ADVANTAGES

Legend tells us the first Casterly lord was a huntsman, Corlos son of Caster, who lived in a village near to where Lannisport stands today. When a lion began preying upon the village’s sheep, Corlos tracked it back to its den, a cave in the base of the Rock. Armed only with a spear, he slew the lion and his mate, but spared her new-born cubs, an act of mercy that so pleased the old gods (for this was long before the Seven came to Westeros) that they sent a sudden shaft of sunlight deep into the cave, and there in the stony walls Corlos beheld the gleam of yellow gold, a vein as thick as a man’s waist.The truth of that tale is lost in the mists of time, but we cannot doubt that Corlos, or some progenitor of what would become House Casterly, found gold inside the Rock and soon began to mine there. To defend his treasure against those would make off with it, he moved inside the cave and fortified its entrance. As years and centuries passed, his descendants delved deeper and deeper into the earth, following the color, whilst carving halls and galleries and stairways and tunnels into the Rock itself, transforming the gigantic stone into a mighty fastness that dwarfed every castle in Westeros.Though never kings, the Casterlys became the richest lords in all of Westeros, and the greatest power in the westerlands, and remained so for hundreds of years.By then the Dawn Age had given way to the Age of Heroes. That was when the golden-haired rogue called Lann the Clever appeared from out of the east. Some say he was an Andal adventurer from across the narrow sea, though this was millennia before the coming of the Andals to Westeros. Regardless of his origins, the tales agree that somehow Lann the Clever winkled the Casterlys out of their Rock, and took it for his own.The precise method by which he accomplished this remains a matter of conjecture. In the most common version of the tale, Lann discovered a secret way inside the Rock, a cleft so narrow that he had to strip off his clothes and coat himself with butter to squeeze through. Once inside, he began to work his mischief, whispering threats in the ears of sleeping Casterlys, howling from the darkness like a demon, stealing treasures from one brother to plant in the bedchamber of another, rigging sundry snares and deadfalls. By such methods he set the Casterlys at odds with one another, and convinced them that the Rock was haunted by some fell creature that would never let them live in peace.Other tellers prefer other versions of the tale. In one, Lann uses the cleft to the fill the Rock with mice, rats, and other vermin, thereby driving out the Casterlys. In another, he smuggles a pride of lions inside, and Lord Casterly and his sons are all devoured, whereby Lann claims his lordship’s wife and daughters for himself.

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