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On Guard

Posted on Mon Oct 24th, 2022 @ 3:57pm by Ser Thommas Blackbush & Ser Russ Brune & Ser Renn Baratheon

Mission: To Oldtown, With Love
Location: Barracks at the Hightower, Oldtown

Ser Thommas Blackbush had never in his life traveled by water over such a great distance. The voyage was not rough or treacherous, but still, Thommas found his stomach in knots. Even now, hours after disembarking the ship he continued to feel the sway of the currents beneath his feet. He sat, green faced, in the barracks set aside for the knights of his order. With Ser Denestan and Ser Colin on duty, Thommas thought it might be a good time to bond with his remaining brothers and go over preparations for the wedding, despite the ill feeling in his stomach.

The ship ride to Oldtown did not really bother Ser Russ Brune. He had been on ships more than once traveling. But getting used to the land again annoyed him. Ser Russ could not say that about everyone Lord Commander Ser Thommas seemed to have some trouble trying to deal with the change from ship to land with others. Ser Denestan did the best out of all of them it appeared to Ser Brune with Him guarding the King right now. it had been a long time since the last time he was here with Lord Haerys it had changed some but not that much.

The barracks were nice for what it was nicer than some he had stayed in before working as Lord Celtigar's house guard. The barracks had once furniture in it. Comfortable beds and not too crowded and did not have much for decorations either. Overall it was going to be a good stay through. Of course, the Lord Commander had his own connecting room. Ser Brune was starting to feel nervous about the King's wedding and wondered what the new Queen was going to be like. They had set up a table with some food and ale for the Kingsguard at the far end of the room. It was time to get the Lord Commander.

Ser Brune walked over to the door and knocked "Lord Commander, the table and others are ready for you." said Ser Brune in a loud voice but respectful tone.

Blackbush stood and opened the door. Entering the main area of the barracks, he nodded to his gathered comrades. "Gentlemen." He said with a curt nod as he came to stand behind his seat. The Lord Commander was still rather green looking, but he put on his best strong face and sat. "I want to take a moment to recognize Ser Renn. Though he is the most junior member of our ranks, he has already gained the trust and respect of His Grace. Ser Renn was by His Grace's side for the entire journey here, and for that, the King has passed along his compliments." Thommas reached for his mug of ale to bang it on the table in celebration of his sworn brother.

The knight rose and in silence bowed his respect and thanks to the Lord Commander and the gathering of knights. And then, before get overstayed the attention, he sat down. He picked up his mug and drank when his allies did- only pausing to eye the finely honed wooden edge. Would he have so drawn the King's attention with his skills of the blade and arrow... Renn drank and swallowed. Or was it what they did under the tenebrous silk of night: Aethan gave worship to Renn's lean musculature before the knight let the King take him like he would his wife?

Renn nodded his thanks, humbly, at the murmurs of his name on the voices.

Russ echoed with his fist pounding on the table. Russ did not want to spill his ale. "Yes damn good job Ser Renn," said Russ with a smile. Thinking about what Blackbush announced. Russ had not been there as long as some of them but longer than others just over a year now. Russ was now in a good place and was performing with high standards and trying to set an example for the others. Russ took a large drink of the ale it went down smooth and had a good taste to it. He was glad to be with the brothers and did not want to be anywhere else.

Renn nodded thanks to Ser Brune.

Thommas rubbed his temples. In addition to his stomach flipping, his head also hurt beyond description. "I must say, this is the strongest Seven I've seen in my years as a Kingsguard." He nodded as he looked around, trying not to allow his face to betray anything ailing him. "It is a very gratifying feeling to know that we will continue to serve a family until our last days. That loyalty cannot be traded."

The young knight of Storm's End was no Maester and as he looked on at the Lord Commander rubbing his temples he wondered. Anyone who had to sit on in Council meetings with the likes of Brannis Baratheon was certain to walk away with a headache. "With the Greyjoys driven from their lands," Renn said, his mind still on the battle, "Perhaps we'll have a little peace. Just enough to keep things interesting."

"Little peace?" said Russ then took a drink of ale. " We could only hope for a little peace. You know if there was a lot of peace we could be out of a Job," commented Russ with a grin. Russ thought about the Lord commander's comment. It was true they had been a great team The King's Guard was united in their job of protecting the King. Russ looked at Lord Commander he was hiding the fact Lord Commander was feeling sick. Russ was always taught to watch their eyes they never lie. The Lord Commander's eyes were telling a different story. Still, the Man had the strength to act like nothing was wrong. That was why Russ looked up to the Lord Commander.

“The response to Greyjoy’s threat was swift and admirable. I am…” he coughed wetly, “hoping they remain a little threat to us and his Grace but the Iron Born are unpredictable and erratic, nearer to barbarians than man.” His cough continued, he lifted a handkerchief to his mouth and wiped it to reveal a spot of blood.

"Lord Commander?" questioned Russ. Bleeding was never a good sign. Russ's mother was sick and use to cough like that then died. A lot ran through Russ's mind. He was conflicted about what to say or if he should say anything at all. Russ tightened one of his fists in frustration. Then Russ gave in to himself "Lord Commander, I know I might be speaking out of place. But you should see the Maesters for that cough. You are our Ship anchor we need you at full strength, my lord."

Without a response, Blackbush continued coughing, barely able to hear his comrade's words. He stood from his seat and blood sputtered from his mouth across the pitted surface of the table. He fell back into his seat. It was clear he could no longer go on pretending that he was fine.

"Someone go get the Maester now!" Russ said standing. Russ walked over to the Lord Commander You need to lay down He looked and could see some blood from the right side of the Lord Commander's mouth and him grabbing his stomach. "Quickly help me we need to lay him down," asked Russ to the other Kings Guards.

At the sight of the wet cough, Renn had paused to wait but when their Lord Commander produced blood- and kept coughing- Renn was up. The murmur of concern rose and crested and Renn was winding his way to the doors. "Get a Maester! Now!" He called to the two guards. "It's the Lord Commander." Renn pivoted back, and spoke to his brothers, "They're getting someone," he assured. He moved to help Brune bring the Lord Commander to the floor. "Prop him up or lay him prone?" He asked out loud.

Thommas continued coughing, his blood sputtering from his lips as he was lowered to the floor.

Russ tried to make Blackbush as conferrable as possible. He looked up at the doors open and the Maester walk in.

The doors of the chamber opened to allow in a rather old and homely looking Maester. It was not the Grand Maester who had come with the court from Kings Landing, but rather one who was assigned to the Hightower. Despite his look he moved quickly. "On his side Sers." He ordered, as he reached Ser Thommas and crouched to examine him. After a moment his wrinkled hands fell upon the Lord Commander's abdomen.

Renn assisted in turning Blackbush on his side, putting the floor to the side that Thomas was not clutching.

Thommas winced at the touch.

"Ser" The Maester asked, "can you hear me?"

Thommas nodded. "It feels like I'm burning from the inside."

Renn frowned. Was it poison? He looked at Brune.

"Maester, is this poison?" Russ' question was for concern of the Lord Commander and the King too.

The Maester shook his head. "How long has he been ill?" He asked if the other guards.

Russ answered immediately. "Most of the trip on the ship here and a few times back in Kings Landing," Russ said with concern.

"This is not poison." The Maester said confidently. He wiped the blood from Ser Thomas's face. "The Lord Commander has afflicted something which has ruptured in the abdomen. It is unfortunately too far gone to operate now, and all we can do is wait and keep him comfortable."

Brune was relieved by the news that the Maester had given. Brune looked at the others he was deep in thought about what would happen next. He stood up and went to the table and finished his ale in relief. "I hope the Lord Commander's condition he can recover. We keep watch the Lord Commander" said Brune with a little concern.

Brune walked over to his bed and got his gear on and was ready to go see the King. He had no idea how the King was going to take the news. He just hoped that Ser Thommas would recover quickly. Brune did not know who would be in charge of the Kingsguard but it going to be a hard job filling Ser Thommas' shoes. He walked for the door " I should go tell the King of the Lord Commander’s condition" asked Brune to the Maester.

The old man shook his head. “No. His Grace's mind is on his imminent marriage and should be allowed to stay focused on that.” He said plainly. The Maester wiped his bloodied hands on the front of his robes, his chain of office jingling as he moved.

Russ stopped at the door and look at the Maester and gave him a nod.

“For now, the Lord Commander must be kept on the floor and on his side. If he survives that and the bleeding subsides to an acceptable level I will require assistance in getting Set Thommas to his bed.” The Maester’s bedside left something to be desired.

"Something to keep him propped on his side and comfortable then," Renn suggested.

"We could use rolled blankets and pillows" Russ suggested walking back and putting some of his gear back on his bed. Russ thought for a moment "Maester, can we give him water or food if he asks for it?" asked Russ as he rolled up his blanket in his hands to place next to the Lord Commander. "Here, Ser Renn, we can use a blanket on both sides of him, then fold one and put it under his head that should keep the Lord Commander comfortable," said Russ.

Getting to his feet, the old man shook his head. "No food or drink until the bleeding is stopped." He grunted as he straightened his back. "I will check back within the hour to see where the Lord Commander's condition is."

Russ looked over the Lord Commander kneeling beside him then looked back at the Maester. "Thank you Maester, we will keep watch over him if there is a change before you get back we will send someone for you," replied Russ.

Just as the old man made for the door Ser Thommas once again spewed blood from his mouth. The Maester quickly returned to his spot at the knights side.

 

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