Character: Alector Destine
House: House Antirran
Kingdom: The Reach

Alector slammed the door to his chambers behind him, bringing his conversation with one of Jarden’s guards to an abrupt end. He crossed to his bedside table and filled a cup with wine, which he lustily refilled moments later. “Jarden Antirran,” he spat into his cup. His arrival at the tourney had brought Alector nothing but grief. Everything was proceeding just as he’d feared. His house had become a source of mockery while Jarden merely stood by, too drunk and oblivious to see his legacy crumbling around him. If someone did not intercede, House Antirran would exist only in memory. I could save this House, Alector thought, watching his drink swirl in his cup, but is it even worth saving?

Alector glided over to the window, his robes softly trailing along the splintery, wooden floor. House Antirran has been good to me, he thought, taking took a slow sip of his wine. He did not want to think about abandoning the House that had raised him to his current position, but lately he had found his advice holding significantly less weight. I’ve given this House years of loyal service and the best counsel I could offer, and this is how they repay me? Casting my word aside, blindly pursuing their own desires, never thinking about the repercussions of their actions? Where is the justice? He stared out over the slums of King’s Landing and found himself wishing he was anywhere but here.

His thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. Still fuming, Alector crossed back across the shoddy housing that was apparently suitable for his position in life. Inhaling deeply, he smoothed his robes and opened the door. A short, plump guard with a wispy mustache stood in the doorway. “Can I help you?” Alector asked with a mellow voice completely disproportionate to his mood.

“My Lord, there has been a raven from Merlot.” Alector started to correct him, but instead let the title hang in the air.

“Thank you.” When the man had gone, Alector unfurled the tiny parchment and brought it close to the candle on his table. Merlot under siege. Outlaws from the Dell. Send aid. Anger pulsed through his body and, in a fit of rage, Alector dashed his cup against the wall, sending the pride of House Antirran trickling across the floor. I knew this would happen if that fool left Merlot. Not since his escape from the Blackraynes had Alector wanted to see someone permanently disposed of. Several thoughts flashed through Alector’s mind at once, but he knew he would be unable to bring himself to execute them. When he killed the man who had murdered his parents and destroyed his childhood, it had been justice. Killing the man who had taken him in and raised him from poverty would be treason. I might not have to do anything anyway, Alector mused. From what the master told me earlier, it seems someone else wants Jarden gone as well, and when he dies— Alector stopped mid-thought, as a sudden realization gripped him.

If Jarden dies, his son assumes the lordship, yet young Darus is not expected to live out the year. With two unwed daughters and no brothers, House Antirran would be left without an heir. Alector’s mind raced as he moved to mop up the Antirran, still soaking into the floor. Donning a traveling cloak, he swept from the room, snuffing out the candle before closing the door.

Alector found it odd that the streets of King’s Landing were still busy at this time of night. The smell of smoke filled his nostrils, and he could hear a commotion in the distance, but none of that concerned him at the moment. He stopped passerby, asking for directions until he reached his destination. The brothel stood several stories tall, made of pale stone. Torches had been placed in the wall sconces, and women lingered near the doorway, beckoning to those that walked within earshot. Determined, Alector strode through the doorway, smiling at one of the ladies that touched his arm, but saying nothing. He waited in the foyer, hearing the sounds of pleasure coming from elsewhere in the building, but paying it no heed. Whores were useful for information, but they weren’t the sort of company Alector chose to keep. He saw one girl walking by and stopped her, his eyes passing over her naked breasts.

“Are you looking for some company?” she asked in a sultry voice, her lips a devilish smile, and her eyes filled with mischief.

“Not presently, I’m afraid.” The smile faded from her lips and Alector had to stop her again as she began to walk away. “I’m looking for the owner.”

A flicker of fear passed across the woman’s face before she replied. “My Lord Baelish isn’t here at the moment.” She tried to get away again, but this time, Alector grabbed her firmly by the arm. She squirmed in his grasp, but was unable to flee.

“Get word to him that Alector Destine would like to share a cup of exceptionally fine Antirran wine with him. Tell him to meet Alector here tomorrow night at this hour.”

“Wine?” she said confused, looking around for help. “Who are you? What do you want?”

Alector smiled. “Tell Littlefinger that Alector Destine would like to discuss a business proposition.”