Wild northmen with painted faces lunged out from the darkness, bloodied weapons gleaming silver from some unknown light source. Tywin stood naked, bloodied and battered, knee deep in snow where the northman just skipped along the surface like water skaters on a small pond. Struggling to release himself from snow as the northmen charged. A black wolf and a red wolf leaping through the men with bloodied fangs, teeth glinting maliciously in the mysterious nonexistent light, eyes deep pits of coal and sapphires. 'YOU KILLED OUR PEOPLE TYWIN PHOENIX KNIGHT!' A scythe blade touched his skin. The owner turned into a pale pristine ice sculpture before melting instantly around him. 'YOU MURDERED OUR WOMEN...' dozens more soldiers lunged at him, turning to ice before melting into great pools, the water was slowly rising with each one. Passing his groin and belly button. 'OUR CHILDREN!' More people melted. Water lapped his scared pectoral muscles, the solid ground beneath his feet gone, flapping about in open water. The northmen still skipping across the smooth black surface.
'You are the Phoenix Knight...your chance to do good is now...you know it...they know it...' said the deep booming voice of one of the former Phoenix Knights as they all stood on the water around him, fourteen pairs of golden eyes staring down at him. 'You are more powerful than any of us ever were...'
'The blood of the dragons runs more in you than we thought possible...' said one of the gorgeous women as he hurriedly tread water. Great icebergs floating past him like tiny white mountains on fields of shifting liquid blue land.
'Fire rests in your heart as much as blood...but so does ice...' said another man.
'I can't!' he bellowed to them swallowing a great deal of salt water as he struggled to stay a float. 'He'll kill her!'
'If he does she will be waiting for you in the Star Lands...just like we will be...'
'We're all here with you Tywin, always.' Said the man closest to him, a tall thin man with curly brown hair and a harsh hooked and cockeyed nose.
'Remember...' hissed the strange voice through the ice burgs. Left alone in open water he twisted around searching for the source of the strange disembodied voice. 'Remember...' A small crack shot through the air. Looking up a huge white snap broke from the cliff face. Screaming as it struck him he passed into a world of white, back in his scarlet red armour, borrowed blade at his hip.
'Hello!' he bellowed but once again only his own echo answered him back. 'HELLLO!' he shouted extending the word. Nothing. A horse nickered behind him. Spinning his drew his sword as quick as a flash, six spectral riders all in black on mounts with eyes burning red galloped towards him. Slashing out at the nearest horse his blade passed through the smoke like creature leaving only a twisting contrail of black gas trailing after it. As the riders ran a whole village materialised, buildings burning with intense orange heat, women running from place to place, men fighting with their blades and farmers weapons. No one had faces just swirling ghostly masks. Wolves howled far in the distance as the dark spectres slaughtered the bright spectres.
'Remember...' As he walked through the village unharmed and unnoticed he realised he was just as much as ghost to them as they were to him. As he passed a burning log house a gray shape appeared in his peripheral vision, wrinkled face staring at him softly.
'Nana!' he yelled spinning. But only a huge black wolf stood in her place, turning to ash the starsteel blade stood in the ice, golden phoenix pommel glinting beautifully in the high summer sun. White silk lined with golden wire blending almost completely into the white backdrop.
'Remember...' whispered the voice.
'Fire lives within your heart child...' said the voice of one of the Phoenix Knights on the wind.
'Use it...you can win...you know what must be done...'
'Become the man we know you to be Ser Tywin Sword of Morning, become the Phoenix Knight, rouse the ancient banners of your people...and of our father...the Tyrant is one enemy amongst many, do what must be done...' Said Ser Hodor as he materialized behind the sword. Armour pristine. Without any trace of injury. 'We're all with you boy...until the day you die, we wait for you in the Star Lands...all of us...guiding you...trust us.'
'What is it you want me remember?' he asked the unnaturally handsome man as he kept a mirrored pace with Tywin, before they both stop a few feet from the sword.
'Many things, many great truths, but only one I can help you with.' Grabbing the sword out of some strange compulsion his hand grabbed the silk handle. A dark black sky bled red as wild pale skinned barbarians charged like animals, unusually disciplined, formed, brave. Swinging his sword around he smashed an ice blade to a million pieces and sent its owners head rolling. A lone figure in armour standing in the line of barbarians cut down several brave knights that rode against him, deep gray starsteel blade smeared with blood. 'Many things Tywin...but this is all I can help with...' somehow Tywin could tell Hodor's presence was smiling at him.
'Remember...' Bolting upright with a small yelp Tywin reached down for his sword but pain forced him back down, hot prickly fire crawling up his right side, left leg and right shoulder. 'Gods!' he swore writhing in pain. Time crawled by on a snails back as he laid there, eyes clenched shut, but eventually the pain eased enough for him to open his eyes and try and figure out where he was. He sat in a dank dark cell on a thin mattress of cotton and a single itchy blanket covering him, the walls dripping water and a huge puddle had grown in the right hand corner, the walls seemed slick with moss and other dingy cave flora. The only light came from a small torch that hung on its rack outside the great iron door, its viewport open a tiny amount, enough to fit an arm through but nothing else. Where am I? he wondered looking around for anything else, but there was nothing. Ripping the cloth from him he found he was wearing nothing but his breeches, his wounds were bandaged with pristine white cloth apart from the smudges of pink blood where they'd seeped.
Kicking outwards something clinked. Thick steel shackled wrapped around his ankles bound together by a short thick chain. I thought this place was too comfortable for a prisoner. Some previous inmate had scratched lines into the wall, he assumed each one was a day...They'd been here a long time. A sharp black pair of eyes stared through the door portal. 'Good morning.' Tywin smiled at the eyes. With a humph he shut the visor leaving him in complete darkness. It could have been hours or days, he didn't know. He'd slept...he knew that, but whether for minutes or hours there was no way to tell, food and water was waiting for him along with a small bowl of crushed herbs he assumed were his medicine...or poison...he took them anyway. They helped dull the pain but every time he rolled over onto his ride side his ribs screamed, left side his leg lashed out trying to escape the pain.
'Open the door Gartell.' said a soft voice through the heavy metal. Tywin sat up on his bed with his back against the wall, he was battered, bruised, sweaty, unwashed and had spent the last however many hors or days shitting and pissing into a bucket...but he was the Phoenix Knight. He still had some dignity. The door swung outwards on rusted metal hinges and light flooded into the small cell blinding him almost instantly. He kept his eyes closed for a long time, even when the girl spoke to him. 'Tywin Phoenix Knight,' he recognised that soft voice.
'My lady,' he bowed his head carefully. 'You seem to have me at a great disadvantage, you know me but I have yet to learn your name, you have a sword and a dirk yet I am unarmed and in chains...hardly seems fair to me.' Heavier footsteps entered the room who he assumed belonged to the doorman Gartell.
'Watch yer' tung' boy!' Tywin kept his eyes closed looking at the direction of the voice.
'It's quite alright Gartell, how did you know I was armed with such specific weapons?' the girl asked.
'Tell me whom I'm speaking to and I will answer your question,'
'I'm sure I'm nobody you know...' Tywin laughed even though it hurt his ribs.
'Fair enough, how can I serve you then my anonymous lady?' opening his eyes slightly all he saw were two black silhouettes, one small and rotund the other long and lithe.
'The High Lord of White Isle Cannis Wolfborn has called you a meeting, I'm here to bring you too him.'
'I do hopes it's to discuss my terms of release, I never did like the dark...'
'Stand Phoenix Knight.' said the girl wrapping more shackles around his wrists, short chain connected each wrist with a long chain stretching from its centre that clipped onto a link of the chain on his feet.
'Do yourself a favour sweetheart, go back to your lord and tell him the only form of meeting I want with him is a trial by combat for my freedom. When he's brave enough to meet me in the field with weapon in hand then I'll fight him, until them I am quite comfortable down here. I have several rat friends, I've named them all.'
'Tywin we can do this two ways, you come along quietly and subdued, I will have you washed, clean clothes given to you to wear, and you hair and beard will be trimmed and cut. Or you can kick and struggle I will tear the breeches from your legs, march you naked through the streets, unwashed, bloodied and stinking of your own shite.' she paused. Tywin could sense a smile cross her lips. 'Your choice.'
'You drive a hard bargain my lady, do my charms and good looks do nothing for you?' The girl merely laughed. Tywin opened his eyes a bit more allowing a bit of colour to seep into the otherwise drab dark world. 'Help me up then, I'd kill for a shower in all honesty.'