1 Visions

"Call the banners." The voice that spoke was firm and demanding, belonging to a lord giving a command to his subjects. It was hard to believe that the voice he heard was his own. But to be entirely honest, it was hard to believe that everything going on was truly real.

His father imprisoned and proclaimed a traitor.

His sisters held hostage in Kings Landing.

Everything seemed to be crumbling around him and he could do nought but watch it happen. Except, that wasn't true. There was something he could do, something he was going to do.

March south with an army at his back.

Him, a boy having just turned five and ten, marching south at the head of an army to free his father and sisters. Perhaps it was all a cruel joke or more likely, a cruel twist of fate.

"Robb?" His loyal friend, Theon rose as he watched Robb sway slightly on his feet, the full weight of his decision fully catching up to him as Maester Luwin left. The weight was crushing and overbearing, nearly toppling him off his feet as he gripped his chair for support.

"I'm okay." He waved Theon off and took a steadying breath. 'I can't show weakness, I can't. But I, I'm scared.' He admitted to himself, everything had been going so well, or so he thought. And then, everything changed and now, because of his decision he was marching south to war.

And there was nothing he could do.

He was a man of the North with the blood of the First Men coursing through his veins. Honour and duty dictated that he do this, if he didn't, the men of the North would never forgive him and never follow him. He'd be forever stained with the dishonour and the lords of the North would never follow a dishonourable coward.

'It's my duty, as heir to House Stark.' He told himself firmly, taking another deep breath and this time, when he looked out over the empty Great Hall, he was calm, at least on the outside. 'It's my duty as my fathers son.'

"Are you sure?" Theon asked, looking worriedly over Robb who gave a sharp nod.

"I'm fine." He said shortly, rising to his full height, arms resting down by his sides. "I'm going to the Godswood, don't disturb me."

The walk was short, Robb quickly walking out of the Great Hall, past the Sept his father built for his mother and straight through the Courtyard. Each of them clamoured with men and women going about their daily business, he paid them no heed. His steps were strong, his strides wide as he stormed through Winterfell till he reached the Godswood and was hit by a wave of tranquility.

Like always, it was a beautiful place, quiet and undisturbed by men.

Closing his eyes, Robb let himself just bask in the environment, letting it seep into his bones and calm him. He desperately needed it, despite his calm exterior, his emotions were turbulent and wild, fraught with worry and doubt.

And as he opened his eyes, they settled on the one thing he came here to view.

The giant Weirwood tree that sat in the centre of the Godswood. In ancient times long since passed in the Age of Heroes, the founder of House Stark, Bran the Builder had built the Godswood around this very tree. Winterfell later being erected by the very same man, surrounding the Godswood.

Crouching down, Robb clasped his hands together and bowed his heads. It was a pose his mother had taught him when she had attempted to teach her children of the Southern Gods, the Seven. Robb, just like most of his siblings had never taken to the Seven very well, the only one who had was Sansa.

Even so, Robb found that the habits trained into him as a child were hard to be rid of and so, whenever he came to the Godswood to pray, he always took this position.

'I need your guidance and aid.' He began, speaking to the Old Gods in the world surrounding him. 'My father, a good and honourable man is being imprisoned in the south unjustly, my sisters held captive and I am but a boy marching to war.'

He paused, debating within himself.

But he continued eventually. 'I am ashamed to admit, but I'm scared. I have never fought in a war and have only recently fought in my first real fight. I'm inexperienced and unsure of myself, and I'm afraid that if I fail, my family will suffer for my actions. So please, I beg of you, lend me your aid.'

However, just like he had expected, but hoped would not be the case, he received no answer. The Old Gods gave no answer, only greeting him with silence.

This caused Robb to chuckle mirthlessly, his hands unclasping as he sat down on the warm grass beneath him. "Even now, you are silent." He muttered, leaning back against the Weirwood tree. "Even now, I am not worthy of you."

Ever since he was a child, he had listened to the stories told by his father about the Old Gods, much like every child of the North. He had always believed that one day he would hear them speak, much like his father had said he could hear them. But no matter how much he prayed, the Old Gods had always gifted him with silence.

His father had told him to never lose faith and that the Old Gods were listening and that in his time of need, they would aid him. Robb in his foolishness had believed that to be true, but it seemed, he was not worthy of their attention, of their aid.

"Nay, maybe it is not that I am unworthy, but that you are not real." He said, more to himself than anyone else. Just the idle chatter of a man trying to take his mind off the problems surrounding him.

Robb released a sigh, leaning back fully to rest his head against the Weirwood tree and closed his eyes. Up above he could hear the occasional chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves in the wind, the tree branches swishing and swaying. It was all such a comforting sound, so very peaceful.

Then, things seemed to shift and change.

He could hear the thundering of hooves.

The sound of clashing steel.

The yelling of men as they fought with everything they had.

He could see images flash by his mind, jumbled and blurry. He could barely make sense of everything that passed through his mind. Only making out short images here and there, but one thing that truly caught his mind was the haunting phrase of, "The Lannisters send their regards."

Then it was followed by an unknown voice that spoke to him directly.

Do not lose hope, Robb Stark. We are watching and waiting. The war to come will be long and difficult. To win, you must forsake your honour, but do not forget it.

Shooting upright with a gasp, Robb looked around in shock. His breathing was heavy as he looked around for any sign that would allow him to make sense of what happened.

Yet there was nothing.

Slowly, and on shaky legs, he rose to his feet. 'What was that? I was on a battlefield of some kind and I could see so much yet so little. None of it made sense.' So many images had flashed through his mind in such a short space of time that he had barely caught them all, but now, even as he tried to make sense of it all.

There were images he could not forget.

A lion and a wolf baring their fangs and attacking one another, tearing each other apart.

A kraken rising from the water and wrapping around a wolf, pulling it into the icy depths of the ocean.

And perhaps the most terrifying of it all.

The sight of a wolf entering two blue towers connected by a bridge, only to come out without its skin, flayed alive. This last image being accompanied by those haunting words, "The Lannisters send their regards."

"What does it all mean?" As he muttered that question, he froze. "Do not lose faith, Robb Stark. We are watching and waiting. The war to come will be long and difficult. To win, you must forsake your honour, but do not forget it." Slowly, he turned around to look at the Weirwood tree in shock. "You are real?" He muttered breathlessly before laughing like a madman.

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