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One of the greatest fictional politicians of all time once said, "Chaos is a ladder", I intend to embody this concept


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H o u s e T a r l y o f H o r n h i l l

First into Battle.

H o u s e P i p e r o f P i n k m a i d e n

Brave and Beautiful.

H o u s e V e l a r y o n o f B l o o d s t o n e

“The Old, The True, The Brave.”

H o u s e V e l a r y o n o f D r i f t m a r k

“The Old, The True, The Brave.”

Aegon Targaryens Small Council

Ser Arrk Cargyll opened the door to the Small Council Chambers near the throne room. The small council began filing into the room. The first in the door was Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, striding heavily into the chambers. Following him were the Queen Mother Alicent Hightower, his daughter, her hands modestly folded in front of her. Then came Ser Tyland Lannister, the golden-haired and handsome master of coin and twin brother to Lord Jason of Casterly Rock. He walked breezily into the room. On his heels came Jasper Wyle, the master of laws, called Ironrod, Lord of the Rain House and head of House Wylde. He walked stiffly, head held high and arms folded behind his back. Grand Maester Orwyle entered next, his arms folded in his robe and his chain hanging heavily on his chest as he shuffled in. Finally, Larys Strong entered. The Lord of Harrenhal limped into the room, leaning on a cane and dragging his lame foot awkwardly. But in his eyes one could see why he was master of whispers. The seven of them sat at various positions turning towards the door to await their King.

Aegon strode in the chamber with a mildly sour look on his face, though most would tell you this was how he nearly always looked. He had dispensed with his cape before taking off on Sunfyre and had removed his gauntlets before walking into the chamber. On his left and right respectively were Ser Cole and the King's brother Aemond who had met with him before rather than arriving with the rest of the small council.

"Send a paige for wine immediately I don't intend to carry on my Small Council meeting without drink.", he proclaimed as he sat down in the King's chair at the head of the table. A mere few moments later his paige had already arrived with a vase of wine and plate of goblets, he was quite used to the procedure as he poured the King's glass before moving along the table, handing each Lord a cup and then filling it.

"As we are all well aware there is little time for celebration following my coronation. The realm faces a larger threat. So... we must discuss strategy.", he ended matter of factly.

Aemond laughed, leaning back in his seat and swilling his wine around, "Indeed. My only regret is that I can't be there to see the look on our sister's face when she gets that letter. If I know her, she'll be absolutely livid . Mayhaps the gods will favor us and she will drop dead on the spot from rage. Though I wouldn't mind taking Vhagar to roast her either."

None of the other councillors seemed near as amused and Orwyle, who had forgone wine, coughed hesitantly and leaned forward, "Your grace. You hold the throne. The sword. The crown. You are our king. And perhaps there need be no war. Princess Rhaenyra is your sister, and if we go to war with her, the realm will bleed. Thousands, hundreds of thousands may die. Our cities and castles burned. The last time dragons fought, it wreaked terrible ruin upon the Kingdom. I believe the best option is to sue for peace. Allow your sister and her family and her supporters to bend the knee. This need not end in blood shed. Let your reign be a glorious reign of peace and prosperity, not of fire, blood, and kinslaying."

Tyland Lannister nodded, "I agree. War may mean disaster even if we win. Rhaenyra has more dragons then we do, more ships, even if we have more men and more money. I am confident we can win. But not without great cost. The treasury will be drained, and it will mean years of high taxes and food shortages. With winter coming, that is not something we can afford if we wish to hold onto the kingdoms."

Larys Clubfoot kept his silence, but Jasper Wylde slammed his fist on the table, "Prattling nonsense. Rhaenyra and her greens are traitors. And the proper punishment for traitors is death. If they do not immediately bend the knee, we must destroy them."

Reclining comfortably in his chair, the Lord Commander shook his head in irritation at the words of Orwyle. "The foul bitch'll never accept peace so long as she's kept from the throne." He spoke venemously, his hatred for Rhaenyra clear. "The Master of Laws speaks truths, if she moves for the throne, she dies." Upon the conclusion of his words, Ser Cole couldn't help but dart his eyes toward the newly-appointed Master of Coin, Tyland Lannister. It wasn't so long ago he had been rid the council of the disloyal old Beesbury, slitting his throat at the meeting. He had hoped the councillors would get the message.

Aemond raised his cup in a toast, "Hear hear. That royal bitch and our uncle are too dangerous. We need to get rid of them if you're to remain king, brother. Them and our Strong nephews. My apologies to your losses, Lord Larys."

Orwyle remained steady, "You hold the love of your people my king. You hold all the authority, all the legitimacy. But if you go to war with your sister, a princess that many have sworn to serve, it may threaten your legacy. We do not want you to be known as the King who went to war with his sister. You have the chance to knit our realm together. We should take it. Or risk laying the kingdoms low."

Raising his voice toward the Grand Maester, Cole angrily retorted, "Seven bloody hells, you craven old fool. Peace? The two stubborn cunts would sooner see our heads rotting atop these walls. Have sense and take theirs first."

There was some more arguement and back and forth. Each side loudly voicing their viewpoints as Aemond draped an arm over his chair and drew his knife, flipping it absently with one hand and chuckling to himself.

Aegon finished his drink and tapped the chalice quietly, his experienced paige knowing that meant he needed to be refilled. Once that was done the King loudly cleared his throat, which failed. With a sigh, he slammed the bottom of his metal goblet against the table. The loud, ringing thumps silenced the council and spilled a fair bit of wine.

"My Lords quiet. I sugeest from now on you not force me to waste good wine to quiet you. Maester Orwyle,", he turned to the learned man, "I have little love for my sister or nephews, however, unlike my brother Aemond I'm in little hurry to mount their heads on spikes.", he shot his brother a slightly annoyed look for antagonizing his small council.

"I agree that peace would be... preferable. I would like nothing more than for my sister to bend the knee and end all this nasty business before it can start. I intend to offer her as much and am even prepared to give... certain concessions. Tell me Maester Orwyle have you met Rhaenyra? She is petty, wrathful, and carries a grudge worse than any other woman I've met. Daemon as you all know has been scheming for my fathers crown since he was denied it and now it sits just before his eyes.", his eyes narrowed as he looked slowly around the table.

He took another sip of his wine, "I will offer and she may refuse. In order to best force her to surrender we will require overwhelming strength arrayed against her. She has more dragons, so we must have at least five times her strength to convince her war would be folly. If she believes there is even a slight chance of victory she will press war regardless of what we offer her. So we must hope for peace, but prepare for war.", he punctuated the end with a long, deep drink of wine.

He looked now to his brother, "To that end Aemond, you have a unique duty. You must fly to Storm's End. Lord Borros has a number of daughters. You'll be betrothed to one of them.", he stared his brother down and waited for his response.

Aemond frowned for the first time, catching the knife by the hilt once more and sheathing it. He drank, and swilled the wine for a moment before looking at his brother and tilting his head curiously, "Me? You're sending me to talk to Lord Borros? I'm flattered you think so highly of me brother. I would have thought you wanted Daeron to go. He's the personable one, after all."

He drank again, "I was hoping that after we won, I could take one of Daemon's twins to wife. Maybe both. They're not unattractive. But very well Aegon. I will do this for you. I will wed this girl and I will make Lord Borros our father-in-law. The Stormlands will be in your control within the week. This I swear. I will leave as soon as we're done here."

Jasper nodded, "I will send a raven to to the Rain House, and I will have members of my house accompany Aemond once he lands at Storm's End. I can write the Swanns and I am confident they will support us as well. Our good Ser Criston can write his father. Mayhaps the Steward of Blackhaven can convince the Dondarrions to attend the delgation. That should be enough to convince Lord Borros, with Aemond as a son-in-law."

Tyland interjected, "He's a fighter. He'll want a position as well. I think we'd do well to make him a General, one of our principal commanders. Perhaps even invent a new office. The Master of War, maybe, I think he'd be well pleased by that. Even if there is peace."

Cole, amused at the talk of Lord Borros, took a large gulp from his cup of wine before adding, "So long as the Lord Baratheon has no letters to read, I'm sure the promise of some shiny new office concerning war will please the man."

Orwyle spoke up, "A wise move, my king. With the support of House Hightower and House Lannister, adding in the Baratheons and the Stormlands will place the great part of the realm's armies in our control. It will give us a strong position. I believe we'd do well to ask the Triarchy for aid as well. They are no friends of Daemon, and their ships and money will be a large boon. With such a force arrayed with us, I think Rhaenyra will be forced to surrender. She has children to consider. Pray, what concessions were you thinking of offering?"

The queen mother had kept a stony, if not politic, silence throughout the proceedings. When her sons cursed she would wince but was past used to the language of men by now to offer objection. Her father sat beside her and his foot rocked restlessly as the discussion ebbed and flowed but, he too, had been conspicuous in his quietude. He caught their attention as he slapped a wrinkled scroll on the polished veneer of the table.

"You talk like you know the minds of every Lord in Westeros!" He growled, the smiles evaporated. "I have here a missive from one of Baratheon's sworn bannermen; House Caron. He read;

"Dear, Lord Hightower. I don't know what you have planned with this coup. But I demand answers, right away this instant. I dare not curse the new King' name just yet - less I blame the wrong snake for it's bite.'

'But you have some explaining to do. By what right, do you command to overturn the law and word of your own King? The man whom placed you in that position, for you to stab him in his dead heart like that?'

'I ask, no demand, answers for this. Less I take my Black Riders and make sure every last supporter of your act to Old Town itself feels the price of betrayal. Though this letter seems rather strong, keep in mind - your act started this'.

Helia Caron, Lady of the Marches"

He read sternly, letting each syllable hit home. The letter was as shocking in its crudeness as it was in its insibordination and obstinacy. Were Caron a child, it'd merit a slap. "Your Grace, my Lords... We cannot simply imagine we'll secure the fealty of each liege lord just because we hope it will be so. You all are imagining the best case scenario and I too could get drunk from the energy in this room but I am old and have tasted more disappointment than most. Imagine, for a moment, the worst. What if there are twelve dozen Carons across the Realm and Baratheon feels how Caron here feels?" He took a swallow of wine.

Aemond grimaced as his grandfather read the letter, his grip tightened on his dagger and he said, "That uppity bitch. Reminds me of our sister. If I'm going to talk to Borros, maybe I should take a quick stop to torch Nightsong to the ground. And if she still lives, she can be my cupbearer. Among other things."

Orwyle paled, "Peace, my prince. Peace. Lady Helia is likely feeling threatened by the potential challenge to her authority. Denying Rhaenyra her crown, may potentially deny a woman's right to rule at all."

Ironrod shook his head, "Unfortunately, the Great Council's finding only makes male royals preferable to female royals. Normal inheritance still applies to all other lands and titles."

Tyland interjected, "Indeed, and it's a bit early to talk of burning castles. Caron is an old and proud house. We can ill afford to treat families of their stature so, lest we risk alienating the other houses. We should remind everyone that the Great Council's ruling should supercede the prior King's wishes. And that having the Rogue Prince sitting on the Iron Throne would be an ill omen for the kingdom. The same goes for the bastard princes. We proclaim the legitimate reasons why Aegon should be king, not Rhaenyra. Law and Diplomacy should be the tools to convince the nobles to support us. Fire and Blood will only make them run to Rhaenyra." Orwyle and Ironrod both gestured their assent, while Aemond crossed his arms angrily.

Ser Tyland continued, "If Borros supports us, his bannermen will most likely fall in line. A little gold and a kind word can work wonders as well. These are just words from Lady Caron. Wise and true words should be the response. This is why the support of the Great Houses is so important. So they can help us keep the other houses in line."

Alicent cleared her throat. "It seems to me that we're keen to offer much to our would be allies but to allow such wanton defiance of my son's legitimate rule is a direct affront to what we try to build here." She caught the eye of the Lords, her father nodded gravely. "If we allow this to stand unpunished, we appear weak and there are few that will flock to our cause if they think we can only win alliance through coin." She conceded the floor once more.

Ser Otto replied to Tyland, "I agree that we must needs secure the might of Storms End. Once that is done, let Borros deal with Lady Caron if she is still of a mind to speak out. Should the Stag side with the Blacks, however..." He shuddered. "Caron will be the least of our worries."

Aegon nodded in agreement with each proposition, sipping carefully from his wine as they spoke. He was glad Aemond had not resisted, an argument would have been troublesome and trying. "Aye, we'll make him master of wars or armies or some other seat come war or peace, no reason not to. Send the letters Lord Wylde the more houses already alined with us the more likely Borros will support me. As for House Carron"

Aegon scowled at the idea of such a pointless house challenging his right to rule. "Secure Borros' support and let him handle her. I feel no need to explain to her why she should not be worried. If- and I cannot stress this enough Aemond. If she remains obstinant and Borros asks for your assistance. You may 'releive' the lady of her hold and do as you wish."

He turned to Orwyle next, "I agree, the Triarchy would be invaluable. Perhaps I'll treat with them myself. As for concessions. I have already decided I have no need of Dragonstone, nor do my children. I am willing to offer her and Daemon keep the ancestral Targaryen home. I'll allow them to style themselves Prince and Princess, and all their lineage not unlike the Dornish. All she needs to is bend the knee and relinquish her claim and she remains Princess and no blood shed shall visit her family.", he sipped his glass empty and tapped for another filling.

Ser Otto wore a smile that could curdle milk; "I would love peace better than most, Your Grace, I promise you. But if we tell Daemon Targaryen we'll 'allow' him to call himself Prince and live out his days on Dragonstone, how is he like to react? And Rhaenyra? You cannot have the crown you were promised but you can sit there unmolested on your ancestral rock?" He shook his head. "None of us think either of them are like to accept such terms, surely?"

"Then what should we offer Ser Otto?"

The Hand looked at Lannister, at the High Septon and finally at his Grandson and King. "I would offer peace alone. Bend the knee to your rightful King or we hold you as traitors. I'm sorry, but I see no other way. We need to ensure we have strength enough that even the likes of Daemon can see the utter ruin war would bring." He sat back, leaving his heavy words hanging in the room.

Aegon tapped his fingers on the table carefully... his face pulled again into scowl. "I... do not see the difference in this Ser Otto. If they bend the knee why does it matter if we call them Prince or Princess? They must bend the knee either way. Why not give them what they already have as a sort of... it is not a real concession I have never lived on Dragonstone and I'd prefer my children not live so far from the throne either. Are you suggesting we order them bend the knee and give up all lands and titles?"

It was Alicent who responded. "Father, I think my son has the right of this. You think we should offer nothing and in essence that's all we offer. They bend the knee and we leave them be. Though I agree with your Grandfather, it would be best to make no mention of 'allowing them their titles' in any offers we make. That's only like to be taken as insult." Ser Otto seemed to concede the point and conceded without further comment.

Aegon shook his head and returned to his previous train of thought,"... speaking of Dorne, before we seek such distant allies as the Triarchy... why not treat with the Martells? A much shorter flight and far closer to provide aid are they not? They too fought Daemon during the wars over the Stepstones. I beleive we can get them to render aid, I'm certain they fear Daemon would raise a second conquest.", he spoke to gauge the Lords reactions.

Ser Criston did not seem to care one way or the other for the Dornish, offering a careless shrug to the gathered lords. "They know how to kill and they do it well."

Aemond smiled devilishly, "Bring in that lot of poisoners and screaming savages? I like it. They're the only ones who managed to beat your namesake, brother. And they bloodied Daemon's nose. Our uncle will not forget that. Aye, let's get the Dornish snake to work for us for once."

Jasper on the other hand, looked like he bit into a lemon. He grit his teeth and said, "Your grace. Those Dornish savages have been the bane of the Stormlands for generations. Their presence may well enrage some of the Stormlanders. And the Reachmen too, especially those who live in the marchers like Tarly. Tarly has one of the strongest armies in the Reach, we would do well not to gain his ire."

Tyland slashed a hand in the air with careless dismissal, "What of it? The Ironborn have been fueding with all the men of the West, the Reach, the Riverlands, and the North for generations. Aegon put a stop to it. Now our King Aegon can do the same. So some lords may mutter. But we will still have the largest army on the continent. Court the Dornish. King Aegon should treat with Prince Qoren, man to man. Then they can help us bring in the Triarchy. In one fell swoop we will have the largest army and the largest navy. Let Rhaenyra think on that!"

Orwyle said, "Your father, King Viserys wanted to wed Rhaenyra to the Prince of Dorne and bring them into the realm. Mayhaps we can do so now. Prince Daeron is unwed and Qoren has many daughters. You can also wed one of your sons if not Daeron, or your daughter. He will fear Daemon, and having us as an ally will be very attractive to him I believe. We may be able to both unite House Targaryen and Westeros under one banner, as your namesake always wanted. It would be a great deed they will sing of for generations."

There was some more discourse for several more moments, and there was some resistance to the idea, but Aemond, Orwyle, Cole and Tyland all seemed in favor. Larys said nothing, but he did not disagree.

"I understand, that the Stormlands and the Reach will be... uncertain about an alliance with the Dornish. But its more than that Maester Orwyle is correct. Perhaps we may finally see the Dornish bend the knee and Westeros will be Seven Kingdoms. There won't be anymore skirmishes between Dornish riders and Stormland knights. Besides I'm sure Aemond will agree Daeron needs a woman and the Dornish are known for having quite attractive ones.", Aegon let out a small laugh and looked at his brother. For all his sulking Aegon enjoyed his brothers company at least.

"I'll fly to Dorne and treat with Prince Qoren. If he agrees the Triarchy will follow I assure you. On the topic of ships however... the Greyjoys.", Aegon sneered, quickly losing his short lived smile.

"Regardless who he declares for I'm sure Dalton Greyjoy will simply use it as an excuse to pillage and reave as his... disgustingly savage people always do in these wars. I want to make sure he is doing so for us. I've no idea what to offer him though, seeing as the Iron-Born loathe any gold not covered in the blood of its previous owner and seem to care even less for titles. My Lords I seek help with what we may offer the Kraken."

Aemond spit on the floor at the mention of the Greyjoys, "Bunch of idiotic upjumped peasants on those shit-stained rocks of theirs. I say, grandfather, Tyland. Get your armies together, your ships. Send a raven to Daeron. And send them all into the Iron Islands and we make them join us. Or we burn them out. They aren't equals to us, we should not treat them so."

Tyland shook his head ruefully, "I agree with the sentiment my prince. I have little love for the Greyjoys. But we do need them on our side. We can ill afford having an enemy that can raid our shores while the armies are away. I was your master of ships. We can make Dalton the new Master of Ships. And we can give him the Sea Snake. Lord Corlys has untold riches on that island of his. Tell Greyjoy that if it comes to war, he can take the fight to the Sea Snake. He can take his gold, his weapons, his flagships, and all the women his heart desires. I think he'll like that. As much as any of those pirates will like anything."

For once Jasper seemed to agree, "Aye. It is rare for any Ironborn to ever receive any honors. But give that Red Kraken a seat at our table. Appease his vanity. And Driftmark is a very valuable target. Any loot he gets there will make him richer than his wildest dreams. And it will be a bloody fight just like the Ironborn love."

Scoffing at the suggestion from Jasper, Ser Cole intervened on the talk of honouring the Red Kraken with an office, "You would make this Small Council not so small, Lord Wylde. We're already giving one angry bastard a seat at this table - two? And a Greyjoy at that? No Greyjoy should ever advise a king." With that, Cole raised the near-empty glass of wine to his mouth and tilted it upwards, polishing off the drink with a contented sigh.

Orwyle kept his silence for a time, reluctant to give any approval to talk of raiding and enthrallment, but said, "If we manage to get the Greyjoys on our side, we will have the advantage. I believe Ser Tyland's proposal is best. We can send a raven, and if there is peace, he can go raiding in the rest of Essos."

Aegon nodded, happy that the nasty business with the Greyjoys was settled. "Good, send that note before the one declaring my ascension to the throne. I want him to know of our offer as soon as possible. Write it tonight in fact Lord Tyland. Besides Aemond I need Daeron elsewhere. It will be more difficult, but he must treat with Lord Tully. If I have the Trouts, the Stags, the Lions, the Krakens and the Dornish its all of Westeros and the Triarchy. Rhaenyra and Daemon would be mad to fight us.", Aegon smiled and took another sip of wine.

"I forget, Lord Grover... if I wish to give Daeron a Martell girl what can we give to the river Lord? We are running out of titles and I've run out of brothers. Anything else we have to offer?"

Aemond cracked his knuckles, "Those Riverlanders. They love even the slightest hint of favor you show them. You need not offer much more then gold methinks. We have plenty of it. And remind them that the Lannisters are right on their doorstep should they refuse. Let their little rivers protect them from that. Besides, our good Larys Strong here is one of the most powerful Lords in the region. He can pressure the Tullys into throwing in with us." Larys Strong nodded, confirming the suggestion and finally speaking, "Bracken. He can help." And that was all he said.

Tyland nodded, "A little gold. A little reminder that my brothers' armies can cross quickly. So can Lord Hightowers. And Strongs'. We can choke off their trade as well, blockade any custom by the rivers if they refuse. Remember we sit right at the mouth of the Blackwater. They will not dare to defy us. You need not offer any sons or your daughter to them."

Jasper said, "Lord Grover supported your father's claim over Laenor's at the last Great Council. He has no reason to support Rhaenyra. And he is an old man. He will not have the will to dare ask too much."

Orwyle spoke, "Lord Grover did indeed favor your father. As such, he belives the rights of the man supercede that of the woman. With House Strong and House Bracken on our side, I see little chance of him refusing us. Indeed, perhaps Daeron would be better spent on the Vale? Lady Jeyne has no love for Prince Daemon. Remember he attacked the province in order to usurp the Royces' and was exiled. And the Knights of the Vale are one of the most powerful fighting forces in these kingdoms. If we get them to our side, the Riverlands will be redundant."

Jasper replied, "Indeed. They will be surrounded. They are not critical to our efforts, they are bordered on every side by people who already support us or will. The charming Prince Daeron can win us the Vale."

Aegon sat and pondered at the mention of the Vale. Jeyne Arryn had been in the back of his mind since he took agreed to take the throne. She was an old friend of Rhaenyra's and her kin but hated Daemon for obvious reasons. She would be oddly split in the coming weeks.

"True enough. Daeron may be able to sway her... send a Raven to Hightower with a letter of endorsement for Lady Jeyne's claim on the Vale as well. Any Lady's in power right now will be worried about their own castles and lands when they hear of Rhaenyra being refused. I wish to make it abundantly clear to Lady Jeyne I've no intention of having her removed or challenging her right to rule. Even if Daeron cannot secure her for our casue if he can simply get Jeyne to convince Rhaenyra to bend the knee, or failing that simply not raise her banners at all, my sister will lose her largest supporter. As for Lord Grover, offer him the gold and remind him of his decision for my father and he should be happy to help us out of love, respect and fear. Though...", Aegon glowered at nothing in particular as he thought.

"...who is Lord Grover's heir? He is an elderly man, quite near his end I'm sure... perhaps it would be better to ensure when he passes we are not suddenly without an ally? It would be redundant if we secured the Vale of course. Ah, I nearly forgot. The North.". Aegon simply sighed and shook his head.

"With winter nearly here I doubt the North can raise anything with any sort of speed. They'll never muster their full strength thanks to a need for men to gather the harvest. I feel Lord Cregan can be left out of the equation yes? I have no wish to offer him anything and even if he declares for my sister he'll never be able to threaten us. Agreed?"

Aemond nodded, "Screw the Northerners. They're happy with their snow, sheep, and shit. I say leave them to it. If Daeron gets the Vale on our side, we can stop them from coming across the Neck entirely. And they hate coming south. I doubt they even care."

Tyland and Jasper nodded as well, with Tyland saying, "My brother's men will be more than enough to stop the paltry amount of men they can send if they even do bestir themselves. And if we have the Greyjoys and the Arryns with us, we can have the Krakens raid their western shores and the Falcons storm the White Harbor. Perhaps a bit of gold we can send, but they don't deserve any more consideration than that from us."

With firm nods of agreement, Cole added to their words, "Aye. The Northern forces'll be so few and weak, there won't even be any enjoyment in killing them. We needn't worry about them."

Orwyle spoke, "Speaking of Lord Grover's heir. Hmm... his son Fozzie died, and his grandson Elmo is a middle-aged man of little renown. I see no reason why gold and the support of Harrenhal and Stone Hedge wouldn't be enough to sway him either. And the threat of the Lannisters and Hightower."

Aegon nodded as the Lords spoke. It all sounded like they may very well end the war before it could start. Assuming all the Lords went the way Aegon hoped. He hoped they could see that this was the only way war could be avoided... he had to hope they could see that.

"Well my lords. I believe this may be the end of our meeting and I'd say its quite succesful. We have work to do. Letters to write... and Dragons to ride.", he stood and picked up his glass, drinkng what was left. He placed it back down. "I wish you all luck my Lords. I will fly for Dorne first thing in the morning but for now if you'll excuse me. Ah, Aemond. Accompany me will you?"

Aemond nodded, draining his cup and getting to his feet as the rest of the Small Council gathered up their papers and began talking in side conversations, leaving to attend to their own business.

His sapphire eye glinted at the king as the two brothers walked side by side through the throne room, two of the Kingsguard on their heels, "Something on your mind brother?"

Aegon sighed as they marched through the throne room together, Aegon smirking, "Oh no. the whole Kingdom I just inherited is on the brink of falling apart and all I can think of is our sister. Its to bad you'll never be able to fuck a queen.", he snickered as they walked.

Aemond cackled, "You always could think of nothing but fucking, Aegon. Even when our father died, we had to find you abed with some paramour." He smirked as they passed through the halls and said, "Well, mayhaps I will. If we win peace, maybe our sister will be open for a tumble before the deal is sealed. Or maybe you'll let me say goodbye to Helaena before I leave. Mother always told us to share everything, didn't she?"

Aegon shook his head and snickered a bit more, "Oh yes she did but I was never very good at it if you'll remember. I once smacked Daeron for touching my goblet.", he laughed as they neared the point he knew they'd need depart and let out one last sigh, turning to Aemond.

"Don't die brother. I'm going to need you while I'm king. It's possible you may meet one of Rhaenyra's supporters at Storm's end... make sure Boros prefers you to them. Of course with Vhagar... I'm certain you'll be fine but all the same.", he smiled and outstretched his arms.

Aemond rolled his eyes in mock exasperation but smiled and hugged his brother, clasping him close, "Don't worry brother. I'll be home safe and sound, and with a Stag to wife. If any of Rhaenyra's friends are there, one look at Vhagar and they'll shit their breeches before flying off. I'm more worried about you. You may catch some Dornish cock-rot when you go down there. Who knows where there women have been?"

He laughed and withdrew after a long moment, clasping Aegon's hand hard, "Think we should invite our sister to my wedding? Mayhaps I can charm her to our side, and the war will be won."

Aegon smiled as Aemond called him out on his promiscuity again. "Oh don't worry about my cock to much Aemond. Targaryens may wed siblings but we don't want people thinking you'd like to wed your brother.", he smiled and let go of Aemond's hand.

"Now rouse that oversized oaf you call a dragon and head to Storms End. I'll make sure Helaena is not without a brothers company, don't you worry. And as for charming Rhaenyra... wouldn't recommend it, mother had me try long ago and even I wouldn't stick it in her.", he chuckled as he turned, waving back as he made his way towards Maegor's Holdfast.

Aemond called to him, "Don't strain yourself! You're getting a bit old and you have a long flight tomorrow!" He cackled madly, and turned on his heels shouting out for a squire and a page. His retainers came to him instantly, helping him buckle on a black and gold travelling cloak, giving him a pack full of provisions, and handing him his swords, his longsword and the spare. He took with him a bow and quiver and jumped on his horse, several Targaryen men-at-arms following him.

They rode through the streets of the city and reached the Dragonpit where Vhagar nestled, unchained, as Aemond did not allow anyone to chain his mount. The old girl was already being saddled and Aemond held out his hand for the dragon to nuzzle before storing away his supplies and nodding to the men-at-arms in dismissal. He mounted Vhagar and without further fanfare, lifted off, the giant she-dragon flapping her wings and blotting out sections of the city as she oriented south, towards Storm's End.

Aemond smiled before donning his helmet to protect him against the elements and he leaned in as she accelerated. It seemed like it was time for him to marry. It was a joyous time indeed. He hoped one of his nephews would be there. It'd make him even happier to put those Strongs in their place.
Coronation in the Pit

The sun was high above Kings landing, its light shown heavily through the dome of the great Dragon Pit. At the sides, chained in there nest like alcoves, the wondrous beasts grooming or sunbathing and seemingly unaware of the massive procession that had set up at the bottom of the pit. Wooden stands had been set up along a path filled with members of Nobility in Kings Landing, all Green supporters of course.

Quiet murmuring had sounded in echoes since the myriad nobles had first arrived but it quickly stopped as the royal procession began. At the end of the path was a pedestal upon which were arrayed the small council and members of the royal family. Ser Otto Hightower stood nearest the top, being Hand of the King, and Queen mother Allicent stood not much farther away as chaperone to Aegon's children. Upon the pedestal itself stood Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, resplendant in his white armor and cloak. Next to him stood Septon Eustace and several others holding gilded chalices. The rest of the small council were arrayed here and there around the raised dais

The sound of triumphant horns announced Aegon and Helaena's approach. Future King and Queen were flanked by the other mebers of the King's Guard, armed and armored as their Lord Commander but with great-helms on. Aegon stood tall as he walked down the quiet lanes, a picture of Royal pride. He wore an ornate set of black armor with gold chasings, his personal sigil of a golden dragon embossed in the senter of his chest. The armor was heavily detailed, engraved with dragons and black fire. His left hand rested upon the ruby pommel of Blackfyre, the conquerors blade. Behind him trailed a long, black cloak with trimmings in gold and his sigil embroidered at its center. with wings unfolded and fire spewing forth from its maw. His hands were richly ringed, several expensive jewels accompanied the signet ring all Targaryens wore.

Next to King Aegon, arm intertwined with his and a hand on her husbands shoulder, strode Queen Helaena. She too was richly dressed in a black and gold silken dress that well displayed her voloptious form. In her hair were woven small golden and black flowers, and her flowing silvery locks glistened in the noon sun beautifully. The pair approached the dais and kneeled before Septon and Lord Commander, prepared for their elevation to King and Queen.

Septon Eustace, adorned in rich robes of white trimmed with all the colors of the rainbow stood upright, Septas walking a circle around the royal pair and swinging braizers of incense before departing. Two page boys stood nearby with the Valyrian steel and ruby crown of Aegon the Conqueror, another with the matching crown of his sister-wife Rhaenys.

Eustace intoned his voice to carry throughout the labrynthine hall and formed a blessing gesture as he retrieved the first of seven holy oils. He spoke solemnly as he dripped the blessed oils over the pair, "May the Father grant him the wisdom to rule justly."

Another page retrieved the vessel and passed Eustace another as they continued the ceremony, "May the Mother grant him the heart to rule with mercy."

"May the Warrior defend him and grant him the fortitude to persevere in these dark times."

"May the Smith grant him strength to face the burdens he must bear."

"May the Maiden keep his wife, his children, and those he loves safe."

"May the Crone, who knows the fate of all men, lift her lantern and show him the path through the shadows."

"May the Stranger, show favor to him and keep him from falling into those shadows."

The last vessel was poured and the Septon raised his arms to heaven as he said, "In the Light of the Seven, I now proclaim, Aegon of House Targaryen, Second of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Six Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm. Long may he reign."

The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard lowered the Crown of Aegon the Conqueror upon the new King's head as Queen Mother Alicent lowered its partner upon Helaena, and the room echoed with a chorus of, "Long may he reign."

With the proper crowning complete Aegon and Helaena stood, and turned to one another. A short kiss followed by applause and their hands parted as Aegon smiled towards the beautiful Sunfyre. The glittering Gold dragon dropped into the pit with a triumphant roar, stalking towards the platform to its rider. Aegon released the clasps of his luxurious cape, which was quickly collected by his paige.

He climbed atop the magnificent beast, settling into the dragons saddle. He locked himself in place, speaking softly to the glittering dragon as he readied himself. Mere moments later the dragon was flapped its great wings and took to the skies. He would fly thrice around the capital, a final tradition to be seen by the small folk and lords, their King high above them upon a terrifyingly beautiful beast.


Prince Aemond mounted his gold and black barded horse, riding down the street of sisters and watching Aegon fly around the city on the magnificent Sunfyre. He rode behind his sister Heleana and his mother Alicent, as well as his grandfather Ser Otto. The remaining members of the Kingsguard followed, then the Small Council, and a long train of courtiers and retainers. Banners waved in the air and Targaryen Men-at-arms, Hightower men, and Gold Cloaks marched on either side of the column. Flowers drifted through the air and silvery horns sounded with triumphants drums as the smallfolk cheered, many of them pointing to the sky as the party rode on.

Aemond waved back at the crowd, winking at a comely lass. As many peasants there were who smiled at him, others shrank back from the sight of his glittering sapphire eye. Aemond leaned over to Ser Criston Cole, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, "It is something isn't it? The love of the people. How does it feel to have it back, ser? Odd that you had to betray your lady love to do so. You were never so well-liked since you fought in her name. I imagine you must have mixed feelings." He sneered at his mentor.

Riding proudly atop his own steed next to the prince, Cole held the reigns casually with one hand, waving idly with the other. Keeping his eyes fixed on the crowd, he turned his head ever-so-slightly to listen as the prince spoke. Allowing for Aemond to air his goading remarks, as he so often did, Cole replied smugly "Fought and won." Silencing himself for a moment as he maintained a confident smile and returned to waving towards the crowds, he continued, "In my experience, the people haven't concerned themselves with who's favour I hold. So long as you fight well, and," now offering the prince his full attention, with a smug nod of his head, "I do."

Straightening his posture and looking ahead with an audible sigh, the Lord Commander decided to avoid the topic of Rhaenyra directly, instead reminiscing of his old melees and tourneys, "Cracking the skull of Laenor's boy-lover. Gods, that was a good fight. Pompous little shit called himself the 'Knight of the Kisses'." Throwing his head back in a brief, but loud guffaw, the man continued, "There'll be plenty of that to go around when she and Daemon hear of this. With any luck, it'll be his skull next."

Aemond laughed with him, "Aye, I remember that. That's the day you made Strongbones, Breakbones. Jealously, perhaps? Unbecoming of a Kingsguard isn't it?" Aemond kept riding with Cole, "Ah, my uncle would relish the chance I think. He never forgave you for beating him in tourney. My uncle's skull is hardier than any ten men's combined, I wish you luck."

Aemond smiled confidently, "But it will be I who beats Daemon. On dragon back. Vhagar will break the Blood Wyrm, and I'll pry Dark Sister from my dear uncle. I couldn't do it without you of course, you taught me well. But you know what they say about students and mentors."

Aemond had always been a shit, and even as a young boy excelled in knowing just how to make those around him tick. For most, it was the reason they hated him. Cole, however, had always found entertainment in listening to the young Targaryen's barbs and taunts, even if his words concerning Rhaenyra often hit a little too close to home. "You don't need luck when you're as good as I am.", he said simply with a cocky smirk plastered across his face. Aemond was, in Cole's mind, right about one thing. Dragons. This war would not be decided by the exploits of Cole or any other swordsman, that much was certain, and instead the fate of Westeros would depend on the skill of the dragonriders.

Casting the thought aside, the idea of being without any major glory in his first true war being an unwelcome thought to the Lord Commander, he shrugged casually before commenting, "When the day comes I can no longer hold a fucking sword, years from now, maybe what those fools say will ring true." Humming in thought for a second, he sneered, "Maybe."

Aemond chuckled, clapping Cole on the shoulder, "Don't be so fucking grim, ser. We'll need you as a general in this fight. And aye, you'll be old someday. But not today, nor soon. Until then, why don't you crack as much skulls as you can eh? I always wanted to go to war with you." He smiled for once and turned back to wave to the crowds.

"My brother's lucky he has us on his side. And woe to my fair sister."

Likewise returning his attention to the crowds, waving and meeting the eyes of the fairer women among them, he couldn't help but laugh at Aemond's words.

"Aye, woe unto your fucking sister."
The Golden Dragon

Lifting his glass once more to his lips Aegon took a long draw from his wine, sighing contently as he sat it back down. His personal room in Maegors Hold fast was lavishly furnished with a thick Ironwood desk dominating the center of the room. The chair in which he sat was made of luxurious leather which cradled the Princes plump form well. He appeared to be writing in between sips of wine when Ser Cole would enter.

Promptly removing his helmet, moving to hold it beneath his armpit, the armor-clad Lord Commander of the Kingsguard turned to close the door behind him with a solid thud. Turning again to face Aegon with a slight nod, he took hurried steps towards the man, a loud clunk of his armor accompanying each step. Closing the distance between the two men, Cole peered down at the seated prince.

"Your highness - I thought you might have reconsider-"

"Ser Cole let me stop you now, my mother and Grandfather have already spoken to me and I've given them my thoughts on the matter. Maester Munkun tried as well and I assure you that he was just as unsuccessful.", he ended his sentence at the same time he finished writing and only then looked up at the White-cloak.

"So, if there was anything else you wished to speak of so as I may save you the time?"

Allowing an audible sigh to escape his lips, Criston brought a gloved hand to his temple for but a moment. The Lord Commander of the Kingsguard would not serve under a 'Queen' such as Rhaenyra - that much, he knew. While facing away from the prince for but a moment, Cole bit his bottom lip in thought before turning again to face Aegon, planting his helmet solidly on the desk before the both of them.

"Have you heeded nothing they have said? Your elder sister will soon walk these halls as Queen with those ba-" biting his tongue, Cole changed his argument, "Westeros has never had a Queen, and we are a short time away from chaos."

Aegon sighed heavily and shook his head ever so slightly, dipping his quill in ink he returned to writing once more before answer Ser Cole.

"I have heard the same thing from the others. So what? It is not like she does not have a King, Daemon will sit beside her and rule as well will he not? I doubt Aegon the first never took counsel from his wives why should Rhaenyra ignore her husband? Before Aegon Westeros had never had a single King before but we did not all die of plague and famine. Rhaenyra will take the throne and it shall be like every Targaryen ruler before her but with tits"

He smiled slightly as he looked back up at Cole, picking up the vase from which he poured his wine and poured a glass for Ser Cole, "Now you may remain and converse if you so wish but at least drink while you're here, any annoying conversation because infinitely more bearable with a good Dornish wine.", he pushed the glass towards Cole.

Cole locked eyes with the young prince as the glass was slid towards him. Bitterly removing the armored gloves from his hands and setting them down beside his helm, Cole silently took the glass, downing its contents. Liquid courage, perhaps.

Allowing the silence to continue for a short while longer, Cole curtly spat out the words, "You condemn us all.". Pulling out a chair to sit next to the Prince, the Lord Commander adjusted his cloak of bright white as he sat down. "Your beloved sister, who you so eagerly would make Queen, will be your doom. Our doom." Resting his elbows against his legs, Cole leant forward, speaking in a hushed manner, "You know the talk of your sister. She and Ser Harwin.", quickly raising a hand to silence the predicted protest from the Targaryen opposite, Cole continued, "I know you don't care. But the realm will. The bastard boys of some Strong running around this keep, a bastard boy sitting on the Iron Throne? Westeros will bleed for this."

Reclining back into the wooden chair, a slight noise from his chain mail as he moved being the only audible sound in the room, "You will bleed for it, too."

Aegon's eyes shot daggers at the Kingsguard for ordering his silence, however short and indirect the order was. It was insolent and if he were in a worse mood he would likely have harped on it... but the man now had Aegon's attention.

"I will bleed you say? The realm will bleed if a boy with brown hair and an ugly face sits the throne? I seem to remember the North is ruled by plenty of ugly brown haired men and they've not bled recently. But if I am crowned I assure you Rhaenyra will make us bleed. She has dragons after all and no love for me I assure you. If I oppose her supposed birthright the realm may very well burn Ser Cole. How is that not the worse option? How will I or the realm bleed for her sons?"

Aegon again let his self-righteous smirk crease the sides of his mouth, confident the Knight had no further argument and hoping this may end the trying conversation.

Cole returned a slight smirk, nodding his head toward Aegon slightly, playing along with his argument. "A fair point - if you take the crown, there very well may be war. In fact - I expect there will." Rising from the chair, Cole continued, "but, I think, crowning Rhaenyra will also lead to war. Not today, perhaps, not tomorrow. But somewhere along the line, somebody is going to believe those rumors about her bastard sons, not that Ser Harwin will be able to offer any input after he burned alive." Pausing for a second to allow the thought of a man burning alive to enter the thoughts of the young prince, Cole continued, "A fate we may yet share. See, I make it, that if Rhaenyra wants to prevent such a war in the future, she merely needs to be rid of the other claimants. Your line. If there are no other Targaryens to contest the crown from her children, then the fate of Westeros is sealed. Her succession is guaranteed."

Reaching across the table for the jug of wine, pouring himself another glass, he confidently continued, "But we have dragons. We have support - we have the true legitimacy. You said yourself your sister has no love for you. Do not leave your fate to her hands, do not submit your life to one who views you as a threat. Ser Harwin was, undoubtedly, a threat. We know what happened to him."

Finished pouring his glass, Cole sat the jug down on the table, taking a long drink of the wine.

"If your sister sits her arse on that throne - we will bleed. You, me, those who have encouraged you to press your claim. Her first act as the Queen of this Kingdom will be to secure her kingdom." Taking another, final drink of the wine before sliding the empty glass across to Aegon, he finished, "By killing us."

Silence reigned in the aftermath of Cole's closing statement. Prince Aegon was glowering at the man, his fist shaking slightly. Not because he had insulted him or Rhaenyra, but because Aegon knew he was right. The thought had nagged at the back of his ever since his father died. He chewed on his bottom lip before downing what was left in his glass. He placed it down and sighed loudly.

"It... it has crossed my mind, Ser Cole, that you may be correct. Rhaenyra despises my mother and my nephews despise me and my brothers. And Daemon is a power hungry-", Aegon stopped himself and sighed again.

"... If I were to accept Ser Cole and be crowned King, I trust there is a plan to deal with my half sister and her bastards? They have more dragons than I have. But we will have the element of surprise I suppose..."

Aegon frowned as he often did and tilted his glass absent mindedly as he spoke. Thinking quietly to himself.

"Fine. You win Ser Cole. I accept the crown that is my birthright. Go and tell my jubilant mother... and tell my paige if I don't have more wine by the time my mother comes in to congratulate my decision as I'm sure she will he' ll be flogged."

Bowing his head, Cole retrieved his helm and gloves from the table, "We will deal with Rhaenyra - and the realm will support their rightful king." Turning to leave the room, satisfied in accomplishing the task he set out to achieve, Cole looked over his shoulder toward Aegon as he opened the door, "Your grace."

As the door closed behind Ser Cole Aegon leaned back in his chair... a rare smile crossing his lips. 'Your Grace', he quite liked the sound of that.

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