Chapter 1: Exile and Conqueror - 0 A.L.

cosmeIII

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Fire and Faith - The Summer Dragon

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Exile and Conqueror - 0 A.L. [Opening Post]
Belono I
Aemon I
Doshuru I
Belono II

Chapter 2: Love and Hate in Oldtown - 0 A.L.
Aemon II
Petola I
Belono III
Aemon III


Chapter 3: The Citadel - 0 A.L.
Belono IV
Aemon IV
Belono V

Chapter 4: To our Home - 0 A.L.
Petola II
Belono VI
Aemon V

Chapter 5: Fate of a Dragon - 0 A.L.
Theo I
Petola III
Belono VII
Aegon I

Chapter 6: The Marriage and Royal Visit - 1 A.L.
Aemon VI

Chapter 7: The Dragonlord of Golden Head - 1 A.L.
Theo II
Aemon VII

Mermesbhar I
Aemon VIII
Petola IV

Hello.

Here I am again, inspired by the many great AGOT AARs I've found scattered here in the forum. I've got high hopes for this one.

The way I want chapters to work is: Each chapter is a very important event or series of events for the character under the player's control. It is subdivided into various perspectives from the different characters involved. It's very freeflow and subject to change, but I really enjoy exploring perspectives, so read each of the 'subchapters' as if they were the character's perspective. Sometimes they may be wrong, sometimes they may be right.


Many generations ago, one of the Targaryen branches turned to the faith of the Seven.

The Targaryens, enraged by their scions’ betrayal, removed any legitimacy they might’ve had over the throne of Dragonstone and banished them to the hold of House Celtigar.

The proud converts decided to adopt a new name for their house, Brightflame, to represent their undying devotion to the Faith.

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The sigil of House Brightflame. Seven seven-pointed red stars on a black field, mimicking the colors of the Targaryens.

‘Fire and Faith’ became their words, and always did they defend that the path towards the future was to forget the Dragon Gods.

Aemon Brightflame saw his family’s homestead burn as he sailed away on a poor man’s ship. Aegon Targaryen was responsible for the incident, he had been planning to invade Westeros for a few years now. He wanted no loose ends that may undermine his authority as Dragon King.

Aemon clutched a reliquary close to his heart as the ship sailed. Therein lied the hope of Brightflame, according to his fallen father.

Targaryen persecution was relentless. The Brightflame’s ship only ever stopped to gather supplies and then sailed again. There was only one way to stop the Targaryens from following them…

Introductory Chapters

Belono I
Belono had been serving the young man’s father for years now, the man had hired him in the port of the Velaryons after engaging in a mummer’s joust there. Belono hadn’t told anyone that he was but a lowborn mummer that knew a trick or two, some information had to be withheld after all. Not that he was bad with the sword, just that he hadn’t been knighted, yet. Still, Aemon’s father had promised him to give him a knighthood if he served his family well.

Now, that all had gone to the shitter. The Targaryens were relentless, barely anything could be saved from the surprise attack. The ship, its crew, a few tens of soldiers, enough gold to pay them for the trip, and some personal belongings of young Aemon.

Aemon Brightflame held on to his reliquary as he looked on towards the expanse of the Narrow Sea. His dirtied hair flowed with the wind, the taste of salt was everywhere and the sound of the waves crashing against the ship were all that could be heard. They had been heading south for weeks on end and still the pirates’ ships could be spotted on the horizon.

“My Lord, the Targaryens’ hired swords are slowly closing in. They will eventually reach us.” Belono had to yell for Aemon to hear him.

Aemon looked back towards Belono, who saw his hazel eyes full of fear and doubt. Belono could see it, the poor boy’s life had been destroyed in but an instant. His parents, his siblings, all gone in but a day. And now here they were, fleeing to nowhere under the command of a boy who’d only seen ten and six namedays.

The boy’s voice quivered and broke, but still he managed to yell out a question. “What are our options?”

Belono shrugged and let his mind ponder a bit, then answered back with a yell. “They’ll follow us as long as we follow the coast, that’s for sure. Pirates are relentless and have no fear of spending a long time at sea.”

Aemon’s eyes darted towards the expanse beyond the Narrow Sea. “The Summer Islands are this way, yes?” He shrieked, his young voice tearing.

One of the crew answered back. “Aye, a bit of a ways off though. Not following the coast is dangerous.”

Belono looked at the crew who spoke out of turn and was about to admonish him, but the silver-haired lordling stopped him and approached the old bodyguard.

“Belono.” He said. “Tell the crew and the men that we’re heading to the Summer Islands.”

Belono was dumbfounded. “What? No one will welcome us there, my lord. They have no reason to.”

Aemon’s quivering young voice didn’t seem fitting with his next sentence. “We do. We have swords and Faith.”

The young man looked down to his reliquary. “And soon…”

He paused for a few seconds, opening the hatch ever so slightly to show what was inside.

“We’ll have Fire.”

The dragon egg shone bright.

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Aemon I
Weeks had passed since the boat stopped at Lys to restock before the final departure towards the south. The Summer Sea was warm, calm. Aemon was on deck, looking to the south, to his destiny. The winds barely blew on the sails of Brightmaiden, his family’s pride, a large trade ship that had sailed the Narrow Sea hundreds of times. It was old, but it was beautifully carved from Stormlander wood.

He remembered his father’s tales of their house’s past. For generations, they had worked hard to get on the good graces of the Celtigars and be allowed to sail the Narrow Sea on trade ventures. They ceded after years of pleading, and the Brightflames were eventually known for their lucrative voyages between Essos and Westeros.

And now… Nothing remained of that. Only Brightmaiden.

Aemon sighed.

The wood behind him creaked, he turned back and saw Belono. The man claimed he was a Valyrian from Essos, Aemon believed him, not that it mattered too much, considering the situation.

“My lord.” Belono’s pale blond hair interrupted him, sweeping into his eyes. “Agh!” The man cursed and moved it off the way. “On the Seven, as soon as we reach shore I’ll cut this whole thing away.”

Aemon laughed, Belono would always be the Jousting Mummer to him. The man tried to behave like a proper knight, but he often floundered on his fancy words. “What is it, Belono?”

“Our spotter has seen shore, to the southwest. It’s the Summer Islands.”

Aemon looked to the direction Belono was pointing. He bit his lower lip. It was a faint sight in the horizon, but it was true. Land. They hadn’t seen land in so long. “Are we sure it’s the Summer Islands?”

“Yes, my lord. In fact, according to the spotter, we ran right into a bay, there is more land around us.” Belono approached Aemon and stood by his side. “According to one of the sellswords, there is only one bay we could’ve reached without hitting land beforehand; Golden Bay.”

The small string of land was slowly elevating itself in front of Aemon’s eyes, the ship sailed towards it at a snail’s pace, yet anticipation was killing him. “Wh-what do we know of it?” His voice flickered.

“It’s mainly controlled by one of the Islander princes who resides in a palace called Golden Lodge, it has the biggest forest of goldenheart in the Isles, a tree whose wood is well prized by the world at large, and… Little else is known.” Belono pondered, trying to find out if he forgot something, but shrugged.

Aemon’s eyes were fixated on the land beyond. His pose had straightened itself, his expression was now as serious as could be. “We will conquer Golden Lodge, then.”

Belono looked at the boy. “If my lord allows me, I would reconsider.”

“Fire and Faith, Belono.” Aemon responded.

The former mummer turned around and made sure that no one was listening in on them, then turned back to continue speaking with hazel-eyed child. “Lord Aemon. We barely have a hundred men. The lord of the Golden Lodge will probably have thousands guarding his lands.”

“Surprise is on our side, Belono. The Warrior will grant us victory, I know it.” Aemon responded.

Belono sighed and spat towards the sea below. “My lord, a hundred will not be convinced to conquer the lands of the Islanders solely on the Seven’s promise. Half of them don’t even believe in the Seven.”

Aemon’s eyes continued to stare at the horizon, the thin line beyond sprang up slowly. “We can’t be mere exiles. I won’t allow my life to be that of a courtier at the whim of an Islander prince.”

A silence reigned for a while, until Aemon spoke again. “The Brightflames will never be exiles again.”

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Doshuru I
It was a strange sight, over a hundred armed men storming into his family’s ancestral home. The ebony-skinned Islander prince was on his way to flee towards his house, he had his sword and bow and strung his panther fur around his neck. He spoke to his guards in the Summer Tongue, the words drifted around like water in the sea.

“So, some sort of Lyseni boy and his host of men simply stormed the castle?”

One of the guards, bearing the traditional wooden shield and lance, along with a silver pelts’ namesake on his back, nodded back to him. “Yes, my Prince. They stormed through the front entrance in droves. We don’t know who they are working with.”

Doshuru cursed and spat on the ground. “The children?”

“Safely evacuated, Prince.”

Two of his monkey guards took up the vanguard and opened the doors before him, the wooden hallways glistened with the shine of the golden wood. His family’s pride. The Babiakus had been living here for generations, ruling over the Principality of Golden Head.

“Are the Talking Trees still standing?”

“Yes, my Prince. We believe the invaders don’t even know what they are.”

“So they weren’t hired by that bastard Udo. Who could they be-“

A scream interrupted Doshuru’s sentence. One of the two monkey guards was on the ground, squirming and holding to a bleeding stab wound in his gut. Doshuru’s guards drag the Prince back towards another hall, trying to hold off the attackers, but their path is swiftly interrupted. A tall, gruff Lyseni looking man and two sellswords stand infront of them, their blades bloodied.

“Surrender, Prince.” He says in a botched Summer Tongue.

Doshuru answers in Valyrian. “What do you want from us? Gold? Slaves? Golden wood?”

The short-haired Lyseni stands back, showing the young man behind him. Another Lyseni?

The young man with purple eyes and silver hair steps forward and, in perfect Valyrian, says: “Your title.”

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Belono II
It had been a few months since Aemon had conquered this accursed part of the island of Jhala. Apparently, the vassals of the old fat Prince could barely care about Aemon’s conquest. It’s not the first time a corsair came by and conquered the Golden Head before being kicked out by the other Princes of Jhala and the Babiakus were reinstated.

Last month, the two local lordlings Mermesbhar of Tamarinu and Chibundo of the island of Lizard Head presented themselves in front of Aemon. They were surprised to see such a clean youth in front of them instead of some gruff pirate lord from the Stepstones. Nevertheless, they swore an oath and left as swiftly as they came. Aemon then asked one of the septons that came along aboard the ship to bless him as Lord Aemon Brightflame of Golden Head. The rite was short, and the only men present were those who came with the ships.

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Meanwhile, back in Westeros, Aegon had begun his conquest of the continent atop his dragons, proclaiming himself as King of the Seven Kingdoms. One King, seven Kingdoms. It didn’t sound so good to Belono, a bit overreaching, maybe. Even if those Targaryen have dragons of their own, controlling something as vast as Westeros seemed unrealistic.

Belono slapped his neck, another one of the bloodsucking insects of the Summer Isles. This accursed jungle was hot, humid, and prowling with beasts and nefarious insects. He checked his hand and saw the splattered mosquito there, some of his own blood streaming out of it.

“Curse this rotten shithole.” Belono said to himself, his tone full of poison. Not even in the fat Prince’s mansion’s balcony was he safe from the buggers.

“It’s not that bad, Belono.” Aemon’s voice rang out from behind him. The young boy still wore the clothes that his father had brought him. Belono knew better though, the locals’ wide clothes and sometimes lack of clothes were shining examples on how to deal with this climate.

Belono straightened up and gave a slight bow. “Excuse me, my lord. I was talking about one of these accursed insects.”

Aemon headed towards the balcony’s ledge. “Don’t worry about it. I also think this place is most unwelcoming to strangers. We must simply adapt.”

Belono smirked. “I’ve seen my lord adapt to some of the local girls.”

The young Valyrian’s face turned red. “I did not-“ He shut himself up, trying to get his composure back. “I’ve only been trying to learn the local traditions.”

“I know the local traditions well, lord Aemon. I’ve had the pleasure of taking part in them in Lys.”

“They also have Talking Trees and a myriad gods there?”

“Oh, uh… No.” Belono responded. The boy didn’t seem to know about the other part of Islander society, or maybe he refused the women who came from the village nearby? “How goes the reliquary?” Belono swiftly changed subjects.

“No signs.” Aemon responded. “I’ve been busy enough setting up trade for the golden wood with the traders who came looking.”

“The trade ships of Walano?”

“Yes. It seems the local Prince had a lucrative deal with the Walano Princes. I’ve done naught but renew it. They bring tin, iron and many ores along with some gold, in exchange for this precious wood. This was a good landing spot, in the end. We now have this strategic resource and we get ways to arm our people with it.”

Our people. Aemon already spoke of the locals as his own people. The kid was peculiar in that way. Bold and brash, yet caring. “Are you well, my lord?”

Aemon nodded. “I miss my home. I miss my parents, my siblings and my friends. But all this I do in their memory.”

Belono look towards the horizon as did Aemon. “My lord is strong, for someone with six and ten namedays.”

A smile drew itself upon Aemon’s visage. “Thank you, Belono.” A comfortable silence reigned as the jungle’s sounds resonated in the area and the Islanders’ strange tongue was heard across the mansion. “I’ve been trying to learn some of their words, and also learn how use the relic. But I’m missing something important.”

Belono looked at his liege, confused. “What is it?”

“Information, books. These people inscribe their tales and legends in the Talking Trees, but its language is still too foreign to me, and none of them speak of what I have.”

The old Essosi took a hand to his chin and scratched it, thinking. “Well, places with books. I only know of the Citadel.”

Aemon’s wide smile made Belono realize what the boy wanted to do. “You want to head back to Westeros?!” Belono yelled. “But… If the Targaryens know that you still live…”

“They won’t, we’ll pose as Lyseni historians, you and I. Aegon is stuck fighting in the Riverlands against Iron King Harren. He won’t have time to conquer all of Westeros by the time we should be done…” Aemon recited his plan as if he’d been planning it ever since he came here. The boy had quick mind, Belono knew, old lord Aenys had told him so.

“… Then after that, which I’ll predict will take around two weeks, we’ll hop back on our ships and head back home.”

“Home?” Belono asked.

“You are full of questions today, Belono. I’m talking about this home, the Golden Lodge.” Aemon replied.

Belono shook his head. “Of course, my lord. Excuse me.” Aemon looked to the future, Belono was stuck in the past. The things age does.

The preparations took a week longer than Aemon had anticipated, but by the time they were done, their guise as Lyseni historians was fully ready. Aemon was a man of learning under orders of Vaelar Sathmantes, the Magister of Lys, who wished to learn more about dragons and dragonfire, and Belono was a sellsword tasked with protecting him. It was a good cover, considering the constant ambitions of Essosi lords to reach the power of the dragons.

Their ship, imported directly from Lys after a secret sale of golden wood to a prominent Lyseni trader, departed towards Oldtown.

Belono sat at deck, looking at the disappearing coastline of his new home.

“I wonder if that Islander gal had feelings for me.” He pondered as he tapped his foot rhythmically on the wooden boards.

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The Summer Islands - 0 After Landing
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Last edited:
Chapter 2: Love and Hate in Oldtown

cosmeIII

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Chapter 2: Love and Hate in Oldtown
During the first year of the reign of lord Aemon I Brightflame.

Aemon II
The pleasant breeze of the Sunset Sea gave the young dragon enough of an excuse to stay on deck for the rest of the trip. Land had been sighted, Oldtown itself stood but a few miles away. Along with it, the Citadel, and within, a wealth of knowledge on Dragons.

Aemon hadn’t felt this much hope since before the Targaryens’ raid. If he succeeded here, he would have a chance to hatch a dragon, his very own dragon. He had the blood of the Targaryen Dragonprinces running through his veins, surely, when the dragon hatched, it would accept him as his master.

There were many more reasons for Aemon to feel pleased with this voyage. Oldtown was an ancient city, as the name implied. It stood before the Andals invaded Westeros, it is home to the Citadel, the largest center of knowledge in all of the Seven Kingdoms; and it houses the Starry Sept, the High Septon’s very own seat from which he commands the Faith. According to Belono, who regaled him from his adventures in Oldtown as a jouster, the Honeywine river was beautiful too, it gracefully watered the many fields that spread throughout the holdings of the Hightowers.

The ship entered Whispering Sound, Oldtown’s bay. He saw the lookouts on Blackcrown and Three Towers as tiny silhouettes that checked the passing ships to ensure they weren’t built for war.

Belono joined Aemon, stretching and yawning. “Up this early, my lord?” He asked.

“Yes, I wanted to see how we entered Oldtown.” Aemon responded, daydreaming as he looked to the city.

Belono accompanied him, resting his hands on the ship’s ledge. “Have you heard of the singing cliffs?”

“The singing cliffs?”

Belono looked at him and a devious smile appeared on his face. “The singing cliffs were carved into Blackcrown’s side by a Hightower lord devoted to the Stranger. They say the aspect of the God speaks to the living through them.”

“Huh?” Aemon’s face turned to terror. “Really?”

A nod was his only response.

“Oh, by the Seven…” Then, Aemon heard it. A sound like a whistle, louder than any he’d heard before. He looked around himself and saw strange carvings so large they fit ruined stone towers within them. Aemon held his chest, gripping the area where his family’s pendant would be. He looked and looked, never letting the holes and crevices out of his sight. He prayed to the Warrior, asking for courage. The whistles increased in volume and even Belono seemed bothered.

“They’d never been so loud.” Belono said, but Aemon concentrated on his praying as the cliffs rolled by and the sound subsided.

Oldtown was now in full sight, its winding roads and ancient docks could be spotted from the ship. Aemon let out a long sigh. “I thought the Stranger would render us deaf.”

Belono smiled. “It was a joke, my lord.” Aemon looked at his bodyguard, dumbfounded. “The cliffs were carved by the wind itself, the ruined towers used to be lookouts millenia ago, before Blackcrown and the Three Towers were founded.”

Aemon hit Belono at his arm. “You… Fool! You can’t play around like that with the Faith!”

Belono laughed as Aemon hit him a few more times, saying he’d have him executed as soon as they reached home. They were only interrupted by one of the sailors, an Islander native who was knowledgeable in the Common tongue. “My Prince- Err… My lord. We are about to dock into Oldtown”

Aemon redressed himself and fixed his clothes so they would look the part. Lysene couture was not cheap, after all. “Thank you, Xalaxho.”

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The singing cliffs of Whispering Sound

The ship was heaved ever so slowly towards one of the free spots at Oldtown’s harbor. It was filled with ships of varying designs, peoples from many lands. Aemon saw a pale Qartheen, a bright-haired Pentoshi, a few beautiful Lyseni and many dark-skinned folks from the Slaver’s Bay, all with their respective ships from their own homelands.

He stood there, his mouth wide open, as he saw the busy life of the Oldtown docks unravel before him. “You didn’t tell me about this, Belono!”

Belono was checking the bags to ensure both of their belongings were prepared. “What, the dock? Pentos’ is busier, my lord. And if you went to Old Volantis, you’d see even more folks from even more lands.” He got up and stretched until his bones popped. “Even the Asshai masked folks trade with Volantis.”

“That’s amazing.” Aemon replied.

Belono nodded. “It truly is, it saddens me to be used to it already.”

The pair headed down to the dock, they talked with one of the many workers to have their ship registered, their purpose explained and their names given. After that, they were given free reigns. The ship and its skeleton crew would stay at the docks for the duration of Aemon’s stay, while Aemon and Belono would head out to fulfill their purpose. A Lysene historian and his Lysene bodyguard.

Aemon looked at his bodyguard as they started heading through one of the many tight, winding stone alleys of Oldtown. It was filled with workers and traders, highborn and lowborn walked the same streets as they headed deeper into the town. “Could we go see the Starry Sept as well?” Aemon asked.

Belono looked at his lord bemused. “If it pleases you.” He responded. Aemon’s eyes sparked with delight.

“I feel we’ll also have time to visit many more places, the Citadel could wait a few days.”

Belono shook his head. “The Citadel is not waiting for anything, my lo-“ Belono shut himself up right before his gaffe. “Sir.” Aemon smiled.

“Sir. The Citadel has a strict schedule, your prediction that it would take but a few weeks for them to grant you passage may be delayed even further.”

“Even more time for us to visit then.” Aemon replied.

“After we petition for passage at the Citadel.” Belono interjected.

Aemon’s reply was a simple nod.

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Oldtown, the most ancient city in Westeros.

The Citadel and its magnificent green sphinxes stood to the shore of the Honeywine river. It was a huge and complex set of buildings interlinked with passages and bridges. Aemon gazed at it from below as Belono asked around to know where to go if they wished to pass within. The structure was huge, how large could the wealth of knowledge it housed be?

Surely, most surely, there had to be something about the dragons.

Belono tapped on his lord’s shoulder and pointed towards one of the Citadel’s many entrances. The line there was filled with nobles, acolytes and rich merchants who hoped for right of entry into this gigantic complex. It took hours, but it was eventually their turn. They explained their fake plight, how a magister of Lys wished to learn more about dragons and dragon eggs. The maester listening to them seemed bored, twirling around with his chain as he listened. After Aemon was done explaining, he wrote down their two fake names.

“You’ll be given leave for entry in four months.” The maester spat out.

Aemon’s face dropped, Belono was shocked. “Four months?!” Aemon exclaimed. “That’s much too long!”

“If you do not have the patience to wait that little to access the Citadel, you should reconsider your search for knowledge.”

Aemon’s arms dropped to his waist. He sighed. “Fine.”

Belono put a hand on the young Valyrian’s shoulder as they both left the line. “Don’t worry, sir. We have ample time to visit Oldtown now.”

A smile sprang up on Aemon’s face. “You’re right. Shall we start with the Starry Sept?”

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The Green Sphinxes protect the Citadel's entrance.

Petola I
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The Honeywine river flowed peacefully in front of the Starry Sept, heading towards its fated destination without ever balking. Eventually, it would reach the Whispering Sound and flow into the great Sunset Sea. Petola watched it as she daydreamed, twirling around her long brown locks and, at times, closing her green eyes to enjoy the sounds the river brought to her ears.

It was a beautiful afternoon in Oldtown, the sun shone bright atop a blue sky, its light encompassing the world and making the Sept sparkle like it had never before. The young girl hoped that her mother would convince her father and siblings to let her be a while longer. This river had a strange charm to it, different to the hulking Mander, its water could go along its course at least, the Mander struggled to even do that.

Her daydreaming was interrupted by a strange sight. A boy was seated to her right, a few paces off. He had to looks of a very young Lyseni. The son of a trader, mayhaps. The boy lifted his eyes away from the river and looked at the girl, their eyes met for a second before she broke off contact and continued looking at the river. Her father had warned her about the Lyseni, young beautiful men who charm and take away young girls to have them ransomed from their island-city. This one didn’t look like a charmer though, he still sat by himself close to the river, taking in long breaths of the fresh air that surrounds it, his silvery hair blowing across the wind and his sad, hazel eyes looking at nowhere…

The girl shook his head. She really shouldn’t be thinking those things. Father would be furious seeing her fawning over a Lyseni! Unbelievable. Then the boy got on his knees and seemed to pray, his hand at his thighs, his eyes closed, litanies pleading for the Warrior’s courage. His voice was smooth like the waves of the ocean…

Again, she looked away, towards the river that coursed on and on. The two were but a bunch of paces from each other. The girl did her best to stay at her spot and no longer look towards him. The boy continued his prayers.

A few minutes passed, and the boy got up, dusted his knees and walked away from the shore.

The girl looked over her shoulder, watching him leave. The boy didn’t turn back.

Belono III
Belono’s laughter echoed throughout the room. “My lord… I cannot believe this…” He said inbetween wheezes.

Aemon stood on his bed, cross-armed. “Stop your laughs, Belono! I’m telling you I didn’t know what to say to her.”

The Essosi man wiped a few tears from his eyes, doing his best to control himself. “What was she like?”

“The most beautiful girl in the Seven Kingdoms! That’s what she was like.” Responded the young Valyrian. “She looked at me at least two times, and the Seven know how many times she looked while I prayed.”

The old man’s chuckles infuriated Aemon, who turned away and closed his eyes to meditate. The young boy believed so much in the Seven, it’s something Belono would never understand.

“Excuse me, my lord…” He said as he took a few deep breaths. “And you really couldn’t talk to her?”

Aemon didn’t reply.

Belono got up and approached him, squatting by his side. “Excuse my ill manners, my lord. I understand your plight, one’s first love is always the strangest.”

His Valyrian features did show at times, the scowl that Aemon gave him was nearly authoritative, nearly. “This girl, I want to marry her.”

“What?” Belono asked, dumbfounded. “You’re too young.”

Aemon’s anger with his man-at-arms rose. “This isn’t about youth! If the Targaryens conquer Westeros, who will I marry without being discovered?”

Belono spat out to his bucket. “Tch. What’s your plan to marry her then? Do you even know her name?”

“Petola Ball. I saw her father speaking about her when I entered the Starry Sept, it’s what made me go and check on her. As for my plan…” Aemon paused. “I don’t have any.”

Again, the kid was trying to overreach. Was that in his Valyrian blood or something? Belono approached him and put a hand to his shoulder. “Listen, my lord. You shouldn’t plan out everything with cold logic. Just speak to her, firm and honest. Now, wether there is or isn’t a marriage, that will have to wait ‘til you know her better. Looks and mannerisms aren’t everything.”

Aemon nodded. “You’re right. It’s just… Since my family died… There is no other Brightflame in the world. I’m the only one.”

Too much responsibility for one boy. Belono couldn’t help but feel pity for what Aemon had to go through. “Be calm. We have months to spend here and the Targaryens haven’t even defeated Harren the Black yet.” The old man smirked. “Even if she isn’t the one, maybe one of the converts back at the Lodge will find you good enough. Just make to keep our cover.”

A wan smile appeared on Aemon’s face, who nodded again. “Should we have a walk? I’d like to see the Hightower castle from up close.”

Belono shrugged. He’d seen it before, but it was better than sticking around this stinking inn.

Aemon III
The first conversation had been the most awkward, in the second they realized they had both been raised to be stewards one day, after that things rolled on smoothly. Petola’s kind and humble attitude swooned Aemon, and Aemon’s tales of bravery in the Summer Islands swooned Petola. The two spent their time at the Honeywine chatting and laughing, throwing stones that bounced atop the river, commenting the birds’ beautiful songs.

But then, the girl confessed a secret of hers. Her father, Lord Codan Ball, was not treating her properly. Insults, beatings, hate. She cried for nearly half an hour, her face buried in his shoulder.

After that, a great guilt hanged in Aemon’s heart. That girl who had entrusted him with her greatest secret only knew of him the lies that he had weaved about him being a Lyseni, son of a rich merchant, and historian. One afternoon, he could no longer handle it. He stood up, interrupting a calm embrace in the river shore.

“What’s wrong, ser?” She asked, confused.

Seeing her face, the guilt now stung, harder than it ever had before. The lies he’d told her! Why did he do such a thing? How could he fix it now? Aemon scrambled his memories, trying to remember some sort of wisdom that could help him, yet all he saw was Belono. The old Essosi told him to be honest, straightforward. Honest, straightforward…

“I lied.” He replied.

Petola’s shocked expression stung deeper into Aemon’s heart.

“I’m not a Lyseni. I’m a Valyrian, my name is Aemon. Aemon Brightflame.” He continued.

“A… Valyrian? Like the Targaryens?” Petola asked, her tone showing a certain disgust.

No.” yelled Aemon. “The Targaryens, they…” Aemon gripped his hand, even making it bleed. He did his best to hold his tears in. “Petola, can I trust you?” He asked.

The young girl looked down, gripping her chest. “I trusted you, ser Aemon. And you lied to me.

Aemon’s heart sank. “You are right, lady Petola. But-“

“No!” She yelled, she then ran off, not uttering another word.

Aemon’s heart told him to follow, his very soul wished one of his feet moved forward to initiate a sprint and hold on to her. And yet he didn’t, he couldn’t. This was his punishment for all the lies. The Seven willed it. And yet… something within him made anger well.

Aemon barely spoke to Belono for the next two days, he didn’t want him to know of the shame he was going through. The man seemed worried, but didn’t speak of it. Even after all that happened, Aemon felt that he had to head back, both to repent, and in the faint hope that she’d return again to the spot by the riverside. He cried during most of the time he spent there, wishing he hadn’t ever done any of this, that he could’ve continued with the lie and disappeared, or never met Petola at all. And yet, when he tried to sleep at night, it was only her brown locks and green eyes that he remembered. Her soft lips that he’d only kissed once.

On the last day, he was able to withhold the tears as he prayed. He begged for Petola to be strong and escape from her horrid situation, to all aspects he asked for something different. Even to the Stranger, he wished for an evil father’s death. As his prayer finished, he opened his eyes.

He saw an old maester at the other side of the river. Not only old, ancient. His eyes were white as milk and his skin was the most wrinkly he’d ever seen. As he looked, the maester smiled.

omOuJD6.png

Copyright: Marc Simonetti


The sound of footsteps at his back made Aemon turn around. There he saw Petola.

“Aemon.” She said as she bursted into tears. “Tell me everything.”

Aemon looked back to the place where the maester stood, but the man had vanished. No matter, it was time to confess. If he truly loved this girl, he would not fear to tell the truth.

Aemon Brightflame, the last survivor of House Brightflame, which was killed and burned and slaughtered by Targaryen cruelty to leave no trace of a potential candidate to the throne that was soon to be Aegon’s. The boy told her his tale, his escape, his exile, and his conquest. And now, his reason to be here. Even the egg, a secret he’d only shared with Belono.

Petola hugged Aemon tight, tighter than she ever had before, Aemon remembered his sister’s embrace, his mother’s embrace. He felt the tears run through his cheeks and his knees grow weak. They cried together for minutes on end, the only sound that accompanied their sobs was the course of the Honeywine. Ever constant, ever flowing.

A good while passed before the two recovered from their crying and sobbing. They both looked to the river, holding each other in a warm hug. Aemon felt a peace he'd never felt before.

FqAEo8J.png

A lot of character interaction. I want to explore the relationships between the characters of my story at the start. Maybe I'll start timeskipping later on, but I'm really enjoying writing it like this.

If you have criticism, find inconsistencies or even spelling mistakes, make sure to let me know!

Much love,
cosmeiii
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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I loved your The Lone Wolf AAR, and this is great so far. The characters are interesting and it's a unique start for your tale.
 

cosmeIII

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I loved your The Lone Wolf AAR, and this is great so far. The characters are interesting and it's a unique start for your tale.

Thank you, it's good to see a fan from that far back. Hopefully you'll enjoy this one too.
 
Chapter 3: The Citadel

cosmeIII

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Chapter 3: The Citadel
During the first year of the reign of lord Aemon I Brightflame.

Belono IV
Aemon might not think so, but Belono had noticed his strange behavior as of late. The boy had switched from genuine happiness, to broken sadness, to melancholic smiles in the span of a week. Still, the Essosi somewhat wishes he’d never asked now.

“So you love her and want to save her like some silver knight atop his mighty steed?” Belono asked, tapping his fingers on a wooden desk they’d brought to his room.

Aemon shrugged. The boy loved to shrug now, Belono wondered where he got that one from. The man sighed. “Well, we’d best do this sneakily right before we depart. Tell the girl to keep meeting you and to prepare her belongings.”

“Are you knowledgeable in kidnappings, Belono?” Aemon said playfully.

“No, knowledgeable in quick exits.” Belono replied, then gave Aemon a quick wink.

After a few days, Aemon confirmed that his little lover was ready to depart anytime, with that done with, Belono wanted to focus on the very reason they came here first: Not to find some damsel in distress to save, but to find out how to hatch a bloody dragon egg. The Citadel was going to accept them in, finally, after all this wait. There was only so much that drinking, mummer work and barmaids could do to entertain the mummer knight.

Every time Belono walked to the front of the Citadel’s gates, he had to stare in amazement of the green sphinxes. He patted them a few times, just to make sure they weren’t alive. He wondered who they were supposed to represent, or if they were just nameless guardians of the knowledge stashed within the great walls of the Citadel.

Aemon snapped him out of his internal ramblings by beckoning him into the Citadel. The boy was eager, but Belono had already warned him multiple times that the Citadel wasn’t exactly small, and that they’d have to go through many myths and legends before finding actual, truthful information on the dragons, if they ever did. The boy just said they had all the time in the world.

It would be true if he didn’t have a people to rule over. How quickly youth forgets when there is a pretty maid to be courted and a dragon egg to be hatched. Belono smiled to himself, had he been ten and six and in such a situation, surely he’d have done the same.

The Citadel was as amazing within as it was outside. Books and books and books. In all languages, from all over the known world. Put in libraries that went from the floor to the ceiling, farther above any man could ever reach, though a ladder sure and well could. Their steps echoed throughout the gigantic rooms hosting these myriad books, theirs being the only sound present in except for a few low whispers and conversations.

Aemon started asking young book carriers and some readers with robes about any place where they might find information about dragons. Their responses ranged from cold hushes to naming a section and pointing their finger. After nearly half an hour walking to and fro, they reached a less traveled section of the Citadel. According to a man there, it was the section dedicated to higher mysteries. Belono and Aemon split up to cover more ground and books, this would take a while, the man knew.

m4FzLYW.jpg

They say there are so many books in the Citadel that a man would need dozens of lifetimes to read them all.

All kinds of books were strewn around in this section, from the magics of the red priests of R’hllor, to strange Asshai’ machinations, to Qartheen alchemies and even rites of the Old Gods. A few were dissertations by Maesters, others seemed ancient and anonymous. After hours, Belono was on his way to surrendering and just falling asleep in one of the aisles, but he found a peculiar sight, a book, not too large, was on the floor in front of him. Recently fallen too, considering its cover wasn’t full of dust. Against the Unnatural by maester Vanyon.

Curious, Belono opened it and started passing through its pages. It was written in Common, and it spoke of dragons.

Aemon IV
Aemon was dozing off in one of the aisles, exhausted by hours of booksearching. Titles in Valyrian and its many dialects, Common, and strange idioms that Aemon had never seen before. The Valyrian had to arm himself with valor to get up and continue his search.

An old man’s voice range at his right, it was somewhat high, and its tone seemed playful. “Are you looking for something?”

Aemon looked to the voice’s source, there was no one at the end of the aisle. Hidden at one of the sides, maybe?

“Books concerning dragons.” Aemon replied as he passed the pages of Treatise on Fire by maester Dymon. Another book concerning R’hllor fire magic, but little on the dragons outside of their fiery breath.

“There are few of those here.” The voice replied.

Aemon closed the book and returned it to its place. “Do you know where to find them?”

“A myriad there were in Valyria.” The voice responded.

Aemon chuckled. “I’d wager they were all burned to a crisp.”

“Oh, but one remains.”

Aemon’s curiosity for the man turned into full blown attention. He started approaching the voice. “Where?”

As the young man turned around the corner, he saw nothing but the ends of each aisle. The voice sounded again, to his right.

“The Valyrians used blood and fire for their magics. They used dreadful whips to command obedience, dragon horns to sound for war, and sorcery to torture and kill their enemies.”

Aemon continued following the voice. “I have to avenge my family.” He said, going down the winding hallway.

“What family?” The voice asked.

“The Brightflames of Claw Isle. The Targaryens killed them.” Aemon replied.

“What words?” The voice asked.

“Fire and Faith.” Aemon replied.

The old man’s voice resounded across the room this time. Booming and daunting. “Lies. Your words are Fire and Blood. Fire and Blood.”

“No!” Aemon yelled. “They’re Fire and Faith!”

“Faith will not bring you your dragon!” The voice yelled.

Aemon covered his ears and continued going down the hallway, following the voice’s original source.

“Blood will.” Said the voice.

“No!” Aemon said. “I…”

“Blood will! Blood will! Blood will!” The voices turned from one to many, all echoing across the never-ending hall.

“No!” Aemon screamed. “No! No! No!”

“Fire and Blood. Fire and Blood. Fire and Blood.” The voices rang out.

Aemon looked at a window to his left, he saw three dragons, one of them old and mighty, burning down thousands in fields of green turned grey and charred. The yells of burning men filled his ears, the roar of dragons and the sound of fire. Aemon stood, wide-eyed, looking at the horrific scene.

sbiIay0.jpg

“They spread fire, they shed blood. They conquer.” The old man’s voice returned, alone.

Aemon turned around and saw the old maester from the river. He said nothing.

“Do you wish to conquer?” said the maester. “Do you wish to spread fire and shed blood?”

The young man shook his head. “It will be spread and shed no matter what. If I conquer, then no more will have to be shed and spread over petty wars and territories.” He replied.

“Targaryen!” The man yelled, pointing at him in accusation. “You are a Targaryen! Not a Brightflame. Targaryen!”

Rage welled in Aemon, who approached and threatened. “Do not dare utter that name in my presence, old fool.”

“Targaryen! Targaryen!” The old man said as he backed away, seemingly afraid. “You will shed blood and spread fire!” He yelled.

He could not stand it anymore, Aemon raised his fist to punch the man. When his blow would connect. He awoke.

He patted his legs, sides, arms and face and head. Everything was there, completely fine, he had a book in his legs. He’d dozed off while reading it. Treatise on Fire. He read out loud. The young man got up and dusted himself off, then put the book back where it belonged. As he put it, a large black key fell off of him. He took it and looked to his right. At the end of the aisle stood a window, same as the one he’d seen in his dream. And the aisle looked eerily similar.

Aemon walked towards it and checked his right as he turned the corner. There, to the end, an old door stood. The boy looked at the key, then to the door, and walked.

Belono V
Belono searched everywhere, but he couldn’t find his protegee. He knew, deep down, that going their separate ways would lead to another hour of searching later in the day, he simply hoped that the boy would’ve found something about hatching the egg. His own book only said that the dragons were not products of magic, rather they were animals that lived throughout the world before the Valyrians’ empire ever rose. There was something curious hidden within though, the book was explicitly trying to dispel the claim that dragons were a product of powerful Valyrian blood magic.

The more he had read on those claims, the more Belono worried about the likely necessary rites that a dragon egg would need to properly hatch.

His thoughts vanished as he finally found the boy. It seemed he was frantically looking for him too. They approached each other.

“Good to have finally found you, my lord.” Belono said.

“I feel the same, Belono. What have you found?” The boy asked.

“Things most worrying.” Belono replied. “Rites of blood magic to create dragons in one part, another claiming that dragons were always present in the world.”

Aemon nodded. “Then we leave.”

The old man was confused. “Have you found something, my lord?”

The young man smiled deviously. “More than enough.” He revealed an ancient book hidden in his Lysene coat.

“My lord!” Belono uttered. “We can’t-“

Aemon shut him with a wave of the hand, and in a serious tone replied. “We will.”

Their quick walk out of the Citadel was not without one or two odd looks. Aemon didn’t even stop to look back at it, he just continued his walk. Belono looked back to the sphinxes and to the mighty construct. In a way, he knew he was probably not going to look at it again in a very long time.

As they entered the many alleyways and tight streets of Oldtown proper, Aemon spoke to his mummer knight. “I’ve got it. A book that tells me how to hatch!” He said.

Belono looked down, a feeling of worry spread to his gut, which he held with one hand. “How’s it done?”

Aemon didn’t reply, all Belono could see from behind him is his hair flowing around as the air that streamed through the alleyways downwards blew it around. “My lord?” Belono insisted.

“Fire and blood.” Aemon replied. “It’s done through fire and blood.”

Belono’s gut felt even worse now. It was a feeling that he couldn’t describe, but if he were to give it a word, it would be regret.

It's hard to let go of the past. It's harder still to avoid twisting your future due to the past's influence.

Be strong, and don't let the past force you to make foolish decisions.

Have a good day,
cosmeiii
 
Last edited:
Chapter 4: To our Home

cosmeIII

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Chapter 4: To our Home
During the first year of the reign of lord Aemon I Brightflame.

Petola II
Petola was anxiously awaiting the day when Aemon would finally tell her they’d depart. She would rush out with some of her belongings and meet him at the river, from there he would take her far away, the two of them together, to a hot land where the people are full of joy, or so the valyrian scion told him.

She knew things were not going to be perfect, but anything was better than having to see her father again and again for the next years, and getting married to a husband she’d never seen before as if she were a tool.

Though she knew her numbers, she also knew much of diplomacy. Petola was taught many things by her mother, may the Seven keep her in their embrace. One of the things she was taught was the intricacies of Westerosi courts, and how she would play in the grand scheme of things for House Ball of the Manderford.

Even if it did sadden her to fork her duties like this, she had no will to continue trusting those who didn’t have her best interests at heart. Aemon at least stayed and listened then Aemon spoke of himself, Aemon promised love, and Aemon promised freedom. Freedom from what awaited in Westeros.

“Petola?” A man’s voice rang out behind her. She recognized her uncle Theo. Always the kind man, even if not a grand knight, he always had good intent. His hair was greying already, but his body was still fit, and he wore the armor with House Ball’s heraldry with pride as bodyguard of the sole daughter of House Ball.

EJ1HrBk.png

A man of good will, but little action.

Petola turned around, trying to hide her stash with her body. “Uncle. How good to see you, what brings you to my quarters?”

Uncle Theo entered in meekly, not wanting to interrupt. He was always good and nice like that. Too much, even. Not even once did he defend her from her father’s ramblings.

“I wanted to speak with you privately about your recent devotion to the Seven.”

“What do you mean, uncle?” Petola was worried, did he suspect?

“You’ve been going to the Starry Sept an awful lot lately, three or four times a week. Tell me, is there something that troubles you?”

A lot, actually. Your cowardice, Byren and Grydion’s complete lack of care, my father’s mistreatment, my mother’s death, your wife’s horrid treatment of you. The fact that I’m no more than a pawn in the game of thrones that house Ball will never win.

“No, nothing, uncle.” Responded Petola. “I simply wanted to wish my mother a good voyage to whichever of the seven heavens the Gods chose to open their doors for her.”

Theo looked down. There was shame in his face. “Alright. I’ll go see Merissa, I think a servant made her angry.”

Merissa. Merissa. Merissa. It was all that was in her uncle’s mouth. That foul-mouthed deviant he called his wife. Daughter of Olymer Chester of Greenfield. Merissa Chester is, and will always be, someone that Petola hates to the core.

“Uncle, you shouldn’t dote on Merissa so much. It causes indulgence and pride.” Petola said with a smile.

“Oh, I know.” Responded her uncle. “But she’s so much younger than me, I can’t help it.” He said as he scratched the back of his head.

“Uncle, she’s older than me by three and ten namedays. I humbly believe that she’s old enough to behave.” Petola said, her tone denoted anger. A rare sight for a woman in the Ball household.

Theo, wide-eyed, looked at his niece. “Petola, is everything truly alright?”

Petola sighed, she felt guilt over leaving her uncle behind, but she had already tried once to confess to him. All he did was tell her that his brother was the head of the House, and his will had to be respected.

No more.

“Yes, uncle. I will go to the Starry Sept later today. I simply need to talk to the Seven, seek their wisdom.” She responded.

The man nodded. “Yes, you should pray to the Crone. She will give you guidance in these times of doubt.”

“Thank you, uncle.”

Theo, still in doubt, left the room. Petola continued to pack her things in the two rucksacks Aemon had given her. Soon.

Belono VI
Aemon had been reading that book ever since they returned. It was written in perfect Valyrian, so perfect that there were words that Belono didn’t even understand, though Aemon did. Every time Belono asked the boy what the book told, the boy would wave his hand and tell him to be quiet. He was so fixated on the book, Belono honestly thought he would not go visit his beloved, even though they were supposed to meet today.

M4KE52D.jpg

"Our greatest possession, what made us mighty, is a thing only brought to life by fire and blood, for it is to be used to spread fire, and shed blood. Steel your heart, take your blade, and feed that which will give you victory."

“My lord Aemon. Are you going to head to the Starry Sept today?” Belono asked him.

“Yes.” Aemon replied dryly.

“It’s a good time to go now.” Belono insisted.

“This book holds the key to using my father’s relic, Belono.” Said Aemon. “What’s more important, meeting Petola or finding out the secret of the relic?”

“That’s not a question I have to answer, lord Aemon.” Said Belono. The boy was too engrossed in that book. “But I do have to say that the book can wait until we reach our home.”

“What if we lose it along the way?”

“We won’t, I’ll protect it with my life if need be.”

Belono’s word seemed to have struck a chord in Aemon’s mind. The boy looked back towards him. He sighed, closed the book and got up from his chair. “If it is so. Then prepare everything, we’re leaving tomorrow morning.”

The Essosi nodded. “Fine. I’ll gather the crew and supplies. My lord, you should warn your lover and gather your belongings.”

“I will. Guard the book well.” Responded Aemon.

Petola III
Aemon’s words rang out again in Petola’s mind. ‘We’re leaving tomorrow morning.’ She was looking at the Honeywine river, where she and Aemon had shared so many evenings. Talking, arguing, hugging and even kissing. She remembered her uncle with a hint of nostalgia, her mother with even more nostalgia. But when her father and brothers came to mind, she felt nothing.

The ship would sail tomorrow, and she would sail along with it, likely never to come back. Everything was planned, all that remained was to remove any doubts. Aemon spoke and spoke of the preparations she’d have to do, of how to sneak out of her home in the small hours of the morning, of how they could not be seen together at any point during the way to the port, of how an Essosi Valyrian named Belono would seek her out close to home and accompany her.

Yet there was only one doubt that remained in Petola’s mind.

She looked to the river, and she steeled herself. “Aemon.”

Petola’s interruption surprised the young, meticulous boy. “Yes?” He said.

“Will you take my hand in marriage when we reach home?”

A silence reigned for a few seconds, Aemon was looking at her, she could feel it. It made her blush, but she had to ask. It would not do to be taken away and then discarded.

“Yes.” Aemon replied.

“Swear it on the Seven.” Said Petola.

“I swear it on the Warrior, who gave me courage in the darkest of times, on the Smith, who has carried me through many days, on the Crone, who gave me wisdom in droves, on the Mother, who embraced my family, on the Maiden, who allowed me to meet you, and on the Father, who will ever judge me justly.” He paused, gathering his thoughts. “And on the Stranger, may we hold hands as we face death in many years to come.”

Petola felt the tears streaming through her burning red cheeks. Aemon embraced her.

“You and I, we will be together forever.” He said.

“We’re fools, aren’t we? My mother would chastise me for this.” Said Petola in-between sobs.

“Fools, yes. But happy fools.” Responded Aemon.

Aemon V
Dawn approached, Aemon had sent Belono out to find Petola, meanwhile, he’d stay at the docks and ensure that all the crew were there. It was somewhat cold, the wind was colder, and he didn’t want to imagine the water. The sun’s rays were already shining ever so slightly on the docks.

“If we reach our destination, you’ll have all the gold you could want and more.” Aemon told the crew after counting them. They snickered and smiled at the boy. There was not an ounce of loyalty to anything but gold in them, Aemon knew. He was too young to be taken seriously. They respect Belono, but not Belono’s lord.

“Belono told us ye bringin’ a girl aboard.” One of the shadier characters, a former riverboater of the Trident, spoke. “Ye know that’s bad luck, right?”

“A bit of bad luck is worth half your weight in gold, isn’t it?” responded Aemon.

The riverman shrugged.

They heard footsteps coming from one of the alleys, and all looked that way. It seemed the plan was going smoothly, Belono and Petola appeared in front of them, their silhouettes still dark in the distance, belono was carrying two large rucksacks.

The two approached Aemon, and Aemon embraced Petola. “We’re going now, look at Oldtown one last time if you wish.” Petola nodded and did so. Belono headed to the crew and commanded them to get ready.

“Did they do anything to you, my lord?” Belono asked as he returned to Aemon.

“No, but they’re not people I trust.”

“Few hired swords are trustworthy, sailors even less so. But they know there is nothing of worth in the ship.” Replied Belono. “Never bring something of worth in the ship unless you know your crew.”

Their conversation was interrupted by another pair of footsteps down the alley. All three looked towards it. Petola hid.

It was a man, with greying brown hair, a sword in his hilt and the drapes of House Ball, as Aemon recognized. Trouble.

“Where is she?” The man asked, determined.

“Who do you speak of?” Aemon asked. “Our ship is leaving, we’ve naught of yours.”

Belono took a hand to his sword. “Listen to the boy, old man, unless you want trouble.”

“You’re lying!” The man yelled. “You can’t take her away!”

Aemon looked at Belono, who looked at him back. Aemon knew this would gather unwanted attention towards their ship. He stepped forward. “I told you to go back. As I said, we have nothing of yours here.”

The rasp of the man’s blade sent shivers down Aemon’s spine. He unsheathed and held it forward. “I am a knight of the Seven.” He said. “I will not let a bunch of pirates and corsairs take my niece away.”

Aemon took a step back. “Hold on-“

Another sword was unsheathed, more shivers down Aemon’s spine. Belono stood in front of his lord. “Leave.” He warned.

“Not without my niece.” Said the old man.

Petola walked out of her hiding spot meekly, and approached Aemon. Her uncle took a step forward, but was blocked by Belono. “Petola!” he called. “Don’t go! You don’t know these people, they’ve charmed you! Your father warned you about this!”

The girl stood firm now, facing her uncle. “My father has mistreated me enough. I’ve no ties to the Manderford anymore.” She said.

“Please, Petola!” the man begged. “If something were to happen to you, I’d never forgive myself! I’ll set your father straight, I’ll make things right!”

Aemon looked at the scene. There was no time, no time at all for this. Two people leaving the household at once was sure to be brought to Petola’s father’s attention. It was time to take things in his own hands. A lord must mediate.

“Ser.” Spoke Aemon. Belono at his front, Petola at his side. “If you wish to protect your niece, come with us.”

Belono looked for a single second at his lord, then back to the man, who was also aghast. Petola looked at her love, and gulped.

“Wh-what?” Asked the man, confused. “You’re trying to trick me! You’ll throw me overboard at the first chance!”

“No.” Responded Aemon. “On the Seven, on my honor, and on the honor of my House, I swear I won’t.”

Silence reigned for a few seconds. The uncle looked at her niece, at Belono, and at Aemon. His swordhand shook.

“If we only wished to capture her and set sail, we’d have killed you and been on our way.” Said Aemon. “But our cause is just and honorable. If you wish to protect your niece, you’ll follow her wherever she may wish to go.”

The man let his guard down, then sheathed his sword. “Then, on the Seven, on my honor as a knight, and on the honor of my House, I swear I will kill you if you ever hurt my niece.” He said. “Let me on your ship.”

Aemon nodded, looked at Petola, and then turned back towards the ship. Petola followed, as would the man. Belono let his guard down, but didn’t sheathe his sword. “If you touch my lord.” He whispered to the old man as he passed by. “I’ll gut you and hang you from your entrails.”

The man said nothing and continued on his way. Belono followed soon after.

The ship’s sails were hoisted as the first few guards came by to check the noises. Aemon and Petola were looking at Oldtown together, sundawn illuminating the city.

“I thought my uncle Theo was a craven. It seems I was wrong.” Petola said. She rested on the ship’s rail. “I’m glad.” She said, her comforted smile filled Aemon with confidence and determination.

“I am too.” He told her. The boy put an arm around her shoulder, they both looked at Oldtown as it fled from their sight.

“Will I ever return?” Petola asked.

“Surely, one day.” Aemon answered.

0sgHXWV.png

We light the way.
I think I'm doing a good job so far. Hopefully I'll keep it up.

I've had a drive to write during the past two or three days. My word document has just reached 10k words as I write out this message, and I still have content to put out concerning the very first year of Aemon's reign. I'm trying to keep chapters to around 4-6 pages of a word document, trying to divide things up as best I can between the events ocurring in the story.

I found petola's subchapter to have been the most fun write, though Aemon's was also fun. It's hard to limit your characters in what they can do. Have I made Aemon too smart? Too knowledgeable for such a young age? I'm hoping to show that he's still young and brash in the future chapters.

I might be getting in over my head, but hey, never say never.

I hope you enjoyed this chapter.

cosmeiii
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Nice to have Theo along, he ought to have an interesting perspective on Aemon's business as he tries to keep Petola safe. I quite liked the scene of Aemon asleep in the Citadel, confronted by personal demons of his fear, of being too Targaryen.
 
Chapter 5: Fate of a Dragon

cosmeIII

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Chapter 5: Fate of a Dragon
During the first year of the reign of lord Aemon I Brightflame.

Theo I
It was another hot summer day in the Summer Isles. Theo walked his patrol up and down the mansion that Aemon had made his home, the Golden Lodge. He hailed the Islander servants and guards that came to and fro. Both Theo and Belono along with some learned sellswords were ordered by Aemon to teach them the Common tongue. Theo wondered if it wouldn’t be easier to learn the Summer tongue instead, though his attempts were not too successful, neither were the locals’ attempts at learning Westerosi Common.

The old bodyguard decided to rest his bones in one of the benches outside, watching some carpenters crafting a proper wall outside the Golden Lodge. The people here were peaceful and their warfare was ritualistic, they knew not of walls to protect their homes. An oddity, which explained them being targets to raids and invasions by ambitious pirates and corsairs.

Theo sat back and thought of home. He wondered how Merissa took the news of his disappearance. Surely, she pitied herself. Petola didn’t seem to think of home much. This was her home now, even though only a month or two passed. She and Aemon hadn’t married yet, there was an unsurprising lack of septons in the Summer Isles, and getting one from Westeros was out of the question as Aemon wished to keep himself unknown to the continent. Aegon Targaryen had destroyed the armies of the Iron King and claimed the areas he once held. Westeros continued to resist, though details were not prone to reaching this far into the Isles.

Lord Aemon did seem busy though, Petola commented how he kept himself confined to his office, reading a very important book, apparently. Petola knew more, but she did not tell Theo. The old man always knew when young Petola lied. This was his fifth summer alive, after all. This one was the girl’s first. Had he known the extent of Petola’s lie before she disappeared into the wee hours of the morning…

His thoughts were interrupted by an Islander woman. She approached and sat beside him, she was not young, but not old either. She began approaching him with her finger and ran it down his chest. “Ilaxha Theo likes?” Her Common was butchered, but pretty in its own way thanks to the accent of her people.

Theo removed her hand from his chest as gracefully as he could. “No, thank you.” He said. Ilaxha got up and walked away as if nothing.

These people were odd, for sure. The bodyguard saw Belono approach him. This Essosi was quite a rowdy man for sure, always on the prowl for Islander women, and so fiercely loyal to his lord Aemon. A pure example of a brute.

“Was she not to your liking?” Belono asked Theo.

“I have a wife.” Responded Theo.

“No longer.” Continued Belono. “I’ve heard about your wife. Did you even love her?”

Theo smiled as Belono asked his question. “No.”

“Then why bother?” the mummer knight asked. “Enjoy your time here. Maybe you’ll find a new wife who you will love and will love you back.”

“The Seven would object to a divorce.”

“The Seven? They have no power here.”

Theo shook his head. “Do you think this is where your lord will stay forever?”

Our lord, ser Theo. And no, but as long as we’re here, we might as well enjoy it.” With that, Belono followed after the woman Theo had just spurned.

Had he not been raised as a mummer, Belono would’ve made a fine knight. Theo returned to his thoughts, enjoying the blue summer sky and the ululating sounds of the green jungle all around.

Petola III
“Aemon love, Petola?” Xhonda’s voice was smooth like silk. Every time it rang, it was like music to Petola’s ears.

“Yes.” Petola told the Islander girl, one of the children of the former ruler of this mansion, now made into a handmaiden. She was braiding her hair in the strange Islander styles. The girl giggled as she heard the response.

“Aemon love, Xhonda.” The Islander said. Petola glared at her.

“No!” She replied. “Aemon love, Petola.” She said.

fLsK5wG.png

The Daughter of the former Prince of Golden Head.

Xhonda looked at her confused. The Islanders didn’t understand such basic concepts as the pure love between husband and wife. Well… not quite yet. Aemon hadn’t thought of the lack of septons in the Isles.

“But Aemon love, Xhonda.” The girl insisted.

Petola sighed, there was little she could do to get it into her head. Aemon had refused at least ten women ever since they got back to the island, and Petola refused six men who were in the very mansion. They were both surprisingly patient with these advances. Aemon told Petola that their customs had to be respected, even if we didn’t partake in them. Though she did see him glare at some of the men, and blush when asked by some of the women. Not that she was free of sin either, the constant offers dented one’s mind.

“Mirror use, Xhonda.” Petola said as she signaled the mirror on her desk.

The lass nodded, her eyes focused on Petola’s hair still, she picked the mirror with her free hand showed the results to Petola. Both of them laughed at the sight. Islander hair was much different than Westerosi hair, more scraggled and short. Wild and never tamed. Petola liked it, but their hairstyles never fit her.

After a while more of merriment, the Reachman girl decided it was a good time as any to visit her bridegroom. Aemon had been staying at his office, researching a huge book he’d brought with him from Oldtown. Petola knew her love had stolen it from the Citadel, but surely it was for good cause.

She knocked on Aemon’s door and awaited his response. He opened, his eyes were baggy and he seemed tired. “Ah, Petola. It is good to see you.”

“You seem tired, Aemon. Are you well?”

The boy nodded. “I am tired, but I am well. I have you at my side and we’ve heard no reports of corsairs or pirates.” He invited Petola to come in.

“What about the sept?” Petola asked.

“A makeshift sept will have to do for when we’re wed. A proper one will have to wait.” Said Aemon. “These people aren’t rich, their tributes to the mansion are low, our greatest resource is the golden wood, but we’re still sending quite a bit away to pay for the ship we used to go to Oldtown and return.”

“Well, at least it is a magnificent ship.” Petola wished to bring a smile to Aemon’s face, which she did, even if it was wan.

“It sure is.”

“How about the book you’ve been reading?”

Every time she mentioned the book, Aemon’s smile seemed to leave him, but still he hadn’t confessed the details of the hatching of a dragon egg.

“It gives me more questions than answers.” Replied Aemon.

“But the egg is hot, isn’t that good news?” Asked Petola.

Aemon opened one of his armoires and took the reliquary within, he opened its small door and revealed the egg within. Its scales were a beautiful golden color, with small patches of a bronze-orange mixture. Every time Petola looked at it, she felt entranced, as if its colors moved around and the haze of heat surrounded it. It was truly a wondrous artifact.

She only snapped out of her trance when Aemon spoke. “It’s hot, and has been hot for months on end. My father hadn’t shown me the egg before, but when he gave it to me, it was already hot.”

It hurt her to see her lover so full of doubt.

“I don’t even know how they got the egg, my father had no time to tell me. Whether it was a gift of the current Targaryens, or something they took with them from Dragonstone. I don’t know if it was hot before the incident.”

Aemon let his head hang as he thought of it more and more. “I know my hold on these lands is strenuous, if the egg doesn’t hatch, and if we’re attacked by an army large enough…” Petola embraced him and kissed him on the cheek.

“We’ve been at peace ever since we returned, and no attacks were reported on your people even during your four month leave. You’re doing well, Aemon.”

“Am I?” Aemon asked. It reminded Petola of a little child.

She patted him on the back. “Of course you are, you little babe. I’ll leave you to continue with your efforts.”

Aemon stared at her as she left. She closed the door behind her and sighed. He was right, if that egg didn’t hatch soon, their hold on the land here would be strenuous at best. Petola headed back to her quarters, her mind still full of doubt.

Belono VII
Unbelievable. How could that Islander spurn off the bodyguard and master-at-arms of lord Aemon himself? These people had no respect for their betters. Belono sighed and continued on his way to the palace. She’d told him she wanted the brown-haired old man, Lyseni types were dime a dozen in merchant ships.

“Curses.” Belono muttered. Ever since he'd returned from their time in Oldtown, Belono had been in doubt about this entire ordeal. Aemon was stuck in his mansion trying to find a way to hatch a dragon egg, and his expression was always somber. It seemed the boy already knew what he had to do, and yet he doubted. Was the boy truly ready to do what had to be done? Was he going to go insane or go into a dark mood? Belono shook his head to get the thoughts out, yet they remained at a corner, waiting for a good moment where they may return.

To his surprise, lord Aemon was enjoying some of the uncomfortably hot and humid air outside his mansion, relaxing back on one of the walls with his arms crossed. He was wearing some ample clothes, he’d finally decided to try them on, and a simple sword and dagger at his belt. The bodyguard approached him.

“It’s good to see you outside, lord Aemon.” He said.

The boy took a while to respond. “So it is.”

“Is something your mind?” Belono asked.

“Belono.” Aemon paused, then looked at his bodyguard with an intensity he never had before. “How loyal are you to my House?”

A strange question. Belono was puzzled. He rested his hand on his sword’s grip. “Your father gave me this armor, this sword, and a good life to live. The years I spent by his side were the best of my life.”

Aemon digested the information slowly. Servants came and went, having to clean the mansion, wash clothes or buy supplies.

“I have a task that only you and I can complete, Belono. Come with me.”

Aemon headed out of the palisades, calling up some of the local warriors, now armed with proper leather armor and iron-tipped spears, to follow them. Good warriors all, even if they didn’t know the Common tongue. Aemon had brought them out of a life of poverty and offered them weapon and shield and pay in exchange for their faithful service. They were grateful to this silver-haired boy, or so those who knew the Summer tongue said.

They walked through a beaten path in the jungle. Still in a relatively safe proximity to the mansion, yet far away from it. Colorful birds flew from one tree to the next. They whistled and sang like none of the bird that Belono had seen in his life. Their beaks were curved instead of pointy, and their size was grand in comparison.

“I know how to hatch the egg.” Aemon said as they began walking up a slope.

“How?” Belono asked.

“Fire and blood, there’s no other way.” Aemon responded.

Their walk continued with silence. The Islanders looked at each other oddly, wondering why the conversation halted so fast.

“So, a sacrifice?” Belono interrupted the silence. “A human one, I imagine?”

“Not just that, my friend.” Aemon said. “The dragon is fated to be bound to his owner as strongly as the sacrifice was.”

Belono’s face grew pale. He felt his stomach churn. “You mean… Me? I’m the sacrifice?” He asked. He could feel the bile swirling inside him.

Aemon stopped as he reached the top of the hill. He turned around and looked down at his servants. He waved the warriors away and yelled out simple orders in the Summer tongue. The boy was diligent, he’d always been diligent in his studies. His father had always told Belono: ‘Aemon will make a fine tradesman when he grows older.’

You were wrong, old man. Your son will make a fine dragon when he grows older. Belono looked up at his lord, his master. There was no doubt in his eyes, only fire. A fire he'd never seen before in any of the Brightflames.

Aemon brought his hand to a layer of his clothes and took out a sack, within was the Brightflame reliquary. He put it down on the ground in front of him. “Belono.” Aemon said. “If you are loyal to my family, you will help me fulfill my destiny.”

The sellsword brought his head down. He took the sword in his belt and threw it down on the ground. He took to a knee in front of his lord. Atop this hill. “Fire and Faith.”

Aemon unsheathed his knife and approached his loyal guard. The man raised his head and looked into the eyes of the dragon. The boy opened the reliquary and let the golden egg fall to the ground in-between him and Belono.

“My servant. Will you shed your blood for the sake of my ambition?” He asked in perfect Valyrian.

A rite? Belono wondered. No matter, he was ready. “Yes. Your servant will.” He replied.

“The Dragonlords have no fear of death.” Aemon continued. “Neither do their servants, for their link is forged through fire and blood.” He cut his hand and let his blood stream on top of the egg. He then took Belono arm.

“The servants have no fear of death. Neither do their Dragonlords, for their link is forged through fire and blood.” He sliced Belono’s hand. The man grimaced as he felt the steel pierce his skin. A trickling stream of blood fell down atop the egg.

“From their link may might spawn. May it shed blood and spread fire wherever they walk. If ever they should stray from this path, may their link be torn and their might devour them.”

Their blood mingled on the scales of the egg. And to Belono’s surprised it was disappearing within instead of streaming to the sides.

“I am the blood of Old Valyria. I am the blood of the dragon. My fate shall be conquest and war, never peace. My fate shall be fire and blood.”

The egg cracked. Belono stared at it wide-eyed. It cracked again, the scales were those cracks now stand falling off. He saw a golden snout struggle against it.

Aemon squatted in front of the egg and looked at Belono. “I will be King.” He said. “And you will have all you wish for and more in this life, Belono.”

Belono gulped and nodded in response. The tiny screeches of the hatchling filled his ears. He looked again, and saw it pop off the top of its egg. It was golden with shades of bronze, like a lizard with leathery wings and a beautiful tail. It spread them wide and screeched again, then climbed ontop of Aemon’s back and into his shoulder, wrapping its tail around his neck and throwing another defiant screech towards Belono.

“He is Faithful. My firstborn.” He said. Then got up and offered Belono his hand. Belono accepted it and got up.

W3Mwq5A.png

Faithful.

“You are Belono, of House Kingsworn. May your life be long, your children healthy. And you may you thread my path of conquest with me for all your life.”

QCwmF1D.png

"Strong and Faithful."

Belono nodded. “I shall as long as I draw breath, my lord. House Kingsworn will stand strong and faithful.”

Aemon called the men of Summer, who stared in awe as they saw the beast atop their lord’s shoulder. Some of them fell to their knees in respect. “Scales take, my warriors.” The boy said in Summer. The ebony men nodded and carried out their lord’s orders. He then started the path towards the mansion.

“The hatchling will take two years to mature and be ridden. Up until then, it will be protected by us. After that, he will protect us.”

The bodyguard followed his lord, never replying. His feeling of regret and guilt were gone. He was Belono Kingsworn, and his lord was Aemon Brightflame. He will follow him wherever, there was no doubt to be felt any longer. Only one doubt remained.

“My lord.” Belono said. “Was I not to be sacrificed?”

Aemon shook his head. “That was one of the ways, there was another one that I got from a passage of the book. It said that the fire that was needed could be the blood of the dragonlord, and the blood that was needed could be his most devout servant’s. With that, life could be preserved, but the bond had to be strong.”

“What would have happened if the bond wasn’t strong?”

Aemon smiled. “A book penned by Valyrian does not speak of failure or defeat.” He said as he caressed Faithful’s small head. The hatchling had laid to rest in his master’s shoulder after the great effort that was the hatching.

There was no wish to refute that in Belono’s mind. He followed his lord.

Aegon I

02q7Acy.png

As King of the Iron Islands.

The Iron King had fallen beneath his heels. The rest of Westeros would follow suit. Balerion, Vhagar and Meraxes would see it done. He looked down onto the blackwater bay from one of the three hills therein. “This place will do.” Aegon said, and headed back to his dragon. The mighty, century old Balerion. The Black Dread itself. The beast that had lived in Valyria before the fires consumed. The title of Conqueror would belong to it as much as it did to Aegon.

The dragon looked at its brother-in-arms approach. It always bowed its head eagerly to let Aegon mount him. But this time something was ajar.

“Balerion.” Aegon said, then touched its mouth. The mighty beast raised its head and looked to Aegon’s left. Aegon looked as well, there was nothing but verdant hills leading towards the Stormlands.

The Conqueror shook his head and got onto his dragon. Even as they headed to Dragonstone, the beast tried to veer off towards the south, it made sounds that Aegon had never heard a dragon do. There was something. Something down in the south.

Something that got Balerion’s attention…

 
Last edited:

cosmeIII

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Nice to have Theo along, he ought to have an interesting perspective on Aemon's business as he tries to keep Petola safe. I quite liked the scene of Aemon asleep in the Citadel, confronted by personal demons of his fear, of being too Targaryen.

There will be more and more reasons for him to fear for Petola's safety, I feel.

Thank you, I felt really inspired when I wrote that one, they're very enjoyable to do, as symbolism is heavy in them and that gives you a lot of freedom.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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A dragon of your own! Faithful, may he grow strong. Great scene between Aemon and Belono too. Nice ominous closer with Aegon.
 
Chapter 6: The Marriage and Royal Visit

cosmeIII

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Chapter 6: The Marriage and Royal Visit
During the second year of the reign of lord Aemon I Brightflame.

Aemon VI
The connection Aemon felt with Faithful was beyond everything he’d had up until now. Even with his father or with Belono. It followed everywhere, and anytime Aemon saw the hatchling wasn’t nearby, he felt fear for it.

Faithful was an interesting sight in the mansion. Petola was afraid of it for a while, saying it looked feral, but she eventually warmed up to the strange antics it pulled. Hunting insects, rats and other pests found both inside and outside. It climbed, it flew, and it always landed on Aemon’s shoulders to rest after a hard day’s work. Aemon fed it some meat, which Faithful eagerly cooked with its breath and then devoured it with pleasure.

Theo was the one most cynical about the dragon’s presence. Time and time again did the old man remind everyone what the beast would be in one or two years’ time: Large enough to devour a man whole. Petola never retorted at the man, she probably felt the same as him. The stories of Aegon’s conquest in the Trident reverberated within them. Castles melted and armies burned wherever Balerion went. Feeding it was probably no easy task either, and likely required an entire livestock heads every day at the very least. Though the beast was more than a century old, Aemon would not live to see Faithful grow that big, if ever it did. In his heart, he hoped that his children would ride the dragon as he soon would.

As the concerns over marriage grew. Aemon decided to be on the lookout for proper septons to invite into his mansion. Cynical septon Damon was such a person, he had lost his sept and his faithful and his lord after the Targaryen army passed by. He roamed the lands until he heard a merchant from Duskendale speaking of the strange Summer Prince who worshipped the Seven eagerly.

yLIzY78.png

Though the makeshift sept with its seven walls and its simple wooden effigies of each facet of the many-faced God were not the most impressive. Damon commented that it was ‘quaint and likeable’ and began his office there. Though after many conversations, Aemon realized that the man was not on good terms with the Seven. His entire septry was gone on the blink of an eye, burned down by the Valyrian heathens and their dragons. Still, he knew his rites and was grateful to his new lord, so he officiated as if he was as zealous as any.

Finally, after the completion of the sept and the arrival of septon Damon, a marriage date was accorded. The locals prepared cloaks with the colors of the Brightflame and Ball Houses. A nice wedding gown was also sewn by Larana, one of the matriarchs of Hearthaven, the port-village that the Golden Lodge oversees. It fit Petola perfectly, or so Xhonda said whenever they met.

The day of the wedding came to be. Aemon was wearing a suit of pure white along with his Brightflame cloak as he looked towards the hill where the septry was located. The mansion was surrounded by locals and the mercenaries that Aemon had brought with him and now formed his own local guard for the town. It would not do to have a local guard too loyal to the natives, after all.

They all struggled to see Faithful, who was accompanying Aemon on his way up the hill. The creature was growing fast as lightning. Its silhouette was sleek and beautiful, its golden scales spread around its entire body with only small patches of bronze and copper here and there. It could now breathe enough fire to set a torch alight and was sometimes found eating parrots and songbirds outside the mansion. Soon Aemon would have to control its eating habits and feed it in a controllable manner, lest it tries to eat what shouldn’t be eaten.

It flew, overlooking the myriad of dark-skinned folks surrounding him, who got out of its way anytime it lounged down, as if toying with them. At times, it went to Aemon’s side and walked along with him, nuzzling his hand and screeching for food which Aemon refused to give out so easily. Less so in a day like this.

Belono was at his side, clad in a beautiful chainmail with small sections of plate, his new sigil: a black crown in a white field, was painted on a shield he wore on his right arm. Behind him were the warriors of Aemon’s native bodyguard, led by Calabhar the learned, who already mastered Common, and Dhalla, the most honourable and loyal Islander Aemon had yet met.

Behind them, they heard the women cheer for Petola. He had barely seen her in the past few days, only for lunch and dinner. Again, Faithful took to flight to check whatever was going on in the back. The cheers turn to yells as they saw the dragon fly over them. The men of Summer laughed as the dragon screeched along with the yells before returning to its master’s side.

“You should be more careful with Faithful, my lord.” Aemon heard Belono’s voice behind him.

“It’s only for this day.” Aemon said. “He’s as cheery as all of us, Belono.”

“I’ve never heard of a dragon that knew what cheerfulness was. It’s an animal, my lord. Its bond is with its master and no one else.” Belono said, his tone stern.

Aemon sighed and continued on his way. They reached the septry quickly, the marriage would be officiated in front of it in order to allow for some space for the spectating locals. Septon Damon was waiting outside, he welcomed Aemon with an embrace.

“Have you found your faith again, good priest?” Aemon asked him.

“The Seven stay quiet in their advice still, my lord. But a good marriage is something I always enjoy.” The young septon replied. “I’ve done at least five, if I remember well still. All cheery and beautiful.”

Aemon smiled at him and went up to his place in front of the small wooden stand where the septon would express the rites. To its sides were small effigies of the Father and Mother, hastily bought from Westerosi merchants for a ludicrous price. They were not the worthiest of pieces, but they did their job in upholding the custom.

Not long after, the chorus of song and dance that were the women behind Petola reached the hill, the men of Summer joined them in their revelry, Aemon saw his bride approach slowly in her beautiful ivory dress and bearing the maiden cloak of House Ball. Taking her arm was her uncle Theo Ball, who cried a few tears of joy as he approached the stand. He let her go and approached Belono, who patted his back to comfort him, even if without much care. Faithful perched itself atop the septry and looked down the hill, it seems it spotted something as it flew down towards the jungle.

Petola got to Aemon’s side, the two smiled at each other. Septon Damon got up to his stand. They made the seven vows, the septon called for the seven blessings, and they exchanged seven promises. Then, the locals sang a song in their own tongue which blessed the union with support from the smallfolk. The septon then dared anyone to speak up against the union, the crowd took a while to go silent as most of them didn’t understand any of the words he spoke, though none had spoken to challenge it. After that, they exchanged their cloaks. Aemon unclasped Petola’s maiden cloak, which was swiftly grabbed by servants and placed the Brightflame cloak on her shoulders.

“Now.” Septon Damon continued. “Speak the words.” The crowd went silent after getting called out a few times by Belono and the rest of the bodyguards.

Aemon started. “With this kiss I pledge my love and take you for my lady and wife.”

Petola continued, staring at her beloved’s eyes. “With this kiss I pledge my love and take you for my lord and husband.”

The two kissed and the village folk exploded in joy and merriment. The situation was not one that could be salvaged any longer.

Damon concluded amidst the yells, solely for the ears of Aemon and Petola. “You are now man and wife, you are one flesh, one heart, one soul, now and forever.”

The following festivities had a distinct Summer style to them. First a feast was had, where they served all sorts of local dishes from summer catfish to roasted peacock and pies of myriad exotic fruits, for drink there were wines, beers and hard liquors from all three grand Summer Isles. As the mood turned from festive to romantic, many of the locals headed out to engage in carnal relations outside of the sight of their pious lord, who spent the night speaking with his wife about the preparation of the wedding, its struggles and anecdotes. Belono got piss drunk, as he often did in celebrations, and headed out with various women into the night. Theo Ball was wary and kept the septon company as they spoke of their own issues. He looked to Petola often, as to ensure the wellbeing of his beloved niece.

The captain of Aemon’s native guard did their best to keep the peace whenever fights broke out, often over who would bed whom. As the revelry died down, Aemon took Petola and they headed to their bedchamber together. Technically, this was against the common rites of marriage in the Seven Kingdoms, as each had to be carried away by members of the other sex towards the chamber. But Aemon excused himself saying the Seven Kingdoms were weeks of sea travel away.

Love was made, exhaustion took them and their sleep was the most frugal they’d had in weeks. Aemon woke first, stretched, put on a few garments and slippers and headed out to the mansion balcony to watch the rising sun. He was accompanied by Faithful, who appeared from below the balcony. The boy petted his dragon’s forehead, the beast tried to mount atop his shoulders, but Aemon ordered it to stay down. The dragon, though restless, obeyed.

He stayed at his balcony’s railing, enjoying the warmth of the sun. Then he heard yells. He looked down, his guards were streaming into the mansion grounds in panic. He looked towards Hearthaven, his village, and saw no commotion over there, then he saw it.

A dragon, a large one, its beautiful silvery scales reflected the sunlight. Atop it was a woman whose equally silver hair flew in the wind. Aemon wanted to run inside and hide Faithful, but the dragon stood in front of him and screeched at the pair that came towards them.

The beast flew all the way to the front of Aemon’s balcony. The boy froze. Was this the end? The Targaryens had found him, he would die here, along with Faithful and all he’d ever loved. He should’ve left Petola back at Oldtown, that way, never would she have had to share his fate…

He waited for death to come, yet it didn’t. The dragon left its rider on the balcony and landed on the ground, letting out a bellow loud enough to pierce an ear drum, everyone fled either into the mansion or out the palisades.

Belono came out to the balcony, yelling for Aemon to come in. Yet the boy stood in front of the woman there, she was beautiful. Upon closer inspection, her hair had a golden touch and her eyes were a deep purple, her curves barely hidden by the armor she wore. A sword with a beautifully crafted purple hilt was attached on her belt.

“So, you are the boy that got my husband all worried?” She asked.

Aemon gulped. Belono unsheathed his sword and approached, but the boy then rose his arm and stopped him. “Who are you?” Aemon asked.

“Rhaenys of House Targaryen, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.”

hOcZncA.png

The boy’s heart plummeted. Why would a dragonrider come all the way here if not to kill him?

“You know, I only stopped in a few towns to have a wash, drink and food. It took me nearly a week to come here, my dragon is famished too. Could you give me some hospitality, Brightflame?” Rhaenys crossed her arms and awaited her response.

Aemon looked down at his garments and realized he was wearing one of the shirts with heraldry he used yesterday for the feast. A foolish mistake. Faithful continued to screech at the girl, who seemed to ignore it. Aemon looked at Belono. “Bring bread and salt for Queen Rhaenys.”

Belono looked at the boy, then at Rhaenys, then at the dragon that sometimes surfaced from behind the balcony to ensure its master was safe and sound. He then ran inside.

“I invoke guest right, your Grace.” Aemon said. It was a fruitless endeavor, a norm only respected in Westeros and the Free Cities, yet he had to try.

“May I come in so we could speak?” Rhaenys ignored Aemon’s words.

Aemon nodded. She smiled. “Good boy.”

The two of them went inside, Aemon looked at Petola, who was confused and still half asleep. “Aemon, what’s happening? Who’s that?”

“Go back to bed, Petola.” Aemon said.

Rhaenys smirked. “Do not, my little lady. For your lord has to speak to an important envoy, and should bring his wife to meet her.”

Aemon glared at the woman, Petola, still half-confused, nodded and returned to her quarters to change.

“Leave her out of this, Queen Rhaenys.” He told Rhaenys.

She shook her head. “You don’t know your courtly procedures, lord Brightflame. Though I wager that is to be expected, considering your past.”

Aemon ignored it, what did she know of humble pasts? Her own people forced him into this, not him. They went down the stairs of the Golden Lodge towards the guest room.

They sat in the grand living room filled with comfortable sofas and pillows, Rhaenys took the best spot within, on one of the cushions that overlooked the rest. “So.” She started, looking around the ornate mansion room. “I wager you ousted whoever used to live here?”

Aemon stayed silent. Petola entered the room and sat by her husband. Belono followed and brought bread and salt, leaving it in the short table in the middle.

“I asked you a question, lord Brightflame.” She insisted.

“Yes.” Aemon responded. “I did when your kin left me homeless and with nowhere to go.”

Rhaenys looked at him and smiled. “How bold the young boy is.” She said. “What are your plans, then? Live your life here, protected by your little dragon? What’s its name?”

“Faithful, and…” Aemon doubted. The dragon queen laughed.

“Faithful? What a name. Why didn’t you call it Syrax? It’s the only higher dragon-god that doesn’t have a namesake right now.” She said. “Oh wait, that’s true, you follow the faith of the Westerosi, don’t you?”

“I do.” Aemon replied.

She laughed again. Belono seemed tense as could be, Petola was confused, extremely confused and afraid.

“You know… It was not my brother’s idea to have your home burned. Neither was it mine.” Rhaenys said with a smile. “I knew it would lead to future problems, more so if someone survived. So I’m here to cut the problems by the root to avoid it festering into something that could threaten my dear Aegon.”

Aemon could do nothing, he felt so powerless. In but a few weeks, a dragon could reach his home and burn everything down. “How are you going to cut the problem, then? If it involves killing, I only wish to die myself. You can take Faithful if you wish, and return my wife and warriors to Westeros, that is all I ask. They are not a threat to the Targaryens.”

Rhaenys nodded. “Such a bold, brave little boy. What was your name again?”

“Aemon Brightflame.”

“Aemon, right. Well, there are good and bad consequences to leaving you alive. My dear sister would have you burnt right here and now, but I know a good deal when I see one. The Summer Isles produce some beautifully crafted bows and often trade it with Dornishmen, isn’t that so?”

Aemon didn’t wish to lie, the golden wood black market was well known to the world at large, and wholly unavoidable. “It is forbidden by law in the Summer Isles, but it happens nonetheless, yes.” Aemon responded.

“Well, maybe your wood should establish a forbidden relationship with Dragonstone so we may enjoy some of it for a –reduced- price.” Aemon wondered if the innuendo was a slight or a mere accident. He preferred not to pry.

The boy nodded. “I see no issue if it means that my place here stands.”

Rhaenys smiled again. “But even if you control this powerful reserve, I know the rest of the Isles will continue to trade with our foes in Westeros, and that is an issue for our dragons.” She tapped her lower lip, as if thinking. “I wonder how that could be solved…”

“I can’t stop the trade in all of the Isles.” Aemon said. “I have no authority over them.”

“Yet.” Rhaenys concluded Aemon’s sentence in his place. “Conquer the Isles and become their King.”

Aemon looked at Petola and Belono, they both looked at him, expectant of his answer. Terrified of the smiling beauty in front of them.

The boy looked at the unlikely captor of his entire household. “I shall. But it will take time.”

Rhaenys laughed and clapped at the boy. “Yes! So bold and brash and brave! You truly have Targaryen blood within you.” She got up and sat by Aemon, to his left as his right was blocked by Petola, who fumed as she saw the woman caress his cheeks with both hands. “Surely, a boy as strong-willed as you can be a good King for these isles. No?” Her tone was sensual and made Aemon blush.

She continued. “You’ll protect them from devil corsairs and pirates, establish a true code of law, and forbid the trade of golden wood. Be good, just and fair, won’t you?” Her voice seemed taunting. Aemon wished to reply, but only nodded. Petola’s terror seemed to turn into a powerless anger, while Belono had his hand on his sword’s hilt, ready to strike.

“If you are a good King, I’ll return with some more demands. If you are not, I’ll return with fire and blood. I’ll also give you a few years so your little dragon can grow, after that I expect to hear some progress, or else…” She held onto Aemon’s face with strength, her nails nearly piercing the boy’s soft skin.

Theo Ball stormed into the room, his face full of worry and fright. “Petola?!” He yelled. “Oh Petola… You’re here… Wait, whom?”

Rhaenys looked at the visitor with a gleeful smile and let go of Aemon. “A knightly relative of the girl? Oh, what a beautiful fairytale you have here, lord Aemon Brightflame. Surely, you wouldn’t want a devilish grumpkin to set it all alight…”

Her threat was thinly veiled. “No.” responded Aemon. “Ser, please guard the door, let none else enter.”

Theo nodded and did as he was told, heading out the room again.

“Oh, how well he obeys. They don’t doubt you, they’re loyal, faithful, as is your dragon.” Her tone slowly grew more and more serious. “Weaklings are always loyal to a dragon when they see one. Have you seen how the krakens retreated to their islands? How the river fishes stopped going against the current? Soon the stag will bow in respect, the lion will cut its mane, the green hands will turn to ash, the spear and shield will break and bend, the wolf will put its tail in-between its legs and the falcon will hide its head in shame.” She paused, looking at the people present here, her eyes burned at the prospect of the Targaryen’s powerful kingdom.

“So.” She continued, her serious tone turning cheerful now. “Let the Isles sail with your flag drawn up. Parrots will sing your tales, smallfolk will fuck in your name and children will be named after you and your kin.”

The woman got up, and headed out of the room, closing the door behind herself. Belono followed, Aemon ordered Theo to get Petola to safety, which she accepted begrudgingly. Aemon followed Belono and the reached outside to see the great dragon toying with the smaller one, who screeched in displeasure as it lost in the play-fighting. Rhaenys mounted her dragon. It flapped and flew away, the wind it threw about knocking over Faithful, Aemon and Belono struggled to stay up.

They both watched the visitor fly away. Belono looked at Aemon and Aemon at him. They spoke no words and went back inside, Faithful following, screeching as if cursing that giant dragon that had beaten him so many times in their play.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Brilliant use of Rhaenys. Aemon has a goal now, if nothing else.
 

LordDamien

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I must say your writing is awe-inspiring and motivating. Great work!.
Although I for some reason read the parts with Rhaenys in the voice of Sylvanas Windrunner from world of warcraft :D. No idea why but that the voice that came to mind.I hope Aemon will deal with her in the future!.

Overall great work!
 

cosmeIII

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Brilliant use of Rhaenys. Aemon has a goal now, if nothing else.
Thank you, as always, for the feedback. Aemon is lucky that it wasn't Visenya who decided to head south after all.

I must say your writing is awe-inspiring and motivating. Great work!.
Although I for some reason read the parts with Rhaenys in the voice of Sylvanas Windrunner from world of warcraft :D. No idea why but that the voice that came to mind.I hope Aemon will deal with her in the future!.

Overall great work!

Thank you, that's some major praise for me. Sylvanas' voice is rather fitting, I think. One can find some sort of correlation between elves and Valyrians, as the graceful and snobby yet powerful types who shouldn't be trifled with. Aemon will have to deal with the Targaryens in the future, you don't just hatch a dragon and get away with it as long as Aegon and his sister-wives live.
 
Chapter 7: The Dragonlord of Golden Head

cosmeIII

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Chapter 7: The Dragonlord of Golden Head
During the second year of the reign of lord Aemon I Brightflame.

Theo II
A land gearing up for war was a pretty sight. Young males trained at least one or two days a week under the tutelage of the captaincy of lord Aemon’s guard to prepare for what was to come. Lord Aemon himself was studying the geography of the land, Belono was contacting outsiders for supplies, both in the form of food and of weapons and armor.

Petola was simply doing her best to support Aemon. All matters concerning the mansion’s maintenance were left to her, and Theo was to support her and keep her company when dealing with third parties. Theo saw the sadness in Petola’s eyes, and she told him of the sadness in Aemon’s eyes every time they went to sleep together. The old man knew that they had little choice, when a Valyrian with a dragon rides her way into your home and tells you to go to war; you’d best obey if you know what’s good for you and your kin and people.

Still, Theo was surprised by how early the preparations were starting. Lord Aemon said again and again that they would not go to war until Faithful was big enough to be ridden. That day wouldn’t be coming too soon, even though the beast was as big as the skin panthers of the Summer jungles, yet sleeker, more agile, capable of flight and able to burn down anything half its size in mere seconds. Stray dogs and cats were no longer such a common sight in Hearthaven… Lord Aemon said he was doing his best to keep the dragon from hunting these animals, but that would take years of training. The dreadful ‘Dracarys’ was easy to assimilate for a dragon, but “Umbagon iedrosa.”, ‘stay still’ was harder.

Along with the preparations, young lord Aemon was also learning more and more of the Summer tongue, and asked Belono to do the same. They would be commanding armies of these people, they’d best learn what how they speak. And if ever they should meet with their foes to establish peace, it would favor them to know their tongue.

As ser Theo stood outside of the door where his niece was handling affairs of the mansion, lord Aemon and his trusted man Belono were to walk by him. He stiffened himself and stopped his constant thinking.

“Hail, my lord.” Theo said as Aemon walked by. The boy lord stopped his walk. “Ser Theo, we would like your counsel, could you come with us?”

Theo was befuddled, lord Aemon needed the counsel of some reachman knight? Well, not that there were many others to ask for it. Theo went with his lord to the living room as Belono took up guard in front of the door leading to Petola.

They sat comfortably, and were brought some wines and sweet fruits to accompany their stay, they both took and Aemon was first to speak.

“Ser Theo. I would like to speak to you about the ways of warfare in Westeros. I am not as familiar with them as I’d like.”

“Well, levied infantry from the peasantry are an army’s largest force in numbers, then there are sellswords and hedge knights, who usually sell their services for good pay and have the better gear than their levied counterparts. Then there are highborn heavy knights, bearing full plates, lances, shields and swords.” Theo wondered if he’d forgotten anything, but that was a pretty good basic explanation.

Aemon pondered. “I knew it. These people are the odd ones out. Their warfare is done through rituals, according to Calabhar, their strongest men and women engage into duels, akin to Westerosi tourneys I imagine. The victors get whatever they fought over, the losers are exiled.”

Theo was confused, how did they even keep the peace that way? “They’ve never engaged in open warfare?”

“According to Calabhar, they do, but it’s not seen as honorable.”

“What’s the plan then, my lord?”

Aemon tapped his foot on the ground. “I have a dragon, ser Theo. I don’t think dragons engage in ritualistic tourneys.” He stopped, rubbing his temple with his index finger. “I must do a show of force and ensure that most of our foes simply surrender against us. I believe the most blood will be shed in this island.”

The old knight felt uncomfortable as the young boy spoke. Like a dragon, truly. “Lord Aemon, I don’t think your lady wife will approve of relentless war in a land where it’s done through rituals.”

Aemon didn’t respond, but simply kept tapping his foot on the ground. “Thank you for your advice, ser Theo. I will keep it in mind. You may leave, tell Belono to come to me later.”

Theo did as he was ordered. He wondered what the future would bring to his young lord.

Aemon VII
The months passed uneventfully. Too uneventfully. Belono and the ebony guard were doing well during the training, but a key element was not falling into place along with the rest of the plan: Faithful. It wasn’t growing fast enough, its sleek and nimble figure did not permit a good usage in battle or to be properly ridden as a war mount. It would take years, quite a few more years to let it get to a proper size. At least it seemed to enjoy eating quite a bit.

Aemon continued mulling over this issue. He had to speak to Rhaenys and explain to her that the initial plan would have to wait. But how would he contact her? Aemon sighed.

He heard a faint knock on the door. Petola’s knock. “Come in.” Said Aemon, putting the papers with numbers and lists away.

Petola came in, she seemed nervous as could be. “What’s wrong?” Aemon asked.

“I spoke with one of the village’s matriarchs.” She said, her voice trembling.

Aemon approached her. “What happened?”

“I am with child.” She responded.

TqSVLtK.png

Aemon’s jaw dropped. His heart started pounding and he felt the sweat trickle out from everywhere and nowhere. “R-really? What should we do?” he asked as he held onto her arms.

“She said that we just have to wait. The babe has to grow.”

Aemon let a long breath out. “Come, sit down. We should have some time together and talk about this.”

Petola nodded, still shaking, then sat on the bed. They conversed for hours on end over what they would do. Aemon promised that they wouldn’t go to war, and even mentioned that it wouldn’t come in years, Faithful had to grow. The girl spoke of her issues and of everything that had happened in the past few months.

“I’m afraid.” She said. “Afraid that everything will change, Aemon. War is not a good thing.”

Aemon pursed his lips. “I know, I don’t want this either.”

They both stayed quiet for a long while.

“Maybe… Maybe I should be calmer when it comes to this. I’ve been attempting to control everything, to ensure we’re ready for war, but I don’t even know if it will come in a year, or two, or even three or more.” Aemon said. “A good ruler should know how to spread his duties across time.”

Petola nodded. “If you think it necessary. I… I would love to spend more time with you.”

Aemon looked at Petola, there was sadness in her eyes. “Are you alright?”

“I felt lonely during these past few months. We only met to eat and bed, yet you never tell me of what you do. I understand you don’t want to speak of war and other terrible things, but I am your wife, and lady of this land.”

Aemon looked to the ground. “You’re right.” He felt shame, it was all true, he’d been hiding everything from Petola. All to avoid hurting her, letting her see that he was planning the murder of hundreds if not thousands of people. He couldn’t tell her everything, but surely, surely, he could speak of some things.

“But first, we’ll relax. A few months with less duties, so the babe comes well.”

The girl nodded and smiled, embracing her husband. “Yes!”



YzHZsKy.png

Mermesbhar I
The Valyrian child and his silvery hair thought he ruled these lands. Bah. He is a fool. Sure, he can stay and gather his tribute of goldenwood and pearls and grapes every month, but these lands are the lands of Summer. We Islanders have always been independent, they tried to conquer us so many times, yet always failed to do so for long. The Babiakus had failed the Golden Head for the last time. Mermesbhar would ensure that he would be the one to come to power, it was time for the Ebaharo to shine as the clan that always stood strong in front of the invader. The foolish silver lord had taken him as castellan of his lands. His representative to the people of Summer.

What a fool. What better place to plot the child’s downfall than from within? The Gods of Summer would make this ‘Brightflame’ see true ardor: That of the heart of the Summer traditions and its people.

Mermesbhar smiled to himself as he watched the sun rise from his balcony atop his small motte and bailey in the highest hill of Tamarinu. The hill was perfect, its chill morning wind allowed one to wake up slowly and with a calm mind.

LqEnaxf.png

As soon as the smallfolk and the lord of Lizard Head backed his claim, he would rise against the boy-prince and challenge him to a ritual of conquest. There, his warriors would mete out justice-

The sound of yells and bashing took Mermesbhar by surprised. He looked down below to his guards and asked what was going on.

“The boy prince’s men, my lord! They are coming!” One of them responded.

“What?” Mermesbhar said, baffled. How could they dare bash the home of the Ebaharo?! The old man descended the stairs and got his lordly linens to go meet the intruders. There they were, with his door bashed and down. He saw the silver haired warrior and recognized him at the instant, Belono the white, as his people called him. Belono Kingsworn, as he called himself.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Yelled Mermesbhar.

“On orders of our liege, lord Aemon Brightflame, I’ve come to arrest Mermesbhar Ebaharo for his treachery. Bring the proof.” The man’s Valyrian was tainted by dialects of the Free Cities, but Mermesbhar understood well enough.

Mermesbhar saw one of the handmaidens he had sent to spy and gather information from the naïve girl that called herself lady of the land. How could it be?!

The girl was crying on the floor, completely distraught. “I’m sorry, lord Mermesbhar.”

“You…” Mermesbhar had no more time to speak before the folks of Summer that the boy prince had silvered, brought to his foolish cause, took him by the arms. They bore weapons of iron and leather armors with some iron plates. “You call yourselves men of Summer?!” He yelled in his native tongue. “You wear armor and weapons of foreigners, bought and paid for by the boy. You’ve sold yourselves to him! Bow you head in shame! Bow it in shame!”

The old man yelled as they carried him away. Belono looked to his mansion and smirked. The man was lucky he hadn’t had time to pick up arms. Had he done so, this castle would’ve belonged to House Kingsworn. He turned away and followed along with the Ebony Guard. Fancy name that Aemon had made up…

WTcxeWy.png

Aemon VIII
Aemon stood in his ‘throne room’, pacing around and ensuring that Faithful was staying put at its place. It was the first time he had to use his authority against one of his bannermen. The first time in a year and seven moons of rule. Just two moons ago, Petola had told him she was pregnant. He was doing his best to combine his time as ruler with his time as a family man. If he didn’t, he’d be no better than a Targaryen. Petola had insisted she wished to come, but septon Damon and the matriarchs of Hearthaven had suggested against it, pregnant women should rest and feel joy, never stress and fear.

It was Aemon’s duty to chastise his unruly vassals.

He ordered Faithful to sit by his ornate throne, made of ivory from the great grey beasts of the jungle, with touches of goldenwood and milky white pearls emblazoning it at various points. There were also rubies, emeralds and other precious stones. Aemon had only added the pearls, which were not as valuable as rubies and emeralds, but he felt it sent a message of sorts. It was his seat. And upon it he sat, awaiting the arrested.

Belono entered first, his hand on his sword, after him came Dhalla and Calabhar, the captains of his Ebony Guard. And after them came grunts he didn’t know by name, dragging Mermesbhar and dropping him on his knees. An old man whose hair was whitening, a full, grand beard yet bald up above.

Aemon sat in as lordly a manner as he could, he put a hand on top of Faithful’s head, the dragon was as large as a man if it stood in its hind legs, and the sight was already fearsome. It growled as it felt its master’s contempt for the old man, its scales ebbing from golden to copper depending on how the light of the sun hit it.

“Mermesbhar Ebaharo. Have I not treated you right? Have I not been lax in my demands for tribute? Have I not respected your people and your traditions? Have I not given you a good position in my council?”

The old man looked at the dragon, the terror in his eyes was apparent, he bowed his head. “Yes, my lord.” He responded.

“Then why do this? Why invoke the wrath of the dragon?” Aemon asked.

“It was a mistake, my lord. Never should I have done this. Please, let me return to my wife and children. Never again shall I bother my lord with anything but gifts and gold.”

Aemon sighed. “It’s not gifts and gold that I wish for, but your loyalty. And I believe I’ve tried hard enough to sway you to my cause up until now, yet you refuse my good offerings. You will be under house arrest, Mermesbhar, until I deem your liberation appropriate. Your home in Tamarinu will be watched, your family’s guard will be loyal to me. This will be so until I call you for judgement by the council.”

GZeV0nu.png

Mermesbhar bowed his head as low as he could. “Thank you for your mercy.”

Aemon waved his hand. “Take him away. I will not have his presence before me any longer. Belono, ensure that my word is carried out.” Belono nodded, shouted a few words in Summer and the Guard left with the man in hand.

Faithful’s growling stopped, and it nuzzled Aemon’s hand. It loved doing that. Aemon wondered how much a dragon could feel love after all. Maybe that night was a good one to pray to the Seven.

Petola IV
It had been months since the matriarch announced that Petola was with child. She had been blessed by the Septon and the Seven and the good lady had used some herbs and rites to ensure the babe would grow strong. Aemon was also doing his best to come and see her every day, have walks and enjoy their time together as much as possible. Still, Petola was worried, this poor child would be born in a time of uncertainty, would there be war? Would Aemon win? Would he become King of the Summer Isles some day?

Aemon had told her that his dragon was not growing as fast as he’d like. It was quick and agile, but would be hard to use in proper war until it grew much more. Petola wondered if the dragon had adapted to its surroundings, it had the best shape to simply stream across the jungle trees and hunt within, like a dexterous falcon. How many times had it come back with the carcass of an animal or another to proudly show it to its master? It was a disgusting sight, but Aemon enjoyed the intent nonetheless.

Petola sighed, that husband of hers was simply in love with his dragon as much as he was with her. The matriarch came out of her dormitory, beckoning for Petola to enter.

“Everything ready is, my lady.” The woman said in a butchered Common.

“Thank you.” Responded Petola. Matriarch Larana, the wife and co-chief of Hearthaven. Petola had heard that the woman was with an affliction that sucked the life out of her, even at her tender age of three and twenty namedays.

They entered the room, and the matriarch told her to sit down on the bed. The check-up was quick, Larana’s expression didn’t seem to change overmuch, remaining somewhat cold and distant throughout.

“Something wrong, Larana?” The girl asked her.

“Babe too silent is, my lady.” Said the matriarch. “Not good omen.”

Petola bit her lip, she felt the nerves wrecking through her. “Cure, is there?” She asked.

“No. Delicate, womb is. Infertile might become, you.” Said the Matriarch. “Sorry am.” Petola saw the sadness in Larana’s eyes.

“Not your fault is, Larana.” She told her. “Good work did, you.” Petola’s Summer was still awful, but she tried her best to speak it and please her servants.

“Thank you.”

“Babe have, you?” Asked Petola.

“Yes. Xara. Twelve moons.” The woman responded.

“Play will, our babes.” Petola said with a broad smile.

The woman smiled back. “Yes. Your husband tell, I.”

She picked her things up and left the room. Petola put her hands on top of her belly and prayed as hard as she could, she felt tears running down her cheeks.

There was some time to sob until Aemon finally came into the room. Quietly, softly. He sat beside her and embraced her, kissing her cheek. “Everything will be alright.” He said. “He’ll be strong, stronger than any other babe.”

Petola felt his tears run down into her hair.


I actually wanted to go to war between year 2 and 3, but it seems that there's a minimum 10 martial to use the Dragon Conquest CB against my neighbours. Apparently, Faithful will have to grow, and its nimble trait will make me wait at least double that time or more. Still, there's some spicy drama to go with these years.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Worrying about Petola's pregnancy aside, Mermesbhar's plotting could be a problem. It may have been dealt with for now, but we know it won't be the end of some unruly vassals.