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|Current Lord||Unknown Lord|
Previous House Heads
Book I: Dreams and Ashes
Chapter I: Casting Shadows
The moonlight was gently glimpsing through the windows, projecting an almost transparent grey ray of light across the large hall. Although the hall was clean, the light of torches that were attached to cold walls exposed the dust that was flickering around the tables in the middle of room. Tables were covered in expensive white silk and plates, some yet had food in them, while others were empty, accompanied only by the strong scent of fresh bread and red wine.
It seemed that there was enough food and wine there to feed at least 200 guests. In some places, white silk was covered in spilled wine, making its color turn into dark red. Guests looked as grand as the feast itself. Many were dressed in fancy robes and leather clothes, some were wearing cloaks, and many more were wearing armor that seemed to have been made of gold. But it seemed that all attention was grasped by a single man.
He was around 60 years old and had a grey hair and grey beard, although it seemed that he would soon go bold. It wasn’t his looks that grabbed the attention so swiftly, though. The man was lying on the ground with his hands around his neck, desperately trying to grasp some air in his lungs. The hall had been filled with many sounds a minute ago, but now it was a dead silence, broken only by the choking man on the ground. A fish on his blue cloak was shivering as he writhed on the ground in panic, making the picture look rather allegorical, if it had not been so horrifying.
A sudden yell made the Prince snap out of his trance.
-Treason! - yelled the man from the Throne, - This is treason! They murdered the King's Hand!''
Rhaegar Targaryen suddenly found himself on his knees near the body of the man, who was shivering on the floor a few seconds ago.
-No one leaves the room, Lord Stark! Barricade the doors! – yelled the king.
Lord Stark was approaching the body as he heard the command. He was wearing a leather jacket with a dark grey cloak on his back. His ancestral sword Ice was hanging on his belt. He was accompanied by two members of City Watch who he had been temporarily put in charge of. As he heard the King’s voice he nodded and waved his men at the door. The Gold Cloaks quickly barricaded the door and stood in front of it.
Rhaegar took a look at his King-father…and he didn’t like what he saw. Aerys' eyes were wide open, as he frowned and exhaled loudly in anger. The Prince had seen that look before, and it didn’t end up well last time.
You want me to name judges? – Said the King back then. – Very well, I name Fire, Blood and Crown. - And not long after it, Rhaegar saw Lord Luthor Tyrell of The Reach burn alive in this very Throne Room where they had been right now. The thought made him shiver. -Father – he said, trying to prevent the King from slipping into madness again. – Mace would have neve-
-Tyrell scum! – roared the King at a man in a green cloak, not even noticing his son's words. – You assassinated Lord-Hand Tully to weaken the crown even further, just like your traitor father! Lord Stark! Seize Lord Tyrell and his men!''
-What?! – A shock appeared on Lord Mace Tyrell's face as Lord Stark and his men began to slowly approach the Reach Lord.
Rhaegar rose waving his hands at his Father and Lord Stark.
-No, stop this is madness! There is no need for this, father, please, listen to me!
Suddenly, another sound went through the air like a blade through the skin. Prince Rhaegar turned around and found Lord Tyrell’s companions dressed in black leather, white scythes emblazed upon their jerkins, standing beside Lord Mace with steel in their hands. It’s over. A quick thought ran through his mind, together with his father shouting behind him:
-Kill the traitors, Lord Stark! Kill them all!
Lord Stark froze with Ice in his hand, estimating the price of honor.
Tyrell and his two new friends did not hesitate though, they quickly made their way towards the doors. Rhaegar saw one of Tyrell's companions taking an unsuspecting guard on their way by surprise, slitting his throat and kicking him towards the table. The poor guard's blood quickly covered snow-white silk, as he rolled over and fell from it on another side. Another guard tried to stop their advance towards the exit by raising his spear and making a thrust towards Mace Tyrell, but the hit was parried by the Lord of Highgarden and a dagger suddenly appeared in the spearman's guts, making a long but swift cut, causing his organs too fall on the floor. ''Could it be that Mace did plot all this? It seems as if they were prepared for it all along. - Rhaegar's thoughts were interrupted.
Suddenly, the doors bursted open, revealing a man in mail and boiled leather, wearing the cloak of City Watch. He cried out only one word, but it was enough to cause panic, chaos and madness in a whole Throne Room:
Chapter II: The Dawn
Rhaegar mounted his horse and rode it towards the entrance. The sun blinded him and he had to raise his hand to cover his eyes. The arena was filled with many spectators, both of noble and common birth. As soon as the crowd noticed their prince on his dark black horse it exploded with cheering and applauses.
The people loved Rhaegar, clearly more than they loved his Father. Prince Rhaegar waved his hand to his people, which was covered in thin armor, containing many engravings of the Targaryen sigil. He made a full circle across the arena to please the cheering crowd, and stopped in front of his King-Father, who was sitting on his throne in silence.
I will have to talk with him after the tournament ends. I need to reason with him. – Decided Rhaegar, as he looked into his father’s eyes. He had a respect for him, as a good son, but he couldn’t see him undermining the dynasty’s prestige any longer. He had a feeling where this was going, and that feeling was not pleasant. Rhaegar bowed humbly and rode towards his squire, young Rovan Lord Connington.
-Your spear, my Prince! – he handed Rhaegar a long black tournament spear, the handle and the end of it was covered it rich red paint. Prince Rhaegar nodded to his squire and headed for his starting position.
-Prince Rhaegar of House Targaryen, The Lord of the Dragonstone, the Heir to the Throne. – Announced the Herald, who was interrupted by the loud cheering of the crowd – Rhaegar! Rhaegar! Rhaegar!
Prince Rhaegar fixed his long white hair and put his helmet on, preparing for a fight with his opponent. The last time he put his helmet on was during the Crownlands Rebellion, where he was assigned as Royal Commander and was tasked to break enemy forces and seize their castles for the Crown. His armies had been well prepared and trained, while the traitors' had consisted of peasant rabble, lacking both discipline and supplies. As the Targaryen Prince had rode his horse into the flanks of his enemies' lines, they had deserted the field, while the others were put to the sword like a cattle.
Rhaegar had killed more than 50 men during the rebellion, but almost none of them knew how to hold a sword against a knight. Some rebellious Lords had decided to surrender after their forces were massacred, while others fought to the bitter end. King Aerys burned them all regardless.
Rhaegar raised his spear and spurred his horse, riding towards his opponent. A sudden blow came from nowhere, knocking the royal prince off his horse, straight into the mud. Impossible! – The blood was rushing from his mouth, mixing with brown dirt and horse shit. He threw his helmet off and touched his mouth where the blow was struck. Horrified, he rose up immediately, realizing that his hand found almost no teeth left in his mouth.
-Burn! Burn! Burn! – yelled the crowd, louder and louder with each word.
The sound of someone approaching turned Rhaegar’s head around. It was a knight. He was shrouded in black, the only color upon him a dull white scythe stiched onto his surcoat. He was carrying a sword, consumed in green fire. No, can’t be. Rhaegar's hand moved towards the hilt of his sword. There was none. He turned his head towards the sheath, but froze midway. His brothers and sisters were standing beside him, his squire was also amidst them, he terrified and looked at Prince to save him.
-Burn them! Burn them all! – King’s voice was shouting from somewhere.
Rhaegar opened his eyes and woke up, covered in a cold sweat. He rose and sat on the edge of his bed. Shhh… It was a dream. Just a dream. – he heard a gentle voice whispering in his ear. The room was fully consumed by darkness, except for a window. A full moon was gazing into it. Rhaegar had a feeling that something was wrong, but he couldn’t quite figure it out.
-You had a nightmare, my Prince. But it is alright now, you are safe.
Rhaegar turned his heads towards the woman. She was about 25 years old. Her skin was pale and soft, her dark brown hair covered her breasts, she smelled of the ocean.Memory started to return to the Prince, as he looked into her eyes. Just as suddenly he was back in the Throne Room, filled with ironborn rushing through the doors, and a battle axe flying towards his face, narrowly missing. Prince Rhaegar lowered his head and grabbed his sword by the hilt, unleashing it into in the air. As the sounds of battle began to fill the room, he rushed himself towards an approaching ironman, parrying an upcoming strike and putting his sword through the man's neck.
The blood covered Rhaegar's face, as he pulled his sword out of the man's neck, releasing his head from his body. He glanced at the exit. Lord Tyrell and his companions had finally made their way out, while ironborn were rushing into the hall, slaughtering Gold Cloaks. Lord Stark and the group of his men stood between the ironborn and Rhaegar, King Aerys and the King’s Guard. Another ironborn made his way around the tables and rushed towards the Prince, yelling and cursing. As the attacker was about to strike Rhaegar, a knight in a white cloak appeared from the side, ramming the ironborn on the ground with his shoulder, and putting his sword through his belly, twisting it, to finish him off.
We have to go, my Prince! – Yelled the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Barristan Selmy.
Rhaegar nodded at the Lord Commander and was about to turn around and head for another exit near the Throne, when an arrow appeared in his left shoulder, causing an unbearable wave of pain.
The Prince is dead! - Were the last words the heard, before falling on the cold ground and passing out.
-They wounded you, my Prince, but you are safe now, the Maester said that you will soon recover. - She landed a gentle kiss on his neck, stroking his white hair with her hand.
The feeling was good, but still, there was something strange about it.
-It will be alright, my lover. - She said.
Suddenly, Rhaegar realised he had a burning fever. It felt as if his head was about to collapse in two pieces.
-I need to go, I've got to help my father.
Chapter III: The Last Dragon
Spikes of pain were climbing up his legs with their claws, and sweat was running down his forehead and back, turning his long white hair into grayish curls and making his leather clothing stick to his body, as if he had been lying on the sun for a whole day, covered in mead. His head was pounding while he made his ways up the stairs, and his heart felt like it was about to tear his flesh and break out of his chest.
-What if I’m late?
His body was throwing multiple dark reflections on the walls, as he climbed the stone steps in a corridor.
-Ancestors… they are watching. – He mumbled in fever, when he felt stairs slipping out of his feet. In a moment, his body became light as a leaf in the wind, as his eyes turned to the ceiling, and felt his back cutting air beneath him. Rhaegar was about to crash his scull open on the old and cruel stairs that were built by his ancestor.
Rhaegar’s fall was stopped by a man with two griffins of red and white, counter facing one another on his doublet.
Lord Connington was holding him in his arms.
-I had to interfere, otherwise you would have broke staires into pieces with your intelligence. – Said the man with the slight smirk, gently putting Rhaegar back on his feet.
-Go fuck yourself.
-You can’t leave your bed in this condition, go back to sleep.
-My father, I’m walking to the King, I need to talk to him… Tyrells…
Jon looked at him for a while and said with a sad voice.
-His grace doesn’t want to see anyone.
Rhaegar’s facial expression consisted of sorrow, fear and pain, yet, it had some wicked determination and will in it.
-Who is in charge of the defense?
-Ser Simon Crowan
-Commander of Gold Cloaks? My father would never put him in charge of our army.
-And he never did, last order he gave was “Bring me their heads”.
-Where is our Marshall? – Asked Rhaegar, coughing violently.
Jon’s face spoke for itself.
-Stark left the city with his men, right after the feast.
Prince felt hope slipping away and disappearing in the dark of the corridor with every word his friend said. The shadows also disappeared.
-Tell me they captured Tyrell, tell me he didn’t make his way to Highgarden.
Lord broke the eye contact and turned his head away.
-I'm sorry, Rhaegar.
It felt as if he was hit by another arrow, this one came through his chest. It meant that Mace Tyrell is already calling his banners back in Highgarden. Rhaegar’s eyes narrowed and he grabbed his companion by the shoulders, pushing him towards the wall. Jon opened his mouth in a shock but didn’t make a sound, quickly putting his hand on Rhaegar’s chest, trying to push him away. But it wasn’t enough, somehow, even while being burned by a fever, Rhaegar had enough power within him to still hold Jon Connington pressed to the wall.
-You take them away, right now, you hear?! – said Rhaegar in his ear, his face was red and eyes were mad. –As far as possible, trust no one, no one… - Rhaegar’s grasp weakened and all went to black.