The freezing cold water screamed against his skin as the bulbous door man threw huge buckets over his naked form but he was glad of it, he hadn't a clue how long he'd been in the fever, or how long he'd been in his cell but by the smell of his clothes it had been a while. As he dried the red haired wolf girl walked in carrying a fresh pair of leather breeches and a thick satin tunic, seeing him naked startled her for just a second before her cheeks flared red and she looked away. 'Here,' he said blindly handing him the folded clothes. 'They're thick and strong they should keep you warm as we ascend the Fang.' He took them without a word and she left, never looking to him again. Gartell had gone to fetch him a towel to dry himself but by the time he'd returned the heat of his own body had virtually done that himself. Two men dressed him, one holding him down the other unclasping the chains one limb at a time. It took nearly twenty minutes in total but he didn't mind. 'Up!' prodded Gartell with his staff. Tywin gathered he wasn't particularly bright, he barely spoke and when he did his words were slow and cumbersome. Combine that with his lackwit expression cast across his broad flat face every second.
Tywin did as he was bid and walked clumsily up the steep set of stone stairs. Soon enough a bright light shone from the top, then he was out in fresh air, the cold breeze slapping him in the face as gently as a girls hand against his cheek. The red wolf was waiting for him, arms folded across her chest, staring out over the winding streets of the Fang. Even he had to admit, it was a stunning city. Gray stone buildings of every size imaginable from tiny one story houses to huge grand mansions and inns that could hold up to one hundred people at a time littered the hard frozen ground. Children darted in the streets laughing loudly while they played Knight and Monster, many had black or red hair, those were the most common on White Isle but the occasional one had hair of spun gold or dark woody brown. 'Welcome to the Fang.' Tywin grunted.
'Stone buildings filled with children, and I heard stories of a huge spear of rock made by the gods...do any northmen ever speak truth?' he asked smiling at her.
'Turn around Ser Knight,' she said with a smug expression. He turned thinking she was bluffing...she wasn't bluffing. The huge spire of rock stretched so high into the sky Tywin could barely see the large carved hall at it's very peak, it was just a simple pin prick in the light blue sky. But all around it a great path spiralled to its peak, and around this street in the sky were shops, smithies, houses, halls and garrisons. Its sheer scale made Tywin feel tiny, Jade Isle had nothing like this, nothing. 'Walk.' the red wolf smiled.
'Of course,' he said politely. 'May I have you name now that you know mine and have seen me naked?' he asked turning to her. She smiled but remained silent. Stubborn wench I'll give her that? 'I have to call you something, a knight’s courtesy to a lady of the Fang. I could call you Fang if you'd like? No...maybe...Wench! Not that either...how about...Red Wolf for your fiery hair?' she remained quiet as the path suddenly steepened. Tywin was all too aware of the eyes staring at him as he hobbled past taking only tiny strides that the chain allowed. 'You know you are quite comely without that blue on your face...or the blood, is that a new makeup trend in the north? Enemies blood to brighten up the cheeks? Because I have to admit it's not a habit that's moved south.'
'Shur' it donkey!' spat Garlett slamming the butt of his staff in his rips, gritting his teeth in pain as his wound throbbed horribly, the path in front of him spinning three-sixty.
'All ready have pet names for each other...how cute.' smiled the stubborn red wolf.
'Oh yes...he calls me than on account of my enormous cock! I'm sure you saw it.' he said with a small smile, shaking his head to clear it.
'Is that what passes for enormous with the southren maids?' Tywin looked back at her and smiled. You win this round bitch. Blindingly putting one foot in front of the other Tywin soon found himself at the top, the clouds just level with the grand stone hall with its huge oak doors and colossal sandstone pillars, the clouds looked like a strange extension to the mountain. A garden of white cotton that grew birds instead of flowers. 'Thank you Gartell you can leave us now.' smiled the red wolf. The simple doorman bowed his head with a coughed 'mi'lady' before heading back down to his dungeons.
'What now crone? You going to throw me off?'
'It's certainly a good idea...I always wondered if the Phoenix Knights could fly.'
'Take these chains off me I'll show you exactly what I can do sweetling.' he said pulling his hands apart sending a sharp ring through the air as the chain forced him into submission, the red wolf didn't even flinch.
'Ser Tywin,' said a deep voice behind them. Turning his head Cannis Wolfborn stood before him, huge and powerful in his light leathered armour, dark hair waving down his back like a great coal waterfall. His face certainly had character. With a jaw like an anvil and a hard nose as well he was not unhandsome, but he looked more rugged and hardy than other men Tywin had seen down south with his scared arms and the huge starsteel great sword resting across his shoulder.
'High Lord Cannis, pleasure, and it's just Tywin...I'm no ser.' he said harshly.
'I assume you are not unhappy with your accommodation and treatment here in my city.' he said taking a step towards the two squabbling adolescents.
'No I have many a rat to keep me company and me and Gartell are becoming very friendly indeed, my friend hear was just taking me on a guided tour. You have a beautiful city, I'll try to keep most of it standing once I take it.' he smiled nonchalantly.
'Mind you words very carefully boy,' warned the huge lord. Tywin was well over six foot three, four in his heeled boots, but Cannis loomed over him like a huge tree, all spindly legs and muscled arms and chest.
'I do Lord Cannis, I have come here to negotiate my release. Me and you in a trial by combat, I win all you have to do is release me and then send me on my way back home.'
'Do you think I was born yesterday son?'
'With that face no ser,' he smiled. For one agonising moment Tywin thought Cannis was going the strangle him but the look of madness in his eyes broke and he just laughed and laughed.
'Come boy...my lord father wishes to have words with the great Phoenix knight before we decide your fate.' a heavy hand smacked him hard onto the shoulder making his stumble slightly and pain lance up his leg. Cannis lead him down a small passageway to the side of the carved hall, his huge hand forever gripping his shoulder, the red wolf trailing behind. The small chapel was brightly lit by a huge chandelier made from either moose or elk antler, with white wax candles sticking on the prongs of the bones. But his eyes were drawn to the huge mosaic like art work on the far wall, the huge Ice Leopard depicted in what looked like unpolished diamonds and other stones he didn't recognise. Other hunters decorated the back ground, and one in the foreground. Even with his back to Tywin he could still recognise the distinctive shape of the Lone Wolf.
'Lord Harrad what a pleasure.' smiled Tywin walking between the three rows of pews.
'And to you Phoenix Knight, I'm very glad you are here, I have things I think you need to know...'
'Oh really?' he asked spinning to face him...he paused. The eyes that greeted him were nothing like he'd heard about, they weren't sharp pieces of flint that bored into the very depths of your bones...they were gray pools with black centres. Unseeing. 'Your eyes Lord Harrad...'
'Taken from me by the snow glare. No worry of yours young man.' Tywin shook himself free of the sudden feeling of pity for the man.
'Release me,' he said quickly.
'I shall, I just want to tell you one thing and then you are free to walk out of my sons city gates without any harm done to you.' said the old wolf softly with a small smile.
'Father,' Cannis hissed angrily but his father silenced him with a hand.
'I don't care to here northern words, release me now so I can get back to my king,' he said pushing his arms out. Harrad lifted his head, scanning his entire body with gray unseeing eyes.
'Cannis,' he breathed. Reluctantly the huge lord stepped forward and began unclasping the manacles around his hands and ankles. 'I guarantee you Tywin you will leave but come straight back after hearing this,'
'Sure,' he said rubbing his wrists where the rough metal had rubbed them sore. When the last one was off he bowed dutifully towards the lords and lady before heading for the exit.
'It's about your Grandmother,' Harrad spoke up just as his hand hit the door. He stopped dead in his tracks, eyes bearing into the rough brown wood.
'About how your men killed her?' he spat.
'My boy,' smiled the old wolf. 'Why would I wish to harm my own sister?' That lone sentence seemed to hang in the air for well over a minute, every fibre of Tywin's body tensed, even if it caused him pain.
'You're lying!' he yelled. Harrad sighed, his shoulders slumping slightly.
'I wish that I were Tywin, but Caitlin Wolfborn was my sister, my only surviving sibling after my brothers were killed.' the Long Wolf turned in his pew. 'Sit Tywin, and I will tell you everything we know...'