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ASOIAF - The Bleeding Years IC Thread

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Dragos Bee
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ASOIAF - The Bleeding Years IC Thread

Postby Dragos Bee » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:26 am

News of the World, as seen through the Visions of the Priests of R'hllor

Hear now, the tales of what is happening in the world…

Sarnor and the Dothraki Sea

In faraway Sarnor, the Dothraki lie beaten, four Khals slaughtered where they once expected victory. The High Priest of the Lord of Light says that this was not expected to happen, that in the ‘Field of Crows’, it was the Sarnori who were supposed to be annihilated by the savage horsemen. Nevertheless, this failure of prophecy bodes ill for Volantis and the worshippers of the Lord of Light, as the remaining Khals turn south to the Free Cities for easier pickings, raiding and plundering the northern borders of New Valyria and its foes alike. This flow of Dothraki southward is sped by the High King, Mazor Alexi, staging a counterattack into the lands ruined and turned to pasture by the horse lords, reclaiming much of Sarnor’s old territory and driving out more Dothraki. Again, an outcome not expected by the High Priest of the Lord of Light.

The Ghiscari Cities

Our enemies in New Ghis refuse to follow the light of R’hllor, and although the other cities do not imitate them in other ways, they do so in this instance. Right now, foul rumors that the worshippers of the Lord of Light are enemies of the Ghiscari rulers, be they merchant or soldier, have spread and have led to instances of angry mobs forming to riot against our preachers, with many of them avoiding being lynched only because of their mastery over fire and the other blessings given by our Lord. This is clearly the work of malign forces, for there is no sign that New Ghis and the Slaver Cities are in collusion with one another. Far from it - Astapor, Yunkai, and Mereen have rightfully seen New Ghis’ attempt to rebuild Old Ghis as a declaration of overlordship, and have raised a great army of sellswords, slave soldiers, and even Unsullied against them, aiming to disrupt the efforts at rebuilding.

New Valyria

In our home, news has arrived of secret plots in Lys and Myr, where the rich merchants who used to rule both cities chafe under the extensive taxes imposed from Volantis, taxes that go to the maintenance of the New Valyrian army. Not merely that, but several members of the Tigers have put forth proposals of a punitive expedition against the increasing insolence of the Dothraki, whose raids, as mentioned, increase in number after their loss in the Field of Crows. Others advocate war against Tyrosh, the last city of the Three Daughters which holds out against the rule of the beloved Triarchs of New Valyria. Nevertheless, the flames say that success after success waits for those who follow the heirs of the Freehold, should they make war swiftly…

Braavos and the Northern Free Cities

Braavos, the bastard daughter of Valyria, is our sole rival, and a strong power, with its agents starting to direct a brewing alliance of Pentos and Lorath and competing with our envoys for influence in Qohor and Norvos, with a few merchants even soliciting trade with the Ibbenese in order to raise the already-high wealth of their ‘Iron Bank’. Our priests and preachers in that city are also disloyal to orders which come from our Red Temple, and many of them even deign to work with the followers of the ‘Many-Faced God’ to undermine our attempts at expansion. Beware of them, and beware of the Faceless Men, for not even the Triarchs and our High Priest are beyond their capability to kill.

Westeros

The North of Westeros is at rare peace, due to the efforts of the Starks to keep law and order, peace and justice, but there are rumblings from the Boltons, old rivals of the Starks, about the rising prominence of House Feather due to the latter’s Arryn connections. The Boltons seem to be determined to pick a fight with the House Feather out of nothing more than bigotry and jealousy, and unless the Feathers gain the support of the Stark Crown, they are likely in for a hard battle ahead. With that said, relations with The Vale are less hostile than it has ever been in centuries, aside from rumblings from the Mountain Clans and news of continued prosperity from their ‘Gulltown’.

In the Westerlands, good weather has led to good harvests, but said good weather affects the Reach more, with the land reaching a period of prosperity just slightly above the norm. However, this prosperity has attracted the raids of Dornishmen from Dorne and Ironborn from the Riverlands and Iron Islands, many acting without the explicit approval of their liege lords, although said lords would not have held back their agreement in most cases. Needless to say, these lands, forsaken by the Lord of Light, are nevertheless as close to peace as they can be.

The Stormlands too, suffer from the raids of Dornishman and Ironborn alike, with King Argilac the Arrogant turning back a raiding force from the former Riverlands from the borders of his kingdom. His court has been the destination of several men of Tyroshi origins, seeking alliance and aid against the Triarchs. This brewing ‘understanding’ is petty and small, but one must prevent it from becoming another thorn in the side of our nation, New Valyria.

As for Dorne itself, that small country is profiting from sellswords and sell-sails provisioning in their small ‘Planky Town’ as they head for the conflict between the Slaver Cities and New Ghis, as well as our glorious efforts at expansion.
Last edited by Dragos Bee on Sat Feb 22, 2020 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
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Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:40 pm

Saenya Farwind

The wife of the Blizzard stood at the bow of the Longship, watching the isle in front of them grow ever larger. Farwind longships were not of a typical ironborn design, but incorporated much of Essossi engineering, as had the family itself over the years. The hull of the ship was painted bright white, while the sails were stitched of black and gold cloth that revelead the sun lit sea dragon of Farwind on them. While the ship itself was unique to her husband, the sails were the same formal design that House Farwind's patriarch had used since Denin Farwind had changed their sigil from a set of crossed scythes to the dragon they were now known for. The ship was mostly using the fair winds of the Narrow Sea to guide it now, as opposed to other locations were using enthralled rowers was a perferred form of momentum. Saenya sighed and covered her stomach with her hands, as the ship began it's final approach of Dragonstone.

She was no stranger to islands. After all, she had grown up on Lys, and had spent most of her married life on Harlaw, as opposed to her husband's keep on the mainland of Westeros, due to his use of that as more of a main base for his raids than as his actual seat. Plus, that is where the salt-wives lived. Saenya had no problem with her husband taking multiple spouses, she still carried the old gods of Valyria as her personal religion and her home country wasn't known as the Isle of Love without reason. But Saenya was more than smart enough to know however many steps ahead she was, living in close proximity to a dozen or so women who would like nothing more than to murder you for the advancement of their own status wasn't an exactly safe situation. Instead, she had made Fairwind itself her personal domain, and ruled in her husband's name from within it's walls, while he managed his mainland holdings and securing more and more loot for the family. Still, she made sure to help him out where he needed it and she was well involved in the twisted net of current Riverland politics.

Still, Dragonstone made her uncomfortable. She remembered when to teach her about her ancestry while on a trip to Volantis, her father had taken her and her sister on a trip to the edges of the smoking sea. There she could see the still smoldering remains of Valyria, with the volcanoes that had caused the Doom still pouring fire in the distance. Dragonstone was like a fragment of that, blasted into the Narrow Sea. A huge jutting spire of black rock that leaked grey smoke and the scent of brimstone. Adorning it's side was a small but grand keep of Valyrian make, it's walls made of the same black stone as the Valyrian roads and the Volantene old walls, but they were shaped to look like the wings and the maw of a dragon. A small village with docks was located at the water's edge. As Saenya looked up into the smoke, she could swear she saw the form of a small dragon shift within it. Saenya muttered a curse in High Valyrian under her breath.

"MOTHER!" came a cry from behind her. A small boy, with pale white hair came running up from behind her. While her husbands hair had always been compared to the dark snow of a blizzard or an avalanche, Earon's was of a more innocent variety. His eyes were an intriguing combination of piercing ultramarine and valyrian violet that gave the child a striking appearance. The boy was nearly four now and every day he grew to be more of a handful. Saenya laughed at his approach, and gently picked him up. Earon asked quietly "Is that the Stone?"

Saenya laughed a little bit again. Her marraige was built on a colder sort of love, but she felt nothing but the purest form of it for her son, including his little mannerism like avoiding having to say Dragon properly by just calling the island "The Stone." Saenya brushed her son's hair from his eyes and said "Yes it is my darling.

The young heir of Farwind responded quietly "I don't like it. It's stinky."

Saenya responded quietly again, saying "Not many people do, but that doesn't really matter, because some very important people live here." Saenya swapped into common and spoke to her bodyguard and her husband's childhood friend, Euron Pyke. "You best go and wake Taedor, we are nearly there."

Taedor, Lord Farwind, the Blizzard

Taedor sprung upward at the sound of his door opening, grabbing an axe from above his head and pointing it at the door. Seeing that it was just Euron, Taedor rubbed his beard forehead a bit and said "What time is it then."

Euron said "Still morning. Around the middle of it by my guess. The Winds have been good though and we're making our landing soon. Lady Farwind thought it best to wake you."

Taedor nodded and said "She was right. Go, get Gerron Harlaw up, he'll be the Envoy to announce our arrival to the Targaryens." Once Euron closed the door, Taedor slid the axe back into it's hiding spot on the roof of his cabin. Jumping over his present salt-wives, Taedor did not take particular care to avoid awaking them. He knew they were already awake from his own rude awakening, and were simply playing at being asleep for the moment. Taedor did not particularly care. One was some peasent girl from the Westerlands, in the domain of that one red-headed lord. Taedor had taken her simply for her looks. The other was Zata, a Summer Islander he had purchased and "freed" in Lys even before he had met Saenya. Though he had no strong feelings for her, she had fallen quite in love with him and as such provided him with a useful tool to find out which of his women might be planning to stab him when he next called upon them. Donning simpler leather pants and a formal doublet, he put on his boots, strapped his more formal sword to his waste, and left the room, locking it behind him.

Stepping down from the upper parts of the Longship, Taedor joined his wife and son on the bow of the longship. While his family were the spitting image of those with the old blood in Volantis or Lys, Taedor was something different. Though he had the white hair and blueish purple eyes of a Valyrian, he was taller and darker than any pureblood scion of the Freehold. His hair was tied back in a ragged knot and his beard was braided down from his chin, a feature not found in the East. He almost looked like a man out of time, how the people of the peninsula might have looked before they tamed the dragons. Taedor looked up at the smoldering mountain and like his wife before him thought he saw a shadow of a wing within the smoke. Though instead of cursing at the sight, the Blizzard gave one of his very rare true smiles.

As the boat pulled into port, he sent off the young Harlaw to bring his standard up to the castle gates, while the rest of the Farwind entourage gathered themselves into a more neat train. Taedor and his close bodyguards at the front, followed by his wife and son, followed by the various thralls carrying their things, followed by Zata and the other chosen salt wife and the thralls that serviced them, and then followed by the half of the crew that would come to the castle. Taedor did not often bother with formalities like this, but this was a very special occaision. It was not every day that a baby dragonlord was being presented to the world, and many of both Taedor and Saenya's future plans depended on securing the strong relations between House Targaryen and House Farwind on this trip. So for now, presentation was everything.

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Nuxipal
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Postby Nuxipal » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:51 pm

Lord Aerion Targaryen, The Last Dragonlord
74 YatD (Years after the Doom), The Stone Drum, Dragonstone Castle


Aerion stood within the grand meeting hall. One of the few rooms in the Stone Drum which had a view overlooking the closest of the small villages on the island. None were named officially, but the people called this one Dragonsport because it was also where the Targaryen warships made port. The dragon carved heads of the War Galleys were lined up facing the sea, as if they were keeping watch for threats. As the Farwind ship came in, the black painted warships would have been obvious to them, but also their sails had been spotted long before they made port. Long enough that if they were hostile or unwelcome, Aerion could have mounted his dragon, the last Dragon born in Valyria itself, Balerion.

However, the birth of his son, meant that there would inevitably be more visitors to see the newest son of Valyria. The Farwinds were one of the Ironborn families which were transitioning into the riverlands of the Trident. They evidently held enough sway for the current Lord to have been married to a Lysene Magister's daughter. While this put the next generation having two full generations of low valyrian parentage, they were not kin of the dragonlords as the Velaryons and Celtigars were. Aerion continued to watch from the balcony as the ironborn ship made port. Watching the first of their people disembark the ships, he turned to his Castellon, a man of mixed westerosi and valyrian lineage. Aerion spoke softly to him, in nearly a whisper. "Prepare some kind of welcome party for the Farwinds. See if you can't find out the purpose of their journey here. They have come a long way. It won't be for nothing."

Aerion had grown cautious upon his inheritance of his father's title. The people of the mainland, the Westerosi, have been in constant conflict as long as Aerion had been alive. The large trade town of Duskendale was under Ironborn occupation. Rosby just down the coast also fell to them. As of now, it seemed that the Storm King was barely able to hold the line at the Blackwater Rush. He had even lost lands to the Gardener Kings recently. With the mouth of the Blackwater Rush contested between three Kingdoms, and Dragonstone and Driftmark holding the opening of the Blackwater Bay, many lords came to him looking for assistance for one side or the other. While the closest lords on Massey's Hook were frequent visitors, they typically didn't ask for intervention, but instead seeking friendly relations.

Aerion told them the same as he told them all, he was not interested in the on goings of the continent and would not be pulled into one of the constant wars they seemed to be engaged in. As his castellan left, he turned to head down a separate flight of stairs that led towards his and his family's bed chambers. Upon arrival he found his wife Valaena with their newborn son Aegon. The young Visenya clinging to her as well. She refused the offer of a wetnurse for both of the children, preferring to spend her time with their children as much as possible.

Valaena looked to her husband and said, "Who is it this time? We already turned the Darklyns away last week, and the week before the envoy from Pentos inviting us to reside in a palace there. How many more will come?" At this point, Aegon was just six months old and had already been visited by his future vassal lords as well as lords and emissaries of free cities and Westerosi Kingdoms alike. It had been an exhausting schedule to keep for the family. Aerion responded to his wife's question, "Ironborn this time. The Farwinds, they have some Lysene and Volantene blood in their family. So I am not sure what to expect. If they are here on behalf of Harren or one of the free cities then I don't have what they are looking for. If they are here on their own initiative, at least this will be entertaining. When you can, they have landed and I would have you present when Aegon is shown to them. You are the closest thing to a second Targaryen adult here and my wife on top of all that."

Too tired to try and rebuke her husband, Valaena agrees with him. "That would be appropriate. Aegon has already eaten today and Visenya had some of the food the maids brought in for us. She will be able to stand or sit next to you once the maids can dress her for presentation." At those words two maids lead the two year old away to be changed for the coming meeting of the Farwinds.

With nothing much left to say to one another, they embraced and said that they'd see one another again shortly. Aerion dressed the part of a lord when meeting with the Westerosi and the part of a magister when meeting with Essosi. He chose the former because of their connections to Westeros despite the lady's upbringing on Lys. If they were like other Ironborn families, her opinion mattered very little. He seated himself in the grand hall upon the throne his ancestors had shaped with magic and dragonfire. His family would join him soon. However, outside the Farwinds would be met by others.

Aelyx Scales, Castellan of Dragonstone
Gates of the Windwyrm, Dragonstone Castle


Aelyx was not an imposing man. The dusty blonde hair and purple eyes only hinted at some valyrian blood in his veins. With him were six men wearing armor, clearly some of the Targaryen's Household guard. The outermost gates were overseen by the Windwyrm a tower of fused blackstone in the shape of a Dragon roaring towards the sea. Whatever magic was used to make the tower in the past was long gone, but it was built to intimidate. The smoke from torches burning within the tower exited out the nostrils of the dragon's head giving the impression that the tower itself was alive at times. The rest of the castle's towers were built in a similar fashion with an exception for the Stone Drum, which was an enormous central keep which would dominate the view if not for the Dragonmont which loomed behind the whole castle.

As the Banners of House Farwind approached Aelyx called out. "Welcome to Dragonstone. My Lord, Aerion Targaryen, welcomes you. He awaits you in the Great Hall and looks forward to speaking to you Lord Farwind." Aelyx was surprised at the orderliness of the Ironborn which were being watched enter the outermost gates. Like many castles in westeros, Dragonstone was built in a triple wall style. However, unlike the rest of them, this castle held space for five dragons between the middle and inner walls. Should the outer walls fail, the dragons most comfortable with the castle proved an effective line of defense. Currently, only Balerion rested within the castle. Meraxes had left two days ago, likely to go and hunt on Crackclaw point for deer or other large animals. Vhagar had created a lair on the Dragonmont ten years ago and was rarely seen away from the mountain as the smaller dragon preferred to hunt the goats and sheep which ranged the far side of the island.

Once the main body of the procession passed through the gates, Aelyx greeted the Lord and Lady Farwind in the courtyard. "I again welcome you, Lord and Lady Farwind. My name is Aelyx Scales, I am the Castellan of Dragonstone. My lord Aerion has asked that I inquire as to the nature of our visit before we proceed."
Last edited by Nuxipal on Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dalria » Sat Feb 22, 2020 12:27 am

New Ghis


Two Years Earlier...

Supreme Commander zo Shaak had just arrived from the Lhazar front with the First Legion; behind them over a thousand Lhazareen enslaved walked chain-in-hand. Commander zo Shaak was exhausted, the men had marched nearly a week straight as he had been summoned by The Grand Council. The First Legion was met with a patriotic crowd at the harbor of New Ghis; the legionaries disembarked in lockstep as the crowd cheered. An adolescent boy pushed threw the crowd to meet Commander zo Shaak, handing a letter summoning him to the New Pyramid before scurrying off. Commander zo Shaak relieved his men as they marched the enslaved Lhazareen into the pens. Mizleq zo Shaak had no interest in meeting with the council, he wanted to return home to his wife and child but was obligated.

Mizleq approached the capitol, the guard saluted their commander as he walked into the beautiful architectural wonder known as the New Pyramid. He navigated through the mazelike hallways; as the bureaucrats scurried along their way. He disliked entering the New Pyramid, he enjoyed remaining among his faithful men rather than being surrounded by court intrigue and selfishness. The Supreme Commander made it to the council chamber, being greeted by the chamber steward. He entered the large room; several beautiful women surrounded the table in which three men sat, a feast was laid upon the table.

"Supreme Commander zo Shaak!" the man at the head of the table exclaimed, "come join us. I had a feast prepared in the honor of your return from Lhazar" this man was the chief advisor of Emperor zo Grazdan, Hadzog mu Leer. "I also brought some meat from Yunkai, untainted" the man scoffed referring to the virgin young women that inhabited the room. Commander zo Shaak softly smiled, bowing his head before taking his seat the table.

"Sir, I do not mean to be rude but it has been a long journey and I only wish to return to the comfort of my wife. What is it we shall be discussing tonight?" Mizleq questioned. The three men looked at one another, there was tension in the room and it seemed like each one wanted the other to speak first.

Chief mu Leer spoke up, "may I speak freely and honestly with you?" Mizleq nodded his head in affirmation. "Emperor zo Grazdan is a plight upon the throne. He taints the bloodline of Grazdan the Great and will only lead us to downfall; whoring away his life, allowing for the Master's influence to molest our lands, and ultimately allowing for the destruction of our culture" mu Leer paused, "you have a duty to your people; to your ancestors. We have already secured support among The Graces, the aristocracy, and most of our mighty military".

"This is treason..." zo Shaak began but was quickly cut off by mu Leer.

"We are not only asking for your support in this coup but we are offering our fealty to you. As the Emperor has no heirs; your family lineage is of Grazdan's maternal line and you are well respected throughout Slaver's Bay, this makes you the only viable solution." Mizleq was astounded. Emperor? He had never even the slightest thought of something so bold, he was a soldier and a loyal one at that.

"I am not an Emperor. I am a soldier" he responsed with a calm expression.

"Those who do not wish to be in power, are often the best at it. You have commanded the Iron Legion for half of your life; you have earned the respect and loyalty of every citizen within the empire. It needs to be you" mu Leer responded. He was right; the Empire was slowly falling apart. Plutocratic dissenters threatened a civil war, the Emperor diverted funding from the Iron Legion to frivolous pursuits, and infrastructure of New Ghis was aging rapidly. Mizleq would had never thought of treason before this conversation but understood his loyalty lied within his people and not the Emperor.

"If we do this, we do this my way. Emperor zo Grazdan will not be executed, we will arrest and exile him from our nation out of respect for my ancestors. Nor will I shed the blood of any of my brethren" the three bloomed with excitement as Mizleq agreed to their plan.

"We have already made the arrangement for the First Legion to enter the New Pyramid. We must move now!" mu Leek exclaimed.

74 YatD...

Emperor zo Shaak remembered this day fondly; the day of his ascension to the throne of New Ghis. Emperor zo Shaak stepped out of his imperial chambers upon the balcony, overlooking the great city of New Ghis, the jewel of his Empire. A servant brought him a glass of Tyroshi Pear Brandy and a slice of fried dough for breakfast. Mizleq savored the moment, knowing this would be a long and arduous day. He had a meeting with the grand council; two years later he still wasn't use to it. After defeating a plutocratic incursion, solidifying the northern border, and rebuilding the Iron Legion, today would be the day that the Emperor discussed the great plan of Ghiscari reunification.

zo Shaak dressed himself in his royal garments; a mixture between extravagant robes and ceremonial military gear. The emperor sheathed his short sword as he left his chambers. He walked through the hallway with pride as the inhabitants of the New Pyramid bowed. As he entered the chamber, several individuals stood at attention. Chief Minister mu Leer, Admiral zo Mulak, Grace mu Azdan, Treasurer na Anhor, and several other advisors. "All heil Emperor zo Shaak; overlord of Ghiscar, Supreme Commander of the Iron Legion, the embodiment of Grazdan the Great" mu Leer cheered out as the other advisors repeated. Mizleq motioned for his council to sit, as he took his seat.

"My trusted advisors, thank you for meeting with me today" he smiled at the individuals surrounding the table, "today will be an important discussion, so please bare with me. Our discussion will begin with the rehabilitation of Old Ghis; for too long the previous heart of our nation has laid in ruin. We have began our momentous journey to reestablish the empire of our forefathers and for this to be true we must rebuild our nation's capitol. The dream to rebuild Old Ghis has remained still for too long, I have appointed Alek na Anhor in charge for this endeavor" Emperor zo Shaak exclaimed.

Treasurer na Anhor tediously looked through a stack of papers in front of him. "Emperor zo Shaak I'd like to thank you for entrusting me with the process of rebuilding our previous and glorious capitol, took from us by men who should have been enslaved under the Harpy's yoke. Although this might take years, this will be the most extensive effort architecturally our young nation has taken since the construction of the New Pyramid. We have twenty thousand slaves awaiting your order for departure also with several vessels carrying marble and stone. Any material we are lacking, I have already negotiated trade with traders from Yi Ti" na Anhor declared.

The council clapped with excitement, "thank you na Anhor for your effort. Everyday our population is growing, it is time we give our people new homes and the old capitol would be a perfect fit. Mu Leer, I would like to send an envoy to Astapor. I'd like to speak with the Good Masters personally! Ghiscari unification is around the corner and I would like our brethren to be on the right side of history" mu Leer nodded. "Grace mu Azdan I'd like for you to begin the great cultural reinvigoration of our nation. We shall expel the bastardized Valyrian out of our blood, I would like to spread the word of The Harpy. I would like you to seek out the most talented individuals in all of New Ghis in the various arts and have them deliver great pieces of art that exemplify our great culture and revive the true culture of the Ghiscari people" he motioned towards The Grace.

"We have much work to do, you have been tasked with my utmost trust. Let us rebuild our great nation! Now go, please be The Harpy" the various advisors repeated "please be The Harpy, my lord".

The Reach, House Gardener


74 YatD...

Two armored men glared at one another from across a field. One of the men lifted his hand, circling his finger as a-go; the two horses charged at one another. The horse's hooves pounded on the soil as the clanking of the armor filled the air. The men lowered their lances and braced for impact; as one of the lances hit, the opposing shield splintered into pieces and sent the rider flying. The winner of the joust circled around and joyously disembarked his horse.

"You have to aim your shield higher lad!" King Gardener exclaimed with a boisterous laugh. His son, Erik, stood up and dusted himself off. Erik removed his helmet and shook his head in agony.

"Shit that hurt!" he yelled "next time, can you take it easy on me next time, aye father?" the young man was visibly not amused. Erik was King Gardener's fourth son, at the age of fourteen. Erik was close to being knighted, his father's acting squire just as his older brothers had been. King Gardener grabbed his son playfully by the neck and walked with him into the hedge maze of Highgarden.

"You are so close my son. I am extremely proud of you and how far you have came" the King was referred to Erik's youth. Erik had been a sickly child, the King's maester was unsure if Erik would live past the age of two. Erik fought hard through his childhood and earned the admiration of his father; King Gardener has been easier on Erik than the rest of his three sons. King Mern and Erik came across the two eldest boys who were competing in archery.

"Edmund you piece of..." Gawen began as his brother hit the bullseye.

"I win, again" Edmund gleamed. Edmund and Gawen could not be any different; Edmund followed in his father's steps and personified the true Gardener heir. Gawen on the other hand couldn't have been less interested in knightly matters; more interested in making the eight than swordplay. "That'll be twenty hands" Edmund gleamed as he extended his palm to be paid. Gawen looked down at the ground but before he reached into his pocket, he took off running. Edmund took after his little brother, determined to get his twenty hands.

"Boys! Enough horseplay. Your mother is patiently waiting for us in the dining hall, she won't be happy if you dirty your clothes." King Gardener and the three boys made their way to the castle. The family took their places at the table, with King Mern taking the seat at the head of the table.

"Thank you for joining us boys" Elia scoffed as the lateness of her husband. "Konrad it looks like only you shall be eating desert tonight" she winked at her third son, who had stayed behind to help with dinner.

"Let us pray" the family bowed their heads as Mern began "we ask the Father to judge us with mercy, accepting our human frailty. We ask the Mother to bless our crops, so that we may feed ourselves and all who come to our door. We ask the Warrior to give us courage, in these days of strife and turmoil. We ask the Maiden to protect Pricilla's virtue, to keep her from the clutches of depravity. We ask the Smith to strengthen our hands and our backs so we may finish the work required of us. We ask the Crone to guide us on our journey from darkness to darkness. Praise be the Seven. Now lets eat" Mern concluded his daily meal prayer and the family began to dig into the food.

A voice interrupted the family dinner, "mi'lord" it called out. King Gardener waved the man into the dining hall, the man smiled, "my Queen" he nodded at Elia. "Our maesters have finished the declaration of for the Tourney of Highgarden, they are ready to be sent out" Castellan Randal Tarly stated.

Lords and Ladies of Westeros,

I, King Mern IX Gardener, am declaring The Great Tourney of Highgarden. Any male over the age of sixteen will be eligible to participate in the tournament. This will be a week long affair consisting of: jousting, archery, and melee. The winner of the Great Tourney of Highgarden will be awarded twenty thousand hands, a pure-bred Destrier mare, and a set of plate male with a personalized sigil. My daughter, Pricilla Gardener, is now of age. I will be offering her hand-in-marriage during the course of this tournament for those I deem eligible as another gift. This will be held in four week time, beginning in the courtyard of Highgarden. Once again, this will be the most extravagant event that Westeros has ever seen. I look forward to seeing every lord and lady of Westeros in Highgarden.

Sincerely,

King Mern IX Gardener


"It is perfect! Send out the ravens" King Mern declared, he had been awaiting this tournament for nearly four years as his castellan had coordinating the event. Over four-hundred thousands hands have been spent on this tourney; King Mern was dedicated to making this an event that would make history.

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Roman Imperator
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The Queen of Volantis

Postby Roman Imperator » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:48 am

Maelenya Valyreos - A few miles from the coast of Dragonstone
74 YatD (Years after the Doom), onboard The Fiery Heart


Sira watched her mistress in silence as she absently stared out from the window of the captain's room. Maelenya Valyreos was lost in deep thought, watching the white waves moving against the bobbing of their ship. She and her slave had been playing cyvasse for nearly an hour now, with Maelenya periodically falling into deep thought with thoughts of a more real-life cyvasse. Sira never knew when her mistress ever paused for a rest from the great game of power. The game all the leaders of the known world were fond of playing, betting their very lives and the lives of their own people for the prize of more power.

The only thing Sira knew, was that whenever she looked at her mistress, she still found herself awed at her beauty and the majesty of her bearing. Her long silver-gold hair was left untied and let down to cascade above her shoulders. And those lovely purple eyes of hers...one could get lost in them if they stared in too deeply. The beauty of a Valyrian was never seen on the island of Naath where Sira had come from. Though, after all these years of servitude in a city where it was commonplace, one would think she would have gotten used to it.

Maelenya Valyreos, on the other hand, was thinking of when she could get off this blasted ship. She wouldn't have minded so much if it was one of her own private ships, with a personal cabin designed for the comforts of a long voyage that included everything she needed and could ever want. But since her absence from Essos demanded the utmost secrecy, Maelenya had no choice but to search and anonymously hire a common merchant vessel in Myr that was heading to Dragonstone for delivery of goods. The merchant vessel had to, of course, also make way for the myriad of gifts she bought for the dragon-lord and his family.

News of the birth of a new dragon-lord was received with no small amount of disinterest in Volantis. To the Volantenes, the time of the old dragon-lords had ended with The Doom. Now it was their time. All of them, even the most self-exalted families of the Old Blood, had just simply brushed the news aside and continued on with their self-important lives. All except Maelenya Valyreos, who never forgot one simple fact.

Old Valyria were masters of the world because of dragons. Thus, the heirs of a new Valyria had to be ones with dragons. Not just bloodlines, not just wealth and not just armies.

"Mistress? this one awaits your move," said a familiar voice in High Valyrian that broke the reverie of the Triarch of Volantis. Maelenya turned back to her game of cyvasse and examined the board for a moment. Smiling, she moved her dragon across the board to knock off an enemy elephant and claim its spot beside Sira's king.

"Checkmate. You have improved your game, Sira, since the last time we played. It won't be long until you beat your mistress, but until then...it is still not enough."

Sira bowed her head low in response.

"This one is humbled by the compliment of her graciousness."

Maelenya got up from her pillowed seat and began slowly and calmly pacing up and down the cabin floor with her eyes closed. Meanwhile, Sira began packing up the cyvasse board and putting its pieces away neatly. The Triarch made her way to the window of the cabin and looked out once again before taking a deep breath. As expected, the waters here smelled distinctly fresher then that of the Volantene bay. Still gazing at the sea horizon beyond, Maelenya inquired in High Valyrian, "Has Zikoz received any reports from Myr? or from Volantis?"

Besides her trusted slave, the Triarch of Volantis had brought with her, Zikoz mo Reshi, the ghiscari slave captain of her tiger cloaks, and 20 of her Unsullied household guards to protect her on the journey to and fro. Sira placed the cyvasse board away on a shelf before turning to face her mistress's back and bowing her head low to reply. "This one has received no word from the captain. But this one can go inquire if her mistress so desires."

Maelenya waved her hand and brushed off the notion. "No need. If there is any important news, Zikoz himself would bring it to me personally. He knows better than to do otherwise."

Before her departure, Maelenya had made plans to maintain New Valyria's status as a superpower on the continent of Essos by utilizing their riches to the fullest extent. Several months ago, she managed to persuade her fellow Triarchs to purchase the entire bulk of newly-trained Unsullied from Astapor with the usual gold and an additional contract of military support from the Volantene Fleet to keep the balance of power in Slaver's Bay as it should be. It was a very expensive and hard-pressed bargain but well-worth it. New Valyria's army of 50,000 now had 10,000 Unsullied to count among it's number. Of that number, 1,000 of them were now making their way to Lys along with a quarter of the Volantene Fleet to reinforce the garrison there. With fresh troops and a strong naval presence, Triarch Valyreos aimed to silence the grumbling in the city and make the Lyseni think twice before rebelling.

Her emissary, Lazan Hotirah, who had been sent to purchase the Unsullied, had been ordered to stay at Astapor since then. But before her departure from Myr, she had given him a new diplomatic mission. To sail to New Ghis and meet with the new emperor. The ambitions of New Ghis were plain enough to see, but Lazan's main mission was to know the character of their ruler, divine his intentions on Essos and judge as to whether or not New Valyria had anything to worry about, commercially and militarily. The secondary mission was, of course, to see in what way Volantis can benefit from the ambitions of New Ghis.

Before leaving, Maelenya had also executed a plan for a military expedition to Mantarys, and issued orders to Volantis to ready one-third of the Volantene army and march out to take the city. If Volantis controls Mantarys, they can control the 'demon road' ensuring their supremacy on the inflow of land trade from slaver's bay and the far east into Essos. Besides, they can then make the demon roads more securable which would in-turn improve the trade. The only problems were Dothraki and the time and the means it would take to secure an already dangerous route. Command of this expedition was given to her great-uncle, Jaecarys Valyreos, who was also the captain of The Bastard Born sellsword company and an experienced veteran of war.

Meanwhile, another third of the Volantene army had orders to garrison at Selhorys and secure the northern borders from any major Dothraki incursions. The rest were to march to Myr and garrison there until her return. Myr too was grumbling and for now, the presence of half of The Volantene Fleet, patrolling the seas around Tyrosh and anchoring in the Myrish harbor, were keeping the Myrmen in check.

New Valyria's naval presence near the stepstones and around The Narrow Sea was not only just a show of power infront of its enemies. It was also a ploy from the Triarchs to let the rest of the Free Cities believe that they could be making a move on Tyrosh at anytime. Even the Volantene citizens believe that is the case, especially with a third of their army already marching to Myr. But in reality, Maelenya knew that taking Tyrosh would have to wait. Stabilizing New Valyria's power over its current dominion took precedent. More importantly, they had to ensure that trade, goods and the much-needed slaves from slaver's bay and the far east would not be disrupted in the event of a major war between Volantis and the rest of the Free Cities. So while the world looked to Tyrosh, The Triarchs of Volantis will use that distraction to absolutely secure their eastern lifeline of mercantile traffic. At any-time they could squeeze the eastern trading routes and starve the rest of the Free Cities that also depended on it. But for now they let everything proceed as normal, so as to not antagonize their rivals even more and quicken their lust for war.

At the moment, Triarch Maelenya Vaelyros had another pressing issue at hand that concerned the future of both her family and that of New Valyria. As she stood at the open window of her cabin, pondering her plans in silence, there was a knock on the door. At the Triarch's indication, Sira opened the door and Zikoz mo Reshi stepped subserviently into the cabin before giving a low bow to his mistress.

"My mistress," Zikoz began in High Valyrian, "This one is pleased to report that the place called Dragonstone is in sight. According to the ship captain, we will be docking within the hour. Also, I bring news from Essos."

Zikoz waited until Maelenya nodded at him to continue. Zikoz straightened his back and stood at attention.

"Report from the garrison at Lys. The Unsullied have finally arrived and as per your instructions, the garrison commander has issued orders for them to patrol the streets along with the tiger cloaks of the city. The ships who have brought the Unsullied, are currently patrolling the coasts of the Free City as we speak. They will continue to do so until new orders have been issued. Report from Volantis. General Jaecarys Valyreos and the 3rd, 6th & 9th Volantene Armies will be approaching the city of Mantarys a day from now. We can expect them to be laying siege to the city from the morrow onwards. Report from Selhorys. General Thoreo Naerah and the 2nd, 4th and 8th Volantene Armies are garrisoned at Selhorys and securing the northern borders as we speak. Report from Myr. Generals Garros Ennerion & Syrio Bahar have not yet arrived with the 1st, 5th, 7th & 10th Volantene Armies. But they are expected to be arriving within four days from now. That is the end of the reports my mistress. Do you require anything of me?"

"No, Zikoz, that will be all," said Maelenya, as she walked to a nearby table and poured herself a glass of Arbor wine, her favorite drink. "Make the necessary preparations for when we land."

Zikoz bowed low once more before he left. As the door closed behind him, Triarch Valyreos turned to her Naathi slave and said in High Valyrian, "Alright, Sira. Bring out my best dress, slippers, jewels and ornaments. It is time we meet the last of The Dragonlords."

Lazan Hotirah - a few miles from the coast of New Ghis
Onboard The Vessel of Tears


"We should be landing soon your eminence," spoke the summer islander captain of The Vessel of Tears to Lazan Hotirah, giving him a yellow toothy grin. "In about another hour's time if the seas are kind."

"The seas better be kind," murmured the young diplomat, as he looked away from the captain in disgust whilst all the while covering his nose with a perfumed handkerchief. The stench of the ship was unbelievable and Lazan wondered at how he managed to survive the 5 day journey to New Ghis. The Vessel of Tears, as the name obviously suggested, was a slaving ship which judging by the mere smell of it, had never been cleaned for the past three generations. As one can guess, the journey was bitterly unpleasant, and Lazan spend the majority of his time in bed retching or smelling his perfumes to keep from retching. Until now he still hasn't gotten used to the smell.

"Damn that Shakar zo Rhahzol," thought Lazan angrily to himself as he leaned across the rails of the ship's deck to gaze at the distant city."All because I won the bet and got his favorite bedslave for one night......and she wasn't even that good. Not as good as my beautiful Zala and certainly not worth all of...this!"

At the last statement in his head, Lazan slammed his fist on the railing angrily. Unfortunately, the movement let some of the rotten air in through his handkerchief and he quickly removed it to retch overboard. Coughing, Lazan recovered himself, wiped his mouth and said outloud in High Valyrian, "If I ever get back to Astapor, I swear by all the gods in the world that I'll put acid on Shakar zo Rhahzol's cock and make him eat it!"

After his purchase of the Unsullied several months back, Lazan Hotirah's diplomatic vessel had sailed back with the slave soldiers as they needed the extra ship to carry all of them across the sea. With orders to stay in Astapor until further notice, Lazan found himself stranded, but enjoying a comfortable vacation with all his expenses paid and provided for by the Good Masters of Astapor. Until he offended one of them by winning a bet fairly and taking away his prize bedslave for a week. Lazan didn't even realised he offended any of the Good Masters, until he received his new diplomatic mission from Volantis and found himself onboard the most wretched slaving vessel to be found in all Slaver's Bay.

Lazan found himself missing Volantis. He found himself even missing the smell of the dung of Volantis. Most of all he missed his favorite brothel and Zala, his favorite prostitute. But orders were orders. He had an important mission to meet the emperor of New Ghis, examine his character and personality, uncover his true designs and intentions on Essos and, of course, to see what New Valyria could benefit from his ambitions if any.
Last edited by Roman Imperator on Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dalria
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Postby Dalria » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:42 pm

New Ghis

74 YatD (Years after the Doom)


As the The Vessel of Tears docked at the harbor, the Ghiscari envoy Chancellor Krazhal zo Urdo stood at attention to meet the Valyrian visitors. Emperor zo Shaak was wary of the Valyrian delegation as no Valyrian had entered the New Pyramid since the Valyrian massacre of 3 YatD. The Emperor had received the official correspondence from Triarch Valyreos weeks ago, he hesitantly agreed. If war was to break out in Slaver's Bay, he'd want to prevent Volantis from capitalizing on the dysfunction.

Chancellor zo Urdo greeted Lazan with a grin, "peace be!" he exclaimed. Krazhal was one of the few men in powerful that retained strong Valyrian traits. His father had taken a Valyrian mistress as his bride shortly after the doom; although this was said to be a forced marriage. Through intelligence, patriotism and loyalty, Krazhal was appointed the position of High Ambassador, also known as Chancellor. "Please, right this way!" he shouted from atop of the dock, giving no room for rest as he led Lazan through the streets towards the New Pyramid with a small force of fifteen Iron Legionaries. The main street leading to the New Pyramid was lined with the bodies of crucified individuals, although mostly slaves, notably there were several wealthy-looking men crucified along with the slaves.

"The Emperor has had an extremely busy day but he is very excited to meet you! Did you know, you will be the first true-blooded Valyrian to enter the New Pyramid in over seventy-one years?" the quirky ambassador rambled on. The entourage made it to the gates of the New Pyramid, the magnificent structure, the Iron Legionaries glared menacingly at the unusual purple-eyed visitors but ultimately lowered the drawbridge and allowing for them to enter. Krazhal whispered, "I apologize for the uncomfortableness, some of my people are uneasy when it comes to foreigners. As I said, this is our first Valyrian visitor in over seventy years" he continued to lead the delegation through the mazelike structure. They entered the council chamber, Emperor zo Shaak sat in his throne as one of his servants whispered in his ear. The Emperor shooed off the servant and arose.

Krazhal opened his palm, gesturing the delegation to the table as he announced, "all hail Emperor zo Shaak, the Great Enslaver, the Iron Bull, the overlord of Slaver's Bay, and the true descendent of Grazdan the Great" the Emperor motioned for Krazhal to sit as he stood.

"Please sit, make yourself at home. We have prepared a feast for this momentous occasion including roasted hog paired with a Pentoshi pale amber." the Emperor left his throne to take a seat at the head of the table, examining his visitors. "To what do I owe this honor?" he questioned. With his scheme to restore order to Slaver's Bay and reestablish the Empire of Ghiscar, he had to make every move carefully.

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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
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Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:51 pm

Taedor

The Ironborn of Volantis kept his hand on his blade as his procession moved through the small town that was built in front of Dragonstone's keep. He mistrusted small folk on principle both as an ironborn and as a warrior. He had seen the mobs that tried to resist the Black King's thrall gathering trips, and he had watched the same mobs rise up in Volantis and Lys on visits. Either way, it didn't matter where the Smallfolk were from, they would not hesitate to jump on an opportunity. Taedor noticed among those who came out to watch his procession a number of the bastard dragonseeds fathered by the various Targaryen dragon lords. Taedor's great grandmother had been one of these, a reportedly intimidating bastard daughter of Gaemon Targaryen named Vaelyx Waters. It was a strange thought to imagine growing up on the dark island, but these people had done it for centuries. Taedor and his group forged onward.

Listening to the man atop the gate, Taedor nodded, before proceeding through the gate itself. As he passed through the first wall, he saw a sight he had long wanted to see properly again after many years since he had properly been to Dragonstone. A little ways away sat Balerion the Black Dread, a mountain of black scaled muscle and sinew. The Last Son of Valyria. Taedor had once seen him take flight years ago, and what a spectacle it was. Behind him, Saenya gasped a little at the presence of the beast, before a fire seemed to light behind her eyes. The Ironborn reacted by reaching for their own blade and never took their eyes off the beast. Taedor said a quick prayer to the drowned god before walking forward through the inner wall into the courtyard.

Taedor stepped forward once inside, looking around at the all enclosing black walls around him. Lord Farwind appeared amused by them, as he though to himself about the monstrosity that Harren was constructing on the God's Eye. Though the size of the castle would put this keep to shame, Taedor would take his odds with Dragonstone, not just for the dragons but for the craftsmanship of the walls. Valyrian designs used no mortar, they fused stone like it was metal. It would take nothing short of a Dragon to destroy a Valyrian keep. Taedor noticed Lord Targaryen's either castellan or ward or some other official court position in front of him. Taedor nodded at the greeting by the man again and offered him in return a curt bow and an arm shake in both Valyrian and Ironborn styles.

Hearing Aelyx's question, Taedor responded in his deep, steeled voice, saying "Well, it is not often that a Dragonlord is born into the world, and my lovely wife Lady Farwind is among those who still honor that occaison. She has come to present gifts to the Lord and Lady of Dragonstone and their newborn son, among them some of the more rare Essosi treasures my family has accumulated over their years." Saenya offered a curtsy at this statement, Earon holding on to her skirts as she did so. Taedor then continued "As for myself, I have taken some care recently to reestablish links with some of my families more eastward allies, and in this nature I have come to Lord Targaryen with something of a business proposal that I think he would like to hear."

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Keruma
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Postby Keruma » Sat Feb 22, 2020 9:27 pm

Lord of Langward

Asher's breathing grew heavier and heavier. "Block!" The figure in front of him bellows. He raises his shield-arm, albeit slowly, and he feels the force of a sword brought down upon him. His slender arm just doesn't have enough strength and he buckles under the relentless strikes. One, two, three strikes is enough to send his shield flying away from his arm. A sword tip is set near the throat of Asher. "Well done, young Lord. You managed to withstand three strikes this time instead of two" The figure before him laughs. He sets down the sword and sheathes it in the scabbard beside the man's hip. Asher threw a dirty look at the man in front of him. The figure was smaller yet larger than Asher. What he lacks in height (in comparison to Asher), he makes up for in brute strength. His disheveled hair falls to his shoulder which is covered by the shoulder plates a typical knight may wear. However, the person in front of Asher is not a typical knight. The man is a hedge knight who goes by the name of Jon. Hedge knights aren't uncommon in southern Westeros, though most of them tend to find permanent employment by the time they are around their thirties. Jon is nearly fifty now. He was employed by Asher because he knew that such a man of experience is invaluable to his house, especially since it would take more than rebuilding to take care of his lands.

"I do not see the point in training with shields. They are too heavy and do not fit well with the way I fight" Asher complains, pulling back his long hair. "Boy, in a battle, the best fighting style is no fighting style. You must be ready to adapt to any situation and act upon it quickly and decisively so that you will always have the greatest advantage" Jon replies, setting down his shield. He takes a step back and positions himself. He makes quick swings with his training sword and even quicker steps around in a circle. "Such a strategy works well on slow, old knights fighters. However, against someone quicker or more durable than you? You are hopeless". Asher ponders the statement the old man gave but his attention was caught by Jon's display. Asher is amazed at the agility that the old knight still possesses at this point in his life. Asher tries to replicate the moves that the hedge knight just performed but was stopped midway. "You are a quick learner, my lord. However, you don't move the sword fast enough" Jon comments, a calculating look on his face. He picks up the wooden shield which flew from Lord Langward's arms and throws it back to him. "Once again, block!" He shouts. Asher quickly straps on his shield and raises it, successfully blocking the sword swing. This time, however, he stands still.

For Asher, being a lord is a mixture of good and bad. He loves the idea that he is of help to those in need but hates the tediousness and complexity of the things he has to do. A council conducted earlier in the day, however, reminds Asher of the benefits of managing properly his lands. His efforts to rebuild the village of Langward has not gone in vain; already the group of loggers in the village has been able to return to their normal operations and has helped a lot in rebuilding the damaged structures of the village as well as the castle. The fishermen were also able to fish in the wendwater without any ironborn problem in the past month. This is all thanks to the order of Asher that each group venturing outside the village will be accompanied by a retinue of house guards. These new house guards also use newly made shields to ensure the reliability of their weapons.

Nighttime arrived, and Asher was left with his mother Miranna and his younger sister Emmelyn in the dining room of the castle. While they were eating, his mother's voice echoed throughout the chamber. "My son, I think now is the time that you begin considering the prospect of marriage," The lady says, sipping on a spoonful of soup. "On the contrary, I think that these times are one of the worst moments to think of marriage" Asher replies, setting down his fork and knife. "I do not know what possibly hinders you from thinking about the good of the house, my dear son," Miranna says with an underlying venom. "The good of the people is the good of the house, o dear mother. Also, please respect my wish to not talk subjects that I know are my duties. I have other, more important matters at the moment" Asher bites back, his anger becoming more and more apparent at each word. All his mother did was shoot him the dirtiest look he has ever seen, quickly curtsy, and left the dining room. Emmelyn followed suit, but not before waving her small arms at her older brother. Asher sighed, quickly finished the remnants of his meal, and retreated into his study.

Maester Alesander entered the study of Lord Langward just a few minutes after the incident. "What is it, Maester Ales?" Asher replied, calling the old Maester by the nickname he has decided to give to him when he was a young boy, years ago. "What you did back there was not right, young one," The Maester said, sitting on the old rocking chair present at the room. "Are you the Septon now as well, Ales?" Asher said as he looked up, offering a sardonic grin. "One does not need to be blessed to know that quarreling with family members is not a good thing" Alesander replied, staring into the young lord's amber eyes. A small exchange of wills took place but Asher quickly rescinded; he knew he was in the wrong. "I know, I should apologize. I let my emotions get the best of me," Asher replied, looking like a young boy reprimanded for stealing snacks at the pantry. "I will not reprimand you anymore, young lord. You are old enough and wise enough to know your own mistakes and how to remedy them," the Maester replied, a serene smile on his face. "Surely you did not come to just give me a lesson on family, Maester Alesander?" Asher says, tucking away the numerous paper at the top of his desk. Alesander takes out a piece of parchment from his habit and handed it to Asher. "News from the dragonlords in Dragonstone, Asher. I know you would like to read news about them."

Asher was always mystified with the island of Dragonstone. Ever since Asher went to the island as part of a diplomatic mission by the Masseys, he was enamored by the huge draconic statues overlooking everyone and everything. The young asher was both intrigued by the white-haired, purple-eyed valyrians called the Targaryens and their awe-inspiring dragons. Asher was neither scared nor excited by those mythical creatures; he would always watch how they dive and fly throughout the skies. He was noticed by the Lord of Dragonstone's heir, Aerion Targaryen. There, watching the dragons, the heir of Dragonstone and the heir of Nephilim Keep conversed. They talked about dragons, Asher's home, the Stormlands, and Aerion's family. It was one of the few moments Asher was brought of his normally-silent demeanor. Asher has fond memories of the island as well as the people there and decided to write a short congratulatory letter for a man he would consider a childhood friend.


Dear Lord Dragonstone,

I am writing you this letter to offer you congratulations on the birth of an heir. I am currently incapable of seeing how the child fares due to the current circumstances in my lands so that is why I am writing to you this letter. Once my current engagements have been resolved, I would like to see the lad in person. I also hope to continue our previous conversation about the mysteries of the glass candle, if familial duties have not occupied your time too much.

Cheers and good health,
Lord Asher of House Urie, Lord of Nephilim Keep

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Arlye Austros
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Postby Arlye Austros » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:01 am

Harlan Hoare.

The boy leaned on the railings of the Longship and looked into the horizon with expectation. Still the design of the ship was a strange new thing to him, but at least, after only two moons under the guardianship of Lord Farwind, Harlan could feel used to new things and awe. This was a strange family that swore fealty to his family, preferring their bastion in the continent much like his father and grandfather, and clinging to customs that weren’t even familiar to the waters of Ironman’s bay. But now Harlan was being taken to their world, to the Narrow Sea that his ancestry had many times tried to tame, much like its western counterpart, and to the culture that, up to some decades before, ruled the world beyond. Perhaps the Ironborn could learn a thing or two from them.
But the boy’s eyes now scanned for the horizon that slowly deformed under the presence of the island, materliazing in the distance. Dragonstone. If legends were true, dragons could be flying above the walls. Although many Ironborn said “dragons” was a proverbial title to the lords of Valyria, their dragons gone even beyond the Doon that shattered their empire, and that they held that name out of vain pride. He would soon find out.

Lady Farwind stood opposite to him across the bow. She was silent, and Harlan glimpsed at the woman. Was that expectation? Or something deeper? She said something in Valyrian while he stared, and his sight quickly returned to the figure looming closer. What did she say? Harlan would have to put more effort in his High Valyrian. If there was anything he hated about being ward to Lord Farwind, was having to learn that foreign tongue. But maybe he would grow to like it. Young Earon came rushing to his mother, asking something in their tongue. She laughed it and replied with what he understood to be a yes. She then talked to Euron Pyke, standing nearby, calling him to wake her husband.

“I shall get ready as well.” He announced, and smiled at the lady while heading to his own cabin, a small space good enough for his liking. He searched across the tabards and shirts they had packed for him, and chose one that, while exposing the colours of his family, did so in a rather inconspicuous way, more grey than anything. Still he chose to wear a travelling cloak that he tied with a pin, effigy of the Drowned God. He made it clear the day before and after leaving the Kraken’s Keep that he wouldn’t forsake his God.

He joined Lord Taedor at the main desk after checking his sword was clean and sheathing it in his short scabbard, then did as told the day before, and joined the train at the head of the servants and thralls, not quite with them, but rather by Lady Saenya and her son. Harlan made his best not to trip as he stepped on land, still unused to long trips as this one. But soon was glad to be on land, feeling a freedom beyond the wooden edges of the Longship. And instead of paying attention to the people that gathered around to see the line of foreigners as they made their way to the fortress, he kept watching every stone, home and trace of vegetation around, He thought them to be fascinating.

That all changed, however, after they were greeted at the entrance of Dragonstone propper. The man introduced himself as Aelyx Scales. The Castellan. Harlan did his best to pass inadverted behind the lady Farwind, only to find himself amongst the host of Ironborn that, upon the sight of an actual breathing dragon, prepared their weapons, and to meet the Drowned God’s mercy.
“Is that? … A dragon. I thought they were a legend.” He muttered, passing near Lady Saenya. He noticed the beast to be calmed, no doubt under whatever magic the Lord of Dragonstone would use to tame the dragons, and laid his weapon to rest and hand reached the back of his head and scratched it, embarrassed at his own scare.

It was then something got Harlan’s attention, as Taedor replied to the Castellan, and estated the true intentions of his visit.
As for myself, I have taken some care recently to reestablish links with some of my families more eastward allies, and in this nature I have come to Lord Targaryen with something of a business proposal that I think he would like to hear."
He didn’t look at his guardian, but instead the boy gazed at the man asking for their intentions, wondering if he was noticed. His father had somewhat feared the guardianship could be used against him, and now Harlan wondered if, in his ranting and growing madness the Iron King had managed to see the truth. It couldn’t be, though. His father was paranoid, and he resented any thought of him acting like that. He would be smarted than that.
Last edited by Arlye Austros on Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Arlye Austros, the New South. In the Nibaru Expense. -Future Tech-
Patagonia and its regional neighbours are dominated by the Frankish Kingdom of Argentina and use Modern tech for their affairs. -Modern/Post Modern Tech-

Chilean-Argentine, Pro Union of the Americas (all three). Anti Chavism, anti other stuff. Conservative, but not in extremis (hope so).
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Sarderia
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Postby Sarderia » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:17 am

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THE FREE CITY OF BRAAVOS
THE IRON BANK
74 YEARS AFTER THE DOOM



    THE NARROW SEA

The Sunrider swiftly made its way through the glimmering blue waves, launching up and down as the waves beneath it danced. It creaked and bounced all over like the planks are going to splinter, and the mast ropes went flying everywhere. As the ship steered west towards land, its Captain saw a particularly big wave coming down from the left.

“Steer left!” the Captain shouted. “For R'hllor's sake, steer left now!”. The ship turned all of a sudden, and he can hear the sound of an oar splintered to pieces, far below. He gestured for the helmsman to get belowdecks and inspect the oarsmen.

Sunrider was not a particularly big ship, but to call it small would be an understatement. Forty oars lined its belly, and two massive oaken masts its upper deck. The Pentosi merchant vessel is composed of three decks with a widened back compartment, suitable for holding tons of goods. Its deck was made of Norvosi dark pine planks, a rarity among the ships of Braavos. Its purple sails were made of fine murex dye, flying proudly with a white crescent in the middle. Only the presence of shields and spears at its side that gave a sign that the ship is loaded with soldiers. A siren-shaped ram adored its front, its fish-like feet stepping on a wooden sun. On top of it, the Sunrider is crowned with a crow’s nest of hard oak, laced shining with gold. The purple sails bear the banner of a hummingbird, sigil of a prominent Pentosi trading house and the family that owned it.

Mero stood on the ship’s bow, leaning beside the foremast. The mast was an ornamented wood, carved with Valyrian glyphs calligraphy and ancient hieroglyphs. In its end is a small crow’s nest for sailors to scout. The surrounding seas are unnaturally calm for the moment. There were nothing but clear blue waters as far as eye can reach. He walked back into the captain’s quarters, where the ship's owner have been waiting for him. The Pentosi magister Marquor Baelish was a tall and slightly plump man, wearing fine clothes of lined adorned with lines of gold and ruby. The man had graciously lended five of his ship to the Braavosi legates after Mero brought forty warships in the mouth of Pentos Bay. Baelish was one of the main supporters for peace in the Braavosi punitive war against Pentos four years ago; the man had since gained high respect among the Pentosi patricians, as well as being a close acquaintance of Sealord Naharis.

As he closed the large spruce door of the Captain's deck, Baelish moved out of his chair to greet him. "Captain Sir," the man bowed. Mero returned the gesture with a nod. "Have a seat," he mused to Baelish. Mero took the Captain's log and opened the first pages. The Sealord's command was written large and clear on the book. The Pentosi fleet had been hired about two weeks ago to transport delegations from Braavos and the Iron Bank, including Mero, as well as several escort soldiers. The fleet also brought with them a considerable amount of expesive cargo, and that is why Mero ordered the Braavosi warships to follow them closely behind.

Their destination was a particular volcanic island off the coast of Westeros, famous for being home of the last Valyrian dragonlords. The Sealord has been particularly adamant that they reach Dragonstone as soon as possible, and that he will return with a trade agreement, no less or risk being demoted into a mere captain in the Braavosi navy. News have reached Braavos about the birth of Lord Aerion’s heir, and each bickering factions in the City Hall took it with great interest. Most of all Sealord Naharis, himself being of a Low Valyrian descent, but unfortunately Naharis was quite preoccupied with organizing the military expeditions to Tyrosh so that he could not come himself. In his stead, the Sealord sent a vast array of gifts and gold with Mero, in particular a rare item that he know well the dragonlords will take great interest.

Mero gestured for Baelish to move aside as he reached for a large oaken chest, laid beside the Pentosi treasures that adorned the Captain’s chambers. Gently, he opened the chest’s multiple locks, lifting its heavy lid to reveal a large stone inside its ornamented compartment. The stone was oval-shaped and rough to the touch. Tiny scales littered its surface, shining like polished metal as fair sunlight entered the Captain’s chamber through its large windows. The tosca-coloured stone felt warm when he touched it, as if there is something that is constantly lurking and spewing heat inside it. He returned the stone inside the chest, just as Baelish appeared with a book beside him.

“What do you think it is?” Mero asked. The other man responded with a shrug. “I don’t know. For all my travels I haven’t seen a rock so brightly coloured and ornate. It felt just like a blacksmith’s iron poured over an egg…” Baelish stroked his chin.

“The Sealord told me that it came from beyond the Bone Mountains. Said three of his ships nearly splintered trying to brought it home, a treasure from a trade expedition two years ago.” Mero watched the stone with a curious gaze. “The traders back in Purple Harbor said something about a dragon egg.” That brought Baelish into a fit of laughter. Mero shot him a glare that silenced the man.

“Apologizes, my lord. It is just that we Pentosi have barely seen dragons. It’s said that the Targaryen lord has dragons back in his erupting island, but we haven’t clearly understood their behavior, moreover to see their eggs.” Mero finally closed the chest. “But a dragon egg… bold claim. I think it looked more like an ornate, maybe sacred, artifact.” He nodded his head. “Do you think the Targaryens would take the gift as genuine?” the plump man said.

“That is why we wouldn’t say anything about this.. just as a gesture of goodwill from the rulers of the Free Cities. If it isn’t a dragon egg than it would be no matter for us, as gifts were meant to be symbolistic.” Mero said. Baelish put down his journal and took a seat. He ordered for one of the guards present to fetch him water. “Speaking of your Sealord, what about him? Why won’t Naharis come himself to Dragonstone?”

“Because Naharis coming himself would meant that he had to change ships in Pentos, and there’s nothing more to draw the Pentosi’s ire than having the admiral that once sacked their most illustrious war fleet stepping on their city.” Baelish flinched on Mero’s response. “Furthermore, our Sealord is particularly busy. Braavos will send five thousand men each to Norvos and Qohor, as well as a fleet of seventy ships to Pentos.” This made Baelish slam his hand in a fit of rage. “You promised that no purple sail, laden with swords, will enter the Bay of Pentos four years ago!”

“Mind you, they wouldn’t be present in Pentos. Those insolent Volantene bastards had been brave enough to move their fleets on the edge of Tyrosh. From what I’ve heard, their Archon himself pleaded with the Sealord in person to double the number of purple sails patrolling around their city.” Baelish looked more interested than ever. “Rumours have it that they’re planning an attack on Tyrosh, and they’ve doubled their military presence in the lands between Lys and Myr of recently.”

“I would rather be slave to Braavos than submitting into this ‘New Valyria’ nonsense. Who do they think they are?” Mero laughed at Baelish’s response. “Braavos hated slavers, my lord. Well, so I’ve heard from the Pentosi magisters. Our.. mutual alliance have lasted for four years now, and your ships have received the support of Braavosi fleets ever since. Tell me, are you sure the magisters wouldn’t defect to Volantis once their armies start creeping north?”

“Truthfully, I don’t know. Pentosi politics have been a rather heated… and sometimes violent thing recently. If you want to win Pentos, you would need talking to Magister Mopatis about the Volantene. His family is of Low Valyrian descent, and he had a considerable estate in Tyrosh, and even Braavos, I suppose. Mopatis controlled almost half of Pentos' magistrates no small thanks to those assets he held. Many are dependent upon the trading fleets he sent forth. I imagine your Sealord would have been in close connections with him since the war," Baelish mused.

"I could see that too. Not many could have access to whatever the Sealord and his cronies have been doing in that little palace of his. Even me, who had been a friend of his father before, and I had staunchly supported his actions after the war," Mero answered.

"You are a Magister, aren't you? You Braavosi have an intriguing system of politics, grouping patrician houses one another based on their corporate holdings… I remember Naharis being the one forcing the Pentosi magistrates to take a 'gift' from the Iron Bank erstwhile ago. What's the name of that faction again?"

"Keyholders. And the difference goes far beyond just owning shares of the Iron Bank. The Keyholders do most of Braavos' money matters and trade talk. We Magisters do most of Braavos' matters regarding its populace and diplomatic relations. And you can imagine how my colleagues responded when Naharis singlehandedly proposed peace talks with Pentos, without regards to the City Council," Mero answered. "Ah, that would make understanding this rabble easier," the other man responded.

"That's not all. As I explained earlier, you could see why both parties share a different view of things. The Keyholders are far more liberal in nature. They want to pass more laws regarding freedom for Braavosi citizens, but this also come with higher tax regulations. The Magisters are too conservative for that, and they resented an overextended system of government; that would make their supporter base unruly."

"And where was you supposed to be between those two warring factions?" Baelish asked. These kind of questions have always conflicted Mero more than anything. On one side, he was loyal to Rhaenos, because he saw good for Braavos in hid endeavors, the same reason for which he continued to support Artos Naharis. But on the other side, he was staunchly a magister, a part of the group that cling so hardly at the ideals of which Braavos was founded, making them complete opposites with the Keyholders who wanted Braavos to prosper at any cost. And Naharis was a Keyholder. Then there is the matter with Pentos, in which he was feeling increasingly loath towards tightened Braavosi naval regulations on Pentos, which are supported by the magisters.

The great spruce doors creaked open when Mero was still deep in thought. His helmsman appeared, holding a Myrish spying glass on his hand. "Sorry to interrupt you, m'lord, but we're reaching the island soon." The helmsman bowed and returned to the steer.

Mero jumped out of his seat, grabbing his sword-belt and ring. He wore several golden necklaces and fastened an ornate tiger skin cloak from Yi Ti. Stepping out from the Captain's deck, he called for several of the sailors to bring the treasures present out of the cabin - he would need a grand present if he wanted Lord Aerion to take him seriously. Baelish himself carried the heavy 'dragon egg' chest, alongside two of Mero's guards; the treasures are placed in front of the Sunrider's main mast, to be carried by his guards once they are docked. As all five ships of the Pentosi merchant fleet were throwing their anchors on Dragonstone, Mero returned to the ship's lower decks, opening the heavy doors of a hidden, but spacious chambers. The face of a kindly man greeted him inside the room.

"You know what to do, my lord. You know what you have been trusted," Mero said. From the edge of his eye, he could see the glimmers of Braavosi gold, pile upon pile, sitting on the chamber's corner.

The kindly man, kindly smiled. "A man is no one," he answered. "A man will obey." Mero walked out of the room.



    SEALORD'S PALACE

Life has certainly not been kind to Artos, Sealord of Braavos and Lord Patrician of the Most Esteemed, Ancient, and Noble House of Naharis. Since his return from the war with Pentos, his life has been marred by the constant plotting and politicking of a Sealord's duty. His sleep was never sound, mainly because he never slept without at least two knives in hand and ten guardsmen outside his room. The threat of a Faceless Man slitting his throat in sleep provided him with a constant source of nightmares everyday. His head was spinning from constantly engaging Braavosi politicians in debates. His hand rough and coarse for inspecting documents, writing, and counting how much coins to bribe people. And most of all he was tired of constantly shoving out people who wanted to took their rage at the Sealord. As if I'm responsible for every loss and failure the Braavosi had this day.

He had just returned from another session in the City Council. There has been a fierce debate between the Magisters and Keyholders on the matter of sending a Braavosi fleet to Tyrosh. As he was the one to submit the proposal, Artos staunchly supported the argument; reports of a Volantene fleet in the Narrow Sea has reached almost every village and town in the region, and Braavos would risk its projection of power if no action had been taken. The Keyholders advocated to send the fleet, one hundred and eighty ships to Tyrosh with another squadron of thirty to patrol the regions between Pentos and Tyrosh. As the last southern Free City independent of Volantene rule, Braavos – and the Tyroshi archons themselves, he guessed, would rather dump their wealth than seeing the banner of ‘New Valyria’ draped on top of Tyrosh’s towers. The Magistrates, however, refused; they offered instead to strengthen the relations between Braavos and the rest of the inland. Artos had graciously accepted their proposals, as five thousand Braavosi soldiers are moving to Norvos and Qohor each, promising to aid their defense against the Dothraki hordes. This way, not only Braavos had secured the imports of food and pines for their ships, but they could count on the two Free Cities to have their political backing against both Dothraki and Volantene forces. And Braavos would still have a substantial amount of warships waiting in the Arsenal for reserve.

Artos had not neglected the production of Braavos’ greatest assets, of course. He had initiated the construction of ninety new ships in the Arsenal, as well as contracting a large privateer force from Lorath and Saath, thirty and fifty each. The Braavosi consuls would let these privateers roam free in the Narrow Sea – something that they rarely got the chance too – under Braavosi supervision. They are allowed to plunder Volantene ships, and only Volantene ships. If the Triarchs wanted to block the western Free Cities access to the East, then Braavos would also block Volantis access to the west and north. He had sent the speaker of the Keyholders, Uthor Arenys, with a fleet of one hundred and twenty ships to Dorne, to forge an alliance between House Martell and Braavos. Half of that fleet would get replenished in Sunspear and continued their journey throughout the Stepstones, where they would provide the pirate enclaves there with gold from the Iron Bank, to target Volantene trade ships. His former guardian had resented this move – most of all because the man desired nothing but strengthen his grip upon the Iron Bank’s directors – but as he was one of the greatest supporters of naval militarization, he would either accept the gracious command or be shamed throughout the city.

He knew that he risked an outright conflict against Volantis, but Artos had taken steps of precaution against it. Firstly, no payment of privateers or mercenaries would be done without assistance of middlemen – so that lesser banks and trading houses would be the suspect of Volantene ire, instead of Braavos. Second, the purple sails would continue to conduct trade throughout Essos, all the way into Qarth; the trading fleets would call more often at the Summer Isles and Naath, circumnavigating south instead of following the coastline. Artos could forsake slave trade for all profits that Braavos could reap from new trade routes. Thirdly, the presence of a significant Braavosi naval fleet patrolling Pentos and Tyrosh would deter the Volantene fleet from even trying to antagonize the two independent cities. And lastly, there is the most chaotic variable present on this earth – if Mero Zalyne had a success in estabilisihing trade relationship with Dragonstone, it meant that there would be enough time to force the status quo upon all sides of the conflict.

And then there was the protesters. In the middle of the night, several people are blockading the way to the Sealord's Palace, protesting about the new regulation of docking taxes. Truthfully, Artos did not remember if he ever instituted such a legislation either. These people has been throwing all their problem with the government, directly at him. His guards are threatening the protesters on spear point; but he knew better than murdering civilians right in plain sight such as this.

"I'll have my ship docked wherever I want she is!" yelled a man. "Ain't no corrupt Iron Bank crook could take my money just because they feel like it!" The man's words was greeted with a chorus of "Aye"s from his fellow protesters. "You of all people, you should know better than to pass these insidious rules when the whole city's turning against you! War hero my ass!" An even greater chorus of agreement answered him.

Artos was getting enough of this nonsense. "Move!" he yelled, as loud as he can until his throat felt very sore. The insolent protesters ignored his words and even taunted him with more mockery. Artos jumped down from his horse and unsheated his bravo blade. He walked closer towards the chief protester, the man who was throwing accusations blindly to him before. "I won't repeat this one more time. Get out."

"You wouldn't dare to touch me with that thing, Sealord." The man answered, with a mocking face. Artos sheathed his blade again. "You're right. But I can get away with this." With one swift strike, he landed a punch on the man's nose - which shocked him, sending him stumbling backwards with a broken face. There were cheers from the guardsmen, and enraged noises from the protesters. Soon one yanked off his cloak, sending him falling backwards, but he kicked the man right on his balls. Another tried to stomp his face, but he quickly moved out and grabbed the man's knee, as he fell upon the cobblestone pavement face-first. Blood and brain splattered down the road, as three men launched their fists against him. With his chest numb against several punches, he yelled to his guardsmen. "Your Lord's getting lynched, goddammit! Move the hell out of there and help me!"

His guardsmen quickly sorted out the fight - kicking and pulling people down into the canals, raising their shields to form a barrier around him. He punched another man before taking cover behind a shield. "Next time try to lynch a politician that actually made you pay these taxes," he shouted.

Artos stumbled back to his horse, and forced the beast running forwards. He could not care less for the peasants that he trampled upon. The Sealord's Palace opened its gates for him, where two dozen guardsmen lined with their spears and halfberds, quickly pouring out of the gate to block the Palace from any enraged peasant force. He reined his horse and swiftly dismounted, giving the reins to a stableboy nearby. He swore multiple times as he brushed off his clothes from dirt; there was still a gaping wound of blood at his knee, but he paid no heed about it. “Damned peasants,” he muttered. As he threw his shield into the ground, Artos screamed to the captain of guards to double the patrol on Braavos , particularly on canals near the Purple Harbor. He practically dragged his feet through the courtyard, entering the Palace’s massive gates with dirt and blood spluttered everywhere. Artos climbed the stairs to his chambers, his feet very sore that he was almost certain that he had several broken bones, and kicked the door of his chambers… to reveal a Red Priestess sitting on his bed.

“How and why the frick did you get in my room?” he asked with a confused, and annoyed glare. The Red Priestess only answered with a smile. As Artos walked further inside his chamber, the Red woman closed the doors behind him. “My Lord had just barely escaped with his life. He should not be shouting obscenity to someone who wants to help him,” the woman smiled.

“Isn’t it sufficient enough that I throw gold everyday in front of your temple? I have a session with the council an hour later, and I’d be better you go back into your dwellings.” Artos unfastened his armor, opened the chainmails and threw it to the floor with a loud clank. His tunic was stained with sweat and blood underneath. He ripped the cloth and threw it into a fireplace. Artos rested himself at the bed and unfastened the iron leggings, throwing and scattering away all his belongings. He felt a warm touch in his wound before a jolt of pain hit him.

What are you exactly trying to do, witch?” he screamed. The woman had rested her palms in his bloodied knee, and all her hands were covered with his blood now. The Red Priestess only smiled again, and then put her hands above the fireplace. Magically – the blood dried – leaving her hands whole as if she had just bathed mere moments ago.

“Stay still, milord.” The Red Priestess put a hand on his chest, and then bowed to put her other hand on his knee. Instantly, Artos felt a significant burning feel running through his veins, as if his whole body was cooked in an oven. He jolted and shivered, but the Red Priestess’ gaze somewhat scared him to make a sound, let alone shout for help. The only words he could hear is “Still,” coming from the woman, as his whole body began to feel increasingly numb. But instantly, in a stroke, all of that feeling was gone – replaced by the cool air of midnight, as if he had felt nothing.

“By gods…” Artos muttered. His feet was throroughly clean by now, with only faint traces of blood remaining.

The Red Priestess rose and smiled again to him. “God, Lord Naharis, not gods. The thing you felt earlier, the burning, the cleansing, were the works of God.” Artos stared at her blankly, before she sat down in the bed and put her hands on his back. “Consider this… a rather God-ly way of expressing gratefulness,” she whispered softly. “Your contributions had been noted in the face of the divine. Now only a small thing remains.” The Red Priestess took his rough hand to hers. He could feel the smoothness of her hand, as if it was made of silk.

“Do you see the night?” she asked. “Somewhere out there, your staunch rivals, yes, even your own Keyholders; your own Uthor Arenys-“ Artos visibly flinched on the name’s mention, “-are lurking in the darkness, one by one, plotting and scheming and distributing their knives. Pawns doing the bidding of the Great Other.” The Red Priestess slid her hand into his chest, and he felt his heartbeat pacing against the woman’s soft hands. “I know what you seek. But what you long after lies not in the hands of mere men. The Magisters, Keyholders, the Volantene forces creeping north; you will marshal the greatest force you can gather, but your efforts would be all in vain.”

“I-“ Artos felt himself choke, “-who told you-“

“Oh, there are shadows lurking in every light, just as there is cinders lurking in every flame,” the Red Priestess whispered. “Would you surrender yourself now? Would you accept the boons that the Lord has chosen to grant you, the hand He has chosen to aid you, when you face this world of the Great Other?” She rose from the bed, stroking his hair and holding his face. Artos could almost see fires dancing in the red iris of hers.

Artos rose and knelt before her. “Lead me to faith, my lady,” he rasped. He could felt tears on his cheeks. If his desires to be remembered forever as the Sealord that led Braavos into her golden age were to be accomplished, then he would gladly sell his soul to whatever gods and demons he could find. He had nothing else to lose, after all.

“Good,” the Red Priestess offered him a kindly smile. She began chanting in High Valyrian, which Artos understood due to him being of Valyrian descent as well. “Lead us from the darkness, O Lord. Fill our hearts with fire, so we may walk your shining path. R'hllor, you are the light in our eyes, the fire in our hearts, the heat in our loins. Yours is the sun that warms our days, yours the stars that guard us in the dark of night.” The flames in the fireplace cracked and burned brightly. She gave him a perplexing gaze, as the fires in her eyes began dancing and shining as well. “Say it with me. Lord of Light, defend us.”

“Lord of Light, defend us,” Artos followed with a raspy voice. She smiled again to him. “Are you really faithful, Lord Naharis? Would you offer your gratefulness to the Lord who has made you breath since the day you was born?” She chanted in High Valyrian again. “R'hllor who gave us breath, we thank you. R'hllor who gave us day, we thank you.

Artos remembered the words those Red Priests and their masses always chant, every day and night. He chanted in High Valyrian as well. “Lord of Light, protect us. For the night is dark and full of terrors.” The fireplace burst into great blazes, yet the wood surrounding it appears to be untouched at all. The Red Priestess grinned widely. Her eyes seemed to turn a bright red the very moment, as she whispered unnervingly. “For the night is dark, and full of terrors.”

“I am High Priestess Kinshara, of the Red Temple of Braavos,” she bowed. “You would not see me again until long. In my stead, you would do well to hone your faith under an acolyte of mine. There is a young Red Priestess from Asshai, who had arrived here a mere month ago. You will consult everything with her, and only with her, as she would serve the bridge between you and our Lord of Light.”

He blinked in a moment, and the Red Priestess was gone.
Last edited by Sarderia on Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Nuxipal
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Founded: Apr 25, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Nuxipal » Sun Feb 23, 2020 3:36 pm

Aelyx Scales, Castellan of Dragonstone
Inner Walls, Dragonstone Castle


The answer from the Lord Farwind was acceptable, and expected. He gestured for the gates to open. "Please make your way inside. Lord Aerion will be in the Great Hall awaiting you and your family." He looked at the various people crossing into the castle. He noticed a younger man amongst them that, though trying to hide it, the trained eyes of Aelyx spotted as being the colors of the Iron Kings themselves. He had no idea why a prince of the Iron Isles was doing as a ward of the Farwinds, but it was dangerous to let them into the castle. He couldn't do anything about it now, but he did send a messenger to notify Lord Aerion by using the passages that moved within the walls to bypass the crowd moving into the castle.

If his reports had been accurate before, there were more people arriving today. There was reports that a vessel from Volantis had sailed north up the Narrow Sea and should be here soon. He wasn't entirely certain of when they'd arrive, but he would be back in the outer tower for that. Ever since the Braavosi ship had arrived days before, the number of visitors had increased. While Lord Aerion accepted the gift, he was quite unsure why the Iron Bank wished to give him such wealth for his son.

Aelyx motions for his guards to be prepared for the Volantenes to arrive as he could see their ship slowly arriving in the port from his tower position he has retaken after letting the Farwinds into the castle. There were rumors that a Triarch was among those aboard the ship.

Lord Aerion Targaryen
The Great Hall, Dragonstone Castle


The Throne of Dragonstone sat at the end of the Great Hall, a structure in the shape of a dragon on its belly. The entry to the Great Hall was in the form of a Great Dragon's maw, the smoke from the kitchen fires vented out of the dragon's nostrils which gave the air a savory smell just beyond the doors. As the Farwinds were to enter they'd be greeted with the long hall and the sight of Aerion seated on the black fused stone throne that dominated the far sideof the hall. There was ample space for most of their party with them, however, the wall was indeed lined with guards in blackened steel armor. As they approached Aerion, they would see that the pillars which rose to hold the ceiling were in the shape of Dragons as well, their feet firmly on the ground, wings tucked back and head pointed skyward breathing flames which held the ceiling in place.

Aerion was not alone, nearby his wife stood as the only non-black colored figure visible. She instead wore her family's sea-green and blue color scheme in her dress. A young girl, around age two or three was standing at her side, looking at the strange newcomers and in her arms the new heir of Dragonstone, Aegon. The child so many lords and magisters had already come to see.

Aerion spoke up and welcomed his guests, "Welcome, Lord Farwind. Please approach and speak your piece. I believe we may be joined by another magister from the east at some point today, but for now the floor is all yours."

Aerion secretly hoped that the reports of Volantene ships were only near Tyrosh and not sailing this far. His own intelligence reports put Braavosi and Volantene ships both in the Narrow Sea within striking distance of one another. Surely, if there were a war one side would wish him to join against the other and he did not wish to have to make that decision. For now, Westerosi politics would precede the Essosi and then unfortunately, they may mix tonight.
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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:15 pm

Taedor Farwind

The Lord of Farwind moved down the black hall, flanked by a few of his own men, and followed closely behind by his own wife and the two salt wives. The rest of the men he had brought to the hall had stayed outside with the chests of luggage besides what the salt-wives and Saenya took out as well. He assumed that Harlan was somewhere in the procession as well. More Valyrian stone decorated the room, with more dragon shaped ornamentation. Taedor barely acknowledged it or the various guards that lined the hall. On the throne of Dragonstone sat the careful lord, Aerion Targaryen. The Uncrowned King as some liked to call him. Taedor approached the throne and offered a curt bow in the Ironborn style to the last dragonlord. His people respected the man, not the title, and though Taedor counted himself among the children of Valyria he still carried many of his father's traditions with him.

After the rest of the party had likewise offered their greetings in a variety of fashoins, Taedor first spoke, his deep voice seemingly filling the room. "Lord Targaryen, allow me to introduce myself, I am Lord Taedor Farwind, Captain of the Serpent of Harlaw and Lord of Fairwind and Farwind Keep. We met once when my father did business with yours, but it was a brief meeting and we were both quite young at the time, so let this serve as a far more formal introduction between us. I present to you my wife, Saenya of house Taraleos of Lys, and my son Earon. Also among my part is Harlan of House Hoare, whom I have been entrusted with as his guardian. While I am sure that his House would also offer friendly greetings, I cannot speak for them as I come before you today on my own accords. First, my wife shall explain her purpose at this meeting and then I would make two requests before we continue."

Saenya stepped forward and said calmly, in the lighter voice that she used to play the various lords and ladies of the world that she was just some other simple wife, "Lord Targaryen. I first offer in turn my own father's greeting. Our houses have not had much interaction in the millenia, and the Taraleos have fallen far since the Doom, but we still remember when we too flew as high as your own. I come today to offer gifts to celebrate the birth of the young Aegon." She offered a quick gesture to the infant. "First, my handmaid Jeyne presents a necklace of gold and ruby, which once adorned the neck of Laesa Baeltheon, last of her house." The westerman salt-wife stepped forward and kneeled with the ornate necklace in her hands. Saenya continued "Next, my husband's Saltwife Zata presents a bow of the Goldenheart tree from her homeland, taken from a Swan Ship by my husband's great grandfather, the famed Maron Farwind." Saenya lastly removed from her own dress a small brooch, shaped like a snake crossed with a dragon and holding a large green stone within it. Kneeling down herself, she said "Lastly, we offer the Serpent Brooch, a piece of jewelry brought first to Volantis from Yi-Ti, then taken by my own husband from a Volantene Merchant some years ago."

When Saenya finished her presentation, Taedor once again stepped forward and said "I hope that you find these gifts more than agreeable. Now, as I mentioned when I first spoke, I have two requests. The first is the simpler one, but I request that we be granted but a night or two of rest withing your walls. The Summer Sea is particularly rough at the moment and our ship needs a day or two at port to restock before we depart, and so it would be greatly appreciated if we may spend that time on some form of hard land to rest our bodies while the ship likewise rests. My second request is thus. As I mentioned to your castellan outside and I'm sure you've heard, I come with a business proposal. I'm well aware you probably have guesses about what sort of business I may have but I can assure you that it is mutually benefitial to both of us. However, also due to it's nature and some of the information I must divulge to properly explain it, I cannot in good faith discuss it in front of more prying ears, both those within my retinue here and those that reside through no fault in any location such as this. As such, if we may discuss this proposal in a bit more private of a location it would be greatly appreciated."

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Nuxipal
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Postby Nuxipal » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:22 pm

Lord Aerion Targaryen
The Great Hall, Dragonstone Castle


While listening to Taedor explain who everyone with him was, he heard that a son of Harren was in his hall. Not something he would have liked given the belligerent nature of this boy's father. Indeed Aerion and his own father had been approached by Rivermen and Ironborn alike to deal with Harren in the past. Denied each time, no one had been around to ask such things in the last seven years or so. However, today could become one of those days again.

Aerion had actually learned of the Dragonlords of Taraleos during his youth. They, like most other Dragonlord families, rarely spoke to the Targaryens in Valyria pre-doom. Then, the Targaryens were one of the lowest High Valyrian houses, Aenar the Exile only had five dragons when he arrived on Dragonstone all those years ago. Of those, only one remains and only two more hatched since. Truly since the fall of Valyria, hatching a dragon has been a difficult task. The gifts presented to them by the Taraleos daughter were not enough to make up for thousands of years of distrust, but this was a new age. One where there were no dragons except in one small island in the narrow sea.

Listening next to Taedor speak of the need for his men to rest after time on the seas, Aerion could do this easily for him. The Summer Seas they would have crossed would be disagreeable with all but the most well constructed ships. The other, he didn't feel too comfortable with, but his position forced him to agree to hear it out. Once Taedor finished speaking of the privacy and secrecy they were looking for, Aerion spoke first to his wife and then to him.

"Thank you for the gifts Saenya Taraleos. And next you write to your father give him my regards as well. The great families of Valyria are few and far between these recent years. And Lord Taedor, of course you may rest on Dragonstone for a few days. I will see to it that your men are quartered and given guest rights in the halls. I do ask that they stay out of my family's private chambers near the top of the Stone Drum however. As for privacy, that can be handled easily enough." He stands from the throne and says, "If you will follow Lord Taedor, we can let our wives talk and show off their children while we speak of what matters you came all this way to discuss."

Once Taedor starts to follow him, that's when he'd be able to notice the pair of swords he carried at each hip, which the color of the scabbard, hilt, and the stone throne masked excessively well. It was very likely these were the Valyrian Steel swords of House Targaryen, with no one else to wield Dark Sister, the Lord held both blades. Aerion, not meant to ever be the Lord of Dragonstone, had been given a martial education, swords and strategy. He was always meant to wield Dark Sister, however, as the rule over the island fell to him, and his father failed to produce a second child, he ended up with both swords.

Aerion led Taedor down a passage behind the throne that was well lit and Aerion explained, "This takes us out to the Garden of the Gods. There are effigies to each of the Gods of Valyria, the Gods of the Andals, A heart tree from the North, and even a place for those of the Drowned God and Storm God faiths." Clearly visible were several others, A triple god of some kind, a black goat's head, a sun emblazoned in bronze, and an alter with a small flame on it. "This is where we can speak freely, though be warned. We speak before the gods of all the people of the world here."
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Union Princes
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Postby Union Princes » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:07 pm

Armond

The third Ironborn fell dead alongside his sword on the wooden deck of the longship of House Ironmaker, his blood gleaming under the sunshine on the Valyrian steel blade “Red Rain” belonging to the the Lord of Castamere. The wealth of the Westerlands attracted Ironborn raiders like flies to butter and once again, the Lord Armond Reyne had sallied out to meet these thieves head on. Armond and his retinue of house knights and sworn shields had just managed to intercept Ironmaker’s men while they were beginning to raid a village. After a quick skirmish at the village square, the Lord of Castamere pursued this reaving band of Ironborn back to their ships. Armond had no intention of letting them escape so freely.

“Board the ships!” he bellowed his knights as he began to duel his next opponent who was wielding an axe and shield. “Don’t let them escape!”

The Red Lions of Castamere, Lord Reyne’s personal bodyguards, hastily charged the other ship that was desperately trying to set out to sea. The heavy knights fervorously grabbed onto the railings while a few ambitious knights tried cutting the closest oars sticking out of the ships with their swords. The deck was a chaotic brawl as Ironborn raiders fought in close combat against the heavily armed and armored knights of Lord Reyne.

Being the greatest swordsman in the entire Kingdom of the Rock, Armond could already see the glimmer in his opponent’s eyes as he hoped to gain personal glory for slaying the so called “Ironbreaker of Castamere” and take his Valyrian sword for himself. As usual, the Ironborn was no match for Armond as a quick slice to his belly ended the duel as quickly as it began after he failed to connect his axe to Lord Castamere’s head.

“Kill them! Kill them all!” Armond shouted to his men as he pressed the advantage and advanced towards the captain’s cabin. More Ironborn still persist but more Reyne knights have climbed aboard to end this reaving once and for all. An even more desperate last stand broke out between the Reynes and the Ironmakers as every man fought with vicious rage until the last Ironborn fell with his throat sliced open from a sword belonging to one of the Red Lions.

“Even if we grow fast from our wheat,” Lord Armond mocked to the dead Ironborn while his troops began scavenging the longships, “A Lion still has claws.”
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
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Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:29 pm

Taedor

Taedor followed the lord of Dragonstone through the halls of his castle. Taedor took little note of the blades that the Lord carried, he often used two swords instead of one to fight and he cared little for Valyrian Steel. While in Essos, he had once taken part in a fighting tournament where he was pitted against a young Myrrish boy who thought that his family's Valyrian steel blade would carry him through the tournament. Taedor kicked the blade out of the boy's hand before he could even swing it. Metal was metal, and until one was found that could cut steel like paper, Taedor didn't particularly care which variety of the stuff he used.

Stepping into the garden, Taedor took a breath in. He personally held the Drowned God, and only tentatively at that, but still he had always had a bit of a soft spot for Northern Godswoods. They were always a calming experience for him when he had the opportunity to visit one. Listening to Aerion speak, Taedor nodded at the various Gods and Aerion's "warning". Thus, he began "Well Lord Targaryen, to begin I suppose I should acknowledge the nature of my business. I am what I appear to be and most people would be right to call me and the rest of the Ironborn pirates at best. I will not deny this. However, this way of life opens up several opportunities in life, and allows one to take advantage of them. At this moment Westeros stands on the cusp of one for those who want it, and I personally stand on the cusp of one far greater than that. I know enough of the goings on in the world to know that petitioning you for help in some grand conquest is of no use to either of us, nor do I plan on such an affair."

Taedor straightened his back a bit and followed up "There are few to none left in this world that truely understand what was left behind by Valyria, my family among that group. While others scrambled atop one another for the land and power Valyria left, my family did what we have done for generations, and assembled one of the greater collections of artifacts and relics from Old Valyria in this part of the world. I am not a studious man by nature, but I do enjoy reading some of these texts to further my knowledge of some of the more dangerous areas I roam with my fleet, including the areas near the Smoking Sea. I go on this tangent so that you know that I know better than almost anyone else that the Smoking Sea is suicide these days. Which presents the unique problem of which I need your assistance with."

Taedor looked up at the Dragonsmont, where the small black dragon he had seen on his approach still swooped in and out of the smoke. It's wings were webbed with faint green as it screeched. Turning back to Aerion he said simply "I am currently planning a rather large raid on a particularly rich target. I am not asking for men or financial backing for this endeavor, nor am I asking for some form of approval. I will undertake this endeavor regardless of what we conclude here today. Instead, the reason I petition you in secret is because of this, my target is a descendant of one of the Freeholder houses. And among his treasures he allegedly counts one of the last non-fossilized clutchs of Eggs that aren't owned by yourself. As you might imagine, I like most men would heavily enjoy a fantastical mount such as yours to ride. However, unlike most men, I recognize that despite my own heritage, my only real chance at obtaining such a mount is through hatching one of my own. And I also understand that in order for that to occur I need a place to hatch such a creature, of which most people count exactly two, within the now unreachable heart of the Valyrian peninsula, and here."

"You may be able to guess the nature of my proposal now, but in actual terms and not high speaking, I am, if the rumors are correct, likely to obtain a clutch of eggs in the near future, and I want to hatch them. They hold little value to me as treasure, and I am at a loss at what else to do with them. Thus, my proposal to you is such. If we are in agreement today, I will bring this clutch of eggs to Dragonstone once I obtain them. In exchange for allowing me access to whatever sort of hatchery you have on this island, you shall gain the entire clutch of eggs, save for the first two to hatch. I would take these two as my own, for my own house. If there is any other form of price you wish to attach to this, I am open to it, I can fulfill most prices save proof of a god. Otherwise, we will enjoy a few days of feasting together, and forget this conversation ever occured."

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Nuxipal
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Postby Nuxipal » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:56 pm

Lord Aerion Targaryen
The Garden of the Gods, Dragonstone Castle


Aerion was quite interested in this endeavor. While the secrets of actually hatching a dragon egg were a closely guarded secret of the family, one which he has shared with his Velaryon wife simply because he could be slain by anyone at any time simply for being who he is. Now, if this man, of questionable Valyrian descent managed to actually get unfossilized eggs and hatch them it could prove to be a problem. The Targaryens currently held all known dragons in the world and if another family had them, the era of dragon warfare could begin anew. However, even if this Ironborn was successful...

As the man finished speaking Aerion nodded and breathed deeply. While he wasn't sure why the man's attention turned to the skies above the mountain briefly, possibly looking for the so called hatchery, Aerion spoke in response. "If, and that's a big if, you manage to collect viable Dragon Eggs and you bring them here to hatch. What is the likelihood of you succeeding in hatching them without my assistance? You know I am a cautious man, you are clearly aware of the many men who have come to ask for my dragon to aid them in conquest. Or to beg of me to bring my dragon to liberate them with the promise of a crown. I have refused all comers. However, if you come to me with Dragon Eggs, there is one more very important item we need to hatch a dragon. You must also bring with you a newborn child of your wife Saenya. You appear to have some Valyrian blood in you, though I do not know if it is enough. Either you, or one of her close kin, need to do the deed. The process is very dangerous, you can ask my uncle's little girl about exactly how dangerous it really is."

The fact that he lacks any female cousins that are dragon riders may aid in the testament to the risk involved. "If you fulfill these requirements, I will permit you to hatch an egg here. A second egg, we will talk about that if you indeed return. I will, however, expect you to return. The Ironborn are nothing if not ambitious and daring. Upon your return, I will tell you what my required payment is. Not before, as I cannot risk your capture and interrogation to give away the plans that have been laid for my family by the Dreamer."

With that, he then gestured towards the exit and said, "Come, let us feast and enjoy the days you are here. Perhaps we will have more guests join us today or in the coming days."
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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
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Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:01 am

Taedor

Taedor scratched his beard and nodded along to what Aerion said. The Targaryen was as canny as he was made out to be. A smart man by any mean, cautious out of neccesity rather than from cowardice. That made him far more dangerous. Taedor would have to watch his step around him. It might do some good to get Saenya on getting contacts in the court of Dragonstone. Regardless, for the moment, he had a task laid out in front of him.

Nodding as Aerion gestured back towards the Throne Room, Taedor said "I thank you for your consideration. And yes, let the future come when it may, for the moment let us enjoy our time together and feast" before heading back into the great hall.

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ASOIAF - The Bleeding Years IC Thread

Postby Roman Imperator » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:32 am

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Maelenya Valyreos - Port of Dragonstone
74 YatD - Disembarking The Fiery Heart


Maelenya Valyreos, tilted her face towards the clear skies and closed her beautiful violet eyes shut before deeply sighing. Loud cries of anguish and miserable moaning could be heard echoing from beneath the decks of The Fiery Heart. The dreadful noise was enough to send a chill down the spines of all who heard except for the Triarch of Volantis and the 20 Unsullied guarding her, for they knew no fear.

"The Queen of Volantis," she thought to herself, as she felt a breeze pass, momentarily cooling her face as it did. She overheard that name mentioned amongst the whispered gossiping of the sailors when she left her cabin room earlier. It was the name the Volantenes had given her behind her back, both within and without the Black Wall. Needless to say, it displeased her immensely. Firstly, while it was true that she wielded the true power behind the other Triarchs of Volantis, she didn't need a crown and much less a title to do so. Secondly, such a title by itself was bound to invite unforeseen troubles to add to her current troubles and she had no need of more.

Unable to put a stop to the spread of her unwanted moniker, Maelenya made sure to publicly treat it's utterance as an insult. At this moment, the group of shipmen, who had the unfortunate fate of reminding her of that moniker, was being subjected to a bloody lesson from Zikoz no Meshi. Their lives would be intact, of course....but.... Maelenya couldn't say the same about their tongues. She had no love for violence, but she understood that examples had to be made when necessary.

As the Fiery Heart docked at Dragonstone's port and its sailors had finished hauling and settling its ramp on solid ground, the Unsullied were the first to exit, marching down in single files of 10 before evenly splitting up to cover the side grounds and coming to an orderly halt. The tips of their black spears and spiked helmets glittered menacingly under the noonday sun as they locked their shields closed and stared dead ahead, awaiting for new orders. Following behind, in her usual calm and elegant manner, was Maelenya Valyreos herself.

She was dressed in a flowing deep black dress with embroidered red roses, formed out of studded rubies, that sprouted vines of gold and silver leaves all across her bodice. Made out of silk, specially imported from The Jade Sea, its texture was divine and the dress not only accentuated her very figure but it also brought out the color of her violet eyes and the glow of her long silver-gold valyrian hair that cascaded over her shoulders. Radiating around Triarch Valyreos's soft exposed neck and nestling right above the smooth slopes of her covered breasts, was a gold necklace embedded with rubies that gleamed with pure fire. Dangling on the lobes of her ears, was a matching pair of golden earrings with white pearls while three gold ruby rings, of different shapes and designs, arrayed her delicate fingers on each hand.

All in all, Maelenya was the image of a ruling queen in all her wealth and glory, albeit without a crown. Walking subserviently behind her was Sira, who kept her head bowed low as was the slave custom. Behind Sira came other slaves, carrying chests and cases laden with gifts of all kind. Usually, a Triach of Volantis would be carried around in either a litter or even an elephant, for their very person was deemed too sacred to even touch the ground as they ruled. But Maelenya Valyreos disliked smelly elephants and bringing her personal litter with even more slaves to carry it would have brought unwanted attention.

The party processed through the outer walls of the castle with neither the triarch nor her servants expressing any curiosity or admiration at its size or design. At the sight of Aelyx and his guards waiting before the gates to the inner castle, the Volantene group paused whilst the Unsullied marched past their mistress in lock-step order and formed a rigid line between the two parties. The Unsullied in the middle turned and stood aside to let Sira through before immediately reforming the line.

"Welcome," Aleyx said, unsure as to why he was addressing a slave and not the woman hidden behind the line of slave soldiers. "My name is Aelyx Scales, the Castellan of Dragonstone. My Lord Aerion has asked that I inquire as to the nature of your visit before we welcome you as our official guests."

"Greetings," replied Sira with her eyes not even meeting the castellan's.

"This one is named Sira. Honored slave of Maelenya Valyreos, gracious and most beautiful of the Triarchs of Volantis. My mistress has crossed The Narrow Sea bearing gifts for the Dragonlord and his family as well as to request a personal audience with him. We would like to know how soon we can meet your master and where to place these treasures for him and.." at this, Sira looked momentarily at the Unsullied behind her before continuing, "...and where our protectors, can station themselves for the duration of our visit. That is all."

Lazan Hotirah - New Ghis
Meeting The Emperor


"Ah! Rh'llor be praised...a fellow civilised Valyrian," thought Lazan to himself in relief as Chancellor Krazhal zo Urdo introduced himself. All of a sudden, he found himself being speedily led through the streets of New Ghis and towards the immense pyramid in the distance with barely anytime to properly sight-see. However, Lazan did keep an inspectful eye on the Iron Legionnaires guarding them. For free men, he was impressed to find their marching discipline to be on par with The Unsullied.

The way to the New Pyramid was unsurprisingly lined with the crucified victims of various crimes and offences. The other slaver cities had this sort of visceral display so it wasn't anything new to the Volantene emmisary. Though he did note with curiosity that not all of the crucified victims were slaves. As the journey progressed, Lazan listened to Krazhal's statement of being the first true-blooded Valyrian to enter the New Pyramid in the last 71 years. He wasn't sure to be proud or wary of that, especially since his predecessors were massacred in the very building he was being taken too, which prompted the absence of Valyrians in the first place.

Finally, the delegation arrived at their destination and Lazan set his eyes upon the new Emperor of Ghis. He found himself looking at a man forged and hardened by years of war with eyes that, surprisingly, did not show that he was consumed by his grisly experiences. Bowing low, the Volantene emmisary said humbly, "Hail! and greetings to his majesty, Emperor zo Shaak. I thank him for his warm welcome at New Ghis and for his bountiful generosity. Unfortunately, I have come bearing no worthy gifts to express my gratitude. As such, I only hope that his majesty will be content with the presence of his humble guest and his simple words as offerings."

Taking a seat near the emperor, Lazan Hotirah let his nostrils be filled with the smell of roasted meat and his mouth naturally watered. A servant filled his cup with wine which he gladly accepted and quenched his throat with before replying to the emperor's inquiry.

"My mistress, the most elegant and beautiful Triarch Maelenya Valyreos, has greatly expressed her wish for me to deign upon your majestic visage." Pausing briefly, Lazan plucked a grape from the feasting table, popped it into his mouth and ate it with gusto before continuing.

"In less complimentary terms. She wishes to know what kind of man now rules New Ghis. What are the limits of this man's ambitions and whether or not our beloved New Valyria will have anything to worry from our neighbor in the east. As you are well aware, your majesty. We Volantenes have a strong business relationship with Slaver's Bay and would really like that relationship to remain intact if possible."

Lazan ended his dialogue by refilling his goblet with wine from a nearby pitcher and taking a satisfying long drink from it. 5 days onboard the smelliest slaving ship in the known world had started to make him appreciate the finer things in life. As it stands, this conversation with the emperor could turn two ways. One, ending on neutral ground, especially if the emperor's ambitions spreads beyond the borders of Slaver's Bay and into Essos. Or two, ending on a more favorable path where Lazan could get to express how friendly Volantis could be with a neighbor who is reasonable...or more beneficial to be friendly with. In her letter to her emissary, Triarch Valyreos had stated the importance of finding a way to profit more from Slaver's Bay and Lazan fully intended to fulfill his mission to the very letter.
Last edited by Roman Imperator on Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just here to Roleplay. Don't bother sending me regional invitational TGs. I'll know how to join if I want to.

Call me Rom/Roman or whatever floats your boat....


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Nuxipal
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Postby Nuxipal » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:31 am

Aelyx Scales
Gates of Windwyrm Tower, Castle Dragonstone


Feeling he wasn't getting paid enough to deal with this sort of slaver, Aelyx agreed to let them into the castle. "You can enter the Great Hall and offer your gifts at that time. Aerion is giving personal audiences to any lord or lady which comes to pay his heir a visit. As for your slave soldiers, they can stay in the barracks with my men until you leave the castle. We have enough extra beds for each of them. As for the Lady Triarch and her personal servants, we have guest quarters in the Stone Drum that are available for however long you plan on staying. My Lord is more than happy to welcome a Triarch from Volantis for as long as they need to stay."

With that the gates open to permit their entry into the inner portion of the castle. Balerion's head lifts to see who is coming through and lowers it again at the sight of the Triarch. They were no threat to him and the enormous dragon simply rested watching the procession. It would seem that he was somewhat more docile than anyone would expect, likely from a recent feeding given the scorch marks on the ground on and around the pathway that lead towards the Great Hall.

Lord Aerion Targaryen
The Great Hall, Castle Dragonstone


Having just finished his conversation with Taedor Farwind, Aerion barely managed to make his way back to the throne to relax before the door to the Great Hall opened again. He saw those who were entering and immediately knew they were from one of the Southern Essosi Cities, one of his men confirmed this telling him who it was and he sighed. He'd heard of Maelenya and was very surprised she would have come here personally. He'd remembered several stories of his ancestor Aenar the Exile being mocked as a coward because he didn't go to Volantis when he left Valyria. Other dragonlords and even the elites within the Black Wall believed he was simply afraid of confrontation and chose a small outpost at the edge of the Empire simply to get away from all the difficulties of navigating politics.

Now, a Triarch from within the Black Walls had come to Dragonstone to visit the last of the Dragonlords. This would be very interesting. Offering his greetings, Aenar said, "Welcome Triarch Maelenya Valyreos of Volantis. I trust that your ship's voyage was safe and pirate free. I have heard rumors of the fleets of Volantis moving through the Stepstones recently. I did not know that meant I would be receiving a Triarch in my home. Please come forward, I am very interested in what you have to say."

He directed his speech towards the Triarch herself, not to her servants who likely stood between them at the time. On Dragonstone, there were no slaves since Gaemon had freed them following the death of Aenar as a way to prove to the surrounding Westerosi that they were not there to create a slaver outpost.
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Union Princes
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Union Princes » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:25 am

Arlis


On the balcony of Castamere stood Lady Arlis Reyne, the “official” wife of Lord Castamere, overlooking the horizon while she patiently waited for her husband to come home. With her were her handmaidens Abrey and Gillis, and the harem wives of Castamere: Helna, Carlys, Lexia and many others. A large majority of them were peasant girls from the Westerlands rescued or seduced by Lord Armond while a minority were girls taken from the Riverlands, the Reach, and as far as Dorne. The amount of children the Ironbreaker produced was far too many to count as the seed of Reyne remains strong as ever.

There he goes again… Lady Arlis thought to herself when she saw the retinue of knights returning with wagons of loot taken from the defeated Ironborn. However, it wasn’t the trinkets that she was interested in. It was the fact that she immediately spotted her lord husband with a couple maidens riding his horse when he guided his mount on foot. One was dark-skinned with black hair, Obviously Dornish Lady Arlis pouted, while the other girl was red haired with pale skin. Despite being used to her husband’s antics and him reassuring Arlis that his love for her remains the strongest, she can’t help but feel saddened at the sight. Regardless, it’s time to celebrate his latest triumph.

“Arlis, my love!” Lord Castamere shouted wholeheartedly after the gates were opened for the retinue to enter. He ran over to his wife and quickly pulled her into a bear-crushing hug and kissed her most passionately on the lips. “What a glorious day this is! I killed six Ironborn raiders and seized two longships! The ill-gotten goods have been redistributed to the villages that have been harmed by their pesky raids!”

“That is good news, my li-lion!” Arlis squeaked, while she comedically struggled against his tight embrace. He really does yearn for me… “And the new girls?”

“Nera and Evelyne!” he announced proudly as he used his hand to gesture towards the girls that were being helped by the stable boys to get off the warhorse. “Nera is from Dorne and Evelyne is from the Riverlands. Poor Evelyne was taken from her home in the Tully lands.”

The two girls smiled meekly towards the Lady Arlis while she, in return, tried to suppress any negative outburst. She didn’t want to ruin her husband’s good mood on this honest day. “I assume you would be taking them into our household?”

Lord Armond nodded enthusiastically before whispering into his wife’s ear: “I’ll make sure you, Nera, and Evelyne bear my child in your bellies before the new dawn rises.”

Lady Arlis could only sigh in response. “Are you not worried about running out of room in our home?”

The frown that appeared on her husband’s face made her wish that she had held her tongue. After a few moments of intense thinking, Lord Armond finally spoke again.

“You’re right, my love.” the Ironbreaker agreed, “Summon my castellian! We have work to do!”
There is no such thing as peace, only truce between wars

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Sarderia
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Postby Sarderia » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:29 am

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THE FREE CITY OF BRAAVOS
THE IRON BANK
74 YEARS AFTER THE DOOM



    DRAGONSTONE

Mero fastened his cloak with a golden brooch, bearing the Iron Bank’s sigil. He watched as one by one sailors carried heavy piles of silver, gold, and gems; unloading it to be carried away to the Castle. Of course not all of it would be given to Lord Aerion, though. A few years ago, several Braavosi merchants had set up a small, hardly noticeable trading outpost. The outpost mainly serves to refuel and accommodate any Braavosi merchants who wish to make Dragonstone their stepping point to Breakwater Bay. He hoped that his arrival, as a magister of Braavos, could further expand the influence of Braavosi merchants in this region; particularly the disputed area where the kings Durrandon and Hoare often skirmished one another. When farmers could not reap their crops, merchants would provide it for them; the City Council even tasked him to form a small colony of merchants from Pentos and Braavos if possible, and that is why he had brought a full merchant fleet with him.

But that was not the reason he’d came to Dragonstone. What is more important to him, is that the Sealord had tasked him to be the Braavosi envoy for Lord Aerion and the larger region. The Volantene threat had grown exponentially high, and it was a constant source of headache for the Braavosi consuls; the City Council tasked them with increasingly frequent amounts of patrols and movements throughout Essos. He would inquire such things with Lord Aerion, but subtly as to not outrighly request the dragonlord’s intervention for Braavos. The Sealord would not want such a fragile balance of power to shift in the Narrow Sea, even if it swings in Braavos’ favours. No, his mission is to ensure the Targaryens keep the status quo intact; that the dragonlords would neither support either Volantis or Braavos. Given time, the Braavosi would certainly estabilish a hegemony without intervention of other powers, he thought – but it would be a power of balance and freedom, unlike New Valyria that sought to rule Essos on their own. Such tyrannical regimes are bad for business.

Mero was followed by a retinue of merchants and lesser magistrates, both from Pentos and Braavos when he entered the Great Hall. His servants and crewmed had already given the massive amount of treasures to Lord Aerion’s castellan; but he kept the best for the last. Once inside, he cannot help but wonder at the bluntness of the Great Hall’s design; black stones infused with dragonfire made up its walls, and more dragon-shaped ornaments lined the room. He carefully gestured for his own men to spread around, to protect his path in case the meeting turned up a messy affair. But the most intimidating thing on the room must be Lord Aerion Targaryen, currently brooding in his chair. His features was every inch an ancient Valyrian aristocrat. So this is a dragonlord, Mero thought. He bowed slightly in front of the lord, and gestured for his servants to present a chest in front of the throne.

“Humble greetings, Lord Targaryen. I am Mero Zalyne, Consul and magister of the Free City of Braavos. I am sure that you have heard news from our esteemed Sealord about my arrival. It is a honor to meet you in person.” He gestured to the fat merchand standing beside him. “This is Magister Marquor Baelish, from the Free City of Pentos. Magister Baelish is a liaison between the Braavosi and Pentosi trading officials in the Blackwater bay area.” Baelish bowed courteously. Mero offered his most pleasant smile to the Targaryen lord. “I have come today to offer congratulations, and gifts for your newborn heir Aegon. Firstly, from our gulid of traders,” he gestured for several servants to open a pile of gems, “rubies and emeralds from the Thousand Islands. Chief of these is the Jade Serpent,” he lifted a shining, green bracelet that caught the sunlight and reflected it like a green fire. “a sacred and ancient relic to the priests of N’Ghai. It is a distant port city, of which its rulers had granted this bracelet to our magisters as a token of friendship. I believe this could now estabilish friendship as well, between Braavos and your House.”

He gestured for the servants to bring a second chest. “From the Iron Bank, a hoard of gold,” he opened the chest. A shining turquoise jewel stood upon the pile of gold. “This is the Tall of Fortunes, a jewel from the city of Sarys, in far away Sarnor. It is said good luck fall upon who held the gem with their dearest intentions, so I would leave it to you.” Mero closed the chest. He pulled out his bravo’s sword and put it in top of the chest. “This is from me, for Aegon especially. The magistrates have passed out these swords for generations, as a symbol of their wealth and power. As for the other treasures, I have handed it personally to your castellan, Aelyx Scales, to be put into your custody immediately.” They had brought piles of coins to Aelyx, and the presents includes two ships of thirty oars as well, Mero remembered. “And finally, from the Sealord.”

As he spoke, three men carried out the large oaken chest he had put in his own chambers, back in the ship. The chest was so heavy that its holders panted repeatedly after putting it down. They opened the chest’s lid, revealing a large oval stone, its surface covered with scales. It was a shining, metallic tosca green in colour. The stone – egg – invoked several silent gasps from his own retinue, and Mero was sure that some in the Lord’s court gasped as well. He need not explain what the thing is to the dragonlord. “Mero stepped forward and said, “We hope that you find these gifts agreeable. Now my Lord, I have several things to be discussed with you.” He bowed deeply once again. “Firstly is the opening of a Braavosi warehouse in Dragonstone. It would be rather small and of little notice, though. We would ask your opinions first on matters such of that. The second matter is of Braavosi expedition to estabilish a trading community on the Blackwater’s shore. The magisters has voted for me to estabilish an outpost near the river’s mouth, if it is viable. We would like to offer you investment on this new outpost; the lands is frequently ravaged by skirmishes, and as such trading with the local villages is very lucrative, providing them with another source of goods that they can’t produce themselves.” Baelish stepped forward, offering several pieces of paper regarding the warehouse and outposts, to one of Lord Aerion’s courtesans. “The third matter… would be a subject of importance and discreet. If we could discuss it in a more secluded location…”
_[' ]_
(-_Q)
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Dalria
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Anarchy

Postby Dalria » Mon Feb 24, 2020 3:51 pm

New Ghis


74 YatD...

The Emperor curiously examined the emissary, he had not attended many diplomatic missions in his short reign because of his complete lack of interest in court intrigue and politics so this was a tad unusual. He was use to Chancellor zo Urdo handling diplomatic affairs but had taken notice when the almighty nation of Volantis sent Lazan. Volantis was the home to the oppressors, the last remaining true Valyrian people since the doom. He was not going to allow the mighty Dragon to insult the glorious Harpy, if that is what this meeting was intending on doing. Mizleq took hold of the goblet, ingesting the wine.

The Emperor began to speak in bastardized low Valyrian, "did you know, I've seen a man survive six days while crucified? Six days! Most men wither away within the first several hours of being nailed upon the cross while they beg for forgiveness. This man did not beg nor even speak, he simply accepted his punishment. I was almost compelled to strip the nails from his skin myself and allow him to live by the fifth day" the Emperor took another sip of his wine. "The man probably could have continued to live on but after the sixth day, I decided to slice his throat and end his misery myself. Do you know why I did this?" he paused "I could not have a man defy me by living past the fate I had bestowed upon him" the Emperor looked Lazan in the eye.

Instantly Mizleq bellowed out a loud laugh, "you can tell Triarch Maelenya Valyreos that I have no ambition worth noting. I am the avatar of the Empire of Ghiscar, the embodiment of Grazdan the Great, the vessel of The Harpy's might. My ambition is simple; serve The Harpy and my empire. Our Empire's ambition? To unify Slaver's Bay under The Harpy and those who oppose us be chained under the yoke. The Master's are a relic of the past, representing the Valyrian enslavement of our people, they think they are safe behind their pyramids with their army of neutered boys but nothing will stop the might of the Iron Legion. The First Daughter can choose to be on either side of history but remember you lack the dragon this time around" the Emperor held a stern face as he ended his dialogue.

House Gardener


74 YatD...

Mern awoke from his deep slumber feeling refreshed; he praised The Seven that he lived to see another day. He brushed his beautiful wife Elia off of him as he rolled out of his bed. Mern stepped out onto the balcony, stretching as the sun rose over the beautiful hedges lining Highgarden. The King finished his daily morning routine and exited his chamber, towards the stables. Princes Edmund and Gawen awaited their father at the stable for the morning ride. The three often would ride around the land to inspect the harvest of the land; Mern prided himself on being a diligent steward of the land.

King Gardener pulled his stable hand aside, "send for a raven to Lord Perwyn Osgrey. Please inform Lord Osgrey that we be at Coldmoat by the end of the night and we apologize for the lack of a notice in advance" the stable hand nodded and ran to inform the maester of the message.

"I hope you are able to keep up old man!" Edmund laughed as he took off on his mare with Prince Gawen hot on his tail. King Mern sighed at his son's arrogance and took off after his two boys. The men rode for hours through the fields of The Reach, playfully racing one another as they crossed over the pastures. After the constant racing between the men, they finally stopped for their horses to drink from a nearby stream. "I'm surprised you aren't drooling over the birth of the Targaryen child as the rest of lords in Westeros" Edmund scoffed at his father.

"I have more important issues than celebrating the birth of a heathen from across the Narrow Sea" King Mern responded as he stepped off his horse.

"I've heard they a dragon..." Gawen looked frightened.

Mern shook his head, "the only heathen I care to hear about is King Harren and his infringement upon our land. I do not want to hear about the Targaryen's and their fire-breathing lizard, they are of no importance" as Mern finished his statement an arrow whizzed past him, hitting the soil by Mern's feet. The King's eyes grew in concern as he unsheathed his sword, the princes followed their father's lead.

"Well, well, well... What do we have here" a voice approached, "a couple of lost lords eh" a man scoffed. Three men approached, unkempt and scraggily, these men were brigands. "Hand over your valuables and we won't touch a hair on your pretty head" the man than demanded.

"Do you know who we are..." Gawen began but was cut off as King Mern raised his hand in silence. Catching the men off-guard, King Mern lunged at the highwaymen striking one in the hand. King Mern than repositioned, holding his blade with both hands. One of the other highwayman approached Mern, swiping at him with a short sword. Edmund than charged the other man who wielded a mace; thrusting at his torso.

"C'mon strike me!" King Mern taunted the highwayman. The brigand sliced at the King who counter-swung with an upward cut. The brigand yelled out in agony as Mern's blade sliced into the man's face. The other brigand, wielding the mace, primed himself for a hard swipe at Edmund but was met with a sword through the belly. The final brigand who had wielded the bow took turn seeing his comrades fall. Gawen took chase through the wooded area, avoiding the debris littered on the forest floor. The brigand took a fall, he tried to reach for his dagger but Gawen stepped his heel on the man's wrist.

"Please don't kill me" he cried, Mern and Edmund approached close behind. Gawen looked behind his shoulder and was met with a nod by his father. Gawen drove his blade into the man, killing him. The King put his hand in Gawen's shoulder, grasping it tightly. Gawen had never took a life of another man, unlike Edmund who has seen battle in both the Dornish Marches and Stormlands, Gawen hadn't been to war.

"It gets easier son, let us get a move in before it gets dark" King Mern turned and motioned for his sons to follow him. The three mounted their horses and took off once again from the wooded clearing. They road several hours in silence as they approached Coldmoat; they had hoped the raven had arrived before they did and would be met with a warm meal.
Last edited by Dalria on Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:12 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Revlona
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Founded: Jan 23, 2017
Father Knows Best State

Postby Revlona » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:44 pm

King Edric Stark
Lord of Winterfell and King in the North


Even in spring, the temperature of the Northern realm of Westeros was fickle at best, the heavy snows of winter had long since past, but the light snowy drifts of spring and summer still served as a reminder of what was to come, what was always to come. Edric Stark, King in the North watched his breath took to the air in the chilly Northern morning, he gazed out upon the lands that his ancestors had wrestled from the other first men thousands of years before. To the south of his realm they called the North a backwater, a frozen peace of hell, but to Edric it was beautiful. The rolling hills and solemn ironwood forests struck a gorgeous picture that any master artisan would dream of painting, and as Edric turned back towards his bedchamber he beheld another great beauty that lay upon the covering of his marriage bed.

"I love it when you look at me like that Edric, but your advances must wait until later, the day has begun and you are needed," Queen Mara Umber, her long curls of brown hair covered the pale sin of her shoulders. Edric watched with a gleam in his eyes as the Northern Beauty stood and began to dress, knowingly teasing the King as he did so. With a sigh Edric tore his gaze from his wife and turned to dress himself.

A knock came at his door and Edric turned to look at his wife, saw that she was decent, and called out for whomever was knocking to enter. A younger man with a heavy assortment of metals chained around his throat entered the chamber, eyes down to ensure no peaks at the Queen should she be unclothed, and said.

"Your Grace, a raven from karhold, I believe it to be urgent," Maester Desmon said, signaling that he had read the letter and had deemed it sufficiently important to risk waking the King for.

Edric took the small roll of parchment from the Maester and unwound it , paying no mind as Mara strode past the Maestor in order to read the parchment at Edrics side.

"Wildlings scaled the wall a fortnight ago...eleven hundred strong!? Nights guard rallied twelve hundred and the two hosts joined in battle, catastrophic defeat, Lord Commander killed with six hundred of his brothers...by the gods..Wildling forces joined by further men and have begun raiding throughout the northern region, karhold strength not enough to meet them in battle, request aid.." Edric muttered his eyes widening and his grip upon the parchment tightening as he did so.

Suddenly his face turned serious and he turned towards Desmon, "Send a raven to Umber, Bolton, Glover, Manderly, and Feather, they are to immediately summon their strengths and march to meet me here at winterfell, I require their presence within three weeks , call my personal banners from the surrounding area as well. Send a raven to Karhold, order him to summon what strength he can in order to harass the enemy, I want constant updates on the enemy host from him. And for Gods sake figure out what is happening with the Nights watch, they are most likely in chaos." Edric said, his voice shooting out this list of demands before stopping suddenly in an obvious dismissal. Maester Desmon bowed low, his chain nearly touching the floor as he did, before he quickly shuffled out of the room and to do as the King commanded.

As the heavy ironwood door shut behind the Maester, Edric allowed himself to sit upon his bed, a heavy sigh escaping his lips as he did so. He closed his eyes and began to think upon his next steps, knowing that they would be important to keep the realm stable. He smiled as he felt the bed beside him shift as weight was allocated to it and he allowed his eyes to open again as he felt a small hand rest upon his shoulder. Warmth filled the eyes of his wife as she silently told him everything he needed to hear in that moment.

His kissed her then, and the worries of the north dissipated, if just for a moment.
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Nuxipal
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Nuxipal » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:04 am

Lord Aerion Targaryen
The Great Hall, Dragonstone Castle

Braavosi Delegation Arrival

Aerion had greeted the Braavosi and the Pentoshi Magisters as they entered and listened to them describe the gifts they were offering. Offers of friendship and unity were directed towards him, no doubt seeking to gain his support in a coming conflict with Volantis. While the Targaryens no longer held slaves, it is some common knowledge that Braavos was founded by escaped slaves from Valyria and that they held ties to secretive assassin cults whose members are rumored to be vicious and undetectable. Aerion once again had to tread very carefully.

As the gifts were being displayed, finally came the gift from the Sealord himself. He did his best to remain calm, though he breathed in deeply. It was no secret that the Targaryens held dragons, and dragons lay clutches of eggs periodically. However, acquiring an egg that likely belonged to another family was unusual. He had no words as even his own intelligence did not suggest an egg was in Braavos. One thing that Aerion was careful about, was the control over who had access to the Dragon eggs. Enormous bounties were offered to the smallfolk and guards on dragonstone if they caught someone from off island with a dragon egg. By giving up at least one of the eggs, that now Aerion assumed they had multiple of, Aerion felt it was one part acknowledgement that they were the Dragonlords and deserved all of the dragons, and another part threat. They could spare a dragon egg and still have the potential for more somewhere in the complex political system that was Braavos.

The investment opportunities that the Braavosi were offering were just another part of their elaborate scheme to involve him in their game, but it could be of use to him. Already the Velaryon fleet could keep pirates out of the Blackwater Bay with ease, the two new ships from Braavos boosted his own fleet creating a total navy close to the size that Volantis or Braavos could field. However, the gold they had already gifted was the kicker here. It wasn't the gold they were gifting, they were gifting a stake in this enterprise. After thinking for a minute, Aerion spoke up.

"On the first matter, Dragonstone is poorly suited for a warehouse. The island is too small and rocky for greater port facilities, however, I give you my blessing to seek out the arrangement with my cousins on Driftmark. Spicetown and Hull are both excellent towns which are growing in size. You will find both labor and space within their busy dockyards for a warehouse. As for your second matter, the gold you gifted here can be my investment in coin. I will join your enterprise only as it benefits the region as a whole. Our ships join the Velaryon Fleets in anti-piracy actions frequently in Blackwater Bay and can control entry to the bay via the Gullet, no ships pass into the bay without our knowledge. As for your third matter, come with me, we will be quick. There is a Triarch of Volantis on their way up the winding walls to visit me today and I am very interested in hearing what they have to say is the purpose of this visit."

He stands, his martial gear quite visible again as he leads Mero down towards the Garden he spoke to Taedor in and let him look around at the statues for a moment. Images of gods from across the known world were in the garden. At the center was a dragon statue with a hole cut into the center where the names of the Olds Gods of Valyria were engraved. Aerion spoke to Mero again, "We are here before all the gods. You may speak freely, but know that the gods of every culture are also listening into our conversation." He waits for the proposal he is expecting.
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The Felan Federation
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Mother Knows Best State

Postby The Felan Federation » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:42 am

House Osgrey
Our Honor, Our Blade

As it was, Perwyn Osgrey had been running about all day long to get everything 'perfectly' in order. It had been a surprising news to hear, that King Mern himself would be visiting the Marshall of the Northmarch. Considering that most delegations were informed a week or more up ahead - nevertheless, he always kept an emergency 'stockpile' in case of such incidents. If one wanted to appear as prestigious, one always kept oneself ready in case of unexpected circumstances. In this regard, he had been mostly chasing after the servants to get everything prepared - though it didn't mean he didn't get his own hands dirty once in awhile. Perwyn was known for being a prideful individual - but he wasn't stupid by any regards. He did allow his mood to control his hand too many times - but he knew when to accept a challenge and what kind of weapon to wield for it.

Coldmoat itself had been constructed, after the recent Lord of Horn Hill had called Steadfast a 'dull watchtower'. Granted, he couldn't just match swords in a duel - since he knew that matching steel against Valyrian steel was a foolish errant. Instead, he had taken worth to constructing a keep that could rival Horn Hill in the future. The paint was still fresh, the stones still polished and the smallfolk had only recently planted the various crops that surrounded the lands - and yet, given time, he had hope Coldmoat could become the new seat of House Osgrey. As for Steadfast? It may be gifted to a younger cousin or his grandson in the future - provided no cold or illness took him away as it had with his father.

Thus enough, Perwyn himself welcomed King Mern and his sons - when they arrived later near the night to Coldmoat. What better way to impress the King than having him see the newest keep of the Reach. Not even House Tarly could boast about such an accomplishment just yet. Though many liked to mock his prideful nature, he scoffed at those whom thought otherwise. What use was being a leader of men, a steward of the commons if one didn't show it? Even a farmer took pride in his work, as he should - otherwise, what reason did he deem it to wake up and work his fields in the first place?

"...my King...a pleasure to welcome you and your entourage. My keep is yours..." spoke Perwyn, kneeling before Mern Gardener - one hand on his knee, the other on the pommel of his blade. By their honor they knelt before House Gardener, by his blade he commanded those in service to the Reach and Highgarden. Though the years had been pleasant, if his King commanded he would be the first in an assault into the Westerlands or against the heathen ironborn.

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