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Revenge of Fire and Blood

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Trident 

 

Daeva Naelyria Fyreheart

 

 

Naela could feel a whirlwind of emotions, one was sadness. Sadness for Elia and the bad hand she'd been dealt since her marriage to Rhaegar. She also felt anger, anger for not being here when her presence was crucial, as well as anger for not participating in the.

 

Mayhaps, mayhaps things could have been different had I took part in the reign of the dragons, she thinks, her thoughts continue to cause her sudden pause of motion as she walks along the banks of the Trident’s Ford. Mayhaps the dragons would be alive and there wouldn't have been five Blackfyre rebellions.

 

She also felt hatred; hatred for Rhaegar and his insane desire for prophecy and disregard for his wife and children. As she wandered the banks of the Tridents Ford, stepping over corpses, lost in a daze; she thought about the glory days and also being thrown back into reality by one of her many silent sisters she had brought with her to recover the bodies of the dead loyalist.

 

She thought of how great of a king Aegon could've been had he lived and she groomed him to do so. She thought of his namesake...all of them...from those princes that should've been and could've been, to those who did take the throne and failed miserably as well as those who succeeded at kingship.

 

My God, I miss those days, she thought, as she discovered the corpse of the fallen kingsguard Prince Lewyn Martell. "Oh, Lewyn," she peered down at the man's corpse, his white armor now a sickly red-brown. "I promise… you… Jonothor… Elia… Rhaenys… and Aegon… you will all be avenged…”

 

After a while of collecting and cremating corpses, Naela eventually discovered the Rhaegar's corpse, after collecting the trail of rubies leading right to it. Standing over it, she whispers. "Rot in hell you… you… Damnit!!!” she lost her words. The main contributor to her current pain was now dead, and she found herself lacking the words that represent her built up frustration. she looks down at him, his eyes still open and it chokes her with grief, because despite all of his wrong-doings, Rhaegar was once like her child, as Aerys and Rhaella were before him and Jaehaerys and Shaera before them. Naela falls to her knees and bawls her eyes out, remembering her own children who were taken from her long ago. She pressed her hand onto Rhaegar’s face, closing his eyelids, before bending down to kiss his forehead. When she rose to her feet, she had removed his crimson cloak as well as taken up his sword. the sad look she had just expressed immediately returned to the look of hatred she displayed when she first discovered Rhaegar’s corpse.

 

“Good night my Silver Prince,” Naela whispered under her breath. “In the end, you were a selfish, ‘mad’ prick, but I guess I have myself to blame for that. I gave you the wrong book. If Lyanna really has given you a child, then I will not make the same mistakes I carelessly made with you. the same goes for Viserys. I intend to make him ‘Aegon the Conqueror’ come again.”

-----

For the longest time afterwards, she wondered where Lyanna was. 'The tower,' she remembered then. ‘Dorne.'

 

One of her servants approached her, crying out. “M-My Lady Fyreheart… we have received word that Eddard Stark is on his way to Storm’s End to lift the Tyrell Siege.” realizing what little time she had to reach the tower in Dorne and save Rhaegar’s last child, Naela whistles call for her horse. An unusually large jet black Clydesdale appears. Mounting the great stead, she charges southward with great heist. for nearly 300 years, she has watched the realm go to shit time and time again, knowing she had the power to prevent most of the atrocities that had occurred in that timespan. Now, she intends to rectify all of it.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

In the woods outside of Cider Hall

 

Rolly

 

 

Rolly was good as dead. He was just a simple smith’s son, raised to the castle garrison, and working as hard as he could to better appease lord Caswell. Lord Caswell was kind and amiable; the man had been good to Rolly and his father. But his son, was another subject entirely.

 

Lorent Caswell was a wet shit, nothing like his father, impulsive, half-witted, with the worst manners you could possibly imagine. Lorent was a weakling, yet the whoreson received knighthood, and doing nothing to earn it. He probably had his father pay a knight to knight him, Rolly thought. He was already untouchable, and speaking out against was a death sentence.

 

The real true problem started on Rolly’s sixteenth nameday; his father had forged an especially custom longsword. And as if the Gods had some dark humor, Lorent saw it and tried to take for himself. To add insult to injury, Lorent claimed that Rolly’s hands were fit for a hammer and not a sword. There was some hint of truth to that, as Rolly took up his father’s hammer, breaking both of Lorent’s arms and half of the ribs, to which he fled Bitterbridge thereafter.

-----

It’s only been a fortnight since Rolly fled. He hadn’t slept a wink, fearing old lord Caswell’s men were on his trail.

-----

It had been three days and two nights had passed since Rolly had eaten last, and his strength was beginning to fail him. All he had taken with him was his longsword and his boots. Soon enough, Rolly’s vision blurred from exhaustion, and he collapsed. He could hear the galloping of a horse nearby, but he blacks out before he could see who it was.

-----

“Wake up,” a muffled voice calls out, but Rolly paid it no mind, until he felt a wet sensation on his face. His eyes shoot open only for them to meet a pair of glowing, fiery golden eyes, and a face shrouded in the darkness of the night. “Do you have a name?”

 

Rolly rises to his feet then, licking his lips to find that wine was dowsed on his face. “R-Rolly… and you are?”

 

“Naelyria…” she replied. “Mind telling me what the hell you’re doing half dead in the middle of the woods outside of Cider Hall? Don't you know bandits prowl these parts at night?” she scrapes the rocks together, igniting the pile of twigs between them. As the flames grew, they revealed Naelyria’s sun-kissed skin, short, ivory white hair, shorter than Rolly’s. She had a sword holstered to the belt of her ebony and scarlet surcoat that hid her legs. Under the surcoat she wore black scale mail. Her eyes glowed brighter than the fire.

 

“If I’m being honest, I haven’t really known life outside of Bitterbridge.” Rolly states.

 

She raises an eyebrow then. “So why are you here and not at Bitterbridge?”

 

Rolly looks away then. “I kind of can’t… see, I brutally injured Lord Caswell’s only son and heir with a smith’s hammer.”

 

“And how did that come about?” she appeared interested.

 

“He attempted to steal my nameday gift.” He presented the greatsword to Naelyria.

 

He examined the blade fiercely. “Great craftsmanship. I would’ve done the same thing. For an exquisite sword, such as this. Who crafted this masterpiece?”

 

“My father…” he replied. Naelyria looked up at him with frank disbelief.

 

“You’re a blacksmith’s son. Allow to extend my gratitude towards your father; blacksmith is a noble trade. He truly has a gift.”

 

“You are most kind, Naelyria.”

 

Their discussion is instantly ended when a number of horses can be heard galloping around them. Five men on horseback surrounded them

 

“Well, well, well…” the man in front of them dismounted from his horse “It’s been awhile Rolly.”

 

“You know these people Rolly?” Naelyria asked.

 

“This is Ser Edwyn. We all served in the Caswell castle garrison together.”

 

“Lord Caswell will be pleased to know that we have found you.” Ser Edwyn was clearly full of himself, as Rolly always noticed about the man. “Though he’ll probably settle for your pickled head… just like your father… I took his head ya know…”

 

A sharp pain struck Rolly then, his father was dead; killed for his son’s actions. Rolly grips the sword intensely, his face burning red with grief and anger. He felt Naelyria’s hand on his shoulder then, shaking her head. Ser Edwyn is just provoking me. Right?

 

“Wait, since when do fathers answer for their sons’ misdeeds? The sins of antiquity go the other way around.” Naelyria is shocked.

 

“Either way, come quietly,” all the men drew their sword and surrounded Rolly and Naelyria.

 

“I was hoping to spill some blood.” Naelyria displayed a sinister smile then. “It’s been a very, very, very, very long time since I’ve stained my swords with blood.”

 

Naelyria draws the sword holstered to the belt of her surcoat. The blade itself was black and moderately curved; the flames revealed the many ripples in each part of the blade. The only other time he saw ripples like that, was when Randyll Tarly and his army passed through Bitterbridge. “Valyrian steel,” Rolly gives her a look of exasperation. “Where did you get Valyrian steel from?”

 

“Not the time or the place.” She spat at him. “Survive… and I’ll tell you.”

 

“Enough of this,” one of Edwyn’s men strikes at Rolly before he could react. To everyone’s surprise, the same man was now on the ground at Rolly’s feet, headless.

 

Rolly turns to Naelyria; her blade was dripped with blood. The others men back away in fear. “Who’s next?” and with that, Edwyn was the last man there, as the other three ran, forgetting the fact that they had horses.

 

“Rolly,” she withdrew her sword then, sitting down by fire. “It’s time to prove your metal.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I want to see what you’re made of…” she said. “I just decided that I don't want to continue my journey alone, but in order for you to come with me, I need to know how good you truly are with a sword and can take care of yourself combat-wise.”

 

“What’s in it for me if I do go on this journey with you?”

 

“I don't know… a horse's weight in gold... a royal pardon... knighthood-”

 

“Deal,” Rolly assumes the position to fight Edwyn…

 

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Prince's Pass

 

Daeva Naelyria "Naela" Fyreheart

 

 

 

Naela found herself in a state of happiness, as she had a faithful encounter with a man who could potentially wear a whitecloak someday. Obviously, he wasn't that much older than the Kingslayer, so Naela would have Rolly wait til he was older and much more experienced. Either way, that was one of the four open positions that she guaranteed.

-----

Naela couldn't help but snicker at Rolly as the dry dornish heat made him lick at his own sweat. Naela wasn't effect by the heat, simply because the desert, and hot climate of Dorne was nothing compared to what she’s use to.

 

There were a series of wind currents that eased Rolly’s suffering, but none of them ever lasted long enough to satisfy him completely. At other times, there was a huge gust that would reveal bones and armor of ages long since passed.

 

The whirling winds would pick up the sand to such heights, Naela and Rolly had to wear scarfs over their faces. When then sand at last clear, something startles Rolly’s horse, crying out and throwing him from the sandal.

 

“What’s wrong with your horse?” she turns her horse around and dismounts, only to have something partially buried in the sand with the sunlight bouncing light off of it. Naela approaches it, discovering it to be a gem.

 

“What is it?” Rolly approaches it as well.

 

“It’s a… ruby,” she notes. “A precisely cut, and strangely familiar ruby. I haven’t seen a ruby like this since-”

 

Naela is silent then, before dropping to her knees and scratching at the ground around the ruby. Sand goes flying into the air, revealing something black that the ruby is attached to.

 

“It can’t be,” she raises up a black circlet, studded with rubies, to the light, the sun revealing the many swirls and folds in it. “I found it… I can’t believe I found it…”

 

“A… crown?” Rolly looks surprised. “It’s a crown?”

 

“Not just any crown,” Naela had tears in her eyes. “You’re looking at the crown of Aegon the Conqueror… or as I would call it, one small piece of a much larger puzzle.”

 

Bittersweet memories came back to Naela as she held the circlet. The day of Aegon’s first coronation when he himself first wore it; she could remember seeing Visenya placing it on his head, and hearing Rhaenys’ voice as if it was all only yesterday.

-----

After sometime of reminiscing, the remounted their horse and continued onward.

-----  

Eventually, a tower came up in the distance, and Naela would knock her heels on the horse’s side for it to gallop. As she rode closer to the tower, she could see them, three figures, clad in white; their whitecloaks bellowing in the wind.

 

“Thank God you’re all ok.” Naela threw herself into Ser Gerold’s arms when she jumped from her horse. Rolly was right behind her, but his horse threw him off again landing him on his arse…

 

Ser Oswell draws his sword and points it at Rolly. “Who are you?”

 

“Rolly,” he states. “But everyone calls me Duck.”

 

“Why?”

 

“It’s a very long story,” Naela grins. “I’ll tell it to you when we’re out of this place and somewhere safer.”

 

“What do you mean safer?” asked Ser Arthur.

 

Ser Gerold lets loose Naela who readjust herself. “Ned Stark and a party of Northmen are o their way here. We should head to Starfall now before they even get here. So grab Rhaegar’s child and let’s move out.”

 

"Let the usurper's lapdog come," Oswell spat. "It has been awhile since I've had to use this sword."

 

“You can’t fight them,” she said. “Not when there are other Targaryens who need protection. So, let’s go.”

 

“We can’t,” said Ser Gerold. “The princess hasn't recovered from her delivery.”

 

“Delivery?” Rolly muttered.

 

“When we informed her about the prince’s death on the Trident, she went into an early labor.” Ser Arthur expresses no emotion.

 

“I see,” Naela rubs her chin then. She approaches the tower entrance “Keep an eye out. And let me know if anyone shows up. In the meantime, you four should get affiliated; for this is only the prologue of our time together.”

-----

The oder of blood and roses got stronger as Naela climbed the winding staircase of the tower. The blended scents remaindered her of her first human kill. It was an aged shepherd and his son, who was a man-grown himself. It was under the cloak of darkness, in the wilderness of the far east. Naela’s cousins and their children were starving and she only did what she thought was right. Alas, those cousins of hers have long since left the world of the living, as have most of her kin. The race of primals still lives on in the far east, but those bound to Naela and her siblings by blood have grown thinner throughout the ages.

-----

Upon opening the door chamber, Naela was met with a sight of blood, wilted roses, and Lyanna, laying silently in bed. Naela enters, only to notice the wetnurse on the other side of the room, her exposed tit pressed against a bundle of cloth in her arms.

 

Naela grabs hold of the chair at the foot of the bed and places it at Lyanna’s side, seating herself in it. Lyanna would slowly open her eyes and look up at Naela, smiling softly and Naela would smile back. “Nice to officially meet you face-to-face, Lyanna.”

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Tower of Joy

 

Princess Lyanna Targaryen nee Stark

 

 

“Are you Naelyria?” Lyanna looked up at her in awe.

 

“You know who I am?” she looked shocked.

 

Rhaegar had described Naelyria to an extent. She realized that hearing is one thing. Naelyria’s sun-kissed, brown skin was flawless. Her ivory white hair was shorter than her brothers’. The most enticing sight of all, was Naelyria’s eyes; As if someone threw a pile of gold dragons on and open flame. In most of Rhaegar’s stories, he mentioned how her eyes were like embers in the dark.

 

“Rhaegar spoke a lot about you.” She replied. “He had a number of stories to tell.”

 

“Really?” Naelyria asked. “He made no mention of you, but then again, I hadn’t spoken directly to him since Duskendale. At Harrenhal, I eavesdropped on him and another. He was talking about you and the three heads of the dragon.”

 

Lyanna rolled her eyes in disgust at the mentioning of it. “That Gods damned prophecy again. He kept talking about a coming darkness, and that I had to give him a Visenya. I ended up giving him a son instead; his name is Jon. Despite everything, I still loved Rhaegar, and know he loved me.”

 

Lyanna motions to Wylla to bring Jon closer to Naelyria, whose eyes widen and sparkle with would-be tears as she looks at the bundle in Wylla’s arms.

 

“In all fairness,” Naelyria sniffles, wiping tears from her eyes. "I take full responsibility for his pursuit in fulfilling that prophecy. When he was young and bookish, I gave him books from my own library; little did I know that he’d actually take them to heart. I should’ve put the pieces together when the red comet appeared in the sky, and Aegon’s birth that soon followed. It doesn't matter now, Elia’s dead, and her children are dead.”

 

“This is my fault,” Lyanna couldn't hold back the tears. “If Rhaegar hadn’t chosen me… mayhaps he would’ve-”

 

Naelyria cuts her off then. “Rhaegar would’ve just married another. Either way, he still was a terrible husband and father. Had Aerys not restricted contact with Viserys, Rhaegar would’ve been a terrible brother as well. But still, he was like my son once.”

 

Lyanna sniffled. “Did you ever have children of your own?”

 

“Yes… yes I did…” Naelyria’s voice trailed off. “Thrice I married for love, and as a result… I gave each of them a dozen children to be sure of that... Most were boys, and only three girls… my only girls… If men only want sons, they should’ve come to me… I was practically throwing out sons… I spent so much time in childbed, I lost the use of my legs a number of times.”

 

Lyanna could see the tears pour down Naelyria’s face now, landing on her hands and lap. Lyanna couldn't bring herself to dote on the matter any longer. Even Naelyria had a sorrowful past.

 

She wipes her tears and takes a deep breath then. “But I’ve accepted the fact that they’re lost to me forever, ripped from me long before their time. All I will be able to say, is that they gave me a much more positive view of the world, compared to what I had grew up seeing.”

-----

Lyanna lost track of the time, as she and Naelyria spoke. She could hardly believe how old Naelyria truly was, and how much youthful she still looked. They both spoke of their childhoods and dreams, and Naelyria recounted tales about how lovingly she remembered her own father, but silent when asked about her mother. She talked about her siblings, 12 in all; the nieces and nephews she had and still have.

-----

“I think you should know this…” her tone turned serious then and Lyanna wanted to know why.

 

“Know what?” Lyanna asked.

 

“Your brother Ned is on his way here.” She replied. “Which means neither you or your son, cannot stay here. Not when Robert wants all Targaryens dead.”

 

“Ned isn’t Robert, I’m sure he can be reasoned with.” Lyanna’s words hold some amount of doubt in them. “He would never harm me or my son, he’s my brother.”

 

“Men have crossed that line and spilled the blood of their own. Starks are no exception to this one truth. I’m sure you know of Bael the Bard and your ancestor, his own son killing him. Ned maybe your brother, but the fact that he is Robert’s closest ally, which makes him Robert’s lapdog; always at his beckoned call. If you couldn't trust him with the truth about you and Rhaegar, how could you trust that he won’t harm you or your child? In the worst-case scenario, Ned delivers you and Jon to Robert, and Robert has Jon placed on a trebuchet directed towards the Blackwater. Jon is a threat to Robert; and I’d hate to see what could happen should Ned be confronted with that.”

 

“Ned wouldn’t do that.” Lyanna repeats aloud and in her head, not able to wholly convince herself of it. Naelyria did have a point about trusting Ned. Benjen was the only one in the family that knew the truth about her running away with Rhaegar, that she knew well enough to trust with the truth. Ned would’ve gone straight to father about it, and Brandon still would’ve tried to kill Rhaegar.

-----

Muffled noises could be heard from outside of the chamber. The door swings open, and a man with orange hair appeared. “My lady, seven riders have appeared outside. One carries the wolf banner on his horse.”

 

“Ned’s here…?” Lyanna asked. “Please, don't hurt him, he’s still my brother.”

 

“You have my word I won’t harm a single hair on his head. But I’ll be back, so we can finish this discussion.” Naelyria smiled before leaving.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Tower of Joy

 

Eddard "Ned" Stark

 

  

Ned had reached the tower, his friends beside him. Proud Martyn Cassel; the crannogman, Howland Reed; Willem Dustin, upon his red stallion, faithful Theo Wull; Ethan Glover, who had been Brandon’s squire; and Ser Mark Ryswell, of soft speech and of gentle heart. Each of these men bled and suffered losses alongside him, and for that, he had nothing but complete respect for and trust in them. When Ned planned to travel south, they gladly volunteered without question.

-----

They were seven against three.

 

The three whitecloaks, were no ordinary three. There was Ser Arthur Dayne, the Sword of the Morning; Ser Oswell Whent, the Black Bat clad in white; and between them stood Ser Gerold Hightower, the White Bull. Their cloaks bellowed in the wind fiercely, as they stood, motionless and staring at Ned and his friends.

-----

“I looked for you on the trident,” Ned said to them.

 

“None of them were,” a woman’s voice boomed from inside of the tower. Out of the darkness, emerged a woman; slender and flat-chested with sun-kissed brown skin, golden eyes that could pierce armor, and ivory white hair shorter than Ned’s own. She was dressed in a form-fitted bodysuit of black scales with cutouts for her fingers and shoulders. A burning heart embroidered on her chest area. She had two swords holstered at her sides; their pommels shaped like dragon heads, mouths agape with ruby eyes. Around her waist was a transparent, scarlet cloth that dragged behind her. Next to her was another man, lean, tall and orange haired in simple olive green tunic, wielding a greatsword. “Although, I will admit that I myself came here from there.”

 

“Who are you?” Ned asked the woman.

 

“Only the Starks that peak my interest get to know my name.” she looks at Ned and cackles like a hen. “And you are no such Stark. But I will say that you may address me simply as… Fyreheart.”

 

She walks forward, partially closing the gap between them, but not enough to be arm’s length. “What brings you around these parts, Ned? Shouldn't you and your foster family be celebrating. You’ve avenged your father and brother, and the Targaryen children are-”

 

“Tywin Lannister had them killed, not me,” Ned grunted. The memory of their bloody corpses clung to him still. No child should have to answer for their father’s misdeeds, he thought silently to himself. “I told Robert that the Lannisters should be punished for their actions. What they did, only dishonored Robert’s cause. I wanted no part of that murder.”

 

“Yet Tywin, his men and his oathbreaker-of-a-son all still have their heads, and reside south of Castle Black. Why is that, Ned? Had your ancestor the old man of the North, Cregan Stark been in your position, the Lannisters, sure-as-all-7-hell, would’ve been put to death or swearing their black-brother vows as we speak. You’ve have proven that you have enough backbone to go to war for justice and your family’s sake, yet you won’t bring justice for the innocent who were wrongfully killed in the fray. Or were their lives forfeit in your eyes? Is that why you didn't take actions into your own hands and let harsh words be all you’re good for? It would seem I’ve overestimated you; a most common of mistakes on my part-”

 

“Enough of this hogwash chatter, return my lord’s sister, the Lady Lyanna, you bitch.” Ethan Glover was as hotheaded as Brandon. Now Ned saw why Brandon had chosen him as a squire.

 

Fyreheart laughs again. “Bitch? Is that the best you can do? Even Brandon knew the fundamentals of swearing. Did he not teach you them, boy? I’ve been called a witch, a cunt, a monster, even a demon of the seventh hell. But bitch? You’ll have to do much better than that.”

 

“Mayhaps you’ll prefer my steel instead,” Ethan draws his sword and charges at Fyreheart who crosses her arms and smirks. Ned reaches out to grab Ethan’s shoulder, only to have Ethan shove his hand away. Ser Arthur was ready to rush to aid, but she simply held her hand up, stopping him in his tracks. Ethan raises his sword above his head, and brings it down with his full force, only to have Fyreheart block it with her own sword. Ned gasps at the fact that he didn't even see her do so. With some degree of force, Fyreheart throws Ethan on his arse and playful smirks as she swings the blade in one hand.

 

She laughs hysterically then. “Arthur, Oswell, Gerold, Duck, stay back. These men are all mine for the taking.”

 

The White Bull looks distraught by this. “You can’t possibly mean to fight them all by yourself.”

 

“I do,” she replied. “I was trained to fight worse odds than this. And it’s been a long time since I put my father’s teachings to use.” She wields her sword with both hands; the blade itself was black and curved slightly, with a series of ripples in it.

 

“I always wanted Valyrian Steel,” mocked Ethan.

 

“Then you shall have it,” she widens her stance and bends her knees greatly as she brings the sword closer to her body. “Dance with me Northmen, since you’re all so eager to die and meet your gods. Be sure to tell them who sent you, since there aren’t any Weirwood trees here in Dorne.”

 

Ned and the others drew their swords as well, spreading out to surround Fyreheart. “Listen, we don't have to fight, if you surrender, I’m sure Robert will be merciful like he has to Ser Barristan and Ser Jaime.”

 

“These knights aren’t scum like Barristan, or Jaime. Unlike Barristan and Jaime, these men take pride in the oaths they swore, and don't turncloak under any circumstances.” Fyreheart spat. “Barristan is a traitor. May he rot in hell for it. Oh, I nearly forgot…”

 

“What…?” Ned asked.

 

“Lyanna asked me not to hurt you, so I suggest you stand back, I’m sure she’d want to speak to you in one piece.”

 

“Ned don't listen to her,” spoke Howland. “She’s just lying because she knows she can’t beat us.”

 

She glares at Howland then. Ned noticed that Fyreheart was taller than Howland by a hair. “You will fall first, crannogman.” she hissed at him. “And so it begins.” She turned back to Ned and smirked.

 

“No,” Ned said with sadness in his voice. “Now it ends.” He draws his, wielding it with both hands. Lya, I be there soon, looked up at the tower.

-----

They were seven facing one.

 

Ethan throws himself back on his feet, his face red with anger. “I won’t be bested by some whore.” He rushes towards her again.

 

“New dog, but the same old tricks,” she swung her blade, and locked it together with his sword. She grabbed hold of the collar of his tunic, and knocked her head against his before using her knee to ram his crotch, and throwing him over herself and pinning him to ground. Ethan remains motionless on the ground after Fyreheart removes her grip on him. “Guess I was wrong, crannogman. You’re next…”

 

Ned tensed up in fear after watching Ethan Glover get subdued without much effort. Fyreheart then turns to face Howland. She casually walks towards him, but he stands his ground, despite his shaking. “Leave him be,” Willem Dustin and Martyn Cassel both charge towards her, only to her counter-charge towards them, drawing her second sword and blocking both of their swords, her arms hoisted into the air over her head. Willem and Martyn put their full force into keeping her that stance. Fyreheart soon got down on both knees with her swords holding up theirs.

 

“Hurry and pin her down,” Martyn Cassel groaned. Ned and the other four inch closer. But before they could grab her, Fyreheart released her swords from her grip.

 

Fyreheart wraps her arms around Willem’s torso, tackling him to the ground. She draws Willem’s own dagger and jabs it into his thigh. Willem Dustin hollers in pain. She takes the same dagger and slashes at Martyn Cassel’s thigh, forcing him to the ground as well.

 

Before getting back on her feet, Theo Wull tackles her. “Ned… Go to Lyanna!!!”

 

“I can’t just leave the rest of you to fight her alone.” Ned said to the man.

 

“We’ll hold her off.” Mark assured him.

 

Ned approaches the tower, only to see Ser Arthur bar his way.

 

“Arthur, let him go,” Fyreheart said. The Sword of the Morning stands aside, and Ned rushes up the stairs.

-----

Upon opening the door, Ned sees Lyanna, lying in a bed stained in her own blood and wilted rose petals everywhere. Ned dashes to his sister's bedside, falling to his knees and cupping her hand in his own.

 

"Lya...Lya," Ned cried out wholeheartedly with tears on verge of gliding down his face.

 

"Ned...is...is that...you..." Lyanna weakly opened her eyes, cracking a sad smile at the sight of him. "I am… sorry Ned, for everything. For running away and not telling you. I thought that I couldn't truly be honest with you or trust you, especially since Robert’s your friend.”

 

“To hells with Robert,” Ned said to her. “You can always trust me with the truth. I’m your brother for Gods’ sake Lya. Robert is the last person I’m gonna let hurt you. Let’s go home to Winterfell. I know it won’t be the same without father or Brandon, but you have to come home, Benjen is waiting for us. And I want you to get to know Cat and our son Robb. Please…”

 

Lyanna shakes her head with what little strength she had left. “I cannot go back with you to Winterfell… please Ned… please promise me… that you will… protect... my son… If Robert finds out about him, he’ll kill him. You have to protect him, promise me Ned…”

 

"I… promise." Ned said. “Lya… I promise…”

 

Lyanna smiles before closing her eyes. “I’m glad… s-she… didn't… hurt… you-” her breathing slows down before stopping altogether. Ned holds his sister for a long time after that, his grief overwhelming him, until a baby starts crying.

 

“Is that… is that her son?” he asks. The girl nervously nods her head. “May I hold him?” Wylla hands the child over to him, and he gasps in exasperation, the babe had Lyanna's brown hair and Rhaegar's indigo eyes. Those indigo eyes were looking at Ned now, wondering who he was no doubt. “What did she name him?” he asks Wylla, his voice soft.

 

"J-Jon," Wylla says.

-----

“What will be your next course of actions now, Eddard Stark?” Ned couldn’t even see Fyreheart’s face, the darkness outside the chamber shrouded her face completely. The only part of her he could see, were her fiery golden eyes that illuminated like embers. “How do you intend to keep your promise to Lyanna? Will you forsake the bonds of friendship to Robert and fight to put Jon on the throne? Or will you bide your time and build up support over the years?”

 

Ned looks up at her, meeting her menacing, luminescent, golden gaze, before looking back at Jon’s innocent eyes. “No I won’t. No one needs to know where it is that he came from. My companions will take the truth of his parentage to their graves if I asked them to do so. I promised Lya I’d protect her son, so I'll claim him as my bastard.”

 

“That’s It!!!!?” Her voice flared up with anger. Jon started crying again, before Fyreheart took him out of Ned’s arm, swaying him back and forth until he stopped. She hands him off to Wylla before whispering to Ned. “Raise him on the belief that he was a mistake born from you missing your wife’s bed; born of lust and shame. That he's worth nothing. You would have him grow up in the shadow of your son Robb, and have your wife Cat would despise him because she can’t stand the idea that you fucked another woman. And for what!!? Because you don't trust her with the truth? Are you that fearful that she’ll sell Jon out to Robert? I hope you realize this idea is terrible, even for you.”

 

“You’re wrong...” he said. “Cat is a good woman and she will do her duty. As for my son Robb, and any other children the Old Gods may grace me with, Jon will be raised alongside them. They'll eat their meals at the same table, warm themselves in the same hearth, learn from the same maester and be trained by the same master-at-arms. Jon and Robb will grow up as brothers, with nothing but love between them.”

 

“First of all, no Westerosi highborn lady willingly raises their husband’s bastard by another woman. Secondly, Cat will despise Jon, she’s that kind of woman, her mother Minisa was that kind of woman as well. Cat’s hatred for Jon will see her seat him as far away from her and your children at any time meals are given. Cat will also tell your children to have no sense of trust in him, saying bastards are treacherous by nature, to which Daemon Blackfyre has credited that statement to be true. Jon will always have that feeling like he doesn't belong in Winterfell, and then he’ll do something stupid like join the Night’s Watch, with the naivest and childish notion that he’ll find some form of fulfillment and personal glory in a place where such things could never exist. The worst part, he’ll live by your moral code, to which you yourself are a slave to. The outside world is a terrible place, and I want Jon to live a long and happy life, until he’s old and grey, with an abundance of children and grandchildren. Which means that your sense of morality will get him killed, long before his time. If I were to give him to you, I shall do him wrong, and Lyanna wrong. I will not do them wrong, I’d rather wrong those still dead and rotting on the Trident, wrong myself, and you before I wrong this child. You would have him be like most people; living and dying in the same hovels they started life in. I don't want him to be most people.”

 

"What would you have me do then?" Ned asked. “I can’t fight Robert. Not after we fought and bled alongside each other.”

 

“Right, cause your honor compels you to stay loyal to a man who would see your nephew killed to pacify his bloodlust towards his own father’s kin. I would have you prove that your love and loyalty for your family is stronger than your friendship to Robert. Set right the wrongs that you allowed to go unpunished.” Fyreheart gestures for Wylla to leave the room with the baby. Fyreheart turns to leave as well but Ned stops her. She looks over her shoulder towards him.

 

Ned feels his anger grow at Fyreheart’s words. “You may insult me and my honor, but you will never ever question my loyalty to my sister or my family, because my love for my sister and my family is real.” She turns around completely, sarcastically clapping her hands together and smirking.

 

“I never said it wasn't real, I said I need some convincing.” She coldly declares. She renters the chamber and plops down on the bedside next Lyanna’s corpse. “Forgive me Lya,” she mumbles as she reaches over her and sticks her hands under the pillow that Lyanna’s head rested on. Fyreheart pulls out a number of folded up papers and a book. She remained on her knees at Lya’s bedside, clasping her hands together, lowering her head and closing her eyes. She mumbled in completely different tongue; the only thing he heard that made sense was Tiababylo, as she said multiple times. Is it a name? he thought.

 

“What are you doing with those?” Ned asked. “And what did you just mumble?”

 

“Proof that Lyanna wasn't kidnapped or raped as so many believe.” She responded. All Ned wanted to do was lash out at her, but his body wouldn't obey, which is why he didn't stop her as she desecrated Lya’s body. “And for your information, I was praying for your sister’s soul, because some of us feel better knowing that the soul is beyond suffering.”

-----

“I just want to protect Jon,” he said as she tried to leave again. “Fighting Robert won’t accomplish that.”

 

“I want to protect Jon too, but I’m not going to ever stoop so low as to lie to him. And I thought men-of-honor always told the truth. I’m disappointed.” She turns to leave again. “I suggest you take your companions to Nightsong for medical attention. Since you fought alongside Robert, you’ll find no hospitality here in Dorne. I’m not threatening, I’m simply being ‘honest’.”

 

Like the wind, Fyreheart disappeared out of the room, she made no sounds going down the steps. Ned went over to his sister's bedside, only to notice a box poking out from under the bed. He turned to look over his shoulder and see if Fyreheart had noticed it too and planned to return. She didn't. Pulling the box out, he sees the three headed dragon of House Targaryen imprinted on it. Ned lifts the latches and opens the box, revealing something extraordinary, dragon eggs, three in all. One was Onyx, another Crimson, and the third was pale Silver.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Tower of Joy

 

Daeva Naelyria "Naela" Fyreheart

 

 

The She-wolf didn't deserve this kind of ending, Naela wiped the tears before they could fall. Emerging from the tower, Naela motions for the kingsguard to come to her.

 

"Is the princess...?" Arthur displays a look of shock when Naela nods.

 

"We need to get to Starfall. From there, all of you will go to Braavos. Lucerys Velaryon and Ser Willem Darry should already be there with the Viserys and the others." Naela says.

 

"You're not coming with us to Braavos?" Gerold asked.

 

"There are still loyalists here in Westeros, and someone has to do the dirty work of rallying them. Once I'm done here I will send word on where next we meet. We should go now before those six idiots come to and Ned stops grieving. Whatever you do, don't let Stark get this child, it is imperative that he be united with his remaining family."

 

"With all due respect my lady," Wylla speaks up then. "Stark is his family too."

 

Naela sighs heavily then. "But he has no intention of being honest with Jon or himself for that matter. He would have Jon grow up and die in the grey waste of Winterfell, because Ned isn’t strong enough to face his past, or the truth.”

-----

With that Naela grabs hold of the red stallion that Willem Dustin rode in on, and mounting it.

 

“Didn't you have your own horse that you rode in on, Naelyria?” Rolly asked.

 

“Aye, but the kingsguard and Wylla aren’t gonna go to Starfall on foot.” Naela replies. “Unburden these northmen of some of their horses. They won’t be riding anytime soon.”

 

“How did you get to be so cold?” Ser Oswell asked Naela.

 

“Years of practice and a lot of losses.” Naela said. “Wait a minute… Ned’s the one with ice water in his veins and I’m the cold one…? I drink Myrish fire wine when I’m too lazy to start a fire.” Everyone cracks up at Naela own self-jape.  

-----

The four men help Wylla and the babe mount Naela’s own horse, with Ser Gerold mounting it as well to hold the reins. Ser Oswell and Ser Arthur grabbed hold of two of the six other horses, while Rolly mounted the same horse he rode in on.

 

Thus the restoration prologue was nearing its end.

 

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Sunspear

 

Prince Oberyn Nymeros Martell

 

 

Jon Arryn had come to Sunspear, carrying Elia's bones and the bones of her children with him. Naela had already returned Lewyn's bones sometime earlier.
-----
"Brother, how can you be so craven enough to break bread with our sister's murders? Did she and her children mean nothing to you? Are you so eager to spit on her grave?"

"You know as well as I that we have neither the swords to go up against Robert and the Lannisters. In order for us to achieve vengeance, we must lull the usurper into a false sense of security, if we are to able to get the necessary pieces into place."

Their cousin Manfrey enters the room hold a document. "Cousin I caution you not to act, regarding these peace terms. If you do this, you risk all of Dorne turning against you."

"Enough, Oberyn, I will explain everything to you after Lord Arryn leaves. Manfrey, we will discuss that matter in time as well. Away with you both."
-----
For three days it took Arryn and his company to negotiate with Doran. Oberyn wanted to leave to Essos and rally all of the sellsword companies together and strike at the usurper and claim justice for his Elia and her children.
-----
Manfrey moved silently. He never made a sound to let you know where he was or what he was doing. Truth be told, Oberyn hadn't seen his nieces or nephew either. Manfrey even kept his secret. What secrets are you hiding, cousin?
-----
The day had finally come. The usurper's lapdog Jon Arryn was gone, left at first light. Oberyn hadn't spoken to his brother since Arryn first arrived. Oberyn never went to dinner for he knew that they'd toast to the usurper and the Red Viper clearly would've turned over his cup.

"Cousin," Manfrey's voice was soft. "Your brother wishes to speak to you."
-----
Less than a minute after he entered the hall, Oberyn was slapped across the face by brother. Aero Hotah snickered under his breath.

"Brother what was that for?" Oberyn hissed, clutching his cheek. "Have you gone insane?!!"

"When last we spoke, you accused me of not caring about our sister and her children. How dare you?!! If you were not my baby brother, I'd have your entrails ripped out make you eat them, for making such demonizing accusations." Doran spat. "When I learned about Elia and her children, I wanted to go to Kingslanding and kill the Mountain and Tywin Lannister myself. But Dorne is no match against the combined strength of Baratheon Lannister, with the risk of Stark, Arryn and Tully aiding them. 25,000 is no match against their hordes, Oberyn. Dorne would be destroyed. Our children slaughtered like animals. What kind of Prince of Dorne would subject his people to that much suffering in the name of personal vengeance, brother?"

"So then what?!!!" Oberyn spoke up then. "Do we sneer under our breath and allow Elia to laid in her grave unavenged?"

"Patience, dear brother, for the time will come when we will have what is our vengeance. I must work to undermine Robert Baratheon and Tywin Lannister."

"And how do you intend to do that Doran, you yourself said not five minutes ago that we are too few and the Lannisters are too many."

"We have allies in court amidst the Stags and Lions, those with ambitions for glory. Those are to whom we bring to our side and have them bring about chaos in Robert's court. In the midst of the chaos, Viserys Targaryen shall return to take back the throne." Doran continued.

"Viserys is a child." Oberyn spat.

"That didn't stop you from wanting to continue the fight in his name." Their cousin Manfrey snickered.

"From what my spies in Braavos tell me, the boy king is being educated by a Halfmaester who is said to know more than full fledged maesters. And he practices swordplay under the tutelage of the Sealord's Firstsword. Soon enough, brother, you will good to Braavos under the guise of meeting the Sealord. But in truth, you will go and treat with Viserys Targaryen."

"Why me?" Oberyn's eyes widened.

"You are a Prince of Dorne. It is your duty to see to that our allies are taken care of and know who their allies are." Doran said to him. "Plus, a marriage pact needs to be witnessed."

Manfrey looks exasperated at Doran then. "You mean to marry your daughter to the king then?"

"Our support comes at a cost, cousin. Arianne will be made queen and Viserys will make up for how badly his brother treated Elia."

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

Starfall

Lady Ashara Dayne

 

Ashara's mornings usually start with her refusing to get up or take care of herself. Her broken heart was that of a broken dam. If it would be fix was unknown to her.
-----
There was screaming of a familiar voice that see Ashara to leave her bed chambers for once, without the pleading of her brother Arel and his wife.

When she entered the great Hall, she was surrounded by faces old and new. Her brothers Arel and Arthur, Ser Gerold and Ser Oswell, Wylla and Naela. The only knew faces were the child in Wylla's arms and a man with messy orange hair.
-----
"Why can't you see that Jon is the rightful king, Naela?" Her brother ranted angrily. "Because Prince Rhaegar was the eldest born, his children would come first in the proper succession."

Naela cringes then. "Have you forgotten that the Ned Stark is Jon's uncle...? If not, then you would do well to know that many Targaryen loyalist as of late that have no love for Stark, and to proclaim his sister's son could very well lose us the well needed allies. And Ned has made it clear he will not go to war against Robert, not even if it was for Lyanna's sake, for he has already broken bread with the man and called him 'brother'. On top of that, none know of Jon's existence. To proclaim him, we risk him being called a bastard spawned from rape."

"She's right you know," Ser Gerold told her brother Arthur. "If we're going to get support for our cause, we need to rally people behind a Targaryen that they are aware of and who they know about."

Arthur grumbles under his breath then. "Fine... You win again, Naela."

"When you put it that way, you make it sound like I always win."

"When it comes to arguments you kinda do." Ser Oswell muses.
-----
"Where do we go from here?" Arthur asked.

"You three and Jon need to go to Braavos where Viserys and the others are. I'll stay and rally as much support as possible before I join you. Considering that most just fought a war and probably can't muster an army of any decent size, I'll have to look my brood brothers and sisters and see if they'll loan me some armies to make up for the Westerosi support I fail to gain."

"Naela, we're not leaving you alone here to do all this work by yourself."

"Well you're not going to neglect your duties to protect the king and his family. So you need to take Jon and go to Braavos. I'll have Rolly here with me, so depart quickly."

Ashara looks up in shock. "You can't leave brother, you just got back."

Naela looks in Ashara's direction then, and smiles. "Why don't you go with them, Ashara. I'm sure being here is upsetting you right now, seeing the world may ease the internal turmoil you're feeling."

Naela's words spoke volumes of truth about Ashara, when she heard about Ned marrying the Tully girl and about Elia, Ashara just wanting to live. In the course of a year, the man she loved married another to save himself, and her sister in all but name was raped and murdered, and for a time, she thought her brother was dead.

"What say you, Ashara Dayne?"

"I say onto you, Naela, I'll go, but only if you let one of the three of them come with you. I couldn't live with myself knowing that you're here all alone, bearing the burden of restoring the Targaryens to power."

Naela smirked sadistically at that. "Who said I'm gonna be alone on my journey-"

The maester entered the hall then, in some great rush. "My Lord Arel, a two ships has docked here; the captain of these cogs has requested an audience with you.

"Who might this captain be?" Her brother Arel asked.

"A Lady by the title Captain Daesyus Seafyre." Naela's eyes widened as she darted out of her chair and to the docks. Everyone else followed in a rush.
-----
Upon reaching the docks, Ashara saw two great galleys at anchor, with dragon heads on the bows and sails of seafoam and emerald.

Ashara saw as Naela was joyfully embraced another woman. The other woman stood taller than Naela, with similar ivory hair, but much longer in length. Dark amber skin, and seafoam green eyes. She wore a sleeveless black tunic, black skirts and boots, on her shoulders she wore an emerald coat, but the sea salt had paled its coloring. Her wrists were wrapped with bands and bracelets. Some exotic and some strange. Her neck was decorated with matching jewels and such. Her head was adorned with a green cloth eroded from sea salt as well.

Naela and this woman spoke what Ashara could only assume was High Valyrian, though it sounds much different compared to what Arel's wife speaks or the songs that Rhaegar composed in High Valyrian.
-----
"Welcome Captain Daesyus Seafyre. I am Lord Arel of House Dayne of Starfall, come into my peace and be welcome in my halls and at my table." Arel approached them.

"Just Daesyus is fine Lord Arel. You are most kind to open your docks to me and mine. I come here upon the request of my brood-sister Naelyria."

"I've asked her to spirit you all to Braavos whilst I all over Westeros and rally support." Naela stated.

"Aye, but for the time being I would like to gain some rest for my crew before we take to the seas again." Daesyus grinned.

"Of course." Arel replied.
-----
Followed by Daesyus we're two lads who were in her likeness, only shorter than Naela and one had hair as short as Naela's. She would embrace them as well.

Naela wrapped her arms around the two's shoulders. "These are my nephews Laecius and Taevarius
-----
Ashara watched in silence as both of her brothers and everyone else indulged in japes and casual storytelling.

"Lady Daesyus," Ser Gerold starts. "What was it like growing up with Naela?"

Daesyus grinned sadistically at the white bull's question, while Naela his her face in embarrassment. "Well... When we were younger in our homeland, Nae-Nae had a very defensive nature to her... Though it's been awhile since I've seen that side to you, Nae-Nae."

"It has been awhile..." Naela said. "Those pesky vows of neutrality got in my way."

"Yet the light of Bloodlust has returned to your eyes. Is it safe to assume our beloved brood sister Saint Cereza has absolved you of said vows?" Daesyus remarked.

"Why else would I carry these swords? Speaking of... Did you bring it?"

Daesyus grinned then. "Of course." She whistles and one of her men enter with an elongated object wrapped in crimson silks. "Woe to all who face you on the battlefield, Nae-Nae."
-----
Removing the silks, Naela displays and curved sword. Upon unsheathing it, the blade was black as onyx yet the crimson ripples could be seen. The pommel was a silver dragon's head with ruby eyes. The guard of the sword was an ornate, circular piece of silver and gold.

"I thought hell would've froze over a few hundred times before I'd have to wield this again." Naela mumbled. "I guess I was wrong..."
-----
Naela's moment was halted when a raven flew in and perched itself on her shoulder. The raven's plumage was as red as blood.

How queer, Ashara thought.

"Ah," Naela sheathed the sword and handed it back to her sister before taking hold of the raven and pulling the message out. "What is it that Manfrey has sent me?"

"Wait... Doran's cousin Manfrey?"

"He's your cousin too. But yes... Is there a problem?"

"What do you and he have to talk about?" Oswell asked.

"Are you and he scheming together?" Arel asked.

"More like we made a deal and he's just informing me of Doran's whereabouts. Speaking of, I need you and Manfrey to start working together in gathering Dornish support."

"Why not just ask Doran? Why undermine him?" Arthur asked.

Naela glisped at the scroll, pinching her nose in frustration. "Because Doran won't give any support unless I give him whatever he wants."

"Don't worry Naela," Arel said. "House Martell may have forgotten their oaths of fealty, but we haven't. I do whatever I can to get Dorne on your side, though, many are still loyal to Doran. But his conceding to the usurper may very well alienate those seeking vengeance for Elia and her children. Those Lords we must rally behind us."

"Rest assure, your leal service will not go unacknowledged or unrewarded." Naela smiled.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Starfall

 

Ser Arthur Dayne

 

The dawn was arriving and the time had come to go, to leave his home of Starfall.
-----
"Take care brother, sister and company," his brother Arel had told them. "By the grace of the Gods we will see each other alive and well again."

"Count on it," Naela remarked.
-----
Ser Gerold had decided to be the one to accompany Naela in her quest to gather more support before rendezvousing in Braavos with the rest of them.

Also joining Arthur, Ashara, Prince Jon, Wylla and Oswell on their voyage to Braavos would be Daesyus' sons as added protection when passing through the Stepstones.

"On your way to the Stepstones, be sure to stop at Plankytown, there are some people there who needs to be picked up and join you." Naela informed them.

"Who are they?" Asked Ashara.

"You'll know when you see them." Naela gave a vague answer, as if telling them would cause problems. "To explain my plans completely at this moment might prematurely end the restoration before it can even start. The pieces have not all been placed on the board yet. That'll happen once we meet again, but not in Braavos."
-----
"Safe travels, Lord Commander," Ser Oswell tells Ser Gerold.

"Same to you both as well, Ser Oswell, Ser Arthur,"
-----
In order to appear less conspicuous, they all had to abandon their white armor and cloaks and Dawn would have to remain at Starfall in order to keep the ruse up for as long as possible.
-----
"All aboard!!!" Daesyus elder son cried out. Arthur helped escort Wylla on board first as she held Prince Jon in her arms, Next he helped Ashara before he, Rolly and Oswell boarded the one ship themselves. Gerold, Naela and her sister Daesyus boarded the other ship, bound for Oldtown, and the Arbor, probably to gain the allegiance of the Redwynes and Hightowers since the Lord Commander's nephew was the current Lord of the Hightower.

The night prior, Arthur had noticed a parchment that Naela had, with five Reach houses written on it. Tyrell, Hightower, Tarly, Rowan and Redwyne. Whatever her plans were, it was very Reach and Dorne oriented.
-----
Both ships hoisted their anchors and sailed off in opposite directions, the morning mist still thick enough to shroud them as both ships faded from the mouth of the Torrentine.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Sunspear

 

Prince Manfrey Nymeros Martell

 

Doran had finally left to the water gardens leaving Manfrey in charge of Sunspear affairs. Oberyn however was sent to Braavos. Deep down Manfrey hoped that the Naela's red raven had reached her on time to warn her on what the Viper and the Grass we're up to.

Luckily for him, neither Doran nor Oberyn were aware of his dealings with Naela. He still remembered that day. A bald woman with pale skin, lavender eyes similar to his mother's, dressed in red robes embroidered with Naela's sigil, a heart gules enflamed proper charged with a dragon's head sable crowned. She introduced herself as Faerie had presented Manfrey with terms of an alliance with the Fyreheart and a cage of 13 ravens with feathers as red as blood and much larger than regular ravens and even larger than white ravens from the Citadel.

The terms involved the passing of information concerning Doran's and Oberyn's whereabouts discreetly using the red ravens, as Naela's letter detailed her grave mistrust of his cousins, as she believed that Doran's own objective may very well hurt her plans for a successful Targaryen restoration. She also wanted Manfrey to work closely with his other cousin Arel Dayne to gather Dornish support without Doran's knowledge.

The terms also requested the revealing of all of Doran's spies and friends in the Free Cities. In turn Naela would have Manfrey's eldest daughter and heir Doria would marry Mathis Rowan, his firstborn son Corrin would marry Bethany Redwyne, his second daughter Tyene would marry the heir to Highgarden Wilas Tyrell, his son Olyvar would marry Lynesse Hightower as well as squire alongside the boy king Viserys. Insisting that the king will need a confidants around the same age. Jornelle, Manfrey's youngest daughter, would marry the heir of Randyl Tarly. A means of fully integrating Dorne into the realm more than Daeron the Good did.

Faerie would act as Manfrey's personal assistant and partner in crime. When see wasn't running errands for him, she prowled the Halls of Sunspear.

Regardless, Faerie was useful. And as their time together extended, Manfrey found himself growing fond of her. In the end, he knew he would have to keep himself open for marriage, despite being five times a widow already.
-----
Manfrey had loved all five of them and losing them after nine moons of wedded bliss hurt more than the previous loss.

Meria of Kingsgrave, with her deep emerald eyes and silk black hair. Gwendolyn of Yronwood, as blonde as a Lannister, but far more attractive and much less shallow. Hera Toland, the dragon's ghost, named for her corpse pale skin, though her hair was as scarlet as the red wanderer. Joy Gargalen, who had similar scarlet hair yet hers was shorter, her skin more olive and her eyes were red and yellow. And Val Qorgyle, the black scorpion, black haired, black eyed, and tart tongued on the surface, but a heart of gold when one truly knew her.

Some would snicker and and call him the Walder Frey of Dorne, as Lord Frey was on his seventh wife already.
-----
Manfrey found gathering support to be a hassle and hurting his hand as he wrote messages and a sealed them with the sun and spear of Martell. Houses like the Yronwoods were now in alignment with Doran since Qyentyn would be sent to Yronwood in a few short years. But because Manfrey's second wife was an Yronwood and they had a son together, might bring the Yronwoods into the cause.
-----
Manfrey sat in his solar going over reforms and such that could better Dorne's position. Doran instructed him to cease ties with the rest of the realm and primarily deal with the Free Cities.
-----
"Prince Manfrey," Faerie knocked on the door.

"Come in."

"Naela sent message telling of Ser Arthur and Ser Oswell on their way to Plankytown to take your son to Braavos."

He was wondering when Naela was going to send that message.

"Excellent," he told her.
-----
He couldn't trust having Dornish swords guard his son as most of Sunspear's guard were Doran's creatures. So instead, Manfrey had reached out the Cheesemonger Illyrio Mopatis, a contact of Naela's in Pentos.

The Cheesemonger had sent six pit fighters.
-----
"My Prince!!" Manfrey panicked at the sound of Caleotte's voice. He knew that if Caleotte found out about Manfrey's dealings with Naela, he'd tell Doran and thus be branded a traitor. Luckily, Faerie had Manfrey prepare for such an occasion by making sure none of his children were in the Water Gardens or anywhere where Doran could apprehend them should Manfrey get compromised.

Faerie had jumped out of the window of the upon hearing the maester's voice down the hall.

Manfrey had already secured a hiding place for the messages between him and Naela.
-----
Manfrey regained his composure as the voice grew closer. He returned to his seat and pretended to continue reading the reforms from Doran.

"M...my... P...prince," the fat maester loss his breath in some ill-fated attempt to run to the solar.

"What is it Caleotte, I'm very busy at the moment... Sunspear isn't gonna rule over itself."

"There's s-someone... here to...see...you.." he was still heaving. "A-a Ser Gerold Dayne of High Hermitage..."

"What's my cousin doing here?"

"I have no idea, but he says that it is urgent matters."

Behind the fat maester stood Gerold. 15 and smirking like some pompis prat. He had his silver hair combed back, leaving the streak of black hair in front of his face. The truth of the matter was that Gerold wasn't actually knighted yet, and was sent to Sunspear by Arel to squire for Manfrey. Caleotte nearly died of shock when he turned and saw Gerold behind him.

"Very well then," Manfrey got out of his chair. "Leave us Caleotte." He waved his hand and the fat maester slightly bowed. Gerold grinned then and slapped Caleotte's arse, sending a shockwave of exasperation up his spine. He scurried out of the solar only for Gerold to strike his arse again.

The boy went to his knees in laughter only for Faerie to return and flick him on his forehead.

She closed the door then. "I'll admit, that was pretty funny, but I would suggest you ease up on that."

"What if I don't want to?"

"Then... I'll just have to teach you a lesson..." Manfrey noticed that the two were flirting with each other.

"Stop it..." He shouted. "Why are you here Gerry,"

"Cousin Arel and my mother want me to be a great knight like Arthur, but because I'm aware of your little plot against cousin Doran, and there's no one trustworthy enough for me to squire for without the truth getting out, they sent me here."

"We might as well make the most of it," Faerie shrugged. "I mean..." She paused then. "Someone's listening in on us."

All of their eyes widened as they looked at each other and then towards the door of the solar.

Faerie drew a dagger from her robes and creeped toward the door. Gerold drew his sword as well.

In some great flash, the only thing Manfrey saw was blood staining the door and the floor in front of the door.

"Meric of Lemonwood," the lord treasurer. Manfrey saw the man dead on the floor. "What have you done!!"

"He was clearly spying on us," Gerold said.

"Why else would he stand at the door and not knock?" Faerie asked sarcastically.

"We need to get rid of the body... If word reaches Lemonwood or Doran, we could all get killed under the charge of treason." Manfrey mentioned.

"One problem, how are we gonna get the body out of here?"

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

The Arbor

 

Paxter Redwyne

 

His three guest sat around in comfort washing down their bread, cheese and olives with Arbor gold.
-----
"To what do I owe visit?" Paxter Redwyne was unaccustomed to unannounced visits, especially after he had just returned his fleet home from blockaiding Storm's End.

"I'm here on behalf of the true king, not that kinslaying oaf sitting the throne now. The king is in need of allies and House Redwyne had answered the call of the Dragons before. Now i need you to answer that call again. Not now obviously, but when the time comes."

"I see..." Paxter saw no reason why he shouldn't refuse.

"There's also a marriage alliance that has to take place." The woman next to Fyreheart said. "Because your sister Bethany is still young enough to marry and bear children, she must marry the eldest son of Prince Manfrey Martell. This marriage is to prevent the Dornish and the Reachmen from trying to kill each other before the king reaches maturity and raises his banner."

"Why would I wed my sister to some Dornish cunt?!!" Paxter rose out of his chair.

"Did you not hear me when I said?" Fyreheart stood up as well. "Dorne and the Reach need to be on completely peaceful terms and willing to fight alongside one another when Viserys returns for the throne. And what better way to ensure peace than through marriage? By doing this, trade with the Free Cities that is normally exclusive to Dorne alone can now be possible to the Arbor. Think of Arbor gold making it's way through the ports of Volantis and Qarth and even the lands of YiTi."

The thought alone sounded to good to be possible.

"How do I know you're not lying?"

"Because no one in this world make this kind of proposal without being a lackwit or a liar, and I am neither of two."

Her honesty was quite apparent. "Alright... I'll give you my answer on the morrow-"

"No... We leave tonight... There are a great many other houses to bring into our cause. Before the moon reaches its highest point, I want your answer."

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Southern Coast of Dorne

 

Ser Arthur Dayne

 

Prince Jon's crying seemed to have no end. Whatever Naela did to lull him to sleep, Wylla didn't have the same skill.

From the moment they left Starfall, the Prince had been crying non stop, only stopping when he was hungry or when he was sleepy.

Ashara would try to help but to no avail.
-----
At some point, Arthur prayed that they reunited with Naela sooner so she could put an end to the little prince's crying.

Arthur didn't like Naela's tactics in how she planned to take back the throne. If necessary, she'll slaughter innocent people, claiming that she had done such things since she was old enough to use a sword. The fact that she was willing to stoop to Tywin Lannister's level of brutality was unbelievable. But when she took out all six of Ned Stark's companions and claimed that she was barely toying with them, Arthur somewhat stop doubting her.

Despite her tactics, she made her loyalties to the Targaryens strongly apparent, like Arthur and his sworn brothers still known to him, they would sooner die than join the Usurper's regime. If only Ser Barristan shared their ideal of staying loyal. The old knight oft worried about his own honor at times, so it indirectly made sense as to why he would join the opposition.
-----
Another thing was this boy Rolly. Naela said that she found him fleeing Bitterbridge because of some trouble he caused for Lord Caswell. Subconsciously, Arthur can't help but think of Jaime when he looks at Rolly. He failed the Lannister boy, he failed Rhaegar, he had shamed the whitecloak, but no more than Barristan with his treason, or Terrance Toyne with his breaking of chasity or Criston Cole and his kingmaking.

He may have been regarded as one of the best in the realm, but in truth, he was soiled. Aerys had practically made the Kingsguard a mess and Arthur could only imagine how worse the order will be under the Usurper now that he has an oakbreaker and a turncloak in his ranks.

I will have to set things right, he thought.

Naela had said that Viserys would be king because no one would acknowledge Jon as Rhaegar's legitimate son. Arthur had come to realize that she was right. He just didn't want to believe it. Regardless and whatever the cost, he would make sure that Viserys was a better man than his father, a more promising ruler to-be than Rhaegar. Arthur would make sure that Viserys was protected, but he would also make sure that Viserys brought no harm to himself or others.

He would form a personal bond with the king, and the rest of the royal family.
-----
The winds must've been in their favor, as they reached Plankytown in less than two days.
-----
"We'll be dropping anchor shortly," one of Naela's nephews came below deck and told them.

Naela's nephews seemed to be two decent individuals, but then again, Arthur never had a full conversation with either of them, or their mother Daesyus for that matter. There was no telling what those two are capable of. But seeing Naela in action, that could be anything.
-----
"Be on your guard," Laecius said. "Aunt Naela was specified that Doran Martell's spies frequent around this town."

Arthur nodded with assurance.

"The individuals you're looking for are a group of seven, shrouded in velvet." Taevarius told him.

Both he and Oswell disembarked, searching for these individuals that Naela said they would have to pick and take with them.
-----
An hour passed without much luck and they couldn't go around and ask questions, not knowing who were spies and who weren't.

The seven velvet hooded individuals arrived at the boat when Arthur and Oswell.

One stood above the other six. Another one was small enough to sit on the tallest one's shoulder.
-----
At some point, the seven individuals removed their hoods, revealing six bald eunuchs and a boy younger than ten.

The tallest called himself Belwas, Strong Belwas. A colossal eunuch that claimed to be from the fighting pits of Slaver's Bay. Arms like tree-trunks, nut-brown skin, gapped teeth, a gleaming bald head, the smooth cheeks of a eunuch, a huge chest, and a massive belly. Scars crisscrossing across his body. The other eunuchs weren't much for talking. As the boy, he was apparently Prince Manfrey's second son Olyvar. As part of whatever agreement between his father and Naela.

"The boy is very quiet and shy, mayhaps spending time with the king, another around his age will do him some good." Ser Oswell said.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Nightsong

 

Eddard 'Ned' Stark

 

 

A great amount of time had passed since the confrontation at the Tower of Joy.

Lyanna was dead, her son in the hands of woman that would see him get killed by Robert.

Lyanna had asked Ned to protect her son and he was determined to do so. When he at last came to his senses, he grabbed his horse and rode for Starfall, ready to fight Ser Arthur and his sworn brothers.

Alas, they were not there and Lord Arel Dayne had turned him away, speaking of how Ned had broken Ashara's heart by marrying Catelyn Tully, after promising to marry to marry Ashara.

Ned hadn't truly given Ashara a thought since before the deaths of his father and Brandon. He wanted to invite her to Riverrun for the wedding and get his father's blessing to marry her.
-----
It would never be...

Ned tore down the tower and used the stones as a marker Ethan Glover who died from the force of Fyreheart slamming him into the ground. A dent in his chest as well.

As for Lyanna, Ned wanted to take her back home. It's what she would've wanted, he told himself.

As for the rest of his companions, each had their sword hand removed. Fyreheart did this so that they would never take up arms against the Targaryens.

Fyreheart may have been vile but she wasn't wrong about the Dornish turning Ned and his companions away. Some called him evil, some blamed him for the murder of Elia and her children. Only when they reached Nightsong did the hateful statements towards him stop.

His companions were half dead, their wounds on the verge festering, and half of them were shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water.

They spent half a moon at Nightsong getting their wounds treated by the local maester. Fyreheart's skill at arms was beyond anything Ned had ever seen or read in history.

Fyreheart wasn't a who... She was a what... Her glowing golden eyes said that much.
-----
He spent a lot of time speaking with Lord Caron about what he experienced at the Tower, completely reserving the truth about Jon.

"I see," Lord Caron seemed intrigued by the story of Fyreheart's prowess. "I'm sure the king would want to hear about this."

"Fyreheart would maim him too," Howland Reed emerged from his chambers, his handless arm in a sling around his neck and he supported his weight by leaning against the wall. "She wielded swords with curved blades unlike anything you've ever seen. What's worse, they were Valyrian Steel. As she locked swords with one person, she removed their hand with the other blade. Whoever she is, she needs to be stopped."

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Kingslanding/Red Keep

 

Ser Jaime Lannister "Kingslayer"

 

 

He had the dream again...

He was surrounded by darkness, in front of him was the throne again. Three crimson Lannister cloaks with small puddles of blood surrounding them at the foot of the Iron throne.

The bone-chilling cries of a woman and children rattled in his head without end.

The darkness would engulf him... Before he was surrounded by a great ring of fire. But he was not alone...

A hundred silver-white wraiths stood over him looking down at him with complete and utter disgust.

He had known these men in life, yet there was a warmth to some of these wraiths as if they weren't truly dead.

Prince Lewyn of Dorne, Ser Jon Darry, Ser Oswell Whent, Ser Arthur Dayne, Lord Commander Gerold Hightower, Ser Harlan Grandison who he became predecessor to, Prince Maegor Goldfyre his half-brother and King Aerys' natural son by his own mother Joanna, and finally, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the rightful heir to the iron throne.

The other wraiths there were those he had only known through history lessons with his maester. Ser Corlys Velaryon, Ser Addison Hill, Ser Gwayne Corbray, Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, Ser Dunkan the Tall, Ser Ryam Redwyne, Greatheart, the Demon of Darry, Ser Humfrey, Ser Robin Darklyn and so on...

"You are no knight," the wraiths' words were like arrows and swords and spears and axes to his chest.

"Kingslayer!!!"

"Oathbreaker!!!"

"Man without honor!!!"

The words shrieked in his head and grew like louder with every heartbeat.

"HE WAS MY FATHER!!!" Maegor screamed at him.

"I TRUSTED YOU!!!!!" Rhaegar cried out in anger.

"I DIDN'T KNOW HE'D HURT THEM!!!" Jaime's voice was drowned out by the other raging voices. "HAD I KNOWN THAT THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN I WOULD'VE-"

"WHAT!!!?" Ser Humfrey scoffed. "WOULD YOU HAVE KILLED THEM YOURSELF TO ELEVATE YOURSELF EVEN FURTHER?!!!"

The high voice made his ears bleed.

Jaime closed his eyes and cover his ears only to have all of the screaming and shouting replace with quiet sobbing.

He opened his eyes only to see Elia, clutching her dead children close to her chest, red tears on her cheeks. Three massive, feral, snarling wolfhounds were all around her. And behind the wolfhound sat an even larger Lion as golden as the Sun.

Jaime tried to rush to her side and protect her but he couldn't move, nor could he draw his sword.

"Why?" she looked to Jaime whispered softly. Before he could answer, the wolfhounds strike her, tearing her limb from limb. Jaime tried to look away it felt like something was holding his eyelids open. The tears poured down his face.

When the carnage was over, the wolfhounds scurry off, leaving Elia's bloody bones and torn clothes. Pieces of her long black hair remained as well. Jaime fell to his knees and wept til his eyes were puffy.

"Does it hurt?" A blood red hooded wraith stood over him. "Are you tired of living with guilt?"

The wraith removed it's hood revealing Viserys, but older, as old as Jaime was now.

"Then die with it...." A great shadow stured behind. A great pair of molten eyes found Jaime... And... They judged him... Hated him... Denied him... Shunned him... And cursed him...

The air around him grew hotter, and all Jaime could see... Was fire...
-----
Jaime woke then, his naked body was drenched in sweat. So much so that his bedsheets we're soaked all the way through to the mattress.

The recurring dream had killed his appetite, though he did nimble on some bread and milk to keep his body from giving out from under him. He had no signs of being gaunt, but he did have bags underneath his eyes.
-----
The Red keep was in an uproar at the news that Cersei was now pregnant.

Jaime hadn't actually spoken to Cersei since he escorted her to court from Casterly Rock. He had completely refused her advances, as the dream killed his passion for fucking her.
-----
"Kingslayer," Ser Meryn Trant came to him as he stood outside of the King's solar. "The queen has requested your presence immediately..."

Jaime knew that he would have to face his twin sooner or later.

Cersei was jubilant as she sat on the balcony of her royal apartments.

"You wished to see your grace." He started being more formal with her.

"Yes... Brother... Something wonderful has happened." She grinned. "I'm pregnant."

At that moment, something pained him. "Who is the father?"

"Robert...obviously," she chuckled in a disgusted way.

"Sister... Don't lie to me... You and I both know that you can't stand him after your first night with him. And I haven't touched you in Gods know how long..."

"Because of that, I decided to give Robert another chance..." She told him. "Inside me will be a breath of fresh air to blow away the taint of the Targaryens and that Dornish tramp."

Jaime got angry at that last remark. "How dare you talk about Princess Elia that way... She did nothing to you."

"Yes she did." She spat. "Rhaegar was supposed to my husband. I should've married him, not her!! She got what she deserved for taking what was mine!!"

"Y-You can't mean that..." Jaime was shocked then.

"I do."

The anger boiling over then. "If you must know, Prince Rhaegar never wanted to marry you anyway!"

"Y-You... Liar..."

"Before he left to the Trident, Rhaegar explained to me that he thought you were unfit to be the mother of his children which was why his father refused father's offer-"

"I don't believe you," she started sobbing as she cut him off. "He would never-"

"But he did."

"Get out!!" She screamed at him.

"Gladly, your grace!"

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

Oldtown

 

Ser Gerold "The White Bull" Hightower

 

 

It had been many years since he last came to Oldtown. The city was always a busy place, alive with activity and knowledge.

When Naela spoke of coming to Oldtown, Gerold assumed that she would use him to convince his nephew Leyton to side with the king. Then again Naela was a sweet talker, a persuasive side, charm that seemed to work 9 out ten times. At least from what she's displayed prior.
-----
His father's ancestral seat was still as charmingly massive sight to behold. Only those born and raised in Oldtown could tell the time of day by the way the Tower's shadow fell.
-----
As the ship laid anchor, Gerold was making his way up above deck, getting thrown from side to side by the ship's swaying.

Above deck he noticed Naela and her sister Daesyus still talking outside of the Captain's quarters as they had been the entire time since leaving Starfall. Naela was still laughing to the point where i she was grabbed her sides in seemingly agonizing pain.

"Gerold," she beckoned the White Bull towards the two of them.

The two cackling hens brought him in on the topic of their laughter driving him to laugh as well. Japes about the weasel-faced broods of Frey; how the echidna was much more attractive creature.

Disembarking, Gerold had a much fewer reservations towards trusting Naela. Who knew a simple Jape towards Walder Frey and his brood could be so stress reliving, the old knight thought.

Naela and Daesyus embraced as close siblings oft would.

"Give the Ironborn my regards," Naela told Daesyus.

"Why bother? They'll all be dead soon enough if this plan of yours is successful." Daesyus replied.

Gerold was taken aback by their discussion. "What do you mean the ironborn will all be dead?"

"We should take this somewhere where untrustworthy ears surround us." Daesyus remarked.

The three returned onto Daesyus' ship, closing the door of the Captain's quarters behind them to keep the element of privacy.

"I was hoping to explain after we leave and rendezvous with everyone in Braavos... but... I plan to continue the ironborn into rising up in rebellion themselves and have Robert inevitably crush them." Naela started. "The trick is with my Daesyus' shipwrights, the ironborn would have a fleet so massive that the entirety of Robert's strength will be forced to travel West to deal with it, leaving the East coast entirely vulnerable..."

"And you plan to attack the East coast of Westeros at that very moment and take the Iron throne before the usurper even realizes that he's been duped?" Gerold finished.

"Precisely," Naela and Daesyus say in unison.

Gerold was at a loss for words. He was in awe at how well thought Naela planned out the Targaryen restoration. "Uh... Impressive preemptive strategy."

"Nothing I haven't put together before... It's just been a really long time since I got to do this." Naela grins.
-----
After they've discussed the plan, Gerold was sworn to secrecy by Naela, until the time was right for Naela to explain it to everyone else.
-----
With that, Daesyus' ship sailed off northbound towards Pyke.

"Shall we go meet the family?" Gerold held his arm out to Naela.

"Let's," she wrapped her own arm around his and they strolled off into the sea of individuals.
-----
They had to search for a ferryman to take them to the Hightower, since Daesyus' cog was too massive in size to simply dock at Battle Isle.

Their search ended when they were approached by the city watch.

"Looks like your nephew has been keeping an eye out for us," Naela slowly reached for the hilt of his sword with her free hand.

"Wait," a man stepped forward from behind the men facing Gerold and Naela. "They're kin and friends to my father."

"Baelor Hightower," Naela sounded smug. "What's with the grand escort of arm watchmen?"

"Lady Naelyria... Uncle Gerold... My Lord father bids me to welcome you back to Oldtown. He apparently foresaw your coming, but because he is tied up in other matters of state, I am here in his stead."

"And when will be to speak with your father?" Gerold asked.

"I'm afraid not until the morrow." He said. "Sadly father has been consumed by his work. There have been accommodations prepared for your stay."

"On second thought," Naela mumbled under her breath. Gerold barely heard it. "I have business matters of my own at the Red Temple... I shall return anon."

Naela disappeared into the crowds.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

The Citadel/Oldtown

 

Daeva Naelyria "Naela" Fyreheart

 

 

Despite her vows, there were always loopholes that Naela took full advantage of, such as the use of personal scribes to record the truth of history rather than be subjected to the slander of maesters, who like the Andals before them, fabricated entire stories that wouldn't make them out to look like monster.
-----
The only reason the Andals left Essos was Valyria's eminent conquest and rather submit or die fighting, they chose to go bully and assimilate the First Men and kill the last of the Children living South of Moat Cailin. Yet no one knows why the Children North of Moat Cailin fled beyond Wall.
-----
Growing up, Naela received the title of Tome Thief as she always stole valuable tomes of great secrets and wisdom. As the passed, her title changed to Book Thief. Where some plundered wealth, Naela stole knowledge, thus giving her knowledge of things that the rest of the world had lost.

To this day, Naela still held ancient tomes of the Freehold, giving her as the only being to know how to forge Valyrian Steel from scratch without the use of Dragonfire.
-----
During her tenure under the Targaryen dynasty, Naela spent a great many nights looting the libraries of Westeros and beyond.
-----
After she left Gerold and his great-nephew, Naela took advantage of her gift of disguises, dyeing her hair black and dressing in a rotten cherry red robe and heavily perfumed, she assumed the identity of a simple novice, for where she was going denied women entry.

The Citadel was truly a nest of adders. Old men who fabricate and lie about the achievement of lesser men and make them out to be heroes. Truly a disgrace to the true scholars that Naela had come to associate with in her life.

Her business there was rather risky, but she needed to be sure, should worse come to worse.
-----
Getting past the front door was more difficult than expected.

"State your name, boy," the old oaf at the entrance said.

"Reznak mo Reznak, my good man," she flattered him using her best impression of the thickest Meereenese accent she's ever heard. "I was came here to study the ways of the Sunset Kingdom. Most people live and die in the same hobble that they were born in. I'm trying to be most people."

The man scoffed as only the typical xenophobic Westerosi could. "I see... Well I'm afraid I would have to crush your dreams... We have a status quo to maintain here in the Citadel."

"I see..." She grinned as she moved closer to the maester. "Then I'm afraid I can't be bothered to spare you." She grabbed him by his own chain and pulled him into the dark corridor, strangling him until he stopped squirming.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

House with the Red Door/Braavos

 

Ser Willem Darry

 

 

There time in Braavos was dull and humid. It had only been a week or so since they arrived and the feeling of being discovered choked the old knight of Darry. His only wish was that his brother Jonothor and Prince Lewyn were there with them as he greatly mistrusted the four guards Naela had sent them off with.
-----
Three men and a woman, clad in crimson armor, faces shrouded with crimson Draconic-crested helms that they seldom removed, and behind them flowed Scarlet cloaks. Their armor too was unlike anything Willem had forged in his tenure as Master at Arms. At first he could've sworn that it was Valyrian Steel, however he saw no ripples when the armor was expose to daylight.

Their swords were all similar. Unlike any castle forged steel that Willem was familiar with. Curved swords holstered to their sides. No cross guards and hilts made of Dragonbone with bands of red-gold and rubies on the pommels.
-----
They each stood guard at the entrance to the of the house, and at rooms of the king and his siblings. Not one moved an inch before switching shifts hourly.

Willem wasn't sure if they were truly legitimate guards, yet Lucerys Velaryon seem to approve of them.

Then again, why would Naela leave them under the protection of men who could easily sell them out to the usurper?
-----
The young King had not been the same after Queen Rhaella passed away after giving birth to the twins. He had stop all interactions with others, save his younger siblings. He would come out for his history lessons under the tutlege of the Halfmaester Haldon.
-----
Such a terrible thing, a boy of six years losing half of his family, forced out of the only home he's ever known and having the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Willem was an old knight and with each passing day he could feel his strength leaving him more and more. Soon enough, the stewards would have assist him in getting out of bed in the morning.

He wasn't going to let time destroy him, yet.

Let me live to see Viserys become a man grown and a True Dragon, to take back the iron throne and put an end the usurper and all those who supported him, Willem would often think to himself throughout the day.
-----
It was relatively quiet in Braavos, until the message came.
-----
It was a simple day and quiet as usual, though a queer red raven was found on the dining room table in the early hours before dawn.

"What does the message read?" Willem asked the Halfmaester

"It would appear that this Prince Oberyn coming to speak of an alliance." He replied. "Naela also told us to stall the until she arrives."

"Naela already knew?" Lucerys asked. "How is that possible?"

"The Red Ravens are naturally trained to return to her, as her scent is in their muscle memory."
-----
It had been weeks since they had received the message. Everything was quiet as usual, until the knock at the red door came.

Willem sat in silence as he watch the Halfmaester teach the King High Valyrian, something all Targaryens should know. He was even learning how to read and write Valyrian glyphs, something his brothers Prince Rhaegar and Prince Maegor never did under the teachings of Pycelle. But then again, the Halfmaester seemed to know a lot more than the Grandmaester.
-----
The knock came and all four of Naela's guards drew they're swords and inched towards the red door. The Halfmaester grabbed the king and ran off towards the nursery. Willem himself grabbed a sword as well unwilling to let the usurper kill another Targaryen.

One of the guards peered through the peep hole and withdrew his sword. "It's this Prince of Dorne we were warned about." He said to the rest.

They all withdrew their swords and the one guard opened the door. Prince Oberyn looked the same he did during the wedding of his sister to the Silver Prince. Tall, strong, still youthful, and if one took his title into account, dangerous... Though Naela's guards seemed to be more dangerous due to their silence and enigmatic personas.

"Ser Willem Darry, I presume," Oberyn addressed the old knight.

"Aye,"

"I come in good faith. On behalf of my brother, I'm here to seek an alliance with the king."

"I'm afraid Naelyria isn't here, as she is acting regent for the king. So until she arrives, there will be no negotiations." The female guard removed her helm, revealing an aged woman of nut brown skin and rose blonde hair with violet eyes. She tossed him a small pouch of coins. "There's a brothel down the alleyway, there you can find rest for your...long travels... Now kindly leave, before the usurper's knives find this place as easily as you did."

The Red Viper smirked at her then then, leaving as he was told.

"That was quite rude." Willem said.

"The only reason the man has come is because his brother wants something. The man didn't even get involved with the rebellion until after Aerys threatened his sister Elia. Pretty suspect."

-----

About a week afterwards, Ser Arthur and Ser Oswell came. With them were some eunuch pit fighters, Ser Arthur's own sister the Lady Ashara, a wetnurse named Wylla, an infant who they claimed was Prince Rhaegar's and Lyanna Stark's child, and the second of Prince Oberyn's cousin Manfrey. Apparently the boy was meant to foster with the King as part of Naela's plans for Dorne's aid without going through Prince Doran.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

House with the Red Door/Braavos

 

King Viserys III Targaryen

 

 

There he was; Prince Olyvar Nymeros Martell, the second son of Prince Manfrey Nymeros Martell and Lady Kiera of Gargalen.

His parentage was made clear to Viserys, as Olyvar wore a tunic with the sun and spear of Martell quartered with the falling star and sword of Dayne and the cockatrice of Gargalen.

I guess his grandmother was a Dayne, Viserys thought.

He wasn't much of a talker and Viserys thought that it was strange, as he knew nothing of what it was like to have peers.

Olyvar reminded him of the kingsguard Prince Lewyn of Dorne. Olyvar's eyes were an amber red and yellow, not dark or onyx as the Rhoynar features entail. His hair was blood red and was short length to the ears like Viserys' own silver hair and Naela's ivory hair. He probably had to dye it as a way to hide better.
-----
"Um... Prince Olyvar?" Viserys was nervous to see a boy the same age as him. "Is it okay if we get to know one a bit better? Because, I don't know what it's like to have a friend."

"Of course... your grace..." Olyvar looked at him, a smile beginning to grow on his face.

"And another thing, you don't have to call me 'your grace' when we're alone like this..." Viserys crotched down next to the boy. "I want to be friends and friends shouldn't be so formal with each other."
-----
An unconsiderable amount of time passed as the two boys spoke to each other into the night. Sitting on the floor underneath the window, the moonlight shining through.

Olyvar spoke of his older brother Corrin and three sisters, Doria, the eldest, Tyene the second born and Jornelle the youngest. They all had different mothers but none of them ever knew their mothers. He couldn't help but remember his mother as she laid dying and had him promise to protect the twins Dany and Daemion.
-----
"What was the it like being inside of the Red Keep, Viserys?" Olyvar gave a look of wanting.

"Well... the throne room was decorticated in the dragon skulls of my ancestors. My father..." His own smile disappeared at that. After knowing the truth from Naela, he couldn't bring himself to think of his father as the great king his mother told him about for his own protection. "He would have me name all of them in order of birth."

"Do you still remember all of the names?" Olyvar gave another look of curiosity.

"Umm... Balerion... Meraxes... Vhagar... Quicksilver... Dreamfyre... Vermithor... Silverwing... Caraxes... Meleys... Syrax... Sunfyre... Seasmoke... Umm... Tessarion... And... Ugh... That's all I got, sorry..."

"At least you know them. I don't think anyone else would memorize as fast as you, your grac-... I mean... Viserys..." Olyvar said.

"Thank you," his smile returned only to disappear when he started yawning...

Olyvar started to yawn as well.

"Looks like you're getting tired too, I guess we're boring each other to sleep."

"Might as well go to bed..." Olyvar said. "It's late."

Viserys nodded. He took hold of Olyvar's hand. "Come on..."

The two laid face to face in bed, staring into each other's eyes.

"Hey, Olyvar, I just wanted to know, is that your real hair color?"

Olyvar noded. "My mother had the same color hair too."

The two smile at each other as only two like-minded youths could before eventually falling asleep.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

 

The Citadel/Oldtown

 

Daeva Naelyria "Naela" Fyreheart/Maester Norren

 

 

Upon touching the corpse of the dead maester, she saw all his memories and thoughts, right up to the moment when she strangled him by his own chain.

Norren, his name was. He was apparently the new elected seneschal of the Citadel.

Naela took no pleasure in assuming the identities of men she killed. She more preferred dressing up as characters of her own creation.
-----
In the years before her second marriage, Naela spent time with a trip of traveling mummers as the Spider Varys did in his youth. She would dress in Black White and Red motley and preform as the fire juggler and acrobat. For this, she was called the Mummer's Dragon due to her outfit having a tail and horns.

Naela took no pride in the title and considered it an insult. Mummers means fake, so to call her a Mummer's Dragon was to insist that she was a fraud. She remembered sobbing after every performance. The joy of the children kept her from quitting. Only after meeting the second great love in her life did she finally leave the performers life behind her. He was a young nobleman who sought a means of entertainment for his young daughter's nameday.
-----
The reminiscing brought tears to her eyes. Never did she doze off in the middle of her mission.
-----
Naela looked into the mirror to give herself a second go over. Norren wasn't much to look at. Not a plump man, but slender either. A full head of hair that was combed back and had mostly gone grey and shorter than Naela's own hair. Eyes as brown as horse shit, pale skin that reminded Naela of a chicken she cooked and ate on the ship when she supped with Daesyus and Gerold. Ryman also had a mole underneath his left eye.

With her sword that she hid in her robe, she made quick work of his body and shoved the remains down the nearest privy shaft piece by piece. She used the cherry red robe to carry the remains as well as hide the blood.
-----
As the seneschal, Naela had access to almost everything within the Citadel. However, the lower levels were beyond her reach by lock and key.

Thanks to Norren's memories, finding the maester who held that key would be easy; getting it from him without killing him was another story entirely.
-----
The chain around her neck made her chafe. So this is what slaves deal with, she thought.

The grey rats surrounded her. Men who gave true scholars healers and historians a bad name.

Behind their smiles and kindness, laid distasteful skepticism, fear of the unknown, close mindedness to possiblities and zealotry.

Naela would eventually put the Citadel threat in her cross hairs, but not now. Too much power has been consolidated in this, building, and Naela was determined to eradicate it. After Viserys sat the throne, with an heir and possibly a spare, but not before. For now, she would simply and secretly kill the maesters of those houses who would definitely back the Dragons, replacing them with those trusted who could keep the secrecy of the messages sent through her red ravens.
-----
The maester with the key that she had to find went by the name of Walgrave. He would be the last trip on her tour.

In the meantime, there were other documents and such that need finding as well.
-----
Grabbing hold of the copper link on Norren's chain, Naela looked into his memories to see if he knew of the account of royal and high nobel marriages as copper links represent history.

For the most part, it appeared as though, Norren's last note memory was of the double marriages of the Tully daughters to Arryn and his ward Eddard as well as Cersei to Robert. Though recent, it still wasn't what Naela was looking for. She gripped the copper link tighter as she closed her eyes this.

Memories were like a corridor of a thousand doors. Some were already open and others were under a metaphorical lock and key.

At last, she had found the information and where to go get the physical proof.
-----
Scores upon scores of books, scrolls and tomes laid before her. But for the time being, only one mattered to her.

As much as she would love to just stay and read every single piece in their seemingly endless library, she was pressed for time.

Naela hated to the fact that she had to send Viserys and the twins off to Braavos without going with him. With Rhaella gone, Naela was their mother in all but name. With Lyanna gone as well, that included Jon too. Because she was free of her vows, she could do more than regale tales onto them.

Assuming the role of mother to the Targaryens wasn't anything new to her. It was something she always did, but made sure that the historians never mentioned her.

When Rhaenys died at Hellholt, it was Naela who looked after Aenys. When Aemma died in childbed, Naela watched over Rhaenyra and her son Aegon after her when she got eaten by Sunfyre. Though she had no love for Alicent or any of the Hightower-Targaryens for that matter, she tolerated Jaehaera only because she and Aegon had mutual situation. Naela took no joy out from Peake's hired knife pushing the girl to her death from Maegor's Holdfast.
-----
When she at last came to the shelf, she grabbed a ladder and climbed up to the seventh row. There she found a book of white leather and trimmed with red.

Naela looked around to see if no one was watching. Once she was sure the coast was clear she jumped off the ladder, and from a height that could sprain an ankle or worse...
-----
Page after page she turned looking for the damning evidence against the Baratheon regime and the so-called "just" cause behind the rebellion.

At last, she had found it. "Late into the 282th year after Aegon's Conquest, this follows the account of Septon Zephyr. Rhaegar of the House Targaryen, firstborn son of King Aerys II Targaryen and Queen Rhaella Targaryen, and heir apparent to the iron throne, fell madly in love with Lady Lyanna of Stark, daughter of Lord Rickard and Lyarra Stark of Winterfell. "The two came to me in the most mutual of affections for one another and thus with my blessing and the will of the Seven I eloped them as taking a second wife was customary for the Dragonlords of Old Valyria. Bearing witness to this union were the Kingsguard Lord Commander Ser Gerold Hightower, Ser Oswell Whent and Ser Arthur Dayne. Aside from them were the Prince's own former squires Ser Miles Mooton and Ser Richard Loumouth. The final witness was Prince's and Lady's distant relation young Lord Brynden Blackwood, heir of Tytos Blackwood. After the nuptials, the newly weds and company boarded a ship bound Northwards..."..."

What were you doing in the North Rhaegar? She asked herself as if his ghost could give her answer.
-----
She clasped the book tightly. Now that she could prove the legitimacy of Jon, it brought her great relief. Despite this revelation, she was still set on placing Viserys on the throne as she had already started gathering support in his name and it wouldn't make sense to change the tune of song now.
-----
She placed the book in a satchel that she purchased from Myrish craftswomen in markets before assuming the character of Reznak. "One down, one to go."
-----
The last thing to do was get the key from Archmaester Walgrave and take the secrets beneath the Citadel.

She went straight to the man's solar and bedchamber only to come short. From the way his sheet smelled, it appeared as though the archmaester hadn't been in his chambers for some time.

Simple interrigation could be useful, but it seemed like there weren't any grey rats around when she needed one. Luckily she heard snoring in the room next to Walgrave's.

Naela drew her dagger and creepily entered the chambers of what appeared to be a young novice. Why the hell is a novice taking a afternoon nap?

She shrugged and continued forward. She laid next him in the attempt of getting him to hypnotically give her the answers she wanted.

"No..." He thrashed when she was next to him. "F-Father.... Please.... I'll be a good boy.... I-I promise... Please... Not again..."

"Mother of God," she whispered. "What's your story?"

She leaves the room then, not wanting to suffer another outburst of a broken lad.
-----
It would appear as though Naela would have to learn how to pick a lock, which made her wonder why she didn't learn that trick beforehand.

Instead, Naela decided to ask around, without the use of daggers.
-----
"Archmaester Ebrose," she saw his mask and rod of Silver. "Would mind telling me if you have see Archmaester Walgrave? I have urgent business to discuss with him, but I can't seem to find him."

"Ah yes," Ebrose seemed to be decent based off Norren's memories and Naela's own assessment but then again it was too soon to draw conclusions. "Walgrave has been ailing for the a fortnight now, I assumed you were aware of that matter, Norren."

Naela searched through the dead man's memories, finding nothing on the subject. "I'm afraid my mind isn't what it used to be, old friend. One does not simply know everyone. Even seneschals like yours truly can only remember so much." Naela acknowledged the fact that she doesn't know everything and that she could always still learn something new.

"If you'll excuse me," Ebrose turned the other way from Naela's own direction. "There are matters that must be attended to."

"Aye," Naela nodded. "Until we meet again." She went to the infirmary wing in search of Walgrave.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

The Citadel/Oldtown

Daeva Naelyria "Naela" the Fyreheart/Maester Norren


The smell of shit was intoxicatingly horrid, almost as bad as the smell of Lyanna's blood in the tower.
-----
Dozens of old, ailing men laid in rows of simple wooden beds along the wall. Naela had the urge to cut each of their throats, but remembered that time wasn't on her side and that the purge could wait until after her long term plans were accomplished.
-----
After awhile, the old men all started looking the same to her. Rolling her eyes and letting out a sigh of annoyance, she looked into Norren's memories again, pinpointing Walgrave's face amongst the torrent of Maesters Norren had come to know in his life.

Aha, gotcha, she thought. She found the man in a private chamber within the infirmary wing.

His face was red from fever, his hands and feet bloated from what appeared to be a case of gout. He was even hacking up blood. This man is practically dead already, she thought. I might as well just give him mercy.

She slowly lifted his leg, removing the pillow from underneath it and creepily inched towards his face, clutching the pillow with both hands.

Walgrave coughed crazily again, but this time, he woke and stared Naela dead in the eyes.

"W-what... Are you doing... Nor-" Naela mashed the pillow onto his face. For the next few minutes, Walgrave thrashed about, clawing at Naela's face. If she were a Faceless Man, she would've been exposed, ending her Mummer's Farce.

Naela threw herself on top of the man, pressing the pillow harder onto his face. Soon enough, Walgrave's thrashing lessened until it ceased altogether.

"Finally," she sighed. "Now where's that skeleton key?"

She sent her hands through every part of the man's robe, mistaking the rattling of his chain for the rattling of the key on more than one occasion.

When the key wasn't found on his person, Naela noticed a key on his bedside table. "What...the...hell..."

She grabbed the key and headed towards the door. Upon opening it, Ebrose stood in Naela's path. She had already hid the key in her sleeves.

"What are you doing in there?" The Archmaester asked.

"I told you that I had business with Walgrave. Sadly, I fear that I have come too late." If there was an award for the Mummer's Farce, Naela would definitely get it.

"What do you mean?!" Ebrose pushed her out of the way.

"When I came, he cried out, hacking up blood before.... breathing his last."

The Archmaester didn't seem to buy her story. I might have to dispose of him as well, she thought. But three maesters dead would draw too much attention. I should just leave it at two...for now...

"I see..." Ebrose wiped sweat from the top of his balding head. "Tell me... What business did you have Walgrave?"

"I'm afraid that that information was for his ears and his ear alone." She said plainly. "No concern of yours. And hardly within your area of study or jurisdiction."

"Is that the truth of it?"

"Aye," she replied. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have some grieving that needs be tended to." Naela darted out of sight, she could hear Ebrose screams fade from behind her.

She searched for the inner sanctum of the Citadel. But because the Citadel was massive, it would take days to turn the whole place upside down and expose everything, so instead, Naela would simply take whatever was currently relevant and return for the rest after the counter revolution was a success.

-----

That night, Naela shedded her disguise, and the maester all knew as Norren, disappeared that night, never to be seen again. With him disappeared many documents and raven scrolls that in the wrong hands could destroy the order of Maesters.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

Red Keep/Kingslanding

King Robert"The Usurper" Baratheon


The whores came and went from his chambers, never seeming to cease at any God-given moment.

Robert indulged in the pleasures of the flesh, though, 10,000 cunts couldn't replace the only one that ever mattered to him.

Lyanna was dead, taken by that Silver cunt. He killed the man, but she died anyway.

No one, not a million whores could fill the hole Lyanna left behind. All he could do for the sake of his sorrows, was drink himself to sleep, only to feel the comfort of another's thighs.
-----
He dreamt he was on another hunt with Ned through the forest at the base of the Mountains of the Moon. Them and about some 30 retainers as the hill tribes were oft to attack in raiding parties that ranged in the dozens.
-----
Their wolfhounds had gone ahead, tracking the trail of a great stag, its hooves larger than anything he had seen before.

They had been tracking the best for almost a week, only to find their wolfhounds dead and the end of the trail and the kennel master dead as well.
-----
Upon the crown of a rock formation, stood the great stag. Black of fur and... Crimson of antlers. Sharp hooves that glowed like beaten gold and eyes as blue as Robert's own.

Robert and Ned and all the others had their Spears and crossbows ready, but a Robert could hear a voice in the back of his head say. "You cannot win against him. He is a greater Stag than you!"

Their men throw and launch their spears and arrows at the beast, and one by on the found their mark. However, the stag maintained his stance, unyielding, and without bleeding a single drop of blood.

The stag reared his head, sending men flying, piercing them dead with his antlers and stomping their faces into the dirt. Soon enough, it was just Robert and Ned left before the stag.

For hours they stared at the stag and in turn he stared at them. A stalemate that took all the hours of light away. When Night fell, Ned was gone, all the horses were gone, even Robert's clothes were gone as well.

The Stag stepped forward, and with each step, his Black fur shifted to a pale silver. His left eye shifted from the Baratheon blue to Lannister emerald. His antlers and hooves turned White-Gold. Soon the beast was lit all aflame from hoof to antlers. He lowered his head and charged towards Robert, piercing his chest and throwing him through the air.
-----
Robert awoke, he grabbed his chest checking for stab marks all to no avail. He was covered in a fine sheen of sweat, he had never been so scared. 

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

The Sealord's Palace/Braavos

Ser Oswell Whent


Both the King and Prince Olyvar were both of an age where they would have to start learning the art of swordplay.

The two boys seemed to be very excited at the thought. Prince Olyvar had gone from being this silent reclusive boy to being full of energy and laughter. Oswell took joy in his own words coming true since he first met him on the ship.

Oswell volunteered to be their instructor, as Arthur seemed to be lost in thought, spending time with Prince Jon and the twins, ignoring the King, still bitter with Naela's prudent decision making. Though not as angry as he was initially.

Willem had insisted that it was his job as Master at Arms, but because he himself had been ailing as of late, it would be too much risk to his health to exert himself.
-----
With Ser Willem's assistance, Oswell was able to train the boys in the courtyard of the Sealord's palace while the others remained under the watch of Arthur and Naela's guards. Prince Olyvar's pit fighter protectors always accompanied him to the palace as they did not trust Oswell. They would sit around in the shade, laughing and muttering to each other in Bastard Valyrian about how Westerosi are cowards who hide under armour.

Oswell knew that they didn't wear armour in the fighting pits. So he understood why they spoke ill about him, but he didn't care.
-----
Strong Belwas seemed to be the only one who didn't participate in their gossiping. He simply sat and ate whatever cut of meat and vegetables were available to him at the time.
-----
Oswell had the two boys dual each other, as the master-at-arms made him and his brother Walter do when they themselves were only boys growing in Harrenhal.
-----
It had been sometime since he last spoke to Walter, or much less thought of him. They hadn't spoken since Prince Rhaegar planned the to overthrow his father.

Had Oswell known what he does now, he would've never assisted in hosting that tourney. Then the Prince might've still been alive and ruling as King, the Princess Elia and her children would be alive as well. Prince Lewyn and Jonothor, Jon Connington, and Richard Loumouth and Miles Mooton would all still be here.
-----
Though it wasn't entirely his burden, he feared the emptiness of the four vacant position on the Kingsguard. In Oswell's mind, there was no one left in Westeros fit for the position. All other knights were married, already sired bastards, too young as the Kingslayer had been, or kissing Baratheon's arse as Barristan did.

If only Ser Gerold was here to help in this matter, he was lost in thought, unaware of the boys calling out to him.

"Ser!!!" Cried one of the boys, or both, he wasn't sure. Oswell's could not tell which one said it, considering how much they sounded the same. "Ser!!!!"

"Wha-" he finally came out of his daze. "What is it?" He saw the two on the ground, covered in dirt as if they both just decided to stop sparing with each other a play, or their sparing went too far and they ended up fighting all-the-while trying to outclass one another. "What happened to you two..."

"I lost my footing," the King said, his cheeks red with embarrassment as he could not meet Oswell's eyes. "Olly tried catching me.... but...."

"...We both ended up falling down." The Prince finished his sentence.

"Who's Olly?"

"I'm Olly, Ser!!!!" Prince Olyvar puffed up his cheeks in what appeared to be the genesis of angst. Though he was too young to display such a personality. Mayhaps when he's six and ten, but at the age of six.

He's a decade early, Oswell's thought. This boy is definitely Oberyn's kin...

"He calls me Vissy," the King said. It had only been two weeks since they came to know one another, yet they've already stopped being formal with each other. Although, Naela did mention something like this back in Dorne.

"True friends never address each other formally, even if their ranks in society are 10,000 leagues apart from one another. Let us not Forget Aegon and Orys, or Jaehaerys and Barth, Daeron and Maron, Baelor Breakspear and literally everyone he was close to. All examples of those who didn't put their status above their friendship." Her words could leave a man lost in thought til his deathbed.

Either way, Oswell would have to give them a stern talking to.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

The Hightower/Oldtown

Lord Commander Ser Gerold "the White Bull" Hightower


Naela had abandoned him, but Gerold was well aware that she wouldn't have done it, unless she had to. Naela was strange and a bit secretive in her plots, but she was also honest, shrewd, wise, cunning, cautious and not without emotion, with some degree of honor and mercy.
-----
When they were on Daesyus' ship, Gerold saw a side to Naela that he had never been seen before. She had some kind of emotional conversation with sister and was even sobbing when below deck. He's seen her get roaring drunk after drinking fortified ale that Daesyus had in the Captain's quarters.

Also on the ship, he noticed that the ship's crew all had muzzles on. When he asked Daesyus about that she laughed and said. "Ser, this Vessel maybe called the "Seafoam Dragon", but it's true name the "Cannibal Queen". Every seadog on this boat is a cannibal." That sent shivers down his spine. An entire crew of Cannibals. She said that they're from the Basilisk Isles and such as the like, former corsairs and reavers that dared to pillage and rape in her vicinity of the seas wherever that was. Daesyus' punishment for them, make them a part of her crew. She would have them gilded, fork their tongues and force them to only dine on human flesh until that's all they have a taste for. "I know it seems terrible in your eyes, but I'll only say this... Death is too kind a punishment for corsairs." Daesyus told him...

Later on, Naela and Daesyus prepared a feast of roasted chicken, stuffed dragon peppers, Tyroshi honey fingers, salads of sweetgrass and spinach and plums, sprinkled with crushed nuts, and washing it all down with with an oaken cass full of Arbor gold that Lord Paxter Redwyne had gifted them after agreeing to the alliance.

When the eating was done, and Gerold slapped his belly with complete satisfaction, Naela and Daesyus had ended the night by regaling onto Gerold tales of their youth.
-----
Being the seventh born out of 13 children, Naela was regarded as a good omen. Like the ancient Andals, Naela's people regarding the number seven as good sign.

Daesyus was the third eldest child, born three moons early, and the story of her birth was rather queer and made Gerold think she was ironborn.

The story goes that when their mother was pregnant with Daesyus, their parents and their two eldest siblings were on a ship to an island for relaxation. The ship had entered the island's harbor when a queer storm had struck the ship which resulted in their mother falling overboard. During her time in the water, their mother went into labor as waves moved her further and further away from the ship. When the storm receded, a search party was sent out to find her. They found her washed up on one of the small rock formations, in her arms a drowned babe with a case of dead silence. Being drowned made Daesyus different from all the others. She only drunk breast milk when it had fish blood in it, making her weaned from the beginning, and rather sleeping with her other two siblings in same cradle as per their custom, Daesyus' cradle was a large, hollowed out turtle shell filled with seawater with sand at the base, a blanket made of seaweed.
-----
Apparently Naela's people never had an official name. She described them as so ancient that they had no name, strangely similar to the people who supposedly taught the Valyrians the secrets of Dragonkind. Despite this, Naela and Daesyus identify themselves as primordial embers of the First Dragon.

"Me, her, the rest of our siblings... We're all that's left of that fire," she told him. "Sure we have cousins and such but they're so distant in relation to us it's like we're two different houses all together. Our first cousins, the sons and daughters of our parents' siblings... Are long since dead... These current cousins, are their descendants."

"There's been such a gap, I've had to marry some my current children to them to bridge the gap. Our sister Alerria's daughters have done the same." Daesyus said.

"Our little brother Bahaemond's son Vysaelvius did the same too," Naela added.

"Remember the wedding?" Daesyus asked as if she was trying to remind Naela. "The theme was cobalt and lavender, and our sister Cereza didn't have anything to wear, so she ended wearing that ugly, carrot orange gown?"

"She stuck out so much, the Stormsinger who officiated the marriage pissed himself, the bride's mother fainted, and the bride's young brother puked on Cereza because the color made him nauseous." Daesyus was cracking up.

The three of them fell to the floor laughing at the story. Gerold was so drunk from the Arbor gold, yet he still remembered the whole storytelling as if it had just occurred minutes ago.

"How was the feast and the bedding? Gerold finally stopped laughing hard enough to ask.

Daesyus answered him then. "The food couldn't be enjoyed because the Cook was a friend of the bride's family and he couldn't cook to save his life. The pigeon pie was raw and ice cold in the center, the mutton was too chewy, and the lemon cakes were bland and partially singed."

"As for the bedding...." Naela gave a look that said that she didn't even want to mention it. "Cereza's vomit stained gown was so rancid, our nephew puked on the other ladies who were ripping his clothes off. It was the worst wedding I had ever attended. Next to Aegon and Naerys' wedding."
-----
Gerold almost felt special, now that he knew more about Naela. His only regret is that they made him swear secrecy from his sworn brothers. But then again, he was the Lord Commander, technically, they couldn't keep secrets from him.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

Braavos/Essos

Lord Lucerys Velaryon


From the moment Ashara came, Lucerys couldn't take his eyes off of her. So many nights he found himself unable to sleep. Whenever he did, it was a series of dreams about her.

Everytime he looked in her direction, her brother Ser Arthur wasn't too far behind. He always gave Lucerys a pained look, implying that he'd kill him if he tried anything.
-----
He also felt homesick, when he wasn't distracted by his thoughts of Ashara.

However the thoughts of Driftmark only soured the more he longed to return to there. Lucerys missed his cousin Monford, a bold lad of 14, as well as Aurane Waters, Monford's younger brother who himself was around the same age as the King; a quiet boy that oddly always followed Monford around like some lost pup. Aurane was sent to Lord Adrian Celtigar to be a cupbearer.

With all of his uncles and other male cousins dead on the Trident, Monford and Aurane were alone. And Lucerys feared for them, and for the future of his house. He also had another cousin by the name Cyeana, but she had disappeared across the Narrow Sea trying to escape a marriage that she did not want to go through with.

He never really thought of his family til now. Lucerys only ever thought of Corlys became the first Lord Commander of Aegon's Kingsguard, and his namesake, the Sea Snake and how his adventures made the Velaryons richer than Lannister and Hightower combined. Of how Addam of Hull died loyal to Rhaenyra, and his brother, Alyn the Oakenfist, beat back the Ironborn and saved the King's namesake from Lys.

He once declared that he'd be better than all four of those great men. What a fool I was for dreaming so grand, a voice shrieked in his head.

The King he suffered so many losses that it drove him mad, and his childhood friend was out to have a grandchildren rule the realm someday.

Had I a sister, she'd be betrothed to the Prince, long before Tywin could even think of doing so with his daughter. Lucerys thought.

Daenera was the last Lady of Driftmark to wed a Lord of Dragonstone. Lucerys had admitted to wanting a Targaryen-Velaryon union and Aerys had praised the idea as well, so much so that he had gone to Driftmark in search of a daughter shortly after his own daughter was stillborn.
-----
Lucerys walked along the market stands, lost in a daze. As Master of Ships, and there no longer being a royal fleet to attend to, Lucerys had a grand amount of time on his hands.

In his time of being in exile, Lucerys had shaved off his silver hair til it was as smooth as a ripe peach and cover that with a simple hood. Then, he'd simply wear a hood whilst in the markets.

In the markets, he came upon spice merchants and the like. On the docks, he would try to find work on one of the many fishing cogs. All to no avail.
-----
Today seemed to be different, as this time he had company. The Lady Ashara decided to accompany him. Lucerys could hardly keep his heart under control. She wore a lavender tunic and a pair of black men's breeches. She had her long dark hair braided and hung over her left shoulder.

"So...tell something about yourself my Lord," lady Ashara stated the conversation. "Seeing as how we're gonna be here in exile together, we might as well get to know each other better..."

"I'd really like that," he replied.
-----
The day went on as the two walked through the streets, Ashara pressed closely against Lucerys as she had her arms wrapped around his own.

Lucerys could feel his cheeks burn and he was sure his face was red as well.
-----
The streets ran rampant with activity. Bravos itching for a fight, wine traders with Myrish reds and pale green nectar wines, even a vintage called Dream wine for those unable to sleep naturally.

"I used to have trouble sleeping," Ashara mumbled. "I still do, but it's not as bad as it used to be."

"Really," he looked shocked. "Well I'm sure it'll get better, my lady."

She smiled at Lucerys. Causing him to look away so didn't see his red face.

"Shall we continue?" She asked.

"Of course," Lucerys responded.
-----
For near an hour they toured through the Secret Lagoon City. Their strolling was followed with extensive conversations about their lives and their interest.
-----
That one day together transformed into days, and days turned into weeks, and weeks turned to months.

There was definitely a fire of some kind burning between these young and noble exiles, moment's when things may take a turn for better or worse... A watchful eye by the name of Ser Arthur Dayne.
-----
"My sister's been through a lot in this last year. The man she loved promised to marry her but turned around and married someone else. Don't be like him...?" Arthur told Lucerys. When he told him, Ser Arthur's haunting violet eyes seemed to burn a hole in Lucerys' chest.
-----
Despite the threat from her brother, Lucerys was only more inflamed, his passion to be with her only grew.
-----
Late into the night, Lucerys sat at the dining room table, alone, supping over a bowl of creamy chestnut soup and a slice of pork pie, with some pear brandy to wash it down. Though, he had lost his appetite sometime later and it all went cold.

At the door leading into the kitchen stood the female guard that Naela sent with them. She didn't have her Dragon crested helm on this time. An aged woman with laugh lines on her mouth, but still very handsome. Her skin was a dark nut brown. Her rose blonde hair was braided upwards into a bun. And she had violet eyes with a gaze that pierce armor.

She stood in dead silence will her arms crossed over her chest. She definitely takes her job seriously, he thought eariler.

"Does she weigh that heavily on your mind?" Lucerys looked up for his plate towards her. "Yes I'm talking to you, Lucerys"

"How do you-"

"If you're about to ask how I know your name... don't... Just know that I've been watching."

"I'm sorry, my lady-"

"Don't call me Lady," she cut him off again. "Dracaena is my name... Dame Dracaena Lennaeros, Knight Major of Naela's Dragonguard." She slightly bowed her head and he got out of his seat to return the gesture.
-----
The two started talking on the matter of Ashara.
-----
His heart was pounding afterwards, but his confidence was bolstered by Dracaena's words.

In front of Lucerys laid the door to Ashara's bedchamber. With a deep breath, he knocked on the door...

Upon opening the door, there Ashara was, her eyes were red and puffy as she sniffled.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

The Red Keep/Kingslanding

Ser Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister


He had gone to his happy place again; hearing the sound of whores moaning inside of Robert's chambers reminded him of Queen Rhaella's screams of pain.

"We are to guard to King, not to judge him," Ser Gerold's words came back to him.
-----
He couldn't stand it, being made to watch Prince Rhaegar's murderer sit the throne, to see Cersei beguile herself before him and choosing to carry the oaf's seed after he had insulted her by calling her by the name of the Stark girl during their bedding, to be the only person at court who even remembered Princess Elia and her children.

Even Ser Barristan the Bold didn't seem to care. He accepted Robert's pardon with a smile on his face, yet the Prince regarded Barristan as a friend, though he trusted Ser Arthur more.
-----
Jaime had had enough of Kingslanding. The people spat at him and threw stones, screaming 'Kingslayer' as they did so, though because of his father sacking the city, the Lannister men caught outside of the Red Keep were stoned as well.

He wanted to leave, but he was definitely being watched, mostly likely by the eunuch on Robert's orders. Robert probably assumed that Jaime would kill him the way he did Aerys if he ever did harm to Cersei.

Well he's welcome to her, Jaime thought. She obviously enjoys it.
-----
He was lost in thought when he was pulled out of it by Ser Preston Greenfield. "Your shift here is over. Go get some rest. You could use it." The Knight was obviously put in the position by Jaime's father Tywin, probably as another set of eyes to keep tabs on him aside from Varys.

"Who are you...my wetnurse...? Worry about yourself. You maybe my elder, but I have more seniority here than you, considering I've worn the White a lot longer than you."

"Yet my White is much cleaner and much purer than yours." Ser Preston chuckled.

"What did you say?!" Jaime was still prone to getting riled up easily.

"Well... let's face it... You're a soiled knight who murdered the King in cold blood, yet you still think you're better than the rest of us." He leaned against the wall across from Robert's chambers. "Since your father shits gold, he probably just paid for your knighthood and that hogwash writ in the White Book was just a ploy to make you seem promising."

"How dare you," Jaime was not about to take this laying down. "I earned my knighthood, nothing was handed to me!! At 13 I won my first joust. At 15 I rode with Ser Arthur Dayne and Barristan the Bold against the Kingswood Brotherhood where I killed my first man. For that, Ser Arthur had knighted me when the fighting was done."

"Yet you can't explain how you earned your place here. Big surprise you can knock men off horses with a stick and not soil yourself in the heat of battle. That doesn't make you special, that makes you just another knight amidst a sea of 'em. What did you do specifically to earn your place on the Kingsguard and why did you callously betray your vows without a second thought or shred of concern for how badly it would turn out for you in the end?"

"Ha, as if I'd tell you all that." Jaime scoffed. "So you can report back to my father. After all, that's why you're here, isn't it?"

"Mayhaps," Ser Preston's smirk vanished and a complete frown replaced it. I've got him, Jaime thought happily as he grinned with satisfaction.

"Take that back,"

"Or what...?" Jaime replied. Some part of him regretted provoking this man.

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

The Hightower/Oldtown

Ser Gerold "the White Bull" Hightower


The dawn had come and there was still no sign of Naela. Gerold was positive she'd be there to treat with his nephew Leyton.
-----
Gerold dressed in grey trousers and a grey jerkin with a white under tunic and black leather boots. Over it all he wore a rust brown cloak. There was a pin with the Hightower sigil on it, but Gerold knew that it would be a dead giveaway.

He looked in the mirror and noticed a blossoming beard and set of mustaches and his hair grew past his ears. This would work in his favor while trying to go unrecognized on the road, as most only recognize the White Bull as being clean-shaven with short hair. He just simply combed his back and trimmed the edges of his beard as to appear less unkept.
-----
Once presentable, Gerold left his chambers to a higher level of the tower where he and his older brother would breakfast with their father and mother. The dining room had remained the same after all those years...

A great, round, oaken table that acted as the personal family eatery. A dozen chairs all around it, the banners of his own house and the banners of Highgarden, of Orders ancient and proud and Orders newly forged and longing for eternity.

Gerold's father would claim that it was gifted to their family by the Greenhands thousands of years ago.

He was obviously lying as a means of entrenching a child's imagination, as the table was of old oak, and thus not immortal like the bark and timbers of Weirwood.
-----
The Great Hall where feast and dancing was at the base of the tower. There was much more space down there to host the many bannerman who would come to feast with and be received by the ancient Hightower kings.
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Gerold took a seat at the table, in the chair he had known best which was the closest to the window.

"Come on now, you know I'm more of a window seat person." Out of the shadows emerged Naela dressed in a silk gown of orange with gold and red lining. She wore a choker of Red-Gold and with an uncut fire opal in the center. Upon her wrists she wore similar bands of Red-Gold and fire opals in the center. Atop her head she adorned a golden hair net which was also studded with fire opals. Upon the chest area, Naela displayed her personal arms, a heart gules enflamed proper charged with a dragon's head sable crowned.

Despite having the appearance maiden younger than than the Princess Lyanna and having a chest as flat as parchment, Naela was put every woman in the Seven Kingdoms to shame. Gerold felt his loins burning then.

"Gerold," she snapped him out of it. "It was a trip to Hell and back trying to find the right gown to wear when time came to treat with Leyton. So try not to DROOL WHEN YOU BLOODY LOOK IN MY DIRECTION!!!!!"

"Apologies my la-... I mean... Fyrehea-....I mean.... Naela...." Gerold stumbled all over himself with words.

"I see that my choice of wardobe has crippled your mental state... that's good... My wardrobe contributes to my powers of persuasion. However, I am no hedge wizard doing third-rate illusions with powders and potions."

Gerold didn't even hear her. "I'm sorry...?"

Naela grunted. "Nevermind..." She seated herself closer to the door.

"How did-"

"- I get up here?" She finished his question. "Well, I was taught a great many things before I could speak in complete sentences or even walk for that matter. Inconspicuous infiltration was one of said many things."

"I see," another voice came from the corridor. "You must tell me how your father came to teach you such trickery." The voice revealed itself to be Gerold's nephew, Leyton, practically dressed the same as Gerold, though his clothes were more wrinkled as if he just got out of bed. But then again, Leyton had massive bags under his eyes.

"Nephew it is good to see you again," Gerold got out of seat to embrace the man. "You resemble your father more and more every time I see you."

Leyton seated himself in his grandfather's high seat embroidered with the tower of his house. "Allow me to express my apologies and gratitude for your patience and for making you wait in these past hours since yestermorn when you first arrived in Oldtown. I'd also like to express my condolences to you both as I know you both were close to the late Prince Rhaegar. I promise you both... House Targaryen has no more fervent ally than House Hightower."

"You are most kind, nephe-"

"I'm afraid that the Velaryons, Celtigars, and Darrys beat you there, Leyton... Need I remind you of the first Blackfyre rebellion of the Dance of Dragons...? You claim fervent loyalty to House Targaryen, yet your family's track record contradicts your words."
-----
Naela had explained to Gerold about her many complaints, and the treasonous actions of passed Hightowers was one of the major ones, as Hightower ambitions coupled with Maester influence and zealots of the Seven killed the fiery beast of the ancient Freehold. Gerold sat in silence as Naela vented her anger, only stepping in if she ended verbally abusing his nephew.
-----
"If I could undo the crimes of ambition that my forebears committed against the Targaryens, I would, but I can't... I can only give heartfelt apologies and swear on the honor of my house that we will always be the "Dragon's Men' from now until the end of days..."

"I bear you no ill will, Leyton. I only ask that you mean every word you say and that when dragon standard is raised upon Westerosi soil, we can expect Oldtown to aid us. If you fail to do so, and I suspect even the slightest treason, well.... I hope you know the meaning of Fire and Blood..."

His nephew nodded plainly.

Naela wasn't the type to make idle threats. Seeing as how she took a boat to Battle Isle and scaled the Hightower completely unseen by any of the guards, there was no telling what else Naela was capable of.
-----
The convention continued onward and Gerold felt his belly eating itself. The rumble was so loud, Leyton look in his uncle's direction.

"My apologies, uncle. Here you are starving in silence and I have yet to have food prepared for you."

"Father, do not worry about that!! I've already taken care of it.." they all turned to the door and saw the source. The second youngest of Leyton's sons, Gunthor. Gerold put his age around 13 or 14, but it made no matter. "The Lady Fyreheart mentioned that great uncle Gerold might be hungry, so I told the cooks to have something prepared."

Bold this lad was. Young Gunthor had excused himself from the room when a serving woman presented trays of food. A pile of freshly cooked acorn cakes next to a bowl of molasses and side dishes of quail eggs and honeyed peaches.

"When did you speak to him?" Gerold asked Naela.

"When I came in," she replied. "When rowed over to Battle Isle, Baelor and Gunthor were there to greet me."

"So you japed about sneaking in?"

"Exactly," she replied. "Though you know I could have snuck in if I wanted to."

"Aye," Gerold poured molasses on his acorn cakes.
-----
"Gods, that was a fine breakfast, nephew." Gerold rested his hands on his belly.

"Agreed," Leyton replied. "Now then, shall we continue our talks of alliance?"

"Aye," Naela said.

His nephew and Naela sat there for some time, back and forth about the nature of marriage. Naela offered the marriage of Leyton's youngest daughter Lynesse to Prince Manfrey's second son Olyvar. Leyton insisted that Viserys be married to his other daughter Alysanne as well, but Naela counters, saying that all Targaryen and Hightower marriages have ended in disaster. Leyton would at last relent, fixing his signature and seal upon a document of allegiance to House Targaryen, inperpetuity. Naela was planning something for Viserys, the only question was what?

"You win my lady." Leyton conceded.

"Thank God, I thought we'd be here for a fortnight discussing this." She said.

"If there is anything else that I can do for you while you are here in Oldtown-"

"There is actually," she grinned. "There are a great many documents, manuscript, scrolls and ancient tomes and artifacts of Old Valyria and the like, deep within the Citadel. I want them all, and seeing as how the Peremore's Pets owe everything the Hightowers, they'll be less likely to put up resistance if the demand is coming from you."

"I see," his nephew had a look of great intrigue on his face. "Guard," a man clad in dark grey armor emerged through the doors. "Summon the city watch and close the city gates, no one enters or leaves without my permission. No ship ways anchor either." The guard nodded and left without a word.

"What's going on, Naela?" Gerold asked.

"A turn of the tide. Change my friend, change. Shall we go, before the city watch get confused?"

"Let's," Leyton replied.
-----
When they came ashore from Battle Isle, the men of the city watch were there to greet them along with his great nephew Ser Baelor.

"Father, what's going on?" Baelor asked.

Leyton place a hand on his son's shoulder. "We are about to participate in the mass confiscation of many secrets of the Citadel, my son. There are mysteries in that building, mysteries that I too wish to know for myself."
-----
There they stood at the base of the steps that led to the the Citadel. The great Sphinxes on either side of the entrance sat resolute with mute appeal.

"Lord Leyton," an old, hunched over man with a ring, rod and mask of electrum came down the steps slowly. "We were not expecting such a visit at this time."

"Shit," Naela cursed under her breath so that on one else could hear her. "They've already replaced Norren, In less than a day?"

"What do you mean replaced him?" Gerold asked her.

"I killed him and flung his remains in the privy shaft, yesterday. There's no way they could've found him already and host an election for a new Archmaester and Seneschal in such a short amount of time."

"What did you do?" Naela wasn't making sense for once. Her whispering and talking fast didn't help either.

"I infiltrated the Citadel yesterday, killed the Seneschal and dumped his remains in the privy shaft before posing as him through a glamour. Afterwards I killed the Archmaester for ravenry and stole his skeleton key that unlocks every door in the Citadel. Before leaving, I took a number of books and artifacts from the restricted areas, books on the arcane mysteries and artifacts from the Freehold itself. There was no way I was going to be able to take all I needed, so I decided to wait until treating with Leyton and peak his own interests in the higher mysteries."

Gerold was speechless then...
-----
Before long, chains rattled endlessly as maesters were being escorted out of the Citadel in droves. The had outright refused Leyton, and thus his nephew declared that their refusal was an act of treason against the very realm that all maesters swear to serve.

Gerold was shocked at the anarchy. He could understand it, but then again, he had no reason to doubt Naela's judgement at this point. After all, she trusted him enough to give insight on her pass. Gerold would have to put trust in her as well.
-----
For a whole moon's turn, Leyton and Naela scurried through the halls of the Citadel, opening doors left and right and piling books and artifacts five feet high before they were stuffed into a total of two crates. One crate was loaded onto a trading cog with coral red sails, an ebony hull, a prow in the shape of a snarling dragon's head, and a sinister name, 'Joyful Pyre'. The other crate was taken directly to the Hightower.
-----
The city was somewhat in an uproar
-----
The cog disappeared less than a fortnight after Naela and Leyton ended their raid on the Citadel. The Maesters were allowed to return to their lives, though they just suffered having their soft underbelly exposed and gutted. Thousands of years worth of secrets, taken from them in a month....
-----
At the dawn of their parting, Leyton presented both of them with two white destriers.

"May these steeds see you safely to your destination."

"My graditude, Leyton." Naela said.

"As am I, nephew." Gerold said.

Upon leaving the city, the duo were approached by four riders atop chargers. Three were shrouded in ebony cloaks, and they each wielded three swords, two on their belts and one on their backs. The fourth was a younger lad, possibly of an age with young Gunthor. He wore a brown leather jerkin and a moss green tunic underneath it and a matching hat. He only had one sword on his belt, but had a second sword partially hidden on the side of the horse's saddle.

"Ah... You've all arrived." Naela dismounted. As did all four riders. The three hooded ones revealed themselves as one woman and two young men.

The woman had dark indigo eyes, an olive complexion and lemon yellow hair with streaks of cabbage green dye that was passed her shoulders.

The taller of the two young men had fiery auburn hair that barely hid his ears, lilac eyes and a warm smile that could kill Winter.

The shorter of the two young men brown hair cut to the point of peach fuzz. His eyes were a queer dark red.

As for the boy, he never took his Azure eyes off of Gerold as he scowled at him with mistrust.

"Don't mind him, Ser, he glares at everyone he meets for the first time. I'm afraid that he's always had that issue." The woman told Gerold.

"It's fine umm..."

"Where are my manners." Naela said. "Gerold, allow me to introduce you to members of my Dragonguard. The lady is Dame Alaesys Raheris. The tall one is Ser Aelessar Qohmaereon. The boarder line bald one is Ser Tioman, called the Dreadwyrm by his peers. And the boy glaring at you with murderous intent is Elaemond, a squire of my household."

Naela went over and kneeled down to the boy's eye level and placed her hand on his shoulder. "Elaem, he's one of my friends. Remember, I wrote to you about him not too long ago. Remember, you have his sword?"

He silently nodded to her, before he pulled the sword off of his saddle and held it out to Gerold. The White Bull took hold of it and noticed that it was extremely lighter than anticipated.

"I figured that your leal service deserved a fitting reward, and seeing as how your family hasn't possessed it in nearly two centuries, I decided that you should get it back."

"Is this Vigilance?" Gerold looked at Naela then. "But how?"

"It took almost a year and a whole lotta dragon shit to find." Then they all laughed then except for Elaemond.

"He's mute," Ser Tioman said.

"I see."

 

Chapter Text

283 A.C.

Sunspear/Dorne

Prince Manfrey Nymeros Martell


It was a good thing Faerie was there when she was, else wise Manfrey and Gerold wouldn't have been able to do away with Lord Dalt's body and fabricate a believable story that the man went to Myr on a mission to bring about more trading opportunities.

It was a stupid, yet plasussible. How the Mistress of Whispers did it, he knew not.

Afterwards, she built a network of spies out of nowhere, making daily reports from as far South as the Summer Sea, to as far North as Moat Cailin. She even went in disguise numerous times to gossip amongst the Orphans of the Greenblood.

Though the realm was mostly quiet. Some Targaryen loyalists still resisted a bit, sowing dragon banners or keeping tapestries hidden in their castles, and thus Faerie had sent envoys and missives as a means of quieting them all down and convincing them to bide their time, knowing that Naela wouldn't be able to go to all of them, since Naela was the type to personally do such things.

"I am my own champion, my own fool, my harpist, my own envoy, and my own executioner." Faerie remarked what Naela had told her countless times.
-----
All was apparently well in the ways of consolidating their allies within Dorne. Manwoody, Yronwood, Qorgyle, Toland and Gargalen. In a fortnight's time, as per Faerie's instructions, the Lords and Ladies of said houses would discreetly make their way to Sunspear

In a way it was way too risky, because if Doran had caught wind of it, he return to Sunspear from his exile in the Water Gardens, and arrest them all, possibly execute them. But such an action would alienate his vassels and most definitely start a civil war. Where both the white sands and the red would be painted scarlet with the blood of the last of the Rhoynar.

Manfrey knew that he was plotting treason against his cousin, but Doran's inaction and the people crying for Vengeance for Elia and her children, Manfrey had no choice.

He wasn't willing to wait for whatever fruitless plan Doran had to take shape. The longer Doran sat in silence, and staring up at the sky, the less likely Elia would be avenged. So when Faerie came, Manfrey did not hesitate to accept.
-----
"Good Morning, my Lady," he noticed she had another scroll from one of those queer red ravens she brought with her.

"Good morning, my Prince." She replied.

Faerie had taken up residence within Doran's solar, though Manfrey knew not where she was sleeping since there wasn't anything resembling a bed within there.
-----
Faerie had come to Sunspear bald, but that had been many moons ago, now she had grown her hair down to her shoulders. A waterfall of platinum white and pale gold, combed, sparkling in the sunlight, and perfumed with... lavender oil.

The Blood of Old Valyria incarnate, Manfrey thought. But which? Lyseni? Mayhaps a noblewoman from within the Black Walls of Volantis? Elyrian? Tolosi?

She reminded him of his own mother. The Lady Helen of Starfall.
-----
"What news do your red wings bring us?" He asked.

"Eddard Stark and his company had just finished their stay at Storm's End and is now taken to the Kingsroad, bound for Kingslanding. I must send word to Naela so that she can head to North and reach Winterfell before Eddard does."

"Why?"

"As you know, Prince Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark took up a temporary residence within a tower in the Red Mountains near the Prince's Pass."

Lyanna Stark. The name was bitter in his mouth then. Elia was like a sister to Manfrey, and to see the Silver Prince run off with some Northern harlot drove Manfrey into a fury. "What about the Stark whore."

"Apparently, she had a child by Rhaegar and died soon after. Naela's taken the babe into her custody and had spirited him across the Narrow Sea to prevent Eddard from taking him back North."

"Why didn't she want Stark to have his sister's son?" Manfrey's anger was replaced with curiosity.

"Eddard would never betray the usurper, but he would also want to keep the child safe, supposedly, and thus planned to raise the child as his bastard son. Staining his honour in doing, forcing the child to endure the eternal ire of the Tully girl who has already sired a son by Eddard."

"Wait, Stark would forsake his honour to protect his sister's son, yet would stay friends with the man who would want his nephew dead should the man found out. Why?"

"Such is the nature of fostering, my Prince. It begets only torn loyalties. Where one is faced with a crossroads, where going left means loyalty to those you consider a second family though you've spent more time with them, and going right means loyalty to the family that you were born to, yet you we're separated at an young age where the lessons of loyal to kin are paramount. It makes loving siblings become cordial at best and estranged at worse. In the usurper's case, he despises his brothers, yet loves Stark. Naela despises such things, so Olyvar's time with Viserys will be a temporary thing. Thus she doesn't want him to lose sight of his family, but she also wants he and Viserys to be friends. In a year's time, she'll send him back here so that he and your other children don't end up killing each other." Faerie started to laugh then. "Look at me prattle on, a Lyseni girl more informed than most. Seriously, I know what Lord Walder Frey had for breakfast for the last two moons or what color robes Varys wore yesterday."

He was right the first time. "How did you end up as Naela's spymaster?"

Her face darkened then. "Where to begin... My full name is Faerie Maar. If I didn't say it before, I'm from Lys, born to a merchant prince who drank and whored into an early grave. The only living kin left to me is my pansy of a cousin named Lysono. I don't where he disappeared to and I really don't care."

"Apologies, if I've offended you in any way-,"

"No," she said. "It's just that I hate to speak of what my life was before Naela. I ended up on the streets, surviving, fearing that I'd end up a slave in the pleasure gardens like so many girls and boys in Lys with the features of Dragonlords. Sleeping in the gutters by day, prowling the rooftops at night, I managed to evade brothel owners merchant princes looking for young concubines. As to how I met Naela, well... I ended up pickpocketing the wrong person that night. I can still remember how brightly her fiery golden eyes glowed, those slit pupils like those of a cat's."

"Naela's description," he thought out. "Is she not-"

"How observant, my Prince." Fae cut him off. "You're right in your thinking. Naela isn't human, though I couldn't tell you what she was either. All I know is that when it comes to being kissed by fire, no ginger haired cunts hold a candle to her. But I digress. Anyway, she brought me out of Lys and I ended up in her household, and a great honour it was."

"What's her household like?" He asked.

"Vast, equal, and comfortable." She replied.

Before Faerie finished the story, another red raven had arrived. She pulled the missive off of the its leg and read to herself. Her smile grew. "It appears that Hightower, like Redwyne has agreed to wed his daughter, Lynesse to your son, Olyvar. As for Corrin's marriage to Bethany Redwyne, Lord Paxter seeks to move up the wedding to the new year. Do you consent my Prince?"

"I do consent." He nodded. "What of Tyrell, Tarly and Rowan?"

"Naela will be arriving at Highgarden soon. The White Bull and her have parted company as to move quicker. Soon after she's done with treating with the Queen of Thorns, Naela will go North."

"Why treat with the Lady Olenna and not her son? Why does Naela have to head North?"

"Mace Tyrell is almost as lackwitted as Jinglebell Frey. To answer your second question, she's on a hunt. A Valyrian Steel hunt. But enough about the times. Don't you have a two year old daughter that needs some fatherly tender love and care?"

"Aye,"

"Then go to her." She spat as she shoved him out of the solar, and locked the door behind him.