Melisandre had zealously served the Red God R’hollor throughout her entire life. Thanks to her skill with the magic of Red Priests and Priestesses, that life was exceptionally long. She had spent hundreds of years followers the Red God’s visions and performing his rituals, and she had become one of his most devout and powerful worshipers. She maintained a youthful visage, appearing as a lovely redhead in her early twenties unless another form was needed.
The Red God’s messages could be cryptic, to say the least, casting rapid images into her vision or dreams. She saw a great blizzard, miles wide by the looks of it and moving in fast. There were men building a wall at ridiculous speeds, piling stone after stone until the wall towered over certain castles. It blocked her view of the cold storm, leaving only the sun peeking over its walls. The walls spread around her, forming a ring. Nineteen towers formed among the walls and her point of view was flung through its entrance. There were no men inside, but she was bombarded by information. Words, names, dates… they went by too quickly to read them all, but those that she could held little meaning. With that, the vision stopped with the snapping sound of a closing book.
Melisandre had come to recognize his patterns by now, so she was quick to determine what her latest flash of memories meant. She had recognized it as Castle Black, one of the 19 ancient castles that had been built along The Wall. Somewhere within its libraries, there were secrets she would need in the near future. With a soft smile and a nod, she started her journey.
The castle was ancient and poorly maintained. The Night’s Watch, Melisandre recalled, was a mockery of what it once was. An alternative to prison where rapists and thieves went to work off their crimes rather than protect the ancient structure. Getting by them was simple enough for Melisandre as she forced open the door to Castle Black. The place was falling apart, but there was nothing to stop the mystical priestess. In all her time practicing her arts as a Red Priestess, she had more than enough tricks to get past them. She didn’t need to worry about food or drink, and when the darkness swallowed her up in the deeper parts, she could simple conjure fire to her hands to let her see.
She had spent a long time in the underground library, finding records that seemed as old as the written word itself. She had spent months poring over all the books and scrolls, taking dreadful note as she felt a disturbance in the air. At first it felt as if everything in the world had just grown a tiny bit colder. Before Melisandre could fully acknowledge it, she felt a pain run through her chest as if momentarily poisoned. She collapsed against her table, seeing an even more powerful vision than normal.
There was an old cave littered with the bodies of Starks and their wolves, both ancient and fresh. Grim, gray clouds raced across the sky as if they were chasing something. Dead men forced their way out of frost-covered graves. Her vision lead her through a castle, ruined by some merciless battle. Just as she seemed to reach as deep inside as the hall would go, something massive and impossibly powerful turned and set its terrible gaze on her.
She woke up from her vision with a start. She briefly felt cold, which was something she hadn’t felt since the full embrace of her Lord. She wiped some blood from her nose, seeing that it didn’t make contact with any of the documents. The Great Other was awake, which just made her work that much more important.
It was in an ancient journal where she found what seemed to be the key. There was the ancient hero Azor Ahai. The Westorosi had called him Bran the Builder, who had designed and created many tools and structures meant to repel the Great Other. He had been the chosen one of R’hllor, the Lord of Light who spoke to man through fire, and wielded his might in his crusade against the dark invader. Melisandre followed the logs to track his bloodline and other notable figures throughout the history of Azor Ahai’s creations. He had not been the only one to contain the power of R’hllor’s fire, but he was the only one to wield it so potently. Pure Valyrian blood was the only thing that could bring out such a force, something that even her centuries of knowledge knew simply did not exist.
“So much for that option,” Melisandre noted as she closed her latest tome. She returned to a rack of scrolls, considering seeing in Bran had created some weapon that would do the job instead. She tucked the book back in its approximate spot and turned to focus on the fire she held in her hand. She checked on it regularly, seeking and further guidance from her cryptic god, but she needed more information on this newest revelation. It so happened that the flames came bearing news.
Melisandre saw the new Lord Captain of Castle Black had just been murdered. She saw his body surrounded by traitors; men in the same uniformed armor that glared down at Jon Snow’s corpse. He was laid on a slab in the upper levels of the castle, being watched over until they arranged the proper way to dispose of the body. It had to be just so, given their location, or else they risked their dead rising as more white walkers. The vision showed herself in the room with Snow, standing over him while flames roared around him without burning the room. She felt the message was clear: the fire was his life force, and she would need to be there to revive the fallen leader.
It was child’s play for her to enter Castle Black. The traitors had all been executed and the guards mourned the loss of their commander, so their attention was turned inward as much as out. She slipped inside easily enough, and when she found the acting commander, she slid a bit of her comforting magic into him to make him collapse in a deep sleep. She dragged him into an unused room at the far end of one of the halls, shutting the door tight before she changed her shape once again to look just like him.
They had Snow’s body locked away in a room until they could arrange a burial. The guards watching over him were puzzled, but they certainly didn’t object when the current Lord Commander asked to see the body alone. They didn’t want to sound disobedient when there were still men in the cells from a mutiny. They were left to watch the door from the outside and that under no circumstances should they interrupt “him.”
With the doors locked behind her, Melisandre dropped her disguise and returned to her more familiar shape. She looked over the dead body of the deposed commander. Reviving the dead was almost simple to her at this point: she simply had to gather Snow’s fire and guide it back to its proper place inside him. Even if it had left him completely, she could always provide him with some of her own abundant flame. That was the strange part, though… the fire was still there. It wasn’t fading or slipping away, but rather it was raging beneath his skin like a storm. It held strong against her manipulations, and she had never seen anyone with so much and so strong a fire.
Melisandre looked Jon over with concern. It had to mean that someone else was controlling the fire, keeping it busy with something else. No casual probing of her powers would do. Melisandre pulled up a seat for herself, sitting in front of Jon before her body went limp. If she couldn’t see from the outside, she would look closer inside of his body.
To anyone who may have been watching, Jon’s body would give a sharp twitch and nothing more. Inside, Melisandre’s spirit was mingling with his, probing through what could control so much of his ethereal fire and for what purpose. It didn’t take her long to follow the source of the turmoil. While it was nearly impossible for her to explain to the less gifted, Melisandre felt it like a great battle between fire and ice.
These things were never perfectly clear to the senses, but Melisandre’s mind had a way of filtering the intense forces through her other senses. A nude woman advanced while shedding fog and frost in her wake. She let out a fearless war cry as she struck her foe, causing a burst of chilling wind to rush across their featureless gray battlefield that flickered with its surrounding clouds of flame. Melisandre opened her senses and felt an intense sensation of rage and power from it. She gathered the name of Myranda, and with such an intense force that could even push past the Wall, there was most mistaking that she was a host and a part of the Great Other. The White Walkers were trying to claim him as one of their own.
Blocking the freezing blow was a woman with dark red hair (compared to the brighter shades of Melisandre’s). Embers and wisps of flame followed her blows and steps, blurring the air behind her with the heat emanating off of her body. She deflected Myranda’s blow and smashed a fist of her own across the wintery woman’s face, spewing sparks and a wave of heat like that from a sudden bonfire.
Melisandre opened her senses to her and felt a clear sense of both death and mourning from the blazing woman. The form was that of Ygritte, a dead love of Jon Snow. His love had been so powerful that he had taken a part of her fire into his, and it was holding onto him with a fairly literal deathgrip. She was keeping his fire where it was and wielding it to fend off the incoming cold of the White Walkers. “Ygritte’s” presence was preventing Jon from rising, whether back to life or as one of the twisted undead.
Melisandre’s real enemy here was obvious. As Myranda raised her hand for another freezing swing, the priestess cast out a hand and summoned a burst of fire by her hand. The surprising explosion made Myranda recoil, allowing Ygritte to press her attack. She delivered several blows that struck like hammers at the icy avatar’s ribs, each blow sizzling and steaming against the contrasting cold. Ygritte brought one hand back and summoned a short but solid burst of flame, holding it like a dagger before she drove it into Myranda’s side. The manifestation of the White Walkers jerked back as the attack left a gaping and burning wound in her side. The flesh crackled like thinning ice as it started to heal over, drawing on the mystic forces that had brought it here in the first place. She didn’t have the time to fully heal before Melisandre grabbed her from behind, pinning her arms to her sides with a bearhug. While her deceptively youthful body was fairly strong, the spiritual realm had her even stronger. Enough that she could pin down this minor extension of the Great Other long enough for Ygritte to finish the job.
The blows that came to Myranda’s face gave off heat like opened furnace doors, even to Melisandre who was simply standing nearby. The wintery foe’s head snapped back and forth, visibly growing weak and dizzied from her beating. Melisandre released one of her arms to grab the back of her hair, briefly lifting and them smashing her face down into what passed for the ground here. Myranda gave a short grunt as her head bounced off the solid barrier, crumbling motionless to the ground. It was hard to tell if the entity was truly dead or gone, but it was certainly defeated at the moment.
“My thanks,” the fire in Ygritte’s shape said as she gathered her breath. Flickering flames danced around her skin, something that Melisandre saw as her starting to regenerate. She was drawing on something as well. Melisandre opened her senses to probe in deeper. A piece of the outsider had stayed within Jon, some echo of his love for her and a dash of her essence that was feeding off of the fire around them.
“It was nothing,” Melisandre excused as she turned in a slow circle. She looked at the flame that danced through the air. There was never this much within one person. Most had a few smaller, simple wisps of flame. A small bonfire, perhaps, and that’s only if they were still properly alive. For him to be dying and still have such an inferno within him could only mean one thing. There was Valyrian blood within Jon Snow. It was far from pure, but it was certainly something special.
It wasn’t anything like Azor Ahai’s. It wasn’t enough to stand against the Great Other. Not on its own. However, there was an old technique discussed in a scroll she had studied when she was still young. It theorized the use of one bloodline to purify another. Drawing the power from one could strengthen another, and if done enough times she would be able to turn a faint bloodline into a more potent one.
“What are you doing here?” Ygritte asked. She noticed the distant and thoughtful expression on Melisandre face, and with the fight done with, she realized that she hadn’t been here before.
“I have good reason to follow this man’s condition,” Melisandre said dismissively. “And now I think I see why. I’m sorry, but you’re about to be used for something much more important than one man’s life.” The apology was a token gesture, really. Melisandre’s god had sent her here, and she would see his bidding done. She held out her hands and focused on the fire around them, draining it into her fingertips.
“What? You can’t do that!” Ygritte started to storm towards her, raising her hand to conjure more of the fire for herself… but nothing happened. Melisandre smirked at her and closed a fist, sealing the flame she’d taken so far within her. “What did you do, witch?” the spiritual Ygritte demanded.
“I’m just making sure this flame goes where it belongs,” she deflected once again. Once the icy foe was taken care of, she didn’t want it getting back up in full force. She had set up a barrier to block both of the other creatures from gaining any further power from the outside. It was just her and them now, and as she’d shown before, she could certainly defeat a PART of a divine power.
Ygritte glared between Melisandre and Jon’s flame before giving a sharp wave of her hand. Melisandre felt a similar pressure around them, seeing what looked like a translucent bubble seal around the inhabitant of Jon’s fire. “You’re not the only one with power here, you thief,” Ygritte hissed, glaring hatefully at the intruding priestess. “And I will not let you rob my love of what life he has left!”
Melisandre flexed her fingers, seeing that she was right. The barrier kept her from draining any further fire. It was only what little she took from Jon and her own. “It’s true,” the priestess noted. “But not for long.” She turned and performed the spiritual equivalent of a cunt punt on Ygritte, getting the huntress’ spirit to grunt and fall to her knees. They were spirits, after all, and there wasn’t even clothing to protect them, let alone armor. Ygritte spat out a raspy curse as Melisandre readied a blow to the interloper’s head. Ygritte lunged forward and grabbed the priestess by the leg, but rather than tripping her opponent she bit into her leg. Melisandre gave a loud scream as what was effectively her soul being torn apart, if on a very small scale. Ygritte tore her head away, but kept her teeth clenched so that she ripped off a chunk of the intruder’s thigh.
Melisandre shuddered as she felt a number of things. The pain, of course, was intense. She also felt a brief flicker of power between them. Of course, if she could draw from fire, so could a native to this realm like Ygritte. Melisandre’s power was its own sort of fire, leaving them both capable of ripping it from each other if they were brutal enough about it. Melisandre drew on the finite power she had, focusing it on the wounded area. Her spiritual “flesh” rejoined, healing over the spot to maintain her strength. It wouldn’t last forever, but they could effectively do whatever they wished to each other in the spirit realm and grow back from it… so long as they had that precious life force to draw on.
Ygritte gnashed her teeth like a feral grin as the piece of Melisandre vanished into wisps of flame. Much of its drifted into the air around them and vanished from existence, but she saw some of it go into Ygritte herself. The priestess saw the echo of a woman’s aura flare up a small amount with the stolen piece of her power she’d absorbed. If she couldn’t draw on the energies outside the bubble, she’d take it from the one inside.
Melisandre’s eyes glowed with a flash of fire as she lunged at Ygritte. The fire priestess’ hands went to claw at the wildlings face, but she caught the incoming hands to stop short. To Ygritte’s surprise, Melisandre’s palms began to glow. She grabbed either side of the wild woman’s head with them, her fingers burning like hot irons against Ygritte’s skin.
Ygritte released a wordless howl of agony as her flesh smoked and bubbled. The same fire she’d tried to absorb now felt like it burned its way into her brain, leaving branded fingerprints on her flesh where Melisandre touched. The priestress’ burning hands held on as if she meant to melt the flesh from her skull, bringing Ygritte too her knees. The wild woman’s fist clenched tightly, slowly turning into a solid sphere of metal. Flames and spikes sprouted from it to become a full fledged mace before she punched it squarely into the very edge of Melisandre’s ribs. Without so much as a scrap of clothes on her spiritual embodiment, the iron spikes pierced her skin while the flames left their own ugly burn on her stomach.
Melisandre crumbled to her knees, releasing Ygritte and holding the few slowly bleeding puncture wounds. She couldn’t actually bleed to death or worry about a ruptured kidney, but the pain itself was even more intense than it would have been in reality.
Ygritte shifted her hand back to its normal shape so she could grab Melisandre by her hair. She pulled the priestess’ head forward while raising her knee, smashing her in the mouth with the hard joint. Melisandre gave an abrupt grunt from the impact, satisfying Ygritte enough that she repeated the maneuver again and again. Melisandre’s head bounced against her knee, bruising up her face as blood and embers spilled from her nose and mouth. Every few blows, Melisandre would instinctively heal back the damage, but Ygritte’s brutal efficiency was keeping her too dazed to stop her.
Melisandre finally applied the same shape shifting that Ygritte had. Her basic form had to stay the same and serve the same purpose, but it’s exact shape didn’t matter to this world. Her fingernails grew longer and thicker until she lashed out, digging her strengthened nails into Ygritte’s side and squeezing.
The wildling screamed at the invasive pain and released Melisandre’s hair. She instinctively tried to pull away, but the other redhead lunged at her again. She grabbed Ygritte by the hair while she tackled her to the ground (or the invisible wall that passed for it in this realm), both women swinging and clawing wildly at each other’s chests and faces. Melisandre finally got a firm grip on Ygritte’s scalp and pinned her head to the ground. The other hand grabbed the dead woman by the throat and not only squeezed, but pulled.
Ygritte gasped despite her missing a handful of her throat, glaring up at Melisandre like a possessed corpse. No blood came from the gaping wound, but embers trailed out of it like a stirred campfire. While the agony was clear on Ygritte’s face as the hunk of flesh withered into ash and smoke, but the wildling still punched Melisandre squarely in her breastbone. She grunted and moved to defend herself, just for Ygritte to strike her again across the face. Melisandre gave a startled cry as she backed away clutching her face, the haunting woman’s knuckles burning at her eyes like they were made of coals.
As the priestess recoiled, Ygritte crawled back up to all fours. Her breathing came out wet and raspy as her neck began to regenerate, but she glared at Melisandre with no less hatred than before. “I will kill you,” she growled menacingly. “And I will do it as many times as I have to to save him.”
Melisandre finished rubbing her eyes and rose to her feet. “What do you know of what’s going on? Even if you had the gifts I do, you’ve been stuck inside a corpse.” Melisandre gave a grim and derisive grin. “You are fighting for the memory of a dead man while I am saving the souls of thousands.”
Ygritte’s expression remained unchanged. The occasional tongue of flame sprouted off her hair or skin. “I am fighting for the only one that matters. If you’re so blind from cowering behind your kings and armies, then you’re as witless as the rest of your Southerners.” She stared directly into Melisadre’s eyes, letting her see the deeply-rooted fires that danced behind her pupils. “I… will kill you,” she spelled out again firmly.
She sprinted towards Melisandre from her crouched position, grabbing her around the middle and trying to wrestle her to the ground. Melisandre fell to her knees, but she brought one shooting up into Ygritte’s stomach. She grunted and fell back, just for Melisandre to summon flaming stone around her fist and smash her in the jaw. Ygritte fell to the unseen ground, reeling from the powerful blow as Melisandre stormed after her, the cooling rock crumbling from her fist. The body would want to return to its natural state before too long, and such powers vanished quickly without enough focus. She reached out to tear another piece off of Ygritte, but she rolled over to face her and screamed a defiant battle cry. Her rage poured from her open mouth, and with it a solid stream of fire like dragon’s breath. It consumed Melisandre’s right arm, completely burning it off of her astral form. Melisandre screamed in agony as she felt every flake of her carefully recreated skin blow away with the incoming flame, leaving her with nothing but a deformed and bloodless stump that ended halfway to her elbow.
Ygritte gladly pressed her attack, rushing in and punching Melisandre in the stomach. She let her fist linger against her belly, her fist’s temperative rising until it started to scald her skin. She wound up and hit her again with the searing punch, her free hand holding Melisandre at bay with her one good arm. The priestess screamed and twitched, not wanting to expend so much of her fire this early into the fight reclaiming her arm. It was hard enough just to focus on the battle as it was, let alone regrow the limb while she was doing it.
“Try to cower behind your god now, you meddling cunt,” Ygritte snarled, but Melisandre only replied by leaning into her attacker and biting into her shoulder. She sealed her lips around the bite and sucked on it, drawing out a soothing warmth as her lifeblood rather than the literal sort.
Ygritte screamed and tried to shove her away, but Melisandre grabbed her with her remaining arm and buried her fingers into her side. The wild woman shuddered almost orgasmically from the pain, but she grabbed Melisandre by her wounded arm and scraped her claws along the burned stump she’d left behind. The priestess shrieked and fell to the ground holding her throbbing wound. Ygritte mounted the downed woman and starting to pummel her face with the heartless brutality of a woman protecting her loved one.
Melisandre raised her arms in a feeble and instinctive guard, but she couldn’t stop them all. Ygritte clenched her fist, a flare of fire appearing in her grasp like a dagger before she plunged it into the dazed Melisandre’s shoulder. The pinned priestess screamed in agony as it coursed through her body, the painful heat overpowering her natural sense of the fire.
Melisandre was trapped, but not powerless. She spread her fingers out and grabbed Ygritte by her privates, squeezing and digging in her claws before summoning her own ball of flame right within the walls of her vagina. Ygritte gave her own screech of pain to mirror Melisandre’s as she leapt off of her, rubbing her crotch as the skin began to sizzle and boil. She pulled back enough for Melisandre to kick her in the chest, launching her back as they both laid still, breathing heavily as they focused on their energies and started to reform their bodies. They had worn themselves out with their vicious struggles, taking the moment to regroup with what they had and start again as best they could.
It was then that they felt the tingling of cold air against their skin. It would have been a welcome feeling in the physical world after all the heat and fire being thrown around, but this chill reached the bone and the soul. They had barely started to rise when they looked up to see Myranda doing the same. The freezing power had been resting, storing its own power until a more opportune moment arose for it to strike. It had been trapped within the bubble as well, but it wasn’t powerless. Melisandre had only a loose grasp on such things, but it seemed to be on the same level as either of the fiery spirits.
“I think you two look just about ripe,” Myranda said with a twisted grin. “Best to harvest you now. Winter is coming, after all.”
“You again,” Ygritte spat, her eyes darting swiftly from one woman to the other. “Fine. I’ll kill you both myself. What’s one more for Jon’s sake?”
Melisandre frowned and shook her head. “I have my holy mission. You will not slow me from reaching my goal, let alone stop me!”
The echoes of women didn’t bother to size each other up. They all ran towards the spot directly between the three of them, swinging and slashing at whatever they could. They all took a few frantic blows before Melisandre send a flame-coated punch into Myranda’s throat. Melisandre gasped and called a thick shard of ice to her hand with a flourish. Melisandre screamed as the chunk was staked right below where her ribs would be, faltering and nearly falling over. Its cold dug deeper than the weapon itself, stifling the fire within.
What little hope she had for a rescue was quickly lost when rather than attack the distracted Myranda, Ygritte shoved her own fiery dagger into Melisandre’s other side. She howled as the contrasting forces attacked her front either side, letting her drop to the ground while the original combatants went at each other once again. Ygritte kicked into the icy invader’s knee, popping the joint to bend in the opposite direction and fall to one side. The wildling screamed furiously as she pounced on Myranda, pounding her in the face while the sharp popping sound cued Myranda mystically fixing her knee. Myranda herself was not especially magical, but being host to one of the oldest things in existence gave her plenty of understanding and absorbed experience. She was only a portion of its endless collective of a mind, but she added her own touch of sadism to the already dangerous pot.
Myranda reared back an arm and struck Ygritte in the face as well, but her hand had been shaped into a viciously curved scythe. Ygritte screamed as she remained alive, but her astral form still felt the amplified pain of the blade gouging straight into her forehead. The leaking embers spilled from her as Myranda swept the arm to one side, throwing the haunting wildling aside. Ygritte rubbed her face along with the crackling sound of her flesh mending, letting it move like burning paper in reverse. The elemental enemies charged for each other in blind hatred and fury, but they had barely gotten a hold of each other when Melisandre rose again. She had removed the blades from her sides, burying the weapons of fire and ice into their opposites’ backs.
The both stumbled and clutched at their freshest wounds while Melisandre targeted Myranda. She grabbed her by the breasts, holding her steady as she threw a knee into the ice spectre’s crotch. Myranda groaned from the mind-numbing pain, trying to cross her legs but Melisandre’s attacks kept coming. She pounded her twat like a reversed jackhammer before she swiftly tore her hands in opposite directions. A thick and cold burst of fog came from Myranda’s chest instead of gore, but she still screamed in agony as Melisandre held her disembodied tits in her hands. She threw them aside, letting the frosty breasts melt and then vaporize amidst the intense heat. Myranda could only fall to her knees while clutching her ruined chest.
She was still curled up in her painful crouch when both of her opponents tore into her. Ygritte had melted the ice shard buried in her back, standing up to kick her repeatedly in the face. Melisandre had meanwhile turned her hand into a steel hammer that glowed like it was fresh from the forge, smashing it across Myranda’s face with a brutal clang. They both pounded on Myranda, distorting her features in a bizarre fashion. There weren’t any actual bones to break, but her face was bent or pushed around by the crushing strikes until she was swollen and warped enough to barely resemble her original self. She was barely able to see with her damaged head by the time that Melisandre turned and smashed her hammer fist across Ygritte’s jaw. The fiery wildling went staggering back as Melisandre grabbed her by the back of her neck. She flexed two of her fingers together, forming a short dagger-like blade out of them and jabbing it into Ygritte’s eye.
Fire poured from the wound, but Melisandre kept pressing her bladed fingers in and twisting them around. Unlike most people, she had conquered any natural caution around fire. She rooted around with the spike in what would have killed any mortal body, but instead fed Melisandre as she drained the power from Ygritte to add to her own. The wildling screamed and pulled at her arm, but the pain distracted her from forming any notable defense or weapons of her own.
Her screaming did manage to give away their position to Myranda. She had focused her life force to heal most of her injuries, leaving a few welts and bruises on her face when she picked up on the sounds of her enemies fighting. She grabbed Melisandre by the leg, and while the priestess felt the enriching warmth pouring over her fingertips, there was a deathly chill that ran up her body. The avatar of the Great Other froze her leg to the ground, the flesh frozen solid and caked in ice. The cold pierced her very being, and the strange agony of her flash-frozen limb send needling pain through her entire essence.
Melisandre halted her attack on Ygritte, trying to thaw out her leg before it crippled her too severely in the fight. She didn’t have the chance when the wildling spirit proved herself to be very adaptable even in death. She mimiced Melisandre’s earlier move and blew a broad spray of fire into the priestess’ face. It was her turn to howl in pain as her hair and skin crackled and burned, clutching her face that surged with agony.
Ygritte followed up on her attack with no mercy, regenerating her eye while hammering away on Melisandre’s face and body. The priestess couldn’t heal fast enough to prevent all the damage from her fists alone, and that was while she tried to stay balanced with one frozen leg. That was unfortunately resolved when Myranda kicked hard into the frosted limb and shattered it into shards of frozen gore.
Melisandre fell and screamed as she clutched at the stump. With the sealing ice gone, it was spitting out tongues of flame and cinders to show her major loss of power. Ygritte continued to pursue her and kick her in between her legs (or what was left of them). “You’ll leave Jon to me! He is mine!” she shouted down at the crippled priestess. She was ready to launch another attack when Myranda rose and grabbed her from behind. She grabbed the naked wildling by the chest and squeezed. Rather than stealing her energy, the dark entity began pouring her cold into her much like she had with Melisandre’s leg. It worked like a poison, not corrupting but draining her heat rapidly. It showed in a streak of black that spread over Ygritte’s skin like frostbite, rapidly rotting and warping her flesh. Ygritte shuddered at first, but she engulfed her arm in flame and rammed it backward. It hit Myranda in the chest and made her stumble back, but she grabbed once more and caught Ygritte around the neck. More ice spread, this time forming a choking crystalline collar around her neck. Ygritte grunted as she started to choke, but brought her hands up to start boiling the strangling substance away.
Myranda prepared her hand to finish Ygritte by shifting it into a hook-covered mace, but a stinging pain shot up from her nethers. Melisandre had thrown herself at her, still missing her leg but with her fingernails driven deep inside the flesh of Myranda’s thigh and pussy. She flexed and squeezed to drain more power from the dark entity, who even at her unnatural strength had to scream from such invasive pain.
Melisandre held on while Ygritte finally escaped her collar, coming to attack both of her enemies. The priestess opened her mouth once again, flames stirring like a furnace as she turned the power she had just stolen into a streaking beam of flame. It consumed Ygritte’s lower half, destroying it in one brutally hot blast. The wildling landed with a meaty thud while Myranda started to claw and push at Melisandre’s face to try to remove her from her leeching position. She left some deep scratches along her cheeks before Melisandre released a burst of strength, grabbing Myranda near her ribs and ripping her completely in half.
Even possessed by her dark hivemind, Myranda screamed in agony at the amplified feeling of her very spirit being ripped in half. She kept screaming when she hit the unseen ground, steam and cold winds pouring from her lower torso as the rest of her faded into a vanishing fog. She had no time to suffer as Melisandre crawled after her on her one good leg. She pounced onto Myranda as the two rolled across the ground, clawing and biting at what was left of each other’s bodies rather than risking a healing rest. Melisandre ended up on top, burying her claws into Myranda’s neck and starting to choke the life from her. The frigid woman stared at her with bulging eyes before she opened her mouth wider than she should have been able to. A blast of ice shards came out like a handful of broken glass, spraying the priestess in the face and making her recoil as the sharp edges stuck to her face.
Myranda turned the tide and shoved Melisandre onto her back. The ghoulish woman crawled on top of her, still with no flesh to show beneath her belly as she turned her fists into squared mallets of dense ice. Melisandre threw her blind slaps and punches, but Myranda’s sadistic and bone-crushing blows smashed into her face and upper body.
“He will be just the first of many to join us,” Myranda warned ominously in between her ruinous blows. “We will see him walk again.”
“Not as one of yours!” Ygritte had only gotten a part of her legs restored, but it was enough to prop herself up on one arm. She summoned a long and narrow spear made of pure fire, hurling it straight through Myranda’s back. Melisandre saw it burst out of her stomach, coming just short of hitting the priestess herself. Myranda was stunned by her impaling, eyes wide with shock and pain as the burning weapon stayed embedded inside her. Melisandre reached around it and grabbed both of her breasts, tearing them off in opposite directions with one fluid motion.
Myranda let out a piercing shriek that echoing inside their sealing bubble. A burst of arctic wind came from her chest wounds and hit Myranda in the face, but it stopped quickly and began to freeze over. The possessed woman sputtered as her body collapsed on top of Melisandre. She shoved the body off of her in disgust as it stared blankly back at her. It had no power left to fuel its consciousness; the last of it had been blown away by the spear and her missing chest. The spectral form was trying to heal itself with nothing left to do it with. It started to destroy itself, disintegrating into wisps of snow and ice that then vanished completely.
Still one opponent remained. The interfering wildling was still trapped with her, helping to maintain the bubble that kept them both held hostage. Melisandre took a deep breath, focusing on her lower body. Ygritte was mostly healed now, but she had to restore her entire lower half. Melisandre only had to handle her one leg and a few fresh injuries. Even with the power she’d stolen from her opponents, Melisandre was running herself ragged. Her powers would be limited now if she didn’t want to burn herself out in a similar fashion, but she imagined that Ygritte couldn’t be in a different state herself.
While they were still healing, they were close enough to be heard by one another. “You’re making a foolish mistake, you know,” Melisandre called to her between her labored breaths. “Jon coming back could be just what we need to stop all this. It’s for the greater good.”
Ygritte scoffed at that. “You didn’t even know him. No one knew him like I did.”
“Now you’re just sounding like a selfish child,” said the red priestess.
“And things like ‘greater good’ is what people with power say to try to manipulate the weak.”
“And what about the people he would save? You’d damn them all just to haunt a dying man?”
“Jon deserved death.” Ygritte said it more solemnly than one would expect. She spoke as if dying was an honor. “He was too good for us. He was a strong man, but the longer he stayed among those people on the wall, the weaker he became. Just because of his ‘honor’ and ‘duty.” She said the last words like she was spitting out something foul-tasting. “He owed them nothing, but gave them everything. I won’t let him make that mistake again. Let him rest. We may not live, but here, we can have peace.”
Melisandre watched her coldly as their lower bodies began to finish taking shape. Ygritte looked up at Jon’s fire as if she saw her old lover’s face in them. “The living need Jon Snow,” the priestess said simply. “As a leader and for the fire he brings.”
“Then you’ll have him die to save tyrants and traitors,” Ygritte sneered. “I won’t let you ruin him again!”
“Then you’ll just have to stop me, now won’t you?” Melisandre said rather flippantly.
They were a fair distance away, but Ygritte rose slightly sooner and charged in right away. A roaring fire consumed her body as she moved in, making Melisandre immediately recoil and dodge out of the way. Ygritte’s burning punch missed her, but she could feel the heat singing the closest hairs on her head. Ygritte turned around and whipped a backhand at her foe, and while Melisandre could dodge the hand the fire still raked across her skin. She cringed and continued to retreat, Ygritte always too close for comfort. The foreign flame left her sweating, slowly exhausting the priestess who couldn’t even get close enough to fight back.
“Coward! Don’t you come here for my lover and then try to run away!” Ygritte roared furiously. She flared up her fire even higher, and Melisandre had to cringe from the wave of heat. The huntress threw a vicious punch that finally caught Melisandre in the cheek, leaving a burning brand in the crude shape of her knuckles. Melisandre staggered, just to be hit by another in the other cheek. A knee drove into her groin, making the priestess scream and clutch her scalded pussy as she fell to her knees. Ygritte threw a fierce kick into her head, burning off a chunk of hair and sending her flying across their battlefield until her body slammed into the wall of the dome.
“None will take him from me,” Ygritte seethed as she advanced on her enemy. “Not even death.” She was so caught up in her march that she was puzzled when she misstepped, tripping and nearly falling over halfway to her foe. Melisandre smirked back at her, running a hand across the side of her head as if fixing her hair. The hair grew back and her burn wound healed over.
“I was wondering when you would burn yourself out,” she noted dryly. She didn’t feel like she had the strength to manage a sword or anything so fancy, so Melisandre simply formed her fist into a large brick and used it to punch the weary Ygritte squarely in the mouth. The wildling went down hard, feeling the strength leaving her body after launching such a vicious attack. A few embers flew from her lips as she coughed, a final flicker of the fight she’d put up defending Jon. Her ethereal body simply couldn’t keep up with her wants. The more experienced and patient Melisandre mounted her and continued to smash her with both hands, brick and fist beating around the wildling’s face as she threw up her arms to protect herself. Even with her power fading, she threw all her weight into one more punch. The fist literally buried into the priestess’ side, piercing her flesh with the superhuman force. Melisandre gasped as she was blown completely off of her, clutching her ribs and the sparking hole that remained there.
Ygritte breathed heavily nearby, eyes wide with a savage confusion at the agony she’d been through. She was mentally and spiritually exhausted. She had nothing left. She could only stare when the wounded Melisandre limped over, covering the wound she had no power left to heal. Melisandre shook her head (perhaps with pity or disgust) as she raised her foot and stomped down on her breasts. The foot spiked right through her chest, leaving a flaming hole instead of the expected gore.
Ygritte twitched, but she was too weary to truly react to the pain she felt. There was nothing left to give. Her body began to fade, breaking into bits of orange as they drifted away like embers on the wind.
“Just… let him rest,” she muttered. Her eyes looked cloudy, unclear if she was reaching out to some unknown hallucination, Melisandre, or the spirit they rested in. “He owes them no more. His watch has ended.” Some bright fluid ran from her eyes like lava, a final teary-eyed farewell before the last of her face vanished. For a moment, Melisandre saw the wild woman’s point of view. Things were quiet within Jon’s soul. The conflict and struggle she saw in most people was gone. No duties were expected of the dead, after all. It was perhaps the most restful place he could have ever been, compared to all the battles and treachery he’d been through. Of course, the priestess’ mind was already made up.
Melisandre finally released the bubble, giving a sigh of relief as her strength returned to her. She was able to take her time now, draining the flame from his body. Deciding to not truly abandon her original plan, she still left him just enough to restore Jon Snow’s life. When she sensed his heart beating once again, she lulled him to sleep long enough for her to return to her body. She ached in a few places, assuring herself that it was all phantom pains from her spiritual battle. She hurried out, trying to get a grasp on how much actual time had passed while she went to send warning.
It was around an hour later when the corpse of Jon snow stirred. It was a few small shifts of his body at first before she pushed himself upright. “Ygritte!” He blinked a few times, as if he were getting used to the idea of breathing and blinking again before he patted down his chest. He had apparently been loud enough that the guards at the door came barging in, staring at the dead man risen. One went to ready his sword when Jon waved a hand at him assuringly. “Steady, Ben. I’m no walker.”
The fairly simple guard frowned. “That sounds like somethin’ a White Walker would say…” He received an elbow in the ribs from his taller partner, making him concede the point and return his weapon to its sheathe. “So you’re not dead then, commander?”
“No, Ben. I guess I just… needed some rest.” Jon rubbed his face between his eyes. He was alive, but still not in the best of shape. His head was a blur with memories, and the recent wounds that had felled him still stung.
“So… what was Ygritte?” the taller guard pried.
“What?” Jon looked at him quizzically.
“You said Ygritte when you… ah… ‘woke up.’ Is that what brought you back?”
“I… don’t remember,” he muttered. He felt as if there was something missing, but that was all.
Melisandre was well on her way to the south by now. She had heard news from a passing trader that another Targaryen had just been found. She thanked him as she finished pretending to inspect his wares, continuing on her before sparking up a fresh tongue of flame in her hand. She whispered to it, sending her message back to the Red Temple of Volantis. She told them of the return of the Other and what she had gathered of The Builder’s bloodlines. There was much to be done.