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Asphyxion

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Introduction
This is my first AAR ever. After spending a large amount of time both in vanilla CK2 and in the A game of thrones mod I decided it was time to give writing my own AAR a go. I'm not a native english speaking so there might be some grammar mistakes in the text. It may contain spoilers from the entirety of books since I'm starting the game in the A Feast for Crows Scenario. I will ofcourse try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, the vast majority is an alternate storyline since the game behaves in it's own way and I'm playing a minor character who isn't described in depth in canon. Many of the subtle spoilers are probably hard to notice since I will never tell you whether something is an alternate storyline or actually canon. However, be informed that you're reading on your own discretion if you haven't read the books.

The AAR is told from the point of view of Lord Edric Dayne. I might continue with his descendants if I feel it's still interesting. The AAR will be released in chapters as I continue to play. The story will not be canon but I will ofcourse try to roleplay to my best ability and take actions that support the personality of my character. I will upload screenshots and pictures since I believe it makes the storytelling much more interesting.

Feel free to leave any comments on questions or thoughts you might have. Any input is much appreciated.

A Rising Star



Index

Chapter One - Forging a Star
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Chapter Two - Rise with the Sun
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Prologue

I am Edric Dayne, a boy of thirteen years, Lord of Starfall and head of House Dayne. My uncle was Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning and perhaps the finest knight Westeros has ever seen. Battle runs in my blood. For the past six years I've been squiring for Beric Dondarrion, the Lord of Blackhaven. Lord Beric was betrothed to my aunt Lady Allyria. I accompanied Lord Beric when he was sent to bring the kings justice to Ser Gregor Clegane. Later on, Lord Beric formed the Brotherhood without Banners and I've been with them until now. In a skirmish I was separated from our forces and for days I wandered the Riverlands aimlessly until Ser Jaime Lannister found me with his army. Ser Jaime was making for Riverrun to support the seige. Ser Addam Marbrand suggested we send me to Kings Landing to keep as a "guest" in order to still Dorne from taking actions against the Iron Throne but Ser Jaime would hear none of it. "My sweet sister has done enough to create enmity between us and Dorne already, holding the nephew of Arthur Dayne prisoner would serve us no good other than to stir that fire further." With those words I was sent to Starfall with a small guard.

 
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Asphyxion

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Chapter One - Forging a Star
Part 1

My lady mother, who had believed her only child dead was very relieved to see me. A few days passed but soon the matter of my education was brought up. My kinsman Gerold Dayne also known as the Darkstar offered to take me on as his squire and ward but my mother refused him. He was infamous throughout Dorne for being both a dangerous swordsman and plotter which led my mother to believe he would be a bad influence. Instead, a raven was send to Prince Doran Martell in Sunspear asking him to take me on as a ward. A few days later a raven returned with a message from Prince Doran. Areo Hotah, captain of Prince Dorans personal guard was going to oversee my martial education. Hotah was a man renowned throughout Dorne for his skill at arms. I departed for Sunspear at dawn the following day.



In Sunspear I recieved a message from my mother who had assumed the duty of being my regent. She had promised the hand of my aunt Lady Allyria to Gerold Darkstar in order to mend the wounds that was inflicted when she discarded him as a guardian for me. With Lord Beric being presumed dead she argued that Allyria would need a new match. I was angered to hear the news, Lord Beric had been like a father to me and I had little love for Darkstar, even though he was my kinsman he was well known for being a cruel and dishonorable man which is the very opposite to how a true knight should be. True knights like my uncle would never even think of doing half the things Darkstar was said to have done. Aunt Allyria had told me my uncle had died years before I was born while defending the royal family against the traitor Lord Eddard Stark and six of his companions. Atleast Stark had the honor to give him a proper burial and return our ancestral blade, Dawn. One day, I might be worthy enough to wield it.

There was little time to ponder in thoughts however. My training was rigorous, every morning at dawn Hotah would wake me with a basket of water which marked that I now had 5 minutes to get don my armor and dress for practice. The first practice of the day was in dismounted combat and would go on for at least an hour, sometimes longer. I was already comfortable with a sword but under Areo Hotah and my master at arms Ser Rickard I learned to wield a vast variety of arms such as morningstars, spears, axes, flails and many others. Hotah had also set me to practice with a bow, I had refused stating that it was a dishonorable way to kill a man. "What if my Lord wishes to go out on a hunt one day and finds that he cannot use a bow properly. Surely, you do not intent to ride up to the deer and kill it with your sword?" Hotah had said. I had grudgingly picked up the bow and continued the practice but not after swearing a vow that I would never end another mans life with such a weapon. After the first practice of the day I would break my fast on boiled eggs, pork and bread. Hotah told me I should only ever drink water, other drinks would make men soft.

When the fast had been broken it was time for lectures. I took most of my lectures together with Prince Trystane, the second son of Prince Doran. We would start by being instructed in battle tactics which is a subject I excelled at but as the day grew longer we would go into more boring subjects such as the history of Westeros and languages and my concentration would dwindle. Why are we practicing this? A true knight does not concern himself with diplomacy and intrigue but meets his foes head on with sword in hand Prince Trystane, on the other hand, became more and more interested the longer into the lectures we would come. Initially, I had been meant to practice at swords with Prince Trystane as well. That idea came to an end after the first practice session when it became apparent that our martial skill was nowhere near the same level. Prince Trystane was a slow and predictable fighter and didn't manage to land a single blow on me during the entire session. After that, I always practiced with men instead of other boys. After lunch, the martial practice would continue, now with more focus on mounted combat while also conducting exercise that would improve my physique such as running up and down hills endlessly while clad in full plate armor.



Being fostered in Sunspear meant being continuously updated on what was going on in the rest of the realm. Aegon Targaryen, the boy everyone had though dead had invaded Westeros with an army of sellswords. They had come upon the Stormlands like lightning, capturing Storms End and four other castles in a single week. I was even more excited when I heard that Dorne had decided to take up Prince Aegons cause. The army was to march to the Stormlands and join up with Aegons forces at Storms End. The songs that will be sung of this war and the men in it will surely echo into eternity! I intend to be one of those men! When I heard the news I went to Prince Doran and asked him that I may join the army when they were marching for the Stormlands. My uncle had been close to Prince Aegons father Rhaegar, the Prince of Dragonstone. I wanted nothing more than to swear my sword to him and prove my loyalty to the rightful king of Westeros.
"I am 13, almost a man grown. I wish to pledge my sword to Prince Aegon and serve him as my uncle once served Prince Rhaegar."
"If you are not ready to rule over your own lordship how can you be ready to go to war?"
"I am ready to rule my own lordship and lead men into battle. I can already best many of your swords in the practice yard and I'm better than Prince Trystane at cyvasse!"
"In cyvasse women are not made widows, maidens are not despoiled and fathers do not bury their sons. You would do well to remember that if you ever want to lead men into battle, into their deaths. This discussion is at an end, you will remain at Sunspear until I believe you are ready to take up your duties."



I left Dorans solar in anger and almost ran over the old maester on my way out. I had received a raven from my mother in Starfall. When the usurper took the throne from the the Targaryens, the Blackmonts, historical bannermen to House Dayne declared that they were no longer our bannermen but would rather serve Prince Doran directly. My mother had now seen fit to declare that they would be bannermen to House Dayne or suffer the consequences. It would seem that the ambitious Lady Larra Blackmont had chosen to "suffer the consequences" and an army had been mustered by Ser Gerold Dayne who had crushed the Blackmont forces and captured their holdfast deep in the mountains. Darkstar had apparently slain many men on the battlefield including the husband of Lady Blackmont. This was good news, my domain is becoming larger and the swords that come with having House Blackmont as subjects would be needed when I ride to support Prince Aegon. If only the war lasted long enough for me to call my banners and march to glory... That night, I fell to sleep as ever so often with dreams of glorious battles fought by honorable knights. I dreamt of the battles against the Kingswood Brotherhood, the Blackfyre Rebellion and the Dance of the Dragons. I dreamt of knights such as Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, Ser Barristan the Bold and of Ser Gerold Hightower. And finally, I dreamt of death, the death of my uncle, Ser Arthur Dayne. I woke up, heart pounding. It was not dawn yet but I could hear steps all around the castle. I dressed and made for the great hall. Many men had gathered there and they were talking in low voices, Areo Hotah turned toward me, his face grief stricken. "The Prince is dead, my lord".

 
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Andrzej I

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Fascinating start thus far, looking forward to the next installment :)
 

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morningsword.png

Yup, Edric is in a really good position to get the sword. Funny thing is that I didn't even need kind to claim the sword, it let me do so after I did a feast. Maybe diplomacy has something to do with it? Dunno. Either way, I'm sure Edric would make Arthur proud.
 

Asphyxion

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View attachment 104848

Yup, Edric is in a really good position to get the sword. Funny thing is that I didn't even need kind to claim the sword, it let me do so after I did a feast. Maybe diplomacy has something to do with it? Dunno. Either way, I'm sure Edric would make Arthur proud.
Indeed. That's pretty interesting, diplomacy seems a likely factor. Or it may solely be based on the opinion factor of your kinsmen. I guess one would have to take a peak through the event files to find out.
 

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I know how hard it can be to write in English when it isn't your first language. Still, what you've scribbled down doesn't seem bad at all. I'll be looking forward to what happens to young Edric next.
 

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Been continuing playing with Edric. He's now 78 and I'm pretty sure he's the only canon character still left alive, considering Jon Snow finally died a couple years ago when he was 78. Too bad none of my kinsmen will be able to claim Dawn when Edric kicks the bucket, so I guess it's going to stay dormant for another few generations.
 
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ck2_1.png

Last look at Edric. A lot better playthrough than I thought I would have when I started as the naive and innocent 13 year old. His children are misleading because 75% of them are actually bastards that Edric's second wife had with some courtier. Yeah, it's amazing Edric never caught on until both of them had died from natural causes. Got an event to declare all her children bastards, but for some reason they remained Daynes and still considered my children. Also, in case you were wondering, his second wife was Arianne's daughter, lol.

Now I'm just console killing family members to see who ends up with Dawn.
 
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Asphyxion

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Not a bad start. I really like the coat of arms.
Thanks!

I know how hard it can be to write in English when it isn't your first language. Still, what you've scribbled down doesn't seem bad at all. I'll be looking forward to what happens to young Edric next.
Thanks. Yeah, I'd like to think I'm doing ok atleast. I've been working on reading through you Tommen AAR and while I'm not caught up yet I like what I've read so far alot.

Been continuing playing with Edric. He's now 78 and I'm pretty sure he's the only canon character still left alive, considering Jon Snow finally died a couple years ago when he was 78. Too bad none of my kinsmen will be able to claim Dawn when Edric kicks the bucket, so I guess it's going to stay dormant for another few generations.
View attachment 105011

Last look at Edric. A lot better playthrough than I thought I would have when I started as the naive and innocent 13 year old. His children are misleading because 75% of them are actually bastards that Edric's second wife had with some courtier. Yeah, it's amazing Edric never caught on until both of them had died from natural causes. Got an event to declare all her children bastards, but for some reason they remained Daynes and still considered my children. Also, in case you were wondering, his second wife was Arianne's daughter, lol.

Now I'm just console killing family members to see who ends up with Dawn.
Haha, surely you must have someone who can claim the sword out of all those bastards!? And yeah, Edric seems to be pretty thick headed so can understand that he never caught on haha. I think one of the requirements is to be a formidable fighter though. Most can end up with skilled if they have someone formidable to teach them. In previous games I usually tend to end up with atleast 2 kids formidable if we say I have 5. But's it's pretty much a rolling game, I also had some children ending up with trained aswell on occasion. It can be a hard work to make sure they don't inherit actually if you want to refrain from console commands. :)

I'm going to spell and grammar check part 2 now and then I'll post it. I've already got several parts ready apart from the grammar/spell check and I'm pretty happy to say I've caught up the writing with the game.
 

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Part 2

“I intend to walk a different path then the one my father has paved for us. Dorne will stay out of the conflict… for now.” Princess Arianne’s words echoed in the great hall. They were greeted with a cold silence. Many of the Dornish had been eager to go to war, especially one in support of the son of the late Princess Elia. Personally I had conflicting sentiments regarding Princess Arianne’s decision. On one hand, I wanted Prince Aegon to succeed in securing his throne but on the other hand, I wanted to join the war and fight beside him. Dorne withdrawing its support would increase the length of the war and in turn make me more likely to be able to fight in it. I might be mentioned in the songs after all. During supper, I heard that Lady Sansa Stark, the missing daughter of Lord Eddard Stark had been hidden in the Vale all this time by a man they called "Littlefinger". She had been revealed and wed to a boy a few years older than me named Harrold Hardyng. Lady Sansa was said to be a fair maid and I had met her sister Arya in the Riverlands, whom I remembered well. The others at the table were eager to discuss how this might change the status of the realm but I was not concerned and turned to Areo Hotah to discuss how one would best approach a crossbowman.



The war raged on in Westeros while I continued my daily life in Sunspear. Every now and then I got a raven from my lady mother bringing me a message regarding the state of affairs in Starfall. As days and months passed, I improved my proficiency in the martial arts. I had also started to embrace the mathematics lectures more and was improving my management abilities. I still found the history sessions with the maester dull and did my best to avoid them. Something I had even less love for was the parties and gossip involving these that other youths in Sunspear embraced so eagerly. Prince Trystane was one among them and I knew his sister Arianne had been the same in her youth. They would feast and drink wine late into the nights, sometimes during my morning practice I would see Prince Trystane stumble back to his chambers singing on one of his recently made up poems. He did have a knack for lining up good rhymes though, that much I had to admit. Perhaps one day he would compose songs of the valiant deeds I would perform in battle. I observed that he was starting to put on some weight around his belly and thought to myself that I would never allow that to happen to myself. A man is ever so much more handsome with a flat belly. Many people were remarking upon the fact that I was looking and fighting much like my uncle. It was surprising how they would ever know though since most of them were born after he died, nonetheless, I accepted the praise gratefully.



It was my fifteenth nameday. I rose at dawn without Hotah having to upend a bucket of water over my head. I had started to wake up by myself a year past and it was no longer needed. I donned my practice armor and went down in the training yard as every other day. Hotah was waiting, one longsword in each hand. I noticed something was amiss. He threw one of the swords to me and I caught it by the hilt. It was sharp steel. We have never practiced with sharp steel before. Is this some kind of test? "Boys fight with blunted steel, and you are not a boy any longer. You're as skilled as any man in Sunspear, let's see how you fare against me. We fight until first blood"

And so it began. We circled slowly around each other watching for a gap in the others defense. We had done this a hundred times before yet all was different when the steel was sharp and deadly. Hotah was the first to attack, he unleashed a storm of steel upon me, I managed to deflect all the blows but noticed he had pushed me back several yards and I was now dangerously closed to the wall behind. As he continued his attack I sidestepped the first blow and followed up with a roll which brought me out of the cornered situation. I started my counterattack and now I was pushing Hotah back against the wall. He sidestepped and I saw a small crack in his defense, it was subtle but it was there. I took the opportunity and landed a low sidecut which cut through the leather on his thigh cutting into the flesh. "I got you!" I said with a feeling of pride overwhelming me. He nodded towards me and said "So did I, my lord. You were so eager to land the blow that you left your neck and torso wide open for attack". There was a warm feeling on the left side of my neck and my hand went up to touch it. Blood! It was true then. I had given Hotah the opportunity to land a killing blow while I only had gone for a leg. The fact remained though, I had drawn blood on him! . "Never let down your defense, my lord. Not even to land a killing blow. You might kill the man but what use is that if you're dead? Next time you will beat me while I'm wielding my longaxe."



The next year, Hotah was waiting on me with his longaxe. I had chosen a greatsword. This time I managed to draw blood without him doing the same. I left him a small scar on his left chin. "I will wear this with pride, it will remind me that I had part in forging one of the greatest warriors Westeros will ever see" he said. Then I knew I was ready to leave Sunspear and return to Starfall to take up the duties that came with my lordship. I immediately went to inform Arianne that I had decided to depart upon the morrow. I would call my banners and march directly for the Stormlands to support Aegon. The war was not yet concluded, apparently other business had kept King Tommens councillors occupied and Lord Mace Tyrell had not yet marched with his host to meet Prince Aegons forces. Stannis Baratheon was also causing problems in the north. When I came into the great hall Arianne was waiting for me with a septon and Ser Daemon Sand. "It is only fitting that my new master at arms is a knight don't you think?" she said with an intoxicating smile.

 
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ethanjory

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My third legitimate son got it after Edric died, after him it goes to two of my "bastards". After that, it goes on the shelf, sadly.
 

Asphyxion

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Part 3

Being appointed master at arms meant I had a whole new range of responsibilities. It was a job that took up a large amount of my time. At least I was doing something I was fond of and there was plenty of opportunity for continued martial practice. I still practiced daily with Hotah and he proved an excellent match. I yearned to see what he could have done when he was in his prime.

One day I got a raven from High hermitage. Aegyr Dayne, a kinsman of mine, had need of a guardian and his father, Ronnel Dayne, wanted me to take him on as my ward. I accepted the request without much thought. After all, I would need a squire now when I was a knight in my own right. With the same raven came a message from Gerold Darkstar inviting me to a tourney he had decided to hold in my honor since I had come of age. I replied telling him I would gladly travel to High hermitage to enter the lists. Aegyr arrived in Sunspear the next week. I immediately imposed the rigorous routines I had been fostered with on him. He seemed to respond well toward them and improved his abilities quickly. I would have expected no less from a Dayne even though he was from the lesser branch of High Hermitage, his father being the brother of Darkstar.



We departed for the Red mountains at dawn. I rode at the front of the party with my squire at my side. I was surprised Princess Arianne had decided to accompany us to the tourney. She's always staying close, I wonder if she desires me. She is surely as comely as any man could ask I shrugged off the thoughts, it was not appropriate for an honorable knight to think of such carnal desires. The trip to the Red mountains was otherwise uneventful. We did not stop by Starfall on the way but rode directly to High hermitage. High hermitage was a small castle with a single keep and a small stone wall. Dorne had never been known for having massive fortresses such as Harrenhall, Winterfell and Casterly Rock but the keeps in the Red mountains were defensible enough since they all was built with great care to the environment around them. Many of them were built into the mountains in high positions which both provided a good overlook of approaching enemies and a strong position in event of an attack. The Red mountains were much like the Vale in the regard that the mountains made the soil fertile which means that the harvest was bountiful. On the contrary, the winters here could not even begin to compare with those in the Vale. Snow was very rare anywhere in Dorne which meant that a bad harvest would not cause as dire problems as in some of the other regions.

Ser Gerold Darkstar greeted us with a retinue consisting of him, his brother Ronnel and a dozen other swords sworn to High hermitage. I had been years since I had met Darkstar in person and I did not recall his appearance. He was spoken of throughout Dorne to be both a handsome and dangerous man. I could see that at least the first part was true and even though he had been pardoned when Arianne came to power, men still whispered of how he had almost killed Princess Myrcella forcing Dorne into war. I agree that Dorne should go to war but that is no honorable way to start one. In the evening we feasted in Darkstar’s hall. I was given a place next to Arianne on the dais and the entire evening was spent with her whispering in my ear commending my valor and prowess with the blade. "I'm sure you would have bested even Prince Oberyn if he’d still been with us… you're just as handsome as he was as well ". She is a lovely woman, if she had not taken a consort already I would have asked for her hand. I'm sure she's bored enough with that simple husband of hers. Arianne had taken Ser Trebor Wells for her consort, Ser Trebor was from a lesser house in Dorne not near as prestigious as House Dayne or House Yronwood which was often seen as the most prestigious houses after House Martell. He was a decent man although not outstanding in any particular way. It was not hard for a man to see that Princess Arianne would have wanted someone completely different.

When the tourney started I had already been awake for several hours practicing with my squire and instructing him in the duties that came with squiring for a knight during a tourney. In the lists I unhorsed all opponents whom I were matched with including Ser Daemon Sand and claimed victory. Aegyr had performed his duties well so I decided I would give him a share of the gold I had earned. Since this was a small tourney I never got to proclaim a queen of love and beauty. I hope I will get that honor later in life, after the war has ended and the realm is united. Besides, I would welcome more qualified opposition in the lists. I had heard that Ser Loras Tyrell, commonly known as “the Knight of Flowers” was supposedly a formidable jouster. Personally, I had always been more proficient with the sword compared to the lance but I still hoped I would meet him in the lists someday.

 

Asphyxion

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Part 4

Arianne had set me to work with mustering a new army which would be sent to support the forces Anders Yronwood had gathered in the Stoneway. Our numbers were swelling by the day and we had little trouble finding recruits. "Men are eager to follow knights renowned for their honor and skill at arms" Ser Daemon had said at supper. I guess he was right there. I have started to make a name for myself in Dorne and men would recognise that. The next morning I broke my fast with my squire Aegyr, I had heard that he was making a lot of friends at the castle. He was very different from his uncle Darkstar and was an honest and kind boy. "Being feared will make men follow you but being just and honest with them will inspire them to give their lives for you." I told him. I don't know if that's true but I better try to foster the boy for command. I will need someone to act as my right hand and primary battle advisor in the future. That evening a raven arrived from Starfall telling me we had the opportunity to take the castle of Skyreach with its surrounding area from House Fowler. I left for Starfall with my squire and my few sworn swords present at Sunspear at the hour of the wolf.



We sighted Starfall hours before arriving. It had been ten years ago since I had seen my home and I barely remembered how it looked like. Situated on an island in the Torantine River it was considered one of the most formidable castles in Dorne. A single stone bridge led out toward the island, it was guarded by three small gatehouses who all had drawbridges that could be pulled up in the event of an attack. The waters around the island were treacherous and not suitable for any larger vessels. It made no matter however. Since Starfall was situated on a mountain island there was no other viable approach then to pass over the bridge, unless you wanted to swim across the water and then climb up both a mountainside with battlements. The Palestone tower reached high up into the sky and the view stretched over the entire western arm of Dorne. It had been from up there my aunt Lady Ashara had taken her own life by throwing herself out. No man could have survived such a fall, the cliffs below would have made sure of that. Yet Ashara’s body had never been recovered. Some said she haunted the waters, dragging down anyone brave enough to attempt to cross them. Her body was probably just taken by the river. The current of the Torantine is strong.



When I arrived at Starfall I immediately called my banners by sending out ravens to the few vassals I had, Ser Gerold Dayne and Lady Larra Blackmont. They both arrived within the week. I had mustered four thousand men by the time we marched for Skyreach. We learned that the Fowler forces were waiting for us at the Prince's Pass and rather than laying siege on Skyreach and open ourselves up for an attack I turned my forces and marched into the pass. They were taken by completely surprise when morning broke and they woke up seeing my army marshalled in front of their camp. I rode forward with a small party to meet with the enemy commander as was honorable custom. They were not willing to surrender, neither were they willing to send a champion to fight me in single combat. Battle was the only option. I would command the centre with Darkstar on the left flank and Ser Perros Blackmont on the right. This was my first real battle ever. I had butterflies in my stomach as I lead the heavy cavalry to charge into the enemy rank. As I landed my first killing blow it eased. And after a while I was completely captured by the intensity of the battle cutting through man after man. So this is what battle rage feels like. I have never had a better feeling then this.

The next day I received a raven from Sunspear with the sigil of House Martell pressed into it. It read "I am displeased that you stole into the night without informing me. For the love I bear you I will forgive this one slight if you return to me in Sunspear at once. I yearn for your company and I have important matters to discuss with you. Come at once." Since the war was won already I departed for Sunspear leaving Ser Gerold Darkstar in command to invest Skyreach.



I arrived at Sunspear late in the night and was informed that Princess Arianne awaited me in her solar. When I entered she rose and went up to me and slapped me across the face. After that she kissed me. It was the sweetest thing I had ever tasted and it felt like it went on for an eternity. This isn't right, we shouldn't do this was all I was thinking but at the same time it somehow felt right. When it finally ended we embraced each other and she leaned close whispering into my ear. "King Stannis is almost defeated, I intend for our forces to join with the Lannisters against him to prove our loyalty to King Tommen. When the time is ripe we will betray them and secure the throne for Prince Aegon." she said. "And where is my place in this?" I asked her. "You will have battle command. Serve me well and you will be rewarded" she said with a sly smile. She exited the solar leaving me ponder alone.

 

Dr Pearceson

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Interesting and good story you've got here. Always liked the Daynes, although i prefer to kill them at the ToJ as Reed or Dustin or Stark.
 

Asphyxion

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Chapter 2 – Rise with the sun

Part 1

As I looked down into the water I was startled, time had passed quickly and I barely recognised the man in the reflection who gazed back at me. He had deep purple eyes, short kept silver hair and a gaunt face. The face most of all was what frightened me. I could still remember the boy that had went to Blackhaven to serve as a page with Lord Beric Dondarrion. Much had changed since then, a king had died and a full-blown succession crisis had ensued leaving Westeros in flames. Dorne had managed to stay untouched... so far. I unsheathed my dagger, cleaned it in the water and got started on my new daily routine. I worked the blade over my chin removing the silver stubble that had started to appear there. When did I start doing this? I could not remember. Yet here I was once again, marching the same way as the boy had gone. That boy was now a man with ten thousand swords at his command. I had decided we were to travel up the Boneway and start forced marches once we passed Blackhaven. It would allow passing through the Stormlands quickly avoiding any confrontation that might otherwise have occurred with Prince Aegons forces. I finished shaving off the last stubble on my cheek and looked down again on the reflection in the water. I thought of Arianne, she sure was a lovely a woman. I had heard rumours about her, lechery and debauchery was the most common thing they would involve but sometimes they would also say that she had a hand in the kidnapping of Princess Myrcella. All lies! Arianne had assured me that I was the only man she had ever truly loved. There was nothing men loved more then to spread false rumours of those above their station. There were also rumours about Prince Aegon. They said he was only a mummer’s dragon put into place by the leaders of the Golden Company who wanted to claim Westeros and regain their ancient titles. If there was any truth what was said about Arianne there was even less to this. Lord Connington would never support Prince Aegon unless he was absolutely sure it was actually him.



I felt a hand grasping my forearm. I turned around with the dagger still in my hand and to see my squire Aegyr standing there. "My lord, the men are assembling and will soon be ready to march. If it please you I would help you into your armor now." he said. I ruffled his brown hair. "You are right, this is no place to linger." After being helped into my armor I mounted my destrier and looked at my squire as he mounted his. I had gifted him the steed before we set off for King's Landing. Some would question whether or not children should ride real warhorses at an early age. Those were weak men, it’s better for a kid to learn the right way from the start.
The next day we passed Blackhaven. The march would get tougher from now on. At least until we had the Stormlands safely in our back. Soon enough we sighted King's Landing in the distance. I had seen the city before when I went to court with Lord Beric years ago. I could not remember what occurrence had brought us there that time though. The person who had made the highest impact on me had not been King Robert nor had it been anyone else in the royal family. It had been Ser Barristan Selmy. Ser Barristan was an old man but was still considered one of the most skilled and valiant knights in Westeros. I had heard that he had been dismissed from the King's guard by King Joffrey Baratheon. If he actually was a Baratheon and not just a Lannister bastard. By now the news that Queen Cersei's children might not be Roberts had spread over the entire realm. Stannis Baratheon was in the firm belief that they were not the offspring of the late King. I did not know what to believe, all I knew was that this "rumour" suited our agenda well. Only a fool would dismiss a knight such as Ser Barristan though. I wondered how well I would have been able to match him. I might never find out. Word was that Ser Barristan had disappeared after his dismissal. All trace that could be found was the bodies of the gold cloaks tasked with killing him.

We made camp on the far side of the Blackwater. Lord Paramount Mace Tyrell was also camped outside the city with his host. Both he and Randyll Tarly had made directly for King's Landing when they had heard that Queen Margaery had been imprisoned by the High Septon. Queen Cersei had also been seized by the High Septon. Both Queens had been deemed innocent after their trials which meant that the army would not linger much longer in King's Landing. An hour within my arrival a messenger appeared demanding my immediate presence before the Queen Regent. "Demanding"... a little courtesy would not hurt.