Mountain - Part 8 - Departure

Lord Gregor stood in the middle of the Hall of the Hundred Hearths and watched his betrothed run lightly after the serving girl. He stood and watched as she left the hall. And he stood there after she had gone, watching the empty doorway. He had sent her away once, but she’d come back. If she came back again…
But she did not come back again, so after several moments, he turned and left the hall. Upon arriving at his chambers, he yelled for his squire to bring hot water and fresh clothes. His squire, Joss Stilwood, knew better than to question his Lord, though he’d already laid out clean clothes this morning. Gregor noticed that Joss had polished his armour and laid it out for him. This was good, he had already delayed much longer than he had meant to. He washed himself and dressed, then Joss helped him with his armour. First went on boiled leather, then chain mail over that. Then the thickest, heaviest plate armour ever made in the Seven Kingdoms. It was so incredibly heavy that no other man would have been able to move in it, let alone fight. Joss was a strong boy, yet he struggled each time he was called upon to armour his Lord. After strapping on his six foot great-sword, he donned his lobstered steel gauntlets and picked up his helm. Joss followed him out of his chamber, struggling to carry Gregor’s huge oaken shield which bore the three black dogs on yellow of House Clegane.

He came across Ronel, the Steward coming out of the hall. “Tell Lord Tomard that I have not forgotten my part of the bargain. There is to be a wedding when I return. After that we shall speak of the reclaiming of his lands and holdings.” he said. “While I am gone, I want you to assist Lady Melicent and Lady Sylva. Enlist the aid of the Karstark’s Septa and Maester if needed. See that they have anything they require to make the necessary preparations. Spare no expense. Lady Melicent is to be the Lady of Harrenhal. I would have her treated as such.”

Ronel nodded, “Yes, my Lord, of course. I shall see to everything.” He nodded again and hurried off.

Upon reaching the Flowstone Yard, he found fifty men waiting to accompany him back to the camp. His huge black stallion was saddled and ready. All the preparations had been made. He would not have accepted anything less, as his men and servants were well aware. When he appeared, he called to Raff and Dobber who were waiting to report and to convey his orders to the rest of the assembled men. “All is ready, My Lord…” Raff began but Gregor cut him off abruptly.

“Then let’s be off. Its past noon, later than I’d anticipated. It will be dark by the time we reach camp.” he said, taking the stallion’s reins from a stable boy.

Dobber chuckled and Gregor glanced at him. Dobber was a small, swarthy man with dark hair, large teeth and a slightly simian look. “Something funny?” Gregor asked, frowning.

“Well, my Lord, it’s just that if I had a new bride to be what looked like yours, I’d be quite late too. If you know wha’ I mean, my Lord.” Dobber replied with a sly sidelong look.

Gregor thrust the Stallion’s reins back at the stable boy who staggered as he accepted them. He turned to face Dobber. “What did you say about my betrothed?” he growled angrily.

Dobber’s eyes went wide with fear as he saw Lord Gregor’s dark expression. “Well, wha’ I meant, my Lord…tha’ is I meant to say…” he withered under the Mountain’s stare and trailed off nervously.

“Did you mean to imply that I might have spent the morning fucking my wife to be? That Lady Melicent, the future Lady of Harrenhal, might come to our marriage bed other than a maiden? Tell me Dobber, is that what you meant?’ As he spoke, his voice got louder and Dobber seemed to shrink as he stood before his Lord.

“No, my Lord…please…” he stammered as Gregor stepped toward him and picked him up by the throat with a huge steel fist. Dobber’s eyes bulged as Gregor squeezed, crushing his throat effortlessly. He dropped him to the ground and took the reins of his horse from the white faced stableboy. He looked around him and settled his gaze on Dunsen, a grizzled, grey haired armsman.

“You, Dunsen. Take his place.” Dunsen nodded and came forward to wait by Raff. “And the rest of you…” He roared. “Anyone who speaks a word against the Lady Melicent, now or ever, will meet a similar fate. Or worse.” He mounted his stallion and spurred him forward, trampling the unfortunate stableboy who was not quick enough to get out of the way. He did not look back, but rode out through Harrenhal’s huge gates and led the column in the direction of Acorn Hall.

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