The Dirge of Caragore
Second Son of House Kilroy, The Bear of Ebongrove
Born in the spring of 253 AC. Torrhen, second son of Lord Harlan Kilroy was born, it was said that Torrhen was born amongst the shoals and streams of the White Knife, as Lady Gwyneth Flint was out picking shells with her handmaiden while her Lord Husband and Eldest son were guests of the Manderly’s of White Harbour not far away.
However, northern impatience came as Lady Gwyneth was forced to give birth right then and there on the sandy shore of the river. By the time Lord Harlan arrived, Gwyneth was tiredly holding Torrhen to her breast, their newborn son pink and healthy and sated as he was bundled up in linens and furs.
By the time Torrhen was eight, he was already a clever young boy. A thrillseeker and trouble maker alongside his big brother Edric. Many considered Torrhen to be bright young lad most of the time, but suffer from temper tantrums and fits of anger.
Edric despite being the older brother was always more mild mannered and easier to correction through disciplinary means than his younger brother, who always seemed to lash out harder whenever their father or the Maester tried to scold him.
Torrhen was not one for study, as much as their Maester tried to teach him, Torrhen excelled more so in the training ring under Armsmaster Dorren the Steward of Ebongrove. For centuries the defined weapon of choice of the Kilroy’s has been the Battle Axe. Heaving chunks of iron or steel in sharp crescent blades mounted to thick ebony wood. Since the loss of the House’s ancient Valyrian Steel Battle Axe Foereaver however, many Kilroys took up arms in the Sword, Mace and sometimes even the Polearm on occasion.
Torrhen learned all of these and was fascinated about the stories of the Kilroys of old, particularly the founder of House Kilroy Axell Kilroy, who was said to drink the blood of beasts and go charging into battle madly with Foereaver in hand, hacking down either Kraken, Lion or Wildling Raider. He vowed to one day find Foereaver and return it to it’s rightful place in his father’s hand. “To make their house great again” he proclaimed.
On the eve of his Thirteenth nameday, Harlan, Edric, Torrhen and a small Retinue made their way to the Wolfswood for a Hunting trip and to also visit the Glovers of Deepwood Motte.
During the Hunt, Torrhen became separated from the main hunting party and wandered through the Wolfswood alone and in the dark. He quickly sought shelter within a cave, only to find that it was inhabited by a large coal-furred bear. However, despite his instinct to run away from the bear, Torrhen gripped the shaft of his spear and stood his ground as the bear lunged at him aggressively.
No one knows what happened to the young Torrhen for the three nights that he was lost within the Wolfswood, but when he emerged, drenched in blood with a bear skin pelt clinging to his body and a young cub under his arm. It was an experience that would go on to shape and haunt him for the rest of his young adult life.
The cub he named Greyclaw and the Gods only know what possessed Harlan to allow the boy to keep such a beast. Even though it was highly suggested by the Glover’s that the cub be put down mercifully, without a mother, the cub would not survive. But Harlan was sentimental, and of course, despite his better judgement. He allowed Harlan to keep the cub, something spoke to him when he gazed into the Cub’s young eyes, and he could almost sense it was if the Old God’s themselves put the paths of young Harlan and this bear cub together.
Some years passed and Torrhen became of an age where his mother advised that he should wed. Torrhen and Cotter had their fun, spending days going off to Tournaments or fighting off Reavers on the Stoney Shore. But with the betrothal of their younger sister Arina to another house, they felt it was time to secure further family ties within the North.