65 The Final Solution for the Iron Islands

Early 289 Summer

The smoke over the distant Lannisport rose into the air as sweet incense. The smell of profit. I manned the steerboard of the Great Seabear at the head of the Bronze fleet, who's numbers I kept tightly to my chest these years as my manpower on Bear Island exploded. One hundred warships. Even with the manpower growth, I lacked the hands to man the oars of this many ships, but Rickard Stark granted me the right to lead the forces of my North Western Trade Federation in battle, and so the Lords under my writ brought my fleet fully online with their additional warriors. 

Officially, we were on our way to the Stepstones to drive off pirates from the trade lanes under a contract from Lys, my favorite of the Three Daughters. Unofficially, I rowed a hundred ships full of ready and eager warriors to Lannisport on a schedule that will clash with the Iron Fleet on their way out from sacking the rich city. In the past, facing the Ironborn at sea would have filled me with fear. Even after all these years, my sailors and our mercenary neighbors would fail spectacularly in a naval battle against the Ironborn. Normally, the Ironborn aren't exhausted, drunk, and laden with loot from their biggest raid in centuries. 

Oh God above, I love hitting an enemy that can barely hit back. 

My ships cut them off from the open sea in the bay between Feastfires and the ruins of Tarbeck Hall. The strategy for the battle: put the big ships on our left wing, and roll over from north to south while the others focus on keeping the Ironborn bottled up between the two peninsula. Victarion Greyjoy met our biggest ships with his own, leading the fleet on the Iron Victory. His ram bearing flagship came right at the Great Sea Bear and bore its captain to his doom as I stood in the crow's nest, my great weirwood and horn bow loaded with a shaft on the trajectory of destiny. Only the interference of a god could deliver Victarion Greyjoy from me, and his Drowned God failed to rise from the depths to shield his worshiper. With my power the causal sequence of the shaft is released and the shaft has struck overlap, there is no chance of missing, and the greatest warrior in the Iron Islands died completely helpless. 

Soon to follow him went every troublesome Ironborn within seven hundred yards of me. As they came into range, our archers set to work, trading shots with their tuckered out and inebriated rivals. When the warships finally clashed, clogging the bay with battle, the Ironborn discovered something terrible. After twenty years aping their culture, the men of Bear Island are as crazy as they are, and wear full steel armor into combat at sea. Our long spears stabbed over their oarports finding fertile ground in the weary, sloppy, and demoralized Ironborn. My men boarded their loot laden ships, hacking, slashing, and smashing their fatigued foes. Less than a handful of longships on the far edge slipped out - Euron among them and the only Greyjoy present to survive - and their escape hemmed the rest in. 

The killing went on for hours, but the reward for this timely attack, an almost twelve to one ratio victory in a sea battle with the Ironborn. The worst defeat they have ever suffered without dragon fire and the worst they ever will. Crewing the hundred ships of the Iron Fleet takes nearly all of the able bodied men in the Iron Islands, eighteen thousand of the twenty thousand available. Less than a thousand escaped the slaughter, and by noon, my men were stripping the bodies while the thralls taken from Lannisport watched in sheer terror as we recreated the ending to the Battle of the Pink Harbor twenty years later, and on a far grander scale.

"You are our thralls now." I informed a battered and near naked Lannisport Lannister woman who came over from the Iron Victory. 

"What?" she squawked as she clutched a bloody cloak around her. 

"We have taken you in battle, and thus, you are our thralls." I explained the simple concept once again.

I put a hand over the woman's mouth before she made any further noise, then ordered my half crewed ships, both the Iron and Bronze Fleet, to make course for the Iron Islands. On the third day, our ships landed on the much depleted Islands and my sons and I enacted our final solution on the inhabitants. While the rest of Westeros still reeled after the surprise attack on Lannisport, I led over sixteen thousand warriors on a purge of Pyke, Saltcliffe, Harlaw, Orkmont, Blacktyde, and both Old and Great Wyk. Each of my sons from Alyssa took one Island, and I took Pyke and Harlaw, the latter of which surrendered unconditionally before the genocide began. 

Each of us led our men in the slaying of every Ironborn male, babes to toothless elders. The women were taken as thralls and the thralls transferred to new owners. I scaled the cliffs of Pyke and the walls of the castle using the memories of Quellon's Greyjoy's youth, back when the man was like the Batman of the Iron Islands, and arrived behind the designed defenses, Dawn in hand. Hundreds of warriors sought to stop me, but none of them lasted a single exchange as I carved my way through to Baelon. 

The Driftwood Crown flew off his head as it sailed off his shoulders, and though my work continued, I felt great satisfaction at killing the man. I slew all the fighting men in the castle before letting my soldiers in the front gate to end all the Ironborn boys, most of whom are too stupid to hide as thralls, not the most who did survived when their new 'peers' turned them in. 

By the time the Royal Fleet arrived we'd already finished the final solution a week prior when all the Drowned Priests on the islands - outside of Lonely Light - were brought to Old Wyk to kneel at the block placed between the great white ribs sticking out of the barren rock. The Fell Axe executed the Priesthood of an ancient god in the religion's holy of holies, and my power grew, the axe shivering in anticipation for the bloodletting on the last and most deeply magical of the Iron Islands. 

I hosted the King and his dower brother in Castle Pykes feasting hall, and presented them with the new Lords of the Iron Islands. Robert deepened his general inebriation after drinking through the ceremonies confirming thirty two new noble houses, seventeen of which are new Mormont branches like the Mormonts of Pyke under Galmar. As is the tradition on these dreary and grey rocks, whoever took them owns them until the Ironborn rise up once again, harder and stronger. It will be hard with just the few hundred Ironborn left on Harlaw to do that, especially as the the man knelt to pledge his loyalty to me and too my second son who now bore the Valyrian Steel sword of his family, Nightfall, taken from its former champion before we sent him to the Drowned God as chum. The King my have forgiven him his minor and reluctant role in the rebellion, but we made sure they paid a heavy price regardless.

Two of the three ships that escaped my trap will have settled in the Stepstones, soon to be culled when my fleet continues on its way to carry out our contract with Lys, and Euron will unman his own crew in his depravity. The only way for the Ironborn to ever return, harder and stronger, is if they fuck like Mormonts on Harlaw. Maybe the Maiden will come down to help them, as they practice the Faith of the Seven on on that island. 

I can hardly wait to get my hands on that goddess. I'll turn her into the Mother.

"Damn it, Mormont!" Robert shouted and smashed his mead horn on the hall floor, "I finally get the chance to do what the gods put me on this world to do, and you steal the war right out from under me!" 

"You are the king." I told him in a conspiratorial tone, "You need no opportunities for warfare. There's good cause to go to war with everyone across the world. You only need a plan and logistics." 

"By the gods, Mormont. Out with it, before you start sounding like the lickspittles that keep my arse polished back in King's Landing!" the drunk man shouted.

I grinned and leaned closer to the King, "How do you like the sound of sacking Slaver's Bay?" 


I had this idea of crushing the Iron Fleet against the defenses Jorah built on Bear Island for like a whole year, but I couldn't make it happen logistically. There was motive, but it was too stupid a call for even the Iron Born to make. But then the time came to write the chapter and a scene came down upon my mind from on high. Since when does Jorah Mormont allow his enemies to come to him? He is the one who knocks. 

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