The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

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The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-04-19 04:48am

I admit I had a lot of fun writing this. No real plan for a longer story, I might post a few more shorts, I might not. For now, consider it a stand alone piece. Because if there's one city more corrupt than Gotham, its this one.


He ran down the winding streets of Fleabottom, his limbs burning, his chest heaving. He felt that he was going to collapse at any moment, but he dared not stop, could not stop. He tripped over a drunk, or possibly a body, lying sprawled at the entrance to an alley. He skinned his hands, but barely felt it, scrambling to his feet and running on, leaving a boot behind on the rain-slicked mud of the narrow street.

That thing. Oh, Gods, that thing. Lord Petyr Baelish had never been much of one to believe in magic or demons, or in anything except the frailty of men and his own cleverness, but that creature... He shuddered. He'd been relaxing in one of his several brothels, appraising the skills of a pretty auburn girl of some fifteen years, when something had crashed through the walls of the common room downstairs. He'd strode from the room to tell his men to deal with whatever drunken fool was causing a disturbance, when he'd seen thick smoke pouring up the stairs, then heard the clash of steel on steel, and the screams of men and women. Before he could do anything, one of his men, Royce he thought his name was, had come stumbling up the stairs. He was a tall, heavy-set man, more muscle than fat, used to casual violence, and smart enough to know when to keep his mouth shut. He was reliable muscle, as these things went, but as he staggered toward Baelish, his eyes were wide with terror, his face bruised and dripping blood. He'd been half-way up the stairs, his mouth opening to utter a plea- then a black cord had coiled around his leg and with a scream he'd been yanked back down into the smokey chaos below. That had been enough for Petyr, and he'd bolted out the back, mingling with the terrified patrons and girls as they fled the building. But looking back, he had seen a figure standing in the second-floor window of the room he'd just left, man-shaped but all in black, its head crowned with pointed ears or horns as it spread great black wings behind it. He'd heard the rumours: stories of a knight in black who protected the innocent, or a demon that drank the blood of the guilty. Foolish stories, he'd thought, to comfort gullible Smallfolk with little food and less hope, or made up by some drunken thugs or Goldcloaks to explain why they'd been beaten into a bloody pulp. He hadn't believed. Until the story came to life. So he'd run, with no thought but to get as far away from that thing as possible.

He felt a sharp pain as something wrapped around his leg, then he was yanked into the air, the Earth shrinking away beneath him, until he dangled, a hundred feet in the air, off the side of the great Sept of Baelor. He spun slowly, the city streets revolving beneath him, making his stomach turn. He froze when he found himself face to face with the creature on the rooftop.

It was huge and hulking, its black cloak making it seem larger. Its face was hidden by a helm of steel, painted black, a monstrous face and pointed ears creating a visage even more grotesque than the Hound's. It was coated head to toe in black mail, and black gauntlets lined with wickedly sharp spikes covered its hands, only inches from his face. But its eyes... they glowed an eerie, unnatural white, that cast a faint light over the roof and seemed to see into his very soul.

"WHO SENT AN ASSASSIN TO KILL BRAN STARK?"

What? Apparently, confused panic was not what the creature wanted, because it let him go, and the ground was flying toward him, and he was going to die-

He jerked to a stop, painfully, and then began to rise again, until he was once more face to face with the nightmare.

"I'll ask you one more time", it said, its voice a low growl that was far more terrifying than shouting. "Who sent an assassin to kill Brandon Stark?"

"It must have been Lord Tyrion", he said faintly, hoping the same story would work twice. "He won the dagger off me, I told Lord Stark he'll tell you its the truth-" The creature snarled and struck him across the face, leaving a gash that dripped blood onto the street far below.

"YOU'RE LYING!"

"I don't know", he babbled, all pretense gone, desperate only now to save his skin. "I swear I don't. I don't know who he gave it to I swear to the Seven!"

"SWEAR TO ME!"

He sobbed, "I swear, I swear", and then there was a blur, and a sharp pain, and when he woke up, he was lying sprawled in an alley a few streets away from the Sept. It was there the Gold Cloaks found him, leg torn and bloody, a gash across his cheek, watching every shadow, too terrified to move until the Sun had risen above the rooftops.

***

Ned stood shivering in the cool wind off the Sea atop the Red Keep. It was cold, but at least the smell from the city was a little less here. He was beginning to wonder if the Bat-Man was coming, when he heard the faintest sound behind him. He wheeled 'round, hand going to the hilt of his sword. He relaxed only slightly when he saw who it was: the Bat Man, clad in his helm and armour, his cloak billowing around him and the fading traces of whatever concoction he used to give his eyes that unnatural glow. Ned shivered, again, and it had nothing to do with the wind.

"Stark."

"Bat Man." The name still sounded strange to his ear, and once again he wondered what he was doing taking information from a nameless man who clearly acted outside the King's laws.

Because his information is usually good. And in this city, he'd learned, an honest man was much rarer than gold.

"Baelish knows nothing", the Dark Knight growled, then passed him a bundle of papers. "But I found this in his office, and the ones on the bottom in one of his establishments"-the knight's lip curled in distaste, and on this at least they were in accord-"in Fleabottom. If you compare them, they will show that Lord Baelish has embezzled considerable sums from the Royal Treasury."

Ned took them, glanced over them, then tucked them carefully beneath his doublet. He would study them more thoroughly in the relative privacy of his chambers, though he had little doubt that the Bat Man was telling the truth.

"And the matter of Lord Arryn's death", he asked hopefully. There was no answer. He looked up, and saw to no surprise that the Bat Man was gone. He sighed, wrapped his cloak around him, and headed back down into the Keep. Hopefully, his masked informant would have more to tell him soon. For now, he thought grimly, he had a Master of Coin to deal with.
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"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by B5B7 » 2020-04-20 12:41am

Who is Batman? My theory is that he is the Mountain. Obviously a different development of the original character is needed for this to be so.
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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-04-20 01:34am

B5B7 wrote:
2020-04-20 12:41am
Who is Batman? My theory is that he is the Mountain. Obviously a different development of the original character is needed for this to be so.
Mountain seems more like a Bane stand-in, unless you alter his character significantly. But you've just given me an idea (won't say more now, because spoilers).
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by Majin Gojira » 2020-05-13 09:56pm

That worked far too well!

Of course, my brain always goes "I wonder how the others of the Batfamily would mix in" when I see this sort of thing.

But I think this works best as is.

Though I wouldn't say no to more, of course.
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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-19 07:26pm

I wasn't sure, when I started this, if it would be more than a one-shot. I'm still not sure how much there will be to it. I will add chapters as ideas come to me and as the mood strikes me, and they will likely be mostly readable as one-shots, or as part of a larger story, as you prefer.

I had considered keeping the story limited to just Batman in King's Landing. That would have been simpler, and perhaps more original. But in the end, I could not resist. And so I give you...

The Cat of the Rock

Casterly Rock.

And who are you

The proud lord said

That I should bow so low?

Only a cat of a different coat, that's all the truth I know...


Selene smiled knowingly as she slipped through the feasting crowd of nobles and knights, unnoticed and unobtrusive. But then, servants weren't really meant to be noticed. She had taken pains to conceal the shapeliness of her figure and adopt a more plain appearance-it would not do to draw attention by rebuffing the attentions of some arrogant young lordling who felt himself entitled to her body. The disguise, evidently, worked, as she went unremarked upon throughout the night. Still, the feast lasted into the wee hours of the morning, and her arms, legs, and back were stiff by the time she deposited the last tray back in Casterly Rock's cavernous kitchens. And here I used to think that the life of a thief would be exciting, she thought wryly. The truth was, nine tenths of it was monotone and drudgery- infiltrating a target, observing, gathering knowledge, planning. Waiting. She slipped out, unnoticed, making her way back toward the servants' quarters, whistling The Rains of Castamere softly as she went. It was a fine tune, despite her feelings for the man who wrote it, and the butchery which it commemorated, but then, there was more than one Cat in the Rock that night. She smiled to herself, a slight quirk of her lips acknowledging a secret joke. Perhaps, in time, she would give the song a new meaning. She reached her small chambers and entered, making sure that the other servants who slept there were asleep. The older women were snoring heavily, and the younger maid, Alyse, made no motion, taking deep, even breaths. She shut the door carefully. There, beside her bed, was the small chest that held the few belongings of a humble serving girl. She knelt, drawing no key, but pressing the hidden catch built into the chest. The lid sprang open with a nearly-inaudible snap.

Selene smiled. Her chosen profession was often dull, but nights like this one more than made up for it.

The Vault.

Joran had spent nearly twenty years in the service of the Lord of Casterly Rock, ever since he was a boy of fifteen who'd lost his parents to the flux and had two younger sisters and a brother to feed. It was good work, for a farmer's son, despite Lord Tywin's cruel reputation. The pay was regular, and so were the meals, and there was little danger in peacetime. His brother was gone and one of his sisters, the other married and moved to the Reach these ten years past, but he had a wife and children of his own now. Over the years, dependable service had allowed him to rise somewhat, to where he was now one of the men entrusted to stand guard over the Rock's treasury vaults. It was honorable work indeed, for a farmer's son, but he would be lying if he said that it was not sometimes painfully dull.

"What hour is it", Rolf, his companion for tonight's watch, asked. Rolf was perhaps five years his junior, and newer in Lord Tywin's service- the son of a merchant from Lannisport. He was honest enough, but perhaps over-prone to mindless chatter and to drink, if only when off-duty.

"Almost two bells", Joran said absently, but Rolf did not reply. He was starring, instead past Joran's shoulder. Joran felt the hairs on his back stand on-end.

"See something", he asked, turning, his hand drifting to the hilt of his sword. When there was no answer, he repeated the question.

"I'm not sure."

"You must have seen something", he barked. "What was it?"

"I... just a shadow."

But shadows must be cast by something, Joran thought. He moved down the passage, his sword sliding an inch out of its sheath, making a soft rasping sound.

"Stay here Rolf."

"I- I'm sure its nothing Joran. Just a shadow."

"Stay here", he repeated. He moved further down the passage, the torch lights flickering around him. He neared the corner. He stepped around it.

Nothing.

He sensed something drop from the ceiling above, landing behind him. He spun, drawing his sword, and caught a glimpse of a black blur, darker than the surrounding shadows, before something struck him across the wrist, and something swept his legs from beneath him, and then a boot slammed into his face and he remembered nothing more.

Lord Tywin's Chambers.

He awoke to a knocking on his chamber door. He rose, determinedly ignoring the slight stiffness he now felt every morning, the first signs of encroaching age. He knew that something serious had happened, even catastrophic- none of his servants would have dared to wake him for less. Still, he took his time as he wrapped his robe about him before, splashed water on his face, and combed his thinning, greying hair back before he faced the door.

"Enter", he said, coldly. The door opened and his Castellan entered, his features visibly tense.

"Speak."

"My lord- the vault has been robbed!"

Tywin stiffened, initial surprise giving way to cold rage that someone had dared to steal from him.

"Lead the way", he said curtly, following the trembling Castellan out of the chamber. It took them more than fifteen minutes to reach the vault, walking in tense silence, and the servants and men they passed needed only one look at their lord's face to fall silent and turn away. Their apprehension calmed him, the acknowledgement of respect and his mastery over the Rock and all who dwelt within. Still, there were looks that quickly turned away, whispers that quickly died. Already, rumours had begun to spread. Rumours that the Rock had been penetrated, robbed, its Lord made a fool of in his own halls.

His hands clenched into fists.

Finally, they entered the deep, dark hallway that lead to the treasure vault. The hall was filled with half a dozen guards, including the Captain, along with his brother Kevan. Kevan nodded his head slightly to Tywin as he approached.

"Lord Tywin."

"Brother."

"What happened?"

Kevan gestured to one side, where two guards in Lannister colours sat against the wall. The older had a bruised, bloody face and, he thought, a broken wrist. The other had a swelling black eye and a cut on his forehead, and a set of long, parallel scratches, almost like... claw marks? Like claw marks on his cheek and arm. The older man simply looked resigned, but the younger was visibly trembling, and he flinched and looked away as his lord's gaze fell on him. Tywin starred at them coldly for a moment, then turned back to Kevan. They would be dealt with, if their failure merited punishment, later. Kevan would already have spoken to the guards, he knew, or the Captain would have.

"The day shift found them unconscious when they arrived", Kevan said. "They alerted the Captain and the Castellan, and I happened to be speaking with the latter at the time. I took the measure of ordering the gates sealed, in case our thief had not yet escaped. I trust it is as you would wish." Tywin nodded. "The guards both swear that they were awake and at their posts, when the younger one noticed movement at the far end of the passage. This was at perhaps two hours past Midnight. The elder went to investigate. Both men swear that he never went out of sight of the door, or of his companion." Kevan hesitated an instant and Tywin raised one eyebrow, prompting his brother to continue.

"He says that there was no one in the next passage, but that someone dropped from the roof above. Fast, and dressed in black from head to toe. Those were his words. He was disarmed and stunned before he could react. The other says that the attacker used a whip to bind his arm before disarming him, and rendering him unconscious." Kevan sent a disgusted look in the guards' direction, and the captain shifted uncomfortably. "The thief's face was masked, both men swear." A ripple of unease ran through the Lord of Casterly Rock, and he felt Kevan's eyes watching him. They'd both heard the tales of the "Bat Man" of King's Landing, a robber or assassin clad all in black who disarmed and bound armed men with his bare hands. He had discounted them as rumor and superstition and exaggeration, until the raven three days ago, which brought, among other things, word of a warrior in black armor burning down one of Lord Baelish's brothels and beating the Master of Coin into a bloody pulp. He had little respect for Lord Baelish or his trade, but such an assault on the King's Peace could not be allowed to go unpunished. He doubted that even the mythical "Bat Man" could have traveled all the way to Casterly Rock and infiltrated his treasure vault so swiftly, however, and his first instinct was that the guards had merely concocted an exaggerated tale to explain their failure. But Kevan's next words disproved that theory.

"There is something else. The guards both swear their attacker was slight. The elder will not say for certain, but the younger believes that his assailant was likely a woman, and that she wore a costume with ears like a cat, and claws upon her hands."

That was interesting. There were few men who would admit to being easily beaten by an unarmed woman, much less fabricate such a story. Of course, the Bat Man was by all accounts a man. Could the stories have been inaccurate? Likely enough. But more likely the Dark Knight of King's Landing had begun to inspire imitators. The more notorious outlaws and folk heroes always did, though they were usually not brazen enough to try to steal from him. He'd tried to keep word of this brigand quiet, to avoid inciting the smallfolk, but such rumors spread swiftly, and it was possible that the Bat Man had inspired imitators in his lands. That was unacceptable. As was the failure of two of his men to deal with a single, apparently unarmed woman, if indeed it was so. And if it was not, they had lied to him, and were likely complicit in the thief's crime. Still, there was no proof of their guilt, and unlikely to be, unless the thief were taken and confessed.

"Have the guards lashed, one hundred strokes apiece", he instructed the captain coldly. "If they survive, dismiss them, and hold them in the dungeons until the thief has been taken. Double the guard on the treasure vault and each of the gates, and question the servants to see if any are missing." The captain bowed his head, and left with a quick "My Lord" to carry out his orders. Tywin turned back to his younger brother.

"What was taken?"

"We have yet to complete a count, but there can be no doubt that the thief penetrated the vault, though the lock shows no sign of being forced", Kevan said quietly.

"And why is that", Tywin asked. Kevan gestured him through the open door, then nodded to something in an empty circle cleared in the middle of the floor, incongruous amid the piled wealth of scores of generations of Lannisters.

There, grinning up at him from just inside the vault, was a little clay statue of a cat, painted black.

Lannisport.

The rising Sun cast a pinkish glow over the roofs behind the still-shadowed docks as Selene slipped quietly through the window of the Black Cat. An odd name for a ship, she supposed, but one that was to her liking. She closed the window quietly, relieved to find that the cabin she'd purchased was still dark and undisturbed. Right now, she knew, the alarm was likely being raised in Casterly Rock, but the tunnel the Imp had had built to smuggle in his whores had proved a reliable means of escaping unnoticed, and she was free and clear, unless Lord Tywin was prepared to blockade Lannisport and search every ship in the harbour. It crossed her mind for a moment that he might be willing-the fool who thought himself a lion was infamous for his ability to hold a grudge, and go to any lengths to achieve avenge his pride, as she knew far too well. She felt a familiar surge of hot, bitter hate at the knowledge, but she shrugged the shrugged the concern aside. Captain Horrin was paid very well for his discretion, and her hiding place was secure. She could bluff a few Lannister armsmen if need be, though she did not wish to subject her companion to that. She cast a quick glance toward the sleeping figure in the bunk, then knelt and carefully lifted the loose floorboard beneath the cabin's single, small table, quietly so as not to disturb the room's other occupant. A muffled grunt, shifting fabric, and a loud yawn told her she had failed.

"Selene. You're back." She carefully eased the floorboard back into place, concealing her stolen jewels within, then smiled up at the younger woman sprawled on the bunk. "What hour is it?"

"Just after Dawn Lya", Selene replied softly. "I hope I did not disturb you."

"No, not at all. Are we sailing today?"

"Unless Captain Horrin has changed his plans", she replied airly, removing her clawed gloves and pulling down the hood of her costume, taking the mask with it, exposing her face.

"Have you thought of what we'll do when we reach King's Landing", Lya asked worriedly. "I hear it is a rough city, for those without coin."

She smiled as she undid the rest of her costume. Tonight's adventure had solved that problem for a long time.

"I have enough now to buy us the richest Manse in King's Landing, darling", she purred. "With guards to keep out an army, and servants to care for our every need." Not that she needed servants, but one must keep up appearances.

"Selene, who did you rob?"

She sniffed, letting the costume fall to the floor and pool about her feet, her leaving her naked in the chill morning air.

"I obtained them from a foolish rich copper-counter who can well afford the loss." It would not do to tell "Lya" the truth, not about this.

Lya looked doubtful, but finally relaxed a little.

"I hope you did not endanger yourself."

"It was my pleasure, I assure you." Selene slipped on a simple green dress, completing her change in appearance. She crossed to the bunk and gently stroked her friend's hair. "Now go back to sleep. I must have a word with the captain before we sail." She turned and left the cabin, Lya already falling back to sleep as Selene quietly slipped out onto the deck.

They set sail on the morning tide, and as they cleared the port and set their sails to the wind, it was as though a shadow fell from her soul. She turned her back to Lannisport, her face to the Sea, and breathed deep, the cold wind and the salt spray refreshing after her long night. The Sun glittered on the dancing waves, and all the world seemed bright and alive, as the Black Cat turned South, its course set for King's Landing, and the future. Her fingers flexed and unflexed in anticipation, and a slightly feral grin curled her lips.

"I'm coming, Bat Man."
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by Stewart M » 2020-05-19 08:51pm

This is really cool.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-19 08:58pm

Stewart M wrote:
2020-05-19 08:51pm
This is really cool.
Thanks! Coming from such an accomplished writer of Batman and Catwoman stories, that means a lot.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by Stewart M » 2020-05-19 09:33pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-05-19 08:58pm
Stewart M wrote:
2020-05-19 08:51pm
This is really cool.
Thanks! Coming from such an accomplished writer of Batman and Catwoman stories, that means a lot.
That's quite kind, but they're really not so difficult a pair to write about.

Just imagine a guy who spends all his waking AND sleeping hours looking at corpses and hasn't had a hug in fifteen years; then imagine a girl who sees no distinction between flirting and violence, is as fiercely yet vaguely anti-authoritarian as a college student, and who never said no to a self-destructive impulse. Make sure neither of them get their medication, surround them with enablers, and have them do partner CrossFit routines for two hours each week.

It practically writes itself.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by LadyTevar » 2020-05-19 11:58pm

Very nice introduction.

Now.. the questions raised -- 1. Is Selena a Reyne? 2. What does she know about the Bat Man?
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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by Solauren » 2020-05-20 08:25am

I have to wonder if Selena is Tyrion's former wife in this timeline. It would explain her wanting to go after Casterly Rock, and her knowing about the whore-tunnel.
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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by LadyTevar » 2020-05-20 03:28pm

Solauren wrote:
2020-05-20 08:25am
I have to wonder if Selena is Tyrion's former wife in this timeline. It would explain her wanting to go after Casterly Rock, and her knowing about the whore-tunnel.
Her name was Tysha. I am pretty sure that she's dead.
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Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by Solauren » 2020-05-20 10:07pm

LadyTevar wrote:
2020-05-20 03:28pm
Solauren wrote:
2020-05-20 08:25am
I have to wonder if Selena is Tyrion's former wife in this timeline. It would explain her wanting to go after Casterly Rock, and her knowing about the whore-tunnel.
Her name was Tysha. I am pretty sure that she's dead.
Who says he married Tysha in this timeline?
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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-05-20 10:44pm

LadyTevar wrote:
2020-05-20 03:28pm
Solauren wrote:
2020-05-20 08:25am
I have to wonder if Selena is Tyrion's former wife in this timeline. It would explain her wanting to go after Casterly Rock, and her knowing about the whore-tunnel.
Her name was Tysha. I am pretty sure that she's dead.
I don't think it was ever confirmed, but I always kind of assumed Tywin had his men throw her body in the sea or something after he was done having her gang raped. I can't imagine Tywin would let someone who disgraced his family like that go free to potentially say embarassing things. But the door's open to do something with Tysha if one is so inclined.

I have some thoughts as to who Catwoman is in this timeline, and what her origins are. I will keep them very much to myself for the time being, and let you all have the fun of guessing. :wink:
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by FaxModem1 » 2020-05-21 03:32am

Fun reads. I will enjoy this if it continues.
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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-24 01:13am

A short chapter showing how the great and mighty of the realm are reacting to the Bat Man, and how Ned is handling the Jim Gordon role.

Next chapter will be more Batman, I promise.

The Crooked Council.

Scenes From King's Landing.

THE SMALL COUNCIL.


"This is an outrage! My place of business destroyed, my customers brutalized, my property stolen, my person violated..." Lord Baelish was all but foaming at the mouth. "Who will respect the King's Peace if a Lord and a member of the Small Council itself cannot walk the streets in safety?" He turned to glare at Lord Renly, while the Master of Laws shifted uncomfortably. "What are your men doing to bring this brigand to justice?"

Ned sat in stony silence as Baelish's tirade washed over him. Baelish's self-righteousness was grating, given the man's many crimes, but his point was unfortunately valid, and he knew that that last remark had struck home with the rest of the Council. If Baelish could be assaulted on the very steps of the Sept of Baelor, and the perpetrator escape unscathed, then none of them were safe. He would have liked nothing better than to arrest the thieving traitor on the spot, but he had decided that it would be better to wait a few days, to make it more difficult for anyone to associate Baelish's sudden exposure with the actions of the Bat Man. At least the Bat Man's burglary of Baelish's office had gone unnoticed, or if it hadn't, then no one was saying anything. Gods, how he hated this game, which forced good men to deceive one another while trying to guess how much the others knew. Once more, he wondered how far he could really trust his new ally. His information had proven good thus far, but he must have his own motives for waging a one-man war against Baelish's little empire. If indeed that was the scope of his goals. It was unsettling, how easily he seemed able to slip in out and of even the Red Keep unnoticed. If he had ill intent toward the King, or even toward Ned or his family, Ned had little doubt that he could carry it out.

Perhaps the fact that he had not was the surest proof of his trustworthiness. But if he could breach the Red Keep so easily, could not another do so as well? Once more, Ned wrestled with whether to keep his secret informer to himself, or to reveal everything to Robert. He tried to focus his attention as Baelish's tirade paused long enough for Renly to offer a reply.

"We have already increased patrols in Flea Bottom, and around the Sept of Baelor. If you or the Lord Hand are prepared to authorize it, I intend to offer a bounty of 5,000 gold dragons for the Bat Man dead, and 10,000 alive."

They all looked expectantly to Ned. He thought quickly, looking for a way out. He could hardly refuse to offer a bounty, not after the Batman had assaulted a member of the Small Council, not without raising suspicion, but perhaps...

"I think that 10,000 dragons is quite excessive, especially given the current state of the Realm's finances." He glared pointedly at Baelish, who did not even pretend to look abashed. "Indeed, even 5,000 dragons represents an excessive strain on the Treasury." That was true enough, and well within his duty. He turned back to Renly. "I will authorize a bounty of 3,000 dragons for any information leading to the Bat Man's capture."

"As I recall, Lord Stark, the King offered prizes totalling 80,000 dragons for the tournament celebrating your appointment as Hand", Baelish said venomously.

"Against my wishes, as all here may recall", Ned replied coldly. "If his Grace wishes to increase the bounty he may do so, and you may speak to him when he returns from his hunt." With any luck, he could intercept Robert with the news of Baelish's treachery before the scum got the chance. "If you or Lord Renly wish to offer an additional bounty out of your own coffers, you may likewise do so." The money would effectively be coming from the Treasury anyway, at least in Lord Baelish's case. "Now unless anyone has more to add on the subject of the Bat Man, let us move on to other, equally pressing business."

THE MASTER OF WHISPERS.

Varys closed the door of his office behind him, checked that the bolts were securely fastened, then padded over to the desk and opened up the latest scrolls. Most were of little consequence, but the scroll from Casterly Rock caught his eye. Even the smallest morsel of information might prove revealing, even vital, but with tensions rising between Starks and Lannisters, word from the Rock was of the highest import. He kept few eyes and ears in the Westerlands, compared to King's Landing, but he made sure to have a pair or two in the halls of every great Southern House. He had neglected the North somewhat until now, believing it too remote to be of much consequence, but the appointment of Lord Stark as Hand, and the subsequent attempt on his young son's life, had proven that ill-advised. It was not often that Varys admitted a mistake, but he would pay more attention to the North in the future. For now, however, he had more pressing business. He cracked the scroll from the Rock and read through it, one eyebrow rising.

So, someone had dared to rob the Old Lion. More surprisingly, they had managed to escape the attempt seemingly unscathed. Tywin Lannister must be fuming with fury at the exploits of this so called Cat, and he expected that the Lord of the Westerlands would lash out soon in an attempt to sooth his wounded pride, and restore his House's dwindling reputation. Yes, matters in King's Landing would likely be coming to a head, very soon. He hoped that he had placed his pieces well, but Eddard Stark was a stubborn man, his customs were unlike those of the Southerners or Pentoshi or Bravossi Varys was used to dealing with, and the Bat Man represented an unanticipated element. He knew that the Bat Man was working with Lord Stark- Lord Stark had surprised him there, aligning himself with such an outlaw. Unless the Bat Man was actually in Lord Stark's employ, but he did not think so. The first rumours of his presence predated Stark's arrival in King's Landing by more than a month, at the least. Unless Varys was much mistaken, Lord Stark would move against Lord Baelish very soon- the only question was if it would come before or after the crisis with the Lannisters. If after, then Baelish's support for the Lannisters was assured, if only to protect his own skin, and with Baelish, and his control of the Goldcloaks, on their side, their victory was likewise assured. If Lord Stark struck first, however, then the Goldcloaks' loyalty would become a more open question, and matters might fall out in several ways. Still, he believed that a Lannister victory would be the most likely outcome. The Goldcloaks served whoever paid them best, and House Lannister could pay very well indeed.

He pondered, once more, which outcome would be preferable. A swift Lannister victory would leave the realm strong and united- but that seemed increasingly unlikely. Even if the Lannisters overcame Lord Stark's men, which was all but assured, he had no doubt that Stannis would defy the Lannisters, and seek to place himself on the throne by revealing the truth about the Queen's children and their parentage. Renly, too, had plans, and with his ties to House Tyrell, he could field an army more than sufficient to make up for his lack of a legitimate claim. The Vale's loyalties were now uncertain, and even House Greyjoy might be tempted to rebel again, with the realm so divided.

And if House Lannister were victorious, Lord Stark would almost certainly be slain or imprisoned, and while Stark's eldest was unknown, untested, he doubted that the North would forgive such an action lightly. The use of Lord Stark's young daughters as hostages might bring them to heel, and Renly might be seized as well, if the Queen and her men were quick, but Lord Stannis had departed, fortifying his position on Dragonstone. The Dornish and the Ironborn were more difficult to predict, but neither had any great love for House Lannister. Lady Arryn, meanwhile, remained holed up in the Vale, and he doubted that she would emerge from her hiding any time soon. The realm would be torn half a dozen ways, and the dead would be beyond counting.

On the other hand, a swift defeat of the Lannisters promised a better outcome. Stannis and the Stormlands would stand behind Robert, greatly hindering any scheme that Renly and House Tyrell might hatch. The North would likewise stand with Robert, and with them the Riverlands and even the Vale. Against such a formidable alliance, the Dornish and the Ironborn would likely hesitate to strike. House Lannister would fight, but they might very well fight alone, and one kingdom against seven could not long endure. Yet there was no way to assure that outcome. There were too many uncertainties. And into the midst of it all, this strange figure who swooped in like a dark knight or demon out of story or song.

The Bat Man. Who was he? He had pondered the question for many long hours, but had reached no clear answers. Clearly a man of training and wealth, a knight or a lord, given his equipment and skills, or at any rate armed by one. His speech was by all accounts Westrosi, though he spoke with a rasp or growl that distorted his dialect.

An affectation, to conceal his identity or intimidate others, or the result of an illness or injury? It likely mattered little. Probably Westrosi, then, but not of Westrosi training, at least not entirely, given his unconventional methods and skills. There was something of the Bravosi in accounts of his attacks, embellished though they often were, and of someone accostomed to fighting at sea- his agility, and his use of thrown blades, grappling hooks and ropes. He might have thought that the Bat Man was a Faceless Man, if not for the peculiarity of his disguise, and the fact that so many of his targets survived. That was strangest of all. The Bat Man was clearly a fighter of some skill, given the failure of both the Goldcloaks and King's Landing's in some ways more formidable criminal underbelly to eliminate him, yet most of his opponents appeared to have sustained only relatively minor injuries. Most curious.

Nearly as intriguing was the disguise that he had employed. He kept his face concealed, adopting instead this grotesque visage of a bat. That was a fine touch- an element of intimidation, one sensational enough to ensure that his story spread swiftly, and that it grew in the telling. This was a man who wanted to be known, and yet to remain anonymous. To shape his own story. Varys could appreciate that. Power resided where men believed it resided, as he knew very well, and already the Bat Man's legend was growing.

On who's behalf was he acting? He seemed to be hounding Lord Baelish, and Varys would have suspected himself if he did not know better. He had considered the possibility that the Bat Man was trying to direct suspicion onto him, but he would have given it more credit if not for the fact that the Bat Man was, for all his theatrics, far less subtle than either Varys himself or his reputation.

So, not Baelish, and not him. Stark? He did not seem the kind to hire a mercenary to act on his behalf, but neither did he seem the kind to consort with an outlaw at all, much less allow one access to the Red Keep. The Lannisters? Even more unlikely. The Bat Man appeared to be working with Stark, and against Lannister interests, if only indirectly thus far. Moreover, his actions were beginning to stir unrest among the Smallfolk, something which neither Lord Tywin nor his children would be inclined to encourage. The Martells had little love for the Lannisters, but were more likely to favor poison or intrigue, and Prince Doran was a cautious sort. Renly and the Tyrells? Perhaps. Lord Stannis? A definite possibility. Perhaps the strongest based on the information he had. Stannis had the means, and the motive, and the earstwhile Master of Ships could be absolutely ruthless in pursuit of what he believed was right. But, then, why not simply slay the Queen and her offspring outright, since the Bat Man clearly had access to the Red Keep? Was this mercenary or assassin, whoever he was, unwilling to risk near-certain death in penetrating the royal chambers? Or did Stannis fear that the murder of those who stood between him and the throne would cast suspicion onto him? Or was it truly not Lord Stannis at all?

Too many variables, too many uncertainties. But the Spider could be patient. For now, at least, Varys would watch, and listen, and wait.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by Solauren » 2020-06-24 04:02pm

Excellent work!
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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-24 09:42pm

Thanks!
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by LadyTevar » 2020-06-26 02:48pm

Loved the look into Varys' mindset. The problem I always had with him is he knew so much, but never acted on it.
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Re: The Demon of King's Landing (Batman/Game of Thrones short story).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-06-26 04:29pm

Varys is a character I find hard to write, in part because its never entirely clear how much he knows or what his overall plan is. But I enjoyed writing him trying to put Batman's identity together, and dropping some hints (and misdirection) as to Batman's past in this setting.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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