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Game of Thrones: Path of the Hungry Bear

When you're reborn as Jorah Mormont you ain't got much. A Dad looking to bale and go spend his days hanging out with the guys on the Wall, a wild Aunt raising your wild cousins you can't stand, an arranged marriage to a girl you never met with a dowry almost low enough to be an insult, and a populace of smallfolk so inebriated and incompetent its no wonder nothing's changed around here in 8,000 years. Hopefully the gold finger granted by Levid's Magically Wheel of Reincarnation can help. A really nice pair of testicles. With that, the right attitude, and a shovel I have everything I need to dig a nice grave to lay in. Or Bag End. Let's see which happens first. You can support me and my family at ko - fi . com / jmanm

JManM · Book&Literature
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74 Chs

Say No to the Trout

Mid 282 Spring

I emerged from my hobbit hole with great vigor and purpose, and mountains of pent up aggression from living in an underground home for seven months with 120 children. If I could Vhagar, the Riverlands would already be burning. Fortunately for them, I can't Vhagar, and instead channeled my rage into telling nascent green seers to fly in their dreams and laughing as they all fell to their spiritual deaths. Brynden Rivers had a finely tuned sense of humor for a man so 'wooden'. 

My enjoyment of that dad joke is proof that I need to sail to a distant and exotic land, meet exciting and unusual people, and kill them. For now, I'll make do with murdering Crownlanders fighting for the Royalist cause. I got the muster rolling as soon as Ned made it to White Harbor. His arrival had the stink of destiny all over it, because surviving the storm that hit as he crossed the Bite in a beatdown rowboat took more than faith and trust. 

While the raven flew, I rallied the largest host ever formed my a Mormont, but I cheated to get there. My son's are the oldest members of their cohort, the children born just before and after my take over of Bear Island, and with a strict cut off of four and ten for soldering on my lands, we had yet to see the pay off of the explosive population growth my rule created. As we stand, there are four to five children for every free adult on Bear Island, and over the next ten years the full grown population will soar to over thirty thousand, but almost rarely counts in life, and far waters don't put out near fires. 

So I cheated. Currently, I could call up fourteen hundred free men, but that requires I call on the Winter Wolves of the island, roughly a hundred men in total over the age of five and fifty. That is roughly the best Bear Island has ever met the call of the Stark's with, but it left my entire island garrisoned by women and children with a population of adult male thralls numbering nearing a thousand. The women of Bear Island might be more mighty than most any other women in the world, but they are still women. Their hollow bones simply aren't meant for the battlefield. 

"I can hear your thoughts degrading women the world over inside that thick skull of yours, cousin." Dacey slapped my back as she started up the gang plank of the Great Sea Bear. 

"Haven't I done a good enough job ignoring your existence, woman?" I snarled as her war gear clanked with each step, "Yet here you are to vex me!" 

Dacey turned around, halting the line of warrior's boarding my ship to smirk at me - the gall of the woman - "Must be agony to be around a woman you can't pound into submission with your fist or cock." 

"Do not think I will spare you either, woman!" I glared back at her as her smirk vanished. 

Only to be replaced by bold in my face laughter. 

"And here I thought with a cousin like you for commander I wouldn't have to worry about taking a spear up my ass in this war." she thumbed her nose and smiled, "Who'd of thought the man who'd rather take a thousand wildlings and Dornish girls would finally have it up for a real woman." 

Real woman… Dacey was every bit the warrior Maege wished she could have been. Less than a handful of inches shorter than me, with the stereotypical Mormont square head and square physique. The woman had broader shoulders than half the men on the ship, having spent her entire adult life on my meal and training plan, and had the kind of physicality I didn't mind being in a shield wall with. The only other woman I'd consider that true for is currently a baby on Tarth.

Just to get a seat on the Great Sea Bear is a feat. The men who sail with me are the biggest, toughest, and meanest men on Bear Island, and each and every man will fight tooth and nail to keep his seat on my ship. Not only do they get the best gear and loot, but their sons and daughters have a chance to marry mine from my salt wives. Loose a seat on my ship and loose that chance to get a blood tie to House Mormont. Dacey is a real one. 

That said, she isn't the kind I'd stick my cock into, but never let a woman know that. Best they live in fear of the cock lest they run wild and destroy society. 

"By the gods I can see it in your eyes. You're doing it again." Dacey snorted and continued up onto my warship. 

I felt a hand clap down on my shoulder and turned my head to see Galmar with solidarity on every inch of his scraggily bearded face as he nodded his head and said, "Women." 

He continued on his way to his own ship. Ulfric, Galmar, Kodlak, and Skjor all received warships matching the specs of the Great Sea Bear, a beautiful hundred oar beast of white oak and bronze with fore and aft castles perfect for boarding the biggest war galleys used in Westeros. Expensive ships to make, nearly doubling the manpower needed from the more common seventy oar war longships, but worth it as a statement for the value of my sons from Alysa. 

More than just the fourteen hundred free men of Bear Island embarking on this campaign south with me, I'd extended an offer to the male thralls. Their status as free men in return for conscription into my host, with obvious compensation paid to their masters. Very few young men turned this offer down, and I outfitted them with gambeson, spears, and shields like normal small folk levies. They'd serve as motivated mass in the battles to come. 

The real muscle adding to my host came in the form of five hundred heavy war horses and three hundred mules making up our equine forces. Four hundred bred true dire hounds bound to my will, and thirty snow bears. The most significant of the thrall forces responsibility come from the feeding, grooming, cleaning up after, and armoring of these animals. It isn't glamorous work in an army at march, but little is. 

It's a good thing my Bronze Fleet has only increased its development speed over the years, because I needed to transport not only my own forces to the northside of the cape of Eagles and into the Riverlands, but also an additional eight thousand from my allied houses and clans, and their supplies. Fortunately, I dedicated us to the longboat tech tree, making beach landings capable, as for some reason the Mallisters would have made it difficult for me to use their port for this enthusiastic excursion. I'd have paid them handsomely for it, but for whatever reason, there has sprouted a bit of a one sided grudge between us. 

I can't imagine why. 

Despite this massive undertaking, we are on schedule for arriving in the Riverlands a full fifty days ahead of the Stark host, but we'd need to make the most overblown distasteful stop any newly inserted man in Westeros can imagine… the Twins. Unlike how the North would need to cross the bridge held by the Frey's to get to Riverrun, I need to cross it to get away from the Tully's and onto the Kingsroad. 

Marching my army down the Kingsroad is a power play that completely changes the flow of the Rebellion. Jon Arryn and Ned Stark would have us arrive at Riverrun on our knees, as supplicants, as if Hoster Tully could actually rally more than half his bannermen for the cause. They'd suck down the ginger trout's bitter seed and thank him for it. 

No. I refuse.

If I'd found the Twins how it's portrayed in the show I'd have swept over both castles in under an hour. Instead, I came upon two identical ten story tall towers with high curtain walls, and deep moats. Each an island, and an absolute pain in the ass to assault. The location of my landing and the work of a few donkey sized dire hounds meant that the Frey's only knew of my coming once I entered into sight. 

It's one of the most costly fortresses to assault in Westeros, but a lesser man with ten good men and some climbing spikes might have a fun go at it. That line is ice cold, but in ninety tries out of a hundred doesn't work out. Sieges just aren't that easy to avoid, regrettably. Sometimes Greenseer powers just leave your feelings hurt. 

But I wasn't here to assault, and the white flag of parley got me into the keep with my good-brother Galbart, and five of the six champions from my instantly infamous trial. The kindest thing that can be said of the Frey's is that they tend towards being long lived, and many of those bearing the blood were hard to tell apart from the standard man at arms if not for heraldry marking them apart. Likelihood of bastard blood running thick among the lowborn defenders of the keep really make this place a nasty endogamy, but not for Walder's efforts, that's for sure. The man was already onto his sixth wife, each from well to do noble houses. The offspring tended to all look Frey save for those from the third wife who were easy to spot among the defenders. 

All six of them looked suspiciously enough like their uncle, Lyle Crakehall, for Walder to openly spread that they were all his. The incest runs deep in this world. 

Our welcome into Lord Frey's hall saw me served directly by his daughter, Lythene, a big girl with enough scabs on her knuckles to match a number of bloody noses and black eyes I'd seen on the way up. I felt those knuckles on my soul. My tyrannical grip on my family has only grown over time, but had I not come into the full powers of my former curse, my sons would have eventually mutinied under such treatment, acting as wonton and unrestrained as these weaselly fucks populating these uninspired grey stone towers. 

My host sat on a black wood throne engraved with the family crest embellished with trees and other such additional detail with cup in hand surrounded by his kin and progeny. They didn't have much in the way of intimidation despite the soulless hunger in their eyes. Lesser men might find such vampiric gaze unsettling, but for savages like us it barely registered as noteworthy. 

"I'd like to invite you and your men out for a walk." I began negotiations instead of waiting for Walder's silent game to end. 

"A walk?" the man squawked his brow furrowing. 

"Aye, a very enthusiastic walk along the Kingsroad." I continued and grinned under my heavy mustache, "South feels right. Let's you and me and all our friends go south on an enthusiastic walk along the Kingsroad, to King's Landing. There's a man I need to see about a chair." 

"Yer as mad as they say." Walder sipped his wine and eyed me like a particularly dumb mark with fat pockets. 

"Perhaps take a differing view on things considering how often we are brought up in conversation together." I offered the man who looked at me confused. 

"Why would anyone ever talk about you and me in the same breath?" Walder demanded with a little gravel in his voice. 

"Normally to laugh at us behind our backs." I replied, "We're not so different, you and I. Lords from young houses that have risen up to become the strongest bannermen in their realms. The envious tend to mock us for our… well known lusts for coin and cunny." 

"Like they aren't the same." groused the man into his cup. 

"Exactly." I agreed and drank my wine. 

Fucking pisswater, and I know he has the good stuff in his cup. 

"And why 'exactly' would I want to go on an 'enthusiastic walk' with you to King's Landing? While my Lord Paramount remains silent even?" Walder mocked with barely concealed contempt. 

"A Riverlord that gives a fuck what a Tully thinks? Will wonders never cease?" I allowed my heavy sarcasm out in my tone then offered, "Cut of the loot, and I'll take the big bitch off your hands for only half her weight in silver." 

"Quarter." he countered.

 "Quarter." I agreed, "But I want four thousand swords.

"You'll get two and thank me for it." Walder smirked atop his throne.

"It'll be four because your cut is proportional to your participation." I grinned back and Walder looked like he bit a lemon. 

As for the 'big bitch'. If you ever want to feel appreciated in life, offer to marry a Frey girl. I've never seen a woman more eager to get away from her kinfolk and jump into bed with a stranger. Hell, even calling her 'big bitch' was less crass than she'd grown up hearing in her father's halls. Lythene Frey gave me a look from her coal black eyebrows that fed my savior complex nicely. 

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