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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Romulus X

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Hello!

Welcome to my first ever AAR. While looking around a little bit, and falling in love with the writings of Henry v. Keiper, I got the sudden urge to write a narrative CK2 AGOT AAR myself.

Contrary to most AAR's I have seen, this one is going to be seti in Essos, Pentos, and rely heavily on character traits, relations, past experiences . In short - RP. I'm not even going to try to take over the whole world, starting as a little county, because as a matter-of-factly, I am not that good at the game.

To make the game a little bit harder for myself, (and in turn create a better story of beating the odds,) I decided to be the only High Valyrian patrician family in Pentos set about abolishing slavery because of our character's past experiences. This goal may change after a successor. I will start by governing a single province, and some small holdings in Pentos.

I decided to make up a "short" backstory integrating the character traits I had chosen for my character, but in the end I wrote 4 238 words in Microsoft word. The PROLOGUE is not something you have to read, but it gives a better idea on how the story is going to be written, and how did the only High Valyrian house in Pentos come to power.

I am doing this only because I enjoy it, and my intentions are to finish the writing. In real life I am a film director, writer and editor owning my own production company in my homeland Estonia. I have always loved to tell stories.
I have a background in creative writing, but I surely make mistakes here and there, because english is not my first language. Taking inspiration from GRRM the II, Henry v. Keiper, I try to infuse my characters, for lack of a better word with as much character as I possibly can.

Feedback would be very appreciated!

I hope you will enjoy this AAR!

So, without further ado, let us begin with PROLOGUE Chapter I!

The forums are dark and full of lurkers.
 
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Romulus X

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Chapter I : Bound for Yunkai

The sun was beginning to rise over the Free City of Volantis, the last remnants of the Valyrian Freehold. A young man, with silver-grey hair and purple eyes, perhaps about 19 some name days was sitting in his cell, impatiently, yet quite skillfully throwing a single pebble towards the walls of the cell, so it bounced back right next to his feet.
He had gotten pretty good at this, because he had been doing this for about 8 days. At the start he had to rise up and walk to the end of the cell to retrieve his pebble for another toss, but now he knew the wall so well, and the throw was so finely engraved in his muscle memory that he could throw it about 200 times, and get the same result each time with the pebble bouncing back to his legs, and sometimes his lap.
He tossed the pebble and it bounced back to his legs. He tossed the pebble again, and the same result would follow. He had been doing this for about 2 hours now since he woke up, but he figured he had to do something to distract himself.
For 8 days the sun had seemed to crawl across the sky only to sink into the water, slowly but surely peeking its enormous fiery body over the hills the next day, and continuing its crawl over the vast blue skies yet again, only to sink into the deep, dark, foamy waves once again.
His master, Magister Horonno of Volon Therys had acquired him from lord Yorko for a heavy sum of 115 gold dragons. "One of the last High Valyrians," he said, while announcing his price to master Horonno with a terrifying grin.

The heavy door to the hallway which led to his cell opened with a loud metallic creak, and shut with a strong wooden thunk.
He heard the steps of a slender man approaching, steps which he attributed to his master. He was not wrong. His master, Magister Horonno was thin man, dressed in a long grey woolen robe, wearing black polished shoes fit for a nobleman. He had a stern face and few curly locks peeked out under his hat which matched with his robe. The fact that he was quite unhealthily skinny only exaggerated his stern expression which reminded the young man of a skull.

"This one here," his master said curtly, while looking into the young man's cell. He was followed by two bulky guards, who opened the door, and promptly grabbed the silverheaded young man, and brought him in front of his master.

AAR 1.png

"My prized High Valyrian," his master started, "soon you are to be sold." The young man looked onto him with a blank expression, his purple eyes lacking any sign of emotion. "This one is becoming a good slave i'nnit?" said one of the soldiers behind his master's back to which master Horonno only nodded.

"I have arranged your escort to the river docks of Volon Therys where a slave ship from Yunkai will pick you up. From then on, I do not give a rat's arse what becomess of you." The young man still stared blankly at his master. The master continued, "Do you want to know what they offered for a High Valyrian?" The young man looked at the floor. "Three hundred gold dragons. Three hundred! Just because you, my dear boy have a silver head." He paused for a moment and looked onto the young man. "Silverhead... that's your slave name. Heck, I should start dyeing the hair of my other slaves silver, and sell them off as your spawn. The spawn of Silverhead the Valyrian .." Happy with his remark, and lack of answer form the young man, he gestured to his guards to take Silverhead away.

***
While young Silverhead was waiting on the river docks of Volon Therys for the Yunkai slavaeship, he looked around the bustling city and felt there was an uneasy feeling in his stomach.
First of all, of course the fact that he was to be sold to Yunkai, that was a reason on its own to be worried. How would he survive in Yunkai, why would the masters of Yunkai pay such a high price for him? All these questions made him feel more uneasy and even a bit queasy.
Suddenly there was the ring of a bell. And another one, followed by another one. From the distance a lone horserider was approaching, frantically waving with his hand. The two guards who had escorted young Silverhead to the docks looked at each other in confusion. As the horserider was approaching, the bells did not stop ringing. A murmur could be heard from the distance, then an echo, and another ring of the bell. When the horserider had almost reached Silverhead and his companions the three of them could start making out what the horserider was yelling.

"A raid! A raid! The Dothraki are here! Flee while you still can!"

The messenger screamed at the top of his lungs while riding through the city of Volon Therys without stopping. The guards looked at each other with disbelief, but soon enough rumbling could be heard as a black approaching wall appeared over the horizon. "He wasn't shittin'! Run for yer life!" one of the guards screamed. "What about the Valyrian," the other one replied. "Leave the runt for the crows ," the first one replied while hastily grabbing his companion by the arm.
The men were off. The Yunkai slavers were nowhere near the docks, and the city was soon to be sacked by the Dothraki horselords. Now's my chance! Silverhead thought as he ran from the docks with his hands still cuffed.

Silverhead had never ran so fast in his life. The rumbling got louder and louder, and soon the Dothraki were in the city of Volon Therys bringing death and destruction everywhere their sword reached. The edge of their blade combined with the swiftness of their horses was a deadly recipe.

Silverhead ran among the narrow riverbank, and bounced into a narrower alley to avoid the Dothraki horses. He had to think of a plan, how to escape. While running he thought of the route via which he was brought in, and decided to opt for a guessgame along the narrow streets of Volon Therys.
He ran past the stands of smalltime merchants who had just a day ago been peddling their wares to annoyed passers by. While running he glanced a brothel in the corner of his eye whic he decided to promptly visit.
He battered down the door of the brothel with his shoulder, causing himself immense pain and landing on the hard stone floor. Gasps filled the small room meant for hedonism and debauchery. Quickly he rose up only to see the frightened whores who at first thought him to be a raping and pillaging Dothraki, but calmed as soon as they saw his silver hair.

A way out, a way out, a way out, he thought while frantically moving his eyes around the room over the frightened whores, until he saw a staircase in the right corner of the room. Quickly he ran towards it, using all of his stamina to run up the stairs, and into another room, where a dark-skinned frightened whore was hiding. I need to find another-, his thoughts paused as he saw a window. With his hands still cuffed he ran to the window and glanced down. It seemed to be about his height from the roof another house. Surely he could make the jump. He ran back into the room, facing the wall, turned quickly, and much to the dismay of the crying dark-skinned whore, launched himself out of the window, landing on the roof below.

Silverhead's body was aching. His hands were bruised, he was almost sure he had fractured a leg or his shoulder, but he still stood up, stubborn even in the face of death and pain. He looked towards the town of Volon Therys, and saw it had been lit ablaze, with flames reaching higher than the roof of the whorehouse he had just reluctantly visited. It was a dreadful sight - the cries of children and women, clanking of metal, pillars of smoke rising to the sky, embers falling from atop roofs, debris laying around from the charge, and pools of blood flowing through the streets.

After a short period of thought and what little rest he could have had, he looked towards the central city with another goal. His "lodgings", or more like his dungeon had been in the central city, and could be seen a little through the pillars of smoke rising towards the sky. It is a matter of life and death, he thought, I have to run towards the city center, it is the only route I know to the city gates. As the sound of battle grew fainter, and the cries of men, women and children grew louder, Silverhead thought that the city had been lost, and the Dothraki were now only capturing citizens, and enjoying the women. He had to escape. He started with a brisk walk, and slowly forced himself to run, ignoring the immense pain in every region of his body. He continued his run to freedom carefully among the rooftops, and his slender build helped him in this task.

He felt that he was getting closer to the city center, running through the smoke, inhaling it all, choking, and coughing, but still running, evading every and all obstacles in his path, but then he came upon a gap between two buildings. What now? What now? What now? He thought. I can't jump this! It's impossible... But ... but I have to try! He retraced his steps, and ran towards the ledge, feeling the full encumbarence of the handcuffs on his wrists.
In midair, he saw that he had jumped too early. He landed with his chest hitting the ledge with a stinging pain, his elbows on the edge fo the roof, but the impact was so strong, that he choked, he seized to breathe for a moment, losing all stamina gods had granted him, and fell to the narrow alley below, right through the roof of the stall of another smalltime merchant which had been set up next to the wall.

He yet again gathred his strength and slowly, while covering his mouth with the inside of his elbow started limping away from the main street, trying to keep himself from being seen, but he was sure that the chaos, dust, debris, fire and smoke hid him well enough. It felt like he was descening into hell, what with all the embers, smoke and dust, but he still kept limping. Even if he had to crawl out of this place, he was going to try.
He was nearing the gate through which he had been brought into Volon Therys, and he was hoping that the gate had not been shut when the Dothraki arrived, or all would be lost. Slowly he limped, and soon enough there it was;
The grand city gate, open, with smoke escaping through it. On the street in front of him lay dismembered arms and legs, heads and grossly bloodied bodies. Young Silverhead turned his face away, but continued limping.
The main bulk of the Dothraki raiders was still occupied with the central city, but little bands had broken out into other parts, no doubt in hopes of finding slaves, concubines or gold. Silverhead had just been a slave this morning, he would not become one again.

While focusing his gaze on the city gate, he felt the world freeze, his heartbeat was beginning to feel slower, and slower, until it almost stopped. His hands started to sweat, but he furrowed his brow. A sprint, he thought in his transcendental state of perception. A sprint is all I need to perform. I need to overcome this pain within my body, or I will not live another day. A sprint. A sprint ... A sprint ......

Silverhead felt his muscles contract, he felt his heartbeat getting faster, like it was about to jump out of his chest, and land into the pools of blood in front of him, it was beating so hard.
Oh, it was beating so hard, he had to make it. I HAVE TO MAKE IT! He thought to himself, as every muscle in his body co-operated and gave all it had to give, his perception of pain faded and he made a mad dash towards the city gates, passing a loitering, yet observant Dothraki, who was slowly leading his horse along the curve of the street through the pools of blood.
He passed that slowest of Dothrakis, making it outside of the city walls, tripping on a stone, stumbling, rolling down a hill, screaming in agony, breaking his leg, promptly losing conciousness thanks to the sheer amount of pain his body had to endure and landing in the water of the river with a loud splash, only to be carried away by the current among the bodies which the Dothraki had dumped into the river.



 
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Chapter II : The silverhead, the fisherman, his brother & her husband

AAR 2.png

Narbo the fisherman was minding his own business, when a plethora of bodies washed ashore. Again, he thought, not this again, but at the same time he was happy, because if the Dothraki had only dumped the bodies into the river, then maybe a few of those pockets carried gold.
Pretty soon he was yet again walking along the shore, stripping every body, and tugging with him a crude wooden cart on which he placed his plunder. He was not a pious man, no, but he was certainly not evil. The way he figured it, the dead had no use of such things like money, luxury or comfort.
He smiled as he got another few gold dragons out of the pockets of another corpse. Every cloud has a silver lining, he thought, when he saw something glimmer on the shore near the rocks. Oh my, oh my, it could be silverware! he thought, as he was grotesguely prancing towards the glimmer, tugging his crude, creaking cart with him.
Alas, it was not silverware, but hair. Hair the likes he had never seen before with his own eyes. Sure he knew, that the Targaryens were famous for silver-grey hair, but he imagined it much more unflattering than it was, like old-lady hair. But as a matter of fact, it was quite beautiful in his opinion. He slowly made his way towards the corpse with glimmering hair. When he arrived, he saw it was a young man, barely 19 name days old or so, but badly bruised, with his nose broken, and who knows what more. Then he grunted, for he had left his cart behind him. Quickly he went back, and came again to rob the dead of what they need not.
He dragged the body a little bit more on dry land, and then noticed - the boy had irons around his wrist. Poor lad, a slave ... what an unfortunate end. This one can't have anything valuable on hims then, he thought, and started to drag the body back into the river, so it could make more room for more bodies to come. He hoisted the glimmerhead, and firmly wrapped both of his arms around him, starting to drag him back into the river.
He would have made it all the way to the river, if he hadn't quickly yanked his arms away as soon as he heard the glimmerhead groan. With a splash the young man landed back into the water.

"C'me again?" Narbo said. Another groan was his answer. "My god!" Narbo exclaimed. "You're, you're alive!" He would have poked the stranger with a stick if he had one in hand, but sadly he did not. He frowned, but he felt it his duty to hoist the groaning stranger on his cart. So he did, and left for home.

"Beth! Beth! Beth!" Narbo screamed. "C'mere! I got one of em' Targaryen glimmereads o'er ere'!"

"What did you say?" a woman, probably in 40 name days appeared on the doorframe of a small hovel.
"A Targaryen?" "Uh-huh," Narbo nodded. "Methinks it's a Targaryen, just look at em' silver strands."

"My god," Beth exclaimed. "We need to carry him inside. "Yeh, we better do, before e's stars groanin' again."

It took almost three weeks before the glimmerhead started showing any other signs of life than breathing and a rare ominous groan.
Narbo did not commend him for that, because the lad was clearly badly hurt. He had grazed off almost all flesh on his lower left leg, fractured the bone beneath, broken his nose, brusied his back, his chest, and what's more, he had been soaking in the water for who knows how long.
Narbo thought he was a goner, but one day the stranger opened his eyes. Even though he didn't seem to be able to move them. Blankly the glimmerhead's eyes stared into nothingness. There came another groan, and he fell asleep soon after.
Meanwhile Beth had done her best to heal all of the wounds the stranger had suffered, and maybe even keep him fed if need be.
He woke again the next day, and stared blankly the same way he had before. This time however, he could move his lips.

"Sss - sss ... sss.. ooo..." came a hushed tone.

Beth lowered herself over the glimmerhead.

"ooo.... -uupp..."

The glimmerhead barely had any stregth to say just one word, but Beth understood. He wanted soup. What little Beth and Narbo could gather they served to the stranger, and he drank it out of the bowl.
A few more weeks later, and the stranger could even talk. They pestered him for all sorts of questions, and partly to their disappointment the stranger let them know, that he was not a Targaryen, and partly to their joy, he truly was not a Targaryen. He was a decent enough houseguest to have. Another few weeks later when he could sit, he asked.

"Is there any possibility I could have the irons around my wrists removed discreetly?"

"Was' e' sayin'?"

"He wants to get rid of his handcuffs. Without others knowing."

The stranger nodded.

"O yeh' m'brother's a blacksmith in this ere' village, e' can remove em' ugly irons around yerrists."

The stranger nodded yet again.

"So it is settled then," Beth complied. "As soon as you are capable of walking we will take you to Oro, the blacksmith, Narbo's brother."

"Th - thank you." The stranger said.

"But," Beth added, "we will be doing it in the dark of the night. Meanwhile you should really wear something to cover up your hair, we don't want others to confuse you for a Targaryen, now would we," Beth chuckled, as she handed the glimmerhead, now knows as Silverhead a black cowl and a cloak.

About three days later Narbo woke Silverhead up with a grin. "M'lord, s' time we go pay a visit to my borther Oro."

During the day Silverhead was capable of walking around on his own accord, although limping, but Beth suspected the limping would never heal.

Narbo and Silverhead made their way through the night to Oro's smithery, where the borther was waiting.

"Eyy, Narbo, me borther, dis' de' shiny bellond?"

"Likewise, brother, s' been too long. Aye, s' the glimmerhead."

Silverhead looked at the two men with a dignified look. "I'd prefer to be called Silverhead, if you don't mind"

"S'cuse m'lord," Oro, bowed, rather sarcastically.

"Don't mind me brother, e's always been a cunt." Narbo said, while smacking his borther on the back.

However cunt he may have been, Oro fulfilled his promise, and rid Silverhead of his handcuffs. At last! Freedom! Silverhead touched and massaged his wrists, "Thank you!" he exclaimed, as Narbo gave him a gleeful look.

Silverhead stayed with Narbo and Beth for two more weeks, before finally setting on his slow and dangerous path to Pentos, with memories of the kind helping souls in Volantis.
 
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Chapter III : One of a kind kind man in Pentos

AAR 3.png


Silverhead took great care, and arrived in Pentos, Nontelos a year later, where he was recieved by an old family friend Allaquo Myrakis.

About 200 years ago Silverhead's ancestors were a lowly house in the Valyrian Freehold. When The Doom happened, most of his family line perished, albeit some survived.
His family had had a close friend going by the name of Myrakis. When The Doom happened, one of Silverhead's ancestors was able to recover their family line's valyrian steel sword, and saw it safely returned to House Myrakis in Pentos, Nontelos, where it has remained ever since.
Silverhead had always been a slave, as far back as he could remember, but at last he was a free man, ready to make his own destiny.

AAR 4.png


Allaquo Myrakis was a kind and noble man, one fit to be a knight. He was a great fighter, and saw that Silverhead needed more tutoring, since as a slave, he had not recieved any formal education, and the years of torture and abuse had left a mark on the young man.
He taught Silverhead how to handle a sword himself, and when he saw that Silverhead had excelled in his studies, he gave him his family's ancestral sword. He had his own steward teach Silverhead how to handle coin and taxes. When he saw, that Silverhead had problems expressing his thoughts correctly, he had his diplomats teach him how to talk formally, and his spymaster how to handle the intrigue of court.
Which is more, Allaquo formally adopted Silverhead, saying: "It's never too late to learn or have a father," and gave him a proper Valyrian name, Mero. Since Allaquo Myrakis was a widow he did not have the desire to get married, and thus granted a noble title to Mero, again a proper Valyrian high noble name which had belonged to his kin in the Valyrian Freehold. His name was now Mero Hepastys.


One day, when Mero was already 30 name days of age, and Allaquo 53, he called upon Mero to discuss serious matters.

"Enter, my dear boy," he had said with a kind voice, which had become sort of a character trait to him.

"Mero, I am the patrician of the Free City of Pentos."

"I am aware, my lord father."

"And as such I have land here in Nontelos," he tapped on a map, he had rolled open in front of Mero on the table. "I am to govern the city of Nontelos, Mero, but Alas, I have no heir."

"It's truly sad." Mero complied.

"I have pondered this thought much, you know," Allaquo stood up, "and I am naming you as my rightful heir, the mayor of the city of Nontelos and my family palace."

"My lord," Mero gasped.

"Mero, you have grown up to be a true man. A man worth his name and, I trust you not to ruin it when I am gone?"

"Of course, my lord father!"

"Good. I can feel my passing into the afterlife is coming. The Lord of Light shall take me, for the night is dark and full of terrors."

With a nod, Mero had left Allaquo's private rooms. Soon enough in 8129, Allaquo Myrakis died at the ripe old age of 54 name days. Mero was therefore to take over his business in Nontelos and Ar Kon, the governing of the city of Nontelos, and the castle of Nontelos, and the former family mansion of House Myrakis, now named the House of Hepastys.
For his banner Mero chose something that resonated with him and his memories of hardship, turmoil, perserverence, and grit. His standard bears a silver armoured leg on a red background, symbolising his mad dash to freedom through the gates of Volon Therys with the silver colour to reminding him of his slavename "Silverhead", or as Narbo used to call him "Glimmerhead".
The red background symbolises the sacking of Volon Therys by the Dothraki, and the blood which was spilled on the streets that day, but what is more - the day, that Mero of House Hepastys gained his freedom at great costs.

Now the banner waves on the cliffs of Nontelos, and in the city of Pentos, on the walls of his family mansion. As the quiet wind sweeps over the mansion of Hepastys, the limping Valyrian master retires to his bedchambers to spend the night alone. As waves crash on the shores of Pentos, and night casts its dark shadow over Essos, the dragons dance in Westeros, and no man nor woman can tell the future of house Hepastys.


AAR 5.png
AAR 6.png


*Author's note: All the events depicted in the prologue have not happened in the real game, as can be immagined, but will influence the choices and personality of this character in the future.


 
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