A Change in the Wind
Snow was swirling around King Zygon. Even though he was squinting to keep the flakes out of his eyes, he still couldn’t see in front of him. He had no clue where he was other than he was north of the Wall, and no clue as to how he got there. It was cold, ridiculously cold, but that didn’t bother him. What did bother him was the feeling of being hunted, and knowing he was probably, for once, outmatched. He’d considered blowing his horn several times, but there was little chance someone would hear, and greater chance he would attract those hunting him. Still he trudged on through the ever-piling snow, trying to find some place to find shelter and rest.
A change in the wind gave him pause. For a split second he thought he had heard something out there. He could, however, smell something. Death.
Zygon quickened his pace, rushing through the woods now, trying to loosen his sword in its scabbard. Ice had formed where the blade and sheath met, almost as if some force were trying to ensure he couldn’t fight. With a crack, Zygon ripped the sword out, revealing a perfect blade of Valyrian steel. A screech pierced the air and he broke into a run. An unknown fear had taken hold, and the only avenue of escape was speed.
He broke out from the woods and saw a hill not far off. Zygon ran across the small clearing and began, running up the hill. Over the panting of his breath the and breaking of snow, screeching and more running could be heard. Something was chasing him down and gaining. Once he made it to the top of the hill, he turned, sword at the ready. It was his worst nightmare come true.
Wights, not one, several. For whatever reason they had paused at the bottom of the hill. Zygon looked around him and realized the top dropped off suddenly. He was on a cliff. He’d trapped himself. He looked down at the horn Cypher had given to him as a parting gift. It’d be a shame to die without using it at least once, even if no-one heard. The King in the North would die honorably and probably painfully, but at least he’d die tooting a good horn.
He raised the horn to his lips, took a deep breath, and blew with all his might.
* * *
Memph’s head jerked up from the food he was preparing and cocked his head.
“Did you boys hear that?” he asked looking around the campfire at each of the men with him. They all stopped what they were doing and listened. Over the wind the screams of wights could barely be heard.
“They’re hunting something.” JtTeE said after a moment, “Hopefully some wildlings or something’
The sound of a horn blaring over the wind caused the men to jump to their feet. There was no way it could be a wildling getting hunted. As one they all turned and ran to their horses, riding towards the sound of the horn and the walkers. Upon exiting the woods, they saw a group of wights trudging up a hill towards a lone figure at the top. The figure was blowing a horn in one hand and a broadsword in the other, Memph didn’t slow his horse as he raced towards the line of undead, running them down with ferocity. Some of the wights had made it to the top of the hill and were attempting to surround the lone man, who dropped the horn and began to fight, cutting down the walkers. It looked almost easy, but it was clear just by the shear number of undead that the man would be quickly overtaken. Memph jumped off his horse before it had halted and joined the fray against the dead. He cut his way through the enclosing arc of dead towards the man and they stood back to back fighting off the dead. Other Guardians were fighting skirmishes of their own, but the majority of the wights were ever pressing against Zygon and Memph.
Suddenly Memph was knocked off of his feet and fell to the ground. One of the foes that he had supposedly beaten had grabbed his legs and pulled him down. The wight crawled on him trying to rip his throat out. Memph punched and shoved but he couldn’t seem to repel it. He was going to die here, he just knew it. The wight screeched, nearly blasting his eardrums to bits. Then it fell limp on him, dead for sure now. He shoved its head aside to see the man he’d been fighting with had stabbed it through the chest, and luckily not through him as well. Zygon pulled his sword out and offered his hand to Memph to pull him up. Memph pushed the rest of the wight off of him before accepting the outstretched hand. Around them, the fight had finsihed, with bits of undead everywhere, but amazingly none of the living.
In somber silence they piled the remains of the Walkers and burned them before mounting on horses and riding south. Memph broke the silence.
“I’m Memph, this is JtTeE, and these others are the rest of our merry gang. We’re of Guardian, a group focused on security and well-being” Memph said gesturing around him before offering his hand to Zygon. “Who are you? Where are you from?”
Zygon grasped his hand and smiled, “I’m King Zygon of House Stark. To tell you the truth I was getting a little worried, I hadn’t seen anyone the entire time I’ve been here”
“Zygon eh? Your Bannermen have been tearing apart the Realm looking for you. How did you end up here of all places?”
“I don’t know. One second, I was fighting off the Hordes of the Pacific and the next I was farther North than any had gone before. I’m lucky you found me.”
“If it hadn’t been for that horn we would have never known you were here. Where did you get it anyway?”
Zygon looked down at the horn, “It’s from an old friend of times gone by.” Memph glanced around at his men before responding.
“You know, friends are always there for each other. The man that gave you that horn saved your life in a way. That’s something that friends do, and I think I speak for all of Guardian that if your countrymen are like yourself, we’d like to forge a new friendship with you and your House”
Zygon smiled, “There’s always room for new friends in the Halls of Winterfell. If not there, then we will stand by you on the fields of battle as we have done today. Our enemies will break before us like wheat under the scythe.”
“Guardian will do the same for you. Whenever the opportunity arises we’ll ride to battle with you and your men” Memph said
“Then it looks like we have a deal.” Zygon said “Now let’s get to Winterfell, they’re probably waiting for me to get back to learn them some grammar.”
“By the way Zygon, how did you manage to stab just that wight and not me?” Memph asked
“Oh. Well. To be honest with you I just took a wild guess at it. I’m pretty lucky I suppose.” Zygon replied
“I guess we both are then.” Memph said and the two men laughed.
Upon arriving at Winterfell, Guardian and House Stark formalized their agreement in writing before partying so good that the entire world took a nap for 6 months.
Guardian and House Stark officially enter an MDP