Robb’s day began with him alone in his quarters, modest in size with a window an excellent view of the small hamlet of Gorehall. He could see the smithy down below, its bellows pumping its black smoke into the air, the stables next to it, where he could see his Rounsey eating away at some hay, with the Stablemaster Bran toiling away mucking up the filth.
There was a knock at his door and Robb made his way to answer, one of the house pages was responsible for the knock, a green boy no older than nine awaited him on the other side of the door.
“Beggin’ yer pardon milord…but Lord Caragore requests your presence in the main hall immediately” he said.
“Very well, I will make my way there immediately” he said before reaching back into the room to grab his sword belt and tie it on, lastly grabbing his shield and strapping it to his back before walking out of the room and making his way into the hall.
Sitting in his lordly seat, the Lord of Gorehall, Eorlanas Caragore sat. The hall itself was large and empty, enough for a man to hear the echo of his own steps against the walls. Robb’s eyes met the Lord and he bowed out of respect. It was then that he only realized that there was another person in the room. Kasheen Burnwillow, the Master of Arms at Gorehall and niece to the Lord himself. To Robb, he thought of the “Lady” Kasheen as an enigma. She was no lady in the context that many would know. She was born of the crannogmen, a frog eater and very dangerous fighter. Robb had a bad experience with one of her kind on the road before, the damn nets and poison they are so fond off nearly cost him his life. He was already distrustful of Kasheen, but was no fool to recognize a skilled fighter. In the short while that they had known each other, Robb knew that neither of them would get along fairly well. For the most part Robb did his best to avoid her.
“You summoned me my lord?”
Eorlanas merely hushed him with a wave of his hand before explaining that there were others to arrive. And soon they did, Robb turned to see the doors to the hall open once more and watched those who entered. He knew them all well and could name them just as well.
Edwyn Hill, the Lord Caragore’s bastard son and his closest friend.
Walter Caragore, the Lord Caragore’s 2nd legitimate son. Robb had minor engagements with him in the past, but he could tell that the boy was not a warrior, he was a thinker and a talented one at that. He knew he had to be careful around this particular one. Words can be as sharp as steel in this boy’s case.
Erryk Caragore, the Lord Caragor’s eldest son and heir apparent. Robb liked him, he was a good man and a decent fighter, whom he particularly enjoyed facing off against in the sparring yard many times. Although he was not as close as Edwyn was.
And finally Ser Gerold Hill Master of the Hunt and Kennelmaster of Gorehall. Robb could tell not to mess with this guy, he was a real dangerous individual, as sharp with a bow as he was with his wit, this was a man who had seen the world, leaping into its maw and survived the passage out into the ass end of the world. And he trained his dogs to be vicious little bastards as well. Robb held a touch of admiration and fear for this man.
With all men in the hall Robb nodded at Edwyn as they all turned to look at Eoralas.
He later explained that Tywin Lannister (a man whose name was considered black as muck in this hall) had given Lord Caragore the advice that he should remarry the lady of the Banefort. Robb of course did not know much about those at the Banefort other than the lady was recently widowed. Eorlanas agreed to the arrangement and sent out his two natural born sons, as well as the Lady Kasheen to ride out to the Banefort to meet the Lady.
For Edwyn and the rest of us, he had a different idea altogether. Turns out that one of those in the care of Gorehall, a farmer and his family had been attacked earlier in the day, with the daughter surviving and making it all the way here to inform us so. Lord Caragore then charged us with the mission to weed out these brigands and bring them to justice. Which made sense considering that it would be in poor taste to send Edwyn to meet with the lady of the Banefort, taking into account his notoriety with the women in the Westerlands. No doubt the Lord hoped that these bandits might do away with this stain on his family name. And without further delay, myself, Edwyn and Ser Gerold made our way down to the tavern were the girl Lanna awaited us.
The Inn was quiet, so she was easy to spot. Lanna was quite a comely looking girl, for a commoner at any rate. She was no courtly lady or Myrish courtesan but she had a sense of loveliness in her eyes, her face was plain and her hair was dirty. Still he knew it would take a lot more than that to ward off the Black Chimera’s advances. As they sat down, Robb introduced himself and asked the girl for any information that could be useful. Lanna then recounted the events of the morning, informing them roughly around the number of men that could have been there and how she narrowly escaped being killed…or worse considering.
He then promised her that they would do their very best to bring these men to justice and that she should remain at the Inn until their return just to make sure that it was safe. Ser Gerold, being the kindly man that he was, gave her a silver stag so she could at least eat and rest comfortably at the Inn in our absence.
Afterwards we readied our horses and made our way to the farmstead. All was quiet, there was some obvious signs of carnage and there was a body laying out in the front yard. Because of the blood, we never thought to check if he was still alive. They simply moved quickly in order to get an upper hand on the bandits and get an idea of their odds.
As they neared the farmhouse, Edwyn and Robb took up positions at the front entrance, while Ser Gerold scouted the perimeter of the house to make sure that there was nowhere for the bandits to retreat to.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK Edywn bashed his gauntlet clad hand against the doorframe, only for there to be no answer.
Robb and Edwyn readied their weapons and knocked a second time, when there was no answer still, Ser Gerold smashed in the window and readied his bow, aiming them at the two men inside. “Freeze you bloody bastards!” Robb heard him growl.
Edwyn then kicked in the door, causing the brittle wood to splinter and fall from its hinges as he and Robb made their way inside.
“Halt! in the name of Lord Eoralas Caragore of Gorehall, we command you to surrender. Come quietly and our lord may allow you to take the black for your crimes” Robb said, as he tightened the grip of his bastard sword. Being on the road for three years, he knew these type of men, they were never the type to just give in easily.
“The Black is too good for the likes of these savages. Have at you!” Edwyn growled as he saw the signs of one of the men was about to attack and lunged at the man with his Braavosi blade, a nimble weapon that while not as thick as a westerosi longsword, was just as deadly, if not more in the correct hands, and Edwyn was more than capable with his blade.
“Wait, no!” Robb called out
His strike ran true, and the bandit was finished off by an arrow from Ser Gerold, leaving only just one bandit left. Robb took charge of this one while the other two were distracted. He barely put up much of a fight as Robb sank his bastard sword deep into the man’s chest, making him gargle and choke on his own blood as he fell over and died almost instantly. A regretful decision as he could have been used for questioning to find any signs of Lanna’s brother.
“Good work Edwyn, Gerold…although if I may as bold to say, perhaps we acted a bit too hastily. We should have interrogated these men further or perhaps apprehended them so they could face the King’s Justice rather than our own” Robb said.
“I was not about to take any chances with these two, better to put a mangy dog down before it bites you” Gerold said wisely.
Robb turned as he heard a loud series of barking coming from outside. “Speaking of which, what the fuck is your mutt barking about Gerold”
“Don’t insult my dog you pissant!”
The dog was standing over the body of the man they had seen earlier, and while Gerold began to loot the corpses of the bandits, a dagger and some other miscellaneous equipment, from around the house including some silver stags. Edwyn and Robb went outside to investigate the cause behind the dog’s insistent barking.
They ultimately came to realize that the man they had at first thought to have been dead, was alive if not badly wounded.
“Quick, strap him to my horse, we will take him back to the Maester. At least some good came out of this” Edwyn said before they finally readied the wounded man onto a horse and saddled up and began their quick ride back to Gorehall.