Snow fell through the blacked out sky covering everything it touched in a thin white film, crows circled over head cawing loudly, the trees had faces, every wooden eye was watching him. Blood rained down onto him from the dark clouds. Dripping onto his new pristine silver armour. 'Do this and we will hold the north...do this and I'll knight you...you've always wanted to be a knight...haven't you Tywin?' the king’s ghostly voice whispered through the wood. 'Kill everythingggggggg...' Tywin shook his head. 'Every man...woman...child...' No I won't! They haven't done anything! 'Killll...' Battle raged around him. The northmen charged. Women screamed. Babes stood in the centre of the carnage, crying, searching for their parents. They were farmers...they'd don’t nothing. Fire engulfed the houses. The corpse of a dead girl rose, staring at him, pale face, and bloodied skull. Blood rained from the sky again, Tywin dropped his sword. 'I'm sorry...' he whispered to the dead child. Everything around them turned to ash, people crumbled apart, leaving the landscape a rolling desert of gray. The girl stopped before him, eyes wide.
'I TOLD YOU....' spat the king in his deep black armour...the dragons crawling across his armour roaring their tiny metallic heads to him as he was struck. Black armour cracking loudly against his face. 'KILL EVERYTHING!' flames spat out of the king’s mouth as he shouted. The survivors from the village were paraded into the main courtyard of Dragon Fort. Women...girls...boys...elders...all covered in soot...all naked as babies...chained to one another by a colossal length of metal...links bigger than Tywin's head...weighing down on them. 'KILL THEM!' No. Soldiers with wolf heads lashed out at him with the butts of their spears. 'DO AS YOUR KING COMMANDS!' I won't. A huge armoured foot swung around. Clashing with the side of his head Tywin watch the wolf soldiers take one prisoner each. Slashing them to scarlet ribbons with their swords. Howling. 'YOU ARE NO KNIGHT BOY!' As the ribbons floated through the air like writhing snakes they swam towards him, dropping onto him, warming him. 'Remember...' whispered a second voice.
'No...I don't want to remember...I want to forget...I want to die...' he wept into the darkness. Clothes melted from his back. Only ribbons left covering him. A huge circle of people suddenly stood around him, men, women, all in armour, all with swords at their hips, all unnaturally handsome, all staring down at him disapprovingly, all staring down at him with golden eyes.
'IS THIS WHAT WE DIED FOR!' bellowed a huge man with a flat chin and spiked blonde hair.
'HE'S NOTHING!' Spat a woman behind him.
'HE'S A MONSTER! A DRUNK! MURDERING CHILDREN!'
'It wasn't me...It was the king,' wept Tywin into the ground of nothingness beneath him.
'YOU ARE THE BLOOD OF THE DRAGONS! OUR FATHER WAS A GOD! NOW YOU SIT A CHAINED DOG AT THE FEET OF THIS KING!'
'He'll kill my sister...'
'PROTECT HER YOU WEAKLING! YOUR BLOOD RUNS WITH FIRE! USE IT CHILD!'
'Remember...' whispered the second voice through the darkness.
'FIGHT CHILD! YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO! DO IT!'
'I can't, he's stronger than me...he has an army...'
'YOU ARE AN ARMY BOY!' bellowed the Phoenix Knight's around him. 'THE ISLES WERE AT WAR WITH THEMSELVES...' said the most beautiful woman Tywin had ever seen. 'THEN THE DRAGONS CAME...MORTALS BOWED BEFORE SUCH CREATURES...YOURS IS THE BLOOD OF DRAGONS...THEY WILL BOW TO YOU...IF YOU HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO WHAT MUST BE DONE.'
'Do you Tywin...' said a huge man with a blade of ice stuck through his breast plate. Offering him a golden armoured hand. 'Accept your fate.'
'Remember...' whispered the voice.
'Remember what?' he shouted into the glaring whiteness of the vast empty space. His crimson armour adorned with golden phoenixes, tail feathers enamelled in a million different colours.
'Remember...' said the white.
'What is it you want me to remember?' he bellowed. Only the echo of his own voice answered him. Remember, remember, remember it said before dyeing into the white. 'What is it?' he whispered to himself. Months passed, or was it years? Or days? Time seemed to mean nothing in the white. It wasn't white space he realised...It was snow. Trees appeared from the horizon as he walked. Dark skeletal creatures charred black by fire. Soon a ghostly village appeared, shells of burnt out houses the only remaining thing to prove humans ever actually lived here. 'Where is this?' This, this, this...his voice echoed back.
'What do you want me to remember? What this is?' Is, is, is...'Well it was someone's village...someone's home...' Home, home, home...
'Remember...' walking through the shells of houses, feet skimming lightly across the surface of the snow. A singly sword stood vertically in the snow. Dark metal blade seemed even darker against the white backdrop. A simple bar of shaped gold acted as a hand guard. The handle wrapped in pure white silk. Its pommel a golden phoenix with its tiny metallic wings spread in flight. He was alone. No harm in taking such a beautiful sword. 'Remember...' whispered the voice. Is that coming from the sword? 'Remember...' As he neared the blade he could better see the blade...tiny swirls from its thousand and thousand folds of the white hot steal.
'Starsteel...' Starsteel, starsteel, starsteel...reaching a hand out to the blade the wind kicked up sending spirals of snow spinning across the flat white landscape. Cold ripped at his face as he neared the sword.
'Remember Tywin...' bare finger touched freezing cold gold of the phoenix's head. His chest exploded. Blood sprayed across the dark fiery battlefield. Pale savages with wild hair and light blue eyes battled honoured knights and lords in their glorious armour. A black dragon flew above the savages. He could only see its shape. Colossal. Roaring its savages into obedience. 'Remember Tywin...you knew once...remember...' Looking down at the gleaming crystal blade piercing his chest pain erupted through his very being. Red mixing with the freezing cold blue. 'Remember...'
'Tywin!' Bolting upright his hand instinctively slipped to the dirk beneath his pillow. The gleaming silver blade shot from its sheath, stopping at the neck of the person stood over him. 'Tywin baby it's OK...it's me Alaina...' Blinking his vision clear he found himself in the darkness of his bedchambers, the sun just a bloody smudge above the edge of the dark green horizon. Cold sweat ran down his face and chest. Air came to him in great ragged gasps. His sister stood over him, her hands on his shoulders, hair down around her shoulders, azure eyes wide with fear.
'Alaina...' he whispered dropping the knife.
'Tywin you were screaming...' grabbing hold of his elder sister making sure she was real Tywin stared around his room. Tears tore free from his golden eyes.
'I was back in White Isle...everyone was killing...then the courtyard...' Alaina hugged him. He gripped hold of her like she was his only hold on life. Tears screaming down his cheeks.
'It was just a dream Tywin...it's alright...I'm here...it's alright.'
Golden shafts of sun light streamed through his open windows carpeting the stone floor in a warm glow, birds sat on the windowsill singing their song to the new sunrise, their mates flittering besides them with fresh worms in their tiny beaks for the chicks in their nests in the towers dozens of arrow slots. Alaina was fast asleep on his bed, Tywin moved over to his sleeping sister and pulled the covers over her shoulder. Tywin hadn't slept since she'd woken him. He'd always had nightmares after he'd slaughtered the northern village with the king's men at his back. But none like that. Never with the old Phoenix Knights, never with the sword, never seen through the eyes of Ser Hodor, the last before Tywin, during the last moments of his life with the gleaming blade of ice stuck through his chest. Are the Gods trying to tell me something? He'd never been a godly man. But something about that dream whispered something of the supernatural; The voice wanted me to remember something...but what? A harsh knock at his door made him jump slightly in his chair, hand dropping to the dirk laid across his knees. 'Master Tywin?' said a soft voice through the oak door.
'Enter...' he said hiding the gleaming dagger between the arm and the chairs cushion before sitting in it. The door creaked open and King Baelor Barristan's aid sashayed into his room. He was a disgusting creature, Maxum Croft his name was, a noble name for such an underhanded snake. Hunch backed with pale flesh hanging from thin weak bones and eyes of a watery yellow you would think he would stick out in a crowd, but Maxum was the kings greatest spy, master of shadows he knew impossible things about everything. How many ears he had across the city Tywin daren’t guess, and deep down he really didn't want to know. Stopping a few paces before Tywin he bowed low and as he straightened his spine his yellow eyes passed over to Alaina asleep in his bed.
'Yes?' said Tywin harshly. Returning his gaze to him Maxum smiled a disgusting brown toothed smile.
'Master Tywin, His Grace demands your presence in the Throne Room for a war council with the other Dragon Guards.'
'Does he know,' sighed Tywin.
'Yes, he also demands you remain sober throughout the morning to remain presentable for his generals.'
'Such a shame because the drink makes you so much more interesting Maxum.' he smiled not even trying to hide the contempt behind his words. Maxum smiled.
'I heard our Phoenix Knight has not been sleeping well of late,' he grinned sickly. 'Might I humbly recommend some of Apothecary Darren's sleeping draft, it always helps me when dreams do not come to me.' How can he possibly know that?
'You know something Maxum; I would love to smash your skull open just to see how many secrets come pouring out when I do.'
'Oh Master Tywin,' he grinned. 'I would be afraid you would drown with all the knowledge withheld in my brain.'