A River of Time.

Game Master Havocprince

A Song of Ice and Fire alternate history.

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Aaralyn Karstark

Aaralyn shook her head as a small smile pulled at her lips. "Lyanna doesn't need protection. Trust me. If she doesn't want Rhaeger anywhere near her he won't be. Prince or not." She told.

"I know it is hard for you Maester but believe me, I don't think there is a man alive that could stop Lyanna. Save maybe her father and even that I'm not sure of." Aaralyn explained. "She despises Robert but knows that he is her brother's best friend so plays nice. For now. Honestly I'm surprised she hasn't told him she doesn't want to marry him... not that he'd listen mind you. Most men in this world don't listen."

Though she does look to Darne and state. "But it seems I have been fortunate to find one of the few who do." Aaralyn smiles gently at him. She might not love him, but she can't say she dislikes him.

"She despises Robert. She does not need protection and she does as she pleases. And if she doesn't want Raegar anywhere near her... But what if she does? What if she falls under the prince's spell?"

"We all can hope that nothing will come of it. We all can pray," he continues. "But we should prepare for the worst. House Naelareon will suffer if Harrenhall happens all over again! This isn't about her. This is about the future of this house!"

Aaralyn Karstark

"Then there wouldn't be a single thing we could do." Aaralyn said. "You cannot command the Prince nor Lyanna." She pointed out. "But I will speak to Lyanna about it. So that if she does, she'll know to take it elsewhere. I trust Lyanna. If she knows this is important to me she will help." Aaralyn told them with a smile.

"It is best to just be honest with Lyanna, obviously behind closed doors." Aaralyn went on to say, "I will speak with Lyanna and explain our situation as soon as I am able. I would trust Lyanna with my life and this House will soon be my life."

Maester Anders nods. "Then, all that remains is to find a way to either distract the prince or convince him to behave... What if we were to promise him the loyalty of House Naelareon in exchange for his goodwill and kindness? Admittedly, we are already friends to the crown, but it may reassure the son to have the support of his father's ally?"

"Truth be told, I dare say that the king's decline was disturbing and that Rhaegar may be king sooner than later, one way or another."

Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Darne looked at the Maester and laughed at his proposal. "That's quite the bargaining chip. To even announce it behind closed doors to the Prince would be a very ballsy move. If the Prince felt pressured and announced or upset by how things were going? He might just announce such 'devotion' and then we'd be pressed at our own Wedding to confirm or deny it and create far too many enemies all at once." he said voicing his worries on it.

"No, we could attempt to go back and forth all day about how to deal with this ahead of time but this may be something we have to deal with as it comes...any attempt at planning pushes down a road we cannot branch from. We will need to speak in private each night and update one another. If anything changes...we'll deal with it as it comes but the best we can do, distract them for the moment and then see if we need to come up with something better for the next day. We'll hire an extra handmaiden and page...use them to run messages between whomever is with the Prince and who is with Lyanna. But, we can only do so much before whatever those two must discuss or hash out has to be between them. If that means scandal and drama for the North, then we'll do what we can to save the Karstarks but otherwise, it's not our problem." he said getting a bit frustrated at how things were unfolding and how it seemed nothing was about the best they could do in his eyes.

Aaralyn Karstark

Aaralyn sighed, keeping rather quiet for once. It was as if she was thinking over everything Darne just pointed out. "He's right." Aaralyn finally said. "We'll just have to take it one day at a time..."

"Oh a warning to you Maester, Lyanna will be helping with the wedding preparation." Aaralyn told him. "And a gift that will be used at the wedding. She didn't say what it was of course." She added with a shrug.

"I do hope she shows up before the Prince does. I really want you to have some time to speak with her without worrying about the Prince, Danre. She wants to get to know you to ensure you're nothing like Robert, and since you're not you don't have to fear for your life around her. But... she'll still want to know who I'm marrying. Really, Lyanna is more like my older sister in that regard. She was so picky at Harrenhal! You should have heard her. Honestly looking back it rather humorous."

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

Lothar tries not to look as lost as he feels.

Though he does smile slightly, despite the tension.

"You are fortunate, both."

Lord Naelareon will relax a bit and slump into his chair. "I trust you to handle these matters... I think I may be getting to old for these kinds of deals any more."

Aaralyn Karstark

Aaralyn looked at Lothar with a slightly raised eyebrow, though she said nothing.

"I should write to my family to ensure they don't worry." Aaralyn said as she moved to leave. "I'll bring it to you soon Maester."

If no one stops her Aaralyn returns to her group to tell them the good news. "They made it home safe." Aaralyn told Tele and Nan. "I need to write back and let them know we made it here and how we have been treated here. There is also news of Savaric, he is recovering and will hopefully join us soon."

Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Darne nodded to his father, giving his brother a bit of perplexed look at his words.

He gave a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder to Aaralyn "Go, don't worry about us, I believe all the news is done for the day. I know you're eager to tell your family the good news. And don't worry about finding time for myself and Lyanna to be able to talk and meet. After all, I won't be the only person attending to keeping the Prince occupied. I'll find a day or two at least to slip away from his side and be with you two young ladies. It'd be expected of a husband to be to be eager to spend some time with his betrothed after all." he said smiling softly.

Once she left, he looked at the men in the room. "Alright, are we agreed on what has to be done? Anyone holding their tongue in front of the young lady?" he asked with a bit of curiosity.

After Aaralyn has left the chambers, the slumped form of the patriarch of the house relaxes... and collapses to the floor coughing and shaking in the same way your mother has been doing for some time.

"Lord Naelareon!" Maester Anders exclaims, paling. How could I not have seen this coming!

Healing to evaluate his condition: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 1, 6) = 11

He is showing the signs of lungrot, the same disease his wife has been suffering. He has been hiding the signs for some time, including somehow hiding the odd ballooning of his fingers farthest extremity.

Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Hearing his father's body hitting the floor and the Maester's proclamation, Darne whirls around and rushes to his father's side. He looks at the Maester as he begins his diagnosing. "Its bad isn't it?!?!" he asked alarmed. He lifted his father's head off the floor and looked at his brother and around looking for a page or someone to start getting anything the Maester might ask for or even to help carry their father back to his bed.

Is lungrot contagious?

"Let's get your father to his quarters," Anders urges them, looking to the stronger of the two brothers. Then, he pauses. "No one must know. Not now. Not yet. Not until we are ready."

"Can you make sure that the way is clear?" he asks Darne, unsure as to how to proceed.

The Maester Jarvan the Greater, in his quintessential guide to the afflictions of the lungs, posited that lungrot is caused by the breathing in of fouled air over many years. It is found most often in those of the peasantry who work in animal husbandry, smithing, and among tanners.

"He'll be fine," Anders reassures Darne with little conviction, figuring that there will be time enough later to discuss the truth...

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

"Father!", Lothar says with shock.

He moves to aid his father. When Anders talks of clearing the way, Lothar leaps at the task.

He moves ahead of those assisting his father.

"CLEAR THE WAY!", he yells.

Intimidate 1B: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 6, 1) = 8


Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Darne nods to the Maester and starts to get to work...when his brother goes a bit off kilter and script.

He looks at the Maester and sighs. "Perhaps we can still be discreet. Though I think it will be more difficult now..." he said as he dipped low and began to help attempt to carry his father with the Maester's help.

"Let's get your father to bed," the Maester says, shaking his head.

Status check from Darne with an assist from Anders and a penalty from Lothar in order to try and keep the peasants from talking. Do be a dear and roleplay your attempt... also, sorry for the half week of disappearing.

Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Status: 3d6 ⇒ (5, 5, 6) = 16

I'm not sure what the Assist or Penalty apply.

Darne slips his arm up under his father's and begins walkmoving him slowly with the Maester's help. He looks around carefully but manages to notice that his brother's misguided attempts to help have caused people to stare inwards to see what the commotion was.

Darne clears his throat as he makes it to the center of the hallway with eyes prying in from every direction. "It seems my father has had a bit too much to drink with having to deal with his family stepping into the reigns...it would be wise of all of you to remember your duties and be mindful of your tongues. The state of the House even in idle gossip like this can change your own coin purse..." he said with some authority.

"Back to your duties before I find my way to the books." he said as he began moving his father once more towards their bedchambers.

Status: 4d6 ⇒ (2, 2, 4, 2) = 10

Worried about Lord Naelareon's health and eager to get him to bed, Maester Anders does little to help in the subterfuge.

"You've all seen a drunk man before! Stop gawking and get back to work!" he barks, albeit with little conviction. Thruth be told, Anders is a terrible liar!

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

Red-faced, Lothar falls silent and does his best to clear the way with his presence and the odd glare.

Yes, should have made that clear. One bonus dice from Anders on the roll due to assistance, so I just took his first d6 roll. and a difficulty penalty due to Lothar's bull in a china shop impersonation. All in all you did fine. We will see what fallout comes from it.

You hurry Lord Naelareon to the bed chambers, were Lady Naelareon is mercifully asleep. The large tom that has been her constant companion stretches languidly as you approach, giving you a glare that conveys his annoyance for the interruption to his nap.

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

Lothar takes a look over his sleeping parents, then leaves the room, waiting for his brother and the maester to emerge when they will. He waits in the corridor outside, recalling when he waited to speak with Mother not so long ago.

As Lothar waits outside, Tande and Tele appear in a swirl of dresses and panting breathing. It is clear they have run the whole way, the older woman barely being supported by your young love. Neither has the air to speak, but Tele looks on with compassion and Tande's is covered by one of the few looks that does not scream her disapproval.

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

"He is inside, sleeping I think. Darne and the Maester are with him, with them."

"Go," Maester Anders urges Darne. "I will look over your father tonight. And you will need to get some rest if you are to act in his stead for the foreseeable future."

With that, Anders busies himself tending to his patient, preparing ointments and infusions to relieve Lord Naelareon's aches and pains, if not heal the sickness.

Healing: 3d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 6) = 15

Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Darne nods and politely thanks the Maester for his services. "Please, if there is any changes or any information you can give me on what ails him, I would appreciate it." he said as he made sure his father was properly settled in.

He looked at the old tom and scratched his chin. He looked back at the Maester and his father "Mind your manners tonight Harald...perhaps if the Maester gives me news you behaved, I'll see to it to check the market for some choice fish." he said jokingly.

He bowed his head slightly to the Maester in thanks again and then stepped outside quietly. He looked up a bit surprised to see the amount of people standing by. He raised a brow "Our Maester won't be joining us for the rest of the evening...if you've wish to talk, I would like to find somewhere quiet off the kitchen with a stiff drink before I retire for the evening. It seems my duties have grown and things are more complicated than even a few hours ago seemed." he said sounding quite tired.

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

Lothar nods.

"A talk and a drink sound wise right now."

Lord Naelareon has been running many years with uncontrolled illness, it does not look good. Lady Naelareon has been sickly this whole time and she has been given continuous rest and fresh air. You can not even imagine how he has managed to keep this hidden, let alone continued to function for so long.

Tande hovers over the Maester as he does his best to make the Lord more comfortable during his ministrations, not even Lord Naelareon could command her from her ladies side at this time. Maester Anders manages to get Naelareon's breathing under control, and for the moment he is sleeping peacefully. Harald stretches and follows Darne out of the room, you are not sure if he recognized the word fish or if he just happens to be wandering in a similar path.

Aaralyn hears rumors that Lord Naelareon has had an uncharacteristic bout of drunkenness, mayhaps he is overjoyed with the upcoming wedding. Who would not be happy to have Aaralyn joining their household...

When you get to the kitchens to find a stiff drink you also find old Engaram sat with a modest stew and a far off look in his eye.

Aaralyn Karstark

Letter home in hand, Aaralyn made her way from her room to the Maester's workspace. As she walked she thought over the rumors she had heard. 'A bout of drunkenness? I didn't think him the type... although after the news we got could one blame him for drinking?' Aaralyn wondered, then she paused "It hasn't been that long since I left to write my letter home... how could he have drank that much in such a short time?" She muttered softly to herself.

Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Darne walked into the kitchen and see's the cook. He bows politely and looks back to Tele as well. He clears his throat "I'm sorry to barge in here in the middle of the night and disturb you...but could myself and my brother have the room to share a drink and talk in private for a bit. I wish to speak to him about something personal" he said offering a reasonable excuse for privacy.

Persuasion Charm (If needed): 5d6 + 1d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 3, 6, 6) + (6) = 29

Well that was sorta a waste >.< 25

if Lothar and Darne are left alone:

Darne goes into the stores and finds a nice bottle for himself and his brother. There was no reason to not have that drink all the same even if it was an excuse simply to have some privacy. He set the bottle on the table and looked at his brother.

"That...was serious, it doesn't take a healer's knowledge or intuition to know that father is not well...I expect the Maester will have more to say to us tomorrow about his condition and what we can do. All the same, father will not be able to attend to the duties of the house I fear for at least a little while. I take no solace in the fact but, I think it might be best I speak with father in the morning about taking over the duties of Lord till he recovers. I won't, of course, if it would hurt father's pride too much but I think he might have been planning this for some time...just his health caught up with him more suddenly than he expected." he said at length.

He looked at his brother, unsure if he was wanting his approval, an alternative, or even just someone to listen and him to reflect upon his own thoughts. He opened the bottle and ignored any social politeness drinking straight from it before offering it to his brother.

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

Lothar eyes up the others.

"Aye. We need the kitchen for now."

Persuasion: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 4) = 8

Afterwards, he turns to Darne.

Brotherly Talk:

Lothar takes the bottle, puts the top to his lips, and has a sizeable slug before handing it back to Darne.

"Seeing Father like that was horrible.", he says, pausing to wipe his mouth.

"But as you say, duty. The house must be run. A wedding - or two - must be planned. I had spoken with Mother a while back about such."

He sighs.

"Damn, but I wish...I wish this were simpler. Hard is fine by me, if it is charging the foe or the tenth drink. Complex is...not so much. But I am here, and hale, and I will have your back Darne. Whatever you need of me."

Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Brotherly Talk:

Darne nods silently at Lothar's words. Though a small glimpse of relief comes across his face at the end of his brother's response. He nods and claps his brother's shoulder "I may not have said it often enough but I appreciate your support Lothar. I doubt I would have the courage to take the helm if it weren't for the support you've shown me over the years and the help our family has provided..." he said smiling.

He looked towards the door "We shouldn't drink much more, I plan to have a meeting with Lady Aaralyn and the Maester and you tomorrow once I've gotten father's blessings. I plan to reveal what is going on to them. I will need everyone's support till I can get my footing and the adjustments will require everyone knowing the full details of the situation. I'm hoping the Maester can brief us on our father's condition then and what we can do to ease his pain." he said softly.

He looked positively exhausted as if he'd been studying heraldry for three days straight like the weeks before Harrenhal. He rubbed his temples a bit and took another draw from the bottle before handing it to his brother to finish. Unless his brother stopped him, Darne made his way to his bedchambers.

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

Brotherly Talk:

Lothar takes the bottle, and one much smaller swig before seeking its cork.

"Aye Darne. You mean to speak of Tele as well? I do not know if Aaralyn and the Maester have realised any of the truth there."

Lothar begins to move himself.

Combat Initiative 3d6 Defense 13 Health 9 Intrigue Initiative 3d6 Defense 9 Composure 9

Brotherly Talk:

Darne purses his lips. He looks at his brother and gives one final bit of advice. "That is a decisioni for you and Tele to make. If you wish to bring it up when we talk tomorrow, then I'll support it and take my brunt of any fallout. However, I will say this. A secret is only as well kept as the mouths behind which it is held. The more mouths, the weaker the cage." he said musing a bit.

He shook his head and went to bed, leaving his brother to think on his words.

Initiative 4d6 , Combat Defense 11 , Health 12 | Intrigue Defense 7 , Composure 12

Brotherly Talk:

As much to himself as to his brother, Lothar replies:

"Then we can keep it a secret s little longer. Good night Darne."

Lothar places the wine bottle roughly where he saw Darne take it from, then proceeds to bed himself.

Aaralyn 's musing are met by silence as she enters the Maesters work space, a lone rustling back in the darkness draws your attention to a low bench barely touched by the light from the open door.

Aaralyn Karstark

Aaralyn glaced around as she pushed the door open a bit wider. "I guess he's out." Aaralyn sighed to herself as she entered and set the letter down upon the desk.

Though she jump slight when she heard the rustling sound. Slowly Aaralyn moved towards the bench, thinking it might be one of the ravens that got out of its cage.

Not a raven, but a crow sits upon the desk. It seems to have found its way to an errant bottle of ink, slowly pecking into the black substance and scratching at a piece of parchment unfurled before it. It catches sight of you and cocks its head, as if waiting for you to do something.

Aaralyn Karstark

A crow?:
"Look at you, you've gone and gotten yourself covered in ink." Aaralyn said chastising the crow as she grabbed up a piece of scrap cloth to clean the bird off as best she could. Though she couldn't help but look at the parchment under it.

The crow hops back as you attempt to catch him for cleaning. The image on the parchment catches your eye and stops you in your tracks. The crow was drawing a crow...drawing a crow...drawing a crow.... all with three eyes. And you find yourself falling down down down into a grove of the gods' woods surrounded by the tree faces of those you count as family.

Aaralyn Karstark

Down the rabbit hole:
Frozen in place Aaralyn felt herself almost fall down as if swallow by a large pit. Getting a sense of being on solid ground, Aaralyn spun in place looking at the trees whose faces mirrored that of her kin. "W-what... is this place?"

None of the faces seem to answer, but all look on you with a solemn sadness. Many paths lead out from the grove, the only difference you can see being which of your family flanks the walks.

Aaralyn Karstark

Path traveled:
Taking a few moments to collect herself, Aaralyn began to make her way down the path flanked by her father and mother.

Maester Anders spends the night at the bedside of Lord Naelareon, leaving the room only long enough to fetch an old dusty tome from his library. In the morning, he leaves Lord Naelareon in the able care of his wife's servants and seeks out the brothers.

He is tired and his eyes speak of worry and doubt.

The long straight path stretches on through winter lands covered with ice. Crows fly overhead, shrieking what sounds like your name. Slowly the ice thaws to find you within the home of the Naelareon's. You are not sure how you found your way to the hall you are in, but before you are two doors. One, the old worn door leading to where the Lord and Lady slumber. The other, a strange new door adorned with a stag and a dragon locked in mortal combat.

Aaralyn Karstark

Choice or Fate?:
Aaralyn took a long pause as she looked the two doors over. Could she go through both? Did she have to only choose one? After a moment however Aaralyn reached out for the door decorated with the stag and dragon locked in combat. Opening it slowly but not stepping in.

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