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Jorg Ancrath

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1 Jorg Ancrath on Sun May 04, 2014 8:52 am



Other Knights Serve Lords from whom They Hold their Lands

Jorg Honorous Ancrath

The Shamrock Knight
The Anvil’s Sword




Allegiance to House:
House Tyrell

Role to House:
Hedge Knight

Jorg is a man living up to that esteemed middle name his father so boldly gave him upon his first nameday for his heart is as pure as his intentions are honorable. Grown up in a village too small for cartographers to even bother putting it on a map, he grew up hearing the stories of gallant knights and heroic kings who rode out into the seven kingdoms performing great deeds. Those stories he grew up with and to those stories he’s trying to live up to today, making him devote his entire life to the adventures found on the open roads of Westeros. Courage and honor are the pillars he’s build his life on, always pursuing justice and the righteous path just like his father had demanded of his son. He always speaks the truth and if such words would bring harm or shame to a person he’d rather keep his lips sealed than insult or harm those to whom the spoken words are directed. Justice is truly a bane he seeks to uphold, for in these turbulent times it takes figures such as himself to uphold the king’s law.

Contrary to popular believe, the crest upon his suit of armor and that painted upon his shield are not of noble descent but rather the result of his own ambition. Being born in the lowly circles of society with a future no greater than the craft practiced by his own father and that man’s father before him, Jorg grew up in humility and poverty. Those harsh years have resulted in a young yet ambitious man that knows better than most what it truly is what the people seek. He knows the woes and sorrows of the common man, understanding the bitter sting of famine and that embrace of fear that keep the average citizen of Westeros captive day after day. He knows peasants don’t care about who sits in the Iron Throne or who reigns as their overlord, instead Jorg sees the world through the eyes of the common man, letting him better understand and serve those a knight swears to protect. This understanding makes him a better man morally speaking than those nobles with their fancy titles and mighty holdfasts for he’s stood amongst those people, shared in their suffering and faced their worries and because of it he has become a better sword than any.

Still all heroes however pure and precious their intentions may be are not without their flaws and Jorg is no exception to that rule. With youth comes foolishness and idealism that has no place in a practical world such as the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Always wanting to trust people and believe in the best despite the evidence are two good traits to get a man killed in a world filled with traitors and liars. His kind heart leaves him vulnerable to the horrors of war as his gentle nature will perhaps not be able to handle the atrocities witnessed in the heat of battle. All his life he based his believes upon the fables of roaming knights the bards sang about in the local tavern about heroics and love always forgetting that such tales all came with exaggerations and utter lies making him forget about the blood, gore and cruelties that came in the reality behind those tales. The picture in his mind may prove a bitter disappointment compared to the grim nature of the road ahead.

Take away the armor, the sword and the young blacksmith’s son’s ambition to become a true knight and what’s left is a teenager following his dreams. Jorg has always been an idealist, a dreamer who’d hoped to change the world and protect the weak as the heroic stories of ancient knights go. He’s a commoner’s son without any real prospect for a title or land but then again that doesn’t seem to matter to him as all Jorg cares about is a legacy. He’d die one hundred times if it would make his name become the subject of songs that last through the ages. He’d fight a dozen wars and duel one thousand champions if the archives would hold his name eternally like it does for Duncan the Tall and Knight of the Pussywillows. He doesn’t need a noble sigil or some ancestral blade to call his home, not even a line to continue throughout the ages for Jorg only seeks his own heroic song to join the world. He seeks glory, honor and the love of some beautiful maiden that blesses him with a single kiss.

Physical Description:
It’s said that the smallest of villages produce the rarest of gems and the lad known as Jorg Honorous Ancrath could easily be considered one of the brightest of them all. Blessed with an able young body, fit and strong by genetic luck Jorg is a handsome man by anyone’s standards. Steely blue eyes sharp as an eagle’s and confident sit upon a boyishly charming expression dominated by the gentlest of smiles. Hair dark like the ancient black walnut trees that stood just outside the village’s borders has been properly groomed, while both beard and moustache have been trimmed to but a faint shadow. A jaw just a bit too wide with cheeks slightly shallow make for a charismatic face that people can confide in, a face people remember for in those steely blue eyes they at last found hope. His smile as perfect as a fresh flake of snow tumbling at the coming of winter makes one briefly forget all worries and troubles life has put in their way. It’s that face that people will songs about, about the kind knight from a tiny village just outside the Uplands who came to the aid of the common man. This is what Jorg’s charming warm expression brings to the people, wherever he goes, whomever he meets.

Years of working at his father’s forge have turned his arms wiry and strong with hands that possess an iron grip needed to wield a sword. Shoulders broad sit atop a toned chest that defines his charismatic triangular profile as the width of his body slims towards the bottom. Delicate lines and muscle definitions subtly tangible beneath that soft sun tanned skin are evidence to his good health and athletic talents honed through repetitive training and hard labor. Legs long and solid are made for riding though not so much that they’d forgotten the strain that traveling afoot brings. Everything physically about Jorg has been dedicated to his ambitions to become a knight yet still it gives away his humble upbringings in subtle details only discovered by those who bother looking for them. There are traces of old blisters in the palm of his hands, the result of vigorously pounding red hot steel into shape on the anvil; a natural tan tell people Jorg has spent too much time on the road beneath the warm sun of the Reach. The calluses on his feet tell of his months’ journey afoot before he could afford the luxury of a horse but all these subtle tells are obvious traces of a commoner’s past.

For information about his choice of cloths, see the weapons/armor of choice section!

Powers and Abilities:
Born a blacksmith’s son may have brought this poor hedge knight at least one talent worth bragging about for Jorg might just be the only knight in Westeros who could actually repair and even smith his own armor and sword. Though his craftsmanship has been neglected in the face of his higher ambitions, there’s no denying that the Ancrath son still has a strong hand on the anvil. He can strike iron and bend steel, as good as any blacksmith in the Reach though his hand lacks the patience and experience to entrust the metal with lavish decorations and details. For a wandering knight on the road this skill however proves to be most useful as Jorg handles his own repairs and mends what little he can scavenge to sell at the local markets. For a poor soldier this talent is a swift way to replenish his purse and return to those places where his sword and skill is most needed.

Jorg however is still new to the knighting ways, meaning all those legendary skills described in the old stories are still crude and in need of honing to his hand. It will maybe take years to perfect his skills for battle but the lad has proven to be a quick learner despite being without one to teach him. With a sword in the palm of his hand Jorg has already proven to be an able man proven against veteran soldiers, yet there is always room for improvement. With a bow he’s no better than the average hunter but his aim is steady and his eye keen to spot his target before they move within his range. With his shield he can stop a raging bull dead in its tracks though for battle his ways may still be too flourished, too embellished to prove efficient. With only a handful of victories assigned to his name, most fair duels fought one on one against those seeking to evade justice, it’s only a matter of time before Jorg’s skill in battle will be put to the test when one entrusts him with a place upon the battlements…

On a horse however Jorg proved to be a natural as it appeared the lad had a talent for sitting in the saddle feet secured in the stirrups. Even on the back of the poor man’s mount he picked up from a modest town outside of Sunflower Hall, Jorg is a skilled horseman with a rare gift for jousting. Many smaller tournament victories throughout the Reach have been attributed to his name, the Shamrock Knight having begun his quest for glory. There’s prestige and honor to be gained on the field of those events, making Jorg seek out tournament after tournament to prove his skills to all doubters and those rejecting common blood amongst their noble ranks. Give Jorg a lance, a shield and any horse strong enough to bear his weight and the Anvil’s Sword will claim victory in any duel performed on horseback. The rush of a swift gallop, the impact of lance shattering on shield and armor, the roar of the crowd as one is announced victor, those are the delicate notes that sound like music to his ears.

Curious enough for Jorg had always invested all his time in honing his knightly skills, he was blessed with a bard’s voice that sings in the deep melancholic notes of the old bards. It’s a talent unlike any other in his arsenal, without a use in battle but a purpose in his life regardless as his own tales are put to song from the tip of his own tongue. He’ll sing upon his journey for only the wilderness around him to witness, saving his songs for the ladies he seeks affection from. His lyrical aptitude has its merits, a way to distract his mind along the long moments of solace on the open roads and a way to woe the women far above his station. In fact it might just be a way for his legend to be born, not perhaps how intended but the song of the Shamrock Knight must start somewhere.

In a fair duel like the one’s noblemen are entitled to when facing trial Jorg is a decent choice to champion on your behalf for his sword is strong and righteous, driven by honor and wielded by a strong moral compass. In a setting where one is to abide the ancient knightly rules, he’ll be an opponent to watch as Jorg is driven and motivated to prove his hand against any who’d deny him the opportunity. When an injustice is done, one can be certain Jorg will rise to the occasion to defend the weak and restore the King’s law. In a tournament were theatrics and spectacle are as much part of the game as the actual military skill needed to claim victory, Jorg is an able hand who can rival the most famed knights in the Seven Kingdoms, especially from the comfort of his saddle.

Above all things Jorg still remains a commoner pretending to be a noble knight, which means he’s brutally unaware of how things truly go in those circles. All he knows about being a knight came from the songs of bards and tales around campfires so how could he know about the corruption and downfall of that once glorious title. He still plays by the rules that date back to the rise of the first kings and the very beginning of noble houses. Defend the weak, serve your lord and uphold justice while always remaining courteous and strong in the face of danger. However beautiful those words may be, it also means Jorg has no true grasp of what it means to be a knight in these days, where kings are murdered by their guard and knights plunder and rape in the name of their esteemed lords. The times have changed but Jorg will not hear it.

His greatest weakness in his ambitious hopes however come in a far more common issue than one might imagine: coin. Being born but a lowly blacksmith’s son in a tiny village no bigger than a handful of old farmhouses huddled together limits the contents of his purse to a few coppers spared over long years. Most of his time better used for training has to be invested in mending steel and making trinkets to be sold on markets so that when the time comes for the next tournament, Jorg can afford the entree fee. He can’t afford changing horses at the rate the wind turns, can’t afford a new suit of armor each time he takes a bad hit in battle and for that he’ll never be respected by the nobles bearing knightly titles. Without coin there’s no opportunity to rise the ranks, how to fund an army or even to secure a hold which are three crucial elements any knight ought to attain.

Weapons of Choice:
Designed and crafted at his father’s own forge, Jorg created the deathly tool of his trade with his own two hands. A standard long sword about the length of a grown man’s arm sits secure in the scabbard at his belt with the iconic motive of the Reach etched in its pommel. A rose was carefully etched on the sword’s grip, the guard protecting Jorg’s hand by the two gilded leaves mounted atop the handle. Don’t mistake the gilded details for gold, for such luxuries this young hedge knight cannot afford. It’s actually plain copper that sits in those crude details as it’s already starting to show that suggestive hint of green from corrosion. Otherwise the steel of the blade itself is strong and the edge sharpened to deathly properties fit to part a man from his head or any limb unfortunate enough to stand in its path. Polished to a silvery shine the blade has a certain look of grandeur added to its steel for such is expected of a hero they sing songs about for Jorg knows the value of a proper sword.

Armor of Choice:
Most knights take great pride in the price they’ve paid for their own suit of armor, though Jorg takes pride in the thought of having made it himself. Out of plate steel he bended and mended the metal to the exact measurements of his own body, tailoring each hinge and fitting to his own design. For days he’d stand by the blazing hot forge, tempering the steel and hardening the metal until it suited his taste. Then he’d work it with patience and care, pounding and striking hard the plates into the right curve. The gorget guards his neck from any overhead blows, pauldrons keeping his shoulders safe while a breastplate protects his vitals from harm. On his left arm, his shield arm for that matter he prepared a full metal sleeve consisting out of all the essential armor parts needed to keep him secure whereas his sword arm is kept light in mail and a steel gauntlet. The details on the steel is primitive, but not by lack of trying as Jorg simply lacked the delicacy his father possessed for patterning and etching metal. So don’t expect richly decorated pictures set upon the armor, nor complex painted figures found on most knight armor, Jorg still remains but a plain hedge knight.

Off all Jorg’s possessions none speak to the imagination as much as the tournament shield he carries around every day. The round shield tailored to his own design was the last collaboration between father and son back at the family forge, the metal strengthened under the joined hammer of Jorg and his old man. Ironwood imported from the far north was cut and chiseled in shape before half an inch thick steel was stamped and bend upon the shield’s frame. Tempered steel ensures a near fool-proof defense against enemy attacks while the sun shaped design speaks to the imagination that would be at the foundation of his legend. The brightness of the metal captures the sunlight and bends it towards his enemies to blind them just like the source it came from. The two bursts of fire portraits on opposite ends of the horizontal shield line are sharpened to perfection, vicious enough to cleave a hair in half. Everything about this shield is the result of a joined collaboration as Jorg’s love for theatrics reside in the design while his father’s masterful hand provided the necessary details for his legend…

On his fourteenth nameday, a day viewed in the Reach as the moment a boy enters adulthood, Jorg received a present that would pave the road to his dreams. Father with what little coin he’d saved over all these years had bought him a horse. Not a fine horse like the destrier rode into battle, not even a courser of dubious breeding but when Jorg received his own Rounsey called Red Kent. The name seemed to suit to horse as Jorg’s steed was none other than the old war horse farmer Kent recovered beyond the borders of his land, flanks covered in blood as it remained the sole survivor to a raider party. The horse has seen better days, that much is obvious as Red Kent’s gait resembles more a common trot while it’s gallop may very well be a glorified pace. Its brown coat has grown bewildered and patched, almost as if the domestic nature of the animal had been forfeit by the tragedy it witnessed prior to Jorg making this steed appear more savage. His manes longer than appropriate still have that strong black shine to them that suggest this horse was once something to be genuinely proud off…

Background History:
Cheerful was the lot on this warm eve at the end of the Long Summer as the Dancing Piglet tavern outside Uplands had filled to twice its capacity. At every table there sat at least four men too many, the benches near breaking under the weight of the gathered town folk from all nearby settlements. Here near the mountains west of the Torentine river there were many such villages just a huddle of farms gathered around a clearing that the locals considered a town square. Most of those villages only houses a handful of people, most families who’d been there for generations, too fond of their isolation to venture to the more crowded cities in the Reach. The Dancing Piglet was the only inn in miles around the community of Uplands where House Mullendore reigned. Today however it seemed all from the nearby villages had gathered here on this evening to hear the bard sing his wonderful fables and heroic tales. The bard himself sat in the very center of the tavern, in the narrow clearing made amidst the tables on a stage made from a low table draped in velvet green cloth. The bard was a gray man, with a face wrinkled by the years and hair thinned out to the point where only a few stands remained on the top of his head. Despite his age the man still caught the fascination of the people as he sat there on a bar stool set high upon that table. Rich were the jewels he’d burdened himself with as precious gems twinkled like stars against the deep emerald velvets of his tunic. Gloves out of silk and boots out of snake skin made for a curious picture yet all the guests that night went silent as the bard cleared his throat. “Gather around, gather around for only tonight you’ll hear the wondrous tale of the Shamrock Knight” And so from the first line he sung, the truth had been bend for the first time as the bard had told this tale at least a dozen times before. The children had huddled around the stage, seated at their parents feet as they stare in awe as the man continued with his honeyed voice and the company of soft strings played by nimble fingers. “Gather around, gather around for the tale is about to commence as it was meant to be for we’re gathered here today where his legend first begun…” And so with the crowd silenced and all attention directed to the bard the heroic tale of the Shamrock Knight, Jorg Honorous Ancrath begun…

Gathered in the Dancing Piglet, a storm outside raining down bitter cold waters with winds screaming between the mountain tops, the council and their children had gathered to cast their vote on who’ll lead their settlement towards the next prosperous harvest. Every year upon the eve of the longest night the people from the village north of Uplands came here to host the ceremony of picking their mayor. Last year it had been Edmund, the town’s butcher who wore the chain and now he was the most promising candidate. Every year the man stepped forward and for the past ten years it had been his chain to wear and his village to govern. This far in the mountains by Uplands there were no knights or lords invested in the welfare of the local people. The Reach had apparently forgotten about this corner of their realm yet still the village prospered under their own rule. The gavel struck upon the wooden table facing the villagers calling for silence and order. Edmund started as he did every year, the same nonsense voiced and the same promises made before the same people. One young lad however didn’t take all those words for granted, weighing them against his own moral code. There he sat in the shadows, hands still blistered from a day’s worthy of labor at the anvil and sooth still dark upon his expression. Edmund had noticed yet paid no heed to the blacksmith’s son as all in the village knew him to be an idealist and dreamer. Youth came hand in hand with ambition and such was a deathly combination in a town frozen in time. Then the ceremony began, hands extended for each candidate for the mayor’s chain with each time more candidates withdrawing until only two remained. This year just like the past years of the last decade only Edmund the butcher and Bjorn the blacksmith remained. And before the final votes were cast on both contenders for the price, Jorg had walked out of the tavern with a loud bang…

Outside the air was cool as the storm raged on just beyond the shelter of the porch. Jorg loathed coming to these annual meetings. Every year it was the same charade as the butcher pretended to host a fair election while all in the village knew he’d purchased the people’s votes with fresh cuts of meat. Father had always been the better candidate but for a blacksmith in a town where there was little need for his craft his chances of winning were nil. Still the man endured the humiliation each year with a brave face and faced the mockery afterwards when victory was snagged from his hands. Jorg didn’t take the corruption so calmly. Last year alone he’d tossed a pewter goblet at Edmund’s head to voice his opinion. The year before that he’d called out the injustice only to meet the villager’s laughter at his childish outburst. Today he’d simply walked away rather than face the insult again. Jorg had stepped outside into the cold rain hoping that it might cleanse his mind of the anger raging within. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right yet who’d listen to the blacksmith’s son? As his cloths quickly drank their fill of the icy rain, clinging to his body like a frigid blanket from which there was no escape, Jorg turned towards the night sky. A star fell from the heavens, streaking a brilliant light across the impregnable darkness that even the clouds could not hide. “Make a wish Jorg, the Seven will know you’ve earned it”, came the timid words behind him as a blonde girl about his age stepped out onto the porch of the tavern. Jorg didn’t need to turn around to know to whom that voice belonged. Alice, the butcher’s daughter stood there, more beautiful than ever as her blonde hair hung like waves of gold against her pale blue dress. “Go inside Alice, your father will want his precious daughter at his side when he celebrates another year as our beloved mayor.” His voice carried poison in each word spoken but all could tell his heart wasn’t truly in it. There was no evil to be found in the heart of Jorg Honorous Ancrath, only shadows of other men’s vices. “Let him wait, I’d rather stand in the pouring rain with you than hear him boast over another flagon of ale.” And suddenly Jorg felt a warmth at his back as Alice pressed her delicate form against him. Her hand reach for his cheek, making him turn face until Jorg looked into those sapphire blue eyes. “When will you tell him…” But before Jorg could finish his sentence, she’d pulled him into a kiss…

Dawn crept over the mountain tops just outside Uplands, the sun chasing away the shadows of the night past. The nightingale song was replaced by the adamant chipper of precious songbirds only found in the Reach as their melody woke up the couple entangled in the silk sheets. Forbidden love had taken place here and yet both parties involved could care less. They were young and in love, too eager to share the bed and too tired of listening to the boring grownups telling them what to do. Jorg was always the first to wake, the last however to walk from the bed as he’d grown fond of these private moments. Atop a sand toned bear pelt she slept peacefully, the swell of her chest rising and dropping with each gentle breath taken. From the silk sheets one of her legs rested naked, drawing the eye to the natural curve of her body; even asleep she’d attained her dignity with only her shoulders bared from the covers. Jorg brushed aside the long tangle of golden hair, exposing the elegant line of her neck. He leaned in gently, careful not to disturb her dreams. Her perfume, lavender oil and jasmine welcomed his lips as Jorg woke her up with a lover’s kiss. “Well ain’t this the wake-up a lady can boast about, lover.” Alice turned in the sheets facing Jorg as she ended her sentence with a deep kiss that would make any man’s heart skip a beat. Words didn’t do the moment justice and the affairs of the heart had always been too beloved to put to songs. In the end Alice and Jorg was happy, truly and deeply happy in these borrowed moments. In the end there was only one thing missing and that was this love could never take place in broad daylight. Her father and his had been rivals since the dawn of time and a blacksmith’s son simply wouldn’t do for the wealthiest daughter in the village. What was missing was one clear answer, one defined word to assure a man there was hope for them. And right before the morning arrived he’d ask that same question when he slipped from her window. The same question he’d asked upon the eve of their first kiss. When will you tell him your decision?” But never would he hear her answer…

In the noble words of the Lords of Winterfell, Winter was coming by the time Alice had found her voice again. The long summer had approached its end though only a few here in the Reach would notice that faint nip in the wind. Jorg had been distracting himself from Alice’s absence by working long and hard at his father’s forge. Still whispers tend to reach all in a small town like this and even the pounding of hammer upon steel couldn’t drown out the rumors. Alice was to wed some noble’s third son from House Footley, Edmund himself had announced the betrothal. By the Seven Hells he’d almost shouted it over the rooftops how many gold he’d be getting for his daughter’s dowry; like she was some common harlot to be sold to the highest bidder. Jorg caught himself getting angry again, the red glowing steel intended to be a sword stuck too heavenly. The metal was ruined and the damage could never be undone but it didn’t make him feel any better about things. In the red glow of the coals and the smoke filled ambiance of the forge he’d often lost himself in his own thoughts but today even the pain of the burns couldn’t temper his thoughts. He kept seeing her face, in the brilliant flames, in the basin of icy water, even in the smoke coiling at the ceiling. That smile he’d once adored, that he still adored now a mocking ghost of his imagination staring back at him. But what could he do, she were to wed a man destined to become a knight, a highborn noble with more coin in his purse than Jorg could ever hope to save in a lifetime. “Pretending that steel is me?” Jorg was caught by surprise as the all too familiar voice timidly called out somewhere at his back. Right now he couldn’t face her, he couldn’t live to see the woman he loved say her farewells. “I guess I can’t hold it against you. I’ve always loved you but it wasn’t my decision. Father only told me yesterday about the arrangement.” Her honeyed voice continued yet their meaning left a bitter taste in his mouth. Jorg wanted to scream, to cry, even to fight but sorrow kept him frozen at the anvil. “What are you making anyways? There’s none in town who has use for a sword, not even a broken one…” She’d been right at that but Jorg’s voice remained trapped in the back of his throat as he stared upon the broken halves of his latest creation. Maybe there had been someone in this village in need of a sword but right now Jorg feared even his own intentions…

The days had started to grow shorter and the wind grew ever colder as the first hints of winter reached the secluded village outside of Uplands. The harvest festival had taken a new direction this year as the colored banners had all been replaced by snow white ribbons fanning in the wind. The barrels of mead all replaced by fine imported Dornish wine courtesy of House Footly from Tumbleton because today was a special occasion: the wedding between Alice and the Footly son. The music echoed through the streets, people gathered around the town square dressed in their finest but one person couldn’t be bothered. Jorg had been dreading this day since the awkward farewell at the forge. Today would be the darkest day in his life but his attendance had been requested. One last favor for Alice before the young lovers would continue their life apart, but that would be a lie as Jorg had made it his responsibility to meet her groom to be. With purpose Jorg navigated the hectic streets, pushing his way through the crowd and dodging the guards Edmund had recruited to keep the raffle out. And with raffle he’d intended Jorg, the blacksmith’s son who’d always had too much eye for his beloved daughter. Still Jorg grew up here so he knew these streets like the inside of his pocket. Turning the corner, down the alley, up the roof of old Miller Gaul and double back across the narrow terraces that flanked main street. He’d already spotted the fellow dressed in all black; one might even think him a runaway from the Wall, never guessing he was actually the groom to be. “I was expecting you to show. My dear Alice mentioned you’d want a word with me before the ceremony. Jorg Honorous Ancrath, right?” Jorg silenced the man with a simple gesture, a mere shrug of the shoulder enough to toss his cloak back far enough for the lad to see the knife strapped to his side. “I just want to know one thing. Will you keep her safe, care for her and provide for her? I don’t need you to love her, just respect her or else…” The lad smiled at the empty treat. Alice must have told her betrothed about Jorg’s gentle heart but regardless the man bowed his head in acceptance to the terms. “I swear so with the Seven as my witness to honor and respect the girl you’re in love with. I know I’ll always come second and that her heart truly belongs here with you. She told me to give you something, said you’d know what it means…” And so the Footly son handed over a package wrapped in burlap. Jorg knew what set within the rough cloth. He’d always known what was in this poisoned farewell package for only Alice knew him better than anyone in the Seven kingdoms. She’d known of his hopes, his dreams and his ambitions. All it took was that one push in the right direction, away from Uplands, away from this stone huddle of a town. And she’d did so the only way she knew how, by cutting the only tie that kept him bound to this village: herself. So Jorg walked away, a tear caught in the corner of his eye as his fingers unfastened the string on that mysterious parcel. Hidden beneath the burlap the corner of a cloak emerged, emerald with a golden shamrock hand sown at the collar. She’d remembered, after all these years she’d still not forgotten that his favorite game had been pretending to be a knight bearing the shamrock sigil Alice had drawn in the corner of each book page in her father’s library. In her own way Alice wasn’t saying goodbye, just telling him to rise to challenge and become what he was destined to be…

And so the bard concluded his song but none of his audience applauded or even moved. All of them were still waiting for the heroics coming next. Each of the children sat at the edge of their chair ominously close to tipping over in their anticipation for what was yet to come. The men, most with a drunken blush on their expression gritted their teeth in bitter disappointment while the women present all tried to hide the tears they’d spilled over the tragic tale. But the bard didn’t care, having succeeded in his intend to capture their undivided attention with a story which end still needed to be written. They’d come and seek him out in due time, not letting go of the fable haunting their dreams with the burning question of “What happened next?”. The children would grow up much like the character in his story, making their own decisions while all the time keeping this tale in the back of their minds about the common blacksmith’s son choosing his own path. Would he become a knight? Would he kill the man wedded to his beloved? Would he roam the Seven Kingdoms in pursuit of honor and glory, trying to live up to the promise made to the girl left behind? Only time would turn dreams and ideals into facts and history for the world is full of opportunity if only one dares to write their own story and venture beyond the familiar borders towards the great unknown. With all those questions taking root in the hearts of his audience the bard rose to his feet and walked away into the darkness of the night…

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…But I serve where I will, for men whose causes we believe in

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