The Dirge of Caragore

Erryk POV #1

He could still see her pale lifeless body every time he closed his eyes. Still looking as beautiful as she did before her life was so quickly taken from her. He failed. He was tasked with finding her and returning her to his father for marriage. He had failed. She was found lying dead in the Caragore’s very own tent. The poor, sweet, and beautiful Lady Eleana Banefort was dead and Erryk still saw her when he closed his eyes. His biggest failure still taunting him.
He shook his head quickly as if to shake all of the memories of the Lady Eleana out of his head at once. Suddenly, Erryk was back. He recalled where he was and what he was doing. He was riding back to the Gorehall with his two loyal guardsmen Marwyn and Gawen. He had roughly 100 hungry and starving peasants on their way to his home. They will be expecting food and shelter and his father will be expecting answers.
Erryk was sent to the Banefort to retrieve his father’s soon to be wife. He is now returning with 100 hungry peasants and the news of her death. Lord Eorlanas was not the same man as Erryk. He will not see what Erryk sees in these peasants. Where Erryk sees potential and benefit, Eorlanas will see burden and weakness. Eorlanas will want answers for why Erryk brought them back.
When Erryk convinced the peasants to join them he did not think of his father. He was the last thing in his mind. He knew he had to do something. These people were struggling to survive. They had no food, shelter, or purpose. Erryk knew he could give them that. House Caragore had the funds to provide food for them and shelter them until they can begin providing for themselves. They will not be a burden on House Caragore. They will work and fight for the House. There are many capable young men in this group. They can fight and work for the house and in return they will be given a chance to live an honest life.
Eorlanas will not see that nor will he care. He does not see the potential in people Erryk sees. It will be pointless trying to convince him to see it the way Erryk does. Eorlanas is as stubborn as he is cold. He will not see what Erryk sees but Erryk does not need him to see their potential. He just needs him to trust in his first son and heir. Trust that he has a plan for them. Trust that Erryk knows what he is doing. That too, may be an impossible task.
It was in this moment that Erryk’s ears perked up as he heard his Uncle’s name. He looked up and heard Marwyn and Gawen discussing the events of the tourney. Cregan had indeed showed the power of House Caragore. Though Erryk was not present at the Melee’s finale he did see Cregan’s impressive showing on the previous day. He had heard from many people at the tourney of the dull finish. To Erryk it sounded quite riveting. Cregan had tried to best Lady Kasheen in the melee. Any other man and Cregan would have won the tourney in seconds. Kasheen was no man though and hitting her was like hitting a mosquito with a crossbow. Near impossible.
“I did not get the chance to attend the second day of the melee” Erryk exclaimed to the two guardsmen, “but I hear Lady Kasheen was very impressive.”
“That she was m’Lord.” Gawen responded suddenly realizing that Erryk was paying attention, “Lord Cregan was especially impressive against that Shrieking Knight character.”
“That he was Gawen,” Erryk agreed, “Cregan showed impressive power.”
The last thing Erryk remembered hearing before his mind wondered off again was talk of the Archery competition. Another competition Erryk was unable to attend due to his duty. He was the heir to the Gorehall and it was his duty to do his father’s will. Even if he didn’t always agree with it. He didn’t trust this demand by Tywin Lannister. His father had two sons and no need for a wife. His line would continue after his death. Why would Tywin Lannister want Lord Eorlanas to wed again? Erryk was not the only one to be suspicious of this. Caragore’s were not fond of Lannisters and were often skeptical of their motives. His brother Walter also distrusted this proposal.
His brother Walter. Erryks head quickly was filled with anger and shame as he was reminded of their most recent exchange. Erryk had tasked him with going to the Banefort with the Lady Eleana’s body to help explain our role in her death. The Banefort will assume we were responsible. After meeting her cold uncle it was even clearer of what they would think. This is why Erryk wanted Walter to go with him. He would not have gone alone. He would have taken guards and any other house members he needed. Walter was good with his words, something Erryk was not. Erryk would have gone to the Banefort but he trusted Walter more than he trusted himself with this mission. Walter did not see it the same way.
Walter refused to go. Walter told Erryk that he would not go as he felt that it was a suicide mission.
He was probably right. I should not have asked him to go. I should have listened to him and just told him he was right.
Erryks stubborn pride would not allow this though. Erryk hated the feeling of his brother refusing him. He hated the way he felt seeing his little brother stand up and tell him no.
I’m the older brother. I’m the heir. I should be the one who knows what’s best. He should listen to me and do as I say not because it’s right but because I’m the elder brother!
Erryk only partially believed this. He felt shamed. Not only because Walter shamed him and made him look a fool but also because he knew that Walter was right. Walter would have died had he gone to the Banefort. Erryk tried to send him to his death and yet he did not see it at the time.
What kind of Lord will I be? I couldn’t even see that I was sending my brother to die. A Lord needs to always make the right choice. A Lord does not send his brother to die.
Maybe Walter would make a better Lord. This was a thought Erryk had often. Walter was right more often than he was wrong. He was wise and charismatic. Despite his physical weakness, people listened to him. He was convincing. He was persuasive. Erryk was not this. Erryk could fight. He could fight well. He was not the type to spend his day reading like Walter could. He would spend his day training with his sword or speaking with troops. Erryk could win a war but could he lead a house?
Erryk looked up for a moment and saw a site that took his mind off all of his previous worries. He looked out over the field and there he saw marching a force of 200 men marching straight toward him. Panic overtook Erryk as he scanned the field to see who this force was. It wasn’t long before Erryk noticed his own house colors and the banner of House Caragore. Relief flushed over him.
Erryk quickly road up to the host and noticed the men’s looks as they realized who he was. He saw signs of shock and confusion. He rode through the men until he found his Uncle Ser Rodrick Caragore.
“Uncle,” Erryk addressed him, “What brings you and such a large host out this far?”
“Simply stretching our legs nephew.” Rodrick replied.
Erryks previous days made him skeptical and confused. His head was not entirely with him when he spoke with Rodrik and he was still confused as to why a large host would be this far. He did not recognize the jest in his Uncle’s voice.
“You took so many men to stretch out your legs?” Erryk asked suspiciously.
“Ha!” Rodrick laughed, “You asked for reinforcements. We are your reinforcements.”
“I see,” Erryk said realizing his Uncle’s initial remarks, “I appreciate the help. However, we have since quelled the rebellion and are returning with the peasants now.”
Rodrick appeared confused by the news of the peasants. Erryk explained to him briefly of his thoughts behind recruiting the peasants. Rodrick asked about the tourney and Erryk told him of the outcomes. He explained how the Caragore house had won nearly all of the events they competed in. All but the Joust. Another shame for Erryk.
“Some other, more sensitive issues that I’d like to speak with my father about” Erryk ended his story.
“Speaking of sensitive issues there is something I need to tell you about.” Rodrick solemnly replied.
“And what would that be uncle?” Erryk cautiously responded.
“There has been a marriage at the Gorehall.” Said Rodrick
“Who’s marriage?” Erryk said though he already knew the answer.
“Your father’s.” Rodrick answered.
Erryk felt his blood begin to boil. This was all some elaborate plan by his father. He had spent the better part of a week talking highly of his father. Trying to convince people to trust him and follow him and marry him. People were hurt, attacked, arrested, and even died. All so that Eorlanas could get married behind his back? What was his plan? What was he up to? Who did he marry?
“Who did my father marry?” Erryk asked, fearful of the answer.
“We best find your brother and Cregan. They’ll want to hear of this as well.” Rodrick said avoiding the question.
“I don’t understand. Who would he have married while he sent us off to find his bride?” Erryk persisted.
“I think Eorlanas had this planned. He married a Lannister”
The name shook in Erryks head like a loose pebble. A Lannister? A fucking Lannister?! What is he thinking? What is he doing? What is he up to? Erryk’s blood began to boil even more than it had before. He was furious. His father sent him on a fool’s errand with no intention of marrying Lady Eleana and now she was dead. His father would have answers. He needed answers. Erryk demanded answers.
“Cregan isn’t going to like this.” Erryk said remembering his father’s hate for the Lannisters.
“Cregan nothing, I damn near killed a man myself.” Rodrick replied “If they are marching with peasants they may need an escort.”
“I agree.” Erryk responded “There are more pressing things to go over with Walter and Cregan. We should go join with them.”
“You heard him men!” Rodrick shouted to his soldiers “We continue north!”
The soldiers fell into rank as they began marching north.

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