A Crown - Discussion between Damon Lannister and Sarya Yronwyne
The following is the discussion between King Damon Lannister and Queen Sarya Yronwyne that would cement their alliance to see the regions of the South free of the rule of the Throne of Westeros.
Sarya Yronwyne stood on the balcony overloking the vineyard of the castle that was known as The Arbor. People bustled about, harvesting the grapes that were ready to be turned into one of the various wines and stouts that made the island fiefdom so wealthy. The vintners said the Gold would be extraordinary this year. Small comfort after the loss of her father a mere two days ago. As she gazed out over the vineyards and its denizens flitting about like hummingbirds, a memory came, unbidden, to her. She smiled as she remembered it.
Her father, Lord Abelar Yronwyne, had no sons of his own. No male heirs to carry the Yronwyne line further into the future. Concern about this issue plagued him while she was growing up. She could remember asking her father why he was sad when she was 8, only a few years older than she was when her birth other had died. He looked at her, rubbed her cheek and said, “I have no sons to carry our name forward.”
She smiled as she recalled her response. She remembered puffing her chest out and in a commanding and confident tone saying, “I will carry our name for you. I will make you proud.”
He smiled and relaxed and put his hand on her shoulder, “Of that, I have no doubt, My Little Lady.” He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. And told her to return to her stepmother and half-sisters.
The memory was interrupted when the Herald of The Arbor entered, “My Lady, please excuse the interruption.”
She sighed as she touched the brooch above her heart. With no brothers, older or younger, she was the Lady Yronwyne, Lady Paramount of the Reach and Warden of the South. A fact her father seemed extremely nonplussed about as he got older. She turned, “Yes, what is it?” Despite the turmoil in her heart over the loss of her father, she still had duties and responsibilities. As much as she would have liked to hide in her chambers for the next few months.
The Herald bowed deeply, “His Lordship Damon, of House Lannister, wishes an audience with My Lady.”
She nodded. She expected this, he did come to see her father after all. Though her father died during their discussions, Abelar Yronwyne made sure that his heiress was aware of all of the dealings he had been involved with since she came of age. “Show Lord Lannister in.”
The Herald nodded, “As My Lady commands.”
She turned back to the balcony as he left, watching her subjects go about their business. She wondered if life was as difficult for them as it seemed to be for her right now. She couldn’t continue down the path of that thought as the Herald returned.
He knocked his staff on the Lysian Marble floor three times and, in a voice much too loud for a quiet room, near-shouted, “His Lordship, Damon, the third of his name, of House Lannister, Lord Paramount of The Westerlands and Warden of the West.”
She walked from the balcony to stand in front of the Throne of Vines, the traditional seat of power for the Lord or Lady of The Arbor since Gilbert "of the Vine" founded House Redwyne. The stone was as green as any of the vines in the vineyard outside and carved into it were grape vines. She still hadn’t sat in it, it didn’t feel comfortable just yet. She watched the man walk into the room, his personal guard stopping and taking station next to her own guards.
As he approached, he bowed, “My Lady, you have my deepest condolences and regrets on the passing of your father.”
She nodded as she curtsied slightly, as protocol dictated she was the Lady of The Arbor and should not bow lower than anyone else of equal or lesser rank while in The Arbor. Customs could sometimes be an odd thing. After a second of silence she responded, “Thank you, My Lord.”
Damon Lannister stood up straight, tall and imperious. He resonated command and respect. He was known for his natural charisma and for his tendency to treat all people as people of value. “My Lady, forgive my directness. I do not wish to disrespect you or your family during your time of mourning, but I was in discussions with your father about a matter of import.”
Sarya nodded as she stepped down the three steps that lead to the Throne of Vines, “I am aware.” She paused as the corners of his mouth dipped just slightly, “My father discussed everything with me, as it appeared more and more likely that I would assume his mantle and rule our House and lands.”
Damon nodded. He didn’t expect anything less, but the fewer who knew of his plans, the safer they would all be. “Did you receive the news of King Orys’ latest action?”
She frowned, “I have, distasteful as it is. Moving the Capital and Throne of Westeros to Winterfell and claiming the former titles of House Stark through his lineage has stirred up quite a beehive of discontent among most of the Lords and Ladies of the North and South.” She paused as they began walking toward the balcony, “It unfortunate that His Grace has decided to cause such an affront to the South of Westeros, I have little doubt that the High Lords of the North will accept the change with some placation.”
She glanced at him from the corner of her left eye as he responded, “It is most unfortunate that His Grace has done such a thing. As well as shifting the balance of power by giving Lord Tully the Lordship Paramount of the Isles of Orys...” He paused as he frowned for a moment, “in addition to the Lordship Paramount of the Riverlands, while also ignoring my requests to return the Golden Tooth to my vassalage.”
She nodded, “It is most unfortunate that His Gace has done such things.” She turned to face him, almost certain of the direction he was heading, “But, what can we do about it. When you asked my father to join your coalition, you had nothing to sate his ambition, what can you offer now.” She watched him. His response would be a turning point in their relationship. Her ambitious nature was no secret, she wanted to live up to the promise she made her father.
Damon Lannister’s jaw muscles tensed and relaxed several times. Once he said it, he was choosing treason against House Baratheon. He finally said, “A Crown.”
She looked at him, the truth of what he said was in her mind, but she needed to let this play out, “A Crown, Lord Lannister?”
He nodded and bowed again, deeper than he had before, “Yes, Your Grace, a Crown.”
She locked eyes with him as he stood up straight. After a moment he spoke again, deathly serious, “I would have a coalition to see independence for the South of Westeros. King Orys Baratheon will no longer rule over the South. The South which he has no regard for.” He paused, “You pay more in taxes to the crown than any other house in Westeros. Your grandfather and father have increased the wealth of your family to heights only my own house has known.”
She nodded, what he said was all true, “You are right, we do pay large sums in taxes and we see no return for that. The King of Westeros would move his court to the farthest reaches of the Kingdom.” Her face took on a focused set as she curtsied, just as deep as Damon Lannister had bowed to her only moments ago, “House Yronwyne would be glad to support your coalition,” she paused for a second as she looked up and locked eyes with the man, “Your Grace.”
He smiled, the smile many knew him for, and extended his hand, “Then, to the prosperity of House Yronwyne, Kings and Queens of The Reach, and to a profitable and long-lasting relationship between our Houses.”
She nodded and accepted his hand, “Yes, to a healthy and lasting relationship between our houses.”
“As a further gift of our friendship and support, Your Grace, I would commission the finest goldsmiths in Casterly Rock to fabricate a new Crown of Vines for you.” Damon Lannister was a charitable man after all. Whatever it took to secure an alliance of this magnitude would be worth the few pounds of gold and jewels to secure the support of The Reach.
Sarya smiled, “You honor us too greatly, Your Grace. But, I will be so discourteous as to refuse such an offer of friendship.”
“I will send a raven when preparations are complete and we are ready to move to military support, Your Grace.” Damon Lannister nodded and finished, “With your leave.”
She nodded as he turned and left. Looking out over the vineyards with a new sense of purpose and a rekindled fire of ambition.
A Queen - A Declaration of Support and Hate
The following is an account of the events immediately following the receiving of the proclamation dissolving the Kingdom of Westeros.
Sarya Yronwyne, Lady Paramount of the Reach, stood at the head of the council table. She had retained her father’s advisors, all individuals her father greatly respected, and was awaiting their arrival now.
She knew that Damon Lannister would be in the process of delivering his, no their, demands to King Orys Baratheon. He alienated the majority of the southern half of the Kingdom of Westeros by moving to capital to Winterfell, the former seat of House Stark, claiming ancestral rights to the fortress.
She looked at the map of Westeros engraved into the table, the details were very well done with roads and rivers present in addition to castles, cities and ports. She looked at the lone island off the southwest coast of Westeros, The Arbor, and to no one in particular said, “Did I do the right thing? What would my father, or his father, think of the scheme I’ve become part of?”
She pulled the chair at the head of the table out and sat down. She’d had grape juice brought up previously, she knew she’d be here for a while. She had to inform her council of what she’d done. She wrapped her hand around the base of the cup containing the grape juice and before she could pick it up to drink, the door to the chamber burst open with her sisters shortly behind the swinging doors.
The second child of Lord Paramount Abelar Yronwyne was Melara Yronwyne, married to Garth Hewett. It was she who led the charge, a raven’s note firmly entrenched between her forefinger and thumb, “Sarya, you won’t believe it.” Her breathing was ragged, as if she’d run from the rookery to the council chamber.
She frowned, “Well, what is it?”
Her younger sister, Olene, only 11 years of age, smiled, obvious excitement waiting to spill over from her too-king heart. She spoke, her stutter evident, “Th-th-the King.”
Melara stopped just before Sarya, and extended the Raven’s note to her, “Read this.” She pulled the chair to the left of Sarya out and sat down, her breathing steadily returning to a more normal rate of respiration.
Sarya took it and read:
By order of His Grace, King Orys, the second of his name, of House Baratheon, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, the Kingdom of Westeros is hereby dissolved as the ruling body of the Seven Kingdoms and those same Seven Kingdoms are hereby granted leave to reform their royal crowns and sovereignty of rule.
She had to read it several times. She looked up as more individuals entered the chamber to see her three younger sisters talking to her. Melara saw the men enter and stood, “With your permission, Your Grace, your sisters will leave you to matters of the Realm.”
Sarya nodded, absently, “As you wish.” She never thought that she would be a Queen, that one of her daughters might be married to King Orys’ heir, or his heir’s heir, perhaps. But not that she would be a queen. Even following her meeting with Lord Damon Lannister, she didn’t think anything would come of their scheme, except perhaps imprisonment.
She looked from the message in her hand to the men entering and notice several with their own letters firmly planted in their hands. She stood, “My Lords, sit, we have much to discuss.”
Before anyone could respond, Lord Harlen Osgrey of Cockleswhent spoke, “Surely, you do not intend to take up the throne of the Reach yourself?”
Sarya’s husband, the purple haired Edwyle of House Dustin looked as if he was going to pummel Lord Harlen, but instead said, “Let us guess that you wish to sit the throne yourself?”
Osgrey nodded, “I do. My family has served as Lords and Ladies Paramount of The Reach much, much longer than your family has. We have proven that we can manage the affairs of the realm.
Lord Hobert Roxton of Oceanroad laughed, “Yes, we’ve all seen what your family is capable of, Lord Harlen. When Lord Abelar was granted the Lordship Paramount of the Reach he spent nearly 10 years cleaning up the administrative mess his predecessors left. Which were Osgreys, if I’m not mistaken.”
“A child who was murdered by the Martells was Lord Paramount in name only. His Regent was to blame for the problems the Realm faced when Lord Abelar took office.” Osgrey stood upright, alsmot defiant, while he spoke.
Is wasn’t Lord Hobert who replied, instead Lord Willas Strickland of Tumbleton replied to the Osgrey, “My Lord Osgrey, it was your father who served as Lord Regent for the last Osgrey Lord Paramount. You can give us no assurances of your capability to rule the Reach as its King when Cockleswhent’s current state is abysmal at best.”
“I would call for a Great Council to see what High Lord, or High Lady, would take up the mantle of King, or Queen, of the Reach.” Osgrey looked at the other people in the room.
Sarya looked on with indifference, “If I am not mistaken, all twelve of the currently ruling High Lords, or High Ladies, is in The Arbor currently.” Inside she was furious that this Osgrey-scum would question her abilities and insist that he was the better choice between the two. On the outside, however, she could not let him know he’d wounded her pride, or ambition.
Lord Horras Wythers replied to her, “We do,” he looked at Lord Harlen Osgrey, “Your Grace.” He paused and noticed the sneer that Harlen Osgrey had on his face. “But, I do not think it necessary to call a Great Council. Your family is known for it’s honor and stewardship prowess, you have ruled the The Arbor and The Reach just as well as your father, and possibly even better. I say a council is not needed and I would see you crowned Queen of The Reach.” He kneeled.
Sarya watched him while he spoke, this support would likely cost her in the future. Perhaps, the High Lord of Mandervale would even hint at having the Lordship of Highgarden in return for his support. As the man spoke of his support for her, she noticed most of the heads in the assembled group bob in agreement. When he finished and kneeled, Lord Osgrey barely contained his outburst of disgust.
One by one, the other High Lords of the Reach knelt, eventually leaving Lord Harlen Osgrey the only person, besides herself, that was standing. The rage was visible in his eyes, the fury barely contained there, as he spoke, “You have all made a terrible decision and it will cause loss and pain for all of us.” He turned and stormed out of the council chamber, leaving Sarya standing in front of Lords and Ladies who had just proclaimed her the Queen of The Reach.