Queen of Fire, King of Ice

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by moffnat, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. [​IMG]

    Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red "Please," she asked with a hesitant voice, one that trembled under the weight of what her question entailed. "Read it again, ser. Louder this time."

    "Yes, Your Grace." Ser Jorah cleared his throat, looking about the room of his queen's counselors before letting his eyes rest upon the paper once more. Even he failed to grasp what the underlying meaning of the message had meant, and he visibly struggled to open his mouth in fear of Daenerys making a sudden decision, but Jorah Mormont was never one to refuse his queen. He held the paper delicately in his hands, clearing his throat, and finally opening his mouth to speak at her command.

    "To the Queen Across the Sea and whomever it may concern,
    Westeros is caught in the devastating grips of war. Robert Baratheon, the man who stole your father's throne, has perished, leaving Queen Cersei's bastard son conceived of incest to sit atop the Targaryen's chair. Many people from various Houses have tried to manipulate their way into the Lannister agenda by marriages, betrayals, and every manner of sins imaginable. They have taken my family, taken my lands, taken all that the North holds dear to their hearts. It is for this reason and this alone that I reach out to you.
    By the time this message falls into your hands, many more devastating crimes and sufferages will have occurred. I do not ask for your trust. I do not ask for your armies nor do I ask for you to bend the knee. I simply ask that though our Houses were once deep in the tides of war, that we might forget the past and save our country from the stronghold of terror in which it is now trapped.
    Should you agree to sail across the Narrow Sea, my ally Wylis Manderly will meet you in Braavos with a fleet of ships, enough to carry you and your men across safely, and escort you to my current location. I have no claims to the South, and you have my word that I will work to assure you crowned at King's Landing as long as the North remains to me and my people.
    I trust you to make a quick reply, as there is no time to lose.
    Robb Stark, the King in the North."

    A few members of her counsel shifted nervously, while the others remained quite still. The room was filled with silence that was almost unbearable, and after a moment Daenerys cleared her throat to speak, if only to end the nothingness that flooded her ears. "Ser Jorah," she stated. "What do you have to tell me about Robb Stark?"

    "I don't know, Your Grace. I never met him. But if he is anything like his father, he is an honest and just man who will not turn back on his word."

    Home, she thought. I could go home. She gave a longing glance out the window towards the three blots in the sky where her dragons were flying, admiring how large they had grown in the few years it had been since they hatched. There was no doubt that they were ready to conquer, ready to retake what belonged to their mother with fire and blood. Dany felt goosebumps raise on her arms at the thought.

    "But his father rode against mine," she stated bitterly. "The Starks supported the Usurper, the man who slew my brother along the Trident. How can I ensure that he won't intend the same for me? Why should I give a traitor my trust?"

    "Forgive me Your Grace, may I speak?" Ser Barristan stepped forward graciously, and Dany nodded. "The Starks were friends of Robert Baratheon, it's true, but the Lannisters are the real enemy. By the sound of his letter and in knowing the integrity that Eddard Stark once had shown before his execution, I believe that everything he states in his words to be true. If he is false, however, we will conquer Westeros and take care of him when the time comes. You are more than ready. We are more than ready. And if you are hesitant to trust a traitor, might I ask why it is that you trust me?"

    "You saved my life," Dany argued.

    "Yes. And Robb Stark is offering to do the same." Ser Barristan let out a simple sigh and looked upon Dany with both pity and admiration, a look she had always disdained. "Stay here in Meereen and we are all doomed, Your Grace. Forgive me. It is simply the truth."

    His words stung. The reality of the situation in Meereen had been growing more and more unbearable with each passing day, with each moment that another Unsullied was slain at the hands of the Harpy's Sons. As much as she hated to admit it, the words of her counselors were sound, and she knew that ignoring them this time would only lead her deeper into the pit of no return.

    "I suppose we have our answer, then." She folded her arms and looked out to her dragons once more. "We will fight with Robb Stark, and should he fail us, we will set him aside and take what is ours. Have the messenger who brought this letter fed and washed, give him a hot meal and a good night's rest, for he will need to travel quickly to Robb Stark if the message is to reach him in time. Write a reply stating that we will need at least thirty ships by the end of the moon's turn, his assurance that no harm will come to us, and our promise that if he should go back on his word my dragons will see he is dealt with accordingly."

    To war, Dany thought as a smile crept on her face. I'm finally going home.
    #1 moffnat, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
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  2. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    The King in the North. A title thrust upon him by loyal bannermen who sought to be ruled by one of their own.

    The Young Wolf. A name given to him by friends and foes alike - a testament to his ability in battle.

    The King Who Lost the North. A demoralizing accusation that had been given hushed voice in recent days, after the invasion of the North by the Ironborn and devastating loss at the Twins.

    But, not all was lost. Not yet. Not while he still drew breath.

    True, his forces were dwindling to the bare minimum. If the Lannisters launched a full scale attack, Robb Stark would surely lose his fight and his life. Once already he'd nearly lost his life at the order of Lord Tywin Lannister. Instead, he'd lost all of his advisers - including his beloved mother, and pregnant wife - and nearly half of his already thinning army. The loss at the Twins was even more devastating than the loss of the Karstark's men.

    In desperation and nearly on his deathbed, as the healer had told him he was, he wrote to Daenerys Targaryen in hopes that she held some love for her home land. Though his father had fought against King Arys, Robb did not hold the same alliances of his father. The Young Wolf held no allegiance for the last surviving Baratheon, and would sooner see the Iron Throne go back to a Targaryen. He dearly hoped the woman could set aside the past and look to the future of Westeros instead. More than once he'd had to stop writing and gather fresh paper to rewrite his letter, when blood trickled onto it from the wounds that the healer was trying to mend.

    Now, one of the few things he could do was wait for an answer - if he was even to get one. Perhaps the Queen Across the Sea would take offense and put his messenger to death. Perhaps she would spit on his name because of his father's actions and leave Westeros to its fate. Or perhaps she would arrive too late, and his body would be long cold on the ground before she crossed the sea.

    It was nearing the end of the second fortnight after sending his envoy to Meereen and his hope was dwindling when the young lad finally returned. "Your Grace," he announced himself as he entered the King's tent. The sun had set long ago - the inside of the tent lit only by candles. "I return with word from Meereen."

    Robb waved away the healer, who had been tending his healing wounds. The healer insisted on tending him regularly, to see that infection did not take hold. "Bring me the Queen's reply," he ordered, holding out his hand for letter. When the paper was delivered to him, he broke the seal and read the words held within.

    The answer he received was one that he could live with - in fact, it was the one he had hoped for. There was no one to add their advisement to his decision in this matter, but he could not dwell on that. Without hesitation, he stood from his cot and went to the table to write out fresh orders. "I know you have just journeyed far, but I must ask you to travel again. This must reach Lord Manderly in no more than three day's time. He must send Ser Wylis on to Braavos with thirty ships, and gather whatever men he has left to White Harbor." As he spoke, he wrote out those very orders and made his terms very clear that time could not be wasted.

    With their last hope spelled out in front of him, Robb sealed the letter and handed it off to his messenger. "We march for White Harbor at first light. Join us there with Lord Manderly's men."

    The Lannisters would certainly take notice of the move, especially considering up to that point Robb had been trying to evade the other forces. He couldn't risk them finding out and him not being there to defend the harbor, though. If the Young Wolf and what was left of his army were to make a last stand, he would at least make sure the Queen Across the Sea set foot in Westeros.

    His messenger rode out into the night once more, carrying the message swiftly across the land. With the morning sun, Robb turned his army and marched for White Harbor. Many were concerned with this turn of events, mostly because it was all but guaranteed that Lannister forces would follow. With the sea at their backs and an army at their front, they would be trapped, but they would hold the harbor as long as they could.
    #2 Cosmic Convict, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  3. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red The voyage across the diverse lands of Essos was not a kind one. Traveling as fast as possible with a khalasar and those who had chosen to follow her from Meereen was difficult considering plenty of them were unable to fight, purely filling the roles of loyal citizens following their monarch of choice. She appreciated each and every one of them, knowing that while she left Slaver's Bay in the clutches of depravity she had saved at least six thousand freedmen from Yunkai and Meereen, not to mention the Unsullied of Astapor, but she supposed that was something better left behind. There would be no room on the Iron Throne for regrets, and perhaps after her reign had been settled she would reach out for Slaver's Bay once more.

    The Dothraki Sea was another problem entirely. Filled with memories of fear and love alike, it became personal for her to sift through the tall grasses and escape the vast lands belonging to a people that were once hers. More than once they stumbled upon another khalasar parading the Seas like barbaric kings, though at the sight of Daenerys's dragons there was little room for negotiation. Most of them fled shortly after attempting some form of raid, though there were lives lost in the crossfire which saddened the silver queen. The Dothraki would never dare to cross Khal Drogo's people and his khalasar during better years, but now that he was gone there was little fear left in them, even though Daenerys had Unsullied and three dragons while her husband had only bell and a long braid.

    They passed through the edges of the Forests of Qohor, over the river Qhoyne and over to Ny Sar, where she was pleased to visit the ruins of Nymeria's palace and sift through the shadows of what once was. They traversed the Flatlands and made a brief stop at Pentos, no doubt to affirm the rumors that everyone had been hearing; the Dragon Queen marches west with an army of fourteen thousand. No doubt the Lannisters had spies in the city to gather the information and return to their masters in hopes of forming a plan. What plan could they possibly have? The Direwolf and the Dragon were marching against them, two broken houses bound together with the need for justice and indignant bloodlust. She hoped the Lannisters came up with a few good strategies at the very least. Vengeance wouldn't taste as sweet if it were won too easily.

    Word had reached Dany's ears of the horrors Robb Stark had spoken of in his letter. King Joffrey was poisoned at his wedding feast, a child king has married into the roses of Highgarden and the Tyrells and Lannisters and officially joined in their marriage bed. Two of the greatest Houses in Westeros were against the two most divided, the two who only had one remaining leader to their name. Amidst the facts and rumors of Westeros's condition, Daenerys had always heard of the massacre at the Twins which took the lives of half the king's forces, as well as the lives of his mother, wife and unborn child. The younger Stark boys had been slain and the girls were missing, one of which hadn't been seen in years and was likely dead as well, while the other is charged with the murder of her abuser King Joffrey. All these things she heard and more, from the lips of traders and pirates, to noblemen and women come to Pentos to flee the war. The War of Five Kings, it had been called. But not anymore. Now, it is the war of four kings and a queen. I will show them what it means to conquer, and I will not let them forget the tragedy of House Stark either. Already, she and Robb were more alike than initially planned.

    After leaving Pentos under the gentle goodbyes of Magister Illyrio, Daenerys had gained another thousand soldiers and civilians as gifts and tokens of honor from the people who were overjoyed for her march and much awaited arrival. With the new additions, however, her caravan of fighters and women and children grew slower on the passage, and already nearly two months had passed since she abandoned Meereen to its fate. Each day, more time was wasted. She didn't need Robb Stark, that much was true, but there remained a single tug at her heart that captivated her previous indifferent judgment. The King in the North was a grieving widow mourning the lost of his unborn child, as she was. He was the last remaining member of his ancient and powerful House, as she was. He remained fighting for his crown and his people. She was the queen destined to return. I cannot let him suffer any longer, not when we are so closely bonded by circumstance and the threats of total demise.

    By the time her army had reached the Braavosian Coastlands, she knew she was out of time. Daenerys looked out upon the Narrow Sea with her arms folded across her chest, a cape of black and red flapping behind her with the white of her curls. How long would it be until the Tywin Lannister discovered her plans to sail to White Harbor and commence laying siege? How long would her Northern ally be able to hold the port while still recovering from so many mental and physical wounds, when half his forces had been slaughtered in the field of deception?

    "My queen," came a voice from behind. She turned to see Ser Jorah, as concerned and friendly as ever standing with his hands folded politely in front of him. "You look troubled."

    "I fear we won't make it to White Harbor in time." She shuffled her feet and looked down at the small clouds of dust she had stirred. "Robb Stark won't be able to hold it for long, not in his condition."

    "We don't need Robb Stark."

    "No," she replied, "but I do." Daenerys turned to face the Bear Knight with expression that wore on her beauty, an overwhelming emotion that clearly shocked him. "Ser Barristan told me that his father gave up his position as Hand of the King in attempt to save me from the Usurper's knives. He was so insistent on leaving me alive because he didn't believe in killing children, he knew that there was nothing to fear from me. In that, he was wrong. But if it weren't for his insistence and your bravery on that day in the markets, the wine merchant would surely have succeeded in his attempts. Besides, this King in the North bears so many weights that no person should bear. I know, because I bear them too, and no person should suffer such things alone."

    "You mean to marry him, Your Grace?"

    "Don't be silly." She gave a little chuckle despite the underlying sadness. "I mean to give him his kingdom back, and allow him to help me take mine. But there's no more time to waste, I have to reach White Harbor as soon as possible. I'm sure it is under siege at this very moment, or it will be soon, and by the time we depart Braavos and purchase more ships to carry all of us, I fear what remains of the Northern hope will lie in ruins."

    "What do you wish to do?" Jorah asked, taking a few steps closer so he stood at her side. "Tell me what to do and I will do it."

    "Guard Missandei."

    "...Your Grace?"

    "Missandei is the only one who speaks all the languages in the camps. She will act in my stead while I am gone. Tell her to lead the army North to Braavos, then purchase as many ships necessary to provide passage for all fifteen thousand people with the gifts we received in Pentos. Guard her well, and I will meet you in White Harbor when it has been secured."

    "It's impossible to leave now," Jorah warned. "My queen, it's impossible. How will you get there? The nearest port is all the back in Pentos, and even then I fear we would..."

    His mouth slowly closed as the answer came to him. In the sky, Drogon's silhouette grew larger at such speeds that moments later he had landed with a great thud that shook the earth, blinking bloodred eyes at his mother and groaning. "By the gods," Jorah cursed no louder than a whisper. "You...you're going to..."

    "Ride him, yes. He's ready." Daenerys stepped forward and gave the beast a gentle stroke along his head in the way he so liked. "Do as I said, Jorah, and I will fly to assist the Stark king at White Harbor while I can. No doubt Westeros has always wanted to see a dragon. I think it's far past time that I showed them one."
  4. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    Robb and his army arrived at White Harbor a week after they started marching for it. The King in the North was greeted by Wendel Manderly, and welcomed into the city with open arms. It was encouraging, to arrive to such a reception when they had so long been surrounded by enemies. Being amongst allies was a great morale boost, both for the King and his men.

    While waiting for the arrival of their newest ally, many preparations were made. The city had to be made ready for a siege, in case it came down to that. Two or three scouts were out at all times, watching for Lannister banners on the horizon. Robb had expected a swift pursuit, but thankfully it did not come right away - though that could have actually been worse. If Tywin Lannister was smart - which he most certainly was - he would rally his forces and send a great host to White Harbor.

    It had been weeks since their arrival at the harbor, and Robb knew he was running out of time. Though Daenerys Targaryen had sent her reply, there was no sign of the fleet on the horizon. No further word had been sent, to give him an idea of when she would arrive with her forces. There was no choice but to hope she would arrive soon, and hold their position in the meantime.

    "Your Grace," the large, round Lord Manderly announced his presence as he entered one of the studies of New Castle. The room was being used for war strategizing since the king's arrival. A great war map, which the king was currently studying, was set up on a large table in the center of the space. "We have received word that Stannis Baratheon is on the move. He sails for the Wall."

    Robb nodded his acknowledgement, moving the figures that stood for the Baratheon forces up to the Wall. "We will concern ourselves with Stannis later. Has word come from the field or the queen?"

    "None, Your Grace," Manderly answered with a shake of his head.

    As if having been waiting for the right moment to do so, a scout burst into the room - panting heavily. "Your Grace, Lannister forces have been spotted on approach. They'll arrive well before nightfall. Our best estimate is that the force is two thousand strong, with a larger host a day behind them."

    It was the news that Robb had been dreading to hear. Yet, here he stood, on the brink of utter failure with all hope resting on a woman on the other side of the Narrow Sea. Features set as stone, he walked around the table to a smaller, more detailed map of the harbor. "We cannot risk a siege. If the Lannisters get close enough for a siege upon White Harbor, they will be close enough to attack the ships as they arrive."

    "Your Grace, would our men not be safer within the walls of the city?"

    "There is nothing safe about war, Lord Manderly. We will set up our defenses beyond the city walls, well away from the harbor. That is where we will hold them, to give the queen time to make landfall. I will leave a number of soldiers within the city walls, in case we are unable to hold the line through the night."

    "And if the queen does not arrive in time?"

    "Then tell her I tried to give her as much time as possible." Robb pushed himself away from the table without another word. He left the room with his scout to begin issuing orders of battle. They had little time to prepare themselves.

    Daenerys, if you are truly coming, I hope you arrive soon, he thought to himself. Perhaps he was to be reunited with Talisa, his unborn child, and mother sooner than he thought.

    The city hummed with a certain panicked energy, as word spread of the approaching army. Robb's men were readied for battle and left the safety of the city walls. The king himself was at the head of his forces, despite his healer's protests. His wounds sustained at the Twins were not yet healed and running headlong into battle would certainly aggravate them. There was little choice in the matter - he would not send his men into the fray without his leadership.

    Robb hoped that the Lannister forces would not be expecting a head on confrontation and that the two thousand men approaching were planning on beginning a siege. If they were, that would give him and his men an advantage - at least for a time. Any advantage they could get would be welcomed.

    After spending time amongst friends and with proper rest, Robb's army was refreshed. Those who had needed new blades had gotten them in White Harbor. Armor and shields had been repaired in the days spent within the city. Though they had been long away from home, they were almost like a new fighting force, fresh from well deserved rest. The king knew he asked much, but he acted in the best interests of his people and the country itself.

    With Grey Wind at his side, Robb helmed the line of defense. They had enough time to firmly plant themselves in place, ready to take Lannisters into death with them. As promised, the approaching army crested the horizon while the sun was still high in the sky, and as Robb had hoped they looked like a siege force - unprepared for open battle. He would force them into battle, and not give them a chance to reconfigure their attack.

    As the king drew his sword, soldiers began clamoring behind him. Swords impacted shields, feet battered the ground below, and the chant of "The King in the North" filled the air. The men of the North were ready to return some of the grief brought upon them at the hands of Lannister loyalists, and this was their best place to do it.

    "Archers! At the ready!" Robb called out. Behind the lines of swordsmen, archers pulled out their bows and readied them. The approaching siege force halted momentarily, seeing that they were to face an army on the ground, rather than the battlements of White Harbor. Their commander had them moving again quickly, though, as Tywin Lannister would not approve of a retreat.

    Time seemed to slow around him, as the king waited to issue the order to attack. The size of the Lannister army dwarfed his own - even with Manderly's men bolstering his ranks. He had faced such odds before and came out victorious, but this somehow felt different. There was far more at stake this time; all the hope of the North rested here on this battle.

    When the Lannister host was just barely within range, Robb issued the order to fire. Arrows were loosed and flew through the air, only about half of them finding their marks. He gave the archers to fire as they were able, hoping to thin out the first lines of enemies before they charged. The enemy force abandoned their catapults and siege weapons, since it would do them little good now.

    As the opposing soldiers quickened their advance, the king called for swords to be drawn. He bided his time, letting the Lannisters do the work of closing the distance between them before issuing the charge.

    "For the North!" the king bellowed, spurring his horse onward. He and Grey Wind were the first to meet the Lannister forces head on, and they tore into every soldier within reach. The Northmen were as fierce as ever, as the lines disintegrated into chaos and they fought for their land and families. The opposing force was overwhelming, but somehow they managed to hold the line.
  5. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red Riding a dragon had not been as easy as the stories had it told. For the first fifty miles of the journey she had struggled to remain atop Drogon, clinging to his scaly back and barely having the ability to remain stable. Her muscles were sore and her ears were ringing with the speed at which the wind whipped around her, faster than any horse or ship could take her, faster than anything known to man. On one occasion Daenerys had slipped off the dragon's back entirely and screamed as her body plunged through the air toward the icy oceans below, but Drogon had been quick to react and plucked her from the air before any harm was done. There was fear in the action of riding an uncontrollable beast, but there was exhilaration as well and an adrenaline like no other. After an hour of the constant rush of wind and flapping wings, Daenerys felt alive on the back of salvation.

    She found a comfortable position along Drogon's spine and rested there, just below the center of his shoulder blades, still able to wrap her arms around him should she lose her balance. The waters beneath their position in the sky blurred with the speed at which the dragon traveled, and more than once she was tempted to stick out her hand and graze it along the water until she remembered how high they were from the surface. The woman in her so yearned to steer the creature lower so she might see her reflection in the water, see the lights in her eyes or the ripples of the passing waves, but the warrior in her knew better. King Robb was in dire need of salvation, too, and she would give it to him just as Drogon had given it to her.

    "Faster," she encouraged, and the dragon's speed increased. Daenerys clung tighter to her child and kept her eyes forward, always attentive of where they were going. Could Drogon sense where she needed to go? Did he know the way to a country he had never been to? She had never stopped to ponder that question, never given it thought until much after the fact when indeed she could be flying to nowhere inparticular, lost amidst the ocean. She supposed the only thing to do was to trust Drogon's instincts, and wherever they landed was a mile closer to King Robb than where they started.

    After several hours of flight, the beast beneath her gave a great grunt and a hiss, waking her from the slumber that threatened to take hold. She lifted her gentle head from the scales, seeing the edge of land creep up on the horizon. Westeros? She blinked a few times and rubbed her eyes--it was unmistakably Westeros as there was no other country across the sea, unless they had turned back upon Essos, but given the clue of the snow-smothered fields in the distance Daenerys had no doubts. She felt her blood boil and fire course through her veins. This is the beauty of the North. This is home. This is where I belong at last.

    "Go!" she shouted to Drogon. "Go on, faster!" Tirelessly, Drogon beat his wings against the rushing wind and began his descent until the sounds of battle roared up from the surface of the earth. Looking down, she saw no water or reflection but the shadow of a great beast, her beast, engulfing what the sun once touched. The city walls of White Harbor were smothered in Drogon's shadow and Daenerys could see the blots of faces looking up at her in disbelief and sheer horror.

    This, she knew in that moment, this is what I was born for.

    "Dracarys!" she cried above the chaos. In a line of glowing red flame, the back lines of the Lannister forces burned in the heat of her rage.
    #5 moffnat, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  6. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    "Dragon!" The terrified shout was cried out by both sides of the fight as they took notice of the great beast soaring above them.

    Robb looked upward, watching the winged creature descend before spitting fire at his enemies. Lines of Lannister men were reduced to smoldering embers in an instant. The king's attention returned to the battle, which had all but come to a grinding halt in those moments, and saw his advantage. This was a moment not to be squandered.

    Gathering his wits and courage back to himself, he rallied his men. "Forward! Push them back!" he shouted above the chaos. The order of the king brought his men back to the present, though they were still fearful of the dragon above. It was not attacking them, though - at least, not yet.

    The Stark forces surged forward, cutting down their enemies who were caught unawares. Caught between dragon's fire and Stark swords, the Lannister's men had little choice but to flee or face death. Some of the opposing force stood and fought, but a greater number of them turned and fled the fight. Lord Tywin's wrath was assured for deserters, but in that moment none cared. The Hand of the King would soon be dealing with the dragon as well, and a few deserters would be the absolute least of his worries.

    With his enemies on the run or being cut down by his men, Robb stopped to take stock of the situation. He was on foot, having lost his horse early in the fight, and covered in blood that was not his own. In the distance, he saw Grey Wind making quick work of a Lannister bannerman. The great shadow passed overhead again and he glanced up again, finding that the dragon hadn't been a figment of his imagination. Never had he expected to see a live dragon, but there it was.

    Hopefully that dragon's fire would not be turned on his men.
  7. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red
    Defeat had become an impossibility. With a great roar, Drogon set forth another rain of fire that demolished what remained of the Lannister forces whether they were retreating or clinging to the foolish notion of hope. Tattered banners of red and gold lay strewn across the battlefield, some burning under Targaryen wrath, others trampled by Stark horses and men. The battle was over, a small victory though it was. Daenerys was infinitely grateful she left Essos when she did. With a great cheer from the forces of the North, the final remnants of Lannister living retreated back into the forests from whence they came, bringing words of dragons and direwolves back with them.

    This was the beginning of a long war yet to come.

    Drogon flapped his wings steadily, knocking a few men off their horses in the force of the wind. When the great beast finally landed atop the solid earth, Daenerys could hardly believe the ground to be so close. All her life she had dreamed of this moment, ever since she lived in the big house with the red door, of the moment when she would set her feet on Westerosi soil and proclaim herself home. The moment itself was terribly intimidating and for a moment she feared the soil would explode or burn to ashes under her touch, but she knew herself a fool to entertain the thought a single second. Daenerys had waited too long, had sacrificed too much to get here and revel in this moment. Fear shouldn't be anywhere near her current mentality. In a swift and less-than-graceful move, Daenerys slid off of Drogon's back and landed with a harsh thud on the grounds of her kingdom, her father's kingdom.

    Home. This is home. No matter how many years she would be here, it would always be hard to believe.

    Slowly, the men of Robb Stark's garrison began to make their steps forward. They had the sense about them not to point their spears and demand the name and intentions of their rescuer--not only did Daenerys have a fire-breathing dragon alive in the flesh, but she had the silver hair and bright eyes trademarked to her House. It seems even the Northmen knew who she was despite how long it had been since a Targaryen had walked among their kin. Her heart pounded violently in her chest and she glanced around to each and every face she could see, reading fear, doubt and pure awe written in various degrees and expressions, but the bottom line was the same. They were speechless, each and every one of them, and those who were not off tending the wounded had surrounded her and her dragon at a fair distance for careful observation. Some dropped to their knees in prayer, others were more subtle about their horror-motivated worship, and some were hitting themselves or pinching as if trying to wake from a dream. Daenerys herself felt amidst the deceits of sleep, never able to believe the situation unfolding before her hands and eyes, but even if this were a dream it must be played out accordingly. She cleared her throat and stepped further out into the light, still remaining close to Drogon should he become spooked in her absence.

    "My name is Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen," she called, feeling the pride swell in her chest with each word. "The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons." Those who had not been informed of her arrival looked to each other in disbelief, but said nothing. "I am here by the request of your king, a man by the name of Robb Stark who sent a letter to my person in search of aid for the kingdoms." She hastily scanned the crowd, desperate to find someone who would match Ser Barristan's description of Eddard Stark, but the Northmen were so similar in complexion and stature that it was hard to decipher who could be their king. "I have come and conquered in this battle, the beginning of an even greater war. I ask now that you show me to your king so we may discuss negotiations and treaties of peace."

    Nervously, Daenerys moved back a bit closer to Drogon, who nuzzled against her face affectionately. Remnants of fire dripped from his teeth and onto her bare skin, yet she felt and did nothing.
  8. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    None of the Northmen spoke a word in response to the Targaryen standing before them. Most were at a loss for words - first to have seen a dragon, then to be approached by the last surviving member of a House thought perished. The bannermen hardly knew what to make of their current situation.

    One among them did, though. The ranks of soldiers parted in silence as their commander moved past them, approaching Queen and dragon alike with confidence. While there was some doubt as to whether or not this new ally was to be trusted, he would not do her the misdeed of shying away.

    "I am Robb Stark," he announced as the last two men that stood between them moved aside and let him pass. He stepped forward, beyond his lines of men to address Daenerys properly. "And it is my honor to welcome you home. You have my gratitude for your assistance in the battle."

    It certainly did not need to be said that there was a good chance he and his army would have been overwhelmed if not for the queen's triumphant arrival. This was not the kind of appearance he had expected, but he was grateful nonetheless. Had she arrived with ships and an entire army, the Stark forces would still have had to hold their position until reinforcements could come to their aid.

    "I would invite you back to New Castle, as my guest." Though Walder Frey had seen fit to break guest rights, Robb would honor them. He needed the queen's help, and now that she had appeared all knew that she was quite possibly their last hope. "A field soaked in blood and death is no place to speak on terms of peace. Bring the queen a horse, and see our fallen tended to."

    Given new orders, the Stark's men began to move once more. A horse was brought forth, though it was obvious she could have just as easily mounted her dragon once more. It was hard for many to pull their attention from the Targaryen, but they had orders to follow all the same.
  9. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red Assistance? she thought with a hint of humor to herself. I won the battle for you. If it had not been for me, your cause would have died upon this field and I would've come to your aid too late. But she knew better than to argue who did what with kings, especially not an ally king should their negotiations prove successful. In the end there was no real way to tell what the outcome of the battle would have been without the early arrival of Daenerys and Drogon, and she was content to let the matter slide, though the amused smile still shone upon her queenly features. "Thank you for the offer," she stated instead. "I would gladly ride to New Castle at your side to discuss our kingdoms together. I have traveled far and sacrificed much to get here, and some Westerosi wine would be splendid to soothe the sores of travel."

    It occurred to her then that she hadn't the slightest idea what delicacies and famous dishes the lords and ladies of Westeros ate regularly. What if there was something in the meat her stomach wasn't used to that made her sick? What if the wine wasn't as sweet or strong? What if all the customs Ser Jorah had told her of were incredibly out of practice and she ended up insulting someone in a high seat? Those are fears for little girls, though. I am their queen by birth and right, and if I don't like the food they serve me I will ask them to bring me something different. It had truly been a thing of anxiety rising in her stomach, too, to cause such foolish hesitations over Westerosi nutrition.

    Daenerys mounted her horse with grace as she had learned to do, without the assistance of men and in a single, fluid motion. The Dothraki respected those who could mount and ride without the help of others, holding strength above all else. It was why so many of them had followed her in the first place, why she held the title of Khaleesi with such pride. Her sun-and-stars had gone from the world, but his spirit remained alive and thriving within her just as that of Rhaego did as well. It did not go unnoticed by those she passed. Whether it was the strength in her back or the straightness of her posture, the silver in her hair or the massive dragon flying in circles above White Harbor, she knew not. But if the onlookers wished to stare Daenerys was content to let them. How many years had it been since a Targaryen was seen in Westeros, since a dragon dominated the skies? The silver queen kept her stature as regal and commanding as she had rehearsed so many times before that it was no longer a performance, now something natural, and smiled at those who met her eyes when they passed.

    As she and Robb Stark traversed through the crowds of battle and into the city of White Harbor itself people began to offer shouts and cries of praise. "Your Grace!" came their voices, though directed at her or their king, she was unsure. Perhaps both. The way they rode side by side suggested a match that had not yet been made, a treaty yet to be signed, but by the looks on the faces of the citizens they passed in cobbled streets the notion would not be rejected. She felt herself smile even wider. Though she and King Robb had ridden in silence from the battlefield, she could already feel the ties of obligatory friendship wrap around his warrior's frame.

    The pair reached New Castle, only after Daenerys stopped briefly to admire a large statue of a merman holding a trident in the center of a great fountain. White Harbor certainly treasured it's decor. When she dismounted and walked by the side of the sad, silent Stark king into the building she felt elated, more queenly than she'd ever experienced in her life, even more than the day she rescued the Unsullied or when she took the throne of Meereen. It became her personal mission to help Robb feel kingly again, too. She knew the dread and the mourning he so recently faced. There would be no room for suffering in the war to come, and a distracted king was a dead king even if consumed in remembrance of those he lost. Do not forget, she thought, looking sidelong to the stoic man at her side. Hold it close to your heart and take your vengeance with fire and blood.

    The king and queen were led into a counsel chambers to discuss their peace in private. When in the comforts of a sitting room once more she removed the black and red Targaryen cloak to reveal an armored dress with skirts as white as her hair, and Daenerys adjusted her braids before moving to the wine and fruit platters laid out for them. She poured herself a cup of sweet white wine and brought it to her lips, chuckling at how wonderful it tasted compared to the sourwines of Essos. She took a moment for the servants to leave them in peace before turning to Robb across the room, sombering herself once again.

    "Before we begin, I want to tell you how terribly saddened I was to hear of the loss of your mother, your wife and your child." Daenerys swirled the wine in her goblet. "The tragedy you suffered at the Twins is unforgivable. I am sorry I wasted so much time in the east, perhaps if I had marched sooner as my advisers implored your losses would not have happened."
  10. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    Upon their arrival at New Castle, the portly Lord Manderly and his son, Wendel, were there to greet the king and queen. The two men were overjoyed by the triumph on the field of battle - since White Harbor would have fallen under siege had the Stark's forces fallen. The arrival of a dragon had unsettled everyone, including them, but the Targaryen riding the great beast was enough to settle frayed nerves. The king gave order for a scout to be sent out under the cover of darkness, to reveal the position of the secondary line of Lannister forces. They needed to know if there was to be another attack, or if the appearance of a dragon was enough to run the men off.

    Before Robb and Daenerys retired to counsel chambers, Lord Manderly insisted that the king see his healer - but the notion was waved off. Robb called for his new squire - a young man highly regarded by House Manderly - and handed off his sword, heavy fur cloak, and bloodied gloves. The squire saw the items taken care of, and took it upon himself to fetch a washing bowl filled with cool water for the king.

    Among the wine and platters of food, Robb ordered his war map be brought - he would hide nothing from his newest potential ally. If they were meant to have peace between themselves and work together to save Westeros from the Lannister's grasp, secrets could not be kept, nor could information be withheld. The map was brought and laid out before them, and tokens representing the great houses set at its edges. There was hesitation in the servant, when she realized a set of tokens was missing - those representing the Targaryens. With Daenerys joining the war, those were needed. She excused herself sheepishly for the mistake, and returned several minutes later with an oaken box containing the pieces.

    After the servants left the two monarchs to their business, Robb walked over and dipped his hands into the water of the washing bowl. He brought the cool liquid up to his face, wiping the blood and grime of battle from himself. As Daenerys spoke, he straightened himself again, grabbing a towel to dry his face with. "The North remembers," he replied. "We will see vengeance for the wrongs done."

    And the North had been wronged many times of late.

    The king poured himself a goblet of wine, resisting the urge to drain it dry and instead opting for a single drink as he walked over to the map laid out for them. In silence, he took each token piece by piece and put them into their proper positions: his men at White Harbor, Baratheon forces upon the Wall, the Lannister host in their last known position, Ironborn forces scattered across the North, and the bulk of the Tyrell and Lannister armies well to their south. When he finished with them, he paused momentarily before reaching over and opening the oak box. Carefully, he plucked one of the Targaryen tokens from its resting spot and studied the piece he had never seen before. He ran his thumb over the object before setting it next to his own at White Harbor.

    "I have no desire for the Iron Throne," he finally spoke again, looking up at the queen. "Our families have a dark past, and some wounds take longer to heal than the time that has passed since then. I ask that we move beyond it. If you are willing to join me, I would see you upon the Iron Throne, and the North ruled by my hand."
    #10 Cosmic Convict, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
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  11. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red "I suppose I could look past the Stark's betrayal," Daenerys said with a sigh, as much as she hated to admit it. "After all, it was not you who butchered my family nor your father who slew my brother on the Trident. Rhaegar was wrong to kidnap your aunt. If he hadn't loved her, perhaps none of this would have happened..." She moved gracefully to Robb's side and picked up the three-headed dragon piece, elegantly carved though dulled without a single day in the sun. Those days were over. She placed the piece on the map again before reaching across where he stood, grabbing three more and setting them in Braavos, which was just barely visible on Westeros's great map. "There are fifteen thousand under my leadership," the queen told him, "ten of those are soldiers. The other five are mostly Meereenese, some Dothraki from my khalasar, Yunkish, Pentoshi, even a few more Dothraki who flocked to my side as I crossed the Sea. Freed slaves who don't know the common tongue. I hadn't thought of where to let them settle while I fight this war, they can't very well follow me unless they want to die. This isn't Essos, this isn't traveling. This is war now.

    "I imagine some of them will stay in Braavos, though I have no idea how many. Perhaps I could send an envoy to Dorne and see if they would provide homes for them. The North is no place for people of the east."

    Daenerys let violet eyes scan across the hand-painted maps to read where each great house had their soldiers stationed. Lannister lions and Tyrell roses made up much of the areas south of The Neck, while Freys, Boltons and Greyjoys held the North. The only Stark direwolf she saw was stationed beside her singular dragon. It would be no easy task to sacrifice half of her kingdom, and she had every desire to place Robb Stark as Warden in the North instead of allowing him to parade as king, but Eddard Stark had saved her life. Robb had suffered immeasurable losses at the Twins. Her own brother had fallen madly in love with a Stark, so deep that a war began in her name. There was blood between their families, that much was undeniable, but for the sake of valiant Rhaegar Targaryen she made an entirely different choice.

    "I will allow you to rule as King in the North," she said as she faced him, "on several conditions. First, you must ensure your men's loyalty to me. Second, you must serve me as diligently and honorably as your soldiers serve you. And finally," Daenerys said, picking up a Lannister lionhead and offering it to him with a hint of a beautiful, mad smile.

    "Bring me Tywin Lannister's head, I will burn the Freys to the ground."
    #11 moffnat, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  12. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    The king nodded as he listened to Daenerys speak about her people. Ten thousand soldiers would add greatly to their cause, especially the Unsullied as he'd heard she acquired. Even the single dragon that the queen had ridden across the Narrow Sea leveled the battlefield immensely. Few would stand in open battle with the great winged beast flying overhead.

    Robb took a drink as the conversation shifted to conditions of peace and leadership. Though he had expected requisites to retaining the title that had been bestowed upon him by loyal bannermen, that didn't mean he had wished to have them spelled out before him. Thankfully, the queen's terms were not unreasonable, especially her final request. Such as she asked was something that he could agree to.

    For the first time in what felt like a lifetime, the king's somber features cracked and made way for a true smile to grace his rugged features as he reached for the lionhead. "It would be my great honor," he answered. Unfortunately, Joffrey had already been killed with poison - Robb regretted that he had not had the chance to remove the child king's head in repayment for the death of his father. However, the Lord of House Lannister deserved that fate as well. No doubt it had been Tywin's hand guiding the betrayal at the Twins.

    "I agree to your terms. A treaty will be prepared so that our peace may be official, and witnessed by others." Despite their agreement, they did not have the luxury of sitting and waiting for the queen's soldiers, though. The appearance of a dragon may have bought them some time, but who knew if it would be enough for Daenerys' forces to cross the Narrow Sea? With her arrival in Westeros, there was a good possibility that the Lannisters would start acting in rash desperation to keep her from closing in on King's Landing.

    "Such a great host will take time to cross the sea," Robb pointed out as he set the war token back down on the map. "My men are capable, but we've been at war for a long time... our numbers dwindle. Stannis Baratheon has set upon the Wall with an army of his own - and he is an enemy to us both. He is one who would claim the Iron Throne, and his presence at the Wall suggests he will seek support from the North before marching southward. Were we to travel to the Wall, we could give him the choice to bend the knee or face death, and eliminate the Red Woman he travels with. Then his army would be ours to command. It would be a big enough force to hold position until your soldiers land in Westeros, and we wouldn't have to fight them at a later time."
  13. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red "Can we risk leaving White Harbor so exposed?" Daenerys asked, though his smile was still so imprinted in her mind that it was hard to focus on the battle plans once again. At least he is a handsome king. Dany had made him smile. That was important to her. "If we leave for the Wall, we run the risk of Lannister reinforcements coming for White Harbor and destroying the port. No doubt the Spider knows by now that I intend to sail here with all my strength. We'll have to wait and see if Drogon and I can diminish the remaining forces overnight. I can't have my people landing in a town of ash and bone."

    The silver queen picked up the Baratheon stag at the head of the cloth map as if examining it for clues and answers to all her questions. She held it a moment and reveled in the silence, hoping she hadn't caught Robb Stark in the trap of speechlessness that many had experienced in her presence. Being around her, as Ser Jorah had said, was like looking into a glimpse of the past and seeing the face of justice reformed in the shape of a beautiful woman. Though she supposed this Northern king had no time for such foolishness, a parentless widow grieving his child. But I am the same, and I have learned to see the beauty of the world again. Perhaps he will, too. With time.

    "The Wall is a good destination, though. You're right." She set the stag piece back atop Castle Black. "When my forces arrive, I will leave half of them here in White Harbor with Ser Barristan and Viserion. Rhaegal, Drogon and I will take the remaining five thousand Unsullied as well as however many men you wish to provide and cut our path through the North along the King's Road, retaking whatever castles that can be liberated. After we crush Stannis along the Wall, I will present myself to the Night's Watch and offer them gold for their assistance, as well as take what men remain to this Fire King." She gave a soft chuckle, "we will see what he and his Red Woman think of my dragons. After that, we will march South to the Dreadfort to bring Roose Bolton to heel."

    Impressed with herself, she gave an excited look up towards her ally and grinned. "Do you have any objections or additions to make, Lord Stark?"
  14. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    Robb wasn't inclined to wait, as had been suggested. His main worry was that should Lannister forces press upon them now, White Harbor would fall to the siege he'd hoped to hold off. Perhaps the commander of the Lannister host would reconsider his orders, when those that survived the battle ran back with tales of dragon's fire and death. The Hand of the King was comfortable in King's Landing, he was no longer on the field to direct his army. Without his presence, his men would be less likely to throw themselves in front of a dragon in his name.

    Though the king's smile had diminished during talk of battle, it returned rather easily as his respect and admiration for the silver-haired queen grew. He had not thought she would be so decisive and well-versed in the arts of battle and conquest. To have come as far as she had, he supposed she had to be. It was a shame, that a woman with such beauty could not simply live as other ladies did. Truth be told, that fierceness in her eyes added to her beauty, and he knew it was that ferocity which made her so successful.

    Perhaps earlier in the war, when Westeros had first descended into the chaos of battle, he would have set his bannermen behind the Targaryen Queen and been content with pledging his fealty. Too much had happened since then, and above all his concern was for the security of the North. Under the rule of others, Arya and Sansa had been lost; his young brothers slain; and his mother, wife, and unborn child - a son, as Talisa had suggested - were slain as well. Winterfell burned, his people murdered. Because of that, he would see the North ruled by himself, or another man of the North if he fell in battle.

    But if he were to fall, he didn't have an heir. Already his life had nearly been quite literally cut short once. Though Winterfell sat in ruins, he would see it go to no one but his family. Jon was the only other surviving member, but he had no claim to the Stark holdings. Being Lord of Winterfell and House Stark, and the King in the North, Robb could amend that. He could legitimize Jon as a Stark and pardon him for leaving the Night's Watch - if Jon would do so.

    "My only request is that you allow me to bring justice to Roose Bolton. He worked for the benefit of the Lannisters and had as much of a hand in the betrayal at the Twins as Walder Frey." The punishment for such treachery was death, and Robb greatly desired to see it done. He would find a more worthy house to hold the Dreadfort, one that would not turn on them at its earliest convenience.

    "There are still loyal bannermen, between here and the Wall. They declined to involve themselves in the war, in favor of preparing for winter. Were we able to offer them support once the fighting is done, either with supplies from the South or hands to help tend their fields, I believe they would pledge their men to our cause." Ten thousand Unsullied was an immense fighting force, but between them and the Iron Throne was currently the whole of the Royal, Lannister, and Tyrell armies. Perhaps the Tyrells would withdraw their support from the Lannisters when he and Daenerys marched south - to find themselves alive at the end of the war was likely more enticing than the throne, but the monarchs would still be in need of as many men as they could get.
    #14 Cosmic Convict, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  15. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red "Of course. I would never seek to come between you and your vengeance, and Ser Jorah has told me of all the Northern Houses. The Mormonts will certainly rally to us, and the Imbers. Umbers." She cleared her throat. "...them, too." Daenerys moved to the opposite end of the great table, across from where Robb Stark stood leaning over the map. "The Wall, the Dreadfort, then the Twins. After that our army should be large enough to break the odds of Tywin's host. I heard it said in Pentos that he has nearly sixty thousand men at his call, but we have a purpose and I have my dragons. If all plays out the way it's supposed to, we should hold the North and the Iron Throne "

    Of course, it was always a risk. She had heard plenty of tales praising Tywin Lannister's abilities in war and his strategic prowess on the field, not to mention the Kingslayer, whom Daenerys would like very much to see burned in the fires of his own betrayal. His army would outnumber hers--hers and Robb's--no matter what. An ocean of Northern blood stained House Frey and Westeros had given up the Targaryen cause seventeen years ago. It would please her greatly to take Dragonstone and make that her seat until the Iron Throne was hers, the city where she was born, where her mother died screaming, but that would have to wait. She was leagues from that island and the North had to be her first conquest if she had any hope of regaining her father's kingdom.

    "You will find that the Unsullied are the greatest warriors the world has to offer," she informed him in a manner that sounded almost off-handed, "and even greater so now that I have freed them. We will have no trouble reaching the Wall. As for the Lannister forces knocking on White Harbor's door, I could send Drogon to their camps under cover of darkness so he may burn every Lannister he sees. He has always been the most destructive one." Daenerys looked up to the handsome King in the North and frowned, to see him so in pain. His wounds must be bothering him, she thought with a pang of guilt. His wounds from the Red Wedding.

    "You're hurt," she stated suddenly, so far from the topic that she shocked even herself. "Do you need rest? I apologize, I should have thought of that before I dragged you into a war meeting."
  16. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    The promise of vengeance and blossoming hope for an end to the war did more for the king's aching wounds - mental and physical alike - than any healer's salve could. Though the silver queen's soldiers had yet to arrive, the mere presence of the woman and her dragon were enough to breathe life back into the flame of confidence. Already he could feel the tides of war turning like a churning, tumultuous sea - and those angry waters were finally turning against the Lannisters.

    Robb was about to speak, when suddenly their conversation turned to a completely different subject. He looked up to Daenerys in surprise, but that faded to a grateful expression. "I appreciate your concern, my lady, and apology is unnecessary. I'll be fine," he assured the silver-haired woman. "I'll take rest only after our cause is met and I've laid Tywin Lannister's head at your feet."

    The king had no time to be tired, or to let his wounds slow him down. The cavities left by crossbow bolts were healing as well as anyone could hope, and it would not be long before they were nothing but scars. With that knowledge, he could not allow healing wounds to stop him. There was a clear path to conquest and vengeance, nothing would stand in his way.

    Robb's attention went back to the war map as his thoughts returned to their discussion before it was about him. He singled out the lionhead to the southwest of White Harbor and with a quick, curt move he tipped it over. "See them to ember and ash... any deserters will run south as quickly as they can, carrying stories of dragon's fire and silver hair. It will provide us the time needed for your army to arrive, and send a clear message to our enemies: if they are foolish enough to stand against us, it will be their downfall."

    "Though the Lannisters have thousands of men, it is nothing compared to the might of a dragon - especially three. Those loyal to the Lannister name will have to reconsider their position, and those bought by Tywin will have to decide if the mere promise of coin is worth standing against your dragons. It is well known the crown and Lannisters alike owe a great deal of gold to the Iron Bank, and recent whispers suggest the mines of Casterly Rock run dry. I believe your arrival is going to have a greater effect than you know."

    Dragons wouldn't be enough to ward off some enemies, but many would certainly be re-evaluating their positions. Anger and desperation would flare from those who didn't want to lose their lofty positions, but loyalty wasn't true if it was bought, because it could just as easily be bought by another. Daenerys had the loyalty of her Unsullied and other soldiers because she brought them freedom, the king had the loyalty of his bannermen from years of his family's just ruling of the North. Tywin Lannister had loyalty because of how much gold he was able to spend, and now his house's seat upon the Iron Throne. Many would fight for the king on the throne simply because duty demanded, but others would abandon the fight for self-preservation.

    Taking his goblet, Robb poured himself a bit more wine and refreshed the liquid in the queen's cup as well. "Before we leave White Harbor for the Wall, I would ask a favor of a personal nature," he began as he set the wine back down. "I am going to write a declaration of legitimacy for my brother, Jon, who joined the Night's Watch when our father left to serve as Hand of the King. He is the only one of my family that I know still lives - my sisters lost and brothers slain. He will carry the name Stark, and if he agrees to leave the Wall, he will be my heir should I fall during this war. It has nearly happened once already, and my family's name would have ended there with my death. I ask that you bear witness as I sign it, and to the contents within the declaration, that none may question it."
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  17. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red Daenerys lifted her head to Robb's request. The subject of heirs and succession was a sensitive one and she let out a sigh, drinking more in one gulp than she had before. "I won't question your judgement," she said at last, abandoning the side of the map and moving towards the window to catch a glimpse of the sea and bustling harbor below. She watched as Stark direwolf banners were hoisted up on poles to flap gently with the breezes of the water. "Though I suppose if it is succession we're on the subject of, know that there is no one to take my place should I be the one to fall. I have no brothers, no sisters, no mother or father, no aunt or uncle or cousins. I have been told that I can never bear children." Daenerys subconsciously placed a porcelain hand atop her lower abdomen, wondering how much Robb Stark had been told in that regard. "Should something happen to me, however, I want the Martells of Dorne to sit the throne as justice for Elia, Aegon and Rhaenys. I will bear witness to your declaration if you bear witness to mine."

    She turned to him then, her tone less of war and politics and more of the motherly nature she was known for. Motherhood, she thought briefly, such a wonderful gift. I hope this man knows fatherhood before he dies. Daenerys drank the rest of the sweet icewine from her goblet and set it down upon the table before her, looking up to her king counterpart with a saddened smile. "I, too, lost a spouse and child all at once. Blood magic. Not so different from your losses, I'd imagine." She let her finger wander over the rim of the empty goblet, staring into the golden depths as if waiting to see something within. "I hope you take my sincerest apologies for not arriving sooner, and my hopes that you find love again. The North needs a Stark child, a marriage that will bring your people joy. They won't follow your brother the way they follow you--ah," she chuckled, "forgive me. My mouth has run away again. If we are done speaking matters of war, I would like to bathe and see to Drogon."

    With thoughts of her sun-and-stars filling her heart, she looked wistfully out to the ocean again, remembering the chants of her khalasar that day in Vaes Dorthak. "Rhaego!" they cried. "Rhaego! Rhaego! Rhaego!" All before blood baths and burnt pyres, and the birth of dragons instead of a son.
  18. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    Robb recognized the sadness in Daenerys' voice - it was something he felt all the way down in his bones. His grief was fresh, only months old. Hers, however, had time to sit and simmer over time. Perhaps her pain had dulled, given the time that passed, but it was obviously still there. One thing he had learned since his own tragedy was that a leader could be surrounded by their people, and it was more lonely than actually being alone. Certainly, she had been with advisers and people she trusted, but being in a position above them, it was impossible to take comfort from them.

    But perhaps a king could offer a queen some measure of comfort - even if her loss was long past. He set his goblet down and crossed the distance between them as she spoke of her loss of husband and child. He had only heard of her marriage to the Dothraki leader, then his death and the death of their child. It was the basic story most of Westeros had heard. But for the silver queen, it was no tale of loss on a distant shore - it was personal and the pain was real.

    Knowing well he may have been acting out of line, he reached out and placed his hand on the woman's forearm both to convey his solidarity with her and to give his words deeper meaning. "I am deeply sorry for your losses," he said. Though he was the king of a cold and harsh land, his touch was warm. Though he had been at war longer than he cared to remember, his hand was gentle. "Such loss should not be suffered by one who had already lost so much. It is my great hope that you too are able to find love and happiness again."

    The king removed his hand before it lingered an unwelcome amount of time, and so that Daenerys could retire for the evening. "A servant waits at the end of the hall to show you to the chamber Lord Manderly has prepared for you. If there is anything you desire for, please, do not hesitate to have word sent to me. I will see you well tended to."

    He planned to retire soon as well. No doubt his healer would pounce the moment he set foot outside the counsel chamber, and he would stall no longer. Earlier, he swore he felt the warm trickle of blood, but had put it off in favor of treating with the queen. After allowing the healer to tend him, he would see to the defenses of White Harbor to ensure all was well after the battle before taking to his own chamber for the night.
  19. Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, red "Thank you, Your Grace. I appreciate your concern for my well-being." The silver queen allowed him a glimpse at her genuine smile, a rare sight on one so set on vengeance as she, before leaving the room harboring a feeling of gentle strength. Daenerys had a soft heart and Robb Stark had become the forefront of her needs, the intense feeling that she could fix whatever ailed him. He had treated her kindly, had spoken to her like an equal. He wore the face of a man broken but not defeated, which she recognized in herself on multiple occasions. Perhaps over the course of the following week they would begin to grow close not only as political allies and partners on war councils, but as friends.

    For the first time in a long time, Daenerys slept accompanied by an overwhelming sense of peace.


    Sea breezes whipped through each and every banner--the direwolf of House Stark and the three-headed dragon of House Targaryen were flying higher than them all. The horizon was painted with silver and white, with red and black. With the knowledge of winter and fire and blood. Banners had been sewn for her by every seamstress in White Harbor, and she had accepted all of them as gifts and promised to repay the women when her ships arrived. They held well in the winds, Dany observed. She would have to test them in battle as well. It was all so exhilarating that throughout the week, Daenerys had gotten into the habit of pinching herself periodically to ensure that this was not some trick of the mind, a long-lasting dream as a result of a coma or death. But in the end, the prognosis was the same. Everything was real, and she would take what was hers at last.

    The queen kept her hands folded in front of her, an simple onyx cape hanging about her shoulders that did nothing to conceal the bright scarlet of her gown. She looked a vision of what every queen should strive for--power, danger and intimidation all tied together with the softness of a gentle heart. Her hair was pinned back and a ruby circlet rested on the crown of her head, and she drew in a breath of ocean air, wearing a look of complete satisfaction. Eyes of all colors and ages had been watching her intently since she had taken her place at Robb's side, waiting for her to make any sudden move as if she were some exotic creature come back from the dead. Dany supposed that, in a way, she was. She looked up to the sky to see Drogon roaring and flapping his great wings excitedly, knowing his brothers were near.

    The ships weren't all that peaked on the horizon. It was the promise of hope, the promise of redemption. The promise of vengeance.

    As the vessels of their salvation drew closer to White Harbor's docks, Daenerys turned to Robb to read his expression for any sign of shock, or fear. He did not seem the type to express either after all she had told him of her forces and what they consisted of. She moved her eyes forward again and stepped out to walk along the wood of the extending dock, stopping at the end as the first ship approached and the bridges were lowered. "Mhysa! Mhysa!" she heard from the hull, and Dany chuckled to see the faces of little Yunkish children poking their faces through the small windows to catch a glimpse of their mother. She offered a wave, wondering exactly how her knights and Missandei had decided to divide up the ships to travel to and from Braavos, but all would be explained and she was confident all had worked to satisfaction. One by one, her commanders stepped off the only docked ship and Ser Barristan was the first to take a big breath of Westerosi air.

    "Ah," he sighed, "it's good to be home."

    Daenerys chuckled and approached, waving for him to follow. "Come," she commanded, and her men came along while others began shouting orders for the remaining soldiers and civilians to file off the ships in a calm and collected order. Lord Manderly had tents and makeshift houses set up for at least two thousand outside the city walls, which would have to do until Daenerys could find some other place for them. Perhaps I'll make a Ghiscari city in Westeros, she thought, just south of the Neck to remain out of Robb Stark's lands. Even in Dorne, if they'll allow it. Something to remind my people of home.

    "Your Grace," she said to the gallant Robb Stark, who stood tall and calm as always. "Meet my battle commanders. Ser Barristan Selmy, Ser Jorah Mormont, Daario Naharis of the Second Sons and Grey Worm of the Unsullied." The two men born in Westeros were quick to bow and mutter a respectful "Your Grace," but the other two were a bit confused. Daario shrugged and gave a half-hearted bow while Dany had to specifically instruct Grey Worm to do so, which he instead fell to his knees and bowed his head as if in prayer.

    Grey Wind, on the other hand, padded up to the strangers and sniffed them curiously, unsure of what to make of the new arrivals. He looked to his master and read all there was to know in his stature, until he finally took a seated position by the side of his king in a somewhat protective stance. Daenerys had grown rather fond of the animal over the week they had spent together, even going so far as to feed him bits of cooked steak from under the table. How fitting it is, that Robb will carry his sigil in a form true to life as I will carry mine. She wanted to reach out and pet the creature to assure him of the king's safety, but Daenerys knew better than that. Instead, she turned to Robb with a smile as wide as she was capable, feeling elated and queenly and everything she had been missing.

    When everyone is settled, she thought wistfully, we will make our first strike.
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  20. King Robb of House Stark, grey

    In the week spent at White Harbor with Daenerys as his guest, Robb's somber demeanor lifted and for the first time since the night of the Red Wedding his sadness was displaced. The mood of the city remained elevated as well. The citizens could feel the coming change in the presence of their king and the woman he declared as the true queen of Westeros. Where there had been fear of attack by marauding Ironborn, the Lannisters, or perhaps even by Roose Bolton, now there was hope and pride in that White Harbor was the place where the king and queen gathered their strength to retake lost lands.

    The king himself was as much involved preparations as he'd ever been. It was decided that Lord Manderly's men would remain in White Harbor with the host of Unsullied the queen would leave, to protect the city from any attack that might be made while they traveled to the Wall. He walked the battlements of the city walls, to ensure men and weapons alike were ready. If the city was to fall under attack in their absence, there was a contingency plan in place to get those outside of the walls into the safety of the city. Outside the walls, he helped pitch tents and lift houses meant for the silver queen's people. He was not above bloodying his hands, or lifting a hammer for his people - or hers, for that matter.

    To keep as busy as he did helped keep sad thoughts from troubling him. Each step taken toward getting ready for the arrival of the queen's host got them one step closer to vengeance and closure. The visions of blood and betrayal that haunted his sleep were replaced by those of silver hair, flapping wings, and dragon's fire. They were not unpleasant, though. They were the promise of conquest and success.

    When the large fleet was spotted on the horizon, Robb was happy to join the queen at the docks to see her people to shore. He allowed Grey Wind to gather his own impression of the queen's commanders, and was pleased when the massive creature seated himself. Robb had learned to trust the wolf's opinion of people, and knew he should have listened to his companion at the Twins. He placed a hand on the wolf's head, just behind his right ear, as a silent gesture for the wolf to remain in place and to assure Grey Wind that all was well.

    "Ser Barristan, Ser Jorah, welcome home," he greeted the two Westrosi men. A nod of acknowledgment was left for the two men who had traveled across the sea to follow their queen. He hoped that Ser Jorah did not harbor any resentment for him, considering the man's past with his father. If the knight did, though, they could speak of it at length later.

    "As you can see, a temporary camp has been set up for the queen's people until a proper home can be established for them. They are welcome to settle themselves as they please, and the city gates are open to them," he explained to the queen's men. "And I hope you do not mind the cold. As soon as everyone is settled, we march for the Wall."

    The people of the city had been hard at work, gathering extra clothing and going so far as to craft more for the silver queen's host. It was assumed they would be unprepared for the chilly air of the North. Robb promised repayment to all who had a hand in all the generosity shown, but the people assured their king it was not necessary. Still, he promised to remember White Harbor and all they did, and find a way to honor them when the war was done.
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