(122-12-28) His Grace Commands
His Grace Commands
Summary: Rhaegor has a lunch date with King Viserys.
Date: OOC date: 28 December, 2015. IC date: Sometime between the tournament and the Targaryen Trek.
Related: Targaryen and Hightower Tourney, Venom and Misdirection

King Viserys is in the dining hall, taking his luncheon and looking rather bored. He's picking at the food. He's been picking at it for a long time, though, and has eaten a great deal.

Rhaegor is admitted into the dining hall, but only just. He is announced by a page boy, that the King might express his whim, or lack thereof, for an audience over his meal. "My liege," Rhaegor says, lowly, deferentially, as he offers the lunching monarch a bow. He holds it, rather than rise from it, lingering in suspended animation.

The servants seem to expect Viserys to be willing to meet with his assorted cousins. He looks up to catch Rhaegor's bow, and smiles a bit. "Ah. Care for a drink? Some cheese and olives?"

Rhaegor lifts from the bow, only at Viserys' acknowledgment, and then he strides toward the table in acceptance of the invitation. "Thank you, your grace," he says before taking a place at the table. "Wine," he tells the servant on hand to attend Viserys. A plate is put before him, but he seems as disinterested in the food itself as the King is. "Do you enjoy your visit to Oldtown, my liege?"

"It's gone on a bit long now," says Viserys. "I did not expect to be waiting on Syrax." He smiles a little. "But of course I am delighted to attend a family wedding."
<OOC> Rhaegor totally forgot about how Viserys almost got crushed to death when asking that question
<OOC> Gashlycrumb laughs.

"Even Dornish weddings are rarely so eventful," Rhaegor says, an effort at a wry quip. Indeed, it has all gone on a bit long, and there have been no shortage of calamities along the way. "I will ride with Princess Rhaenyra," he pledges, what trace of humor there was giving way to utter seriousness as he makes the vow. "I should not be surprised if Syrax and Veraxion both were maimed in their dance." A suggestion as to the reason for the wyrm's prolonged absence.

Viserys grimaces. "Let us hope not. The princess is already thoroughly upset without Syrax being hurt. That would be a greater calamity than the rest." He swallows more wine, Arbor Gold. "Do you need anything, for your ride?"

Rhaegor concurs, inclining his head just so before he takes a drink of his own freshly poured wine. He hesitates over the question. "Only your guidance, my liege. What is your will, if we are to encounter the wild one again? It poses a threat to all the others, left as it has been to its own ferity."

"Let it alone," says Viserys. "I don't see evidence, much, of that threat; it didn't really attack Syrax. What do you imagine you could do?"

"It should have a rider," Rhaegor suggests, in that way that leads easily to an assumption that he supposes himself just right for the job. But it's wistful, too. The prince was once a rider himself, and the wild dragon is a reminder of what his own wyrm might have amounted to once fully matured. "Syrax accepted it." At least as a mate, if not yet as a member of the royal fleet. "The others might, too."

"I am sure we'd all be happier if it did," says Viserys. "Yet it does not."

"There is another matter." Rhaegor is cautious in broaching it. "A delicate one. You may recall that I have written to you about a Dragonseed boy who studies at the Citadel. A dreamer." Bryn. The subject of more than one missive back to King's Landing over the course of Rhaegor's campaign in Oldtown.

"I recall," says Viserys. "Do you know who, mmm, produced the boy?"

"I had rather hoped the Crown might have some insight into the matter. I would propose to investigate it myself, if that is your will." But it's only a cursory part of what it is Rhaegor wishes to raise. And he goes on. "My liege, the boy has had a dream that I now believe pertains to the matter of succession." His words are careful. It's a divisive matter, after all. And also presupposes the death of the King, which is never an easy thing to discuss with… the King.

The king grimaces again. "He dreams of battling dragons," he says, "Black and green."

"Yes, your grace." Rhaegor is hesitant to presume to offer anything further on the matter than that, without prompting. A good time to pause for wine and buy himself a moment in which to gauge the King's mood.

Viserys watches Rhaegor, a bit narrow-eyed now. "Such squabbles are already happening," he observes. "I have made the succession clear."

Rhaegor inclines his head once more at Viserys's words. "Yes, my liege." Such squabbles are already happening within the Targaryen dynasty. The succession has been made clear. "I only raise it for the grievous losses the boy has foreseen our great house suffering." The Crown diplomat pauses, adjusting his wine goblet where it lays on the table, moving it an inch to the right. "I feel it my duty to counsel the importance of ensuring that clarity is not clouded."

"Does his vision offer any solution?" asks the King.

Rhaegor cants his head to the side. A regretful no in answer to the King's question. "The boy dreamt of a book, but knew not of the words it contained for it was in High Valyrian. He could recall only a verse: In the season of whispers, the dragon root blooms."

"Have you asked at the citadel, what book?" asks Viserys.

"Perhaps I might gain access to its library by your leave, my liege. It could be that the boy could identify it from his dream." Rhaegor, as ever, is eager to receive instruction; it's arguably his purpose in life to obey them.

The king nods. "Of course," he says. "In fact, we fully expect /some/ answer from the citadel about that. The boy did not tell me of a book."

"It may be that the significance of the book was overlooked, when first the dream was reported. Princess Visenya and I attempted to identify the dragons he'd seen by color and size, matching them to wyrms ridden by our cousins, past or present. Small. Black and green." Rhaegor admits the misdirection and resulting failure of interpretation before he adds, "It was only more recently, and a result of a question from the child himself, that I came to realize they more likely represented your heirs."

"There's not been a black dragon for some time," says Viserys, rather sadly. He, too, is a former rider, and the Black Dread lost.

Rhaegor has a drink of wine. Libation for their lost dragons. Only between one former dragonrider and another is the grief of that incredible loss truly understood. Silence ensues, until finally Rhaegor presents his next order of business. "And as to Dorne…" he begins.

"Tell me," replies Viserys, quietly. "I worry." Not the sort of thing this particular king usually admits to.

"I fear what successes we have achieved were minute and fleeting. The wedding of Amarei of Dorne's heir, Torren, to my cousin Visenya has incited suspicion and promoted hostility toward the Crown from quarters already inclined toward the same. Targaryen subjugation. Whispers grow louder. An attempt was made on Torren's life as we rode to Oldtown, and it nearly took Visenya's instead." Rhaegor bears these failures as personal ones; the weight of them is evident to look upon him while he speaks. "And I find the climate here improved, but not enough by half. Prince Torren has not made much of an impression during his stay here. Hostilities are still fresh. Oldtown remembers the Trial of the Seven and its result."

"Who has attacked Visenya?" asks Viserys, with some suspicion. "The trade of bridegroom for bride was not to my liking."

Rhaegor replies, "We took a number of prisoners. A viper had been hidden within a gift presented to Torren and Visenya by Gemon Targaryen's mistress. Maelys nearly crushed the skulls of those we questioned before we had the opportunity, but we traced involvement to the Houses of Tyrell, Florent and Fossoway. Still, there was no evidence of sanction from their Lords. Those involved were acting of their own accord. They were given to House Martell as the attempt occured upon Dornish lands."

"Ah," replies Viserys. "I remember." He sighs heavily. "Tell me of the hatchlings."

Rhaegor nods. His missives back to King's Landing from Dorne were frequent, and ridden with detail. He merely recalls the highlights for Viserys. The prince seems inclined to broach another matter related to Dorne, but the King asks after the hatchlings, and Rhaegor indulges, with something akin to a father's pride. After all, he was present for their hatching, and that too would have been the subject of reports back to Viserys.

"They have grown stronger. Much stronger. I am convinced now that they will flourish." Indeed, when the two came out of the same egg, there had been grave concern that neither dragonet would survive, much less to maturity. There's concern, too. "Princess Visenya feels a very strong affinity to Dorne." The suggestion is mild, but in connection with discussion of the hatchlings, troubling. At least where keeping dragons within Targaryen control is concerned.

That seems to be Viserys' concern, as well. "That," he says, "Is a problem. The hatchlings must remain Westerosi."

"Her heart is hardened against the family," Rhaegor says, with quiet regret. "She feels that she has been overlooked in favor of our other kin, and that she will have freedoms in Dorne she was not afforded in her life here. I believe that if she returns to Sunspear with Torren, the dragonets will be lost to us." And while he's on the matter, Rhaegor recalls something else of concern. "She dreamt of Veraxion's den. Of a Valyrian sword. Her intent was to pursue it and make a gift of it to Prince Torren." Further proof of a shifting of allegiance out of Targaryen favor.

"My liege, there is another development that I feared putting to ink and thought best to deliver to you directly."

Viserys frowns. His amiable round face doesn't suit the fierce look, but he still manages to look quite stern. He nods at Rhaegor's next words and makes a little 'go on' sort of gesture with one hand.

"Veraxion produced two eggs. Visenya was in possession of them both. She hatched the one, and it bore the two dragonets. But the other…" Rhaegor turns his goblet absently in a half circle before he lifts it and has a drink of the wine. "She gave it to me, thinking that we would wed, before circumstance changed and we made our progress to Dorne. It remains in my keeping."

The king nods slowly at that. "I suggest you give it to Prince Jurian," he says. "It can do you no good." He looks morose, and drinks more wine. "What are her plans for that second hatchling?"

"Prince Jurian," Rhaegor repeats. Evidently this was not the counsel he might have expected. Prepared to give it unto the throne, without a doubt. The question hangs heavy in the way he repeats his cousin's name, but he does not presume to request further explanation outright. He also drinks more wine. That the second egg is still within their control is a small mercy. Visenya has two hatchlings at her disposal, after all. "I can only presume," he says.

"Do you have someone else in mind?" asks the King, responding to that unasked question.

"I admit I thought first of your own great-children." As it is, Princess Rhaenyra is pumping out babies like crazy, and she's far from done. But Rhaegor is careful to express neutrality upon the subject. Even if his next suggestion proves he isn't. "My son, Viseron, if not." A boy of ten, with no egg in his cradle as a babe. Rhaegor lifts a hand, gesturing forth the servant to refill his cup with wine.

Viserys nods to that, slowly. "Viseron, if that is your wish," he replies. "As for the hatchlings, what is it you presume?"

"Thank you, your grace." Rhaegor bows his head, duly honored by the Viserys's indulgence. And then, the hatchlings. "That she will give Torren," and Dorne, by extension, "an heir who rides."

"It cannot stand," says Viserys sadly.

Rhaegor himself seems torn to make the report. After all, he had intended, once, to wed Visenya. Old attachments are not so easily broken, even if they must be laid aside in service to the Crown. "It has long been thought that Prince Torren could not produce an heir. If she not only gives him one, but a pair of hatchlings besides, I should not be surprised if Amarei will take measures to protect her."

The king nods slowly again, then swallows more wine. "The dragonets must come to King's Landing," he says softly.

Rhaegor bows his head again. "I am at your disposal, my liege." You know, should there be need of his assistance in separating a mother (and what is Visenya, if not that) from her dragon babies.

King Viserys nods at that. "I am grateful for your loyalty and service," he replies. "We will speak more on this. Perhaps there will come some opportunity to make this happen without causing… difficulties." Or wars.

"It is my honor," Rhaegor says earnestly in reply to the expression of gratitude. A good little footsoldier, if ever there was one. Drunk on the Targaryen family koolaid. His own son, named in homage to the King. Finally, the last item on his agenda. "Before I leave you to your repast, my liege, I wondered if it might be your wish to appoint a new diplomat to Dorne. Now that I am to wed Emira Martell, I fear that I perhaps can no longer be seen to be impartial." Not that impartiality was ever expected to be a defining feature of a Crown emissary, per se.

"I will consider it," says Viserys, raising his brows a bit. "At your request. I would not insult you by supposing your partialities have changed with your wedding."

"They have not, your grace," Rhaegor is quick to confirm, however needlessly. "But tensions are high and blood is hot. I do not wish to see the campaign compromised by virtue of my involvement. I know that it is a delicate matter. I should understand, if you wished the change."

His Grace considers, and nods. "Perhaps you need a catspaw," he says softly.

Rhaegor considers this in turn. "Perhaps," he would seem to agree. Thinking already, no doubt, of who might be fit for the job.

"We will discuss it," says Viserys, "Likely by raven, but somehow."

"As you will," Rhaegor defers, finishing the last of his wine. "Is there anything else for the moment, your grace?"

"No, lad," says Viserys. "Thank you."

At the dismissal, Rhaegor rises from the table, offering the King a final demonstration of his esteem with another sharp bow. He takes his leave immediately thereafter, departing the dining hall and restoring Viserys to his peace.

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