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Walk Through The Fire

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276 AC 

Standing before the ruins of Summerhall, Rhaegar Targaryen gazed at the castle that held a special connection in his heart above all other regions in Westeros. The prince of Dragonstone walked along the outside of the blacken halls of his birth place, alone with his thoughts. His guard stayed in the nearby village, while he traveled to the ruins. The shadow of Summerhall haunted him since he learned about the circumstances of his birth. Built by King Daeron II, the twelfth king to sit upon the Iron Throne, it was a place of relaxation from the trials of court for his family. The tragedy that befell the castle while he came into the world. The death of kings and the birth of a prince. Touching the walls, the black soot that painted his hand still remained, even after all these years. 

The ghost knew his songs, and he knew the ghost. His harp, a constant companion when he traveled to Summerhall, played his emotions. The silver strings shared in his heartache, together making music of mutual sentiment. Rhaegar traveled to Summerhall for a couple of years, singing under the moon and stars, when he was not with his books by the sun or candlelight. One found Rhaegar, these past few years, building his skills with the sword. He once heard the servants’ whispers of how his mother must have swallowed books and candles whilst he was in her womb. He did not even mind the whispers of knights, who jest and called him Baelor the Blessed reborn. He was more a scholar than a warrior, but that did change during his studies one day.

That day he marched up to Ser William Darry, the master-at-arms, in the yard as the knights were donning their steel, and told him he required a sword for it seem he must be a warrior. The field was silent. Rhaegar could tell no one was expecting this. Yet, no one questioned his decision at that moment, as the knight equipped him, and his training began. He knew that as the Prince that was Promised, and he needed to prepare for when the realm needed him.

Time passed with the sun dipping below the desolate lands, giving rise to a glimmering moon. A fire warmed the prince while his harp, still in hand, played its tune. A sad melody came from its stings while the dragon prince crooned the words. Rhaegar continued to sing until his arms no longer held the harp. The ghost crawled closer as Rhaegar’s eyes grew heavy with sleep. 

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Screams of pain surrounded the prince, with the clanking of steel. He wore black armor, covered in rubies that seem to be crying, while he stood in the middle of a deep stream. In front of him, stood a black stag. The antlers of the beast were towering, as if they could touch the heavens. Their shadow engulfing Rhaegar. The stag rose from the ground from beast to man, armed to fight.

“You will pay, dragonspawn!” The creature shouted while it began its charge. Rhaegar readied himself for the fight. The rubies tears stained the stream red around him.

The land changed before his eyes. Something started falling from the sky. Was it snowing? No, Rhaegar realized, reaching out his hand. Petals. Petals from blue roses. They were a rare sight in the South. Rhaegar moved forward. The further Rhaegar traveled, the harder the petals fell. The petals began to blind his sight, yet Rhaegar saw a figure through the winter roses. The ground shook the closer Rhaegar moved towards the mysterious figure. Beneath the figure, her shadow mutated. One shadow turned to three. Rhaegar watched as these shadows grew, and the three gigantic shadows loomed above the figure. Their roars deafened Rhaegar, as the then world turned black.

Again, Rhaegar’s dream changed. He knew where he was immediately. In front of him stood Summerhall, but it was not the burnt ruin that he had come to know. This castle was magnificent, standing tall among the mountains behind it. The lake glisten, like diamonds, as the sun’s rays hit the water. The chanting of Valyrian greeted Rhaegar. He made his way to the great hall. A room filled with people. His eyes immediately found the man in the center of the room, with shoulder-length hair that shone bright like gold. This slender man, Rhaegar recognized, was Aegon V Targaryen. The king of Westeros when Summerhall burned.

The man next to him then had to be his son and heir apparent, Duncan Targaryen. The tallest of the group then was Duncan the Tall, the commander of the Kingsguard. The men and many others surrounded a fire. Rhaegar walked closer to the group. The fire crackled, and yet Rhaegar noticed something in the middle of the flame. Moving closer, the grew bigger, while the chanting grew louder. The prince of Dragonstone halted in his steps, his eyes widening at the scene in front of him. The flames clawed up the castle walls, and the chants turned to screams. Rhaegar could only watch in horror as men and castle burned together. Yet, the king of Westeros stood next to the fire. The flames climbed slowly up his clothing, and he did not seem to notice. The past king lifted his sight from the fire, and looked at Rhaegar.  

“Find them.” He commanded. The ground below Rhaegar splintered, and the earth below him opened. The heir apparent dropped through the earth, landing on his back. The pain. Pain? Rhaegar reached to the unknown. It was cold and damp. Slowly, the world around the prince turned to black. Up above, the world still burned. Yet, Rhaegar thought he heard not the screams of the dying, but a roar. 

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Rhaegar awoke, the sound of clanking steel still rang in his ears, while the rest of the dreams slowly faded. Yet, Rhaegar cling to his dreams, fighting for them to stay just for a little while longer. His heavy panting filled the silence in the field. With his breathing calming, Rhaegar stared out at the rising sun. The vividness of the dream, the sound of war, the smell of the roses, and the feeling of the flame beneath his hands were almost life like. Looking over, Rhaegar noticed that his camp fire was beginning to die down. Poking at the flame, he placed another log on it. Summerhall loomed over him. Thinking back on the dream, Rhaegar remembered the words Aegon spoke to him. Find them. Find who?

“Are you hiding something within your walls?” Rhaegar questioned the blacken ruins. He had to know what secrets were calling out to him from his dreams. Rhaegar lit a branch with the remaining fire, and walked towards the castle that had plagued him. Inside the castle, the heir apparent followed the path from his dream, searching through the burnt rooms; touching and banging on the walls and the floors. Light from the broken roof bolstered Rhaegar’s flame. There had to be something here, Rhaegar thought as he continued his journey. He traveled into the great hall, making his way to the center of the room. He watched the castle burn from this room before the dream faded. With sunlight peeking into the room, Rhaegar stepped forward gently. With each step, the floor creaked. From the stories Rhaegar heard of that terrible night, Aegon was trying to hatch dragons from the eggs he gathered. Rhaegar continued to stare down at the floor. Did Aegon place them in the flames? The age of the dragons from the Conquest was over. The creatures living in peace until the Dance of the Dragons about brought them near extinction. The last dragon died with Aegon III. To be able to ride a dragon was something Rhaegar would never be able to do, a wish of many of his family. His foot slammed into the floor, in a bout of rage. The Targaryen line almost ended by its own hands. His foot slammed again into the ground. He would do better than his ancestors. The creak turned into a crack.

The prince of Dragonstone fell instantaneously. The impact sudden and painful. Rhaegar tried to reclaim his breath, as he laid upon the bedrock. Something wet and cold landed on the prince’s forehead, prompting him to slowly lift himself up. He paused at what laid before him. The cave was massive. Stalactites hung above him, their edges readied to strike when released from their confines. Basins of water laid throughout the cave.

Slowly moving through, Rhaegar noticed that the pools were of different depths. Some puddles, others so deep Rhaegar doubt he would ever see the bottom. How this system exists without anyone knowing was something Rhaegar doubt he would learn in this lifetime. Yet, that was not his greatest concern. The silver haired prince searched the cave diligently, yet there seem to be none. As time passed, the young prince filled with a thirst. Rhaegar bent down to drink from one of the pools. The cool water felt fulfilling sliding down his throat. Taking a moment to stare down at the body of water, a sparkle caught Rhaegar’s eye at the bottom of the pool. One speck turned to three upon a closer look, each a blur. Quickly undressing, Rhaegar dove into the water. He pulled himself deeper into the water, going further down with each stroke. Hands reaching forward, towards the specks, Rhaegar gripped them tightly to his chest. He pushed himself to the surface. His lungs began to burn.

Gasping for breath, the dragon prince pulled himself out of the pool, clutching at his prize. Dragging himself out of the water, Rhaegar finally looked down at what he grabbed out of the water. By the Seven Gods. Rhaegar could not believe what he held in his arms. He lost his mind. It was the only explanation. In his arms, Rhaegar held three dragon eggs. Magnificent beasts that kept his family in power for hundreds of years laid in his arms. Staring at the eggs, it seems that time had harden them into stone. Yet, they were still a symbol of his family. Three eggs, three different looks. One egg was white, silver streams laid through the ancient egg. The second was red with copper markings spread throughout. The last dragon egg was a deep cobalt, with gold markings flowing deep. Rhaegar kept them close, looking for an exit back to the top. More time passed when Rhaegar finally found an opening in the cave. His body chilled from the water, Rhaegar headed back to his camp.

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Rhaegar sat close to the flames, drying off from his misadventure. The eggs placed in front of him. The prince stared at the eggs in awe. The realization of what he had found still stumbling around in his mind. Was this a sign of who he was meant to be? Should he show his family what he had found? This could be a sign of good fortune to come, but Rhaegar hesitated. His father had slowly been crumbling into madness, cutting everybody off from him. No, he would keep this to himself for now. While he was fascinated with the creatures, maybe he did not know everything about them. He should head back to King’s Landing. When the time was right, he would show the eggs to everyone.

Sometime later, a voice shouted for the dragon prince. “My prince!” The voice called again. Rhaegar turned from packing his supplies to his horse, tightening the last strap. The eggs laid tucked in his bag, bundled in his clothes. He turned to see a kingsguard racing towards him. The rider was close enough for Rhaegar to recognize who it was. The knight was Ser Jonothor Darry, atop his dark stead. The Kingsguard stopped his horse feet from his prince, his breathe heavy from the journey.

“What is it, Ser? You seem in a hurry, that you passed my guard.” Rhaegar asked the knight. “Your mother, my prince. She gave birth. It is a boy!" Ser Darry took a moment to catch his breath. "They named him Viserys, your grace. You have been ordered home by the king.” He announced to Rhaegar. The prince nodded, lifting himself onto his horse. “Then we need to head home, so I may meet my little brother.” The prince and knight began their journey back to King’s Landing.