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alxeu

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The Mock Dragons, an Account of House Targaryen of Duskendale
250px-House_Targaryen.svg.png

After Robert's Rebellion and the downfall of the Targaryen dynasty, all of the Mad King Aerys' children fled Westeros in an attempt to preserve their own lives. However, there were two acknowledged Targaryens who remained in Westeros: the Maester Aemon Targaryen, in the service of the Night's Watch, and the Lord of Duskendale, a certain Andrian "the Mock Dragon," so named due to the controversy as to whether he was a Targaryen.

Aerys II had presented Andrian as a child to the court of King's Landing, declaring the boy his half-brother, and illegitimate son of Jaehaerys II. Aerys' decision had no obvious motive behind it, as the boy could only cause problems for Prince Rhaegar, Aerys' heir. At the time, many speculated that Aerys felt the need to provide an additional heir, should Rhaegar die suddenly, and an orphaned boy attached to no one might have seemed a good pick.

Regardless, the boy was raised as a Targaryen, for good or for ill, and almost fell out of relevance following the birth of Viserys Targaryen. However, the Defiance of Duskendale offered a good opportunity for the Mad King to dispose of the young "prince" he no longer fancied. Andrian was made Lord of Duskendale in 277 AC, though his name does not appear in royal records again until the aftermath of Robert's Rebellion...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello all, and welcome to my new AAR!

I was playing as a custom character from the Greyjoy Rebellion bookmark, as I wanted as many characters from the show and books to be alive as possible, yet have it be before the Clash of Kings. At the time I had no intention to make an AAR.

My goal was simply to survive as a "Targaryen" in Westeros until war broke out, and attempt to better myself in the coming conflict.

Needless to say, the game turned out more interesting than expected, and I decided to share this with all of you. I finished up the reign of my current character, and will post updates leading through their reign, so that you all are caught up with my gameplay.

The first real update will show up ASAP, but it might take some time, as I am trying to go for a more history book-like style, and I haven't really tried doing that before.
 

stnylan

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I look forward to it.
 

alxeu

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Last edited:

alxeu

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Chapter I - Andrian's Reign, Part I (AC 277-289)

Not much is known of Andrian Targaryen's life between Aerys II presenting him to the court at King's Landing, and him becoming Lord of Duskendale, but it is during this time his personality and character became more well-known.

zjF4xtj.png

Andrian's Appearance and Personality at 38 Years Old, in AC 299.

Andrian was by all accounts quite ugly, and while physically strong and smart, he wasn't popular among women. His overall appearance thus directly contradicted all known accounts of Jaehaerys II, who was a sickly and frail man, but also retaining the characteristic Targaryen silver hair and purple eyes. Andrian, having none of his father's qualities, was therefore ridiculed and dismissed by the lords of Westeros.

Either through time at court in King's Landing, or in his early years administering Duskendale, Andrian became a quite competent administrator, diligent in work, and patient. However, it is also his time and court that led to him being a cynical, rude, stubborn and cruel man, whom many attribute to Aerys' influence. Above all his other traits prominent in those years, though, was his ambition. Longing to rise above his suspicious origins, he worked tirelessly in his youth, become a trained swordsman and tactician, as well as bringing the prosperity to Duskendale its previous owners died seeking to obtain.

However, all that changed when Rhaegar Targaryen kidnapped Lyanna Stark.

Soon, the entire continent was up in arms, and Andrian was called upon to lead the Targaryen banners alongside Rhaegar. Andrian, however, dithered and ultimately remained in Duskendale, leaving his levies in the region to "defend against potential incursions from the fleets of the rebellion." No threat from the sea materialized, and, soon enough, Lannister forces sacked King's Landing, and Jaime Lannister killed Aerys II, bringing the war to a close.

Andrian soon heard of the merciless slayings of Rhaegar's children, and rather than flee, like Viserys and Daenerys, who left for Essos, Andrian rode for King's Landing, seeking council with Robert Baratheon.

It is said that when Andrian entered the Red Keep, Robert, gazing upon him, demanded his name and title. Andrian, responding, called himself "Lord Andrian of Duskendale," and Robert paused, and admitted that he did not know much of the man standing before him, other than that he stood neutral in the conflict, demanding a reason.

When Andrian revealed his parentage, and his reason for remaining neutral, many in court expected the young Lord to be executed then and there, but Robert was said to have chuckled, stating that Andrian looked nothing like a Targaryen, and for the young Lord to go home, and make himself important through his merit, not a name.

The next meeting of the men was much less cheery, with Robert demanding the unwavering loyalty of Andrian, or Andrian's head. The "Mock Dragon," as he was already being called by many in King's Landing, took Robert's demands, and exceeded Robert's expectations. He proclaimed that as long as he may live, he would not once take up arms against Robert or his heirs, and, instead, bring his levies to bear against any enemy of the King. Robert, seemingly satisfied, dismissed the Lord, and ordered him to not step foot in King's Landing without the King's permission ever again.

Andrian, thus, returned home, and began to ponder how to balance his ambition with his oath, for, despite anything else negative that could be said of Andrian, he kept true to his oaths, especially since this one held his life in the balance. Fortunately for the young Lord of Duskendale, he did not have to wait long for an opportunity presented itself, as Balon Greyjoy declared the independence of the Iron Isles, five years after the end of Robert's Rebellion...
 

alxeu

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I look forward to it.

Sounds interesting, I think I wiki sub and see.

Hopefully Chapter I wasn't disappointing. I don't have a ton of usable screenshots for this time period without spoiling too much of the future, or without a ton of editing. The story will become more in depth, and each update will cover a shorter period of time in the future, as now I have finished the "pre-game" portion of my AAR. Everything from now on happened while I was playing.

Also, anyone else reading, how is my writing? Is there something I can do better, or something else I should try adding?
 

stnylan

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Hopefully Chapter I wasn't disappointing. I don't have a ton of usable screenshots for this time period without spoiling too much of the future, or without a ton of editing. The story will become more in depth, and each update will cover a shorter period of time in the future, as now I have finished the "pre-game" portion of my AAR. Everything from now on happened while I was playing.

Also, anyone else reading, how is my writing? Is there something I can do better, or something else I should try adding?
First chapter is absolutely fine. It flows well and there is something of the dramatic about the first audience with Robert.

I would let the story grow for several updates - the first few entries can sometimes be a little "rougher" than after you have gotten going - that's quite natural.

As for readers, well, you will have far more than comment. That just always seems to be the way. Also, be patient.

The final piece of advice is to read and post in other folks' AARs - people are more likely to notice your own work if you have a greater presence on the forum.
 

Specialist290

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I have to say that I'm enjoying it so far, and I think the pace and the tone of the first chapter is perfectly suitable for an introduction -- broad enough to cover the important bits concisely, with enough tantalizing little details to get the reader interested. As @stnylan says, the important things in the long term are persistence and consistency -- I've never written an AAR (yet...), but I've read enough to know that if you keep at it, you'll eventually settle into something that's both comfortable for you to write and enjoyable for your readers.

I'll be following with interest :)
 

alxeu

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Chapter II - Andrian's Reign, Part II (AC 289-293)

The Greyjoy Rebellion

Balon Greyjoy, Lord Paramount of the Iron Islands, had long been restless during King Robert's reign. The Ironborn were only ever begrudgingly ruled by the rest of Westeros, and took in stride their neutrality during Robert's Rebellion. The Greyjoys were always looking for an excuse to escape from the might of the Iron Throne, and in AC 289, they rebelled. Robert had turned out to be a... less than inspiring King, and his frequent drunken nights sleeping around had led to the birth of more than a few illegitimate children, of which only one, Edric Storm, was acknowledged. However, the Greyjoy Rebellion awoke in Robert that old fire, and he was said to have felt more alive than ever in the campaign against the Greyjoys.

For their part, House Greyjoy knew that waiting for the rest of the Seven Kingdoms to invade them would only be a losing proposition over time. Stannis Baratheon's expansion to the royal fleet had made it a dangerous adversary to the Iron Fleet, and it was only a matter of time before it was brought against the Iron Islands. Therefore, Balon went on the offensive, gathering his banners and sailing for the Crownlands, intending to take King's Landing by surprise.

Whilst the Greyjoy fleet set sail, Robert did not sit idle. He ordered the Tullies, Lannisters, and Tyrells to take control of the seas, and assault the smaller islands, while the Arryns, Crownlanders, Stormlanders, and Martells assembled a grand army in the capital, to prepare a grand march (and show of force) towards the west coast, in preparation for an invasion of Great Wyk, Pyke, and Harlaw. Amongst the men he assembled to lead this host was 28 year-old Andrian Targaryen, Lord of Duskendale, self-taught and not yet battle-hardened.

Riding ahead of his levies to meet with King Robert and plan strategies, Andrian soon found his theoretical understanding of campaigns and battlefield tactics sorely lacking compared to the experience of the generals around him, and had to quickly compensate for his own short-comings. He soon found himself relating to the King, who had always preferred personal combat on the battlefield as opposed to leading the army from a distance. It was at this time, preparing for combat, that Andrian met and wedded Arianne Martell, daughter of Doran Martell, Prince of Dorne.

As the levies assembled, and preparations were made to march, the Greyjoy force appeared in Blackwater Bay. The Greyjoy fleet, discovering that Robert's main army was still near King's Landing, debated their options, but decided that turning back was unacceptable and landed in the northern part of the Lordship of Duskendale, heading for Harrenhal. The decision to land and fight despite the large host assembled in King's Landing has been ridiculed by tacticians since.

As it happened, Andrian's levies had been remarkably slow in assembling, and so his disorganized forces, under command of the Marshal of Duskendale, shrunk from battle and linked up with the King's main host, relaying news of the invasion's size and direction. The entire army marched at once for Harrenhal, and within a month battle was joined. The result was nothing if not catastrophic for the Greyjoy forces, and with the fall of several castles in the Iron Islands (the Lannisters and Tyrells apparently having seized the opportunity left by the empty levies), Balon was forced to surrender.

Many counseled King Robert to leave the Ironborn be, with their humiliating and near-total defeat at the hands of his forces, and allow Balon to remain Lord Paramount. However, King Robert instead placed the Iron Islands under direct authority of the Iron Throne, imposing a military rule of the Islands. Some feared continued resistance from the Ironborn, or at least from Euron Crow's Eye, Balon's brother, but, instead, they went along begrudgingly, perhaps waiting for a future opportunity for revenge.

800px-Balon_kneels.png
Balon Greyjoy kneeling before King Robert Baratheon, mere moments before his rule over the Iron Islands comes to an end.

The Post-War Peace

An uneasy peace settled over Westeros after the war, as King Robert began looking for more potential traitors and enemies. For Andrian, peace meant a return to Duskendale, close enough to be threatened by King Robert, but far enough, and small enough, to be out of Robert's paranoid view. Instead, Robert took interest in Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen, who were travelling Essos seeking support for their claims to the throne. This quest was to reach an abrupt end when, at a feast, Viserys choked on some of the food and died unceremoniously.

Daenerys was thus left without a mature guiding figure in her travels, and, through a strange twist of fate that Andrian Targaryen did nor foresee, nor wish, Daenerys Targaryen wound up in Duskendale, in Andrian's court. The Lord of Duskendale tried to keep quiet his niece's sudden arrival, but Robert, ever vigilant on the whereabouts of Aerys' children, soon caught wind of Andrian's deception and demanded he send Daenerys to King's Landing in chains. Despairing between family and his oath, he tried to get Daenerys to flee Westeros, but to no avail: Baratheon's soldiers caught her before she could sail back to Essos. Andrian, for his part, claimed that she escaped his custody, overhearing the reading of the orders sent by King Robert.

The King naturally distrusted Andrian's reasoning, and plotted to have this last loose end tied up. Andrian was taken by cunning and deceit, and brought in chains to King's Landing. The "Mock Dragon" was said to be furious, launching into a tirade against the King and his court, before calming down and demanding a trial by combat. King Robert sat there, pondering Andrian's decision for, as some would recount, a half an hour, before granting Lord Andrian's request. Taking up his sword, Captain of the Kingsguard, Barristan Selmy was to face off against Andrian himself.

The men, taking up their positions, circled each other, both waiting for the other to make the first move. Andrian Targaryen, younger, faster, and nimbler, took a quick strike against the older, stiffer Barristan Selmy, catching the veteran swordsmaster off-guard. Striking with the desperation of a doomed man, he knocked Selmy off his feet, and took the man at his mercy. Selmy yielded, his life in Andrian's hands. Andrian, for his part, withdrew his sword from Selmy's neck, and, sheathing his sword, left the Red Keep without uttering a single word.

It was King Robert's turn for fury, but Andrian remained out of his reach, as the Lords of the realm rebelled at an attack on Duskendale. Meanwhile, the imprisoned Daenerys was bought time by Hand of the King Jon Arryn, and impassioned letters sent from Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, calling on Robert to spare the young girl, and let her live her days out in the court of Duskendale with her uncle and his kinsmen. After all, Andrian had still sworn not to take up arms against King Robert, and with the birth of an heir, Aemon Targaryen, Daenerys would not inherit Duskendale. King Robert refused these demands, but did spare the girl's life, for a time.

Instead, another strange twist of fate would bring the whole house of cards crashing down, imperiling the Baratheon hold on the Iron Throne, and causing a shift of allegiances throughout the Seven Kingdoms...
 

alxeu

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First chapter is absolutely fine. It flows well and there is something of the dramatic about the first audience with Robert.

I would let the story grow for several updates - the first few entries can sometimes be a little "rougher" than after you have gotten going - that's quite natural.

As for readers, well, you will have far more than comment. That just always seems to be the way. Also, be patient.

The final piece of advice is to read and post in other folks' AARs - people are more likely to notice your own work if you have a greater presence on the forum.

Thanks for the words, the last update ended up being longer than intended in word count, and shorter than intended in game time elapsed. I wanted to include as much narrative detail as I though befitting a historical narrative, and this happened!

I have to say that I'm enjoying it so far, and I think the pace and the tone of the first chapter is perfectly suitable for an introduction -- broad enough to cover the important bits concisely, with enough tantalizing little details to get the reader interested. As @stnylan says, the important things in the long term are persistence and consistency -- I've never written an AAR (yet...), but I've read enough to know that if you keep at it, you'll eventually settle into something that's both comfortable for you to write and enjoyable for your readers.

I'll be following with interest :)

Thanks for this, as well! I'm looking forward to the next few chapters, though I'm still puzzling over how to write about them, given the rather baffling turn of events that takes place in the next updates. I think I have a consistent story reason for what is about to happen, though, so hopefully it will be convincing. Almost certainly worthy of a commentary from me over what actually happened.

I've been looking for a good AAR to read for a while now. I think I've just found one.

I'm honored that you appreciated what I've written so far, thanks for reading!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So as you can tell, silliness happened and the game decided that Daenerys Targaryen, being my relative, would want to come live in my court with me when Robert Baratheon was actively trying to kill her. I honestly couldn't think of a reason she'd have to come back, and I can't think of a reason Andrian would invite his niece back either. Regardless she was imprisoned by Robert, and a short time later he randomly threw me in prison, too, no doubt due to the free claims landed Targaryens get on the Iron Throne.

Way to go game.

Luckily, I won the duel (I admit I saved beforehand, was intending to reset if I lost since I was just playing for myself then) against Barristan Selmy, of all people, and got to go home, with the added bonus of Robert not trying to imprison me again.

Next couple of updates should continue at the same pace, as I am free from responsibilities tomorrow, for the most part. As I said above, I haven't played too far in before deciding to chronicle this game, so I'm hoping that when I continue playing, the game continues to remain interesting. After all, it would be pretty embarrassing for the fun to end so soon.
 

Rufy_King

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Well now, defeating Barristan Selmy is really something "The Monk Dragon" should be proud of. And now he also has Daenerys at his court. That's good.
Wonder if the mother of Dragons will still be the mother of Dragons.
 

stnylan

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Half the fun of AAR writing is trying to make sense of the random stuff that happens in game.

A good episode. The duel was particularly good.
 
E

EymerichTheDeacon

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So, as the Baratheon made a "cadet branch" of them in King's Landing with Robert, the Targaryen made another "cadet branch" in duskendale.
I'm following from now ;)
 

alxeu

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Chapter III - Andrian's Reign, Part III (AC 293)

Chaos in the Crownlands

Lord Andrian Targaryen returned to Duskendale, embittered and disillusioned. King Robert had ignored the oath Andrian had made all those years ago, and despite his escape from King's Landing, his niece was still a prisoner of the King.

However, Andrian hoped that now cooler heads would prevail, and he could ransom his niece Daenerys from Robert's cells. After all, conflict was in neither man's best interests, as Andrian now had something to lose: his wife, Arianne Martell, and his son, Aemon.

This hope was not to last, as Monford Velaryon, Lord of the Tides, and Master of Driftmark, rose up against Stannis Baratheon, brother of the King, and Lord of Dragonstone, surprising him, and taking him and his castle by treachery. Monford declared that he was restoring the castle to Daenerys Targaryen, but that, in her absence, he would rule as regent.

When word reached King's Landing, Robert was furious and began discussing plans to attack the islands and restore his brother Stannis to power. However, many lords urged a more cautious approach, as Stannis was a prisoner of House Velaryon, and an open conflict might have resulted his death.

And so the matter almost seemed to quiet down through the long middling months of the year, as both sides found themselves unable to pursue military means to end their stalemate. Robert, however, grew tired of these charades and took decisive and extreme action later in the year.

On the day Daenerys Stormborn's execution was scheduled to take place, it is said that the world itself revolted against killing the Targaryen princess. A terrible storm ravaged the capital, and many called on Robert to call off the execution, and postpone it for better weather. Robert refused, fearing a secret conspiracy might carry off the girl at the last second, and ordered the executioner to go through with Daenerys' execution.

Thus, King Robert took the head of a 9 year-old child.

The fallout was immediate, and immense. Condemnation reached King's Landing from Highgarden, Sunspear, and, most interestingly, Winterfell. Eddard Stark immensely disapproved of the gruesome death of Daenerys Targaryen, and warned Robert that there were those who would see that he was punished for this.

In the Crownlands, Andrian's council barely managed to restrain the Lord's anger, the man furious at the gross overstep of the King's power. Monford Velaryon must've agreed, as he sent a raven to Duskendale hailing Andrian Targaryen as Lord of Dragonstone, calling on him to sail to the island immediately, for a meeting with the lower lords.

The "Great" Duel

Arriving ten days after Daenerys' death, the Lord of Duskendale and Dragonstone spotted ships of the royal fleet, and several members of the Kingsguard. Gathering his courage, Andrian entered the hall and found no other than King Robert Baratheon standing before him. Spotting Baratheon bannermen throughout the hall, and hearing the doors of the hall closing behind him, Andrian suspected treachery that would be followed by his demise.

However, Monford Velaryon spoke up, announcing to all those in presence, "Today, we are gathered for the trial of Stannis Baratheon, who stands accused of tyranny and misrule of Dragonstone. Stannis has demanded trial by combat, which I, acting in my capacity as regent, accepted. A time had to pass before Stannis' champion arrived, but now, Stannis' champion has arrived in this hall..."

"King Robert Baratheon, will you stand for your brother in this trial by combat?"

Lord Andrian's face darkened at these words. The King on the Iron Throne, Ruler of Westeros, would risk his life in a trial by combat. No doubt this was part of a greater ploy, and as Robert spoke in affirmation and defense of his brother, Andrian Targaryen knew what he must do.

"Very well, King Robert. As the Lord of Dragonstone, and Stannis' accuser, I shall fight in this trial myself."

Robert grinned, no doubt having counted on Andrian's response. After all, Lord Andrian's honor was on the line, and before him stood the one person responsible for all of his misery in life. Everyone knew by reputation that King Robert was the better fighter, and all watching were ready to see the King finish off another Targaryen.

Taking up his sword, Andrian, too, must've known that he was yet again outclassed by his opponent. This time, however, he knew he could not count on outpacing King Robert, who was about his age. Instead, Andrian took a deep breath, and with all his strength, charged straight into King Robert's defense.

Alas, for King Robert, he was no longer in his prime. He had fallen out of practice with combat, and he had gained much weight since the Greyjoy Rebellion. Andrian quickly broke through Robert's defense, shocking all in attendance. Robert stumbled backwards, still on his feet, but now wide open for attack.

Summoning another charge, Lord Andrian ran towards the King, intending to knock him off his feet and force him to yield. However, the blade was more true than Andrian had intended, and it pierced the King's chest, impaling his heart. Robert was dead within seconds of hitting the ground. Andrian Targaryen fell to his knees in shock, and the entire hall fell into an unearthly quiet.

Monford Velaryon declared the Lord of Dragonstone the victor in combat, and pronounced Stannis Baratheon guilty of his crimes, and that Stannis' sentence would be decided the next day.

Lord Andrian, meanwhile, could only see the blood, pooling all around him, knowing that he had just brought war upon the Seven Kingdoms. And yet, he pondered the words of Monford Velaryon.

What was one more life claimed in the chaos?

6kxmU3s.jpg

The deaths of Daenerys Stormborn and Stannis and Robert Baratheon heralded a period of instability lasting for a decade.
 

alxeu

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Well now, defeating Barristan Selmy is really something "The Monk Dragon" should be proud of. And now he also has Daenerys at his court. That's good.
Wonder if the mother of Dragons will still be the mother of Dragons.

Yeah, unfortunately Daenerys barely got a chance at life this time. Her mere presence, however, made Robert and Stannis die faster, as well.

Half the fun of AAR writing is trying to make sense of the random stuff that happens in game.

A good episode. The duel was particularly good.

No kidding. I found myself suddenly in control of Dragonstone, and after that was processed, I was informed that Robert Baratheon wanted to duel.

So, as the Baratheon made a "cadet branch" of them in King's Landing with Robert, the Targaryen made another "cadet branch" in duskendale.
I'm following from now ;)

Both House Baratheon and House Targaryen are in trouble now, too. Their main claimants to the throne are now dead, and Joffrey rules Westeros now, albeit, even younger than canonically.

It's one way of justifying surviving Targaryens in Westeros.

CK2 does create weird situations. You don't necessarily have to refer to every single thing in the actual game, especially if it makes a story less interesting to write.

Yeah, but I really couldn't skip over this silly/weird situation because it changed the game, and my gameplan, so very much to have this play out.

Thanks to all those who are new and following, of course!
 

stnylan

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Talk about chaos.

I definitely didn't see it coming.
 

Specialist290

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Only one mind could have both known that trying to smuggle Daenerys into Westeros would cause so much chaos and believed that he could profit from it... Dammit, Littlefinger! :mad:

Let's hope that, however things turn out, Andrian manages to keep his head and his lands. He's the last, best hope for the continuation of the true line of the Dragon Kings.