Cloak & Dagger The Assassins' Guild - Week 5 News

Sunday, 21 February

[00:00 AM] Invoking the power of the Lord of Light, Jon Snow kills Ser Melisandre (Jon Adlam) from a distance

Jon Snow reports: Ser Melisandre strayed too far from the civilization, and has paid the price.

[15:00 PM] Jon Snow accompanies General Tapioca and General Alcazar to take down edgy hype beast (Harry Sarson)

[16:00 PM] General Tapioca (Alexis de Vivenot) and Shrimad Rajachandra (Armand de Durfort) double kill on Jesus Green.

General Alcazar reports:

Ay Caramba, what a disaster! After a successful hit on Mr Sarson, General Tapioca and I went to thees suspicious meeting on Jesus Green. After some initial wandering I began to be pursued, warned by mi amigo. But having lain in wait for them to come by, I find instead that they go after mi amigo... communications breakdown means I arrive too late to save heem but shoot hee's already dead assailant, for good measure. Adios, amigo mio.

Jon Snow reports:

After hearing about a mysterious meeting arranged by the so-called "Cheep cheep", I went with Eddard Stark to Jesus Green, to see if anything was happening. We immediately spotted Shrimad Rajachandra standing some distance off with an accomplice, and our suspicions were confirmed when on walking towards them they beat a hasty retreat, only stopping when we identified ourselves.

We then returned to the centre of the green, and after a few minutes I spotted two black-cloaked individuals with some device allowing them far-sight of the open space. They proceeded up a side-way to approach the two already in view, but when spotted, although in contact via some maesterial trick, they failed to coordinate, and General Alcazar fled, leaving General Tapioca to be hit first in the leg, and then the chest, by Shrimad Rajachandra, who himself was struck down in the moment of his victory.

And then General Alcazar, having seen nothing of this from the bush in which he had been hiding, came and shot Shrimad Rajachandra's corpse, unaware that he had already been mortally wounded.

[19:30 PM] Eddard Stark delivers the justice of the King in the North, executing Osney Kettleblack (Daniel Chiverton)

Ned rose to his feet and bowed deeply to the weirwood. The red outline of a weeping face stared back at him. Catelyn always found this place unnerving, but they were Ned's gods and this place, away from the hustle and bustle of the town, always gave him a sense of peace. Peace was sorely needed in these times, when the world had changed so much as to be virtually unrecognisable to him. He'd just had word that the Others had come close to breaching Castle Black with their wights. Bran had been slightly wounded, but had taken control of an auroch and stampeded the herd across the wights, saving the gate. Jon had seemed strangely unconcerned when he told him, but that was very much Jon these days. Ned rubbed his shoulder, which was healing, although he was still unable to raise his arm above his head. Jon and him had been sparring a few weeks previously, and had failed to pull his blows, which had punctured Ned's hauberk in more than one place. This was after he'd sprinted across a packed street to where Ned stood with a pair of guardsmen, fired a crossbow bolt (which had missed), knocked Ned out with a club and then had only been prevented from reloading by the intervention of the guard, who had shot padded quarrels to stop him. Ned had still to get a decent explanation for that particular horseplay.

Ser Gareth had warned him to be on his guard around Jon, said he'd seen people go like him before, maddened by their connection to the animals around them (although he was strangely reluctant to say precisely where he had seen this). Ned had had none of it. Jon was of his blood, Ned had known him from a babe and feared him not. Nevertheless, he had doubled the guard around Jon- mostly to ward him from external harm, following a spate of attacks from animal and man alike, but a little bit to protect him from himself as well.

His long stride took him swiftly into the darkened streets. The weeks had turned fast, every day bring new casualties, more candidates for the Silent Sisters. Of the dozens who had come to Winterfell, seeking glory, only a bare handful were left. Some had died to knives in the dark, others in broad daylight. He'd had word that some duels had been waged with crossbows, of which he approved. Some had succumbed to attack from animals- there'd been news of a large cat stalking the streets, uttering piteous mewlings and then devouring any that approached. One had been vanquished with lightning from a clear sky, to the shock of all who were in the tavern at a time- he'd been burned clean off his stool, with nary a scorch mark to show he'd been there. Gareth had had occasion to murder a few of the less competent ones and had been retelling a story involving a latrine from some days now, along with some rather less amusing remarks regarding Ned's age and lack of combat prowess. He hoped that this night would bring an opportunity to balance the scales, in an inn which he frequented. One of the ones deemed unworthy to travel north with Bran frequented there, and the lamb and ale stew was also rather good.

Checking the knives in their sheaths (Gareth had informed him that Ice was rather unsubtle, although Ned's back felt naked without it), he swung open the door and was greeted with the quiet murmur of noise from within. It was approaching closing time, but he caught the barmaid's eye- a southerner by her look, not long in the city. Probably fleeing the troubles south. A platter of the stew was rapidly procured, as Ned reminisced about the fight he'd seen earlier that day. A mysterious message had appeared on the message post inviting all of the surviving assassins to a duel just out of the main town. Four men had answered the call, two a pair of Candidates known as the 'Generals', the other one with an ally who was otherwise uninvolved. The conflict was swift and furious, resulting in the deaths of all but one of the assassins, notwithstanding the rapid-fire miniature crossbows carried by the Generals, one of whom was cut down by a conventional bolt just as his own took the other in the chest. They'd buried them where they died, kicked blood over the snow and shed no tears. The land north of the Wall is a harsher mistress than any combat.

Ned looked around again. There. He was certain of it. Osney Kettleblack, a sellsword who was the only one of his brothers to make it through the First Battle for Deep Den. He'd come north looking for riches and rewards, answering the ravens sent to all the keeps of Westeros. It was a shame he'd spent too much of his time admiring the sights of Winterfell, and though some had fallen to his blade, Jon had not deemed it enough. Ned stood as unobtrusively as possible, and shifted toward his table, as if he were making to pass by to another person. As he reached Kettleblack's back, in one swift movement he drew the knife and thrust it between his ribs. The man collapsed, looking surprised. The rest of the table reacted in shock, drawing their own daggers. Ned pushed back his hood, and spoke to the now-silent tavern.

"Friends, one and all. You know me."

A Braavosi spoke up from opposite the dead man. "I do indeed know you, Ned Stark, Lord of Winterfell. Is this the way in your town? Murder of citizens as they eat?"

"You do not yet know our ways, friend. This man was tested, and proved lacking. The justice of the King in the North has now been executed. Now, if you will excuse me. Four more must die before we have our guide in our desperate last hope to prevent the ending of the world, and the consumption of all Westeros in ice and in fire."

With that, he swirled his cloak around him, nodded to the barmaid who was now covered in lamb-and-ale stew, and departed to his chambers, where Catelyn awaited him.

Saturday, 27 February

[21:00 PM] Some final (?) pre-duel poetry.

Alex H.'s Second-Worst Nightmare... (his worst nightmare is the Umpire's poetry) reports:

The sky is dark, the ground is kissed
By lamp-light glimm'ring in the haze
Of evening's dark and hopeless mist
As endless night shrouds wintry days.

My footsteps, catlike, tread as light
As flowers that reach with desperate hand
And stretch with fingers bare, to fight
The grip of winter's cold command.

I walk each passage, every sense
A-tingle for betrayal's sound
To echo from the walls so tense
And strike me down upon the ground -

But nothing strikes: no gun, no sword,
No touch of killer's hand so cruel:
Assassins five await the word
With which the Umpire calls the duel.

Atop an ancient tower, I see
A window with a lamp aglow
This is no beacon safe for me:
Here hides an enemy, I know.

The one I stalked through market's throng
That did so many innocents hold;
The one I did pursue for long
Across the grasslands bleak and cold;

The one I once tracked down, and met
In quiet streets, to deal his fate.
But then I was with fear beset -
And fled! - and then returned - too late!

O adversaries four, I know
Your faces all: my blade is keen
To duel and to strike the blow
Which wins true glory for the Queen.

O enemy I've met three times,
Thrice made to kill, thrice stayed my gun,
Know this one fact from all my rhymes:
You live just to prolong the fun.

O Umpire, you that wields the power
To grant and shatter mortal lives,
I pray you: institute the hour
Of duelling for which we strive!

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