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Hurried Investiture

Posted on Sat Jan 14th, 2023 @ 10:30pm by King Aethan Velaryon & Ser Renn Baratheon & Ser Russ Brune & Ser Denestan Bulwer

Mission: To Oldtown, With Love
Location: The Hightower, Oldtown

The day after arriving at the Hightower, Aethan was awoken in the morning to the news that Ser Thommas Blackbush, Lord Commander of his Kingsguard, had passed in the night. The news was a shock to the young King as Ser Thommas was a man of only two and thirty and always seemed to be in good health. "Thank you Maester, I can only hope you were able to make him comfortable."

The old man bowed his head, understanding Aethan's words.

After a beat Aethan spoke."Will you gather the Kingsguard Maester? I wish to pay my respects to them and name Ser Thommas' successor so we can move forward before the wedding."

"Yes your Grace." The Master bowed low and departed the chamber to execute the King's order.

Feeling a bit tired Russ was feeling the fatigue of little sleep. Most of the Kingsguard had been helping the Ser Thommas if they were not on duty. Russ had seen his share of death mainly in the fighting pits in Meereen Great Pit of Daznak. Russ flashed back to the year and a half he had trained there over a year ago now. Russ could still feel the tug on his heart. King Waynn died, and Russ' wife and baby, Lord Haerys Celtigar, now Ser Thommas. He pushed it to the back of his mind as he heard they were to be ready.

The Kingsguard checked one another to make sure everything was ready for any type of inspection. They stood in line on one had to tell them they know what to do they had done it so many times before. None of the Kingsguard wanted to embarrass the King not with the wedding coming. Now with Ser Thommas gone Russ would help as much as he could. Russ saw the Kingguards as his savior for pulling him out of the dark time in his life. Russ had come a long way from the time he was a ward to house Celtigar now with the Kingsguard. Russ waited to hear from the King on what was next.

Ser Denestan stood straight with the other Kingsguard. His white armor was in perfect condition. His white cloak hung neatly over his shoulder. The clasp holding it in place was in the shape of a bull's skull, the only marking showing his own House. He awaited the King.

The barracks afforded to the Kingsguard were sparse. Ser Thommas' body was being prepared by the Silent Sisters elsewhere, but remnants of what transpired the night before were still visible in the common area despite the Maester's efforts. Aethan entered the barracks to find his remaining guards assembled for him.

A squire dressed in Velaryon colours cleared his throat and then announced."Rise now for Aethan of the House Velaryon, the First of his Name, King of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm."

Russ saw that he did not waste any time and walked to his guard. He glanced as the Kingsguard stood at attention.

Aethan entered the barracks after he was announced. He came to a stop before the assembled knights. "My condolences to all of you. One of your brothers has fallen, and so we remember his service and his dedication of his life to the crown." The King looked over all the knights before him. "Shall we take a moment to honor your fallen brother, Ser Thommas."

Denestan lowered his eyes.

Russ also looked down closing his eyes remembering his time with him a sadness fell over him Russ was happy to have known him.

Aethan hadn't known the late Lord Commander well, but Ser Thommas had made sure the transition of power was smooth. Aethan joined at the moment while he reflected on his short time working with Thommas. "As King, the task falls to me to ensure the smooth transition of command." His eyes fell on Ser Renn, then to Ser Colin, and then Ser Denestan. Three men who, if elevated, would make a grand statement about the crown's loyalties. Aethan moved his eyes along the line of six men. All options had been discussed. "In recognition of distinguished service, Ser Russ has been selected to lead my seven. Ser Russ?"

Russ did a hard swallow. The weight of the moment seemed to want to push him to his knees. Russ would have to bear that weight now. The responsibility of the King’s, and now the Queen's, safety and protection. His heart raced as Russ thought about the others in the guard all outstanding knights and men. But the King choose Russ and he was grateful. There was some doubt in the back of his mind if he would live up to being a Lord Commander.

"Your Grace, I am so honored out of the fine sworn brothers here, I was chosen for such a duty to you and our future Queen. I and my sword will ,as always, be at your service. I am sure the other sworn brothers here feel the same." Russ said with humility bowing, then making a fist and placing it over his heart.

“You will do well Ser Russ. The Warrior will guide you with bravery and strength” The King's words felt sincere. “I trust Ser Thommas had begun planning for the occasion of the wedding. A task that now falls to you to complete.”

Ser Russ stood back up straight "Yes Your Grace, there is a plan in place, most of it has been already executed. I and the others will work out the last parts. You and the bride will be well taken care of as expected." replied Russ with confidence.

"Good," Aethan said with a cut nod. He then returned his attention back to the entire room and the gathered guards. "I have asked that the castle sept be made available to you all should you wish to take some time for quiet prayer for your fallen brother, or light a candle for his travels to the other world. It is at your disposal for the day. Ser Russ can coordinate watch rotations to accommodate."

"Thank you, Your Grace, for that opportunity. We will not let it go to waste," said Ser Russ humbly.

Aethan allowed his eyes to meet with Renn's. He hoped that his fawn would understand the reasoning behind his decisions. The King held his gaze, waiting for the Knight's dark eyes to meet his.

Renn's eyes were down, his jaw set. But beyond, he'd given no emotion or easy show of how he felt. He would make his congratulations known to the honorable Knight, and his new Lord Commander.

Russ stepped out and took his position as Lord Commander. The King's glance at Renn did not go unnoticed. Russ would have not noticed but the King held it a second too long and the King's eyes were different looking at Renn. Russ did not know what to make of it. They traveled the whole voyage together. 'They must have bonded as friends' thought Russ.

The King allowed his eyes to fall to the floor for a moment. "Ser Russ, please let me know if you or your brothers need anything."

"Yes, Your Grace I will," replied Russ.


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