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Lord Sigfryd Harlaw of Ten Towers (8259 - 8282)

Berserk CCG illustration 5 by leopardsnow

Lord Sigfryd Harlaw

Sigfryrd assumed control of the lordship of Harlaw Hill in 8259 following the death of his father Sigrin II.  His reign was a peaceful one for House Harlaw, considering Ironborn customs.  He fathered 5 children, three daughters and two sons - Rodrik and Fralegg.



Sigfryd was largely considered the black sheep of the Ironborn lords due to his dismissal of the Old Ways of reaving and raiding.  Perhaps this was due to his closer proximity to the Andal lords of Westeros, but either way, Lord Sigfryd was more interested in securing alliances for his house than reaving, much to the chagrin of his liege lord Quellon Greyjoy.  In early 262AL, Lord Sigfryd secured an alliance with House Lannister of the Westerlands and House Frey of the Riverlands, giving the hands of his daughters to Kevan Lannister and Ryman Frey, respectively.  Though Lord Sigfryd had high hopes of his alliance with the Lannister, it would all come crashing down a few years later, as Lord Tywin Lannister was discovered to have murdered his kinsman, was excommunicated by the greenlander High Septon and had the Westerlands stripped from him in a massive revolt.  Lord Sigfryd had initally sent the soldiers of House Harlaw to the Westerlands to assist Lord Tywin, but when House Tully, Stark, and Tyrell joined against the young Lannister lord, he returned home with his strength to brood in silence. 


Meanwhile, his son Rodrik and his nephew Harras had been sent to be educated at Pyke, and were quickly developing into formidable warriors in their own right.


Lord Sigfryd spent the rest of his years at home at Ten Towers, only leaving once in 8281 to pursue a rumour of a valyrian weapon hidden in Essos.  A year after his departure though, a raven arrived in Ten Towers, informing his son Rodrik that the remains of his father's ship had washed ashore in Lys, with no survivors in sight.  What is dead may never die.

Lord Reaver Rodrik 'the Ruin' Harlaw (8282 - 8301)

Harras

Harras Harlaw, the Knight of Ten Towers

Rodrik

Lord Reaver Rodrik Harlaw of Ten Towers

Rodrik was sent to Pyke at an early age to be educated under the watchful eye of Quellon Greyjoy, perhaps due to his displeasure at Lord Sigfryd for his fairweather attitude towards to Old Ways.  Rodrik, unlike his father, would grow to be one of the greatest warriors in the known world, and one of the most skilled battlefield commanders.  When he assumed his father's seat in 8282, it was to the unanimous agreement of his vassal lords.  Then again, if they had disagreed, they would have had to face Rodrik himself, or perhaps his good friend and cousin, Harras Harlaw, who despite being from a minor branch of House Harlaw, had always been Rodrik's father's favourite nephew, and had been raised alongside Lord Rodrik and was almost his twin, both in appearance and skill with a blade, and at the helm of a warship.


Rodrik did much to expand the wealth and prestige of House Harlaw, earning a fearsome reputation as a skilled reaver, bringing chest full of gold, silver, and precious stones back to Ten Towers.  It is with this surge of wealth that he began an ambitious project to rebuild the ancient fortress of House Mudd, Oldstones, that had remained unoccupied since the Age of Heroes.  He left his cousin, Harras, in change of Ten Towers and moved his capital to the ruined castle, earning him the nickname of Rodrik the Ruin.  While progress was slow on Oldstones, it slowly moved forward, draining large sums from House Harlaw's treasury and forcing Lord Rodrik to continually reave and pillage across the Narrow Sea.  He took his ship, Howl, east across the Narrow Sea and set upon a Lysene trading ship, taking its plunder.  Among the stores he discovered a valyrian steel dagger, which be brought home with him when he returned to Harlaw Hill.  Enlisting the help of a master blacksmith, he had the metal recast and forged into a wickedly sharp spike which was attached to the top of a great twohanded warhammer which he named Skullrender.  Given that his cousin, Harras, was the stronger of the two, Rodrik gave the warhammer to him, and in return was handed Nightfall, the ancestral blade of House Harlaw.


Even though he was renowned as a fearsome reaver, Rodrik was nonetheless not an unkind man, and when King Aerys 'the Firegazer' summoned all Lords and Ladies to the capital to issue a new decree, Lord Rodrik along with his cousin Harras
Siege by ortheza

Ironborn under the command of Quellon Greyjoy sack King's Landing and clear the way for Lord Rodrik's party to escape

travelled by ship to Highgarden and offered to accompany Lord Mace Tyrell to the capital, fearing that a repeat of the last time a Tyrell came to the capital would happen.  As the King's Hand, Lord Brynden Tully began to read the newly written decrees, he suddenly began coughing violently, blood and spittle alike rolling down his chin.  He died quickly, and even quicker still did the King order the doors of the throne room shut by his goldcloaks, screaming that Lord Mace had poisoned his Hand in retribution for his father's death.  Hands immediately went to sword hilts, and the tenstion in the room was palpable, but as King Aerys commanded Lord Brandon Stark to arrest Lord Mace, it was Harras Harlaw, the Knight of Ten Towers, who ignited the fire in the throne room, taking the warhammer Skullrender into his two hands, he spoke loudly, using a voice trained by ordering men at sea - "If you want him, come and get him."  His cousin, Lord Rodrik drew his blade, Nightfall, as well, and suddenly the room was filled with the sound of swords being drawn from scabbards, a thousand flickering lights as they reflected off the torches that lined Aerys' throne room.  Lord Stark hesitated, but the goldcloaks did not, they quickly rushed forward to take Lord Mace, and Harras and Rodrik went about their bloody work.  Rodrik slew the commander of the gold cloaks and held them back as Harras cleared a path for the young Reachlord to escape.  As they forced their way out of the throne room and regrouped with the men they had left outside the Red Keep, Lord Harras took up one of his men's bows and shot a flaming arrow out towards Blackwater Bay.  Further away, another arrow went up, and then farther still another, and in the distance wardrums began to beat as the Iron Fleet stormed into the Bay, spewing out Ironborn warriors who rushed towards King's Landing, scaling the walls with ladders and ropes.  The Goldcloaks were no match for the full force and skill of the Iron Isles' finest warriors, and Lord Rodrik, Harras, and Lord Mace escaped the city, whereupon they boarded Rodrik's ship and sailed to Highgarden, escorting the Tyrell lord to safety.


Following the events at the capital, Aerys demanded the heads of Mace Tyrell and any who had helped him, but the lords of the Realm had had enough of the Tyrant King, and rose in rebellion against him, fighting to install the son of Rhaelle Targaryen, Steffon Baratheon, upon the throne.


Steffon's Rebellion, or the War of the Usurper as some named it, was over swiftly.  Tyrell and Baratheon hosts marched on the capital as Ironborn led by Quellon Greyjoy, Dunstan Drumm, and Rodrik Harlaw raided the crown islands of Dragonstone and Driftmark.  Lord Greyjoy took 10,000 men to attack the capital, and Ser Harras Harlaw led the assault on the Dragon Gate, slaying Rhaegar Targaryen in single combat with his warhammer Skullrender while the Crown Prince defended the walls.  The Tyrant King Aerys died upon the throne before the gates were breached, writhing mad on the throne as he was informed of his son and heir's death, cutting himself deep upon the blades of Aegon the Conqueror's enemies.  When the ironborn and Reachmen hosts sacked the capital, their retribution upon House Targaryen was swift.  The dragons were put to the sword, including the wife of Lord Denis Arryn.


Sacking

Ironborn under the command of Rodrik the Ruin sack Bear Island

The death of Denis Arryn's wife drove him into a rage, and he declared the Great Valemen Independence War, following the example led by Brandon Stark of Winterfell, who had proclaimed himself King in the North following the extermination of House Targaryen.  However, with the Targaryen's dead, the Ironborn returned home, uninterested in war against the Vale.  The new King, Steffon Baratheon, demanded the assistance of Lord Greyjoy in the war against the Vale and North, but Lord Quellon ignored him, only commanding Lord Rodrik north to raid against Bear Island, so that he could say he had assisted the new King.


King Steffon Baratheon would crush the Vale rebellion, with assistance from Lord Tyrell and Lannister, and the North would again bend the knee to the Iron Throne, and the realm would be restored to peace.  Rodrik 'the Ruin' Harlaw, would not live long enough to see that peace though, as an old wound had reopened and rapidly become infected.  Having produced no male heir to pass his titles to, after his death leadership of House Harlaw would pass to his cousin, Ser Harras Harlaw, the Knight of Ten Towers.

Ser Harras Harlaw (8301 - 8307)

Lord by dandzialf-d4b2usa

Ser Harras Harlaw, the Knight of Ten Towers

At the age of 6 years old, Harras Harlaw was sent by Lord Sigfryd to be warded at Casterly Rock, under the watchful eye of Lord Tywin Lannister, a man whose dishonorable deeds would lead to his own downfall.  It is perhaps under Lord Tywin that Harras honed his ruthlessness, for when he returned to Harlaw Hill some two years later following the Westerland Rebellion that had deposed Lord Tywin, it was not the wide eyed and frightened boy that had left, but a child that had all the markings of a true Ironborn reaver.  Lord Sigfryd, noticing the young boy's eagerness to fight, sent him off again, this time to Pyke to be tutored by his liege lord, Lord Quellon Greyjoy.


It was on Pyke that Harras made fast friends with two sons of Lord Quellon Greyjoy, Euron and Victarion Grejoy.  Together they would train in the yard for hours, and when Harras became of age, he could hold his own against even the best fighters in the Iron Isles.  At 14 years of age he was knighted by a septon, and competed in a bloody melee tournament on Pyke where he placed first, despite suffering a grevious injury that left him blind in his left eye.


Returning home to Harlaw Hill, he embarked with his cousin Rodrik and Lord Sigfryd to go reaving across the Stepstones and earned a reputation as a fearsome warrior, him and Rodrik being inseperable in battle, each making a dance of whirling blades against corsairs, pirates, and merchants alike.  This further solidified him as Lord Sigfryd's favourite nephew, over all others, so much so that he proclaimed that if his son Rodrik could not produce a male heir, then leadership of House Harlaw would pass to Ser Harras, who had quickly become known as the Knight of Ten Towers.





===
Steffon's Rebellion ===


Harras Harlaw stood at the bow of his ship Nightcrow, closing his eyes and extending his arms as wide as they could go.  Behind him his crew rowed furiously, muscles bulging in their necks and they heaved on the oars, but Harras did not hear them.  All he could hear was the drums.  A thousand drums it must have been, each of them filling the air with the sounds of war, the sounds of the Ironborn.  All across the world, when men heard those drums floating towards them off of seemingly calm waters, they ran.  They ran and prayed, though neither seemed to help much.


Harras chuckled at the thought, breaking himself out of his trance like state.  He opened his eyes slowly, tracing the shoreline as it narrowed into the Blackwater Bay.  To either side, ships rowed in formation with his own.  To his right, his cousin's - Howl.  To his left, the ship of Helmann Codd, who despite his name seemed to perpetually smell of onions.  The thought made Harras grimace involuntarily, as if the smell had crept across the distance between the two ships.  He banished the thought from his mind as the man in the crow's nest shouted down to him.  Harras waved at the man.  He didn't hear what the man had said, but it didn't matter since the only reason he would've said anything at all is if he had seen it. 


His hands reached deftly along the carved wood of the prow, carved in the shape of a crow's head.  Harras walked nimbly to the beak of its head, below him nothing but empty water, and waited.  It did not take long before he saw it.  Rising like some leviathan from the sea, first the walls, the the rooftops, then finally above it all - The Red Keep.  Quellon Greyjoy had not wanted the other rebel lords to take the city - the wealth of the Seven Kingdoms was hidden away inside the Red Keep he believed.  Either way, it would be the Ironborn that would take King's Landing, and Harras Harlaw, the Knight of Ten Towers - would lead the assault on the Mud Gate.


Hammer by nathanparkart-d77xgdx

The Knight of Ten Towers

He reversed his steps and pulled himself back onto the upper deck and walked to his cabin, grinning at his men, telling them what they wanted to hear - You'll all be rich soon, plenty of salt wives inside the city, etc, etc.  More than likely they'll get a fistful of arrows in their necks than a fist full of gold in their pockets, he thought dourly.  He pushed open the door to his cabin and waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness of the room.  What small light penetrated into the cabin danced across a single item laid carefully on top of a heavy wooden chest.  He crossed the room quickly and picked up the object, carefully inspecting it.  Skullrender.  An appropriate name, if nothing else.  The warhammer was too large to be wielded in one hand, and was in truth more alike to a normal warhammer than anything - but while the flat head of the hammer was forged in steel, the tail seemed to shimmer and swim as the light reflected off it.  Valyrian steel, just as the blade he had previously wielded, the ancestral blade of House Harlaw - Nightfall.  He set the hammer down carefully and opened the chest to reveal his armor, which he slowly began to put on, beginning by strapping a short dagger to his belt.


His hands paused as they passed over a pair of steel gauntlets and he grabbed them, bringing them out from the pile of armour where they had been resting.  Speed, thought Harras.  I must put my faith in the Drowned God.  If today is the day I die, then no amount of armour will protect me.  He tossed the gauntlets back into the pile and after a last glance closed the chest, locking it again.  He reached down and picked up the hammer, Skullrender, and then a large wooden shield that hung over his cabin's bed, the scythe of House Harlaw freshly painted upon it.  He would carry Skullrender slung across his back for the first assault, when the defenders would be their most resistant.  He opened his cabin door and returned to the chaos - the sound of men shouting orders, of oars and oarmen struggling against the water, and of the drums.  The drums beat even more furiously as they entered Blackwater Bay, rising to a fever pitch.  One of the deckhands glanced towards Ser Harras questioningly, and Harras nodded. 


"Faster!" the man shouted at the oarsmen and they redoubled their efforts, Nightcrow surging ahead of the rest of the fleet.  Lord Greyjoy might be displeased with me, thought Harras.  He looked to his left to see Helmann Codd's ship start to slowly drift behind the others.  Coward, Harras' face twisted in disgust.  To his right though, his cousin Rodrik's ship Howl was keeping pace with his own.  House Harlaw would be the first ashore, as it should be.


The last stretched of open water was crossed and Harras gave the order to ship oars.  The drums suddenly stopped, as he imagined the same order was being given to every ship in the fleet.  The sound of scrabbling on deck drowned out everything else as men hastily pulled on mail coats, lifted their shields and adjusted the weapons.  Nightcrow drifted slowly down the Blackwater Rush towards the short below the Mud Gate.  Soon, thought Harras.  Soon we will be close enough for them.  The world seemed go oddly quiet in that moment.  The drums had ceased, the men were armed and armored, and the oars lay abandoned across the upper deck.  Then a sound drifted over to them from the walls of the city, like a hornet's nest had just been kicked, a buzzing that filled the ears.


"Shields!" Harras shouted at his men, raising his own towards the walls as arrows crashed down around them, burying themselves in the ship, in shields, in men.  He was thrown forward as the boat slammed into the beach, over the rim of his shield he saw the Mud Gate, the rampart above it crammed with men.


Desembark viking by asus01-d37mfss
"Forward! Let's go kill the fuckers!" He leaped over the side of the ship into water waist high and began wading to dry ground, the shield held up in front of him, the hammer Skullrender jostling noisily on his back.


Rodrik's ship Howl ground ashore next, men with the white scythe of House Harlaw leaping ashore, then the ground seemed to ship as the entire Iron Fleet followed shortly after, its decks swarming with warriors that vaulted onto the beach, carrying ladders, ropes, and all manner of climbing equipment.  A squater boat landed ashore and the men wasted no time in jumping overboard.  Armed with long sturdy poles they rammed them under the boat and began to heave, flipping the boat upside down and turning it into a makeshift battering ram.






Harras saw all of this as he struggled to the walls, arrows flickering past him like gnats in his ear, their sharp whistles a constant tune.  Fucking archers.  His feet carried him to the walls and he flattened his back to it, narrowly being missed by a large rock thrown from above. 


"To me!"  He shouted, just as the doors to the Mud Gate were thrown open and defenders poured out, screaming and shouting.  These were not men of the city watch Harras noted, they did not wield spears, or clad themselves in cheap mail and padded gambesons.  No, the men who sallied from the gate were knights, armored head to toe, their armoured boots clanging as they cut down the men closest to the gate.




"Harlaw! Ten Towers! To me!" Harras shouted as loud as he could, as he threw his shield to the ground, splintering the dozen arrows that were already buried in its wood.  He charged forward
Storm the gate by daroz-d60swj8
without looking to see if anyone had heard him, or were following his orders, his hands moved deftly as they cut the straps holding Skullrender to his back and brought the weapon in front of him.  He let out a warcry as he swung the hammer with all his strength, smashing a knight's helm that was decorated with pink and white horses.   Blood poured from the eyeslits of the helm, but Harras did not notice, he was already on to his next enemy, the bloodlust of battle threatening to overwhelm his senses.  He sidestepped as a ball and chain narrowly missed his nose, and he drove Skullrender forward, its pointed end made of Valyrian steel puncturing the man's breastplate.  He visibly shuddered as Harras pulled the weapon back, and the man seemed to crumple like old paper into the mud.  Two knights faced him now, one stabbing wildly at him with an awlpike as the other hack with a giant twohanded blade.  Harras danced back and forth, looking for an opening on one, and found it as another knight stumbled into the men with the pike.  Like lighting Harras had grabbed the other end and heaved it towards him as he kicked the man with the sword back.  The pikeman stumbled and fell forward and skullrender crushed his skull in, being brought up just in time to parry a blow from the two handed blade.  The defender's line seemed to shudder as more Ironborn threw themselves into the fray, howling warcries and pushing forward behind their shields.  Harras dove at the two handed man before he had a chance to counter attack and brought him to the ground.  He pinned the man's arm to the ground with his body and he drew his dagger and slammed it up under the knight's visor, his body shaking and shuddering before finally going still.  He looked up and saw that the defenders had retreated back into the city.


Ramparts by daroz-d5gkiqo
As soon as they were away the arrows began again, raining down death and fire into the Ironborn ranks.  Harras grabbed a shield from a dead body and shouted for ladders.  The first wave of Ironmen were jammed along the walls as the ladders were hurried forward, like tendrils from a squid they grappled onto the walls, and soon were aswarm with warriors wielding axes and swords, shouting to the Drowned God to give them victory.  Harras took hold of a ladder and began climbing.  An arrow whistled down and buried itself in his leg, twisting his face into a ruckus of pain.  Harras looked down at the wound as he paused on the ladder.  The arrow had been a bodkin, thankfully, and it had passed straight through rather than lodging itself into his flesh.  He grimaced and reached down, snapping it in two and tossing the pieces aside as he resumed his climb.  The ladder shuddered, and Harras looked upwards.  The ironborn at the top was trying to clear a dead comrade aside as the defenders hacked at the ladder with greataxes, splintering the wood apart.  The ladder creaked and bent under the weight, suddenly dropping from the top of the wall, heaving the climbers back down into the mud.


Harras cursed and rose back up, cursing at the defenders.  Elsewhere along the wall the assault was going better, but the men on the walls were resisting stubbornly, and the Ironborn were having to fight tooth and nail for every inch.  Harras turned to find another ladder and his eyes found instead the makeshift battering ram that was being carried swiftly to the gate.  Already it was dotted with half a hundred arrows, resembling some strange greenland animal Harras had seen once.  He hefted the shield he had taken from a dead man a cursed as he saw the sigil. My luck I pick up the shield with a fucking Cod on it, he thought. 


He limped towards the battering ram, blood seeping from the arrow wound as he went.  Again he flattened himself against the wall.  I could not be the first over the wall, but I will be the first through that damn gate.  As the battering ram was brought forward and crashed against the Mud Gate, oil and pitch were dumped on it, and the whole thing was soon alight, a handful of Ironborn too slow to escape trapped underneath the upturned ship which was engulfed in flames.  But from his watery halls, the Drowned Gods smiled upon Ser Harras Harlaw, the Knight of Ten Towers.  For while the ram burned, the flames engulfed the gate as well.


Harras watched and waited as the flames did their work on the gate, the sound of battle ringing in his ears.  In his mind, the world had shrunk to just this stretch of land.  This city, these men, this burning gate.  That was all that was left of the world, and so he waited.  Sparks shot from the ram as it collapsed in on its own weight, the crack seeming to reverberate inside Harras' skull.  Another ladder came crashing down near him, with the men on it screaming and yelling in panic.  Harras looked around at the warriors who were alongside the wall with him, some, fewer than he would like, had the white scythe of House Harlaw on their arrow perforated shields.  The other shields were a sea of sigils - snakes, horns, seals, bonehands, and krakens dotted the shields around him, the only man of note among them himself.  He glanced sideways at the gate.  Soon.


He slowly removed his helmet and ran fingers through his hair.  He had cut it for the battle, so that it would not get in his way.  He placed the helmet on the ground beside him and addressed the Ironborn with him.


"Listen up, lads.  That gate is going to come crashing down in any minute, and when it does we are going to lead this army to victory.  The Drowned God watches over us!  What is dead may never die!"  they echoed back his shout just as the gate collapsed inwards, bellowing up sparks and smoke, and Harras could see beyond that smoke the glittering steel of a man clad in fine armour, his helmet crested with dragonwings.  Harras grinned and charged, the men following quickly behind.


Harras and his men leapt through the flames of the ruined Mud Gate and smashed into the defenders within, forming a crude shieldwall as they heaved against the defender's line.  Arrows came down on them from above, into their unprotected backs, but Ironborn armed with bows and crossbows quickly moved into the widening gap that the shieldwall was making and began returning shots with the enemy archers.  Harras placed his weight onto his shield, cursing at himself for not arming himself with a blade, the warhammer Skullrender being far too ungainly for this sort of work.  The fight had devolved to a shoving match between the defenders and the men Harras had taken in through the gate, but from behind he heard a familiar voice giving orders.  Rodrik the Ruin had come, and he quickly ordered his men to lift a single shield between them as warriors armed with bows stood atop them.  The archers started raining down arrows on the defenders from above them, and small gaps began to be made in the Crown's lines.  Still, they resisted stubbornly, the knight with the crested helmet issuing orders and rallying his men.


A warcry went up from along the walls, and Harras chanced a glance to see members of the city watch jumping from the walls in a panic as Ironborn surged onto the parapets.  The wall had been taken, and Harras shouted such to the men around him, he began fighting with a renewed vigour, while the defenders faltered, their morale crushed.  More and more Ironborn threw themselves into Harras' shieldwall and pressed against the enemy line, beginning to overwhelm it by sheer force.


It is a strange moment, when an enemy line breaks.  At one moment it is there, men are snarling and cursing at your from just across your shield, so close you can smell the ale they had drank before the battle.  And then suddenly, they aren't there.  As if some storm has swept them away the enemy line simply ceases to exist.  That is when the killing begins in earnest.  The defenders broke and began fleeing through the streets of King's Landing, pursued by Ironborn driven half man by the fighting.


A knot of half a dozen knights stubbornly resisted, keeping themselves in formation with shields locked, encasing the man with the winged helmet like armor.  The Ironborn surged around them, ignoring them.  The battle was won, and there was easy plunder to be had, why attack the last stubborn fools left? Let someone else do it.


Harras was perhaps a poor Ironborn for that reason.  Aside from the fact that he had been warded in Casterly Rock and educated in the way of Andal knights and knighted by a septon upon his 16th nameday.  He hefted and Skullrender and looked around for his cousin, Rodrik, gesturing at the knights slowly making their escape when he found him.  Rodrik nodded his understanding and sheated the axe he had been using and drew Nightfall.  Rodrik grabbed men seemingly at random as they moved along, each one brandishing a shield with the white scythe proudly emblazoned upon it.


Runaway
Harras, Rodrik, and the others pursued the knights through the streets quickly, staying with them at every turn as they tried to avoid the roaming Ironborn parties.  The knights suddenly stopped, Harras and his cousin slowly approaching as a brick wall entrapped the knights behind it.  One of the knights said something that Harras could not make out, muffled by the man's helmet, and the others moved forward, forming a line in front of the man with the crested dragon helm.


"You realize none of you are making it out of here alive, yes?" Rodrik said, pointing Nightfall at the man who had spoke.


The man did not respond, and neither did the others.  Harras looked at his cousin, shrugged, and charged.

Axes, hammers, spears, and shields of heavy oak crashed against plate mail and castle forged steel as the knights held their ground. A Harlaw man went down, a gaping hole where his neck had once been, blood pouring from it like a waterfall. Harras rounded on the man who had made the blow and Skullrender smashed into the man's gauntleted hand, send his blade flying. Another Harlaw man swung his axe against the man's knees and the knight went down. Harras twisted the axe and brought the rear spike down on the man's helmet, and through his visor Harras saw the man's eyes go blank.

Another knight, bearing a grey helm upon a shield of bright white came charging at Harras' cousin Rodrik. With a look of contempt on his face the Ruin twisted aside and brought his blade down on the man's neck, causing him to topple and fall with a great clash as his heavily armoured body met the cobblestones of the alleyway. Two of the enemy knights overwhelm an ironborn warrior armed with two axes, their blades rising and falling upon the man's chest in rhythmic fashion. Harras set upon them, catching one on the upper chin, shattering his jaw and sending him reeling backwards grasping at his face. The other man withdrew his blade from the dead man's chest and came upon the Knight of Ten Towers with a flurry of blows, Harras withdrawing from the frenzied attack, only to find his foot caught upon the body of another dead knight. He fell backwards onto the ground, narrowly rolling to the side as the knight's blade threw sparks in the air as it crashed into the cobblestones. Suddenly Rodrik was in front of him, Nightfall in hand as he stood against the man. Harras pulled himself to his feet as he watched his cousin trade blows with the man, when suddenly Rodrik's defense faltered and the man rammed him blade into Rodrik's thigh, emitting a cry of pain from the Ruin. The man heaved upon his blade, meaning to draw it from Rodrik's thigh and make the final blow, but the only response was a sickening sucking sound as the blade became stuck in Rodrik's thigh. The man kicked his foot onto Rodrik's chest to try again, and then suddenly dropped it, a perplexed look stretched across his face. He turned around slowly and revealed to Rodrik a great pit of darkness where the back of his skull had once been, brain matter oozing out of the hole. His body went limp and he fell, revealing the Knight of Ten Towers standing over him, the bloody greathammer Skullrender gripped in his hands.

Rodrik grimaced and drew himself back against a wall and Harras turned to the last opponent left, the Dragon Knight.

"Fancy helmet." Harras spoke without emotion, his face betraying nothing.

The man in the dragon helm raised his shield and placed his blade point above it, facing Ser Harras Harlaw. Blood dripped down from its edges.

"My father will pay a great ransom for me." The man spoke, his voice muffled beneath his visored helmet.

"Who are you?"

"Rhaegar Targaryen."

HarrasVsRhaegar

Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Ser Harras Harlaw

Ser Harras looked on the man. He had seen him before, though never armoured and prepared for battle. He looked every inch the warrior, every fibre a King. A worthy opponent.

"I have enough gold." Ser Harras spoke somberly, his words echoing with a finality to them.Hammer met blade, and at the end of it all Prince Rhaegar lay bloody and broken, his chest caved in from a mighty blow, his gauntleted hand still gripping his blade tightly. Ser Harras stumbled slightly as he made his way to his cousin, favouring the leg that an arrow had pierced earlier. He offered his hand to Lord Rodrik, helping him up as the two supported one another back to the ships.

"Who was he?" Rodrik looked to his cousin, his face still lined by the pain in his thigh.

"Some dead man."




Lord Sigfryd II 'the Dark Knight' Harlaw (8307 - 8351)

Sigfryd rose to become the Lord of Oldstones and Harlaw Hill at the age of only 7 years old, the only legitimate son of Rodrik 'the Ruin'.  Many claimed that the folly of his father in disturbing the ghosts of the old River Kings that resided in Oldstones' ruins had cursed House Harlaw to be extinguished in the male line, but Sigfryd would prove them to be wrong.  He would rule over Oldstones and Harlaw Hill for 44 years, and would sire three sons - Harren, Torrhen, and Tristifer.


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Lord Sigfryd II Harlaw, age 16.

From an early age though, Sigfryd showed signs of being a troubled child.  Overwhelmed by the child, his regent Kenned Harlaw, the Lord of Grey Garden, sent Sigfryd to Pyke to be tutored by the famed reaver and Lord of the Iron Isles, Euron Crow's Eye.  The Crow's Eye had been a good friend of Sigfryd's father Rodrik, and of Sigfryd's great uncle Harras, and under him the young Lord of Oldstones flourished.  Unlike his father though, Sigfryd's tutoring was more oriented towards statecraft than warfare, though he excelled just as well in the latter.  When he returned home to Oldstones in 316AL, he quickly became known as a master statesman, seeming to somehow know of everything that happened within his demense, sometimes even before the Lords of the places where the events occured.


He was still a troubled man, and would spend countless hours in the deepest recesses of Oldstones, where the ghosts of the old River Kings of House Mudd still prowled, interrogating prisoners and outlaws, their screams echoing from the walls below.  For this outlaws and thieves would kill themselves rather than be taken by Harlaw men back to Oldstones' cells, and others began calling him 'the Dark Knight', as a measure of scorn.  Sigfryd instead took the title as a badge of pride.


He showed how apt his name was when the Manderlys of White Harbour rose against their Stark overlords.  The king, Robert Baratheon, ordered the Manderly hosts to return home and surrender to the Starks, but they defied his orders.  When the raven arrived in the Iron Isles, calling for the aid of their ships and men, Lord Sigfryd was one of the first to join the Crow's Eye.  While the armies of the Iron Isles attacked the White Harbour host in Oldcastle, Sigfryd and his men took White Harbour by storm, leaving Sigfryd the full freedom to do as he pleased with his newfound prisoners.  Though they were noble prisoners by birth, he did not spare them the knife.

Sigfryd earned the reputation as both a fearsome raider, and a cruel and sadistic man to his enemies. To his friends he bequeathed wealth, titles, and lands, but to his enemies he brought only death. When Sigfryd received a raven from King's Landing calling his banners to fight against the last Targaryen claimant who had landed in the Eyrie at the head of the Golden Company, the Dark Knight was one of the first on the Isles to sail to the King's defense, knowing full well that if this 'dragon' were to take the throne, House Harlaw would no doubt be ground under his heel for their role in slaying the Crown Prince, Rhaegar Targaryen. The Mummer's Dragon (as he would later become known) did not march alone however. Enraged by the execution of his wife, House Arryn had raised their banners, and alongside their Tully and Lannister allies, made haste towards King's Landing to press Aegon Targaryen's claim by force. What they met instead were the combined armies of the Reach, the Stormlands, Crownlands, and Iron Isles. Sigfryd himself led his personal host of 12,000 men into battle, briefly assuming command of the Royal army's left flank as its commander, Lord Rickard Stokeworth, was slain in battle.

Die by the banner by neilblade-d5g7hdq

The Battle of the Mummer's Dragon

It was the largest battle ever fought in Westerosi history, as the Royal forces numbering nearly 120,000 men attacked the entrenched positions of the Lannister-Tully-Arryn alliance just north of King's Landing. The fighting was brutal, and thousands were slain on both sides, Lord Sigfryd himself taking a wound from an enemy blade in the fighting. The fighting was harash, but at the end the armies of the 'Dragon' lay scattered and beaten. The traitor lords Lannister, Tully, and Arryn were stripped of their titles and their lands granted to those who had remained loyal to the King. The vale went to House Velaryon of Driftmark, whose ships had blockaded Blackwater Bay and prevented mercenary reinforcements from arriving to the battle. The Westerlands was granted to House Lefford, who rose against their Lannister overlords and sided with the crown following the battle. Curiously though the Riverlands was granted to House Frey of the Crossing, who had marched alongside the Tullys and raised their banners against the crown.

To Lord Sigfryd he was granted the lands that were formerly held by the Mallisters of Seagard, who had supplied men to fight alongside the mummer's dragon. After nearly three hundred years, the Ironborn had finally retaken Seagard, and its high walls proudly flew the banner of House Harlaw. A great feast was called at Lord Sigfryd's new holdfast, and Ironborn from all across the isles attended. Blacktydes, Orkmonts, Greyjoys, Drumms, Goodbrothers, Harlaws, Stonetrees, Farwynds, and Volmarks all feasted, and it was here that each Ironborn lord swore a blood oath - that from this day forth no Ironborn would war against one another, they would stand united and strong against any Greenlander threat.

The realm was not finished bleeding, however. As the Ironborn feasted and celebrated their victory, elsewhere battle still raged. In the Riverlands, House Frey was locked in a bitter fight with House Tully to decide who should hold the Lord Paramountcy. The Leffords of the Westerlands were facing their first of many wars as the Tyrells of the Reach sought to expand their power against what they judged a weak foe. Lord Sigfryd was intent on remaining neutral in the conflicts, even going so far as to refuse his good brother Lord Ellard Frey's call to arms, a decision he would regret for the rest of his days, as Lord Ellard would lose his fight against the Tullys of Riverrun, and in an act of deplorable cruelty, Lord Ellard, his wife the Lady Harma Harlaw - Lord Sigfry's own daughter, and a number of Lord Sigfryd's nephews would be executed by the new Lady Paramount of the Riverlands, the lady Shyra Tully. From that day forward, Lord Sigfryd swore vengeance upon House Tully, by every God he knew.

The Dark Knight would never live to see his vengeance, but House Harlaw would remember, and his son Harren would take up his father's oath. Blood for blood.



Lord Harren 'the Huntsman' (8351 - 8372)

Falconer by cristi b-d5s56do

Lord Harren 'the Huntsman'

Following the death of Lord Sigfryd Harlaw, the lands of Harlaw passed to his firstborn son Harren.  A grim and stoic man, it was said that he only smiled twice in his life - once when his uncle Kromm gave him a prized hunting falcon on his nineteenth nameday, and again when he sacked Riverrun and drowned Lady Shyra Tully, the woman who had ordered his sister's execution years before.


Harren was a strong proponent of the Old Way, and hungered to see it restored.  Though tempered by other Ironborn vassals, particularily Lord Drennan Drumm, Harren would still continually disobey his liege lord's orders of neutrality in Greenlander wars, Harren instead taking to his ships with his reavers and raiding and pillaging.  Thankfully for him, the throne was weak at the time, its attention focused on the politcal conflict within the Riverlands and the growing power of House Tyrell.


Harren would famously sail to Rain House during a Westerland-Reach war and sack the castle, taking the valyrian steel axe of House Celtigar for his own.  And again, when the realm became embroiled in conflict with the North, Harren would again take to his ship and pay the iron price for another valyrian weapon, this time taking it from the Velaryon lord of Dyre Den, slaying him in personal combat. 


Perhaps alarmed by House Harlaw's expansion into the Westerlands, or seeing an easy opportunity as the old Lord Greyjoy finally passed, the Westerlander armies under the rule of House Lefford declared war upon the Isles in an attempt to retake Seagard for House Mallister.   The three principle Ironborn houses - Harlaw, Drumm, and Greyjoy, all raised their banners and fought viciously against the Westerlands, even going to far as to deny the King when he demanded the Iron Isles lay down their arms.  The Westerlander armies were smashed apart by the ironborn, and House Lefford was forced to pay a humiliating tribute as war reparation, and renounce any claims upon the High Lordship of Seagard.  With his lands secured, Harren looked to expand his power, taking the Cape of Eagles from House Frey of the Riverlands and installing a loyal Ironborn house in its castle.  Not since before Aegon the Conqueror had the Ironborn held the Cape of Eagles, but Harren was not satisfied, he set his sites upon even more neighbouring territories, seeking to press claims to Blackrush and Stillfen, but alas passed at the age of 54, turning his lands over to his heir Tristifer.

Lord Tristifer Harlaw (8372 -

Giovanni dalle Bande Nere by Satibalzane

Lord Reaver Tristifer Harlaw of Seagard

Tutor of Gwenyth Greyjoy

Expanded to Mistlewood

Expanding alliance ties with Riverman houses