above her on the throne

head up at Ned, high above her on the throne. They killed my mother too, Your Grace. And they . . . they . . . Her voice trailed off, as if she had forgotten what she was about to say. She began to sob.Ser Raymun Darry took up the tale. At Wendish Town, the people sought comfort in their holdfast, but the walls were timbered. The raiders piled straw against the wood and burnt them all alive. When the Wendish folk opened their gates to flee the fire, they shot them down with arrows as they came running out, even women with suckling babes.Oh, dreadful, murmured Varys. How cruel can men be?They would of done the same for us, but the Sherrer holdf asts made of stone, Joss said. Some wanted to smoke us out, but the big one said there was riper fruit upriver, and they made for the Mummers Ford.Ned could feel cold steel against his fingers as he leaned forward. Between each finger was a blade, the points of twisted swords fanning out like talons from arms of the throne. fifty-fifty afterwards three centuries, some were still sharp enough to cut. The Iron Throne was full of traps for the unwary. The songs said it had interpreted a thousand blades to make it, heated white-hot in the furnace breath of Balerion the Black Dread. The hammering had interpreted fifty-nine days. The end of it was this hunched black beast made of razor edges and barbs and ribbons of sharp metal a chair that could kill a man, and had, if the stories could be believed.What Eddard Stark was doing sitting there he would never comprehend, yet there he sat, and these people looked to him for justice. What proof do you have that these were Lannisters? he asked , softening to keep his ire under control. Did they wear crimson cloaks or fly a lion banner?Even Lannisters are not so blind stupid as that, Ser Marq Piper snapped. He was a swaggering piddling rooster of a youth, too young and too hot-blooded for Neds taste, though a fast helper of Catelyns brother, Edmure Tully.Every man among them was mounted and mailed, my lord, Ser Karyl answered calmly. They were armed with steel-tipped lances and longswords, with battle-axes for the butchering. He gestured toward one of the ragged survivors. You. Yes, you, no ones going to have you. Tell the Hand what you told me.The old man bobbed his head. Concerning their horses, he said, it were warhorses they rode. Mevery a year I worked in old Ser Willums stables, so I knows the difference. Not a one of these ever pulled a plow, gods bear witness if Im wrong.Well-mounted brigands, observed Littlefinger. Perhaps they stole the horses from the last place they raided.How some men were there in this predatory party? Ned asked.A hundred, at the least, Joss answered, in the same instant as the bandaged smith said, Fifty, and the grannie behind him, Hunnerds and hunnerds, mlord, an army they was.You are more right than you know,

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