King Rhyloth and the Iron Spring
Lord of House Stark and Former Hand of the King
Vaughn Stark is an example of the steel reserve known to the Northmen. To call him stoic would be like calling clay as hard as iron. In his years Vaughn has seen his house raise to great acclaim through personal sacrifice just to see it repaid with disgrace. Once upon a time the Lord of Stark House was engaged to a royal and well poised for the life he wanted. A quiet dedicated life well suited for a Northmen. On a royal excursion to the wall Vaughn met a swiftly fell in love with Lilie Targaryen, a royal who loved hearing of the Northmen and taming of the harsh winters. The two had the blessing of King Rhyloth and were going to be wed. But fate had other intentions.
In what time would prove a vain effort to spare the kingdom from a mad king, the Queen came to Winterfell to shatter the world Vaughn had built. She came to tell them that Lilie would have to wed her cousin, King Rhyloth. Knowing that Lilie would be sensible and able to act as safeguard to the inhabitants of Westros from Rhyloth and his dangerous delusions. The Queen also knew that Vaughn would act honorably and do the same if he were able, so using all the power she could muster made the Northman the Hand of the King. She passed not long after passing her curse to them. The final insult being that Vaughn and Lilie would have to spend their lives together but never as one.
The Queen’s faith was well placed and with a heart that matched his hardened exterior Vaughn excelled as Hand. His duties difficult as he had to step in carry out the King’s “word” often instead of doing exactly what Rhyloth had instructed. It was delicate dance that Vaughn learned and eventually found meaning in. He felt that perhaps his destiny was to protect the people as well as King that he had learned to love dispite being robbed of the life he wanted in his youth. And as years turned to decades Vaughn would often entertain the thought of running away from Kings Landing with Lilie after the King passed, to spend the twilight of their years how they wished to spend their youth.
But more tragedy was in store for Vaughn. After the Queen Lilie’s death, powerful enemies whom had already infiltrated Kings Landing struck. Seizing the King’s weakness and granting themselves a seat of power. Remus Greyjoy supplanted himself as Hand but he could not kill Vaughn, he knew too much and was of more use as a defeated enemy. Vaughn instead was sent to Winterfell, a home of unfulfilled dreams. Knowing that he could never tell the truth about how he had spent his life and fearing raising his hand to do anything about it. Remus still had power over a life that Vaughn would do anything to protect.