learned_to_die: <lj user="buckybear"> ([look] ill/wounded)
Eddard Stark ([personal profile] learned_to_die) wrote in [community profile] sixthiterationlogs2017-08-10 11:00 am

[no amount of remembering the better things will make the bad ones go away]

WHO: Eddard Stark
WHERE: The Stark Family Cabin
WHEN: August 15 and onward
OPEN TO: OTA; feel free to jump in at any point during his halluciations.
WARNINGS: None; will updated as needed


It had started with redness of the skin, first on Ned's hands. It spread like blood-red ink across the paper of his skin, up his arm towards his shoulder, down his back, around his torso. It made decades'-old battles scars scarlet and renewed, the pain of touch excruciating, as though the wounds had only just been made. And then, the heat. At first, he thought it a continued byproduct of the summer temperatures, but it was the absence of perspiration that had drawn his brows together in confusion and realization: he had gotten ill.

Half a fortnight later, having spent the majority of the time bed-ridden and unable to leave the confines of his room, the visions had started.

He’d first seen his siblings’ faces: Brandon, Benjen, Lyanna. He imagined Brandon’s death, simultaneously feeling the constriction of his airways as Brandon tried to rescue their father, and wakes to a coughing fit while gasping for air. Benjen he imagined in black, half-human and half-crow, taking to the skies and soaring back to The Wall. Lyanna, he had seen bloodied and ghostly pale, her trembling hands leaving crimson paintings against his skin with every touch, while the rage and pain and impending loss stormed within him.

Second, Robert’s face - glossy-eyed and slender, the way he’d been when they’d grown alongside each other under the care of Jon Arryn. He imagined them wandering the grounds of the Eyrie, practicing their fighting with one another, Robert daring him to draw closer and closer to the Moon Door. His half of these fabricated conversations are audible to anyone near enough - even through the closed door of his chambers. None of it makes any sense, especially out of context, though it’d be easy enough for someone familiar enough to surmise that Robert was on his mind.

Next, he’d seen visions of Catelyn at their wedding; the hatred and betrayal in her face when he’d revealed to her that he had returned from war with a dark-haired babe in tow, a newly born Robb still in her arms, which she clutched tighter to her breast; the way she’d peer up at him as they lay under their furs and in each other’s arms with only the soft glow of the fire as their audience; when he’d last seen her, outside of Littlefinger’s brothel in King’s Landing, the blue scarf wrapped over her fiery crown. He reaches for her, when he imagines her with him, hands and fingers fumbling in the air for a woman who no longer exists.

Then, he’d seen each of his children at varying stages of their lives, from birth to the last he’d seen of them: Robb at Winterfell, when Ned had left for King’s Landing; Sansa when he’d knelt at the steps of the Great Sept, silently praying for her rescue; Arya when he’d spotted her in the crowd, crouching by Baelor the Blessed, doing the only thing he could to keep her safe by signaling Yoren to take her into his custody; Bran, unconscious in his bed, unsure if he’d ever open his eyes again; Rickon in the yard at Winterfell, too young to understand the weight of the world and his father’s departure beyond a glaring absence; and, though not a child of his own creation, Jon at the crossroads to King’s Landing and The Wall, promising to tell him about his mother upon their next meeting. These memories are strong enough to make a weakened, unwell Ned weep, crying out for the family from which he’d been taken, his feverish mind no longer remembering he has four of them still with him, whether by fate or by the blessings of the Old Gods.

He floats in and out of consciousness, back and forth between the world of Westeros he’d left behind and the world of the village - his second chance - though he cannot seem to convince himself that the latter exists. He wonders if he’s returned to the Children of the Forest, to the Old Gods themselves, to the Weirwood back in the Godswood of Winterfell. All the while, the skin affected by the rash blisters and reddens, leaving smears of blood on the linens underneath - though, if there is one light in the darkness, the intensity of his hallucinations seems to negate the pain from the rash, and he seems blissfully unaware of the sores.

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