• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Aidun

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What you see before you begins the next stage in a project that began a long time ago. The idea of starting a multiplayer game using the 'A Game of Thrones' mod and having all the players write down narrative after action reports began last summer, and since then we've come a long way. Now that we've finished our first gaming session after months of planning and preparation, we feel we are ready to present to you, our readers, the world as we've seen and shaped it, each from a different perspective as high lords of Westeros.

Our game begins in the year 8001, one year after Aegon's landing and we have played to 8053 so far. We are using v2.1.6 of Crusader Kings 2 and v0.8 of A Game of Thrones mod. As reading the work of one author can result with being spoiled what happens in another writer's work, it is recommended that each narrative should be read separately. In many of our narratives, not only will the events that have unfolded be told, but so too the reactions and plans of the characters affected. Thus, in order to facilitate this, listed separately below in our table of contents is each of our writers' narratives.
 
Last edited:

Andrzej I

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Our Authors and their Prior Works:
Aidun (Targaryen & Baratheon): The Little Cub (Game of Thrones AAR)
Andrzej I (Tyrell & Targaryen): Gesta Capetingorum
cyrilreom (Greyjoy): The Line of Rhaegar - AGoT AAR
EtzelHoveri (Martell): From Lords to Kings, The White Book & Tales of Tyrol
Henry v. Keiper (Arryn): Rise of the Nerevarine [An EK Mod AAR] , The House of Threedrop [A Game of Thrones AAR] (Also made the banner that can be seen above)
Saxon125 (Tyrell): The Pendragon Chronicles, The Italian Boot

Andre Massena (Former-Baratheon): Fraticelli For the Win
Asphyxion (Former-Lannister): A Rising Star (A Game of Thrones AAR)
cosmeIII (Former-Tully): The Lone Wolf - AGoT AAR
Khryses (Former-Stark): Blood on the Sand - Tales of OutremAAR (HIP), A Thistle in the Heather - Clan Circinn Megacampaign (Charlemagne)



Table of Contents

House Targaryen

House Baratheon

House Tyrell

House Arryn

House Greyjoy

House Martell

House Stark
(Khryses)
1: Prelude
2: 1 AL - 7 AL
3: 8 AL - 15 AL

House Lannister
(Asphyxion)
1: 13 AL - 15 AL
2: 15 AL - 17 AL

House Tully
(cosmeIII)
1 AL - 12 AL
 
Last edited:

Specialist290

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Looks like a pretty solid list of players there, and I know I've enjoyed something by almost all of them previously during their solo efforts. I usually don't follow multiplayer AARs that much, but I'm sorely tempted to make an exception for this one.
 

Saxon125

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Wow just Wow I am so looking forward to this....
 

Andrzej I

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HOUSE TYRELL

Harlan Tyrell
1st Year Since Aegon's Landing

'Harlan Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden, Defender of the Marches, High Marshal of the Reach, Warden of the South', the words still resonated through his mind like septry bells. It had been a declaration made by the new King of all Westeros, Aegon the Dragon, elevating him from the humble stewardship of Highgarden to rule over the land that had once been the Kingdom of the Reach. Some houses had not taken too kindly to this fact, and paramount amongst them was House Florent. Harlan's lip curled with disgust as he was forced to think about his most fervent rival, Lord Garth Florent. A disgusting, vile man possessed of many foul passions and traits - the most concerning of which was a superior line of descent from the Gardener kings of the Reach. The Seven had favoured him, however, and he was in Highgarden when Aegon and his dragons came, while Florent? Florent was at his home of Brightwater Keep. And thus it was that House Tyrell was raised up while House Florent was not.

Though House Tyrell had made a few enemies, Harlan had seen to it that he could count upon greater friends. The once kingly house of Lannister had accepted the hand of his sister, and his own marriage had guaranteed him the support of the Arbor. Of paramount importance was, however, the guidance of Banfred, Lord of the Hightower and Defender of the Citadel. A brilliant man with an imposing demeanour, it was Lord Banfred's diligent stewardship that aided Harlan in controlling so vast a realm recently entrusted to him, and be it out of his pride of his position or merely out of habit, Lord Moryn Rowan had been persuaded to linger as master-at-arms for Highgarden, bringing with him the support of Goldengrove. Yet, even with such supporters, Harlan found himself short of advisors.

"My lord," Banfred boomed out in his sonorous voice, harkening the Lord of Highgarden out of his revelry, "You were not at your hall. Is aught well?" The powerfully built Lord Hightower finished ascending the stairs, joining Harlan upon the crenelated walls of Highgarden. Brushing back a dark lock of hair, Harlan nodded in the affirmative, and so Banfred continued, "I have come to speak to you again…"

Harlan scowled, sighing aloud, "Again with Lord Florent…"

"Yes, my lord," Banfred replied, pursing his lips a moment before he continued, "Though you despise the man, and he you, Lord Florent's talents would prove a powerful asset to your rule."

"And you wish for me," Harlan began, now turning to face his leal vassal, "To surrender control of the treasury of the Reach into his hands, merely because this man - though conniving and crude - has some rudimentary knowledge of stewardship."

To this, Banfred could only say but one thing, and with an amiable smile, he asked Harlan, "When have I ever led you astray?"

Harlan gritted his teeth, stunned into speechlessness by Banfred's question. With a sigh, the Lord of Highgarden turned his attention away, back to the horizon. The view of the surrounding landscape of Highgarden was as beautiful as any that could be found in all Westeros, the fields of golden roses stretching on as far as the eye could see, and the sweet smells of the orchards wafted high up to the towers that surrounded the city. But, it was neither the bountiful gardens nor the meandering Mander that caught Harlan's eye - there was a small company of riders. Harlan narrowed his eyes, attempting to discern… "A messenger of the King," Banfred stated with a thunderous laugh, "I suppose we shall speak upon this later. I shall ready the court." With a curt nod, Lord Hightower soon departed, leaving Harlan to wonder for a few moments what tidings the man might bring.

The audience hall of Highgarden was bustling with life, Lord Banfred making good use of his booming voice to order the servants into action, ensuring the lavish hall was prepared to receive the messenger of the King. A table was prepared to display the bounty of the Reach, with pears poached in Arbor red wine, bowls of rosehip soup, and hens cooked with carrots, parsnip, and onions as but a few of the dishes prepared. Gliding on in, Harlan took his seat upon the throne of Highgarden, and motioned for the large doors at the end of the hall to be opened, allowing the messenger of the King and his guard to enter. "A Crownlander," Harlan mused to himself, giving the man a courteous nod as he waited to hear what word Aegon had for his Lord Paramount.

"Lord Harlan of House Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden, Defender of the Marches, High Marshal of the Reach, and Warden of the South, I come bearing word from His Grace, the King of the Seven Kingdoms, Lord of the Andals and of the First Men," the messenger recited with a lilting voice, "Long has the Reach been renowned for its wealth and prosperity, its bountiful harvests without equal. His Grace has found that your Lordship's stewardship is without peer, and having done much with the little you have been entrusted, His Grace desires to grant to you yet more. It is thus that I have been sent here today to extend to you the offer of His Grace to take up the role of Master of Coin and serve upon his Small Council."

A hush came over the gathered court of the Reach, Harlan's expression graven and calculating. To accept this offer would mean journeying to King's Landing, leaving behind his home and centre of power. Gold-like amber eyes flickered to Lord Banfred, the man Harlan felt he could trust most… Taking a deep breath, Lord Tyrell replied cordially to the messenger, "Inform His Grace that I am humbled by his generosity, and shall make preparations immediately to journey to King's Landing within a month's time." With that, head still held high, Harlan dismissed the messenger, affording him and his retinue the hospitality of Highgarden for as long as they needed before their return. Once the guests had been dismissed, Lord Tyrell turned to his most faithful advisor, stating to him, "Banfred, you shall serve as Castellan in my absence, and your word shall be law."

"My lord…" Banfred softly answered, bowing his head in acceptance of this decree.

"Gyles shall remain here in Highgarden and continue to serve as your squire," Harlan continued, dismissing Banfred's show of humility, "Valiete and Flora shall continue their studies here as well, but young Owen shall be accompanying me to King's Landing." Then, a pause. Hesitating, swallowing back the bile that rose in his throat, Harlan declared to Lord Hightower, "And Lord Garth Florent shall serve as your aide, as you have desired." Quietly, Lord Tyrell muttered, "And may the Seven have mercy on us all for it." With a sigh, Harlan's golden gaze soon fell upon another courtier of his, and Lord Tyrell informed him, "Ser Ardon, you shall have the honour of commanding our guard during our stay in King's Landing." With that, Harlan looked to Banfred again, declaring, "Let us have Lord Florent see to the preparations of our journey, that he might show himself worthy of his post."

"Of course, my lord," Banfred replied, and soon a messenger was dispatched for Brightwater Keep, summoning Garth from his ancestral lands.

Days passed swiftly, and soon expenses rose, Lord Florent ensuring an extravagant procession for the Lord of the Reach. Though Harlan was certain that the costs were too grand for what was being procured, that Garth was surely stealing from the coffers of Highgarden, Lord Hightower continually showed Harlan's fears to be for naught. Yet, something had to be done to cover the great debt that was rising from Lord Florent's excesses. Begrudgingly, Lord Tyrell summoned the local septons, and through great effort, managed to compromise with the Faith, ensuring some debts would be forgiven in exchange for Harlan's patronage of a local artist, who desired to craft a new icon of the Crone to be placed in the sept of Highgarden. With all his preparations made, soon Harlan and his entourage set sail up the Mander, ready to serve the new King of the Seven Kingdoms.
 
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Dayni

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Ok, this looks pretty interesting as an MP GoT ARR just after Aegon's conque...

*Reads author list

Wha?

You're telling me this many people who are known for their ability to write here are in this one AAR? I rarely speak up, but I am definitely keeping an eye on this.
 

ATempler

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Thrilled to see the first post, and thanks so much to Aidun who deserves recognition for keeping this alive and putting it into action, and to everyone else who is involved for bringing this into being.
 

Andre Massena

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The Hand Wipes: The Tales of Orys Baratheon and His Noble Descendants

"My shield, my stalwart, my strong right hand"



House Baratheon has not ruled their domains for thousands of years like the Starks, Arryns, or Martells. No, the Baratheons are descended from a bastard. But not just any bastard.

Orys Baratheon was the bastard half-brother of the legendary Aegon the Conqueror. Orys has been described by maesters as Aegon's "childhood friend and champion" and his only true friend. When the Storm King, Argilac "the Arrogant" of the House Durrandon offered his daughter's hand to Aegon in exchange for aid against the monstrous Harren "the Black", the future conqueror refused. However, so highly did he value his half-brother that he offered Orys in place of himself. Argilac angrily refused and cut off the hand's of Aegon's envoy and sent them back to Dragonstone. "These are the only hands your bastard shall have of me," the king foolishly said.



For Aegon, this was the last straw. He summoned Orys, his sisters, and his vassals at Dragonstone. Seven days later, Aegon sent word to all the lords of Westeros that there would be only one king in Westeros from henceforth.







To present eyes, it seems that Aegon's Conquest was inevitable. But this was certainly far from the case. Though they had the three fearsome dragons, the forces of Dragonstone were small compared to even one of the kings they sought to conquer. Not even three dragons wold be a match for a united Westeros. And so, Aegon split his forces and sent each of the three dragons their own separate ways to expedite the campaign. Appropriately, Orys was sent to subdue the Stormlands along with Rhaenys atop of Meraxes.

Before the battle begun, Argilac had already heard the tale of how Balerion had roasted Harren inside of his mighty fortress. To avoid this fate, Argilac met Orys' forces in open battle. The two forces met outside of Storm's End, where a massive storm broke out. The Battle of the Last Storm had begun. The fierce winds and rains negated Meraxes' advantage in the air and the Stormlands forces were able to break through the Dragonstone army. But Rhaenys' cleverly adjusted tactics and met the Stormlanders on the ground with mighty Meraxes. Argilac was thrown from his horse and he soon found himself face-to-face with Orys. The bastard struck down the king that had scorned him and the battle was over.

Argilac's daughter, the beautiful and fierce Argella, refused to surrender and locked herself inside the castle as she declared herself to be Storm Queen. But the garrison possessed a strange desire not to be roasted alive and they revolted against their queen. The soldiers cruelly stripped her naked and delivered her to Orys in chains. Though he was a fierce warrior, Orys was also a tender man. He removed the chains, clothed her, and comforted her. A marriage was born as Orys took Argella's hand and ruled the Stormlands as a vassal to Aegon. To ease the conscious of his new vassals, Orys maintained the Durrandon sigil and the motto Ours is the Fury. The words were a bit silly to the level-headed Orys but he did what needed to be done, as he was a man of duty.



For the rest of his life, Orys ruled the Stormlands together with Argella and helped his king and brother oversee the entire kingdom. Aegon displayed a rare hint of humor by naming his brother and friend his "Hand" to help him manage the Seven Kingdoms.

The Stormlands was once a proud kingdom, but they had declined in recent decades against Reach and Ironborn encroachments. But a bastard and a queen would make them great again. The other Lord Paramounts may have their proud lineages and their thousands of years of history, but there is only one Hand.





Author's note: We could use a Dornish player to annihilate his indepen- I mean play with.
 
Last edited:

Khryses

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I was going to play Dorne, if you remember :p

Now I'm in Winterfell, and while the landscape is still covered in drifts they don't look like any kind of sand I know.

To channel Dr Evil:

"It's frickin freezing up here!"
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Well, this looks promising. Can't wait for more.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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House of Arryn
1 AL



The Eyrie was the seat of dignity and history. “As High as Honor,” House Arryn's words said. Amidst the mountains that rose high around the green plain known of the Vale, the great castle known as the Eyrie lay near Giant's Lance, where the winged knight Ser Artys Arryn flew up to slay the legendary Griffin King and drive the First Men from the Vale, bringing the first Andals and the Faith of the Seven to Westeros. Though the castle itself could only house five hundred men, was small in comparison to a fortress like High Garden or Winterfell, and simply consisted of a series of towers close together, it was considered one of the most impregnable fortresses in the world, and with its white stone and the nearby waterfall of Alyssa's Tears, it was one of the most beautiful sights to behold. It was here that the young Lord Ronnel Arryn ruled.


His father had been King Robar II of Mountain and Vale. He was the last King of Mountain and Vale, in a long line of kings spanning thousands of years – indeed, House Arryn was one of the oldest lines of Andal nobility in all of Westeros. Robar had died when Ronnel was still a lad, and the kingship had passed over to Ronnel. Ronnel would never know what it was like to be king – it was shortly after he was crowned that Aegon Targaryen came with his armies, and his dragons...


His mother was Sharra Arryn, who had actually been King Robar's cousin, through Robar's brother Gyles. It was she who had served as regent when Aegon the Conqueror planned on conquering the seven kingdoms, and she had failed miserably in maintaining the Vale's independence. She had sent a portrait of herself to Aegon, asking to be his wife and name Ronnel his heir, but (despite her beauty) Aegon had refused. When Aegon's armies approached, Sharra massed her forces at the Bloody Gate, believing that she could defeat the invasion there, just as so many invasions had been thwarted during the Age of Heroes. What happened instead was Aegon's sister Visenya flew her dragon Vhagar to the Eyrie, and had the young Ronnel on her lap when Sharra returned to court. “Mother, can I go fly with the lady?” Ronnel had asked. Visenya had, on her face, the biggest smile the queen regent had ever seen, and Sharra knew precisely what this entire situation meant: Aegon got his kingdom; Ronnel got two rides on the dragon.

Now, the young lord ruled in the Eyrie, with House Arryn still seated upon the high seat of the Eyrie. But Ronnel was no longer King Ronnel III – no, now he was simply Lord Paramount Ronnel Arryn, not of Mountain and Vale, but simply the Vale. The Falcon Crown was put away indefinitely, but for all intents and purposes Ronnel Arryn still held lordship over this corner of Westeros, and the dignity and honor of his house was still there. Which was precisely why Ronnel was so excited when he heard that his house was about to become even more honored.

“You mean it?” Ronnel asked his mother excitedly. “I am going to King's Landing, to be with the dragons?”

“Yes, of course,” his mother replied with a warm smile. “What's more, you are to be his ward.”

Sharra was flanked by Arstan, Sharra's brother and regent of the Vale until Ronnel reached majority age – and the heir to the Vale, should anything unfortunate happen to Ronnel. He was a plain knight to Ronnel, although Sharra was quite beautiful, and Ronnel had often heard people say that to his mother time and time again. She also had a deep love for the Vale and what it could do in this new kingdom. Ronnel knew that much. He had heard about what she had sent to Aegon, though he was happy that what they agreed to eventually ended with the promised dragon rides. Flying high above the Vale, held firmly by the king's sister (or was she his wife? Ronnel forgot sometimes) while all the world passed below them...it was truly an experience he would never forget! Now, whatever agreement Sharra was attempting to make with the new king, she seemed to think that her son would readily agree to it.


“You will be under the king himself,” Sharra continued. “He has already named us Wards of the East. He will be more than happy to make you a proper lord to serve him faithfully.”

There was much for the young boy to take in. On the one hand, Ronnel felt like he wanted to remain here, in the Eyrie, where he had friends, he knew who everyone was, and he was aware of the surroundings. A new place would mean starting all over again, and having to adapt to a new city, a new castle, new servants, and more. He'd have so much to learn and do before it could become like another home to him, and he may never experience the joy and beauty of the Vale for quite a while. On the other hand, he would be able to see the dragons again, and see the great king himself – Aegon the Conqueror, some people were calling him now – and he would be able to stand beside and learn under him. Ronnel would have the pleasure that few other boys would have by permitting Aegon to be his tutor: the king was strong, courageous, intelligent, just, and cunning in the martial arts. Surely, Ronnel thought, no better tutor would be found in all of Westeros.

And so it was that he finally told his mother that, yes indeed, he would accept the offer to become ward to King Aegon of the Iron Throne.


The decision had come after Ronnel had been told that he would be raised and trained to be a warrior. With his father gone, the decision had to come by the small council at the Eyrie, though it was led principally by his Uncle Arstan and Queen Regent Sharra. After much discussion, it was decided that Ronnel would be trained for command. Some at the council had suggested instead that Ronnel be trained for counting coins or studying the affairs of international dialogue, since there seemed to be little reason to train for war now that all of Westeros was united. However, the Vale had a proud warrior heritage, and even if the Andals of the Vale had agreed to submit to Aegon, that did not mean the Mountain Men – the bastard children of the First Men – would do likewise. Whatever reason it may have been, Ronnel was happy, as it meant he could pretend to be a knight all the better, with real armor and real weapons. All that was needed now was to find him the perfect person for him to serve as squire under.


The trip towards Kings Landing took Ronnel from the Eyrie, down through the winding path that led out into the Vale, and finally through the Blood Gate and out into the Riverlands. It was the first time he ever remembered leaving the Mountain and Vale, and he had a lot to take in as they traveled. Much of it reminded him of the Vale, but soon he quite missed the mountain peaks and rocky terrain that he had grown accustomed too back home – even in the most hilly regions, everything seemed just plain flat by comparison. His party moved further southwest until they hit a large road aptly named the “Kingsroad,” and this Ronnel took southeast, right towards Kings Landing itself.

Kings Landing, as Ronnel's attendants told him, was a fairly new city. There was a castle (nicknamed “Aegonfort”) on the largest hill, made of wood and earth, which had been built by Aegon when he first landed upon the continent. It was impressive already, and seemed to be formidable, but there appeared to be the workings of something even greater. Already there was a layer of red stones beginning to line the fortress, and Ronnel's attendants explained that Aegon was intending to build a much larger, more permanent castle to be his place of residence. Around the wooden castle that still stood, villages had begun to pop up: simple huts and larger houses that were obviously much older, and already the place had taken on the feel of a true city.

After arrival at the castle, Ronnel was introduced to Aegon for the first time in a good while. For a moment, Ronnel felt a tinge of fear, as the great Targaryen conqueror proved to be a tall, imposing figure. He had purple eyes that struck right into Ronnel's conscience like daggers, and muscles that seemed powerful enough to rip the young boy's head off. Indeed, he seemed to be just as fierce and indomitable as the dragons he rode. Yet when he first spoke to Ronnel, it was not in an imposing tone, and Ronnel softened up a bit when he saw that the big man was not going to hurt him, and soon spoke with as much confidence as he would to his mother. After a while of the two speaking, Aegon smiled and told those nearby that Ronnel, at just ten years old, had proven to be braver before him than many men five times his age. The Arryn lord, Aegon said, had the good makings of a true knight.


A knight? Did that mean what Ronnel thought it meant? Was he to be a knight? A knight of valor and honor? That was the happiest news in the world to him! A knight! And a knight to Aegon the Conqueror! Every squire in the world, no doubt, wished they were Ronnel Arryn right now. His mother Sharra would be so happy to hear this news, and he knew his Uncle Arstan and his son would be incredibly jealous of this prospect! Visenya was there, some distance behind Aegon, and as Ronnel met eye contact with her shortly after the news, he could see a soft smile come across her lips, as if she were joining Ronnel in the good news.

The year was almost over already, but Ronnel was quite excited about what the next few years here at King's Landing would bring.

 

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House Targaryen
1: Prologue

-----
The Long History of House Targaryen - in short
by Grand Maester Lyman

None knows what exactly caused the Doom of Valyria - only what its results were. A cataclysmic disaster ripped the Valyrian freehold into asunder in a single day, wiping from the face of the earth the greatest civilization to ever have existed. It seemed that the destruction was utter; the knowledge and history recorded by the Valyrians was lost, along with the one asset that had given the Valyrians power over the rest of the world: dragons.

But not all the Valyrians perished, neither did all their formidable mounts.

Twelve years prior to the Doom of Valyria Daenys, the maiden daughter of a minor Valyrian nobleman Aenar Targaryen, received a vision about the disasterous event that was about to happen. Trusting that the omen his daughter had seen would turn out to be true, Aenar fled from Valyria with his family and servants and made a home at Dragonstone - an island across the Narrow Sea. It's unknown whether Aenar tried to convince the other Valyrians of what was about to happen; the Targaryens held little power in the old Valyria and their family name was far from the most respected. Aenar's departure must've appeared an act of a madman to the nobility of Valyria. Yet when the Doom finally came and the Lands of the Long Summer were scorched and drowned and blighted, the Targaryens lived. As the mighty heart of the empire ceased to exist, other powers rose up to replace the void; old colonies of the Valyrian Freehold declared independence, only to turn on one another. As the nine Free Cities of Essos struggled to learn what to do with their newly-gained freedom, Aenar Targaryen was content to stay in Dragonstone and let the legacy of his people crumble on the other side of the Narrow Sea.

Polygamy and incest are said to have been a common thing in Old Valyria, but the Targaryens took the latter to a whole new level. As the last living Valyrians, they kept their bloodlines pure(resulting with the color of their hair being ashen from a generation to another) by marrying within family. Some might call that a sign that the Targaryens thought themselves as the last of their kind and the legacy of the Valyrian people worth preserving. But instead of returning east to Essos and trying to rebuild what the Doom had destroyed, Aenar Targaryen and his offsprings remained in solitude at their isolated island for six generations until the days of Aegon Targaryen.

After the passing of his father Lord Aerion Targaryen, Aegon inherited Dragonstone and his fathers' Valyrian steel sword Blackfyre. He was married to his two sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys Targaryen, both dragonriders like Aegon himself. At a young age when Aegon was still yet to make a name for himself, the Volantene inquired whether he and his dragons would join them in a grand alliance against the other Free Cities. Instead of taking up his heritage and attempting to unite Essos with the help of Volantis, Aegon refused. When the 'New Valyrian Freehold' began to expand further into Essos, annexing Myr and Lys, Aegon personally rode his dragon to war and helped the other Free Cities bring down Volantis.

Aegon's contribution in the war didn't go unnoticed. King Argilac Durrandon of Stormlands from Westeros had also lent his aid to the Free Cities on the same side as Aegon, and must've been impressed with the sight of his dragons, for years after the war he suggested a marriage between Aegon and his daughter and heir, Princess Argella. King Harren Hoare of Iron Islands had grown powerful and ambitious, and to prevent further conflict with him Argillac wanted to instate Aegon as a ruler of a buffer state between their two realms. In truth however most of the lands King Argillac promised to Lord Aegon in addition to his daughter's hand were already occupied by the Ironborn, who at the time also ruled the Riverlands.

While the prospect of marrying a princess and King Argillac's heir must've been tempting, Aegon was already married to his sisters. So a messenger was sent back to the Stormlands with a proposition to give Princess Argella's hand instead to Aegon's best friend - and rumoured half brother - Orys Baratheon. King Argillac took the suggestion to marry his daughter to a bastard as an insult and had the hands of the messenger cut off and sent to the Dragonstone along with a clear message; 'These are the only hands you will receive.'

The fact that Aegon refused to return to Essos and restore the Valyrian Empire didn't mean that he lacked ambition. Even before King Argillac's insult drove Aegon to retaliate, he had had his gaze turned westwards. At the top floor of Stone Drum, the main keep of Dragonstone, he'd had made a table fifty feet long and carved in the shape of Westeros. At the precise location of Dragonstone was a raised seat where Aegon was said to have sat many evenings, gazing upon 'the painted table.' The existance of the furniture proves that he'd had plans for Westeros long before King Argillac's insult, but the Storm King's actions made no doubt him more committed. And so, not long after receiving the crude message from King Argilac, Aegon began his famed conquest.

The Targaryen fleet sailed to the mouth of Blackwater river near three hills and set up a fortification that became known as 'Aegonfort' on the highest of them. The city of King's Landing later grew around that camp, but at the time the area surrounding Blackwater was but a, well.. backwater. Upon landing, Aegon dubbed himself the sole King of Westeros and demanded that all the other rulers bend their knees or be destroyed. Aegon's invasion was a surprise to all the Andal kings, and none of them were quick enough to react to the sudden threat. Although every one of them posessed enough men on their own to outnumber Aegon's host, he had an enormous advantage; three dragons. And with them at his disposal, he united the Seven Kingdoms with fire and blood.

King Harren Hoare refused to yield and hid behind the high walls of Harrenhal, only to burn with all his sons as Balerion the Black Dread unleashed its fury and laid waste to the fortress. The rest of the Ironborn were driven from the Riverlands by Aegon with the help of the area's local nobility, most notable of them being Lord Edmyn Tully, who later was named the Lord of the Riverlands. Following the death of their monarch and the end of his lineage, the Ironborn became leaderless. Lord Vickon Greyjoy of Pyke was the first to seize the moment, and won the favor of the Ironborn nobility with soft words and cold steel. Instead of opposing Aegon, he chose to side with him.

King Argilac Durrandon met the same fate as Harren the Black soon after, with Aegon's brother Orys Baratheon reaping justice by cutting down the Storm King in personal combat during the Battle of the Last Storm. The death of two kings wasn't enough to scare the other Andal rulers into submission; Kings Mern Gardener and Loren Lannister joined their hosts and marched to meet Aegon with the combined army of Reach and Westerlands. Heavily outnumbered Aegon saw that the situation required dire actions and unleashed all three of his dragons for the last time during the Conquest. Thousands of men burned alive, among them King Mern Gardener and his sons. The army of two kings scattered and King Loren Lannister fled, only to be captured a day later. He was the first Andal ruler to accept Aegon Targaryen as the sole ruler of Westeros and for that he was allowed to keep his lands and titles, even if not his crown.

Late King Mern's steward Harlan Tyrell surrendered the city of Highgarden to King Aegon without resistance, and for that he was named the new Lord of the Reach. This infuriated House Florent of Brightwater, who had a superior blood-claim to the Gardener line and therefore the Reach as well, but Aegon dismissed this. With Lord Harlan left in charge at south, King Aegon turned his gaze to North while sending his sisters each with a third of his army to separate ways. Visenya was tasked with bringing the Vale to heel and Rhaenys to bring Dorne into the fold. The older of the two sisters succeeded, whereas invading the southern region of Westeros proved too difficult as the Dornishmen launched into guerilla warfare.

King Torrhen Stark had already marched south of the Neck, ready to give battle to the invaders. But the sight of Aegon's dragons was enough to scare the King in the North to submission, and Torrhen Stark surrendered to spare the lives of his men. For this, he earned himself the nickname 'the King who Knelt', but was allowed to keep his life, titles and lands.

As all of Westeros with the exception of Dorne recognised Aegon as their ruler, so was the High Septon of Oldtown forced to consider accepting this foreign invader as the rightful monarch of the Seven Kingdoms. When Aegon finally marched south to Oldtown, the greatest city in Westeros at the time, he was welcomed with open gates. The High Septon then anointed Aegon and acknowledged his place as King of Westeros, destroying much of the remaining opposition among the Westerosi people. Some expected King Aegon to make Oldtown the capital of his realm, but instead he chose to build a new city at the site of his landing. Aegonfort was razed to the ground and in its place were laid the foundations of a palace worthy of a king.

To remind his subjects what uniting six of the Seven Kingdoms had cost and what had come of those opposing his rule, Aegon had the thousand swords of his fallen foes melted together into a seat in the fires of Balerion the Black Dread. Too heavy to move, this 'Iron Throne' remained where it was made and the royal palace slowly rose around it. When commented that the seat didn't look comfortable, the Conqueror was heard to have replied that 'a king should never sit easy'. Nor was his early reign an easy one; keeping the peace in such a vast realm ruled by vassals that considered him an outsider would've been a difficult task for any man.

But then again, Aegon Targaryen had already proved he was not just any man.

...




 
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Specialist290

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Already a strong showing from our first authors. Put all together like this, the differences in writing style are quite evident, though I'd be hard-pressed to find a significant difference in quality. Eagerly awaiting the remainder, as well as the start of the actual action; I imagine there will be treachery and scheming aplenty.
 

cyrileom

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Chapter 1: Prelude

Vickon stood at the prow of his ship, gazing out at the fledgling city of King's Landing. Even though it was nary two years old, it was still larger than anything back home on the Isles. "See that?" Vickon asked, pointing at the city. "That's going to be our home for now, Olu-Olahu-Oluy- oh screw it, whore. It's not like you can understand me anyway." Vickon looked over at the hunchback standing - at least he thought it was standing - a few feet away from him, glaring at him balefully. He paid her no mind. She didn't speak a word of Westerosi, and, until recently, had lived out her life on the Summer Islands, before Vickon came with his reaving fleet and set the northern isles aflame. He still wasn't quite sure why he had taken the hunchback when there were better choices, but at least she was good in bed.

Vickon turned back to look at the city. Landfall would be in an hour, and then everything would begin. He'd been called to be the new king's "Master of Whisperers." He had then promptly ignored the urgent summons, mustered his fleet, and set off to raid. Half a year later, Vickon's fleet had finally slaked its thirst and sailed home.

Vickon shook his head. "I don't know what King Aegon was thinking when he put me to the post. I'll have a knife in my back in a month, and probably from one of the other council members. Probably the Westerman or Reachman." Then, an idea struck him. An absurd one, it seemed at first, but the more he thought about it the more it made sense to him.

___________

Vickon stood in the interim Small Council chamber, slightly leaning over the table, his sword at his side.

The door opened, and the Reachman, Harlan Tyrell, walked in, followed by two guards. Vickon snorted softly.

Taking up position across from Vickon, Harlan gave a wry chuckle and a quip. "So, the Ironmen know their letters, hm? What matter is it that you have to discuss with me?"

Vickon looked at Harlan, stonefaced. "A simple enough matter. We're in the same boat." At that, a small smirk emerged onto Vickon's face. "I'll be blunt. We both have detractors among our vassals, though yours are greater. We both need friends, and diplomatic coups."

Standing up straight, Vickon pulled out a bottle of wine and two cups. "A surprisingly good vintage, from the Summer Isles." Vickon said in response to Harlan's questioning look.

"The hand of your daughter Falia, to be married to my firstborn, Harren." Vickon poured a cup for himself first and Harlan second, then offered Harlan his cup.

Harlan scowled and glanced aside. "By the Seven, it is so... And I assume that with such a bond, our houses would be committed to aid one another should... any such troubles arise..." He took the cup, giving a courteous nod to Vickon, then sipped thoughtfully at the wine.

Vickon gave a disapproving glance to Harlan. "We are not honorless curs, Reachman. As long as the marriage holds, and likely after, we will come to each other's aid." Vickon lifted his cup to his lips and sipped. "Harren is here in King's Landing with me. Pretentious name, that, but..." He shrugged. "If you wish to meet with him, that can be arranged."

Harlan nodded, and his mouth twitched, almost as if to smile. "It is -quite- the sight, a diplomatic Ironman. I never would have thought to see the day..." He trailed off, then nodded. "It would do well to see if the boy is worthy of being my good son, indeed."

Vickon nodded. "In a day, then. I need to get all the King's affairs in order. The imbecile who held an interim post in my stead could not have been any less capable."

Harlan laughed and raised his glass in a toast. "Ah, in that regard, we truly are alike. The finances of this new kingdom... I shall have to set them right." Vickon raised his glass in response, and both took a long sip. "So then - we are agreed, and I shall see your son on the morrow."

Vickon nodded. "On the morrow, Lord Harlan."
___________

Vickon wandered the dark halls of the small palace. His nightly bedding of his saltwife invigorated him more than anything, and afterwards he couldn't stand to be in the same room as her hunchback. So he had taken to wandering the Red Keep.

Now, however, it seemed like a mistake. Someone was following him - he had made certain of that a few intersections ago.

The clanging of metal against rock sounded from behind him, and Vickon turned around to see a man in white, one of the Kingsguard. Waving a greeting, Vickon approached cautiously. "Hail -" He was cut off abruptly as the man drew his sword and slashed at Vickon, cutting deeply into his chest. He tried to yell, but could only muster a hoarse whisper. Alright then, bastard. Let's finish this. Vickon drew his sword and assumed position, but he doubted his chances. While he could cut down almost anyone, his opponent was armored as well as armed, and Vickon's breathing was labored and his movement impaired by the pain in his chest.

Even then, Vickon held his own, parrying most of his opponent's strikes and even landing some of his own. Unfortunately, his opponent could weather Vickon's weakening assault, whereas Vickon was completely unarmored. A strike to the leg, a slash at the arm, a cut across the face. The wounds added up, and after a minute, Vickon lay on the ground, bleeding out. Bastard...

 

Aidun

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None of us did. Cyril's rage over it was humorous to read.

Gamewise Vickon's death was due to his position as the spymaster. As most CK2 players know, when you're plotting and there's a spymaster investigating in the county, you get a decision to.. dispose him. We found out who the culprit was by later checking from the save files. Cyrilreom's prelude already hints at who it was.
 

cyrileom

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I am known to rage at some things. This is one of those things where it's totally justifiable.

Seriously, after having been told who my killer was and what his plot was, my only response was "...What?"