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Hi, I haven't posted an AAR for a while (had a lot of stuff recently), but my exams are closing in, so I thought why not start an AAR (not the smartest tool in the shed). But seriously, my exams will be over in a month or so, so if I start an AAR now then I will be able to dedicate more time to it after exams. It doesn't make much sense, but you're not here to read my life story.

For a while I've been consisdering doing an AAR on House Targaryen from Aegon I 'the Conqueror'. And here it, coincedentally, is.

A LINE OF FIRE AND BLOOD

KING AEGON I

Chapter 1: The Start of a Kingdom
Aegon Targaryen looked across the waters of Dragonstone, towards the coast of Westeros. His right hand rested on the pommel of Blackfyre, the point on the blade digging into the ground. The wind swept his hair back. He watched as seven ravens flew away from the island. Each one bore only six words; ‘There will be only one king.’ The Kingdoms of Westeros had squabbled long enough. Aegon would unite them, through fire and blood, like his ancestors from Valyria had done long ago. His war of conquest started today, and the first Kingdom to fall would be the Iron Isles.

db1SSBq.jpg

*****​

Aegon’s first move was to rally the Houses between the Stormlands and the Riverlands. Sending his younger sister-wife, Rhaenys, on her dragon Meraxes to rally the Houses Rosby, Darklyn, Staunton, Stokeworth and Thorne to his cause. He promised them under his rule they would no longer be the battlegrounds of the wars between the Seven Kingdoms. The only house to refuse the call to arms was Thorne, bringing Aegon’s army to seven thousand one hundred men.

Aegon landed at what would become King’s Landing with the men from Crab Isle, Driftmark and Dragonstone, before marching north to Rosby to meet with his new vassals’ forces. When he arrived he found four separate hosts, representing each House. They didn’t seem themselves as countrymen, with nothing to unite them but the ambition of a foreign conqueror. Aegon knew he would have to rally them. At Rosby he gave a speech form atop Balerion, aweing all. He promised the soldiers not glory or riches, but peace and prosperity for their lands, and justice on the Kings who had used said lands as their battlegrounds for centuries. This stirred the hearts of the men, and Aegon’s first army was assembled.

By now Harren ‘the Black’, presumably underestimating the strength of this would-be King, had gathered an army of eight thousand six hundred men, under his, Lord Piper’s and Lord Orkmont’s command. They had emerged from the Riverlands and sieged the Antlers. Aegon took his army, led by himself and his sisters, alongside Orys Baratheon and Quenton Qoherys, to meet Harren’s force. The first battle of the conquest was about to begin.

Aegon’s battle plan was simple. He would send his army, led by Orys, out to meet with Harren, and begin to trade archer fire with each other, before sending in Rhaenys and Visenya to attack with their dragons, annihilating the opposing archers while Orys led a charge forward. Hopefully Harren and Orkmont would send their men to charge back, and that would be when Aegon would arrive with Balerion.

The battle began just after dawn. Orys, Qoherys and Lord Stokeworth, representing Aegon’s new vassals, led their men forward to meet with The Ironborn amry. Harren reportedly scoffed at the sight of the army. The archers from both sides soon started firing at the opposing hosts, when Visenya and Rhaenys appeared. The sight of the dragons alone shook Harren’s men, and when the fire descended upon the archers, chaos would have broken out among the ranks if it hadn’t been for Orkmont’s excellent commanding skills. Orkmont and Harren, trying to control the chaos, sent their men to charged Orys’, who charged back. As the armies closed, Aegon appeared.

Whilst Meraxes and Vhagar were both large dragons, they were nothing compared to Balerion ‘the Black Dread’. Aegon swept in from the right, ingulfing ranks upon ranks of men in flames as he flew over Harren’s army. The Iron Isles army collapsed under the flames of all three dragons, who ceased just before Orys’ troops slammed into what remained of the Ironborn host. Just then the reinforcements led by Bracken arrived, which Aegon quickly routed and destroyed with the three dragons. The battle was a complete and utter victory for Aegon, who had only lost five hundred men. Harren had lost nine and a half thousand men.

After crushing Harren’s main host, Aegon set his course for Harrenhal, leading his now confident army. They met with some resistance at Frogpool, where Lord Frey with one thousand three hundred men tried to stop the army, only to be sent scurrying away by dragonflame. Aegon arrived at Harrenhal on the 9th of May, with the only resistance in sight was a three thousand man host content to siege Rook’s Rest to the west.

*****​

Aegon landed Balerion just before the main gates of Harrenhal. He had come alone, having sent messengers requesting parley with whoever held Harrenhal in Harren’s absence. Balerion shifted restlessly. Even the colossal dragon was dwarfed by this castle. It was truly an impressive feat. ‘Built by thralls.’ Aegon thought distastefully. ‘When I finish this war with Harren, they shall all be freed, alongside the Riverlands themselves.’ The Riverlords had long suffered under the Ironborn, and no doubt they would be grateful for Aegon’s liberation.

“Who are you?” Demanded a voice from the ramparts. Aegon looked up to see a man dressed in simple yet expensive looking plate armour, decorated with only a few emblems of House Hoare’s sigil. He was pudgy looking, from what Aegon could see, but held himself proudly.

“I am King Aegon Targaryen of Westeros. I demand you submit this castle to me and swear me an oath of loyalty. If not I shall take this castle within the day.” Aegon announced, booming with an authorative tone.

The man on the walls laughed. “You may have defeated my father’s host in battle, upstart. But you could never take Harrenhal. It could resist one hundred thousand men, and you have less than ten thousand. I, Prince Harwyn of the Iron Isles, reject your offer.”

NvESqO0.jpg

“I advise you to reconsider. While my men may be few, I have Balerion here. Walls mean nothing to a dragon.” Harwyn eyed the dragon cautiously.

“These walls are made from stone, foreigner. Stone doesn’t burn. Bring your dragon here again, Targaryen, and I shall shoot it down from the sky. Now go!” Aegon nodded, before spurring the dragon and flying off.

Aegon waited until evening for a surrender from the Prince, but he never got one. Sighing, not wishing to destroy one of the greatest castles in the realm, he mounted Balerion. He soared up into the dusk sky, speeding towards Harrenhal. The castle got closer and closer.

‘And now it ends.’ He thought sadly.

Aegon kicked Balerion into dropping down and opening his maw. A stream of flame shot out, ingulfing one of the towers. Men screamed below. Balerion continued to burn the castle. Scorpion bolts flew past, the occasionally one bouncing off the dragon’s thick scales. Aegon watched and guided Balerion over the castle. After half an hour, the smoke was thick and the damage was done. Aegon decided enough was enough and flew back to his army.

*****​

Despite the burning of Harrenhal being so devastated, Prince Harwyn and his brothers escaped dying like their garrison. Thanks to Harwyn’s paranoia, the brothers had left soon after Aegon’s visit, leaving a reaving captain in command. But their survival meant little. Harren’s armies were defeated, his castle in ruins and occupied by the Targaryen forces. Soon after the burning of Harrenhal, King Harren came to Aegon, and bent the knee.

rG1I5aR.jpg

The first of the Seven Kingdoms had fallen. After accepting Hoare’s oath of fealty, Aegon sent a raven to the Strom King, Argilac the Arrogant. The Stormlands would be the next target of the conquest. Aegon had a personal history with Argilac. They had fought side by side once, against Volantis, but after Argilac refusing Orys Baratheons’ hand in marriage to his daughter, Aegon had decided the man’s vanity and foolishness had gone on long enough.

RqzSGRq.jpg

Aegon sent word to all the Riverlords, telling them from this day forth they no longer served under the Iron Islands, but him instead. In response, led by Lords Edmyn Tully and Deremond Darry, the lords of the Riverlands raised their banners in the name of Aegon Targaryen, marching towards Harrenhal.

After amassing a host of seventeen thousand, Aegon and his sisters marched south, to meet Argilac in battle. Aegon had also sent ravens demanding the lords of Crackclaw Point to swear him fealty. All but the Whispers had done so. In response to the Whispers insolence, Aegon gave Orys Barathepn, Quenton Qoherys and Lord Stokeworth four thousand two hundred men, to go conquer the Whispers.

After a month of marching south, Aegon reached the border of the Stormlands, arriving at Langward Hall. He was set to be caught between two Stormlands armies, both numbering twelve thousand. In response Aegon struck at one of the armies first, at Bronzegate. However, soon after the battle started, the other army marched in behind them.

The battle of Bronzegate was the largest battle of the conquest seen so far, with other forty thousand men involved in the fighting. Argilac’s army, the one attacked by Aegon, had set up an impressive defensive line, while the reinforcing army was set to come in from behind. Aegon, in response to this, left a third of his army with Rhaenys to hold off the reinforcing army, while he, Visenya and the remaining two thirds attacked Argilac’s force. The two armies met in combat as the dragons soared above.

mGqMkQr.jpg

The battle may have gone on for much longer, if it hadn’t been for chance. Argilac was famous for his pride and confidence, which had earned him his moniker ‘the Arrogant’. He wore shining gold-gilded armour, decorated with elaborate stag antlers, wielding a hammer. He often led his knights into the thickest of the fighting, a quality Aegon could admire. Yet this set him out as a target.

Commanding Aegon’s original host while the King was in the air was Lord Tristan of Duskendale, holding the cnetr of the battle. His bravery had been noted by Aegon, who had left in charge in Stokeworth’s and Orys’ absence. However, he too led his armies from the front, and he and Srgilac met in combat. Both men were past their prime, but the Storm King’s strength was infamous.

The two met in a ferocious fight, despite not being particularly skilled warriors, with Argilac questioning why Tristan would serve a foreign warlord. Tristan replied that Aegon would bring peace to his lands, which had been caught in Argilac’s wars for too long. Argilac, growing impatient, finished the man with a crushing blow the lord’s chest. He watched as the enemy lines around him broke, and then heard the flap of wings. Visenya had been watching from above, waiting. As soon as she saw Tristan fall, she dropped down and landed. Vhagar, despite being the smallest of the three dragons was still a massive beast and opened its mouth, consuming Argilac and his men in flame.

The death of their King routed the Stormlands army. After hearing the news, the second army fell apart as well. In the aftermath, Argilac’s former vassals all came to Aegon, and bent the knee one by one. Aegon rode to Storm’s End, to find the garrison had already surrendered, offering Argella, Argilac’s daughter, to the King.

Aegon was lord of the Stormlands, a rich prize he could have kept. But Aegon felt there was a man who deserved Storm’s End, the Stormlands and its princess. He wrote a letter to Orys Baratheon, legitimising him and naming Lord Orys Baratheon of the Stormlands.

QQax7NN.jpg

With the Stormlands and the Iron Isles conquered, the other Kings of Westeros were starting to notice a threat in the Targaryen conqueror. No doubt, Aegon thought, his next target would be a tougher quandary. The most powerful of the Kingdoms would fall next. Aegon Targaryen set his eyes on the Reach…
 
Last edited:

Saxon125

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Exams are the bane of us all, :( still good start, hope this continues like the writing style.
 

Dr Pearceson

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Exams are the bane of us all, :( still good start, hope this continues like the writing style.

Thanks, i wanted to go for a mix of a reporting style for the general game, while having a narrative one for more important moments
 

Dr Pearceson

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KING AEGON I 'THE CONQUEOR'

Chapter 2: The Wars of Conquest, the Reach Campaign 2 BC - 1 BC

The Reach was the most populated region in all of Westeros. Aegon Targaryen knew this, and expected a tougher fight than his last two opponents. He had been lucky that Harrenhal was close to his lands and that Argilac had died in battle. He may not be so lucky again. News had arrived that King Loren of the Rock had allied with King Mern of the Reach to defend the Reach’s independence. Aegon knew that if he allowed his enemies to unite their armies into a massive host, his conquest may come to an end.


kM6vexB.jpg


So he took the offensive, marching his sixteen thousand army of Riverlands men and his original host into the Reach, leaving a Lord called Swygert in charge to organise the Stormlands forces. Meanwhile, Orys Baratheon had engaged the army of the Whispers on Claw Isle. His army of four thousand two hundred, under his command, had completely crushed the one thousand two hundred man host of his opponent, having only lost three hundred men himself. He had now laid siege to the Whispers, and the war there would be over soon.

Aegon marched from Bronzegate with his army, through to Dalston keep, where the last lord resiting his reign in the lands just south of King’s Landing lived. After quickly seizing his castle Aegon marched into the Reach. His socuts reported an eleven thousand man army waiting at Roseford, under the command of Prince Gyles Gardener. Aegon went to meet his forces.

The two armies met on the 8th of December. Aegon’s scouts reported that two more Reachmen armies had been spotted, one eleven thousand host coming from Hammerhal and one twelve hundred man host from Stonebridge. Aegon’s strategy was to strike hard and fast with his forces, crushing the opposing force with superior numbers and the dragons.

EILTzbR.jpg

It worked well. Gyles was no fool, and has set his forces on some hills near the town of Blackbridge, giving himself a slight advantage. However hills meant nothing to the dragons, and Aegon, Visenya and Rhaenys began to burn Gyles’ troops. Gyles, in a moment of bravery which would impress King Aegon, led his troops to meet the Targaryen army, in hopes of stopping the dragon fire. Despite his men being shaken by the dragons, Gyles managed to keep some semblance of command, even killing Lord Ryger in personal combat. Even after the reinforcemtns arrived, Gyles realised the battle was lost. After desperate fighting, and losing most of his men, Gyles managed to carve a way through Aegon’s lines and retreat south to the Grassy Vale with some four thousand three hundred men left.

King Mern Gardener was disappointed with his son’s failure, but he was glad some of his men had escaped. He, in the meantime, had sent three thousand eight hundred men to sail around Dorne and siege Farring Cross from the north, while gathering thirty thousand men at Longtable. He reckoned with a host this large he could crush Aegon’s now sixteen thousand.

Aegon called a war council. He gave Tully and Darry, both of whom had proved to be highly competent commanders, their orders to hold the line no matter what. His plan revolved around them and Lord Eustace Staunton holding the line. He and his sisters would harass Mern’s army as the came to fight Tully and Darry, who would hold off any assault before counter attacking and finishing the battle.

Mern was not as good a tactician Argilac was, but he did have some tactical competency. He divided his forces into three sets of ten thousand, spread out to avoid the now infamous dragon fire. Upon realising this, Aegon knew he would have to adapt. He put his faith in Tully and Darry, before focusing dragon fire on Gardener’s left flank.

Aegon hoped Darry and Tully would soon realise their opponents strategy and adapt. When they noticed the irregularity in all dragons being on the left flank, they soon deduced what was occurring. They charged the Reach’s central flank, pushing them back with the sudden rush. This forced the Reachmen to close in, which was when Aegon left his sister’s to deal with the left and return to the main battle.

fuhYfIL.jpg

It was a massacre. Of the thirty thousand men of the Reach at the battle, eighteen thousand of them died. Of Aegon’s sixteen thousand, only two thousand would die, the most deaths Aegon had suffered in an army thus far. Lord Tully and his men managed to capture Prince Luthor Garderner amongst the fighting. Prince Gyles and his four thousand arrived, only to see more death and destruction. To Gyles’ credit, he did aide in the retreat of the surviving Reach soldiers back to the Grassy Vale.

Sixteen thousand Reach men retreated to the Grassy Vale. By now, Lord Durran Swygert had gathered eight thousand four hundred men from the Stormlands and, on his own initiative, started to march towards Farring Cross, hoping to alleviate the siege there.

The battle of the Grassy Vale was an easy victory for Aegon. Prince Gyles and King Mern had tried to keep the army organised, but it was spread out and exhausted. When Aegon descended upon them, it was a massacre. Nine thousand more Reachmen died, with the surviving seven retreating back to Roseford. Prince Gyles, trying to hold off the Targaryen advance, was taken prisoner.

Farring Cross was a short, brutal fight. Upon realising an army was being sent to fight them, the Reachmen, led by Moryn Rowan, preprared for a pitched battle. However, the fact they were outnumbered more than 2-1 meant they were quickly surrounded, and as good a commander as Rowan was, Swygert was just as good and had more men. The battle was fought near Largetree, and ended with five hundred dead on the Targaryen side, two thousand six hundred dead on the Reachmen side.

The Third battle of Blackbridge was fought on the 8th Febuary, 2 BC. King Gardener’s seven thousand survivors prepared for battle against Aegon’s fourteen thousand men, but they were beginning to lose hope. The nearest reinforcements, fourteen thousand men in Appleton led by Lord Thoren Willum, were behind the Targaryen army. Farring Cross had just been lost, proving that Aegon didn’t need dragons to win battles. But they certainly helped, as the mere sight of the Dragons routed the Reach’s army fairly easily. This did mean many of them escaped, as only two thousand died, the rest retreating south back to the Grassy Vale. Rather than give chase, Aegon set course for Farring Cross, where Swygert was waiting with his army.

1LUai6B.jpg

However, Lord Willum’s army was determined to get there first, and they most likely would have if it hadn’t been for the battle of Dalston Keep, where two thousand eight hundred men from the Dornish Marshes held off the much larger host for as long as possible. In the end, all the men from the Marshes died, but they delayed the Reach army long enough for Aegon to reach Farring Cross and merge his forces with Swygert’s. There force now numbered twenty-two thousand.

Mern’s survivors met with Willum’s army at Dalston, forming a nineteen thousand man army. To the north of Farring Cross, Lord Kayce from the Westerlands brought eleven thousand fresh troops. And one thousand more survivors from Blackbridge marched in from Tumbleton.

Y8722TY.jpg

Ideally for King Mern and Lord Kayce, there forces would have arrived at Farring Cross on the same day and crushed Aegon between them. However, Mern’s forces where still shaken and unorganised, slowing their marching progress. This caused Kayce’s eleven thousand to meet with an army twice its size alone. The results were predictable. Swygert, Darry and Tully led their ground troops, charging at the front lines of Kayce’s army while the dragons struck from behind, almost annihilating the Westerlands force. When the Reach’s army finally arrived, the Westerlands force had been pushed back. Mern, in a rather smart move, took advantage of the disarray of Aegon’s forces and charged right at them, hoping to take them from behind and defeat them.

However, dragons move faster than men, and Aegon and his sisters slowed and broke up the Reach’s advance, allowing Tully to reorganise the men and meet the Garderner army prepared. The Garderners’ army shattered soon after. Of the forty thousand men the Garderners’ and the Lannisters’ sent to Farring Cross for battle, only fourteen thousand survived. Aegon’s army lost a mere fifteen hundred. This was Aegon’s crowning moment in the Reach campaign. Surely by now, King Mern had realised how futile fighting back would be.

Aegon followed Kayce’s survivors to Greensward, where he finished that army off. By now the Whispers had fallen and submitted, with Orys marching his army south to join Aegon’s war. Mern had successfully retreated six thousand men back to Tumbleton, where eleven thousand men led by King Loren Lannister himself were waiting. There, King Mern told Loren about Aegon and his dragons. Loren didn’t dismiss the claims of dragons like Mern, Argilac and Harren had initially. Instead he simply tried to plan how to defeat the dragons.

Aegon’s army arrived at Tumbleton on the 4th May. King Loren Lannister had built siege engines in his limited time, hoping to shoot the dragons out of the sky. He had built defensive strcutures and laid out a pike wall in order to slow Aegon’s army, oping he could kill the dragons, who would focus on the siege engines, before the main army broke through. He did not succeed.

6GcforH.jpg

Aegon commanded his sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys, to attack the siege engines while he and Balerion burnt the pike wall. Visenay initially struggled, but Rhaenys was a great dragon rider, burning catapult and scropions, running Lannister’s plan. Aegon ocmpletelty destroyed the pike wall, allowing his army to break through quickly. Mern soon realised the futility of the battle and ordered his army to stand down, Loren following suit.

*****

Aegon, dressed in black plate trimmed red, landed Balerion atop the small hill the two Kings had commanded from. It was surrounded by the survivors of the battle, Aegon’s army and the other two King’s as well. No doubt King Loren had already retreated from the battle, back to Casterly Rock. Aegon was planning to conquer the West next, before moving onto the Vale. He jumped down from Balerion marching to the command tent. Outside stood a man dressed in a regal suit of plate, the green hand of House Gardener on his shield. His grey hair was streaked brown, his face a one of stress. He wore a golden crown on his head, decorated with rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

“King Mern Gardener.” Aegon said, removing his own helm. Mern didn’t glare at him, he didn’t scowl. He barely looked at Aegon, just staring off at the battlefield. The smell of smoke still filled the air. “I have come to...”

“I know why you’ve come, King Aegon.” Mern said. “You have come to accept my surrender.” Aegon simply nodded. “Very well. My people have suffered enough. I heard that you gave Hoare mercy, and let him keep the Iron Islands. Will I keep the Reach?” He asked. “I suppose I have failed in my duty to protect the Reach, seeing what I’ve allowed to happen.” Aegon just remained silent. Mern sighed sadly. “Very well then.” A silence hung in the air as the two Kings looked at each other.

Slowly, Mern reached up and took his crown off his head, brining it to chest-level. He stared at it deeply for a moment before casting it to the side. Mern stepped forward and dropped to one knee. “I, King Mern Gardener, the Ninth of his name, surrender my throne and my lands, and all the lands of those sworn to me, to Aegon, the First of his name.”

“Rise then, Lord Mern Gardener of the Reach. If you swear to keep my peace, to rule the Reach in my name and to serve me and my realm, I shall let you keep your lands.” Aegon said, looking down on the old man. A great weight seemed lifted off Mern’s shoulders.

“I swear to serve you, your Grace.” He said, rising.

Aegon nodded, pleased. “Tell me, where is King Loren Lannister?” He asked.

“Right here, Conqueror.” As voice came. Out of the tent, dressed in gold and crimson plate armour, walked a man in his mid-thirties. He had golden blonde hair and dark green eyes. On his head he wore a crown, decorated with golden lion heads and rubies. “I reckoned you would come for my kingdom next.” King Loren Lannister said.

“I would.” Aegon confirmed. Loren considered this, before dropping to one knee. “Then I, King Loren Lannister, the Sixth of my name, surrender my throne, my lands and lands of those sworn to me to King Aegon, the first of his name. To King Aegon ‘the Conqueror’.”

*****


After the surrender of the Reach and of the Rock, Aegon flew to Oldtown, to meet with the High Septon. He allowed Lord Loren and Lord Mern to fly with him. The High Septon refused to meet with Aegon at first, praying for seven days and seven knights, before allowing the King to meet him. Aegon and the High Septon talked for hours. The High Septon taught Aegon everything about the Seven and the Faith, and Aegon decided to cast aside his old, Valyrian gods, converting to the Faith of the Seven. In the Starry Sept, before Loren and Mern, the High Septon himself knighted Aegon and crowned him.

Aegon flew back to his army the following day, sending a declaration of war to the Eyrie. However it seemed King Arryn, or rather his mother, didn’t want to fight the dragons, and bent the knee without battle. Aegon then sent a declaration of war to the North, and Torrhen Stark followed the example of Lannister and Arryn, and bent the knee without giving battle.

Then Aegon sent a raven to Sunspear, with the same ultimatum: surrender or war. Aegon now had the fealty of the six other Kingdoms. Surely the Dornish Prince would surrender. However, the message sent back was not what Aegon was expecting.

*****


Aegon read the letter Visenya had handed him. His two sisters stood either side of him, reading over his shoulder as he sat, taking in the message.

“To the upstart called Targaryen.

There are no Kings in Dorne. Only Princes. If you want our lands, come take them from us. A thousand armies have come to Dorne, and a thousand have fallen.

Unbent.

Unbowed.

Unbroken.

Prince Quentyn Martell, Prince of Dorne.”

Aegon crumpled the letter and threw it away. “So, this Dornish Prince has a backbone. I thought my warring was done.” Aegon said. He admired the Prince’s bravery, as he had admired that of Gyles, who was now free and back with his father.

“Send ravens to my new Lords. We march on Dorne.”
 

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I always love playing as Aegon and building my own history of the Seven Kingdoms.
 

Dr Pearceson

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KING AEGON I 'the Conqueror'

Chapter 3: The Wars of Conquest, the Dornish Campaign 1 BC - 0 AC

After receiving word of the Dornish insolence, Aegon assessed the situation. While he had a massive host directly under his command, as well as the armies of whatever lords would join him, the information he had gathered on Dorne worried him. It was a harsh, unforgiving land, where attrition could annihilate armies before they could even wage a pitched battle. Thus Aegon planned accordingly.


He would send Visenya with 9000 men on the royal fleet and sail to Sunspear, whilst he and Rhaenys would march what was left down to Wyl, the northernmost lordship of Dorne.

On the 13th September, Aegon reached Wyl. As expected, Dornish guerrillas and the harsh environment meant Aegon’s army was diminishing rapidly. Not wanting to see his army fall apart before fighting any actual battles, Aegon released Balerion upon Wyl and captured the surrounding countryside. Soon after the fall of Wyl, Visenya landed in Sunspear, taking the city in a few days.

The invasion of Dorne seemed well underway, with Aegon now marching south to the seat of House Yronwood, and Visenya securing the lands around the Dornish capital. However, trouble in the from of Prince Quentyn Martell, Prince of Dorne, appeared.


Leading eleven thousand men, he marched back to his seat to engage Visenya and her nine thousand. The two armies met in the streets of Sunspear. A viscious, close-knit urban battle ensued. Visenya couldn’t use her dragon, unless she wanted to burn half her army and the city. Instead, she led her men on foot.

*****
“Queen Visenya! Queen Visenya!” Cried a voice. Visenya looked up from the crude map of the city she was occupying to see a knight standing before her. His armour was flaked with blood, his left am drenched in it. He panted furiously under his helmet.

“What is it, Ser?” She barked. She had no time for patience today. That rat of a Prince, Quentyn Martell, had returned to take back his capital. Visenya had been given little time to prepare, and occupying a hostile city made it all the more difficult. What had been her crowning moment of glory in her brother’s conquest had quickly become a disaster. Not only did the Dornish outnumber her own men, but they knew the city and had the people on their side. She had nominated herself supreme commander, taking residence in Sunspear as to oversee the battle. Ser Borros Cole commanded the left side of the battle, Lord Maric Gaunt the centre and Lord Alaric Morrigen the right. Ser Pate Bolling commanded the rear guard, providing support wherever it was needed. Visenya would have happily just burnt the city to ashes with Vhagar, as a sign of what happens to those who resist invader, but she risked killing half her men or more, as well as the displeasure of Aegon.

“Try to refrain from destroying every castle and town you find.” He had told Visenya before they departed ways. “I do want an actual Kingdom to rule over.” Visenya was going to point out that he had released Balerion upon Harrenhal, but she knew he would just cut her short. Aegon was a man who took no nonsense from anyone, not even his sister-wives. He was blunt, he was fierce and he was suspicious of everything, even the Gods. She loved him. He was the only thing in this world she could tolerate. Well, him and Vhagar.

“Lord Alaric Morrigen is dead, your Grace.” The bleeding knight informed her, bringing her back to reality. She scolded herself for getting distracted. “He was dehorsed while charging a rank of Dornish spearmen.”

“The fool!” Visenya spat. She had never been too fond of Morrigen, but he was competent enough or at least it seemed. She clearly had put too much trust in the man. “And what of his soldiers?”

“They have started to rout back to the city centre, the Dornish soon to be in hot pursuit after recovering and regrouping, it seems.” The knight reported as a Maester inspected his wound.

Visenya sat in silence, weighing her options before deciding on her actions. “Very well.” She turned to a second knight, who was relaying messages. “You, find Ser Pate Bolling. Tell him to move all his men to the right to slow the Dornish advance. We can’t allow Prince Martell to flank either Lord Gaunt’s or Ser Cole’s men.” The knight nodded and quickly left, just as a young squire ran in, a bloody cut over his head. He looked exhausted.

“Your Grace.” He gasped for air. “Lord Gaunt demands further support. His ranks are breaking. He won’t last much longer. You must help him.” Visenya frowned at the boy’s choice of words, but knew something had to be done. And with Bolling now commanding the right, there was only one action. Visenya picked up her helmet from the table and pulled it over her head, locking it in place. She wore half-plate armour, allowing her more movement than your standard knight.

“Someone get me my horse. Knights, with me. We ride for the eye of the storm. Today we kill the Prince of Dorne!” Her knights cheered her. Within minutes they were battle ready, three dozen fine knights and the Queen herself, ready for war. They galloped through the city streets, the sounds of war quickly enveloping them. They heard steel on steel, screams of pain, cries of mercy and even the laughter of mad men. Visenya relished it.

They soon reached the very thickest of the central fighting, in a main road of the city, and Visenya drew her Valyrian steel sword, Dark Sister. “For King Aegon!” She shouted, her men taking up her rallying cry. They slammed into a rank of Dornish militiamen, and Visenya started cutting men down left and right. Violence engulfed her. She furiously parried and countered, stabbed and slashed. Her arrival pushed back the Dornish, who retreated down some streets, presumably to recover from the sudden change in tide.

“Queen Visenya, it is a joy to see you.” Shouted a voice across the wide street. It was Lord Maric Gaunt, her commander of the centre. “I must admit we are struggling here, but with your arrival I’m sure we can push them back. Did you bring any other men?”

“If there is a problem, Gaunt, you’re to blame. As for any other men, this is all I could manage. Lord Morrigen is dead, so Bolling has taken control of that front. I am assuming command here, is that clear?”

If there was any lingering resentment of taking commands from a woman, like there had been when Visneya originally took command of her own army, Lord Gaunt quickly quashed them. He nodded curtly. “What would you have me do, my Queen?”

“Take some men and take command of the fighting in the alleyways and back streets of the city. I don’t want Dornishmen attacking me from every angle.” Lord Gaunt quickly gathered some men and ran down an alleyway on the right hand side of the street, leaving Visenya to command the main battle.

For the next couple of hours, the fighting was intense. Visenya’s strategy was to have two forces; a widely spread first force which scouted the streets and the second main force for the heavier fighting and clearing buildings. It worked, and she was able to slow the advance of the Dornish. It seemed she could win the day after all. If only she could find the Dornish Prince.

Everything was proceeding as planned until attacks on her left flank started to intensify. ‘What in the world is happening?’ She wondered. Her questions were quickly answered by a running man-at-arms, arrow lodged in his right shoulder.

“You, man! Why are you running?”

“The day is lost, m’lady.” He said through a split lip. “Ser Cole has been cut off with over half his men and retreated out the city. The Dornish have overwhelmed us. We can’t win! It’s hopeless, hopele-

Visenya, in one quick, smooth motion, sliced across the man’s throat. She couldn’t allow him to scare the rest of the men, and he had given her all the information she needed. The left had collapsed, that much was clear. She cursed under he breath. This city had gone from triumph to hell-hole, that as certain now. She needed to retreat in good order and try and scavenge something.

“My Queen.” Gaunt’s familiar voice rang through the streets. He appeared out a dark alleyway, his helmet gone. “The Dornish suddenly intensified the fighting in the back streets. Most of my men are dead. They’re closing in as we speak.”

He was right, she could hear the shouting of the Dornish from here. They were closing in. “We need to take refuge in the buildings and prepare for a defence.” Visenya announced. Gaunt went to speak but she raised her hand to silence him. “If you are suggesting retreat, it’s a fool’s hope. This Prince is smarter than I thought. No doubt he has cut off our means of retreat. He meant to draw me out, and he has succeeded. Our only respite is that it means he’s taking men away from the fighting in the north of the city, so Ser Bolling has a chance of escaping this madness. As for the rest of us? We fight to the end.”

Visenya knew she could escape on Vhagar, but she couldn’t abandon her men, she couldn’t retreat. Otherwise she could never look her brother in the eye again. Visenya found a large inn, with a knocled down wall linking it to a neighbouring house, and fortified herself in there with Gaunt and twenty knights, with five and thirty peasant militiamen.

The Dornish descended upon them. There was no strategy to be formed by Visenya, no cunning plan. There was only fighting and staying alive. To Gaunt’s credit, he fought alongside her, until a Dornishmen speared him in the throat.

It ended with Visenya standing by herself, all the men who had barricaded themselves with her dead. The room was filled with corpses. Her shield was shattered, her helmet gone. She held Dark Sister in both hands, waiting for death to come. She was surrounded by two dozen Dornishmen, if not more. “Come at me then, and learn the meaning of our words; Fire and Blood.” But the Dornishmen did not move, until a man with black, greying hair walked into the building. He was wearing expensive yet humble armour, longsword in hand.

“Queen Visenya, I have no interest in killing you.” He said with his Dornish drawl. “Drop your weapon, please. No more blood needs to be spilled. I am a merciful Prince.” Visenya stood there, motionless. She could go down fighting, but what would that achieve? If she surrendered, she could always bide her time, wait for the right moment to strike. If she died here, she would never be able to aide her family, her brother and sister. Dark Sister clanged on the floor as she raised her arms, only to be seized by two Dornish knights.

“I’m glad you have more sense than your war-mongering brother, Lady Visenya.” Prince Quentyn said, smiling slightly. “Surely you must realise by now there is no hope in taking my Kingdom?” Visenya didn’t give him an answer, not wanting to give him any smug satisfaction. With a small gesture from the Prince, Queen Visenya was taken away.


*****


The Targaryen army fought nobly that day, however there were in an unfamiliar city with a hostile populace, fighting against an army who knew every back-alley and turn of the city. Without the dragon to assist them, the fight took a turn for the worst. Visenya’s commanders’, Lords Alaric Morrigen and Maric Gaunt, both died in the fighting. Visenya herself was cornered and captured by the Dornish. It was only thanks to Ser Borros Cole and Ser Pate Bolling, who kept the army in good order, than anyone was able the escape. At the end of the day, 6100 Targaryen troops lay dead, compared to 3500 Dornish men.


At the arrial of the new year, Aegon faced the realisation of how difficult Dorne would be to take. His army was suffering from attrition, his sister captive, his western army fleeing from Prince Quentyn. The First Battle of the Scimtar and the Battle of Bloodspill were further embaressments. Lord Fossoway of Cider Hall’s force was crushed by the numerically superior army of Ser Manfrey Dalt and Lord Allar Qorgyle.

Soon after the First Battle of the Scimtar, Aegon’s force of 8000 attacked the 5400 of Dalt and Qorgyle in the Second Battle of the Scimtar. The battle was stretched out across the deserts of Dorne, small skirmishes reigning supreme. It was crule and demanding battle, with Aegon unable to use Balerion effectively. Instead it relied on his strategic mind alone. And it came through. The Targaryen army only lost 1200 men in the fight, but the Dornish lost 4000 men themselves. However, at this moment of triumph, Aegon received word of the disaster at Bloodspill. Of Visenya’s 3000 survivors, only 405 were left alive after being routed and crushed by the Prince’s 9600 men.

vq3rQq7.jpg


Aegon’s force was now deep in enemy lands, being picked off by night raids and the desert sun. The King marched back north to Yronwood, were he used Balerion to force the castle’s surrender, giving his men shelter from the constant attacks. Meanwhile, Lord Mern Gardener led 3400 Reachmen to Scorched Rock, where they fought and ended what was left of Lord Qorgyle’s army. This force was soon reinforced by an additional 3400, bringing their force to 6600 strong, laying siege to the castle.


hjeUU1L.jpg

Around this time, Queen Visenya managed to escape the captivity of the Dornish. She was locked high up in Sunspear, but her dragon, Vhagar, came to save his rider. In the ensuing chaos of a dragon attack, Visenya retrieved Dark Sister and fled atop the dragon. However, upon returning to Aegon, she was scolded by her brother for her actions, whilst he praised the actions of Orys Baratheon, Osney Stokeworth and Mern Gardener.

The Dornish War came to its conclusion at Scorched Rock. Targaryen spies reported Martell’s army was on the move, marching towards Scorched Rock to attack the smaller Gardener force. Aegon rallied his army and marched his 8000 south to aide their Gardener allies.

Prince Quentyn arrived first, giving fight to Mern and his sons. The battle was similar to that of those in the Scimtar; guerrilla tactics and skirmishes dominating the battle. The Reach were in dssaray, and after weeks of brutal fighting it seemed they were done for. While their defence had weakened the Dornish army severely, it clearly wasn’t enough. Until the first of the Three Headed Dragon banners appeared.

6gEjYHT.jpg

The arrival of Aegon’s battle-hardened and battle-ready army shifted the tide of the battle. The Dornish soon found themselves outnumbered and being pushed back by this new threat. The Reachmen rallied once more and aided their allies, with talks over 5000 Westermen led by Lord Reyne marching in behind Aegon. The Second Battle of Scorched Rock ended with Aegon’s victory. It was clear now there was no chance of a Dornish counter-attack, and that the war was lost. On the 20th May of the Year 0 AC, Prince Quentyn Martell bent the knee to Aegon. As a sign of respect for the Dornish being the only Kingdom to give Aegon any kind of a challenge, King Aegon allowed Quentyn to keep the title of Prince.

Aegon’s Conquest was now complete.
 
Last edited:

roadrager

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Really enjoy how you are rewriting the history of the seven kingdoms. Nice use of the lore and very good writing style. Ill be keeping an eye on this
 

Dr Pearceson

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KING AEGON I 'THE CONQUEROR'

Chapter 4: Creating a Legacy, Creating a Realm 0 AC - 8 AC

With his conquest now complete, Aegon now had to secure his control over the Seven Kingdoms. Whilst the dragons were hopefully enough of a deterrent for open rebellion, King Aegon now had to prove to Westeros he could be a great King. First he’d have to decide where to build his capital. Dragonstone had been the seat of House Targaryen for three hundred years, and Oldtown was the oldest city in Westeros, a good as place as any. But Aegon decided against either. He decided on using the land where he had landed two and a half years ago, laying plans to build the Red Keep, his new castle, and a city, King’s Landing, around it. To guard his new city, he established a force known as the Goldcloaks, which were to be led by Ser Boros Cole, a veteran from the wars in the Reach and Dorne.


One of the first acts in Aegon’s realm was deciding what to do with the Riverlands. The Riverlands hadn’t been an independent Kingdom for centuries, and has been fought over by the Rock, the Stormlands and the Iron Isles ever since. In order for the balance of power to be maintained in Westeros and to avoid the divided Riverlords being targeted by the much more powerful Lord Paramounts, Aegon knew he’d have to name someone Lord of the Riverlands.

Qoherys, one of his most loyal generals, had been named as the Lord of Harrenhal, and seemed a suitable candidate, but Aegon decided against him. The Rivermen would only follow one of their own. Aegon narrowed the choices down to two; Lord Deremond Darry and Lord Edmyn Tully. Both had served in his armies throughout the conquest, and both had proved to be competent commanders. In the end, Aegon chose Tully, as Riverrun was the most impressive fort in all of the Riverlands, while Castle Darry was of a decent but unimpressive size.

Aegon knew if he was going to rule Westeros, he couldn’t do so alone. And so he assembled the first Small Council. He kept old Lord Crispan Celtigar as his Master of Coin, and had his closest friend and ally, brave Lord Orys Baratheon, named Master at Arms. Lord Edmyn Tully, a skilled diplomat, was made Master of Laws. Lord Donnel Hoare, the second son of Hagen Hoare who had been sent to Aegon’s court as a hostage, was made Master of Whispers based off his experience in the same role serving his father. And the most important role, the Hand of the King, was given to Lord Loren Lannister ‘the King who Knelt’, who had a reputation for running his Kingdom efficiently, especially involving economics. Soon after gathering these men, Aegon received a Maester from the Citadel named Gawen, a young but extremely knowledgeable man. He was named the first Grand Maester.

kcp6IKs.jpg

In the first year of his reign as sole King of Westeros, Aegon was consistently talking to the High Septon in Oldtown, learning the customs of Knighthood and the Faith. While many called the High Septon ‘the Boring One’, Aegon found him anything but that. Aegon had been a cynic most of his life, not truly believing in the virtues of the gods of Valyria, who had allowed the great empire to collapse. However, the High Septon’s teacings showed him a new religion, one that he saw more reality in, more truth. Aegon’s cynicism melted away as he accepted this new religion. He saw knighthood in a new light, and decided he needed squires. Thus, he took on Olyvar Martell and Mathis Tully as wards.

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Soon after this, Aegon decided that a King needed guards, and that an order of Knights would be the only thing that could fulfil such as duty. He has Orys draft a list of knights who had proven themselves during the Wars of Conquest from all over the Seven Kingdoms, and these knights would form the first of the Kingsguard.

Ser Humfrey ‘the Mummer’ was a hedge knight from humble origins, originating from the Stormlands. He had fought in Lord Swygert’s army at Farring Cross, and saw action in Farring Cross, Greensward, Tumbleton, Scimtar and Scorched Rock. He had proved himself to be a truly formidable warrior and knight, and was at the top of Orys’ suggestions for a Lord Commander. Aegon summoned him to the capital immediately. Upon arriving, Aegon revealed to Humfrey his offer; to take no wives or lands and to father no children, similar to the vows of the Night’s Watch, to inturn go down in history as the first Lord Commander of the Kingsguard of the Seven Kingdoms. For a man like Humfrey, whose opportunities were few, he accepted happily. His appointment showed Aegon would appoint men to this order based on skill and feats, not only birth.

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Yet the next appointment revolved around both of these factors. Corlys Velaryon was Aegon’s younger cousin, and at a young age already had a reputation for being a great fighter. His bloodties to the Targaryen’s assured his loyalty, and he wasn’t the heir to Driftmark, so he didn’t have any titles to expect. He gladly joined this order, seeing it as a chance to earn glory and become a true knight, something he didn’t really understand yet.

Over the next few months, the positions in the Kingsguard would be filled. Ser Richard Roote and Ser Bronn Worth were both skilled warriors from the less prestigious backgrounds of nobility. The same could be said for Ser Griffith Goode, who also possessed a great strength. Ser Talwyn Tarly wasn’t a great fighter, but could hold his own and had his family’s strength, as well as coming from a well-respected house, giving the Kingsguard more of a legitimacy. And finally Ser Ollidor of Stokeworth, a household knight in the service of Lord Osney Stokeworth who had proven to be an intelligent and cunning commander, was given the seventh and final position despite being in his mid-thirties and only a decent fighter. All of these men swore the same vows as Lord Commander Humfrey, and would take up residence in the soon-to-be constructed White Sword Tower.

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From left to right: Ser Bronn Worth, Ser Corlys Velaryon, Ser Griffith Goode, Ser Ollidor of Stokeworth, Ser Richard Roote and Ser Talwyn Tarly


As the year 1 AC arrived, the King created four new honoury titles; the Wardens. His realm was so vast, he felt the need to appoint four men to defend his kingdom from north to south, from east to west. Lord Torrhen Stark, who was now known as ‘the Just’ for his unwavering justice, even executing one of his own sons, was named Warden of the North. The Hand, Lord Lorren Lannister, was named Warden of the West, due to Aegon not trusting Harren Hoare with the position. Young Lord Ronnel Arryn was made Warden of the East, as the Vale was the strongest power in the East. The same logic was used when naming Lord Mern Gardener Warden of the South, since the Reach was the strongest out of itself, the Stormlands and Dorne.


The first three years of Aegon’s reign over Westeros were peaceful, with only a few incidents worth mentioning. In July, 1 AC, Donnel Hoare proved his worth by revealing a plot of Visenya’s to kill Orys Baratheon. Whether it was out of her own ambition to become Master at Arms or out of the jealously of Orys successes in the Whispers and in Dorne, Aegon confronted her and demanded she stop her plotting. Out of love and respect for Aegon she ceased to scheme, and it was never talked of again. Also in 1 AC, Aegon, with the aide of Lannister and Celtigar, started to expand the Red Keep further. The year 1 AC drew to a close with Aegon’s uncle, Lord Daemon Velaryon dying, with his son Matarys succeeding him. Aegon arranged for Matarys to receive a ward and squire, so House Velaryon could understand Westerosi customs better. As befitting a cousin of a King, Aegon sent Ronnel Arryn to become the new Lord of Driftmark’s squire.

The year 2 AC was extremely uneventful. Very little occurred, with Aegon continuing to settle down into his new Kingship. The Small Council lost its first member, as Lord Celtigar fell into a coma at his advanced age. To replace him as Master of Coin, Aegon summoned the High Septon. While some felt that this meant the Faith was getting too powerful, no one aired their greivances to Aegon and the High Septon agreed to take his seat on the Council.

3 AC started off quiet enough. There hadn’t been any major events in the year 2 AC, and this year seemingly followed it until the Hand revealed treachery close to the capital. Lord Thorne, who had originally resisted the King’s arrival on Westeros, had been found spreading rumours and talking of treason. The Hand presented his evidence to Aegon and the King knew he must act to make an example of Thorne, or else the other Lords of Westeros might follow suit. He sent a demand for Lord Thorne to hand himself in to the Crown’s custody, or else suffer the consequences.

Lord Arneld Thorne was an honourable and honest man, insulted by the King and the Hand uponr eciving word of Aegon’s demands. He sent Aegon’s messengers back with word that he’d refuse to come to the King in chains. Aegon, in respone, had him branded a traitor. And so began the Thorne Uprising.

Lord Arneld Thorne feared King Aegon would respond with force, and called his banners. Within weeks, he had gathered over 3000 men. However, King Aegon was just as efficient, gathering 11000 men at King’s Landing to bed led by himself, Queen Visenya and Lord Osney Stokeworth, while Lord Loren Lannister and Queen Rhaenys ruled in the capital in his absence.

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Thorne fled with his 3000 into the Westerlands, hoping to rally support to join him but found closed keeps and hostile towns, with Aegon’s army in hot pursuit. What followed was months of close calls and near battles, as Arneld always managed to stay one step ahead of Aegon. But the King eventually caught up with his rebelling vassal at Byford, leading to open battle. The men of Blackwater Rush stood no chance. They were not only heavily outnumbered but the opposing side had two dragons with them. It was a massacre. Only 123 men from Aegon’s force died, due to the beginning hail of arrows. Among Aegon’s dead was Lord Duncan Farring. Other than that, The battle went perfectly. The dragons alone killed hundreds upon hundreds of men and the troops led by Osney Stokeworth fought valiantly as well. Stokeworth himself killed Lord Jarmen Chyttering in personal combat, although he suffered a wound by Lord Jarmen’s hand as the two were both skilled knights. 2400 men under Thorne’s command died and the rest were broken at the following battle in Riverspring.

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At this point Aegon and Visenya left the army, feeling their work was done. Aegon knew he had to stop being the warrior and start being the ruler in earnest. He left Lord Osney in charge of the army alongside Lord Commander Humfrey and Ser Talwyn Tarly of the Kingsguard, who laid siege to House Thorne’s seat of Rayonet. On the 8th January 4 AC, Rayonet fell and the majority of House Thorne was taken into Lord Osney’s custody. The Thorne Uprising was over. Aegon judged that Osney Stokeworth could keep Lord Thorne in custody as punishment.

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As 4 AC arrived, Aegon became concerned with his lack of an heir. Neither of his sisters had become pregnant and none of them were getting any younger. Orys had already fathered two daughters, named Shiera and Daeryssa. He needed a son to carry on House Targaryen, otherwise his line would die out. So when Rhaeny’s announced that she was pregnant just as the first month of the year came to a close, Aegon was understandably happy and celebrated. On an unrelated note, Aegon sent his cousin’s son, Alyn Velrayon, to become Orys’ ward, with the same being done with Lanselyn Lannister becoming Lord Commander Humfrey’s squire.

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With Rhaenys’ pregnancy giving him a new motivation, Aegon became increasingly more involved in his Kingdom’s affairs, expanding King’s Landing, wanting to make it a city a Royal Dynasty could be proud of, working closely with the High Septon on the matter. On the 24th August, early in the morning, Rhaenys Targaryen went into labour. By the end of the day, she had given birth to a healthy young boy. Aegon named the boy Aemon. The realm now had an heir; Prince Aemon Targaryen.

The rest of the year flew by without incident, however the year 5 AC saw Aegon take on his greatest project yet. Due to his increasing interest in the day to day management of the Kingdom and travelling around on dragonback, which included him taking time to hunt down bandits who stole from a sept, endearing him to the smallfolk, Aegon noticed the roads were in need of upgrading to suit the needs of a now unified Westeros. Almost daily, merchants and other travellers brought petition complaining about the state of the roads. King Aegon declared that a new, Kingdom-spanning road network would be built, starting with a road from King’s Landing to the mouth of the Trident.

In April 5 AC, Rhaenys announced she was pregnant once again. And seven months later, at the very end of October, as the final touches were made to the initial expansions of King’s Landing, she went into labour. She gave birth to a baby girl, who was named Princess Maera Targaryen.

The next year saw further construction being carried out. After the initial stretch of the Kingsroad was built, Aegon began to expand it down to Storm’s End. He also commissioned for King’s Landing to be built up even further. However, half way through the year the King and the entire realm received a dark message. The Maesters of the Citadel told the world that Winter was coming.

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Aegon was not one to allow such news to stop him, and carried out in both personal and state matters diligently. He arranged for Orys’ eldest daughter, Lady Shiera to come to court as Queen Rhaenys’ ward. Around this time Rhaenys’ also became pregnant again and her dragon, Meraxes, produced a dragon egg. This rather productive year of 7 AC ended with an underwhelming event and a worrying one. On the 8th September Ollidor of Stokeworth died in his sleep at the age five and forty. And pn 4th November Rhaenys gave birth to a second son, Jacaerys. This child, however, was frail and weak but came into the world screaming and struggling like a mad man, which some saw as a dark omen for the man he would become.


Aegon ignored such claims, and focused on filling the ranks of his Kingsguard once more. Both surviving adult sons of Prince Quentyn Martell ‘the Just’, their elder brother executed by their father, including Aegon’s former ward and squire Olyvar refused the position, although Olyvar did accept an invitation to court from Aegon to escape his kinslaying father. So Aegon decided to arrange a tournament to be held at the capital to find a new Kingsguard as well as to show he was a part of Westeros culturally and not just legally.

April of 8 AC witnessed said tournament, which was one of the greatest ever seen. Dozens of fine Knights and Lords, including four Kingsguard and Orys Baratheon, took part in the jousting for everyone’s entertainment as Aegon watched with his two wives and three children. The jousting ended with a great bout between Lord Orys Baratheon and Lord Commander Humfrey ‘the Mummer’. Both were knights of great prowess. While the Lord Commander was the smallfolks’ favourite, Lord Orys seemed likely to win, being nine years younger and strong as well. And in the end, after a great joust, Orys Baratheon unhorsed Humfrey ‘the Mummer’. Aegon named him the victor of the tourney, and told him he could now name his Queen of Love and Beauty. During the entire tournament, Orys had fought with his wife’s favour, and he named her his Queen, taking her around the stands on horseback to the applause of the nobility and the peasantry alike. This display from Aegon’s right hand showed that the Targaryen’s were now a part of life in Westeros.

What followed next was the melee, a great fight consisting of knights, freeriders and men at arms. One knight who excelled was nineteen year old Ser Holgor Westbrook, an unmarried son of Lord in the Reach. He proved himself to be as skilled as the likes in the Kingsguard, defeating Ser Tarly and Ser Bronn in the melee. After the melee was completed, Aegon had Orys bring the boy before him. There Aegon offered Holgor a white cloak and a place in his Kingsguard. Holgor, who held knightly vows such as honesty and kindness in high esteem, as well as having ambition but no desire for the life as the second-in-line for a minor lordship, accepted the cloak at his father’s disdain.

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The first eight years of Aegon’s rule cemented his place in Westeros culturally, becoming more involved in the continent’s affairs and cultures while setting an example for rebellious lords.

Note: i foolishly forgot to take screenshots of the actual Targaryen children at birth. Aemon and Maera have no genetic traits (yet), but Jacaerys has both Lunatic and Weak. Also, apologies for the terrible cropping of the Kingsguard.
 
Last edited:

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Dr Pearceson

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Thanks a bunch for the nomination, SgtSmuckers. Anyway, on with the story

KING AEGON I 'THE CONQUEROR'

Chapter 5: A Reign of Prosperity 8 AC - 20 AC

Aegon carried on with his new found ‘hobby’ of giving loyal vassals’ children to competent and skilled guardians by arranging for Osney Stokeworth’s daughter and heir to go under Visenya’s wing. And in the year 9 AC, Visenya made an exciting announcement. For the first time, at the age of one and forty, Visenya Targaryen was pregnant. And while Aegon was excited, he had already fathered three children and had other matters to attend to. The year 9 AC, although witnessing the birth of Shaera Targaryen in August, was dominated by Aegon focusing on the realm as a whole, and not personal matters, such as beginning the construction of the royal fleet and refusing the aide Volantis in its wars, as Aegon felt his future lay in Westeros and not the east. Aegon also cracked down on corruption, having the Septon Aegor arrested for stealing money he was meant to hand out to the poor of King’s Landing. He was kept imprisoned for one month, being released after Aegon had forced him to walk through the capital naked. The only small, more personal matters worth mentioning is Aegon knighting his two former wards, Mathis Tully and Olyvar Martell. Both boys were nothing compared to their guardian, but the King felt a certain pride at knighting the two. Halfway through the year, the cold winds died down and word from the citadel was received: Winter had come to an end.

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The following year, 10 AC, saw the King almost have a falling out with his closest ally and confident, Orys Baratheon. The completiton of the road to Storm’s End meant the two didn’t have to work together as closely, and Aegon had found two new friends in the heir of Rainwood, Ser Donnel Wylde and his uncle Ser Rayden Wylde, who had helped with the project. Aegon now began a road from King’s Landing to Casterly Rock, called the Gold Road, and so he worked extensively with Lord Lyman Lannister, his Hand.

Orys then requested that Aegon tutor his second daughter, Daeryssa, but the King refused, instead offering for Lord Edwyn Tully to tutor the girl. Orys accepted this, but was angered, and the gap between them continued to grow. Both had their prides, and both refused to back down. Aegon began to work more and more closely with his Hand, but not to spite Orys. Loren Lannister was a highly skilled Hand. However, Aegon soon found the constant flattery and sycophancy he received from Loren intolerable, and left the Hand to work on the Gold Road alone, returning to the capital, where he found Orys working as hard as ever. Aegon realised that he only had one true friend in the world, and that was Orys Baratheon. The two reconciled, and Aegon, out of respect of Orys’ skills, gave his son Aemon to Lord Baratheon to be his ward, as the boy was to be taught to command and Orys was Aegon’s greatest commander.


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Across the span of these two years, two amazing events regarding the dragons occurred. Both Meraxes and Balerion laid eggs. Aegon and Rhaenys took charge of the eggs. Aegon was more concerned about who to give it to. Orys Baratheon often expressed a desire for a dragon egg, but at the time relations between him and the King were tense, and while Orys was a loyal vassal Aegon could not predict how his heir, Maelys, would turn out to be. Rhaenys had less concern about the eggs, and gave her son Aemon her egg on his sixth nameday as a present.


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11 AC and 12 AC were mostly quiet years. Aegon participated in his first tourney at Rook’s Rest, where he came out victorious despite his age of eight-and-thirty. Princesss Maera earned a reputation in the Red Keep for having bouts of furious anger, so her father decided she would receive a court education to try and teach her a better way. Young Lyman Lannister, who had served as his father’s ward in the capital for many years, came of age as a young, promising knight. Aegon hoped his son Aemon would turn out to be as skilled a fighter Lyman was, if not even greater. Under Orys’ tutelage, the Prince already had an air of importance about him, and was known for blunt honesty. Princess Maera was given to her mother to be taught the ways of court, although some doubted Rhaenys’ ability to control such a wild child


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During these years, the first dragon to be hatched in over sixty years was born as Aemon’s egg cracked open to reveal a baby dragon. At seven years old, Aemon was over the moon with joy, naming the dragon Falkael. Soon, wherever Aemon went, Falkael followed loyally. Aegon saw this and decided Rhaenys had been right to give the boy an egg, and so gave Maera the egg he received from Balerion.


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The only important events regarding the realm as a whole was the completition of the Gold Road and the start of the Rose Road, and the deaths of two Lord Paramounts. First was Lord Torrhen Stark, who died suddenly for a man of his age and vigour. His son, Brandon, inherited although the prospects of House Stark looked grim. His wife, one-and-ten years his senior, was past child bearing age and they only had one daughter. More importantly to Aegon, Lord Loren Lannister died soon after the completiton of the road to Casterly Rock. These were the second and third deaths of old Kings, as Harren Hoare had died a year before Torrhen. The Prince of Dorne had died as well, leaving his daughter as the new ruler of the southernmost Kingdom, although she would die only a couple of years later, elaving her one-and-ten year old daughter as Princess of Dorne.


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Aegon was left without a Hand and summoned the Small Council to decide upon a new one.

*****
Aegon sat in the Small Council chamber, awaiting his councillors to arrive. He was dressed in a black doublet with black trousers and black leather boots, the doublet decorated with rubies and the trousers with fine red silk. His crow, a simple yet imposing gold band that was studded with rubies, rested easily upon his head. His back ached from the day’s sitting upon the Iron Throne, the colossal seat he had created using Balerion’s dragon fire out of the swords of his enemies. ‘A King should never sit comfortably’ he thought to himself. No doubt his descendants would curse his decision to create ‘the world’s ugliest lump of steel’ as Rhaenys had named it.

Orys Baratheon was the first to arrive, as per usual. Aegon and Orys had grown up together and there was no man the King trusted more than him. As befitting his position of Master at Arms, Orys was dressed in half-plate, which had the stags of his House banners imbedded on. The two Kingsguard, aged Lord Commander Humfrey, now called Humfrey Ashenhearth for his time spent travelling from village to village with the King and staying in less than comfortable position, and Ser Corlys Velaryon, the pride of the Kingsguard, moved aside. The two knights had become close friends over their time together in the Kingsguard, and they were shining examples of what Aegon expected from his Kingsguard. Although, if you were to ask them, they’d both name brave and kind Ser Talwyn Tarly as the finest knight among them, even though he was the least skilled fighter.

“Lord Baratheon, as eager as ever I see.” Aegon commented as his friend took his seat at the Council table. Orys laughed at the jest as a servant filled his goblet with wine. “I trust my son is thriving under your care.”

“The boy is starting to pick up swordplay, don’t you worry, your Grace.” Orys replied, keeping up the formality. When in private, they resorted to first names, with Orys even calling Aegon ‘Egg’, his old childhood nickname. “And he has his father’s bravery.” Aegon nodded, pleased with what he heard. Aemon was his son and heir, and the realm needed a strong warrior to guide it. His brother left more to be desired, frail and… strange.

Lord Edmyn Tully, the Master of Laws, and the High Septon, the Master of Coin, entered together in conversation. Lord Tully had a parchment of paper, most likely a list of candidates for the King’s new Hand. While Tully was said to be a craven, Aegon admired his intellect and organisation abilities, having not only been a great Master of Laws, but also ruling the Riverlands.

Soon after they sat down, Grand Maester Gawen arrived. A man of near peerless knowledge, his abilities were necessary in the overall managing of the Kingdom, and Aegon didn’t know what he would do without the young Maester. Last to arrive was Donnel Hoare, brother to the Lord of the Iron Islands. As he sat down, Aegon immediately began.

“As you all know, the death of Lord Loren Lannister has left our council without a Hand, and the role needs to be filled. The first agenda of this meeting is to decide on a new Hand.” And so they discussed who would be suitable. Lord Tully dominated the talks. The High Septon suggested one of Aegon’s septons fills the role but Aegon dismissed them as either corruptible or incompetent. Lord Donnel suggested his brother, but Gawen and Lord Tully said the smallfolk and nobles alike would never want an Ironborn as Hand, mentioning Harwyn Hoare was known as ‘the Butcher’. Aegon recalled back to his meeting with Harwyn, all those years ago back when Aegon had just started his conquest. Harwyn had stood proud on the battlements, ruling his father’s Kingdom as Harren waged war with Aegon. The King couldn’t help but be impressed. However, Aegon knew that not only the people would hate an Ironborn as hand, he would allow the Hoare’s to grow in influence.

Tully’s list included Osney Stokeworth, Prince Quentyn Martell and Lord Brandon Stark to name a few. However, as Tully went through the apparent strengths and weaknesses of each Lord on the list, Aegon realised who he needed to fulfil the role.

“My Councilmen, I have come to a conclusion. However, the solution isn’t perfect; it leaves us with an empty seat. But I think the man I have chosen is the right one.” Aegon picked up the badge of office the Hand wore. “Lord Edmyn Tully, I hereby name you Hand of the King.”

*****
To replace Lord Tully as Master of Laws, the King appointed Lord Brune from a minor lordship on the Claw. The King was somewhat concerned the man would be overwhelmed, but he settled down into the role quickly.

Lord Edmyn Tully proved to be a good Hand for the King, and was involved in the trial of Eustace Staunton. The Lord of Rook’s Rest had tried to fabricate evidence of treason among the other Lord of Crackclaw point, no doubt hoping King Aegon would take their lands and reward him as a loyal vassal. Tully found the man guilty, and Aegon sent him to the wall. It was Tully’s idea that with Aegon building a royal fleet, they should name a Master of Ships. Aegon agreed, and the decision came down between Lord Osney Stokeworth and Lord Harwyn Hoare. Both men made good cases; Harwyn commanded one of the largest fleets in Westeros while Osney had served Aegon loyall from the very beginning. In the end, Aegon chose Osney, angering Lord Hoare further.

Edmyn and Aegon soon started working closely, and rumour had it Aegon was planning to make Edmyn Jacaerys’ guardian. The boy, despite his frail form and eccentricity, had shown staggering intellectual capabilities, and Aegon judged Tully would be a great mentor for the boy. So when Tully suddenly died after only a year as Hand, Aegon was shocked and, in a way, devastated. He had been robbed of two great Hands over the course of a year. He knew he had no choice.


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*****

Donnel Hoare sat in his personal apartment in the Red Keep, musing over letters and reports from numerous spies spread across the Kingdom. He couldn’t help but feel a smug satisfaction.

Lord Edmyn Tully, such a healthy man, had been found dead. Grand Maester Gawen said he couldn’t find any evidence of foul play, but Lord Tully had been up in his quarters for the whole day. Anyone could have snuck up during that time.

And now the Kingdom was without a Hand once more. The King, naturally, was angry. Suggestions flew around, but Donnel reminded the King of how loyal he had served the King and that his older brother would surely do the same. The King had relented, knowing Harwyn was a talented administrator like their father and instructed Gawen to write a letter to Orkmont instructing Lord Harwyn Hoare to come to the capital as Hand.

Donnel and Harwyn were as thick as thieves and it would be nice for Donnel to see his brother again after so many years. He had almost become Hand a year ago but the King decided Tully was the better option. Tully was an upstart and an interfering one at that. Donnel knew the King suspected foul play, but the Master of Whispers had nothing to show the Conqeuror.

Well he did, but he’d be a fool to reveal his own crimes. Edmyn Tully was all that stood in Harwyn’s path to Handship and that was motive enough for Donnel, but the fact Tully was getting dangerously close to revealing Donnel’s more personal schemes regarding that damnable Septon Gaemon, the one who had scarred him in a duel only a few months ago, meant the Master of Whispers had to act quickly. All he needed to do was place a servant into the Hand’s household and slip a slow but near untraceable poison into his morning drink and it was done.

Donnel Hoare leaned back. He was very proud of himself. Very proud indeed.

*****
With Edmyn Tully dead, Aegon decided he would personally tutor his second son. Soon after the death of the Hand, another death struck the council. The High Septon, one of Aegon’s staunchest supporters, died from natural causes. The King summoned Ser Viserys Sunglass from Dragonstone to replace him. Viserys had been crucial in managing the island in the King’s absence and his skill had been noted. The new High Septon was an honourable and charitable man, but only good for scholarly knowledge and scripture. And, rather unfortunately, had large ears earning him the name ‘the Big Eared One’.

Despite Aegon’s reservations, and the cold attitude between the King and his new Hand, Harwyn Hoare was soon seen to be a very talented hand and managed the affairs of the realm with the skill akin to that of Lord Lannister.

The Rose road was completed in 14 AC, with the King expanding the Kingsroad to the Neck next. The Red Keep’s initial expansions were completed and Aegon began to fund further improvements. Maera hatched her dragon egg, naming the new dragon Zaeral. All in all it was a fairly quiet and uneventful year.

16 AC saw word of the next Winter coming, so when the Kingsroad to the Neck was completed in the same year, Aegon judged it to be wise to build the road down in the South more, to Oldtown. Mern Gardener would have helped oversee this, but he died a few days after the announcement, leaving his grandson Garse as Lord of the Reach. The extension was built in record time, completed before the end of 16 AC so Aegon risked expanding the Kingsroad to Winterfell before Winter truly kicked in.

17 AC witnessed a shift in Aegon’s attitudes. For many years Aegon’s principle concern was with the realm, investing time in small matters as well as large such as the brutal murder of a peasant family by their father in 10 AC, which had become something of a legend among the smallfolk. Now, having felt like he had truly secured his grip on the continent and had set up the foundations for a successful Kingdom, Aegon started to focus on his family more. He was made aware that his eldest son, Aemon, had made a rival; the ward and nephew of the Hand, called Harren Hoare. The boy had also little interest in justice or laws, and had become rather arrogant despite being, in Aegon’s eyes, a disappointment. Jacaerys was now the favourite son, his intellect and kind heart pleasing Aegon, as well as his patience. His daughters were quite the characters as well. Maera was bold, hotheaded and reckless, but also shy. Shaera, despite her age, was a dedicated and hard worker and under her mother Visenya’s tutelage, she was learning how to fight as well.

The road to Winterfell was built quickly, and Aegon’s road network was nearing completion. The next step was the Moon Road to the Eyerie. Around this time, four-and-ten year old Aemon impressed everyone, including his father, by mounting Falkael for the first time.

19 AC was an important year as not only Wiinter came to an end, but crown Prince Aemon and Princess Maera reached marriage age. They had been betrothed for five years, but now they could finally marry. To celebrate their marriage and the ending of Winter, Aegon organised the second tournament of King’s Landing.

It was just as grand as the first one, but the wedding added to the excitement. Lord Commander Humfrey, who was reaching close to fifty took to the jousting field once more, this time determined to win. And so he did, crowning a young beautiful maiden of humble nobility the Queen of Love and Beauty. Westeros had truly prospered under Aegon, it seemed, especially as King’s Landing continued to grow. The only tragedy of these years was the death of the High Septon, and the new High Septon, nicknamed ‘the Knightly One’ seemed to have more of a bite than his predecessors. But such things didn’t bother the King in his time of triumph and celebration.

Maera soon mounted her dragon after her marriage, and the number of Dragon Riders in House Targaryen reached five. In 20 AC, Aemon came of age by reaching the age of six-and-ten. And while King Aegon was proud to see his son and heir a grown man, he couldn’t help but feel disappointed. While the boy was brave and honest, he wasn’t a particularly impressive warrior, and only really showed potential in warfare, unlike his younger brother who excelled in all areas. Still, Aegon decided his son needed land of his own, and named Prince Aemon the Lord of Dragonstone.


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Last edited:

Rifal

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Aemon. Haircut and shave or GTFO!
 

guillec87

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sometimes the AI makes us jokes... the haircut and beard of Aemon are one of them
 

Rifal

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Yeah, but 12 or 10 of them comes from the Dragon.
 

CJMoore

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Nice. Just waiting until Aemon's lunatic genius younger brother gets Balerion the Dread Black. Somebody says lets "Dance"? ;)
 

Dr Pearceson

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KING AEGON I 'THE CONQUEROR'

Chapter 6: The Breaking of a King 21 AC - 25 AC

As his reign progressed, Aegon knew he wouldn’t live forever and became increasingly concerned with his legacy. Too his disappointment, his son Aemon left a lot to be desired in a ruler, but the King hoped giving him Dragonstone would be a good experience. The Lords of the Vale and the North, Ronnel and Brandon, were making large moves, imprisoning vassals and gathering power, causing the King concern. While the Kingdom may be in peace now, what would happen when he died? His Queens assured him he wouldn’t die for years to come, being a healthy man even at his age of now eight-and-forty.

Lord Lyman Lannister was summoned to court by Aegon to replace Ser Viserys on the Small Council. Viserys had returned to Dragonstone with Prince Aemon and Princess Maera to help them manage the island. Accompanying them was Ser Holgor Westbrook of the Kingsguard, to serve as their bodyguard, not that they needed it. By now, both Aemon and Maera had become Dragon Riders, and the duo loved to partake in daring stunts with their dragons Falkael and Zaeral. Falkael was sleek and elegant, made of silver. Zaeral was a more brutish looking thing, black scaled and red eyed.


tkzfrAS.jpg

The Master of the Fleet, Osney Stokeworth, soon found his work cut out for him as the Royal Fleet was completed, consisting of 45 ships. The pride of the collection was ‘Aegon’s Fist’, a massvie ship. The only one’s close to its magnificence was ‘Visenya’s Wroth’ and ‘Rhaenys’ Pride’. Around this time, King’s Landing reached a zenith of size, and Aegon pursued further expansion, just as Winter started to roll in once more.

As he aged, Aegon’s patience started to go. When over 9000 smallfolk rebelled in the Dornish Marshes, Aegon showed no mercy. With a force of 17000 Stormlanders alongside Osney Stokeworth and Lord Commander Humfrey, Aegon and Balerion smashed the rebel army and he had the leaders hung from trees along the main roads of the marshes.

The road network Aegon was establishing got closer and closer to finishing. The River Road meant only one part of Aegon’s plans were to be finished; the Ocean Road linking Casterly Rock to Highgarden. Aegon was at his height of pride. His kingdom was growing in strength and wealth. So when his mother suddenly died it hit him hard. Valaena Velaryon was not a major political figure, but she was Aegon’s personal confidant who he often visited, and she was dearly loved by her four grandchildren. Matters only got worse the following year. On the first day of 23 AC, the Master of Whispers was seized by the Faith Militant and thrown into cells in Oldtown. This enraged Aegon but more importantly is revealed a truth to him.

The Faith was more of a formidable opponent than Aegon originally realised. When his councillors had warned him of appointing the High Septon as master of coin twenty-one years ago, Aegon dismissed it as each trying to push their own agenda. The King now saw what they meant. The Faith had been well behaved during Aegon’s reign, but with his son not holding a candle to Aegon’s skills, the King felt like he had to act. Aegon attempted to introduce laws severely limiting the Faith’s strength, and the Lord of Westeros approved. The Faith Millitant was disbanded.

The High Septon, named ‘the Knightly One’, was furious. He threatened the King with recourse unless a compromise was met. Aegon gave him a compromise; Donnel Hoare could be kept in the faith’s captivity. This, nautrally, upset Hand of the King Harwyn, but the Ironborn Lord didn’t dare make an argument out of it at the time, not wanting to make an enemy out of the Faith and the King. To replace his now imprisoned Master of Whispers, Aegon brought Lord Guncer Boggs to the capital. The man was a close second to Donnel at matters of intrigue and as his experience grew he surpassed his predecessor.

The rest of the year was much more positive. The royal fleet grew further, with a new warship called ‘The Sea Dragon’ being the pride of the expansion. Jacaerys and Shaera’s wedding loomed just as the road network was finally completed after years of hard work and three Hands.


08VJHZi.jpg

The wedding was a glorious feast dedicated to House Targaryen. Shaera looked beautiful in her wedding dress, and Jacaerys looked truly noble, despite his frail form. The best musicians, dancers and performers from the Seven Kingdoms and beyond were hired. It was an evening for the usually hard-working Aegon to relax and bond with his family. He laughed at Rhaenys’ jokes, teased cold Visenya, tried to out drink Orys. He talked about the management of Dragonstone with his eldest children and looked on in pride at his youngest. And he held his two year old granddaughter, Daeoril, for the first time.

Jacaerys had thrived under Aegon’s watch, and he was one of the greatest minds in Westeros. Meanwhile, arguments between the King and the Hand continued to get more heated. Harwyn felt Aegon as too lenient on the Lord’s whose plots Boggs revealed, and accused him of abandoning his brother. Aegon maintained a cool persona, saying he had to keep control and maintain peace, so he couldn’t go around killing every other lord. In the end, the King got tired of Harwyn Hoare’s insubordination, and removed him as Hand in 24 AC. Jacaerys was his replacement. The council was peaceful once more.

Jacaerys’ first task was to replace Ser Richard Roote, who had died from gonnorhea that year. His replacement would be the bastard son of former hand Edmyn Tully, Ser Ellard Rivers. Some would argue that it was to rub further salt in the wound of the Hoare’s, but Rivers was a skilled knight, known for his tricks and passion in battle.


*****


The wind rushed through Aemon Targaryen’s hair as he flew through the sky. His heart raced as he dipped down low on Falkael, almost hitting the God’s Eye lake before pulling up at the last second. He heard his wife, Maera, teasingly scold him from a distance. He looked over his shoulder to see her, his beautiful, wilful wife riding her dragon, Zaeral. Her saddle was custom made by Grand Maester Gawen, modified so little Daeoril could ride with her mother. The two flew close as Harrenhal came into view. They touched down just outside the gates as old Quenton Qoherys came riding out with a dozen knights.

“Prince Aemon, we were not expecting you.” Quenton said, evidently shocked. He had served with legends like Aemon’s father and Orys Baratheon in the Wars of Conquest, and had been rewarded Harrenhal for it. Well, most of Harrenhal. That’s why Aemon was here…

“I have a personal matter to attend to, Lord Qoherys.” The prince announced. He demounted his dragon, walking over to the aged lord and shaking his hand. “Is one of your towers still under the rulership of the Iron Islands?” He asked, knowing the answer.

The Lord of Harrenhal nodded. “An unfortunate technicality. It doesn’t matter. The towers were ruined by your father, and young Harren Hoare lives there with a small household.”

The name of his rival made Aemon grit his teeth. He absolutely hated Harren Hoare, the Ironborn bastard. Harren had been raised in the capital as his uncle’s ward when he was still Hand. This meant he interacted with Aemon a lot, and they could have been friends if it wasn’t for Harren’s insolence to the Prince. Aemon was here to put the rivalry to an end.

He was also here to prove himself to his father. It was no secret King Aegon ‘the Conqueror’ saw his eldest son Aemon as a disappointment, preferring his brother Jacaerys. Aemon didn’t blame Jacaerys; the boy didn’t ask to be a genius. Infact, Aemon had celebrated when he heard Jacaerys had replaced Lord Harwyn Hoare ‘the Butcher’ as hand. He imagined meek Jacaerys shouting down the imposing Ironborn Lord. Aemon felt like he needed an act to show his worth and might, to show he was worthy to be his father’s heir.

Aemon and his family were escorted in Harrenhal and the Prince paused to taken in it’s glory and size. “You have an impressive castle, Lord Qoherys.” Aemon said to his still somewhat surprised host.

“Yes, but its bloody annoying to maintain.” Quenton replied. Aemon agreed with the notion. “May I ask about your garb, my Prince?”

Aemon inspected himself. He was wearing full plate, his helmet, which had been attached to his saddle alongside his shield, was under his arm. “You may. I am here to end my feud with Harren Hoare once and for all. By a duel to the death.”

Lord Qoherys was taken aback. “You come here to shed blood and kill, Prince Aemon? I beg you understand, but I have my concerns with this.” Aemon attempted to channel his father for a moment.

“You know they mock you in the capital? Old Lord Qoherys, Qoherys four-towers. They think you’re a joke. I don’t think that. I think you’re a legend. Let carry out this task, and I will make sure when I am King no one mocks you again, Lord of Harrenhal.”

Qoherys sat atop his horse in silence for, considering his options. “Well, it has always bothered me having Ironborn in my castle. I will allow it, Prince Aemon. My knights will get Harren. You will duel in the courtyard.”

Aemon beamed up at him, pleased. His wife walked over, concern all over her face. “Aem, think about this.” She said. “What if you die? What would I do? Do you want Daeoril to grow up without a father?” She spoke rapidly and energetically. Aemon silenced his wife with a kiss.

“Don’t worry my sweet. The Ironborn are notorious cowards. I’ll kill the scoundrel and we’ll be back home by nightfall.”

“I still don’t understand why you are doing this.” Maera frowned, still wanting to protest but knowing she wouldn’t get any further.

“I have to. For my honour.” Aemon donned his helm and Maera checked and secured his armour before strapping his shield to his arm. He drew his longsword and waited. He had considered going to his father, requesting Blackfyre, but decided against it. If he was going to do this, he had to do it himself.

Ten minutes later, Harren Hoare arrived with a small group of his men. He wore a mail hauberk with a plate armour that only covered his torso and a half-helm. He also wore studded leather trousers and mail boots capped with steel plates. His shield was round and decorated with his house sigil, with a burnt black tower in the centre; his personal coat of arms. ‘I should get one of those.’ Aemon thought to himself. Harren wielded a double headed hand-axe.


NHCWKOK.jpg


“Prince Aemon.” He said, his gravelly voice full of contempt. He spat on the floor in the Prince’s direction. “I’ve been made aware you’re here to kill me. I must be honest, as assassination attempts go I’ve heard of better.” His men laughed at that.

“This is no assassination, but a duel. I would have us fight until the death. Only us, no one else. No retainers, no dragons. Nothing. If you agree to these terms, then in the eyes of Gods and Men it is a legal fight.”

Harren tilted his head, staring intently at the Prince. “Very well, I accept your terms. Let’s fight.” By now the people of Harrenhal had gathered, forming a rough circle around the two men.

They advanced towards each other slowly, cautiously. Both knew they could very well die today. Aemon took the initiative, charging at Hoare. He attempted to slam his opponent with his shield but Harren stepped out of the way, before striking at Aemon’s neck with is axe. The Prince brought up his shield just in time, pushing the axe aside and slashing at Hoare’s legs with his longsword. Harren blocked with his own shield and the two men both took a step back before continuing their duel.

Aemon fought furiously and tirelessly. He had dreamed of this day for ten years, and now he had it. His blade flew elegantly through the air, to the contrast of the ugly hacks of Harren’s axe. Yet the two seemed equally matched, blocking each other’s blow, feinting and the like. Aemon, shamefully, admitted he was never as good as he would have liked, but he knew Harren wasn’t a great fighter either. Yet the Ironborn seemed to be getting the advantage. ‘Think, Aemon, think. What did Orys teach you?’ Years of training sessions came back to him, and he remembered some sage words; always remember what you use and what your enemy uses.

He took five rapid steps back, giving both him and Harren time to get their breath, their eyes never breaking contact. Aemon wielded a longsword and Harren an axe. An axe with a shorter reach than the sword! Perfect. Aemon advanced once more, but this time maintained distance, slashing at the Harren high and low.

The Ironborn warrior was pushed back by this sudden change in advantage, desperately blocking and parrying the sword blows until he hooked the blade with a curved axe head as Aemon stabbed and pushed the point down before pulling back and striking with his axe at Aemon’s gut, the Prince barely blocking with his shield. Harren’s fighting style suddenly changed; rather than brute strength he danced around Aemon, relying on his armour being lighter and allowing more movement. Aemon could barely keep up; his entire life he had sparred with opponents with similar armour, so speed and mobility took a back seat to skill. But here, it was everything.

The Prince misjudged a step and a strike and Harren’s axe came down on his left shoulder. The plate armour stopped the blow from being as bad as it could have been, but Aemon felt the edge of the plate connect with flesh. He cursed under his breath. He stabbed at where Harren had been, but the man was gone. Pain flashed through Aemon’s right leg as the back of his knee received a brutal strike. The Prince stumbled forward, spinning round and slashing blindly where Harren was. Harren jerked his head back casually to avoid the blade before rushing forward and slamming Aemon with his shield, causing the off balance Prince clumsily run forward and fall into the dirt. Aemon quickly picked himself up as Harren continued his assault. The Prince’s shield was shedding splinters and he was unable to get in an attack. This was no longer a fight for honour but a desperate fight for survival.

‘Fight dirty, will we?’ Aemon thought. ‘We’ll see.’ He took a defensive stance, awaiting his moment. And he took it. When a small opening appeared, Aemon lashed out with his plate covered foot, connecting with Harren’s groin. Harren winced in pain as Prince Aemon whacked hit head into Harren’s. While they both had the top half of their heads protected only Aemon had the lower half. Harren shook from the shock of the attack, his lip split. But this only served to anger him further and the fight continued, once more on an even footing. But the wounds Aemon had suffered slowed him, allowing Harren to get a cut below his ribs.

‘If I carry on like this, I’m dead. Think, think. Think!’ Aemon scolded himself. But Harren pressed his advantage, wailing on Aemon’s shield until it shattered. Aemon tossed aside his useless shield and he took the longsword in both hands, giving him more power in his strikes. But even then, it was useless. He slashed down at Harren, who pushed aside the strike with his shield and gave a slash of his own, only the Prince had no shield.

The axe head slid in a gap in Aemon’s gorget, and Aemon suffered a wound on his collarbone. Harren tore his axe out of Aemon’s armour and struck with all high might into Aemon’s chest. The axe split plate and shattered mail and lodged itself deeply between Aemon’s ribs.

Pain seared though Aemon’s body as his grip on his sword hilt weakened. Harren removed his axe and took a step back, as if to admire his work. On unsteady feet, Aemon weakly attacked Harren, but his rival easily blocked any attempt at an attack. Aemon collapsed to his knees, looking up at his opponent. Harren had discarded his shield and now had his axe in both of his hands, raised aboe and behind his head. An opening…

Aemon tried to raise his sword into a last ditch effort, but the strength wasn’t there. He heard a woman scream, a child cry and a crowd roar. He saw Harren’s split lips smirk and an axe descend. And then there was nothing.


*****

JVpgMkk.jpg

When Aegon received word of his son’s death, he locked himself in his personal office for a whole day. He turned away everyone; Jacaerys, Visenya and Rhaneys included. Only when Orys Baratheon barge down his door and confronted him did the King emerge. He looked distraught and tired and, most of all, vengeful. Despite his Master of Laws, Lord Brandon Stark who had held the office since Lord Brune’s death three years ago, telling Aegon it had been a legal duel and thus there was no justification for recourse to be taken against Harren, Aegon didn’t listen. He actually slammed Brandon against the wall in anger.

Orys Baratheon was given the command of two dozen knights and rode to the Riverlands immediately. When they arrived, Harren Hoare was long gone, having fled across the Narrow Sea and joining with a Sellsword company, the Gallant Men. But Aegon was deterred. His son had been killed, and his murderer must be punished, laws be damned. Lord Boggs, the Master of Whispers, was ordered to bring Harren before the King. Using his extensive array of spies, Boggs made contact with the Gallant Men, and offered them a rich reward if they gave the crown what it wanted.

By February, 25 AC, only a few months after the fateful duel, Harren Hoare was dragged before the King. His new employers had turned on him and brought him to the capital. There he defended himself, saying that the duel was perfectly legal and so Aegon has no grounds for any kind of punishment by law.

To everyone’s surprise, the King agreed. He didn’t lash out at Harren, he didn’t intimidate him. He simply agreed that Aegon, legally, had no right to execute the man. But as Harren was unchained and started to leave, the King had his Kingsguard seize him. The entire court followed as Aegon had him brought into the courtyard. Everyone was confused. What was the King doing?

They got their answer when the sky darkened and the sound of wing beats boomed overhead. Balerion the Black Dread descended down before the court. Aegon told Harren that while he couldn’t do anything, Balerion wasn’t bound by the laws of men. And he pushed the Harren to Balerion.

The dragon engulfed him in flames, drawing out his suffering before finally eating him. Some screamed. Some stood there in silent horror. Others turned away. But the King just stood and stared. And smiled.


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RIP Prince Aemon Targaryen, 4 AC - 24 AC