, and blew.
It was the song of greatness, it was the song of darkness, it was the song of power, it was the song of inevitable doom. I heard the blood in the air, the madness which consumed us. The Drowned God's servant unleashing his wrath, satiating his hunger. I could see him now, the Iron God. He was gangly, skeletal in appearance with a crown of bones. I did not dare look upon his face, lest I fall into the madness which threatened to consume me. He sat on a Black Stone chair, an eel wrapped around it. No…. it was no eel. It was a dragon. I could see it clear as day, dark as night. It was scaled, a terrible green in color with a terrible hunger in its eyes.
"Stark." it called to me, in its eldric tongue.
It reached forward as if to get me in his hand, enormous as it was, but then I felt the cold on me, protecting me. I felt the earth singing to me, snapping me out of the nightmare and focusing my attention back on my men. Then I saw it. The Drown God's champion made flesh. Green tentacles erupted out of the water, each one as long as 3 ships. They were countless, and each time one moved they displaced waves the size of our ships. Beneath the waves, I could see its eyes, each one glowing yellow. They swung and destroyed 5 ships in less than a minute. I saw my men drowning, clawing desperately at the wreckage, hoping to hold on to something to float.
Ironborn warships sailed through the chaos, somehow untouched by the Kraken's attack. Tentacles smashed our ships, then they sailed in and killed any stragglers. Lord Seastark frantically warged into Bessie and attacked the Kraken, yet when the Leviathan jumped and slammed into the Ironborn beast, pulling it under the water. They struggled for a time, yet to my horror, I saw Bessie come up mangled, chunks of her side bitten off. The Kraken sent its tentacles out of the water, wrapping around the Leviathan and pulling it back down, where seismic waves formed until they suddenly stopped, and the sea was red with blood. I looked over and saw that Lonnel Seastark was glass-eyed and collapsed onto the floor, drool coming out of his mouth. His companion had died, yet he had not slipped into his skin yet. Why?
Finally, he woke up, a manic look on his face.
"There is no escape my lord! Embrace the Drowned God's affections!"
He lunged at me, swinging down while the Kraken resumed his destruction of our fleet. I dodged and dodged each attack, not wanting to attack back, yet I saw no way out. I parried one swing and sliced down, cutting him across his chest. Then, I closed the distance, grabbed his arm, and threw him to the side, disarming him in the process. I pointed my sword at his neck and pleaded at him.
"Yield, for the love of the gods, yield and come back to your senses!"
A tentacle slammed onto the deck, folding it under its weight, displacing the men around me, and crushing the two caught under its swing. I could hear the moans of pain around me, and I staggered up to my feet in time to see the Silence ram into the remains of our ship. Men came upon our ship, yet none screamed, only attacking in silence. I saw Lord Seastark lunging toward me and I quickly stabbed him in his stomach, ending his life.
Euron Greyjoy jumped on the ship, laughing all the while his men slaughtered mine. They circled me, yet did not attack, waiting for something, I just did not know what. They captured one of my sailors, Andrew, and then the circle opened up, letting Euron swagger through.
"Benjen Stark! The Sea Wolf! I bid you welcome into my domain! I am sorry for how you've been treated, but alas, your men simply did not want to let me greet you! I do hope you are as happy to see me as I am you!?"
I snarled, loathing filling my very being.
"IS THIS ALL THIS IS TO YOU!? A GAME? I'LL END YOU RIGHT NOW IF YOU ARE MAN ENOUGH TO FACE ME SCUM!"
"Hahahaha! Do you think yourself a match to me? I'll gladly face you, little wolf, and take that precious sword off of your hands once you die. Sailor's Wail right? I shall ensure it ends in the hands of one of my bastards, a great honor if in my… humble opinion. What say you, wolf pup?"
I swung at him, and it was met by steel of the same kind as mine. Purple ripples gave it away, and he looked at me, cocky smirk in place, and spoke.
"A trophy from Valyria. Beautiful, don't you think? House Naelian, if I am not mistaken, were the ones who owned this sword. One of the 40, though from the texts I recovered not nearly one of the most powerful. It truly is majestic in a way, the difference between the Steel they gave others and the ones they kept for themselves. Well, why don't I show you instead of speaking of it!?"
He swung at me, prompting me to parry his attack, then spun around and sliced at my neck, causing me to bring my sword up to block. My ears ringed once they clashed, and I could spot a small chip at my sword.
"Impossible." I thought.
Bringing my sword up, I hacked away at his suit, yet found each of my attacks was met with one of his own, and none of my attacks managed to reach him, either being parried or dodged, further weakening the composition of my sword. I parried one of his swings and saw an opening, not hesitating to take advantage of it. I stabbed forward with all of my strength, intent on impaling him upon my sword, yet when the point of my sword met his breastplate… it shattered.
I looked in disbelief. Valyrian Steel had shattered like a common sword. Euron just looked on amused.
"You think this sword would be the only Valyrian artifact I would bring back now would you?"
Rage, that was the only thing I felt, the only thing that was left.
I roared and attacked him, unsheathing my knife, but he only swung his sword two times before I was stabbed. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't breathe! I COULDN'T BREATHE!
He took out his sword, making me gasp in an attempt to breathe. He was standing over me, a demon in human skin, yet I could hardly see him, darkness encroaching my vision. I searched for the strength to survive, yet I could only rasp out one sentence.
"What are you?"
He smiled and laughed.
"I am the Storm."
Ayooooo! What's poppin guys. I really like how this chapter turned out, so I hope you all liked it too. Took a bit, but I think I did a pretty good job here if I do say so myself. Please share your thoughts! Ya'll like the magic here? Fights? How Euron was portrayed? I'm kinda nervous but super hyped at the same time for the reviews to this chapter to come in, cuz I really want to know what you all thought of this. Also, I finally finished my semester, so I'll start writing a lot again. Anyways, I'll leave the author's note here. Thanks for reading guys, and if you can, please leave a review!