“Catelyn is acting on my orders, it was I who commanded your brother to be captured.” Ned says to my shock. That does not sound good. “Well then it seems you will have to come with me, my Lord.” Jaime declares, which Ned refuses. “Well then, looks like we can only resort to violence to correct this injustice. Men, at the ready!” Jaime calls his men to attention, brandishing their spears and shields. Jaime suddenly looks to me and my group.
“Ser Baskerville, how good it is to see you again.” He greets me with a fake smile, which I return. “Likewise, Ser Jaime, it is an honour to see you again so soon, might I ask what your business is with me?” I ask him while slowly reaching towards my sword.
“No business today, unfortunately, this is a family matter. You and your men can leave, I will repay my debt to you another day.” He says, keeping a cool head. It seems his business with Lord Stark is important enough to him that he can ignore his grudge against me for the moment. If he was a lesser man, he would use the situation to get revenge against me, but instead he leaves me an out, one I am tempted to take.
I hate the idea of abandoning Ned, but the statistics are not in our favour. Excluding Baelish and including Brutus, our side has 13 fighters, while the other side has 4 dozen soldiers, not including Jaime. That means they have almost 4 to 1 advantage, and that is not including the quality of the fighters. Our guys aren’t weak, but it is the difference in equipment that is the problem.
The capital has strict weapon laws, the only people allowed to bear arms are nobles and their guards, and even then their armour and numbers are strictly regulated. Me and Ethel are armed and as my squire Nathan also has a sword, while Ned and his 3 guards are all decked in leather armour and have short swords.Most of our people have a knife on them for emergencies that they always carry. Brutus is an arsenal all on to himself, and I am carrying not only my sword but a number of knives, because I am paranoid as fuck, but even with our skills we can’t turn these odds.
The Lannister soldiers are all decked in full plate, from boots to helm, and Lannister craftmenship is nothing to scoff at. Their weapons are primarily spears meaning they have everyone but me beaten in terms of range, and from their sure footing, firm formation and lack of nervous faces, these aren’t the paper tigers like the Goldcloaks.These are soldiers who have spilled blood, both others and their own. Brutus and I could likely take down 20 on our own, but we would need time, time in which everyone else here would be slaughtered and then killed ourselves after then tire us out.
I was just about to order everyone to stand down, when from out of the blue, Ned beats me to the punch. “Baskerville, you and your men can leave, this has nothing to do with you. Go back and protect your family.” I turn in surprise, seeing the serious look in his eyes and know he was giving me permission to run.
As a knight I am sworn to defend him in times like this. I was prepared to lose my knighthood by leaving because it would still be better than dying, yet he is letting me leave. There are few times in my life, both of them, that I have felt shame, but this is definitely one of them.
I weigh my options again, look to the sky and sigh for the stupid decision I am coming to. I turn to my companions and ask them. “Ed, Ethel, is there any chance the 2 of you will leave me here?” They smile at me.
“Not a chance.” They both answered. I sigh and hand Ed my sword, while I draw my hunting knives. He will be a decent match for the guards with it, and I can make up for the lack of range with my speed and strength.
“Curt, you were hired to serve as my captain, there was never any requirement that you need to fight for me.If you want to leave you will be well within your rights. The deal will transfer to my sister in the event of my passing.” I remind the captain of his obligations, allowing him to leave.
“Fuck that shit,you selfish bastard. I have been fighting the pirates of Basilisk Isle for years now, you think I'm afraid of some shiny ponce on a white horse? You gave me a chance to recover, allowed me to stay as a captain when I would be forced to start from the bottom again if my ship was sold. You and I have a deal, that means you get my loyalty. Now pass me a knife, I forgot mine back on the ship.” he berates me for a minute, then receives the knife I loan him.
Nathan looks at me expectantly. “What?Did you think I was going to let you leave? You're my squire, you are required to fight by my side when needed. If you tried to leave I would have to cut you down to preserve my honour.” I tell him in a serious tone, deflating him while the rest laugh. “Ha ha, sorry Nathan, the truth is that I have known you for only 2 years and I am certain of your loyalty.Asking you would be pointless and insulting.” I say as I pat his back, cheering him up significantly.
The only ones in question are the Raven lads. They look like they are trying to psyche themselves up, but they are shaking and afraid. I don’t blame them, unlike the rest of us they only have a dagger on them, and unlike Curt they all have families in the North to look after, they don’t want to die. I was about to let them go when Ethel beat me to it.
“Ravens! This is an order. Find our brothers and the rest of the crew and bring reinforcement as soon as you can!” he orders them. They wait for a moment, then give a grim look, salute their sergeant, and move to leave. They squeeze along the wall, watchful of the Lannisters stabbing them in the back. No attack comes and the soldiers move to allow them through, closing the gap once they are past and running down the street.
I turn to Jaime and speak. “Sorry Jaime, but I’m a Northerner, we look out for our own. Now what’s it going to be?” I ask as both sides ready for and engagement.
“Stop this madness, Ser Jaime, think this through.” Baelish tries to calm the hostility, which I compliment the effort, even if it is futile.
“Get back inside your brothel Littlefinger, stay out of the way.” Jaime dismisses the man.
“I will fetch the city watch.” Baelish reassures Ned, and makes his way back inside the brothel... Wait, how is he going to fetch the watch from inside... the... brothel...
Just like that, inspiration struck, so distracted by my thoughts and planning that I barely even notice what is being said.
“If you kill me your brother is dead” Ned threatens. “True. Very well, kill everyone but...” Jaime starts but doesn’t finish, because I have already grabbed Ned and rushed towards the brothel.
“Everyone get inside now!!!” I shout as I drag ned by the shoulder into the building. My guys hesitate for a second, then follow us in. Baelish could be seen on the other side of the entrance making his way towards the back when he turns in shock to see us all rush in. Once they are in I close the door and slam the door bar in place. Spotting a table nearby I throw that in the way for good measure.
“Listen up, here are your duties! You two, see those windows I want one of you guarding each of them, anyone tries to climb through, stab em.” I command the 2 guards I don’t know and instruct them to guard the 2 ground floor windows that are on either side of the door. They are made from stained glass intersected by thin steel rails, likely to keep out thieves. They won’t hold for long against a man hacking at them with steel, but it will get in the way and make it much easier to defend.
“Ed, Ethel you 2 are with me and Brutus guarding the main door, Brutus gets the front, you 2 will attack from the side.” I can hear them hammering at the door now, finally realising our plan. They will take some time to attack the hinges to remove the door as they didn’t bring any equipment for a siege, so I can finish my preparations.
“Curt, Nathan you 2 are on back-up. Whenever you see trouble help.” I tell my squire and captain to ready themselves to assist when one of the entrances look like they are going to fall.
“Lord Stark, you and Jory are to follow Lord Baelish out the back exit or window or whatever other way he was planning to go and find the city watch. We will hold them off from hear.” I give my Lord his job, somewhat backwards, but desperate times and all that. He seems to think for a minute, looks around the room, realises that he won’t be able to help here and nods.
“Stay alive, all of you. I will return as soon as I can. Baelish hurry up we need to leave.” He turns and runs off with Baelish through a door to another room, Jory following along. Baelish commands the Goldcloaks, they will reinforce us if he gives the order, and even if he doesn’t time is on our side. The Ravens that left will soon find the others and the men from the crew will join us. It might not be much, but if they ignore the laws and equip their arms, then we will get another 10 soldiers and 20 to 40 of the crew, however many they can gather. It will be enough to turn the tide, and if not then it will surely get the kings attention when a hundred armed men are fighting in the streets.
And that is all under the assumption that Jaime still has the men to fight after trying to get in. Jaime has the advantage of numbers, armour and range. By entering this brothel, I have just turned all of those advantages, into disadvantages. Numbers, only one person can enter those entrances at once, and we have the advantage of skill and positioning. Range, spears are very helpful in the field, and out in the street they would have likely spiked us all in a matter of minutes. Inside a cramped building however, and those long weapons just get in the way and leave you exposed.
As for armour, I spot a liqour cabinet and smash the lock with a qi enhanced punch. Solid oak reinforced by a steel lock collapses under the blow of ten men. Opening it I see a fortunes worth of expensive wines, all encased in fragile glass bottles. I grab a many as I can carry and place them on a table about 3 metres from the door, behind Brutus who stands at the ready, then grab some more till about 2 dozen bottles are lined nicely on the table. I didn’t care for the content, but rather their size and shape. I then place my knives on the table as well, in easy to grab positions, and wait as they try to break down the door.