Post by LiquidChicagoTed on May 21, 2019 1:38:01 GMT
You know, I am still not convinced that Remi is the future Bloodstone Emperor. You're doing this really well, building him up as this likeable character whom we possibly distrust due to the canon, while also having a (currently) more shady alternative in the form of Mulan's and Remi's adopted brother, if I remember correctly. After all, it was never stated if the Bloodstone Emperor is actually related to Mulan by blood. So, yeah, I don't think Remi is the only option here. Surely you know which of the two it will be, but until it becomes obvious, I like to speculate. If it's Remi, then I guess something very bad will happen to him in the parts to come, pretty drastically changing him, but at least right now, without knowing what is to come, I cannot see him as a villain.
Hey all, apologies for being absent for the last few weeks. I confess I've been going through a shit storm of assignments, exam prep and now exams (the exam prep was very little study and very high stress), and I'll be done with it all by this Wednesday (horaah!). I have had a lot of time to think on WN though, and in my curb of procrastination today I was able to punch out a small part I had a little writer's block with. It goes to our Dawn Guard PoV, Cai Xiang, who I believe was only just introduced in his last part.
Anyway, to recap, Cai Xiang is the head doctor of a Dawn Guard battalion stationed in the 'Sanctuary', a medical camp located outside the Temple of the Rising in Stygai, with the mission of trying to find a cure for the Grey Plague. So far this hasn't been going well, and the stress has been high for everyone in the camp, with patients succumbing to greyscale and other victims turning to violence against the Dawn Guard. Regardless, things aren't good, and Cai hasn't been coping too well with his big authority position. In his last part he had to kill his first patient, and then have his attention brought to the mutilation of two Guardians who had ventured alone outside the Sanctuary. As Cai inspected their bodies, he was approached by a monk of the Temple of the Rising, who inferred that he had the answer to Cai's questions, and that he must enter the Temple if he wish to know them. However, Captain Shang's orders were to not communicate with the monks or enter the temple, and it was decided that Cai refuse the monk's offer.
The camp doctor overlooked the two carcasses of the deceased medical officers, their mangled bodies stained with their dried blood, cold and motionless. Cai Xiang expected nothing less as he held a stern expression while he searched over their bodies, uncovering deep cuts, broken bones and grey spots emerging under the flesh. Greyscale, Cai declared to himself, gently laying down the man’s arm. He lifted his gaze to his partnering medical officer, Xina Ren, who held a sympathetic gaze as she stared at the bodies.
“We came here to help them,” she uttered to herself as she crossed her arms, to which Cai frowned. “There’s nothing we can do,” he mumbled in defeat, “We cannot save those who wish to be saved, and the infected attack our own outside of the safety of these walls,” Cai stated with sorrow, grasping the edges of the surgical table as he glared past the bodies into oblivion. A soft touch of the young girl’s hand found the top of his, moving his gaze onto her.
Kai Thonu had been right about her, the young minister was beautiful. Her raven black hair was tied into a tight bun; and her almond-shaped eyes were a brown like the cocoa beans of the YiTish jungle, sitting above her high striking cheekbones. She was the definition of YiTish beauty, and even in her blood-stained garments, her appeal still prevailed, and yet Cai did not feel that connected with her. He pulled his hand away, crossing his arms as he sighed.
“Go and form the report, I will arrange for their bodies to be sent back to the Fort,” Cai muttered, and in the corner of his eye he noticed her expression dim. “As you say, Doctor,” she responded with a timid voice, gently brushing past him as she evaded the tent.
When the tent flap closed behind her, the young doctor let out a heavy sigh, lowering his head. This mission; this cursed task to achieve the impossible, it had taken its toll on all of them. Guardians were falling like fleas to the chill all around them, and the plague showed no signs of slowing. Soon the Shadow City of the Further East would be nothing but a mystical ghost town inhabited by stone men, Cai had read of it all before in the ancient scriptures of the City of the Winged Men, a once decorated homeland to bizarre winged beings, now no more than dormant stone statues residing by the Hidden Sea.
Cai’s gaze looked to the corpses of the Guardians, a frown shifting his expression briefly before his stern reserve returned. He exited the medical tent and summoned the morgue ministers to load the corpses into the wagon bound for the Forts. It was a wonder anymore bodies could be fit onto such a small cart, and yet, dozens of brothers and sisters lay lifeless atop each other, each wrapped finely in white silk garments as tradition of the Dawn Guard.
“Doctor!” a young voice called as Cai turned his attention away from the wagon, meeting the inquisitive gaze of a young YiTish boy draped in the white gowns of their ministry. “Yes, young one?” Cai answered patiently, knowing how intimidating it had been for him as a child growing up in the Forts. The boy gulped, correcting his posture and lifting his gaze. “Captain Shang has requested you meet with him in his tent,” the boy repeated, to which Cai sighed, wondering what the strict captain wanted from him now. “Would you like me to escort you?” the boy inquired, bringing a small smile to Cai’s lips. “I know the way. Go and tend to your other duties, thank you,” Cai stated, and the boy gave a respectful nod before darting off.
The day was dark, and as Cai approached the Captain’s tent, the sentinels guarding the entrance pulled aside the flaps and gave him entry. Cai reluctantly entered, his senses first detecting the strong aroma of burning incense, and then his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting of Shang’s quarters. His tent was larger than the average Guardian’s, consisting of the necessities of a commissioned officer; such as functioning toilet and bathing facilities, a strategizing table, a walk-in wardrobe and bed suitable for an emperor.
Cai’s gaze noted a number of figures gathered around the table, Captain Shang being one of the most insignificant of the few. “Ah, Doctor Xiang,” he announced in an unfashionably polite tone, shifting the attendees attention to Cai. Of those eyes, two sets demonstrated gazes of power; one of them being the Governess-General of the Dawn Guard, Xiang Wuhan, and the other being Prince Remi Zhi Jidao, the Amethyst Princess’ brother. Cai immediately dropped to one knee in their presence, bowing his head. “Excellences’,” Cai uttered, to which the Governess-General crossed her arms. “Stand, Doctor,” she ordered, and Cai obeyed.
“What do I owe the honour?” Cai queried as he arose, to which Shang stood in to elaborate. “The Governess-General wishes to know of your progress with the Grey Plague,” Shang stated, to which Cai frowned. “Not good, my Lady. We have merely found a deterrent for the illness, and are far from finding a cure,” he stated, to which Shang let out a low grumble. “Information which was sent to the Fort on numerous occasions over the last month. I still do not understand why you have come all this way,” Shang stated in query, a comment which Wuhan ignored.
“What are our options?” she asked, to which Cai slowly shook his head at a loss. “The monks have claimed they have the answers, just today I was approached by one who invited me into the Temple, but we are under orders to not speak with the zealots,” Cai stated, and the Bloodstone Prince raised an eyebrow. “Whose orders?” he queried, and Shang stood in before Cai could respond. “Mine,” the Captain uttered, pressing his hands against the table.
“I know what trickery the Temple is capable of, and it’s risk enough being stationed here with them,” Shang claimed, to which Xiang Wuhan turned her attention to him. “That’s a risk you don’t need to concern yourself with any longer. By dawn tomorrow you and your battalion are heading for Asshai to support General Heng Hao’s offence,” she stated, lifting Shang’s brow. “Asshai? Forgive me, Governess-General, but we were sent here on the premise to sanction the sick and learn about the Grey Plague,” Shang pointed out, and the Governess-General nodded to him firmly.
“A mission which has thus far proved to achieve little. Heng requires more men and you are the closest battalion. You will leave by dawn, Captain,” Xiang reiterated, making Shang lift his chin. “Is this why you came all this way?” he pondered with a bitter tone, to which Remi chuckled awkwardly as he sat himself on Shang’s desk. “No, we’re here to speak with the monks,” Remi remarked, and the Captain shook his head with a stern glare. “My Lady, this act is ruthless. The monks are notorious for-” Shang started, but Xiang quickly swiftly cut him off. “I don’t recall asking for your opinion, Captain.”
“My Lady, I don’t dare ask your reasons, but if you can inquire as to a cure for the Plague…” Cai suggested as he spoke up, to which the Governess-General raised an eyebrow. “Why don’t you ask them yourself?” she queried, hinting at her authority overarching Shang’s previous orders, but that didn’t matter. “You have ordered my battalion to Asshai, my duty resides there now,” Cai stated, bringing a smirk to the Bloodstone Prince’s lips.
“You may remain here to continue your work. I will have a small taskforce remain in place for you,” she suggested, and behind her Shang gave Cai a firm look of disapproval. This wasn’t as much an order as it was choice, it was clear the Governess-General had given up on any hope of curing the plague, and just wished to see it contained. Cai did not wish to believe all this time they had spent was a waste, and that genocide was the only answer, but Shang also did have a point. The monks were not to be trusted, it had been their ideals that had once caused a mutiny amongst the Dawn Guard that shattered the Great Dawn Empire.
The Sanctuary had been a hard position to defend with an entire battalion, and to leave Cai’s protection to a handful of Guardians would be just as dangerous as going to the frontal assault, but perhaps that risk would be worth it if the answer could really be found. If not, then his skills would have been lost where they could have been of use assisting his battalion in Asshai.
I think Cai's expertice would allow him to be more useful if he stayed in Stygai. Plus, this is a suggestion not only by the Governess-General but by the Prince himself. Both of which, outrank his Captain.
[Remain in Stygai] Just feels like the more interesting option here in many regards. First of all I like the character motivation Cai has in trying to find the cure. Secondly, I'd love to learn more about the Temple of the Rising and its priests. And lastly, we'll see Asshai from Remi's perspective regardless.
[Remain in Stygai] Just feels like the more interesting option here in many regards. First of all I like the character motivation Cai has in trying to find the cure. Secondly, I'd love to learn more about the Temple of the Rising and its priests. And lastly, we'll see Asshai from Remi's perspective regardless.
Well that's not entirely the case. Remi's story atm is taking him to Stygai, and well after that it's up in the air. That's said though, we have multiple different perspectives in Asshai at the moment, but none which will show the Dawn Guard side of the city
Alright, well I'd say this vote is well and truly closed! Cai will remain in Stygai. This will certainly have some interesting implications for him, even if I had personally hoped he would show the Dawn Guard in Asshai, but anyhow! I apologise for being so inactive the last few months, I confess I had a bit of a dry spell when I was trying to write the next part and eventually just got swamped with university and work. For those of you who don't know, I've recently revived an old story written by WildlingKing called The Winds Beyond the Wall, and it is set during the rise of King Raymun Redbeard in 211 AC which you guys should check out!
I have the next part ready for here, and I apologise that there isn't a vote for it, but it should still be long enough to captivate you guys I hope! It goes to Dickon, who recently arrived in Asshai and chose to pursue the Greyscale gang known as the Kings, with his mission being to destroy them for his master, while Remmo would go to find Lyser - a consultant for the Howling Company. Without further ado, here it is:
The Western Wolf took his first step on solid ground with relief as he disembarked the slaver’s vessel. The First Men had never been creatures of the sea, and Dickon had recalled the first time he had set foot on a ship was for the Iron Islands; and what a bloody battle that had been. The war between his father, King Brandon the Bloody Blade, and the Grey King of the Iron Islands had been a fight of salt and blood that had left the latter a weakened imaged of their former self. A small smile came to Dickon’s lips as he recalled what it had been like to fight by his brother’s side, but it was only for a moment.
Ahead of the slaver’s vessel the crew were untying the shivering Dothraki slave, Remmo; Dickon was surprised that any man could survive so much torment and still muster the strength to be conscious by the end of it. The Prince had known, his conniving ways always seemed to know, and he stood on the deck of their vessel with his precious Captain Hanse, overlooking the Western Wolf and the small detachment of Lockstep Legionnaires that he had granted to Dickon.
“Lord Wolf,” they called him, and Dickon’s reaction barely shifted. He had never been a man fond of titles; he was born and raised a bastard and aspired for nothing more than recognition, and when the only way he could attain that was to kill his own father, he did not receive the kinds of recognition he had once dreamed of as a boy. He had been his father’s fool, and now a slave commander amongst free men, he was being played the Prince’s fool too.
“Let’s get on with it,” Dickon grunted to the legionnaires that he reluctantly called his men. The soldiers of the Lockstep Legions were loyal and obedient to their very core, picked from each and every family of the Ghiscari Empire and transformed into the greatest unit of war the world had ever seen. Even in Westeros, Dickon had heard of the feats of the Lockstep Legions, and their conquest towards the west; it had even unnerved his lord father. Now they were at his service, he would have been honoured if the iron collar around his neck did not weigh his head down too far for appraise. Years as a slave had made him weak, through malnourishment and torment, no man could have endured what he had endured. What he still endured.
The small party parted from the docks, embracing the City of Shadows as they were engulfed by the dark emptiness of a land they found themselves in. Whatever curse loomed over this place was lost within the shadows, as was everything else. The homes built of black stone were barricaded with wooden planks and extinguished of any light, while the narrow alleys and pathways drowned at the street lamps until nothing but black remained. A cold shiver crawled across Dickon’s thick skin, rising the hairs on his arms and back of his neck; he bit his tongue as his eyes glanced aimlessly around them, seeing little if anything at all; yet he knew there was something out there.
The detachment trudged forward through the unkempt streets and dim alleys until they came across the marked door they were assigned to find. The grey oak was dull and worn in its appearance, with hefty gaps in the wood that peered into a dark abandoned room within. Painted above the door was a red handprint with flames dancing around it, the very same image that Prince Rhaedon had shown to him on their journey. It was supposedly the haven to devout followers of R’hllor, who of themselves were not fanatics or clerics, but servants through the arts of murder and deception. Dickon had fallen guilty to boredom in Rhaedon’s lecture, and not paid to heed any of the Prince’s warnings.
Without hesitation the West Wolf kicked down the door, entering first and igniting the oil lantern that hung at his belt. He was quickly surrounded by a dozen of his Lockstep Legionnaires, their reputation proceeding them as they shaped a tight circular formation around Dickon, linking their shields and prepping their spears. Their sticks will do little in close quarters, Dickon thought to himself, pushing past them to cast a light onto the room. Their surroundings showed little more than an empty storage room, the shelves stripped bare and collecting naught but dust. With a motion of his hand, the Lockstep broke apart and started to turn the room upside down.
A ruckus was made as the handymen worked their craft, clearing the room of clutter and emptying it out into the adjacent alley as they searched for any clues that might hint at anything they were searching for. Dickon let out a heavy sigh, placing his lantern on a tabletop and resting his eyes a moment as he let his weight rest on his arms grasping the edge of the table. He had found very little rest on their voyage into the Black Mouth to the city of Asshai; an unsettled state of sea that was found this time of the year, making Asshai even less of a monumental attraction given the Grey Plague situation.
Dickon had hoped he would find rest on their arrival, yet Rhaedon had other plans, and even in this small moment to rest his eyes he found he saw more with them shut than open. The traumas he had faced in the slaver pits of Meereen and Astapor had left their toll on him; and Dickon considered himself a hard man with his upbringings, yet having to cave in children’s heads and watch friends be disembowelled or torn apart limb by limb by crowd demand had left its own scars, and they showed most in moments like these.
The West Wolf forced open his eyes, blinking quickly as a result of his fatigue. His eyes stared aimlessly at the wall ahead of him, the flames within the oil lantern dancing with the shadows emitted by the Legionnaires tearing the room apart. Dickon watched this great war unfold for minutes, the light of fire lunging at the darkness, only to retreat moments later as the shadows engulfed its surroundings. It was an amusing display, and Dickon’s feet moved himself to the wall without much thought.
His body cast a shadow that completely annihilated the battle in the darkness’ favour, leaving a frown on his expression as a sigh escaped his lips. He rested his head against the wall, feeling an urge for caution as he felt the fragility of the mud brick shift as he touched it. His senses came to and his eyes widened in realisation. Placing both hands on the wall, he pushed with all his might and felt the makeshift wall give way before him, revealing a hidden room on the other side, as well as a clearer entry point which Dickon rolled his eyes to.
“Here,” Dickon called, a Legionnaire chartering the lamp to the new room, casting a light onto an empty room with an Asshai’i weaved rug poorly covering the trapdoor beneath it. Dickon pulled it aside and punched open the iron lock, revealing a narrow causeway that led to a lit tunnel at the bottom of the ladder. Dickon groaned uncomfortably at the tight hole, turning his gaze to the two Legionnaires at the exit of the first room. “You two keep guard here, the rest of you are with me,” he ordered, and the soldiers acknowledged his command without question.
Reluctantly, Dickon squeezed his broad build into the tight hole, descending down the weak framed ladder until he reached the bottom. Letting out a breath of relief, Dickon choked on the stale air as it came back in, and as he turned around he was met by a pair of cold brown eyes and a glint of steel. “You make a lot of noise, Westerosi,” the masked man uttered with a crispy Asshai’i accent, and Dickon retaliated with a speed the man was not expecting, knocking the dagger from his hands before he could strike.
The hooded figure leaped back, unsheathing two daggers from his belt and preparing a defensive stance. Dickon growled wildly as he approached the man unarmed and with force, knowing his sword would only slow him down in a room this small. The hooded man slashed at Dickon’s forearm, cutting deep but not deep enough to stop the mass that was about to come bearing down on the stranger. Dickon threw his fist at the mask, knocking the man back a foot, and while on the upper edge Dickon grasped the man by the back of his head and brought it into the wall adjacent to them.
Bewildered, the hooded figure jabbed his elbow into Dickon’s rib, freeing himself and stumbling into a corner as he recomposed himself. Just as this was happening, the first of Legionnaires following Dickon down arrived to the scene, throwing himself into the action as he lunged his spear towards the hooded man. The opponent dodged the thrust with ease, grasping the Legionnaire’s forearm and lodging his dagger into the Ghiscari’s throat. Dickon’s growl turned into a mighty roar as he threw himself at the man, but was blocked by the legionnaire’s body being thrown in his way.
The hooded figure unsheathed a small weapon similar the makeshift bows Dickon had seen the knights’ use in Andalos. The first dart pierced him in his right shoulder, making Dickon grunt in pain as he freed the shield from the legionnaire and charged at the man before he could load his next shot. Dickon disarmed him first, then smacking the shield into his face before lifting the man off his feet and throwing him to the floor; unhooding and unmasking the Asshai’i as a result. Before the man could arise, Dickon was upon him like a wolf at his prey, taking the man’s dagger and pressing it to his throat. It erupted a gurgled chuckle from the stranger.
“I have to commend your master, he finally found me. It will not save him, the Fire Priests will cleanse his reign,” the Asshai’i claimed, and Dickon fought every urge within himself to thrust the steel into the man’s throat and be done with it. “Tell your King, tell him, that Vyrano Nearthe sends his regards,” the man stated, naming himself with pride before shutting his eyes and accepting his fate. Dickon’s eyes widened in a mass confusion however, and reluctantly he moved the tension off the dagger.
“We’re not with the Kings, we’re here to destroy the Kings,” Dickon muttered, and Vyrano Nearthe’s eyes opened with a raised eyebrow. “Who are you?” the man queried with confusion, and Dickon let out a heavy breath as he relaxed his arm. “Dickon Stark. I...” Dickon paused a moment as he considered his choice of word, “work for Prince Rhaedon Thoxi Rhos,” Dickon stated, to which the man frowned. “Right,” he uttered, staring at Dickon’s slave collar, “and I assume he did not tell you of the passcode to my haven?” the man questioned with frustration, to which Dickon was starting to think he should have listened more carefully to Rhaedon’s instructions.
The man groaned. “Vyrano Nearthe is my name, and if you are working to overthrow the Kings as I am, then you can get off of me,” Vyrano insisted, to which Dickon looked to the dead Legionnaire and shook his head. Only now had a couple more Legionnaires arrived to the scene, now attending to their fallen comrade and coming to Dickon’s aid. The West Wolf shook his head. “How can I trust you?” Dickon muttered, to which the assassin smirked.
“You break into my home, assault me, force my hand because of your master’s negligence, and ask how I am to be trusted?” Vyrano mocked with a bitter tone, and Dickon nodded. “Why don’t you just give me that dagger and let me finish the job,” Vyrano muttered with spite, and Dickon pressed the assassin’s blade to his throat, glaring into his cold brown eyes. “Get up,” Dickon barked, freeing him from his grip. “Start talking, what do you know about the Kings?” Dickon grunted, to which the assassin smirked.
“The Kings are a greyscale mob that lingered in Asshai long before the Grey Plague came, and they have become the most expansive and powerful gang in the city since the coming of the disease. Does that answer your question, Westerosi?” Vyrano quipped, to which Dickon glared at him with warning. “Their leaders, where do I find them?” Dickon interrogated, to which the assassin let out a cold chuckle. “Had I known, we would not be having this discussion,” he stated dryly, and Dickon did not partake in his amusement.
“The Red Priests of Asshai are cleansing this city of the plague, but there is only so much a few clergies with some fire tricks can do against an army of uprising thieves, murderers and rapists. I was raised by the Temple, I’ve killed over four hundred targets over the spans of my short career, and the High Priest entrusted me with destroying the Kings from within,” Vyrano elaborated, running a hand through his long black hair as he glared at the torch mounted onto the wall.
“Such a reputation, and yet you have nothing to show for it,” Dickon japed, glancing at the muddy hole in the ground they were situated in. Vyrano smirked, pushing himself upright and nodding. “Perhaps you are right, Stark. I’ve been tracking this mob for months now and with little result. There’s only one definitive option left, and it is a path that I cannot walk down, but perhaps you can,” Vyrano suggested, rubbing his chin in thought while his eyes gleamed in realisation.
“What are you on about?” Dickon muttered, to which Vyrano walked across the room to a desk pinned into the wall. “I’ve only gotten one good lead in my time of searching, but that lead is dangerous, even for a man of my calibre,” Vyrano stated, and Dickon rolled his eyes. “Go on,” he uttered impatiently. “The Kings do not align themselves with ‘freshskins’ as they call us, but one of their associates does. I thought initially you may had been one of hers,” Vyrano stated, and Dickon furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. “One of whose?” he queried, and the assassin let out a sigh as he lowered his head.
“The Grey Lady,” he muttered, and Dickon raised an eyebrow. “She is a commoner of sorts, a bridger between the people of Asshai, and a master manipulator. She will not speak with any associated with R’hllor, but perhaps she will speak with you,” he thought with a curious tone, unrolling a map of the Shadow City and marking a warehouse on an old wharf. “Go and speak with her, I will find you after,” Vyrano stated, passing the map to the West Wolf and pushing past Dickon’s uneasy Legionnaires and lifting another hatch in the ground. “Where are you off to?” Dickon grunted, to which Vyrano smirked as he crawled into his hole. “To go and lick my wounds, Westerosi,” he proclaimed, shutting the door above him.
Dickon turned his gaze to the Legionnaires, remaining silent yet speaking their emotions through their passed comrade. “Take care of his body, I will go see this Grey Lady alone,” Dickon informed them, but one of them shook their head. “We have our orders, Lord Wolf,” he argued, to which Dickon rolled his eyes, pushing past them. Where would I run to?
Climbing the ladder, Dickon’s eyes widened as he noticed one of his sentries to be lying in a pool of his own blood, and the other gone without a trace. The legionnaires that followed closely behind him rushed to the corpse’s aid, but there was nothing they could do to erase death. “We must find who has done this,” one stated with upheaval, and another agreed. “Where is Tonohoto?” Dickon placed his hand on the man’s shoulder. “I’m sure they will find us before we find them, come on,” he advised, to which the Ghiscari soldiers reluctantly agreed. Of their small group, their numbers were halved as the guarded escort returned the two bodies back to the docks. That left Dickon with merely six men at his command.
The day had grown dark, and even with a lantern, Dickon felt the light was drowning with each step they took. They had navigated the map to an old wharf, perhaps a few miles up from the trader’s dock, which was scattered with old warehouses. Dickon let out a sigh as he put the map away, extinguishing the lantern and letting his eyes adjust to their open surroundings. If Asshai had looked abandoned, then this wharf was the embodiment of isolation; it looked as if no one had visited this area in decades. Perhaps for the best, Dickon thought with concern as he pressed on, the legionnaires taking their defensive stance around him.
The seven approached with cautious steps, the legionnaires covered behind their shields with their spears at the ready. Dickon pushed past the men to approach an old broken down warehouse, but his steps came to a halt as he heard the sound of a bowstring being drawn.
“That’s far enough, Westerosi,” a voice called from the shadows, and Dickon’s eye spotted two archers arise from the top of the warehouse, along with a girl and one of Dickon’s legionnaires. Tonohoto, Dickon assumed, and murmurs from the legionnaires behind him only confirmed his suspicions.
“Let him go,” Dickon barked with an impatient tone, to which the young girl smirked. “You are in no position to give commands, slave,” she remarked with a playful tone, and Dickon’s expression turned sour as he clenched his fists. Careful girl, he wanted to warn her, but just as he took another step forward an arrow was released, striking one of the legionnaires behind him in the chest. “I said no closer!” she shouted, and the archer beside her nocked another arrow.
“We’re looking for a woman, goes under the title of the ‘Grey Lady,’ let my man go and we’ll be on our way,” Dickon bargained, but the girl shook her head. “You give no commands, Westerosi!” she cried, and Dickon began to snarl in frustration. This bitch is starting to piss me off.
“I only take visitors by invitation, Lord Stark,” a voice called from behind them, making Dickon spin around to meet the gaze of a cloaked woman surrounded by shadow men in red masks. “And you are uninvited,” she claimed, “but not unexpected.” Dickon raised an eyebrow to this, slowly approaching his legionnaires.
“I have questions,” Dickon grunted, to which the hooded woman nodded. “I’m aware of your questions, just as I am aware of who sent you, and who your master is. Answers will come to you in time, but for the meanwhile…” the woman droned, turning her gaze to a shadow man beside her. “Raqzi, relieve these Ghiscari warriors of their heads. Leave the Westerosi alive,” she ordered, and Dickon’s eyes widened in realisation; he reached for his sword, but immediately an arrow pierced his thigh, collapsing him to the ground.
The one called Raqzi stood forward, he was larger than the shadow men that accompanied him, and wielded a one-handed sickle. The first of Dickon’s men lunged their spears at the man’s torso, which he caught before it made its mark, and made short work of severing the legionnaire’s head from his shoulders. Two others followed their comrade’s lead, but were pierced in the back by arrows before they could reach the giant shadow man. The final three were cut down by Raqzi’s associates, and the hooded lady approached Dickon with her hands hidden up her sleeves. She freed them and unveiled her hood, revealing a two-faced woman; her left side covered in greyscale.
“The pride of the wolf is humiliated with the leash of a hound,” she claimed, her gloved hand touching the iron slave collar around Dickon’s neck. “Your master plays you as a pawn, but I would make you a king,” she said poetically, caressing Dickon’s cheek as Raqzi joined her side. “You will see through the eyes of the wolf again, Lord Stark,” she promised, to which Dickon furrowed her eyebrows. She turned her gaze to the giant beside her, who nodded in response. Before Dickon had a chance to react, the man threw a hard punch to his temple, making Dickon stumble backwards as the world began to spin around him. His gaze circled on Tonohoto, who remained with a knife at his throat from the girl that had spoken earlier. A smirk was on her face.
“They Grey Lady accepts your visit,” she japed as she ran the blade across Tonohoto’s throat, spraying his blood into the air before kicking him off the top of the building. Dickon’s vision blackened, until he saw nothing at all; and how clear his vision became from there.