I see her everytime I enter House Magmar. Her beauty still shines even to this day. I let myself fall into a vivid dream of the life we could of had together. Eli, I whisper, how I love thee. We lock eys from across the room. A man can be the greatest king, the mightest warrior, or the richest merchant prince, even her husband, but never would she look at them with those eyes of jade as she looks at me, her true love. Eli hides her gaze as the Lord of the house enters.
Roland you bastard, my thoughts cry out in jealousy. You may have taken her in body but not in mind and soul. Eli loves me still, her eyes tell me that. Lord Magmar speaks, but I dream of better days. Back then we were young and strong of heart. When we bled, we bled nobility. Those were good days. We were inseperable back then, Roland and I. We both won our knighthood during Robert’s rebellion against the Mad King. Roland married early and started a family. I had not yet found my true love. I was there to celebrate the birth of his only son, Rickard. I was there for him during the death of his first wife, Lyianna. When all hope had left him, I propped him up and gave him hope. There wasnt a fight we dare not win , on the battlefield or in the tavern halls. I had his back and he had mine. Brothers in arms till the end. Then we both saw her and that all changed.
The tournament games had arrived to the island and every noble house across the land fielded there best. We both had made our way through the jousting tournament. Besting our way through countless opponents until we eventually met each other face to face on the field. As the squires were leading the horses to the line, I looked up and saw her. Never in my life had I seen true radiance. A beautiful face among the faceless crowd. I lost my breath as all time seemed to stop. “My lord,” I heard my squire speak. “Thy horse is ready, good luck.” I waved him off as I tried to swallow the lump in my throat. My concentration had been broken. I steadied my horse and waited for the trumpet to sound as I scanned the field. Roland too had notice her, but he was much more brash about it. He pointed to her with his lance and called for a good luck kiss. She gave him a wave as the trumpets sounded. Deep inside me something erupted, no longer did I see a friend but an arch rival. The prize would be mine.
I yelled the command for the horse to charge. Raising my shield to defend, I steadied the lance and prepared to thrust as roland charged closer and closer. Our lances met and deflected off each others shield as we pass by one another. I reached the end of the line first and pulled back on the reins with a loud “whoa,” to turn around. I raised my visor and looked onto the crowd. We locked eyes. They say true love does not exist, but here in this place I had found it. She did too. She let go of her silk handkerchief onto the tournament field. I jumped off my horse and rushed to pick it up, but Roland had the same idea. We bounced off each others armor. I scolded him to back off as he yelled “I saw her first.” I felt a tug on my shoulder, “Ser.” My squire awoke me from my dream.
“Walter.” Lord Magmar spoke. “What is the current situation with the bandits?” I gathered my thoughts befor I spoke. “Forgive me my Lord, my thoughts were elsewhere,” I replied. Lord Magmar, countered with a smug look, “they been doing that a lot lately.” The room ruptured in laughther. I went on with my report.
We ended up fighting for the handkerchief on the ground. It took seven men to break us apart. The judges kicked us out of the jousting tourney. Our fathers were not pleased. Roland barked in disgust. I at least had her handkerchief. Silky smooth to the touch and smelled of summer roses. I waited for her after the games. Introducing myself, as Ser Walter Langley, eldest son of Brynn Langley. I handed back her handkerchief and asked for her name. She said her name was Lady Elinora Flint, but I could call her Eli. I would be the only man ever to call her by that name. Though our affairs were held in total secret, we had planned to announce our love, but it was not to be. War had come again.
Word had come down that all the loyal banners were gathering for a war against Lord Balon Greyjoy’s rebellion. For a time, Roland and I put aside our differences and fought alongside together as one. The final battle was to take place at Pyke. An old fortress castle. Lord Baratheon was able to breach the wall under the old south tower. Roland and I rushed in behind Lord Eddard Stark. We took arrow fire up from the tower. Several of the men were felled. Lord Stark ordered an attack on the tower thru its breached foundation. It was a bloody fight on the stone stair ways all the way to the top. Lord Stark was nearly cut down when Maron Greyjoy appeared behind a door. Lucky for him, Roland was right behind him and caught Maron by surprise. He ran his long sword straight thru. The tower started to lean, the damage from the breach was too much. Lord Stark, gave the order to fall back. I saw Maron crawling towards his weapon. I let him be and ran back out. The old south tower collapsed, taking all those within it to their deaths. Eventually the battle was over, Lord Greyjoy had surrendered.
I did not know at the time , but during the celebrations at Lannisport, for his act of saving the life of Lord Stark, Stark offered Roland whatever he wished. He spoke only one word, Elinora.
I threw the first punch when he told me he was to wed Elinora. “Bastard”, I cried, as my fist felt the pain of contact with his thick jaw. Friends since childhood and brothers in arms, this man right here was like a brother to me and yet at this very moment he was my most hated enemy. We both knew for a long time this moment would come someday. The fight was on for the greatest prize of ours lives, Elinora’s love.
Roland countered with a punch to my gut as he yelled, “Walter, it is done, by order of Lord Stark!!” “No!!”, I yelled. It was a solid blow as I flew across the dining table. Food and drink splashed everywhere as servants ran from the room. Roland approached and grabbed me as I laid Stunned. I reached over with my right arm for the ham bone lying on a plate and swung it across his face. A loud “smack”, echoed in the dining room, as Roland fell back against the stone wall. With a quick jump to my feet, I leaped at him from the table, coming down with a perfectly placed elbow….but he moved just in time. My face ate stone as I felt a tooth chipped. A hard kick to the body followed but I took it in stride. “She loves me!!, I cried as I staggerd to my feet. Roland smirked and was about to say something when I fired with my one two in quick succession. They hit true as his body spunned around like a rag doll but he caught himself on one of the dining room chairs.
“Walter, you may love her, but she is mine now!, get over it!”, Roland yelled as the wooden chair flew at me with blinding speed. I dodge with a quick step to the right towards the wall and I came back strong with a right hook to Roland’s face. In anger Roland drew his sword. I parried his swing and we cursed each other as we locked swords. By now, several other guards and knights had entered the room. Roland yelled at them to, “stay out of it!!” I pushed forward with a lunge towards him, but it was easily countered. “Face the truth, Walter. House Magmar is stronger. A marriage to a Flint will be better served by a Magmar than a Langley”, scolded Roland. No matter how much it hurt, Roland spoke the truth. House Magmar had more resources and more men. A marriage to a Flint was a better pairing, politcally and tactically. But it did not matter, I had true love on my side.
‘Enough!!”, yelled Roland’s father. The men breaking us apart. “All those battles fought, and this is the one that tears your friendship apart, for a woman! I’m an old man. One day soon, Roland will take over this house. Same for you Walter. When your father and I are gone, these banners will fall to the both of you to lead. Walter, listen to me. Roland won Elinora’s hand by right of deed. Can you truely deny him this right? And you, roland my eldest son. You knew the path this choice would lead for your friendship, and yet you made it.”, the elder Magmar spoke with a stern voice.
“Walter, this is the reality of your world. You dont have to like it, and I know you will never forgive him. But for the sake of your family honor, and the continued strength of this alliance, will you stand by my son?”, pleaded Roland’s father. I saw Elinora, enter the dining room. I looked over at her for consule and she nodded back to me, knowing I had no choice but to sacrifice our love.
“For love and honor”, I said as I looked over to Roland. “You god damn right”, he replied.
Will Walter win his lady-love, for we all know being a noble in Westeros comes with many dangers ….