What is my story? At the moment it is one of defeat, luckily for me against honorable men who spared my life. We have both suffered losses in this – you lost your old companion and I lost my dearly beloved. I am sure we have all lost someone we loved before, and it is life’s guarantee that we will lose someone again, and again, until finally it is we who are lost. But I prattle on…
Why did I attack you? Easy question and I guess easy enough answer. I attacked you because I feel the power of the thing you posses and I wanted to possess it myself. We first felt it awake a few days ago, something new and strange yet old and familiar. It appeared as clearly in my mind as did my beloved before you stole her from me. While she had life I could see what she saw, hear what she heard, feel what she felt and always know where and how she was. This thing – the crown – is the same. I see it, feel it, know it in my mind’s eye. We had not felt it before, but we feel it strongly now. All of us.
What is it? That I cannot answer. Something old, something powerful, something clearly from the time before the Free Folk were conquered by the invader’s steel and fire. I suspect I know what it is, but I cannot be sure. I think what the old man says is true – that it is connected to the legends of the Wolf King. I think it will help bring us glory, especially now that the days grow short again and the long nights of winter approach.
Who are we? Well, its true enough that my father is Lord of this place and also true I am his bastard. What the old man leaves out is that my mother, my dear departed mother, was one of the Free Folk and my ancestors on her side were people of the Wolfswood since the time before history. When I was cast out of my father’s house I chose to live in theirs, amongst the spirits of the woods and the other Old Gods, a decision I do not regret not even now that I have been dragged back.
What happens next? That I cannot be sure of. I hear you seek an audience with my aunt and again I agree with the old man, she will not smile when she sees me. She will be none too pleased that I have banded with the Free Folk and attacked my father’s soldiers, although to be fair I was not present when they died. I do not know her mind, I barely know my uncle’s wife, so I cannot predict what she will ask of you or of me.
But I do know what I would ask of you. I know the mines the old man speaks of, I can lead you there. I can follow the crown’s trail like a bonfire’s glow in the night, and maybe he is right and it does lead there. Maybe it does not, I do not know. What I do know is that no matter what you find there you are better off with me than without me, for it serves none of us for me to rot in my father’s dungeon. Let us leave the Motte first thing in the morning, before any audience with Lady Locke, and I will take you to these mines and council you the best I am able.
What will we find there? Stone, I suspect, cold stone and rough dirt and dark tunnels. Anything else I cannot guess, and am not foolish enough to try. Those hills are even more ancient than the Wolfswood, which has grown under their hard gaze since the Children of the Forests were babes in the gardens of the Old Gods.