February 24, 2015

Journey to Winterfell

It was a cold, misty morning.  The fog lay softly on the ground, waiting for the suns rays to break through the blanket of clouds and heat the grass growing patiently in the damp earth.  A single raven glided through the air, tired from his journey but pressed on, sensing that his destination was near.  A small scroll of parchment was affixed firmly to his leg.  The words hastily scrawled and concealed in the tight roll had the power to bring the reader to his knees.  The simple ink on the plain page would be the beginning of something of great magnitude.  The news would ripple through the countryside, creating waves throughout the entire land of Westeros. 

In the distance, the castle came into view.  The bird flapped his wings to speed up, knowing food awaited him at his destination.  He entered the aviary where Maester Luwin was already waiting for him.  The expression on Maester Luwins face barely changed as he retrieved the scroll from the ravens leg, expecting news of the routine sort.  He carefully spread the scroll expecting to read a request or perhaps a bit of social correspondence.  His eyes slowly widened as they darted across the page and he clutched the parchment to his chest when the words ended.  His breathing got heavy and his eyes darted around the room as his brain worked furiously to accommodate this new information.  He sat, the page still tight in his fingers. 

"I... Robb..." he muttered between breaths as a quick burst of adrenaline radiated from his chest and he quickly stood up and left the room.  He found his master in the dining room conversing with his mother, Lady Catelyn.  "An urgent message, my lord," he said trying to push the panic out of his voice.  Robb Stark furrowed his brow in concern seeing that Maester Luwin was visibly upset.  He grabbed the page quickly and looked down.  His lips parted slightly, breaking the grimace on his face.  He stared at the page long after the words entered his mind.  Lady Catelyn waited, worried and curious, afraid to break the silence.  She could tell the news was life changing and chose to stay in ignorance for a few more precious moments.  Finally, the silence was broken. 

"It's the Lannisters..." said Robb, his voice quavering audibly, "they've taken..." he swallowed as the words caught in his throat.  He drew in a deep breath to summon his courage back into his chest.  "They've taken all the squares."  The lids on Lady Catelyn's eyes disappeared as her eyes widened with horror.  She couldn't live in a world without squares.  A rage radiated from her bones to her skin, consuming her. 

Robb crumpled the parchment in his fist.  "Maester Luwin," he said, his eyes fixing on the old man, his whole body filling with determination, awakening every sense he possessed, "Send a raven to Elmo."  His eyes moved to his shaking mother, "I will not rest..." anger vibrated his vocal chords like they never had before "...until every side and every angle has been counted and the squares are safely returned to us." 

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