A Song of Ice and Fire
The Treaty of The Twins
Aiden arrived to find a siege already well underway. His trip to The Twins took roughly a fortnight as he had to ensure safe travel by negotiating with every Frey host who saw him riding on the road with just his personnel guard to protect him from any betaryel, he beleived only traveling with his 100 men would show Lord Frey he wished to stem the conflict, he also recognized his brothers 2100 men under his direction could take the castle without the need for his full host, but his full host did have standing orders to ride north if he was not heard from within 3 weeks, and to slash and burn the country side as they marched to burn down The Twins, as Aiden knew if his men heard no orders from him within that time, it was likely because the late Lord Frey likely had him killed in his sleep, a likely proposition in all truth.
Dorian was at war council with his generals who were overseeing the creation of catapults and trebuchets to if need be knock down the walls of The Twins, and plant Lord Frey and all his kin in the bottom of his moat.
Aiden rode up to his brother and cautioned him
“This war can be brought to an end without that much bloodsheed brother, in fact now that is our desired outcome. The Lords of Westeros are watching brother. They want to see if the sons of Lord Allister Rathais can be trusted to join the ranks as true lords of westeros, not just men playing at it. I would like them to see we are able to rise from the ashes of our father and make our way in the world, can you help me prove that to them brother? For our father? For our house?”
“Of course brother, what would you have me do?”
Hours later Lord Aiden Rathais rode up to the raised draw bridge of the twins flying the flag of peace, flanked by his personnel guard, and Dorian.
After a few brief moments a pair of archers looked over the rampart with Walder the Bastard between them smirking.
“And who are you the proud lord said? that I must bow so low? I told you boys he’d come to negotiate. The Frey’s have ruled these lands longer then living memory. And with that rule we’ve made enough coin to defend it for as long as we need to out live any who would take it from us. Have you come to surrender Lord Rathais, and return home?”
Aiden kept himself stone faced, maintaining his composure.
“No Walder Rivers, I’ve come to bring terms of peace to your lord father, neither of us need surrender, peace can be sued just as easy as swords swung. Would you not let me in?”
Walder the Bastard stayed silent for a moment, then he spoke.
“You enter alone, unarmed. Leave that shiny sword of yours with your brother, and your men with him.”
Lord Aiden grit his teeth, feeling a sense of deja vu. A lord entering the house of a lord he was at war at, being asked to make himself unarmed, and undefended. For a split second flashes of his dear freind Harras Harlaw falling down from the tower of pyke.
Finally Aiden roused himself from the flashback, and he spoke.
“The sword stays with me, but my men will wait out here. They will wait with one last order: if I am not heard from within the next three days, bring down The Twins, stone by stone, brick by brick, and Dorian, plant a gods wood on the ruins, fertilized by house Frey.”
With that Dorian and Aiden’s personnel Guard road away past the siege line.
For a brief moment Aiden and Walder the Bastard locked eyes. Aiden could feel sweat bead on his forehead as he panicked for a single moment. Would he being killed by a volley of arrows? would house frey have his lands taken to the torch by the Brave Companions? All the while not caring that Dorian would destroy them all, and relish in revenge? But, as he stared deep in Walder the Bastard’s cold black eyes Aiden sighed in relief at the sound of the draw bridge being lowered.
After a few moments Aiden was ushered through the halls of The Twins to the dining hall of house Frey, Lord Walder was eating a trout.
“Interesting choice of meal Lord Walder, I’m told the trout is a delicacy in the Riverlands, seldom eaten.”
Lord Walder laughed.
“Lets cut the fat boy we both know why you’re here. You’ve come to give me terms of peace.”
Aiden nodded and took out a roll of parchment, he and his war council has outlined a very amicable pair of terms.
“Put it away boy, I didn’t come here to debate words written on paper, come drink with me, I never negotiate sober.”
Aiden nodded somberly and walked his way up to Lord Walder’s dining table and noticed something that made him gulp a little unnerved. Lord Walder was meeting him with a sword sprawled across his lap.
“I can see guest rights will not be exchanged.” AIden said bitterly as he sat down a stein of mead put in front of him by a serving maid.
“Your not my guest, and I’m not your host Lord Rathais, we are two opposing sides fighting it out for a shit stain of land.”
Aiden sighed as he pushed the mead away.
“So you agree the land isn’t important to you”
“Of course the land is important to me, it’s my families land! Would you not defend the hinterlands of your Sky Ring Keep if a lord invaded you after failed negotiations with your vassal lords? And why do you refuse the drink, I was told you indulged yourself?”
Aiden sighed looking into the bleak brown grog for a moment. A flash of Ser Rodreick’s face speaking those words: “Valar Doheris” and the slam of those two doors echoed in his ears.
“I’ve found alcohol dulls the mind and weakens ones will, if I am to negotiate a peace I need a healthy supply of both.”
Walder sighed and chuckled.
“A fair criticism, now let me give you my terms Aiden, and we can work from there. There are two options in my terms, the first is right here and now: you go home with no land claims, no glory, no improvement to your house, you go home looking like a failed lord, and I remain at the crossing taking my toll…”
“And the other?” Aiden interjected.
“The other sends you home with a new wife, and a legal avenue to the lands you desire so much. You can weed any one of my daughters of your choice, you can maintain domion nominally over the lands you’ve claimed, that bastard squire of yours can be a steward nothing more, and that council in fair market can govern with my consent, but your son, my grand son, he will be lord of it all. you’ll even get that port you want so much, house Frey just takes 10% of all it’s profits to compensate for a natural loss of tolls at the crossing. And you even get to placate your brothers blood lust.”
Aiden raised an eyebrow.
“What do you offer Dorian?”
Walder laughed and rung a bell in front of him. Afterwards a pair of guards came in dragging Black Walder kicking and screaming.
“You won’t sell me to that bastard! Father please!”
“Shut your mouth Black Walder, you lost your right to debate with me when you went a wild eagle hunt, pardon the joke Lord Aiden, a habit.” Walder scoffed out as Black Walder was dragged in chains before the raised dining table.
“Your brother is fond of burying men who break the laws of his gods I’m told, if it means peace I will throw him a bone” Walder said with a smirk as he drunk more of his grog.
Lord Aiden was quite for a moment, but in his head he was overjoyed: everything was coming together better then he’d even planned.
“So these are your terms: a man to die by my brothers hand, a wife for me to take, and a son to rule the lands I’ve made claim to, and Jon can steward over them until my son comes of age?”
“Yes, but until then I rule those lands, the bastard does my will as steward over the lands of Fair Market and you’re planned harbor, nothing more.”
“I have but one request to amend these terms.”
Lord Walder Frey looked at Aiden with a grim look, and he sighed.
“Instead of me marrying one of your daughters now, let a son of mine marry one of your grand daughters.”
“Lord Aiden I know your likely still greiving but your lacking in sons, this is an empty gesture”
Aiden nodded grimly.
“But I am currently working on a marriage alliance with House Royce, that will make my house poised to become high house of the vale. With that sort of arrangement your house would be poised as the bridging party, pardon my pun, between the high lord of the vale, and the high lord of the west, thanks to your previous marriage alliance with house lannister. Would that not be a better arrangement then a marriage now?”
Aiden said and out stretched his hand to shake with Lord Walder.
“How can I be sure you will keep true to this arrangment, what’s stoping you from promising your first born royce-rathais child to another lord’s daughter?”
“8000 gold dragons Lord Frey, that is what will stop me. If I break this vow at a later date, I will sign a legally binding contract that I will have to pay House Frey reparations of 8000 gold dragons
“We have an accord” Lord Walder said as he embraced him in the traditional way, the wrist shake, checking for daggers, they found none.
“Go choose you’re wife Lord Rathais, then we’ll get about having my Measter right up these terms and we’ll sign, The Treaty of the Twins they’ll call it!~” Walder Frey said as he grabbed a new stein of grog from the serving maid.
Lord Aiden noticed something strange about the girl as she walked away: she had blue lips.
Months later Lord Aiden received a raven from kings landing, with the king’s personnel seal.
It read as follows:
Aiden, thank you for bringing that war to an end, but Jon has counciled me that you must face some form of punishment other then just the threat of your next first born marrying a Frey girl, Jon believes the most fair thing to do is an additional 10% of the income from the port your building, Far Harbor, will go to House Tully as reparations for starting a war in their lands. Lord Hosster, and his Heir Edmure think it good thus by my pen it is made law. I hope you don’t take this as a personnel attack Aiden, it is just what my council thinks is best to maintain the peace we fought for. I’ll see you at that Peace Tourney you’re holding at Fair Market.
Signed your friend Robert “the King of Tits and Wine” Baratheon