Union Pacific locomotive leading a joint Milwaukee Road / Union Pacific passenger train out of the north side of Chicago Union Station. Note the Chicago River and the Marina City towers in the background.
House Bracken, Lords of Stone Hedge, sworn to Riverrun
House Bracken of Stone Hedge is an old house from Stone Hedge in the Riverlands, sworn to House Tully. They once ruled the Riverlands as kings during the Age of Heroes. They blazon their arms with a red stallion upon a golden escutcheon on brown. The Brackens have the blood of the First Men in their veins and were kings of the Riverlands during the Age of Heroes. They have an old and bitter feud against their neighbors, the Blackwoods. According to the Brackens, the Blackwoods were vassals who betrayed the Brackens and usurped their crown. The feud has continued throughout the years, aided by House Bracken’s change to the Faith of the Seven after the Andal invasion. The Blackwoods believe the Brackens poisoned the weirwood at Raventree Hall. Battle Valley and the village of Blackbuckle are part of the disputed land. There have been numerous peaces between the Brackens and Blackwoods, many sealed by marriage, but the feud always restarts.
Barba Bracken was the fifth mistress of Aegon IV Targaryen. There was one child from the union, Aegor Rivers, better known as Bittersteel, the founder of the Golden Company. She was replaced by Melissa Blackwood in Aegon’s bed. This led to the later feud between Bittersteel and the son of Melissa, Brynden Rivers, also known as Lord Bloodraven.
The lake (once the fourth largest in the world) has been shrinking since the 1960’s, when the Soviet Union diverted two rivers to provide irrigation for farms. This year a drop in rain and snow levels lowered the water level even more.
All trains leaving the north side of Chicago Union Station cross Canal Street soon after leaving the station. This was originally Milwaukee Road trackage and is now used by the Metra Milwaukee District and Amtrak.
The Canal Street crossing is just west of the North Branch of the Chicago River, and has become prime real estate. Here are a number of views of the crossing over the years which show how it has changed:
Caption: “Milwaukee Road E7 19B at Union Station in Chicago, Illinois on February 27, 1966, photos by Chuck Zeiler. … It is seen here in charge of the daily un-named Train #23, departing Chicago at 3:20PM CST, arriving in Milwaukee at 4:45PM, making only one stop enroute at Glenview. This view also shows the preliminary demolition of the concourse of Union Station to make room for glass and steel office buildings on the air rights over the tracks. The first step was to remove the north side train sheds over the Milwaukee Road tracks, the only tenant on the north side of Union Station. This exposed waiting Milwaukee Road trains to both the elements and daylight for the first time since the station was completed in 1925.”