We Can Heal Together

A shattered peace


Ser Jory Cassel was one of the four Kingsguard Knights who stood guarding King Robert Baratheon during his speech.

A raven had flown in from the Westerlands, telling of treasonous rebellion and unimaginable brutality. The IronBorn, under Balon Greyjoy, have revolted against the rule of King Robert and attacked the Westerlands without so much as a formal declaration. Everyone in the Red Keep knew, and no doubt the servants spread the word outside, but even so King Robert felt the people of Kings Landing should know as well.

Robert stood outside the Great Sept of Baelor, accompanied by his Queen and escorted by his two Kingsguards. He addressed the masses gathered before him with a loud yet firm voice, one any king should have.

"For the second time in the lives of most of us we are at war. The Savage Reavers of the Iron Isles have launched a surprise attack against the Western Shore, raping and murdering without distinction. They have attacked us with neither declaration nor warning: we have been forced into a conflict. Now Kings Landing is called, along with all of its loyal vassals and countrymen, to meet the challenge. For if the IronBorn were to prevail, it would be fatal to any civilised order in the Seven Kingdoms.

The philosophy of the IronBorn is one that not only justifies, in the selfish pursuit of power, the disregard of treaties and solemn pledges. It is a philosophy which actively discourages peaceful commerce and eschews honest labor in favor robbery and wanton distruction. Such a belief, stripped of all disguise, is surely little more than the primitive doctrine that the powerful should do what they please without the restraints of chivalry and honor; and if this there savage Reavers were allowed to be independent, the prosperity of Kings Landing and of the whole of the Seven Kingdoms would be in danger. But far more than this - the peoples of the world would be kept in a state of fear, and all hopes of settled peace and of security would be destroyed.

This is the ultimate issue which confronts us. For the sake of all that we ourselves hold dear, and of the world's order and peace, it is unthinkable that we should refuse to meet the challenge.

It is to this high purpose that I now call my people at home and my peoples across the realm to make this cause their own. I ask them to stand calm, firm, and united in this time of trial. The task will be hard. There may be dark days ahead, and war cannot merely be confined to the battlefield. But we can only do the right as we see the right, and reverently commit our cause to The Father Above. If one and all we keep resolutely faithful to it, ready for whatever service or sacrifice it may demand, then, by the Will of The Seven, we shall prevail."

This got the hoped-for response. The throng that gathered in Red Square to hear King Robert's speech was exhilarated. Throughout the city, it was impossible to escape the chants of "Death to the IronBorn! Death to the IronBorn!".

With that, the Royal Couple and their two Kingsguards rode back to the Red Keep. All along the way were smallfolk cheering on their king. "Glory to King Robert!" and variations of that were shouted by the majority of the smallfolk. "Send the Reavers back to the Hells!" was also a commen chant. There were even a few cries of "Long live the Dragonslayer!" and "The Demon of the Trident!", most likley shouted by those who fought for King Robert during his rebellion against King Aerys all those years ago. jory even saw one greybeard veteran shout "Down with the Dragons, Up with the Stags!".

All these smallfolk have ever known of war is from the songs of bards. They might not be as enthusiastic once the fighting actually starts.

It occurred to Ser Jory Cassel that the Kings Guard, he would be on the front line of the fighting. He would be representing not only this venerable institution, but also his own family name. While there have been Cassels who were knights (a distinction not nearly as universal in The North as it is in The South), one example being Jory's own uncle Rodrik, Jory is the first son in House Cassel to be a Knight of the Kingsguard.

I refuse to be remembered as Craven Cassel. Even if I must die in battle, I WILL give Martyn Cassel reason to be proud of me.

And so, Jory rode back to the Red Keep. He rode with Ser Arys Oakheart, his brother in arms. He rode with King Robert Baratheon, the man he swore undying loyalty to. He rode with Queen Lyanna Stark, the woman his father fought and died in order to free from a hellish imprisonment.

The four of them rode to war.

Author's Note: The speech Robert gives is based in part on the speech given by King George VI of Britain at the dawn of the Second World War.

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