Just outside Winterfell
Noon had come with a hint of warmth that hinted at the beginning of the spring. They had set forth to see a man beheaded, twenty in all. The only one missing was Bran as father has deemed him too young to company, but his time would come as the story tells.
The man like any other before was a deserter, believing that they could escape the Night's Watch, but was unfortunately caught by father's men.
They had the man bound at the hands and feet while he awaited the king's justice. The man struggled as he was cut down from the wall and dragged to us. Not that it would make a difference, but I pitied him, forced to make an oath and serve the Night's Watch because they lived in poverty. Though there were many who were forced due to acts of **** and murder, most were just sentenced due to petty theft.
"Do you have any final words or requests?" father asked him.
"Fuck you and your requests!" he spits at us, a common occurrence if I do say so myself.
With a single command, two of his guardsmen dragged the ragged man to an ironwood stump and forced his head down onto the black wood.
While Lord Eddark Stark dismounted, Robb brought forth the sword named "Ice." It was as wide as a man's hand and taller than Robb. The blade was Valyrian steel, spell-forged and dark as smoke.
After taking off his gloves, father took hold of Ice and said, "In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, by the word of Eddard of the House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, I do sentence you to die." He lifted the greatsword high above the man's head and with a single sure swing took the man's head off.
After the whole ceremony, we rode back to Winterfell as the sun was slowly starting to set. We rode ahead of father was adamant on sticking to the tradition of giving his prayers to the one he beheaded.
"Another deserter of the night's watch," Robb said, "Jon, you sure you want to join them?"
"Yes, here Ed and I are bastards. While we are your brothers we are outsiders to the rest, there on the wall everyone is the same." Jon replied with a saddened expression on his face.
"Just remember we will always be your brothers. You to Ed." Robb said which garnered nods from the rest of the pack. "Race you to the bridge"
"Done," I say, kicking my horse forward. Robb and Jon cursing and following as we galloped off down the trail, all of us laughing and hooting.
At the riverbank of the bridge, you could see Robb knee-deep in snow, cradling something in his arms.
"GOD! Robb get away!" Jory's sword was already out.
Robb grinned and looked up. "relax Jory, she's dead."
By then more of the pack had caught up and they all dismounted, "what in the seven hells is it?" Greyjoy questioned.
"A wolf," Robb replied.
Wait aren't those direwolves. Aren't we supposed to meet them a few months later why are we meeting them now? Did my existence change the storyline? Putting the thought at the back of his mind he focused on the situation at hand. He had always loved the direwolves, but without Bran, it would be a challenge to be able to keep them.
"It's a direwolf," I commented while standing in the back.
"Direwolves loose in the realm, after so many years," muttered Hullen, the master of the horse. "I like it not."
"It is a sign," Jory said.
Father frowned. "This is only a dead animal, Jory," he said. Yet he seemed troubled. Snow crunched under his boots as he moved around the body. "Do we know what killed her?"
"There's something in the throat," Robb told him, proud to have found the answer before his father even asked. "There, just under the jaw."
With a yank, we could all see what had killed the mother. A shattered antler from the dead body they had found further up the road.
"They will die without their mother" stated Hullen.
"The sooner the better," Theon Greyjoy agreed. He drew his sword. "Give the beast here."
"Put away your sword, Greyjoy," Robb said. For a moment he sounded as commanding as their father, like the lord he would someday be. "We will keep these pups."
"You cannot do that, boy," said Harwin, who was Hullen's son.
"It be a mercy to kill them," Hullen said.
Bran looked to his lord father for rescue, but got only a frown, a furrowed brow. "Hullen speaks truly, son. Better a swift death than a hard one from cold and starvation."
"Lord Stark," I interrupt. Although I see him as a fatherly image it was awkward none the less. "There are five pups, three male, two females."
"What of it, Ed"
"You have five trueborn children," Jon said. "Three sons, two daughters. The direwolf is the sigil of your House. Your children were meant to have these pups, my lord."
I knew full well that there was an albino direwolf hiding somewhere and I wanted that one for myself.
His father knew what I was doing. "what about yourself and Jon?" he asked softly.
"The direwolf graces the banners of House Stark," Jon pointed out. "We are no Stark, Father."
Heir lord father regarded Jon thoughtfully. Robb rushed into the silence he left. "I will nurse him myself, Father," he promised. "I will soak a towel with warm milk and give him suck from that."
The lord weighed his sons long and carefully with his eyes. "Easy to say, and harder to do. I will not have you wasting the servants' time with this. If you want these pups, you will feed them yourselves. Is that understood?"
They all nodded eagerly. The pup in Robb's arms squirmed in his grasp licking at his face with its warm tongue.
"You must train them yourself, and if they die you will bury them yourself. Do you understand?" father said.
"Yes, father," Robb said, knowing that he spoke as the representative of the Stark family being the oldest.
While everyone was leaving.
"What is it, Ed?"
"Can't you hear it?" I say while searching the premises
"Here," I said, kneeling to pick up… wait why are there two? I guess one for me and another for Jon. Fate really has blessed Jon.
"They must have crawled away from the others," I said.
"Or been driven away," their father said, looking at the sixth pup. His fur was white, where the rest of the litter was grey. His eyes were as red as the blood of the ragged man who had died that morning. Bran thought it curious that this pup alone would have opened his eyes while the others were still blind.
"Albinos," Theon Greyjoy said with wry amusement. "These two will die even faster than the others."
I gave his father's ward a long, chilling look. "I think not, Greyjoy," he said. "This one belongs to me and the other is Jon's."