[A] <Blood of Lordaeron>

Moon Guard
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... Displayed prominently in all places where good men might gather.

Loyal subjects of Lordaeron, gallant knights and stalwart champions, and our most virtuous of Lightsworn comrades in arms: we now see the hour of reclamation approaching. I have therefore elected to call upon you here to make it clear that we must stand together with firmer tenacity than ever. Lordaeron's Own have always fought with glory against the enemies of the Light. Now, the emancipation of our Mother and of the kingdom known the world over, which the vile and perfidious Forsaken have claimed for a decade, is committed to your valorous souls.

Be not afraid because the enemy is legion and we are but few. For your strength lies in the protection of the Light and now must it be revealed with righteous fury and drawn steel. I know that this godless horde will, as is their custom, rush upon you with loud cries to their Dark Lady and weapons of dishonorable warfare. These will deliver unto you no bodily harm, for I see that you are all well clad in armor without peer. The Light now protects you, each and every one. They will fight us for every foot that we claim, and so too shall our breastplates and shields deny them their victory. Do not imitate the accursed Tirion Fordring who, when the Forsaken called upon him, went with bowed head and broken spirit into their hold. Our cavalry shall terrify these light-damned heathens, as our valor shall see them one and all scattered to the winds.

In this campaign you must always move forward and have no fear, no thought of defeat, but be inspired to reclaim our homeland with ever more Lotharian ardor. Beasts may flee from beasts. But you are champions, men and women of stout hearts and pure souls, and you will avenge all those that have been made to suffer at the hands of these fiends. Strike with your sword; thrust with your spear, do unto them what they have done unto the innocent so that they see they are not fighting their peers, but those that have been imbued with a power far greater than theirs by the Light.

You are aware that this impious and deceitful enemy has disturbed the peace unjustly. It has violated every virtue of the Light; they have slaughtered our innocent women and children; they have desecrated our homeland; they have proven untrustworthy time and again. Remember Wrathgate. Remember Andorhal. Remember Grand Marshal Garithos and the men that fought beneath him. By the Light, do not see these vicious creatures as what they once were, but what they are: monsters, beasts, and villains.

Now, these soulless aberrations threaten to eradicate Gilneas and Strom, the lands that we have known as brother and father since our birth, the places in which those born of our own blood have been forced to endure the presence of an enemy we did not defeat those ten years ago. Oh champions, everlasting gallants of Lordaeron, now has the time come to raise arms and do war.

You men of Lordaeron, men of piety and glory, for your infinite victories shall our beloved Lordaeron be returned to us. Our Lady, held for so long within the hands of the vile, shall be freed only once you show your prowess and your aggressive spirit against the many horrors that torment her.

You men of Lordaeron, most valiant heroes, whose swords have many a time made Forsaken and Scourge tremble at the sight of your skill, who have called upon the Light and become its executor in matters of justice, must now lift high your spirits and prepare for a struggle unlike any which we have before endured.

You, my honored champions, obey your good queen's commands and know that in her infinite knowledge that this day your glory is at hand. Join now with your brothers and sisters and shed blood knowing that for every drop of ichor spilled, that you will win yourselves crowns of martyrdom and a place eternal within the Holy Flame.

Light Save Lordaeron.
[OOC]: http://lordaeron.guildlaunch.com

The Blood of Lordaeron is primarily a roleplaying guild centered around the reclamation of Lordaeron. At present it is led by Madelynne Albrecht, styled Queen Madelynne I after declaring herself the only person worthy of sitting the throne of Lordaeron.

Most guild events will be handled with /roll mechanics and set up to further the guild’s storyline which began with The Crimson Redemption and continued into The Brotherhood of the Flame. The Blood of Lordaeron is not a Scarlet RP guild.

It is not our intention nor our purpose to play a villainous role. Whether or not a person takes issue with the guild and decides to attack them is up to them. The Blood of Lordaeron is not a corrupt organization, nor does it have any interest in being portrayed as one from an OOC standpoint. We consider it bad form to blatantly discard the roleplay of others but will do so without hesitation should such RP be discovered to have been born from an OOC bias.

Although we will participate in RP-PVP events, this guild storyline is not wholly driven by that particular facet of roleplay. Despite this, many of our members choose to engage regularly in battlegrounds and arenas, and the Blood of Lordaeron as a whole has made decisive showings at many of the server's largest world-PvP events.

Permissible Races/Classes
At present, any and all races that fought under the banner of the Alliance of Lordaeron are permitted to join the Blood of Lordaeron. Death Knights are now also permitted allowing that they place their duties to the queen above their duties to the Ebon Blade.

There are several military organizations that have also been formed in order to properly categorize the various groups currently composing the Army of Lordaeron. They consist of the following. It should be noted that the OOC distinctions between these groups is somewhat arbitrary, and membership in one particular unit does not prevent a character from interacting or socializing with members of another, and one need not join a particular force to join the guild. Their intention is to add depth to roleplay, not to limit it.

1] Queen's Men: An overall term for the Blood of Lordaeron's military forces, it more specifically refers to humans, dwarves, gnomes and high elves that fight under the Queen's banner.
(Recruitment currently CLOSED.)

2] Queen's Gilnean Legion: A group composed of human and worgen expatriates of Gilneas, the QGL is still loyal to Gilneas; however, they assist the Queen's Men in their attempt to overthrow the Forsaken so that both Gilneas and Lordaeron might be freed. In exchange for their services they are given martial training, armor, and weaponry.
(Contact: VELGIM for recruitment. OPEN.)

3] Forlorn Hope: Composed entirely of Death Knights, these shocktroopers are the front line and perhaps best line for attacking a well entrenched position. Known as "Forlorn Hope," they represent those that seek to redeem themselves by turning their inner hatred against an enemy that has for long plagued Lordaeron.
(Contact: NIKEPHOROS for recruitment. OPEN.)

4] Silver Hand: Paladins that are sworn to protect the ideals and virtues of Lordaeron and the Light, the Silver Hand are charged not only with upholding peace but also seeing that justice is done. Because it is believed that Tirion Fordring lacked the authority to assume control of the Silver Hand, as it was illegal for Prince Arthas to disband it, this is seen as the official branch of Lordaeron's Silver Hand. When an oath is broken, it is often a member of the Silver Hand that is expected to see the matter resolved. Many members will begin as squires, though full-fledged paladins may swear themselves to the order.
(Contact: BLACKMORN for recruitment. OPEN.)

Warlocks that are openly demonic will be excluded, as will those characters of a particularly vile disposition, though there is no accounting for those that “slip through the system”.

If you are interested in joining the guild or making an alliance with it, please contact Madelynne, Simurg/Asuryån,, Velenor/Aldaim or Jeremaes. Any questions or concerns may also be addressed to these people.
In the interests of promoting communication and clarity, I am also reposting an old Guild-concept FAQ that was written by Madelynne.


#1: I Didn't Vote for You. What Makes You Queen?
This really gets to the heart of a lot of issues, but it's several questions rolled into one. WHY play as the queen, WHY should others accept it, HOW do you claim to be the queen, and WHAT is the purpose of all of this?

So our first question is broken down into 4 smaller ones.

A) Why Play the Queen? Because power is an attractive thing and in a time of turmoil, those seeking it are given their chance to rise. History has been filled with those seeking to fill the vacuum, and it seems odd that this should be an exception. With the Blood of Lordaeron's story, the move was meant to bring stability to a region locked in sectarian conflict. Of course, more fighting results because of this, but the thought is that once it is all over there will be one voice, one hand, and one body that represents the whole of Lordaeron. It just so happens that Madelynne Albrecht felt she had the best voice, hand, and body for the job.

B) Why Should Others Accept It? Well, they should and they shouldn't. Not much help, but that's what it comes down to. Looking at it from an IC stance, if your character is tired of dealing with the lack of leadership that has left Lordaeron at the hands of warring factions, then s/he might see a single person shouldering the burden of leading a desolated kingdom as a good thing.

Of course, s/he could also see it as an attempt from an ambitious and unworthy person taking advantage of the throne's vacancy. But the issue therein is that the throne has been empty for so long and no one has made a move to fill it, that in itself not acting becomes an admission of defeat.

Out of character, the claim really shouldn't be contested because it's much less forceful than others. I'll make the second question more about that.

C) How Do You Claim to be Queen?
The same way you claim to be anything - you say it and see what happens. You have to realize that so long as there isn't an actual person in Lordaeron's throne, then ANYONE can make a grab for it. Now, even if Madelynne did not have Menethil blood in her it would still be pretty easy to say "hey, this is mine and you can't have it." When someone else does it, that's how wars are started.

William the Conqueror swooped in on England from Normandy. He just happened to have a better army than Harold Godwinson.

D) What Is the Purpose of All This?
To present a new dynamic to a stale concept. It's well and good to say Scarlet vs Argent, or Loyalist vs "Lordaeron is Dead"ist, but never before have we dealt with a story where a private citizen decided to say "I am Lordaeron". Not only is it a natural move in terms of story, but it also gives people something to react to. The degree in which they do is up to them, just as their decision to do it or not is totally up to them.

#2: You Can't Just Claim to be Queen!
Not really a question, but it sums it up. The thing is, claiming to be queen is a lot less forced than almost anything else people can roleplay.

In "lore", Madelynne has claimed to be queen. That is "canon". Not that she is officially the queen, but that she has made her claim to the title. Yes, claimants refer to themselves as the title they seek. Yes, it can be done without owning the throne.

But why do I say it's less forced? Because a claim is just that, an IC matter. Here are examples of OOC matters:

1) My character is a lord.
2) My character is a clergyman.
3) My character is a commander.

You see, these aren't claims. You are stating that these things are true. King Varian gave your character's family land. The archbishop sponsored your clergyman. General Marcus Jonathan promoted your soldier. These all require a lore character's inclusion.

Anyone can say they are something. But it certainly doesn't mean that Terenas put the crown on their head.
#3: You're Forgetting Calia Menethil Aren't You?
Well, I am not forgetting her, but the story certainly has. Now, if your character wants to say IC: "Yes! Only Calia for queen!" Then that is their right, but it isn't some lore secret that Arthas had a sister. What is a secret is where she is and why after 10 years she hasn't shown up.

There are plenty of theories as to where she is, but none of them actually support not doing our roleplay:
- She decided to hide as a member of SI:7 and never say who she was.
- She is in a Forsaken torture room somewhere.
- She's dead.
- She hit her head running away and has become a perpetual child, now a lowly knight that always loved her but knew it wasn't his place to confess it guides her through a war torn land to keep her from the hands of those that would use her for their own gains.

Okay, I made the last one up.

The point is, she's a non-factor. Madelynne has [dismissed] her by plainly stating that if she is alive then she's left Lordaeron for 10 years without a word. That's unfathomable for a queen, so she has to be dead.

I'm not saying she's dead. That's just the way it's being handled IC.

#4: How Do you Claim a Throne you Don't Possess?
It's called being a pretender, which isn't really as bad as it sounds. A pretender is basically someone that is saying they have something they do not. History is filled with them. There's a wikipedia article on them. Feel free to look it up and you'll find that that's all there is to it.

#5: What Makes You Be Able to Say Your Character Has Menethil Blood?
Because that's what I chose to roleplay. A person can take roleplay whatever they want. A person can really do whatever they want. If you want to say that a marriage six generations prior is the same as being Terenas' daughter, then by all means! That is your right!

Just please, do not bring that silliness to us.

#6: Varian was a Good Friend of Arthas. Calia is Arthas' Sister. Why Wouldn't Varian Kill the Imposter?
I honestly don't know. I don't try to roleplay NPCs nor do I interact with them more than to use them as wall dressing. Our story is that Madelynne came into Stormwind and has been working on negotiations to move some of Westfall's homeless up to Lordaeron so that it can be restored. An ally against the Forsaken is an ally against the Forsaken, and Sylvanas has proven to be the cause for much anguish for King Varian.

Now, you are free to roleplay whatever you want. If you feel you know what Varian would do, then say that in your RP. But we've always been pretty hands off with NPCs except for one, who was in turn hands on with the queen. Overall, just do what you like.

#7: What Jurisidiction Does a Claimant have to Make Rulings in the Keep?
Well, you have to look at it from a political standpoint. All of Lordaeron's expatriates are piling up in Stormwind, and Stormwind is going to have to deal with some of them being less than honorable people. Now, because there is a difference in opinion between some as to whose law should be followed, it becomes a sticky situation when you have one magistrate of Stormwind saying "this is the law" and another from Lordaeron saying "no, this is."

I can only imagine that'd be a headache to deal with. Now, someone steps in and says "Hey, I'll take over handling these troublesome matters and won't break your laws while doing it." It'd be sort of like Pontius Pilate being allowed to wash his hands of the matter. This is a Lordaeronese affair - see to it as you will.

The court system is primarily for hearing petitions and what have you, but there may come times when a criminal case is brought forth. The stipulation has always been that they need to both be from Lordaeron, unless the plaintiff is the one that is bringing a person from Lordaeron up on "charges".

We use the KEEP because, well. Stormwind doesn't have that many areas to use. The garden makes it less officious and more a matter of people gathering.

#8: What Does Madelynne Even Do as Queen?
Yeah, the bench thing is all but a meme at this point. To explain it swiftly, I use it to idle and just say that Madelynne is praying because pious princess is the best princess. It's like someone else flying in the air.

But what is she doing? Well, in order to walk you have to crawl first. Madelynne has been making contacts and building support for what she believes will be a large enough event to strike fear into the hearts of the fearless. I don't want to give any plot spoilers, but if all goes well then it should be a pretty exciting event.

In addition, she adjudicates and arbitrates for her subjects as needed, as well as providing support and assistance to those that have sworn fealty to her. She does what a queen does. Just not from bed chambers or throne.
#9: What if Calia Menethil Returns?
It's a good question. Hell, in some ways it's a scary question.

Whatever credibility Madelynne has comes from her weak bloodline and the fact no one is there to oppose it. Calia represents both of those things. If Blizzard should decide to return her to the center of the stage, then it really comes down to how it's handled. No matter what, Madelynne's claim is weakened severely and she'll probably end up having to try her best to undermine Calia.

If Calia has been held captive by the Forsaken, then there's nothing Madelynne can do. No justification exists to stand between a queen and her kingdom after she's been freed from bondage. She'd have to close up shop and just say, "I was keeping the throne warm for you until you got back, heh." That is, at least, until she found a way to assassinate Snow White and return to claiming she's the only one worthy of the throne.

On the other hand, if Calia returns and her reason for being gone is something vapid like, "I was hiding in Theramore and didn't feel like telling anyone". Well, that will give her more wiggle room. If Calia could so flippantly abandon her duty as a monarch once, what says she will not do it again? The story would likely turn to gearing up for a civil war.

Likely, a civil war that Madelynne would not live through. But that's what happens when you deal with NPCs. You have to wait and see.

#10: What Happens If Someone Else Makes a Claim for the Throne?
These kind of things have a way of working themselves out. The first is to see if the two causes can be joined together. Usually, this is through a prospective marriage. But let's say the two sides don't get along or just don't fit together that way. Then it's a matter of whose army is bigger and whose army is better.

In terms of roleplay, it'd be a pretty hostile situation. I'm not certain how it could be worked out without discussing the intentions and goals of the other party OOC, but there'd be standing animosity regardless.

Tytos had scarcely slept since he'd discovered his wife was missing, but concern gave way to fury when the messenger brought word of her exploits. Though he hardly knew the young woman, it was no secret that Eira and Lorrain were close and Tytos was certain she was to blame for his wife's decision.

"Get out! Get out, you shameless !@#$%! This was your doing!" He snarled, the wine glass in his hand sailing clear across the room and shattering against the wall.

Her very presence had bothered Tytos from the start. Her sharp wit, delivered by a tongue as smooth as silk, her seductive smiles and her secret conversations with his wife were enough to make him ill at ease, but when he'd learned that they were lovers before the marriage, Tytos asked that she be sent away and Lorrain refused.

Eira was not one to be intimidated, which only served to further fuel his anger. Though Tytos did not know it, the comely young blonde could have killed him where he stood with but a whisper. She had been schooled in the ways of dark magic since she was a small child and though she did not trifle with demons like others who dabbled in her craft, Eira was capable of inflicting suffering and death almost effortlessly.

What she wore that morning could scarcely be called a shift, the fabric sheer and displaying her figure with a mock corset that accentuated her bust. Her long blonde hair fell past her shoulders and in the light, it looked as if it were smooth as spun silk.

"It was Lady Lorrain's decision, my lord. Surely you cannot think that my words in some way influenced her. I know she is not suited to combat. I warned her against it." She said softly. If she had been rattled by his display of rage, Eira did not show it.

Tytos slumped into a nearby chair and Eira followed, leaning forward just enough to provide him with an enticing view as she continued. "I counselled patience, but you and I both know Lorrain is willful, my lord. I might have told you what she was planning, but I feared you would send me away as you seem so content to do now." She lied. Eira was seldom afraid of anything and certainly not Tytos Blackvale.

"Lies. All Lies... You've been plotting all this time, haven't you. She leaves first, you join her in a week or the like." He muttered, forcing himself to look elsewhere.

"No, my lord. I swear to you that I had nothing to do with this. I want her back here at Summer Hall as much as you do." She said softly, feigning sadness.

"I'll speak with the Lord Chancellor and demand to know what in the Light's name he was thinking when he gave her a commission in the first place. Bloody fool. Did he not realize who she was?" He questioned Eira as if she had an answer for him. "I'll demand that she is returned to me within a fortnight or I'll--"

His words were cut off as Eira settled herself on the floor beside him, eyes meeting his own with a pleading look as her fingers rose to silence him. "You'll what? You are angry, my lord. You have every right to be so, but if you act without thought, you'll surely suffer for it. Find out where she has been sent and I will go to her. I swear to you I'll bring her back." She lied.

"And now I'm to trust the word of a harlot?" He questioned her.

She held his gaze, looking wounded by his words. "My lord... Why must you be so cruel? Can you not see I care for her--enough even to prevent her husband from acting in a manner that will see him shortened by a head?"

Her act seemed to fool him and for a moment, Tytos' expression revealed a hint of regret for the many things he had called her since coming to Summer Hall. "Just bring her back to me." He said at last.

Eira rose, eyes never leaving his own as she spoke softly. "I will, my lord." She lied once more before taking her leave of him. As she strode down the hall, a smirk touched her lips. Paladins... Such fools, she thought. Eira knew that Lorrain would never love him, just as she knew she would never want to bear his children, but she could not tell him those truths.

She had kept her composure as they made their way down the black road and far from the vile stench of the creatures they had slain. She could have asked Lord Creed to provide her with a fresh horse, but that would have meant enduring his hospitality and Lorrain wanted to be on her way as quickly as possible. As the group parted company, Lorrain found herself alone in Blackmarsh, traveling the road on foot with an injured leg. She had been too proud to admit to the injury that Helspeth might heal it and too stubborn to speak more than a few words with any of the others.

With only her thoughts as company, Lorrain continued along the road, the eerie sounds of the creatures of Blackmarsh making her ill at ease. What if there are more of those things? She wondered. As the night grew colder, she drew her cloak tightly about her shoulders and began walking faster, each step more painful than the last. The creature's teeth had sunk so deep into the back of her thigh, Lorrain could feel the fabric of her pant leg becoming soaked with blood. She would make an easy target for the beasts of Blackmarsh and that knowledge only brought a sense of dread.

She had been laughed at from the moment she arrived on Pandaria and put on reserve duty due to her lack of experience. Perhaps it was because of who she was and a desire not to anger her brother, but whatever the reason, Lorrain had been furious when she was sent back to Lordaeron to deal with common bandits. It was beneath her, but she did as she was ordered nonetheless. She was a Blackmorn of Wolf's Crossing and she'd be damned if she didn't prove her worth in battle. That night, she'd done so in spite of her injury--at least in her mind. She had remained relatively calm in spite of the situation, hadn't she? Surely she was now fit for duty on Pandaria.

She managed to reach the next hamlet before she'd completely exhausted herself and when she stepped inside the inn, all eyes were drawn to the sigil engraved on her gorget. She could hear them muttering to each other at the counter. What are the wolves doing in Blackmarsh? They wondered. There was one old man at the counter in boiled leather over mail who was not speaking, nor did he seem half as drunk as the rest of them. His hair was long and unruly, black and shot through with strands of silver. His weathered features and coarse beard made him look older than he likely was, but when she met his eyes, Lorrain saw the look of a man who had spent much of his life in combat. It was a look she knew all too well--her father's way of seeing the world around him.

As she neared the counter, the old man lifted his tankard and spoke, his voice deep and weathered with age. "Light bless Lord Jon."

Lorrain offered him a smile, albeit it a tired one as the old man shoved one of the other drunks aside to make room for her at the counter.

"What's a wolf doing in Blackmarsh?" He questioned her.

"That's a long story, Sir..." Her words trailed off. She did not know the man's face, nor was it likely that he recognized her. The last time she had traveled through Blackmarsh, she was but a child of ten.

The old man scoffed and took another drink before speaking. "I'm no Sir. Not a Knight like you with that fancy armor. Name's Thom Harris." He introduced himself, gesturing to her armor.

Lorrain smirked, lowering her voice as she spoke. "I'm not a Knight either. Lady Lorrain of house Blackmorn." She extended a hand.

Thom Harris nearly fell off his chair, eyes widening as he studied the girl's face. "Forgive me, m'lady. I meant no disrespect. Your father was a hero of the second war. We was all sorry to hear about Theramore." He told her, bowing his head solemnly.

Lorrain waved a hand dismissively. "None taken, Mister Harris. I came to Blackmarsh as a soldier in her Majesty's army." She admitted.

Thom lofted a bushy brow in surprise, but he did not dare question her. "And what brings you to this here inn, m'lady?"

"That is also a long story, Mister Harris... I seem to have lost my horse." She admitted, albeit reluctantly. "I need a bed for the evening and a fresh horse to take me to Wolf's Crossing. I thought I might find both here."

"You won't find no horses here, m'lady. Least not that folks is willin' to part with... I can take you to the Crossing though. It'd be my honor." He told her, though his smile faded when he noted the change in her color.

Lorrain had not eaten that day and she'd had the last of her water before they reached the bog. The loss of blood only served to make matters worse and she was now pale as a sheet, looking as though she might fall over at any moment. When she stood, Thom noticed the blood and rose to help her. He glanced sidelong at the others. "Don't just stand there. Get some help!" He barked, his concern doubled as the girl lost consciousness in his arms.

To be continued...

There was much to be done within the fortnight in order to prepare Saint Varyk's Cathedral for the order's arrival and when Lord Blackmorn insisted that he return with him to Castle Blackmorn, Wald looked forward to further proving himself. Sleep did not come easy during his first night at the Castle and Wald found himself wandering its halls while the rain fell steadily outside. He'd been warned many times by the Captain of the guard not to venture into the East hall, but Wald could not contain his curiosity for long.

Castle Blackmorn had tripled in size over the centuries, but the East wing was the oldest part of the castle and it was said to be inhabited by many ghosts. The ghosts themselves were not what interested Wald Digger, but rather the old Throne room. The ancient fortress had been built by Anton Blackmorn after he and his clan had mercilessly slaughtered the trolls and other humans that once inhabited the Crossing and though he did not live to see its completion, three future generations of Blackmorns had ruled the land as Kings before Varyk swore fealty to the Menethils during the rise of Lordaeron. It was said that the Throne itself was carved from an ancient tree, adorned with the skulls of trolls and upholstered with the pelts of the wolves that roamed the forest and Wald had to see it for himself.

The entrance to the East hall was blocked by a pair of what appeared to be guards, clad in blackened plate and fearsome, wolf's head helms like the one Lord Jon himself often donned on the field of battle, but as Wald neared them, they did not stir. Their armor was old and dusty, the boiled leather beneath it faded and when Wald lifted his lantern, he discovered that they were but empty suits of armor. A fierce wind seemed to blow from within the darkened hall, chilling the young squire to the bone as he pushed past the suits of armor and entered.

Disappointment was his first reaction when he lifted the lantern to find nothing but an empty hallway and blackened stones behind iron sconces on the walls. There were but two small windows, the others bricked up likely a hundred years before. He continued slowly, pausing at each doorway and peering inside to find only empty chambers, dark and musty as if they had not been used in a century. As he reached the end of the hall, Wald came upon a set of double doors beneath an archway, the wolves of house Blackmorn set in black iron upon the wooden doors. His heart began to race as he lifted the lantern to the handle and reached out for it with his right hand. He pushed on it with all his strength and the Castle itself seemed to groan in protest, wood creaking upon iron hinges as the door moved barely an inch. The smell from within and the sudden rush of cold, damp air nearly caused him to drop the lantern, but Wald steeled his nerves and put his shoulder into the door, forcing it to open enough that he might slip through.

He froze in his tracks, his heart racing as he lifted the lantern to illuminate his discovery. More suits of armor flanked the entrance, but unlike the rest of the East wing, this hall was still furnished with long tables and seating enough for many. There were four hearths, two on each side of the hall and as Wald made his way to the end, he could make out the Silhouette of the ancient Throne. He shuddered then, gasping at the sight before him as he lifted the lantern to reveal a ghostly apparition seated upon it, head bent forward as if in silent contemplation. He stood there a moment, frozen in terror as lightning lit up the night sky and illuminated the room to reveal other apparitions, some seated while others stood guard. The lantern slipped from his hand, crashing against the floor and Wald followed just a breath later.

He woke with a scream, shooting bolt upright in the bed they had made for him as his heart pounded in his chest. His eyes darted from one end of the room to the other, his gaze settling upon the doorway. He was not alone. It was the aging Castellan, Henry Warwick, a servant girl beside him as he looked upon Wald with a frown. "You gave us quite a fright, lad..." He said softly as the girl approached the bed and offered the boy a cup of water.

Had it been a nightmare? Wald found himself wondering as he gulped down the water, his question soon to be answered.

"You nearly set fire to the Castle." The old man's tone was as grim as his expression. "You were told to stay out of there for a reason, lad. All old Castles have ghosts and its best you don't disturb them..." He warned.

"Who were they?" Wald questioned him, meeting the old man's eyes.
"You don't know the history of this place, do you lad?" The old man replied, taking a few steps closer and seating himself in a nearby chair. "Over the centuries, there were many who tried to raid the crossing, but only once did they come close to taking this Castle. It was during King Jhorin's rule." The old man paused, clearing his throat before continuing. "Jhorin was the Grandson of Anton, the first of the Blackmorns to settle this land after he drove out the trolls."

Wald simply nodded, hanging on the old man's every word as he propped himself up in bed. The servant girl was perhaps a year older than he and she too was engrossed in the story, seating herself beside wald on the bed as they listened. He found himself glancing in her direction more than once and each time, she'd blush and lower her gaze.

"There was a great battle outside these walls and though Jhorin slew their leader and drove out the invaders, he suffered a terrible wound and died upon his Throne at the age of four-and-thirty, just days later. It is said that he and the ghosts of his soldiers who fell during the battle have roamed that hall ever since. It was Jhorin's son who first saw the ghosts and ordered the north tower built, where the great hall is now located. After the Throne was moved into the new hall, no one saw the ghosts for many years." The old man explained. "When King Varyk became Lord Varyk after he swore fealty to the Menethils, he ordered the old Throne returned to the East hall, where it has been ever since."

Wald had calmed some while the old man spoke, though it was due in part to the fact that the servant girl had been holding his hand through the entire tale. She was a pretty thing, tall for her age with sandy blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Wald had never really spoken with her, but she was introduced to him as Jane Wilson, the daughter of one of Lord Blackmorn's chamber maids.

"I wonder if there are other ghosts in the Castle..." Wald mused.

Jane smiled at his words and gave his hand a squeeze. "I've seen Lord Vincent's ghost." She told him. "It was during winter Veil when I was seven. He was standing behind Lord Jon during the feast. I swear by the Light, it was him. I recognized him from the painting in the great hall."

Old Henry shook his head and sighed deeply. "Poor Vincent..." He muttered softly. "I have served as Castellan for three generations of Blackmorns and I knew Lord Vincent well. There are many in these parts who still believe Lord Jon should have gone to war with King Terenas after he was so wrongfully executed."

Henry rose from his chair then, stifling a yawn. "Come on, girl. The lad needs his rest and its long past your bed time. Your mother will be furious with me." He told her, gesturing for her to join him.
I like the Bran chapters. Hodor often says things that I find very insightful.
12/12/2012 10:23 AMPosted by Kimchi
You know you've reached Martin level when I begin to assign priority to chapters like "Arya chapter, okay. Bran chapter, nn. Awesome, Jaime chapter."

If I could write as well as Martin, I wouldn't have to get up early and work for a living.

I like the Bran chapters. Hodor often says things that I find very insightful.

Bran: "What time is it, Hodor?" Hodor: "Hodor!"

Bran: "Where is Theon?" Hodor: "Hodor!"
12/12/2012 10:31 AMPosted by Kimchi
I like the Bran chapters. Hodor often says things that I find very insightful.


Am I the only one who was tempted to skip over that chapter?
Blackmorn's stories make me giggle.
12/12/2012 10:31 AMPosted by Kimchi

So I actually watched the first episode of the TV show before I started reading the books. The first time I saw Bran, my immediate thought was "That kid's dying by the end of this episode."

At first I was excited because I thought I called it, but then they did the whole "next time on..." thing and I cursed myself for being wrong.
Tonight on a very special Game of Thrones.
12/12/2012 10:38 AMPosted by Kimchi
Watch out. Catelynne will say you don't get to discuss the series if you read the books after the show.

Does that mean I just can't discuss Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings onward are fair game?

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