The Rebel Army raced up to Kings Landing, knowing full well that the Lord Tywin Lannister was heading to the city with a force of Westerland Soldiers. All the leaders of the Rebellion agreed that Tywin would surely support House Targaryen, and if his soldiers fortified the city it would stall victory by months or even years.
Robert could not allow this. The war has to end now, he decided. Robert intended to march into Kings Landing, smashing the gate open with his hammer. He would then make sure The Mad King followed his raper son to the Seven Hells.
Nobody will get burned alive when I am king. No more sorrow or tears or families ripped apart. I intend to give the smallfolk a reign they can remember with fondness, one of laughter and festivity and full bellies. And Lyanna will be safe in my arms once again.
Robert stirred from his thoughts, then he looked over at the person asking for his attention.
Eddard Stark was many things to many people. To the people of The North he was Lord of Winterfell. To Catelyn Tully, daughter of Lord Hoster Tully, he was husband. He is brother to Benjen Stark, as he used to be known to Brandon Stark. He had lost his older brother and his gentle father when they rode down to rescue his sister, and now Eddard did not want to say goodbye to his sister Lyanna as well.
To Robert Baratheon, Eddard was a friend. In fact, it was safe to say that growing up Eddard was Robert's only friend.
"It is almost over Eddard. Soon all those we lost can rest in peace knowing we avenged them. Our parents would be proud of us."
Clearing his throat, Eddard said what he meant to say. "Our scouts found a Westerman rider, claims to bear a messenge from Lord Tywin."
"Why would Tywin send us a message?"
"From what I was told, he wishes to join the side of the rebellion."
Well, lets see what the message says. Then when we reach Kings Landing we can continue negotiations with him."
They rode down their column to Lord Tully and Lord Arryn.
As they rode, they were able to see the soldiers they lead into battle. Some were laughing with comrades and boasting of feats both accomplished and yet to come. Some were huddled around cooking fires and looking forward to a warm meal. Some were wounded or injured, bandaged up and unable to even sit upright.
Some of the soldiers cried out "Baratheon" or "Stark" as Eddard and Robert rode past. "Long live the demon of the Trident!""Glory to the dragon slayers!""Gods bless the rightful King!"
Finally, they reached the tent where campaign matters were discussed. There they weighted whether or not Tywin was telling the truth, as well as if they should trust him. They decided to play it safe.
When the host reached Kings Landing, they found it already under siege. Already Tywin's men surrounded the city, preparing siege engines from the surrounding woodlands with which to assault the city.
Indeed, when Lord Tywin rode to meet The Lord of StormsEnd, he did so in peace. The meeting was quick and simple: Tywin agreed to support the rebellion under some conditions, chief among them was that his son Jamie Lannister be dismissed from his Kingsguard and that the rebel knights be ordered to try and take him alive.
Lord Eddard would not be taking part in the final push, however. He and a detachment of loyal followers are to ride south for Dorne. After Lyanna disappeared so long ago, there was finally a trail to follow. Robert wanted to ride south himself, he wanted this so badly it hurt. It took the combined agreement of Eddard, Hoster and Jon Arryn to convince the Demon of the Trident that he was needed here more than in Dorne. Even so, Robert was sure to talk with his friend one last time before his departure.
Walking into the Northman's tent, Robert saw Eddard polishing his great sword with an oiled cloth. Lord Stark looked up and stopped when he saw that his childhood friend had come to converse with him.
"I'm to leave on the morrow, for a small holdfast in the Dornish Mountains. Reports say its called 'The Tower of Joy'. Probably named that in better times."
More likely that dragon blooded son of a bitch named it for his evil passions. He is in The Seven Hells right now, burning in damnation for all of eternity. I hope it hurts.
These thoughts he did not voice on this occasion. Instead of this, Robert voiced his fears.
"Please find her. If something should happen to her, I know not what I would do."
It is clear Eddard could see the pain and fear in Robert's eyes. Robert had that same pain in his eyes when he first arrived at The Eyrie on the day they met.
"I promise, I will fight to bring her back safely."
Robert forced back his emotions, nodded to his friend, and headed back to his own tent to get some sleep before battle.