The Lords of Winter

Flint Fingers II

Erik writes his mother

Dear Mother,


Glad to hear you are up and hobbling now. Yes, I know you know about the disaster at Flint’s Fingers, and yes, I heard what you told the cook. As bad as it may have seemed, I look at it as a temporary setback.

But enough about me and the Rayne girl. She’s a real firebrand, I found her in the practice yard, working on her swordplay. I best be careful!

The rest of the wedding disaster was a jumble. Would you believe that when things got really confused with Malachite — you know he ran off with a Wildling wench? — I even volunteered to marry the young Rayne girl. No, not the baby, the one with the sword. Anyway, the old gods were looking after me and let my moment of weakness pass.

And what else? Well, old Lord Arthur Flint was killed in a most despicable manner. One of his own serving wenches drenched him in wine and boar urine. When he went boar hunting an enraged boar gutted the old man. I’m sure Emma was taking notes.

Arthur died, but not before asking me to tell Lord Stark of this outrage, which I have done. The Flints seem to have got themselves mixed up with some fool power play by the Ironmen. The Flints and the Ironmen are no concern of ours; Lord Stark will get to the bottom of this, no doubt.

And of course you have heard about Lord Malachite the Lost. I have to say the wildling wench was most lively, but it seems we have seen the last of them. No doubt they are north of the wall, playing with toy daggers made out of black glass.

The good news it that Emma now shoulders the burden now of governance, not me. And not that wildling Malachite.

Oh, back to that boar. I killed it. It’s meat was supposed to be part of the wedding feast, but that all fell apart when the wedding ended. I was almost as upset at not getting to feast upon my own kill as I was with Malachite for refusing to marry the Rayne girl. But all was not lost.

While sailing north, I was in a black mood until, Dominik, the old scout and a fine cook, came up to me with a steaming plate of roast boar. “I couldn’t see leaving it to those crazy Flints,” he said. I shall reward him, perhaps with a new hunting bow.

And now, I must say goodbye to Cliffside again. We are off to King’s Landing. After the incident with the boar where I had to dismount before slaying the beast, I’ve been practicing hunting with a spear while remaining mounted.

Which turns out to be perfect, because we are off to a tourney at King’s Landing, and the southerners will be lining up to sit on their geldings while I knock them off with a lance. It’s just like boar hunting, only the women are crazy about it.


Be well, and watch out for grumpkins,

Erik

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