(121-04-11) The Queen That Never Was
The Queen That Never Was
Summary: In which a Targaryen from King's Landing comes to Oldtown to oversee the duel.
Date: April 11, 2014
Related: All the Wickham's Nest Stuff
Players:
Daevon..Aevander..

Rhaenys Targaryen was NPCed by the fabulous Abram!


The Roseroad is a wide and well-travelled route, spanning a great distance. It stretches Northeast away from Oldtown, leading through meadows and light woods, and in the distance, the rocky hills that are the mild Westernmost edge of the Uplands. Keep going long enough and you will reach Highgarden, where you might continue all the way to King's Landing, or diverge to take the Ocean Road to Lannisport.

The Beacon Gate represents the Southern terminus of the road. It is Oldtown's largest city gate, made of grand white stone, and lit with torches day and night. It arches over the road, and while the enormous iron-banded wooden are almost always open, the gate is also always guarded, with murder-holes in the arch above.

Near to Oldtown the countryside is spread with farms and vineyards, and smallfolk and their livestock can fill the fields during the days. As one travels further from the city the farms become fewer, and clump together into little villages.


There had been but little word sent ahead, simply that the King intended to send a representative to oversee the Trial of the Seven on his behalf. The appointed day and hour of arrival has drawn near, and sure enough a score of Armsmen in Targaryen red and black livery are marching along the Roseroad, barely visible in the distance. Yet the Kings representative arrives by another road: visible in the distance, but closing quickly is a great old dragon, ancient and broad-flung wings bright pink with the young sunlight shining through them, settling down with a great updraft of dust on the road, with an aged figure armored in bright steel and brass: sister to one king and aunt to the present sovereign, she is the Queen That Never Was, Rhaenys Targaryen; her hair is iron grey and her eye still formidable as she dismounts the ancient scarlet wyrm, and turns to greet her kinsmen.

Aevander had been expecting pomp and circumstance, but he hadn't quite anticipated Rhaenys on her great wyrm. His brows lift softly as the beast touches down and his horse shifts his weight uncomfortably. A dragon could eat any of them, but horses seem to take the idea quite to heart. Listing a little to the side, he murmurs to his brother, "Now that is a tamed dragon." Then he dismounts, leaving the reins of his horse in the hands of a servant as he strides over to meet his armored and much admired relative. He's in the expected red and black (mostly black) as he offers a courteous bow and then straightens. "Princess Rhaenys. I am Ser Aevander and this is my brother, Ser Daevon. Welcome to Oldtown."

Daevon's not the Targaryen you take with you when you're to do anything political. He's dressed much as Aevander is, in black and red finery, unlike his usual attire and sitting atop one of his more placid mounts, although even it seems uncomfortable in the dragon's presence. He missed an awful lot of etiquette lessons and as such he defers to Aevander in exactly how he's meant to act. He smiles at those words, nodding and does as his brother does, dismounting his horse and following, bowing just a moment after Aevander does.

Rhaenys, sets a hand the the eye-horn of the Red Queen, the wyrm rumbling lowly at the brief touch, resting its massive head on the Roseroad, it's open eye picking among the men and horses present, as each moves or stirs. Aevander's words and Daevon's bows are met with a regal dip of the grey-haired lady's chin. "I know you both," she states to the introduction, keen eyes looking past them for a moment. "Your sisters have not come," she observes aloud. "I'm told Oldtown is taken with disquiet; tell me what more must be known as we travel to the Hightower."

"Cerys and Visenya are making preparations for your arrival, princess," Aevander replies smoothly (even if, possibly, this is a total lie), "though they will both wish to pay their regards once all is arranged." As they begin to walk, he begins, "The unrest is over an attack on Wickham's Nest, a hunting lodge belonging to House Cockshaw. The whole lodge was razed, all within slain, including Ser Eryk, the Cockshaw heir. The knights who rode out to investigate and reclaim the bodies deduced, by thin evidence and their own anger, that the culprit was Lord Blackmont of Dorne. Those same knights rode out as a hunting party a few weeks after the attack, and during the time they were absent, the Red Rookery, one of Lord Blackmont's border outposts, was just as brutally savaged. The Reach men have not admitted their involvement, but that has not stopped Lord Blackmont from accusing them nor demanding the Trial of the Seven which you have come to witness. Ser Daevon has performed his own investigation of the razing of Wickham's Nest. I will let him speak on what he learned."

Daevon shakes his head at a few things which Aevander says. "All within were slain save for one woman. A Dornish woman, Lady Yael Blackmont was seen as part of the hunting party. It seems likely she was having relations with Lord Eryk Cockshaw. Lady Yael's body was not discovered in the lodge and it seems likely the raiders took her. The Blackmonts have been searching for her but with no success." He frowns. "My own investigations seem to suggest that the Blackmonts were responsible too, although without Lord Blackmont's knowledge. The late Lord of the Red Rookery was an ex-lover of Lady Yael. So he had motive. He is also one of the few with means. But with the Red Rookery burned, and their Lord dead it seems unlikely we will discover the truth there."

The elder Targaryen cuts off the explanation with a curt motion of one hand and equally pointed speech, "I am well aware of the pretext, Marcher Lords and Dornishmen have been killing each other ever since our fool ancestor decided to play with his toy soldiers, rather than burn any defiant Dornish castle with dragonfire until they knelt." Perhaps the least reverent description of The Conquerer ever. "But this border skirmish has led to riots in Oldtown and a Trial of the Seven. The Queen and King's Hand-" both Hightowers, "Wish to know what makes this different." Daevon's addendum earns a terse exhale and the invocation, "Seven save us all from the follies of fools in love. Once the Trial is done, what obstacles to peace do you both see?"

"It was more violent and more vindictive on both sides. Border raid are for profit and benefit. There are deaths, there are buildings aflame, but there is no wholesale slaughter. The attack on Wickham's Nest seemed personal and fueled by fury, and it was answered in kind," Aevander replies. "The greatest obstacle I can imagine, after the trial, is that the losing side will continue to feel unjustly wronged and will serve out their own 'justice' along the border. And should the Dornish win in the trial, it may well enough incite another riot against the Dornish residing within Oldtown." Aevander considers, "Actually, should the Dornish lose, that could incite a riot just as easily."

"It will depend on who wins, who loses, who lives and who dies," Daevon says. "As well as if Lady Yael is discovered or not. If the Dornish win that will not be taken well." That may be a gross understatement. "There will be rioting and quite likely and Dornish upon the streets will pay the price once more. Ser Osric Dayne needs to live. He is a strong voice in favour of peace and for him to die that could have further reaching consequences. Not immediate though. The reach lords feel ignored. They took action because they felt that they were not being listened to. That we would do nothing to seek justice for the deaths of their kinfolk and so they took matters into their own hands. Win or lose things will not change in that regard."

The iron-haired Targaryen nods in understanding at several points, ordering her thought as she draws a slow breath through the nose. "Bring me a horse," she commands, first, before looking between her young kinsmen. "My purpose here is to prevent further unrest in this city, riots will be my concern. One of you-" she adds, non specific as to which, "Is to personally appeal to the High Septon for a blessing sanctifying the Trial. Smallfolk may have a moment's pause in defying the gods. The more pomp and circumstance we can wring out of him, the better." Another calculating breath. "The Martells do not wish a war, this is to our advantage. If Oldtown must be shown the sight of a true Dragonrider to remind them of obedience, then they shall. Men will defy their lords at times, even the gods. It is a rare man who will defy a Dragon."

Aevander gestures towards the small group of house guards that accompanied himself and Daevon, and a fellow dismounts and leads his horse over to Rhaenys. "I cannot see how a new war would be to our benefit, at this juncture," Aevander agrees, accepting the reins and holding them for the dragonlord (dragonlady?) to mount. "Oldtown has had its fill of wild dragons as of late, princess, but it may be that one controlled our House will remind them of our might, as you say. Some here have become too pleased with themselves and too dismissive of their true lords."

Daevon's quiet now as Aevander speaks, just listening to the two.

The subject of wild dragons draws a stern eye from Rhaenys, with the ominous words, "Yes, I've heard," spoken on the subject as the armored princess sets sabaton into stirrup and mounts the horse. Begind her, the ancient wyrm lifts its head slightly but settles again afterward. "Their Majesties are unconcerned with whispers of disobedience. She is a Hightower, and Viserys has counted Lord Tyrell among his closest friends for years. Yet I will see for myself." That stated, she asks of the young men, "Are either of your sisters schooled in bearing arms and armor? If not, then I will require the service of a highborn lady who is, while I remain."

"Unfortunately not," Daevon replies. "Sapphyra is the only one of the Targaryen Ladies I know who is at all capable of wielding a weapon, and she still has much to learn. If you're looking for someone with more experience, than Lady Maera Mormont is the name that comes to mind. Or Lady Alys Cockshaw."

"Alys Cockshaw rode out to investigate Wickham's Nest, princess," Aevander adds, "and being a Cockshaw, of course, is tied to this mess. That could work for or against you. Lady Maera has no particular investment in the duel's outcome, but she can be…" he pauses to choose a word a bit more politic than the one in his head, "…outspoken."

That's news to Daevon, which is obvious by his surprise at Aevander's words.

"Cockshaw?" The iron princess echoes, regarding Daevon. "Send her to me. If she is capable, I would hear her mind on this matter, as well." A short sniff at Aevander's description. "If I can remind a Cockshaw of their obedience while wrapping it in the cloak of granting an honor, I will." A tight and all too brief smile bends the lady's lip. "Now come along, my young kinsmen. Let us begin cleaning up this great mess."

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