Above the Rest | An ASOIAF fic | featuring House Mallister
[warning: ASOS spoilers]
The rope was loose round Patrek’s neck until Black Walder Frey shoved him to the ground. Were his hands not shackled behind his back, Patrek would have grasped for the rope as it dug into his flesh, would have attempted to wrench it away or at least keep it from crushing his windpipe.
“It will be the gallows next, Lord Mallister,” Black Walder called out across the bridge to Jason Mallister, indicating the platform that had been constructed behind them, “if you do not yield.”
Over the bridge, his father wavered. The rope started to truly inhibit Patrek’s breathing and he could barely make out the precise movements of Lord Jason, but he knew the ruler of Seagard well enough to know what the back and forth pacing meant.
He cannot yield, he must not yield, Patrek thought. What have we fought for, what were our men, our comrades, killed for—if we yield?
“Go,” Patrek wheezed, falling forward slightly, “t’…” He blinked, his eyes watering and bulging, “sev’n…” He saw stars. “…hells.”
“Your son thinks this is a game,” Black Walder laughed, “I assure you the Freys do not play games—not like your Young Wolf,” he said derisively.
Your Young Wolf. My King. My friend. The face of Robb Stark danced before Patrek’s eyes, fading into the bloodied head of the direwolf Greywind. He fell face first to the ground and then came the faces of his other battle companions—Norrey, Smalljon, Lady Dacey, Marq Piper…
I would be with them, he thought, I would be…He writhed on the wooden planks of the bridge as he floated in and out of consciousness.
At this sight, and with a strangled sob, Lord Jason fell to his knees. “I yield. House Mallister yields.”
Over his father’s declaration, Patrek whimpered, “No,” even as the noose was loosed from his neck.
In the distance, the bell in the Booming Tower sounded. Once the warning signal for attacks on the coast, the hollow echo now only served to mock Seagard’s former masters.