‘Sieging a fucking brothel. Why was it that when I was thinking how today was going to go, I never thought this would be one of the options?’ I think while the men hack at the door.
This all started when I asked Varys about the location of my brother. While we were coming back from Winterfell, he said he was going to the Wall in the North, to piss off it if I remember correctly. He sent a raven to me about 3 weeks ago saying he was returning, only he never made it here. The last anyone had seen him was in the Riverlands. It was Baelish who told me that he received a letter from the Vale that Tyrion had been kidnapped by Catelyn Stark and was now being held prisoner by her sister, Lysa Arryn in the Eerie.
After asking Varys what was going on, he confessed that he only recently got word that Catelyn was under the impression that it was Tyrion who sent an assassin to try and kill her son, the one I pushed, to keep him from revealing any secrets. That is a load of horseshit, but when he told me that it was Lysa Arryn that told her sister to be wary of the Lannisters in the first place and that was why she brought Tyrion to the Eyrie, I felt extreme worry for his life.
I wouldn’t worry so much if it was just Catelyn, she has Ned’s noble temperament, and would not kill Tyrion without a trial. Her sister on the other hand is severely unhinged. She has been paranoid for years, and her husband’s death has left her fearful of assassins. She and her sickly son are both disillusioned, and Lysa has a habit of sending who she thinks is an assassin through the Eyrie’s famous Sky Door, a hatch in the keep that is located hundreds of metres from the ground, which they use to execute people.
That has led to arather precarious situation. Father has organised an army to invade the Riverlands and attack the Tully House, the family home of the 2 sisters, in order to force them to release Tyrion. That would take too long however. Not only would we have to fight a war, we would then have to negotiate with the Tullys to get their daughters to release my brother, by which time Tyrion would likely be dead.
Father doesn’t care about that part. He is only declaring war to defend the Lannister name and show we can’t be taken lightly. If Tyrion dies then it will just mean the Tullys will be forced to pay greater restitutions, which he couldn’t be happier about. Cersei has always hated Tyrion and can’t wait to see him dead. She would never speak to the king on his behalf, and if she did it would be to manipulate the situation into being worse than it already is.
The only chance I have to save his life is to use a hostage to try and force Tyrion’s release. When one of the servants in the keep, one of the men under Lannister employ, told me Ned Stark was in the obscure part of town with only a few guards, I knew this would be my best opportunity. If I can capture Ned and bring him to the Westerlands, we can negotiate for Tyrion’s release, and father can probably get some benefits as well.
The king won’t speak on Ned’s behalf. Ned recently quit his position as Hand of the King, so he is no longer is a part of the royal court. This is now business between the Lannisters and Ned’s family, with Ned’s side being thee one in the wrong in the first place. His friendship won’t win over his fear of my father.
I grabbed as many of the Lannister guards that I could find on short notice, and made my way here. That was when everything started going wrong. There was not a handful of guards but rather a dozen men and a bear. One of the men was obviously Ben Baskerville, the bastard who beat me before. The rest didn’t look like guards except for a few, rather a gathering of knights and mercenaries on their day off.
When Ned came out, I asked him to come with me, which he obviously refused, and I got my men to ready for a fight. Seeing that Baskerville and his group were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, not there to specifically protect Ned I decided to let them go. First was to reduce the opposition.Though I was certain we would still win, it would be more chaotic, and if Ned was killed by accident this would all go face up very quickly. Ned is one of the most respected nobles in Westeros, some would argue even higher than my father. Capturing him to release my brother, no one will speak up if he is eventually released. Murdered by a detachment of guards in the streets of Kings Landing by a company of Lannister soldiers? The rest of the nobles would think we are acting like kings and overstepping our authority. If Tyrion were to die then, not only would very few speak up on our behalf, but many would side with the Starks in their counterattack.
Second was that I still intend to get a rematch from Baskerville. I need to redeem my honour in fair combat with him. Although most of the lords and witnesses believe he won through tricks when we fought, the second-hand people only hear that I lost, and that lead to many doubts of my skill over the last weeks. I wanted to go for him earlier, but the opportunity was never there. My legs were healing for 2 weeks and by then the tournament was fully underway. If I challenged him he would have refused based on his desire to keep in top form. After the tournament I was distracted by my brother’s situation and revenge was the last thing on my mind. I may have completely forgotten about our rematch if I didn’t see him today.
I felt it was shame originally that he didn’t leave, as I would have to settle for killing him like this. Now my only regret was not killing him as soon as I saw him after the trouble he has caused. When he dragged Ned into the brothel, I was so shocked that I didn’t react for a few moments, and by that time the rest were already inside and the door closed. That one move has thrown everything into question.
Knowing Littlefinger, that snake will have an escape route in every establishment he owns. If Ned gets away and back to the Red keep it could be a major setback for me. Not only would I not be able to save Tyrion but my own life might be in danger.
If I could grab Ned and bring him to the Westerlands, then Robert the fat king wouldn’t make too much of a fuss, other than the required words and letters, seeing as I was no longer within his reach. But if Ned escapes then Robert will definitely come for me. Using armed troops to attack nobles in the capital is a major crime, one that is usually punishable by death.
Of course, the king won’t have the courage to have me killed, but I will be imprisoned and the Starks will have the power over both of my father’s children. Tyrion will be completely forgotten, all of father’s attention will be on releasing me. Hell, he might even use the situation to have me removed from the kings guard and sent home to inherit the land, what he’s always wanted.
My only hope is to break in quickly, and either Ned is still in there, his honour compelling him to fight with his men, or he has fled, in which case I need to chase him down and capture him. Both these plans rely on me breaking in in the next few minutes. It looks hopeful when my men have chopped one of the hinges off, and now have a spear in to act as a lever. Once they pried it off, I ordered them to enter.
The largest man went first, sword out, and threw the table blocking the way to the side. That was when an object suddenly collided with his helmet, shattering itself, and causing the soldier to scream in pain, covering his face. Before we could see what happened, a giant shadow reared up from the doorway. A giant mouth closed its fangs around the soldier’s head, and with a mighty twist his head was ripped from the torso, a bit of his spine following. As we stood there horrified, we heard a low growing, followed by a crunching and spitting noise. What remained of the soldiers head was spat outside the door onto the pavement. The head was still inside it’s helmet, though the steel helm was now dented with large teeth marks and looked like it had been placed in a vice.
Half the men covered their mouths at that sight, several losing to their stomach and vomitting, for even veterans like themselves had rarely seen such a brutal way of killing before. We saw the culprit through the door, that humongous hound that Baskerville keeps, blood dripping from its jaw. As it is creeping backwards, shadows covering so that its silhouette and eyes are all we can see. Ben calls to us from inside.
“Why Jaime that was rude of you. Not only do you show up for dinner unannounced, but you only brought food for Brutus. Not to worry though, he and the rest of us have plenty of room and it seems you brought lots of extras. They even provided their own cutlery and platters, how thoughtful.” He taunts from inside.
This is bad, the men are getting restless. The image of what happened to the last man is still clear in their minds, and they are thinking that they could be next.
“Calm yourselves, it is a beast. You, grab the corpse and drag it to the side for the moment, we will bury him later.” I instruct a man to remove the sight so that it can’t continue affecting moral. “You 2, ready your spears. You will go in together and when that mutt attacks, you will skewer it.” I tell two others my plan for breaching the building. No matter how large that hound is, it is still made of flesh and blood. Without the room to manoeuvre it will either have to retreat, or will attack and be struck with the spears.
They move to my commands, the two with spears slowly moving to the doorway, just enough room for them both to enter at the same time. They watch the dog in through the entrance, not looking away for a second, the rest of the men behind the, ready to attack if they do fall and finish the dog.
Suddenly the same noise from before sounds and the soldiers clutch their faces again. My men are ready to attack when the dog charges, but instead of an attack from the front, they are attacked from the sides. A sword enters them each, both in the waist, before being withdrawn and hacked down on again. The dog wasn’t the only one guarding the entrance, seems 2 men were hiding by the side of the door. The spearmen were so focused on the dog that they didn’t see the threat to the side.
As their bodies fall and my men retreat again in the face of unexpected threat, I can finally see what was making those noises. On the floor beside the bodies are broken glass pieces, and what I can only assume is wine mixed in with the blood to make a contrast of different red colours. The first death was so gruesome that I didn’t see the shards of glass and neglected to notice some of the liquid wasn’t blood.
So that was his plan. He has been throwing bottes of wine at their faces.When they shatter on their helmets, the glass and wine enters their eyes through the gaps, blinding them. This leaves them open to attack, in several ways as the previous deaths demonstrated.
I observe the situation again. The front of the building has only 3 entrances that can be accessed, the front door, and 2 small windows. There are several windows on the upper floors, and if I had some ladders it would be the ideal entry point as they lack the numbers to guard them. The windows have rails that would require time to hack through, and even then my men would need to crawl through, just asking to be beheaded.
The door could fit 2 men as was just demonstrated, but they attack anyone coming in from 3 sides, 4 including Baskerville’s projectiles from a distance. From personal experience I know of his accuracy and he won’t miss a target, any assault through there will be bloody and costly time wise.
These buildings are all joined together, so if we want to look through for rear entrances we would have to leave this street and find the opposite street. Neither me or my men are used to this area, and there is no telling how long that could take to find the rear entrance, even if it wasn’t a hidden one. Moral is low and time is against us. The longer I stay here the more likely we will be found by Goldcloaks and that will be the end of everything. I need one more confirmation before I decide to cut our losses or go all in.
“Ned Stark!! Is this how the famed Lord of Winterfell fights!? Hiding in abrothel instead of fighting me like a man. Maybe youshould start conscripting whores to fight your battles since you like their company so much.” I challenge in a loud voice, loud enough that if he is in there, he should hear me.
“Lord Stark is a bit busy right now and has no time for you at the moment. You will have to settle for us lowly knights and sell-swords if you want attention. Though if it is an honourable fight you want, I will gladly oblige. Just tell your men to back off 20 metres down the street and I will come out so we can have that rematch you wanted.” Baskerville replies from inside, taunting me. Little does he know he gave me what I wanted to know.
I know Ned wouldn’t be stupid enough to give up his strategic position to fight me out here, but he would not resist answering me himself if he was in there. Since it was Baskerville that answered I know that Ned has likely run off rather than stay to fight. This means continuing the fight is pointless. I would only lose men and time in order to exact revenge on Baskerville. Though the anger he has caused me makes it tempting, it is not worth the lives of my men. If he left earlier then enough time has passed that we will never catch up. Staying here is playing into their trap. If reinforcements come, either the Gold cloaks or Stark men, then I will be captured.
I do admit that I am tempted by his offer for a rematch before I leave, but that is only when I could be sure there would be no tricks. From what I have seen of Baskerville he is more likely to throw a bottle of wildfire at me the second my men are clear, or sick his hound on me, than give me a proper duel.
Even if I was sure he could be trusted I would have to refuse. I saw him fight Thoros and though I am sure I could still win, it would take time.That would defeat the main point of ending this engagement. I ignore him and turn to my men instead.
“We are leaving. Head back to the manors and preparehorses for a 12-man escort, we are leaving kings Landing at the earliest.” I tell them, giving orders for 2 men to carry the first man’s body in a sling man from some capes. The other 2 are still in the doorway and will have to be left as I don’t want to risk more casualties for their retrieval. I will just give a message and bribe the Goldcloaks to release the bodies so that they can be properly buried. That should help recover some of the moral. I give one last look to the brothel, imagining the day I can confront Baskerville in a fair fight, and on that day I will let him know what it means when ‘a Lannister always pays his debts’.